Table of Contents


acerbic \uh-SER-bik\ adjective
: acid in temper, mood, or tone
Example sentence:
Liam’s speech was punctuated by his usual acerbic wit, and some people in the audience thought that his comments went too far.
Did you know?
English speakers created "acerbic" in the 19th century by adding "-ic" to the adjective "acerb." "Acerb" had been around since the 17th century, but for most of that time it had been used with only a literal "sour-tasting" sense. (The word "acerb" is still around today, but it is now simply a less common synonym of "acerbic.") "Acerbic" and "acerb" ultimately come from the Latin adjective "acerbus," which originally meant "sour-tasting" but came to have a figurative use as well. Another English word that comes from "acerbus" is "exacerbate," which means "to make more violent, bitter, or severe."
-Kyle Yarbrough

Adam Larson
albatross al·ba·tross
Any of several large web-footed birds constituting the family Diomedeidae, chiefly of the oceans of the Southern Hemisphere, and having a hooked beak and long narrow wings.
Example: Racism is an albatross that should be shot.
Original setence: When vacationing last year i had the opportunity to see an albatross.
Feature Image for Royal Albatross Centre, Taiaroa Head  Photo copyright: Royal Albatross Centre
Feature Image for Royal Albatross Centre, Taiaroa Head Photo copyright: Royal Albatross Centre

Memory Tip: Mrs. Clesson's line about racism being an "albatross" that must be shot.

aplomb \uh-PLAHM\ noun (Sept. 11, 2007)
: complete and confident composure or self-assurance : poise
Example sentence:
Never once betraying the fact that this was her first sales trip, Rachel delivered the product presentation with the aplomb of a veteran.
See a map of "aplomb" in the Visual Thesaurus.
Did you know?
In the 19th century, English speakers borrowed “aplomb,” meaning “composure,” from French. “Aplomb” can also mean “perpendicularity” in French and comes from the phrase “a plomb,” meaning “perpendicularly” or literally "according to the plummet." A plummet is a lead weight that is attached to a line and used to determine vertical alignment. Not surprisingly, “aplomb” and English words like “plumber” and the verb “plumb” ("to measure depth" and "to explore critically and minutely") ultimately trace back to the Latin word for lead, “plumbum.”
*Indicates the sense illustrated in the example sentence.

fissiparous \fih-SIP-uh-rus\ adjective
: tending to break up into parts : divisive
Example sentence:
The reorganization of management can have a fissiparous effect on the rest of the company.
Did you know?
When it first entered English in the 19th century, "fissiparous" was concerned with reproduction. In biology, a fissiparous organism is one that produces new individuals by fission; that is, by dividing into separate parts, each of which becomes a unique organism. (Most strains of bacteria do this.) "Fissiparous" derives from Latin "fissus," the past participle of "findere" ("to split"), and "parere," meaning "to give birth to" or "to produce." Other "parere" offspring refer to other forms of reproduction, including "oviparous" ("producing eggs that hatch outside the body") and "viviparous" ("producing living young instead of eggs"). By the end of the 19th century "fissiparous" had acquired a figurative meaning, describing something that breaks into parts or causes something else to break into parts.
-Kyle Yarbrough

fungible \FUHN-juh-buhl\
1. (Law) Freely exchangeable for or replaceable by another of like nature or kind in the satisfaction of an obligation.
2. Interchangeable.
Example Sentence: The chord was fungible with a chord that was a tri-tone away, resulting in the same harmonic motion.
Original Sentence: The old reed was fungible with the newer one.
Image: external image chp_communication_logo.jpg
Memory tip: interchangeable
- Adam Larson



prognosticate \prahg-NAHSS-tuh-kayt\ verb
*1 : to foretell from signs and symptoms : predict
2 : presage
Example sentence:
The two sportscasters bantered back and forth, each dismissing the other’s attempts to prognosticate the outcome of the championship. Did you know?
"Prognosticate," which ultimately comes from the Greek "prognostikos" ("foretelling"), first appeared in English during the 15th century. Since that time, "prognosticate" has been connected with things that give omens or warnings of events to come and with people who can prophesy or predict the future by such signs. Shakespeare used the "prophesy" sense of "prognosticate" in the sonnet that begins "Not from the stars do I my judgement pluck":
"From thine eyes my knowledge I derive,
And constant stars in them I read such art …of thee this I prognosticate, Thy end is truth's and beauty's doom and date."
-Kyle Yarbrough

pronunciamento \pro-nun-see-uh-MEN-toe\
1. A proclamation or manifesto; a formal announcement or declaration.
2. A pronouncement.
Example Sentence: The king delivered a pronunciamento in regards to the opening of the new corridor of the castle
Original Sentence:A pronunciamento was read as my grandfather accepted the key to the city
Image: external image speech1.jpg
Memory Tip: Giving a formal speech; presentation
- Adam Larson