This Week in Words: June 22–28, 2019

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.
definitions & notes only words
  1. clamor
    utter or proclaim insistently and noisily
    A top U.S. border-enforcement official resigned amid growing clamor about the treatment of migrant children in U.S. custody, while the House approved billions of dollars in funding to address the surge of Central American families seeking asylum at the southwest border.
    - The Wall Street Journal (June 25, 2019)
    Acting Head of U.S. Customs and Border Protection John Sanders resigned this week amid scandalous revelations of poor treatment of migrant children at the detention facilities where they are held while their immigration cases are processed. The outcry, or clamor, from citizens, lawmakers, and the media led to the closure of one detention center in Texas, which was later reopened. Congress also approved a bill providing humanitarian aid to the southern U.S. border.
  2. inflammatory
    characterized by a swelling of body tissues
    Research funded by the French government has shown that lycopene, the substance which gives tomatoes their red color, fights the inflammatory process that causes the condition.
    - Good News Network (June 25, 2019)
    A chemical derived from tomato skin has been shown in laboratory tests to fight inflammation in the human body. Scientists are now hopeful that they can use this substance into a treatment for insulin resistance, the underlying cause of diabetes. More than 100 million Americans have diabetes or a pre-diabetes condition, so any new, effective treatment would be a great discovery.
  3. intransigence
    stubborn refusal to compromise or change
    That intransigence has prompted growing calls for an impeachment inquiry on Capitol Hill, but has also slowly lost the attention of the wider public.
    - The New York Times (June 25, 2019)
    Former Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller will testify before the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees about his report on Russian interference in the 2016 election. Members of both political parties are anxious to hear what Mueller has to say. Republicans hope to discredit him, and Democrats will try to get Mueller to highlight what they consider to be the President's potentially impeachable offenses. Intransigence is the quality of being inflexibly uncooperative.
  4. lament
    regret strongly
    Ms. Klobuchar has also been critical of the [Iran nuclear] deal. She called it “imperfect but it was a good deal for that moment.” She lamented that under Mr. Trump, the country is “one tweet away from going to war.”
    - The New York Times (June 26, 2019)
    Debates were held this week to showcase twenty candidates for the Democratic nomination in the 2020 presidential election. In a crowded field it is crucial to stand out and some candidates, like Beto O'Rourke and Cory Booker, tried to distinguish themselves by speaking a little Spanish. Others, like Amy Klobuchar, attacked President Trump. To lament is to bemoan or denounce.
  5. novel
    original and of a kind not seen before
    “We believed that motivational music would help people enjoy the exercise more, but we were surprised about the elevated heart rate. That was a novel finding.”
    - Good News Network (June 24, 2019)
    A new Canadian study finds that listening to music while exercising is not only more fun, it also may end up making your workout more effective. Getting your heart rate up is an important part of exercise, and this research concluded that heart rate tends to increase when you’re listening to an upbeat, motivational song. Something novel is new, fresh and different.
  6. provisionally
    temporarily and conditionally
    IOC members formally endorsed requests from Paris officials in February and their own executive board in March to provisionally add breakdancing to the program.
    - USA Today (June 26, 2019)
    Get out your unfolded cardboard box and start practicing your pop n’ lock moves, because breakdancing is on the verge of becoming an Olympic event. The International Olympic Committee has approved a plan to test out breakdancing for possible inclusion in a future Olympic games. Breakdancing was an event at the Buenos Aires Youth Summer Games this year.
  7. stipulation
    a restriction insisted upon as a condition for an agreement
    The auctioneers said the painting will leave French soil but will soon be on display in an unnamed "great museum", which was a stipulation of the seller -- that the public should continue to be able to see it.
    - Reuters (June 25, 2019)
    Five years ago, a French family went to inspect a leak in their attic. They found the source of the water, plus a lost masterpiece by Italian painter Caravaggio. The painting, which dates from 1607, was sold this week to a private buyer who had to promise that it would be on display in a museum for the public to enjoy. The price was not disclosed, but the painting was expected to fetch as much as $170 million had it gone up for auction.
  8. supersede
    take the place or move into the position of
    White House national security adviser John Bolton...called on Iran to negotiate a new, broader agreement to supersede the 2015 nuclear deal, which the Trump administration withdrew from in May 2018 and imposed a crippling round of sanctions on Iranian industries and organizations.
    - The Wall Street Journal (June 25, 2019)
    Last week, President Trump cancelled a planned retaliatory strike that was intended to respond to Iran's downing of an unmanned U.S. drone. This week, the President enacted sanctions against Iran and engaged in a war of words with Iranian officials. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani called the sanctions "outrageous and stupid," and President Trump responded by threatening to use force. When something supersedes something else, it replaces it.
  9. terse
    brief and to the point
    A spokeswoman for Melania Trump known for issuing terse but pointed public comments will take over as White House press secretary, the First Lady announced Tuesday.
    - Time (June 25, 2019)
    First Lady Melania Trump announced that Stephanie Grisham, her Deputy Chief of Staff and Communications Director, will become the new White House Press Secretary. She replaces Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who resigned from the position in order to run for governor in Arkansas. Grisham is known for several cutting remarks she made in defense of Mrs. Trump. Terse statements are short and to the point.
  10. transparency
    the quality of being clear
    McDonald's made the change to appeal to consumers' growing interest in ingredient transparency.
    - CNN (June 24, 2019)
    McDonald’s used to ship frozen burgers to their locations, but this year, they switched to fresh, refrigerated meat. In this case, transparency has to do with how McDonald’s made their ingredients and cooking methods clear to consumers. Customers seem to be happy with the change, because there’s been a 30% jump in the sales of the new, unfrozen Quarter Pounders.

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.