Alphabetical Order                        Down



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























abjure \ab-JUR\, transitive verb:

   1. To renounce under oath.

   2.  To  renounce  or  reject  solemnly;  to recant; to reject;


   3. To abstain from; to shun.


     A  few  years  earlier  Galileo  had  been  forced  by  the

     Inquisition  to  abjure,  on his knees, his heretical views

     that the Earth moves around the Sun.


abominate \uh-BOM-uh-nayt\, transitive verb:

   To hate in the highest degree; to detest intensely; to loathe;

   to abhor.

   I had no wish to study or learn anything, and as for Latin,

  I abominated it.


abscond \ab-SKOND\, intransitive verb:

   To  depart  secretly;  to  steal away and hide oneself -- used

   especially   of  persons  who  withdraw  to  avoid  arrest  or



adamant \AD-uh-muhnt\, adjective:

   Not  capable of being swayed by pleas, appeals, or reason; not

   susceptible to persuasion; unyielding.


affray \uh-FRAY\, noun:

   A tumultuous assault or quarrel; a brawl.


agitprop \AJ-it-prop\, noun:

   Propaganda,   especially  pro-communist  political  propaganda

   disseminated through literature, drama, music, or art.


apogee \AP-uh-jee\, noun:

   1.  The  point  in  the  orbit of the moon or of an artificial

   satellite  that is at the greatest distance from the center of

   the earth.

   2. The farthest or highest point; culmination.


apposite \AP-uh-zit\, adjective:

   Being   of   striking   appropriateness  and  relevance;  very

   applicable; apt.


arrogate \AIR-uh-gayt\, transitive verb:

   1.  To  claim  or  seize  without  right  or justification; to


   2. To claim on behalf of another; to ascribe.


aspersion \uh-SPUR-zhuhn; -shuhn\, noun:

   1. A damaging or derogatory remark; slander.

   2. The act of defaming or slandering.

   3.   A   sprinkling   with   water,  especially  in  religious



asseverate \uh-SEV-uh-rayt\, transitive verb:

   To affirm or declare positively or earnestly.

  "But of course it is!" asseverates Herman Woodlife.


autochthonous \aw-TOCK-thuh-nuhs\, adjective:

   1. Aboriginal; indigenous; native.

   2. Formed or originating in the place where found.

    For  cultures  are  not  monoliths.  They  are fragmentary,

    patchworks of autochthonous and foreign elements.

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bedizen \bih-DY-zuhn\, transitive verb:

   To dress or adorn in gaudy manner.


beholden \bih-HOHL-duhn\, adjective:

   Obliged; bound in gratitude; indebted.


bilious \BIL-yuhs\, adjective:

   1. Of or pertaining to bile.

   2. Marked by an excess secretion of bile.

   3.  Pertaining  to,  characterized  by, or affected by gastric

   distress caused by a disorder of the liver.

   4. Appearing as if affected by such a disorder.

   5. Resembling bile, especially in color.

   6. Of a peevish disposition; ill-tempered.

     Most  arresting of all, his normally gray elephant hide has

     changed to a bilious shade of green.


blandishment \BLAN-dish-muhnt\, noun:

   Speech  or  action that flatters and tends to coax, entice, or

   persuade; allurement -- often used in the plural.


bombinate \BOM-buh-nayt\, intransitive verb:

   To buzz; to hum; to drone.

   He   is   often   drunk.   His   head  hurts.  Snatches  of

  conversation,  remembered  precepts,  prefigured  cries  of

  terror bombinate about his skull.


bonhomie \bah-nuh-MEE\, noun:

Good nature; pleasant and easy manner.

 That bonhomie which won the hearts of all who knew him.  


bowdlerize \BODE-luh-rise; BOWD-\, transitive verb:

   1.  To  remove  or  modify  the parts (of a book, for example)

   considered offensive.

   2.  To modify, as by shortening, simplifying, or distorting in

   style or content.

    The   president   did   not   call   for  bowdlerizing  all

     entertainment,  but  stressed  keeping  unsuitable material

     away from the eyes of children.


brio \BREE-oh\, noun: Enthusiastic vigor; vivacity; liveliness; spirit.

Though  my  judgment  was no doubt affected by all the wine  we'd  consumed,  I remember being elated by our performance that  night:  our inspired spur-of-the-moment dialogue, the actors fleshing out their roles with such brio.


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cavalcade \kav-uhl-KAYD; KAV-uhl-kayd\, noun:

   1. A procession of riders or horse-drawn carriages.

   2. Any procession.

   3. A sequence; a series.


celerity \suh-LAIR-uh-tee\, noun:

   Rapidity of motion or action; quickness; swiftness.


claque \KLACK\, noun:

   1. A group hired to applaud at a performance.

   2. A group of fawning admirers.


clemency \KLEM-uhn-see\, noun:

   1. Disposition to forgive and spare, as offenders; mercy.

   2. An act or instance of mercy or leniency.

   3. Mildness, especially of weather.

      He  put  in a strong plea for clemency, begging the king to

     spare the alchemist's life.


collude \kuh-LOOD\, intransitive verb:

   To act in concert; to conspire; to plot.


comport \kum-PORT\, transitive verb:

   To conduct or behave (oneself) in a particular manner.

    intransitive verb: To  be  fitting;  to  accord;  to agree -- usually followed by 'with'.


condign \kuhn-DINE; KON-dine\, adjective:

   Suitable to the fault or crime; deserved; adequate.

      In  a story as old as the Greeks, overweening pride brought

     condign disaster.


conflate \kuhn-FLAYT\, transitive verb:

   1. To bring together; to fuse together; to join or meld.

   2. To combine (as two readings of a text) into one whole.

    Scott  Reynolds's creepy debut feature [film] conflates the

     present and the past with ingenious use of flashbacks.


contravene \kon-truh-VEEN\, transitive verb:

   1. To act or be counter to; to violate.

   2. To oppose in argument; to contradict.


cosset \KOSS-it\, transitive verb:

   To  treat  as  a  pet;  to treat with excessive indulgence; to



countervail \kown-tur-VAYL\, transitive verb:

   1.  To  act  against  with  equal  force, power, or effect; to


   2.  To  compensate  for;  to offset; to furnish or serve as an

   equivalent to.

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demagogue \DEM-uh-gog\, noun:

   1.  A leader who obtains power by means of impassioned appeals

   to the emotions and prejudices of the populace.

   2. A leader of the common people in ancient times.


depredation \dep-ruh-DAY-shun\, noun:

   1. An act of plundering or despoiling; a raid.

   2. [Plural] Destructive operations; ravages.


    . . .  the  depredations of pirates and privateers on the

     high seas.


descry \dih-SKRY\, transitive verb:

   1. To catch sight of, especially something distant or obscure;

   to discern.

   2. To discover by observation; to detect.


     On  a clear day, if there was no sun, you could descry (but

     barely)  the  ships  roving  out at anchor in Herne Bay and

     count their masts.


desideratum \dih-sid-uh-RAY-tum; -RAH-\, noun;  plural desiderata:

   Something desired or considered necessary.


desuetude \DES-wih-tood, -tyood\, noun:

   The  cessation  of  use; discontinuance of practice or custom;



detritus \dih-TRY-tuhs\, noun; plural detritus:

   1. Loose material that is worn away from rocks.

   2.  Hence, any fragments separated from the body to which they

   belonged; any product of disintegration; debris.


discursive \dis-KUR-siv\, adjective:

   1.  Passing  from  one  topic  to another; ranging over a wide

   field; digressive; rambling.

   2.  Utilizing,  marked by, or based on analytical reasoning --

   contrasted with intuitive.


dissolute \DIS-uh-loot\, adjective:

   Loose  in  morals and conduct; marked by indulgence in sensual

   pleasures or vices.


doula \DOO-luh\, noun:

   A  woman  who  assists  during  childbirth  labor and provides

   support  to  the  mother,  her  child  and  the  family  after


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ebullient \ih-BUL-yuhnt\, adjective:

   1. Overflowing with enthusiasm or excitement; high-spirited.

   2. Boiling up or over.


enervate \EN-ur-vayt\, transitive verb:

   1.  To deprive of vigor, force, or strength; to render feeble;

   to weaken.

   2. To reduce the moral or mental vigor of.

    Beatriz  de  Ahumada  soldiered  on  to  produce  nine more

   children, a tour of duty that left her enervated and worn.


exculpate \EK-skuhl-payt; ek-SKUHL-payt\, transitive verb:

   To  clear  from  alleged  fault  or  guilt;  to  prove  to  be

   guiltless; to relieve of blame; to acquit.

   Each  member is determined to exculpate himself, to lay the

     blame elsewhere.


erudite \AIR-yuh-dyt; -uh-dyt\, adjective:

   Characterized by extensive reading or knowledge; learned.


evanescent \ev-uh-NES-unt\, adjective:

   Liable to vanish or pass away like vapor; fleeting.


excrescence \ik-SKRESS-uhn(t)s\, noun:

   1.  Something (especially something abnormal) growing out from

   something else.

   2. A disfiguring or unwanted mark, part, or addition.


exigent \EK-suh-juhnt\, adjective:

   1. Requiring immediate aid or action; pressing; critical.

   2. Requiring much effort or expense; demanding; exacting.


exiguous \ig-ZIG-yoo-us\, adjective: Extremely scanty; meager.

      They  are  entering  the market, setting up stalls on snowy

     streets, moonlighting to supplement exiguous incomes.


expatiate \ek-SPAY-shee-ayt\, intransitive verb:

   1. To speak or write at length or in considerable detail.

   2. To move about freely; to wander.


extant \EK-stunt; ek-STANT\, adjective:

   Still existing; not destroyed, lost, or extinct.


extempore \ik-STEM-puh-ree\, adverb:

   Without  premeditation  or  preparation;  on  the  spur of the



extricate \EK-struh-kayt\, transitive verb:

   To  free  or release from a difficulty or entanglement; to get  free; to disengage.

   Sean  introduced  himself and then extricated his hand from

     Ronan's persistent grasp in order to show him the photo.


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faineant \fay-nay-AWN\, adjective:

   Doing nothing or given to doing nothing; idle; lazy.


farrago \fuh-RAH-go; fuh-RAY-go\, noun;  plural farragoes:

   A confused mixture; an assortment; a medley.


fiat \FEE-uht; -at; -aht; FY-uht; -at\, noun:

   1. An arbitrary or authoritative command or order.

   2. Formal or official authorization or sanction.


firmament \FUR-muh-muhnt\, noun:

   1. The region of the air; the sky; the heavens.

   2. The field or sphere of an interest or activity

   But  to judge by the twinkling summer stars that filled the

     firmament, the dawn was still far off.


forlorn \fur-LORN; for-\, adjective:

   1. Sad and lonely because deserted, abandoned, or lost.

   2. Bereft; forsaken.

   3. Wretched or pitiful in appearance or condition.

   4. Almost hopeless; desperate.


     Henry  had  felt  guilty  at  abandoning his sister; he had

     married not once but twice, leaving Rose forlorn.


foundling \FOWND-ling\, noun:

   A deserted or abandoned infant; a child found without a parent

   or caretaker.

      Some  of  her  desires  were more altruistic: she wanted to

     "send  Phyllis  to school for a year, take Auntie May for a

     winter in the Isle of Pines," and "raise foundlings."


friable \FRY-uh-buhl\, adjective:

   Easily crumbled, pulverized, or reduced to powder.


frisson \free-SOHN\, noun:  A  moment  of  intense  excitement;  a  shudder;  an emotional thrill.

 When  we  think  a  story  hasn't been invented, there's an extra frisson in reading it.


fugacious \fyoo-GAY-shuhs\, adjective: Lasting but a short time; fleeting.

 The fugacious nature of life and time.


 furbelow \FUR-buh-low\, noun:

   1.  A  pleated  or  gathered  flounce  on a woman's garment; a ruffle.

   2.   Something   showy   or   superfluous;   a  bit  of  showy



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galumph \guh-LUHM(P)F\, intransitive verb:

   To move in a clumsy manner or with a heavy tread.

   Then  he  climbed up the little iron ladder that led to the wharf's  cap,  placed  me      once more upon his shoulders and galumphed off again.

 gambol \GAM-buhl\, intransitive verb:

   To dance and skip about in play; to frolic.


gelid \JEL-id\, adjective:

   Extremely cold; icy.

 The  weather  is  gelid  on  a  recent  Thursday  night--so uninviting that it's hard to imagine anyone venturing out.


gravitas \GRAV-uh-tahs\, noun:

   High seriousness (as in a person's bearing or in the treatment

   of a subject).


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hauteur \haw-TUR; (h)oh-\, noun:

   Haughty manner, spirit, or bearing; haughtiness; arrogance


heterodox \HET-uh-ruh-doks\, adjective:

   1.  Contrary  to or differing from some acknowledged standard,

   especially in church doctrine or dogma; unorthodox.

   2. Holding unorthodox opinions or doctrines.


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incipient \in-SIP-ee-uhnt\, adjective:

   Beginning to exist or appear.


incontrovertible \in-kon-truh-VUR-tuh-buhl\, adjective:

   Too  clear  or  certain  to  admit  of  dispute; indisputable;



indolent \IN-duh-luhnt\, adjective:

   1.   Avoiding  labor  and  exertion;  habitually  idle;  lazy;


   2. Conducive to or encouraging laziness or inactivity.

   3. Causing little or no pain.

   4. Slow to heal, develop, or grow.


     We  worked  very  hard--at  least  Iris  did;  I  was  more

     naturally indolent.


 indomitable \in-DOM-ih-tuh-buhl\, adjective:

   Incapable of being subdued or overcome; unconquerable.


ineluctable \in-ih-LUCK-tuh-buhl\, adjective:

   Impossible to avoid or evade; inevitable.


irascible \ih-RASS-uh-buhl\, adjective:

   Prone to anger; easily provoked to anger; hot-tempered.

The   lawyer   described   his   client   as  an  irascible eighty-two-year-old   eccentric   who   alternated  between spinning  fascinating  tales about her past and cussing him out.


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jocund \JOCK-uhnd; JOH-kuhnd\, adjective:

   Full  of or expressing high-spirited merriment; light-hearted; mirthful.

  His  careless  manners and jocund repartees might well seem incompatible with  

  anything serious.


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lachrymose \LAK-ruh-mohs\, adjective:

   1. Given to shedding tears; suffused with tears; tearful.

   2. Causing or tending to cause tears.


     At  the farewell party on the boat, Joyce was surrounded by

     a lachrymose family.


lenity \LEN-uh-tee\, noun:

   The state or quality of being lenient; mildness; gentleness of

   treatment; leniency.


     The  criminal  suspect  is  pressured by remorse or hope of

     lenity or sheer despair to fess up.


levity \LEV-uh-tee\, noun:

   1.   Lightness   of   manner   or   speech,   especially  when

   inappropriate or excessive; frivolity.

   2. Lack of steadiness or constancy; changeableness.


lissom, also lissome \LISS-uhm\, adjective:

   1. Limber; supple; flexible.

   2. Light and quick in action; nimble; agile; active.


     Raphaelle  Boitel  moves  with  the  lissom,  contortionist

     plastique of a snake-woman.



logorrhea \law-guh-REE-uh\, noun:

   Excessive talkativeness or wordiness.


loquacious \loh-KWAY-shuhs\, adjective:

   1. Very talkative.

   2. Full of excessive talk; wordy.


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malapropos \mal-ap-ruh-POH\, adjective:

   Unseasonable; unsuitable; inappropriate.


malediction \mal-uh-DIK-shun\, noun:

   A curse or execration.


maudlin \MAWD-lin\, adjective:

   Tearfully or excessively sentimental.


 mellifluous \muh-LIF-loo-us\, adjective:

   Flowing  as  with  honey;  flowing  sweetly or smoothly; as, a

   mellifluous voice.

   The   balladeer   whose  mellifluous  voice  serenaded  two

   generations of lovers.


mendacious \men-DAY-shuhs\, adjective:

   1.  Given  to deception or falsehood; lying; untruthful; as, a

   mendacious person.

   2. False; untrue; as, a mendacious statement.


mien \MEEN\, noun:

   1.  Manner  or  bearing,  especially  as  expressive  of mood,

   attitude, or personality; demeanor.

   2. Aspect; appearance.


myrmidon \MUR-muh-don; -dun\, noun:

   1.  [Capitalized]  A member of a warlike Thessalian people who

   followed Achilles on the expedition against Troy.

   2.  A  loyal  follower,  especially  one  who  executes orders

   without question, protest, or pity.


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nescience \NESH-uhn(t)s; NESH-ee-uhn(t)s\, noun:

   Lack of knowledge or awareness; ignorance.


nefarious \nuh-FAIR-ee-us\, adjective:

   Wicked in the extreme; iniquitous.


nimiety \nih-MY-uh-tee\, noun:

   The state of being too much; excess.

   What  a  nimiety  of ... riches have we here! I am quite



nonagenarian \non-uh-juh-NAIR-ee-uhn; no-nuh-\, noun:

   A  ninety  year  old  person;  someone  whose  age  is  in the



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obloquy \OB-luh-kwee\, noun:

   1. Strongly condemnatory or abusive language or utterance.

   2.  The  condition  of disgrace suffered as a result of public

   blame, abuse, or condemnation; ill repute.


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peccadillo \peck-uh-DIL-oh\, noun:

   A slight offense; a petty fault.


     No  peccadillo is too trivial: we learn that the mogul once

     blew  his  top  because  his  laundry  came  back  starched

     (" 'Fluff and fold!' he screamed").


pecuniary \pih-KYOO-nee-air-ee\, adjective:

   1. Relating to money; monetary.

   2. Consisting of money.

   3. Requiring payment of money.


pellucid \puh-LOO-sid\, adjective:

   1. Transparent; clear; not opaque.

   2. Easily understandable.


perforce \pur-FORS\, adverb:

   By necessity; by force of circumstance.


perfunctory \pur-FUNGK-tuh-ree\, adjective:

   1.  Done merely to carry out a duty; performed mechanically or


   2. Lacking interest, care, or enthusiasm; indifferent.


     The  city's moderate hotels, however, tend to offer minimal

     comforts, perfunctory service and dreary decor.



philomath \FIL-uh-math\, noun:

   A lover of learning; a scholar.

   It  is precisely for the philomaths that universities ought  to cater.


philter \FIL-tur\, noun:

   1. A potion or charm supposed to cause the person taking it to

   fall in love.

   2. A potion or charm believed to have magic power.


plenary \PLEE-nuh-ree; PLEN-uh-ree\, adjective:

   1.  Full  in  all  respects;  complete;  absolute; as, plenary


   2. Fully attended by all qualified members.


     Judges  like  to  quote  a  1936 Supreme Court opinion that

     spoke of "the very delicate, plenary and exclusive power of

     the  President  as the sole organ of the Federal Government

     in the field of international relations."

pleonasm \PLEE-uh-naz-uhm\, noun:

   1.  The  use  of  more  words than are necessary to express an

   idea; as, "I saw it with my own eyes."

   2. An instance or example of pleonasm.

   3. A superfluous word or expression.


polyglot \POL-ee-glot\, adjective:

   1. Containing or made up of several languages.

   2. Writing, speaking, or versed in many languages.


   One who speaks several languages.


postprandial \post-PRAN-dee-uhl\, adjective:

   Happening or done after a meal.


potable \POE-tuh-buhl\, adjective:

   Fit to drink; suitable for drinking; drinkable.


prink \PRINGK\, transitive verb:

   To dress up; to deck for show.


probity \PRO-buh-tee\, noun:

   Complete and confirmed integrity; uprightness.


proclivity \pro-KLIV-uh-tee\, noun:

   A natural inclination; predisposition.


prolix \pro-LIKS; PRO-liks\, adjective:

   1. Extending to a great length; unnecessarily long; wordy.

   2. Tending to speak or write at excessive length.


pronunciamento \pro-nun-see-uh-MEN-toe\, noun:

   1.  A  proclamation  or  manifesto;  a  formal announcement or


   2. A pronouncement.


propitious \pruh-PISH-uhs\, adjective:

   1. Presenting favorable circumstances or conditions.

   2. Favorably inclined; gracious; benevolent.


protean \PRO-tee-un; pro-TEE-un\, adjective:

   1. Displaying considerable variety or diversity.

   2. Readily assuming different shapes or forms.

The  [Broadway]  musical  was  ceaselessly protean in these years, usually   conventional   but   always   developing convention, twisting it, replacing it.


puerile \PYOO-uhr-uhl; PYOOR-uhl\, adjective:

   Displaying   or  suggesting  a  lack  of  maturity;  juvenile; childish.


pusillanimous \pyoo-suh-LAN-uh-muhs\, adjective:

   Lacking  in  courage  and  resolution;  contemptibly  fearful; cowardly.


putsch \PUCH ('u' as in 'push')\, noun:

   (Sometimes   capitalized)  A  secretly  planned  and  suddenly

   executed attempt to overthrow a government.

   Hitler  operated from Munich where he enjoyed a fair degree

   of  support,  and it was here that his Putsch took place in

   an effort to seize power in Bavaria.

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quondam \KWAHN-duhm; KWAHN-dam\, adjective:

   Having been formerly; former; sometime.

   A  quondam flower child, she spent seven years at the Royal

  College  of  Art,  before  becoming a lecturer at Edinburgh  School of Art.


quotidian \kwoh-TID-ee-uhn\, adjective:

   1. Occurring or returning daily; as, a quotidian fever.

   2. Of an everyday character; ordinary; commonplace.


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raconteur \rack-on-TUR\, noun:

   One who excels in telling stories and anecdotes.

    An  excellent  raconteur,  he had a varied stock of stories

     and enjoyed the joke just as much when it was on himself as

     he did when it was on some one else.


ratiocination \rash-ee-ah-suh-NAY-shun; rash-ee-oh-\, noun:

   The process of reasoning.

   For  all  their  vaunted  powers  of  ratiocination,  grand

   masters of chess tend to be a skittery lot.


recalcitrant \rih-KAL-sih-truhnt\, adjective:

   Stubbornly resistant to and defiant of authority or restraint.     


redoubt \rih-DOWT\, noun:

   1. A small and usually temporary defensive fortification.

   2. A defended position or protective barrier.

   3. A secure place of refuge or defense; a stronghold.


refractory \rih-FRAK-tuh-ree\, adjective:

   1. Stubbornly disobedient; unmanageable.

   2. Resisting ordinary treatment or cure.

   3.  Difficult  to  melt  or  work;  capable  of  enduring high



 reticent \RET-ih-suhnt\, adjective:

   1. Inclined to keep silent; reserved; uncommunicative.

   2. Restrained or reserved in style.

   3. Reluctant; unwilling.


 roister \ROY-stur\, intransitive verb:

   1. To engage in boisterous merrymaking; to revel; to carouse.

   2. To bluster; to swagger.

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salad days, noun:

   A time of youthful inexperience, innocence, or indiscretion.

   Those  were  his salad days, and he thought they might last  forever.


salubrious \suh-LOO-bree-us\, adjective:

   Favorable to health; promoting health; healthful.


sang-froid, also sangfroid \sang-FRWAH\, noun:

   Freedom  from  agitation  or  excitement  of mind; coolness in

   trying circumstances; calmness.


sentient \SEN-shee-uhnt; -tee-; -shuhnt\, adjective:

   1. Capable of perceiving by the senses; conscious.

   2. Experiencing sensation or feeling.

      I  can  remember very vividly the first time I became aware

     of  my  existence; how for the first time I realised that I  was 

     a sentient human being in a perceptible world.


seriatim \sir-ee-AY-tim; -AT-im\, adverb:

   In a series; one after another.


sinecure \SY-nih-kyur; SIN-ih-\, noun:

   An  office  or position that requires or involves little or no

   responsibility, work, or active service.

  I  was  fortunate  to  receive  the. . .  offer, which in  practical terms was a sinecure.


somnolent \SOM-nuh-luhnt\, adjective:

   1. Sleepy; drowsy; inclined to sleep.

   2. Tending to cause sleepiness or drowsiness.


spoonerism \SPOO-nuh-riz-uhm\, noun:

   The  transposition  of  usually  initial  sounds  in a pair of



sunder \SUN-dur\, transitive verb:

   To break apart; to separate; to divide; to sever. 

   intransitive verb:

   To become parted, disunited, or severed.


surreptitious \sur-up-TISH-us; suh-rep-\, adjective:

   1. Done, made, or gotten by stealth.

   2. Acting with or marked by stealth.


susurration \soo-suh-RAY-shun\, noun:

   A whispering sound; a soft murmur.

     . . . the soft susurration of the wind through a stand of

     whistling thorn.


sybarite \SIB-uh-ryt\, noun:

   A person devoted to luxury and pleasure.

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taciturn \TAS-uh-turn\, adjective:

   Habitually silent; not inclined to talk.


temerarious \tem-uh-RAIR-ee-us\, adjective:

   Recklessly or presumptuously daring; rash.


tintinnabulation \tin-tih-nab-yuh-LAY-shuhn\, noun:

   A tinkling sound, as of a bell or bells.


traduce \truh-DOOS; -DYOOS\, transitive verb:

   To expose to contempt or shame by means of false statements or

   misrepresentation; to represent as blamable; to vilify.


tyro \TY-roh\, noun:

   A beginner in learning; a novice.


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unctuous \UNGK-choo-us\, adjective:

   1.  Of the nature or quality of an unguent or ointment; fatty;

   oily; greasy.

   2. Having a smooth, greasy feel, as certain minerals.

   3.  Insincerely or excessively suave or ingratiating in manner

   or   speech;   marked  by  a  false  or  smug  earnestness  or



     A warmed, crusty French roll arrives split, lightly smeared

     with unctuous chopped liver.


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varicolored \VER-ih-kuh-lurd\, adjective:

   Having a variety of colors; of various colors.

    Where  a  bottleneck  of sky showed between the hills, dark

     and light clouds lay in alternating layers like varicolored

     liquid that would not mix.


vociferous \voh-SIF-uhr-uhs\, adjective:

   Making a loud outcry; clamorous; noisy.

   Claudio  has  work  to  do  and  I  have  a  vociferous son demanding a story.


voluble \VOL-yuh-buhl\, adjective:

   1. Characterized by a ready flow of speech.

   2. Easily rolling or turning; rotating.

   3. (Botany) Having the power or habit of turning or twining.


volte-face \vawlt-FAHS; vawl-tuh-\, noun:

   An about-face; a reversal, as in policy or opinion.



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