Vocabulary

This page captures some words and definitions I have looked up in the course of my reading. Sometimes I encounter a word I have never seen before, sometimes I have seen the word before but am not sure of the meaning, and some words I decide to look up to be sure I know the definition, even though I think I know what it means. Most of the definitions here are abstracted from Dictionary.com.

Update October 2017: I quit using dictionary.com because of annoying video ads with sound that can't be stopped. Now using google.

Where multiple definitions are available, and only one is given here, I have often chosen the most generally applicable one, or the one intended in the usage where I encountered the word in my reading. In some cases I have written only the less usual definition. If you want to see all the definitions of a word, look it up yourself at Dictionary.com. Fair use for educational purposes.

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    A

  1. abatis an obstacle or barricade of trees with bent or sharpened branches directed toward an enemy

  2. abattoir a slaughterhouse

  3. abditory A place for hiding or preserving articles of value

  4. abjure to renounce, repudiate, or retract, especially with formal solemnity; recant

  5. abomination anything greatly disliked or abhorred

  6. abrogate to abolish by formal or official means; annul by an authoritative act; repeal

  7. abseil rappel

  8. acatalepsy an ancient Skeptical view that no more than probable knowledge is available to human beings

  9. accidie acedia

  10. acedia sloth

  11. acerbic sour or astringent in taste

  12. acidulous slightly sour

  13. achondroplasia defective conversion of cartilage into bone, especially at the epiphyses of long bones, producing a type of dwarfism

  14. actinism the property of radiation by which chemical effects are produced

  15. adduce to bring forward in argument or as evidence; cite as pertinent or conclusive

  16. adipose fatty; consisting of, resembling, or relating to fat

  17. adjure to charge, bind, or command earnestly and solemnly, often under oath or the threat of a penalty

  18. adroit expert or nimble in the use of the hands or body

  19. adumbrate to produce a faint image or resemblance of; to outline or sketch

  20. aegis the shield or breastplate of Zeus or Athena, bearing at its center the head of the Gorgon

  21. afflatus inspiration; an impelling mental force acting from within

  22. agley off the right line; awry; wrong

  23. agnosia partial or total inability to recognize objects by use of the senses

  24. agora a popular political assembly

  25. alacrity cheerful readiness, promptness, or willingness

  26. alala a dull, brownish-tinged crow that occurs only in Hawaii

  27. aleatory of or relating to accidental causes; of luck or chance; unpredictable

  28. alembic a vessel with a beaked cap or head, formerly used in distilling

  29. alexithymia difficulty in experiencing, expressing, and describing emotional responses

  30. alienist (formerly) a doctor specializing in the treatment of mental illness

  31. aliment that which nourishes; nutriment; food

  32. alkahest the universal solvent sought by the alchemists

  33. allay to put (fear, doubt, suspicion, anger, etc.) to rest; calm; quiet

  34. allocution a formal speech, especially one of an incontrovertible or hortatory nature

  35. allopatric originating in or occupying different geographical areas

  36. allusive having reference to something implied or inferred; containing, abounding in, or characterized by allusions

  37. almoner a person whose function or duty is the distribution of alms on behalf of an institution, a royal personage, a monastery, etc

  38. amanuensis a person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another; secretary

  39. ambit circumference; circuit

  40. ambsace the lowest throw at dice, the double ace

  41. ameliorate to make or become better, more bearable, or more satisfactory; improve

  42. amontillado a pale, dry Spanish sherry

  43. amorino a putto represented as an infant cupid

  44. amorist a person who is devoted to love and lovemaking

  45. ampelopsis any climbing, woody vine or shrub belonging to the genus Ampelopsis, of the grape family, having small greenish flowers and inedible berries

  46. amphigory a meaningless or nonsensical piece of writing, especially one intended as a parody

  47. amuse-bouche an appetizer before a meal

  48. anabasis a march from the coast into the interior, as that of Cyrus the Younger against Artaxerxes II, described by Xenophon in his historical work Anabasis (379–371 b.c.).

  49. animadvert to comment unfavorably or critically

  50. animus strong dislike or enmity; hostile attitude; animosity

  51. anodyne a medicine that relieves or allays pain

  52. anomie a state or condition of individuals or society characterized by a breakdown or absence of social norms and values, as in the case of uprooted people

  53. anon in a short time; soon

  54. anorak a hooded pullover jacket originally made of fur and worn in the arctic, now made of any weather-resistant fabric

  55. ansible a fictitious machine capable of instantaneous or superluminal communication (Wikipedia)

  56. anticlinal inclining in opposite directions from a central axis

  57. anxiolytic anxiety relieving

  58. apache a Parisian gangster, rowdy, or ruffian

  59. aphasia the loss of a previously held ability to speak or understand spoken or written language, due to disease or injury of the brain

  60. apocope loss or omission of the last letter, syllable, or part of a word

  61. apoplexy a sudden, usually marked loss of bodily function due to rupture or occlusion of a blood vessel

  62. apoptosis a normal, genetically regulated process leading to the death of cells and triggered by the presence or absence of certain stimuli, as DNA damage

  63. aporia a difficulty encountered in establishing the theoretical truth of a proposition, created by the presence of evidence both for and against it

  64. apotheosis the elevation or exaltation of a person to the rank of a god

  65. apotropaic intended to ward off evil

  66. apparition a supernatural appearance of a person or thing, especially a ghost; a specter or phantom; wraith

  67. apposite suitable; well-adapted; pertinent; relevant; apt

  68. arbalest a powerful medieval crossbow with a steel bow, used to shoot stones, metal balls, arrows, etc.

  69. arcane known or understood by very few; mysterious; secret; obscure; esoteric

  70. arcanum a secret; mystery

  71. arcology a concept in which the ideal city is a massive vertical structure, which preserves more of the natural environment, a concept combining architecture and ecology as envisioned by Paolo Soleri

  72. arete the aggregate of qualities, as valor and virtue, making up good character

  73. argyle a diamond-shaped pattern of two or more colors, used in knitting socks, sweaters, etc.

  74. aristology the science of dining

  75. arnica any composite plant of the genus Arnica, having opposite leaves and yellow flower heads

  76. arrant downright; thorough; unmitigated; notorious

  77. arrogate to claim unwarrantably or presumptuously; assume or appropriate to oneself without right

  78. arrondissement the largest administrative division of a French department, comprising a number of cantons

  79. arvo afternoon

  80. ashlar a squared building stone cut more or less true on all faces adjacent to those of other stones so as to permit very thin mortar joints

  81. ashplant a walking stick made from an ash sapling

  82. asinine foolish, unintelligent, or silly; stupid

  83. aseverate to declare earnestly or solemnly; affirm positively; aver

  84. asperity harshness or sharpness of tone, temper, or manner; severity; acrimony

  85. aspidistra any of several plants belonging to the genus Aspidistra, of the lily family, native to eastern Asia, especially A. eliator, having large evergreen leaves often striped with white, and grown as a houseplant

  86. assiduous constant; unremitting

  87. assonance Also called vowel rhyme. Prosody. rhyme in which the same vowel sounds are used with different consonants in the stressed syllables of the rhyming words, as in penitent and reticence

  88. astrakhan a fur of young lambs, with lustrous, closely curled wool, from Astrakhan

  89. ataraxic a state of freedom from emotional disturbance and anxiety; tranquillity

  90. atavistic reverting to or suggesting the characteristics of a remote ancestor or primitive type

  91. ataxia loss of coordination of the muscles, especially of the extremities

  92. atelier a workshop or studio, especially of an artist, artisan, or designer

  93. atlatl spear-thrower

  94. augur one of a group of ancient Roman officials charged with observing and interpreting omens for guidance in public affairs

  95. aurochs a large, black European wild ox, Bos primigenius: extinct since 1627

  96. auscultation the act of listening, either directly or through a stethoscope or other instrument, to sounds within the body as a method of diagnosis

  97. auteur a filmmaker whose individual style and complete control over all elements of production give a film its personal and unique stamp

  98. autochthonous pertaining to autochthons; aboriginal; indigenous (opposed to heterochthonous)

  99. aver to assert or affirm with confidence; declare in a positive or peremptory manner

  100. averse having a strong feeling of opposition, antipathy, repugnance, etc.; opposed

  101. avoirdupois bodily weight (informal)

  102. azoth mercury, regarded by alchemists as the assumed first principle of all metals

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  103. babbitt any of various alloys of tin with smaller amounts of antimony and copper, used as an antifriction lining for bearings

  104. bacalao codfish, especially when dried and salted

  105. badinage light, playful banter or raillery

  106. bagatelle something of little value or importance; a trifle

  107. baksheesh a tip, present, or gratuity

  108. bald open; undisguised

  109. balderdash senseless, stupid, or exaggerated talk or writing; nonsense

  110. balk to stop, as at an obstacle, and refuse to proceed or to do something specified

  111. bal musette a dance hall in France in which the music is provided by an accordion band

  112. bamboozle to deceive or get the better of (someone) by trickery, flattery, or the like; humbug; hoodwink

  113. banquette a long bench with an upholstered seat, especially one along a wall, as in a restaurant

  114. barbican an outwork of a fortified place, as a castle

  115. barouche a four-wheeled horse-drawn carriage with a collapsible hood over the rear half, a seat in front for the driver, and seats facing each other for the passengers, used especially in the 19th century

  116. barratry fraud by a master or crew at the expense of the owners of the ship or its cargo; the offense of frequently exciting and stirring up lawsuits and quarrels; the purchase or sale of ecclesiastical preferments or of offices of state

  117. basilisk a creature, variously described as a serpent, lizard, or dragon, said to kill by its breath or look

  118. bastinado a mode of punishment consisting of blows with a stick on the soles of the feet or on the buttocks

  119. bathos a ludicrous descent from the exalted or lofty to the commonplace; anticlimax

  120. bawd a woman who maintains a brothel; madam

  121. beadle a parish officer having various subordinate duties, as keeping order during services, waiting on the rector, etc.

  122. beaverboard a light, stiff sheeting made of wood fiber and used in building, especially for partitions or temporary structures

  123. bedight to deck out; array

  124. bedizen to dress or adorn in a showy, gaudy, or tasteless manner

  125. behoof use; advantage; benefit

  126. belletristic of the nature of literature regarded as a fine art

  127. belvedere a building, or architectural feature of a building, designed and situated to look out upon a pleasing scene

  128. benison benediction

  129. bergamot a small citrus tree, Citrus aurantium bergamia, having fruit with a rind that yields a fragrant essential oil

  130. besom a broom, especially one of brush or twigs

  131. bespeak to ask for in advance

  132. bespoke made to individual order; custom-made

  133. bête noire a person or thing especially disliked or dreaded; bane; bugbear

  134. bethel a sacred area or sanctuary. Gen. 28:19

  135. betimes early; in good time

  136. bey a provincial governor in the Ottoman Empire

  137. bezel the diagonal face at the end of the blade of a chisel, or the like, leading to the edge

  138. bezique a game resembling pinochle, originally played with 64 cards and now more commonly with 128 cards and, sometimes, 192 or 256 cards

  139. bibulous fond of or addicted to drink

  140. bierstube a tavern or café offering German or German-style atmosphere, décor, food, beer, etc.

  141. bight the middle part of a rope, as distinguished from the ends

  142. bijou something small, delicate, and exquisitely wrought

  143. bilious peevish; irritable; cranky

  144. billingsgate coarsely or vulgarly abusive language

  145. bindi a decorative dot worn in the middle of the forehead, esp by Hindu women

  146. bint a contemptuous term used to refer to a woman or girl

  147. biro trademark (Brit) a kind of ballpoint

  148. blackcap any of several birds having the top of the head black, as the chickadee and certain warblers, especially the Old World blackcap, Sylvia atricapilla

  149. blandish to coax or influence by gentle flattery; cajole

  150. blather foolish, voluble talk

  151. blatherskite a person who talks at great length without making much sense

  152. blini pancakes made with yeast and either white or buckwheat flour and traditionally served during Shrovetide with caviar and sour cream

  153. blithe joyous, merry, or gay in disposition; glad; cheerful

  154. blottesque painting characterized by blots or heavy touches; coarsely depicted; wanting in delineation

  155. bloviate to speak pompously

  156. blowzy having a coarse, ruddy complexion

  157. bocage a decorative motif of trees, branches, or foliage, as in a tapestry or a ceramic figure group

  158. boffin a scientist or technical expert

  159. bogosity the degree to which something is "bogus" in the hackish sense of "bad". At CMU, bogosity is measured with a bogometer; in a seminar, when a speaker says something bogus, a listener might raise his hand and say "My bogometer just triggered". More extremely, "You just pinned my bogometer" means you just said or did something so outrageously bogus that it is off the scale, pinning the bogometer needle at the highest possible reading (one might also say "You just redlined my bogometer"). The agreed-upon unit of bogosity is the microLenat. Also, the potential field generated by a bogon flux

  160. bogy a hobgoblin; evil spirit

  161. bogey a golf score of one stroke over par on a hole

  162. boggle to overwhelm or bewilder, as with the magnitude, complexity, or abnormality of

  163. boho bohemian

  164. bollard a thick, low post, usually of iron or steel, mounted on a wharf or the like, to which mooring lines from vessels are attached

  165. bollix to do (something) badly; bungle (often followed by up)

  166. bollocks rubbish; nonsense; claptrap

  167. bombastic high-sounding; high-flown; inflated; pretentious

  168. bombazine a twill fabric constructed of a silk or rayon warp and worsted filling, often dyed black for mourning wear

  169. bonce head; skull

  170. boob a stupid person; fool; dunce

  171. booby a stupid person

  172. bouffe a comic opera, especially of farcical character

  173. bounder an obtrusive, ill-bred man

  174. bourse a stock exchange, especially the stock exchange of certain European cities

  175. bosom intimate or confidential

  176. bozo a fellow, especially a big, strong, stupid fellow

  177. bradawl an awl for making small holes in wood for brads

  178. braggadocio empty boasting; bragging

  179. brannigan a carouse

  180. bricolage a construction made of whatever materials are at hand; something created from a variety of available things

  181. brilliantine an oily preparation used to make the hair lustrous

  182. brindle colored gray or tawny with darker streaks or spots

  183. brusque abrupt in manner; blunt; rough

  184. brume mist; fog

  185. buckram a stiff cotton fabric for interlinings, book bindings, etc.

  186. buddleia any shrub belonging to the genus Buddleia, of the logania family, having opposite, lance-shaped leaves and clusters of flowers, comprising the butterfly bushes

  187. bulldoze to coerce or intimidate, as with threats

  188. bumptious offensively self-assertive

  189. burgeon to grow or develop quickly; flourish

  190. burly large in bodily size; stout; sturdy

  191. burrren a limestone area on the North Clare coast in the Irish Republic, famous for its wild flowers, caves, and dolmens

  192. bursary the treasury of a monastery

  193. bushwa rubbishy nonsense; baloney; bull

  194. busk to entertain by dancing, singing, or reciting on the street or in a public place

  195. bwana master, boss

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  196. cabochon a precious stone of convex hemispherical or oval form, polished but not cut into facets

  197. cachaca a Brazilian white rum made from sugarcane

  198. cachou a pill or lozenge for sweetening the breath

  199. caipirinha Brazil's national cocktail

  200. caitiff a contemptible or cowardly person

  201. calash a light vehicle pulled by one or two horses, seating two to four passengers, and having two or four wheels, a seat for a driver on a splashboard, and sometimes a folding top

  202. calcimine a white or tinted wash for walls, ceilings, etc.

  203. calcine to convert into calx by heating or burning

  204. calèche a type of calash pulled by a single horse, seating two passengers and having two wheels and a folding top

  205. calico a plain-woven cotton cloth printed with a figured pattern, usually on one side

  206. caliginous misty; dim; dark

  207. callipygian having well-shaped buttocks

  208. calumny a false and malicious statement designed to injure the reputation of someone or something

  209. calvados a dry apple brandy made from apple cider in Normandy

  210. calx the oxide or ashy substance that remains after metals, minerals, etc., have been thoroughly roasted or burned

  211. camber a slight arching, upward curve, or convexity, as of the deck of a ship

  212. cambiata a melodic ornamental tone following a principal tone by a skip, usually of a third above or below, and progressing by a step

  213. cambric a thin, plain cotton or linen fabric of fine close weave, usually white

  214. campanile a bell tower, especially one freestanding from the body of a church

  215. cangue (formerly in China) a large wooden collar worn by petty criminals as a punishment

  216. cannula a metal tube for insertion into the body to draw off fluid or to introduce medication

  217. canny careful; cautious; prudent

  218. canola a variety of rapeseed that contains reduced levels of erucic acid, making its oil palatable for human consumption, and reduced levels of a toxic glucosin, making its meal desirable as a livestock feed

  219. cantharides Spanish fly

  220. canthus the angle or corner on each side of the eye, formed by the junction of the upper and lower lids

  221. canticle one of the nonmetrical hymns or chants, chiefly from the Bible, used in church services

  222. cantle the hind part of a saddle, usually curved upward

  223. cantonment a camp, usually of large size, where men are trained for military service

  224. cantrip artful shamming meant to deceive

  225. caparison a decorative covering for a horse or for the tack or harness of a horse; trappings

  226. captious apt to notice and make much of trivial faults or defects; faultfinding; difficult to please

  227. carbuncle a painful circumscribed inflammation of the subcutaneous tissue, resulting in suppuration and sloughing, and having a tendency to spread somewhat like a boil, but more serious in its effects

  228. cardamom the aromatic seed capsules of a tropical Asian plant, Elettaria cardamomum, of the ginger family, used as a spice or condiment and in medicine

  229. carillon a set of stationary bells hung in a tower and sounded by manual or pedal action, or by machinery

  230. carminative expelling gas from the body; relieving flatulence

  231. caryatid a sculptured female figure used as a column

  232. castellated built like a castle, especially with turrets and battlements

  233. casuistry specious, deceptive, or oversubtle reasoning, especially in questions of morality; fallacious or dishonest application of general principles; sophistry

  234. catafalque a raised structure on which the body of a deceased person lies or is carried in state

  235. catamite a boy or youth who is in a sexual relationship with a man

  236. catarrh inflammation of a mucous membrane, especially of the respiratory tract, accompanied by excessive secretions

  237. catttleya any of several tropical American orchids of the genus Cattleya, having showy flowers ranging from white to purple

  238. caul a part of the amnion sometimes covering the head of a child at birth

  239. cavalcade a procession of persons riding on horses, in horsedrawn carriages, in cars, etc.

  240. cavil to raise irritating and trivial objections; find fault with unnecessarily (usually followed by at or about)

  241. cayuse a horse, especially an (American) Indian pony

  242. censorious severely critical; faultfinding; carping

  243. ceruse a pigment composed of white lead

  244. ceviche an appetizer of small pieces of raw fish marinated in lime or lemon juice, often with onions, peppers, and spices

  245. chagrin a feeling of vexation, marked by disappointment or humiliation

  246. chalcedony a microcrystalline, translucent variety of quartz, often milky or grayish

  247. chanteuse a female singer, especially one who sings in nightclubs and cabarets

  248. chapeau hat

  249. charabanc a large bus used on sightseeing tours, especially one with open sides and no center aisle

  250. charade a blatant pretense or deception, especially something so full of pretense as to be a travesty

  251. charcuterie a store where pork products, as hams, sausages, and pâtés are sold

  252. charnel a repository for dead bodies

  253. chary cautious or careful; wary

  254. chasten to inflict suffering upon for purposes of moral improvement; chastise

  255. chemmy chemin de fer (a card game)

  256. chenille a velvety cord or yarn of silk or worsted, for embroidery, fringes, etc.

  257. chesterfield a large, overstuffed sofa or divan with a back and upholstered arms

  258. chevy to chase; run after

  259. chiaroscuro the distribution of light and shade in a picture

  260. chickee an open-sided structure, usually thatched with palms and serving as a dwelling

  261. chiffonier a high chest of drawers or bureau, often having a mirror on top

  262. chignon a large, smooth twist, roll, or knot of hair, worn by women at the nape of the neck or the back of the head

  263. chiliasm the doctrine of Christ's expected return to reign on earth for 1000 years; millennialism

  264. chimerical unreal; imaginary; visionary

  265. chinch bedbug

  266. chino a tough, twilled cotton cloth used for uniforms, sports clothes, etc.

  267. chintzy cheap, inferior, or gaudy

  268. chipolata a small sausage in a narrow casing

  269. chit a note; short memorandum

  270. chlamys a short, fine woolen mantle worn by men in ancient Greece

  271. chockablock extremely full; crowded; jammed

  272. chock-full full to the limit; crammed

  273. choler irascibility; anger; wrath; irritability

  274. chook hen, woman

  275. chortle to chuckle gleefully

  276. chouse to swindle; cheat

  277. chthonic of or pertaining to the deities, spirits, and other beings dwelling under the earth

  278. chuffed delighted; pleased; satisfied

  279. chypre a perfume made from sandalwood

  280. ciborium any container designed to hold the consecrated bread or sacred wafers for the Eucharist

  281. cicatrix new tissue that forms over a wound and later contracts into a scar

  282. cicerone a person who conducts sightseers; guide

  283. ciénaga a swamp or marsh, especially one formed and fed by springs

  284. civet any catlike, carnivorous mammal of the subfamily Viverrinae, chiefly of southern Asia and Africa, having a coarse-haired, spotted coat, rounded ears, and a narrow muzzle

  285. clade a taxonomic group of organisms classified together on the basis of homologous features traced to a common ancestor

  286. clangor a loud, resonant sound; clang

  287. clathrate resembling a lattice; divided or marked like latticework

  288. cloaca a sewer, especially an ancient sewer

  289. cloche a bell-shaped metal or glass cover placed over a plate to keep food warm or fresh

  290. Clytemnestra the daughter of Tyndareus and Leda, the wife of Agamemnon, and the mother of Orestes, Electra, and Iphigenia. She killed Agamemnon and was herself killed, along with her lover, Aegisthus, by Orestes

  291. cockatrice a legendary monster with a deadly glance, supposedly hatched by a serpent from the egg of a cock, and commonly represented with the head, legs, and wings of a cock and the body and tail of a serpent

  292. coda a more or less independent passage, at the end of a composition, introduced to bring it to a satisfactory close

  293. coeval of the same age, date, or duration; equally old

  294. cogent convincing or believable by virtue of forcible, clear, or incisive presentation; telling

  295. cognate related by birth; of the same parentage, descent, etc.

  296. cognomen a surname

  297. col a pass or depression in a mountain range or ridge

  298. collation a light meal that may be permitted on days of general fast

  299. collop a small slice, portion, or piece of anything

  300. colloquy a conversational exchange; dialogue

  301. collywobbles intestinal cramps or other intestinal disturbances

  302. colophon a publisher's or printer's distinctive emblem, used as an identifying device on its books and other works

  303. comestibles articles of food; edibles

  304. commensal eating together at the same table

  305. compunction a feeling of uneasiness or anxiety of the conscience caused by regret for doing wrong or causing pain; contrition; remorse; any uneasiness or hesitation about the rightness of an action

  306. concertina a musical instrument resembling an accordion but having buttonlike keys, hexagonal bellows and ends, and a more limited range

  307. concupiscet lustful or sensual

  308. condign well-deserved; fitting; adequate

  309. condole to express sympathy with a person who is suffering sorrow, misfortune, or grief (usually followed by with)

  310. confabulate to converse informally; chat

  311. confess to acknowledge or avow (a fault, crime, misdeed, weakness, etc.) by way of revelation

  312. confiture a confection; a preserve, as of fruit

  313. confusticate to confuse

  314. confute to prove to be false, invalid, or defective; disprove

  315. connatural belonging to a person or thing by nature or from birth or origin; inborn

  316. conniption a fit of hysterical excitement or anger

  317. consilience not defined in dictionary.com

  318. contemn to treat or regard with disdain, scorn, or contempt

  319. contrariety the quality or state of being contrary

  320. contumacy stubborn perverseness or rebelliousness; willful and obstinate resistance or disobedience to authority

  321. contusion an injury, as from a blow with a blunt instrument, in which the subsurface tissue is injured but the skin is not broken; bruise

  322. conurbation an extensive urban area resulting from the expansion of several cities or towns so that they coalesce but usually retain their separate identities

  323. cootie a louse, especially one affecting humans, as the body louse, head louse, or pubic louse

  324. cope to struggle or deal, especially on fairly even terms or with some degree of success (usually followed by with)

  325. copse a thicket of small trees or bushes; a small wood

  326. coquette a woman who flirts lightheartedly with men to win their admiration and affection; flirt

  327. corbel any bracket, especially one of brick or stone, usually of slight extent

  328. cornball a person who indulges in clichés or sentimentality, corny

  329. corniche a winding road cut into the side of a steep hill or along the face of a coastal cliff

  330. corny old-fashioned, trite, or lacking in subtlety

  331. cortege a procession, especially a ceremonial one

  332. coruscate to emit vivid flashes of light; sparkle; scintillate; gleam

  333. cosh a blackjack; bludgeon

  334. cosmogony a theory or story of the origin and development of the universe, the solar system, or the earth-moon system

  335. cosset a lamb brought up without its dam; pet lamb; any pet

  336. coterminous having the same border or covering the same area

  337. cotillion a formal ball given especially for debutantes

  338. couchant lying down; crouching

  339. coxcomb a conceited, foolish dandy; pretentious fop

  340. cozen to cheat, deceive, or trick

  341. crackaloo not in Dictionary.com (from a Rex Stout novel)

  342. cramoisie crimson

  343. cratur a person

  344. craven cowardly; contemptibly timid; pusillanimous

  345. créche a home for foundlings

  346. creolized (of a language) formerly a pidgin but now the native language of a group of speakers, with consequent enrichment of the vocabulary by borrowing and creation

  347. crepitate to make a crackling sound; crackle

  348. crepitus a crackling chest sound heard in pneumonia and other lung diseases; the grating sound of two ends of a broken bone rubbing together

  349. crepuscular of, pertaining to, or resembling twilight; dim; indistinct

  350. cretonne a heavy cotton material in colorfully printed designs, used especially for drapery and slipcovers

  351. cri de coeur an anguished cry of distress or indignation; outcry

  352. crinoid any echinoderm of the class Crinoidea, having a cup-shaped body to which are attached branched, radiating arms, comprising the sea lilies, feather stars, and various fossil forms

  353. croft a small plot of ground adjacent to a house and used as a kitchen garden, to pasture one or two cows, etc.; a garden large enough to feed a family or have commercial value

  354. crotalidae New World vipers: pit vipers

  355. croup any condition of the larynx or trachea characterized by a hoarse cough and difficult breathing; the highest part of the rump of a quadruped, especially a horse

  356. crumby soft

  357. crumhorn a Renaissance musical reed instrument having a cylindrical tube curved at the end

  358. cultus lingcod

  359. cucurbit a gourd

  360. cumshaw a present; gratuity; tip

  361. cupidity eager or excessive desire, especially to possess something; greed; avarice

  362. curriery the occupation or business of a currier of leather

  363. cushat the ringdove, Colomba palumbus

  364. cyclamen any low-growing plant of the genus Cyclamen, belonging to the primrose family, having tuberous rootstocks and nodding white, purple, pink, or crimson flowers with reflexed petals

  365. cynosure something that strongly attracts attention by its brilliance, interest, etc.

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  366. dacoit (in India and Burma) a member of a class of criminals who engage in organized robbery and murder

  367. dado Also called die. Architecture. the part of a pedestal between the base and the cornice or cap

  368. dalek any of a set of fictional robot-like creations that are aggressive, mobile, and produce rasping staccato speech

  369. dally to waste time; loiter; delay; to act playfully, especially in an amorous or flirtatious way

  370. damfool a person who is exceptionally stupid or foolish

  371. darkling vaguely threatening or menacing

  372. dastard a mean, sneaking coward

  373. dauber to apply, as paint or colors, unskillfully

  374. davit any of various cranelike devices used singly or in pairs for supporting, raising, and lowering especially boats, anchors, and cargo over a hatchway or side of a ship

  375. debouch to march out from a narrow or confined place into open country, as a body of troops

  376. defalcation misappropriation of money or funds held by an official, trustee, or other fiduciary

  377. defenestrate to throw (a person or thing) out of a window

  378. defilade protection or shielding from hostile ground observation and flat projecting fire provided by an artificial or natural obstacle, as a hill

  379. deliquesce to become liquid by absorbing moisture from the air, as certain salts

  380. deme one of the administrative divisions of ancient Attica and of modern Greece

  381. demesne possession of land as one's own

  382. demijohn a large bottle having a short, narrow neck, and usually being encased in wickerwork

  383. demimonde (especially during the last half of the 19th century) a class of women who have lost their standing in respectable society because of indiscreet behavior or sexual promiscuity

  384. demiurge (in the Gnostic and certain other systems) a supernatural being imagined as creating or fashioning the world in subordination to the Supreme Being, and sometimes regarded as the originator of evil

  385. demotic of or pertaining to the common people; popular

  386. demure characterized by shyness and modesty; reserved

  387. descant talk tediously or at length

  388. desideratum something wanted or needed

  389. desquamate to come off in scales, as the skin in certain diseases; peel off

  390. desuetude the state of being no longer used or practiced

  391. dervish a member of any of various Muslim ascetic orders, as the Sufis, some of which carry on ecstatic observances, such as energetic dancing and whirling or vociferous chanting or shouting

  392. detritus rock in small particles or other material worn or broken away from a mass, as by the action of water or glacial ice

  393. deuced devilish; confounded; damned

  394. deus ex machina (in ancient Greek and Roman drama) a god introduced into a play to resolve the entanglements of the plot

  395. diapason a full, rich outpouring of melodious sound

  396. diaphanous very sheer and light; almost completely transparent or translucent

  397. diathesis a constitutional predisposition or tendency, as to a particular disease or affection

  398. diction style of speaking or writing as dependent upon choice of words

  399. didactic intended for instruction; instructive

  400. diddikai a person of partial Gypsy extraction

  401. diddle to cheat; swindle; hoax

  402. dido a mischievous trick; prank; antic; a bauble or trifle

  403. diffident lacking confidence in one's own ability, worth, or fitness; timid; shy

  404. dilatory tending to delay or procrastinate; slow; tardy

  405. dingus a gadget, device, or object whose name is unknown or forgotten

  406. dirndl a woman's dress with a close-fitting bodice and full skirt, commonly of colorful and strikingly patterned material, fashioned after Tyrolean peasant wear

  407. discomfiture disconcertion; confusion; embarrassment

  408. disingenuous lacking in frankness, candor, or sincerity; falsely or hypocritically ingenuous; insincere

  409. dispositive involving or affecting disposition or settlement

  410. dissimulate to conceal one's true motives, thoughts, etc., by some pretense; speak or act hypocritically

  411. distaff a staff with a cleft end for holding wool, flax, etc., from which the thread is drawn in spinning by hand

  412. dither to act irresolutely; vacillate

  413. divagate to wander; stray

  414. djebel a mountain

  415. djellaba a loose-fitting hooded gown or robe worn by men in North Africa

  416. dogie a motherless calf in a cattle herd

  417. dogsbody a menial worker; drudge

  418. dolerite a coarse-grained variety of basalt

  419. dolichocephalic long-headed; having a cephalic index of 75 and under

  420. dollymop not in Dictionary.com, found in Urban Dictionary: A prostitute, often an amateur or a part-time street girl; a midinette. Victorian-era slang

  421. donjon the inner tower, keep, or stronghold of a castle

  422. doofus a foolish or inept person

  423. doozie something that is extraordinary or outstanding of its kind

  424. doss a place to sleep, especially in a cheap lodging house

  425. doublet a close-fitting outer garment, with or without sleeves and sometimes having a short skirt, worn by men in the Renaissance

  426. douceur a gratuity; tip

  427. doughty steadfastly courageous and resolute; valiant

  428. dour sullen; gloomy

  429. dovecote a structure, usually at a height above the ground, for housing domestic pigeons

  430. doxy loose woman

  431. dryad a deity or nymph of the woods

  432. dromomania an uncontrollable impulse or desire to wander or travel

  433. droshky a light, low, four-wheeled, open vehicle used mainly in Russia, in which the passengers sit astride or sideways on a long, narrow bench

  434. dross a waste product taken off molten metal during smelting, essentially metallic in character

  435. drugget a rug from India of coarse hair with cotton or jute

  436. ducat (slang) a ticket to a public performance

  437. dub to strike, cut, rub, or make smooth, as leather or timber

  438. dudgeon a feeling of offense or resentment; anger

  439. duenna a governess

  440. dunnage loose material laid beneath or wedged among objects carried by ship or rail to prevent injury from chafing or moisture, or to provide ventilation

  441. durbar the court of a native ruler

  442. durian the edible fruit of a tree, Durio zibethinus, of the bombax family, of southeastern Asia, having a hard, prickly rind, a highly flavored, pulpy flesh, and an unpleasant odor

  443. duvet a usually down-filled quilt, often with a removable cover; comforter

  444. dyad a group of two; couple; pair

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  445. ebullient overflowing with fervor, enthusiasm, or excitement; high-spirited

  446. ecchymosis a discoloration due to extravasation of blood, as in a bruise

  447. éclat showy or elaborate display

  448. ecru very light brown in color, as raw silk, unbleached linen, etc.

  449. ecumenical general; universal

  450. edentate toothless

  451. effete lacking in wholesome vigor; degenerate; decadent

  452. efflorescence the state or a period of flowering

  453. effulgent shining forth brilliantly; radiant

  454. egregious extraordinary in some bad way; glaring; flagrant

  455. eidolon a phantom; apparition

  456. eldritch eerie; weird; spooky

  457. elenctic refuting an argument by proving the falsehood of its conclusion

  458. elision the omission of a vowel, consonant, or syllable in pronunciation

  459. embonpoint excessive plumpness; stoutness

  460. embouchure the mouth of a river

  461. emend to free from faults or errors; correct

  462. emetic causing vomiting, as a medicinal substance

  463. empennage the rear part of an airplane or airship, usually comprising the stabilizer, elevator, vertical fin, and rudder

  464. en brosse (of hair) cut to stand straight in an even row on top, often as a crew cut

  465. enceinte pregnant; with child

  466. encomium a formal expression of high praise; eulogy

  467. encyclical a letter addressed by the pope to all the bishops of the church

  468. enfilade a position of works, troops, etc., making them subject to a sweeping fire from along the length of a line of troops, a trench, a battery, etc.

  469. engram a presumed encoding in neural tissue that provides a physical basis for the persistence of memory; a memory trace

  470. ennui a feeling of utter weariness and discontent resulting from satiety or lack of interest

  471. ensorcell to bewitch

  472. entail a settlement of the inheritance of property over a number of generations so that it remains within a family or other group

  473. enthymeme a syllogism or other argument in which a premise or the conclusion is unexpressed

  474. entente an arrangement or understanding between two or more nations agreeing to follow a particular policy with regard to affairs of international concern

  475. enteric of or relating to the enteron; intestinal

  476. entitlement the right to guaranteed benefits under a government program, as Social Security or unemployment compensation

  477. entree the privilege of entering; access

  478. enucleate to remove (a kernel, tumor, eyeball, etc.) from its enveloping cover

  479. epergne an ornamental piece for the center of a table, for holding fruit, flowers, etc.

  480. epicene belonging to, or partaking of the characteristics of, both sexes

  481. epideictic designed to display something, esp the skill of the speaker in rhetoric

  482. epigone an undistinguished imitator, follower, or successor of an important writer, painter, etc.

  483. epigram any witty, ingenious, or pointed saying tersely expressed

  484. epithet any word or phrase applied to a person or thing to describe an actual or attributed quality

  485. eponymous giving one's name to a tribe, place, etc.

  486. equerry an officer of a royal or similar household, charged with the care of the horses

  487. equinoctial pertaining to an equinox or the equinoxes, or to the equality of duration of day and night

  488. eremite a hermit or recluse, especially one under a religious vow

  489. Erinys any of the Furies

  490. eristic pertaining to controversy or disputation; controversial

  491. errant erring or straying from the proper course or standards; traveling in search of adventure

  492. erstwhile former; of times past

  493. eruct to belch forth, as gas from the stomach

  494. erysipelas Pathology--an acute, febrile infectious disease, caused by a specific streptococcus, characterized by diffusely spreading deep-red inflammation of the skin or mucous membranes

  495. escalade a scaling or mounting by means of ladders, especially in an assault upon a fortified place

  496. especial of a particular kind, or peculiar to a particular one; particular

  497. estimable worthy of esteem; deserving respect or admiration

  498. estivate to spend the summer, as at a specific place or in a certain activity

  499. étagère a stand with a series of open shelves for small objects, bric-a-brac, etc.

  500. etiolate to cause (a plant) to whiten or grow pale by excluding light

  501. etiology any study of causes, causation, or causality, as in philosophy, biology, or physics

  502. ethology the study of animal behavior with emphasis on the behavioral patterns that occur in natural environments

  503. eulogium a eulogy

  504. eusocial of or pertaining to a form of insect society, as that of ants, characterized by specialization of tasks and cooperative care of the young

  505. evanescent vanishing; fading away; fleeting

  506. evert to turn outward or inside out

  507. ex cathedra from the seat of authority; with authority

  508. excelsior fine wood shavings, used for stuffing, packing, etc.

  509. exchequer a treasury, as of a state or nation

  510. excoriate to denounce or berate severely; flay verbally

  511. execrate to detest utterly; abhor; abominate

  512. exegesis critical explanation or interpretation of a text or portion of a text, especially of the Bible

  513. exegete a person skilled in exegesis

  514. exigent requiring immediate action or aid; urgent; pressing

  515. exiguous scanty; meager; small; slender

  516. exilic pertaining to exile, especially that of the Jews in Babylon

  517. expiate to atone for; make amends or reparation for

  518. extrados the exterior curve or surface of an arch or vault

  519. extralegal being beyond the province or authority of law

  520. exude to come out gradually in drops, as sweat, through pores or small openings; ooze out

  521. eyry the nest of a bird of prey, as an eagle or a hawk

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  522. factitious not spontaneous or natural; artificial; contrived

  523. factive (of a verb, adjective, or noun phrase) presupposing the truth of an embedded sentence that serves as complement

  524. factotum a person, as a handyman or servant, employed to do all kinds of work around the house

  525. faience glazed earthenware or pottery, especially a fine variety with highly colored designs

  526. farrier a blacksmith

  527. fascine a long bundle of sticks bound together, used in building earthworks and batteries and in strengthening ramparts

  528. fatidic prophetic

  529. fatuity complacent stupidity; foolishness

  530. favela a shantytown in or near a city, especially in Brazil; slum area

  531. favonian of or relating to the west wind

  532. febrile pertaining to or marked by fever; feverish

  533. fenny marshy

  534. fete a festive celebration or entertainment

  535. fey supernatural; unreal; enchanted

  536. fictive fictitious; imaginary

  537. fin de siècle the end of the 19th century

  538. finick to affect extreme daintiness or refinement

  539. firebrand a person who kindles strife or encourages unrest; an agitator; troublemaker

  540. fistula a narrow passage or duct formed by disease or injury, as one leading from an abscess to a free surface, or from one cavity to another

  541. flam a deception or trick

  542. flense to strip the blubber or the skin from

  543. flinders splinters; small pieces or fragments

  544. flocculent like a clump or tuft of wool

  545. florid flowery; excessively ornate; showy

  546. floss silk filaments with little or no twist, used in weaving as brocade or in embroidery

  547. flummery oatmeal or flour boiled with water until thick; fruit custard or blancmange usually thickened with cornstarch; any of various dishes made of flour, milk, eggs, sugar, etc.; complete nonsense; foolish humbug

  548. foible a minor weakness or failing of character; slight flaw or defect

  549. folderol falderal; mere nonsense; foolish talk or ideas

  550. fondant a thick, creamy sugar paste, the basis of many candies

  551. forrader in a forward direction

  552. forsooth (archaic, now used in derision or to express disbelief) in truth; in fact; indeed

  553. forsythia a shrub belonging to the genus Forsythia, of the olive family, native to China and southeastern Europe, species of which are cultivated for their showy yellow flowers, which blossom on the bare branches in early spring

  554. fossick to search for any object by which to make gain

  555. fractious refractory or unruly

  556. frangipani a perfume prepared from or imitating the odor of the flower of a tropical American tree or shrub, Plumeria rubra, of the dogbane family

  557. frappé a fruit juice mixture frozen to a mush, to be served as a dessert, appetizer, or relish; an after-dinner drink consisting of a liqueur, as crème de menthe, poured over cracked or shaved ice

  558. fribble to act in a foolish or frivolous manner; trifle

  559. fricassee meat, especially chicken or veal, browned lightly, stewed, and served in a sauce made with its own stock

  560. fricative (of a speech sound) characterized by audible friction produced by forcing the breath through a constricted or partially obstructed passage in the vocal tract; spirantal; spirant

  561. frig to copulate with

  562. frippery finery in dress, especially when showy, gaudy, or the like

  563. frisson a sudden, passing sensation of excitement; a shudder of emotion; thrill

  564. froideur an attitude of haughty aloofness; cold superiority

  565. frolic merry play; merriment; gaiety; fun

  566. froufrou elaborate decoration, as frills, ribbons, or ruffles, especially on women's clothing

  567. frow a cleaving tool having a wedge-shaped blade, with a handle set at right angles to it

  568. frowsty musty; ill-smelling

  569. fugato a section of a composition that is in fugal style but does not constitute a real fugue

  570. funk cowering fear; state of great fright or terror

  571. furbelow a ruffle or flounce, as on a woman's skirt or petticoat

  572. furze any spiny shrub of the genus Ulex, of the legume family, native to the Old World, especially U. europaeus, having rudimentary leaves and yellow flowers and growing in waste places and sandy soil

  573. fusty having a stale smell; moldy; musty

  574. fylfot a swastika

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  575. gabble to speak or converse rapidly and unintelligibly; jabber

  576. gabelle a tax; excise

  577. gaga excessively and foolishly enthusiastic

  578. gainsay to deny, dispute, or contradict

  579. gaiter a covering of cloth or leather for the ankle and instep and sometimes also the lower leg, worn over the shoe or boot

  580. galah an Australian cockatoo, Kakatoe roseicapilla, having rose-colored underparts

  581. galena a common, heavy mineral, lead sulfide, PbS, occurring in lead-gray crystals, usually cubes, and cleavable masses: the principal ore of lead

  582. gallimaufry a hodgepodge; jumble; confused medley

  583. gallivant to go about with members of the opposite sex

  584. gamify to turn (an activity or task) into a game or something resembling a game

  585. gamin a neglected boy left to run about the streets; street urchin

  586. gamine a neglected girl who is left to run about the streets; a diminutive or very slender girl, especially one who is pert, impudent, or playfully mischievous

  587. gammon a victory in which the winner throws off all his or her pieces before the opponent throws off any

  588. garrote a method of capital punishment of Spanish origin in which an iron collar is tightened around a condemned person's neck until death occurs by strangulation or by injury to the spinal column at the base of the brain

  589. garrulous excessively talkative in a rambling, roundabout manner, especially about trivial matters

  590. gasometer a large tank or cylindrical reservoir of gas, as at a gasworks, to be piped to homes, factories, etc.

  591. gat older slang: a pistol or revolver

  592. gay having or showing a merry, lively mood

  593. Gargantua an amiable giant and king, noted for his enormous capacity for food and drink, in Rabelais' Gargantua and Pantagruel, 1534.

  594. gauleiter the leader or chief official of a political district under Nazi control

  595. gawky awkward; ungainly; clumsy

  596. gazogene an apparatus for impregnating a liquid with a gas, especially carbon dioxide

  597. gee to turn (something) to the right

  598. gelid very cold; icy

  599. gemütlichkeit warm cordiality; comfortable friendliness; congeniality

  600. geomancy divination by geographic features or by figures or lines

  601. gherkin the small, immature fruit of a variety of cucumber, used in pickling

  602. gibber to speak inarticulately or meaninglessly

  603. gibbet a gallows with a projecting arm at the top, from which the bodies of criminals were formerly hung in chains and left suspended after execution

  604. gimlet a small tool for boring holes, consisting of a shaft with a pointed screw at one end and a handle perpendicular to the shaft at the other

  605. girn grin

  606. glassine a strong, thin, glazed, semitransparent paper, often made into small bags, used for packaging foods, for book jackets, etc.

  607. glaucous light bluish-green or greenish-blue

  608. glissando performed with a gliding effect by sliding one or more fingers rapidly over the keys of a piano or strings of a harp

  609. gloaming twilight; dusk

    <

  610. glottis the opening at the upper part of the larynx, between the vocal cords

    li>gluteal pertaining to the buttock muscles or the buttocks

  611. goanna any of the several large monitor lizards of the family Varanidae, of Australia, especially Varanus varius and V. giganteus, both sometimes growing to 6 feet (1.8 meters)

  612. gobsmacked utterly astounded; astonished

  613. godling a minor god, especially one whose influence or authority is entirely local

  614. gonfalon a banner suspended from a crossbar, often with several streamers or tails

  615. gonoph a pickpocket or thief.

  616. googly a bowled ball that swerves in one direction and breaks in the other

  617. gook makeup, especially when thickly applied

  618. gorget a patch of color on the throat of a bird or other animal, especially a hummingbird

  619. gorp a mixture of nuts, raisins, dried fruits, seeds, or the like eaten as a high-energy snack, as by hikers and climbers

  620. gouache a technique of painting with opaque watercolors prepared with gum

  621. graben a portion of the earth's crust, bounded on at least two sides by faults, that has dropped downward in relation to adjacent portions; also called rift valley

  622. grama any grass of the genus Bouteloua, of South America and western North America

  623. gratuitous being without apparent reason, cause, or justification

  624. gravamen the part of an accusation that weighs most heavily against the accused; the substantial part of a charge or complaint

  625. gravel to bring to a standstill from perplexity; puzzle

  626. gravid pregnant

  627. grazier a person who grazes cattle for the market

  628. grippe (formerly) influenza

  629. grizzled having gray or partly gray hair

  630. grue to shudder

  631. guffaw a loud, unrestrained burst of laughter

  632. guichet a grating, hatch, or small opening in a wall, esp a ticket-office window

  633. guignol an entertainment with sensational or horrifying dramatic intent

  634. gules the tincture red

  635. gull any of numerous long-winged, web-toed, aquatic birds of the family Laridae, having usually white plumage with a gray back and wings; to deceive, trick, or cheat

  636. gullery trickery; fraud

  637. gullible easily deceived or cheated

  638. gump a foolish or stupid person

  639. gunsel a criminal armed with a gun

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  640. hackamore a simple looped bridle, by means of which controlling pressure is exerted on the nose of a horse, used chiefly in breaking colts

  641. hackneyed made commonplace or trite; stale; banal

  642. hadith a traditional account of things said or done by Muhammad or his companions

  643. hag an ugly old woman, especially a vicious or malicious one

  644. hagiography the writing and critical study of the lives of the saints

  645. halberd a shafted weapon with an axlike cutting blade, beak, and apical spike, used especially in the 15th and 16th centuries

  646. hale to compel (someone) to go

  647. halvah a sweet, candylike confection of Turkish origin, consisting chiefly of ground sesame seeds and honey

  648. hap one's luck or lot

  649. hapless unlucky; luckless; unfortunate

  650. harridan scolding, vicious woman; hag; shrew

  651. hawse the distance or space between the bow of an anchored vessel and the point on the surface of the water above the anchor

  652. heartsease peace of mind

  653. heathen (in historical contexts) an individual of a people that do not acknowledge the God of the Bible; a person who is neither a Jew, Christian, nor Muslim; a pagan

  654. heinous hateful; odious; abominable; totally reprehensible

  655. heliotrope any hairy plant belonging to the genus Heliotropium, of the borage family, as H. arborescens, cultivated for its small, fragrant purple flowers

  656. Hellespont ancient name of the Dardanelles

  657. helot a member of the lowest class in ancient Laconia, constituting a body of serfs who were bound to the land and were owned by the state

  658. heresiarch a leader in heresy; the leader of a heretical sect

  659. hermeneutics the science of interpretation, especially of the Scriptures

  660. hetaera a highly cultured courtesan or concubine, especially in ancient Greece

  661. hieratic of or relating to priests or the priesthood; sacerdotal; priestly

  662. hierophant any interpreter of sacred mysteries or esoteric principles; mystagogue

  663. higgle to bargain, especially in a petty way; haggle

  664. hinky nervous or suspicious; acting suspiciously

  665. hobbledehoy an awkward, ungainly youth

  666. hodgepodge a heterogeneous mixture; jumble

  667. hock the joint in the hind leg of a horse, cow, etc., above the fetlock joint, corresponding anatomically to the ankle in humans

  668. holland a coarse linen cloth, used esp. for furnishing

  669. holograph wholly written by the person in whose name it appears

  670. hols a period of cessation from work or one of recreation; vacation

  671. holystone a block of soft sandstone used in scrubbing the decks of a ship

  672. hoopoe any Old World bird of the family Upupidae, especially Upupa epops, of Europe, having an erectile, fanlike crest

  673. hork vomit; spit

  674. horselaugh a loud, coarse laugh, especially of derision

  675. hortatory urging to some course of conduct or action; exhorting; encouraging

  676. hoser a person who is considered unintelligent or uncouth, especially a beer-drinking man

  677. houri one of the beautiful virgins provided in paradise for all faithful Muslims

  678. howdah (in the East Indies) a seat or platform for one or more persons, commonly with a railing and a canopy, placed on the back of an elephant

  679. hoyden a boisterous, bold, and carefree girl; a tomboy

  680. hummock an elevated tract of land rising above the general level of a marshy region

  681. hussy a brazen or immoral woman

  682. hype to stimulate, excite, or agitate

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  683. ickle an ironically childish word for little

  684. iconostasis a partition or screen on which icons are placed, separating the sanctuary from the main part of the church

  685. idyll a poem or prose composition, usually describing pastoral scenes or events or any charmingly simple episode, appealing incident, or the like

  686. ifrit in Islamic mythology, a class of infernal jinn (spirits below the level of angels and devils) noted for their strength and cunning

  687. ignominious discreditable; humiliating

  688. ignoratio elenchi the fallacy of offering proof irrelevant to the proposition in question

  689. ilk family, class, or kind

  690. imago an adult insect

  691. impertinence unmannerly intrusion or presumption; insolence

  692. importunate urgent or persistent in solicitation, sometimes annoyingly so

  693. impugn to challenge as false (another's statements, motives, etc.); cast doubt upon

  694. impunity exemption from punishment

  695. impute to attribute or ascribe

  696. inamorata a woman who loves or is loved; female sweetheart or lover

  697. inanition exhaustion from lack of nourishment; starvation

  698. inchoate not yet completed or fully developed; rudimentary

  699. inchondite ill-constructed; unpolished

  700. incunabula extant copies of books produced in the earliest stages (before 1501) of printing from movable type

  701. ineluctable incapable of being evaded; inescapable

  702. infighting fighting at close range

  703. ingénue the part of an artless, innocent, unworldly girl or young woman, especially as represented on the stage.

  704. inhume to bury; inter

  705. insipid without distinctive, interesting, or stimulating qualities; vapid

  706. insouciance lack of care or concern; indifference

  707. instar an insect in any one of its periods of postembryonic growth between molts

  708. interlope to thrust oneself into the affairs of others

  709. internecine of or relating to conflict or struggle within a group

  710. intrigante a female intriguer

  711. inutile of no use or service

  712. invective vehement or violent denunciation, censure, or reproach

  713. inveigle to entice, lure, or ensnare by flattery or artful talk or inducements

  714. inveterate settled or confirmed in a habit, practice, feeling, or the like

  715. invidious calculated to create ill will or resentment or give offense; hateful

  716. ipso facto by the fact itself

  717. irruption a breaking or bursting in; a violent incursion or invasion

  718. isodomic (of ashlar) composed of stones of uniform size

  719. ixia any of various southern African plants of the genus Ixia, of the iris family, having sword-shaped leaves and showy, ornamental flowers

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  720. janissary a member of any group of loyal guards, soldiers, or supporters

  721. jape to jest; joke; gibe

  722. jefe leader; chief; boss

  723. jejune without interest or significance; dull; insipid; lacking knowledge or experience; uninformed

  724. jerboa any of various mouselike rodents of North Africa and Asia, as of the genera Jaculus and Dipus, with long hind legs used for jumping

  725. jeremiad a prolonged lamentation or mournful complaint

  726. jeroboam a large wine bottle having a capacity of about four ordinary bottles or 3 liters (3.3 quarts)

  727. jess a short strap fastened around the leg of a hawk and attached to the leash

  728. jetton an inscribed counter or token

  729. jibe to shift from one side to the other when running before the wind, as a fore-and-aft sail or its boom

  730. jicama the large, edible, tuberous root of a tropical American plant, Pachyrhizus erosus, of the legume family, eaten as a vegetable either raw or boiled

  731. jink prankish or frolicsome activity

  732. jinn any of a class of spirits, lower than the angels, capable of appearing in human and animal forms and influencing humankind for either good or evil (also spelled djinni)

  733. jive swing music or early jazz; the jargon associated with swing music and early jazz; slang: deceptive, exaggerated, or meaningless talk

  734. jocose given to or characterized by joking; jesting; humorous; playful

  735. jongleur an itinerant minstrel or entertainer who sang songs, often of his own composition, and told stories

  736. judder to vibrate violently

  737. Juggernaut an idol of Krishna, at Puri in Orissa, India, annually drawn on an enormous cart under whose wheels devotees are said to have thrown themselves to be crushed

  738. Junker a member of a class of aristocratic landholders, especially in East Prussia, strongly devoted to militarism and authoritarianism, from among whom the German military forces recruited a large number of its officers

  739. junket a sweet, custardlike food of flavored milk curdled with rennet

  740. junta a small group ruling a country, especially immediately after a coup d'état and before a legally constituted government has been instituted.

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  741. kaffiyeh an Arab headdress for men; made from a diagonally folded square of cloth held in place by an agal wound around the head.

  742. Kafkaesque marked by a senseless, disorienting, often menacing complexity

  743. Kapok the silky down that invests the seeds of a silk-cotton tree (ka·pok tree) Ceiba pentandra, of the East Indies, Africa, and tropical America: used for stuffing pillows, life jackets, etc., and for acoustical insulation

  744. katabatic (of a wind or air current) moving downward or down a slope

  745. karo a shrub or small tree, Pittosporum crassifolium, of New Zealand, having shiny leaves with a white, felty underside, red flowers, and densely hairy fruit

  746. kedgeree a cooked dish consisting of rice, lentils, and spices

  747. kepi a French military cap with a flat circular top and a nearly horizontal visor

  748. kef a state of drowsy contentment, especially from the use of a narcotic

  749. kestrel a common small falcon, Falco tinnunculus, of northern parts of the Eastern Hemisphere, notable for hovering in the air with its head to the wind

  750. kif a state of drowsy contentment, especially from the use of a narcotic

  751. kip the hide of a young or small beast

  752. kirsch a fragrant, colorless, unaged brandy distilled from a fermented mash of cherries, produced especially in Germany, Switzerland, and Alsace, France

  753. kitsch something of tawdry design, appearance, or content created to appeal to popular or undiscriminating taste

  754. klieg kind of arc lamp used as a studio light, 1925, from U.S. engineers, brothers Anton and John Kliegl, who invented it

  755. knout a whip with a lash of leather thongs, formerly used in Russia for flogging criminals

  756. krait any of several large, usually banded, placid but highly venomous snakes constituting the genus Bungarus, of the cobra family, common in southeastern Asia and the Malay Archipelago

  757. kukri a large knife having a heavy curved blade that is sharp on the concave side, used by the Napalese Gurkhas for hunting and combat

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  758. laager a camp or encampment, especially within a protective circle of wagons

  759. labile apt or likely to change

  760. lacuna a gap or missing part, as in a manuscript, series, or logical argument; hiatus

  761. lamasery a monastery of lamas

  762. lambent running or moving lightly over a surface

  763. lamia one of a class of fabulous monsters, commonly represented with the head and breast of a woman and the body of a serpent, said to allure youths and children in order to suck their blood

  764. landau a four-wheeled, two-seated carriage with a top made in two parts that may be let down or folded back

  765. landaulet an automobile having a convertible top for the back seat, with the front seat either roofed or open

  766. languish to be or become weak or feeble; droop; fade

  767. lanugo a coat of delicate, downy hairs, especially that with which the human fetus or a newborn infant is covered

  768. larrikin a street rowdy; hoodlum

  769. larup to beat or thrash

  770. lascar an East Indian sailor

  771. lathy lathlike; long and thin

  772. lea a tract of open ground, especially grassland; meadow

  773. lecythus a vase with a narrow neck

  774. legerdemain sleight of hand

  775. legation a diplomatic minister and staff in a foreign mission

  776. leitmotif a motif or theme associated throughout a music drama with a particular person, situation, or idea

  777. lek a traditional place where males assemble during the mating season and engage in competitive displays that attract females

  778. leman a sweetheart; lover; beloved

  779. lenticular of or pertaining to a lens

  780. lentigo a freckle or other pigmented spot

  781. leporine of, relating to, or resembling a rabbit or hare

  782. levant to leave secretly or hurriedly to avoid paying debts

  783. levée French, not in Dictionary.com

  784. libation a pouring out of wine or other liquid in honor of a deity

  785. libration a real or apparent oscillatory motion, especially of the moon

  786. lied a typically 19th-century German art song characterized by the setting of a poetic text in either strophic or through-composed style and the treatment of the piano and voice in equal artistic partnership

  787. lief gladly; willingly

  788. liminal of, pertaining to, or situated at the threshold

  789. linchpin a pin inserted through the end of an axletree to keep the wheel on

  790. lissome lithesome or lithe, especially of body; supple; flexible

  791. lisle knit goods, as gloves or hose, made of a fine, high-twisted and hard-twisted cotton thread, at least two-ply

  792. lithophane a transparency made of thin porcelain or bone china having an intaglio design

  793. littoral of or pertaining to the shore of a lake, sea, or ocean

  794. loge (in a theater) the front section of the lowest balcony, separated from the back section by an aisle or railing or both

  795. logy lacking physical or mental energy or vitality; sluggish; dull; lethargic

  796. lop to cut off (branches, twigs, etc.) from a tree or other plant

  797. loblolly a mire; mudhole

  798. loess a loamy deposit formed by wind, usually yellowish and calcareous, common in the Mississippi Valley and in Europe and Asia

  799. loggia a gallery or arcade open to the air on at least one side

  800. logomancy divination by words

  801. lordosis a posture assumed by some female mammals during mating, in which the back arches downward

  802. louche dubious; shady; disreputable

  803. lubricious arousing or expressive of sexual desire; lustful; lecherous

  804. lucubration laborious work, study, thought, etc., especially at night

  805. lulu any remarkable or outstanding person or thing (slang)

  806. lugubrious mournful, dismal, or gloomy, especially in an affected, exaggerated, or unrelieved manner

  807. lummox a clumsy, stupid person

  808. lumpen of or relating to disfranchised and uprooted individuals or groups, especially those who have lost status

  809. lunger a person who has chronic lung disease, especially tuberculosis

  810. lycanthropic a delusion in which one imagines oneself to be a wolf or other wild animal

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    M

  811. macadam pavement made by laying and compacting successive layers of broken stone, often with asphalt or hot tar

  812. maenad a frenzied or raging woman

  813. magnanimous proceeding from or revealing generosity or nobility of mind, character, etc.

  814. mahout the keeper or driver of an elephant, especially in India and the East Indies

  815. maieuticof or pertaining to the method used by Socrates of eliciting knowledge in the mind of a person by interrogation and insistence on close and logical reasoning

  816. maillot a close-fitting, one-piece bathing suit for women, simply styled and usually having a scoop neck and shoulder straps

  817. majolica Italian earthenware covered with an opaque glaze of tin oxide and usually highly decorated

  818. majuscule large, as either capital or uncial letters

  819. malefic productive of evil; malign; doing harm; baneful

  820. mallow any of various plants of the genus Malva, including several popular garden plants, as the musk mallow

  821. Malpighi Italian anatomist

  822. mamon a personification of riches as an evil spirit or deity

  823. mandrake a narcotic, short-stemmed European plant, Mandragora officinarum, of the nightshade family, having a fleshy, often forked root somewhat resembling a human form

  824. manque the numbers 1 to 18 in roulette

  825. mantic of or pertaining to divination

  826. manumit to release from slavery or servitude

  827. maquillage makeup

  828. maquis the French underground movement, or Resistance, that combatted the Nazis in World War II

  829. marmoreal of or like marble

  830. marmot any bushy-tailed, stocky rodent of the genus Marmota, as the woodchuck

  831. marque a product model or type, as of a luxury or racing car

  832. mashie a golf club with an iron head, the face having more slope than a mashie iron but less slope than a mashie niblick

  833. matin the service of public prayer, said in the morning, in the Anglican Church

  834. matelot a sailor

  835. matryoshka Russian doll

  836. maudlin tearfully or weakly emotional; foolishly sentimental

  837. maumet a doll, puppet, scarecrow, or other figure built to resemble a human being

  838. maven an expert or connoisseur

  839. mawkish characterized by sickly sentimentality; weakly emotional; maudlin

  840. meed a reward or recompense

  841. megrim low spirits; the blues

  842. ménage a domestic establishment; household

  843. mendicant begging; practicing begging; living on alms

  844. mephitic (especially of a gas or vapor) foul-smelling; noxious

  845. mercer a dealer in textile fabrics; dry-goods merchant

  846. meretricious alluring by a show of flashy or vulgar attractions; tawdry

  847. merkin false hair for the female pudenda

  848. mesclun a salad consisting especially of young, tender mixed greens

  849. mesonoxian pertaining to the hour of midnight

  850. metheglin a variety of spiced mead

  851. métier a field of work; occupation, trade, or profession

  852. metonymy a figure of speech that consists of the use of the name of one object or concept for that of another to which it is related, or of which it is a part, as “scepter” for “sovereignty,” or “the bottle” for “strong drink,” or “count heads (or noses)” for “count people.”

  853. miasma noxious exhalations from putrescent organic matter; poisonous effluvia or germs polluting the atmosphere

  854. micturition the act of passing urine; urination

  855. midden a dunghill or refuse heap

  856. middinette a young Parisian saleswoman or seamstress

  857. midge any of numerous minute dipterous insects, especially of the family Chironomidae, somewhat resembling a mosquito

  858. midsummer the middle of summer (which would be early August); the summer solstice, around June 21 (which is the beginning of summer)

  859. militate to have a substantial effect; weigh heavily

  860. minx a pert, impudent, or flirtatious girl

  861. minyan the number of persons required by Jewish law to be present to conduct a communal religious service, traditionally a minimum of 10 Jewish males over 13 years of age

  862. misère a call in solo whist and other card games declaring a hand that will win no tricks

  863. mizzle mist or drizzle

  864. metonymy a figure of speech that consists of the use of the name of one object or concept for that of another to which it is related, or of which it is a part, as “scepter” for “sovereignty,” or “the bottle” for “strong drink,” or “count heads (or noses)” for “count people”

  865. moiety an indefinite portion, part, or share

  866. moleskin a strong and heavy napped, twilled cotton fabric used for sportswear and work clothing

  867. mopish given to moping; listless, apathetic, or dejected

  868. morganatic of or pertaining to a form of marriage in which a person of high rank, as a member of the nobility, marries someone of lower station with the stipulation that neither the low-ranking spouse nor their children, if any, will have any claim to the titles or entailed property of the high-ranking partner

  869. mosey to wander or shuffle about leisurely; stroll; saunter (often followed by along, about, etc.)

  870. mook a contemptible, incompetent person

  871. moonscape a land area that resembles the surface of the moon, especially in barrenness and desolation

  872. morbid suggesting an unhealthy mental state or attitude; unwholesomely gloomy, sensitive, extreme, etc.

  873. mordant sharply caustic or sarcastic, as wit or a speaker; biting

  874. morel any edible mushroom of the genus Morchella, especially M. esculenta

  875. moribund in a dying state; near death

  876. morion an open helmet of the 16th and early 17th centuries, worn by common soldiers and usually having a flat or turned-down brim and a crest from front to back

  877. motile moving or capable of moving spontaneously

  878. moue a pouting grimace

  879. mountebank a person who sells quack medicines, as from a platform in public places, attracting and influencing an audience by tricks, storytelling, etc.

  880. motley a heterogeneous assemblage

  881. mucid moldy; musty (archaic)

  882. muezzin the crier who, from a minaret or other high part of a mosque, at stated hours five times daily, intones aloud the call summoning Muslims to prayer

  883. multifarious numerous and varied; greatly diverse or manifold

  884. mufti civilian clothes, in contrast with military or other uniforms, or as worn by a person who usually wears a uniform

  885. mummer a person who wears a mask or fantastic costume while merrymaking or taking part in a pantomime, especially at Christmas and other festive seasons

  886. mundane common; ordinary; banal; unimaginative

  887. mundify to cleanse; deterge

  888. munge computer slang: to manipulate (raw data), especially to convert (data) from one format to another; also to mess up or distort information

  889. munificent extremely liberal in giving; very generous

  890. muso a musician, especially a pop musician, regarded as being overconcerned with technique rather than musical content or expression

  891. mutatis mutandis the necessary changes having been made

  892. muzhik a Russian peasant

  893. myrmidon a person who executes without question or scruple a master's commands

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  894. nacre mother-of-pearl

  895. nacreous resembling nacre; lustrous; pearly

  896. naff (British slang) unstylish; lacking taste; inferior

  897. napery table linen, as tablecloths or napkins

  898. narthex an enclosed passage between the main entrance and the nave of a church

  899. nascent beginning to exist or develop

  900. nates buttocks; rump

  901. natron a mineral, hydrated sodium carbonate, Na2CO3⋅10H2O

  902. navicular boat-shaped, as certain bones

  903. necromancy a method of divination through alleged communication with the dead; black art

  904. nefarious extremely wicked or villainous; iniquitous

  905. negroni a cocktail made from sweet vermouth, gin, and bitters

  906. nereid any of the 50 daughters of Nereus; a sea nymph

  907. nescience lack of knowledge; ignorance

  908. netsuke a small figure of ivory, wood, metal, or ceramic, originally used as a buttonlike fixture on a man's sash, from which small personal belongings were hung

  909. neurasthenia nervous debility and exhaustion occurring in the absence of objective causes or lesions; nervous exhaustion

  910. nexus a means of connection; tie; link; the core or center, as of a matter or situation

  911. niggardly reluctant to give or spend; stingy; miserly

  912. niggle to criticize, especially constantly or repeatedly, in a peevish or petty way; carp

  913. niggling petty; trivial; inconsequential

  914. nightjar a nocturnal European bird, Caprimulgus europaeus, of the family Caprimulgidae, having a short bill and a wide mouth and feeding on insects captured in the air

  915. nimbus a shining cloud sometimes surrounding a deity when on earth

  916. noisome offensive or disgusting, as an odor

  917. nomological the science of law or laws

  918. nonesuch a person or thing without equal; paragon

  919. nonillion a cardinal number represented in the U.S. by 1 followed by 30 zeros, and in Great Britain by 1 followed by 54 zeros

  920. noosphere the biosphere including and modified by such human activities as agriculture, forestry, animal husbandry, urbanization, and industrialization

  921. normative of or pertaining to a norm, especially an assumed norm regarded as the standard of correctness in behavior, speech, writing, etc.

  922. noyau a liqueur made from brandy flavoured with nut kernels

  923. nudnik a persistently dull, boring pest

  924. nugacity triviality; insignificance

  925. nugatory of no real value; trifling; worthless

  926. nullipara a woman who has never borne a child

  927. numen divine power or spirit; a deity, especially one presiding locally or believed to inhabit a particular object

  928. nutation the periodic oscillation observed in the precession of the earth's axis and the precession of the equinoxes

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  929. oaf a clumsy, stupid person; lout

  930. obdurate stubborn; unyielding

  931. obiter dictum an incidental or passing remark, opinion, etc.

  932. objurgate to reproach or denounce vehemently; upbraid harshly; berate sharply

  933. obloquy censure, blame, or abusive language aimed at a person or thing, especially by numerous persons or by the general public

  934. obstreperous resisting control or restraint in a difficult manner; unruly

  935. ocarina a simple musical wind instrument shaped somewhat like an elongated egg with a mouthpiece and finger holes

  936. octavo a book size of about 6 × 9 inches (16 × 23 cm), determined by printing on sheets folded to form 8 leaves or 16 pages

  937. ocotillo a spiny, woody shrub, Fouqueria splendens, of arid regions of the southwestern U.S. and Mexico, having a tight cluster of red flowers at the tip of each branch

  938. odalisque a female slave or concubine in a harem, especially in that of the sultan of Turkey

  939. oeuvre the works of a writer, painter, or the like, taken as a whole

  940. offal the parts of a butchered animal that are considered inedible by human beings; carrion

  941. ogive a pointed arch

  942. oikology the study or science of housekeeping

  943. oilskin a cotton fabric made waterproof by treatment with oil and used for rain gear and fishermen's clothing

  944. oke OK; all right

  945. oleaginous having the nature or qualities of oil

  946. oneiric of or pertaining to dreams

  947. ontogeny the development or developmental history of an individual organism

  948. onus a difficult or disagreeable obligation, task, burden, etc.; burden of proof

  949. oodles a large quantity

  950. oophore an alternately produced form of certain cryptogamous plants, as ferns, mosses, and the like, which bears antheridia and archegonia, and so has sexual fructification, as contrasted with the sporophore, which is nonsexual, but produces spores in countless number

  951. ophidian belonging or pertaining to the suborder Ophidia (Serpentes), comprising the snakes

  952. opprobrium the disgrace or the reproach incurred by conduct considered outrageously shameful; infamy

  953. orc a mythical monster, as an ogre

  954. ordure dung; manure; excrement

  955. orgone (in Wilhelm Reich's theory) a vital, primal, nonmaterial element believed to permeate the universe

  956. ormolu an alloy of copper and zinc used to imitate gold

  957. osculate to come into close contact or union

  958. osmundine not in Dictionary.com (from a Rex Stout novel, used for orchid culture)

  959. ossified hardened like or into bone

  960. ostensible outwardly appearing as such; professed; pretended

  961. ostler a stableman, especially one at an inn

  962. otiose being at leisure; idle; indolent

  963. oubliette a secret dungeon with an opening only in the ceiling, as in certain old castles

  964. ouphe an elf or goblin

  965. outré passing the bounds of what is usual or considered proper; unconventional; bizarre

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  966. paean any song of praise, joy, or triumph

  967. paladin any one of the 12 legendary peers or knightly champions in attendance on Charlemagne

  968. palaver a conference or discussion

  969. palimpsest a parchment or the like from which writing has been partially or completely erased to make room for another text

  970. palinesque Resembling Sarah Palin.

  971. paling also called paling fence: picket fence

  972. palliate to relieve or lessen without curing; mitigate; alleviate

  973. paltry ridiculously or insultingly small

  974. panache an ornamental plume of feathers, tassels, or the like, especially one worn on a helmet or cap

  975. pankration ancient Greek sports event that combined boxing and wrestling, introduced at the Xxxiii Olympiad (648 BC). Simple fisticuffs had been introduced in 688 BC. Particularly popular among Spartans, contests were savage, with hitting, kicking, twisting of limbs, strangling, and struggling on the ground allowed. The only recognized fouls were biting and gouging. A contest ended when one of the fighters acknowledged defeat.

  976. pannier a basket, especially a large one, for carrying goods, provisions, etc.

  977. panoply a wide-ranging and impressive array or display

  978. parapet any low protective wall or barrier at the edge of a balcony, roof, bridge, or the like

  979. paravane an underwater defensive device against mines, consisting of a pair of torpedo-shaped vanes towed at the bow of a ship, usually a minesweeper, by cables that can cut the cable of a moored mine, causing the mine to rise to the surface, where it can be destroyed or removed from the water

  980. pareidolia the imagined perception of a pattern or meaning where it does not actually exist, as in considering the moon to have human features

  981. parenchyma the fundamental tissue of plants, composed of thin-walled cells able to divide

  982. pareto denoting a law, mathematical formula, etc, originally used by Pareto to express the frequency distribution of incomes in a society

  983. parochial very limited or narrow in scope or outlook; provincial

  984. paronomasia the use of a word in different senses or the use of words similar in sound to achieve a specific effect, as humor or a dual meaning; punning

  985. parterre the rear section of seats, and sometimes also the side sections, of the main floor of a theater, concert hall, or opera house

  986. parousia Platonism: the presence in any thing of the idea after which it was formed

  987. paroxysm any sudden, violent outburst; a fit of violent action or emotion

  988. parthenogenesis development of an egg without fertilization

  989. parvenu a person who has recently or suddenly acquired wealth, importance, position, or the like, but has not yet developed the conventionally appropriate manners, dress, surroundings, etc.

  990. pastern the part of the foot of a horse, cow, etc., between the fetlock and the hoof

  991. pastiche a literary, musical, or artistic piece consisting wholly or chiefly of motifs or techniques borrowed from one or more sources

  992. pastille a flavored or medicated lozenge; troche

  993. pastis a yellowish, anise-based liqueur originally made in Marseilles and similar to absinthe but containing no wormwood

  994. patent readily open to notice or observation; evident; obvious

  995. patchouli a plant, Pogostemon cablin, of tropical Asia, that yields a fragrant oil (patchouli oil) used in the manufacture of perfumes

  996. patois a regional form of a language, especially of French, differing from the standard, literary form of the language

  997. patten any of various kinds of footwear, as a wooden shoe, a shoe with a wooden sole, a chopine, etc., to protect the feet from mud or wetness

  998. pavonine of or like a peacock

  999. pawpaw a tree, Asimina triloba, of the annona family, native to the eastern U.S., having large, oblong leaves and purplish flowers

  1000. peavey a cant hook with a sharply pointed end, used in handling logs

  1001. peccadillo a very minor or slight sin or offense; a trifling fault

  1002. peccary any of several piglike hoofed mammals of the genus Tayassu, of North and South America, as T. tajacu (collared peccary, or javelina), having a dark gray coat with a white collar

  1003. peculate to steal or take dishonestly (money, especially public funds, or property entrusted to one's care); embezzle

  1004. pelagic living or growing at or near the surface of the ocean, far from land, as certain organisms

  1005. pelise an outer garment lined or trimmed with fur

  1006. pellucid allowing the maximum passage of light, as glass; translucent

  1007. Pelmanism a system of training to improve the memory

  1008. pelorus a device for measuring in degrees the relative bearings of observed objects

  1009. penumbra a shadowy, indefinite, or marginal area

  1010. peony any of various plants or shrubs of the genus Paeonia, having large, showy flowers, as the widely cultivated species P. lactiflora: the state flower of Indiana

  1011. peradventure chance, doubt, or uncertainty

  1012. percale a closely woven, smooth-finished, plain or printed cotton cloth, used for bed sheets, clothing, etc.

  1013. percipient having perception; discerning; discriminating

  1014. perfidy deliberate breach of faith or trust; faithlessness; treachery

  1015. peristyle a colonnade surrounding a building or an open space

  1016. perorate to speak at length; make a long, usually grandiloquent speech

  1017. persiflage light, bantering talk or writing

  1018. persnickety overparticular; fussy

  1019. pertinacious holding tenaciously to a purpose, course of action, or opinion; resolute

  1020. perturb to disturb or disquiet greatly in mind; agitate

  1021. pessary a diaphragm

  1022. petechia a minute, round, nonraised hemorrhage in the skin or in a mucous or serous membrane

  1023. petitio principii a fallacy in reasoning resulting from the assumption of that which in the beginning was set forth to be proved; begging the question

  1024. pettifogging insignificant; petty

  1025. pfui phooey; an exclamation indicating rejection, contempt, or disgust

  1026. phaeton any of various light, four-wheeled carriages, with or without a top, having one or two seats facing forward, used in the 19th century

  1027. pharaonic impressively or overwhelmingly large, luxurious, etc.

  1028. pharisaic practicing or advocating strict observance of external forms and ceremonies of religion or conduct without regard to the spirit; self-righteous; hypocritical

  1029. phasis a manner, stage, or aspect of being; phase

  1030. phenomenon a fact, occurrence, or circumstance observed or observable; philosophy--an appearance or immediate object of awareness in experience; Kantianism--a thing as it appears to and is constructed by the mind, as distinguished from a noumenon, or thing-in-itself

  1031. philippic any speech or discourse of bitter denunciation

  1032. philter a potion, charm, or drug supposed to cause the person taking it to fall in love, usually with some specific person

  1033. phiz face

  1034. phlebotomista nurse or other health worker trained in drawing venous blood for testing or donation

  1035. phlegmatic not easily excited to action or display of emotion; apathetic; sluggish

  1036. phocine of or relating to seals

  1037. phylloxera any of several plant lice of the genus Phylloxera, especially P. vitifoliae (grape phylloxera) which attacks the leaves and roots of grapevines

  1038. pika any of several small, brown to gray tailless mammals of the genus Ochotona, resembling rabbits with short ears and legs and inhabiting western mountains of North America and parts of eastern Europe and Asia

  1039. pillion a seat for a passenger behind a motorcyclist

  1040. pillock a stupid or annoying person

  1041. pinafore a child's apron, usually large enough to cover the dress and sometimes trimmed with flounces

  1042. piquet a card game played by two persons with a pack of 32 cards, the cards from deuces to sixes being excluded

  1043. pimire an ant

  1044. plackart armor

  1045. placket the opening or slit at the top of a skirt, or in a dress or blouse, that facilitates putting it on and taking it off

  1046. plage a sandy bathing beach at a seashore resort

  1047. plaintive expressing sorrow or melancholy; mournful

  1048. plait a braid, especially of hair or straw

  1049. planchette a small, heart-shaped board supported by two casters and a pencil or stylus that, when moved across a surface by the light, unguided pressure of the fingertips, is supposed to trace meaningful patterns or written messages revealing subconscious thoughts, psychic phenomena, clairvoyant messages, etc.

  1050. plashy marshy; wet

  1051. pleasance a place laid out as a pleasure garden or promenade

  1052. pleonasm the use of more words than are necessary to express an idea; redundancy

  1053. plerophory fullness, full persuasion

  1054. plinth a slablike member beneath the base of a column or pier

  1055. plonk inferior or cheap wine

  1056. picayune of little value or account; small; trifling

  1057. picul a weight equal to 100 catties, or from about 133 to about 143 pounds avoirdupois (60–64 kg)

  1058. pinnace a light sailing ship, especially one formerly used in attendance on a larger ship

  1059. pippin variety of apple; botany--a seed

  1060. piste a track or trail, as a downhill ski run or a spoor made by a wild animal

  1061. poilu a French common soldier

  1062. poitrine

  1063. polder a tract of low land, especially in the Netherlands, reclaimed from the sea or other body of water and protected by dikes

  1064. polemic a controversial argument, as one against some opinion, doctrine, etc.

  1065. polemology the analysis of human conflict and war, particularly international war

  1066. poltroon a wretched coward; craven

  1067. pomelo the very large, yellow or orange citrus fruit of a tree, Citrus maxima, of southeastern Asia

  1068. ponderable capable of being considered carefully or deeply

  1069. poniard a small, slender dagger

  1070. pooh-pooh to express disdain or contempt for; dismiss lightly

  1071. poop a stupid, fussy, or boring person (perhaps short for nincompoop)

  1072. poppet any of the vertical timbers bracing the bow or stern of a vessel about to be launched

  1073. porphyry a very hard rock, anciently quarried in Egypt, having a dark, purplish-red groundmass containing small crystals of feldspar

  1074. portico a structure consisting of a roof supported by columns or piers, usually attached to a building as a porch

  1075. portiere a curtain hung in a doorway, either to replace the door or for decoration

  1076. portmanteau a case or bag to carry clothing in while traveling, especially a leather trunk or suitcase that opens into two halves

  1077. poseur a person who attempts to impress others by assuming or affecting a manner, degree of elegance, sentiment, etc., other than his or her true one

  1078. posset a drink made of hot milk curdled with ale, wine, or the like, often sweetened and spiced

  1079. postprandia after a meal, especially after dinner

  1080. postulant a candidate, especially for admission into a religious order

  1081. pother commotion; uproar

  1082. potlatch a party or celebration

  1083. potman a youth or man employed at a public house to serve beer, etc.

  1084. pourparler an informal preliminary conference

  1085. prandial of or relating to a meal, especially dinner

  1086. prat the buttocks

  1087. prate to talk excessively and pointlessly; babble

  1088. preeclampsia a form of toxemia of pregnancy, characterized by hypertension, fluid retention, and albuminuria, sometimes progressing to eclampsia

  1089. prefect a person appointed to any of various positions of command, authority, or superintendence, as a chief magistrate in ancient Rome or the chief administrative official of a department of France or Italy

  1090. preponderate to exceed something else in weight; be the heavier

  1091. prepossessing that impresses favorably; engaging or attractive

  1092. prepotent preeminent in power, authority, or influence; predominant

  1093. prepuce the fold of skin that covers the head of the penis; foreskin; a similar covering of the clitoris

  1094. prerogative an exclusive right, privilege, etc., exercised by virtue of rank, office, or the like

  1095. presbyopia farsightedness due to ciliary muscle weakness and loss of elasticity in the crystalline lens

  1096. presbyter (in the early Christian church) an office bearer who exercised teaching, priestly, and administrative functions

  1097. preternatural outside of nature; supernatural

  1098. prevaricate to speak falsely or misleadingly; deliberately misstate or create an incorrect impression; lie

  1099. prig a person who displays or demands of others pointlessly precise conformity, fussiness about trivialities, or exaggerated propriety, especially in a self-righteous or irritating manner

  1100. primus Scottish Episcopal Church. a bishop who is elected to represent the church body and to summon and preside at synods but who possesses no metropolitan power

  1101. prink to deck or dress for show; to fuss over one's dress, especially before the mirror

  1102. probity integrity and uprightness; honesty

  1103. prodigality wasteful extravagance in spending

  1104. profiterole a small cream puff with a sweet or savory filling, as of cream and chocolate sauce

  1105. profligacy shameless dissoluteness

  1106. prolegomenon a preliminary discussion; introductory essay, as prefatory matter in a book; a prologue

  1107. prolix extended to great, unnecessary, or tedious length; long and wordy

  1108. propinquity nearness in place; proximity; nearness of relation; kinship

  1109. propitiate to make favorably inclined; appease; conciliate

  1110. propolis a reddish resinous cement collected by bees from the buds of trees, used to stop up crevices in the hives, strengthen the cells, etc.

  1111. propranolol a beta-blocking drug, C 1 6 H 2 1 NO 2, used in the treatment of hypertension, angina pectoris, and cardiac arrhythmias

  1112. prorogue to discontinue a session of (the British Parliament or a similar body)

  1113. proscenium the arch that separates a stage from the auditorium

  1114. prosody the science or study of poetic meters and versification

  1115. prostrate to cast (oneself) face down on the ground in humility, submission, or adoration

  1116. provender dry food, as hay or oats, for livestock or other domestic animals; fodder

  1117. prurient having, inclined to have, or characterized by lascivious or lustful thoughts, desires, etc.

  1118. psychedelic mind manifesting

  1119. ptomaine any of a class of foul-smelling nitrogenous substances produced by bacteria during putrefaction of animal or plant protein: formerly thought to be toxic

  1120. pudendum the external genital organs, especially those of the female; vulva

  1121. puissance power, might, or force

  1122. puncheon a large cask of varying capacity, but usually 80 gallons (304 liters); a short post, especially one used for supporting the roof in a coal mine

  1123. punctilio a fine point, particular, or detail, as of conduct, ceremony, or procedure

  1124. pushbike a standard bicycle, operated by pedals rather than a motor

  1125. purblind slow or deficient in understanding, imagination, or vision

  1126. purdah the seclusion of women from the sight of men or strangers, practiced by some Muslims and Hindus

  1127. purl to knit with a reverse stitch; to finish with loops or a looped edging

  1128. purlieu a place where one may range at large; confines or bounds

  1129. pusillanimous lacking courage or resolution; cowardly; faint-hearted; timid

  1130. putto a representation of a cherubic infant, often shown winged

  1131. puttee a long strip of cloth wound spirally round the leg from ankle to knee, worn especially formerly as part of a soldier's uniform

    A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

    Q

  1132. qawwali a style of Sufi devotional music marked by rhythmic improvisatory repetition of a short phrase, intended to rouse participants to a state of mystical ecstasy

  1133. qua as; as being; in the character or capacity of

  1134. quadriplegia paralysis of all four limbs or of the entire body below the neck

  1135. quaint skillfully or cleverly made

  1136. quay a landing place, especially one of solid masonry, constructed along the edge of a body of water; wharf

  1137. quenelle a dumpling of finely chopped fish or meat that is poached in water or stock and usually served with a sauce

  1138. quibble an instance of the use of ambiguous, prevaricating, or irrelevant language or arguments to evade a point at issue

  1139. quiddity the quality that makes a thing what it is; the essential nature of a thing

  1140. quim vagina; vulva

  1141. quirk an area taken from a larger area, as a room or a plot of ground (architecture)

  1142. quisling a person who betrays his or her own country by aiding an invading enemy, often serving later in a puppet government; fifth columnist

  1143. quittance a document certifying discharge from debt or obligation, as a receipt

  1144. quixotic extravagantly chivalrous or romantic; visionary, impractical, or impracticable

  1145. quod jail

  1146. quoin an external solid angle of a wall or the like

  1147. quoits a game in which rings of rope or flattened metal are thrown at an upright peg, the object being to encircle it or come as close to it as possible

  1148. quotidian daily

    A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

    R

  1149. raceme a simple indeterminate inflorescence in which the flowers are borne on short pedicels lying along a common axis, as in the lily of the valley

  1150. raddle to interweave; wattle

  1151. radula a chitinous band in the mouth of most mollusks, set with numerous, minute, horny teeth and drawn backward and forward over the floor of the mouth in the process of breaking up food

  1152. raffish mildly or sometimes engagingly disreputable or nonconformist; rakish

  1153. raillery good-humored ridicule; banter

  1154. rambunctious difficult to control or handle; wildly boisterous

  1155. rancor bitter, rankling resentment or ill will; hatred; malice

  1156. rapt deeply engrossed or absorbed

  1157. rawsome awesome like Robert A. Wagner, also spelled "rawesome"

  1158. rebarbative causing annoyance, irritation, or aversion; repellent

  1159. recitative pertaining to or of the nature of recital

  1160. recondite dealing with very profound, difficult, or abstruse subject matter

  1161. recreant cowardly or craven

  1162. recrudescence breaking out afresh or into renewed activity; revival or reappearance in active existence

  1163. redolent having a pleasant odor; fragrant

  1164. refectory a dining hall in a religious house, a college, or other institution

  1165. refractory hard or impossible to manage; stubbornly disobedient

  1166. refrangible capable of being refracted, as rays of light

  1167. reify to convert into or regard as a concrete thing

  1168. reive to rob; plunder

  1169. remise to give up a claim to; surrender by deed

  1170. renascent being reborn; springing again into being or vigor

  1171. repechage (in cycling and rowing) a last-chance qualifying heat in which the runners-up in earlier heats race each other, with the winner advancing to the finals

  1172. répétiteur the vocal coach of an opera chorus

  1173. replevin an action for the recovery of goods or chattels wrongfully taken or detained

  1174. reticulate netted; covered with a network

  1175. reticule a small purse or bag, originally of network but later of silk, rayon, etc.

  1176. retroversion a looking or turning back

  1177. retroussé (especially of the nose) turned up

  1178. revanche the policy of a state intent on regaining areas of its original territory that have been lost to other states as a result of war, a treaty signed under duress, etc.

  1179. revenant a person who returns

  1180. rheum a thin discharge of the mucous membranes, especially during a cold

  1181. rife of common or frequent occurrence; prevalent; in widespread existence, activity, or use

  1182. rime an opaque coating of tiny, white, granular ice particles, caused by the rapid freezing of supercooled water droplets on impact with an object

  1183. riparian of, pertaining to, or situated or dwelling on the bank of a river or other body of water

  1184. risible causing or capable of causing laughter; laughable; ludicrous

  1185. rissole a small pastry, often in turnover form, filled with a mixture containing meat or fish and usually fried in deep fat

  1186. ritornello an orchestral interlude between arias, scenes, or acts in 17th-century opera

  1187. ritz slang: to treat with condescension; snub

  1188. roan of the color sorrel, chestnut, or bay, sprinkled with gray or white

  1189. rodomontade vainglorious boasting or bragging; pretentious, blustering talk

  1190. roister to act in a swaggering, boisterous, or uproarious manner

  1191. roman à clef a novel that represents historical events and characters under the guise of fiction

  1192. rondo a work or movement, often the last movement of a sonata, having one principal subject that is stated at least three times in the same key and to which return is made after the introduction of each subordinate theme

  1193. rood a crucifix, especially a large one at the entrance to the choir or chancel of a medieval church, often supported on a rood beam or rood screen

  1194. rostellum any small, beaklike process; a beaklike modification of the stigma in many orchids

  1195. rowel a small wheel with radiating points, forming the extremity of a spur

  1196. rubicund red or reddish; ruddy

  1197. ruche a strip of pleated lace, net, muslin, or other material for trimming or finishing a dress, as at the collar or sleeves

  1198. ruction a disturbance, quarrel, or row

  1199. rugose having wrinkles; wrinkled; ridged

  1200. rumbustious rambunctious

  1201. rump the remnant of a legislature, council, etc., after a majority of the members have resigned or been expelled

  1202. runcible 1871, a nonsense word coined by Edward Lear; used especially in runcible spoon "spoon with three short tines like a fork," which first took the name 1926

  1203. rusticate to go to the country; (British) to suspend (a student) from a university as punishment

    A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

    S

  1204. sacerdotalism the system, spirit, or methods of the priesthood

  1205. salacious lustful or lecherous

  1206. samizdat a clandestine publishing system within the Soviet Union, by which forbidden or unpublishable literature was reproduced and circulated privately

  1207. samovar a metal urn, used especially by Russians for heating water for making tea

  1208. sangfroid coolness of mind; calmness; composure

  1209. saporous full of flavor or taste; flavorful

  1210. sapphism lesbianism

  1211. sartorial of or pertaining to tailors or their trade

  1212. sashay to glide, move, or proceed easily or nonchalantly

  1213. sateen a strong cotton fabric constructed in satin weave and having a lustrous face

  1214. satori sudden enlightenment

  1215. saunter to walk with a leisurely gait; stroll

  1216. savoir-faire knowledge of just what to do in any situation; tact

  1217. scabrous having a rough surface because of minute points or projections

  1218. scamp a playful, mischievous, or naughty young person; upstart

  1219. scansion the metrical analysis of verse. The usual marks for scansion are ˘ for a short or unaccented syllable, ¯ or · for a long or accented syllable, ^ for a rest, | for a foot division, and ‖ for a caesura or pause

  1220. scarp a line of cliffs formed by the faulting or fracturing of the earth's crust; an escarpment

  1221. schlemiel an awkward and unlucky person for whom things never turn out right

  1222. schmo a foolish, boring, or stupid person; a jerk

  1223. schmaltz exaggerated sentimentalism, as in music or soap operas

  1224. sclera a dense, white, fibrous membrane that, with the cornea, forms the external covering of the eyeball

  1225. scrabble to scratch or scrape, as with the claws or hands

  1226. scrofula primary tuberculosis of the lymphatic glands, especially those of the neck

  1227. scansion the metrical analysis of verse. The usual marks for scansion are ˘ for a short or unaccented syllable, ¯ or · for a long or accented syllable, ^ for a rest, | for a foot division, and ‖ for a caesura or pause

  1228. schmutter cloth or clothing

  1229. scrapple cornmeal mush mixed with pork scraps, seasoned with onions, spices, herbs, etc., and shaped into loaves and sliced for frying

  1230. scrofulous morally tainted

  1231. scry to use divination to discover hidden knowledge or future events, especially by means of a crystal ball

  1232. scullery a small room or section of a pantry in which food is cleaned, trimmed, and cut into cooking portions before being sent to the kitchen

  1233. scupper a drain at the edge of a deck exposed to the weather, for allowing accumulated water to drain away into the sea or into the bilges

  1234. scurrilous grossly or obscenely abusive

  1235. secateurs scissors or shears, especially pruning shears

  1236. sedulous diligent in application or attention; persevering; assiduous

  1237. seelie good benevolent fairies

  1238. seigneur a lord, especially a feudal lord

  1239. selenophilia love of the moon, not in dictionary.com

  1240. selkie a mythical creature that looks like a seal in water but assumes human form on land

  1241. seminal highly original and influencing the development of future events

  1242. semiotic of or pertaining to signs

  1243. senescent growing old; aging

  1244. seneschal an officer having full charge of domestic arrangements, ceremonies, the administration of justice, etc., in the household of a medieval prince or dignitary; steward

  1245. senna any plant, shrub, or tree belonging to the genus Cassia, of the legume family, having pinnate leaves and large clusters of flowers

  1246. sententious abounding in pithy aphorisms or maxims

  1247. sequela an abnormal condition resulting from a previous disease

  1248. sequitur a logical conclusion from the premises; a logical consequence

  1249. seraglio the part of a Muslim house or palace in which the wives and concubines are secluded; harem

  1250. serried pressed together or compacted, as soldiers in rows

  1251. servitor a person who is in or at the service of another; attendant

  1252. shandy a mixture of beer and lemonade

  1253. shanty a crudely built hut, cabin, or house

  1254. Shavian of, pertaining to, or characteristic of George Bernard Shaw or his works

  1255. Shearling a yearling sheep that has been shorn once

  1256. Shellback an old sailor

  1257. shewbread the 12 loaves of bread placed every Sabbath on a table in the sanctuary of the Biblical tabernacle and the Temple in Jerusalem as an offering by the priests to God. Ex. 25:30; Lev. 24:5–9.

  1258. shibboleth a peculiarity of pronunciation, behavior, mode of dress, etc., that distinguishes a particular class or set of persons

  1259. shickered intoxicated; drunk

  1260. shikar the hunting of game for sport

  1261. shillelagh a cudgel, traditionally of blackthorn or oak

  1262. shindy a row; rumpus

  1263. shivoo a boisterous party or celebration

  1264. shoal a sandbank or sand bar in the bed of a body of water, especially one that is exposed above the surface of the water at low tide

  1265. shrive to impose penance on (a sinner)

  1266. sibilant hissing

  1267. sigil a seal or signet

  1268. silesia a lightweight, smoothly finished, twilled fabric of acetate, rayon, or cotton, for garment linings

  1269. simony the making of profit out of sacred things

  1270. simper to smile in a silly, self-conscious way

  1271. simulacrum a slight, unreal, or superficial likeness or semblance

  1272. skein a length of yarn or thread wound on a reel or swift preparatory for use in manufacturing

  1273. skive to split or cut, as leather, into layers or slices

  1274. skivvy a female servant, especially a chambermaid

  1275. slattern a slovenly, untidy woman or girl

  1276. slaver to let saliva run from the mouth; slobber; drool

  1277. smarmy excessively or unctuously flattering, ingratiating, servile, etc.

  1278. smirch to discolor or soil; spot or smudge with or as with soot, dust, dirt, etc.

  1279. smirk to smile in an affected, smug, or offensively familiar way

  1280. snarky testy or irritable; short

  1281. snicker to laugh in a half-suppressed, indecorous or disrespectful manner

  1282. snigger snicker

  1283. snivel to weep or cry with sniffling

  1284. snog to kiss and cuddle

  1285. sodality fellowship; comradeship

  1286. soi-disant calling oneself thus; self-styled

  1287. soigné carefully or elegantly done, operated, or designed

  1288. solecism a nonstandard or ungrammatical usage; a breach of good manners or etiquette

  1289. solicitude care or concern for someone or something

  1290. soliloquy an utterance or discourse by a person who is talking to himself or herself or is disregardful of or oblivious to any hearers present

  1291. somnolent sleepy; drowsy

  1292. sotto voche in a low, soft voice so as not to be overheard

  1293. sough to make a rushing, rustling, or murmuring sound

  1294. soupcon a slight trace, as of a particular taste or flavor

  1295. soutane a cassock

  1296. souteneur man who lives on the earnings of one or more prostitutes under his protection, pimp

  1297. sozzled drunk; inebriated

  1298. spahi one of a body of native Algerian cavalry in the French service

  1299. spandrel an area between the extradoses of two adjoining arches, or between the extrados of an arch and a perpendicular through the extrados at the springing line

  1300. spangle a small, thin, often circular piece of glittering metal or other material, used especially for decorating garments

  1301. spaniel a submissive, fawning, or cringing person

  1302. spatchcock a fowl that has been dressed and split open for grilling

  1303. spavined being of or marked by a decrepit or broken-down condition

  1304. specie coined money; coin

  1305. specius apparently good or right though lacking real merit; superficially pleasing or plausible

  1306. spigotty not in Dictionary.com (from a Rex Stout novel, Fer-de-Lance, 1934)

  1307. spikenard an aromatic, Indian plant, Nardostachys jatamansi, of the valerian family, believed to be the nard of the ancients

  1308. spindrift spray swept by a violent wind along the surface of the sea

  1309. spinet a small upright piano

  1310. splenetic irritable; peevish; spiteful

  1311. sporophore a fungus hypha specialized to bear spores

  1312. springe a snare for catching small game

  1313. spurge any of numerous plants of the genus Euphorbia, having a milky juice and flowers with no petals or sepals

  1314. squiffy slightly drunk

  1315. squill the bulb of the sea onion, Urginea maritima, of the lily family, cut into thin slices and dried, and used in medicine chiefly as an expectorant

  1316. squiz to peer at quickly and closely

  1317. staff a composition of plaster and fibrous material used for a temporary finish and in ornamental work, as on exposition buildings

  1318. staid of settled or sedate character; not flighty or capricious

  1319. stanhope a light, open, one-seated, horse-drawn carriage with two or four wheels

  1320. stele an upright stone slab or pillar bearing an inscription or design and serving as a monument, marker, or the like

  1321. stentorian very loud or powerful in sound

  1322. stereotype a set form; convention

  1323. stertor a heavy snoring sound accompanying respiration in certain diseases

  1324. stigmergy a mechanism of spontaneous, indirect coordination between agents or actions, where the trace left in the environment by an action stimulates the performance of a subsequent action, by the same or a different agent. Stigmergy is a form of self-organization. It produces complex, apparently intelligent structures, without need for any planning, control, or even communication between the agents

  1325. stilton a rich, waxy, white cheese, veined with mold: made principally in England

  1326. stipple to paint, engrave, or draw by means of dots or small touches

  1327. stodgy heavy, dull, or uninteresting; tediously commonplace; boring

  1328. stonker to hit hard; knock unconscious

  1329. stoush a fight or brawl

  1330. stramonium the dried leaves of the jimson weed, used in medicine as an analgesic, antispasmodic, etc.

  1331. strophe the part of an ancient Greek choral ode sung by the chorus when moving from right to left

  1332. strumpet a prostitute; harlot

  1333. stumer something bogus or fraudulent

  1334. stupa a monumental pile of earth or other material, in memory of Buddha or a Buddhist saint, and commemorating some event or marking a sacred spot

  1335. stupor suspension or great diminution of sensibility, as in disease or as caused by narcotics, intoxicants, etc.

  1336. stylobate a course of masonry, part of the stereobate, forming the foundation for a colonnade, especially the outermost colonnade

  1337. subaltern lower in rank; subordinate

  1338. subfusc dark and dull; dingy; drab

  1339. subluxation a partial dislocation, as of a joint; sprain

  1340. subterfuge an artifice or expedient used to evade a rule, escape a consequence, hide something, etc.

  1341. succulence juiciness

  1342. succuss to shake up; shake

  1343. sufferance passive permission resulting from lack of interference; tolerance, especially of something wrong or illegal (usually preceded by on or by)

  1344. sulcus a furrow or groove

  1345. sumptuary pertaining to, dealing with, or regulating expense or expenditure

  1346. superannuated retired because of age or infirmity

  1347. supercilious haughtily disdainful or contemptuous, as a person or a facial expression

  1348. supererogatory going beyond the requirements of duty

  1349. supernumerary being in excess of the usual, proper, or prescribed number; additional; extra

  1350. supine lying on the back, face or front upward

  1351. suppositious formed from or growing out of supposition

  1352. surcease to cease from some action; desist

  1353. surcoat a garment worn over medieval armor, often embroidered with heraldic arms

  1354. surplice a loose-fitting, broad-sleeved white vestment, worn over the cassock by clergy and choristers

  1355. suspire to sigh

  1356. suss to investigate or figure out

  1357. susurrant softly murmuring; whispering

  1358. susurrus a soft murmuring or rustling sound; whisper

  1359. swale a low place in a tract of land, usually moister and often having ranker vegetation than the adjacent higher land

  1360. sward an expanse of short grass

  1361. swarf an accumulation of fine particles of metal or abrasive cut or ground from work by a machine tool or grinder

  1362. swash to dash around, as things in violent motion

  1363. swipes poor, watery, or spoiled beer

  1364. swivet a state of nervous excitement, haste, or anxiety; flutter

  1365. sybarite a person devoted to luxury and pleasure

  1366. sylph a slender, graceful woman or girl

  1367. synchronic having reference to the facts of a linguistic system as it exists at one point in time without reference to its history

  1368. syncopate to place (the accents) on beats that are normally unaccented

  1369. syncretism the attempted reconciliation or union of different or opposing principles, practices, or parties, as in philosophy or religion

  1370. syncytium a multinucleate mass of cytoplasm that is not separated into cells

  1371. syndic a person chosen to represent and transact business for a corporation, as a university

  1372. synecdoche a figure of speech in which a part is used for the whole or the whole for a part, the special for the general or the general for the special

  1373. synesthesiaa sensation produced in one modality when a stimulus is applied to another modality, as when the hearing of a certain sound induces the visualization of a certain color

  1374. synoptic taking a common view: used chiefly in reference to the first three Gospels (synoptic Gospels) Matthew, Mark, and Luke, from their similarity in content, order, and statement

  1375. syzygy an alignment of three celestial objects, as the sun, the earth, and either the moon or a planet

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    T

  1376. talus a slope

  1377. tansy any of several composite plants of the genus Tanacetum, especially a strong-scented, weedy, Old World herb, T. vulgare, having flat-topped clusters of tubular yellow flowers

  1378. tantalus a stand or rack containing visible decanters, especially of wines or liquors, secured by a lock

  1379. taphonomy the circumstances and processes of fossilization

  1380. taradiddle a small lie; fib; pretentious nonsense

  1381. tarn a small mountain lake or pool, especially one in a cirque

  1382. tartare (especially of fish) finely chopped and served raw (used postpositively)

  1383. tasseographya divination or fortune-telling method that interprets patterns in tea leaves, coffee grounds, or wine sediments; also known as tasseomancy or tassology (none of these are in dictionary.com)

  1384. tatterdemalion a person in tattered clothing; a shabby person

  1385. tchotchke an inexpensive souvenir, trinket, or ornament

  1386. tegument a covering or vestment; integument

  1387. teleology the doctrine that final causes exist

  1388. telpherage a transportation system in which cars or other carriers are suspended from or run on wire cables or the like, especially one operated by electricity

  1389. temerity reckless boldness; rashness

  1390. tenement law: any species of permanent property, as lands, houses, rents, an office, or a franchise, that may be held of another

  1391. tensegrity the property of skeleton structures that employ continuous tension members and discontinuous compression members in such a way that each member operates with the maximum efficiency and economy

  1392. tenor the course of thought or meaning that runs through something written or spoken; purport; drift

  1393. tenterhook one of the hooks or bent nails that hold cloth stretched on a tenter

  1394. tergiversate to change repeatedly one's attitude or opinions with respect to a cause, subject, etc.; equivocate

  1395. terpene any of a class of monocyclic hydrocarbons of the formula C10 H16, obtained from plants

  1396. terroir the environmental conditions, especially soil and climate, in which grapes are grown and that give a wine its unique flavor and aroma

  1397. tessera one of the small pieces used in mosaic work

  1398. testamentary of, relating to, or of the nature of a testament or will

  1399. tête-à-tête a private conversation or interview, usually between two people

  1400. thaumaturgy the working of wonders or miracles; magic

  1401. theophany a manifestation or appearance of God or a god to a person

  1402. therblig (in time and motion study) any of the basic elements involved in completing a given manual operation or task that can be subjected to analysis

  1403. theremin a musical instrument with electronic tone generation, the pitch and tone volume being controlled by the distance between the player's hands and two metal rods serving as antennas

  1404. theurgy the working of a divine or supernatural agency in human affairs

  1405. tholeiite Any of a series of igneous rocks that are similar in composition to basalt, but are richer in silica and iron and poorer in aluminum than basalt is. Tholeiites form especially at mid-ocean ridges and in continental rift areas

  1406. threnody a poem, speech, or song of lamentation, especially for the dead; dirge; funeral song

  1407. thug a cruel or vicious ruffian, robber, or murderer

  1408. thwart a seat across a boat, especially one used by a rower

  1409. thylacine a wolflike marsupial, Thylacinus cynocephalus, of Tasmania, tan-colored with black stripes across the back: probably extinct

  1410. tiddler a very small fish or aquatic creature, esp a stickleback, minnow, or tadpole

  1411. ticking a strong cotton fabric, usually twilled, used especially in making cloth ticks

  1412. tiffin lunch

  1413. timbale a small shell made of batter, fried

  1414. timocracy a form of government in which love of honor is the dominant motive of the rulers

  1415. tipple to drink intoxicating liquor, especially habitually or to some excess

  1416. tipstaff a staff tipped with metal, formerly carried as a badge of office, as by a constable

  1417. tit a titmouse or any of various other small birds

  1418. titivate to make smart or spruce

  1419. tittle a dot or other small mark in writing or printing, used as a diacritic, punctuation, etc.

  1420. tocsin a signal, especially of alarm, sounded on a bell or bells

  1421. toff a stylishly dressed, fashionable person, especially one who is or wants to be considered a member of the upper class

  1422. toffy taffy

  1423. tombal adjective form of "tomb"

  1424. tonneau a rear part or compartment of an automobile body, containing seats for passengers

  1425. toothsome pleasing to the taste; palatable; voluptuous; sexually alluring

  1426. topee also topi, a lightweight helmet or sun hat made from the pith of the sola plant

  1427. toque a brimless and close-fitting hat for women, in any of several shapes

  1428. torpid inactive or sluggish

  1429. torrid subject to parching or burning heat, especially of the sun, as a geographical area

  1430. tourbillion a whirlwind or something resembling a whirlwind

  1431. traduce to speak maliciously and falsely of; slander; defame

  1432. travesty a literary or artistic burlesque of a serious work or subject, characterized by grotesque or ludicrous incongruity of style, treatment, or subject matter

  1433. treacle contrived or unrestrained sentimentality

  1434. tribulation grievous trouble; severe trial or suffering

  1435. trice to pull or haul with a rope

  1436. triskelion a symbolic figure consisting of three legs, arms, or branches radiating from a common center, as the device of Sicily and the Isle of Man

  1437. trochaic petraining to the trochee

  1438. troche a small tablet or lozenge, usually a circular one, made of medicinal substance worked into a paste with sugar and mucilage or the like, and dried

  1439. trochee a foot of two syllables, a long followed by a short in quantitative meter, or a stressed followed by an unstressed in accentual meter

  1440. truckle to submit or yield obsequiously or tamely (usually followed by to)

  1441. truculent fierce; cruel; savagely brutal

  1442. trug a shallow basket for carrying flowers, vegetables, etc., made from strips of wood

  1443. trumpery something without use or value; rubbish; trash; worthless stuff

  1444. tryst an appointment to meet at a certain time and place, especially one made somewhat secretly by lovers

  1445. tuff a fragmental rock consisting of the smaller kinds of volcanic detritus, as ash or cinder, usually more or less stratified

  1446. tulpa a being or object that is created in the imagination by visualization techniques such as in Tibetan mysticism

  1447. tumid swollen, or affected with swelling, as a part of the body; pompous or inflated, as language; turgid; bombastic

  1448. tumult violent and noisy commotion or disturbance of a crowd or mob; uproar

  1449. tunny tuna

  1450. tu quoque thou too: a retort by one charged with a crime accusing an opponent who has brought the charges of a similar crime

  1451. turnpike a barrier set across a highway to stop passage until a toll has been paid; tollgate

  1452. turpitude vile, shameful, or base character; depravity

  1453. twaddle trivial, feeble, silly, or tedious talk or writing

  1454. twat a foolish or despicable person

  1455. twig to look at; observe

  1456. tyro a beginner in learning anything; novice

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    U

  1457. uhlan one of a group of lancers in a light-cavalry unit, first appearing in Europe in the Polish army

  1458. ulster a long, loose, heavy overcoat, originally of Irish frieze, now also of any of various other woolen cloths

  1459. ululate to howl, as a dog or a wolf; hoot, as an owl

  1460. umbra shade; shadow

  1461. uncial designating, written in, or pertaining to a form of majuscule writing having a curved or rounded shape and used chiefly in Greek and Latin manuscripts from about the 3rd to the 9th century a.d.

  1462. unctuous characterized by excessive piousness or moralistic fervor, especially in an affected manner; excessively smooth, suave, or smug

  1463. undine any of a group of female water spirits described by Paracelsus

  1464. usfruct the right of enjoying all the advantages derivable from the use of something that belongs to another, as far as is compatible with the substance of the thing not being destroyed or injured

  1465. uxorial of or relating to a wife; typical of or befitting a wife

  1466. uxorious doting upon, foolishly fond of, or affectionately submissive toward one's wife

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    V

  1467. vagary an unpredictable or erratic action, occurrence, course, or instance

  1468. valerian any plant of the genus Valeriana, as the common valerian V. officinalis, having small, fragrant flowers of white, lavender, or pink and a root that is used medicinally

  1469. valetudinarian a person who is excessively concerned about his or her poor health or ailments

  1470. vamp the portion of a shoe or boot upper that covers the instep and toes

  1471. vampire a woman who unscrupulously exploits, ruins, or degrades the men she seduces

  1472. vapid lacking or having lost life, sharpness, or flavor; insipid; flat

  1473. varlet an attendant or servant

  1474. venial able to be forgiven or pardoned; not seriously wrong, as a sin

  1475. verbena any of various plants of the genus Verbena, especially any of several hybrid species cultivated for their showy flower clusters

  1476. verd the privilege of cutting green wood within a forest for fuel

  1477. verdigris a green or bluish patina formed on copper, brass, or bronze surfaces exposed to the atmosphere for long periods of time, consisting principally of basic copper sulfate

  1478. verge a limiting belt, strip, or border of something

  1479. vermiform resembling a worm in shape; long and slender

  1480. vermifuge serving to expel worms or other animal parasites from the intestines, as a medicine

  1481. veronal a trademark for barbitone (barbital), a barbiturate compound, C7O3N2H12, formerly used as a hypnotic

  1482. verve enthusiasm or vigor, as in literary or artistic work; spirit

  1483. vesper of, pertaining to, appearing in, or proper to the evening

  1484. vibrissa one of the stiff, bristly hairs growing about the mouth of certain animals, as a whisker of a cat

  1485. vicissitude a change or variation occurring in the course of something

  1486. vicuna a wild South American ruminant, Vicugna vicugna, of the Andes, related to the guanaco but smaller, and yielding a soft, delicate wool: an endangered species, now increasing in numbers

  1487. videlicet that is to say; namely (used especially to introduce examples, details, etc.). Abbreviation: viz.

  1488. vielle medieval European bowed, stringed musical instrument

  1489. vig vigorish

  1490. vigneron a winemaker

  1491. vigorish a charge paid on a bet, as to a bookie

  1492. vis-à-vis face to face

  1493. vitriol something highly caustic or severe in effect, as criticism

  1494. vituperate to use or address with harsh or abusive language; revile

  1495. viviparous bringing forth living young rather than eggs, as most mammals and some reptiles and fishes

  1496. voluble characterized by a ready and continuous flow of words; fluent; glib; talkative

  1497. voluptuous full of, characterized by, or ministering to indulgence in luxury, pleasure, and sensuous enjoyment

  1498. votary a person who is bound by solemn religious vows, as a monk or a nun

  1499. vouchsafe to grant or give, as by favor, graciousness, or condescension

  1500. vulpine of or resembling a fox

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    W

  1501. wainscot wood, especially oak and usually in the form of paneling, for lining interior walls

  1502. waldo a gadget for manipulating objects by remote control, named after Waldo F. Jones, inventor in a science-fiction story by Robert Heinlein

  1503. wallah a person in charge of, employed at, or concerned with a particular thing

  1504. wamble to move unsteadily

  1505. wan of an unnatural or sickly pallor; pallid; lacking color

  1506. wangle to bring about, accomplish, or obtain by scheming or underhand methods

  1507. wanker a contemptible person; jerk

  1508. waratah a proteaceous shrub, Telopea speciosissima, the floral emblem of New South Wales, having dark green leaves and large clusters of crimson flowers

  1509. wattle a number of rods or stakes interwoven with twigs or tree branches for making fences, walls, etc.

  1510. weal well-being, prosperity, or happiness

  1511. weald wooded or uncultivated country

  1512. welkin the sky; the vault of heaven

  1513. welsh to cheat by failing to pay a gambling debt

  1514. weltanschauung a comprehensive conception or image of the universe and of humanity's relation to it

  1515. whelm to submerge; engulf

  1516. whicker to whinny; neigh

  1517. whimbrel a curlew, Numenius phaeopus, of both the New and Old Worlds

  1518. whinge to complain; whine

  1519. whizbang a small, high-speed shell whose sound as it flies through the air arrives almost at the same instant as its explosion

  1520. willies nervousness or fright; jitters; creeps (usually preceded by the)

  1521. whoso whosoever; whoever

  1522. williwaw a violent squall that blows in near-polar latitudes, as in the Strait of Magellan, Alaska, and the Aleutian Islands

  1523. will-o'-the-wisp anything that deludes or misleads by luring on

  1524. wimple a woman's headcloth drawn in folds about the chin, formerly worn out of doors, and still in use by some nuns

  1525. winceyette a plain-weave cotton fabric with slightly raised two-sided nap

  1526. winkle any of various marine gastropods; periwinkle

  1527. wistful characterized by melancholy; longing; yearning

  1528. withershins in a direction contrary to the natural one, especially contrary to the apparent course of the sun or counterclockwise: considered as unlucky or causing disaster

  1529. witling a person who affects wittiness

  1530. woad a European plant, Isatis tinctoria, of the mustard family, formerly cultivated for a blue dye extracted from its leaves

  1531. wodge a lump, chunk, or wad

  1532. wombat any of several stocky, burrowing, herbivorous marsupials of the family Vombatidae, of Australia, about the size of a badger

  1533. wont accustomed; used (usually followed by an infinitive)

  1534. wry produced by a distortion or lopsidedness of the facial features

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    X

  1535. Xanadu a place of great beauty, luxury, and contentment

  1536. Xanax a brand of alprazolam, a benzodiazepine

  1537. xanthan a water-soluble natural gum produced by the fermentation of sugar with certain microorganisms and used as a binder, extender, or stabilizer in foods and other products

  1538. xylem a compound tissue in vascular plants that helps provide support and that conducts water and nutrients upward from the roots, consisting of tracheids, vessels, parenchyma cells, and woody fibers

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    Y

  1539. yahoo a coarse or brutish person

  1540. yammer to whine or complain

  1541. yar quick; agile; lively

  1542. yurt a tentlike dwelling of the Mongol and Turkic peoples of central Asia, consisting of a cylindrical wall of poles in a lattice arrangement with a conical roof of poles, both covered by felt or skins

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    Z

  1543. ziggurat a temple of Sumerian origin in the form of a pyramidal tower, consisting of a number of stories and having about the outside a broad ascent winding round the structure, presenting the appearance of a series of terraces

  1544. zombie the body of a dead person given the semblance of life, but mute and will-less, by a supernatural force, usually for some evil purpose

  1545. zori a Japanese sandal, often made of straw or rubber and consisting of a flat sole held on the foot by a thong passing between the first and second toes


Richard dot J dot Wagner at gmail dot com

index.html, this hand crafted, human readable HTML file was created March 12, 2012.
Last updated January 15, 2018, by Dr. Rick Wagner.
Copyright © 2012-2018 by Rick Wagner, all rights reserved.