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Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day
         
 
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Word of the Day
 
February 20
 
duendeAudio Pronunciation\doo-EN-day\
 
DEFINITION
 
noun
 
:
the power to attract through personal magnetism and charm
 
EXAMPLES
 
 
The magician was not only a talented illusionist; he also had the duende that kept the audience rapt throughout the entire show.
 
"It took all my nerve to dance in front of people who have been steeped in this tradition their whole lives. It was over in a flash, and in that moment tears filled my eyes. Maybe what I felt wasn't duende — nobody ripped a shirt or slapped his face — but it was close enough for me." —  From an article by Toni Messina on NPR.org, August 10, 2011
 
 
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DID YOU KNOW?
 
 
The word "duende" refers to a spirit in Spanish, Portuguese, and Filipino folklore and literally means "ghost" or "goblin" in Spanish. It is believed to derive from the phrase "due┼ło de casa," which means "owner of a house." The term is traditionally used in flamenco music or other art forms to refer to the mystical or powerful force given off by a performer to draw in the audience. The Spanish poet Federico Garcia Lorca wrote in his essay "Teoria y Juego del Duende" ("Play and Theory of the Duende") that duende "is a power and not a behavior . . . a struggle and not a concept." Nowadays the term appears in a broader range of contexts to refer to one's unspoken charm or allure.
 
Test Your Memory: What is the meaning of "stiction," our Word of the Day from February 2? The answer is …
 
 
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