Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

addword.gif

Most recent entries

Browse all entries

phlogiston

noun
a theoretical element believed in the past to be released during combustion
Developed by the German scientist Georg Ernst Stahl early in the 18th century, phlogiston was a dominant chemical concept of the time because it seemed to explain so much in a simple fashion.
Submitted by: Georgina Pinder from Spain on 24/07/2014 22:21:00

subtweet

verb
to post a tweet, usually a negative one, that mentions a person without using the @ sign, so that they will not see the message on their Twitter feed. Also to post a tweet that mentions someone without naming them at all although it is clear who is being referred to.
If I were to subtweet my boss, Jemima, some people would deem it subtweeting if I wrote: “Jemima Kiss eats too much salt”.
Submitted from United Kingdom on 24/07/2014 11:34:00

vaguebooking

noun
posting a hostile or negative status on Facebook without saying explicitly who it refers to
If you think you don’t know what vaguebooking is, you absolutely do.
Submitted from United Kingdom on 24/07/2014 11:33:00

subtweet

noun
a tweet, usually a negative one, that mentions a person without using the @ sign, so that they will not see the message on their Twitter feed. Also a tweet that mentions someone without naming them at all although it is clear who is being referred to.
Subtweets may seem like they empower the subtweeter; actually, the subtweet-ee wins.
Submitted from United Kingdom on 24/07/2014 11:30:00

brush-by

noun
an informal unscheduled meeting with someone when it would be awkward or unacceptable to meet them officially
Damian McBride has warned Ed he’s wasting his time with his “brush-by” meeting with President Barack Obama at the White House later today.
Submitted from United Kingdom on 21/07/2014 12:51:00

have traction with someone

phrase
if an idea has traction with someone, they are or could be persuaded by it
Does this idea have traction with you, Jonathan?
Submitted from United Kingdom on 21/07/2014 12:34:00

go dark

phrase
1
to stop communicating with someone
They would see sources go dark that were previously productive.
2
if a theatre goes dark, it stops putting on shows temporarily, due to lack of money or some kind of crisis
All Washington theatres went dark in the wake of the suicide crash on the Pentagon.
Submitted from United Kingdom on 21/07/2014 12:08:00

for the longest time

phrase
for a very long time; used for emphasis
I didn’t get Tumblr for the longest time. Why were people just reblogging other people’s posts?
Submitted from United Kingdom on 17/07/2014 09:52:00

DWM

abbreviation
(also DWEM)
dead white (European) male: a man, especially a writer or artist, whose achievements may have been overestimated because he belonged to the gender and ethnic group (male and white) that was dominant at the time
The DWEM represents the canon works so long prized by academic traditionalists – works created largely by Western, Eurocentric men, mostly now dead.
Submitted from United Kingdom on 16/07/2014 12:59:00

dead white (European) male

noun
(also dead white (European) man)
a man, especially a writer or artist, whose achievements may have been overestimated because he belonged to the gender and ethnic group (male and white) that was dominant at the time
Welcome back, dead white males. Our students must read the classics.
Submitted from United Kingdom on 16/07/2014 12:58:00

denialist

noun
someone who deliberately chooses to deny the truth about something because it is too uncomfortable or difficult to accept
The right-wing denialists, now dominant within the Coalition, often call themselves conservatives.
Submitted from United Kingdom on 16/07/2014 10:45:00

denialism

noun
the deliberate choice to deny the truth about something because it is too uncomfortable or difficult to accept
Climate change denialism soon spread beyond the US, especially to the countries of the English-speaking world.
Submitted from United Kingdom on 16/07/2014 10:44:00

polar vortex

noun
a persistent, large-scale cyclone (=a circular storm) that circles the north and south poles. If it moves from its normal position it can cause significant cooling of the weather in densely populated areas.
North America’s polar vortex-filled winter was almost certainly overhyped.
Submitted from United Kingdom on 15/07/2014 15:16:00

RCT

abbreviation
randomised control(led) trial: a type of scientific experiment used especially in trials of new drugs. Subjects are randomly assigned to one or other experimental treatment while a control group receives no treatment.
The claims of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) to be the gold standard rest on the fact that the ideal RCT is a deductive method.
Submitted from United Kingdom on 15/07/2014 15:01:00

mulish

adjective
a mulish person is not willing to change their ideas or to consider anyone else's reasons or arguments
We can try to suggest the new solution to John, but he is so mulish that it might be difficult to convince him to change his mind.
Submitted by: John from Poland on 15/07/2014 05:23:00

loom bands

noun
brightly coloured rubber bands that can be woven into jewellery and other items, often using a simple plastic loom (=a machine used for weaving)
Why are "loom bands" one of the most popular toys in the world at the moment?
Submitted from United Kingdom on 14/07/2014 12:39:00

unpredictability

noun
the quality of being impossible to predict
A defining feature of the British weather is its unpredictability.
Submitted from United Kingdom on 14/07/2014 09:26:00

keep your wig on

phrase
said to tell somebody not to be so fussy
Alright, keep your wig on!
Submitted by: James Strangward from United Kingdom on 13/07/2014 18:12:00

tell-all

noun
a publication or statement revealing shocking or scandalous information
The Australian Olympic swimming legend sat down with Sir Michael Parkinson for a tell-all addressing the rumours of his sexuality.
Submitted by: Boris Marchenko from Russian Federation on 13/07/2014 16:06:00

Gamosa

noun
a white rectangular piece of cloth whose basic function is to be used as a towel, and is also gifted on cultural and official occasions. The cloth has a red border on three sides and red woven motifs on the fourth, and is an article of great importance in the Indian state of Assam.
The production rate of 'Gamosa' fell this year owing to infrastructural issues.
Submitted by: Sudeshna B Baruah from India on 13/07/2014 08:44:00