Word of The Day for Thursday, June 23, 2011


bo•va•ris•m (BOH-vuh-riz-uhm)  n

1. an exaggerated, especially glamorized, estimate of oneself; conceit
     esp : domination of one's general behavior by such an unreal conception of oneself that it results in dramatic personal conflict (as in tragedy), in markedly unusual behavior (as in paranoia), or in great achievement
2. an anxiety to escape from a social or sentimental condition judged to be unsatisfactory, sometimes by building a fictitious personality (psychology)

1900–05;  from French bovaryisme,  after Emma Bovary,  a character in Flaubert's novel Madame Bovary

Sentence Examples:
• Flaubert, on the other hand, is indicted for having created an inverted kind of bovarism, one in which emulation of his narrator leads to persistent refusal to give in to representation, while yielding to it by the very process of imitating his stance. Flaubertism is also a form of bovarism, one from which Carpentier seems incapable of escaping. - Poetics of the Americas: race, founding, and textuality, Bainard Cowan, Jefferson Humphries

• Whether the distinguished French philosopher still complacently accepts the permanence of war in human affairs, or whether he now suspects that his defence of war was a manifestation of that Bovarism he so luminously defined, there is no public evidence to show. - The philosophy of conflict: and other essays in war-time, Havelock Ellis

• With her unquenchable bovarism, Oriane needed to find a new role for me. ... She soon found it: I became for her 'mon juene ecrivain', her young writer, whose career she nursed. - Quicksands, Sybille Bedford

Sources: Dictionary.com, Merriam-Webster, Wiktionary

Word-E: A Word-A-Day

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