appurtenance (n.) — an accessory or other item associated with a particular activity or style of living

weal (n.) — that which is best for someone or something

laconic (adj.) — using very few words

indubitable (adj.) — impossible to doubt

mirth (n.) — amusement

magnanimity (n.) — generosity

puce (adj.) — of a dark red or purple-brown color

continence (n.) — self-restraint

irascible (adj.) — having or showing a tendency to be easily angered

atelier (n.) — a workshop or studio

ennui (n.) — a feeling of listlessness and dissatisfaction arising from a lack of occupation or excitement

caprice (n.) — a sudden and unaccountable change of mood or behavior

asseveration (n.) — the solemn or emphatic declaration or statement of something

assiduously (adv.) — with great care and perseverance

bonhomie (n.) — cheerful friendliness

sophistry (n.) — the use of fallacious arguments, especially with the intention of deceiving


nacreous (adj.) — mother-of-pearl

moray (n.) — a mainly nocturnal eelike predatory fish of warm seas that typically hides in crevices with just the head protruding

rummy (n.) — another term for rum

plover (n.) — a short-billed gregarious wading bird

hussier (n.) — an usher

lush (n.) — a heavy drinker, especially a habitual one

metier (n.) — a trade, profession, or occupation

au fond (adv.) — in essence

roe (n.) — the mass of eggs contained in the ovaries of a female fish or shellfish

gaff (n.) — a stick with a hook, or a barbed spear, for landing a large fish

papaw (n.) — another term for papaya

vicarious (adj.) — experienced in the imagination through the feelings or actions of another person

prawn (n.) — a marine crustacean that resembles a large shrimp

insularity (n.) — ignorance or lack of interest in cultures, ideas, or people outside one’s own experience

wanton (adj.) — deliberate and unprovoked

bouillabaisse (n.) — a rich, spicy stew or soup made with various kinds of fish, originally from Provence

chancre (n.) — a painless ulcer

kedge (v.) — move by hauling in a hawser attached to a small anchor dropped at some distance


musette (n.) — a kind of small bagpipe played with bellows, common in the French court in the 17th and 18th centuries and in later folk music

tacitly (adv.) — in a way that is understood or implied without being directly stated

Rabelaisian (adj.) — displaying earthy humor, bawdy

klaxon (n.) — an electric horn or a similar loud warning device

quietus (n.) — death or something that causes death, regarded as a release from life

salient (adj.) — most noticeable or important

insouciance (n.) — casual lack of concern, indifference

martinet (n.) — a strict disciplinarian, especially in the armed forces

hove (v.) — past of heave

defilade (n.) — the protection of a position, vehicle, or troops against enemy observation or gunfire

cerulean (adj.) — deep blue in color like a clear sky

syrette (n.) — a disposable injection unit comprising a collapsible tube with an attached hypodermic needle and a single dose of a drug, commonly morphine

myopic (adj.) — lacking imagination, foresight, or intellectual insight

demurrer (n.) — an objection that an opponent’s point is irrelevant or invalid, while granting the factual basis of the point

enfilade (n.) — a volley of gunfire directed along a line from end to end

sinecure (n.) — a position requiring little or no work but giving the holder status or financial benefit

essay (v.) — attempt or try

chary (adj.) — cautiously or suspiciously reluctant to do something


scapular (adj.) — relating to the shoulder or shoulder blade

disparate (adj.) — essentially different in kind

proscenium (n.) — the part of a theater stage in front of the curtain

dipsomaniac (n.) — alcoholic, specifically in a form characterized by intermittent bouts of craving for alcohol

efficacy (n.) — the ability to produce a desired or intended result

votive (adj.) — offered or consecrated in fulfillment of a vow

wan (adj.) — pale and giving the impression of illness or exhaustion

pooka (n.) — a hobgoblin

elucidate (v.) — make clear; explain

flambĂ© (adj.) — covered with liquor and set alight briefly

mottle (v.) — mark with spots or smears of color

ingenue (n.) — an innocent or unsophisticated young woman

spanakopita (n.) — a phyllo pastry stuffed with spinach and feta cheese


non compos mentis (adj.) — not sane or in one’s right mind (Latin)

tropism (n.) — the turning of all or part of an organism in a particular direction in response to an external stimulus

antic (adj.) — grotesque or bizarre

skittle (n.) — a pin used in a game of skittles (similar to bowling)

emigre (n.) — a person who has left his own country in order to settle in another, usually for political reasons

pariah (n.) — an outcast

souk (n.) — an Arab marketplace or bazaar

portcullis (n.) — a strong, heavy grating sliding up and down in vertical grooves, lowered to block a gateway to a fortress or town

scoliosis (n.) — abnormal lateral curvature of the spine

dowager (n.) — a widow with a title or property derived from her late husband

oligarch (n.) — (especially in Russia) a very rich business leader with a great deal of political influence

purgative (adj.) — strongly laxative in effect


amanuensis (n.) — a literary or artistic assistant, in particular one who takes dictation or copies manuscripts

stag (adv.) — without a partner at a social gathering

eclaircissement (n.) — an enlightening explanation of something, typically someone’s conduct, that has been hitherto inexplicable

indolent (adj.) — wanting to avoid activity or exertion

descry (v.) — catch sight of

manumit (v.) — release from slavery; set free

fulsome (adj.) — complimentary or flattering to an excessive degree

didactic (adj.) — intended to teach, particularly in having moral instruction as an ulterior motive

calash (n.) — a type of horse-drawn carriage fashionable in the 19th century

bower (n.) — a pleasant shady place under trees or climbing plants in a garden or wood

dower (n.) — a widow’s share for life of her husband’s estate


erudite (adj.) — having or showing great knowledge or learning

contumely (n.) — insolent or insulting language or treatment

concupiscence (n.) — lust

prestidigitation (n.) — formal magic trick performed as entertainment

adventitious (adj.) — happening or carried on according to chance rather than design or inherent nature

summum bonum (n). — the greater good (Latin)

divers (adj.) — of varying types (archaic)


solasta (adj.) — luminous, shining

faodail (n.) — a lucky find

anecdoche (n.) — a conversation in which everyone is talking but nobody is listening

arcadian (n.) — idyllically innocent; simple and untroubled by fear or worry

nepenthe (n.) — something that can make you forget grief or suffering

ellipsism (n.) — sadness that you’ll never be able to know how history will turn out

kalopsia (n.) — the delusion of things being more beautiful than they really are

flumadiddle (n.) — utter nonsense

occhiolism (n.) — the awareness of the smallness of your perspective

asapiophobe (n.) — a person who hates or fears the lack of intelligence in others

marginalia (n.) — marginal notes

ruminate (v.) — think deeply about something

Words of the day

formication (n.) — a tactile hallucination involving the belief that something is crawling on the body or under the skin

philosophunculist (n.) — one who pretends to know more than they do to impress others

inconnu (n.) — a person who is unknown; stranger

aspectabund (adj.) — letting or being able to let expressive emotion show easily through one’s face and eyes

parapraxis (n.) — a slip of the tongue or pen or other error thought to reveal unconscious wishes or attitudes


hygge (n.) — an absence of anything annoying, taking pleasure from the presence of gentle or soothing things (Danish)

epoch (n.) — a particular period of time in history or a person’s life

shemomedjamo (v.) — to continue eating past the point of being full because the food tastes so good (Georgian)

absquatulate (v.) — to leave abruptly