Monday, September 27, 2010

Word 2679: Hijab

a head covering worn in public by some Muslim women
• the religious code that governs the wearing of such clothing

Word 2678: Spitfire

a person with a fierce temper

Word 2677: Pararhyme

partial rhyme between words with the same pattern of consonants but different vowels, such as light and late

Word 2676: Flyblow

flies' eggs contaminating food, esp. meat

Word 2675: Lugger

a small sailing ship with two or three masts and a lugsail on each

Word 2674: Bien pensant

right-thinking; orthodox

Word 2673: Répétiteur

a tutor or coach of ballet dancers or musicians, esp. opera singers

Word 2672: Snit

noun informal
a fit of irritation; a sulk

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Word 2671: Bucksaw

a type of saw typically set in an H-shaped frame and used with both hands

Word 2670: Negative evidence

evidence for a theory provided by the nonoccurrence or absence of something

Word 2669: Firebreak

an obstacle to the spread of fire
figurative a thing that impedes development of (a feeling, impulse, idea, etc.)
• a strip of open space in a forest or other area of dense vegetation

Word 2668: Ingesta

plural noun Medicine & Zoology
substances taken into the body as nourishment; food and drink

Word 2667: Thorpe

noun [ in place names]
a village or hamlet

Word 2666: Soft soap

1. a semifluid soap, esp. one made with potassium rather than sodium salts
2. informal persuasive flattery

Word 2665: Hypethral

(of a classical building) having no roof; open to the sky

Word 2664: Amah

a nursemaid or maid in the Far East or India

Word 2663: Samisen

a traditional Japanese three-stringed lute with a square body, played with a large plectrum

Word 2662: Marasmus

noun Medicine
severe undernourishment causing an infant's or child's weight to be significantly low for their age (e.g., below 60 percent of normal)

Word 2661: Fudge factor

noun informal
a figure included in a calculation to account for error or unanticipated circumstances, or to ensure a desired result

Word 2660: Suppletion

noun Linguistics
the occurrence of an unrelated form to fill a gap in a conjugation (e.g., went as the past tense of go)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Word 2659: Marzipan

a sweet, yellowish paste of ground almonds, sugar, and egg whites, often colored and used to make small cakes or confections or as an icing for larger cakes
• a confection or cake made of or based on marzipan

Word 2658: Cauldron

a large metal pot with a lid and handle, used for cooking over an open fire
figurative a situation characterized by instability and strong emotions

Word 2657: Purlieu

noun ( pl. -lieus or -lieux)
the area near or surrounding a place
figurative a person's usual haunts

Word 2656: Sup

take (drink or liquid food) by sips or spoonfuls

Word 2655: Poblano

a large dark green chili pepper of a mild-flavored variety

Word 2654: Scut

the short tail of a hare, rabbit, or deer

Word 2653: Expectorant

a medicine that promotes the secretion of sputum by the air passages, used esp. to treat coughs

Word 2652: Percuss

verb [ trans.] Medicine
gently tap (a part of the body) with a finger or an instrument as part of a diagnosis

Word 2651: Valgus

noun Medicine
a deformity involving oblique displacement of part of a limb away from the midline

Word 2650: Truncheon

noun chiefly Brit.
a short, thick stick carried as a weapon by a police officer
• a staff or baton acting as a symbol of authority

Word 2649: Gurry

fish or whale offal

Word 2648: Shufti

noun ( pl. -tis) Brit., informal
a look or reconnoiter, esp. a quick one

Word 2647: Jorum

noun historical
a large bowl or jug used for serving drinks such as tea or punch

Word 2646: Tauromachy

noun ( pl. -chies) rare
• a bullfight

Word 2645: Apitherapy

the use of products derived from bees as medicine, including venom, honey, pollen, and royal jelly

Word 2644: Peal

1. a loud ringing of a bell or bells
Bell-ringing a series of unique changes (strictly, at least five thousand) rung on a set of bells
• a set of bells.
2. a loud repeated or reverberating sound of thunder or laughter

Word 2643: Tenné

noun Heraldry
orange-brown, as a stain used in blazoning

Word 2642: Nooky

noun vulgar slang
sexual activity or intercourse

Word 2641: Bell jar

a bell-shaped glass cover used for covering delicate objects or used in a laboratory, typically for enclosing samples
figurative an environment in which someone is protected or cut off from the outside world

Word 2640: Sial

noun Geology
the material of the upper or continental part of the earth's crust, characterized as being of relatively low density and rich in silica and alumina

Word 2639: Succah

a temporary shelter covered in natural materials, built near a synagogue or house and used esp. for meals during the Jewish festival of Succoth

Word 2638: Rus in urbe

noun poetic/literary
an illusion of countryside created by a building or garden, within a city

Word 2637: Lenis

(of a consonant, in particular a voiced consonant) weakly articulated, esp. denoting the less or least strongly articulated of two or more similar consonants

Word 2636: In extremis

in an extremely difficult situation
• at the point of death

Word 2635: Waddy

noun ( pl. -dies)
an Australian Aboriginal's war club
Austral./NZ a club or stick, esp. a walking stick

Word 2634: Materfamilias

noun ( pl. matresfamilias)
the female head of a family or household

Word 2633: Piss and vinegar

noun vulgar slang
aggressive energy

Word 2632: Escheat

the reversion of property to the state, or (in feudal law) to a lord, on the owner's dying without legal heirs
• an item of property affected by this

Word 2631: Terret

each of the loops or rings on a harness pad for the driving reins to pass through

Word 2630: Duenna

an older woman acting as a governess and companion in charge of girls, esp. in a Spanish family; a chaperone

Word 2629: Lector

1. a reader, esp. someone who reads lessons in a church service
2. a lecturer, esp. one employed in a foreign university to teach in their native language

Word 2628: Shellac

verb [ trans.]
1. [often as adj. ] ( shellacked) varnish (something) with shellac
2. (usu. be shellacked) informal defeat or beat (someone) decisively

Word 2627: Kalimba

a type of African thumb piano

Word 2626: Dybbuk

noun ( pl. dybbuks or dybbukim)
(in Jewish folklore) a malevolent wandering spirit that enters and possesses the body of a living person until exorcized

Word 2625: Mufti

plain clothes worn by a person who wears a uniform for their job, such as a soldier or police officer

Word 2624: Catenary

noun ( pl. -naries)
a curve formed by a wire, rope, or chain hanging freely from two points that are on the same horizontal level
• a wire, rope, or chain forming such a curve

Word 2623: Paly

adjective Heraldry
divided into equal vertical stripes

Word 2622: Hibakusha

noun ( pl. same)
(in Japan) a survivor of either of the atomic explosions at Hiroshima or Nagasaki in 1945

Word 2621: Milk leg

painful swelling of the leg after giving birth, caused by thrombophlebitis in the femoral vein

Word 2620: Cully

noun ( pl. -lies) Brit., informal
(often as a form of address) a man; a friend

Word 2619: Santo

noun ( pl. -tos)
(in Mexico and Spanish-speaking areas of the southwestern U.S.) a religious symbol, esp. a wooden representation of a saint

Word 2618: Leucorrhea

a whitish or yellowish discharge of mucus from the vagina

Word 2617: Romaji

a system of Romanized spelling used to transliterate Japanese

Word 2616: Houngan

a voodoo priest

Word 2615: Valise

a small traveling bag or suitcase

Word 2614: Bubba

noun informal
1. used as an informal or affectionate form of address to a brother
2. derogatory a working-class white male of the rural South

Word 2613: Swinge

verb [ trans.] poetic/literary
strike hard; beat

Word 2612: Meronym

noun Linguistics
a term that denotes part of something but which is used to refer to the whole of it, e.g., faces when used to mean people in I see several familiar faces present

Word 2611: Palazzo

noun ( pl. -lazzos or -lazzi)
a palatial building, esp. in Italy

Word 2610: Scirrhus

noun ( pl. scirrhi) Medicine
a carcinoma that is hard to the touch

Word 2609: Allograph

noun Linguistics
each of two or more alternative forms of a letter of an alphabet or other grapheme. The capital, lowercase, italic, and various handwritten forms of the letter A are allographs
Phonetics each of two or more letters or letter-combinations representing a single phoneme in different words. Allographs of the phonemeinclude the (f) of “fake” and the (ph) of “phase”

Word 2608: Parsonage

a church house provided for a member of the clergy

Word 2607: Half-timbered

having walls with a timber frame and a brick or plaster filling

Word 2606: Prat

noun informal
1. a person's buttocks
2. Brit. an incompetent, stupid, or foolish person; an idiot

Word 2605: Flophouse

noun informal
a cheap hotel or rooming house

Word 2604: Sunset law

noun Law
a law that automatically terminates a regulatory agency, board, or function of government on a certain date, unless renewed

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Word 2603: Ao dai

noun ( pl. ao dais)
a Vietnamese woman's long-sleeved tunic with ankle-length panels at front and back, worn over trousers

Word 2602: Soft-pedal

verb [ trans.] Music
play with the soft pedal down
• refrain from emphasizing the more unpleasant aspects of; play down

Word 2601: Pygmy

a person considered to be insignificant

Word 2600: Midriff

the region of the front of the body between the chest and the waist
dated the diaphragm