Word of The Day for Wednesday, December 8, 2010


lu•cu•bra•tion (loo-kyoo-BREY-shuhn)  n

1. laborious work, study, thought, etc., esp. at night
2. the result of such activity, as a learned speech or dissertation
3. any literary effort, esp. of a pretentious or solemn nature (often in the plural: lucubrations)
4. to write in a scholarly fashion; produce scholarship

lucubrate verb

1595; from L. lucubrationem (nom. lucubratio) "nocturnal study, night work," from lucubratus, pp. of lucubrare, lit. "to work by artificial light," from stem of lucere "to shine"

Related Words: from lucere: lucent, lucid, luminary, luster

Sentence Examples:
• "It has, among other unusualities, (I hope you like the gentleness of the word!) those dashes which—You ought to have learned by this time that They don't like to read over dashes."
"Why not?" asked I, again. "I like them. And, they are my own!"
"Well, you know a dash necessitates lucubration. It stands for something which you trust your reader to supply. That is unfair. If you are writing a book and receiving an honorarium for it, do not expect him to do it. It is a bit like eating. One does not go to a restaurant, and pay for his food, then cook it himself."
-The Way of the Gods, John Luther Long

• This man--why, he was clean to look at, his eyes were blue, with the tired look of scholarly lucubrations, and his skin had the normal pallor of sedentary existence. -Revolution and Other Essays, Jack London

• Verbosity --This is the power of writing two columns in answer to a three-line paragraph--of twisting, turning, transmogrifying, dissecting, kicking, cuffing, illustrating, turning inside out, and outside in again the aforesaid paragraph. The real master of this art will show his skill by the great number of times in which he will manage to say "We" in the course of his lucubration. -Punchinelli

The Storyline
While once he had aspirations to write a history of the late middle ages, today his lucubrations produced an undifferentiated mix of fact and fiction that helped explain his intolerable circumstances.

Sources: Dictionary.com, Online Etymology

Word-E: A Word-A-Day

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