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Word of the day July 1–24, 2021

Words of the day for this month, selected by Wiktionary contributors.

July 24

Fopdoodle n

July 23

Olympian adj
  1. (not comparable) Of or relating to Mount Olympus, the highest mountain in Greece; or (Greek mythology) the Greek gods and goddesses who were believed to live there.
  2. (comparable, by extension) Resembling a Greek deity in some way.
    1. Celestial, heavenly; also, godlike.
    2. Acting in a remote and superior manner; aloof.


  1. (historical) Of or relating to the town of Olympia in Elis, Greece.
  2. (sports)
    1. (historical) Of or relating to the ancient Olympic Games held at Olympia; Olympic.
    2. Of or relating to the modern Olympic Games; Olympic.

Olympian n

  1. (Greek mythology) Any of the 12 principal gods and goddesses of the Greek pantheon (Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, Ares, Hermes, Hephaestus, Aphrodite, Athena, Apollo, Artemis, Demeter, and Hades); (specifically) preceded by the: Zeus, the supreme ruler of the Greek deities.
  2. (figuratively) A person with superior talents or towering achievements.


  1. An inhabitant of the city of Olympia, the capital of Washington, United States.
  2. (sports)
    1. (historical) A sportsperson competing in the ancient Olympic Games.
    2. A sportsperson competing in the modern Olympic Games.

The 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan, are due to begin today after having been postponed for a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

July 22

Bough n
  1. A firm (and often larger) branch of a tree.
  2. (obsolete, figuratively, poetic) A gallows.

July 21

Outstrip v (transitive)
  1. To move more quickly than (someone or something) so as to outrun or leave it behind.
  2. (figuratively) To exceed or surpass (someone or something).
  3. (archaic, rare) To exceed or overstep (a boundary or limit); to transgress.

July 20

Cobbler n
  1. A person who repairs, and sometimes makes, shoes.
  2. (Australia, New Zealand, agriculture, slang) A sheep left to the end to be sheared (for example, because its wool is filthy, or because it is difficult to catch).
  3. (obsolete) A person who cobbles (to assemble or mend in an improvised or rough way); a clumsy workman.
  4. (US, alcoholic beverages) An alcoholic drink containing spirit or wine, with lemon juice and sugar.
  5. A roadworker who lays cobbles.
  6. (Britain, dialectal)
    1. The shiny, hard seed of the horse chestnut tree (Aesculus hippocastanum), especially when used in the game of the same name (sense 1.2); a conker, a horse chestnut.
    2. (games) Synonym of conkers (a game for two players in which the participants each have a horse-chestnut (known as a cobbler (sense 1.1) or conker) suspended from a length of string, and take turns to strike their opponent's conker with their own with the object of destroying the opponent's conker before their own is destroyed)
  7. Used as a name for various animals.
    1. (Australia) Also estuary cobbler:
      1. The South Australian catfish (Cnidoglanis macrocephalus), a species of catfish native to Australia which has dorsal and pectoral fins bearing sharp, venomous spines.
      2. The soldier or South Australian cobbler (Gymnapistes marmoratus), a brown fish native to southern Australian estuaries which is unrelated to Cnidoglanis macrocephalus but also has venemous spines on its dorsal and pectoral fins.
    2. (Britain)
      1. Also river cobbler: the basa (Pangasius bocourti), an edible species of shark catfish native to the Chao Phraya and Mekong river basins in Southeast Asia.
      2. The Pangas catfish (Pangasius pangasius), an edible species of shark catfish native to Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, and Pakistan.
    3. (US) Condica sutor, an owlet moth native to North America.
  8. (usually in the plural, slang) A police officer.
  9. (US) Often preceded by a descriptive word as in apple cobbler, peach cobbler, etc.: a kind of pie, usually filled with fruit, originally having a crust at the base but nowadays generally lacking this and instead topped with a thick, cake-like pastry layer.

July 19

Amain adv
  1. (archaic, literary) With all of one's might; mightily; forcefully, violently.
  2. (archaic) At full speed; also, in great haste.
  3. (Britain, dialectal) Out of control.
  4. (obsolete) Exceedingly; overmuch.

amain v (obsolete)

  1. (transitive)
    1. (nautical) To lower (the sail of a ship, particularly the topsail).
    2. (figuratively) To decrease or reduce (something).
  2. (intransitive, nautical) To lower the topsail in token of surrender; to yield.

July 18

Campanile n
  1. A bell tower (especially one that is freestanding), often associated with a church or other public building, especially in Italy.

Today, the third Sunday of July in 2021, is the Festa del Redentore (Feast of the Redeemer) in Venice, Italy, which was originally celebrated to give thanks for the end of a severe plague 445 years ago in 1576.

July 17

Justice delayed is justice denied proverb
  1. If a wrong is not corrected within a reasonable time, it is as though the wrong were not corrected at all.

Today is the Day of International Criminal Justice, which was instituted in 2010 by the states parties to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court to recognize the importance of international criminal justice.

July 16

Betide v (dated, literary)
  1. (transitive) Often used in a prediction (chiefly in woe betide) or a wish: to happen to (someone or something); to befall.
  2. (intransitive) Chiefly in the third person: to happen; to take place; to bechance, to befall.

July 15

Syndic n
  1. (government) A government official having different duties depending on the country; also, a magistrate, especially one of the Chief Magistrates of Geneva, Switzerland.
  2. (chiefly Britain) An agent of a corporation, or of any body of people engaged in a business enterprise; specifically, in the University of Cambridge, a member of the senate appointed to carry out specific duties.

Dutch artist Rembrandt, who painted Syndics of the Drapers’ Guild (1662) which has been called his “last great collective portrait”, was born on this day 415 years ago in 1606.

July 14

Guillotine n
  1. (historical, also figuratively) A machine used for the application of capital punishment by decapitation, consisting of a tall upright frame from which is suspended a heavy diagonal-edged blade which is dropped on to the neck of the person to be executed; also, execution using this machine.
  2. (by extension)
    1. A device or machine with a cutting blade.
      1. A device used for cutting the pages of books, stacks of paper, etc., to straight edges, usually by means of a hinged or sliding blade attached to a flat platform.
      2. (surgery) An instrument with a sliding blade for cutting the tonsils, uvula, or other body parts.
    2. (law, politics, informal)
      1. (Britain) A parliamentary procedure for fixing the dates when various stages of discussion of a bill must end, to ensure that the enactment of the bill proceeds expeditiously.
      2. (US) A legislative motion that debate be ended and a vote taken; a cloture.

guillotine v (transitive)

  1. To use a guillotine (on someone or something).
    1. (also figuratively) To execute (someone) with a guillotine.
    2. To cut or trim (a body part, a stack of paper, etc.) with a guillotine.
  2. (law, politics, informal)
    1. (Britain) To end discussion (about a parliamentary bill or part of one) by invoking a guillotine procedure.
    2. (US) To end (a legislative debate) by invoking cloture.

Today is Bastille Day, the national day of France which commemorates the storming of the Bastille – a key event in the French Revolution – that took place on this day in 1789, and celebrates the unity of the nation.

July 13

Much as conj

July 12

Willy-nilly adv
  1. Whether desired or not; without regard for the consequences or the wishes of those affected; whether willingly or unwillingly.
  2. Seemingly at random; haphazardly.

willy-nilly adj

  1. That happens whether willingly or unwillingly.

July 11

Postcode lottery n
  1. (Britain) The unequal availability of (often healthcare) services in different parts of the country, especially those services provided by local government.

Today is World Population Day, which is recognized by the United Nations to raise awareness of global population issues such as the importance of family planning, gender equality, human rights, maternal health, and poverty.

July 10

Valedictory adj
  1. Of or pertaining to a valediction (an act of parting company; a speech made when parting company); designed for or suitable to an occasion of bidding farewell or parting company.
  2. (Canada, US) Of or pertaining to a valedictorian (the individual in a graduating class who delivers the farewell address, often the person who graduates with the highest grades).

valedictory n

  1. An address given on an occasion of bidding farewell or parting company.
  2. (specifically, Canada, US) A speech given by a valedictorian at a commencement or graduation ceremony.

July 9

Eaves plural n
  1. (architecture) The underside of a roof that extends beyond the external walls of a building.
  2. (by extension) Something that extends over or projects beyond. [...]

July 8

Shunless adj
  1. That cannot be shunned; not to be avoided; inevitable, unavoidable.

July 7

Gadgetbahn n

July 6

Hodophobic adj

July 5

Imp v (transitive)
  1. (obsolete) To engraft or plant (a plant or part of one, a sapling, etc.).
  2. (figuratively, archaic) To graft or implant (something other than a plant); to fix or set (something) in.
  3. (falconry) To engraft (a feather) on to a broken feather in a bird's wing or tail to repair it; to engraft (feathers) on to a bird, or a bird's wing or tail.
  4. (by extension)
    1. (figuratively, from sense 3) To provide (someone or something) with wings, hence enabling them or it to soar.
    2. To add to or unite a object with (something) to lengthen the latter out or repair it; to eke out, enlarge, strengthen.

imp n

  1. (chiefly fiction and mythology) A small, mischievous sprite or a malevolent supernatural creature, somewhat comparable to a demon but smaller and less powerful, formerly regarded as the child of the devil or a demon (see sense 3.2).
  2. (by extension)
    1. (often humorous) A mischievous child.
    2. A baby Tasmanian devil.
  3. (obsolete)
    1. A young shoot of a plant, a tree, etc.; a sapling; also, a part of a plant used for grafting; a graft.
    2. An offspring or scion, especially of a noble family; (generally) a (usually male) child; a (young) man.
    3. (Britain, dialectal) Something added to or united with another to lengthen it out or repair it (such as an eke or small stand on which a beehive is placed, or a length of twisted hair in a fishing line).

July 4

Uncle Sam proper n
  1. (colloquial, originally US) A personification of the United States federal government or (rare) citizens.

Today is celebrated as Independence Day in the United States.

July 3

Idaho n
  1. In full Idaho potato: a variety of potato grown in Idaho, especially the Russet Burbank.

Idaho became the 43rd state of the United States of America on this day in 1890.

July 2

Blithe adj
  1. Casually careless or indifferent; showing a lack of concern.
  2. (chiefly Scotland, elsewhere dated or literary) Cheerful, happy.

Noël Coward’s play Blithe Spirit premiered in the West End of London, UK, on this day 80 years ago in 1941.

July 1

Pelf n
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