from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • possessive proper n. An island off the southern coast of South Carolina in the Sea Islands of the Atlantic Ocean. It is a popular tourist resort. The town of Hilton Head Island, on the northeast coast, has a population of 33,800.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Yeats's "terrible beauty" is Longinus's sublime, desire and dread fused in awe of events that "must and must not happen" or "should and should not happen".

    On the Sublime

  • To read his selections today—they include Maria Edgeworth and William Carleton—is to uncover a deep source of the interests and contradictions at the center of Yeats's own life and work.

    Putting Sweet Sounds Together

  • In this light, Yeats's fascination with occult oddities like the psychic Madame Blavatsky and the secretive group known as the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn accords more easily with his nationalist ideals.

    Putting Sweet Sounds Together

  • You can hear Yeats's riff on Mangan's three-stress theme in phrases like "bee-loud glade" and "deep heart's core."

    Putting Sweet Sounds Together

  • The Gaelic inspiration for 'bee-loud glade' and other sources of W.B. Yeats's literary achievement.

    Putting Sweet Sounds Together

  • Mr. Foster notes, for instance, that the three stressed beats that close the lines of Yeats's most famous poem, "The Lake Isle of Innisfree," echo the line endings that James Clarence Mangan lifted from translations of Gaelic poetry.

    Putting Sweet Sounds Together

  • For years critics have squabbled over Yeats's corrective role in Tagore's English Gitanfali 1913, though now that a manuscript facsimile once belonging to William Rothenstem is in print we are closer to Tagore as his own not wholly assured translator for an impatient English audience.

    Letters: Bengali poet who will not be lost in translation

  • And there are lyrics here too, from Yeats's "Down by the Salley Gardens", to the great hymn "Be Thou My Vision", to Christy Moore's droll "Lisdoonvarna".

    Author, author: Nick Laird

  • The indomitable Irishry (Yeats's term) sometimes seem to be treated like the world's pets, or its problem children (condescended to, and represented variously as sentimental, irresponsible, violent, drunk).

    Author, author: Nick Laird

  • And how could it not with the inclusion of Jack B Yeats's lyrical expressionism; Sean Scully's abstracts; Samuel Beckett's 1965 Film; Barry Flanagan's sculptural craic; or first editions by WB Yeats and James Joyce?

    This week's new exhibitions


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  • another glitch. Wordnik seems to have some trouble with straight apostrophes in urls...

    March 12, 2014