SET 34 – FIVE NEW WORDS FOR FEB 3

Theme: Words from fencing

1. foible

MEANING:
noun:
1. A minor weakness or an idiosyncrasy in someone’s character.
2. The weaker, upper part of a sword blade.

USAGE:
“Despite all our faults and foibles, human beings are apparently pretty good at sharing and cooperating.”

2. forte (fort, FOHR-tay)

MEANING:
noun:
1. A strong point: something in which a person excels.
2. The stronger, lower part of a sword blade.

Used in music direction (FOHR-tay)
adjective: 3. Loud.
adverb: 4. In a forceful manner.

USAGE:
“Peter Mandelson made blunders in the very dark arts that were supposed to be his forte.”

3. elan (ay-LAHN*)
*this syllable is nasal in French

MEANING:
noun: A combination of energy, enthusiasm, and style.

USAGE:
“‘Margaret Whitlam was seldom afraid to speak her mind and she spoke it with elan and wit,’ John Robertson said.”

4. riposte or ripost (ri-POST)

MEANING:
noun: 1. A quick, clever reply. 2. In fencing, a quick return thrust.
verb tr.: To make a quick, clever reply.
verb intr.: In fencing, to make a quick return thrust.

USAGE:
“Asked about the situation, Rodriguez delivered a particularly pointed riposte that embodied his mature response to the entire situation.”

5. touché (too-SHAY)

MEANING:
interjection:
1. Used as an acknowledgment of a valid or clever point made by another.
2. In fencing, an acknowledgment of a hit by an opponent.

USAGE:
“A New Jersey teacher wrote: ‘I am tired of people who have never taught a roomful of 34 high school students telling me I am doing it wrong.’ Touché.”

 

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