Thursday, December 31, 2009

Word 897: Verbal overshadowing

noun Psychology
the tendency of verbalization to impair the recall of visual memories, resulting in unreliable eyewitness accounts

Word 896: Peri

noun ( pl. peris)
(in Persian mythology) a mythical superhuman being, originally represented as evil but subsequently as a good or graceful genie or fairy

Word 895: Teetotum

a small spinning top spun with the fingers, esp. one with four sides lettered to determine whether the spinner has won or lost

Word 894: Noil

noun (usu. noils)
short strands and knots combed out of wool fiber before spinning

Word 893: Diaphoresis

noun technical
sweating, esp. to an unusual degree as a symptom of disease or a side effect of a drug

Word 892: Intromission

the action or process of inserting the penis into the vagina in sexual intercourse

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Word 891: Mobcap

a large soft hat covering all of the hair and typically having a decorative frill, worn indoors by women in the 18th and early 19th centuries

Word 890: Cultch

the mass of stones, broken shells, and grit of which an oyster bed is formed

Word 889: Relict

a thing that has survived from an earlier period or in a primitive form
• an animal or plant that has survived while others of its group have become extinct, e.g., the coelacanth

Word 888: Wat

(in Thailand, Cambodia, and Laos) a Buddhist monastery or temple

Word 887: Zoea

noun ( pl. zoeae or zoeas)
a larval form of certain crustaceans, such as the crab, having a spiny carapace and rudimentary limbs on the abdomen and thorax

Word 886: Lierne

noun [usu. as adj.] Architecture
(in vaulting) a short rib connecting the bosses and intersections of the principal ribs

Word 885: Sipe

a groove or channel in the tread of a tire to improve its grip

Word 884: Odalisque

a female slave or concubine in a harem, esp. one in the seraglio of the sultan of Turkey

Word 883: Echinus

noun ( pl. -ni)
1. Zoology a sea urchin
2. Architecture a rounded molding below an abacus on a Doric or Ionic capital

Word 882: Aioli

mayonnaise seasoned with garlic

Word 881: Hamza

(in Arabic script) a symbol representing a glottal stop

Word 880: Paraph

a flourish after a signature, originally as a precaution against forgery

Word 879: Bêtise

a foolish or ill-timed remark or action

Word 878: Vole

a small, typically burrowing, mouselike rodent with a rounded muzzle, found in both Eurasia and North America

Word 877: Trebuchet

a machine used in medieval siege warfare for hurling large stones or other missiles

Word 876: Jeunesse dorée

noun [treated as sing. or pl. ]
young people of wealth, fashion, and flair

Word 875: Gesso

noun ( pl. -soes)
a hard compound of plaster of Paris or whiting in glue, used in sculpture or as a base for gilding or painting on wood

Word 874: Kale

a hardy cabbage of a variety that produces erect stems with large leaves and no compact head

Word 873: Hypocenter

the underground focus point of an earthquake

Word 872: Felo-de-se

noun ( pl. felos-de-se)

Word 871: Wall knot

a knot made at the end of a rope by intertwining strands to prevent unraveling or act as a stopper

Word 870: Remex

noun ( pl. remiges) Ornithology
a flight feather

Word 869: Idiolect

the speech habits peculiar to a particular person

Word 868: Dele

verb ( deled , deleing) [ trans.]
delete or mark (a part of a text) for deletion

Word 867: Ulu

noun ( pl. ulus)
a short-handled knife with a broad crescent-shaped blade, used by Eskimo women

Word 866: Culm

the hollow stem of a grass or cereal plant, esp. that bearing the flower

Word 865: Vitellus

noun Embryology
the yolk of an egg or ovum

Word 864: Orison

a prayer

Word 863: Zorilla

a black and white carnivorous mammal that resembles a skunk, inhabiting arid regions of southern Africa

Word 862: Terricolous

adjective Zoology
(of an animal such as an earthworm) living on the ground or in the soil
Botany (of a plant, esp. a lichen) growing on soil or on the ground

Word 861: Leachate

noun technical
water that has percolated through a solid and leached out some of the constituents

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Word 860: Puggaree

an Indian turban
• a thin muslin scarf tied around a sun helmet so as to hang down over the wearer's neck and shield it from the sun

Word 859: Nemo dat quod non habet

noun Law
the basic principle that a person who does not own property, esp. a thief, cannot confer it on another except with the true owner's authority

Word 858: Seisin

noun Law
possession of land by freehold

Word 857: Endrin

a toxic insecticide that is a stereoisomer of dieldrin

Word 856: Mantelletta

noun ( pl. -tellettas or -tellette)
a sleeveless vestment reaching to the knees, worn by cardinals, bishops, and other high-ranking Roman Catholic ecclesiastics

Word 855: Airglow

a glow in the night sky caused by radiation from the upper atmosphere

Monday, December 28, 2009

Word 854: Enuresis

noun Medicine
involuntary urination, esp. by children at night

Word 853: Ischemia

noun Medicine
an inadequate blood supply to an organ or part of the body, esp. the heart muscles

Word 852: Stoa

a classical portico or roofed colonnade
• ( the Stoa) the great hall in Athens in which the ancient Greek philosopher Zeno gave the founding lectures of the Stoic school of philosophy

Word 851: Cachou

noun ( pl. -chous)
a pleasant-smelling lozenge sucked to mask bad breath

Word 850: Hyson

a type of green China tea

Word 849: Paralipsis

noun Rhetoric
the device of giving emphasis by professing to say little or nothing about a subject

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Word 848: Tallith

a fringed shawl traditionally worn by Jewish men at prayer

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Word 847: Clip joint

noun informal
a nightclub or bar that charges exorbitant prices

Word 846: Shahada

the Muslim profession of faith (“there is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah”)

Word 845: Nun buoy

a buoy that is circular in the middle and tapering to each end

Word 844: Prior restraint

noun Law
judicial suppression of material that would be published or broadcast, on the grounds that it is libelous or harmful. In U.S. law, the first amendment severely limits the ability of the government to do this

Word 843: Jongleur

an itinerant minstrel

Word 842: Amice

a white linen cloth worn on the neck and shoulders, under the alb, by a priest celebrating the Eucharist

Word 841: Enarthrosis

oun ( pl. -ses) Anatomy
a ball-and-socket joint

Word 840: Bung

verb [ trans.]
close with a stopper
• ( bung something up) block (something), typically by overfilling it

Word 839: Vin de pays

noun ( pl. vins de pays pronunc. same)
the third-highest French classification of wine, indicating that the wine meets certain standards including area of production, strength, and quality
• French wine produced locally

Word 838: Parting shot

a final remark, typically a cutting one, made by someone at the moment of departure

Word 837: Glacis

noun ( pl. same or -cises)
a gently sloping bank, in particular one that slopes down from a fort, exposing attackers to the defenders' missiles

Word 836: Fid

noun Nautical
a thick peg, wedge, or supporting pin, in particular
• a square wooden or iron bar that takes the weight of a topmast stepped to a lower mast by being passed through holes in both masts
• a conical pin or spike used in splicing rope

Word 835: Punty

noun ( pl. -ties)
(in glassmaking) an iron rod used to hold or shape soft glass

Word 834: Wadi

noun ( pl. -dis or -dies)
(in certain Arabic-speaking countries) a valley, ravine, or channel that is dry except in the rainy season

Word 833: Marcel

noun (also marcel wave)
a deep artificial wave in the hair

Word 832: Famulus

noun ( pl. -li) historical
an assistant or servant, esp. one working for a magician or scholar

Word 831: Rogues' gallery

noun informal
a collection of photographs of known criminals, used by police to identify suspects
• a collection of people or creatures notable for a certain shared quality or characteristic, typically a disreputable one

Word 830: Urticaria

noun Medicine
a rash of round, red welts on the skin that itch intensely, sometimes with dangerous swelling, caused by an allergic reaction, typically to specific foods

Word 829: Trichiasis

noun Medicine
ingrowth or introversion of the eyelashes

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Word 828: Kit bag

a rectangular canvas bag, used esp. for carrying a soldier's clothes and personal possessions

Word 827: Torpefy

verb [ trans.] formal
make (someone or something) numb, paralyzed, or lifeless

Word 826: Nursemaid

verb [ trans.]
look after or be overprotective toward

Word 825: Lictor

(in ancient Rome) an officer attending the consul or other magistrate, bearing the fasces, and executing sentences on offenders

Word 824: Dight

verb [ trans.] poetic/literary
make ready for a use or purpose; prepare

Word 823: Garrote

verb [ trans.]
kill (someone) by strangulation, typically with an iron collar or a length of wire or cord

Word 822: Oriel

a projection from the wall of a building, typically supported from the ground or by corbels
• (also oriel window) a window in such a structure

Word 821: Cuadrilla

a matador's team of assistants, including picadors and banderilleros

Word 820: Muleta

a small red cape fixed to a stick, employed by a matador to guide the bull during a bullfight

Word 819: Sheitel

(among Orthodox Ashkenazic Jews) a wig worn by a married woman

Word 818: Fleer

verb [ intrans.] poetic/literary
laugh impudently or jeeringly

Word 817: Homeotherm

noun Zoology
an organism that maintains its body temperature at a constant level, usually above that of the environment, by its metabolic activity

Word 816: Toilette

noun [in sing.]
the process of washing oneself, dressing, and attending to one's appearance

Word 815: Periwig

a highly styled wig worn formerly as a fashionable headdress by both women and men

Word 814: Babiche

rawhide, typically formed into strips, as used by North American Indians for making fastenings, animal snares, snowshoes, etc.

Word 813: Enfleurage

the extraction of essential oils and perfumes from flowers using odorless animal or vegetable fats

Word 812: Ultimo

adjective [ postpositive]
of last month

Word 811: Kalong

a flying fox found in Southeast Asia and Indonesia

Word 810: Noyade

an execution carried out by drowning

Word 809: Zeta

the sixth letter of the Greek alphabet ( Ζ, ζ), transliterated as ‘z’

Word 808: Ithyphallic

(esp. of a statue of a deity or other carved figure) having an erect penis

Word 807: Fichu

a small triangular shawl, worn around a woman's shoulders and neck

Word 806: Wittol

a man who is aware and tolerant of his wife's infidelity; an acquiescent cuckold

Word 805: Otto

a fragrant essential oil, typically made from rose petals

Word 804: Raphe

noun ( pl. raphae pronunc. same) Anatomy & Biology
a groove, ridge, or seam in an organ or tissue, typically marking the line where two halves fused in the embryo, in particular
• the connecting ridge between the two halves of the medulla oblongata or the tegmentum of the midbrain
Botany a longitudinal ridge on the side of certain ovules or seeds
Botany a longitudinal groove in the valve of many diatoms

Word 803: Trommel

noun Mining
a rotating cylindrical sieve or screen used for washing and sorting pieces of ore or coal

Word 802: Versicle

noun (usu. versicles)
a short sentence said or sung by the minister in a church service, to which the congregation gives a response

Word 801: Anthemion

noun ( pl. -mia)
a flowerlike ornament used in the decorative arts

Word 800: Incidental music

music used in a film or play as a background to create or enhance a particular atmosphere

Word 799: Paraphilia

noun Psychiatry
a condition characterized by abnormal sexual desires, typically involving extreme or dangerous activities

Word 798: Bunghole

an aperture through which a cask can be filled or emptied
• the anus

Word 797: Guiro

noun ( pl. -ros)
a musical instrument with a serrated surface that gives a rasping sound when scraped with a stick, originally made from an elongated gourd and used in Latin American music

Word 796: Digraph

a combination of two letters representing one sound, as in ph and ey
Printing a character consisting of two joined letters; a ligature

Word 795: Eustasy

a change of sea level throughout the world, caused typically by movements of parts of the earth's crust or melting of glaciers

Word 794: Pro hac vice

for or on this occasion only

Word 793: Hobnail

a short heavy-headed nail used to reinforce the soles of boots
• a blunt projection, esp. in cut or molded glassware
• glass decorated with such projections

Word 792: Succedaneum

noun ( pl. -nea) poetic/literary
a substitute, esp. for a medicine or drug

Word 791: Mens rea

noun Law
the intention or knowledge of wrongdoing that constitutes part of a crime, as opposed to the action or conduct of the accused

Word 790: Cyanosis

noun Medicine
a bluish discoloration of the skin resulting from poor circulation or inadequate oxygenation of the blood

Word 789: Haustellum

noun ( pl. haustella) Zoology
the sucking organ or proboscis of an insect or crustacean

Word 788: Radula

(in a mollusk) a rasplike structure of tiny teeth used for scraping food particles off a surface and drawing them into the mouth

Word 787: Letters of administration

plural noun Law
authority to administer the estate of someone who has died without making a will

Word 786: Enclitic

noun Linguistics
a word pronounced with so little emphasis that it is shortened and forms part of the preceding word, e.g., n't in can't

Word 785: Mortise

a hole or recess cut into a part, designed to receive a corresponding projection (a tenon) on another part so as to join or lock the parts together

Word 784: Kielbasa

a type of highly seasoned Polish sausage, typically containing garlic

Word 783: Ichnography

noun ( pl. -phies)
a ground plan of a building or map of a region

Word 782: Degust

verb [ trans.]
taste (something) carefully, so as to appreciate it fully

Word 781: Telson

noun Zoology
the last segment in the abdomen, or a terminal appendage to it, in crustaceans, chelicerates, and embryonic insects

Word 780: Rumdum

noun informal
a drunkard, esp. a derelict alcoholic

Word 779: Garboard

the first range of planks or plates laid on a ship's bottom next to the keel

Word 778: Oleiferous

adjective Botany
(of seeds, glands, etc.) producing oil

Word 777: Astragal

a convex molding or wooden strip across a surface or separating panels, typically semicircular in cross-section
Architecture a small semicircular molding around the top or bottom of a column
• a wooden molding that covers the gap between a pair of doors or casement windows
• a glazing bar, typically one used in cabinet-making

Word 776: Varix

noun ( pl. varices)
1. Medicine a varicose vein
2. Zoology each of the ridges on the shell of a gastropod mollusk, marking a former position of the aperture

Word 775: Jugulate

verb [ trans.]
kill (someone) by cutting the throat

Word 774: Bothy

noun ( pl. bothies)
(in Scotland) a small hut or cottage

Word 773: Lavabo

noun ( pl. -boes)
(in the Roman Catholic Church) a towel or basin used for the ritual washing of the celebrant's hands at the offertory of the Mass
• ritual washing of this type
• a washing trough in a monastery

Word 772: Waqf

noun ( pl. same)
an endowment made by a Muslim to a religious, educational, or charitable cause

Word 771: Nival

of, relating to, or characteristic of a region of perpetual snow

Word 770: Panga

a bladed African tool like a machete

Word 769: Quitch

noun another term for couch grass

Word 768: Houri

noun ( pl. -ris)
a beautiful young woman, esp. one of the virgin companions of the faithful in the Muslim Paradise

Word 767: Skijoring

the action of being pulled over snow or ice on skis by a horse or dog or a motor vehicle, as a sport or recreation activity

Word 766: Petasus

a hat with a low crown and broad brim, worn in ancient Greece
Greek Mythology a winged hat of such a type worn by the god Hermes

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Word 765: Therianthropic

(esp. of a deity) combining the form of an animal with that of a man

Word 764: Hoosegow

noun informal
a prison

Word 763: Falciparum

the most severe form of malaria

Word 762: Comminuted

adjective technical
reduced to minute particles or fragments
Medicine (of a fracture) producing multiple bone splinters

Word 761: Masjid

Arabic word for a mosque

Word 760: Quince

1. a hard, acid, pear-shaped fruit used in preserves or as flavoring
2. the shrub or small tree that bears this fruit, native to western Asia

Word 759: Nodose

adjective technical
having or characterized by hard or tight lumps; knotty

Word 758: Ostracon

noun ( pl. -ca or -ka)
a potsherd used as a writing surface

Word 757: Jug band

a group of jazz, blues, or folk musicians using simple or improvised instruments such as jugs and washboards

Word 756: Synastry

noun Astrology
comparison between the horoscopes of two or more people in order to determine their likely compatibility and relationship

Word 755: Zein

noun Biochemistry
the principal protein of corn

Word 754: Umber

1. a natural pigment resembling but darker than ocher, normally dark yellowish-brown in color ( raw umber) or dark brown when roasted ( burnt umber)
• the color of this pigment
2. a brownish-gray moth with coloring that resembles tree bark

Word 753: Yuppify

verb [ trans.] informal derogatory
make more affluent and upmarket in keeping with the taste and lifestyle of yuppies

Word 752: Lustrate

verb [ trans.]
purify by expiatory sacrifice, ceremonial washing, or some other ritual action

Word 751: Introjection

noun Psychoanalysis
the unconscious adoption of the ideas or attitudes of others

Word 750: Gemma

noun ( pl. gemmae) Biology
a small cellular body or bud that can separate to form a new organism

Word 749: Dingle

noun poetic/literary
a deep wooded valley or dell

Word 748: Wold

noun [often in place names ] (usu. wolds)
(in Britain) a piece of high, open, uncultivated land or moor

Word 747: Bell's palsy

paralysis of the facial nerve, causing muscular weakness in one side of the face

Word 746: Rusk

a light, dry biscuit or piece of rebaked bread, esp. one prepared for use as baby food
• rebaked bread used as extra filling, for example in sausages, and formerly as rations at sea

Word 745: Champerty

noun Law
an illegal agreement in which a person with no previous interest in a lawsuit finances it with a view to sharing the disputed property if the suit succeeds

Word 744: Exanthema

noun ( pl. -themata) Medicine
a skin rash accompanying a disease or fever

Word 743: Anticline

noun Geology
a ridge-shaped fold of stratified rock in which the strata slope downward from the crest

Word 742: Syncopate

verb [ trans.]
1. [usu. as adj.] ( syncopated) displace the beats or accents in (music or a rhythm) so that strong beats become weak and vice versa
2. shorten (a word) by dropping sounds or letters in the middle, as in symbology for symbolology

Word 741: Ligate

verb [ trans.] (usu. be ligated) Surgery
tie up or otherwise close off (an artery or vessel)

Word 740: Kugel

(in Jewish cooking) a kind of sweet or savory pudding of noodles or potatoes

Word 739: Feuilleton

a part of a newspaper or magazine devoted to fiction, criticism, or light literature
• an article printed in such a part

Word 738: Vigesimal

relating to or based on the number twenty

Word 737: Hijinks

plural noun

Word 736: Puttee

a long strip of cloth wound spirally around the leg from ankle to knee for protection and support
• a leather legging

Word 735: Monody

noun ( pl. -dies)
1. an ode sung by a single actor in a Greek tragedy
2. a poem lamenting a person's death

Word 734: Terribilità

awesomeness or emotional intensity of conception and execution in an artist or work of art, originally as a quality attributed to Michelangelo by his contemporaries

Monday, December 21, 2009

Word 733: Vihara

a Buddhist monastery

Word 732: Burgoo

a stew or thick soup, typically made for an outdoor meal
• an outdoor meal at which such food is served
chiefly Nautical a thick porridge

Word 731: Griot

a member of a class of traveling poets, musicians, and storytellers who maintain a tradition of oral history in parts of West Africa

Word 730: Kitchen-sink

adjective [ attrib.]
(in art forms) characterized by great realism in the depiction of drab or sordid subjects

Word 729: Uroboros

a circular symbol depicting a snake, or less commonly a dragon, swallowing its tail, as an emblem of wholeness or infinity

Word 728: Judder

verb [ intrans.]
(esp. of something mechanical) shake and vibrate rapidly and with force

Word 727: Yakitori

a Japanese dish of chicken pieces grilled on a skewer

Word 726: Apse

a large semicircular or polygonal recess in a church, arched or with a domed roof, typically at the eastern end, and usually containing the altar

Word 725: Ordure

excrement; dung
• something regarded as vile or abhorrent

Word 724: Tusche

a greasy black composition, in liquid form or to be mixed with liquids, used as ink for making lithographic drawings

Word 723: Hispid

adjective Botany & Zoology
covered with stiff hair or bristles

Word 722: Intercrural

between the legs

Word 721: Claudication

noun Medicine
• (also intermittent claudication) a condition in which cramping pain in the leg is induced by exercise, typically caused by obstruction of the arteries

Word 720: En travesti

adverb & adjective
dressed as a member of the opposite sex, esp. for a theatrical role

Word 719: Stoup

a basin for holy water, esp. on the wall near the door of a Roman Catholic church for worshipers to dip their fingers in before crossing themselves

Word 718: Influence peddling

the use of position or political influence on someone's behalf in exchange for money or favors

Word 717: Window box

a long narrow box in which flowers and other plants are grown, placed on an outside windowsill

Word 716: Mimbar

a short flight of steps used as a platform by a preacher in a mosque

Word 715: Nocturne

1. Music a short composition of a romantic or dreamy character suggestive of night, typically for piano
2. Art a picture of a night scene

Word 714: Runcible spoon

a fork curved like a spoon, with three broad prongs, one of which has a sharpened outer edge for cutting