discrete \dis-KREET\ (adjective) - 1 : Constituting a separate thing; distinct. 2 : Consisting of distinct or unconnected parts. 3 : (Mathematics) Defined for a finite or countable set of values; not continuous.
"Terry's new section consisted of five discrete departments, although he had been instructed to merge them into one continuous unit." ...Read more
exiguous \ig-ZIG-yoo-us\ (adjective) - Extremely scanty; meager.
"Janice worked as a waitress in an effort to supplement her exiguous income working at a big box retailer, although neither employer was sympathetic to the other's schedule."
Exiguous comes from Latin exiguus, "strictly weighed; too strictly weighed," hence "scanty, meager," from...Read more
dudgeon \DUH-juhn\ (noun) - A state or fit of intense indignation; resentment; ill humor -- often used in the phrase "in high dudgeon."
"Clarice had managed to work herself into a high dudgeon over the pet peeves and pecadillos of her latest beau."
The origin of dudgeon is unknown.
pule \PYOOL\ (intransitive verb) - To whimper; to whine.
"Darla's fretting and puling over her missing feline were such that she was banished to the furthest, most sound-proofed room in the domicile."
Pule is perhaps from French piauler, "to whine, to pule," ultimately of imitative origin.
impecunious \im-pih-KYOO-nee-uhs\ (adjective) - Not having money; habitually without money; poor.
"Jimmy's perennially impecunious state was supported by his rich, aged grandfather, upon whose largesse he was absolutely dependent."
Impecunious is derived from Latin im-, in-, "not" + pecuniosus, "rich," from pecunia, "property in cattle, hence ...Read more
apparition \ap-uh-RISH-uhn\ (noun) - 1 : A ghost; a specter; a phantom. 2 : The thing appearing; the sudden or unexpected appearance of something or somebody. 3 : The act of becoming visible; appearance. 4 : (Astronomy) The first appearance of a star or other luminary after having been invisible or obscured; -- opposed to occultation.
"Buddy ...Read more
salmagundi \sal-muh-GUHN-dee\ (noun) - 1 : A salad plate usually consisting of chopped meat, anchovies, eggs, and onions, served with oil and vinegar. 2 : Any mixture or assortment; a medley; a potpourri; a miscellany.
"While the movie purported to be a historical drama, most found it to be a baffling salmagundi of underaged, contemporary stars...Read more
preponderate \prih-PON-duh-rayt\ (intransitive verb) - 1 : To exceed in weight. 2 : To incline or descend, as the scale of a balance; to be weighed down. 3 : To exceed in influence, power, importance, number, amount, etc.
"As John was quick to point out, random acts of kindness still tended preponderate over acts of incivility or nastiness."
In the Shadows of the Oaks: An Urban TaleFrank Settineri
This is a love story between Sean, Landi and Brenda, the latter who were once best friends and now are indelible enemies.
As their relationships spin out of control the surrounding urban community races out of control, besieged by the murder of a black youth ...
benignant \bih-NIG-nuhnt\ (adjective) - 1 : Kind; gracious. 2 : Beneficial; favorable.
"Bruce's benignant behavior in financially supporting the homeless shelter's programs were rather at odds with his image as a grouchy skinflint."
Benignant comes from the present participle of Late Latin benignare, from Latin benignus, "kind, friendly."
supposititious \suh-poz-uh-TISH-uhs\ (adjective) - 1 : Fraudulently substituted for something else; not being what it purports to be; not genuine; spurious; counterfeit. 2 : Hypothetical; supposed.
"When it was revealed that the mouse the couple had claimed to find in their soup was supposititious it was thought they would necessarily withdraw ...Read more
tetchy \TECH-ee\ (adjective) - Peevish; testy; irritable.
"Alfred's tetchy and combative personality made him a difficult person to share an office with."
Tetchy probably comes from Middle English tecche, "a bad habit," from Old French tache, teche, "a spot, stain, blemish, habit, vice."
Sandra Collins (used to) fight the cellulite battle for as long as she can remember. The odd thing is she has always been fit and healthy, going to the gym for the last 10 years, lifting weights and following gym programs. However, her cellulite never seem to go away no matter what until she came across...
exigent \EK-suh-juhnt\ (adjective) - 1 : Requiring immediate aid or action; pressing; critical. 2 : Requiring much effort or expense; demanding; exacting.
"Contrary to what Sloan had considered during the campaign, as a Congressman legislative sessions were long, constituents' demands exigent, and policy problems were increasingly complicated."...Read more
temerarious \tem-uh-RAIR-ee-uhs\ (adjective) - Recklessly or presumptuously daring; rash.
"I have confessed myself a temerarious theologian, and in that passage from boyhood to manhood I ranged widely in my search for some permanently satisfying Truth." -- H. G. Wells, The New Machiavelli
Temerarious comes from Latin temerarius, "rash," from ...Read more
loquacious \loh-KWAY-shuhs\ (adjective) - 1 : Very talkative. 2 : Full of excessive talk; wordy.
"The meeting went on for hours, accommodating loquacious bores who were each allowed their say, although in the end very little to nothing was accomplished."
Loquacious comes from Latin loquax, "talkative," from loqui, "to speak."
quotidian \kwoh-TID-ee-uhn\ (adjective) - 1 : Occurring or returning daily; as, a quotidian fever. 2 : Of an everyday character; ordinary; commonplace.
"Aline's sense of fun was typically crushed under the dull, quotidian beats of her routine suburban life."
Quotidian is from Latin quotidianus, from quotidie, "daily," from quotus, "how many, ...Read more
iota \eye-OH-tuh\ (noun) - 1 : The ninth letter of the Greek alphabet, corresponding to the English i. 2 : A very small quantity or degree; a jot; a bit.
"A brilliant negotiator, James had not moderated his demands one iota in seven years."
Iota is the smallest letter in the Greek alphabet. The word jot also derives from iota.
confrere \KON-frair\ (noun) - A fellow member of a fraternity or profession; a colleague; a comrade; an intimate associate.
"The negotiations kept breaking down, largely because the president was treating that adversary as a confrere whose hideous character flaws could not be discussed."
Confrere comes from Old French, from Medieval Latin ...Read more
hortatory \HOR-tuh-tor-ee\ (adjective) - Marked by strong urging; serving to encourage or incite; as, "a hortatory speech."
"Giles later gave up the position in the conviction that he could reach thousands with his beguiling pen while only hundreds with his hortatory voice."
Hortatory is from Latin hortatorius, from hortari, "to exhort, to ...Read more
adage \AD-ij\ (noun) - An old saying, which has obtained credit by long use; a proverb.
"We may find out too late the wisdom of the adage that cautions us to be careful what we wish for lest we get it."
Adage derives from the Latin adagium (akin to aio, "I say").
Q: Why do we call a single item of clothing "a pair of pants"? -- Charlie Duncan, Potsdam, N.Y.
A: Being an average guy, I'll put on my answer one leg at a time.
English speakers use plural words for most garments worn over the legs, e.g. trousers, shorts, tights, drawers, knickers, leggings, trunks, pants (a contraction of "pantaloons," ...Read more