The Dictionary of Curious, Obscure, Humorous, Useless, Forgotten, and Cherished Words

Welcome to the Dictionary of ... Words! I'm V.Tom, and over the course of a few years, I've dug around on the internets and discovered that the English vocabulary is many times larger than anyone would have expected. Yes, every one of these words is considered part of the English language, at least according to one online dictionary. Sure, the definitions might be a little warped since last time they were actually in use, but that's only because of vague definitions from my sources. Don't believe me? Check out the bibliography for this dictionary. You'll get to see some other really cool websites and discover that all of these words were in common use at least at some point in history. Anyway, here goes. Enjoy expanding your intellectual horizons!


ablutomania - (noun) a passion, obsession or preoccupation with bathing or cleanliness. Ablutomania consumed the child’s aunt.

absquatulate - (verb) to flee or abscond. After catching the thief red-handed, he absquatulated with the money.

abyssopelagic  - (adj.) pertaining to the depths of the ocean. The submarine dove into the abyssopelagic depths.

acephalous - (adj.) lacking a distinct head. Although acephalous, the chicken survived for 3 weeks.

acetyl...serine - (noun) the abbreviated name of a tobacco mosaic virus protein. The full spelling is arguably the longest word in the English language, at 1185 letters.

acrimonious - (adj.) stinging or bitter in nature, speech, behavior, etc. Their discussion was acrimonious.

affuage - (noun) the right for someone to cut wood from a forest for use as fuel for a family fire. Affuage from the king was desired by all the peasants.

allotriophagy - (noun) craving for strange or improper foods. The refined English women was accused of allotriophagy after consuming two whole kiwifruits.

antidisestablishmentarianism - (noun) opposition to the withdrawal of state support or recognition from an established church. Arguably the longest word in the English language. Antidisestablishmentarianism did not appeal to the apathetic gentleman.

assoil -  (verb) to absolve or pardon. He was assoiled of his nefarious crimes.


bahuvrihi - (noun) a compound word that acts like an adjective who's second part is a noun. The words lowlife, half-wit, flatfoot and longlegs are bahuvrihis because they are all adjectives, but the second part of the word is a noun.

bibliomaniac - (noun) one who has a craze or passion for reading books. At noon, the library was filled with bibliomaniacs.

biosphere - (noun) the part of the Earth’s crust, oceans and atmosphere that supports life. Inconveniently for the aliens, the biosphere could not support the life of the extraterrestrials.

botany - (noun) the study of botanical (plant) life. Botany was a favorite subject of her husband.

byrthynsak - (noun) steeling as much as one can carry. The byrthynsak of the McWander estate was an incident recorded in all the local newspapers.


carpophagous - (adj.) fruit-eating. With malicious intent, the carpophagous bunnies devoured the raspberry crop.

chide - (verb) to express disapproval of, to scold or reproach. The boy chided his mother for making egg-plant casserole, but was chided in return for chiding his mother.

coagulate - (verb) to go from a liquid to a thickened mass. The dirty water coagulated into mud.

cogitate - (verb) to think hard, ponder, or meditate. With disregard to the hastily approaching nighttime, the girl continued to cogitate.

conflate - (verb) to blend together. Artistically, the Frenchman conflated the water colors.

copacetic - (adj.) extremely satisfactory, fine. Your wood working project was copacetic.

crepuscular - (adj.) appearing or active a twilight or dawn, as certain bats and insects. The lethargic troll soon became a crepuscular creature.

cyberphobia – (noun) an uncommon fear of computers and/or technology. After fifty years of using a typewriter, the new computing machine gave her cyberphobia.

cynoclept - (noun) one who steals dogs. After the cynoclept visited the pound, canine adoption dropped by forty percent.


denouement - (noun) the resolution of a mystery. With the final page of the mystery book missing, a denouement seemed impossible.

despondent - (adj.) feeling or showing extreme hopelessness, gloom. The despondent general was killed in battle.

desultory - (adj.) an unplanned action, activity, ect, jumping from one subject to another. Most of the attendees were dissatisfied with the desultory speech.

devorative - (adj.) capable of being swallowed whole or un-chewed. He soon discovered that the cantaloupe was not devorative.

divvy - (verb) to divide or distribute. The pie was divvied among the children.

dystopia - (noun) a civilization characterized by human misery or extreme discomfort. The time-travelers found themselves in a dystopian future.


ebb - (noun) the flowing backward or away. After being sued, the company was at an ebb.

echidna – (noun) a mammal belonging to the monotremes, which lays eggs and eats insects. Also referred to as a spiny anteater. An anxious echidna jumped at every sound.

eke - (verb) to obtain with great effort. The inter-galactic travelers eked out a living on the arid planet.

elusive - (adj.) cleverly or skillfully evasive. The elusive coyote was impossible to catch.

epicaricacy - (noun) enjoying or taking pleasure in other's misfortune. The king's epicaricacy was displeased by the gladiators.

euonym - an appropriate or pleasing name for a person, place, or thing. "Greenland" was not a euonym for the cold, lifeless land mass.


fadaise - (noun) an obvious or silly remark. "Excuse me, madam, your dress is on fire." His fadaise was unnecessary.

falderal - (noun) a nonsensical refrain of a song. She declared "Floating Cows" a falderal.

famelicose - (adj.) often or always hungry. Growing boys are generally famelicose.

faze - (verb) to cause to be perturbed or upset. The dangers of the journey could not faze the explorer.

flibbertigibbet - (noun) a chattering, light-headed person. After she attended the party, she was declared a flibbertigibbet.

foof - (verb) to whine or bark like  a wounded dog. Stop foofing, you incorrigible child!

footle - (verb) to act or speak in a foolish or childish way. The girl footled aimlessly at the party.


gambol - (verb) to leap and skip about joyfully. Oblivious to the danger, he gamboled through the forest. 

gardyloo - (noun) the dirty water thrown out of a window, or the warning that proceeds it. The gardyloo from a second story window left the business man absolutely furious, and soaked.

gloze - (noun) an explanatory note in the margin of book. When confused, he turned to the gloze for an explanation.

goo - (noun) a thick or sticky substance. The mad scientist created glowing goo.

groak - (verb) to stare at someone who is eating in hopes of receiving food. The irresistible puppy groaked from under the table.

grove - (noun) a small forested area, usually without undergrowth. The children played happily in the grove of pine trees

gynotikolobomassophilia - (noun) the disturbing desire to nibble on women's earlobes. His gynotikolobomassophilia was unacceptable.


halcyon - (adj.) happy, care-free or sunny-spirited. The time between the promise of the horse and its arrival where halcyon months for the girl.

hamadryad – (noun) a king cobra. Unbeknownst to the farmer, the hamadryad slithered towards its victim.

haplomachy - (noun) a fight or battle while wearing heavy armor. The Roman almost lost the haplomachy.

harpocratic - (adj.) pertaining to silence. His harpocratic natural was s rather uncomfortable and dull during conversations.

hegira - (noun) a journey; a pilgrimage; an escape from danger. After the army invaded, the queen and her children made a much needed hegira.

hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia - (noun) a fear of long words. He was obviously frightened when the doctor diagnosed him with hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia.

hyetal - (adj.) pertaining to rain or rainfall. The hyetal weather made the family feel blue.

hystricine - (adj.) pertaining to porcupines. The hystricine animal scared the girls.


iconography - (noun) the study of drawing symbols.

icterine - (adj.) yellowish or marked with yellow.

idempotent - (noun) a number whose value is not changed when it is squared. The number ' one' is an idempotent; one times one equals one.

ideophone - (noun) a word that is spoken but not written. The tribal language contained so many ideophones that a written language would not be practical.

illation - (noun) the act of inferring a conclusion from giving premises. With the useless premises in his logic book, illation was impossible!

insectivorous - (adj.) adapted to feeding on insects. Ant Eaters are insectivorous.

izzat - (noun) public esteem, a good reputation, honor. The governor's izzat was destroyed after he was caught stealing raspberries.


jag - (noun) a sharp projection. The boat struck the jag.

jark - (noun) the seal or insignia on a counterfeited document. Fortunately, the authorities did not recognize the jarks on the birth certificate.

joss - (noun) luck or fate. The friends had to have been brought together by joss.

juglandaceous - (adj.) pertaining to walnuts. John loved to eat juglandaceous nuts.

jugulate - (verb) to cut the throat of something. The rich business man was jugulated by the greedy assassin.

juvenilia - (noun) the works or accomplishments of one's youth. Leonardo's juvenilia, although it is desultory, is highly sought after.

juxtaposition - (noun) an act or instance of placing close together or side by side, especially for comparison or contrast.


kakorrhaphiophobia - (noun) a fear of failure. Jane did not enter the contest because she has kakorrhaphiophobia.

keck - (verb) to feel disgusted, sick or nauseated. Fevered and alone, the boy kecked the entire day.

klebenleiben - (noun) the reluctance to stop conversing about a particular subject. The man's obvious klebenleiben was becoming obnoxious.

koinoniphobia - (noun) the fear of a room full of people. The crammed concert hall gave the reluctant girl koinoniphobia.

koniology - (noun) the study of atmospheric pollutants. Koniology was essential to reducing the smog from the city.

krobylos - (noun) the tuft of hair on top of one's head. "Excuse me, but your krobylos is preventing me from seeing the movie screen."

ktenology - (noun) the study of putting people to death. As a researcher of the medieval ages, ktenology is something I must practice.


lallation - (noun) unintelligible babble spoken by a baby. The poor child's lallation could not be understood by the babysitter.

lambast - (verb) to reprimand harshly. After playing a prank on the teacher, the boy was lambasted by Mr. Bottoms.

lapidicolous - (adj.) living under rocks. How did you not know what year it is? Are you lapidicolous?

lapidify - (verb) to turn to stone.  One look from the dog catcher lapidified the lost dog .

leer - (verb) to look with a sideways glance, especially with implied malicious intentions. His arch-nemesis leered at him.

lepidine - (adj.) composed of scales. The lepidine dragon dined on a knightly steak.

limacology - (noun) the study of slugs. Limacology did not appeal to Priscilla in the least.

lithe - (adj.) slender and/or flexible. The piece of plastic was lithe.

lypothymia - (noun) profound or extreme melancholy. The bad news put him in a state of lypothymia.


madefy - (verb) to soak, to make damp, to wet. The girls and boys were madefied by each other during the water balloon fight.

magenta - (adj.) a deep purple-ish red. Her magenta eyes were disturbingly abnormal.

mellifluous - (adj.) sweet sounding; pleasant to the ears. Her mellifluous voice was soothing.

microbiology  - (noun) the study of microscopic life forms. Microbiology was a science not available before Robert Hook's time.

mochlic - (noun) a powerful purgative medicine. His diarrhea was probably a result of the mochlic.

monochromatic – (adj.) to have one color or tone. The student’s monochromatic painting bored the teacher.


natable - (adj.) having the ability to float. Natable balloons filled the welkin.

naufragous - (adj.) the ability to or nature of causing shipwrecks. With terror filled hearts, the sailors watched the naufragous behemoth emerge from the depths.

noctambulant - (noun) a sleep walker, walking by night or in ones sleep. The noctambulant startled the slumbering children.

nonage - (noun) the ninth share of a deceased person's estate that was formerly taken by the church. A legal minor. Can you use the word nonage in a sentence?

nous - (noun) pure knowledge, intellect; commonsense. The fact the red means stop is simply nous.

nutation - (noun) involuntary nodding of the head. During the dull eulogy, the old man's nutation was discovered.

nychthemeron - (noun) a period of twenty-four hours. Inhabitants of Neptune do not have a day that is a nychthemeron.


odious - (adj.) deserving or causing hatred. The odious girl teased everyone

opiniaster - (noun) one who obstinately holds to his own opinions. The opiniaster of harsh discipline refused to allow the children recess. 

orrery - (noun) a planetarium; a hand held model of the solar system. Due to the intricacy of the gears, the orrery was difficult to repair.

ort - (noun, usually plural) a scrap of food left over after a meal. Messily, the fat feline gobbled up the orts under the table.

ostensibly - (adv.) outwardly appearing as such; professed; pretended. John ostensibly celebrated his rival’s graduation.

ostentatiously - (adv.) characterized by pretentious or conspicuous show in an attempt to impress others. The priests prayed ostentatiously.


panacea - (noun) a solution for all problems. Each presidential candidate offered a different panacea.

parley - (noun) a meeting, especially between two enemies over terms of surrender or truce. The criminal did not wait to have a parley with the police man.

paroxysm – (noun) a sudden, violent outburst or a fit of violent emotion. The spoiled brat had many paroxysms.

perfunctory - (adj.) done routinely with little interest or care. The restaurant guest was displeased with the perfunctory meal.

petrichor - (noun) the smell of the earth after a rain. He was invigorated by the petrichor when he stepped outside.

phrontistery - (noun) a think-place or an establishment for learning or studying. Many great scientists went to the phrontistery to think and cogitate.

platypus - (noun) an aquatic, egg laying mammal with webbed feet, a duck-like bill and a beaver-like tail. Scientific name: Ornithorhynchus anatinus. Platypi are endangered!

pleasance - (noun) a secluded garden or landscaped area. The shy girl retreated to her hidden pleasance.

pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis - (noun) a rare lung disease caused by silica dust, which is prevalent after volcanic eruptions. Arguably the longest word in the English language.  Can you spell pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis?

pnigophobia - (noun) the fear of choking or choking during sleep. His pnigophobia turned him into an insomniac.


quadrant - (noun) a quarter of a circle, an arc of 90 degrees. Drive into the fourth quadrant.

quaeritate - (verb) to question or inquire. Stop quaeritating me about the Noodle Incident!

quatch - (noun) a word or sound. The elderly man uttered a last quatch, and then died.

querulist - (noun) one who complains. The querulist was not appreciated during the expedition.

quiet - (adj.) making no noise or sound. The extreme quiet made his ears ring.

quincunx – (noun) an arrangement of five objects, primarily trees, in a rectangle or square, with one at each corner and one in the middle. At the center of the quincunx was a decorated veranda.


rammish - (adj.) lustful, horny, bad-smelling, tasty, violent or wild. The rammish creature charged at its victim, but was poached and eaten.

randle - (noun) a nonsensical poem recited by Irish school boys as an apology for passing gas at a friend. As he recited the randle, the whole class giggled.

rectrix - (noun) a female ruler. The kingdom had not seen a rectrix for many generations.

recusant - (noun) a nonconformist, someone refusing to obey social or governmental laws. The priest was displeased to discover his star pupil had become a recusant.

reify - (verb) to make real or materialize. His artwork seemed to reify his imagined characters.

ret - (verb) to soak, to expose to moisture.  She retted the cloth and began scrubbing.

roblet- (verb) to lead away, deceive. Satan roblets God’s children.

rogalian - (adj.) pertaining to a great fire. London was a rogalian ash heap.


scathefire - (noun) a great destructive fire. The town was ruthlessly burned by the scathefire.

sciapodous - (adj.) having huge feet. The sciapodous teen-ager stepped on several feet in the crowded room.

scrupulous - (adj.) having scruples, showing a strict regard for what is right. The scrupulous administrator would not allow bullies.

snurt - (verb) to expel mucus when sneezing. After snurting, the lady was expelled from the fancy party.

soporific - (adj.) of a drowsy nature; sleep inducing. The lethargic cat was powerless over the soporific sunbeam.

spunk - (noun) pluck and spirit. The brave girl was filled with spunk.

stoic - (adj.) impassive; unaffected by spirit or emotion. The stoic explores buried their dead and pushed on.

susurrous -(adj.) whispering or hissing. The susurrous reptile prepared to strike.

syngenesophobia - (noun) a fear of relatives. His syngenesophobia prevented him from attending the reunion.

syntexis - (noun) wasting or melting away. The syntexis of the candle went unobserved, until the room went dark.

syrt - (noun) quick sand or sinking sand. Fed up with the children's antics, the baby-sitter sent them to play in the syrt.


taphephobia - (noun) fear of being buried alive. Taphephobia in the 1600s was a reasonable fear because people were often accidentally buried alive.

tecnolatry - (noun) the idolization of children. Spoiled children are usually the result of tecnolatry.

thibble - (noun) a wooden stick for stirring. The townspeople used many thibbles to stir the community pot.

thob - (verb) to explain one's beliefs or opinions. After thobbing for some time, the crowds denounced his ridiculous beliefs.

tintinnabulate - (verb) to ring or sound like a bell. After running into the metal pot, the boy’s head throbbed and tintinnabulated.

twibil - (noun) a two-edged axe. The Vikings gruesomely blooded their twibils.

tyg - (noun) a large ceramic seventeenth-century drinking mug with twelve handles. Gleefully, the pirates passed around the tyg of grog.


uglyography - (noun) bad hand writing or spelling. The uglyography was not welcome in the high-end dictionary.

ulitis - (noun) inflammation of the gums. Eating the pineapple gave her ulitis.

ultraantidisestablishmentarianism - (noun) an intensified form of antidisestablishmentarianism. Arguably the longest word in the English language. Coined by Mr. Gladstone during a political speech in Edinburgh. Ultraantidisestablishmentarianism was a heated subject at the debate.

umbrageous - (adj.) shaded or obscure. The editor rediscovered the umbrageous word.

unasinous - (adj.) equally stupid. Many guests at the party found the newlywed husband and wife to be unasinous.

unco - (adj.) strange, odd, or awkward. The unco dictionary was not a best-seller.

uniliteral - (adj.) having only one letter. Obviously, the word "uniliteral"  doesn't describe itself.

unscathed - (adj.) uninjured, unharmed.  Miraculously, the cute puppy survived the hurricane unscathed.

uvate - (noun) grape jam. He carefully spread uvate on his fresh bread.

uxorious - (adj.) submissiveness to one's wife. The gentleman's uxorious nature was getting out of hand.


valetudinarian - (noun) a hypochondriac; someone who is sickly or weak. Sadly, the valetudinarian lived out her days palpating various suspicious lumps on her arm and monitoring the consistency of her pulse

velitation - (noun) a petty fight; a skirmish. After the velitation, the paper clip was returned to its rightful owner.

velleity - (noun) state of desiring faintly; a slight wish. Max had velleity for a pop-gun, but he would rather have a squirt-gun.

ventripotent - (adj.) having a fat belly or being glutinous. Ventripotent men were not allowed into the buffet.

vestigial - (adj.) in small amounts. The vestigial gem was difficult to collect as well as find.

veteratorian - (adj.) subtle, insidious, conniving, crafty. The villain’s veteratorian, viscid creation seeped into the sewers.

vex - (verb) to irritate, annoy or provoke. The lack of sincerity in his friend’s apology vexed him. 

vilipend - (verb) to belittle, speak badly about or discourage. Buford was tired of being vilipended by the older boys, so he socked Billy in the nose.

viscid - (adj.) having a glutinous, sticky, or adhesive consistency. Punishments were dealt out accordingly when the viscid mud pie was discovered on the teacher's desk.

voortrekker - (noun) a pioneer or adventurer. Bravely, the voortrekker drug himself to the top of the extraterrestrial mountain.


waft - (verb) to carry lightly through the air or over water. The cool breezed wafted the smell of freshly baked cookies over to the mischievous boys.

weasand - (noun) throat or gullet. Hermin slid down the beasts weasand into its fetid belly.

weequashing - (verb) to spear eels or fish from a canoe by torchlight. Weequashing was a sport remembered by only the most ancient tribe members.

welkin - (noun) the sky; the heavens. At twilight the welkin was a purple hue.

welmish - (adj.) a pale or sickly color. After being asked if he had completed his assignments, the boy gained a welmish complexion.

witzelsucht - (noun) a emotional state brought on by failed or futile attempts and humor. Even though she wasn't very socially skilled, she tried to make a few jokes but was thrown into a witzelsucht.


xantho - (adj.) yellow. The xantho room was abhorred by his wife.

xenium - (noun) a present given to a guest. All the children at her party were given xeniums.

xenocryst - (noun) a crystal foreign to the igneous rock in which it forms. The find of the xenocryst would bring a formidable profit.

xertz - (verb) to swallow rapidly or quickly. The boy xertz (xertzed?) during his first meal in two weeks.

xiphoid - (adj.) shaped like a sword. A xiphoid weapon extended from the rock.

xiphosuran - (adj.) pertaining to horse shoe crabs, or belonging to the order Xiphosura. The xiphosuran creature emerged from the depths.

xystus - (noun) an exercise area located inside a building. After leaving the xystus, the man was unreasonably sore.


yapok - (noun) an aquatic opossum native to the tropical Americas. Scientific name: Chironectes minimus. With tribal utterances, the Indians rounded up the tasty yapoks.

yare - (adj.) quick, agile or nimble. The famished fox was the yarest of all the animals.

yellow - (adj.) a color like that of an egg yolk or ripe lemon. A yellow sock was entirely out of place.

yelve - (noun) a dung fork or a pitch fork. The widow protected herself from the deranged feline with a fetid yelve.

yeply - (adv.) craftily or eagerly. When the brownies arrived, the toddlers yeply congregated around the teacher.

yex - (noun) a  hiccup or cough.  His yex attack was positively unbearable.


zenzizenzizenzic - (noun) the eighth power of a number. The zenzizenzizenzic of the number five is three-hundred ninety thousand, six-hundred twenty-five.

zibeb - (noun) a raisin. For a afternoon snack, he popped a few zibebs in his mouth.

zoophytology - (noun) the study of animals that resemble or behave like plants. Zoophytology had always intrigued the college student, but zoophytologists are not in high demand.

zumbooruk - (noun) a small cannon fired from the back of a camel. During the attack, the booms of zumbooruks could be heard around the country side.

zygostatical - (adj.) of or pertaining to someone who is in charge of weights at a market. The man behind the counter was of a zygostatical upbringing.

zyzzyva - (noun) any of various tropical weevils belonging to the genus  Zyzzyva. One of the last words in the English language. A zyzzyva larva emerged from the nut.