Sunday, May 23, 2010

Word 2061: Morion

a kind of helmet without beaver or visor, worn by soldiers in the 16th and 17th centuries

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Word 2060: Petite bourgeoisie

noun ( the petite bourgeoisie) [ treated as sing. or pl.]
the lower middle class

Word 2059: Gudgeon

1. a small, edible, European freshwater fish, often used as bait by anglers
2. a credulous or easily fooled person

Word 2058: Sine die

(with reference to business or proceedings that have been adjourned) with no appointed date for resumption

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Word 2057: Djellaba

a loose hooded cloak, typically woolen, of a kind traditionally worn by Arabs

Word 2056: Bastion

a projecting part of a fortification built at an angle to the line of a wall, so as to allow defensive fire in several directions
• a natural rock formation resembling such a fortification
figurative an institution, place, or person strongly defending or upholding particular principles, attitudes, or activities

Word 2055: Réclame

public acclaim; notoriety
• a hunger for publicity or flair for getting attention

Word 2054: Synecdoche

a figure of speech in which a part is made to represent the whole or vice versa, as in Cleveland won by six runs (meaning “Cleveland's baseball team”)

Word 2053: Matzo

noun ( pl. -zos or -zoth)
a thin, crisp unleavened bread, traditionally eaten by Jews during Passover

Word 2052: Wormwood

1. a woody shrub with a bitter aromatic taste, used, esp. formerly, as an ingredient of vermouth and absinthe and in medicine
2. figurative a state or source of bitterness or grief

Word 2051: Squib

1. a small firework that burns with a hissing sound before exploding
• a short piece of satirical writing
• a short news item or filler in a newspaper
2. a small, slight, or weak person, esp. a child
3. Football a short kick on a kickoff
Baseball (also squibber) a blooper or infield grounder that becomes a base hit

Word 2050: Turista

noun informal
diarrhea as suffered by travelers when visiting certain foreign countries

Word 2049: Neem

a tropical Old World tree that yields mahoganylike timber, oil, medicinal products, and insecticide

Word 2048: Rabbet

a step-shaped recess cut along the edge or in the face of a piece of wood, typically forming a match to the edge or tongue of another piece

Word 2047: Diddle

verb informal
1. [ trans.] (usu. be diddled) cheat or swindle (someone) so as to deprive them of something
• deliberately falsify (something)
2. [ intrans.] informal pass time aimlessly or unproductively
• ( diddle with) play or mess with
3. [ trans.] vulgar slang have sexual intercourse with (someone)

Word 2046: Sumi

a type of black Japanese ink prepared in solid sticks and used for painting and writing

Word 2045: Flagon

a large container in which drink is served, typically with a handle and spout

Word 2044: Testatrix

noun ( pl. -trices or -trixes) Law
a woman who has made a will or given a legacy

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Word 2043: Stipe

noun Botany
a stalk or stem, esp. the stem of a seaweed or fungus or the stalk of a fern frond

Word 2042: Petiole

noun Botany
the stalk that joins a leaf to a stem; leafstalk
Zoology a slender stalk between two structures, esp. that between the abdomen and thorax of a wasp or ant

Word 2041: Fado

noun ( pl. -dos)
a type of popular Portuguese song, usually with a melancholy theme and accompanied by mandolins or guitars
• the music for such a song

Word 2040: Bridgehead

a strong position secured by an army inside enemy territory from which to advance or attack

Word 2039: Reave

verb ( past and past part. reft) [ intrans.] archaic
carry out raids in order to plunder
• [ trans.] rob (a person or place) of something by force
• [ trans.] steal (something)

Word 2038: Chlamys

noun ( pl. chlamyses or chlamydes)
a short cloak worn by men in ancient Greece

Word 2037: Stewbum

noun informal
an alcoholic, esp. one who has become vagrant

Word 2036: Intersex

the abnormal condition of being intermediate between male and female; hermaphroditism
• an individual in this condition; a hermaphrodite

Word 2035: Tenesmus

noun Medicine
a continual or recurrent inclination to evacuate the bowels, caused by disorder of the rectum or other illness

Word 2034: Astrobleme

noun Geology
an eroded remnant of a large crater made by the impact of a meteorite or comet

Word 2033: Redcap

1. a railroad porter
2. Brit. informal a member of the military police

Word 2032: Switch-hitter

noun Baseball
a batter who can hit from either side of home plate
informal a bisexual

Word 2031: Plebe

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

Word 2030: Tarboosh

a man's cap similar to a fez, typically of red felt with a tassel at the top

Word 2029: Amatol

a high explosive consisting of a mixture of TNT and ammonium nitrate

Word 2028: Wigwag

verb [ intrans.] informal
move to and fro
• signal by waving an arm, flag, light, or other object

Word 2027: Major-domo

noun ( pl. -domos)
the chief steward of a large household

Word 2026: Dan

a small marker buoy with a lightweight flagpole

Word 2025: Epexegesis

noun ( pl. -ses)
the addition of words to clarify meaning
• words added for such a purpose

Word 2024: Bazoom

noun (usu. bazooms) informal
a woman's breast

Word 2023: Minyan

noun ( pl. minyanim)
a quorum of ten men (or in some synagogues, men and women) over the age of 13 required for traditional Jewish public worship
• a meeting of Jews for public worship

Word 2022: Scrim

strong, coarse fabric, chiefly used for heavy-duty lining or upholstery
Theater a piece of gauze cloth that appears opaque until lit from behind, used as a screen or backdrop
• a similar heatproof cloth put over film or television lamps to diffuse the light
• a thing that conceals or obscures something

Word 2021: Hafiz

a Muslim who knows the Koran by heart

Word 2020: Revetment

(esp. in fortification) a retaining wall or facing of masonry or other material, supporting or protecting a rampart, wall, etc.
• a barricade of earth or sandbags set up to provide protection from blast or to prevent planes from overrunning when landing

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Word 2019: Sic

used in brackets after a copied or quoted word that appears odd or erroneous to show that the word is quoted exactly as it stands in the original, as in a story must hold a child's interest and “enrich his [ sic ] life”

Word 2018: Arhat

(in Buddhism and Jainism) someone who has attained the goal of the religious life

Word 2017: Loanword

a word adopted from a foreign language with little or no modification

Word 2016: Passant

adjective [usu. postpositive] Heraldry
(of an animal) represented as walking, with the right front foot raised. The animal is depicted in profile facing the dexter (left) side with the tail raised, unless otherwise specified (e.g., as “passant guardant”)

Word 2015: Soft-shoe

verb [ intrans.]
perform a dance of this kind
• [ intrans.] move quietly and carefully so as not to draw attention to oneself

Word 2014: Anthelmintic

adjective [ attrib.]
(chiefly of medicines) used to destroy parasitic worms

Word 2013: Skiffle

(in the U.S.) a style of 1920s and 1930s jazz deriving from blues, ragtime, and folk music, using both improvised and conventional instruments

Word 2012: Prie-dieu

noun ( pl. prie-dieux)
a piece of furniture for use during prayer, consisting of a kneeling surface and a narrow upright front with a rest for the elbows or for books

Word 2011: Milt

the semen of a male fish
• a sperm-filled reproductive gland of a male fish

Word 2010: Cochleate

adjective chiefly Botany
formed like a spiral shell; twisted

Word 2009: Ommatophore

noun Zoology
a part of an invertebrate animal, esp. a stalk or tentacle, that bears an eye

Word 2008: Décolleté

adjective (also décolletée)
(of a woman's dress or top) having a low neckline

Word 2007: Scrag

verb [ trans.] informal
handle roughly; beat up
• kill, esp. by strangling or hanging

Word 2006: Cladogenesis

noun Biology
the formation of a new group of organisms or higher taxon by evolutionary divergence from an ancestral form

Word 2005: Pisher

noun informal
an insignificant or contemptible person

Word 2004: Monkey jacket

a short, close-fitting jacket worn by sailors or waiters or by officers in their mess

Word 2003: Stope

noun (usu. stopes)
a steplike part of a mine where minerals are being extracted

Word 2002: Formicary

noun ( pl. -caries; -caria)
an ant's nest, esp. one in an artificial container for purposes of study

Word 2001: Rector

1. (in the Episcopal Church) a member of the clergy who has charge of a parish
• (in the Roman Catholic Church) a priest in charge of a church or of a religious institution
• (in the Church of England) the incumbent of a parish where all tithes formerly passed to the incumbent
2. the head of certain universities, colleges, and schools

Word 2000: Jebel

(in the Middle East and North Africa) a mountain or hill, or a range of hills

Word 1999: Sorehead

noun informal
a person who is in a bad temper or easily irritated

Word 1998: Williwaw

a sudden violent squall blowing offshore from a mountainous coast

Word 1997: Pilose

adjective Botany & Zoology
covered with long soft hairs

Word 1996: Bice

a medium blue pigment made from basic copper carbonate
• the color of this

Word 1995: Lek

a patch of ground used for communal display in the breeding season by the males of certain birds and mammals, esp. black grouse

Word 1994: Pogrom

an organized massacre of a particular ethnic group, in particular that of Jews in Russia or eastern Europe

Word 1993: Disrelish

verb [ trans.]
regard (something) with dislike or distaste

Word 1992: Maar

noun Geology
a broad, shallow crater, typically filled by a lake, formed by a volcanic explosion with little lava

Word 1991: Satsang

noun Indian
a spiritual discourse or sacred gathering

Word 1990: Dorp

noun chiefly S. African
a small rural town or village

Word 1989: Tamasha

noun Indian
a grand show, performance, or celebration, esp. one involving dance
• [ in sing.] a fuss or confusion

Word 1988: Hastate

adjective Botany
(of a leaf) having a narrow triangular shape like that of a spearhead

Word 1987: Grubstake

noun informal
an amount of material, provisions, or money supplied to an enterprise (originally a prospector for ore) in return for a share in the resulting profits

Word 1986: Pantywaist

a feeble or effeminate person

Word 1985: Smut

1. a small flake of soot or other dirt : all those black smuts from the engine
• a mark or smudge made by such a flake
2. a fungal disease of grains in which parts of the ear change to black powder
3. obscene or lascivious talk, writing, or pictures

Word 1984: Lanner

a falcon with a dark brown back and buff cap, found in southeastern Europe, the Middle East, and Africa

Word 1983: Puffery

exaggerated or false praise

Word 1982: Tar pit

a hollow in which natural tar accumulates by seepage
figurative a complicated or difficult situation or problem

Word 1981: Cachexia

noun Medicine
weakness and wasting of the body due to severe chronic illness

Word 1980: Sampan

a small boat of a kind used in the Far East, typically with an oar or oars at the stern

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Word 1979: Means test

an official investigation into someone's financial circumstances to determine whether they are eligible for a welfare payment or other public funds

Word 1978: Strabismus

abnormal alignment of the eyes; the condition of having a squint

Word 1977: Videlicet

namely; in other words (used esp. to introduce a gloss or explanation)

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Word 1976: Torchère

a tall ornamental flat-topped stand, traditionally used as a stand for a candlestick.

Word 1975: Groupuscule

a political or religious splinter group

Word 1974: Rajah

noun historical
an Indian king or prince
• a title extended to petty dignitaries and nobles in India during the British Raj
• a title extended by the British to a Malay or Javanese ruler or chief

Word 1973: Knacker

a person whose business is the disposal of dead or unwanted animals, esp. those whose flesh is not fit for human consumption

Word 1972: Howdah

(in the Indian subcontinent) a seat for riding on the back of an elephant or camel, typically with a canopy and accommodating two or more people

Word 1971: Orthoepy

the correct or accepted pronunciation of words
• the study of correct or accepted pronunciation

Word 1970: Satrap

a provincial governor in the ancient Persian empire
• any subordinate or local ruler

Word 1969: Fugue

1. Music a contrapuntal composition in which a short melody or phrase (the subject) is introduced by one part and successively taken up by others and developed by interweaving the parts
2. Psychiatry a state or period of loss of awareness of one's identity, often coupled with flight from one's usual environment, associated with certain forms of hysteria and epilepsy

Word 1968: Padsaw

a small saw with a narrow blade, for cutting curves

Word 1967: De novo

adverb & adjective
starting from the beginning; anew

Word 1966: Thumbsucker

noun derogatory
a serious piece of journalism that concentrates on the background and interpretation of events rather than on the news or action; a think piece
• a journalist who writes in this style

Word 1965: Brahman

1. member of the highest Hindu caste, that of the priesthood
2. 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 1964: Shamateur

noun derogatory
a sports player who makes money from sports though classified as amateur

Word 1963: Pomander

a ball or perforated container of sweet-smelling substances such as herbs and spices, placed in a closet, drawer, or room to perfume the air or (formerly) carried as a supposed protection against infection
• a piece of fruit, typically an orange or apple, studded with cloves and hung in a closet by a ribbon for a similar purpose

Word 1962: Mafic

adjective Geology
relating to, denoting, or containing a group of dark-colored, mainly ferromagnesian minerals such as pyroxene and olivine

Word 1961: Exudate

an exuded substance, in particular
Medicine a mass of cells and fluid that has seeped out of blood vessels or an organ, esp. in inflammation
Botany & Entomology a substance secreted by a plant or insect

Word 1960: Neap tide

noun (usu. neap tide)
a tide just after the first or third quarters of the moon when there is the least difference between high and low water

Word 1959: Skort

shorts with full legs and a central flap in front

Word 1958: Trig

neat and smart in appearance

Word 1957: Villein

(in medieval England) a feudal tenant entirely subject to a lord or manor to whom he paid dues and services in return for land

Word 1956: Eclose

verb [ intrans.] Entomology
(of an insect) emerge as an adult from the pupa or as a larva from the egg

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Word 1955: Launce

sand eel

Word 1954: Canzone

noun ( pl. canzoni)
an Italian or Provençal song or ballad
• a type of lyric resembling a madrigal

Word 1953: Defeasance

noun Law
the action or process of rendering something null and void
• a clause or condition which, if fulfilled, renders a deed or contract null and void

Word 1952: Terminus ad quem

the point at which something ends or finishes
• an aim or goal

Word 1951: Amphora

noun ( pl. -rae or -ras)
a tall ancient Greek or Roman jar with two handles and a narrow neck

Word 1950: Potentiate

verb [ trans.] technical
increase the power, effect, or likelihood of (something, esp. a drug or physiological reaction)

Word 1949: Sarcoma

noun ( pl. -mas or -mata) Medicine
a malignant tumor of connective or other nonepithelial tissue

Word 1948: Ham-and-egger

noun informal
an ordinary person of little consequence