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Nov 18, 2016
This week’s theme
There’s a word for it

This week’s words
kakistocracy
coulrophobia
boodler
ambisinistrous
defenestration

defenestration
The Defenestration of Prague, 1618
Art: Václav Brožík

This week’s comments
AWADmail 751

Next week’s theme
Don’t judge a word by its sound
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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

defenestration

PRONUNCIATION:
(dee-fen-uh-STRAY-shuhn)

MEANING:
noun: Throwing someone or something out of a window.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Latin de- (out of) + fenestra (window). Earliest documented use: 1620.

NOTES:
There have been many defenestrations over the course of history, but the most famous, and the one that inspired the word defenestration, was the Defenestration of Prague on May 23, 1618. Two imperial regents and their secretary were thrown out of a window of the Prague Castle in a fight over religion. The men landed on a dung heap and survived. The Defenestration of Prague was a prelude to the Thirty Years’ War. The word is also used in a metaphorical sense to remove someone from an office. Check out the defenestration of various articles of furniture in this unique San Francisco sculpture.

USAGE:
“The defenestration of Moscow: Idaho will not dignify with an answer -- that is, file a response to -- a $940,000 claim by a young San Jose man and his parents. The former student at the University of Idaho in Moscow, who was hurt when he ‘mooned’ other students and fell out a window, argued in a lawsuit that the university was negligent for, among other failings, not warning students of the risks associated with upper-story dorm windows. Surely there’s something in the student handbook about gravity and open windows, next to the warning about blow-dryers in the bathtub.”
Patt Morrison; Snapshots of Life in the Golden State; Los Angeles Times; Sep 2, 1994.

“The catalyst for the defenestration [of the chairman] was the lack of performance at some of the group’s big companies.”
Cyrus Mistry Hits Back at Being Ousted from Tata; The Economist (London, UK); Oct 26, 2016.

See more usage examples of defenestration in Vocabulary.com’s dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Anger is a great force. If you control it, it can be transmuted into a power which can move the whole world. -William Shenstone, poet (18 Nov 1714-1763)

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