Word of the Day

Monday, April 24, 2006


\ree-BAR-buh-tiv\ , adjective;
Serving or tending to irritate or repel.
Over the past couple of hours a lot of rebarbative, ulcerated and embittered people had been working hard at bedding their resentments down in sensory-deprivation tanks full of alcohol.
-- Will Self, The Sweet Smell of Psychosis
I still think this true, yet can't help regret the unretrievable hours lavished on so much rebarbative critical prose, convinced that the nearly impenetrable must be profound.
-- Michael Dirda, "In which our intrepid columnist visits the Modern Language Association convention and reflects on what he found there", Washington Post, January 28, 2001
Rebarbative comes from French rébarbatif, "stern, surly, grim, forbidding," from Middle French rebarber, "to be repellent," from re- (from the Latin) + barbe, "beard" (from Latin barba).
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