Word of the Week: promulgate



Promulgate means:

          -To promote or make widely known, such as an idea or cause.

          -To announce or officially declare.

          -To put a law or decree into effect by official proclamation.

Etymology (word origin):

It comes from the Latin promulgat meaning ‘exposed to public view’, from the verb promulgare, from pro meaning ‘out or publically’ and mulgere meaning ‘cause to come forth’ or literally ‘to milk’.  Possibly related to the Latin provulgare meaning ‘to publicize’, from pro and vulgare meaning ‘to make common’ from vulgus meaning ‘the common people’.

Pronunciation:  prom-ulgate


          1)    The mayor promulgated a resolution recognizing the contributions of his successor.

          2)    The declaration promulgated by the president was designed to support his own agenda.

Word of the Week: amok



Amok means:

          -In a murderously frenzied state.

          -In an undisciplined, uncontrolled or faulty manner.

          -A psychiatric disturbance characterized by depression followed by a manic urge to murder.

Etymology (word origin):

It is a Malaysian term dating back to the late 1600s which refers to a murderous frenzy occurring especially in Malaysian culture.  Amok, sometimes spelled amuk or amuck, originated from the Indonesian word mengamuk, which means to make a furious and desperate charge.

Pronunciation:  a-muck

Examples: (In modern usage, usually as ‘run amok’)

          1)    Obamacare is an example of big government run amok.

          2)    While the teacher stepped out the students ran amok in the classroom.

Word of the Week: beleaguered



Beleaguered means:

          -To be surrounded by military forces.

          -To be surrounded or beset with troubles.

Etymology (word origin):

It comes from the Dutch word belegeren, meaning ‘to besiege’, from be, meaning ‘around’ and legeren, meaning ‘to camp’, from leger meaning ‘bed, camp, army, lair’.

Pronunciation:  bih-lee-gerd


          1)    Bad news continued to pour in for the beleaguered president.

          2)    Rebels closed in on the beleaguered capital.

Related Word:

lair:  a place in which to lie or rest, the bed of a wild beast

Word of the Week: corroborate



Corroborate means:

-To confirm or give support to a statement, theory or finding.

-To confirm, verify, or affirm.

Etymology (word origin):

It comes from the Latin corroborare, meaning ‘to strengthen’, from (1) com or co, meaning ‘together’ and (2) roborare, meaning ‘to give strength to’, from robur, meaning ‘strength’ or, literally, ‘oak’ and finally (3) ate, meaning ‘to make or cause’.

Pronunciation:  kuh-rob-uh-reyt


1)     The witness was able to corroborate the defendant’s testimony.

2)     The driver’s account of the accident did not corroborate the victim’s claim.

Related Words:

robust:  strong, healthy, vigorous

Word of the Week: capitulate



Capitulate means:

-To surrender unconditionally; to give in to something.

-To give up resistance; acquiesce; yield.

Etymology (word origin):

It comes from the Latin capitulatus, past participle of capitulare, from caput meaning ‘head’ and ulus meaning ‘small’.  Literally, capitulate means to become small headed, perhaps related to bowing one’s head in defeat at the end of a battle.

Pronunciation:  kuh-pich-uh-leyt


1)     The Boy Scouts have refused to capitulate to the left wing radicals.

2)     After such a long, costly war, we should not now capitulate to the enemy.

Related Words:

capital:  having to do with forfeiture of the head or life, as in a capital offense.

capitation:  a direct, uniform tax imposed on each head or person.

Word of the Week: redux



Redux means:

-Brought back; revived; restored; revisited; resurgent.

-This adjective generally follows the noun it describes.

-Not to be confused with the French word, redoux, meaning ‘a temporary rise in temperature during the cold season, a mild spell or thaw’. 

Etymology (word origin): 

It comes from the Latin reducere, meaning ‘to lead or bring back’, from re, meaning ‘back or again’ and ducere, meaning ‘to lead’, as in to lead back from exile or war. 

Pronunciation:  re duks 


1)     The 2012 presidential election is Reagan-Carter redux.

2)     Her hippie clothing were 1960s redux.

Related Words:

reduce:  to lead back from error in conduct, to diminish in amount or to conquer or subdue

duke:  leader, commander, ruler