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2019-2020 UIL Spelling All
Terms in this set (1500)
Any of various large edible marine gastropods of the genus Haliotis, having an ear-shaped shell with a row of holes along the outer edge. The colorful pearly interior of the shell is often used for making jewelry or other ornaments. Also called ear shell.
v. a·bat·ed, a·bat·ing, a·bates
1. To reduce in amount, degree, or intensity; lessen: a program to abate air pollution.
a. To put an end to: The court ordered that the nuisance of the wrecked vehicle in the front yard be abated.
b. To make void: The judge abated the lawsuit.
c. To reduce for some period of time: The town abated the taxes on buildings of historical importance for three years.
1. To fall off in degree or intensity; subside: waiting for the rain to abate. See Synonyms at decrease.
a. To become void.
b. To become reduced for a period of time.
1. One that is disgusting, loathsome, or repellent.
2. A feeling of repugnance or loathing.
1. A washing or cleansing of the body, especially as part of a religious rite.
2. The liquid so used.
n.pl. ab·scis·sas or ab·scis·sae
Symbol xThe coordinate representing the position of a point along a line perpendicular to the y-axis in a plane Cartesian coordinate system.
Deep in thought and heedless of present circumstances or activities; preoccupied.
A sheikhdom and city of eastern Arabia on the Persian Gulf. The city is the capital of the United Arab Emirates. With enormous oil revenues, the sheikhdom has one of the highest per capita incomes in the world.
Abu Dhabi *
Fear that one's skin is infested with mites or other parasites.
1. A shout or salute of enthusiastic approval.
2. An oral vote, especially an enthusiastic vote of approval taken without formal ballot: a motion passed by acclamation.
n. pl. ac·cliv·i·ties
An upward slope, as of a hill.
1. The modification of the culture of a group or individual as a result of contact with a different culture.
2. The process by which the culture of a particular society is instilled in a human from infancy onward.
An irrigation canal.
1. Designating color perceived to have zero saturation and therefore no hue, such as neutral grays, white, or black.
2. Refracting light without spectral color separation.
3. Biology Difficult to stain with standard dyes. Used in reference to cells or tissues.
4. Music Having only the diatonic tones of the scale.
1. A person who assists the celebrant in the performance of liturgical rites.
2. A devoted follower or attendant.
An inflammatory disease of cattle, hogs, humans, and other mammals, caused by actinomyces and characterized by lumpy tumors of the mouth, neck, chest, and abdomen. Also called lumpy jaw.
1. Giving cause for legal action: an actionable statement.
2. Relating to or being information that allows a decision to be made or action to be taken.
3. Capable of being put into practice: proposed several actionable measures to reduce the federal deficit.
Appealing to irrelevant personal considerations concerning women, especially prejudices against them.
Not willing to change one's opinion, purpose, or principles; unyielding.
1. A stone once believed to be impenetrable in its hardness.
2. An extremely hard substance.
Confused or stupid; befuddled: "[Her] estates ... are odes to addlepated excess, a melange of priceless antiques and thrift-store horrors" (Michelle Green).
n. pl. ad·mi·ral·ties
a. A court exercising jurisdiction over all maritime cases.
b. Maritime law.
2. Admiralty The department of the British government that once had control over all naval affairs.
tr.v. ad·u·lat·ed, ad·u·lat·ing, ad·u·lates
To praise or admire excessively; fawn on.
r.v. ad·um·brat·ed, ad·um·brat·ing, ad·um·brates
1. To give a sketchy outline of.
2. To prefigure indistinctly; foreshadow.
3. To disclose partially or guardedly.
4. To overshadow; shadow or obscure
A member of any of several Christian denominations that believe Jesus's Second Coming and the end of the world are near.
Relating to or characteristic of an adversary; involving antagonistic elements: "Some speakers fall almost willingly into an adversarial relationship with the audience" (Don Pfarrer).
Brassy or golden green in color.
1. One versed in the theory of beauty and artistic expression.
2. One skilled in giving facials, manicures, pedicures, and other beauty treatments.
aesthetician, esthetician *
Carrying inward to a central organ or section, as nerves that conduct impulses from the periphery of the body to the brain or spinal cord
tr.v. af·for·est·ed, af·for·est·ing, af·for·ests
To convert (open land) into a forest by planting trees or their seeds.
A village of northern France west-northwest of Arras. On October 25, 1415, Henry V of England decisively defeated a much larger French army here. The victory showed the effectiveness of troops equipped with longbows over heavily armored knights.
1. The doctrine that certainty about first principles or absolute truth is unattainable and that only perceptual phenomena are objects of exact knowledge.
2. The belief that the existence or nonexistence of a deity or deities cannot be known with certainty.
A chemical, such as a fertilizer, hormone, fungicide, insecticide, or soil treatment, that improves the production of crops.
Either of two movable flaps on the wings of an airplane that can be used to control the plane's rolling and banking movements.
A cell having no nucleus.
A beta-adrenergic drug, C13H21NO3, used in the form of its sulfate as a bronchodilator primarily to treat asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Also called salbutamol.
1. A member of the municipal legislative body in a town or city in many jurisdictions.
2. A member of the higher branch of the municipal or borough council in England and Ireland before 1974.
a. A noble of high rank or authority in Anglo-Saxon England.
b. The chief officer of a shire in Anglo-Saxon England.
1. Of, relating to, or designating algebra.
2. Designating an expression, equation, or function in which only numbers, letters, and arithmetic operations are contained or used.
3. Indicating or restricted to a finite number of operations involving algebra.
A finite set of unambiguous instructions that, given some set of initial conditions, can be performed in a prescribed sequence to achieve a certain goal and that has a recognizable set of end conditions.
Becoming alkaline; slightly alkaline.
intr.v. al·lud·ed, al·lud·ing, al·ludes
To make an indirect reference: The candidate alluded to the recent war by saying, "We've all made sacrifices."
n. pl. alpaca or al·pac·as
1. A domesticated South American ruminant mammal (Vicugna pacos or Lama pacos), related to the llama and having fine, long wool.
a. The silky wool of this mammal.
b. Cloth made from alpaca.
3. A fabric that imitates alpaca, made from various natural or synthetic fibers.
[American Spanish, from Aymara and Quechua allpaqa.]
1. A mounting for astronomical telescopes that permits pointing adjustments in both altitude and azimuth.
2. A telescope having such a mounting.
1. Of or relating to an alveolus.
a. Relating to the jaw section containing the tooth sockets: the alveolar ridge.
b. Relating to the alveoli of the lungs.
3. Linguistics Formed with the tip of the tongue touching or near the inner ridge of the gums of the upper front teeth, as the English (t), (d), and (s).
An alveolar sound.
A degenerative disease of the brain, occurring chiefly in elderly people and characterized by disorientation, memory failure, speech disturbances, and the progressive loss of mental capacity. It is associated with the formation of beta-amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles in the cerebral cortex and loss of neurons.
v. A·mer·i·can·ized, A·mer·i·can·iz·ing, A·mer·i·can·iz·es
1. To make American in form, style, or character.
2. To absorb or assimilate into American culture.
3. To bring under American influence or control.
To become American, as in spirit.
A·mer′i·can·i·zation (-kə-nĭ-zāshən) n.
The state or quality of being amorphous.
The strength of an electric current expressed in amperes.
A hermetically sealed vial made of glass or plastic that contains a sterile medicinal solution or a powder that is usually made into a solution for subcutaneous, intramuscular, or intravenous injection.
ampoule, ampule, ampul
1. In Hinduism, the drink that is consumed by the gods and bestows immortality.
2. The immortality achieved by drinking amrita.
Of, relating to, or resembling starch; starchy.
1. A word or phrase formed by reordering the letters of another word or phrase, such as satin to stain.
2. anagrams (used with a sing. verb) A game in which players form words from a group of randomly picked letters.
A medication that reduces or eliminates pain.
Of or causing analgesia.
Anaphylaxis in which systemic vasodilation results in shock.
anaphylactic shock *
a. Of, like, or supporting anarchy: anarchic oratory.
b. Likely to produce or result in anarchy.
2. Lacking order or control: an anarchic state of affairs in the office; an anarchic mobile sculpture.
n. pl. a·nath·e·mas
1. A formal ecclesiastical ban, curse, or excommunication.
2. A vehement denunciation; a curse: "the sound of a witch's anathemas in some unknown tongue" (Nathaniel Hawthorne).
3. One that is cursed or damned.
4. One that is greatly reviled, loathed, or shunned: "Essentialism—a belief in natural, immutable sex differences—is anathema to postmodernists, for whom sexuality itself, along with gender, is a 'social construct'" (Wendy Kaminer).
A woman who has retired into seclusion for religious reasons.
A gray, fine-grained volcanic rock consisting chiefly of plagioclase feldspar and one or more mafic minerals.
An instrument for measuring wind speed.
One who admires England, its people, and its culture.
A negatively charged ion, especially the ion that migrates to an anode in electrolysis.
Capable of causing utter destruction or serving to destroy utterly: annihilative firepower.
The fibrous band of tissue that surrounds the ankle joint or the wrist joint.
annular ligament *
1. Capable of soothing or eliminating pain.
2. Relaxing: anodyne novels about country life.
3. Watered-down; insipid: "Many journalists, desperate to escape the anodyne and often absurd publicity releases, were drawn to Bogart's caustic, irreverent and highly quotable outbursts" (Jeffrey Meyers).
1. A medicine, such as aspirin, that relieves pain.
2. A source of soothing comfort.
The capital and largest city of Madagascar, in the east-central part of the country. It was founded in the 17th century as a walled citadel. The city is also known by its French name, Tananarive.
A continent lying chiefly within the Antarctic Circle and asymmetrically centered on the South Pole. Some 95 percent of Antarctica is covered by an icecap averaging 1.6 km (1 mi) in thickness. The region was first explored in the early 1800s, and although there are no permanent settlements, many countries have made territorial claims. The Antarctic Treaty of 1959, signed by 12 nations, prohibited military operations on the continent and provided for the interchange of scientific data.
An outer room that opens into another room, often used as a waiting room.
A substance that slows or prevents the clotting of blood.
Acting as an anticoagulant.
An extensive system of winds spiraling outward from a high-pressure center, circling clockwise in the Northern Hemisphere and counterclockwise in the Southern Hemisphere.
Capable of preventing or counteracting infection.
An anti-infective substance.
a. Having or showing a strong aversion or repugnance: antipathetic to new ideas.
b. Opposed in nature or character; antagonistic: antipathetic factions within the party.
2. Causing a feeling of antipathy; repugnant: "The whole place and everything about it was antipathetic to her" (Anthony Trollope).
n. pl. an·tiph·o·nies
1. Responsive or antiphonal singing or chanting.
2. A composition that is sung responsively; an antiphon.
3. A responsive or reciprocal interchange, as of ideas or opinions: "Sheridan's play shows both sides of the coin. He establishes an antiphony of cynicism and sentimentality" (Jonathan Miller).
One who studies, collects, or deals in antiquities.
1. Of or relating to antiquarians or to the study or collecting of antiquities.
2. Dealing in or having to do with old or rare books.
1. The second stanza, and those like it, in a poem consisting of alternating stanzas in contrasting metrical form.
2. The second division of the triad of a Pindaric ode, having the same stanza form as the strophe.
a. The choral movement in classical Greek drama in the opposite direction from that of the strophe.
b. The part of a choral ode sung while this movement is executed.
Examination of the aorta using x-rays following the injection of a radiopaque substance.
1. Feeling or showing a lack of interest or concern; indifferent.
2. Feeling or showing little or no emotion; unresponsive.
Relating to bees or to the keeping and care of bees.
a. Apocalypse Abbr. Apoc. Bible The Book of Revelation.
b. Any of a number of anonymous Jewish or Christian texts from around the second century BC to the second century AD containing prophetic or symbolic visions, especially of the imminent destruction of the world and the salvation of the righteous.
a. The end of the world, especially as described in one of these texts.
b. A great catastrophe that results in widespread destruction or the collapse of civilization: "The United States was calling in air strikes and heavy armor until we had the feeling that the whole thing was going to end in apocalypse" (Phillip Robertson).
3. A prophetic disclosure; a revelation.
1. Having no interest in or association with politics.
2. Having no political relevance or importance: claimed that the president's upcoming trip was purely apolitical.
One who has abandoned one's religious faith, a political party, one's principles, or a cause.
A terse, witty, instructive saying; a maxim.
tr.v. ap·prised, ap·pris·ing, ap·pris·es
To give notice to; inform: apprised us of our rights.
Capable of being appropriated: appropriable funds.
1. A constellation in the equatorial region of the Southern Hemisphere near Pisces and Aquila.
a. The 11th sign of the zodiac in astrology.
b. One who is born under this sign. In all senses also called Water Bearer.
An underground layer of permeable rock, sediment, or soil that yields water. Aquifers can range from a few square kilometers to thousands of square kilometers in size.
1. Relating to or having the characteristics of an eagle.
2. Curved or hooked like an eagle's beak: an aquiline nose.
Highly conservative, especially in political viewpoint.
n. pl. argali or ar·ga·lis
A large wild sheep (Ovis ammon) of mountainous regions of central and northern Asia, the male of which has massive curved horns.
1. The presentation and elaboration of an argument or arguments.
2. Deductive reasoning in debate.
3. A debate.
1. A knitting pattern of varicolored, diamond-shaped areas on a solid background.
2. A sock knit in this pattern.
n. pl. a·ri·o·sos
a. A style used in opera and oratorio, similar to but more melodic than recitative.
b. A passage rendered in this style.
2. A short vocal solo having the melodic style but not the form of an aria.
adv. & adj.
In a melodic style like that of an aria. Used chiefly as a direction.
n. pl. ar·roy·os
1. A deep gully cut by an intermittent stream; a dry gulch.
2. A brook; a creek.
A style of decoration and architecture of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, characterized particularly by the depiction of leaves and flowers in flowing, sinuous lines.
art nouveau, Art Nouveau
1. Inclining or moving upward; ascending or rising.
2. Dominant in position or influence; superior.
1. The position or state of being dominant or in control: a conservative policy currently in the ascendant.
2. In astrology, the point of the ecliptic or the sign of the zodiac that rises in the east at the time of a person's birth or other event.
3. An ancestor.
One who aspires, as to advancement, honors, or a high position.
Seeking recognition, distinction, or advancement.
tr.v. as·signed, as·sign·ing, as·signs
1. To select for a duty or office; appoint: firefighters assigned to the city's industrial park. See Synonyms at appoint.
2. To set apart for a particular purpose or place in a particular category; designate: assigned the new species to an existing genus. See Synonyms at allocate.
3. To give out as a task; allot: assigned homework to the class.
4. To ascribe; attribute: assigned blame for the loss to a lack of good defense. See Synonyms at attribute.
5. To match or pair with: assign a value to each of the variables.
6. Law To transfer (property, rights, or interests) from one to another.
Capable of being assimilated: assimilable nutrients; assimilable information.
r.v. as·suaged, as·suag·ing, as·suag·es
1. To make (something burdensome or painful) less intense or severe: assuage her grief. See Synonyms at relieve.
2. To satisfy or appease (hunger or thirst, for example).
3. To appease or calm: assuaged his critics.
Neither causing nor exhibiting symptoms of disease.
A form of arteriosclerosis characterized by the presence of lesions (called plaques) on the innermost layer of the walls of large and medium-sized arteries. The plaques contain lipids, collagen, inflammatory cells, and other substances and can impede blood flow or rupture, leading to serious problems such as heart attack or stroke.
1. Inclined to melancholy.
2. Having a peevish disposition; surly.
a. A plant (Solanum melongena) native to India, cultivated for its edible, glossy, usually ovoid fruits that are chiefly purple but can be white, yellow, or green.
b. A fruit of this plant.
2. A blackish purple.
The largest city of New Zealand, on an isthmus of northwest North Island. It is a major port and an industrial center.
1. The act or process of augmenting.
2. The condition of being augmented.
3. Something that augments.
4. Music The presentation of a theme in notes of usually double time value.
Containing gold; gold-bearing.
n. pl. aus·pi·ces (ôspĭ-sĭz, -sēz′)
1. also auspices Protection or support; patronage.
2. A sign indicative of future prospects; an omen: Auspices for the venture seemed favorable.
3. Observation of and divination from the actions of birds.
Belief in the primary creative importance of the director in filmmaking, often combined with a critical advocacy of the works of certain strong, distinctive directors whose films have a consistent theme or style.
1. Giving assistance or support; helping.
2. Acting as a subsidiary; supplementary: the main library and its auxiliary branches.
3. Held in or used as a reserve: auxiliary troops; an auxiliary power generator.
4. Nautical Equipped with a motor as well as sails.
5. Grammar Of, relating to, or being an auxiliary verb.
n. pl. aux·il·ia·ries
1. An individual or group that assists or functions in a supporting capacity: a volunteers' auxiliary at a hospital.
2. A member of a foreign body of troops serving a country in war.
3. Grammar An auxiliary verb.
a. A sailing vessel equipped with a motor.
b. A vessel, such as a supply ship or a tug, that is designed for and used in instances and services other than combat.
n. pl. a·vi·a·trix·es or a·vi·a·tri·ces (-trīsēz′)
A woman aviator. Used especially during the first half of the twentieth century.
1. (used with a sing. verb) The science and technology of electronics and the development of electronic devices as applied to aeronautics and astronautics: Avionics has become even more important with the development of the space program.
2. (used with a pl. verb) The electronic systems, equipment, and other devices so developed: The avionics on this spacecraft represent a new generation of sophistication.
Any of several long-legged shorebirds of the genus Recurvirostra, characterized by a long, slender, upturned beak.
1. Abbr. av. or avdp. Avoirdupois weight.
2. Informal Weight or heaviness, especially of a person.
The presence of bacteria in the blood.
tr.v. baf·fled, baf·fling, baf·fles
1. To confuse or perplex, especially so as to frustrate or prevent from taking action: a patient whose condition baffled the physicians.
2. To impede the force or movement of (a fluid).
1. A usually static device that regulates the flow of a fluid or light.
2. A partition that prevents interference between sound waves in a loudspeaker.
The capital and largest city of Iraq, in the center of the country on the Tigris River. Founded in the eighth century, it was heavily damaged by US forces during the Gulf War and the Iraq War.
Any of several usually large cetaceans of the suborder Mysticeti, having two blowholes and whalebone plates instead of teeth, and including the humpback whale and the right whales. Also called mysticete, whalebone whale.
baleen whale *
A singer of ballads.
Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, on the eastern coast of the Baltic Sea. Formerly Russian provinces, they became independent countries after World War I and were incorporated into the USSR as constituent republics in 1940. They became independent again in 1991.
n. pl. ban·jos or ban·joes
the player of a usually fretted stringed instrument having a narrow neck and a hollow circular body with a covering of plastic or stretched skin on which the bridge rests. The modern American banjo typically has four strings and often a short fifth string plucked with the thumb.
1. A platform lining a trench or parapet wall on which soldiers may stand when firing.
2. also ban·kit (băngkĭt) Southern Louisiana & East Texas A raised sidewalk. See Note at beignet.
3. A long upholstered bench placed against or built into a wall.
Mikhail Nikolayevich Born 1948
Soviet-born ballet dancer and choreographer who, after performing with the Kirov Ballet in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg), defected to the United States (1974), where he danced for and later directed the American Ballet Theater. In 1990 he helped found the White Oak Dance Project, a modern-dance company.
A region of southern Italy bordering on the Tyrrhenian Sea and the Gulf of Taranta. It forms the instep of the Italian "boot."
A peninsula of western Luzon, Philippines, between Manila Bay and the South China Sea. After an extended siege, US and Philippine World War II troops on Bataan surrendered to the Japanese in April 1942. US forces recaptured it in February 1945.
a. A method of dyeing a fabric by which the parts of the fabric not intended to be dyed are covered with removable wax.
b. A design that is created by this method.
2. Fabric dyed by this method.
tr.v. ba·tiked, ba·tik·ing, ba·tiks
To dye (fabric) using this method: batiked a T-shirt.
a. A native or inhabitant of Bavaria.
b. A person of Bavarian ancestry.
2. The High German dialect of Bavaria and Austria.
A dandy; a fop.
n. pl. beaux gestes or beau gestes (bō zhĕst)
1. A gracious gesture.
2. A gesture noble in form but meaningless in substance.
Beautiful, especially to the sight.
1. A ballroom dance similar to the foxtrot, based on a dance of Martinique and St. Lucia.
2. The music for this dance.
n. pl. beaux es·prits (bō′zĕ-sprē)
A cultivated, highly intelligent person.
A city of northeast Libya on the Gulf of Sidra. Inhabited since Greek and Roman times, it is a major port and was a capital of Libya from 1951 to 1972.
Benghazi, Bengasi *
n. pl. be·nig·nan·cies
a. A small tree (Citrus bergamia) commercially grown chiefly in southern Italy for its sour citrus fruits, the rinds of which yield an aromatic oil. Also called bergamot orange.
b. The oil itself, used extensively in perfumery. Also called bergamot oil.
2. Any of various aromatic plants in the genus Monarda of the mint family.
tr.v. be·sieged, be·sieg·ing, be·sieg·es
1. To surround (a defended location such as a fort or a walled city) with hostile forces.
2. To crowd around; hem in: Fans besieged the star as she came out of the hotel.
3. To harass or overwhelm, as with requests: a shop owner besieged by job applications.
An unincorporated city of west-central Maryland, a residential suburb of Washington, DC. The National Institutes of Health and Naval Medical Center are here.
1. A collection of books; a library.
2. A catalog of books.
1. Having two functions: bifunctional neurons.
2. Chemistry Having or involving two functional groups or binding sites: bifunctional reagents.
a. A loop in a rope.
b. The middle or slack part of an extended rope.
a. A bend or curve, especially in a shoreline.
b. A wide bay formed by such a bend or curve.
n. pl. bil·lets-doux (bĭl′ā-dz)
A love letter.
Relating to or affecting both jaws.
1. Determination of the strength or biological activity of a substance, such as a drug, by comparing its effects with those of a standard preparation on a test organism.
2. A test used to determine such strength or activity.
tr.v. bi·o·as·sayed, bi·o·as·say·ing, bi·o·as·says
To cause to undergo a bioassay.
An ancient galley equipped with two tiers of oars on each side.
A stiff square cap with three or four ridges across the crown. Birettas are worn especially by Roman Catholic clergy and are black for priests, purple for bishops, and red for cardinals.
Something that bisects, especially a ray that bisects an angle.
A swift, sudden military offensive, usually by combined air and mobile land forces.
A grayish red.
bois de rose
1. A member of a combat aircraft crew who operates the bombsight and drops the bombs.
2. Chiefly British A noncommissioned artillery officer.
3. Archaic A soldier in the artillery.
1. An unnecessary or wasteful project or activity.
a. A braided leather cord worn as a decoration especially by Boy Scouts.
b. A cord of braided leather, fabric, or plastic strips made by a child as a project to keep busy.
intr.v. boon·dog·gled, boon·dog·gling, boon·dog·gles
To waste time or money on a boondoggle.
n. pl. bou·quets gar·nis (bō-kāz′ gär-nē, b-)
A bunch of herbs tied together, wrapped in cheesecloth or enclosed in a small cloth sack, and immersed during cooking, as in a soup or stew.
A machine similar to a typewriter, used for printing in Braille. Also called Braillewriter.
1. A rhythmic fluctuation of electric potential between parts of the brain, as seen on an electroencephalogram.
2. Informal A sudden inspiration.
1. A noisy or confused quarrel.
2. A drinking spree; a binge.
1. A world or realm of radically transformed existence, especially one in which technological progress has both positive and negative results.
2. A field, endeavor, or aspect of life that seems new and often intimidating because one is experiencing it for the first time: "You're on your own. Welcome to the brave new world of do-it-yourself travel" (Susan Stellin).
brave new world *
1. An oily, perfumed hairdressing.
2. A glossy fabric made from cotton and worsted or cotton and mohair.
A soft, light-textured bread made from eggs, butter, flour, and yeast and formed into a roll or a bun.
A heavy fabric with highly raised designs.
A loud sound expressing disapproval; a raspberry.
A variety of sorghum having a stiff, erect, much-branched flower cluster, the stalks of which are used to make brooms.
The capital and largest city of Romania, in the southeast part of the country on a tributary of the Danube River. Founded in the 14th century, it soon became a fortress and a center for trade between Wallachia and Constantinople.
a. Gold or silver considered with respect to quantity rather than value.
b. Gold or silver in the form of bars, ingots, or plates.
2. A heavy lace trimming made of twisted gold or silver threads.
Crudely or loudly assertive; pushy.
intr.v. bur·geoned, bur·geon·ing, bur·geons also bour·geoned or bour·geon·ing or bour·geons
a. To put forth new buds, leaves, or greenery; sprout.
b. To begin to grow or blossom.
2. To grow or develop rapidly; expand or proliferate.
George Gordon Sixth Baron Byron. 1788-1824.
British poet acclaimed as one of the leading figures of the romantic movement. The "Byronic hero"—lonely, rebellious, and brooding—first appeared in Childe Harold's Pilgrimage (1812-1818). Among his other works are Manfred (1817) and the epic satire Don Juan (1819-1824). He died while working to secure Greek independence from the Turks.
n. pl. ca·ba·let·tas or ca·ba·let·te (-lĕtē)
1. A short aria that has a repetitive rhythm and a simple style.
2. The final section of an aria or duet marked by a quick uniform rhythm.
intr.v. cach·in·nat·ed, cach·in·nat·ing, cach·in·nates
To laugh hard, loudly, or convulsively; guffaw.
A taxonomic name that is unacceptable for linguistic reasons.
n. pl. Caddo or Cad·dos
1. A member of a Native American confederacy composed of numerous small tribes formerly inhabiting the Red River area of Louisiana, Arkansas, and eastern Texas and now located in central Oklahoma.
2. The Caddoan language of the Caddo.
v. ca·joled, ca·jol·ing, ca·joles
1. To persuade by flattery, gentle pleading, or insincere language: "He knew how she cajoled him into getting things for her and then would not even let him kiss her" (Theodore Dreiser).
2. To elicit or obtain by flattery, gentle pleading, or insincere language: The athlete cajoled a signing bonus out of the team's owner.
To use flattery, pleading, or insincere language in an attempt to persuade someone to do something: "She complained and he cajoled, bribing her with dollar bills for landing ten [figure skating] jumps in a row" (Joan Ryan).
A large crater formed by volcanic explosion or by collapse of a volcanic cone.
tr.v. cal·i·brat·ed, cal·i·brat·ing, cal·i·brates
1. To check, adjust, or determine by comparison with a standard (the graduations of a quantitative measuring instrument): calibrate a thermometer.
a. To make corrections in; adjust: calibrated the polling procedures to ensure objectivity.
b. To adjust (a display setting) so that recorded images are accurately reproduced: calibrated the tint on the computer monitor.
3. To determine the caliber of (a tube).
Containing or implying calumny; slanderous or defamatory.
An assembly or gathering of Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts on a local or district level.
The common people; the masses.
1. Biology Covered with short, fine whitish or grayish hairs or down; hoary.
2. Turning white or grayish.
adv. & adj.
In a smooth, lyrical, flowing style. Used chiefly as a direction.
A cantabile passage or movement.
1. Relating to or resembling a hair; fine and slender.
2. Having a very small internal diameter: a capillary tube.
3. Anatomy Of or relating to the capillaries.
4. Physics Of or relating to capillarity.
n. pl. cap·il·lar·ies
1. Anatomy One of the minute blood vessels that connect arterioles and venules. These blood vessels form an intricate network throughout the body for the interchange of various substances, such as oxygen and carbon dioxide, between blood and tissue cells.
2. A tube with a very small internal diameter.
Characterized by, arising from, or subject to caprice; impulsive or unpredictable: capricious decisions; capricious weather
1. A glass or metal bottle, often with a flared lip, used for serving beverages, such as water or wine.
2. A glass pot with a pouring spout, used in making coffee.
A cancer-causing substance or agent.
Adapted for tearing apart flesh: carnassial teeth.
A tooth adapted for tearing apart flesh, especially one of the last upper premolar or first lower molar teeth in carnivorous mammals.
1. A crossroads.
2. A public square; a plaza.
1. A combination of independent business organizations formed to regulate production, pricing, and marketing of goods by the members.
2. An official agreement between governments at war, especially one concerning the exchange of prisoners.
3. A group of parties, factions, or nations united in a common cause; a bloc.
n. pl. car·y·at·ids or car·y·at·i·des (-ĭ-dēz′)
A supporting column sculptured in the form of a draped female figure.
Of or relating to casuists or casuistry.
n. pl. ca·ta·logues rai·son·nés (kătl-ôgz′ rā′zə-nā, -ŏgz′, kä-tä-lôg rĕ-zô-nā)
A publication listing titles of articles or literary works, especially the contents of an exhibition, along with related descriptive or critical material.
n. pl. ca·tal·y·ses (-sēz′)
The action of a catalyst, especially an increase in the rate of a chemical reaction.
tr.v. cat·e·chized, cat·e·chiz·ing, cat·e·chiz·es
1. To teach the principles of Christian dogma, discipline, and ethics by means of questions and answers.
2. To question or examine closely or methodically: "Boswell was eternally catechizing him on all kinds of subjects" (Thomas Macaulay).
tr.v. cat·e·nat·ed, cat·e·nat·ing, cat·e·nates
To connect in a series of ties or links; form into a chain.
n. pl. ca·thex·es (-thĕksēz)
Concentration of emotional energy on an object or idea.
A universal remedy; a panacea.
n. pl. cau·cus·es or cau·cus·ses
a. A meeting of the local members of a political party especially to select delegates to a convention or register preferences for candidates running for office.
b. A closed meeting of party members within a legislative body to decide on questions of policy or leadership.
c. A group within a legislative or decision-making body seeking to represent a specific interest or influence a particular area of policy: a minority caucus.
2. Chiefly British A committee within a political party charged with determining policy.
v. cau·cused, cau·cus·ing, cau·cus·es or cau·cussed or cau·cus·sing or cau·cus·ses
To assemble in or hold a caucus.
To assemble or canvass (members of a caucus).
The roe of a large fish, especially sturgeon, that is salted, seasoned, and eaten as a delicacy or relish.
1. A Celtic custom.
2. A Celtic idiom.
3. A fondness for Celtic culture.
n. pl. cem·ba·los
Waxy or waxlike.
intr.v. cer·e·brat·ed, cer·e·brat·ing, cer·e·brates
To use the power of reason; think. See Synonyms at think.
adv. Abbr. cet. par.
With all other factors or things remaining the same.
A low-growing perennial plant whose dormant overwintering buds are borne at or just above the surface of the ground.
1. An aromatic perennial herb (Chamaemelum nobile) in the composite family, native to Europe and the Mediterranean region, having feathery foliage and flower heads with white rays and yellow centers.
2. A similar, related Eurasian annual plant (Matricaria recutita).
3. The dried flower heads of either one of these plants, used to make an herbal tea and yielding an oil used in commercial flavorings and perfumery.
A tree-lined thoroughfare of Paris, France, leading from the Place de la Concorde to the Arc de Triomphe.
1. Any of various officials of high rank, especially:
a. A secretary to a monarch or noble.
b. Chiefly British The chief secretary of an embassy.
c. The chief minister of state in some European countries.
a. The president of certain American universities.
b. Chiefly British The honorary or titular head of a university.
3. Law The presiding judge of a court of chancery or equity in some states of the United States and in Great Britain.
A random, haphazard action or occurrence.
tr.v. chan·nel·ized, chan·nel·iz·ing, chan·nel·iz·es
1. To make, form, or cut channels in.
2. To direct through a channel.
n. Abbr. c
The flavor of quark that has a charge of + 2/3 , has a mass about 2,450 times that of an electron, and belongs to the second generation of elementary fermions. Also called charmed quark.
charm quark *
A breechloading rifle introduced into the French army in 1866.
tr.v. chas·tised, chas·tis·ing, chas·tis·es
1. To punish, as for wrongdoing. See Synonyms at punish.
2. To criticize severely; reprimand or rebuke.
3. Archaic To purify.
chastise (chăs-tīz, chăstīz′)
n. pl. chefs-d'oeu·vre (shā-)
A masterpiece, especially in literature or art.
chef-d'oeurve (shā-dœvrə, -dûrv)
n. pl. che·lic·er·ae (-ə-rē′)
Either of the first pair of fanglike appendages near the mouth of an arachnid or a horseshoe crab, often modified for grasping and piercing.
chersonese (kûrsə-nēz′, -nēs′)
1. A member of certain male orders of knighthood or merit, such as the Legion of Honor in France.
a. A French nobleman of the lowest rank.
b. Used as a title for such a nobleman.
3. A knight.
4. A chivalrous man.
adj. chi·chi·er, chi·chi·est
Ostentatiously stylish; deliberately chic.
1. A group that contains 1,000 elements.
2. One thousand years; a millennium.
chiliad (kĭlē-ăd′, -əd)
1. Greek Mythology A fire-breathing female monster usually represented as a composite of a lion, goat, and serpent.
2. An imaginary monster made up of grotesquely disparate parts.
Chimera, Chimaera (kī-mîrə, kĭ-)
n. pl. cho·ri·zos
A spicy pork sausage seasoned especially with garlic.
chorizo (chə-rēzō, -sō)
n. pl. chres·tom·a·thies
1. A selection of literary passages, usually by one author.
2. An anthology used in studying a language.
chrestomathy * (krĕ-stŏmə-thē)
1. An extended account in prose or verse of historical events, sometimes including legendary material, presented in chronological order and without authorial interpretation or comment.
2. A detailed narrative record or report.
3. Chronicles (used with a sing. verb) See Table at Bible.
tr.v. chron·i·cled, chron·i·cling, chron·i·cles
To record in or in the form of a historical record.
chronicled * (krŏnĭ-kəl)
n. pl. chrys·a·lis·es or chry·sal·i·des (krĭ-sălĭ-dēz′)
a. A pupa, especially of a butterfly.
b. The hardened case of a pupa.
2. A protected stage of development.
Of or relating to a style of baroque architecture of Spain and its Latin-American colonies, characterized by elaborate and extravagant decoration.
n. pl. cin·e·rar·i·a (-ē-ə)
A place for keeping the ashes of a cremated body.
Encompassing on all sides; surrounding.
circumambient * (sûr′kəm-ămbē-ənt)
Any of several marks, especially ( ^ ), used over a vowel in certain languages or in phonetic keys to indicate quality of pronunciation.
1. Having this mark.
2. Curving around: a circumflex blood vessel.
Heedful of circumstances and potential consequences; prudent.
circumspect * (sûrkəm-spĕkt′)
A member of a contemplative monastic order founded by reformist Benedictines in France in 1098.
Cistercian * (sĭ-stûrshən)
Loud and clear: a clarion call to resistance.
1. A medieval trumpet with a shrill clear tone.
2. The sound of this instrument or a sound resembling it.
1. A claymore mine.
2. A large, double-edged broadsword formerly used by Scottish Highlanders.
n. pl. clep·sy·dras or clep·sy·drae (-drē′)
An ancient device that measured time by marking the regulated flow of water through a small opening. Also called water glass.
Closely joined; grown together; united.
coadunate * (kō-ăjə-nĭt, -nāt′)
A cable consisting of a conducting outer metal tube enclosing and insulated from a central conducting core, used primarily for the transmission of high-frequency signals. Also called coaxial line.
A joint conspirator.
1. Law A supplement or appendix to a will.
2. A supplement or appendix.
Equal with one another, as in rank or size.
1. Of or relating to cogitation.
2. Inclined to or capable of cogitation.
n. pl. co·gno·scen·ti (-tē)
A person with superior, usually specialized knowledge or highly refined taste; a connoisseur.
cognoscente (kŏn′yə-shĕntē, kŏg′nə-)
A man who is a hairdresser.
1. Shared power and authority vested among colleagues.
2. Roman Catholic Church The doctrine that bishops collectively share collegiate power.
collegiality * (kə-lē′jē-ălĭ-tē)
n. pl. col·le·gi·a (-jē-ə) or col·le·gi·ums
1. An executive council or committee of equally empowered members, especially one supervising an industry, commissariat, or other organization in the Soviet Union.
2. A group whose members pursue shared goals while working within a framework of mutual trust and respect: "This standing firm ... enables the college to be a community, a collegium of students and faculty working at common problems and possibilities" (Robert A. Spivey).
1. A series of columns placed at regular intervals.
2. A structure composed of columns placed at regular intervals.
tr.v. com·man·deered, com·man·deer·ing, com·man·deers
1. To seize for military or police use; confiscate.
2. To take arbitrarily or by force: "He was at Columbia when students commandeered buildings and the police sprayed the protesters with tear gas" (Gary Rivlin). See Synonyms at appropriate.
3. To force into military service.
a. An official of the Communist Party in charge of political indoctrination and the enforcement of party loyalty.
b. The head of a commissariat in the Soviet Union until 1946.
2. A person who tries to control public opinion.
n. pl. com·mod·i·ties
1. Something useful that can be turned to commercial or other advantage: "Left-handed, power-hitting third basemen are a rare commodity in the big leagues" (Steve Guiremand).
2. A product or service that is indistinguishable from ones manufactured or provided by competing companies and that therefore sells primarily on the basis of price rather than quality or style.
3. Archaic Advantage; benefit.
1. Relating to, involving, or characterized by substitution, interchange, or exchange.
2. Independent of order. Used of a logical or mathematical operation that combines objects or sets of objects two at a time. If a × b = b × a, the operation indicated by × is commutative.
commutative (kŏmyə-tā′tĭv, kə-mytə-tĭv)
1. Satisfied with the current situation and unconcerned with changing it, often to the point of smugness: "a geologic cautionary tale for a complacent world accustomed to reliable infusions of cheap energy" (Paul Roberts).
2. Eager to please; complaisant.
Associated with or participating in a questionable act or a crime; having complicity: "Presidential handlers and a complicit press corps managed to suppress public awareness" (Andrew P.N. Erdmann).
a. Made up of distinct components; compound.
b. Made by combining two or more existing things, such as photographs.
2. Mathematics Having factors; factorable.
3. Botany Of, belonging to, or characteristic of the composite family.
4. Composite Architecture Of, relating to, or being in the Composite order.
1. A structure or entity made up of distinct components: a musical suite that is a composite of operatic themes.
2. A material in which two or more distinct, structurally complementary materials, usually a matrix material and a reinforcing material, are combined to produce structural or functional properties not present in any individual component. Wood, bone, concrete, plastic reinforced by glass fibers, and graphite reinforced with carbon fibers are all composite materials.
3. Botany A plant in the composite family.
4. Mathematics The application of one function to another. For example, if (x) = x2 and g(x) = x + 1, then the composite (g(x)) = (x + 1)2 and the composite g((x)) = x2 + 1.
tr.v. com·pos·it·ed, com·pos·it·ing, com·pos·ites
1. To make using distinct components.
2. To make by combining two or more photographs or images.
composite, Composite (kəm-pŏzĭt, kŏmpə-zĭt)
1. A strong uneasiness caused by a sense of guilt: stole the money without compunction. See Synonyms at penitence.
2. A sting of conscience or a pang of doubt aroused by wrongdoing or the prospect of wrongdoing: "commercial speculators and hired politicians who had no compunction about pillaging their country for personal gain" (Leo Damrosch).
v. con·cil·i·at·ed, con·cil·i·at·ing, con·cil·i·ates
1. To overcome the distrust or animosity of; appease. See Synonyms at pacify.
2. To regain or try to regain (friendship or goodwill) by pleasant behavior.
3. To make or attempt to make compatible; reconcile: tried to conciliate the conflicting theories.
To gain or try to gain someone's friendship or goodwill.
conciliatory * (kən-sĭlē-āt′)
1. Biology The growing together of related parts, tissues, or cells.
2. The amassing of physical particles.
concrescence * (kən-krĕsəns)
n. pl. con·do·min·i·ums also con·do·min·i·a (-mĭnē-ə)
a. A building or complex in which units of property, such as apartments, are owned by individuals and common parts of the property, such as the grounds and building structure, are owned jointly by the unit owners.
b. A unit in such a complex.
a. Joint sovereignty, especially joint rule of territory by two or more nations, or a plan to achieve it: "The allies would fear that they were pawns in a superpower condominium" (New Republic).
b. A politically dependent territory.
n. (used with a sing. verb)
A collection; an aggregation: "Our city, it should be explained, is two cities, or more—an urban mass or congeries divided by the river" (John Updike).
congeries * (kən-jîrēz′, kŏnjə-rēz′)
n. pl. con·gru·en·cies
congruency (kŏnggr-ən-sē, kən-gr-)
1. The act or process of connoting.
a. An idea or meaning suggested by or associated with a word or thing: Hollywood holds connotations of romance and glittering success.
b. The set of associations implied by a word in addition to its literal meaning.
3. Logic The set of attributes constituting the meaning of a term; intension.
connotation * (kŏn′ə-tāshən)
n. pl. con·stit·u·en·cies
a. The body of voters or the residents of a district represented by an elected legislator or official.
b. The district so represented.
a. A group of supporters or patrons.
b. A group served by an organization or institution; a clientele: The magazine changed its format to appeal to a broader constituency.
constituency * (kən-stĭch-ən-sē)
consuetude * (kŏnswĭ-td′, -tyd′)
1. The movement seeking to protect and inform consumers by requiring such practices as honest packaging and advertising, product guarantees, and improved safety standards.
2. The theory that a progressively greater consumption of goods is economically beneficial.
3. Attachment to materialistic values or possessions: deplored the rampant consumerism of contemporary society.
1. Having a boundary in common; contiguous: The northern border of the United States is conterminous with the southern border of Canada.
2. Contained in the same boundaries; coextensive: the conterminous 48 states.
3. Having the same scope, range of meaning, or extent in time.
conterminous (kən-tûrmə-nəs) also co·ter·mi·nous (kō-)
The position of a standing human figure whose weight is unequally distributed between the two legs, resulting in a slight curvature of the torso and a tilting of the pelvis and shoulders in opposite directions.
n. pl. con·tra·ri·e·ties
1. The quality or condition of being contrary.
2. Something that is contrary.
n. pl. con·tu·me·lies
1. Rudeness or contempt arising from arrogance; insolence.
2. An insolent or arrogant remark or act.
contumely (kŏnt-mə-lē, -ty-, -təm-lē)
1. Having numerous overlapping coils or folds: a convoluted seashell.
2. Intricate; complicated: convoluted legal language; convoluted reasoning.
convoluted (kŏnvə-l′tĭd, kŏn′və-ltĭd)
A ruined Mayan city of western Honduras that flourished from c. 300 BC to AD 900. The ruins include the Hieroglyphic Stairway with over 2,000 glyphs.
A mountain, 705 m (2,310 ft) high, of southeast Brazil overlooking Rio de Janeiro. A popular tourist attraction, it has a cog railroad and is topped by the enormous concrete statue Christ the Redeemer.
Corcovado (kôr′kə-vädō, kôr′kô-väd)
One having the same religion as another.
1. Any of several large, widely distributed marine diving birds of the genus Phalacrocorax, having dark plumage, webbed feet, and a slender hooked bill.
2. A greedy, rapacious person.
cormorant (kôrmər-ənt, -mə-rănt′)
1. Law The corroborating evidence that shows that a crime has been committed, other than a confession or an alleged accomplice's statement.
2. A corpse.
corpus delicti (dĭ-lĭktī′)
1. Related; corresponding.
2. Grammar Indicating a reciprocal or complementary relationship: a correlative conjunction.
1. Either of two correlative entities; a correlate.
2. Grammar A correlative word or expression.
1. A train of attendants, as of a distinguished person; a retinue.
a. A ceremonial procession.
b. A funeral procession.
cortege, cortège (kôr-tĕzh)
A country of western Africa on the Gulf of Guinea. Divided into various isolated kingdoms at the time of European discovery in the 15th century, it was organized as a French colony in 1893, became a part of French West Africa in 1904, and declared its independence in 1960. Yamoussoukro is the capital and Abidjan is the largest city and de facto administrative center.
Côte d'Ivoire (dē-vwär) also I·vo·ry Coast (īvə-rē, īvrē)
1. Western US A deep gulch or ravine with sloping sides, often dry in summer.
2. Louisiana & Southern Mississippi
a. A streambed, often dry according to the season.
b. A small stream, bayou, or canal.
3. Upper Midwest A valley with hills on either side.
a. A stream of molten lava.
b. A sheet of solidified lava.
Running contrary to the facts: "Cold war historiography vividly illustrates how the selection of the counterfactual question to be asked generally anticipates the desired answer" (Timothy Garton Ash).
counterfactual * (koun′tər-făkch-əl)
A cover for a bed; a bedspread.
1. A counterbalancing weight.
2. A force or influence that balances or equally counteracts another.
3. The state of being in equilibrium.
tr.v. coun·ter·poised, coun·ter·pois·ing, coun·ter·pois·es
1. To oppose with an equal weight; counterbalance.
2. To act against with an equal force or power; offset.
counterpoise * (kountər-poiz′)
n. pl. coups de main(k′)
A sudden action, especially a surprise attack, against an enemy.
coup de main (k′ də mă)
n. often crampons
1. A hinged pair of curved iron bars for raising heavy objects, such as stones or timber.
2. A framework of metal spikes strapped or clipped to the sole of a boot or shoe to prevent slipping when walking or climbing on ice and snow. Also called climbing iron.
crampons * (krămpŏn′, -pən)
n. pl. cre·ma·to·ri·ums or cre·ma·to·ri·a (-tôrē-ə)
A furnace or establishment for the incineration of corpses.
Having a margin with low, rounded or scalloped projections: a crenate leaf.
crenate (krēnāt′) also cre·nat·ed (-nā′tĭd)
1. Of or like twilight; dim: "The gustatory landscape then was dominated by dark, masculine establishments with crepuscular lighting, meat, more meat and puddles of Old World artery-attacking sauces" (Karen Heller).
a. Active primarily at dawn or dusk or both. Used of animals.
b. Occurring at dawn or dusk or both: crepuscular foraging; a crepuscular stroll through the park.
The wife of Aeneas who was lost while fleeing from Troy but came back as a ghost to warn Aeneas of his future.
Creüsa * (krē-zə)
The scientific study of crime, criminals, criminal behavior, and corrections.
Favoritism shown to old friends without regard for their qualifications, as in political appointments to office.
A small cake of minced food, such as poultry, vegetables, or fish, that is usually coated with bread crumbs and fried in deep fat.
Capriciously stubborn or eccentric; perverse.
1. A vessel made of a refractory substance such as graphite or porcelain, used for melting and calcining materials at high temperatures.
a. An extremely difficult experience or situation; a severe test or trial: "the emotional crucible of a wartime deployment" (Kristin Henderson). See Synonyms at trial.
b. A place, time, or situation in which different social forces or intellectual influences come together and cause new developments: "Macroeconomics ... was cast in the crucible of the Depression" (Peter Passell).
An ill-tempered person, especially one who is habitually stubborn or grouchy.
n. pl. curricula vitae Abbr. CV
A summary of one's education, professional history, and job qualifications, as for a prospective employer.
curriculum vitae * (vītē, vētī, wētī′)
Formed, bounded, or characterized by curved lines.
curvilinear (kûr′və-lĭnē-ər) also cur·vi·lin·e·al (-əl)
Any of various plants of the genus Cyclamen, especially a Mediterranean species (C. persicum) widely cultivated as a houseplant, having decorative leaves and showy, variously colored flowers with reflexed petals.
cyclamen, Cyclamen (sīklə-mən, sĭklə-)
The wife of a Russian czar.
czarina, tsarina * (zä-rēnə, tsä-) also tsa·ri·na (tsä-, zä-)
1. Ingenious and complex in design or function; intricate.
2. Finely or skillfully made or employed; artistic.
n. pl. daiq·ui·ris
An iced cocktail of rum, lime or lemon juice, and sugar.
daiquiri (dăkə-rē, dīkə-)
The capital and largest city of Senegal, in the western part of the country on the Atlantic Ocean. It grew around a French fort built in 1857 and was the capital of French West Africa from 1902 to 1959.
Dakar (də-kär, dăkär′)
The capital and largest city of Syria, in the southwest part of the country. Inhabited since prehistoric times, the city became a thriving commercial center under the Romans and was a Saracen stronghold during the Crusades.
Damascus * (də-măskəs)
The largest city and former capital of Tanzania, in the eastern part of the country on an arm of the Indian Ocean. It was founded in 1862 by the sultan of Zanzibar.
Dar es Salaam (där′ ĕs sə-läm)
A region of western Sudan. Originally an independent sultanate, the area fell to the Egyptians in 1874 and later to the British. Under independent Sudan, the region has been the site of continuing ethnic conflict that developed into a major humanitarian crisis that began in 2003.
Darfur * (där-fr)
n. pl. dar·nels
Any of several ryegrasses, especially Lolium temulentum.
tr.v. de·al·co·hol·ized, de·al·co·hol·iz·ing, de·al·co·hol·izes
To remove some or all of the alcohol from (beverages): dealcoholized the white wine.
1. A sudden, disastrous collapse, downfall, or defeat; a rout.
2. A total, often ludicrous failure.
3. The breaking up of ice in a river.
4. A violent flood.
debacle * (dĭ-bäkəl, -băkəl, dĕbə-kəl)
Claude Achille 1862-1918.
French composer best known for impressionist works such as the tone poem Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune (1894).
Debussy * (də-bysē, dĕb′y-sē, də-bü-sē),
A polygon with ten sides and ten angles.
decagon * (dĕkə-gŏn′)
1. The process of transferring pictures or designs printed on specially prepared paper to materials such as glass or metal.
2. A decal.
decalcomania (dē-kăl′kə-mānē-ə, -mānyə)
n. Abbr. dal or dkl
A metric unit of volume equal to 10 liters.
decaliter, dekaliter (dĕkə-lē′tər)
1. Relating to or lasting for ten years.
2. Occurring every ten years.
A tenth anniversary.
tr.v. de·clas·si·fied, de·clas·si·fy·ing, de·clas·si·fies
To remove official security classification from (a document).
declassification * (dē-klăsə-fī′)
tr.v. de·cor·ti·cat·ed, de·cor·ti·cat·ing, de·cor·ti·cates
1. To remove the bark, husk, or outer layer from; peel.
2. To remove the surface layer, membrane, or fibrous cover of (an organ or structure).
decorticate * (dē-kôrtĭ-kāt′)
tr.v. de·crypt·ed, de·crypt·ing, de·crypts
1. To decipher.
2. To decode.
A deciphered or decoded message.
Capable of being annulled or invalidated: a defeasible claim to an estate.
tr.v. de·fen·es·trat·ed, de·fen·es·trat·ing, de·fen·es·trates
To throw out of a window.
tr.v. de·filed, de·fil·ing, de·files
1. To make filthy or dirty; pollute: defile a river with sewage.
2. To debase the pureness or excellence of; corrupt: a country landscape that was defiled by urban sprawl.
3. To profane or sully (a reputation, for example).
4. To make unclean or unfit for ceremonial use; desecrate: defile a temple.
5. To have sexual intercourse with (a woman who is a virgin).
r.v. de·for·est·ed, de·for·est·ing, de·for·ests
1. To cut down and clear away the trees or forests from.
2. To destroy the trees or forests on: hillsides that were deforested by drought
deforestation * (dē-fôrĭst, -fŏr-)
No longer in existence or use: a defunct political organization.
Free and relaxed in manner; casual.
In dance, a pointing of the foot in which the foot leaves the floor.
tr.v.de·hu·mid·i·fied, de·hu·mid·i·fy·ing, de·hu·mid·i·fies
To remove atmospheric moisture from.
Italian sculptor noted for his works in glazed terra cotta, including many images of the Nativity.
della Robbia (dĕlə rōbē-ə, dĕllä rōbbyä)
The collection and study of postcards.
Tending to deceive; delusive.
delusory (dĭ-lsə-rē, -zə-)
1. A small cup of strong black coffee or espresso.
2. The small cup used to serve this drink.
demitasse * (dĕmē-tăs′, -täs′)
tr.v. de·moc·ra·tized, de·moc·ra·tiz·ing, de·moc·ra·tiz·es
To make democratic.
1. Capable of being demonstrated or proved: demonstrable truths.
2. Obvious or apparent: demonstrable lies.
Greek orator whose reputation is based mainly on his Philippics, a series of orations exhorting the citizens of Athens to rise up against Philip II of Macedon.
Demosthenes(dĭ-mŏsthə-nēz′) 384-322 BC.
Shaped like or having the form of a tree.
n. pl. de·on·tol·o·gies
1. Ethical or moral theory concerned with duties and rights.
2. The doctrine that ethical status of an action lies in its adherence to a set of rules.
Having the capability to remove hair.
n. pl. de·pil·a·to·ries
A preparation in the form of a liquid or cream that is used to remove unwanted hair from the body.
A deported person.
deportee * (dē′pôr-tē)
tr.v. de·pre·cat·ed, de·pre·cat·ing, de·pre·cates
1. To express disapproval of; deplore.
2. To belittle; depreciate.
3. Computers To mark (a component of a software standard) as obsolete to warn against its use in the future so that it may be phased out.
a. The act or process of deriving.
b. The state or fact of being derived; origination: a custom of recent derivation.
c. Something derived; a derivative.
2. The form or source from which something is derived; an origin.
a. The historical origin and development of a word; an etymology.
b. The process by which words are formed from existing words or bases by adding affixes, as singer from sing or undo from do, by changing the shape of the word or base, as song from sing, or by adding an affix and changing the pronunciation of the word or base, as electricity from electric.
c. In generative linguistics, the generation of a linguistic structure through an ordered or partially ordered series of operations on other structures, such as the creation of a surface structure from a deep structure, or of a complex word from its morphological components.
d. The formal description of the process of such generation.
4. Logic & Mathematics A logical or mathematical process indicating through a sequence of statements that a result such as a theorem or a formula necessarily follows from the initial assumptions.
tr.v. des·e·crat·ed, des·e·crat·ing, des·e·crates
To violate the sacredness of; profane.
v. des·ic·cat·ed, des·ic·cat·ing, des·ic·cates
1. To dry out thoroughly.
2. To preserve (foods) by removing the moisture. See Synonyms at dry.
3. To make dry, dull, or lifeless: "Stalinism desiccated the grassroots of urban government" (Timothy J. Colton).
To become dry; dry out.
adj. (also -kĭt)
Lacking spirit or animation; arid: "There was only the sun-bruised and desiccate feeling in his mind" (J.R. Salamanca).
desiccate * (dĕsĭ-kāt′)
tr.v. de·sid·er·at·ed, de·sid·er·at·ing, de·sid·er·ates
To wish to have or see happen.
1. Rule by or as if by a despot; absolute power or authority.
2. The actions of a despot; tyranny.
a. A government or political system in which the ruler exercises absolute power.
b. A state so ruled.
tr.v. de·sta·bi·lized, de·sta·bi·liz·ing, de·sta·bi·liz·es
1. To upset the stability or smooth functioning of: a policy that threatens to destabilize the economy; a new weapon that threatens to destabilize nuclear deterrence.
2. To undermine the power of (a government or leader) by subversive or terrorist acts.
tr.v. de·terged, de·terg·ing, de·terg·es
To wash or wipe off (a wound, for example); cleanse.
1. The act of exploding.
2. An explosion.
A form of colorblindness characterized by insensitivity to green.
deuteranopia (d′tər-ə-nōpē-ə, dy′-)
1. The act of developing or the state of being developed, as:
a. The application of techniques or technology to the production of new goods or services.
b. The business of constructing buildings or otherwise altering land for new uses.
2. A significant event, occurrence, or change: a news story covering the latest developments in the scandal.
3. A group of dwellings built by the same contractor: bought a condo in a new development built by the river.
4. The organized activity of soliciting donations or grants; fundraising.
a. Elaboration of a theme with rhythmic and harmonic variations.
b. The central section of a movement in sonata form, in which the theme is elaborated and explored.
development * (dĭ-vĕləp-mənt)
A chronic disorder marked by excessive urination and usually intense thirst and dehydration, caused either by insufficient production or release of the pituitary hormone vasopressin or by inability of the kidneys to respond effectively to vasopressin.
diabetes insipidus (ĭn-sĭpĭ-dəs)
n. pl. di·ag·no·ses (-sēz)
a. The act or process of identifying or determining the nature and cause of a disease or injury through evaluation of patient history, examination, and review of laboratory data.
b. The opinion derived from such an evaluation.
a. A critical analysis of the nature of something.
b. The conclusion reached by such analysis.
3. Biology A brief description of the distinguishing characteristics of an organism, as for taxonomic classification.
1. The art or practice of arriving at the truth by the exchange of logical arguments.
2. The process especially associated with Hegel of arriving at the truth by stating a thesis, developing a contradictory antithesis, and combining and resolving them into a coherent synthesis.
3. often dialectics (used with a sing. or pl. verb) The Marxian process of change through the conflict of opposing forces, whereby a given contradiction is characterized by a primary and a secondary aspect, the secondary succumbing to the primary, which is then transformed into an aspect of a new contradiction.
4. dialectics (used with a sing. verb) A method of argument or exposition that systematically weighs contradictory facts or ideas with a view to the resolution of their real or apparent contradictions.
5. The contradiction between two conflicting forces viewed as the determining factor in their continuing interaction.
Having two heads.
dicephalous * (dī-sĕfə-ləs)
1. Intended to instruct.
2. Morally instructive.
3. Inclined to teach or moralize excessively.
didactic (dī-dăktĭk) also di·dac·ti·cal (-tĭ-kəl)
v. dif·fer·en·ti·at·ed, dif·fer·en·ti·at·ing, dif·fer·en·ti·ates
1. To constitute the distinction between: subspecies that are differentiated by the markings on their wings.
2. To perceive or show the difference in or between; discriminate.
3. To make different by alteration or modification.
4. Mathematics To calculate the derivative or differential of (a function).
1. To become distinct or specialized; acquire a different character.
2. To make distinctions; discriminate.
3. Biology To undergo differentiation.
tr.v. dig·i·tized, dig·i·tiz·ing, dig·i·tiz·es
To put (data, for example) into digital form.
1. A harsh, unilaterally imposed settlement with a defeated party.
2. An authoritative or dogmatic statement or decree.
1. Biology The existence among animals of the same species of two distinct forms that differ in one or more characteristics, such as coloration, size, or shape.
2. Botany The occurrence of two distinct forms of the same parts in one plant, as in the juvenile and adult leaves of ivy.
3. Chemistry & Physics Dimorphic crystallization.
dimorphism * (dī-môrfĭz′əm)
1. Greek Mythology
a. Of or relating to Dionysus.
b. Of or devoted to the worship of Dionysus.
2. often dionysian Of an ecstatic, orgiastic, or irrational nature; frenzied or undisciplined: "remained the nearest to the instinctual, the irrational in music, and thus to the Dionysian spirit in art" (Musco Carner).
3. often dionysian In the philosophy of Nietzsche, of or displaying creative-intuitive power as opposed to critical-rational power.
Dionysian, dionysian (dī′ə-nĭshən, -nĭzhən, -nĭsē-ən)
The exemption enjoyed by diplomatic agents, their families, and members of their mission staffs from many ordinary criminal and civil laws of their host country, as determined under terms established by treaty and international law.
tr.v. dis·a·bused, dis·a·bus·ing, dis·a·bus·es
To free from a falsehood or misconception: "It's up to you whether you want to disabuse your students of their fantasy that A's are guaranteed" (Rachel Kadish).
n. pl. dis·cog·ra·phies
1. The study and cataloging of phonograph records.
2. A comprehensive list of the recordings made by a particular performer or of a particular composer's works.
1. Not being in accord; conflicting.
2. Disagreeable in sound; harsh or dissonant.
1. The quality of being discreet; circumspection: "the almost unknown young man who lived in the upper room ... coming and going with discretion" (Doris Lessing).
2. Freedom to act or judge on one's own: All the decisions were left to our discretion.
3. Archaic The ability or power to discern what is responsible or socially appropriate: "She had even condescended to advise him to marry as soon as he could, provided he chose with discretion" (Jane Austen).
tr.v. dis·in·her·it·ed, dis·in·her·it·ing, dis·in·her·its
1. To exclude from inheritance or the right to inherit.
2. To deprive of a natural or established right or privilege.
n. pl. dis·par·i·ties
1. The condition or fact of being unequal, as in age, rank, or degree; difference: "narrow the economic disparities among regions and industries" (Courtenay Slater).
2. Unlikeness; incongruity.
a. The act of dispensing.
b. Something dispensed.
c. A specific arrangement or system by which something is dispensed.
2. An exemption or release from an obligation or rule, granted by or as if by an authority.
a. An exemption from a church law, a vow, or another similar obligation granted in a particular case by an ecclesiastical authority.
b. The document containing this exemption.
a. The divine ordering of worldly affairs.
b. A religious system or code of commands considered to have been divinely revealed or appointed.
dispensation (dĭs′pən-sāshən, -pĕn-)
v. dis·sev·ered, dis·sev·er·ing, dis·sev·ers
1. To separate; sever.
2. To divide into parts; break up.
To become separated or disunited.
tr.v. dis·suad·ed, dis·suad·ing, dis·suades
To prevent (someone) from a purpose or course of action by persuasion: dissuaded my friend from pursuing such a rash scheme.
v. dis·tin·guished, dis·tin·guish·ing, dis·tin·guish·es
a. To perceive as being different or distinct: Can you distinguish a pattern in this behavior?
b. To perceive distinctly; discern: The lookout distinguished the masts of ships on the horizon.
a. To demonstrate or describe as being different or distinct: a scientist who distinguished four species of the plant.
b. To be an identifying characteristic of; make noticeable or different: These spices distinguish this style of Asian cooking.
3. To cause (oneself) to be respected or eminent: They have distinguished themselves as dedicated social workers.
To perceive or indicate differences; discriminate: Can the child distinguish between right and wrong?
1. Relating to or occurring in a 24-hour period; daily.
2. Occurring or active during the daytime rather than at night: diurnal animals.
3. Botany Opening during daylight hours and closing at night.
1. A book containing all the offices for the daily canonical hours of prayer except matins.
a. A diary or journal.
b. A daily newspaper.
1. A short performance, typically a ballet, that is presented as an interlude in an opera, play, or other entertainment.
2. Music See divertimento.
3. A diversion; an amusement.
divertissement (də-vûrtĭs-mənt, dē-vĕr-tēs-mäɴ)
Of, relating to, or designed to be done by an amateur or as a hobby: do-it-yourself home repairs; a do-it-yourself sailboat kit.
A luxurious, self-indulgent way of life.
dolce vita * (vētə, -tä)
A clause in an insurance policy that provides for payment of double the face value of the contract in case of accidental death.
1. Meaningless speech that consists of nonsense syllables mixed with intelligible words; gibberish.
2. Deliberately ambiguous or evasive language.
n. pl. dox·ol·o·gies
An expression of praise to God, especially a short hymn sung as part of a Christian worship service.
Any of several tropical plants of the genera Dracaena and Cordyline cultivated as house plants for their sword-shaped sometimes variegated leaves.
dracaena, Dracaena (drə-sēnə)
a. A heavy felted fabric usually of wool or wool and cotton, used as a floor covering.
b. A coarse rug of this fabric.
2. A fabric woven wholly or partly of wool, formerly used for clothing.
drugget * (drŭgĭt)
n. pl. du·bi·e·ties
1. The condition of being doubtful or uncertain. See Synonyms at uncertainty.
2. A feeling or matter of doubt: "His feeling partook less of intuitional conviction than of strong suspicion clogged by strange dubieties" (Herman Melville).
dubiety * (d-bīĭ-tē, dy-)
1. Easily drawn into wire or hammered thin: ductile metals.
2. Easily molded or shaped. See Synonyms at malleable.
3. Capable of being readily persuaded or influenced; tractable: a ductile young mind.
ductility (dŭktəl, -tīl′)
1. A narrow, often hourglass-shaped stringed instrument having three or four strings and a fretted fingerboard, typically held flat across the knees while sitting and played by plucking or strumming. Also called Appalachian dulcimer, mountain dulcimer.
2. The hammered dulcimer.
dulcimer * (dŭlsə-mər)
A type of wheat (Triticum turgidum subsp. durum syn. T. durum) having hard grains with high protein and gluten content, thought to have been developed in the Middle East in the Neolithic period and now used chiefly in making pasta.
durum (drəm, dyr-, dûr-)
1. Two individuals or units regarded as a pair: the mother-daughter dyad.
2. Biology One pair of homologous chromosomes resulting from the division of a tetrad during meiosis.
a. A function that draws a correspondence from any vector u to the vector (v·u)w and is denoted vw, where v and w are a fixed pair of vectors and v·u is the scalar product of v and u. For example, if v = (2,3,1), w = (0,-1,4), and u = (a,b,c), then the dyad vw draws a correspondence from u to (2a + 3b + c)w.
b. A tensor formed from a vector in a vector space and a linear functional on that vector space.
Made up of two units.
dyad * (dīăd′, -əd)
n. pl. dyb·buksor dyb·buk·im (dĭ-bkĭm, dē′b-kēm)
In Jewish folklore, the wandering soul of a dead person that enters the body of a living person and controls the living person's behavior.
dybbuk (dĭbk, dē-bk)
1. Of or relating to a dystopia.
2. Dire; grim: "AIDS is one of the dystopian harbingers of the global village" (Susan Sontag).
1. A network of sensing devices, such as satellites or radar, for detecting an enemy attack in time to take defensive or counteroffensive measures.
2. A system or procedure designed to warn of a potential or an impending problem.
early warning system
The creation of artistic forms, often on a large scale, using local natural materials such as earth, sand, or rock.
A scented liquid made of alcohol and various fragrant oils.
eau de cologne (ō′ də kə-lōn)
Any of various tropical American plants of the genus Echeveria, having thick, succulent leaves usually clustered in dense rosettes.
echeveria, Echeveria (ĕch′ə-və-rēə)
An echinoderm of the class Echinoidea, which includes the sand dollars and sea urchins.
v. e·con·o·mized, e·con·o·miz·ing, e·con·o·miz·es
1. To practice economy, as by avoiding waste or reducing expenditures.
2. To make economical use of something: "The best that can be said for this method is that it economizes on thought" (Christopher Hitchens).
To use or manage with thrift: the need to economize scarce energy resources.
1. Lacking teeth.
2. Of or belonging to the former order Edentata of mammals having few or no teeth, including the anteaters, armadillos, and sloths. These animals have been reclassified in the order Xenarthra.
A member of the former order Edentata.
adj. ee·ri·er, ee·ri·est
1. Inspiring inexplicable fear, dread, or uneasiness; strange and frightening. See Synonyms at weird.
2. Scots Frightened or intimidated by superstition.
Producing or sufficient to produce a desired effect.
1. The act or an instance of flowing out.
2. Something that flows out or forth; an emanation.
1. A flowing outward.
2. Something that flows out or forth; an effluence.
3. A passing or an expiration, as of time.
Affirming, promoting, or characterized by belief in equal political, economic, social, and civil rights for all people.
egalitarian * (ĭ-găl′ĭ-târē-ən)
n. pl. eis·tedd·fods or eis·tedd·fod·au (ā′stĕth-vŏdī, ī′stĕth-)
An annual competitive festival of Welsh poets and musicians.
eisteddfod (ā-stĕthvŏd, ī-stĕth-)
n. pl. eland also e·lands
Either of two large African antelopes (Taurotragus oryx or T. derbianus) having a light brown or grayish coat, spirally twisted horns, and in the male a large dewlap.
eland * (ēlənd)
Fit or able to be elected, especially to public office: an electable candidate.
1. A sweetened aromatic solution of alcohol and water, serving as a vehicle for medicine.
a. See philosophers' stone.
b. A substance believed to maintain life indefinitely. Also called elixir of life.
c. A substance or medicine believed to have the power to cure all ills.
3. An underlying principle.
n. pl. el·lip·ses (-sēz)
a. The omission of a word or phrase necessary for a complete syntactical construction but not necessary for understanding.
b. An example of such omission.
2. A mark or series of marks ( ... or *
, for example) used in writing or printing to indicate an omission, especially of letters or words.
tr. & intr.v. e·ma·ci·at·ed, e·ma·ci·at·ing, e·ma·ci·ates
To make or become extremely thin, especially as a result of starvation.
emaciation * (ĭ-māshē-āt′)
1. The act or an instance of embarrassing: His embarrassment of the guests ended the party.
2. The state of being embarrassed: My face turned red with embarrassment.
3. A source or cause of being embarrassed: Your display of rudeness was an embarrassment to me.
4. An overabundance: an embarrassment of choices at a buffet dinner; an embarrassment of riches.
5. Financial difficulty: fell into financial embarrassment.
embarrassment * (ĕm-bărəs-mənt)
1. The act of emending.
2. An alteration intended to improve: the editor's textual emendations.
emendation (ĭ-mĕn′dāshən, ē′mĕn-)
The condition of the normal eye when parallel rays of light are focused exactly on the retina and vision is perfect.
emmetropia * (ĕm′ĭ-trōpē-ə)
tr.v. em·poi·soned, em·poi·son·ing, em·poi·sons
1. To fill with venom; embitter.
2. Archaic To poison.
a. The highest reaches of heaven, believed by the ancients to be a realm of pure fire or light.
b. The abode of God and the angels; paradise.
2. The sky.
Of or relating to the empyrean of ancient belief.
empyrean (ĕm′pī-rēən, ĕm-pîrē-ən)
As a unit; all together.
en bloc (äɴ blôk, ĕn blŏk)
n. pl. en·ar·thro·ses (-sēz)
1. A synovial joint, such as the shoulder or hip joint, in which a spherical knob or knoblike part of one bone fits into a cavity or socket of another, so that some degree of rotary motion is possible in every direction.
n. pl. en·ceph·a·lo·mas or en·ceph·a·lo·ma·ta (-mə-tə)
A tumor of the brain.
encephaloma * (ĕn-sĕf′ə-lōmə)
n. pl. en·chi·rid·i·ons or en·chi·rid·i·a (-ē-ə)
A handbook; a manual.
n. pl. en·fants ter·ri·bles (äɴ-fäɴ′ tĕ-rēblə)
One whose startlingly unconventional behavior, work, or thought embarrasses or disturbs others: The radical painter was the enfant terrible of the art establishment.
enfant terrible (singular) * (äɴ-fäɴ′ tĕ-rēblə)
A group or set of nine.
ennead * (ĕnē-ăd′)
tr.v. en·tan·gled, en·tan·gling, en·tan·gles
1. To cause to become twisted together or caught in a snarl or entwining mass: The fishing lines became entangled. His foot was entangled in the wiring.
2. To involve in a complicated situation or in circumstances from which it is difficult to disengage: The country found itself entangled in a series of regional conflicts. She wanted to avoid relationships that might entangle her emotions. See Synonyms at catch.
3. Physics To cause (the quantum states of two or more objects) to become correlated in such a way that they remain correlated, even though the objects are separated spatially.
A jump in ballet during which the dancer crosses the legs a number of times, alternately back and forth.
tr.v. e·nu·mer·at·ed, e·nu·mer·at·ing, e·nu·mer·ates
1. To count off or name one by one; list: A spokesperson enumerated the strikers' demands.
2. To determine the number of; count.
enumerate (ĭ-nmə-rāt′, -ny-)
tr.v. en·ven·omed, en·ven·om·ing, en·ven·oms
1. To make poisonous or noxious.
2. To embitter.
Any of numerous compounds that are produced by living organisms and function as biochemical catalysts. Some enzymes are simple proteins, and others consist of a protein linked to one or more nonprotein groups.
1. Lasting for a markedly brief time: "There remain some truths too ephemeral to be captured in the cold pages of a court transcript" (Irving R. Kaufman).
2. Having a short lifespan or a short annual period of aboveground growth. Used especially of plants.
Something, especially a plant, that is ephemeral.
ephemeral * (ĭ-fĕmər-əl)
1. The outer, protective, nonvascular layer of the skin of vertebrates, covering the dermis.
2. An integument or outer layer of various invertebrates.
3. The outermost layer of cells covering the leaves and young parts of a plant.
epidermis * (ĕp′ĭ-dûrmĭs)
A second-rate imitator or follower, especially of an artist or a philosopher.
1. Of or having the nature of an epigram.
2. Containing or given to the use of epigrams.
epigrammatic * (ĕp′ĭ-grə-mătĭk) also ep·i·gram·mat·i·cal (-ĭ-kəl)
n. pl. e·pis·co·pa·cies
1. Bishops considered as a group.
2. A system of church government in which bishops are the chief clerics.
n. pl. ep·i·stax·es (-stăksēz′)
Occurring at the same time among an unusually large number of animals in a particular geographic area. Used of a disease.
An epizootic disease.
n. pl. eq·uer·ries
1. A personal attendant to the British royal household.
2. An officer charged with supervision of the horses belonging to a royal or noble household.
equerry * (ĕkwə-rē)
Promoting or inducing nasal discharge.
A medication that promotes or induces such discharge.
An acute infectious disease of humans caused by the bacterium Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae,usually contracted from contact with contaminated meat, fish, or shellfish and characterized by pain, swelling, and redness of the skin near the initial site of infection and sometimes by fever and joint pain.
erysipeloid (ĕr′ĭ-sĭpə-loid′, îr′ə-)
The act of scaling a fortified wall or rampart.
escalade (ĕskə-lād′, -läd′)
n. pl. e·soph·a·gi (-jī′, -gī′) also oe·soph·a·gi
The muscular tube by which food passes from the pharynx to the stomach; the gullet.
esophagus, oesophagus (ĭ-sŏfə-gəs)
1. A tree or shrub that is trained to grow in a flat plane against a wall or trellis, often in a symmetrical pattern.
2. A trellis or other framework on which an espalier is grown.
tr.v. es·pal·iered, es·pal·ier·ing, es·pal·iers
1. To train as or on an espalier.
2. To provide with an espalier.
espalier (ĭ-spălyər, -yā′)
1. Belief in the superiority of one's own ethnic group.
2. Overriding concern with ethnicity.
ethnocentrism * (ĕth′nō-sĕntrĭz′əm)
1. The scientific study of music, especially traditional or non-Western music, as an aspect of culture.
2. The comparative study of music of different cultures.
n. pl. é·touf·fées (-fā)
A spicy Cajun stew of vegetables and seafood, especially crayfish or shrimp.
étouffée (singular) (ā′t-fā)
v. eu·phe·mized, eu·phe·miz·ing, eu·phe·miz·es
To speak of or refer to by means of a euphemism.
To use euphemisms.
euphemize * (yfə-mīz′)
A river of southwest Asia flowing about 2,800 km (1,740 mi) from central Turkey through Syria and into Iraq, where it joins the Tigris River to form the Shatt al Arab. Its waters were a major source of irrigation for the flourishing civilizations of ancient Mesopotamia
Adaptable to a wide range of temperatures. Used of an organism.
eurythermal (yr′ə-thûrməl) also eu·ry·ther·mic (-mĭk) or eu·ry·ther·mous (-məs)
intr.v. ev·a·nesced, ev·a·nesc·ing, ev·a·nesc·es
To dissipate or disappear like vapor.
1. Zealous preaching and dissemination of the gospel, as through missionary work.
2. Fervent advocacy of a cause.
1. Inclined or intended to evade: took evasive action.
2. Intentionally vague or ambiguous; equivocal: an evasive statement.
evasiveness * (ĭ-vāsĭv)
tr.v. ex·ac·er·bat·ed, ex·ac·er·bat·ing, ex·ac·er·bates
To increase the severity, violence, or bitterness of; aggravate: a speech that exacerbated racial tensions; a heavy rainfall that exacerbated the flood problems.
The state or quality of being exact.
exactitude (ĭg-zăktĭ-td, -tyd′)
1. Of, being, or containing an exception.
2. Archaic Captious; faultfinding.
tr.v. ex·cised, ex·cis·ing, ex·cis·es
To remove by or as if by cutting: excised the tumor; excised two scenes from the film.
1. Intensely painful; agonizing.
2. Very intense or extreme: wrote with excruciating precision.
1. Deserving of execration; hateful.
2. Extremely inferior; very bad: an execrable meal.
n. pl. ex·ec·u·trix·es or ex·ec·u·tri·ces (-trīsēz′)
A woman appointed by a testator to execute the testator's will.
1. Worthy of imitation; commendable: exemplary behavior.
2. Serving as a model.
3. Serving as an illustration; typical.
4. Serving as a warning; admonitory.
1. Treating all parts or aspects without omission; thorough: an exhaustive study.
2. Tending to exhaust.
The quality or condition of being scanty or meager.
Going beyond what is reasonable or customary, especially in cost or price: exorbitant rent; exorbitant telephone bills.
v. ex·pec·to·rat·ed, ex·pec·to·rat·ing, ex·pec·to·rates
1. To eject from the mouth; spit.
2. To cough up and eject by spitting.
1. To spit.
2. To clear out the chest and lungs by coughing up and spitting out matter.
1. Relating to or constituting an expedition.
2. Sent on or designed for military operations abroad: the French expeditionary force in Indochina.
expeditionary * (ĕk′spĭ-dĭshə-nĕr′ē)
tr.v. ex·pro·pri·at·ed, ex·pro·pri·at·ing, ex·pro·pri·ates
To take (a property) for public use.
tr.v. ex·pur·gat·ed, ex·pur·gat·ing, ex·pur·gates
To remove erroneous, vulgar, obscene, or otherwise objectionable material from (a book, for example) before publication.
ntr. & tr.v. ex·sic·cat·ed, ex·sic·cat·ing, ex·sic·cates
To dry up or cause to dry up.
exsiccate * (ĕksĭ-kāt′)
1. Illegal use of one's official position or powers to obtain property, funds, or patronage.
2. The act or an instance of extorting something, as by psychological pressure.
3. An excessive or exorbitant charge.
The surrender of an individual by one nation or state to another nation or state where that individual is sought for trial or punishment for the commission of a crime.
1. Not constituting an essential or vital element or part: school rules forbidding extraneous clothing like hats.
2. Unrelated to the topic or matter at hand. See Synonyms at irrelevant.
3. Coming from the outside: extraneous noise.
Extraordinary: a jazz singer extraordinaire.
extraordinaire (ĕk′strə-ôr′dn-âr, -dē-nâr)
The cast-off skins or coverings of various organisms, such as the shells of crabs or the external coverings of the larvae and nymphs of insects.
The practice of preserving the fronts of old buildings while demolishing the backs, often constructing modern interiors behind the old façades.
façadism, facadism (fə-sädĭz′əm)
The series of final passes performed by a matador preparatory to killing a bull in a bullfight.
1. Earthenware decorated with colorful opaque glazes.
2. A moderate to strong greenish blue.
faience, faïence (fī-äns, -äɴs, fā-)
The price, as of a commodity or service, at which both buyers and sellers agree to do business.
fair market value
n. often fajitas
A dish consisting of strips of marinated meat or vegetables that are grilled over an open fire and served in a tortilla, usually with spicy condiments.
1. Containing or based on a fallacy: a fallacious assumption.
2. Tending to mislead; deceptive: fallacious testimony.
Characterized by joviality and conviviality.
The members of an Italian political organization that controlled Italy under the fascist dictatorship of Benito Mussolini from 1922 to 1943.
Fascisti * (fä-shēstē)
Relating to or characterized by prophecy; prophetic.
fatidic * (fə-tĭdĭk) also fa·tid·i·cal (-ĭ-kəl)
Subject to fatigue.
n. pl. faux pas (fō päz)
A social blunder.
faux pas (fō pä)
The US central bank, a system of 12 Federal Reserve banks, each serving member commercial banks in its own district. This system, supervised by the Federal Reserve Board, has broad regulatory powers over the money supply and the credit structure.
Federal Reserve System
A soft felt hat with a fairly low crown creased lengthwise and a brim that can be turned up or down.
1. Belief in or advocacy of women's social, political, and economic rights, especially with regard to equality of the sexes.
2. The movement organized around this belief.
The transfer of a fee.
feoffment (fĕfmənt, fēf-)
fer·mi·um (fûrmē-əm, fĕr-)
n. Symbol Fm
A synthetic transuranic metallic element having over 20 isotopes and isomers with mass numbers ranging from 242 to 260. The longest-lived isotope has mass number 257 and a half-life of approximately 100 days. Atomic number 100; melting point 1527°C; valence 3.
fermium (fûrmē-əm, fĕr-)
A region of the Middle East extending from the Levant across the northern part of the Syrian Desert to the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. Climatic and ecological conditions in the Fertile Crescent favored the Neolithic development of agriculture, eventually giving rise to such civilizations as Sumer, Egypt, Babylonia, and Phoenicia.
Fertile Crescent (fŭrtl)
n. pl. fer·ven·cies
The condition or quality of being fervent.
n. pl. Fil·i·pi·nos
a. A native or inhabitant of the Philippines.
b. A person of Filipino ancestry.
2. The Austronesian language that is based on Tagalog, draws its lexicon from other Philippine languages, and is the official language of the Philippines.
Of or relating to the Philippines or its peoples, languages, or cultures.
1. Lacking firmness; hanging limply: flaccid muscles.
2. Lacking force, vigor, or effectiveness: a flaccid acting performance.
flaccid * (flăsĭd, flăksĭd)
1. One who whips, especially one who scourges oneself for religious discipline or public penance.
2. One who seeks sexual gratification in beating or being beaten by another person.
flagellant (flăjə-lənt, flə-jĕlənt)
tr.v. flam·béed, flam·bé·ing, flam·bés
To drench with a liquor, such as brandy, and ignite: flambéed the steak at the table.
Served flaming in ignited liquor: steak flambé.
flambéing (fläm-bā, fläɴ-)
A substance that is applied to fabric, wood, or other material in order to make it resistant to catching fire. Also called fire retardant.
1. Any of a large group of water-soluble antioxidant compounds, including the anthocyanins, flavonols, flavones, and isoflavonoids, often occurring as glycosides in plants and consisting of two aromatic rings linked by a carbon bridge that often forms a heterocyclic ring. Flavonoids are found in tea, red wine, and a variety of vegetables and fruits.
2. Any of various compounds that are a subset of this group, including the flavones, flavanols, and flavonols, as distinguished from the isoflavonoids. In both senses also called bioflavonoid.
flavonoid * (flāvə-noid′)
The pendulous corners of the upper lip of certain dogs, such as the bloodhound.
An arrangement by which employees may set their own work schedules, especially their starting and finishing hours. Also called flexitime.
1. Nonsense; humbug.
2. A deception; a swindle.
tr.v. flim·flammed, flim·flam·ming, flim·flams
To swindle; cheat.
Used to indicate the period during which a person lived or a school or movement was most active or flourishing.
floruit (flôry-ĭt, --, flŏr-)
adj. fluk·i·er, fluk·i·est
1. Resulting from or depending on mere chance.
2. Constantly shifting; uncertain: a fluky wind.
fluky, flukey (flkē)
n. pl. fluo·ros·co·pies
Examination by means of a fluoroscope.
fluoroscopy (fl-rŏskə-pē, flô-, flō-)
An abnormal condition caused by excessive intake of fluorine, as from fluoridated drinking water, characterized chiefly by mottling of the teeth.
fluorosis (fl-rōsĭs, flô-, flō-)
A small group selected from a wider population and sampled, as by open discussion, for its members' opinions about or emotional response to a particular subject or area, used especially in market research or political analysis.
focus group *
1. Foolishness; nonsense.
2. A trifle; a gewgaw.
folderol * (fŏldə-rŏl′) also fal·de·ral (făldə-răl′)
A condition in which two individuals who share a close relationship experience the same delusions or hallucinations as the result of a mental disorder such as schizophrenia affecting one or both of them. Also called shared psychotic disorder.
folie à deux (fô-lē′ ä dœ, fŏl′ē)
tr.v. fore·shad·owed, fore·shad·ow·ing, fore·shad·ows
To present an indication or a suggestion of beforehand; presage: hostilities that foreshadowed all-out war.
A pungent colorless flammable gaseous compound, CH2O, the simplest and most reactive aldehyde, used for manufacturing melamine and phenolic resins, fertilizers, dyes, and embalming fluids and in aqueous solution as a preservative and disinfectant.
A person who dislikes or fears France, its people, or its culture.
Francophobe * (frăngkə-fōb′)
1. Filled with a specified element or elements; charged: an incident fraught with danger; an evening fraught with high drama.
2. Marked by or causing distress; emotional: "an account of a fraught mother-daughter relationship" (Francesca Simon).
Any of several plants of the genus Freesia, native to southern Africa, having clusters of fragrant, variously colored flowers borne on one side of the stem.
freesia, Freesia (frēzhə, -zhē-ə, -zē-ə)
n. pl. fremitus
A palpable vibration, as felt by the hand placed on the chest during coughing or speaking.
fremitus * (frĕmĭ-təs)
n. pl. fri·ar·ies
A monastery of friars.
Of or suitable for a funeral or burial.
n. pl. fur·ri·er·ies
1. Fur garments and trimmings considered as a group.
2. The business of a furrier.
A dish of boned, stuffed meat or fish that is poached and served cold coated with aspic.
n. pl. gam·ba·does or gam·ba·dos
1. A low leap of a horse in which all four feet leave the ground.
2. A leaping or gamboling movement.
Common; unremarkable: situation comedies and other garden-variety television fare.
The branch of medicine that deals with the diagnosis and treatment of diseases and disorders of the digestive system.
Lacking grace or social polish; awkward or tactless.
An instrument that detects and measures the intensity of radiation, such as particles from radioactive material, consisting of a Geiger tube and associated electronic equipment. Also called Geiger-Müller counter.
Geiger counter (gīgər)
A large antelope (Oryx gazella) of arid regions of southern Africa, having long spearlike horns and distinctive black and white markings on the head.
n. pl. ge·ne·al·o·gies
1. A record or table of the descent of a person, family, or group from an ancestor or ancestors; a family tree.
2. Direct descent from an ancestor; lineage or pedigree.
3. The study or investigation of ancestry and family histories.
genealogist * (jē′nē-ŏlə-jē, -ăl-, jĕn′ē-)
One who specializes in genetics.
geneticist * (jə-nĕtĭ-sĭst)
The eating of earthy substances, such as clay or chalk, practiced among various peoples as a custom or for dietary or subsistence reasons.
1. Any of various small, mouselike rodents of the genus Gerbillus and other genera of the subfamily Gerbillinae, having long hind legs and a long tail and inhabiting arid regions of Africa and Asia.
2. A Mongolian jird (Meriones unguiculatus) of the subfamily Gerbillinae, commonly domesticated and kept as a pet.
A borough of southern Pennsylvania east-southeast of Chambersburg. It was the site of a major Union victory in the Civil War (July 1-3, 1863), which checked Robert E. Lee's invasion of the North. The battle and Abraham Lincoln's famous Gettysburg Address (delivered at the dedication of a cemetery here on November 19, 1863) are commemorated by a national park. President Dwight D. Eisenhower's farm, a national historic site, is also in Gettysburg.
Gettysburg (gĕtēz-bûrg′, gĕtəs-)
A large stocky venomous lizard (Heloderma suspectum) of the southwest United States and western Mexico, having black and orange, pink, or yellowish beadlike scales.
Gila monster (helə)
Having keen vision.
Having no hairs or pubescence; smooth: glabrous leaves.
The scientific study of glaciers and their effects on the landscape.
glaciology * (glā′shē-ŏlə-jē, -sē-)
n. pl. glis·san·di (-dē) or glis·san·dos
A rapid slide through a series of consecutive tones in a scalelike passage.
glissando * (glĭ-sändō)
Highly fashionable celebrities: "private parties on Park Avenue and Central Park West, where the literati mingled with glitterati" (Skylines).
1. A city of southwest-central England on the Severn River west-northwest of London. Built on the site of the Roman city Glevum, it was the Saxon capital of Mercia.
2. A city of northeast Massachusetts on Cape Ann and the Atlantic Ocean northeast of Boston. Its harbor has been used by fishing fleets for three centuries.
Gloucester (glŏstər, glôstər)
A polysaccharide, (C6H10O5)n, that is the main form of carbohydrate storage in animals and is found primarily in the liver and muscle tissue. It is readily converted to glucose as needed by the body to satisfy its energy needs. Also called animal starch.
1. An exceedingly complicated problem or deadlock.
2. An intricate knot tied by King Gordius of Phrygia and cut by Alexander the Great with his sword after hearing an oracle promise that whoever could undo it would be the next ruler of Asia.
Gordian knot (gôrdē-ən)
1. A lover of good food.
2. A person who often eats too much.
gourmand (gr-mänd, grmənd)
1. Of, relating to, or characteristic of grasses.
2. Of or belonging to the grass family.
Any of a group of white blood cells having granules in the cytoplasm. Neutrophils, eosinophils, and basophils are granulocytes.
n. pl. gra·va·mens or gra·vam·i·na (-vămə-nə)
The main claim or most important aspect of a complaint against a defendant.
gravamen * (grə-vāmən)
1. The style or spirit of Greek culture, art, or thought.
2. The imitation of aspects of Greek culture, art, or thought.
3. An idiom of the Greek language.
1.n. Abbr. UTC
An international time standard calculated by atomic clock and incorporating occasional leap seconds to compensate for changes in the rotation of the earth. Coordinated universal time serves as the basis for standard time around the world.
2.n. Abbr. UT
The time at the Prime Meridian, calculated from the apparent rotation of the celestial sphere and used primarily by astronomers.
Greenwich time * (grĕnĭch, grĭnĭj)
1. Causing grief, pain, or anguish: a grievous loss.
2. Serious or dire; grave: a grievous crime.
The act or practice of reasoning or decision-making by a group, especially when characterized by uncritical acceptance or conformity to prevailing points of view.
A flight garment worn by astronauts and jet pilots that presses on the lower body to maintain the blood supply to the brain during rapid vertical acceleration.
Full of guile; deceitfully or treacherously cunning.
tr.v. gut·tur·al·ized, gut·tur·al·iz·ing, gut·tur·al·iz·es
1. To pronounce in a guttural manner.
2. Linguistics To velarize.
n. pl. gy·ne·coc·ra·cies or gy·noc·ra·cies
1. Government by women.
2. A society ruled by women.
gynecocracy (gī′nĭ-kŏkrə-sē, jĭn′ĭ-) or gy·noc·ra·cy (gī-nŏkrə-sē, jĭ-)
1. Moving in a circle or spiral; gyratory.
2. Of or relating to a gyrus.
1. The act of inhabiting or the state of being inhabited.
a. A natural environment or locality.
b. A residence.
n. pl. hag·i·og·ra·phies
a. The writing of the lives of saints.
b. A biography of a saint.
a. The writing of an admiring or idealized biography.
b. An admiring or idealized biography.
hagiography (hăg′ē-ŏgrə-fē, hā′jē-)
1. A blurring or spreading of light around bright areas on a photographic image.
2. A glow around a bright object on a television screen.
A toe, usually the second, that is permanently flexed downward, resulting in a clawlike shape.
hammertoe * (hămər-tō′)
n. pl. ha·pax le·go·me·na (-nə)
A word or form that occurs only once in the recorded corpus of a given language.
hapax legomenon (hāpăks′ lĭ-gŏmə-nŏn′)
A risky position; danger: a place for the children that is out of harm's way; ships that sail into harm's way.
harm's way (härmz)
Any of various usually thorny trees or shrubs of the genus Crataegus of the rose family, having clusters of white or pinkish flowers and reddish fruits containing a few one-seeded nutlets.
hawthorn (shrub) (hôthôrn′)
1. Peace of mind.
2. A small European plant (Viola tricolor) having spurred flowers marked with purple, yellow, and white. It was used to develop hybrid varieties of cultivated pansies. Also called wild pansy.
heartsease, heart's-ease (härtsēz′)
n. pl. hea·thens or heathen
a. An adherent of a religion that does not worship the God of Judaism, Christianity, or Islam.
b. Such persons considered as a group.
2. Heathen An adherent of a Neopagan religion that seeks to revive the religious beliefs and practices of the ancient Germanic peoples.
a. One who is regarded as irreligious, uncivilized, or unenlightened.
b. Such persons considered as a group.
A machine employing a glycerin-coated layer of gelatin in order to make copies of typed or written material.
tr.v. hec·to·graphed, hec·to·graph·ing, hec·to·graphs
To copy by means of a hectograph.
1. Any of several small insectivorous mammals of the subfamily Erinaceinae, native to Eurasia and Africa and naturalized in New Zealand, having dense erectile spines covering the back and sides and characteristically rolling into a ball for protection.
2. Any of several spiny animals, such as the porcupine, that are similar to the hedgehog.
3. A well fortified military position.
4. An antisubmarine weapon consisting of several rows of mortar-like dischargers positioned to fire in a circular pattern ahead of a ship.
5. An obstacle used against tanks and landing craft, consisting of three crossed iron bars welded or bolted together.
hedgehog (hĕjhôg′, -hŏg′)
The science and occupation of growing snails for food.
heliculture (hĕlĭ-kŭl′chər, hēlĭ-)
The movement of an organism in response to the light of the sun.
n. pl. he·mo·di·al·y·ses (-sēz′)
A dialysis technique in which blood is removed from the body, filtered through a dialyzer that removes waste products and excess fluid, and then returned to the body.
Excessive fear of blood.
n. pl. hen·ner·ies
1. A poultry farm.
2. A coop or cage for poultry; a chicken coop.
hennery * (hĕnə-rē)
Belief in the supremacy of one god without denying the existence of others.
An ancient city of south-central Italy on the Bay of Naples. A popular resort during Roman times, it was completely destroyed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius (AD 79). Important ruins have been unearthed since the early 1700s.
Known as "the Father of History." Fifth century BC.
Greek historian whose writings on the Persian Wars are among the earliest known works of narrative history.
adj. also he·ro·i·cal (-ĭ-kəl)
1. Of, relating to, or resembling the heroes of literature, legend, or myth.
2. Having, displaying, or characteristic of the qualities appropriate to a hero; courageous: heroic deeds.
a. Impressive in size or scope; grand: heroic undertakings.
b. Of a size or scale that is larger than life: heroic sculpture.
1. A line of heroic verse.
2. heroics Heroic behavior or action.
3. heroics Melodramatic behavior or language: "Activism has nothing to do with publicity or heroics or being visible" (Patricia Bosworth).
1. The nymphs who together with a dragon watch over a garden in which golden apples grow.
2. (used with a sing. verb) A garden, situated at the western end of the earth, in which golden apples grow.
The quality or state of being heterogeneous.
Any of numerous six-legged arthropods of the subphylum Hexapoda, which includes the insects and several groups formerly classified as insects, such as the springtails.
1. Of or belonging to the subphylum Hexapoda.
2. Having six legs or feet.
hexapod * (hĕksə-pŏd′)
Of or relating to a hierarchy.
hierarchal (hī′ə-rärkĭ-kəl, hī-rär-) or hi·er·ar·chic (-kĭk) or hi·er·ar·chal (-rärkəl)
In utter disorder or confusion.
A monster having the wings, claws, and head of a griffin and the body and hindquarters of a horse.
hippogriff, hippogryph (hĭpə-grĭf′)
Of or characteristic of a goat, especially in strong odor.
hircine (hûrsīn′, -sĭn)
Covered with stiff or rough hairs; bristly: hispid stems.
A rich creamy sauce made of butter, egg yolks, and lemon juice or vinegar.
hollandaise sauce (hŏlən-dāz′)
1. Of or relating to holography or holograms.
2. also hol·o·graph (hŏlə-grăf, hōlə-) Of or being a document written wholly in the handwriting of the person whose signature it bears: a holographic will.
holographic (hŏl′ə-grăfĭk, hō′lə-) also hol·o·graph·i·cal (-ĭ-kəl)
n. (used with a sing. verb)
The art of preaching.
homiletics * (hŏm′ə-lĕtĭks)
n. pl. hon·o·rar·i·ums or hon·o·rar·i·a (-ē-ə)
A payment given to a professional person for services for which fees are not legally or traditionally required.
adv. & adj.
Out of action; disabled.
hors de combat (ôr′ də kôɴ-bä)
a. The act of placing a person in a hospital as a patient.
b. The condition of being hospitalized.
2. Insurance that fully or partially covers a patient's hospital expenses.
1. The act of humiliating; degradation.
2. The state of being humiliated or disgraced; shame.
3. A humiliating condition or circumstance.
A colorless, fuming, corrosive hygroscopic liquid, H2NNH2, used in jet and rocket fuels.
hydrazine (hīdrə-zēn′, -zĭn)
n. Symbol H
A colorless, highly flammable element, that occurs as a diatomic molecule, H2, the lightest of all gases and the most abundant element in the universe, used in the production of synthetic ammonia and methanol, in petroleum refining, in the hydrogenation of organic materials, as a reducing atmosphere, in oxyhydrogen torches, in cryogenic research, and in rocket fuels. Atomic number 1; atomic weight 1.00794; melting point -259.1°C; boiling point -252.8°C; density at 0°C 0.08988 gram per liter; valence 1.
n. pl. hy·drog·ra·phies
1. The scientific description and analysis of the physical conditions, boundaries, flow, and related characteristics of the earth's surface waters.
2. The mapping of bodies of water.
1. Fear of water.
A U-shaped bone at the base of the tongue that supports the muscles of the tongue
Excessively critical; captious.
hypercritical * (hī′pər-krĭtĭ-kəl)
Abnormally slow, shallow breathing.
hypopnea (hī-pŏpnē-ə, hī′pō-nēə)
n. pl. ich·nog·ra·phies
A ground plan of a building.
Of, relating to, or characteristic of fishes.
1. One who attacks and seeks to overthrow traditional or popular ideas or institutions.
2. One who destroys sacred religious images.
iconoclast * (ī-kŏnə-klăst′)
1. Showing foolishness or stupidity.
2. Exhibiting profound intellectual disability. The term belongs to a classification system no longer in use and is now considered offensive.
n. pl. i·dol·a·tries
1. Worship of idols.
2. Blind or excessive devotion to something.
1. People claiming to be unusually enlightened with regard to a subject.
2. Illuminati Any of various groups claiming special religious or philosophical enlightenment.
illuminati, Illuminati (ĭ-l′mə-nätē)
1. Philosophy An adherent of the doctrine of illusionism.
2. An artist whose work is marked by illusionism.
3. A magician or ventriloquist.
illusionist * (ĭ-lzhə-nĭst)
Impossible to measure; limitless
immeasurable * (ĭ-mĕzhər-ə-bəl)
Reaching beyond the limits of memory, tradition, or recorded history.
Having the normal bodily capacity to develop an immune response following exposure to an antigen.
immunocompetent (ĭm′yə-nō-kŏmpĭ-tənt, ĭ-my′-)
tr.v. im·ped·ed, im·ped·ing, im·pedes
To retard or obstruct the progress of.
1. The extension of a nation's authority by territorial acquisition or by the establishment of economic and political dominance over other nations.
2. A political doctrine or system promoting such extension of authority.
imperialism * (ĭm-pîrē-ə-lĭz′əm)
1. Impossible to do or carry out: Refloating the sunken ship intact proved impracticable because of its fragility.
2. Unfit for passage: roads impracticable in winter.
3. Archaic Unmanageable; intractable.
tr.v. im·pre·cat·ed, im·pre·cat·ing, im·pre·cates
To invoke evil upon; curse.
imprecate * (ĭmprĭ-kāt′)
In the first place.
Lack of probity; dishonesty.
n. pl. im·pro·pri·e·ties
1. The quality or condition of being improper.
2. An improper act.
3. An improper or unacceptable usage in speech or writing.
n. pl. im·pu·ni·ties
Exemption from punishment, penalty, or harm.
Totally; altogether: recommendations that were adopted in toto.
in toto (ĭn tōtō)
A device or substance, such as tear gas, used to incapacitate individuals temporarily, as in riot control.
1. As a minor or subordinate matter: by profession a lawyer and incidentally a musician.
2. (also -dĕntlē) Apart from the main subject; parenthetically.
incidentally * (ĭn′sĭ-dĕntl-ē)
Inconvenient or uncomfortable, as by not affording sufficient space.
Impossible to dispute; unquestionable: incontrovertible proof of the defendant's innocence.
incontrovertible (ĭn-kŏn′trə-vûrtə-bəl, ĭn′kŏn-)
The state or quality of being incredulous; disbelief.
incredulity (ĭn′krĭ-dlĭ-tē, -dy-)
n. pl. in·cum·ben·cies
1. The quality or condition of being incumbent.
2. Something incumbent; an obligation.
a. The holding of an office or ecclesiastical benefice.
b. The term of an office or benefice.
1. Being such that a cure is impossible; not curable: an incurable disease.
2. Incapable of being altered, as in disposition or habits: an incurable optimist; an incurable smoker.
1. Inexcusable; unpardonable: indefensible behavior.
2. Invalid; untenable: an indefensible assumption.
3. Vulnerable to physical attack: indefensible borders.
1. Serving to indicate: symptoms indicative of anemia; an insignia indicative of high rank.
2. Grammar Of, relating to, or being the mood of the verb used in ordinary objective statements.
1. The indicative mood.
2. A verb in the indicative mood.
1. A peninsula of southeast Asia comprising Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar (Burma), and the mainland territory of Malaysia. The area was influenced in early times by the cultures of India and China.
2. The former French colonial empire in southeast Asia, including much of the eastern part of the Indochinese peninsula. French influence extended from roughly 1858 to the fall of Dien Bien Phu (1954).
Indochina * (ĭn′dō-chīnə)
v. in·du·rat·ed, in·du·rat·ing, in·du·rates
1. To make hard; harden: soil that had been indurated by extremes of climate.
2. To inure, as to hardship or ridicule.
3. To make callous or obdurate: "It is the curse of revolutionary calamities to indurate the heart" (Helen Maria Williams).
1. To grow hard; harden.
2. To become firmly fixed or established.
adj. (ĭnd-rĭt, -dyə-)
Hardened; obstinate; unfeeling.
indurate (ĭndə-rāt′, -dyə-)
adv. & adj.
Throughout an entire industry: sales that decreased industrywide; industrywide cooperation.
1. The quality of being inept; ineptness.
2. An inept act or remark.
ineptitude (ĭn-ĕptĭ-td′, -tyd′)
1. That cannot be entirely consumed or used up: an inexhaustible supply of coal.
2. Never wearying; tireless: an inexhaustible campaigner.
1. Immeasurably or incalculably minute.
2. Mathematics Capable of having values approaching zero as a limit.
1. An immeasurably or incalculably minute amount or quantity.
2. Mathematics A function or variable continuously approaching zero as a limit.
infinitesimal * (ĭn′fĭn-ĭ-tĕsə-məl)
adj. Abbr. IR
1. Of or relating to electromagnetic radiation between microwaves and red visible light in the electromagnetic spectrum, having frequencies between 300 gigahertz and 400 terahertz and wavelengths between 1 millimeter and 750 nanometers.
2. Generating, using, or sensitive to infrared radiation.
Infrared light or the infrared part of the spectrum.
Defying imitation; matchless.
Characterized by iniquity; wicked.
The act or an instance of inoculating, especially the introduction of an antigenic substance or vaccine into the body to produce immunity to a specific disease.
inoculation * (ĭ-nŏk′yə-lāshən)
Blithe lack of concern; nonchalance.
insouciance (ĭn-ssē-əns, ăɴ′s-syäɴs)
1. Renovation; restoration.
2. The institution or establishment of something.
Not submissive to authority: has a history of insubordinate behavior.
1. Not temperate or moderate, especially in rhetoric or tone; unrestrained: an intemperate denunciation.
2. Given to excessive drinking of alcoholic beverages.
intemperate * (ĭn-tĕmpər-ĭt, -prĭt)
Capable of being interchanged: interchangeable items of clothing; interchangeable automotive parts.
Being or occurring between generations.
Any of a family of cytokines that are released by macrophages and other cells and stimulate the inflammatory response.
1. Of or relating to struggle within a nation, organization, or group.
2. Mutually destructive; ruinous or fatal to both sides.
3. Characterized by bloodshed or carnage.
internecine (ĭn′tər-nĕsēn′, -ĭn, -nēsīn′)
n. pl. in·ter·nun·ci·os
A Vatican diplomatic envoy or representative ranking just beneath a nuncio. No longer in use.
internuncio (ĭn′tər-nŭnsē-ō′, -nn-)
1. Existing or carried on within the bounds of an institution, especially a school: intramural athletics.
2. Anatomy Occurring or situated within the wall of a cavity or organ.
Refusing to moderate a position, especially an extreme position; uncompromising.
intransigent, intransigeant (ĭn-trănsə-jənt, -zə-)
Arousing interest or curiosity: an intriguing plot.
intriguing * (ĭn-trēgĭng)
tr.v. in·tu·bat·ed, in·tu·bat·ing, in·tu·bates
To insert a tube into (a hollow organ or body passage).
intubate (ĭnt-bāt′, -ty-)
tr.v. in·vig·or·at·ed, in·vig·or·at·ing, in·vig·or·ates
To impart vigor, strength, or vitality to; animate: "A few whiffs of the raw, strong scent of phlox invigorated her" (D.H. Lawrence).
invigorate * (ĭn-vĭgə-rāt′)
The quality or state of being iridescent.
Not subject to challenge or objection: an irrecusable premise.
A line on a weather map connecting places having equal changes in atmospheric pressure within a given period of time.
1. Equal in duration.
2. Characterized by or occurring at equal intervals of time.
isochronal (ī-sŏkrə-nəl) or i·soch·ro·nous (-nəs)
One of two or more atoms having the same atomic number but different mass numbers.
v. i·tem·ized, i·tem·iz·ing, i·tem·iz·es
1. To place or include on a list of items: itemized her expenses on the proper form.
2. To list the items of: itemized the expense account.
To list deductions from taxable income on a tax return: This benefit is available only to taxpayers who itemize.
1. Wearing jackboots.
2. Cruelly and violently oppressive: "a revival of the aggressive, jack-booted militarism of the Thirties and Forties" (Saturday Review).
jackbooted, jack-booted (jăkb′tĭd)
1. A radical or extreme leftist.
2. A radical republican during the French Revolution.
3. A Dominican friar.
1. Nautical A rope or chain ladder with rigid rungs.
2. Any of various plants of the genus Polemonium, especially P. caeruleum, having bell-shaped usually blue flowers and alternate, pinnately compound leaves with numerous leaflets.
Jacob's ladder (jākəbz)
A court game in which players use a long hand-shaped basket strapped to the wrist to propel a ball against a wall.
jai alai (hī lī′, hī ə-lī′, hī′ ə-lī)
A blind or shutter having adjustable horizontal slats for regulating the passage of air and light.
1. Any of several East Asian shrubs of the genus Chaenomeles of the rose family, especially C. japonica, C. speciosa, and various hybrids and cultivars grown as ornamentals, having spiny branches and showy red or pink flowers
2. The common cultivated camellia (Camellia japonica).
Of or relating to Java or its people, language, or culture.
n. pl. Javanese
1. A native or inhabitant of Java, especially a member of the Javanese-speaking majority population.
2. The Austronesian language of the principal ethnic group of Java.
Javanese (jăv′ə-nēz, -nēs, jä′və-)
n. pl. jeep·neys
A jitney bus used in the Philippines for public transportation.
1. Roman Catholic Church A member of the Society of Jesus.
2. often jesuit One given to subtle casuistry.
Jesuit, jesuit (jĕzh-ĭt, jĕz-, -y-)
A jump in dance from one foot to the other.
jeté * (zhə-tā)
An indefinitely large number.
jillionaire * (jĭlyən)
A person's signature.
John Hancock (signature)
The undertaking of a specific commercial project by two or more companies or persons.
v. Ju·da·ized, Ju·da·iz·ing, Ju·da·iz·es
To bring into conformity with Judaism.
To adopt Jewish customs and beliefs.
1. Of, relating to, or dependent on judgment: a judgmental error.
2. Inclined to make judgments, especially moral or personal ones: a marriage counselor who tries not to be judgmental.
The capital of Alaska, in the Panhandle northeast of Sitka. It was settled by gold miners in 1880 and designated territorial capital in 1900 (effective 1906) and state capital in 1959.
One who goes on a junket or junkets.
The law of nations; international law.
jus gentium (ys gĕntē-əm, jŭs jĕnshē-əm)
n. pl. ju·ve·nil·i·ties
1. The quality or condition of being juvenile; youthfulness.
a. Foolishly juvenile behavior or character; immaturity.
b. An instance of juvenile behavior.
An emergency field ration for US armed forces in World War II, consisting of a single packaged meal.
K ration *
A long loose tunic, typically of three-quarter length, usually worn with a salwar.
A long, usually white garment worn by men in Africa.
A city of central Iraq south-southwest of Baghdad. It is a pilgrimage site for Shiite Muslims, who visit the tomb of Hussein, grandson of Muhammad.
Karbala (kärbə-lə, kär′bə-lä) also Ker·be·la (kûrbə-lə)
A red, raised formation of fibrous scar tissue caused by excessive tissue repair in response to trauma or surgical incision.
keloid, cheloid (kēloid′)
A city of southeast Alaska on an island in the Alexander Archipelago. A supply point for miners during the gold rush of the 1890s, it is now a major port and tourist center on the Inside Passage.
The formation of ketone bodies, as occurs in diabetes mellitus.
A member of a kibbutz.
kibbutznik (kĭ-btsnĭk, -bts-)
The traditional blessing and prayer recited over wine on the eve of the Sabbath or a festival.
Kiddush (kĭdəsh, kē-dsh)
A spicy smoked Polish sausage.
kielbasa * (kĭl-bäsə, kēl-)
The capital and largest city of Ukraine, in the north-central part of the country on the Dnieper River. Founded in the fifth century, it became the capital of Kievan Russia in the ninth century. Invaded by the Mongols in 1240, Kiev passed to Lithuania in the 14th century, became part of the Russian empire in 1686, and was ceded to the USSR in 1920.
Kiev * (kēĕf, -ĕv) or Ky·yiv (kēē)
n. Abbr. kt
1. A unit of weight or capacity equal to 1,000 metric tons.
2. An explosive energy equivalent to that of 1,000 metric tons of TNT.
Pieces of art or other objects that appeal to popular or uncultivated taste, as in being garish or overly sentimental.
n. pl. Klamath or Klam·aths
1. A member of a Native American people inhabiting an area of the Cascade Range in south-central Oregon and northern California, with close cultural ties to the Modoc.
2. The Penutian language of the Klamath.
A one-sided topological surface having no inside or outside. It is depicted in ordinary space by inserting the small open end of a tapered tube through the side of the tube and making it contiguous with the larger open end, although a true Klein bottle would not intersect itself.
Marked by roughness, violence, and acrimony: a knockdown-dragout fight.
1. A collection of data organized in a form that facilitates analysis by automated deductive processes, such as an expert system.
2. The collection of information representing the collective knowledge of an organization, arranged for easy search and retrieval.
adj. kook·i·er, kook·i·est
Characteristic of a kook; strange or crazy.
A large wild ox (Bos sauveli) of Cambodia, having a gray or blackish coat and, in the male, a large dewlap and long, spreading horns.
Of or relating to the Kurds or their language or culture.
Any of a group of Iranian languages spoken by the Kurds.
Kurdish (kûrdĭsh, kr-)
A country of Central Asia bordering on Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and northwest China. Inhabited since the 1200s by the Kyrgyz people, the region was annexed by Russia (1876), incorporated into the USSR after the Russian Revolution (1922), and established as the Kirghiz Soviet Socialist Republic in 1936. Kyrgyzstan, sometimes called Kirghizia, declared its independence in 1991 upon the dissolution of the USSR. Bishkek is the capital and the largest city.
Kyrgyzstan (kîrgē-stän′, kîr′gē-stän)
Articulated with the lower lip and upper teeth, as the sounds (f) and (v).
A labiodental sound.
labiodental * (lā′bē-ō-dĕntl)
1. Of or relating to lakes.
a. Living or growing in or along the edges of lakes.
b. Relating to a system of inland deep-water and wetland habitats associated with lakes and reservoirs and characterized by the absence of trees, shrubs, or emergent vegetation.
The father of Odysseus.
Laertes (lā-ûrtēz, -âr-)
A curved graph that illustrates the theory that, if tax rates rise beyond a certain level, they discourage economic growth, thereby reducing government revenues.
Laffer curve, Laffer Curve (lăfər)
Noninterference in the affairs of others.
laissez-faire (lĕs′ā fâr, lā′zā)
a. An elected officeholder or group continuing in office during the period between failure to win an election and the inauguration of a successor.
b. An officeholder who has chosen not to run for reelection or is ineligible for reelection.
2. An ineffective person; a weakling.
lame duck (noun)
The 12th letter of the Hebrew alphabet.
lamedh (lämĭd, -mĕd′)
n. pl. lam·i·nec·to·mies
Surgical removal of the posterior arch of a vertebra.
A large vulture (Gypaetus barbatus) found in mountainous regions of southern Europe, Asia, and Africa, having stiff feathers that extend below the beak to form a beard and, unlike other vultures, a feathered head. Also called bearded vulture, ossifrage.
lammergeier, lammergeyer (lămər-gī′ər)
A dark igneous rock, having porphyritic texture, in which both the phenocrysts and the matrix consist of hornblende, pyroxene, and biotite.
One that functions or is shaped like a tongue.
languet * (lănggwĭt, lăng-gwĕt)
n. pl. la·nu·gos
A covering of fine, soft hair, especially that found on the fetus or newborn of a human or other mammal.
lanugo * (lə-ngō, -ny-)
1. Of or relating to Laos or its people, language, or culture.
2. Of or relating to the Lao people.
a. A native or inhabitant of Laos.
b. A person of Laotian ancestry.
2. A Lao.
Laotian (lā-ōshən, loushən)
Of or relating to the working of stone or gems; lapidary.
lapidarian * (lăp′ĭ-dârē-ən)
A tubular endoscope that is inserted into the larynx through the mouth and used for observing the interior of the larynx.
laryngoscope (lə-rĭnggə-skōp′, -rĭnjə-)
Being, relating to, or rigged with a triangular sail hung on a long yard that is attached at an angle to the top of a short mast.
1. A lateen-rigged boat.
2. A lateen sail.
lateen (lə-tēn, lă-)
An idiom, structure, or word derived from or suggestive of Latin.
Soil that is rich in iron, alumina, or silica and formed in tropical woodlands with great humidity and high temperatures.
latosol (lătə-sôl′, -sŏl′)
1. Additional territory deemed necessary to a nation, especially Nazi Germany, for its continued existence or economic well-being.
2. Adequate space in which to live, develop, or function.
Leather shorts, often with H-shaped suspenders, worn traditionally in Bavaria and the Tyrol by men and boys.
lederhosen * (lādər-hō′zən)
Quickness or agility of mind or body.
tr.v. le·git·i·mized, le·git·i·miz·ing, le·git·i·miz·es
To make legitimate, as:
a. To give legal force or status to; make lawful.
b. To sanction formally or officially; authorize.
c. To demonstrate or declare to be justified.
A form of internal rhyme in which the word preceding the caesura rhymes with the final word in the line, as in: "For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams" (Edgar Allan Poe).
leonine rhyme *
A female leopard.
Of or characteristic of rabbits or hares.
leporine (lĕpə-rīn′, -ər-ĭn)
An infectious disease of domestic animals, humans, and other mammals, characterized by fever and jaundice and caused by spirochetes of the genus Leptospira, which are transmitted to humans by contact with the urine of infected animals.
n. pl. lese maj·es·ties or lèse ma·jes·tés
A crime injuring or causing harm to the dignity of a reigning sovereign or a state.
lese majesty, lesè majesté (lēz măjĭ-stē)
A document issued by a government in a time of war allowing private ships to attack the ships and seize the property and citizens of a hostile nation.
letters of marque
adj. Symbol l-
Of or relating to an optically active substance that rotates the plane of polarized light to the left, or counterclockwise (when looking toward the light source): Only levorotatory amino acids are biologically active.
levorotatory (lē′və-rōtə-tôr′ē) also le·vo·ro·ta·ry (-tə-rē)
A country of western Africa on the Atlantic Ocean. Established by the American Colonization Society in 1821 as a settlement for freed slaves, Liberia was the first colonized country in Africa to achieve independence (1847). A military coup in 1980 initiated a period of civil unrest leading to full-scale civil war in 1990. After a cease-fire in 1996, Charles Taylor was elected president in 1997 but was ousted in 2003, and new democratic elections were held in 2005. Monrovia is the capital and the largest city.
Liberia * (lī-bîrē-ə)
A country of northern Africa on the Mediterranean Sea. Controlled at various times by Carthage, Rome, Arabia, and Spain, the area was part of the Ottoman Empire from 1551 to 1911. It was subsequently seized by Italy and became an Italian colony during World War II, achieving independence as a kingdom in 1951. In 1969 Colonel Muammar al-Qaddafi took power in a coup d'état, establishing a socialist dictatorship. Tripoli is the capital and the largest city.
A synthetic amide, C14H22N2O, used chiefly in the form of its hydrochloride as a local anesthetic and antiarrhythmic agent.
n. Abbr. Lt. Gov.
1. An elected official ranking just below the governor of a state in the United States.
2. The nonelective chief of government of a Canadian province.
n. pl. lignum vitaes
1. Any of several tropical American trees of the genus Guaiacum, especially G. officinale or G. sanctum, having evergreen leaves and very heavy, durable, resinous wood.
2. The wood of any of these trees, the hardest of commercial woods.
lignum vitae (lĭg′nəm vītē)
Suggestive of Abraham Lincoln.
A lover of languages and words.
Pasta in long, flat, thin strands.
linguine, linguini (lĭng-gwēnē)
A long scarf or cord attached to and hanging from a hood.
liripipe * (lîrə-pīp′)
Letter for letter: a word transcribed literatim.
literatim (lĭt′ə-rātĭm, -rä-)
n. pl. li·thot·o·mies
Surgical removal of a stone or stones from the urinary tract.
v. lit·i·gat·ed, lit·i·gat·ing, lit·i·gates
To prosecute or defend (a lawsuit or legal action); pursue (a legal case).
To bring a lawsuit or defend against a lawsuit in court.
tr.v. lix·iv·i·at·ed, lix·iv·i·at·ing, lix·iv·i·ates
To wash or percolate the soluble matter from (solid material).
tr.v. lo·bot·o·mized, lo·bot·o·miz·ing, lo·bot·o·miz·es
1. Medicine To perform a lobotomy on (a patient).
2. Informal To reduce the intelligence, alertness, or sensitivity of.
lobotomize (lə-bŏtə-mīz′, lō-)
A word puzzle, such as an anagram or one in which clues are given in a set of verses.
logogriph (lôgə-grĭf′, lŏgə-)
n. pl. lo·gom·a·chies
1. A dispute about words.
2. A dispute carried on in words only; a battle of words.
logomachy * (lə-gŏmə-kē)
A siren of Germanic legend whose singing lures sailors to shipwreck.
Any of several small, often brilliantly colored Australasian parrots that feed primarily on soft fruits and on nectar and pollen.
lorikeet * (lôrĭ-kēt′, lŏr-)
A sitting position used in yoga and certain forms of Buddhist meditation, in which the legs are crossed, with each foot resting on the opposite thigh.
lotus position *
a. A framed opening, as in a wall, door, or window, fitted with fixed or movable horizontal slats for admitting air or light and often for shedding rain.
b. One of the slats used in such an opening.
c. One of the narrow openings formed by such slats.
2. A slatted, ventilating opening, as on the hood of a motor vehicle.
3. A lantern-shaped cupola on the roof of a medieval building for admitting air and providing for the escape of smoke.
Easily understood; clear or lucid.
a. A sport in which a small open sled is ridden by one or two people lying face-up with the feet pointed downhill, usually over an ice-covered course in a timed competition.
b. The sled used in this sport.
a. The sport of street luge.
b. The board used in street luge.
n. pl. lu·na·cies
a. Mental derangement; craziness: "The Indians thought his obsession with giant bones a sign of harmless lunacy" (David Rains Wallace).
b. Archaic Intermittent mental derangement attributed to the changing phases of the moon.
a. Great or wild foolishness: a policy that proved to be a piece of economic lunacy.
b. A wildly foolish or irrational act.
An ancient region and Roman province of the Iberian Peninsula. It corresponded roughly to modern-day Portugal.
A jump in figure skating in which the skater takes off from the back outer edge of one skate and makes one full rotation before landing on the back outer edge of the other skate.
Lutz, lutz * (lŭts)
An enzyme occurring naturally in egg white, human tears, saliva, and other body fluids, capable of destroying the cell walls of certain bacteria and thereby acting as a mild antiseptic.
lysozyme * (līsə-zīm′)
Judas or Judah Died 160 BC.
Jewish patriot and most famous member of the Maccabee family. His rededication of the Temple at Jerusalem (164 BC) is commemorated by the feast of Hanukkah.
Maccabeus, Maccabaeus (măk′ə-bēəs)
tr.v. ma·chic·o·lat·ed, ma·chic·o·lat·ing, ma·chic·o·lates
To provide or furnish with machicolations.
machicolate * (mə-chĭkə-lāt′)
1. A strong or exaggerated sense of traditional masculinity placing great value on physical courage, virility, domination of women, and aggressiveness.
2. An exaggerated interest or devotion to something, often accompanied by a sense of superiority: "People prefer raw-milk cheese for its subtlety and depth of flavor, not out of some kind of foodie machismo" (Corby Kummer).
n. (used with a sing. verb)
The study of the overall aspects and workings of a national economy, such as income, output, and the interrelationship among diverse economic sectors.
macroeconomics * (măk′rō-ĕk′ə-nŏmĭks, -ē′kə-)
A fossil large enough to be examined without a microscope.
macrofossil * (măkrō-fŏs′əl)
A region of northwest Africa comprising the coastlands and the Atlas Mountains of Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia.
Maghreb, Maghrib (mŭgrəb)
An instrument used for measuring the magnitude and direction of a magnetic field.
n. pl. mag·nif·i·coes
1. A person of distinguished rank, importance, or appearance.
2. A nobleman of the Venetian Republic.
n. pl. ma·hi-ma·his
1. 1. A large marine food and game fish (Coryphaena hippurus) found worldwide in tropical and subtropical waters, having an iridescent blue back, yellow sides, a steep blunt forehead, and a long continuous dorsal fin.
2. The flesh of a dolphinfish when used for food.
mahi-mahi, mahi mahi (mähē-mähē)
1. A woman's one-piece swimsuit usually cut high on the leg.
2. A pair of tights or a leotard made from a stretchable jersey fabric, worn for ballet or gymnastics.
n. pl. ma·ki·mo·nos
A horizontal Japanese decorative scroll featuring pictures or calligraphy.
An island country in the Indian Ocean southwest of Sri Lanka, consisting of about 20 atolls made up of more than 2,000 coral islands. Settled by various groups from southern Asia, the islands were converted to Islam in the 1100s. The Maldives became a self-governing British protectorate in 1887 and achieved independence as a sultanate (1965) and subsequently as a republic (1968). Male is the capital.
a. The calling down of a curse.
b. A curse.
intr.v. ma·lin·gered, ma·lin·ger·ing, ma·lin·gers
To feign illness or other incapacity in order to avoid duty or work.
Having a bad odor; foul.
2. At an unspecified future time.
An indefinite time in the future.
1. Required or commanded by authority; obligatory: Attendance at the meeting is mandatory.
2. Of, having the nature of, or containing a mandate.
3. Holding a League of Nations mandate over a territory.
n. pl. man·da·to·ries
Nelson Rolihlahla 1918-2013.
South African president (1994-1999) and political leader imprisoned for nearly 30 years for his antiapartheid activities. Released in 1990, he led the African National Congress in negotiating an end to apartheid. In 1993 he shared the Nobel Peace Prize. His former wife, Winnie (c. 1936-2018), also played a key role as a leader of the ANC.
n. Symbol Mn
A gray-white brittle metallic element, occurring in several allotropic forms, found worldwide, especially in the ores pyrolusite and rhodochrosite and in nodules on the ocean floor. It is alloyed with steel to increase strength, hardness, wear resistance, and other properties and with other metals to form highly ferromagnetic materials. Atomic number 25; atomic weight 54.938; melting point 1,246°C; boiling point 2,061°C; specific gravity 7.21 to 7.44; valence 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.
A variety of the common beet having a large yellowish root, used chiefly as cattle feed.
1. The syncretic, dualistic religious philosophy taught by the Persian prophet Mani, combining elements of Zoroastrian, Christian, and Gnostic thought and opposed by the imperial Roman government, Neoplatonist philosophers, and orthodox Christians.
2. A dualistic philosophy dividing the world between good and evil principles or regarding matter as intrinsically evil and mind as intrinsically good
A legendary monster having the head of a man, the body of a lion, and the tail of a dragon or scorpion.
An assembly plant in Mexico, especially one along the border between the United States and Mexico, to which foreign materials and parts are shipped and from which the finished product is returned to the original market.
maquiladora * (mä-kē′lä-dōrä)
Cosmetic or theatrical makeup.
1. A mineral with the same composition as pyrite, FeS2, but differing in crystal structure. Also called white iron pyrites.
2. An ornament of pyrite, polished steel, or white metal.
marcasite (märkə-sīt′, -zīt′)
Any of several bulbous plants of the genus Calochortus of western North America, having variously colored, tuliplike flowers. Also called mariposa tulip.
mariposa lily * (măr′ə-pōzə, -sə)
Resembling marble, as in smoothness, whiteness, or hardness.
marmoreal (mär-môrē-əl) also mar·mo·re·an (-ē-ən)
A sheer fabric of cotton, rayon, silk, or nylon, used for clothing, curtains, and mosquito nets.
marquisette (mär′kĭ-zĕt, -kwĭ-)
1. The strap of a horse's harness that connects the girth to the noseband and is designed to prevent the horse from throwing back its head.
2. Nautical Any of several parts of standing rigging strengthening the bowsprit and jib boom against the force of the head stays.
3. Games A method of gambling in which one doubles the stakes after each loss.
4. A loose half belt or strap placed on the back of a garment, such as a coat or jacket.
martingale (märtn-gāl′) also mar·tin·gal (-găl′)
a. The state of being a martyr.
b. The suffering of death by a martyr.
2. Extreme suffering of any kind.
martyrdom * (märtər-dəm)
A stroke in billiards made by striking the cue ball off center with the cue held at a sharper angle than is usual, so that the cue ball moves in a curve before hitting its target ball.
massé * (mă-sā)
A woman who gives massages professionally.
Having a mass of zero.
One who matriculates or is a candidate for matriculation.
Of or relating to a jaw or jawbone, especially the upper one.
n. pl. max·il·lar·ies
A maxillary bone; a jawbone.
A thick dressing made of beaten raw egg yolk, oil, lemon juice or vinegar, and seasonings.
mayonnaise (mā′ə-nāz, māə-nāz′)
Used to express congratulations or best wishes.
mazel tov, mazal tov (mäzəl tôf′, tôv′, tōv′)
n. pl. Mbundu or Mbun·dus
1. A member of a Bantu people inhabiting southern and central Angola. Also called Ovimbundu.
2. The Bantu language of this people. Also called Umbundu.
3. A member of a Bantu people inhabiting northern Angola. Also called Ndongo.
4. The Bantu language of this people. Also called Kimbundu.
1. The practice of publicizing accusations of political disloyalty or subversion with insufficient regard to evidence.
2. The use of unfair investigatory or accusatory methods in order to suppress opposition.
A small Japanese fish (Oryzias latipes) that is commonly found in rice paddies and is often used in biological research or in stocking aquariums.
1. One that mediates, especially one that reconciles differences between disputants.
2. Physiology A substance or structure that mediates a specific response in a bodily tissue.
3. Physics A subatomic particle that effects or conveys a force between subatomic particles.
mediator * (mēdē-ā′tər)
A program in the United States, jointly funded by the states and the federal government, that reimburses hospitals and physicians for providing care to qualifying people who cannot finance their own medical expenses.
Medicaid, medicaid (mĕdĭ-kād′)
n. pl. me·di·oc·ri·ties
1. The state or quality of being mediocre.
2. Mediocre ability, achievement, or performance.
3. One that displays mediocre qualities.
mediocrity * (mē′dē-ŏkrĭ-tē)
n. pl. mei·o·ses (-sēz′)
1. Genetics The process of cell division in sexually reproducing organisms that reduces the number of chromosomes from diploid to haploid, as in the production of gametes.
2. Rhetorical understatement.
meiosis * (mī-ōsĭs)
A division of Oceania in the southwest Pacific Ocean comprising the islands northeast of Australia and south of the equator. It includes the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, New Caledonia, the Bismarck Archipelago, various other island groups, and sometimes New Guinea.
An animal hormone, C13H16N2O2, derived from serotonin and produced by the pineal gland. It stimulates color change in the skin of amphibians and reptiles and plays a role in regulating circadian rhythms and reproductive cycles in mammals. It is also found in plants and fungi.
v. mel·io·rat·ed, mel·io·rat·ing, mel·io·rates
To make better; improve.
To grow better.
meliorate (mēlyə-rāt′, mēlē-ə-)
1. Relating to, made of, or similar to a membrane.
2. Medicine Characterized by the formation of a usually abnormal membrane or a layer similar to a membrane: membranous nephropathy.
n. pl. memento mori
1. A reminder of death or mortality, especially a death's-head.
2. A reminder of human failures or errors.
memento mori (môrē)
A prehistoric monument of a class found chiefly in the British Isles and northern France, consisting of a single tall, upright megalith.
menhir * (mĕnhîr′)
n. pl. me·nis·ci(-nĭsī, -kī, -kē) or me·nis·cus·es
1. A crescent-shaped body.
2. A concavo-convex lens.
3. The curved upper surface of a nonturbulent liquid in a container that is concave if the liquid adheres to the container walls and convex if it does not.
4. A cartilage disk that acts as a cushion between the ends of bones that meet in a joint.
meniscus * (mə-nĭskəs)
1. The theory and system of political economy prevailing in Europe after the decline of feudalism, based on national policies of accumulating bullion, establishing colonies and a merchant marine, and developing industry and mining to attain a favorable balance of trade.
2. The practice, methods, or spirit of merchants; commercialism.
mercantilism (mûrkən-tē-lĭz′əm, -tĭ-)
A lamp in which ultraviolet and yellowish-green to blue visible light is produced by an electric discharge through mercury vapor. The color spectrum may be corrected by the addition of a phosphor coating, and ultraviolet blocking is required to prevent injury.
mercury vapor lamp
High-spirited fun and enjoyment; hilarity.
The part of the embryonic mesoderm, consisting of loosely packed, unspecialized cells set in a gelatinous ground substance, from which connective tissue, bone, cartilage, and the circulatory and lymphatic systems develop.
mesenchyme (mĕzən-kīm′, mĕs-)
1. also Mes·si·as (mĭ-sīəs) The anticipated savior of the Jews. Used with the.
2. also Messias Christianity Jesus. Used with the.
3. messiah One who is anticipated as, regarded as, or professes to be a savior or liberator.
Messiah, messiah (mĭ-sīə)
n. (used with a sing. verb)
The study of the meaning and nature of ethical terms, judgments, and arguments.
metaethics * (mĕtə-ĕth′ĭks)
Having a bill in which the tips of the mandibles cross. Used of a bird.
A solid body, moving in space, that is smaller than an asteroid and at least as large as a speck of dust.
1. One who studies meteorology.
2. One who reports and forecasts weather conditions.
A colorless, toxic, flammable liquid, CH3OH, used as an antifreeze, a general solvent, a fuel, and a denaturant for ethyl alcohol. Also called carbinol, methyl alcohol, wood alcohol, wood spirits.
methanol (mĕthə-nôl′, -nōl′, -nŏl′)
n. pl. meth·od·ol·o·gies
a. A body of practices, procedures, and rules used by those who work in a discipline or engage in an inquiry; a set of working methods: the methodology of genetic studies; a poll marred by faulty methodology.
b. The study or theoretical analysis of such working methods.
2. The branch of logic that deals with the general principles of the formation of knowledge.
methodology * (mĕth′ə-dŏlə-jē)
An abnormally small red blood cell, characteristic of certain forms of anemia and often associated with iron deficiency.
A copy or photograph that has been reduced to an extremely small size for ease of transport and purposes of security.
A device for manipulating minute instruments and needles under a microscope in order to perform delicate procedures, such as microsurgery.
n. pl. Mid·rash·im (mĭd-rôshĭm, mĭd′rä-shēm)
Any of a group of Jewish commentaries on the Hebrew Scriptures compiled between AD 200 and 1200 and based on exegesis, parable, and haggadic legend.
Midrash * (mĭdräsh′)
An ancient Ionian city of western Asia Minor in present-day Turkey. Occupied by Greeks c. 1000 BC, it became an important trading and colonizing settlement and also flourished as a center of learning. The city declined after its harbor silted up early in the Christian era.
Miletus * (mī-lētəs)
A bragging and often cowardly soldier, especially as a stock character in comedy.
milites gloriosi (mēlĭ-tās glôr′ē-ōsē)
n. pl. mim·ic·ries
a. The act, practice, or art of mimicking.
b. An instance of mimicking.
2. Biology The resemblance of one organism to another or to an object in its surroundings for concealment and protection from predators.
A degenerative neurological disorder caused by poisoning with a mercury compound found in seafood obtained from waters contaminated with mercury-containing industrial waste.
Minamata disease (mĭn′ə-mätə)
Intellectually or emotionally overwhelming: "a mind-boggling bazaar of competing manufacturers and overlapping technologies" (William D. Marbach).
tr.v. min·i·a·tur·ized, min·i·a·tur·iz·ing, min·i·a·tur·iz·es
To plan or make on a greatly reduced scale.
miniaturization * (mĭnē-ə-chə-rīz′, mĭnə-)
A van designed primarily for carrying passengers, typically having rear seats that can be removed for loading cargo.
A city of southeast Minnesota on the Mississippi River adjacent to St. Paul. The largest city in the state, it developed as a lumber and flour mill center.
A member of a minor-league team, especially a minor-league baseball player.
tr.v. mis·al·lied, mis·al·ly·ing, mis·al·lies
To ally inappropriately.
tr. & intr.v. mis·cal·cu·lat·ed, mis·cal·cu·lat·ing, mis·cal·cu·lates
To count or estimate incorrectly.
tr.v. mis·la·beled, mis·la·bel·ing, mis·la·bels also mis·la·belled or mis·la·bel·ling
To label inaccurately.
1. An error in naming a person or place.
a. Application of a wrong name.
b. A name wrongly or unsuitably applied to a person or object.
One who hates or mistrusts women.
misogynist * (mĭ-sŏjə-nĭst)
A Mass in which the liturgical parts are sung as in the High Mass, but which is ceremonially less elaborate.
missa cantata (mĭsə)
v. mis·spoke (-spōk), mis·spo·ken (-spōkən), mis·speak·ing, mis·speaks
To speak or pronounce incorrectly: The actor misspoke his lines.
To speak mistakenly, inappropriately, or rashly.
misspoken * (mĭs-spēk)
tr.v. mit·i·gat·ed, mit·i·gat·ing, mit·i·gates
1. To make less severe or intense; moderate or alleviate. See Synonyms at relieve.
2. To make alterations to (land) to make it less polluted or more hospitable to wildlife.
mitigate against Usage Problem
1. To take measures to moderate or alleviate (something).
2. To be a strong factor against (someone or something); hinder or prevent.
mitigating * (mĭtĭ-gāt′)
n. pl. mitz·voth (-vōt′, -vōs′) or mitz·vahs
a. A commandment of the Jewish law.
b. The fulfillment of such a commandment.
2. A worthy deed.
1. A native or inhabitant of Moab.
2. The Semitic language of Moab.
adv. & adj. Abbr. mod.
In moderate tempo that is slower than allegretto but faster than andante. Used chiefly as a direction.
1. An opening in the earth from which carbon dioxide and other gases escape, usually marking the last stage of volcanic activity.
2. The gases escaping from such an opening.
mofette, moffette (mō-fĕt)
n. pl. moi·e·ties
1. A half.
2. A part, portion, or share.
3. Anthropology Either of two kinship groups based on unilateral descent that together make up a tribe or society.
4. Chemistry A well-defined part of a larger molecule.
A group of islands of eastern Indonesia between Sulawesi and New Guinea. Inhabited by various Malay and Papuan peoples, the islands were colonized first by the Portuguese in the 1500s and later fell to the Dutch in the 1600s. The Moluccas, long known as the "Spice Islands," have historically provided much of the world's cloves, nutmeg, and mace.
Moluccas * (mə-lŭkəz) also Ma·lu·ku (mä-lk)
A principality on the Mediterranean Sea consisting of an enclave in southeast France. Probably settled by Phoenicians, it has been ruled by the Grimaldi family since the 1200s. At various times Monaco was under the protection of Spain, Sardinia, and France but regained its sovereignty in 1861. The village of Monaco, or Monaco-Ville, is the capital.
Monaco (mŏnə-kō′, mə-näkō)
The monastic life or system, especially as practiced in a monastery.
monasticism * (mə-năstĭ-sĭz′əm)
tr.v. mon·grel·ized, mon·grel·iz·ing, mon·grel·iz·es
To cause to be mongrel.
mongrelize (mŏnggrə-līz′, mŭng-)
1. Of, relating to, or performed by monitors.
Derived as clones from a single cell or produced by clones of a single cell: a monoclonal tumor.
A monoclonal product, such as a monoclonal antibody.
1. The presence of an abnormally large number of white blood cells with single nuclei in the bloodstream.
2. Infectious mononucleosis.
mononucleosis (mŏn′ō-n′klē-ōsĭs, -ny-)
Fear of being alone.
1. A single rail serving as a track for wheeled vehicles traveling on it or suspended from it.
2. A railway system using a single rail.
a. A single pictorial composition made by juxtaposing or superimposing many pictures or designs.
b. The art or process of making such a composition.
a. A relatively rapid succession of different shots in a movie.
b. The juxtaposition of such successive shots as a cinematic technique.
3. A composite of closely juxtaposed elements: a montage of voices on an audiotape.
tr.v. mon·taged, mon·tag·ing, mon·tag·es
To use or incorporate in a montage.
montage (mŏn-täzh, môɴ-)
1. Approaching death; about to die.
2. On the verge of becoming obsolete: moribund customs; a moribund way of life.
3. Barely active or in use, especially after a period of intense activity: a moribund stock market.
moribund * (môrə-bŭnd′, mŏr-)
Sullenly melancholy; gloomy.
moroseness (mə-rōs, mô-)
Formation of the structure of an organism or part; differentiation and growth of tissues and organs during development.
Of or relating to Moses or the laws and writings attributed to him.
mosaic, Mosaic (mō-zāĭk)
A city of northern Iraq on the Tigris River north-northwest of Baghdad. An important center on the historical caravan route across northern Mesopotamia, it became part of the Ottoman Empire in the 1500s. Mosul was awarded to Iraq by the League of Nations in 1926.
Mosul (mō-sl, mōsəl)
1. A fine sheer fabric resembling muslin, often made of silk, rayon, cotton, or wool.
2. A hollandaise sauce to which whipped cream has been added.
3. An aspic containing whipped cream.
Rescue breathing in which one uses one's mouth to cover the victim's mouth and deliver air. Also called mouth-to-mouth ventilation.
mouth-to-mouth resuscitation (mouthtə-mouth)
1. Any of various viscous, water-soluble polysaccharides produced by certain plants, algae, and microorganisms.
2. A sticky substance used as an adhesive.
Of or relating to the skin and a mucous membrane.
1. A soft boot made of reindeer skin or sealskin and worn by indigenous peoples of Arctic North America.
2. A slipper with a soft sole resembling this boot.
mukluks * (mŭklŭk′)
pl.n. (used with a sing. verb)
The combined use of media, such as movies, music, lighting, and the internet, as for education, entertainment, or advertising.
1. Of or relating to the combined use of several media: a multimedia installation at the art gallery.
2. Computers Of or relating to an application that integrates different media, such as text, graphics, video, and sound.
multimedia (mŭl′tē-mēdē-ə, -tī-)
1. Made up of, involving, or acting on behalf of various races: a multiracial society.
2. Having ancestors of several or various races.
multiracial (mŭltē-rā′shəl, -tī-)
1. Very numerous; existing in great numbers.
2. Consisting of many parts.
3. Populous; crowded.
multitudinous (mŭl′tĭ-tdn-əs, -tyd-)
Decorated with murals or a mural: muraled halls.
muraled, muralled (myrəld)
1. A sweet fortified wine made chiefly from muscat grapes.
2. A muscat grape or raisin.
1. The hair growing on the human upper lip, especially when cultivated and groomed.
2. Something similar to the cultivated, groomed hair on the human upper lip, as:
a. A group of bristles or hairs about the mouth of an animal.
b. Distinctive coloring or feathers near the beak of a bird.
c. Food or drink sticking conspicuously to the upper lip: wiped the milk mustache from my face.
mustache, moustache (mŭstăsh′, mə-stăsh)
a. Capable of or subject to change or alteration.
b. Prone to frequent change; inconstant: mutable weather patterns.
2. Tending to undergo genetic mutation: a mutable organism; a mutable gene.
adv. Abbr. m.m.
With differences or changes in various details corresponding to a given overall difference or change: the application of maritime law, mutatis mutandis, to space travel.
mutatis mutandis (m-tätĭs m-tändĭs)
1. Inflammation of the spinal column.
myelitis * (mī′ə-lītĭs)
1. A visual defect in which distant objects appear blurred because their images are focused in front of the retina rather than on it. Also called nearsightedness, short sight.
2. Lack of discernment or long-range perspective in thinking or planning: "For Lorca, New York is a symbol of spiritual myopia" (Edwin Honig).
myopia * (mī-ōpē-ə)
Any of various plants of the genus Myosotis, which includes the forget-me-nots.
myosotis, Myosotis (mī′ə-sōtĭs)
1. Of or relating to the making of myths.
2. Serving to create or engender myths; productive in mythmaking.
mythopoeic, mythopeic (mĭth′ə-pēĭk) also myth·o·po·et·ic (-pō-ĕtĭk)
1. Astronomy A point on the celestial sphere directly below the observer, diametrically opposite the zenith.
2. The lowest point: the nadir of their fortunes.
nadir (nādər, -dîr′)
n. pl. Nahuatl or Na·hua·tls
1. A member of any of various Indian peoples of central Mexico, including the Aztecs.
2. The Uto-Aztecan language of the Nahuatl.
1. Any of various plants of the genus Tropaeolum, native to South and Central America, that have round leaves and pungent edible yellow, orange, or red spurred flowers and are often grown as ornamentals.
2. A brilliant orange yellow.
nasturtium * (nə-stûrshəm, nă-)
Of, relating to, adapted for, or characterized by swimming: a natatorial appendage; natatorial birds.
natatorial * (nā′tə-tôrē-əl, năt′ə-) also na·ta·to·ry (nātə-tôr′ē, nătə-)
A trademark for an artificial leather made of vinyl-coated fabric.
Naugahyde (trademark) (nôgə-hīd′)
Excessive introspection, self-absorption, or concentration on a single issue.
Of, belonging to, or characteristic of Naples, Italy.
1. A native or resident of Naples, Italy.
2. A Romance language of southern Italy, spoken in the area of the former kingdom of Naples.
The natural death of cells or tissues through aging, as distinguished from necrosis or pathological death.
Of or relating to a newborn infant or to the first 28 days of an infant's life: neonatal care.
n. pl. ne·phrec·to·mies
Surgical removal of a kidney.
nephrectomy * (nə-frĕktə-mē)
A mixture of chopped and boiled chestnuts, maraschino cherries, candied fruits, and liqueur or rum, used as a sauce or in puddings, ice cream, or pies.
Nesselrode * (nĕsəl-rōd′)
1. An openwork fabric or structure in which cords, threads, or wires cross at regular intervals.
2. Something resembling an openwork fabric or structure in form or concept, especially:
a. A system of lines or channels that cross or interconnect: a network of railroads.
b. A complex, interconnected group or system: an espionage network.
c. An extended group of people with similar interests or concerns who interact and remain in informal contact for mutual assistance or support.
a. A chain of radio or television broadcasting stations linked by wire or microwave relay.
b. A company that produces the programs for these stations.
a. A group or system of electric components and connecting circuitry designed to function in a specific manner.
b. Computers A system of computers interconnected by telephone wires or other means in order to share information. Also called net1.
v. net·worked, net·work·ing, net·works
1. To cover with an openwork fabric or structure.
2. To broadcast over a radio or television network.
a. To interconnect as components in a group or system.
b. Computers To connect (computers) into a network.
To interact or engage in informal communication with others for mutual assistance or support.
n. pl. neu·ro·blas·to·mas or neu·ro·blas·to·ma·ta (-mə-tə)
A malignant tumor composed of neuroblasts, originating in the autonomic nervous system or the adrenal medulla and occurring chiefly in infants and young children.
neuroblastoma (nr′ō-blă-stōmə, nyr′-)
n. pl. neu·tri·nos
Any of three electrically neutral leptons (the electron neutrino, muon neutrino, and tau neutrino—one in each of the three generations of elementary fermions) that have very small masses.
neutrino * (n-trēnō, ny-)
1. Any of a race of subterranean dwarfs whose hoard of riches and magic ring were taken from them by Siegfried.
2. A follower of Siegfried.
Any of various flowering plants of the genus Nicotiana of the nightshade family, native chiefly to the Americas and including tobacco plants and ornamental species with fragrant flowers.
nicotiana, Nicotiana (nĭ-kō′shē-ănə, -änə, -ānə)
Friedrich Wilhelm 1844-1900.
German philosopher who argued that Christianity's emphasis on the afterlife makes its believers less able to cope with earthly life. He suggested that the ideal human, the Übermensch, would be able to channel passions creatively instead of suppressing them. His written works include Beyond Good and Evil (1886) and Thus Spake Zarathustra (1883-1892).
Nietzsche (nēchə, -chē)
1. A dream arousing feelings of intense fear, horror, and distress.
2. An event or experience that is intensely distressing.
3. A demon or spirit once thought to plague sleeping people.
nightmarishly * (nītmâr′)
In the Bible, a mighty hunter and king of Shinar who was a grandson of Ham and a great-grandson of Noah.
adv. & adj.
So close that the advantage or lead shifts from one to another and is virtually indeterminable.
A cosmetic surgical procedure in which skin and usually fat are removed and muscle is sometimes tightened to create a slimmer or more youthful appearance.
nip and tuck
1. Bible Of or relating to Noah or his time.
2. Antiquated; ancient; long obsolete.
Noachian * (nō-ākē-ən) also No·ach·ic (-ăkĭk) or No·ach·i·cal (-ĭ-kəl)
nocuous * (nŏky-əs)
Not of sound mind and hence not legally competent.
One who is not legally competent.
non compos mentis (nŏn kŏm′pəs mĕntĭs)
Not allied with any other nation or bloc; neutral: A group of 20 nonaligned nations urged a treaty to ban space weapons.
nonaligned * (nŏn′ə-līnd)
Failure or refusal to comply.
1. The condition of not existing.
2. Something that does not exist.
nonexistent * (nŏn′ĭg-zĭstənt)
Failure to perform an act that is an official, contractual, or professional duty.
1. Not penetrating the body, as by incision or injection: noninvasive surgery.
2. Not invading healthy tissue: noninvasive cancer of the bladder.
Not having or leading to tenure: a nontenured academic post.
nontenured * (nŏn-tĕnyərd, -yrd′)
A snack or light meal.
intr.v. noshed, nosh·ing, nosh·es
To eat a snack or light meal: noshed on a bagel between classes.
A family unit consisting of a child or children living with two parents who are married to each other, especially when all live under the same roof.
An electron-rich chemical compound or group that is attracted to nuclei and tends to donate or share electrons. Also called Lewis base.
nucleophile * (nklē-ə-fīl′, ny-)
(used with a sing. verb) The study or collection of money, coins, and often medals.
numismatist (n′mĭz-mătĭks, -mĭs-, ny′-)
Relating to or being a will that is delivered orally to witnesses rather than written.
nuncupative (nŭnkyə-pā′tĭv, nŭng-, nŭn-kypə-tĭv)
A city of southeast Mexico south-southwest of Veracruz. It was founded c. 1490 as an Aztec garrison post and was conquered by the Spanish in 1521.
A Japanese box lunch, traditionally packed in a partitioned lacquered box and sometimes artfully arranged to resemble familiar characters, animals, or objects.
obento * (ō-bĕntō)
tr.v. o·blit·er·at·ed, o·blit·er·at·ing, o·blit·er·ates
1. To remove or destroy completely so as to leave no trace. See Synonyms at annihilate.
2. To render invisible or unreadable, as by erasing or marking over: "The name [on the door] had been crudely obliterated with thick, heavy strokes of black paint" (F. Paul Wilson).
3. Medicine To remove completely (a body organ or part), as by surgery, disease, or radiation.
obliterative (ə-blĭtə-rāt′, ō-blĭt-)
n. pl. ob·lo·quies
1. Abusively detractive language or utterance; calumny: "I have had enough obloquy for one lifetime" (Anthony Eden).
2. The condition of disgrace suffered as a result of abuse or vilification; ill repute.
1. Very annoying or objectionable; offensive or odious: "I know no method to secure the repeal of bad or obnoxious laws so effective as their stringent execution" (Ulysses S. Grant).
2. Archaic Exposed or subject to harm, injury, or evil: "Those who are most obnoxious to punishment will flee from the country" (George Washington).
3. Archaic Deserving of or liable to censure.
obnoxiousness (ŏb-nŏkshəs, əb-)
adj. ob·tus·er, ob·tus·est
a. Lacking quickness of perception or intellect.
b. Characterized by a lack of intelligence or sensitivity: an obtuse remark.
c. Not distinctly felt: an obtuse pain.
a. Not sharp, pointed, or acute in form; blunt.
b. Having an obtuse angle: an obtuse triangle.
c. Botany Having a blunt or rounded tip: an obtuse leaf.
obtuseness (ŏb-ts, -tys, əb-)
v. oc·clud·ed, oc·clud·ing, oc·cludes
1. To cause to become closed; obstruct: occlude an artery.
2. To prevent the passage of: occlude light; occlude the flow of blood.
3. Chemistry To absorb or adsorb and retain (a substance).
4. To force (air) upward from the earth's surface, as when a cold front overtakes and undercuts a warm front.
5. To bring together (the upper and lower teeth) in proper alignment for chewing.
To close so that the cusps fit together. Used of the teeth of the upper and lower jaws.
A rule in science and philosophy stating that the simplest of two or more competing theories is preferable; for example, an explanation of a new phenomenon should first be attempted in terms of what is already known, without adding further entities or principles.
Ockham's Razor, Occam's Razor (ŏkəmz)
n. pl. oc·to·dec·i·mos
1. The page size, 4 by 6.5 inches, of a book composed of printer's sheets folded into 18 leaves or 36 pages.
2. A book composed of octodecimo pages. In both senses also called eighteenmo.
octodecimo * (ŏk′tə-dĕsə-mō′)
Of, relating to, or characteristic of the Oedipus complex: oedipal conflicts.
oedipal, Oedipal (ĕdə-pəl, ēdə-)
Language characteristic of official documents or statements, especially when obscure, pretentiously wordy, or excessively formal.
officialese (ə-fĭsh′ə-lēz, -lēs)
Not for publication or attribution: off-the-record comments by the senator.
off-the-record (ôfthə-rĕkərd, ŏf-)
An instrument for measuring directly the resistances of conductors in ohms.
ohmmeter * (ōmmē′tər)
1. Of or relating to oil.
2. Falsely or smugly earnest; unctuous: oleaginous flattery.
An apparatus for measuring the acuity of the sense of smell.
olfactometer * (ŏl′făk-tŏmĭ-tər, ōl′-)
a. A large horse-drawn public conveyance, especially of the late 1800s.
b. A long motor vehicle for passengers; a bus.
2. A printed anthology of the works of one author or of writings on related subjects.
Including or covering many things or classes: an omnibus trade bill.
omnibus (ŏmnĭ-bŭs′, -bəs)
Having unlimited or universal power, authority, or force; all-powerful.
1. One having unlimited power or authority: the bureaucratic omnipotents.
2. Omnipotent God. Used with the.
omnipotent, Omnipotent (ŏm-nĭpə-tənt)
n. pl. om·pha·li (-lī)
1. The navel.
2. A central part; a focal point.
3. Any of various stones revered as sacred in ancient Greek civilization, representing the center of the world.
omphalos * (ŏmfə-lŏs′, -ləs)
Of or relating to essence or the nature of being; ontological.
ontic * (ŏntĭk)
Exhibiting a milky iridescence like that of an opal.
A comic, often farcical opera.
opéra bouffe * (ŏpər-ə bf, ŏprə, ô-pā-rä bf)
Any of various compounds that bind to specific receptors in the central nervous system and have analgesic and narcotic effects, including naturally occurring substances such as morphine; synthetic and semisynthetic drugs such as methadone and oxycodone; and certain peptides produced by the body, such as endorphins. Also called opiate.
opioid * (ōpē-oid′)
One who takes advantage of any opportunity to achieve an end, often with no regard for principles or consequences.
opportunist (ŏp′ər-tnĭst, -ty-)
tr.v. op·ti·mized, op·ti·miz·ing, op·ti·miz·es
1. To make as perfect or effective as possible.
2. Computers To increase the computing speed and efficiency of (a program), as by rewriting instructions.
3. To make the most of.
1. Of, relating to, or being an oracle.
2. Resembling or characteristic of an oracle:
a. Solemnly prophetic.
b. Enigmatic; obscure.
oracular (ô-răkyə-lər, ō-răk-)
A historical overland route to the western United States extending from various cities on the Missouri River to the Oregon Country and later Oregon Territory. It was a major path of western migration from the early 1840s until the coming of the railroad in the 1870s.
1. Relating to perception by a sensory organ.
2. Involving the use of sense organs: organoleptic tests.
organoleptic * (ôr′gə-nō-lĕptĭk, ôr-găn′ə-)
Things, especially decorative objects, produced in or associated with eastern Asia.
orientalia, Orientalia (ôr′ē-ĕn-tālē-ə, -tālyə)
orison (ôrĭ-sən, -zən, ŏr-)
Any of various herbivorous dinosaurs of the order Ornithischia, having a pubic bone that points down and backward like that of modern birds, usually a horny beak or bill, and including the hadrosaurs and stegosaurs.
a. The study of the pronunciation of words.
b. The study of the relationship between the pronunciation of words and their orthography.
2. The customary pronunciation of words.
orthoepy (ôr-thōə-pē, ôrthō-ĕp′ē)
1. Relating to or composed of right angles.
a. Of or relating to a matrix whose transpose equals its inverse.
b. Of or relating to a linear transformation that preserves the length of vectors.
3. Very different or unrelated; sharply divergent: "Radical Islamists are ultimately seeking to create something orthogonal to our model of democracy" (Richard A. Clarke).
An underlying framework or skeleton.
ossature (ŏsə-chr′, -chər)
n. pl. osso bu·cos
An Italian dish consisting of braised veal shanks in white wine.
osso buco * (ō′sō bkō, ŏssō)
A chronic disease characterized by progressive degeneration of the cartilage of the joints, occurring mainly in older persons. Also called degenerative joint disease.
1. Lazy; indolent.
2. Of no use; pointless or superfluous: It is otiose to review what happened when the events are so well-known.
3. Ineffective; futile.
otiose (ōshē-ōs′, ōtē-)
Inflammation of the middle ear, occurring commonly in children as a result of infection and often causing pain and temporary hearing loss.
otitis media *
A stanza of verse consisting of eight lines in iambic pentameter rhyming abababcc.
ottava rima * (rēmə)
A trademark for a board with the alphabet and other symbols on it, and a planchette that is thought, when touched with the fingers, to move in such a way as to spell out spiritualistic and telepathic messages on the board.
Ouija (trademark) (wējə, -jē)
Highly unconventional; eccentric or bizarre: "outré and affected stage antics" (Michael Heaton).
outré * (-trā)
tr.v. o·ver·ex·tend·ed, o·ver·ex·tend·ing, o·ver·ex·tends
1. To expand or disperse beyond a safe or reasonable limit: overextended their defenses.
2. To obligate (oneself) beyond a limit, especially a financial one.
Any of numerous plants of the genus Oxalis, having cloverlike compound leaves usually with three leaflets and five-petaled, variously colored flowers. Also called sorrel, wood sorrel.
oxalis, Oxalis (ŏksə-lĭs, ŏk-sălĭs)
n. pl. ox·y·ceph·a·lies
A congenital abnormality of the skull in which the top of the head assumes a conical or pointed shape. Also called acrocephaly.
Foul-smelling breath; halitosis.
1. A bland soft cereal for infants.
2. Intellectual material that is bland, trite, or insipid: "It was the sort of pablum routinely pronounced by State Department spokesmen when they had no real policy to describe" (Steve Coll).
pablum, Pablum (păbləm)
1. A rich heavy silk fabric with a corded effect.
2. A hanging or garment made of this fabric.
paduasoy * (păj-ə-soi′)
A saffron-flavored Spanish rice dish made with varying combinations of vegetables, meat, chicken, and seafood.
paella (pä-ĕlə, pä-ālyä, -āyä)
Italian violinist and composer whose works include six violin concertos and many other virtuoso violin pieces.
Paganini (păg′ə-nēnē, pä′gä-)
1. A paragon of chivalry; a heroic champion.
2. A strong supporter or defender of a cause: "the paladin of plain speaking" (Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.)
3. Any of the 12 peers of Charlemagne's court.
a. Idle chatter.
b. Talk intended to charm or beguile.
2. A negotiation or discussion concerning matters in dispute, especially in the traditional cultures of West Africa.
v. pa·lav·ered, pa·lav·er·ing, pa·lav·ers
To talk idly or at length.
Archaic To flatter or cajole.
palaver (pə-lăvər, -lävər)
A stone implement of the Paleolithic Period.
tr.v. pal·li·at·ed, pal·li·at·ing, pal·li·ates
a. To make less severe or intense; mitigate. See Synonyms at relieve.
b. To alleviate the symptoms of (a disease or disorder).
2. To make (an offense or crime) seem less serious; extenuate.
The practice or art of telling fortunes from the lines, marks, and patterns on the palms of the hands.
n. pl. pal·o·mi·nos
A horse with a golden or tan coat and a white or cream-colored mane and tail.
1. Affected with palsy.
2. Trembling or shaking.
Of or relating to a swamp; marshy.
paludal * (pə-ldl, pălyə-dəl)
A paste or gruel of bread crumbs, toast, or flour combined with milk, stock, or water and used for making soups, binding forcemeats, or thickening sauces.
An irregular or emergency landing in which an aircraft drops flat to the ground from a low altitude.
pancake landing *
n. pl. pan·cre·a·tec·to·mies
Surgical removal of all or part of the pancreas.
pancreatectomy (păng′krē-ə-tĕktə-mē, păn′-)
1. An unbroken view of an entire surrounding area.
2. A comprehensive presentation; a survey: a panorama of American literature.
3. A picture or series of pictures representing a continuous scene, often exhibited a part at a time by being unrolled and passed before the spectator.
4. A mental vision of a series of events.
panorama (păn′ə-rămə, -rämə)
1. A doctrine identifying the Deity with the universe and its phenomena.
2. Belief in and worship of all gods.
n. pl. pa·pa·cies
1. The office and jurisdiction of a pope.
2. The period of time during which a pope is in office.
3. A succession or line of popes: the Medici papacy.
4. Papacy Roman Catholic Church The system of church government headed by the pope.
papacy, Papacy (pāpə-sē)
The study of papyrus manuscripts.
papyrology * (păp′ə-rŏlə-jē)
1. Of or relating to paralysis.
2. Characteristic of or resembling paralysis.
3. Affected with paralysis; paralyzed.
A person affected with paralysis.
Of, relating to, or being a group of civilians organized in a military fashion, especially to operate in place of or assist regular army troops.
n. pl. par·a·mil·i·tar·ies
A member of a paramilitary force.
A flourish made after or below a signature, originally to prevent forgery.
paraph * (părəf, pə-ră)
pl.n. (used with a sing. or pl. verb)
1. The articles used in a particular activity; equipment: a photographer's paraphernalia. See Synonyms at equipment.
2. Law Personal property used by a married woman that, although actually owned by her husband and subject to claims by his creditors, becomes her personal property after his death.
paraphernalia (păr′ə-fər-nālyə, -fə-nālyə)
Complete paralysis of the lower half of the body including both legs, usually caused by damage to the spinal cord.
paraplegia (păr′ə-plējə, -jē-ə)
Prepared without meat, milk, or their derivatives and therefore permissible to be eaten with meat or dairy dishes according to dietary laws: pareve margarine.
pareve (pärə-və) also par·ve (pärvə)
1. An untanned animal hide soaked in lye and water to remove the hair and then dried on a stretcher.
2. An article, such as a shield or bag, made of this hide.
A member of a parish.
parishioner * (pə-rĭshə-nər)
A progressive disease of the central nervous system, associated with the destruction of brain cells that produce dopamine and characterized by muscle tremors, muscle rigidity or stiffness, abnormally slow movement, and impaired balance and coordination. It usually affects people over the age of 50. Also called paralysis agitans.
Parkinson's disease (pärkĭn-sənz) also Par·kin·son disease (-sən)
1. Word play; punning.
2. A pun.
n. pl. par·vo·vi·rus·es
1. Any of a family of very small DNA viruses that cause various diseases in animals, including feline panleukopenia, canine parvovirus, and fifth disease in humans.
a. A highly contagious infectious disease of dogs, especially puppies, characterized by lethargy, fever, vomiting, and diarrhea. It is spread through feces from infected animals.
b. The parvovirus that is the causative agent of this disease. In both subsenses also called canine parvovirus, parvo.
n. pl. pa·se·os
a. A slow, easy stroll or walk outdoors.
b. The street, series of streets, or walkway along which such a walk is taken.
2. In bullfighting, the formal procession into the ring of the players, including the matadors, banderilleros, and horses, that occurs just before the first bull is fought.
n. pl. pa·so do·bles (-blāz, -vlĕs) also pa·so·do·bles
1. A moderately fast Spanish dance in duple meter.
2. The music for this dance, often played at bullfights.
paso doble, pasodoble (päsō-dōblā, -vlĕ)
Being a beast facing and walking toward the viewer's left with one front leg raised.
The condition or quality of being passive; inactivity, quiescence, or submissiveness.
Tiny pieces of pasta, often cooked in soups or used as baby food.
1. The grass or other vegetation eaten by grazing animals.
2. Land covered with grass or vegetation suitable for grazing animals.
3. The practice of pasturing grazing animals.
A bakery specializing in French pastry.
patisserie (pə-tĭsə-rē, pä-tēs-rē)
n. pl. pat·ri·mo·nies
a. An inheritance from a father or paternal ancestor.
b. An inheritance or legacy; heritage.
2. An endowment or estate belonging to an institution, especially a church.
adj. paunch·i·er, paunch·i·est
Having a potbelly.
paunchiness (pônchē, pän-)
tr.v. pau·per·ized, pau·per·iz·ing, pau·per·iz·es
To make a pauper of; impoverish.
1. An ornate tent.
a. A light, sometimes ornamental roofed structure, used for amusement or shelter, as at parks or fairs: a picnic pavilion.
b. A usually temporary structure erected at a fair or show for use by an exhibitor: the French pavilion at the World's Fair.
c. A large structure housing sports or entertainment facilities; an arena.
3. A structure or another building connected to a larger building; an annex.
4. One of a group of related buildings forming a complex, as of a hospital.
5. The lower surface of a brilliant-cut gem, slanting outward from the culet to the girdle.
tr.v.pa·vil·ioned, pa·vil·ion·ing, pa·vil·ions
1. To cover or furnish with or as if with a pavilion.
2. To put in or as if in a pavilion.
1. Of or relating to money: a pecuniary loss; pecuniary motives.
2. Requiring payment of money: a pecuniary offense.
pecuniary * (pĭ-kynē-ĕr′ē)
An instrument that gauges the approximate distance traveled on foot by registering the number of steps taken.
pedometer * (pĭ-dŏmĭ-tər)
An extinct hominin known from fossil remains of the Pleistocene Epoch found in China, originally called Sinanthropus but now classified as Homo erectus.
1. Admitting the passage of light; transparent or translucent. See Synonyms at clear.
2. Transparently clear in style or meaning: pellucid prose.
pellucid * (pə-lsĭd)
1. Hanging loosely; suspended so as to swing or sway.
2. Wavering; undecided.
pendulous (pĕnjə-ləs, pĕndyə-, -də-)
n. Abbr. Pen.
A piece of land that juts out from a larger land mass and is mostly surrounded by water.
peninsular (pə-nĭnsyə-lə, -sə-lə)
A fudgelike confection of brown sugar, butter, cream or milk, and often chopped nuts.
penuche, penuchi (pə-nchē) or pa·no·cha (-nōchə) or pa·no·che (-chē)
adv. & adj.
1. Per unit of population; per person: In that year, Americans earned $15,304 per capita. Among the states, Connecticut has a high per c
per capita * (pər kăpĭ-tə)
Extremely durable; permanent.
perdurable * (pər-drə-bəl, -dyr-)
intr.v. per·en·nat·ed, per·en·nat·ing, per·en·nates
To survive from one growing season to the next, often with a period of reduced or arrested growth between seasons. Used of plants or plant parts.
perennate * (pĕrə-nāt′, pə-rĕnāt)
A charm worn as protection against mischief and disease; an amulet.
periapt * (pĕrē-ăpt′)
A sentence in which the main clause or its predicate is withheld until the end; for example, Despite heavy winds and nearly impenetrable ground fog, the plane landed safely.
1. Walking about or from place to place; traveling on foot.
2. Peripatetic Of or relating to the philosophy or teaching methods of Aristotle, who conducted discussions while walking about in the Lyceum of ancient Athens.
1. One who walks from place to place; an itinerant.
2. Peripatetic A follower of the philosophy of Aristotle; an Aristotelian.
peripatetic, Peripatetic (pĕr′ə-pə-tĕtĭk)
A sudden change of events or reversal of circumstances, especially in a literary work.
peripeteia, peripetia (pĕr′ə-pə-tēə, -tīə)
1. Related to, located in, or constituting an outer boundary or periphery.
2. Perceived or perceiving near the outer edges of the retina: peripheral vision.
a. Of the surface or outer part of a body or organ; external.
b. Of, relating to, or being part of the peripheral nervous system.
4. Of minor relevance or importance.
An auxiliary device, such as a printer, modem, or storage system, that works in conjunction with a computer.
peripheral * (pə-rĭfər-əl)
Permitted; allowable: permissible tax deductions; permissible behavior in school.
permissibility * (pər-mĭsə-bəl)
Through or by way of the mouth: a peroral infection; peroral administration of fluids.
intr.v. per·se·vered, per·se·ver·ing, per·se·veres
To persist in or remain constant to a purpose, idea, or task in the face of obstacles or discouragement.
1. The act of persisting.
2. The state or quality of being persistent; persistency.
3. Continuance of an effect after the cause is removed: persistence of vision.
n. pl. per·so·nae non gra·tae (-nē; -tē)
A person who is unacceptable or unwelcome, especially to a foreign government: The leaked memo made the ambassador a persona non grata. The foreign minister declared the envoy to be persona non grata.
persona non grata (pər-sōnə nŏn grätə, grătə)
Having the quality or tendency to pervade or permeate: the pervasive odor of garlic.
pervasive (pər-vāsĭv, -zĭv)
n. pl. pe·te·chi·ae (-kē-ī′)
A small purplish spot on a body surface, such as the skin or a mucous membrane, caused by a minute hemorrhage and often seen in typhus.
The fallacy of assuming in the premise of an argument that which one wishes to prove in the conclusion; a begging of the question.
petitio principii (pə-tĭshē-ō′ prĭn-sĭpē-ē′, -ē-ī′)
A sonnet containing an octave with the rhyme scheme abbaabba and a sestet following any of various patterns such as cdecde or cdcdcd. Also called Italian sonnet.
A carving or incised drawing on rock, especially one made by prehistoric people.
petroglyph * (pĕtrə-glĭf′)
Of or relating to pharmacy or pharmacists.
A pharmaceutical product or preparation.
pharmaceutic (fär′mə-stĭ-kəl) also phar·ma·ceu·tic (-tĭk)
The doctrine, set forth by David Hume and his successors, that percepts and concepts constitute the sole objects of knowledge, with the objects of perception and the nature of the mind itself remaining unknowable.
1. Devoted to or appreciative of music.
2. Relating to a symphony orchestra.
n. also Philharmonic
A symphony orchestra or the group that supports it.
philharmonic, Philharmonic (fĭl′här-mŏnĭk, fĭl′ər-)
1. Any of various Southeast Asian hardwood trees of the genus Shorea and related genera, having light to dark reddish-brown wood.
2. The wood of any of these trees.
Inflammation of a vein.
intr.v. pho·nat·ed, pho·nat·ing, pho·nates
To produce speech sounds; vocalize.
1. Persistent emission of light following exposure to and removal of incident radiation.
2. Emission of light without appreciable heat, as from chemiluminescence of phosphorus or bioluminescence of living organisms.
n. pl. phy·lac·ter·ies
Either of two small leather boxes, each containing strips of parchment inscribed with quotations from the Hebrew Scriptures, traditionally worn strapped to the forehead and the left arm by Jewish men during morning worship, except on the Sabbath and holidays.
phylactery * (fĭ-lăktə-rē)
Poisonous to plants.
v. pil·fered, pil·fer·ing, pil·fers
To steal (a small amount or item). See Synonyms at steal.
To steal or filch.
The ancient name for two promontories at the eastern end of the Strait of Gibraltar and the entrance to the Mediterranean Sea. They are usually identified as Gibraltar in Europe and Jebel Musa in North Africa.
Pillars of Hercules (pĭlərz)
n. pl. pi·os·i·ties
An exaggerated display of piety.
1. Of, relating to, or serving as a pivot.
2. Being of vital or central importance; crucial: a decision that was pivotal to our success.
pivotal * (pĭvə-tl)
n. pl. pla·ce·bos or pla·ce·boes
a. A substance that has positive effects as a result of a patient's perception that it is beneficial rather than as a result of a causative ingredient.
b. An inactive substance or preparation used as a control in an experiment or test to determine the effectiveness of a medicinal drug.
2. Something of no intrinsic remedial value that is used to appease or reassure another.
3. (plä-chābō) Roman Catholic Church The service or office of vespers for the dead.
placebo * (plə-sēbō)
a. Undisturbed by tumult or disorder; calm or quiet: led a placid life.
b. Not agitated physically; not disturbed: a placid stream.
2. Not easily upset or excited; mild or complacent: a placid demeanor. See Synonyms at calm.
n. pl. plaice or plaic·es
1. A large edible marine flatfish (Pleuronectes platessa) of European coastal waters.
2. Any of various other flatfishes, such as Hippoglossoides platessoides of northern Atlantic coastal waters.
A nearly level area at the bottom of an undrained desert basin, sometimes temporarily covered with water.
intr.v. plea bar·gained, plea bar·gain·ing, plea bar·gains also plea-bar·gained or plea-bar·gain·ing or plea-bar·gains
To agree to plead guilty, especially to a lesser criminal offense, in exchange for some concession from the prosecution, such as dismissal of more serious charges.
plea bargain, plea-bargain (plēbär′gən)
1. A direct vote in which the entire electorate is invited to accept or refuse a proposal: The new constitution was ratified in a plebiscite.
2. A vote in which a population exercises the right of national self-determination.
plebiscite (plĕbĭ-sīt′, -sĭt)
1. Complete in all respects; unlimited or full: a diplomat with plenary powers.
2. Fully attended by all qualified members: a plenary session of the council.
plenary (plēnə-rē, plĕnə-)
Macroscopic organisms that float or swim on the surface of a body of water.
pleuston * (plstən, -stŏn′)
A trademark for a light, transparent, weather-resistant thermoplastic. This trademark sometimes occurs in print lowercased and spelled plexiglass: "The display pieces are double sealed inside plexiglass cases" (Los Angeles Times).
Plexiglass, plexiglass (plĕksĭ-glăs′)
Characterized by heavy rainfall; rainy.
pluvious * (plvē-əs) also plu·vi·ose (-ōs′)
The soul or vital spirit.
pneuma (nmə, ny-)
1. The indirect veto of a bill received by the president within ten days of the adjournment of Congress, effected by retaining the bill unsigned until Congress adjourns.
2. A similar action exercised by a state governor or other chief executive.
The rewarding of virtue and the punishment of vice, often in an especially appropriate or ironic manner.
The royal poinciana.
poinciana (poin′sē-ănə, -änə)
A highly infectious viral disease that chiefly affects children and, in its acute forms, causes inflammation of motor neurons of the spinal cord and brainstem, leading to paralysis, muscular atrophy, and often deformity. Through vaccination, the disease is preventable. Also called infantile paralysis, polio.
poliomyelitis * (pō′lē-ō-mī′ə-lītĭs)
v. po·lit·i·cized, po·lit·i·ciz·ing, po·lit·i·ciz·es
To engage in or discuss politics.
To make political: an official who politicized the response to the hurricane.
Speaking, writing, written in, or composed of several languages.
1. A person having a speaking, reading, or writing knowledge of several languages.
2. A book, especially a Bible, containing several versions of the same text in different languages.
3. A mixture or confusion of languages.
polyglot * (pŏlē-glŏt′)
An area of open water surrounded by sea ice.
polynya * (pŏl′ən-yä, pə-lĭnyə)
A rigid clear thermoplastic polymer of styrene that can be molded into objects or made into a foam that is used as thermal insulation.
n. pl. pompano or pom·pa·nos
1. Any of several marine carangid food fishes chiefly of the genus Trachinotus, especially T. carolinus of western Atlantic waters, having a silvery oblong body with a bluish back.
2. A butterfish (Peprilus simillimus) of Pacific coastal waters of North America.
An ancient city of southern Italy southeast of Naples. Founded in the sixth or early fifth century BC, it was a Roman colony by 80 BC and became a prosperous port and resort with many noted villas, temples, theaters, and baths. Pompeii was destroyed by an eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79. The incredibly well-preserved ruins were rediscovered in 1748 and have been extensively excavated.
Pompeii (pŏm-pā, -pāē)
1. A pompous ostentatious official, especially one who, holding many offices, fulfills none of them.
2. A person who holds high office.
Pooh-bah, pooh-bah (pbä′)
Containing many people or inhabitants; having a large population.
Of or based on the time a worker spends on the employer's property, calculated from the moment of arrival to that of departure: portal-to-portal pay.
A heavy curtain hung across a doorway.
portière, portiere * (pôr-tyâr)
tr.v. pos·it·ed, pos·it·ing, pos·its
1. To assume or put forward, as for consideration or the basis of argument: "If a book is hard going, it ought to be good. If it posits a complex moral situation, it ought to be even better" (Anthony Burgess).
2. To place firmly in position.
posit * (pŏzĭt)
adv. & adj.
In or of the form of an argument in which one event is asserted to be the cause of a later event simply by virtue of having happened earlier: grasping at reasons post hoc; a post hoc fallacy.
post hoc (hŏk, hōk)
A suggestion made to a hypnotized person that specifies an action to be performed after awakening, often in response to a cue.
posthypnotic suggestion (pōst′hĭp-nŏtĭk)
Of, relating to, or taking place in the afternoon.
1. A person submitting a request or application; a petitioner.
2. A candidate for admission into a religious order.
A vase or jar with a round or polygonal body tapering at the neck and having a removable cover.
A young hen that has been spayed for fattening.
poulard, poularde, (p-lärd)
1. Relating to, containing, or possessing land; landed.
2. Attached to, bound to, or arising from the land: praedial serfs.
praedial, predial (prēdē-əl)
A covered wagon, drawn by horses or oxen, that was used by pioneers in crossing the North American prairies and plains.
The period of childhood just before the onset of puberty, often designated as between the ages of 10 and 12 in girls and 11 and 13 in boys.
Relating to or expressing entreaty or supplication.
precatory * (prĕkə-tôr′ē) also prec·a·tive (-tĭv)
v. pre·dict·ed, pre·dict·ing, pre·dicts
To state, tell about, or make known in advance, especially on the basis of special knowledge: predicted an active hurricane season because of warmer ocean-surface temperatures.
To foretell something.
tr.v. pre·fab·ri·cat·ed, pre·fab·ri·cat·ing, pre·fab·ri·cates
1. To manufacture (a building or section of a building, for example) in advance, especially in standard sections that can be easily shipped and assembled.
2. To make up, construct, or develop in an artificial, unoriginal, or stereotypic manner: "[The movie] bears all the tiresome hallmarks of a cult-film wannabe—i.e. movies that try to prefabricate the kind of midnight-movie popularity that usually has to come about organically" (Bob Chipman).
prefabricate * (prē-făbrĭ-kāt′)
pre·hen·sile (prē-hĕnsəl, -sīl′)
1. Able to seize, grasp, or hold, especially by wrapping around an object: a monkey's prehensile tail.
2. Having a keen intellect or powerful memory: a prehensile mind.
prehensile (prē-hĕnsəl, -sīl′)
1. An introductory performance, event, or action preceding a more important one; a preliminary or preface.
a. A piece or movement that serves as an introduction to another section or composition and establishes the key, such as one that precedes a fugue, opens a suite, or precedes a church service.
b. A similar but independent composition for the piano.
c. The overture to an oratorio, opera, or act of an opera.
d. A short composition of the 1400s and early 1500s written in a free style, usually for keyboard.
v. prel·ud·ed, prel·ud·ing, prel·udes
1. To serve as a prelude to.
2. To introduce with or as if with a prelude.
To serve as a prelude or introduction.
prelude prāld′, -lyd′; prĕld′, -yd′; prēld′, -lyd′)
Contemplated or arranged in advance; premeditated: malice prepense
Inability of the eye to focus sharply on nearby objects, resulting from loss of elasticity of the crystalline lens with advancing age.
presbyopia (prĕz′bē-ōpē-ə, prĕs′-)
Having a presentiment.
presentient (prē-sĕnshənt, -shē-ənt)
a. Of or relating to a president or presidency.
b. Befitting a president, especially the office of the president of the United States: criticized the candidate for not looking presidential.
2. Of or relating to a political system in which the chief officer is a president who is elected independently of the legislature for a fixed term: a presidential government.
Situated in front of or occurring before a synapse: a presynaptic nerve fiber; a presynaptic stimulus.
presynaptic * (prē′sĭ-năptĭk)
1. Claiming that or behaving as if one is important or deserving of merit when such is not the case: a pretentious socialite.
2. Showing or betraying an attitude of superiority: made pretentious remarks about his education.
3. Marked by an extravagant or presumptuous outward show; ostentatious: a pretentious house. See Synonyms at showy.
n. pl. pri·mip·a·ras or pri·mip·a·rae (-ə-rē′)
1. A woman who is pregnant for the first time.
2. A woman who has given birth to only one child.
1. The earliest ancestor.
2. An ancestor or forebear.
1. Being or happening first in sequence of time; original.
2. Primary or fundamental: play a primordial role.
3. Biology Belonging to or characteristic of the earliest stage of development of an organism or a part: primordial cells.
A basic principle.
Based on, marked by, or manifesting principle: a principled decision; a highly principled person.
tr.v. pri·va·tized, pri·va·tiz·ing, pri·va·tiz·es
To change (an industry or business, for example) from governmental or public ownership or control to private enterprise: "Egypt has to some degree privatized agriculture, allowing farmers to sell directly to consumers instead of through the government" (Marq de Villiers).
n. pl. prix fixes (prē fēks)
1. A complete meal of several courses, sometimes with choices permitted, offered by a restaurant at a fixed price.
2. A fixed price charged for such a meal.
3. A full-course meal offering a limited number of choices and served at a fixed price in a restaurant or hotel.
prix fixe (prē fēks)
Provided free or at low cost to certain legal clients in order to serve the public good: a lawyer's pro bono representation of low-income families.
pro bono * (prō bōnō)
Of, relating to, or located on or near the front of the head.
Producing or designed to produce strict conformity by ruthless or arbitrary means.
Procrustean, procrustean (prō-krŭstē-ən)
1. Given to or characterized by licentiousness or dissipation: a profligate nightlife.
2. Given to or characterized by reckless waste; wildly extravagant: a profligate spender; the profligate use of water.
A profligate person.
profligate * (prŏflĭ-gĭt, -gāt′)
Of, relating to, or characteristic of the proletariat.
A member of the proletariat; a worker.
v. proph·e·sied (-sīd′, -sēd′), proph·e·sy·ing (-sī′ĭng, -sē′ĭng), proph·e·sies (-sīz′, -sēz′)
1. To reveal by divine inspiration.
2. To predict the future with certainty. See Synonyms at foretell.
3. To prefigure or foreshadow: "The wind was in the east, and the clouds prophesied rain" (Jacob Riis).
1. To reveal the will or message of God; speak or write as a prophet.
2. To predict future events; make predictions.
prophesier * (prŏfĭ-sī′, -sē′)
A resinous substance collected from the buds of certain trees by bees and used as a cement or sealant in the construction of their hives.
n. pl. pro·pri·e·ties
a. Conformity to conventional standards of behavior or morality.
b. proprieties Socially correct usages or behaviors.
2. The quality of being proper; appropriateness.
n. pl. pros·the·ses (-sēz)
1. An artificial device used to replace a missing body part, such as a limb, tooth, eye, or heart valve.
2. Replacement of a missing body part with such a device.
3. Linguistics Prothesis.
1. An emphatic declaration.
2. A strong or formal expression of dissent.
protestation (prŏt′ĭ-stāshən, prō′tĭ-, -tĕ-)
Of, relating to, or characteristic of the very beginning of the Stone Age; Eolithic.
protolithic * (prō′tə-lĭthĭk)
n. pl. pro·ven·tric·u·li (-lī′)
1. The division of the stomach in birds that secretes digestive enzymes and passes food from the crop to the gizzard.
2. A similar digestive chamber in certain insects and worms.
The head of a unit of military police.
provost marshal (prōvō)
1. Spurious writings, especially writings falsely attributed to biblical characters or times.
2. A body of texts written between 200 BC and AD 200 and spuriously ascribed to various prophets and kings of the Hebrew Scriptures.
A fictitious name, especially a pen name.
A noncontagious inflammatory skin disease characterized by recurring reddish patches covered with silvery scales.
psoriasis * (sə-rīə-sĭs)
n. pl. psy·cho·ki·ne·ses (-sēz) Abbr. PK
The production or control of motion, especially in inanimate and remote objects, purportedly by the exercise of psychic powers.
psychokinesis (sī′kō-kə-nēsĭs, -kī-)
The study of ferns and other pteridophytes.
1. Land owned and controlled by the state or federal government.
2. The condition of not being protected by a patent or copyright and therefore being available to the public for use without charge.
puissant * (pwĭsəns, pyĭ-səns, py-ĭsəns)
intr.v. pul·lu·lat·ed, pul·lu·lat·ing, pul·lu·lates
1. To breed rapidly or abundantly.
2. To be or increase in great numbers: "Ideas pullulated in his brain" (G.D. Dess).
3. To teem; swarm: a lagoon that pullulated with fish.
n. pl. Pun·chi·nel·los or Pun·chi·nel·loes
1. The short fat buffoon or clown in an Italian puppet show.
2. One who resembles a short fat clown.
n. pl. punc·til·i·os
1. A fine point of etiquette.
2. Precise observance of formalities.
punctilio * (pŭngk-tĭlē-ō′)
A cloth used to clean the chalice during or after the celebration of the Eucharist.
The capital and largest city of North Korea, in the southwest-central part of the country. It was an important cultural center and Chinese colony after 108 BC, later fell to the Japanese, and became capital of North Korea in 1948.
Pyongyang (pyŭngyäng, -yăng, pyông-)
n. pl. py·rog·ra·phies
1. The process or art of producing designs on wood, leather, or other materials by using heated tools or a fine flame.
2. A design made by this process.
n. (used with a sing. verb)
The branch of algebra that deals with quadratic equations.
quadratics * (kwŏ-drătĭks)
A quadricentenary event or celebration.
Any of various public officials in ancient Rome responsible for finance and administration in various areas of government and the military.
quaestor (kwĕstər, kwēstər)
A North American deciduous tree (Populus tremuloides) having broadly ovate, finely toothed leaves with flattened petioles, which quiver in a light breeze.
quaking aspen (kwākĭng)
n. pl. qua·li·a (-lē-ə)
A property, such as whiteness, considered independently from things having the property.
n. pl. quan·da·ries
A state of uncertainty or perplexity.
quandaries (kwŏndə-rē, -drē)
A town of northwest Virginia on the Potomac River south-southwest of Alexandria. A US Marine Corps base was established here in 1918.
Occurring every fourth day, counting inclusively, or every 72 hours. Used of a fever.
A malarial fever recurring every 72 hours.
The 15th-century period of Italian art and literature.
quattrocento * (kwŏt′rō-chĕntō)
1. Quiet, still, or inactive. See Synonyms at inactive.
2. Characterized by an absence of upheaval or discord: "We tend to think of the decades following the final overthrow of Napoleon as remarkably quiescent" (Walter McDougall).
3. Astronomy Having little or no sunspot activity.
4. Medicine Asymptomatic: a quiescent infection.
quiescent * (kwē-ĕsənt, kwī-)
1. Something that serves to suppress, check, or eliminate: "He was blindsided by a conflict in Korea that put the quietus on his China venture" (Robert L. Beisner).
2. Release from life; death.
3. A final discharge, as of a duty or debt.
1. A celebration of the fifteenth birthday of a Hispanic or Latina girl, typically including a Roman Catholic Mass and often serving as a social debut.
2. The girl whose birthday is celebrated at a quinceañera.
A person who is 50 years old or between the ages of 50 and 60.
1. Being 50 years old or between the ages of 50 and 60.
2. Of or relating to a quinquagenarian.
1. Multiplied by five; fivefold.
2. Being the fifth of a set of five identical copies.
1. One of a set of five identical things.
2. A set of five copies.
tr.v. (-kāt′) quin·tu·pli·cat·ed, quin·tu·pli·cat·ing, quin·tu·pli·cates
To make five copies of.
quintuplicate (kwĭn-tplĭ-kĭt, -ty-)
1. Suggesting puzzlement; questioning.
2. Teasing; mocking: "His face wore a somewhat quizzical almost impertinent air" (Lawrence Durrell).
3. Eccentric; odd.
That once was; former: "the quondam drunkard, now perfectly sober" (Bret Harte).
quondam * (kwŏndəm, -dăm′)
Suitable for or worthy of quoting: a quotable slogan; a quotable pundit.
A game played on a four-walled court by two or four players who alternately hit a small rubber ball against the front wall with short-handled rackets, with play stopping if the ball bounces twice on the floor or does not reach the front wall.
n. pl. ra·dic·chi·os
Any of several varieties of chicory, having red or red-spotted leaves that form rounded or elongated heads.
radicchio (rə-dēkē-ō, rä-)
The study of the effects of radiation and radioisotopes on the environment.
Allowing the passage of x-rays or other radiation; not radiopaque.
adv. & adj.
Gradually slackening in tempo; ritardando. Used chiefly as a direction.
n. pl. ral·len·tan·dos
A rallentando passage or movement.
rallentando (răl′ən-tăndō, räl′lĕn-tändō)
1. The ninth month of the year in the Islamic calendar.
2. A fast, held from sunrise to sunset, that is carried out during this period.
Ramadan (răm′ə-dän, rămə-dän′)
A standing dead tree or tree stump, especially one killed by fire.
1. A long, slender, two-edged sword with a cuplike hilt, used in the 1500s and 1600s.
2. A light, sharp-pointed sword lacking a cutting edge and used only for thrusting.
rapier (rāpē-ər, rāpyər)
1. The condition of being rarefied.
a. A decrease in density and pressure in a medium, such as air, caused by the passage of a sound wave.
b. The region in which this occurs.
n. pl. ras·cal·i·ties
1. Behavior or character typical of a rascal.
2. A base or mischievous act.
1. Extremely hungry or characterized by extreme hunger; voracious: missed lunch and was ravenous by dinnertime.
2. Predatory or ferocious in predation: ravenous lions.
3. Eager for gratification or extremely desirous: "I'm ravenous for news, any kind of news" (Margaret Atwood).
1. A feral hog (Sus scrofa) of the southern United States, having a narrow body with a ridged back.
2. A large baleen whale (Balaenoptera physalus) having grooves on the throat, a prominent dorsal fin, and a whitish underside.
3. A sharp ridged hill.
A usually expansionist national policy having as its sole principle advancement of the national interest.
1. The act of reapportioning or the state of being reapportioned.
2. Redistribution of representation in a legislative body, especially the periodic reallotment of US congressional seats according to changes in the census figures as required by the Constitution.
tr.v. rear-end·ed, rear-end·ing, rear-ends
To run into (another motor vehicle) from behind: My car was rear-ended by a truck.
tr.v. re·cal·cu·lat·ed, re·cal·cu·lat·ing, re·cal·cu·lates
To calculate again, especially in order to eliminate errors or to incorporate additional factors or data.
1. A critical revision of a text incorporating the most plausible elements found in varying sources.
2. A text so revised.
Capable of or qualified for reconciliation: reconcilable differences.
reconcilable (rĕk′ən-sīlə-bəl, rĕkən-sī′-)
v. re·couped, re·coup·ing, re·coups
a. To get back; recover or regain: recoup a loss; recoup one's dignity.
b. To gain an amount equal to (an outlay or investment): expected to recoup the development costs in three years.
c. To restore; replenish: "urged [her] to catch up on sleep and recoup her utterly spent resources" (Bernard Lown).
2. To reimburse (someone) for a loss or expenditure.
3. Law To reduce (the amount of a monetary claim made by a party in a legal action) because of a failure of that party to perform an obligation under the contract or law related to the claim.
To recover from loss or exhaustion; recuperate: needed to recoup after the strenuous campaign.
intr.v. re·cru·desced, re·cru·desc·ing, re·cru·desc·es
To break out anew or come into renewed activity, as after a period of quiescence.
1. Lying down, especially in a position of comfort or rest; reclining.
2. Resting; idle.
3. Biology Resting on the surface from which it arises. Used of an organ or other structure.
A recumbent bicycle.
recumbent * (rĭ-kŭmbənt)
1. Occurring or appearing again or repeatedly.
2. Anatomy Turning in a reverse direction. Used of blood vessels and nerves.
v. re·de·ployed, re·de·ploy·ing, re·de·ploys
1. To deploy (personnel, especially military forces) to a different place or on a different assignment.
2. To put to a different use or action; deploy in a different way: redeploy the company's resources.
To be deployed to a different area or assignment.
1. A man's long double-breasted topcoat with full skirt.
2. A woman's full-length unlined coat or dress open down the front to show a dress or underdress.
Memorably happy: a red-letter day.
n. pl. ref·er·en·dums or ref·er·en·da (-də)
a. The submission of a proposed public measure or actual statute to a direct popular vote.
b. Such a vote.
2. A note from a diplomat to the diplomat's government requesting instructions.
Capable of being refracted: refrangible rays of light.
refrangible * (rĭ-frănjə-bəl)
In spite of everything; anyway: continues to work regardless.
a. A government, especially an oppressive or undemocratic one: a fascist regime.
b. A usually heavy-handed administration or group in charge of an organization: Raises were canceled under the new regime.
a. A way of organizing or managing something; a system: an admissions regime at a college.
b. A regulated system of diet, exercise, or medical treatment; a regimen.
3. The period during which a particular administration or system prevails.
4. A prevailing pattern of water flow, as of a river.
regime, régime (rā-zhēm, rĭ-)
1. To an extent deserving of regret: a regrettably brief career.
2. As a matter of regret: Regrettably, the book is not available.
tr.v. re·im·port·ed, re·im·port·ing, re·im·ports
To bring back into a country (goods made from its exported raw materials).
reimportation (rē′ĭm-pôrt, rē-ĭmpôrt′)
tr.v. re·jig·gered, re·jig·ger·ing, re·jig·gers
To readjust or rearrange.
A renewal of youthful appearance or character.
1. The quality of being religious.
2. Excessive or affected piety.
1. The act or process of remedying something that is undesirable or deficient: remediation of the pollution from the factories.
2. The act or process of providing remedial education: remediation of poor writing skills in college students.
tr.v. re·mil·i·ta·rized, re·mil·i·ta·riz·ing, re·mil·i·ta·riz·es
To equip again for war.
remilitarize * (rē-mĭlĭ-tə-rīz′)
1. Capable of being renewed: a renewable membership; renewable subscriptions.
2. Relating to or being a commodity or resource, such as solar energy or firewood, that is inexhaustible or replaceable by new growth.
renewable (rĭ-nə-bəl, -ny-)
1. The act or process of repenting.
2. Remorse or contrition for past conduct or sin.
n. pl. rep·er·to·ries
1. A repertoire.
a. A theater in which a resident company presents works from a specified repertoire, usually in alternation.
b. A repertory company.
a. A place, such as a storehouse, where a stock of things is kept; a repository.
b. Something stored in or as if in such a place; a stock or collection.
1. Of or relating to a repertory company.
2. Of or relating to an independent movie theater that shows a selected program of films usually including revivals.
1. An action to recover personal property said or claimed to be unlawfully taken.
2. The writ or procedure of such an action.
tr.v. re·plev·ined, re·plev·in·ing, re·plev·ines
tr.v. rep·re·hend·ed, rep·re·hend·ing, rep·re·hends
To reprove; censure.
1. One that serves as an example or type for others of the same classification.
2. One that serves as a delegate or agent for another.
a. A member of a governmental body, usually legislative, chosen by popular vote.
b. A member of the US House of Representatives or of the lower house of a state legislature.
1. Representing, depicting, or portraying or able to do so.
2. Authorized to act as an official delegate or agent.
3. Of or characteristic of government by representation.
4. Like or typical of others of the same class.
representative * (rĕp′rĭ-zĕntə-tĭv)
A prayer for the repose of the souls of the dead.
requiescat (rĕk′wē-ĕskăt′, -kät′)
tr.v. re·scind·ed, re·scind·ing, re·scinds
To make void; repeal or annul.
Yielding or containing resin.
Possible to resist: resistible impulses.
The manager or owner of a restaurant.
restaurateur * (rĕs′tər-ə-tûr) also res·tau·ran·teur (-tə-rän-tûr)
v. res·ur·rect·ed, res·ur·rect·ing, res·ur·rects
1. To bring back to life; raise from the dead.
a. To bring back into practice, notice, or use: resurrect an old style.
b. To restore to vibrancy: resurrect a waterfront.
To rise from the dead; return to life.
1. The act of retaining or the condition of being retained: the retention of nutrients in the soil; the retention of jobs in the city.
2. The practice of requiring a student to repeat a class or a year of school because of insufficient educational progress to advance.
3. The ability to recall or recognize what has been learned or experienced; memory.
4. The inability of a person or animal to eliminate a bodily waste.
retention * (rĭ-tĕnshən)
n. pl. ret·i·nos·co·pies
Medical examination and analysis of the refractive properties of the eye.
n. pl. ret·ro·vi·rus·es
Any of a family of viruses, many of which produce tumors, that contain RNA and reverse transcriptase, including HIV.
retrovirus * (rĕt′rō-vīrəs, rĕtrə-vī′-)
a. The sounding of a bugle early in the morning to awaken and summon people in a camp or garrison.
b. This bugle call or its equivalent.
c. The first military formation of the day.
2. A signal to get up out of bed.
reveille * (rĕvə-lē)
a. The act of revealing or disclosing.
b. Something revealed, especially a dramatic disclosure of something not previously known or realized.
c. A sudden insight or idea: "I'd had the idea to dig up Dad's coffin ... I was lying in bed and I had the revelation, like a simple solution to an impossible problem" (Jonathan Safran Foer).
2. Theology A manifestation of divine will or truth.
revelation, Revelation (rĕv′ə-lāshən)
1. One that returns after a lengthy absence.
2. One who returns after death.
revenant * (rĕvə-nənt)
The capital and largest city of Iceland, in the southwest part of the island. Traditionally founded in 874, it became capital of the country in 1918 after Denmark recognized Iceland's sovereignty.
Reykjavik (rākyə-vēk′, -vĭk′)
v. rhap·so·dized, rhap·so·diz·ing, rhap·so·diz·es
To express oneself in an immoderately enthusiastic manner.
To recite (something) in the manner of a rhapsody.
A brown to grayish monkey (Macaca mulatta) found from Pakistan to eastern China and used extensively in biological and medical research.
rhesus monkey *
A question to which no answer is expected, often used for rhetorical effect.
A horizontal, usually underground stem that often sends out roots and shoots from its nodes.
Lacking an Rh factor.
A parallelogram with unequal adjacent sides, especially one having oblique angles.
adj. also rhom·boi·dal (-boidl)
Shaped like a rhombus or rhomboid.
1. A form of verse having stanzas with seven lines in iambic pentameter rhyming ababbcc.
2. One of these stanzas.
An orange-yellow crystalline compound, C17H20N4O6, that is part of the vitamin B complex and is essential for the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, occurring naturally in milk, meat, egg yolks, and leafy green vegetables. Also called lactoflavin, vitamin B2.
riboflavin (rībō-flā′vĭn, -bə-)
1. Characterized by or adhering to strict standards or methods; exacting and thorough: a rigorous study of the medication; a rigorous researcher.
a. Harsh, severe, or demanding: a rigorous taskmaster; a rigorous schedule.
b. Very unpleasant or inclement: a rigorous climate.
3. Adhering strictly to a belief or ideology; uncompromising or inflexible: a rigorous Catholic; a rigorous sense of correctness.
rigorously * (rĭgər-əs)
n. pl. rimes riches (rēm rēsh)
Rhyme using words or parts of words that are pronounced identically but have different meanings, for example, write-right or port-deport.
rime riche * (rēm rēsh)
adv. & adj. Abbr. rf or rfz
With a sudden increase of emphasis. Used chiefly as a direction.
Characterized by or given to rivalry or competition.
A form of popular music combining features of rock music and bluegrass.
A male roe deer.
American poet whose short lyrical works were published in The Waking (1953) and other collections.
Roethke (rĕtkē, -kə, rĕth-)
n. pl. ro·mans-fleuves (rō-mäɴ′flœv)
A long novel, often in many volumes, chronicling the history of several generations of a family, community, or other group and often presenting an overall view of society during a particular epoch.
1. often Romanticism An artistic and intellectual movement originating in Europe in the late 1700s and characterized by a heightened interest in nature, emphasis on the individual's expression of emotion and imagination, departure from the attitudes and forms of classicism, and rebellion against established social rules and conventions.
2. Romantic quality or spirit in thought, expression, or action.
romanticism, Romanticism (rō-măntĭ-sĭz′əm)
1. Of or belonging to the rose family.
2. Resembling the flower of a rose.
Either of two desert plants, Anastatica hierochuntica of the mustard family, native to northern Africa and southwest Asia, or Selaginella lepidophylla, a spore-bearing vascular plant of the southwest United States and Mexico. Each plant forms a tight ball when dry and unfolds under moist conditions.
rose of Jericho
A rose-colored skin rash, sometimes occurring with diseases such as measles, syphilis, or scarlet fever.
roseola (rō-zēə-lə, rō′zē-ōlə)
A motorized rotary cultivator.
rototiller * (rōtə-tĭl′ər)
Support of monarchy or of a particular monarch.
royalism * (roiə-lĭz′əm)
A gawking onlooker.
Producing redness, as of the skin.
A substance that irritates the skin, causing redness.
Causing, feeling, or expressing sorrow or regret: "He gave the young officer the rueful look of a father exasperated with his misbehaving son" (Khaled Hosseini).
Uncontrollably exuberant; unruly: a rumbustious child, a rumbustious street market; a rumbustious political campaign.
rumbustious * (rŭm-bŭschəs)
1. An uninterrupted rehearsal: did a run-through of act one.
2. A brief outline or summary.
An admirer of Russia or its people, language, or culture.
1. Relating to a sabbatical year.
2. Sabbatical also Sabbatic Relating or appropriate to the Sabbath as the day of rest.
A sabbatical year.
sabbatical, Sabbatical (sə-bătĭ-kəl)
1. A flamboyant display of military power.
2. A threat or implied threat to use military force.
Any of various extinct saber-toothed cats of the genus Smilodon, having very long upper canines and widespread in Europe and the Americas during the late Pleistocene Epoch.
saber-toothed tiger *
A rapid intermittent eye movement, as that which occurs when the eyes fix on one point after another in the visual field.
saccade (să-käd, sə-)
Any of a series of sweet-tasting carbohydrates, especially a simple sugar or an oligomer or polymer of simple sugars.
Of, relating to, or affecting the sacrum and ilium and their articulation or associated ligaments.
The sacroiliac region or cartilage.
sacroiliac (săk′rō-ĭlē-ăk′, sā′krō-)
Regarded as sacred and inviolable.
sacrosanct * (săkrō-săngkt′)
1. A constellation in the Southern Hemisphere near Scorpius and Capricorn.
a. The ninth sign of the zodiac in astrology.
b. One who is born under this sign. In all senses also called Archer.
A medium-sized antelope (Saiga tatarica) of the steppes of Eurasia, having a large fleshy snout and, in the male, ridged yellowish horns.
saiga, Saiga (sīgə)
An island of the US Virgin Islands in the West Indies east of Puerto Rico. Sighted and named by Columbus in 1493, it was controlled successively by Holland, England, Spain, France, and Denmark, which sold it to the United States in 1917.
Saint Croix (kroi)
1. Any of various small, tailed amphibians of the order Caudata, having porous scaleless skin and usually two pairs of limbs of equal size, found chiefly in northern temperate regions.
a. A mythical creature, generally resembling a lizard, believed capable of living in or withstanding fire.
b. In the occult philosophy of Paracelsus, a being having fire as its element.
3. An object, such as a poker, used in fire or capable of withstanding heat.
4. Metallurgy A mass of solidified material, largely metallic, left in a blast-furnace hearth.
5. A portable stove used to heat or dry buildings under construction.
A move in figure skating in which the skater, while skating backwards, jumps from the back inside edge of one skate, completes a full rotation, and lands on the back outside edge of the other skate.
A specially graduated hydrometer that directly indicates the concentration of salt in a solution.
salimeter * (sə-lĭmĭ-tər) or sa·lom·e·ter (-lŏm-)
n. pl. sal·mo·nel·lae (-nĕlē) or sal·mo·nel·las or salmonella
1. Any of various rod-shaped bacteria of the genus Salmonella, especially S. enterica, which cause food poisoning, typhoid, and paratyphoid fever in humans and various infectious diseases in domestic animals. Salmonella bacteria are divided into numerous serotypes on the basis of certain antigens found in the cell wall and flagella.
salmonella, Salmonella (săl′mə-nĕlə)
1. Of or relating to leaping or dancing.
2. Zoology Characterized by or used for leaping: saltatorial rodents.
saltatorial (săl′tə-tôrē-əl, sôl′-)
A city of northeast Mexico southwest of Monterrey. It was founded c. 1575 and occupied by Zachary Taylor's forces during the Mexican War.
Saltillo * (säl-tēyō)
A spicy condiment used especially in Indonesia and Malaysia, made with chili peppers and other ingredients, such as sugar or coconut.
n. pl. san·a·to·ri·ums or san·a·to·ri·a (-tôrē-ə)
1. An institution for the treatment of chronic diseases or for medically supervised recuperation.
2. A resort for improvement or maintenance of health, especially for convalescents. Also called sanitarium.
1. Relating to or involving blood or bloodshed.
2. Having the color of blood; blood-red.
The highest judicial and ecclesiastical council of the ancient Jewish nation, composed of from 70 to 72 members.
Sanhedrin (săn-hĕdrĭn, -hēdrĭn, sän-)
n. pl. Santa Gertrudis
Any of a breed of large beef cattle that are highly resistant to heat and insects, developed in the United States by crossing Brahmans and shorthorns.
Santa Gertrudis (săn′tə gər-trdĭs)
Mange caused by the mite Sarcoptes scabiei.
sarcoptic mange (sär-kŏptĭk)
1. Scornfully or cynically mocking: a sardonic sense of humor.
2. Given to making sardonic remarks: "He was proud, sardonic, harsh to inferiority of every description" (Charlotte Brontë).
tr.v. sat·i·rized, sat·i·riz·ing, sat·i·riz·es
To ridicule or attack by means of satire.
A country occupying most of the Arabian Peninsula. Inhabited since ancient times by nomadic Semitic tribes, the region was consolidated under Muhammad, who established a theocratic state at Medina and gained control of all Arabia c. 630. After the caliphate was moved from Medina to Damascus in 661, the peninsula remained fragmented until most of it was united in the 1700s under the Saud family, who adopted the Wahhabi form of Islam. Crushed by Egyptian and Ottoman opposition in the 1800s, Saudi forces reconquered the peninsula in the early 1900s. The unified kingdom of Saudi Arabia was created in 1932 as an absolute monarchy under Wahhabi law. Oil was discovered in 1938 and soon became the mainstay of the economy. Riyadh is the capital and the largest city.
Saudi Arabia (soudē, sôdē, sä-dē)
Any of various dinosaurs of the order Saurischia, having a pubic bone that points down and forward like that of modern reptiles, and including the sauropods, such as apatosaurus, and the theropods, such as T. rex.
tr.v. sau·téed, sau·té·ing, sau·tés
To fry lightly in fat in a shallow open pan.
A dish of food so prepared.
sauté (sō-tā, sô-)
A woodwind instrument with a single-reed mouthpiece and a usually curved conical metal tube, including soprano, alto, tenor, and baritone sizes.
n. pl. scampi
1. Large shrimp broiled or sautéed and served in a garlic and butter sauce.
2. A small edible lobster (Nephrops norvegicus) of the eastern Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, having slender claws.
Served in a garlic and butter sauce: lobster scampi.
scampi (skămpē, skäm-)
One who spreads malicious gossip.
scandalmonger (skăndl-mŭng′gər, -mŏng′-)
Analysis of verse into metrical patterns.
A scoundrel; a rascal.
Resembling scarlet fever or its rash.
scarlatinoid * (skär′lə-tēnoid′)
Of, relating to, or in the form of a scheme or diagram.
A structural or procedural diagram, especially of an electrical or mechanical system.
schematically * (skē-mătĭk, skĭ-)
a. Excessively sentimental art or music.
b. Maudlin sentimentality.
2. Liquid fat, especially chicken fat.
One of the ancient commentators who annotated the classical authors.
A curved Asian sword with the edge on the convex side.
scimitar (sĭmĭ-tər, -tär′)
n. pl. scin·til·las
1. A minute amount; an iota or trace.
2. pl. also scin·til·lae (sĭn-tĭlē) A spark; a flash.
Abnormal lateral curvature of the spine.
scoliosis * (skō′lē-ōsĭs, skŏl′ē-)
1. Without having to pay: got away from the restaurant scot-free.
2. Without incurring any penalty or punishment: came away from the incident scot-free.
A villain; a rogue.
The script for a movie, including descriptions of scenes and some camera directions.
n. pl. scrimshaw or scrim·shaws
1. The art of carving or incising intricate designs on the teeth, bones, or baleen of whales.
2. A decorative article made by this art.
v. scrim·shawed, scrim·shaw·ing, scrim·shaws
tr. & intr.v.
To decorate (whale ivory or whalebone) with intricate carvings or designs or make such designs.
scrimshaw * (skrĭmshô′)
A servant employed to do menial tasks in a kitchen.
n. pl. scur·ril·i·ties
1. The quality of being vulgar, coarse, or abusive.
2. A vulgar, coarse, or abusive remark or passage.
Surrounded by the sea.
v. sec·ond-guessed, sec·ond-guess·ing, sec·ond-guess·es
1. To criticize or correct after an outcome is known: "One hesitates to second-guess the jury's judgment from a distance of more than sixty years" (Ira Stoll).
2. To criticize, contradict, or overrule (a decision or one who has made a decision): "When he wants to prescribe costly but powerful medicines, faraway HMO clerks second-guess his drug choices" (George Anders)."Sometimes [General Halleck] second-guessed Grant and aired his objections to instructions instead of immediately transmitting them" (Brooks D. Simpson).
a. To outguess.
b. To predict or anticipate: "She can second-guess indictments" (Scott Turow).
To criticize a decision, especially after its outcome is known.
tr.v. sec·u·lar·ized, sec·u·lar·iz·ing, sec·u·lar·iz·es
1. To transfer from ecclesiastical or religious to civil or lay use or ownership: "The ... government ... had secularized the charitable institutions of the Church" (David I. Kertzer).
2. To draw away from religious orientation; make worldly: a society that has become secularized.
3. To lift the monastic restrictions from (a member of the clergy).
Serenely deliberate, composed, and dignified in character or manner.
sedate * (sĭ-dāt)
1. Conduct or language inciting rebellion against the authority of a state.
2. Archaic Insurrection; rebellion.
Containing selenium: seleniferous soil.
The astronomical study of the moon.
Tending to undervalue oneself and one's abilities.
Excessive indulgence of one's own appetites and desires.
Occurring or issued twice a year.
semiannual (sĕm′ē-ăny-əl, sĕm′ī-)
adv. & adj.
In a simple or plain manner. Used chiefly as a direction.
semplice * (sĕmplĭ-chā′)
1. A device, such as a photoelectric cell, that receives and responds to a signal or stimulus.
2. A specialized organ or structure, such as the eye, ear, tongue, nose, or skin, where sensory neurons are concentrated and that functions as a receptor.
sensor (sĕnsər, -sôr′)
Possible to separate: separable sheets of paper.
separable (sĕpər-ə-bəl, sĕprə-)
1. The act or process of sequestering: the sequestration of the jury.
a. The sequestering of property.
b. The writ authorizing such sequestering.
c. The legal process by which such sequestering is accomplished.
3. Chemistry The inhibition or prevention of normal ion behavior by combination with added materials, especially the formation of coordination compounds or chelates of metallic ions.
4. The process of removing a chemical from the environment and sequestering it in an organic or physical structure.
sequestration (sē′kwĭ-strāshən, sĕk′wĭ-)
n. pl. se·rol·o·gies
1. The science that deals with the properties and reactions of serums, especially blood serum.
2. The characteristics of a disease or organism shown by study of blood serums: the serology of acquired immune deficiency syndrome; the serology of mammals.
serology * (sĭ-rŏlə-jē)
A silver or bronze coin of ancient Rome equivalent to one fourth of a denarius.
sesterce * (sĕstûrs′)
Relating to 600 or to a 600-year period.
n. pl. sex·cen·te·nar·ies
A 600th anniversary or its commemoration.
sexcentenary (sĕk-sĕntə-nĕr′ē, sĕk′sĕn-tĕnə-rē)
An island country in the western Indian Ocean north of Madagascar. Previously uninhabited, the islands were explored by Vasco da Gama in the early 1500s and colonized by the French in the mid-1700s. They were taken by the British in 1794, and Britain gained permanent control of them in 1814. The Seychelles were a crown colony from 1903 until 1975, when they became self-governing. Independence as a Commonwealth nation was achieved in 1976. Victoria, on Mahé Island, is the capital.
Seychelles (sā-shĕl, -shĕlz)
The Jewish Sabbath, observed from sundown on Friday until sundown on Saturday.
Shabbat (shə-bät, shäbəs)
Used as a traditional Jewish greeting or farewell.
shalom (shä-lōm, shə-)
n. pl. sha·mans
A member of certain traditional societies, especially of northern Asia and of North and South America, who acts as a medium between the visible world and an invisible spirit world and who practices magic or sorcery for purposes of healing, divination, and control over natural events.
shaman (shämən, shā-)
A secret jargon used by traditionally itinerant people in Great Britain and Ireland, based on systematic inversion or alteration of the initial consonants of Gaelic words. Also called Cant, Gammon.
1. A word or pronunciation that distinguishes people of one group or class from those of another.
a. A word or phrase identified with a particular group or cause; a catchword.
b. A commonplace saying or idea.
3. A custom or practice that betrays one as an outsider.
shibboleth (shĭbə-lĭth, -lĕth′)
n. pl. shiitake
A mushroom (Lentinula edodes) native to East Asia, having an edible golden or dark brown cap.
shiitake (shē-täkē, shē′ē-täkĕ)
Any of various carnivorous songbirds of the family Laniidae, having a screeching call and a strong hooked bill and often impaling its prey on sharp-pointed thorns or barbs of wire fencing.
1. A characteristic attribute, talent, or trait that is helpful in securing recognition or attention: waiters in tropical attire are part of the restaurant's shtick.
2. An entertainment routine or gimmick.
shtick, schtick, shtik (shtĭk)
Of, characterized by, or producing a hissing sound like that of (s) or (sh): the sibilant consonants; a sibilant bird call.
A sibilant speech sound, such as English (s), (sh), (z), or (zh).
Fodder prepared by compressing and fermenting green forage crops under anaerobic conditions, usually in a silo.
silage * (sīlĭj)
Containing, resembling, relating to, or consisting of silica.
A disease of the lungs caused by continued inhalation of the dust of siliceous minerals and characterized by progressive fibrosis and a chronic shortness of breath.
1. Of like mind or temperament; compatible.
2. Having attractive qualities; pleasing.
simpatico (sĭm-pätĭ-kō′, -pătĭ-)
The tendency to oversimplify an issue or a problem by ignoring complexities or complications.
simplism * (sĭmplĭz′əm)
1. The act or process of simulating.
2. An imitation; a sham.
3. Assumption of a false appearance.
a. Imitation or representation, as of a potential situation or in experimental testing.
b. Representation of the operation or features of one process or system through the use of another: computer simulation of an in-flight emergency.
simulation * (sĭm′yə-lāshən)
sine prole (sī′nĭ prōlē, sĭn′ā)
Growing upward in a spiral that turns from right to left: a sinistrorse vine.
Of or relating to the behavioristic theories and methods of B.F. Skinner.
A follower of B.F. Skinner's theories or methods.
tr.v. slath·ered, slath·er·ing, slath·ers
a. To spread or smear in large amounts: slathered sunscreen on his arms.
b. To cover with something spread or smeared in large amounts: slathered the bagels with cream cheese.
n. often slathers
A great amount: slathers of money.
1. Untidy, as in dress or appearance.
2. Marked by negligence; careless or slipshod: a slovenly legal defense.
slovenly * (slŭvən-lē)
v. smat·tered, smat·ter·ing, smat·ters
1. To speak (a language) without fluency: smatters Russian.
2. To study or approach superficially; dabble in.
To prattle: smattered on about her vacation.
smatter * (smătər)
1. A pear-shaped goblet with a narrow top, used especially in serving brandy.
2. Slang A small portion of liquor.
Involving both social and political factors.
sociopolitical * (sō′sē-ō-pə-lĭtĭ-kəl, -shē-)
n. pl. so·la·ti·a (-shē-ə)
Compensation for injured feelings as distinct from financial loss or physical suffering.
1. A nonstandard usage or grammatical construction.
2. A violation of etiquette.
3. An impropriety, mistake, or incongruity.
solecism (sŏlĭ-sĭz′əm, sōlĭ-)
a. Showing great attention or concern to another: a solicitous parent; solicitous for your welfare; solicitous of his young sister.
b. Expressing care or concern for another: made solicitous inquiries about our family. See Synonyms at thoughtful.
c. Showing great care; careful or meticulous: solicitous in the care of critically ill patients.
d. Worried; anxious: solicitous about his son's behavior.
2. Archaic Full of desire; eager: "an opinion which he had seemed solicitous to give" (Jane Austen).
1. Capable of meeting financial obligations.
2. Chemistry Capable of dissolving another substance.
a. A substance in which another substance is dissolved, forming a solution.
b. A substance, usually a liquid, capable of dissolving another substance.
2. Something that solves or explains.
solvent (sŏlvənt, sôl-)
ntr.v. som·nam·bu·lat·ed, som·nam·bu·lat·ing, som·nam·bu·lates
To walk or perform another act while asleep or in a sleeplike condition.
somnambulated * (sŏm-nămbyə-lāt′)
1. A cultivated grass (Sorghum bicolor) native to sub-Saharan Africa, several varieties of which are widely grown for their grain, as forage, or as a source of syrup.
2. Syrup made from the juice of this plant.
sorghum, Sorghum (sôrgəm)
A large brass instrument, similar in range to the tuba, having a flaring bell and a shape adapted to being carried in marching bands.
sousaphone (szə-fōn′, -sə-)
Motion sickness caused by sustained weightlessness during space flight, usually accompanied by disturbance of the inner ear.
1. Relating to, affected by, or having the character of a spasm; convulsive.