Wednesday, January 20, 2016

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"à la débandade, adv. ( and adj.)" - Word of the Day from the OED

Your word for today is: à la débandade, adv. (and adj.)
à la débandade, adv. (and adj.)
[‘ In a manner or by a method not restricted by formation, discipline, or rules; in disordered haste; in confusion, disorder, or disarray; randomly. Occas. as adj.’]
Pronunciation: Brit. /ˌa la ˌdeɪbɑːnˈdɑːd/, /ˌa lə ˌdeɪbɑːnˈdɑːd/, /ˌɑː lɑː ˌdeɪbɑːnˈdɑːd/,  U.S. /ˌɑ lɑ ˌdeɪbɑnˈɑd/, /ˌɑ lə ˌdeɪbɑnˈɑd/
Forms:  17 a la debandade,   17– à la débandade
Etymology:A borrowing from French. Etymons: French à la débandade. <  French à la débandade (1559 in Middle French as a la desbandade) <  à la à la prep. + desbandade act of disbanding, disorder (1559 in the expression cited above) <  desbander disband v. + -ade -ade suffix.
 orig. and chiefly Mil. Now hist. and rare.  In a manner or by a method not restricted by formation, discipline, or rules; in disordered haste; in confusion, disorder, or disarray; randomly. Occas. as adj.
1779  H. Lloyd Rhapsody on Present Syst. French Politics vi. 72 If he advances a certain length out of his line, you order your battalion to stop, or even retire à la débandade.
a1787  Ld. Elcho Short Acc. Affairs of Scotl.(1907) 272 The Highlanders in running in were pretty much a la Debandade, some places 10 deep.
1802  C. James New Mil. Dict. 667/1 In 1580 Count Egmont surprised Courtray, by ordering a number of determined soldiers to get into the town à la débandade, and to remain concealed in the houses of Roman Catholics.
1828  Scott Jrnl. 3 Mar. (1941) 199, I do better à la débandade than I could with rules of regular study.
1845 United Service Mag. Dec. 494 The Croat light horse,..composed of peasants..armed with lances, sabres, and fire-arms,..charging irregularly à la débandade.
1939  A. Toynbee Study of Hist. IV. 440 A pair of mounted men-at-arms..were eventually to drive the legionary off the field à la débandade

 

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