MW

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jcristianini
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286266
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MW
Updated:
2014-10-19 16:46:19
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Words from MW
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  1. ferrule
    the protective point or knob on the far end of an umbrella

    He used his umbrella as a cane, and with every step planted its ferrule in the ground.
  2. philtrum
    the vertical groove on the median line of the upper lip

    His chiseled features even included a well-defined philtrum.
  3. aglet
    the tag covering the ends of a lace or point – e.g., the reinforcement at the end of a shoelace

    A missing aglet can make lacing one's shoes a challenge.
  4. punt
    an indentation at the bottom of a molded glass bottle

    Pouring the champagne, she held the bottle with her thumb in its punt.
  5. lunule
    a crescent-shaped body part or marking (such as the whitish mark at the base of a fingernail)

    He folded his hands together to give an impression of calm, but the ragged skin below his lunules told another story.
  6. tittle
    the dot over i or j

    In a handwritten business note, it's best to avoid smiley-face tittles.
  7. gla'bella
    the smooth prominence of the forehead between the eyebrows

    If you don't wish to look people in the eyes, you can make a similar impression by focusing on their glabellae.
  8. 'muntin
    a strip separating panes of glass in a window sash

    I thought the ball would smash a window, but fortunately it hit a muntin.
  9. lemniscate
    the infinity symbol (or more precisely, "a figure-eight shaped curve whose equation in polar coordinates is ρ2=a2cos 2θ or ρ2=a2 sin 2θ")

    Not surprisingly, a certain brand of automobile uses a modified lemniscate in its logo.
  10. ostentatious
    showy
  11. staid
    serious
  12. adept
    expert
  13. advocate (n.)
    supporter
  14. sentient
    aware
  15. adhere
    stick
  16. ablutions
    washing
  17. adversity
    misfortune
  18. 'quagmire
    swamp
  19. impervious
    impenetrable
  20. je ne sais quoi
    something that cannot be adequately described or expressed

    Although the sculpture had flaws, it also had a certain je ne sais quoi that made it very appealing.
  21. Luddite
    one of a group of early 19th century English workmen destroying laborsaving machinery as a protest; broadly :  one who is opposed to especially technological change
  22. esculent
    edible
  23. perspicacious
    clever
  24. pariah
    outcast
  25. parochial
    unsophisticated
  26. angst
    anxiety
  27. aphorism
    saying
  28. voluptuous
    sensual
  29. wary
    careful
  30. aplomb
    confidence
  31. voracious
    greedy
  32. If you treat convention with disdain, are you flouting or flaunting the rules?
    Answer: flouting

    How to Remember It:

    Think of whistling – or actually, playing the flute – instead of doing what's expected. Why?

    Because flout probably originates in the Middle English word flouten, "to play the flute." It's not clear how a word for playing the flute evolved into a synonym of mock and insult (the original meaning of flout), but here's a guess: in the hands of some entertainers, the flute can project a teasing, even mocking, carefree air.

    By the way, using flaunt in sentences like the one above is now standard, although many folks still consider it incorrect.
  33. Does the weather affect or effect your mood?
    Answer: affect

    • How to Remember It:
    • The simplest distinction is that affect is almost always a verb, and effect is usually a noun.

    It may help to remember that the verb – the "action word" – starts with "a": affect is an action.
  34. If you receive an appropriate punishment, did you get your just deserts or just desserts?
    Answer: just deserts

    • How to Remember It:
    • This word is unrelated to deserts of the sand and cactus kind, and it isn't about the desserts that provide a sweet finish to a mealInstead, this deserts comes from the same word that gave us deserve.

    (Oddly, it's pronounced like desserts.)
  35. Do you buy your writing paper in a store that sells stationary or stationery?
    Answer: stationery

    • How to Remember It:
    • For one, consider the histories of these wordsStationery comes from stationer, a word that in the 14th century referred to someone who sold books and papers. What the stationer sold eventually came to be referred to by the noun stationery ("materials for writing or typing" and "letter paper usually accompanied with matching envelopes"). Meanwhile, the adjective stationary has always been used to describe what is fixed, immobile, or static.

    Here's another way to remember it: stationery is spelled with an "e," like the envelopes that often come with it.
  36. If you're getting shot at by antiaircraft guns, or receiving unfriendly criticism, are you taking flak or flack?
    Answer: flak

    • How to Remember It:
    • Although flack is an established variant, the more foreign-looking flak is the original spelling and the better choice. Flak was originally a German acronym for Fliegerabwehrkanonen – from FLieger ("flyer") + Abwehr ("defense") + Kanonen ("cannons") – which basically means "antiaircraft gun." That use of flak in English dates back to 1938. In the decades after the war it took on its civilian meaning of "criticism."

    (A flack, meanwhile, is a PR agent or someone who provides publicity.)
  37. When you're attentively studying, are you poring over or pouring over the materials?
    Answer: poring

    • How to Remember It:
    • One reason this word trips us up is that both pour and pore are often followed by over. But in this case it probably helps to think literally. When we're intently studying something, nothing is actually pouring (i.e., flowing, leaking) onto the object of study; in fact, if something did pour onto what you're poring over, your task would be far more difficult. The less familiar verb pore is correct.

    (Pore actually has the same root as pour, but of course that only adds to the confusion.)
  38. If your ship fills with water and sinks, does it flounder or founder?
    Answer: founder

    • How to remember it:
    • When something founders, it loses its foundation. (Founder and foundation have the same root.) To founder is to collapse, sink, or fail. One source of confusion here is that the meaning of the verb flounder is similar: to flounder is to struggle to move or get one's footing, or to proceed or act clumsily or ineffectually. People can flounder, but ships founder.
  39. indentation
    • a space at the beginning of a written line or paragraph
    • the act of indenting a line or paragraph
    • a cut in or into the edge of something
  40. foil
  41. carnation
  42. nib
  43. aquamarine
  44. philtrum
  45. helix
  46. winglet
  47. placket
  48. persimmon
  49. mah-jongg
  50. viaduct
  51. caliper
  52. kumquat
  53. truck
  54. 'palette
  55. finial
  56. fret
  57. bolster
  58. corset
  59. derailleur
  60. enumerate
    a) glimpse
    b) inspect
    c) detect
    d) list
    list
  61. incongruous
    a) unexpected
    b) unprepared
    c) clashing
    d) handsome
    clashing
  62. 'quagmire
    bold
  63. incredulous
    a) royal
    b) smug
    c) worried
    d) skeptical
    skeptical
  64. pristine
    a) perfect
    b) decent
    c) fortunate
    d) shiny
    perfect
  65. indefatigable
    a) tricky
    b) final
    c) normal
    d) tireless
    tireless
  66. reiterate
    a) change
    b) donate
    c) accept
    d) repeat
    repeat
  67. transient
    a) small
    b) momentary
    c) lively
    d) distant
    momentary
  68. vulpine
    a) superior
    b) troubling
    c) crafty
    d) warm
    crafty
  69. clever in usually a deceptive or dishonest way
    crafty
  70. obdurate
    stubborn

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