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Cyber-

Cyber- is a prefix that has gained popularity since the middle of the twentieth century. We will examine the meaning of the prefix cyber-, where it came from and some examples of its use in words and sentences. Cyber- is a prefix that designates something pertaining to computers, virtual reality and electronic communication. The prefix cyber- was first used in this capacity in the word cybernetics, a term coined by mathematician Norbert Wiener in the 1940s to denote machines and biological … [Read more...]

Cursive vs coercive

Cursive and coercive are two words that pronounced very similarly and are often confused. We will examine the definitions of cursive and coercive, where these two words came from and some examples of their use in sentences. Cursive is an adjective that describes any script in which the letters are joined so that the writing is free-flowing. Cursive is a more rapid method of writing by hand. The flowing, cursive writing of the Arabic language inspired European scribes of the Middle Ages to … [Read more...]

Check kiting

Check kiting is an idiom primarily used in North America. An idiom is a word, group of words or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal meaning. We will examine the definition of the term check kiting, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences. Check kiting is the practice of writing a check on an account with insufficient funds and relying on the lag time between writing a check and the depositing of that check by the recipient. In … [Read more...]

Cassandra

Cassandra is a proper female name, but it has come to mean more than that. We will examine the definition of the word Cassandra, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences. A Cassandra is someone who warns of impending disaster or prophesizes doom, usually unheeded. The word Cassandra comes from a figure in Greek mythology. Cassandra was the daughter of King Priam and of Queen Hecuba of Troy. She made many predictions, not the least of which was the prophecy that Troy would … [Read more...]

Factious vs fractious

Factious and fractious are two words that are very close in spelling and pronunciation, but have different meanings. We will examine the definitions of the words factious and fractious, where these words came from and some examples of their use in sentences, Factious means tending toward dissension, producing partisanship or division. Factious is an adjective, the noun form is faction. Factious is derived from the Latin word factiosus, which means partisan, leaning toward forming political … [Read more...]

Flagellants vs flatulence

Flagellants and flatulence are two words that are very close in pronunciation and are often confused. We will examine the definitions of the words flagellants and flatulence, where these two words came from and some examples of their use in sentences. Flagellants is the plural form of flagellant, which is someone who flogs himself as an expression of religious fervor. Various religious cults have practiced flagellation in the past, such as the cult dedicated to Isis and the cult dedicated to … [Read more...]

Jaundiced eye

The idiom jaundiced eye goes back to the 1600s. An idiom is a word, group of words or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal meaning. We will examine the definition of the phrase jaundiced eye, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences. To look at something with a jaundiced eye means to look upon something with prejudice, usually in a cynical or negative way. Someone who looks upon something with a jaundiced eye is most often … [Read more...]

Empire vs umpire

Empire and umpire are two words that are very close in pronunciation and spelling and are often confused. We will examine the definitions of empire and umpire, where these words came from and some examples of their use in sentences. An empire is a vast sovereign state, usually consisting of many smaller states or countries and ruled by one person. Today, empire is also used to mean a large corporation that is run by one person, or is used figuratively to mean a sphere of influence controlled … [Read more...]

Excited vs exited

Excited and exited are two words that are very close in spelling and pronunciation, and are often confused. We will examine the definitions of excited and exited, where these words came from and some examples of their use in sentences. Excited is the past tense of the word excite, which means to make someone feel eager, enthusiastic or sexually aroused. Related words are excites, exciting. Excited is also used as an adjective. The word excite is derived from the Latin word excitare, which … [Read more...]

Primrose path

Primrose path is an idiom that goes back to at least the early 1600s. An idiom is a word, group of words or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal meaning. We will examine the definition of primrose path, where the term came from and some examples of its use in sentences. Primrose path refers to a way of life that is easy and pleasant, but in fact, leads to one's destruction or some other consequence. It is often expressed as leading someone down the … [Read more...]

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