When I was in high school and even more insufferable than I am now, a friend and I started a tumblr called "sun words". The concept of this was to collect words that we discovered that were particularly succulent or mellifluous. 1
I have found myself learning more and more words recently. This is fun and good: I was worried for a while that my days of adapting and playing with the English language were largely behind me. I thought it would be interesting and illustrative to collect a list of the words I've learned recently alongside the sources from which I've gleaned them.
When I first started building this catalog, I expected the plurality to be from the NYT crossword 2, and the data appears to bear that out:
a tall fern with coarse lobed fronds, which occurs worldwide and can cover large areas.
caramelized sugar, deglazed with vinegar or other sour liquids, used as a sweet and sour flavoring for sauces
a group of stable business enterprises in Germany, Austria and Switzerland that have proved successful in enduring economic change and turbulence
in the mythology of classical antiquity, was a bird of ill omen, the product of metamorphosis, that fed on human flesh and blood
A street market, particularly in Arabic- and Somali-speaking countries; a place where people buy and sell goods; a bazaar.
a slum or shantytown located within or on the outskirts of the country’s large cities
a small round boat made of wickerwork covered with a watertight material, propelled with a paddle
showing an action or happening as being unfinished
the philosophical position that the question of the existence of God is meaningless
sentimental in a feeble or sickly way
a young hare in its first year
a supposed sexual energy or life force distributed throughout the universe that can be collected and stored (in an orgone box) for therapeutic use
a form of short aphoristic poem or rhyming aphorism
n uncontrollable urge to dance, especially in a frenzied, convulsive manner
the track or scent of an animal
knowledge of the world
revenue or a profit taken from the minting of coins, usually the difference between the value of the bullion used and the face value of the coin.
a cocktail prepared at room temperature
coinciding with reality
alcoholism, specifically in a form characterized by intermittent bouts of craving for alcohol.
a person having no faith or religious belief.
in an abnormal place or position
a suburb of a French city, especially Paris.
to make a grotesque face
apt in the circumstances or in relation to something.
a female parent; a mother
an inadequate blood supply to an organ or part of the body, especially the heart muscles
an antechamber, porch, or distinct area at the western entrance of some early Christian churches
the placing of clauses or phrases one after another, without words to indicate coordination or subordination, as in Tell me, how are you?
a tissue graft from a donor of the same species as the recipient but not genetically identical
a mixture of oil and balsam, consecrated and used for anointing at baptism
a fashionable milliner or dressmaker
an old car in a dilapidated condition
the policy or practice of more open consultative government and wider dissemination of information
the treatment of light and shade in drawing and painting.
an expression of adoration, praise, or joy
a detailed discussion of a particular point in a book, usually in an appendix.
a square dance performed typically by four couples and containing five figures, each of which is a complete dance in itself.
the mental process by which a person makes sense of an idea by assimilating it to the body of ideas he or she already possesses.
an elevator consisting of a series of linked doorless compartments moving continuously on an endless belt.
relating to or denoting laws that limit private expenditure on food and personal items
a decorated wooden framework supporting the coffin of a distinguished person during a funeral or while lying in state.
the interpretation of dreams in order to foretell the future.
the warmth of the sun in winter
the complete natural environment in which a particular wine is produced
the collection and study of birds' eggs especially in relation to their shape and coloration
the study or contemplation of clouds
a typically Basque type of closed gastronomical society where men come together to cook, experiment with new ways of cooking, eat and socialize
a burglar or safecracker
a prop stick or sceptre with a carved head on it
a piece sung or played outdoors at dawn, usually as a compliment to someone
a selection of passages from an author or authors, designed to help in learning a language.
something that is simultaneously a whole in and of itself, as well as a part of a larger whole
a small trinket hidden in a king cake or similar dessert
pleasure in looking; in Freudian psychoanalytic theory, an infantile instinct
the state of being dull or lethargic
the death of cells which occurs as a normal and controlled part of an organism's growth or development.
a layer in an ocean or other body of water in which water density increases rapidly with depth.
the function or use of deictic words, forms, or expressions.
Of, or pertaining to goats; hircine
a stock character in medieval East Slavic legends, akin to a Western European knight-errant
a contradiction between two beliefs or conclusions that are in themselves reasonable; a paradox.
the state of being close to someone or something; proximity.
(especially of vegetation) dry or withered
a condition in which a person with a disability is cognitively unaware of having it due to an underlying physical condition
take or claim (something) without justification.
a marine mollusk that has an oval flattened body with a shell of overlapping plates
a word that only appears once in a work of or genus of literature or in a body of work by a particular author
the investigation or attribution of the cause or reason for something, often expressed in terms of historical or mythical explanation.
the coexistence of many possible meanings for a word or phrase
to turn (something, such as a telescope or a ship's spar) about a fixed point that is usually the axis
a flat strip of land, raised bank, or terrace bordering a river or canal.
a bridge-like overhead structure with a platform supporting equipment such as a crane, railroad signals, lights, or cameras.
large, dark, basaltic plains on Earth's Moon, formed by ancient volcanic eruptions
to hide oneself in a corner
the practice of eating dry food, especially food cooked without oil
a speech or piece of writing that praises someone or something highly.
a space that intervenes between things
one that figures in a scene without speaking or without taking a prominent part
an agent that can disturb the development of the embryo or fetus
denoting or relating to the kind of language used by ordinary people; popular or colloquial.
capable of being molded; made of earth, clay, etc.; by a potter.
an angry and unpleasant woman
of little value or account; small; trifling
strong sexual desire; lust
an official list giving details of medicines that may be prescribed.
sexual interest in and attraction to those who commit crimes
in a direction contrary to the sun's course, considered as unlucky; counterclockwise.
to send forth sprouts, buds, etc.; germinate; sprout
an employee who does all kinds of work.
womanly qualities; womanhood.
having well-shaped buttocks
apparently attractive but having in reality no value or integrity.
a small translucent cover for protecting or forcing outdoor plants.
a movement in which one leg is moved outward from the body and in again
a noisy fight
concealment of one's thoughts, feelings, or character; pretense
the act of appeasing or making well-disposed a deity, thus incurring divine favor or avoiding divine retribution
having an increased inward curving of the lumbar spine
a small compartment below the deck in the after end of a vessel, used for stores.
incomprehensible or pretentious language, especially bureaucratic jargon.
the part of an automobile, typically an open car, occupied by the back seats
exuding fragrance : aromatic
to cut or thrust with a knife, esp when fighting
line (a room or wall) with wooden paneling
a relative whose kinship is traceable exclusively through males
characterized by melody; songlike
composure or coolness, sometimes excessive, as shown in danger or under trying circumstances.
bursting forth or through a surface
to blend; mix; meld. to meddle; concern oneself
denoting, made of, or having the color of gold
a strengthening crossbar, in particular one set above a window or door
a type of sledge used to carry goods, consisting of two joined poles pulled by a horse or dog.
of, relating to, or expressive of an agent or agency
vegetation consisting chiefly of tangled shrubs and thorny bushes.
a young woman with a mischievous, boyish charm
a form of worship consisting of special prayers or services on nine successive days.
related to kissing
having or showing an excessive or submissive fondness for one's wife
the state of being other or different; otherness.
to question (someone, such as a foreign minister) formally concerning an official action or policy or personal conduct
a projection from the wall of a building, typically supported from the ground or by corbels
an incorrect name for something
the point in the orbit of a planet, asteroid, or comet at which it is closest to the sun
placing undue emphasis on petty details
the study of deliberate, culturally-induced ignorance or doubt, typically to sell a product or win favour
the development of an individual organism or anatomical or behavioral feature from the earliest stage to maturity
of, relating to, or involving a hiatus
favorable to or promoting health or well-being
a fatal flaw leading to the downfall of a tragic hero or heroine.
a hymn or chant, typically with a biblical text, forming a regular part of a church service.
a room in a church where a priest prepares for a service, and where vestments and other things used in worship are kept.
a low bank or reef of coral, rock, or sand
a stupid, clumsy, or uncouth person
relating to duty and obligation as ethical concepts
a person in tattered clothing; a shabby person
a person who professes to prophesy through some divine or esoteric inspiration
a person who is self-indulgent in their fondness for sensuous luxury
a state of serene calmness
an ornamental hairnet or fabric bag worn over the hair at the back of a woman's head
traveling from place to place, in particular working or based in various places for relatively short periods.
a natural chamber or cavity in a bone or other anatomical structure
the presence of an abnormal number of chromosomes in a cell, for example a human cell having 45 or 47 chromosomes instead of the usual 46
a small stream
relating to or denoting birds of a large order distinguished by feet that are adapted for perching, including all songbirds.
a method of painting using opaque pigments ground in water and thickened with a gluelike substance.
a public speech or published text in praise of someone or something
something given off in as or as if in a stream
dark; shadowy or obscure
a woman who is the most respected or prominent person in a particular field
asymmetric in such a way that the structure and its mirror image are not superimposable
a grammatical mistake in speech or writing
a trait that has been co-opted for a use other than the one for which natural selection has built it
a person devoted to luxury and sensual pleasure
dress up or decorate gaudily.
a person whose diet consists only or principally of locally grown or produced food.
a motif or phrase that persistently repeats in the same musical voice and/or pitch
a strict disciplinarian, especially in the armed forces.
a fragrant essential oil, typically made from rose petals.
a rhetorical device wherein the speaker or writer brings up a subject by either denying it
a person who writes essays, particularly on literary and artistic criticism, that are composed and read primarily for their aesthetic effect
the sphere or realm of human consciousness
a group of cats
a scrap or remainder of food from a meal
a divine creative impulse or inspiration
to divest of sacred qualities or status
snoring; hardly breathing
the tendency to perceive meaningful connections between seemingly unrelated things
refusal to submit to established authority
a tall chest of drawers, often with a mirror on top.
strip (something) of its covering, possessions, or assets; make bare
a pestering, nagging, or irritating person; a bore.
make (rays of light or particles) accurately parallel
a flammable oil
craziness; senseless behavior or activity
the point of the celestial sphere from which the solar system is moving
able to undergo nuclear fission; easily split
to nag someone about paying a debt
having a sufficient number of members to constitute a quorum
a form of betting in which those backing the first three places divide the losers' stakes
the compulsion to write
the person who inherits or is entitled to inherit property upon the termination of the life estate of the former owner
a lover of rain
relating to or denoting a curve or surface which is closed and can be drawn or swept out in a single movement
the principle in Jewish law that the preservation of human life overrides virtually any other religious rule. When the life of a specific person is in danger, almost any mitzvah lo ta'aseh of the Torah becomes inapplicable
bake an egg without its shell
a hard igneous rock containing crystals, usually of feldspar, in a fine-grained, typically reddish groundmass.
needlessly wordy or redundant (“I heard it with my own ears”)
the state of being normally responsive to and in harmony with the environment
the commercially valueless material in which ore is found
the part of the fruit formed from the wall of the ripened ovary
harshness of tone or manner
a short-handled riding whip with a braided leather lash
the condition or state of something being cryptic
someone who is irrationally afraid of cats
a person, such as a monk or nun, who has made vows of dedication to religious service
to heat something and allow it to cool slowly, in order to remove internal stresses and toughen it.
an inhabitant of a town or borough with full rights of citizenship
the reversion of property to the state on the owner's dying without legal heirs
an entertaining and rousing speech
the process of exact thinking
a beneficed member of the clergy; a rector or a vicar
swimming or afloat
a covering protecting plants or perishables from rough temperatures or weather
a state or condition of sluggishness, inactivity, or torpor exhibited by reptiles
report or represent in outline
a feeling of offense or deep resentment
related to the north; northern
a sail designed specifically for sailing off the wind
a unit of cognitive information inside the brain
an embryonic leaf in seed-bearing plants
denoting an animal with gray/silvery hair
an example or instance of a word/phrase at a date earlier than previously known
the battlements of a castle or other building
a small or slender fiber
the action of bending or the condition of being bent
a hinged surface in the trailing edge of an airplane wing, used to control lateral balance
the making of false and defamatory statements about someone in order to damage their reputation; slander.
a miniscule or slight vibration
to bungle (ie a task)
relating to hairdressing
whispering, murmuring, or rustling.
of or pertaining to gravity
a tunnel carrying a stream or open drain under a road or railroad
an inquisitive and gossipy person
feel happy and proud
be able to connect, communicate, or exchange data
an unstable subatomic particle of the same class as an electron
an assembly of all the members of a group or committee
boastful or inflated talk or behavior.
aiming at peace
a specialist in geometry (i.e. for mapmaking or exploration)
to discharge, as from the body; void (opposed to ingest)
feeling or expressing great sorrow or distress.
a type of rotorcraft that uses an unpowered rotor in free autorotation to develop lift
a newborn child
an arrangement of five objects with four at the corners of a square or rectangle and the fifth at its center
the retention of juvenile features in the adult animal
new or modern; recent
a procedure for restoring normal heart rhythm
mild and peaceful
hard to interpret; enigmatic
strike and rebound
exerting a detrimental effect on later generations through the inheritance of undesirable characteristics
rich with, covered in, or heavily producing oil or grease
root out and destroy completely
the hard white fat on the kidneys and loins of cattle, sheep, and other animals, used to make foods including puddings, pastry, and mincemeat
the entrails and internal organs of an animal used as food.
a single cell or cytoplasmic mass containing several nuclei, formed by fusion of cells or by division of nuclei
a cable railroad, especially one on a mountainside, in which ascending and descending cars are counterbalanced.
leading to salvation
a book containing the texts used in the Catholic Mass throughout the year
an irresolvable internal contradiction or logical disjunction in a text, argument, or theory
(relating to a woman’s appearance) dirty and untidy
concerning, belonging to, or inhabiting the underworld.
a person who enjoys watching activity on the canals of the United Kingdom
the doctrine of salvation
a difficult choice from three options, each of which is (or appears) unacceptable or unfavourable
relating to nourishment or sustenance.
covered with or characterized by scales
a helpful companion or partner, especially one's husband or wife.
a non-technical edema
a rudimentary inner toe present in some dogs
a low dam built across a river to raise the water level upstream
naturally accompanying or associated
a person who appears to enjoy being depressed, esp a performer of or listener to gloomy music
economic independence or self-sufficiency
turn or slide violently or uncontrollably in a particular direction.
potentially marketable as a toy or having merchandising potential
to solve, write, or compose by working studiously at all hours
having a strong urge to write
a species of large antelopes
a rite of purification, especially washing
slow and gloomy
free from hair or down; smooth
a small enclosure or booth in a theatre or arena
to laugh loudly or immoderately
one who varies from the norm
the last six lines of a sonnet
having little or no money
seeking to impose a doctrine in all circumstances without regard to practical considerations.
invent excuses to avoid a task; shirk.
a carved tablet or drawing representing a scroll with rolled-up ends
kettledrums, especially when played by one musician in an orchestra
a type of raccoon with a long snout and a striped tail
know-it-all, wiseguy, wiseacre, smart aleck
a miscellaneous collection of things
a place for studying
carried reference book
short, witty aphorism
strange; unfamiliar; marvelous
a ski run of compacted snow.
native to the place where found (ant. allochthonous)
an organized society; a state as a political entity
a floating piece of ice detached from an iceberg.