25 January 2005

Word for the Day

coruscate \KOR-&-skeit\ intransitive verb

1. To give off or reflect bright beams or flashes of light; to sparkle.
2. To exhibit brilliant, sparkling technique or style.

They pulled up at the farthest end of a loop path that looked out over the great basin of the Rio Grande under brilliant, coruscating stars.
--Bill Roorbach, "Big Bend," The Atlantic, March 2001

Beneath you lie two miles of ocean -- a bottomlessness, for all practical purposes, an infinity of blue. ... A thousand coruscating shafts of sunlight probe it, illuminating nothing.
--Kenneth Brower, "The Destruction of Dolphins," The Atlantic, July 1989

What coruscating flights of language in his prose, what waterfalls of self-displaying energy!
--Joyce Carol Oates, review of A Theft, by Saul Bellow, New York Times, March 5, 1989

Whether we know or like it or not, thoseof us who turn our hands to this task are scribbling in a line of succession which, however uncertainly and intermittently, reaches back to the young Macaulay, who first made his public reputation as a coruscating writer in the 1820s.
--David Cannadine, "On Reviewing and Being Reviewed," History Today, March 1, 1999
Coruscate comes from Latin coruscatus, past participle of coruscare, "to move quickly, to tremble, to flutter, to twinkle or flash." The noun form is coruscation. Also from coruscare is the adjective coruscant, "glittering in flashes; flashing."
Quite shamelessly stolen from

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