My working vocabulary always lags behind my reading vocabulary, so this year, as a sort of unofficial New Year’s resolution, I have been looking up and recording all unfamiliar or uncertain words. While I haven’t noticed amazing progress with working vocabulary (why else would I have used “amazing”?), I realize that I assume to know more than what I actually know. With the increased reading load from school, I have been slacking with the recording part, but the habit was good while it lasted.

Here are 10 of my favorites:

1. fissiparous: inclined to cause or undergo division into separate parts or groups.

2. irredentist: a person advocating the restoration to their country of any territory formerly belonging to it.

3. atavistic: relating to or characterized by reversion to something ancient or ancestral.

4. tergiversate: make conflicting or evasive statements; equivocate.

5. recondite: (of a subject or knowledge) little known; abstruse.

6. splenetic: bad-tempered; spiteful.

7. jingoism: extreme patriotism, esp. in the form of aggressive or warlike foreign policy.

8. empyreal: belonging to or deriving from heaven.

9. littoral: of, relating to, or situated on the shore of the sea or a lake.

10. equipoise: balance of forces or interests.

(All definitions come from New Oxford American Dictionary).

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One Response to Words

  1. rosanna says:

    it’s a good thing that your working vocabulary is behind your reading vocabulary else communication to others suffers. I just learned littoral this semester in zoology. i’ll remember because i got 1/2 a point off on my quiz answer because i left out the sea/lake part. I didn’t know any of the other words on your list.

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