Words I Learned While Reading

One of my favorite parts of reading is to discover words I do not know the definitions of. I always make note of them then look them up either at the time of reading them, or later that same day. It had become a wonderful exercise that I started to do something with.

Therefore I have decided to compile a list of words I learned while reading. They are either words I (a) never heard before (b) words I have heard and possess only a vague understanding of their meaning based on the context in which they’ve been written and (c) the most frustrating of the lot – the words I know I know the meaning of until I actually look them up to ensure I am right only to find that I was WRONG and I have misunderstood it’s correct definition.

FYDY– For You, For You I am Trilling These Songs;  LBTaW – Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk;  WiA– The Winter in Anna

Aegis (FYFY)– the protection, backing, or support of a particular person or organization.

Apercus – (FYFY) a comment or brief reference that makes an illuminating or entertaining poin

Archipelago [ahr-kuh-pel-uh-goh] (WiA) a large group or chain of islands or any large body of water with many islands.

Balustrades – (FYFY) a railing supported by balusters, especially an ornamental parapet on a balcony, bridge, or terrace

Basso profundo (FYFY)– the bass voice subtype with the lowest vocal range

Chasm (WiA) – an adjective that is a profound difference between people, viewpoints, feelings, etc. It can also mean a sundering breach in relations, as a divergence of opinions, beliefs, etc., between persons or groups.

Commodification (FYFY) – the action or process of treating something as a mere commodity.

Contralto (LBTaW)– the lowest female singing voice

Crenellation – (WiA) a pattern along the top of a parapet (fortified wall), most often in the form of multiple, regular, rectangular spaces in the top of the wall, through which arrows or other weaponry may be shot, especially as used in medieval European architecture.

De rigueur (FYFY)– required by etiquette or current fashion

Desiccated (WiA) – lacking interest, passion, or energy AND dehydrated or powdered.

Egalitarian – (LBTaW)– relating to or believing in the principle that all people are equal and deserve equal rights and opportunities.

Endemic* – (LBTaW)– (of a disease or condition) regularly found among particular people or in a certain area. “Areas where malaria is endemic.”

Enjambments – (LBTaW)– (in verse) the continuation of a sentence without a pause beyond the end of a line, couplet, or stanza.

Filigree – (FYFY) ornamental work of fine (typically gold or silver) wire formed into delicate tracery

Flanerie (LBTaW)– (ˌflän(ə)ˈrē/) – aimless idle behavior.

Furtive (WiA) – attempting to avoid notice or attention, typically because of guilt or a belief that discovery would lead to trouble; secretive.

Gelid –(FYFY) icy; extremely cold

Hegemony – (FYFY)leadership or dominance, especially by one country or social group over others

Housmanian – (LBTaW)– reference to an English classical scholar and poet.

Insouciance * (inˈso͞osēəns,) – (LBTaW)– casual lack of concern; indifference.

Joie de vivre (ˌZHwä də ˈvēvrə/)* (LBTaW)– – exuberant enjoyment of life.

Obsidian (WiA)– a hard, dark, glass-like volcanic rock formed by the rapid solidification of lava without crystallization. Somnolent – sleepy, drowsy.

Oleaginous (ˌōlēˈajənəs)- (LBTaW)– rich in, covered with, or producing oil; oily or greasy AND exaggeratedly and distastefully complimentary; obsequious. “Candidates made the usual oleaginous speeches in the debate.”

Oneiromancy – (FYFY) the interpretation of dreams in order to foretell the future

Pauvre – (FYFY)Poor (french)

Petulant* – (LBTaW)– (of a person or their manner) childishly sulky or bad-tempered.

Phantasmagorical [fan-taz-muh-gawr-ik, -gor-] (sometimes phantasmagorical) (WiA) having a fantastic or deceptive appearance, as something in a dream or created by the imagination.

Photogravure /fōdəɡrəˈvyo͝or/ – (WiA) an image produced from a photographic negative transferred to a metal plate and etched in from which ink reproductions are made.

Poniard (ˈpänyərd/) (LBTaW)– – a small, slim dagger.

Postprandial –(FYFY) during or relating to the period after dinner or lunch

Profligacy [prof-li-guh-see] – (WiA) a noun meaning reckless extravagance or wastefulness in the use of resources.

Prow (WiA) – the forward most part of a ship’s bow that cuts through the water.

Rictus (FYFY)– a fixed grimace or grin.

Scimitar /ˈsimədər,ˈsiməˌtär/ (WiA) a short sword with a curved blade that broadens toward the point, used originally in Eastern countries.

Scrivener – (FYFY) a clerk, scribe, or notary.

Sere (WiA) dry; withered.

Sotto voce (FYFY)– intentionally lowering the volume of one’s voice for emphasis

Staccato –(WiA) with each sound or note sharply detached or separated from the others.

Stentorian – (LBTaW)– (of a person’s voice) loud and powerful.

Torpor (WiA)– a state of decreased physiological activity in an animal, usually by a reduced body temperature and metabolic rate. Torpor enables animals to survive periods of reduced food availability.

Unfraught – (LBTaW)– not burdened.

Vanitas (LBTaW)– – a still-life painting of a 17th-century Dutch genre containing symbols of death or change as a reminder of their inevitability.