Capital High School

Word of the Day

October 2014


10/1      capricious(kuh PRISH us)(adjective) unpredictable; impulsive.

Joe’s capricious attitude confounds his parents; one day he is going to college, and the next he is joining the army.

10/2      dichotomy(dye KAHT uh mee)(noun) division into two parts that are usually contradictory.

It is a dichotomy when parents tell their children never to lie, but also never to hurt someone’s feelings.

10/3      erroneous(ih RONE ee us)(adjective) fallacious; false.

            It is erroneous to assume that you won’t have to work for what you get in life.

10/6      fulcrum(FUL krum)(noun) the point around which a lever rotates.

            The knee could be considered the fulcrum of the leg.

10/7      gyrate(JIE rate)(verb) to rotate rapidly, to wind or coil.

            When the pilot cut the engine, the propellers ceased their gyrating.

10/8      habituate(huh BICH oo wayt)(verb) to make accustomed to; to train.

It can sometimes be difficult to habituate a new puppy to using the yard instead of the carpet.

10/9      impolitic(im PAWL I tick)(adjective) lacking sensitivity and skill in dealing with others; not wise, tactless.

Bill’s impolitic comments about his teammates’ performance cost him much respect.

10/10    kismet(KIZmet)(noun) fate.    

            Many pagan religions believe that kismet determines all life events.

10/13    lexicography(lex ih KOG ruh fee)(noun) writing, editing,  or compiling of dictionaries.

            John listed lexicography as his profession while working at Random House.

10/14    malinger(muh LING ger)(verb) to pretend to be ill to avoid doing work.

Whenever Tom had chores to do on the farm, he would malinger, claiming to have a headache.

10/15    modus operandi(MO dus op uh RAN deye)(noun) manner in which something is done.

The Yankees base their modus operandi  on the team’s  size and abundance of money.

10/16    ornithology(or nih THAHL uh jee)(noun) branch of zoology dealing with birds.

When studying ornithology, one will find that the bones of all birds are hollow.

10/17    pedestrian(peh DES tree ahn)(adjective) ordinary.

The right frame can make any pedestrian painting look like it belongs in a museum.

10/20    proliferate(pro LIF uh rayt)(verb) to increase in number and spread rapidly, regenerate.

            Germs proliferate like wildfire when sick people come to work.

10/21    quiescent(kwye ES unt)(adjective) at rest, inactive; dormant.

            The stadium remains quiescent until football season begins.

10/22    rabble(RAB ul)(noun) disorderly mob or crowd, lower-class.

The police were accused by the rabble of violating their First Amendment rights.

10/23    savoir faire(SAV whah FAIRE)(noun) ability to say and do the right thing at the right time.

            Charlie’s diplomacy in awkward social situations proved he has the savoir faire to be a diplomat.

10/24    soporific(sop uh RIF ik)(adjective) tending to cause sleep.

Dan took Benadryl for his rash, but the soporific effects had him dozing for hours.

10/27    systemic(sis TEM ik)(adjective) affecting an entire system, as the body.

Septicemia is a serious systemic bacterial infection that can affect all internal organs.

10/28    tangential(tan JEN chul)(adjective) not especially relevant: only slightly related to a matter at hand.

            John’s report of butterflies was tangential to the fate of forest insects.

10/29    unctuous(UNK choo us)(adjective) excessively smooth; suave; oily.

Joseph’s personality was unctuous, and we always felt like he was selling snake oil.

10/30    vehement(VEE uh munt)(adjective) zealous; impassioned.

Zelda was vehement about not going to prom with her older brother as her date.

10/31    wheedle(WEED l)(verb) to persuade or influence.

The class tried to wheedle the teacher into not giving homework over the weekend.