From our new word source, Vocabulary for College I by Paul B. Diederich and Sydell Terris Carlton, 1965.

The previous owner of the workbook composed his use-this-word-in-a-sentence assignment this way: “The Puritans viewed all who didn’t go to church as unregenerate.

Wicked, sinful, or unrepentant. Even after the chaplain’s frequent visits, the condemned man remained unregenerate.



From our new word source, Vocabulary for College I by Paul B. Diederich and Sydell Terris Carlton, 1965.

The previous owner of the workbook composed his use-this-word-in-a-sentence assignment this way: “His rapacity was matched only by his parsimony.

Excessive greed; or a disposition to seize and carry off.  The rapacity of the bandits was not satisfied until they took all we had.

Merriam Webster Online: “Rapacity–the quality of being rapacious”

: always wanting more money, possessions, etc. : wanting more than is needed or deserved — Merriam Webster Online

Collectible vs. Collectable

In short, one word means objects people collect while the other means objects that can be collected–and is a variant of the first word.

Collectible means objects people collect.  Comic books are collectibles. They are also collectable; able to be collected. Collectable is a variant of collectible, but some people still argue that it is properly used as defined above because some collectors collect things that have value only to them while a collectible has a monetary/market value.


The definition of collectible is able to be brought together into a series.
An example of collectible used as an adjective is the phrase collectible coins which means coins that people collect.

A collectible is defined as one of a group of objects that people collect.
An example of a collectible is the stuffed toy called a Beanie Baby.

Collectable–Variant of collectible.
that can be collected
suitable or desirable for collecting, as by a hobbyist

any of a class of old things, but not antiques, that people collect as a hobby, specif. a thing of no great intrinsic value


yourdictionary.com The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th edition Copyright © 2010 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Webster’s New World College Dictionary Copyright © 2010 by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Cleveland, Ohio. Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Enriched vs. Fortified

Back in the day, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) in America determined that since the populace was eating so much processed carbohydrates such as bread, pasta, cereals that those companies who produced these items must begin to add nutrients to them. There are two types of this process: enrich and fortify.

Determining the difference between these two terms isn’t always easy. The Academy of Nutrition and Diatetics explains it this way: “Both terms mean that nutrients have been added to make the food more nutritious. Enriched means nutrients that were lost during food processing have been added back. An example is adding back certain vitamins lost in processing wheat to make white flour. Fortified means vitamins or minerals have been added to a food that weren’t originally in the food. An example is adding vitamin D to milk.

Dictionaries have trouble with these terms.  Enrich and fortify are both VERBS, but enriched and fortified are ADJECTIVES as in fortified juice and enriched bread.

“To enrich is defined as to improve something or make something better.

When you go to college and learn a lot of new facts and information, this is an example of a situation where you enrich your mind.
When you add extra vitamins to orange juice, this is an example of a time when you enrich the juice with vitamins.
When your uncle leaves you $500, this is an example of a time when you enrich your available cash.”
YourDictionary definition and usage example. Copyright © 2013 by LoveToKnow Corp.

Fortify is defined as follows by Merriam-Webster.com:

: to make strong: as
a : to strengthen and secure (as a town) by forts or batteries
b : to give physical strength, courage, or endurance to <fortified by a hearty meal>
c : to add mental or moral strength to : encourage <fortified by prayer>
d : to add material to for strengthening or enriching <fortified milk>


Insular defined: ADJECTIVE

1. of or pertaining to an island or islands.
2. dwelling or situated on an island.
3. forming an island: insular rocks.
4. detached; isolated.
5. of or characteristic of islanders.
6. narrow-minded or illiberal; provincial: insular attitudes.
7. Pathol. characterized by isolated spots or patches.
8. Anat. of or pertaining to islands of tissue, as the islets of Langerhans.

The Free Dictionary.com/Random House Kernerman Webster’s College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


Nuance defined:

Challenge: Use "nuanced" in a sentence tomorrow. Share it here!
Challenge: Use “nuanced” in a sentence tomorrow. Share it here!

1. A subtle or slight degree of difference, as in meaning, feeling, or tone; a gradation.
2. Expression or appreciation of subtle shades of meaning, feeling, or tone: a rich artistic performance, full of nuance.–The Free Dictionary.com

Nuanced is an adjective describing something having these characteristics.

Ex Post Facto

Ex post facto means “after the fact.” A good example is someone trying to change the rules of a game after it’s already begun.

Challenge: Use "ex post facto" in a sentence tomorrow. Share it here!
Challenge: Use “ex post facto” in a sentence tomorrow. Share it here!

Ex post facto defined: “something that affects things that happened in the past. When a law changes the zoning rules and applies even to zoning decisions that were made in the past, it is an

example of an ex post facto change to the zoning laws.” ADJECTIVE–Your Dictionary.com Such a change is considered retroactive.

Origin of ex post facto
Late Latin, literally, from a thing done afterward.
First Known Use: 1621–Merriam Webster.com


Ancillary defined: (ADJECTIVE) subordinate or helping. An extra workbook and live recordings of chapter are examples of ancillary items to a textbook.The definition of ancillary means something that is helping or subordinate, but not as necessary. (NOUN) An example of ancillary is an overflow valve that is designed to take the pressure off of a main pumping system. —Your Dictionary.com

Exponential, Overspread, Veritable

I’m attempting to stick to good internet form here and combine the extra 3freewords into a single post; the better to not flood the inboxes of my loyal and tolerant followers. And there are two bonus words on the 3freewordsaday Facebook page instead of the usual one.

Exponential (ADJECTIVE)

Oft heard (and spoken) but rarely used literally, exponential is another word–like tangential–that has entered the mainstream voice from a mathematical field of study. Recall calculus from an earlier post.

Exponential defined: Relating to a mathematical expression containing one or more exponents.  Something is said to increase or decrease exponentially if its rate of change must be expressed using exponents. A graph of such a rate would appear not as a straight line, but as a curve that continually becomes steeper or shallower.–The Free Dictionary.com/The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

Exponential refers to a large number in smaller terms, or something that is increasing at a faster and faster rate.

An example of exponential is 25 being shown as 5×5. An example of exponential is the erosion that is happening on the Holderness coast in eastern England.–Your Dictionary.com

Overspread (NOUN)

  • <the butter should evenly overspread the baking pan>
  • <autumn leaves overspreading one another on the lawn to form a colorful mosaic>--Merriam-Webster.com

Veritable (ADJECTIVE)

1. (intensifier; usually qualifying a word used metaphorically) he’s a veritable swine!

2. Rare genuine or true; proper I require veritable proof


To go off on a tangent isn’t quite the same as the illustrations of Adult Attention Deficit Disorder on e-cards: I was just sitting there and suddenly…oh, look bacon! But to do so can make it difficult to get the train of though back on the track, as it were. It is an ADJECTIVE.

Tangential explained: “Touching lightly; incidental.

As far as Katherine was concerned, everything else was tangential to her own plans.

Someone who starts talking about one thing and gets sidetracked has gone off on a tangent. (In geometry, a tangent is a straight line that touches a curve at a single point.) The new subject is tangential to the first subject–it ‘touches’ it lightly and moves off in a different direction. A few of the people we meet truly enter out lives, but most acquaintances remain only tangential.”

–Merriam-Webster’s Vocabulary Builder, 1998


One doesn’t always remember where or when a vocabulary word creeps into one’s lexicon, but that event is indeed an auspicious occasion.

Auspicious defined: ADJECTIVE

1. promising success; propitious; opportune; favorable: an auspicious occasion.
2. favored by fortune; prosperous; fortunate.
The Free Dictionary.com/Random House Kernerman Webster’s College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


A big word that has a big yet simple meaning.

Ubiquitous defined: present, or seeming to be present, everywhere at the same time; omnipresent ADJECTIVE–Your Dictionary.com/Webster’s New World College Dictionary Copyright © 2010 by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Cleveland, Ohio. Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.



Abstruse means difficult to understand, especially in the experience of someone beginning the study of a new subject. Once you have this word, you have a great word to describe the writing, speech, behavior of something/someone that seems over your head. ADJECTIVE

Synonyms: profound, arcane, deep, esoteric, hermetic (also hermetical), recondite —Merriam-Webster.com



I put off posting this word as long as I could. It’s a good word to have in your word bank since you will run into such persons.

Pedantic defined:  ADJECTIVE

1. ostentatious in one’s learning.
2. overly concerned with minute details or formalisms, esp. in teaching.

The Free Dictionary.com/Random House Kernerman Webster’s College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


It is NOT commensurate to post a large number of words in one day after missing several days’ worth if your blog is called 3freewordsaday.

Commensurate defined:  equal or proportionate. An example of commensurate is the relationship between a GED and a high school diploma.  ADJECTIVE

  • equal in measure or size; coextensive
  • corresponding in extent or degree; proportionate
  • commensurable (sense )

Your Dictionary.com/Webster’s New World College Dictionary Copyright © 2010 by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Cleveland, Ohio.
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

New words – 7 October 2013

About Words - Cambridge Dictionaries Online blog

ag-gagadjectiveinformalrelating to the legal limiting of investigations into farming practices

Animal rights activists in the US have told the BBC that so-called ‘ag-gag’ laws could be copied in other countries including the UK.

[www.bbc.co.uk 13 April 2013]

brain fatiguenouna condition in which the brain is over-stimulated and a person cannot remain calm or focused

With brain fatigue, you are easily distracted, forgetful and mentally flighty — or, in other words, me.

[New york Times (US broadsheet) 02 April 2013]

cat beardingnounthe practice of taking photographs of people holding a cat to their faces so that the cat looks like a beard

Cat bearding is the latest viral photo trend to sweep the confused place we call the Internet.

[http://mashable.com 22 May 2013]

About new words

View original post

Synonyms: enormous, tremendous, huge

Enormous defined:  (comparative more enormous, superlative most enormous) ADJECTIVE

  1. (obsolete) Deviating from the norm; unusual, extraordinary.
  2. (obsolete) Exceedingly wicked; atrocious or outrageous.  
  3. Extremely large; greatly exceeding the common size, extent, etc.–Wiktionary.org

Tremendous defined:  something wonderful, or something large in size or scale. ADJECTIVE

An example of someone who would be described as a tremendous singer is a person who has just won an award for Singer of the Year.
An example of something that would be described as a tremendous mess is a gigantic mess.–Your Dictionary.com

Huge defined:  very large or extensive  ADJECTIVE

a : of great size or area
b : great in scale or degree <a huge deficit>
c : great in scope or character <a dancer of huge talent>–Merriam-Webster.com

Synonyms: correct, right, true

Correct defined:  something true, right or proper.  An example of correct used as an adjective is the phrase “correct procedure,” such as baking a cheese cake in a springform pan is the correct procedure.  ADJECTIVE–Your Dictionary.com

It wasn’t until the televised O.J. Simpson trial that I heard the word correct used as affirmative.  If someone asks you a question, how do you answer them in the affirmative?  Do you say “yes?”

Question: “And it was after the second thump that you heard the door close?”  

Answer: “Yes.”

Or do you answer right?  Or true? How about correct?  That’s right, that’s true, or that’s correct are all proper answers in the affirmative.  They each have in them an adjective that describes that which is a reference to the question–providing the question is asked in such a way that a yes answer will do–or to a statement.  (Lawyers are skilled at asking rhetorical questions.) But consider the following:

Do you want mashed potatoes with pork chops tonight?

Did you take the car to the car wash today?

Did you hear that?

Would that is correct answer any of them?  I don’t think so. The best answer would be a simple yes or no.  But if asked, “You knew there was only one potato left before you asked for mashed potatoes for dinner didn’t you,” could you answer correct?  The question implies the answer is affirmative (rhetorical), so I think correct would work.  However, if you re-read the definition of correct above, you will see that to correct (VERB) and correct (as in correct procedure) (ADJECTIVE) in no way translate to one word answers.  I think correct used as an affirmative should be left in the courtroom, if it must be used in that capacity at all.  That in mind, read the following definitions of right and true.

Right defined:  something is the correct, proper or moral choice or something that is true or correct.  NOUN

  1. An example of right is honesty.
  2. An example of right is an answer that is correct.  (ADJECTIVE) —Your Dictionary.com

True defined:  being loyal, something that is real, factually correct, accurate or provable.  ADJECTIVE

  1. An example of true is a friend who is loyal and honest.
  2. An example of true is a fact that has been proven to be correct. —Your Dictionary.com