akrasia

noun: The lack of will or self-control resulting in one acting against one’s better judgment.

contrafactum

noun: A composition that makes use of an existing piece of music with different lyrics.

misericord

noun: 1. Compassion, pity, or mercy. 2. Something to provide support to a standing person. Typically a small projection from the underside …

diplomatics

noun: The study of documents, especially historical documents, in an effort to authenticate, date, interpret, etc.

mamaguy

verb tr.: To tease or deceive, especially by flattery. noun: An instance of this.

obviate

verb tr.: To render unnecessary; to remove, avoid, or prevent.

philocynic

noun: A dog lover. adjective: Fond of dogs.

Hawthorne effect

noun: An improvement in workers’ performance attributed to the special attention they received when singled out for a study.

Grand Guignol

noun: An event, entertainment, etc., of a sensational or horrific nature. adjective: Gruesome, grotesque, or horrifying.

tammany

adjective: Relating to political corruption.

flagship

noun: 1. A ship that carries the fleet commander and flies the commander’s flag. 2. The best or the most important of …

scabby

adjective: 1. Having scabs. 2. Mean or contemptible.

sough

verb intr.: To make a moaning, sighing, whistling, murmuring, or rustling sound. noun: 1. Such a sound. 2. A rumor.

papier-mache

noun: A mixture of pulped paper, glue, etc., used in making sculptures, boxes, ornaments, etc. adjective: 1. Made of papier-mache. 2. Fragile; …

plight

noun: 1. An unfortunate situation. 2. A pledge. 3. A fold, wrinkle, braid, etc. Also called plait or pleat. verb tr.: 1. …

pillbox

noun: 1. A small container for pills. 2. A small fortified enclosure, used for firing weapons, observing, etc. 3. A small brimless …

cameo

noun: 1. A small sculpture carved in relief on a background of another color. 2. A short description, literary sketch, etc., that …

bruit

noun: 1. Rumor. 2. Report. 3. Noise. 4. An abnormal sound heard in internal organs in the body during auscultation. verb tr.: …

dobber

noun: 1. An informer. 2. In cricket, a bowler, especially a slow bowler. 3. A float for a fishing line. 4. A …

clicktivism

noun: The use of the Internet to signal support for a cause.