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English Vocab

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escutcheon 1. The shield or shield-shaped surface on which a coat of arms is depicted; also in wider sense, the shield with the armorial bearings; a sculptured or painted representation of this. 2. A stain on a person's reputation.
otiose 1. a. Of belief, principle, thought, etc.: having no practical result; unfruitful, sterile; futile, pointless. b. Having no practical function; redundant; superfluous. 2. At leisure; at rest; idle; inactive; indolent, lazy.
a priori 1. A phrase used to characterize reasoning or arguing from causes to effects, from abstract notions to their conditions or consequences, from propositions or assumed axioms (and not from experience); deductive; deductively.
colloquy A talking together; a conversation, dialogue. A meeting for conference.
ischemia A decrease in the blood supply to a bodily organ, tissue, or part caused by constriction or obstruction of the blood vessels.
sobriquet An epithet, a nickname.
mullion Any of the (usually vertical) bars dividing the lights in a window, esp. in Gothic architecture. Also: a similar bar forming divisions in screen-work or panelling.
peristalsis The propulsive movement of the gastrointestinal tract and other tubular organs (or, rarely, organisms), consisting of coordinated waves of contraction and relaxation of the circular muscle; an instance of such movement.
oneiric Of, characteristic of, or relating to dreams; dreamlike.
confabulate To talk familiarly together, converse, chat. Psychiatry: To fabricate imaginary experiences as compensation for loss of memory.
remonstrate To make plain or manifest; to demonstrate, show; to reveal.
obdurate Hardened in wrongdoing or sin; stubbornly impenitent; resistant or insensible to moral influence. Hardened against persuasion, entreaty, the feeling of pity, etc.; obstinate, unyielding, relentless, hard-hearted.
joss A Chinese figure of a deity, an idol.
choler Bile. Or Anger, heat of temper, wrath; choleric disposition, irascibility.
strabismus a. An affection of the eyes in which the axes of vision cannot be coincidently directed to the same object; squinting, a squint. b. fig. Perversity of intellectual perception.
vortical Of motion: Like that of a vortex; rotating, eddying, whirling.
enervate 1. trans. To cut the tendons of; chiefly spec. to hamstring, hough (a horse). 2. To emasculate. 3. To weaken.
virid Green, verdant.
swart Dark in colour; black or blackish; dusky, swarthy.
anility The state of being an old woman; old-womanishness; dotage, foolishness. Fig. used more contemptuously than senility.
anile Of or like an old woman, old-womanish; (also) ‘imbecile’.
punctilious Strictly observant of or insistent on fine points of procedure, etiquette, or conduct; extremely or excessively particular or correct. Also: characterized by such scrupulous attention to detail or formality.
argot a. The spur of a cock; the similarly-situated excrescence on the feet of other animals. b. A spur left in pruning a tree. c. The jargon, slang, or peculiar phraseology of a class, orig. that of thieves and rogues.
cozen To cheat, defraud by deceit.
educe 1. pass. To be led forth, branch out (said of a river, a blood vessel). 2. Med. To draw forth so as to remove. 3. To bring out, elicit, develop, from a condition of latent, rudimentary, or merely potential existence.
lorgnette A pair of eye-glasses held in the hand, usually by a long metal, ivory, or tortoise-shell handle.
anserine 1. Of, pertaining to, or of the nature of a goose. 2. As the goose is conventionally (though erroneously) a type of unintelligence: Stupid, silly.
pulchritude 1. Beauty. Now somewhat arch. and literary. 2. As a count noun. A beauty; a beautiful quality or feature. Chiefly U.S. in later use.
encomium A formal or high-flown expression of praise; a eulogy, panegyric.
atavic Of or pertaining to a remote ancestor.
murine Of, resembling, characteristic of, affecting, or derived from a mouse or mice; mouse-like; (Zool.) of or relating to members of the subfamily Murinae or (formerly) the family Muridae, comprising Old World mice and rats.
coterie An organized association of persons for political, social, or other purposes; a club. Obs.
occiput 1. The back or posterior part of the head. 2. The occipital bone of the skull.
inchoate Just begun, incipient; in an initial or early stage; hence elementary, imperfect, undeveloped, immature.
tautology a. A repetition of the same statement. b. The repetition (esp. in the immediate context) of the same word or phrase, or of the same idea or statement in other words: usually as a fault of style. c. Applied to the repetition of a statement as its own reason, or to the identification of cause and effect.
écorché An anatomical subject treated so as to display the musculature. Also fig.
ignominy Dishonour, disgrace, shame; infamy; the condition of being in disgrace, etc.
apparatchik 1. A member of the apparat (The party machine of the Communist party in Russia); a Communist agent or spy. 2. transf. A member of a political party in any country, who is responsible for the execution of policy; a functionary of a public or private organization
epiphenomenon a. Something that appears in addition; a secondary symptom. b. spec. in Psychol. Applied to consciousness regarded as a by-product of the material activities of the brain and nerve-system.
petitio principii The employment in an argument of a premise which either presupposes or is equivalent to the conclusion which is at issue; the fallacy of begging the question; an instance of this, a circular argument.
scintillate To send forth sparks or little flashes of light; to sparkle, twinkle.
de rigueur Prescribed or required by fashion, etiquette, or custom
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