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Weekly Words

Abetment Assistance or encouragement by   aid or countenance, especially in crime.
Acephalous Without a leader or chief;   Deficient in the beginning as in false grammatical structure.
Acolyte The word acolyte is derived from   the Greek word akolouthos, meaning companion, attendant, or helper.
Adage A saying often in metaphorical   form that embodies a common observation.
Akrasia the state of acting against   one’s better judgment
Anomie A personal condition resulting   from a lack of norms.
Anthology A collection of literary pieces, such as poems, short stories,   or plays.
Antiquarian An aficionado of antiquities or   things of the past.
Apocryphal Of doubtful authenticity, or   lacking authority
Apollonian Harmonious, measured, ordered,   or balanced in character
Apologetics the discipline of defending a   position (often religious) through the systematic use of information
Arbitrage the practice of taking advantage   of a price difference between two or more markets
Argot The jargon, slang or peculiar   phraseology of a class; originally that of thieves and vagabonds.
Autopoiesis From a very general point of   view, the notion of autopoiesis is often associated with that of   self-organization. However, an autopoietic system is autonomous and   operationally closed, in the sense that every process within it directly   helps maintaining the whole.
Axiomatic Evident without proof or   argument.
Bagatelle something of little value or   importance; a trifle.
Bellicose favoring or inclined to start   quarrels or wars
Bellwether One that serves as a leader or   as a leading indicator of future trends
Benificent Doing or producing good;   performing acts of kindness and charity
Bourgeoisie The middle or property-owning   class.
Bricolage Make creative and resourceful   use of whatever materials are at hand (regardless of their original purpose),   or work created by such process.
Cadre The core of a managing group, or   a member of such a group.
Calumny A falsification or   misrepresentation intended to disparage or discredit another.
Catalyze Cause (an action or process) to   begin.
Chalybeate Mineral spring waters containing   salts of iron.
Chicanery A trick; deception by trickery
Cicerone Cicerone is an old term for a   guide, one who conducts visitors and sightseers to museums, galleries, etc.,   and explains matters of archaeological, antiquarian, historic or artistic   interest.
Clade Group consisting of a species   (extinct or extant) and all its descendants.
Clerisy Educated people considered as a   group; the literati.
Cloture Terminate a debate by calling   for a vote
Comport Behave ; especially : to behave   in a manner conformable to what is right, proper, or expected
Concomitant Existing or occurring with   something else, often in a lesser way.
Conflation When the identities of two or   more individuals, concepts, or places, sharing some characteristics of one   another, become confused until there seems to be only a single identity — the   differences appear to become lost.
Confluence a coming or flowing together,   meeting, or gathering at one point
Conscript One who is compulsorily   enrolled, often into a military service; a draftee.
Convivial Of or relating to a feast or   entertainment
Corrolary a statement which follows   readily from a previous statement.
Cosmogony Scientific theory concerning the   coming into existence or origin of the universe, or about how reality came to   be.
Coup de Grace A death blow intended to end the   suffering of a wounded creature.
Cozen to deceive, win over, or induce   to do something by artful coaxing and wheedling or shrewd trickery
Crepuscular Of, or related to twilight; dim
Cruft jargon for computer software or   hardware that is of poor quality
Desideratum Something that is wished for, or   considered desirable.
Didactic Instructive or intended to teach   or demonstrate, especially with regard to morality.
Diffident Lacking confidence in one’s   self; distrustful of one’s own powers;
Dilatory Intentionally delaying (someone   or something), intended to cause delay, gain time, or defer decision.
Dilettante A person who claims an area of   interest, such as the arts, without real commitment or knowledge.
Dispensation A particular arranagement or   provision, especially of providence or nature.
Dogma the established belief or   doctrine held by a religion, ideology or any kind of organization: it is   authoritative and not to be disputed, doubted or diverged from.
Dynamo a machine for converting   mechanical energy into electrical energy
Effrontery insolent and shameless audacity
Elision the omission of one or more   sounds (such as a vowel, a consonant, or a whole syllable) in a word or   phrase, producing a result that is easier for the speaker to pronounce.
Emeritus  a post-positive adjective that is used to   designate a retired professor, bishop, or other professional or as a title
Enclave a distinct territorial,   cultural, or social unit enclosed within or as if within foreign   territory
Entente An informal alliance or friendly   understanding between two states.
Enthalpy a measure of the total energy of   a thermodynamic system
Epigenesis the unfolding development in an   organism
Epiphenomenon a secondary phenomenon that   occurs alongside or in parallel to a primary phenomenon.
Episodic Of or limited in duration or   significance to a particular episode
Epistemology the branch of philosophy   concerned with the nature and scope (limitations) of knowledge.
Epochal Unique or highly significant;   momentous.
Equivocal A word or expression capable of   different meanings; an ambiguous term
Eschatology A part of theology and   philosophy concerned with what are believed to be the final events in   history, or the ultimate destiny of humanity, commonly referred to as the end   of the world
Espial A taking notice of something; a   discovery.
Euphamism a word or phrase that is used in   place of a disagreeable or offensive term. When a phrase becomes a euphemism,   its literal meaning is often pushed aside. In linguistics, the process of   coining euphemisms is called taboo deformation.
Exhortation Language intended to incite and   encourage; advice; counsel; admonition.
Explicate to explain meticulously or in   great detail; to elucidate; to analyze
Exposition One of four rhetorical modes of   discourse, the purpose of which is to inform, explain, analyze, or define.
Expropriation the act of depriving of   ownership or proprietary rights
Extirpate To pull up by the roots; To   destroy completely; to annihilate.
Extraterritoriality The state of being exempt from   the jurisdiction of local law, usually as the result of diplomatic   negotiations.
Fecundity The ability to cause growth or   produce offspring.
Felicitous Working out well, happening at   the right time.
Fructify to bear fruit
Garrulous Excessively or tiresomely   talkative.
Gnostic possessing intellectual or   esoteric knowledge of spiritual things
Grandiloquent speaking or expressed in a lofty   style, often to the point of being pompous or bombastic.
Gravitas High seriousness, as in a   person’s bearing or in the treatment of a subject.
Habituation The psychological process in   humans and animals in which there is a decrease in psychological response to   a stimulus after repeated exposure to that stimulus over time.
Hackneyed Repeated too often; cliched and   unoriginal.
Iconoclast An iconoclast is someone who   performs iconoclasm — destruction of religious symbols, or, by extension,   established dogma or conventions.
Idiom an expression whose meaning is   not predictable from the usual meanings of its constituent elements or from   the general grammatical rules of a language
Idiomatic Pertaining or conforming to the   mode of expression characteristic of a language.
Impudent Not showing due respect
Impugn To verbally assault, especially   to argue against an opinion, motive, or action; to question the truth or   validity of.
Ineffable incapable of being expressed or   described in words; inexpressible
Inscrutable difficult or impossible to   comprehend, fathom or interpret
Inter alia among other things
Interregnum a period of discontinuity or   “gap” in a government, organization, or social order
Intransigent refusing to agree or compromise;   uncompromising; inflexible
Juxtaposition two objects or texts that oppose   one another
Laconic Using as few words as possible;   pithy and concise.
Laity A person who is a member of a   Religious order who is not ordained legitimate clergy.
Lemma a proven statement used as a   stepping-stone toward the proof of another statement
Logical Tautology a compound propositional form   all of whose instances are true, as “A or not A.”
Lugubrious gloomy, mournful or dismal,   especially to an exaggerated degree.
Matriculate  to enroll as a member of a body and   especially of a college or university
Maturate to mature, ripen or develop
Mendacity A lie; a falsehood
Missive A written message; a letter,   note or memo.
Mooring Casting an anchor, or becoming   fastened.
Munificent Very liberal in giving or   bestowing; lavish.
Nekulturny Russian pejorative term.   Literally means uncultured, but has connotations of white trash, chav, or   naco.
Neologism The use of words that only have   meaning to the person who uses them.
Neoteny The retention, by adults in a   species, of traits previously seen only in juveniles.
Nodal being, relating to, or located   at or near a node
Nostrum a scheme, theory, device, etc.,   especially one to remedy social or political ills; panacea.
Obloquy Abusive language or disgrace   suffered from such.
Oeuvre A substantial body of work   constituting the lifework of a writer, an artist, or composer
Omnibus Including or covering many   things or classes
Ontology A formal, explicit specification   of a shared conceptualization.
Opprobrium the disgrace or the reproach   incurred by conduct considered outrageously shameful; infamy
Palliative Relieving or soothing the   symptoms of a disease or disorder without effecting a cure
Panegyric A formal public speech, or   written verse, delivered in high praise of a person or thing
Parry To avoid, deflect, or ward off   (an attack).
Parse To split a file or other input   into bits of data that can be easily stored or manipulated.
Pastiche a work of art, literature, film,   music or architecture that openly imitates the work of a previous artist,   sometimes with the intent of satire.
Peradventure Chance, uncertainty or doubt.
Peremptory Positive in opinion or judgment;   absolutely certain, overconfident, unwilling to hear any debate or argument   (especially in a pejorative sense)
Pernicious Causing death or injury; deadly;   or causing much harm in a subtle way.
Perquisite Any monetary or other incidental   benefit beyond salary.
Perspicacious Having or showing penetrating   mental discernment; clear-sighted
Peurile Childishly silly and trivial.
Phalanx A large group of people, animals   or things, compact or closely massed, or tightly knit and united in common   purpose.
Plebeian Of or pertaining to the common   people.
Polymath A person whose expertise spans a   significant number of different subject areas.
Potemkin Something that seems impressive   but in fact lacks substance.
Potentate A powerful leader; a monarch; a   ruler
Premonish Archaic word meaning to advise   or warn in advance.
Procrustean Tending to produce conformity by   violent or arbitrary means
Prodigious  Impressively great in size, force, or   extent;
Prosaic Straightforward; matter-of-fact;   lacking the feeling or elegance of poetry.
Proviso A conditional stipulation.
Proxy agent or substitute authorized   to act for another person
Pugnacious Readily disposed to fight;   belligerent
Pulchritudinous Having physical beauty;   beautiful.
Pyrrhic Victory a victory with devastating cost   to the victor; implying that another such will ultimately cause defeat.
Querulous Often complaining; suggesting a   complaint in expression; fretful, whining
Recursive pertaining to or using a rule or   procedure that can be applied repeatedly.
Redolent having or emitting fragrance;   aromatic; suggestive; reminiscent
Remonstrance disapproval; a formal, usually   written, protest or objection.
Requisite necessary
Retinue A group of advisers, assistants,   or others accompanying an important person.
Retrenchment A cutting down or back;   reduction.  A curtailment of expenses.
Rhetoric is the art of using language,   especially public speaking and writing, as a means to persuade.
Riposte A quick, clever reply.
Sagacity The quality of being wise, or   able to make good decisions.
Sanguine Having the colour of blood;   red.
Sectarianism bigotry, discrimination or   hatred arising from attaching importance to perceived differences between   subdivisions within a group.
Secularism the concept that government or   other entities should exist separately from religion and/or religious   beliefs.
Sedulous Diligent in application or   pursuit; constant, steady; steadily industrious; assiduous.
Seminal highly original and influencing   the development of future events
Semiotics The study of signification and   communication, signs and symbols, both individually and grouped into sign   systems. It includes the study of how meaning is constructed and understood.
Shibboleth Any distinguishing practice that   is indicative of one’s social or regional origin.
Simulacrum an image or representation   without the substance or qualities of the original
Solidarity A bond of unity between   individuals, united around a common goal or against a common enemy
Solipsism the philosophical idea that only   one’s own mind is certain to exist
Sonorous Full of sound and rich, as in   language or verse.
Sophism a specious argument used for   deceiving someone
Soporific Something inducing sleep,   especially a drug
Specious Seemingly well-reasoned or   factual, but actually fallacious or insincere; strongly held but false
Spurious false, not authentic, not   genuine
Stagiare Intern or apprentice.
Subtext Content of a book, play, musical   work, film, video game or television series which is not announced explicitly   by the characters (or author) but is implicit or becomes something understood   by the observer of the work as the production unfolds.
Superfluous in excess of what is required or   sufficient
Surfeit excess; an excessive amount
Syncretism the attempt to reconcile   disparate or contrary beliefs, often while melding practices of various   schools of thought
Tacit Done or made in silence;   implied, but not expressed; silent
Teleology philosophy that holds that   design and purpose analogous to that found in human actions are inherent also   in the rest of nature
Transmogrification To change into a different shape   or form, especially one that is fantastic or bizarre.
Treacle Cloying sentimental speech.
Tremulous Trembling, quivering or   shaking
Truculent Of things or persons that are   cruel or savage
Unctuous Profusely polite, especially   unpleasantly so and insincerely earnest
Vagabond An individual who follows a   wandering lifestyle within a sedentary society.
Vanguard The foremost or leading position   in a trend or movement.
Vitiate to spoil, make faulty; to reduce   the value, quality, or effectiveness of something
Whatsis Something or someone whose name   has been forgotten or is not known
Wheedle To cajole or attempt to persuade   by flattery.
Whither Archaic and quaint way to say   “to which place.”
Wonk One who studies an issue or a   topic thoroughly or excessively
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