Dragonfly in Amber Terms

Abattoir — a slaughterhouse

Abeyance — a state of temporary disuse or suspension

Acerbic — sharp and forthright

Antimacassar — a piece of cloth put over the back of a chair to protect it from grease and dirt or as an ornament

Appurtenance — an accessory or other item associated with a particular activity or style of living

Arcana — secrets or mysteries

Ardor — enthusiasm or passion

Asceticism — severe self-discipline and avoidance of all forms of indulgence, typically for religious reasons

Avarice — extreme greed for wealth or material gain

Baize — a coarse, typically green woolen material resembling felt, used for covering billiard and card tables

Baldachin — a ceremonial canopy of stone, metal, or fabric over an altar, throne, or doorway

Ballast — heavy material, such as gravel, sand, iron, or lead, placed low in a vessel to improve its stability

Barmy — mad; crazy; extremely foolish

Benight — to envelop in intellectual, moral, or social darkness

Bilboquet — a device having a cup or spike at the top of a stick to which is attached a ball on a string

Bollard — a short, thick post on the deck of a ship or on a wharf, to which a ship’s rope may be secured

Bonhomie — cheerful friendliness; geniality

Bowsprit — a spar extending forward from a ship’s bow, to which the forestays are fastened

Breviary — a book containing the service for each day, to be recited by those in orders in the Roman Catholic Church

Carbolic — pertaining to, or designating, an acid derived from coal tar and other sources; as, carbolic acid

Chancel — the part of a church near the altar, reserved for the clergy and choir, and typically separated from the nave by steps or a screen

Chirurgeon — a doctor or a surgeon

Cicatrice — the scar of a healed wound

Coiffure — a person’s hairstyle, typically an elaborate one

Consternation — feelings of anxiety or dismay, typically at something unexpected

Corpulent — fat

Coterie — a small group of people with shared interests or tastes, especially one that is exclusive of other people

Deliquesce — become liquid, typically during decomposition

Depilate — remove the hair from

Desultory — lacking a plan, purpose, or enthusiasm

Digitalin — a drug containing the active constituents of digitalis

Dishabille — the state of being only partly or scantily clothed

Expectorate — cough or spit out (phlegm) from the throat or lungs

Fauteuil — a wooden seat in the form of an armchair with open sides and upholstered arms

Filial — of or due from a son or daughter

Flotsam — the wreckage of a ship or its cargo found floating on or washed up by the sea

Foment — instigate or stir up (an undesirable or violent sentiment or course of action)

Freshet — the flood of a river from heavy rain or melted snow

Friable — easily crumbled

Fustian — thick, durable twilled cloth with a short nap, usually dyed in dark colors

Greensward — grass-covered ground

Habiliment — clothing

Impecunious — having little or no money

Insouciance — casual lack of concern; indifference

Intaglio — a design incised or engraved into a material

Irremediable — impossible to cure or put right

Mellifluous — (of a voice or words) sweet or musical; pleasant to hear

Mendacity — untruthfulness

Morass — 1) an area of muddy or boggy ground, 2) a complicated or confused situation

Nacreous — relating to or consisting of mother-of-pearl. having the lustre of mother-of-pearl

Ochre — an earthy pigment containing ferric oxide, typically with clay, varying from light yellow to brown or red

Panoply — a complete or impressive collection of things

Parterre — 1) a level space in a garden or yard occupied by an ornamental arrangement of flower beds

Pellucid — translucently clear

Pendulous —  hanging down loosely

Pennon — a long triangular or swallow-tailed flag, especially one of a kind formerly attached to a lance or helmet; a pennant

Peregrination — a journey, especially a long or meandering on

Piscina — a stone basin near the altar in Catholic and pre-Reformation churches for draining water used in the Mass

Plaudit — an expression of praise or approval

Plimsoll — a light rubber-soled canvas shoe, worn especially for sports

Potation — the action of drinking alcohol

Postprandial — during or relating to the period after dinner or lunch

Postulant — a candidate, especially one seeking admission into a religious order

Prestidigitation — magic tricks performed as entertainment

Protuberance — a thing that protrudes from something else

Prow — the portion of a ship’s bow above water

Rakish — having or displaying a dashing, jaunty, or slightly disreputable quality or appearance

Remuneration — money paid for work or a service

Reticent — not revealing one’s thoughts or feelings readily

Sartorial — relating to tailoring, clothes, or style of dress

Saturnine — slow and gloomy

Scimitar — a short sword with a curved blade that broadens toward the point, used originally in Eastern countries

Scintilla — a tiny trace or spark of a specified quality or feeling

Semaphore — a system of sending messages by holding the arms or two flags or poles in certain positions according to an alphabetic code

Simulacrum — an unsatisfactory imitation or substitute

Squamosal — the squamous portion of the temporal bone, especially when this forms a separate bone which, in mammals, articulates with the lower jaw

Stentorian — loud and powerful

Stevedore — a person employed, or a contractor engaged, at a dock to load and unload cargo from ships

Subversive — seeking or intended to subvert an established system or institution

Tarpaulin — heavy-duty waterproof cloth, originally of tarred canvas

Teetotaler — a person who never drinks alcohol

Transom — the flat surface forming the stern of a boat

Turbot — a European flatfish of inshore waters, which has large bony tubercles on the body and is prized as food

Umbrage — offense or annoyance

Unexpurgated — complete and containing all the original material; uncensored

Vellum — fine parchment made originally from the skin of a calf

Viscera — the internal organs in the main cavities of the body, especially those in the abdomen, e.g. the intestines

Voluptuary — a person devoted to luxury and sensual pleasure

Widdershins — in a direction contrary to the sun’s course, considered as unlucky; counterclockwise

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