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31 Unusual Words to Add to Your Vocabulary – December 2016

Updated on December 17, 2016

Welcome to the next instalment of my monthly list of words!

Date
Word
Definition
1/12
Arbitrage
The simultaneous buying and selling of something in different markets in order to take advantage of differing prices for the same asset
2/12
Ungulate
A hoofed mammal
3/12
Sagacious
Having or showing good judgement
4/12
Malevolent
Having or showing a wish to do evil to others
5/12
Coagulate
To cause a fluid to change to a solid or semi-solid state
6/12
Abiogenesis
The original evolution of life from inorganic or inanimate substances
7/12
Malfeasance
Wrongdoing
8/12
Canonical
Relating to a general rule or standard formula
9/12
Histrionic
Excessively dramatic in character or style
10/12
Tacit
Understood or implied without being stated
11/12
Frisson
A sudden strong feeling of excitement or fear
12/12
Doused
Extinguish (a fire or light)
13/12
Countenance
Support or approval
14/12
Ovine
Relating to or resembling sheep
15/12
Castor
Each of a set of small swivelling wheels fixed to the legs or base of a heavy piece of furniture so that it can be moved easily
16/12
Beguiling
Charming or enchanting, often in a deceptive way
17/12
Andiron
A metal stand, typically one of a pair, for supporting wood burning in a fireplace
18/12
Ephemera
Things that are used or enjoyed for only a short time
19/12
Patina
A green or brown film on the surface of bronze or similar metals, produced by oxidation over a long period
20/12
Sommelier
A wine waiter
21/12
Paternoster
A lift consisting of a series of linked compartments moving continuously on an endless belt
22/12
Filiform
Thread-like
23/12
Panthalassa
A universal sea or single ocean, such as would have surrounded the postulated supercontinent of Pangaea
24/12
Pica
A tendency or craving to eat substances other than normal food
25/12
Gall
Bold and impudent behaviour
26/12
Variegated
Exhibiting different colours, especially as irregular patches or streaks
27/12
Neologism
A newly coined word or expression
28/12
Vie
Compete eagerly with someone in order to do or achieve something
29/12
Hypnagogic
Relating to the state immediately before falling asleep
30/12
Machiavellian
Cunning, scheming, and unscrupulous, especially in politics
31/12
Paucity
The presence of something in only small or insufficient quantities or amounts

How many words did you already know?

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    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 9 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      This was really cool because in my experience my association with many of these are in a different context than your fine definitions. A few fun ones were: We say desert patina for the oxidation of rock formations here in the Southwest; Castor was used in Castor Set, an antique holder of table condiments -- And I don't mean Ketchup and Mayo; I am religious so Canonical only refers to a set of a Church's laws; Machiavellian refers specifically to being cutthroat in the name of your master.

      Hey, for a guy with a degree in linguistic philosophy this was like a Christmas present -- Thanks

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 9 months ago from Oklahoma

      Great read for a lover of words such as myself.