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 definitions.
  1. a-signifying – Incidentally meaningful semiotics; effective but not directly connected to intent, meaning or significance (e.g. purchase-history–based recommendations)
  2. ablative – Related to removal through melting or evaporation
  3. abrogation – To abolish or annul, esp. by an authority
  4. abstruse – Difficult to understand; obscure
  5. accidie – Spiritual sloth; apathy; indifference
  6. acidulous – Slightly acrid in taste or manner
  7. 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
  8. acrostic – Poem or text where the first letters of each line form a message
  9. adamant(n): Extremely hard substance
  10. adenoidal – Nasal in tone
  11. adiabatic – Occurring without gain or loss of heat
  12. adjunct – Added or connected in a subordinate or auxiliary capacity
  13. adumbrate – To give a sketchy outline
  14. advesperate – To approach evening
  15. aerostat – A lighter-than-air vehicle, like a balloon or dirigible
  16. aerumnous – Full of trouble
  17. aesculapian – Related to the art of medicine
  18. aesthete – A person who is unusually sensitive to beauty in art or nature
  19. aetiology – The philosophy or study of causation
  20. affray – A riot; a large group fighting
  21. aga – leader (civil or military) in the Ottoman empire
  22. agitprop – subversive writing; see samizdat
  23. agnatology – the study of culturally-induced ignorance
  24. aiguillette – An ornamental cord worn on the shoulder of a military uniform
  25. akrasia – Weakness of will; acting contrary to one’s moral values
  26. Albion – Britain or England
  27. alee – On the leeward side
  28. alembic – Distilling apparatus consisting of two vessels and a tube
  29. amanuensis – Assistant
  30. amethyst – Purple or violet quartz
  31. amphisbaena – Mythical Greek ant-eating serpent with a head at each end
  32. anacoenosis – An appeal by the speaker to his opponents or to the audience for an opinion of the point
  33. anaclitic – Psychologically dependent on others
  34. analysand – A person who is being psychoanalyzed
  35. anastomosis – Connection of parts of a branching system to form a network (e.g. blood vessels or rivers)
  36. andirons – A pair of metal supports used for holding up logs in a fireplace
  37. 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”)
  38. anhedonia – Inability to express pleasure
  39. anile – unable to think clearly or infirm because of old age
  40. anisotropic – Having properties that differ based on the direction of measurement (e.g. oval)
  41. anodyne – Uncontentious or inoffensive
  42. anoesis – Absence of thought (anoetic)
  43. anorectic – Marked by loss of appetite (anorexic)
  44. anserine – Goose-like
  45. anterior – Before or in front of; previously
  46. antimacassar – A protective and often decorative covering for the back or arms of a chair or sofa.
  47. antinomian – One who denies the fixed meaning or universal applicability of moral law
  48. antinomy – A contradiction between two beliefs or conclusions that are in themselves reasonable; a paradox
  49. antipodes – Group of rocky island near New Zealand, almost directly opposite Greenwich, England
  50. apodictic – Logically certain; demonstrably true or false
  51. apophasis – Allusion to something by denying that it will be mentioned, as in I will not bring up my opponent’s questionable financial dealings
  52. apophenia – Seeing patterns in randomness
  53. aporia – A state of being at a loss; a statement to that effect
  54. Aposematic – Having bright, colorful markings that warn predators of poison
  55. apostasy – Abandonment of one’s religious faith, party or a cause
  56. apothegm – A maxim
  57. apotheosis – Deification; exaltation to divine rank (nirvana)
  58. apotropaic – Intended to ward off evil
  59. appanage – Provision (usually land) granted (usually to a family member) as a source of revenue
  60. apperception – Conscious perception with full awareness
  61. apposite – Appropriate or relevant
  62. approbation – Official approval
  63. appurtenance – 1. appendage; 2. gear
  64. arbalest – Crossbow-like missile launcher
  65. architrave – The lintel or beam lying across two columns
  66. arcology – A portmanteau of architecture” and “ecology”, a very densely populated habitat (page 231 of Reamde)
  67. armamentarium – The complete range of materials available or used for a task.
  68. armet – A late-medieval light helmet with a neck guard and movable visor.
  69. armillary – Of or relating to the arm (e.g. bracelets)
  70. arquebus – A portable, long-barrelled gun, predecessor to the rifle
  71. arras – A tapestry, wall hanging or curtain (usually Flemish)
  72. arreptitious – Snatched away; seized or possessed, as a demoniac; raving; mad; crack-brained
  73. artilect – A machine or robot possessing artificial intelligence
  74. asafetida – A plant common to Iran and Afghanistan; produces a brownish, strong-smelling resin
  75. asseveration – A positive and emphatic declaration
  76. assignation – A tryst
  77. astragal – A molding that covers a gap (usually to prevent airflow)
  78. ataraxia – A calm of mind; serenity
  79. ataxic – Loss of the ability to coordinate muscle movement (Lucky Jim)
  80. Ativan – Tranquilizer; trade name for lorazepam
  81. atrabilious – Melancholy; peevish; surly
  82. attenuate – To become slender, fine or small
  83. autarky – Quality of being self-sufficient, as in a state or economy
  84. autochthonous – Local; native; indigenous
  85. autolatrous – Self-worshiping
  86. autopoiesis – A closed system capable of creating itself
  87. autotelic – Having a purpose in and justifying itself
  88. avariciously – Greedily, immoderately so
  89. aventurine – A form of quartz; green; translucent with a shimmering or glistening effect
  90. avulsion – The forcible tearing away of a body part; change in landscape due to flooding or riverbed changes
  91. baize – Coarse woolen cloth (used e,g, to cover snooker or billiard tables)
  92. balboa – The official currency of Panama
  93. baldachin – A canopy of state over an altar or throne
  94. ballista – Medieval field weapon similar to a crossbow (heavy projectiles)
  95. bast – The phloem of a plant (bast fiber)
  96. bastinado – A beating on the soles of the feet
  97. Batavia – A former name for Jakarta
  98. bathetic – Portmanteau of bathos and pathetic (anticlimactic, banal, trite)
  99. batrachian – An amphibian, esp. a frog or a salamander
  100. baulk – Line from which croquet, snooker, billiard ball is put into play (or the area behind it)
  101. beadle – Church usher
  102. beignet – A square doughnut without a hole; a fritter
  103. beldam – A hag
  104. belie – To misrepresent
  105. benedicence – Benevolence in speech
  106. benthic – Of or pertaining to the bottom of a body of water
  107. besom – Twigs tied to a handle to make a broom
  108. bezoar – hard, indigestible mass food in the stomach or intestines
  109. bibelot – A small decorative object; a trinket.
  110. bight – A loop in a rope; a wide bay characterized by a bend or curve
  111. bilious – Peevish; ill-humored
  112. biretta – Square hat worn by ecclesiastics, with three or four ridges on the brow
  113. bitts – A post on the deck of a ship to which ropes or cables are secured
  114. blackleg – 1. A livestock or plant disease, usually fatal. 2. A cardsharp
  115. bloater – A large mackerel or herring, salted, smoked and dried
  116. bodkin – A long needle or awl; a dagger or stiletto
  117. boffin – A person who has extensive skill or knowledge in a particular field (Brit.; similar to wonk in Amer.)
  118. bolster – A long, narrow pillow or cushion
  119. boracic – Having no money; Brit. slang
  120. borage – Southern European bristly herb with blue or purplish, star-shaped flowers
  121. bothy – Small hut or cottage (Scot.)
  122. boustrophedonic – A script that is simultaneously left-to-right and right-to-left
  123. bowdlerize – To expurgate literary material; to censor
  124. 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
  125. bradycardia – Slowness of the heart rate (usually less than 60BPM)
  126. brassica – Genus that includes cabbage, swede, rape and mustard
  127. breechclout – A loincloth
  128. breezeway – An enclosure joining two parts of a building (e.g. a house and its garage)
  129. brigandine – Flexible body armor covered in cloth
  130. bromidrosis – Body odor
  131. bruit – A din or clamor
  132. brume – Fog or mist
  133. burgeon – To begin to grow or blossom (to put forth buds)
  134. buttonholer – Someone who accosts or detains (a person) in conversation
  135. cabochon – A highly polished, convex-cut, unfaceted gem
  136. cadastral – A public register showing details of ownership of the real property in a district, including boundaries and tax assessments
  137. caduceus – A herald’s wand or staff (usually refers to the two serpents logo of Hermes’s staff used by the medical profession)
  138. cafard – A feeling of severe depression (from the French, literally hypocrite, cockroach)
  139. caique – A long narrow rowboat traditionally used on the Bosporus.
  140. caisson – A watertight structure for performing work or repairs under water
  141. caitiff – A despicable coward; a wretch
  142. caleche – A light two- or four-wheeled horse-draw carriage
  143. caliche – A mineral deposit of gravel, sand, and nitrates
  144. calenture – A tropical fever thought to be caused by heat; similar to sunstroke
  145. caliginous – Dark, misty and gloomy
  146. callipygian – Relating to or having buttocks that are considered beautifully proportioned
  147. callow – Immature
  148. calque – To make a loan translation from (a word in another language)
  149. caltrop – Metal spikes thrown across a road
  150. calvados – A French brandy made from apples.
  151. canaille – The common people; the masses; the hoi polloi
  152. canescent – Turning white or grayish; becoming hoary
  153. cannula – A tube inserted into a body cavity (e.g. a nose tube)
  154. cantrip – A deceptive move; a sham
  155. caoutchouc – Untreated rubber
  156. caparison – Fancy dress or ornamentation for a man or horse (or to make fancy by decorating in this way)
  157. capsid – A virus’s protein coat
  158. captious – Nitpicky; deliberately confusing; underhanded debating tactics
  159. caracole – A half-turn performed by a horse and rider (or to perform same)
  160. caravansary – An inn built around a large court for accommodating caravans (mostly in Asia)
  161. carnelian – A pale to deep red or reddish-brown variety of clear chalcedony, used in jewelry.
  162. casement – A window or part of a window set on a hinge so that it opens like a door
  163. casuistical – Specious reasoning intended to mislead
  164. catabolic – The metabolic breakdown of complex molecules into simpler ones, often resulting in a release of energy.
  165. catafalque – A funeral bier
  166. catastasis – The part of a drama immediately preceding the climax
  167. catawampus – Skewed, twisted
  168. 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
  169. catechumen – A novice; one who is being instructed at an elementary level
  170. catenary – The curve formed by a cable suspended by its endpoints
  171. caudal – Situated beneath or on the underside; inferior; opposite of anterior
  172. cautery – The act or process or cauterizing (or an agent used to cauterize)
  173. cavil – To quibble
  174. cenotaph – A monument honoring a person buried elsewhere
  175. cernuous – Drooping, as the leaves of a plant
  176. chaff – Trivial or worthless matter; dry bracts of seeds, removed during threshing; metal bits emitted by a plane to foil radar
  177. chalcedony – A translucent to transparent milky or grayish quartz
  178. chancellery – The rank, position, office or department of a chancellor
  179. chandler – One that makes or sells candles
  180. chaparral – An area covered by a dense growth of mostly small-leaved evergreen shrubs
  181. charivari – An elaborate, noisy celebration, often mocking (page 508 of the Idiot)
  182. chary – 1. Very cautious; wary; 2. Not giving or expending freely; sparing
  183. chautauqua – A summer school or educational meeting held in the summer
  184. chiaroscuro – The technique of using light and shade in pictorial representation
  185. chiasmus – A rhetorical inversion of the second of two parallel structures, as in “Each throat / Was parched, and glazed each eye” (Samuel Taylor Coleridge).
  186. chicane – 1. An artificial narrowing or turn on a road or auto-racing course; 2. To resort to tricks or subterfuges
  187. chilblain – An inflammation followed by itchy irritation on the hands, feet, or ears, resulting from exposure to moist cold
  188. chimerical – Highly improbable or illusory
  189. chine – 1. The backbone or spine, esp. of an animal; 2. a cut of meat containing same
  190. chintz – A printed and glazed cotton fabric, usually of bright colors
  191. Chiron – The wise centaur who tutored Achilles, Hercules, and Asclepius
  192. chiropodist – A podiatrist or foot doctor
  193. 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
  194. cholecystitis – Inflammation of the gallbladder
  195. chyron – A graphic that is digitally superimposed over the lower portion of a broadcast television image, often scrolling or otherwise animated
  196. cimicine – Smelling like bugs
  197. circumvallate – Encircle as with a rampart
  198. cisalpine – Relating to, living on, or coming from the southern side of the Alps
  199. cislunar – Of or relating to the space between the earth and the moon
  200. clabber – Sour, curdled milk; to curdle
  201. 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
  202. cloistered – Secluded or shut up from the world
  203. 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
  204. clyster – An enema
  205. 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
  206. coffle – A line of animals or slaves, chained together
  207. colliery – A coal mine together with its physical plant and outbuildings
  208. colloidal – A liquid within which very fine particles are evenly distributed so that they stay suspended
  209. colloquy – Written dialogue
  210. coloratura – Vocal music characterized by florid ornamental passages
  211. colporteur – A peddler of devotional literature
  212. colubra – A female snake
  213. colubrine – Serpentine
  214. Columbine – A flower from the buttercup family
  215. communard – One who lives in a commune
  216. compendious – Containing or stating briefly all the essentials of something; comprehensive and concise
  217. comprador – A person who acts as an agent for foreign organizations engaged in investment, trade, or economic or political exploitation
  218. 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,
  219. but he can not be legally punished for it.”) See paromologia.”
  220. concupiscent – Lascivious
  221. condign – Deserved; adequate
  222. congeries – A collection
  223. conjunctivitis – Inflammation of the conjunctiva, characterized by redness and often accompanied by a discharge
  224. consilience – A chance happening or coincidence
  225. constult – To act stupidly together
  226. contemn – To view with contempt; despise
  227. contra mundum – Against the world; in defiance of all general opinion
  228. contretemps – 1. An inopportune or embarrassing occurrence or situation; 2. an argument or dispute
  229. contumacious – Anti-authoritarian
  230. contumely – Rudeness or contempt arising from arrogance; insolence
  231. conurbation – A predominantly urban region including adjacent towns and suburbs; a metropolitan area
  232. convolvulus – Any typically twining herbaceous convolvulaceous plant of the genus Convolvulus, having funnel-shaped flowers and triangular leaves
  233. copula – The word or set of words that serves as a link between the subject and predicate of a proposition
  234. coracle – A small, rounded, primitive boat (stretched skin over wooden frame)
  235. corse – A corpse (archaic)
  236. corybantic – To dance in a fashion similar to rites for the Phrygian goddess Cybele, celebrated with music and ecstatic dances
  237. 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
  238. crepuscular – Resembling twilight; dim; active at twilight (from Reamde)
  239. cresset – A metal cup, often suspended on a pole, containing burning oil or pitch and used as a torch
  240. cretonne – A heavy unglazed cotton, linen, or rayon fabric, colorfully printed and used for draperies and slipcovers
  241. crim – Short for criminal
  242. crotchet – An odd, whimsical, perverse or stubborn notion
  243. cuirass – A piece of armor for protecting the breast and back, often consisting of two pieces fastened together
  244. cuirassier – A horse soldier in European armies whose equipment included the cuirass
  245. culverin – 1. An early, crudely made musket; 1. A long heavy cannon used in the 16th and 17th centuries
  246. cunctation – Procrastination; delay
  247. cupidity – Excessive desire, esp. for wealth; covetousness or avarice
  248. curlew – Any of several brownish, long-legged shorebirds of the genus Numenius, having long, slender, downward-curving bills
  249. 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.
  250. cuspidor – spittoon; a large bowl, often of metal, serving as a receptacle for spit, esp. from chewing tobacco
  251. cutis – The dermis and epidermis of the skin together
  252. cynosure – Focal point of attention or admiration
  253. dacoit – A member of a robber band or gang in South Asia
  254. dag – Hanging fur matted with mud
  255. damask – 1. A rich patterned fabric of cotton, linen, silk, or wool; 2. the wavy pattern on Damascus steel
  256. deadhead – To remove dead flowers from a bush
  257. debauch – To corrupt morally; to seduce
  258. debility – Being weak or infirm
  259. decoupage – The technique of decorating a surface with cutouts, as of paper, and finishing with layers of lacquer or varnish
  260. decrepicate – To make a crackling sound when roasted (crystals or salts)
  261. defalcation – Misuse of funds; embezzlement
  262. defeasance – The voiding of a contract or deed
  263. deflagrate – To burn or cause to burn with great heat and intense light
  264. deictic – Directly proving by argument
  265. delation – The act of conveying; carriage (obsolete)
  266. delator – An accuser; an informer
  267. 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
  268. demesne – An extensive piece of landed property; an estate
  269. demiurge – A powerful creative force or personality
  270. demonym – Official designation for the inhabitant of a region (see gentilic)
  271. deoppilate – To clear a passage through
  272. descant – 1. An ornamental melody or counterpoint sung or played above a theme; 2. A discussion or discourse on a theme
  273. desideratum – Something considered necessary or highly desirable
  274. desquamate – To shed, peel, or come off in scales. Used of skin
  275. desuetude – A state of disuse or inactivity.
  276. dialetheia – True contradictions (true statements whose opposite is also true)
  277. diaphoresis – Copious perspiration; usu. a condition
  278. dieresis – Diacritical mark indicating a pronounced vowel
  279. diffident – Lacking or marked by a lack of self-confidence; shy and timid
  280. dilatory – Causing or intended to cause delay
  281. dioptric – Relating to optical refraction; refractive
  282. disembogue – Pour out; be disgorged in quantity
  283. disheveled – Being in loose disarray; unkempt, as hair or clothing
  284. dissimulate – To conceal one’s true feelings or intentions
  285. dissolute – Lacking moral restraint; indulging in sensual pleasures or vices
  286. distaff – Women considered as a group; female
  287. divagate – 1. To wander or drift about; 2. to ramble; digress
  288. doolally – Out of one’s mind; crazy
  289. doss – 1. Sleep; rest; 2. a crude or makeshift bed
  290. dovecote – A compartmental structure, often raised on a pole, for housing domesticated pigeons
  291. dowager – 1. A widow who holds a title or property derived from her deceased husband; 2. an elderly woman of high social station
  292. doxology – An expression of praise to God, esp. a short hymn sung as part of a Christian worship service
  293. dropsy – An excessive accumulation of serous fluid in tissue spaces or a body cavity; edema (obsolete)
  294. drupe – A fleshy fruit with a pit (e.g. peach, plum, cherry, etc.)
  295. duckboard – A board or boardwalk laid across wet or muddy ground or flooring
  296. dupatta – A long wide scarf often worn draped over the head or across the shoulders, chiefly by women in South Asia
  297. dysarthria – Unclear articulation of otherwise normal speech
  298. easement – 1. The act of anointing as part of a religious; 2. An ointment or oil; a salve
  299. 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”)
  300. echolalia – The uncontrollable and immediate repetition of words spoken by another person, esp. as associated with mental disorder.
  301. efflorescence – 1. A gradual process of unfolding or developing; 2. the point or time of greatest vigor; the culmination
  302. egregoric – Of or relating to the occult concept of a group mind, egregore
  303. eidolon – An image of an ideal. An apparition.
  304. eisegesis – Reading meaning into a text that is not there
  305. 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
  306. eleemosynary – 1. Of, concerned with, or dependent on charity; 2. Given as an act of charity
  307. elegiac – Of, relating to, or involving elegy or mourning or expressing sorrow for that which is irrecoverably past
  308. elozable – Readily influenced by flattery
  309. embonpoint – The plump or fleshy part of a person’s body, in particular a woman’s bosom.
  310. embouchure – The mouth of a river
  311. emolument – Payment for an office or employment; compensation
  312. empennage – The tail assembly of an aircraft (page 223 of Reamde)
  313. enantiodromia – The principle that a superabundance of a force produces its opposite
  314. enceinte – Pregnant (from the French)
  315. encomiast – A person who delivers or writes an encomium; a eulogist
  316. encomium – Warm praise
  317. endometriosis – The presence of endometrium elsewhere than in the lining of the uterus; causes premenstrual pain and dysmenorrhea
  318. endue – To provide with a quality or trait; endow
  319. enfeoff – To invest (a person) with possession of a freehold estate in land
  320. Ensor – Belgian expressionist painter, noted for his macabre subjects
  321. entelechy – Actuality as opposed to potentiality (from Aristotelian philosophy)
  322. entheogenic – Hallucinogenic, psychedelic, or mind-altering. It applies esp. to drugs or plants employed in mystical, religious, or spiritual ceremonies
  323. entrepôt – A warehouse; a market or trading center (page 648 of Reamde)
  324. enure – To toughen or harden by use or exposure; accustom; habituate (see inure)
  325. enuresis – The involuntary discharge of urine; urinary incontinence
  326. epeirogeny – Uplift or depression of the earth’s crust, affecting large areas of land or ocean bottom
  327. epenthesis – Insertion of a sound in a word
  328. epergne – An ornamental stand or dish for holding fruit, flowers, etc., used as a centerpiece
  329. epicurean – Devoted to the pursuit of sensual pleasure, esp. to the enjoyment of good food and comfort
  330. epideictic – Designed primarily for rhetorical display
  331. epigenetic – Denoting processes by which heritable modifications in gene function occur without a change in the sequence of the DNA
  332. epigone – A second-rate imitator or follower, esp. of an artist or a philosopher
  333. epigram – A concise, clever, often paradoxical statement (can be a poem); see Yogi Berra or Groucho Marx
  334. 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
  335. epistemology – Study of the nature of knowledge
  336. epistle – A literary composition in the form of a letter
  337. epistolary – Of or associated with letters or the writing of letters
  338. epitatic – [definition unknown] (from Oblivion by David Foster Wallace)
  339. 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
  340. epizeuxis – The repetition of a word with vehemence and emphasis
  341. equanimity – The quality of being calm and even-tempered; composure
  342. equerry – A personal attendant to the British royal household, generally responsible for the horses
  343. ergodic – Of or relating to the probability that any state will recur
  344. 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
  345. 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
  346. eschatology – The branch of theology that is concerned with the end of the world or of humankind
  347. escutcheon – Shield or emblem bearing a coat of arms
  348. estaminet – A small café.
  349. estivation – Dormancy or torpor during the summer
  350. esurient – Hungry
  351. etiolate – 1. To cause to appear pale and sickly; 2. to make weak by stunting the growth or development of
  352. eudaemonic – Producing happiness and well-being
  353. euphonium – A brass instrument similar to the tuba but having a somewhat higher pitch and a mellower sound
  354. evanescent – Vanishing or likely to vanish like vapor, ephemeral or transitory, passing out of sight; fading away; vanishing
  355. evection – Irregularity in the moon’s motion caused by perturbations of the sun and planets
  356. excrescent – Abnormal or excessive growth
  357. exegesis – Critical explanation or analysis
  358. exercitant – One who practices religious exercises
  359. exiguous – Meager or extremely scanty
  360. exophthalmic – Characterized by the prominence of the eyeballs
  361. exordium – A beginning or introductory part, esp. of a speech or treatise
  362. extrorse – Botanical term for facing outward or turned away from the axis
  363. écorché – An anatomical representation of all or part of a human or animal body with the skin removed so as to display the musculature
  364. fain – Happily; gladly (archaic)
  365. falchion – A short and slightly curved medieval sword broader towards the point
  366. fantail – Overhanging stern of a boat (esp. a warship)
  367. fard – To paint the face with cosmetics, so as to hide blemishes
  368. farrago – An assortment or a medley; a hodgepodge
  369. fecundate – Fertilize; make fruitful
  370. fiacre – A small four-wheeled carriage
  371. 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)
  372. finial – 1. An ornamental terminating part, as on a post or piece of furniture; 2. an ornament on top of a spire, gable
  373. firedamp – Methane
  374. firth – A long, narrow inlet
  375. fissiparous – Having a tendency to divide into groups or factions
  376. flews – The fleshy hanging upper lip of a bloodhound or similar dog
  377. flocculent – Having a fluffy or woolly appearance; fleecy
  378. flyblown – 1. Tainted; corrupt; 2. dirty or rundown; squalid
  379. flyover – An overpass, as on a highway (chieflly British)
  380. foolscap – A sheet of writing or printing paper measuring about 13 by 16 inches
  381. foxed – Marked with spots or discoloration, as from age
  382. frowsy – 1. Unkempt; slovenly; 2. ill-smelling; musty
  383. fussy – Fat and squat
  384. fucus – A seaweed common to intertidal regions and typically having greenish-brown slimy fronds. See also wrack
  385. fulsome – Excessively flattering; obsequious
  386. fulsome – 1. Excessively flattering or insincerely earnest; sycophantic; 2. disgusting or offensive
  387. fungible – Interchangeable
  388. 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
  389. furbelow – 1. A ruffle or flounce on a garment; 2. piece of showy ornamentation
  390. furze – Gorse; spiny evergreen shrubs
  391. gaff – Barbed spear; stick with a hook on it
  392. gaffer – An electrician in charge of lighting on a movie or television set
  393. 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
  394. Galicia – A region of east-central Europe on the north side of the Carpathians, now in SE Poland and Ukraine
  395. gallimaufry – A jumble; a hodgepodge
  396. gamelan – An Indonesian orchestra composed mainly of tuned percussion instruments such as bamboo xylophones, wooden or metal chimes, and gongs
  397. gastrocnemius – The largest, most prominent muscle of the calf of the leg, the action of which extends the foot and bends the knee
  398. 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)
  399. Gehenna – 1. A place or state of torment or suffering. 2. The abode of condemned souls; hell
  400. gentian – Any gentianaceous plant having blue, yellow, white, or red showy flowers
  401. gentilic – Derived from a place name that depicts the residents of that place; see demonym
  402. ghat – Stairs or a passage leading down to a river (from the Hindi)
  403. gigue – A synonym for jig
  404. glaucous – 1. Of a pale grayish or bluish green; 2. covered with a bluish waxy or powdery bloom
  405. 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)
  406. gnomic – Marked by aphorisms; aphoristic
  407. godown – Warehouse (esp. in India)
  408. goffer – An iron used for pressing ridges or narrow pleats, or ridges or pleats produced in this manner
  409. gonfalon – A banner hung from a crosspiece, like in the Crusades
  410. gound – The gunk that collects in the corners of the eyes
  411. gowpen – A bowl formed by two hands (Scottish)
  412. 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
  413. gravamen – Material substance of a charge or complaint
  414. greaves – Shin armor/guards
  415. 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
  416. 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)
  417. grisaille – A style of monochromatic painting in shades of gray
  418. grizzle – To make or become gray
  419. groat – An English silver coin worth four pennies, taken out of circulation in the 17th century
  420. groyne – Variant of groin
  421. gudgen – Pivot; hinge; small fish; one who is easily duped (page 86 of the Brothers Karamazov)
  422. guerdon – A reward; recompense
  423. gurn – To complain, snarl or grimace (also girn; from the Scottish)
  424. gyp – A fraud or swindle, or some who perpetrates same
  425. ha-ha – A wall or other boundary marker that is set in a ditch so as not to interrupt the landscape
  426. haecceity – The property that uniquely identifies an object
  427. halvah – A confection of Turkish origin, made chiefly of ground sesame seeds and honey
  428. hamartia – A tragic flaw; the flaw in character which leads to the downfall of the protagonist in a tragedy (e.g. Achilles’s heel)
  429. hapax legomenon – A word or form that occurs only once in the recorded corpus of a given language.
  430. hardtack – A hard biscuit or bread made with only flour and water. Also called sea biscuit, sea bread, ship biscuit
  431. haruspicy – Divination by natural means (e.g. lightning)
  432. hecatomb – A large-scale sacrifice or slaughter
  433. heliotrope – Any of various plants that turn toward the sun
  434. helotry – The condition of serfdom.
  435. hermeneutics – Theory of interpretation (esp. religious texts)
  436. heterachy – A formal structure (e.g. connected nodes) without any single permanent uppermost node
  437. heterophemize – To say something different from what you mean to say (e.g. as a false compliment)
  438. hierophant – An interpreter of sacred mysteries or arcane knowledge
  439. hippocras – Wine flavored with spices
  440. horripilated – Having goosebumps from either fear or cold or excitement
  441. howdah – A seat for riding on an elephant’s back, esp. one with a canopy
  442. hoyden – Tomboy; a boisterous, high-spirited, saucy girl
  443. hunker – To squat on one’s heels (a synonym from Bill Burr: Vietnamese gambler squat)
  444. hustings – A place where political campaign speeches are made
  445. hyaline – Resembling glass, as in translucence or transparency; glassy
  446. hypertelorism – Abnormal distance between two paired organs, esp. the eyes
  447. iatrogenic – Unintentionally induced by a physician
  448. icteric – Related to jaundice (to be ill with or a treatment)
  449. idiolect – Unique linquistic pattern with a small group; mini-dialect
  450. illeism – Referring to oneself in the third person
  451. imbricate – To overlap in a regular pattern
  452. immanent – Inherent
  453. impecuniousness – The state of being poor; penury
  454. impetigo – A contagious bacterial skin disease characterized by the formation of pustules that develop into yellowish crusty sores
  455. impluvious – Wet with rain
  456. incalescent – Growing hotter or more ardent
  457. incarnadine – Of a fleshy pink color; blood-red
  458. incunabula – An artifact of an early period (artifact of an early period)
  459. indite – To set down in writing; to compose
  460. infundibulum – Any of various funnel-shaped bodily passages, openings, structures, or parts, esp. the stalk of the pituitary gland
  461. infusoria – Various microscopic organisms found in infusions of decaying organic matter
  462. ingenuous – Candid; lacking in guile
  463. inimical – Injurious or harmful in effect; adverse; unfriendly or hostile
  464. inspissate – To thicken, as by evaporation
  465. intarsia – A decorative inlaid pattern in a surface, esp. a mosaic worked in wood
  466. interpellate – To question (a member of the government) on a point of government policy, often interrupting the business of the day
  467. interpellation – An act of delaying or interrupting the continuity; see interpellate
  468. intransitive – An intransitive verb, on the other hand, describes an action that does not happen to something or someone
  469. inveigle – To obtain by cajolery; seduce
  470. inverter – Any device for converting a direct current into an alternating current
  471. invidious – Inciting ill will; troll-y; discriminatory; envious;
  472. invigilator – Monitor or proctor who watches examination candidates to prevent cheating
  473. irenic – Promoting peace; conciliatory.
  474. irredentism – A national policy advocating the acquisition of some region in another country by reason of common linguistic, cultural, historical, ethnic, or racial ties.
  475. irrefragably – Admittedly; fairly
  476. jasper – An opaque cryptocrystalline variety of quartz that may be red, yellow, or brown
  477. jequirity – Indian liquorice seeds; used to make black rosary beads
  478. kedgeree – 1. A dish of India containing rice, lentils, and spices. 2. a dish of rice, fish, hard-boiled eggs, cream, and seasonings
  479. kefir – A creamy drink made of fermented cow’s milk
  480. keloid – An abnormal proliferation of scar tissue, often pink, as on the site of a surgical incision
  481. 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
  482. kermess – A fair or church dedication
  483. kipper – A herring or salmon that has been split, salted, and smoked
  484. kirtle – 1. A man’s knee-length tunic or coat; 2. a woman’s dress or skirt
  485. knelling – The process of disassembling something and arranging its parts
  486. kukri – A knife with a curved blade that broadens towards the point, esp. as used by Gurkhas
  487. kvass – A Russian fermented beverage similar to beer, made from rye or barley
  488. kwashiorkor – Severe malnutrition of infants and young children, esp. soon after weaning, resulting from dietary deficiency of protein (comes from the Ghanan)
  489. lability – The susceptibility to error or lapses of any kind, as a human failing
  490. laburnum – Any leguminous tree or shrub of the Eurasian genus Laburnum, having clusters of yellow drooping flowers: all parts of the plant are poisonous
  491. laconically – Marked by terseness or concision
  492. lacuna – An empty space or a missing part; a gap
  493. lagniappe – A small gift given with a purchase
  494. lahar – A mass of volcanic fragments, often mixed with water (e.g. rain), moving rapidly down the side of a volcano
  495. lambent – Flickering lightly (e.g. firelight); glowing with soft radiance, luminous
  496. lapidary – Polisher or dealer in precious stones
  497. lapillus – A small, solidified fragment of lava (pl. lapilli)
  498. larrikin – A person given to comical or outlandish behavior; an imp; a hooligan (chiefly Australian)
  499. lascar – An East Indian sailor, army servant, or artillery trooper during the era of European colonialism in Asia
  500. latibulate – To hide oneself in a corner
  501. laterite – A red residual soil formed by the leaching of silica and by the enrichment with aluminum and iron oxides, esp. in humid climates
  502. leal – Loyal and honest
  503. lenity – The condition or quality of being lenient; leniency
  504. Lepus – A constellation in the Southern Hemisphere near Orion and Columba
  505. letabund – Filled with joy
  506. 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
  507. 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
  508. lictor – A Roman functionary who carried fasces when attending a magistrate in public appearances
  509. lief – Beloved; ready or willing
  510. 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
  511. liminal – Intermediate between two states, conditions, or regions; transitional or indeterminate
  512. litotes – Understating by negation: no mean feat”
  513. locus – A locality; a place
  514. longueur – 1. A tedious passage in a work of literature or performing art; 2. a period of time filled with boredom or tedium
  515. lorgnette – A pair of eyeglasses or opera glasses mounted on a handle
  516. louche – Disreputable or sordid
  517. lubricious – Overtly sexual; salacious
  518. ludic – Showing spontaneous and undirected playfulness
  519. lues – Any venereal disease (e.g. Syphilis); pestilence
  520. lumbago – A painful condition of the lower back, as one resulting from muscle strain or a slipped disk
  521. lyceum – A hall in which public lectures, concerts, and similar programs are presented
  522. 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)
  523. macrocarpa – A large coniferous tree of New Zealand, Cupressus macrocarpa, used for shelter belts on farms and for rough timber. Also called: Monterey cypress
  524. maculate(v): To spot, blemish, or pollute; (n): 1. Spotted, blotched, or stained. 2. Morally sullied or impure
  525. madding – Acting madly; frenzied
  526. maenad – 1. A frenzied woman; 2. a female member of the orgiastic cult of Dionysus
  527. majolica – Italian earthenware covered with an opaque glaze of tin oxide and usu. highly decorated
  528. malesuete – Accustomed to poor habits
  529. malversation – Misbehavior and esp. corruption in an office, trust, or commission; corrupt administration
  530. mandala – Any of various designs symbolizing the universe, usually circular
  531. mandamus – A writ issued by a court requiring a public official or entity to perform a duty associated with that office or entity
  532. manqué – 1. Unfulfilled; potential; would-be; 2. Unfulfilled or frustrated in the realization of one’s ambitions or capabilities
  533. manumission – To free from slavery or bondage; emancipate
  534. manumit/manumission – To set free; release from slavery
  535. 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)
  536. mascon – Any of several lunar regions of high gravity
  537. matutinal – Of, relating to, or occurring in the morning; early
  538. 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
  539. meretricious – Gaudy
  540. merkin – A pubic wig
  541. merlon – The solid portion between crenels
  542. metempsychosis – The theory of reincarnation
  543. metonym – A word used in metonymy
  544. metonymy – A synonym/metaphor; e.g. brass” for upper officers or “plastic” for credit cards; see kenning
  545. mews – A group of buildings containing private stables that have been converted to residences
  546. mezzanine – A low story between two others in a building
  547. miasma – An unwholesome or oppressive atmosphere
  548. micrognathia – Abnormally small jaw
  549. micturition – urination; also, micturate
  550. minatory – Of a menacing or threatening nature; minacious
  551. mirabile dictu – Wonderful to relate; amazing to say
  552. misfeasance – Improper and unlawful execution of an act that in itself is lawful and proper.
  553. moidore – A former Portuguese gold coin
  554. moiety – One half
  555. Moloch – Something possessing the power to exact severe sacrifice; a Semitic deity to whom parents sacrificed their children
  556. mondegreen – Misinterpretation of song lyrics (e.g. Israeli Men” instead of “It’s Raining Men”)”
  557. Monophysite – A person who holds that there is only one nature in the person of Christ, which is primarily divine with human attributes
  558. monopsony – A situation in which the entire market demand for a product or service consists of only one buyer
  559. morbific – Causing disease; pathogenic
  560. morganatic – A marriage between nobility and lower rank, where titles and wealth are not shared
  561. morion – A crested metal helmet; black or blackish-brown smoky quartz
  562. morphetic – Of or relating to sleep or dreams
  563. mountebank – A flamboyant charlatan
  564. mudra – Ritual hand movements in Hindu religious dancing
  565. mulct – 1. To penalize by fining or demanding forfeiture; 2. to cheat or defraud
  566. mullet – Freshwater, spiny-finned fish
  567. Munda – A family of languages spoken by scattered peoples throughout central India
  568. murine – A family of rodents that includes mice and rats
  569. murrain – Redwater fever, affecting livestock; a plague, epidemic or crop blight
  570. musquash – Another name for muskrat
  571. 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)
  572. mythopoeic – Serving to create or engender myths; productive in mythmaking
  573. naphthalene – A white crystalline volatile solid with a characteristic penetrating odour: an aromatic hydrocarbon used in mothballs and in the manufacture of dyes, explosives
  574. natant – Floating or swimming in water
  575. navvy – A laborer, esp. one employed in construction or excavation projects
  576. neep – A dialect name for a turnip, chiefly British
  577. nefandous – Too odious to be spoken of
  578. nepenthe – Something that induces forgetfulness of sorrow or eases pain (mentioned in the Odyssey)
  579. nescience – Ignorance; absence of awareness
  580. 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
  581. neuralgic – Sharp, severe paroxysmal pain extending along a nerve or group of nerves
  582. niello – A black metallic alloy (sulfur and copper, silver or lead
  583. nigrescent – Blackish; dark
  584. noctilucent – Luminous at night
  585. noddlen: The head or brains, chiefly British; v: to nod (the head), as through drowsiness
  586. noisome – 1. Offensive to the point of arousing disgust; foul; 2. Harmful or dangerous
  587. noosphere – The part of the biosphere that is affected by human thought, culture, and knowledge
  588. numeraire – A unit or an item of commerce in which prices are measured
  589. numinous – awe-inspiring, mysterious or spiritual; supernatural
  590. nystagmus – A persistent, rapid, involuntary side-to-side eye movement
  591. obganiate – To annoy by repeating over and over and over and over
  592. oblation – Any offering made for religious or charitable purposes (e.g. offering of the bread and wine of the Eucharist to God)
  593. obloquy – 1. calumny; detractive language; 2. ill repute
  594. obscurantist – Practicing deliberate vagueness
  595. obsidional – Relating to a siege
  596. 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.
  597. occiput – Back of the head
  598. ocherous – Ocher in color (or a mineral used to make that color)
  599. ofay – A derogatory term for a White person (see cracker, honky, peckerwood)
  600. 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)
  601. ogive – A diagonal rib or groin of a Gothic vault; 2. A distribution curve in which the frequencies are cumulative
  602. oligopsony – A market with only very few buyers
  603. omphalic – Of or relating to the navel
  604. omphaloskepsis – Literally, the contemplation of one’s navel, which is an idiom usually meaning complacent self-absorption
  605. oneiric – Dream-like
  606. ontology – The study of the essence of being
  607. opprobrium – Ignominy; cause of shame or disgrace
  608. optative – Indicating or expressing choice, preference, or wish
  609. orgulous – Haughty; proud (archaic)
  610. orison – A prayer, a devout petition to God or an object of worship
  611. orogenesis – The process of mountain formation, esp. by a folding and faulting of the earth’s crust
  612. orotund – Pompous and bombastic; resonant; booming
  613. orthography – The art or study of correct spelling according to established usage
  614. osculation – A kiss (page 332 of Doctor Sleep)
  615. osmically – Of or relating to odors or the sense of smell
  616. osteitis – Inflammation of bone or bony tissue
  617. ostler – Man who looks after horses at an inn
  618. otiose – Lazy; indolent; serving no useful purpose
  619. paillasse – A straw-filled mat or mattress (var. of palliasse)
  620. palimpsest – A hand-written document
  621. 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
  622. Palio – Italian Renaissance or Medieval festival
  623. Palladian – Of, relating to, or characterized by wisdom or study
  624. palliasse – A straw-filled mat or mattress (var. of paillasse)
  625. palp – Either of a pair of sensory appendages that arise from the mouthparts of crustaceans and insects
  626. panjandrum – A pompous self-important official or person of rank
  627. pap – 1. A teat or nipple (archaic); 2. material lacking real value or substance; 3. soft or semiliquid food, as for infants
  628. papillote – 1. A paper frill around cutlets; 2. cooked in oiled greaseproof paper or foil
  629. 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
  630. paromologia – Admitting a weaker point in order to make a stronger one. (See concessio.)
  631. paraphilia – Any abnormal sexual behavior; sexual anomaly or deviation
  632. paregoric – An opium derivative used to treat diarrhea
  633. pari passu – At an equal pace; side by side
  634. parlous – full of danger or uncertainty
  635. paronomasia – Pun; play on words
  636. parterre – A formally patterned flower garden
  637. parve – Containing neither meat nor milk products and so fit for use with either meat or milk dishes (from Judaism)
  638. passerine – An order of birds characterized by the perching habit: includes the larks, finches, crows, thrushes, starlings, etc.
  639. pastern – The part of a horse’s foot between the fetlock and hoof
  640. pauldron – Shoulder protection in a suit of armor
  641. peaky – Wan, emaciated, or sickly
  642. peccant – Sinful; guilty; corrupt
  643. 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”.)
  644. peculation – Embezzlement
  645. pecuniary – Relating to money
  646. 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
  647. pelf – Lucre; wealth or riches, esp. when dishonestly acquired
  648. pellucid – Transparent or translucent
  649. pentimento – A visible trace of earlier painting beneath a layer or layers of paint on a canvas
  650. penurious – Poverty-stricken; stingy; meager
  651. percale – A closely woven cotton fabric used for sheets and clothing
  652. percipient – Perceptive
  653. perdurable – Enduring continuously; immortal
  654. perfervid – Extremely or extravagantly eager; impassioned or zealous.
  655. perfidy – Treachery; deliberate breach of faith
  656. peripatetic – Mobile on foot; an itinerant
  657. peristalsis – The wavelike muscular contractions of the digestive tract or other tubular structures by which contents are forced onward toward the opening
  658. perseverate – To repeat a word, gesture, or act insistently or redundantly
  659. persiflage – Banter; small-talk
  660. perspicacious – Acutely perceptive or discerning
  661. perspicuous – Clearly expressed or presented; lucid
  662. pertinacious – Tenacious
  663. 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
  664. petecure – Modest cooking; cooking on a small scale; the opposite of epicure
  665. petitio principii – A form of fallacious reasoning in which the conclusion has been assumed in the premises; begging the question
  666. Petronius – Roman courtier who is credited with writing the Satyricon
  667. phaeton – A light, four-wheeled open carriage, usually drawn by a pair of horses
  668. phalanstery – A self-sustaining cooperative community of the followers of Fourierism. Also called phalanx, or the buildings in such a community
  669. pharisaic – Of, relating to, or characteristic of the Pharisees
  670. philippic – A verbal denunciation characterized by harsh, often insulting language; a tirade
  671. phillumenist – A person who collects matchbox labels
  672. philogynist – A lover or friend of women; one who esteems woman as the higher type of humanity; antonym of misogynist
  673. phlebotomy – The act or practice of opening a vein to let or draw blood as a therapeutic or diagnostic measure
  674. phlegmatic – Having or suggesting a calm, sluggish temperament; unemotional or apathetic
  675. Phoebus – The sun
  676. phthisis – A disease characterized by the wasting away or atrophy of the body or a part of the body (e.g. pulmonary tuberculosis)
  677. 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)
  678. piacular – Making expiation for sacrilege; wicked
  679. pilchard – A small, S European marine fish, Sardina pilchardus, related to the herring but smaller and rounder
  680. pillock – A stupid or annoying person (chiefly British)
  681. pinchbeck – Appearing valuable, but actually cheap and tawdry
  682. piquant – Pleasantly sharp taste
  683. pirogue – Any of various kinds of dugout canoes; also called piragua
  684. piscatorial – Of or relating to fish, fishing, or fishermen
  685. plangent – Loud and resounding
  686. 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
  687. 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)
  688. plenteous – Ample; abundant; copious
  689. pleonasm – A newly created word
  690. pleura – A thin serous membrane in mammals that envelops each lung and folds back to make a lining for the chest cavity
  691. pleurisy – Inflammation of the pleura, characterized by pain that is aggravated by deep breathing or coughing
  692. Plimsoll mark – A load line painted on the side of a cargo ship
  693. plinth – A block or slab on which a pedestal, column, or statue is placed
  694. plover – Any shore bird of the family Charadriidae, typically having a round head, straight bill, and large pointed wings
  695. poetaster – A writer of insignificant, meretricious, or shoddy poetry
  696. 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
  697. poleyn – Knee protection in a suit of armor
  698. polygyny – The condition or practice of having more than one wife at one time
  699. polymath – A person of great or varied learning
  700. pomace – The pulpy material remaining after the juice has been pressed from fruit, such as apples or grapes. Also called marc
  701. poniard – 1. A small, slender dagger; 2. a dagger typically having a slender three- or four-sided blade
  702. posset – A drink of hot milk curdled with ale, beer, etc, flavoured with spices, formerly used as a remedy for colds
  703. pothouse – A small tavern or pub (chiefly British)
  704. potsherd – A broken pottery fragment, esp. one of archaeological value
  705. prang – 1. An accident or crash in an aircraft, car, etc; 2. to bomb from the air
  706. prefatory – Of, relating to, or constituting a preface
  707. prelapsarian – Of or relating to the period before the fall of Adam and Eve
  708. premonitory – Giving premonition; serving to warn beforehand
  709. prepossession – A prejudice or bias, esp. a favorable one
  710. 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
  711. preterite – A tense of verbs used to relate past action, formed in English by inflection of the verb, as jumped, swam
  712. primus inter pares – Literally (in Latin), first among equals
  713. profligate – 1. Shamelessly immoral or debauched; 2. wildly extravagant or wasteful
  714. prolegomenon – A preliminary discussion, especially a formal essay introducing a work of considerable length or complexity
  715. 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
  716. prolix – Tediously prolonged; wordy; longwinded
  717. prone – Lying flat or face downwards; prostrate
  718. propinquitous – Near; close in time, place or kinship (page 12 of Main Street)
  719. propitious – Favorable; auguring well; gracious or favorably inclined
  720. proprioception – Unconscious awareness of body movement, e.g. as the inner ear for balance (page 515 of Reamde)
  721. prosector – A person who prepares or dissects anatomical subjects for demonstration
  722. prosopagnosia – An inability to recognize faces
  723. prosopopoeia – Literary device involve an absent person speaking; personification; ascribing agency to an inanimate object or concept
  724. protasis – The dependent clause of a conditional sentence (i.e. the “if” part)
  725. 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”)
  726. psalmody – The act of singing psalms or hymns
  727. psephology – The study of political elections and polling
  728. psithurism – The whispering of leaves moved by the wind
  729. psittacosis – A rickettsial disease affecting birds of the parrot family, pigeons, and domestic fowl, caused by the chlamydia Chlamydia psittaci and transmissible to humans
  730. psychogenic – Having origin in the mind or in a mental condition or process
  731. ptosis – Ptosis is the term used for a drooping upper eyelid
  732. puericratic – [definition unknown] (from Oblivion by David Foster Wallace)
  733. pugnacious – Combative in nature
  734. pulchritude – Beauty
  735. pullulate – To breed rapidly or abundantly
  736. punctilio – A fine point of etiquette
  737. purblind – 1. Slow in understanding or discernment; dull 2. Having poor vision; nearly or partly blind
  738. purdah – Muslim practice of screening women from other men or strangers
  739. purlieus – An outlying or neighboring area; outskirts; environs
  740. 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
  741. purulent – Containing, discharging, or causing the production of pus
  742. pusillanimous – Cowardly
  743. putto – A representation of a small child, often naked and having wings, used especially in the art of the European Renaissance. Pl.: putti
  744. pyaemia – Blood poisoning characterized by pus-forming microorganisms in the blood
  745. quag – To shake (said of something that is soft or flabby)
  746. quern – A simple hand mill for grinding grain, typically consisting of two stones
  747. quiddity – 1. Essence of a thing; 2. a quibble
  748. quidnunc – Busybody; Yenta
  749. quiff – 1. A tuft of hair, esp. a forelock; 2. A woman regarded as promiscuous
  750. quintain – A rotating target used in jousting exercises
  751. quirt – A riding whip with a short, stiff handle and a lash made of two or more loose thongs
  752. 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)
  753. quoin – An exterior angle of a wall or other piece of masonry
  754. quokka – A short-tailed herbivorous marsupial (Setonix brachyurus) found in coastal areas of southwestAustralia
  755. quondam – Former
  756. 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.
  757. racketeering – A person who engages in an illegal business or other organized illegal activities
  758. raddled – Twisted together; interwoven
  759. radome – A domelike shell transparent to radio-frequency radiation, used to house a radar antenna
  760. raillery – Good-natured teasing or ridicule; banter
  761. ramose – Having many branches
  762. rawboned – Having a lean, gaunt frame with prominent bones
  763. Reaumurarchaic: a temperature scale with the freezing point of water at 80º.
  764. rebarbative – Tending to irritate; repellent
  765. rebeck – Medieval instrument; a lute-like violin
  766. recondite – Obscure; abstruse
  767. recreant – 1. A faithless or disloyal person; 2. A coward
  768. recrudescent – To break out anew or come into renewed activity, as after a period of quiescence
  769. recumbentibus – A knockdown blow
  770. redolent – Suggestive
  771. reef – A vein of ore
  772. 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
  773. reliquary – A receptacle, such as a coffer or shrine, for keeping or displaying sacred relics
  774. renascent – Becoming active or vigorous again
  775. retromingent – One who urinates backwards
  776. 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)
  777. revanchism – The act of retaliating, esp. by a nation or group to regain lost territory or standing; revenge
  778. revenant – 1. One that returns after a lengthy absence; 2. One who returns after death
  779. Rhadamanthine – Strictly and uncompromisingly just
  780. rhonchus – A snore or chest rattle
  781. riprap – Piled broken stones used as a foundation or to stabilize an easily eroded bank or slope
  782. risible – 1. Eliciting laughter; ludicrous 2. capable of laughing or inclined to laugh
  783. 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”)
  784. rota – A work schedule
  785. roué – A man who recklessly indulges in sensual pleasures; a rake
  786. roundelay – A poem or song with a regularly recurring refrain (as much popular music)
  787. rumbustiousness – Uncontrollably exuberant; unruly
  788. 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
  789. rusk – A light, soft-textured sweetened biscuit
  790. sabine – A member of an ancient people of central Italy, conquered and assimilated by the Romans in 290 bc.
  791. Saiva – One who worships Shiva
  792. 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
  793. salmagundi – A mixture; a potpourri
  794. saltire – A cross in heraldry
  795. saltpeter – Naturally occurring potassium nitrate, used in making fireworks, gunpowder
  796. salubrious – Wholesome
  797. salwar – Loose pajamalike pants, typically having a drawstring waist and legs that narrow at the bottom, usually worn with a kameez
  798. samizdat – Underground newspaper (from the Russian)
  799. samphire – An edible coastal plant (Crithmum maritimum) in the parsley family, native to Eurasia (see glasswort)
  800. sanguine – Cheerfully optimistic
  801. sapper – 1. A military engineer who lays, detects, and disarms mines; 2. a soldier who digs trenches
  802. Sapphism – Lesbianism
  803. sastrugi – A long wavelike ridge of snow, formed by the wind and found on the polar plains
  804. satori – A spiritual awakening sought in Zen Buddhism, often coming suddenly
  805. satrap – Governor of a province in ancient Persia
  806. satrapy – The territory or sphere under the rule of a satrap
  807. saturnine – Slow and gloomy; morose
  808. sawyer – A bobbing tree in a body of water
  809. scapular – A monk’s sleeveless outer garment that hangs from the shoulders and sometimes has a cowl
  810. sciatheric – Belonging to a sundial
  811. sciolist – A pretentious attitude of scholarship; superficial knowledgeability
  812. scoria – Porous cinderlike fragments of dark lava. Also called cinders, slag
  813. scoriatic – Cinder- or slag-like; rocky, craggy
  814. scotophliic – Functioning best in darkness
  815. scourge – A whip or lash
  816. scramasax – A single-edged knife or sword used by the Anglo-Saxons
  817. scringe – To shrug the back or shoulders from cold
  818. scrouge – To inconvenience or discomfort a person by pressing against him or her or by standing too close
  819. secondment – Temporary transfer to another position or employment
  820. sedulously – Assiduous; constant in effort; persevering (from A very short history of driving while black)
  821. seigneur – A man of rank, esp. a feudal lord in the ancien régime
  822. seine – A fishing net or the act of using one (page 653 of Reamde)
  823. semiotics – The study of systems of communication
  824. sempiternal – Infinite; enduring forever
  825. sempstress – A rare word for seamstress
  826. seneschal – A steward or major-domo (in charge of servants)
  827. sepulchritude – Tomb-like; also, sepulchral
  828. sequacious – Unthinking and uncritical; slavish
  829. sequela – A secondary consequence or result; condition resulting from a disease
  830. serotype – A group of closely related microorganisms distinguished by a characteristic set of antigens
  831. sesquipedalian – Given to using long words
  832. shako – A stiff, cylindrical military dress hat with a metal plate or badge in front, a short visor, and a plume or pompom
  833. shibboleth – Outdated custom
  834. shirty – Ill-tempered; angry
  835. shockheaded – Having a head of bushy or tousled hair
  836. shotcrete – Concrete conveyed through a hose and pneumatically projected at high velocity onto a surface.
  837. sibilent – Hissing sound
  838. sine qua non – An essential element or condition
  839. skittles – Nine-pin bowling
  840. soca – A style of music, originating in the West Indies, that is a blend of soul and calypso
  841. sockdolager – Something outstanding; a final blow or remark, coup de grace
  842. sodality – Fellowship; fraternity; association; society
  843. soi-disant – Self-styled; so-called
  844. solecism – A grammatical error
  845. solon – A legislator
  846. somatically – Corporeal or physical; of, relating to, or affecting the body, esp. as distinguished from a body part, the mind, or the environment
  847. sommian – A volcanic caldera that has been partially filled by a new central cone
  848. 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.
  849. 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
  850. spall – A chip, fragment, or flake from a piece of stone or ore
  851. spatchcock – To prepare for roasting or grilling by splitting open
  852. spathe – A leaflike bract that encloses or subtends a flower cluster or spadix, as in the jack-in-the-pulpit
  853. spavined – Decrepit or worn out
  854. 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.
  855. spinel – A hard, glassy mineral composed of magnesium-aluminum oxide found in metamorphosed limestones and many basic and ultrabasic igneous rocks
  856. spinet – A small, compact upright piano
  857. spitchcock – An eel split and grilled or fried; see spatchcock
  858. sporran – A leather or fur pouch worn at the front of the kilt in the traditional dress of men of the Scottish Highlands
  859. sprezzatura – Studied nonchalance; graceful conduct or performance without apparent effort
  860. 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
  861. squamous – Covered with or formed of scales; scaly
  862. staggers – Any of various diseases in animals, esp. horses, cattle, or other domestic animals, that are characterized by a lack of coordination in moving
  863. 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.
  864. stochastic – Describes something that was
  865. 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.
  866. stook – A group of sheaves of grain stood on end in a field
  867. stot – To jump straight up with straight legs (e.g. antelope)
  868. stoush – A fight or brawl
  869. strabismus – The condition of being cross-eyed
  870. strath – A strath is a large valley, typically a river valley that is wide and shallow
  871. Strega – The Italian word for witch
  872. stridulate – To produce a shrill grating, chirping, or hissing sound by rubbing body parts together, as certain insects do
  873. stroppy – Bad-tempered and argumentative
  874. stylobate – The immediate foundation of a row of classical columns
  875. suasion – Persuasion
  876. succussation – Trotting, shaking
  877. Suetonius – Roman historian whose major work, Lives of the Caesars, is an account of the lives of the first 12 Roman emperors
  878. sui generis – Unique
  879. sumptuary – Laws or limits on private expenses
  880. supererogation – Doing more than required
  881. supernacular – First-rate
  882. supine – Lying on the back or having the face upward
  883. swingeing – Extreme in effect; drastic
  884. swot – To cram; derogatory term for a person who crams
  885. syce – A stableman or groom, esp. in India
  886. syenite – An igneous rock composed primarily of alkali feldspar together with other minerals, such as hornblende
  887. syllepsis – See zeugma
  888. sympatetic – A walking companion
  889. 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.
  890. synecdoche – A trope whereby a part is used as a label for the whole (e.g. hand” for “sailor”)”
  891. tabard – A tunic or capelike garment worn by a knight over his armor and emblazoned with his coat of arms
  892. tabes – A wasting of a bodily organ or part
  893. tacenda – Things not to be mentioned; matters that are passed over in silence
  894. tallboy – A high chest of drawers made in two sections and placed one on top of the other; chest-on-chest
  895. talmudic – Related to the collection of ancient Rabbinic writings constituting the basis of religious authority in Orthodox Judaism
  896. tamarisk – Any shrub or small tree having small scalelike or needle-shaped leaves and feathery racemes of small white or pinkish flowers
  897. tangible – Discernible by the touch; palpable
  898. tapotement – Rapid massage
  899. 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)
  900. tegument – A natural outer covering; an integument
  901. Telemachus – The son of Odysseus and Penelope, who helped his father kill Penelope’s suitors
  902. teleology – The philosophical interpretation of natural phenomena as exhibiting purpose or design
  903. telluric – Of or relating to Earth; terrestrial
  904. telos – End of a goal-oriented process
  905. temerarious – In an audacious manner
  906. tempera – A painting medium in which pigment is mixed with water-soluble glutinous materials such as size or egg yolk
  907. tendentious – Partisan; marked by or favoring a particular point of view
  908. tenebrous – Dark and gloomy
  909. tensegrity – An architectural technique that involves tensional integrity or floating compression (see Wikipedia)
  910. tephra – Solid matter that is ejected into the air by an erupting volcano
  911. Termagant – A scold; a shrew
  912. thaumaturgic – The working of miracles or magic feats
  913. theodicy – A vindication of God’s goodness and justice in the face of the existence of evil
  914. theodolite – A surveying instrument
  915. theophany – An appearance of a god to a human; a divine manifestation
  916. throstle – 1. Any of various thrushes, esp. a song thrush; 2. A machine formerly used for spinning fibers such as cotton or wool
  917. thurible – A censer used in certain ecclesiastical ceremonies or liturgies
  918. thylacine – Tasmanian tiger; an extinct or very rare doglike carnivorous marsupial
  919. titivate – To decorate or spruce up
  920. tocsin – An alarm sounded on a bell
  921. tontine – A common fund with increasing annuity for each member’s death and the last living member gets everything
  922. toothsome – Delicious, luscious, pleasant, attractive, sexually attractive or exciting
  923. topolect – The language or speech of a particular place (e.g. Züridütsch)
  924. torrid – 1. Parched with the heat of the sun; intensely hot; 2. Passionate; ardent
  925. tosh – Rubbish; nonsense
  926. tournure – Implement to expand a dress; a bustle
  927. toxophily – Archery; toxophilite: A student or lover of archery
  928. tracklement – Savory jelly served with meat
  929. tref – Unfit to be eaten; not kosher (corresponds to haram or not halal in Islam)
  930. trenchant – Clear-cut; forceful or convincing
  931. trepidation – A state of alarm or dread; apprehension
  932. tressure – A narrow inner border on a shield, usually decorated with fleurs-de-lys
  933. trews – Trousers; chiefly British
  934. tripe – Something of no value; rubbish
  935. trope – Metaphor or non-literal figure of speech
  936. trow – To think or suppose
  937. truckle – 1. A small wheel/caster; 2. to be servile
  938. tsuris – Problems or difficulties (Yiddish)
  939. trypophobia – An intense, irrational fear of objects with small holes
  940. tumid – 1. Swollen; distended. Used of a body part or organ; 2. Of a bulging shape; protuberant; 3. Overblown; bombastic
  941. turnkey – Supplied, installed, or purchased in a condition ready for immediate use, occupation, or operation
  942. ukase – An authoritative order or decree; an edict
  943. unction – Something that serves to soothe; a balm
  944. unctuous – Excessively ingratiating or insincerely earnest; oily
  945. undecillion – The cardinal number equal to 1036; British: 1066
  946. undisonant – Making the sound of waves
  947. usquebaugh – Whiskey
  948. usufruct – Right to use the property of others
  949. uxorious – Love of or submission to one’s wife
  950. vade mecum – 1. A useful thing that one constantly carries about; 2. A book, such as a guidebook, for ready reference.
  951. vair – Red-squirrel fur; often used a trimming
  952. valetudinarian – 1. Chronically ailing; sickly; 2. Constantly and morbidly concerned with one’s health
  953. vambrace – Forearm armor
  954. vastation – Quick destruction; from the Italian vastare.
  955. vatic – Of or characteristic of a prophet; oracular (see veridical)
  956. vecturist – A collector of tokens used in buses and subways
  957. veisalgia – A hangover (from the Norwegian for “suffering after debauchery”)
  958. vellum – A fine parchment made from calfskin, lambskin, or kidskin and used for the pages and binding of books
  959. venery – The indulgence in or pursuit of sexual activity
  960. 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
  961. veridical – 1. Truthful; veracious; 2. Coinciding with future events or apparently unknowable present realities (see vatic)
  962. verisimilitude – Believable; appearing to be true
  963. vermilion – Brilliant or vivid red (also written vermillion)
  964. versipellous – Changeable, protean
  965. vesicle – A sac or cyst, esp. one containing fluid
  966. vespertine – Of, relating to, or occurring in the evening (e.g. active or blooming in the evening)
  967. vicambulist – One who walks about in the streets
  968. vicissitude – Slings and arrows
  969. 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
  970. villein – One of a class of feudal serfs who held the legal status of freemen in their dealings with all people except their lord
  971. vinous – 1. Of, relating to, or made with wine; 2. Having the color of wine
  972. violaceous – Of a violet color; reddish blue
  973. virago – 1. A woman regarded as noisy, scolding, or domineering; 2. A large, strong, courageous woman
  974. volvulus – Abnormal twisting of the intestine causing obstruction
  975. wale – One of the heavy planks or strakes extending along the sides of a wooden ship
  976. weeper – A hole or pipe in a wall to allow water to run off
  977. whin – Any spiny European evergreen shrub having rudimentary leaves and yellow flowers (also called gorse or furze)
  978. white goods – Large appliances, like refrigerators and washing machines; compare to brown goods, which are TVs, radios, etc.
  979. whipping boy – Scapegoat; a boy formerly raised with a prince or other young nobleman and whipped for the latter’s misdeeds
  980. widdershins – In a contrary or counterclockwise direction
  981. withe – Also withy; a tough, supple twig, used to bind
  982. xenium – A gift given to a guest
  983. yonic – Related the vagina, esp. religious rel. to Shakti
  984. zazen – The primary form of meditation in Zen Buddhism, practiced while sitting cross-legged
  985. zeugma – When a word applies to two others in jarringly different ways (e.g. John and his license expired yesterday.)
  986. zoetrope – A mechanical device consisting of a rotating drum ringed with narrow apertures through which an animated image is viewed