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Word of the Day



Ballast Der Republik: (noun) Someone who shirks duty.
Synonyms:nonattender, no-show
Usage:As the two truants rolled up the avenue ... the sense of duties neglected added zest to their holiday. Discuss. Play

Daily Grammar Lesson


Adjective Phrases

An adjective phrase is an adjective and any additional information linked to it that work together to describe a noun or pronoun in a sentence. How does an adjective phrase differ from an adjectival phrase? More... Discuss

Article of the Day


The Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes

The Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes is a volcanic region in Alaska's Katmai National Park that was formed when the Novarupta volcano erupted in 1912. All plant and animal life in the remote region was destroyed by the eruption, which was the largest of the 20th century by volume. Ash and rock fragments filled a valley adjacent to the volcano, and hot gases were emitted through countless cracks in the surface, giving the area its nickname. Does smoke still escape from the cracks today? More... Discuss

This Day in History


UN General Assembly Adopts Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (2007)

Over two decades in the making, the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples was finally adopted in 2007 despite opposition from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the US. The non-binding declaration prohibits discrimination against the world's estimated 370 million indigenous people and outlines their rights, among them the rights to culture, identity, language, employment, and education. What were some of the key issues that delayed the drafting and adoption of the declaration? More... Discuss

Today's Birthday


Sherwood Anderson (1876)

After serving briefly in the Spanish-American War, Anderson became a successful advertising man and then manager of a paint factory before suffering a nervous breakdown. Dissatisfied with his life, he abandoned both his family and his job to devote himself to writing. His best-known work is the short story collection Winesburg, Ohio, and his prose style, based on everyday speech, influenced writers Ernest Hemingway and William Faulkner. He died after accidentally swallowing what object? More... Discuss

Quotation of the Day

In our nature, however, there is a provision, alike marvelous and merciful, that the sufferer should never know the intensity of what he endures by its present torture, but chiefly by the pang that rankles after it.

Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864) Discuss


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The Free Dictionary Blog

The origins of tea and coffee names.

Ready for some black dragon tea?
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Grammar Quiz

Which of the following sentences uses a subject complement?

Spelling Bee

Difficulty level:
n. something immaterial that interferes with or delays action or progress
Spell the word:

Match Up

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Match each word in the left column with its synonym on the right. When finished, click Answer to see the results. Good luck!



Today's Holiday


Pendleton Round-Up and Happy Canyon Night Show

The Pendleton Round-Up is one of the best-known rodeos in the West, held since 1910 in the small ranch town of Pendleton, Oregon. Happy Canyon was inaugurated four years later and evolved into the present-day Happy Canyon Pageant, a presentation by Northwest Indian tribes that features a teepee encampment and ceremonial dancing. In between, the rodeo features the standard competitions—bronco riding, bull riding, steer wrestling, and calf and steer roping. Additionally, there are wild horse and stagecoach races and wild-cow milking. More... Discuss


Idiom of the Day

make a mark

To do something that makes one famous or successful; to do something that is very important or meaningful. More... Discuss