• A •


1 : a fine-grained variegated chalcedony having its colors arranged in stripes, blended in clouds, or showing mosslike forms
2 : something made of or fitted with agate: as a : a drawplate used by gold-wire drawers; b : a playing marble of agate
3 a : a size of type approximately 5½ point; b : condensed information (as advertisements or box scores) set especially in agate type

Middle French, from Latin achates, from Greek achatēs. First Known Use: 1570.

• B •


1 : a prickly scrambling vine or shrub, esp. a blackberry or other wild shrub of the rose family

Middle English brembel, from Old English brēmel; akin to Old English brōm broom. First Known Use: before 12th century


1 : a (1) : an upper or outer margin : verge (2) archaic : the upper surface of a body of water; b : the edge or rim of a hollow vessel, a natural depression, or a cavity
2 : the projecting rim of a hat

1 : fill or be full to the point of overflowing
2 : fill something so completely as almost to spill out of it
3 : figurative : be possessed by or full of feelings or thoughts

Middle English brimme; akin to Middle High German brem edge. First Known Use: 13th century.


1 : the chemical element of atomic number 35, a dark red, fuming toxic volatile liquid with a choking, disagreeable odor. It is a corrosive nonmetallic element in the halogen group and occurs chiefly as salts in seawater and brines.

French brome bromine + English 2-ine. First Known Use: 1827.

• C •


1 : a frolicsome leap
2 : a capricious escapade, typically one that is illicit or ridiculous : prank
3 : an illegal or questionable act; especially : theft
4 : one of the greenish flower buds or young berries of the caper pickled and used as a seasoning or garnish

Back-formation from earlier capers (taken as a plural), from Middle English caperis, from Latin capparis, from Greek kapparis. First Known Use: 14th century (1592).

intransitive verb
1 : to leap or prance about in a lively or playful manner

Probably by shortening & alteration from capriole. First Known Use: 1588.


1 : a remarkable concurrence of events or circumstances without apparent causal connection
2 : correspondence in nature or in time of occurrence
3 : physics : the presence of ionizing particles or other objects in two or more detectors simultaneously, or of two or more signals simultaneously in a circuit.

Medieval Latin coincidentia, from coincidere coincide, agree. First Known Use: 1605.


1 : composed of or resulting from union of separate elements, ingredients, or parts: as a : composed of united similar elements especially of a kind usually independent ; b : having the blade divided to the midrib and forming two or more leaflets on a common axis
2 : involving or used in a combination

1 a : a word consisting of components that are words; b : a word consisting of any of various combinations of words, combining forms, or affixes
2 : something formed by a union of elements or parts; especially : a distinct substance formed by chemical union of two or more ingredients in definite proportion by weight
3 : a fenced or walled-in area containing a group of buildings and especially residences

First Known Use: 1530


1 : coupled, connected, or related, in particular… chemistry : (of an acid or base) related to the corresponding base or acid by loss or gain of a proton; mathematics : joined in a reciprocal relation, esp. having the same real parts and equal magnitudes but opposite signs of imaginary parts; geometry : (of angles) adding up to 360°; (of arcs) combining to form a complete circle; biology : (esp. of gametes) fused.
2 : having the same derivation and therefore usually some likeness in meaning
3 : of two leaves of a book : forming a single piece

1 : grammar : give the different forms of (a verb in an inflected language) as they vary according to voice, mood, tense, number, and person
2 : biology (of bacteria or unicellular organisms) : become temporarily united in order to exchange genetic material
3 : chemistry : be combined with or joined to reversibly

Middle English conjugat, from Latin conjugatus, past participle of conjugare to unite, from com-jugare to join, from jugum yoke. First Known Use: 15th century circa 1586.


1 : a thicket, grove, or growth of small trees
2 : forest originating mainly from shoots or root suckers rather than seed

transitive verb
1 : to cut back so as to regrow in the form of a coppice

intransitive verb
1 : to form a coppice; specifically of a tree : to sprout freely from the base

Middle English copies cutover area overgrown with brush, from Middle French copeis, from Old French, from Vulgar Latin *colpaticium, from *colpare to cut, from Late Latin colpus blow. First Known Use: 1534.


1 : a thicket of small trees or bushes; a small wood

Origin by alteration. First Known Use: 1578.


1 : the act or action of moving in a path from point to point
2 : the path over which something moves or extend
3 a : accustomed procedure or normal action; b : a chosen manner of conducting oneself : way of acting; c : progression through a development or period or a series of acts or events;
4 : an ordered process or succession
5 a : a part of a meal served at one time; b : layer; especially : a continuous level range of brick or masonry throughout a wall; c : the lowest sail on a square-rigged mast

transitive verb
1 : to follow close upon : pursue
2 a : to hunt or pursue (game) with hounds; b : to cause (dogs) to run (as after game)
3 : to run or move swiftly through or over : traverse

intransitive verb
1 : to run or pass rapidly along or as if along an indicated path

Middle English, from Anglo-French curs, course, from Latin cursus, from currere to run. First Known Use: 14th century.

• F •


1 : the visible shape or configuration of something (arrangement of parts; shape; the body or shape of a person or thing; arrangement and style in literary or musical composition)
2 : a mold, frame, or block in or on which something is shaped; a temporary structure for holding fresh concrete in shape while it sets
3 : a particular way in which a thing exists or appears; a manifestation; any of the ways in which a word may be spelled, pronounced, or inflected; the structure of a word, phrase, sentence, or discourse
4 : established method of expression or proceeding; procedure according to rule or rote; also : a standard or expectation based on past experience
5 : a type or variety of something; an artistic or literary genre
6 : orderly method of arrangement (as in the presentation of ideas) : manner of coordinating elements
7 : botany : a taxonomic category that ranks below variety, which contains organisms differing from the typical kind in some trivial, frequently impermanent, character, e.g., a color variant

Middle English forme, from Anglo-French furme, forme, from Latin forma form, beauty. First Known Use: 13th century.

• I •


1 : the arrival or intersection of a line, or something moving in a straight line, such as a beam of light, with a surface
2 : an act or the fact or manner of falling upon or affecting
3 : rate of occurrence or influence

Late Middle English (denoting a casual or subordinate event or circumstance): from Old French, or from medieval Latin incidentia, from Latin incidere ‘fall upon, happen to’. First Known Use: 1626.

• L •


1 : liable to change; easily altered – of or characterized by emotions that are easily aroused or freely expressed, and that tend to alter quickly and spontaneously; emotionally unstable
2 : chemistry : easily broken down or displaced

French, from Middle French, prone to err, from Late Latin labilis, from Latin labi to fall or slip. First Known Use: 1603.


1 : a glow of reflected light : sheen; specifically : the appearance of the surface of a mineral dependent upon its reflecting qualities
2 a : a glow of light from within : luminosity; b : an inner beauty : radiance; 3 : a superficial attractiveness or appearance of excellence
4 a : a glass pendant used especially to ornament a candlestick or chandelier
b : a decorative object (as a chandelier) hung with glass pendants
5 chiefly British : a fabric with cotton warp and a filling of wool, mohair, or alpaca
6 : lusterware

intransitive verb
1 : to have luster : gleam

transitive verb
1 : to give luster or distinction to
2 : to coat or treat with a substance that imparts luster

Middle French lustre, from Old Italian lustro, from lustrare to brighten, from Latin, to purify ceremonially, from lustrum. First Known Use: circa 1522.

• P •


1 : of two or more colors in blotches; also : wearing or having a parti-colored coat

Middle English (originally in the sense ‘black and white like a magpie’). First Known Use: 14th century.


1 : a secluded enclosure or part of a garden, especially one attached to a large house.

Middle English (in the sense [pleasure]): from Old French plaisance, from plaisant ‘pleasing’. First Known Use: 14th century.


1 : a plum dried or capable of being preserved by drying without fermentation, having a black, wrinkly texture and chewy flesh.

Middle English, from Anglo-French, plum, from Latin prunum. First Known Use: 14th century.

1 : reduce the extent of (something) by removing superfluous matter or unwanted parts.
2 : trim (a tree, shrub, or bush) by cutting away dead or overgrown branches or stems, esp. to increase fruitfulness and growth.

Middle English prouynen, probably ultimately from Old French prooignier, alteration of *porrooignier, from por- completely (from Latin pro-) + rooignier to cut, prune, from Vulgar Latin *rotundiare to cut around, from Latin rotundus round. First Known Use: 15th century.

• S •


transitive verb
1 a : to rub hard especially with a rough material for cleansing; b : to remove by rubbing hard and washing
2 archaic : to clear (a region) of enemies or outlaws
3 : to clean by purging : purge
4 : to remove dirt and debris from (as a pipe or ditch)
5 : to free from foreign matter or impurities by or as if by washing
6 : to clear, dig, or remove by or as if by a powerful current of water

intransitive verb
1 : to perform a process of scouring
2 : to suffer from diarrhea or dysentery
3 : to become clean and bright by rubbing

Middle English, probably from Middle Dutch schuren, from Old French escurer, from Late Latin excurare to clean off, from Latin, to take good care of, from ex- + curare to care for, from cura care. First Known Use: 14th century.


1 a : the joining of two pieces (as of cloth or leather) by sewing usually near the edge; b : the stitching used in such a joining
2 : the space between adjacent planks or strakes of a ship
3 a : a line, groove, or ridge formed by the abutment of edges; b : a thin layer or stratum (as of rock) between distinctive layers; also : a bed of valuable mineral and especially coal irrespective of thickness; c : a line left by a cut or wound; also : wrinkle
4 : a weak or vulnerable area or gap

Middle English seem, from Old English sēam; akin to Old English sīwian to sew. First Known Use: before 12th century.


1 : a thing that is unspecified or unknown
2 : used in various expressions indicating that a description or amount being stated is not exact

First Known Use: before 12th century.


1 : a small, narrow river
2 a : a steady current (as of fluids, words or events); a large number of things that happen or come one after the other; b : a continuous moving procession
3 : an unbroken flow (as of gas or particles of matter)

Middle English streme, from Old English strēam; akin to Old High German stroum stream, Greek rhein to flow. First Known Use: before 12th century.

• V •


1 : a unifying bond; link, tie
2 : a horizontal line drawn over a group of terms in a mathematical expression to indicate that they are to be operated on as a single entity by the preceding or following operator
3 : anatomy :  an anatomical ligament that limits the movement of an organ or part
4 : mapping : a symbol indicating that two land parcels are owned by one person; the symbol is shown spanning the common boundary, or across a road between the lots

Latin, from vincire to bind. First Known Use: 1661.