This Week in Words: January 26 - February 1, 2019

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

Activities for this list:

definitions & notes only words
  1. aplomb
    great coolness and composure under strain
    Naomi Osaka followed up her US Open triumph with aplomb in Melbourne, outlasting two-time Wimbledon winner Petra Kvitova to win her second Grand Slam title and the battle for World No.1 at the Australian Open.
    - WTA Tennis (Jan 26, 2019)
    Naomi Osaka beat Petra Kvitova to win the Australia Open tennis tournament. Osaka also won the U.S. Open in September, making her the first female player to win back-to-back majors since Serena Williams in 2001.
  2. appropriate
    give or assign a resource to a particular person or cause
    “That would be wonderful” if the president would stay out of the discussions, Ms. Lowey said. “I’d love it if Republican appropriators and Democratic appropriators could get together with all the facts and work out all the details.”
    - The Wall Street Journal (Jan 30, 2019)
    Now that the federal government is open, a Congressional committee has been assembled to settle the issues that led to the shutdown in the first place. Primary among these is, of course, border security. Appropriate has several meanings, and when it's used in this form it describes the people responsible for deciding where the money goes.
  3. flagrant
    conspicuously and outrageously bad or reprehensible
    Democrats say the deployments — especially the ones just before the midterms — were flagrantly political.
    - The New York Times (Jan 29, 2019)
    Speaking of border security, the Pentagon announced this week that at least 2,000 more troops will be sent to the U.S. - Mexico border, bringing the total number to just under 4,500. According to reports, the reason for the military presence is to conduct surveillance and to install more wire to discourage illegal border crossings. President Trump calls the border situation a national emergency, while Democrats accuse him of flagrantly exaggerating the problem.
  4. forlorn
    marked by or showing hopelessness
    When Ruby Kate was visiting one of these nursing homes over the weekend, she noticed one of the residents gazing forlornly out the window.
    - Good News Network (Jan 27, 2019)
    An eleven-year-old Arkansas girl is helping local seniors. Many elderly nursing home residents live on fixed incomes, and if they can no longer afford to care for their pets they may be forced to give their companion animals away. That's why Ruby Kate started the Three Wishes Project. So far, the young girl has raised $26,000 to help seniors pay for various things, like pet care and transportation.
  5. glitch
    a fault or defect in a computer program, system, or machine
    The glitch impacts iPhones and iPads running iOS 12.1, and Apple PCs running macOS Mojave with the newly added Group FaceTime feature.
    - CNN (Jan 28, 2019)
    In case you haven't heard, there's a problem with Apple’s FaceTime. Essentially, it allows callers to spy on people. To make matters worse, it was revealed that Apple knew about the glitch for a week without telling the public, but now the tech giant is warning users to disable the Group FaceTime feature while they work on a fix.
  6. inextricably
    in a manner incapable of being disentangled or untied
    Even though Mr. Schultz is no longer running Starbucks, the company is inextricably linked with him since he was the brand’s public face and leader for three decades, corporate branding experts say.
    - The Wall Street Journal (Jan 30, 2019)
    Former Starbucks C.E.O. Howard Schultz is considering mounting a campaign as an independent candidate for President. Democrats are nervous that Schultz would effectively re-elect president Trump by splitting the vote, meaning a large portion of people would cast their ballot for a third candidate instead of for the Democratic nominee.
  7. novel
    original and of a kind not seen before
    The antenna is then connected to a novel device made out of a two-dimensional semiconductor just a few atoms thick.
    - Good News Network (Jan 29, 2019)
    Scientists at M.I.T. are working on a device that converts the energy expended by wifi networks into energy that could power your electronic devices. The process involves changing AC electromagnetic waves into DC electricity. Since wifi networks are just about everywhere, if this technology works, you'd never have to worry about charging your phone again. Here, the word novel means one-of-a-kind and innovative.
  8. perpetrator
    someone who commits wrongdoing
    We send our love to Jussie, who is resilient and strong, and we will work with law enforcement to bring these perpetrators to justice.
    - Entertainment Weekly (Jan 29, 2019)
    Jussie Smollett, an actor who stars on the TV show Empire was attacked in Chicago this week. Police are investigating the attack as a hate crime.
  9. precipitous
    done with very great haste and without due deliberation
    The growing discontent among Republican national security hawks was most evident on Tuesday when Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader and perhaps Mr. Trump’s most important partner in Congress, effectively rebuked the president by introducing a measure denouncing “a precipitous withdrawal” of American troops from Syria and Afghanistan.
    - The New York Times (Jan 29, 2019)
    Supporters of the President are worried that Republican officials may be turning on him. Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, C.I.A. Director Gina Haspel, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell all strongly contradicted the President's assessment of global threats, and criticized his recent drawdown of troops in Syria and Afghanistan. The President, in turn, suggested that these top officials are "naive."
  10. vortex
    the shape of something rotating rapidly
    A historic and deadly cold snap, fueled by the polar vortex, gripped a wide swath of the nation Wednesday, with temperatures plunging far below zero and wind chill numbers as extraordinary as they are dangerous.
    - USA Today (Jan 30, 2019)
    On Wednesday, the thermometer read 21 degrees below zero in Chicago. With the wind chill, that felt like 51 degrees below zero. The extreme cold, which has affected a huge portion of the U.S., has led to businesses and schools being closed, and even the post office has stopped delivering mail in some areas. Several deaths have been attributed to the arctic blast, which is being caused by a weather phenomenon known as a polar vortex.

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