This Week in Words: August 6 - 10, 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. abode
    any address at which you dwell more than temporarily
    The two-story house was used for outdoor representations of the beloved television family’s abode. - L.A. Times (Aug.7, 2018)
    The house used as the home of The Brady Bunch in the classic sitcom that aired from 1969-1974 was sold this week to the corporation that owns home improvement network HGTV. There was a bit of a bidding war for the house, with former *NSYNC member Lance Bass also hoping to buy the house. In the end though, the network was victorious. HGTV announced plans to build a show around the remodeling of the pop culture icon.
  2. awestruck
    having a feeling of mixed reverence and wonder and dread
    The compassionate stranger paid for all $375 of her groceries before making sure that she was okay and asking if she needed anything else. Awestruck, she tearfully said that she wanted to be like him when she grew up. - ( Aug. 7, 2018)
    Chris “Ludacris” Bridges paid for a woman’s entire grocery bill at a Whole Foods this week. The lucky woman didn’t recognize the rapper at first, but after the random act of kindness occurred, Whole Foods staffers told the woman who this generous stranger was. It’s nice when you hear about celebrities doing pleasant things for regular people, and picking up a hefty Whole Foods tab is especially kind.
  3. behest
    an authoritative command or request
    Mr. Gates admitted that at Mr. Manafort’s behest, they later created a loan agreement for Mr. Lyovochkin’s payment, though no loan existed. - The New York Times (Aug. 7, 2018)
    The trial of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort continued this week. Manafort's former confidante Rick Gates testified that he helped hide the defendant's revenue to avoid paying taxes. This trial is a direct result of a special investigation into Russian meddling in the last presidential election, although these charges do not implicate the president in any wrong-doing.
  4. carcinogen
    any substance that produces cancer
    "There is no reason to be exposing kids to a known carcinogen, especially in crayons," said Kara Cook-Schultz, toxics director for U.S. PIRG. - The Chicago Tribune (Aug. 7, 2018)
    An environmental group is claiming that a discount brand of crayon contains asbestos, the well-known cancer-causing chemical. More tests have to be run to confirm the presence of asbestos, but in the meantime the U.S. Public Interest Research Group is pressuring merchants and to remove these particular crayons from their stores.
  5. detrimental
    causing harm or injury
    Instead, the Products contain the unnatural chemical glyphosate, a potent biocide and endocrine disruptor, with detrimental health effects that are still becoming known.” - (Aug. 7, 2018)
    Crayons weren’t the only thing alleged to contain dangerous chemicals this week. Rachael Ray is being sued by people who claim that there is a harmful chemical in her brand of dog food, which is marketed as all-natural. The maker of the dog food was just acquired by another company, but it is unclear if manufacturing practices have changed because of this acquisition. Rachael Ray is standing by her product, insisting that it is what she feeds her own dog.
  6. forthright
    directly and without evasion; not roundabout
    But the tweet also served as an admission that the Trump team had not been forthright when Donald Trump Jr. issued a statement in July 2017 saying that the meeting had been primarily about the adoption of Russian children. - The New York Times (Aug. 5, 2018)
    Donald Trump said in a tweet that a meeting that took during place during his presidential campaign, which was attended by his son Don Jr. and Russian representatives, was about getting “dirt” on Hillary Clinton. The president's team had previously claimed that the meeting was about helping Russian orphans. Mr. Trump did not attend the meeting, and maintains that he did not know about it at the time it occurred.
  7. gregarious
    temperamentally seeking and enjoying the company of others
    Charlotte Rae, a gregarious actress with a prodigious career on stage, screen and TV, died Sunday at the age of 92, her son Larry Strauss said. - (Aug. 6, 2018)
    Charlotte Rae, best known for playing Mrs. Garrett on beloved '80s sitcoms Different Strokes and The Facts of Life, died this week at the age of 92. Rae’s most famous character was a flighty woman with a heart of gold who was a fountain of sage advice to her young charges.
  8. makeshift
    done or made using whatever is available
    Many residents found their houses reduced to rubble after the magnitude 7.0 temblor on Sunday along the island’s northern coast, forcing them to erect makeshift tents in their own yards, said Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, a spokesman for Indonesia’s National Disaster Management Agency. - The New York Times (Aug. 6, 2018)
    A massive earthquake measuring 7.0 on the Richter Scale hit the island nation of Indonesia this week. The rising death toll has counted more than 250 people, and more than 20,000 others are homeless because of the damage.
  9. malign
    evil or harmful in nature or influence
    "As we continue applying maximum economic pressure on the Iranian regime, I remain open to reaching a more comprehensive deal that addresses the full range of the regime’s malign activities, including its ballistic missile program and its support for terrorism," Trump said in a written statement. - USA Today (Aug. 6, 2018)
    This week the Trump administration put sanctions against Iran back into effect, which were suspended after the president pulled the U.S. out of the nuclear deal that President Obama had negotiated with Iran. These sanctions are designed to punish Iran and any country that trades with them. It is hoped that the sanctions will force Iran to the negotiating table and pressure them to give up their nuclear ambitions.
  10. privation
    a state of extreme poverty
    Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro has many enemies, not least millions of Venezuelans who have endured the privation and brutality of his socialist rule. - The Wall Street Journal (Aug. 5, 2018)
    A drone filled with explosives blew up near Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro this week, in what appears to have been an assassination attempt. Several people were injured in the blast, but Maduro himself was not hurt. Critics of Maduro, who is known for brutal retaliation against his enemies, suggest he may have staged the drone attack as a way to solidify his power.

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