Word of the Day: gutter

Word of the Day
May 6, 2016
gutter (noun, verb)
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A man clearing a gutter
A gutter is a channel for transporting water that we usually find running parallel to a street. It is also the channel that carries off rainwater just below the roof of a house. Figuratively, the gutter is the condition of people who live in degrading and poor conditions. As a verb, gutter means 'to flow in streams.' When we talk about lights or candles, gutter means 'to flicker and burn really low, almost going out.'

 

Example sentences
 
Water ran along the gutter into the drain.
It's important to keep the gutters at your house clear of leaves, so they don't get blocked.
Paula may have been born in the gutter, but now she is a millionaire.
The stream guttered through the valley.
Andrew decided to explore the secret passage, but got scared and turned back when his candle began to gutter.

 

Did you know?
 
An often quoted line from one of Oscar Wilde's plays is "We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars." No matter how poor our material conditions, we can always have dreams and aspirations!
 
Origin
 
Gutter dates back to the second half of the 13th century and comes from the Anglo-French word goutiere, equivalent to goutte, meaning 'drop,' + -iere, and the Middle English word gutter or goter.
 
 
 
 
 
Gutter in other languages
 
 
 
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