Word of the Day

Sunday, February 24, 2008


\ih-RUHPT\ , intransitive verb;
To burst in forcibly or suddenly; to intrude.
(Ecology) To increase rapidly in number.
Furthermore, and most decisively, the 1848 revolutions had shown how the masses could irrupt into the closed circle of their rulers, and the progress of industrial society itself made their pressure constantly greater even in non-revolutionary periods.
-- Eric J. Hobsbawm, The Age of Capital: 1848-1875
What happens in these flashes of inspiration is a kind of transcendence in science in which a new concept, something that has never been dreamt or thought of before, irrupts into the scientist's imagination.
-- Roy Bhaskar, Reflections on Meta-Reality
What sounds are these that sting as they caress, that irrupt into my soul and twine about my heart?
-- Nikolai Gogol, Dead Souls
Archetypes are primordial forces, hidden within the collective unconscious, which normally lie dormant and unnoticed but which can suddenly irrupt into the conscious mind and produce the most unexpected results.
-- Dewi Rees, Death and Bereavement
But unlike the populations of some of their more famous relatives (more famous to ecologists, at least), whose population fluctuations follow a regular, three-year cycle, some meadow vole populations irrupt sporadically and others almost always stay high or low.
-- Richard S. Ostfeld, "Little loggers make a big difference", Natural History, May 2002
Irrupt is derived from the past participle of Latin irrumpere, from ir-, in-, "in" + rumpere, "to break."
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