spoony \SPOO-nee\ (adjective) - 1 : Foolish; silly; excessively sentimental. 2 : Foolishly or sentimentally in love.
"'I think every man is bound to do the best he can for himself -- that is, honestly; there is something spoony in one man allowing another to get before him, as long as he can manage to be first himself." -- Anthony Trollope, '...Read more
osculation \os-kyuh-LAY-shuhn\ (noun) - The act of kissing; also: a kiss.
"If by osculation you mean kissing, Miss Cobb... I guess you don't remember the Austrian count who was a head waiter here. If there was anything in the way of osculation that that member of an old Austrian family didn't know I've got to find it out. He could kiss all ...Read more
mores \MOR-ayz; -eez\ (plural noun) - 1 : The fixed customs of a particular group that are morally binding upon all members of the group. 2 : Moral attitudes. 3 : Customs; habits; ways.
"Now: mores are the customs of society. As such, they are traditional. ... We see you in church and you're not a thier, so you must also respect the laws of ...Read more
propound \pruh-POWND\ (transitive verb) - To offer for consideration; to put forward; to propose.
"So they called after them, and they stopped and stood still till they came up to them; but they concluded as they went, not that Mr. By-ends, but old Mr. Hold-the-World, should propound the question to them, because, as they supposed, their answer...Read more
introspection \in-truh-SPEK-shuhn\ (noun) - The act or process of self-examination; contemplation of one's own thoughts and feelings; a looking inward.
"There is a popular cry against introspection and an insistence that it is necessarily morbid, which works in direct opposisiton to true self-control. Introspection for its own sake is self-...Read more
gravitas \GRAV-uh-tahs\ (noun) - High seriousness (as in a person's bearing or in the treatment of a subject).
"A man without gravitas was not fit to shoulder the weight of leadership. Nick wanted no part of gravitas. He wanted to be lighthearted..." -- Rick DeMarinis, 'Apocalypse Then'
Gravitas is from the Latin gravitas, "heaviness, ...Read more
varicolored \VER-ih-kuh-lurd\ (adjective) - Having a variety of colors; of various colors.
"There was a small place with a sign "Books" on the window, filled with strings of wooden camels and little glass jars of varicolored sands, as well as color postcards of varicolored fish." -- Meyer Levin, 'Gore and Igor: an extravaganza'
Varicolored is ...Read more
arrogate \AIR-uh-gayt\ (transitive verb) - 1 : To claim or seize without right or justification; to appropriate. 2 : To claim on behalf of another; to ascribe.
"The human and fallible should not arrogate a power with which the divine and perfect alone can be safely intrusted." -- Charlotte Bronte, 'Jane Eyre'
Arrogate comes from Latin adrogare...Read more
expatiate \ek-SPAY-shee-ayt\ (intransitive verb) - 1 : To speak or write at length or in considerable detail. 2 : To move about freely; to wander.
"I will not expatiate upon her beauty. I will not expatiate upon her intelligence, her quickness of perception, her powers of memory, her sweet consideration from the first moment for the slow-paced ...Read more
extol \ik-STOHL\ (transitive verb) - To praise highly; to glorify; to exalt.
"To praise the South was to praise himself; to boast of its valor was to advertise his own intrepidity; to extol its women was to enhance the glory of his own achievements in the lists of love; to vanut its chivalry was to avouch his own honor; to laud its greatness ...Read more
obloquy \OB-luh-kwee\ (noun) - 1 : Strongly condemnatory or abusive language or utterance. 2 : The condition of disgrace suffered as a result of public blame, abuse, or condemnation; ill repute.
"It is an honour 'longing to our house,
Bequeathed down from many ancestors,
Which were the greatest obloquy i' th' world
In me to ...Read more
malversation \mal-vur-SAY-shun\ (noun) - Misconduct, corruption, or extortion in public office.
"No man can designate the extent of such an official malversation, demonstrated, as it has been here, in the presence of us all, who are the lawful custodiers of the kingly dignity in this his majesty's royal burgh." --John Galt, 'Provost'
In a recent interview, National Security Advisor H. R. McMaster told PBS Newshour anchor Judy Woodruff that the Trump administration had increased the defense budget to address "a bow wave of deferred military modernization."
Hmmm ... a naval metaphor from a career Army man. This bears some checking out.
In its literal sense, of course, "bow...Read more
maelstrom \MAYL-struhm\ (noun) - 1 : A large, powerful, or destructive whirlpool. 2 : Something resembling a maelstrom; a violent, disordered, or turbulent state of affairs.
"The Maelstrom shrieked and pounded against the barrier, creating tiny cracks through which small tendrils of air flowed, pulling apart and smashing the obstruction." Jayel...Read more
cerebration \ser-uh-BRAY-shuhn\ (noun) - The act or product of thinking; the use of the power of reason; mental activity; thought.
"Hicks rolled another cigarette and sat smoking it, his plump face wrinkled with the gravity and labour of his cerebration." -- Willa Cather, 'One of Ours'
Cerebration is ultimately derived from Latin cerebrum, "...Read more
vapid \VAP-id; VAY-pid\ (adjective) - 1 : Lacking liveliness and spirit; unanimated; spiritless; dull; as, "a vapid speech." 2 : Flavorless; lacking taste or zest; flat; as, "vapid beer."
"Its shoe-button eyes seemed to reflect a black, vapid horror, as if it had seen all the secrets of darkness during its long stay in the sandbox. Perhaps it ...Read more
limn \LIM\ (transitive verb) - 1 : To depict by drawing or painting. 2 : To portray in words; to describe.
""He questioned Brother Ambrose of the matter, and when he heard the Vision, bade him limn the Holy City even as he had seen it; and the Precentor gave him uterine vellum and much fine gold and what colours he asked for the work." -- ...Read more
melange \may-LAHNZH\ (noun) - A mixture; a medley.
"So, we already have melange concerts and melange theater," the scholar intervened. "Melange language will soon follow, you'll see." -- Albert Robida, 'The Twentieth Century'
Melange derives from Old French meslance, from mesler, "to mix," ultimately from Latin miscere, "to mix."
callow \KAL-oh\ (adjective) - Immature; lacking adult perception, experience, or judgment.
"If anybody thinks that I am callow they ought to see het -- she's so callow it makes me laugh. It even makes het laugh, too, to think how callow she is." -- F. Scott Fitzgerald, 'What I Think and Feel at 25'
Callow is from Old English calu, "featherless...Read more
lucre \LOO-kuhr\ (noun) - Monetary gain; profit; riches; money; -- often in a bad sense.
"The need of lucre never looms so large
As when 'tis gotten in some devious way;
It mitigates the blackness of the charge
That every nether level needed pay."
-- Herbert Quick, 'Double Trouble'
Lucre comes from Latin lucrum, "gain...Read more