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Ignominious

When:

Lookups spiked on July 28, 2011, the day after Jeopardy's Alex Trebek was awakened at night by a thief in his room and chased after him.

Why:

Despite his effort, Mr. Trebek did not catch the intruder. Instead, he ruptured his Achilles tendon, which caused him – in his widely reported account – to fall "in an ignominious heap on the carpeting."

Used here, ignominious means "humiliating." It can also mean "dishonorable" or "despicable." It comes from the Latin word that literally meant "no esteem or reputation."

The thief was later arrested.

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February 27, 2015
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