2005

transmute: to change from one nature, form, substance, or state into another. galumph: to move in a clumsy manner or with a heavy tread. rejoinder: an answer to a reply. distrait: divided or withdrawn in attention, especially because of anxiety. vituperation: abusive language. lubricious: lewd; also, slippery or smooth. oblation: an offering. putsch: an attempt to overthrow a government. impervious: impenetrable; also, not capable of being affected. cosmopolite: a cosmopolitan person. quagmire: a predicament. eldritch: unearthly; weird; eerie. indurate: to make hard; to harden. slake: to satisfy or quench; also, to cause to lessen. profuse: plentiful; copious. hubris: overbearing pride or presumption. apogee: the highest point. voluble: characterized by a ready flow of speech. bibulous: of, pertaining to, marked by, or given to the consumption of alcohol. perfunctory: done routinely. omnipresent: present in all places at the same time. forlorn: sad and lonely because deserted, abandoned, or lost. evince: to show in a clear manner. seriatim: in a series; one after another. coruscate: to give off or reflect bright beams or flashes of light. turpitude: baseness; depravity. moiety: a half; a small part. bete noire: something or someone particularly detested or avoided. stasis: a state of balance, equilibrium, or stagnation. extirpate: to eradicate; to destroy. perdurable: very durable; long lasting. circumambient: surrounding; encompassing. ukase: an edict. discursive: digressive; rambling; also, marked by analytical reasoning. pukka: authentic; genuine; also, first-class. kvetch: to complain habitually. brio: vigor; vivacity. importunate: troublesomely urgent. dishabille: the state of being carelessly or partially dressed. purblind: having greatly reduced vision. asseverate: to affirm or declare positively or earnestly. celerity: quickness; swiftness. nefarious: wicked in the extreme. agitprop: propaganda. inamorata: a woman whom one is in love with.

diffident: bashful or unassertive. polymath: a person of great or varied learning. fiduciary: relating to the holding of something in trust for another. perspicacity: clearness of understanding. legerdemain: sleight of hand. cavalcade: a procession. faineant: doing nothing; idle; also, a do-nothing. perforce: by necessity. mellifluous: flowing sweetly or smoothly. eschew: to shun; to avoid. blackguard: a scoundrel. mulct: to defraud. paean: a song or other expression of praise or joy. incipient: beginning to exist or appear. salubrious: healthful. fiat: an arbitrary or authoritative command or order. gelid: extremely cold; icy. billet: to quarter, or place in lodgings. incongruous: lacking in harmony. nepotism: favoritism shown to members of one's family. fey: possessing or displaying a strange and otherworldly aspect or quality. ambuscade: an ambush; also, to ambush. gourmand: one who enjoys good food in great quantities. lachrymose: given to causing tears. coquette: a flirt. potboiler: a usually inferior literary or artistic work, produced quickly for the purpose of making money. parse: to analyze. nimiety: excess. quotidian: occurring daily; also, ordinary. fugacious: lasting but a short time. cabal: a group that seeks power usually through intrigue. pecuniary: relating to money. postprandial: happening or done after a meal. spoonerism: the transposition of usually initial sounds in a pair of words. furbelow: something showy or superfluous. stygian: dark and gloomy; also, infernal. lumpen: those individuals cut off from their normal socioeconomic class. copacetic: very satisfactory. pestiferous: bearing or bringing disease, moral harm, or annoyance. luculent: clear; easily understood. sapid: having flavor, especially a strong pleasant flavor. contemn: to scorn; to despise. aliment: nutriment or sustenance. temporize: to be indecisive or evasive in order to gain time; also, to go with the times. magniloquent: lofty or grandiose in speech or expression. jape: to jest.

biddable: easily led or commanded; obedient. cloy: to weary or become distasteful through excess. amanuensis: one employed to take dictation or to copy manuscripts. shibboleth: a word, pronunciation, saying, belief, practice, etc., that distinguishes one group from another. complement: something that fills up or completes. maudlin: excessively sentimental. Panglossian: excessively or naively optimistic. supervene: to take place or occur as something additional, extraneous, or unexpected. hagiography: biography of saints; also, idealizing or idolizing biography. malapropos: unseasonable or unseasonably; inappropriate or inappropriately. redoubt: a stronghold. detritus: debris. obloquy: ill repute. extant: still existing. arbitrage: the nearly simultaneous purchase and sale of an asset in order to profit from price discrepancies. panegyric: an expression of formal or elaborate praise. masticate: to chew. fettle: a state or condition of fitness, order, or mind. cavalcade: a procession. enervate: to weaken. atavism: reversion to a remote ancestral type or to an earlier form. rara avis: a rare or unique person or thing. euphonious: pleasing or sweet in sound. scintilla: a tiny amount; a spark. matutinal: relating to or occurring in the morning. detritus: debris. pusillanimous: cowardly. extol: to praise. intransigent: uncompromising. palindrome: a word, verse, phrase, or sentence that reads the same backward or forward. supplicate: to make a humble and earnest petition. labile: open to change; apt or likely to change. traduce: to vilify. claque: a group of fawning admirers. frisson: a brief moment of intense excitement. extempore: without premeditation or preparation. cosset: to treat with excessive indulgence; to pamper. aver: to assert as true. wayworn: wearied by traveling. ameliorate: to make or grow better. concomitant: accompanying; attending. triskaidekaphobia: fear of the number 13. indolent: lazy; inactive. lenity: the state or quality of being lenient.

camarilla: a group of secret and often scheming advisers. ablution: the washing of the body or some part of it. untoward: not favorable or fortunate; also, improper. menagerie: a collection of wild or unusual animals; also, a diverse group. presage: an omen; also, to predict. abnegate: refuse or deny oneself; also, to give up (rights, claims, etc.). faction: a usually contentious group or party; also, internal dissension. pallor: unusual or extreme paleness. suffuse: spread through or over; to flush. artifice: an artful trick, stratagem or device; also, cleverness, skill. saturnine: gloomy or sullen. lionize: to treat or regard as an object great interest or importance. finical: finicky. pliant: easily bent or flexed; also, easily influenced; compliant. dissemble: to hide under a false appearance; also, to assume a false appearance. recreant: cowardly; also, unfaithful or disloyal. fetter: a restraint; also, to impose restraints on. tumid: swollen; bulging; also, bombastic. agglomeration: a cluster or mass. odium: intense hatred or dislike. unfledged: not fully developed; immature. countenance: appearance or expression of the face; also, to tolerate or encourage. betimes: early; also, on occasion. glutinous: gluey; sticky. durance: imprisonment. ingenuous: demonstrating childlike simplicity; also, open; frank. manumit: to free from slavery or servitude. hermitage: a secluded residence; a retreat. blandishment: flattering speech or action. peradventure: chance, uncertainty, or doubt. antiquarian: one who collects, studies, or deals in antiquities. naif: a naive or inexperienced person. altercation: a heated, noisy, or angry dispute. quorum: such a number of the officers or members of any body as is legally competent to transact business. gravitas: high seriousness. exigent: requiring immediate aid or action; also, demanding. irascible: easily provoked to anger. ineluctable: impossible to avoid or evade. voluble: characterized by a ready flow of speech. commination: a denunciation. philomath: a lover of learning; a scholar. amative: pertaining to or disposed to love. callow: immature. woebegone: woeful; also, run-down. lineament: a distinguishing or characteristic feature.

abscond: to depart secretly. garrulous: talkative; also, wordy. acumen: quickness or keenness of perception or discernment. sentient: capable of perceiving by the senses. varicolored: having a variety of colors. nostrum: a questionable remedy. rictus: a gaping grin or grimace. ameliorate: to make or grow better. somnolent: drowsy; also, tending to cause sleepiness. mien: demeanor; also, aspect; appearance. potable: drinkable; also, a beverage, especially an alcoholic one. temerarious: reckless; rash. introspection: the act or process of self-examination; reflection. malfeasance: wrongdoing, misconduct, or misbehavior. fealty: fidelity; allegiance; faithfulness. atelier: a workshop; a studio. apparition: a ghost; also, an unexpected appearance. propinquity: nearness. ersatz: being a substitute or imitation. flummox: to confuse; to perplex. iota: a very small quantity or degree. ennui: a feeling of weariness and dissatisfaction arising from lack of interest. assuage: to soften; to ease, or lessen. regale: to entertain with something that delights. eke: to gain or supplement with great effort or difficulty. badinage: light, playful talk. indelible: incapable of being removed or erased. volte-face: an about-face. kismet: destiny; fate. refulgent: brilliant; resplendent. caesura: a break or pause in a line of verse; also, any break or pause. wastrel: a person who wastes; a loafer. circumlocution: the use of many words to express an idea that might be expressed by few. Zeitgeist: the spirit of the time. affable: easy to speak to; also, gracious. parsimonious: frugal to excess. beholden: obliged; indebted. waylay: to ambush or accost. castigate: to punish or criticize severely. somniferous: causing or inducing sleep. captious: disposed to find fault or raise objections. sojourn: to dwell for a time; also, a temporary stay. nugatory: insignificant; also, ineffectual. ubiquitous: being everywhere. tryst: an appointment (as between lovers) to meet. pari passu: at an equal pace or rate. enmity: hatred; ill will.

numinous: spiritual; holy. dilatory: given to, or marked by, procrastination or delay. parley: a conference or discussion; also, to confer. ephemeral: short-lived. truculent: fierce; savage; ferocious. vicissitude: a change in condition or fortune. schadenfreude: a malicious satisfaction in the misfortunes of others. tyro: a novice. expatiate: to speak or write at length. peccadillo: a slight offense; a petty fault. bagatelle: a trifle; also, a short, light literary or musical piece. descant: a discourse; also, to discourse. canorous: melodious; musical. unctuous: marked by a false or smug earnestness or agreeableness. evanescent: fleeting. venial: capable of being forgiven; excusable. capacious: able to contain much. trammel: something that impedes activity, progress, or freedom; also, to hamper. busker: a street musician or performer. sybarite: a person devoted to luxury and pleasure. deride: to laugh at with contempt. cavil: to raise trivial objections; also, a trivial objection. farrago: an assortment; a medley. demagogue: a leader who obtains power by means of appeals to the emotions and prejudices of the populace. quaff: to drink with relish. hirsute: covered with hair or bristles. tenebrous: dark; gloomy. ostentation: excessive or pretentious display. officious: meddlesome. afflatus: a divine inspiration. quorum: such a number of the officers or members of any body as is legally competent to transact business. hauteur: haughtiness; arrogance. xenophobia: fear or hatred of what is strange or foreign. bacchanalia: a revel. immure: to enclose within or as if within walls. deliquesce: to melt away or become liquid. capitulate: to surrender under agreed conditions. adventitious: added extrinsically; not essentially inherent. modicum: a small or token amount. fetid: stinking. gimcrack: a showy but useless or worthless object. banal: commonplace; trivial. halcyon: peaceful; undisturbed; happy. adamant: not susceptible to persuasion; unyielding. jocund: light-hearted; mirthful. segue: to proceed without interruption.

puerile: juvenile; childish. nadir: the lowest point. effulgence: the state of being bright and radiant. inchoate: partly but not fully in existence or operation. beneficence: the practice of doing good. sempiternal: everlasting; eternal. onus: burden; also, blame; stigma. abstemious: temperate; abstinent; refraining from indulgence. cant: empty, solemn speech. laconic: using or marked by the use of a minimum of words. palpable: plain; distinct; obvious. gewgaw: a trinket; a bauble. conurbation: an aggregation or continuous network of urban communities. sinecure: an office or position that involves little work or responsibility. abjure: to renounce, reject, or shun. lackadaisical: lacking spirit or liveliness. aberrant: abnormal. votary: one devoted to some pursuit, worship, study, or way of life. pelf: money; riches. tocsin: a warning. lexicon: a dictionary; also, the vocabulary of a person, group, etc. umbrage: offense; resentment. orotund: full in sound; also, bombastic. loquacious: very talkative. bruit: To report; to noise abroad. virago: an ill-tempered, overbearing woman; also, a woman of great strength and courage. mawkish: sickly or excessively sentimental. malediction: a curse. susurrus: a whispering or rustling sound. neophyte: a novice. immolate: to kill or destroy, often by fire. alpenglow: a reddish glow seen near sunset or sunrise on the summits of mountains. subfusc: dark or dull in color. mores: customs; habits; ways. dapple: a small contrasting blotch; also, to mark with spots. winsome: light-hearted. verdure: greenness. propitious: presenting favorable circumstances. nosegay: a bouquet. oneiric: pertaining to or suggestive of dreams. laudable: praiseworthy; commendable. puissant: powerful. diadem: a crown. ebullient: high-spirited. aplomb: confidence; coolness. kobold: a kind of domestic spirit in German mythology.

prestidigitation: sleight of hand. rubicund: inclining to redness; ruddy. lambent: playing on the surface; flickering. anodyne: serving to relieve pain. ingenue: a naive girl or young woman, or an actress representing such a person. subterfuge: a deceptive device or stratagem. maelstrom: a large, powerful whirlpool; also, a violent, disordered, or turbulent state of affairs. crepuscular: pertaining to twilight. repast: a meal. soporific: causing sleep; also, something that causes sleep. bivouac: a usually temporary encampment; also, to encamp. quidnunc: a gossip; a busybody. lassitude: lack of vitality or energy. billet-doux: a love letter. wheedle: to entice by flattery. alfresco: outdoors; outdoor. redivivus: living again; revived; restored. chagrin: acute vexation or embarrassment. gaucherie: a socially awkward or tactless act; also, lack of tact. panache: dash or flamboyance in manner or style. logorrhea: excessive talkativeness. assiduous: constant in application or attention. sylvan: pertaining to woods or forests. voluptuary: a person devoted to luxury and the gratification of sensual appetites. inure: to make used to; also, to take or have effect. auspicious: favorable; also, prosperous; fortunate. tmesis: in grammar and rhetoric, the separation of the parts of a compound word. carapace: a shell; a protective covering. paladin: a champion of a cause. hale: free from disease and weakening conditions; healthy. sacrosanct: sacred; inviolable. melange: a mixture. vainglory: excessive pride or vain display. sub rosa: secretly; privately; confidentially. digerati: persons knowledgeable about computers. confrere: a colleague, comrade, or intimate associate. querulous: habitually complaining; also, expressing complaint. vociferous: clamorous; noisy. firmament: the sky; the heavens. jollification: merrymaking; revelry. benefaction: the act of conferring a benefit; also, a benefit conferred. apposite: of striking appropriateness and relevance. cynosure: a center of attention. quiddity: the essence or nature of a thing. perquisite: a benefit in addition to a salary. Hogmanay: the name, in Scotland, for the last day of the year.

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