Word of the Day

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

amalgam

\uh-MAL-guhm\ , noun;
1.
An alloy of mercury with another metal or metals; used especially (with silver) as a dental filling.
2.
A mixture or compound of different things.
Quotes:
In that year, Zola struck back at the novelist and critic Jules Barbey d'Aurevilly, that curious amalgam of religious conservative and blasphemous melodramatist -- Zola called him a"hysterical Catholic" -- whom he had long detested for his superior bearing and his unfortunate sallies against writers Zola admired.
-- Gary B. Nash, History on Trial
The so-called "protest" literature of the thirties was often an amalgam of the private rebellion of youth with social revolt.
-- Nona Balakian, The World of William Saroyan
The governing body of college athletics is gradually extruding a regulatory text that reads like some crazed amalgam of the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus and the Uniform Commercial Code.
-- Paul F. Campos, Jurismania
Her vocabulary was an amalgam of slang, especially the show-business jargon of Broadway and Tin Pan Alley, and a requisite amount of cultivated English.
-- James A. Drake, Rosa Ponselle: A Centenary Biography
Origin:
Amalgam comes from Old French amalgame, from Medieval Latin amalgama, probably from Greek malagma, "emollient," from malassein, "to soften," from malakos, "soft."
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