GRE word study for the visual learner - picture dictionary of GRE words. Click on the alphabetical list to see the complete list of words.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

ANOMALOUS - "peculiar; unique, contrary to the norm"

Deviating from a general rule, method, or analogy; abnormal; irregular; as, an anomalous proceeding.

Off the Wall by you.

TP Wall = Anomalous/contrary to the norm

1. deviating from or inconsistent with the common order, form, or rule; irregular; abnormal: Advanced forms of life may be anomalous in the universe.
2. not fitting into a common or familiar type, classification, or pattern; unusual: He held an anomalous position in the art world.
3. incongruous or inconsistent.
4. Grammar. irregular.
1640–50; (< ML, LL anōmalus) < Gk anmalos irregular, equiv. to an- an- 1 + homalós even, with ō by analogy with other Gk privatives (cf. anopheles ); see homo-, -ous

Related forms:
a⋅nom⋅a⋅lous⋅ly, adverb
a⋅nom⋅a⋅lous⋅ness, noun

BARQUE: "A sailing ship with 3 (or more) masts"

"File:Hatshepsut barque - 83d40m - Punt expedition - Karnak.JPG

SEDULOUS - "diligent; careful; industrious; persistent"

Word of the Day
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
\SEJ-uh-luhs\ , adjective:

1.Diligent in application or pursuit; steadily industrious.

2.Characterized by or accomplished with care and perseverance.

He did not attain this distinction by accident but by sedulous study from the cradle forward.
-- Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair, Al Gore: A User's Manual

This writing is clearly the product of sedulous art, but it has the flame of spontaneity and the grit of independence both as to mode and spirit.
-- "The Wonder and Wackiness of Man", New York Times, January 17, 1954
And so he reminded the legion that, even though his veneration of his country's flag may not have inhibited sedulous avoidance of the inconveniences of serving under it, he is a patriot so wholehearted that he signed the Arkansas law that forbids flag-burning.
-- Murray Kempton, "Signs of Defeat In the Wind", Newsday, August 30, 1992
Sedulous is from Latin sedulus, "busy, diligent," from se-, "apart, without" + dolus, "guile, trickery."

ASSIDUOUS - "Constant; persistent; industrious"




From from the Indo-European root sed- (to sit) that is also the source of sit, chair, saddle, assess


(uh-SIJ-oo-uhs)adjective: Constant; persistent; industrious.

From Latin assiduus, from assidere (to attend to, to sit down to), from ad- (toward) + sedere (to sit). Ultimately from the Indo-European root sed- (to sit) that is also the source of sit, chair, saddle, assess, sediment, soot, cathedral, and tetrahedron.

"The reason for his presence there [a Donald Duck statue in a temple garden] remains a mystery despite the author's most assiduous inquiries."
Jeff Kingston; Chiang Mai: Thailand's beguiling Rose of the North; The Japan Times (Tokyo); Jun 28, 2009.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

"The earth belongs in USUFRUCT to the living" ~ Thomas Jefferson

Earth Day Logo

The Word for the Day

July 12, 2009


usufruct • \YOO-zuh-frukt\ • noun
*1 : the legal right of using and enjoying the fruits or profits of something belonging to another
2 : the right to use or enjoy something

Example Sentence:

Dorothy's will bequeathed one-third of her estate to her husband; the remaining two-thirds was bequeathed to him as a lifetime usufruct, later to be donated to charity.

Did you know?

Thomas Jefferson said, "The earth belongs in usufruct to the living." He apparently understood that when you hold something in usufruct, you gain something of significant value, but only temporarily. The gains granted by usufruct can be clearly seen in the Latin phrase from which the word developed, "usus et fructus," which means "use and enjoyment." Latin speakers condensed that phrase to "ususfructus," the term English speakers used as the model for our modern word. "Usufruct" has been used as a noun for the legal right to use something since at least the 1630s. Any right granted by usufruct ends at a specific point, usually the death of the individual who holds it.

*Indicates the sense illustrated in the example sentence.

TYRO: "novice; greenhorn; rank amateur"

Tyro - a beginner in learning something; a novice; newbie
From Latin Tiro - recruit
Medieval Latin = Tyro - squire

LUCULLAN = "marked by lavishness and richness; sumptuous"

Lemon Tart

A Christmas Past

lucullan (loo-KUHL-uhn) adjective

Lavish, luxurious.

[After a Roman general Lucius Licinius Lucullus (c. 110-57 BCE), who was

known for his sumptuous banquets.]

-Anu Garg (words at

"Mr. Buzzi's tastes run the gamut from the simplest to the most Lucullan."

Aram Bakshian Jr.; Gastronomy; The Wall Street Journal (New York);

Sep 24, 2005.

INEFFABLE - "incapable of being expressed in words; unspeakable; not to be uttered; taboo"


Word of the Day for Sunday, July 12, 2009

ineffable \in-EF-uh-buhl\, adjective:

1. Incapable of being expressed in words; unspeakable; unutterable; indescribable.
2. Not to be uttered; taboo.

. . .the tension inherent in human language when it attempts to relate the ineffable, see the invisible, understand the incomprehensible.
-- Jeffrey Burton Russell, A History of Heaven
Pope John Paul II notes that people are drawn to religion to answer the really big questions--for example, "What is the ultimate ineffable mystery which is the origin and destiny of our existence?"
-- William A. Sherden, The Fortune Sellers
One cannot blame them very much; explaining the ineffable is difficult.
-- Edward O. Wilson, "The Biological Basis of Morality", The Atlantic, April 1998

Ineffable is from Latin ineffabilis, from in-, "not" + effabilis, "utterable," from effari, "to utter," from ex-, "out" + fari, "to speak."

TORTUOUS - "highly complex or intricate and occasionally devious"

Adj.1.tortuous - highly complex or intricate and occasionally devious; "the Byzantine tax structure"; "Byzantine methods for holding on to his chairmanship"; "convoluted legal language"; "convoluted reasoning"; "the plot was too involved"; "a knotty problem"; "got his way by labyrinthine maneuvering"; "Oh, what a tangled web we weave"- Sir Walter Scott; "tortuous legal procedures"; "tortuous negotiations lasting for months"
complex - complicated in structure; consisting of interconnected parts; "a complex set of variations based on a simple folk melody"; "a complex mass of diverse laws and customs"

2.tortuoustortuous - marked by repeated turns and bends; "a tortuous road up the mountain"; "winding roads are full of surprises"; "had to steer the car down a twisty track"
crooked - having or marked by bends or angles; not straight or aligned; "crooked country roads"; "crooked teeth"

3.tortuoustortuous - not straightforward; "his tortuous reasoning"
indirect - extended senses; not direct in manner or language or behavior or action; "making indirect but legitimate inquiries"; "an indirect insult"; "doubtless they had some indirect purpose in mind"; "though his methods are indirect they are not dishonest"; "known as a shady indirect fellow"

Monday, July 6, 2009

DEFENESTRATION- "the act of throwing a thing or esp. a person out of a window"



with Anu Garg


verb tr.: To throw someone or something out of a window.

From Latin de- (out of) + fenestra (window).

There have been many defenestrations over the course of history, but the most famous, and the one that inspired the word defenestration, was the Defenestration of Prague on May 23, 1618 . Two imperial regents and their secretary were thrown out of a window of the Prague Castle in a fight over religion. The men landed on a dung heap and survived. The Defenestration of Prague was a prelude to the Thirty Years' War.
See a Lego sculpture of the Defenestration of Prague. Also, check out the defenestration of various articles of furniture in this unique San Francisco sculpture.

"When someone in a Joe Lansdale novel is defenestrated, you feel like shaking the glass shards out of your lap."
Jeff Salamon; The Further Adventures of Hap and Leonard; The Austin American-Statesman (Texas); Jul 4, 2009 .

This word is a Merrium-Webster top 10 favorite.

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