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afflatusinspiration or powerful impulse, as of an artist or poet.
al·lit·er·a·tionThe repetition of usually initial consonant sounds in two or more neighboring words or syllables (as wild and woolly, threatening throngs) -- called also head rhyme, initial rhyme
ambergrisa grayish, waxy substance from the intestinal canal of sperm whales, often found floating in tropical seas: it is used in some perfumes.
amyg·da·la Pronunciation: &-'mig-d&-l&
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural amyg·da·lae /-"lE, -"lI/
Etymology: New Latin, from Latin, almond, from Greek amygdalE
: the one of the four basal ganglia in each cerebral hemisphere that is part of the limbic system and consists of an almond-shaped mass of gray matter in the anterior extremity of the temporal lobe -- called also amygdaloid nucleus
au·to·di·dact Pronunciation: "o-tO-'dI-"dakt, -dI-', -d&-'
Function: noun
Etymology: Greek autodidaktos self-taught, from aut- + didaktos taught, from didaskein to teach
: a self-taught person
dolorousvery sorrowful or sad; mournful. 2. Painful.
energumenA person supposedly possessed by an evil spirit; demoniac. 2. A fanatic; enthusiast.
fissiparousReproducing by fission
gallimaufry1. orig., a hash made of meat scraps 2. a hodgepodge; jumble
inamorataA woman in relation to the man who is her lover; sweetheart or mistress
inchoate1. just begun; in the early stages; incipient; rudimentary 2. not yet clearly or completely formed or organized; disordered 3. Law not yet completed or made effective; pending
jeremiada lamentation or tale of woe: in allusion to the Lamentations of Jeremiah
kakistocracygoverment by the worst men.
panegyric1. a formal speech or writing praising a person or event 2. high or hyperbolic praise; laudation
puleWhine, whimper
so·lip·sism Pronunciation: 'sO-l&p-"si-z&m, 'sä-
Function: noun
Etymology: Latin solus alone + ipse self
Date: 1874
: a theory holding that the self can know nothing but its own modifications and that the self is the only existent thing
- so·lip·sist /'sO-l&p-sist, 'sä-l&p-, s&-'lip-/ noun
- so·lip·sis·tic /"sO-l&p-'sis-tik, "sä-/ adjective
- so·lip·sis·ti·cal·ly /-ti-k(&-)lE/ adverb
San·he·drinsan-'he-dr&n, sän-; san-'hE-, 'sa-n&- : the supreme council and tribunal of the Jews during postexilic times headed by a High Priest and having religious, civil, and criminal jurisdiction
synecdocheA figure of speech in which a part is used for a whole, an individual for a class, a material for a thing, or the reverse of any of these. (Ex.: bread for food, the army for a soldier, or copper for a penny)
tergiversate1. to desert a cause, party, etc.; become a renegade; apostatize 2. to use evasions or subterfuge; equivocate
ukase Pronunciation: yü-'kAs, -'kAz, 'yü-"; ü-'käz
Function: noun
Etymology: French & Russian; French, from Russian ukaz, from ukazat' to show, order; akin to Old Church Slavonic u- away, Latin au-, Sanskrit ava- and to Old Church Slavonic kazati to show
1 : a proclamation by a Russian emperor or government having the force of law
wastrel1. A person who wastes; esp., a spendthrift. 2. same as GOOD-FOR-NOTHING