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Aug 18, 2014
This week's theme
Miscellaneous words

This week's words
presentiment
fungible
plangent
deportment
puissance

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

Why do you like to learn new words? For some, it's the joy of discovering new and unusual specimens in the language and the stories behind them. For others, it's to improve their vocabulary, whether for college or work.

Sometimes readers write to say, "I'll never have a chance to use these words!" You will. As you can see from the usage examples taken from newspapers, magazines, and books, words featured in AWAD are not from a museum. They're words that are still used though not often.

Still, we take the point. What some are looking for are more practical words; words that can be used in an office memo or in a term paper; words they are more likely to come across in a trade report or college exam.

This week we'll offer you five such practical words. Go ahead, employ them, put them into practice.

presentiment

PRONUNCIATION:
(pri-ZEN-tuh-ment)

MEANING:
noun: A sense that something is going to happen, especially something bad.

ETYMOLOGY:
From French pressentiment (premonition), from pressentir (to have a premonition), from Latin pre- (before) + sentire (to feel). Ultimately from the Indo-European root sent- (to head for or to go), that is also the source for send, scent, sense, sentence, assent, consent, and ressentiment. Earliest documented use: 1663.

USAGE:
"That the reader has a presentiment of what will happen doesn't necessarily impoverish its affecting mystery."
Ten White Geese; The New Yorker; Mar 11, 2013.

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

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
The pages are still blank, but there is a miraculous feeling of the words being there, written in invisible ink and clamoring to become visible. -Vladimir Nabokov, novelist (1899-1977)

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