Thursday, August 26, 2010

Word 2599: Conning tower

the superstructure of a submarine, from which it can be commanded when on the surface, and containing the periscope

Word 2598: Vin ordinaire

noun ( pl. vins ordinaires)
cheap table wine for everyday use

Word 2597: Pachuco

noun ( pl. -cos) dated
a juvenile gang member of Mexican-American ethnic origin

Word 2596: Scabrous

1. rough and covered with, or as if with, scabs
2. indecent; salacious

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Word 2595: Flugelhorn

a valved brass musical instrument like a cornet but with a mellower tone

Word 2594: Clairaudience

the supposed faculty of perceiving, as if by hearing, what is inaudible

Word 2593: Passivate

verb [ trans.] [usu. as adj.] ( passivated)
make (a metal or other substance) unreactive by altering the surface layer or coating the surface with a thin inert layer
Electronics coat (a semiconductor) with inert material to protect it from contamination

Word 2592: Lagan

noun archaic
(in legal contexts) goods or wreckage lying on the bed of the sea

Monday, August 23, 2010

Word 2591: Strappado

noun ( pl. -dos) (usu. the strappado) historical
a form of punishment or torture in which the victim was secured to a rope and made to fall from a height almost to the ground before being stopped with an abrupt jerk
• the instrument used for inflicting this punishment or torture

Word 2590: Tussock

1. a small area of grass that is thicker or longer than the grass growing around it
2. (also tussock moth) a woodland moth whose adults and brightly colored caterpillars both bear tufts of irritant hairs. The caterpillars can be a pest of trees, damaging fruit and stripping leaves

Word 2589: Velarium

noun ( pl. -laria)
a large awning of a type used in ancient Rome to cover a theater or amphitheater as a protection against the weather, now more commonly used as an inner ceiling to improve acoustics

Word 2588: Padrone

noun ( pl. -drones)
a patron or master, in particular
• a Mafia boss
informal an employer, esp. one who exploits immigrant workers
• (in Italy) the proprietor of a hotel

Word 2587: Barranca

noun ( pl. -cas also -cos)
a narrow, winding river gorge

Word 2586: Lea

noun poetic/literary
an open area of grassy or arable land

Word 2585: Preventive detention

noun Law
the imprisonment of a person with the aim of preventing them from committing further offenses or of maintaining public order

Word 2584: Schtup

verb [ trans.] vulgar slang
have sexual intercourse with (someone)

Word 2583: Testaceous

adjective chiefly Entomology
of a dull brick-red color

Word 2582: Fornix

noun ( pl. -nices) Anatomy
a vaulted or arched structure in the body, in particular
• (also fornix cerebri) a triangular area of white matter in the mammalian brain between the hippocampus and the hypothalamus

Word 2581: Middy

noun ( pl. -dies)
1. informal a midshipman
2. (also middy blouse) chiefly historical a woman's or child's loose blouse with a collar that is cut deep and square at the back and tapering to the front, resembling that worn by a sailor

Word 2580: Snigger

a smothered or half-suppressed laugh

Word 2579: Scull

each of a pair of small oars used by a single rower
• an oar placed over the stern of a boat to propel it by a side-to-side motion, reversing the blade at each turn
• a light, narrow boat propelled with a scull or a pair of sculls
• ( sculls) a race between boats in which each participant uses a pair of oars

Word 2578: Paralogism

noun Logic
a piece of illogical or fallacious reasoning, esp. one that appears superficially logical or that the reasoner believes to be logical

Word 2577: Nidation

the action of implanting or state of being implanted
Zoology & Medicine (in a mammal) the attachment of the fertilized egg or blastocyst to the wall of the uterus at the start of pregnancy, often delayed in some mammals by several months

Word 2576: Orlop

the lowest deck of a wooden sailing ship with three or more decks

Word 2575: Torse

noun Heraldry
a wreath

Word 2574: Sobersides

noun informal
a sedate and serious person

Word 2573: Son et lumière

an entertainment held by night at a historic monument or building, telling its history by the use of lighting effects and recorded sound

Word 2572: Paysage

a rural scene depicted in art
• landscape painting

Word 2571: Assegai

noun ( pl. -gais)
1. a slender, iron-tipped, hardwood spear used chiefly by southern African peoples
2. (also assegai wood) a South African tree of the dogwood family that yields hard timber

Word 2570: Molto

adverb Music
(in directions) very

Word 2569: Preterition

1. the action of passing over or disregarding a matter, esp. the rhetorical technique of making summary mention of something by professing to omit it
2. (in Calvinist theology) omission from God’s elect; nonelection to salvation

Word 2568: Lochia

noun Medicine
the normal discharge from the uterus after childbirth

Word 2567: Flue

a duct for smoke and waste gases produced by a fire, a gas heater, a power station, or other fuel-burning installation
• a channel for conveying heat

Word 2566: Gavel-to-gavel

lasting from beginning to end of a formal session or meeting, such as a political convention

Word 2565: Bibliotics

plural noun [ treated as sing.]
the study of documents, handwriting, and writing materials to determine authenticity

Word 2564: Simurg

(in Persian mythology) a large mythical bird of great age, believed to have the power of reasoning and speech

Word 2563: Mezzotint

a print made from an engraved copper or steel plate on which the surface has been partially roughened, for shading, and partially scraped smooth, giving light areas. The technique was much used in the 17th, 18th, and early 19th centuries for the reproduction of paintings
• the technique or process of making pictures in this way

Word 2562: Certiorari

noun Law
a writ or order by which a higher court reviews a decision of a lower court

Word 2561: Kef

a substance, esp. cannabis, smoked to produce a drowsy state

Word 2560: Ragbag

a bag in which scraps of fabric and old clothes are kept for use
• a miscellaneous collection of something

Word 2559: Greave

noun historical
a piece of armor used to protect the shin

Word 2558: Sullage

waste from household sinks, showers, and baths, but not toilets
archaic refuse, esp. sewage

Word 2557: Beachhead

a defended position on a beach taken from the enemy by landing forces, from which an attack can be launched

Word 2556: Propaedeutic

adjective formal
(of an area of study) serving as a preliminary instruction or as an introduction to further study

Word 2555: Stogie

noun ( pl. -gies)
a long, thin, inexpensive cigar

Word 2554: Snit

noun informal
a fit of irritation; a sulk

Word 2553: Zaftig

adjective informal
(of a woman) having a full, rounded figure; plump

Word 2552: Padre

father; the title of a priest or chaplain in some regions
informal a chaplain (typically a Roman Catholic chaplain) in any of the armed services

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Word 2551: Trug

noun Brit.
a shallow oblong basket made of strips of wood, traditionally used for carrying garden flowers and produce

Word 2550: Gnat

a small two-winged fly that resembles a mosquito. Gnats include both biting and nonbiting forms, and they typically form large swarms
• a person or thing seen as tiny or insignificant, esp. in comparison with something larger or more important

Word 2549: Popple

verb [ intrans.]
(of water) flow in a tumbling or rippling way

Word 2548: Dimorphic

adjective chiefly Biology
occurring in or representing two distinct forms

Word 2547: Offertory

noun ( pl. -ries) Christian Church
1 the offering of the bread and wine at the Eucharist
• prayers or music accompanying this
2. an offering or collection of money made at a religious service
• prayers or music accompanying this

Word 2546: Asthenia

noun Medicine
abnormal physical weakness or lack of energy

Word 2545: Gangue

the commercially valueless material in which ore is found

Word 2544: Street cries

plural noun
the cries used by street vendors to advertise their wares

Word 2543: Fosse

noun Archaeology
a long narrow trench or excavation, esp. in a fortification

Word 2542: Myotonia

inability to relax voluntary muscle after vigorous effort

Word 2541: Hebephrenia

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

Word 2540: Topos

noun ( pl. -poi)
a traditional theme or formula in literature

Word 2539: Dogie

noun ( pl. -gies)
a motherless or neglected calf

Word 2538: Prospectus

noun ( pl. -tuses)
a printed document that advertises or describes a school, commercial enterprise, forthcoming book, etc., in order to attract or inform clients, members, buyers, or investors

Word 2537: Sural

adjective Anatomy
of or relating to the calf of the leg

Word 2536: Matrifocal

(of a society, culture, etc.) based on the mother as the head of the family or household

Word 2535: Pelage

noun Zoology
the fur, hair, or wool of a mammal

Word 2534: Dhoti

noun ( pl. dhotis)
a loincloth worn by male Hindus

Word 2533: Prepense

adjective [usu. postpositive] chiefly Law
deliberate; intentional

Word 2532: Lex loci

noun Law
the law of the country in which a transaction is performed, a tort is committed, or a property is situated

Word 2531: Stridulate

verb [ intrans.]
(of an insect, esp. a male cricket or grasshopper) make a shrill sound by rubbing the legs, wings, or other parts of the body together

Word 2530: Phreatic

adjective Geology
relating to or denoting underground water in the zone of saturation (beneath the water table)

Word 2529: Futtock

each of the curved timber pieces forming the lower part of a ship’s frame

Word 2528: Disrate

verb [ trans.] (usu. be disrated)
reduce (a sailor) to a lower rank

Word 2527: Penal servitude

imprisonment with hard labor

Word 2526: Scena

a scene in an opera
• an elaborate dramatic solo usually including recitative

Word 2525: Coulee

1. a deep ravine
2. a lava flow

Word 2524: Tractate

noun formal
a treatise
• a book of the Talmud

Word 2523: Weasel words

plural noun
words or statements that are intentionally ambiguous or misleading

Word 2522: Slipstream

a current of air or water driven back by a revolving propeller or jet engine
• the partial vacuum created in the wake of a moving vehicle, often used by other vehicles in a race to assist in passing
figurative an assisting force regarded as drawing something along behind something else

Word 2521: Pyknic

adjective Anthropology
of, relating to, or denoting a stocky physique with a rounded body and head, thickset trunk, and a tendency to be fat

Word 2520: Barrow

noun Archaeology
an ancient burial mound

Word 2519: Marm

noun dated

Word 2518: Rollick

verb [ intrans.] rare
act or behave in a jovial and exuberant fashion

Word 2517: Papist

noun chiefly derogatory
a Roman Catholic
• papalist

Word 2516: Axenic

adjective chiefly Botany
of, relating to, or denoting a culture that is free from living organisms other than the species required

Word 2515: Veld

open, uncultivated country or grassland in southern Africa. It is conventionally classified by altitude into highveld, middleveld, and lowveld

Word 2514: Argent

adjective poetic/literary & Heraldry
silver; silvery white

Word 2513: Ignoratio elenchi

noun ( pl. ignorationes elenchi) Philosophy
a logical fallacy that consists in apparently refuting an opponent while actually disproving something not asserted

Word 2512: Sima

noun Geology
the material of the lower part of the earth's crust, underlying both the ocean and the continents, characterized as relatively dense and rich in silica and magnesia

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Word 2511: Raguly

adjective [usu. postpositive] Heraldry
having an edge with oblique notches like a row of sawn-off branches

Word 2510: In extenso

in full; at length

Word 2509: Oread

noun Greek and Roman Mythology
a nymph believed to inhabit mountains

Word 2508: Sepsis

noun Medicine
the presence in tissues of harmful bacteria and their toxins, typically through infection of a wound

Word 2507: Shandy

noun ( pl. -dies)
beer mixed with a nonalcoholic drink (typically lemonade)

Word 2506: Imago

noun ( pl. imagos , imagoes or imagines)
1. Entomology the final and fully developed adult stage of an insect, typically winged
2. Psychoanalysis an unconscious, idealized mental image of someone, esp. a parent, that influences a person's behavior

Word 2505: Goombah

noun informal
an associate or accomplice, esp. a senior member of a criminal gang

Word 2504: Stinkpot

noun informal
an unpleasant person (used as a term of abuse)
• a vehicle that emits foul-smelling exhaust fumes, esp. a motorboat as opposed to a sailboat

Word 2503: Cornet

noun Music
a brass instrument resembling a trumpet but shorter and wider, played chiefly in bands
• a compound organ stop with a powerful treble sound

Word 2502: Urtext

noun ( pl. -texte)
an original or the earliest version of a text, to which later versions can be compared

Word 2501: Snert

noun informal
a participant in an Internet chat room who acts in a rude, annoying, or juvenile manner
• a person whose online posts or e-mails are annoying to others

Word 2500: Centrist

a person who holds moderate political views

Word 2499: Massa

(in representations of black speech) master

Word 2498: Seraph

noun ( pl. seraphim or seraphs)
an angelic being, regarded in traditional Christian angelology as belonging to the highest order of the ninefold celestial hierarchy, associated with light, ardor, and purity

Word 2497: Scuzz

noun informal
something regarded as disgusting, sordid, or disreputable
• a disreputable or unpleasant person

Word 2496: Pandit

a Hindu scholar learned in Sanskrit and Hindu philosophy and religion, typically also a practicing priest
Indian a wise man or teacher
Indian a talented musician (used as a respectful title or form of address)

Word 2495: Bedight

adjective archaic

Word 2494: Leister

a pronged spear used for catching fish

Word 2493: Taphonomy

the branch of paleontology that deals with the processes of fossilization

Word 2492: Stot

verb [ intrans.]

Word 2491: Ninny

noun ( pl. -nies) informal
a foolish person

Word 2490: Tern

a seabird related to the gulls, typically smaller and more slender, with long pointed wings and a forked tail

Word 2489: Skosh

noun informal
a small amount; a little

Word 2488: Sustentation

noun formal
the support or maintenance of someone or something, esp. through the provision of money

Word 2487: Procès-verbal

noun ( pl. procès-verbaux)
a written report of proceedings
• a written statement of facts in support of a charge

Word 2486: Vitex

1. chaste tree
2. a medicinal preparation extracted from the berries of the chaste tree, used to treat gynecological conditions

Word 2485: Bunkhouse

a building offering basic sleeping accommodations for workers, visitors, or campers

Word 2484: Prix fixe

a meal consisting of several courses served at a total fixed price

Word 2483: Iatrogenic

of or relating to illness caused by medical examination or treatment

Word 2482: Portcullis

a strong, heavy grating sliding up and down in vertical grooves, lowered to block a gateway to a fortress or town.

Word 2481: Soutache

a narrow, flat, ornamental braid used to trim garments

Word 2480: Pedomorphosis

noun Zoology

Word 2479: Barcarole

a song traditionally sung by Venetian gondoliers
• a musical composition in the style of such a song

Word 2478: Palisade

a fence of wooden stakes or iron railings fixed in the ground, forming an enclosure or defense
historical a strong pointed wooden stake fixed deeply in the ground with others in a close row, used as a defense
• ( palisades) a line of high cliffs

Word 2477: Maieutic

of or denoting the Socratic mode of inquiry, which aims to bring a person's latent ideas into clear consciousness

Word 2476: Duff

1. decaying vegetable matter covering the ground under trees
2. Mining coal dust; dross
3. a person's buttocks

Word 2475: Scotoma

noun ( pl. -mas or -mata) Medicine
a partial loss of vision or a blind spot in an otherwise normal visual field

Word 2474: Tun

1. a large beer or wine cask.
• a brewer's fermenting vat.
2. an imperial measure of capacity, equal to 4 hogsheads.
3. (also tun shell) a large marine mollusk that has a rounded barrellike shell with broad spirals

Word 2473: Pinko

noun ( pl. -os or -oes) derogatory
a person with left-wing or liberal views

Word 2472: Schwa

noun Phonetics
the unstressed central vowel (as in a mom e nt a go), represented by the symbol (ə) in the International Phonetic Alphabet

Word 2471: Laager

noun S. African
a camp or encampment formed by a circle of wagons
figurative an entrenched position or viewpoint that is defended against opponents

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Word 2470: Gangplank

a movable plank used as a ramp to board or disembark from a ship or boat

Word 2469: Tipple

a revolving frame or cage in which a truck or freight car is inverted to discharge its load
• a place where such loads, esp. from a coal mine, are dumped

Word 2468: Diapason

noun (also open diapason or stopped diapason)
an organ stop sounding a main register of flue pipes, typically of eight-foot pitch
poetic/literary the entire compass, range, or scope of something
figurative a grand swelling burst of harmony

Word 2467: Viga

a rough-hewn roof timber or rafter, esp. in an adobe building

Word 2466: Scopa

noun ( pl. -pae) Zoology
a small brushlike tuft of hairs on some insects, esp. that on which pollen collects on the leg of a bee

Word 2465: Epiphora

1. Medicine excessive watering of the eye
2. Rhetoric epistrophe

Word 2464: Metaphrase

a literal, word-for-word translation, as opposed to a paraphrase

Word 2463: Sug

verb [ intrans.] informal
sell or attempt to sell a product under the guise of conducting market research

Word 2462: Fogbow

a phenomenon similar to a rainbow, produced by sunlight shining on fog

Word 2461: Vendue

a public auction

Word 2460: Palpate

verb [ trans.]
examine (a part of the body) by touch, esp. for medical purposes

Word 2459: Spalpeen

noun Irish
a rascal

Word 2458: Solfatara

noun Geology
a volcanic crater emitting only sulfurous and other gases

Word 2457: Telic

(of an action or attitude) directed or tending to a definite end
Linguistics (of a verb, conjunction, or clause) expressing goal, result, or purpose

Word 2456: Sensu lato

adverb formal
in the broad sense

Word 2455: Étude

a short musical composition, typically for one instrument, designed as an exercise to improve the technique or demonstrate the skill of the player

Word 2454: Ropeway

a transportation system for materials or people, used esp. in mines or mountainous areas, in which cars are suspended from moving cables driven by a motor

Word 2453: Prisoner of conscience

a person who has been imprisoned for holding political or religious views that are not tolerated by their own government

Word 2452: Swot

verb [ intrans.]
study assiduously

Word 2451: Muzz

noun informal
a muddle or blur

Word 2450: Noble savage

noun (usu. the noble savage)
a representative of primitive humankind as idealized in Romantic literature, symbolizing the innate goodness of humanity when free from the corrupting influence of civilization

Word 2449: Joggle

the car bounced and joggled on the rough road

Word 2448: Se-tenant

adjective Philately
(of stamps of different designs) joined together side by side when printed

Word 2447: Flummery

noun ( pl. -meries)
1. empty compliments; nonsense
2. a sweet dish, typically made with beaten eggs, sugar, and flavorings

Word 2446: Pipa

a shallow-bodied, four-stringed Chinese lute

Word 2445: Whipsaw

verb ( past part. -sawn or -sawed) [ trans.]
cut with a whipsaw
informal subject to two difficult situations or opposing pressures at the same time
informal compel to do something.
• (usu. be whipsawed) Stock Market subject to a double loss, as when buying a security before the price falls and selling before the price rises
• cheat or beat (someone) in two ways at once or by the collusion of two others

Word 2444: Senesce

verb [ intrans.] Biology
(of a living organism) deteriorate with age

Word 2443: Sandhog

a person who does construction work underground or under water, such as laying foundations or building a tunnel

Word 2442: Dory

noun ( pl. -ries)
a small flat-bottomed rowboat with a high bow and stern, of a kind originally used for fishing in New England

Word 2441: Millstone

each of two circular stones used for grinding grain
figurative a heavy and inescapable responsibility

Word 2440: Sprag

1. a simple brake on a vehicle, esp. a stout stick or bar inserted between the spokes of a wheel to check its motion
• a one-way clutch that keeps a vehicle from rolling backwards
2. Mining a prop used to support a roof, wall, or seam

Word 2439: Flyspeck

a tiny stain made by the excrement of an insect
• a thing that is contemptibly small or insignificant

Word 2438: Stellate

adjective technical
arranged in a radiating pattern like that of a star

Word 2437: Payola

the practice of bribing someone to use their influence or position to promote a particular product or interest

Word 2436: Nelly

noun ( pl. -lies) informal
1. a silly person
2. offensive an effeminate homosexual man

Word 2435: Tubal ligation

a surgical procedure for female sterilization that involves severing and tying the fallopian tubes

Word 2434: Ruff

1. a projecting starched frill worn around the neck, characteristic of Elizabethan and Jacobean costume
2. a projecting or conspicuously colored ring of feathers or hair around the neck of a bird or mammal
3. ( pl. same or ruffs ) a northern Eurasian wading bird, the male of which has a large variously colored ruff and ear tufts in the breeding season, used in display

Word 2433: Phycology

the branch of botany concerned with seaweeds and other algae

Word 2432: Fovea

noun ( pl. -veae) Anatomy
a small depression in the retina of the eye where visual acuity is highest. The center of the field of vision is focused in this region, where retinal cones are particularly concentrated

Word 2431: Gunboat diplomacy

foreign policy that is supported by the use or threat of military force

Word 2430: Dendriform

having the shape or form of a tree

Word 2429: Strafe

verb [ trans.]
attack repeatedly with bombs or machine-gun fire from low-flying aircraft

Word 2428: Kraut

noun informal
• (also Kraut) offensive a German

Word 2427: Hawthorne effect

the alteration of behavior by the subjects of a study due to their awareness of being observed

Monday, August 9, 2010

Word 2426: Moue

a pouting expression used to convey annoyance or distaste

Word 2425: Pygidium

noun ( pl. -gidia) Zoology
the terminal part or hind segment of the body in certain invertebrates

Word 2424: Obelize

verb [ trans.]
mark (a word or passage) with an obelus to show that it is spurious, corrupt, or doubtful

Word 2423: Inscape

noun poetic/literary
the unique inner nature of a person or object as shown in a work of art, esp. a poem

Word 2422: Aitchbone

the buttock or rump bone of cattle
• a cut of beef lying over this

Word 2421: Buhl

brass, tortoiseshell, or other material cut to make a pattern and used for inlaying furniture
• work inlaid in such a way

Word 2420: Flyleaf

noun ( pl. -leaves)
a blank page at the beginning or end of a book

Word 2419: Prepuce

noun Anatomy
1. technical term for foreskin
2. the fold of skin surrounding the clitoris

Word 2418: Mudra

a symbolic hand gesture used in Hindu and Buddhist ceremonies and statuary, and in Indian dance
• a movement or pose in yoga

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Word 2417: Wakame

an edible brown seaweed used, typically in dried form, in Chinese and Japanese cooking

Word 2416: Mortmain

noun Law
the status of lands or tenements held inalienably by an ecclesiastical or other corporation

Word 2415: Slyboots

noun informal
a sly person

Word 2414: Oshi

noun [ pl. same]
(in sumo wrestling) a move in which an opponent is pushed backward or down

Word 2413: Muntin

a bar or rigid supporting strip between adjacent panes of glass

Word 2412: Dryad

(in folklore and Greek mythology) a nymph inhabiting a forest or a tree, esp. an oak tree

Word 2411: Prêt-à-porter

(of designer clothes) sold ready-to-wear as opposed to made to measure

Word 2410: Stare decisis

noun Law
the legal principle of determining points in litigation according to precedent

Word 2409: Barouche

noun historical
a four-wheeled horse-drawn carriage with a collapsible hood over the rear half, a seat in front for the driver, and seats facing each other for the passengers, used esp. in the 19th century

Word 2408: Tampion

a wooden stopper for the muzzle of a gun
• a plug for the top of an organ pipe

Word 2407: Whistle-stop

adjective [ attrib.]
very fast and with only brief pauses

Word 2406: Milady

noun ( pl. -dies) historical or humorous
used to address or refer to an English noblewoman or great lady

Word 2405: Cacique

1. (in Latin America or the Spanish-speaking Caribbean) a native chief
2. (in Spain or Latin America) a local political boss

Word 2404: Pantile

a roof tile curved to form an S-shaped section, fitted to overlap its neighbor

Word 2403: Teratology

1. Medicine the scientific study of congenital abnormalities and abnormal formations
2. mythology relating to fantastic creatures and monsters

Word 2402: Hosel

the socket of a golf club head into which the shaft fits

Word 2401: Fiddlestick

noun informal
a violin bow

Word 2400: Quaich

noun Scottish
a shallow drinking cup, typically made of wood and having two handles
• a trophy of similar design

Word 2399: Swami

noun ( pl. -mis)
a Hindu male religious teacher

Word 2398: Peaked

adjective [ predic.]
(of a person) gaunt and pale from illness or fatigue : you do look a little peaked

Word 2397: Bazoo

noun informal
1. a person's mouth
2. a person's buttocks or anus

Word 2396: Corinthian

1. Architecture belonging or relating to Corinth, esp. the ancient city
• relating to or denoting the lightest and most ornate of the classical orders of architecture (used esp. by the Romans), characterized by flared capitals with rows of acanthus leaves
2. involving or displaying the highest standards of sportsmanship