Word of the Day : November 25, 2013

dragon's teeth

noun DRAG-unz-TEETH


1 : seeds of strife

2 : wedge-shaped concrete antitank barriers laid in multiple rows

Did You Know?

In Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynne's child, Pearl, "never created a friend, but seemed always to be sowing broadcast the dragon's teeth, whence sprung a harvest of armed enemies, against whom she rushed to battle." In Hawthorne and elsewhere, "dragon's teeth" alludes to a story involving Cadmus, the legendary Phoenician hero reputed to have founded Thebes and invented the alphabet. The tale holds that Cadmus killed a dragon and planted its teeth in the ground. From the teeth sprang fierce armed men who battled one another until all were dead but five. These founded the noblest families of Thebes and helped build its citadel.


The political analyst insisted that the government's policy was misguided and would only sow dragon's teeth by increasing poverty and discontent.

"Assiduously sown by the Kremlin, the dragon's teeth of demagoguery, paranoia, xenophobia, anti-Westernism, intolerance, and obscurantism are bound to yield a toxic harvest when the regime falters or loses control outright." - From an article by Leon Aron, posted October 24, 2013 at american.com

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What former Word of the Day has 3 syllables, begins with "s," and means "a very small amount"? The answer is …


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