penury \PEN-yuh-ree\, noun:
1. Extreme poverty; destitution.
2. Absence of resources; insufficiency.
He was a cooper by trade, a native of Rio de Janeiro, where he would have died in penury and obscurity had he limited himself to the work of barrel-making.
--Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis, The Posthumous Memoirs of Brás Cubas (translated by Gregory Rabassa)
arcane \ar-KAYN\, adjective:
Understood or known by only a few.
Under Indonesia's arcane system of land tenure, disputes between local residents, and between locals and developers, are commonplace.
--"Not Fair." The Economist, July 26, 1997
limpid \LIM-pid\, adjective:
1. Characterized by clearness or transparency; clear; as, "a limpid stream."
2. Calm; untroubled; serene.
3. Clear in style; easily understandable.
Claire's large eyes are a limpid, liquid blue that reflect the ambient world.
--Margaret A. Salinger, Dream Catcher
portent \POR-tent\, noun:
1. A sign of a coming event or calamity; an omen.
2. Prophetic or menacing significance.
3. Something amazing; a marvel.
A comet that year was taken as a portent of some imminent but incalculable change.
--Patrick Smith, Japan: A Reinterpretation
felicitous \fuh-LIS-uh-tuhs\, adjective:
1. Suitably applied or expressed; appropriate; apt.
2. Happy; delightful; marked by good fortune.
"We do this sort of thing most weekends anyway," said a lean rebel with gunpowder smudges on his face and the felicitous name of Troy Cool. --Tony Horwitz, Confederates in the Attic
crux \KRUHKS\, noun
plural cruxes, also cruces \KROO-seez\:
1. The basic, central, or critical point or feature.
2. Anything that is very puzzling or difficult to explain or solve.
recidivism \rih-SID-uh-viz-uhm\, noun:
1) A tendency to lapse into a previous condition or pattern of behavior.
filial \FIL-ee-uhl; FIL-yuhl\, adjective:
Having or assuming the relation of a child or offspring.
cerebration \ser-uh-BRAY-shuhn\, noun:
1) The act or product of thinking
2) The use of the power of reason; mental activity; thought
denizen \DEN-uh-zuhn\, noun:
1) A dweller; an inhabitant.
2) One that frequents a particular place.
3) [Chiefly British] An alien granted certain rights of citizenship.
4) An animal, plant, etc. that has become naturalized.
gesticulate \juh-STIK-yuh-layt\, intransitive verb:
1) To make gestures or motions, especially while speaking or instead of
dotage \DOH-tij\, noun:
1) Feebleness of mind due to old age; senility.
caserne (ka-zûrn) n.
1) A military barracks or garrison.
vehement \VEE-uh-muhnt\, adjective:
1. Characterized by intensity of emotions or convictions, or
forcefulness of expression.
2. Characterized by or acting with great force or energy;
excoriate \ek-SKOR-ee-ayt\, transitive verb:
1. To express strong disapproval of; to denounce.
2. To tear or wear off the skin of.
physiognomy \fiz-ee-OG-nuh-mee; -ON-uh-mee\, noun:
1. The art of discovering temperament and other characteristic
qualities of the mind from the outward appearance, especially
by the features of the face.
proselytize \PROS-uh-luh-tyz\, intransitive verb:
1. To induce someone to convert to one's religious faith
or political view point.
aggrandize \uh-GRAN-dyz; AG-ruhn-dyz\, transitive verb:
1. To make great or greater; to enlarge; to increase.
wheedle \HWEE-d'l; WEE-d'l\, transitive verb:
1. To entice by soft words or flattery; to coax.
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