Word Play

RSS Idiom of the Day

  • put a gun to (someone's) head
    To force someone to do something he or she does not want to do, especially by the use of threats or intimidation (not necessarily with an actual gun). Watch the video
  • hoist by (one's) own petard
    To be injured, ruined, or defeated by one's own action, device, or plot that was intended to harm another; to have fallen victim to one's own trap or schemes. (Note: "hoist" in this instance is the simple past-tense of the archaic form of the verb, "hoise.") Watch the video

RSS Word of the Day

  • dispirit
    Definition: (verb) Lower someone's spirits; make downhearted. Synonyms: cast down, deject, depress, dismay, demoralize. Usage: I try to maintain a positive outlook, but the sad stories that are often featured on the nightly news inevitably dispirit me. Discuss
  • pouter
    Definition: (noun) Someone with a habitually sullen or gloomy expression. Synonyms: picklepuss, sourpuss. Usage: What will it take for you to stop being such a pouter and enjoy yourself?

RSS Word Origins

  • seats
    dress circle - So called because it is a circular row of seats at an entertainment, the spectators of which are expected to be in dress clothes. More...sedile - A seat by the altar for a member of the church clergy. More...tandem - From Latin, literally "eventually, at length," and then, metaphorically, "acting conjointly"; in […]
  • magician
    magus - A person regarded as having great wisdom or powers likened to those of a magician. More...archimage - A great magician, from Greek archi-, "chief, principal," and Latin magus, "magician." More...fascinate, fascinator - Fascinate is derived from Latin fascinare, "to bewitch or enchant," and a fascinator was a magician. More...mage, magian - Mage and […]
  • slave
    amanuensis - Literally "slave at hand"—for a literary assistant, especially one who takes dictation or copies manuscripts. More...ciao - Also ciau; from Italian, it is an alteration of schiavo, "(I am your) slave." More...serve - From Latin servire, "serve," from servus, "slave." More...addict - To addict originally meant "to award as a slave"; an addict […]
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