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).