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

Caboodle – a crowd or collection

caboodle a crowd or collection

Short Story describing the meaning of the word Caboodle is at


cabotage – 1. navigation in coastal waters 2. a country’s exclusive right to operate air traffic within its territory

Cabotage navigation in coastal waters air traffic in territory

Short Story describing the meaning of the word Cabotage is at


cacademics – (coinage; not recognized as a word) members of academia focused on minutia or bafflegab

cacademics members of academia focused on minutia or bafflegab

Short Story describing the meaning of the word Cacademics is at


Cachinnate – to laugh loudly and immoderately (noun: cachinnation)

cachinnate to laugh loudly and immoderately

Short Story describing the meaning of the word Cachinnate is at

Short Story describing the meaning of the word Cachinnate is at

cack – excrement

Cackhanded – UK; informal: ham-handed, clumsy, award

cackhanded ham-handed clumsy award

Short Story describing the meaning of the word Cackhanded is at


Cacocallia – the state of being ugly but sexy

cacocallia the state of being ugly but sexy

Short Story describing the meaning of the word Cacocallia is at


cacoepy – incorrect pronunciation (The antonym is orthoepy – correct pronunciation of words)

cacoepy incorrect pronunciation

cacography – 1. bad handwriting (opposite of orthography) 2. bad spelling (opposite of calligraphy) [Greek kakos bad + graphos writing]

cacography bad handwriting

caconym – an erroneous name; a misnomer

caconym an erroneous name a misnomer

cacophonous – having a harsh, unpleasant sound; discordant

cacophonous having a harsh unpleasant sound discordant

Cadge – to beg or sponge off of

cadge to beg or sponge off of coffee

Short Story describing the meaning of the word Cadge is at


cadre – a nucleus of trained personnel around which a larger organization can be built. Typically used for a military or political group

cadre personnel around organization for military political group

caduceus (pl. caducei) – a herald’s wand, often with serpents twined around it (used as a symbol of the medical profession)

caduceus heralds wand medical profession

caesar cipher – a cipher in which each letter is replaced by the one a fixed number of positions farther in the alphabet. (For example, one where A, B, C, D, etc. are respectively changed to J, K, L, M, etc.)

caesar cipher cipher in which each letter is replaced by the one a fixed  number

caesarism – government by imperial authority, recognizing no other law as a check upon the ruler’s will; political absolutism; dictatorship

caesious – pale blue with a hint of gray. Note: the dictionaries conflict on this word: definitions give a kind of blue (with gray or green), a kind of gray (with blue or green), and a kind of green (with gray or blue)

caesious pale blue with a hint of gray

cahoots – collusion; questionable collaboration

cahoots collusion questionable collaboration

caitiff despicably a wretch woman

caitiff – despicably cowardly (noun: such a person; a wretch)

caitiff woman despicably cowardly woman a wretch woman

cake-hole – British slang: a person’s mouth (“shut your cake-hole” = “shut up”)

calaboose – a jail

calaboose a jail

calamus – the lowest part of shaft of a feather, bare of any ‘side branches’, also known as the quill

calamus lowest part of shaft of a feather bare of any side branches also known as the quill

calcycle – a small cup-shaped structure (as a taste bud)

caldera – a crater formed by volcanic explosion or by collapse of a volcanic cone.

calenture – (in old writings): a distemper peculiar to sailors in hot climates, wherein they imagine the sea to be green fields, and will throw themselves into it

Caliban – eponym: a man of degraded bestial nature

calipash; calipee – the fatty gelatinous substances attached to the shell of a turtle. The calipee is attached to the bottom shell and the calipash is attached to the top. A culinary delicacy.

callboy – one who calls actors when it is time for them to go on stage

calliope – eponym: a musical instrument of steam whistles

calliopean – eponym: piercingly loud: a calliopean voice

callipygous or callipygian – having shapely buttocks

callow – [in an adult role but] lacking full adult experience or sophistication [  the bracket words are not in the dictionary definition. I believe the dictionaries err in this; some readers disagree with me.]

calque – a loan translation; a term borrowed from another language with a translation of its parts (e.g., Ger. Übermensch borrowed into Eng. as superman). taking foreign-language words having a non-standard sense, and using, in the same sense, the like words of your own tongue

caltrop – a simple but effective weapon against cavalry horses or pneumatic-tires cars. small and shaped like a child’s jacks toy – but with four points instead of six – so that, however tossed, one sharp point will be straight up.

calumniate – to make maliciously false statements about (noun: calumny – malicious falsehood made to injure another’s reputation)

camarilla – a group of confidential, often scheming advisers; a cabal

camp bed – Brit. a cot

campanology – the art of ringing bells; campanologist

canary trap – a certain method, when an office has a leak, to find out who is the leaker (coined by Tom Clancy)

canine – like a dog

canities – whiteness of the hair

canny – shrewd. (The dictionary gives a second meaning: “cautious; esp. ‘cautious in spending money,’” which is unfamiliar to me.)

canon – a clergyman living with others in a clergy-house, living per church rules

canoodle – to kiss and cuddle amorously (also, to win over by cajoling or flattering; wheedle)

canopic – toponym: relating to an ancient Egyptian jar, etc. used to hold the viscera of an embalmed body

canopy – originally, a screen against gnats or mosquitoes. (see also overstory) from Greek konops = “mosquito, gnat” and konopeion = “couch with mosquito curtains”.

cantalope (etymology) – toponym: after the Pope’s summer residence in Cantalupo

canthus – each of the corners where the top and bottom eyelids meet

cantle – a segment cut off or out of something; a part, piece or fragment. (also, the back part of a saddle)

cantonment – temporary living quarters specially built for soldiers

cap-a-pie – at all points [literally, ‘head to foot]

caparison – richly ornamented clothing; finery. verb: to outfit in such trappings or clothing

capercaillie – a wood grouse of northern Europe

capitation – a tax levied on the basis of a fixed amount per person; also, a payment or fee of a fixed amount per person [Note: can be either a charge to a person, or a payment made to or for him.]

capitulary – an ecclesiastical or civil ordinance, esp. those of Charlemagne

cappuccino – etymology: coffee with milk; white coffee, esp. as served in espresso coffee-bars, topped with white foam

caprine – like a goat

capriole – a playful leap or jump; a caper

captcha – a computer-generated test to distinguish human users from automated programs (“bots’)
[Acronym for Completely Automated Public Turing Test to Tell Computers and Humans Apart]

captious – 1. fault-finding; quarrelsome eagerness to object 2. calculated to entrap through subtle argument

quarreling women captious fault-finding curmudgeon meretricious quiff bilious illtempered

captious peevish; ready to take offence or find fault

quiff 1 a woman regarded as promiscuous cyprian lewd woman prostitutes

captious – fault-finding; quarrelsome eagerness to object

Short Story describing a Captious woman is at https://nicewemen.wordpress.com/captious-fault-finding-woman-quarrelsome-eagerness-to-object/

captious a woman who is fault-finding quarrelsome eagerness to object

caracole; caracol – a half turn to right or left performed by a horse and rider (verb: to perform same)

carapace – the thick shell that covers the back of the turtle, the crab, and other animals. also, metaphorically: something likened to a shell that serves to protect or isolate from external influence.

cardigan – eponym: a knitted sweater or jacket that opens with buttons, etc. all the way down the front [a “Mr. Rogers” sweater]

carked it – Australian slang: died (e.g. the car carked it half way to the beach)

caron – the inverted caret above consonant, as in č ň š; also called a háček

carotid – relating to the two large arteries carrying blood to the head and neck

carpetbagger – one who comes as an outsider and presumptuously seeks power

carry-in – regional: a potluck meal

cartel – an association of sellers formed to control prices and restrict competition

cartogram – a map showing statistical information graphically; e.g., countries are deliberately distorted so that the area of each is proportionate to its population

cartographer – a mapmaker

cartophily – the collection of trade cards (sometimes defined as “the collection of cigarette cards,” which is the largest single category)

cartouche – 1. a drawn frame around of an engraving, etc. (esp. one in Egyptian hieroglyphics, inclosing royal or divine names or titles) 2. a heavy paper cartridge case

carval-built – (of a wooden ship) built with non-overlapping planks [contrast clinker-built]

caryatid – a figure of a woman used as a supporting column (the much rarer male-figure so used is a telamon or atlas [pl. telamones; atlantes])

Casanova – eponym: a promiscuous man; or a man amorously and gallantly attentive to women

Cassandra – eponym: one whose warnings of doom, though accurate, fall on deaf ears

castaneous – chestnut-colored (the chestnut tree is genus Castanea)

Tree bark

cast-off (knitting; also known as bind-off) – getting the loops off the needles at the end of a knitting process. There are myriad ways to cast-off, to

achieve different effects (mainly stretchy or not).

cast-on (knitting) – verb: putting the original loops onto the needle at the beginning of your project. noun: the beginning row of loops. There are many ways to cast-on the yarn.

castrametation – the making or laying out of a camp

casus belli – an act or situation provoking or justifying war

cat (familiar, but listed for an anecdote comparing French and English)

catabasis; katabasis – a military retreat

catabolism – the metabolic process of breaking down tissues in the body (contrast anabolism)

catachresis – incorrect use of a word (either by error or deliberately)

catadromous – migrating ‘down’, from fresh water to the sea, to spawn (e.g., most eels); contrast anadromous

catamenia – menstrual flow

catamite – a boy kept by a pederast

catamount – a large wild cat of Western Hemisphere mountains, a/k/a mountain cat, panther, puma

cataphora – linguistics: using a pronoun, etc., to refer forward, as the him in Near him, John saw a snake. (contrast anaphora)

cataract – 1. a large waterfall 2. a medical condition in which the eye’s lens becomes progressively opaque, causing blurred vision.

catatonia – an abnormal condition characterized by stupor and bay rigidity or extreme flexibility of the limbs

catawampus – askew

cat-bird seat – a position of power or prominence. Used in the phrase “in the catbird seat”.

catchpole – a sheriff’s officer, especially one who arrests debtors [also figurative]

catchpoll – same as catchpole

cathedral (etymology) – 1587, “church of a bishop,” from phrase cathedral church (1297), translating L.L. ecclesia cathedralis “church of a bishop’s seat,”

from Gk. kathedra “seat, bench,” from kata “down” + hedra “a seat.”

catherine wheel – eponym: a firework that forms a rotating, flaming wheel (a/k/a ‘pinwheel’)

catspaw (also here) – a person used by another as a dupe or tool (also, a light breeze that ruffles small areas of a water surface)

caudal – pertaining to a tail (Latin cauda, tail)

cause célèbre – an issue arousing widespread controversy

causerie – informal discussion or chat, esp. of an intellectual nature (also, a chatty piece of writing)

causeur – an easy talker, frequently witty, pleasant to hear

causeuse – formerly meant a female version of causeur; now means a small cozy sofa for two people to have a long chat

cava – Spanish and Italian for cave; often used for a wine cellar

caveat emptor – the principle that the buyer is responsible for checking the quality and suitability of goods before purchase

cavil – (trans. or intrans.) to quibble, detect flaws in, raise trivial objections

cay – a small, low island of coral or sand

celebreality – the real life of a celebrity; a TV show format of celebrities in real-life situations

celibate – unmarried. (Only in the 20th century did the word develop the additional meaning “abstaining from sexual intercourse.”)

censer – a vessel in which incense is burned, esp. during religious services. related to incense. Not related to one who censors literature or who subjects misconduct to censure.

cephaleonomancy – divination by asses’ heads [dictionary at mancy lists 54 form of divination]

cerulean (also here) – pure, strong blue, the color of the cloudless sky [Source here says “sky-blue”, but that definition rather begs the question, for a sky can range from light pale blue to rich strong blue. Which do we mean? There seems to be some confusion. Thus, One-look’s “quick definition” is:

“cerulean: noun: a light shade of blue; adjective: of a deep somewhat purplish blue color similar to that of a clear October sky”.)

cervine – pertaining to deer (contrast cervisial)

cervisial – pertaining to beer (contrast cervine)

cervix (etymology) – from Latin for “the neck”

cesta – a scoop-shaped wicker basket, worn over the hand, used in the game of jai alai to catch and throw the ball

cetacean – pertaining to whales

ceteris paribus – other things being equal; if all other relevant factors remain unaltered

ceviche – a Peruvian dish of raw fish marinated in lemon juice with onions, chilis and seasonings, served especially as an appetizer

chacham – Yiddish: a wise man, a savant; usually used sardonically (chachma = wisdom)

chachka – see tsatske

chaconne – see passacaglia

Chadband – eponym: an oily, religious/moralistic hypocrite

chairwarmer – 1. an interim officeholder “keeping the chair warm” until the proper successor takes office; 2. one who, with only office experience (in his

chair), meddles in practical matters 3. one who lounges long in a hotel lobby, etc.

chakra – a cycle, a wheel; also, any of several points of physical or spiritual energy in the human body according to yoga philosophy

chakram – flat steel ring with a sharpened outer edge used as a thrown weapon (thrown like a frisbee)

chalcedony (silent h; accent on 2nd syllable) – quartz in the form of micro-crystals, such as agate

champerty – an outsider assisting a litigant in return for a portion of the proceeds

chandler (also here) – [orig.: a candle-maker or candle-seller] chiefly Brit; usu. contemptuous?: 1. a small shopkeeper selling provisions, groceries, etc.

2. a retailer of specified goods or lines [typ. nautical], as, a ship chandler 3. a candle-maker or candle-seller

chandlery – a chandler’s shop

chanticleer – eponym: a rooster

Charybdis – see Scylla and Charybdis

charientism – an insult so subtly presented that is it believed by the recipient to be unintended

charley horse – a muscle cramp, esp. in the upper leg, from a muscular strain or a blow

chartomancy – divination by writing in papers, and by Valentines [dictionary at mancy lists 54 form of divination]

chartreuse – a pale yellowish apple-green color

chary – very cautious, wary; also, not giving/expending freely

chattering classes – articulate and educated people considered as a social group given to the expression of liberal opinions about society and culture

Chautauqua – toponym: an annual summer educational meeting providing public lectures, concerts, and dramas, usually in an outdoor setting

chauvinism – eponym: fanatical, exaggerated patriotism

cheap shot – an unfair or unsporting verbal attack that takes unfair advantage of a known weakness of the target. (from US football)

check – familiar meaning (to restrain, or to inspect for quality) evolved from the meaning in the game of chess (a threatened immediate capture of the opponent’s king)

checkmate – noun: utter defeat. verb: to defeat completely (from game of chess: a check (see above) in which capture cannot be averted)

cherry pick – to unfairly select only the desired items

chesterfield – eponym: a type of sofa, large with upholstered arms

cheval mirror – standalone mirrors in a frame, that can be tilted easily

cheval-de-frise (pl. chevaux de ~) – 1. an obstacle of jagged glass, spikes, etc. set into the top of a wall 2. orig. military: a defensive line of spikes,

etc., to block advance of the enemy (e.g., cavalry)

chevalet – the bridge of a stringed instrument

chevalier d’industrie – one who lives by his wits, specially by swindling [lit. “knight of industry”]

chiaroscuro (also here) – the interplay of light and shade in drawing and painting; a work stressing that interplay; fig. the like interplay of contrasting characters, moods, etc.

chiasmus (ky-AZ-mus) – a rhetorical inversion of the second of two parallel structures: Never let a fool kiss you or a kiss fool you

chicane – 1. chicanery 2. bridge (game): a holding of no trumps 3. motor traffic or racing: a sharp double bend [or other obstacle made to slow traffic?]

chichevache – mythical monster: an enormous cow that feeds on patient wives and virtuous women (compare bicorne)

Chicken Little – eponym: one who constantly warns that a calamity is imminent

chilblain – painful, itching swelling, on hand or foot, caused by poor skin circulation when exposed to cold

chili – chili con carne; that is, a Mexican stew of minced beef flavored with chili peppers

chili dog – a hot dog topped with a serving of chili con carne. 1948

chiliasm – doctrine that Christ will reign on earth for a thousand years

chimerical – eponym: 1. fantastic; wildly or vainly conceived; also, given to unrealistic fantasies; fanciful
chimera ­­– 1. a fanciful mental illusion or fabrication 2. genetic research: an offspring combining two different species (contrast clone, a copy of a single individual)

Illusion explained

chinchona – eponym: the tree bark that yields quinine

Chinese wall – strict confidentiality rules within a securities firm, barring disclosure of certain information between departments

chip buttie – Brit: a chip sandwich (what USns would call french fries, placed between two slices of bread)

chirography – handwriting; penmanship (A previous word-of-the-day; see here.)

chiromancy – divination by the hands [dictionary at mancy lists 54 form of divination]

chirr – a trilling vibrant sound, such as that made by crickets, grasshoppers, or cicadas (verb – to make that sound)

chitin (silent h) – the substance forming the exoskeleton of insects, etc.

chloasma – a patchy brown skin discoloration [particularly on a woman’s face from hormonal changes of pregnancy]

chockie – Australian slang: chocolate

choleric – easily moved to anger

chook – Australian slang: chicken

chop logic – convoluted, contentious and deceptive argument

choropleth – a map using shading or color to show a trait; e.g., colors indicate altitude; or darker shading indicates more-dense population

chott; shott – a shallow brackish lake or marsh, usually dry in the summer and covered with salt

chouse – 1. a cheat; a swindler (verb: to dupe, cheat, trick or swindle) 2. to disturb or harry (cattle)

chrestomathy – a collection of literary passages selected to show a subject matter in breadth

chrysanthemum shell – a spherical burst firework, in which the stars leave a visible trail

chthonic – of the underworld; of the earth; dwelling in or under the earth

chuck – term of endearment (literally ‘a chicken’)

chucking-out time – slang: closing time at a pub

chukka – each of the periods into which a game of polo is divided [Sanskrit, ‘circle’ or ‘wheel’ [also; a kind of high shoe, resembling a polo boot]

churrigueresque – eponym: baroque architectural style characterized by elaborate surface decoration

chutzpah – utter nerve; effrontery

cicatrix – a scar

cicerone – eponym: a guide who conducts sightseers

cicisbeo – the young male lover/escort/admirer of a married woman. (counterpart of mistress) The definition is imprecise; the term covers a wide range of male admires, from hangers-on to full-fledged lovers. (Definition taken from Depraved English by Novobatzky and Shea (1999). The major dictionaries tend to be coy; e.g., Web. Rev. defines cicisbeo as “a professed admirer of a married woman”.)

cimmerian – eponym: very dark or gloomy

cinchona [eponym] – the tree whose bark yields quinine

cinderella – eponym: one suddenly lifted from obscurity to honor or significance

cingulomania – a strong desire to hold a person in your arms

cipher – a method of transforming the letters of a text to conceal its meaning, either by transposing the letters or substituting (contrast code)

circadian – occurring regularly at 24-hour intervals (but applies only to biological processes; one would not speak of “the circadian motion of the sun”)

(compare diurnal, quotidian)

circean – eponym: pleasing, but noxious; as, a Circean draught (after the enchantress Circe of Homer’s Odyssey, who first charmed her victims and then changed them to the forms of beasts)

circular argument – 1. using a premise to prove a conclusion that in turn is used to prove the premise 2. an argument that ‘goes around in circles’, making no progress 3. process: a ‘self-reinforcing’ process, where progress in one area both requires and stimulates progress in another

circumjacent – lying around; surrounding

circumlocution – 1. use of many words where fewer would do 2. evasion, in speech or writing 3. a roundabout expression

circumvallate – to surround with, or as with, a rampart

cirque – a bowl-shaped hollow (like an amphitheater), at the upper end of a mountain valley, esp. one an the head of a glacier or stream. Also called a cwm (Wales), a coomb (England), a corrie (Scotland and Ireland)

cisatlantic – on this side of the Atlantic (the mate of transatlantic)

clamber – to climb awkwardly and laboriously

clapperdugeon – a beggar born; a whining beggar

claque – 1. a group of people hired to applaud or heckle a performer; a “rent-a-crowd” 2. a group of sycophantic followers (esp. in politics)

clarion – loud and clear (noun: a shrill war trumpet) [clarion call – a strongly expressed demand for action]

clart – to daub, smear, or spread, as with mud, etc.

claymore mine – an anti-personnel land mine that discharges blast fragments in a predetermined direction, set towards the enemy

cleavage (art restoration) – separation of paint layers (oil paintings; house paint, etc.)

clement – 1. of persons or behavior: tending to be lenient or merciful. 2. of weather: mild

clepe – to call; to name [yclept is the past participle]

clepsydra – a clock that marks time by the flow of water through a small opening (sometimes called a water glass)

clerihew – eponym: a witty verse, of two rhyming couplets, on a person named in one of the rhymes

clerisy – the well-educated elite class; the intelligentsia

cliché (etymology) – from the sound of a die striking a printing plate

climactic – adjective form of ‘climax’

clinker – brick fused together by fire

clinker-built – (of a wooden ship) with outer planks overlapping each other [contrast carval-built]

cliometrics – eponym: the study of history using economic models and advanced mathematical methods of data processing and analysis

clochard – a tramp; a vagrant

cloche – [from the French for ‘bell’] either of two bell-shaped covers:
1. woman’s hat, close-fitting and bell-shaped
2. a cover, usually bell-shaped, to protect plants from frost

clock – the downy flower-head of a dandelion, etc. that has gone to seed [From the child’s play of blowing away the feathered seeds to find ‘what o’clock it is’.]

cockshy – the throw in a throwing contest, or the target aimed at

code – a system to transform a message by prearranged substitutions for words or phrases (contrast cipher, where substitution is for individual letters)

codex (pl. codices) – a manuscript (handwritten) volume, esp. of a classic work or of the Scriptures (‘manuscript’ in this sense means “handwritten”)

codswallop – eponym: nonsense (Brit. slang)

coeval – of the same age or date of origin; contemporary (noun: a person of roughly the same age; a contemporary)

coffered panel – a decorative sunken panel in a ceiling, etc

cognitive dissonance – the mental discomfort of simultaneously holding incompatible attitudes, beliefs, knowledge, etc.

cognomen – 1. the family name of an of ancient Rome (the typical example is the “Caesar” in Gaius Julius Caesar); more generally, a surname 2. a

descriptive nickname or epithet. Related terms as to ancient Roman names: prænomen – equivalent to our first name. nomen – name of the gens, the extended

family or clan (the cognomen helped distinguish families within the gens). agnomen – a fourth name given because of some remarkable exploit, or to distinguish two men whose names were otherwise identical.

coins and currency – see two bits; simoleon, greenback; trime; tanner; bob; tosherooon; joey; holey dollar; dump, loonie, twonie

colibri – hummingbird

collation – a light, informal meal (also, the act of collating)

Colonel Blimp – eponym: an elderly pompous reactionary

colophon – a publisher’s emblem or trademark on the title page (originally, an end-of-book inscription giving facts about its publication)

colporteur – a hawker; specifically, one who travels about selling and distributing religious tracts and books.

colt – eponym: a type of revolver (firearms. trademark?)

coltish – with the enthusiastic awkwardness of youth (almost always applied to a young female, with implications of budding sexuality)

comely – pleasant to look at; attractive

comestible – adj. edible; suitable to be eaten. noun; usu. plural: something that can be eaten as food

commensal – biology: of a relation between two organisms that benefits one without damaging or benefiting the other. [Latin ‘sharing a table’] (contrast parasitic; symbiotic; not to be confused with commensurate; incommensurable)

commensurate – of corresponding size or degree; proportionate (can also mean commensurable)

commercant – merchant, businessman, shopkeeper [not in dictionaries; found in Wall Street Journal, Aug. 7, 2006]

comstockery – eponym: censorship on basis of immorality or obscenity (coined by George Bernard Shaw)

conation – the faculty of volition and desire; the mental processes directed toward action or change: impulse, desire, volition, and striving

concertina screen – a screen that folds up and has pleats like an accordion

concinnity – 1. harmony in arrangement of parts to a whole 2. studied elegance in expression

conclave – a confidential or secret meeting

concupiscence – sexual lust

condign – deserved; adequate (esp. of punishment); suitable to the fault or crime

coney – see hyrax

confabulate – [akin to fable]
1. to converse casually together; to chat
2. Psychology: to fill in gaps in one’s memory with fabrications that one believes to be facts

conflate – 1. to bring together; meld or fuse 2. to combine (as two readings of a text) into one whole

congener – something akin to or resembling another (see conger; congeries)

conger – a large, scaleless marine eel (see congener; congeries)

congeries – a conglomeration; heap or mess (see congener; conger)

congress – 1. a coming together; meeting 2. sexual intercourse [among other meanings, of course]

conjunctivitis – inflammation of the eye-membrane (called the conjunctiva) that covers the eyeball and lines the eyelid. Popularly called pink eye

conk – to break down, give out, fail, or show signs of failing; to die, collapse, or lose

consanguinity – relationship by blood or common ancestry (as opposed to ‘by marriage’); more generally, a close affinity or connection [com- “together” +

sanguineus “of blood”]

consilience – the “jumping together” of knowledge; unification of knowledge across diverse disciplines

consistory – the council of cardinals; or, a church tribunal or senate; or (rare), a solemn assembly or council

conskite – to bespatter with dung

consmology – a account (whether scientific, philosophic or mythic) of the creation of the universe

constellation – astronomy: a formation of stars seen, in the sky, as forming a figure. metaphoric: a collection or gathering, usually of prominent persons or things

contesseration – the act of making friends [literally, “ breaking a tablet together”]

continental slope – the seabed where it gradually descends from continental shore. (A steeper descent typically begins at 200 meters depth.)

contrapposto – the position with hips and legs turned somewhat in a different direction from the shoulders and head; typically most of the weight is on one


contretemps – an unforeseen event that disrupts the normal course of things

contronym – a word that has two opposite meanings (e.g. to dust: “He dusted the table” [‘to remove dust’] vs. “He dusted sugar onto the doughnuts” [‘to apply dust’])

contumely – insolent or insulting words or acts

cook’s tour – eponym: a quick tour or survey, with attention only to the main features

coomb – see cirque

cooper – a barrel-maker or barrel-repairer

coping – the course of brick on top of a wall (usually sloping)

copper-bottomed – Brit.: thoroughly reliable [from protective copper sheathing on the bottom of wooden ships]

coprolite – petrified dung

coprophagous – dung-eating (same as merdivorous)

copula – a connecting word, esp. a form of the verb be

coquelicot – poppy-colored: brilliant red with orange.

coquette – an insincerely flirtatious woman [adj. coquettish]. to coquet – 1. to trifle or dally in love 2. to deal playfully instead of seriously

coracle – an ancient type of boat, small, light, rounded and maneuverable, made of wickerwork covered with a watertight material, and used with a paddle

corinthian – 1. a fashionable man about town; a bon vivant; esp. a wealthy amateur sportsman. 2. a debauched man devoted to the pursuit of pleasure. adj:

as or like such a man, of either sort [also has several other senses]

corm – see geophyte

corn – in England it means ‘grain’ of any sort, but in the United States it means the specific grain maize. Why? In the US, when the Pilgrim colonists’

wheat was devastated by a native fungal disease, the Indians taught the Pilgrims how to grow maize. Since maize was the only grain available in the colonies, the word ‘corn’ came to mean that specific grain in US speech.

cornu – a horn-shaped anatomical part (as of the uterus)

cornucopia (etymology) – from L. cornu copiæ “horn of plenty,” after the myth of Amalthea, who nurtured the infant Zeus. By one version of the myth, Zeus

broke off a goat’s horn and gave it to Amalthea, promising that it would supply whatever she desired in abundance – thus, the animal horn as a fertility symbol.

corpus – a large collection of writings of a particular kind or on a particular subject; esp., the complete works of an author (also other meanings)

corrie – see cirque

corrigible – capable of being corrected, reformed, or improved (contrast the familiar word incorrigible)

corroboree – a large noisy celebration, or, a great tumult; a disturbance

coruscating – 1. giving off bright beams or flashes of light; 2. exhibiting brilliant, sparkling technique or style [note: often misused to mean “corrosive” or “scathing”]

corvine – like a raven

corybantic – wild, frantic, frenzied

coryza – a runny nose, as with a cold (or more exactly, the inflamed nasal membrane that causes the runny nose)

cosmology – study of the the origin, evolution and structure of the universe

cosmos – the universe, the world, seen as a well-ordered whole

cosset – to care for over-indulgently

cotquean – a man who busies himself with women’s work or affairs (also, a coarse masculine woman) disparaging. ASax; literally “house woman”: cot = small

house + quean = woman. The second syllable is pronounced to rhyme with ‘when’

couloir – a deep mountainside gorge or gully, esp. in the Swiss Alps

coup – a sudden stroke (conveys promptness and force). (AHD: a brilliantly executed stratagem; a triumph)

coup de grâce – 1. a finishing stroke or decisive event 2. a deathblow delivered to end the misery of a mortally wounded victim

coup de graisse – death by chocolate (found on one site; doubtless with tongue in cheek)

coup de main – military: a sudden action undertaken to surprise an enemy

coup de soleil – sunstroke

coup de théâtre – 1. a sudden dramatic turn of events in a play. 2. an unexpected and sensational event, esp. one that reverses or negates a prevailing situation

coup d’état – the sudden overthrow of a government

coup d’oeil – a quick survey; a glance (literally, stroke of the eye)

courtesan – a prostitute, especially one with wealthy or upper-class clients

coven – an assembly of witches; usually 13 witches [earlier, a variant of ‘convent’]

Coventry – toponym: a state of ostracism or exile (“sent to Coventry”)

coverture – 1. a shelter; also, state of being concealed 2. law: the status of a married woman

coydog – the hybrid offspring of coyotes and feral dogs

coypu – a beaver-like aquatic rodent native to South America, valued for its fur (see nutria)

cozen – to cheat; to defraud; to beguile; to deceive

crack a mental – Australian slang: express extreme anger or rage

crack a fat – Australian slang: get a boner

cramble – to walk ill, as with corns on the feet; to hobble [obsolete; from The Word Museum by J. Kacirk]

crannick; cronnick; cran – a tree or root killed or much weathered by wind, water or fire; piece of such wood gathered as fuel; small twisted fir or spruce

cranny – a small narrow opening or hole; a chink, crevice, crack, fissure

crapper (etymology) – a flush toilet

crapshoot – a risky enterprise

crapulous; crapulent – over-indulging in food or drink; also, sick from doing so drinking (from Greek for “drunken headache”)

craquelure – fine cracks in surface of an old painting

craven – characterized by abject fear; cowardly (noun – a coward)

crepe-hanger – a gloomy pessimist; a kill-joy

crepitate – to make a crackling or popping sound; crackle, as salt in fire; burning leaves or twigs

crepuscular – resembling or relating to twilight

crevasse – a deep fissure or chasm

crib – a small abode; a tiny room; also, a saloon, ‘dive’, or brothel

critical path – the sequence of steps in an operation (as, building a house) which determines the time needed for the whole project

criticaster – a mean-spirited, contemptible, carping critic

croaker – a wellerism based on a punning verb [For example, “I’m dying,” he croaked,” and “I’ve got a new game,” mumbled Peg.] Term coined by Roy Bongartz.

crock – slang: something decrepit and worn out

croesus – eponym: a man of extreme wealth

cromulent – coinage: excellent; perfectly acceptable. (also here; coined on TV in The Simpsons)

croodle – to coo like a dove (also, to cower together, as from fear or cold; to snuggle, as a young animal with its mother)

croon – 1. to sing in a soft gentle tone 2. to weep and wail (a word with two apparently-contradictory meanings)

cruciverbalist – a composer of crossword puzzles; an enthusiast at solving those puzzles

cryptid – see cryptozoology

cryptonym – a code name; a name used to secretly refer to another

cryptozoology – the study of creatures, such as the Sasquatch, whose existence has not been substantiated [the creatures are called cryptids]

crystallomancy – divination by crystals [dictionary at mancy lists 54 form of divination]

cubby-hole; cubbyhole – 1. a small box or compartment, such as a locker or a pigeon hole 2. a small room; sometimes used to mean such room used as a hideaway

cucking stool – a tool for punishing scolds and others. It was a chair (often with a hole like a toilet seat, suitable for that use). The victim was tied and either set out for public ridicule or ducked in a river or pond.
[cuck “to defecate” (may also include urinate)]
[Also known as a trebucket, but that term has further meanings.]

cuesta – a ridge with a gentle slope on one side and a cliff on the other; a gentle upward slope ending in a steep drop

culacino – the mark left on the table by a moist glass

cullet – broken glass for re-melting, recycling

cultivar – a plant variety produced in cultivation by selective breeding (the selection may be unintentional)

cumbent – recumbent

cumberbund; cummerbund – a broad waistband on men’s dress clothes. from Persian kamar waist + band band

cummingtonite – toponym:a felicitously-named mineral first found in Cummington, Massachusetts, USA

cunabula – earliest abode: the cunabula of the human race

cunctation – procrastination; delay. (etymology suggests that the term is not pejorative, but rather means wise delay to gain advantage.)

cunctipotent – all-powerful, omnipotent (Note: The oriental goddess Cunti, or Kunda, is thought to be the source of many of our cun- words here, as well as of the four-letter word beginning with cun- which I will leave unstated.)

caballine of, like or pertaining to or suited to a horse

cabas woman’s work basket or handbag

cabasset light iron helmet

cable heavy rope or chain for mooring a ship

caboched heraldic animal shown in full face with no neck or body

cabochon highly polished convex gem

caboose kitchen on the deck of a ship

cabotage shipping and sailing between points in the same country

cabré flying upside down with tail down

cabrie a pronghorn

cabrilla Atlantic sea bass

cabriole curved furniture leg ending in a ball; exuberant dance or caper

cabriolet two-wheeled carriage

cacaesthesia morbid sensation

Cacafuego – a swaggering braggart or boaster. The Cacafuego was a Spanish ship captured in 1579 by the English admiral Sir Francis Drake.

The word may have developed its insulting sense because some sailors – either the ones who lost the ship or the ones who won it – did some serious bragging.

Cacafuego, by the way, comes from the Spanish word fuego, meaning “fire,” and, ultimately, the Latin cacare, meaning (ahem) “to void as excrement.” The word probably referred to the ship’s cannon fire.

cachaemic having diseased or poisoned blood

cachalot sperm whale

cachalot large whale with teeth in the lower jaw

cachepot ornamental container used to conceal a flowerpot

cachet a seal of approval; a mark of prestige

cachexic having an unhealthy physical or mental state

cachinnate to laugh loudly and inappropriately
cachinnate – to laugh loudly and immoderately ( by a woman )

cachinnate to laugh loudly and immoderately

Two conspiring teens

Short Story describing the word Cachinnate is at


cacidrosis smelly sweat

cack rubbish; worthless nonsense

cacodemomania pathological belief that one is inhabited by an evil spirit

cacodoxy bad doctrine or wrong opinion

cacoepy poor or wrong pronunciation

cacoethes insatiable desire or mania; bad habit

cacogen antisocial person

cacogenics study of racial degeneration

cacography bad handwriting or spelling

cacolet military mule litter

cacology bad choice of words or faulty pronunciation

cacomistle raccoon-like animal of the American southwest

caconym wrongly derived name

(n.) tremendous noise, disharmonious sound (The elementary school orchestra created a cacophony at the recital.)

cacotopia a state in which everything is as bad as it can be

cacuminal retroflex, pertaining to a point, crown, top or peak

cadastre record of ownership and value of property

caddis worsted yarn

cadge to beg or sponge from another

cadilesker chief judge in the Turkish empire

cadrans instrument by which a gem is adjusted while being cut

caducary passing or expiring due to lapse or forfeit

caduceator herald; messenger

caducity being of a transitory or impermanent nature

caecity blindness

caenogenesis process of growth in individual not common in its species

caesaropapism control of the church by a secular ruler

caesious bluish or greyish green

caespitose growing in clusters or tufts

caesura natural breathing space in a line of verse

caesura vertical line in a text used to indicate a pause or prosodic break

cafard depression; the blues

caffoy velvety fabric

cagamosis unhappy marriage

cagoule lightweight waterproof hooded garment

caiman small alligator-like reptile

cairngorm yellow-brown quartz

caisson vehicle or chest for holding ammunition

caitiff base; cowardly; despicable
caitiff woman despicably cowardly woman a wretch woman

caitiff – despicably cowardly woman. a wretch woman

Short Story describing the word Caitiff is at https://nicewemen.wordpress.com/caitiff-despicably-cowardly-woman-a-wretch-woman/

(v.) to urge, coax (Fred’s buddies cajoled him into attending the bachelor party.)

cakewalk prancing stage dance with backward tilt

calamanco satin twilled woollen fabric

calamist piper; one who plays using a reed

calamus quill or reed used as a pen

calando slowing with gradually lowering volume

calandra thick-bodied Mediterranean lark

calash light low-wheeled carriage with folding top

calathiform cup-shaped

calathus fruit basket carried on the head

calcar furnace or oven for annealing

calcariferous having or bearing spurs

calcariform spur-shaped

calceate to shoe

calceiform shaped like a slipper

calciferous bearing lime

calciform pebble-shaped

calcifuge plant that will not tolerate limy soil

calcimine to whitewash

calcine to burn so as to drive out water and carbon dioxide

calcivorous feeding on or living in limestone

calcographer one who draws with crayons or pastels

calefacient warming; anything that warms

calefactory a monastery sitting room

calender machine with rollers which presses paper or cloth

calenture tropical fever due to heat exposure

calesa small two-wheeled horse-drawn buggy

calescence increase in heat

calico plain white cotton

calicular like a chalice or cup

caliginous misty; dark; dim; obscure

caliology study of bird’s nests

calipace turtle’s carapace

calix cup; chalice

calk pointed piece on a horseshoe to prevent slipping

callant boy; fellow

calligram design using the letters of a word

calliope – Calliope, the Gk muse of epic poetry – a musical instrument of steam whistles

calliopean – Calliope, Gk muse of epic poetry – piercingly loud: a calliopean voice

callipygous having beautiful buttocks

callisteia awards given for beauty

callithump boisterous and noisy parade

callow unfledged; inexperienced

calodemon good or beneficial spirit

calorifacient producing or generating heat

calorifics study of heat

calorimeter instrument for measuring absorbed or evolved heat

calotte Roman Catholic skullcap

calque word or expression introduced into a language by literally translating it

calumet ornamented ceremonial pipe

(n.) an attempt to spoil someone else’s reputation by spreading lies (The local official’s calumny ended up ruining his opponent’s prospect of winning the election.)

Use the noun calumny to characterize verbal attacks that are meant to destroy reputations or friendships. You’ve probably seen political ads during election time that rely on calumny to move voters.

Calumny comes from the Latin word calvi, meaning “to trick, deceive,” which is why it can also describe falsely accusing someone or quoting them out of context with the intent to do them harm. Some political candidates use this tactic against opponents in the hope that voters will be tricked into thinking that the accusations are true.

calumniate to slander; misrepresent; besmirch

calumny vile misrepresentation

calvary experience of intense mental suffering

calver to prepare fish while alive or freshly caught

calvities baldness

calvous bald

calycine of, like or pertaining to a cup or calyx

calyx outer covering of a flower

camaca fine silk fabric

camaïeu monotonous or uninteresting play or literary work

camail chainmail armour for the neck and shoulders

caman shinty stick

camaraderie –

Camaraderie is a spirit of good friendship and loyalty among members of a group. You might not like your job, but still enjoy the camaraderie of the people you work with.

A high level of camaraderie among the athletes on and off the field not only makes it fun to play sports, but is likely to make your team win. This noun was borrowed from French, from camarade “comrade.” It retains the French spelling and Frenchlike pronunciation kahm-uh-RAHD-uh-ree. The suffix -erie

corresponds to English -ery, used with nouns to indicate a quality.

camarilla secret society of favourites of the king

camber slight arch or convexity to a beam or deck of a ship

cambist person skilled in the science of financial exchange

cambistry science of international exchange

cambium soft tissue found in trees

cambresine fine linen fabric

cambric fine thin white cotton or linen fabric

cameline of, like or pertaining to camels

camelious jocular term describing camel’s hump

camellia – Georg Josef Kamel, Moravian Jesuit missionary (1661–1706)

camelopard giraffe

camelot newspaper vendor

camelry troops mounted on camels

cameralism mercantilism designed to increase a ruler’s power

camerated divided into separate chambers

cameriere waiter or valet

camerlengo papal treasurer

camisade night attack

camisole straitjacket used for unruly prisoners

camlet strong waterproof silk or wool fabric

camorra group united for nefarious or traitorous ends

camouflet mine used to destroy underground enemy emplacement

campagnol short-tailed field mouse

campaniform bell-shaped

campanile freestanding bell tower on church property

campanology the art of bell ringing

campanulate shaped like a bell

campestral of, like or pertaining to the country; pertaining to level ground

camsteary perverse; unruly

canaille riffraff; proletarian; the mob; rabble

canaliculate grooved or channelled lengthwise

canard false rumour; hoax

canary lively Renaissance courtly dance

cancellarial of, like or pertaining to a chancellor

cancellous having a porous structure

cancerophobia fear of cancer

cancriform shaped like a crab
Crab – Cancrine

Short Story describing the meaning of the word Cancrine is at

cancrine of, like or pertaining to crabs; palindromic

cancrizans moving backwards; repeating a musical theme backwards

candela unit of luminous intensity

candent heated to whiteness

candescent glowing hotly

candor –

Candor usually means the quality of being open, honest, and sincere. If someone tells you they think you are dumb, you might reply with, “While I appreciate your candor, I don’t think we need to be friends anymore.”

The corresponding adjective is candid, as in “I want you to be candid. Do these pants make me look fat?” Candor is from French candeur, from Latin candor, from candere “to shine, be white.” The color white is associated with purity, which is a now obsolete meaning of candor.

canephor sculpted figure carrying a basket on the head

canescent hoary; tending to become white or grey

caneva fancy woollen fabric made to resemble canvas

canezou woman’s garment like a blouse

cang wooden yoke hung around a criminal’s neck

canicide killer of a dog

canicular of, like or pertaining to the dog star

canities whiteness of the hair

cannel bevel on the edge of a chisel

cannelure groove or fluting

cannikin small can or drinking vessel

cannonade an attack with heavy artillery

cannonarchy government by superior firepower or by cannons

cannular hollow or tube-shaped

canoness woman living in a community under a religious rule

canonicate the rank or office of a cannon

canophilia love or fondness for dogs

canopus vase for holding dead individual’s inner organs

canorous musical; singing; resonant

canque Chinese cotton fabric

cantabank strolling singer; second-rate musician

cantative of, like or pertaining to singing

cantatrice female singer

canter person who makes hypocritical or affected statements

canterbury stand with divisions for holding books or music

canthus angle between eyelids at the corner of the eye

canticle short holy song or sung prayer

cantillate to chant or intone

cantle corner, edge or slice of anything

canton dexter chief region of a heraldic field

cantonment small military town

cantorial located on the north side of the choir in a church

canzone instrumental work that is melodious or song-like

caparison ornamented covering for a horse

caparison armour for a horse

capeline surgical bandage for the stump of amputated limb; small iron skullcap

capelocracy government by shopkeepers

capias writ authorizing the arrest of a person

capillaceous hairlike

capilotade stewed meat dish

capistrate hooded

capitalism doctrine that private ownership and free markets should govern economies

capitation numbering of individuals; head tax

capitulary of, like or pertaining to a chapter of an organization

capitulate –

Capitulate means to give in to something. “The teachers didn’t want to have class outside, but the students begged so hard, she capitulated.”

Because capitulate relates to the military, and Romans were all about their military, Latin has a lot to say about this word. In Latin, caput means head, capitulum little head. Think with this word how, at the end of a battle, someone bows their head in defeat, and often that is when heads roll.

caple a horse

capnomancy divination by means of smoke

caponier covered passage across a moat or ditch

cappuccino – the Cappuchin monks, who wear a habit of the same color

capreolate having or resembling tentacles

capric having a goatlike smell; of, like or pertaining to goats

(adj.) subject to whim, fickle (The young girl’s capricious tendencies made it difficult for her to focus on achieving her goals.)

caprifoliaceous of, like or pertaining to the honeysuckle plant

capriform goatlike

caprine of, like or pertaining to goats

capriole leap and kick performed by a trained horse

capripede satyr

capruncle earthen vessel

capstan upright device for winding in heavy ropes or cables

captation attempt to obtain applause or recognition

capuchin pointed hooded cloak worn by friars

capybara tailless aquatic rodent of South America

caracal long-legged nocturnal cat of African and Asian savannahs with long ears

caracara long-legged South American falcon

caracole spiral staircase; a half turn by a trained horse
caravanserai inn or rest station for caravans
carbasus lint or gauze
carboniferous bearing carbon
carboy large green bottle encased in wicker
carbuncle architectural monstrosity or eyesore; red precious stone
carcanet ornamental necklace, collar or headband
carcelage prison fees
carceral of, like or pertaining to prisons
carcinology study of crabs and other crustaceans
cardialgia heartburn

cardigan – 7th Earl of Cardigan, Eng soldier died 1868 – a type of sweater or jacket

cardimelech supposed vital force causing heart to work
cardinal deep scarlet red colour
cardinalitial of, like or pertaining to church cardinals
cardiognost one who knows the workings of the heart
cardiograph instrument for recording movements of the heart
cardioid heart-shaped

cardophagus donkey; something that eats thistles


careen to turn a ship on its side in order to clean or repair it
caret mark used to note an omission
carfax place where four roads meet; intersection of roads at center of a town
carferal compound of carbon, iron and aluminum
caricology study of sedges
caricous of, like or pertaining to figs
carillon set of bells of different sizes
carinated shaped like the prow or keel of a ship
cariniform keel-shaped
carioca variation of the samba
cariogenic causing dental cavities
cariole light open carriage
carious of, like or pertaining to dental cavities; decayed
caritative generous; charitable
caritive indicating lack of something
carking imposing great hardship or strain
carminative expelling, causing or relieving flatulence
carnaptious bad-tempered; cantankerous
carnassial specially adapted for eating flesh
carneous fleshy; flesh-coloured; like or pertaining to flesh
carnet customs or other permit; book of coupons
carniferous bearing flesh; fleshy
carnifex executioner
carnification conversion into flesh
carnificial of, like or pertaining to butchers or executioners
carnificine place of execution; office of the executioner
carnose fleshy; of or like flesh
caroche stately carriage used on ceremonial occasions

carp – A carp is a type of fish found in fresh water. To carp is to complain and gripe repeatedly, especially about little things. Don’t carp about the rain if you live in the rain forest.

A carp is a freshwater fish belonging to the Cyprinidae family, which is native to Europe and Asia. To carp, on the other hand, is universal.

To carp is to complain and whine in a particularly annoying way. Someone who always complains about the same things over and over loves to carp. Carping is a little like nagging: no one wants to listen to it.

People who carp find fault with almost everything.
carping proud woman shouting

carping – Persistent petty and unjustified criticism. Raise trivial objections.

Short Story describing the word Carping is given at https://nicewemen.wordpress.com/carping-persistent-petty-and-unjustified-criticism/

Short Story describing the word Caviling is given by https://nicewemen.wordpress.com/caviling-raise-trivial-objections/

carping proud woman shouting 2

Caviling. Chicaning. Chousing – Defeat someone through trickery or deceit. jockeying, shafting

chousing  Defeat through trickery deceit

carouse –

Carouse means to drink a lot of alcohol and behave in a loud, exuberant way. The neighbors will not appreciate it if you and your friends carouse in the backyard until dawn.

Carouse comes from the German gar aus trinken meaning “all out,” “drain the cup” or “drink up.” The English adopted the word in the 16th century, and it came to mean “sitting around drinking until closing time.” A noisy drinking party is sometimes called a carouse.

carpal of, like or pertaining to the wrist
carphology fitful plucking movements as in delirium
carpogenous producing or bearing fruit
carpology study of fruit
carpophagous fruit-eating
carrack galleon
carriwitchet a quip or quibble; a pun; a conundrum
carronade short and light maritime cannon
cartiliginous like or composed of cartilage
cartomancy telling fortunes using playing cards
cartophily the hobby of collecting cigarette cards
cartouche oval- or scroll-shaped ornamentation on monument or tomb
cartulary keeper of monastic records
carucate as much land as a team of oxen ploughs in a season
caruncle any fleshy growth on the body
caryatid column shaped like female figure

Casanova – Giovanni Jacopo Casanova de Seingalt, Ital adventurer who published his memoirs (1725–1798) – a promiscuous man; or a man amorously and gallantly attentive to women

cascabel part behind the base-ring of a cannon
caschrom spade with bent handle for tilling soil
casefy to become or make cheese-like
casemate bombproof chamber or armored compartment
caseous cheese-like
casern barrack or billet for soldiers
cashmere soft twilled fabric made of fine goat’s wool
cashmerette soft imitation of cashmere
casque helmet
casquet light open-faced helmet
casquetel light steel helmet with no visor

Cassandra – Gk Kassandra, Trojan prophetess fated never to be believed one who predicts misfortune or disaster

cassation annulment; overthrow of legal decision
cassideous helmet-shaped
cassimere closely woven twilled cloth of fine wool
cassock close-fitting ankle-length clergyman’s garment
cassowary large flightless Melanesian bird
castaneous chestnut-coloured
castellan governor of castle or fortification
castellar of, like or pertaining to a castle
castellated having battlements or turrets
castophrenia belief that one’s thoughts are being stolen

castor oil – Castor in Gk myth (as in Castor and Pollox). Name given to oils from the beaver, used medicinally; carried over to the vegetable oil that replaced the beaver oil.

castory brown colour; brown dye derived from beaver pelts
castral of or belonging to the camp
castrametation the art of designing a camp
casualism the belief that chance governs all things
casuistry plausible but flawed moral reasoning
catabaptism belief in the wrongness of infant baptism
catabasis the decline of a disease in a population
catachresis incorrect usage of a word
catachthonian underground; subterranean
cataclasm disruption; breaking down
catacoustics science of echoes or reflected sounds
catadioptric employing both reflection and refraction of light
catadromous migrating from fresh to salt water to spawn
catafalque temporary tomb used in funerals and processions
catalactic of, like or pertaining to exchange
catalactics science of commercial exchange
catalectic incomplete; missing final syllable
catamite boy kept for homosexual purposes
catamount any wild species of mountain lion or large cat
catapedamania obsession with jumping from high places
cataphract suit of mail; soldier in full armour; armoured ship
cataphysical unnatural
cataplasm plaster or poultice
cataplexy condition feigning death used by animals
catarolysis letting off steam by cursing
catarrhine of, like or pertaining to Old World Monkeys
catasta scaffold or stage for torture or selling slaves
catastaltic astringent
catastasis introductory part of speech where narrator introduces subject
catastasis part of drama with highest action; climax
catastrophism belief in rapid geological and biological change
catchpole constable; sheriff’s officer
catechectics the art of teaching by question and answer
catechumen one undergoing instruction prior to conversion to Christianity
catena series, chain or sequence
catenarian of, like or pertaining to chains
catenate to connect as in or by a chain
catenular chain-like
cateran a Scottish military irregular or brigand
cathead projection near the bow of a ship to which anchor is secured
cathedra chair or throne of office for a bishop or other high official

catherine wheel – St. Catherine of Alexandria, d.305 by torture on a wheel firework that forms a rotating, flaming wheel

cathetometer instrument for measuring short vertical distances
cathexis investment of emotional energy in a thought or idea
cathisma short hymn used as response
cathisophobia fear of sitting
catholicon cure-all; panacea
catholicos primate of Armenian or Nestorian church
catogenic formed from above
catoptric of, like or pertaining to reflection or reflected light
catoptromancy divination by examining mirror placed underwater

caucus –

The noun caucus is a closed meeting of members from the same political party. The Iowa caucuses get a lot of attention during the presidential primary season.

Who knows how we got the noun caucus? One theory is that it comes from an Algonquin word that means an elder or leader of the tribe. Another theory is that the word comes from a social and political club in Boston in the 1700s that was perhaps named for the Greek word for drinking cup. However the word slipped into American English, today it refers to a closed political meeting, often used to choose party leaders.

caudal of, like or pertaining to the tail
caudiform tail-like; tail-shaped
caudle warm drink given to the sick
caul net or similar covering for the head; afterbirth
cauliform shaped like or resembling a stem
cauligenous originating on the stem of a plant
caulotaxy disposition and location of branches on a stem
cauponate to engage in questionable trade for the sake of gain
causative indicating causation by
causerie chat or gossip; short and informal essay
causidical of, like or pertaining to those who plead legal cases
causimancy divination by means of fire
cautelous treacherous; cunning; wily; cautious
cavaquinho four-stringed Brazilian ukulele
cavatina short operatic air

cavil – 1. to raise trivial objections

transitive verb

2. to quibble about: “Rose would cavil any prospective house without ample space for a garden.”


3. an evasion of the point of an argument by raising irrelevant distinctions or objections

additional noun form: caviler
Approximately 1548; borrowed from Middle French, ‘caviller’: to mock, to jest; from Latin, ‘cavillari’: to jeer, from ‘cavilla’: a jeering, scoffing, from ‘calvilla,’ related to ‘calumnia’: calumny.

cavort –

How to cavort, in one easy step: dance around all crazy, jumping on and over anything nearby like you just ate a lot of sugar. Give it a try!

Cavorting requires a good mood, lots of energy, and some running room. Children love to cavort, and so do parents when they win the lottery. The origins of the word are unclear, perhaps coming from the word curvet, meaning “leap gracefully or energetically,” and leaping is a great addition to any cavorting.

There are lots of synonyms, so if you ever get tired of cavorting, you could always prance, frolic, lark, rollick, romp, or carouse. The choice is yours.

cavernicolous cave-dwelling
caverniloquy cavernous voice of a patient heard over a patient’s lung cavity
cavernulous full of small cavities or holes
cavesson noseband for a horse
cavicorn hollow-horned
cavil to raise trivial and frivolous objections

ceasar salad – Caesar Cardini, Tijuana, Mexico restaurateur, created it from leftovers to serve an unexpected crowd

cebocephalic having a head shaped like a monkey’s
cecils minced meat made into balls and fried
cecity blindness
cecutiency a tendency toward blindness
cedilla mark placed under letter c to indicate pronunciation as s
cedrate citron
ceilometer instrument for measuring height of cloud ceiling above earth
celadon pale green; pale green glazed pottery
celation concealment
celesta keyboard instrument with hammers that strike on steel plates
celeste sky blue
celidography descriptions of markings on the sun, a planet or moon
cella inner chamber of a classical temple
cellarer monastery official in charge of provisions
cellaret case or drawer for holding wine bottles
celliferous bearing cells
celluliferous bearing little cells

celsius – Anders Celsius, Swedish astronomer (1701–1744)

celsitude loftiness
celt prehistoric bevelled-edge axe
celtuce lettuce with an edible stalk
cementatory having the quality of binding or uniting firmly
cementum hard tissue covering roots of teeth
cenacle meeting or dining room; group with common interests
cenacle room where the Last Supper was eaten
cenatory of, like or pertaining to supper
cendal silk fabric resembling taffeta
ceneromancy divination using ashes
cenobite monk; member of religious group
cenoby monastery or convent
cenophobia fear of empty spaces
cenote deep natural well
censer vessel for burning incense in religious rituals
centesimal counting or counted by hundreds or hundredths
centiloquy work consisting of one hundred aphorisms, attributed to Ptolemy
centner old unit of weight equal to about 110 pounds
cento patchwork composition; collection of short quotations
centrobaric of, like or pertaining to the centre of gravity
centuple hundred-fold
cep brown edible mushroom
cepaceous smelling or tasting of garlic or onion
cephalate having a head
cephaligation placing of major organs and bodily functions in the head
cephalonomancy divination by boiling an ass head
cephalophore decapitated saint depicted with head tucked under arm
cephalopod creature with tentacles or limbs attached to head
cepivorous onion-eating
ceraceous resembling wax
ceramography historical description of types of pottery
cerated covered with wax
ceratoid shaped like a horn; horny
ceraunograph instrument for recording thunder and lightning
ceraunomancy divination using thunderbolts
ceraunoscopy divination using lightning
cerberic vigilant; dragon-like; like Cerberus
cercopithecan of, like or pertaining to long-tailed monkeys
cercus tail-like appendage

cereal – Ceres, Roman goddess of agriculture

cerebration unconscious action of the brain
cerements clothes placed on a deceased individual
cerge large wax candle burned before the altar
ceriferous producing wax
cerise bright reddish-pink
cernuous drooping or hanging
cerography writing or printing on plates spread with wax
ceromancy divination by means of wax drippings
ceroscopy divination using wax
certes in truth; certainly
cerulean sky-blue; dark blue
cerumen ear wax
ceruminiferous bearing or yielding ear wax
cervelat short bassoon-like instrument
cervelat smoked pork sausage
cervelliere steel cap worn under a great helm
cervicide killing of a deer
cervicorn branching like antlers
cervine of, pertaining to or resembling deer, elk or moose
cervisial of, like or pertaining or pertaining to beer
cesious bluish-grey
cespitous composed of or resembling turf
cessionary someone to which something is ceded
cetacean type of aquatic mammal, including whales and dolphins
cete collective name for a group of badgers
ceticide killing of whales and other cetaceans
cetology study of whales and dolphins
cevesaile ornamental corner of a coat
chabouk horse-whip
chaconne Spanish baroque dance in triple time
chad bits of paper punched out of paper tape or cards
chaetiferous bearing bristles; bristly
chaetophorous in need of a shave
chaffer to bargain or haggle
chain unit of length equal to 22 yards
chaise light open carriage for one or two people
chalastic laxative
chalcography the art of engraving on copper or brass
chalcotriptics art of taking rubbings from ornamental brasses
chaldron old unit of dry volume equal to between 32 and 72 bushels
challis soft lightweight silk, wool or cotton fabric
chalypsography art of engraving on steel

chanticleer- the name of the rooster in medieval “Reynard the Fox” stories. The name means “sing loud” in Fr. (see also ‘bruin’). a rooster.

chambranle decoration around a door frame or fireplace
chambray lightweight fabric with coloured warp and white filling
chambré wine kept at room temperature
chamfer to channel or make furrows upon; to bevel
chamfrain piece of leather to protect a war horse’s face
chamois cotton fabric made in imitation of chamois leather
chamois goatlike antelope of mountainous regions of Europe
champaign level countryside or plain
champerty illegal contract to finance a lawsuit for a percentage fee
chancel part of church containing altar and seats for choir
chancery church office dealing with legal matters and archives
chandelle sharp upward turn in aviation
chantage blackmail to prevent exposure of scandalous facts
chanter part of bagpipes on which the melody is played
chanticleer a rooster
chantry chapel or altar built for prayers for its benefactor’s soul
chaology the study of chaos or chaos theory
chaomancy divination by examining phenomena of the air
chapbook small independently produced popular book
chaplet circlet or wreath for the head; short string of prayer beads
chaptalize to add extra sugar to wine to raise alcohol content
charabanc open tourist coach
characterology study of development of character
charientism expression of an unpleasant thing in an agreeable manner; euphemism
charivari cacophonous mock-serenade performed for wedding
chark to burn wood to charcoal
Charleston fast-paced 1920s dance characterized by energetic kicking
charmante silk fabric with a crepe back
charmeuse soft and satiny silk fabric
charnel room where corpses are placed
charnel hinge of a helmet for the visor
charpie shredded lint used to dress wounds
chartaceous papery
charterhouse Carthusian monastic building
chartreuse yellow-green colour
chary discreetly cautious or sparing
chasmogamy opening of a flower in order to be fertilized
chasmophile lover of nooks and crannies
chasmophilous fond of nooks, crevices and crannies
chasseur hunter; liveried hotel attendant
chasuble sleeveless ecclesiastical garment
chatelaine female castle owner, manager or caretaker
chatelaine ring attached to belt for carrying keys
chaton setting or stone of a finger-ring
chatoyant with a changing lustre; iridescent
chauffer small furnace

chauvanism – Nicolas Chauvin, fanatically devoted soldier under Napoleon; became an eponym when his name was used as a character in the Cogniard brothers’

play La Cocarde Tricolore (1831) – fanatical glorification of one’s country (not just “a generous belief in the greatness of one’s country”; “wildly

extravagant” – Prof. H. Tuttle)

chausses mail coverings for the lower legs and feet
chaussures general name for boots and shoes; footwear

Chawbacon – bumpkin; hick. The dialectal chaw means “chew.”

The current culinary prestige of bacon doesn’t make “bacon-chewer” seem like much of an insult, but chawbacon came into use back when bacon had a far

humbler status.

chawdron entrails
cheiloplasty plastic surgery on the lip
cheiloproclitic attracted to lips
cheliferous bearing pincers or claws
cheliform shaped like a pincer
chelonian of, like or pertaining to tortoises or turtles
chenille velvety silk, wool or cotton fabric with protruding pile
chernozem black earth typically found in cool grassland climates
chersonese peninsula
chesil gravel
chessel cheese-mould

chesterfield – Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield (1694-1773) – a type of sofa, large with upholstered arms

chevalet bridge of a stringed instrument
chevaline horse meat
chevaster double bandage for supporting chin in case of broken jaw
chevelure nebulous part of a comet
cheverel soft; flexible kidskin leather
chevet east end of a church
cheville unnecessary word used to extend line of verse
cheviot coarse heavy plain or twilled wool or worsted
chevisance resource; achievement; gain
chevon goat flesh
chevrotain small deer-like mammal
chevrotain small cloven-footed deerlike animal of southeast Asia
chiaroscuro juxtaposition of light and shade in artwork or literature
chiasmus contrast by parallelism in reverse order
chicanery clever but misleading talk; deception

chicken à la king – Foxhall Keene (invented by Delmonico’s restauraunt, NY; named for Keene; name changed over time)

chicken tetrazini – Luisa Tetrazzini, Ital soprano

chiffon sheer silk fabric
chiffonier chest of drawers
chignon knot or roll of hair worn at the back of the head
chilgoza edible pine seed
chiliad one thousand
chiliahedron one-thousand sided solid figure
chiliarchy government by one thousand people
chiliasm belief that Jesus will reign on Earth for a thousand years
chiliastic millenarian
chiliomb sacrifice of one thousand animals
chilopod multi-legged insect
chimere loose sleeveless robes worn by Anglican bishops

chimerical imaginary; fanciful
chimerical – Gk. chimaira, a fabulous monster (with a lion’s head, a goat’s body, and a serpent’s tail)
fantastic; wildly or vainly conceived; also given to unrealistic fantasies

chiminage toll paid for going through a forest
chinamania obsession with collecting china

chinchona – countess of Chinchón, wife of viceroy of Peru. Legend: when this bark cured her 1638 fever, she had more collected for malaria sufferers the

tree bark that yields quinine

chine backbone and adjoining flesh of an animal
chine the intersection of the middle and sides of a boat
chino strong twilled cotton cloth
chintz glazed printed cotton fabric
chionablepsia snow blindness
chiral of, like or pertaining to the hand or handedness
chirality chemical property of structural handedness
chirapsia massage
chirk cheer
chirm collective term for goldfinches
chirocosmetics beautifying the hands; art of manicure
chirocracy government by physical force
chirognomy divination by studying the hands
chirograph written or signed document
chirography study of handwriting or penmanship
chirogymnast finger exercise machine for pianists
chirology study of the hands
chiromancy divination by means of palmistry
chironomy gesticulation or mime
chiropody medical science of feet
chiropractic treatment of disorders of the locomotor system and spinal column
chiropterophilous pollinated or frequented by bats
chirosophy knowledge of palm-reading
chirospasm writer’s cramp
chirotony election by a show of hands
chiru straight-horned Tibetan antelope
chital Indian spotted deer
chitarrone long double-necked lute
chlamydate having a mantle or hood
chlamys horseman’s loose cloak
chlorochrous green-coloured
chlorometer instrument for measuring amount of chlorine in a solution
choanoid shaped like a funnel
chock metal casting with curved arms for passing ropes for mooring ship
choga loose Afghan dressing-gown
cholelithiasis production of gall stones
choliamb verse with an iambus in the fifth place and a spondee in the sixth
cholic of, like or pertaining to bile
choller double chin
chololith gall stone
chômage work stoppage or slump
chondrogenesis production of cartilage
chondroid like or resembling cartilage
choragus leader of a choir or organizer of musical festivals
chordee painful, downward-curving erection of the penis
choreomania dancing mania or frenzy
chorepiscopal of, like or pertaining to an early local bishop
choreutic of, like or pertaining to a chorus
chorisis multiplication of parts by branching or splitting
chorizont one who disputes identity of authorship
chorographer one who maps or describes a region
chorography written work or treatise on a region or district
chorology science of the geographic description of anything
chorometry land surveying
chouse to cheat; to swindle
chrematistic of, like or pertaining to the pursuit of wealth or to business
chrematistics the study of wealth; political economy
chrematophobia fear of money
chreotechnics useful or practical trades or arts
chrestomathic of, like or pertaining to useful knowledge
chrestomathy anthology of passages used in learning languages
chrism consecrated or holy oil
chrismation sacrament of baptism in Eastern churches
chrismatory vessel for holding holy oil
chrisom white robe put on newly baptised child
chrisomalis the loser who wrote this damn list
Christolatry worship of Christ
christophany appearance of Christ to men
chromatism presence of abnormal coloration
chromatocracy government by rulers of a particular skin colour
chromatograph instrument for performing chromatographic separations
chromatoptometer instrument measuring eyes’ sensitivity to colour
chromolithography art of printing in colour using stone
chromophilous staining easily
chromoxylography art of printing in colour using wood
chronobiology study of biological rhythms
chronogram inscription whose letters form a Roman numeral date
chronograph instrument for recording the moment of an event
chronography writing or written work describing chronological events
chronomancy divination by means of time
chronopher electrical instrument for transmitting time signals
chronoscope instrument for measuring very short time intervals
chronostichon chronogrammatic line or stanza
chronosynchronicity presentation of all stages of a person’s life in a single piece of art
chryselephantine inlaid with gold and ivory
chrysoaristocracy government by the wealthy; plutocracy
chrysochlorous greenish-gold
chrysocracy government by the wealthy; plutocracy
chrysography writing in gold or silver letters
chrysology study of precious metals
chrysophilist gold-lover
chrysopoetics transmutation of substances into gold
chrystocrene rock formation resembling glacier
chthonian of, like or pertaining to the earth or the underworld
chthonography written description of soils
chthonophagia eating dirt
chuckwalla herbivorous desert-dwelling lizard
churching church ceremony given to women after childbirth
churchism devotion to church rules over religious precepts

churrigueresque – José Benito Churriguera, Sp architect (1665–1725) – baroque architectural style characterized by elaborate surface decoration

chyle milky fluid secreted into blood by small intestine
chyliferous bearing chyle
chyme partially digested food
chymiferous bearing chyme
chypre mixture of resins used in making perfume
cibarious of, like or pertaining to food; useful for food
cibation taking food; feeding
cibophobia fear of or distaste for food
ciborium freestanding canopy to cover altar; vessel for holding eucharistic bread
cicatrization scarification; production of marks upon

cicerone guide; tour guide
cicerone – It Cicerone, Cicero – a guide who conducts sightseers

cicisbeo male companion of a married woman
ciconine of, like or pertaining to storks
cienega marsh or swamp
cilice haircloth shirt worn as penance
cillosis spasm or twitch in the upper eyelid
cimelia treasures in storage
cimeliarch church vestry or treasury
cimex bedbug
cimicide substance used to kill bed-bugs
cimier crest of helmet; removable heraldic device or favour of courtly love

Cimmerian – Gk Kimmerioi, a mythical people – very dark or gloomy

cincture to gird or surround; belt worn around ecclesiastical vestment

cinderella – the fairy-tale character. one suddenly lifted from obscurity to honor or significance

cineast one who takes artistic interest in motion pictures
cinerarium container for cremated ashes
cinerary of, like or pertaining to ashes
cinerious ashen; ash-grey
cingular shaped like a girdle or ring
cingulum girdle or girdle-like structure; priest’s belt
cinnabar red crystalline mercuric sulfide pigment; deep red or scarlet colour
cinque-pace lively medieval dance with five steps
ciplinarian one who teaches disorder
cipolin white marble streaked with green
cippus small column used to mark burial location
cippus the stocks
circa about; around
circadian occurring every 24 hours

Circean – enchantress Circe of Homer’s Odyssey, who first charmed her victims and then changed them to the forms of beasts. pleasing, but noxious; as, a

Circean draught

circinate ring-shaped; rolled inwards; spiralling
circiter about; around
circuity motion in a roundabout course
circumambagious roundabout in speech
circumambient going round about; encompassing
circumaviate to fly around
circumbendibus a roundabout way or expression
circumcrescent growing around; above or over
circumduct to cause to revolve around an imaginary axis
circumflex accent mark placed above vowel to indicate sound change
circumforaneous wandering about as from market to market
circumforentor surveyor’s instrument used to measure angles
circumfulgent shining about or around
circumfuse to pour around or about
circumincession the reciprocal existence of three parts of the Trinity in each other
circumjacent bordering on every side
circumlittoral around or near the shore

circumlocution –

Circumlocution is a long, complicated word which means a long, complicated way of expressing something. To cut to the chase, circumlocution means to beat

around the bush.

Circumlocution comes from the Latin words circum, “circle,” and loqui, “to speak.” So circumlocution is speaking in circles, going round and round in a

wordy way without ever getting to the heart of the matter. It’s an evasive style of argument, best employed when you really don’t want to say what’s on

your mind.

circumpose to place around
circumvallate to surround with a rampart or fortification
circumvolution anything winding or sinuous
cire fabric with a glazed finish
cirrate having tendrils
cirriped barnacle or other parasitic crustacean
ciselure the art of chasing metal
cismarine on this or the near side of the ocean
cismontane on this or the near side of the mountains
cispontine on this or the near side of a bridge
cist tomb consisting of stone chest covered with stone slabs
cisvestism wearing strange or inappropriate clothes
cithara ancient Greek musical instrument like a lyre
citigrade moving quickly
citreous lemon-coloured; lemony
citrine dark greenish-yellow
cittosis abnormal desire for strange foods
civet long-tailed catlike carnivorous mammal with musk glands
cladistics taxonomic theory distinguishing by common ancestor
cladogenesis origin and evolution as if branching from common ancestor
cladoptosis annual shedding of twigs and branches
cladose branching; branched
clamancy urgency
clamant loud; insistent; urgent

clamor –

To clamor is to make a demand — LOUDLY. It’s usually a group that clamors — like Americans might clamor for comprehensive health care coverage.

The noun clamor is often used specifically to describe a noisy outcry from a group of people, but more generally, the word means any loud, harsh sound. You

could describe the clamor of sirens in the night or the clamor of the approaching subway in the tunnel.

clangor loud ringing noise or clang
claptrap showy language designed to gain praise; nonsense
claque group of hired applauders or sycophants
clarence four-wheeled carriage
clarigate to declare war formally
classis a group; governing body of Reformed churches
clastic able to be disassembled into its component parts
clatfart idle chatter; nonsense
clathrate shaped like a net or lattice
clathrose marked with latticed lines or grooves
claudent closing; ending; confining
claudication limpness; cramp-like pain
claustral cloistral; secluded; narrow-minded
claustration the act of shutting in a cloister
claustrophobia fear of closed spaces
clavate club-shaped
claver gossip
claviature keyboard
clavichord old keyboard stringed instrument
clavicylinder square keyboard instrument whose sound produced from a glass cylinder
clavicymbal old name for a harpsichord
claviform in the shape of a club
clavigerous club-bearing
clavigerous keeping keys
claviole keyed string instrument
clavis key; glossary; index; legend

cleave –

Cleave, a verb, has two very different meanings. It can describe cutting or splitting something apart with a sharp instrument, or — oddly enough — it can

describe sticking to something like glue.

To cleave or not to cleave, that is the question. Cleave can refer to being in close contact, to staying really, really close to someone or something: “If

you are walking in the pitch-black woods without a flashlight, you want to cleave to the person in front of you.” On the other hand, it can mean to split

apart with a sharp tool — which is not the action you want to happen while walking in the woods. We’ve seen that movie.

cledonism circumlocution used to avoid speaking unlucky words
cleg horse-fly
cleidomancy divination using keys
cleithral completely roofed over
clem to starve

(n.) mercy (After he forgot their anniversary, Martin could only beg Maria for clemency.)

clepe to name; to call
clepsydra instrument which measures time by trickling water
clerestory upper storey of a church; windows near the roof of a building

clerihew jingle summing up person’s life in two couplets
clerihew – Edmund Clerihew Bentley, Br writer (1875–1956). a witty verse, of two rhyming couplets, on a person named in one of the rhymes

clerisy scholars and educated people as a class
cleromancy divination using dice
cleronomy inheritance
clevis U-shaped fastener with pin used to close the open end
clew corner of sail with hole to attach ropes
clicket a latch
clientage the whole number of one’s clients
climacophobia fear of falling down stairs
climacteric critical time in a person’s life; any critical turning point
climatarchic presiding over a climate or region of the earth
climatography description of the climate of a region
clinamen inclination; bias; prejudice
clinkstone type of igneous rock that rings when struck
clinology study of aging or individual decline after maturity
clinomania excessive desire to stay in bed
clinometer instrument used to measure slopes and elevations
clinophilia passion for beds
clinophobia fear of staying in bed
clinquant tinselly; glittering

cliometrics the application of statistics in economic history
cliometrics – Clio, Gk muse of history. study of history using mathematical and economic models and analysis

clitellum raised band encircling an earthworm’s body
clithridiate shaped like a keyhole
clitter to make a shrill rattling noise

clivose hilly; steep

Driving through a hilly Road
cloaca sewer; toilet; cesspool of moral filth

clochard tramp; vagrant; hobo

clodhopper – a clumsy, coarse person, esp. a rustic (also, a big heavy shoe)

Short Story describing the meaning of the word Clod is given at


clodpated – stupid; dull; doltish

cloisonné (pronounced klwaazonay) – a kind of decorative enamelwork: areas are outlined by metal filaments mounted on a backing, and are then filled in

with enamel of different colors

cloisters (etymology) – from the same Latin root as claustrophobic

cloud-cuckoo-land – someone is said to live in cloud-cuckoo-land when they seem optimistically out of touch with reality

clowder – a group or cluster of cats

cloyne – to act deceitfully or fraudulently, to cheat, deceive. hence cloyning – to have a secret understanding, to conspire. also: to take cunningly,

furtively, or fraudulently; to grab.

cluricaune – akin to a leprechaun, but much worse. Leprechauns make shoes. A cluricaune drinks – and thus endangers the stock of any pub he inhabits. “A

cluricaune is a walking thirst.” – Spider Robinson

clyster – 1. a suppository or an edema 2. obsolete: a contemptuous name for a medical practitioner

cockaigne – in peasant legend of middle ages: an imaginary country of abundant food and of idle luxury. fig: a place of overflowing abundance. [apparently

from older words for cook and cake]

cockatrice – a serpent, hatched from a cock’s egg, having the power to kill by its glance.

cockerel – a young domestic cock

cloison partition; dividing band
clonic spasmodic; occasional; irregular
cloque fabric with an embossed design
cloture means of ending legislative debate
clou main point of interest; dominant idea
clough ravine; trench; gully
clove old weight of seven to ten pounds for wool or cheese
clowder collective term for cats
clupeoid like or resembling a herring
clypeate shaped like a buckler
clysmian of, like or pertaining to or caused by flood
clyster enema
cnemial of, like, or pertaining to the tibia (shin-bone)
cnemis shin bone
cnicnode point where tangents form a cone of the second order
cnidarian of, like, or pertaining to invertebrates such as jellyfish and anemones
coacervate to heap; to cause to mass together
coadjument mutual assistance
coadjutor bishop assisting a diocesan bishop and having the right of succession
coadunate to unite; to combine
coagment to join or cement together
coalize to bring into coalition
coaming raised edge around ship’s hatches to keep water out
coaptation joining or fitting together
coarctation constriction
cobaltiferous bearing cobalt

cobb salad – invented in 1926 by Bob Cobb, owner of the Brown Derby restaurant in Los Angeles

coburg thin single-twilled worsted fabric with cotton or silk
cocarde emblem on airplane’s wing indicating its nationality
cocciferous bearing or yielding berries
coccineous bright red
cochlear anything spiral-shaped; twisted spirally
cockalorum boastful and self-important person
cockamamie ridiculous; incredible
cocker to pamper; to indulge
cocket official shipping seal; customs clearance form
cockloft small room just under the roof
cockshy object of criticism or ridicule
cocotte prostitute; a flirt or tease
coctile baked; hardened by fire
codicil supplement to a will
codicology study of manuscripts
codling unripe apple
codon mouth of a trumpet or bell

codswallop something utterly senseless; nonsense
codswallop – One theory: Hiram Codd, 1838-1887, Eng inventor of a type of soft-drink bottle (‘wallop’ being slang for beer). nonsense (Brit slang)

coehorn small mortar for throwing grenades
coelacanth lobe-finned fish long thought to be extinct
coeliac of, like or pertaining to the abdomen
coelom body cavity; abdomen
coemption purchase of the entire supply of a commodity
coenaculous fond of dining; relishing food; especially suppers
coenaesthesis sensation
coercimeter instrument for measuring coercive force
coetaneous of the same age; coeval
coeval of the same length of time; having the same duration
cofferdam narrow vacant space between two bulkheads of a ship
coffle gang of slaves tied together
coffret small coffer; presentation box
cog single-masted, square-sailed ship with raised stern

cogent convincing; compelling
(adj.) intellectually convincing (Irene’s arguments in favor of abstinence were so cogent that I could not resist them.)

When you make a cogent argument, it means your argument is clear and persuasive. In these days of 24-hour entertainment news and sound-bite sized

explanations of complex government policy, it’s hard to find a cogent argument amidst all the emotional outbursts.

Cogent comes from a Latin word meaning to drive together, so cogent thinking is well-organized: it hangs together. If you try to convince your mayor to

build a new park by saying that playgrounds are good, seeing the sky is nice, and raccoons are cool…well that’s not a cogent argument; it’s just random.

But you could cogently argue that parks contribute to civic happiness by providing space for exercise, community, and encounters with nature.

coggage paper
cogitabund meditative; engaged in deep thought

cognizant –

If you are cognizant of what’s going on at the table behind you in the lunchroom, that means you know they’re plotting to throw peas at your head. If you

are cognizant of something, you are aware of or informed about it.

This 19th century adjective derives from Latin cognoscere “to learn.” For the English adjective and noun, an older pronunciation with a silent g was in use

in legal contexts up until the early 20th century. In law, these terms refer to jurisdiction, or the right of a court to hear a case.

cognomen family name
cohibit to restrain
cohobate to redistill
cohyponym word which is one of multiple hyponyms of another word
coif iron skull-cap
coign angle; viewpoint
coinstantaneous simultaneous; at the same time
col depression or pass in a mountain range
colation filtration
coleopterology study of beetles and weevils
coliform resembling or shaped like a sieve
collectanea collection of passages; miscellany
collectic adhesive; sticky
collectivism doctrine of communal control of means of production
colleger mortar-board
collegialism theory that church is independent from the state
colliform shaped like or resembling a neck
colligation bringing or binding together; conjunction
collimation making parallel; adjusting to put into line
colliquation the process of melting or wasting away
collocation the placing of things together
collogue to converse confidentially; to conspire with
colloid jelly-like
colloquy speaking together; mutual discourse
colluctation strife; opposition
collutory mouthwash
colluvies accumulated filth; foul discharge
collyrium eye lotion or ointment
colobus long-tailed African monkey
colocolo wild South American cat

Colonel Blimp – Colonel Blimp, cartoon character created by David Low. and elderly pompous reactionary

colonnade row of evenly spaced column or trees
colonoscope instrument for viewing the colon
colophon publisher’s emblem or inscription in a book
colorimeter instrument for measuring and determining color
colostrum mother’s first milk
colporteur peddler of religious tracts and books
colposcope instrument for viewing the neck of the uterus

colt – Am Samuel Colt (1814-62), its Am inventor. a type of revolver (firearms. trademark?)

coltish – with the enthusiastic awkwardness of youth (almost always applied to a female, with implications of budding sexuality)

Changeful, bad-tempered, cheerful, awkward graceful with the tart grace of her coltish subteens, excruciatingly desirable from head to foot …
– Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita

Seventh-graders – coltish legs, budding breasts that hardly bounced as they ran. … most retained an endearing, child-like quality. Not yet women, but no

longer girls. Innocent, at least for a while.

colubriform shaped like a snake
colubrine like a snake; cunning; of, like or pertaining to snakes
colugo flying lemur
columbaceous of, like or pertaining to doves or pigeons
columbarium a structure of vaults lined with recesses
columbine of or like a dove; dove-coloured
columella fleshy part of nose that separates nostrils
colure celestial circle that intersects another at the poles
colytic restraining; preventative
comate hairy
comb ridge atop a helmet
comb-cap ridged helmet
comburent burning; causing combustion
comburivorous consuming by fire
comedogenic causing blackheads

commensurate –

The word commensurate has to do with things that are similar in size and therefore appropriate. Many people think the death penalty is a commensurate

punishment for murder. In other words, the penalty fits the crime.

When things are commensurate, they’re fair, appropriate, and the right size. If you got a ticket for jaywalking, you shouldn’t get ten years in prison —

that penalty is not commensurate with the crime. The word commensurate is usually followed by with or to; one thing is commensurate with or to another.

comephorous bearing or having hair; hairy
cometography scientific description of comets
cometology study of comets
comiphorous tufted
comitative indicating accompaniment
comitatus band of warriors who escort a prince; a county or shire
comity courteousness; civility
commatic divided into short lines; divided with commas

commensal – adjective

1. eating together at the same table: “Victor was sure that if he could organize some form of commensal activity between his boss and the rival CEO, their

animosity would melt a bit and their common interests would surface.”

2. (as in biology) a symbiotic relationship in which one species lives with another, deriving some benefit, while the other is unaffected

3. (as is sociology) not competing or warring while residing in or occupying an area with another person or group having different values or customs


4. a companion joining another person or group at a table

5. an organism participating in a symbiotic relationship with a member of another species in which one derives some benefit while the other is unaffected

noun forms: commensalism, commensality
adverb form: commensally
Approximately 1400; Middle English, ‘commensal’: sharing a meal; derived from Medieval Latin, ‘commensalis’ (prefix, ‘com’: together, joint + ‘mensa’:


commination threatening; denunciation
comminute to reduce or break into minute particles
commis assistant; deputy; apprentice
commissure joint; joining surface
commonalty common people; the general populace
commonefaction act of reminding or admonishing
commonition warning; cautioning
commonitive serving as a reminder
commorant resident of an institution
commorient dying together
commove to excite; to put into motion; to disturb
comose having tufts of hair; tufted; hairy
compaginate to join; to connect
companionway stairs from upper deck of ship to lower deck
compaternity spiritual relationship between child’s parents and godparents
compeer one who is equal in rank; a companion
compellation the act of addressing someone
compellative indicating address or appellation; vocative
compendious concise but comprehensive
comper one who habitually enters many competitions
comperendinate to delay or defer
compital of, like or pertaining to crossroads
complaisant wishing to please others; obliging
complanate level
complect to embrace; to interweave
complicant overlapping
compline prayer service held just before bedtime
complot to plot or conspire
comport a dish with a stemmed base for serving desserts
compossible possible in coexistence with something else
compotation an act of carousing in company
comprecation prayer meeting

compunction regret; remorse
compunction – When you feel compunction you feel very, very sorry, usually for something you did to hurt someone or mess something up. When you feel no

compunction, you’re not at all sorry.

The noun compunction comes from the Latin verb compungere, meaning “prick sharply.” When you feel compunction, you feel a sharp prick of your conscience.

The word compunction is often used in the negative in phrases like “without compunction” or “no compunction.” You might say that the burglar acted without

compunction when he stole your baseball card collection.

compurgation clearing an accused person by means of oaths
compusion wrinkling one’s face

comstockery censorship of lewd and salacious material
comstockery – Anthony Comstock (1844-1915), self-appointed Am crusader against immorality. censorship on basis of immorality or obscenity (coined by George

Bernard Shaw)

(n.) puzzle, problem (Interpreting Jane’s behavior was a constant conundrum.)

conation mental effort towards a goal, desire, purpose
conative of, like or pertaining to purposeful action or desire
conatus a natural impulse or tendency
concameration vaulting
concelebrate to jointly recite the canon of the Eucharist in unison with others
concent a harmony or concord of sounds or voices
conceptualism theory that universal truths exist as mental concepts
concertina accordion-like instrument with two sets of keys
concetto ingenious expression; witticism
conchiferous bearing a shell
conchiform shaped like a shell
conchology study of shells
conchomancy divination using shells
conchyliferous bearing a shell
conciliabule secret meeting of conspirators
concinnity harmony; congruity; elegance
concipient conceiving
concision schism; separation; division
conclamation a shout of many voices together
concolorate having the same colour on both sides

concomitant accompanying
(adj.) accompanying in a subordinate fashion (His dislike of hard work carried with it a concomitant lack of funds.)
Concomitant means accompanying. If you run into someone that you have a crush on you might feel nervousness with a concomitant forgetfulness.

Concomitant is one of those Latin-based words you can break down into little pieces: con means with, and comit means companion. So something that is

concomitant is like the companion of the main event. If you start training really hard at the gym, the main effect is that you become stronger, but there

are concomitant effects, like better circulation, or a rosy glow, or getting happy from all those endorphins you’re releasing.

concordat agreement between the pope and a secular government
concresce to grow together; coalesce
concrew to grow together
concubitant of a suitable age for marriage
concupiscence strong desire, appetite or lust
condign well-deserved; fitting; appropriate
confabulate to chat; to invent past experiences
confelicitous taking pleasure in others’ happiness
conferva green algae that floats on surface of stagnant water
confirmand candidate for religious confirmation
confiteor prayer of confession of sins
conflate blend or fuse together
conformative indicating resemblance; similative
confute to disprove or overcome through argument
congee permission to depart; dismissal; discharge
congelation act of freezing something into a solid state
congener something of the same kind or nature
congeries aggregation; collection
congiary gift distributed amongst the people or soldiers
conglobate shaped like a small ball or globe
conglobe to gather together into a globe or round mass
conglutinate to glue or join together

congruity –

Congruity is a quality of agreement and appropriateness. When there’s congruity, things fit together in a way that makes sense. If a team has congruity,

the players work together well, even if they don’t win.

The word congruity is from the Old French congruité for “relevance and appropriateness.” Students reading quietly in a library is an example of congruity.

A clown juggling fire in a library would be an incongruity, which is when things don’t fit together. A well-decorated room, where the colors complement

each other, has congruity. Wearing a tuxedo to a classical music concert shows congruity: wearing a tux to a heavy metal concert would not.

coniaker coin counterfeiter
coniferous bearing cones

(n.) great fire (The conflagration consumed the entire building.)
A conflagration isn’t just a few flames; it’s an especially large and destructive fire that causes devastation.

That tiny campfire that somehow turned into a raging forest inferno? You could call that intense, uncontrolled blaze a conflagration. Mrs. O’Leary’s cow

knew a thing or two about conflagrations: It was that unknowing animal that kicked over a kerosene lamp in the night, setting the O’Leary’s barn on fire

and sending four square miles of the Windy City into that blistering conflagration known as the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.

conification making conical or pyramidal in shape
connate congenitally or firmly united

connive –

To connive is to plan or plot to do something illegal or wrong. Conniving is considered dishonest and cowardly.

If someone accuses you of conniving, that’s definitely not a compliment. Conniving usually occurs in secret, and people who connive are up to no good.

Criminals planning a bank robbery are conniving. Crooked politicians looking for a bribe are conniving. Villains connive, and conniving is associated with

conspiracies and dishonesty. The opposite of conniving is being honest and straightforward.

connubial of, like or pertaining to marriage
connumerate to count together
consciuncle pedantic or hair-splitting conscience
consectary deduction; conclusion or corollary; consequent
consecution logical sequence or progression of an argument
consenescence state of general decay
consentaneous accordant or agreeable; consistent
consentient unanimous; of one accord

12 unanymous decision skmclasses Bangalore
consequentialism doctrine that morality of actions is determined by their consequences
consilience concurrence; coincidence
consilient having common inferences drawn from different premises
consistory a solemn assembly or council; a church tribunal
consociate to ally or associate
conspecies different species that are part of the same genus
conspectus comprehensive survey; synopsis; summary
conspue to despise; to abhor; to loathe
conspurcation defilement
constate to assert
constative capable of being true or false
constellate to cluster; to compel by stellar influence
constringe to draw together; to cause to contract or shrink
constructivism belief that knowledge and reality do not have an objective value

construe – If you interpret something or make sense of it, you construe its meaning. If the new girl in your class asks to sit with you at lunch, you could

construe that she wants to be friends. You can never have too many friends!

To make an assumption based on evidence is to construe. You could construe that eating an entire box of cookies might make you feel a bit sick. And you

might not want to eat them again for a very long time. The opposite of construe is misconstrue, which means to falsely or wrongly interpret. If you get a

poor grade on an essay, you shouldn’t construe that your teacher dislikes you. If you do, you misconstrue your work for his feelings.

constuprate to ravish
consuetude custom; familiarity
consuetudinary book of customs, traditions and principles
consultor advisor to a Catholic bishop
contabescent wasting away; atrophied
conteck strife
contect to cover or overlay
contemn to despise or scorn
contemnor one found guilty of contempt of court
contemper to blend together; to adapt
contenement property necessary to maintain one’s station
contesseration forming a union by breaking a tablet as token
contextualism doctrine that context is essential to establishing meaning
conticent silent
contignation joining together of timber
contline space between casks or strands of rope
contorniate having a groove around the edge
contorno contour or outline
contra against
contractile having the power or property of contracting
contradistinguish to distinguish by contrasting qualities
contrahent a contracting party
contrail condensation trail
contrair against
contranatant swimming upstream
contraplex having messages passing both ways simultaneously
contraposition opposition; contrast

contrarian fund manager
contrariant opposed or acting contrary to; one who is opposed to something

contrarian ways of teaching children crochety
contraterrene opposite in character to earthly or terrestrial

Contrarian watch crochety
contravallation fortification built around besieged place

contravene –

To contravene means to go against or defy. You might contravene your parents’ ban on sweets when your friend offers to share her candy because chocolate

tastes too good to resist!

If you contravene something in practice, you act in direct violation of a particular law or rule. Think about the times when someone has told you not to

cross a line and you do anyway. You can also contravene in words though, which means you contradict or argue against a statement. Let’s say you’re debating

gun control. If your opponent says that for the safety of all, it should be legal to carry a concealed weapon wherever you go, you might answer that the

more concealed weapons there are, the more violence. You are contravening your opponent’s argument.

contredanse folk dance in which two lines of couples face each other
contretemps embarrassing occurrence; mishap
contrist to sadden

contrite –

We are sorry to inform you that the adjective contrite means to feel regret, remorse, or even guilt.

Someone who feels remorse or guilt is contrite and in addition to feeling sorry, part of the definition includes wanting to atone for having done something

wrong. The word comes from the Latin roots com- meaning “together” and terere which means “to rub.” It’s also related to the Latin word conterere and is

defined as “to bruise.” In the field of theology being contrite is “being remorseful for past sin and resolved to avoid future sin.”
(adj.) penitent, eager to be forgiven (Blake’s contrite behavior made it impossible to stay angry at him.)

contriturate to pulverize
contubernal living together in the same tent; cohabiting
contumacious stubborn; obstinate; opposing lawful authority
contumely insolence; a scornful insult
contumulation lying in the same tomb as another

contusion –

Contusion is really just a fancy word for a bad bruise. Professional athletes are often benched suffering from contusions. After all, if they’re being paid

millions, it sounds kinda wimpy to pull them because they’re suffering from a…bruise.

A contusion is any damage to the body that doesn’t break the skin but ruptures the blood capillaries beneath, resulting in a handsome-looking

discoloration. For once, it’s a medical term not used widely to describe a broader emotional or psychological state. You could talk about an “emotional

contusion,” but please, better not to. There are better terms around (see heartbroken, wounded, forlorn, etc.). Your audience will thank you.

conurbation city surrounded by many urban areas
conure tropical parrot-like bird of Central and South America
convenances what is suitable or proper; the required proprieties
conventicle secret or illegal church assembly
convicinity neighbourhood

convivial –

Use the adjective convivial to describe your friend who is “the life of the party.”

The Latin word convivium means “a feast,” and when convivial was first coined in the 1660s, its meaning related to the excess of food and drink during such

celebrations. You can also see convivial in convivere, meaning “to carouse together.” Just when it seemed all convivial could ever do was describe people

who overindulge, a new shade of meaning emerged: loving to be around people. After all, a big part of feasting is being with people you care about.

convolve to roll together

cook’s tour – Thomas Cook, Eng travel agent (1808–1892). a quick tour or survey, with attention only to the main features

copacetic very satisfactory; fine
coparcenary joint heirship or ownership
cophosis deafness
coprolalia pathological use of obscene language
coprolith ball of hardened feces
coprology study of pornography
copromania obsession with feces
coprophagous eating feces
coprophemia obscene language
coprophilia abnormal love or fondness for feces
coprostatis constipation
copyhold land tenure dependent on will of the lord of the manor
coquelicot brilliant red; poppy red
coquicide killing of a cook
coquillage shell-like decoration
coracoid shaped like a crow’s beak
coralliferous bearing coral
coralligenous producing coral
coram in the presence of; before
corban offering to God in fulfilment of a vow
corbeau blackish green
corbeil basket filled with earth used as a missile
corbel bracket or projection from the face of a wall
corbiculate like a small basket
cordage ropes in the rigging of a ship
cordate heart-shaped
cordiform heart-shaped
cordovan soft goatskin leather
cordwainer shoemaker
corella cockateel
corf miner’s basket, trolley or wagon
coriaceous having a leathery appearance; consisting, of, like or pertaining to leather
corium skin layer
corm swollen subterranean part of a stem
cornet military rank of horn-bearer or standard-bearer
cornice moulding at the junction of ceiling and walls
corniculate horn-shaped; horned
cornific producing or forming horns
corniform shaped like a horn
cornigerous horned
cornuted cuckolded
cornuto cuckolder
coronach funeral dirge
coronagraph instrument for viewing the corona of the sun
coronoid shaped like a beak
corpocracy government by corporate bureaucrats
corporal white cloth on which Communion bread and wine are placed
corposant St. Elmo’s fire or similar electrical discharge

corpulence –

Corpulence is a word for excessive weight. The Latin word “corpus” means “body,” and corpulence is when someone has a lot of body, in other words, they’re


The word corpulence is old-fashioned, but it refers to something all too modern — the quality of being very overweight. This is much more than being a

little overweight. One of Santa Claus’ main features is his corpulence. Unfortunately, corpulence is a quality that many people have, and it poses many

health risks.

corrade to wear away through the action of loose solids
correption shortening in pronunciation
corrigendum something which requires correction
corrivate to cause to flow together
corrody right of lord to demand free lodging from vassal
corsetier corset maker
corslet armour for the torso
cortege train of attendants; procession
cortinate like a cobweb
coruscate to sparkle; to throw off flashes of light
corvette highly manoeuvrable armed escort ship
corviform shaped like a crow
corvine crow-like; of, like or pertaining to crows or ravens
corybantic wildly excited; frenzied
coryphaeus spokesman; leader of a chorus
coscinomancy divination using a sieve and a pair of shears
cosher to live on dependents
cosmarchy rulership over the entire world, esp. by the devil
cosmetology study of cosmetics
cosmism belief that the cosmos is a self-existing whole
cosmocrat ruler of the world
cosmogenic produced by interaction of cosmic rays with earth’s surface
cosmogony theory of the origin of the universe
cosmography description of the universe or cosmos
cosmolatry worship of the world
cosmoplastic moulding or shaping the universe
cosmorama a view of different parts of the world
cosmosophy knowledge of the cosmos
cosmotellurian of, like or pertaining to both heaven and earth
cosmotheism the belief that identifies God with the cosmos
cosset to fondle or pamper
costal of, like or pertaining to the ribs
costellate ribbed
costive affected with or causing constipation
coteau uplands; higher ground of a region
cotehardie medieval long close-fitting garment with tight sleeves
coterie a social or literary circle
cothurnal of, like or pertaining to tragedy
coticular of, like or pertaining to whetstones
cotillion elaborate ballroom dance with frequent changes of partner
cotquean man who does women’s work
cotta short surplice worn over a cassock
cottar medieval peasant inhabiting a cottage
cottonocracy government by those involved in the cotton trade
cotyliform disc-shaped with a raised rim
couchant in heraldry, an animal lying on its belly with head lifted
couchee evening reception
coulée steep and dry gully
couloir gully
coulombmeter instrument for measuring electric charge
coulometer instrument measuring amount of substance released in electrolysis
coulrophobia fear of clowns
coulter iron cutter in front of a ploughshare
countenance approve of; condone; encourage
counterblast a defiant pronouncement or denunciation
counterfoil part of ticket or cheque retained by giver
countermand to revoke an order by a contrary order
counterphobic seeking out situation that is feared
counterscarp narrow earth band on the outer wall of a defensive ditch
coupe four-wheeled closed horse-drawn carriage
courante quick Italian baroque dance involving running steps
courgette zucchini
couter armor for the elbow
couvade symptoms of pregnancy suffered by the father

covet –

If you covet something, you eagerly desire something that someone else has. If it’s 95 degrees out and humid, you may find yourself coveting your

neighbor’s air conditioner.

If the word covet sounds familiar, you’re thinking of the Tenth Commandment: “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house, thou shalt not covet thy

neighbor’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbor’s.” Basically this means you should

be happy with your electronic gadgets and not be jealous when a friend gets something better.

couveuse incubator for babies
covinous fraudulent
cowcat person whose function is to occupy space
coxalgia hip pain
coxcomb foolishly vain or conceited man
coypu large aquatic South American rodent
cozen to coax or deceive by trickery
crachoir spittoon
crackjaw hard to pronounce
crambo game in which rhyme must be found for given word
cramoisy crimson
crampon boot-spike for rock and ice climbing
craniometer instrument for measuring the skull
crapehanger pessimist

crapper – Non-eponym, but often mis-attributed to Thomas Crapper, Br plumber and inventor (1836–1910). toilet

crapulent physically ill through overeating or overdrinking
craquelure fine cracking that appears in old paintings
crash coarse drapery and towelling fabric
crasis blending; melding two vowels into a diphthong
crassilingual having a thick tongue
crassitude state of being coarse, gross or crass
crateriform cup-shaped
cratometer instrument for measuring power of magnification

craven – adjective

1. lacking even the rudiments of courage; abjectly fearful; ‘a craven proposal to raise the white flag’: “Instead of fighting, his craven goonies just

turned and ran.”


2. an abject coward

adverb form: cravenly
noun form: cravenness
Approximately 1200; from Middle English, ‘cravant’: vanquished; possibly from Old French, ‘crevante,’ or ‘crevant,’ present participle of ‘crever’: to

burst, to rattle; from Latin, ‘crepare’: to break, to crack.

creancer guardian or mentor
creant creating; formative
creatic of, like or pertaining to flesh
creatophagous carnivorous; flesh-eating
crebrous frequent
credal of, like or pertaining to a creed
credence small table for holding sacred vessels
credenda things to be believed
credenza credence table or shelf; a sideboard
credo concise statement of doctrine; section of Mass followed by offertory

(n.) readiness to believe (His credulity made him an easy target for con men.)

cremaillere zigzag line of fortification
cremaster muscle by which the testicles are suspended
cremnophobia fear of cliffs and precipices
crenate scalloped
crenel open space on a parapet used for launching projectiles at enemies
crenellated notched; having battlements
crenitic of, like or pertaining to mineral springs
creophagous flesh-eating; carnivorous
crepance sore on a horse’s hind ankle-joint
crepe light crinkled fabric

crepehanger pessimist; gloomy person
Crepehanger – killjoy; someone who takes a pessimistic view of things. Black crepe fabric was once an important part of mourning ritual. It was sewn into dresses and veils, wrapped in bands around hats and arms, and draped over doors.

We can speculate that to those who started using this insult, a crepehanger was a “killjoy” almost in a literal sense – the sort of person who took pleasure in a funeral.

crepehanger worrisome woman

Short Story describing Crepenhanger Woman is at https://nicewemen.wordpress.com/crepehanger-pessimist-gloomy-woman/


crepitate to crackle; to snap; to rattle
crepitus fart
crepon heavy crepe fabric with lengthwise crinkles
crepuscular of, like or pertaining to twilight
crescive growing; increasing
crescograph instrument for measuring the growth of plants
cresset iron basket for burning oil to provide light
cretaceous of or resembling chalk; of a whitish colour
cretify to change into calcium or lime; to fossilize
cretonne heavy cotton or linen cloth
crewel fine worsted yarn used in tapestry
criant garish; discordantly coloured
cribble to decorate wood or metal with small dots or punctures
cribration sifting
cribriform shaped like a sieve
cribrous perforated or punctured like a sieve
cricoid ring-shaped
criminogenic causing crime
criminology study of crime; criminals
crin horsehair fabric
crinal of or related to the hair
crinet armour for the top and sides of a horse’s neck
cringle loop at corner of sail to which a line is attached
crinigerous hairy
crinoline stiff flax or cotton fabric
criophore sculpture of a man carrying a ram

crisscross – Christ’s cross, common on hornbooks in elementary education

crista ridge or fold resembling a crest
crithomancy divination by strewing meal over sacrifices
criticaster inferior or petty critic
critomancy divination using viands and cakes
croceate saffron-coloured
croche knob at top of a deer’s horn

croesus – legendary king Croesus of Lydia (died ~547 BC), of huge wealth. a man of extreme wealth

cromlech prehistoric stone circle
cromnyomancy divination using onions
croquinole curling of one’s hair with curling iron
crosier pastoral staff or crook held by bishop or abbot
crosslet small cross with crossed arms used as heraldic bearing
crosstrees horizontal crosspieces at a masthead used to support ship’s mast
crotal small spherical bell
crotaline of, like or pertaining to rattlesnakes
crotchet square bracket
croze groove in the staves of a cask
crubeen term for pig’s feet as food
cruciferous bearing a cross
cruciform cross-shaped
cruentation leaking or oozing of blood from dead body
cruet vessel used in religious ceremonies, especially to hold the Eucharist
cruive pen or sty for animals
crumenal a purse
crupper strap of saddle that passes beneath horse’s tail; armour for horse’s flanks
crural of or belonging to the leg
cruset goldsmith’s crucible
crwth Welsh six-stringed instrument played with a bow
cryobiology study of life under cold conditions
cryometer instrument for measuring low temperatures
cryoscope instrument for determining freezing points of substances
cryptadia things to be kept hidden
cryptaesthetic of, like or pertaining to supranormal perception
cryptarchy secret rulership
cryptodynamic having secret or hidden power
cryptogenic of unknown origin
cryptonym secret name
cryptotype an implicit and specific rule of language use
cryptous of, like or pertaining to crypts
crystallogenesis production of crystals
crystallography study and classification of crystals
crystallomancy divination by means of clear objects
crystalomancy divination using a crystal globe
cteniform comb-shaped
ctetology study of the inheritance of acquired characteristics
cubation act of lying down or reclining
cubica fine unglazed fabric resembling shalloon
cubiform shaped like a cube
cubomancy divination by throwing dice
cuculine of, like or pertaining to cuckoos
cucullate hooded; hood-shaped
cucumiform cucumber-shaped
cucurbit chemical vessel used in a still or alembic
cucurbitaceous of, like or pertaining to gourds
cuddy right of a lord to entertainment from a tenant
cuirass leather or metal armour consisting of a breastplate and backplate
cuisse armour for the front of the thighs

Culchie – A stupid rustic woman from Ireland

Short Story describing the meaning of the word Culchie is at


culet flat back or base of a gemstone
culet armour plates for the body below the waist
culex mosquito
culiciform like or resembling a mosquito
culicino mark left on a tablecloth by a wet glass
cullet waste glass which is melted into new objects
cullion mean or base person; rascal
culm stem of grass or sedge
culmen highest point
culmiferous bearing coal-dust
cultch flooring of an oyster-bed; rubbish
cultriform knife-shaped
cultus religious ritual; a cult
culver dove or pigeon
culverin lightweight, portal, long-barrelled cannon
culvertage degradation of a peasant to the position of serf
cumbent lying down; reclining
cumuliform shaped like a heap
cumulose containing or consisting of small heaps
cunabula cradle

cunicle – a hole, cave or passage underground

cunicular – pertaining to underground passages; burrow-dwelling

cuniculate – penetrated by a passage

cuniculture – the agricultural practice of breeding and raising rabbits

cuniform; cuneiform – wedge-shaped; also, pertaining to writing with wedge-shaped characters (as on ancient clay tablets)

curate’s egg – (chiefly British) something with both good and bad parts

Curie point – eponym: the temperature above which ferromagnetism becomes paramagnetism [after Pierre Curie]

curmudgeon – an ill-tempered person (typically old male), full of resentment and stubborn notions

curry – to groom [a horse]

curry favor – eponym: to seek to gain favor by flattery or attention [Note: ‘curry’ means ‘to groom a horse’.]

curtain lecture – a wife’s private reprimand to her husband

cuspidor – a spittoon; a receptacle for spit (including the “receptacle” of a drinking fountain or in a dentist’s office)

custom – esp. Brit. business patronage: If the store clerk is rude, take your custom elsewhere.

cwm (one of the few English words with none of the classic vowels) – synonymous with cirque; more discussion there

Cyber Monday – U.S.: the Monday after Thanksgiving holiday, when online retailers supposedly have a surge in purchases

cyberterrorism – not in dictionaries. Per U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (paraphrased): political attack against computer systems, programs, and

data, by sub-national groups or clandestine agents. Unlike nuisance virus or simple denial of service, it is designed to cause physical violence or

extreme financial harm to non combatants

cyborg – [cyber- + organism] a person [or animal] whose physical abilities are extended beyond normal limitations, [or are controlled,] by elements

implanted into the body

cytokine storm – an overreaction by the immune system’s first responders, running amok, killing not just virus-infected cells but healthy bystander cells

as well

cunctation delay; procrastination
cuneate wedge-shaped
cuneiform shaped like a wedge
cuniculous full of holes and tunnels; full of rabbits
cupel goldsmith’s vessel for assaying metal

(n.) greed, strong desire (His cupidity made him enter the abandoned gold mine despite the obvious dangers.)

Remember the saying “Greed is good”? It could just as easily be “Cupidity is good,” though admittedly it doesn’t roll off the tongue quite the same way.

Cupidity means a burning desire to have more wealth than you need.
Though it sounds like it might have something to do with the little winged figure who shoots arrows and makes folks fall in love on Valentine’s Day,

cupidity is all about the love of money. It comes to us from Latin cupidus, which means “desirous.” It’s not a word that crops up a lot in conversation,

though you might run across it in newspapers and magazines, particularly those blaming Wall Street’s unbridled cupidity for America’s economic woes.

cupola spherical vault or concave ceiling
cupriferous bearing copper
cupulate of, like or pertaining to a cup; cup-shaped
cupuliferous bearing cupules
curate assistant to a parish priest
curette instrument for scraping sides of body cavities
curia papal court and its officials
curie unit of radioactive decay and intensity
curiology picture-writing
curiosa pornographic books
curlew long-legged migratory bird with downward-curving bill
curmurring rumbling or flatulent sound
curricle two-wheeled open carriage
currycomb metal comb used to groom horses

curry favor – from currying Fauvel, a horse in the scathing 1310 story Roman de Fauvel by Gervais de Bus. Note: ‘curry’ means ‘to groom a horse’

cursorial used in walking or running

(adj.) brief to the point of being superficial (Late for the meeting, she cast a cursory glance at the agenda.)

curtal short; abbreviated; curtailed
curtal kind of archaic bassoon
curtate shortened; short
curtilage court or field attached to a dwelling
curule of high authority
curvet to leap; to frisk
curvicaudate having a curvy tail
cusec unit of liquid flow equal to one cubic foot per second
cusk large Atlantic fish like the cod
cuspidor a spittoon
custos guardian, custodian or keeper, especially of convents or monasteries
custrel attendant to a knight; a knave
cutaneous of or related to the skin
cuvette shallow dish for holding liquids
cwm valley or glen
cyaneous sky blue
cyanogenesis production of cyanide
cyanometer instrument for measuring blueness of the sky or ocean
cyanotype blueprint
cyathiform shaped like a cup
cybernate to control by means of a computer
cyberphobia fear of computers
cyclas garment, longer at back than in front, worn over armour
cyclograph instrument for describing arcs of circles without compasses
cyclolith stone circle
cyclometer instrument for measuring revolutions of a wheel
cyclophoria squint due to weakness in the eye muscles
cyclosis circulation
cyclostyle device for making multiple copies of written text
cyesis pregnancy
cyesolagnia sexual attraction to pregnant women
cylix shallow cup with long stem
cyllosis congenital physical deformity
cymaphen telephone receiver
cymar loose light robe worn by women
cymbiform shaped like a boat
cymograph instrument for tracing the outline of mouldings
cymometer instrument for measuring frequency of electrical waves
cymophanous opalescent; having a wavy or floating light

cymotrichous wavy-haired

cynanthropy pathological belief that one is a dog

cynartomachy bear-baiting using dogs

cynegetic of or related to hunting

cynic – the Cynic philosophers in Plato’s time, called kunikos=dog-like. Was it from their sneering sarcasm, or Kynosarge “Grey Dog,” the gymnasium where

they taught? Maybe a pun, meaning both.

cynoclept one who steals dogs

cynography writing or treatise on dogs

cynoid dog-like; canine

cynolatry worship of dogs

cynology scientific study of dogs

cynomorphic pertaining to a dog’s viewpoint

cynophilist one who loves dogs

cynophobia fear of dogs

cynosure anything that attracts attention; object of interest

cyphonism use of pillorying as punishment

cypress silk or cotton gauze fabric, usually black

cyprian lewd woman; prostitute

cyprinoid of, like or pertaining to carp

cypseline of, like or pertaining to swifts

cyrenaic adherent of doctrine that pleasure is ultimate goal

cystolith calcium carbonate that masses in cell wall of some plants

cystoscope instrument for examining the bladder

cytheromania nymphomania

cytogenesis formation of cells

cytology study of living cells

cytometer instrument for counting cells

czar, tsar – from Kaiser (see below) and thus ultimately from Julius Caesar

czardas Hungarian dance that increases in speed