The New York Times has compiled a list of the 50 most looked-up words used in their publication by readers. Some of these words, I think you need to know, so I've included brief definitions. These words aren't so off the beaten track as to be ignored. These can really add punch to your blog/tweet/memo/graffiti.
I've added an asterisk next to the words I particularly enjoy.
And yes, I had to verify the definitions on several of them.
- apoplectic: excitable (prone to fainting via pressure in the brain)
- * atavistic: a throwback to a previous epoch
- canard: a hoax
- comity: mutual civility
- * cynosure: something that strongly attracts attention or provides guidance
- desultory: rambling, leaping about
- inchoate: a process that is just beginning
- laconic: pithy, using an ecomony of words
- * obduracy: stubborn inflexibility
- obstreperous: noisily and stubbornly defiant
- * opprobrium: infamy or public disgrace
- peripatetic: traveling by foot (also an Aristotelian)
- * putative: suspected, but not proven to be
- * redoubtable: dreaded or awe-inspiring
- sanguine: optimistic (having a healthy blush to your cheeks)
- solipsistic: the belief the all of reality is simply your imagination
- * soporific: sleep-inducing
- verisimilitude: having the appearance of truth
Overhaul appeared on the original list, which really surprised me. Do people really not know that word? Weird.