Word of the DayTuesday, August 21, 2001
\im-prih-KAY-shuhn\ , noun;
The act of imprecating, or invoking evil upon someone.
After a while, he stopped hurling imprecations . . . and, as he often did after such an outburst, became quite remorseful.
-- Wayne Johnston, The Colony of Unrequited Dreams
Would he criticize an erring colleague? "I shall," Dirksen would promise, in a voice like the finest whiskey aged in fog, "invoke upon him every condign imprecation."
-- Lance Morrow, "We Lose a Great Speaker, We Gain a Great Book", Time, May 24, 2000
Imprecation derives from Latin imprecatio, from imprecari, "to invoke harm upon, to pray against," from in- + precari, "to pray."
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