View Full Version : Top 100 words < S-Z >

02-20-2003, 11:06 AM
san·guine adj. 1a. Of the color of blood; red. b. Of a healthy reddish color; ruddy: a sanguine complexion. 2. Archaic a. In medieval physiology, having blood as the dominant humor. b. Having the temperament and ruddy complexion once thought to be characteristic of this humor; passionate. 3. Cheerfully confident; optimistic. —sanguine·ly adv. —sanguine·ness, san·guini·ty n.

so·lil·o·quy n., pl. -quies 1a. A dramatic or literary form of discourse in which a character reveals his or her thoughts when alone or unaware of the presence of other characters. b. A specific speech or piece of writing in this form of discourse. 2. The act of speaking to oneself. —so·lilo·quist , so·lilo·quizer n. —so·lilo·quize v.

sub·ju·gate tr.v. -gat·ed, -gat·ing, -gates 1. To bring under control; conquer. See Syns at defeat. 2. To make subservient; enslave. —subju·gation n. —subju·gator n.

suf·fra·gist n. An advocate of the extension of political voting rights, esp. to women. —suffra·gism n.

su·per·cil·i·ous adj. Feeling or showing haughty disdain. See Syns at proud. —super·cili·ous·ly adv. —super·cili·ous·ness n.

tau·tol·o·gy n., pl. -gies 1a. Needless repetition of the same sense in different words; redundancy. b. An instance of such repetition. 2. Logic An empty statement composed of simpler statements in a fashion that makes it logically true whether the simpler statements are factually true or false; for example, Either we'll go or we'll stay. —tauto·logi·cal , tauto·logic adj. —tauto·logi·cal·ly adv.

tax·on·o·my n., pl. -mies 1. The classification of organisms in an ordered system that indicates natural relationships. 2. The science, laws, or principles of classification; systematics. 3. Division into ordered groups or categories. —tax·ono·mist n.

tec·ton·ic adj. 1. Geology Relating to, causing, or resulting from structural deformation of the earth's crust. 2a. Relating to construction or building. b. Architectural. —tec·toni·cal·ly adv.

tem·pes·tu·ous adj. 1. Of, relating to, or resembling a tempest. 2. Tumultuous; stormy: a tempestuous relationship. —tem·pestu·ous·ly adv.

ther·mo·dy·nam·ics n. 1. (used with a sing. verb) The branch of physics that deals with the relationships and conversions between heat and other forms of energy. 2. (used with a pl. verb) Thermodynamic phenomena and processes.

to·tal·i·tar·i·an adj. Of, being, or imposing a form of government in which the political authority exercises absolute and centralized control over all aspects of life.§ n. A practitioner or supporter of such a government. [total + (author)itarian.] —to·tali·tari·an·ism n.

unc·tu·ous adj. 1. Characterized by affected, exaggerated, or insincere earnestness. 2. Having the quality or characteristics of oil or ointment; slippery. 3. Containing or composed of oil or fat. 4. Abundant in organic materials; soft and rich: unctuous soil. —unctu·ous·ly adv. —unctu·ous·ness, unctu·osi·ty n.

u·surp v. -surped, -surp·ing, -surps — tr. 1. To seize and hold (the power or rights of another, for example) by force and without legal authority. 2. To take over or occupy without right: usurp land. — intr. To seize another's place, authority, or possession wrongfully. —u·surper n. —u·surping·ly adv.

vac·u·ous adj. 1. Devoid of matter; empty. 2a. Lacking intelligence; stupid. b. Devoid of substance or meaning; inane: a vacuous comment. c. Devoid of expression; vacant. 3. Lacking serious purpose or occupation; idle. [From Latin vacuus, empty; see vacuum.] —vacu·ous·ly adv. —vacu·ous·ness n.

ve·he·ment adj. 1. Forceful or intense in expression, emotion, or conviction; fervid. 2. Vigorous or energetic; strong: a vehement storm. —vehe·mence, vehe·men·cy n. —vehe·ment·ly adv.

vor·tex n., pl. -tex·es or -ti·ces 1. A spiral motion of fluid within a limited area, esp. a whirling mass of water or air that sucks everything near it toward its center. 2. A place or situation regarded as drawing into its center all that surrounds it.

win·now v. -nowed, -now·ing, -nows — tr. 1a. To separate the chaff from (grain) by means of a current of air. b. To rid of undesirable parts. 2. To blow (chaff) off or away. 3. To blow away; scatter. 4. To blow on; fan: A breeze winnowed the grass. 5. To examine closely in order to separate the good from the bad; sift. 6a. To separate or get rid of (an undesirable part); eliminate: winnowing out errors. b. To sort or select (a desirable part); extract. — intr. 1. To separate grain from chaff. 2. To separate the good from the bad.§ n. 1. A device for winnowing grain. 2. An act of winnowing. —winnow·er n.

wrought v. A past tense and a past participle of work.§ adj. 1. Put together; created: a carefully wrought plan. 2. Shaped by hammering with tools. Used chiefly of metals or metalwork. 3. Made delicately or elaborately.

xen·o·phobe n. A person unduly fearful or contemptuous of that which is foreign, esp. of strangers or foreign peoples. —xeno·phobi·a n. —xeno·phobic adj.

yeo·man n. 1a. An attendant, servant, or lesser official in a royal or noble household. b. A yeoman of the guard. 2. A petty officer performing chiefly clerical duties in the US Navy. 3. An assistant or other subordinate, as of a sheriff. 4. A diligent, dependable worker. 5. A farmer who cultivates his own land, esp. a member of a former class of small freeholders in England.

zig·gu·rat n. A temple tower of the ancient Assyrians and Babylonians, having the form of a terraced pyramid of successively receding stories.

Source : The American Heritage College Dictionary