Word Power- Word of the Week

Word of the Week (WOW) is a weekly meme created by Heena Rathore P. . It’s a fun way to improve vocabulary by learning new words every week. To participate, simply do a post with your word and leave a link to it as a comment on Heena’s WOW post.

7th March, 2015

dyspepsia • \dis-PEP-shuh\  • noun

1 : indigestion

2 : ill humor : disgruntlement

Did you know?

When people get indigestion, they are often affected by nausea, heartburn, and gas—things that can cause the world’s greatest gastronome to curse the world’s most delectable dishes. So, it is no wonder that dyspepsia, a word for indigestion, has also come to mean “ill humor” or “disgruntlement.” The word itself is ultimately derived from the Greek prefix dys- (“faulty” or “impaired”) and the verb pessein (“to cook” or “to digest”). To please the wordmonger’s appetite, we would like to end with this tasty morsel: Dyspepsia has an opposite, eupepsia—a rarely used word meaning “good digestion.”


Latin, from Greek, from dys- + pepsis digestion, from peptein, pessein to cook, digest — more at cook.

March 13, 2015

nonage • \NAHnij\  • noun

1 : minority

2 a : a period of youth

b : lack of maturity

Origin: Middle English, from Anglo-French, from non- + age.

First use: 15th century

Synonyms: childhood, springtime, youth

Antonyms: adulthood

Did you know? Minority, majority; infancy, adulthood; nonage, full age—here you have the three contrasting pairs that constitute the vocabulary of legal age. Minority, infancy, and nonage are synonyms that mean “the state or time of being under legal age.” Majority, adulthood, and full age mean “the state or time of being of legal age.” (All these words, particularly infancy and adulthood, have other meanings as well, of course.) Nonage came to us by way of Middle English from an Anglo-French union of non- and age, which combine to mean “not of age.”

March 18, 2015

controvertible • \KAHN-truh-ver-tuh-bul\  • adjective

: capable of being disputed or opposed by reason

Origin: controversy.

First use: 1584

Did you know? If you’re familiar with incontrovertible, you may have wondered about the existence of controvertible. Both words are direct descendants of controvert (“to dispute or oppose by reasoning”), which dates back to 1584 in English and itself derives from controversy. Controvertible was documented in print as early as 1610, and incontrovertible turned up around thirty years later. Controversy comes to us (through Anglo-French) from the Latin controversus, meaning “disputable,” and can ultimately be traced back to the Latin contro- (“against”) and versus, the past participle of vertere (“to turn”).

March 22, 2015

firebrand • \FYRE-brand\  • noun

1 : a piece of burning wood

2 : one that creates unrest or strife (as in aggressively promoting a cause) : agitator

First use: 13th century

Synonyms: demagogue (also demagog), exciter, agitator, fomenter, incendiary, inciter, instigator, kindler, provocateur, rabble-rouser

Did you know? The original firebrands were incendiary indeed: they were pieces of wood set burning at the fire, perhaps for use as a light or a weapon. English speakers started brandishing those literal firebrands as long ago as the 13th century. (Robinson Crusoe held one high as he rushed into a cave on his deserted island and saw “by the light of the firebrand . . . lying on the ground a monstrous, frightful old he-goat.”) But the burning embers of the wooden firebrand quickly sparked figurative uses for the term, too. By the early 14th century, firebrand was also being used for one doomed to burn in hell, and by 1382, English writers were using it for anyone who kindled mischief or inflamed passions.

29th March, 2015

persiflage • \PER-suh-flahzh\  • noun

: frivolous bantering talk

: light raillery

Origin: French, from persifler to banter, from per- thoroughly + siffler to whistle, hiss, boo, ultimately from Latin sibilare.

First use: 1757

Synonyms: backchat, badinage, chaff, give-and-take, jesting, joshing, banter, raillery, repartee

Did you know? Unwanted persiflage on television might provoke an impatient audience to hiss or boo, but from an etymological standpoint, no other reaction could be more appropriate. English speakers picked up persiflage from French in the 18th century. Its ancestor is the French verb persifler, which means “to banter” and was formed from the prefix per-, meaning “thoroughly,” plus siffler, meaning “to whistle, hiss, or boo.” Siffler in turn derived from the Latin verb sibilare, meaning “to whistle or hiss.” By the way, sibilare is also the source of sibilant, a word linguists use to describe sounds like those made by “s” and “sh” in sash. That Latin root also underlies the verb sibilate, meaning “to hiss” or “to pronounce with or utter an initial sibilant.”

April 05, 2015

incisive • \in-SYE-siv\  • adjective

: impressively direct and decisive (as in manner or presentation)

in·ci·sive·ly adverb

in·ci·sive·ness noun

First use: circa 1834


“Albee, 84 and frail from recent heart surgery, smiled broadly as he came on stage to take a bow Saturday. He knows that ‘Virginia Woolf’ is the play that will forever be synonymous with his name, and he could not have hoped for a more incisive rendering of it.” — Hedy Weiss, Chicago Sun-Times, October 14, 2012

“For more than two decades, Carr focused his considerable talents on media criticism, lacing his columns with incisive commentary and wit.” — Terrence McCoy and Justin Moyer, Washington Post, February 13, 2015

Did you know?

Incisive has meant “impressively direct and decisive” since around 1834 and derives from the Latin verb caedere, meaning “to cut.” Its linguistic kin include many cuttings from the fruitful stem caedere, such as scissors, chisel, incise (“to cut into or engrave”), excise (“to remove by cutting”), incisor (“a front tooth typically adapted for cutting”), incision (“cut” or “gash”), precise (“minutely exact”), and concise (“brief”). In addition to the meaning illustrated above, incisive also carries a couple of lesser-known literal meanings relating to cutting: “having a cutting edge or piercing point” (as in “incisive fangs”), and, in dentistry, “of, relating to, or situated near the incisors.”

April 12th, 2015

Petrichor · \ PET-ri-kuhr\· noun

A pleasant smell that frequently accompanies the first rain after a long period of warm, dry weather


‘other than the petrichor emanating from the rapidly drying grass, there was not a trace of evidence that it had rained at all’ ‘The petrichor in the air reminded me of home and I found myself humming “Mitti di khushboo”  ‘   ( this sentence I made at random from my own experience)

Origin 1960s: blend of petro- ‘relating to rocks’ (the smell is believed to be caused by a liquid mixture of organic compounds which collects in the ground) and ichor.

20th April, 2015

Nonversation  ·noun ·

conversation that seems meaningless or without logic


“There’s a 45-minute wait at the bus office until our coach leaves. Billy disappears to buy water and I strike up a nonversation (smile, nod, hello, Ingalis) with a Kurdish man with a scar on his cheek, who gestures for me to play the guitar.” – blog post at unplanned.com, March 20, 2010

etymology Blend of non and conversation

27th April,2015


Etymology error +‎ -ist Noun errorist (plural errorists)

1. One who encourages and propagates error.

2. One who holds onto an erroneous belief.


This week’s winning bumpersticker from the Thursday delivery route showed a drawing of George W. Bush and said “American errorist.” NOFX – American Errorist “We really hate ammerican errorist!”

3rd May, 2015


/ˈlɪmɪrəns /


(psychol) a state of mind resulting from romantic attraction, characterized by feelings of euphoria, the desire to have one’s feelings reciprocated, etc
Word Origin
coined by Dorothy Tennov (1928–2007), American psychologist


  • infatuation


  • nonlimerence

Alternative forms

  • limerance

Examples 1. The girl fell in love with the boy in high school, she had a limerence but lost it when she moved away to college. 2. I usually land up being in limerence of the male protagonist of my favourite TV show/ movie during that particular phase of time.


11th June,2015

Chutzpah \noun\ hootz-pah\

(Yiddish) 1. personal confidence or courage that allows someone to do or say things that may seem shocking to others 2. unbelievably gall, insolence, audacity Related words: crust, gall, impertinence, impudence, insolence, cheekiness, freshness < discourtesy, rudeness < manner, personal manner < demeanor, demeanour, behavior, behaviour, conduct, deportment < trait < attribute < abstraction, abstract entity < entity

19th June,2015

felicity /fɪˈlɪsɪti/ noun

1. intense happiness.

“domestic felicity”

synonyms: happiness, joy, joyfulness, joyousness, rapture, bliss, euphoria, delight, cheer, cheerfulness, gaiety;

2. the ability to find appropriate expression for one’s thoughts. “he exposed the kernel of the matter with his customary elegance and felicity”

synonyms: eloquence, aptness, appropriateness, suitability, suitableness, applicability, fitness, relevance, pertinence, correctness, rightness “David expressed his feelings with his customary felicity”

Origin late Middle English: from Old French felicite, from Latin felicitas, from felix, felic- ‘happy’.

25th June,2015

Idyllic \ ī-ˈdi-lik, chiefly British i- \adjective\

like an idyll; extremely happy, peaceful, or picturesque. “an attractive hotel in an idyllic setting”

synonyms: perfect, ideal, idealized, wonderful, blissful, halcyon, happy; heavenly, paradisal, utopian, Elysian; peaceful, picturesque, pastoral, rural, rustic, bucolic, unspoilt; literary Arcadian, sylvan “their idyllic times together”

antonyms: hellish

First use: 1856

Examples 1. Some say a horrible monster cast its ominous shadow over the peaceful and idyllic valley.

2. The unhappiness of others somehow besmirches their own idyllic picture.

3. After long travelling, foul weather and false starts, the picture before us is not nearly so idyllic or clear cut.

1st June, 2015


(Especially with reference to songs or poetry) a feeling of longing, melancholy, or nostalgia that is supposedly characteristic of the Portuguese or Brazilian temperament


1. “her songs are based on love poems and evoke a melancholy known to the Portuguese as saudade”

2. I often sit in one corner of my room, engulfed in saudade for my home, family, friends.

7th June, 2015

nonversation /noun/

1. A completely worthless conversation, wherein nothing is illuminated, explained or otherwise elaborated upon. Typically occurs at parties, bars or other events where meaningful conversation is nearly impossible.

2. The type of conversation held with another person when you really do not wish to talk to them. It consists of short and to the point replies which do not add to the conversation and make it hard for the other person to continue. It is usually to try and convey politely that you do not have the time for this oxygen thief who insists on bothering you.

3. When two people are speaking but neither side of the conversation has anything to do with the other.


1. I had the most painful nonversation with my girlfriend’s ignorant bigoted father.

2. the thing that I miss the most about school is the nonversations we friends had. Wish could get back those days…..

3. A typical nonversation (related to meaning no 3) goes as follows- “So how are you today?” “Okay.” “What have you been up to?” “Not much.”

14th June, 2015


a chair filled with already worn to be worn clothes, and it acts as a makeshift closet or dresser.
1. “when staying as bachelors we lived very simple life we could find everything on our chairdrobe!”
2. “That Chairdrobe enlightens that corner of your room!”
 21st June,2015

mondegreen\noun\mɒndəɡriːn\plural noun: mondegreens\

1. a misunderstood or misinterpreted word or phrase resulting from a mishearing of the lyrics of a song

2. A mondegreen (also sometimes spelled “mondagreen”) is the accidental mishearing of a phrase in a poem, or song in such a way that it acquires a new, and usually humourous meaning.
1950s: from Lady Mondegreen, a misinterpretation of the phrase laid him on the green, from the traditional ballad ‘The Bonny Earl of Murray’.
1. “There’s a bathroom on the right” is a mondegreen of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “There’s a bad moon on the rise.”
2. “I led the pigeons to the flag” (for “I pledge allegiance to the flag”)
28th June,2015
mellifluous/muhlif-loo-uh s/
1. (of a sound) pleasingly smooth and musical to hear.
2.flowing with honey; sweetened with or as if with honey.
3. having a smooth rich flow
1. “her low mellifluous voice”
2. a rich, mellifluous voice that gets her a lot of work in radio and TV commercials
3. In or out of uniform his motion is languid, his voice relaxed and mellifluous, his movements deliberate, confident.
synonyms: sweet-sounding, sweet-toned, dulcet, honeyed, mellow, soft, liquid, soothing, rich, smooth, euphonious, lyric, harmonious, tuneful, musical;

rare mellifluent
“his low, mellifluous voice was instantly recognizable”
antonyms: cacophonous, unlyrical

Related forms:

mellifluously, adverb
mellifluousness, noun
late 15th century: from late Latin mellifluus (from mel ‘honey’ + fluere ‘to flow’) + -ous.
12th July,2015

jocund\adjective\ˈjō-(ˌ)kənd 1. cheerful 2. marked by or suggestive of high spirits and lively mirthfulness jo·cun·di·ty\jō-ˈkən-də-tē, jä-\noun

 jo·cund·ly \ˈjä-kənd-lē, ˈjō-(ˌ)\adverb


1. old friends engaged in jocund teasing

Synonyms : joyous,blithesome, festive, gay, gleeful, jocose, jocular, merry, jolly, jovial, laughing, mirthful, sunny

late Middle English: via Old French from Latin jocundus, variant (influenced by jocus ‘joke’) of jucundus ‘pleasant,

19th July, 2015

sempiternal \ adjective\ sem-pi-ˈtər-nəl \
1. eternal and unchanging; everlasting.
2. of never-ending duration
1. “the sempiternal sadness of the industrial background”
2. “And the future was something she dare not think about, since a future that didn’t contain Tony promised nothing but sempiternal guilt.” Val McDermid THE LAST TEMPTATION (2002)
late Middle English: from Old French sempiternel or late Latin sempiternalis, from Latin sempiternus, from semper ‘always’ + aeternus ‘eternal’.

agreeable’, from juvare ‘to delight’.



26th July,2015



1. a strong desire to travel.
2. strong longing for or impulse toward wandering


  1. Wanderlust has led him to many different parts of the world.
  2.  a man consumed by wanderlust
early 20th century: from German Wanderlust

2nd August, 2015

clinomania \ noun \ klin-oh-mayn-ee-ah \

1. an obsession with bed rest.
2. love to bed, pillows and blankets


1. I have clinomania, once I cuddle up on my bed to sleep, I just hate waking up. During exams, I feel like sleeping the whole day!!!

9th August, 2015

Savant \noun\ sa-vahnt \

1. a person with great knowledge and ability

2. a person who is less intelligent than others but who has particular unusual abilities that other people do not have

3. Someone who has been admitted to membership in a scholarly field

= initiate, learned person, pundit

French, from Middle French, from present participle of savoir to know, from Latin sapere to be wise — more at sage

First Use: 1719

16th August,2015

Discombobulate \verb\dis-kom-BOB-yah-late\

1. Cause to be confused emotionally

Synonyms: bemuse, bewilder, throw

2. Be confusing or perplexing to; cause to be unable to think clearly
Example: these questions discombobulate even the experts
Synonyms: baffle, beat, befuddle, bedevil, bewilder, confound, confuse, dumbfound, flummox, puzzle, fuddle, vex, stupefy

Discombobulation : noun
Discombobulated : adjective


1834 US, fanciful variant of discompose, discomfit, etc., originally discombobricate


27th August,2015

Vorfreude/ for-froi-duh/ noun

the joyful, intense anticipation that comes from imagining future pleasures


vor- +‎ Freude


30th August,2015

Nyctophilia \noun \nict-o-fill-e-a

The love of darkness or night, or feeling like you belong in the dark.
Usually applies to those who often feel sadness!


Sitting in the corner of a dark room and feeling comfortable “nyctophilia”

Word Origin

nycto- ‘night’


6th September,2015

Dalliance /noun/plural noun: dalliances /

1. a casual romantic or sexual relationship.

2. an action that is not serious

First use: 14th century


play, frolic, frolicking, fun, fun and games, recreation, relaxation, rollicking,sport


“Jack was not averse to an occasional dalliance with a pretty girl”

a period of brief or casual involvement with something.

“Berkeley was my last dalliance with the education system”


Middle English: from
dally + -ance


13th September,2015

Orenda /noun/ or-en-da

extraordinary invisible power believed by the Iroquois Indians to pervade in varying degrees all animate and inanimate natural objects as a transmissible spiritual energy capable of being exerted according to the will of its possessor


early 20th century: coined in English as the supposed Huron form of a Mohawk word.


1. a successful hunter’s orenda overcomes that of his quarry

2. This orenda is your power to do things, your force, sometimes almost your personality.


27th September,2015

Logophile /noun/ log-uh-fyl

1. A lover of words
2. A person who enjoys having an expansive vocabulary.
3. A person who loves the way words interact with each other to create sentences.


6th October,2015

Astraphobia /noun/ as-truh-foh-bee-uh /

1 A morbid fear of thunder and lightning

It is also known as astrapophobia, brontophobia, keraunophobia, or tonitrophobia. It is a treatable phobia that both humans and animals can develop.


22nd November,2015

Atelier / noun / atuh-lyey /
plural noun: ateliers

A studio especially for an artist or designer

artist’s workroom


late 17th century: from French, from Old French astelle ‘splinter of wood’, from Latin astula.


6th december,2015

Funambulist /noun/ fyoo-nam-byuh-list /

An acrobat who performs on a tightrope or slack rope

tightrope walker


Late 18th century: from French funambule orLatin funambulus (from funis ‘rope’ + ambulare‘to walk’) + -ist.

1. She works as a Funambulist in the local circus troop


5th february,2016

Bucolicbyoo-kol-ik / adjective/

  1. idyllically rustic
  2. relating to shepherds or herdsmen or devoted to raising sheep or cattle

/ noun/

  1. a country person
  2. a short poem descriptive of rural or pastoral life


rural, pastoral, peasant, eclogue


If you would like to check out more interesting words then visit Heena’s page:

Word Treasure

31 thoughts on “Word Power- Word of the Week

  1. Hi, Priya. I’ve only just realised you’ve still been doing your WOW posts. I didn’t realise you had them all on one page. All of the words you’ve done since your first one, look excellent. Unfortunately, because they all share the same page, I can’t click the like button again. Have you thought about doing a separate page for each word?
    I can’t say I’ve ever used nonage in my books, but I’ve certainly used controvertible and firebrand.
    You’ve explained all these words well. 🙂


      1. It’s no more problematic than seting up any post, Priya. Just click on the little
        pencil symbol at the top right of any page. You just need to put Heena’s colourful heading at the top and write out the things you want to say about your chosen word.
        The easiest way, once you’ve got one single word on a page, is to copy the same page every week, so the heading and tags stay the same. You just need to delete the parts about last week’s word and add the new one. On the New Page you open by clicking the pecil, the ‘Copy New Post’ will be at the far right. Just click on it, then on the post you want to copy.
        If all that is too much to take in, just start afresh each week until you get the hang of it.


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