Aug 26, 2009

wondrous words

These words I came across when reading The Voyages of Dr. Dolittle:

Obstreperous- "He was such an enormous man there was no knowing what he might do if he got really obstreperous."
Definition: noisy, aggressively defiant and difficult to control

Embrocation- "... the Doctor took a large bottle of embrocation and began rubbing the sprain."
Definition: an ointment or lotion

Enteric- "They would go back to their old unsanitary ways: bad water, uncooked fish, no drainage, enteric fever, and the rest."
Definition: of the intestines

These words are from The Snowflake:

Nanoscale- "Yet self-assembly is hard to fathom because it usually involves either nanoscale objects, like the molecules in a crystal, or tremendously complex objects, like living things."
Definition: on a scale of nanometers, which is one billionth of a meter

Morphogenesis- "A flower is a biological example of morphogenesis, the spontaneous creation of form- nature using chemistry and self-assembly to generate complexity."
Definition: formation of the structure of an organism, or a part thereof

And from the books I'm currently reading, Search for the Golden Moon Bear:

Igneous- "In a great igneous spine, they run for more than six hundred miles from the northeastern corner of Cambodia up along the border of Vietnam and Laos."
Definition: formed by molten rock cooling

Lyse- "The chemicals would lyse, or burst the cells, and cause them to release their DNA."
Definition: to cause the disintegration of cells, by a chemical substance, antibody or enzyme

Montane- "If Africa is a good analogy, montane rain forest spread down, but the lowland forest became savanna in what is now the Congo Basin."
Definition: of a mountain area

and Daughters of the Sunstone:

Compunction- "I was busy," he said lamely, wondering how he had turned her away twice with no compunction.
Definition: uneasiness caused by guilt; feeling of regret

Inimical- "He should have known before he encountered the arrogant Bullens, should have known before he challenged the Arnimi force curtain, that the Arnimi would be inimical to him."
Definition: harmful, injurious; hostile or unfriendly

Insipid- "Tastes and scents grew insipid, colors dull, textures bland."
Definition: lacking in flavor, tasteless

Venality- "Or did the women who governed them see that their venality was directed entirely outward?"
Definition: susceptible to bribery, corruption; using a position of trust for dishonest gain

Compendium- "She was the oldest mare of her herd and she carried the knowledge of their kind in the very tissues of her body, carried it like a compendium of redmane wisdom."
Definition: a summary of a larger work

Ostentatious- "It was a crude weapon, but she worked on it ostentatiously, hefting it, testing its balance."
Definition: showy, pretentious. That doesn't quite seem to fit here. Does anyone know another definition?

Extemporize- "It means our fathers were the same man once," Danior said, extemporizing. "Though they are no longer, of course."
Definition: to do something without preparation or practice

That's a lot of new words! To see more, visit the host of this meme, Bermudaonion.


  1. That is a lot of new words, but you've been doing some pretty heavy reading. The only one I think I can use is insipid. Thanks for participating!

  2. I love these word lists - yay for bermudaonion for hosting this meme. I love learning new words, and being reminded of old ones I haven't used for a while. Like inimical. Inimical. What a wonderful word.


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