Braggadocio is the kind of talking someone does when they are attempting to appear cocky or boastful. It is also a synonym for braggart, which is the name for a bragger, or someone who is boastful and usually loud about it. The plural for braggadocio is braggadocios. This is only to be used when referring to two or more people who are braggarts. It should not to be confused with the adjective form, which is braggadocious. Some confusion may come from the adjective form not being … [Read more...]


  Ajar can be an adverb or adjective describing something as being partially open. An archaic and obsolete definition for ajar is for something to be out of sync with its surroundings or to be jarred. The a- prefix is often used in words as a stand in for to (aside means to the side), in (as in the process of or in a certain condition), or on (e.g., if someone is walking afoot, he or she is walking on foot). This comes from the simplification of the Old English two word … [Read more...]


A diagram is an illustration that describes or explains. It is not simply a picture, but it carries instructions or conveys information about something. It is commonly used in science and mathematics. In British English, diagram may also mean a railway schedule. There are three adjective forms: diagrammable, diagrammatic, and diagrammatical. The middle form is the most common. Also, the adverb is diagrammatically. It can also be a verb. To diagram something is to teach a concept by drawing … [Read more...]

Eleventh hour

  At the eleventh hour means at the last minute or at the last opportunity. A less common version is in the eleventh hour. Sometimes it is used as an adjective to describe something as last minute. In this usage it is usually hyphenated like most compound adjectives. The wording for idiom dates from the Bible. In a parable, Jesus talks of workmen hired to tend a vineyard. The men hired at the eleventh hour worked only for one hour, but were paid as much as those working the entire … [Read more...]

Candor or candour

  Candor is a noun meaning complete honesty or fairness. Sometimes it is used in the construction complete candor, but this is redundant. It is not pejorative or carry the connotation that candor is harsh, simply that what is said or done can be believed. The negative formation is usually having a lack of candor. Candor is the preferred spelling inside the United States. Candour is the preferred spelling outside the US. Candor is pronounced with an er sound at the end, while … [Read more...]


  Behoove is a verb used with an object. It means to be essential or dutiful. The formal construction is it behooves (someone) to do (something). However, most often the word is misused to mean the action benefits or gives gain to a person. Because this misuse is so prevalent, at least one dictionary we referenced has added advantageous as an alternative definition. The formal negative formation is ill behoove. Again, the informal use is much more common and is does not … [Read more...]

Agog or agape

  Agog is an adjective used to describe oneself as very enthusiastic or interested because of something or someone. It comes from French en gogues or in mirth. A synonym for agog is agape.  Agape can be a noun, which comes from Greek, and literally means love. This noun form is sometimes used as part of a name (e.g., charities, businesses, churches). Agape is more commonly used as an adjective or adverb to describe something as being spread open or wide apart. It may also mean … [Read more...]


  Sorbet is a frozen dessert made from fruit or juice. Sherbet is also made from fruit and is a frozen dessert; however, sherbet typically includes dairy. Sorbet does not. Both words do come from the same word base tracing back to the Arabic sharba or drink. Sorbet can be pronounced (sor bay) or (sor bet). The plural is made by adding an s. The pronunciation then changes to (sor bays) or (sor bets). Sorbet is actually a French word and the variation of the Italian sorbetto. … [Read more...]

Accept vs except

Accept is a verb. To accept something is to agree to receive the object or action. You may accept the actions of others by giving approval or not objecting to them. The adverb form is acceptingly, and the noun form is acceptingness. They are rarely used. Except can be a preposition, conjunction, or a verb. In all forms the general meaning is to exclude, leave out, or be outside of a group or set. The adjective form is exceptive. The preposition and conjunction forms may … [Read more...]


  Sanction is a noun which has two directly opposite meanings, which makes it a auto-antonym or contronym (i.e., a word that can contradict itself). One meaning of sanction is to grant official endorsement or approval for an action. The other meaning is the process taking by the international community against a specific country to force said country to comply with international law. These sanctions can include reducing or restricting trade or economic aid. Outside of international … [Read more...]

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