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May 23, 2013

Word of the Day

  • amalgamate
  • audio pronunciation
  • \uh-MAL-guh-mayt\
  • DEFINITION

verb

: to unite in or as if in a mixture of elements; especially : to merge into a single body
  • EXAMPLES

On her latest album, the artist has amalgamated several different styles of music.

"Sure enough, in 1999, Congress dutifully went along with Weill's push for repeal, and Wall Street promptly rushed to amalgamate more Citigroups, thus creating the 'too-big-to-fail' system that—only eight years later—did indeed fail." — From an article by Jim Hightower in the Illinois Times (Springfield, Illinois), August 9, 2012

  • DID YOU KNOW?

The noun "amalgam" derives by way of Middle French from Medieval Latin "amalgama." It was first used in the 15th century with the meaning "a mixture of mercury and another metal." (Today, you are likely to encounter this sense in the field of dentistry; amalgams can be used for filling holes in teeth.) Over time, use of "amalgam" broadened to include any mixture of elements.and by the 18th century the word was also being applied figuratively, as in "an amalgam of citizens." The verb "amalgamate" has been in use since at least 1617. It too can be used either technically, implying the creation of an alloy of mercury, or more generally for the formation of any compound or combined entity.

Test Your Vocabulary: What is the meaning of " mélange"? The answer is …

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