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Lightbulb #14: Your Weekly Vocabulary List

Words of the Week are Gnomon, Caravel, Orature, Mouthbrooder, Pall, Consilience, and Overt.

gnomon , n :
An object such as a pillar or a rod that is used to tell time by the shadow it casts when the sun shines on it, especially the pointer on a sundial. An object such as a pillar used by an observer to calculate the meridian altitude of the sun (that is, the altitude of the sun when it reaches the observer’s meridian), for the purpose of determining the observer’s latitude. The index of the hour circle of a globe. (geometry) A plane figure formed by removing a parallelogram from a corner of a larger parallelogram. (mathematics, by extension) A number representing the increment between two figurate numbers (“numbers equal to the numbers of dots in geometric figures formed of dots”).

caravel , n :
(nautical, historical) A light, usually lateen-rigged sailing ship used by the Portuguese and Spanish for about 300 years from the 15th century, first for trade and later for voyages of exploration. Today is European Maritime Day, which seeks to raise European citizens’ awareness of the seas and their importance.

orature , n :
The oral equivalent of literature: a collection of traditional folk songs, stories, etc., that is communicated orally rather than in writing. […] Today is the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development or Diversity Day, which is recognized by the United Nations to highlight the value of cultural diversity and the need for people to live together in harmony.

mouthbrooder , n :
(zoology) Any animal that cares for its offspring, either eggs or juveniles, by holding them in its mouth for extended periods of time. Today is the International Day for Biological Diversity (also known as World Biodiversity Day), which is recognized by the United Nations for the promotion of biodiversity issues.

pall , v :
(transitive) To make vapid or insipid; to make lifeless or spiritless; to dull, to weaken. (intransitive) To become dull, insipid, tasteless, or vapid; to lose life, spirit, strength, or taste.

consilience , n :
(logic) The concurrence of multiple inductions drawn from different data sets. [from mid 19th c.] The agreement, co-operation, or overlap of academic disciplines. English philosopher and theologian William Whewell, who coined the word, was born on this day 225 years ago in 1794.

overt , adj :
Open and not concealed or secret.

Interested in More, Here are All Previous Editions of Your Weekly Vocabulary Series
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