Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Adumbration

1. To give a sketchy outline of.
2. To prefigure indistinctly; foreshadow.
3. To disclose partially or guardedly.
4. To overshadow; shadow or obscure.

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Friday, April 25, 2008

Antebellum

"Antebellum" is an expression derived from Latin that means "before war" (ante, "before," and bellum, "war"). In United States history and historiography, "antebellum" is commonly used, in lieu of "pre-Civil War," in reference to the period of increasing sectionalism that led up to the American Civil War.

In that sense, the Antebellum Period is often considered to have begun with the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854, though it is sometimes stipulated to extend back as early as 1812. The period after the Civil War is called the "Postbellum," or Reconstruction, era.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Spiculate

Spiculate: Covered with minute spiculæ, or pointed fleshy appendages; divided into small spikelets.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Dodecadozen

Dodecadozen means twelve dozen, or 144 (i.e. a gross).

Monday, April 21, 2008

Numismatics

Numismatics (Latin: numisma, nomisma, "coin"), is the scientific study of currency and its history in all its varied forms.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Quantal

of, relating to, or having only two experimental alternatives

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Saturday, April 12, 2008

Anhedonia

In psychology, anhedonia (< Greek αν- an-, without + ηδονή hēdonē, pleasure ) is an inability to experience pleasure from normally pleasurable life events such as eating, exercise, and social or sexual interaction.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Talent

The talent (Latin: talentum, from Ancient Greek: τάλαντον "scale, balance") is an ancient unit of mass. It corresponded generally to the mass of water in the volume of an amphora, i.e. one foot cubed. Depending on the length of the respective, legal foot, this corresponds roughly to the mass of 27 kg or about 60 English pounds.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Enculturation

Enculturation is the process whereby an established culture teaches an individual by repetition its accepted norms and values, so that the individual can become an accepted member of the society and find their suitable role. Most importantly, it establishes a context of boundaries and correctness that dictates what is and is not permissible within that society's framework.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Bint

Bint, from the Arabic word for 'daughter', is a derogatory slang word in the United Kingdom meaning woman or girl. Usage varies from the harsh 'bitch', to only a slightly derogatory, almost affectionate, term for a young woman. The latter being associated more with usage in the West Midlands. The term was used in British armed forces and the London area synonymously with (the slang meaning of) 'bird' from at least the 1950s.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Hermitage

  1. A house or dwelling where a hermit lives.
  2. A place or period of seclusion.
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Ithyphallic

Ithyphallic means "having an erect penis", especially in archaeology and Art history.

Oneirology

Oneirology is the scientific study of dreams. The term comes from the Greek oneiros which means dream. A person that studies oneirology is called an oneirologist.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Polysemy

Polysemy (from the Greek πολυσημεία = "multiple meaning") is the capacity for a sign (e.g. a word, phrase, etc.) or signs to have multiple meanings (sememes, i.e. a large semantic field). This is a pivotal concept within social sciences, such as media studies and linguistics.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Zoeae

A larval form of crabs and other decapod crustaceans, characterized by one or more spines on the carapace and rudimentary limbs on the abdomen and thorax.

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Magnanimity

Magnanimity (derived from the Latin roots magn- great, and anima, soul) is the virtue of being great of mind and heart. It encompasses, usually, a refusal to be petty, a willingness to face danger, and actions for noble purposes. Its antithesis is pusillanimity. Both terms were coined by Aristotle, who called magnanimity "the crowning virtue."

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Manse

A manse (pronounced /ˈmæns/; from Latin mansus, "dwelling", from manere, "to remain") is a house inhabited by, or formerly inhabited by, a minister, usually used in the context of a Presbyterian, Methodist, Baptist or United Church.

Crepuscular

Crepuscular is a term used to describe animals that are primarily active during the twilight — at dawn and at dusk.