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English Vocab

Terms

undefined, object
copy deck
lachrymose
showing sorrow; tearful
perfunctory
hasty and without attention to detail
bristling
rising like bristles; showing irritation
adulterate
corrupt, debase, or make impure by adding a foreign or inferior substance
atelier
a studio especially for an artist or designer
sedition
the organized incitement of rebellion or civil disorder against authority or the state; insurrection, rebellion
dehisce
to gape; to burst open
recant
formally reject or disavow a formerly held belief, usually under pressure
immiscible
(physics) (of two or more liquids) that are not mutually soluble; unmixable
brody, brodie
daredevil jump; spectacular failure; sudden change in vehicle's direction
rent
the act of rending or ripping or splitting something
exploit
A heroic or extraordinary deed. An achievement.
capacious
Having a lot of space inside; roomy. From Latin capāx ("capable").
lumpen
Of or referring to social outcasts. Of or relating to the lumpenproletariat. Plebeian.
apoplexy
Sudden diminution or loss of consciousness, sensation, and voluntary motion, usually caused by pressure on the brain.
newfangled
Contemptibly modern, unfamiliar, or different (used disparagingly or humorously).
mortmain
Latin mors ("dead") + manus ("hand"). (law) The perpetual, inalienable possession of lands by a corporation or non-personal entity such as a church. (literary) A strong and inalienable possession.
pastiche
a work of art that imitates the style of some previous work
impolitic
Not politic; contrary to or wanting in policy; unwise; imprudent; indiscreet; inexpedient; as, an impolitic ruler, law, or measure.
heterodox
Of or pertaining to creeds, beliefs, or teachings, especially religious ones, that are different from the norm ('orthodox'), but not sufficiently different to be called heretical.
chagrin
Keen vexation, annoyance, or mortification, as at one's failures or errors.
offal
waste parts of a butchered animal (inedible); carrion; refuse; garbage
codicil
a supplement to a will
surly
inclined to anger or bad feelings with overtones of menace
phaeton
a light four-wheeled open carriage drawn by four horses; a large open touring motorcar with a folding top
exult
to rejoice, be very happy. From Latin exsultare, frequentative of exsilire 'jump up', from ex- + salire 'jump, leap'.
imperious
Domineering, arrogant, or overbearing. Urgent. From Latin imperiōsus ("mighty, powerful") < imperium ("command, authority, power")
palindrome
a word or phrase that reads the same backward as forward
largess
generosity in the giving of gifts or money. the gifts or money given in such a way. a benevolent demeanor
exegesis
an explanation or critical interpretation (especially of the Bible)
promontory
A high point of land extending into a body of water, headland; cliff.
rejoinder
a quick reply to a question or remark (especially a witty or critical one)
strategem
a deceitful scheme or plan
syllogism
A form of reasoning in which two statements are made and a conclusion is drawn from them; consists of a major premise, a minor premise, and a conclusion. Ex: Major: All tragedies end unhappily. Minor: Hamlet is a tragedy. Conclusion: Hamlet ends unhappily.
sheaf
a package of several things tied together for carrying or storing
magnanimity
greatness of mind; elevation or dignity of soul; That quality or combination of qualities, in character, which enables one to encounter danger and trouble with tranquility and firmness, to disdain injustice, meanness and revenge, and to act and sacrifice for noble objects.
ceteris paribus
other things being equal; with all other things or factors remaining the same.
goad
To encourage or stimulate.
dregs
sediment, worthless residue
scuttlebutt
A keg of water on board ship, around which sailors would gossip; rumor.
motley
Comprising greatly varied elements (colors), to the point of incongruity; heterogeneous
belie
contradict; give a false impression
irony
A statement that, when taken in context, may actually mean the opposite of what is written literally; the use of words expressing something other than their literal intention, notably as a form of humor. (2) The quality or state of an event being both coincidental and contradictory in a humorous or poignant and extremely improbable way.
skinflint
a selfish person who is unwilling to give or spend
vernal
young, fresh. pertaining to Spring.
denigrate
To criticise so as to besmirch; traduce, disparage or defame.
stentorian
extremely loud, booming; Stentor was the herald of the Greek forces in the Iliad, noted for his loud voice.
grovel
to crawl; to abase oneself before another person; To be nice to someone or apologize in the hope of securing something.
cloying
Unpleasantly excessive. Excessively sweet.
acid test
a rigorous or crucial appraisal to establish authenticity
tract
a brief treatise on a subject of interest
specious
Seemingly well-reasoned or factual, but actually fallacious or insincere; strongly held but false. Deceptively attractive.
cull
To pick someone or something. To select animals from a group and then kill them in order to reduce the numbers of the group in a controlled manner. From Old French cuillir ("'collect, gather, select'") from Latin colligo ("'gather together'").
autumnal
pertaining to Autumn, past the middle life.
connubial
of or relating to marriage or to the relationship between a wife and husband
wean
To cease giving milk to an offspring. To give up a cherished activity.
punctilious
Strictly attentive to detail; meticulous or fastidious, particularly to codes or conventions. Finicky or nitpicky.
turpitude
a corrupt or depraved or degenerate act or practice
lien
A legal claim; a charge upon real or personal property for the satisfaction of some debt or duty.
resplendent
shining. From the obsolete sense of the English verb splendish (to shine)
travesty
An absurd or grotesque misrepresentation; From French travestir 'to disguise'.
scion
a descendent or heir
chisel
deprive somebody of something by deceit
importune
Harass with persistent requests
nostrum
hypothetical remedy for all ills or diseases
laud
praise, glorify, or honor
demise
Transmission by formal act or conveyance to an heir or successor; transference; especially, the transfer or transmission of the crown or royal authority to a successor; death
prosaic
lacking wit or imagination; dull
anathema
A ban or curse pronounced with religious solemnity by ecclesiastical authority, often accompanied by excommunication; denunciation of anything as accursed.
paroxysm
fit or attack of pain, laughter, rage; sudden outburst
aseptic
Free of disease-causing microbes. Pasteurized.
spate
the occurrence of a water flow resulting from sudden rain or melting snow
piscatorial
pertaining to fishing
scad
great quantity
indolent
disinclined to work or exertion
outspoken
Speaking, or spoken, freely, openly, or boldly; vocal.
gibe
to scoff; to ridicule; jeer; taunt; sneer. A facetious or insulting remark, a jeer or taunt.
glower
To look or stare with anger.
lascivious
Wanton; lewd, driven by lust, lustful. From Latin lascīviōsus, from lascīvia ("sportiveness, lustfulness").
inane
lacking significance, meaning, or point, silly, insipid; From Latin inanis ("empty, vain").
scotch
hinder or prevent (the efforts, plans, or desires) of; (adj) avoiding waste
inured
made tough by habitual exposure
forensic
used of legal argumentation
euhemerize
to explain or interpret something using the theory of Euhemeros.
complicity
involvement as a partner or accomplice, especially in a crime or other wrongdoing.
rancor
The deepest malignity or spite; deep-seated enmity or malice; inveterate hatred.
lugubrious
gloomy, mournful, or dismal, especially to an exaggerated degree. From Latin lūgubris ("mournful; gloomy")
askance
With disapproval, skepticism, or suspicion; sideways, obliquely (adv). Turned to the side, especially of the eyes (adj).
tawdry
Cheap and gaudy; showy.
dank
unpleasantly cool and humid
redoubtable
inspiring fear
eponym
a name derived from the name of person (real or imaginary) as the name of Alexandria is derived from the name of its founder: Alexander the Great
obviate
To bypass a requirement or make it unnecessary.
instauration
establishment (of a government, etc)
precipitant
rash or impulsive; Sudden or unexpected
laconic
brief and to the point
spatchcock
(N) A rushed effort. (v) To cut poultry along the spine and spread the halves apart, for more even cooking when grilled; To interpolate, insert or sandwich (in or into); To prepare in haste.
consign
To transfer to the custody of, usually for sale, transport, or safekeeping. To entrust to the care of another. To send to a final destination.
recriminatory
countering one charge with another
blighty
A minor wound, but serious enough to take a soldier out of combat. (military slang, usually capitalized) Great Britain, Britain, or England, especially as viewed from abroad
blanch
turn pale, as if in fear
blithe
carefree and happy and lighthearted
glabrous
without hairs or projections; smooth (antonym: hirsute)
nonplus
be a mystery or bewildering to
susurrus
A whispering or rustling sound; a murmur.
diurnal
Happening or occurring during daylight, or primarily active during that time.
skulk
to conceal oneself; to hide; group of foxes
nugatory
Trivial, trifling or of little importance. Ineffective, invalid or futile.
orthography
The study of correct spelling according to established usage. The aspect of language study concerned with letters and their sequences in words. Spelling; the method of representing a language or the sounds of language by written symbols.
pertinacious
Holding tenaciously to an opinion or purpose.
colloquy
A conversation or dialogue. From Latin colloquium ("conversation"),[1] from com- ("together, with") (English com-) + form of loquor ("speak") (from which English locution and other words
katzenjammer
hangover, jitters, bewilderment, depression, discord. (adj) raucous. German Katzenjammer ("the wailing of cats"), hangover
euphemism
The use of a word or phrase to replace another and that is considered less offensive or less vulgar than the word or phrase it replaces.
garrulous
Excessively or tiresomely talkative. Excessively wordy and rambling.
transmute
To change, transform or convert one thing to another, or from one state or form to another.
squalor
Squalidness; foulness; filthiness
stark
severe; violent; fierce (now usually in describing the weather). stiff, rigid. hard in appearance; barren, desolate. complete, absolute, full.
holophrastic
Consisting of a single word, such as "Go." or "Whatever." Pertaining to the stage of development where a child produces simple one-word utterances.
choleric
Easily becoming angry. Showing or expressing anger. From Latin cholera, "jaundice", from Ancient Greek kholera, from khol, "bile"
caustic
burning; corrosive; able to burn by chemical action; sarcastically biting; (of remarks) intended to hurt; bitter; harmful; OP. harmless
feral
wild, untamed, especially of domesticated animals having returned to the wild
protract
prolong
febrile
Feverish, or having a high temperature. Full of nervous energy. From Late Latin febrilis, from Latin febris 'fever'.
mensch
A person of integrity and honor.
supine
(1) lying on the back (opposite prostrate); (2) marked by or showing lethargy, passivity, or blameworthy indifference
dilettante
an amateur who engages in an activity without serious intentions and who pretends to have knowledge
vassal
feudalism, one who held land (a fief) of a superior lord
Phrygia
Ancient kingdom in the west central part of Anatolia, in what is now modern-day Turkey
execrable
of the poorest quality; hateful
sordid
Dirty or squalid. Morally degrading. Grasping. Latin sordidus, from sordere ("be dirty").
probity
uprightness; honesty; incorruptibility
in medias res
in or into the middle of a sequence of events as in a literary narrative
donnybrook
A brawl or fracas; a scene of chaos. Named from a suburb of Dublin, the site of a notoriously disorderly annual fair.
arbitrary
Based on individual discretion or judgment; Unrestrained by law; tyrannical; Determined by impulse rather than reason; heavy-handed.
bon mot
From French bon mot ("good word"). A clever saying, phrase or witticism; often, a witty riposte in dialogue.
unexceptionable
Beyond reproach; not open to criticism; unimpeachable
fell
(of persons or their actions) able or disposed to inflict pain or suffering
gravitas
formality in bearing and appearance
plutocracy
Government by the wealthy. From Greek, from πλοῦτος (ploutos, "wealth") + krateō (from κράτος (kratos, "power", "might")).
expurgate
To edit out rude, incorrect, offensive, useless, or otherwise undesirable information from a book, CD or other publication; to cleanse; to purge.
unrequited
not returned or reciprocated
knell
to ring a bell slowly, especially for a funeral; to toll. to signal or proclaim something by ringing a bell.
placate
To calm; to bring peace to; to influence someone who was furious to the point that he or she becomes content or at least no longer irate. From Latin plācātus, past participle of plācō ("appease, placate", literally "smooth, smoothen")
sibylline
Of or pertaining to a sibyl or female oracle, especially the Cumaean Sibyl and the Sibylline Books. Having oracle-like predicting powers, clairvoyant.
deposition
The removal of someone from office. (law) The process of taking sworn testimony out of court; the testimony so taken.
procrustean
producing or designed to produce strict conformity by ruthless or arbitrary means
verity
Truth, fact or reality, especially an enduring religious or ethical truth
apellation
a name or title that distinguishes or identifies
sciolist
One who exhibits only superficial knowledge; a self-proclaimed expert with little real understanding.
recrudescence
the acute recurrence of a disease, or its symptoms, after a period of improvement
posture
to pretend to have an opinion or a conviction
ashen
ash-colored or anemic looking from illness or emotion
alacrity
eagerness; liveliness; enthusiasm. promptness; speed
dissemble
To disguise or conceal something; to feign.
pedagogue
teacher; pedant
consummate
Complete in every detail, perfect, absolute. highly skilled and experienced, fully qualified.
flack
a slick spokesperson who can turn any criticism to the advantage of their employer
irresolute
Undecided or unsure how to act
tawdry
cheap, gaudy, showy
sophistry
The art of using deceptive speech or writing. An argument that seems plausible, but is fallacious or misleading, especially one devised deliberately to be so.
heliolatry
worship of the sun
cobbler
a person who makes or repairs shoes
triumvirate
A group or association of three, a troika (a Russian carriage drawn by a team of three horses abreast ).
latitude
The relative freedom from restrictions.
tudor
Pertaining to the British monarchs of the sixteenth century; in the style of English buildings of the sixteenth century; using exposed wooden beams on the exterior
expostulate
To protest or remonstrate.
wizened
withered; lean and wrinkled by shrinkage as from age or illness
wake
A period after a person's death before the body is buried, in some cultures accompanied by a party.
equivocal
(Literally, called equally one thing or the other; hence:) Having two significations equally applicable; capable of double interpretation; of doubtful meaning; ambiguous; uncertain
comely
very pleasing to the eye; according with custom or propriety
spurious
false, not authentic, not genuine. From Late Latin spurius ("illegitimate, bastardly") < spurcus ("foul, base, low")
consort
the husband or wife of a reigning monarch; companion
disconsolate
causing dejection; sad beyond comforting
rostrum
A dais, pulpit, or similar platform for a speaker, conductor or other performer.
gulag
The government agency that administered the main[1] Soviet penal labour camp systems. While the camps housed a wide range of convicts, from petty criminals to political prisoners, with large numbers convicted by simplified procedures, such as NKVD troikas and other instruments of extrajudicial punishment, the Gulag is recognized as a major instrument of political repression in the Soviet Union.
palatial
suitable for or like a palace
bilious
Suffering from real or supposed liver disorder, thus making one ill-natured; Irritable or bad tempered; irascible
hispid
Covered in short, stiff hairs; bristly.
dais
a platform raised above the surrounding level to give prominence to the person on it
venerate
To treat with great respect and deference. To revere or hold in awe.
babbitt
A person who subscribes complacently to materialistic middle-class ideals
senescent
growing old; on the decline
exegete
a person skilled in exegesis (especially of religious texts)
doggerel
a comic verse of irregular measure
crestfallen
dispirited and depressed; dejected
elysian
(Classical mythology) Elysium; home of the blessed, after death; (idiomatic) Happy, blissful, heavenly.
unbridled
not restrained or controlled
unction
anointing as part of a religious ceremony or healing ritual
propinquity
Nearness or proximity. Affiliation or similarity. From Latin propinquitas, from propinquus 'neighbouring' (from prope 'near').
sextant
A navigational device for deriving angular distances between objects so as to determine latitude and longitude.
pregnant
Having many possibilities or implications.
primogeniture
seniority by birth; state of being the first-born child; right of the eldest child (to inherit the entire property of one or both parents)
claptrap
pompous or pretentious talk or writing
grandiloquent
overly wordy, pompous, flowery, or elaborate
entreat
To treat, or conduct toward; to deal with; to use; To treat with, or in respect to, a thing desired; hence, to ask earnestly; to beseech; to petition or pray with urgency; to supplicate; to importune.
indefeasible
not capable of being annulled or voided or undone
wainscot
An area of wooden (especially oaken) panelling on the lower part of a room's walls.
pallet
A straw bed. From the Middle English paillet, from Anglo-Norman paillette ("bundle of straw"), from Old French paille ("straw, chaff"), from Latin palea ("chaff").
tepid
Lukewarm; neither warm nor cool. Uninterested; exhibiting little passion or eagerness.
papoose
an American Indian infant
viand
a choice or delicious dish
apprise
To notify, or to make aware; to inform.
abnegation
renunciation of your own interests in favor of the interests of others; the denial and rejection of a doctrine or belief
cornucopia
an abundant supply; A goat's horn endlessly overflowing with fruit, flowers and grain; or full of whatever its owner wanted.
metaphor
The use of a word or phrase to refer to something that it isn't, invoking a direct similarity between the word or phrase used and the thing described, and without the words "like" or "as". From Latin metaphora from Ancient Greek μεταφορά (metaphora) from μεταφέρω (metapherō), "'I transfer, apply'") from μετά (meta), "'with, across, after'") + φέρω (pherō), "'I bear, carry'")
apocryphal
Of doubtful authenticity, or lacking authority; not regarded as canonical.
simper
To smile in a silly, self-conscious, often coy manner.
effulgent
radiating or as if radiating light
striated
Having parallel lines or grooves on the surface.
attenuation
A gradual diminishing in the strength of something.
etiology
the philosophical study of causation
diminution
A lessening, decrease or reduction. (music) The shortening of the notes of a melody or theme.
daunt
To discourage, intimidate. To overwhelm.
vindictive
out for revenge; malicious
dapper
marked by smartness in dress and manners
debacle
a sudden and violent collapse
elliptical
characterized by extreme economy of expression or omission of superfluous elements
gloat
To exhibit a conspicuous sense of self-satisfaction, often at an adversary's misfortune.
hummock
A small hill; a hillock; a knoll. A ridge or hill of ice in an ice field. Blend of hump and hillock.
maunder
To speak in a disorganized or desultory manner; to babble or prattle; to wander or walk aimlessly
encomium
Warm praise, especially a formal expression of such praise; a tribute.
carpetbagger
A candidate who runs in a district where he or she has not previously held residence. One who comes to a place or organisation with which they have no previous connection with the sole or primary aim of personal gain, especially political or financial gain.
uxorious
foolishly fond of or submissive to your wife
exonerate
To free from accusation or blame. To free from an obligation, responsibility or task.
supersede
replace; cause to be set aside; make obsolete
kayo
To knock someone out, or render them unconscious or senseless
gaucheness
an impolite manner that is vulgar and lacking tact or refinement
hors de combat
"out of the fight"; disabled; injured to the point that one cannot go on
shrinking violet
bashful or retiring or shy person
dross
Waste or impure matter. Worthless or trivial matter. Related: drossy (worthless).
candor
the quality of being honest and straightforward in attitude and speech
cosmogony
the branch of astrophysics that studies the origin and evolution and structure of the universe [cosmos + creation]
extirpate
to pull up by the stem or root; to destroy completely; to remove by surgery
expatiate
To write or speak at length; to be copious in argument or discussion, to descant.
throttle
kill by squeezing the throat of so as to cut off the air
pejorative
disparaging; belittling.
charlatan
quack, pretender to knowledge
coadunate
united by growth; closely joined.
fastidious
Excessively particular, demanding, or fussy about details. Overly concerned about tidiness and cleanliness. Difficult to please; quick to find fault. French fastidieux, Latin fastidiosus, from fastidium ("'loathing'").
abut
lie adjacent to another or share a boundary
ineluctable
Impossible to avoid or escape; inescapable, irresistible. From Latin ineluctabilis, from in- + eluctare 'struggle out'.
occlude
To obstruct, cover, or otherwise block an opening.
illeist
one who refers to oneself in the third person
artless
Having or displaying no guile, cunning, or deceit. Free of artificiality; natural. Lacking art, knowledge, or skill; uncultured and ignorant.
pontifical
pertaining to a bishop or pope; pompous
cornice
The topmost architectural element of a building, projecting forward from the main walls, originally used as a means of directing rainwater away from the building's walls; also, crown moulding
intransigence
unwillingness to compromise, stubbornness, intractability
bourgeois
Of or related to the middle class, especially its attitudes and conventions. Conventional, conservative and materialistic. Of, or related to capitalist exploitation of the working class. Borrowed from French bourgeois < Old French burgeis ("town dweller") < borc ("town")
fancier
breeder or dealer of animals; one who has a special interest, as for raising specific plant or animal
pharisaical
Of a person or practice that emphasizes the observance of ritual or practice over the meaning.
mottled
having spots or patches of color
chortle
laugh quietly or with restraint
supposititious
based primarily on surmise rather than adequate evidence
torpor
Being inactive or stuporous. A state of apathy or lethargy.
desultory
aimless; haphazard; digressing at random
anemia
condition where red blood cells are too small, not enough, lack hemoglobin, or are the wrong size
backslider
A recidivist; one who backslides, especially in a religious sense; an apostate.
gaunt
lean, angular and bony; bleak, barren and desolate
maudlin
Extravagantly or excessively sentimental; self-pitying. # Affectionate or sentimental in an effusive, tearful, or foolish manner, especially because of drunkenness. From the Middle English name for Mary Magdalen in the Bible, typically depicted weeping.
careen
To sway violently from side to side or lurch. To heave a ship down on one side so as to expose the other, in order to clean it of barnacles and weed, or to repair it below the water line. To tilt on one side.
stultify
To prove to be of unsound mind or demonstrate someone's incompetence. To cause to appear foolish. To deprive of strength or efficacy; make useless or worthless.
parvenu
a person who has suddenly risen to a higher economic status but has not gained social acceptance of others in that class
seemly
proper, appropriate
noetic
Of or pertaining to the mind or intellect. Originating in or apprehended by reason.
jaunty
Airy; showy; finical; hence, characterized by an affected or fantastical manner. Dapper or stylish. Ostentatiously self-confident.
intimate
To suggest or disclose discreetly.
edify
To build up, or strengthen, especially in morals or religion.
tetchy
Easily annoyed or irritated; peevish, testy or irascible
polemical
controversial, argued, disputatious
triolet
an eight-line poem, whose rhyme scheme is ABaAabAB and lines are in iambic tetrameter
wry
humorously sarcastic or mocking
sententious
Using as few words as possible; pithy and concise. Tending to use aphorisms or maxims, especially given to trite moralizing. From Latin sententiōsus, from sententia ("opinion, purpose").
apostate
a disloyal person who betrays or deserts his cause or religion or political party or friend etc.
equable
Unvarying, calm and steady; constant and uniform; tranquil
chimerical
Being a figment of the imagination; fantastic (in the archaic sense). From Ancient Greek "she-goat"
teetotalism
Abstinence from the consumption of alcohol.
eschatology
the branch of theology that is concerned with such final things as death and judgment
ichthyology
The branch of zoology devoted to the study of fish.
ken
range of what one can know or understand
secrete
to conceal, steal
rubric
title or heading (red print), protocol, directions for religious ceremony
minatory
Threatening, menacing. Latin minatorius, from minari ("to threaten").
depone
(intransitive, law) To testify, especially in the form of a deposition. (transitive, law) To take the deposition of; to depose. From Latin depono ("lay down", "deposit", "entrust")
malediction
the act of calling down a curse that invokes evil (and usually serves as an insult)
ostentatious
Intended to attract notice. Of tawdry display; kitsch.
fulminate
express loudly; explode violently; from Latin fulminare, to strike like lightning
thorny
troublesome or vexatious
nosology
the branch of medical science dealing with the classification of disease
induction
the derivation of general principles from specific instances
venerate
To treat with great respect and deference. From Latin venerātus, perfect passive participle of veneror (worship, reverence).
Machiavellian
crafty; double-dealing; of the political doctrine of Machiavelli, which holds that craft and deceit are justified in pursuing political power
humble pie
humility; The expression derives from umble pie, the original name of the offal meat pie, considered inferior food. In medieval times the pie was often served to lower-class people
naff
considered to be poor taste
tour de force
A feat demonstrating brilliance or mastery in a field. An outstanding display of skill. French "feat of strength" circa 19th century.
cockamamie
foolish, silly, trifling
covetous
Inordinately desirous; excessively eager to obtain and possess (especially money); avaricious
forbearance
Restraint under provocation. A refraining from the enforcement of something (as a debt, right, or obligation) that is due.
agog
highly excited; intensely curious
yen
A strong desire, urge, or yearning. To have a strong desire for.
conurbation
a continuous aggregation of built-up urban communities created as a result of urban sprawl
disinter
to dig up, unearth / to bring from obscurity into view
tremulous
trembling, quivering or shaking. timid or unconfident. From Latin tremēre ("to shake")
reprieve
postponement or cancelation of a punishment; temporary stay; V: postpone or cancel the punishment of
shrew
An ill-tempered, nagging woman: a scold.
toady
a person who tries to please someone in order to gain a personal advantage
upbraid
To charge with something wrong or disgraceful; to reproach
jericho
A place of retirement or concealment. An ancient town in the West Bank.
canard
A false or misleading report or story, especially if deliberately so. From French canard ("duck"). It has been suggested that there was a French phrase "to half-sell a duck" which meant to fool or cheat someone.
bronx cheer
A razzing noise made with the lips and tongue; a raspberry.
insolence
Arrogant conduct; insulting, bold behaviour or attitude.
ablution
the ritual washing of a priest's hands or of sacred vessels
auger
hand tool for boring holes
swill
drink large quantities of (liquid, especially alcoholic drink)
fortuitous
Happening by chance, not necessarily a lucky one; coincidental or accidental.
percolate
To pass a liquid through a porous substance; to filter.
throes
violent pangs of suffering
extemporize
improvise
conclave
The set of apartments within which the cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church are continuously secluded while engaged in choosing a pope. A private meeting; a close or secret assembly.
staid
Serious, organized, and professional; sober. Always fixed in the same location; stationary.
quietus
A stillness or pause; something that quiets or represses; removal from activity; especially: death. Final settlement (as of a debt).
bastion
a stronghold into which people could go for shelter during a battle; a group that defends a principle
pecuniary
relating to or involving money
dissimulate
To deceive by concealment or omission.
nefarious
extremely wicked
chaff
N. husks and stems left over when grain has been threshed; worthless, leftover by-products
parquet
wooden floor made of parquetry; the part of a theatre between the orchestra and the parquet circle
sallow
yellowish, sickly in color
verisimilitude
the property of seeming true, of resembling reality; resemblance to reality, realism. From Latin vērus ("true, real"), + similitūdō ("likeness, resemblance").
adjutant
an officer who acts as military assistant to a more senior officer
repast
a meal; the food served and eaten at one time
sybaritic
Devoted to pleasure and luxury; a voluptuary. From Latin Sybarita < Ancient Greek Συβαρίτης (Subaritēs, "inhabitant of Subaris") < Σύβαρις (Subaris, "Sybaris (an ancient Greek city in southeastern Italy noted for the luxurious, pleasure-seeking habits of many of its inhabitants)")
hortatory
Giving exhortation or advice; encouraging; exhortatory; inciting. From Latin hortor ("encourage").
imprecatory
evil-invoking
extempore
without preparation; extemporaneously
temporize
To deliberately act evasively or prolong a discussion in order to gain time or postpone a decision, sometimes in order to reach a compromise or simply to make a conversation more temperate.
condone
excuse, overlook, or make allowances for
gambit
An opening in chess, in which a minor piece (often a pawn) is sacrificed to gain an advantage. Any ploy or stratagem. A remark intended to open a conversation.
exhume
dig out of the ground; remove from a grave
congenital
Present since birth.
wisenheimer
smart aleck
parity
equality; evenness; comparability of strength or intensity
helter-skelter
Carelessly hurried and confused; pell-mell; willy-nilly
impute
attribute or credit to
harbinger
a person or thing that announces or signals the approach of something; Originally, a person that is sent in advance to provide lodgings
intenerate
To soften; tenderize.
baksheesh
term used to describe tipping, charitable giving, and certain forms of political corruption and bribery in the Middle East and South Asia. Arabic gift, paid based on what is found, Schlemann
inveterate
old; firmly established by long continuance; obstinate; deep-rooted; of long standing. From Latin inveteratus ("'of long standing, chronic'"), form of inveterare, from in- ("'in, into'") + veterare ("'to age'"), from vetus, form of veteris ("'old'"); latter ancestor to veteran.
pliant
flexible; easily influenced
acetic
Of a pertaining to vinegar; producing vinegar; producing vinegar; as, acetic fermentation.
modicum
A small, modest or trifling amount.
precipitous
rash, foolhardy; dropping sharply, dangerous
spurn
Reject disdainfully; contemn; scorn. Reject something by pushing it away with the foot.
titular
Of, relating to, being, derived from, or having a title. Existing in name only; nominal.
panacea
a cure-all.
husbandry
The raising of livestock and the cultivation of crops; agriculture. The prudent management or conservation of resources
tonsure
shaving the crown of the head by priests or members of a monastic order
brazen
face with defiance or impudence; unrestrained by convention or propriety
sally
A sortie of troops from a besieged place against an enemy. A sudden rushing forth. An excursion or side trip. A witty statement or quip.
defenestrate
to throw out of a window.
chide
censure severely or angrily
benison
A blessing; beatitude; benediction.
enervate
To reduce strength or energy; debilitate. To weaken morally or mentally. To unnerve or faze.
tartarean
of or relating to or characteristic of Hades or Tartarus; hellish
sanguine
having the color of blood; warm, ardent; cheerful, optimistic
slipshod
marked by great carelessness; slip + shod ("'wearing shoes'"), originally "wearing slippers", "slovenly" is from early 19th century.
baroque
ornate, dramatic artistic style,sparked by the Catholic Reformation, which developed in Europe in the 1550s; From the Portuguese barroco ("irregular pearl")
propitiate
To conciliate, appease or make peace with someone.
tirade
A long, angry or violent speech; a diatribe. A section of verse concerning a single theme; a laisse.
centripetal
directed or moving towards a centre. From New Latin coined by Sir Isaac Newton, from L. centri- (centrum) "center" + petere "to fall, rush out"
oculist
a medical doctor specializing in the treatment of diseases of the eye
blithe
carefree and happy and lighthearted; lacking concern
prefatory
introductory, preliminary, serving as a prelude or preface.
privy
secret; hidden; not public; (noun) private room/toilet
deprecate
(formal) to express disapproval of.
savant
someone who has been admitted to membership in a scholarly field
potentate
a monarch, very powerful ruler, sovereign
idiom
A manner of speaking, a way of expressing oneself. An artistic style (for example, in art, architecture, or music); an instance of such a style. An expression peculiar to or characteristic of a particular language, especially when the meaning is illogical or separate from the meanings of its component words. From Late Latin idioma < Ancient Greek ἰδίωμα (idioma, "a peculiarity, property, a peculiar phraseology, idiom") < ἰδιοῦσθαι (idiousthai, "to make one's own, appropriate to oneself") < ἴδιος (idios, "one's own, pertaining to oneself, private, personal, peculiar, separate").
abstruse
obscure; profound; difficult to understand
adulation
flattery; admiration
isohyet
A line of equal or constant rainfall on a graph or chart, such as a weather map.
disparage
To match unequally; to degrade or dishonor.
sportive
playful or frolicsome; jesting, jocose, or merry
xenophobia
An exaggerated or abnormal fear of strangers or foreigners.
parricide
the killing of a relative, especially a parent. the killing of a ruler; treason
vehement
marked by extreme intensity of emotions or convictions
larceny
theft
discursive
Tending to digress from the main point; rambling. Using reason and argument rather than intuition.
bowdlerize
edit by omitting or modifying parts considered indelicate
opportunist
a person who places expediency above principle
bromide
a trite or obvious remark
remiss
negligent; careless about a duty
ballyhoo
Sensational or clamorous advertising or publicity. Noisy shouting or uproar.
adage
An old saying, which has obtained credit by long use. An old saying, which has been overused or considered a cliché; a trite maxim.
fluted
Decorated with flutes; grooved. Drunk, intoxicated (Irish slang).
vixen
A female fox. A malicious, quarrelsome or temperamental woman.
malison
A curse.
expletive
A word that adds to the strength of a phrase without affecting its meaning (n). Serving to fill up, merely for effect, otherwise redundant (adj). from Latin explētus, the perfect passive participle of expleō ("fill out"), itself from ex ("out, completely") + *pleō ("fill").
avocation
A hobby or recreational or leisure pursuit.
Apocrypha
Certain writings which are received by some Christians as an authentic part of the Holy Scriptures, but are rejected by others. Note: Fourteen such writings, or books, formed part of the Septuagint, but not of the Hebrew canon recognized by the Jews of Palestine. The Council of Trent included all but three of these in the canon of inspired books having equal authority. The German and English Reformers grouped them in their Bibles under the title Apocrypha, as not having dogmatic authority, but being profitable for instruction. The Apocrypha is now commonly omitted from the King James Bible and most other English versions of Scripture. Note: the word is normally capitalised in this usage. Latin apocryphus "apocryphal", from Greek ἀπόκρυφος (apocryphus) "hidden, obscure"
unctuous
unpleasantly and excessively suave or ingratiating in manner or speech
tipple
To drink alcohol regularly, but not to excess.
windfall
a sudden large benefit; especially an influx of money. A fruit that has fallen from a tree naturally, as from wind
cozen
(archaic) To cheat; to defraud; to beguile; to deceive, usually by small arts, or in a pitiful way.
veracious
Of or pertaining to be truthful.
epicure
a person devoted to refined sensuous enjoyment (especially good food and drink)
primp
To become formal or affected in dress or manners.
aegis
A mythological shield associated with Zeus and Athena shown as a short cloak consisting of a goatskin. The aegis of Athena is usually shown with a border of snakes and with the head of Medusa in the center. The aegis is more an emblem of protection and power than an actual military shield.
limpid
clear (language), transparent, bright
untoward
unfavorable, adverse, unruly
pseudonym
A fictitious name, often used by writers and movie stars.
phalanx
any closely ranked crowd of people
venal
(of an object or position) for sale, available for a price; (of a person) willing to take bribes; (of behaviour etc) corrupt, mercenary
compendium
A short, complete summary; an abstract; A list or collection of various items.
hijinks
Tricky and/or humorous behavior; shenanigans
simian
Bearing resemblance to an ape.
peripatetic
Walking about; itinerant; nomadic.
slew
(often followed by 'of') a large number or amount or extent; turn sharply
hobbledehoy
An awkward adolescent boy.
militate
to work toward, influence, work against
bouffe
comic opera
magniloquent
Speaking pompously; using swelling discourse; bombastic; tumid in style; grandiloquent.
nib
beak(bill); pen point
sclerotic
Of or pertaining to the white of the eye, the tough outer coat of the eye that covers the eyeball except for the cornea. Hard and insular, often in sclerotic bureaucracy
shrill
High-pitched and piercing; sharp or keen to the senses.
vulgate
latin translation of bible in 4th century; common, informal speech; widely accepted text of a work
feint
any distracting or deceptive maneuver (as a mock attack)
clement
Lenient or merciful; charitable. Said of weather or circumstances that are mild. antonym: inclement.
complicity
guilt as an accomplice in a crime or offense
crescive
growing; increasing
sagacious
acutely insightful and wise
tarry
leave slowly and hesitantly
missive
(formal) A written message; a letter, note or memo. From Medieval Latin missivus, from mittere ("to send").
culvert
A transverse channel under a road or railway for the draining of water.
fallible
Capable of making mistakes or being wrong.
complaisant
showing a cheerful willingness to do favors for others
actuarial
Relating to statistical calculation, especially of life expectancy.
epigram
A brief but witty saying. A short, witty or pithy poem.
debutante
a young woman making her debut into society
apposite
appropriate, relevant, well-suited; fit. Positioned at rest in respect to another, be it side-to-side, front-to-front, back-to-back, or even three-dimensionally: in apposition.
asinine
of or like an ass, silly, obstinate, stupid
convoke
to call together; summon to meet or assemble
intrigue
A complicated or clandestine plot or scheme intended to effect some purpose by secret artifice; conspiracy; stratagem. The plot of a play, poem or romance; the series of complications in which a writer involves his imaginary characters.
defray
To pay or discharge; to serve in payment of; to provide for, as a charge, debt, expenses, costs, etc. To avert or appease, as by paying off; to satisfy; as, to defray wrath.
transgression
the action of going beyond or overstepping some boundary or limit
animus
The basic impulses and instincts which govern one's actions; A feeling of enmity, animosity or ill will; From Latin ("'the mind, in a great variety of meanings: the rational soul in man, intellect, consciousness, will, intention, courage, spirit, sensibility, feeling, passion, pride, vehemence, wrath, etc., the breath, life, soul'")
swarthy
Having a dark hue, especially a dark or sunburned complexion.
compact
An agreement or contract.
insidious
Producing harm in a stealthy, often gradual, manner. Treacherous. From Latin insidiosus ("cunning, artful, deceitful"), from īnsidiae ("a lying in wait, an ambush, artifice, stratagem")
dragoman
An interpreter, especially for the Arabic and Turkish languages. Middle English dragman < Old French drugeman < Medieval Latin dragumannus < Medieval Greek δραγομάνος < Arabic ترجمان (turgumán) 'translator, interpreter'.
brouhaha
A stir; a fuss or uproar.
clapper
An object so suspended inside a bell that it may hit the bell and cause it to ring. A wooden mechanical device used as a scarecrow; bird-scaring rattle, a wind-rattle or a wind-clapper.
amalgamate
To merge, to combine, to blend, to join. To make an alloy of a metal and mercury.
alcove
A small recessed area set off from a larger room. From French alcôve, from Spanish or Portuguese alcova, alcoba, from Arabic القبة 'the vault, chamber with vaulted roof'.
adduce
advance evidence for
precept
A rule or principle, especially one governing personal conduct.
fracas
A noisy disorderly quarrel, fight, brawl, disturbance or scrap.
shyster
a person (especially a lawyer or politician) who uses unscrupulous or unethical methods
sequela
a disorder or condition, usually resulting from a previous disease or injury
doddering
mentally or physically infirm with age; senile
genteel
Polite, well-mannered. Stylish or elegant. Aristocratic.
teknonym
a name for an adult derived from that of a child, especially that of the eldest child
studied
carefully contrived; calculated; unspontaneous; deliberate; thoughtful
emolument
Payment for an office or employment; compensation for a job, which is usually monetary.
machination
A clever scheme or artful plot, usually crafted for evil purposes. Latin machinatio < machinari ("to contrive")
fraught
Filled with; plagued by; riddled.
invective
abusive or venomous language used to express blame or censure or bitter deep-seated ill will
ballyhoo
blatant or sensational promotion; a noisy uproar
insular
Of, pertaining to, being, or resembling an island or islands. Separate or isolated from the surroundings; having little interaction with external parties; provincial. Having an inward-looking, standoffish, or withdrawn manner.
scripophily
The hobby of collecting paper documents, particularly business stock certificates.
sundry
various, miscellaneous, separate
factotum
Jack of all trades. New Latin, "do everything".
unguent
any cream containing medicinal ingredients applied to the skin for therapeutic purposes
low
make a low noise, characteristic of bovines
deleterious
harmful or hurtful, to physical, mental or moral health.
avail
To turn to the advantage of; to be of service to.
repine
to regret; to complain; to be low spirited or fretful
insipid
Flat; lacking character or definition. Cloyingly sweet or sentimental.
faux
Fake or artificial
dote
be foolish or senile due to old age; shower with love
strepitous
boisterous, noisy
saturnine
gloomy, depressed, dull
prescind
To cut off, detach or separate something; to think about multiple things individually
augur
A diviner who foretells events by the behaviour of birds or other animals, or by signs derived from celestial phenomena, or unusual occurrences. To foretell events; to exhibit signs of future events.
flag
To weaken, become feeble.
strident
Loud; shrill, piercing, high-pitched; rough-sounding; grating or obnoxious.
excuplate
to clear of blame; vindicate
preclude
Remove the possibility of; rule out; prevent or exclude
entree
entry (i.e. room behind front door)
lout
Troublemaker, often violent. A clownish, awkward fellow; a bumpkin.
bacchanalian
Of or pertaining to the festival of Bacchus; relating to or given to reveling and drunkenness.
synoptic
presenting a summary or general view of a whole; presenting or taking the same point of view
neologism
A word or phrase which has recently been coined; a new word or phrase.
emissary
agent; ambassador; representative; n
categorical
without exceptions; made without any doubt in mind; unqualified; absolute
waif
A wanderer; a castaway; a stray; a homeless child.
sacrosanct
most sacred, inviolable
gossamer
A fine film or strand as of cobwebs, floating in the air or caught on bushes etc. A soft, sheer fabric. Anything delicate, light and flimsy. Middle English gossomer, from gos 'goose' + somer 'summer'.
indigence
a state of extreme poverty or destitution
demotic
Of or for the common people. Of, relating to, or written in the vulgar form of ancient Egyptian hieratic writing. First attested in 1822, from Greek δημοτικος (demotikos) common, vulgar, from Greek δημος (demos) common people."
iniquitous
wicked, sinful, nefarious
madrigal
n. polyphonic song sung without musical accompaniment by four to six singers (especially popular during the Renaissance); short love poem suitable for setting to music
censure
harsh criticism or disapproval
insalubrious
unhealthful
edict
a formal or authoritative proclamation
propriety
correct or appropriate behavior
mephitic
foul-smelling; poisonous
physiognomy
The art and science of discovering the predominant temper, and other characteristic qualities of the mind, by the outward appearance, especially by the features of the face.
flagitious
Extremely brutal or cruel. Old French flagitieux or Latin flāgitiōsus, both ultimately from flāgitium ("shameful crime").
caprice
a whim; a sudden change of mind, desire
ratiocination
Reasoning, conscious deliberate inference; the activity or process of reasoning. Thought or reasoning that is exact, valid and rational.
fuliginous
sooty; dusky
aperture
An opening; an open space; a gap, cleft, or chasm; a passage perforated; a hole
munificent
generous, lavish. From Latin (again) munificus, liberal, from munus, gift + facere, to make.
beset
To surround or hem in. To attack, especially from all sides. To decorate something with jewels etc.
cardinal
Of fundamental importance; crucial, pivotal. Of or relating to the cardinal directions (north, south, east and west). Having a bright red color
evince
show clearly, express
episodic
limited in duration to a single episode; occurring or appearing at usually irregular intervals
ebb
The receding movement of the tide. A gradual decline.
scofflaw
one who habitually ignores the law and does not answer court summonses
quay
wharf usually built parallel to the shoreline
perquisite
Any monetary or other incidental benefit beyond salary; A privilege or possession held or claimed exclusively by a certain person, group or class.
erudite
learned; scholarly
gnostic
Of, or relating to, intellectual or spiritual knowledge. From Greek gnosis (knowledge)
escutcheon
Latin scutum ("shield"). An individual or corporate coat of arms.
flotsam
Debris floating in a river or sea, in particular fragments from a shipwreck.
peculate
To embezzle
panache
flair; manner of doing things without any difficulty (causing admiration); flamboyance; bunch of feathers (on a helmet)
hovel
A poor cottage; a small, mean house; a hut.
septic
of or causing sepsis; putrid; producing putrefaction; N. sepsis: poisoning of part of the body (producing pus)
notaphily
The study or collecting of paper money or banknotes
ascetic
Of or relating to ascetics; characterized by rigorous self-denial or self-discipline; austere; abstinent; involving a withholding of physical pleasure. From Ancient Greek ἀσκητικός (askētikos), from ἀσκητής (askētēs, "monk, hermit"), from ἀσκέω (askeō, "I exercise").
diremption
rip apart, sunder
aristocracy
The nobility, or the hereditary ruling class. Government by such a class, or a state with such a government. A class of people considered (not normally universally) superior to others. Ancient Greek άριστοκρατία (aristokratia), "'the rule of the best'") < aristos ("'best'") + -kratia ("'rule'")
recidivism
Committing new offenses after being punished for a crime. (psychology, psychiatry) Chronic repetition of criminal or other antisocial behavior.
rebuff
A sudden resistance or refusal.
pert
Open; evident; apert; Lively; brisk; sprightly; smart.
histrionic
1. Of or relating to actors or acting. 2. Excessively dramatic or emotional; affected.
nonage
the period of time during which one is a minor. The time of immaturity.
debauch
to morally corrupt someone; to seduce; an orgy
lurid
glaringly vivid and graphic; horrible in fierceness or savagery
cingular
encircling, girdling
ponderous
unwieldy or clumsy because of weight and size, oppressively or unpleasantly dull
actuary
A professional who calculates financial values associated with uncertain events subject to risk, such as insurance premiums or pension contributions. Latin actuarius ("copyist, account-keeper"), from actus ("public business")
gambol
play boisterously
malapropism
comic misuse of a word
sumptuary
relating to laws that control personal behavior
soporific
Something inducing sleep, especially a drug
presage
A warning of a future event; an omen. An intuition of a future event; a presentiment.
redolent
having a strong distinctive fragrance
churlish
Of or pertaining to a serf, peasant, or rustic. Rude, surly, ungracious. Stingy or grudging
masticate
to chew; To grind or knead something into a pulp.
implacable
impossible to placate
shuttlecock
(v) to move or be moved rapidly back-and-forth. (n) A lightweight object that is conical in shape with a cork or rubber-covered nose, used in badminton as a ball is used in other racquet games.
dudgeon
A feeling of anger or resentment (usually only in set terms, below). "in high dudgeon"
rarefy
make more subtle or refined; lessen the density or solidity of
ostensible
represented or appearing as such
scrofulous
morally degenerate; corrupt
corrugated
wrinkled; ridged
rapacious
voracious; avaricious
blowhard
A person who talks too much or too loudly, especially in a boastful or self-important manner.
acerbity
Sourness of taste, with bitterness and astringency, like that of unripe fruit. Harshness, bitterness, or severity; as, of temper, of language, of pain. From French acerbité, from Latin acerbitās ("acerbity; harshness"), from acerbus ("bitter").
allegory
The representation of abstract principles by characters or figures. A picture, book, or other form of communication using such representation. A symbolic representation.
lectern
desk or stand with a slanted top used to hold a text at the proper height for a lecturer
pedestrian
lacking wit or imagination
broach
To begin discussion about (something). To open, to make an opening into; to pierce.
paradox
A self-contradictory statement, which can only be true if it is false, and vice versa; A counterintuitive conclusion or outcome.; A claim that two apparently contradictory ideas are true.
chary
Cautious, wary, shy, ungenerous.
obstreperous
(1) noisily and stubbornly defiant and unruly; (2) noisy, clamorous, or boisterous
unfledged
inexperienced. Of a bird that has yet to develop its wings and feathers and become able to fly. Noun is fledgling.
pathetic fallacy
An error in logical argumentation which consists in treating inanimate objects or concepts as if they were human beings, for instance having thoughts or feelings.
palimpsest
A manuscript or document that has been erased or scraped clean, for reuse of the paper, parchment, vellum, or other medium on which it was written. Many historical texts have been recovered using ultraviolet light and other technologies to read the erased writing.
coup d'etat
The sudden overthrow of a government, differing from a revolution by being carried out by a small group of people who replace only the leading figures; French, "stroke of state".
comeuppance
An outcome which is justly deserved (good or bad).
sully
to soil, stain, damage, corrupt
satrap
A governor of a Persian province. A petty ruler.
conflagration
A large fire extending to many objects, or over a large space; a general burning.
axiom
(logic) a proposition that is not susceptible of proof or disproof; a saying that widely accepted on its own merits
bevy
a group especially a group of girls or women; a flock of birds especially a flock of quail
totem
any natural object or living creature that serves as an emblem of a tribe, clan or family. the clan etc whose kinship is defined in reference to such an object or creature
jejune
Not nutritious. Lacking matter; empty; devoid of substance. Naive; simplistic.
plumb
vertical (adj). vertically (adv). A weight on the end of a long line, used by sailors to determine the depth of water (noun). to determine the depth, to explore the depth, or to align vertically or horizontally (v).
flout
reject, mock, to go against (as in going against tradition or conventions)
ferret
To uncover and bring to light by searching; usually to ferret out.
guile
Astuteness often marked by a certain sense of cunning or artful deception. Deceptiveness, deceit, fraud, duplicity, dishonesty.
franchise
a statutory right or privilege granted to a person or group by a government (especially the rights of citizenship and the right to vote)
kerfuffle
A disorderly outburst, disturbance, commotion or tumult.
adjuvant
A thing (or person) which aids or assists
replete
abundantly supplied; filled to capacity
bandy
to exchange words; to discuss casually
snafu
A chaotic or confused situation; The term was born during the WWII as an acronym of the initials of the words situation normal, all ****ed up, which summed up the chaos and confusion of the war from an individual soldier's point of view.
foil (noun)
enhance by contrast
deracinate
1. To pull out by the roots; uproot. 2. To displace from one's native or accustomed environment.
cloister
A covered walk with an open colonnade on one side, running along the walls of buildings that face a quadrangle. A place, especially a monastery or convent, devoted to religious seclusion. The monastic life.
juggernaut
(n.) a massive and inescapable force or object that crushes whatever is in its path; From Hindustani जगन्नाथ / جگنّاتھ (jagannāth) < Sanskrit जगन्नाथ (jagannātha) "lord of the universe", a title for the Hindu deity Vishnu's avatar Krishna, as incorporated in a recent Christian myth - British colonial era - describing the huge annual processional wagon of the idol of lord Krishna in Puri, Orissa. Pulled with ropes by hundreds of devotees, the wagon reaches quite a momentum and becomes unstoppable.
pachyderm
Someone (or something) with thick skin. It is used for animals such as an elephant or a hippopotamus.
virile
characteristic of a man; characterized by energy and vigor
wax
To grow. To appear larger each night as a progression from a new moon to a full moon. To become.
libertine
unrestrained by convention or morality
hoosegow
A jail. From Latin American Spanish juzgao, variant of standard Spanish juzgado.
despondent
the act of making a choice, without or almost without hope
imbue
To wet or stain an object completely with some physical quality. In general, to act in a way which results in an object becoming completely permeated or impregnated by some quality. From Latin imbuō ("wet, moisten").
antediluvian
Extremely ancient or antiquated; old; prehistoric. Supremely dated. Pertaining or belonging to the time period prior to a great or destructive flood or deluge. From ante- + Latin diluvium {flood}
beatitude
Supreme bliss, happiness; Any one of the Biblical blessings given by Jesus in Matthew 5:3-12. Eg.:"Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth"(Matthew 5:5), etc...
herald
A messenger, especially one bringing important news. A harbinger, giving signs of things to come.
cameo
A piece of jewelry, etc., carved in relief.
clerihew
A rhyme of four lines, usually regarding a person mentioned in the first line.
vociferous
conspicuously and offensively loud
malingerer
someone shirking their duty by feigning illness or incapacity
bifurcation
the act of splitting into two branches
décolleté
Having a low-cut neckline. from French, from décolleter ("to bare the neck and shoulders").
halcyon
In classical legends, a bird said to nest on the sea and to calm the waters to make this possible; calm, peaceful, serene
vitriolic
bitterly scathing; caustic: vitriolic criticism
didactic
Instructive or intended to teach or demonstrate, especially with regard to morality. (I.e., didactic poetry). Excessive moralizing. From Ancient Greek διδακτικός (didaktikos, "skilled in teaching") from διδακτός (didaktos, "taught, learnt") from διδάσκω (didaskō, "I teach, educate")
esoteric
Understood only by a chosen few or an enlightened inner circle. Having to do with concepts that are highly theoretical and without obvious practical application. From Ancient Greek ἐσώτερoς (esōteros, "inner") (esoteric originally referred to the secret (vs. public) teachings of Greek philosophers).
ingrate
An ungrateful person. From Latin, in- ("not") +‎ grātus ("pleasing").
yeoman
An official providing honorable service in a royal or high noble household, ranking between a squire and a page; A former class of small freeholders who farm their own land; a commoner of good standing; A subordinate, deputy, aide, or assistant.
procure
To acquire or obtain an item, sometimes rare, usually by extra effort.
roseate
rosy, optimistic
tortuous
Twisted; having many turns; convoluted (with strong negative connotations).
proviso
a stipulated condition
anecdote
short account of an incident (especially a biographical one)
gourmand
A person given to excess in the consumption of food and drink; a greedy or ravenous eater
expedient
Simple, easy, or quick; convenient.
recondite
Hidden from the mental or intellectual view; secret; abstruse. Dealing in things abstruse; profound; searching. Difficult to understand; known only by experts.
rusticate
To compel to live in or to send to the countryside; to cause to become rustic.
polyglot
a person who speaks more than one language
drivel
To have saliva drip from the mouth; to drool. To talk nonsense; to talk senselessly
goth
a crude uncouth ill-bred person lacking culture or refinement; one of the Teutonic people who invaded the Roman Empire in the 3rd to 5th centuries
ennui
A griping listlessness or melancholia caused by boredom; depression.
malfeasance
wrongful conduct by a public official
crepitate
make a crackling sound
eschew
avoid and stay away from deliberately
commodious
spacious and comfortable
macabre
Representing or personifying death. Obsessed with death or the gruesome. Ghastly, shocking, terrifying.
Euhemeros
a Greek mythologist who suggested that the gods were based on heroes who, after their deaths, lived on in the minds of people
piquant
Engaging; charming. Favorably stimulating to the palate; pleasantly spicy; stimulating. Middle French piquant ("pricking, stimulating, irritating"), from Old French piquer ("to prick, sting, nettle").
sinecure
A position that requires no work but still gives an ample payment; a cushy job. From Latin sine ("without") + cūra ("care")
portent
omen, significance, marvel, prodigy.
refractory
Obstinate and unruly; strongly opposed to something. Not affected by great heat. Difficult to treat.
nadir
an extreme state of adversity; the point below the observer that is directly opposite the zenith on the imaginary sphere against which celestial bodies appear to be projected
facile
Easily done or used; taking little effort; lazy. Amiable, flexible, easy to get along with.
degringolade
A rapid decline or deterioration; a tumble.
climacteric
A critical stage or decisive point; a crisis
idoneous
appropriate; suitable
impunity
Being outside of the rule of law; without risk of retribution.
pretext
an artful or simulated semblance; concealment
obtrude
push(oneself or ones idea) forward or intrude, butt in, stick out or extrude
brook
To bear; endure; support; put up with; tolerate (usually used in the negative)
anadromous
(of a migratory fish) that lives in the sea and breeds in fresh water. (botany) Of a fern in which the first veins in a frond segment are produced towards the apex of the frond.
whittle
cut small bits or pare shavings from
regicide
the killing of a king
umbra
a region of complete shadow resulting from total obstruction of light
mufti
A Muslim scholar and interpreter of shari'a law, who can deliver a fatwa; civilian attire when one would normally be in uniform (military, school)
accost
To approach and speak to boldly or aggressively, as with a demand or request. French accoster, Late Latin accostare to bring side by side.
sesquipedalian
A person who uses long words; a long word
niggle
A minor complaint or problem. To trifle with; to deceive; to mock. To dwell too much on minor points. To fidget, fiddle, be restless.
libel
to smear one's character; defamatory statement
remunerative
(of work) compensating; rewarding; profitable; well-paid; V. remunerate: reward; pay (someone) for work or trouble
trite
repeated too often; hackneyed, commonplace
thrall
One who is enslaved or mind-controlled. The state of being under the control of another person. Old English þrǣl, from Old Norse þræll ("slave")
comity
a state or atmosphere of harmony or mutual civility and respect
brocade
A thick heavy fabric into which raised patterns have been woven.
eddy
A current of air or water running back, or in an opposite direction to the main current.
denouement
the final resolution of the main complication of a literary or dramatic work
copious
plentiful; having a large quantity; From Latin copiosus, copia ("'supply'") + -osus ("'full of'")
malefactor
A criminal or felon; an evildoer. Latin male ("'ill'") + facere ("'to do'").
pangram
A sentence that contains every letter of the alphabet
purveyor
someone who supplies provisions (especially food)
tenable
reasonable, defensible
cordon
a line set up to guard or enclose an area; cord or ribbon worn as an insignia of honor or rank
arcade
(architecture) A row of arches. (architecture) A covered passage, usually with shops on both sides. French arcade, from Italian arcata ("arch of a bridge"), from Latin arcus ("arc").
boon
blessing or benefit. From Middle English, boon ("prayer"), from Old Norse bόn ("petition")
cabal
A usually secret exclusive organization of individuals gathered for a nefarious purpose. A secret plot. An identifiable group within the tradition of Discordianism. From French cabale from Mediaeval Latin cabala, which in turn is derived from the Hebrew Kabbalah QBLH קבלה "something received" (i.e., from tradition, from antiquity). It is likely that the mystical often secretive nature of Kabbalah led to formation of the word cabal.
vaunted
boasted, bragged, highly publicized
vaulting
Leaning upward or over. Exaggerated or overreaching.
garish
Overly ostentatious; so colourful as to be in bad taste.
dint
means, strength, power
demur
to object; to take exception; to delay
sophomoric
self-assured though immature, affected, bombastic, overblown, lacking maturity
eulogy
An oration to honor a deceased person, usually at a funeral.
wangle
To obtain through manipulative or deceitful methods. To falsify, as records. To achieve through contrivance or cajolery
litany
a prayer consisting of a series of invocations by the priest with responses from the congregation
equivocate
To use words of equivocal or doubtful signification; to express one's opinions in terms which admit of different senses, with intent to deceive; to use ambiguous expressions with a view to mislead; as, to equivocate is the work of duplicity.
mettle
courage and fortitude; disposition or temperament
lithe
gracefully slender; flexible, supple
fugacious
Fleeting, fading quickly, transient.
patina
green crust on old bronze works, tone slowly taken by varnished paintings
adjuration
a grave warning
connivance
(law) tacit approval of someone's wrongdoing; agreement on a secret plot.
threadbare
(of speech) banal or clichéd; trite or hackneyed
vicissitude
Regular change or succession from one thing to another, or one part of a cycle to the next; alternation; mutual succession; interchange. a change, especially in one's life or fortunes.
stint
To be sparing or mean. A period of time spent doing or being something. A spell.
boisterous
violently agitated and turbulent; noisy and lacking in restraint or discipline
traduce
to villify or slander
eristic
Of something or someone provoking strife, controversy or discord (adj). One who makes specious arguments; one who is is disputatious (n). A type of dialogue or argument where the participants do not have any reasonable goal. The aim is to argue for the sake of conflict, and often to see who can yell the loudest. From Eris, the goddess of discord, confusion, and strife, keeper of the golden Apple of Discord which she threw into the wedding of Peleus and Thetis starting the Trojan War; daughter of Nyx, sister and constant companion of Ares, mother of Lethe.
sobriquet
An affectionate or humorous nickname. An assumed name.
sidereal
relating to stars; Relating to a measurement of time relative to the position of the stars.
fusillade
the simultaneous firing of a number of firearms; a rapid outburst
aquiline
of, pertaining to, or characteristic of eagles, e.g. an aquiline nose. From Latin aquilīnus, from aquila ("eagle")
patrimony
A right or estate inherited from one's father; or, in a larger sense, from any ancestor. Formerly, a church estate or endowment. from Latin patrimōnium from pater ("father") + -mōnium ("state, condition").
comport
To behave (usually reflexive) in a particular manner; To be in agreement with; of an accord.
eudaemonism
A philosophical notion, or system of ethics, which measures happiness in relation to morality.
pedant
a person who pays more attention to formal rules and book learning than they merit
pace (preposition)
with all due respect to
congeal
To change from a liquid to solid state perhaps by cold. To coagulate, make curdled or semi-solid as gel or jelly. To make rigid or immobile
dialectical
relating to the art of debate; mutual or reciprocal; Ex. dialectical situation; N. dialectic: art of arriving at the truth by the exchange of logical arguments
vapid
Lifeless, dull or banal. Tasteless, bland, or insipid. From Latin vapidus ("flat or vapid").
iconoclastic
Characterized by attack on established beliefs or institutions
aplomb
(n.) poise, assurance, great self-confidence; perpendicularity
homily
A sermon, especially concerning a practical matter. A moralizing lecture. A platitude. From Ancient Greek ὁμιλία ("conversation; sermon").
approbation
The act of approving; an assenting to the propriety of a thing with some degree of pleasure or satisfaction; approval, sanction, commendation or official recognition
paladin
a heroic champion, one who defends a cause
somnolent
Drowsy or sleepy.
convivial
pleasantly merry; festive; joyous; gay; characterized by joviality; jovial
nonesuch
A person or thing with no equal.
avuncular
like an uncle in kindness or indulgence
valedictory
of or relating to an occasion or expression of farewell
scissile
Readily cut or split; easily broken (chemistry)
tacit
Done or made in silence; implied, but not expressed; silent; as, tacit consent is consent by silence, or by not interposing an objection. (logic) Not derived from formal principles of reasoning; based on induction rather than deduction.
collusion
A secret agreement for an illegal purpose; conspiracy.
behest
A command, especially an authoritative one. A request, especially an urgent one
derelict
Abandoned, forsaken; (of ship) abandoned at sea; dilapidated, neglected. Negligent in performing a duty.
nondescript
Without distinguishing qualities or characteristics; unexceptional.
epicurean
a person devoted to refined sensuous enjoyment (especially good food and drink)
fawn
To exhibit affection or attempt to please.
hackneyed
worn-out through overuse; trite
pandemic
widespread, affecting the majority of people
penumbra
a fringe region of partial shadow around an umbra/eclipse
decorum
Appropriate social behavior; propriety
skylark
To jump about joyfully, frolic; to play, to play tricks
cachinnate
To laugh loudly, immoderately, or too often.
bathos
Depth, bottom. An abrupt change in style, usually from high to low; an unintended transition of style; an anticlimax. Triteness; triviality; banality. Overly sentimental and exaggerated pathos.
katabasis
A journey downwards: a journey downhill, a decrease of winds, a military retreat, a trip to the underworld; a trip from the interior of a country to the coast.
dysphemism
The use of a derogatory, offensive or vulgar word or phrase to replace a (more) neutral original. (Crapper instead of toilet)
bugaboo
An imagined fear or threat, or a fear presumed larger than it really is.
officious
intrusive in a meddling or offensive manner
spinster
An unmarried woman, especially one past the normal marrying age; One who spins (puts a spin on) a political media story so as to give something a favorable or advantageous appearance; a spin doctor, spin merchant or spin master.
tractable
easily managed (controlled or taught or molded); readily reacting to suggestions and influences
demagogue
an orator who appeals to the passions and prejudices of his audience
antipathy
Contrariety or opposition in feeling; settled aversion or dislike; repugnance; distaste
suffrage
The right or chance to vote, express an opinion, or participate in a decision. A kind of prayer. From Latin suffragium, 'support, vote, right of voting'.
anachronism
something located at a time when it could not have existed or occurred
apropos
Of an appropriate or pertinent nature. By the way; incidentally. (preposition) Regarding or concerning. French à propos ("on that subject")
exceptionable
Liable to cause disapproval, objection or debate
querulous
Often complaining; suggesting a complaint in expression; fretful, whining.
avid
enthusiastic, passionate, eager, greedy. From Latin avidus ("eager, desirous; greedy"), from aveō ("wish, desire, long for, crave").
reprobation
severe disapproval
tincture
to stain or impregnate (something) with colour. (N) A pigment or other substance that colours or dyes; an essential characteristic
spasmodic
occurring in spells and often abruptly
bedraggle
To make something wet and limp.
fabricate
To form into a whole by uniting its parts; to frame; to construct; to build; as, to fabricate a bridge or ship. To invent and form; to forge; to devise falsely; as, to fabricate a lie or story. From Latin fabricātus, perfect passive participle of fabricor, fabricō ("frame, build, forge"), from fabrica ("a fabric, building, etc.")
bate
To reduce the force of something; to abate. To restrain, usually with the sense of being in anticipation; as, with bated breath. (Aphetic from abate.) Strife; contention (n; from debate).
boudoir
A woman's private sitting room, dressing room, or bedroom
snivel
to breathe heavily through the nose; to sniffle. to whine or complain, whilst crying
devolve
pass on or delegate to another; to be inherited by someone
depredation
An act of consuming agricultural resources (crops, livestock), especially as plunder. A raid or predatory attack
epochal
highly important or significant; monumentous, epoch-making
furtive
secret and sly or sordid
risible
Of or pertaining to laughter. Provoking laughter; ludicrous. (of a person) Easily laughing; prone to laughter.
diaphanous
sheer; transparent
higgledy-piggledy
In utter disorder or confusion; mixed up.
manacle
(n., usually pl.) a handcuff, anything that chains or confines; (v.) to chain or restrain
goldbrick
To shirk or malinger; to swindle
evanescence
The act or state of vanishing away; disappearance.
imponderable
not ponderable; weightless (light, heat, etc)
piety
reverence and devotion to God
aphasia
A partial or total loss of language skills due to brain damage.
pariah
An outcast. A demographic group, species, or community that is generally despised. Someone in exile. A member of one of the oppressed social castes in India. From Tamil paraiyar. Parai refers in Tamil to a type of large drum designed to announce king's notices to the public. The people who made a living using the parai were called paraiyar; in the caste ridden society they were in lower strata, hence the derisive paraiah and pariah. Now, the term is used to describe an outcast in English.
agape
gaping with wonder, expectations; asexual, spiritual love.
bard
a lyric poet
maladroit
clumsy; not skillful; awkward; bungling
factitious
Created by humans, artificial. Counterfeit, fabricated.
occident
The part of the horizon where the sun last appears in the evening; that part of the earth towards the sunset; the west; - opposed to orient. Specifically, in former times, Europe as opposed to Asia; now, also, the Western hemisphere.
unfrock
To remove from status as a member of a clergy. Synonyms: defrock, disfrock.
emolument
salary; payment for an office; compensation
wily
marked by skill in deception; cunning
depose
force to leave (an office)
ignoble
completely lacking nobility in character or quality or purpose
inchoate
Recently started but not fully formed yet; just begun; only elementary or immature; Chaotic, disordered, confused; also, incoherent, rambling.
deft
Quick and neat in action; skillful.
abrogate
revoke formally
hermetic
Obscure; secret or unrevealed.
nether
lower, under. lying or conceived as lying beneath the earth's surface.
callow
Immature, lacking in life experience. Shallow, weak-willed.
circlet
a small ring, band, circle.
perpetrate
To be guilty of, or responsible for a crime etc; to commit.
dictum
an authoritative declaration
germane
Related to the topic being discussed or considered.
incontinent
(often followed by of) Unable to contain or retain. Lacking moral or sexual restraint, moderation or self-control, especially of sexual desire. Something unrestrained or unceasing.
scourge
(v) to whip, punish severely; (n) a cause of affliction or suffering; a source of severe punishment or criticism
pugnacious
Naturally aggressive or hostile; combative; belligerent.
veracity
truthfulness
ordnance
military equipment, especially weapons and ammunition. artillery.
benighted
plunged into darkness, overtaken by night. # lacking knowledge or education; unenlightened
fetid
offensively malodorous
eulogistic
formally expressing praise
polymath
a person of great and varied learning
petulant
childishly irritable.
fin de siecle
relating to or characteristic of the end of a century (especially the end of the 19th century)
ecumenical
worldwide, universal, church-uniting
pied
having sections or patches colored differently and usually brightly
gaffe
A foolish and embarrassing error, especially one made in public. From French gaffe ("blunder").
rapscallion
A rascal, scamp, rogue, or scoundrel.
retiring
Shy, introverted, liking privacy.
isthmus
a relatively narrow strip of land (with water on both sides) connecting two larger land areas
brevet
A military document entitling a commissioned officer to hold a higher rank temporarily, but without an increase in pay. An organized, long-distance bicycle ride — not a race, but a test of endurance — which follows a designated but unmarked route passing through check points.
domicile
(formal) A home or residence.
absolve
To pardon; To free from sin or its penalties.
odium
A feeling of extreme repugnance, or of dislike and disgust.
regale
a feast, meal; to provide a meal and entertainment
proscribe
to forbid, prohibit, denounce, banish
ferment
a state of agitation or turbulent change or development
cleft
an opening, fissure, or V-shaped indentation made by or as if by splitting
voluble
# fluent or having a ready flow of speech; garrulous or loquacious. easily rolling or turning
quiddity
the essence that makes something the kind of thing it is and makes it different from any other
equanimity
The state of being calm, stable and composed, especially under stress.
enrapture
To fill with great delight or joy; to fascinate.
reprisal
act of retaliation
opprobrium
Disgrace arising from exceedingly shameful conduct; ignominy.
millstone
something that hinders or handicaps; one of a pair of heavy flat disk-shaped stones that are rotated against one another to grind the grain
palaver
from Late Latin parabola ("parable, speech"). Talk, especially unnecessary talk, fuss. A meeting at which there is much talk.
anodyne
Capable of soothing or eliminating pain; Soothing or relaxing; non-contentious, bland; from Greek ("without" + "pain")
sardonic
Scornfully mocking or cynical. Disdainfully or ironically humorous.
cantankerous
Stubborn, cranky, or surly
ardor
great warmth or intensity, as of emotion, passion, or desire; a strong enthusiasm or devotion; zeal; From Latin ardere, (to burn)
writ
(law) a legal document issued by a court or judicial officer
quandary
state of uncertainty or perplexity especially as requiring a choice between equally unfavorable options
balm
To make or become calm; comfort; a soothing or healing medicine; pleasing aromatic fragrance; soothing, healing, or comforting agent or quality
tenuous
unsubstantial, flimsy, weak
deciduous
Of or pertaining to trees which lose their leaves in winter or the dry season. transitory, ephemeral, not lasting.
laity
people, people of a church who are not ordained clergy or clerics. The common man or woman. the unlearned, untrained or ignorant as in "The Layman's Guide to Basket Weaving". From Latin laitas, from Ancient Greek λαός (laos, "people")
ligneous
Of, or resembling wood; woody.
citoyen
citizen
atavism
a reappearance of an earlier characteristic; reversion to early or ancestral type; throwback
perfidious
treacherous; disloyal; N. perfidy: treachery
eudemonia
A state of pleasant well-being. A person's state of excellence characterized by objective flourishing across a lifetime, and brought about through the exercise of moral virtue, practical wisdom, and rationality. Ancient Greek εὐδαιμονία, from eu ("good" or "well being") and "daimōn" ("spirit" or "minor deity", used by extension to mean one's lot or fortune)
lee
(sailing) A protected cove or harbor, out of the wind. (sailing) The side of the ship away from the wind.
waft
to float easily and gently on the air. a light breeze.
pulchritude
physical beauty
draconian
of or relating to Draco or his harsh code of laws
smattering
A superficial or shallow knowledge of a subject. A small number or amount of something.
indite
write; compose
vulpine
Of, or pertaining to a fox. Cunning.
factious
dissenting (especially dissenting with the majority opinion)
capitulate
To end all resistance; to give up; to go along with or comply; may imply compliance with an enemy or to end all resistance because of loss of hope
commiserate
to feel or express compassion or sympathy (for someone). From Latin commiserr, commisert- : com-, com- + miserr, to pity (from miser, wretched). com·miser·ative
obstreperous
boisterously and noisily aggressive
sere
(used especially of vegetation) having lost all moisture
espouse
To become/get married to. To accept, support, or take on as one's own (an idea or a cause).
referendum
A direct popular vote on a proposed law or constitutional amendment. A note from a diplomat to his government requesting instructions.
efface
to erase, disappear, or make unobtrusive
adventitious
From an external source; not innate or inherent, foreign. Accidental, additional, appearing casually. From Latin adventicius ("foreign"), from adveniō ("arrive").
niggardly
petty in giving or spending
apotheosis
(1) a model of excellence or perfection of a kind; (2) the elevantion or exaltation of a person to the rank of god
meretricious
pertaining to or resembling a prostitute; attracting attention in a vulgar manner; lacking sincerity
perjury
The deliberate giving of false or misleading testimony under oath
mirth
The emotion usually following humour and accompanied by laughter; merriment; jollity; gaiety
numismatist
a collector and student of money (and coins in particular)
droll
oddly humorous, whimsical; From French drôle ("buffoon")
disinterested
Having no stake or interest in the outcome; free of bias, impartial. Lacking interest, uninterested; indifferent; apathetic.
nostrum
A medicine or remedy in conventional use which has not been proven to have any desirable medical effects.
bombastic
(adj.) pompous or overblown in language; full of high-sounding words intended to conceal a lack of ideas
agelast
one who never laughs
abscission
the act of cutting something off
yore
time long past; Ex. in the days of yore
gamelan
a traditional Indonesian ensemble typically including many tuned percussion instruments including bamboo xylophones and wooden or bronze chimes and gongs
harry
harass, annoy, torment (by repeated attacks); raid
onomatopoeia
The property of a word of sounding like what it represents. (e.g. moo or hiss)
adumbrate
To foreshadow vaguely. To give a vague outline. To obscure or overshadow. Latin adumbrātus "represented in outline", from adumbrāre "cast a shadow on", from umbra "shadow".
vanguard
The leading units at the front of an army or fleet. The persons at the forefront of any group or movement. Earlier forms vandgard and (a)vantgard, derived from old French, avan(t)garde from avant (before) + garde (guard)
surmise
Thought, imagination, or conjecture, which may be based upon feeble or scanty evidence; suspicion; guess; as, surmises of jealousy or of envy (n). To conjecture, to opine or to posit with contestable premises (v). From Old French surmis, past participle of surmetre, surmettre ("to accuse") from sur- ("upon") + metre ("to put").
silver bullet
Any straightforward solution perceived to have great effectiveness or bring miraculous results.
tychism
A thesis proposed by the American philosopher Charles Sanders Peirce that holds that absolute chance, also called spontaneity, is a real factor operative in the universe. It may be considered both the direct opposite of Einstein's oft quoted dictum that: "God does not play dice with the universe" and an early philosophical anticipation of Werner Heisenberg's uncertainty principle.
pan
To disparage; to belittle; to put down; to criticise severely. With "out" (to pan out), to turn out well; to be successful. To beat one's opposition convincingly.
reclaim
To return land to a suitable condition for use. To obtain useful products from waste; to recycle. To return someone to a proper course of action; to reform. To tame or domesticate a wild animal.
whit
a tiny or scarcely detectable amount
perspicuity
clearness of expression; freedom from ambiguity. From Latin perspicuus, in turn from perspiciō ("see through").
repartee
a swift, witty retort. From French repartir ("'to retort'")
assiduous
Hard-working, diligent or regular (in attendance or work); industrious. From Latin assiduus, from assidere ("to sit down to"), from ad ("to") + sedere ("to sit").
suppurate
ripen and generate pus
serpentine
Sinuous; curving in alternate directions; crafty or deceitful
importunate
Of a demand: persistent or pressing, often annoyingly so. Of a person: given to importunate demands, selfishly or thoughtlessly demanding.
autochthonous
Native to the place where found; indigenous
travail
painful, arduous work; also, agony, anguish.
errant
straying from the right course or from accepted standards
ruddy
having any of numerous bright or strong colors reminiscent of the color of blood or cherries or tomatoes or rubies
craven
Unwilling to fight; lacking even the rudiments of courage; extremely cowardly.
doff
To remove a hat as a greeting or mark of respect. To remove or take off, especially of clothing. Contraction of do + off.
cow
to intimidate, terrorize; (N) Anything that is annoyingly difficult, awkward or graceless.
piker
gambler with small amounts of money; cheapskate; amateur
runic
mysterious; set down in an ancient alphabet; N. rune: one of the letters of an alphabet used by ancient Germanic peoples (cut on stone or wood); magic charm
bode
To indicate by signs, as future events; to be the omen of; to portend to presage; to foreshow. From O.E. bodian ("announce, foretell"), from boda ("message")
bilk
To frustrate or disappoint; to deceive or defraud by nonfulfillment of engagement; to leave in the lurch; to give the slip to.
foment
To incite or cause troublesome acts; to encourage; to instigate. To apply a poultice to; to bathe with a cloth or sponge. From Old French fomenter, from Late Latin fomentare, from Latin fomentum ("lotion"), from fovere ("heat, cherish").
functionary
A person employed as an official in a bureaucracy (usually corporate or governmental) who holds limited authority and primarily serves to carry out a simple function for which discretion is not required.
pugilism
fighting with fists, boxing
xanadu
The summer capital of Kublai Khan's empire. An idyllic, luxurious or exotic place.
girder
A beam of steel, wood, or reinforced concrete, used as a main horizontal support in a building or structure
slake
to satisfy, to quench; to extinguish
crass
coarse; crude; not refined or sensible. materialistic.
aspersion
an abusive attack on a person's character or good name
angular
stiff in manner
remission
temporary moderation (of disease symptoms); remitting of a debt or punishment; cancelation of a debt; pardon
carapace
hard outer covering or case of certain organisms such as arthropods and turtles
parsimony
frugal to excess; penurious; niggardly; stingy.
acclivity
an upward slope or grade (as in a road)
fallow
left unplowed and unseeded during a growing season
floe
A low, flat mass of floating ice.
brumal
belonging to winter; winter-like
elegy
A mournful or plaintive poem; a funeral song; a poem of lamentation.
arcane
known or understood by very few; requiring secret or mysterious knowledge (esoteric)
invidious
Envious; causing or arising from envy. offensively or unfairly discriminating. Hateful; odious; detestable. From Latin invidiōsus < invidia "envy, ill will" < in- "upon" + videō "I see".
lee
A protected cove or harbor, out of the wind; the side of the ship away from the wind
rotunda
a round building, usually small, often with a dome
circumlocution
an indirect way of expressing something
cavil
To criticise for petty reasons; to make frivolous objections
debouch
to issue or emerge; to flow from a confined place
intrepid
invulnerable to fear or intimidation
veritable
true, real.
besmirch
(v) to blacken, tarnish, smear, or ruin the reputation of; to make dirty or stained
vide
empty [French]
chaffer
to haggle or barter
roue
lecherous man;a debauched man; [French, literally 'broken on a wheel,' referring to the instrument of torture thought to be deserved by such a person.]
declivity
a downward slope or bend
Antinomian
One who maintains that, under the gospel dispensation, the moral law is of no use or obligation, but that faith alone is necessary to salvation. The sect of Antinomians originated with Johannes Agricola, in Germany, about the year 1535.
tropism
an involuntary orienting response (of an organism)
brusque
marked by rude or peremptory shortness
smorgasbord
a Swedish buffet of cold dishes, a wide variety
clarion
loud and clear; A medieval wind instrument related to the trumpet.
burgeon
To grow or expand. To swell to the point of bursting.
stoic
a member of the ancient Greek school of philosophy founded by Zeno; unaffected by pleasure or pain
rescind
repeal; annul; cancel (a law, decision, or agreement); From Latin rescindere ("to cut back")
peremptory
Precluding debate or expostulation; not admitting of question or appeal; positive; absolute; decisive; conclusive; final.
detraction
the act of discrediting or detracting from someone's reputation (especially by slander)
theodicy
A justification of a deity, or the attributes of a deity, especially in regard to the existence of evil and suffering in the world; a work or discourse justifying the ways of God
cant
An argot, the jargon of a particular class or subgroup; Empty, hypocritical talk; to speak with jargon or in an empty, singsong manner
immolate
to kill as a sacrifice. to destroy, especially by fire. From Latin immolō ("I sacrifice").
depravity
a corrupt or depraved or degenerate act or practice; moral perversion
obsequious
attentive in an ingratiating or servile manner
boeotian
Stupid, foolish, dull-witted. Pertaining to Boeotia (A district of Ancient Greece, formerly renowned for the proverbial stupidity of its inhabitants).
cosmology
The study of the physical universe, its structure, dynamics, origin and evolution, and fate [ cosmos + treating of]
martinet
someone who demands exact conformity to rules and forms
impute
attribute (responsibility or fault) to a cause or source
toil
labour, work, trouble, strife
phillipic
any of the discourses of Demosthenes against Philip of Macedon, defending the liberty of Athens. any tirade or declamation full of bitter condemnation
star chamber
a division of the English royal council, a court that used Roman legal procedures to curb real or potential threats from the nobility, the court so called because there were stars painted on the ceiling of the chamber in which the court sat.
recalcitrant
marked by stubborn resistance to authority
palliative
remedy that alleviates pain without curing
prurient
Uneasy with desire; itching; especially, having a lascivious anxiety or propensity; lustful; from Latin "itch"
phlegmatic
Not easily excited to action or passion; calm; sluggish.
fretsawyers
Someone that makes designs in a piece of wood by cutting out patterns
ciceronian
marked by ornate language, expansive flow, forcefulness of expression
aporia
a figure of speech in which the speaker pauses rhetorically to express uncertainty or doubt as to how to proceed. An insoluble contradiction in a text's meaning. From Ancient Greek ἀπορία < ἄπορος aporos, impassable: ἀ- (without) + πόρος poros (passage)
logology
The study of words with an emphasis on letter patterns.
hidebound
stubbornly conservative and narrow-minded
urbane
Courteous, polite, refined, and suave.
jingoist
an extreme bellicose nationalist
disenfranchise
to deprive someone of their right to vote
gratuitous
unnecessary and unwarranted; without cause
cento
A hotchpotch, a mixture; especially a piece made up of quotations from other authors. From Latin cento 'patchwork garment'.
venality
openness to bribery or corruption.
chaff
To use light, idle language by way of fun or ridicule; to banter (v). The inedible parts of a grain-producing plant, by extension, any excess or unwanted material, resource, or person; anything worthless (n).
gesticulation
a deliberate and vigorous gesture or motion
elocution
The art of public speaking with expert control of gesture and voice, etc.
neophyte
A beginner. A novice (recent convert), a new convert or proselyte.
solvent
capable of meeting financial obligations
mausoleum
A large stately tomb or a building housing such a tomb or several tombs. A gloomy, usually large room or building.
cession
Surrender, as of possessions or rights.
effrontery
insolent and shameless audacity. Latin exfrōns ("'barefaced'"), from prefix ex- ("'from'") + frōns ("'forehead'")
purview
Scope or range of interest or control.
hammer and tongs
With tools indicating seriousness of intent and capability of harm.
catharsis
(drama) A release of emotional tension after an overwhelming vicarious experience, resulting in the purging or purification of the emotions, as through watching a dramatic production (especially a tragedy). Coined in this sense by Aristotle. From Ancient Greek κάθαρσις (katharsis, "cleansing, purging") from καθαίρω (kathairō, "I cleanse")
cursory
hasty and without attention to detail
gainsay
to deny, declare false, to oppose
extradition
the surrender of an accused or convicted person by one state or country to another (usually under the provisions of a statute or treaty)
sibilant
Characterized by a hissing sound such as the "s" or "sh" in sash or surge.
haiku
A Japanese poem of a specific form, consisting of three lines, the first and last consisting of five morae, and the second consisting of seven morae, usually with an emphasis on the season or a naturalistic theme. A Japanese poem of a specific form, consisting of three lines, the first and last consisting of five morae, and the second consisting of seven morae, usually with an emphasis on the season or a naturalistic theme.
deplore
To bewail; to weep bitterly over; to feel sorrow for. To condemn. From Latin deplorare ("to lament over, bewail"), from de- + plorare ("to wail, weep aloud"); origin uncertain.
demesne
territory over which rule or control is exercised
venial
pardonable; able to be forgiven. Excusable, trifling.
inveterate
Old; firmly established by long continuance; of long standing; obstinately deep-rooted; as, an inveterate disease; an inveterate habit; Malignant; virulent; spiteful.
saturnalia
A festival of the winter solstice: A period or occasion of general license, in which the passions or vices have riotous indulgence; a period of unrestrained revelry.
rend
To separate into parts with force or sudden violence; to tear asunder; to split; to burst
lucre
Gain in money or goods; profit; riches; -- often in a negative sense. From the Latin lucrum "profit"
diffidence
The state of being diffident, timid or shy; reticence or self-effacement.
mountebank
a flamboyant deceiver; charlatan
galvanic
relating to electricity
misanthropy
Hatred or dislike of people or mankind.
rarefied
Esoteric. (of a gas etc.) Less dense than usual.
supercilious
Arrogantly superior; showing contemptuous indifference; haughty
emprise
An enterprise; endeavor; adventure. The qualities which prompt one to undertake difficult and dangerous exploits.
pluck (n)
Guts, nerve, fortitude or persistence.
bluster
blow in heavy gusts; threaten emptily; bully; speak in a noisy or bullying manner; CF. breeze, gust, gale
beeline
A very direct or quick path or trip. From bee + line, via the belief that a bee returns to its hive in a straight course. Synonymous idiom: "as the crow flies"
usury
the act of lending money at an exorbitant rate of interest
subterfuge
An indirect or deceptive device or stratagem; a blind. Refers especially to war and politics.
temerity
Reckless boldness; foolish bravery.
myrmidon
A soldier or a subordinate civil officer who executes cruel orders of a superior without protest or pity; -- sometimes applied to bailiffs, constables, etc
cerebration
The act of cerebrating; thinking, mental activity.
flaccid
lacking in strength or firmness or resilience
expansive
friendly and open and willing to talk; marked by exaggerated feelings of euphoria and delusions of grandeur
nexus
a connected series or group
mnemonic
Anything (especially something in verbal form) used to help remember something.
supplant
replace, usurp
Cassandra
(Greek mythology) Daughter of King Priam of Troy and his queen Hecuba, who captured the eye of Apollo and was granted the ability to see the future. However, she was destined to never be believed.
oblique
Not erect or perpendicular; neither parallel to, nor at right angles from, the base; slanting; inclined. Not straightforward; indirect; obscure; hence, disingenuous; underhand; perverse; sinister. From Middle English, oblike, from Latin oblīquus ("slanting, sideways, indirect, envious")
roil
make turbid by stirring up the sediments of; to agitate
urchin
mischevious child; street kid, a child from from a poor neighborhood.
truculent
cruel, savage, aggressive self-assertion; ferociousness; from Latin truculentus, "fierce, savage," from trucis, genitive of trux, "fierce, wild."
satrap
A governor of a Persian province. A petty ruler.
restive
impatient under duress or control; # resistant of control; stubborn; refusing to move
pith
core or marrow, essence, substance
proselytize
To encourage or induce people to join a religious movement, political party or other cause or organization. To convert (someone) to one's own faith or beliefs.
inimical
not friendly
bauble
A cheap showy ornament piece of jewellery; a gewgaw.
retromingent
an animal that urinates backwards - such as the camel, hippo or raccoon. Cowardly.
reproach
a mild rebuke or criticism; disgrace or shame
apotheosis
glorification, sometimes to a divine level; deification; crediting a person with god-like power. A glorified example or ideal; the apex of perfection. Specifically the event where Hercules became a deity and ascended to Mt. Olympos.
incredulous
withholding belief; skeptical; showing disbelief
unwonted
unaccustomed; unusual
pogrom
A riot aimed at persecution of a particular group, usually on the basis of their religion or ethnic origin.
theurgist
One who claims or is alleged to perform magic with the aid of beneficent spirits.
bludgeon
To strike or hit with something hard, usually on the head; to club. To coerce someone.
mealy-mouthed
prone to speaking evasively, indirectly, or duplicitously; not forthright.
tithe
an offering of a tenth part of some personal income
fritter
spend frivolously and unwisely
muse
A source of inspiration, especially a woman providing inspiration for a male artist. To become lost in thought, to ponder. To say (something) with due consideration or thought.
gall
bitterness; nerve; annoy (v); chafe (v)
bequeath
leave or give by will after one's death
trenchant
keen, biting, vigorously effective and articulate, severe. From Old French, from the present participle of trenchier, "to cut."
bivouac
An encampment for the night, usually without tents or covering. Temporary encampment.
hypercorrection
The use of a nonstandard form due to a belief that it is more formal or more correct than the corresponding standard form. A nonstandard form so used.
bullion
gold or silver in bars or ingots
seminal
Highly influential, especially in some original way, and providing a basis for future development or research. Creative or having the power to originate. Germinal.
impropriety
The condition of being improper. An improper act.
improvident
failing to provide for the future; reckless. incautious; prone to rashness.
alloy
mixture as of metals; something added that lowers in value or purity; V: mix; make less pure; lower in value or quality; spoil; CF. unalloyed: not in mixture with other maetals; pure; complete; unqualified; Ex. unalloyed happiness
extant
still in existence
wont
Accustomed, apt (to doing something).
raconteur
To make witty remarks or stories. From French, agentive of raconter ("'to relate, to recount'")
sanguinary
Accompanied by bloodshed. Eager for bloodshed; bloodthirsty.
stolid
having or revealing little emotion or sensibility
tantamount
Having equal or equivalent value, effect, or import.
volte-face / about-face
a reversal of policy, attitude or principle
mannered
Having manners or (often excessive, affected, not natural) mannerisms.
milquetoast
meek, timid (adj); A person of meek or timid disposition.
extenuate
lessen or to try to lessen the seriousness or extent of
litotes
A figure of speech in which the speaker emphasizes the magnitude of a statement by denying its opposite; a figure of speech in which understatement is used with negation to express a positive attribute; a form of irony
prattle
idle or foolish and irrelevant talk
nosegay
a bunch of flowers; a bouquet
manumit
free from slavery or servitude
mercenary
a person hired to fight for another country than their own; profit-oriented
noisome
Morally hurtful or noxious. Hurtful or noxious to health; unwholesome, insalubrious. Offensive to the senses; disgusting, unpleasant, nauseous; foul, fetid, especially having an undesirable smell; sickening, nauseating.
anabasis
the rising of action to climax or dénouement; A military march up-country, especially that of Cyrus the Younger into Asia.
coquette
A flirt.
syncretism
the union (or attempted fusion) of different systems of thought or belief (especially in religion or philosophy)
larder
a cool room in a domestic house where food is stored; a pantry
pallor
Paleness; want of color; pallidity. From Latin pallor ("paleness, pallor"), from palleō ("I am or look pale, blanch").
aphorism
An original laconic phrase conveying some principle or concept of thought.
decry
express strong disapproval of, disparage
desiderate
To miss, to feel the absence of, to long for. From Latin, from the participle stem of the verb dēsīderāre ("to desire").
reprise
A recurrence or resumption of an action. (music) A repetition of a phrase, or a return to an earlier theme.
sublime
Noble and majestic. Impressive and awe-inspiring. Terrifying. From Middle French sublime, from Latin sublīmis ("'high'"), from sub- ("'up to", "upwards'") + uncertain, often identified with Latin līmis, ablative singular of līmus ("'oblique'") or līmen ("'threshold", "entrance", "lintel'")
junket
feast, banquet, picnic. a trip or errand made by a public official at public expense with dubious public benefit
fray
Affray; broil; contest; combat; brawl; melee. (intransitive, figuratively) To cause exhaustion, wear out (a person's mental strength).
sanctimonious
excessively or hypocritically pious
lexicon
A dictionary that includes or focuses on lexemes.
prevaricate
be deliberately ambiguous or unclear in order to mislead or withhold information
threadbare
repeated too often
flay
to strip skin off; to lash
demure
Quiet, modest, reserved, or serious.
pall
To make vapid or insipid; to make lifeless or spiritless; to dull; to weaken.
calumny
a falsification or misrepresentation intended to disparage or discredit another.
parochial
Characterized by an unsophisticated focus on local concerns to the exclusion of wider contexts; elementary in scope or outlook. Pertaining to a parish.
rancor
The deepest malignity or spite; deep-seated enmity or malice; inveterate hatred.
discomfit
To defeat the plans or hopes of; to frustrate; to embarass
pillory
A framework on a post, with holes for the hands and head, used as a means of punishment and humiliation. To subject to humiliation, scorn, ridicule or abuse. To criticize harshly.
parlance
A certain way of speaking, of using words, especially when it comes to those with a particular job or interest.
mendacious
(of a person) lying, untruthful or dishonest. (of a statement etc) false or untrue. Latin mendax (lying)
circumspect
Aware of all circumstances; considerate of all that is pertinent; cautious, prudent, thoughtful, or wary.
slight
To treat as slight or not worthy of attention, to make light of; to disdain, neglect
recumbent
lying down; inactive, idle
bohemian
a nonconformist writer or artist who lives an unconventional life; area what is now Western Czecholslovakia
anagram
A word or phrase that is created by rearranging the letters of another word or phrase.
argot
A secret language or conventional slang peculiar to thieves, tramps, and vagabonds. The specialized informal vocabulary and terminology used between people with special skill in a field, such as between doctors, mathematicians or hackers; a jargon.
forswear
To renounce or deny something, especially under oath. To commit perjury.
goad
A long, pointed stick used to prod animals (n). To prod with a goad, encourage, stimulate, incite, or provoke (v). Middle English gode, from Old English gād 'spear'.
sciamachy
fighting with shadows
puissant
Powerful, mighty, having authority. From Latin posse, "be able" < potis, "able".
apogee
climax; apoapsis (furthest distance) in Earth orbit
collyrium
eye lotion or ointment
glutinous
having the properties of glue
tour d'horizon
An extensive tour; figuratively, a wide-ranging or general survey
admonish
warn strongly
libretto
the words of an opera or musical play
execrate
To declare to be hateful or abhorrent; denounce. To feel loathing for; abhor. To invoke a curse.
cantata
A vocal composition accompanied by instruments and generally containing more than one movement, typical of 17th and 18th century Italian music.
unconscionable
unscrupulous; not guided by conscience; excessive; beyond reason; Ex. a demand
balmy
Soothing or fragrant. Mild and pleasant. Foolish; slightly crazy or mad; eccentric.
quiescent
Inactive, at rest, quiet.
scimitar
A sword of Middle Eastern origin that features a curved blade.
(P/p)hilistine
A person who lacks appreciation of art or culture. The sense relating to lack of education and culture was introduced to English by Thomas Carlyle and greatly popularised by Matthew Arnold. It is derived from German student use of the term Philister to refer to the burghers of the town. This apparently derived from the use of the biblical text "the Philistines be upon you, Samson" in a memorial service for a Jena university student who died as the result of a town vs. gown dispute in 1693.
countenance
consent to, give permission (verb); the appearance conveyed by a person's face
disport
to amuse oneself divertingly or playfully; to cavort or gambol
protean
Exceedingly variable; readily assuming different shapes or forms. From Ancient Greek Πρωτεύς (Prōteus), the Greek warden of sea beasts, renowned for his ability to change shape.
fantod
State of worry or nervous anxiety, irritability. Also an irritable outburst.
bedlam
A place or situation of chaotic uproar, and where confusion prevails. From the Hospital of St Mary of Bethlehem - a mental institution in London
haughty
Conveying in demeanour the assumption of superiority; disdainful, supercilious. From 1430 Middle English haute ("self-important") with a spelling change in 1530 to follow the pattern of caught, < Old French haut, hault ("high, lofty") < Frankish hauh, hōh ("high, lofty, proud") and Latin altus ("high, deep").
galvanize
To coat with a thin layer of metal by electrochemical means; to electroplate. To shock or stimulate into activity.
balk
stop short, as if faced with an obstacle, and refuse to continue; foil; stop or get in the way of; frustrate
reactionary
unthinkingly opposed to change; urging a return to a previous state. Very conservative.
mercurial
Volatile; erratic; unstable; flighty; fickle or changeable in temperament. Lively; clever; sprightly; animated; quick-witted.
fructify
bear fruit
scabbard
sheath/holder for a dagger or sword.
dysphoria
uneasiness; restlessness; general depression
wistful
full of yearning or longing. sad and thoughtful.
ingratiate
to bring oneself into favour with someone by flattering or trying to please them.
pleonasm
Redundancy in wording
sinuous
having curves in alternate directions; meandering. Moving gracefully and supplely.
enfranchise
grant freedom or voting rights
philistine
smug and ignorant and indifferent or hostile to artistic and cultural values
cognate
Either descended from the same attested source lexeme of ancestor language, or held on the grounds of the methods of historical linguistics to be regular reflexes of the unattested, reconstructed form of proto-language. From Latin cognatus, past participle of cognascor ("arise together"), cog- ("together") + nascor ("arise")
glib
Having a ready flow of words but lacking accuracy or understanding; superficial; shallow; smooth or slippery
troglodytic
prehistoric; a person of degraded, primitive, or brutal character.
extemporaneous
not planned, impromptu
chiliasm
a 1000 year period of peace and prosperity, sometimes equated with the return of Jesus for that period
Solon
An ancient Athenian statesman and lawgiver, one of the Seven Sages
fallacious
Characterized by fallacy; false or mistaken. Deceptive or misleading.
evanescent
fleeting, vanishing
contravene
To act contrary to an order, or fail to conform to a regulation; to deny the truth of something.
voluptuary
a person addicted to luxury and pleasures of the senses
lionize
To treat (a person) as if he were important, or a celebrity; To visit famous places in order to revere them.
blatant
Bellowing, as a calf; bawling; brawling; clamoring; disagreeably clamorous; sounding loudly and harshly. Obvious, on show.
mien
Demeanor; facial expression or attitude, especially one which is intended by its bearer. [French: appearance]
lissome
lithe, easily flexed, supple, graceful
paragon
a model or pattern; a pattern of excellence or perfection; as, a paragon of beauty or eloquence
ribald
Coarsely, vulgarly or lewdly humorous (N or adj)
supplicate
ask for humbly or earnestly, as in prayer
skulduggery
underhanded or unscrupulous behavior. apparently an alteration of Scottish sculdudrie "adultery", sculduddery "bawdry, obscenity"
troika
A party of three. A Russian carriage drawn by a team of three horses abreast
rainmaker
A native american medicine man that induces rain by rituals. An employee of a company who creates a large amount of unexpected business, consistently brings in money at critical times, or brings in markedly more money than his or her co-workers, thereby "floating their salaries".
imbroglio
a complicated situation; an entanglement. From Italian imbroglio "tangle", from imbrogliare "to tangle"
mince
To walk with short steps; to walk in a prim, affected manner. To act or talk with affected nicety; to affect delicacy in manner.
gait
Manner of walking or stepping; bearing or carriage while moving.
misogynist
One who displays prejudice against or looks down upon women.
apologist
a person who argues to defend or justify some policy or institution
sycophant
One who uses compliments to gain self-serving favor or advantage from another. One who seeks to gain through the powerful and influential. First attested in 1537. From Latin sȳcophanta ("'informer, trickster'") from Ancient Greek συκοφάντης (sukophantēs), itself from σῦκον (sukon), "'fig'") + φαίνω (phainō), "'I show, demonstrate'"). The gesture of "showing the fig" was a vulgar one, which was made by sticking the thumb between two fingers, a display which vaguely resembles a fig, which is itself symbolic of a **** (sykon 'vagina' also meant vulva). The story behind this etymology is that politicians in ancient Greece steered clear of displaying that vulgar gesture, but urged their followers sub rosa to taunt their opponents by using it.
enjoin
(transitive, often literary) To lay upon, as an order or command; to give an injunction to; to direct with authority; to order; to charge.
contumely
Rude language or behaviour; scorn, insult (n). From Old French contumelie, from Latin contumēlia ("insult").
heresy
A doctrine held by a member of a religion at variance with established religious beliefs, especially dissension from Roman Catholic dogma. A controversial or unorthodox opinion held by a member of a group, as in politics, philosophy or science.
tyro
novice, beginner; From Latin tiro ("a young soldier or recruit")
spendthrift
someone who spends money improvidently or wastefully
levity
lightness of manner or speech, frivolity
anagoge
The spiritual or mystical interpretation of a word or passage beyond the literal, allegorical or moral sense (especially in Biblical criticism).
acrophobia
Fear of heights.
scalawag
scoundrel; white Southerner supporting Reconstruction policies after the Civil War usually for self-interest
vertiginous
Having an aspect of great depth, drawing the eye to look downwards. Inducing a feeling of giddiness, vertigo, dizziness or of whirling.
insouciant
marked by blithe unconcern
impugn
To verbally assault, especially to argue against an opinion, motive, or action; to question the truth or validity of. From Latin impugnō, from im- + pugnō ("fight").
magisterial
Having the manner of a magister; official; commanding; authoritative. Hence: overbearing; dictatorial; dogmatic.
profusion
abundance; the state of being profuse; a cornucopia. lavish or imprudent expenditure; prodigality or extravagance.
stochastic
Random, randomly-determined
calorific
Relating to or producing heat, calories, or other energy.
exude
To discharge through pores or incisions, as moisture or other liquid matter; to give out.
exhort
to urge by strong, often stirring argument, admonition, advice or appeal
vitreous
Of, or resembling glass; glassy. Having a shiny, nonporous surface.
indite
write; compose
cord
a unit of amount of wood cut for burning
exchequer
a treasure; an available fund of money, especially one for a specific purpose. From Anglo-Norman escheker ("chessboard"); from Medieval Latin scaccarium. This is because the grid on which the exchequer counted money resembled a chessboard.
suppliant
(adj.) asking humbly and earnestly; (n.) one who makes a request humbly and earnestly
innuendo
A derogatory hint or reference to a person or thing. An implication or insinuation.
prate
talk idly; speak foolishly; boast idly; To talk idly and at length; chatter.
emollient
(adj.) softening and soothing (n.) something that softens or soothes
arrears
An unpaid or overdue obligation. A debt.
banausic
Mechanical; materialistic, uncultured. Utilitarian.
onerous
burdensome, oppressive, or troublesome; From Latin onerosus ("'burdensome'"), from onus ("'load'").
prelate
a senior clergyman and dignitary
obtuse
slow to learn or understand
talisman
a trinket or piece of jewelry thought to be a protection against evil
rebus
A kind of word puzzle which uses pictures to represent words or parts of words.
obsequy
funeral ceremony
palliate
to make something appear less serious, to alleviate, to gloss over, put a positive spin on
disparate
fundamentally different or distinct in quality or kind
beset
To surround or hem in; To attack, especially from all sides; To decorate, something with jewels
inveigle
to convert, convince or win over with flattery or wiles; to obtain through guile or cunning. From French aveugler "to blind, to delude," from the Old French aveugler from aveugle "blind," from avugle "without eyes," from Latin ab + oculus "eye."
guttle
devour; eat voraciously
coiffure
headwear, headgear, hairstyle
latitudinarian
Tolerant, especially of other people's religious views.
suffuse
to become overspread as with a fluid, a colour, a gleam of light
guffaw
a boisterous laugh
trope
A figure of speech, such as a metaphor, in which a word or phrase is used other than in a literal manner. A short cadence at the end of the melody in some early music. Something recurring across a genre or type of literature, such as the 'mad scientist' of horror or 'once upon a time' as introduction to fairytales. Similar to a cliché, but not necessarily pejorative. From Latin tropus, from Ancient Greek τρόπος (tropos, "a turn, way, manner, style, a trope or figure of speech, a mode in music, a mode or mood in logic").
stipple
to use small dots to give the appearance of shading
prodigious
marvelous, enormous
overture
An approach made to initiate communication. (music) a musical introduction to a piece of music which may or may not be an integral part of that piece of music. Old French overture, French ouverture ("opening").
spavined
Old, worn out, obsolete (said figuratively of a person); (of horses) disabled in the feet or legs
cogent
Reasonable and convincing; based on evidence; powerfully persuasive.
stricture
A rule restricting behaviour or action. A sternly critical remark or review.
pidgin
an amalgamation of two disparate languages, used by two populations having no common language as a lingua franca to communicate with each other, lacking formalized grammar and having a small, utilitarian vocabulary and no native speakers.
dishabille
Extreme casual or disorderly dress, shirt tail out, sleeves unbuttoned, etc.
parry
to ward off, fend off, deflect, evade, avoid;
maculated
spotted or stained
nyctalopia
Inability to see well in dim light; also called night blindness
canossa
the location of the castle in the high mountains of northern Italy where Henry IV stood barefoot and dressed as a pilgrim for three days in the bitter cold waiting for Pope Gregory VII to revoke his excommunication; place of penance or humiliation
ursine
of or relating to bears.
epicene
having unsuitable feminine qualities; having an ambiguous sexual identity
penury
a state of extreme poverty or destitution
automaton
someone who acts or responds in a mechanical or apathetic way
carrion
Dead flesh; carcasses.
addle
Liquid filth, mire, dregs, lees; to muddle
semblance
likeness, similarity
firebrand
An argumentative troublemaker or revolutionary; one who agitates against the current situation.
quip
A smart, sarcastic turn or jest; a taunt; a severe retort; a gibe.
pinion
wing of a bird, to cut of the wings of a bird, to bind, disable or restrain
piebald
Spotted or blotched, especially of black and white.
tome
One in a series of volumes. A large or scholarly book.
apiary
A place where bees and their hives are kept.
expiate
To atone or make reparation for. To make amends or pay the penalty for. To relieve or cleanse of guilt. From Latin expiatum, past participle of expiō ("atone for").
tedium
1. boredom or tediousness; ennui
voracious
ravenous; eating large quantities of food; exceedingly eager; insatiable; from Latin "devour"
coterie
an exclusive circle of people with a common purpose
precipitous
steep, headlong, hasty, rash, quick
fleece
Con or trick someone out of money.
gentility
elegance by virtue of fineness of manner and expression
pernicious
Causing much harm in a subtle way. Causing death or injury; deadly. From Middle English, from Old French pernicios, from Latin perniciosus ("destructive"), from pernicies ("destruction"), from per ("through") + nex ("slaughter, death")
verve
Excitement of imagination such as animates a poet, artist, or musician, in composing or performing. vigour, vitality and liveliness, rapture, enthusiasm, spirit, energy.
acumen
quickness of perception or discernment; penetration of mind; the faculty of nice discrimination. Latin acumen, sharp point
predilection
Condition of favoring or liking; tendency towards; proclivity; predisposition.
cacophonous
harsh-sounding, raucous, discordant, dissonant
succubus
a female demon believed to have sexual intercourse with sleeping men
coup
A quick, brilliant, and highly successful act; a triumph.
chthonian
Pertaining to the underworld; being beneath the earth.
tensile
capable of being stretched; of tension
reticent
habitually silent or reserved
exonumia
Coinlike objects. Study and/or collection of such. exo- ("out of") +‎ numia ("coin")
canon
a contrapuntal piece of music in which a melody in one part is imitated exactly in other parts
parley
a negotiation/conference between enemies
timorous
fearful, afraid, timid
catholic
(of likings and interests) universal; general; broad; including many different parts; wide-ranging liberal; Ex. catholic opinions/tastes
crotchety
Cranky, disagreeable, or stubborn; prone to whims, fancies
faineant
An irresponsible idler.
pusillanimous
Showing ignoble cowardice, or contemptible timidity
quotidian
daily; occurring or recurring every day; mundane
minutia`
A minor detail, often of negligible importance.
quizzical
curious; suggesting puzzlement (without saying); questioning; teasing; mocking; bantering; Ex. quizzical glance
taciturn
habitually reserved and uncommunicative
genuflect
To bend the knee, as in servitude or worship. To behave in a servile manner; to grovel. from Mediaeval Latin genūflectō ("I bend the knee") equivalent to the Latin genū ("knee") + flectō ("to bend").
elan
Ardor inspired by passion or enthusiasm.
parable
a short moral story
fulmination
thunderous verbal attack
drone
stingless male bee in a colony of social bees (especially honeybees) whose sole function is to mate with the queen
waggish
witty or joking
sequester
isolate, segregate, seclude, retire from public life
gnomic
Mysterious and often incomprehensible yet seemingly wise.
cumshaw
present, gratuity
aggrieve
To give pain or sorrow to; to afflict; hence, to oppress or injure in one's rights; to bear heavily upon. From Middle English agreven, Old French agrever; a (Latin ad) + grever ("to burden, injure"), Latin gravare ("to weigh down"), from gravis ("heavy").
dowdy
poorly dressed, shabby; lacking smartness and good taste.
solecism
Error in the use of language, especially an error concerning etiquette. In written language, the intentional use of misspelling and/or incorrect grammar to affect the vernacular of a particular dialect.
attrition
wearing or grinding down by friction; a loss
au fond
at bottom, at heart, or by one's (or its) very nature
collation
Bringing together. Discussion, light meal.
supernumerary
(adj) Extra; beyond the standard or prescribed amount.
magistery
Mastery; powerful medical influence; renowned efficacy; a sovereign remedy.
palindrome
a word or phrase that reads the same backward as forward
megalomania
A psychopathological condition characterized by delusional fantasies of wealth, power, or omnipotence. An obsession with grandiose or extravagant things or actions. from Greek μέγα- (mega-), "'great'") + μανία (mania), "'insanity'").
niggardly
meanly stingy, parsimonious
politic
marked by artful prudence, expedience, and shrewdness
egress
way out; exit
cloy
To fill up or choke up; to stop up. To clog, to glut, or satisfy, as the appetite; to satiate. To fill to loathing; to surfeit.
fissure
a long narrow opening
brackish
(of water) salty or slightly salty, as a mixture of fresh and sea water, such as that found in estuaries. distasteful; unpleasant
trappings
Clothing or equipment; that which gives the appearance of something.
provident
providing for future needs; displaying foresight; thrifty; preparing for emergencies; OP. improvident
brandish
To wave, shake, or flourish triumphantly or defiantly, as a sword or spear.
betroth
To promise to give in marriage. From Middle English bitreuthien, from treuthe, "truth".
statute
an act passed by a legislative body
fete
A festival open to the public, the proceeds from which are often given to charity.
lumpenproletariat
(Marxism) the lowest stratum of the proletariat. a social underclass; the riffraff
internecine
characterized by bloodshed and carnage for both sides
coda
A passage which brings a movement or piece to a conclusion through prolongation. The conclusion of a statement.
bereft
(Adj.) deprived; left sad and lonely after a loss; Simple past tense and past participle of bereave.
proscenium
the wall that separates the stage from the auditorium in a modern theater
hoodwink
To deceive or trick. to make up for
gamely
in a spirited manner, with courage
turncoat
a disloyal person who betrays or deserts his cause or religion or political party or friend etc.
disaffected
Alienated or estranged, often with hostile effect; rebellious, resentful; disloyal.
pedantic
overly concerned with formal rules and trivial points of learning. Being showy of one's knowledge, often in a boring manner. Being finicky or picky with language.
dour
stern or unyielding or gloomy.
détente
A relaxing of tension between major powers, especially the particular thawing of relations between the Soviet Union and the United States following the Cold War.
fresco
In painting, the technique of applying water-based pigment to wet or fresh lime mortar or plaster.
mete
A boundary or other limit; a boundary-marker. To measure. To dispense, measure (out), allot (especially punishment, reward etc.).
extol
praise, glorify, or honor
fleck
a flake, lock, as of wool, a small spot or streak; a speckle (n). To mark with spots (v).
seine
A long net having floats attached at the top and sinkers (weights) at the bottom, used in shallow water for catching fish.
rampart
A defensive mound of earth or a wall with a broad top and usually a stone parapet; a wall-like ridge of earth, stones or debris; an embankment for defensive purpose. A defensive structure; a protective barrier; a bulwark. That which defends against intrusion from outside; a protection.
flit
A fluttering or darting movement (n). To move about rapidly and nimbly. From Old Norse: flytja ("to move"). Cognate with Swedish: flytta, Danish/Norwegian: flytte, Faroese: flyta.
philadelphia lawyer
A clever, crafty, or otherwise extremely adroit practitioner of law.
abortive
unsuccessful; fruitless
precis
concise summary of essential points
salutary
Effecting or designed to effect an improvement; remedial: salutary advice. Promoting good health; wholesome; curative.
astral
relating to stars
zephyr
a breeze from the west, a gentle breeze
longanimity
patience or tolerance in the face of adversity; forbearance
rote
The process of committing something to memory through repetition, in a mechanical way, usually by hearing and repeating aloud, often without full attention to comprehension or thought for the meaning. Mechanical routine; a fixed, habitual, repetitive, or mechanical course of procedure.
dirge
a song or hymn of mourning composed or performed as a memorial to a dead person
luminary
a celebrity who is an inspiration to others
imprecation
an invocation of evil; a curse
stodgy
(of food) having a thick, semi-solid consistency; glutinous; heavy on the stomach. dull, old-fashioned.
Procrustes
A celebrated legendary highwayman of Attica, who tied his victims upon an iron bed, and, as the case required, either stretched or cut of their legs to adapt them to its length.
blandishment
Flattering speech or actions designed to persuade or influence.
nascent
Emerging; just coming into existence. From Latin nascēns, present participle of nascor ("'I am born'").
gyre
a swirling vortex; a circular current, especially a large-scale ocean current
beleaguer
to besiege; to surround with an army; to vex, annoy, harass
shibboleth
A word, especially seen as a test, to distinguish someone as belonging to a particular nation, class, profession etc. A slogan, jargon word, or catchphrase closely associated with a particular group and not used very much, or at all, outside of it. Can also apply to ideas, customs, and uses of language. A common or longstanding belief or custom associated with a particular group; truism, platitude. From Hebrew שבולת (šibbōlet) 'ear of wheat', with reference to Judges 12:5-6: 'Gilead then cut Ephraim off from the fords of the Jordan, and whenever Ephraimite fugitives said, "Let me cross," the men of Gilead would ask, "Are you an Ephraimite?" If he said, "No," they then said, "Very well, say Shibboleth." If anyone said, "Sibboleth", because he could not pronounce it, then they would seize him and kill him by the fords of the Jordan.'
gerontocracy
Government by elders.
catcall
A shout or whistle expressing dislike, especially from a crowd or audience; a jeer, a boo.
disgorge
v. surrender something, eject, vomit
phantasmagoric
Characterized by or pertaining to a dream-like blurring of real and imaginary elements.
distrait
(French) absent-minded, troubled, distracted
conundrum
A difficult question or riddle, especially one using a play on words in the answer. A difficult choice or decision that must be made.
sepulcher
a chamber that is used as a grave
macerate
To soften (something) or separate (something) into pieces by means of immersing it in a liquid.
tautology
redundant use of words (e.g. "Forward Planning"); A statement that is true for all values of its variables (e.g. Given a Boolean A, "A OR (NOT A)")
impuissance
powerlessness revealed by an inability to act
equity
justice, impartiality and fairness
gull
trick; deceive; hoodwink; N: person who is easily tricked; dupe
tattersall
A fabric pattern containing squares of dark lines on a light background
aver
to declare or affirm solemnly and formally as true
Byzantine
Overly complex or intricate. Of a devious, usually stealthy manner, of practice.
obfuscate
To make dark; overshadow. To deliberately make more confusing in order to conceal the truth. From the participle stem of (late) Latin obfuscare, from ob- + fuscare ("darken").
hapless
Very unlucky; ill-fated.
anabasis
A military march up-country, especially that of Cyrus the Younger into Asia
miscreant
1. One who has behaved badly, or illegally. One not restrained by moral principles; an unscrupulous villain.
captious
Having a disposition to find fault unreasonably or to raise petty objections.
beneficient
adj. performing acts of kindness or charity; conferring benefits, doing good
prelector
Someone who lectures or discourses in public.
sublimate
refine; purify; replace (natural urges) with socially acceptable activities; change between a solid state and a gaseous state
stygian
dark and dismal as of the rivers Acheron and Styx in Hades
voir dire
(law) The preliminary phase of a jury trial in which the jurors are examined and selected. From Anglo-Norman, literally "to speak the truth", from Old French voir, "true; truly" (from Latin vērus, "true") + dire, "to say" (from Latin dīcere, "to speak; to say").
rankle
To cause irritation or deep bitterness. To fester. From Old French rancler / raoncler ("ulcer, boil") from draoncle < Latin dracunculus ("little serpent"), diminutive of draco ("serpent, dragon").
apostasy
The renunciation of a belief or set of beliefs.
carping
To complain about a fault; to harp on. From Old Norse karpa ("'to boast'")[1], karp ("'bragging'")
prehensile
Able to take hold of and clasp objects; adapted for grasping especially by wrapping around an object.
calico
A kind of rough cloth, often printed with a bright pattern. From Calicut, in India, from where the cloth was originally exported.
tumid
swollen, enlarged, bulging
welter
general confusion; disorderly mixture; aimless effort; to roll, wallow, be soaked or steeped in
rivulet
a small stream
bawdy
Obscene; filthy; unchaste.
litigation
The conduct of a lawsuit
soporific
inducing mental lethargy; sleep inducing
idiopathy
any disease arising from internal dysfunctions of unknown cause
apologia
a formal written defense of something you believe in strongly
obloquy
Abusive language; Disgrace suffered from abusive language
connubial
Of or relating to the state of being married. Conjugal.
zealot
a fervent and even militant proponent of something
perigee
periapsis (shortest distance) in Earth orbit
foist
To introduce or insert surreptitiously or without warrant; To force another to accept especially by stealth or deceit; To pass off as genuine or worthy.
potamic
of or relating to rivers
illicit
contrary to or forbidden by law, morality
rider
a provision annexed to a bill under the consideration of a legislature, having little connection with the subject matter of the bill
abscond
To hide; to withdraw; to be concealed; To depart suddenly and secretly, as for the purpose of escaping arrest.
abstemious
Characterized by self denial or abstinence, as in the use of drink, food.
perdition
(Christianity) the abode of Satan and the forces of evil; damnation
ensconce
to settle oneself securely or comfortably, to place or conceal in a secure place
equitable
Marked by or having equity. Fair, just, or impartial.
cistern
reservoir or water tank
minion
loyal servant, sycophantic follower. from Middle French mignon ("lover, royal favourite, darling"), from Old French mignot ("dainty, pleasing, gentle, kind"), of Germanic origin, from Frankish *minnjo ("love, friendship, affection, memory") from Proto-Germanic *minþiō, *mindiō ("affectionate thought, care") from Proto-Indo-European *men-, *mnā- ("to think"). Cognate with Old High German minnja ("love, care, affection, desire, memory"), Old Saxon minnea ("love")
somatic
Part of, or relating to the body of an organism.
encomium
Warm praise, especially a formal expression of such praise; a tribute. From Latin encōmium ("'praise, eulogy'")
jocose
given to jest; habitually jolly. Playful; characterized by joking
juju
A fetish or charm believed by West Africans to have magical or supernatural powers. A superstitious belief in the karmic consequences of an action or behavior, usually negative in connotation.
prescience
the power to foresee the future
matronym
The name of someone's mother.
plebiscite
a vote by which the people of an entire country or district express an opinion for or against a proposal especially on a choice of government or ruler
slapdash
marked by great carelessness
braggadocio
A braggart. Empty boasting. After Braggadocchio, boastful character in Edmund Spenser's The Faerie Queen (1590), apparently a pseudo-Italian coinage.
constituent
a part, or component of a whole. a resident of a place represented by an elected official.
pell-mell
in haste, uncontrolled, disorderly; helter-skelter
victual
Food fit for human consumption.
congeries
A collection or aggregation of disparate items.
consternation
Amazement or horror that confounds the faculties, and incapacitates for reflection; terror, combined with amazement; dismay.
limn
To draw or paint; delineate.
titillate
To stimulate or excite pleasantly. Latin tītillāre to tickle.
scintillate
be lively or brilliant or exhibit virtuosity
eugenic
pertaining to or causing improvement in the offspring produced
intractable
unruly, stubborn, unyielding
licentious
lacking moral discipline; lewd and lascivious
winsome
Charming; inspiring trust and approval; especially if in an innocent manner.
misnomer
an incorrect or unsuitable name
pique
irritation; resentment from wounded pride (eg. loss in a contest); V: provoke; arouse; annoy; cause to feel resentment
recriminate
To accuse in return, state an accusation in return.
lambent
Brushing or flickering gently over a surface. Glowing or luminous, but lacking heat. Exhibiting lightness or brilliance of wit; clever or witty without unkindness. From Latin lambens, present participle of lambō ("lick").
threnody
A song or poem of lamentation or mourning for a dead person; a dirge; an elegy.
pettifogger
1. A petty, unscrupulous lawyer; a shyster. 2. A person who quibbles over trivia.
blatherskite
a babbler; nonsense, foolishness
continence
The voluntary control of urination and defecation. Moderation or self-restraint, especially in sexual activity; abstinence.
cataract
a large waterfall; clouding of the natural lens of the eye
salubrious
promoting health. From Latin salus ("health")
inexorable
Unable to be persuaded; relentless; unrelenting. Impossible to stop or prevent; inevitable. # Adamant; severe.
grotto
a small cave (usually with attractive features)
infinitesimal
immeasurably small
spoor
The track, trail or droppings of an animal. To track an animal by its spoor.
amiable
Friendly; kind; sweet; gracious; as, an amiable temper or mood; amiable ideas. From French amiable, from Latin amicabilis ("friendly"), from amicus ("friend"), from amare ("to love"). The meaning has been influenced by French aimable, Latin amabilis ("lovable"), from amare ("to love").
acrostic
A poem or other text in which certain letters, often the first in each line, spell out a name or message.
centrifugal
Tending, or causing, to recede from the center. From Latin centrum, center + fugere, (-fugal) to flee.
partisan
An adherent to a party or faction. A fervent, sometimes militant, supporter or proponent of a party, cause, faction, person, or idea. From French partisan, from Italian partigiano ("defender of a party"), from parte ("part").
filch
To steal, to illegally take possession of.
barrister
(law, British, Australia, New Zealand) A lawyer with the right to speak and argue as an advocate in higher lawcourts.
languid
Lacking enthusiasm, energy, or strength; drooping or flagging from weakness, fatigue, or lack of energy; indisposed to exertion; sluggish; relaxed: as, languid movements; languid breathing.
sultry
hot and humid. very hot and dry; torrid. sexually enthralling.
jurisprudence
the philosophy or science of law
underwrite
Specifically, to assume financial responsibility for something, and guarantee it against failure.
bêtise
silliness, folly, stupidity
Discordianism
a modern religion centered on the idea that chaos is all that there is, and that order and disorder, the latter considered a concept distinct from chaos, are both illusions (referred to, respectively, as the "Aneristic" and "Eristic" illusions) that are imposed on chaos. It was founded circa 1958-1959 by Malaclypse the Younger with the publication of its principal text, the Principia Discordia. There is some division as to whether it should be regarded as a parody religion, and if so to what degree.[1] It has been called "Zen for roundeyes", based on similarities with absurdist interpretations of the Rinzai school. Discordianism recognizes chaos, discord, and dissent as valid and desirable qualities, in contrast with most religions, which idealize harmony and order. Eris, the Greek mythological goddess of discord, has also become the matron deity of the religion Discordianism.
writ large
a reference to Plato's Republic, wherein he describes the state as being like the individual, but larger and easier to examine; magnified; on a large scale
chary
Cautious, wary, shy, ungenerous.
circumscribe
limit; confine; draw a line around
contrite
feeling regret for a fault or offence
peroration
(rhetoric) the concluding section of an oration
pestle
a club-shaped hand tool for grinding and mixing substances in a mortar
lassitude
weakness characterized by a lack of vitality or energy
nubile
suitable for marriage in age and physical development, referring to a female
bricolage
Construction using whatever was available at the time; do-it-yourself
misanthrope
One who hates all mankind; one who hates the human race.
platitude
An often-quoted saying that is supposed to be meaningful but has become unoriginal or hackneyed through overuse; a cliché. Unoriginality, triteness. A claim that is trivially true, to the point of being uninteresting. From Old French plat, 'flat'.
surfeit
(n) an excessive amount; (v) to feed or supply to excess, satiety, or disgust
endemic
native to or confined to a certain region
harangue
An impassioned, disputatious public speech; from aringare "speak in public"
consanguinity
A consanguineous or family relationship through parentage or descent. A blood relationship.
egregious
Exceptional, conspicuous, outstanding, most usually in a negative fashion. Outrageously bad. From Latin prefix e- ("out of"), + grex ("flock"), + English adjective suffix -ous, from Latin suffix -osus ("full of"); reflecting the positive connotations of "standing out from the flock".
desiccate
to dry; to preserve by drying.
tergiversation
The act of turning one's back; abandoning something or someone; betrayal. The act of turning from a clear course of action; equivocation; fickleness.
indelible
cannot be removed, washed away or erased
monastic
Of acute discernment; having keen insight; mentally perceptive. from Late Latin perspicācitās ("'discernment'"), from Latin perspicax ("'sharp-sighted'"), from perspiciō ("'look through'"), from per- ("'through'") + speciō ("'look at'"). See also perspective.
convolution
Something that is folded or twisted. From Latin convolutus ("to roll together"), past participle of convolvere < con- + volvere ("to roll").
punctilious
Strictly attentive to detail; meticulous or fastidious, particularly to codes or conventions. Precise or scrupulous; finicky or nitpicky.
inscrutable
of an obscure nature
triturate
pulverize
canto
a major division of a long poem; the highest part (usually the melody) in a piece of choral music
maxim
a saying that widely accepted on its own merits
coalesce
mix together different elements
ascendancy
# Supremacy; superiority; dominant control; the quality of being in the ascendant
parietal
Of or pertaining to the wall of a body part, organ or cavity; Of or pertaining to the parietal bones
headlong
precipitious; plunging downwards head foremost; reckless, impetuous
scion
A descendant, especially a first-generation descendant. A detached shoot or twig containing buds from a woody plant, used in grafting. The heir to a throne. Guardian.
prophylactic
preventing or contributing to the prevention of disease
mendicant
Depending on alms for a living. A beggar. A religious friar forbidden to own personal property who begs for a living.
purblind
Partially blind. Lacking in discernment or understanding, obtuse.
languor
a state of the body or mind caused by exhaustion or disease and characterized by a languid feeling: lassitude. listless indolence; dreaminess. dullness, sluggishness; lack of vigor; stagnation. from Latin languor from langure ("to feel faint, languish").
apparat
The Russian machinery of state bureaucratic administration. In French: pomp, ceremony
boorish
crude, offensive, rude
immure
to put or bury within a wall. From Latin prefix im-, variant of in-, in, + murus, wall
fatuous
complacently or inanely foolish
paramour
An illicit lover, either male or female.
curmudgeon
a crusty, churlish, irascible, cantankerous old person full of stubborn ideas
spectral
Having the appearance of a spectre; ghostly.
bicameral
composed of two legislative bodies
cache
a hidden storage space (for money or provisions or weapons)
deign
To condescend; to accept as appropriate to one's dignity. From Middle English deignen, from Old French deignier ("'consider worthy'"), from Latin digno ("'consider worthy'") from dignus ("'worthy'")
irreproachable
free from blame, not open to reproach or criticism; blameless.
weal
n. Well-being.
torrid
Very hot and dry. Full of intense emotions arising from sexual love; ardent and passionate. full of difficulty.
auspice
(mostly in plural) Patronage or protection. An omen or a sign.
disparage
express a negative opinion of
seedy
disreputable; run-down. untidy, unkempt.
sciolist
an amateur who engages in an activity without serious intentions and who pretends to have knowledge
rapprochement
Reconciliation; restoration of cordial relations, esp. between two countries.
jocular
Humorous, amusing or joking.
acrid
Sharp and harsh, or bitter and not to the taste; pungent.
prosody
the study of poetic meter and the art of versification (the patterns of stress and intonation in a language)
alabaster
A fine-grained white or lightly-tinted variety of gypsum, used ornamentally; A variety of calcite, translucent and sometimes banded.
pellucid
allowing for the passage of light; transparent. easily understood; clear
mollify
To ease a burden; make less painful; to comfort; appease; pacify
baleful
deadly or sinister
vouchsafe
To graciously give, to condescendingly grant a right, benefit, outcome, etc.; to deign to acknowledge.
retinue
A group of servants or attendants, especially of someone considered important.
en banc
(law): As a group, particularly with respect to a legal decision rendered by a all of the judges sitting on a court, rather than by a smaller panel of judges from that court. From French en banc, literally "in bench".
surreptitious
stealthy, furtive, well hidden, covert (especially movements)
portly
euphemism for fat
weltschmerz
world-weariness; an apathetic or pessimistic view of life; depression concerning the state of the world
diatribe
thunderous verbal attack
remontant
to go back up, come back up, climb again, bloom more than once in a season
hap
an occurrence or happening, especially an unexpected, random or chance event
ballast
any heavy material used to stabilize a ship or airship; an attribute that tends to give stability in character and morals
discombobulated
confused, embarrassed, upset
glut
to overstuff, overeat, overfill
decant
To pour off gently, as liquor, so as not to disturb the sediment; or to pour from one vessel into another; as, to decant wine.
tirade
a speech of violent denunciation
impertinent
irrelevant; insolent, ill-mannered
imperil
To put into peril; to place in danger or cause a hazard; to risk
nicety
a subtle difference in meaning or opinion or attitude; conformity with some esthetic standard of correctness or propriety
solicitous
Disposed to solicit; eager to obtain something desirable, or to avoid anything evil; concerned; anxious; careful.
tomfoolery
Foolish behaviour
tureen
a broad, deep serving dish used for serving soup or stew
instauration
establishment (of a government, regime etc.)
libertine
A free thinker, usually used in a disparaging manner; one without any moral restraint
sunder
break apart or in two, using violence
crabbed
Bad-tempered or cantankerous. Cramped, bent.
persiflage
Good-natured banter; raillery. From French, from persifler < per- + siffler ("to whistle") < Latin sībilō ("whistle")
junta
A council; a convention; a tribunal; an assembly; The ruling council of a military dictatorship.
quietism
A form of mysticism involving quiet contemplation.
ret
To prepare (flax, hemp etc.) for further processing by soaking, which facilitates separation of fibers from the woody parts of the stem.
epigraph
an inscription on a monument or building, on a coin, or at the beggining of every book or chapter
entelechy
The complete actualization and final form of a potency or potentiality, or of a conception
apothegm
a short pithy instructive saying
lechery
unrestrained indulgence in sexual activity
nomothetic
(rare) defining laws
suppurate
ripen and generate pus
umbrage
a feeling of anger caused by being offended
effigy
a representation of a person (especially in the form of sculpture)
irruption
The action of irrupting or breaking into; a violent entry or invasion; an intrusion.
comecon
Council for Mutual Economic Assistance, a multinational economic organization that existed from 1949 to 1991.
philatelist
stamp-collector; N. philately: stamp collecting [French philatélie : Greek phil-, philo-, philo- + Greek ateleia, exemption from payment (because a postage stamp indicates prepayment of postage) (a-, without; see a-1 + telos, tax, charge).]
assay
To analyze or estimate the composition or value of (a metal, ore etc.). (N) An attempt, try.
ilk
(often derogatory or humorous) The kind or class of people that resemble, behave in a manner similar to, or are of the same social status as a certain person. From Middle English ilke < Old English īlca. The sense of "type", "kind" is from the application of the phrase 'of that ilk' to families: the word thus came to mean 'family'.
descry
discern; detect.
impalpable
incapable of being perceived by the senses especially the sense of touch
discomfiture
A feeling of frustration, disappointment, perplexity or embarrassment.
fleece
rip off
jape
a humorous anecdote or remark intended to provoke laughter
jettison
Collectively, items that have been or are about to be ejected from a boat or balloon. To let go or get rid of as being useless or defective; discard.
indemnify
to insure against loss; compensate for loss
prostrate
Lying flat, facedown.
spartan
Exceptionally brave; rigorously severe.
reprove
censure; rebuke
trowel
a small hand tool with a handle and flat metal blade (for plastering)
fallacious
false or mistaken; deceptive or misleading
defoliate
To remove foliage from one or more plants, most often with a chemical agent.
sleight
adroitness in using the hands
incubus
nightmare; burden; An evil spirit supposed to oppress people while asleep, especially to have sex with women as they sleep.
prosaic
Pertaining to or having the characteristics of prose; Straightforward; matter-of-fact; lacking the feeling or elegance of poetry; Overly plain or simple, to the point of being boring; humdrum.
parochial
narrowly restricted in outlook or scope
penchant
a strong liking
inordinate
Excessive; unreasonable or inappropriate in magnitude; extreme.
cupidity
Extreme greed, especially for wealth. Derived from cupere "to desire"; related to Sanskrit kupyati "bubbles up, becomes agitated"; the Latin nominal form cupido was personified as the Roman god of love, Cupido, cognate with the Greek Eros.
foppish
Like a fop, a man overly concerned with his appearance. Dandy.
advert
To call attention, refer; construed with to.
odious
Arousing or meriting strong dislike, aversion, or intense displeasure. Via French odieux, "odious", from Latin odiosus, from odium, "hate", -osus, "-ous", from odisse, "to hate".
imbibe
To take into the mind; to drink in, absorb; From Latin prefix im- ("'im-'") + bibere ("'to drink'").
objurgation
strong rebuke; strong scolding
blighted
suffering from a disease; destroyed
browbeat
To bully in an intimidating, bossy, or supercilious way.
bravado
a swaggering show of courage
abominate
find repugnant
decadence
A state of moral or artistic decline or deterioration; decay. From French décadence < Medieval Latin decadentia ("decay") < Medieval Latin *decadens ("decaying"), present participle of *decadere ("to decay")

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