Last night Indian American girl Kavya Shivashankar, 13, won the televised Scripps National Spelling Bee and its $40,000 prize after rattling off the letters in Laodicean (pronounced lÄ-ËŒÃ¤-dÉ™-ËˆsÄ"-É™n). Like most spelling-bee words, the adjective doesn't get much use in everyday conversation, so news sources today have defined the word using American Heritage and Merriam-Webster Dictionary's entries.
American Heritage, 4th ed., second entry: "Indifferent or lukewarm especially in matters of religion."
Merriam-Webster's first entry is a little more helpful, but not one news source used it: "from the reproach to the church of the Laodiceans in Rev 3:15-16." Its second entry got the most play: "lukewarm or indifferent in religion or politics."
Bible readers, of course, will recognize the Greek term from the Book of Revelation and from Paul's letters to the Colossians. Laodicea was a city along the river Lycus in Asia Minor ...1