Advertisement Upgrade to remove ads

...words someday destined for my active vocabulary.....


A figure of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected in a way that causes the reader or listener to reframe or reinterpret the first part. It is frequently used for humorous or dramatic effect from Greek "παρα-", meaning "beyond" and "προσδοκία", meaning "expectation"

lucifugous \loo-see-FOO-guhs\, adjective

Avoiding light.

nympholepsy \NIM-fuh-lep-see\, noun

1. A frenzy of emotion, as for something unattainable. 2. An ecstasy supposed by the ancients to be inspired by nymphs.


1. Strengthening; restoring vigor. noun: 1. A strengthening medicine; a tonic; a restorative. Roborant derives from the present participle of Latin roborare, "to strengthen," from robur, roboris, "strength."

retrograde \RE-truh-greyd\, adjective:

1. Having a backward motion or direction; retiring or retreating. 2. Inverse or reversed, as order. 3. Exhibiting degeneration or deterioration.

Nep·tu·ni·an [nep-too-nee-uh n,-tyoo-] -adjective

1. pertaining to Neptune or the sea. 2. pertaining to the planet Neptune. 3. (often lowercase) Geol. formed by the action of water.

fulsome \FUL-sum\, adjective:

1. Offensive to the taste or sensibilities. 2. Insincere or excessively lavish; especially, offensive from excess of praise.

inchoate \in-KOH-it\, adjective:

1. In an initial or early stage; just begun. 2. Imperfectly formed or formulated.

soph·ist·ry [sof-uh-stree] -noun, plural -ries.

a subtle, tricky, superficially plausible, but generally fallacious method of reasoning; a false argument; sophism.

chicanery \shih-KAY-nuh-ree\, noun:

1. The use of trickery or sophistry to deceive (as in matters of law). 2. A trick; a subterfuge.

de rigueur \duh ri-GUR\, adjective:

Strictly required, as by etiquette, usage, or fashion.

idioglossia \id-ee-uh-GLOS-ee-uh\, noun:

1. A private form of speech invented by one child or by children who are in close contact, as twins. 2. A pathological condition in which a person's speech is so severely distorted that it is unintelligible.

aoristic \ey-uh-RIS-tik\, adjective:

1. Indefinite; indeterminate. 2. In grammar: A tense of the verb indicating past action without reference to whether the action involved was momentary or continuous.

cat·a·chre·sis [kat-uh-kree-sis] -noun

misuse or strained use of words, as in a mixed metaphor, occurring either in error or for rhetorical effect. Origin: 1580-90; < L < Gk: a misuse (akin to katachrêsthai to misuse), equiv. to kata- cata- + chrêsis use ( chrê ( sthai ) to use, need + -sis -sis)

horripilate \haw-RIP-uh-leyt\, verb:

To produce a bristling of the hair on the skin from cold, fear, etc.; goose flesh.

eleemosynary \el-uh-MOS-uh-ner-ee\, adjective:

1. Of or for charity; charitable; as, "an eleemosynary institution." 2. Given in charity; having the nature of alms; as, "eleemosynary assistance." 3. Supported by or dependent on charity; as, "the eleemosynary poor."

dithyrambic \dith-uh-RAM-bik\, adjective:

1. Wildly enthusiastic. 2. Wildly irregular in form. 3. Of, pertaining to, or of the nature of a dithyramb.

nostrum \NOS-truhm\, noun

1. A medicine of secret composition and unproven or dubious effectiveness; a quack medicine. 2. A usually questionable remedy or scheme; a cure-all.


burdensome, oppressive, or troublesome; having obligations or that outweigh the advantages


devoid of freshness or originality; hackneyed or trite


patronage; support; sponsorship ; a divination or prognostication, originally from observing birds


of a thick nature or consistency


marked by the characteristics of an earlier period; antiquated or primitive


characteristic of a specific people or place; native or indigenous


resisting authority or control, not obedient or compliant


depending upon experience or observation alone, without using scientific method or theory


expert or nimble in the use of the hands or body; cleverly skillful, resourceful, or ingenious


foolish or inane, especially in an unconscious, complacent manner; silly


to combine and form a collection or mass


reserved or reticent; indifferent; disinterested


a matter of conjecture, an idea or thought of something as being possible or likely

neu·rop·ter·ous -adjective

belonging or pertaining to the Neuroptera, an order of insects characterized by four membranous wings having netlike venation, comprising the ant lions, lacewings, dobsonflies, alderflies, fishflies, snakeflies, mantispids, and spongillaflies.


the simultaneous purchase and sale of the same securities, commodities, or foreign exchange in different markets to profit from unequal prices.


to implant by repeated statement or admonition; teach persistently and earnestly (usually fol. by upon or in):


asserting opinions in a doctrinaire or arrogant manner; opinionated.


swiftness; speed.


a model or pattern of excellence or of a particular excellence.


not easily stirred or moved mentally; unemotional; impassive.


characterized by excessive piousness or moralistic fervor, esp. in an affected manner; excessively smooth, suave, or smug.


to show to be false; contradict:


extremely sacred or inviolable:


narrow and rigid in opinion; inflexible:


of a sickly, yellowish color:


injurious to health:


an aptitude for making desirable discoveries by accident.


to intercept or attack from ambush, as in order to rob, seize, or slay.

éclat [ey-klah; Fr. ey-kla]-noun

1. brilliance of success, reputation, etc.: the éclat of a great achievement. 2. showy or elaborate display: a performance of great éclat. 3. acclamation; acclai


Being beyond what is seen or avowed; intentionally kept concealed: ulterior motives. Coming at a subsequent time or stage; future; further: ulterior action. Lying beyond or outside of some specified or understood boundary; more remote: a suggestion ulterior to the purposes of the present discussion.

enigmatic [en-ig-mat-ik, ee-nig-] -adjective

resembling an enigma; perplexing; mysterious.

afflatus \uh-FLAY-tuhs\, noun:

A divine imparting of knowledge; inspiration.


Characterized by the singing of several notes to one syllable of text, for emotional impact, as in blues and other musical styles

Please allow access to your computer’s microphone to use Voice Recording.

Having trouble? Click here for help.

We can’t access your microphone!

Click the icon above to update your browser permissions above and try again


Reload the page to try again!


Press Cmd-0 to reset your zoom

Press Ctrl-0 to reset your zoom

It looks like your browser might be zoomed in or out. Your browser needs to be zoomed to a normal size to record audio.

Please upgrade Flash or install Chrome
to use Voice Recording.

For more help, see our troubleshooting page.

Your microphone is muted

For help fixing this issue, see this FAQ.

Star this term

You can study starred terms together

NEW! Voice Recording