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Donnybrook

The word donnybrook is a bit of an old-fashioned word, but is still occasionally used, especially in North America, New Zealand and Australia. We will look at the definition of the term donnybrook, its interesting origin and finally, some examples of its use in sentences. A donnybrook is an occasion that is a bit of an uproar, a chaotic brawl or a heated disagreement. The word donnybrook is derived from a public fair that was held in Donnybrook, Ireland beginning in the 1200s. By the 1800s, … [Read more...]

Dahlesque

Dahlesque is a word that has only recently been added to the Oxford English Dictionary. We will examine the meaning of the term Dahlesque, where it comes from and some examples of its use in sentences. Dahlesque means echoing or resembling the style of the British children's author Roald Dahl. Dahl wrote primarily middle-grade novels that appealed to children because of their black, sometimes gruesome humor and terrible depictions of adults. Some of Dahl's well-known stories are Charlie and … [Read more...]

Put the cart before the horse

Put the cart before the horse is an English proverb that has its roots in Roman antiquity. We will look at the meaning of the phrase put the cart before the horse, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences. To put the cart before the horse means to do something out of order, to have the wrong priorities, to prioritize inconsequential things over important things. The figurative use of this phrase in English dates back to the 1500s, but the Roman politician and philosopher … [Read more...]

Delude vs dilute

Delude and dilute are two words that are pronounced similarly and look similar, but have very different meanings. We will look at the definitions of delude and dilute, where the words come from and some examples of their use in sentences. Delude is the act of making someone believe something that is not true, to deceive someone. Delude is a transitive verb, which is a verb that takes an object. Related words are deludes, deluded, deluding, delusion. The word delude is derived from the Latin … [Read more...]

Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth

Don't look a gift horse in the mouth is a proverb, which is a well-known saying that expresses a universally accepted truth. We will explore the meaning of the proverb Don't look a gift horse in the mouth, its origins and some examples of its use in sentences. Don't look a gift horse in the mouth is an admonishment to be grateful when receiving a present and not to find fault with that present. A horse's teeth change as it ages, and looking in its mouth is a good way to judge the health and … [Read more...]

Duplicate vs duplicity

Duplicate and duplicity are two words that come from the same roots but have different meanings. We will look at the definitions of duplicate and duplicity, their common roots and some examples of their use in sentences. Duplicate means to make a copy of something, to have an exact pair of something, to reproduce an exact copy from an original. Duplicate may be used as a noun, verb or adjective. Related words are duplicates, duplicated, duplicating, duplication. The word duplicate is derived … [Read more...]

Going Dutch and Dutch treat

Going Dutch and Dutch treat are two related idioms that have their origins in the 1600s. We will look at the meaning of these two terms, where they came from and some examples of their use in sentences. Going Dutch describes a situation where each participant in an activity pays his own way. Dutch treat also describes a situation where each participant in an activity pays his own way, the idea being that a Dutch treat is in fact no treat at all. The idea of the Dutch treat is a pleasant way … [Read more...]

Dirigible or blimp

A dirigible and a blimp are both airships, but with different characteristics. We will look at the difference between the terms dirigible and blimp, where the words come from and some examples of their use in sentences. The word dirigible literally describes something that is capable of being directed or steered. The word dirigible is an adjective, though it is rarely used as an adjective anymore. It has come to mean a steerable airship. Originally the term was dirigible airship or steerable … [Read more...]

Desolate vs destitute

The words desolate and destitute are often confused. We will examine the definitions of desolate and destitute, the origins of the two words and some examples of their use in sentences. Desolate means deserted, devastated or laid waste, without hope, forlorn, unhappy, lonely. Desolate may be used as an adjective or a transitive verb, which is a verb that takes an object. Related words are desolates, desolated, desolating, desolation, desolately, desolateness. The word desolate is derived from … [Read more...]

Duplicate vs replicate

Duplicate and replicate are two words that are sometimes confusing. Their meanings are similar, but there is a slight difference. We will look at the definitions of the words duplicate and replicate, where the terms come from and some examples of their use in sentences. Duplicate means to make a copy of something, to have an exact pair of something, to reproduce an exact copy from an original. Duplicate may be used as a noun, verb or adjective. Related words are duplicates, duplicated, … [Read more...]

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