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Jul 18, 2013
This week's theme
Words that have many unrelated meanings

This week's words
mensal
sconce
mortify
cloaca
confabulate

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cloaca

PRONUNCIATION:
(klo-AY-kuh)
plural cloacae (klo-AY-see, -kee)

MEANING:
noun:
1. An outhouse.
2. A sewer.
3. The common duct into which intestinal, urinary, and genital tracts open in birds, reptiles, most fishes, and some mammals.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Latin cloaca (sewer, canal), from cluere (to cleanse). Earliest documented use: 1656.

USAGE:
"David Walsh has found that cloaca happens. Having spent $180 million establishing Museum of Old and New Art, the most famous exhibit being Cloaca, a complicated poo-producing machine, Mr Walsh is now involved in a legal stoush* with the Australian Tax Office."
MONA founder in Tax Office sights; The Sydney Morning Herald (Australia); Jun 7, 2012.
* fight

"Anne had balked at hanging her mistress's most beautiful clothes in the cloaca ... because of the smell."
Posie Graeme-Evans; The Anne Trilogy; Atria; 2002.

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

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
In some circumstances, the refusal to be defeated is a refusal to be educated. -Margaret Halsey, novelist (1910-1997)

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