Word of the Day

Monday, April 12, 2010

neologism

\nee-OLL-uh-jiz-um\ , noun;
1.
A new word or expression.
2.
A new use of a word or expression.
3.
The use or creation of new words or expressions.
4.
(Psychiatry) An invented, meaningless word used by a person with a psychiatric disorder.
5.
(Theology) A new view or interpretation of a scripture.
Quotes:
The word "civilization" was just coming into use in the 18th century, in French and in English, and conservative men of letters preferred to avoid it as a newfangled neologism.
-- Larry Wolff, "If I Were Younger I Would Make Myself Russian': Voltaire's Encounter With the Czars", New York Times, November 13, 1994
If the work is really a holding operation, this will show in a closed or flat quality in the prose and in the scheme of the thing, a logiclessness, if you will pardon the neologism, in the writing.
-- Harold Brodkey, "Reading, the Most Dangerous Game", New York Times, November 24, 1985
The word popularizing was a relative neologism (the Review boasted five years later, "Why should we be afraid of introducing new words into the language which it is our mission to spread over a new world?").
-- Edward L. Widmer, Young America
Origin:
The French word neologisme, from which the English is borrowed, is made up of the elements neo-, "new" + log-, "word" + -isme, -ism (all of which are derived from Greek).
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