Word of the Day : November 25, 2015

dyed-in-the-wool

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adjective dyde-in-thuh-WOOL

Definition

: thoroughgoing, uncompromising

Did You Know?

Early yarn makers would dye wool before spinning it into yarn to make the fibers retain their color longer. In 16th-century England, that make-it-last coloring practice provoked writers to draw a comparison between the dyeing of wool and the way children could, if taught early, be influenced in ways that would adhere throughout their lives. In the 19th-century U.S., the wool-dyeing practice put eloquent Federalist orator Daniel Webster in mind of a certain type of Democrat whose attitudes were as unyielding as the dye in unspun wool. Of course, Democrats were soon using the term against their opponents, too, but over time the partisanship of the expression faded and it is now a general term for anyone or anything that seems unlikely or unwilling to change.


Examples

"In public, Hunter [S. Thompson] was never his true self; he was playing Brando-gone-mad, a true, dyed-in-the-wool, 100 percent all-American showman." — Douglas Brinkley, Rolling Stone, 24 Mar. 2005

"But let's be realistic. Dyed-in-the-wool [White] Sox fans can't possibly be thrilled beyond measure for the good fortune of their rivals [the Cubs]. It goes against the competition tradition." — Martha F. Grieashamer, letter in The Chicago Tribune, 15 Oct. 2015



Name That Synonym

Fill in the blanks to create a synonym of dyed-in-the-wool: b _ _ d-in-the-b _ _ e.

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