Words

Welcome to the words page.

The job of every writer is take words with their conveyed meanings and place them within structures that invoke a meaning to the reader. These words when properly placed will lull the reader into a dream state and allow them to become attached to the story being told. Or, in short, use words to tell a good story well.

These are words I find while reading and judge them to be useful or interesting. I will take one and make it The Word Of The Moment. I don’t want to say day because that’s cliche and overused also I don’t want to go through the drudgery of picking a different word every day. Enjoy.

(All definitions taken from The New Oxford American Dictionary Second Edition or dictionary.com) (Word Of The Moment Indicated with *)

aberrant adj. departing from an accepted standard.
actuate v. cause (someone to act in a particular way; motivate
adroit adj. clever or skillful in using the hands or mind
amalgam n. a mixture or blend
amiable adj. having or displaying a friendly and pleasant manner
anachronistic n. thing belonging or appropriate to a period other than that in which it exists, esp. a thing that is conspicuously old-fashioned
apropos adv. (apropos of nothing) used to state a speaker’s belief that someone’s comments or acts are unrelated to any previous discussion or situation
atavistic adj. relating to or characterized by reversion to something ancient or ancestral
banal adj. so lacking originality as to be obvious and boring
bellicose adj. demonstrating aggression and willingness to fight
brusque adj. abrupt or offhand in speech or manner
caper* v. skip or dance about in a lively or playful way
castigate v. reprimand (someone) severely
cavort v. jump or dance around excitedly
chagrin n. distress or embarrassment at having failed or been humiliated
cognomen n. an extra personal name given to an ancient Roman citizen, functioning rather like a nickname and typically passed down from father to son
commensurate adj. corresponding in size or degree; in proportion
commingle v. mix; blend
contumely n. insolent or insulting language or treatment
cull v. select from a large quantity; obtain from a variety of sources
culpable adj. deserving blame
dalliance n. a casual romantic or sexual relationship
decorticate adj. of or relating to an animal that has had the cortex of the brain removed or separated
decorous adj. in keeping with good taste and propriety
deft adj. neatly skillful and quick in one’s movements
deign v. do something that one considers to be beneath one’s dignity
demarcate v. set the boundaries or limits of
derisive adj. expressing contempt or ridicule
desiccate v. remove the moisture from (something, esp. food), typically in order to preserve it
detritus n. waste or debris of any kind
didactic adj. intended to teach, particularly in having moral instruction as an ulterior motive
ebullient adj. cheerful and full of energy
egregious adj. outstandingly bad; shocking
eidetic adj. relating to or denoting mental images having unusual vividness and detail, as if actually visible
ersatz adj. (of a product) made or used as a substitute, typically an inferior one, for something else
erudite adj. having or showing great knowledge or learning
execrable adj. extremely bad or unpleasant
expiate v. atone for (guilt or sin)
expurgate v. remove matter thought to be objectionable or unsuitable from (a book or account)
extant adj. (esp. of a document) still in existence; surviving
facile adj. (esp. of a theory or argument) appearing neat and comprehensive only by ignoring the true complexities of an issue; superficial
fastidious adj. very attentive to and concerned about accuracy and detail
fecund adj. producing or capable of producing an abundance of offspring or new growth; fertile
feign v. pretend to be affected by (a feeling, state or injury)
fetid adj. smelling extremely unpleasant
forlorn adj. pitifully sad and abandoned or lonely
formication n. a sensation like insects crawling over the skin
garish adj. obtrusively bright and showy; lurid
garrulous adj. excessively talkative, esp. on trivial matters
gauche adj. lacking ease or grace; unsophisticated and socially awkward
gaunt adj. (of a person) lean and haggard, esp. because of suffering, hunger, or age
gesticulate v. use gestures, esp. dramatic ones, instead of speaking or to emphasize one’s words
gobbet n. a piece of lump of flesh, food, or other matter
gregarious adj. found of company; sociable
guttural adj. (of a speech sound) produced in the throat; harsh-sounding
hangdog adj. having a dejected or guilty appearance; shamefaced
hirsute adj. hairy
histrionics adj. overly theatrical or melodramatic in character or style
hubris n. excessive pride or self-confidence
impassive adj. not feeling or showing emotion
imperious adj. assuming power or authority without justification; arrogant and domineering
impetuous adj. acting or done quickly and without thought or care
improvident adj. not having or showing foresight; spendthrift
inculcate v. instill (an attitude, idea, or habit) by persistent instruction
ineffable adj. too great or extreme to be expressed or described in words
inexorable adj. impossible to stop or prevent
ingratiatingly adj. intended to gain approval or favor; sycophantic
inimical adj. tending to obstruct or harm
insipid adj. lacking flavor
interpenetrate v. mix or merge together
interred v. place (a corpse) in a grave or tomb, typically with funeral rites
invective n. insulting, abusive, or highly critical language
irascible adj. (of a person) easily made angry
jilt v. to reject or cast aside (a lover or sweetheart), especially abruptly or unfeelingly.
kismet n. destiny; fate
kowtow v. kneel and touch the ground with the forehead in worship or submission as part of Chinese custom
languor n. the state or feeling, often pleasant, of tiredness or inertia
lecherous adj. having or showing excessive or offensive sexual desire
leonine adj. of or resembling a lion or lions
locution n. a word or phrase, esp. with regard to style or idiom
lurid adj. very vivid in color, esp. so as to create an unpleasantly harsh or unnatural effect
maudlin adj. tearfully or weakly emotional; foolishly sentimental
mawkish adj. 1. characterized by sickly sentimentality; weakly emotional; maudlin 2. having a mildly sickening flavor; slightly nauseating
maxim n. a short, pithy statement expressing a general truth or rule of conduct
meretricious adj. apparently attractive but having in reality no value or integrity
misanthropic n. person who dislikes humankind and avoids human society
missive n. a letter, esp. a long or official one
mollify v. appease the anger or anxiety of (someone)
mottle v. mark with spots or smears of color
multivalent adj. having or susceptible to many applications, interpretations, meanings, or values
myopia n. nearsightedness
nascent adj. (esp. of a process or organization) just coming into existence and beginning to display signs of future potential
obsequious adj. obedient or attentive to an excessive or servile degree
obstreperous adj. noisy and difficult to control
opalescent adj. showing varying colors as an opal does
parlance n. a particular way of speaking or using words, esp. a way common to those with a particular job or interest
pedant n. a person who is excessively concerned with minor details and rules or with displaying academic learning
perfunctory adj. (of an action or gesture) carried out with a minimum of effort or reflection
pernicious adj. having harmful effect, esp. in a gradual or subtle way
petulant adj. (of a person or their manner) childishly sulky or bad-tempered
piebald adj. (of a horse) having irregular patches of two colors, typically black and white
pithy adj. (of language or style) concise and forcefully expressive
plait n. a single length of hair or other flexible material made up of three or more interlaced strands; a braid
polymath n. a person of wide-ranging knowledge or learning
portend v. be a sign or warning that (something, esp. something momentous or calamitous) is likely to happen
prate v. talk foolishly or tediously about something
prolix adj. (of speech or writing) using or containing too many words; tediously lengthy
pulchritudinous n. beauty
rakish adj. having or displaying a dashing, jaunty, or slightly disreputable quality or appearance
recalcitrance adj. having an obstinately uncooperative attitude toward authority or discipline
replete adj. filled or well-supplied with something
reticent adj. not revealing one’s thoughts or feelings readily
retinue n. a group of advisers, assistants, or others accompanying an important person
ribald adj. referring to sexual matters in an amusingly rude or irreverent way
ruminate v. think deeply about something
rutilant adj. glowing or glittering with red or golden light
sacrosanct adj. (esp. of a principle, place, or routine) regarded as too important or valuable to be interfered with
salacious adj. (of writing, pictures, or talk) treating sexual matters in an indecent way and typically conveying undue interest in or enjoyment of the subject
sallow adj. (of a person’s face or complexion) of an unhealthy yellow or pale brown color
sangfroid n. composure or coolness, sometimes excessive, as shown in danger or under trying circumstances
scatology n. an interest in or preoccupation with excrement and excretion
sententious adj. given to moralizing in a pompous or affected manner
serendipity n. the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way
simper v. smile or gesture in an affectedly coquettish, coy, or ingratiating manner
sinuous adj. having many curves and turns
solemn adj. formal and dignified
sordid adj. involving ignoble actions and motives; arousing moral distaste and contempt
suborned v. bribe or otherwise induce (someone) to commit an unlawful act such as perjury
subsist v. maintain or support oneself, esp. at a minimal level
succinct adj. (esp. of something written or spoken) briefly and clearly expressed
suffuse v. gradually spread through or cover
sycophant n. a person who acts obsequiously toward someone in order to gain advantage; a servile flatterer
tawdry adj. showy but cheap and of poor quality
torpid adj. mentally or physically inactive; lethargic
torpor n. a state of physical or mental inactivity; lethargy
trenchant adj. vigorous or incisive in expression or style
turgid adj. swollen and distended or congested
uncouth adj. (of a person or their appearance or behavior) lacking good manners, refinement, or grace
unctuous adj. (of a person) excessively or ingratiatingly flattering
untoward adj. unexpected and inappropriate or inconvenient
vituperation n. bitter and abusive language
wan adj. (of a person’s complexion or appearance) pale and giving the impression of illness or exhaustion
wheedle v. employ endearments or flattery to persuade someone to do something or give one something