Vocabulary

There are…*checks Wikipedia* over a quarter of a million unique words in the English language, and there are just some out there that are exceptionally fun to say, use in conversation, or just know. This page is dedicated those words, listed alphabetically; and if you have some of your own, leave a comment and spread the love.

Further Definitions (Forever) Coming Soon

Total Count: 339

General: (263)

Abhorrence – Revulsion

Acephalous – without a head

Adroit – Deft

Affable – friendly

Alliance – A union

Altruistic – regardful of others, unselfish

Aloof – Uninterested, uninvolved

Anathema/anathemise – something that must be avoided like the plague

Aphaeresis – The loss of letters from the beginning of a word

Aphorism – proverb; self-evident truth (e.g., “If you think education is expensive, try ignorance!” – Andy McIntyre)

Arete – Praise

Aristeas – Prizes, riches

Aristos – skill, prowess

Asphyxiate – To smother/be smothered

Assimilate – become one with

Atrabilious – Melancholy, peevish

Atticism – A witty phrase

Balderdash – Utter nonsense

Ballistic – Characterized by repeated bouncing, extremely and suddenly upset and angry

Bellwether – A leader, an indicator of trends

Biff – Smack

Blasé – Apathetic-sophisticated, unconcerned

Bowdlerize – to censor

Bric-a-brac – A miscellaneous collection of small curios

Brobdingnagian – Tremendously huge

Brouhaha – Commotion

Calumny – Slander

Cant – Jargon

Canthus – An angle formed by the eye’s upper and lower lids

Carom – Strike, ricochet

Carp – To complain querulously

Catalyst – Something that facilitates (but doesn’t primarily cause) a change

Catharsis – A purgation (through art) of emotion that brings about a spiritual renewal

Cenacle – A retreat house (for nuns)

Chaos – A lack of order; archaic void

Chiasmus/-astic – A mirror-image structure, esp. as it refers to plot (The Epic of Gilgamesh) and sentence (“Life only avails, not the having lived.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson)

Chuffed –

Cicatrix

Cicerone

Circumlocution – Talking around a thing (euphemism is a category of this)

Cloying

Coalition – League, allied group

Codswallop

Confluence

Coxcombry

Cozen

Croesus

Cryptanalytic

Curmudgeon

Cyma

Debacle – Disaster

Deep Six

Dexterity

Dido – Practical joke

Dilettante

Disjointed

Effervescence

Effluent

Effulgent – Glowing, lucid

Egregious

Eighty-six – eliminate, end

Elba

Enamored – in love with

Ersatz

Extempore – Resourcefully made; for the time being; improvised (Think MacGyver)

Farouche: Shy, socially inept, far-off

Farrago

Fastidious

Fatuous – foolish

Fiasco – Disaster

Flibbertigibbert

Flippant – Stuck-up, Apathetic

Fluffer

Fogey

Foible – Flaw, weakness

Folderol

Foliar

Gadzooks – An excalamation

Garrulous – Talks a whole lot

Gerrymander

Gobbledygook – Jargon

Gracile

Grok

Grubstake

Gull – Dupe

Gummy

Hackneyed

Harridan

Haruspication

Haywire

Heinous

Helter-skelter

Highfalutin

Hirple – To limp

Hoi Polloi

Hullabaloo

Iconoclast

Idée fixe

Idiosyncrasy – A quirk

Imago

Immelman – A half-loop and turn of a plane such that it is now traveling in the opposite direction

Imp – Mischievous person (particularly devil or child)

Incoherent

Inexpiable

In extensor

Insular

Internecine

Jejune

Jezebel

Jocose/jocosity

Jovial

Jump the shark

Junt

Kerfuffle

Kibosh

Kleos

Lackadaisical – Lazy

Lilliputian – Small

Liminality

Limmer

Limpid

Liquidate – Kill, pay a debt

Logorrhea – The affliction of talking a lot

Lollapalooza

Loquacious – Talks a lot

Loquacity – The characteristic of talking a lot

Maelstrom – Storn, tempest

Malamanteau – A malapropism where a new word is created from a combination of two other words

Malapropism – A humorous substitution of one word for another (e.g., “Sorry, I’ve been really sleep-depraved latey”)

Maverick

Meliorism

Mellifluous – Sweet-flowing, like honey

Mendacious; mendacity – Characterized by lies and falsehood

Milquetoast

Mondegreen

Montessori

Morose

Muckraker

Naive

Naos – Temple room

Ninnyhammer – Ninny

Noctuid

Nonchalant

Nonplussed

Noosphere – The hypothetical compendium of all human knowledge

Obtuse

Orismology – the science of defining technical terms

Ornery

Oronyms

Pansy: Orlando Bloom

Parochial

Paroxysmal

Parterre

Pedant(ic)

Pejorative – (n) A negative nickname/insult; (adj) demeaning or castigating

Pellucid

Periphrasis

Pescetarian

Picayune

Poetaster

Portmanteau

Posthaste

Prandial

Prang

Prase

Praxis

Precocious

Preposterous

Probity

Procrustean

Prolix

Proteon

Psychobabble

Pudendum

Purple State

Ramshackle

Rashomon story telling

Ragamuffin

Razzmatazz

Retcon

Samizdat

Scagiola: An imitation marble

Scallywag

Scathingly Brilliant

Scrawl

Scrofulous

Seersucker

Semantics

Sepia

Serendipitous/-ity

Shambles

Shindig

Shirty

Skinflint

Slake

Slattern

Sleuth

Sloven (noun or adj): Negligent of cleanliness

Slugabed

Smitham – Fine ore dust

Smithereens

Smoke-easy

Snowclone

Soliloquy(ize)

Somniferous

Sonorousness

Sous-drunkard

Sousveillance

Speako

Spendthrift

Stalking horse

Steam punk

Stem-winder

Stringer

Succint

Sunday punch – Lightning (T*2C)

Supercilious

Swarthy – Dark complexion

Swill

Symposium

Syncopation

Syzygy – Astronomical alignment

Tawdry

Teetotaler

Thersites

Tintinnabulation

Titillating

Toehead

Tomfoolery

Tragus

Travesty

Turgid

Turpitude

Umbrase

Unkempt

Upas – a poisonous influence

Verbatim

Verbose

Versal

Vers de societe

Victuals

Virulent

Vitriol(ic): Bitter

Voluble

Wag

Well-heeled

Weltangschuaang

Wetlschmertz

Whippersnapper

Widow’s Peak

Willy-nilly

Windfall

Wiseacre

Wisteria

Witticism

Woebegone

Wunderkind

Yellow Journalism

Yettie

Yuppie

Yuppie Flu: Chronic fatigue syndrome

Zaftig

Zany

Zenzizenzizenzic – x8

Zenzic – x2

Zwieback

Zydeco

————————-

Credited to My Euro History I Teacher: (20)

Mileau: Background of a time period

Coercion

Bureaucracy

Caprice

Nuance: A shade of meaning

Promulgated: Executed; put into action

Syncretism: A mix of religions

Pragmatism: Practicality over wisdom/morality

Zeitgeist: Spirit of the age

Metadiscourse: Talking about what you’re talking about

Extant: Still existing

Primogenitor: First son

Latifundia: Mansions on villas

Compurgation: Getting oath-helpers for innocence

Laissez-Faire: “Hands-off”

Accolade: Praise

Evolution: Things are getting better (cp. meliorism)

Subsistence: Barely surviving

Jacquerie: Uprising in France

Pogroms: Racial genocide

—————————

Credited to Joe Morgenstern, Ace movie reviewer for the Wall Street Journal: (23)

Atoll – Island-like thing

Banal(ity)

Bibulous – Tight

Bilious

Bravura – Skill

Eminence

Fraise

Grise

Incipient Lothario

Lecher(y)

Lugubrious: Gloomy

Mélange

Nonagenarian: Someone 90 or over

Outré

Panache: Verve

Provenance: From whence it comes

Semi-sequitur – Sort-of follows

Supple – Plenty

Surfeit: Excess

Treacle: Sappy, excessively sweet

Unctuous

Vertiginous

Verve: Energy, enthusiasm

——————

Credited to http://bennettcarnahan.wordpress.com/words/, and also the creator of the blog (My Euro History II teacher, incidentally) (those last few won’t be found on his webpage): (27)

Malaise – “I have a bad feeling about this”

Bailiwick – Specialty

Onus – Duty

Bifurcate – Divide into two

Deracinate – Pull up by the roots

Obfuscate – Render obscure

Ubiquitous – Present everywhere

Debauch

Obdurate

Abrogate – Repeal

Ratiocinate – Form judgment by a process of reason

Concomitant – Naturally associated

Attenuate – Reduce the value of; thin

Dilatory – Slow to act

Salutary – Promoting health

Esplanade – A long, open level, typically by the sea

Ebullient – Cheerful; bubbly

Ephemeral

Eschew

Indolence

Jongleurs

Megalomaniacal

Patina – Layer

Nefarious

Curmudgeon

Incorrigible

Abysmal

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