One of the things I often do as I'm reading a novel or short story is keep track of words whose definitions I do not know or that I find interesting. Either way, these interesting words are ones I feel might be of use in my own writing. That, and it's good to expand one's vocabulary every once in a while.
This latest round of interesting words comes from Kay Kenyon's Bright of the Sky.
alkaloid: Any of various organic compounds normally with basic chemical properties and usually containing at least one nitrogen atom in a heterocyclic ring, occurring chiefly in many vascular plants and some fungi.
archon: A high official; a ruler.
cyanogenic: Capable of producing cyanide.
demiurge: A powerful creative force or personality.
epicanthic: Of or pertaining to an epicanthis; growing in or upon a canthus or corner of the eye.
espalier: A tree or shrub that is trained to grow in a flat plane against a wall, often in a symmetrical pattern.
evanescent: Vanishing or likely to vanish like vapor.
glycoside: Any of a group of organic compounds, occurring abundantly in plants, that yield a sugar and one or more nonsugar substances on hydrolysis.
gulag: A forced labor camp or prison, especially for political dissidents.
harangue: A long pompous speech, especially one delivered before a gathering.
legate: A person commissioned to represent a state, or the highest authority in the state, in a foreign state or court; a deputy; an ambassador.
meritocracy: A system in which advancement is based on individual ability or achievement.
phenolic: Any of various synthetic thermosetting resins, obtained by the reaction of phenols with simple aldehydes and used to make molded products and as coatings and adhesives.
tannin: Any of various chemically different substances capable of promoting tanning.
terpenoid: A very large class of naturally occurring and synthetic organic compounds formally derived from the hydrocarbon isoprene; they include many volatile compounds used in perfume and food flavours, turpentine, the steroids, the carotene pigments and rubber.
toadyism: The practice of meanly fawning on another; base sycophancy; servile adulation.
unctuous: Containing or composed of oil or fat.
vilification: slanderous or malicious defamation; character assassination
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