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WOTD      
Word of the Day - for Toastmasters everywhere
Saturday 23rd June 2018
Archive | Previous word | Today's word |

lapidary (adjective) LA-pid-uri



Relating to stones, engraved on stones or gemstones, relating to the skill of engraving on stones; polished, elegant, distinguished, pithy, careful or impressive in style.

In consequence, there developed two varieties of wedge-writing: the one that may be termed lapidary, used for the stone inscriptions, the official historical records, and such legal documents as were prepared with especial care; the other cursive, occurring only on legal and commercial clay tablets, and becoming more frequent as we approach the latest period of Babylonian writing, which extends to within a few decades of our era.

Morris Jastrow, The Religion of Babylonia and Assyria. Amazon

In rendering colloquial phrases into the lapidary style of ancient Rome, I confess it is often hard to improve on the brevity of the vernacular, though the admonition "to keep your end up" can be condensed from four words to two in "sursum cauda."

Unattributed, Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 153, Dec. 12, 1917.

The book that has moved me to tears and thought most this year has been Andrew Holleran's lapidary meditation in novel form, Grief (Hyperion £12.99), an extraordinarily sober and restrained summation of the lifespan of a gay generation.

Simon Callow, The Observer, 26 November 2006, The Observer
reviewing the cited book. Amazon

The verse had lost some of its lapidary certainty, its formal, measured immovability.

Nicholas Lexard, The Guardian, 21 January 2006, Guardian
reviewing Geoffrey Hill's Without Title. Amazon

My Lords, while the lapidary clarity of the United States may not have given legal certainty, will the Minister agree that those scholars who have gone beyond the age of reading Janet and John might find the draft constitution quite a good read?

Lord Maclennan of Rogart, Lords Hansard, 5 July 2004. Lords Hansard




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