Webster Word of the Day

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for May 17, 2016 is:

hector • \HEK-ter\  • verb

1 : to play the bully : swagger

2 : to intimidate or harass by bluster or personal pressure



The judge sternly ordered the attorney to stop hectoring the witness.

"For several years now he has been making life easier for every journalist who follows the Affordable Care Act by heroically compiling health insurance enrollments under the law, explaining developments, debunking myths, and hectoring the nearly infinite sources of mis- and disinformation … into getting things right." — Michael Hiltzik, The Los Angeles Times, 29 Mar. 2016


Did you know?

Hector wasn't always a bully. In Homer's Iliad, the eldest son of King Priam of Troy was a model soldier, son, father, and friend, the champion of the Trojan army until he was killed by the Greek hero Achilles. How did the name of a Trojan paragon become a generic synonym of bully? That pejorative... 

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quincunx - Read Full Article


Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for May 16, 2016 is:

quincunx • \KWIN-kunks\  • noun

: an arrangement of five things in a square or rectangle with one at each corner and one in the middle



The sculptures in the square were arranged in a quincunx with the outer ones marking the perimeter and the middle one serving as the centerpiece.

"The towers of Angkor Wat—shaped in a quincunx, five points in a cross—were named after Mount Meru, the home of the gods believed in Indian myth to lie at the center of the world." — William Dalrymple, The New York Review of Books, 21 May 2015


Did you know?

In ancient Rome, a quincunx was a coin with a weight equal to five twelfths of a libra, a unit of weight similar to our pound. The coin's name comes from the Latin roots quinque, meaning "five," and uncia, meaning "one twelfth."  The ancients used a pattern of five dots arranged like the pips on a die as a symbol for the coin, and English speakers applied the w... 

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