hale \HAYL\ (adjective) - Free from disease and weakening conditions; healthy.
"The person whom the traveller had so abruptly encountered was of this kind: bluff, hale, hearty, and in a green old age: at peace with himself, and evidently disposed to be so with all the world." -- Charles Dickens, 'Barnaby Rudge'
Hale comes from Middle English ...Read more
concomitant \kuhn-KOM-uh-tuhnt\ (adjective) - Accompanying; attendant; occurring or existing concurrently.
(noun) - Something that accompanies or is collaterally connected with something else; an accompaniment.
"She began also to understand what it was that had brought about her son's love, and to feel that but for certain unfortunate ...Read more
quandary \KWAHN-duh-ree; -dree\ (noun) - A state of difficulty, perplexity, doubt, or uncertainty.
"Now, he hesitated, facing a quandary. The quandary was not whether to kill the Ye-tai. That was no quandary at all." -- Eric Flint, 'In the Heart of Darkness'
Quandary is of unknown origin.
prevaricate \prih-VAIR-uh-kayt\ (intransitive verb) - To depart from or evade the truth; to speak with equivocation.
"Confused, also, with a thousand inexpressible sensations which the dean's presence inspired, she seemed to prevaricate in all she uttered." -- Elizabeth Inchbald, 'Nature and Art'
Prevaricate derives from the past participle of...Read more
factotum \fak-TOH-tuhm\ (noun) - A person employed to do all kinds of work or business.
"Come back tomorrow and I'll give you an appointment, the factotum would say. Of course the arkhon kept everyone waiting, or his factotum did." -- Sarah Micklem, 'Wildfire'
Factotum is from Medieval Latin, from Latin fac totum, "do everything," from facere,...Read more
perfervid \puhr-FUR-vid\ (adjective) - Ardent; impassioned; marked by exaggerated or overwrought emotion.
"To court their own discomfiture by love is a common instinct with certain perfervid women. Conflicting sensations of love, fear, and shame reduced Eustacia to a state of the utmost uneasiness." -- Thomas Hardy, 'The Return of the Native'
evince \ih-VIN(T)S\ (transitive verb) - To show in a clear manner; to manifest; to make evident; to bring to light.
"He did not evince any special aptitude for any particular branch of learning, and was distinguished only for diligence and neatness..." -- Nikolaĭ Vasilevich Gogol, 'Dead Souls'
Evince is from Latin evincere, "to conquer ...Read more
choler \KOLL-ur; KOLE-ur\ (noun) - Irritation of the passions; anger; wrath.
"Patience perforce with wilful choler meeting
Makes my flesh tremble in their different greeting.
I will withdraw; but this intrusion shall
Now seeming sweet, convert to bitt'rest gall." -- William Shakespeare, 'Romeo and Juliet'
Choler is from ...Read more
apogee \AP-uh-jee\ (noun) - 1 : The point in the orbit of the moon or of an artificial satellite that is at the greatest distance from the center of the earth. 2 : The farthest or highest point; culmination.
"The moon is thus nearer to the earth at some times than at others, or, in astronomical terms, it is sometimes at its apogee and sometimes...Read more
intractable \in-TRAK-tuh-buhl\ (adjective) - 1 : Not easily governed, managed, or directed; stubborn; obstinate; as, "an intractable child." 2 : Not easily wrought or manipulated; as, "intractable materials." 3 : Not easily remedied, relieved, or dealt with; as, "intractable problems."
"Because caring men are not intractable, and it is male ...Read more
clinquant \KLING-kunt\ (adjective) - Glittering with gold or silver; tinseled.
(noun) - Tinsel; imitation gold leaf.
"Beaming, the lady held out a purse, heavy and all clinquant, as the man says, with gold." -- Kage Baker, 'The Garden of Iden'
Clinquant is from the French.
cant \KANT\ (noun) - 1 : The idioms and peculiarities of speech in any sect, class, or occupation. 2 : The use of religious phraseology without understanding or sincerity. 3 : Empty, solemn speech, implying what is not felt; insincere talk; hypocrisy. 4 : A whining manner of speaking, especially of beggars.
"He could, said he, talk their cant ...Read more
avuncular \uh-VUHNG-kyuh-luhr\ (adjective) - 1 : Of or pertaining to an uncle. 2 : Resembling an uncle, especially in kindness or indulgence.
"He had found himself at parties recently taking on the role of someone avuncular who stood back and watched and considered and approved (or worse, disapproved)." -- Tessa Hadley, 'Accidents in the Home' ...Read more
patina \PAT-n-uh; puh-TEEN-uh\ (noun) - 1 : The color or incrustation which age gives to works of art; especially, the green rust which covers ancient bronzes, coins, and medals. 2 : The sheen on any surface, produced by age and use. 3 : An appearance or aura produced by habit, practice, or use. 4 : A superficial layer or exterior.
"It was not ...Read more
obtrude \uhb-TROOD; ob-\ (transitive verb) - 1 : To thrust out; to push out. 2 : To force or impose (one's self, remarks, opinions, etc.) on others with undue insistence or without solicitation.
(intransitive verb) - To thrust upon a group or upon attention; to intrude.
"I think we feel that to speak of our sufferings or, deeper feelings is to...Read more
felicitous \fuh-LIS-uh-tuhs\ (adjective) - 1 : Suitably applied or expressed; appropriate; apt. 2 : Happy; delightful; marked by good fortune.
"'My lord, may I tender my most felicitous wishes for a hasty recovery?' ... 'You may tender more than felicitous wishes,' the earl said plainly." -- Jennifer Roberson, 'Lady of Sherwood'
Felicitous is ...Read more
obfuscate \OB-fuh-skayt\ (transitive verb) - 1 : To darken or render indistinct or dim. 2 : To make obscure or difficult to understand or make sense of. 3 : To confuse or bewilder.
"You obfuscate. You stupefy me. You bewilder me. ... And I do not know why you obfuscate. Presumably it's because nothing is clear to you any more..." -- Paul Scott,...Read more
extraneous \ek-STRAY-nee-uhs\ (adjective) - 1 : Coming from or existing on the outside. 2 : Introduced from an outside source. 3 : Not essential or intrinsic; foreign. 4 : Not pertinent to the matter at hand; irrelevant.
"That is what I have been seeking to do -- clear away the extraneous matter so that we can see the truth - the naked shining ...Read more
discomfit \dis-KUHM-fit; dis-kuhm-FIT\ (transitive verb) - 1 : To make uneasy or perplexed, or to put into a state of embarrassment; to disconcert; to upset. 2 : To thwart; to frustrate the plans of. 3 : (Archaic). To defeat in battle.
"Ahead, the children raced gaily in between bushes and trees, ignoring the maids' discomfit; assuming she was ...Read more
The season of festive graduations provokes many profound questions: What time does the ceremony start? Where the heck can we park? How are we going to wheel grandma up there? When, dear God, will this thing end?
And then there's the music. As we listen to "Pomp and Circumstance" performed in its endless, droning majesty, we certainly ...Read more