Mnemonic Video Dictionary / Ostracize Meaning

Ostracize Meaning


Ostracize Synonyms: blackball, boycott

Ostracize Sentence: When her father was convicted for felony, her friends ostracized her instead of supporting her.


Under The Lens: Ostracize History

In ancient Greece there was a practice where certain people were temporarily banished by popular vote. The procedure was that people wrote the name of the person they wanted to be banished on pottery shreds or ostraka. The person who got maximum votes was banished provided he received more than 6000 votes. He was given 10 days to leave and if he returned the penalty was death.

The word ostracize comes from ostraka or pottery shreds that were used in voting. Ostracize means to banish from one’s native place. Though ostracize still retains its original meaning, in modern English it is more often used to describe informal exclusion from society, friendship, conversation, privileges, etc.



Heartrending Meaning

Heartrending Meaning


Heartrending Synonyms: depressing, grievous, heartbreaking

Heartrending Sentence: The condition of the poor people in this city is heartrending.

Under The Lens: Heartrending Etymology

The word originated somewhere in the 1680s. Rend means to tear apart or cut violently into pieces. So heartrending describes something which tears your heart apart or causes you to feel great sympathy.



Unkempt Meaning

Unkempt Meaning


Unkempt Synonyms: untidy, neglected

Unkempt Sentence: The unkempt garden indicated that probably no one was living in that house.

Under The Lens: Unkempt Etymology

Unkempt comes from un-(not) + kempt (well combed, neat). Hence unkempt means not combed. Ex – Unkempt hair.

Its meaning has been extended and it also means not properly maintained or uncared for, as you learned in the video. Unkempt can also be used to describe something untidy, messy, unpolished or disorderly.



Necromancy Meaning

Necromancy Meaning


Necromancy Synonyms: sorcery, witchcraft

Necromancy Sentence: People are always interested in knowing about their future and necromancy is one of the ways to do it according to some sorcerers.

Under The Lens: Necromancy Etymology

Necromancy comes from the Greek nekros (dead body) manteia (prophesy). Necromancy as you know is communication with the dead in order to foretell the future or disclose hidden events. During ancient times, there are records of practice of necromancy in Babylon, Egypt, Greece, and Rome. The earliest literary account of necromancy is found in Homer’s Odyssey.

There are various mentions of necromancy in novels, television, films and even games.



Myriad Meaning

Myriad Meaning


Myriad Synonyms: innumerable, countless

Myriad Sentence: Myriad of birds sailing through the sky is a beautiful sight.

Under The Lens: Myriad Etymology

Myriad is a classical Greek word for the number 10,000. It is still sometimes used to represent ten thousand. Ex – This stadium has a capacity of eight myriads. However in modern English the word myriad usually refers to an unspecified large quantity. In this way it can be used as either a noun or an adjective.

Merriam-Webster notes, “Recent criticism of the use of myriad as a noun, both in the plural form myriads and in the phrase a myriad of, seems to reflect a mistaken belief that the word was originally and is still properly only an adjective…. however, the noun is in fact the older form, dating to the 16th century”.



Palliate Meaning

Palliate Meaning


Palliate Synonyms: mitigate, alleviate

Palliate Sentence: The medicine I had a while ago palliated the pain but it has resurfaced once again.

Under The Lens: Palliate Etymology and Usage

Palliate comes from Latin palliare(cover with a cloak, conceal). Palliate means to mitigate or conceal the gravity of an offense by excuses, apologies etc. It is usually used in the sense of representing an evil as less important than it actually is.

Palliate also means to relieve or lessen without curing as we learned in the video. It usually refers to pain or a disease but can also refer to other situations. Ex – palliate hunger, palliate poverty.