|<<>>|67 of 215 Show listMobile Mode

Vocabulary Words

Published by marco on

Updated by marco on

This is a running list of vocabulary words I’ve encountered in my reading over the last several years. I use the vocabulary-list feature on my Kindle to collect words, then export them from the Sqlite database with a simple SQL. From there, I have a text file with words that I combine with my existing list, deduplicate and then re-apply formatting to generate the text below.

I will occasionally update this list.

Where a word (e.g. “reef”) has a common definition, I’ve left it off, preferring to include the more-unusual or rarer definition or definitions.
  1. a fortiori – For a still stronger reason; all the more
  2. a-signifying – Incidentally meaningful semiotics; effective but not directly connected to intent, meaning or significance (e.g. purchase-history–based recommendations)
  3. abjure – To renounce or retract, esp. formally, solemnly, or under oath
  4. ablative – Related to removal through melting or evaporation
  5. abnegation – Self-denial; renunciation of your own interests in favor of the interests of others
  6. abrogation – To abolish or annul, esp. by an authority
  7. absquatulate – To depart in a hurry; abscond
  8. abstruse – Difficult to understand; obscure
  9. accidie – Spiritual sloth; apathy; indifference
  10. acidulous – Slightly acrid in taste or manner
  11. acnestis – On an animal, the point of the back that lies between the shoulders and the lower back, which cannot be reached to be scratched
  12. acrostic – Poem or text where the first letters of each line form a message
  13. adamant(n): Extremely hard substance
  14. adduce – To cite as an example or means of proof in an argument
  15. adenoidal – Nasal in tone
  16. adiabatic – Occurring without gain or loss of heat
  17. adjunct – Added or connected in a subordinate or auxiliary capacity
  18. adjuvant – A treatment that enhances an existing medical regimen, as a pharmacological agent added to a drug to increase or aid its effect.
  19. adumbrate – To give a sketchy outline
  20. advesperate – To approach evening
  21. aerostat – A lighter-than-air vehicle, like a balloon or dirigible
  22. aerumnous – Full of trouble
  23. aesculapian – Related to the art of medicine
  24. aesthete – A person who is unusually sensitive to beauty in art or nature
  25. aetiology – The philosophy or study of causation
  26. affiant – One who makes an affidavit.
  27. afflatus – A strong creative impulse, especially as a result of divine inspiration.
  28. affray – A riot; a large group fighting
  29. aftosa – Another name for foot-and-mouth disease.
  30. aga – leader (civil or military) in the Ottoman empire
  31. agitprop – subversive writing; see samizdat
  32. agnatology – the study of culturally-induced ignorance
  33. agonistic – Argumentative; striving for effect; strained
  34. aiguillette – An ornamental cord worn on the shoulder of a military uniform
  35. ailurophobia – Extreme or irrational fear of cats.
  36. akinesia – Loss of normal motor function, resulting in impaired muscle movement
  37. akrasia – Weakness of will; acting contrary to one’s moral values
  38. Albion – Britain or England
  39. aleatory – Dependent on chance
  40. alee – On the leeward side
  41. alembic – Distilling apparatus consisting of two vessels and a tube
  42. aliform – Shaped like a wing; alar
  43. amanuensis – An assistant
  44. ambuscade – An ambush
  45. amethyst – Purple or violet quartz
  46. amphisbaena – Mythical Greek ant-eating serpent with a head at each end
  47. anaclitic – Psychologically dependent on others
  48. anacoenosis – An appeal by the speaker to his opponents or to the audience for an opinion of the point
  49. anadem – A wreath or garland for the head.
  50. analysand – A person who is being psychoanalyzed
  51. anamnesis – 1. A recalling to memory; recollection; 2. the case history of a patient
  52. anastomosis – Connection of parts of a branching system to form a network (e.g. blood vessels or rivers)
  53. andirons – A pair of metal supports used for holding up logs in a fireplace
  54. anfract – [definition unknown] (from Umberto Eco, The Island of the Day Before (“[…] following its rifts and anfracts, past corridors of chalk in which vinous harlequins were stuck”)
  55. anhedonia – Inability to express pleasure
  56. anile – unable to think clearly or infirm because of old age
  57. anisotropic – Having properties that differ based on the direction of measurement (e.g. oval)
  58. anodyne – Uncontentious or inoffensive
  59. anoesis – Absence of thought (anoetic)
  60. anorak – A socially inept person with a hobby considered by most people to be boring
  61. anorectic – Marked by loss of appetite (anorexic)
  62. anserine – Goose-like
  63. anterior – Before or in front of; previously
  64. anthroponymy – The study of the names of human beings (syn: anthroponomastics)
  65. antimacassar – A protective and often decorative covering for the back or arms of a chair or sofa.
  66. antinomian – One who denies the fixed meaning or universal applicability of moral law
  67. antinomy – A contradiction between two beliefs or conclusions that are in themselves reasonable; a paradox
  68. antipodes – Group of rocky island near New Zealand, almost directly opposite Greenwich, England
  69. aperçus – A discerning perception; an insight.
  70. apodictic – Logically certain; demonstrably true or false
  71. apophasis – Allusion to something by denying that it will be mentioned, as in I will not bring up my opponent’s questionable financial dealings
  72. apophatic – Of or relating to the belief that God can only be described by a process of negation
  73. apophenia – The tendency to perceive connections and meaning between unrelated things; confirmation bias
  74. aporetic – A doubt, real or professed, about what to do or say
  75. aporia – An insoluble contradiction or paradox in a text’s meanings.
  76. Aposematic – Having bright, colorful markings that warn predators of poison; a doubt, real or professed, about what to do or say
  77. apostasy – Abandonment of one’s religious faith, party or a cause
  78. apothegm – A maxim
  79. apotheosis – Deification; exaltation to divine rank (nirvana)
  80. apotropaic – Intended to ward off evil
  81. appanage – Provision (usually land) granted (usually to a family member) as a source of revenue
  82. apperception – Conscious perception with full awareness
  83. apposite – Appropriate or relevant
  84. approbation – Official approval
  85. appurtenance – 1. appendage; 2. gear
  86. arbalest – Crossbow-like missile launcher
  87. architrave – The lintel or beam lying across two columns
  88. arcology – A portmanteau of architecture” and “ecology”, a very densely populated habitat (page 231 of Reamde)
  89. arhat – One who has attained enlightenment.
  90. armamentarium – The complete range of materials available or used for a task
  91. armet – A late-medieval light helmet with a neck guard and movable visor
  92. armillary – Of or relating to the arm (e.g. bracelets)
  93. arquebus – A portable, long-barrelled gun, predecessor to the rifle
  94. arrant – Utter; out-and-out
  95. arras – A tapestry, wall hanging or curtain (usually Flemish)
  96. arreptitious – Snatched away; seized or possessed, as a demoniac; raving; mad; crack-brained
  97. artilect – A machine or robot possessing artificial intelligence
  98. asafetida – A plant common to Iran and Afghanistan; produces a brownish, strong-smelling resin
  99. aspirate – To draw in or remove by inhalation or suction, esp to suck (air or fluid) from a body cavity or to inhale (fluid) into the lungs after vomiting
  100. asseveration – A positive and emphatic declaration
  101. assignation – A tryst
  102. astragal – A molding that covers a gap (usually to prevent airflow)
  103. ataraxia – A calm of mind; serenity
  104. ataxic – Loss of the ability to coordinate muscle movement (Lucky Jim)
  105. Ativan – Tranquilizer; trade name for lorazepam
  106. atrabilious – Melancholy; peevish; surly
  107. attenuate – To become slender, fine or small
  108. auscultate – To listen to sounds produced by the body (e.g. heartbeat)
  109. autarky – Quality of being self-sufficient, as in a state or economy
  110. autoclave – A heavy vessel for sterilizing or cooking by means of steam under pressure.
  111. autochthonous – Local; native; indigenous
  112. autolatrous – Self-worshiping
  113. autopoiesis – A closed system capable of creating itself
  114. autotelic – Having a purpose in and justifying itself
  115. avariciously – Greedily, immoderately so
  116. aventurine – A form of quartz; green; translucent with a shimmering or glistening effect
  117. avulsion – The forcible tearing away of a body part; change in landscape due to flooding or riverbed changes
  118. baize – Coarse woolen cloth (used e,g, to cover snooker or billiard tables)
  119. balanitis – Inflammation of the glans penis, usually due to infection
  120. balatron – Jester or buffoon
  121. balboa – The official currency of Panama
  122. baldachin – A canopy of state over an altar or throne
  123. ballista – Medieval field weapon similar to a crossbow (heavy projectiles)
  124. basque – A woman’s close-fitting bodice.
  125. bast – The phloem of a plant (bast fiber)
  126. bastinado – A beating on the soles of the feet
  127. Batavia – A former name for Jakarta
  128. bathetic – Portmanteau of bathos and pathetic (anticlimactic, banal, trite)
  129. batrachian – An amphibian, esp. a frog or a salamander
  130. battement – 1. In dance, a kicking movement done with a lifted leg. 2. A beating; striking; impulse.
  131. baulk – Line from which croquet, snooker, billiard ball is put into play (or the area behind it)
  132. beadle – Church usher
  133. beignet – A square doughnut without a hole; a fritter
  134. beldam – A hag (also written as beldame)
  135. belie – To misrepresent
  136. benedicence – Benevolence in speech
  137. benthic – Of or pertaining to the bottom of a body of water
  138. besom – Twigs tied to a handle to make a broom
  139. bezique – A card game for two or more players with tricks similar to whist (or pinochle) but with additional points scored for honours and sequences: played with two packs with nothing below a seven
  140. bezoar – hard, indigestible mass of food in the stomach or intestines
  141. bibelot – A small decorative object; a trinket
  142. bidonville – A shantytown on the outskirts of a city, especially in France or North Africa.
  143. bight – A loop in a rope; a wide bay characterized by a bend or curve
  144. bilious – Peevish; ill-humored
  145. biretta – Square hat worn by ecclesiastics, with three or four ridges on the brow
  146. bitts – A post on the deck of a ship to which ropes or cables are secured
  147. blackleg – 1. A livestock or plant disease, usually fatal. 2. A cardsharp
  148. blench – To draw back or shy away, as from fear; flinch
  149. bloater – A large mackerel or herring, salted, smoked and dried
  150. bodkin – A long needle or awl; a dagger or stiletto
  151. boffin – A person who has extensive skill or knowledge in a particular field (Brit.; similar to wonk in Amer.)
  152. bolster – A long, narrow pillow or cushion
  153. bombilate – To make a certain noise or sound. To buzz.
  154. boracic – Having no money; Brit. slang
  155. borage – Southern European bristly herb with blue or purplish, star-shaped flowers
  156. bothy – Small hut or cottage (Scot.)
  157. bourg – 1. A market town. 2. A medieval village, especially one situated near a castle.
  158. boustrophedonic – A script that is simultaneously left-to-right and right-to-left
  159. bowdlerize – To expurgate literary material; to censor
  160. boyar – A member of the nobility of Russia, before Peter the Great
  161. bract – A leaflike or scalelike plant part, usually small, sometimes showy or brightly colored, and located just below a flower, a flower stalk, or an inflorescence
  162. bradycardia – Slowness of the heart rate (usually less than 60BPM)
  163. brassica – Genus that includes cabbage, swede, rape and mustard
  164. breechclout – A loincloth
  165. breezeway – An enclosure joining two parts of a building (e.g. a house and its garage)
  166. brigandine – Flexible body armor covered in cloth
  167. bromidrosis – Body odor
  168. bruit – A din or clamor
  169. brume – Fog or mist
  170. burgeon – To begin to grow or blossom (to put forth buds)
  171. burgoo – Any of several thick stews, originally an oatmeal porridge.
  172. burbot – A freshwater food fish (Lota lota) of northern regions of the Northern Hemisphere, closely related to and resembling the cod and having a long barbel on the chin. Also called cusk, eelpout.
  173. buskin – A thick-soled laced half boot worn by actors of Greek and Roman tragedies
  174. buttonholer – Someone who accosts or detains (a person) in conversation
  175. cabochon – A highly polished, convex-cut, unfaceted gem
  176. cadastral – A public register showing details of ownership of the real property in a district, including boundaries and tax assessments
  177. caduceus – A herald’s wand or staff (usually refers to the two serpents logo of Hermes’s staff used by the medical profession)
  178. caecotrophs – Animals that are coprophagous (eat their own excrement)
  179. cafard – A feeling of severe depression (from the French, literally hypocrite, cockroach)
  180. caique – A long narrow rowboat traditionally used on the Bosporus.
  181. caisson – A watertight structure for performing work or repairs under water
  182. caitiff – A despicable coward; a wretch
  183. caleche – A light two- or four-wheeled horse-draw carriage
  184. calenture – A tropical fever thought to be caused by heat; similar to sunstroke
  185. caliche – A mineral deposit of gravel, sand, and nitrates
  186. caliginous – Dark, misty and gloomy
  187. calk – 1. A spiked plate that is fixed on the bottom of a shoe to prevent slipping and preserve the sole.; 2. A pointed extension on the toe or heels of a horseshoe, designed to prevent slipping.
  188. callipygian – Relating to or having buttocks that are considered beautifully proportioned
  189. callow – Immature
  190. calque – To make a loan translation from (a word in another language)
  191. caltrop – Metal spikes thrown across a road
  192. calvados – A French brandy made from apples.
  193. canaille – The common people; the masses; the hoi polloi
  194. candlewick – A fabric resembling chenille, made with closely-spaced tufts of cotton and used primarily for bedspreads and robes
  195. canebrake – A piece of ground covered with a dense growth of canes
  196. canescent – Turning white or grayish; becoming hoary
  197. cannula – A tube inserted into a body cavity (e.g. a nose tube)
  198. cantrip – A deceptive move; a sham
  199. caoutchouc – Untreated rubber
  200. caparison – Fancy dress or ornamentation for a man or horse (or to make fancy by decorating in this way)
  201. capsid – A virus’s protein coat
  202. captious – Nitpicky; deliberately confusing; underhanded debating tactics
  203. caracole – A half-turn performed by a horse and rider (or to perform same)
  204. caravansary – An inn built around a large court for accommodating caravans (mostly in Asia)
  205. carnelian – A pale to deep red or reddish-brown variety of clear chalcedony, used in jewelry.
  206. casement – A window or part of a window set on a hinge so that it opens like a door
  207. casuistical – Specious reasoning intended to mislead
  208. castrum – An old Roman fortress or encampment
  209. catabolic – The metabolic breakdown of complex molecules into simpler ones, often resulting in a release of energy.
  210. catafalque – A funeral bier
  211. catamite – A boy who has a sexual relationship with a man.
  212. cataphract – A defensive armor, often made of link mail, used for the entire body (also covering a horse in cavalry)
  213. catastasis – The part of a drama immediately preceding the climax
  214. catawampus – Skewed, twisted
  215. catechism – 1. A manual giving basic instruction in a subject, usually by rote or repetition; 2. A body of fundamental principles or beliefs, especially when accepted uncritically
  216. catechumen – A novice; one who is being instructed at an elementary level
  217. catenary – The curve formed by a cable suspended by its endpoints
  218. caudal – Situated beneath or on the underside; inferior; opposite of anterior
  219. caudillo – A leader or chief, especially a military dictator.
  220. cautery – The act or process or cauterizing (or an agent used to cauterize)
  221. cavil – To quibble
  222. cenotaph – A monument honoring a person buried elsewhere
  223. cerements – A burial cloth
  224. cernuous – Drooping, as the leaves of a plant
  225. chaff – Trivial or worthless matter; dry bracts of seeds, removed during threshing; metal bits emitted by a plane to foil radar
  226. chalcedony – A translucent to transparent milky or grayish quartz
  227. chancel – The space around the altar of a church for the clergy and sometimes the choir, often enclosed by a lattice or railing.
  228. chancellery – The rank, position, office or department of a chancellor
  229. chandler – One that makes or sells candles
  230. chaparral – An area covered by a dense growth of mostly small-leaved evergreen shrubs
  231. charivari – An elaborate, noisy celebration, often mocking (page 508 of the Idiot)
  232. chary – 1. Very cautious; wary; 2. Not giving or expending freely; sparing
  233. chatelaine – The mistress of a castle or of a large, fashionable household; a hooklike clasp with chains for suspending small objects, as keys worn at the waist by women esp. in the 18th and 19th centuries
  234. chautauqua – A summer school or educational meeting held in the summer
  235. chiasmus – Reversal of the order of words in the second of two parallel phrases: he came in triumph and in defeat departs.
  236. chiaroscuro – The technique of using light and shade in pictorial representation
  237. chiasmus – A rhetorical inversion of the second of two parallel structures, as in “Each throat / Was parched, and glazed each eye” (Samuel Taylor Coleridge).
  238. chicane – 1. An artificial narrowing or turn on a road or auto-racing course; 2. To resort to tricks or subterfuges
  239. chilblain – An inflammation followed by itchy irritation on the hands, feet, or ears, resulting from exposure to moist cold
  240. chimerical – Highly improbable or illusory
  241. chine – 1. The backbone or spine, esp. of an animal; 2. a cut of meat containing same
  242. chintz – A printed and glazed cotton fabric, usually of bright colors
  243. Chiron – The wise centaur who tutored Achilles, Hercules, and Asclepius
  244. chiropodist – A podiatrist or foot doctor
  245. chiton – 1. A mollusk that lives on rocks and has a shell consisting of eight overlapping calcareous plates. Also called sea cradle or coat-of-mail shell; 2. A tunic worn by men and women in ancient Greece
  246. choad – a. A penis (esp. one that is wider than it is long); 2. Someone who is obnoxious or annoying
  247. chode – Past tense of chide
  248. cholecystitis – Inflammation of the gallbladder
  249. choropleth – A symbol or marked and bounded area on a map denoting the distribution of some property
  250. chronophagy – Something that wastes (or “eats”) time.
  251. chyme – Semi-fluid mass of partly digested food/bolus in the stomach
  252. chyron – A graphic that is digitally superimposed over the lower portion of a broadcast television image, often scrolling or otherwise animated
  253. cimicine – Smelling like bugs
  254. circumvallate – Encircle as with a rampart
  255. cisalpine – Relating to, living on, or coming from the southern side of the Alps
  256. cislunar – Of or relating to the space between the earth and the moon
  257. clabber – Sour, curdled milk; to curdle
  258. clafoutis – A baked dessert composed of a layer of fresh fruit topped with a thick batter. Chiefly French.
  259. clapboard – 1. A long thin timber board with one edge thicker than the other, used in wood-frame construction by lapping each board over the one below; 2. a house made of same
  260. clepsydra – An instrument designed to measure time by the fall or flow of a quantity of water; also called a “water clock”
  261. cloistered – Secluded or shut up from the world
  262. clotted cream – A thick cream made primarily in England by heating milk until a layer of cream forms on its surface that is then cooled and skimmed off
  263. clyster – An enema
  264. codon – A sequence of three adjacent nucleotides constituting the genetic code that determines the insertion of a specific amino acid in a polypeptide chain during protein synthesis or the signal to stop protein synthesis
  265. coffle – A line of animals or slaves, chained together
  266. coir – The fiber obtained from the husk of a coconut
  267. colliery – A coal mine together with its physical plant and outbuildings
  268. colloidal – A liquid within which very fine particles are evenly distributed so that they stay suspended
  269. colloquy – Written dialogue
  270. coloratura – Vocal music characterized by florid ornamental passages
  271. colporteur – A peddler of devotional literature
  272. colubra – A female snake
  273. colubrine – Serpentine
  274. Columbine – A flower from the buttercup family
  275. commensality – The act or practice of eating at the same table
  276. communard – One who lives in a commune
  277. compendious – Containing or stating briefly all the essentials of something; comprehensive and concise
  278. compossible – Able to exist with another thing; consistent.
  279. comprador – A person who acts as an agent for foreign organizations engaged in investment, trade, or economic or political exploitation
  280. concessio – “A rhetorical stylistic tool in which one takes up the opponent’s argument, acknowledging it as correct while simultaneously weakening it. (E.g. “Yes. Günther has behaved immorally,
  281. but he can not be legally punished for it.”) See paromologia.”
  282. concomitant – Occurring or existing concurrently
  283. concupiscent – Lascivious
  284. condign – Deserved; adequate
  285. congeries – A collection
  286. conjunctivitis – Inflammation of the conjunctiva, characterized by redness and often accompanied by a discharge
  287. connubial – Of marriage or wedlock; matrimonial; conjugal.
  288. consilience – A chance happening or coincidence
  289. conspecific – Of or belonging to the same species.
  290. constult – To act stupidly together
  291. consubstantiality – Participation of the same nature; coexistence in the same substance.
  292. contango – A situation where the futures price of a commodity is higher than the spot price
  293. contemn – To view with contempt; despise
  294. contra mundum – Against the world; in defiance of all general opinion
  295. contretemps – 1. An inopportune or embarrassing occurrence or situation; 2. an argument or dispute
  296. contumacious – Anti-authoritarian
  297. contumely – Rudeness or contempt arising from arrogance; insolence
  298. conurbation – A predominantly urban region including adjacent towns and suburbs; a metropolitan area
  299. convolvulus – Any typically twining herbaceous convolvulaceous plant of the genus Convolvulus, having funnel-shaped flowers and triangular leaves
  300. copula – The word or set of words that serves as a link between the subject and predicate of a proposition
  301. coracle – A small, rounded, primitive boat (stretched skin over wooden frame)
  302. corse – A corpse (archaic)
  303. corybantic – To dance in a fashion similar to rites for the Phrygian goddess Cybele, celebrated with music and ecstatic dances
  304. cotise – A narrow stripe that usually occurs as one of a pair, with each stripe occurring on either side of a bend, fess, or other charge in heraldry
  305. crepuscular – Resembling twilight; dim; active at twilight (from Reamde)
  306. cresset – A metal cup, often suspended on a pole, containing burning oil or pitch and used as a torch
  307. cretonne – A heavy unglazed cotton, linen, or rayon fabric, colorfully printed and used for draperies and slipcovers
  308. crim – Short for criminal
  309. crotchet – An odd, whimsical, perverse or stubborn notion
  310. croupy – Characterized by respiratory difficulty and a hoarse, brassy cough
  311. cryptid – Animals that cryptozoologists believe may exist somewhere in the wild, but are not believed to exist by mainstream science
  312. cuirass – A piece of armor for protecting the breast and back, often consisting of two pieces fastened together
  313. cuirassier – A horse soldier in European armies whose equipment included the cuirass
  314. culverin – 1. An early, crudely made musket; 1. A long heavy cannon used in the 16th and 17th centuries
  315. cumbrously – In a cumbersome manner; difficult to handle because of size or weight
  316. cunctation – Procrastination; delay
  317. cupidity – Excessive desire, esp. for wealth; covetousness or avarice
  318. curate – 1. A member of the clergy employed to assist a rector or vicar; 2. To take charge of (a museum) or organize (an art exhibit); 3. To gather and present to the public
  319. curlew – Any of several brownish, long-legged shorebirds of the genus Numenius, having long, slender, downward-curving bills
  320. currycomb – A comb with plastic or rubber teeth, used for grooming horses.
  321. curtilage – The area considered legally part of a house or dwelling by virtue of its enclosure by a fence or habitual use in domestic activities.
  322. cuspidor – spittoon; a large bowl, often of metal, serving as a receptacle for spit, esp. from chewing tobacco
  323. cutis – The dermis and epidermis of the skin together
  324. cynosure – Focal point of attention or admiration
  325. dacoit – A member of a robber band or gang in South Asia
  326. dag – Hanging fur matted with mud
  327. damask – 1. A rich patterned fabric of cotton, linen, silk, or wool; 2. the wavy pattern on Damascus steel
  328. davit – A small crane that projects over the side of a ship and is used to hoist boats, anchors, and cargo
  329. deadhead – To remove dead flowers from a bush
  330. debauch – To corrupt morally; to seduce
  331. debility – Being weak or infirm
  332. decoupage – The technique of decorating a surface with cutouts, as of paper, and finishing with layers of lacquer or varnish
  333. decrepicate – To make a crackling sound when roasted (crystals or salts)
  334. defalcation – Misuse of funds; embezzlement
  335. defeasance – The voiding of a contract or deed
  336. deflagrate – To burn or cause to burn with great heat and intense light
  337. deictic – Directly proving by argument
  338. dekko – A look; a glance; view. E.g. Take a dekko at.
  339. delation – The act of conveying; carriage (obsolete)
  340. delator – An accuser; an informer
  341. deliquesce – 1. To disappear as if by melting; 2. to dissolve and become liquid by absorbing moisture from the air; 3. to branch out into numerous subdivisions that lack a main axis, as the trunk of an elm
  342. demesne – An extensive piece of landed property; an estate
  343. demiurge – A powerful creative force or personality
  344. demob – Short for demobilization of armed forces
  345. demonym – Official designation for the inhabitant of a region (see gentilic)
  346. deoppilate – To clear a passage through
  347. descant – 1. An ornamental melody or counterpoint sung or played above a theme; 2. A discussion or discourse on a theme
  348. desideratum – Something considered necessary or highly desirable
  349. desquamate – To shed, peel, or come off in scales. Used of skin
  350. desuetude – A state of disuse or inactivity.
  351. dialetheia – True contradictions (true statements whose opposite is also true)
  352. diaphoresis – Copious perspiration; usu. a condition
  353. dibble – A pointed gardening implement used to make holes in soil, especially for planting bulbs or seedlings.
  354. diegesis – The world that is depicted in a work of narrative art, especially a film.
  355. diegetic – Existing or occurring within the world of a narrative rather than as something external to that world (i.e. narration or soundtrack music in a film is non-diegetic)
  356. dieresis – Diacritical mark indicating a pronounced vowel
  357. diffident – Lacking or marked by a lack of self-confidence; shy and timid
  358. dilatory – Causing or intended to cause delay
  359. dimity – A sheer, crisp cotton fabric with raised woven stripes or checks, used chiefly for curtains and dresses.
  360. dioptric – Relating to optical refraction; refractive
  361. disembogue – Pour out; be disgorged in quantity
  362. disheveled – Being in loose disarray; unkempt, as hair or clothing
  363. dissimulate – To conceal one’s true feelings or intentions
  364. dissolute – Lacking moral restraint; indulging in sensual pleasures or vices
  365. distaff – Women considered as a group; female
  366. dithyramb – 1. any wildly enthusiastic speech or writing 2. A frenzied, impassioned choric hymn and dance of ancient Greece in honor of Dionysus
  367. divagate – 1. To wander or drift about; 2. to ramble; digress
  368. doolally – Out of one’s mind; crazy
  369. doss – 1. Sleep; rest; 2. a crude or makeshift bed
  370. dovecote – A compartmental structure, often raised on a pole, for housing domesticated pigeons
  371. dowager – 1. A widow who holds a title or property derived from her deceased husband; 2. an elderly woman of high social station
  372. doxastic – Of or relating to belief
  373. doxology – An expression of praise to God, esp. a short hymn sung as part of a Christian worship service
  374. draughts – The game of checkers
  375. dropsy – An excessive accumulation of serous fluid in tissue spaces or a body cavity; edema (obsolete)
  376. drupe – A fleshy fruit with a pit (e.g. peach, plum, cherry, etc.)
  377. duckboard – A board or boardwalk laid across wet or muddy ground or flooring
  378. dudgeon – 1. A sullen, angry, or indignant humor; 2. A dagger with a hilt made of this wood.
  379. dupatta – A long wide scarf often worn draped over the head or across the shoulders, chiefly by women in South Asia
  380. duumvirate – 1. A regime or partnership of two persons 2. A coalition of two people holding the same office, as in ancient Rome.
  381. dysarthria – Unclear articulation of otherwise normal speech
  382. dysphemism – The use of a derogatory, offensive or vulgar word or phrase to replace a (more) neutral original.
  383. dysphoria – An emotional state characterized by anxiety, depression, or unease; the opposite of euphoria
  384. easement – 1. The act of anointing as part of a religion; 2. An ointment or oil; a salve
  385. eau-de-nil – A pale yellowish green color, supposedly that of the color of the Nile (taken from the French for “water of the Nile”)
  386. ecclesial – Of or relating to a church, especially as an organized institution. Syn.: ecclesiastical
  387. ecdemic – Not indigenous or endemic; foreign
  388. echolalia – The uncontrollable and immediate repetition of words spoken by another person, esp. as associated with mental disorder.
  389. écorché – An anatomical representation of all or part of a human or animal body with the skin removed so as to display the musculature
  390. ecumene – A nuclear area of high culture to which neighboring regions stand in a relation of cultural backwardness or dependence
  391. efflorescence – 1. A gradual process of unfolding or developing; 2. the point or time of greatest vigor; the culmination
  392. egregoric – Of or relating to the occult concept of a group mind, egregore
  393. eidolon – An image of an ideal. An apparition.
  394. eisegesis – Reading meaning into a text that is not there
  395. ekphrastic – In the style of a work of art produced as a rhetorical exercise.
  396. Elbrus – A peak, 5,643 m (18,513 ft) high, in the Caucasus Mountains of southwest Russia near the border of Georgia. It is the highest elevation in Europe
  397. eleemosynary – 1. Of, concerned with, or dependent on charity; 2. Given as an act of charity
  398. elegiac – Of, relating to, or involving elegy or mourning or expressing sorrow for that which is irrecoverably past
  399. elozable – Readily influenced by flattery
  400. emanant – Flowing, issuing, or proceeding from something else; becoming apparent by an effect.
  401. embonpoint – The plump or fleshy part of a person’s body, in particular a woman’s bosom.
  402. embouchure – The mouth of a river
  403. emolument – Payment for an office or employment; compensation
  404. empennage – The tail assembly of an aircraft (page 223 of Reamde)
  405. empyrean – Heavenly or sublime; the highest part of the (supposedly spherical) heavens, thought in ancient times to contain the pure element of fire and by early Christians to be the abode of God and the angels
  406. enantiodromia – The principle that a superabundance of a force produces its opposite
  407. enantiomorphic – To be chemically identical crystals that are mirror images of each other
  408. enceinte – Pregnant (from the French)
  409. encomiast – A person who delivers or writes an encomium; a eulogist
  410. encomium – Warm praise
  411. endometriosis – The presence of endometrium elsewhere than in the lining of the uterus; causes premenstrual pain and dysmenorrhea
  412. endonym – The name for themselves, their homeland, or their language of a people or social group
  413. endue – To provide with a quality or trait; endow
  414. enfeoff – To invest (a person) with possession of a freehold estate in land
  415. Ensor – Belgian expressionist painter, noted for his macabre subjects
  416. entelechy – Actuality as opposed to potentiality (from Aristotelian philosophy)
  417. entheogenic – Hallucinogenic, psychedelic, or mind-altering. It applies esp. to drugs or plants employed in mystical, religious, or spiritual ceremonies
  418. entrepôt – A warehouse; a market or trading center (page 648 of Reamde)
  419. enure – To toughen or harden by use or exposure; accustom; habituate (see inure)
  420. enuresis – The involuntary discharge of urine; urinary incontinence
  421. epeirogeny – Uplift or depression of the earth’s crust, affecting large areas of land or ocean bottom
  422. epenthesis – Insertion of a sound in a word
  423. epergne – An ornamental stand or dish for holding fruit, flowers, etc., used as a centerpiece
  424. epicortical – On top of the bark (botanical)
  425. epicurean – Devoted to the pursuit of sensual pleasure, esp. to the enjoyment of good food and comfort
  426. epideictic – Designed primarily for rhetorical display
  427. epigenetic – Denoting processes by which heritable modifications in gene function occur without a change in the sequence of the DNA
  428. epigone – A second-rate imitator or follower, esp. of an artist or a philosopher
  429. epigram – A concise, clever, often paradoxical statement (can be a poem); see Yogi Berra or Groucho Marx
  430. epigraph – 1. An inscription, as on a statue or building; 2. a motto or quotation, as at the beginning of a literary composition, setting forth a them
  431. epiphenomena – 1. A secondary or additional phenomenon; by-product; 2. An unexpected or atypical symptom or occurrence during the course of a disease
  432. epistemology – Study of the nature of knowledge
  433. epistle – A literary composition in the form of a letter
  434. epistolary – Of or associated with letters or the writing of letters
  435. epitatic – [definition unknown] (from Oblivion by David Foster Wallace)
  436. epithelium – Membranous tissue composed of one or more layers of cells separated by very little intercellular substance and forming the covering of most internal and external surfaces of the body and its organs
  437. epizeuxis – The repetition of a word with vehemence and emphasis
  438. equanimity – The quality of being calm and even-tempered; composure
  439. equerry – A personal attendant to the British royal household, generally responsible for the horses
  440. ergodic – Of or relating to the probability that any state will recur
  441. erysipelas – An acute streptococcal infectious disease of the skin, characterized by fever, headache, vomiting, and purplish raised lesions, esp. on the face. Also called: Saint Anthony’s fire
  442. Esau – In the Bible, the eldest son of Isaac and Rebecca who sold his birthright to his twin brother, Jacob, for a mess of pottage
  443. eschatology – The branch of theology that is concerned with the end of the world or of humankind
  444. escutcheon – Shield or emblem bearing a coat of arms
  445. espaliered – A tree or shrub that is trained to grow in a flat plane against a wall or trellis, often in a symmetrical pattern.
  446. estaminet – A small café.
  447. estivation – Dormancy or torpor during the summer
  448. esurient – Hungry
  449. etiolate – 1. To cause to appear pale and sickly; 2. to make weak by stunting the growth or development of
  450. eudaemonic – Producing happiness and well-being
  451. euphonium – A brass instrument similar to the tuba but having a somewhat higher pitch and a mellower sound
  452. euphonious – Pleasing or agreeable to the ear.
  453. evanescent – Vanishing or likely to vanish like vapor, ephemeral or transitory, passing out of sight; fading away; vanishing
  454. evection – Irregularity in the moon’s motion caused by perturbations of the sun and planets
  455. excrescent – Abnormal or excessive growth
  456. exegesis – Critical explanation or analysis
  457. exegete – A person skilled in exegesis
  458. exercitant – One who practices religious exercises
  459. exigent – Requiring immediate aid or action
  460. exiguous – Meager or extremely scanty
  461. exonym – A name by which one people or social group refers to another and by which the group so named does not refer to itself.
  462. exophthalmic – Characterized by the prominence of the eyeballs
  463. exordium – A beginning or introductory part, esp. of a speech or treatise
  464. extrorse – Botanical term for facing outward or turned away from the axis
  465. factotum – An assistant who takes on a wide range of tasks and responsibilities.
  466. fain – Happily; gladly (archaic)
  467. falchion – A short and slightly curved medieval sword broader towards the point
  468. fantail – Overhanging stern of a boat (esp. a warship)
  469. fard – To paint the face with cosmetics, so as to hide blemishes
  470. farrago – An assortment or a medley; a hodgepodge
  471. faute-de-mieux – For lack of something better
  472. fecundate – Fertilize; make fruitful
  473. felid – Sly, stealthy, or treacherous; belonging or pertaining to the cat family (related to canid for dogs)
  474. fiacre – A small four-wheeled carriage
  475. fideistic – Reliance on faith alone rather than scientific reasoning or philosophy in questions of religion.
  476. fillip – 1. A snap or light blow made by pressing a fingertip against the thumb and suddenly releasing it; 2. To stimulate or arouse (or something that does so)
  477. finial – 1. An ornamental terminating part, as on a post or piece of furniture; 2. an ornament on top of a spire, gable
  478. firedamp – Methane
  479. firth – A long, narrow inlet
  480. fissiparous – Having a tendency to divide into groups or factions
  481. flews – The fleshy hanging upper lip of a bloodhound or similar dog
  482. flinder – 1. A butterfly. 2. To scamper about flutteringly 3. To break (something) into flinders (pieces)
  483. flocculent – Having a fluffy or woolly appearance; fleecy
  484. flyblown – 1. Tainted; corrupt; 2. dirty or rundown; squalid
  485. flyover – An overpass, as on a highway (chieflly British)
  486. fomes – Any inanimate or nonpathogenic substance or material, exclusive of food, which may act as a vector for a pathogen.
  487. fomites – Plural of fomes
  488. foolscap – A sheet of writing or printing paper measuring about 13 by 16 inches
  489. foxed – Marked with spots or discoloration, as from age
  490. frass – Debris or excrement produced by insects.
  491. fritinancy – A chirping or creaking, as of a cricket.
  492. frowsy – 1. Unkempt; slovenly; 2. ill-smelling; musty
  493. fubsy – Fat and squat
  494. fucus – A seaweed common to intertidal regions and typically having greenish-brown slimy fronds. See also wrack
  495. fulsome – Excessively flattering; obsequious
  496. fulsome – 1. Excessively flattering or insincerely earnest; sycophantic; 2. disgusting or offensive
  497. fungible – Interchangeable
  498. fungo – The act of tossing the ball upwards and hitting it as it descends, a ball hit in this manner or the light bat used to hit such balls
  499. furbelow – 1. A ruffle or flounce on a garment; 2. piece of showy ornamentation
  500. furze – Gorse; spiny evergreen shrubs
  501. rustic – The wood of a large, tropical American tree, Chlorophora tinctoria, of the mulberry family, yielding a light yellow dye.
  502. gaff – Barbed spear; stick with a hook on it
  503. gaffer – An electrician in charge of lighting on a movie or television set
  504. Galen – Greek anatomist, physician, and philosopher. His theories, which emphasized maintaining a balance of the four humors, formed the basis of European medicine until the Renaissance
  505. Galicia – A region of east-central Europe on the north side of the Carpathians, now in SE Poland and Ukraine
  506. gallimaufry – A jumble; a hodgepodge
  507. gamelan – An Indonesian orchestra composed mainly of tuned percussion instruments such as bamboo xylophones, wooden or metal chimes, and gongs
  508. gastrocnemius – The largest, most prominent muscle of the calf of the leg, the action of which extends the foot and bends the knee
  509. gauleiter – A person in a position of petty or local authority who behaves in an overbearing authoritarian manner (from a provincial governor in Germany under Hitler)
  510. gavage – Introduction of nutritive material into the stomach by means of a tube.
  511. Gehenna – 1. A place or state of torment or suffering. 2. The abode of condemned souls; hell
  512. gentian – Any gentianaceous plant having blue, yellow, white, or red showy flowers
  513. gentilic – Derived from a place name that depicts the residents of that place; see demonym
  514. ghat – Stairs or a passage leading down to a river (from the Hindi)
  515. gigue – A synonym for jig
  516. girn – To complain; to snarl or grimace (also gurn)
  517. glaucous – 1. Of a pale grayish or bluish green; 2. covered with a bluish waxy or powdery bloom
  518. glean – To gather (something) slowly and carefully in small pieces (comes from the word for gathering useful remnants of a crop from a field after a harvest)
  519. glymphatic – A functional waste clearance pathway for the vertebrate central nervous system.
  520. gnomic – Marked by aphorisms; aphoristic
  521. godown – Warehouse (esp. in India)
  522. goffer – An iron used for pressing ridges or narrow pleats, or ridges or pleats produced in this manner
  523. gonfalon – A banner hung from a crosspiece, like in the Crusades
  524. gound – The gunk that collects in the corners of the eyes
  525. gowpen – A bowl formed by two hands (Scottish)
  526. grace-and-favour – A house, flat, etc. owned by the sovereign and granted free of rent to a person to whom the sovereign wishes to express gratitude
  527. gravamen – Material substance of a charge or complaint
  528. greaves – Shin armor/guards
  529. greenmail – The practice of a company buying sufficient shares in another company to threaten takeover and making a quick profit as a result of the threatened company buying back its shares at a higher price
  530. griot – A member of a caste responsible for maintaining an oral record of tribal history in the form of music, poetry, and storytelling (chiefly in Western Africa)
  531. grisaille – A style of monochromatic painting in shades of gray
  532. grizzle – To make or become gray
  533. groat – An English silver coin worth four pennies, taken out of circulation in the 17th century
  534. groyne – Variant of groin
  535. grutch – To grudge; to begrudge
  536. gudgen – Pivot; hinge; small fish; one who is easily duped (page 86 of the Brothers Karamazov)
  537. guerdon – A reward; recompense
  538. gurn – To complain, snarl or grimace (also girn; from the Scottish)
  539. gyp – A fraud or swindle, or some who perpetrates same
  540. ha-ha – A wall or other boundary marker that is set in a ditch so as not to interrupt the landscape
  541. haecceity – The property that uniquely identifies an object
  542. hagridden – Tormented or harassed by nightmares or unreasonable fears
  543. halvah – A confection of Turkish origin, made chiefly of ground sesame seeds and honey
  544. hamartia – A tragic flaw; the flaw in character which leads to the downfall of the protagonist in a tragedy (e.g. Achilles’s heel)
  545. hapax legomenon – A word or form that occurs only once in the recorded corpus of a given language.
  546. hardtack – A hard biscuit or bread made with only flour and water. Also called sea biscuit, sea bread, ship biscuit
  547. haruspicy – Divination by natural means (e.g. lightning)
  548. haustorium – A specialized structure of a parasitic fungus or plant, used to absorb nutrients and water from the host plant.
  549. hawse – The part of a ship where the hawseholes are located; The space between the bows and anchors of an anchored ship.
  550. hebephrenic – A type of schizophrenia characterized by disorganized speech and behavior, flat or inappropriate affect, and sometimes silly or inappropriate mannerisms.
  551. hecatomb – A large-scale sacrifice or slaughter
  552. heliotrope – Any of various plants that turn toward the sun
  553. helotry – The condition of serfdom
  554. helve – A handle of a tool, such as an axe, chisel, or hammer.
  555. hendecagon – A polygon having eleven sides
  556. heresiarch – One who originates or is the chief proponent of a heresy or heretical movement
  557. hermeneutics – Theory of interpretation (esp. religious texts)
  558. heterachy – A formal structure (e.g. connected nodes) without any single permanent uppermost node
  559. heterophemize – To say something different from what you mean to say (e.g. as a false compliment)
  560. hierophant – An interpreter of sacred mysteries or arcane knowledge
  561. Hijri – The lunar calendar used by Muslims and reckoned from a.d. 622: the calendar year consists of 354 days and contains 12 months.
  562. hippocras – Wine flavored with spices
  563. homoeomery – The state or quality of being homogeneous in elements or first principles; likeness or identity of parts. (also Homoeomery)
  564. horripilated – Having goosebumps from either fear or cold or excitement
  565. howdah – A seat for riding on an elephant’s back, esp. one with a canopy
  566. hoyden – Tomboy; a boisterous, high-spirited, saucy girl
  567. huckster – A person who sells small items door-to-door or from a stall
  568. hunker – To squat on one’s heels (a synonym from Bill Burr: Vietnamese gambler squat)
  569. hustings – A place where political campaign speeches are made (chiefly British)
  570. hyaline – Resembling glass, as in translucence or transparency; glassy
  571. hypaethral – Wholly or partly open to the sky
  572. hypertelorism – Abnormal distance between two paired organs, esp. the eyes
  573. iatrogenic – Unintentionally induced by a physician
  574. icteric – Related to jaundice (to be ill with or a treatment)
  575. idiolect – Unique linquistic pattern with a small group; mini-dialect
  576. illeism – Referring to oneself in the third person
  577. imbricate – To overlap in a regular pattern
  578. immanent – Inherent
  579. impecuniousness – The state of being poor; penury
  580. impecunity – The state of being poor; penury
  581. impetigo – A contagious bacterial skin disease characterized by the formation of pustules that develop into yellowish crusty sores
  582. impluvious – Wet with rain
  583. incalescent – Growing hotter or more ardent
  584. incarnadine – Of a fleshy pink color; blood-red
  585. incunabula – An artifact of an early period (artifact of an early period)
  586. indite – To set down in writing; to compose
  587. infundibulum – Any of various funnel-shaped bodily passages, openings, structures, or parts, esp. the stalk of the pituitary gland
  588. infusoria – Various microscopic organisms found in infusions of decaying organic matter
  589. ingenuous – Candid; lacking in guile
  590. inimical – Injurious or harmful in effect; adverse; unfriendly or hostile
  591. inspissate – To thicken, as by evaporation
  592. intarsia – A decorative inlaid pattern in a surface, esp. a mosaic worked in wood
  593. indendant – An administrative official (such as a governor); director or manager in German
  594. interpellate – To question (a member of the government) on a point of government policy, often interrupting the business of the day
  595. interpellation – An act of delaying or interrupting the continuity; see interpellate
  596. intransitive – An intransitive verb, on the other hand, describes an action that does not happen to something or someone
  597. inveigle – To obtain by cajolery; seduce
  598. inverter – Any device for converting a direct current into an alternating current
  599. invidious – Inciting ill will; troll-y; discriminatory; envious;
  600. invigilator – Monitor or proctor who watches examination candidates to prevent cheating
  601. irenic – Promoting peace; conciliatory.
  602. irredentism – A national policy advocating the acquisition of some region in another country by reason of common linguistic, cultural, historical, ethnic, or racial ties.
  603. irrefragably – Admittedly; fairly
  604. jasper – An opaque cryptocrystalline variety of quartz that may be red, yellow, or brown
  605. jejune – Naive, simplistic, or superficial
  606. jequirity – Indian liquorice seeds; used to make black rosary beads
  607. jouissance – Jollity; merriment
  608. katabatic – Of or relating to the downward flow of cold dense air
  609. keck – To retch or feel nausea; to feel or express disgust
  610. kedgeree – 1. A dish of India containing rice, lentils, and spices. 2. a dish of rice, fish, hard-boiled eggs, cream, and seasonings
  611. kefir – A creamy drink made of fermented cow’s milk
  612. keloid – An abnormal proliferation of scar tissue, often pink, as on the site of a surgical incision
  613. kenning – A conventional poetic phrase used for or in addition to the usual name of a person or thing, esp. in Old Norse and Old English verse, as wave traveler for boat; see metonymy
  614. kermess – A fair or church dedication
  615. kipper – A herring or salmon that has been split, salted, and smoked
  616. kirtle – 1. A man’s knee-length tunic or coat; 2. a woman’s dress or skirt
  617. knelling – The process of disassembling something and arranging its parts
  618. kulak – A prosperous landed peasant in czarist Russia, characterized by the Communists during the October Revolution as an exploiter
  619. kukri – A knife with a curved blade that broadens towards the point, esp. as used by Gurkhas
  620. kvass – A Russian fermented beverage similar to beer, made from rye or barley
  621. kwashiorkor – Severe malnutrition of infants and young children, esp. soon after weaning, resulting from dietary deficiency of protein (comes from the Ghanan)
  622. kyriarchy – A social system or set of connecting social systems built around domination, oppression, and submission (used in feminist theory)
  623. lability – The susceptibility to error or lapses of any kind, as a human failing
  624. laburnum – Any leguminous tree or shrub of the Eurasian genus Laburnum, having clusters of yellow drooping flowers: all parts of the plant are poisonous
  625. laconically – Marked by terseness or concision
  626. lacuna – An empty space or a missing part; a gap
  627. lagniappe – A small gift given with a purchase
  628. lahar – A mass of volcanic fragments, often mixed with water (e.g. rain), moving rapidly down the side of a volcano
  629. lambent – Flickering lightly (e.g. firelight); glowing with soft radiance, luminous
  630. lapidary – Polisher or dealer in precious stones
  631. lapillus – A small, solidified fragment of lava (pl. lapilli)
  632. lapis lazuli – An opaque to translucent blue, violet-blue, or greenish-blue semiprecious gemstone composed mainly of lazurite and calcite.
  633. larrikin – A person given to comical or outlandish behavior; an imp; a hooligan (chiefly Australian)
  634. lascar – An East Indian sailor, army servant, or artillery trooper during the era of European colonialism in Asia
  635. laterality – Preference in using one side of the body over the other.
  636. laterite – A red residual soil formed by the leaching of silica and by the enrichment with aluminum and iron oxides, esp. in humid climates
  637. latibulate – To hide oneself in a corner
  638. leal – Loyal and honest
  639. lenity – The condition or quality of being lenient; leniency
  640. Lepus – A constellation in the Southern Hemisphere near Orion and Columba
  641. letabund – Filled with joy
  642. Levallois – A filet-working technique in which a flint is trimmed so that a flake of predetermined size and shape can be struck from it
  643. leyden jars – An early form of capacitor consisting of a glass jar lined inside and out with tinfoil and having a conducting rod connected to the inner foil lining and passing out of the jar through an insulated stopper
  644. lictor – A Roman functionary who carried fasces when attending a magistrate in public appearances
  645. lief – Beloved; ready or willing
  646. limerence – Puppy love; a state of mind resulting from romantic attraction, characterized by feelings of euphoria, the desire to have one’s feelings reciprocated, etc
  647. liminal – Intermediate between two states, conditions, or regions; transitional or indeterminate
  648. lisle – A fine, smooth, tightly twisted thread spun from long-staple cotton
  649. lithotomy – Surgery to remove one or more stones from an organ or duct
  650. litotes – Understating by negation: no mean feat”
  651. littoral – A coastal region; a shore; the region or zone between the limits of high and low tides.
  652. locus – A locality; a place
  653. longueur – 1. A tedious passage in a work of literature or performing art; 2. a period of time filled with boredom or tedium
  654. lorgnette – A pair of eyeglasses or opera glasses mounted on a handle
  655. louche – Disreputable or sordid
  656. lubricious – Overtly sexual; salacious
  657. ludic – Showing spontaneous and undirected playfulness
  658. lues – Any venereal disease (e.g. Syphilis); pestilence
  659. lumbago – A painful condition of the lower back, as one resulting from muscle strain or a slipped disk
  660. lupanarian – Pertaining to a brothel or prostitution; characteristic of illicit sexual desire or activity. (Also, lupinarian)
  661. lyceum – A hall in which public lectures, concerts, and similar programs are presented
  662. machicolation – A projecting gallery at the top of a castle wall, supported by a row of corbels and having openings in the floor through which stones and boiling liquids could be dropped on attackers (machiolate: to construct machicolations)
  663. macrocarpa – A large coniferous tree of New Zealand, Cupressus macrocarpa, used for shelter belts on farms and for rough timber. Also called: Monterey cypress
  664. maculate(v): To spot, blemish, or pollute; (n): 1. Spotted, blotched, or stained. 2. Morally sullied or impure
  665. madding – Acting madly; frenzied
  666. maenad – 1. A frenzied woman; 2. a female member of the orgiastic cult of Dionysus
  667. majolica – Italian earthenware covered with an opaque glaze of tin oxide and usu. highly decorated
  668. malesuete – Accustomed to poor habits
  669. malversation – Misbehavior and esp. corruption in an office, trust, or commission; corrupt administration
  670. mandala – Any of various designs symbolizing the universe, usually circular
  671. mandamus – A writ issued by a court requiring a public official or entity to perform a duty associated with that office or entity
  672. manqué – 1. Unfulfilled; potential; would-be; 2. Unfulfilled or frustrated in the realization of one’s ambitions or capabilities
  673. manumission – To free from slavery or bondage; emancipate
  674. manumit/manumission – To set free; release from slavery
  675. martingale – Part of a bridle; half-belt on the back of a coat; doubling the stakes after each loss; stability rigging for the bowsprit or jib (see definition)
  676. mascon – Any of several lunar regions of high gravity
  677. matutinal – Of, relating to, or occurring in the morning; early
  678. megatherium – A large, extinct ground sloth that lived from the Miocene through the Pleistocene Epochs, primarily in South America. It was as large as an elephant, had long curved claws, and ate plants
  679. meretricious – Gaudy
  680. merkin – A pubic wig
  681. merlon – The solid portion between crenels
  682. mésalliance – A marriage with a person of inferior social position.
  683. metempsychosis – The theory of reincarnation
  684. metonym – A word used in metonymy
  685. metonymy – A synonym/metaphor; e.g. “brass” for upper officers or “plastic” for credit cards; see kenning
  686. mews – A group of buildings containing private stables that have been converted to residences
  687. mezzanine – A low story between two others in a building
  688. miasma – An unwholesome or oppressive atmosphere
  689. micrognathia – Abnormally small jaw
  690. micturition – urination; also, micturate
  691. milt – The sperm-containing fluid of a male fish
  692. mimetic – Of or relating to an imitation; imitative
  693. minatory – Of a menacing or threatening nature; minacious
  694. Mindanao – Second largest of the Philippine islands, NE of Borneo
  695. mirabile dictu – Wonderful to relate; amazing to say
  696. misfeasance – Improper and unlawful execution of an act that in itself is lawful and proper.
  697. moidore – A former Portuguese gold coin
  698. moiety – One half
  699. Moloch – Something possessing the power to exact severe sacrifice; a Semitic deity to whom parents sacrificed their children
  700. mondegreen – Misinterpretation of song lyrics (e.g. Israeli Men” instead of “It’s Raining Men”)”
  701. Monophysite – A person who holds that there is only one nature in the person of Christ, which is primarily divine with human attributes
  702. monopsony – A situation in which the entire market demand for a product or service consists of only one buyer
  703. morbific – Causing disease; pathogenic
  704. morganatic – A marriage between nobility and lower rank, where titles and wealth are not shared
  705. morion – A crested metal helmet; black or blackish-brown smoky quartz
  706. morphetic – Of or relating to sleep or dreams
  707. mountebank – A flamboyant charlatan
  708. mucopus – A mucopurulent discharge; a mixture of mucous material and pus.
  709. mudra – Ritual hand movements in Hindu religious dancing
  710. mulct – 1. To penalize by fining or demanding forfeiture; 2. to cheat or defraud
  711. mulga – The outback; bush
  712. mullein – Any of various Eurasian plants of the genus Verbascum of the figwort family, especially V. thapsus, naturalized in North America, having a tall spike of yellow flowers and leaves covered with dense woolly down.
  713. mullet – Freshwater, spiny-finned fish
  714. Munda – A family of languages spoken by scattered peoples throughout central India
  715. murine – A family of rodents that includes mice and rats
  716. murrain – Redwater fever, affecting livestock; a plague, epidemic or crop blight
  717. musquash – Another name for muskrat
  718. mutatis mutandis – The necessary changes having been made (e.g. when applying a concept from one domain to another, e.g. maritime law to space travel)
  719. myrmidon – Soldier or a subordinate civil officer who executes orders of a superior without protest or pity; – sometimes applied to bailiffs, constables, etc.
  720. mythopoeic – Serving to create or engender myths; productive in mythmaking
  721. naphthalene – A white crystalline volatile solid with a characteristic penetrating odour: an aromatic hydrocarbon used in mothballs and in the manufacture of dyes, explosives
  722. natant – Floating or swimming in water
  723. navvy – A laborer, esp. one employed in construction or excavation projects
  724. neep – A dialect name for a turnip, chiefly British
  725. nefandous – Too odious to be spoken of
  726. nepenthe – Something that induces forgetfulness of sorrow or eases pain (mentioned in the Odyssey)
  727. nephrologist – Specialist in conditions related to the kidney
  728. nescience – Ignorance; absence of awareness
  729. Nestorianism – The doctrine that Christ was two distinct persons, divine and human, implying a denial that the Virgin Mary was the mother of God. It is attributed to Nestorius and survives in the Iraqi Church
  730. netty – A lavatory, originally an earth closet (chiefly British)
  731. neuralgic – Sharp, severe paroxysmal pain extending along a nerve or group of nerves
  732. niello – A black metallic alloy (sulfur and copper, silver or lead
  733. nigrescent – Blackish; dark
  734. noctilucent – Luminous at night
  735. noddlen: The head or brains, chiefly British; v: to nod (the head), as through drowsiness
  736. noisome – 1. Offensive to the point of arousing disgust; foul; 2. Harmful or dangerous
  737. nonplused – Filled with bewilderment
  738. noosphere – The part of the biosphere that is affected by human thought, culture, and knowledge
  739. nosology – The science of classification of diseases
  740. numeraire – A unit or an item of commerce in which prices are measured
  741. numinous – awe-inspiring, mysterious or spiritual; supernatural
  742. nibble – Four bits; also semi-octet, quadbit, or quartet; Brit: nybble
  743. nystagmus – A persistent, rapid, involuntary side-to-side eye movement
  744. obeah – 1. A form of belief involving sorcery, practiced in parts of the West Indies, South America, the southern U.S., and Africa. 2. A fetish or charm used in practicing obeah.
  745. obganiate – To annoy by repeating over and over and over and over
  746. oblation – Any offering made for religious or charitable purposes (e.g. offering of the bread and wine of the Eucharist to God)
  747. obloquy – 1. calumny; detractive language; 2. ill repute
  748. obovate – Egg-shaped and flat, with the narrow end at the base
  749. obscurantist – Practicing deliberate vagueness
  750. obsidional – Relating to a siege
  751. occiput – Back of the head
  752. ocherous – Ocher in color (or a mineral used to make that color)
  753. octarine – The Color of Magic or the King Color, the eighth color of the Discworld spectrum, visible only to wizards and cats, a greenish purple yellow color.
  754. ofay – A derogatory term for a White person (see cracker, honky, peckerwood)
  755. ogee – A double curve, resembling an S, formed by the union of a concave and a convex line (often a molding or arch in this shape)
  756. ogive – A diagonal rib or groin of a Gothic vault; 2. A distribution curve in which the frequencies are cumulative
  757. oligopsony – A market with only very few buyers
  758. omphalic – Of or relating to the navel
  759. omphaloskepsis – Literally, the contemplation of one’s navel, which is an idiom usually meaning complacent self-absorption
  760. oneiric – Dream-like
  761. onomastics – The study of the etymology, history, and use of proper names
  762. ontogenesis – The development of an individual organism or a part of an organism from inception to maturity.
  763. ontology – The study of the essence of being
  764. opprobrium – Ignominy; cause of shame or disgrace
  765. opsimath – A person who learns late in life
  766. optative – Indicating or expressing choice, preference, or wish
  767. orgulous – Haughty; proud (archaic)
  768. orison – A prayer, a devout petition to God or an object of worship
  769. orogenesis – The process of mountain formation, esp. by a folding and faulting of the earth’s crust
  770. orotund – Pompous and bombastic; resonant; booming
  771. orthography – The art or study of correct spelling according to established usage
  772. orthophemistic – Plainly denotative; not euphemistic or dysphemistic
  773. osculation – A kiss (page 332 of Doctor Sleep)
  774. osmically – Of or relating to odors or the sense of smell
  775. osteitis – Inflammation of bone or bony tissue
  776. ostler – Man who looks after horses at an inn
  777. otiose – Lazy; indolent; serving no useful purpose
  778. otoconia – Minute calcareous particles in the gelatinous membrane surmounting the macula in the inner ear; also statoconia, otoliths, or statoliths
  779. oviparous – Producing eggs lain outside of the body
  780. paillasse – A straw-filled mat or mattress (var. of palliasse)
  781. palimpsest – A manuscript, typically of papyrus or parchment, that has been written on more than once, with the earlier writing incompletely scraped off or erased and often legible.
  782. palingenesis – The doctrine of transmigration of souls; metempsychosis; the supposed repetition by an organism during its embryonic development of the stages in the evolution of its species, as asserted by the discredited biogenetic law
  783. Palio – Italian Renaissance or Medieval festival
  784. Palladian – Of, relating to, or characterized by wisdom or study
  785. palliasse – A straw-filled mat or mattress (var. of paillasse)
  786. palp – Either of a pair of sensory appendages that arise from the mouthparts of crustaceans and insects
  787. panicle – A loosely branched inflorescence, especially a branching raceme.
  788. panjandrum – A pompous self-important official or person of rank
  789. pap – 1. A teat or nipple (archaic); 2. material lacking real value or substance; 3. soft or semiliquid food, as for infants
  790. papillote – 1. A paper frill around cutlets; 2. cooked in oiled greaseproof paper or foil
  791. pappus – A ring of fine feathery hairs surrounding the fruit in composite plants, such as the thistle; aids dispersal of the fruits by the wind
  792. paraphilia – Any abnormal sexual behavior; sexual anomaly or deviation
  793. paregoric – An opium derivative used to treat diarrhea
  794. pareidolia – The perception of a recognizable image or meaningful pattern where none exists or is intended, as the perception of a face in the surface features of the moon.
  795. paresis – Slight or partial paralysis
  796. pareve – Prepared without meat, milk, or their derivatives and therefore permissible to be eaten with meat or dairy dishes according to dietary laws
  797. pari passu – At an equal pace; side by side
  798. parlous – full of danger or uncertainty
  799. paromologia – Admitting a weaker point in order to make a stronger one. (See concessio.)
  800. paronomasia – Pun; play on words
  801. parrhesia – Boldness or frankness of speech; the act of asking forgiveness for speaking in such a way
  802. parterre – A formally patterned flower garden
  803. parve – Containing neither meat nor milk products and so fit for use with either meat or milk dishes (from Judaism)
  804. passerine – An order of birds characterized by the perching habit: includes the larks, finches, crows, thrushes, starlings, etc.
  805. pastern – The part of a horse’s foot between the fetlock and hoof
  806. pauldron – Shoulder protection in a suit of armor
  807. pawl – A hinged or pivoted device adapted to fit into a notch of a ratchet wheel to impart forward motion or prevent backward motion.
  808. peaky – Wan, emaciated, or sickly
  809. peavey – An implement consisting of a wooden shaft with a metal point and a hinged hook near the end, used to handle logs.
  810. peccant – Sinful; guilty; corrupt
  811. peccary – A gregarious pig-like mammal that is found from the southwestern U.S. to Paraguay. (reference was “swarm […] like army ants on a drove of peccaries”.)
  812. peculation – Embezzlement
  813. pecuniary – Relating to money
  814. pedlars – Persons who travel about the country with merchandise, for the purpose of selling it; salesmen
  815. pedology – 1. The scientific study of soils, including their origins, characteristics, and uses; 2. the study of the physical and mental development and characteristics of children
  816. pelf – Lucre; wealth or riches, esp. when dishonestly acquired
  817. pellicle – A thin skin or membrane; film; scum
  818. pellucid – Transparent or translucent
  819. penectomy – Penis removal through surgery, generally for medical or personal reasons.
  820. pentimento – A visible trace of earlier painting beneath a layer or layers of paint on a canvas
  821. penurious – Poverty-stricken; stingy; meager
  822. percale – A closely woven cotton fabric used for sheets and clothing
  823. percipient – Perceptive
  824. perdurable – Enduring continuously; immortal
  825. perdure – To last permanently; endure
  826. peremptory – Subject to no further debate or dispute; final and unassailable
  827. perfervid – Extremely or extravagantly eager; impassioned or zealous.
  828. perfidy – Treachery; deliberate breach of faith
  829. periagua – Another name for pirogue; Also piragua; A canoe made from a hollowed tree trunk
  830. peripatetic – Mobile on foot; an itinerant
  831. peristalsis – The wavelike muscular contractions of the digestive tract or other tubular structures by which contents are forced onward toward the opening
  832. perseverate – To repeat a word, gesture, or act insistently or redundantly
  833. persiflage – Banter; small-talk
  834. perspicacious – Acutely perceptive or discerning
  835. perspicuous – Clearly expressed or presented; lucid
  836. pertinacious – Tenacious
  837. pessary – A device for inserting into the vagina, either as a support for the uterus or (diaphragm pessary) to deliver a drug, such as a contraceptive
  838. petecure – Modest cooking; cooking on a small scale; the opposite of epicure
  839. petitio principii – A form of fallacious reasoning in which the conclusion has been assumed in the premises; begging the question
  840. Petronius – Roman courtier who is credited with writing the Satyricon
  841. pettifogging – 1. Dishonest or unethical in insignificant matters; meanly petty; mean; quibbling; 2. to engage in legal chicanery
  842. pettish – Ill-tempered; peevish (see shirty)
  843. phaeton – A light, four-wheeled open carriage, usually drawn by a pair of horses
  844. phalanstery – A self-sustaining cooperative community of the followers of Fourierism. Also called phalanx, or the buildings in such a community
  845. pharisaic – Of, relating to, or characteristic of the Pharisees
  846. philippic – A verbal denunciation characterized by harsh, often insulting language; a tirade
  847. phillumenist – A person who collects matchbox labels
  848. philogynist – A lover or friend of women; one who esteems woman as the higher type of humanity; antonym of misogynist
  849. phimosis – An abnormal constriction of the foreskin that prevents it from being drawn back to uncover the glans penis.
  850. phlebotomy – The act or practice of opening a vein to let or draw blood as a therapeutic or diagnostic measure
  851. phlegmatic – Having or suggesting a calm, sluggish temperament; unemotional or apathetic
  852. Phoebus – The sun
  853. phthisis – A disease characterized by the wasting away or atrophy of the body or a part of the body (e.g. pulmonary tuberculosis)
  854. phylactery – 1. A reminder or aid to remembering; 2. an amulet or charm (archaic); 3. either of the pair of blackened square cases containing parchments inscribed with biblical passages, bound by leather thongs to the head and left arm, and worn by Jewish men during weekday morning prayers (also called: Tefillah)
  855. piacular – Making expiation for sacrilege; wicked
  856. pibroch – A series of variations on a martial theme or traditional dirge for the highland bagpipes.
  857. pilchard – A small, S European marine fish, Sardina pilchardus, related to the herring but smaller and rounder
  858. pillock – A stupid or annoying person (chiefly British)
  859. pinchbeck – Appearing valuable, but actually cheap and tawdry
  860. pinnace – Any of various kinds of ship’s tender or boat
  861. piquant – Pleasantly sharp taste
  862. pirogue – Any of various kinds of dugout canoes; also called piragua
  863. piscatorial – Of or relating to fish, fishing, or fishermen
  864. pistic – Referring to or having a pure and genuine faith.
  865. plangent – Loud and resounding
  866. plastron – 1. A metal breastplate worn under a coat of mail; 2. a quilted pad worn by fencers to protect the torso and side; 3. The front of a man’s dress shirt; 4. the ventral part of the shell of a turtle or tortoise
  867. pleach – To plait or interlace (branches or vines, for example), esp. in making a hedge or an arbor (similar to caning for making chairs from same)
  868. plenteous – Ample; abundant; copious
  869. pleonasm – A newly created word
  870. pleura – A thin serous membrane in mammals that envelops each lung and folds back to make a lining for the chest cavity
  871. pleurisy – Inflammation of the pleura, characterized by pain that is aggravated by deep breathing or coughing
  872. Plimsoll mark – A load line painted on the side of a cargo ship
  873. plinth – A block or slab on which a pedestal, column, or statue is placed
  874. plover – Any shore bird of the family Charadriidae, typically having a round head, straight bill, and large pointed wings
  875. poetaster – A writer of insignificant, meretricious, or shoddy poetry
  876. poleaxe(n): An axe having a hammer face opposite the blade, used to slaughter cattle; v: To strike or fell with or as if with a poleaxe
  877. poleyn – Knee protection in a suit of armor
  878. polygyny – The condition or practice of having more than one wife at one time
  879. polymath – A person of great or varied learning
  880. pomace – The pulpy material remaining after the juice has been pressed from fruit, such as apples or grapes. Also called marc
  881. poignard – See poniard
  882. poniard – 1. A small, slender dagger; 2. a dagger typically having a slender three- or four-sided blade
  883. posset – A drink of hot milk curdled with ale, beer, etc, flavoured with spices, formerly used as a remedy for colds
  884. postillion – A person who guides a horse-drawn coach or post chaise while mounted on the horse or one of a pair of horses. By contrast, a coachman controls the horses from the vehicle itself.
  885. potash – Potassium carbonate, esp. the crude impure form obtained from wood ashes.
  886. pothouse – A small tavern or pub (chiefly British)
  887. potsherd – A broken pottery fragment, esp. one of archaeological value
  888. prang – 1. An accident or crash in an aircraft, car, etc; 2. to bomb from the air
  889. prattlement – Chatter, prattling
  890. precatory – Relating to or expressing entreaty or supplication. Relating to prayer.
  891. prefatory – Of, relating to, or constituting a preface
  892. prelapsarian – Of or relating to the period before the fall of Adam and Eve
  893. premonitory – Giving premonition; serving to warn beforehand
  894. prepossession – A prejudice or bias, esp. a favorable one
  895. presbyopia – A progressively diminishing ability of the eye to focus, noticeable from middle to old age, caused by loss of elasticity of the crystalline lens
  896. prescind – To separate in thought; abstract.
  897. preterite – A tense of verbs used to relate past action, formed in English by inflection of the verb, as jumped, swam
  898. primus inter pares – Literally (in Latin), first among equals
  899. profligate – 1. Shamelessly immoral or debauched; 2. wildly extravagant or wasteful
  900. progeria – A rare genetic disorder of childhood that is characterized by rapid onset of the physical changes typical of old age, usually resulting in death before the age of 20
  901. prolegomenon – A preliminary discussion, especially a formal essay introducing a work of considerable length or complexity
  902. proleptic – 1. The anachronistic representation of something as existing before its proper or historical time, as in the precolonial United States; 2. the use of a descriptive word in anticipation of the act or circumstances that would make it applicable, as dry in They drained the lake dry
  903. prolix – Tediously prolonged; wordy; longwinded
  904. prone – Lying flat or face downwards; prostrate
  905. propinquitous – Near; close in time, place or kinship (page 12 of Main Street)
  906. propitious – Favorable; auguring well; gracious or favorably inclined
  907. proprioception – Unconscious awareness of body movement, e.g. as the inner ear for balance (page 515 of Reamde)
  908. proscenium – The area of a modern theater that is located between the curtain and the orchestra.
  909. prosector – A person who prepares or dissects anatomical subjects for demonstration
  910. prosopagnosia – An inability to recognize faces
  911. prosopography – 1.  description of a person’s life and career; 2. A study, often using statistics, that identifies and draws relationships between various characters or people within a specific historical, social, or literary context
  912. prosopopoeia – Literary device involve an absent person speaking; personification; ascribing agency to an inanimate object or concept
  913. protasis – The dependent clause of a conditional sentence (i.e. the “if” part)
  914. protodialectical – Definition unknown (from Oblivion by David Foster Wallace) (dialectical means “the art or practice of arriving at the truth by the exchange of logical arguments”)
  915. psalmody – The act of singing psalms or hymns
  916. psephology – The study of political elections and polling
  917. psithurism – The whispering of leaves moved by the wind
  918. psittacosis – A rickettsial disease affecting birds of the parrot family, pigeons, and domestic fowl, caused by the chlamydia Chlamydia psittaci and transmissible to humans
  919. psychogenic – Having origin in the mind or in a mental condition or process
  920. ptosis – Ptosis is the term used for a drooping upper eyelid
  921. puericratic – [definition unknown] (from Oblivion by David Foster Wallace)
  922. pugnacious – Combative in nature
  923. pulchritude – Beauty
  924. pullulate – To breed rapidly or abundantly
  925. punctilio – A fine point of etiquette
  926. purblind – 1. Slow in understanding or discernment; dull 2. Having poor vision; nearly or partly blind
  927. purdah – Muslim practice of screening women from other men or strangers
  928. purlieus – An outlying or neighboring area; outskirts; environs
  929. purslane – A trailing plant (Portulaca oleracea) native to Eurasia, having small yellow flowers, reddish stems, and fleshy obovate leaves that can be cooked as a vegetable or used in salads
  930. purulent – Containing, discharging, or causing the production of pus
  931. pusillanimous – Cowardly
  932. putto – A representation of a small child, often naked and having wings, used especially in the art of the European Renaissance. Pl.: putti
  933. pyaemia – Blood poisoning characterized by pus-forming microorganisms in the blood
  934. quadrille – A square dance in 6/8 or 2/4 time of French origin, composed of five sections and performed by four couples.
  935. quag – To shake (said of something that is soft or flabby)
  936. quarto – The page size obtained by folding a whole sheet into four leaves.
  937. quern – A simple hand mill for grinding grain, typically consisting of two stones
  938. quiddity – 1. Essence of a thing; 2. a quibble
  939. quidnunc – Busybody; Yenta
  940. quiff – 1. A tuft of hair, esp. a forelock; 2. A woman regarded as promiscuous
  941. quintain – A rotating target used in jousting exercises
  942. quire – A set of twenty-four uniform sheets of paper
  943. quirt – A riding whip with a short, stiff handle and a lash made of two or more loose thongs
  944. quit-rent – Payment for distinct rights that were connected with the full enjoyment of the land but not parceled up in the ownership of the land (mostly replaced with property taxes today)
  945. quoin – An exterior angle of a wall or other piece of masonry
  946. quokka – A short-tailed herbivorous marsupial (Setonix brachyurus) found in coastal areas of southwestAustralia
  947. quondam – Former
  948. raceme – A flower cluster in which each flower grows on its own stalk from a common stem. The lily of the valley and snapdragon have racemes.
  949. racketeering – A person who engages in an illegal business or other organized illegal activities
  950. raddled – Twisted together; interwoven
  951. radome – A domelike shell transparent to radio-frequency radiation, used to house a radar antenna
  952. raillery – Good-natured teasing or ridicule; banter
  953. ramose – Having many branches
  954. ravel – 1. To separate the fibers or threads of; to unravel; 2. To tangle or complicate
  955. rawboned – Having a lean, gaunt frame with prominent bones
  956. Reaumurarchaic: a temperature scale with the freezing point of water at 80º.
  957. rebarbative – Tending to irritate; repellent
  958. rebeck – Medieval instrument; a lute-like violin
  959. recondite – Obscure; abstruse
  960. recreant – 1. A faithless or disloyal person; 2. A coward
  961. recrudescent – To break out anew or come into renewed activity, as after a period of quiescence
  962. recumbentibus – A knockdown blow
  963. redolent – Suggestive
  964. reef – A vein of ore
  965. relict – 1. Something that has survived; a remnant 2. A species that inhabits a much smaller geographic area than it did in the past, often because of environmental change
  966. reliquary – A receptacle, such as a coffer or shrine, for keeping or displaying sacred relics
  967. renascent – Becoming active or vigorous again
  968. repine – To be discontented or low in spirits; complain or fret; to yearn after something
  969. retromingent – One who urinates backwards
  970. retronym – A new word coined for an existing or older thing to distinguish it from something newer or more recent (e.g. analog watch or electric guitar)
  971. retropulsion – An abnormal tendency to walk backwards: a symptom of Parkinson’s disease
  972. revanchism – The act of retaliating, esp. by a nation or group to regain lost territory or standing; revenge
  973. revenant – 1. One that returns after a lengthy absence; 2. One who returns after death
  974. Rhadamanthine – Strictly and uncompromisingly just
  975. rhonchus – A snore or chest rattle
  976. rhotacism – Difficulty pronouncing r sounds
  977. riprap – Piled broken stones used as a foundation or to stabilize an easily eroded bank or slope
  978. risible – 1. Eliciting laughter; ludicrous 2. capable of laughing or inclined to laugh
  979. Risorgimento – The period of or the movement for the liberation and political unification of Italy, beginning about 1750 and lasting until 1870 (from the Italian for “resurgence”)
  980. roman à clef – A novel in which actual persons, places, or events are depicted in fictional guise
  981. rosser – A bark-removing machine
  982. rota – A work schedule
  983. roué – A man who recklessly indulges in sensual pleasures; a rake
  984. roundel – A circular architectural or decorative element, such as a painted panel or a stained glass window.
  985. roundelay – A poem or song with a regularly recurring refrain (as much popular music)
  986. rumbustiousness – Uncontrollably exuberant; unruly
  987. Ruritanian – Of or relating to an imagined European kingdom characterized by provincialism, nationalism, and political intrigue; used in discussions of international law or economic theory
  988. rusk – A light, soft-textured sweetened biscuit
  989. sabine – A member of an ancient people of central Italy, conquered and assimilated by the Romans in 290 bc.
  990. Sadhu – A person who dedicates themself to the pursuit of enlightenment through a life of isolation, self-deprivation, and feats of physical endurance.
  991. Saiva – One who worships Shiva
  992. Salesian – Of or relating to St Francis of Sales or to the religious orders founded by him or by St John Bosco in his name
  993. salmagundi – A mixture; a potpourri
  994. saltire – A cross in heraldry
  995. saltpeter – Naturally occurring potassium nitrate, used in making fireworks, gunpowder
  996. salubrious – Wholesome; healthy
  997. salwar – Loose pajamalike pants, typically having a drawstring waist and legs that narrow at the bottom, usually worn with a kameez
  998. samizdat – Underground newspaper (from the Russian)
  999. samphire – An edible coastal plant (Crithmum maritimum) in the parsley family, native to Eurasia (see glasswort)
  1000. samsara – The eternal cycle of birth, suffering, death, and rebirth (in Hinduism or Buddhism)
  1001. sanguine – Cheerfully optimistic
  1002. sapper – 1. A military engineer who lays, detects, and disarms mines; 2. a soldier who digs trenches
  1003. Sapphism – Lesbianism
  1004. sastrugi – A long wavelike ridge of snow, formed by the wind and found on the polar plains
  1005. satori – A spiritual awakening sought in Zen Buddhism, often coming suddenly
  1006. satrap – Governor of a province in ancient Persia
  1007. satrapy – The territory or sphere under the rule of a satrap
  1008. saturnine – Slow and gloomy; morose
  1009. sawyer – A bobbing tree in a body of water
  1010. scapular – A monk’s sleeveless outer garment that hangs from the shoulders and sometimes has a cowl
  1011. sciatheric – Belonging to a sundial
  1012. scienter – Knowledge that one’s actions are wrong or contrary to law, where such knowledge is an element of a criminal offense or a basis for liability.
  1013. sciolist – A pretentious attitude of scholarship; superficial knowledgeability
  1014. scordatura – The technique of altering the normal tuning of a stringed instrument to produce particular effects.
  1015. scoria – Porous cinderlike fragments of dark lava. Also called cinders, slag
  1016. scoriatic – Cinder- or slag-like; rocky, craggy
  1017. scotophliic – Functioning best in darkness
  1018. scourge – A whip or lash
  1019. scramasax – A single-edged knife or sword used by the Anglo-Saxons
  1020. scringe – To shrug the back or shoulders from cold
  1021. scripturient – Having a strong urge to write
  1022. scrouge – To inconvenience or discomfort a person by pressing against him or her or by standing too close
  1023. searce – To sift (obsolete)
  1024. sebum – The semifluid secretion of the sebaceous glands, consisting chiefly of fat, keratin, and cellular material
  1025. secondment – Temporary transfer to another position or employment
  1026. sedulously – Assiduous; constant in effort; persevering (from A very short history of driving while black)
  1027. seigneur – A man of rank, esp. a feudal lord in the ancien régime
  1028. seigniorage – Revenue or a profit taken from the minting of coins
  1029. seine – A fishing net or the act of using one (page 653 of Reamde)
  1030. semiotics – The study of systems of communication
  1031. sempiternal – Infinite; enduring forever
  1032. sempstress – A rare word for seamstress
  1033. seneschal – A steward or major-domo (in charge of servants)
  1034. sententious – Given to moralizing in a pompous or affected manner
  1035. sepulchritude – Tomb-like; also, sepulchral
  1036. sequacious – Unthinking and uncritical; slavish
  1037. sequela – A secondary consequence or result; condition resulting from a disease
  1038. serotype – A group of closely related microorganisms distinguished by a characteristic set of antigens
  1039. sesquipedalian – Given to using long words
  1040. shako – A stiff, cylindrical military dress hat with a metal plate or badge in front, a short visor, and a plume or pompom
  1041. shibboleth – 1. An inappropriate or outdated custom; 2. A word or pronunciation that distinguishes people of one group or class from those of another
  1042. shirty – Ill-tempered; angry
  1043. shockheaded – Having a head of bushy or tousled hair
  1044. shotcrete – Concrete conveyed through a hose and pneumatically projected at high velocity onto a surface.
  1045. shufti – A quick look around
  1046. sibilent – Hissing sound
  1047. sine qua non – An essential element or condition
  1048. singultus – A hiccup
  1049. skittles – Nine-pin bowling
  1050. slunk – A prematurely born calf or other animal
  1051. snarge – A collision of an aircraft with a bird (or the remnants thereof)
  1052. soca – A style of music, originating in the West Indies, that is a blend of soul and calypso
  1053. sociolects – A language variety that is associated with a specific social group (e.g. a profession-specific argot)
  1054. sockdolager – Something outstanding; a final blow or remark, coup de grace
  1055. sodality – Fellowship; fraternity; association; society
  1056. sonic – Relating to or containing sodium
  1057. soi-disant – Self-styled; so-called
  1058. solastalgia – A form of emotional or existential distress caused by environmental change
  1059. solecism – A grammatical error
  1060. solon – A legislator
  1061. somatically – Corporeal or physical; of, relating to, or affecting the body, esp. as distinguished from a body part, the mind, or the environment
  1062. sommian – A volcanic caldera that has been partially filled by a new central cone
  1063. soviet – One of the popularly elected legislative assemblies that were created after the Russian Revolution (1917) and existed at local, regional, and national levels in the former Soviet Union.
  1064. spadix – A fleshy clublike spike bearing minute flowers, usually enclosed within a sheathlike spathe, characteristic of aroid plants such as the jack-in-the-pulpit
  1065. spall – A chip, fragment, or flake from a piece of stone or ore
  1066. spanandry – Scarcity of males in a population.
  1067. sparge – 1. To spray or sprinkle; 2. To run additional water through (a partly or completely drained mash) to extract more fermentable sugars; 3. To introduce air or gas into (a liquid)
  1068. spatchcock – To prepare for roasting or grilling by splitting open
  1069. spathe – A leaflike bract that encloses or subtends a flower cluster or spadix, as in the jack-in-the-pulpit
  1070. spatterdashes – Long leather leggings worn in the 18th century, as to protect from mud when riding
  1071. spavined – Decrepit or worn out
  1072. speculum – 1. A mirror or polished metal plate used as a reflector in optical instruments; 2. An instrument for dilating the opening of a body cavity for medical examination; 3. A bright, often iridescent patch of color on the wings of certain birds, esp. ducks 4. A transparent spot in the wings of some butterflies or moths.
  1073. spinel – A hard, glassy mineral composed of magnesium-aluminum oxide found in metamorphosed limestones and many basic and ultrabasic igneous rocks
  1074. spinet – A small, compact upright piano
  1075. spitchcock – An eel split and grilled or fried; see spatchcock
  1076. sporran – A leather or fur pouch worn at the front of the kilt in the traditional dress of men of the Scottish Highlands
  1077. sprezzatura – Studied nonchalance; graceful conduct or performance without apparent effort
  1078. sprue – 1. The hole through which molten material is channeled into a mold; 2. The usually plastic rod or framework that secures molded objects, such as model parts
  1079. squamous – Covered with or formed of scales; scaly
  1080. staggers – Any of various diseases in animals, esp. horses, cattle, or other domestic animals, that are characterized by a lack of coordination in moving
  1081. stele – An upright stone or slab with an inscribed or sculptured surface, used as a monument or as a commemorative tablet in the face of a building.
  1082. stenosis – A constriction or narrowing of a duct or passage; a stricture.
  1083. stochastic – Of, relating to, or characterized by conjecture; Involving or containing a random variable or process
  1084. stolon – A long thin stem that usually grows horizontally along the ground and produces roots and shoots at widely spaced nodes, as in a strawberry plant. Also called runner.
  1085. stook – A group of sheaves of grain stood on end in a field
  1086. stot – To jump straight up with straight legs (e.g. antelope)
  1087. stoush – A fight or brawl
  1088. strabismus – The condition of being cross-eyed
  1089. strath – A strath is a large valley, typically a river valley that is wide and shallow
  1090. Strega – The Italian word for witch
  1091. stridulate – To produce a shrill grating, chirping, or hissing sound by rubbing body parts together, as certain insects do
  1092. stroppy – Bad-tempered and argumentative
  1093. stylobate – The immediate foundation of a row of classical columns
  1094. suasion – Persuasion
  1095. subaltern – A person of inferior rank or position
  1096. subfusc – 1. Of a dark, dull, or somber color; 2. Dark, dull clothing.
  1097. succussation – Trotting, shaking
  1098. Suetonius – Roman historian whose major work, Lives of the Caesars, is an account of the lives of the first 12 Roman emperors
  1099. sui generis – Unique
  1100. Sukkot – A harvest festival commemorating the booths in which the Israelites resided during their 40 years in the wilderness
  1101. sumptuary – Laws or limits on private expenses
  1102. supererogation – Doing more than required
  1103. supernacular – First-rate
  1104. supernumerary – 1. One that is in excess of the regular, necessary, or usual number; 2. An actor without a speaking part, as one who appears in a crowd scene.
  1105. supersedure – Replacement of an old or diseased queen bee with a new one.
  1106. supine – Lying on the back or having the face upward
  1107. surfactant – A substance, such as detergent, that is added to a liquid to increase its ability to spread.
  1108. sweetmeat – A sweet delicacy, such as a piece of candy or crystallized fruit
  1109. swingeing – Extreme in effect; drastic
  1110. swot – To cram; derogatory term for a person who crams
  1111. syce – A stableman or groom, esp. in India
  1112. syenite – An igneous rock composed primarily of alkali feldspar together with other minerals, such as hornblende
  1113. syllepsis – See zeugma
  1114. sympatetic – A walking companion
  1115. syncope – 1. The shortening of a word by omission of a sound, letter, or syllable from the middle of the word; for example, bos’n for boatswain.2. A brief loss of consciousness caused by inadequate blood flow to the brain.
  1116. syncretic – 1. Reconciliation or fusion of differing systems of belief, as in philosophy or religion, esp. when success is partial or the result is heterogeneous; 2. The merging of two or more originally different inflectional forms in linguistics.
  1117. synecdoche – A trope whereby a part is used as a label for the whole (e.g. “hand” for “sailor”); see metonymy
  1118. tabard – A tunic or capelike garment worn by a knight over his armor and emblazoned with his coat of arms
  1119. tabes – A wasting of a bodily organ or part
  1120. tacenda – Things not to be mentioned; matters that are passed over in silence
  1121. tallboy – A high chest of drawers made in two sections and placed one on top of the other; chest-on-chest
  1122. talmudic – Related to the collection of ancient Rabbinic writings constituting the basis of religious authority in Orthodox Judaism
  1123. tamarisk – Any shrub or small tree having small scalelike or needle-shaped leaves and feathery racemes of small white or pinkish flowers
  1124. tangible – Discernible by the touch; palpable
  1125. tapotement – Rapid massage
  1126. tarpon – Either of two large marine game fishes having a bluish-green back and silvery sides (Megalops cyprinoides of the Pacific and Indian Oceans or M. atlanticus of Atlantic coastal waters)
  1127. tegument – A natural outer covering; an integument
  1128. Telemachus – The son of Odysseus and Penelope, who helped his father kill Penelope’s suitors
  1129. teleology – The philosophical interpretation of natural phenomena as exhibiting purpose or design
  1130. telluric – Of or relating to Earth; terrestrial
  1131. telos – End of a goal-oriented process
  1132. temerarious – In an audacious manner
  1133. tempera – A painting medium in which pigment is mixed with water-soluble glutinous materials such as size or egg yolk
  1134. tendentious – Partisan; marked by or favoring a particular point of view
  1135. tenebrous – Dark and gloomy
  1136. tensegrity – An architectural technique that involves tensional integrity or floating compression (see Wikipedia)
  1137. tephra – Solid matter that is ejected into the air by an erupting volcano
  1138. tergiversate – To use evasions or ambiguities; to evade, to equivocate using subterfuge; to deliberately obfuscate.
  1139. Termagant – A scold; a shrew
  1140. thaumaturgic – The working of miracles or magic feats
  1141. theodicy – A vindication of God’s goodness and justice in the face of the existence of evil
  1142. theodolite – A surveying instrument
  1143. theophany – An appearance of a god to a human; a divine manifestation
  1144. throstle – 1. Any of various thrushes, esp. a song thrush; 2. A machine formerly used for spinning fibers such as cotton or wool
  1145. thurible – A censer used in certain ecclesiastical ceremonies or liturgies
  1146. thylacine – Tasmanian tiger; an extinct or very rare doglike carnivorous marsupial
  1147. tilth – 1. Tilled earth; 2. The fitness of soil for cultivation, as measured by its structure and composition.
  1148. tippet – A scarf-like narrow piece of clothing, worn over the shoulders
  1149. tipstaff – 1. A staff tipped with metal, formerly carried as a badge of office, as by a constable; 2. any official who carried such a staff
  1150. titivate – To decorate or spruce up
  1151. tittle – 1. A small diacritic mark, such as an accent, vowel mark, or dot over an i. 2. The tiniest bit; an iota
  1152. tocsin – An alarm sounded on a bell
  1153. tontine – A common fund with increasing annuity for each member’s death and the last living member gets everything
  1154. toothsome – Delicious, luscious, pleasant, attractive, sexually attractive or exciting
  1155. topolect – The language or speech of a particular place (e.g. Züridütsch)
  1156. torpid – Mentally or physically inactive; lethargic
  1157. torrid – 1. Parched with the heat of the sun; intensely hot; 2. Passionate; ardent
  1158. tosh – Rubbish; nonsense
  1159. tournure – Implement to expand a dress; a bustle
  1160. towhee – A strikingly marked, oversized sparrow of the East, feathered in bold black and warm reddish-browns
  1161. toxophily – Archery; toxophilite: A student or lover of archery
  1162. tracklement – Savory jelly served with meat
  1163. traduction – A transmission or communication; a translation into a different language
  1164. transducer – Any device, such as a microphone or electric motor, that converts one form of energy into another
  1165. tref – Unfit to be eaten; not kosher (corresponds to haram or not halal in Islam)
  1166. trenchant – Clear-cut; forceful or convincing
  1167. trepidation – A state of alarm or dread; apprehension
  1168. tressure – A narrow inner border on a shield, usually decorated with fleurs-de-lys
  1169. trews – Trousers; chiefly British
  1170. tripe – Something of no value; rubbish
  1171. trope – Metaphor or non-literal figure of speech
  1172. trow – To think or suppose
  1173. truckle – 1. A small wheel/caster; 2. to be servile
  1174. truckling – To be servile or submissive
  1175. trug – A shallow, usually oval gardening basket made with wide strips of wood
  1176. trull – A woman prostitute.
  1177. trypophobia – An intense, irrational fear of objects with small holes
  1178. tsuris – Problems or difficulties (Yiddish)
  1179. tumid – 1. Swollen; distended. Used of a body part or organ; 2. Of a bulging shape; protuberant; 3. Overblown; bombastic
  1180. tumulus – An ancient grave mound; a barrow (pl. tumuli)
  1181. turnkey – Supplied, installed, or purchased in a condition ready for immediate use, occupation, or operation
  1182. ukase – An authoritative order or decree; an edict
  1183. ultracrepidarianism – The habit of giving opinions and advice on matters outside of one’s knowledge or competence.
  1184. unasinous – Sharing the same amount of stupidity; displaying ignorance or foolishness by all.
  1185. unction – Something that serves to soothe; a balm
  1186. unctuous – Excessively ingratiating or insincerely earnest; oily
  1187. undecillion – The cardinal number equal to 1036; British: 1066
  1188. undisonant – Making the sound of waves
  1189. usquebaugh – Whiskey
  1190. usufruct – Right to use the property of others
  1191. uxorious – Love of or submission to one’s wife
  1192. vade mecum – 1. A useful thing that one constantly carries about; 2. A book, such as a guidebook, for ready reference.
  1193. vair – Red-squirrel fur; often used a trimming
  1194. valetudinarian – 1. Chronically ailing; sickly; 2. Constantly and morbidly concerned with one’s health
  1195. vambrace – Forearm armor
  1196. vastation – Quick destruction; from the Italian vastare.
  1197. vatic – Of or characteristic of a prophet; oracular (see veridical)
  1198. vecturist – A collector of tokens used in buses and subways
  1199. veisalgia – A hangover (from the Norwegian for “suffering after debauchery”)
  1200. vellum – A fine parchment made from calfskin, lambskin, or kidskin and used for the pages and binding of books
  1201. venal – Open to bribery; mercenary
  1202. venery – The indulgence in or pursuit of sexual activity
  1203. venire – The panel of prospective jurors from which a jury is selected
  1204. venule – A small vein, especially one joining capillaries to larger veins.
  1205. verdigris – A green patina or crust of copper sulfate or copper chloride formed on copper, brass, and bronze exposed to air or seawater for long periods of time
  1206. veridical – 1. Truthful; veracious; 2. Coinciding with future events or apparently unknowable present realities (see vatic)
  1207. verisimilitude – Believable; appearing to be true
  1208. vermian – Resembling or of the nature of a worm; of or relating to worms.
  1209. vermilion – Brilliant or vivid red (also written vermillion)
  1210. vernacular – 1. The everyday language spoken by a people as distinguished from the literary language 2. Built in the local style of ordinary houses, rather than a grand architectural style
  1211. versipellous – Changeable, protean
  1212. vesicle – A sac or cyst, esp. one containing fluid
  1213. vespertine – Of, relating to, or occurring in the evening (e.g. active or blooming in the evening)
  1214. vetch – Any of several climbing plants of the legume family, bearing pea-like flowers
  1215. vicambulist – One who walks about in the streets
  1216. vicissitude – Alternation between opposite or contrasting things
  1217. vigorish – 1. A fee charged for the placement of bets by an illegal gambling broker or establishment; 2. Frequent and excessive interest payments charged by an illegal moneylender
  1218. villein – One of a class of feudal serfs who held the legal status of freemen in their dealings with all people except their lord
  1219. vinous – 1. Of, relating to, or made with wine; 2. Having the color of wine
  1220. violaceous – Of a violet color; reddish blue
  1221. virago – 1. A woman regarded as noisy, scolding, or domineering; 2. A large, strong, courageous woman
  1222. vitiate – Spoil or impair the quality or efficiency of
  1223. volvulus – Abnormal twisting of the intestine causing obstruction
  1224. wale – One of the heavy planks or strakes extending along the sides of a wooden ship
  1225. weeper – A hole or pipe in a wall to allow water to run off
  1226. whelm – To cover with water; submerge
  1227. whin – Any spiny European evergreen shrub having rudimentary leaves and yellow flowers (also called gorse or furze)
  1228. whipping boy – Scapegoat; a boy formerly raised with a prince or other young nobleman and whipped for the latter’s misdeeds
  1229. white goods – Large appliances, like refrigerators and washing machines; compare to brown goods, which are TVs, radios, etc.
  1230. widdershins – In a contrary or counterclockwise direction
  1231. windlestraw – A thin, dried stalk of grass.
  1232. withe – Also withy; a tough, supple twig, used to bind
  1233. woad – An annual Eurasian plant (Isatis tinctoria) in the mustard family, formerly cultivated for its leaves that yield a blue dye.
  1234. xenium – A gift given to a guest
  1235. yegg – A thief, especially a burglar or safecracker
  1236. yonic – Related the vagina, esp. religious rel. to Shakti
  1237. zazen – The primary form of meditation in Zen Buddhism, practiced while sitting cross-legged
  1238. zeugma – When a word applies to two others in jarringly different ways (e.g. John and his license expired yesterday.)
  1239. zoetrope – A mechanical device consisting of a rotating drum ringed with narrow apertures through which an animated image is viewed