Word of the Week (WOW) – Obeisance

wow

Word of the Week (WOW) is a weekly challenge created by Heena Rathore P. It’s a fun way to improve vocabulary by learning new words every week.

To participate, simply do a post with your word and leave the link as a comment on Heena’s WOW post for this week (above link). It’s a nice post to do and will give you some practise with a dictionary, of which there are several online. Illustrations are by no means necessary, but it’s up to you.

I’m up to the letter O this week. I started off by just choosing a word at random (perspicacious). Since then, I’ve been working through the alphabet, so I’ll be looking for a word beginning with the letter next week.

So, here is my WOW for this week:

obeisance

Word: Obeisance

Pronunciation:  o·bei·sance [oh-bey-suh ns] [ə(ʊ)ˈbeɪs(ə)ns]

Audio:  Obeisance

Part of Speech:  Noun

Plural noun: obeisances

Adjective: obeisant

Adverb: obeisantly

 Meaning:

1.  a movement of the body expressing deep respect or deferential courtesy, as before a superior; a bow, curtsy, or other similar gesture.

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2. deference, homage or respect for someone or something

382px-A_devotee_at_Gurudwara_Harmandir_Sahib,_Punjab
A devotee at Gurdwara Harmandir Sahib, Punjab, india. Athor: Koshy Koshy, from New Delhi, Indi Wikimedia Commons

Synonyms:

homage, respect, tribute, loyalty, devotion, fidelity, reverence, deference, faithfulness, fealty,  allegiance, bow, salaam, salutation, kowtow, genuflection, bob, bending of the knee, curtsy or curtsey, veneration, submission

Antonyms: 

censure, condemnation, disdain, scorn, dishonour, disloyalty, disregard, disrespect, treachery, bad manners, disobedience

Word Origin

1325-75; Middle English obeisaunce < Middle French obeissance, derivative of Old French obeissant, present participle of obeir to obey.

Use in a Sentence:

1. Sir Walter Raleigh displayed obeisance to Queen Elizabeth I by throwing his cloak over a puddle along her route.

736px-Sir_Walter_Raleigh_jetant_son_manteau_sous_les_pieds_de_la_reine_Elizabeth
Raleigh and his Cloak cartoon by Thackery,1848 for the first edition of ‘The Book of Snobs’. Public Domain

2.  Obeisance was not one of the rude secretary’s personal qualities.

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3. (Adverb use) The serving girl bowed her head obeisantly as she proffered the wine goblet to the king.

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4. (Plural use) The noblemen filed into the large hall to make their obeisances to the new king.

*

If you’d like to see more interesting words, visit Heena’s page:

Word Treasure

Word of the Week (WOW) – Nefarious

wow Word of the Week (WOW) is a weekly challenge created by Heena Rathore P. It’s a fun way to improve vocabulary by learning new words every week. To participate, simply do a post with your word and leave the link as a comment on Heena’s WOW post for this week (above link). It’s a nice post to do and will give you some practice with a dictionary, of which there are several online. Illustrations are not necessary, but it’s up to you.

Next week I’ll be looking for a word beginning with o.

Here is my WOW for this week: nefarious

 Word: Nefarious

Pronunciation:  ne·far·i·ous  [ni-fair-ee-uh s] (nə-fâr′ē-əs)

Audio link for pronunciation http://www.thefreedictionary.com/nefarious

Part of Speech: Adjective Adverb: nefariously Noun: nefariousness  

Meaning: extremely wicked or villainous; iniquitous stealing-294489_640  Synonyms:

flagitious, heinous, infamous, vile, atrocious, execrable, sinful, base, shameful, depraved, unethical, impious

Antonyms: good, honest, just, noble, upright, honourable, decent, ethical, virtuous

Word Origin: C 17 from Latin nefarious from nefās unlawful deed, from not + fās divine law

Use in a Sentence:

1. Martha scrutinised her husband’s new colleague, convinced there was something nefarious about him.

2. Police had been alerted to the fact that the nefarious casino boss had been recently released from prison and had returned to the town.

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3. It is a great pity that such a wonderful tool as the Internet can be used for so many nefarious purposes.

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If you’d like to check out more interesting words then visit Heena’s page:

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Word of the Week (WOW) – Mellifluous

wow

Word of the Week (WOW) is a weekly meme created by Heena Rathore P. It’s a fun way to improve vocabulary by learning new words every week.

To participate, simply do a post with your word and leave the link as a comment on Heena’s WOW post for this week (above link). It’s a nice post to do and will give you some practice with a dictionary, of which there are several online. Illustrations are by no means necessary, but it’s up to you.

Next week, I’ll be looking for a word beginning with the letter n.

Here is my WOW for this week:

mellifluous

 Word:  mellifluous

Pronunciation:  mel·lif·lu·ous  [muhlif-loo-uh s]  (mə-lĭf′lo͞o-əs)

Part of Speech: Adjective

Adverb: mellifluously; Noun: melliflousness

 Meaning

1. (of sounds or utterances) having a smooth, flowing sound (e.g. a mellifluous voice)

Singing to the Reverend by Edmund Leighton. 1853-1922. Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain
Singing to the Reverend by Edmund Leighton. 1853-1922. Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain

2.  sweetened with or as if with honey

Synonyms:

sweet, sweet-sounding, sweet-toned, dulcet, honeyed, mellow, soft, smooth, silvery, liquid, soothing, rich, euphonious, harmonious, tuneful, musical,  lyrical, lyric, melodic, melodious, mellifluent

Antonyms:

unlyrical, cacophanous

Word Origin:

C15: from Late Latin mellifluus flowing with honey, from Latin mel honey + fluere to flow

Use in a Sentence:

1. I eventually nodded off to sleep, lulled by the mellifluous tones of the nightingale.

250px-Nachtigall_(Luscinia_megarhynchos)-2
Nightingale (Luscina megarhynchos) in Berlin, Germany. Wikimedia Commons, Author: Nadingall, J Dietrich

2. Gerald was enraptured by the mellifluous sounds of the string instruments.

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Orchestra. Image courtesy of Pixabay

3. The little stream that flowed beneath the bridge made beautifully mellifluous gurgling sounds.

Small_Stream,Tregwynt_-_geograph.org.uk_-_1445634 (1)
Small Stream, Tregwynt, Wales. Wikimedia Commons. From geograph.org.uk

4. James struggled to tear his eyes from the mellifluous movement of the model’s hips.

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4. (Adverb) I am delighted to meet you, Miss Peacock,’ the bank manager intoned mellifluously.

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If you’d like to view more interesting word, the visit Heena’s page:

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Word of the Week (WOW) – Leviathan

wow

Word of the Week (WOW) is a weekly challenge created by Heena Rathore P. It’s a fun way to improve vocabulary by learning new words every week.

To participate, simply do a post with your word and leave the link as a comment on Heena’s WOW post for this week (above link). It’s a nice post to do and will give you some practise with a dictionary, of which there are several online. Illustrations are by no means necessary, but it’s up to you.

I’m up to the letter L this week. I started off by just choosing a word at random (perspicacious). Since then, I’ve been working through the alphabet, so I’ll be looking for a good word beginning with M next week.

So, here is my WOW for this week:

leviathan

 Word: Leviathan

Pronunciation:  le·vi·a·than  [li-vahyuh-thuhn;  luh- veye -uh-thuhn]

Part of Speech:  noun

Adjective: leviathan – meaning very large; gargantuan

 Meaning:

1. (often initial capital letter: LeviathanBible. a sea monster.

The Destruction of Leviathan.
The Destruction of Leviathan. An engraving from 1865 by Gustave Doré
Lev-Beh-Ziz
Levianthan sea monster with Behemoth the land monster and Ziz the air monster. Public domain via Wikimedia.

2. any huge marine animal, as the whale.

Anim1754_-_Flickr_-_NOAA_Photo_Library
Blue whales grow up to 30 meters in length and weigh up to 190 tonnes/160tons. They are the largest existing animal and the heaviest that has ever lived. Blue whale. Image from Wikimedia Commons. Author: NOAA Photo Library.
Giant_Manta_AdF
These giant manta rays can have a wingspan of uo to 7 meters. They swim in the strong currents, slowly flapping their wings with amazing elegance. Author> Arturu de Frias Marques at Raja Ampat, West Papu, Indonesia.

3. anything of immense size and power, as a huge, oceangoing ship.

4. initial capital letter, italics: Leviathan) a philosophical work (1651) by ThomasHobbes dealing with the political organisation of society.

Leviathan_by_Thomas_Hobbes
Frontpiece of “Levianthan by Thomas Hobbes” – author unknown. 1661

Synonyms:

behemoth, blockbuster, colossus, colossal, dinosaur, dreadnaught, jumbo, elephant, elephantine, Goliath, jumbo, giant, mammoth, mastodon, monster, monstrous, titan, whale, whopper, whopping, gargantuan, astronomical, immense, supersize

Antonyms: 

diminutive, dwarf, half-pint, midget, mite, peewee, pygmy/pigmy, runt, shrimp, infinitesimal, Lilliputian, micro, miniscule, tiny, teeny, microscopic

Word Origin:

1350-1400; Middle English levyathan < Late Latin leviathan < Hebrew: liwyāthān

Use in a Sentence:

1. It can be a great challenge to drive a wheeled leviathan in rush-hour traffic.

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2. The tree was a leviathan among redwoods.

Redwood_large_sherman
Giant redwood tree ‘Sherman’ in the Sequoia National Park, California, USA Source: de.wikipedia uploaded by de: Benutzer: Pc fish

3. The man in front of us was a leviathan! He took up several seats at the theatre.

4. (Adjective use) The Titanic was a leviathan ship by the standards of the time.

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If you’d like to see more interesting words, visit Heena’s page:

Word Treasure

Word of the Week (WOW) – Kapok

wow

Word of the Week (WOW) is a weekly meme created by Heena Rathore P. It’s a fun way to improve vocabulary by learning new words every week.

To participate, simply do a post with your word and leave the link as a comment on Heena’s WOW post for this week (above link). It’s a nice post to do and will give you some practice with a dictionary, of which there are several online. Illustrations are by no means necessary, but it’s up to you.

Here is my WOW for this week:

kapok

 Word: Kapok

Pronunciation: ka·pok  [key-pok; keɪpɒk]

Part of Speech: Noun

 Meaning:

1.  The silky down inside the seed pods of a silk-cotton tree (kapok tree) Ceiba pentandra, of Indonesia, Africa and tropical America. It is used for stuffing pillows, life jackets etc. and for acoustical insulation. It is also called Java Cotton.

751px-Kapok_tree-pod
Kapok tree pods, Madeira. Author: Veleta. Wikimedia Commons.
Kapok_seeds_I_IMG_8004
Kapok seeds and silky fibre on Ceiba pentandra, Kolkata, West Bengal, India. Author: J.M. Garg

2. A massive tropical tree with deep ridges on its huge trunk and bearing large pods of seeds covered with silky floss – the source of the silky kapok fibre.

Kapok_tree_Honolulu
Kapok tree in Foster Botanical Gardens, Honolulu, Hawaii. Wikimedia Commons. Author: J.M.Garg
Ceiba_pentandra_0004
White-flowered Ceib pentandra showing spines on the buttressed trunk. Attribute: Atamari. Wikimedia Commons

Synonyms:

1. For the kapok fibre: plant fibre, cushioning, padding, Java Cotton

2. For the kapok tree:  Bombay ceiba, Ceiba pentandra, ceiba tree, God tree, silk-cotton tree, white silk-cotton tree

Antonyms:

None

Word Origin:

1740-50; < Javanese (or Malay of Java and Sumatra) kapuk or kapoq the name of the large tropical tree which produces the fibres.

Use in a Sentence:

1. They say that when the kapok tree blooms it is time to gather the crocodile eggs.

Kapok_flowers_I_IMG_2377
Kapok flowers on Ceiba pentandra. Kolkata, West Bengal, India. Wikimedia Commons. Author: J.M. Garg

2. Viewing platforms have been constructed in the tall kapok trees to allow tourists to look out over the rainforest canopy.

3. Emergent trees like the kapok rise above the rainforest canopy and provide a home for plants dependent on sunlight.

4. Naturally silky and resilient, kapok is the traditional stuffing for sitting cushions, in addition to cushions used by people who meditate in the kneeling position.

shutterstock_65990674
Colourful monk’s prayer or meditation cushions scattered in the courtyard of Wat Pho temple in Bangkok. Image from Shutterstock.

If you’d like to check out more interesting words then visit Heena’s page:

Word Treasure

Word of the Week (WOW) – Jardinere

wow

Word of the Week (WOW) is a weekly challenge created by Heena Rathore P. It’s a fun way to improve vocabulary by learning new words every week.

To participate, simply do a post with your word and leave the link as a comment on Heena’s WOW post for this week (above link). It’s a nice post to do and will give you some practice with a dictionary, of which there are several online. Illustrations are by no means necessary, but it’s up to you.

Here is my WOW for this week:

jardiniere Word:  jardinière

Pronunciation:  jahr-dn-eer  [zhahr-dn-yair] [ʒɑːdɪˈnjɛə]

Part of Speech:

Noun

Meaning:

 1. a.  an ornamental stand for plants or flowers 

     b.  a large usually ceramic flowerpot holder

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2. a garnish of fresh vegetables, cooked, diced, and served around a dish of meat

[Click here for illustrations of jardinière of vegetables]

Synonyms: 

Plant pot, flower pot, plant holder, planter, pot

Antonyms:

None

Word Origin:  1835-45 < French, feminine of jardinièr gardener, equivalent to Old French jardin -garden + ier

Use in a sentence: 

1. On the low wall along the driveway to the Old Hall, stood a number of impressive jardinières.

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2. While we were at the garden centre, I bought an amusing watermelon jardinière.

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If you’d like to check out more interesting words then visit Heena’s page:

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Word of the Week (WOW) – Insular

wow

Word of the Week (WOW) is a weekly meme created by Heena Rathore P. It’s a fun way to improve vocabulary by learning new words every week.

To participate, simply do a post with your word and leave the link as a comment on Heena’s WOW post for this week (above link). It’s a nice post to do and will give you some practice with a dictionary, of which there are several online. Illustrations are by no means necessary, but it’s up to you.

Here is my WOW for this week:

insular

 Word: Insular

Pronunciation: In-su-lar (in-suh-ler)

Part of Speech: Adjective

Noun: insularism; insularity

Adverb: insularity

 Meaning:

1. Of, relating to, or constituting an island

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2. Dwelling or situated on an island > insular residents

3. Characteristic of an island people, especially having a narrow provincial viewpoint

4. Isolated or separated

5. Illiberal or narrow minded

A_well-to-do_mother_resistant_to_her_daughter's_doctor_using_Wellcome_V0011390 (1)
A well-to-do mother, resistant to her daughter’s doctor using vaccine from their neighbour’s child. It illustrates the narrow-mindedness of the petty, provincial middle classes. Source: Wikimedia Commons: wellcomeimages.org

6. (Pathology) Occurring in or characterized by one or more isolated spots or patches

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Synonyms: 

illiberal, narrow, narrow-minded, parochial, petty, provincial, picayune, sectarian,  small, small-minded, prejudiced, blinkered

Antonyms:

broad-minded, cosmopolitan, liberal, open, open-minded, receptive, tolerant

Word Origin:  

17th Century from late Latin insulāris, from Latin insula, meaning island or isle

Use in a sentence: 

1. Their new neighbourhood was an insular community that was not receptive to new ideas, especially from outsiders.

2. Jane hated the insular world of her boarding school.

800px-Herlufsholm_Boarding_school
Herlufsholm Boarding School, in Naestved, Denmark. Wikimedia Commons. Attribution: Martin Joergensen

3. As a government spy, Justin was insular by nature and interacted on a social level with very few people.

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4. For a best-selling author, he seemed much too insular the deal with the scrutiny given to people of renown.

 *

If you’d like to check out more interesting words then visit Heena’s page:

Word Treasure

Word of the Week (WOW) – Hirsute

wow

Word of the Week (WOW) is a weekly meme created by Heena Rathore P. It’s a fun way to improve vocabulary by learning new words every week.

To participate, simply do a post with your word and leave the link as a comment on Heena’s WOW post for this week (above link). It’s a nice post to do and will give you some practice with a dictionary, of which there are several online. Illustrations are by no means necessary, but it’s up to you.

Here is my WOW for this week:

hirsute

 Word: Hirsute

Pronunciation: hir-sute (hur-soot)

Part of Speech: Adjective

Noun: Hirsuteness (hir-sute-ness)

 Meaning:

1. Hairy; shaggy : having a lot of body hair, especially on the face or body

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2. (Biology) Covered with coarse, stiff hairs (as a hirute leaf)

Heliotropium Indicum at Kadavoor © 2010 Jeevan Jose, Kerala, India. Creative Commons. A common weed in waste and settled areas. Native to Asia.

Synonyms: 

bristly, bushy, cottony, fleecy, furred, furry, hairy, rough, shaggy, unshorn, unshaven, woolly, bearded, bewhiskered

Antonyms:

bald, furless, glabrous, hairless, shorn, smooth

Word Origin:  

Early 17th Century from Latin hirsutus (shaggy). Akin to Latin horrére, meaning to bristle and hirtus, meaning hairy.

Use in a sentence: 

1. Many hirute males believe that chest hair makes them feel more manly.

2. Olaf was a large, hirsute Viking with an aggressive, blustery personality.

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3. (Noun) Hirsuteness in men is often seen as a sign of attractiveness.

4. I found a really hirsute caterpillar feeding on one of our growing cabbages this morning.

Hirsute_caterpiller_of_a_Javan_moth_-_indet._(5796469232)
Hirsute caterpillar of a Java moth. Attribution gbohne from Berlin, Germany.

I think this is a good word to use when describing hairy people, plants, insects and so on. It definitely adds a little something more to a sentence than merely saying ‘hairy’. It can be used to describe women too, of course, although, apart from ‘The Bearded Lady’* of Victorian fame it would not generally refer to facial hair. In women, the condition of excessive hair growth – usually dark and thick rather than fine and fair – is called HIRSUTISM.

* If anyone has never heard of this sad story, Ive added link to a Wiki page about one of these ladies HERE. (There are similar stories of other women who suffered this affliction.)

If you’d like to check out more interesting words then visit Heena’s page:

Word Treasure

Word of the Week (WOW) – Gregarious

wow

Word of the Week (WOW) is a weekly meme created by Heena Rathore P. It’s a fun way to improve vocabulary by learning new words every week.

To participate, simply do a post with your word and leave the link as a comment on Heena’s WOW post for this week (above link). It’s a nice post to do and will give you some practice with a dictionary, of which there are several online. Illustrations are by no means necessary, but it’s up to you.

Here is my WOW for this week:

gregarious

Word: Gregarious

Part of Speech: Adjective:

Adverb: gregariously

Noun: gregariousness

 Pronunciation:  gre·gar·ous  (gri-gair-ee-uh s)  (ɡrɪˈɡɛərɪəs)

 Meaning:

1. Fond of the company of others; sociable

2. Living in flocks or herds, as animals.

Herd of cattle. Attribution: CSIRO
Herd of cattle. Attribution: CSIRO

3. In botany: growing in open clusters or colonies but not matted together.

Gregarious moss phlox in Takinoue Park, Hokkaido. Commons: attribution Dr. Terra Khan
Gregarious moss phlox in Takinoue Park, Hokkaido. Commons: attribution Dr. Terra Khan

4. Pertaining to a flock or crowd.

Synonyms: 

social, sociable, genial, outgoing, convivial, companionable, friendly, extroverted, clubby, clubable

Antonyms:

antisocial, insociable, unsociable, unsocial, nongregarious, reclusive, solitary

Word Origin:  

1660-70 < Latin gregārius belonging to a flock = equivalent to greg- (stem of grex) flock + -ārius -arious   

Use in a sentence: 

1. Jenny was a gregarious little girl who wanted to play with every child she met and be their friend.

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2. The main problem with Martin was that his gregarious confidence vanished in social situations.

3. Flamingos are gregarious birds that do not do well in small flocks.

American Flamingos. Commons: Attribution Cliff from Arlington, Virginia, USA.
American Flamingos. Commons: Attribution Cliff from Arlington, Virginia, USA.

4. Gregarious behaviour benefits birds because it provides protection in numbers, giving individuals a better chance of survival.

Evening_roost_over_woods_-_geograph.org.uk_-_289369
Evening roost over woods. Commons: attribution Rob Farrow
Stinkbug lava on grass
Stinkbug lava on grass

Gregarious is a useful word to use in writing, and can easily be applied to our characters, as sentences 1 and 2 above show. I first came across the word when I was about eleven, when a teacher was explaining its use by referring to the behaviour of sheep. Like all herd animals, they simply need to keep together for safety. Safety in numbers, as they say.

If you’d like to check out more interesting words then visit Heena’s page:

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Word of the Week (WOW) – Filigree

wow

Word of the Week (WOW) is a weekly meme created by Heena Rathore P. It’s a fun way to improve vocabulary by learning new words every week.

To participate, simply do a post with your word and leave the link as a comment on Heena’s WOW post.

Here is my WOW for this week:

filigree

Word: Filigree

Part of Speech: Noun

Adjective: filigee or filigreed

Verb: filigrees, filigreeing, filigreed

 Pronunciation:  fil – i- gree (fili, gri)

 Meaning:

1. Delicate ornamental work of twisted gold, silver or other wire, widely used since antiquity for jewellery

Artigianato_sardo,_oggetti_in_filigrana
Jewellery. Image from Wikimedia Commons. Attribution: Shardan

2. Any fanciful, delicate ornamentation (not only applicable to jewellery, as sentences below illustrate)

Synonyms: 

wirework, lace, lacework, lattice, tracery, fret, fretwork, grillwork, threadwork

Antonyms:

None

Word Origin: C17 (1685-1695) from earlier filigreen -> from the French, filigraine -> from Latin filum (thread) + granum (grain)

Use in a sentence: 

1. Mrs. Carmichael wore a beautiful filigree brooch. (Or, to use the adjective: Mrs Carmichael wore a beautiful brooch of filigreed gold.)

2. Sunlight filtered through the branches, casting filigree patterns on the earth beneath.

3. A shoal of tiny, colourful fish swam close to the reef , fins of intricate filagree.

4, The pine needles were draped with a delicate filigree of mist.

5. Filigrees of frost adorned the meadow.

Silver-174642
Image from Wikimedia: Filigrees of burnished herringbone patterned, spinel-twisted silver crystals covering a greenstone matrix plate. From Bonanza Mine, Port Radin, Great Bear Lake, Mackenzie District, Northwest Territory, Canada
450px-Flickr_-_archer10_(Dennis)_-_China-6474
Image from Wikimedia Commons: The artist pinches and curves copper filagrees into delicate flower patterns, pasting them onto the copper metal.
shutterstock_247563355
Chinese lantern: dried fruit decorated with filigree pattern

I love this word and could spend some time writing several more sentences about filigrees of frosting on cakes, or various objects decorated with jewels and filigree. But I think I’ve said more than enough already . . .

If you’d like to check out more interesting words then visit Heena’s page:

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