Word of The Day for Wednesday, April 20, 2011


vul•pine (VUHL-pahyn)  adj

1. of, resembling, or characteristic of a fox
2. cunning; clever

1620s, from L. vulpinus "of or pertaining to a fox," from vulpes, earlier volpes (gen. vulpis, volpis) "fox," of unknown origin

Synonyms: foxy

Sentence Examples:
• Any fool can point out errors and defects, if they are at all apparent, and the persistent searching them out for their own sake is the surest mark of the vulpine mind, but the author has east aside all such petty considerations and, whether consciously or not, has left a work of permanent value to his own people and of interest to all friends of humanity. - The Social Cancer, José  Rizal

• His feet are like great pads, and his track in the snow has little of the sharp, articulated expression of Reynard’s, or of animals that climb or dig. Yet it is very pretty, like all the rest, and tells its own tale. There is nothing bold or vicious or vulpine in it, and his timid, harmless character is published at every leap. - Squirrels and Other Fur-Bearers, John Burroughs

• In the year 1529 Francis Buonaparte, whether pressed by poverty or distracted by despair at the misfortunes which then overwhelmed Italy, migrated to Corsica. There the family was grafted upon a tougher branch of the Italian race. To the vulpine characteristics developed under the shadow of the Medici there were now added qualities of a more virile stamp. - The Life of Napoleon, John Holland Rose

Sources: Free Dictionary, Online Etymology

Word-E: A Word-A-Day

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