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Word of the day October 1–24, 2020

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

October 24

Etiolated adj
  1. (chiefly botany, horticulture) Of a plant or part of a plant: pale and weak because of sunlight deprivation or excessive exposure to sunlight. [from mid 18th c.]
  2. (horticulture) Of a plant: intentionally grown in the dark.
  3. (by extension) Of an animal or person: having an ashen or pale appearance; also, haggard or thin; physically weak.
  4. (figurative) Lacking in vigour; anemic, feeble.

October 23

Mashup n
  1. (informal) Something consisting of two or more components combined together.
    1. (art, slang) An artistic work that consists primarily of parts borrowed from other works, or features a mixture of genres.
    2. (chiefly computing, slang) A derivative work consisting of two or more pieces of (generally digital) media joined together, such as a video clip with a different soundtrack applied for humorous effect, or a map overlaid with user-supplied data.
    3. (Internet) A Web application that combines data and/or functionality from more than one source.
    4. (music, slang) A remix created by combining two or more songs from different artists into one piece of music.

October 22

Plume v
  1. (transitive, also figurative) To adorn, cover, or furnish with feathers or plumes, or as if with feathers or plumes.
  2. (transitive, reflexive) Chiefly of a bird: to arrange and preen the feathers of, specifically in preparation for flight; hence (figurative), to prepare for (something).
  3. (transitive, reflexive, by extension) To congratulate (oneself) proudly, especially concerning something unimportant or when taking credit for another person's effort; to self-congratulate.
  4. (transitive, archaic) To strip (a bird) of feathers; to pluck.
    1. (by extension) To peel, to strip completely; to pillage; also, to deprive of power.
    2. (falconry, obsolete) Of a hawk: to pluck the feathers from prey.
  5. (intransitive) Of a dispersed substance such as dust or smoke: to fan out or spread in a cloud.

October 21

Confab n
  1. (informal) Clipping of confabulation (a casual chat or talk).

confab v

  1. (intransitive, informal) Clipping of confabulate (to speak casually with somebody; to chat).

October 20

Pencil-thin adj
  1. Somewhat cylindrical and slender like a pencil; also, tall and thin.

October 19

Left turn n
  1. (idiomatic) An unexpected change from the way things seemed to be going.

left turn interj

  1. (chiefly military) A command to a soldier or other person who is marching: turn ninety degrees to your left!

left turn v

  1. (intransitive, chiefly military) To turn ninety degrees to one's left, especially in response to a military command while marching.

October 18

Incarnadine adj (archaic, literary)
  1. (originally) Of the pale pink or pale red colour of flesh; carnation.
  2. Of the blood-red colour of raw flesh; crimson.
  3. (figurative) Bloodstained, bloody.
  4. (generally) Of a red colour.

incarnadine n

  1. (originally) The pale pink or pale red colour of flesh; carnation.
  2. The blood-red colour of raw flesh; crimson.
  3. (generally) A red colour.

incarnadine v

  1. (transitive, originally) To make flesh-coloured.
  2. (transitive, also figurative) To make red, especially blood-coloured or crimson; to redden.

October 17

Cave painting n (archaeology, art)
  1. (uncountable) The activity of applying pigments to the interior surfaces of caves to create images, especially when carried out in prehistoric times.
  2. (uncountable) The paintings resulting from this activity regarded collectively, especially if prehistoric; cave art; (countable) a individual painting of this type.

Today, the third Saturday of October in 2020, was established by the Archaeological Institute of America as International Archaeology Day to celebrate archaeology and its contributions to society.

October 16

Saveloy n
  1. (chiefly Australia, Britain, New Zealand) A seasoned and smoked pork sausage, normally purchased ready-cooked.

Today is recognized by the United Nations as World Food Day to highlight the importance of food security and good nutrition, and the need for action against hunger.

October 15

Make a clean breast v
  1. (idiomatic) Often followed by of: to be honest about something; to confess.

October 14

In-joke n
  1. Synonym of inside joke (a joke that is understood or meant to be understood only by certain people who are aware of the details)

October 13

Thrapple n

October 12

Vagrant adj
  1. Wandering from place to place, particularly when without any settled employment or habitation.
  2. Of or pertaining to a vagabond or vagrant, or a person fond of wandering.
  3. (figurative) Moving without a certain direction; roving, wandering; also, erratic, unsettled.

October 11

Sister from another mister n
  1. (informal) A very close female friend.

Today is the International Day of the Girl Child, which is recognized by the United Nations to increase awareness of gender inequality faced by girls worldwide and to support greater opportunities for them.

October 10

Junco n
  1. Any bird of the genus Junco, which includes several species of North American sparrow.
  2. (obsolete) The common reed bunting (Emberiza schoeniclus), a bird found in Europe and much of the Palearctic.

Today, the second Saturday of October in 2020, is the second of the two World Migratory Bird Days in the year. These days were established by the Secretariats of the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds and the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals to highlight the importance of protecting migratory birds and their habitats.

October 9

Masquerade n (also attributively)
  1. An assembly or party of people wearing (usually elaborate or fanciful) masks and costumes, and amusing themselves with dancing, conversation, or other diversions.
  2. The act of wearing a mask or dressing up in a costume for, or as if for, a masquerade ball.
  3. (figurative) An act of living under false pretenses; a concealment of something by a false or unreal show; a disguise, a pretence; also, a pretentious display.
  4. (figurative) An assembly of varied, often fanciful, things.
  5. (fandom slang) A cosplay event at which costumed attendees perform skits.
  6. (obsolete) A dramatic performance by actors in masks; a mask or masque.
  7. (obsolete, rare) A Spanish entertainment or military exercise in which squadrons of horses charge at each other, the riders fighting with bucklers and canes.

masquerade v

  1. (intransitive) To take part in a masquerade; to assemble in masks and costumes; (loosely) to wear a disguise.
  2. (intransitive, figurative) To pass off as a different person or a person with qualities that one does not possess; also, to make a pretentious show of being what one is not.
  3. (transitive, rare) To conceal (something) with, or as if with, a mask; to disguise.

“Masquerade” is a song in Act II of the musical The Phantom of the Opera, which premiered on this day in London in 1986.

October 8

Octagon n
  1. (geometry, also attributively) A polygon with eight sides and eight angles.
  2. (martial arts) Often in the form Octagon: the arena for mixed martial arts.

October 7

Illecebrous adj

October 6

Instagrammable adj
  1. (informal) Visually attractive or interesting such that it lends itself to being photographed and posted on social media (specifically on Instagram); photogenic.

The photograph and video sharing social networking service Instagram was launched on this day ten years ago in 2010.

October 5

Sleep rough v
  1. (idiomatic) To sleep outdoors; specifically, if without a place to go home to; to be homeless.

Today, the first Monday of October in 2020, is designated by the United Nations as World Habitat Day to encourage reflection on the state of towns and cities, and on people’s basic right to adequate shelter.

October 4

Half-timbered adj
  1. (architecture) Of a building: constructed using a load-bearing timber frame with the spaces (panels) between the timbers filled with bricks, stone, or wattle and daub, etc. (the infill), especially if the timber frame is visible on the outside of the building.

Today in 2020 is the eve of World Architecture Day, which is marked by the International Union of Architects.

October 3

Wanderlust n
  1. A strong impulse or longing to travel.

wanderlust v

  1. (intransitive) To feel a strong impulse or longing to travel.
  2. (intransitive) To roam or travel widely.

Today is the 30th anniversary of Tag der Deutschen Einheit (German Unity Day), which commemorates German Reunification in 1990.

October 2

Sanskritize adj (transitive, American spelling, Oxford British English)
  1. (linguistics) To render a non-Sanskrit text, word, etc., in a form characteristic of Sanskrit morphology or phonology.
  2. (linguistics) To influence a non-Sanskrit language by Sanskritic vocabulary.
  3. (South Asia, Southeast Asia) To emulate rituals and practices of upper classes so as to gain upward social mobility.

Today is Gandhi Jayanti, a national festival celebrated in India to mark the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi in 1869.

October 1

Sinocentrism n
  1. (historical) The belief, held by the ancient Chinese, that China was literally the centre of the world.
  2. (politics) The practice of viewing the world from a Chinese perspective, with an implied belief, either consciously or subconsciously, in the pre-eminence of Chinese culture.
  3. (politics) Ethnocentrism among the Han people of China; Han chauvinism.

Today is the National Day of the People’s Republic of China.

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