Words of the Week
December 2006
The Spirit of Giving

December 1 (Friday)
altruism noun
(AL troo iz um)
Definition: selflessness; generosity; devotion to the interest of others
Sentence: The private foundation depended on the altruism of the extremely rich old man. When he decided to start spending his money on trips around the world instead, the foundation went out of business.

December 4 (Monday)
conciliatory adjective
(kun SIL ee uh tor ee)
Definition: making peace; attempting to resolve a dispute through goodwill
Sentence: The formerly warring countries were conciliatory at the treaty conference.

December 6 (Wednesday)
largess (can also be spelled largesse) noun
(lahr JES)
Definition: generous giving of gifts (or the gifts themselves); generosity; philanthropy
Sentence: Sam was marginally literate at best. Only the largess of his uncle got Sam into Princeton.

December 8 (Friday)
martyr noun
(MAHR tur)
Definition: someone who gives up his or her life in pursuit of a cause, especially a religious one; one who suffers for a cause.
Sentence: Jacob is a martyr to his job; he would stay at his desk twenty-four hours a day if his wife and the custodian would let him.

December 12 (Tuesday)
philanthropy noun
(fi LAN thruh pee)
Definition: love of mankind, especially by doing good deeds
Sentence: Her gift of one billion dollars to the local orphanage was the finest act of philanthropy I’ve ever seen.

December 14 (Thursday)
profuse adjective
Definition: Given in large amounts; handed out freely, with little reservation
Sentence: The paper was so profuse in it compliments of even mediocre achievements that praise from the editors didn’t mean much.

December 18 (Monday)
serendipity noun
(ser un DIP uh tee)
Definition: accidental good fortune; discovering good things without looking for them Sentence: It was serendipity rather than genius that led the archaeologist to her breathtaking discovery of the ancient civilization. While walking her dog in the desert, she tripped over the top of a buried tomb.

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