Nouns denoting communicative processes and contents

1 Esdras
an Apocryphal book consisting of a compilation from I Chronicles and II Chronicles and Ezra and Nehemiah
 
12-tone music
a type of serial music introduced by Arnold Schoenberg; uses a tone row formed by the twelve semitones of the chromatic scale (and inverted or backward versions of the row)
 
1st class
mail that includes letters and postcards and packages sealed against inspection
 
A
the 1st letter of the Roman alphabet
 
a la carte
a menu having individual dishes listed with separate prices
 
A-list
a list of names of specially favored people
 
ABA transit number
an identification number consisting of a two-part code assigned to banks and savings associations; the first part shows the location and the second identifies the bank itself
 
abbreviation
a shortened form of a word or phrase
 
abdication
the act of abdicating
 
abdication
a formal resignation and renunciation of powers
 
abecedarius
a poem having lines beginning with letters of the alphabet in regular order
 
abetment
the verbal act of urging on
 
abjuration
a disavowal or taking back of a previous assertion
 
Abkhazian
a Circassian language spoken by the Abkhaz
 
ablative absolute
a constituent in Latin grammar; a noun and its modifier can function as a sentence modifier
 
ablative
the case indicating the agent in passive sentences or the instrument or manner or place of the action described by the verb
 
ablaut
a vowel whose quality or length is changed to indicate linguistic distinctions (such as sing sang sung song)
 
Abnaki
the Algonquian language spoken by the Abnaki and Penobscot
 
abnegation
the denial and rejection of a doctrine or belief
 
Aboriginal Australian
the Austronesian languages spoken by Australian aborigines
 
above
an earlier section of a written text
 
abracadabra
gibberish and nonsense
 
abridgement
a shortened version of a written work
 
absentee ballot
(election) a ballot that is cast while absent (usually mailed in prior to election day)
 
abstract
a sketchy summary of the main points of an argument or theory
 
absurdity
a message whose content is at variance with reason
 
abuse
a rude expression intended to offend or hurt
 
academic degree
an award conferred by a college or university signifying that the recipient has satisfactorily completed a course of study
 
Academy Award
an annual award by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for achievements in motion picture production and performance
 
acatalectic
(prosody) a line of verse that has the full number of syllables
 
accent
a diacritical mark used to indicate stress or placed above a vowel to indicate a special pronunciation
 
accent
the usage or vocabulary that is characteristic of a specific group of people
 
accent
the relative prominence of a syllable or musical note (especially with regard to stress or pitch)
 
accent
distinctive manner of oral expression
 
accentual system
the system of accentuation used in a particular language
 
accentuation
the use or application of an accent; the relative prominence of syllables in a phrase or utterance
 
acceptance
(contract law) words signifying consent to the terms of an offer (thereby creating a contract)
 
acceptation
the accepted meaning of a word
 
access
a code (a series of characters or digits) that must be entered in some way (typed or dialed or spoken) to get the use of something (a telephone line or a computer or a local area network etc.)
 
accession
agreeing with or consenting to (often unwillingly)
 
acciaccatura
an embellishing note usually written in smaller size
 
accidental
a musical notation that makes a note sharp or flat or natural although that is not part of the key signature
 
acclaim
enthusiastic approval
 
accolade
a tangible symbol signifying approval or distinction
 
accommodation
a settlement of differences
 
accompaniment
a musical part (vocal or instrumental) that supports or provides background for other musical parts
 
accord and satisfaction
the settlement of a debt by paying less than the amount demanded in exchange for extinguishing the debt
 
accord
concurrence of opinion
 
accord
a written agreement between two states or sovereigns
 
account
an itemized statement of money owed for goods shipped or services rendered
 
account
a record or narrative description of past events
 
account
a statement that makes something comprehensible by describing the relevant structure or operation or circumstances etc.
 
account
a short account of the news
 
account
the act of informing by verbal report
 
accounting
a convincing explanation that reveals basic causes
 
accusal
a formal charge of wrongdoing brought against a person; the act of imputing blame or guilt
 
accusation
an assertion that someone is guilty of a fault or offence
 
accusative
the case of nouns serving as the direct object of a verb
 
Achomawi
the Shastan language spoken by the Achomawi
 
acid rock
a musical style that emerged in the 1960s; rock music inspired by or related to drug-induced experience
 
acknowledgement
a statement acknowledging something or someone
 
acknowledgment
a short note recognizing a source of information or of a quoted passage
 
acoustic buoy
a buoy that can be heard (at night)
 
acquiescence
agreement with a statement or proposal to do something
 
acquisition agreement
contract governing the merger of two or more companies
 
acquittance
a legal document evidencing the discharge of a debt or obligation
 
acronym
a word formed from the initial letters of the several words in the name and pronounced as one word
 
acrophony
naming a letter of the alphabet by using a word whose initial sound is the sound represented by that letter
 
acrostic
verse in which certain letters such as the first in each line form a word or message
 
acrostic
a puzzle where you fill a square grid with words reading the same down as across
 
act
a subdivision of a play or opera or ballet
 
act
a manifestation of insincerity
 
act
a short performance that is part of a longer program
 
act
a legal document codifying the result of deliberations of a committee or society or legislative body
 
acting out
(psychiatry) the display of previously inhibited emotions (often in actions rather than words); considered to be healthy and therapeutic
 
acting out
a (usually irritating) impulsive and uncontrollable outburst by a problem child or a neurotic adult
 
action
the series of events that form a plot
 
active application
an application that is currently running and in the foreground
 
actor's line
words making up the dialogue of a play
 
Acts of the Apostles
a New Testament book describing the development of the early church from Christ's Ascension to Paul's sojourn at Rome
 
acute
a mark placed above a vowel to indicate pronunciation
 
ad
a public promotion of some product or service
 
ad-lib
remark made spontaneously without prior preparation
 
adage
a condensed but memorable saying embodying some important fact of experience that is taken as true by many people
 
adagio
(music) a composition played in adagio tempo (slowly and gracefully)
 
adaptation
a written work (as a novel) that has been recast in a new form
 
add-on
a software module that extends or enhances the capabilities of an existing application
 
addendum
textual matter that is added onto a publication; usually at the end
 
Additions to Esther
an Apocryphal book consisting of text added to the Book of Esther
 
address
the manner of speaking to another individual
 
address
a sign in front of a house or business carrying the conventional form by which its location is described
 
address
(computer science) the code that identifies where a piece of information is stored
 
address
written directions for finding some location; written on letters or packages that are to be delivered to that location
 
address
the act of delivering a formal spoken communication to an audience
 
adducing
citing as evidence or proof
 
adhesion contract
a contract that heavily restricts one party while leaving the other free (as some standard form printed contracts); implies inequality in bargaining power
 
adieu
a farewell remark
 
adjective
the word class that qualifies nouns
 
adjective
a word that expresses an attribute of something
 
adjunct
a construction that can be used to extend the meaning of a word or phrase but is not one of the main constituents of a sentence
 
adjuration
a solemn and earnest appeal to someone to do something
 
admission
an acknowledgment of the truth of something
 
admonishment
a firm rebuke
 
admonition
cautionary advice about something imminent (especially imminent danger or other unpleasantness)
 
adnoun
an adjective used as a noun
 
Adonic line
a verse line with a dactyl followed by a spondee or trochee; supposedly used in laments by Adonis
 
adulation
servile flattery; exaggerated and hypocritical praise
 
advance
a tentative suggestion designed to elicit the reactions of others
 
advancement
encouragement of the progress or growth or acceptance of something
 
adventure story
a story of an adventure
 
adverb
a word that modifies something other than a noun
 
adverb
the word class that qualifies verbs or clauses
 
adverbial
a word or group of words function as an adverb
 
adverse opinion
an opinion concerning financial statements (usually based on an audit by a CPA) that the statements as a whole do not present results fairly or are not in conformity with the generally accepted accounting practices of the United States
 
advertorial
an advertisement that is written and presented in the style of an editorial or journalistic report
 
advice
a proposal for an appropriate course of action
 
advice and consent
a legal expression in the United States Constitution that allows the Senate to constrain the President's powers of appointment and treaty-making
 
advisory
an announcement that usually advises or warns the public of some threat
 
Aeneid
an epic in Latin by Virgil; tells the adventures of Aeneas after the Trojan War; provides an illustrious historical background for the Roman Empire
 
Aeolic dialect
the dialect of Ancient Greek spoken in Thessaly and Boeotia and Aeolis
 
aerogram
a letter sent by air mail
 
Aesop's fables
a collection of fables believed to have been written by the Greek storyteller Aesop
 
aether
a medium that was once supposed to fill all space and to support the propagation of electromagnetic waves
 
affected role
the semantic role of an entity that is not the agent but is directly involved in or affected by the happening denoted by the verb in the clause
 
affidavit
written declaration made under oath; a written statement sworn to be true before someone legally authorized to administer an oath
 
affirmation
(religion) a solemn declaration that serves the same purpose as an oath (if an oath is objectionable to the person on religious or ethical grounds)
 
affirmation
the act of affirming or asserting or stating something
 
affirmation
a statement asserting the existence or the truth of something
 
affirmative
a reply of affirmation
 
affirmative action
a policy designed to redress past discrimination against women and minority groups through measures to improve their economic and educational opportunities
 
affirmative pleading
any defensive pleading that affirms facts rather than merely denying the facts alleged by the plaintiff
 
affix
a linguistic element added to a word to produce an inflected or derived form
 
affray
noisy quarrel
 
affricate
a composite speech sound consisting of a stop and a fricative articulated at the same point (as `ch' in `chair' and `j' in `joy')
 
affrication
the conversion of a simple stop consonant into an affricate
 
Afghani
an Iranian language spoken in Afghanistan and Pakistan; the official language of Afghanistan
 
African American Vernacular English
a nonstandard form of American English characteristically spoken by African Americans in the United States
 
African-American music
music created by African-American musicians; early forms were songs that had a melodic line and a strong rhythmic beat with repeated choruses
 
Afrikaans
an official language of the Republic of South Africa; closely related to Dutch and Flemish
 
Afroasiatic language
a large family of related languages spoken both in Asia and Africa
 
afternoon
a conventional expression of greeting or farewell
 
afterpiece
a brief dramatic piece (usually comic) presented after a play
 
age limit
regulation establishing the maximum age for doing something or holding some position
 
agenda item
one of the items to be considered
 
agenda
a list of matters to be taken up (as at a meeting)
 
agent
the semantic role of the animate entity that instigates or causes the happening denoted by the verb in the clause
 
Agha
title for a civil or military leader (especially in Turkey)
 
agitprop
political propaganda (especially communist propaganda) communicated via art and literature and cinema
 
agnomen
an additional name or an epithet appended to a name (as in `Ferdinand the Great')
 
Agnus Dei
a liturgical prayer beginning with these Latin words
 
agony column
a newspaper column devoted to personal problems
 
agrapha
sayings of Jesus not recorded in the canonical Gospels
 
agreement
the verbal act of agreeing
 
agreement
the statement (oral or written) of an exchange of promises
 
ahem
the utterance of a sound similar to clearing the throat; intended to get attention, express hesitancy, fill a pause, hide embarrassment, warn a friend, etc.
 
ahimsa
a Buddhist and Hindu and especially Jainist doctrine holding that all forms of life are sacred and urging the avoidance of violence
 
aide-memoire
a memorandum summarizing the items of an agreement (used especially in diplomatic communications)
 
air alert
the warning signal that begins a period of preparation for an enemy air attack
 
air mail
mail that is sent by air transport
 
Air Medal
a United States Air Force decoration for meritorious achievement while participating in an aerial flight
 
air sock
a truncated cloth cone mounted on a mast; used (e.g., at airports) to show the direction of the wind
 
air
medium for radio and television broadcasting
 
air
a succession of notes forming a distinctive sequence
 
airing
the opening of a subject to widespread discussion and debate
 
airmail
letters and packages that are transported by aircraft
 
airmail
a system of conveying mail by aircraft
 
airplane ticket
a ticket good for a trip on an airplane
 
Akan
a Kwa language spoken in Ghana and the Ivory Coast
 
Akkadian
an ancient branch of the Semitic languages
 
Akwa'ala
the Yuman language spoken by the Akwa'ala
 
al-Qur'an
the sacred writings of Islam revealed by God to the prophet Muhammad during his life at Mecca and Medina
 
Alabama
the Muskhogean language of the Alabama
 
alarm bell
the sound of an alarm (usually a bell)
 
alarm
an automatic signal (usually a sound) warning of danger
 
alarmism
needless warnings
 
Albanian
the Indo-European language spoken by the people of Albania
 
album
one or more recordings issued together; originally released on 12-inch phonograph records (usually with attractive record covers) and later on cassette audiotape and compact disc
 
Alcaic verse
verse in the meter used in Greek and Latin poetry consisting of strophes of 4 tetrametric lines; reputedly invented by Alcaeus
 
aleatory contract
a contract whose performance by one party depends on the occurrence of an uncertain contingent event (but if it is contingent on the outcome of a wager it is not enforceable)
 
aleph
the 1st letter of the Hebrew alphabet
 
alert
a warning serves to make you more alert to danger
 
Aleut
the language spoken by the Aleut
 
Alexandrine
(prosody) a line of verse that has six iambic feet
 
algebraic language
an algorithmic language having statements that resemble algebraic expressions
 
ALGOL
(from a combination of ALGOrithmic and Language); a programming language used to express computer programs as algorithms
 
Algonkian
the Algonquian language spoken by the Algonkian
 
Algonquian language
family of North American Indian languages spoken from Labrador to South Carolina and west to the Great Plains
 
algorism
the Arabic (or decimal) system of numeration
 
algorithmic language
an artificial language designed to express algorithms
 
alias
a name that has been assumed temporarily
 
alibi
(law) a defense by an accused person purporting to show that he or she could not have committed the crime in question
 
alibi
a defense of some offensive behavior or some failure to keep a promise etc.
 
aliyah
(Judaism) the honor of being called up to the reading desk in the synagogue to read from the Torah
 
all clear
permission to proceed because obstacles have been removed
 
all clear
a signal (usually a siren) that danger is over
 
alla breve
a musical time signature indicating two or four half notes to a measure
 
allegation
(law) a formal accusation against somebody (often in a court of law)
 
allegation
statements affirming or denying certain matters of fact that you are prepared to prove
 
allegory
an expressive style that uses fictional characters and events to describe some subject by suggestive resemblances; an extended metaphor
 
allegory
a short moral story (often with animal characters)
 
allegory
a visible symbol representing an abstract idea
 
allegretto
a musical composition or musical passage to be performed at a somewhat quicker tempo than andante but not as fast as allegro
 
allegro
a musical composition or musical passage to be performed quickly in a brisk lively manner
 
alliance
a formal agreement establishing an association or alliance between nations or other groups to achieve a particular aim
 
alliteration
use of the same consonant at the beginning of each stressed syllable in a line of verse
 
allocution
(rhetoric) a formal or authoritative address that advises or exhorts
 
allograph
a variant form of a grapheme, as `m' or `M' or a handwritten version of that grapheme
 
allograph
a signature written by one person for another
 
allomorph
a variant phonological representation of a morpheme
 
allophone
(linguistics) any of various acoustically different forms of the same phoneme
 
allusion
passing reference or indirect mention
 
almanac
an annual publication containing tabular information in a particular field or fields arranged according to the calendar of a given year
 
almanac
an annual publication including weather forecasts and other miscellaneous information arranged according to the calendar of a given year
 
aloha
an acknowledgment that can be used to say hello or goodbye (aloha is Hawaiian and ciao is Italian)
 
alpha
the 1st letter of the Greek alphabet
 
alpha and omega
the basic meaning of something; the crucial part
 
alpha privative
the negative prefix a- or un-
 
alpha software
a first release of a software product that is usually tested only by the developers
 
alphabet
a character set that includes letters and is used to write a language
 
alphabetic character
the conventional characters of the alphabet used to represent speech
 
alphabetic script
a writing system based on alphabetic characters
 
alphanumeric characters
a character set that includes letters and digits and punctuation
 
Altaic language
a group of related languages spoken in Asia and southeastern Europe
 
alternative pleading
a pleading that alleges facts so separate that it is difficult to determine which facts the person intends to rely on
 
alto clef
a clef that puts middle C on the third line of a staff
 
alto
the lowest female singing voice
 
alto
the highest adult male singing voice
 
alveolar
a consonant articulated with the tip of the tongue near the gum ridge
 
AM
modulation of the amplitude of the (radio) carrier wave
 
ambage
a style that involves indirect ways of expressing things
 
ambiguity
an expression whose meaning cannot be determined from its context
 
amen cadence
a cadence (frequently ending church music) in which the chord of the subdominant precedes the chord of the tonic
 
amended return
a tax return that corrects the information in an earlier return
 
amendment
a statement that is added to or revises or improves a proposal or document (a bill or constitution etc.)
 
American language
the English language as used in the United States
 
American sign language
the sign language used in the United States
 
American Standard Code for Information Interchange
(computer science) a code for information exchange between computers made by different companies; a string of 7 binary digits represents each character; used in most microcomputers
 
American Standard Version
a revised version of the King James Version
 
American-Indian language
any of the languages spoken by Amerindians
 
Americanism
an expression that is characteristic of English as spoken by Americans
 
amicus curiae brief
a brief presented by someone interested in influencing the outcome of a lawsuit but who is not a party to it
 
ammunition
information that can be used to attack or defend a claim or argument or viewpoint
 
amnesty
a warrant granting release from punishment for an offense
 
ampersand
a punctuation mark (&) used to represent conjunction (and)
 
amphibology
an ambiguous grammatical construction; e.g., `they are flying planes' can mean either that someone is flying planes or that something is flying planes
 
amphibrach
a metrical unit with unstressed-stressed-unstressed syllables (e.g., `remember')
 
amphigory
nonsensical writing (usually verse)
 
anacoluthia
an abrupt change within a sentence from one syntactic structure to another
 
anadiplosis
repetition of the final words of a sentence or line at the beginning of the next
 
anagram
a word or phrase spelled by rearranging the letters of another word or phrase
 
analecta
a collection of excerpts from a literary work
 
analysis
a form of literary criticism in which the structure of a piece of writing is analyzed
 
analysis
the use of closed-class words instead of inflections: e.g., `the father of the bride' instead of `the bride's father'
 
anamnesis
the case history of a medical patient as recalled by the patient
 
anapaest
a metrical unit with unstressed-unstressed-stressed syllables
 
anaphor
a word (such as a pronoun) used to avoid repetition; the referent of an anaphor is determined by its antecedent
 
anaphora
using a pronoun or similar word instead of repeating a word used earlier
 
anaphora
repetition of a word or phrase at the beginning of successive clauses
 
anaphoric pronoun
a pronoun that refers to an antecedent
 
anastrophe
the reversal of the normal order of words
 
anathema
a formal ecclesiastical curse accompanied by excommunication
 
Anatolian language
an extinct branch of the Indo-European family of languages known from inscriptions and important in the reconstruction of Proto-Indo European
 
anatomical
an expression that relates to anatomy
 
Ancient Greek
the Greek language prior to the Roman Empire
 
ancient history
a history of the ancient world
 
andante
a musical composition or musical passage to be performed moderately slow
 
anecdote
short account of an incident (especially a biographical one)
 
Angas
a Chadic language spoken in northern Nigeria and closely related to Hausa
 
Angelus
a prayer said 3 times a day by Roman Catholics in memory of the Annunciation
 
angle bracket
either of two punctuation marks (`<' or `>') used in computer programming and sometimes used to enclose textual material
 
Anglian
one of the major dialects of Old English
 
Anglo-Norman
the French (Norman) language used in medieval England
 
animadversion
harsh criticism or disapproval
 
animal communication
communication between animals (of the same species)
 
animated cartoon
a film made by photographing a series of cartoon drawings to give the illusion of movement when projected in rapid sequence
 
anime
a style of animation developed in Japan, characterized by stylized colorful art and often adult themes
 
annals
reports of the work of a society or learned body etc
 
annals
a chronological account of events in successive years
 
annotation
a comment or instruction (usually added)
 
announcement
a formal public statement
 
announcement
a public statement containing information about an event that has happened or is going to happen
 
annual
a reference book that is published regularly once every year
 
Annunciation
(Christianity) the announcement to the Virgin Mary by the angel Gabriel of the incarnation of Christ
 
anomalous communication
communication by paranormal means
 
anonym
a fictitious name used when the person performs a particular social role
 
anonymous file transfer protocol
a common way to make software available; users are allowed to log in as `guest' without a password and copy whatever has been made available
 
answer
the principal pleading by the defendant in response to plaintiff's complaint; in criminal law it consists of the defendant's plea of `guilty' or `not guilty' (or nolo contendere); in civil law it must contain denials of all allegations in the plaintiff's complaint that the defendant hopes to controvert and it can contain affirmative defenses or counterclaims
 
answer
the speech act of replying to a question
 
answer
a statement (either spoken or written) that is made to reply to a question or request or criticism or accusation
 
answer
a statement that solves a problem or explains how to solve the problem
 
antecedent
the referent of an anaphor; a phrase or clause that is referred to by an anaphoric pronoun
 
antepenult
the 3rd syllable of a word counting back from the end
 
anthem
a song of devotion or loyalty (as to a nation or school)
 
anthem
a song of praise (to God or to a saint or to a nation)
 
anthology
a collection of selected literary passages
 
anti-drug law
a law forbidding the sale or use of narcotic drugs
 
anti-virus program
a computer program that checks a computer for viruses and prevents their spread
 
anticlimax
a change from a serious subject to a disappointing one
 
Antido
an artificial language related to Ido
 
antigram
an anagram that means the opposite of the original word or phrase
 
antilog
the number of which a given number is the logarithm
 
antinomasia
substitution of a title for a name
 
antinomy
a contradiction between two statements that seem equally reasonable
 
antiphon
a verse or song to be chanted or sung in response
 
antiphonal
bound collection of antiphons
 
antiphony
alternate (responsive) singing by a choir in two parts
 
antiphrasis
the use of a word in a sense opposite to its normal sense (especially in irony)
 
antistrophe
the section of a choral ode answering a previous strophe in classical Greek drama; the second of two metrically corresponding sections in a poem
 
antithesis
the juxtaposition of contrasting words or ideas to give a feeling of balance
 
antitrust law
law intended to promote free competition in the market place by outlawing monopolies
 
antonym
a word that expresses a meaning opposed to the meaning of another word, in which case the two words are antonyms of each other
 
aorist
a verb tense in some languages (classical Greek and Sanskrit) expressing action (especially past action) without indicating its completion or continuation
 
Apache
the language of the Apache
 
apartheid
a social policy or racial segregation involving political and economic and legal discrimination against people who are not Whites; the former official policy in South Africa
 
apercu
a short synopsis
 
aphorism
a short pithy instructive saying
 
apocope
abbreviation of a word by omitting the final sound or sounds
 
Apocrypha
14 books of the Old Testament included in the Vulgate (except for II Esdras) but omitted in Jewish and Protestant versions of the Bible; eastern Christian churches (except the Coptic Church) accept all these books as canonical; the Russian Orthodox Church accepts these texts as divinely inspired but does not grant them the same status
 
apologia
a formal written defense of something you believe in strongly
 
apology
an expression of regret at having caused trouble for someone
 
apophasis
mentioning something by saying it will not be mentioned
 
aposiopesis
breaking off in the middle of a sentence (as by writers of realistic conversations)
 
apostrophe
address to an absent or imaginary person
 
apostrophe
the mark (') used to indicate the omission of one or more letters from a printed word
 
appeal
request for a sum of money
 
appeal
earnest or urgent request
 
appellation
a geographical indication used to identify where the grapes for a wine are grown
 
appellation
identifying word or words by which someone or something is called and classified or distinguished from others
 
appendix
supplementary material that is collected and appended at the back of a book
 
applause
a demonstration of approval by clapping the hands together
 
applesauce
nonsensical talk or writing
 
applet
a Java application; an application program that uses the client's web browser to provide a user interface
 
application
a verbal or written request for assistance or employment or admission to a school
 
application form
a form to use when making an application
 
application
a program that gives a computer instructions that provide the user with tools to accomplish a task
 
application-oriented language
a language whose statements resemble terminology of the user
 
appointment book
a book containing a calendar and space to keep a record of appointments
 
appraisal
a document appraising the value of something (as for insurance or taxation)
 
appreciation
an expression of gratitude
 
apprisal
informing by words
 
approbation
official recognition or approval
 
appropriation bill
a legislative act proposing to authorize the expenditure of public funds for a specified purpose
 
approval
a message expressing a favorable opinion
 
approximation
an imprecise or incomplete account
 
Arabian Nights' Entertainment
a collection of folktales in Arabic dating from the 10th century
 
Arabic alphabet
the alphabet of 28 characters derived from Aramaic and used for writing Arabic languages (and borrowed for writing Urdu)
 
Arabic language
the Semitic language of the Arabs; spoken in a variety of dialects
 
Aramaic
a Semitic language originally of the ancient Arameans but still spoken by other people in southwestern Asia
 
Aramaic script
an alphabetical (or perhaps syllabic) script used since the 9th century BC to write the Aramaic language; many other scripts were subsequently derived from it
 
Aranyaka
a treatise resembling a Brahmana but to be read or expounded by anchorites in the quiet of the forest
 
Arapahoe
the Algonquian language spoken by the Arapaho
 
Arawakan
a family of South American Indian languages spoken in northeastern South America
 
arbitration
(law) the hearing and determination of a dispute by an impartial referee agreed to by both parties (often used to settle disputes between labor and management)
 
arbitration clause
a clause in a contract providing for arbitration of disputes arising under the contract
 
Arcadic dialect
the dialect of Ancient Greek spoken by Arcadians
 
arcanum
information known only to a special group
 
archaicism
the use of an archaic expression
 
archives
collection of records especially about an institution
 
area code
a number usually of 3 digits assigned to a telephone area as in the United States and Canada
 
argle-bargle
a verbal dispute; a wrangling argument
 
argot
a characteristic language of a particular group (as among thieves)
 
arguing
a contentious speech act; a dispute where there is strong disagreement
 
argument
a discussion in which reasons are advanced for and against some proposition or proposal
 
argument
a summary of the subject or plot of a literary work or play or movie
 
argument
(computer science) a reference or value that is passed to a function, procedure, subroutine, command, or program
 
argument
a fact or assertion offered as evidence that something is true
 
aria
an elaborate song for solo voice
 
arietta
a short aria
 
Arikara
the Caddoan language spoken by the Arikara
 
arioso
(music) a short recitative that is melodic but is not an aria
 
arm-twisting
persuasion by the use of direct personal pressure
 
armband
worn around arm as identification or to indicate mourning
 
Armenian alphabet
a writing system having an alphabet of 38 letters in which the Armenian language is written
 
Armenian language
the Indo-European language spoken predominantly in Armenia, but also in Azerbaijan
 
arpeggio
a chord whose notes are played in rapid succession rather than simultaneously
 
arraignment
a legal document calling someone to court to answer an indictment
 
arrangement
a piece of music that has been adapted for performance by a particular set of voices or instruments
 
array
an impressive display
 
arrest warrant
a warrant authorizing law enforcement officials to apprehend an offender and bring that person to court
 
arrow
a mark to indicate a direction or relation
 
art rock
a style of rock music that emerged in the 1970s; associated with attempts to combine rock with jazz and other forms; intended for listening and not dancing
 
art
photographs or other visual representations in a printed publication
 
Arthurian legend
the legend of King Arthur and his court at Camelot
 
article
(grammar) a determiner that may indicate the specificity of reference of a noun phrase
 
article
nonfictional prose forming an independent part of a publication
 
article of faith
(Christianity) any of the sections into which a creed or other statement of doctrine is divided
 
article
a separate section of a legal document (as a statute or contract or will)
 
articles of agreement
a contract between crew and captain of a ship
 
Articles of Confederation
a written agreement ratified in 1781 by the thirteen original states; it provided a legal symbol of their union by giving the central government no coercive power over the states or their citizens
 
articles of incorporation
a legal document that creates a corporation; it is filed with a state by the founders of a corporation and is governed by the laws of the state
 
articulation
the aspect of pronunciation that involves bringing articulatory organs together so as to shape the sounds of speech
 
articulation
expressing in coherent verbal form
 
artificial language
a language that is deliberately created for a specific purpose
 
artillery
a means of persuading or arguing
 
Artium Baccalaurens
a bachelor's degree in arts and sciences
 
Artium Magister
a master's degree in arts and sciences
 
Arulo
an artificial language intended for international use as an auxiliary language
 
ascender
a lowercase letter that has a part extending above other lowercase letters
 
ascender
(printing) the part of tall lowercase letters that extends above the other lowercase letters
 
ASCII character
any member of the standard code for representing characters by binary numbers
 
ASCII character set
(computer science) 128 characters that make up the ASCII coding scheme
 
ASCII control character
ASCII characters to indicate carriage return or tab or backspace; typed by depressing a key and the control key at the same time
 
ASCII text file
a text file that contains only ASCII characters without special formatting
 
aside
a line spoken by an actor to the audience but not intended for others on the stage
 
aside
a message that departs from the main subject
 
Ask Jeeves
a widely used search engine accepting plain English questions or phrases or terms
 
asking
the verbal act of requesting
 
aspersion
a disparaging remark
 
aspirate
a consonant pronounced with aspiration
 
aspiration
a manner of articulation involving an audible release of breath
 
Assamese
the Magadhan language spoken by the Assamese people; closely related to Bengali
 
assassination
an attack intended to ruin someone's reputation
 
assay
a written report of the results of an analysis of the composition of some substance
 
assay-mark
a mark on an article of trade to indicate its origin and authenticity
 
assembler
a program to convert assembly language into machine language
 
assembly language
a low-level programing language; close approximation to machine language
 
assertion
a declaration that is made emphatically (as if no supporting evidence were necessary)
 
assibilation
pronunciation with a sibilant (hissing or whistling) sound
 
assignment
the instrument by which a claim or right or interest or property is transferred from one person to another
 
assize
an ancient writ issued by a court of assize to the sheriff for the recovery of property
 
assize
the regulation of weights and measures of articles offered for sale
 
Associate in Applied Science
an associate degree in applied science
 
Associate in Arts
an associate degree in arts
 
Associate in Nursing
an associate degree in nursing
 
associate
a degree granted by a two-year college on successful completion of the undergraduates course of studies
 
assonance
the repetition of similar vowels in the stressed syllables of successive words
 
assumption
a statement that is assumed to be true and from which a conclusion can be drawn
 
assurance
a statement intended to inspire confidence
 
assurance
a binding commitment to do or give or refrain from something
 
Assyrian Akkadian
an extinct language of the Assyrians in ancient Mesopotamia
 
Assyrian Neo-Aramaic
the language of modern Iraq
 
asterisk
a star-shaped character * used in printing
 
asyndeton
the omission of conjunctions where they would normally be used
 
Atayalic
a language spoken by a Malaysian people on Formosa
 
Athapaskan language
a group of Amerindian languages (the name coined by an American anthropologist, Edward Sapir)
 
Atharva-Veda
a collection of mantras and formulas
 
atlas
a collection of maps in book form
 
ATM
a means of digital communications that is capable of very high speeds; suitable for transmission of images or voice or video as well as data
 
atonalism
the absence of a key; alternative to the diatonic system
 
Atsugewi
the Shastan language spoken by the Atsugewi
 
Attacapan
a language spoken by the Atakapa of the Gulf Coast of Louisiana and Texas
 
attachment
a writ authorizing the seizure of property that may be needed for the payment of a judgment in a judicial proceeding
 
attack
intense adverse criticism
 
attestation
the action of bearing witness
 
attestation
the evidence by which something is attested
 
attraction
an entertainment that is offered to the public
 
attributive genitive
a word in the genitive case that is used as an attributive adjective
 
audience
a conference (usually with someone important)
 
audio
the audible part of a transmitted signal
 
auditory communication
communication that relies on hearing
 
augmentation
the statement of a theme in notes of greater duration (usually twice the length of the original)
 
Augsburg Confession
the document drawn up in 1555 to defend the catholicity of Lutheran doctrine and to justify innovations in Lutheran practice; is still in effect today
 
Austro-Asiatic language
a family of languages spoken in southern and southeastern Asia
 
Austronesian language
the family of languages spoken in Australia and Formosa and Malaysia and Polynesia
 
author's name
the name that appears on the by-line to identify the author of a work
 
authoring language
software that can be used to develop interactive computer programs without the technically demanding task of computer programming
 
authorisation
a document giving an official instruction or command
 
authority
an authoritative written work
 
Authorized Version
an English translation of the Bible published in 1611
 
autobiography
a biography of yourself
 
autograph
something written by one's own hand
 
automatic face recognition
biometric identification by scanning a person's face and matching it against a library of known faces
 
auxiliary verb
a verb that combines with another verb in a verb phrase to help form tense, mood, voice, or condition of the verb it combines with
 
Avestan
the script in which the ancient Persian language of the Avesta is written
 
Avestan
an ancient Iranian language
 
axiom
(logic) a proposition that is not susceptible of proof or disproof; its truth is assumed to be self-evident
 
axiom
a saying that is widely accepted on its own merits
 
ayin
the 16th letter of the Hebrew alphabet
 
Ayurveda
(Sanskrit) an ancient medical treatise summarizing the Hindu art of healing and prolonging life; sometimes regarded as a 5th Veda
 
Azerbaijani
the Turkic language spoken by the Azerbaijani
 
Aztecan
the Uto-Aztecan language spoken by the Aztec
 
B
the 2nd letter of the Roman alphabet
 
babble
gibberish resembling the sounds of a baby
 
baby talk
the developing speech of a young child
 
baby talk
an adult's imitation of the speech of a young child
 
Babylonian
the ideographic and syllabic writing system in which the ancient Babylonian language was written
 
baccalaureate
a farewell sermon to a graduating class at their commencement ceremonies
 
baccalaureate
an academic degree conferred on someone who has successfully completed undergraduate studies
 
Bach
the music of Bach
 
Bachelor of Arts in Library Science
a bachelor's degree in library science
 
Bachelor of Arts in Nursing
a bachelor's degree in nursing
 
Bachelor of Divinity
a bachelor's degree in religion
 
Bachelor of Laws
a three-year law degree
 
Bachelor of Literature
a bachelor's degree in literature
 
Bachelor of Medicine
(a British degree) a bachelor's degree in medicine
 
Bachelor of Music
a bachelor's degree in music
 
Bachelor of Naval Science
a bachelor's degree in naval science
 
Bachelor of Science
a bachelor's degree in science
 
Bachelor of Science in Architecture
a bachelor's degree in architecture
 
Bachelor of Science in Engineering
a bachelor's degree in engineering
 
Bachelor of Theology
a bachelor's degree in theology
 
back channel
an alternative to the regular channels of communication that is used when agreements must be made secretly (especially in diplomacy or government)
 
back door
an undocumented way to get access to a computer system or the data it contains
 
back matter
written matter following the main text of a book
 
back talk
an impudent or insolent rejoinder
 
back-formation
a word invented (usually unwittingly by subtracting an affix) on the assumption that a familiar word derives from it
 
backbeat
a loud steady beat
 
backchat
light teasing repartee
 
backdown
a retraction of a previously held position
 
backgrounder
a press conference or interview in which a government official explains to reporters the background of an action or policy
 
backspace character
a control character that indicates moving a space to the left
 
backup file
(computer science) a computer file dedicated to storing and updating computer backups
 
Badaga
the dialect of Kannada that is spoken by the Badaga
 
Bade
a Chadic language spoken in northern Nigeria
 
badge
an emblem (a small piece of plastic or cloth or metal) that signifies your status (rank or membership or affiliation etc.)
 
badinage
frivolous banter
 
baedeker
any of a series of travel guidebooks published by the German firm founded by Karl Baedeker
 
bagatelle
a light piece of music for piano
 
Bahasa Indonesia
the dialect of Malay used as the national language of the Republic of Indonesia or of Malaysia
 
Bahasa Kebangsaan
the Malay language spoken in Malaysia
 
Baic
the Tibeto-Burman language spoken in the Dali region of Yunnan
 
balderdash
trivial nonsense
 
Balinese
the Indonesian language of the people of Bali
 
ballad
a narrative song with a recurrent refrain
 
ballad
a narrative poem of popular origin
 
ballade
a poem consisting of 3 stanzas and an envoy
 
ballet
music written for a ballet
 
ballistic fingerprinting
identification of the gun that fired a bullet from an analysis of the unique marks that every gun makes on the bullet it fires and on the shell ejected from it
 
ballistocardiogram
a graphical recording made by a ballistocardiograph
 
ballot
a document listing the alternatives that is used in voting
 
ballroom music
a genre of popular music composed for ballroom dancing
 
ballyhoo
blatant or sensational promotion
 
baloney
pretentious or silly talk or writing
 
Baltic language
a branch of the Indo-European family of languages related to the Slavonic languages; Baltic languages have preserved many archaic features that are believed to have existed in Proto-Indo European
 
Baltic-Finnic
a group of Finnic languages including Finnish and Estonian
 
Balto-Slavic language
a family of Indo-European languages including the Slavic and Baltic languages
 
Baluchi
an Iranian language spoken in Pakistan and Iran and Afghanistan and Russia and the Persian gulf
 
ban
an official prohibition or edict against something
 
ban
a decree that prohibits something
 
banality
a trite or obvious remark
 
band
a range of frequencies between two limits
 
bank charter
a charter authorizing the operation of a bank
 
bank statement
a periodic statement prepared by a bank for each client
 
banner
a newspaper headline that runs across the full page
 
banning-order
an order that bans something
 
banns
a public announcement of a proposed marriage
 
banquet song
a song (sometimes improvised) sung by guests at a banquet
 
Bantoid language
a family of languages widely spoken in the southern half of the African continent
 
banzai
a Japanese cheer of enthusiasm or triumph
 
bar chart
a chart with bars whose lengths are proportional to quantities
 
bar exam
an examination conducted at regular intervals to determine whether a candidate is qualified to practice law in a given jurisdiction
 
bar line
a vertical line before the accented beat marking the boundary between musical bars
 
bar sinister
a mark of bastardy; lines from top right to bottom left
 
bar
musical notation for a repeating pattern of musical beats
 
barb
an aggressive remark directed at a person like a missile and intended to have a telling effect
 
barber's pole
striped pole outside a barbershop
 
barcarole
a boating song sung by Venetian gondoliers
 
bargain
an agreement between parties (usually arrived at after discussion) fixing obligations of each
 
bargaining
the negotiation of the terms of a transaction or agreement
 
baritone
the second lowest adult male singing voice
 
baronetcy
the title of a baron
 
barrage
the rapid and continuous delivery of linguistic communication (spoken or written)
 
base
a lower limit
 
base
(linguistics) the form of a word after all affixes are removed
 
baseball clinic
a meeting at which baseball players receive special evaluation and instruction
 
BASIC
a popular programming language that is relatively easy to learn; an acronym for beginner's all-purpose symbolic instruction code; no longer in general use
 
Basic English
a simplified form of English proposed for use as an auxiliary language for international communication; devised by C. K. Ogden and I. A. Richards
 
basics
a statement of fundamental facts or principles
 
basketball clinic
a meeting at which basketball players receive special evaluation and instruction
 
Basque
the language of the Basque people; of no known relation to any other language
 
bass
the lowest part in polyphonic music
 
bass
the lowest adult male singing voice
 
basso continuo
a bass part written out in full and accompanied by numbers to indicate the chords to be played
 
basso profundo
a very deep bass voice
 
bastard title
a first page of some books displaying only the title of the book
 
bastardization
declaring or rendering bastard
 
Bata
a Chadic language spoken south of Lake Chad
 
bathos
triteness or triviality of style
 
batrachomyomachia
a silly altercation
 
batting order
(baseball) a list of batters in the order in which they will bat
 
battle cry
a slogan used to rally support for a cause
 
battle cry
a yell intended to rally a group of soldiers in battle
 
bauble
a mock scepter carried by a court jester
 
bawdry
lewd or obscene talk or writing
 
bawling out
a severe scolding
 
bayat
an oath of allegiance to an emir
 
beacon
a fire (usually on a hill or tower) that can be seen from a distance
 
beam
a signal transmitted along a narrow path; guides airplane pilots in darkness or bad weather
 
beat
(prosody) the accent in a metrical foot of verse
 
beat
the basic rhythmic unit in a piece of music
 
Beatitude
one of the eight sayings of Jesus at the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount; in Latin each saying begins with `beatus' (blessed)
 
bebop
an early form of modern jazz (originating around 1940)
 
beck
a beckoning gesture
 
beef
informal terms for objecting
 
Beethoven
the music of Beethoven
 
befooling
derision of someone or something as foolish or absurd or inconsistent
 
beggary
a solicitation for money or food (especially in the street by an apparently penniless person)
 
beguine
music written in the bolero rhythm of the beguine dance
 
behest
an authoritative command or request
 
Bel and the Dragon
an Apocryphal book consisting of text added to the Book of Daniel
 
belittling
a belittling comment
 
bell book
a logbook in which all orders concerning the main engines of a ship are recorded
 
bell buoy
a buoy with a bell on it
 
bell ringing
persuasion of voters in a political campaign
 
bell-like call
a birdcall that resembles the tone of a bell
 
belles lettres
creative writing valued for esthetic content
 
belling
a noisy mock serenade (made by banging pans and kettles) to a newly married couple
 
bellow
a very loud utterance (like the sound of an animal)
 
belly laugh
a burst of deep loud hearty laughter
 
belly laugh
a joke that seems extremely funny
 
bench mark
a surveyor's mark on a permanent object of predetermined position and elevation used as a reference point
 
benchmark
a standard by which something can be measured or judged
 
benediction
a ceremonial prayer invoking divine protection
 
benefactive role
the semantic role of the intended recipient who benefits from the happening denoted by the verb in the clause
 
benefit
a performance to raise money for a charitable cause
 
benefit album
concept album compiling a performer's work or work supporting some worthy cause
 
benefit concert
a concert given for the benefit of some charitable cause
 
Bengal light
a steady bright blue light; formerly used as a signal but now a firework
 
Bengali
a Magadhan language spoken by the Bengali people; the official language of Bangladesh and Bengal
 
benison
a spoken blessing
 
berating
a severe rebuke
 
Berber
a cluster of related dialects that were once the major language of northern Africa west of Egypt; now spoken mostly in Morocco
 
berceuse
a quiet song intended to lull a child to sleep
 
best evidence rule
a rule of evidence requiring that to prove the content of a writing or recording or photograph the original is required
 
best seller
a book that has had a large and rapid sale
 
bestiary
a medieval book (usually illustrated) with allegorical and amusing descriptions of real and fabled animals
 
beta
the 2nd letter of the Greek alphabet
 
beta software
software that has not yet been released but has received an alpha test and still has more bugs than a regular release
 
beth
the 2nd letter of the Hebrew alphabet
 
betrothal
a mutual promise to marry
 
Bhagavad-Gita
(Hinduism) the sacred `song of God' composed about 200 BC and incorporated into the Mahabharata (a Sanskrit epic); contains a discussion between Krishna and the Indian hero Arjuna on human nature and the purpose of life
 
bible
a book regarded as authoritative in its field
 
Biblical Aramaic
the form of Aramaic that was spoken in Palestine in the time of the New Testament
 
Biblical Latin
the form of Latin written between the 3rd and 8th centuries
 
bibliography
a list of writings with time and place of publication (such as the writings of a single author or the works referred to in preparing a document etc.)
 
bicameral script
a script having two distinct cases
 
bicker
a quarrel about petty points
 
bid
(bridge) the number of tricks a bridge player is willing to contract to make
 
bid
an authoritative direction or instruction to do something
 
bid
a formal proposal to buy at a specified price
 
bidding
a request to be present
 
big stick
a display of force or power
 
bigram
a word that is written with two letters in an alphabetic writing system
 
Bihari
the Indic language spoken in Bihar (and by some people in Pakistan and Bangladesh)
 
bilabial
a consonant that is articulated using both lips; /p/ or /b/ or /w/
 
bilateral contract
a contract involving mutual promises (each party is both promisor and promisee)
 
bilingual dictionary
a dictionary giving equivalent words in two languages
 
bill
a list of particulars (as a playbill or bill of fare)
 
bill of attainder
a legislative act finding a person guilty of treason or felony without a trial
 
bill of entry
a list of goods received at a customhouse for export or import
 
bill of fare
a list of dishes available at a restaurant
 
bill of goods
a consignment of merchandise
 
bill of goods
communication (written or spoken) that persuades someone to accept something untrue or undesirable
 
bill of health
a certificate saying that a departing ship's company is healthy (to be presented at the next port of arrival)
 
bill of indictment
a formal document written for a prosecuting attorney charging a person with some offense
 
bill of lading
a receipt given by the carrier to the shipper acknowledging receipt of the goods being shipped and specifying the terms of delivery
 
bill of Particulars
the particular events to be dealt with in a criminal trial; advises the defendant and the court of the facts the defendant will be required to meet
 
Bill of Rights
a statement of fundamental rights and privileges (especially the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution)
 
bill of sale
a deed transferring personal property
 
bill
an advertisement (usually printed on a page or in a leaflet) intended for wide distribution
 
bill
a sign posted in a public place as an advertisement
 
bill
a statute in draft before it becomes law
 
bill-me order
an order that is received without payment; requires billing at a later date
 
billet doux
a personal letter to a loved one expressing affection
 
billet
a short personal letter
 
billing
request for payment of a debt
 
billingsgate
foul-mouthed or obscene abuse
 
Biloxi
the Siouan language spoken by the Biloxi
 
bimonthly
a periodical that is published twice a month or every two months (either 24 or 6 issues per year)
 
binary code
code using a string of 8 binary digits to represent characters
 
binary file
(computer science) a computer file containing machine-readable information that must be read by an application; characters use all 8 bits of each byte
 
binary notation
any notation that uses 2 characters (usually 0 and 1)
 
binary number system
a positional system of numeration that uses binary digits and a radix of two
 
binary
a pre-compiled, pre-linked program that is ready to run under a given operating system; a binary for one operating system will not run on a different operating system
 
biography
an account of the series of events making up a person's life
 
biometric authentication
the automatic identification of living individuals by using their physiological and behavioral characteristics
 
biquadratic
an equation of the fourth degree
 
birdcall
the characteristic sound produced by a bird
 
birth certificate
a copy of the official document giving details of a person's birth
 
birthday card
a card expressing a birthday greeting
 
bit
a small fragment
 
bite
wit having a sharp and caustic quality
 
Biu-Mandara
a group of Chadic languages spoken in the border area between Cameroon and Nigeria south of Lake Chad
 
biweekly
a periodical that is published twice a week or every two weeks (either 104 or 26 issues per year)
 
black and white
communication by means of written symbols (either printed or handwritten)
 
black belt
a black sash worn to show expert standards in the martial arts (judo or karate)
 
black book
a list of people who are out of favor
 
black comedy
comedy that uses black humor
 
black humor
the juxtaposition of morbid and farcical elements (in writing or drama) to give a disturbing effect
 
Black Tai
a branch of the Tai languages
 
Blackfoot
any of the Algonquian languages spoken by the Blackfoot
 
blah
pompous or pretentious talk or writing
 
Blaia Zimondal
an artificial language
 
blame game
accusations exchanged among people who refuse to accept sole responsibility for some undesirable event
 
blame
an accusation that you are responsible for some lapse or misdeed
 
blame
a reproach for some lapse or misdeed
 
blandishment
flattery intended to persuade
 
blank endorsement
an endorsement on commercial paper naming no payee and so payable to the bearer
 
blank space
a blank area
 
blank verse
unrhymed verse (usually in iambic pentameter)
 
blank
a blank character used to separate successive words in writing or printing
 
blarney
flattery designed to gain favor
 
blasphemy
blasphemous language (expressing disrespect for God or for something sacred)
 
blather
foolish gibberish
 
blend
a new word formed by joining two others and combining their meanings
 
blessing
a short prayer of thanks before a meal
 
blether
idle or foolish and irrelevant talk
 
blind
something intended to misrepresent the true nature of an activity
 
blinker
a blinking light on a motor vehicle that indicates the direction in which the vehicle is about to turn
 
blip
a radar echo displayed so as to show the position of a reflecting surface
 
block capital
a plain hand-drawn letter
 
blog
a shared on-line journal where people can post diary entries about their personal experiences and hobbies
 
blotter
the daily written record of events (as arrests) in a police station
 
blowback
misinformation resulting from the recirculation into the source country of disinformation previously planted abroad by that country's intelligence service
 
blowup
an unrestrained expression of emotion
 
blue book
a register of persons who are socially prominent
 
blue book
a blue booklet used in universities for writing examinations
 
blue book
a report published by the British government; bound in blue
 
blue joke
an indelicate joke
 
blue law
a statute regulating work on Sundays
 
blue murder
an extravagantly loud outcry
 
blue note
a flattened third or seventh
 
blue peter
a blue flag with a white square in the center indicates that the vessel is ready to sail
 
blue ribbon
an honor or award gained for excellence
 
blue sky law
a state law regulating the sale of securities in an attempt to control the sale of securities in fraudulent enterprises
 
bluegrass
a type of country music played at a rapid tempo on banjos and guitars
 
blues
a type of folksong that originated among Black Americans at the beginning of the 20th century; has a melancholy sound from repeated use of blue notes
 
bluff
pretense that your position is stronger than it really is
 
blurb
a promotional statement (as found on the dust jackets of books)
 
bluster
vain and empty boasting
 
bluster
a swaggering show of courage
 
BMI
a measure of someone's weight in relation to height; to calculate one's BMI, multiply one's weight in pounds and divide that by the square of one's height in inches; overweight is a BMI greater than 25; obese is a BMI greater than 30
 
boarding card
a pass that allows you to board a ship or plane
 
boast
speaking of yourself in superlatives
 
bodice ripper
a romantic novel containing scenes in which the heroine is sexually violated
 
Bodo-Garo
Kamarupan languages spoken in the state of Assam in northeastern India
 
Bodoni font
a typeface (based on an 18th century design by Gianbattista Bodoni) distinguished by regular shape and hairline serifs and heavy downstrokes
 
body
the central message of a communication
 
body language
communication via the movements or attitudes of the body
 
boilerplate
standard formulations uniformly found in certain types of legal documents or news stories
 
Bokkos
a Chadic language spoken in northern Nigeria
 
Bolanci
a Chadic language spoken in northern Nigeria and closely related to Hausa
 
bold
a typeface with thick heavy lines
 
bolero
music written in the rhythm of the bolero dance
 
bon mot
a clever remark
 
bon voyage
an organized expression of goodwill at the start of a trip or new venture
 
bone of contention
the subject of a dispute
 
boogie
an instrumental version of the blues (especially for piano)
 
book
a major division of a long written composition
 
book
a written work or composition that has been published (printed on pages bound together)
 
book jacket
a paper jacket for a book; a jacket on which promotional information is usually printed
 
Book of Amos
an Old Testament book telling Amos's prophecies
 
Book of Baruch
an Apocryphal book ascribed to Baruch
 
Book of Common Prayer
the Anglican service book of the Church of England; has had several revisions since the Reformation and is widely admired for the dignity and beauty of its language
 
Book of Deuteronomy
the fifth book of the Old Testament; contains a second statement of Mosaic law
 
Book of Ecclesiastes
an Old Testament book consisting of reflections on the vanity of human life; is traditionally attributed to Solomon but probably was written about 250 BC
 
Book of Esther
an Old Testament book telling of a beautiful Jewess who became queen of Persia and saved her people from massacre
 
Book of Exodus
the second book of the Old Testament: tells of the departure of the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt led by Moses; God gave them the Ten Commandments and the rest of Mosaic law on Mount Sinai during the Exodus
 
Book of Ezekiel
an Old Testament book containing Ezekiel's prophecies of the downfall of Jerusalem and Judah and their subsequent restoration
 
Book of Ezra
an Old Testament book telling of a rabbi's efforts in the 5th century BC to reconstitute Jewish law and worship in Jerusalem after the Babylonian Captivity
 
book of facts
a book to which you can refer for authoritative facts
 
Book of Genesis
the first book of the Old Testament: tells of Creation; Adam and Eve; the Fall of Man; Cain and Abel; Noah and the flood; God's covenant with Abraham; Abraham and Isaac; Jacob and Esau; Joseph and his brothers
 
Book of Habakkuk
an Old Testament book telling Habakkuk's prophecies
 
Book of Haggai
an Old Testament book telling the prophecies of Haggai which are concerned mainly with rebuilding the temples after the Babylonian Captivity
 
Book of Hosea
an Old Testament book telling Hosea's prophecies
 
book of instructions
a manual usually accompanying a technical device and explaining how to install or operate it
 
Book of Isaiah
an Old Testament book consisting of Isaiah's prophecies
 
Book of Jeremiah
a book in the Old Testament containing the oracles of the prophet Jeremiah
 
Book of Job
a book in the Old Testament containing Job's pleas to God about his afflictions and God's reply
 
Book of Joel
an Old Testament book telling Joel's prophecies
 
Book of Jonah
a book in the Old Testament that tells the story of Jonah and the whale
 
Book of Joshua
a book in the Old Testament describing how Joshua led the Israelites into Canaan (the Promised Land) after the death of Moses
 
Book of Judges
a book of the Old Testament that tells the history of Israel under the leaders known as judges
 
Book of Judith
an Apocryphal book telling how Judith saved her people
 
book of knowledge
an elementary encyclopedia dealing with general knowledge
 
Book of Lamentations
an Old Testament book lamenting the desolation of Judah after the destruction of Jerusalem in 586 BC; traditionally attributed to the prophet Jeremiah
 
Book of Leviticus
the third book of the Old Testament; contains Levitical law and ritual precedents
 
Book of Malachi
an Old Testament book containing the prophecies of Malachi
 
Book of Micah
an Old Testament book telling the prophecies of Micah foretelling the destruction of Jerusalem
 
Book of Mormon
a sacred text revealed to Joseph Smith in 1830 by an ancient prophet Mormon; supposedly a record of ancient peoples of America translated by Joseph Smith
 
Book of Nahum
an Old Testament book telling Nahum's prophecy of the fall of Nineveh
 
Book of Nehemiah
an Old Testament book telling how a Jewish official at the court of Artaxerxes I in 444 BC became a leader in rebuilding Jerusalem after the Babylonian Captivity
 
Book of Numbers
the fourth book of the Old Testament; contains a record of the number of Israelites who followed Moses out of Egypt
 
Book of Obadiah
an Old Testament book telling Obadiah's prophecies; the shortest book in the Christian Bible
 
Book of Proverbs
an Old Testament book consisting of proverbs from various Israeli sages (including Solomon)
 
Book of Psalms
an Old Testament book consisting of a collection of 150 Psalms
 
Book of Psalms
a collection of Psalms for liturgical use
 
Book of Ruth
a book of the Old Testament that tells the story of Ruth who was not an Israelite but who married an Israelite and who stayed with her mother-in-law Naomi after her husband died
 
Book of Susanna
an Apocryphal book consisting of text added to the Book of Daniel
 
Book of the Prophet Daniel
an Old Testament book that tells of the apocalyptic visions and the experiences of Daniel in the court of Nebuchadnezzar
 
Book of Tobit
an Apocryphal book that was a popular novel for several centuries
 
Book of Zachariah
an Old Testament book telling the prophecies of Zechariah which are concerned mainly with the renewal of Israel after the Babylonian Captivity
 
Book of Zephaniah
an Old Testament book telling the prophecies of Zephaniah which are concerned mainly with the approaching judgment by God upon the sinners of Judah
 
book review
a critical review of a book (usually a recently published book)
 
book token
a gift voucher that can be exchanged for books costing up to an amount given on the voucher
 
book
a written version of a play or other dramatic composition; used in preparing for a performance
 
book
a compilation of the known facts regarding something or someone
 
booklet
a small book usually having a paper cover
 
bookplate
a label identifying the owner of a book in which it is pasted
 
borrower's card
a card certifying the bearer's right to use the library
 
bottle bill
a statute that would require merchants to reclaim used bottles
 
bottom line
the decisive point
 
bouffe
opera with a happy ending and in which some of the text is spoken
 
bound form
a morpheme that occurs only as part of a larger construction; eg an -s at the end of plural nouns
 
boundary condition
(mathematics) a condition specified for the solution to a set of differential equations
 
boustrophedon
an ancient writing system: having alternate lines written in opposite directions; literally `as the ox ploughs'
 
Bouyei
a branch of the Tai languages
 
bow
bending the head or body or knee as a sign of reverence or submission or shame or greeting
 
bow
an appearance by actors or performers at the end of the concert or play in order to acknowledge the applause of the audience
 
brace
either of two punctuation marks ({ or }) used to enclose textual material
 
bracket
either of two punctuation marks ([ or ]) used to enclose textual material
 
brag
an instance of boastful talk
 
Brahmana
prose works attached to the Samhitas instructing the brahmins to perform the very elaborate sacrificial rituals
 
Brahmi
a script (probably adapted from the Aramaic about the 7th century BC) from which later Indian scripts developed
 
Brahms
the music of Brahms
 
Brahui
an isolated Dravidian language spoken by the Brahui in Pakistan
 
braille
a point system of writing in which patterns of raised dots represent letters and numerals
 
brain-teaser
a difficult problem
 
brake light
a red light on the rear of a motor vehicle that signals when the brakes are applied to slow or stop
 
brand
identification mark on skin, made by burning
 
brand
a name given to a product or service
 
brand
a symbol of disgrace or infamy
 
brandish
the act of waving
 
bravo
a cry of approval as from an audience at the end of great performance
 
breath
an indirect suggestion
 
Breton
a Celtic language of Brittany
 
breve
a diacritical mark (U-shaped) placed over a vowel to indicate a short sound
 
brevet
a document entitling a commissioned officer to hold a higher rank temporarily (but without higher pay)
 
breviary
(Roman Catholic Church) a book of prayers to be recited daily certain priests and members of religious orders
 
brevity
the use of brief expressions
 
brickbat
blunt criticism
 
brief
a condensed written summary or abstract
 
brief
a document stating the facts and points of law of a client's case
 
briefing
detailed instructions, as for a military operation
 
brinkmanship
the policy of pushing a dangerous situation to the brink of disaster (to the limits of safety)
 
British Crown
the symbol of the power of the British monarchy
 
Britishism
an expression that is used in Great Britain (especially as contrasted with American English)
 
broad arrow
a mark shaped like an arrowhead; used to mark convicts' clothing
 
broad arrow
an arrowhead mark identifying British government property
 
broadcast
message that is transmitted by radio or television
 
broadcast medium
a medium that disseminates via telecommunications
 
broadcast
a radio or television show
 
broadcasting
taking part in a radio or tv program
 
broadside
a speech of violent denunciation
 
Bronx cheer
a cry or noise made to express displeasure or contempt
 
Bronze Star Medal
a United States military decoration awarded for meritorious service (except in aerial flight)
 
browse
reading superficially or at random
 
browser
a program used to view HTML documents
 
Brythonic
a southern group of Celtic languages
 
bucolic
a short poem descriptive of rural or pastoral life
 
bugle call
a signal broadcast by the sound of a bugle
 
building code
set of standards established and enforced by local government for the structural safety of buildings
 
building permit
a document authorizing the holder to construct a building of a particular kind on a particular lot
 
buildup
highly favorable publicity and praise
 
Bulgarian
a Slavic language spoken in Bulgaria
 
bulk mail
mail consisting of large numbers of identical items (circulars or advertisements) sent to individual addresses at less than 1st-class rates and paid for in one lot
 
bull session
an informal discussion (usually among men)
 
bull
a formal proclamation issued by the pope (usually written in antiquated characters and sealed with a leaden bulla)
 
bulletin
a brief report (especially an official statement issued for immediate publication or broadcast)
 
bumf
reading materials (documents, written information) that you must read and deal with but that you think are extremely boring
 
buncombe
unacceptable behavior (especially ludicrously false statements)
 
bundling
a onetime custom during courtship of unmarried couples occupying the same bed without undressing
 
bunk
a message that seems to convey no meaning
 
buoy
bright-colored; a float attached by rope to the seabed to mark channels in a harbor or underwater hazards
 
burden
the central meaning or theme of a speech or literary work
 
burglar alarm
a loud warning signal produced by a burglar alarm
 
burlesque
a theatrical entertainment of broad and earthy humor; consists of comic skits and short turns (and sometimes striptease)
 
burlesque
a composition that imitates or misrepresents somebody's style, usually in a humorous way
 
Burmese
the official language of Burma
 
bus ticket
a ticket good for a ride on a bus
 
Bushido
traditional code of the Japanese samurai which stressed courage and loyalty and self-discipline and simple living
 
business card
a card on which are printed the person's name and business affiliation
 
business index
a statistical compilation that provides a context for economic or financial conditions
 
business letter
a letter dealing with business
 
business news
news about businesses and investments
 
bust-up
a serious quarrel (especially one that ends a friendship)
 
button
a round flat badge displaying information and suitable for pinning onto a garment
 
buyout bid
a bid to buy all of a person's holdings
 
buzzword
stock phrases that have become nonsense through endless repetition
 
by-line
a line giving the name of the writer of a story or article
 
bye
an automatic advance to the next round in a tournament without playing an opponent
 
bylaw
a rule adopted by an organization in order to regulate its own affairs and the behavior of its members
 
byname
a familiar name for a person (often a shortened version of a person's given name)
 
Byzantine Greek
the Greek language from about 600 to 1200 AD
 
C
the 3rd letter of the Roman alphabet
 
C
(music) the keynote of the scale of C major
 
C
a general-purpose programing language closely associated with the UNIX operating system
 
C and W
a simple style of folk music heard mostly in the southern United States; usually played on stringed instruments
 
C clef
a movable clef that puts middle C on one of the lines of a staff
 
C compiler
a compiler for programs written in C
 
C program
a program written in C
 
cabala
an esoteric or occult matter resembling the Kabbalah that is traditionally secret
 
cable
television that is transmitted over cable directly to the receiver
 
cable
a telegram sent abroad
 
cachet
a warrant formerly issued by a French king who could warrant imprisonment or death in a signed letter under his seal
 
cachet
an indication of approved or superior status
 
cachinnation
loud convulsive laughter
 
cackle
a loud laugh suggestive of a hen's cackle
 
cackle
noisy talk
 
cacography
poor handwriting
 
CAD
software used in art and architecture and engineering and manufacturing to assist in precision drawing
 
cadaster
a public register showing the details of ownership and value of land; made for the purpose of taxation
 
Caddoan language
a family of North American Indian languages spoken widely in the Midwest by the Caddo
 
cadence
the close of a musical section
 
cadenza
a brilliant solo passage occurring near the end of a piece of music
 
caduceus
an insignia used by the medical profession; modeled after the staff of Hermes
 
caesura
a break or pause (usually for sense) in the middle of a verse line
 
Cahita
the Uto-Aztecan language of the Cahita
 
cahoot
collusion
 
cairn
a mound of stones piled up as a memorial or to mark a boundary or path
 
Cakchiquel
the Mayan language spoken by the Cakchiquel
 
calendar
a list or register of events (appointments or social events or court cases etc)
 
California Personality Inventory
a self-report personality inventory originally derived from the MMPI; consists of several hundred yes-no questions and yields scores on a number of scales including dominance and self acceptance and self control and socialization and achievement etc.
 
call
an instruction that interrupts the program being executed
 
call
a request
 
call
a demand for a show of hands in a card game
 
call forwarding
lets you transfer your incoming calls to any telephone that you can dial direct
 
call mark
a mark consisting of characters written on a book; used to indicate shelf location
 
call up
an order to report for military duty
 
call waiting
a way of letting you know that someone else is calling when you are using your telephone
 
call
a demand especially in the phrase
 
call
a loud utterance; often in protest or opposition
 
call
a demand by a broker that a customer deposit enough to bring his margin up to the minimum requirement
 
call
a telephone connection
 
call-back
a return call
 
call-in
a telephone call to a radio station or a television station in which the caller participates in the on-going program
 
call-out
a challenge to a fight or duel
 
callback
a request by the manufacturer of a defective product to return the product (as for replacement or repair)
 
calligraphy
beautiful handwriting
 
calling card
a printed or written greeting that is left to indicate that you have visited
 
calling into question
a challenge to defend what someone has said
 
calorie chart
a list of foods and information about their caloric content
 
calque
an expression introduced into one language by translating it from another language
 
calumniation
a false accusation of an offense or a malicious misrepresentation of someone's words or actions
 
can
a buoy with a round bottom and conical top
 
Canaanite
the extinct language of the Semitic people who occupied Canaan before the Israelite conquest
 
Canaanitic language
a group of Semitic languages
 
Canadian French
the French language as spoken in Quebec, Canada
 
canard
a deliberately misleading fabrication
 
cancel
a notation cancelling a previous sharp or flat
 
cancellation
the speech act of revoking or annulling or making void
 
canon
a contrapuntal piece of music in which a melody in one part is imitated exactly in other parts
 
canon
a collection of books accepted as holy scripture especially the books of the Bible recognized by any Christian church as genuine and inspired
 
canon
a complete list of saints that have been recognized by the Roman Catholic Church
 
canon
a rule or especially body of rules or principles generally established as valid and fundamental in a field of art or philosophy
 
cant
insincere talk about religion or morals
 
cantata
a musical composition for voices and orchestra based on a religious text
 
Canterbury Tales
an uncompleted series of tales written after 1387 by Geoffrey Chaucer
 
canticle
a hymn derived from the Bible
 
Canticle of Canticles
an Old Testament book consisting of a collection of love poems traditionally attributed to Solomon but actually written much later
 
Canticle of Simeon
the prayer of Simeon (Luke 2:29-32)
 
canto
a major division of a long poem
 
canto
the highest part (usually the melody) in a piece of choral music
 
Cantonese dialect
the dialect of Chinese spoken in Canton and neighboring provinces and in Hong Kong and elsewhere outside China
 
cantus firmus
a pre-existing melody used as the basis for a polyphonic composition; originally drawn from plainchant, but later drawn from other sources
 
cap
an upper limit on what is allowed
 
capital
one of the large alphabetic characters used as the first letter in writing or printing proper names and sometimes for emphasis
 
capitalisation
writing in capital letters
 
capitulation
a summary that enumerates the main parts of a topic
 
capitulation
a document containing the terms of surrender
 
capriccio
an instrumental composition that doesn't adhere to rules for any specific musical form and is played with improvisation
 
caption
taking exception; especially a quibble based on a captious argument
 
caption
brief description accompanying an illustration
 
caption
translation of foreign dialogue of a movie or TV program; usually displayed at the bottom of the screen
 
carbon process
a process of printing on paper coated with bichromated gelatin containing pigment
 
card
a rectangular piece of stiff paper used to send messages (may have printed greetings or pictures)
 
card catalog
a library catalog in which each publication is described on a separate file card
 
card
a card certifying the identity of the bearer
 
card
(golf) a record of scores (as in golf)
 
career counseling
counseling on career opportunities
 
caret
a mark used by an author or editor to indicate where something is to be inserted into a text
 
Caribbean language
the family of languages spoken by the Carib
 
caricature
a representation of a person that is exaggerated for comic effect
 
carioca
music composed for dancing the carioca
 
carping
persistent petty and unjustified criticism
 
cartoon strip
a sequence of drawings telling a story in a newspaper or comic book
 
cartoon
a humorous or satirical drawing published in a newspaper or magazine
 
cartridge font
any font that is contained in a cartridge that can be plugged into a computer printer
 
cascading menu
a secondary menu that appears while you are holding the cursor over an item on the primary menu
 
case
a statement of facts and reasons used to support an argument
 
case
a problem requiring investigation
 
case history
detailed record of the background of a person or group under study or treatment
 
case law
(civil law) a law established by following earlier judicial decisions
 
case study
a careful study of some social unit (as a corporation or division within a corporation) that attempts to determine what factors led to its success or failure
 
case
a specific size and style of type within a type family
 
case
nouns or pronouns or adjectives (often marked by inflection) related in some way to other words in a sentence
 
casebook
a book in which detailed written records of a case are kept and which are a source of information for subsequent work
 
Castilian
the Spanish language as spoken in Castile
 
catachresis
strained or paradoxical use of words either in error (as `blatant' to mean `flagrant') or deliberately (as in a mixed metaphor: `blind mouths')
 
Catalan
the Romance language spoken in Catalonia in eastern Spain (related to Spanish and Occitan)
 
catalectic
(prosody) a line of verse that lacks a syllable in the last metrical foot
 
catalexis
the absence of a syllable in the last foot of a line or verse
 
catalog
a book or pamphlet containing an enumeration of things
 
catalog
a complete list of things; usually arranged systematically
 
cataloged procedure
a set of control statements that have been placed in a library and can be retrieved by name
 
Catawba
the Siouan language spoken by the Catawba
 
catcall
a cry expressing disapproval
 
catch
a break or check in the voice (usually a sign of strong emotion)
 
catch phrase
a phrase that has become a catchword
 
catchword
a word printed at the top of the page of a dictionary or other reference book to indicate the first or last item on that page
 
catchword
a favorite saying of a sect or political group
 
catechism
a series of question put to an individual (such as a political candidate) to elicit their views
 
catechism
an elementary book summarizing the principles of a Christian religion; written as questions and answers
 
categorem
a categorematic expression; a term capable of standing alone as the subject or predicate of a logical proposition
 
categorical imperative
the moral principle that behavior should be determined by duty
 
Caucasian language
a number of languages spoken in the Caucasus that are unrelated to languages spoken elsewhere
 
cause of action
a claim sufficient to demand judicial attention; the facts that give rise to right of action
 
cause
a justification for something existing or happening
 
causerie
light informal conversation for social occasions
 
caustic remark
witty language used to convey insults or scorn
 
caution
a warning against certain acts
 
cautious statement
a statement made with careful qualifications
 
caveat
(law) a formal notice filed with a court or officer to suspend a proceeding until filer is given a hearing
 
caveat emptor
a commercial principle that without a warranty the buyer takes upon himself the risk of quality
 
cavil
an evasion of the point of an argument by raising irrelevant distinctions or objections
 
Cayuga
the Iroquoian language spoken by the Cayuga
 
cease and desist order
(law) a judicial remedy issued in order to prohibit a party from doing or continuing to do a certain activity
 
Cebuano
language of the people of Cebu in the Philippines; its lexicon contributes to the official language of the Philippines
 
cedilla
a diacritical mark (,) placed below the letter c to indicate that it is pronounced as an s
 
celluloid
a medium that disseminates moving pictures
 
Celtic language
a branch of the Indo-European languages that (judging from inscriptions and place names) was spread widely over Europe in the pre-Christian era
 
center spread
the spread at the center of a magazine
 
centerfold
a magazine center spread; especially a foldout of a large photograph or map or other feature
 
Central Dravidian
a Dravidian language spoken primarily in central India
 
Central Thai
a branch of the Tai languages
 
certificate of incorporation
state approval of the articles of incorporation of a corporation
 
certificate
a document attesting to the truth of certain stated facts
 
certification
confirmation that some fact or statement is true through the use of documentary evidence
 
certiorari
a common law writ issued by a superior court to one of inferior jurisdiction demanding the record of a particular case
 
Chadic language
a family of Afroasiatic tonal languages (mostly two tones) spoken in the regions west and south of Lake Chad in north central Africa
 
chain letter
a letter that is sent successively to several people
 
challenge
a formal objection to the selection of a particular person as a juror
 
challenge
questioning a statement and demanding an explanation
 
challenge
a demand by a sentry for a password or identification
 
challenge
a call to engage in a contest or fight
 
chamber music
serious music performed by a small group of musicians
 
channel
(often plural) a means of communication or access
 
channel
a path over which electrical signals can pass
 
channels
official routes of communication
 
chanson de geste
Old French epic poems
 
chant
a repetitive song in which as many syllables as necessary are assigned to a single tone
 
chantey
a rhythmical work song originally sung by sailors
 
chapter
a subdivision of a written work; usually numbered and titled
 
character set
an ordered list of characters that are used together in writing or printing
 
character
a formal recommendation by a former employer to a potential future employer describing the person's qualifications and dependability
 
character
a written symbol that is used to represent speech
 
characterisation
the act of describing distinctive characteristics or essential features
 
characterisation
a graphic or vivid verbal description
 
characterisic function
(electronics) graph showing how a particular characteristic of a device varies with other parameters
 
characteristic
the integer part (positive or negative) of the representation of a logarithm; in the expression log 643 = 2.808 the characteristic is 2
 
charade
a word acted out in an episode of the game of charades
 
charge
a formal statement of a command or injunction to do something
 
charge
(criminal law) a pleading describing some wrong or offense
 
Chari-Nile
a group of Nilo-Saharan language spoken in parts of the Sudan and Zaire and Uganda and Tanzania
 
charm
a verbal formula believed to have magical force
 
chart
(usually plural) a listing of best-selling recorded music
 
chart
a visual display of information
 
charter
a contract to hire or lease transportation
 
charter
a document incorporating an institution and specifying its rights; includes the articles of incorporation and the certificate of incorporation
 
chastening
a rebuke for making a mistake
 
chat room
a site on the internet where a number of users can communicate in real time (typically one dedicated to a particular topic)
 
chat show
a program during which well-known people discuss a topic or answer questions telephoned in by the audience
 
chat
an informal conversation
 
cheap shot
an unnecessarily aggressive and unfair remark directed at a defenseless person
 
Chechen
a northern Caucasian language spoken by the Chechen
 
check character
a character that is added to the end of a block of transmitted data and used to check the accuracy of the transmission
 
check register
a register of checks issued (usually in numeric order)
 
check stub
the part of a check that is retained as a record
 
check
a mark indicating that something has been noted or completed etc.
 
check
the bill in a restaurant
 
checking program
a program that examines other computer programs for syntax errors
 
checklist
a list of items (names or tasks etc.) to be checked or consulted
 
cheek
an impudent statement
 
cheer
a cry or shout of approval
 
cheering
encouragement in the form of cheers from spectators
 
Chemakuan
a group of Mosan languages spoken in Washington
 
Chemakum
a Chemakuan language spoken by the Chemakum
 
chemical formula
a representation of a substance using symbols for its constituent elements
 
chemical notation
a notation used by chemists to express technical facts in chemistry
 
Chemical Weapons Convention
a global treaty banning the production or acquisition or stockpiling or transfer or use of chemical weapons
 
Cheremiss
the Finnic language spoken by the Cheremis
 
Cherokee
the Iroquoian language spoken by the Cherokee
 
chevron
V-shaped sleeve badge indicating military rank and service
 
Cheyenne
the Algonquian language spoken by the Cheyenne
 
chi
the 22nd letter of the Greek alphabet
 
chiasmus
inversion in the second of two parallel phrases
 
Chichewa
the Bantu language of the Chewa of east central Africa
 
Chickasaw
the Muskhogean language of the Chickasaw
 
chicken scratch
cramped or illegible handwriting
 
chickenshit
a false statement that is considered to indicate timidity or fear
 
chiding
rebuking a person harshly
 
Chimariko
the Hokan language spoken by the Chimariko
 
ChiMwini
a Bantu language spoken in southern Somalia
 
Chinese
any of the Sino-Tibetan languages spoken in China; regarded as dialects of a single language (even though they are mutually unintelligible) because they share an ideographic writing system
 
Chinese Shan
a branch of the Tai languages
 
Chinook Jargon
a pidgin incorporating Chinook and French and English words; formerly used as a lingua franca in northwestern North America
 
Chinookan
a Penutian language spoken by the Chinook
 
Chippewa
the Algonquian language spoken by the Ojibwa
 
Chippewaian
the language spoken by the Chipewyan
 
Chiricahua Apache
an Apache language
 
Chishona
a Bantu language that is one of the two major languages of Zimbabwe
 
Chiwere
the Siouan language spoken by the Iowa and Oto and Missouri
 
Choctaw
the Muskhogean language of the Choctaw
 
choice of words
the manner in which something is expressed in words
 
Chopin
the music of Chopin
 
choral ode
ode sung by the chorus in classical Greek drama
 
choral
a stately Protestant (especially Lutheran) hymn tune
 
chorale prelude
a composition for organ using a chorale as a basis for variations
 
chord
a combination of three or more notes that blend harmoniously when sounded together
 
choreography
a notation used by choreographers
 
choreography
the representation of dancing by symbols as music is represented by notes
 
chortle
a soft partly suppressed laugh
 
chorus
the part of a song where a soloist is joined by a group of singers
 
chrestomathy
a selection of passages from different authors that is compiled as an aid in learning a language
 
Christian Bible
the sacred writings of the Christian religions
 
Christian name
the first name given to Christians at birth or christening
 
Christmas card
a card expressing a Christmas greeting
 
Christmas carol
joyful religious song celebrating the birth of Christ
 
chromatic scale
a 12-note scale including all the semitones of the octave
 
chromolithography
single- or multi-color lithography
 
chronology
a record of events in the order of their occurrence
 
Chukchi language
an indigenous and isolated language of unknown origin spoken by the Chukchi that is pronounced differently by men and women
 
church doctrine
the written body of teachings of a religious group that are generally accepted by that group
 
church music
genre of music composed for performance as part of religious ceremonies
 
church roll
a list of the members of church
 
Chuvash
the Turkic language spoken by the Chuvash
 
cinema verite
a movie that shows ordinary people in actual activities without being controlled by a director
 
cipher
a secret method of writing
 
cipher
a message written in a secret code
 
Circassian
a northern Caucasian language spoken by the Circassian
 
circulation
the dissemination of copies of periodicals (as newspapers or magazines)
 
circumflex
a diacritical mark (^) placed above a vowel in some languages to indicate a special phonetic quality
 
circumlocution
an indirect way of expressing something
 
circumstantial evidence
evidence providing only a basis for inference about the fact in dispute
 
citation
a summons that commands the appearance of a party at a proceeding
 
citation
(law) the act of citing (as of spoken words or written passages or legal precedents etc.)
 
citation form
the form of a word that heads a lexical entry and is alphabetized in a dictionary
 
citation
an official award (as for bravery or service) usually given as formal public statement
 
citation
a passage or expression that is quoted or cited
 
claim
an assertion that something is true or factual
 
claim
an assertion of a right (as to money or property)
 
claim form
a form to use when filing a claim
 
clamor
loud and persistent outcry from many people
 
clarification
an interpretation that removes obstacles to understanding
 
class list
a list issued by examiners that categorizes students according to the class of honours they achieved in their degree examinations
 
Classical Greek
the dialect of Ancient Greek spoken and written in Attica and Athens and Ionia
 
classical Latin
the language of educated people in ancient Rome
 
classical
traditional genre of music conforming to an established form and appealing to critical interest and developed musical taste
 
classified
a short ad in a newspaper or magazine (usually in small print) and appearing along with other ads of the same type
 
classifier
a word or morpheme used in some languages in certain contexts (such as counting) to indicate the semantic class to which the counted item belongs
 
classifying adjective
an adjective that classifies its noun (e.g., `a nervous disease' or `a musical instrument')
 
clause
(grammar) an expression including a subject and predicate functioning as a part of a complex sentence
 
clean bill of health
an assurance that someone is healthy or something is in good condition
 
cleanup
(baseball) the fourth position in the batting order (usually filled by the best batter on the team)
 
clef
a musical notation written on a staff indicating the pitch of the notes following it
 
clericalism
a policy of supporting the influence and power of the clergy in secular or political matters
 
clerihew
a witty satiric verse containing two rhymed couplets and mentioning a famous person
 
clew
evidence that helps to solve a problem
 
CLI
a user interface in which you type commands instead of choosing them from a menu or selecting an icon
 
click
a stop consonant made by the suction of air into the mouth (as in Bantu)
 
cliffhanger
an episode that ends in suspense
 
climax
arrangement of clauses in ascending order of forcefulness
 
climax
the decisive moment in a novel or play
 
clincher
an argument that is conclusive
 
clinic
meeting for diagnosis of problems and instruction or remedial work in a particular activity
 
clipping
an excerpt cut from a newspaper or magazine
 
close
the last section of a communication
 
closed couplet
a rhymed couplet that forms a complete syntactic unit
 
closed session
a session (usually of a legislative body) that is closed to the public
 
closed-class word
a word that is uninflected and serves a grammatical function but has little identifiable meaning
 
closet drama
drama more suitable for reading that for performing
 
closure by compartment
closure imposed on the debate of specific sections of a bill
 
closure
a rule for limiting or ending debate in a deliberative body
 
clout
a target used in archery
 
cloven foot
the mark of Satan
 
clowning
a comic incident or series of incidents
 
clue
a slight indication
 
clutter
unwanted echoes that interfere with the observation of signals on a radar screen
 
coarseness
language or humor that is down-to-earth
 
cobblers
nonsense
 
COBOL
common business-oriented language
 
Cochimi
the Yuman language spoken by the Cochimi
 
cock-and-bull story
an interesting but highly implausible story; often told as an excuse
 
cockney
the nonstandard dialect of natives of the east end of London
 
Cocopah
the Yuman language spoken by the Cocopa
 
coda
the closing section of a musical composition
 
code
a coding system used for transmitting messages requiring brevity or secrecy
 
code flag
one of an international code of flag signals used between ships
 
code
a set of rules or principles or laws (especially written ones)
 
code
(computer science) the symbolic arrangement of data or instructions in a computer program or the set of such instructions
 
codex
an official list of chemicals or medicines etc.
 
codex
an unbound manuscript of some ancient classic (as distinguished from a scroll)
 
codicil
a supplement to a will; a testamentary instrument intended to alter an already executed will
 
coding system
a system of signals used to represent letters or numbers in transmitting messages
 
cognate
a word is cognate with another if both derive from the same word in an ancestral language
 
cognomen
the name used to identify the members of a family (as distinguished from each member's given name)
 
coinage
a newly invented word or phrase
 
cold medium
a medium that usually, but not always, provides little involvement together with substantial stimulus; includes speech, television, cartoons
 
cold turkey
a blunt expression of views
 
cold water
disparagement of a plan or hope or expectation
 
collage film
a movie that juxtaposes different kinds of footage
 
collect
a short prayer generally preceding the lesson in the Church of Rome or the Church of England
 
collect call
a telephone call that the receiving party is asked to pay for
 
collection
a publication containing a variety of works
 
collective agreement
contract between labor and management governing wages and benefits and working conditions
 
collective bargaining
negotiation between an employer and trade union
 
collective noun
a noun that is singular in form but refers to a group of people or things
 
collegiate dictionary
an abridged dictionary of a size convenient to hold in the hand
 
collision
a conflict of opposed ideas or attitudes or goals
 
collocation
a grouping of words in a sentence
 
colloquialism
a colloquial expression; characteristic of spoken or written communication that seeks to imitate informal speech
 
colloquium
an address to an academic meeting or seminar
 
colloquy
a conversation especially a formal one
 
colloquy
formal conversation
 
collotype
a photomechanical printing process that uses a glass plate with a gelatin surface that carries the image to be reproduced; can be used with one or more colors
 
collusion
agreement on a secret plot
 
colon
a punctuation mark (:) used after a word introducing a series or an example or an explanation (or after the salutation of a business letter)
 
color chart
a chart displaying colors
 
color circle
a chart in which complementary colors (or their names) are arranged on opposite sides of a circle
 
color code
system using colors to designate classifications
 
colorcast
a television program that is broadcast in color
 
colour supplement
(British) a magazine that is printed in color and circulated with a newspaper (especially on weekends)
 
column
a page or text that is vertically divided
 
column
an article giving opinions or perspectives
 
Comanche
the Shoshonean language spoken by the Comanche
 
Combined DNA Index System
the DNA file maintained by the Federal Bureau of Investigation
 
combining form
a bound form used only in compounds
 
comeback
a quick reply to a question or remark (especially a witty or critical one)
 
comedy
light and humorous drama with a happy ending
 
comic book
a magazine devoted to comic strips
 
coming attraction
a movie that is advertised to draw customers
 
comma
a punctuation mark (,) used to indicate the separation of elements within the grammatical structure of a sentence
 
command language
a source language consisting of procedural operators that invoke functions to be executed
 
command line
commands that a user types in order to run an application
 
command prompt
(computer science) a symbol that appears on the computer screen to indicate that the computer is ready to receive a command
 
command
(computer science) a line of code written as part of a computer program
 
commandment
something that is commanded
 
commedia dell'arte
Italian comedy of the 16th to 18th centuries improvised from standardized situations and stock characters
 
commemoration
a recognition of meritorious service
 
comment
a written explanation or criticism or illustration that is added to a book or other textual material
 
comment
a report (often malicious) about the behavior of other people
 
comment
a statement that expresses a personal opinion or belief or adds information
 
commerce
social exchange, especially of opinions, attitudes, etc.
 
commercial document
a document of or relating to commerce
 
commercial treaty
a treaty governing commerce between two or more nations
 
commercial
a commercially sponsored ad on radio or television
 
commination
prayers proclaiming God's anger against sinners; read in the Church of England on Ash Wednesday
 
commination
a threat of divine punishment or vengeance
 
commiseration
an expression of sympathy with another's grief
 
commission
an official document issued by a government and conferring on the recipient the rank of an officer in the armed forces
 
commitment
a message that makes a pledge
 
common chord
a three-note major or minor chord; a note and its third and fifth tones
 
common logarithm
a logarithm to the base 10
 
common measure
the usual (iambic) meter of a ballad
 
common noun
a noun that denotes any or all members of a class
 
commonplace book
a notebook in which you enter memorabilia
 
communicating
the activity of communicating; the activity of conveying information
 
communications protocol
(computer science) rules determining the format and transmission of data
 
communion
sharing thoughts and feelings
 
communique
an official report (usually sent in haste)
 
Communist Manifesto
a socialist manifesto written by Marx and Engels (1842) describing the history of the working-class movement according to their views
 
commutation
a warrant substituting a lesser punishment for a greater one
 
commutation ticket
a ticket good for several trips or to attend a season of entertainments; sold at a reduced rate
 
comp
an intensive examination testing a student's proficiency in some special field of knowledge
 
compact
a signed written agreement between two or more parties (nations) to perform some action
 
company name
the name by which a corporation is identified
 
comparative
the comparative form of an adjective or adverb
 
compatible software
software that can run on different computers without modification
 
compatible software
application software programs that share common conventions so they can be utilized together
 
compendium
a concise but comprehensive summary of a larger work
 
compilation
something that is compiled (as into a single book or file)
 
compiler
(computer science) a program that decodes instructions written in a higher order language and produces an assembly language program
 
complaint
(civil law) the first pleading of the plaintiff setting out the facts on which the claim for relief is based
 
complaint
an expression of grievance or resentment
 
complaint
(formerly) a loud cry (or repeated cries) of pain or rage or sorrow
 
complement
a word or phrase used to complete a grammatical construction
 
complex sentence
a sentence composed of at least one main clause and one subordinate clause
 
compliment
a remark (or act) expressing praise and admiration
 
compliments
(usually plural) a polite expression of desire for someone's welfare
 
composition
a musical work that has been created
 
composition
an essay (especially one written as an assignment)
 
composition
art and technique of printing with movable type
 
compound sentence
a sentence composed of at least two coordinate independent clauses
 
compromise
an accommodation in which both sides make concessions
 
computer architecture
the art of assembling logical elements into a computing device; the specification of the relation between parts of a computer system
 
computer database
(computer science) a database that can be accessed by computers
 
computer file
(computer science) a file maintained in computer-readable form
 
computer file name
(computer science) the name given to a computer file in order to distinguish it from other files; may contain an extension that indicates the type of file
 
computer language
a programming language designed for use on a specific class of computers
 
computer menu
(computer science) a list of options available to a computer user
 
computer program
(computer science) a sequence of instructions that a computer can interpret and execute
 
computer software
(computer science) written programs or procedures or rules and associated documentation pertaining to the operation of a computer system and that are stored in read/write memory
 
computer virus
a software program capable of reproducing itself and usually capable of causing great harm to files or other programs on the same computer
 
con
an argument opposed to a proposal
 
conceding
the act of conceding or yielding
 
conceit
an elaborate poetic image or a far-fetched comparison of very dissimilar things
 
conceit
a witty or ingenious turn of phrase
 
conceit
an artistic device or effect
 
concept album
an album whose recordings are unified by some theme (instrumental or lyrical or narrative or compositional)
 
concert
a performance of music by players or singers not involving theatrical staging
 
concerted music
music arranged in parts for several voices or instruments
 
concerto
a composition for orchestra and a soloist
 
concerto grosso
a baroque composition for orchestra and a group of solo instruments
 
concession
a point conceded or yielded
 
concession
a contract granting the right to operate a subsidiary business
 
conciliation
any of various forms of mediation whereby disputes may be settled short of arbitration
 
conciseness
terseness and economy in writing and speaking achieved by expressing a great deal in just a few words
 
conclusion
a final settlement
 
conclusion
the proposition arrived at by logical reasoning (such as the proposition that must follow from the major and minor premises of a syllogism)
 
concord
agreement of opinions
 
concordance
an index of all main words in a book along with their immediate contexts
 
concurrence
agreement of results or opinions
 
concurring opinion
an opinion that agrees with the court's disposition of the case but is written to express a particular judge's reasoning
 
condemnation
an appeal to some supernatural power to inflict evil on someone or some group
 
condemnation
an expression of strong disapproval; pronouncing as wrong or morally culpable
 
condescension
a communication that indicates lack of respect by patronizing the recipient
 
condition
an assumption on which rests the validity or effect of something else
 
condition
(usually plural) a statement of what is required as part of an agreement
 
conditional contract
a contract whose performance depends on a fact or event that affects legal relations
 
conditional sale
a sale in which the buyer receives title to the property only upon the performance of some condition (usually the full payment of the purchase price)
 
confederacy
a secret agreement between two or more people to perform an unlawful act
 
conference call
a telephone call in which more than two people participate
 
conference
a discussion among participants who have an agreed (serious) topic
 
confession
an admission of misdeeds or faults
 
confession
a written document acknowledging an offense and signed by the guilty party
 
confession
the document that spells out the belief system of a given church (especially the Reformation churches of the 16th century)
 
confession
a public declaration of your faith
 
confidence
a secret that is confided or entrusted to another
 
confidential information
an indication of potential opportunity
 
confirmation
information that confirms or verifies
 
confirmation hearing
a hearing held by the US Senate to gather information on whether to approve or reject candidates for high federal office who are nominated by the president
 
confirmation
making something valid by formally ratifying or confirming it
 
conflict
a disagreement or argument about something important
 
confrontation
discord resulting from a clash of ideas or opinions
 
confrontation
a bold challenge
 
confrontation
a hostile disagreement face-to-face
 
confutation
the speech act of refuting conclusively
 
conga
music composed for dancing the conga
 
congratulation
the act of acknowledging that someone has an occasion for celebration
 
congratulation
(usually plural) an expression of pleasure at the success or good fortune of another
 
congratulations
an expression of approval and commendation
 
Congressional Medal of Honor
the highest U.S. military decoration awarded for bravery and valor in action `above and beyond the call of duty'
 
Congressional Record
a published written account of the speeches and debates and votes of the United States Congress
 
conical buoy
a buoy resembling a cone
 
conjecture
a message expressing an opinion based on incomplete evidence
 
conjunction
an uninflected function word that serves to conjoin words or phrases or clauses or sentences
 
conjuration
a ritual recitation of words or sounds believed to have a magical effect
 
connivance
(law) tacit approval of someone's wrongdoing
 
connotation
what you must know in order to determine the reference of an expression
 
consent
permission to do something
 
consent decree
an agreement between two parties that is sanctioned by the court; for example, a company might agree to stop certain questionable practices without admitting guilt
 
consideration
a discussion of a topic (as in a meeting)
 
consonance
the repetition of consonants (or consonant patterns) especially at the ends of words
 
consonant
a speech sound that is not a vowel
 
consonant
a letter of the alphabet standing for a spoken consonant
 
consonant system
the system of consonants used in a particular language
 
conspectus
an overall summary
 
conspiracy of silence
a conspiracy not to talk about some situation or event
 
constant-width font
a typeface is which each character is given the same width (as by a typewriter)
 
constituent
(grammar) a word or phrase or clause forming part of a larger grammatical construction
 
Constitution of the United States
the constitution written at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in 1787 and subsequently ratified by the original thirteen states
 
constitution
law determining the fundamental political principles of a government
 
construal
an interpretation of the meaning of something; the act of construing
 
construction
a group of words that form a constituent of a sentence and are considered as a single unit
 
construction
an interpretation of a text or action
 
consuetudinal
a manual describing the customs of a particular group (especially the ceremonial practices of a monastic order)
 
consultation
a conference between two or more people to consider a particular question
 
contact
a channel for communication between groups
 
contact
a communicative interaction
 
contagion
the communication of an attitude or emotional state among a number of people
 
contempt
open disrespect for a person or thing
 
content word
a word to which an independent meaning can be assigned
 
content
what a communication that is about something is about
 
contention
a point asserted as part of an argument
 
contents
a list of divisions (chapters or articles) and the pages on which they start
 
context
discourse that surrounds a language unit and helps to determine its interpretation
 
contextual definition
a definition in which the term is used by embedding it in a larger expression containing its explanation
 
contingency procedure
an alternative to the normal procedure; triggered if an unusual but anticipated situation arises
 
continuant
consonant articulated by constricting (but not closing) the vocal tract
 
continuation
a part added to a book or play that continues and extends it
 
continuity
a detailed script used in making a film in order to avoid discontinuities from shot to shot
 
contour language
a tone language that uses pitch changes
 
contour
a line drawn on a map connecting points of equal height
 
contract
a binding agreement between two or more persons that is enforceable by law
 
contract of hazard
a sale of a tract of land as a whole without a warranty as to the acreage
 
contract offer
offer by an employer to contract to pay an employee at a given rate
 
contract under seal
a contract that is signed and has the (wax) seal of the signer attached
 
contract
(contract bridge) the highest bid becomes the contract setting the number of tricks that the bidder must make
 
contraction
a word formed from two or more words by omitting or combining some sounds
 
contradiction
the speech act of contradicting someone
 
contradiction
(logic) a statement that is necessarily false
 
contraindication
(medicine) a reason that makes it inadvisable to prescribe a particular drug or employ a particular procedure or treatment
 
control
the economic policy of controlling or limiting or curbing prices or wages etc.
 
convention
(diplomacy) an international agreement
 
conversation
the use of speech for informal exchange of views or ideas or information etc.
 
conversation stopper
a remark to which there is no polite conversational reply
 
converse
a proposition obtained by conversion
 
conversion
interchange of subject and predicate of a proposition
 
conveyance
document effecting a property transfer
 
conveyance
the transmission of information
 
cookbook
a book of recipes and cooking directions
 
cookie
a short line of text that a web site puts on your computer's hard drive when you access the web site
 
cool jazz
jazz that is restrained and fluid and marked by intricate harmonic structures often lagging slightly behind the beat
 
coordinate clause
a clause in a complex sentence that is grammatically equivalent to the main clause and that performs the same grammatical function
 
coordinating conjunction
a conjunction (like `and' or `or') that connects two identically constructed grammatical constituents
 
Copehan
a group of Penutian languages spoken to the west of the Sacramento river
 
copperplate
a graceful style of handwriting based on the writing used on copperplate engravings
 
Coptic
the liturgical language of the Coptic Church used in Egypt and Ethiopia; written in the Greek alphabet
 
copula
an equating verb (such as `be' or `become') that links the subject with the complement of a sentence
 
copy
material suitable for a journalistic account
 
copy editing
putting something into a form suitable for a printer
 
copy
a reproduction of a written record (e.g. of a legal or school record)
 
copy
matter to be printed; exclusive of graphical materials
 
copybook
a book containing models of good penmanship; used in teaching penmanship
 
copyright
a document granting exclusive right to publish and sell literary or musical or artistic work
 
cordial reception
kindness in welcoming guests or strangers
 
cordon
cord or ribbon worn as an insignia of honor or rank
 
core dump
(computer science) dump of the contents of the chief registers in the CPU; usually used for debugging
 
corker
(dated slang) a remarkable or excellent thing or person
 
Cornish
a Celtic language spoken in Cornwall
 
cornucopia
a goat's horn filled with grain and flowers and fruit symbolizing prosperity
 
coronach
a song or hymn of mourning composed or performed as a memorial to a dead person
 
corpus delicti
the body of evidence that constitute the offence; the objective proof that a crime has been committed (sometimes mistakenly thought to refer to the body of a homicide victim)
 
correction
something substituted for an error
 
correspondence
communication by the exchange of letters
 
corrigenda
a list of printing errors in a book along with their corrections
 
corrigendum
a printer's error; to be corrected
 
corroborating evidence
additional evidence or evidence of different kind that supports a proof already offered in a proceeding
 
cost-plus contract
a contract in which the contractor is paid his total cost plus a stated percentage of profit
 
Costanoan
a Penutian language spoken by the Costanoan
 
counsel
something that provides direction or advice as to a decision or course of action
 
count noun
a noun that forms plurals
 
countenance
formal and explicit approval
 
counterargument
an argument offered in opposition to another argument
 
counterattraction
a rival attraction
 
counterblast
a vigorous and unrestrained response
 
countercharge
a charge brought by an accused person against the accuser
 
countermand
a contrary command cancelling or reversing a previous command
 
counteroffer
an offer made by someone who has rejected a prior offer
 
counterplea
a plaintiff's reply to a defendant's plea
 
counterpoint
a musical form involving the simultaneous sound of two or more melodies
 
counterproposal
a proposal offered as an alternative to an earlier proposal
 
countersign
a second confirming signature endorsing a document already signed
 
countersign
a secret word or phrase known only to a restricted group
 
coup de theatre
a highly successful theatrical production
 
coup de theatre
a sensational bit of stagecraft
 
couplet
a stanza consisting of two successive lines of verse; usually rhymed
 
coupon
a negotiable certificate that can be detached and redeemed as needed
 
course catalog
a catalog listing the courses offered by a college or university
 
course of study
an integrated course of academic studies
 
court order
a writ issued by a court of law requiring a person to do something or to refrain from doing something
 
courtesy
a courteous or respectful or considerate remark
 
courting
a man's courting of a woman; seeking the affections of a woman (usually with the hope of marriage)
 
covenant
(Bible) an agreement between God and his people in which God makes certain promises and requires certain behavior from them in return
 
cover letter
a letter sent along with other documents to provide additional information
 
coverage
the news as presented by reporters for newspapers or radio or television
 
CPI
an index of the cost of all goods and services to a typical consumer
 
crack
witty remark
 
crammer
a textbook designed for cramming
 
crank call
a hostile telephone call (from a crank)
 
crank letter
a hostile (usually anonymous) letter
 
crash course
a rapid and intense course of training or research (usually undertaken in an emergency)
 
credit
an entry on a list of persons who contributed to a film or written work
 
credit application
an application for a line of credit
 
credit
approval
 
credits
a list of acknowledgements of those who contributed to the creation of a film (usually run at the end of the film)
 
Cree
the Algonquian language spoken by the Cree
 
creole
a mother tongue that originates from contact between two languages
 
crib
a literal translation used in studying a foreign language (often used illicitly)
 
criminal law
the body of law dealing with crimes and their punishment
 
criminal record
a list of crimes for which an accused person has been previously convicted
 
crispness
an expressive style that is direct and to the point
 
criterion
a basis for comparison; a reference point against which other things can be evaluated
 
critical review
an essay or article that gives a critical evaluation (as of a book or play)
 
criticism
a written evaluation of a work of literature
 
criticism
disapproval expressed by pointing out faults or shortcomings
 
croak
a harsh hoarse utterance (as of a frog)
 
crock
nonsense; foolish talk
 
crocodile tears
a hypocritical display of sorrow; false or insincere weeping
 
Croix de Guerre
a French military decoration for gallantry
 
crosier
a staff surmounted by a crook or cross carried by bishops as a symbol of pastoral office
 
cross-examination
(law) close questioning of a hostile witness in a court of law to discredit or throw a new light on the testimony already provided in direct examination
 
cross-index
a reference at one place in a work to information at another place in the same work
 
cross-question
a question asked in cross-examination
 
crossbones
two crossed bones (or a representation of two crossed bones) used as a symbol danger or death
 
crossfire
a lively or heated interchange of ideas and opinions
 
crosshead
a heading of a subsection printed within the body of the text
 
crossover
the appropriation of a new style (especially in popular music) by combining elements of different genres in order to appeal to a wider audience
 
crossword
a puzzle in which words corresponding to numbered clues are to be found and written in to squares in the puzzle
 
crotchet
a musical note having the time value of a quarter of a whole note
 
Crow
a Siouan language spoken by the Crow
 
Crown
the Crown (or the reigning monarch) as the symbol of the power and authority of a monarchy
 
crown
the award given to the champion
 
crux
the most important point
 
cry
a fit of weeping
 
cry
a loud utterance of emotion (especially when inarticulate)
 
cryptogram
a piece of writing in code or cipher
 
cue
an actor's line that immediately precedes and serves as a reminder for some action or speech
 
cuneiform
an ancient wedge-shaped script used in Mesopotamia and Persia
 
cupid
a symbol for love in the form of a cherubic naked boy with wings and a bow and arrow
 
curfew
a signal (usually a bell) announcing the start of curfew restrictions
 
curfew
an order that after a specific time certain activities (as being outside on the streets) are prohibited
 
curiosa
books on strange or unusual subjects (especially erotica)
 
curlicue
a short twisting line
 
curse
profane or obscene expression usually of surprise or anger
 
curse
an evil spell
 
cursive
rapid handwriting in which letters are set down in full and are cursively connected within words without lifting the writing implement from the paper
 
curtain lecture
a private lecture to a husband by his wife
 
curtain raiser
a short play presented before the main play
 
curtsey
bending the knees; a gesture of respect made by women
 
curve
a line on a graph representing data
 
Cushitic
a group of languages spoken in Ethiopia and Somalia and northwestern Kenya and adjacent regions
 
cut
(film) an immediate transition from one shot to the next
 
cut
the omission that is made when an editorial change shortens a written passage
 
cut
a remark capable of wounding mentally
 
cut
a distinct selection of music from a recording or a compact disc
 
CV
a summary of your academic and work history
 
cyberpunk
a genre of fast-paced science fiction involving oppressive futuristic computerized societies
 
cyclic redundancy check
an error correction code that is recorded in each sector of a magnetic disk and used to catch errors in the data
 
cyclopaedia
a reference work (often in several volumes) containing articles on various topics (often arranged in alphabetical order) dealing with the entire range of human knowledge or with some particular specialty
 
Cymric
a Celtic language of Wales
 
cynosure
something that provides guidance (as Polaris guides mariners)
 
Cyrillic alphabet
an alphabet derived from the Greek alphabet and used for writing Slavic languages (Russian, Bulgarian, Serbian, Ukrainian, and some other Slavic languages)
 
Czech
the Slavic language of Czechs
 
D
the 4th letter of the Roman alphabet
 
dactyl
a metrical unit with stressed-unstressed-unstressed syllables
 
dagger
a character used in printing to indicate a cross reference or footnote
 
dah
the longer of the two telegraphic signals used in Morse code
 
daily
a newspaper that is published every day
 
Dakota
the Siouan language spoken by the Dakota
 
daleth
the 4th letter of the Hebrew alphabet
 
damnation
the act of damning
 
dance
an artistic form of nonverbal communication
 
dance music
music to dance to
 
Dangaleat
a Chadic language spoken in Chad; uses seven vowels plus differences in vowel length
 
dangling modifier
a word or phrase apparently modifying an unintended word because of its placement in a sentence: e.g., `when young' in `when young, circuses appeal to all of us'
 
dangling participle
a participle (usually at the beginning of a sentence) apparently modifying a word other than the word intended: e.g., `flying across the country' in `flying across the country the Rockies came into view'
 
Danish
a Scandinavian language that is the official language of Denmark
 
Dano-Norwegian
book language; one of two official languages of Norway; closely related to Danish
 
Dardic language
any of a group of Indic languages spoken in Kashmir and eastern Afghanistan and northern Pakistan
 
dare
a challenge to do something dangerous or foolhardy
 
Dari Persian
an Iranian language spoken in Afghanistan
 
dark comedy
a comedy characterized by grim or satiric humor; a comedy having gloomy or disturbing elements
 
Das Kapital
a book written by Karl Marx (1867) describing his economic theories
 
dash
a punctuation mark (-) used between parts of a compound word or between the syllables of a word when the word is divided at the end of a line of text
 
data communication
electronic transmission of information that has been encoded digitally (as for storage and processing by computers)
 
data file
a set of related records (either written or electronic) kept together
 
data format
the organization of information according to preset specifications (usually for computer processing)
 
data-storage medium
a medium for storing information
 
database
an organized body of related information
 
dateline
a line at the beginning of a news article giving the date and place of origin of the news dispatch
 
dative
the category of nouns serving as the indirect object of a verb
 
day return
a return ticket (at reduced fare) for traveling both ways in the same day
 
DBMS
a software system that facilitates the creation and maintenance and use of an electronic database
 
dead language
a language that is no longer learned as a native language
 
dead letter
mail that can neither be delivered nor returned
 
dead march
a slow march to be played for funeral processions
 
dead metaphor
a metaphor that has occurred so often that it has become a new meaning of the expression (e.g., `he is a snake' may once have been a metaphor but after years of use it has died and become a new sense of the word `snake')
 
Dead Sea scrolls
(Old Testament) a collection of written scrolls (containing nearly all of the Old Testament) found in a cave near the Dead Sea in the late 1940s
 
death warrant
a warrant to execute the death sentence
 
death's head
a human skull (or a representation of a human skull) used as a symbol of death
 
death-roll
a list of persons killed in a war or other disaster
 
debate
the formal presentation of a stated proposition and the opposition to it (usually followed by a vote)
 
debenture
a certificate or voucher acknowledging a debt
 
debriefing
report of a mission or task
 
debt
an obligation to pay or do something
 
debugger
a program that helps in locating and correcting programming errors
 
debut
the presentation of a debutante in society
 
decasyllable
a verse line having ten syllables
 
deceit
a misleading falsehood
 
decimal notation
any notation that uses 10 different characters (usually the digits 0 to 9)
 
decimal number system
a positional system of numeration that uses decimal digits and a base of ten
 
decimal point
the dot at the left of a decimal fraction
 
decision table
a table of all contingencies and the actions to be taken for each
 
declamation
vehement oratory
 
declamation
recitation of a speech from memory with studied gestures and intonation as an exercise in elocution or rhetoric
 
declaration
a statement of taxable goods or of dutiable properties
 
declaration
a statement that is emphatic and explicit (spoken or written)
 
declaration
(law) unsworn statement that can be admitted in evidence in a legal transaction
 
declaration of estimated tax
return required of a taxpayer whose tax withheld from income does not meet the tax liability for the year
 
Declaration of Independence
the document recording the proclamation of the second Continental Congress (4 July 1776) asserting the independence of the Colonies from Great Britain
 
declaration
a formal expression by a meeting; agreed to by a vote
 
declarative sentence
a sentence (in the indicative mood) that makes a declaration
 
declination
a polite refusal of an invitation
 
decoration
an award for winning a championship or commemorating some other event
 
decree nisi
a decree issued on a first petition for divorce; becomes absolute at some later date
 
decree
a legally binding command or decision entered on the court record (as if issued by a court or judge)
 
dedication
a short message (as in a book or musical work or on a photograph) dedicating it to someone or something
 
deductible
a clause in an insurance policy that relieves the insurer of responsibility to pay the initial loss up to a stated amount
 
deed of trust
a written instrument legally conveying property to a trustee often used to secure an obligation such as a mortgage or promissory note
 
deed poll
a deed made and executed by only one party
 
deed
a legal document signed and sealed and delivered to effect a transfer of property and to show the legal right to possess it
 
defective pleading
any pleading that fails to conform in form or substance to minimum standards of accuracy or sufficiency
 
defence
the speech act of answering an attack on your assertions
 
defence
the justification for some act or belief
 
Defender of the Faith
a title that Leo X bestowed on Henry VIII and later withdrew; parliament restored the title and it has been used by English sovereigns ever since
 
defiance
a hostile challenge
 
definite article
a determiner (as `the' in English) that indicates specificity of reference
 
definition
a concise explanation of the meaning of a word or phrase or symbol
 
degree program
a course of study leading to an academic degree
 
deictic
a word specifying identity or spatial or temporal location from the perspective of a speaker or hearer in the context in which the communication occurs
 
Delaware
the Algonquian language spoken by the Delaware
 
deliberation
(usually plural) discussion of all sides of a question
 
delivery
your characteristic style or manner of expressing yourself orally
 
delta
the 4th letter of the Greek alphabet
 
demagoguery
impassioned appeals to the prejudices and emotions of the populace
 
demand
an urgent or peremptory request
 
demand for identification
as by a sentry
 
demerit
a mark against a person for misconduct or failure; usually given in school or armed forces
 
demisemiquaver
a musical note having the time value of a thirty-second of a whole note
 
demo
a visual presentation showing how something works
 
demodulation
(electronics) the reception of a signal by extracting it from the carrier wave
 
demonisation
to represent as diabolically evil
 
demonstration
proof by a process of argument or a series of proposition proving an asserted conclusion
 
demonstrative
a pronoun that points out an intended referent
 
Demotic
the modern Greek vernacular
 
Demotic script
a simplified cursive form of the ancient hieratic script
 
demur
(law) a formal objection to an opponent's pleadings
 
demurrer
(law) any pleading that attacks the legal sufficiency of the opponent's pleadings
 
demythologisation
the restatement of a message (as a religious one) in rational terms
 
denial
the act of refusing to comply (as with a request)
 
denial
the act of asserting that something alleged is not true
 
denotation
the act of indicating or pointing out by name
 
denotatum
an actual object referred to by a linguistic expression
 
denouement
the final resolution of the main complication of a literary or dramatic work
 
denouncement
a public act of denouncing
 
dependent clause
a clause in a complex sentence that cannot stand alone as a complete sentence and that functions within the sentence as a noun or adjective or adverb
 
deposit
a payment given as a guarantee that an obligation will be met
 
deposition
(law) a pretrial interrogation of a witness; usually conducted in a lawyer's office
 
deprecation
a prayer to avert or remove some evil or disaster
 
depreciation
a communication that belittles somebody or something
 
derision
contemptuous laughter
 
derivation
(historical linguistics) an explanation of the historical origins of a word or phrase
 
derivative
(linguistics) a word that is derived from another word
 
derivative
a financial instrument whose value is based on another security
 
descant
a decorative musical accompaniment (often improvised) added above a basic melody
 
descender
(printing) the part of lowercase letters that extends below the other lowercase letters
 
descender
a lowercase letter that has a part extending below other lowercase letters
 
description
the act of describing something
 
description
a statement that represents something in words
 
descriptive adjective
an adjective that ascribes to its noun the value of an attribute of that noun (e.g., `a nervous person' or `a musical speaking voice')
 
descriptive clause
a subordinate clause that does not limit or restrict the meaning of the noun phrase it modifies
 
descriptor
the phonological or orthographic sound or appearance of a word that can be used to describe or identify something
 
designatum
something (whether existing or not) that is referred to by a linguistic expression
 
detail
extended treatment of particulars
 
detail file
(computer science) a computer file containing relatively transient data about a particular data processing task
 
detailing
an individualized description of a particular instance
 
details
true confidential information
 
detection
the detection that a signal is being received
 
detective novel
novel in which the reader is challenged to solve a puzzle before the detective explains it at the end
 
detective story
a narrative about someone who investigates crimes and obtains evidence leading to their resolution
 
determent
a communication that makes you afraid to try something
 
determinative
one of a limited class of noun modifiers that determine the referents of noun phrases
 
deterrent example
punishment intended as a warning to others
 
detraction
a petty disparagement
 
deuce
a word used in exclamations of confusion
 
Devanagari script
a syllabic script used in writing Sanskrit and Hindi
 
development
(music) the section of a composition or movement (especially in sonata form) where the major musical themes are developed and elaborated
 
deverbal noun
a noun that is derived from a verb
 
device
something in an artistic work designed to achieve a particular effect
 
device driver
(computer science) a program that determines how a computer will communicate with a peripheral device
 
Dhegiha
a branch of the Siouan languages
 
diacritic
a mark added to a letter to indicate a special pronunciation
 
diaeresis
a diacritical mark (two dots) placed over a vowel to indicate that it does not form a diphthong with an adjacent vowel
 
diagnostic program
a program that recognizes and explains faults in the equipment or mistakes in a computer program
 
diagonal
a punctuation mark (/) used to separate related items of information
 
dialect atlas
an atlas showing the distribution of distinctive linguistic features
 
dialog
a literary composition in the form of a conversation between two people
 
dialog
the lines spoken by characters in drama or fiction
 
dialog
a conversation between two persons
 
dialogue
a discussion intended to produce an agreement
 
diary
a daily written record of (usually personal) experiences and observations
 
diatonic scale
a scale with eight notes in an octave; all but two are separated by whole tones
 
diatribe
thunderous verbal attack
 
dibrach
a metrical unit with unstressed-unstressed syllables
 
dibs
a claim of rights
 
dictate
an authoritative rule
 
dictation
matter that has been dictated and transcribed; a dictated passage
 
dictation
speech intended for reproduction in writing
 
diction
the articulation of speech regarded from the point of view of its intelligibility to the audience
 
dictionary definition
a definition that reports the standard uses of a word or phrase or symbol
 
dictionary entry
the entry in a dictionary of information about a word
 
dictionary
a reference book containing an alphabetical list of words with information about them
 
dictum
an opinion voiced by a judge on a point of law not directly bearing on the case in question and therefore not binding
 
dictum
an authoritative declaration
 
didacticism
communication that is suitable for or intended to be instructive
 
Diegueno
the Yuman language spoken by the Diegueno
 
Dies Irae
the first words of a medieval Latin hymn describing the Last Judgment (literally `day of wrath')
 
diesis
a character used in printing to indicate a cross reference or footnote
 
differential equation
an equation containing differentials of a function
 
digest
a periodical that summarizes the news
 
digram
two successive letters (especially two letters used to represent a single sound: `sh' in `shoe')
 
dilation
a lengthy discussion (spoken or written) on a particular topic
 
dilatory plea
a plea that delays the action without settling the cause of action; it can challenge the jurisdiction or claim disability of the defendant etc. (such defenses are usually raised in the defendant's answer)
 
dime novel
a melodramatic paperback novel
 
diminution
the statement of a theme in notes of lesser duration (usually half the length of the original)
 
diminutive
a word that is formed with a suffix (such as -let or -kin) to indicate smallness
 
Dinka
a Nilotic language
 
diphthong
a vowel sound that starts near the articulatory position for one vowel and moves toward the position for another
 
diploma
a document certifying the successful completion of a course of study
 
diplomacy
negotiation between nations
 
direct antonym
antonyms that are commonly associated (e.g., `wet' and `dry')
 
direct discourse
a report of the exact words used in a discourse (e.g.,
 
direct evidence
evidence (usually the testimony of a witness) directly related to the fact in dispute
 
direct examination
(law) the initial questioning of a witness by the party that called the witness
 
direct mail
advertising sent directly to prospective customers via the mail
 
direct object
the object that receives the direct action of the verb
 
direction
a message describing how something is to be done
 
directive
a pronouncement encouraging or banning some activity
 
directory
an alphabetical list of names and addresses
 
directory
(computer science) a listing of the files stored in memory (usually on a hard disk)
 
dirt
disgraceful gossip about the private lives of other people
 
dirty word
a word that is considered to be unmentionable
 
dirty word
an offensive or indecent word or phrase
 
disagreement
the speech act of disagreeing or arguing or disputing
 
disambiguation
clarification that follows from the removal of ambiguity
 
disambiguator
(computer science) a natural language processing application that tries to determine the intended meaning of a word or phrase by examining the linguistic context in which it is used
 
disapproval
the expression of disapproval
 
disavowal
denial of any connection with or knowledge of
 
disclaimer
(law) a voluntary repudiation of a person's legal claim to something
 
disclosure
the speech act of making something evident
 
disco
popular dance music (especially in the late 1970s); melodic with a regular bass beat; intended mainly for dancing at discotheques
 
discography
a descriptive catalog of musical recordings
 
discord
disagreement among those expected to cooperate
 
discouragement
the expression of opposition and disapproval
 
discourse
extended verbal expression in speech or writing
 
discourse
an extended communication (often interactive) dealing with some particular topic
 
discourse
an address of a religious nature (usually delivered during a church service)
 
discourtesy
an expression of lack of respect
 
discovery
something that is discovered
 
discovery
(law) compulsory pretrial disclosure of documents relevant to a case; enables one side in a litigation to elicit information from the other side concerning the facts in the case
 
discussion
an exchange of views on some topic
 
disheartenment
a communication that leaves you disheartened or daunted
 
disinformation
misinformation that is deliberately disseminated in order to influence or confuse rivals (foreign enemies or business competitors etc.)
 
disk file
(computer science) a computer file stored on a magnetic disk and identified by a unique label
 
dismissal
permission to go; the sending away of someone
 
dismissal
official notice that you have been fired from your job
 
disowning
refusal to acknowledge as one's own
 
display
behavior that makes your feelings public
 
display
exhibiting openly in public view
 
display
something intended to communicate a particular impression
 
disquisition
an elaborate analytical or explanatory essay or discussion
 
dissembling
pretending with intention to deceive
 
dissent
(law) the difference of one judge's opinion from that of the majority
 
dissent
a difference of opinion
 
dissenting opinion
an opinion that disagrees with the court's disposition of the case
 
dissertation
a treatise advancing a new point of view resulting from research; usually a requirement for an advanced academic degree
 
dissidence
disagreement; especially disagreement with the government
 
dissolve
(film) a gradual transition from one scene to the next; the next scene is gradually superimposed as the former scene fades out
 
dissuasion
a communication that dissuades you
 
dissuasion
persuading not to do or believe something; talking someone out of a belief or an intended course of action
 
dissyllable
a word having two syllables
 
distinction
an honor awarded to someone in recognition of achievement or superiority
 
Distinguished Conduct Medal
a British military decoration for distinguished conduct in the field
 
Distinguished Flying Cross
a United States Air Force decoration for heroism while participating in an aerial flight
 
Distinguished Service Cross
a United States Army decoration for extraordinary heroism against an armed enemy
 
Distinguished Service Medal
a United States military decoration for meritorious service in wartime duty of great responsibility
 
Distinguished Service Order
a British military decoration for special service in action
 
distress call
an internationally recognized signal sent out by a ship or plane indicating that help is needed
 
distribution agreement
a contract governing the marketing of an item of merchandise
 
distribution list
list of names to whom a communication should be sent
 
dit
the shorter of the two telegraphic signals used in Morse code
 
dithyramb
(ancient Greece) a passionate hymn (usually in honor of Dionysus)
 
dithyramb
a wildly enthusiastic speech or piece of writing
 
ditto
a mark used to indicate the word above it should be repeated
 
ditty
a short simple song (or the words of a poem intended to be sung)
 
divan
a collection of Persian or Arabic poems (usually by one author)
 
divertimento
a musical composition in several movements; has no fixed form
 
divestiture
an order to an offending party to rid itself of property; it has the purpose of depriving the defendant of the gains of wrongful behavior
 
Divina Commedia
a narrative epic poem written by Dante
 
divination
successful conjecture by unusual insight or good luck
 
divination
a prediction uttered under divine inspiration
 
divine revelation
communication of knowledge to man by a divine or supernatural agency
 
division
discord that splits a group
 
divulgement
the act of disclosing something that was secret or private
 
DNA fingerprint
biometric identification obtained by examining a person's unique sequence of DNA base pairs; often used for evidence in criminal law cases
 
do
the syllable naming the first (tonic) note of any major scale in solmization
 
docket
(law) the calendar of a court; the list of cases to be tried or a summary of the court's activities
 
Doctor of Arts
an honorary arts degree
 
Doctor of Arts
a doctor's degree with a special disciplinary focus
 
Doctor of Dental Medicine
a doctor's degree in dental medicine
 
Doctor of Dental Surgery
a doctor's degree in dental surgery
 
Doctor of Divinity
a doctor's degree in religion
 
Doctor of Education
a doctor's degree in education
 
Doctor of Fine Arts
an honorary degree in fine arts
 
Doctor of Humane Letters
an honorary degree in letters
 
Doctor of Humanities
an honorary degree in the humanities
 
Doctor of Laws
an honorary law degree
 
Doctor of Medicine
a doctor's degree in medicine
 
Doctor of Music
a doctor's degree in music
 
Doctor of Musical Arts
a doctor's degree in musical arts
 
Doctor of Optometry
a doctor's degree in optometry
 
Doctor of Osteopathy
doctor's degree in osteopathy
 
Doctor of Philosophy
a doctorate awarded for original contributions to knowledge
 
Doctor of Public Health
a doctor's degree in preventive medicine
 
Doctor of Sacred Theology
a doctor's degree in theology
 
Doctor of Science
an honorary degree in science
 
Doctor of Theology
a doctor's degree in theology
 
doctor's bill
statement of charges for medical services
 
doctorate
one of the highest earned academic degrees conferred by a university
 
doctorspeak
medical jargon
 
docudrama
a film or TV program presenting the facts about a person or event
 
document
writing that provides information (especially information of an official nature)
 
document
(computer science) a computer file that contains text (and possibly formatting instructions) using seven-bit ASCII characters
 
documentation
program listings or technical manuals describing the operation and use of programs
 
dodge
a statement that evades the question by cleverness or trickery
 
dog tag
metal plate on a dog collar bearing its registration number
 
dog tag
military identification tag worn on a chain around the neck
 
dog-ear
a corner of a page turned down to mark your place
 
doggerel
a comic verse of irregular measure
 
dogma
a religious doctrine that is proclaimed as true without proof
 
Doing Business As
(law) a name under which a corporation conducts business that is not the legal name of the corporation as shown in its articles of incorporation
 
dollar diplomacy
diplomacy influenced by economic considerations
 
dollar mark
a mark ($) written before a number to indicate that it stands for the number of dollars
 
dollar
a symbol of commercialism or greed
 
domain name
strings of letters and numbers (separated by periods) that are used to name organizations and computers and addresses on the internet
 
dominant
(music) the fifth note of the diatonic scale
 
Don
a Spanish courtesy title or form of address for men that is prefixed to the forename
 
Dona
a Spanish courtesy title or form of address for a woman
 
donkey
the symbol of the Democratic Party; introduced in cartoons by Thomas Nast in 1874
 
donor card
a card that you carry on your person and that authorizes the use of your organs for transplantation after your death
 
doo-wop
a genre (usually a cappella) of Black vocal-harmony music of the 1950s that evolved in New York City from gospel singing; characterized by close four-part harmonies; the name derived from some of the nonsense syllables sung by the backup
 
Doomsday Book
record of a British census and land survey in 1085-1086 ordered by William the Conqueror
 
dope sheet
a racing publication giving information on horses and the outcomes of horse races
 
dope
slang terms for inside information
 
Doric dialect
the dialect of Ancient Greek spoken in Doris
 
DOS
an operating system that is on a disk
 
dossier
a collection of papers containing detailed information about a particular person or subject (usually a person's record)
 
dotted line
a line made up of dots or dashes; often used to indicate where you are supposed to sign a contract
 
Douay-Rheims Version
an English translation of the Vulgate by Roman Catholic scholars
 
double bar
notation marking the end of principal parts of a musical composition; two adjacent bar lines
 
double Dutch
an incomprehensible talk
 
double entendre
an ambiguity with one interpretation that is indelicate
 
double first
a first-class honours degree in two subjects
 
double flat
a musical notation of two flats in front of a note indicating that it is to be lowered by two semitones
 
double indemnity
a clause in an insurance policy that provides for double the face value of the policy in the case of accidental death
 
double negative
a grammatically substandard but emphatic negative
 
double negative
an affirmative constructed from two negatives
 
double quotes
a pair of quotation marks
 
double rhyme
a two-syllable rhyme
 
double sharp
a musical notation of two sharps in front of a note indicating that it is to be raised by two semitones
 
double standard
an ethical or moral code that applies more strictly to one group than to another
 
double standard of sexual behavior
a code that permits greater sexual freedom for men than for women (associated with the subordination of women)
 
double talk
deliberately unintelligible gibberish
 
double-spacing
typing that leaves alternate lines blank
 
doublespeak
any language that pretends to communicate but actually does not
 
doubly transitive verb
a transitive verb that takes both a direct and an indirect object
 
dove
an emblem of peace
 
Dow-Jones Industrial Average
an indicator of stock market prices; based on the share values of 30 blue-chip stocks listed on the New York Stock Exchange
 
downbeat
the first beat of a musical measure (as the conductor's arm moves downward)
 
downstroke
a stroke normally made in a downward direction
 
doxology
a hymn or verse in Christian liturgy glorifying God
 
DPhil
a British doctorate
 
draft
any of the various versions in the development of a written work
 
drama
the literary genre of works intended for the theater
 
drama
a dramatic work intended for performance by actors on a stage
 
dramatic art
the art of writing and producing plays
 
dramatic composition
a play for performance on the stage or television or in a movie etc.
 
dramatic irony
(theater) irony that occurs when the meaning of the situation is understood by the audience but not by the characters in the play
 
Dravidian language
a large family of languages spoken in south and central India and Sri Lanka
 
drawing
an illustration that is drawn by hand and published in a book, magazine, or newspaper
 
drawl
a slow speech pattern with prolonged vowels
 
dress code
a set of rules specifying the correct manner of dress while on the premises of the institution (or specifying what manner of dress is prohibited)
 
drinking song
a song celebrating the joys of drinking; sung at drinking parties
 
drivel
a worthless message
 
driver's licence
a license authorizing the bearer to drive a motor vehicle
 
drogue
a funnel-shaped device towed as a target by an airplane
 
drone
an unchanging intonation
 
drop line
a headline with the top line flush left and succeeding lines indented to the right
 
drop-down menu
a menu of options that appears below the item when the computer user clicks on it
 
drumbeat
(military) the beating of a drum as a signal for lowering the flag at sundown
 
duet
a musical composition for two performers
 
dump
(computer science) a copy of the contents of a computer storage device; sometimes used in debugging programs
 
dump routine
a routine that writes from an internal store to some external medium
 
duodecimal notation
any notation that uses 12 different characters
 
duodecimal number system
a positional system of numeration that uses duodecimal digits and a radix of twelve
 
duologue
a part of the script in which the speaking roles are limited to two actors
 
duplicity
a fraudulent or duplicitous representation
 
dustup
an angry dispute
 
Dutch
the West Germanic language of the Netherlands
 
dysphemism
an offensive or disparaging expression that is substituted for an inoffensive one
 
dystopia
a work of fiction describing an imaginary place where life is extremely bad because of deprivation or oppression or terror
 
E
the 5th letter of the Roman alphabet
 
E.S.P.
apparent power to perceive things that are not present to the senses
 
eagle
an emblem representing power
 
earful
an outpouring of gossip
 
earmark
identification mark on the ear of a domestic animal
 
East Chadic
a group of Chadic languages spoken in Chad
 
East Germanic language
an extinct branch of the Germanic languages
 
East Midland
the dialect of Middle English that replaced West Saxon as the literary language and which developed into Modern English
 
East Tocharian
a dialect of Tocharian
 
Easter card
a card expressing an Easter greeting
 
Eastern Malayo-Polynesian
an eastern subfamily of Malayo-Polynesian languages
 
Eastern Turki
a Turkic literary language of medieval central Asia (named for one of the sons of Genghis Khan)
 
ECC
(telecommunication) a coding system that incorporates extra parity bits in order to detect errors
 
echo
a reply that repeats what has just been said
 
echocardiogram
a graphical image of the heart produced by an echocardiograph
 
echoencephalogram
a graphical image of the brain produced by an echoencephalograph
 
echolalia
an infant's repetition of sounds uttered by others
 
ecobabble
using the technical language of ecology to make the user seem ecologically aware
 
economic policy
a government policy for maintaining economic growth and tax revenues
 
ecphonesis
an exclamatory rhetorical device
 
ecumenicalism
(Christianity) the doctrine of the ecumenical movement that promotes cooperation and better understanding among different religious denominations: aimed at universal Christian unity
 
Edda
either of two distinct works in Old Icelandic dating from the late 13th century and consisting of 34 mythological and heroic ballads composed between 800 and 1200; the primary source for Scandinavian mythology
 
edict
a formal or authoritative proclamation
 
editing
putting something (as a literary work or a legislative bill) into acceptable form
 
edition
an issue of a newspaper
 
edition
the form in which a text (especially a printed book) is published
 
editor
(computer science) a program designed to perform such editorial functions as rearrangement or modification or deletion of data
 
EEG
a graphical record of electrical activity of the brain; produced by an electroencephalograph
 
Egyptian
the ancient and now extinct language of Egypt under the Pharaohs; written records date back to 3000 BC
 
Eighteenth Amendment
an amendment to the Constitution of the United States adopted in 1920; prohibited the manufacture and sale of alcoholic beverages; repealed in 1932
 
eighth note
a musical note having the time value of an eighth of a whole note
 
eisegesis
personal interpretation of a text (especially of the Bible) using your own ideas
 
ejaculation
an abrupt emphatic exclamation expressing emotion
 
EKG
a graphical recording of the cardiac cycle produced by an electrocardiograph
 
elaboration
a discussion that provides additional information
 
Elamitic
an extinct ancient language of unknown affinities; spoken by the Elamites
 
electric bill
a bill for money owed for electricity used
 
electronic communication
communication by computer
 
electronic mail
(computer science) a system of world-wide electronic communication in which a computer user can compose a message at one terminal that can be regenerated at the recipient's terminal when the recipient logs in
 
electronic messaging
the sending and processing of e-mail by computer
 
electronic signal
a signal generated by electronic means
 
electronic text
text that is in a form that computer can store or display on a computer screen
 
electroretinogram
a graphical recording of the electrical activity of the retina that results when light is flashed into the eye
 
elegiac stanza
a quatrain in iambic pentameter with abab rhyme scheme
 
elegy
a mournful poem; a lament for the dead
 
elephant
the symbol of the Republican Party; introduced in cartoons by Thomas Nast in 1874
 
elocution
an expert manner of speaking involving control of voice and gesture
 
eloquence
powerful and effective language
 
elucidation
an act of explaining that serves to clear up and cast light on
 
embargo
a government order imposing a trade barrier
 
embellishment
elaboration of an interpretation by the use of decorative (sometimes fictitious) detail
 
embossment
an impression produced by pressure or printing
 
Emergency Alert System
a federal warning system that is activated by FEMA; enables the President to take over the United States airwaves to warn the whole country of major catastrophic events
 
EMG
a graphical record of electric currents associated with muscle contractions
 
Emmy
an annual award by the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for outstanding achievements in television
 
emoticon
a representation of a facial expression (as a smile or frown) created by typing a sequence of characters in sending email
 
emphasis
special and significant stress by means of position or repetition e.g.
 
empirical formula
a chemical formula showing the ratio of elements in a compound rather than the total number of atoms
 
employment agreement
contract between employer and employee
 
employment interview
an interview to determine whether an applicant is suitable for a position of employment
 
empty talk
loud and confused and empty talk
 
enabling act
a provision in a law that confers on appropriate officials the power to implement or enforce the law
 
enabling legislation
legislation that gives appropriate officials the authority to implement or enforce the law
 
enallage
a substitution of part of speech or gender or number or tense etc. (e.g., editorial `we' for `I')
 
enchiridion
a concise reference book providing specific information about a subject or location
 
enclosure
something (usually a supporting document) that is enclosed in an envelope with a covering letter
 
encomium
a formal expression of praise
 
encouragement
the expression of approval and support
 
encyclical
a letter from the pope sent to all Roman Catholic bishops throughout the world
 
ending
the end of a word (a suffix or inflectional ending or final morpheme)
 
endorsement
a signature that validates something
 
endorsement
a speech seconding a motion
 
enfeoffment
under the feudal system, the deed by which a person was given land in exchange for a pledge of service
 
English language
an Indo-European language belonging to the West Germanic branch; the official language of Britain and the United States and most of the commonwealth countries
 
enigma canon
a canon in which the entrances of successive parts were indicated by cryptic symbols and devices (popular in the 15th and 16th centuries)
 
enjambement
the continuation of a syntactic unit from one line of verse into the next line without a pause
 
enquiry
an instance of questioning
 
ensign
an emblem flown as a symbol of nationality
 
entente
a friendly understanding between political powers
 
entrance exam
examination to determine a candidate's preparation for a course of studies
 
entry
an item inserted in a written record
 
entry
something (manuscripts or architectural plans and models or estimates or works of art of all genres etc.) submitted for the judgment of others (as in a competition)
 
enumeration
a numbered list
 
envoi
a brief stanza concluding certain forms of poetry
 
epanalepsis
repetition after intervening words
 
epanodos
repetition of a group of words in reverse order
 
epanodos
recapitulation of the main ideas of a speech (especially in reverse order)
 
epanorthosis
immediate rephrasing for intensification or justification
 
epenthesis
the insertion of a vowel or consonant into a word to make its pronunciation easier
 
ephemeris
an annual publication containing astronomical tables that give the positions of the celestial bodies throughout the year
 
epic poetry
poetry celebrating the deeds of some hero
 
epic
a long narrative poem telling of a hero's deeds
 
epideictic oratory
a type of oratory used to eulogize or condemn a person or group of people
 
epigram
a witty saying
 
epigraph
an engraved inscription
 
epigraph
a quotation at the beginning of some piece of writing
 
epilog
a short passage added at the end of a literary work
 
epilog
a short speech (often in verse) addressed directly to the audience by an actor at the end of a play
 
epiphora
repetition of the ends of two or more successive sentences, verses, etc.
 
epiplexis
a rhetorical device in which the speaker reproaches the audience in order to incite or convince them
 
episode
a brief section of a literary or dramatic work that forms part of a connected series
 
episode
a part of a broadcast serial
 
epistle
a specially long, formal letter
 
Epistle
a book of the New Testament written in the form of a letter from an Apostle
 
Epistle of James
a New Testament book attributed to Saint James the Apostle
 
Epistle of Jeremiah
an Apocryphal book consisting of a letter ascribed to Jeremiah to the Jews in exile in Babylon warning them against idolatry
 
Epistle of Jude
a New Testament book attributed to Saint Jude
 
Epistle of Paul the Apostle to Philemon
a New Testament book containing an epistle from Saint Paul to Philemon asking Philemon to forgive the slave for escaping
 
Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Colossians
a New Testament book containing an epistle from Saint Paul to the Colossians in ancient Phrygia
 
Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Ephesians
a New Testament book containing the epistle from Saint Paul to the Ephesians which explains the divine plan for the world and the consummation of this in Christ
 
Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Galatians
a New Testament book containing the epistle from Saint Paul to the Galatians
 
Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Philippians
a New Testament book containing an epistle from Saint Paul to the church at Philippi in Macedonia
 
Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Romans
a New Testament book containing an exposition of the doctrines of Saint Paul; written in AD 58
 
Epistle of Paul the Apostle to Titus
a New Testament book containing Saint Paul's epistle to Titus; contains advice on pastoral matters
 
Epistle to the Hebrews
a New Testament book traditionally included among the epistle of Saint Paul but now generally considered not to have been written by him
 
epitaph
an inscription on a tombstone or monument in memory of the person buried there
 
epitaph
a summary statement of commemoration for a dead person
 
epithalamium
an ode honoring a bride and bridegroom
 
epithet
descriptive word or phrase
 
epithet
a defamatory or abusive word or phrase
 
epitome
a brief abstract (as of an article or book)
 
eponym
the name derived from a person (real or imaginary)
 
eponym
the person for whom something is named
 
epos
a body of poetry that conveys the traditions of a society by treating some epic theme
 
epsilon
the 5th letter of the Greek alphabet
 
equal sign
a sign indicating that the quantities on either side are equal
 
equation
a mathematical statement that two expressions are equal
 
equivalent word
two words that can be interchanged in a context are said to be synonymous relative to that context
 
equivocation
a statement that is not literally false but that cleverly avoids an unpleasant truth
 
ERA
(baseball) a measure of a pitcher's effectiveness; calculated as the average number of earned runs allowed by the pitcher for every nine innings pitched
 
erasure
a surface area where something has been erased
 
erasure
a correction made by erasing
 
Erewhon
a satirical novel written by Samuel Butler (1872) describing a fictitious land
 
erratum
a mistake in printed matter resulting from mechanical failures of some kind
 
error
part of a statement that is not correct
 
escalator
a clause in a contract that provides for an increase or a decrease in wages or prices or benefits etc. depending on certain conditions (as a change in the cost of living index)
 
Eskimo-Aleut language
the family of languages that includes Eskimo and Aleut
 
esoterica
secrets known only to an initiated minority
 
Esperantido
an artificial language based on Esperanto and Ido
 
Esperanto
an artificial language based as far as possible on words common to all the European languages
 
esprit de l'escalier
a witty remark that occurs to you too late
 
Esquimau
the language spoken by the Eskimo
 
essay
an analytic or interpretive literary composition
 
Esselen
the Hokan language spoken by the Esselen
 
Esthonian
the official language of Estonia; belongs to the Baltic-Finnic family of languages
 
estimate
a statement indicating the likely cost of some job
 
estoppel
a rule of evidence whereby a person is barred from denying the truth of a fact that has already been settled
 
eta
the 7th letter of the Greek alphabet
 
ethic
a system of principles governing morality and acceptable conduct
 
Ethiopian language
the dominant and official language of Ethiopia; a Semitic language much influenced by the Cushitic language with which Amhara have been in close contact
 
ethnic joke
a joke at the expense of some ethnic group
 
ethnic music
the traditional and typically anonymous music that is an expression of the life of people in a community
 
ethnic slur
a slur on someone's race or language
 
etiquette
rules governing socially acceptable behavior
 
etude
a short composition for a solo instrument; intended as an exercise or to demonstrate technical virtuosity
 
etymological dictionary
a dictionary giving the historical origins of each word
 
etymology
a history of a word
 
etymon
a simple form inferred as the common basis from which related words in several languages can be derived by linguistic processes
 
eulogium
a formal expression of praise for someone who has died recently
 
euphemism
an inoffensive or indirect expression that is substituted for one that is considered offensive or too harsh
 
euphuism
an elegant style of prose of the Elizabethan period; characterized by balance and antithesis and alliteration and extended similes with and allusions to nature and mythology
 
euphuism
any artificially elegant style of language
 
Eurobabble
the jargon of European community documents and regulations
 
Europan
an artificial language proposed as an auxiliary European language
 
evangelism
zealous preaching and advocacy of the gospel
 
evasive answer
(law) an answer by a defendant that fails to admit or deny the allegations set forth in the complaint
 
Evening Prayer
(Anglican Church) a daily evening service with prayers prescribed in the Book of Common Prayer
 
evidence
an indication that makes something evident
 
evidence
(law) all the means by which any alleged matter of fact whose truth is investigated at judicial trial is established or disproved
 
Ewe
a Kwa language spoken by the Ewe in Ghana and Togo and Benin
 
Ewenki
the Tungusic language of the Evenki in eastern Siberia
 
exaggeration
extravagant exaggeration
 
exaggeration
making to seem more important than it really is
 
exam paper
a written examination
 
exam
a set of questions or exercises evaluating skill or knowledge
 
examination
formal systematic questioning
 
exception
grounds for adverse criticism
 
excerpt
a passage selected from a larger work
 
exchange
a mutual expression of views (especially an unpleasant one)
 
exclaiming
an abrupt excited utterance
 
exclamation
a loud complaint or protest or reproach
 
exclamation mark
a punctuation mark (!) used after an exclamation
 
exclusionary rule
a rule that provides that otherwise admissible evidence cannot be used in a criminal trial if it was the result of illegal police conduct
 
exclusive
a news report that is reported first by one news organization
 
excoriation
severe censure
 
excuse
a note explaining an absence
 
execution sale
a sale of property by the sheriff under authority of a court's writ of execution in order satisfy an unpaid obligation
 
execution
(law) the completion of a legal instrument (such as a contract or deed) by signing it (and perhaps sealing and delivering it) so that it becomes legally binding and enforceable
 
execution
a routine court order that attempts to enforce the judgment that has been granted to a plaintiff by authorizing a sheriff to carry it out
 
executive program
a program that controls the execution of other programs
 
executive routine
a routine that coordinates the operation of subroutines
 
exegesis
an explanation or critical interpretation (especially of the Bible)
 
exemplification
showing by example
 
exhibit
an object or statement produced before a court of law and referred to while giving evidence
 
exhibitionism
extravagant and conspicuous behavior intended to attract attention to yourself
 
exhortation
a communication intended to urge or persuade the recipients to take some action
 
exhortation
the act of exhorting; an earnest attempt at persuasion
 
existential operator
a logical quantifier of a proposition that asserts the existence of at least one thing for which the proposition is true
 
exode
a farcical afterpiece in the ancient Roman theater
 
exordium
(rhetoric) the introductory section of an oration or discourse
 
expatiation
a discussion (spoken or written) that enlarges on a topic or theme at length or in detail
 
explanandum
(logic) a statement of something (a fact or thing or expression) to be explained
 
explanans
(logic) statements that explain the explicandum; the explanatory premises
 
explanation
the act of explaining; making something plain or intelligible
 
expletive
a word or phrase conveying no independent meaning but added to fill out a sentence or metrical line
 
explication
the act of making clear or removing obscurity from the meaning of a word or symbol or expression etc.
 
explication
a detailed explanation of the meaning of something
 
explication de texte
a method of literary criticism that analyzes details of a text in order to reveal its structure and meaning
 
explicit definition
a definition that gives an exact equivalent of the term defined
 
explosion
a sudden outburst
 
explosion
the terminal forced release of pressure built up during the occlusive phase of a stop consonant
 
exponent
a mathematical notation indicating the number of times a quantity is multiplied by itself
 
expose
the exposure of an impostor or a fraud
 
exposition
(music) the section of a movement (especially in sonata form) where the major musical themes first occur
 
exposition
an account that sets forth the meaning or intent of a writing or discourse
 
exposition
a systematic interpretation or explanation (usually written) of a specific topic
 
expostulation
an exclamation of protest or remonstrance or reproof
 
expostulation
the act of expressing earnest opposition or protest
 
exposure
the disclosure of something secret
 
express
mail that is distributed by a rapid and efficient system
 
expression
a group of symbols that make a mathematical statement
 
expression
the style of expressing yourself
 
expression
a word or phrase that particular people use in particular situations
 
expression
expression without words
 
expression
the communication (in speech or writing) of your beliefs or opinions
 
expressive style
a way of expressing something (in language or art or music etc.) that is characteristic of a particular person or group of people or period
 
extension
a string of characters beginning with a period and followed by one or more letters; the optional second part of a PC computer filename
 
extension
the spreading of something (a belief or practice) into new regions
 
extenuation
a partial excuse to mitigate censure; an attempt to represent an offense as less serious than it appears by showing mitigating circumstances
 
extra
an additional edition of a newspaper (usually to report a crisis)
 
extropy
the prediction that human intelligence and technology will enable life to expand in an orderly way throughout the entire universe
 
exultation
the utterance of sounds expressing great joy
 
eye chart
a chart that is read from a fixed distance; used as a test of vision
 
eye contact
a meeting of the eyes between two people that expresses meaningful nonverbal communication
 
eye dialect
the use of misspellings to identify a colloquial or uneducated speaker
 
eye rhyme
an imperfect rhyme (e.g., `love' and `move')
 
Eysenck Personality Inventory
a self-report personality inventory based on Hans Eysenck's factor analysis of personality which assumes three basic factors (the two most important being extraversion to introversion and neuroticism)
 
F
the 6th letter of the Roman alphabet
 
F clef
a clef that puts the F below middle C on the fourth line of a staff
 
fa
the syllable naming the fourth (subdominant) note of the diatonic scale in solmization
 
fa la
meaningless syllables in the refrain of a partsong
 
fable
a deliberately false or improbable account
 
fable
a story about mythical or supernatural beings or events
 
facade
a showy misrepresentation intended to conceal something unpleasant
 
face
a contorted facial expression
 
facial expression
a gesture executed with the facial muscles
 
facial profiling
identification of criminals and terrorist by means of videotapes of their faces
 
facing pages
two facing pages of a book or other publication
 
fact
a statement or assertion of verified information about something that is the case or has happened
 
factoid
a brief (usually one sentence and usually trivial) news item
 
factoid
something resembling a fact; unverified (often invented) information that is given credibility because it appeared in print
 
fado
a sad Portuguese folksong
 
Faeroese
a Scandinavian language (closely related to Icelandic) that is spoken on the Faroe Islands
 
fair copy
a clean copy of a corrected draft
 
fair-trade act
formerly a state law that protected manufacturers from price-cutting by allowing them to set minimum retail prices for their merchandise; eliminated by the United States Congress in 1975
 
fair-trade agreement
an agreement (illegal in the United States) between the manufacturer of a trademarked item of merchandise and its retail distributors to sell the item at a price at or above the price set by the manufacturer
 
fairy story
a story about fairies; told to amuse children
 
false alarm
a warning that is given about something that fails to occur
 
false return
an incorrect income tax return
 
falsehood
a false statement
 
family Bible
a large Bible with pages to record marriages and births
 
family history
part of a patient's medical history in which questions are asked in an attempt to find out whether the patient has hereditary tendencies toward particular diseases
 
fan letter
a letter that is a piece of fan mail
 
fanfare
a gaudy outward display
 
fanfare
(music) a short lively tune played on brass instruments
 
Fang
a Bantu language spoken in Cameroon
 
fantasia
a musical composition of a free form usually incorporating several familiar themes
 
fantasy
fiction with a large amount of imagination in it
 
FAQ
a list of questions that are frequently asked (about a given topic) along with their answers
 
farce
a comedy characterized by broad satire and improbable situations
 
farewell
an acknowledgment or expression of goodwill at parting
 
farm bill
a statute that would regulate farm production and prices
 
fasces
bundle of rods containing an axe with the blade protruding; in ancient Rome it was a symbol of a magistrate's power; in modern Italy it is a symbol of fascism
 
fascicle
an installment of a printed work
 
Fatihah
the first or opening sura of the Quran which is the central prayer of Islam and is used on all special occasions as well as during the five daily prayers
 
fatwah
(Islam) a legal opinion or ruling issued by an Islamic scholar
 
feature
a special or prominent article in a newspaper or magazine
 
feature
the principal (full-length) film in a program at a movie theater
 
federal job safety law
a law passed by the United States Congress that created the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to prevent employees from being injured or contracting diseases in the course of their employment
 
feedback
response to an inquiry or experiment
 
feminine
a gender that refers chiefly (but not exclusively) to females or to objects classified as female
 
fence mending
social action to improve poor relations (especially in politics)
 
fermata
a musical notation (over a note or chord or rest) that indicates it is to be prolonged by an unspecified amount
 
festschrift
a collection of writings published in honor of a scholar
 
fib
a trivial lie
 
fiber optics
the transmission of light signals via glass fibers
 
fiction
a literary work based on the imagination and not necessarily on fact
 
fictionalisation
a literary work based partly or wholly on fact but written as if it were fiction
 
field guide
a guidebook describing natural objects of some type that might be encountered in the field
 
fieri facias
a writ ordering a levy on the belongings of a debtor to satisfy the debt
 
fifth
the musical interval between one note and another five notes away from it
 
Fifth Amendment
an amendment to the Constitution of the United States that imposes restrictions on the government's prosecution of persons accused of crimes; mandates due process of law and prohibits self-incrimination and double jeopardy; requires just compensation if private property is taken for public use
 
fig
a diagram or picture illustrating textual material
 
fight
an intense verbal dispute
 
figure
language used in a figurative or nonliteral sense
 
Fijian
the Oceanic language spoken on Fiji
 
filing
the entering of a legal document into the public record
 
filler
copy to fill space between more important articles in the layout of a magazine or newspaper
 
film clip
a strip of motion picture film used in a telecast
 
film noir
a movie that is marked by a mood of pessimism, fatalism, menace, and cynical characters
 
film
a form of entertainment that enacts a story by sound and a sequence of images giving the illusion of continuous movement
 
final cut
the final edited version of a movie as approved by the director and producer
 
final injunction
injunction issued on completion of a trial
 
final
an examination administered at the end of an academic term
 
financial forecast
a forecast of the expected financial position and the results of operations and cash flows based on expected conditions
 
financial statement
a document showing credits and debits
 
fine print
material printed in small type
 
fine print
the part of a contract that contains reservations and qualifications that are often printed in small type
 
finger alphabet
an alphabet used by the deaf; letters are represented by finger positions
 
finger scan
biometric identification by automatically scanning a person's fingerprints electronically
 
finger spelling
an alphabet of manual signs
 
fingerboard
a guidepost resembling a hand with a pointing index finger
 
fingerpointing
the imputation of blame
 
fingerprint
a generic term for any identifying characteristic
 
fingerprint
a print made by an impression of the ridges in the skin of a finger; often used for biometric identification in criminal investigations
 
Finnish
the official language of Finland; belongs to the Baltic Finnic family of languages
 
Finno-Ugrian
a family of Uralic languages indigenous to Scandinavia and Hungary and Russia and western Siberia (prior to the Slavic expansion into those regions)
 
fire alarm
a shout or bell to warn that fire has broken out
 
fire code
set of standards established and enforced by government for fire prevention and safety in case of fire as in fire escapes etc
 
firestorm
an outburst of controversy
 
firmware
(computer science) coded instructions that are stored permanently in read-only memory
 
First Amendment
an amendment to the Constitution of the United States guaranteeing the right of free expression; includes freedom of assembly and freedom of the press and freedom of religion and freedom of speech
 
First Epistle of John
the first New Testament epistle traditionally attributed to Saint John the Apostle
 
First Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians
a New Testament book containing the first epistle from Saint Paul to the church at Corinth
 
First Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Thessalonians
a New Testament book containing Saint Paul's first epistle to the Thessalonians
 
First Epistle of Paul the Apostle to Timothy
a New Testament book containing Saint Paul's first epistle to Timothy; contains advice on pastoral matters
 
First Epistle of Peter
the first New Testament book traditionally attributed to Saint Peter the Apostle
 
first language
one's native language; the language learned by children and passed from one generation to the next
 
first name
the name that precedes the surname
 
first person
pronouns and verbs used to refer to the speaker or writer of the language in which they occur
 
first reading
the first presentation of a bill in a legislature
 
first
an honours degree of the highest class
 
fiscal policy
a government policy for dealing with the budget (especially with taxation and borrowing)
 
fishing licence
a license authorizing the bearer to fish during a specified period of time
 
fixed-point notation
a radix numeration system in which the location of the decimal point is fixed by convention
 
fixed-point part
the positive fractional part of the representation of a logarithm; in the expression log 643 = 2.808 the mantissa is .808
 
flag waving
an appeal intended to arouse patriotic emotions
 
flag
a listing printed in all issues of a newspaper or magazine (usually on the editorial page) that gives the name of the publication and the names of the editorial staff, etc.
 
flag
a rectangular piece of fabric used as a signalling device
 
flamenco
guitar music composed for dancing the flamenco
 
flare
a sudden outburst of emotion
 
flare
a burst of light used to communicate or illuminate
 
flash card
a card with words or numbers or pictures that is flashed to a class by the teacher
 
flash
a short news announcement concerning some on-going news story
 
flash-forward
a transition (in literary or theatrical works or films) to a later event or scene that interrupts the normal chronological development of the story
 
flashback
a transition (in literary or theatrical works or films) to an earlier event or scene that interrupts the normal chronological development of the story
 
flat
a musical notation indicating one half step lower than the note named
 
flatness
a want of animation or brilliance
 
flattery
excessive or insincere praise
 
flatulence
pompously embellished language
 
flaunt
the act of displaying something ostentatiously
 
fleer
contempt expressed by mockery in looks or words
 
Fleet Street
British journalism
 
Flemish dialect
one of two official languages of Belgium; closely related to Dutch
 
flick
a short stroke
 
flip chart
a chart with several sheets hinged at the top; sheets can be flipped over to present information sequentially
 
floater
an insurance policy covering loss of movable property (e.g. jewelry) regardless of its location
 
floating-point notation
a radix numeration system in which the location of the decimal point is indicated by an exponent of the radix; in the floating-point representation system, 0.0012 is represented as 0.12-2 where -2 is the exponent
 
florilegium
an anthology of short literary pieces and poems and ballads etc.
 
flourish
a display of ornamental speech or language
 
flourish
a showy gesture
 
flourish
an ornamental embellishment in writing
 
flow chart
a diagram of the sequence of operations in a computer program or an accounting system
 
flummery
meaningless ceremonies and flattery
 
flyleaf
a blank leaf in the front or back of a book
 
FM
modulation of the frequency of the (radio) carrier wave
 
foghorn
a loud low warning signal that can be heard by fogbound ships
 
foldout
an oversize page that is folded in to a book or magazine
 
folio
a sheet of any written or printed material (especially in a manuscript or book)
 
folio
the system of numbering pages
 
folk ballad
a song that is traditionally sung by the common people of a region and forms part of their culture
 
folk etymology
a popular but erroneous etymology
 
folk tale
a tale circulated by word of mouth among the common folk
 
follies
a revue with elaborate costuming
 
foolscap
a size of paper used especially in Britain
 
foot
(prosody) a group of 2 or 3 syllables forming the basic unit of poetic rhythm
 
footer
a printed note placed below the text on a printed page
 
footmark
a mark of a foot or shoe on a surface
 
footprint
a trace suggesting that something was once present or felt or otherwise important
 
footprint evidence
evidence in the form of footprints
 
forecast
a prediction about how something (as the weather) will develop
 
forecasting
a statement made about the future
 
Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act
an act passed by Congress in 1978 to establish procedures for requesting judicial authorization for foreign intelligence surveillance and to create the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court; intended to increase United States counterintelligence; separate from ordinary law enforcement surveillance
 
foreign policy
a policy governing international relations
 
foreknowledge
knowledge of an event before it occurs
 
forerunner
something that precedes and indicates the approach of something or someone
 
forewarning
an early warning about a future event
 
foreword
a short introductory essay preceding the text of a book
 
form
a printed document with spaces in which to write
 
form
an arrangement of the elements in a composition or discourse
 
form class
one of the traditional categories of words intended to reflect their functions in a grammatical context
 
form letter
a letter that is printed in multiple copies and mailed to a list of recipients
 
form of address
an identifying appellation signifying status or function: e.g. `Mr.' or `General'
 
formative
minimal language unit that has a syntactic (or morphological) function
 
Formosan
the Austronesian languages spoken on Formosa
 
formula
a conventionalized statement expressing some fundamental principle
 
formula
directions for making something
 
formulary
(pharmacology) a book containing a compilation of pharmaceutical products with their formulas and methods of preparation
 
forte
a musical composition or musical passage to be performed loudly
 
fortissimo
a musical composition or musical passage to be performed very loudly
 
FORTRAN
a high-level programing language for mathematical and scientific purposes; stands for formula translation
 
Fortran compiler
a compiler for programs written in FORTRAN
 
FORTRAN program
a program written in FORTRAN
 
fortunetelling
the practice of predicting people's futures (usually for payment)
 
fosterage
encouragement; aiding the development of something
 
foundry proof
a proof taken from a form before duplicate plates are made
 
fountainhead
an abundant source
 
four-letter Anglo-Saxon word
any of several short English words (often having 4 letters) generally regarded as obscene or offensive
 
four-part harmony
harmony in which each chord has four notes that create four melodic lines
 
Fourteenth Amendment
an amendment to the Constitution of the United States adopted in 1868; extends the guarantees of the Bill of Rights to the states as well as to the federal government
 
fourth
the musical interval between one note and another four notes away from it
 
Fox
the Algonquian language of the Fox
 
fragment
an incomplete piece
 
frame
a single drawing in a comic strip
 
frame
an application that divides the user's display into two or more windows that can be scrolled independently
 
franchise
an authorization to sell a company's goods or services in a particular place
 
Frau
a German courtesy title or form of address for an adult woman
 
Fraulein
a German courtesy title or form of address for an unmarried woman
 
free form
a morpheme that can occur alone
 
free list
a list of commodities that are not subject to tariffs
 
free press
a press not restricted or controlled by government censorship regarding politics or ideology
 
free verse
unrhymed verse without a consistent metrical pattern
 
freemail
a service providing free email delivery in exchange for exposure to advertising
 
freeware
software that is provided without charge
 
French
the Romance language spoken in France and in countries colonized by France
 
frequency band
a band of adjacent radio frequencies (e.g., assigned for transmitting radio or television signals)
 
frequency-response characteristic
(electronics) a graph of frequency response with signal amplitude or gain plotted against frequency
 
frequentative
a verb form that serves to express frequent repetition of an action
 
fricative
a continuant consonant produced by breath moving against a narrowing of the vocal tract
 
Frisian
a West Germanic language spoken in Friesland in the northwestern Netherlands; a near relative of English
 
Friulian
a Rhaeto-Romance dialect spoken in northeastern Italy
 
front matter
written matter preceding the main text of a book
 
frown
a facial expression of dislike or displeasure
 
fruit of the poisonous tree
a rule that once primary evidence is determined to have been illegally obtained any secondary evidence following from it may also not be used
 
FTP
protocol that allows users to copy files between their local system and any system they can reach on the network
 
fugue
a musical form consisting of a theme repeated a fifth above or a fourth below its first statement
 
Fulani
a family of languages of the Fulani of West Africa and used as a lingua franca in the sub-Saharan regions from Senegal to Chad; the best known of the West African languages
 
full faith and credit
a guarantee to pay interest and principal on debt; usually issued by the United States Treasury
 
full page
something that covers an entire page
 
full point
a punctuation mark (.) placed at the end of a declarative sentence to indicate a full stop or after abbreviations
 
fulsomeness
excessive but superficial compliments given with affected charm
 
fun
verbal wit or mockery (often at another's expense but not to be taken seriously)
 
function call
a call that passes control to a subroutine; after the subroutine is executed control returns to the next instruction in main program
 
function
a set sequence of steps, part of larger computer program
 
funk
an earthy type of jazz combining it with blues and soul; has a heavy bass line that accentuates the first beat in the bar
 
funny
an account of an amusing incident (usually with a punch line)
 
future
a verb tense that expresses actions or states in the future
 
futures contract
an agreement to buy or sell a specific amount of a commodity or financial instrument at a particular price on a stipulated future date; the contract can be sold before the settlement date
 
G
the 7th letter of the Roman alphabet
 
G clef
a clef that puts the G above middle C on the second line of a staff
 
gabble
rapid and indistinct speech
 
Gadaba
the Dravidian language spoken by the Gadaba
 
gag law
any law that limits freedom of the press
 
gag line
the point of a joke or humorous story
 
gag order
a court order restricting information or comment by the participants involved in a lawsuit
 
gag
a humorous anecdote or remark intended to provoke laughter
 
galanty show
a drama executed by throwing shadows on a wall
 
Galician
a language spoken in Galicia, an Autonomus Community of Spain
 
galley proof
a proof taken before the type is broken up to print pages
 
Gallicism
a word or phrase borrowed from French
 
gambit
an opening remark intended to secure an advantage for the speaker
 
gambling contract
a contract whose performance by one party is contingent on the outcome of a bet; unenforceable by statute in most jurisdictions
 
game law
a regulation intended to manage or preserve game animals
 
game license
a license authorizing the bearer to kill a certain type of animal during a specified period of time
 
game show
a television or radio program in which contestants compete for awards
 
gamma
the 3rd letter of the Greek alphabet
 
gamut
the entire scale of musical notes
 
gantlet
to offer or accept a challenge
 
gap
a difference (especially an unfortunate difference) between two opinions or two views or two situations
 
gape
an expression of openmouthed astonishment
 
gapped scale
a musical scale with fewer than seven notes
 
garnishment
a court order to an employer to withhold all or part of an employee's wages and to send the money to the court or to the person who won a lawsuit against the employee
 
Gathic
an ancient Iranian language
 
gaudery
cheap or pretentious or vain display
 
gavotte
music composed in quadruple time for dancing the gavotte
 
gazette
a newspaper or official journal
 
gazetteer
a geographical dictionary (as at the back of an atlas)
 
Gemara
the second part of the Talmud consisting primarily of commentary on the Mishna
 
geminate
a doubled or long consonant
 
gemination
the doubling of a word or phrase (as for rhetorical effect)
 
gen
informal term for information
 
gender
a grammatical category in inflected languages governing the agreement between nouns and pronouns and adjectives; in some languages it is quite arbitrary but in Indo-European languages it is usually based on sex or animateness
 
generation gap
a difference between the views of young people and their parents
 
generic noun
a noun that does not specify either masculine or feminine gender
 
genetic counseling
guidance for prospective parents on the likelihood of genetic disorders in their future children
 
Geneva Convention
an agreement first drawn up in Geneva in 1864 and later revised concerning the treatment of captured and wounded military personnel and civilians in wartime
 
genitive
the case expressing ownership
 
genre
a style of expressing yourself in writing
 
genre
an expressive style of music
 
gentlemen's agreement
a personal agreement based on honor and not legally binding
 
genuflection
the act of bending the knees in worship or reverence
 
geordie
the nonstandard dialect of natives of Newcastle-upon-Tyne
 
Georgian
a southern Caucasian language with 3 million speakers and a long literary tradition
 
German language
the standard German language; developed historically from West Germanic
 
Germanic language
a branch of the Indo-European family of languages; members that are spoken currently fall into two major groups: Scandinavian and West Germanic
 
gerund
a noun formed from a verb (such as the `-ing' form of an English verb when used as a noun)
 
gesticulation
a deliberate and vigorous gesture or motion
 
gesture
the use of movements (especially of the hands) to communicate familiar or prearranged signals
 
get-well card
a card expressing get-well wishes
 
Gettysburg Address
a three-minute address by Abraham Lincoln during the American Civil War at the dedication of a national cemetery on the site of the Battle of Gettysburg (November 19, 1863)
 
Gheg dialect
the dialect of Albanian spoken in northern Albania and Yugoslavia
 
ghost word
a word form that has entered the language through the perpetuation of an error
 
ghost
a suggestion of some quality
 
GI
(law) a name or sign used on certain products which corresponds to a specific geographical location or origin
 
gibber
unintelligible talking
 
Gidar
a Chadic language spoken south of Lake Chad
 
giggle
a foolish or nervous laugh
 
GIGO
(computer science) a rule stating that the quality of the output is a function of the quality of the input; put garbage in and you get garbage out
 
gigue
music in three-four time for dancing a jig
 
Gikuyu
a Bantu language spoken in western Kenya
 
Gilbert and Sullivan
the music of Gilbert and Sullivan
 
gimel
the 3rd letter of the Hebrew alphabet
 
Giriama
a Bantu language spoken in the coastal regions of eastern Kenya
 
giveaway
an unintentional disclosure
 
giving
the imparting of news or promises etc.
 
giving up
a verbal act of admitting defeat
 
glad hand
a warm welcome; may be insincere
 
glasnost
a policy of the Soviet government allowing freer discussion of social problems
 
glass ceiling
a ceiling based on attitudinal or organizational bias in the work force that prevents minorities and women from advancing to leadership positions
 
glide
a vowellike sound that serves as a consonant
 
glimpse
a vague indication
 
glissando
a rapid series of ascending or descending notes on the musical scale
 
glop
writing or music that is excessively sweet and sentimental
 
gloss
an alphabetical list of technical terms in some specialized field of knowledge; usually published as an appendix to a text on that field
 
gloss
an explanation or definition of an obscure word in a text
 
glossy
a magazine printed on good quality paper
 
glottal catch
a stop consonant articulated by releasing pressure at the glottis; as in the sudden onset of a vowel
 
gnome
a short pithy saying expressing a general truth
 
go-ahead
a signal to proceed
 
goad
a verbalization that encourages you to attempt something
 
gobbledygook
incomprehensible or pompous jargon of specialists
 
Goidelic
any of several related languages of the Celts in Ireland and Scotland
 
golden handshake
a lucrative severance agreement offered to an employee (usually as an incentive to retire)
 
golden oldie
a song that was formerly popular
 
golden rule
any important rule
 
Gondi
a Dravidian language spoken by the Gond in south central India
 
Gongorism
an affected elegance of style that was introduced into Spanish literature by the poet Gongora
 
good authority
testimony by someone who should know
 
good morning
a conventional expression of greeting or farewell
 
good night
a conventional expression of farewell
 
good word
good news
 
good word
something that recommends (or expresses commendation of) a person or thing as worthy or desirable
 
Google
a widely used search engine that uses text-matching techniques to find web pages that are important and relevant to a user's search
 
Gordian knot
any very difficult problem; insoluble in its own terms
 
Gospel According to John
the last of the four Gospels in the New Testament
 
Gospel According to Luke
one of the four Gospels in the New Testament; contains details of Jesus's birth and early life
 
Gospel According to Mark
the shortest of the four Gospels in the New Testament
 
Gospel According to Matthew
one of the Gospels in the New Testament; includes the Sermon on the Mount
 
gospel
folk music consisting of a genre of a cappella music originating with Black slaves in the United States and featuring call and response; influential on the development of other genres of popular music (especially soul)
 
gospel
an unquestionable truth
 
Gospels
the four books in the New Testament (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) that tell the story of Christ's life and teachings
 
gossiping
a conversation that spreads personal information about other people
 
Gothic
a heavy typeface in use from 15th to 18th centuries
 
Gothic
extinct East Germanic language of the ancient Goths; the only surviving record being fragments of a 4th-century translation of the Bible by Bishop Ulfilas
 
Gothic romance
a romance that deals with desolate and mysterious and grotesque events
 
GPA
a measure of a student's academic achievement at a college or university; calculated by dividing the total number of grade points received by the total number attempted
 
gradation
a degree of ablaut
 
gradual
(Roman Catholic Church) an antiphon (usually from the Book of Psalms) immediately after the epistle at Mass
 
graduation
a line (as on a vessel or ruler) that marks a measurement
 
grammatical category
(grammar) a category of words having the same grammatical properties
 
grammatical meaning
the meaning of a word that depends on its role in a sentence; varies with inflectional form
 
grammatical rule
a linguistic rule for the syntax of grammatical utterances
 
Grand Guignol
a play of a macabre or horrific nature
 
grand opera
opera in which all the text is sung
 
grandiloquence
high-flown style; excessive use of verbal ornamentation
 
Granth Sahib
the principal sacred text of Sikhism contains hymns and poetry as well as the teachings of the first five gurus
 
grapevine
gossip spread by spoken communication
 
graph
a visual representation of the relations between certain quantities, represented as points, plotted with reference to a set of axes
 
graphic design
visual communication by a skillful combination of text and pictures in advertisements, magazines, books, etc.
 
grave
a mark (`) placed above a vowel to indicate pronunciation
 
gravure
a printing process that uses an etched or engraved plate; the plate is smeared with ink and wiped clean, then the ink left in the recesses makes the print
 
Greek alphabet
the alphabet used by ancient Greeks
 
Greek mode
any of the descending diatonic scales in the music of classical Greece
 
green card
a card that identifies the bearer as an alien with permanent resident status in the United States
 
green light
permission to proceed with a project or to take action
 
green paper
a preliminary report of government proposals that is published in order to stimulate discussion
 
greeting card
a card sent to express personal greetings
 
greeting
(usually plural) an acknowledgment or expression of good will (especially on meeting)
 
Gregorian chant
a variety of plainsong named after Pope Gregory I
 
Gregorian mode
any of a system of modes used in Gregorian chants up until 1600; derived historically from the Greek mode
 
grievance
a complaint about a (real or imaginary) wrong that causes resentment and is grounds for action
 
grievance
an allegation that something imposes an illegal obligation or denies some legal right or causes injustice
 
grimoire
a manual of black magic (for invoking spirits and demons)
 
grin
a facial expression characterized by turning up the corners of the mouth; usually shows pleasure or amusement
 
groan
an utterance expressing pain or disapproval
 
grocery list
a list of groceries to be purchased
 
grocery list
a list of heterogenous items that someone wants
 
Gros Ventre
a Siouan language spoken by the Hidatsa
 
ground bass
a short melody in the bass that is constantly repeated
 
ground rule
(baseball) a special rule (as in baseball) dealing with situations that arise due to the nature of the playing grounds
 
groupware
software that can be used by a group of people who are working on the same information but may be distributed in space
 
growling
a gruff or angry utterance (suggestive of the growling of an animal)
 
grumble
a complaint uttered in a low and indistinct tone
 
Guarani
the language spoken by the Guarani of Paraguay and Bolivia
 
guarantee
an unconditional commitment that something will happen or that something is true
 
guarantee
a written assurance that some product or service will be provided or will meet certain specifications
 
GUI
a user interface based on graphics (icons and pictures and menus) instead of text; uses a mouse as well as a keyboard as an input device
 
guide
something that offers basic information or instruction
 
guideline
a light line that is used in lettering to help align the letters
 
guidepost
a post bearing a sign that gives directions or shows the way
 
Gujerati
the Indic language spoken by the people of India who live in Gujarat in western India
 
gummed label
an adhesive label
 
gunboat diplomacy
diplomacy in which the nations threaten to use force in order to obtain their objectives
 
gutter press
press that engages in sensational journalism (especially concerning the private lives of public figures)
 
guttural
a consonant articulated in the back of the mouth or throat
 
H
the 8th letter of the Roman alphabet
 
ha-ha
a loud laugh that sounds like a horse neighing
 
habanera
music composed in duple time for dancing the habanera
 
habeas corpus
a writ ordering a prisoner to be brought before a judge
 
hacek
a diacritical mark (an inverted circumflex) placed above certain letters (such as the letter c) to indicate pronunciation
 
Haggadah
Talmudic literature that does not deal with law but is still part of Jewish tradition
 
haggle
an instance of intense argument (as in bargaining)
 
Hagiographa
the third of three divisions of the Hebrew Scriptures
 
hagiography
a biography that idealizes or idolizes the person (especially a person who is a saint)
 
hagiology
literature narrating the lives (and legends) of the saints
 
Haida
the Na-Dene language of the Haida
 
haiku
an epigrammatic Japanese verse form of three short lines
 
hail
enthusiastic greeting
 
Hail Mary
a salutation to the Virgin Mary now used in prayers to her
 
hair stroke
a very fine line in writing or printing
 
hairline
a very thin line
 
Haitian Creole
a creole language spoken by most Haitians; based on French and various African languages
 
Hakenkreuz
the official emblem of the Nazi Party and the Third Reich; a cross with the arms bent at right angles in a clockwise direction
 
Hakham
a Hebrew title of respect for a wise and highly educated man
 
Hakka dialect
a dialect of Chinese spoken in southeastern China by the Hakka
 
Halacha
Talmudic literature that deals with law and with the interpretation of the laws on the Hebrew Scriptures
 
half note
a musical note having the time value of half a whole note
 
half page
something that covers (the top or bottom) half of a page
 
half rest
a musical rest having the time value of half a whole rest or equal in duration to two beats in common time
 
half step
the musical interval between adjacent keys on a keyboard instrument
 
half-truth
a partially true statement intended to deceive or mislead
 
hall pass
written permission from a teacher for a student to be out the classroom and in the halls of the school
 
Hallel
(Judaism) a chant of praise (Psalms 113 through 118) used at Passover and Shabuoth and Sukkoth and Hanukkah and Rosh Hodesh
 
hallelujah
a shout or song of praise to God
 
halloo
a shout to attract attention
 
Hamitic language
a group of languages in northern Africa related to Semitic
 
hammer and sickle
the emblem on the flag of the Soviet Union
 
hand
a round of applause to signify approval
 
hand
something written by hand
 
handclap
a clap of the hands to indicate approval
 
handclasp
grasping and shaking a person's hand (as to acknowledge an introduction or to agree on a contract)
 
Handel
the music of Handel
 
handout
an announcement distributed to members of the press in order to supplement or replace an oral presentation
 
Hani
a Loloish language
 
hanky panky
verbal misrepresentation intended to take advantage of you in some way
 
Hansard
the official published verbatim report of the proceedings of a parliamentary body; originally of the British Parliament
 
hapax legomenon
a word with a special meaning used for a special occasion
 
Haphtarah
a short selection from the Prophets read on every Sabbath in a Jewish synagogue following a reading from the Torah
 
harangue
a loud bombastic declamation expressed with strong emotion
 
hard copy
(computer science) matter that is held in a computer and is typed or printed on paper
 
hard news
news that deals with serious topics or events
 
Hare Krishna
a chant to the Hindu god Krishna
 
harmonisation
a piece of harmonized music
 
harmony
the structure of music with respect to the composition and progression of chords
 
hash mark
an insignia worn to indicate years of service
 
Hastinapura
one of two classical Hindu epics; a great collection of poetry worked into and around a central heroic narrative (eight times as large as the Iliad and Odyssey combined)
 
Haussa
the chief member of the Chadic family of Afroasiatic languages; widely used as a trading language
 
Havasupai
the Yuman language spoken by the Havasupai
 
Hawaiian
the Oceanic languages spoken on Hawaii
 
Haydn
the music of Haydn
 
HDTV
a television system that has more than the usual number of lines per frame so its pictures show more detail
 
he
the 5th letter of the Hebrew alphabet
 
head word
a content word that can be qualified by a modifier
 
head
(grammar) the word in a grammatical constituent that plays the same grammatical role as the whole constituent
 
head
a line of text serving to indicate what the passage below it is about
 
head
a V-shaped mark at one end of an arrow pointer
 
head
the subject matter at issue
 
headline
the heading or caption of a newspaper article
 
headlinese
using the abbreviated style of headline writers
 
heads-up
a warning message
 
headword
a word placed at the beginning of a line or paragraph (as in a dictionary entry)
 
health code
set of standards established and enforced by government for health requirements as in plumbing etc
 
hearing
a session (of a committee or grand jury) in which witnesses are called and testimony is taken
 
hearsay evidence
evidence based on what someone has told the witness and not of direct knowledge
 
hearsay rule
a rule that declares not admissible as evidence any statement other than that by a witness
 
hearsay
gossip (usually a mixture of truth and untruth) passed around by word of mouth
 
heart-to-heart
an intimate talk in private
 
heavy metal
loud and harsh sounding rock music with a strong beat; lyrics usually involve violent or fantastic imagery
 
Hebraic alphabet
a Semitic alphabet used since the 5th century BC for writing the Hebrew language (and later for writing Yiddish and Ladino)
 
Hebrew
the ancient Canaanitic language of the Hebrews that has been revived as the official language of Israel
 
Hebrew Scripture
the Jewish scriptures which consist of three divisions--the Torah and the Prophets and the Writings
 
hedge
an intentionally noncommittal or ambiguous statement
 
heliogram
a message transmitted by means of the sun's rays
 
Hellenic language
the Hellenic branch of the Indo-European family of languages
 
hello
an expression of greeting
 
Helvetica
a typeface in which characters have no serifs
 
hemidemisemiquaver
a musical note having the time value of a sixty-fourth of a whole note
 
hendiadys
use of two conjoined nouns instead of a noun and modifier
 
Herero
a Banto language spoken by the Herero in Namibia, Botswana, and Angola
 
heroic couplet
a couplet consisting of two rhymed lines of iambic pentameter and written in an elevated style
 
heroic stanza
a quatrain consisting of two heroic couplets written in an elevated style; the rhyme scheme is abab
 
heroic
a verse form suited to the treatment of heroic or elevated themes; dactylic hexameter or iambic pentameter
 
Herr
a German courtesy title or form of address for a man
 
heteronym
two words are heteronyms if they are spelled the same way but differ in pronunciation
 
heth
the 8th letter of the Hebrew alphabet
 
hexadecimal notation
any notation that uses 16 different characters
 
hexadecimal number system
a positional system of numeration that uses hexadecimal digits and a radix of sixteen
 
hexameter
a verse line having six metrical feet
 
hiatus
a missing piece (as a gap in a manuscript)
 
hieratic
a cursive form of Egyptian hieroglyphics; used especially by the priests
 
hieroglyph
a writing system using picture symbols; used in ancient Egypt
 
hieroglyph
writing that resembles hieroglyphics (usually by being illegible)
 
high comedy
a sophisticated comedy; often satirizing genteel society
 
high sign
a silent signal of warning or recognition
 
high-five
a gesture of greeting or elation; one person's upraised palm slaps the upraised palm of another person
 
high-level formatting
(computer science) the format for the root directory and the file allocation tables and other basic configurations
 
high-level language
a problem-oriented language requiring little knowledge of the computer on which it will be run
 
higher criticism
the scientific study of biblical writings to determine their origin and meaning
 
higher law
a principle that takes precedent over the laws of society
 
Higher National Diploma
a diploma given for vocational training that prepares the student for a career in a particular area; good students may progress to a course leading to a degree
 
Highway Code
the code of rules governing the use of public roads
 
hillbilly music
country music originating in mountainous regions of southern United States
 
Himalayish
the Tibeto-Burman language spoken in Tibet and Nepal and Bhutan and Sikkim
 
Hindi
the most widely spoken of modern Indic vernaculars; spoken mostly in the north of India; along with English it is the official language of India; usually written in Devanagari script
 
Hindoostani
a form of Hindi spoken around Delhi
 
Hindu-Arabic numeral
one of the symbols 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,0
 
hip-hop
genre of African-American music of the 1980s and 1990s in which rhyming lyrics are chanted to a musical accompaniment; several forms of rap have emerged
 
Hippocratic oath
an oath taken by physicians to observe medical ethics deriving from Hippocrates
 
histogram
a bar chart representing a frequency distribution; heights of the bars represent observed frequencies
 
historical document
writing having historical value (as opposed to fiction or myth etc.)
 
historical present
the use of the present tense to describe past actions or states
 
historiography
a body of historical literature
 
histrionics
a deliberate display of emotion for effect
 
histrionics
a performance of a play
 
hit list
a list of victims to be eliminated (as by murder)
 
hit parade
a ranked list of the songs that are most popular at a given time
 
Hitchiti
the Muskhogean language spoken by the Hitchiti
 
Hittite
the language of the Hittites and the principal language of the Anatolian group of languages; deciphered from cuneiform inscriptions
 
Hmong language
a language of uncertain affiliation spoken by the Hmong
 
hockey clinic
a meeting at which hockey players receive special evaluation and instruction
 
Hokan
a family of Amerindian languages spoken in California
 
holdout
a refusal by a negotiator to come to terms in the hope of obtaining a better deal
 
holograph
handwritten book or document
 
holonym
a word that names the whole of which a given word is a part
 
home key
the basic key in which a piece of music is written
 
home movie
a film made at home by an amateur photographer
 
home page
the opening page of a web site
 
homestead law
a law conferring privileges on owners of homesteads
 
homework problem
a problem that students are assigned to do outside of class
 
homily
a sermon on a moral or religious topic
 
homograph
two words are homographs if they are spelled the same way but differ in meaning (e.g. fair)
 
homonym
two words are homonyms if they are pronounced and spelled the same way but have different meanings
 
homophone
two words are homophones if they are pronounced the same way but differ in meaning or spelling or both (e.g. bare and bear)
 
homophony
the same pronunciation for words of different origins
 
homophony
part music with one dominant voice (in a homophonic style)
 
honeyed words
inconsequential expressions of affection
 
honorable mention
an official recognition of merit
 
honorary degree
a degree conferred to honor the recipient
 
honorific
an expression of respect
 
honours
a university degree with honors
 
hooey
senseless talk
 
hoof mark
a visible impression on a surface made by the hoof of an animal
 
hooray
a victory cheer
 
hoot
a loud raucous cry (as of an owl)
 
Hopi
the Shoshonean language spoken by the Hopi
 
Horatian ode
an ode with several stanzas
 
horn
a noise made by the driver of an automobile to give warning
 
hornbook
a primer that provides instruction in the rudiments or basic skills of a branch of knowledge
 
hornpipe
music for dancing the hornpipe
 
horoscope
a prediction of someone's future based on the relative positions of the planets
 
horse trading
negotiation accompanied by mutual concessions and shrewd bargaining
 
hosanna
a cry of praise or adoration (to God)
 
hot jazz
jazz that is emotionally charged and intense and marked by strong rhythms and improvisation
 
hot medium
a medium that usually, but not always, provides complete involvement together without considerable stimulus; includes radio, film, photography
 
hotel bill
statement of charges for staying in a hotel
 
Hottentot
any of the Khoisan languages spoken by the pastoral people of Namibia and South Africa
 
house organ
a periodical published by a business firm for its employees and customers
 
howl
a long loud emotional utterance
 
HTML
a set of tags and rules (conforming to SGML) for using them in developing hypertext documents
 
HTTP
a protocol (utilizing TCP) to transfer hypertext requests and information between servers and browsers
 
Hualapai
the Yuman language spoken by the Walapai
 
huddle
(informal) a quick private conference
 
humbug
communication (written or spoken) intended to deceive
 
humor
a message whose ingenuity or verbal skill or incongruity has the power to evoke laughter
 
Hungarian
the official language of Hungary (also spoken in Rumania); belongs to the Ugric family of languages
 
Hunkpapa
a Siouan language spoken by the Hunkpapa
 
Hupa
the Athapaskan language spoken by the Hupa
 
hybrid
a word that is composed of parts from different languages (e.g., `monolingual' has a Greek prefix and a Latin root)
 
hymeneal
a wedding hymn
 
hymnal
a songbook containing a collection of hymns
 
hypallage
reversal of the syntactic relation of two words (as in `her beauty's face')
 
hyperbaton
reversal of normal word order (as in `cheese I love')
 
hypercatalectic
(prosody) a line of poetry having an extra syllable or syllables at the end of the last metrical foot
 
hyperlink
a link from a hypertext file to another location or file; typically activated by clicking on a highlighted word or icon at a particular location on the screen
 
hypermedia
a multimedia system in which related items of information are connected and can be presented together
 
hypernym
a word that is more generic than a given word
 
hypertext
machine-readable text that is not sequential but is organized so that related items of information are connected
 
hypertext system
a database management system that allows strings of text (`objects') to be processed as a complex network of nodes that are linked together in an arbitrary way
 
hypocorism
a name of endearment (especially one using a diminutive suffix)
 
hypocrisy
an expression of agreement that is not supported by real conviction
 
hyponym
a word that is more specific than a given word
 
hypothesis
a proposal intended to explain certain facts or observations
 
hypothetical imperative
a principle stating the action required to attain a desired goal
 
hypozeugma
use of a series of subjects with a single predicate
 
hypozeuxis
use of a series of parallel clauses (as in `I came, I saw, I conquered')
 
hysteron proteron
reversal of normal order of two words or sentences etc. (as in `bred and born')
 
I
the 9th letter of the Roman alphabet
 
I Chronicles
the first of two Old Testament books telling the history of Judah and Israel until the return from the Babylonian Captivity in 536 BC
 
I Kings
the first of two Old Testament books telling the histories of the kings of Judah and Israel
 
I Maccabees
an Apocryphal book describing the life of Judas Maccabaeus
 
I Samuel
the first of two books in the Old Testament that tell of Saul and David
 
I.D.
a card or badge used to identify the bearer
 
iamb
a metrical unit with unstressed-stressed syllables
 
iambic
a verse line consisting of iambs
 
Icelandic
a Scandinavian language that is the official language of Iceland
 
icon
(computer science) a graphic symbol (usually a simple picture) that denotes a program or a command or a data file or a concept in a graphical user interface
 
idea
(music) melodic subject of a musical composition
 
identification
evidence of identity; something that identifies a person or thing
 
identifier
a symbol that establishes the identity of the one bearing it
 
ideogram
a graphic character that indicates the meaning of a thing without indicating the sounds used to say it
 
ideography
the use of ideograms in writing
 
idiolect
the language or speech of one individual at a particular period in life
 
Idiom Neutral
an artificial language proposed for use as an auxiliary international language; based on Volapuk but with a vocabulary selected on the basis of the maximum internationality of the roots
 
idiom
an expression whose meanings cannot be inferred from the meanings of the words that make it up
 
idiom
a manner of speaking that is natural to native speakers of a language
 
idiot light
a colored warning light on an instrument panel (as for low oil pressure)
 
idle words
empty rhetoric or insincere or exaggerated talk
 
Ido
an artificial language that is a revision and simplification of Esperanto
 
idyl
a musical composition that evokes rural life
 
II Chronicles
the second of two Old Testament books telling the history of Judah and Israel until the return from the Babylonian Captivity in 536 BC
 
II Esdras
an Apocryphal book of angelic revelations
 
II Kings
the second of two Old Testament books telling the histories of the kings of Judah and Israel
 
II Maccabees
an Apocryphal book describing the life of Judas Maccabaeus
 
II Samuel
the second of two books of the Old Testament that tell of Saul and David
 
ijtihad
the endeavor of a Moslem scholar to derive a rule of divine law from the Koran and Hadith without relying on the views of other scholars; by the end of the 10th century theologians decided that debate on such matters would be closed and Muslim theology and law were frozen
 
Iliad
a Greek epic poem (attributed to Homer) describing the siege of Troy
 
Illinois
the Algonquian language of the Illinois and Miami
 
illustration
artwork that helps make something clear or attractive
 
Illyrian
a minor and almost extinct branch of the Indo-European languages; spoken along the Dalmatian coast
 
imbroglio
a very embarrassing misunderstanding
 
Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary
(Christianity) the Roman Catholic dogma that God preserved the Virgin Mary from any stain of original sin from the moment she was conceived
 
immediate constituent
a constituent of a sentence at the first step in an analysis: e.g., subject and predicate
 
impeachment
a formal document charging a public official with misconduct in office
 
imperial decree
a decree issued by a sovereign ruler
 
imperialism
a policy of extending your rule over foreign countries
 
implication
an accusation that brings into intimate and usually incriminating connection
 
implosion
the initial occluded phase of a stop consonant
 
import barrier
any regulation or policy that restricts international trade
 
import
the message that is intended or expressed or signified
 
importunity
insistent solicitation and entreaty
 
imprecation
a slanderous accusation
 
imprecation
the act of calling down a curse that invokes evil (and usually serves as an insult)
 
impression
all the copies of a work printed at one time
 
impression
a symbol that is the result of printing or engraving
 
imprint
an identification of a publisher; a publisher's name along with the date and address and edition that is printed at the bottom of the title page
 
impromptu
an extemporaneous speech or remark
 
impromptu
a short musical passage that seems to have been made spontaneously without advance preparation
 
imputation
a statement attributing something dishonest (especially a criminal offense)
 
in-joke
a joke that is appreciated only by members of some particular group of people
 
inaugural
an address delivered at an inaugural ceremony (especially by a United States president)
 
Incarnation
(Christianity) the Christian doctrine of the union of God and man in the person of Jesus Christ
 
incidental
an item that is incidental
 
incidental music
music composed to accompany the action of a drama or to fill intervals between scenes
 
incitement
needed encouragement
 
incoherence
nonsense that is simply incoherent and unintelligible
 
income tax return
document giving the tax collector information about the taxpayer's tax liability
 
indefinite article
a determiner (as `a' or `some' in English) that indicates nonspecific reference
 
indent
an order for goods to be exported or imported
 
indent
the space left between the margin and the start of an indented line
 
indenture
a contract binding one party into the service of another for a specified term
 
indenture
formal agreement between the issuer of bonds and the bondholders as to terms of the debt
 
independent clause
a clause in a complex sentence that can stand alone as a complete sentence
 
index
an alphabetical listing of names and topics along with page numbers where they are discussed
 
index
a number or ratio (a value on a scale of measurement) derived from a series of observed facts; can reveal relative changes as a function of time
 
indicant
something that serves to indicate or suggest
 
indication
(medicine) a reason to prescribe a drug or perform a procedure
 
indication
something (as a course of action) that is indicated as expedient or necessary
 
indicator
a signal for attracting attention
 
indictment
an accusation of wrongdoing
 
indigenous language
a language that originated in a specified place and was not brought to that place from elsewhere
 
indirect antonym
antonyms whose opposition is mediated (e.g., the antonymy of `wet' and `parched' is mediated by the similarity of `parched' to `dry')
 
indirect discourse
a report of a discourse in which deictic terms are modified appropriately (e.g.,
 
indirect object
the object that is the recipient or beneficiary of the action of the verb
 
indirect request
an expression of some desire or inclination
 
Indo-Aryan
a branch of the Indo-Iranian family of languages
 
Indo-European language
the family of languages that by 1000 BC were spoken throughout Europe and in parts of southwestern and southern Asia
 
Indo-Iranian language
the branch of the Indo-European family of languages including the Indic and Iranian language groups
 
inferior
a character or symbol set or printed or written beneath or slightly below and to the side of another character
 
infinitive
the uninflected form of the verb
 
infix
an affix that is inserted inside the word
 
infix notation
a notation for forming mathematical expressions using parentheses and governed by rules of operator precedence; operators are dispersed among the operands
 
inflection
a manner of speaking in which the loudness or pitch or tone of the voice is modified
 
inflection
the patterns of stress and intonation in a language
 
inflectional ending
an inflection that is added at the end of a root word
 
info
a message received and understood
 
infomercial
a television commercial presented in the form of a short documentary
 
information
formal accusation of a crime
 
information bulletin
a bulletin containing the latest information
 
information return
a return that provides information to the tax collector but does not compute the tax liability
 
informed consent
consent by a patient to undergo a medical or surgical treatment or to participate in an experiment after the patient understands the risks involved
 
informing
a speech act that conveys information
 
informing
to furnish incriminating evidence to an officer of the law (usually in return for favors)
 
Ingrian
a Finnic language spoken by the Ingrian
 
inhospitality
unkind and inconsiderate welcome
 
initial
the first letter of a word (especially a person's name)
 
initialisation
(computer science) the format of sectors on the surface of a hard disk drive so that the operating system can access them and setting a starting position
 
initialism
an abbreviation formed from the initial letters of the several words in the name and pronounced separately
 
injunction
a formal command or admonition
 
innuendo
an indirect (and usually malicious) implication
 
input data
(computer science) a computer file that contains data that serve as input to a device or program
 
input program
a utility program that organizes the input to a computer
 
input routine
a routine that writes from an external source to an internal store
 
input
signal going into an electronic system
 
inquiring
a request for information
 
inquisition
a severe interrogation (often violating the rights or privacy of individuals)
 
insanity plea
(criminal law) a plea in which the defendant claims innocence due to mental incompetence at the time
 
inscription
letters inscribed (especially words engraved or carved) on something
 
insert
a folded section placed between the leaves of another publication
 
insertion
a message (spoken or written) that is introduced or inserted
 
insider information
important information about the plans or condition of a corporation that has not been released to the public; use for personal profit is illegal
 
insignia
a badge worn to show official position
 
insignia of rank
an insignia worn on a military uniform
 
insistence
continual and persistent demands
 
installment
a part of a published serial
 
instruction book
a book of directions for using or operating some piece of equipment
 
instrument
the semantic role of the entity (usually inanimate) that the agent uses to perform an action or start a process
 
instrument
(law) a document that states some contractual relationship or grants some right
 
instrumental music
music intended to be performed by a musical instrument or group of instruments
 
instrumentation
the instruments called for in a musical score or arrangement for a band or orchestra
 
insurance
written contract or certificate of insurance
 
intelligence
secret information about an enemy (or potential enemy)
 
intelligence
information about recent and important events
 
intensifier
a modifier that has little meaning except to intensify the meaning it modifies
 
intent
the intended meaning of a communication
 
intercession
a prayer to God on behalf of another person
 
intercommunication
mutual communication; communication with each other
 
intercourse
communication between individuals
 
interdict
an ecclesiastical censure by the Roman Catholic Church withdrawing certain sacraments and Christian burial from a person or all persons in a particular district
 
interdict
a court order prohibiting a party from doing a certain activity
 
interdiction
authoritative prohibition
 
interface
(computer science) a program that controls a display for the user (usually on a computer monitor) and that allows the user to interact with the system
 
interference
a policy of intervening in the affairs of other countries
 
interior monologue
a literary genre that presents a fictional character's sequence of thoughts in the form of a monologue
 
interlanguage
a common language used by speakers of different languages
 
interleaf
a blank leaf inserted between the leaves of a book
 
Interlingua
an artificial language proposed for use as an auxiliary international language; based on words common to English and the Romance languages
 
interlingual rendition
a written communication in a second language having the same meaning as the written communication in a first language
 
interlocutory injunction
injunction issued during a trial to maintain the status quo or preserve the subject matter of the litigation until the trial is over
 
intermezzo
a short movement coming between the major sections of a symphony
 
intermezzo
a short piece of instrumental music composed for performance between acts of a drama or opera
 
internal rhyme
a rhyme between words in the same line
 
international Morse code
a telegraph code in which letters and numbers are represented by strings of dots and dashes (short and long signals)
 
International Wanted Notice
an Interpol notice describing a wanted person and asking that he or she be arrested with a view to extradition; a wanted notice that is issued by Interpol at the request of an Interpol member country and distributed to all member countries
 
Internationale
a revolutionary socialist anthem
 
Internet Explorer
a commercial browser
 
internet site
a computer connected to the internet that maintains a series of web pages on the World Wide Web
 
interpellation
(parliament) a parliamentary procedure of demanding that a government official explain some act or policy
 
interpretation
an explanation that results from interpreting something
 
interpreter
(computer science) a program that translates and executes source language statements one line at a time
 
interrogation
a transmission that will trigger an answering transmission from a transponder
 
interrogation point
a punctuation mark (?) placed at the end of a sentence to indicate a question
 
interrogation
a sentence of inquiry that asks for a reply
 
interval
the difference in pitch between two notes
 
interview
the questioning of a person (or a conversation in which information is elicited); often conducted by journalists
 
intonation pattern
intonations characteristic of questions and requests and statements
 
intonation
rise and fall of the voice pitch
 
intransitive
a verb (or verb construction) that does not take an object
 
intro
a brief introductory passage to a piece of popular music
 
intro
formally making a person known to another or to the public
 
introduction
a new proposal
 
introduction
a basic or elementary instructional text
 
introduction
the first section of a communication
 
introit
a composition of vocal music that is appropriate for opening church services
 
invective
abusive or venomous language used to express blame or censure or bitter deep-seated ill will
 
inventory item
an item listed in an inventory
 
inventory
a detailed list of all the items in stock
 
inversion
(counterpoint) a variation of a melody or part in which ascending intervals are replaced by descending intervals and vice versa
 
inverted comma
a punctuation mark used to attribute the enclosed text to someone else
 
invitation
a request (spoken or written) to participate or be present or take part in something
 
invite
a colloquial expression for invitation
 
invocation
an incantation used in conjuring or summoning a devil
 
invocation
a prayer asking God's help as part of a religious service
 
involution
a long and intricate and complicated grammatical construction
 
iota
the 9th letter of the Greek alphabet
 
Ioway
a dialect of the Chiwere language spoken by the Iowa
 
ipse dixit
an unsupported dogmatic assertion
 
Iranian language
the modern Persian language spoken in Iran
 
iris scanning
biometric identification by scanning the iris of the eye
 
Irish bull
obscene words for unacceptable behavior
 
Irish Gaelic
the Celtic language of Ireland
 
irony
a trope that involves incongruity between what is expected and what occurs
 
Iroquoian language
a family of North American Indian languages spoken by the Iroquois
 
Irula
a Dravidian language closely related to Tamil that is spoken in a hilly section of southwestern India
 
isolationism
a policy of nonparticipation in international economic and political relations
 
isometric
a line connecting isometric points
 
issue
one of a series published periodically
 
Italian
the Romance language spoken in Italy
 
italic
a typeface with letters slanting upward to the right
 
italic
a style of handwriting with the letters slanting to the right
 
Italic language
a branch of the Indo-European languages of which Latin is the chief representative
 
item
a distinct part that can be specified separately in a group of things that could be enumerated on a list
 
item
an individual instance of a type of symbol
 
itinerary
a guidebook for travelers
 
J
the 10th letter of the Roman alphabet
 
jabberwocky
nonsensical language (according to Lewis Carroll)
 
jactitation
(law) a false boast that can harm others; especially a false claim to be married to someone (formerly actionable at law)
 
Japanese
the language (usually considered to be Altaic) spoken by the Japanese
 
jargon
specialized technical terminology characteristic of a particular subject
 
Java
a platform-independent object-oriented programming language
 
Javanese
the Indonesian language spoken on Java
 
jawbreaker
a word that is hard to pronounce
 
jazz
a genre of popular music that originated in New Orleans around 1900 and developed through increasingly complex styles
 
jazz
a style of dance music popular in the 1920s; similar to New Orleans jazz but played by large bands
 
jeer
showing your contempt by derision
 
jeremiad
a long and mournful complaint
 
jeu d'esprit
a witty comment or writing
 
Jinghpaw
a Kachinic language
 
Jirrbal
a language of Australian aborigines
 
jive
a style of jazz played by big bands popular in the 1930s; flowing rhythms but less complex than later styles of jazz
 
job
(computer science) a program application that may consist of several steps but is a single logical unit
 
job application
an application for a job
 
job control
a program that is called to prepare each job to be run
 
job description
description of the responsibilities associated with a given job
 
job-control language
a problem-oriented language used to describe job requirements to an operating system
 
jocosity
fun characterized by humor
 
John Hancock
a person's own signature
 
joint resolution
a resolution passed by both houses of Congress which becomes legally binding when signed by the Chief Executive (or passed over the Chief Executive's veto)
 
joint return
a return filed by a husband and wife
 
joker
an inconspicuous clause in a document or bill that affects its meaning in a way that is not immediately apparent
 
jot
a brief (and hurriedly handwritten) note
 
jotter
a small notebook for rough notes
 
journal
a periodical dedicated to a particular subject
 
journalese
the style in which newspapers are written
 
journalism
newspapers and magazines collectively
 
Judeo-Spanish
the Spanish dialect spoken by Sephardic Jews but written in the Hebrew script
 
judgement
the legal document stating the reasons for a judicial decision
 
judicial admission
(law) an agreement or concession made by parties in a judicial proceeding (or by their attorneys) relating to the business before the court; must be in writing unless they are part of the court record
 
judicial separation
a judicial decree regulating the rights and responsibilities of a married couple living apart
 
judicial writ
(law) a legal document issued by a court or judicial officer
 
jump
(film) an abrupt transition from one scene to another
 
jump cut
an immediate transition from one scene to another
 
junk e-mail
unwanted e-mail (usually of a commercial nature sent out in bulk)
 
junk mail
third-class mail consisting of advertising and often addressed to `resident' or `occupant'
 
justification
a statement in explanation of some action or belief
 
Justinian code
the legal code of ancient Rome; codified under Justinian; the basis for many modern systems of civil law
 
K
the 11th letter of the Roman alphabet
 
Kachinic
Tibeto-Burman languages spoken in northernmost Burma and adjacent China and India
 
Kadai language
a family of Sino-Tibetan languages spoken in southeastern Asia
 
Kafiri
a Dardic language spoken by the Kafir in northeastern Afghanistan
 
Kalapooian
a Penutian language spoken by the Kalapuya
 
Kam Muang
a branch of the Tai languages
 
Kam-Sui
a group of Kadai languages
 
Kamarupan
the Tibeto-Burman language spoken in northeastern India and adjacent regions of western Burma
 
Kamasutra
(Hinduism) an ancient Sanskrit text giving rules for sensuous and sensual pleasure and love and marriage in accordance with Hindu law
 
Kamba
a Bantu language spoken by the Kamba in Kenya
 
Kamia
the Yuman language spoken by the Kamia
 
Kanarese
a Dravidian language spoken in southern India
 
Kansas
the Dhegiha dialect spoken by the Kansa
 
kaph
the 11th letter of the Hebrew alphabet
 
kappa
the 10th letter of the Greek alphabet
 
Kapsiki
a Chadic language spoken south of Lake Chad
 
Karakalpak
the Turkic language spoken by the Karakalpak
 
Karelian
a Finnic language spoken by the people of Karelia
 
Karenic
the Tibeto-Burman language spoken in the Thailand and Burmese borderlands
 
Karok
the Quoratean language of the Karok
 
Kashmiri
the official state language of Kashmir
 
Kassite
an ancient language spoken by the Kassites
 
Katharevusa
literary style of Modern Greek containing features borrowed from Koine
 
Kazakh
the Turkic language spoken by the Kazak
 
keen
a funeral lament sung with loud wailing
 
Kekchi
a Mayan language spoken by the Kekchi
 
kenning
conventional metaphoric name for something, used especially in Old English and Old Norse poetry
 
Kentish
one of the major dialects of Old English
 
Kentish
a dialect of Middle English
 
Kera
a Chadic language spoken in Chad
 
kerugma
preaching the gospel of Christ in the manner of the early church
 
key
a list of words or phrases that explain symbols or abbreviations
 
key
a list of answers to a test
 
key
a generic term for any device whose possession entitles the holder to a means of access
 
key signature
the sharps or flats that follow the clef and indicate the key
 
key word
a significant word used in indexing or cataloging
 
key word
a word that is used as a pattern to decode an encrypted message
 
key
any of 24 major or minor diatonic scales that provide the tonal framework for a piece of music
 
keycard
a plastic card that has a magnetically coded strip that is scanned in order to operate a mechanism
 
keynote
the principal theme in a speech or literary work
 
keynote address
a speech setting forth the keynote
 
keynote
(music) the first note of a diatonic scale
 
Khalkha
the language of the Khalkha that is the official language of the Mongolian People's Republic
 
Khamti
a branch of the Tai languages
 
Khirghiz
the Turkic language spoken by the Kirghiz
 
Khmer
the Mon-Khmer language spoken in Cambodia
 
Khoisan language
a family of languages spoken in southern Africa
 
Khowar
a Dardic language spoken in northwestern Pakistan
 
Khuen
a branch of the Tai languages
 
Kichaga
a Bantu language spoken by the Chaga in northern Tanzania
 
Kickapoo
the Algonquian language of the Kickapoo
 
Kiliwi
the Yuman language spoken by the Kiliwa
 
Kinyarwanda
a Bantu language
 
Kiowa
the Tanoan language spoken by the Kiowa
 
kiss of peace
(Roman Catholic Church) a greeting signifying Christian love for those assisting at the Eucharist
 
Kiswahili
a Bantu language
 
koan
a paradoxical anecdote or a riddle that has no solution; used in Zen Buddhism to show the inadequacy of logical reasoning
 
Koasati
the Muskhogean language spoken by the Koasati
 
Koine
a Greek dialect that flourished under the Roman Empire
 
Kol Nidre
the opening prayer on the eve of Yom Kippur
 
Kolami
the Dravidian language spoken by the Kolam in central India
 
Kongo
the Bantu language spoken by the Kongo living in the tropical forests of Zaire and Congo and Angola
 
Konqueror
a freeware browser for Linux
 
Kordofanian
a group of languages spoken in the relatively small Kordofan area of the south Sudan
 
Korean
the Altaic language spoken by Koreans
 
Kotar
a Dravidian language spoken by the Kota
 
Kotoko
a Chadic language spoken south of Lake Chad
 
kotow
a former Chinese custom of touching the ground with the forehead as a sign of respect or submission
 
Kuchean dialect
a dialect of Tocharian
 
Kui
the Dravidian language spoken by the Kui in southeastern India
 
Kuki-Chin
Kamarupan languages spoken in western Burma and Bangladesh and easternmost India
 
Kulanapan
a group of languages of the Hokan family
 
Kurdish
an Iranian language spoken in Turkey and Iran and Iraq and Syria and Russia
 
Kurux
a Dravidian language spoken in eastern India
 
Kusan
a Penutian language spoken by the Kusan
 
Kuvi
a Dravidian language spoken in southeast India
 
kvetch
(Yiddish) a nagging complaint
 
Kwa
a group of African language in the Niger-Congo group spoken from the Ivory Coast east to Nigeria
 
Kwakiutl
a Wakashan language spoken by the Kwakiutl
 
kwela
a kind of danceable music popular among black South Africans; includes a whistle among its instruments
 
L
the 12th letter of the Roman alphabet
 
la
the syllable naming the sixth (submediant) note of a major or minor scale in solmization
 
Labanotation
a system of notation for dance movements that uses symbols to represent points on a dancer's body and the direction of the dancer's movement and the tempo and the dynamics
 
label
a brief description given for purposes of identification
 
label
an identifying or descriptive marker that is attached to an object
 
label
trade name of a company that produces musical recordings
 
labial stop
a stop consonant that is produced with the lips
 
labial
a consonant whose articulation involves movement of the lips
 
labiodental
a consonant whose articulation involves the lips and teeth
 
laconicism
terseness of expression
 
Ladin
a Rhaeto-Romance dialect of Romansh spoken in southeastern Switzerland
 
Ladyship
a title used to address any peeress except a duchess
 
Laffer curve
a graph purporting to show the relation between tax rates and government income; income increases as tax rates increase up to an optimum beyond which income declines
 
Lahu
a Loloish language
 
laissez passer
a document indicating permission to do something without restrictions
 
lambda
the 11th letter of the Greek alphabet
 
lamedh
the 12th letter of the Hebrew alphabet
 
lament
a cry of sorrow and grief
 
landler
music in triple time for dancing the landler
 
landmark
a mark showing the boundary of a piece of land
 
language system
a system of linguistic units or elements used in a particular language
 
language unit
one of the natural units into which linguistic messages can be analyzed
 
language
a systematic means of communicating by the use of sounds or conventional symbols
 
language
the text of a popular song or musical-comedy number
 
language
a system of words used to name things in a particular discipline
 
language
(language) communication by word of mouth
 
Langue d'oc French
medieval provincial dialects of French formerly spoken in the south of France
 
Langue d'oil French
medieval provincial dialects of French spoken in central and northern France
 
Lao
the Tai language of a Buddhist people living in the area of the Mekong River in Thailand and Laos
 
Lappish
any of the languages spoken by the Lapps and generally assumed to be Uralic languages
 
larghetto
(music) a composition or passage played in a slow tempo slightly faster than largo but slower than adagio
 
largo
(music) a composition or passage that is to be performed in a slow and dignified manner
 
last word
an authoritative statement
 
last word
the final statement in a verbal argument
 
Late Greek
the Greek language in the 3rd to 8th centuries
 
latent content
(psychoanalysis) hidden meaning of a fantasy or dream
 
Lateran Treaty
the agreement signed in the Lateran Palace in 1929 by Italy and the Holy See which recognized the Vatican City as a sovereign and independent papal state
 
latest
the most recent news or development
 
Latin
any dialect of the language of ancient Rome
 
Latinesce
an artificial language based on Latin
 
Latinian language
the group of languages derived from Latin
 
Latinism
a word or phrase borrowed from Latin
 
laugh
a facial expression characteristic of a person laughing
 
laugh
the sound of laughing
 
law
legal document setting forth rules governing a particular kind of activity
 
law degree
degree conferred on someone who successfully completes law school
 
lead sheet
a sheet containing the words and melody for a song (and some indication of harmony) written in simple form
 
lead
a news story of major importance
 
lead
the introductory section of a story
 
leading indicator
one of 11 indicators for different sections of the economy; used by the Department of Commerce to predict economic trends in the near future
 
leading question
a question phrased in such a way as to suggest the desired answer; a lawyer may ask leading questions on cross-examination
 
leading tone
(music) the seventh note of the diatonic scale
 
leak
unauthorized (especially deliberate) disclosure of confidential information
 
learner's dictionary
a dictionary specially written for those learning a foreign language
 
learner's permit
a document authorizing the bearer to learn to drive an automobile
 
learning curve
a graph showing the rate of learning (especially a graph showing the amount recalled as a function of the number of attempts to recall)
 
lease
a contract granting use or occupation of property during a specified time for a specified payment
 
leave
permission to do something
 
lecture
a speech that is open to the public
 
lecture
a lengthy rebuke
 
ledger line
a short line; a notation for extending the range above or below the staff
 
leer
a facial expression of contempt or scorn; the upper lip curls
 
legal code
a code of laws adopted by a state or nation
 
legalese
a style that uses the abstruse technical vocabulary of the law
 
legislation
law enacted by a legislative body
 
legislative act
an act passed by a legislative body
 
leitmotif
a melodic phrase that accompanies the reappearance of a person or situation (as in Wagner's operas)
 
lemma
a subsidiary proposition that is assumed to be true in order to prove another proposition
 
lemma
the heading that indicates the subject of an annotation or a literary composition or a dictionary entry
 
lens
(metaphor) a channel through which something can be seen or understood
 
lesson
the significance of a story or event
 
letter
a strictly literal interpretation (as distinct from the intention)
 
letter of intent
any letter expressing an intention to take (or forgo) some action
 
letter of mark and reprisal
a license to a private citizen to seize property of another nation
 
letter paper
paper cut to an appropriate size for writing letters; usually with matching envelopes
 
letter telegram
a cheaper form of telegram that is sent abroad for delivery the next day
 
letter
a written message addressed to a person or organization
 
letter
an award earned by participation in a school sport
 
lettercard
a postcard that folds so the message is inside
 
letterhead
a sheet of stationery with name and address of the organization printed at the top
 
letterpress
printing from a plate with raised characters
 
letters of administration
legal document naming someone to administer an estate when no executor has been named
 
letters patent
an official document granting a right or privilege
 
letters testamentary
a legal document from a probate court or court officer informing you of your appointment as executor of a will and empowering you to discharge those responsibilities
 
letterset printing
image is transferred from a relief type plate to a roller
 
Lettish
the official language of Latvia; belongs to the Baltic branch of Indo-European
 
lexeme
a minimal unit (as a word or stem) in the lexicon of a language; `go' and `went' and `gone' and `going' are all members of the English lexeme `go'
 
lexical database
a database of information about words
 
lexical disambiguation
disambiguation of the sense of a polysemantic word
 
lexical meaning
the meaning of a content word that depends on the nonlinguistic concepts it is used to express
 
libel
the written statement of a plaintiff explaining the cause of action (the defamation) and any relief he seeks
 
libel
a false and malicious publication printed for the purpose of defaming a living person
 
liberty chit
a permit to enter or leave a military installation
 
library catalog
an enumeration of all the resources of a library
 
library program
a program in a program library
 
library routine
a debugged routine that is maintained in a program library
 
libretto
the words of an opera or musical play
 
licence
a legal document giving official permission to do something
 
license number
the number on the license plate that identifies the car that bears it
 
licensing agreement
contract giving someone the legal right to use a patent or trademark
 
lie
a statement that deviates from or perverts the truth
 
lied
a German art song of the 19th century for voice and piano
 
ligature
(music) a group of notes connected by a slur
 
ligature
character consisting of two or more letters combined into one
 
light
a visual warning signal
 
light opera
a short amusing opera
 
lights-out
(military) signal to turn the lights out
 
limerick
a humorous verse form of 5 anapestic lines with a rhyme scheme aabba
 
limited edition
an edition that is restricted to a specific number of copies
 
line
a mark that is long relative to its width
 
line
text consisting of a row of words written across a page or computer screen
 
line
persuasive but insincere talk that is usually intended to deceive or impress
 
line item
an item in an appropriation bill
 
line of gab
plausible glib talk (especially useful to a salesperson)
 
line of poetry
a single line of words in a poem
 
line score
a summary of the scoring in a game (usually in tabular form)
 
Linear A
an undeciphered writing system used in Crete in the 17th century B.C.
 
Linear B
a syllabic script used in Greece in the 13th century B.C.
 
linear equation
a polynomial equation of the first degree
 
lineup
the schedule of programs for a particular period
 
lingam
the Hindu phallic symbol of Siva
 
lingual
a consonant that is produced with the tongue and other speech organs
 
Lingualumina
an artificial language
 
linguistic profiling
using speech characteristics or dialect to identify a speaker's race or religion or social class
 
linguistic rule
(linguistics) a rule describing (or prescribing) a linguistic practice
 
linguistic string
a linear sequence of words as spoken or written
 
linguistic universal
(linguistics) a grammatical rule (or other linguistic feature) that is found in all languages
 
Lingvo Kosmopolita
an artificial language
 
link
(computing) an instruction that connects one part of a program or an element on a list to another program or list
 
linkage editor
an editor program that creates one module from several by resolving cross-references among the modules
 
Linux
an open-source version of the UNIX operating system
 
lipogram
a text that excludes a particular letter or particular letters of the alphabet
 
liquid
a frictionless continuant that is not a nasal consonant (especially `l' and `r')
 
liquor licence
a license authorizing the holder to sell alcoholic beverages
 
LISP
a flexible procedure-oriented programing language that manipulates symbols in the form of lists
 
LISP compiler
a compiler for programs written in LISP
 
LISP program
a program written in LISP
 
list
a database containing an ordered array of items (names or topics)
 
Lisu
a Loloish language
 
Litany
a prayer consisting of a series of invocations by the priest with responses from the congregation
 
litany
any long and tedious address or recital
 
literal interpretation
an interpretation based on the exact wording
 
literary composition
imaginative or creative writing
 
literary review
a review devoted to literary criticism
 
literature
creative writing of recognized artistic value
 
literature
published writings in a particular style on a particular subject
 
lithography
a method of planographic printing from a metal or stone surface
 
Lithuanian
the official language of Lithuania; belongs to the Baltic branch of Indo-European
 
litmus test
a test that relies on a single indicator
 
litotes
understatement for rhetorical effect (especially when expressing an affirmative by negating its contrary)
 
little dictionary
a dictionary that is small enough to carry in your pocket
 
living will
a document written by someone still legally capable requesting that he should be allowed to die if subsequently severely disabled or suffering terminal illness
 
Livonian
the Finnic language spoken by the people of Livonia in Estonia and Latvia
 
loan application
an application to borrow money
 
loan
a word borrowed from another language; e.g. `blitz' is a German word borrowed into modern English
 
lobe
the enhanced response of an antenna in a given direction as indicated by a loop in its radiation pattern
 
local call
a telephone call made within a local calling area
 
localism
a phrase or pronunciation that is peculiar to a particular locality
 
locative
the semantic role of the noun phrase that designates the place of the state or action denoted by the verb
 
locus classicus
an authoritative and often-quoted passage
 
lodgement
bringing a charge or accusation against someone
 
log
a written record of events on a voyage (of a ship or plane)
 
log
a written record of messages sent or received
 
log
the exponent required to produce a given number
 
logbook
a book in which the log is written
 
logic bomb
a set of instructions inserted into a program that are designed to execute (or `explode') if a particular condition is satisfied; when exploded it may delete or corrupt data, or print a spurious message, or have other harmful effects
 
logic diagram
a graphical representation of a program using formal logic
 
logical proof
proof of a logical theorem
 
logical quantifier
(logic) a word (such as `some' or `all' or `no') that binds the variables in a logical proposition
 
logion
a saying of Jesus that is regarded as authentic although it is not recorded in the Gospels
 
logo
a company emblem or device
 
logogram
a single written symbol that represents an entire word or phrase without indicating its pronunciation
 
logomachy
argument about words or the meaning of words
 
Lolo
a Loloish language
 
Lolo-Burmese
the Tibeto-Burman language spoken in northern Burma and Yunnan
 
Loloish
languages spoken by hill tribes in northern Burma and neighboring areas
 
long distance
a telephone call made outside the local calling area
 
long-windedness
boring verbosity
 
loop
the basic pattern of the human fingerprint
 
loop
a computer program that performs a series of instructions repeatedly until some specified condition is satisfied
 
loophole
an ambiguity (especially one in the text of a law or contract) that makes it possible to evade a difficulty or obligation
 
loose sentence
a complex sentence in which the main clause comes first and the subordinate clause follows
 
Lord's Prayer
the prayer that Christ gave his disciples in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 6:9-13)
 
Lordship
a title used to address any British peer except a duke and extended to a bishop or a judge
 
love lyric
the lyric of a love song
 
love song
a song about love or expressing love for another person
 
love story
a story dealing with love
 
low blow
unscrupulous abuse
 
low comedy
a comedy characterized by slapstick and burlesque
 
Low Latin
any dialect of Latin other than classical Latin
 
lower criticism
the study of existing manuscripts of the Scriptures in order to determine the original text
 
lowercase
the characters that were once kept in bottom half of a compositor's type case
 
lubber line
a fixed line on a ship's compass indicating its heading
 
lucubration
a solemn literary work that is the product of laborious cogitation
 
Ludian
a Baltic-Finnic language
 
LuGanda
the Bantu language of the Buganda people; spoken in Uganda
 
Lukasiewicz notation
a parenthesis-free notation for forming mathematical expressions in which each operator precedes its operands
 
luncheon voucher
coupon redeemable at a restaurant and entitling the holder to a meal
 
Luo
a Nilotic language
 
luridness
the journalistic use of subject matter that appeals to vulgar tastes
 
Lusatian
a Slavonic language spoken in rural area of southeastern Germany
 
Luwian
an Anatolian language
 
Luyia
a Bantu language
 
Lycian
an Anatolian language
 
Lydian
an Anatolian language
 
lynx
a text browser
 
lyric
a short poem of songlike quality
 
M
the 13th letter of the Roman alphabet
 
mace
a ceremonial staff carried as a symbol of office or authority
 
Macedonian
the Slavic language of modern Macedonia
 
machine code
a set of instructions coded so that the computer can use it directly without further translation
 
machine-displayable text
electronic text that is stored and used in the form of a digital image
 
machine-readable text
electronic text that is stored as strings of characters and that can be displayed in a variety of formats
 
mackle
a printed impression that is blurred or doubled
 
macro
a single computer instruction that results in a series of instructions in machine language
 
macron
a diacritical mark (-) placed above a vowel to indicate a long sound
 
macumba
popular dance music of Brazil; derived from the practices of the macumba religious cult
 
madrigal
an unaccompanied partsong for 2 or 3 voices; follows a strict poetic form
 
mag
a periodic publication containing pictures and stories and articles of interest to those who purchase it or subscribe to it
 
Magadhan
a subfamily of Indic languages
 
magazine article
an article published in a magazine
 
magnetic medium
any storage medium in which different patterns of magnetization are used to represent stored bits or bytes of information
 
Magnificat
(Luke) the canticle of the Virgin Mary (from Luke 1:46 beginning `Magnificat anima mea Dominum')
 
Mahabharatam
(Hinduism) a sacred epic Sanskrit poem of India dealing in many episodes with the struggle between two rival families
 
Mahratti
an Indic language; the state language of Maharashtra in west central India; written in the Devanagari script
 
maiden name
a woman's surname before marriage
 
mail
the bags of letters and packages that are transported by the postal service
 
mail order
a purchase negotiated by mail
 
mail
the system whereby messages are transmitted via the post office
 
mailer
an advertisement that is sent by mail
 
mailing list
a list of names and addresses to which advertising material is mailed
 
mailing-card
a card for sending messages by post without an envelope
 
main file
(computer science) a computer file that is used as the authority in a given job and that is relatively permanent
 
major diatonic scale
a diatonic scale with notes separated by whole tones except for the 3rd and 4th and 7th and 8th
 
major form class
any of the major parts of speech of traditional grammar
 
major key
a key whose harmony is based on the major scale
 
major lobe
the maximum lobe in the radiation pattern which is intended to be along the forward axis and which gives the effect of a beam
 
major premise
the premise of a syllogism that contains the major term (which is the predicate of the conclusion)
 
major term
the term in a syllogism that is the predicate of the conclusion
 
majority opinion
the opinion joined by a majority of the court (generally known simply as `the opinion')
 
malaprop
the unintentional misuse of a word by confusion with one that sounds similar
 
Malay
a western subfamily of Western Malayo-Polynesian languages
 
Malayalam
a Dravidian language (closely related to Tamil) that is spoken in southwestern India
 
Malayo-Polynesian
the branch of the Austronesian languages spoken from Madagascar to the central Pacific
 
Maleseet
the Algonquian language of the Malecite and Passamaquody
 
malevolent program
a computer program designed to have undesirable or harmful effects
 
malignment
slanderous defamation
 
Maltese language
the national language of the Republic of Malta; a Semitic language derived from Arabic but with many loan words from Italian, Spanish, and Norman-French
 
Malto
the Dravidian language spoken by the Malto
 
malware
malicious software, designed to break into a system
 
Mam
a Mayan language spoken by the Mam
 
Manchu
the Tungusic language spoken by the Manchu
 
Manda
a Dravidian language spoken in south central India
 
Mandaean
the form of Aramaic used by the Mandeans
 
mandamus
an extraordinary writ commanding an official to perform a ministerial act that the law recognizes as an absolute duty and not a matter for the official's discretion; used only when all other judicial remedies fail
 
Mandarin Chinese
the dialect of Chinese spoken in Beijing and adopted as the official language for all of China
 
mandatory injunction
injunction requiring the performance of some specific act
 
Mande
a group of African languages in the Niger-Congo group spoken from Senegal east as far as the Ivory Coast
 
manga
graphic novel that originated in Japan, usually intended for adults and characterized by highly stylized art
 
manifest
a customs document listing the contents put on a ship or plane
 
manifest destiny
a policy of imperialism rationalized as inevitable (as if granted by God)
 
manifestation
a manifest indication of the existence or presence or nature of some person or thing
 
manifesto
a public declaration of intentions (as issued by a political party or government)
 
manner name
a word that denotes a manner of doing something
 
mantle
the cloak as a symbol of authority
 
mantra
(Sanskrit) literally a `sacred utterance' in Vedism; one of a collection of orally transmitted poetic hymns
 
mantra
a commonly repeated word or phrase
 
manual
a small handbook
 
manuscript
the form of a literary work submitted for publication
 
Manx
the ancient Gaelic formerly spoken on the Isle of Man; the language is sometimes used on ceremonial occasions
 
Maori
the Oceanic language spoken by the Maori in New Zealand
 
maple-leaf
the emblem of Canada
 
MapQuest
a free, widely-used Web Map Server
 
Maracan language
the language spoken by the Maraco
 
march
genre of music written for marching
 
marching orders
an order from a superior officer for troops to depart
 
marching orders
(informal) a notice of dismissal or discharge
 
margin
the blank space that surrounds the text on a page
 
marginalia
notes written in the margin
 
Maricopa
the Yuman language spoken by the Maricopa and the Halchidhoma
 
Mariposan
a Penutian language spoken by the Yokuts in the San Joaquin Valley
 
mark
a written or printed symbol (as for punctuation)
 
mark
a distinguishing symbol
 
mark
a visible indication made on a surface
 
mark
a perceptible indication of something not immediately apparent (as a visible clue that something has happened)
 
mark
a reference point to shoot at
 
market letter
a newsletter written by an analyst of the stock market and sold to subscribers
 
market order
an order to a broker to sell or buy stocks or commodities at the prevailing market price
 
markup
detailed stylistic instructions for typesetting something that is to be printed; manual markup is usually written on the copy (e.g. underlining words that are to be set in italics)
 
markup language
a set of symbols and rules for their use when doing a markup of a document
 
marriage contract
a prenuptial agreement or contract
 
marriage counseling
counseling on marital problems and disagreements
 
marriage licence
a license authorizing two people to marry
 
marriage offer
an offer of marriage
 
Marseillaise
the French national anthem
 
martial music
brisk marching music suitable for troops marching in a military parade
 
Masa
an independent group of closely related Chadic languages spoken in the area between the Biu-Mandara and East Chadic languages
 
Masai
a Nilotic language
 
masculine
a gender that refers chiefly (but not exclusively) to males or to objects classified as male
 
Mashi
a Bantu language
 
Masorah
a vast body of textual criticism of the Hebrew Scriptures including notes on features of writing and on the occurrence of certain words and on variant sources and instructions for pronunciation and other comments that were written between AD 600 and 900 by Jewish scribes in the margins or at the end of texts
 
Mass
a sequence of prayers constituting the Christian Eucharistic rite
 
Mass
a musical setting for a Mass
 
Mass card
(Roman Catholic Church) a card sent to a bereaved family that says the sender has arranged for a Mass to be said in memory of the deceased
 
mass medium
(usually plural) transmissions that are disseminated widely to the public
 
mass noun
a noun that does not form plurals
 
Massachusetts
the Algonquian language of the Massachuset
 
Master in Business Administration
a master's degree in business
 
Master in Public Affairs
a master's degree in questions of public concern
 
Master of Architecture
a degree granted for the successful completion of advanced study of architecture
 
Master of Arts in Library Science
a master's degree in library science
 
Master of Arts in Teaching
a master's degree in teaching
 
Master of Divinity
a master's degree in religion
 
Master of Education
a master's degree in education
 
Master of Fine Arts
a master's degree in fine arts
 
Master of Laws
an advanced law degree
 
Master of Library Science
a master's degree in library science
 
Master of Literature
a master's degree in literature
 
Master of Science
a master's degree in science
 
Master of Science in Engineering
a master's degree in engineering
 
Master of Theology
a master's degree in theology
 
master's degree
an academic degree higher than a bachelor's degree but lower than a doctor's degree
 
masthead
the title of a newspaper or magazine; usually printed on the front page and on the editorial page
 
Matabele
a Bantu language sometimes considered a dialect of Zulu
 
Matakam
a Chadic language spoken south of Lake Chad
 
material
information (data or ideas or observations) that can be used or reworked into a finished form
 
mathematical notation
a notation used by mathematicians
 
mathematical proof
proof of a mathematical theorem
 
mathematical statement
a statement of a mathematical relation
 
mathematical symbol
a character that is used to indicates a mathematical relation or operation
 
matinee
a theatrical performance held during the daytime (especially in the afternoon)
 
matronymic
a name derived from the name of your mother or a maternal ancestor
 
matter
written works (especially in books or magazines)
 
matter of fact
a disputed factual contention that is generally left for a jury to decide
 
matter of law
a disputed legal contention that is generally left for a judge to decide
 
Mattole
the Athapaskan language spoken by the Mattole
 
Maxwell's equations
four differential equations that summarize classical properties of electromagnetic fields
 
Mayan language
a family of American Indian languages spoken by Mayas
 
Mayday
an internationally recognized distress signal via radiotelephone (from the French m'aider)
 
mazurka
music composed for dancing the mazurka
 
McGuffey Eclectic Readers
readers that combined lessons in reading with moralistic messages
 
mea culpa
an acknowledgment of your error or guilt
 
mearstone
an old term for a landmark that consisted of a pile of stones surmounted by an upright slab
 
Medaille Militaire
a French military decoration
 
medallion
an emblem indicating that a taxicab is registered
 
mediant
(music) the third note of a diatonic scale; midway between the tonic and the dominant
 
mediation
a negotiation to resolve differences that is conducted by some impartial party
 
Medical Literature Analysis and Retrieval System
relational database of the United States National Library of Medicine for the storage and retrieval of bibliographical information concerning the biomedical literature
 
medical report
a report of the results of a medical examination of a patient
 
Medieval Latin
Latin used for liturgical purposes during the Middle Ages
 
medium
an intervening substance through which signals can travel as a means for communication
 
medium
a means or instrumentality for storing or communicating information
 
medley
a musical composition consisting of a series of songs or other musical pieces from various sources
 
Megillah
(Judaism) the scroll of parchment that contains the biblical story of Esther; traditionally read in synagogues to celebrate Purim
 
megillah
(Yiddish) a long boring tediously detailed account
 
melodrama
an extravagant comedy in which action is more salient than characterization
 
mem
the 13th letter of the Hebrew alphabet
 
membership card
a card certifying membership in an organization
 
memo
a written proposal or reminder
 
memoir
an account of the author's personal experiences
 
memoir
an essay on a scientific or scholarly topic
 
memorabilia
a record of things worth remembering
 
memorial
a written statement of facts submitted in conjunction with a petition to an authority
 
menace
a threat or the act of threatening
 
Menominee
the Algonquian language spoken by the Menomini
 
mention
a remark that calls attention to something or someone
 
merit badge
a badge award to Boy Scouts in recognition of special projects
 
meronym
a word that names a part of a larger whole
 
message
a communication (usually brief) that is written or spoken or signaled
 
Messiah
an oratorio composed by Handel in 1742
 
metalanguage
a language that can be used to describe languages
 
metalepsis
substituting metonymy of one figurative sense for another
 
metaphor
a figure of speech in which an expression is used to refer to something that it does not literally denote in order to suggest a similarity
 
meteorology
predicting what the weather will be
 
metonym
a word that denotes one thing but refers to a related thing
 
metonymy
substituting the name of an attribute or feature for the name of the thing itself (as in `they counted heads')
 
Mexican Spanish
the dialect of Spanish spoken in Mexico
 
mezuza
religious texts from Deuteronomy inscribed on parchment and rolled up in a case that is attached to the doorframe of many Jewish households in accordance with Jewish law
 
mezzo
the female singing voice between contralto and soprano
 
mi
the syllable naming the third (mediant) note of any major scale in solmization
 
Micmac
the Algonquian language of the Micmac
 
Microsoft disk operating system
an operating system developed by Bill Gates for personal computers
 
middle C
the note designated by the first ledger line below the treble staff; 261.63 hertz
 
Middle English
English from about 1100 to 1450
 
Middle High German
High German from 1100 to 1500
 
Middle Irish
Irish Gaelic from 1100 to 1500
 
Middle Low German
Low German from 1100 to 1500
 
middle name
a name between your first name and your surname
 
middle term
the term in a syllogism that is common to both premises and excluded from the conclusion
 
MIDI
a standard protocol for communication between electronic musical instruments and computers
 
Midrash
(Judaism) an ancient commentary on part of the Hebrew scriptures that is based on Jewish methods of interpretation and attached to the biblical text
 
midterm
an examination administered in the middle of an academic term
 
Mikir-Meithei
Kamarupan languages spoken in the states of Manipur and Assam in northeastern India
 
milepost
stone post at side of a road to show distances
 
military greeting
a formal military gesture of respect
 
military intelligence
information about the armed forces of another country that is useful in planning and conducting military policy or military operations
 
mimesis
the representation of another person's words in a speech
 
Min dialect
any of the forms of Chinese spoken in Fukien province
 
Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory
a self-report personality inventory consisting of 550 items that describe feelings or actions which the person is asked to agree with or disagree with; many scales estimating traits and qualities of personality have been developed using MMPI items
 
minor diatonic scale
a diatonic scale with notes separated by whole tones except for the 2nd and 3rd and 5th and 6th
 
minor key
a key based on the minor scale
 
minor premise
the premise of a syllogism that contains the minor term (which is the subject of the conclusion)
 
minor term
the term in a syllogism that is the subject of the conclusion
 
minstrel show
a variety show in which the performers are made up in blackface
 
minstrelsy
ballads sung by minstrels
 
mintmark
a mark on a coin that identifies the mint where it was produced
 
minuet
a stately piece of music composed for dancing the minuet; often incorporated into a sonata or suite
 
minus sign
a sign indicating the operation of subtraction
 
minuscule
a small cursive script developed from uncial between the 7th and 9th centuries and used in medieval manuscripts
 
minute
a short note
 
minute book
a book in which minutes have been written
 
minutes
a written account of what transpired at a meeting
 
miracle play
a medieval play representing episodes from the life of a saint or martyr
 
Miranda rule
the rule that police (when interrogating you after an arrest) are obliged to warn you that anything you say may be used as evidence and to read you your constitutional rights (the right to a lawyer and the right to remain silent until advised by a lawyer)
 
Mirish
little known Kamarupan languages
 
misconstrual
a kind of misinterpretation resulting from putting a wrong construction on words or actions (often deliberately)
 
misconstruction
an ungrammatical constituent
 
misdirection
incorrect directions or instructions
 
misdirection
an incorrect charge to a jury given by a judge
 
Mishnah
the first part of the Talmud; a collection of early oral interpretations of the scriptures that was compiled about AD 200
 
misinformation
information that is incorrect
 
misinterpretation
putting the wrong interpretation on
 
misnomer
an incorrect or unsuitable name
 
mispronunciation
incorrect pronunciation
 
misquotation
an incorrect quotation
 
misreading
misinterpretation caused by inaccurate reading
 
Miss
a form of address for an unmarried woman
 
missal
(Roman Catholic Church) a book containing all the prayers and responses needed to celebrate Mass throughout the year
 
Missouri
a dialect of the Chiwere language spoken by the Missouri
 
Missouri Compromise
an agreement in 1820 between pro-slavery and anti-slavery factions in the United States concerning the extension of slavery into new territories
 
misspelling
a spelling that is incorrect
 
misstatement
a statement that contains a mistake
 
Mister
a form of address for a man
 
mistranslation
an incorrect translation
 
mixed metaphor
a combination of two or more metaphors that together produce a ridiculous effect
 
mock-heroic
a satirical imitation of heroic verse
 
modal
an auxiliary verb (such as `can' or `will') that is used to express modality
 
mode
any of various fixed orders of the various diatonic notes within an octave
 
Modern English
English since about 1450
 
Modern Greek
the Greek language as spoken and written today
 
Modern Hebrew
Hebrew used in Israel today; revived from ancient Hebrew
 
modern jazz
any of various styles of jazz that appeared after 1940
 
modernization
a modernized version (as of a play)
 
modifier
a content word that qualifies the meaning of a noun or verb
 
modulation
(electronics) the transmission of a signal by using it to vary a carrier wave; changing the carrier's amplitude or frequency or phase
 
modulation
a musical passage moving from one key to another
 
modus vivendi
a temporary accommodation of a disagreement between parties pending a permanent settlement
 
Mohawk
the Iroquoian language spoken by the Mohawk
 
Mohican
the Algonquian language spoken by the Mohican
 
Mojave
the Yuman language spoken by the Mohave
 
Mokulu
a Chadic language spoken in Chad
 
molecular formula
a chemical formula based on analysis and molecular weight
 
Mon
the Mon-Khmer language spoken by the Mon
 
Mon-Khmer
a branch of the Austro-Asiatic languages
 
Monario
an artificial language
 
Mongolic language
a family of Altaic language spoken in Mongolia
 
monition
a summons issued after the filing of a libel or claim directing all parties concerned to show cause why the judgment asked for should not be granted
 
monitor program
a program that observes and regulates and controls or verifies the operations of a data-processing system
 
monody
music consisting of a single vocal part (usually with accompaniment)
 
monogram
a graphic symbol consisting of 2 or more letters combined (usually your initials); printed on stationery or embroidered on clothing
 
monograph
a detailed and documented treatise on a particular subject
 
monologue
a (usually long) dramatic speech by a single actor
 
monologue
a long utterance by one person (especially one that prevents others from participating in the conversation)
 
monologue
speech you make to yourself
 
monosyllabic word
a word or utterance of one syllable
 
monotone
a single tone repeated with different words or different rhythms (especially in rendering liturgical texts)
 
Monroe Doctrine
an American foreign policy opposing interference in the western hemisphere from outside powers
 
monthly
a periodical that is published every month (or 12 issues per year)
 
Moquelumnan
a Penutian language spoken by the Miwok
 
moral principle
the principle that conduct should be moral
 
moralisation
indulgence in moral pronouncements; the exposition (often superficially) of a particular moral code
 
moralism
a moral maxim
 
morality play
an allegorical play popular in the 15th and 16th centuries; characters personified virtues and vices
 
morceau
a short literary or musical composition
 
Mordvinian
the Finnic language spoken by the Mordvinians
 
morpheme
minimal meaningful language unit; it cannot be divided into smaller meaningful units
 
morphological rule
a linguistic rule for the formation of words
 
morphophoneme
(linguistics) the phonemes (or strings of phonemes) that constitute the various allomorphs of a morpheme
 
morphophonemic system
the morphophonemics of a particular language
 
mortgage application
an application for a mortgage loan
 
mortgage deed
deed embodying a mortgage
 
Mosaic
a freeware browser
 
Mosan
a family of Amerindian languages spoken in Washington and British Columbia
 
mot juste
the appropriate word or expression
 
motet
an unaccompanied choral composition with sacred lyrics; intended to be sung as part of a church service; originated in the 13th century
 
motif
a theme that is repeated or elaborated in a piece of music
 
motion
a formal proposal for action made to a deliberative assembly for discussion and vote
 
moue
a disdainful grimace
 
movement
a major self-contained part of a symphony or sonata
 
Mozart
the music of Mozart
 
MRD
a machine-readable version of a standard dictionary; organized alphabetically
 
Mrs.
a form of address for a married woman
 
Ms.
a form of address for a woman
 
mu
the 12th letter of the Greek alphabet
 
muckraking
the exposure of scandal (especially about public figures)
 
mud
slanderous remarks or charges
 
mug book
a file of mug shots (pictures of criminals that are kept on file by the police)
 
multidimensional language
a programming language whose expressions are assembled in more than one dimension
 
multimedia
transmission that combine media of communication (text and graphics and sound etc.)
 
multiplex
communicates two or more signals over a common channel
 
mumble
a soft indistinct utterance
 
mumbling
indistinct enunciation
 
mumbo jumbo
language or ritual causing, or intending to cause, confusion
 
Munda
a family of languages spoken by people scattered throughout central India
 
muniments
deeds and other documentary evidence of title to land
 
Munjuk
a Chadic language spoken south of Lake Chad
 
murder charge
an indictment charging someone with murder
 
murder mystery
a narrative about a murder and how the murderer is discovered
 
murmur
a schwa that is incidental to the pronunciation of a consonant
 
Murphy's Law
humorous axiom stating that anything that can go wrong will go wrong
 
Musgoi
a Chadic language spoken south of Lake Chad
 
music
an artistic form of auditory communication incorporating instrumental or vocal tones in a structured and continuous manner
 
music hall
a variety show with songs and comic acts etc.
 
musical drama
opera in which the musical and dramatic elements are equally important; the music is appropriate to the action
 
musical notation
(music) notation used by musicians
 
musical note
a notation representing the pitch and duration of a musical sound
 
musical octave
a musical interval of eight tones
 
musical passage
a short section of a musical composition
 
musical phrase
a short musical passage
 
musical scale
(music) a series of notes differing in pitch according to a specific scheme (usually within an octave)
 
musical score
a written form of a musical composition; parts for different instruments appear on separate staves on large pages
 
musical time signature
a musical notation indicating the number of beats to a measure and kind of note that takes a beat
 
musical
a play or film whose action and dialogue is interspersed with singing and dancing
 
Muskhogean language
a family of North American Indian languages spoken in the southeastern United States
 
Muskogee
the Muskhogean language spoken by the Muskogee
 
muster roll
a list of names of officers and men in a military unit or ship's company
 
Mwera
a Bantu language spoken in southern coastal Tanzania
 
myogram
a graphical recording of muscle activity
 
mystery play
a medieval play representing episodes from the life of Christ
 
mystery
a story about a crime (usually murder) presented as a novel or play or movie
 
mystifier
a particularly baffling problem that is said to have a correct solution
 
myth
a traditional story accepted as history; serves to explain the world view of a people
 
mythologisation
the restatement of a message as a myth
 
N
the 14th letter of the Roman alphabet
 
N.B.
a Latin phrase (or its abbreviation) used to indicate that special attention should be paid to something
 
Na-Dene
a family of North American Indian languages
 
Naga
Kamarupan languages spoken in northeastern India and western Burma
 
Nahuatl
the Uto-Aztecan language spoken by the Nahuatl
 
Naiki
a Dravidian language spoken in south central India
 
name
a language unit by which a person or thing is known
 
name calling
verbal abuse; a crude substitute for argument
 
name tag
a tag showing the name of the person who wears it
 
name-dropping
the practice of casually mentioning important people in order to impress your listener
 
naming
the verbal act of naming
 
Nancere
a Chadic language spoken in Chad
 
Nanticoke
the Algonquian language spoken by the Nanticoke and Conoy
 
Napierian logarithm
a logarithm to the base e
 
narration
(rhetoric) the second section of an oration in which the facts are set forth
 
narration
a message that tells the particulars of an act or occurrence or course of events; presented in writing or drama or cinema or as a radio or television program
 
narration
the act of giving an account describing incidents or a course of events
 
nasal
a consonant produced through the nose with the mouth closed
 
nasalisation
the act of nasalizing; the utterance of sounds modulated by the nasal resonators
 
national anthem
a song formally adopted as the anthem for a nation
 
national trading policy
a government's policy controlling foreign trade
 
native language
the language that a person has spoken from earliest childhood
 
nativism
the policy of perpetuating native cultures (in opposition to acculturation)
 
natural language processing application
an application program that deals with natural language text
 
natural language
a human written or spoken language used by a community; opposed to e.g. a computer language
 
Navajo
the Athapaskan language spoken by the Navaho
 
Navy Cross
a United States Navy decoration for extraordinary heroism against an armed enemy
 
nay
a negative
 
naysaying
the act of saying no to a request
 
necrology
a list of people who died recently
 
necrology
a notice of someone's death; usually includes a short biography
 
negation
(logic) a proposition that is true if and only if another proposition is false
 
negation
the speech act of negating
 
negation
a negative statement; a statement that is a refusal or denial of some other statement
 
negative
a reply of denial
 
negative identification
evidence proving that you are not who you say you are not; evidence establishing that you are not among a group of people already known to the system; recognition by the system leads to rejection
 
negotiable instrument
an unconditional order or promise to pay an amount of money
 
Negro spiritual
a kind of religious song originated by Blacks in the southern United States
 
Nepali
the official state language of Nepal
 
Netscape
a commercial browser
 
network architecture
specification of design principles (including data formats and procedures) for creating a network configuration of data processors
 
network programming
the schedule of programs to be broadcast on a network
 
neural net
computer architecture in which processors are connected in a manner suggestive of connections between neurons; can learn by trial and error
 
neuter
a gender that refers chiefly (but not exclusively) to inanimate objects (neither masculine nor feminine)
 
neutralism
a policy of neutrality or nonalignment in international affairs
 
new criticism
literary criticism based on close analysis of the text
 
New Deal
the economic policy of F. D. Roosevelt
 
new edition
a publication (such as a book) that has been modified or updated and offered again for sale
 
New English Bible
a modern English version of the Bible and Apocrypha
 
New Latin
Latin since the Renaissance; used for scientific nomenclature
 
New Norwegian
one of two official languages of Norway; based on rural dialects
 
New Testament
the collection of books of the Gospels, Acts of the Apostles, the Pauline and other epistles, and Revelation; composed soon after Christ's death; the second half of the Christian Bible
 
Newari
Himalayish language spoken in the Kathmandu valley of Nepal
 
news
information reported in a newspaper or news magazine
 
news
informal information of any kind that is not previously known to someone
 
news article
an article reporting news
 
news conference
a conference at which press and tv reporters ask questions of a politician or other celebrity
 
news item
an item in a newspaper
 
news magazine
a magazine devoted to reports of current events; usually published weekly
 
news photography
photography of newsworthy events
 
news
a program devoted to current events, often using interviews and commentary
 
newscast
a broadcast of news or commentary on the news
 
newsletter
report or open letter giving informal or confidential news of interest to a special group
 
newspaper ad
a printed advertisement that is published in a newspaper
 
newspaper
a daily or weekly publication on folded sheets; contains news and articles and advertisements
 
newsreel
a short film and commentary about current events
 
Nez Perce
the Shahaptian language spoken by the Nez Perce
 
Nganasan
the Uralic language spoken by the Nganasan
 
Nguni
a group of southern Bantu languages
 
Nibelungenlied
an epic poem written in Middle High German and based on the legends of Siegfried and Teutonic kings
 
Nicene Creed
(Christianity) a formal creed summarizing Christian beliefs; first adopted in 325 and later expanded
 
nicety
a subtle difference in meaning or opinion or attitude
 
nickname
a descriptive name for a place or thing
 
Niger-Congo
a family of African language spoken in west Africa
 
Niger-Kordofanian language
the family of languages that includes most of the languages spoken in Africa south of the Sahara; the majority of them are tonal languages but there are important exceptions (e.g., Swahili or Fula)
 
night letter
a cheaper form of telegram sent for delivery the next day
 
nihil obstat
the phrase used by the official censor of the Roman Catholic Church to say that a publication has been examined and contains nothing offensive to the church
 
Nilo-Saharan language
a family of East African languages spoken by Nilotic peoples from the Sahara south to Kenya and Tanzania
 
Nilotic language
a group of languages of East Africa belonging to the Chari-Nile group
 
Nineteenth Amendment
an amendment to the Constitution of the United States adopted in 1920; guarantees that no state can deny the right to vote on the basis of sex
 
no
a negative
 
Nobel prize
an annual award for outstanding contributions to chemistry or physics or physiology and medicine or literature or economics or peace
 
nocturne
a pensive lyrical piece of music (especially for the piano)
 
nod
a sign of assent or salutation or command
 
noise
a loud outcry of protest or complaint
 
nol pros
an entry in the court record to the effect that the plaintiff or prosecutor will not proceed
 
nolo contendere
(law) an answer of `no contest' by a defendant who does not admit guilt but that subjects him to conviction
 
nom de plume
an author's pseudonym
 
nominal
a phrase that can function as the subject or object of a verb
 
nominating address
an address (usually at a political convention) proposing the name of a candidate to run for election
 
nominative
the category of nouns serving as the grammatical subject of a verb
 
non sequitur
a reply that has no relevance to what preceded it
 
non-standard speech
speech that differs from the usual accepted, easily recognizable speech of native adult members of a speech community
 
Non-Ugric
one of two branches of the Finno-Ugric languages; a family of languages including Finnish and Estonian (but not Hungarian)
 
nonaggression
a policy of not initiating hostilities
 
nonconformity
lack of harmony or correspondence
 
nonfiction
prose writing that is not fictional
 
noninterference
a foreign policy of staying out of other countries' disputes
 
Nootka
a Wakashan language spoken by the Nootka
 
North Atlantic Treaty
the treaty signed in 1949 by 12 countries that established NATO
 
North Dravidian
a Dravidian language spoken primarily in eastern India
 
North Germanic language
the northern family of Germanic languages that are spoken in Scandinavia and Iceland
 
Northern
a dialect of Middle English that developed into Scottish Lallans
 
Norwegian
a Scandinavian language that is spoken in Norway
 
nose
a symbol of inquisitiveness
 
notation
a technical system of symbols used to represent special things
 
note
a tone of voice that shows what the speaker is feeling
 
note
a brief written record
 
notebook
a book with blank pages for recording notes or memoranda
 
notebook entry
an entry in a notebook
 
notepaper
writing paper intended for writing short notes or letters
 
nothings
inconsequential conversation
 
notice
advance notification (usually written) of the intention to withdraw from an arrangement of contract
 
notice
a short critical review
 
notice
an announcement containing information about an event
 
notice
a request for payment
 
noun
a content word that can be used to refer to a person, place, thing, quality, or action
 
noun
the word class that can serve as the subject or object of a verb, the object of a preposition, or in apposition
 
Nov-Esperanto
an artificial language based on Esperanto
 
Nov-Latin
an artificial language based on Latin
 
novel
an extended fictional work in prose; usually in the form of a story
 
novelette
a short novel
 
Novial
an artificial language
 
nu
the 13th letter of the Greek alphabet
 
nullity
something that is null (especially an enactment that has no legal validity)
 
number
a numbered item in a series
 
number
a numeral or string of numerals that is used for identification and may be attached to accounts, memberships, etc.
 
number
the grammatical category for the forms of nouns and pronouns and verbs that are used depending on the number of entities involved (singular or dual or plural)
 
number representation system
any notation for the representation of numbers
 
number
a symbol used to represent a number
 
number
the number is used in calling a particular telephone
 
numeration
naming numbers
 
nun
the 14th letter of the Hebrew alphabet
 
Nung
a branch of the Tai languages
 
nursery rhyme
a tale in rhymed verse for children
 
nuts and bolts
detailed practical information about how something works or how something can be accomplished
 
Nyamwezi
a Bantu language spoken in central Tanzania
 
O
the 15th letter of the Roman alphabet
 
O.K.
an endorsement
 
Oak Leaf Cluster
a United States military decoration consisting of bronze or silver oak leaves and acorns awarded to anyone who has won a given medal before
 
oath
a solemn promise, usually invoking a divine witness, regarding your future acts or behavior
 
oath
a commitment to tell the truth (especially in a court of law); to lie under oath is to become subject to prosecution for perjury
 
obbligato
a part of the score that must be performed without change or omission
 
obbligato
a persistent but subordinate motif
 
obiter dictum
an incidental remark
 
object
(grammar) a constituent that is acted upon
 
object code
the machine-language output of a compiler that is ready for execution on a particular computer
 
object language
the language into which a text written in another language is to be translated
 
object language
a computer language into which something written in another computer language is to be translated
 
object of a preposition
the object governed by a preposition
 
object program
a fully compiled or assembled program ready to be loaded into the computer
 
object-oriented database
a database in which the operations carried out on information items (data objects) are considered part of their definition
 
object-oriented database management system
a database management system designed to manage an object-oriented database
 
object-oriented programing language
(computer science) a programming language that enables the programmer to associate a set of procedures with each type of data structure
 
objection
the speech act of objecting
 
obligation
a legal agreement specifying a payment or action and the penalty for failure to comply
 
oblique
any grammatical case other than the nominative
 
observation
a remark expressing careful consideration
 
obstruent
a consonant that is produced with a partial or complete blockage of the airflow from the lungs through the nose or mouth
 
Occidental
an artificial language
 
occlusive
a consonant produced by stopping the flow of air at some point and suddenly releasing it
 
occupation licence
a license to pursue a particular occupation
 
octal notation
any mathematical notation that uses 8 different characters (usually the digits 0 to 7)
 
octal number system
a positional system of numeration that uses octal digits and a radix of eight
 
octameter
a verse line having eight metrical feet
 
octave
a rhythmic group of eight lines of verse
 
octet
a musical composition written for eight performers
 
octosyllable
a verse line having eight syllables or a poem of octosyllabic lines
 
ode
a lyric poem with complex stanza forms
 
Odyssey
a Greek epic poem (attributed to Homer) describing the journey of Odysseus after the fall of Troy
 
offbeat
an unaccented beat (especially the last beat of a measure)
 
offer
the verbal act of offering
 
offer
something offered (as a proposal or bid)
 
officialese
the style of writing characteristic of some government officials: formal and obscure
 
offprint
a separately printed article that originally appeared in a larger publication
 
offset lithography
offset printing by lithography
 
offset
a plate makes an inked impression on a rubber-blanketed cylinder, which in turn transfers it to the paper
 
Ofo
a Siouan language spoken by the Ofo
 
Ogalala
a Siouan language spoken by the Oglala
 
Old Church Slavonic
the Slavic language into which the Bible was translated in the 9th century
 
Old English
English prior to about 1100
 
Old French
the earliest form of the French language; 9th to 15th century
 
Old Frisian
the Frisian language until the 16th century; the Germanic language of ancient Frisia
 
Old High German
High German prior to 1200
 
Old Icelandic
the extinct dialect of Old Norse that was spoken in Iceland up until about 1600
 
Old Irish
Irish Gaelic up to about 1100
 
Old Italian
the Italian language up to the middle of the 16th century
 
Old Latin
the oldest recorded Latin (dating back at early as the 6th century B.C.)
 
Old Norse
the extinct Germanic language of medieval Scandinavia and Iceland from about to 700 to 1350
 
Old North French
the medieval Norman dialect of Old French
 
Old Prussian
a dead language of the (non-German) Prussians (extinct after 1700); thought to belong to the Baltic branch of Indo-European
 
Old Saxon
Low German prior to 1200
 
old style
a typeface (based on an 18th century design) distinguished by irregularity and slanted ascender serifs and little contrast between light and heavy strokes
 
Old Testament
the collection of books comprising the sacred scripture of the Hebrews and recording their history as the chosen people; the first half of the Christian Bible
 
olive branch
something offered to an adversary in the hope of obtaining peace
 
Ollari
a Dravidian language spoken in south central India
 
Omaha
the Dhegiha dialect spoken by the Omaha
 
omega
the last (24th) letter of the Greek alphabet
 
omerta
a code of silence practiced by the Mafia; a refusal to give evidence to the police about criminal activities
 
omicron
the 15th letter of the Greek alphabet
 
omnibus
an anthology of articles on a related subject or an anthology of the works of a single author
 
Omotic
a group of related languages spoken in a valley of southern Ethiopia; closely related to Cushitic languages
 
on-license
a license to sell liquor for consumption on the premises
 
one-dimensional language
a programming language whose expressions are represented by strings of characters
 
one-liner
a one-line joke
 
Oneida
the Iroquoian language spoken by the Oneida
 
onomasticon
a list of proper nouns naming persons or places
 
onomatopoeia
using words that imitate the sound they denote
 
Onondaga
the Iroquoian language spoken by the Onondaga
 
open account
an unpaid credit order
 
open door
the policy of granting equal trade opportunities to all countries
 
open letter
a letter of protest; addressed to one person but intended for the general public
 
open secret
something that is supposed to be secret but is generally known
 
open sesame
a magical command; used by Ali Baba
 
opening
the initial part of the introduction
 
opening line
the first line of a piece of writing (as a newspaper story)
 
Opera
a commercial browser
 
opera
a drama set to music; consists of singing with orchestral accompaniment and an orchestral overture and interludes
 
operation code
the portion of a set of operation descriptions that specifies the operation to be performed; the set of operations in a computer
 
opinion
a message expressing a belief about something; the expression of a belief that is held with confidence but not substantiated by positive knowledge or proof
 
Optez
an artificial language
 
oracle
a prophecy (usually obscure or allegorical) revealed by a priest or priestess; believed to be infallible
 
oral contract
an agreement that is not in writing and is not signed by the parties but is a real existing contract that lacks only the formal requirement of a memorandum to render it enforceable in litigation
 
oral presentation
delivering an address to a public audience
 
oral
an examination conducted by spoken communication
 
oration
an instance of oratory
 
oratory
addressing an audience formally (usually a long and rhetorical address and often pompous)
 
orchestration
an arrangement of a piece of music for performance by an orchestra or band
 
order
a request for something to be made, supplied, or served
 
order
(often plural) a command given by a superior (e.g., a military or law enforcement officer) that must be obeyed
 
order book
a printed copy of the order of the day
 
order form
a form to use when placing an order
 
order of the day
the order of business for an assembly on a given day
 
Order of the Purple Heart
a United States military decoration awarded to any member of the armed forces who is wounded in action
 
order
a body of rules followed by an assembly
 
order
a commercial document used to request someone to supply something in return for payment and providing specifications and quantities
 
ordinance
a statute enacted by a city government
 
ordinance
an authoritative rule
 
organ
a periodical that is published by a special interest group
 
organization chart
a chart showing the lines of responsibility between departments of a large organization
 
oriflamme
an inspiring symbol or ideal that serves as a rallying point in a struggle
 
orinasal
a speech sound produced with both the oral and nasal passages open (as French nasal vowels)
 
orison
reverent petition to a deity
 
Oriya
a Magadhan language that is spoken by the Oriya and is the official language of the Indian state of Orissa
 
orphan
the first line of a paragraph that is set as the last line of a page or column
 
orthoepy
the way a word or a language is customarily spoken
 
orthography
a method of representing the sounds of a language by written or printed symbols
 
OS
(computer science) software that controls the execution of computer programs and may provide various services
 
Osage
the Dhegiha dialect spoken by the Osage
 
Oscan
an extinct Italic language of ancient southern Italy
 
Osco-Umbrian
a group of dead languages of ancient Italy; they were displace by Latin
 
Ossete
a northeastern Iranian language spoken in Russia
 
ostensive definition
a definition that points out or exhibits instances of the term defined
 
ostinato
a musical phrase repeated over and over during a composition
 
Ostyak
a Ugric language (related to Hungarian) spoken by the Ostyak
 
Ostyak-Samoyed
the Uralic language spoken by the Ostyak-Samoyed
 
Otoe
a dialect of the Chiwere language spoken by the Oto
 
ottava rima
a stanza of eight lines of heroic verse with the rhyme scheme abababcc
 
out-of-court settlement
resolution of a dispute prior to the rendering of a final decision by the trial court
 
output contract
a contract in which you promise to deliver your entire output to the other party who promises to accept it
 
output file
(computer science) a computer file that contains data that are the output of a device or program
 
output program
a utility program that organizes the output of a computer
 
output routine
a routine that controls an output device
 
output
signal that comes out of an electronic system
 
outtake
a scene that is filmed but is not used in the final editing of the film
 
ovation
enthusiastic recognition (especially one accompanied by loud applause)
 
overappraisal
an appraisal that is too high
 
overbid
a bid that is higher than preceding bids
 
overbid
(bridge) a bid that is higher than your opponent's bid (especially when your partner has not bid at all and your bid exceeds the value of your hand)
 
oversimplification
a simplification that goes too far (to the point of misrepresentation)
 
overtone
(usually plural) an ulterior implicit meaning or quality
 
overture
orchestral music played at the beginning of an opera or oratorio
 
overview
a general summary of a subject
 
Oxford English
the dialect of English spoken at Oxford University and regarded by many as affected and pretentious
 
Oxford English Dictionary
an unabridged dictionary constructed on historical principles
 
oxymoron
conjoining contradictory terms (as in `deafening silence')
 
oxytone
word having stress or an acute accent on the last syllable
 
P
the 16th letter of the Roman alphabet
 
Pabir
a Chadic language spoken south of Lake Chad
 
pablum
worthless or oversimplified ideas
 
pacification
a treaty to cease hostilities
 
packaging
a message issued in behalf of some product or cause or idea or person or institution
 
packet
(computer science) a message or message fragment
 
paean
(ancient Greece) a hymn of praise (especially one sung in ancient Greece to invoke or thank a deity)
 
page
one side of one leaf (of a book or magazine or newspaper or letter etc.) or the written or pictorial matter it contains
 
paging
calling out the name of a person (especially by a loudspeaker system)
 
Pahlavi
the script (derived from the Aramaic alphabet) used to write the Pahlavi language
 
Paiute
the Shoshonean language spoken by the Paiute
 
Paiwanic
a Formosan language
 
Palaic
an Anatolian language
 
palatal
a semivowel produced with the tongue near the palate (like the initial sound in the English word `yeast')
 
Pali
an ancient Prakrit language (derived from Sanskrit) that is the scriptural and liturgical language of Theravada Buddhism
 
palimpsest
a manuscript (usually written on papyrus or parchment) on which more than one text has been written with the earlier writing incompletely erased and still visible
 
palindrome
a word or phrase that reads the same backward as forward
 
Pamlico
the Algonquian language of the Pamlico
 
pamphlet
a brief treatise on a subject of interest; published in the form of a booklet
 
panel discussion
discussion of a subject of public interest by a group of persons forming a panel usually before an audience
 
paper
a medium for written communication
 
paper
a scholarly article describing the results of observations or stating hypotheses
 
paper trail
the written evidence of someone's activities
 
Papuan language
any of the indigenous languages spoken in Papua New Guinea or New Britain or the Solomon Islands that are not Malayo-Polynesian languages
 
papyrus
a document written on papyrus
 
parable
(New Testament) any of the stories told by Jesus to convey his religious message
 
paradigm
the class of all items that can be substituted into the same position (or slot) in a grammatical sentence (are in paradigmatic relation with one another)
 
paradox
(logic) a statement that contradicts itself
 
paragraph
one of several distinct subdivisions of a text intended to separate ideas; the beginning is usually marked by a new indented line
 
paralanguage
the use of manner of speaking to communicate particular meanings
 
paraleipsis
suggesting by deliberately concise treatment that much of significance is omitted
 
Paralipomenon
(Old Testament) an obsolete name for the Old Testament books of I Chronicles and II Chronicles which were regarded as supplementary to Kings
 
Parallel Lives
a collection of biographies of famous pairs of Greeks and Romans written by Plutarch; used by Shakespeare in writing some of his plays
 
paraph
a flourish added after or under your signature (originally to protect against forgery)
 
paraphrase
rewording for the purpose of clarification
 
parapsychology
phenomena that appear to contradict physical laws and suggest the possibility of causation by mental processes
 
parcel post
postal service that handles packages
 
paregmenon
juxtaposing words having a common derivation (as in `sense and sensibility')
 
parenthesis
either of two punctuation marks (or) used to enclose textual material
 
parenthesis-free notation
a notation for forming mathematical expressions that does not use parentheses to delimit components
 
parenthetical
an expression in parentheses
 
parisology
the use of ambiguous words
 
Parji
a Dravidian language spoken in south central India
 
parking ticket
a ticket issued for parking in a restricted place
 
Parkinson's law
C. Northcote Parkinson's cynical observation that the number of subordinates in an organization will increase linearly regardless of the amount of work to be done
 
Parkinson's law
C. Northcote Parkinson's cynical observation that work will expand so as to fill the time available for its completion
 
parley
a negotiation between enemies
 
parol evidence rule
a rule that oral evidence cannot be used to contradict the terms of a written contract
 
parole
a promise
 
paronomasia
a humorous play on words
 
paronym
a word that strongly resembles another word in spelling
 
paroxytone
word having stress or acute accent on the next to last syllable
 
parser
a computer program that divides code up into functional components
 
part music
vocal music for several voices in independent parts (usually performed without accompaniment)
 
part
the melody carried by a particular voice or instrument in polyphonic music
 
part-of-speech tagger
a tagging program whose labels indicate a word's part of speech
 
Parthian
the Iranian language spoken in the Parthian kingdom (250 BC to AD 226)
 
partial differential equation
a differential equation involving a functions of more than one variable
 
participant role
(linguistics) the underlying relation that a constituent has with the main verb in a clause
 
participial
a non-finite form of the verb; in English it is used adjectivally and to form compound tenses
 
particle
a function word that can be used in English to form phrasal verbs
 
particular
(logic) a proposition that asserts something about some (but not all) members of a class
 
partita
(music) an instrumental suite common in the 18th century
 
partita
one of the variations contained in a partita
 
partitive
word (such a `some' or `less') that is used to indicate a part as distinct from a whole
 
partnership
a contract between two or more persons who agree to pool talent and money and share profits or losses
 
parts catalog
a list advertising parts for machinery along with prices
 
parts inventory
an inventory of replacement parts
 
partsong
a song with two or more voice parts
 
party line
the policy of a political group
 
Pascal
a programing language designed to teach programming through a top-down modular approach
 
Pascal compiler
a compiler for programs written in Pascal
 
Paschal Lamb
figure of a lamb; emblematic of Christ
 
Pasigraphy
an artificial international language using characters (as mathematical symbols) instead of words to express ideas
 
paso doble
music in march time composed for dancing the paso doble; often played at bull fights
 
pass
a complimentary ticket
 
pass
any authorization to pass or go somewhere
 
passage
a section of text; particularly a section of medium length
 
passing note
a nonharmonic note inserted for transition between harmonic notes
 
Passion play
a play representing the Passion of Christ
 
passport
a document issued by a country to a citizen allowing that person to travel abroad and re-enter the home country
 
past participle
a participle that expresses completed action
 
past
a verb tense that expresses actions or states in the past
 
pastoral
a literary work idealizing the rural life (especially the life of shepherds)
 
pastoral
a letter from a pastor to the congregation
 
patch
a short set of commands to correct a bug in a computer program
 
patent application
an application for sole rights to an invention
 
patent
a document granting an inventor sole rights to an invention
 
Paternoster
(Roman Catholic Church) the Lord's Prayer in Latin; translates as `our father'
 
pathos
a style that has the power to evoke feelings
 
patois
a regional dialect of a language (especially French); usually considered substandard
 
patristics
the writings of the early Church Fathers
 
patronym
a family name derived from name of your father or a paternal ancestor (especially with an affix (such as -son in English or O'- in Irish) added to the name of your father or a paternal ancestor)
 
pattern
graphical representation (in polar or Cartesian coordinates) of the spatial distribution of radiation from an antenna as a function of angle
 
Patwin
a Copehan language spoken by the Patwin
 
pavan
music composed for dancing the pavane
 
Pawnee
the Caddoan language spoken by the Pawnee
 
pay claim
the wage demanded from management for workers by their union representatives
 
pe
the 17th letter of the Hebrew alphabet
 
Peace of Westphalia
the peace treaty that ended the Thirty Years' War in 1648
 
pedal
a sustained bass note
 
pedantry
an ostentatious and inappropriate display of learning
 
peepshow
a short pornographic film shown in a small coin-operated booth
 
peg
small markers inserted into a surface to mark scores or define locations etc.
 
Pehlevi
the Iranian language of the Zoroastrian literature of the 3rd to 10th centuries
 
penal code
the legal code governing crimes and their punishment
 
Pengo
a Dravidian language spoken in south central India
 
pennant
a flag longer than it is wide (and often tapering)
 
Pennsylvania Dutch
a dialect of High German spoken in parts of Pennsylvania and Maryland
 
pentameter
a verse line having five metrical feet
 
Pentateuch
the first of three divisions of the Hebrew Scriptures comprising the first five books of the Hebrew Bible considered as a unit
 
pentatone
a gapped scale with five notes; usually the fourth and seventh notes of the diatonic scale are omitted
 
penult
the next to last syllable in a word
 
Penutian
a family of Amerindian language spoken in the great interior valley of California
 
pep talk
a speech of exhortation attempting to instill enthusiasm and determination in a team or staff
 
percent sign
a sign (`%') used to indicate that the number preceding it should be understood as a proportion multiplied by 100
 
perestroika
an economic policy adopted in the former Soviet Union; intended to increase automation and labor efficiency but it led eventually to the end of central planning in the Russian economy
 
performance
a dramatic or musical entertainment
 
periodic sentence
a complex sentence in which the main clause comes last and is preceded by the subordinate clause
 
periodical
a publication that appears at fixed intervals
 
Permic
a group of Finnic languages spoken in the northwest Urals
 
permission
approval to do something
 
peroration
(rhetoric) the concluding section of an oration
 
peroration
a flowery and highly rhetorical oration
 
Persian
the language of Persia (Iran) in any of its ancient forms
 
persiflage
light teasing
 
person
a grammatical category used in the classification of pronouns, possessive determiners, and verb forms according to whether they indicate the speaker, the addressee, or a third party
 
personal
a short newspaper article about a particular person or group
 
personal letter
a letter dealing with personal affairs
 
personal pronoun
a pronoun expressing a distinction of person
 
personality assessment
a questionnaire that is supposed to yield a description of a person's personality traits
 
personification
representing an abstract quality or idea as a person or creature
 
persuasion
the act of persuading (or attempting to persuade); communication intended to induce belief or action
 
pertainym
meaning relating to or pertaining to
 
perusal
reading carefully with intent to remember
 
pet peeve
an opportunity for complaint that is seldom missed
 
petition
a formal message requesting something that is submitted to an authority
 
Petrarchan sonnet
a sonnet consisting of an octave with the rhyme pattern abbaabba, followed by a sestet with the rhyme pattern cdecde or cdcdcd
 
Ph.D.
a doctorate usually based on at least 3 years graduate study and a dissertation; the highest degree awarded graduate study
 
phatic communication
conversational speech used to communicate sociability more than information
 
phi
the 21st letter of the Greek alphabet
 
Philippine
official language of the Philippines; based on Tagalog; draws its lexicon from other Philippine languages
 
philosophizing
the exposition (often superficially) of a particular philosophy
 
Phoenician
the extinct language of an ancient Semitic people who dominated trade in the ancient world
 
phonation
the sound made by the vibration of vocal folds modified by the resonance of the vocal tract
 
phone bill
statement of charges for telephone service
 
phone book
a directory containing an alphabetical list of telephone subscribers and their telephone numbers
 
phone message
a message transmitted by telephone
 
phone
(phonetics) an individual sound unit of speech without concern as to whether or not it is a phoneme of some language
 
phone-in
a program in which the audience participates by telephone
 
phoneme
(linguistics) one of a small set of speech sounds that are distinguished by the speakers of a particular language
 
phonemic system
the system of phonemes recognized in a language
 
phonetic alphabet
an alphabet of characters intended to represent specific sounds of speech
 
phonetic symbol
a written character used in phonetic transcription of represent a particular speech sound
 
phonetic transcription
a transcription intended to represent each distinct speech sound with a separate symbol
 
phonogram
any written symbol standing for a sound or syllable or morpheme or word
 
phonologic system
the system of phones used in a particular language
 
photo credit
a note acknowledging the source of a published photograph
 
photo-offset
a method of offset printing using photomechanical plates
 
photogravure
printing from an intaglio plate prepared by photographic methods
 
photojournalism
journalism that presents a story primarily through the use of pictures
 
photolithography
a planographic printing process using plates made from a photographic image
 
phrasal verb
an English verb followed by one or more particles where the combination behaves as a syntactic and semantic unit
 
phrase
an expression consisting of one or more words forming a grammatical constituent of a sentence
 
phrase book
a book containing common expressions in a foreign language along with their translations
 
Phrygian
a Thraco-Phrygian language spoken by the ancient inhabitants of Phrygia and now extinct--preserved only in a few inscriptions
 
phylactery
(Judaism) either of two small leather cases containing texts from the Hebrew Scriptures (known collectively as tefillin); traditionally worn (on the forehead and the left arm) by Jewish men during morning prayer
 
pi
the 16th letter of the Greek alphabet
 
pianism
performance by or technique of a pianist
 
piano music
sheet music to be played on a piano
 
piano sonata
a sonata for piano
 
pibroch
martial music with variations; to be played by bagpipes
 
pickup
a warrant to take someone into custody
 
pictograph
a graphic character used in picture writing
 
pictorial
a periodical (magazine or newspaper) containing many pictures
 
pictorial matter
illustrations used to decorate or explain a text
 
picture postcard
a postcard with a picture on one side
 
picture writing
a writing system using pictographs
 
picture
the visible part of a television transmission
 
pidgin
an artificial language used for trade between speakers of different languages
 
Pidlimdi
a three-tone Chadic language
 
pie chart
a circular chart divided into triangular areas proportional to the percentages of the whole
 
piece
an artistic or literary composition
 
piece of paper
paper used for writing or printing
 
piece of writing
the work of a writer; anything expressed in letters of the alphabet (especially when considered from the point of view of style and effect)
 
Pilgrim's Progress
an allegory written by John Bunyan in 1678
 
pillow talk
intimate conversation between lovers (typically occurring in bed)
 
pilot
a program exemplifying a contemplated series; intended to attract sponsors
 
Pima
the Uto-Aztecan language spoken by the Pima
 
PIN number
a number you choose and use to gain access to various accounts
 
Pindaric ode
an ode form used by Pindar; has triple groups of triple units
 
pinning
a mutual promise of a couple not to date anyone else; on college campuses it was once signaled by the giving of a fraternity pin
 
pip
a mark on a die or on a playing card (shape depending on the suit)
 
pitch accent
emphasis that results from pitch rather than loudness
 
pitch
promotion by means of an argument and demonstration
 
pizzicato
a note or passage that is played pizzicato
 
place
the passage that is being read
 
place name
the name by which a geographical place is known
 
place
an item on a list or in a sequence
 
placeholder
a symbol in a logical or mathematical expression that can be replaced by the name of any member of specified set
 
plagiarism
a piece of writing that has been copied from someone else and is presented as being your own work
 
plainchant
(Roman Catholic Church) a liturgical chant consisting of a single, unaccompanied melodic line
 
plaint
(United Kingdom) a written statement of the grounds of complaint made to court of law asking for the grievance to be redressed
 
plank
an endorsed policy in the platform of a political party
 
planographic printing
the process of printing from a surface on which the printing areas are not raised but are ink-receptive (as opposed to ink repellent)
 
platform
a document stating the aims and principles of a political party
 
Plattdeutsch
a German dialect spoken in northern Germany
 
play
a theatrical performance of a drama
 
play list
a list of musical selections for performance or for broadcast by radio
 
play reading
performance of a play by a group of readers
 
playbill
a theatrical program
 
playbook
a book containing the scripts of one or more dramatic plays
 
playbook
a notebook containing descriptions and diagrams of the plays that a team has practiced (especially an American football team)
 
playlet
a short play
 
plea
(law) a defendant's answer by a factual matter (as distinguished from a demurrer)
 
plea bargain
(criminal law) a negotiation in which the defendant agrees to enter a plea of guilty to a lesser charge and the prosecutor agrees to drop a more serious charge
 
plea
a humble request for help from someone in authority
 
pleading
(law) a statement in legal and logical form stating something on behalf of a party to a legal proceeding
 
pleonasm
using more words than necessary
 
plight
a solemn pledge of fidelity
 
ploce
(rhetoric) repetition to gain special emphasis or extend meaning
 
plot
a chart or graph showing the movements or progress of an object
 
plot
the story that is told in a novel or play or movie etc.
 
plot line
the plot of a book or play or film
 
plural
the form of a word that is used to denote more than one
 
plus sign
a sign indicating the operation of addition
 
PM
modulation of the phase of the carrier wave
 
poem
a composition written in metrical feet forming rhythmical lines
 
poesy
literature in metrical form
 
poetic rhythm
(prosody) a system of versification
 
poetry
any communication resembling poetry in beauty or the evocation of feeling
 
point
a brief version of the essential meaning of something
 
point of order
a question as to whether the current proceedings are allowed by parliamentary procedure
 
point of reference
an indicator that orients you generally
 
point system
a system of writing or printing using patterns of raised dots that can be read by touch
 
pointing out
indication by demonstration
 
Pokomo
a Bantu language spoken in the Kenyan coastal areas of East Africa
 
polemic
a controversy (especially over a belief or dogma)
 
policy
a line of argument rationalizing the course of action of a government
 
Polish
the Slavic language of Poland
 
polka
music performed for dancing the polka
 
polyphone
a letter that has two or more pronunciations
 
polyphonic prose
a rhythmical prose employing the poetic devices of alliteration and assonance
 
polyptoton
repetition of a word in a different case or inflection in the same sentence
 
polysemant
a word having more than one meaning
 
polysyllabic word
a word of more than three syllables
 
polysyndeton
using several conjunctions in close succession, especially where some might be omitted (as in `he ran and jumped and laughed for joy')
 
polytonalism
music that uses two or more different keys at the same time
 
Pomo
the Kulanapan language spoken by the Pomo
 
Ponka
the Dhegiha dialect spoken by the Ponca
 
pons asinorum
a problem that severely tests the ability of an inexperienced person
 
pony express
express mail carried by relays of riders on horseback; especially between Missouri and California around 1860
 
poor law
a law providing support for the poor
 
pop quiz
a quiz given without prior warning
 
pop
music of general appeal to teenagers; a bland watered-down version of rock'n'roll with more rhythm and harmony and an emphasis on romantic love
 
pop-up
a book (usually for children) that contains one or more pages such that a three-dimensional structure rises up when a page is opened
 
popular music
any genre of music having wide appeal (but usually only for a short time)
 
popularisation
an interpretation that easily understandable and acceptable
 
popularism
music adapted to the understanding and taste of the majority
 
population profile
a chart showing the number of people as a function of their ages
 
portal
a site that the owner positions as an entrance to other sites on the internet
 
portfolio
a list of the financial assets held by an individual or a bank or other financial institution
 
portrait
a word picture of a person's appearance and character
 
Portuguese
the Romance language spoken in Portugal and Brazil
 
poser
a particularly difficult or baffling question or problem
 
posit
(logic) a proposition that is accepted as true in order to provide a basis for logical reasoning
 
position paper
a report that explains or justifies or recommends some particular policy
 
position
an opinion that is held in opposition to another in an argument or dispute
 
positional notation
a numeration system in which a real number is represented by an ordered set of characters where the value of a character depends on its position
 
positive identification
evidence proving that you are who you say you are; evidence establishing that you are among the group of people already known to the system; recognition by the system leads to acceptance
 
positive
the primary form of an adjective or adverb; denotes a quality without qualification, comparison, or relation to increase or diminution
 
post
a pole or stake set up to mark something (as the start or end of a race track)
 
Post-It
brand name for a slip of notepaper that has an adhesive that allows it to stick to a surface and be removed without damaging the surface
 
postage
a small adhesive token stuck on a letter or package to indicate that that postal fees have been paid
 
poste restante
a notation written on mail that is to be held at the post office until called for (not in the United States or Canada)
 
postfix
an affix that is added at the end of the word
 
posting
(bookkeeping) a listing on the company's records
 
postlude
a voluntary played at the end of a religious service
 
postmark
a cancellation mark stamped on mail by postal officials; indicates the post office and date of mailing
 
postmortem
discussion of an event after it has occurred
 
postposition
(linguistics) the placing of one linguistic element after another (as placing a modifier after the word that it modifies in a sentence or placing an affix after the base to which it is attached)
 
postulation
(logic) a declaration of something self-evident; something that can be assumed as the basis for argument
 
Potawatomi
the Algonquian language spoken by the Potawatomi
 
potboiler
a literary composition of poor quality that was written quickly to make money (to boil the pot)
 
potshot
criticism aimed at an easy target and made without careful consideration
 
pound
a symbol for a unit of currency (especially for the pound sterling in Great Britain)
 
power of attorney
a legal instrument authorizing someone to act as the grantor's agent
 
Powhatan
the Algonquian language of the Powhatan
 
PR
a promotion intended to create goodwill for a person or institution
 
praenomen
the first name of a citizen of ancient Rome
 
pragmatic
an imperial decree that becomes part of the fundamental law of the land
 
praise
offering words of homage as an act of worship
 
Prakrit
any of the modern Indic languages
 
Prakrit
any of the vernacular Indic languages of north and central India (as distinguished from Sanskrit) recorded from the 3rd century BC to the 4th century AD
 
prayer
a fixed text used in praying
 
prayer book
a book containing prayers
 
Prayer of Azariah and Song of the Three Children
an Apocryphal book consisting of text added to the Book of Daniel
 
prayer wheel
a cylinder with prayers written on it; each revolution counts as uttering the prayers; used especially by Buddhists in Tibet
 
preachification
moralization delivered tediously in a preachy manner
 
preaching
a moralistic rebuke
 
preamble
a preliminary introduction to a statute or constitution (usually explaining its purpose)
 
precedent
a subject mentioned earlier (preceding in time)
 
precept
rule of personal conduct
 
precision cookie
a cookie that is saved permanently on your hard drive
 
predicate
(logic) what is predicated of the subject of a proposition; the second term in a proposition is predicated of the first term by means of the copula
 
predicate
one of the two main constituents of a sentence; the predicate contains the verb and its complements
 
predicator
an expression that predicates
 
preempt
a high bid that is intended to prevent the opposing players from bidding
 
preferment
the act of making accusations
 
prefix
an affix that is added in front of the word
 
prelim
an examination taken by graduate students to determine their fitness to continue
 
preliminary prospectus
a first draft of a prospectus; must be clearly marked to indicate that parts may be changed in the final prospectus
 
prelude
music that precedes a fugue or introduces an act in an opera
 
premiere
the first public performance of a play or movie
 
preparation
(music) a note that produces a dissonant chord is first heard in a consonant chord
 
preposition
a function word that combines with a noun or pronoun or noun phrase to form a prepositional phrase that can have an adverbial or adjectival relation to some other word
 
preposition
(linguistics) the placing of one linguistic element before another (as placing a modifier before the word it modifies in a sentence or placing an affix before the base to which it is attached)
 
prepositional phrase
a phrase beginning with a preposition
 
prescript
prescribed guide for conduct or action
 
prescription
written instructions from a physician or dentist to a druggist concerning the form and dosage of a drug to be issued to a given patient
 
prescription
written instructions for an optician on the lenses for a given person
 
prescription
directions prescribed beforehand; the action of prescribing authoritative rules or directions
 
present participle
a participle expressing present action; in English is formed by adding -ing
 
present
a verb tense that expresses actions or states at the time of speaking
 
presentation
the act of making something publicly available; presenting news or other information by broadcasting or printing it
 
presentation
the act of presenting a proposal
 
presentment
a document that must be accepted and paid by another person
 
Presidential Directive
a directive issued by the President of the United States; usually addressed to all heads of departments and agencies
 
press
the print media responsible for gathering and publishing news in the form of newspapers or magazines
 
pretension
the advancing of a claim
 
pretext
something serving to conceal plans; a fictitious reason that is concocted in order to conceal the real reason
 
pretrial
(law) a conference held before the trial begins to bring the parties together to outline discovery proceedings and to define the issues to be tried; more useful in civil than in criminal cases
 
preview
a screening for a select audience in advance of release for the general public
 
preview
an advertisement consisting of short scenes from a motion picture that will appear in the near future
 
previous question
a motion calling for an immediate vote on the main question under discussion by a deliberative assembly
 
price
a monetary reward for helping to catch a criminal
 
price control
restriction on maximum prices that is established and maintained by the government (as during periods of war or inflation)
 
price floor
floor below which prices are not allowed to fall
 
price index
an index that traces the relative changes in the price of an individual good (or a market basket of goods) over time
 
price list
a listing of prices for different goods or services
 
price tag
a tag showing the price of the article it is attached to
 
primer
an introductory textbook
 
primitive
a word serving as the basis for inflected or derived forms
 
primitive
a mathematical expression from which another expression is derived
 
primo
the principal part of a duet (especially a piano duet)
 
Princeton WordNet
a machine-readable lexical database organized by meanings; developed at Princeton University
 
print
availability in printed form
 
print
the text appearing in a book, newspaper, or other printed publication
 
print media
a medium that disseminates printed matter
 
printed symbol
a written or printed symbol
 
printing
text handwritten in the style of printed matter
 
printing
reproduction by applying ink to paper as for publication
 
printout
the output of a computer in printed form
 
Prix de Rome
an annual prize awarded by the French government in a competition of painters and artists and sculptors and musicians and architects; the winner in each category receives support for a period of study in Rome
 
prix fixe
a menu listing fixed meals at fixed prices
 
Prix Goncourt
an award given annually for contributions to French literature
 
pro
an argument in favor of a proposal
 
probate
a judicial certificate saying that a will is genuine and conferring on the executors the power to administer the estate
 
problem
a question raised for consideration or solution
 
process printing
a method of printing colored reproductions from halftone plates
 
process
a writ issued by authority of law; usually compels the defendant's attendance in a civil suit; failure to appear results in a default judgment against the defendant
 
processional march
a march to be played for processions
 
processional
religious music used in a procession
 
procrustean bed
a standard that is enforced uniformly without regard to individuality
 
producer price index
an index of changes in wholesale prices
 
production
a presentation for the stage or screen or radio or television
 
production
a display that is exaggerated or unduly complicated
 
production order
an order that initiates the manufacturing process
 
profanity
vulgar or irreverent speech or action
 
professing
an open avowal (true or false) of some belief or opinion
 
profession
affirmation of acceptance of some religion or faith
 
proffer
a proposal offered for acceptance or rejection
 
profile
biographical sketch
 
profile
an analysis (often in graphical form) representing the extent to which something exhibits various characteristics
 
profiling
recording a person's behavior and analyzing psychological characteristics in order to predict or assess their ability in a certain sphere or to identify a particular group of people
 
program music
musical compositions intended to evoke images or remind the listener of events
 
program
an announcement of the events that will occur as part of a theatrical or sporting event
 
programing language
(computer science) a language designed for programming computers
 
programma
an edict that has been publicly posted
 
progress report
a report of work accomplished during a specified time period
 
prohibition
refusal to approve or assent to
 
prohibition
a law forbidding the sale of alcoholic beverages
 
projection
the projection of an image from a film onto a screen
 
prolegomenon
a preliminary discussion inserted at the beginning of a book or treatise
 
prolepsis
anticipating and answering objections in advance
 
Prolog
a computer language designed in Europe to support natural language processing
 
prologue
an introduction to a play
 
promise
a verbal commitment by one person to another agreeing to do (or not to do) something in the future
 
prompt copy
the copy of the playscript used by the prompter
 
prompt
a cue given to a performer (usually the beginning of the next line to be spoken)
 
prompting
persuasion formulated as a suggestion
 
promulgation
the official announcement of a new law or ordinance whereby the law or ordinance is put into effect
 
pronominal
a phrase that functions as a pronoun
 
pronoun
a function word that is used in place of a noun or noun phrase
 
pronunciation
the manner in which someone utters a word
 
proof
a formal series of statements showing that if one thing is true something else necessarily follows from it
 
proof
(printing) an impression made to check for errors
 
propaganda
information that is spread for the purpose of promoting some cause
 
proparoxytone
word having stress or acute accent on the antepenult
 
proper name
a noun that denotes a particular thing; usually capitalized
 
property settlement
(matrimonial law) the division of property owned or acquired by marriage partners during their marriage
 
Prophets
the second of three divisions of the Hebrew Scriptures
 
proportional font
any font whose different characters have different widths
 
proposal
something proposed (such as a plan or assumption)
 
proposal
the act of making a proposal
 
proposition
an offer for a private bargain (especially a request for sexual favors)
 
proposition
(logic) a statement that affirms or denies something and is either true or false
 
prose
matter of fact, commonplace, or dull expression
 
prose
ordinary writing as distinguished from verse
 
prose poem
prose that resembles poetry
 
proselytism
the practice of proselytizing
 
prospectus
a formal written offer to sell securities (filed with the SEC) that sets forth a plan for a (proposed) business enterprise
 
protectionism
the policy of imposing duties or quotas on imports in order to protect home industries from overseas competition
 
protest
the act of making a strong public expression of disagreement and disapproval
 
protest
a formal and solemn declaration of objection
 
protestation
a strong declaration of protest
 
prothalamion
a song in celebration of a marriage
 
Proto-Indo European
a prehistoric unrecorded language that was the ancestor of all Indo-European languages
 
Proto-Norse
the Germanic language of Scandinavia up until about 700
 
protocol
forms of ceremony and etiquette observed by diplomats and heads of state
 
Provencal
the medieval dialects of Langue d'oc (southern France)
 
provision
a stipulated condition
 
proxy
a power of attorney document given by shareholders of a corporation authorizing a specific vote on their behalf at a corporate meeting
 
PS
a note appended to a letter after the signature
 
psalm
any sacred song used to praise the deity
 
Psalm
one of the 150 lyrical poems and prayers that comprise the Book of Psalms in the Old Testament; said to have been written by David
 
Pseudepigrapha
52 texts written between 200 BC and AD 200 but ascribed to various prophets and kings in the Hebrew scriptures; many are apocalyptic in nature
 
psi
the 23rd letter of the Greek alphabet
 
psychobabble
using language loaded with psychological terminology
 
psychokinesis
the power to move something by thinking about it without the application of physical force
 
public discussion
free and open discussion of (or debate on) some question of public interest
 
public law
a law affecting the public at large
 
publication
a copy of a printed work offered for distribution
 
puff
exaggerated praise (as for promotional purposes)
 
puffery
a flattering commendation (especially when used for promotional purposes)
 
Pujunan
a Penutian language spoken by the Maidu
 
pulp
an inexpensive magazine printed on poor quality paper
 
pulse modulation
modulation that imposes a signal on a train of pulses
 
pulse-time modulation
modulation of the time between successive pulses
 
punctilio
a fine point of etiquette or petty formality
 
punctuation
the marks used to clarify meaning by indicating separation of words into sentences and clauses and phrases
 
Punic
the Phoenician dialect of ancient Carthage
 
Punjabi
the Indic language spoken by people in Pakistan and Punjab
 
punk
rock music with deliberately offensive lyrics expressing anger and social alienation; in part a reaction against progressive rock
 
puppet play
a show in which the actors are puppets
 
Purana
a body of 18 works written between the first and 11th centuries and incorporating legends and speculative histories of the universe and myths and customary observances
 
purchase agreement
a contract stating the terms of a purchase
 
purism
scrupulous or exaggerated insistence on purity or correctness (especially in language)
 
purple passage
a passage full of ornate and flowery language
 
push-down list
a list in which the next item to be removed is the item most recently stored (LIFO)
 
push-down queue
a queue in which the last item to go in is the first item to come out (LIFO)
 
put-down
a crushing remark
 
putoff
a pretext for delay or inaction
 
Q
the 17th letter of the Roman alphabet
 
Qiangic
the Tibeto-Burman language spoken in Sichuan
 
qoph
the 19th letter of the Hebrew alphabet
 
quadratic
an equation in which the highest power of an unknown quantity is a square
 
quadrille
music for dancing the quadrille
 
qualification
a statement that limits or restricts some claim
 
quantifier
(grammar) a word that expresses a quantity (as `fifteen' or `many')
 
Quapaw
the Dhegiha dialect spoken by the Quapaw
 
quarter rest
a musical rest having one-fourth the time value of a whole rest
 
quarter tone
half of a semitone
 
quarterly
a periodical that is published every quarter (or four issues per year)
 
quartet
a musical composition for four performers
 
quasi contract
a contract created by law for reasons of justice without any expression of assent
 
quatrain
a stanza of four lines
 
Quechuan language
the language of the Quechua which was spoken by the Incas
 
Queen's English
English as spoken by educated persons in southern England
 
question
an informal reference to a marriage proposal
 
questionnaire
a form containing a set of questions; submitted to people to gain statistical information
 
queue
(information processing) an ordered list of tasks to be performed or messages to be transmitted
 
Quiche
the Mayan language spoken by the Quiche
 
quickstep
military march accompanying quick time
 
quintet
a musical composition for five performers
 
quitclaim
document transferring title or right or claim to another
 
quiz
an examination consisting of a few short questions
 
quiz program
a game show in which contestants answer questions
 
Quoratean
a group of languages of the Hokan family
 
quota
a limitation on imports
 
quotation
a statement of the current market price of a security or commodity
 
R
the 18th letter of the Roman alphabet
 
R and B
a combination of blues and jazz that was developed in the United States by Black musicians; an important precursor of rock 'n' roll
 
Rabbi
a Hebrew title of respect for a Jewish scholar or teacher
 
racecard
a program for a race meeting; lists the races and the names of the horses
 
Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act
law intended to eradicate organized crime by establishing strong sanctions and forfeiture provisions
 
racon
a device that, on receiving radar signals, transmits coded signals in response to help navigators determine their position
 
radar echo
an electronic signal that has been reflected back to the radar antenna; contains information about the location and distance of the reflecting object
 
radical
a character conveying the lexical meaning of a logogram
 
radical sign
a sign indicating the extraction of a root
 
radio beacon
a characteristic signal emitted by a transmitter used for navigation
 
radio broadcast
a broadcast via radio
 
radio news
a radio broadcast of news
 
radio
medium for communication
 
radiogram
a message transmitted by wireless telegraphy
 
radiotelegraph
telegraphy that uses transmission by radio rather than by wire
 
radiotelegraphic signal
a signal transmitted by telegraphy
 
radiotelephone
telephony that uses transmission by radio rather than by wire
 
rag
music with a syncopated melody (usually for the piano)
 
rag
newspaper with half-size pages
 
railroad ticket
a ticket good for a ride on a railroad train
 
rain check
a ticket stub entitling the holder to admission to a future event if the scheduled event was cancelled due to rain
 
rain check
a promise that an unaccepted offer will be renewed in the future
 
rallying point
a point or principle on which scattered or opposing groups can come together
 
Ramayana
one of two classical Hindu epics telling of the banishment of Rama from his kingdom and the abduction of his wife by a demon and Rama's restoration to the throne
 
random number generator
a routine designed to yield a random number
 
rap
voluble conversation
 
rap session
conversation in a situation where feelings can be expressed and criticized or supported
 
rasp
uttering in an irritated tone
 
raster font
the font that is displayed on a computer screen
 
ration card
a card certifying the bearer's right to purchase rationed goods
 
rave
an extravagantly enthusiastic review
 
raving
declaiming wildly
 
ray
the syllable naming the second (supertonic) note of any major scale in solmization
 
re-introduction
a proposal of something previously rejected
 
read
something that is read
 
read-only file
(computer science) a file that you can read but cannot change
 
reader
one of a series of texts for students learning to read
 
reading
a particular interpretation or performance
 
reading clinic
a clinic for people with reading disabilities
 
reading program
a program designed to teach literacy skills
 
reading
written material intended to be read
 
reading
a public instance of reciting or repeating (from memory) something prepared in advance
 
readout
the output of a computer in readable form
 
readout
the information displayed or recorded on an electronic device
 
ready reckoner
a handbook of tables used to facilitate computation
 
reaffirmation
renewed affirmation
 
real presence
(Christianity) the Christian doctrine that the body of Christ is actually present in the Eucharist
 
realisation
a musical composition that has been completed or enriched by someone other than the composer
 
reason
an explanation of the cause of some phenomenon
 
rebroadcast
a broadcast that repeated at a later time
 
rebuff
an instance of driving away or warding off
 
rebuke
an act or expression of criticism and censure
 
rebus
a puzzle where you decode a message consisting of pictures representing syllables and words
 
rebuttal
the speech act of refuting by offering a contrary contention or argument
 
rebuttal
(law) a pleading by the defendant in reply to a plaintiff's surrejoinder
 
recall
a bugle call that signals troops to return
 
recall
a call to return
 
recap
a summary at the end that repeats the substance of a longer discussion
 
recapitulation
(music) the section of a composition or movement (especially in sonata form) in which musical themes that were introduced earlier are repeated
 
recasting
changing a particular word or phrase
 
receipt
an acknowledgment (usually tangible) that payment has been made
 
Received Pronunciation
the approved pronunciation of British English; originally based on the King's English as spoken at public schools and at Oxford and Cambridge Universities (and widely accepted elsewhere in Britain); until recently it was the pronunciation of English used in British broadcasting
 
reception
quality or fidelity of a received broadcast
 
reception
the manner in which something is greeted
 
recessional
a hymn that is sung at the end of a service as the clergy and choir withdraw
 
recipient
the semantic role of the animate entity that is passively involved in the happening denoted by the verb in the clause
 
reciprocal pronoun
a pronoun or pronominal phrase (as `each other') that expresses a mutual action or relationship between the individuals indicated in the plural subject
 
recital
performance of music or dance especially by soloists
 
recital
a detailed account or description of something
 
recital
a detailed statement giving facts and figures
 
recitation
written matter that is recited from memory
 
recitative
a vocal passage of narrative text that a singer delivers with natural rhythms of speech
 
reckoning
a bill for an amount due
 
recognition
the explicit and formal acknowledgement of a government or of the national independence of a country
 
recommendation
something (as a course of action) that is recommended as advisable