cadence - 1) rhythmic flow; 2) the beat of marching or
dancing: The halftime show was impressive until the drums lost the
cadence. 3) fall of the voice in speaking. Also: cadenced
(marked by a cadence), cadency, cadent (having cadence).
caesura - 1) a break or pause at or near the middle of a line of poetry: In each stanza of Poe's "The Raven," the word immediately preceding the caesura in line 1 rhymes with the last word of that line, and the word immediately preceding the caesura in line 3 rhymes both with the last word of that line and with the word immediately preceding the caesura in line 4. 2) any break or pause. Also: caesural, caesuric. [caedes, caedis, f. - a cutting (down); a killing]
concise - expressing much in a few words, succinct: Many
search engines request a concise statement of the contents of submitted
web sites. Also: conciseness, concision. [concido,
concidere, concidi, concisus - to cut in pieces; to cut down]
celestial - 1) of the sky or universe: Shortly after moving with his family to the crystal-clear air of the Arizona desert, Bob bought a large telescope to view the celestial bodies. 2) heavenly. Also: celestiality, celestialness. [caelestis, caeleste - of or from heaven, heavenly, celestial]
cerulean - deep blue; sky blue: In the spring she returned often to the cerulean skies of Southern Italy.
calamitous - disastrous: After a nearly calamitous first half, the tournament favorites rallied and pulled out a victory in the final seconds, avoiding the ignominy of being the first No. 1 seed ever to lose to a No. 16. Also: calamitousness, calamity. [calamitosus, calamitosa, calamitosum - destructive; suffering damage, unfortunate]
calamity - 1) a great disaster; an extreme misfortune: What seems like a calamity to a child, like a dropped ice-cream cone or a broken toy, often seems trivial to adults; of course, most children are unable to appreciate the gravity of a failed love affair or the loss of a job. 2) serious trouble. Also: calamitous, calamitousness. [calamitosus, calamitosa, calamitosum - destructive]
caldron - a large kettle: In the opening scene of Macbeth, three wirtches stand around a bubbling cauldron and sing of their anticipated encounter with Macbeth.
callous - 1. hardened; 2. insensitive, unsympathetic: Few people are so callous that they will not try to help a close friend or relative who is suffering; the truly amazing humans are those whose willingness to help excludes no one. [callum, calli, n. - a hard skin]
calumny - a false statement intended to hurt someone’s reputation: Calumny is particularly nefarious when the calumniator manages to conceal his identity. Also: calumniate (to lie for the purpose of injuring someone’s reputation), calumniation, calumniator, calumniatory, calumnious. [calumniator, calumniatoris, m. - trickster, false accuser; calumnior, calumniari, calumniatus sum - to accuse falsely]
candid - 1) honest, sincere, straightforward: One learns early in life that candid answers, even when solicited, aren’t always appreciated. 2) impartial; 3) unposed. Also: candidness, candor (candidness). [candor, candoris, m. - brilliant whiteness; sincerity, openness]
canine - of or like a dog: Canine units of police forces and
of the military have been successful because of their dogs'
caper - (v.) to play or skip about playfully; (n.) 1) a playful leap or skip; 2) a frivolous, carefree action; a prank: He put the capers of his youth behind and became a responsible husband and father. [capra, caprae, f. - she-goat]
capacious - able to hold much; spacious; large: The tiny
rooms of their house contrast strangely with the capacious bathroom.
Also: capaciousness. [capax, capacis - containing much;
capital (adj.) - 1) punishable by death: Convicted of a
capital offense when he was only eighteen, the young man spent the next
four years on death row; then his sentence was commuted to life
imprisonment. 2) involving the loss of life; 3) most important; 4)
having to do with wealth; 5) excellent. [capitalis, capitale -
foremost, distinguished; involving life; deadly]
incarcerate - to imprison: If the state incarcerates a man convicted of murder, he can be released if he is later shown to be innocent. Also: incarceration, incarcerative, incarcerator.
caret - a mark made in written or printed matter to show where something is to be inserted: The essay, carefully written and submitted with pride, was returned by the teacher with a plethora of red lines, circles, and carets.
carnivorous - flesh-eating (habitually eating flesh or meat): Some animals are carnivorous, e.g., lions and tigers; others are herbivorous (habitually eating plants), e.g., cows and sheep; while still others are omnivorous (habitually eating both flesh and plants), e.g., pigs and humans. Also: carnivore (a flesh-eating animal), carnivorousness.
castigate - 1) to criticize severely; 2) to punish, chastise: Many a loving parent finds it necessary to castigate a disobedient child, but what loving parent would want to punish a son or daughter eternally? Also: castigation, castigative, castigator, castigatory. [castigatio, castigationis, f. - reproof; punishment; castigator, castigatoris, m. - one who reproves or chastises]
castellated - 1) built like a castle, with turrets and battlements: One of the new million-dollar homes just east of town is not only huge but even castellated. 2) having many castles. [castellum, castelli, n. - castle, fortress]
casuistry - 1) the application of principles of morality to particular cases; 2) subtle misuse of reason; sophistry: It's one thing to impute casuistry to enemies who use reason cleverly, quite another thing to expose it. Also: casuist (one who reasons subtly but dishonestly, especially in moral questions), casuistic, casuistical.
causal - having to do with cause and effect: The invariable occurrence of one phenomenon immediately after another does not in and of itself establish a causal relationship between the two phenomena. Also: causality (the relation of cause and effect; causal quality), causation (the act of causing), causational, causationism (the theory that every happening has a prior and adequate cause), causative (producing an effect), causativeness, causativity.
cajole - to persuade by flattery or false promises: The students cajoled their credulous teacher into taking them outside but paid for their deviousness when rain began to fall. Also: cajolement, cajolery.
accede - 1) to give in (to), agree (to): At the last
moment, the labor union acceded to the wishes of the majority of the
workers, and a strike was averted. 2) to enter upon, attain (to an
office) Also: accedence (an agreeing to; an entering upon), acceder,
accession (a coming into a right or an office; assent, agreement; an
increase), accessional. [accedo, accedere, accessi, accessus
- to go to, go near, approach]
celerity - quickness: With unusual celerity she picked up all the toys and clothing on the floor, changed clothes, and brushed her hair and teeth. [celeritas, celeritatis, f. - swiftness, speed]
cenacle - room in which the Last Supper is said to have taken place: A famous painting by Leonardo da Vinci depicts Jesus and his apostles sitting at a large rectangular table in the cenacle; curiously, they are all facing the same direction. [cenaculum, cenaculi, n. - upper story, upper room; cenatio, cenationis, f. - dining room; ceno, cenare, cenavi, cenatus - dine]
censorious - severely critical, eager to find fault: The principal reminded the new teachers that it is possible to be critical without being censorious. Also: censor (n., an official who examines the moral content of movies, books, plays, etc. for the purpose of suppressing objectionable parts; v., to act as a censor), censorable, censorial, censorian, censoriousness, censorship. [censorius, censoria, censorium - pertaining to the censor; severe]
censure - (v.) to criticize vehemently; (n.) vehement expression of disapproval: The Judiciary Committee of the House of Representatives voted against a resolution recommending a formal censure of President Clinton for alleged illegal attempts to cover up actions involving Monica Lewinsky; instead the Committee voted 22 to 14 for impeachment. Also: censurable, censurableness, censurability, censureless.
centenarian - a person who is at least 100 years old: Is it
true that the President sends a birthday card to every centenarian in
the United States? Also: centenary (of or pertaining to a
century or to a period of 100 years).
cerebral - 1) of the brain; 2) of or appealing to the intellect instead of the emotions: Bertold Brecht’s epic theater is cerebral rather than emotional; for example, he has characters step out of their roles and address the audience directly. Also: cerebrate (to think), cerebration, cerebrational.
discern - to recognize visually or mentally as separate or
different; to see clearly; to perceive: Contemplation or no, she was
simply unable to discern which of the unfamiliar faces in the old class
photo had belonged to her mother. Also: discerner, discernible
also spelled discernable, discernibleness also spelled discernableness,
discernment. [discerno, discernere, discrevi, discretus - to
separate; to distinguish]
ascertain - to find out; learn; discover: The special investigator insisted that he was trying to ascertain the truth, not fabricate a case against the President. Also: ascertainable, ascertainer, ascertainment.
cervine - 1) of or like a deer: The ice skater dazzled the crown with her athleticism and cervine gracefulness. 2) of the deer family. [ cerva, cervae, f. - hind, doe; deer; cervinus, cervina, cervinum - of a stag or deer]
circuitous - roundabout, meandering, indirect: The teacher asked the student to pare his 1000-word essay down to 500 words by eliminating all redundant, superfluous, and circuitous elements. Also: circuit, circuiter (one who travels a circuit), circuitousness, circuitry, circuity (circuitous quality). [circu(m)eo, circu(m)ire, circu(m)i(v)i, circu(m)itus - to go round; circu(m)itio, circu(m)itionis, f. - a going round]
circumspect - careful to consider all circumstances before acting or judging; cautious; prudent: The circumspect eye of the veteran personnel director took note of every detail of attire, mannerism, and speech of prospective employees. Also: circumspection (caution; cautious observation), circumspective, circumspectness.
civic - of or pertaining to citizens: The mayor said it was
everyone's civic duty to take an active part in the war against drugs.
Also: civics (study of the rights and duties of citizens).
clandestine - done in secrecy for the purpose of deception: The CIA uses clandestine means to obtain secret information. Also: clandestineness, clandestinity.
acclaim - 1) to greet or announce with loud applause or
praise: The media acclaimed her a new Eleanor Roosevelt. 2) a
shout or show of approval or praise. Also: acclaimer. [acclamo,
acclamare, acclamavi, acclamatus - shout at, cry out to; acclaim]
clamor - (n.) a great outcry or prolonged expression of discontent, especially by a disorganized group or a mob; (v.) to make a clamor; to cry out: For three days the governor had heard the crowd clamoring for the reprieve of the convicted killer. Also: clamorer, clamorist, clamorous (loudly demanding or complaining), clamorousness.
claret - 1) a dry red wine made in Bordeaux, France; 2) a
similar wine made elsewhere: Accustomed to Chianti from their native
Italy, they drank the local claret when in France. 3) purplish red.
claustrophobia - the abnormal fear of being in confined
places: The number of stairs one is willing to climb to avoid the
confining walls of an elevator must say something about the severity of
one's claustrophobia. Also: claustrophobic (having to do with
claustrophobia). [claustra, claustrorum, n. - bar; bolt;
cloture - a method of ending a debate and forcing an immediate
vote on the question at hand: One method of ending a filibuster is
cloture, which, in the U. S. Senate, requires a three-fifths vote of the
membership. [claustrum, claustri, n.
- barrier, hindrance]
enclave - (adj.) 1) a territory surrounded or mostly surrounded by the territory of another country; 2) a small, discrete area or group enclosed within a larger one: In many European countries, Jews were forced to live in enclaves called ghettos. (v.) to isolate within a foreign environment.
clemency - 1) act of showing mercy or compassion: In February of 1999, the State of Oklahoma executed Sean Sellers, a 29-year-old man convicted of murdering three people when he was 16. The state Pardon and Parole Board had voted unanimously against clemency for Sellers. 2) tendency to act compassionately. Also: clement (mild; merciful). [clementia, clementiae, f. - mildness; mercy]
clientele - all of one's clients (people served, customers), collectively: She wondered how her move to the east end of town would affect her clientele. [clientela, clientelae, f. - relationship of client and patron; pl., clients]
cogitate - (intrans.) to think, ponder: The students having presented their proposal, the headmistress declared that she would cogitate for a day before giving her answer. (trans) to think about, devise. Also: cogitable (conceivable), cogitability, cogitator, cogitation, cogitative, cogitativeness. [cogitatio, cogitationis, f. - thinking]
cogent - compelling, convincing: The speaker gave cogent reasons why everyone in the community should use less water. Also: cogency (the quality or state of being cogent).
cohort - 1) group, company; 2) companion, associate; accomplice: Because their new business venture afforded them a generous profit, they jokingly referred to each other as cohorts in crime. 3) the tenth part (from 300 to 600 soldiers) of a Roman legion. [hortus, horti, m. - garden]
colossal - gigantic: The ancient Roman Colosseum, colossal in the first century c.e., is smaller than many present-day arenas. Also: colossality, colossus (gigantic statue of Apollo at Rhodes; any gigantic statue; anything gigantic). [colosseus, colossea, colosseum - gigantic]
concomitant - (adj.) occurring with something else, accompanying: The Renaissance brought with it a renewed interest in the art and ideas of classical Greece and Rome and a concomitant shift in focus away from the divine and toward the human; thus, for example, halos disappeared in 16th-century art. (n.) an accompanying thing. Also: concomitance, concomitancy. [comitor, comitari, comitatus sum - to accompany]
commonality - 1) the common people; 2) common quality or
condition; a sharing of things like characteristics and interests: Civil
harmony is attributable, at least in part, to a commonality of beliefs
and interests. Also: commonalty (the common people).
compliance - 1) act of conforming; acting in agreement with a request, command, or law: In compliance with subdivision regulations, the Conrads submitted to the board their plans for the addition of dormers. 2) tendency to yield to others. Also: compliant, compliancy (compliance), compliant, comply.
conciliatory - tending to win over or to soothe by means of friendly acts or words: Successful negotiators know that conciliatory words and gestures are sometimes necessary to restore wounded pride and move discussion forward. Also: conciliable, conciliate (to win over by means of friendly acts or words), conciliative (conciliatory), conciliator, conciliatoriness. [conciliatio, conciliationis, f. - a uniting, a bringing together]
concord - harmony; agreement: Happiness and concord are the
words she used most often to characterize her early home life.
abscond - to go away suddenly and secretly: Already suspected of embezzlement, the bookkeeper absconded with the Friday's receipts and hasn't been heard from since. Also: abscondence. [abscondo, abscondere, abscondi, absconditus - to hide, conceal].
recondite - 1) profound, abstruse, hard to understand: Don't be too swift to pronounce a passage recondite; it may be nonsensical. 2) obscure, little known. Also: reconditeness. [reconditus, recondita, reconditum - put away; hidden, concealed; recondo, recondere, recondidi, reconditus - to put away, store; to hide]
discomfit - 1) to frustrate the plans or expectations of; thwart; 2) to make uneasy; disconcert: Discomfited by their opponents’ three first-quarter touchdowns, the packed house grew silent in anticipation of yet another humiliating loss. Also: discomfiter, discomfiture. [confectio, confectionis, f. - a finishing, completing; confector, confectoris, m. - an accomplisher; facio, facere, feci, factus - to do, make]
confidante - a woman to whom secrets are confided: The confidante of several, she herself neither has nor desires a confidante. Also: confidant (a person to whom secrets are confided), confide, confider, confidence, confident, confidente (a kind of sofa with a triangular seat at each end), confidential, confidentiality, confidentialness, confidingness. [confidentia, confidentiae, f. - confidence; confisio, confisionis, f. - confidence]
conflagration - a large, destructive fire: Looking south from their homes, the residents of Conifer, Colorado, could see huge banks of smoke and, here and there, tongues of fire; for several days, they feared that the conflagration would cross Highway 265 and destroy their homes. Also: conflagrant (on fire), conflagrate (to burst into flame). [flagrantia, flagrantiae, f. - a glow; flagro, flagrare, flagravi, flagratus - to burn, blaze]
incongruous - out of place, inappropriate; lacking in agreement, inconsistent: Her personal lifestyle seems incongruous with her stated goal of reforming the morals of America. Also: congruence, congruent (agreeing; coinciding when superimposed), congruity, congruous (harmonious; appropriate), congruousness, incongruence, incongruent, incongruity, incongruousness.
conjugal - of or pertaining to marriage or to the relation of husband and wife: Conjugal love means, or ought to mean, more than sex. Also: conjugality. [coniugalis, coniugale - conjugal; coniugialis, coniugiale - conjugal; coniugium, coniugi, n. - union; marriage; coniugo, coniugare, coniugavi, coniugatus - to bind together; coniunctio, coniunctionis, f. - a joining together; coniungo, coniungere, coniunxi, coniunctus - to join together]
consort - (n.) 1) partner; 2) spouse; 3) ship that accompanies another; (v.) 1) to associate with someone (objectionable): Suspected of consorting with the enemy, the atomic scientist was placed by the FBI under close surveillance. 2) to agree, accord. Also: consortable, consorter, consortion, consortium. [consortio, consortionis, f. - community, companionship; consortium, consorti, n. - partnership, fellowship]
conspectus - 1) a general view; survey; 2) an outline; a summary: On bad days he could have written a conspectus of his life in three words: boredom, sorrow, pain. Also: conspicuity, conspicuous (easily noticed; attracting attention), conspicuousness. [conspiciendus, conspicienda, conspiciendum - worth seeing; conspicor, conspicari, conspicatus sum - to catch sight of, perceive; conspicuus, conspicua, conspicuum - visible, apparent]
conspicuous - 1) easily visible; obvious: Stop signs must be conspicuous, not partially hidden by bushes or trees. 2) attracting attention; striking. Also: conspicuity, conspicuousness, inconspicuous, inconspicuousness. [conspicuus, conspicua, conspicuum - visible, obvious; remarkable]
constancy - 1) firmness of mind or purpose; steadfastness: Virtue taken to an extreme becomes vice; for example, industriousness become workaholism, frugality becomes miserliness, and constancy becomes obduracy. 2) absence of change. [constans, constantis - firm, steady; constantia, constantiae, f. - firmness, steadiness]
consuetude - custom regarded as having legal force: Consuetude and judicial caprice must be the major determiners of legality in places where no articulated legal code exists. Also: consuetudinary (customary). [consuesco, consuescere, sonsuevi, consuetus - to accustom, habituate]
contemn - to despise; to treat or think of with scorn: By all accounts he was highly intelligent; yet he contemned the unintelligent, which always made us wonder how intelligent he really was. Also: contemner, contemnible, contempt (disdain, scorn), contemptible, contemptibility, contemptibleness, contemptuous (expressing contempt), contemptuousness. [contemptim - contemptuously, scornfully; contemptio, contemptionis, f. - a despising; contempt, disdain, scorn; contemptor, contemptoris, m. - a despiser; contemptrix, contemptricis, f. - she who despises; contemptus, contemptus, m. - contempt, disdain]
contumacious - obstinately disobedient: It has been suggested more than once that contumacious students be sent to special schools in which corporal punishment is allowed. Also: contumaciousness, contumacy. [contumax, contumacis - insolent, obstinate]
contumelious - contemptuously insulting; abusive: The magazine’s irresponsible, contumelious article was countered by a lawsuit for libel. Also: contumeliousness, contumely (contemptuously insulting words). [contumeliosus, contumeliosa, contumeliosum - insulting]
conversant - familiar (with) as a result of study or use: If someone asks about the weather and you say that you are not "sufficiently conversant with meteorological minutiae," you will be considered a nerd. Also: conversance, conversancy. [converso, conversare - to turn around; verso, versare, versavi, versatus - to keep turning]
copious - plentiful, abundant: The teacher advised the students to take copious notes, which could be turned in at the end of the semester for extra credit. Also: copiosity, copiousness, cornucopia (horn of plenty).
cornucopia - 1) a mythological horn containing an endless supply of food and drink; 2) an abundance, an overflowing supply: The inhabitants of the Fiji islands may not have digital TVs, cell phones, and the latest computers, but they are blessed with a cornucopia of natural delights. Also: copious, copiousness, copiosity, cornucopian, cornucopiate. [copiosus, copiosa, copiosum - wealthy; abundant; cornu, cornus, n. - horn; cornutus, cornuta, cornutum - horned]
accordant - in agreement (with) conforming (to): Their
family business, accordant with the highest standards of technology,
finance, and morality, brought them a reasonable revenue and a great
deal of personal satisfaction. Also: accord (to grant; to
agree with; agreement, harmony), accordable (reconcilable), accordance
(act of granting; agreement, conformity).
currier - 1) one who dresses and colors tanned leather: The Shakers attracted to their ranks curriers, coopers, and carpenters--a wide variety of craftsmen of quality, whose work won the admiration of many a non-Shaker. 2) one who rubs and cleans horses with a brush. Also: curriery (occupation of a currier), curry (to prepare tanned leather; to rub and clean horses), currycomb (metal brush used to rub and clean horses).
excoriate - 1) to strip off the skin; 2) to berate severely, denounce violently: In olden times it was not unusual for teachers to excoriate disobedient students; nowadays greater restraint is expected of teachers. Also: excoriation, excoriative.
corporeal - 1) of or having the nature of a body; bodily; 2)
material (tangible): I knew the "ghost" was corporeal when
I saw it trip over a chair. Also: corporeality, corporealness,
corporeity (the state or quality of being corporeal), incorporeal,
incorporeality, incorporeity. [corporeus, corporea, corporeum
- of or pertaining to the body, corporeal]
incorrigible - so firmly fixed that no reform or correction can be expected: Teachers have labeled as incorrigible many a child who later became a teacher. Also: corrigible, corrigibility, corrigibleness, incorrigibility, incorrigibleness.
quotidian - 1) daily (recurring every day); 2) everyday (usual, ordinary): Confident that she had packed enough clothes and personal items to meet quotidian needs, she lugged her suitcase down to the waiting car.
procrastinate - to put off doing something: Students who procrastinate habitually end up burning the midnight oil at exam time. Also: procrastination, procrastinative, procrastinativeness, procrastinator, procrastinatory. [procrastino, procrastinare, procrastinavi, procrastinatus - to put off till tomorrow (later, from day to day)]
accredit - 1) to attribute credit to: At the retirement
ceremony, she was accredited with having imaginatively and courageously
blazed new trails in an old industry. 2) to recognize as meeting
specific standards. Also: accreditable, accreditation, accreditment.
[accredo, accredere, accredidi, accreditus - to have faith in,
accretion - 1) growth; addition; 2) the addition of soil to
land: The storms of winter erode the beaches of southern California,
which the gentler waves of summer restore by accretion. Also: accrescence
(growth, increase), accrescent (growing), accrete (to add
by growth). [accresco, accrescere, accrevi, accretus - to grow,
increase; accretio, accretionis f. - growth, increase]
excruciating - extremely painful: To alleviate excruciating pain in terminally ill patients, some doctors now administer enough morphine to relieve the pain, even if this hastens the death of the patient. Also: excruciate (to torture), excruciation. [cruciamentum, cruciamenti, n. - torture; crucio, cruciare, cruciavi, cruciatus - to torture]
culminate - to reach its highest point; result in: Allegations of sexual abuse by the clergy proliferated, culminating in the decision by American bishops to remove from office any priest guilty of this crime. Also: culminant (culminating), culmination, culminative.
culpable - blameworthy: The distraught townspeople hoped
that a severe penalty would be imposed on the campers who, in culpable
carelessness, started the fire that destroyed 40 homes. Also: culpability,
culpableness. [culpo, culpare, culpavi, culpatus - to blame]
inculpate - to charge with a fault; blame; accuse: Criminals sometimes try to avoid conviction and imprisonment by inculpating others. Also: inculpable, inculpability, inculpableness, inculpation, inculpatory. [culpatus, culpata, culpatum - blameworthy; culpo, culpare, culpavi, culpatus - to reproach, blame; inculpatus, inculpata, inculpatum - blameless]
cunctation - delay, tardiness: When it became evident that cunctation was reducing profits, the CEO became an obsessive timer. Also: cunctatious, cunctative (delaying), cunctator (procrastinator), cuntatory (delaying). [cunctabundus, cunctabunda, cunctabundum - delaying, lingering; cunctatio, cunctationis, f. - hesitation, delay; cunctator, cunctatoris, m. - one who delays or hesitates]
concupiscence - excessive sexual desire; lust: What one
person considers concupiscence another considers a healthy sexual
desire; this is just one example of the disjunctive ethos of
20th-century America. Also: concupiscent (lustful). [concupisco,
concupiscere, concupivi, concupitus - to desire eagerly]
curate - especially in England, a clergyman who assists a
pastor, rector, or vicar: Urgently summoned to a remote area, the
pastor reluctantly left his inept curate in charge of the parish.
Also: curacy (the position or work of a curate), curatic,
curatical, curateship, curé (parish priest). [curo,curare,
curavi, curatus - to care for, attend to]
concourse - 1) a running, flowing, or coming together;
confluence: The city of Koblenz in Germany is situated at the
concourse of two rivers, the Rhine and the Mozelle. 2) a crowd; 3)
an open area where crowds gather. [concursus, concursus, m. - a
running together, concourse]
cygnet - a young swan: A female swan can have as many as
seven cygnets, whose color in their first months of life is a grayish
brown. [cygneus, cygnea, cygneum - of or belonging to a swan]
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