This word has several meanings. We'll focus on just two:
First, a welter is a messy, chaotic situation.
And second, a welter is a chaotic bunch of things.
As you can see, the meanings are very similar, and either way, a welter always reminds you of the tossing, turning, rolling movement of ocean waves (because that's the literal meaning of "welter.")
Part of speech:
(Countable nouns, like “bottle,” “piece,” and “decision,” are words for things that can be broken into exact units. You talk about “a bottle,” “three pieces,” and “many decisions.”
Likewise, talk about one welter or multiple welters.)
You can have multiple "welters."
"Welter" is also a verb: it means to rock back and forth or be tossed around, as if on ocean waves, or to be deeply involved in something.
The adjectives are "weltered" and "weltering."
How to use it:
For the first meaning (a turbulent circumstance), you can talk about things being "such a welter" or "in a welter," but usually you talk about the welter of something: the welter of modern politics, the welter of middle school on the first day of the school year.
And for the second meaning (a confused, surging jumble), use that same phrase, "the welter of something," or "a welter of something:" a welter of street vendors, the welter of leftovers strewn across the table, a welter of sloppy reasoning.
You can add an adjective to your welter, if you like: a frightful welter, an unending welter, a profane welter, a glorious welter, etc.
For now, at least, I'm fine with not being active on Twitter. It just seems like a welter of statements, jokes, and ads, and I've already got Facebook and Reddit for that.
The weltering crowds pouring into airport security are enough to set anyone on edge.
Look away from the screen to explain the definition in your own words. You’ll know you understand what "welter" means when you can explain it without saying "turmoil" or "mass."
Think of a job or task you've done that seemed like a complicated mess at first, and fill in the blanks: "Before I got the hang of it, _____ seemed like a welter of _____."
Example: "Before I got the hang of it, the software seemed like a welter of mysterious icons and boxes."
Spend at least 20 seconds occupying your mind with the game and quote below. Then try the review questions. Don’t go straight to the review now—let your working memory empty out first.
Playing With Words:
This month, we're sampling questions from Orijinz, an awesome series of games about the origins of words, phrases, and quotes. Click here if you want to check them out. They're compact--perfect for stockings. Just saying. :) Try a question here each day this month, and see the right answer the next day. Have fun!
"Guess the phrase!
Origin: Pipe organs have a stop that controls the volume of the organ by adjusting the airflow. The condition when the organ is playing at its loudest inspired this phrase.
Definition: To spare no effort, to use all available resources."
"The phrase is: Pull out all the stops.”
"Guess the word!
Origin: The difficulty of hand picking this tree-grown fruit led to this hyphenated term, which means to select only the best, easiest, or most desirable option."
A Point Well Made:
Molière: “It is not what we do, but also what we do not do, for which we are accountable.”
1. The opposite of WELTER is
A. JOYFUL NOISE
B. COLORFUL SMUDGE
C. ORDERLY SET
2. Let's just _____ the welter of details and get to the gist, okay?
A. sail over
B. drive past
C. climb past
Answers are below.
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Make Your Point is crafted with love and brought to you each day for free by Mrs. Liesl Johnson, M.Ed., a word lover, learning enthusiast, and private tutor of reading and writing in the verdant little town of Hilo, Hawaii. For writing tips, online learning, essay guidance, and more, please visit www.HiloTutor.com.
Disclaimer: Word meanings presented here are expressed in plain language and are limited to common, useful applications only. Readers interested in authoritative and multiple definitions of words are encouraged to check a dictionary. Likewise, word meanings, usage, and pronunciations are limited to American English; these elements may vary across world Englishes.