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Far more common in English is the adjective adamant , meaning unshakable; inflexible, as in "For reasons never explained, the department head remained adamant in refusing the annual award to beautiful young women. See addlepated. The related adjective addled AD-ld has the primary meaning of muddled, mentally confused, as in "Despite all my efforts to think clearly once again, my memory remained addled for many months after surgery.

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A secondary meaning is rotten, as in "I avoided the addled eggs we were habitually served in the overseas army, preferring instead to go hungry most days. Adjunct is also used as a noun, thus abbreviating common designations such as adjunct professor to adjunct : "Many colleges got by in difficult times by reducing the number of their well-paid, full-time professors and hiring adjuncts at low salaries.

Also given as adscititious AD-si-TISH-es , with the same meanings shown below: "Academic honors for the wealthy, adscititious rather than earned, fool no one, not even the recipients.

This English adjective is sometimes given as agrestal e-GRES-tl , also with the meaning of rustic; rural. From Latin noun aleator meaning gambler; dice player ; adjective aleatorius meaning in gambling. From Latin alopecia , meaning fox mange, a condition known to have caused loss of hair. From French adjective altruiste , from French noun altruisme , roughly meaning concern for others.

From French ambagieux , from Latin ambagiosus , meaning circuitous, roundabout. The reader would do well to know the adjectival antonym ambidextrous AM-bi-DEK-stres , which is much more common, and means able to use both hands equally well. Thus, "When a team has a healthy Bernie Williams ready to hit well from either side of home plate, the value of being ambidextrous is readily apparent.

From Latin ancilla , meaning female servant or slave ; related to the adjective ancillaris , having the status of such a person.

The Highly Selective Dictionary of Golden Adjectives for the Extraordinarily Literate

The English noun ancillary plural ancillaries means a person who works in an ancillary capacity. And an ancilla is an accessory or an adjunct. Not to be confused with the adjective anguine ANG-gwin , from Latin anguinus , meaning snakelike ; from anguis , meaning snake. From Latin anserinus , meaning pertaining to geese ; from Latin anser , a goose. The first meaning of anserine is so firmly attached to the bird, as in the proverbial silly goose, that for most people it overpowers the literal meaning. Especially in the phrase syllaba antepaenultima , meaning last syllable minus two.

See prandial and preprandial. It is interesting that classical Latin had no word corresponding to the English antisudorific , and we had to wait until Neo-Latin invented something close to it, in the adjective sudorificus , meaning inducing sweat. The point of this discussion is that the ancient Romans apparently lacked self-consciousness when it came time to sweat, and modern persons concern themselves obsessively with exercising hard to induce perspiration and therefore lose weight while simultaneously doing everything they can to mask the telltale aroma that identifies persons breaking a sweat.

It is no wonder the adjective aerobic air-OH-bik has caught on so thoroughly in past years, even though men and women have a tough time defining it. For the convenience of the reader, the definition is here supplied: living on oxygen in the air, in other words requiring the presence of oxygen in order to thrive—and sweat.

Aphrodite, of course, was the ancient Greek goddess of love. From Latin appositus , meaning added to, put near ; past participle of apponere or adponere. Other readers will always be interested in your opinion of the books you've read.

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    The Highly Selective Dictionary Of Golden Adjectives

    After all, aren't clarity and precision what we consistently aim for? These reference works are the tools to achieve our goals. Oh, but, regardless of the opportunities for word exchanges provided, when I say that we aim for what's clear and precise, I do not want to opt for the words "luculent" and "finical. Peter P. Jacobi is a Professor Emeritus at Indiana University.

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