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NOUNS (B-C)

Baal Shem Tov: n. - a Jewish mystic who founded Hasidism, which asserted that even a simple, uneducated peasant could approach God and emphasized prayer, the observance of commandments, and ecstatic, personal mystical experiences; literally, "Master of the Good Name"
Babbitt: n. - a business or professional man who conforms unthinkingly to prevailing middle-class standards
bacteriophage: n. - a virus that infects bacteria. Like other viruses, bacteriophages (also called simply "phages") contain either RNA or DNA, but never both. The phage injects its genetic material into a bacteria cell, then uses the cell's RNA to reproduce itself. Eventually, this leads to rupture of the bacterial cell wall, typically releasing 100 to 200 new viruses. Some bacteriophages, however, remain dormant for a long time after forcing their genetic material into their host. For this reason, altered phages have become important tools for genetic engineers (such as those doing cloning research)
Bactrian camel: n. - a (usually domesticated) two-humped camel, originally from the cold deserts central Asia but now found only in the Gobi Desert
badinage: n. - a light, playful talk: banter, drollery, gibe, jesting, joke, mockery, raillery, repartee, retort, ripping, wisecrack, witticism
bagatelle: n. - 1. a thing of little or no importance: trifle 2. a short, light musical or literary piece 3. a game played with a cue and balls on an oblong table having cups or arches at one end
Bahá'ísm: n. - a religion founded in Iran in 1863 by Bahá'u'lláh. It incorporates Christian and Islamic tenets, emphasizes the spiritual unity of all humankind, has no public rituals or sacraments, and praying is done in private. Many adherents live in the United States
baldachin: n. - 1. a cloth canopy supported at each corner by a pole and carried over a venerated person or a sacred object in a religious procession, especially the Holy Sacrament in Roman Catholic processions 2. a ceremonial canopy of cloth or stone over an altar, shrine, throne, pulpit, or doorway, especially in a Christian church 3. a rich embroidered fabric of silk and gold
balderdash: n. - senseless talk or writing: nonsense
balestra: n. - (Fencing) an attack where a fencer makes a jump toward the opponent followed immediately by a lunge
ballast: n. (see also v.) - 1. heavy material carried in the hold of a ship (especially one that has no cargo), in the keel of a sailing boat, or in the gondola of a hot air balloon, to give the craft increased stability and to prevent capsizing 2. anything that serves no particular purpose except to give bulk or weight to something or that provides additional stability 3. anything that gives mental, moral, or political stability or steadiness 4. gravel, broken stone, or slag used to form the base of a railway track or road to give stability, provide drainage, and distribute loads 5. gravel used in making concrete and in earthworks 6. a circuit that maintains the current flow in a fluorescent or mercury lamp at the desired constant value
ballast resistor: n. - (Electronics) a device that maintains the current in a circuit at a constant value by varying its resistance in order to counteract changes in voltage or temperature: barretter
baluster: n. - 1. one of the upright, usually rounded or vase-shaped supports of a handrail, as found on the side of a staircase: column, leg, pilaster, pillar, post, stem 2. an upright support, such as a furniture leg, having a similar shape 3. a railing, as along a path or stairway: balustrade, banister, handrail
balustrade: n. - 1. a row of balusters topped by a rail 2. a low parapet or barrier
bane: n. - 1. something that brings or causes harm, misery, ruin, or death: burden, curse, plague, scourge [antonym: blessing, boon] 2. something that annoys someone very much or causes them a lot of problems, often used in the phrase "bane of my existence" 3. something which destroys life, especially a deadly poison (often used in the names of poisonous plants, such as wolfsbane and henbane): toxin, venom
banshee: n. - a female spirit believed to wail outside a house as a warning that a death will occur soon in the family
baraka: n. - (Arabic) a spiritual power or divine blessing believed to be possessed by certain holy people, sacred objects, tombs, shrines, etc. It can be transferred between two people or between an object and a person
barbican: n. - an outer defensive work, especially a tower at a gate or bridge
bardolater: n. - a person who idolizes Shakespeare
Barnum effect: n. - the tendency to find personal meaning in statements which are designed to apply to many people (such as, "you have a desire to be respected by your friends and family" or "you recently had issues to deal with at work"). Statements of this type are often found in horoscopes, psychic readings, and some personality tests. This term, which was not the original term for this effect, was inspired by P.T. Barnum's observation that "we've got something for everyone" (presumably in his Barnum & Bailey Circus): Forer effect
baronet: n. - a commoner (not a member of the peerage) who holds the lowest hereditary British title of honor, ranked below the barons but above most orders of knighthood
barophobia: n. - fear of gravity
barretter: n. - (Electronics) a resistor inserted into a circuit that maintains the current in a circuit at a constant value by varying its resistance in order to counteract changes in voltage or temperature: ballast resistor
barrister: n. - 1. (Great Britain) a lawyer who is a member of one of the Inns of Court and who is qualified to represent clients in the higher law courts in England and Wales. Most specialize in certain areas of the law in order to advise clients referred to them 2. (Canada) a lawyer who represents clients in any court
bastion: n. - 1. a projecting part of a fortification 2. a fortified area or position 3. something that is considered a stronghold: bulwark
bathos: n. - [see also: bathetic (adj.)] 1. in a work of high art, lofty content, or inspired style, the abrupt appearance of ordinary, uninspired art, content, or style (especially when startlingly commonplace, bland, or trite); an unintentional anticlimax: letdown, triviality 2. insincere or overdone emotion; an unsuccessful (and therefore ridiculous) attempt to evoke pathos (pity, sympathy, sorrow, or another deep emotion) in art: mawkishness, sentimentality 3. the state of being overdone and emotionally flat: banality, commonplaceness, triteness
battlement: n. - a parapet with open spaces for shooting, such as you often see built on top of a castle wall, tower, or fort
battology: n. - an unnecessary (often boring or irritating) repetition of words, phrases, or ideas in speech or writing: reiteration, tautology
belladonna: n. - 1. a poisonous herb native to Europe and Asia having bell-shaped flowers of purplish-brown or green, glossy black berries, and roots and leaves that yield atropine: deadly nightshade {flowers, berries} 2. a medicinal drug made from the extremely poisonous belladonna plant: atropine, deadly nightshade
bellwether: n. - 1. a male sheep, usually wearing a bell, that leads the flock 2. a leader, especially of a sheep-like crowd 3. anything suggesting the general tendency or direction of events, style, etc.
belonephobia: n. - fear of pins and needles
belvedere: n. - 1. a roofed structure, especially a small pavilion or tower on top of a building, situated so as to command a wide scenic view 2. a densely branched Eurasian plant with foliage which turns purple-red in autumn: burning bush, fire bush, summer cypress
bench trial: n. - (U.S. Law) a trial decided by a judge (who sits on a "bench") rather than a jury. Most civil trials are bench trials unless a party requests a jury. but a criminal bench trial will only occur if the defendant waives their right to a jury: court trial
benison: n. - a spoken blessing: benediction
Beowulf: n. - an inexpensive supercomputer created by clustering off-the-shelf personal computer components linked by a high-speed network and powered by Linux. Each of the networked computers executes a portion of the program in parallel. The term originated with the Beowulf Project at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. {Penny-pinching Hrothgar solved his problem of calculating the taxes for international Heorot Corporation by using Beowulf clusters: Each PC on the network was responsible for one line of the 1040 form and schedules; however, one part of the Linux code accidentally lopped off the revenues from the Grendel Conglomerate.}
berserker: n. - one of the ancient Norse warriors who had sworn allegiance to the sky god Odin. They were legendary for working themselves into a frenzy (perhaps involving hallucinogenic mushrooms or massive amounts of alcohol) before a battle and fighting with reckless savagery and insane fury, regardless of wounds. They were said to have fought wearing the skin of bears or wolves, or possibly unarmored; literally, "bear shirt (wearer)" [see also: berserk (adj. & adv.)]
bête noire: n. - (French) someone or something that is especially disliked, hated, dreaded, or avoided; literally, "black beast": bugbear
bezonian: n. - a poverty-stricken wretch or rascal: beggar, knave, pauper, scoundrel, vagrant
bibelot: n. - a small household ornament or decorative object: gewgaw, gimcrack, trinket
bibliotherapy: n. - a form of supportive psychotherapy in which carefully selected reading materials are used to assist a subject in solving personal mental or emotional problems; a form of therapy or self-help that uses books as therapeutic tools
bidet: n. - 1. a fixture similar in design to a toilet that is straddled for bathing the genitals and the posterior parts: sitz bath 2. a small horse formerly allowed to each trooper or dragoon for carrying his baggage
bifurcation: n. - a forking, or division into two branches
Big Blue: n. - slang for IBM, which uses blue as its corporate color
bildungsroman: n. - (German) a novel about the childhood and early adolescence of a character's life, with special attention paid to his or her moral, psychological, and intellectual development; literally, "education-novel" [see also: künstlerroman]
bilge: n. - on a boat, the lowest part of the ship, which is directly above the keel
bilgewater: n. - (also spelled 'bilge water') 1. dirty water that collects inside the bilge (lowest point) of a ship's hull 2. talk, writing, or an idea that is stupid, silly, stale, or worthless: baloney, foolishness, nonsense, rubbish, tommyrot, twaddle
bilker: n. (see also v.) - 1. a person who cheats or swindles someone else 2. a person who hinders or prevents the efforts, plans, or desires of someone else 3. a person who avoids paying a debt to someone else 4. a person who escapes from someone or something 5. (Cribbage) a person who balks or spoils their opponent's crib score
billabong: n. - an Australian native term, from billa (water) + bong (dead), for a backwater channel forming a lagoon or pool
billet: n. (see also v.) - 1. a civilian house where soldiers are lodged temporarily 2. an official order stating that a householder has to provide temporary living quarters for a member of the armed forces 3. a short, thick piece of wood, especially firewood 4. (Metallurgy) a small bar of iron or steel in semifinished state in need of further processing 5. an employment position, together with its tasks: job 6. one of a series of regularly spaced, log-shaped segments used horizontally as ornamentation in the moldings of Norman architecture
billet-doux: n. - a love letter
billingsgate: n. - coarsely abusive, foul, or profane language
bill of attainder: n. - (Law) a legislative act which pronounces someone guilty of a crime and punishes them without a trial, particularly a felony such as treason. Article I, Section 9 of the U.S. Constitution prohibits any state or federal legislature from issuing a bill of attainder
biloquist: n. - a person with power to speak in two distinct voices
biome: n. - a large community of plants and animals that occupies a distinct region, often determined by local climate and soil conditions. The earth contains ten biomes: deserts, savannas, grasslands, montanes, temperate forests, taigas, tundras, tropical rain forests, tropical dry forests, and islands. The two basic water biomes are freshwater and saltwater regions: bioclimatic zone
bionics: n. - 1. using knowledge of human biology and other systems in nature, such as the ability of plants to store solar energy or the aerodynamic design of bird wings, as a model for designing better machines 2. the use of electronic devices to replace damaged limbs and organs
biopsy: n. - an examination of tissues or liquids taken from a living person in order to determine the presence, cause, or extent of a disease
bivouac: n. - an encampment for the night, usually under little or no shelter
blackbody: n. - a hypothetical object that absorbs all electromagnetic radiation falling on it (radio, micro, infrared, light, ultraviolet, x-ray, and gamma waves), doesn't reflect any such radiation that hits it, and that can emit (radiate) waves at all frequencies depending on its absolute temperature (think, the Kelvin scale). The higher the object's temperature, the higher the frequency of the radiation it gives off. For two reasons, such objects typically look black: 1) because they don't reflect light (or radio waves, or gamma waves, etc.) and 2) because, unless its temperature is in a very small range, chances are that the waves it emits will be in the invisible part of the spectrum (everything other than visible light). To get a very rough idea of the smallness of visible light on this spectrum, see the chart here: link
blackguard: n. - 1. a thoroughly dishonest, unprincipled, contemptible person: cad, devil, rogue, scoundrel, vagrant, villain 2. a foul-mouthed or verbally abusive person
blandishment: n. - speech or action that flatters and tends to coax, entice, or persuade: allurement
blenk: n. (see also v.) - a cheerful glance
Blue Laws: n. - state or local laws which rigorously prohibit certain activities (working, commercial activity, entertainment, sports, drinking alcohol) on Sunday to honor the Christian Sabbath. They were first employed during the 18th century in the Puritan town of New Haven, Connecticut. "Blue" was slang for puritanical. In most cases blue laws have been repealed, but vestiges remain at least informally
bluster: n. (see also v.) - 1. a violent, boisterous blowing 2. violent commotion 3. loudly boastful or threatening speech
bodega: n. - a small shop for groceries or wine, especially one associated with Hispanic culture or Spanish-speaking people: convenience store, grocery store, wine shop
bokeh: n. - (Photography) the part of a photograph which appears blurred, foggy, smudged, or out-of-focus -- often used in portraiture when a smooth background is needed to draw attention to the sharply in-focus subject of the image
bon vivant: n. - somebody who enjoys the luxuries in life, especially good food and wine
bonhomie: n. - good nature; pleasant and easy manner
bon mot: n. - (French) a clever and often funny remark; an on-point statement or well-chosen words; literally, "good word": quip, wise-crack, witticism
booboisie: n. - a class of people regarded as stupid or foolish
boodle: n. - 1. a collection or lot of persons or things: caboodle 2. bribe money 3. a large amount, especially of money
borborygmus: n. - the rumbling sounds made by moving gases in the stomach and intestine
bordello: n. - a building where prostitutes are available; a house of prostitution: brothel, cathouse, house of ill repute, whorehouse
boskage: n. - a mass of trees or shrubs: thicket
botox: n. - a toxin derived from botulinum toxin Type A which has been used in the United States since 1990 to treat wrinkes around the eyes and mouth. It is also used to treat dystonia, a neurological disorder which causes muscle spasming. Botox stops nerve impulses from reaching nerve endings in the location where it is injected. Botox injections can take 5-10 days to kick in, and may only last anywhere from a few weeks to a month once new nerve endings start growing back
boulevardier: n. - 1. a frequenter of city boulevards, especially in Paris 2. a sophisticated, worldly, and socially active man; a man who frequents fashionable places: man-about-town
bouleversement: n. - complete overthrow; a turning upside down: reversal
bovarism: n. - 1. the distance between the way the world actually is and how an individual perceives it, regardless of whether or not the differences are intentional: (a) the act of engaging in a romantic escape from reality (b) mankind's ability to conceive reality other than it actually is, often a tragic mistake or character flaw in literature 2. the domination of an exaggerated, glamorized, or romantic view of oneself, especially when it causes problems in dealing with reality (from the title character of Gustave Flaubert's novel Madame Bovary): conceitedness
bowsprit: n. - a stout rounded pole of wood or metal used to support rigging that projects forward from the bow (front) of a boat, to which the stays (heavy rope or wire support cables) of the foremast (the main mast near the front of the ship) are fastened: spar {diagram, photo}
breviary: n. - 1. (Roman Catholic Church) a liturgical book containing the public or canonical prayers, hymns, the Psalms, readings, and notations for everyday use, especially the hourly prayers recited daily by certain priests and members of religious orders. Before the advent of printing, breviaries were written by hand and were often richly decorated with initials and miniature illustrations telling stories in the lives of Christ or the saints, or stories from the Bible 2. a brief account or summary: abridgment, compend
bricolage: n. - a creation, especially a work of art, seemingly improvised out of available materials; something constructed or made up of whatever materials happened to be on hand at the time
brigandage: n. - a robber or bandit, especially one belonging to an outlaw band: thief
brinjal : n. - 1. (S. Afr.) an egg-shaped fruit having shiny skin, typically dark purple but occasionally white or yellow, often cooked and eaten as a vegetable: aubergine, eggplant, garden egg, mad apple {image} 2. (S. Afr.) a hairy upright herb native to southeastern Asia but widely cultivated for its large glossy edible fruit commonly used as a vegetable: eggplant bush
brio: n. - enthusiastic vigor: liveliness, spirit, vivacity
brocade: n. - 1. a rich oriental silk fabric with raised patterns in gold and silver 2. a fabric characterized by raised designs
Brocken specter: n. - (also spelled 'Brocken spectre') an optical phenomenon in which a shadow is projected onto clouds below the observer. Often, the shadow appears enormously magnified and is encircled by a ring or halo of colors (a small, circular rainbow called a glory). It appears when the observer is at a high altitude (such as on a moutain peak or in an airplane), has a low sun on one side of them (during sunrise or sunset), and has clouds or fog on the other side below them. The shadow figure might appear to move (quite suddenly, at times) because of variations of the movement of the clouds or their varying density. The term is named for the Brocken peak of Germany's Harz Mountains, which, due to its frequent fogs, is known for sightings of this phenomenon {images: person 1, person 2, plane}
bromide: n. - 1. a binary compound of bromine with another element, such as silver or fluorine 2. a drug containing potassium bromide formerly used to help people sleep or calm down: sedative, soporific 3. a trite, unoriginal idea or remark--typically one intended to soothe or encourage others but ineffective since it has been so overused: banality, cliché, platitude 4. a boring, dull, tiresome, or very conventional person: bore, deadhead, dullard, wet blanket
bromidrophobia: n. - fear of body smells
brother-german: n. - a brother of someone who has both the same mother and the same father: full brother [see also: sister-german, sibling-german, agnate sibling, uterine sibling]
Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR): n. - a .30-caliber air-cooled, automatic or semiautomatic, magazine-fed rifle, operated by gas pressure, weighing 20 pounds, capable of firing between 200 and 350 rounds per minute with an effective range of 600 m (2,000 ft), often provided with a rest for the barrel, used by U.S. troops in World Wars I and II and the Korean War {image}
bruit: n. (see also v.) - 1. (Medicine) a sound, especially an abnormal sound, heard when a doctor listens to a patient's body with a stethoscope. This generally indicates a health problem, such as a heart murmur or an obstruction in the arteries 2. [archaic] a rumor 3. [archaic] a loud outcry: clamor, din, noise, roar
busker: n. - a person who entertains (as by playing music) in public places
buss: n. (see also v.) - 1. a kiss, especially if rude or playful; a smack: osculation 2. a small strong vessel with two masts and two cabins
cabal: n. (see also v.) - 1. a secret group of conspirators or plotters which seeks power through intrigue, particularly one formed for political purposes: camarilla, faction, junta 2. a plot to carry out some harmful or illegal act (especially a political plot): conspiracy 3. an exclusive group of people: clique
cachinnation: n. (see also v.) - loud or immoderate laughter
cacophobia: n. - fear of ugliness
cacophony: n. - harsh or discordant sound, especially in words or phrases: dissonance
cadre: n. - 1. a core of trained personnel around which an organization is formed 2. a cell of indoctrinated leaders active in promoting the interests of a revolutionary party 3. a member of a tightly knit organization or revolutionary party 4. a framework upon which a larger entity can be built: scheme
caduceus: n. - 1. (Mythology) the official staff or wand of Hermes or Mercury, the messenger of the gods. Originally said to be a herald's staff of olive wood, it was later fabled to have two serpents coiled about it and two wings at the top 2. an insignia modeled on Hermes's staff and used as the symbol of the medical profession 3. a herald's wand or staff, especially in ancient times
caesura: n. - 1. a metrical break in a verse occurring in the middle of a foot and indicated in scanning by a double vertical line (eg. "The prop | er stud | y || of | mankind | is man." -- Alexander Pope, An Essay on Man) 2. any break, pause, or interruption (as in conversation)
caftan: n. - 1. a full-length garment with elbow-length or long sleeves, worn chiefly in eastern Mediterranean countries 2. a westernized version of this garment consisting of a loose, usually brightly colored waist-length or ankle-length tunic
cairn: n. - 1. a pile of rough stones raised to mark a spot for walkers and climbers or as a memorial to someone who died or was buried at that spot: barrow, burial mound, tumulus 2. (Cairn) a small terrier with a shaggy, rough coat of hair, originally bred in Scotland
Caldecott Award: n. - the award annually given by the American Library Association to the artist of the most distinguished picture book for children published in the United States during the preceding year, restricted to artists who are citizens or residents of the United States [see also: Newbery Award]
caldera: n. - a large crater where there used to be a volcano, caused by a major eruption followed by the collapse of the volcano's cone into a depression shaped like a wide bowl. This happens because too much of the magma underneath is lost for the cone to remain supported. A caldera is typically much wider than the volcano opening from which it was formed. Later, minor eruptions may build small cones on its floor. Some caldera fill with water, as did Crater Lake in Oregon
caliber: n. - 1. the degree of someone's ability, intelligence, merit, or character: quality 2. the internal diameter of a pipe, cylinder, or the barrel of a firearm 3. the external diameter of a projectile such as a bullet or a shell
caligynephobia: n. - fear of beautiful women
caliph: n. - (Islam) the civil and religious leader of Islam for Sunni Muslims (but rejected by Shiites), considered to be the successor of Muhammad, a representative of Allāh on earth, and by tradition always male; from Arabic khalifah, literally "successor"
calligraphy: n. - 1. highly decorative handwriting 2. the art of writing beautifully using special pens or brushes 2. a script written with a brush (especially Chinese, Japanese, or Arabic writing) that is highly valued for its elegant and artistic style
callithump: n. - a noisy, boisterous band or parade
calque: n. - a word or phrase borrowed from another language through a literal translation of each part (root or morpheme) of the word. For example, the English word "superman" came from the literal translation of the parts of the German word "Übermensch": loan translation
calumet: n. - a highly ornamented ceremonial pipe of the American Indians
calumny: n. - 1. the act of uttering false charges or misrepresentations maliciously designed to damage another's reputation 2. a lie or misrepresentation intended to blacken another's reputation
camarilla: n. - a group of unofficial, private or secret advisers to a person of authority, especially such a group involved in intrigues and secret plots: cabal, clique, faction, junta
camion: n. - 1. a large truck designed to carry heavy loads, usually without sides: lorry 2. a flat, low, heavy horse cart without sides, used for haulage: dray 3. a bus
camphor: n. - a strong-smelling resin obtained from the wood or leaves of the camphor tree, then synthesized and used for a variety of purposes, inlcuding: as an insect repellent, in creams to relieve mild pain and itching, and in the manufacture of celluloid film, plastics, and explosives
canard: n. - 1. a deliberately false report or rumor, especially something silly or derogatory intended as a joke; an unfounded rumour or story: fabrication, hoax 2. (Computing) a mistaken and confused belief 3. (Cooking) a duck intended or used for food 4. a set of small, fixed or variable wings in front of the main wings near the nose of an aircraft, attached in order to create extra horizontal stability {image: see definition 5} 5. an aircraft whose horizontal stabilizing surfaces are closer to the front of the plane than the main wing, rather than behind the main wing, which is currently common (it was named a canard due to the aircraft supposedly looking like a duck from the ground) {image}
canker: n. (see also v.) - 1. a painful, open sore on the lips or inside the mouth or upper throat: canker sore, oral ulcer {images: 1 & 2} 2. (Veterinary Medicine) (a) a disease of horses that makes their hooves spongy, resembling rotten cauliflower {images: 1 & 2} (b) a disease that can cause sores in the outer ears of some animals, especially dogs and cats 3. (Botany) on a tree or other woody plant, a defined area of diseased or dead tissue (such as an open wound on a branch) caused by fungi, bacteria, pests, or injury (such as from a lightning strike) {images: 1, 2, & 3} 4. a source corruption, decay, or evil that spreads and is difficult to keep from spreading
cantatrice: n. - a female professional singer, especially a soloist who performs in opera
carafe: n. - 1. a glass or metal bottle with a narrow neck, a flared lip and a stopper, used for serving water or wine: decanter, flagon, pitcher {image} 2. a glass pot with a pouring spout and a handle, used especially with a drip coffeemaker to brew and serve coffee
carapace: n. - 1. a protective, shell-like covering like that of a turtle or crustacean 2. something likened to a shell that serves to protect or isolate from external influence
caravansary: n. - (Islam) an elaborate inn-type complex built around a large court (for housing animals) used by cross-country caravans in central and western Asia
carbine: n. - a lightweight automatic rifle or musket with a short barrel, historically used by cavalry soldiers. Relatively modern models include the M1, M2, M3, M4, the XM8 and the De Lisle Carbine {image: 1, 2, 3, 4}
carnophobia: n. - fear of meat
carom: n. (see also v.) - 1. a collision followed by a rebound: glance, ricochet 2. a shot in billiards in which the cue ball contacts one object ball and then the other 3. a shot in pool in which the object ball is rebounded off another ball and into a pocket
carotene: n. - a yellow, orange, or red pigment found in the tissues of some animals (such the canary and the lobster) and in certain plants (such as carrots, squash, turnips, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, apricots, and dandelions). It is converted into vitamin A in the liver
carrion: n. - the rotting flesh of a dead animal
carte blanche: n. - unconditional power to act at one's own discretion; unconditional authority and complete freedom
cartel: n. - 1. an association of independent business organizations formed to restrict competition by working together to control the production, pricing, and marketing of a good or service, especially to maintain high prices in order to increase profits: monopoly, trust 2. an alliance among political or special-interest groups having a common goal, such as to encourage the passage of a certain law; a group of parties, factions, or nations united in a common cause: bloc, coalition 3. an official agreement between governments at war with one another, especially an agreement to exchange prisoners
cartomancist: n. - 1. a tarot reader 2. one who psychically interprets information from photo's, drawings, writings or pictures
caryatid: n. - (Architecture) a supporting column or pillar which has been sculpted into the form of a draped woman, especially one supporting the frieze or porch of a classical Greek temple {image}
Casbah: n. - 1. a North African castle or fortress 2. the native section of a North African city
case law: n. - (Law) the body of law based on previous judicial decisions and on judicial interpretations of legislative laws (statutes) [see also: precedent, stare decisis]
cassock: n. - a close-fitting robe with straight sleeves, skirts reaching to the ankles, and buttons down the front, worn by Roman Catholic (and Anglican) clergy; priests wear black, bishops purple, cardinals red, and the Pope white (in most Western countries, the clergy have generally abandoned the cassock as everyday clothing in favour of a clerical suit of more conventional design): soutane {image}
castigatory: n. - a kind of chair formerly used for punishing scolding, abrasive, nagging women (and also dishonest tradesmen) by fastening them in it, usually in front of their doors, to be pelted and hooted at by the mob, but sometimes to be taken to the water and ducked: cucking stool, tumbrel, trebuchet
casuist: n. - someone whose reasoning is subtle and often deceptive: sophist
casuistry: n. - 1. (Moral Philosophy) the use of general ethical principles to resolve specific, real-life moral issues 2. the mistaken (often dishonest) use of general principles to rationalize to oneself or mislead others: sophistry
cataclysm: n. - 1. a sudden and violent natural disaster that produces devastating change in the environment and great suffering within a society, such as a volcanic eruption or a tsunami. (Originally, this term specifically referred to a disastrous flood or deluge.): calamity, catastrophe, tragedy 2. a great or violent social, political or military upheaval -- especially one that brings about tremendous change or a great deal of suffering: revolution
catafalque: n. - 1. a decorated platform or framework on which a coffin rests during a funeral 2. (Roman Catholic) a structure resembling a coffin that is used to represent a dead person at a requiem mass given after the person's funeral
cataphasis: n. - an ironic rhetorical device where a writer or speaker draws attention to something negative by claiming to ignore it; such as, "Let's not mention my opponent's habit of lying," and "Far be it from me to question your stupid civilization or its dumb customs.": apophasis, paralipsis, preterition
cataphatism: n. - the religious belief that God can be known and can be described in positive, affirmative terms (in terms of what God is, rather than what he is not: God is all-knowing, the creator, ominpresent, eternal, loving, just, etc.) [antonym: apophatism]
cataplasm: n. - a warm, soft, moist and sometimes medicated mass (such as clay, flour, plant material, bread, meal, or other adhesive substance) spread on cloth and placed on a sore, a cut, an aching muscle, or inflamed body part to ease pain, improve circulation, sooth irritation, prevent infection, or hasten the expression of pus: plaster, poultice
catgut: n. - a tough, thin cord made from the dried intestines of sheep, goats, or horses (but not cats) used for stringing musical instruments (such as violins), stringing tennis rackets, and as surgical thread
catbird seat: n. - a position of great prominence or advantage
catechumen: n. - 1. a new convert who is being taught the principles, doctrine and discipline of Christianity by a catechist before receiving baptism or confirmation: neophyte 2. one who is being instructed in a subject at an elementary level
caterwaul: n. (see also v.) - 1. a shrill, discordant sound 2. a noisy quarrel 3. a multi-octave yowl usually performed as a duet by two cats that are getting ready to rumble; a harsh cry
catoptrophobia: n. - fear of mirrors or seeing oneself in a mirror: eisoptrophobia
caucus: n. - 1. a closed meeting of people in the same political party or faction, usually to select candidates or to decide on policy 2. a group of people united to promote an agreed-upon cause
cavalcade: n. - 1. a procession of riders, horse-drawn carriages, vehicles or ships 2. a dramatic sequence or procession: series
cavil: n. (see also v.) - a trivial or frivolous objection: quibble
celerity: n. - rapidity of motion or action: quickness, swiftness
celluloid: n. (see also adj.) - 1. one of the earliest invented plastics, a colorless flammable material made from nitrocellulose and camphor, formerly used to make photographic film 2. the photographic film formerly used for making movies: motion-picture film 3. the movies as a medium or art form: the cinema, motion pictures
cellulose: n. - a complex carbohydrate made up of glucose units and obtained from the cell walls of plants, it is important in the manufacture of many products, such as plastics, paper, textiles, cellophane, pharmaceuticals, synthetic fibers, photographic film (celluloid), and explosives
cenobite: n. - a member of a religious order living in common, such as at a convent or monastery [antonym: anchorite, eremite]
central bank money: n. - actual currency in circulation [see also: commercial bank money]
centripetal force: n. - (Physics) the force that holds an object in circular motion by pulling it toward the center of the circle. The moon's orbit around the Earth is an example of centripetal motion:
cerise: n. - (French) a vivid or pinkish red the color of ripe cherries, blood, tomotoes, or rubies -- often used to describe fabrics, especially silk; literally, "cherry"
certiorari: n. - a writ issued by a higher court to obtain records on a case from a lower court so that the case can be reviewed
cerumen: n. - a soft, yellow (sometimes brown) wax secreted in the canal of the external ear. It cleans and lubricates the ear canal, as well as protects against infection by bacteria or fungi. Some argue that it also helps keep out insects. It is primarily made of shed layers of skin mixed with fatty acids and other chemicals: earwax
Cetus: n. - 1. (Astronomy) the constellation known as the great fish, the sea monster, or the whale, which lies above the equator. It is located in the region of the sky known as the Water, along with Aquarius (the water-bearer), Pisces (the fish), and Eridanus (the river). The most notable star it includes is Mira, the first variable star discovered {star map, artistic drawings 1, 2, & 3} 2. (Mythology) in ancient Greek, the word ketos (Latinized as cetus) meant a large fish or sea monster. The sea monsters killed by Perseus and Heracles were each called a cetus. In art, cetea were depicted as serpentine fish. In the Koine Greek translation of the Bible (the Septuagint), the creature which swallowed Jonah was called a cetus
chador: n. - a loose-fitting, full-body outer garment worn as traditional dress by Hindu and Muslim women. The chador, which also covers the head, is made of lightweight fabric that is usually black
chagrin: n. (see also v.) - strong feelings of embarrassment, annoyance or confusion due to disappointment or failure; anger at being let down: dismay, displeasure, frustration, humiliation, hurt pride, moritification, shame, vexation
chaise: - 1. a light, open carriage with two wheels and drawn by one horse, often has a collapsible hood 2. a long chair for reclining
chanteuse: n. - a woman who is a concert or nightclub singer
chapelle ardente: n. - 1. a framework holding burning candles over a coffin or catafalque; literally, "burning chapel" 2. the chapel or room in which the corpse of a sovereign or other exalted personage lies in state pending the funeral service
charientism: n. - 1. a gracefully or artfully veiled insult 2. the expression of an unpleasant thing in an agreeable manner: euphemism
chaussure: n. - a foot covering of any kind: boot, footgear, shoe, sock
chauvinist: n. - 1. someone with an absolute or passionate belief in the superiority of his or her own gender, race, nation, class, or other social group, especially when the person hates anybody outside their group (now used most commonly in the phrase "male chauvinist pig" to describe a man who believes women to be naturally inferior to men): bigot, partisan, racist, sexist 2. an unreasoning, overenthusiastic, and aggressive patriot, especially someone with blind enthusiasm for their nation's military glory: jingoist, nationalist, suprepatriot, war hawk
chawbacon: n. - a stereotypically stupid, uncultured country man: bumpkin, hick, rube, rustic, yahoo, yokel
chiasm: n. - 1. an intersection or crossing of two lines 2. (Anatomy) a crossing of two fibrous bundles (such as tendens, nerves, or tracts) in the form of the letter X 3. (Cytogenetics) the site at which two homologous chromosomes make contact (thus appearing to be crossed), enabling the exchange of genetic material during the prophase stage of meiosis
chiasmus: n. - (Rhetoric) a reversal in the order of words in two otherwise parallel phrases, more concisely described as reverse parallelism. In its classical application, chiasmus would have been used for structures that do not repeat the same words and phrases, as in "He went to the country, to the town went she" [see also: antimetabole]
chibi: n. - 1. in the context of anime (Japanese cartoons) or manga (Japanese comic books), this word refers to drawing a character in a very particular and highly stylized way: with very short, stubby bodies that are about the same size as the head, large puppy-dog eyes, and the lack of a detailed anatomy. (For example, they often lack fingers. Instead, they look as if they are wearing mittens or have fingers shaped like baby hands. Also, most chibi have have v-shaped "nubs" rather like pointed ballerina shoes rather than normal feet.) Chibi are typically known to be super-cute, speak in childlike voices, and often have a mischievous or indignant personality. A chibi rendition of a character is usually done for humor. Sometimes, in the Western fandom, it is used to denote a child version of a character, (for example: Chibi Vegeta, Chibi InuYasha, or Chibi Sailor Moon) 2. (Japanese) a short person or child. If used to describe a teenager or adult, this word likely is meant as an insult: dwarf, runt, shrimp
chickabiddy: n. - 1. a chicken: fowl 2. a trivial term of endearment for a child
chiffonier: n. - 1. a narrow, high chest of drawers or bureau, often with a mirror attached 2. one who gathers rags and odds and ends: ragpicker 3. a receptacle for rags or shreds
chignon: n. - a roll or knot of hair worn at the back of the head, especially at the nape of the neck
chilblains: n. - itchy or painful inflamation of the hands and feet caused by exposure to cold and moisture
chiliasm: n. - (see also adj.) - the belief in Jesus Christ's Second Coming, and that he will reign on earth for 1,000 years, thereby beginning the final conflict between good and evil (the end of the world), based on the book of Revelation in the Bible: millenarianism, millennialism, millenniumism
chintz: n. (see also adj.) - 1. a glazed cotton fabric usually printed with a brightly colored pattern, used for bed covers, quilts, curtains and upholstery 2. a printed or stained calico fabric made in India
chin-wag: n. - (slang) light informal conversation for social occasions: banter, causerie, chitchat, gab, gossip, small talk, tittle-tattle
chipotle: n. - a wrinkled, reddish-brown jalapeño pepper that is smoked and dried, then used in salad dressings, grilled chicken, salsas, and other dishes to add a smoky, sweet flavor
chirality: n. - (Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics) the phenomenon in which an object and its mirror image are not identical (because the item isn't symmetrical), and therefore cannot be superimposed on each other: dissymmetry, handedness
chrestomathy: n. - 1. a selection of passages compiled as an aid to learning a language 2. a volume of selected passages or stories of an author
chromatophobia: n. - fear of colors
chypre: n. - perfume made from sandalwood
cicatrix: n. - 1. a mark left (usually on the skin) by the healing of injured tissue: scar 2. (Botony) a scar left on a stem where a leaf used to be attached
cilice: n. - a garment of horse hair or camel hair formerly worn by monks: hair shirt, haircloth
cincture: n. (see also v.) - 1. something that encircles or surrounds 2. a belt, girdle, sash, or something worn round the body 3. one of the vestments of Catholic clergy -- a long, white, rope-like cord with tassled ends, tied around the waist, symbolizing chastity and purity
cineast: n. - 1. a devotee of motion pictures; film enthusiast 2. film producer: movie maker
circumlocution: n. - the use of many words to express an idea that might be expressed by few; indirect or roundabout language
civet: n. - 1. any of various carnivorous catlike mammals of Africa and Asia having anal scent glands that secrete a fluid with a musky odor: civet cat 2. the thick yellowish musky fluid secreted by a civet cat, used in the manufacture of perfumes 3. the fur of a civet cat
civil rights: n. - the nonpolitical rights of a citizen; the rights of personal liberty guaranteed to U.S. citizens by the 13th and 14th amendments to the Constitution and by acts of Congress
claque: n. - a group of people hired to applaud a live performance in order to encourage the rest of the audience to do so. (People may also be hired to laugh, gasp, cry, or give other emotional demonstrations at the appropriate moments in a performance.) Today, on television, a laugh track may likewise be used to encourage laughter in the home audience
claymore: n. - a large, double-edged, two-handed broadsword formerly used by Scottish Highlanders
cleft lip: n. - a separation of the upper lip that can extend into the nose, but which can be corrected through surgery {image}
cleft palate: n. - a condition in which the two plates of the skull that form the hard palate (roof of the mouth) are not completely joined, and perhaps do not meet at all. In some cases, a cleft lip [see entry above] is present as well {Drawings, Photograph}
clemency: n. - 1. a disposition to forgive and spare offenders: mercy 2. an act or instance of mercy or leniency 3. mildness, especially of weather
climacteric: n. - 1. a major turning point or critical stage 2. the period in a woman's life that marks the end of her reproductive capacity: menopause 3. the period in a man's life corresponding to female menopause usually marked by less well-defined physiological and psychological changes and a reduction in sexual activity, although fertility is retained 4. the marked and sudden rise in the respiratory rate of fruit just prior to full ripening
clubfoot: n. - a deformity of the foot, usually marked by a curled shape or twisted position of the ankle, heel, and toes making it impossible to place the sole flat on the ground: talipes {image}
clusterfist: n. - a close-fisted or grasping person: cheapskate, glutton, hoarder, hog, miser, moneygrubber, muckworm, niggard, penny pincher, scrooge, tightwad
coadjutor: n. - 1. one who aids another: assistant, coworker, helper, second 2. an assistant to a bishop, especially one designated to succeed the bishop
coccyx: n. - a small triangular bone at the bottom of the spinal column in humans and tailless apes. It consists of three to five rudimentary vertebrae which have fused together. The spinal cord ends above the coccyx. It is a leftover of evolution, a vestigial organ which had much greater purpose in our evolutionary past (in this case, when the ancestors of humans had tails): tailbone {image}
Cockaigne: n. - according to peasant legend of Middle Ages, a fabled country of abundant food, luxurious comforts, and easy living -- imagined in contrast with the harshness of medieval peasant life
cockalorum: n. - 1. a boastful, self-important little man with an unduly high opinion of himself 2. boastful talk: braggadocio
codex: n. - 1. the earliest form of book (manuscript pages held together by stitching, which replaced scrolls and wax tablets), especially of an ancient classic or the Scriptures. Today's books are based on the same form 2. an official or standard list of drug formulas and or chemical descriptions
coeval: n. (see also adj.) - someone or something of the same age as someone or something else; a contemporary
cognomen: n. - 1. a familiar name for a person, such as a shortened version of a person's given name (eg. 'Joe' for 'Joseph') or a descriptive nickname acquired through usage over a period of time (eg. 'Billy the kid'): moniker, nickname, sobriquet 2. the name used to identify the members of a family: family name, last name, surname 3. in ancient Rome, the third and usually last name of a (male) citizen, indicating the person's house or family (eg. "Caesar" in "Gaius Julius Caesar")
cognoscente: n. - a person with special knowledge of a subject: connoisseur
cohort: n. - 1. a united group or band of people, especially of warriors or followers (originally one of the 10 divisions of a Roman legion, consisting of 300 to 600 men) 2. a companion or associate: colleague 3. a group of people sharing a common factor such as the same age or the same income bracket, especially in a statistical survey 4. an accomplice: abettor 5. (Biology) a group of animals of the same species, identified by a set of common characteristics, which are studied over a period of time as part of a scientific or medical investigation 6. in a clinical study, a well-defined group of subjects or patients who have had a common experience or exposure and are then followed up for the incidence of new diseases or events
coitophobia: n. - fear of sexual intercourse
colloquist: n. - a speaker in a dialogue (or colloquy)
colloquy: n. - 1. a formal, high-level, or serious conversation: colloquium, conference, debate, dialogue, discussion, forum, seminar, symposium 2. a gathering for discussion of theological questions 3. (Congress) a pre-scripted floor dialogue between the chairman of a committee and another congressman, conducted to clarify the intent behind certain provisions for purposes of legislative history 4. a discussion during a hearing between the judge and the defendant usually to ascertain the defendant's understanding of his or her rights and of the court proceedings 5. a written work in the form of a dialogue, especially a literary work
colophon: n. - 1. an identifying symbol, image, or imprint used to identify the publisher of a book, often on the book's spine or title page: emblem, logo, trademark 2. (historical) a brief text at the end of a book that provides its publication information (information now typically placed on the title page)
combine: n. - a large piece of farm equipment used to harvest grain
commercial bank money: n. - money created through the process of fractional reserve banking (in which banks are allowed to loan out more money than they have on reserve) [see also: central bank money]
compendium: n. - 1. a concise but comprehensive summary of a larger work; an abstract 2. a list or collection of various items; a publication containing a variety of works
compunction: n. - 1. anxiety arising from awareness of guilt: regret 2. distress of mind over an anticipated action or result 3. a twinge of misgiving: doubt, qualm, scruple
concatenation: n. - a series or order of things depending on each other, as if linked together: chain, succession.
concinnity: n. - harmony or elegance of design especially of literary style in adaptation of parts to a while or to each other
concomitant: n. (see also adj.) - something that accompanies or is collaterally connected with something else: accompaniment
concordat: n. - 1. a formal agreement: compact, covenant 2. an agreement between the pope and a government for the regulation of church affairs
confection: n. - 1. a sweet food or fancy dish prepared from a variety of ingredients 2. a food rich in sugar: candy, dessert 3. an elaborately constructed thing; a piece of fine craftsmanship 4. a frivolous, amusing, or contrived play, book, or other artistic or literary work
confidence man: n. - a person who uses a scam or confidence game to swindle others: con artist, con man, fraud, swindler
congeries: n. - the sum total of many different things taken together; a disorderly collection: aggregation, assortment, conglomeration, heap
conker: n. - (U.K.) a horse chestnut, without its spiny outer casing, used in the game of conkers
conkers: n. - (U.K.) a game, usually for two people, each with a conker threaded onto a string, in which players try to smash the opponent's conker by hitting it with their own (the game used to be played with snail shells instead of horse chestnuts)
conquian: n. - a card game for two played with 40 cards from which all games of rummy developed
Conservative Judaism: n. - the branch of Judaism that accepts most of the principles and practices of traditional Judaism but supports the modification and relaxing of certain Mosaic laws (when authorized by the Conservative rabbinate) in order to fit modern circumstances, such as some of the dietary laws [see also: Orthodox Judaism and Reform Judaism]
consonance: n. - 1. agreement or harmony: accord 2. (Rhetoric) the repetition of similar-sounding consonants, especially at the ends of words in prose or verse, such as between "strong" and "ring" [see also: alliteration, assonance, consonance] 3. a combination of notes that sound pleasing when played simultaneously: concordance, harmoniousness [antonym: dissonance]
consubstantiation: n. - (Protestantism) the doctrine, proposed by Martin Luther, that the substance of the body and blood of Jesus coexists with the substance of the consecrated bread and wine in Eucharist [antonym: transubstantiation]
conurbation: n. - a collection or continuous network of urban communities
convalescence: n. - the period needed for gradually regaining one's health and strength after an illness, an injury, or a surgical operation, often involving bed rest: recovery, recuperation
conventicle: n. - a secret or unauthorized religious meeting, especially an illegal one, such as those held by dissenters (Quakers) in England and Scotland in the 16th and 17th centuries
coolie: n. - 1. in South Asia, China, and parts of East and Southeast Asia, an offensive term for a local man hired cheaply to do manual labor 2. an offensive term for somebody brought to the United States from China during the 19th century to construct railroads, or generally any person brought from the far east to do physical labor 3. an offensive term for an employee who is treated as merely one of many unworthy of concern 4. (drug slang) a cigarette laced with cocaine
coquette: n. (see also v.) - a woman who makes teasing sexual or romantic proposals without sincere intent or affection; a vain, trifling woman, who endeavors to attract admiration in order to gratify vanity: heartbreaker, minx, player, seducer, siren, tease, vamp, vixen
cordon: n. (see also v.) - 1. a line of police officers, soldiers, other guards, or their vehicles surrounding an area or building in order to restrict access to it: barrier, blockade 2. a cord, ribbon, or braid worn as a decoration or for fastening: band, belt 3. a ribbon worn as a sign of rank or as a badge of honor, especially one worn diagonally across the breast 4. (Horticulture) a fruit tree, such as an apple or pear tree, trained to grow as a single ropelike stem at an angle against a support. Its side branches are removed by pruning, but it bears fruiting spurs. Cordons take less space and crop earlier than most other forms of trees, but their fruit yields are smaller per tree {images: photograph, drawing, forms of fruit trees} 5. (Architecture) a decorative horizontal band or molding which projects along the face of a brick or stone wall: band course, belt course, stringcourse {images: 1 & 2}
corm: n. - (Botany) a short, thick, round underground stem used by some plants (usually monocots) to store food for the plant during their dormant stage. Once awoken from their dormant stage, they produce leaves and buds on the upper surface and roots from the lower. Corms are similar to bulbs except that they are solid rather than made up of leaflike layers. Plants which use corms include the crocus, the gladiolus, and the cyclamen
cormorant: n. - 1. a large dark-colored bird with a long neck, a slender hooked bill, and short legs that lives near the ocean and eats fish. It also has a pouch or sac under its beak that can expand for swallowing or holding fish 2. somebody considered greedy or rapacious: shag {images: standing, diving}
corniche: n. - 1. a road that winds along the side of a steep coast or cliff 2. a very expensive convertible produced by Rollz Royce in the '60s and '70s
corpulence: n. - the condition of being excessively fat: obesity
corpus callosum: n. - the thick, white band of nerve fibers connecting the right and left halves of the brain in humans and other mammals
cortege: n. - 1. the group following and attending to some important person: entourage, retinue 2. a funeral procession
Corybant: n. (see also adj.) - one of the attendants or priests of the Phrygian goddess Cybele, noted for wildly emotional processions and rites including lively music and ecstatic dances
cosmogony: n. (see also adj.) - 1. the branch of astrophysics that studies the origin, evolution and structure of the universe 2. the creation or origin of the world or universe 3. a specific theory or model of the origin and evolution of the universe
cotillion: n. - 1. a formal dance or ball, especially one at which young ladies are presented to society 2. a lively, complex dance which originated in France and is related to the quadrille, it was popular in the 18th century 3. a piece of music used for the French dance mentioned above
coulrophobia: n. - fear of clowns
courseware: n. - educational software
covey: n. - 1. a family or small flock of game birds (especially partridge, grouse, or quail) 2. a small group, as of people
crampons: n. - (Mountaineering) metal frames or plates with steel spikes that are strapped to the bottom of boots in order to provide traction (and prevent slipping) when climbing on ice and snow: climbing iron {images: separate from boot, strapped to boots}
cravat: n. - a scarf or band of fabric worn around a man's neck, tied in a slipknot with the long ends overlapping vertically in front, usually tucked inside an open-necked shirt or formal vest: neckerchief, tie {image}
cravat bandage: n. - a bandage made by bringing the point of a triangular bandage to the middle of the base and then folding lengthwise to the desired width {image}
craven: n. (see also adj.) - a complete coward: chicken, milquetoast, poltroon, pansy, scaredy-cat, sissy, wuss, yellow belly
creel: n. - 1. a large wicker basket worn on the back or suspended from the shoulder, used especially by anglers (people trying to catch fish using a rod, line and hook) for carrying fish 2. a wicker trap for catching fish or lobsters 3. a rack, bar, or set of bars in a spinning machine which holds the bobbins or spools
crinoline: n. - 1. an open-weave fabric of horsehair or cotton that is usually stiffened and used especially for some women's hats and between the fabric and lining of a curtain or piece of clothing to make it thicker or warmer 2. a full, stiff skirt or underskirt made of crinoline: hoopskirt
crisp sets: n. - (Fuzzy Logic) the term used in fuzzy logic to describe traditional set theory. That is, an object either belongs to a set, or does not
crosier: n. - (also spelled 'crozier') 1. a staff with a shepherd's crook or a cross at the end, carried by or before an abbot, bishop, or archbishop as a symbol of office {images: 1 & 2} 2. a part of a plant that has a curled end, for example, the frond of a fern {image}
crotchet: n. - 1. a highly individual and usually eccentric opinion or preference: eccentricity, kink, kinkiness, quirk, twist 2. a peculiar trick or device
crotchfruit: n. - a child or children. Perhaps inspired by the expression the fruit of one's loins, this term began among supporters of child-free public spaces, but has since spread to parents who use it jokingly: anklebiters, crib lizards, offspring, semen demons, spawn, rug rats
cryptogram: n. - a text or message that is in code or cipher (for example, the cryptogram "mutcpimmuq" represents "longfellow" where m = l, u = o, etc.)
cud: n. - 1. food regurgitated from the first stomach to the mouth and chewed again (as cattle do) 2. something held in the mouth and chewed, such as a wad of tobacco
cull: n. (see also v.) - something picked out from others, especially something rejected because of inferior quality
cultigen: n. - see cultivar
cultivar: n. - (Horticulture) a plant variety that is not found in the wild because it was selectively bred or cultivated by people. Most of these "man-made" plants are plants of commerce that have specifically selected traits. For example, cultivated wheat, unlike wild wheat, has grains that remain attached to the ear and do not scatter once they have reached maturity. Other cultivars include broccoli and cauliflower (which were produced through the selective breeding of kale), kidney beans, and bananas. Some especially old cultivars, such as maize, have no known wild ancestor. Cultivars are examples of human-directed macro-evolution. The word 'cultivar' is literally a shortening of "cultivated variety": cultigen
cum licentia: n. - (Latin) printed in old books to inform readers that the work was published with the approval of existing ecclesiastical or secular (usually royal) authorities. The Roman Catholic Church still requires "imprimatur" and "nihil obstat" in books representing its official teachings; literally, "with license": cum privilegio, imprimatur, nihil obstat
cumshaw: n. - 1. a material favor or gift, usually money, given in return for service: bonus, gratuity, largess, tip, present 2. a payoff: bribe
cum privilegio: n. - (Latin) printed in old books to inform readers that the work was published with the approval of existing ecclesiastical or secular (usually royal) authorities. The Roman Catholic Church still requires "imprimatur" and "nihil obstat" in books representing its official teachings; literally, "with permission": cum licentia, imprimatur, nihil obstat
cunnilingus: n. - sexual stimulation of a woman's genitals using the tongue and lips
cupidity: n. - eager or excessive desire, especially for wealth: avarice, greed
cupola: n. - 1. a vertical, cylindrical furnace for melting iron for casting 2. a roof in the form of a dome 3. a small, round, domed structure on a tracked, armored vehicle (as for observation)
curé: n. - a parish priest in a French-speaking country: vicar
curettage: n. - the removal of tissue or growths from the interior of a body cavity, such as the uterus, by scraping with a curette
curling: n. - a game played on ice by two teams of four players each, in which a heavy, thick disk of stone or iron (the curling stone) is slid toward a target circle at the other end of the rink: players may sweep the ice before the moving disk to remove ice particles and other foreign matter and control the course and speed of the disk
curriculum vitae: n. - a summary of a person's education, previous occupations, and skills sent with a job application: résumé
cynosure: n. - 1. anything which strongly calls attention to itself; a center of attraction 2. something which serves to guide or direct 3. [Capitalized] the northern constellation Ursa Minor, which contains the North Star; also, the North Star itself
cypre: n. - large tropical American tree grown for its abundant, creamy white flowers and valuable wood
cytogenetics: n. - the branch of biology that studies the cellular aspects of heredity (especially chromosomes)
cytology: n. - the branch of biology that studies the structure and function of cells