tittle-tattle \TIT-uhl TAT-uhl\ (noun) - 1 : Idle, trifling talk; empty prattle. 2 : An idle, trifling talker; a gossip.
(verb) - 1 : to talk idly; to prate.
"Both were in their seventies, and like two old parrots they told, in identical words, the tale they had heard so often from their mother...The tittle-tattle of a half-starved countryside...Read more
Zeitgeist \TSYT-guyst; ZYT-guyst\ (noun) - [Often capitalized] The spirit of the time; the general intellectual and moral state or temper characteristic of any period of time.
"Yet being a man, as I say, with his hair a little stirred by a Zeitgeist that made for change, Gates did at times display a disposition towards developments." -- Herbert...Read more
genial \JEEN-yuhl; JEE-nee-uhl\ (adjective) - 1 : Friendly, warm; kindly; sympathetically cheerful and cheering. 2 : Mild, pleasant; comfortable; favorable to life or growth.
"She, like he, like all beings in this happy valley with its genial clime, goes always naked, stark staring, as someone's said, wearing nothing daylong but the shells and ...Read more
superfluous \soo-PER-floo-us\ (adjective) - More than is wanted or is sufficient; rendered unnecessary by superabundance; unnecessary; useless; excessive. (adverb) superfluously, (noun) superfluousness
"You must consider that what is necessary always occurs, and what is superfluous usually, but what is almost necessary, at least in my case, ...Read more
desideratum \dih-sid-uh-RAY-tum; -RAH-\ (noun) - Something desired or considered necessary. plural desiderata
"I went, had admittance, and offered him my service as a master of the Greek language, which I had been told was a desideratum in this university." -- Oliver Goldsmith, 'The Vicar of Wakefield'
Desideratum is from Latin desideratum, "a...Read more
stoic \STOH-ik\ (noun) - 1 : (Capitalized). A member of a school of philosophy founded by Zeno holding that one should be free from passion, unmoved by joy or grief, and should submit without complaint to unavoidable necessity. 2 : Hence, one who is apparently or professedly indifferent to or unaffected by pleasure or pain, joy or grief.
winsome \WIN-suhm\ (adjective) - 1 : Cheerful; merry; gay; light-hearted. 2 : Causing joy or pleasure; agreeable; pleasant.
"Above all, it was winsome, devastatingly winsome. For a pretty face to be winsome is normal enough and very winsome it can be, but it is a tepid thing..." -- Mervyn Peake, 'The Gormenghast Novels'
Winsome is from Old ...Read more
edify \ED-uh-fy\ (transitive verb) - To instruct and improve, especially in moral and religious knowledge; to teach. --edifying, adjective
"He attended like holiness itself; He attended to edify the people with His example, to teach them His doctrine, and to favor men with His grace." -- José Joaquín Fernández de Lizardi, 'The Mangy Parrot: ...Read more
How To Write PoetryCynthia Sharp
From classic haiku to multi-style poetic license, How To Write Poetry is a beautiful series of lessons on not just how to inspire your poetic heart, but also how to write, confident your poems are correctly structured and full of authentic meaning and story. Cynthia ...
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.
"I think it's worthy of note that passions do not tend to be inflamed without the presence of concomitant phantasms." -- Don DeLillo, ...Read more
peregrination \pehr-uh-gruh-NAY-shun\ (noun) - A traveling from place to place; a wandering.
"They continued their peregrination, stopping to spend a few minutes in this circle or that before moving on again, she a foot before him, he prowling, relaxed but watchful, in her wake." -- Stephanie Laurens, 'On a Wild Night'
Peregrination comes ...Read more
inimical \ih-NIM-ih-kul\ (adjective) - 1 : Having the disposition or temper of an enemy; unfriendly; unfavorable. 2 : Opposed in tendency, influence, or effects; antagonistic; adverse.
"The gods did not care -- or rather, were inimical. Beyond question, they were inimical to him." -- Gene Wolfe, 'Litany of the Long Sun'
nimical comes from Late...Read more
halcyon \HAL-see-uhn\ (noun) - 1 : A kingfisher. 2 : A mythical bird, identified with the kingfisher, that was fabled to nest at sea about the time of the winter solstice and to calm the waves during incubation.
(adjective) - 1 : Calm; quiet; peaceful; undisturbed; happy; as, "deep, halcyon repose." 2 : Marked by peace and prosperity; as, "...Read more
prevaricate \prih-VAIR-uh-kayt\ (intransitive verb) - To depart from or evade the truth; to speak with equivocation.
"As regards your question, however, I will not prevaricate nor deceive you, but what the old man of the sea told me, so much will I tell you in full." -- Homer, 'The Odyssey'
Prevaricate derives from the past participle of Latin...Read more
distrait \dis-TRAY\ (adjective) - Divided or withdrawn in attention, especially because of anxiety.
"I noticed that after my host had read it he seemed even more distrait and strange than before." -- Arthur Conan Doyle, 'The Adventure of Wisteria Lodge'
Distrait is from Old French, from distraire, "to distract," from Latin distrahere, "to pull...Read more
furtive \FUR-tiv\ (adjective) - 1 : Done by stealth; surreptitious; secret; as, a furtive look. 2 : Expressive of stealth; sly; shifty; sneaky. 3 : Stolen; obtained by stealth. 4 : Given to stealing; thievish; pilfering.
"But that was merely a piece of furtive knowledge which he happened to possess because his memory was not satisfactorily ...Read more
politic \POL-ih-tik\ (adjective) - 1 : Of or pertaining to polity, or civil government; political (as in the phrase "the body politic"). 2 : (Of persons): Sagacious in promoting a policy; ingenious in devising and advancing a system of management; characterized by political skill and ingenuity; hence, shrewdly tactful, cunning. 3 : (Of actions ...Read more
Remember when Americans hated to unpack? You know, dumping the suitcase on the bed, sorting dirty socks from clean socks, discovering that the bottle of mouthwash has leaked -- a depressing chore indeed.
But not anymore. We're gleefully "unpacking" all over the place. "Unpack" has become our trendiest term for "sort out, analyze, deconstruct....Read more
undulant \UN-juh-lunt; UN-dyuh-\ (adjective) - Resembling waves in form, motion, or occurrence.
"After some time the car slowed to a palpitant pause at a spot where the road was bordered on one hand by a woods, on the other by meadow-lands running down to an arm of a bay, on whose gently undulant surface the flame-tipped finger of a distant ...Read more
clamber \KLAM-buhr; KLAM-uhr\ (intransitive verb) - To climb with difficulty, or on all fours; to scramble.
(noun) - The act of clambering.
"See them clamber, these quick monkeys! They clamber away, one atop the other, and so drag themselves into the mud and the abyss." -- Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, 'Thus Spake Zarathustra: A Book for All ...Read more
wayworn \WAY-worn\ (adjective) - Wearied by traveling.
"Suppose some of the boys had seen me coming through Canterbury, wayworn and ragged, and should find me out? What would they say, who made so light of money, if they could know how I scraped my halfpence together, for the purchase of my daily saveloy and beer, or my slices of pudding?" - ...Read more