Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Word 1611: Halal

denoting or relating to meat prepared as prescribed by Muslim law
• religiously acceptable according to Muslim law

Word 1610: Primus inter pares

a first among equals; the senior or representative member of a group

Word 1609: Senary

relating to or based on the number six

Monday, March 29, 2010

Word 1608: Aposematic

adjective Zoology
(of coloration or markings) serving to warn or repel predators
• (of an animal) having such coloration or markings

Friday, March 26, 2010

Word 1607: Navvy

noun ( pl. -vies)
a laborer employed in the excavation and construction of a road, railroad, or canal

Word 1606: Featherbed

verb [ trans.]
provide (someone) with advantageous economic or working conditions
• [ usu. as n.] ( featherbedding) deliberately limit production or retain excess staff in (a business) in order to create jobs or prevent unemployment, typically as a result of a union contract

Word 1605: Puff piece

noun informal
a newspaper article or item on a television show using exaggerated praise to advertise or promote a celebrity, book, or event

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Word 1604: Teapoy

a small three-legged table or stand, esp. one that holds a tea caddy

Word 1603: Fussbudget

noun informal
a fussy person

Word 1602: Hypothecate

verb [ trans.]
pledge (money) by law to a specific purpose

Word 1601: Spoor

verb [ trans.]
follow the track or scent of (an animal or person)

Word 1600: Wog

a person who is not white

Word 1599: Matryoshka

noun ( pl. -ki)
each of a set of brightly painted hollow wooden dolls of varying sizes, designed to nest inside one another

Word 1598: Solus

adjective ( fem. sola)
alone or unaccompanied (used esp. as a stage direction)

Word 1597: Garget

inflammation of a cow's or ewe's udder

Word 1596: Enfilade

1. a volley of gunfire directed along a line from end to end
2. a suite of rooms with doorways in line with each other

Word 1595: Piton

a peg or spike driven into a rock or crack to support a climber or a rope

Word 1594: Stenosis

noun ( pl. -ses) Medicine
the abnormal narrowing of a passage in the body

Word 1593: Hyaloid

adjective Anatomy
glassy; transparent

Word 1592: Campesino

noun ( pl. -nos)
(in Spanish-speaking regions) a peasant farmer

Word 1591: Post-chaise

noun ( pl. post-chaises pronunc. same) historical
a horse-drawn carriage used for transporting passengers or mail, esp. in the 18th and early 19th centuries

Word 1590: Onomastics

plural noun [ usu. treated as sing.]
the study of the history and origin of proper names, esp. personal names

Word 1589: Fribble

noun informal
a frivolous or foolish person
• a thing of no great importance

Word 1588: Surety

noun ( pl. -ties)
a person who takes responsibility for another's performance of an undertaking, for example their appearing in court or the payment of a debt
• money given to support an undertaking that someone will perform a duty, pay their debts, etc.; a guarantee
• the state of being sure or certain of something : I was enmeshed in the surety of my impending fatherhood

Word 1587: Batata

(in the southern West Indies) sweet potato

Word 1586: Tutti

adverb & adjective
(esp. as a direction after a solo section) with all voices or instruments together

Word 1585: Maharani

a maharaja's wife or widow

Word 1584: Commissure

noun technical
a junction, joint, or seam, in particular
Anatomy the joint between two bones
Anatomy a band of nerve tissue connecting the hemispheres of the brain, the two sides of the spinal cord, etc.
Anatomy the line where the upper and lower lips or eyelids meet

Word 1583: Peltate

adjective Botany
• (of a leaf) more or less circular, with the stalk attached at a point on the underside

Word 1582: Furuncle

an inflamed pus-filled swelling on the skin, typically caused by the infection of a hair follicle

Word 1581: Sagittal

1. relating to or denoting the suture on top of the skull that runs between the parietal bones in a front to back direction
2. of or in a plane parallel to this suture, esp. that dividing the body into left and right halves

Word 1580: Perry

noun ( pl. -ries)
an alcoholic drink made from the fermented juice of pears

Word 1579: Decubitus

noun Medicine
the posture adopted by a person who is lying down

Word 1578: Lappet

a small flap or fold, in particular
• a fold or hanging piece of flesh in some animals
• a loose or overlapping part of a garment

Word 1577: Tare

an allowance made for the weight of the packaging in order to determine the net weight of goods
• the weight of a motor vehicle, railroad car, or aircraft without its fuel or load

Word 1576: Adnate

adjective Botany
joined by having grown together

Word 1575: Muggle

noun informal
an unimaginative or boring person

Word 1574: Pareve

adjective Judaism
prepared without meat, milk, or their derivatives and therefore permissible to be eaten with both meat and dairy dishes according to dietary laws

Word 1573: Frenulum

noun Anatomy
a small fold or ridge of tissue that supports or checks the motion of the part to which it is attached, in particular a fold of skin beneath the tongue, or between the lip and the gum
Entomology (in some moths and butterflies) a bristle or row of bristles on the edge of the hind wing that keeps it in contact with the forewing

Word 1572: Bravissimo

used to express great approval of a performance or performer

Word 1571: Vesicate

verb [ trans.] Medicine
raise blisters on
• [ intrans.] form blisters

Word 1570: Shuriken

a weapon in the form of a star with projecting blades or points, used as a missile in some martial arts

Word 1569: Oleo


Word 1568: Stemma

noun ( pl. -mata)
a recorded genealogy of a family; a family tree
• a diagram showing the relationship between a text and its various manuscript versions

Word 1567: Go-by

noun (in phrase give someone the go-by) informal
avoid or snub someone
• end a romantic relationship with someone

Word 1566: Kefir

a sour-tasting drink make from cow's milk fermented with certain bacteria

Word 1565: Prestige pricing

the practice of pricing goods at a high level in order to give the appearance of quality

Word 1564: Aliyah

noun ( pl. aliyoth) Judaism
1. immigration to Israel
2. the honor of being called upon to read from the Torah

Word 1563: Louse

verb [ trans.]
( louse something up) informal spoil or ruin something

Word 1562: Tercel

noun Falconry
the male of a hawk, esp. a peregrine or a goshawk

Word 1561: Nyah

used to express the speaker's feeling of superiority or contempt for another

Monday, March 22, 2010

Word 1560: Canticle

a hymn or chant, typically with a biblical text, forming a regular part of a church service

Word 1559: Shahid

a Muslim martyr

Word 1558: Pebble-dash

mortar with pebbles in it, used as a coating for exterior walls

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Word 1557: Terminus a quo

the earliest possible date for something
• a starting point or initial impulse

Word 1556: Folio

noun ( pl. -os)
an individual leaf of paper or parchment, numbered on the recto or front side only, occurring either loose as one of a series or forming part of a bound volume
Printing the leaf number in a printed book
• a sheet of paper folded once to form two leaves (four pages) of a book
• a size of book made up of such sheets
• a book or manuscript made up of sheets of paper folded in such a way; a volume of the largest standard size

Word 1555: Scree

a mass of small loose stones that form or cover a slope on a mountain
• a slope covered with such stones

Word 1554: Crenulate

adjective technical
(esp. of a leaf, shell, or shoreline) having a finely scalloped or notched outline or edge

Word 1553: Exergue

a small space or inscription below the principal emblem on a coin or medal, usually on the reverse side

Word 1552: Veronica

1. a cloth supposedly impressed with an image of Jesus' face
• a picture of Jesus' face similar to this
2. (in bullfighting) a slow movement of the cape away from a charging bull by the matador, who stands in place

Word 1551: Leptin

noun Biochemistry
a protein produced by fatty tissue and believed to regulate fat storage in the body

Word 1550: Harpsichord

a keyboard instrument with horizontal strings that run perpendicular to the keyboard in a long tapering case and are plucked by points of quill, leather, or plastic operated by depressing the keys

Word 1549: Privatism

a tendency to be concerned with ideas or issues only insofar as they affect one as an individual

Word 1548: Halloo

used to attract someone's attention
• used to incite dogs to the chase during a hunt

Word 1547: Onomasiology

the branch of knowledge that deals with terminology, in particular contrasting terms for similar concepts

Word 1546: Tra la

exclamation ironic
expressing joy or gaiety

Word 1545: Memento mori

noun ( pl. same)
an object serving as a warning or reminder of death, such as a skull

Word 1544: Calumet

a North American Indian peace pipe

Word 1543: Moray

a mainly nocturnal eellike predatory fish of warm seas that typically hides in crevices with just the head protruding

Word 1542: Periapsis

noun ( pl. -ses) Astronomy
the point in the path of an orbiting body at which it is nearest to the body that it orbits

Word 1541: Infangthief

noun historical
the right of the lord of a manor to try and punish a thief caught within the limits of his demesne

Word 1540: Nombril

noun Heraldry
the point halfway between fess point and the base of the shield

Word 1539: Nitrazepam

noun Medicine
a short-acting hypnotic drug of the benzodiazepine group, used to treat insomnia, myoclonic seizures, and infantile spasms

Word 1538: Vespiary

noun ( pl. -aries)
a nest of wasps

Word 1537: Mahant

noun Hinduism
a chief priest of a temple or the head of a monastery

Word 1536: Tondo

noun ( pl. -di)
a circular painting or relief

Word 1535: Barchan

a crescent-shaped shifting sand dune, concave on the leeward side

Word 1534: Vibrato

noun Music
a rapid, slight variation in pitch in singing or playing some musical instruments, producing a stronger or richer tone

Word 1533: Off-piste

adjective & adverb Skiing
away from prepared ski runs

Word 1532: Plafond

an ornately decorated ceiling
• a painting or decoration on a ceiling

Word 1531: Swashbuckle

verb [ intrans.] [usu. as adj.] ( swashbuckling)
engage in daring and romantic adventures with ostentatious bravado or flamboyance

Word 1530: Zaibatsu

noun ( pl. same)
a large Japanese business conglomerate

Word 1529: Amblyopia

noun Medicine
impaired or dim vision without obvious defect or change in the eye

Word 1528: Tabard

a sleeveless jerkin consisting only of front and back pieces with a hole for the head
historical a coarse garment of this kind as the outer dress of medieval peasants and clerics, or worn as a surcoat over armor
• a herald's official coat emblazoned with the arms of the sovereign

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Word 1527: Multum in parvo

a great deal in a small space

Word 1526: Tipple

verb [ intrans.]
drink alcohol, esp. habitually

Word 1525: Ex post

adjective & adverb
based on actual results rather than forecasts

Word 1524: Pince-nez

noun [ treated as sing. or pl.]
a pair of eyeglasses with a nose clip instead of earpieces

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Word 1523: Eyre

noun historical
a circuit court held in medieval England by a judge (a justice in eyre) who rode from county to county for that purpose

Word 1522: Mystagogue

a teacher or propounder of mystical doctrines

Word 1521: Ides

plural noun
(in the ancient Roman calendar) a day falling roughly in the middle of each month (the 15th day of March, May, July, and October, and the 13th of other months), from which other dates were calculated

Word 1520: Scrod

a young cod, haddock, or similar fish, esp. one prepared for cooking

Word 1519: Glug

verb [ trans.]
drink or pour (liquid) with a hollow gurgling sound

Word 1518: Bestride

verb ( past -strode; past part. -stridden ) [ trans.]
stand astride over; span or straddle
• sit astride on

Word 1517: Khat

1. the leaves of an Arabian shrub, which are chewed (or drunk as an infusion) as a stimulant
2. the shrub that produces these leaves, growing in mountainous regions and often cultivated

Word 1516: Tabac

noun ( pl. pronunc. same)
(in French-speaking regions) a tobacconist's shop

Word 1515: Theophany

oun ( pl. -nies)
a visible manifestation to humankind of God or a god

Word 1514: Acharya

(in India) a Hindu or Buddhist spiritual teacher or leader
• an influential mentor

Word 1513: Maidenhead


Word 1512: Nubbin

a small lump or residual part

Word 1511: Veena

an Indian stringed instrument, with four main and three auxiliary strings. The southern type has a lutelike body; the older northern type has a tubular body and a gourd fitted to each end as a resonator

Word 1510: Sinfonia

noun Music
a symphony
• (in the 17th and 18th centuries) an orchestral piece used as an introduction, interlude, or postlude to an opera, oratorio, cantata, or suite

Word 1509: Pronk

verb [ intrans.]
(of a springbok or other antelope) leap in the air with an arched back and stiff legs, typically as a form of display or when threatened

Word 1508: Almshouse

a house built originally by a charitable person or organization for poor people to live in

Word 1507: Leveret

a young hare in its first year

Word 1506: Rebbetzin

noun Judaism
the wife of a rabbi
• a female religious teacher

Word 1505: Icterus

noun Medicine

Word 1504: Esse

noun Philosophy
essential nature or essence

Word 1503: Poplin

a plain-woven fabric, typically a lightweight cotton, with a corded surface

Word 1502: Sulu

noun ( pl. -lus)
a length of cotton or other light fabric wrapped about the body as a sarong, worn from the waist by men and full-length by women from the Melanesian Islands

Word 1501: Carillon

a set of bells in a tower, played using a keyboard or by an automatic mechanism similar to a piano roll
• a tune played on such bells

Word 1500: Concessionaire

the holder of a concession or grant, esp. for the use of land or commercial premises

Word 1499: Piacular

making or requiring atonement

Word 1498: Trecento

noun ( the trecento)
the 14th century as a period of Italian art, architecture, or literature

Word 1497: Madtom

a small North American freshwater catfish that has a venom gland at the base of the pectoral fin spines, with which it can inflict a painful wound

Word 1496: Oik

noun informal
an uncouth or obnoxious person

Word 1495: Swive

verb [ trans.] humorous
have sexual intercourse with

Word 1494: Viva voce

(esp. of an examination) oral rather than written

Word 1493: Ketch

a two-masted, fore-and-aft-rigged sailboat with a mizzenmast stepped forward of the rudder and smaller than the foremast

Word 1492: In vacuo

in a vacuum
• away from or without the normal context or environment

Word 1491: Stob

noun dialect
a broken branch or a stump
• a stake used for fencing

Word 1490: Hoy

used to attract someone's attention

Word 1489: Maki

a Japanese dish consisting of sushi and raw vegetables wrapped in seaweed

Word 1488: Dingus

noun ( pl. dinguses) informal
used to refer to something whose name the speaker cannot remember, is unsure of, or is humorously or euphemistically omitting

Word 1487: Turnspit

noun historical
a servant whose job was to turn a spit on which meat was roasting
• a dog kept to perform this task by running on a treadmill connected to the spit

Word 1486: Jalap

a purgative drug obtained chiefly from the tuberous roots of a Mexican climbing plant

Word 1485: Manciple

noun chiefly archaic
an officer who buys provisions for a college, monastery, or other institution

Word 1484: Frustum

noun ( pl. -ta or -tums) Geometry
the portion of a cone or pyramid that remains after its upper part has been cut off by a plane parallel to its base, or that is intercepted between two such planes

Word 1483: Antipruritic

adjective [ attrib.]
(chiefly of a drug) used to relieve itching

Word 1482: Pari passu

side by side; at the same rate or on an equal footing

Word 1481: Mare liberum

noun ( pl. maria libera) Law
the sea open to all nations

Word 1481: Urolithiasis

noun Medicine
the formation of stony concretions in the bladder or urinary tract

Word 1480: Pooka

(in Irish mythology) a hobgoblin

Word 1479: Bogle

a phantom or goblin
Scottish & N. Engl. a scarecrow

Word 1478: Vaginosis

a bacterial infection of the vagina causing a malodorous white discharge

Word 1477: Lovat

a muted green color used esp. in tweed and woolen garments

Word 1476: Dummkopf

a stupid person; a blockhead

Word 1475: Snooker

verb [ trans.] informal
leave (someone) in a difficult position; thwart
• trick, entice, or trap

Word 1474: Honnête homme

a decent, cultivated man of the world; a gentleman

Word 1473: Tiki

noun ( pl. -kis)
a large wooden or small greenstone image of a human figure

Word 1472: Myeloid

1. of or relating to bone marrow
• (of leukemia) characterized by the proliferation of cells originating in the bone marrow
2. of or relating to the spinal cord

Word 1471: Cacuminal

adjective Phonetics

Word 1470: Virgo intacta

noun Law
a girl or woman who has never had sexual intercourse, originally a virgin whose hymen is intact

Word 1469: Kakemono

noun ( pl. -nos)
a Japanese unframed painting made on paper or silk and displayed as a wall hanging

Word 1468: Peccavi

used to express one's guilt

Word 1467: Omertà

(as practiced by the Mafia) a code of silence about criminal activity and a refusal to give evidence to authorities

Word 1466: Nyctophobia

extreme or irrational fear of the night or of darkness

Word 1465: Tankard

a tall beer mug, typically made of silver or pewter, with a handle and sometimes a hinged lid
• the contents of or an amount held by such a mug

Word 1464: Ex ante

adjective & adverb
based on forecasts rather than actual results

Word 1463: Stratocracy

noun ( pl. -cies) rare
government by military forces
• a military government

Word 1462: Prelate

noun formal
a bishop or other high ecclesiastical dignitary

Word 1461: Johnboat

a small flat-bottomed boat with square ends, used chiefly on inland waterways

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Word 1460: Theriac

an ointment or other medicinal compound used as an antidote to snake venom or other poison

Word 1459: Conscience clause

a clause that makes concessions to the consciences of those affected by a law

Word 1458: Niente

adverb & adjective Music
(esp. as a direction) with a soft sound or tone gradually fading to nothing

Word 1457: Sloop

a one-masted sailboat with a fore-and-aft mainsail and a jib
• (also sloop of war) historical a small square-rigged sailing warship with two or three masts
historical a small antisubmarine warship used for convoy escort in World War II

Word 1456: Zowie

exclamation informal
expressing astonishment or admiration

Word 1455: Lectin

noun Biochemistry
any of a class of proteins, chiefly of plant origin, that bind specifically to certain sugars and so cause agglutination of particular cell types

Word 1454: Diazepam

a tranquilizing muscle-relaxant drug used chiefly to relieve anxiety

Word 1453: Vair

1. fur, typically bluish-gray, obtained from a variety of squirrel, used in the 13th and 14th centuries as a trimming or lining for garments
2. Heraldry fur, represented by interlocking rows of shield-shaped or bell-shaped figures that are typically alternately blue and white, as a tincture

Word 1452: Rotgut

noun informal
poor-quality and potentially toxic alcoholic liquor

Word 1451: Exordium

noun ( pl. -diums or -dia) formal
the beginning or introductory part, esp. of a discourse or treatise

Word 1450: Limnology

the study of the biological, chemical, and physical features of lakes and other bodies of fresh water

Word 1449: Yoicks

used by fox hunters to urge on the hounds

Word 1448: Dulcimer

noun (also hammered dulcimer)
a musical instrument with a sounding board or box, typically trapezoidal in shape, over which strings of graduated length are stretched, played by being struck with hand-held hammers
• ( Appalachian dulcimer) a musical instrument with a long rounded body and a fretted fingerboard, played by bowing, plucking, and strumming

Word 1447: Taw

verb [ trans.]
make (hide) into leather without the use of tannin, esp. by soaking it in a solution of alum and salt

Word 1446: Prolepsis

noun ( pl. -ses)
1. Rhetoric the anticipation and answering of possible objections in rhetorical speech
poetic/literary anticipation
2. the representation of a thing as existing before it actually does or did so, as in he was a dead man when he entered

Word 1445: Nebbish

noun informal
a person, esp. a man, who is regarded as pitifully ineffectual, timid, or submissive

Word 1444: Fête champêtre

noun ( pl. fêtes champêtres pronunc. same)
an outdoor entertainment; a rural festival

Word 1443: Skell

noun informal
(in New York) a tramp or homeless person

Word 1442: Asana

a posture adopted in performing hatha yoga

Word 1441: Tellurian

adjective poetic/literary
of or inhabiting the earth

Word 1440: Gouache

a method of painting using opaque pigments ground in water and thickened with a gluelike substance
• paint of this kind; opaque watercolor
• a picture painted in this way

Word 1439: Basso

noun ( pl. bassos or bassi)
a singer with a bass voice

Word 1438: Scag

noun informal
an unkempt or despicable person; sleazeball

Word 1437: Mujahideen

plural noun
guerrilla fighters in Islamic countries, esp. those who are Islamic fundamentalists

Word 1436: Pug mill

a machine for mixing and working clay and other materials into pug

Word 1435: Sogo shosha

noun ( pl. same)
a very large Japanese company that trades internationally in a wide range of goods and services

Word 1434: Vavasour

noun historical
a vassal owing allegiance to a powerful lord and having other vassals under him

Word 1433: Ancien régime

noun ( pl. anciens régimes pronunc. same)
a political or social system that has been displaced, typically by one more modern
• ( Ancien Régime) the political and social system in France before the Revolution of 1789

Word 1432: Tastevin

noun ( pl. same)
a small, shallow silver cup for tasting wines, of a type used in France

Word 1431: Instantiate

verb [ trans.]
represent as or by an instance
• ( be instantiated) Philosophy (of a universal or abstract concept) have an instance; be represented by an actual example

Word 1430: Persecution complex

an irrational and obsessive feeling or fear that one is the object of collective hostility or ill-treatment on the part of others

Word 1429: Old hand

a person with a lot of experience in something

Word 1428: Sari

noun ( pl. -ris or -rees)
a garment consisting of a length of cotton or silk elaborately draped around the body, traditionally worn by women from the Indian subcontinent

Word 1427: Kata

a system of individual training exercises for practitioners of karate and other martial arts
• ( pl. same or katas) an individual exercise of this kind

Word 1426: Muff

verb [ trans.] informal
handle (a situation, task, or opportunity) clumsily or badly
• fail to catch or receive (a ball) or to hit (a shot or a target)
• speak (lines from a theatrical part) badly

Word 1425: Pretermit

verb [ trans.]
1. omit to do or mention
2. abandon (a custom or continuous action) for a time

Word 1424: Tonga

a light horse-drawn two-wheeled vehicle used in India

Monday, March 8, 2010

Word 1423: Contrariwise

in the opposite way or order
• in contrast to something that has just been stated or mentioned

Word 1422: Nyctalopia

noun Medicine
the inability to see in dim light or at night

Word 1421: Septenary

noun ( pl. -naries)
a group or set of seven, in particular
• a period of seven years
Music the seven notes of the diatonic scale

Word 1420: Labarum

noun rare
a banner or flag bearing symbolic motifs
historical Constantine the Great's imperial standard, which bore Christian symbolic imagery fused with the military symbols of the Roman Empire

Word 1419: Alienist

former term for psychiatrist
• a psychiatrist who assesses the competence of a defendant in a court of law

Word 1418: Samskara

noun Hinduism
a purificatory ceremony or rite marking a major event in one's life

Word 1417: Pani

a term used in India for water

Word 1416: Taiko

noun ( pl. same or -kos)
a Japanese barrel-shaped drum

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Word 1415: Camporee

a local or regional camping event for Girl Scouts or Boy Scouts

Word 1414: Andropause

a collection of symptoms, including fatigue and a decrease in libido, experienced by some middle-aged men and attributed to a gradual decline in testosterone levels

Word 1413: Proactive inhibition

noun Psychology
the tendency of previously learned material to hinder subsequent learning

Word 1412: Fife

a kind of small shrill flute used esp. with the drum in military bands

Word 1411: Death's head

a human skull as a symbol of mortality

Word 1410: Inhere

verb [ intrans. ] ( inhere in/within) formal
exist essentially or permanently in
Law (of rights, powers, etc.) be vested in a person or group or attached to the ownership of a property

Word 1409: Mezzo

noun ( pl. -zos) (also mezzo-soprano)
a female singer with a voice pitched between soprano and contralto
• a singing voice of this type, or a part written for one

Word 1408: Guardant

adjective [usu. postpositive] Heraldry
(esp. of an animal) depicted with the body sideways and the face toward the viewer

Word 1407: Evensong

(in the Christian Church) a service of evening prayers, psalms, and canticles, conducted according to a set form, esp. that of the Anglican Church

Word 1406: Ochlophobia

extreme or irrational fear of or aversion to crowds

Word 1405: Thaumaturge

a worker of wonders and performer of miracles; a magician

Word 1404: Pinnate

adjective Botany
(of a compound leaf) having leaflets arranged on either side of the stem, typically in pairs opposite each other
Zoology (esp. of an invertebrate animal) having branches, tentacles, etc., on each side of an axis, like the vanes of a feather