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On a lark

On a lark is a phrase with unknown origins, though there are some theories. We will examine the definition of the phrase on a lark, where that term may have come from and some examples of its use in sentences. On a lark describes something that is done on the spur of the moment, something that is done spontaneously and for fun. Something done on a lark has not been planned, but may be considered irresponsible in a fun way and childlike. The word lark in the term on a lark is used to mean … [Read more...]

Rookie

The word rookie was popularized in the 1890s in a work by Rudyard Kipling, though it was probably in use before that time. We will examine the definition of the word rookie, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences. A rookie is a new member of an organization, someone new to a job or group, someone without experience or a new recruit in a military organization or sports team. A rookie is a novice. The word rookie appeared sometime in the late nineteenth century, and is … [Read more...]

Ethnic vs ethic

Ethnic and ethic are two words that are close in spelling and pronunciation and are sometimes confused. We will examine the definitions of ethnic and ethic, where these two words came from and some examples of their use in sentences. Ethnic is an adjective that describes something relating to a subgroup of people who have a common cultural tradition due to a shared geographical location, religion or race. Often, the word ethnic is used in Western culture to mean traditions of non-Western … [Read more...]

Pragmatism

Pragmatism is a word that was coined in the 1870s. We will examine the definition of the word pragmatism, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences. Pragmatism is a philosophical approach to a situation that considers the worth of an idea, belief or strategy based on its successful application. Pragmatism approaches problems in a practical manner based on results, rather than by applying esoteric theories and principles. The word pragmatism was coined in the United States … [Read more...]

Enjoin vs join

Enjoin and join are two words that are similar in spelling and pronunciation, but have different meanings. We will examine the definitions of enjoin and join, where these two words came from and some examples of their use in sentences. Enjoin means to encourage someone to do something, to demand that someone do something. Enjoin may also mean to prohibit someone from doing something, sometimes by issuing a lawful injunction. Enjoin is a transitive verb, which is a a verb that takes an object. … [Read more...]

Vitriol vs vitreous

Vitriol and vitreous are two words that are similar in spelling and pronunciation, and are sometimes confused. We will examine the definitions of vitriol and vitreous, where these terms came from and some examples of their use in sentences. Vitriol is a bitter feeling, over-critical speech, venomous criticism. Vitriol is malicious and over the top, it is criticism that is invalid and full of bad feeling, or a general airing of one’s ill will. Vitriol is also used to mean a metallic sulphate. … [Read more...]

Charism vs charisma

Charism and charisma are two words with overlapping meanings. We will examine the definitions of charism and charisma, where these terms came form and some examples of their use in sentences. A charism is a talent or ability bestowed by a divine power. In Christian theology, this conferred power should be used for the good of the church and community. The word charism is derived from the Greek word kharisma, which means divine gift. The plural form of charism may either be rendered as … [Read more...]

Evade vs invade

Evade and invade are two words that are similar in pronunciation and spelling, and are often confused. We will examine the definitions of evade and invade, where these two words came from and some examples of their use in sentences. To evade means to avoid or to escape something or someone. Evade may refer to a physical escape or an avoidance of something, such as paying taxes, fulfilling a moral obligation or answering a difficult question. Evade is a transitive verb, which is a verb that … [Read more...]

On the back foot

On the back foot is a primarily British idiom. An idiom is a word, group of words or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal definition. We will examine the meaning of the expression on the back foot, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences. To be on the back foot means to be put in a defensive position, to be in retreat, to be knocked off balance. Primarily used in British English, on the back foot is a phrase that is most … [Read more...]

Olfactory vs old factory

Olfactory is a word that has been in use since the mi-1600s, while old factory is a more recent invention. We will examine the definitions of the words olfactory and old factory, where they came from and some examples of use in sentences. Olfactory describes something that is related to the sense of smell. Olfactory is an adjective, the noun form is olfaction. The olfactory system includes the structures of the nose, as well as olfactory glands and olfactory nerves. The word olfactory is … [Read more...]

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