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Jun 8, 2001
This week's theme
Words from the names of newspapers

This week's words
picayune
excelsior
laconic
sentinel
argus

This week's comments
AWADmail 33

Next week's theme
Red-herring words
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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

argus

Pronunciation Sound Clip RealAudio

argus (AHR-guhs)

noun: An alert and observant person; a watchful guardian.

[After Argus, a giant in Greek mythology who had 100 eyes and was sent to watch over Zeus's lover Io. He was killed by Hermes and after his death his eyes transformed into spots on the peacock's tail. Greek argos (bright).]

See more usage examples of argus in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.

"Arnold Schwarzenegger knew immediately that Total Recall needed an Argus-eyed director who could maintain control over complicated visual effects, extravagant futuristic sets, dangerous stunts, etc. -- while also demanding good performances from his actors."
Bill Jones; Muscles Parlayed Into Stardom; The Phoenix Gazette (Arizona); Jun 2, 1990.

X-Bonus

Patriotism, n. Combustible rubbish ready to the torch of any one ambitious to illuminate his name. In Dr. Johnson's famous dictionary patriotism is defined as the last resort of a scoundrel. With all due respect to an enlightened but inferior lexicographer I beg to submit it is the first. -Ambrose Bierce, writer (1842-1914)

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