in ,

Word of the Week: Pupa, Pusillanimous and Irregardless

Language is a living thing. No matter how many times we say it, it never gets any less true—language does resemble a living thing. It grows and changes, adapting to new circumstances, new words, new ways to use old words, and new combinations of letters and meaning. 

Word of the Week: Pupa

How to say it: 

pu·​pa | \ ˈpyü-pə  \

What it means:

An insect in the nonfeeding stage between the larva and adult, during which it typically undergoes complete transformation within a protective cocoon or hardened case. Only insects that undergo complete metamorphosis have pupal stages.

Examples of Pupa in a Sentence

At this time of year, a pupa in the soil is likely to be the winter cutworm,

The insect’s larvae feed on the upper part of the plant’s root for about two months before going into the pupa stage inside the plant.

Synonyms & Near Synonyms for Pupa

larva, naiad, nymph

Word of the Week: Pusillanimous

How to say it: 

pu·​sil·​lan·​i·​mous | \ ˌpyü-sə-ˈla-nə-məs

What it means: 

adjective | lacking courage or resolution; cowardly;

faint-hearted; timid. proceeding from or indicating a cowardly spirit.

Examples of Pusillanimous in a Sentence

Some advised the king to leave the field; but that prince rejected such pusillanimous counsel.

That attack lead the MIT-trained physicist to hit back at his “pusillanimous” president.

Due to the urgency of the cellphone addiction crisis, it would be pusillanimous not to borrow the lessons learned.

Synonyms & Near Synonyms for Pusillanimous

timorous, fearful, frightened.

Word of the Week: Irregardless

How to say it: 

ir·​re·​gard·​less | \ ˌir-i-ˈgärd-ləs

What it means: 

Irregardless is used in the same way you would use the word “regardless.” “Regardless” means “without regard,” because that’s what happens when you add the suffix -less to a word.

You might notice here that irregardless also has “regard” as its root word, and that it also contains the suffix -less. So, if there were any logic about irregardless, the prefix ir-, which has also been added to the root word, would have to bear no meaning. But it does, and that’s the problem with irregardless—it has two negations. The ir- prefix means “not,” and if you add it to a word that already means “without regard,” you get “not without regard.” This double negative is what makes irregardless a mess of a word, and an insult to the army of people who are passionate about English vocabulary. Many of them go so far as to assert that irregardless is not a real word.

Is irregardless a word?

Yes. It may not be a word that you like, or a word that you would use in a term paper, but irregardless certainly is a word. It has been in use for well over 200 years, employed by a large number of people across a wide geographic range and with a consistent meaning. That is why we, and well-nigh every other dictionary of modern English, define this word. Remember that a definition is not an endorsement of a word’s use.

Does irregardless mean the same thing as regardless?

Yes. We define irregardless as “regardless.” Many people find irregardless to be a nonsensical word, as the ir– prefix usually functions to indicate negation; however, in this case it appears to function as an intensifier. Similar ir– words, while rare, do exist in English, including irremediless (“remediless”), irresistless (“resistless”) and irrelentlessly (“relentlessly).

Examples of Irregardlessin a Sentence

Meanwhile, innocent, unmarried teenage boys who do seek consent can be penalized irregardless.

I told them that irregardless of what you read in books, they’s some members of the theatrical profession that occasionally visits the place where they sleep

Here Are The Best Looks From The Met Gala — And The Messages Behind Them

10 Things You Might Not Know About West Side Story