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excrescence (ik-SKRES-uhns) noun
1. An abnormal outgrowth, e.g. wart.
2. A normal outgrowth, e.g. hair or nail.
3. An unwanted, unnecessary, or disfiguring extension or addition.
[From Middle English, from Latin excrescentia, from excrescent- (stem of excrescens), present participle of excrescere (to grow out), from ex- (out), + crescere (to grow). Other derivatives from the same Latin root are crew, crescendo, crescent, accrue, concrete, decrease, increase, recruit.]
"We opined in these columns three weeks ago that the Rainbow Alliance is an excrescence in the ruling party and will not fly as an idea inside Kanu, only out of it." Mathayo Ndekere; A New Ball Game As Saitoti is Off-Loaded; The East African Standard (Nairobi, Kenya); Sep 1, 2002.
"When it is erected next fall at Michigan and Wacker Drive as part of the rebuilding of Michigan Avenue south of the Chicago River, this florid excrescence will be 75 feet tall, with a stylized version of the four-star Chicago flag draped from its crossbar." Blair Kamin; Boul Mich Pylon Plan Reason to Hoist Warning Flags; Chicago Tribune; May 1, 1997.
This week's theme: contranyms, words with opposite meanings.
Never let your sense of morals get in the way of doing what's right. -Isaac Asimov, scientist and writer (1920-1992)
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