Here we have words: Words I didn’t know and want to know, words I knew and had forgotten about, words I want to make a part of my working vocabulary, words that are just too strange for…you get the picture.
If you have a word that strikes your fancy, and you fancy it might strike mine, please share.
malaise,|məˈlāz; -ˈlez| noun.
a general feeling of discomfort, illness, or uneasiness whose exact cause is difficult to identify : a society afflicted by a deep cultural malaise | a general air of malaise.
ORIGIN mid 18th cent.: from French, from Old French mal ‘bad’ (from Latin malus) + aise ‘ease.’
bailiwick, |ˈbāləˌwik| noun
informal ( one’s bailiwick) one’s sphere of operations or particular area of interest : you never give the presentations—that’s my bailiwick.
used to refer to something that is one’s duty or responsibility : the onus is on you to show that you have suffered loss.
ORIGIN mid 17th cent.: from Latin, literally ‘load or burden.’
bifurcate, |ˈbīfərˌkāt| verb
divide into two branches or forks : [ intrans. ] just below Cairo the river bifurcates | [ trans. ] the trail was bifurcated by a mountain stream.
|bīˈfərkāt; ˈbīfərkit|, adjective
forked; branched : a bifurcate tree.
ORIGIN early 17th cent.: from medieval Latin bifurcat- ‘divided into two forks,’ from the verb bifurcare, from Latin bifurcus ‘two-forked,’ from bi- ‘having two’ + furca ‘a fork.’
deracinate,|diˈrasəˌnāt|, verb [ trans. ] poetic/literary
tear (something) up by the roots.
deracination |-ˌrasəˈnā sh ən| noun
ORIGIN late 16th cent.: from French déraciner, from dé- (expressing removal) + racine ‘root’ (based on Latin radix).
obfuscate, |ˈäbfəˌskāt| verb [ trans. ]
render obscure, unclear, or unintelligible : the spelling changes will deform some familiar words and obfuscate their etymological origins.
bewilder (someone) : it is more likely to obfuscate people than enlighten them.
obfuscation |ˌäbfəˈskā sh ən| noun
obfuscatory |äbˈfəskəˌtôrē| adjective
ORIGIN late Middle English : from late Latin obfuscat- ‘darkened,’ from the verb obfuscare, based on Latin fuscus ‘dark.’
ubiquitous, |yoōˈbikwətəs| adjective
present, appearing, or found everywhere : his ubiquitous influence was felt by all the family | cowboy hats are ubiquitous among the male singers.
ubiquity |-wətē| noun
ORIGIN mid 19th cent.: from modern Latin ubiquitas (from Latin ubique ‘everywhere,’ from ubi ‘where’ ) + -ous .
debauch, |diˈbô ch | verb [ trans. ]
destroy or debase the moral purity of; corrupt.
• (dated) seduce (a woman) : he debauched sixteen schoolgirls.
a bout of excessive indulgence in sensual pleasures, esp. eating and drinking.
• the habit or practice of such indulgence; debauchery : his life had been spent in debauch.
ORIGIN late 16th cent.: from French débaucher (verb) ‘turn away from one’s duty,’ from Old French desbaucher, of uncertain ultimate origin.
obdurate, |ˈäbd(y)ərit| adjective
stubbornly refusing to change one’s opinion or course of action. See note at stubborn .
obduracy |-rəsē| noun
ORIGIN late Middle English (originally in the sense [hardened in sin, impenitent] ): from Latin obduratus, past participle of obdurare, from ob- ‘in opposition’ + durare ‘harden’ (from durus ‘hard’ ).
abrogate, |ˈabrəˌgāt| verb [ trans. ] formal
repeal or do away with (a law, right, or formal agreement) : a proposal to abrogate temporarily the right to strike. See note at void .
abrogation |ˌabrəˈgā sh ən| noun
ORIGIN early 16th cent.: from Latin abrogat- ‘repealed,’ from the verb abrogare, from ab- ‘away, from’ + rogare ‘propose a law.’
USAGE The verbs abrogate and arrogate are quite different in meaning. While abrogate means ‘repeal (a law),’ arrogate means ‘take or claim (something) for oneself without justification,’ often in the structure : arrogate something to oneself, as in : the emergency committee arrogated to itself whatever powers it chose.
ratiocinate, |ˌratēˈōsəˌnāt; ˌra sh ē-| verb [ intrans. ] formal
form judgments by a process of logic; reason.
ratiocination |-ˌōsəˈnā sh ən| noun
ratiocinative |-ˈōsəˌnātiv; ˈäs-| adjective
ratiocinator |-ˈōsəˌnātər; -ˈäs-| noun
ORIGIN mid 17th cent.: from Latin ratiocinat- ‘deliberated, calculated,’ from the verb ratiocinari, from ratio (see ratio ).
concomitant, |kənˈkämitənt| adjective formal
naturally accompanying or associated : she loved travel, with all its concomitant worries | concomitant with his obsession with dirt was a desire for order.
a phenomenon that naturally accompanies or follows something : some of us look on pain and illness as concomitants of the stresses of living.
ORIGIN early 17th cent.: from late Latin concomitant- ‘accompanying,’ from concomitari, from con- ‘together with’ + comitari, from Latin comes ‘companion.’
attenuate, |əˈtenyoōˌāt| verb [ trans. ] (often be attenuated)
reduce the force, effect, or value of : her intolerance was attenuated by a rather unexpected liberalism.
• reduce the amplitude of (a signal, electric current, or other oscillation).
• [ intrans. ] (of a signal, electric current, or other oscillation) be reduced in amplitude.
• [usu. as adj. ] ( attenuated) reduce the virulence of (a pathogenic organism or vaccine) : attenuated strains of rabies virus.
• reduce in thickness; make thin : the trees are attenuated from being grown too close together.
adjective |-wit; -ˌwāt| rare
reduced in force, effect, or physical thickness.
attenuation |əˌtenyoōˈā sh ən| noun
ORIGIN mid 16th cent.: from Latin attenuat- ‘made slender,’ from the verb attenuare, from ad- ‘to’ + tenuare ‘make thin’ (from tenuis ‘thin’ ).
dilatory, |ˈdiləˌtôrē| adjective
slow to act : he had been dilatory in appointing a solicitor.
• intended to cause delay : they resorted to dilatory procedural tactics, forcing a postponement of peace talks.
dilatorily |ˌdiləˈtôrəlē| adverb
ORIGIN late Middle English : from late Latin dilatorius ‘delaying,’ from Latin dilator ‘delayer,’ from dilat- ‘deferred,’ from the verb differre.
salutary, |ˈsalyəˌterē| adjective
(esp. with reference to something unwelcome or unpleasant) producing good effects; beneficial : a salutary reminder of where we came from.
• archaic health-giving : the salutary Atlantic air.
ORIGIN late Middle English (as a noun in the sense [remedy] ): from French salutaire or Latin salutaris, from salus, salut- ‘health.’
esplanade, |ˈespləˌnäd; -ˌnād| noun
a long, open, level area, typically beside the sea, along which people may walk for pleasure.
• an open, level space separating a fortress from a town.
ORIGIN late 16th cent. (denoting an area of flat ground on top of a rampart): from French, from Italian spianata, from Latin explanatus ‘flattened, leveled,’ from explanare (see explain ).
ebullient, |iˈboŏlyənt; iˈbəlyənt| adjective
1 cheerful and full of energy : she sounded ebullient and happy.
2 archaic or poetic/literary (of liquid or matter) boiling or agitated as if boiling : misted and ebullient seas.
ORIGIN late 16th cent. (in the sense [boiling] ): from Latin ebullient- ‘boiling up,’ from the verb ebullire, from e- (variant of ex-) ‘out’ + bullire ‘to boil.’
malversation, |ˌmalvərˈsā sh ən| noun (formal)
corrupt behavior in a position of trust, esp. in public office : ineptitude and malversation were major factors in the trouncing of the group’s candidates.
ORIGIN mid 16th cent.: from French, from malverser, from Latin male ‘badly’ + versari ‘behave.’
perspicuous, |pərˈspikyoōwəs| adjective (formal)
(of an account or representation) clearly expressed and easily understood; lucid : it provides simpler and more perspicuous explanations than its rivals.
• (of a person) able to give an account or express an idea clearly.
perspicuity |ˌpərspiˈkyoōitē| noun
ORIGIN late 15th cent. (in the sense [transparent] ): from Latin perspicuus ‘transparent, clear’ (from the verb perspicere ‘look at closely’ ) + -ous .
sartorial, |särˈtôrēəl| adjective (attrib.)
of or relating to tailoring, clothes, or style of dress : sartorial elegance.
ORIGIN early 19th cent.: from Latin sartor ‘tailor’ (from sarcire ‘to patch’ ) + -ial .
vellicate, |vel-i-keyt| verb
(used with object) to nip, twist, or pinch.
(used without object) to twitch spasmodically
1595–1605; < Latin vellicātus, ptp. of vellicāre, freq. of vellere to pull, twitch, or twist off.
solipsism, |ˈsälipˌsizəm| noun
the view or theory that the self is all that can be known to exist.
solipsistic |ˌsälipˈsistik| adjective
solipsistically |ˌsälipˈsistik(ə)lē| adverb
ORIGIN late 19th cent.: from Latin solus ‘alone’ + ipse ‘self’ + -ism .