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Word of the day September 1–27, 2022

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

September 27

Giddy adj
  1. Feeling a sense of spinning in the head, causing a perception of unsteadiness and being about to fall down; dizzy.
  2. Causing or likely to cause dizziness or a feeling of unsteadiness.
  3. Moving around something or spinning rapidly.
  4. (by extension)
    1. Unable to concentrate or think seriously; easily excited; impulsive; also, lightheartedly silly; frivolous.
      1. (dated) Used as an intensifier.
    2. Joyfully elated; overcome with excitement or happiness.
    3. (Britain, dialectal) Feeling great anger; furious, raging.
  5. (Britain, dialectal, agriculture, veterinary medicine) Of an animal, chiefly a sheep: affected by gid (a disease caused by parasitic infestation of the brain by tapeworm larvae), which may result in the animal turning around aimlessly.
  6. (obsolete, figuratively) Of a thing, especially a ship: unsteady, as if dizzy.

giddy n (archaic)

  1. Someone or something that is frivolous or impulsive.
  2. (Britain, agriculture, veterinary medicine) Synonym of gid (a disease caused by parasitic infestation of the brain by tapeworm larvae)

giddy v

  1. (transitive) To make (someone or something) dizzy or unsteady; to dizzy.
  2. (intransitive)
    1. To become dizzy or unsteady.
    2. (obsolete) To move around something or spin rapidly; to reel; to whirl.

September 26

Ordoliberal n
  1. (economics, politics) A proponent of the theories and ideals of ordoliberalism (a political philosophy that emphasizes the desirability of the government establishing rules to maximize the potential of the free market to produce results).

ordoliberal adj

  1. (economics, politics) Of or relating to ordoliberalism.

The German economist and politician Franz Böhm, regarded as the founder of ordoliberalism, died on this day 45 years ago in 1977.

September 25

Immiseration n
  1. Synonym of immiserization (the process of making miserable or poor, especially of a population as a whole; impoverishment, pauperization)

September 24

Veld n
  1. (chiefly South Africa) The open grassland or pastureland of South Africa and neighbouring countries.

Today is Heritage Day in South Africa, which celebrates the diversity of the nation’s beliefs, culture, and traditions.

September 23

Equinox n
  1. One of the two occasions in the year when the length of the day and night are equal, which occurs when the apparent path of the Sun (the ecliptic) intersects with the equatorial plane of the Earth; this happens on a day between March 19 and 21 (spring in the Northern Hemisphere, and autumn in the Southern Hemisphere), and on another day between September 21 and 24 (autumn in the Northern Hemisphere, and spring in the Southern Hemisphere); hence, the exact time when the intersection occurs.
  2. (also figuratively) The circumstance of a twenty-four hour time period having the day and night of equal length.
  3. (astronomy) One of the two points in space where the apparent path of the Sun intersects with the equatorial plane of the Earth.
  4. (obsolete)
    1. (rare) A gale (very strong wind) once thought to occur more frequently around the time of an equinox (sense 1), now known to be a misconception; an equinoctial gale.
    2. (astronomy) A celestial equator (great circle on the celestial sphere, coincident with the plane of the Earth's equator (the equatorial plane)); also, the Earth's equator.

The September equinox takes place on this day in 2022 according to UTC.

September 22

Alexipharmic adj
  1. (pharmacology, chiefly archaic or historical) Synonym of alexipharmac (of or pertaining to an alexipharmac; also, acting as an alexipharmac by protecting against or warding off the ill effects of a harmful substance, especially a poison or venom)

alexipharmic n

  1. (pharmacology, chiefly archaic or historical, also figuratively) Synonym of alexipharmac (a medical remedy for protecting the body, or an antidote, against harmful substances, especially a poison or venom (specifically, that of a snake)); an antidote.

September 21

Cheeselet n
  1. (chiefly Malta) A small, usually roundish lump of cheese; a baby cheese; specifically, a particular type made with sheep's milk in Malta.
  2. (US, archaic) A baked dish of bread and cheese covered with a mixture of eggs and milk.

Today is Jum l-Indipendenza or Independence Day in Malta, which celebrates the country’s independence from the United Kingdom on this day in 1964.

September 20

Shanti interj
  1. (Hinduism) A call for peace, often recited three times as a prayer for peace of the soul.

shanti n

  1. (Hinduism) Peace, tranquility.

Today is the eve of the International Day of Peace, which is dedicated by the United Nations to world peace.

September 19

Unwavering adj
  1. Not wavering.
    1. Always on course and steady.
    2. Not doubting or unsure; decisive, firm, resolute.

The state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II, the longest-reigning British monarch who died on 8 September aged 96, takes place today.

September 18

Particularity n
  1. (countable)
    1. A particular thing.
    2. A distinctive characteristic or quality; a peculiarity.
    3. (obsolete) A particular case or matter.
  2. (uncountable)
    1. The condition of being particular rather than general or universal; specificity.
      1. (Christianity, theology) The doctrine of the incarnation of God as Jesus occurring at a particular place and time.
      2. (Christianity, Judaism, theology, obsolete) Synonym of particularism (the principle that only certain people are chosen by God for salvation)
    2. Attention to detail; fastidiousness.
    3. (obsolete)
      1. The condition of being special; peculiarity, specialness.
      2. The condition of being special in an unexpected way; oddness, strangeness; (countable) an instance of this.
      3. The paying of particular close attention to someone; (countable) an instance of this.

September 17

True blue adj
  1. Steadfastly faithful or loyal; unwavering in loyalty; staunch, true.
    1. (specifically)
      1. Patriotic.
      2. (Britain) Of or pertaining to the (historical) Tory, and now the Conservative, political party; hence, steadfastly conservative.
      3. (Scotland, historical) Of or pertaining to the Scottish Presbyterian or Whig political party in the 17th century; hence, steadfastly Presbyterian.
  2. Representing the true essence of something; authentic, genuine, honest.
    1. (specifically, Australia, informal) Representing authentic Australian culture, values, etc.
  3. (Britain) Aristocratic by birth. [...]

true blue n

  1. (countable) A faithful partisan or supporter of a cause, person, political party, etc.
  2. (uncountable, historical) A blue dye from Coventry, England, famous for not washing out.

The American singer Madonna’s song “True Blue” was released as a single on this day in 1986.

September 16

Pellucid adj
  1. Allowing the passage of light; translucent or transparent.
  2. (figuratively)
    1. Easily understood; clear.
    2. Of music or some other sound: not discordant or harsh; clear and pure-sounding.
    3. Of a person, their mind, etc.: able to think and understand clearly; not confused; clear, sharp.
    4. (archaic) Easily recognized or seen through; apparent, obvious.

pellucid n

  1. (obsolete, rare) Something which allows the passage of light; a translucent or transparent object.

September 15

Electorate n
  1. The collective people of a country, state, or electoral district who are entitled to vote.
  2. (historical) The office, or area of dominion, of an Elector (a German prince entitled to elect the emperor of the Holy Roman Empire); an electorship.
  3. (chiefly Australia, New Zealand) A geographical area represented by one or more elected officials; a constituency, an electoral district.

Today is the International Day of Democracy, which is recognized by the United Nations to promote and uphold the principles of democracy.

September 14

Bespawl v
  1. (transitive, obsolete) To daub, make foul, or soil (someone or something) with spawl or spittle.

September 13

Babber n

September 12

To a hair prep phrase

September 11

Stercoranist n
  1. (Christianity, derogatory, historical) One who believes that the consecrated elements in the Eucharist—the bread and wineundergo the process of digestion in, and eventually elimination from, the body of the recipient.

September 10

Atiptoe adv
  1. On tiptoe; on the tips of one's toes in order to move quietly or to stand taller.
  2. (figuratively)
    1. Quietly, and little by little.
    2. Without retreating from adversity, confrontation, or danger; standing tall; bravely, proudly, unyieldingly.
    3. In a state of anticipation; keenly awaiting.

atiptoe adj

  1. On tiptoe; moving or standing on the tips of one's toes.
  2. (figuratively) In a state of anticipation; keenly awaiting.

The American ballerina Misty Copeland, who is the first African-American woman to become a principal dancer of the American Ballet Theatre, was born on this day 40 years ago in 1982.

September 9

Elizabethan adj
  1. Pertaining to the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, monarch of England and Ireland, from 1558 to 1603.
  2. Often preceded by new or second: pertaining to the reign of Queen Elizabeth II, monarch of the United Kingdom, from 1952 to 2022.

Elizabethan n

  1. A person (especially a writer) who lived during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, monarch of England and Ireland, from 1558 to 1603.
  2. A person who lived during the reign of Queen Elizabeth II, monarch of the United Kingdom, from 1952 to 2022.

Queen Elizabeth II, the longest-reigning British monarch, died yesterday aged 96.

September 8

Talk like a book v
  1. To talk pedantically, or using excessively difficult or literary words.
  2. To talk precisely and with authority.

Today is recognized by UNESCO as International Literacy Day to highlight the importance of literacy to individuals, communities, and societies.

September 7

Porterage n
  1. (uncountable) The carrying or transportation of goods by a porter (person who carries luggage and related objects) or other person.
  2. (uncountable) Porters regarded collectively.
  3. (uncountable, obsolete, rare) Goods or other things which are carried; burdens.
  4. (countable, uncountable) The charge for such carrying or transportation.


  1. The occupation of, or services provided by, a porter (person in control of the entrance to a building).

September 6

I'll be blowed interj

September 5

Dispatch box n
  1. A box or case with a lock that is used for carrying dispatches (important official messages) and other documents.
  2. (Commonwealth of Nations, politics) A box that is placed on a table in a legislative debating chamber and used as a lectern for addressing the legislature.

Today, following a vote by its members, the Conservative Party announced that the new Prime Minister of the United Kingdom will be Liz Truss; the former Prime Minister Boris Johnson resigned on 7 July 2022.

September 4

Tawny adj
  1. Of a light brown to brownish orange colour.

tawny v

  1. (transitive) To cause (someone or something) to have a light brown to brownish orange colour; to tan, to tawn.
  2. (intransitive) To become a light brown to brownish orange colour; to tan, to tawn.

tawny n

  1. A light brown to brownish orange colour.
    1. (specifically, heraldry) Synonym of tenné (a rarely-used tincture of orange or bright brown)
  2. Something of a light brown or brownish orange colour (particularly if it has the word tawny in its name).
    1. (Somerset) The common bullfinch or Eurasian bullfinch (Pyrrhula pyrrhula).
  3. (alcoholic beverages) In full tawny port: a sweet, fortified port wine which is blended and matured in wooden casks.
  4. (obsolete)
    1. A fabric of a light brown to brownish orange colour.
    2. (probably derogatory) A person with skin of a brown colour.

September 3

Dogman n
  1. A man who has charge of dogs, such as a dog breeder or dog trainer; specifically, a man who trains dogs for the bloodsport of dogfighting.
  2. Alternative form of dog man (a man who likes dogs or prefers dogs as pets, often as opposed to liking cats)
  3. (cryptozoology, mythology) An alleged cryptid or mythological creature that is part dog and part man; also (religion) a deity who is part dog and part man.
  4. (obsolete, rare) A man who sells dog meat.


  1. (Australia, New Zealand) An assistant to a crane operator, responsible for securing the crane's load and directing the operator.

September 2

Tar with the same brush v
  1. (transitive, figuratively) To characterize (someone or something) using the same undesirable attribute, especially unjustly.

September 1

Lum n
  1. A chimney; also, the top part of a chimney.
    1. (specifically, mining) A ventilating chimney over the shaft of a mine.


  1. (Northern England, Scotland, dialectal) A grove or wood; also, a woody valley.


  1. (Northern England, Scotland, dialectal) A deep pool, especially one in a riverbed.
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