Sunday, November 05, 2006

Learn English :: Awesome Vocabulary Podcast #99 :: Click To Listen To Show

reticent \RET-ih-suhnt\, adjective:
1. Inclined to keep silent; reserved; uncommunicative.
2. Restrained or reserved in style.
3. Reluctant; unwilling.
unwilling to speak about your thoughts or feelings:
He is very reticent about his past.
Most of the students were reticent about answering questions.

legerdemain \lej-ur-duh-MAIN\, noun:
1. Sleight of hand.
2. A display of skill, trickery, or artful deception.
The card player’s legerdemain at the blackjack table was caught on closed-circuit television.

vituperate \vy-TOO-puh-rate, -TYOO-, vi-\, verb:
To find fault with; to scold; to overwhelm with wordy abuse; to censure severely or abusively; to rate.

The incensed priests...continued to raise their voices, vituperating each other in bad Latin.
-- Sir Walter Scott,

foment \foh-MENT; FOH-ment\, transitive verb:
1. To nurse to life or activity; to incite; to abet; to instigate; -- often in a bad sense.
The song was banned on the grounds that it might foment racial tension.

contumely \kon-TYOO-muh-lee; -TOO-; KON-tyoo-mee-lee; -too-; KON-tum-lee\, noun:
1. Rudeness or rough treatment arising from haughtiness and contempt; scornful insolence.
2. An instance of contemptuousness in act or speech.
The peddlers find satisfaction for all contumelies in making good bargains.
-- Nathaniel Hawthorne,
The American Notebooks

\FIL-uh-math\, noun:
A lover of learning; a scholar.
It is precisely for the philomaths that universities ought to cater.
-- Aldous Huxley,
Proper Studies

aesthete \ES-theet\, noun:
One having or affecting great sensitivity to beauty, as in art or nature.
The ugliness of the city would make an aesthete like you shudder.
aesthetic, US ALSO esthetic
1 relating to the enjoyment or study of beauty:
The new building has little aesthetic value/appeal.

nefarious \nuh-FAIR-ee-uhs\, adjective:
Wicked in the extreme; iniquitous.
The director of the company seems to have been involved in some nefarious practices/activities.

\pro-KLIV-uh-tee\, noun:
A natural inclination; predisposition.
the sexual proclivities of celebrities
his proclivity for shapely blondes

flout \FLOWT\, transitive verb:
1. To treat with contempt and disregard; to show contempt for.
Many motorcyclists flout the law by not wearing helmets.
The orchestra decided to flout convention/tradition, and wear their everyday clothes for the concert.

sesquipedalian \ses-kwuh-puh-DAYL-yuhn\, adjective:
1. Given to or characterized by the use of long words.
2. Long and ponderous; having many syllables.
As a sesquipedalian, she can throw a word like 'eponymous" into a sentence with no difficulty.
eponym (eponymous): the name of a person for whom something is supposedly named; "Constantine I is the eponym for Constantinople"