Trend Watch



Lookups spiked on October 23, 2013.


A member of President Obama's national security staff was fired when he was revealed to be the person behind a Twitter account that frequently attacked the administration's policies and people.

According to one of his widely reported tweets, "I'm a fan of Obama, but his continuing reliance upon a vacuous cipher like Valerie Jarrett concerns me."

Vacuous means "marked by lack of ideas or intelligence" or "stupid, inane." It comes from the Latin word that means "empty" (which is also the root of the word vacuum).

How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears