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Word of the Day – Nov. 21 – Meliorism

Noun: Meliorism  (MEE-lee-uh-riz-um) Definition: The belief that the world tends to improve and that humans can aid its betterment. Sample sentence: The author’s meliorism is evident in such statements as, “I believe that peace is inevitable.”

Noun: Weal  (WEEL) Definition: A sound, healthy, or prosperous state: well-being. Sample sentence: The president spoke of devotion to the common weal and the hope of creating a better country.

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Adjective: Officious  (uh-FISH-us) Definition: 1. Volunteering one’s services where they are neither asked nor needed: meddlesome. 2. Informal, unofficial. Sample sentence: Staff members view the new consultant as an officious individual offering unwanted feedback, but she is simply doing her job.

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Noun: Leitmotif  (LYTE-moh-teef) Definition: 1. A melodic phrase or figure that accompanies the reappearance of an idea, person or situation in a music drama. 2. A dominant recurring theme. Sample sentence: The overcoming of obstacles is the leitmotif of Anna’s autobiography.

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Adjective: Rife  (RYFE) Definition: 1. Prevalent especially to an increasing degree. 2. Abundant, common. 3. Copiously supplied: abounding. Sample sentence: After the newspaper’s managing editor was fired,  speculation was rife about who would replace him.

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Noun: Clowder  (KLOU-der) Definition: A group or cluster of cats. Sample sentence: A clowder of scrawny cats was busy in a heap of fish bones, while a couple of others groomed themselves in the doorways of the alley.

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Noun: Threnody  (THREN-uh-dee) Definition: A song of lamentation for the dead: elegy. Sample sentence: Christina wrote the poem as a threnody for her grandmother, who died the previous spring.

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Adjective: Hallowed  (HAL-ohd) Definition: 1. Holy, consecrated. 2. Sacred, revered. Sample sentence: Those who enter Arlington Cemetery should remember they walk on hallowed ground.

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Adjective: Anodyne  (AN-uh-dyne) Definition: 1. Serving to alleviate pain. 2. Not likely to offend or arouse tensions. Sample sentence: The group’s latest album is fairly anodyne, containing a number of lively tunes that are easy on the ears.  

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Adjective: Egregious  (ih-GREE-juss) Definition: Conspicuous: especially conspicuously bad or flagrant. Sample sentence: It was  an egregious breach of church etiquette on Kathy’s part when she left her cell phone on during the church service and it ran during the pastor’s prayer.

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