Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Words I Don't Know: Strange things

 Here is the first of many WIDK from The Secret Life of Laszlo, Count Dracula.  Prepare to be overwhelmed.

imperious (adj.): domineering in a haughty manner; dictatorial; overbearing.
somnambulism (n.):  sleepwalking.
impunity (n.):  exemption from punishment.
cheroot (n.):  a cigar having open, untapered ends.
effusive (adj.):  unduly demonstrative; lacking reserve. 
landau (n.):  a four-wheeled, two-seated carriage with a top made in two parts that may be let down or folded back.
asthenic (adj.):  of, pertaining to, or characterized by asthenia; weak.
penury (n.):  extreme poverty; destitution.
insouciant (adj.):  free from concern, worry, or anxiety; carefree; nonchalant.
swain (n.):  a male admirer or lover; a country lad; a country gallant.
aphorism (n.):  a terse saying embodying a general truth, or astute observation.
pleach (v.):  to interweave (branches, vines, etc.), as for a hedge or arbor.
comportment (n.):  personal bearing or conduct; demeanor; behavior.
moue (n.):  a pouting grimace.
grippe (n.):  influenza.
miasma (n.):  a dangerous, foreboding, or deathlike influence or atmosphere.
auscultation (n.):  the act of listening, either directly or through a stethoscope or other instrument, to sounds within the body as a method of diagnosis.
subcutaneous (adj.):  performed or introduced under the skin, as an injection by a syringe.
dilettante (n.):  a person who takes up an art, activity, or subject merely for amusement, esp. in a desultory or superficial way; dabbler.
effete (adj.):  exhausted of vigor or energy; worn out.
lugubrious (adj.):  mournful, dismal, or gloomy, esp. in an affected, exaggerated, or unrelieved manner.
hussar (n.):  (originally) one of a body of Hungarian light cavalry formed during the 15th century.
empyema (n.):  a collection of pus in a body cavity, esp. the pleural cavity.
trocar (n.):  a sharp-pointed instrument enclosed in a cunnula, used for withdrawing fluid from a cavity, as the abdominal cavity.
prurient (adj.):  having, inclined to have, or characterized by lascivious or lustful thoughts, desires, etc.
conjunctiva (n.):  the mucous membrane that lines the exposed portion of the eyeball and inner surface of the eyelids.
pastiche (n.):  a literary, musical, or artistic piece consisting wholly or chiefly of motifs or techniques borrowed from one or more sources.
apoplexy (n.):  a sudden, usually marked loss of bodily function due to rupture or occlusion of a blood vessel.
protean (adj.):  readily assuming different forms or characters; extremely variable.
chancre (n.):  the initial lesion of syphilis and certain other infectious diseases, commonly a more or less distinct ulcer or sore with a hard base.
mountebank (n.):  a person who sells quack medicines, as from a platform in public places, attracting and influencing an audience by tricks, storytelling, etc.

Well.  That was exhausting.


definitions from

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