reactionary

reactionary

/rɪˈakʃ(ə)n(ə)ri/ [re-akshuh-nary]
adjective
Opposing political or social progress or reform.
noun reactionaries
A reactionary person.

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Though he only wore a crown in his locked private bathroom, the President was an avowed reactionary.

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wriggle

wriggle

/ˈrɪɡ(ə)l/ [rigul]
verb
1 Twist and turn with quick writhing movements.
no object ‘the puppy wriggled in his arms’
with object ‘she wriggled her bare, brown toes’
1.1 no object, with adverbial of direction Move in a particular direction with wriggling movements.
2 wriggle out of – no object – Avoid (something) by devious means.
noun
A wriggling movement.

Origin
Late 15th century from Middle Low German wriggelen, frequentative of wriggen ‘twist, turn’.

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Since you have caught me with the diamonds in my hand and the safe cracked open beside us, I will probably not wriggle out of this mess.

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amass

amass

/əˈmas/ [uh-mass]
verb
[with object]
1 Gather together or accumulate (a large amount or number of material or things) over a period of time.
1.1 archaic – no object Gather together in a crowd or group.

Origin
Late 15th century from French amasser or medieval Latin amassare, based on Latin massa ‘lump’ (see mass).

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In our attempt to amass a gargantuan vocabulary we will try to avoid overusing any of the words we collect.

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circuit

circuit

/ˈsəːkɪt/ [sir’-cut]
noun
1 A roughly circular line, route, or movement that starts and finishes at the same place.
1.1 British A track used for motor racing, horse racing, or athletics.
2 An established itinerary of events or venues used for a particular activity, typically involving sport or public performance.
2.1 A series of athletic exercises performed consecutively in one training session.
2.2 A regular journey made by a judge around a particular district to hear cases in court.
2.3 A district administered or formerly administered by travelling judges.
2.4 A group of local Methodist Churches forming an administrative unit.
2.5 A chain of theatres or cinemas under a single management.
3 A complete and closed path around which a circulating electric current can flow.
3.1 A system of electrical conductors and components forming an electrical circuit.

Origin
Late Middle English via Old French from Latin circuitus, from circuire, variant of circumire ‘go round’, from circum ‘around’ + ire ‘go’.

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Sid’s seventh grade science students studied simple circuits during several classroom sessions.

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retrace

retrace

/rɪˈtreɪs/ [ree-trace]
verb
[with object]
1 Go back over (the same route that one has just taken)
1.1 Discover and follow (a route taken by someone else)
1.2 Trace (something) back to its source or beginning.

Origin
Late 17th century from French retracer.

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With some lack of grace,
To prepare for this space,
Though it is not a race,
The illustrations, I do trace.

If there’s a big mistake
With the image that I make
For my and everyone’s sake
I retrace to fix the break.

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mockery

mockery

/ˈmɒk(ə)ri/ [mok-er-ee]
noun mockeries
mass noun
1 Teasing and contemptuous language or behavior directed at a particular person or thing.
1.1 in singular – An absurd misrepresentation or imitation of something.
1.2 archaic – Ludicrously futile action.

Origin

Late Middle English from Old French moquerie, from mocquer ‘to deride’.

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We do not, here, use mockery.
It is too unpleasant and unkind.
And we think that you will find
We also don’t throw crockery.

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divulge

divulge

/dʌɪˈvʌldʒ/ /dɪˈvʌldʒ/ [die-vulge]
verb
[with object]
Make known (private or sensitive information)

Origin
Late Middle English (in the sense ‘announce publicly’): from Latin divulgare, from di- ‘widely’ + vulgare ‘publish’ (from vulgus ‘common people’).

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Do not divulge your passwords to callers on the phone. Oh, sorry, I am preaching to the choir here, right?

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eloquent

eloquent

/ˈɛləkwənt/ [el-oh-kwent]
adjective
1 Fluent or persuasive in speaking or writing.
1.1 Clearly expressing or indicating something.

Origin
Late Middle English via Old French from Latin eloquent- ‘speaking out’, from the verb eloqui (see eloquence).

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Sometimes one is most eloquent when remaining silent.

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transfix

transfix

/transˈfɪks/ [trans-fix]
verb
[with object]
1 Cause (someone) to become motionless with horror, wonder, or astonishment.
2 Pierce with a sharp implement or weapon.

Origin
Late 16th century (in transfix (sense 2)): from Latin transfix- ‘pierced through’, from the verb transfigere, from trans- ‘across’ + figere ‘fix, fasten’.

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Benny was transfixed, not by some evil stare, but by the spikes through his feet into the planking of the deck.

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pseudonym

pseudonym

/ˈsjuːdənɪm/ [sue-dough-nim]
noun
A fictitious name, especially one used by an author.

Origin
Early 19th century from French pseudonyme, from Greek pseudōnymos, from pseudēs ‘false’ + onuma ‘name’.

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Frank made a modest living selling barn burner romance novels using the pseudonym, Sue Downing. Nobody cared.

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[This word is a substitute for the Lexico suggestion contronym which we have examined before. It made me think about the multitude of “-nym” words we have in English. I wonder how many there are?]

  • synonym
  • antonym
  • pseudonym
  • contronym

The floodgates are open. Let the deluge of answers begin.