Stephen R. Donaldson Ate My Dictionary

Meeting the Big, Scary Words of Stephen R. Donaldson's Chronicles of Thomas Covenant

Hellfire and damnation! There's another book! Let the delving for arcane words recommence!


Before and After:
 
"Mmm, tastes like chicken."


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

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- A -

abeyance - noun - 1. temporary suspension, as of an activity or function 2. [law] a state of not having been determined or settled

abjure - verb - 1. to renounce, repudiate, or retract, especially with formal solemnity; recant 2. to renounce or give up under oath; forswear 3. to avoid or shun

abnegation - noun - the act of reliquishing or giving up a right, possession, etc.

aborning - adverb - while being born or created

abrogate - verb - to cancel or repeal by authority; annul

abstruse - adjective - 1. hard to understand; recondite; esoteric: abstruse theories 2. [obsolete] secret; hidden

abysm - noun - [old poetic] an abyss

accretion - noun - 1. growth in size, especially by addition 2. a growing together of parts normally separate 3. accumulated matter 4. a part added separately; an addition 5. a whole resulting from such a growth or accumulation 6. the addition of soil to land by gradual natural deposits

acidulous - adjective - slightly sour in taste or in manner

acolyte - noun - 1. a) [historical] a member of the highest of the four minor orders, whose duty was to serve, especially at Mass, in minor ways b) now a person officially appointed or delegated to serve in a minor way; also, an altar boy 2. an attendant; follower; helper

adamantine - adjective - 1. made of or resembling adamant 2. having the hardness or luster of a diamond; incapable of being broken, dissolved, or penetrated 3. unyielding; inflexible

adjudge - verb - 1. a) to decide or rule upon as a judge; adjudicate b) to pronounce judicially; make a judicial ruling 2. [archaic] sentence, condemn 3. to hold or pronounce to be; deem 4. to award or grant judicially in a case of controversy

adjure - verb - 1. to command or charge solemnly, often under oath or penalty 2. to entreat solemnly; appeal to earnestly

admixture - noun - 1. the compound formed by mixing different substances together 2. that which is mixed with anything - verb - the act of mixing; mixture

adumbrate - verb - 1. to outline in a shadowy way, sketch 2. to suggest beforehand; foreshadow in a vague way 3. to obscure, overshadow

aegis - noun - 1. from Greek myth, a shield born by Zeus and, later, by his daughter Athena and occasionally by Apollo 2. a protection 3. sponsorship, auspices

affectless - adjective - 1. showing or expressing no emotion 2. unfeeling; indifferent to the suffering of others

ague - noun - 1. an acute fever 2. [medical] an intermittent fever, attended by alternate cold and hot fits (often used in reference to the fevers associated with malaria) 3. the cold fit or rigor of the intermittent fever; as, fever and ague 4. a chill, or state of shaking, as with cold

alabaster - noun - 1. a translucent, whitish, fine-grained variety of gypsum, used for statues, vases, etc. 2. a variety of calcite found especially in stalactites and stalagmites: it is sometimes streaked or mottled like marble - adjective - of or like alabaster, especially smooth and white

alacrity - adjective - 1. cheerful willingness; eagerness 2. speed or quickness; celerity

aliment - noun - 1. anything that nourishes; food 2. means of support; necessity - verb - to supply with aliment; nourish

allemande - noun - 1. a German dance of the 16th century in moderate duple time 2. a piece of music based on its rhythm, often used as the first movement of a Baroque suite 3. a figure performed in a quadrille 4. a German folk dance in triple meter, similar to the ländler (N.B. a quadrille in this sense is a type of square dance that originated in France and the music for such a dance; it is also an 18th centuty card game and an adjective describing something marked with intersecting lines to form squares or rectangles)

allusive - adjective - 1. containing or characterized by indirect references 2. [obsolete] metaphorical; symbolic; figurative

ambergris - noun - a wax-like substance of marbled ashy color secreted by the intestines of sperm whales, often found floating in tropical seas: odiferous and used in some perfumes and, formerly, in cooking (N.B. in the Chronicles it is also found in the adjectival form, unambergrised; for more see the entry for unambergrised)

ambit - noun - 1. an area in which something acts or operates or has power or control; sphere or scope 2. an external boundary; a circuit

amity - noun - friendly, peaceful relations, as between nations; friendship

amphora - noun - a two-handled jar with a narrow neck used by the ancient Greeks and Romans to carry wine or oil (N.B. plural amphorae)

anadem - verb - [old poetic] a wreath or garland for the head

analystic - adjective - having to do with analysis; broken down into component parts (N.B. not found in the O.E.D.; the definition is extrapolated)

anele - verb - [archaic] to anoint, especially in the last rites (N.B. not to be confused with anneal, which despite also being an obscure, archaic, and (or) obsolete word, means something entirely different)

anharmonically - adverb - not harmonically, in an un-harmonic manner (N.B. an- is a prefix meaning "without" or "not")

anile - adjective - of or like an old woman; infirm, weak

anneal - verb - 1. [obsolete] to fire or glaze, as in a kiln 2. to heat (glass, metals, etc.) and then cool, sometimes slowly, to prevent brittleness 3. to strengthen and temper (the mind, will, etc.) (N.B. not to be confused with anele—despite being pronounced in exactly the same way)

anodyne - adjective - relieving or lessening pain; soothing - noun - anything that relieves pain or soothes

anoxia - noun - absence of oxygen; a pathological deficiency of oxygen

antithetical - adjective - 1. of or containing antithesis 2. exactly opposite

apothegm - noun - 1. a short, pithy saying 2. a terse remark, conveying some important truth 3. a sententious precept or maxim

apostrophe - noun - 1. words addressed to a person or thing, whether absent or present, generally in an exclamatory digression in a speech or literary writing 2. a mark ( ' ) used: a) to indicate the omission if a letter or letters frlom a wrod or phrase b) to form the possessive case of English nouns and some pronouns c) to form some plurals, as of figures and letters

apotheosis - noun - 1. the act of raising a person to the status of a god; deification 2. the glorification of a person or thing 3. a glorified ideal

apposite - adjective - strikingly appropriate and relevant; applicable; well adapted; suitable

approbation - noun - 1. a) approval b) official approval 2. an expression of warm approval; praise; commendation 3. [obsolete] conclusive proof

architrave - noun - 1. the lowest part of an entablature, a beam resting directly on the tops, or capitals, of the columns 2. the molding around a doorway, window, etc. (N.B. an entablature is the upper section of a classical building, resting on the columns and constituting the architrave, frieze, and cornice)

arête - noun - a sharp, narrow ridge or crest of a mountain or subsidiary ridge between two mountain gorges

argent - adjective - 1. [archaic] silver 2. [obsolete] silver coin, money 3. [heraldry] the representation of the metal silver: indicated in engravings by a plain white field - noun - 4. [old poetic] silvery

argute - adjective - 1. [obsolete] sharp; shrill 2. sagacious; acute; subtle; shrewd

arras - noun - a tapestry; a rich figured fabric; especially a screen or hangings of heavy cloth with interwoven figures

arrogate - verb - 1. to assume, or claim as one's own, unduly, proudly, or presumptuously; to make undue claims to, from vanity or baseless pretensions to right or merit 2. to ascribe on behalf of another in an unwarranted manner

arrogation - noun - 1. the act of arrogating, or making exorbitant claims; the act of taking more than one is justly entitled to 2. seizure by the government

arroyo - noun - [Southwest] 1. a dry gully 2. a rivulet or stream

askance - adverb - 1. with disapproval, suspicion, or distrust 2. with a sideways glance; obliquely

asperity - adjective - 1. roughness or harshness, as of surface, sound, weather, etc. or of circumstances 2. harshness or sharpness of temper

aspersion - noun - 1. a) an unfavorable or damaging remark; slander b) the act of defaming or slandering 2. a sprinkling, as with water or dust, in a literal sense 3. [rare] a sprinkling with holy water, as at a baptism

aspirant - noun - one who aspires; one who eagerly seeks some high position or object of attainment - adjective - seeking recognition, distinction, or advancement

aspirate - verb - 1. to begin (a word) or precede (a sonorous speech sound) with a puff of breath resulting in the sound H 2. to follow (a consonant, especially a stop) with a puff of suddenly released breath (in English we usually aspirate the sound represented by P, T, or K when it begins a word) 3. to suck in or draw in, as by inhaling 4. [medical] to remove (fluid or gas), as from a body cavity, by suction - noun - 1. the speech sound H 2. an expiratory breath puff such as follows the initial P, T, or K in English 3. a consonant articulated with a following puff of breath - adjective - articulated with a preceding or following puff of breath

asseveration - noun - the act of asseverating, or that which is asseverated; positive affirmation or assertion; solemn declaration

assoil - verb - [archaic] 1. to absolve, pardon 2. to acquit, clear 3. to atone for, expiate

atavistic - adjective - having the characteristics of atavism (N.B. atavism is 1. the reappearance of a characteristic in an organism after several generations of absence, usually caused by the chance recombination of genes 2. individual or a part that exhibits atavism; a throwback 3. the return of a trait or recurrence of previous behavior after a period of absence)

atelier - noun - a workshop or studio, especially for an artist or designer

atrabilious - adjective - 1. inclined to melancholy 2. having a peevish disposition; surly

attar - noun - an essential oil or perfume made from the petals of flowers, especially of damask roses

attenuate - verb - 1. to make slender or thin 2. to dilute or rarefy 3. to lessen in severity, value, amount, intensity, etc.; weaken 4. [electronics] to reduce the strength (of an electrical impulse) - adjective - [botany] tapering gradually to a point, as the base of a leaf

aubade - noun - 1. a piece of music composed for performance in the morning 2. a lyric love poem about or suitable for dawn

augur - noun - 1. [Roman antiquity] an official diviner who foretold events by the singing, chattering, flight, and feeding of birds, or by signs or omens derived from celestial phenomena, certain appearances of quadrupeds, or unusual occurrences 2. one who foretells events by omens; a soothsayer; a diviner; a prophet - verb - 1. to predict, especially from signs or omens; foretell 2. to serve as an omen of; betoken

augury - noun - 1. the art or practice of an augur; divination 2. the rite or ceremony of an augur 3. an omen, token, or indication

august - adjective - 1. inspiring reverence or admiration; of supreme dignity or grandeur; majestic 2. venerable; eminent

auto-da-fé - noun - the ceremony accompanying the pronouncement of judgment by the Inquisition and followed by the execution of sentence by the secular authorities; broadly, the burning of a heretic

autonomic - adjective - 1. acting or occurring involuntarily 2. relating to, affecting, or controlled by the autonomic nervous system or its effects or activity

avatar - noun - 1. the descent of a deity to earth, and his incarnation as a man or an animal; chiefly associated with the incarnations of the Hindu god Vishnu 2. a) an embodiment, as of a quality or concept; an archetype b) incarnation; manifestation as an object of worship or admiration 3. a temporary manifestation or aspect of a continuing entity

avaunt - interjection - [archaic] begone! go away! (N.B. useful for telemarketers)

aver - verb - 1. [obsolete] to assert or prove the truth of 2. [law] to avouch or verify; to offer to verify; to prove or justify 3. to affirm with confidence; to declare in a positive manner, as in confidence of asserting the truth - noun - [obsolete] a work horse or working ox


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- B -

bale - noun - 1. misery; calamity; misfortune; sorrow; anguish 2. [poetic] evil; an evil, pernicious influence; something causing great injury 3. a large package of raw or finished material tightly bound with twine or wire and often wrapped - verb - to wrap in a bale or in bales

banquette - noun - 1. a gunners' platform extending along the inside of a trench or parapet 2. [South] a raised way; sidewalk 3. an upholstered bench, especially one along a wall in a restaurant

barranca - noun - a deep ravine or steep cliff, especially in the Southwest (N.B. also spelled barranco)

battlereme - noun - derived from reme which is [obsolete] 1. an oar 2. surface 3. realm - verb - 1. [obsolete] to leave, depart (from) 2. to cry or call out; to shout; to cry out in grief or pain; to lament, weep

battlewain - noun - a large wagon for use in battle (N.B. see wain)

bayamo - noun - violent thunder squall occurring on the south coast of Cuba, especially near Bayamo; the gusts, called bayamo winds, are modified foehn winds (N.B. I have no idea what a foehen wind is; some mystery must be left in the world)

bayard - noun - the name of a French military hero who was known as "chevalier sans peur et sans reproche" (the fearless and irreproachable knight)

bedizen - adjective - [now rare] to dress or decorate in a cheap, showy way (N.B. also used in a noun form, bedizenings)

begauded - adjective - bedecked gaudily; decorated with gauds or showy trinkets or colors

behung - adjective - hung (with something); decorated (with something)

belorn - adjective - bereft; forlorn

beneficence - noun - 1. the state or quality of being kind, charitable, or beneficial 2. a charitable act or gift 3. the practice of doing good; active goodness, kindness, or charity; bounty springing from purity and goodness

beneficent - adjective - 1. characterized by or performing acts of kindness or charity 2. producing benefit; beneficial

benignance - noun - 1. kindness or graciousness, sometimes in a patronizing manner 2. benigness

benignant - adjective - 1. pleasant and beneficial in nature or influence; favorable 2. gracious; characterized by kindness and warm courtesy, especially of a king to his subjects

benison - noun - [archaic] a blessing; benediction

beryl - noun - beryllium aluminum silicate, BeAl2Si6O18, a very hard, lustrous mineral that is a source of beryllium and that occurs in hexagonal crystals, usually blue, green, pink, or yellow in color: emerald and aquamarine are two gem varieties of beryl

berserkergang - noun - a group of frenzied warriors (N.B. a berserker is one of a band of ancient Norse warriors legendary for their savagery and reckless frenzy in battle)

betimes - adverb - 1. early; in good time 2. occasionally; at times 3. [archaic] within a short time; soon

bifurcation - noun - division into two parts or branches

bilious - adjective - 1. of, relating to, or containing bile; biliary 2. a) characterized by an excess secretion of bile b) relating to, characterized by, or experiencing gastric distress caused by a disorder of the liver or gallbladder 3. resembling bile, especially in color (greenish) 4. having a peevish disposition; ill-humored

blandishment - noun - 1. flattery intended to persuade 2. the act of urging by means of teasing or flattery

blazonry - noun - 1. the description or illustration of coats of arms 2. a coat of arms; heraldic emblem 3. an brilliant display

bluff - adjective - 1. a) having a broad flattened front b) rising steeply with a broad flat or rounded front 2. good-naturedly frank and outspoken - noun - 1. a high steep bank 2. one who bluffs 3. a) an act or instance of bluffing b) the practice of bluffing - verb - 1. a) to deter or frighten by pretense or a mere show of strength b) deceive c) feign 2. to deceive in cards by a bold bet on an inferior hand

boot - verb - [archaic] to remedy; profit; benefit

bootless - adjective - without benefit; useless

borer - noun - 1. a tool used for drilling 2. an insect or insect larva, such as the corn borer, that bores into the woody parts of plants 3. any of various mollusks that bore into soft rock or wood

bosque - noun - [chiefly Southwest] a clump or grove of trees

bourne - noun - 1. a brook or stream 2. [archaic] a limit; boundary 3. a destination; a goal 3. a domain (N.B. also spelled bourn; in The Final Chronicles the two spellings may be used to differentiate between "a brook" and the other definitions)

brachiation - noun - swinging by the arms from branch to branch (N.B. brachiate is having arms or armlike appendages)

brume - noun - [rare] mist; fog; vapor

brunt - noun - 1. the main impact or force, as of an attack 2. the main burden

bryony - noun - any of a genus Bryonia of perennial vines of the gourd family with large fleshy roots and greenish flowers

bubo - noun - an inflamed swelling of a lymph node, especially in the armpit or groin


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- C -

cacophonous - adjective - harsh-sounding or jarring; dissonant

caducity - noun - 1. the quality or state of being perishable 2. senility

caesure - noun - variant spelling of caesurae which means 1. a metrical break in a verse, occurring in the middle of a foot and commonly near the middle of the verse; a sense pause in the middle of a foot 2. a pause in a line of verse dictated by sense or natural speech rhythm rather than by metrics 3. a pause or interruption, as in conversation 4. [music] a pause or breathing at a point of rhythmic division in a melody

caitiff - adjective - despicable, base, cowardly - noun - a cowardly person; a wretch

caliginous - adjective - affected with darkness or dimness; dark; obscure; misty; gloomy

cantrip - noun - [chiefly Scottish] 1. a magic spell 2. a prank

caparison - noun - 1. an ornamented covering for a horse; trappings 2. clothing, equipment, and ornaments; outfit - verb - 1. to cover (a horse) in trappings 2. to adorn with rich clothing; to deck out

capriole - noun - 1. a leap that a horse makes with all fours, upwards only, without advancing, but with a kick or jerk of the hind legs when at the height of the leap 2. a leap or caper, as in dancing - verb - to perform a capriole

caracole - noun - 1. a half turn to right or left performed by a horse and rider 2. [archaic] a staircase in a spiral form - verb - to perform a caracole

carbuncle - noun - 1. a painful localized bacterial infection of the skin and subcutaneous tissue that usually has several openings through which pus is discharged 2. a) a deep-red garnet, unfaceted and convex b) [obsolete] a red precious stone 3. [heraldic] a charge or bearing supposed to represent the precious stone having eight scepters or staves radiating from a common center; also called escarbuncle

carcanet - noun - [archaic] a jeweled necklace, collar, or headband

carillon - noun - 1. set of stationary bells, each producing one tone if the chromatic scale, now usually sounded by means of a keyboard 2. a smaller instrument imitating this electronically, usually by amplifying the sounds made by striking metal tubes, bars, etc. instead of bells 3. a composition for the carillon 4. an organ stop producing a carillon-like sound

carious - adjective - having caries; decayed (N.B. caries is decay of bones, especially teeth—yum!)

carnal - adjective - 1. pertaining to or characterized by the flesh or the body, its passions and appetites; sensual 2. not spiritual; merely human; temporal; worldly

casque - noun - a helmet

castigation - noun - a punishment or reprimand

catafalque - noun - 1. a wooden framework, usually draped, on which the body in a coffin lies in state during an elaborate funeral 2. Roman Catholic Church a coffinlike structure used to represent the dead at a requiem Mass after the actual burial

cataphract - noun - 1. a type of armor worn to cover the whole body of a mounted soldier and that of the horse 2. a heavily armed and armored cavalryman

catastasis - noun - 1. the intensified part of the action directly preceding the catastrophe in classical tragedy 2. the climax of a drama 3. [rhetoric] that part of a speech, usually the exordium, in which the orator sets forth the subject matter to be discussed 4. [medical] the state, or condition of anything; constitution; habit of body

catechize - verb - 1. to teach, especially in the principles of Christian dogma, discipline, and ethics by the method of questions and answers 2. to question or examine closely or methodically

catenulate - adjective - 1. consisting of little links or chains 2. arranged like a chain; said both of color marks and of indentations when arranged like the links of a chain, as on shells, etc. (N.B. also used in noun form, catenulations, and in Donaldson as a verb to mean something like "linked")

cateran - noun - [Scottish] a Highland robber; a kind of irregular soldier; a marauder

cautery - noun - 1. an instrument or substance for cauterizing 2. the act of cauterizing

cavalcade - noun - 1. a procession of riders or horse-drawn carriages 2. a ceremonial procession or display 3. a succession or series

celerity - noun - swiftness in acting or moving; speed

cenotaph - noun - an empty tomb or a monument erected in honor of a person who is buried elsewhere

censer - noun - an ornamented container in which incense is burned

cerement - noun - a cerecloth; a shroud (N.B. a cerecloth is cloth treated with wax or a similar substance, especially one used formerly to wrap a dead person for burial)

cerulean - adjective - azure; sky-blue

chaconne - noun - 1. a slow, stately dance of the 18th century or the music for it 2. a form consisting of variations based on a reiterated harmonic pattern (N.B. other definitions state that the dance is "ancient" and that it is of either Spanish or Latin-American origins)

chancre - noun - 1. a dull red, hard, insensitive lesion that is the first manifestation of syphilis 2. an ulcer, lesion, or sore located at the initial point of entry of a pathogen

chancrous - adjective - of or having chancres

chaplet - noun - 1. a wreath or garland for the head 2. a) a string of prayer beads one third the length of a full rosary b) the prayers said with such beads 3. any string of beads; a necklace 4. [architecture] a small convex molding somewhat resembling a string of beads

charlock - noun - an annual weed (Sinapis arvensis) in the mustard family, native to Eurasia and naturalized in North America, having racemes of yellow flowers and hairy stems and foliage (N.B. the usage must refer to the color of the flowers)

charnel - adjective - of, like, or fit for a charnel - noun - 1. [obsolete] a cemetary 2. a building or place where corpses or bones are deposited

chary - adjective - 1. not taking chances; careful; cautious 2. not giving freely; sparing

chasuble - noun - a sleeveless outer vestment worn over the alb by priests at Mass

chatelaine - noun - 1. the keeper of a castle; castellan 2. the mistress of an elegant or fashionable household 3. a hooklike clasp or a chain for suspending keys, trinkets, scissors, a watch, etc., worn at the waist by women 4. a woman's lapel ornament resembling this

chatoyant - adjective - having a changeable color or luster like the eye of a cat - noun - a gem or polished stone, as the cat's-eye, with such luster

chiaroscuro - noun - 1. the technique of using light and shade in pictorial representation 2. the arrangement of light and dark elements in a pictorial work of art 3. a) awoodcut technique in which several blocks are used to print different shades of a color b) a woodcut print made by this technique

chicane - noun - chicanery; trickery - verb - 1. to trick 2. to get by trickery

chirurgeon - noun - archaic variation of surgeon

chlamys - noun - a short mantle fastened at the shoulder, worn by men in ancient Greece

choleric - adjective - 1. bilious 2. having or showing a quick temper or irascible nature

chrism - noun - 1. consecrated oil used in baptism and other sacraments in certain churches 2. a sacramental anointing with this oil

chrysoprase - noun - a light-green variety of chalcedony, sometimes used as a semiprecious stone (N.B. chalcedony is a kind of quartz that has the luster of wax and is variously colored, usually grayish or milky: it comprises agate, sard, cat's-eye, jasper, carnelian, and chrysoprase)

circinate - adjective - 1. ring-shaped 2. [botany] rolled up in the form of a coil with the tip in the center, as an unexpanded fern frond - verb - [obsolete] to make a circle around; to encompass

clave - noun 1. a cylindrical hardwood stick used in a pair as a percussion instrument 2. a syncopated two-bar musical pattern - verb [archaic] a past tense of cleave (N.B. cleave 1 is 1. to part or divide by force; to split or rive; to cut 2. to part or open naturally; to divide 3. to make or accomplish by or as if by cutting 4. to pierce, penetrate or pass through something, such as water or air; cleave 2 is 1. to adhere closely; to stick; to hold fast; to cling 2. to be faithful 3. to unite or be united closely in interest or affection; to adhere with strong attachment 4. to fit; to be adapted; to assimilate)

claymore - noun - 1. a large, two-edged broadsword formerly used by Scottish Highlanders 2. a broadsword with a basket hilt worn by Scottish regiments

clewed - adjective - 1. rolled or coiled in to a ball 2. [nautical] with "up," used to describe a square sail with its lower corners raised by means of clew lines

climacteric - noun - 1. a) a period of life characterized by physiological and psychic change that marks the end of the reproductive capacity of women and terminates with the completion of menopause b) a corresponding period sometimes occurring in men that may be marked by a reduction in sexual activity, although fertility is retained 2. critical period or year in a person's life when major changes in health or fortune are thought to take place 3. a critical stage, period, or year - adjective - critical; crucial

clinquant - adjective - glittering; dressed in, or overlaid with, tinsel finery - noun - imitation gold leaf; tinsel; glitter

chthonic - adjective - of or pertaining to the deities, spirits, and other beings dwelling under the earth

cohere - verb - 1. to stick together; be united; hold fast, as parts of the same mass 2. [physics] to be united within a body by the action of molecular forces 3. to be naturally or logically connected 4. to agree; to be congruous

coign - noun - 1. a) an exterior angle of a wall or other piece of masonry b) any of the stones used in forming such an angle, often being of large size and dressed or arranged so as to form a decorative contrast with the adjoining walls 2. a keystone 3. [printing] a wedge-shaped block used to lock type in a chase 4. a wedge used to raise the level of a gun

col - noun - a pass between two mountain peaks or a gap in a ridge

colloquy - noun - 1. a conversation, especially a formal discussion; conference 2. a written dialogue

concatenate - adjective - linked together; connected - verb - to link together or join, as in a chain

concatenation - noun - 1. a linking together or being linked together in a series 2. a series of things or events regarded as causally or dependently connected

concupiscence - noun - strong desire or appetite, especially sexual desire; lust

condign - adjective - deserved; suitable: said especially of punishment for wrongdoing (N.B. see also incondign)

conduce - verb - to tend to lead (to an effect); contribute

connivance - noun - 1. agreement on a secret plot 2. [law] tacit approval of someone's wrongdoing

consonance - noun - 1. harmony or agreement of elements or parts; accord 2. a pleasing combination of simultaneous musical sounds; harmony of tones 3. [prosody] a partial rhyme in which consonants in stressed syllables are repeated but vowels are not (example: mocker, maker)

consonant - adjective - 1. being in agreement or accord 2. corresponding or alike in sound, as words or syllables 3. harmonious in sound or tone - noun - 1. speech sound produced by a partial or complete obstruction of the air stream by any of various constrictions of the speech organs 2. a letter or character representing such a speech sound

contumely - noun - 1. an insulting display of contempt in words or actions; contemptuous or humiliating treatment 2. rudeness or contempt arising from arrogance; insolence 3. a humiliating insult

coomb - noun - a deep hollow or valley, especially on flank of a hill, mainly surviving in place names

coquelicot - noun - 1. the wild poppy, or red corn rose or corn poppy 2. the color of the wild poppy; a color nearly red, like orange mixed with scarlet

cordon - noun - 1. a cord or ribbon bestowed or borne as a badge of honor; a broad ribbon, usually worn after the manner of a baldric, constituting a mark of a very high grade in an honorary order 2. a rich and ornamental lace or string, used to secure a mantle in some costumes of state 3. in fortifications, the coping of the scarp wall, which projects beyond the face of the wall a few inches 4. a line of people, military posts, or ships stationed around an area to enclose or guard it 5. [botany] a tree or shrub, especially a fruit tree such as an apple or pear, repeatedly pruned and trained to grow on a support as a single ropelike stem

corselet - noun - 1. a piece of armor worn to protect the trunk, often the body breastplate and backpiece taken together; also used for the entire suit of the day, including breastplate and backpiece, tasset and headpiece 2. an undergarment that is a combination of a light corset and a brassiere

cortege - noun - 1. a funeral procession 2. the group following and attending to some important person; a retinue 3. a train of attendants

corybantic - adjective - of, pertaining to, or resembling, the Corybantes or their rites; frantic, frenzied

coruscate - verb - to give off flashes of light; glitter; sparkle

coruscation - noun - 1. a coruscating; sparkling 2. a flash or gleam of light 3. a sudden brilliant display, as of wit

cotillion - noun - 1. a ball at which young ladies are presented to society 2. a lively dance originating in France in the 18th century 3. a tune which regulates the dance 4. a kind of woolen material for women's skirts

countervail - verb - 1. to make up for; compensate 2. to counteract; be successful, useful, etc. against; avail against 3. [archaic] to match or equal; to avail (against something)

covert - adjective - 1. concealed; secret; disguised; not openly practiced, avowed, engaged in, accumulated, or shown 2. covered; sheltered 3. [law] being married and therefore protected by one's husband - noun - 1. a covering or cover 2. a) a place that covers and protects; a shelter; a defense b) thick underbrush or woodland affording cover for game 3. [zoology] one of the small feathers covering the bases of the longer feathers of a bird's wings or tail 4. a flock of coots (N.B. coots are a type of bird)

crèche - noun - 1. a display of a stable with figures, as at Christmas, representing a scene at the birth of Jesus 2. an institution for foundlings 3. [chiefly British] a day nursery

crenellation - noun - 1. a rampart built around the top of a castle with regular gaps for firing arrows or guns 2. a notch; an indentation; an embrasure (N.B. also spelled with one L)

crepitation - noun - a slight, sharp, repeated crackling sound

crepuscular - adjective - 1. of or like twilight; dim 2. [zoology] becoming active at twilight or before sunrise, as do bats and certain insects and birds

cromlech - noun - 1. a prehistoric monument consisting of monoliths encircling a mound 2. a dolmen (N.B. a dolmen is a Neolithic tomb or monument consisting of a large, flat stone laid across upright stones)

crozier - noun - 1. a staff with a crook at the top, carried by or before a bishop or abbot as a symbol of his pastoral function 2. [botany] the coiled tip of a young fern frond (N.B. the more-used spelling is crosier)

cuirass - noun - 1. defensive armor for the torso comprising a breastplate and backplate, originally made of leather; also called "corselet" 2. either of the plates forming such armor 3. any similar covering, as the protective armor of a ship 4. [zoology] a hard shell or other covering forming an indurated defensive shield - verb - to equip or cover with a cuirass

cruse - noun - 1. a small earthenware container, such as a pot or jar, for holding liquids 2. a bottle for holding water, oil, honey, etc 3. a cup or dish

curvet - noun - a light leap by a horse, in which both hind legs leave the ground just before the forelegs are set down - verb - 1. to leap in a curvet 2. to prance; frolic

cymar - noun - a woman's long dress or robe; also light covering; a scarf (N.B. also spelled cimar, samare, simare)

cynosure - noun - 1. a) the constellation Ursa Minor, to which, as containing the polar star, the eyes of mariners and travelers were often directed b) the North Star in the constellation Ursa Minor 2. that which serves to direct or to guide 3. any person or thing that is a center of attention or interest


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debouch - verb - 1. [military] to come forth from a narrow or shut-in place into open country 2. to come forth; to emerge (N.B. a debouche is an outlet, as for troops to debouch through, and a debouchment is a mouth, as of a river; an outlet)

defalcation - noun - 1. embezzlement 2. a lopping off; a diminution; abatement; deficit; specifically: reduction of a claim by deducting a counterclaim 3. that which is lopped off, diminished, or abated

defile - noun - 1. any narrow passage, especially between mountains 2. a march in a straight line - verb - 1. to march in a line or by files 2. to make foul, dirty, or unclean; pollute; taint; debase 3. to make impure for ceremonial use; desecrate 4. to profane or sully, as a person's reputation

deflagration - noun - a burning up; conflagration, especially an intense, rapid one

delinition - noun - [obsolete] a smearing

deliquesce - verb - 1. a) to melt away b) to disappear as if by melting 2. [chemistry] to dissolve gradually and become liquid by attracting and absorbing moisture from the air, as certain salts, acids, and alkalies 3. a) [botany] to branch out into numerous subdivisions that lack a main axis b) to become fluid or soft on maturing, as certain fungi

deliracy - noun - [obsolete] delirium (N.B. derived from the verb delirate, which means "to madden" or "to rave")

delirant - adjective - [obsolete] delirious

delitescent - adjective - concealed; hidden; latent

demesne - noun - 1. [law] possession (of real estate) in one's own right 2. [historical] the land or estate belonging to a lord and not rented or let but kept in his own hands 3. the land around a mansion; lands of an estate 4. a region or domain; also used figuratively

demnify - verb - 1. the opposite of indemnify 2. to endanger; to expose to the possibility of loss, damage, etc.

denature - verb - 1. to change the nature of; take natural qualities away from 2. to make (alcohol, etc.) unfit for human consumption without spoiling for other uses 3. to change the structure of a protein by heat, acids, alkalies, etc. so that the original properties are greatly changed or eliminated

derogate - verb - 1. [archaic] to take (a part of quality) away from something so as to impair it 2. [rare] to lower in esteem; disparage 3. to take something desirable away; detract 4. to lower oneself; lose face; to deviate from a standard or expectation; go astray

descry - verb - 1. to catch sight of; discern (distant or obscure objects) 2. to discover by careful observation or scrutiny; detect; discern; recognize

despication - noun - an expression of despite; a looking down, a despising, an expression of such

despoilage - noun - the act of pillaging

destrier - noun - [archaic] a war horse; a charger

desuetude - noun - the condition of not being used or practiced any more; disuse

desultory - adjective - 1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful 2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random

detrition - noun - a wearing away or down by friction

devoir - noun - 1. duty; service owed 2. [plural] acts or expressions of due respect or courtesy

devolve - verb - 1. to be passed on or transferred to another 2. degenerate or deteriorate gradually 3. [archaic] to roll onward or downward 4. to pass by transmission or succession; to be handed over or down

diminution - noun - 1. the act of diminishing, or of making or becoming less; state of being diminished; reduction in size, quantity, or degree 2. the act of lessening dignity or consideration, or the state of being deprived of dignity; a lowering in estimation; degradation; abasement

discomfit - verb - 1. to make uneasy or perplexed; disconcert 2. to thwart the plans of; frustrate 3. [archaic] to defeat in battle; vanquish

discomfiture - noun - 1. frustration or disappointment 2. lack of ease; perplexity and embarrassment 3. [archaic] defeat

disport - verb - to amuse oneself in a light, frolicsome manner 2. to display - noun - a frolicsome diversion

dolomite - noun - 1. a common rock-forming mineral, CaMg(CO3)2, often occurring in extensive beds 2. any of several rocks similar to dolomite in composition

dolor - noun - [old poetical] sorrow; grief

donjon - noun - the heavily fortified inner tower or keep of a castle

doughty - adjective - 1. able; strong; valiant; redoubtable 2. marked by stouthearted courage; brave

dromond - noun - [archaic] in the Middle Ages, a large, fast-sailing galley, or cutter; a large, swift war vessel

dross - noun - 1. the scum or refuse matter which is thrown off, or falls from, metals in smelting the ore, or in the process of melting; recrement 2. [rare] rust of metals 3. waste matter; any worthless matter separated from the better part; leavings; dregs; refuse (N.B. recrement is superfluous matter separated from that which is useful; dross; scoria)

dudgeon - noun - 1. anger or resentment: now chiefly in the phrase in high dudgeon, very angry, offended, or resentful 2. [obsolete] a wood, perhaps boxwood, used for dagger hilts 3. a hilt of this wood or a dagger with such a hilt

dun - adjective - chestnut-brown - noun - 1. a dull grayish brown 2. a dun horse 3. an artificial fishing fly of this color 4. a mayfly 5. a person who duns 6. an insistent demand, especially for payment of a debt - verb - 1. to ask a debtor insistently or repeatedly for payment 2. to annoy constantly


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ebon - adjective - [old poetic] ebony; black

ecru - adjective - light tan; beige

effloresce - verb - 1. to burst into bloom; blossom 2. [chemistry] a) to change either throughout or on the surface to a mealy or powdery substance upon exposure to air, as a crystalline substance through loss of water of crystallization b) to become incrusted or covered with crystals of salt or the like through evaporation or chemical change

effluvium - noun - an unpleasant smell or exhalation, as of gaseous waste or decaying matter

effrontery - noun - impudence or boldness in confronting or in transgressing the bounds of duty or decorum; insulting presumptuousness; shameless boldness; barefaced assurance

egress - noun - 1. the act of going out or forth; emergence 2. the right to go out 3. a way out; exit

eidolon - noun - 1. a phantom; an apparition; an unsubstantial image 2. an ideal

eland - noun - either of two large African antelopes (Taurotragus oryx or T. derbianus) having a light brown or grayish coat and spirally twisted horns

eldritch - adjective - weird; eerie

elegiac - adjective - 1. of or composed in dactylic-hexameter couplets, the second line having only an accented syllable in the third and sixth feet: the form was used for elegies and various other lyric poems 2. of, like, or fit for an elegy 3. sad; mournful; plaintive

elision - noun - 1. the omission, assimilation, or slurring over of a vowel, syllable, etc. in pronunciation 2. any act or instance of leaving out or omitting a part or parts

elucidation - noun a clarifying explanation; the action of clarifying

embrasure - noun - 1. an opening (for a door, window, etc.), especially one with the sides slanted so that it is wider on the inside than on the outside 2. an opening (in a wall or parapet) with the sides slanting outward to increase the angle of fire of a gun

encyst - verb - to enclose in a cyst

ensorcel - verb - to bewitch

ensorcellment - noun - bewitchment

epitonic - adjective - 1. abnormally tense or tonic 2. subjected to excessive strain; overstrained

equipoise - noun - 1. equal distribution of weight; state of balance or equilibrium 2. a weight or force that balances another; counterbalance

eremite - noun - a religious recluse; hermit

eschew - verb - to keep away from; shun; avoid; abstain from

etiolate - verb - 1. to cause to be pale and unhealthy 2. to deprive of strength; weaken 3. [botany] to cause (a plant) to develop without chlorophyll by preventing exposure to sunlight; to blanch or bleach by depriving of sunlight

etiology - noun - 1. assignment of a cause, an origin, or a reason for something 2. the science and study of the causes or origins of disease 3. the cause or origin of a disease or disorder as determined by medical diagnosis

evanescent - adjective - tending to vanish like vapor

exaction - noun - 1. an exacting, as of money, time, etc. 2. an excessive demand; extortion 3. an exacted fee, tax, etc.

excoriate - verb - 1. to tear or wear off the skin of; abrade 2. to censure strongly; denounce

excoriation - noun - 1. the act of excoriating or flaying, or state of being excoriated, or stripped of the skin 2. an abrasion; a raw irritated lesion 3. [obsolete] stripping of possession; spoliation 4. severe censure

excrudescence - noun - [medical] a projecting, external growth caused by the outbreak of some kind of infection or disease; external signs of a disease (N.B. possibly similar to excrescence, anything growing out unnaturally from anything else or recrudescence, a fresh outbreak of a dormant disease)

exculpation - noun - the act of exculpating from alleged fault or crime; that which exculpates; excuse

execrate - verb - 1. to detest utterly; abhor; abominate 2. to curse; imprecate evil upon; damn; denounce 3. to declare to be hateful or abhorrent

execration - noun - 1. the act of execrating; a cursing, denouncing, etc. 2. a curse 3. a person or things cursed or detested

exigency - noun - 1. the condition or quality of being exigent; urgency 2. a situation calling for immediate action or attention 3. [plural] pressing needs; demands; requirements

exigent - adjective - 1. requiring immediate action or remedy 2. requiring much effort or expense; demanding

expostulate - verb - to reason with a person earnestly, objecting to that person's actions or intentions; remonstrate (with)

expostulation - noun - 1. the act of expostulating or reasoning with a person in opposition to some impropriety of conduct; remonstrance 2. earnest and kindly protest; dissuasion 3. an expression of opposition to a course of action

extirpate - verb - 1. to pull up by the roots; root out 2. to destroy or remove completely; exterminate; abolish

extrusion - noun - 1. something that bulges out or is protuberant or projects from its surroundings 2. squeezing out by applying pressure 3. the act or process of extruding

exudation - noun - the act of exuding; sweating; a discharge of humors, moisture, juice, or gum, as through pores or incisions; also, the substance exuded

eyot - noun - a little island in a river or lake


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falchion - noun - 1. a short, broad-bladed sword, slightly curved and with a convex cutting edge, used in medieval times 2. a name given generally and poetically to a sword, especially to the swords of Oriental and fabled warriors

fane - noun - 1. a temple 2. [archaic] a church

fatuous - adjective - 1. foolish or inane, especially in an unconscious, complacent manner; silly 2. unreal; illusory

febrifuge - noun - any substance for reducing fever; antipyretic (N.B. an antipyretic is, likewise, anything that reduces fever)

febrile - adjective - 1. of or characterized by fever; feverish 2. caused by fever

feller - adjective - 1. more fierce cruel, sinister, or malevolent 2. more destructive or deadly

feoffment - noun - 1. a grant of lands as a fee 2. [law] a gift or conveyance in fee of land or other corporeal hereditaments, accompanied by actual delivery of possession 3. [law, rare] the instrument or deed by which corporeal hereditaments are conveyed

fervid - adjective - 1. hot; glowing 2. impassioned; fervent

fetor - noun - a strong, offensive smell; stench; fetidness

fey - adjective - 1. [now chiefly Scottish] a) originally, fated; doomed to death b) in an unusually excited state, formerly believed to portend sudden death 2. strange or unusual in any of certain ways, as, variously, eccentric, whimsical, visionary, elfin, shy, otherworldly

flamberge - noun - a type of fencing sword with an undulating blade (N.B. also spelled flamberg)

flinders - noun - small pieces or splinters; fragments

formication - noun - 1. [medical] a sensation resembling that made by the creeping of ants on the skin 2. [medical] hallucinated sensation that insects or snakes are crawling over the skin; a common side-effect of extensive use of cocaine or amphetamines

fortuitious - adjective - 1. happening by chance; accidental 2. bringing or happening by good luck; fortunate

frangible - adjective - readily or easily broken; breakable; fragile

freshet - noun - 1. a sudden overflow of a stream resulting from a heavy rain or a thaw 2. a stream of fresh water that empties into a body of salt water

fretwork - noun - 1. ornamental work consisting of three-dimensional frets; geometric openwork 2. any minute play of light and shade, dark and light, or the like

friable - adjective - easily crumbled, pulverized, or reduced to powder; brittle

fructify - verb - 1. to bear fruit; become fruitful 2. to make fruitful or productive

fug - noun - stale air, especially the humid, warm, ill-smelling air of a crowded or poorly ventilated room

fuligin - adjective - a word coined by Gene Wolfe in the four-book series The Book of the New Sun to designate a color that is blacker than black (N.B. though fuligin is nowhere to be found in the O.E.D., it cannot but be derived from such words as fuliginous - adjective - 1. a) pertaining to, consisting of, containing, or resembling soot; sooty; smoky b) covered or blackened with soot c of the color of soot, as dark gray, dull brown, black, etc.; fuliginated - adjective - of a sooty color or appearance; and fuligo - noun - soot; what is still more appropriate, Wolfe is known for the arcanity of his vocabulary as well; further still, I just made up "arcanity")

fulsomeness - noun - 1. disgustingness; offensiveness, especially because excessive or insincere 2. fullness; ampleness; abundance (N.B. originally fulsome meant "abundant," but it evolved to mean "disgusting" or "sickening" and now today is used in both senses)

fulvous - adjective - tawny; dull yellow, with a mixture of gray and brown

fundament - noun - 1. [obsolete] a foundation 2. the natural features of a land surface unaltered by humans 3. an underlying theoretical basis or principle 4. the part of the body on which one sits; the buttocks; specifically in anatomy the anus

furze - noun - a thorny, dense evergreen shrub (Ulex europaeus), with beautiful yellow flowers, very common upon the plains and hills of Great Britain; also called gorse and whin


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gall - noun - 1. impudence; effrontery 2. bile, especially that of an animal 3. something bitter or severe 4. bitterness of spirit; rancor

galleass - noun - [Greek antiquity] a large, three-masted vessel having sails and oars and carrying heavy guns: used in the Mediterranean in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries

galvanic - adjective - 1. pertaining to or produced by galvanism; producing or caused by an electric current 2. affecting or affected as if by galvanism; startling; shocking 3. stimulating; energizing (N.B. galvanism is electricity produced by chemical reaction)

gangrel - noun - [now chiefly dialect] a roving beggar; vagrant

garrote - noun - 1. a) a method of execution as formerly in Spain with an iron collar tightened about the neck by a screw b) the iron collar so used 2. a) a cord, thong, or length of wire for strangling a robbery victim, enemy sentry, etc. in a surprise attack b) a disabling by strangling in this way; strangulation - verb - 1. to execute or attack with a garrote 2. to disable by strangling as in an attack for robbery

gavotte - noun - 1. a seventeenth-century dance like the minuet, but faster and livlier 2. the music for this, in 4/4 time

geas - noun - a bond, a spell, a prohibition, a taboo, a magical injunction, the violation of which led to misfortune and death (N.B. the word is Gaelic/Irish in originand is also spelled geis, its plural form is geassa or geissa)

gelid - adjective - extremely cold; frozen

gibber - verb - to prattle and chatter unintelligibly - noun - unintelligible or foolish talk

gibbet - noun - 1. a gallows 2. a structure like a gallows from which bodies of criminals already executed are hung and exposed to public scorn - verb - 1. to execute by hanging 2. to hang on a gibbet 3. to expose to public scorn

gibbous - adjective - 1. protuberant; rounded and bulging 2. designating the moon, a planet, etc. in that phase in which more than half, but not all, of the face reflects sunlight to the earth 3. humpbacked; kyphotic (N.B. kyphotic means hunchbacked)

gimbal - noun - a device consisting of two rings mounted on axes at right angles to each other so that an object, such as a ship's compass, will remain suspended in a horizontal plane between them regardless of any motion of its support

glaive - noun - [archaic] a sword, especially a broadsword

glamour - noun - [Scottish; popularized by Sir Walter Scott] 1. originally a magic spell or charm 2. seemingly mysterious and elusive fascination or allure; as of some person, object, scene, etc.; bewitching charm

glauconite - noun - the green mineral found in greensand and used as a fertilizer and water softener

glaucous - adjective - 1. of a sea-green color; of a dull green passing into bluish gray 2. having a powdery or waxy coating that gives a frosted appearance and tends to rub off 3. [botany] covered with a fine bloom or fine white powder easily rubbed off, as that on a blue plum, or on a cabbage leaf

glister - noun - glitter; brilliance - verb - to bright; to sparkle; to be brilliant; to shine; to glisten; to glitter

gloaming - noun - [Scottish] twilight; dusk; the fall of the evening

glode - noun - [obsolete] 1. a place free from brushwood 2. a bright place in the sky; a flash of light - verb - past tense of glide

gobbet - noun - 1. a piece or chunk, especially of raw meat 2. a bit or morsel 3. a small amount of liquid; a drop

gout - noun - 1. a hereditary form of arthritis resulting from a disturbance of uric acid metabolism characterized by an excess of uric acid in the blood and deposits of uric acid salts, usually in the joints of the feet and hands, especially in the big toe 2. a large splash, clot, glob, etc.

gracile - adjective - graceful; gracefully slender

grampus - noun - 1. a cetacean (Grampus griseus) related to and resembling the dolphins but lacking a beaklike snout 2. any of various similar cetaceans, such as the killer whale

gravid - adjective - carrying developing young or eggs; pregnant

gravitas - noun - 1. seriousness or sobriety, as of conduct or speech 2. substance; weightiness 3. a serious or dignified demeanor; formality in bearing or appearance

greensward - noun - green, grassy turf

grue - noun - 1. [Scottish] a shudder of fear 2. a shiver or shudder; a creeping of the flesh 3. a term originating in the computer gaming community that came to indicate a sinister, lurking presence in the dark places of the earth 4. a color-predicate invented in the 1950s by the American philospoher Nelson Goodman used to illustrate a significant problem with inductive predictions as follows: with respect to a designated future time, an object is grue if it is seen to be green when first observed before that time or if it is seen to be blue when first observed after that time 5. a crane - verb - to feel horror or terror; to shudder, shiver, or tremble; to be troubled in heart (N.B. I don't know what to make of Nelson Goodman either; fortunately, discerning minds other than mine believe that the first/second senses of the word make sense within the context of Donaldson's now-multiple uses of the word, so understanding Goodman is most likely neither here nor there)

guerdon - noun - a reward; requital; recompense - verb - to reward; to be a recompense for

guy - verb - 1. hold up to ridicule; mock 2. to steady, guide, or secure with a rope, cord, or cable - noun - 1. a man, informally 2. a rope, cord, or cable used to steady, guide, or secure something

gyre - noun - 1. a ring or circle 2. a circular course or motion 3. [oceanography] a ringlike system of ocean currents rotating clockwise in the Northern Hemisphere and counterclockwise in the Southern Hemisphere


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habiliments - noun - 1. clothing, dress, attire 2. furnishings or equipment; trappings

hagriding - verb - tormenting or harassing, especially with worry or dread

halitus - noun - any exhalation, as of a breath or vapor

halt - adjective - [archaic] lame; crippled (N.B. in addition, of course, to the more prosaic meanings of the word)

harridan - noun - a woman regarded as scolding and vicious; a worn-out strumpet; a vixenish woman; a hag

hatchment - noun - 1. the act of achieving or performing; an obtaining by exertion; successful performance; accomplishment 2. a great or heroic deed; something accomplished by valor, boldness, or praiseworthy exertion; a feat 3. [heraldic] an escutcheon or ensign armorial; now generally applied to the funeral shield commonly called hatchment (N.B. an escutcheon is a shield or shield-shaped surface on which a coat of arms is displayed)

hawser - noun - a large rope for towing, mooring, or securing a ship

hebetude - noun - the quality or condition of being mentally or physically dull or lethargic

hermetic - adjective - 1. of, pertaining to, or taught by Hermes Trismegistus; as, hermetic philosophy, hence alchemical 2. of or pertaining to the system which explains the causes of diseases and the operations of medicine on the principles of the hermetic philosophy, and which made much use, as a remedy, of an alkali and an acid 3. made perfectly close or air-tight by fusion, so that no gas or spirit can enter or escape

heuristic - adjective - 1. [computer science] relating to or using a problem-solving technique in which the most appropriate solution of several found by alternative methods is selected at successive stages of a program for use in the next step of the program 2. of or relating to a general formulation that serves to guide investigation 3. of or constituting an educational method in which learning takes place through discoveries that result from investigations made by the student - noun - a commonsense rule (or set of rules) intended to increase the probability of solving some problem

hieratic - noun - 1. of or used by priests; priestly; sacerdotal 2. designating or of the abridged form of cursive hieroglyphic writing once used by Egyptian priests (N.B. sacerdotal is 1. of priests or of the office of priests 2. priestly characterized by belief in the divine authority of the priesthood)

hove - verb- past participle of heave; often used nautically, as hove to, etc.

howe - adjective - 1. hollow 2. deep - noun - 1. a hole 2. the hold of a ship 3. a hollow; a dell

hypoxia - noun - inadequate oxygenation of the blood


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ichor - noun - 1. [Greek mythology] the rarefied fluid said to run in the veins of the gods 2. [medical] a watery, acrid discharge from a wound or ulcer

igneous - adjective - 1. of, containing, or having the nature of fire; fiery 2. produced by the action of fire, specifically formed by volcanic action or intense heat as rocks solidified from molten magma at or below the surface of the earth

illimitable - adjective - 1. impossible to limit or circumscribe; limitless; boundless

illusive - adjective - illusory; deceptive; misleading; causing illusion

imbricated - adjective - having regularly arranged, overlapping edges, as roof tiles or fish scales

immedicable - adjective - that which cannot be healed; incurable

imminence - noun - 1. the quality or fact of being imminent 2. something imminent, especially impending evil, danger, etc.

immolation - noun - 1. an act or instance of immolating 2. the state of being immolated 3. a sacrifice (N.B. to immolate is to offer in sacrifice or to destroy or kill, often by fire)

immured - adjective - 1. to enclose within walls 2. to shut in; seclude or confine 3. to imprison 4. to build into or entomb in a wall 5. [obsolete] to surround with walls; fortify

impercipience - noun - quality or state of being unable to see or perceive

impercipient - adjective - not perceiving, or not able to perceive (N.B. more commonly imperceptive)

impolitesse - noun - [French] impoliteness; incivility

importunate - adjective - 1. troublesomely urgent; overly persistent in request or demand 2. troublesome

improvident - adjective - 1. thoughtless, careless, imprudent, heedless 2. shiftless, thriftless, unthrifty, wasteful, prodigal

inanition - noun - 1. exhaustion from lack of food or an inability to assimilate it 2. lack or strength of spirit; the absence or loss of social, moral, or intellectual vitality or vigor

incarnadine - adjective - 1. flesh-colored; pink 2. red; especially blood-red - noun - the color of either flesh or blood

inchoate - adjective - 1. an initial or early stage; recently or just begun; incipient; beginning; partially but not fully in existence or operation 2. imperfectly formed or developed; existing in its elements; incomplete 3. [law] not yet made complete, certain, or specific 4. [law] not yet transformed into actual use or possession 5. [law] of or relating to a crime (as attempt, solicitation, or conspiracy) which consists of acts that are preliminary to another crime and that are in themselves criminal - verb - [obsolete] to begin

incused - adjective - 1. formed by hammering, stamping, or pressing 2. cut or stamped in, or hollowed out by engraving

indefeasible - adjective - not be defeated; not defeasible; incapable of being annulled or made void (N.B. something defeasible can be undone or voided)

indurate - verb - 1.to make hard; harden, as rock, tissue, etc. 2. to make callous, stubborn, or unfeeling 3. to inure; accustom 4. to make enduring; confirm; establish

ineluctable - adjective - not to be avoided, changed, resisted, or escaped; certain; inevitable

inexculpate - adjective - not exculpated; not cleared from guilt, fault, or blame

inimical - adjective - 1. like an enemy; hostile; unfriendly 2. in opposition; adverse; unfavorable

innominate - adjective - 1. not named; anonymous 2. having no specific name

innurturance - noun -the opposite of nurturance; that is, neglect; lack of care or protection

insatiaty - adjective - insatiableness (N.B. spelled insatiety in the dictionary)

insentience - noun - the state of lacking consciousness or ability to perceive sensations

insouciance - noun - lighthearted unconcern; nonchalance

intaglio - noun - 1. a design or figure carved, incised, or engraved into a hard material so that it is below the surface 2. something, as a gem or stone, ornamented with such a design or figure; opposed to cameo 3. the art or process of making such designs or figures 4. a method of printing from a plate on which incised lines, which carry the ink, leave a raised impression 5. a die cut to produce a design in relief

interdict - verb - 1. to prohibit (an action) or prohibit the use of (a thing); forbid with authority 2. to restrain from doing or using something 3. to impede or hinder (the enemy) or isolate (and area, route, etc.) by force of arms 4. [Roman Catholic Church] to exclude (a person, parish, etc.) from certain acts, sacraments, or privileges - noun - an official prohibition or restraint

interstice - noun - 1. that which intervenes between one thing and another; especially, a space between things closely set, or between the parts which compose a body; a narrow chink; a crack; a crevice; a hole; an interval 2. an interval of time; specifically, in the plural, the intervals which the canon law requires between the reception of the various degrees of orders

intransigence - noun - the trait of being intransigent; stubbornly refusing to compromise

inutile - adjective - [obsolete] lacking in utility or serviceability; not useful; unprofitable

invidiously - adverb - in a manner arousing resentment, ill will, or animosity

involute - adjective - 1. intricate; complex 2. [biology] a) having the margins rolled inward b) having whorls that obscure the axis or other volutions, as the shell of a cowrie - verb - 1. to curl inward 2. to return to a normal or former condition

irenic - adjective - promoting peace; peaceful; pacific; favoring, conducive to, or operating toward peace, moderation, or conciliation

irrefragable - adjective - that which cannot be refuted; indisputable

irrefrangible - adjective - 1. that which cannot be broken or violated 2. that which cannot be refracted

isolate - adjective - isolated; alone - noun - 1. a person, thing, or group that is set apart or isolated, as for purposes of study - verb - to set or place apart; detach or separate so as to be alone

iterated - adjective - said or performed again; repeated


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jacinth - noun - a flower of a reddish blue or deep purple (hyacinth), and hence a precious stone of that color, a red transparent variety of zircon used as a gemstone

jacol - noun - obsolete form of jackal

jaconet - noun - a lightweight cotton cloth resembling lawn used for clothing, neckcloths, bandages, etc. (N.B. lawn in this sense is a light cotton or linen fabric of very fine weave; also spelled jacconet)

jerrid - noun - a blunt javelin used in military games in Moslem countries (N.B. also spelled djereed and jereed)

jocund - adjective - sprightly and lighthearted in disposition, character, or quality; cheerful; gay; airy; lively; sportive

judder - verb - to shake rapidly or spasmodically; to vibrate conspicuously


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kinesthesia - noun - 1. the sense that detects bodily position, weight, or movement of the muscles, tendons, and joints 2. the ability to feel movements of the limbs and body 3. the sensation of moving in space

knaggy - adjective - knotty; rough; figuratively, rough in temper

knurled - adjective - 1. full of knots; gnarled 2. milled, as the head of a screw, or the edge of a coin; covered with a series of small ridges or grooves that aid in gripping

kohl - noun - cosmetic preparation, such as powdered antimony sulfide, used especially in the Middle East to darken the rims of the eyelids

kraken - noun - [Norwegian] a legendary monster of northern seas

kukri - noun - a long, curved knife used as a weapon by the Gurkhas of Nepal


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labile - adjective - liable to change; unstable

lacustrine - adjective - found in, or pertaining to, lakes or ponds, or growing in them

laggardly - adjective - slow or late in doing things; falling behind

lambent - adjective - 1. playing lightly on or over a surface; flickering 2. softly bright or radiant; giving off a soft glow 3. playing lightly and gracefully of a subject: said of wit, humor, etc.

lamia - noun - 1. [classical mythology] any of a class of monsters, half woman and half serpent, supposed to lure people, especially children, in order to suck their blood 2. a vampire; female demon; sorceress

largesse - noun - 1. liberal giving, especially in a lofty or condescending manner 2. money or gifts bestowed 3. generosity of spirit or attitude

lassitude - noun - a state or feeling of weariness, diminished energy, or listlessness

latia - noun - according to Donaldson, a Spanish word meaning a long stick, typically about as thick as a wrist, and as straight as possible, used to support a roof of some kind

laval - adjective - of, similar to, or having to do with lava

lave - verb - [old poetic] 1. to wash or bathe 2. to flow along or against 3. to dip or pour with or as with a ladle

lea - noun - a meadow or sward land; a grassy field

leal - adjective - [now chiefly Scottish] faithful, loyal, true

lenitive - adjective - 1. softening, soothing, or mitigating; capable of easing pain or discomfort - noun - 1. remedy that eases pain or discomfort 2. a mild laxative 3. [archaic] anything that softens or soothes

ligature - noun - 1. a tying or binding together 2. a thing used in tying or binding together; tie, bond, etc. 3. a) a written or printed character containing two or more letters united, as æ b) a curved line connecting such letters in writing 4. [music] a) in medieval mensural notation, a symbol representing two or more notes b) a curved line joining two or more notes in a tie or slur c) the notes so connected 5. [surgery] a thread or wire used to tie up an artery, etc.

limn - verb - 1. to paint or draw 2. to portray in words; describe 3. [obsolete] to illuminate (manuscripts)

limned - adjective - described, portrayed, outlined

lintel - noun - the horizontal crosspiece over an opening, as a door or window, usually carrying the weight of the structure above it

lissome - adjective - bending or moving gracefully or with ease and lightness; lithe, supple, limber, agile, etc.

littoral - adjective - of or on a shore, especially a seashore - noun - 1. a coastal region; a shore 2. the region or zone between the limits of high and low tides

loathly - adverb - 1. unwillingly; reluctantly 2. [obsolete] so as to cause loathing - adjective - loathsome

lorn - adjective - 1. [archaic] lost; undone; ruined 2. forsaken; abandoned; solitary; bereft; forlorn

louring - adjective - 1. looking sullen; frowning 2. being dark, gloomy, and threatening (N.B. derived from lower)

lucent - adjective - 1. giving off light; shining 2. translucent or clear

lucubrium - noun - derived from lucubration: nocturnal study or meditation; hence, a laboratory or other place designed for such study

lugubrious - adjective - mournful, dismal, or gloomy, especially to an exaggerated or ludicrous degree


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macerate - verb - 1. to soften and break down into component parts by soaking in liquid for some times; specifically, to soften and break down (food) in the digestive system 2. to steep (fruit or vegetables) as in wine or liquor 3. to break, tear, chop, etc. into bits 4. to cause to waste away or grow thin; to undergo maceration; waste away, grow thin (N.B. also used as macerated)

machination - noun - 1. [rare] the act of machinating 2. an artful or secret plot or scheme, especially one with evil intent (N.B. machinating is devising, plotting, or planning, especially with evil intent)

malachite - noun - a green mineral used as a source of copper and for making ornamental objects

malefic - adjective - causing disaster; harmful; evil

malign - adjective - 1. showing ill-will; malicious 2. evil; baleful 3. very harmful; malignant - verb - to speak ill of; defame; slander; traduce

malison - noun - [archaic] a curse

mansuetude - noun - [archaic] tameness; gentleness; mildness

marl - noun - 1. a mixture of clay, sand, and limestone in varying proportions that is soft and crumbly and usually contains shell fragments 2. any loose, earthy, crumbly deposit 3. [old poetic] earth

marge - noun - [poetic] a border; edge; margin

massif - noun - 1. a large mountain mass or compact group of connected mountains forming an independent portion of a range 2. large section or block of the earth's crust that is more rigid than the surrounding rock and has been moved or displaced as a unit, often so as to form peaks of a mountain range

mattock - noun - a tool for loosening the soil, digging up and cutting roots, etc.

mazed - adjective - confused; bewildered

medicament - noun - a medicine; substance for curing or healing, or for relieving pain

mélange - noun - a mixture or medley; hodgepodge

mellifluous - adjective - 1. sweetly or smoothly flowing; sweet-sounding 2. flowing with honey; sweetened with or as if with honey

mendacious - adjective - not truthful; lying or false

mendacity - noun - 1. the quality or state of being mendacious 2. a lie; falsehood

menhir - noun - a tall, usually rough, upright megalith, probably erected as a Neolithic monument either alone or as part of a row or circle

mephitic - adjective - 1. tending to destroy life; poisonous; noxious 2. offensive to the smell; of noxious stench from atmospheric pollution

merchantry - noun - 1. the body of merchants taken collectively; as, the merchantry of a country 2. the business of a merchant; merchandise

meretricious - adjective - 1. of, like, or characteristic of a prostitute 2. alluring by false, showy charms; attractive in a flashy way; tawdry 3. superficially plausible; specious

miasma - noun - 1. a vapor rising as from marshes or decomposing animal or vegetable, formerly supposed to poison and infect the air, causing malaria, etc. 2. an unwholesome or befogging atmosphere, influence, etc.

miasmic - adjective - 1. of noxious stench from atmospheric pollution 2. filled with vapor

mien - noun - 1. a way of carrying and conducting oneself; manner 2. a way of looking; appearance

miscegenation - noun - marriage or sexual relations between a man and a woman of different races

moil - verb - 1. [dialect] to toil; drudge; slave 2. to churn about continuously 3. [archaic] to moisten, soil, or defile - noun - 1. drudgery; hard work 2. confusion; turmoil

moire - adjective - 1. having a watered, or wavy, pattern, as certain fabrics, stamps, or metal surfaces - noun - a watered pattern pressed into cloth, etc. with engraved rollers

moonstone - noun - a nearly pellucid variety of feldspar, showing pearly or opaline reflections from within (N.B. pellucid is admitting the passage of light; transparent or translucent or transparently clear in style or meaning)

moraine - noun - an accumulation of boulders, stones, or other debris carried and deposited by a glacier

mordant - adjective - 1. biting, cutting, caustic, or sarcastic, as speech, wit, etc. 2. causing corrosion 3. acting as a mordant - noun - 1. a substance used in dyeing to fix the coloring matter, as a metallic compound that combines with the organic due to form an insoluble colored compound, or lake, in the fiber of the fabric 2. an acid or other corrosive substance used in etching to bite lines, areas, etc. into the surface

morganite - noun - rosy-pink variety of beryl, valued as a semiprecious gem

mortify - verb - 1. to lose vitality and organic structure; to become gangrenous or to necrotize 2. to be subdued; to decay, as appetites, desires, etc. 3. to cause to experience shame, humiliation, or wounded pride; humiliate 4. to practice ascetic discipline or self-denial of the body and its appetites 5. to practice penance from religious motives; to deaden desires by religious discipline

mummer - noun - 1. masked or costumed merrymaker, especially at a festival 2. a) one who acts or plays in a pantomime b) an actor

munificence - noun - 1. liberality in bestowing gifts 2. generosity of spirit

munificent - adjective - 1. very generous in giving; lavish 2. characterized by great generosity


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nacreous - adjective - 1. of or like nacre 2. yielding nacre 3. iridescent; lustrous (N.B. nacre is mother-of-pearl)

necrotic - adjective - affected with necrosis (N.B. necrosis is the death of cells or tissues through injury or disease, especially in a localized area of the body)

niveous - adjective - resembling snow, especially in whiteness; snowy

noisome - adjective - 1. offensive or disgusting, as an odor 2. harmful or injurious to health; noxious

nonce - noun - the present, or immediate, occasion or purpose

nugatory - adjective - 1. of little or no importance; trifling, worthless 2. not operative; invalid

numinous - adjective - 1. of or characteristic of a numen; supernatural; divine 2. having a deeply spiritual or mystical effect (N.B. a numen comes to us from Roman mythology, and is an indwelling guiding force or spirit)

nurturance - noun - affectionate care and attention

nystagmus - noun - an involuntary, rapid movement of the eyeball usually from side to side


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obduracy - noun - 1. the quality of not easily being moved to pity or sympathy; heardheartedness 2. hardness; unrepentiveness 3. the quality of being obstinate or not quick to give in; stubbornness; inflexibility

obdurate - adjective - 1. unmoved by persuasion, pity, or tender feelings; stubborn; unyielding; intractable 2. hardened in wrongdoing or wickedness; stubbornly impenitent

obeisance - noun - 1. a gesture of respect or reverence, such as a bow or curtsy 2. the attitude shown by this; homage; deference

objurgation - noun - a sharp rebuke or vehement chiding or berating

obfuscation - noun - 1. confusion resulting from failure to understand 2. the activity of obscuring people's understanding, leaving them baffled or bewildered 3. darkening or obscuring the sight of something

obligato - adjective - not to be left out, indispensable; used of an accompaniment that is an integral part of a musical piece (N.B. also spelled obbligato)

oblique - adjective - 1. a) having a slanting or sloping direction, course, or position; inclined b) [math] designating geometric lines or planes that are neither parallel nor perpendicular 2. a) indirect or evasive b) devious, misleading, or dishonest 3. not direct in descent; collateral 4. [grammar] designating any noun case except the nominative or the vocative - noun - 1. an oblique thing, such as a line, direction, or muscle 2. [nautical] the act of changing course by less than 90°

obliquely - adverb - 1. in an oblique manner or direction; at an oblique angle 2. to, toward or at one side

obloquy - noun - 1. verbal abuse of a person or thing; censure or vituperation, especially when widespread or general 2. ill repute, disgrace, or infamy resulting from this

occlude - adjective - 1. to close, shut, or block (a passage) 2. to prevent the passage of; shut in or out 3. to conceal, hide, or obscure 4. [chemistry] to retain or absorb (a gas, liquid, or solid)

ocher - adjective - 1. an earthy clay colored by iron oxide, usually yellow or reddish brown: used as a pigment in paints 2. the color of ocher; especially, dark yellow

ocular - adjective - 1. of, for, or like the eye 2. by eyesight - noun - the lens or lenses constituting the eyepiece of an optical instrument

odalisque - noun - a concubine or woman slave in a harem

oneiric - adjective - of, relating to, or suggestive of dreams; dreamy

opalescence - noun - a reflection of a milky or pearly light from the interior of a mineral, as in the moonstone; the state or quality of being opalescent

opalescent - adjective - exhibiting a milky iridescence like that of an opal; having a play of lustrous rainbow-like colors

ophite - noun - 1. a mottled green rock composed of diabase 2. any of various green rocks, such as serpentine 3. [obsolete] of or pertaining to a serpent

opprobrium - noun - 1. disgrace arising from exceedingly shameful conduct; ignominy 2. scornful reproach or contempt 3. a cause of shame or disgrace

organdy - noun - a kind of transparent light muslin, used for trim, curtains, and light apparel

oriel - noun - a large window built out from a wall and resting on a bracket or a corbel; bay window

oriflamme - noun - 1. the ancient royal standard of France, a red silk banner with flame-shaped streamers 2. any battle standard 3. any symbol of courage or devotion

orison - noun - a reverent petition to a deity; a prayer

orogenic - adjective - of, or pertaining to mountains; mountain-like (N.B. see orogeny below)

orogeny - noun - the process of mountain formation, especially by a folding and faulting of the earth's crust

otiose - adjective - 1. being at leisure; idle; indolent; lazy 2. serving no useful purpose; superfulous or useless 3. ineffective or futile


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paean - noun - 1. an ancient Greek hymn in honor of Apollo as a healing deity, and, later, a song addressed to other deities 2 a song of joyful praise, exuultation, or triumph 3. a fervent expression of joy or praise

palanquin - noun - [historical] a covered litter used in South Asia, usually for one person, carried by poles on the shoulders of two or more men

panoply - noun - 1. a complete suit of armor 2. any protective covering 3. any complete or magnificent covering or array

paresis - noun - 1. [medical] incomplete paralysis, affecting motion but not sensation 2. slight or partial paralysis

paresthesia - noun - a skin sensation, such as burning, prickling, itching, or tingling, with no apparent physical cause 2. [medical] the same, but usually associated with peripheral nerve damage

patina - noun - 1. a fine crust or film on bronze or copper, usually green or greenish blue, formed by natural oxidation and often valued as being decorative 2. any thin coating or color change resulting from age, as on old wood or silver

pediment - noun - 1. [archaic] originally, in classical architecture, the triangular space forming the gable of a simple roof; hence, a similar form used as a decoration over porticoes, doors, windows, etc.; also, a rounded or broken frontal having a similar position and use 2. [geology] a broad, gently sloping rock surface at the base of a steeper slope, often covered with alluvium, formed primarily by erosion

penitent - adjective - feeling pain, sorrow or remorse on account of sins or offenses; repentant; contrite; sincerely affected by a sense of guilt, and resolved on amendment of life - noun - 1. one who is penitent 2. a person performing penance under the direction of a confessor

pennon - noun - 1. a long, narrow, triangular or swallow-tailed flag borne on a lance as an ensign, as formerly by knights and lancers 2. any flag or pennant 3. a pinion; wing

penteconter - noun - a Grecian vessel with fifty oars

penumbra - noun - 1. a partial shadow, as in an eclipse, between regions of complete shadow and complete illumination 2. the grayish outer part of a sunspot 3. an area in which something exists to a lesser or uncertain degree 4. an outlying surrounding region; a periphery

perchance - adverb - [archaic] 1. by chance; accidentally 2. perhaps; possibly

percipience - noun - the faculty, act, or power of perceiving; perception, especially keen perception

periapt - noun - an amulet; a charm worn as a protection against disease or mischief

peritonitis - noun - inflammation of the peritoneum (N.B. peritoneum is the serous membrane that lines the walls of the abdominal cavity and folds inward to enclose the viscera; serous is relating to, producing, or resembling serum, especially having a thin watery constitution)

peroration - noun - 1. the concluding part of a speech in which there is a summing up and emphatic recapitulation 2. a high-flown or bombastic speech

phalanx - noun - 1. an ancient military formation of infantry in close, deep ranks with shields overlapping and spears extended 2. a massed group of individuals; such a group united for a common purpose 3. the people forming a phalanstery 5. [anatomy] any of the bones forming the fingers or toes (N.B. a phalanstery is 1. a socialist community as planned by F.M.C. Fourier 2. any communal association 3. the buildings housing such a community)

phosphene - noun - a luminous impression caused by excitation of the retina by mechanical or electrical means rather than by light, as when the eyeballs are pressed through closed lids

picar - noun - derrived from picaroon: a little pike; a javelin; a dart, prick, or goad; not found in O.E.D.; probably meant as a small, sharp knife

pinion - noun - 1. the last bony section of a bird's wing 2. [old poetic] any wing feather - verb - 1. to cut off or bind the pinions of a bird to keep it from flying 2. to bind the wings 3. to disable or impede by binding the arms of 4. to confine or shackle

pith - noun - 1. [botany] the soft, spongelike, central cylinder of the stems of most flowering plants, composed mainly of parenchyma 2. [zoology] the soft inner substance of a feather or hair 3. the essential or central part; the heart or essence 4. strength; vigor; mettle 5. significance; importance 6. [archaic] spinal cord or bone marrow - verb - 1. to remove the pith from (a plant stem) 2. to sever or destroy the spinal cord of, usually by inserting a needle into the vertebral canal 3. to kill (cattle) by cutting the spinal cord

piquant - adjective - 1. pleasantly pungent or tart in taste; giving zest; spicy; sharp 2. appealingly provocative; charming, interesting, or attractive 2. [archaic] causing hurt feelings; stinging

plaint - noun - 1. an utterance of grief or sorrow; lamentation; hence, a mournful song; a lament 2. a complaint 3. [legal] a private memorial tendered to a court, in which a person sets forth his cause of action

plash - noun - 1. a shallow pool or puddle 2. a splash - verb - 1. to splash 2. to bend and intertwine branches, stems, etc. so as to form a hedge

pleural - adjective - of or pertaining to the pleura or pleurae, or to the sides of the thorax (N.B. pleura are the thin serous membrane in mammals that envelops each lung and folds back to make a lining for the chest cavity)

pleurisy - noun - inflammation of the pleura, usually occurring as a complication of a disease such as pneumonia, accompanied by accumulation of fluid in the pleural cavity, chills, fever, and painful breathing and coughing

plinth - noun - 1. the square block at the base of a column, pedestal, etc. 2. the base on which a stature is placed 3. a course of brick or stone, often a projecting one, along the base of a wall: also plinth course 4. a flat block at the base of door trim, an architrave

politesse - noun - politeness

poniard - noun - a dagger - verb - to stab with a dagger

porphyry - noun - rock containing relatively large conspicuous crystals, especially feldspar, in a fine-grained igneous matrix

potentate - noun - 1. one who has the power and position to rule over others; a monarch 2. one who dominates or leads a group or an endeavor

preterite - adjective - 1. [grammatical] expressing past action or state 2. [rare] former 3. belonging wholly to the past; passed by - noun - 1. the past tense 2. a verb in the past tense

preternatural - adjective - 1. differing from or beyond what is normally found in or expected from nature; abnormal 2. supernatural

prodigal - adjective - 1. exceedingly or recklessly wasteful 2. exceedingly generous; lavish 3. extremely abundant; profuse - noun - a person who wastes his means; spendthrift

promptitude - noun - the quality of being prompt; promptness

propitious - adjective - 1. favorably inclined or disposed; gracious 2. boding well; favorable; auspicious 3. that favors or furthers; advantageous

proscription - noun - a prohibition or interdiction

provender - noun - 1. dry food for domestic animals, as hay, straw, corn, oats, or a mixture of ground grain; feed 2. [rare or obsolete] food or provisions

provident - adjective - 1. providing for future needs or events; exercising or characterized by foresight 2. prudent and economical

puissance - noun - [now chiefly literary] power; strength; might; force; potency

purblind - adjective - 1. originally, completely blind 2. partly blind 3. slow in perceiving or understanding

purposive - adjective - 1. serving some purpose 2. having a purpose

pustulant - adjective - causing pustules to form

putative - adjective - generally regarded as such; supposed

pyrotic - adjective - 1. of, relating to, of affected with heartburn 2. caustic


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quarrel - noun - 1. a bolt or arrow with a quadrangular head, shot from a crossbow 2. a small, diamond or square pane of glass, as in a latticed window (N.B. in addition to the other meanings of an argument or to argue)

quirt - noun - a riding whip with a short handle and a lash of braided rawhide


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raddle - verb - 1. interweave; to twist together 2. variant of ruddle (N.B. to ruddle is to color or mark with red ocher, especially to mark sheep thus, or to cause to flush; redden)

raddled - adjective - 1. interwoven 2. worn-out and broken-down 3. showing the wearing effects of overwork

ramify - verb - 1. to have or develop complicating consequences 2. to grow and send out branches or branch-like structures 3. to divide into two or more branches so as to form a fork 4. to separate into divisions 5. to cause to branch

rapacious - adjective - 1. taking by force; plundering 2. greedy or grasping; voracious 3. living on captured prey; predatory

rapine - noun - 1. the act of plundering; the seizing and carrying away of things by force; spoliation; pillage; plunder 2. [obsolete] ravishment; rape

ratline - noun - 1. any of the small ropes fastened horizontally to the shrouds of a ship and forming a ladder for going aloft 2. the material used for these ropes

reave - verb - 1. [archaic] to take away by violence; seize; rob 2. [archaic] to break, split, tear, or the like

reck - verb - 1. [archaic] to make account of; to care for; to heed; to regard; to have caution 2. [poetic] to concern; used impersonally

recompense - noun - 1. compensation, as for an injury, wrong, etc. 2. a repayment or requital, as for favors, gifts, etc. 3. a remuneration or reward, as for services, aid, or the like - verb - 1. to repay; remunerate; reward, as for service, aid, etc. 2. to pay or give compensation for; make restitution or requital for

recursive - adjective - 1. pertaining to or using a rule or procedure that can be applied repeatedly 2. [mathematics, computers] pertaining to or using the mathematical process of recursion

recusancy - noun - 1. refusal to submit to established authority; originally the refusal of Roman Catholics to attend services of the Church of England 2. the state of being recusant; nonconformity

rede - verb - 1. to give advice to; counsel 2. to interpret; explain - noun - 1. advice or counsel 2. [archaic] a narration

redolent - adjective - 1. sweet-smelling; fragrant 2. smelling (of); aromatic 3. suggestive or evocative (of)

reification - noun - the physical manifestation of an abstract conctept or ideal (N.B. to reify is to regard or treat (an abstraction) as if it had concrete or material existence)

reft - adjective - robbed or bereft (of something) (past tense and past participle of reave)

refulgence - noun - the quality of being refulgent; brilliancy; splendor; radiance

refulgent - adjective - casting a bright light; radiant; brilliant; resplendent; shining; splendid

relict - noun - 1. [ecology] an organism or species of an earlier time surviving in an environment that has undergone considerable change 2. something that has survived; a remnant 3. a widow

rerebrace - noun - a piece of plate armor for the upper arm

revenant - noun - 1. a person who returns, as after a long absence 2. one who returns after death; a ghost

rheum - noun - 1. a watery discharge from the mucous membranes especially of the eyes or nose 2. [archaic] tears

ribband - noun - 1. a ribbon, especially one awarded for some achievement 2. a flat rail attached to posts in a palisade

rictus - noun - 1. the gape of a bird's mouth 2. the gaping or opening of the mouth 3. a gaping grin or grimace

riposte - noun - 1. a quick thrust given after parrying an opponent's lunge in fencing 2. a retaliatory action, maneuver, or retort - verb - 1. to make a return thrust 2. to retort quickly

risible - adjective - 1. able or inclined to laugh 2. of or connected with laughter 3. causing laughter; funny; amusing

rive - verb - 1. to rend or tear apart 2. to break into pieces, as by a blow; cleave or split asunder 3. to break, distress, or dismay (the spirit, etc.)

riving - noun - rending; tearing; breaking; splitting (N.B. verb form of rive)

roborant - adjective - restoring vigor or strength - noun - a roborant drug; a restorative or tonic

roil - verb - 1. to make (a liquid) cloudy, muddy, or unsettled by stirring up sediment 2. to stir up; agitate 3. to make angry or irritable; rile

roister - verb - 1. to engage in boisterous merrymaking; revel noisily 2. to behave in a blustering manner; swagger

roulade - noun - [music] an embellishment consisting of a rapid run of several notes sung to one syllable 2. a slice of meat rolled around a filling and cooked

rove - adjective - 1. [nautical] past participle of reeve (N.B. as an adjective, to reeve is to pass through a hole, ring, pulley, or block or to fasten by passing through or around)

roynish - adjective - [obsolete] mangy; scabby; hence, mean; paltry; troublesome

rue - noun - 1. sorrow; regret; disappointment; grief 2. [botany] a perennial suffrutescent plant (Ruta graveolens), having a strong, heavy odor and a bitter taste; herb of grace; used in medicines - verb - to feel sorrow; to regret

runnel - noun - 1. a small stream; little brook or rivulet 2. a small channel or watercourse


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sabulous - adjective - sandy or gritty

sackbut - noun - a medieval instrument resembling the trombone

sacral - adjective - of or for religious rites or observances

saffron - noun - 1. a perennial Old World plant (Crocus sativus) of the iris family, with funnel-shaped, purplish flowers having orange stigmas 2. the dried, aromatic stigmas of this plant, used in flavoring and coloring foods, and formerly in medicine - adjective - orange-yellow

saft - adjective - [chiefly Scottish] a variant of soft

salvific - adjective - having the intention or power to bring about salvation or redemption

samite - noun - a rich medieval silk fabric interwoven with gold or silver

sapid - adjective - 1. having a taste, especially a pleasing taste; savory 2. agreeable to the mind; interesting; engaging

sark - noun - [Scottish] a shirt

sastrugi - noun - the plural form of sastruga, which is a wavelike ridge of hard snow formed by the wind

savor - noun - 1. the taste or smell of something 2. a particular flavor or smell 3. a distinctive quality 4. power to excite or interest 5. [archaic] repute - verb - 1. to have savor, taste, or odor 2. to exhibit the peculiar characteristics; to "smack of" something 3. to perceive by taste or smell, especially with relish 4. to give oneself to the enjoyment of

scabies - noun - contagious itch or mange especially with exudative crusts that is caused by parasitic mites

scathless - adjective - unharmed

scend - verb - [nautical] to heave upward on a wave or swell - noun - the rising movement of a ship on a wave or swell (N.B. probably an alteration of "send," influenced by "ascend" or "descend")

schist - noun - [geology] any crystalline rock having a foliated structure and hence admitting of ready division into slabs or slates; common types are mica schist and hornblendic schist, consisting chiefly of quartz with mica or hornblende and often feldspar (N.B. foliation is the layered structure common to metamorphic rocks)

scoria - noun - 1. the slag or refuse left after metal has been smelted from ore 2. loose, cinderlike lava

scruple - verb - to hesitate as a result of conscience or principle

scry - verb - to see or predict the future by means of a crystal ball

scull - noun - 1. a long oar used at the stern of a boat and moved from side to side to propel the boat forward 2. one of a pair of short-handled oars used by a single rower 3. a small light racing boat for one, two, or four rowers, each using a pair of sculls - verb - [nautical] to impel (a boat) with a pair of sculls, or with a single scull or oar worked over the stern obliquely from side to side

sempiteinal - adjective - everlasting; perpetual; eternal

sendaline - adjective - made of sendal (N.B. sendal is a thin light silk that was used in the Middle Ages for fine garments, church vestments, and banners)

sequacious - adjective - 1. tending to follow any leader; lacking individuality, as in thought; dependent; servile; compliant 2. [rare] showing or following logical or smooth sequence

sensorium - noun - 1. the parts of the brain or the mind concerned with the reception and interpretation of sensory stimuli 2. the entire sensory system of the body

sepsis - noun - a poisoned state caused by the absorption of pathogenic microorganisms and their products into the bloodstream

seraphic - adjective - 1. a celestial being having three pairs of wings 2. [Christianity] the first of the nine orders of angels in medieval angelology 3. of or pertaining to a seraph: angelic; sublime; pure; refined; having a sweet nature befitting an angel or cherub

seriated - adjective - arranged or occurring in a series or in rows

serried - adjective - placed close together; crowded; compact, as soldiers in ranks

shola - noun - a stunted, high-altitude evergreen forest found in southern India (N.B. the word is probably derived from the Tamil word "solai," meaning a "thicket" or "bamboo clump," and Tamil is a language spoken in southern India and Sri Lanka)

shrive - verb - 1. to hear the confession of and absolve 2. to get absolution for oneself by confessing 3. [archaic] to make one's confession

sibilation - noun - utterance with a hissing sound; also, the sound itself; a hiss

siccant - adjective - having the capability to make dry; drying

sigil - noun - 1. a seal, a signet 2. a sign, word, image, or device held to have occult power in astrology or magic

silverine - adjective - silvery; like silver

simulacrum - noun - 1. an image; likeness 2. a vague representaion; semblance 3. a mere pretense; sham

sinecure - noun - 1. originally, a church benefice not involving the care of souls 2. any office or position providing an income or other advantage but requiring little or no work

sirocco - noun - 1. a hot, steady oppressive wind blowing from the Libyan deserts across the Mediterranean into southern Europe, often bringing dust and sometimes accompanied by rain 2. any hot, oppressive wind, especially one blowing toward a center of low barometric pressure 3. a windstorm that lifts up clouds of dust or sand

skein - noun - 1. a) a quantity of thread or yarn wound in a coil b) something like this, as a coil of hair 2. a flock of wild fowl 3. a sequence of events, especially a series of games won or lost by a team

skirl - verb - [Scottish] to sound out in shrill, piercing tones, as a bagpipe does - noun - a shrill sound, as of a bagpipe

slag - noun - 1. the fused refuse or dross separated from a metal in the process of smelting 2. lava resembling this

solicitude - noun - 1. the state of being solicitous; anxiety or concern 2. a cause of anxiety or care 3. an attitude expressing excessive attentiveness

somnolence - noun - sleepiness; drowsiness; inclination to sleep

somnolent - adjective - 1. sleepy; drowsy 2. tending to cause sleep

sooth - adjective - 1. [archaic] true or real 2. [old poetic] soothing; smooth - noun - [archaic] truth; fact

sopor - noun - an unnaturally deep sleep; stupor

sortilege - noun - 1. divination or prophecy by casting lots 2. sorcery; black magic

sough - noun - a soft, low, murmuring, sighing, or rustling sound - verb - to make a sough

soughing - noun - soft sounds like murmuring or rustling

spate - noun - 1. a sudden flood, rush, or outpouring 2. [British] a) a flash flood b) a freshet resulting from a downpour of rain or melting of snow c) a sudden, heavy fall of rain (N.B. a freshet is a sudden overflow of a stream resulting from a heavy rain or a thaw)

spatulate - adjective - spoon-shaped or spatula-shaped

spavined - adjective - affected with spavin; lame (N.B. spavin is a disease of horses in which a deposit of bone (bone spavin) or an infusion of lymph (bog spavin) develops in the hock joint, usually causing lameness)

spilth - noun - [obsolete] 1. the act of spilling 2. that which is spilled, especially profusely 3. rubbish, refuse

spume - noun - frothy matter raised on liquids by boiling, effervescence, or agitation; froth; foam; scum - verb - to froth or foam

stentorian - adjective - very loud

stertorously - adverb - in a noisy and stertorous manner (N.B. stertor is loud, raspy, labored breathing, or snoring, caused by obstructed respiratory passages)

stillatory - noun - 1. a laboratory 2. a place or room in which distillation is performed

stippled - adjective - 1. drawn, engraved, or painted in dots or short strokes 2. dotted, flecked, or speckled 3. engraved by means of dots, in distinction from engraving in lines

strigil - noun - thin narrow curved scraper of horn, bone, or metal used by Greek and Roman bathers in the hot rooms of their bathhouses to cleanse the skin

strait - adjective - 1. [archaic] restricted or constricted; narrow; tight; confined 2. [archaic] strict; rigid; exacting 3. [rare] straitened; difficult; distressing - noun - 1. [rare] a narrow passage 2. a narrow waterway connecting two large bodies of water 3. difficulty; distress 4. [rare] an isthmus

stricture - noun - 1. an abnormal contraction of any passage or duct of the body 2. a restraint, limit, or restriction 3. an adverse criticism 4. [archaic] the act of enclosing or binding tightly 5. [obsolete] strictness

stridulation - noun - 1. the act of making shrill sounds or musical notes by rubbing together certain hard parts, as is done by the males of many insects, especially by Orthoptera, such as crickets, grasshoppers, and locusts 2. the noise itself

suasion - noun - persuasion: now chiefly in "moral suasion," the act of persuading by appealing to one's sense of morality

suborn - verb - 1. to get or bring out through bribery or other illegal methods 2. to induce or instigate (another) to do something illegal, especially to commit perjury

subsume - verb - 1. to include within a larger class, group, order, etc. 2. to show (an idea, instance, etc.) to be covered by a rule, principle, etc.

succor - noun - 1. air; help; relief 2. a person or thing that succors - verb - to give assistance to in time of need or distress; help; aid; relieve

succubus - noun - a demon or fiend; especially, a lascivious spirit supposed to have sexual intercourse with the men by night; a succuba

superfluous - adjective - 1. being more than is needed, useful, or wanted; surplus; excessive 2. not needed; unnecessary; irrelevant 3. [obsolete] extravagant; prodigal

supernal - adjective - 1. being in or belonging to the heaven of divine beings; heavenly, celestial, divine 2. lofty; of more than earthly or human excellence, powers, etc. 3. being on high or in the sky

suppurate - verb - to form or discharge pus; fester

surcease - noun - an end or cessation - verb - [archaic] to stop; to end

surety - noun - 1. the state of being sure; sureness; assurance 2. something sure; certainty 3. something that makes or gives assurance, as against loss, damage, or default; security; guarantee 4. a person who takes responsibility for another 5. [law] one who accepts liability for another's debts, defaults, or obligations

surquedry - noun - [obsolete] overweening pride; arrogance; presumption; insolence

suspiration - noun - the act of sighing, or fetching a long and deep breath; a deep respiration; a sigh

susurration - noun - a soft, whispering or rustling sound; a murmur

susurrus - noun - a soft, whispering or rustling sound; a murmur

suzerainty - noun - the position or power of a suzerain (N.B. suzerain is 1. a feudal lord 2. a state in its relation to a semiautonomous state over which it exercises political control)

synesthesia - noun - 1. a condition in which one type of stimulation evokes the sensation of another, as when the hearing of a sound produces the visualization of a color 2. a sensation felt in one part of the body as a result of stimulus applied to another, as in referred pain 3. the description of one kind of sense impression by using words that normally describe another


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tabid - adjective - [rare] 1. affected with tabes; wasted by disease; consumptive; marcid 2. corrupted; decomposed 3. characterized by wasting away (N.B. marcid is 1. pining; lean; withered 2. characterized by emaciation, as a fever; tabes is [medical] progressive emaciation of the body, accompained with hectic fever, with no well-marked logical symptoms)

tantara - noun - 1. a trumpet blast or fanfare 2. a sound like this

taffrail - noun - [nautical] 1. the upper part of a ship's stern, which is flat like a table on the top, and sometimes ornamented with carved work 2. the rail around the stern of a ship

tatterdemalion - noun - a person in tattered clothing; a shabby person - adjective - ragged; unkempt or dilapidated

telic - adjective - 1. directed or tending toward a goal or purpose; purpose-driven 2. denoting the final end or purpose, as distinguished from ecbatic (N.B. ecbatic denotes a mere result or consequence, which differs from telic, which denotes intention or purpose)

temerity - noun - foolhardy disregard of danger; recklessness

tenebrous - adjective - dark; gloomy; obscure (N.B. also spelled tenebrious; Donaldson uses both spellings)

tersity - noun - the quality of being terse, brief; tersness

thaumaturge - noun - a performer of miracles or magic feats

theriac - noun - an alternate spelling of theriaca; an antidote to poison consisting typically of about seventy drugs pulverized and reduced with honey to an electuary, also called Venice treacle (N.B. an electuary is a medicine made by mixing drugs with honey or syrup to form a paste)

thetic - adjective - set forth dogmatically; prescribed

theurgy - noun - 1. an occurrence or accomplishment or a sequence of these, especially when remarkable or extraordinary, viewed as effected by supernatural or divine agency 2. a set if acts or incantations taken to be capable of producing such occurrences or accomplishments

thews - noun - 1. muscular power; bodily strength 2. muscles or sinews

thorp - noun - [archaic] a group of houses in the country; a small village, a hamlet, a dorp; now chiefly occurring in names of places and persons, such as Althorp

threnody - noun - a song of lamentation; funeral song: also threnode

thurible - noun - a censer of metal, for burning incense, having various forms, held in the hand or suspended by chains; used especially at mass, vespers, and other solemn services

thurifer - noun - an acolyte who carries a thurible

tincture - noun - 1. a coloring or dyeing substance; a pigment 2. a tinge or shade of color; a tint 3. [heraldry] one of the metals, colors, or furs used in armory 4. a quality that colors, pervades, or distinguishes; a slight quality added to anything 5. a trace or vestige 6. the finer and more volatile parts of a substance, separated by a solvent; an extract of a part of the substance of a body communicated to the solvent 7. [medical] a solution (commonly colored) of medicinal substance in alcohol, usually more or less diluted; spirit containing medicinal substances in solution - verb - 1. to stain or tint with a color 2. to infuse, as with a quality; impregnate

tintinnabulating - verb- ringing like a bell (N.B. tintinnabulation is the ringing sound of bells and tintinnabulary is of bells or the ringing of bells)

tittle - noun - 1. a dot or other small mark used as a diacritic 2. a very small particle; iota; jot (N.B. a diacritic is a diacritical mark; such a mark is any of various marks, as a macron or cedilla, added to a letter or symbol to indicate its pronunciation or to distinguish it in some way)

tocsin - noun - 1. an alarm, usually sounded on a bell 2. a bell used to sound an alarm 3. a warning; an omen

tor - noun - 1. a high rock or pile of rocks on the top of a hill 2. a rocky peak or hill

torc - noun - a collar, necklace, or similar ornament consisting of a twisted narrow band, usually of precious metal, worn especially by the ancient Gauls and Britons

tourmaline - noun - a mineral of variable color but usually black that consists of a complex borosilicate and is valued as a gem when transparent and cut

traduce - verb - 1. to say untrue or malicious things about; defame; slander; vilify 2. to make a mockery of; betray

transmogrified - adjective - changed in appearance or form, especially strangely or grotesquely; transformed

travertine - noun - a light-colored, usually concretionary limestone deposited around limy springs, lakes, or streams (N.B. a concretion is a solidified mass, specifically in geology, something encased in sedimentary rock, which was created by the formation of layers of mineral matter around it)

treacher - verb - to cheat or trick - noun - a deceiver, a cheat; a traitor

trenchant - adjective - 1. fitted to trench or cut; gutting; sharp 2. keen; biting; caustic; severe; as, trenchant wit 3. forceful, effective, and vigorous 4. distinct; clear-cut

trencher - noun - 1. a wooden board or platter on which food is carved or served 2. [archaic] the pleasure of the table; food 3. one that digs trenches

trireme - noun - an ancient Greek or Roman galley, usually a warship, with three banks of oars on each side

truncation - noun - 1. the property of being truncated or short; shortness 2. the replacement of an edge or solid angle, as in cutting a gemstone, by a plane, especially by a plane that is equally inclined to the adjacent faces 3. the act of cutting short

tumescence - noun - 1. a swelling; distention 2. a swollen or distended part

tumid - adjective - 1. swollen; bulging 2. inflated or pompous

tyrscull - noun - a Giantish training vessel for apprentice sailors (N.B. from the Chronicles' glossary; possibly invented by Donaldson)


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ulceration - noun - 1. development of an ulcer 2. an ulcer or an ulcerous condition

ululation - noun - 1. a howl or hoot 2. a loud wail or lamentation

unambergrised - adjective - not covered in whale intestine secretion (N.B. perhaps also, from its use in perfumes, "unperfumed" or, to quote Stephen R. Donaldson himself describing his use of the word: "But 'unambergrised'. A great word, which (if memory serves) I stole from Gerard Manley Hopkins. Think of it like this. Long ago, ambergris (noun) was sometimes used to prepare bodies for funerals; more literally, to counteract the stink of an unburied body until an appropriate funeral (a show of respect and love) could be arranged. Inventing a verb from the noun, 'to ambergris' denotes 'to prepare a body for a funeral.' By implication, therefore, the verb connotes treating something deceased or lost with love and respect. From there, it isn't hard to invent an adjective from the verb: e.g. 'Men wept over her ambergrised corpse.' And from *there*, it's a small step to the adjective 'unambergrised,' which means--drumroll, please--the opposite of 'ambergrised'. Which in turn brings us, through a series of connotations, to the unintended accuracy of asking, 'What the hell does "unambergrised" mean?'--'hell' having suddenly become appropriate to the discussion (via 'treating something deceased or lost with contempt and/or disregard'). (I hear carping in the background, but I choose to ignore it. )"; also worthy of note is that the O.E.D. includes only ambergris, with none of the funerary connections)

unassoiled - adjective - unpardoned or unexpiated

unballasted - adjective - 1. not stabilized or properly stabilized by ballast 2. unsteady; wavering

unction - noun - 1. the act of anointing, smearing, or rubbing with an unguent, oil, or ointment, especially for medical purposes, or as a symbol of consecration 2. that which is used for anointing; an unguent; an ointment; a salve 3. something that serves to soothe; a balm 4. divine or sanctifying grace 5. that quality in language, address, or the like, which excites emotion; especially, strong devotion; religious fervor and tenderness 6. affected or exaggerated earnestness, especially in choice and use of language

unguent - noun - a salve or ointment

unhermeneuticable - adjective - see hermeneutics - noun - the science of interpretation and explanation; exegesis; esp., that branch of theology which defines the laws whereby the meaning of the Scriptures is to be ascertained (N.B. the word that is actually used in the Chronicles is unhermeneuticable, but in that particular form, it is not to be found in any of the more generally available dictionaries; however, from the above, unhermeneuticable would indicate something that cannot be explained or interpreted or, perhaps more generally, communicated; exegesis is explanation, critical analysis, or interpretation of a word, literary passage, etc., especially in the Bible)

unprofligate - adjective - 1. the opposite of profligate 2. morally proper and upstanding; not broken down in respect of rectitude, principle, virtue, or decency; not openly and shamelessly immoral or vicious; not dissolute 3. careful and conservative, especially with money; not recklessly wasteful or wildly extravagant 4. [obsolete] not overthrown, beaten, or conquered (N.B. profligate is also a noun, meaning 1. an abandoned person; one openly and shamelessly vicious; a dissolute person, especially in fashionable society 2. a reckless consumer; and it is also a verb, meaning 1. to drive away; to overcome)

unwonted - adjective - 1. not common, usual, or habitual; rare 2. [archaic] not accustomed or used to


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vagary - noun - 1. an odd, eccentric, or unexpected action or bit of conduct 2. an odd, whimsical, or freakish idea or notion; oddity; caprice

vainglory - noun - 1. excessive elation or pride over one's own achievements, abilities, etc. 2. empty pomp or show

vambrace - noun - 1. a piece of plate armor for the forearm; a lower cannon 2. plate armor for the arm, usually including upper and lower cannons and a couter

variegated - adjective - 1. marked with different colors in spots, streaks, etc.; parti-colored 2. having variety in character, form, etc.; varied; diversified

vaunt - noun a boastful remark; extravagant self-praise

vellum - noun - 1. a) a fine parchment made from calfskin, lambskin, or kidskin, rendered clear and white and used for the pages and binding of books b) a work written or printed on this parchment 2. a heavy off-white fine-quality paper resembling this parchment

verdigris - adjective - 1. a green or greenish-blue poisonous compound, a basic acetate of copper, prepared by treating copper with acetic acid and used as a pigment, dye, etc. 2. a green or greenish-blue coating

verdure - noun - 1. the fresh-green color of growing things; greenness 2. green growing plants and trees; green vegetation 3. vigorous or flourishing condition

vermeil - noun - 1. [obsolete or old poetic] the color vermilion 2. gilded or gold-colored copper, bronze, or silver (N.B. vermilion is a bright red pigment or a bright red or scarlet color)

vernal - adjective - 1. of, relating to, or occurring in the spring 2. characteristic of or resembling spring 3. fresh and young; youthful

vertiginous - adjective - 1. turning about an axis; revolving or whirlig 2. affected by vertigo; dizzy 3. tending to produce vertigo 4. inclined to change quickly; unstable

viand - noun - 1. an article of food 2. [plural] food of various kinds; especially choice dishes

viga - noun - [Southwestern] a rafter or roofbeam, especially a trimmed and peeled tree trunk whose end projects from an outside adobe wall

virga - noun - light rain that evaporates before it reaches the ground

viridian - noun - a bluish-green pigment, hydrated chromic oxide, Cr2O3

virtu - noun - 1. excellence or merit in objects of art, curios, and the like 2. such objects or articles collectively 3. a taste for or knowledge of such objects

viscid - adjective - 1. having a cohesive and stick fluid consistency; viscous 2. covered with a viscid substance

vitiate - verb - 1. to make imperfect, faulty, or impure; spoil; corrupt 2. to weaken morally; debase; pervert 3. to make (a contract or other legal instrument) ineffective; invalidate (N.B. also used as an adjective, vitiated)

vitriol - noun - 1. a sulphate of any one of certain metals, as copper, iron, zinc, cobalt. So called on account of the glassy appearance or luster 2. sulphuric acid 3. a bitterly abusive feeling or expression - verb - to expose or subject to vitriol

vizard - noun - 1. a part of a helmet, arranged so as to lift or open, and so show the face; the openings for seeing and breathing are generally in it 2. a mask used to disfigure or disguise 3. the fore piece of a cap, projecting over, and protecting the eyes

vlei - noun - a Dutch word for "marsh" or "wetland"

volition - noun - 1. the act of using the will; exercise of the will in deciding what to do 2. a conscious or deliberate decision or choice this made 3. the power or faculty of using the will


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wain - noun - 1. a large, open farm wagon 2. [obsolete] a chariot 3. the Big Dipper

ware - adjective - 1. [archaic] aware; conscious 2. on one's guard; ready; wary 3. prudent; cautious; wise - verb - to beware of, usually in the imperative

weal - noun - 1. a sound, healthy, or prosperous state of a person or thing; prosperity; happiness; welfare 2. a raised mark on the skin (as produced by a blow) - verb - to promote the weal of; to cause to be prosperous

whelm - verb - 1. to cover with water or other fluid; to cover by immersion in something that envelops on all sides; to overwhelm; to engulf 2. to cover completely, as if with water; to overcome

wight - adjective - 1. [British dialect] strong and brave, especially in war 2. active; nimble 3. [archaic] valorous; brave - noun - 1. a human being 2. [obsolete] a supernatural being, as a witch or sprite 3. [obsolete] any living being; a creature

wold - noun - 1. a treeless, rolling plain, especially a high one; a moor 2. an herb (Reseda luteola) related to mignonette, growing in Europe, and to some extent in America used by dyers to give a yellow color; also called dyer's broom, dyer's rocket, dyer's weed, wild woad (N.B. may also be spelled weld)

wonted - adjective - 1. customary; habitual 2. accustomed; habituated

writhe - noun - the act or an instance of writhing; a contortion (N.B. in addition to the commonly used verb sense of the word)

writhen - adjective - [archaic] writhed; twisted; contorted

wroth - adjective - 1. angry; wrathful 2. stormy; violent; turbulent


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yammer - verb - 1. to whine or complain 2. to make an outcry or clamor 3. to talk loudly and persistently - noun - the act or noise of yammering


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It's madness! Over 800 words!

Site created December 2003 | Last updated 22 September 12