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Jul 17, 2013
This week's theme
Words that have many unrelated meanings

This week's words
mensal
sconce
mortify
cloaca
confabulate

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

mortify

PRONUNCIATION:
(MOR-tuh-fy)

MEANING:
verb tr.:
1. To humiliate, shame, or embarrass.
2. To discipline (one's body) by self-denial, self-inflicted suffering, etc.

verb intr.:
1. To endure self-denial, self-inflicted pain, etc.
2. To become gangrened or necrosed.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Latin mortificare (to kill). Ultimately from the Indo-European root mer- (to rub away or to harm) that is also the source of morsel, premorse, mordant, morbid, mortal, mortgage, nightmare, amaranth, and ambrosia. Earliest documented use: 1382.

USAGE:
"Kate Bannan is mortified by her son's conviction for drink-driving."
Keith McLeod; Barry Bannan's Mum; Daily Record (Glasgow); Dec 23, 2011.

"You can only understand why he mortified himself and renounced all pleasures if you have lived a long time."
Fanny Howe; Outremer; Poetry (Chicago); Sep 2011.

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

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
For blocks are better cleft with wedges, / Than tools of sharp or subtle edges, / And dullest nonsense has been found / By some to be the most profound. -Samuel Butler, poet (1612-1680)

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