Thursday, April 17th, 2014

Bengal Word of the Week

Plagiarize (ˈplā-jə-ˌrīz)
1. To use and pass off (the ideas or writings of another) as one’s own:  Gina plagiarized a science website by copying and pasting large portions of its text into her paper.
2. To appropriate for use as one’s own passages or ideas from (another):  Because Darren plagiarized Charles Dickens, the teacher could easily determine that he had cheated.
Intransitive—To put forth as original to oneself the ideas or words of another:  Our teacher’s policy is to require a parent conference with any student who plagiarizes.
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Fatuous (ˈfa-chü-əs,-tyü-)
Foolish or silly; especially in a smug or self-satisfied way.
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. A half:  “Tom divided the cake and Becky ate with good appetite, while Tom nibbled at his moiety” (Mark Twain, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer).
2. A part, portion, or share.
3. Either of two kinship groups based on unilateral descent that together make up a tribe or society.

linguistics : a consonant characterized by frictional passage of the expired breath through a narrowing at some point in the vocal tract.

Winnow (ˈwi-nō)
Past participle and past tense:  winnowed
Present participle:  winnowing
Third person singular present tense:  winnows
Transitive 1. To separate the chaff from (grain) by means of a current of air.  2. To blow (chaff) off or away. 3. To examine closely in order to separate the good from the bad; sift:  The judges winnowed a thousand essays down to six finalists. 4a. To separate or get rid of (an undesirable part); eliminate:  The accountant was adept at winnowing out errors in the spreadsheet. b. To sort or select (a desirable part); extract:  The investigators winnowed the facts from the testimony.  5. To blow on; fan:  A breeze winnowed the grass.
Intransitive  1. A device for winnowing grain.  2. To separate the good from the bad.
Noun  1. A device for winnowing grain.  2. An act of winnowing.
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Feeling or showing haughty disdain:  “Assuming his most supercilious air of distant superiority, he planted himself, immovable as a noble statue, upon the hearth, as if a stranger to the whole set” (Fanny Burney, Dr. Johnson and Fanny Burney).
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The part of a cell that contains the genes which control how an animal or plant grows and what it becomes.
A more in-depth definition from Concise Encyclopedia:
Microscopic, threadlike part of a cell that carries hereditary information in the form of genes. The structure and location of chromosomes differentiate prokaryotic cells from eukaryotic cells. Every species has a characteristic number of chromosomes; humans have 23 pairs (22 pairs of autosomal, or nonsex, chromosomes and one pair of sex chromosomes). Human chromosomes consist primarily of DNA. During cell division (see meiosis, mitosis), chromosomes are distributed evenly among daughter cells. In sexually reproducing organisms, the number of chromosomes in somatic (nonsex) cells is diploid, while gametes or sex cells (egg and sperm) produced by meiosis are haploid. Fertilization restores the diploid set of chromosomes in the zygote.


Plural:  vortexes or vortices

1.  A spiral motion of fluid, especially a whirling mass of water or air that sucks everything near it toward its center.  Eddies and whirlpools are examples of vortexes.  2.  A place or situation regarded as drawing into its center all that surrounds it.


Usurp (yu̇-ˈsərp also -ˈzərp)
Past participle and past tense:  usurped
Present participle:  usurping
Third person singular present tense:  usurps
transitive  1.  To seize and hold (the power or rights of another, for example) by force and without legal authority:  The principle that one class may usurp the power to legislate for another is unjust” (Susan B. Anthony)  2.  To take over or occupy without right.

Transitive verb
To remove erroneous, vulgar, obscene, or otherwise objectionable material from (a book, for example) before publication:  The R-rated movie was expurgated before it was shown on network television.
Related Words

Nonsectarian (nän-sek-ˈter-ē-ən)
Not limited to or associated with a particular religious denomination:  The airport chapel conducts nonsectarian services daily.
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Nomenclature (ˈnō-mən-klā-chər)
A system of names used in an art or science:  The nomenclature of mineralogy is a classification of types of rock.
The procedure of assigning names to organisms listed in a taxonomic classification:  Our biology teacher explained the rules of nomenclature for plants and animals.

Precipitous (pri-ˈsi-pə-təs)
1. Resembling a precipice; extremely steep.
2. Having several precipices:  The hikers avoided the trail through the precipitous areas of the park.
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Abstemious (ab-ˈstē-mē-əs)
Marked by restraint especially in the consumption of food or alcohol; also :  reflecting such restraint <an abstemious diet>
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Churlish (ˈchər-lish)
1. Of, like, or befitting a churl; boorish or vulgar.
2. Having a bad disposition; surly:  He is as valiant as the lion, churlish as the bear” (William Shakespeare, Troilus and Cressida).
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Grandiloquence (gran-ˈdi-lə-kwən(t)s)
A lofty, extravagantly colorful, pompous, or bombastic style, manner, or quality especially in language
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Recapitulate (rē-kə-ˈpi-chə-ˌlāt)
1.To repeat in concise form:  “Uninitiated readers can approach this bewitching new rogue’s tale as if nothing had happened.  Whatever took place previously is recapitulated, now bathed in the warm light of memory”
2. To appear to repeat (the evolutionary stages of the species) during the embryonic development of the individual organism.
To make a summary:  At the end of my presentation about the solar system, the teacher asked me to recapitulate
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Abjure (ab-ˈju̇r)
Transitive verb
1.To recant solemnly; renounce or repudiate:  But this rough magic I here abjure” (William Shakespeare, The Tempest).
2. To renounce under oath; forswear: 

Related Words




Enervate (ˈe-nər-ˌvāt)
Transitive Verb

To weaken or destroy the strength or vitality of:  What is the nature of the luxury which enervates and destroys nations?” (Henry David Thoreau, Walden)

Past participle and past tense—enervated

Present Participle—enervating

Third person singular present tense—enervates

Related Words





Usage note:  Sometimes people mistakenly use enervate to mean “to invigorate” or “to excite” by assuming that this word is a close cousin of energize.  In fact, enervate means essentially the opposite.  Enervate comes from the Latin nervus, “sinew,” and thus means “to cause to become ‘out of muscle,’” that is “to weaken or deplete of strength.”  Enervate has no historical connection with energize.


Inculcate (in-ˈkəl-ˌkāt)

Transitive Verb
1.To impress (something) upon the mind of another by frequent instruction or repetition; instill.
2. To teach (others) by frequent instruction or repetition; indoctrinate:  inculcate the young with a sense of duty.

Past participle and past tense—inculcated

Present participle—inculcating
Third person singular present tense—inculcates


Homogeneous (hō-mə-ˈjē-nē-əs-nyəs)

1. Uniform in structure or composition.
2. Of the same or similar nature or kind.
3.Mathematics:  Consisting of terms of the same degree or elements of the same dimension.



Oxidize (äk-sə-dīz)

Past participle and past tense:  oxidized

Present participle:  oxidizing

Third person singular present tense:  oxidizes

transitive  1.  To combine with oxygen; make into an oxide:  The metal fender had begun to oxidize, as evidenced by the large rust stains.  2.  To increase the positive charge or valence of (an element) by removing electrons.  3.  To coat with oxide.

intransitive  To become oxidized.



Circumnavigate (sur-kuhm-nav-i-geyt)
Transitive verb

1. To proceed completely around:  “The whale he had struck must also have been on its travels; no doubt it had thrice circumnavigated the globe” (Herman Melville, Moby-Dick).

2.  To go around; circumvent:  I circumnavigated the downtown traffic by taking side streets on the west side of town.

Nouns—circumnavigation; circumnavigator