Lexicon: auburn – auditor

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auburn, adj. [OFr < L. alburnus, whitish, nearly white; later, metathesis of r and n led to a folk etymology of aubrun < brennan, burn, brown.]

Mahogany; golden brown; brownish-red; nut-colored.

Auburn, proper n. [OFr < L. alburnus, nearly white; see auburn, adj.]

Autumn; Fall; season when leaves change color and fall off; [word play; see auburn, adj.] red, brown, or gold-colored leaves; [fig.] death; grave site; [word play] Mount Auburn cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts (see ED letters); allusion to a 1770 poem “Deserted Village” by Oliver Goldsmith: “Sweet Auburn, loveliest village of the plain.”

auction, n. [L. augēre, increase; sell by increase of bids.] (webplay: sale).

Hawking; bargaining; public trade; transfer of property to the highest bidder; [fig.] degradation; cheapening.

auctioneer, n. [L. auctionarius.] (webplay: sale).

Dealer; peddler; merchant; salesman; one who conducts sales by seeking the highest bid; [kenning phrase “Auctioneer of Parting”] death.

audacious, adj. [L. audax, bold, daring.]

Bold; brazen; impudent; disrespectful; impetuous; irreverent; presumptuous; rash; hasty; heedless; impulsive; foolishly unprepared.

audacity, n. [see audacious, adj.]

Pomposity; arrogance; presumption; nerve; reckless courage; lack of concern about what others think.

audible (-er), adj. [Med. L. < L. audīre, to hear.] (webplay: ear, hear, heard; loud enough).

Discernable; clearly heard; perceptible to the ear; sufficient in volume to hear.

audience (-s), n. [Fr. < L. audīre, to hear.] (webplay: sounds).

  1. Assembly for entertainment; people who gather to hear a program; group of people who meet to see a show.
  2. Group of observers; assembly of listeners and viewers; persons within hearing; assembly of listeners; auditory; [fig.] group of creatures in nature.
  3. Judgment; judicial hearing; ecclesiastical court in front of auditors; [fig.] judgment day interview.
  4. Court; place where an archbishop considers consecrations, elections, institutions, marriages, and so forth.
  5. Formal interview; communication between a superior and an inferior.

audit (audits), v. [L. audīre, to hear.]

Examine; probe; verify; adjust the account of.

auditor (-s), n. [OF < L. audīre, to hear.]

Listener; audience; [word play] accountant; finance examiner; official whose duty it is to verify accounts by reference to vouchers; one who has power to disallow improper charges.