Thursday, April 29, 2010

Word 1947: Mucro

noun Botany & Zoology
a short sharp point at the end of a part or organ

Word 1946: Pendente lite

adverb Law
during litigation

Word 1945: Compère

a person who introduces the performers or contestants in a variety show; host

Word 1944: Sciamachy

sham fighting for exercise or practice
• argument or conflict with an imaginary opponent

Word 1943: Indisposed

1. slightly unwell
2. averse; unwilling

Word 1942: Torc

noun historical
a neck ornament consisting of a band of twisted metal, worn esp. by the ancient Gauls and Britons

Word 1941: Cacoethes

noun [ in sing.]
an irresistible urge to do something inadvisable

Word 1940: Pudeur

a sense of shame or embarrassment, esp. with regard to matters of a sexual or personal nature

Word 1939: Lordosis

noun Medicine
excessive inward curvature of the spine
• a posture assumed by some female mammals during mating, in which the back is arched downward

Word 1938: Fingerling

a variety of potato having a pink, yellow, blue or light tan skin and flesh

Word 1937: Prosit

an expression used as a toast when drinking to a person's health

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Word 1936: Tithe

one tenth of annual produce or earnings, formerly taken as a tax for the support of the church and clergy
• (in certain religious denominations) a tenth of an individual's income pledged to the church
• [ in sing.] a tenth of a specified thing

Word 1935: Vicereine

the wife of a viceroy
• a female viceroy

Word 1934: Caboshed

adjective [ usu. postpositive] Heraldry
(of the head of a stag, bull, etc.) shown full face with no neck visible

Word 1933: Puro

noun ( pl. -ros)
(in Spanish-speaking regions) a cigar

Word 1932: Cruse

an earthenware pot or jar

Word 1931: Nekton

noun Zoology
aquatic animals that are able to swim and move independently of water currents

Word 1930: Sgraffito

noun ( pl. -ti)
a form of decoration made by scratching through a surface to reveal a lower layer of a contrasting color, typically done in plaster or stucco on walls, or in slip on ceramics before firing

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Word 1929: Skein

a length of thread or yarn, loosely coiled and knotted
• a tangled or complicated arrangement, state, or situation
• a flock of wild geese or swans in flight, typically in a V-shaped formation

Word 1928: Floruit

used in conjunction with a specified period or set of dates to indicate when a particular historical figure lived, worked, or was most active

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Word 1927: Protasis

noun ( pl. -ses) Grammar
the clause expressing the condition in a conditional sentence (e.g., if you asked me in if you asked me I would agree)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Word 1926: Manège

an arena or enclosed area in which horses and riders are trained
• the movements of a trained horse
• horsemanship

Word 1925: Chambré

adjective [ predic.]
(of red wine) at room temperature

Word 1924: Paysan

a peasant or countryman, esp. in France

Word 1923: Semasiology

the branch of knowledge that deals with concepts and the terms that represent them

Word 1922: Tabby

(of a cat) gray or brownish in color and streaked with dark stripes

Word 1921: Dyad

noun technical
something that consists of two elements or parts
Mathematics an operator that is a combination of two vectors
Chemistry a divalent atom or radical

Word 1920: Schlimazel

noun informal
a consistently unlucky or accident-prone person

Word 1919: Paisano

noun ( pl. -nos)
a peasant of Spanish or Italian ethnic origin

Word 1918: Whelk

a predatory marine mollusk with a heavy, pointed spiral shell, some kinds of which are edible

Word 1917: Laparoscopy

noun ( pl. -pies)
a surgical procedure in which a fiber-optic instrument is inserted through the abdominal wall to view the organs in the abdomen or to permit a surgical procedure

Word 1916: Mofette

noun archaic

Word 1915: Anaphora

1. Grammar the use of a word referring to or replacing a word used earlier in a sentence, to avoid repetition, such as do in I like it and so do they
2. Rhetoric the repetition of a word or phrase at the beginning of successive clauses

Word 1914: Swacked

adjective informal

Word 1913: Poult

noun Farming
a young domestic chicken, turkey, pheasant, or other fowl being raised for food

Word 1912: Flump

verb [ intrans.]
fall or sit down heavily
• [ trans.] set or throw (something) down heavily

Word 1911: Kip

noun Brit.
a sleep; a nap
Scottish a bed

Word 1910: Syce

(esp. in India) a groom (taking care of horses)

Word 1909: Teledu

a badgerlike animal that has brownish-black fur with a white stripe along the top of the head and back, and anal glands that contain a foul-smelling liquid that can be squirted at an attacker. It is native to Sumatra, Java, and Borneo

Word 1908: Frore

adjective poetic/literary
frozen; frosty

Word 1907: Azan

the Muslim call to ritual prayer, typically made by a muezzin from the minaret of a mosque

Word 1906: Syllogism

an instance of a form of reasoning in which a conclusion is drawn (whether validly or not) from two given or assumed propositions (premises), each of which shares a term with the conclusion, and shares a common or middle term not present in the conclusion (e.g., all dogs are animals; all animals have four legs; therefore all dogs have four legs)
• deductive reasoning as distinct from induction

Word 1905: Bustee

noun Indian
a slum area or shanty town

Word 1904: Margin call

noun Finance
a demand by a broker that an investor deposit further cash or securities to cover possible losses

Word 1903: Naff

verb [ intrans.] ( naff off) Brit.
go away

Word 1902: Sforzando

adverb & adjective Music
(esp. as a direction) with sudden emphasis

Word 1901: Obovate

adjective Botany
(of a leaf) ovate with the narrower end at the base

Word 1900: Post hoc, ergo propter hoc

after this, therefore resulting from it: used to indicate that a causal relationship has erroneously been assumed from a merely sequential one

Word 1899: Spiccato

a style of staccato playing on stringed instruments involving bouncing the bow on the strings

Word 1898: Metathesis

noun ( pl. -ses)
1. Grammar the transposition of sounds or letters in a word
2. (also metathesis reaction) Chemistry a reaction in which two compounds exchange ions, typically with precipitation of an insoluble product

Word 1897: Squiffy

adjective chiefly Brit.
slightly drunk

Word 1896: Godet

a triangular piece of material inserted in a dress, shirt, or glove to make it flared or for ornamentation

Word 1895: Shindy

noun ( pl. -dies) informal
a noisy disturbance or quarrel
• a large, lively party

Word 1894: Spraddle

verb [ trans.] [ usu. as adj.] ( spraddled)
spread (one's legs) far apart

Word 1893: Aplasia

noun Medicine
the failure of an organ or tissue to develop or to function normally

Word 1892: Jess

noun (usu. jesses)
a short leather strap that is fastened around each leg of a hawk, usually also having a ring or swivel to which a leash may be attached

Word 1891: Mozo

noun ( pl. -zos)
(in Spanish-speaking regions) a male servant or attendant

Word 1890: Preterit

adjective Grammar
expressing a past action or state

Word 1889: Sessile

adjective Biology
(of an organism, e.g., a barnacle) fixed in one place; immobile
• (of a plant or animal structure) attached directly by its base without a stalk or peduncle

Word 1888: Etui

noun ( pl. etuis) dated
a small ornamental case for holding needles, cosmetics, and other articles

Word 1887: Organoleptic

acting on or involving the use of the sense organs

Word 1886: Gonzo

adjective informal
of or associated with journalistic writing of an exaggerated, subjective, and fictionalized style
• bizarre or crazy

Word 1885: Mor

noun Soil Science
humus formed under acid conditions

Word 1884: Sitar

a large, long-necked Indian lute with movable frets, played with a wire pick.

Word 1883: Aphesis

noun Linguistics
the loss of an unstressed vowel at the beginning of a word (e.g., of a from around to form round)

Word 1882: Oophorectomy

noun ( pl. -mies)
surgical removal of one or both ovaries; ovariectomy

Word 1881: Sump

a pit or hollow in which liquid collects, in particular
• the base of an internal combustion engine, which serves as a reservoir of oil for the lubrication system
• a depression in the floor of a mine or basement in which water collects
• a cesspool

Word 1880: Limen

noun ( pl. limens or limina) Psychology
a threshold below which a stimulus is not perceived or is not distinguished from another

Word 1879: Charango

a small Andean guitar, traditionally made from an armadillo shell

Word 1878: Marching order

noun Military
equipment for marching

Word 1877: Hypotaxis

noun Grammar
the subordination of one clause to another

Word 1876: Kisan

noun Indian
an agricultural worker; a peasant

Word 1875: Sachet

a small perfumed bag used to scent clothes

Word 1874: Tacet

verb [ intrans.] Music
(as a direction) indicating that a voice or instrument is silent

Word 1873: Fibrin

noun Biochemistry
an insoluble protein formed from fibrinogen during the clotting of blood. It forms a fibrous mesh that impedes the flow of blood

Word 1872: Spiv

noun informal
a man, typically characterized by flashy dress, who makes a living by disreputable dealings

Word 1871: Tilbury

noun ( pl. -buries) historical
a light, open two-wheeled carriage

Word 1870: Petechia

noun ( pl. -chiae) Medicine
a small red or purple spot caused by bleeding into the skin

Word 1869: Muzzy

1. unable to think clearly; confused
• not thought out clearly; vague
2. (of a person's eyes or a visual image) blurred
• (of a sound) indistinct

Word 1868: Fob

verb [ trans.] (fob someone off)
deceitfully attempt to satisfy someone by making excuses or giving them something inferior
• (fob something off on) give (someone) something inferior to or different from what they want

Word 1867: Pelite

noun Geology
a very fine-grained sediment or sedimentary rock composed of clay or mud particles

Word 1866: Tant pis

so much the worse; the situation is regrettable but now beyond retrieval

Word 1865: Epicritic

adjective Physiology
relating to or denoting those sensory nerve fibers of the skin that are capable of fine discrimination of touch or temperature stimuli

Word 1864: Smorzando

adverb & adjective Music
(esp. as a direction) dying away

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Word 1863: Gamba

viola da gamba

Word 1862: Epizootic

of, relating to, or denoting a disease that is temporarily prevalent and widespread in an animal population

Word 1861: Paynim

noun archaic
a pagan
• a non-Christian, esp. a Muslim

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Word 1860: Syncope

noun Linguistics
the omission of sounds or letters from within a word, e.g., when probably is pronounced |ˈpräblē|

Word 1859: Tête-bêche

(of a postage stamp) printed upside down or sideways relative to another

Word 1858: Mycotoxin

any toxic substance produced by a fungus

Word 1857: Fug

noun [in sing.] Brit., informal
a warm stuffy or smoky atmosphere in a room

Word 1856: Trumpery

showy but worthless
• delusive or shallow

Word 1855: Anastrophe

noun Rhetoric
the inversion of the usual order of words or clauses

Word 1854: Synod

1. an assembly of the clergy and sometimes also the laity in a diocese or other division of a particular church
2. a Presbyterian ecclesiastical court above the presbyteries and subject to the General Assembly

Word 1853: Obtund

verb [ trans.] chiefly Medicine
dull the sensitivity of; blunt; deaden

Word 1852: Gittern

a lutelike medieval stringed instrument, forerunner of the guitar

Word 1851: Raggle-taggle

untidy and scruffy

Word 1850: Faute de mieux

for want of a better alternative

Word 1849: Protopathic

adjective Physiology
relating to or denoting those sensory nerve fibers of the skin that are capable of discriminating only among such relatively coarse stimuli as heat, cold, and pain

Word 1848: Transude

verb [ trans.]
discharge (a fluid) gradually through pores in a membrane, esp. within the body
• [ intrans. ] (of a fluid) be discharged in such a way

Word 1847: Swale

a low or hollow place, esp. a marshy depression between ridges

Word 1846: Spavin

a disorder of a horse's hock

Word 1845: Vedette

1. historical a mounted sentry positioned beyond an army's outposts to observe the movements of the enemy
2. a leading star of stage, screen, or television

Word 1844: Mizzle

verb [ intrans.]
rain lightly

Word 1843: Apocope

noun Linguistics
the loss of a sound or sounds at the end of a word, e.g., in the derivation of curio from curiosity

Word 1842: Fu Manchu

a long narrow mustache in which the ends taper and droop down to the chin

Word 1841: Exemplum

noun ( pl. -pla)
an example or model, esp. a moralizing or illustrative story

Word 1840: Sarcopenia

loss of muscle tissue as a natural part of the aging process

Word 1839: Ryot

an Indian peasant or tenant farmer

Word 1838: Pemmican

a paste of dried and pounded meat mixed with melted fat and other ingredients, originally made by North American Indians and later adapted by Arctic explorers

Word 1837: Swish

noun informal
an effeminate male homosexual

Word 1836: Hypallage

noun Rhetoric
a transposition of the natural relations of two elements in a proposition, for example in the sentence “Melissa shook her doubtful curls”

Word 1835: Ritenuto

adverb & adjective Music
(esp. as a direction) with an immediate reduction of tempo

Word 1834: Lucine

a bivalve mollusk that typically has a rounded white shell with radial and concentric ridges, found in tropical and temperate seas

Word 1833: Satsang

noun Indian
a spiritual discourse or sacred gathering

Word 1832: Figurant

noun ( fem. figurante)
a supernumerary actor

Word 1831: Serge

verb [ trans.]
overcast (the edge of a piece of material) to prevent fraying

Word 1830: Optative

relating to or denoting a mood of verbs in Greek and other languages, expressing a wish, equivalent to English expressions if only

Word 1829: Brogan

a coarse, stout leather shoe reaching to the ankle

Word 1828: Sensu stricto

adverb formal
strictly speaking; in the narrow sense

Word 1827: Hypesthesia

a diminished capacity for physical sensation, esp. of the skin

Word 1826: Plebe

noun informal
a newly entered cadet or freshman, esp. at a military academy

Word 1825: Favela

a Brazilian shack or shanty town; a slum

Word 1824: Trouvaille

a lucky find

Word 1823: Apologue

a moral fable, esp. one with animals as characters

Word 1822: Festschrift

noun ( pl. -schriften or -schrifts)
a collection of writings published in honor of a scholar

Word 1821: Saz

a long-necked stringed instrument of the lute family, originating in the Ottoman Empire

Word 1820: Sauve qui peut

noun poetic/literary
a general stampede, panic, or disorder

Word 1819: Ruction

noun informal
a disturbance or quarrel
• ( ructions) unpleasant reactions to or complaints about something

Word 1818: Loess

noun Geology
a loosely compacted yellowish-gray deposit of windblown sediment of which extensive deposits occur, e.g., in eastern China and the American Midwest

Word 1817: Faience

glazed ceramic ware, in particular decorated tin-glazed earthenware of the type that includes delftware and maiolica

Word 1816: Heparin

noun Biochemistry
a compound occurring in the liver and other tissues that inhibits blood coagulation. A sulfur-containing polysaccharide, it is used as an anticoagulant in the treatment of thrombosis

Word 1815: Pawky

adjective ( pawkier, pawkiest) chiefly Brit.
having or showing a sly sense of humor
• shrewd

Word 1814: Squaw

noun offensive
an American Indian woman or wife
• a woman or wife

Word 1813: Auk

a short-winged diving seabird found in northern oceans, typically with a black head and back and white underparts

Word 1812: Veristic

(of art or literature) extremely or strictly naturalistic

Word 1811: Parlando

adverb & adjective Music
(with reference to singing) expressive or declamatory in the manner of speech

Word 1810: Guano

noun ( pl. -nos)
the excrement of seabirds, occurring in thick deposits notably on the islands off Peru and Chile, and used as fertilizer
• an artificial fertilizer resembling natural guano, esp. one made from fish

Word 1809: Morel

a widely distributed edible fungus that has a brown oval or pointed fruiting body with an irregular honeycombed surface bearing the spores

Word 1808: Fink

verb [ intrans.]
1. ( fink on) inform on to the authorities
2. ( fink out) fail to do something promised or expected because of a lack of courage or commitment
• cease to function

Word 1807: Cockcrow

noun poetic/literary

Word 1806: Sight unseen

without the opportunity to look at the object in question beforehand
• without being seen

Word 1805: Umiak

an Eskimo open boat made with skin stretched over a wooden frame

Word 1804: Schmatte

noun informal
a rag; a ragged or shabby garment

Word 1803: Vitta

noun ( pl. vittae)
1. Botany an oil tube in the fruit of some plants
2. Zoology a band or stripe of color

Word 1802: Au fond

in essence

Word 1801: Entresol

a low story between the first floor and the second floor of a building; a mezzanine floor

Word 1800: Shojo

manga intended for a primarily female audience

Word 1799: Mackle

a blurred impression in printing

Word 1798: Sharia

Islamic canonical law based on the teachings of the Koran and the traditions of the Prophet (Hadith and Sunna), prescribing both religious and secular duties and sometimes retributive penalties for lawbreaking. It has generally been supplemented by legislation adapted to the conditions of the day, though the manner in which it should be applied in modern states is a subject of dispute between Islamic fundamentalists and modernists

Word 1797: Telangiectasia

noun Medicine
a condition characterized by dilation of the capillaries, which causes them to appear as small red or purple clusters, often spidery in appearance, on the skin or the surface of an organ

Word 1796: Patera

noun ( pl. -erae)
1. a broad shallow dish used in ancient Rome for pouring libations
Architecture a flat, round ornament resembling a shallow dish
2. a broad, shallow bowl-shaped feature on a planet's surface

Word 1795: Bateau

noun ( pl. -teaux)
a light flat-bottomed riverboat used in eastern and central North America

Word 1794: Zebu

an ox of a humped breed originally domesticated in India that is tolerant of heat and drought and is now kept widely in tropical and warm-temperate countries

Word 1793: Avulsion

noun Medicine
the action of pulling or tearing away
Law the sudden separation of land from one property and its attachment to another, esp. by flooding or a change in the course of a river

Word 1792: Tegmen

noun ( pl. -mina) Biology
a covering structure or roof of an organ, in particular
Entomology a sclerotized forewing serving to cover the hind wing in grasshoppers and related insects
Botany the delicate inner protective layer of a seed
• (also tegmen tympani) Anatomy a plate of thin bone forming the roof of the middle ear, a part of the temporal bone

Word 1791: Koto

noun ( pl. -tos)
a Japanese zither about six feet long, with thirteen silk strings passed over small movable bridges

Word 1790: Hebdomadal

adjective formal
weekly (used esp. of organizations that meet weekly)

Word 1789: Syngeneic

adjective Medicine & Biology
(of organisms or cells) genetically similar or identical and hence immunologically compatible, esp. so closely related that transplantation does not provoke an immune response

Word 1788: Enzootic

of, relating to, or denoting a disease that regularly affects animals in a particular district or at a particular season

Word 1787: Melton

heavy woolen cloth with a close-cut nap, used for overcoats and jackets

Word 1786: Listeria

a type of bacterium that infects humans and other warm-blooded animals through contaminated food
informal food poisoning or other disease caused by infection with listeria; listeriosis

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Word 1785: Stoma

noun ( pl. stomas or stomata) Botany
any of the minute pores in the epidermis of the leaf or stem of a plant, forming a slit of variable width that allows movement of gases in and out of the intercellular spaces
Zoology a small mouthlike opening in some lower animals
Medicine an artificial opening made into a hollow organ, esp. one on the surface of the body leading to the gut or trachea

Word 1784: Koan

a paradoxical anecdote or riddle, used in Zen Buddhism to demonstrate the inadequacy of logical reasoning and to provoke enlightenment

Word 1783: Sistrum

noun ( pl. sistra or sistrums)
a musical instrument of ancient Egypt consisting of a metal frame with transverse metal rods that rattled when the instrument was shaken

Word 1782: Stirk

noun Brit.
a yearling bullock or heifer

Word 1781: Dulce

a sweet food or drink, esp. a candy or jam

Word 1780: Thigmotaxis

noun Biology
the motion or orientation of an organism in response to a touch stimulus

Word 1779: Aril

noun Botany
an extra seed-covering, typically colored and hairy or fleshy, e.g., the red fleshy cup around a yew seed

Word 1778: Papilloma

noun ( pl. -mas or -mata) Medicine
a small wartlike growth on the skin or on a mucous membrane, derived from the epidermis and usually benign

Word 1777: Ecdysis

noun Zoology
the process of shedding the old skin (in reptiles) or casting off the outer cuticle (in insects and other arthropods)

Word 1776: Lamella

noun ( pl. -mellae)
a thin layer, membrane, scale, or platelike tissue or part, esp. in bone tissue
Botany a membranous fold in a chloroplast

Word 1775: Saltire

noun Heraldry
another term for St. Andrew's cross
• [ as adj.] (of a design) incorporating a motif based on such a diagonal cross

Word 1774: Tuffet

1. a tuft or clump of something
2. a footstool or low seat

Word 1773: Inter se

between or among themselves

Word 1772: Numpty

noun ( pl. -ties) Brit., informal
1. nu
2. a stupid or ineffectual person

Word 1771: Holm

noun Brit.
an islet, esp. in a river or near a mainland
• a piece of flat ground by a river that is submerged in time of flood

Word 1770: Inconnu

an unknown person or thing

Word 1769: Vivace

adverb & adjective Music
(esp. as a direction) in a lively and brisk manner

Word 1768: Giaour

noun derogatory
a non-Muslim, esp. a Christian

Word 1767: Plissé

(of fabric) treated to give a permanent puckered or crinkled effect

Word 1766: Moulvi

noun ( pl. -vis)
a Muslim doctor of law; an imam

Word 1765: Subulate

adjective Botany & Zoology
(of a part) slender and tapering to a point; awl-shaped

Word 1764: Hebephrenia

a form of chronic schizophrenia involving disordered thought, inappropriate emotions, hallucinations, and bizarre behavior

Word 1763: Outfall

the place where a river, drain, or sewer empties into the sea, a river, or a lake

Word 1762: Soba

Japanese noodles made from buckwheat flour

Word 1761: Phatic

denoting or relating to language used for general purposes of social interaction, rather than to convey information or ask questions

Word 1760: Faubourg

noun [ usu. in place names]
a suburb, esp. one in Paris

Word 1759: Roshi

noun ( pl. -shis)
the spiritual leader of a community of Zen Buddhist monks

Word 1758: Nous

1. Philosophy the mind or intellect
2. informal common sense; practical intelligence

Word 1757: Pareu

a kind of sarong made of a single straight piece of printed cotton cloth, worn by Polynesians

Word 1756: Parataxis

noun Grammar
the placing of clauses or phrases one after another, without words to indicate coordination or subordination, as in Tell me, how are you?

Word 1755: Kanaka

a native of Hawaii

Word 1754: Indumentum

noun ( pl. -ta) Botany & Zoology
a covering of hairs (or feathers) on an animal or plant

Word 1753: Ria

noun Geography
a long narrow inlet formed by the partial submergence of a river valley

Word 1752: Poplin

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

Word 1751: Conation

noun Philosophy & Psychology
the mental faculty of purpose, desire, or will to perform an action; volition

Word 1750: Sulcate

adjective Botany & Zoology
marked with parallel grooves

Word 1749: Jib

1. Sailing a triangular staysail set forward of the forwardmost mast
2. the projecting arm of a crane

Word 1748: Tamoxifen

noun Medicine
a synthetic estrogen antagonist used to treat breast cancer and infertility in women

Word 1747: Murrey

a deep purple-red cloth
• the deep purple-red color of a mulberry
Heraldry sanguine

Word 1746: Taffrail

a rail and ornamentation around a ship's stern

Word 1745: Piacular

adjective rare
making or requiring atonement

Word 1744: Stringendo

adverb & adjective Music
(esp. as a direction) with increasing speed

Word 1743: In propria persona

in his or her own person

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Word 1742: Tui

a large New Zealand honeyeater with glossy blackish plumage and two white tufts at the throat

Word 1741: Anaptyxis

noun Linguistics
the insertion of a vowel between two consonants in pronunciation, as in filim for film

Word 1740: Scraggly

adjective ( -glier, -gliest)
(of a person or animal) thin and bony
• ragged, thin, or untidy in form or appearance
• (of a plant, tree, or shrubbery) sparsely foliated or having thin, uneven growth

Word 1739: Pruritus

noun Medicine
severe itching of the skin, as a symptom of various ailments

Word 1738: Oblate

adjective Geometry
(of a spheroid) flattened at the poles