New year, new vocab

Career & Education

New year, new vocab

Sunday, January 05, 2020

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Symbolic of new beginngs in many ways, a new year is the perfect opportunity to dust the cobwebs off that vocabulary that hasn't been updated for the past 10 years and add some fresh words and phrases that will be sure to impress your colleagues at the office, your teachers and classmates at school, as well as your family members and friends.

Here are 20 words you should inject into your conversations this year.


1. ADUMBRATE [a-duhm-breyt, ad-uhm-breyt]


a) represent in outline/indicate faintly

“Hobhouse had already adumbrated the idea of a welfare State.”

“The walls were only adumbrated by the meagre light.”


b) foreshadow (a future event)

“Tenors solemnly adumbrate the fate of the convicted sinner.”


c) overshadow

“Her happy reminiscences were adumbrated by consciousness of something else.”


2. ATIPTOE [uh-tip-toh]

Adverb (or Adjective)

a) on the tip of one's toes

“Stood atiptoe by the terrace wall watching the barges” — Anne Green


b) in a state of expectancy; alert and expectant

“It was disquieting news and the ordinance… is atiptoe.” — Nation


3. AUGUST [aw-guhst]


respected, impressive

“She was in august company.”


4. CUSP [kuhsp]


a) a point of transition between two different states

“those on the cusp of adulthood”


b) a pointed end where two curves meet


5. DEIPNOSOPHIST [dahyp-nos-uh-fist]


a person who is an adept conversationalist at a meal.


6. EGREGIOUS [ih-gree-juh s, -jee-uh s]


extraordinary in some bad way; glaring; flagrant

“An egregious mistake; an egregious liar”


7. HIBERNAL [hahy-bur-nl ]


of or relating to winter; wintry


8. IMPRIMATUR [im-pri-mah-ter, -mey-, -prahy-]

Noun, from Latin meaning “let it be printed”

a) an official licence issued by the Roman Catholic Church to print an ecclesiastical or religious book

b) a person's authoritative approval


9. INEBRIATE [in-ee-bree-eyt, ih-nee-; noun, adjective in-ee-bree-it, ih-nee-]

Verb (used with object), in·e·bri·at·ed, in·e·bri·at·ing

a) to make drunk; intoxicate


b) to exhilarate, confuse, or stupefy mentally or emotionally



a) an intoxicated person


b) a habitual drunkard



Also in·e·bri·at·ed; drunk, intoxicate


10. INFRA- [in-fruh]

a) prefix meaning “below”, used with second elements of any origin in the formation of compound words:

infrasonic; infrared


b) Adverb

below, especially when used in referring to parts of a text.


11. INFRA DIG [in-fruh dig]


beneath one's dignity


12. OBSECRATE [ob-si-kreyt]

Verb (used with object)

to entreat solemnly; beseech; supplicate


13. OBSEQUIOUS [uhb-see-kwee-uhs]


obedient or attentive to an excessive or servile degree.

“They were served by obsequious waiters.”



14. PERFERVID [per-fur-vid]


very fervent; extremely ardent; impassioned:

“perfervid patriotism”



15. RETICENT [ret-uh-suhnt]


a) disposed to be silent or not to speak freely; reserved


b) reluctant or restrained



16. SUSURRATION [soo-suh-rey-shuh-n]


a soft murmur; whisper


17. TITTLE [tit-l]


a) a dot or other small mark in writing or printing, used as a diacritic, punctuation, etc


b) a very small part or quantity; a particle, jot, or whit:

“He said he didn't care a tittle.”


18. TITULAR [tich-uh-ler, tit-yuh-]


a) existing or being such in title only; nominal; having the title but none of the associated duties, powers, etc:

“the titular head of the company”


b) from whom or which a title or name is taken:

“His titular saint is Michael.”


c) of, relating to, or of the nature of a title

having a title, especially of rank



a) a person who bears a title


b) a person from whom or thing from which a title or name is taken


19. TINTINABULATION [tin-ti-nab-yuh-ley-shuh'n]


the ringing or sound of bells


20. WELTER [wel-ter]


a confused mass; a jumble or muddle:

“A welter of anxious faces”

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