This Week in Words: June 30 - July 6, 2018

News flash! We’ve rounded up the top words heard, read, debated and discussed this week. Take a look back at the week that was, vocabulary style.

Activities for this list:

definitions & notes only words
  1. referendum
    a legislative act referred for approval to a popular vote
    Front-runner Andrés Manuel López Obrador cast his ballot early in the day, saying, “More than an election, it’s going to be a referendum. People will decide between more of the same or real change.” - USA Today ( July 1, 2018)
    Mexico elected a new president the week. Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, known as AMLO, is a former mayor of Mexico City who ran on a platform of rooting out corruption. AMLO supports NAFTA, the trade agreement with the other North American nations. While he has also promised to pursue a friendly relationship with President Trump, AMLO has vowed to protect the rights of Mexican immigrants in the United States.
  2. prominence
    the state of being widely known or eminent
    You've got LeBron here now. It's his turn now. Hopefully he can — which he will — take this franchise back to prominence." - USA Today ( July 2, 2018)
    Basketball superstar LeBron James will be taking his talents to Los Angeles next season. James, a free agent, signed a $153.3 million dollar deal with the LA Lakers, ending months of speculation as to where the phenom might end up. James owns property in Los Angeles and is said to be interested in pursuing opportunities in the entertainment industry as well as continue his career in the NBA.
  3. formidable
    extremely impressive in strength or excellence
    Alongside the Paris Agreement, Finkbeiner’s campaign is a formidable defense of the planet. ( July 1, 2018)
    A young environmental ambassador whose organization planted its millionth tree when he was was just twelve years old has taken on the trillion tree challenge. Felix Finkbeiner's mission is to plant a trillion trees in the next 30 years to help combat climate change.
  4. acrimony
    a rough and bitter manner
    The letters, sent in June, are the latest sign of acrimony between Mr. Trump and American allies as he heads to a NATO summit meeting next week in Brussels that will be a closely watched test of the president’s commitment to the alliance. - The New York Times ( July 2, 2018)
    It was revealed this week that President Trump sent letters to several NATO allies in June. The letters were sharply critical of our allies for not spending enough money on their own defenses. The President has pledged to make our allies in NATO pay "their fair share." The President has hinted at removing American troops stationed around the world because he considers the expenditure unsustainable for the United States.
  5. ecstatic
    feeling great rapture or delight
    Kham Phromthep, whose 13-year-old son, Duangpetch Phromthep, was among the boys trapped in the cave, said he was ecstatic when he saw his son in the video. “I am very happy to see his face among the other faces,” he said. - The New York Times ( July 2, 2018)
    A soccer team of teen boys that had been missing for days in Thailand has been found alive in an underwater cave. Although the boys and their coach all seem to be in decent health, the hard work of getting them out of the cave is still ahead. The world will be closely watching this rescue effort, which may involve teaching the boys to use SCUBA equipment to escape from submerged tunnels.
  6. concession
    the act of yielding
    It took two tries, negotiations with six other parties, nearly six months and a lot of concessions to political rivals to form a government. - The New York Times ( July 2, 2018)
    Angela Merkel compromised on the issue of migrants in Europe this week so that she could stay in power as Chancellor of Germany. Merkel had been on the record as endorsing free passage through the boarders of European countries, but political pressure in Germany has forced her to accept the establishment of tent cities for migrants. This issue has been a major rallying cry for the far-right party in Germany, and Merkel had to agree with them for her fragile government coalition to hold.
  7. acquisition
    the act of contracting or assuming possession of something
    Getting into bikes might seem like a strange move for Lyft, but it follows in the footsteps of Uber's Jump acquisition earlier this year. - ( July 2, 2018)
    Lyft, the company that has helped revolutionize car service, has purchased a company that makes bicycles available in major cities, including New York's Citibikes. The company will now be re-branded Lyft Bikes. Lyft's major competition, Uber, purchased motorized bike company Jump earlier this year.
  8. respite
    a pause from doing something
    Soda companies got a respite last week from battling local taxes on sugary beverages, after California lawmakers grudgingly passed a 12-year ban on cities and counties imposing the levies. - The L.A. Times ( July 2, 2018)
    The war against soda and other sugary drinks is over for now — in California, anyway. The CA legislature had considered a huge tax on the beverages, but soda companies successfully lobbied against it, and now there is a twelve-year ban on passing such a tax.
  9. ignominious
    deserving or bringing disgrace or shame
    His exit, announced on Monday, marked an ignominious end to Mr. Ross’s 24-year run at ABC News, where he had been the face of the network’s on-air investigative arm and a regular contributor to coverage of wars, terrorism, politics and scandals du jour like the Bernard Madoff swindle. - The New York Times ( July 2, 2018)
    Brian Ross, an investigative journalist at ABC News, resigned this week after a scandal involving an inaccurate report about relations between President Trump and Russia that had sidelined Ross for months. The Emmy and Peabody Award-winning journalist apologized and retracted his incorrect story, but it was not enough to save his 24-year career.
  10. barrage
    the rapid and continuous delivery of communication
    Pruitt faces a barrage of ethics complaints and federal inquiries. - ( July 3, 2018)
    A woman confronted EPA director Scott Pruitt while he was dining in a restaurant this week. The woman consulted notes as she chastised Pruitt for his numerous questionable practices and associations. The woman also had her child with her, and begged Pruitt to do a good job at the Environmental Protection Agency for the sake of future generations. This public confrontation comes after Press Secretary Sarah Sanders was asked to leave a Virginia restaurant because of her political affiliations.

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