French for "right mean" (as in "correct middle" or "appropriate average,") a juste milieu is a happy medium: something that's just right and not too extreme.
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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 a juste milieu or the juste milieu, but we don't usually make it plural.)
How to use it:
Talk about a situation or a certain level of anything being a juste milieu, or say something is the juste milieu between any two extremes, or that you're looking for or finding the juste milieu, etc.
We often use this term to describe politics, but it can apply to just about anything. You'd use "juste milieu" instead of "happy medium," "the Goldilocks of something," "wise moderation," or "a golden mean," etc., when you need to make your point in an especially formal or sophisticated way.
We've gone through periods of obsessive planning for the future and total disregard for it, and it's hard to find a juste milieu.
She's recently dated an older guy who was very serious, followed by a boy fresh out of college who acted like a complete child. Hopefully this next fellow is her juste milieu.
Look away from the screen to explain the definition in your own words. You’ll know you understand what "juste milieu" means when you can explain it without saying "moderate option" or "in the middle."
Think of a situation in your life that is finally just right for you, and fill in the blanks: "I've found the juste milieu between (one particular extreme) and (another.)"
Example: "I've found the juste milieu between too much control over my diet and not enough."
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 playing with some fascinating thematic word lists assembled by Stephen Chrisomalis, an English language expert over at The Phrontistery who kindly gave permission for me to use his work. (Check out his site; you will definitely enjoy it!)
Try a question each day, and see the right answers here the following day--or if you can't wait, follow the link to Stephen's list to dig out the answers yourself. Have fun!
Use your knowledge of word roots to come up with the right terms for these different types of biology:
- The study of plant nutrition or soil yields is ag__biology. (Hint: think of words that have to do with farming.)
- The study of biological rhythms is ch____biology. (Hint: think of words that have to do with time.)
- The study of the biological basis of human behavior is s_____biology. (Hint: think of words that have to do with groups of people.)
These sciences are agrobiology (you may have thought of “agriculture” to come up with this word,) chronobiology (you may have thought of “chronology,”) and sociobiology (you may have thought of “society.”)
Try this one today:
Draw the following symbols, or identify them on the keyboard: a caesura, an octothorp, and a virgule.
Can't wait until tomorrow for the right answers? Check out Stephen's full list and discussion at the Phrontistery.
A Point Well Made:
Thomas Paine: “It is error only, and not truth, that shrinks from inquiry.”
1. The opposite of JUSTE MILIEU is
2. They've mistaken their _____ for a juste milieu and have therefore stopped _____.
A. mediocrity .. trying to improve
B. failure .. pointing out others' errors
C. success .. speaking humbly
Answers are below.
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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.
Today we're looking at "juste milieu," which you'll like if you're someone with restraint and moderate views, someone who seeks balance in life and steers clear of extremes.
More often we look instead at dramatic words for extreme ideas, for the very highs and lows in life: acme, bathetic, nadir, and zenith, for example. You might think of three of those four as describing extreme highs. Which one describes extreme lows?
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