Word of The Day for Tuesday, November 2, 2010


mar•plot (MAHR-plot)  n

an officious meddler whose interference compromises the success of an undertaking

Sentence Examples:
• No rheumatic old hero-invalid, battered in long wars with the doctors,—no droll marplot of a boy, could appear within range, but I could see in the changeful expression of my companion the admeasurement and quiet adjustment of the appeal which either made upon his sympathy or his humor. -Dream Life, Donald Mitchell, 1876

• Her husband had regarded her as a drag upon him, and did not consider her removal an occasion for the display of hypocritical grief. Rather was it to be regarded as an act of timely intervention on the part of Death, who for once had not acted as marplot in human affairs. -The Moon Rock, Arthur J. Rees, 1922

• The prophet who is stoned is not a brawler or a marplot. He is simply a rejected lover. He suffers from an unrequited attachment to things in general. -The Defendant, GK Chesteron, 1901

The Storyline
Anna found her way to her favorite chair to regroup and reconsider and once again adumbrate a plan for her life. But she had a premonition that even her plan to plan to would be foiled by some marplot. And, right on cue, the phone rang.

1764: after Marplot, a character in The Busy Body, a play by Susannah Centlivre (1669-1723)

Sources: Free Dictionary

Why This Word:

In 1709, [Susanna Centlivre] had one of her greatest successes with The Busybody. The play ran for thirteen nights, which was a remarkable run for the time, and was revived the following season. In it, the character Marplot brings utter confusion to a series of couples who are attempting to woo. His well-intentioned efforts nearly derail all the romance. The play had over 450 performances by 1800, and went through 40 editions by 1884, and George I and George II both commanded performances be done.
The eponymous marplot is also something of a pun. Marplot mars the plots of the other characters of the play. Haven't we all met a marplot or two in our lives?

Word-E: A Word-A-Day

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