Monday, August 9, 2010

Word of the Day 8/9/2010

Flotilla (noun)
*1 : a fleet of ships or boats; especially : a navy organizational unit consisting of two or more squadrons of small warships
2 : an indefinite large number

Example Sentence: "Just offshore was anchored a flotilla of small motorboats -- Zephyr Cove's rental fleet…." (John Flinn, The San Francisco Chronicle, July 25, 2010)

Did you know?: "Flotilla" comes from the diminutive form of the Spanish noun "flota," meaning "fleet." "Flota" derives via Old French from Old Norse "floti" and is related to Old English "flota" ("ship"), an ancestor to our word "float." Much like other words referring to groups of particular things (such as "swarm"), "flotilla" has taken on expanded usage to refer simply to a large number of something not necessarily having to do with nautical matters, often with humorous effect (e.g., "a flotilla of rather mature-looking male models" -- Jed Perl, The New Republic).

*Indicates the sense illustrated in the example sentence.

Merriam-Webster Word of the Day

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