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# Word for the Day

 Lively and spirited… vivacious   A vivacious person is lively and spirited: a vivacious dancer might do a back-flip off the wall and then jump into the arms of her partner.   Some people are just naturally fun to be around; they sparkle, they animate any group they’re part of, they’re full of life. That, in fact,…

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# Word for the Day

 To trick or mislead someone…   hoodwink   To hoodwink someone means to trick or mislead them. Beware of fake ATMs that try to hoodwink you into giving over your bank card and your code, only to keep them both and steal all your money.   An excellent, old-fashioned word is hoodwink, and you’ll be happy you know it when…

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# Word for the Day

To contribute or have an effect…   redound   Use the verb redound in formal situations to mean “contribute” or “have an effect.” You could tell your friend that his patience with unruly children will redound to his reputation as a good school bus driver.   Redound shows up only in the most formal speech and writing, but it’s a…

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# Word for the Day

Translating into coded form.   encipher   To encipher is to take a piece of information or a message and translate it into a coded form. You can encipher a note to your friend by replacing the letters with specific numbers.   If your friend enciphers an email before sending it, you’ll need to know what code they used…

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# Word for the Day

Robin Hood is famous for doing this…   pilfer   To pilfer is to steal something, typically of small value. Minor thefts, like taking a roll of toilet paper out of a public bathroom or napkins from the Early Bird Buffet are what your grandfather, for example, might pilfer.   The verb pilfer comes from the Old French noun pelfre, meaning…

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# Word for the Day

To be calm and relaxed… unflappable   To be unflappable is to be calm and relaxed, even in a stressful situation. A confident person is usually unflappable.   Some people get nervous and jittery under pressure, while others are unflappable. If you’re unflappable, you stay calm, relaxed, and poised no matter what’s happening. A good kindergarten teacher stays…

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# Word for the Day

A strategic move… gambit   A gambit is a strategic move, often in chess but also in politics or business, where a player sacrifices something up front for future gain.   The noun gambit comes from an Italian word, gambetto, which means “tripping up.” When you make an opening move, offer something, or start a conversation with something that seems…