Words Definition
adjure (verb, formal) Urge or request (someone) solemnly or earnestly to do something.
aegis (noun) The protection, backing, or support of a particular person or organization. In classical art and mythology, an attribute of Zeus and Athene usually represented as a goatskin shield.
amphibology (noun) A phrase or sentence that is grammatically ambiguous, such as 'She sees more of her children than her husband.'
anneal (verb) Heat (metal or glass) and allow it to cool slowly, in order to remove internal stresses and toughen it; figuratively, e.g. ‘Dr Lowenstein, annealed to hostility, looked at me coolly’.
annealing (adj.) See above.
aporia (noun) An irresolvable internal contradiction or logical disjunction in a text, argument, or theory.
apposite (adj.) Apt in the circumstances or in relation to something.
approbation (noun) Approval or praise.
appurtenance (noun) An accessory or other item associated with a particular activity or style of living.
arrogate (verb) Take or claim (something) without justification. (noun: arrogation)
athwart (adverb) Across from side to side; transversely. So as to be perverse or contradictory.
athwart (preposition) From side to side of; across. In opposition to; counter to.
attenuate (verb) Reduce the force, effect, or value of; reduce the amplitude of (a signal, electric current, or other oscillation); Reduce the virulence of (a pathogenic organism or vaccine). Also, reduce in thickness.
avuncular (adj.) Kind and friendly towards a younger or less experienced person.
babelicious (adj.) [North American, informal] (of a woman) very sexually attractive.
bane (noun) A cause of great distress or annoyance.
bathetic (adj.) Producing an unintentional effect of anticlimax.
bathos (noun) (Especially in literary work) an effect of anticlimax created by an unintentional lapse in mood from the sublime to the trivial or ridiculous.
behemoth (noun) A huge or monstrous creature.
bellwether The leading sheep of a flock, with a bell on its neck. Something that leads or indicates a trend.
blatherskite (noun) A person who talks at great length without making much sense.
borborygmus (noun) A rumbling or gurgling noise made by the movement of fluid and gas in the intestines.
boscage (noun) A  mass of trees or shrubs.
calid (adj. archaic) Warm, hot, burning.
callow (adj.) (Of a young person) inexperienced and immature.
calumny (mass noun) The making of false and defamatory statements about someone in order to damage their reputation; slander.
calumnious (adj.) See above.
careen (verb) Turn (a ship) on its side for cleaning, caulking, or repair; (North American) move swiftly and in an uncontrolled way.
catena (noun) A connected series or chain.
chary (adj.) Cautiously or suspiciously reluctant to do something.
cis (noun) Short for 'cisgender' (opposite of 'transgender'), used to describe someone whose gender identity matches their anatomical gender at birth.
cline (noun) A continuum with an infinite number of gradations from one extreme to the other.
controvert (verb) Deny the truth of (something).
contumelious (adj.) [archaic] (Of behaviour) scornful and insulting; insolent.
cuirass (noun) [historical] a piece of armour consisting of breastplate and backplate fastened together.
doughty (adj.) Brave and persistent (archaic or humorous).
demotic (adj.) Denoting or relating to the kind of language used by ordinary people; colloquial.
déshabillé (noun) The state of being only partly or scantily clothed.
desuetude (noun) A state of disuse (in law, legislation that has effectively lapsed through disuse)
dilatory (adj.) Slow to act. Intended to cause delay.
disconsolate (adj.) Very unhappy and unable to be comforted.
divaricate (verb) Stretch or spread apart; diverge widely.
encomium (noun) A speech or piece of writing that praises someone or something highly.
endorheic (adj.) An endorheic basin is a closed drainage basin that retains water and allows no outflow to other external bodies of water.
expunge (verb) Obliterate or remove completely (something unwanted or unpleasant)
feculent (adj.) Of or containing dirt, sediment, or waste matter.
ferrule (noun) A ring or cap, typically a metal one, which strengthens the end of a handle, stick, or tube and prevents it from splitting or wearing; a metal band strengthening or forming a joint.
feuilleton (noun) A  part of a newspaper or magazine devoted to fiction, criticism, or light literature.
fissiparous (adj.) Inclined to cause or undergo division into separate parts or groups.
flagitious (adj.) Criminal; villainous.
flibbertigibbet (noun) A frivolous, flighty, or excessively talkative person.
flagitious (adj.) (Of a person or their actions) criminal; villainous.
freebooter (noun) A pirate or lawless adventurer.
frowzy [also frowsy] (adj.) Scruffy and neglected in appearance.
fungible (adj.) Mutually interchangeable.
gamine (noun) A girl with a mischievous, boyish charm; (dated) a female street urchin.
gamine (adj.) (Of a girl) attractively boyish.
garret (noun) A top-floor or attic room, especially a small dismal one.
gird (verb, no object) Make cutting or critical remarks.
hangry (adj.) A compound of hungry and angry.
hugger-mugger (adj.) Confused; disorderly. Also secret; clandestine.
hummock (noun) A hillock or knoll.
imbricated (adj.) Overlapped.
impudicity (noun) Lack of modesty.
inchoate (adj.) Just begun and so not fully formed or developed; rudimentary; confused or incoherent; (of an offence, such as incitement or conspiracy) anticipating or preparatory to a further criminal act.
inosculate (verb) Join by intertwining or fitting closely together.
insouciant  (adj.) Showing a casual lack of concern.
insuperable (adj.) (Of a difficulty or obstacle) impossible to overcome.
jejune (adj.) Naive, simplistic, and superficial; (of ideas or writings) dry and uninteresting.
lambent (adj.) (Of light or fire) glowing, gleaming, or flickering with a soft radiance.
lapidary (adj.) Relating to the engraving, cutting, or polishing of stones and gems; (of language) elegant and concise [and therefore suitable for engraving on stone].
lebensraum (noun) The territory which a group, state, or nation believes is needed for its natural development.
legerdemain (noun) Skilful use of one’s hands when performing conjuring tricks; deception; trickery.
leitmotif (noun) A recurrent theme throughout a musical or literary composition, associated with a particular person, idea, or situation.
liebestod (noun) A literary term referring to the theme of erotic death e.g. two lovers' consummation of their love in death.
lien (noun) A legal term referring to a right to keep possession of property belonging to another person until a debt owed by that person is discharged.
ligneous (adj.) Made, consisting of, or resembling wood; woody.
littoral (adj.) Relating to or situated on the shore of the sea or a lake.
meshugene (noun) Crazy (originally Yiddish).
mien (noun) A person’s appearance or manner, especially as an indication of their character or mood.
moity (adj.) Of wool: containing particles of wood or other foreign substances.
mondegreen (noun) A misunderstood or misinterpreted word or phrase resulting from a mishearing of a song lyric.
moribund (adj.) (Of a person) at the point of death; (Of a thing) in terminal decline; lacking vitality or vigour.
myrmidon (noun) A follower or subordinate of a powerful person, typically one who is unscrupulous or carries out orders unquestioningly. Also, a legendary people of Greek mythology, native to the region of Thessaly. During the Trojan War, they were commanded by Achilles, as described in Homer's Iliad.
obloquy (mass noun) Strong public condemnation.
orison (noun) [usually 'orisons', archaic] A prayer.
otiose (adj.) Serving no practical purpose or result.
paronym (noun) A word which is a derivative of another and has a related meaning: ‘‘wisdom’ is a paronym of ‘wise’’
peregrine (adj. archaic) Coming from another country; foreign or outlandish.
petrichor (noun) A pleasant smell that frequently accompanies the first rain after a long period of warm, dry weather.
pettifoggery (noun) The act of bickering or quibbling over trifles or unimportant matters.
plaintive (adj.) Sounding sad and mournful.
precipitate (verb) Cause (an event or situation, typically one that is undesirable) to happen suddenly, unexpectedly, or prematurely.
precipitate (adj.) Done, made, or acting suddenly or without careful consideration.
priapic (adj.) Relating to or resembling a phallus.
Procrustean (adj.) (Especially of a framework or system) enforcing uniformity or conformity without regard to natural variation or individuality.
propinquity (mass noun) The state of being close to someone or something; proximity.
propitiate (verb) Win or regain the favour of (a god, spirit, or person) by doing something that pleases them.
propitious (adj.) Giving or indicating a good chance of success; favourable.
pursuant (adverb) pursuant to [formal]: In accordance with (a law or a legal document or resolution).
quoit (noun) A ring of iron, rope, or rubber thrown in a game to encircle or land as near as possible to an upright peg. A game consisting of aiming and throwing quoits.
recherché (adj.) Rare, exotic, or obscure.
redound (verb ) [formal] Contribute greatly to (a person’s credit or honour).
repertoire (noun) A stock of plays, dances, or items that a company or a performer knows or is prepared to perform.
rill (noun) a small stream; a shallow channel cut in the surface of soil or rocks by running water.
rubberneck (verb) Turn one’s head to stare at something in a foolish manner.
segue (verb) (In music and film) move without interruption from one piece of music or scene to another.
snafu (noun) North American informal: A confused or chaotic state; a mess. (SNAFU: Situation Normal: All Fucked Up.)
soi-disant (adj.) Self-styled; so-called: ‘a soi-disant novelist’.
sprachgefühl Intuitive feeling for the natural idiom of a language; the essential character of a language.
stentorian (adj.) (of a person's voice) loud and powerful.
susurration (mass noun, lit.) Whispering or rustling.
tardy (adj.) Delaying or delayed beyond the right or expected time; late; slow in action or response; sluggish.
tenebrous (adj.) Dark; shadowy or obscure.
teratology (noun) The scientific study of congenital abnormalities and abnormal formations; mythology relating to fantastic creatures and monsters.
traduce (verb) Speak badly of or tell lies about (someone) so as to damage their reputation.
tumid (adj.) (Especially of a part of the body) swollen; (especially of language or literary style) pompous or bombastic.
turbid (adj.) Not clear or transparent because of stirred-up sediment or the like; clouded; opaque; obscured. Thick or dense, as smoke or clouds. Confused; muddled; disturbed.
vagarious (adj.) Erratic and unpredictable in behaviour or direction.
valetudinarian (noun) A person unduly anxious about their health.
variegated (adj.) Exhibiting different colours, especially as irregular patches or streaks; (of a plant or foliage) having or consisting of leaves that are edged or patterned in a second colour, especially white as well as green.
voulu (adj. - lit.) Lacking in spontaneity; contrived.