Word of The Day for Wednesday, December 1, 2010


im•pre•ca•tion (im-pri-KEY-shuhn)  n

1. a curse; malediction; a prayer that a curse or calamity may befall someone
2. the act of cursing, invoking evil upon any one

imprecated past participle; imprecated past tense; imprecating present participle; imprecates 3rd person singular present; imprecate verb; imprecatory adjective; imprecatorily adverb

1575–85; from L. imprecationem (nom. imprecatio), from imprecatus, pp. of imprecari "invoke, pray," from in- "within" + precari "to pray, ask, beg, request"

Synonyms: curse, malediction
Related Words: deprecation (from de- "away" + precari "pray"); prayer (from precari "pray")

Sentence Examples:
• Not since the labour of men’s hands began have they ceased to furrow it with menace and sow it with imprecation, cursing while their very corn ripens under midsummer skies, cursing as they gather in their store of wine and victual. -A Cursory History of Swearing, Julian Sharman

• The young man called Bertie dashed forward, and barely succeeded in snatching the child from under the wheel. A scramble of horses' feet, an imprecation or two shouted by the irritated driver, a noisy declaration from the "fare" that he should lose his train, and the scuffle was over. -A Crooked Path, Mrs. Alexander

• An implacable melancholy, a ghastly fatality, overshadows the artist's work. It resembles a bitter imprecation upon the fate of mankind. -The Devil's Pool, George Sand

The Storyline
But she forgave his imprecations with a gentler prayer of her own.

Sources: Dictionary.com, Wordnik, Online Etymology

Word-E: A Word-A-Day

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