Saturday, March 28, 2009

velleity: Dictionary.com Word of the Day

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Word of the Day for Saturday, March 28, 2009

velleity \veh-LEE-uh-tee; vuh-\, noun:

1. The lowest degree of desire; imperfect or incomplete volition.
2. A slight wish or inclination.

To become now a priest was an elevation of sorts; yet the ceremony, as we would soon see, reinforced every contrast between the life he would lead and the life of the high and mighty, for whom the crowds roar and the bands play, courtiers and servants surrounding them to gratify the least velleity, historians on their toes to record their wispiest thought.
-- William F. Buckley Jr., Nearer, My God
The ease of her words, the control of them, was meant to convey to Compton that her wish to know of her real parents was hardly more than a velleity, a thought that would come to one while watering a plant or peeling an orange.
-- Thomas Savage, The Sheep Queen
He does not shout out his wishes or velleities, unless invited by his host to do so.
-- Philip Howard, "Modern Manners", Times (London), September 15, 2003

Velleity is derived from Latin velle, "to will, to be willing, to wish."

Dictionary.com Entry and Pronunciation for velleity


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