bookbinder

bookbinder

/ˈbʊkbʌɪndə/
noun
A person who binds books as a profession.

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Bernice was bound up in her memories. Every major event of her life had an associated handmade scrapbook. They were of superior quality, almost qualifying her as a bookbinder.

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opaque

opaque

/ə(ʊ)ˈpeɪk/
adjective
1 Not able to be seen through; not transparent.
1.1 (especially of language) hard or impossible to understand.
noun
1 An opaque thing.
1.1 Photography mass noun A substance for producing opaque areas on negatives.

Origin
Late Middle English opake, from Latin opacus ‘darkened’. The current spelling (rare before the 19th century) has been influenced by the French form.

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Sometimes definitions are not enough. Some words’ meanings remain completely opaque. Adding example usage sentences is good, and an illustration may also help.

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attribute

attribute

Verb/əˈtrɪbjuːt/
Noun/ˈatrɪbjuːt/

verb
[with object]
attribute something to
1 Regard something as being caused by.
1.1 Ascribe a work or remark to (a particular author, artist, or speaker)
1.2 Regard a quality or feature as characteristic of or possessed by.
Noun
1 A quality or feature regarded as a characteristic or inherent part of someone or something.
1.1 A material object recognized as symbolic of a person, especially a conventional object used in art to identify a saint or mythical figure.

Origin
Late 15th century: the noun from Old French attribut; the verb from Latin attribut- ‘allotted’: both from the verb attribuere, from ad- ‘to’ + tribuere ‘assign’.

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The number of legs is an identifying attribute of arthropods, insects well-known for six legs; spiders have eight; centipedes, in spite of the name, don’t actually have 100.

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apterous

apterous

/ˈapt(ə)rəs/
adjective
Entomology
(of an insect) having no wings.

Origin
Late 18th century: from Greek apteros (from a- ‘without’ + pteron ‘wing’) + -ous.

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Most ants are apterous while most beetles have wings, even if they are not evident.

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winnow

winnow

/ˈwɪnəʊ/
verb
1 with object Blow a current of air through (grain) in order to remove the chaff.
1.1 Remove (chaff) from grain.
1.2 Remove (people or things) from a group until only the best ones are left.
1.3 Find or identify (a valuable or useful part of something)
literary no object (of the wind) blow.
2.1 with object (of a bird) fan (the air) with its wings.

Origin
Old English windwian, from wind (see wind).

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In the age of digital dictionaries, we should ask lexicographers to winnow out this type of definition: “Winnower – see winnow”.

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tangelo

tangelo

/ˈtan(d)ʒələʊ/
noun
A hybrid of the tangerine and grapefruit.

Origin
Early 20th century: blend of tangerine and pomelo.

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Tim and Terri traipsed a tangaltz (mixing a tango and a waltz) while eating tangelos and tan Jello™. Wacky kids!

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zorbing

zorbing

/ˈzɔːbɪŋ/
noun
mass noun
A sport in which one is secured inside a large transparent ball which is then rolled along the ground or down hills.

Origin
1990s: invented word from Zorb (the name of the ball used in this activity) + -ing.

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Sally seemed almost professional in her success with zorbing.

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syllabus

syllabus

/ˈsɪləbəs/
noun
1 The subjects in a course of study or teaching.
2 (in the Roman Catholic Church) a summary of points decided by papal decree regarding heretical doctrines or practices.

Origin
Mid 17th century (in the sense ‘concise table of headings of a discourse’): modern Latin, originally a misreading of Latin sittybas, accusative plural of sittyba, from Greek sittuba ‘title slip, label’.

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Cedric selected his course work from the school’s catalog, creating a syllabus for his advisor to approve. He attempted to limit his heretical choices.

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fissile

fissile

/ˈfɪsʌɪl/
adjective
1 (of an atom or element) able to undergo nuclear fission.
2 (chiefly of rock) easily split.

Origin

Mid 17th century (in the sense ‘easily split’): from Latin fissilis, from fiss- ‘split, cracked’, from the verb findere.

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Maria made the hard decision not to marry Bob Shale on the basis that divorce would be inevitable, given the fissile nature of his name’s namesake rock.
[Could this view, at all, explain the phrase “a rocky marriage”?

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wuthering

wuthering

/ˈwʌðərɪŋ/
adjective
Northern English
(of weather) characterized by strong winds.

Origin
Early 16th century: from late Middle English whither, wuther ‘rush, make a rushing sound’, probably of Scandinavian origin.

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Mount Washington in the US state of New Hampshire is only 6,288 ft feet tall, but it is a peak with a wuthering reputation. Sporting the second highest wind speed record, 231 mph, Mt. Washington hosts a year-round weather observatory. The highest recorded wind speed was in a cyclone (hurricane) off the coast of Australia.

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[Photo courtesy of Ann Williams]