This Week in Words: June 16 - 22, 2018

No time to scour the headlines or watch the news? No problem! We’ve rounded up the top words heard, read, debated, and discussed this week.

Activities for this list:

definitions & notes only words
  1. juggernaut
    a massive inexorable force
    The combination of the Pixar brand and Disney’s perfectly executed marketing and distribution strategy made the film an instant classic and a box office juggernaut.” - ( June 17, 2018)
    Disney/Pixar's The Incredibles 2 set a record for the opening weekend box office for an animated film by taking in 180 million dollars. The sequel bested another Pixar sequel, Finding Dory, to take the crown. The word juggernaut comes from Hindi jaggannath which literally means "lord of the world" and is a title for the god Krishna.
  2. cacophony
    loud confusing disagreeable sounds
    For hours after the match, Mexico City resounded with the joyous cacophony of car horns, and euphoric fans turned public plazas into giant parties — waving Mexican flags, singing, chanting, spraying foam and drinking. - The New York Times ( June 17, 2018)
    The boisterous celebration of Mexico's victory over Germany in soccer's World was literally an earth-shaking event. It was detected on the seismic sensors usually reserved to measure earthquake activity in Mexico City. Leave it to fanatical soccer fans to shake a whole city enough to register on the Richter Scale!
  3. gargantuan
    of great mass; huge and bulky
    Koepka backed up his 16-under victory at Erin Hills -- a course that some discounted for its gargantuan fairways and receptive greens -- with a win at Shinnecock Hills -- maybe the greatest and toughest championship venue in the country --with the highest winning score ever recorded in a major at this track (281). ( June 18, 2018)
    Brooks Koepka became only the third golfer to achieve back-to-back U.S. Open wins since World War II, and only the fourth to earn two U.S. Open wins before the age of 30. Koepka emerged victorious after the rest of the field had a very hard time with the course at Shinnecock Hills. The severe wind was a factor in the early rounds, and the sheer length of some holes frustrated many of the world's top golfers.
  4. capitulation
    the act of surrendering, usually under agreed conditions
    The Macedonian parliament is scheduled to start debating the agreement next week, amid concern President Gjorge Ivanov will exercise a one-time veto option to block the deal that the nationalist opposition has called a " capitulation". - ( June 17, 2018)
    According to an agreement reached this week with Greece, Macedonia will change its name to the Republic of North Macedonia.
  5. partisan
    devoted to a cause or political group
    The Supreme Court declined on Monday to address the central questions in two closely watched challenges to partisan gerrymandering, putting off for another time a ruling on the constitutionality of voting districts designed by legislatures to amplify one party’s political power. - The New York Times ( June 18, 2018)
    The Supreme Court decided not to decide the issue of political parties carving up maps into voting districts, a policy known as gerrymandering. By ruling that one of the parties in the case did not have proper standing to sue, the court punted on the issue and decided to address it on another day, in another case.
  6. intransigent
    impervious to pleas, persuasion, requests, or reason
    Trump changed the rules. He started slapping on tariffs. It’s illogical, and its detrimental to all of us," Ziner said. "The more intransigent he would get, the more intransigent I would get." - USA Today ( June 18, 2018)
    The war of words which began last week at the G7 summit between President Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau has escalated into a small-scale trade war, with some Canadians trying to establish a boycott of American goods. Now there is talk of a tariff war between the two nations, much like the one the U.S. is currently involved in with China. The U.S. has already imposed tariffs on Canadian lumber, steel and aluminum and there may be more to come.
  7. asylum
    a shelter from danger or hardship
    But there have been reports of people arriving at the ports of entry asking for asylum and being taken into custody, and some of the designated ports are not accepting asylum claims. - The New York Times ( June 18, 2018)
    The week's major news story was what to do about the 2000 immigrant children who have been separated from their families as the entire family attempted to enter this country. The issue turns on whether to prosecute the border crossing as a civil violation or a criminal act. The Trump administration's stance on illegal immigration views it as a criminal act. On Wednesday, President Trump signed an executive order declaring that families seeking asylum should not be separated.
  8. trajectory
    the path followed by an object moving through space
    “It’s clear we’ve been on that trajectory for a long time,” said Doug Loverro, former deputy assistant secretary of Defense for space policy. “The only argument was about when it was going to happen.” - L.A. Times ( June 18, 2018)
    The Trump administration announced this week that it will spearhead the formation of a "Space Force", a new branch of the Armed Forces modeled on the Air Force. It is unclear at this time exactly what the Space Force is going to do, or how it fits in with the already existing space program at NASA. This action by the president is subject to congressional approval, and presumably the plans will become clearer before a proposal is put before Congress.
  9. unscrupulous
    without principles
    In past years, the Labor Department said, it has identified many “ unscrupulous promoters who sell the promise of inexpensive health benefit insurance, but default on their obligations.” - The New York Times ( June 19, 2018)
    The Trump Administration is now allowing small businesses to band together for the purpose of providing lower-cost health insurance to their workers. The move weakens the Affordable Care Act, put in place during the Obama administration.
  10. abolition
    doing away with a system or practice or institution
    Juneteenth, which is also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day, is a combination of "June" and "nineteenth," in honor of the day that Granger announced the abolition of slavery in Texas. - USA Today ( June 19, 2018)
    This week marks the celebration of Juneteenth, a day set aside to honor the emancipation of African American slaves in the United States. Juneteenth dates back to June 19, 1865, two years after Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. It is said that this date is when the news of freedom finally reached the last former-slaves to learn the news in Galveston, Texas. Juneteenth is often celebrated by parades and remembrances of notable African Americans from the slavery era.

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