A precept is a rule or direction, often with some religious basis, dictating a way you should act or behave.
Precepts are little life lessons that are usually passed down to children by authority figures such as parents, teachers, or religious figures. They are not as simple or practical as "eat your vegetables"; they tend to be more weighty and pretentious. In Hamlet, the character Polonius dished out a few choice precepts to his son Laertes: "neither a borrower nor a lender be" and "give every man thy ear, but few thy voice." Of course Laertes never lived long enough to benefit from Polonius's sage advice, since Hamlet offed him with his own poisoned blade.
“That statement, which I issued last week, citing this basic precept of election law, drew a surprising amount of attention.” - WPO
“She added parish precepts were "relatively small" in cash terms, and may represent one off costs, such as village hall repairs.” - BBC
“Those precepts don’t seem to include “shoving opposing point guards,” though in light of Wednesday’s game, it may be worth re-examining the intended meaning of “nimble management.”” - SLT
“Reporting abuse and coverups to church authorities was “formerly left up to individual consciences, it now becomes a universally established legal precept,” said Andrea Tornielli, editorial director of the Vatican's communications department.” - LAT
“The ancient concept of tianxia, or “all under heaven”, put China at the heart of power and civilisation. Moral precepts governed relations among states. ”
pre·cept [noun] A general rule intended to regulate behaviour or thought
Synonyms: principle, rule, tenet
Source: In the future, Eurasia will rule the world
Asperity is the harsh tone or behavior people exhibit when they’re angry, impatient, or just miserable. When your supervisor’s “Late again!” greeting causes your entire future to pass before your eyes, he is speaking with asperity.
The harshness that asperity implies can also apply to conditions, like "the asperities of life in a bomb shelter." Or even more literally to surfaces, like "the asperity of an unfinished edge." But, most often, you will see asperity used in reference to grumpy human beings.
““Now where,” he answered with asperity, “where except in the great tea shop on the main street of the town?”” - LIT
“The veteran actress, she continued, "brings a certain asperity to the screen and the set" and insisted on a bottle of Prosecco at the end of each day's shooting.” - BBC
“He is not humorless, but he does often wear an expression of some asperity, which I took as his signature combination of German restraint and Japanese restraint.” - NYT
“In 1787, delegates to the Constitutional Convention agreed “to argue without asperity, and to endeavor to convince the judgment without hurting the feelings of each other.”” - NWY
“Glenda Jackson has a reputation for asperity... As a left-wing Labour backbencher for over two decades until 2015, she regularly skewered Tony Blair and took Margaret Thatcher’s death as an opportunity to lambast her.”
asp·er·i·ty [noun] Harshness of tone or manner
Synonyms: harshness, sharpness, roughness
Source: Glenda Jackson’s King Lear is the thing itself
If your house has a big and comfortable living room, you could say that you have a commodious space for entertaining. Commodious means roomy.
Yes, you see the word, commode — i.e. toilet — in commodious. Both words once had the meaning of convenience attached to them from their Latin roots. Indoor plumbing is in fact convenient when you compare it with the alternative as is having room to spare. But that meaning was left behind years ago.
““There are always tables in a restaurant that are more commodious for large people,” he said.” - NYT
“The ladies’ room at Sickler’s was almost as large as the dining room proper, and, in a special sense, appeared to be hardly less commodious.” - LIT
“They lived in commodious Manhattan apartments and at estates on Long Island and in McLean, Va., and Newport, R.I., where they learned to sail on Narragansett Bay.” - NYT
“It was hard not to imagine a giant of yore guzzling draft from its commodious spout.” - NYT
“The reform made a huge change to how America treats poverty, which liberals still decry... Clinton had promised to make a life on dole less commodious for the nearly 14m single mothers and their children then surviving on handouts.”
com·mo·di·ous [adjective] Roomy and comfortable
Synonyms: capacious, spacious, ample
Source: No money no love
Effluvium is a smelly gas, vapor, or an exhalation. You wouldn't want to breathe in the effluvium from a cargo ship or you might become ill. Stick to sailing.
Not a particularly common word these days, effluvium dates back to the 1600's, meaning "a flowing out of air." Since the effluvium seeping out of the tire factory's chimney was invisible, park officials took months to realize fumes were killing hundreds of birds. The Romans were the first to invent a sewage system, thereby diverting effluvium into the drains and out of the city. Thank you, Romans.
“That’s important to keep in mind in an era that finds America wading hip deep in a cascading tide of bovine effluvium.” - STM
“They quoted Shakespeare and used words like “effluvium” in everyday speech.” - GUD
“Note the drain in the floor: By intermission, stagehands will be hosing away the blood and effluvia.” - WPO
“After a while, it becomes easy to wave off even the most pestilent and dangerous effluvia as just more of the same old routine debris.” - SLT
“The amount of plastic and other materials is about 3%, the rest being high-quality paper. This allows the shredded and compacted effluvium to be treated as top-class raw material by recycling firms.”
ef·flu·vi·um [noun] An unpleasant or harmful odour or discharge
An arabesque is a position in which a ballerina stands on one leg with the other stretched out behind her. The back leg in an arabesque might be just touching the floor or extended straight up in the air.
A ballet dancer in an arabesque position is familiar — many ballets include arabesques or arabesques penchée, when the ballerina's legs are at an angle greater than ninety degrees. Another kind of arabesque is a graceful design originally found in Islamic art and later in European art and design. This kind of arabesque resembles vines and leaves, rendered in metal, ceramic, or stone. The word arabesque comes from the Italian Arabo, or "Arab," used to describe Moorish architecture.
“In Pakistan and India, so-called jingle trucks feature calligraphy, beads, extravagantly colored arabesque designs or Hindu motifs.” - LAT
“Because of all these branching and interlinked narratives — sometimes likened to nested Russian dolls or the arabesque patterns of Islamic art — “The Arabian Nights” constantly defers closure.” - WPO
“And that a triple play is as graceful as a balletic arabesque.” - GUD
“At Fendi that involved dying furs green, shredding them and painting them with gold arabesques at a time when a black mink coat was considered the standard.” - LAT
“Seaweeds wave and swallows soar; the limbs of dancers and acrobats loop in arabesques. After a lifetime working against convention, Matisse found in this new medium a unique fusion of line and colour.”
ar·ab·esque [noun] A posture in which one leg is extended backwards at right angles, the torso bent forwards, and the arms outstretched, one forwards and one backwards
Source: Carving into colour
To vanquish is to be the complete and total winner, to overpower and overcome, whether in a contest, a race, or a war. It generally suggests a total trouncing, to the point of humiliation — or worse — for the loser.
Sometimes words for the same thing are effective in different ways because they offer different levels of meaning. For example, in a game, you can simply win, or you can vanquish your opponent. The former is enough, but the latter makes that defeat sound so much worse, like a total rout. Philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche once stated, "Against war it may be said that it makes the victor stupid and the vanquished revengeful."
“He was acquitted, claiming he indeed wanted to work with Islamic State, but stopped when he realized the Islamist militant group was more concerned with establishing a caliphate than vanquishing the government.” - LAT
“Over the following weeks, the fire vanquished every attempt to stop it.” - LAT
“Many indigenous peoples who fought abroad faced discrimination and racism upon their return to Canada, and a government intent on vanquishing their language and culture.” - GUD
“If Raptors Coach Nick Nurse were to identify the attributes needed to vanquish the Warriors, he need not change a thing.” - WPO
“Lawsuits are unlikely to vanquish ExxonMobil. Last year a federal judge in California dismissed a lawsuit against oil firms, arguing that Congress and diplomacy, not courts, should handle the fallout from climate change.”
van·quish [verb] Defeat thoroughly
Synonyms: conquer, defeat, beat
Source: ExxonMobil gambles on growth
Sinuous means winding or curvy. If you get lost on a sinuous mountain path, you'll need a compass or a GPS to figure out which direction leads back to camp.
The adjective sinuous comes from the Latin word sinus, which means to curve or bend. If you have a sinuous body, then you have lots of curves. Snakes use sinuous movements to travel. Live Oak trees have particularly sinuous branches. We usually use sinuous to talk about physical shapes of bodies or pathways, but you could also describe someone's logic as sinuous if it wanders all over the place when they're trying to explain something.
“The sinuous waste bunkers and naturalized areas add to the visuals.” - GFD
“Erickson's sinuous lead guitar and wailing vocals didn't turn him into a chart topper, but they cemented his role as a musician's musician.” - FOX
“Erickson’s sinuous lead guitar and wailing vocals didn’t turn him into a chart topper, but they cemented his role as a musician’s musician.” - STM
“Worse, the jet stream appears to be stuck in this sinuous pattern.” - WPO
“Every 1,000 years or so, it abandoned its main channel for one of its distributaries. A time series of the Mississippi’s course looks like a sinuous Celtic knot, with a swathe of interwoven curves, flowing to the sea.”
sin·u·ous [adjective] Having many curves and turns
Synonyms: winding, windy, serpentine
Source: Louisiana fights the sea, and loses
If you are on the receiving end of obloquy, then society has turned against you and you are in a state of disgrace. Poor Hester Prynne who was forced to wear a red "A" on her chest for "adultery" knows all about obloquy.
If you break the word obloquy into its two Latin roots, you have ob, meaning “against” and loqui, meaning "to speak" — so obloquy means “to speak against," in an especially mean way. Obloquy can also be the result of public shame, or criticism. Sometimes obloquy takes the form of offensive or rude language: "It's not easy, but I've found it's best to ignore my sister's obloquy when I beat her in Monopoly."
“Sandmann’s lawyers argue that the Washington Post’s statements were defamatory per se because they were “libelous on their face” and subjected him to “public hatred, contempt, scorn, obloquy, and shame.”” - FOX
“Western intellectuals deserve their usual share of the obloquy.” - NYT
“Not content with his role in that obloquy, he now seems determined to shame his state by clinging to office.” - ECN
“As a result, she became an unwilling media figure and victim who, long after her father’s conviction and imprisonment, was subjected to obloquy and harassment.” - NWY
“If God willed, it might mean lives saved... and the world smiling with peace. In the febrile America of the Vietnam-war years, however, it more often meant obloquy, humiliation, scorn, the hand of a federal agent on his collar. ”
ob·lo·quy [noun] Disgrace, especially that brought about by public condemnation
Synonyms: disgrace, dishonour, shame
Source: Blessed are the peacemakers
Most people will tell you that tenacity is a great quality to have, especially if you're trying something challenging that takes a while to complete.
Odds are, the people you admire have shown real tenacity in achieving their goals. Anything really worth doing takes persistence, perseverance, and stubborn determination. Being a great baseball player requires real gifts, no doubt, but even the most gifted player won't make it to the big leagues without the tenacity required to make the long, hard journey up from the minors. Tenacity is the quality displayed by someone who just won't quit — who keeps trying until they reach their goal.
“"They did their jobs with courage, grace tenacity, humility. Eighteen years later, do yours!"” - FOX
““No one, no force should underestimate and belittle the steel will of the Chinese people and its strength and tenacity to fight a war.”” - RUT
“That her career flourished despite her gender and continues to be robust is proof of Kauffman’s writing and producing skills and her tenacity.” - WTM
“Despite the misogyny, Roberts won over her colleagues in Robbery-Homicide with her sense of humor and tenacity in the field.” - LAT
“But that would mean swallowing his pride. Doing so would not be easy for a president who has adopted the nickname 'lion man' to symbolise his tenacity and ruthlessness.”
te·na·ci·ty [noun] The quality or fact of being very determined; determination
Synonyms: strength of will, tenaciousness
Source: Africa’s oldest president, campaigns for another term in Cameroon
If you walk into a high school where you know no one, find the toughest looking girl in the halls and tell her she's ugly, them's fighting words. Or bellicose ones. Bellicose means eager for war.
Bellicose is from Latin bellum "war." A near synonym is belligerent, from the same Latin noun. You may wonder if they're connected to the Latin bellus "pretty, handsome," which gives us the names Bella or Isabella, as well as belle "a beautiful woman." They're not. War and beauty are not related, except in the case of Helen of Troy.
“But those words never squared with his bullying temperament and otherwise bellicose rhetoric.” - SLN
“The unusually bellicose barrage from a senior Chinese official at a stately global forum was a bit of an eyebrow raiser, but not really much to worry about.” - FOX
“Taiwan’s defense ministry labeled Wei’s remarks “bellicose” and a clear threat to peace and security.” - RUT
“The U.S. is “not looking for regime change” in Iran, President Trump said Monday, distancing himself from the more bellicose views of some of his advisers amid a period of rising tensions.” - LAT
“The United States has been quite bellicose, and its advanced democracy did not prevent a civil war in 1861 that claimed more American lives than any conflict since.”
bel·li·cose [adjective] Demonstrating aggression and willingness to fight
Synonyms: belligerent, aggressive, hostile
Source: Which countries are most likely to fight wars?
这里是无中心社交网络 Mastodon 的一个中文服务器，简称“星站”。