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Word of the Day : December 29, 2011

gloss

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verb GLAHSS

Definition

1 a : to provide a gloss for : explain, define

b : interpret

2 : to dispose of by false or perverse interpretation

Examples

Although not intended for the layperson, the text is relatively jargon-free and most of the technical vocabulary has been glossed.

"Even when Wotton’s footnotes correctly gloss Swift's material, they are inevitably usurped of their authority simply by being jumbled with the other signed and unsigned footnotes." -- From Christopher Flint’s 2011 book The Appearance of Print in Eighteenth-Century Fiction



Did You Know?

You may also know "gloss" as a noun meaning "shine" or as part of the phrase "gloss over," meaning "to treat or describe (something) as if it were not important," but those uses are unrelated to today's featured word. Today's verb comes from the noun that refers primarily to a brief explanation. It is Greek in origin, coming from "glōssa" or "glōtta," meaning "tongue" or "language" or "obscure word." "Glossary" is from this same root, as are two anatomical terms: "glottis" refers to the elongated space between the vocal cords and also to the structures that surround this space; "epiglottis" refers to the thin plate of flexible cartilage in front of the glottis that folds back over and protects the glottis during swallowing.



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