mellifluous \muh-LIF-loo-us\ (adjective) - Flowing as with honey; smooth; flowing sweetly or smoothly; as, a mellifluous voice.
"The mellifluous tones of the Debussy sonata were presented all the more pleasantly when they came from the instrument of such an expert pianist."
Mellifluous comes from Latin mellifluus
recrimination \rih-krim-uh-NAY-shuhn\ (noun) - 1 : The act of returning one charge or accusation with another. 2 : An accusation brought by the accused against the accuser; a counter accusation.
"The endless acts of senseless recrimination engaged in by both parties in the House served to do little more than accomplish hopeless gridlock."
perdurable \pur-DUR-uh-bul; pur-DYUR-\ (adjective) - Very durable; lasting; continuing long.
"A mother's perdurable love for her child is often tested during the teen years."
Perdurable ultimately comes from Late Latin perdurabilis, from Latin perdurare, to last a long time, to endure, from per-, throughout + durare, to last.
indelible \in-DEL-uh-buhl\ (adjective) - 1 : That cannot be removed, erased, or washed away. 2 : Making marks that cannot easily be removed or erased. 3 : Incapable of being forgotten; memorable.
"Wanting an indelible representation of their eternal love for each other, Jim had a tattoo of Jane's name placed on his arm."
Indelible is from ...Read more
fortuitous \for-TOO-uh-tuhs; -TYOO-\ (adjective) - 1 : Happening by chance; coming or occurring by accident, or without any known cause. 2 : Happening by a fortunate or lucky chance. 3 : Fortunate or lucky.
"All agreed that the arrival of the off-duty emergency medical technicians just as Frank fell over from a heart attack was a fortuitous ...Read more
diktat \dik-TAHT\ (noun) - 1 : A harsh settlement unilaterally imposed on a defeated party. 2 : An authoritative decree or order.
"Management was fond of passing down diktats the actual intent of which was muddled or obscure such as 'no red neckties on the third Tuesday of each month,' or 'no brown, open-toed sandals on women on alternate ...Read more
camarilla \kam-uh-RIL-uh; -REE-yuh\ (noun) - A group of secret and often scheming advisers, as of a king; a cabal or clique.
"Few faulted the president for the problems during his tenure, instead choosing to blame the camarilla of closely held advisors which were a holdover from his days as a senator."
Camarilla comes from Spanish, literally, ...Read more
renascent \rih-NAS-uhnt\ (adjective) - Springing or rising again into being; showing renewed vigor.
"After the failings and anger over the current administration, a renascent opposition movement waited to make the most of that discontent."
Renascent comes from Latin renascens, present participle of renasci, "to be born again," from re-, "again...Read more
You Shall Know Our Names (The Judah Halevi Journals) (Volume 1)Ezekiel Nieto Benzion
When Ezekiel Benzion's grandfather handed him the dusty journals written by Doctor Judah Halevi Nieto, he begged, "Before I die, tell me why our family protected these for two hundred years. Who were these men? And why were they revered?" The search for answers led to ...
pelf \PELF\ (noun) - Money; riches; gain; -- generally conveying the idea of something ill-gotten.
"A life-long con man, Jason was always just one big scam away from taking his pelf and retiring for good."
Pelf comes from Old French pelfre, "booty, stolen goods." It is related to pilfer.
fettle \FET-l\ (noun) - A state or condition of fitness or order; state of mind; spirits -- often used in the phrase "in fine fettle."
"After the fallout of Mel's separation and divorce, he was surprised to find himself in such fine fettle financially, in spite of the egregious amount of money that his ex- had taken him for."
Fettle is from ...Read more
dubiety \doo-BY-uh-tee; dyoo-\ (noun) - 1 : The condition or quality of being doubtful or skeptical. 2 : A matter of doubt.
"Despite a lack of forensic evidence, dubiety among the police themselves and inaccuracies in Francis' confession, he was ultimately found guilty."
Dubiety is from Late Latin dubietas, from Latin dubius, "doubtful, ...Read more
gamine \gam-EEN; GAM-een\ (noun) - 1 : A girl who wanders about the streets; an urchin. 2 : A playfully mischievous girl or young woman.
"While Jessica was known for her serious, business-like side, in her off hours she would tend to play the gamine in an effort to shed the burdens of her day."
Gamine comes from the French. A boy who wanders ...Read more
disport \dis-PORT\ (intransitive verb) - 1 : To amuse oneself in light or lively manner; to frolic.
(transitive verb) - 1 : To divert or amuse. 2 : To display.
"The area was well known as one where the fleet would come to disport and, consequently, citizens tended knew to stay away when it was in port."
Disport derives from Old French ...Read more
empyrean \em-py-REE-uhn; -PEER-ee-\ (noun) - 1 : The highest heaven, in ancient belief usually thought to be a realm of pure fire or light. 2 : Heaven; paradise. 3 : The heavens; the sky.
(adjective) - 1 : Of or pertaining to the empyrean of ancient belief.
"Thomas was one to take an argument into the empyrean were he but given the opportunity...Read more
Could'a, would'a, should'a.
We know it's OK to use contractions in speech, but when should they be used in writing?
Until the early 20th century, most teachers treated contractions like cockroaches scuttling and hissing through students' sentences. These fuming pedagogues fumigated, ordering students never to use contractions. Of course, ...Read more
transmute \trans-MYOOT; tranz-\ (transitive verb) - 1 : To change from one nature, form, substance, or state into another; to transform.
(intransitive verb) - 1 : To undergo transmutation.
"Pops was a master at taking a pile of random clay, wire, wood and other rubbish and transmuting it into art."
Transmute is from Latin transmutare, "to ...Read more
repletion \rih-PLEE-shun\ (noun) - 1 : The condition of being completely filled or supplied. 2 : Excessive fullness, as from overeating.
"Belly distended, waistline bursting, eyes glazed with repletion, Albert picked listlessly at his teeth with a fork while savoring another meal well-prepared and enjoyed."
Repletion is derived from Latin ...Read more
hardscrabble \HARD-skrab-uhl\ (adjective) - 1 : Yielding a bare or meager living with great labor or difficulty. 2 : Marked by poverty.
"The hardscrabble land was such that few wanted to come and live in the area in spite of the government's incentives."
Hardscrabble is formed from hard (from Old English heard) + scrabble (from Dutch ...Read more
privation \pry-VAY-shun\ (noun) - 1 : An act or instance of depriving. 2 : The state of being deprived of something, especially of something required or desired; destitution; need.
"Alice's family was so destitute as to often be without a place to live, and this privation shaped her opportunities and her personality from the outset."
quagmire \KWAG-myr; KWOG-\ (noun) - 1 : Soft, wet, miry land that shakes or yields under the feet. 2 : A difficult or precarious position or situation; a predicament.
"Over the course of several months, Franklin's opponent Slowly and inevitably drew him into a quagmire of plot and counterplot."
Quagmire is from quag, a dialectical variant of ...Read more