Word of the Day

Word of the Day prune (verb) \PROON\ What does it mean? 1 a : to reduce by getting rid of matter that is not necessary or wanted b : to remove as unnecessary

2 : to cut off the parts of a woody plant that are dead or not wanted How do you use it? "The men went down the rows first, pruning the thick grapevines and leaving a few long branches or 'canes' on each trunk. She

followed, along with others, and tied the canes on the taut wire that was stretched post to post." (Pam Muoz Ryan, Esperanza Rising) Are you a word wiz? Which of the following is NOT an example of pruning?

A. cutting off the dead branches on a tree or bush B. taking out unnecessary words in an essay C. reducing the amount of money set aside for something D. gathering evidence to use in making an argument

Answer-D Pruning has to do with cuttingeither literal cutting (like when you cut a plant's branches) or figurative cutting (like when you "cut" words from an essay or "cut" money from a budget). The idea of cutting is part of the word's history; it comes from a Latin word meaning "to cut around." This verb "prune" is completely unrelated to the

noun "prune," which refers to a dried plum. That word comes from a different Latin word, one that means simply "plum." Word of the Day far-fetched (adjective) \FAR-FETCHT\

What does it mean? : not easily or naturally thought of : improbable How do you use it? People once thought that space travel was a far-fetched and silly idea.

Are you a word wiz? The common meaning of "far-fetched" that we give above isn't the original meaning of the word. What is the first meaning of "far-fetched"? A. "of or relating to a retriever or other hunting dog" B. "produced by a tropical storm or hurricane"

C. "brought from a remote time or place" D. "useless, belonging in the trash" Answer-C We hope C didn't seem like a far-fetched choice. The earliest known use of "far-fetched" appeared in English in the late 1500s with the meaning of "brought from a remote place or time." It described the exotic things that sailors and explorers

brought, or fetched, from far-off lands. This exotic notion gave rise to the sense more familiar today, "not easily or naturally thought of." What is surprising is how quickly this sense came into being after the original meaning, "brought from a remote place or time," was used. Our first piece of written evidence for the "improbable" sense of "farfetched" dates to the early 1600s. Word of the Day

overture (noun) \OH-ver-cher\ What does it mean? 1 : an opening offer : proposal 2 a : a musical composition played by the orchestra as the introduction to an opera or musical

play b : a piece of music in the style of an overture for concert performance How do you use it? Though we rushed to the concert hall, the overture to the symphony had begun before we found our seats.

Are you a word wiz? What do you think the root word of "overture" means? A. to play music B. to open C. to throw out the first ball at a baseball game

D. to end or be finished Answer-B You're off to a strong start if you chose B! "Overture" comes to us ultimately from the Latin verb "aperire," meaning "to open." "Aperire" gave rise to the Latin noun "apertura," meaning "opening." ("Aperire" is also the source for the English noun "aperture," which means "opening.") Word scholars believe that

"aperatura" was changed to "opertura" in the Latin that was spoken by the common people. By the 1400s, "operatura" had traveled from Latin through French to Middle English as "overture." Initially, English "overture" referred to an opening offer in a negotiation. It wasn't until the 1600s that it became a term in the world of musical performances.

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