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27 January 2009 @ 12:09 am
vacuous \VAK-yoo-uhs\, adjective:
1. showing no intelligence or thought
2. having no meaning or direction; empty

by 1561, from Latin vacuus "empty, void, free." Figurative sense of "empty of ideas" is from 1848.
25 January 2009 @ 09:58 pm
unconscionable \uhn-KON-shuh-nuh-buhl\, adjective:
1. not influenced or guided by conscience
2. very great

by 1570, "showing no regard for conscience," from un- (1) + now rare conscionable "conscientious" (1549), from conscioned "having a conscience."
25 January 2009 @ 12:04 am
talisman \TAL-is-muhn, TAL-iz-muhn\, noun:
1. an object, such as a ring, engraved with figures supposed to have magic power; charm
2. anything that seems to produce extraordinary results

by 1599, from French talisman, in part via Arabic tilsam (pl. tilsaman), a Greek loan-word; in part directly from Byzantine Greek telesma "talisman, religious rite, payment," earlier "consecration, ceremony," originally "completion," from telein "perform (religious rites), pay (tax), fulfill," from telos "completion, end, tax."
23 January 2009 @ 11:35 pm
sallow \SAL-oh\, adjective:
having a sickly, yellowish color

Old English salo "dusky, dark," from Proto Germanic *salwa-, from Proto Indo-European base *sal- "dirty, gray."
22 January 2009 @ 11:26 pm
rancor \RANG-ker\, noun:
bitter resentment or ill will; extreme hatred or spite

c 1225, from Old French rancor, from Latin rancorem "rancidness, grudge, bitterness," from Latin rancere "to stink."
21 January 2009 @ 11:53 pm
qualitative \KWOL-i-tey-tiv\, adjective:
concerned with quality or qualities

by 1607 from Latin qualitativus "concerned with quality" from classical Latin qualitas "quality" and -ive suffix.
20 January 2009 @ 11:14 pm
pandiculation \pan-dik-yuh-LEY-shuhn\, noun:
an instinctive stretching, as on awakening or while yawning

by 1611 from French pandiculation from Latin pandiculari "to stretch oneself" and French suffix -ion.
19 January 2009 @ 11:28 pm
obscure \uhb-SKYOOR\, adjective:
1. not clearly expressed; hard to understand

1. to hide from view; dim, darken

1. not well known; not prominent
2. dark, dim, murky

c 1425, from Old French obscur "dark, dim, not clear," from Latin obscurus "covered over, dark, obscure, indistinct," from ob "over" + -scurus "covered," from Proto Indo-European *(s)keu- "to cover, conceal;" source of Old Norse sky, Old English sceo "cloud," Latin scutum "shield" and Greek skeue "dress.". The verb is first recorded 1475.
18 January 2009 @ 10:19 pm
narcolepsy \NAHR-kuh-lep-see\, noun:
a disorder characterized by uncontrollable bouts of sleepiness during the daytime, occasional loss of muscle power and paralysis, and hallucinations during sleep

by 1880, from French narcolepsie, coined 1880 by physician Jean-Baptiste-Édouard Gélineau (1859-1928) from combining form of Greek narke "numbness, stupor" + lepsis "an attack, seizure."
17 January 2009 @ 10:45 pm
magnanimous \mag-NAN-uh-muhs\, adjective:
1. noble in mind or soul; free from mean or petty feelings or acts
2. showing a generous spirit; generous in forgiving

by 1547 from Latin magnanimus "having a great soul," from magnus "great" + animus "soul, spirit." Probably a loan-translation of Greek megalopsychos "high-souled, generous" (Aristotle) or megathymus "great-hearted."