plenum \PLEE-nuhm\, noun:

1. A full assembly, as a joint legislative assembly.

bespeak \bih-SPEEK\, verb:

1. To show; indicate.
2. To ask for in advance.
3. To reserve beforehand; engage in advance; make arrangements for.
4. Literary. To speak to; address.
5. Obsolete. To foretell; forebode.

morceau \mawr-SOH\, noun:

1. Piece; morsel.
2. An excerpt or passage of poetry or music.

That is easily done; madame is hungry; oblige her with a morceau of that paté and a glass of champagne.
— Louisa May Alcott, The Portable Louisa May Alcott

Not unless you are able to provide me with a little morceau of help.
— Amitav Ghosh, Sea of Poppies

spruce \sproos\, verb:

1. To make neat or dapper (often followed by up).
2. To make oneself spruce (usually followed by up).

pachyderm \PAK-i-durm\, noun:

1. A person who is not sensitive to criticism, ridicule, etc.
2. Any of the thick-skinned, nonruminant ungulates, as the elephant, hippopotamus, and rhinoceros.
3. An elephant.

He writhed as he saw himself finally a toughened pachyderm in Eliza’s world—sprucing up confidently, throwing his shoulders back proudly, making people “think he was somebody” as he cordially acknowledged an introduction by producing a card setting forth the joys of life in Altamont and Dixieland…
— Thomas Wolfe, Look Homeword, Angel

To judge by his work, our writer is unquestionably a stubborn man, said the Serb, he’s stubborn as a mule, as a pachyderm…
— Roberto Bolaño, 2666, Volume 1

mammonism \MAM-uh-niz-uhm\, noun:

The greedy pursuit of riches.

We will bring to mind a young man or young woman bitterly awakened from a fancy dream of accomplishment, action or glory, forced instead to come to terms with a considerably reduced status, a betrayed love, and a hideously bourgeois world of crass mammonism and philistine taste.
— Rudyard Kipling, Kim

adamantine \ad-uh-MAN-teen\, adjective:

1. Utterly unyielding or firm in attitude or opinion.
2. Too hard to cut, break, or pierce.
3. Like a diamond in luster.

bandy \BAN-dee\, verb:

1. To pass from one to another or back and forth; give and take.
2. To throw or strike to and fro or from side to side, as a ball in tennis.
3. To circulate freely.

hircine \HUR-sahyn\, adjective:

1. of, pertaining to, or resembling a goat.
2. Having a goatish odor.
3. Lustful; libidinous.

The hircine stink in the air that he had sucked in while running was replaced by a cool dampness.
— Jonathan Wilson, A Palestine Affair

Dad was thick-haired, bowlegged, bottom-heavy; he wore a tangly, hircine beard; a cigar depended from his lips at all times, the aromatic stub of a flute; panic was his state of nature.
— Michael Griffith, Spikes

flexuous \FLEK-shoo-uhs\, adjective:

Full of bends or curves; sinuous.

Her flexuous and stealthy figure became an integral part of the scene. At times her whimsical fancy would intensify natural processes around her till they seemed a part of her own story.
— Thomas Hardy, Tess of the D’Urbervilles

cordate \KAWR-deyt\, adjective:

1. Heart-shaped.

exoteric \ek-suh-TER-ik\, adjective:

1. Suitable for or communicated to the general public.
2. Not belonging, limited, or pertaining to the inner or select circle, as of disciples or intimates.
3. Popular; simple; commonplace.
4. Pertaining to the outside; exterior; external.

auscultation \aw-skuhl-TEY-shuhn\, noun:

The act of listening to sounds within the body as a method of diagnosis.

screed \skreed\, noun:

1. A long discourse or essay, especially a diatribe.

filiopietistic \fil-ee-oh-pahy-i-TIS-tik\, adjective:

Pertaining to reverence of forebears or tradition, especially if carried to excess.

The popular historical narratives of the many immigrant groups may indeed be filiopietistic in the exaggerated and often shrilly made claims for their important contributions to the making of the country of their choice.
— Orm Øverland, immigrant Minds, American Identities

ex·pi·a·to·ry
[ek-spee-uh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee] Show IPA
adjective
able to make atonement or expiation; offered by way of expiation: expiatory sacrifices.

piacular \pahy-AK-yuh-ler\, adjective:

1. Expiatory; atoning; reparatory.
2. Requiring expiation; sinful or wicked.

The journey to obtain scriptures in the Western Heaven is, for Tripitaka and his disciples, also the piacular journey of return to Buddha, and like the Odysseus of the Homeric poem, the scripture pilgrim must pass through appalling obstacles for past offenses against the gods.
— Anthony C. Yu, Journey to the West

pettifog \PET-ee-fog\, verb:

1. To bicker or quibble over trifles or unimportant matters.
2. To carry on a petty, shifty, or unethical law business.
3. To practice chicanery of any sort.

Marius, my boy, you are a baron, you are rich, don’t pettifog, I beg of you.
— Victor Hugo, Les Misérables

deign
[deyn]
verb (used without object)
1. to think fit or in accordance with one’s dignity; condescend: He would not deign to discuss the matter with us.
verb (used with object)
2. to condescend to give or grant: He deigned no reply.

er·satz
[er-zahts, -sahts, er-zahts, -sahts]
adjective
1. serving as a substitute; synthetic; artificial: an ersatz coffee made from grain.

sol·ip·sism
[sol-ip-siz-uhm]
noun
1. Philosophy . the theory that only the self exists, or can be proved to exist.
2. extreme preoccupation with and indulgence of one’s feelings, desires, etc.; egoistic self-absorption.

rube
[roob]
noun Informal .
an unsophisticated person from a rural area; hick.

mol·li·fy
[mol-uh-fahy]
verb (used with object), -fied, -fy·ing.
1. to soften in feeling or temper, as a person; pacify; appease.

co·ter·mi·nous
[koh-tur-muh-nuhs]
adjective
1. having the same border or covering the same area.
2. being the same in extent; coextensive in range or scope.

Ne·o·lith·ic
[nee-uh-lith-ik]
adjective
1.( sometimes lowercase ) Anthropology . of, pertaining to, or characteristic of the last phase of the Stone Age, marked by the domestication of animals, the development of agriculture, and the manufacture of pottery and textiles: commonly thought to have begun c9000–8000 b.c. in the Middle East.

fe·cund
[fee-kuhnd, -kuhnd, fek-uhnd, -uhnd]
adjective
1. producing or capable of producing offspring, fruit, vegetation, etc., in abundance; prolific; fruitful: fecund parents; fecund farmland.
2. very productive or creative intellectually: the fecund years of the Italian Renaissance.

cy·no·sure
[sahy-nuh-shoor, sin-uh-]
noun
1.something that strongly attracts attention by its brilliance, interest, etc.: the cynosure of all eyes.
2. something serving for guidance or direction.

  • India’s rapid strides in economic progress are the cynosure of the developing and developed world today.
  • Owens’s emergence as fashion’s cynosure is a paradox.

un·can·ny
[uhn-kan-ee]
adjective
1. having or seeming to have a supernatural or inexplicable basis; beyond the ordinary or normal; extraordinary: uncanny accuracy; an uncanny knack of foreseeing trouble.
2. mysterious; arousing superstitious fear or dread; uncomfortably strange: Uncanny sounds filled the house.

can·ny
[kan-ee]
adjective
1. careful; cautious; prudent: a canny reply.
2. astute; shrewd; knowing; sagacious: a canny negotiator.
3.skilled; expert.
4. frugal; thrifty: a canny housewife.

an·ti·pode
[an-ti-pohd
noun
a direct or exact opposite.

in·can·des·cent
[in-kuhn-des-uhnt]
adjective
1. (of light) produced by incandescence.
2. glowing or white with heat.
3. intensely bright; brilliant.
4. brilliant; masterly; extraordinarily lucid: an incandescent masterpiece; incandescent wit.
5. aglow with ardor, purpose, etc.: the incandescent vitality of youth.

scru·pu·lous
[skroo-pyuh-luhs]
adjective
1. having scruples;  having or showing a strict regard for what one considers right; principled.
2. punctiliously or minutely careful, precise, or exact: a scrupulous performance.

o·le·ag·i·nous
[oh-lee-aj-uh-nuhs]
adjective
1. having the nature or qualities of oil.

pneu·mat·ic
[noo-mat-ik, nyoo-]
adjective
1. of or pertaining to air, gases, or wind.

ap·er·ture
[ap-er-cher
noun
1. an opening, as a hole, slit, crack, gap, etc.

wan
1    [won]
adjective
1. of an unnatural or sickly pallor; pallid; lacking color: His wan face suddenly flushed.
2. showing or suggesting ill health, fatigue, unhappiness, etc.: a wan look; a wan smile.
“Having preferences means having weaknesses.”

on·to·log·i·cal
[on-tl-oj-i-kuhl]
adjective
of or pertaining to ontology,  the branch of metaphysics that studies the nature of existence or being as such; metaphysical: Some of the U.S. founders held an ontological belief in natural rights.

vi·tu·per·a·tion
[vahy-too-puh-rey-shuhn, -tyoo-, vi-]
noun
verbal abuse or castigation; violent denunciation or condemnation.

ser·en·dip·i·tous
[ser-uhn-dip-i-tuhs]
adjective
1.come upon or found by accident; fortuitous: serendipitous scientific discoveries.

vestigial [ve-stij-ee-uhl, -stij-uhl]
Relating to a body part that has become small and lost its use because of evolutionary change.

suf·fuse
[suh-fyooz]
verb (used with object), -fused, -fus·ing.
to spread or flood through or over (something): the evening sky was suffused with red

win·now
[win-oh]
verb (used with object)
1. to free (grain) from the lighter particles of chaff, dirt, etc., especially by throwing it into the air and allowing the wind or a forced current of air to blow away impurities.
2. to drive or blow (chaff, dirt, etc.) away by fanning.
3. to blow upon; fan.
4. to subject to some process of separating or distinguishing; analyze critically; sift: to winnow a mass of statements.
5. to separate or distinguish (valuable from worthless parts) (sometimes followed by out ): to winnow falsehood from truth.

a·gog
[uh-gog]
adjective
1. highly excited by eagerness, curiosity, anticipation, etc.
adverb
2. in a state of eager desire; excitedly.

rep·er·to·ry
[rep-er-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee]
noun, plural -ries.
1. a type of theatrical presentation in which a company presents several works regularly or in alternate sequence in one season.
2. a theatrical company that presents productions in this manner.
3. repertoire.
4. a store or stock of things available.
5. storehouse.

sconce
1    [skons]
noun
1. a bracket for candles or other lights, placed on a wall, mirror, picture frame, etc.
2. the hole or socket of a candlestick, for holding the candle
Related: ensconced

fes·toon
[fe-stoon]
noun
1. a string or chain of flowers, foliage, ribbon, etc., suspended in a curve between two points.
2. a decorative representation of this, as in architectural work or on pottery.
3. a fabric suspended, draped, and bound at intervals to form graceful loops or scalloped folds.

co·te·rie
[koh-tuh-ree]
noun
1.
a group of people who associate closely.
2.
an exclusive group; clique.

en·vis·age
[en-viz-ij]
verb (used with object), -aged, -ag·ing.
1.
to contemplate; visualize: He envisages an era of great scientific discoveries.

sun·dry
[suhn-dree]
adjective
1.
various or diverse: sundry persons.

pa·ro·chi·al
[puh-roh-kee-uhl]
adjective
1.
very limited or narrow in scope or outlook; provincial: parochial views; a parochial mentality.

des·ic·cate
[des-i-keyt]
verb (used with object)
1.
to dry thoroughly; dry up.
2.
to preserve (food) by removing moisture; dehydrate.

pro·pi·tious
[pruh-pish-uhs]
adjective
1.
presenting favorable conditions; favorable: propitious weather.

bul·wark
[bool-werk, -wawrk, buhl-]
noun
1.
a wall of earth or other material built for defense; rampart.
2.
any protection against external danger, injury, or annoyance: The new dam was a bulwark against future floods.
3.
any person or thing giving strong support or encouragement in time of need, danger, or doubt: Religion was his bulwark.

po·grom
[puh-gruhm, -grom, poh-]
noun
an organized massacre, especially of Jews.

in·tern
verb (used with object)
1.
to restrict to or confine within prescribed limits, as prisoners of war, enemy aliens, or combat troops who take refuge in a neutral country.
2.
to impound or hold within a country until the termination of a war, as a ship of a belligerent that has put into a neutral port and remained beyond a limited period.

vi·gnette
[vin-yet]
noun
1.
a decorative design or small illustration used on the title page of a book or at the beginning or end of a chapter.
2.
an engraving, drawing, photograph, or the like that is shaded off gradually at the edges so as to leave no definite line at the border.
3.
a decorative design representing branches, leaves, grapes, or the like, as in a manuscript.
4.
any small, pleasing picture or view.
5.
a small, graceful literary sketch.

in·im·i·cal
[ih-nim-i-kuhl]
adjective
1.
adverse in tendency or effect; unfavorable; harmful: a climate inimical to health.
2.
unfriendly; hostile: a cold, inimical gaze.

ne·o·phyte
[nee-uh-fahyt]
noun
1.
a beginner or novice: He’s a neophyte at chess.
2.
Roman Catholic Church . a novice.
3.
a person newly converted to a belief, as a heathen, heretic, or nonbeliever; proselyte.

ob·se·qui·ous
[uhb-see-kwee-uhs]
adjective
1.
characterized by or showing servile complaisance or deference; fawning: an obsequious bow.
2.
servilely compliant or deferential: obsequious servants.
3.
obedient; dutiful.

un·bid·den
[uhn-bid-n]
adjective
1.
not ordered or commanded; spontaneous.
2.
not asked or summoned; uninvited.

catoptric  (kə-tŏp’trĭk)
Relating to the reflection of light, especially by a mirror. Catoptric lenses are used in Fresnel lenses and many telescopes

in·cho·ate
[in-koh-it]
adjective
1.
not yet completed or fully developed; rudimentary.
2.
just begun; incipient.
3.
not organized; lacking order: an inchoate mass of ideas on the subject.

cat·e·chism
[kat-i-kiz-uhm]
noun
1.
Ecclesiastical .
a.
an elementary book containing a summary of the principles of the Christian religion, especially as maintained by a particular church, in the form of questions and answers.
b.
the contents of such a book.
2.
a similar book of instruction in other subjects.
3.
a series of formal questions put, as to political candidates, to bring out their views.

red·o·lent
[red-l-uhnt]
adjective
1.
having a pleasant odor; fragrant.
2.
odorous or smelling (usually followed by of ): redolent of garlic.
3.
suggestive; reminiscent (usually followed by of ): verse redolent of Shakespeare.

indenture
[in-den-cher]
in·den·ture
[in-den-cher] Show IPA noun, verb, -tured, -tur·ing.
noun
1.
a deed or agreement executed in two or more copies with edges correspondingly indented  as a means of identification.
2.
any deed, written contract, or sealed agreement.
3.
a contract by which a person, as an apprentice, is bound to service.

man·a·cle
[man-uh-kuhl]
noun
1.
a shackle for the hand; handcuff.
2.
Usually, manacles. restraints; checks.

ef·flo·res·cence
[ef-luh-res-uhns]
noun
1.
the state or a period of flowering.
2.
an example or result of growth and development: These works are the efflorescence of his genius.

syn·cre·tism
[sing-kri-tiz-uhm, sin-]
noun
1.
the attempted reconciliation or union of different or opposing principles, practices, or parties, as in philosophy or religion.
2.
Grammar . the merging, as by historical change in a language, of two or more categories in a specified environment into one, as, in nonstandard English, the use of was  with both singular and plural subjects, while in standard English was  is used with singular subjects (except for you  in the second person singular) and were  with plural subjects.

va·gar·y
[vuh-gair-ee, vey-guh-ree]
noun, plural -gar·ies.
1.
an unpredictable or erratic action, occurrence, course, or instance: the vagaries of weather; the vagaries of the economic scene.
2.
a whimsical, wild, or unusual idea, desire, or action.
Synonyms
2.  caprice, whim, quirk, crotchet.

sur·feit
[sur-fit]
noun
1.
excess; an excessive amount: a surfeit of speechmaking.
2.
excess or overindulgence in eating or drinking.
3.
an uncomfortably full or crapulous feeling due to excessive eating or drinking.
4.
general disgust caused by excess or satiety.
verb (used with object)
5.
to bring to a state of surfeit by excess of food or drink.
6.
to supply with anything to excess or satiety; satiate.

baroque
[buh-rohk]
adjective
1.
( often initial capital letter ) of or pertaining to a style of architecture and art originating in Italy in the early 17th century and variously prevalent in Europe and the New World for a century and a half, characterized by free and sculptural use of the classical orders and ornament, by forms in elevation and plan suggesting movement, and by dramatic effect in which architecture, painting, sculpture, and the decorative arts often worked to combined effect.
2.
( sometimes initial capital letter ) of or pertaining to the musical period following the Renaissance, extending roughly from 1600 to 1750.
3.
extravagantly ornate, florid, and convoluted in character or style: the baroque prose of the novel’s more lurid passages.
4.
irregular in shape: baroque pearls.
noun
5.
( often initial capital letter ) the baroque style or period.
6.
anything extravagantly ornamented, especially something so ornate as to be in bad taste.

pro·sa·ic
[proh-zey-ik]
adjective
1.
commonplace or dull; matter-of-fact or unimaginative: a prosaic mind.

in·veigh
[in-vey]
verb (used without object)
to protest strongly or attack vehemently with words; rail (usually followed by against ): to inveigh against isolationism.

excogitate \eks-KOJ-i-teyt\, verb:

1. To think out; devise; invent.
2. To study intently and carefully in order to grasp or comprehend fully.

But observe the singular phenomenon — on approximately the same date several thousand men and women of letters retire to secluded corners to excogitate a thing described as “charm”; each cudgeling his or her head for some variety which can possibly be regarded as original…
— Upton Sinclair, Money Writes!

I preferred to relate aloud, to excogitate in a lively, external manner, with a flow of invention as useless as was my declamation of it, a whole novel crammed with adventure, in which the Duchess, fallen upon misfortune…

peroration \per-uh-REY-shuhn\, noun:

1. A long speech characterized by lofty and often pompous language.
2. Rhetoric. The concluding part of a speech or discourse, in which the speaker or writer recapitulates the principal points and urges them with greater earnestness and force.

Thus he apostrophised his house and race in terms of the most moving eloquence; but when it came to the peroration—and what is eloquence that lacks a peroration?—he fumbled. He would have liked to have ended with a flourish to the effect that he would follow in their footsteps and add another stone to their building.

doyenne \doi-EN\, noun:

A woman who is the senior member of a group, class, or profession.

Inspector Neele propounded to himself three separate highly coloured reasons why the faithful doyenne of the typists’ room should have poisoned her employer’s mid-morning cup of tea, and rejected them as unlikely.

idoneous \ahy-DOH-nee-uhs\, adjective:

Appropriate; fit; suitable; apt.

As far as benefices are concerned no one could be more idoneous, fitting or suitable than Martin, since he is an Anglican clergyman.

neoterism \nee-OT-uh-riz-uhm\, noun:

1. An innovation in language, as a new word, term, or expression.
2. The use of new words, terms, or expressions.

These impressions were not merely of things physical—the contrast, for instance, between the overwhelming antiquity of the western deserts and the neoterism of humanity; or the fabulous nature of the Grand Canyon.

hotchpot \HOCH-pot\, noun:

the bringing together of shares or properties in order to divide them equally.

She continued, “This is what I can give into the hotchpot.” I could not but note the quaint legal phrase which she used in such a place, and with all seriousness? “What will each of you give?…”

birr \bur\, noun:

1. A whirring sound.
2. Emphasis in statement, speech, etc.
3. A whirring sound.

verb:
1. To move with or make a whirring sound.

She pursed her lips and, expertly, imitated the red-winged blackbird’s call: not the liquid piping of the wood thrush, which dipped down into the dry tcch tchh tchh of the cricket’s birr and up again in delirious, sobbing trills…

conciliate \kuhn-SIL-ee-eyt\, verb:

1. To overcome the distrust or hostility of; placate; win over.
2. To win or gain (goodwill, regard, or favor).
3. To make compatible; reconcile.
4. To become agreeable or reconciled.

“Mrs. Dombey,” said Mr. Dombey, resuming as much as he could of his arrogant composure, “you will not conciliate me, or turn me from any purpose, by this course of conduct.”

But this was sufficient, and served to conciliate the good will of the natives, with whom our congeniality of sentiment on this point did more towards inspiring a friendly feeling than anything else that could have happened.

mettle \MET-l\, noun:

1. Courage and fortitude.
2. Disposition or temperament.

bleb \bleb\, noun:

1. A bubble.
2. Medicine/Medical. A blister or vesicle.

One day, as he was bathing her, a bleb of shampoo had streamed into her eye, and she had kept a hand pressed to it for the rest of the day, quailing away from him whenever he walked past.

educe \ih-DOOS\, verb:

1. To draw forth or bring out, as something potential or latent.
2. To infer or deduce.

Forty or fifty minutes of vigorous and unslackened analytic thought bestowed upon one of them usually suffices to educe from it all there is to educe, its general solution…

slimsy \SLIM-zee\, adjective:

Flimsy; frail.

“Nice girl . . .” he mused, “but sort of thin and slimsy and delicate, not robust and hearty like the kind of girl you ought to have on a farm.”

remora \REM-er-uh\, noun:

1. An obstacle, hindrance, or obstruction.
2. Any of several fishes of the family Echeneididae, having on the top of the head a sucking disk by which they can attach themselves to sharks, turtles, ships, and other moving objects.

Notwithstanding the extreme unpopularity of the Duke of Kent as a soldier, there was no remora to his employment.

deucedly \DOO-sid-lee\, adverb:

Devilishly; damnably.

When I went in I had seen that there was a deucedly pretty girl sitting in that particular seat, so I had taken the next one.

It’s most important. You will put me in a deucedly awkward position if you don’t.

desinence \DES-uh-nuhns\, noun:

1. A termination or ending, as the final line of a verse.
2. Grammar. A termination, ending, or suffix of a word.

The extreme facility with which the language lends itself to rhyming desinence has a most injurious effect upon versification. There are not verses only, but whole poems, in which each line terminates with the same desinence.

But it will end, a desinence will come, or the breath fail better still, I’ll be silence, I’ll know I’m silence, no, in the silence you can’t know, I’ll never know anything.

viscid \VIS-id\, adjective:

1. Having a glutinous consistency; sticky; adhesive.
2. Botany. Covered by a sticky substance.

But now a snake commenced to coil around my feet, and with a momentary terror I rushed forward, only to strike a rock and fall into a viscid pool.

expostulate \ik-SPOS-chuh-leyt\, verb:

To reason earnestly with someone against something that person intends to do or has done.

heterotelic \het-er-uh-TEL-ik\, adjective:

Having the purpose of its existence or occurrence apart from itself.

You’re of heteroteleic value, that means you were invoked for an extraneous purpose alone, the outcome of which won’t even be known to me until I’m back with my physical body in the physical world.

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