Words starting with ” b ” for SAT, GRE, GMAT, CAT skmclasses Bangalore

Babeldom a confused sound of voices

babeldom a confused sound of voices

babirusa large wild pig of Indonesia

babirusa large wild pig of Indonesia

baboonery foolishness; stupidity; nonsense

kelter - nonsense baboonery talks by women

baboonery foolishness stupidity nonsense 2

baboonery foolishness stupidity nonsense spoken by a woman 2

baboonery foolishness stupidity nonsense

baccate having berries; berry-like

baccate having berries berry-like

bacchanal drunkard; reveller

bacchanal drunkard reveller

bacciferous bearing berries

baccivorous eating berries

bacciform shaped like a berry

baccivorous eating berries

bacillicide killer of berries

backpiece armour covering the back

backpiece armour covering the back

backstay stay extending from ship’s mastheads to the side of the ship

backstay stay extending from ship’s mastheads to the side of the ship

bactericide killer of bacteria

baculiform rod-shaped

baculine of, like or pertaining to the stick or cane; of, like or pertaining to flogging

baculum penis bone in some mammals

baculum penis bone in some mammals

baculus rod, staff or scepter of power

baculus rod staff or scepter of power

badigeon plaster and ground stone mixture for repairing masonry

badigeon plaster and ground stone mixture for repairing masonry

badinage playful repartee or banter

badinage playful repartee or banter

badinage playful repartee or banter

badious chestnut-coloured

badious chestnut-coloured

baedeker guide book

baedeker guide book

baetyl magical or holy meteoric stone

baetyl magical or holy meteoric stone

baft cheap coarse cotton fabric

baft cheap coarse cotton fabric

bagarre scuffle or brawl

bagarre scuffle or brawl

bagging coarse fabric for making bags or sacks

bagging coarse fabric for making bags or sacks

bagnio bathing house

bagnio bathing house

bahadur self-important official

bahuvrihi compound word whose second part is a noun but that acts as an adjective

bail barrier or pole separating horses in an open stable

bail barrier or pole separating horses in an open stable

bailivate office of a bailiff

bailment delivery of goods in trust

baisemain kiss on the hand

baisemain kiss on the hand

baize coarse napped cotton or wool fabric

baize coarse napped cotton or wool fabric

bakelite type of solid plastic

balaniferous acorn-bearing

balanism use of suppositories

balanoid acorn-shaped

balatron joker; clown

balbriggan knitted cotton fabric

balbutient stammering

baldachin rich embroidered silk and gold fabric

baldaquin covering or canopy over a throne or altar

balderdash nonsense; a jumble of words

balderdash nonsense a jumble of words

baldric shoulder strap for holding sword

balefire bonfire or beacon-fire

balisaur long-tailed badger

balistarius crossbowman

balistraria cross-shaped opening in wall for firing arrows

balize pole mounted on seashore as beacon

ballaster one who supplies ships with ballast

balletomania abnormal fondness for ballet

ballistocardiograph instrument for detecting body movements caused by heartbeat

ballistophobia fear of missiles

ballottement diagnosis of pregnancy by applying sharp force to abdomen

ballyhoo bombastic or pretentious nonsense

ballyhoo bombastic or pretentious nonsense

balmorality superficial enthusiasm for Scottish culture

balmorality superficial enthusiasm for Scottish culture

balneary bath

balneography written description of baths

balneology the science of the therapeutic use of baths

balustrade row of columns supporting a stair rail

balzarine light cotton dress material

bambosh deceptive nonsense

bambosh deceptive nonsense

banausic materialistic; merely mechanical; pertaining to workshops

bandelet small flat moulding around a column

banderol flat band with an inscription; small banner

bandicoot small long-nosed ratlike marsupial

bandobast detailed organization; settlement

bandolier shoulder belt for carrying ammunition

bandore bass cittern

bane –

The noun bane refers to anything that is a cause of harm, ruin, or death. But we often use it for things that aren’t that bad, just feel like it. You might say mosquitoes are the bane of your existence.

The source of this word is Middle and Old English bana, meaning “destroyer, murderer.” The now obsolete meaning of “deadly poison” is seen in the names of poisonous plants such as wolfsbane and henbane. Although “bane of my existence” is a commonly heard phrase, there’s something deliciously archaic about the word bane. It conjures up villages preyed upon by dragons, or witches adding one bane or another to a steaming kettle.

bangtail mustang or wild horse

banjolin combination of banjo and mandolin

banjulele combination of banjo and ukulele

bannock flat unleavened loaf of bread

banquette raised way or footway above a parapet

banteng wild ox of Southeast Asia

bantling brat; whelp; bastard child

baptistery part of church reserved for performing baptisms

bar unit of pressure of one million dynes per square centimeter

baragnosis loss of ability to distinguish weight

baragnosis loss of ability to distinguish weight

baragouin any jargon or unintelligible language

baragouin any jargon or unintelligible language

barasingha deer dwelling in swamps of India

barathea pebbly silk or worsted fabric with broken rib weave

barathrum an abyss; an insatiable person

barathrum an abyss an insatiable person

barbarocracy government by barbarians

barbate bearded

barbet stout-billed tropical bird

barbette earthen terrace inside the parapet of a rampart

barbican projecting watchtower over the gate of a castle

barbigerous bearded; bearing a beard

barbiton lute or lyre with many strings

barbula small tuft of hair just below the lower lip

barcarole gondolier’s song

bardel pack saddle

bardocucullus hooded cloak worn by monks

bardolatry excessive devotion to or worship of Shakespeare

barege gauzy fabric of silk, cotton, wool, or worsted

bargemaster owner of a barge

barkentine three-masted vessel

barleycorn old unit of length equal to one-third inch

barm yeast; froth on fermenting liquor

barmaster local judge among miners

barmcloth an apron

barmkin battlement or turret on the outer wall of a castle

barn unit of area measurement of particles equal to 100 square femtometres

barodynamics science of the support and mechanics of bridges

barognosis ability to perceive weight

barograph instrument for recording air pressure

barology study of gravitation

baroscope weather-glass

barouche four-wheeled hooded carriage

barracan fine silk cloth

barracoon depot for slaves

barras coarse linen fabric

barrateen some kind of fabric

barratry inciting riot or violence

barratry inciting riot or violence

barre placing capo or finger across guitar strings

barrulet narrow heraldic bar

bartisan parapet or battlement

barton farmyard

baryecoia deafness; hardness of hearing

baryphonic having difficulty speaking

bascule apparatus of which one end rises as the other sinks

bashful –

Bashful means shy or timid. You might feel bashful when meeting a famous actress, a high-ranking government official, or just someone whom you find really good-looking.

Bashful and shy are similar in meaning, but not quite identical. Bashful often describes people who are shy but friendly. In fact, being bashful is sometimes seen as an endearing quality. So, you probably wouldn’t use bashful to describe a quiet, reserved coworker with whom you have little contact; shy would be a better fit. However, bashful is a perfect description for your good friend who unfortunately becomes tongue-tied whenever she tries to talk to strangers.

basial of, like or pertaining to kissing

basial of like or pertaining to kissing

basiation kissing

basilica Roman Catholic church given special privileges

basilicon kind of ointment

bassinet light, conical helmet

bastinade to beat with a stick or baton, especially on the feet

bastion tower at the corner of a fortification

bastle fortified house with vaulted ground floor

bateleur short-tailed African eagle

bathmism directive evolutionary force

batholith large mass of intruded igneous rock

bathos appearance of the commonplace in elevated matter for rhetorical effect

bathykolpian deep-bosomed

bathymeter instrument for recording contours of deep oceans

bathyorographical of, like or pertaining to depth underwater or elevation above sea level

bathypelagic found in the depths of the sea

bathysmal of, like or pertaining to the depths of the ocean

bathythermograph instrument for recording water temperature as compared to depth

batik method of dyeing fabric by covering certain sections with wax

bating except

batiste fine soft sheer fabric of plain weave

batology the study of brambles

batology the study of brambles

baton heraldic sign of bastardy

batophobia fear of heights or being close to tall buildings

batrachian of, like or pertaining to frogs or toads

batrachivorous frog-eating

batrachivorous frog-eating

batrachophobia fear of frogs and toads

batrachophobia fear of frogs and toads

batraquomancy divination using frogs

batten timber used to fasten down a door or hatch

battledore bat used to strike shuttlecock; game played with such a bat

battology futile, futile repetition in speech or writing

battue indiscriminate slaughter; driving game towards slaughter

baud unit of data transmission speed of one signal event per second

bausond having white spots on the forehead

bavardage chattering; prattle

bavian insignificant or unskilled poet

bavin a bundle of brushwood

bayadere fabric with horizontal stripes in strongly contrasting colours

bdellism use of leeches for blood-letting

bdelloid of, like or pertaining to leeches

bdellotomy act of cutting a leech to increase its suction

beadle church caretaker or usher; mace-bearing official of an institution

beadsman monk or almoner who prays for benefactor

beata beatified woman

Beatlemania obsession with the Beatles

beatster fish net repairer

beatus beatified man

beaupers linen fabric used for flags

beaver hinged face guard on a helmet

beblubbered disfigured from weeping

bechic relieving coughs

becket large hook or bracket used to hold tackle or spars

beckets rope handles

bedaggle to soil by dragging along the wet ground

bedswerver unfaithful spouse

bee hardwood on either side of bowsprit through which forestays are reeved

beele double-pointed miner’s pick

beerocracy government by brewers or brewing interests

beeskep straw beehive

beestings the first milk drawn from a cow after calving

beforetime formerly


beguile –

To beguile is to trick someone, either with deception or with irresistible charm and beauty. You could be beguiled by a super model or by a super con artist.

Beguile doesn’t always mean that the person or thing beguiling is tricking you, but there is a sense with this word of enchantment that takes away the viewer’s normal powers of judgment. A beautiful place or idea can beguile as easily as a person. You might be so beguiled by the idea of a picnic on the beach that you forgot there are two feet of snow on the ground.


behither on this side of; on the near side of

behoof a benefit resulting from some course of action

beira pygmy antelope

bel unit of noise intensity equal to ten decibels

belay to secure a rope by winding on a pin or cleat

belcher coloured; spotted neckerchief

beldam an old woman; a hag; an ancestress

belemnoid shaped like a dart

belike most likely; probably

bellarmine large jug with rounded belly and narrow neck

bellcote ornamental structure to hold one or two large bells

bellecism inclination towards violence; hawkishness

belleter bell-founder

belliferous bringing war

belling deer’s mating call

bellipotent militarily powerful

bellonion mechanical instrument combining trumpets and drums

bellwether one who takes the lead; indicator of trends

beloid shaped like an arrow

belomancy divination by means of arrows

belonephilia sexual obsession with sharp objects

belonephobia fear of pins and needles

belonoid shaped like a needle

belvedere raised covered terrace or pavilion

belvedere raised turret or lantern on the top of a house

bema raised part of an Eastern church containing the altar

benedict a newly married man who has long been a bachelor

benefactive indicating for whom or which

benefic kindly; benign; beneficent

benefice ecclesiastical office to which revenue is attached

beneficiate to treat ores to remove impurities

benet exorcist

bengaline crosswise ribbed fabric

benish long-sleeved Middle Eastern outer garment

benthic of, like or pertaining to the depths of the ocean

benthos flora and fauna of the ocean floor

berceau covered walk

berceuse lullaby

bereft – So, they took the thing you most loved, and you’re never going to get it back. You’ve gone beyond just plain grief-stricken — you’re bereft.

The way in which bereft differs just from plain mournful or grief-stricken is in its sense of deprivation or lack. It can be used that way too, for example when you’re bereft of words. It’s the past tense of bereave, following the same pattern as leave and left. When you see your bereft relatives at a funeral, it’s very sad, but if your friend says that their cookie is bereft of chocolate chips, you know they are using exaggerated language to be a little funny.


bergamask country dance

berge spy glass or telescope

berlin four-wheeled covered carriage

berline crude winter sled

berm narrow shelf or ledge at the top or bottom of a slope

bersatrix baby-sitter

besom curler’s broom

bestiarian individual opposed to vivisection

bestiocracy rule by beasts

bethel a place of worship for seamen; nonconformist chapel

betimes in short time; speedily

bêtise foolish act or situation

betwixt between

bewray to reveal; to betray; to divulge

bezel oblique side or face of a cut gem

bezesteen Eastern marketplace

bezique card game played with two decks of cards

bezoar stony material found in ruminants’ stomachs

bharal bluish-gray Himalayan goat

bialate two-winged

biarchy government by two people; diarchy

bibacious overly fond of drinking

bibelot trinket; miniature book of elegant design

bibitory of, like or pertaining or pertaining to drinking

biblioclasm destruction of books or the Bible

bibliogenesis production of books

bibliognost well-read individual; person with wide knowledge of books

biblioklept book-thief

bibliolatry worship of the Bible or other books

bibliology study of books

bibliomancy divination by opening a book at random

bibliomania craze for books or reading

bibliopegist bookbinder

bibliophagist one who devours books, literally or figuratively

bibliophily love or fondness for books or reading

bibliophobia fear of books

bibliopoesy making of books

bibliopolist bookseller

bibliopoly bookselling

bibliotaph one who hoards or hides books

bibliotics study of documents to determine authenticity

bibulous addicted to alcohol

bicapitate two-headed

bickern anvil pointed at both ends

bicollateral having two identical sides

bicorn having two horns or points

biddery metal alloy inlaid with silver and/or gold

bidenticulate having two teeth

biduous lasting two days

bienséance something appropriate or proper

bifarious organized in two rows

bifid divided in two by a deep split

bifilar having two threads

bigential consisting of two races, genera, or subspecies

biggin a building

bight a wide bay; a bend or coil in a rope

bigot – a person who strongly and unfairly dislikes other people, ideas, etc. : a bigoted person; especially : a person who hates or refuses to accept the members of a particular group (such as a racial or religious group). a person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially : one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance. He was labeled a bigot after making some offensive comments. an incorrigible bigot who hasn’t entertained a new thought in years. It’s scandalous,” he said, in the tones once used by Colonel Blimp, Britain’s best-loved bigot, who adorned the pages of the Evening Standard throughout the 1930s.

bijugate having heads on both sides of a coin

bilbo iron bar used to shackle prisoners’ feet

bilge lower point of inner hull of a ship; nonsense or rubbish

bilious ill-tempered; very unpleasant

bilk – Ever paid a restaurant bill only to discover they charged you for stuff you never had? What they did was bilk you — cheat you out of money that was justly yours. Shady companies are forever bilking their investors.

To bilk someone is slightly different from plain robbing them, though the effect is the same; it implies a non-violent, subtle and devious method masquerading as legitimate. Bernie Madoff, the Ponzi scheme king, was a classic bilker. On a more enjoyable note, one of the greatest bilkers in TV history was the appropriately named Sergeant Bilko, played by the comedian Phil Silvers. His eternal card games, promotions and get-rich-quick schemes were all designed to part some poor sucker from their cash. Watch and learn from the master.


billingsgate coarsely abusive language

billon base metal, alloy of copper, tin or silver

bilocation ability to be in two places at once

biloquist one capable of speaking with two distinct voices

bimetallism currency exchange on both the gold and silver standards

binarchy government by two people; diarchy

binate doubled; coupled

binaural of, pertaining to or heard by both ears

bindle blanket roll

binnacle case in which a ship’s compass is kept

binotonous consisting or comprised of two musical tones

binturong civet of southeastern Asia with long prehensile tail

biobibliography annotated biographical bibliography

biocenosis state of association of creatures in a certain region

biocentric having life as main principle

biocide killing living material

bioecology study of interaction of life in the environment

biogenesis theory that all life is derived from living matter alone

biognosy general study or theory of life

biolith rock formed by living creatures

biometrics study of biological measurement

bionergy vital essence or force

bionomics study of organisms interacting in their environments

biopic film telling the life-story of a celebrity

biotaxy classification of living organisms

biotope region of uniform environment and types of organisms

bipennate two-winged

biramous forked; with two branches

bireme rowed ship or galley with two banks of oars

biretta square three-ridged cap worn by Catholic clergy

birl to make a log spin by walking on it

birostrate double-beaked

bis twice; in two places

biscacha burrowing South American rodent

biserial in two rows or columns

bismer shame; disgrace; scorn

bisociation association of an object with two or more ideas

bisontine of, like or pertaining to bison

bistoury narrow surgical knife

bistre pigment with brownish colour derived from soot

bisulcate cloven-footed; cleft in two

bitheism belief in two gods

bittern small heron

bitts posts mounted on a ship for fastening ropes

biune combining two entities into one

biverbal of, like or pertaining to two words; having a double sense

bivious offering a choice; splitting between two directions

blackguard a menial helper

blackguard to vituperate; to portray as a scoundrel

blackmaster undertaker

blague pretentious nonsense

blain a boil or blister

blandiloquence complimentary speech; flattery

blandish to flatter and coax; to cajole
blandish
(v.) to coax by using flattery (Rachel’s assistant tried to blandish her into accepting the deal.)

blandishment –

When you hear a blandishment come your way, you may feel flattered, as that’s what a blandisher intends to do. However, beware because that flattery may come with the underlying intention of persuading you to do something!

The noun blandishment is related to the old-fashioned verb blandish meaning “to coax with flattery, or kind words.” A blandishment is often teasing in tone, and the intention to persuade is usually thinly veiled. Your brother may use a blandishment or two to get you to do his chores, and you’re going to know exactly what he’s after. But the saying “You get more flies with honey” just might hold true if you find yourself taking out the trash when it’s not your turn.

blanket coarse woollen cloth

blarney skilful flattery; nonsense

blastogenesis reproduction by budding

Blatherskite – a person who talks foolishly at length. It’s alteration of the Scottish compound blather skate (skate means “a contemptible person”).

The word appears in a mid-seventeenth century Scottish ballad called Maggie Lauder in which the fair maiden bids her would-be suitor, “Begone ye hallanshaker / Jog on your gait, ye blatherskate …”


blattnerphone instrument used to record sound on magnetic tape

blattoid of, like or pertaining to cockroaches

blauwbok extinct bluish-coloured antelope of southern Africa

blazon heraldic arms painted on knight’s shield or surcoat; to describe heraldically

blench to shrink or flinch

blendling hybrid

blendure mixing

blennoid of or resembling mucus

blennophobia fear of slime

blenny small elongated marine fish

blepharal of, like or pertaining to eyelids

blesbok South African antelope with white patch on forehead

blesiloquent speaking with a stammer or lisp

bletcherous having an ugly design

bletherskate a garrulous talker of nonsense

bletonism alleged ability to find an underground water supply

blewit type of edible toadstool

blissom subject to or having strong sexual desires

bloomery factory where iron bars are manufactured

bloviate to write or speak windily

blucher leather half-boot

bluepeter blue flag with white square in centre used as ship’s signal

bluestocking early feminist; educated or literary woman

blunge to mix clay with water

blype piece of skin that peels off after a sunburn

boanerges skilled orator with powerful voice

boatswain ship’s crewmember in charge of equipment and maintenance

bobbinet machine-made cotton lace

bobeche circular wax catcher that fits over a candle

bobstay rope used on ships to steady the bowsprit

bocking smoked herring

bodach old man; churl; goblin or spectre

bodement prediction or prophecy

bodewash cow dung

bodge piece of poor or clumsy workmanship

bodkin small tool for pricking holes; small dagger

boeotian stupid; dull

boethetic helpful, curative

bogan quiet tributary or backwater

boggart spectre; bugbear; goblin

bolar of, like or pertaining to clay

bolection moulding around a panel

bolero Spanish dance with sudden pauses and sharp turns

bolide large meteor that bursts; a fireball

bollard short post on a wharf or ship to which ropes are tied

bolometer instrument for measuring radiant energy or infrared light

bolthead straight-necked distillation vessel or flask

boltrope strong rope stitched to edges of a sail

bolus rounded mass

boman well dressed criminal

bombard instrument like the bassoon

bombardon large keyless bass trumpet

bombaster one who stuffs or pads things

bombastry bombastic language or composition

bombazine twilled silk and worsted fabric

bombé bulging outwards

bombic of, like or pertaining to silkworms

bombilate to hum, buzz or drone

bombosity the buttocks

bombous convex; rounded

bombycine of, like or pertaining to silk or cotton

bombylious humming or buzzing

bonasus bison

bonbonnière small box used for sweetmeats

bonce large marble used in games

bongo reddish African antelope with white vertical stripes

bongre agreeably

bonification paying of bonus or reward

boniform having the form of good

bonify to improve or ameliorate

boning estimating straightness by looking along a row of poles

bonism the doctrine that the world is good but not perfect

bontbok South African antelope with unusual coloration

bonzery Buddhist monastery

bonzoline artificial ivory-like substance used to make billiard balls

boodle counterfeit money; funds obtained by corruption

boon
(n.) a gift or blessing (The good weather has been a boon for many businesses located near the beach.)

boopic ox-eyed

borage rough-stemmed herb used in salads

borasco violent wind squall

borato thin fabric

borborology filthy talk

borborygmus rumbling noise in the intestines

bordar tenant who holds land at his lord’s pleasure

bordereau detailed bill or invoice

bordure border surrounding a heraldic shield

bore tidal flow of water up estuaries

borné limited; narrow-minded

borsella instrument for shaping glass vessels

bort diamond fragments or dust

borzoi wolf-hound

boscage thick foliage; woodland

boschveldt bush country; wilderness

bosket thicket; plantation

bosky covered with trees or shrubs

bossa-nova Brazilian dance similar to samba

bosselated knobby

boston waltz-like dance

bosun boatswain

bot larva of a botfly that infests horses

botanomancy divination using burning branches or plants

botonée having three buds like a trefoil

botryoidal like a bunch of grapes

bottine small boot

bottomry using the ship as collateral to finance a sea voyage

bouclé fabric of uneven looped yarn

bouillotte card game resembling poker

bouleuterion meeting-place; assembly hall

bouleversement overturning; reversal; ruin

boult to sift through cloth; to examine by sifting

boun to prepare; to dress; to set out

bourasque tempest

bourdon drone bass of a bagpipe or organ

bourgeoisification conversion to a bourgeois way of life or perspective

bourrée French baroque dance with quick rhythm

boursocrat stock exchange official

boustrophedon writing alternating left-right then right-left

boutade sudden outburst

bovicide slaughter of cattle; one who kills cattle

boviform cow-shaped

bower anchor carried at bow of a ship

bowery seedy or run-down district of a city

bowline rope used to keep weather edge of a sail taut

bowsprit spar that extends at bows of a ship

boyau communication trench

boyg a problem difficult to get to grips with

brabble to squabble or quarrel

braccate having feathered legs or feet

bracciale bracket or socket mounted on a wall

bracer armour for the lower arm

brach female hunting hound

brachal armour for the arm

3 The svelte Bitch

brachet whelp; brat; bitch hound

5 Bitch allowed woman not allowed

brachiation act of swinging by one’s arms from place to place

brachiferous bearing or having branches or arms

brachiotomy amputation of an arm

brachycatalectic lacking two syllables from end of a line of verse

brachycerous having horns or antennae clipped or removed

brachydactylous having short or stubby fingers

brachygraphy writing using abbreviations or shortened characters; shorthand

brachymetropia short-sightedness

brachyology laconic, abbreviated or interrupted speech

brachypodous short-legged

brachypterous short-winged

brackish saltish; very salty

brackle to break bread or cake into pieces

bracteate thin beaten plate of gold or silver

bradawl small boring tool

bradyseism slow up-and-down movement of the earth’s crust

braguette armoured codpiece

brail leather strap to bind a hawk’s wing

brails ropes on edge of sail for hauling up

braird to appear above ground (of crops)

branchial of, like or pertaining to gills

branchiferous having or bearing gills

branchiform gill-shaped

brandling striped earthworm used as fishing bait

brank to prance; toss the head; to strut

bransle an old French follow-the-leader dance

brasero a place where criminals and heretics are burned

brash collection of broken pieces of rock or ice

brassage difference between cost of minting coin and its value

brassard badge worn on the arm; piece of armour for the arm

brattice fixed tower of wood on a castle wall

brattice partition in mine shaft used to support walls and roof

braxy disease of sheep causing fits

bray heraldic device of a barnacle or horse’s bit

brayer instrument for spreading ink in printing

bream to clean a ship’s bottom by burning off seaweed

breastsummer beam supporting front of a building; bressummer

breccia geological formation of angular fragments of rock

Breeches Part – a theatrical role that is regularly or frequently played by an actress in male costume. Men, not women, traditionally wear breeches (a type of short pants), but women, not men, fill the breeches part.

In Shakespeare’s day, male actors played the roles of women; by the mid–17th century, after the Puritan ban on theater had ended, women were playing female parts. The notion of the breeches part reintroduced novelty as women donned pants to play traditionally male roles. A modern–day breeches part is the role of Peter Pan.

breedbate someone looking for an argument

brehon judge or magistrate in ancient Ireland

breloque an ornament attached to a watch

breme fierce; cruel; keen

bressummer beam supporting a wall over an opening

bretasche partition to control ventilation in a mine

breve mark over letter to indicate a short vowel sound

brevet commission enabling officer to take higher rank

breviary book containing daily church service

breviate a brief compendium; a lawyer’s brief

brevicaudate short-tailed

breviloquence short-windedness; tendency towards brevity in speech

breviped short-legged creature

brevipennate having short wings

briarean many-handed

bricole harness for humans to pull heavy loads

bridewell house of corrections; jail

bridgewater anything undesirable or worthless

bridoon light military bridle

brigandine leather armour with metal scales

brigantine two-masted ship

brigue to intrigue

brilliantine light lustrous cotton and worsted fabric

brilliantine perfumed oil for making hair glossy

brimborion worthless nonsense; trash

brindled marked with streaks or spots

brio enthusiastic vigour

briquet heraldic device of a flint and steel

brisure part of a parapet breaking from the general direction

britska open four-wheeled carriage

broadcloth dense twilled wool or worsted fabric

brobdingnagian immense

brocade rich silk fabric with raised patterns

brocard elementary law or principle; canon; axiom; maxim

broch luminous ring around the moon

broché with raised pattern

brochette skewer for holding food steady while cooking

brocken two-year-old stag

brockfaced having a white mark on the face or snout

brodequin light boot worn inside heavier boots

broderie embroidery pattern

brogan strong and tough working shoe

broma food; aliment

bromatology study of food

bromidrosis strong-smelling sweat

bromography a treatise on food

bromography written description of food

bromopnea bad breath

bronchos temporary loss of voice; laryngitis

bronchoscope instrument for examining the windpipe

brontology scientific study of thunder

brontomancy divination using thunder

brontophobia fear of thunder and lightning

brouette small two-wheeled carriage

brougham one-horse closed carriage

bruit something rumoured widely; to report or spread rumour

brumal of, like or pertaining to winter

brumous foggy; wintry

brunneous dark brown

brusque
(adj.) short, abrupt, dismissive (The captain’s brusque manner offended the passengers.)


bruxism habitual grinding of the teeth

bruxomania compulsion for grinding teeth

bryology the study of mosses and liverworts

bubaline of, like or pertaining to buffalo or antelopes

bubonalgia painful inflammation of the groin

buccal of, like or pertaining to the mouth or cheek

buccan metal frame on which meat is dried and/or roasted

buccina Roman curved trumpet

buccinal shaped or sounding like a trumpet

buccula double chin

bucentaur legendary half-man and half-ox

buck-and-wing solo tap dance with many leg flings and leaps

buckminsterfullerene stable carbon molecule with structure like a geodesic dome

buckram stiff-finished cotton or linen used for linings of garments

bucoliast writer of pastoral poems

bucolic of, like or pertaining to the tending of cattle; rustic; rural

buddle sloping container for washing ore

buffe chin-piece for helmet with breathing holes

buffet
1. (v.) to strike with force (The strong winds buffeted the ships, threatening to capsize them.)
2. (n.) an arrangement of food set out on a table (Rather than sitting around a table, the guests took food from our buffet and ate standing up.)


bufoniform shaped like a toad

bufotenine hallucinogen found in certain tropical toads

bugaboo loud or empty nonsense

buhl inlaying of precious material onto furniture

bulbiferous bearing bulbs

bulbul gregarious songbird

bulgur cooked broken wheat

bulimy extreme hunger

bulla round seal attached to a papal bull

bullace wild plum

bullantic capitalized and ornamented, as letters used on papal bulls

bullary collection of papal bulls

bullate having a blistered or puckered appearance

bulliform shaped like a blister or boil

bullionism belief in the importance of metallic currency in economics

bullition the act of boiling

bullock an ox or castrated bull

bullyrag to assault with abusive language; to badger

bulse a small bag for diamonds or gold dust

bulwark the side of a ship above the deck

bumboat small boat used in harbours to carry provisions

bumicky cement mixed with stone chips used in masonry

bummel stroll; leisurely journey

bump coarse cotton fabric

bumpkin spar projecting from stern of ship

bumptious offensively conceited or self-assertive

buncombe speech-making intended for the mass media; humbug

bunt middle of sail, fish-net or cloth when slack

bunting light loosely woven fabric used for flags

buntline rope attached to middle of square sail to haul it up to the yard

burdet cotton fabric

burgage tenure in socage for a yearly rent

burganet light helmet with nose and cheek protection

burgee small ship’s flag used for identification or signalling

burgensic of, like or pertaining to a borough or its citizens

burgrave commander of a German town or castle

burke to suppress quietly; to bypass or avoid

burlap coarse plain-woven jute or hemp fabric

burnet dark brown; dark woollen cloth

burnish
(v.) to polish, shine (His mother asked him to burnish the silverware before setting the table.)

burrel coarse russet cloth

burrole an eavesdropper

burrstone type of rock used to make millstones

bursal of, like or pertaining to a state’s revenues

bursary treasury of a monastery or college

burse square cloth case to carry the corporal during Communion service

bursiculate resembling a small pouch

bursiform shaped like a pouch or purse

bushwa nonsense

buskin tragedy as a dramatic genre

buss rude or playful kiss

buteonine of, like or pertaining to buzzards

butt unit of volume equal to two hogsheads or 126 gallons

buttery storeroom for provisions and liquors

butyraceous resembling, producing or having the qualities of butter

buttress
1. (v.) to support, hold up (The column buttresses the roof above the statue.)
2. (n.) something that offers support (The buttress supports the roof above the statues.)

butyric of, like or pertaining to butter

byre a cow barn

byrnie coat of mail or breastplate

byssaceous delicately filamentous

byssiferous having tufts or threads

byssine silky; soft; having many threads

byssoid fibrous; cottony soft

byssus mummy-wrapping fabric

bywoner agricultural labourer

babeldom    a confused sound of voices
babirusa    large wild pig of Indonesia
baboonery    foolishness; stupidity; nonsense
baccate    having berries; berry-like
bacchanal    drunkard; reveller
bacciferous    bearing berries
bacciform    shaped like a berry
baccivorous    eating berries
bacillicide    killer of berries
backpiece    armour covering the back
backstay    stay extending from ship’s mastheads to the side of the ship
bactericide    killer of bacteria
baculiform    rod-shaped
baculine    of, like or pertaining to the stick or cane; of, like or pertaining to flogging
baculum    penis bone in some mammals

badigeon    plaster and ground stone mixture for repairing masonry

badious    chestnut-coloured
baedeker    guide book
baetyl    magical or holy meteoric stone
baft    cheap coarse cotton fabric
bagarre    scuffle or brawl
bagging    coarse fabric for making bags or sacks
bagnio    bathing house
bahadur    self-important official
bahuvrihi    compound word whose second part is a noun but that acts as an adjective
bail    barrier or pole separating horses in an open stable
bailivate    office of a bailiff
bailment    delivery of goods in trust
baisemain    kiss on the hand
baize    coarse napped cotton or wool fabric
bakelite    type of solid plastic
balaniferous    acorn-bearing
balanism    use of suppositories
balanoid    acorn-shaped
balatron    joker; clown
balbriggan    knitted cotton fabric
balbutient    stammering
baldachin    rich embroidered silk and gold fabric
baldaquin    covering or canopy over a throne or altar

baldric    shoulder strap for holding sword
balefire    bonfire or beacon-fire
balisaur    long-tailed badger
balistarius    crossbowman
balistraria    cross-shaped opening in wall for firing arrows
balize    pole mounted on seashore as beacon
ballaster    one who supplies ships with ballast
balletomania    abnormal fondness for ballet
ballistocardiograph    instrument for detecting body movements caused by heartbeat
ballistophobia    fear of missiles
ballottement    diagnosis of pregnancy by applying sharp force to abdomen

balneary    bath
balneography    written description of baths
balneology    the science of the therapeutic use of baths
balustrade    row of columns supporting a stair rail
balzarine    light cotton dress material

banausic    materialistic; merely mechanical; pertaining to workshops
bandelet    small flat moulding around a column
banderol    flat band with an inscription; small banner
bandicoot    small long-nosed ratlike marsupial
bandobast    detailed organization; settlement
bandolier    shoulder belt for carrying ammunition
bandore    bass cittern
bangtail    mustang or wild horse
banjolin    combination of banjo and mandolin
banjulele    combination of banjo and ukulele
bannock    flat unleavened loaf of bread
banquette    raised way or footway above a parapet
banteng    wild ox of Southeast Asia
bantling    brat; whelp; bastard child
baptistery    part of church reserved for performing baptisms
bar    unit of pressure of one million dynes per square centimeter

barasingha    deer dwelling in swamps of India
barathea    pebbly silk or worsted fabric with broken rib weave
barathrum    an abyss; an insatiable person
barbarocracy    government by barbarians
barbate    bearded
barbet    stout-billed tropical bird
barbette    earthen terrace inside the parapet of a rampart
barbican    projecting watchtower over the gate of a castle
barbigerous    bearded; bearing a beard
barbiton    lute or lyre with many strings
barbula    small tuft of hair just below the lower lip
barcarole    gondolier’s song
bardel    pack saddle
bardocucullus    hooded cloak worn by monks
bardolatry    excessive devotion to or worship of Shakespeare
barege    gauzy fabric of silk, cotton, wool, or worsted
bargemaster    owner of a barge
barkentine    three-masted vessel
barleycorn    old unit of length equal to one-third inch
barm    yeast; froth on fermenting liquor
barmaster    local judge among miners
barmcloth    an apron
barmkin    battlement or turret on the outer wall of a castle
barn    unit of area measurement of particles equal to 100 square femtometres


barnard    member of gang of thieves who acts as decoy

barnard member of gang of thieves who acts as decoy


barodynamics    science of the support and mechanics of bridges
barognosis    ability to perceive weight
barograph    instrument for recording air pressure
barology    study of gravitation
baroscope    weather-glass
barouche    four-wheeled hooded carriage
barracan    fine silk cloth
barracoon    depot for slaves
barras    coarse linen fabric
barrateen    some kind of fabric

barre    placing capo or finger across guitar strings
barrulet    narrow heraldic bar
bartisan    parapet or battlement
barton    farmyard
baryecoia    deafness; hardness of hearing
baryphonic    having difficulty speaking
bascule    apparatus of which one end rises as the other sinks

basiation    kissing
basilica    Roman Catholic church given special privileges
basilicon    kind of ointment
bassinet    light, conical helmet
bastinade    to beat with a stick or baton, especially on the feet
bastion    tower at the corner of a fortification
bastle    fortified house with vaulted ground floor
bateleur    short-tailed African eagle
bathmism    directive evolutionary force
batholith    large mass of intruded igneous rock


bathophobia – fear of falling from a high place

bathophobia fear of falling from a high place


bathos    appearance of the commonplace in elevated matter for rhetorical effect
bathykolpian    deep-bosomed
bathymeter    instrument for recording contours of deep oceans
bathyorographical    of, like or pertaining to depth underwater or elevation above sea level
bathypelagic    found in the depths of the sea
bathysmal    of, like or pertaining to the depths of the ocean
bathythermograph    instrument for recording water temperature as compared to depth
batik    method of dyeing fabric by covering certain sections with wax
bating    except
batiste    fine soft sheer fabric of plain weave
batology    the study of brambles
baton    heraldic sign of bastardy
batophobia    fear of heights or being close to tall buildings
batrachian    of, like or pertaining to frogs or toads
batrachivorous    frog-eating
batrachophobia    fear of frogs and toads
batraquomancy    divination using frogs
batten    timber used to fasten down a door or hatch
battledore    bat used to strike shuttlecock; game played with such a bat
battology    futile, futile repetition in speech or writing
battue    indiscriminate slaughter; driving game towards slaughter
baud    unit of data transmission speed of one signal event per second
bausond    having white spots on the forehead
bavardage    chattering; prattle
bavian    insignificant or unskilled poet
bavin    a bundle of brushwood
bayadere    fabric with horizontal stripes in strongly contrasting colours
bdellism    use of leeches for blood-letting
bdelloid    of, like or pertaining to leeches
bdellotomy    act of cutting a leech to increase its suction
beadle    church caretaker or usher; mace-bearing official of an institution
beadsman    monk or almoner who prays for benefactor
beata    beatified woman
Beatlemania    obsession with the Beatles
beatster    fish net repairer
beatus    beatified man
beaupers    linen fabric used for flags
beaver    hinged face guard on a helmet
beblubbered    disfigured from weeping
bechic    relieving coughs
becket    large hook or bracket used to hold tackle or spars
beckets    rope handles
bedaggle    to soil by dragging along the wet ground
bedswerver    unfaithful spouse
bee    hardwood on either side of bowsprit through which forestays are reeved
beele    double-pointed miner’s pick
beerocracy    government by brewers or brewing interests
beeskep    straw beehive
beestings    the first milk drawn from a cow after calving
beforetime    formerly
behither    on this side of; on the near side of
behoof    a benefit resulting from some course of action
beira    pygmy antelope
bel    unit of noise intensity equal to ten decibels
belay    to secure a rope by winding on a pin or cleat
belcher    coloured; spotted neckerchief
beldam    an old woman; a hag; an ancestress
belemnoid    shaped like a dart
belike    most likely; probably
bellarmine    large jug with rounded belly and narrow neck
bellcote    ornamental structure to hold one or two large bells
bellecism    inclination towards violence; hawkishness
belleter    bell-founder
belliferous    bringing war
belling    deer’s mating call
bellipotent    militarily powerful
bellonion    mechanical instrument combining trumpets and drums
bellwether    one who takes the lead; indicator of trends
beloid    shaped like an arrow
belomancy    divination by means of arrows
belonephilia    sexual obsession with sharp objects
belonephobia    fear of pins and needles
belonoid    shaped like a needle
belvedere    raised covered terrace or pavilion
belvedere    raised turret or lantern on the top of a house
bema    raised part of an Eastern church containing the altar
benedict    a newly married man who has long been a bachelor
benefactive    indicating for whom or which
benefic    kindly; benign; beneficent
benefice    ecclesiastical office to which revenue is attached
beneficiate    to treat ores to remove impurities
benet    exorcist
bengaline    crosswise ribbed fabric
benish    long-sleeved Middle Eastern outer garment
benthic    of, like or pertaining to the depths of the ocean
benthos    flora and fauna of the ocean floor
berceau    covered walk
berceuse    lullaby
bergamask    country dance
berge    spy glass or telescope
berlin    four-wheeled covered carriage
berline    crude winter sled
berm    narrow shelf or ledge at the top or bottom of a slope
bersatrix    baby-sitter
besom    curler’s broom
bestiarian    individual opposed to vivisection
bestiocracy    rule by beasts
bethel    a place of worship for seamen; nonconformist chapel
betimes    in short time; speedily
bêtise    foolish act or situation
betwixt    between
bewray    to reveal; to betray; to divulge
bezel    oblique side or face of a cut gem
bezesteen    Eastern marketplace
bezique    card game played with two decks of cards
bezoar    stony material found in ruminants’ stomachs
bharal    bluish-gray Himalayan goat
bialate    two-winged
biarchy    government by two people; diarchy
bibacious    overly fond of drinking
bibelot    trinket; miniature book of elegant design
bibitory    of, like or pertaining or pertaining to drinking
biblioclasm    destruction of books or the Bible
bibliogenesis    production of books
bibliognost    well-read individual; person with wide knowledge of books
biblioklept    book-thief
bibliolatry    worship of the Bible or other books
bibliology    study of books
bibliomancy    divination by opening a book at random
bibliomania    craze for books or reading
bibliopegist    bookbinder
bibliophagist    one who devours books, literally or figuratively
bibliophily    love or fondness for books or reading
bibliophobia    fear of books
bibliopoesy    making of books
bibliopolist    bookseller
bibliopoly    bookselling
bibliotaph    one who hoards or hides books
bibliotics    study of documents to determine authenticity
bibulous    addicted to alcohol
bicapitate    two-headed
bickern    anvil pointed at both ends
bicollateral    having two identical sides
bicorn    having two horns or points
biddery    metal alloy inlaid with silver and/or gold
bidenticulate    having two teeth
biduous    lasting two days
bienséance    something appropriate or proper
bifarious    organized in two rows
bifid    divided in two by a deep split
bifilar    having two threads
bigential    consisting of two races, genera, or subspecies
biggin    a building
bight    a wide bay; a bend or coil in a rope
bijugate    having heads on both sides of a coin
bilbo    iron bar used to shackle prisoners’ feet
bilge    lower point of inner hull of a ship; nonsense or rubbish
bilious    ill-tempered; very unpleasant
billingsgate    coarsely abusive language
billon    base metal, alloy of copper, tin or silver
bilocation    ability to be in two places at once
biloquist    one capable of speaking with two distinct voices
bimetallism    currency exchange on both the gold and silver standards
binarchy    government by two people; diarchy
binate    doubled; coupled
binaural    of, pertaining to or heard by both ears
bindle    blanket roll
binnacle    case in which a ship’s compass is kept
binotonous    consisting or comprised of two musical tones
binturong    civet of southeastern Asia with long prehensile tail
biobibliography    annotated biographical bibliography
biocenosis    state of association of creatures in a certain region
biocentric    having life as main principle
biocide    killing living material
bioecology    study of interaction of life in the environment
biogenesis    theory that all life is derived from living matter alone
biognosy    general study or theory of life
biolith    rock formed by living creatures
biometrics    study of biological measurement
bionergy    vital essence or force
bionomics    study of organisms interacting in their environments
biopic    film telling the life-story of a celebrity
biotaxy    classification of living organisms
biotope    region of uniform environment and types of organisms
bipennate    two-winged
biramous    forked; with two branches
bireme    rowed ship or galley with two banks of oars
biretta    square three-ridged cap worn by Catholic clergy
birl    to make a log spin by walking on it
birostrate    double-beaked
bis    twice; in two places
biscacha    burrowing South American rodent
biserial    in two rows or columns
bismer    shame; disgrace; scorn
bisociation    association of an object with two or more ideas
bisontine    of, like or pertaining to bison
bistoury    narrow surgical knife
bistre    pigment with brownish colour derived from soot
bisulcate    cloven-footed; cleft in two
bitheism    belief in two gods
bittern    small heron
bitts    posts mounted on a ship for fastening ropes
biune    combining two entities into one
biverbal    of, like or pertaining to two words; having a double sense
bivious    offering a choice; splitting between two directions
blackguard    a menial helper
blackguard    to vituperate; to portray as a scoundrel
blackmaster    undertaker
blague    pretentious nonsense
blain    a boil or blister
blandiloquence    complimentary speech; flattery
blandish    to flatter and coax; to cajole
blanket    coarse woollen cloth
blarney    skilful flattery; nonsense
blastogenesis    reproduction by budding
blattnerphone    instrument used to record sound on magnetic tape
blattoid    of, like or pertaining to cockroaches
blauwbok    extinct bluish-coloured antelope of southern Africa
blazon    heraldic arms painted on knight’s shield or surcoat; to describe heraldically
blench    to shrink or flinch
blendling    hybrid
blendure    mixing
blennoid    of or resembling mucus
blennophobia    fear of slime
blenny    small elongated marine fish
blepharal    of, like or pertaining to eyelids
blesbok    South African antelope with white patch on forehead
blesiloquent    speaking with a stammer or lisp
bletcherous    having an ugly design
bletherskate    a garrulous talker of nonsense
bletonism    alleged ability to find an underground water supply
blewit    type of edible toadstool
blissom    subject to or having strong sexual desires
bloomery    factory where iron bars are manufactured
bloviate    to write or speak windily
blucher    leather half-boot
bluepeter    blue flag with white square in centre used as ship’s signal
bluestocking    early feminist; educated or literary woman
blunge    to mix clay with water
blype    piece of skin that peels off after a sunburn
boanerges    skilled orator with powerful voice
boatswain    ship’s crewmember in charge of equipment and maintenance
bobbinet    machine-made cotton lace
bobeche    circular wax catcher that fits over a candle
bobstay    rope used on ships to steady the bowsprit
bocking    smoked herring
bodach    old man; churl; goblin or spectre
bodement    prediction or prophecy
bodewash    cow dung
bodge    piece of poor or clumsy workmanship
bodkin    small tool for pricking holes; small dagger
boeotian    stupid; dull
boethetic    helpful, curative
bogan    quiet tributary or backwater
boggart    spectre; bugbear; goblin
bolar    of, like or pertaining to clay
bolection    moulding around a panel
bolero    Spanish dance with sudden pauses and sharp turns
bolide    large meteor that bursts; a fireball
bollard    short post on a wharf or ship to which ropes are tied
bolometer    instrument for measuring radiant energy or infrared light
bolthead    straight-necked distillation vessel or flask
boltrope    strong rope stitched to edges of a sail
bolus    rounded mass
boman    well dressed criminal
bombard    instrument like the bassoon
bombardon    large keyless bass trumpet
bombaster    one who stuffs or pads things
bombastry    bombastic language or composition
bombazine    twilled silk and worsted fabric
bombé    bulging outwards
bombic    of, like or pertaining to silkworms
bombilate    to hum, buzz or drone
bombosity    the buttocks
bombous    convex; rounded
bombycine    of, like or pertaining to silk or cotton
bombylious    humming or buzzing
bonasus    bison
bonbonnière    small box used for sweetmeats
bonce    large marble used in games
bongo    reddish African antelope with white vertical stripes
bongre    agreeably
bonification    paying of bonus or reward
boniform    having the form of good
bonify    to improve or ameliorate
boning    estimating straightness by looking along a row of poles
bonism    the doctrine that the world is good but not perfect
bontbok    South African antelope with unusual coloration
bonzery    Buddhist monastery
bonzoline    artificial ivory-like substance used to make billiard balls
boodle    counterfeit money; funds obtained by corruption
boopic    ox-eyed
borage    rough-stemmed herb used in salads
borasco    violent wind squall
borato    thin fabric
borborology    filthy talk
borborygmus    rumbling noise in the intestines
bordar    tenant who holds land at his lord’s pleasure
bordereau    detailed bill or invoice
bordure    border surrounding a heraldic shield
bore    tidal flow of water up estuaries
borné    limited; narrow-minded
borsella    instrument for shaping glass vessels
bort    diamond fragments or dust
borzoi    wolf-hound
boscage    thick foliage; woodland
boschveldt    bush country; wilderness
bosket    thicket; plantation
bosky    covered with trees or shrubs
bossa-nova    Brazilian dance similar to samba
bosselated    knobby
boston    waltz-like dance
bosun    boatswain
bot    larva of a botfly that infests horses
botanomancy    divination using burning branches or plants
botonée    having three buds like a trefoil
botryoidal    like a bunch of grapes
bottine    small boot
bottomry    using the ship as collateral to finance a sea voyage
bouclé    fabric of uneven looped yarn
bouillotte    card game resembling poker
bouleuterion    meeting-place; assembly hall
bouleversement    overturning; reversal; ruin
boult    to sift through cloth; to examine by sifting
boun    to prepare; to dress; to set out
bourasque    tempest
bourdon    drone bass of a bagpipe or organ
bourgeoisification    conversion to a bourgeois way of life or perspective
bourrée    French baroque dance with quick rhythm
boursocrat    stock exchange official
boustrophedon    writing alternating left-right then right-left
boutade    sudden outburst
bovicide    slaughter of cattle; one who kills cattle
boviform    cow-shaped
bower    anchor carried at bow of a ship
bowery    seedy or run-down district of a city
bowline    rope used to keep weather edge of a sail taut
bowsprit    spar that extends at bows of a ship
boyau    communication trench
boyg    a problem difficult to get to grips with
brabble    to squabble or quarrel
braccate    having feathered legs or feet
bracciale    bracket or socket mounted on a wall
bracer    armour for the lower arm
brach    female hunting hound
brachal    armour for the arm
brachet    whelp; brat; bitch hound
brachiation    act of swinging by one’s arms from place to place
brachiferous    bearing or having branches or arms
brachiotomy    amputation of an arm
brachycatalectic    lacking two syllables from end of a line of verse
brachycerous    having horns or antennae clipped or removed
brachydactylous    having short or stubby fingers
brachygraphy    writing using abbreviations or shortened characters; shorthand
brachymetropia    short-sightedness
brachyology    laconic, abbreviated or interrupted speech
brachypodous    short-legged
brachypterous    short-winged
brackish    saltish; very salty
brackle    to break bread or cake into pieces
bracteate    thin beaten plate of gold or silver
bradawl    small boring tool
bradyseism    slow up-and-down movement of the earth’s crust
braguette    armoured codpiece
brail    leather strap to bind a hawk’s wing
brails    ropes on edge of sail for hauling up
braird    to appear above ground (of crops)
branchial    of, like or pertaining to gills
branchiferous    having or bearing gills
branchiform    gill-shaped
brandling    striped earthworm used as fishing bait
brank    to prance; toss the head; to strut
bransle    an old French follow-the-leader dance
brasero    a place where criminals and heretics are burned
brash    collection of broken pieces of rock or ice
brassage    difference between cost of minting coin and its value
brassard    badge worn on the arm; piece of armour for the arm
brattice    fixed tower of wood on a castle wall
brattice    partition in mine shaft used to support walls and roof
braxy    disease of sheep causing fits
bray    heraldic device of a barnacle or horse’s bit
brayer    instrument for spreading ink in printing
bream    to clean a ship’s bottom by burning off seaweed
breastsummer    beam supporting front of a building; bressummer
breccia    geological formation of angular fragments of rock
breedbate    someone looking for an argument
brehon    judge or magistrate in ancient Ireland
breloque    an ornament attached to a watch
breme    fierce; cruel; keen
bressummer    beam supporting a wall over an opening
bretasche    partition to control ventilation in a mine
breve    mark over letter to indicate a short vowel sound
brevet    commission enabling officer to take higher rank
breviary    book containing daily church service
breviate    a brief compendium; a lawyer’s brief
brevicaudate    short-tailed
breviloquence    short-windedness; tendency towards brevity in speech
breviped    short-legged creature
brevipennate    having short wings
briarean    many-handed
bricole    harness for humans to pull heavy loads
bridewell    house of corrections; jail
bridgewater    anything undesirable or worthless
bridoon    light military bridle
brigandine    leather armour with metal scales
brigantine    two-masted ship
brigue    to intrigue
brilliantine    light lustrous cotton and worsted fabric
brilliantine    perfumed oil for making hair glossy
brimborion    worthless nonsense; trash
brindled    marked with streaks or spots
brio    enthusiastic vigour
briquet    heraldic device of a flint and steel
brisure    part of a parapet breaking from the general direction
britska    open four-wheeled carriage
broadcloth    dense twilled wool or worsted fabric
brobdingnagian    immense
brocade    rich silk fabric with raised patterns
brocard    elementary law or principle; canon; axiom; maxim
broch    luminous ring around the moon
broché    with raised pattern
brochette    skewer for holding food steady while cooking
brocken    two-year-old stag
brockfaced    having a white mark on the face or snout
brodequin    light boot worn inside heavier boots
broderie    embroidery pattern
brogan    strong and tough working shoe
broma    food; aliment
bromatology    study of food
bromidrosis    strong-smelling sweat
bromography    a treatise on food
bromography    written description of food
bromopnea    bad breath
bronchos    temporary loss of voice; laryngitis
bronchoscope    instrument for examining the windpipe
brontology    scientific study of thunder
brontomancy    divination using thunder
brontophobia    fear of thunder and lightning
brouette    small two-wheeled carriage
brougham    one-horse closed carriage
bruit    something rumoured widely; to report or spread rumour
brumal    of, like or pertaining to winter
brumous    foggy; wintry
brunneous    dark brown
bruxism    habitual grinding of the teeth
bruxomania    compulsion for grinding teeth
bryology    the study of mosses and liverworts
bubaline    of, like or pertaining to buffalo or antelopes
bubonalgia    painful inflammation of the groin
buccal    of, like or pertaining to the mouth or cheek
buccan    metal frame on which meat is dried and/or roasted
buccina    Roman curved trumpet
buccinal    shaped or sounding like a trumpet
buccula    double chin
bucentaur    legendary half-man and half-ox
buck-and-wing    solo tap dance with many leg flings and leaps
buckminsterfullerene    stable carbon molecule with structure like a geodesic dome
buckram    stiff-finished cotton or linen used for linings of garments
bucoliast    writer of pastoral poems
bucolic    of, like or pertaining to the tending of cattle; rustic; rural
buddle    sloping container for washing ore
buffe    chin-piece for helmet with breathing holes
bufoniform    shaped like a toad
bufotenine    hallucinogen found in certain tropical toads
bugaboo    loud or empty nonsense
buhl    inlaying of precious material onto furniture
bulbiferous    bearing bulbs
bulbul    gregarious songbird
bulgur    cooked broken wheat
bulimy    extreme hunger
bulla    round seal attached to a papal bull
bullace    wild plum
bullantic    capitalized and ornamented, as letters used on papal bulls
bullary    collection of papal bulls
bullate    having a blistered or puckered appearance
bulliform    shaped like a blister or boil
bullionism    belief in the importance of metallic currency in economics
bullition    the act of boiling
bullock    an ox or castrated bull
bullyrag    to assault with abusive language; to badger
bulse    a small bag for diamonds or gold dust
bulwark    the side of a ship above the deck
bumboat    small boat used in harbours to carry provisions
bumicky    cement mixed with stone chips used in masonry
bummel    stroll; leisurely journey
bump    coarse cotton fabric
bumpkin    spar projecting from stern of ship
bumptious    offensively conceited or self-assertive
buncombe    speech-making intended for the mass media; humbug
bunt    middle of sail, fish-net or cloth when slack
bunting    light loosely woven fabric used for flags
buntline    rope attached to middle of square sail to haul it up to the yard
burdet    cotton fabric
burgage    tenure in socage for a yearly rent
burganet    light helmet with nose and cheek protection
burgee    small ship’s flag used for identification or signalling
burgensic    of, like or pertaining to a borough or its citizens
burgrave    commander of a German town or castle
burke    to suppress quietly; to bypass or avoid
burlap    coarse plain-woven jute or hemp fabric
burnet    dark brown; dark woollen cloth
burrel    coarse russet cloth
burrole    an eavesdropper
burrstone    type of rock used to make millstones
bursal    of, like or pertaining to a state’s revenues
bursary    treasury of a monastery or college
burse    square cloth case to carry the corporal during Communion service
bursiculate    resembling a small pouch
bursiform    shaped like a pouch or purse
bushwa    nonsense
buskin    tragedy as a dramatic genre
buss    rude or playful kiss
buteonine    of, like or pertaining to buzzards
butt    unit of volume equal to two hogsheads or 126 gallons
buttery    storeroom for provisions and liquors
butyraceous    resembling, producing or having the qualities of butter
butyric    of, like or pertaining to butter
byre    a cow barn
byrnie    coat of mail or breastplate
byssaceous    delicately filamentous
byssiferous    having tufts or threads
byssine    silky; soft; having many threads
byssoid    fibrous; cottony soft
byssus    mummy-wrapping fabric
bywoner    agricultural labourer

bane –

The noun bane refers to anything that is a cause of harm, ruin, or death. But we often use it for things that aren’t that bad, just feel like it. You might say mosquitoes are the bane of your existence.

The source of this word is Middle and Old English bana, meaning “destroyer, murderer.” The now obsolete meaning of “deadly poison” is seen in the names of poisonous plants such as wolfsbane and henbane. Although “bane of my existence” is a commonly heard phrase, there’s something deliciously archaic about the word bane. It conjures up villages preyed upon by dragons, or witches adding one bane or another to a steaming kettle.

bashful –

Bashful means shy or timid. You might feel bashful when meeting a famous actress, a high-ranking government official, or just someone whom you find really good-looking.

Bashful and shy are similar in meaning, but not quite identical. Bashful often describes people who are shy but friendly. In fact, being bashful is sometimes seen as an endearing quality. So, you probably wouldn’t use bashful to describe a quiet, reserved coworker with whom you have little contact; shy would be a better fit. However, bashful is a perfect description for your good friend who unfortunately becomes tongue-tied whenever she tries to talk to strangers.

beguile –

To beguile is to trick someone, either with deception or with irresistible charm and beauty. You could be beguiled by a super model or by a super con artist.

Beguile doesn’t always mean that the person or thing beguiling is tricking you, but there is a sense with this word of enchantment that takes away the viewer’s normal powers of judgment. A beautiful place or idea can beguile as easily as a person. You might be so beguiled by the idea of a picnic on the beach that you forgot there are two feet of snow on the ground.

bereft –

So, they took the thing you most loved, and you’re never going to get it back. You’ve gone beyond just plain grief-stricken — you’re bereft.

The way in which bereft differs just from plain mournful or grief-stricken is in its sense of deprivation or lack. It can be used that way too, for example when you’re bereft of words. It’s the past tense of bereave, following the same pattern as leave and left. When you see your bereft relatives at a funeral, it’s very sad, but if your friend says that their cookie is bereft of chocolate chips, you know they are using exaggerated language to be a little funny.

bigot – a person who strongly and unfairly dislikes other people, ideas, etc. : a bigoted person; especially : a person who hates or refuses to accept the members of a particular group (such as a racial or religious group). a person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially :  one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance. He was labeled a bigot after making some offensive comments. an incorrigible bigot who hasn’t entertained a new thought in years. It’s scandalous,” he said, in the tones once used by Colonel Blimp, Britain’s best-loved bigot, who adorned the pages of the Evening Standard throughout the 1930s.

blandish
    (v.) to coax by using flattery (Rachel’s assistant tried to blandish her into accepting the deal.)

blandishment –

When you hear a blandishment come your way, you may feel flattered, as that’s what a blandisher intends to do. However, beware because that flattery may come with the underlying intention of persuading you to do something!

The noun blandishment is related to the old-fashioned verb blandish meaning “to coax with flattery, or kind words.” A blandishment is often teasing in tone, and the intention to persuade is usually thinly veiled. Your brother may use a blandishment or two to get you to do his chores, and you’re going to know exactly what he’s after. But the saying “You get more flies with honey” just might hold true if you find yourself taking out the trash when it’s not your turn.

bilk – Ever paid a restaurant bill only to discover they charged you for stuff you never had? What they did was bilk you — cheat you out of money that was justly yours. Shady companies are forever bilking their investors.

To bilk someone is slightly different from plain robbing them, though the effect is the same; it implies a non-violent, subtle and devious method masquerading as legitimate. Bernie Madoff, the Ponzi scheme king, was a classic bilker. On a more enjoyable note, one of the greatest bilkers in TV history was the appropriately named Sergeant Bilko, played by the comedian Phil Silvers. His eternal card games, promotions and get-rich-quick schemes were all designed to part some poor sucker from their cash. Watch and learn from the master.

Blatherskite – a person who talks foolishly at length. It’s alteration of the Scottish compound blather skate (skate means “a contemptible person”).

The word appears in a mid-seventeenth century Scottish ballad called Maggie Lauder in which the fair maiden bids her would-be suitor, “Begone ye hallanshaker / Jog on your gait, ye blatherskate …”

boon
    (n.) a gift or blessing (The good weather has been a boon for many businesses located near the beach.)

Breeches Part – a theatrical role that is regularly or frequently played by an actress in male costume. Men, not women, traditionally wear breeches (a type of short pants), but women, not men, fill the breeches part.

In Shakespeare’s day, male actors played the roles of women; by the mid–17th century, after the Puritan ban on theater had ended, women were playing female parts. The notion of the breeches part reintroduced novelty as women donned pants to play traditionally male roles. A modern–day breeches part is the role of Peter Pan.

brusque
    (adj.) short, abrupt, dismissive (The captain’s brusque manner offended the passengers.)

buffet
    1. (v.) to strike with force (The strong winds buffeted the ships, threatening to capsize them.)
    2. (n.) an arrangement of food set out on a table (Rather than sitting around a table, the guests took food from our buffet and ate standing up.)

burnish
    (v.) to polish, shine (His mother asked him to burnish the silverware before setting the table.)

buttress
    1. (v.) to support, hold up (The column buttresses the roof above the statue.)
    2. (n.) something that offers support (The buttress supports the roof above the statues.)

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