To desiccate (DES-ih-kate) is to remove the moisture from; to become completely and thoroughly dry. As I used it today: “[When the bodies of the pharaohs] were found years later – desiccated, linen-wrapped bones – their treasures were gone. Plundered.”
An opuscule (oh-PUSK-yool) is a work of art or music that is considered to be minor or insignificant. Some critics might, for example, describe Shakespeare’s King John or Pericles as an opuscule.
Misogyny (mih-SAH-uh-nee) is a dislike of, contempt for, or ingrained prejudice against women. As I used it today: “Saudi Arabia, traditionally one of the world’s most misogynistic countries, has granted women the right to travel overseas without male permission.”
Parsimonious (par-sih-MOH-nee-us) means stingy or frugal; restrained. As I used it today: “So that was something else to think about – the fact that we are each parsimonious with the one thing we want for ourselves.”
To venerate (VEN-uh-rate) is to revere; to regard with great respect. As I used it today: “With respect to your career, what’s more important: being admired for your character… or venerated for your success?
To proscribe (proh-SKRIBE) is to formally forbid, denounce, or condemn. (Not to be confused with prescribe, which means recommend.) As I used it today: “Dictonary.com has published many insanely dumb essays proscribing language before, but this has to be one of the dumbest.”
Pragmatic (Prag-MAT-ik) describes a way of dealing with things realistically, in a way that is based on practical rather than theoretical considerations. As I used it today: “There’s a pragmatic benefit to being admired.”
Slavish (SLAY-vish) means like a slave; abjectly submissive. As I used it today: “If I thought that everyone that listened to me would always do exactly what I recommend, slavishly, I’d give no advice at all!”
Something that’s abstruse (ab-STROOS) is hard to understand; obscure. As I used it today: “Once we located a fast-growing market, we studied it. But again, we didn’t rely on abstruse market analysis to figure out what sort of products to offer.”
Churlish (CHURL-ish) means rude, vulgar, surly. As used by Christopher Morley: “Happiness is surely the best teacher of good manners: only the unhappy are churlish in deportment.”