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Aug 4, 2014
This week's theme
Interesting usage examples

This week's words
stalagmite
stroppy
pettifogger
Philadelphia lawyer
bailiwick

stalagmite
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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

While the main job of usage examples included with words is to help illustrate the words, sometimes they go beyond that.

This week's usage examples may use a good turn of phrase. Great writing evokes images. It paints pictures. Instead of describing stacks of paper on the floor, it evokes paper stalagmites.

Or it may be an unusual take on everyday things. It may be a curious state of affairs. Well, you'll just have to read the examples.

This week we'll feature five words with usage examples that might make you say: I subscribe to A.Word.A.Day just for the usage examples.

stalagmite

PRONUNCIATION:
(stuh-LAG-myt, STAL-uhg-myt)

MEANING:
noun: A conical column on the floor of a cave, formed by minerals in dripping water.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Greek stalaktos (dripping), from stalassein (to drip). Earliest documented use: 1681.

NOTES:
A similar tapering structure hanging from the roof of a cave is called a stalactite. It's easy to remember which is which. Ground: stalaGmite; Ceiling: stalaCtite.

USAGE:
"Chuck Davis worked from a home office through which passage was made treacherous by paper stalagmites of uncertain stability."
Tom Hawthorn; 'Mr. Vancouver' Loved a Good Fact; The Globe and Mail (Toronto, Canada); Nov 22, 2010.

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

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Our sincerest laughter With some pain is fraught; Our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thought. -Percy Bysshe Shelley, poet (1792-1822)

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