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350+ Unique Words You Can Use To Impress People

Abaya — a full-length, sleeveless outer garment worn by Arabs

Abomasum — the fourth stomach of a ruminant, such as a cow or sheep

Absquatulate — to leave somewhere abruptly

Adscititious — additional

Afreet — a powerful jinn or demon in Arabian and Muslim mythology

Albertopolis — a group of museums and other cultural institutions in South Kensington in London, named after Prince Albert

Unique Words

Alcazar — a Spanish palace or fortress

Amphibology — a phrase or sentence that is grammatically ambiguous, such asShe sees more of her children than her husband

Amphisbaena — a mythical serpent with a head at each end

Anfractuous — winding or circuitous

Anguilliform — resembling an eel

Apoptosis — the death of cells which occurs as a normal part of an organism’s growth or development

Apple-knocker — informal an ignorant or unsophisticated person

Argle-bargle — copious but meaningless talk or writing

Argus-eyed — vigilant, referring to Argos, a Greek mythological watchman with a hundred eyes

Argute — shrewd

Aspergillum — an implement used for sprinkling holy water in religious ceremonies

Astrobleme — an eroded remnant of a large, ancient crater made by the impact of a meteorite or comet

Attic salt — refined, incisive wit

Autotomy — the casting off of a limb or other part of the body by an animal under threat, such as a lizard

Badmash — a hooligan

Bandoline — a sticky preparation used for setting hair

Unique Words

Bardolatry — humorous excessive admiration of Shakespeare

Barmecide — illusory or imaginary and therefore disappointing

Barn burner — a very exciting or dramatic event, especially a sports contest; first used of an exceptionally good hand at bridge

Bashment — a large party or dance

Bawbee — Scottish a coin of low value

Benthos — the flora and fauna on the bottom of a sea or lake

Bergschrund — a type of crevasse

Bezoar — a small hard, solid mass which may form in the stomachs of animals such as goats or sheep

Bibliopole — a person who buys and sells books, especially rare ones

Bilboes — an iron bar with sliding shackles, used to fasten prisoners’ ankles

Bindlestiff — a tramp

Bingle — informal a collision

Blatherskite — a person who talks at great length without making much sense

Bleeding edge — the very forefront of technological development

Blind pig — informal a place where alcoholic drinks are sold illegally

Bobsy-die — a great deal of fuss or trouble

Boffola — informal a joke that gets a loud or hearty laugh

Boilover — informal a surprise result in a sporting event

Borborygmus — a rumbling or gurgling noise in the intestines

Breatharian — a person who believes that it is possible, through meditation, to reach a level of consciousness where one can exist on air alone

Brobdingnagian — gigantic, from Brobdingnag, a country in Jonathan Swift’sGulliver’s Travels

Bruxism — involuntary and habitual grinding of the teeth

Bumbo — a drink of rum, sugar, water, and nutmeg

Burnsides — a mustache in combination with whiskers on the cheeks but no beard on the chin

Cacoethes — an urge to do something inadvisable

Callipygian — having shapely buttocks

Callithumpian — like a discordant band or a noisy parade

Camisado — a military attack carried out at night

Canorous — melodious or resonant

Cantillate — to chant or intone a passage of religious text

Unique Words

Carphology — convulsive or involuntary movements made by delirious patients, such as plucking at the bedclothes

Catoptromancy — foretelling the future by means of a mirror

Cereology — the study or investigation of crop circles

Cerulean — deep sky blue

Chad — a piece of waste paper produced by punching a hole

Chalkdown — informal a teachers’ strike

Chanticleer — a rooster in a fairy tale

Chiliad — a thousand things or a thousand years

Claggy — ialect sticky or able to form sticky lumps

Clepsydra — an early clock using the flow of water into or out of a container

Colporteur — a person who peddles books, newspapers, or other writings, especially bibles and religious tracts

Comess — a confused or noisy situation

Commensalism — an association between two organisms in which one benefits from the relationship and the other derives neither harm nor benefit

Comminatory — threatening, punitive, or vengeful

Concinnity — elegance or neatness of literary or artistic style

Congius — an ancient Roman liquid measure equal in modern terms to about 6 imperial pints

Conniption (or conniption fit) — informal a fit of rage or hysterics

Constellate — to gather together in a cluster or group

Coprolalia — the involuntary repetitive use of obscene language

Coriaceous — like leather

Couthy — Scottish (of a person) warm and friendly; (of a place) cosy and comfortable

Criticaster — a minor or incompetent critic

Crore — ten million

Crottle — a lichen used in Scotland to make a brownish dye for wool

Croze — a groove at the end of a cask or barrel in which the head is fixed

Cryptozoology — the search for and study of animals whose existence is unproven, such as the Loch Ness monster and the yeti

Cudbear — a purple or violet powder used for dyeing, made from lichen

Cupreous — of or like copper

Cyanic — blue; azure

Cybersquatting — the practice of registering well-known names as Internet domain names, in the hope of reselling them at a profit

Dariole — a small round metal mould used in French cooking for an individual sweet or savory dish

Deasil — clockwise or in the direction of the sun’s course

Decubitus — the posture of someone who is lying down or lying in bed

Deedy — industrious or effective

Defervescence — the lessening of a fever

Deglutition — the action or process of swallowing

Degust — to taste food or drink carefully, so as to fully appreciate it

Deipnosophist — a person skilled in the art of dining and dinner-table conversation

Deracinate — to tear something up by the roots

Deterge — to cleanse something thoroughly

Didi — an older sister or female cousin

Digerati — people with expertise or professional involvement in information technology

Dight — clothed or equipped; also, to make something ready for use

Discobolus — a discus thrower in ancient Greece

Disembogue — to emerge or pour out (used of a river or stream)

Disenthral — to set someone free from enslavement

Divagate — to stray or digress

Divaricate — to stretch or spread apart

Donkey engine — a small auxiliary engine on a ship

Donkeyman — a man working in a ship’s engine room

Doryphore — a pedantic and annoyingly persistent critic of others

Dotish — stupid or silly

Douceur — a financial inducement or bribe

Draff — dregs or refuse

Dragoman — an interpreter or professional guide for travellers, especially one in countries in which Arabic, Turkish, or Persian is spoken

Dumbsize — to reduce the staff numbers of a company to such low levels that work can no longer be carried out effectively

Dwaal — a dreamy, dazed, or absent-minded state

Ecdysiast — a striptease performer

Edacious — having to do with eating or fond of eating

Effable — able to be described in words.

Emacity — fondness for buying things

Emmetropia — the normal condition of the eye: perfect vision

Empasm — a perfumed powder sprinkled on the body to prevent sweating or for medicinal purposes

Ensorcell — to enchant or fascinate someone

Entomophagy — the eating of insects, especially by people

Erf — a plot of land

Ergometer — an apparatus which measures energy expended during physical exercise

Erubescent — reddening or blushing

E-tailer — a retailer who sells goods on the Internet

Etui — a small ornamental case for holding needles, cosmetics, and other articles

Eucatastrophe — a happy ending to a story

Eurhythmic — in harmonious proportion

Eviternity — eternal existence or everlasting duration

Exequies — funeral rites

Exsanguine — bloodless or anaemic

Extramundane — outside or beyond the physical world

Eyewater — W. Indian tears

Famulus — an assistant or attendant, especially one working for a magician or scholar

Fankle — Scottish to tangle or entangle something

Fipple — the mouthpiece of a recorder or similar wind instrument

Flatline — to die

Flews — the thick pendulous lips of a bloodhound or similar dog

Floccinaucinihilipilification — the action or habit of estimating something as worthless (a word generally only quoted as a curiosity)

Flocculent — having or resembling tufts of wool

Force-ripe — West Indian old or mature in certain respects without having developed fully in others

Forehanded — prudent or thrifty

Frondeur — a political rebel

Fugacious — transient or fleeting

Funambulist — a tightrope walker

Furuncle — a boil

Fuscous — dark and sombre in colour

Futhark — the Scandinavian runic alphabet

Futz — to waste time or busy oneself aimlessly

Gaberlunzie — archaic a beggar

Gaita — a kind of bagpipe played in northern Spain and Portugal

Galligaskins — a type of loose breeches worn in the 16th and 17th centuries

Gallus — Scottish bold or daring

Gasconade — extravagant boasting

Glabrous — (of skin) hairless or (of a leaf) having no down

Glaikit — foolish, or thoughtless

Gnathic — having to do with the jaws

Gobemouche — a gullible or credulous listener

Goodfella — a gangster, especially a member of a Mafia family

Guddle — Scottish to fish with one’s hands by groping under the stones or banks of a stream

Habile — deft or skilful

Hallux — Anatomy the big toe

Haruspex — a religious official in ancient Rome who inspected the entrails of sacrificial animals in order to foretell the future

Higgler — a person who travels from place to place selling small items

Hinky — US informal dishonest, suspect, or unreliable

Hoddy-noddy — a foolish person

Hodiernal — of today

Hoggin — a mixture of sand and gravel, used especially in road-building

Hongi — a traditional Maori greeting or salutation made by pressing or touching noses

Howff — a favourite meeting place or haunt, especially a pub

Humdudgeon — an imaginary illness

Hunt-and-peck — using only one or two fingers on a computer keyboard

Hwyl — a stirring feeling of emotional motivation and energy which is associated with the Welsh people

Illywhacker — informal a small-time confidence trickster

Incrassate — thickened in form or consistency

Incunabula — books printed before 1501

Ingurgitate — to swallow something greedily

Inspissate — to thicken or congeal

Inunct — to apply ointment to someone or something

Jumbuck — Austral. informal a sheep

Jumentous — resembling horse’s urine

Jungli — Indian uncultured or wild

Karateka — a person who performs karate

Keek — to peep surreptitiously

Kenspeckle — conspicuous or easily recognizable

Kinnikinnick — a substance consisting of dried sumac leaves and willow or dogwood bark, smoked by North American Indians

Labarum — a banner or flag bearing symbolic motifs

Lactarium — a dairy

Liripipe — the long dangling tail of a medieval academic hood

Loblolly — a North American pine tree with very long slender needles

Lobola — among southern African peoples, the money or cattle given by a bridegroom’s family to the bride’s family

Logomachy — an argument about words

Lollygag — to spend time in an aimless or lazy way

Luculent — (of speech or writing) clearly expressed

Lycanthropy — the supernatural transformation of a person into a wolf

Macushla — an affectionate form of address

Mallam — a learned man or scribe in Nigeria and other parts of Africa

Mamaguy — to try to deceive someone by flattering them or telling them lies

Martlet — a small, swallow-like bird with tufts of feathers in place of legs and feet

Mazel tov — a Jewish expression used to congratulate someone or wish them good luck

Meacock — a coward or effeminate person

Merkin — an artificial covering of hair for the pubic area

Merrythought — a bird’s wishbone

Mim — modest or demure in an affected or priggish way

Mimsy — rather feeble and prim or over-restrained (coined by Lewis Carroll in Through the Looking Glass)

Minacious — menacing or threatening

Minibeast — informal a small invertebrate animal such as an insect or spider

Misogamy — the hatred of marriage

Mistigris — a joker or other extra card played as a wild card in some versions of poker

Mixologist — informal a person who is skilled at mixing cocktails and other drinks

Mollitious — luxurious or sensuous

Momism — excessive attachment to or domination by one’s mother

Monkey’s wedding — simultaneous rain and sunshine

Monorchid — having only one testicle

Moonraker — a native of the county of Wiltshire

Mouse potato — a person who spends large amounts of their leisure or working time on a computer

Mudlark — a person who scavenges in riverside mud at low tide for anything of value

Muktuk — the skin and blubber of a whale, eaten by the Inuit people

Mumpsimus — a traditional custom or notion that is adhered to although it has been shown to be unreasonable

Nacarat — a bright orange-red colour

Nagware — computer software which is free for a trial period and thereafter frequently reminds the user to pay for it

Nainsook — a fine, soft cotton fabric, originally made in the Indian subcontinent

Natation — swimming

Nesh — dialect weak, delicate, or feeble

Netizen — a habitual or keen user of the Internet

Noctambulist — a sleepwalker

Noyade — an execution carried out by drowning

Nugacity — triviality or frivolity

Nympholepsy — passion or rapture aroused in men by beautiful young girls

Obnubilate — to darken, dim, or obscure something

Ogdoad — a group or set of eight

Omophagy — the eating of raw food, especially meat

Omphalos — the centre or hub of something

Onolatry — the worship of donkeys or asses

Operose — involving or displaying a lot of effort

Opsimath — a person who begins to learn or study late in life

Orectic — having to do with desire or appetite

Orrery — a clockwork model of the solar system, or the sun, earth, and moon

Ortanique — a cross between an orange and a tangerine

Otalgia — earache

Oxter — a person’s armpit

Paludal — living or occurring in a marshy habitat

Pantagruelian — enormous

Panurgic — able or ready to do anything

Parapente — an aerofoil parachute, used for gliding

Paraph — a flourish after a signature

Patulous — (of the boughs of a tree, for example) spreading

Pavonine — to do with or resembling a peacock

Pedicular — to do with lice

Peely-wally — looking pale and unwell

Peever — hopscotch

Periapt — an item worn as a charm or amulet

Petcock — a small valve in a steam engine or boiler, used for drainage or for reducing pressure

Peterman — a person who breaks open and robs safes

Pettitoes — pig’s trotters, especially as food

Piacular — making or requiring atonement

Pilgarlic — a bald-headed man, or a person regarded with mild contempt

Pinguid — resembling fat; oily or greasy

Piscatorial — connected with fishermen or fishing

Pleurodynia — severe pain in the muscles between the ribs or in the diaphragm

Plew — a beaver skin

Pneumonoul­tramicrosc­opicsilico­volcanocon­iosis — an invented term said to mean ‘a lung disease caused by inhaling very fine ash and sand
dust’, but rarely used except for its curiosity value

Pogey — Canadian informal unemployment or welfare benefit

Pollex — Anatomy the thumb

Pooter — a suction bottle for collecting insects and other small invertebrates

Portolan — a book containing sailing directions with hand-drawn charts and descriptions of harbors and coasts

Posology — the branch of medicine concerned with the size and frequency of doses of a medicine or a drug

Possident — a possessor, i.e. a person who owns something

Pother — a commotion or fuss

Pre-loved — second-hand

Presenteeism — the compulsion to spend longer at work than is required or to continue working despite illness

Previse — to foresee or predict an event

Probang — a strip of flexible material with a sponge or tuft at the end, used to remove a foreign body from the throat or to apply medication to it

Prosopagnosia — an inability to recognize the faces of familiar people, typically as a result of brain damage

Puddle jumper — A small, light aircraft which is fast and highly manoeuvrable and used for short trips

Puddysticks — children’s word very easy

Pyknic — a technical description of a stocky physique with a rounded body and head, thickset trunk, and a tendency to fat

Pyroclastic — relating to fragments of rock erupted by a volcano

Ragtop — a convertible car with a soft roof

Ratite — (of a bird such as the ostrich or emu) unable to fly because of having a flat breastbone, to which no flight muscles are attached

Rawky — foggy, damp, and cold

Razzia — a raid carried out by Moors in North Africa

Rebirthing — a form of therapy involving controlled breathing and intended to simulate the trauma of being born

Resurrection man — a person who, in past times, illicitly exhumed corpses from burial grounds and sold them to anatomists for dissection

Retiform — resembling a net

Rhinoplasty — plastic surgery performed on the nose

Rubiginous — rust-coloured

Rubricate — to add elaborate capital letters (typically red ones) or other decorations to a manuscript

Rug rat — a child

Rumpot — a habitual or heavy drinker

Sangoma — a traditional healer or witch doctor in southern Africa

Sarmie — informal a sandwich

Saucier — a sauce chef

Saudade — a feeling of longing or melancholy that is supposedly characteristic of the Portuguese or Brazilian temperament

Scofflaw — a person who flouts the law

Screenager — a person in their teens or twenties who has an aptitude for using computers and the Internet

Scrippage — one’s baggage and personal belongings

Selkie — a mythical sea creature like a seal in water but human on land

Serac — a pinnacle or ridge of ice on the surface of a glacier

Sesquipedalian — (of a word) having many syllables or (of a piece of writing) using many long words

Shallop — a light sailing boat used chiefly for coastal fishing

Shamal — a hot, dry north-westerly wind that blows across the Persian Gulf in summer and causes sandstorms

Shavetail — US military slang a newly commissioned officer, or any inexperienced person

Shippon — dialect a cattle shed

Shofar — a ram’s-horn trumpet used in Jewish religious ceremonies and, in ancient times, to sound a battle signal

Skanky — informal revolting

Skelf — a splinter or sliver of wood

Skimmington — a kind of procession once undertaken to make an example of a nagging wife or an unfaithful husband

Skycap — a porter at an airport

Snakebitten — informal unlucky or doomed to misfortune

Snollygoster — a shrewd or unprincipled person

Sockdolager — US informal a heavy blow

Solander — a protective box made in the form of a book, for holding items such as botanical specimens, maps, and colour plates

Soucouyant — a kind of witch, in eastern Caribbean folklore, who is believed to shed her skin by night and suck the blood of her victims

Soul case — the human body

Soul catcher — a hollowed bone tube used by a North American Indian medicine man to keep a sick person’s soul safe while they are sick

Spaghettification — the process by which (in some theories) an object would be stretched and ripped apart by gravitational forces on falling into a black hole

Spitchcock — an eel, split and then grilled or fried

Splanchnic — having to do with the the viscera or internal organs, especially those of the abdomen

Spurrier — a person who makes spurs

Stercoraceous — consisting of or resembling dung or faeces

Sternutator — something that causes sneezing

Stiction — the frictional force which hinders an object from being moved while in contact with another

Strappado — a punishment or torture in which the victim was hoisted in the air on a rope and then allowed to fall almost to the ground before being stopped with an abrupt jerk

Strigil — an instrument with a curved blade used by ancient Greeks and Romans to scrape sweat and dirt from the skin in a hot-air bath or after exercise

Struthious — having to do with or resembling an ostrich

Studmuffin — humorous a sexually attractive, muscular man

Stylite — a early Christian ascetic who lived standing on top of a pillar

Subfusc — the dark formal clothing worn for examinations and ceremonial or formal occasions at some universities

Submontane — passing under or through mountains, or situated on the lower slopes of a mountain range

Succuss — to shake something vigorously, especially a homeopathic remedy

Sudd — an area of floating vegetation that impedes navigation in a stretch of the White Nile

Suedehead — a youth like a skinhead but with slightly longer hair and smarter clothes

Sun-grazing — (of a comet) having an orbit which passes close to the sun

Superbious — proud and overbearing

Superette — a small supermarket

Taniwha — a mythical monster which, according to Maori legend, lives in very deep water

Tappen — the plug by which the rectum of a bear is closed during hibernation

Tellurian — of or inhabiting the earth, or an inhabitant of the earth

Testudo — a device used in siege warfare in ancient Rome, consisting of a wheeled screen with an arched roof (literally a ‘tortoise’)

Thalassic — relating to the sea

Thaumatrope — a scientific toy devised in the 19th century. It consisted of a disc with a different picture on each of its two sides: when the disc was rotated rapidly about a diameter, these pictures appeared to combine into one image.

Thirstland — a desert or large arid area

Thrutch — Na narrow gorge or ravine

Thurifer — a person carrying a censer, or thurible, of burning incense during religious ceremonies

Tiffin — chiefly Indian a light meal, especially lunch

Tigon — the hybrid off spring of a male tiger and a lioness (the offspring of a male lion and a tigress being a liger)

Tokoloshe — in African folklore, a mischievous and lascivious hairy water sprite

toplofty — informal haughty and arrogant

Transpicuous — transparent

Triskaidekaphobia — extreme superstition about the number thirteen

Triskelion — a Celtic symbol consisting of three radiating legs or curved lines, such as the emblem of the Isle of Man

Tsantsa — a human head shrunk as a war trophy by the Jivaro people of Ecuador

Turbary — the legal right to cut turf or peat for fuel on common ground or on another person’s ground

Ulu — a short-handled knife with a broad crescent-shaped blade, used by Inuit women

Umbriferous — shady

Uncinate — (of a part of the body) having a hooked shape

Uniped — a person or animal with only one foot or leg

Uroboros — a circular symbol depicting a snake (or a dragon) swallowing its tail, intended as an emblem of wholeness or infinity

Ustad — Indian an expert or highly skilled person, especially a musician

Vagarious — erratic and unpredictable in behavior or direction

Velleity — a wish or inclination which is not strong enough to lead one to take action

Verjuice — a sour juice obtained from crab apples or unripe grapes

Vicinal — neighbouring or adjacen

Vidiot — informal a habitual, undiscriminating watcher of television or videotapes

Vomitous — nauseating or repulsive

Wabbit — Scottish exhausted or slightly unwell

Waitron — a waiter or waitress

Wakeboarding — the sport of riding on a short, wide board while being towed behind a motor boat

Wayzgoose — an annual summer party and outing that used to be held by a printing house for all its employees

Winebibber — a heavy drinker

Wittol — a man who knows of and tolerates his wife’s infidelity

Woopie — an affluent retired person able to pursue an active lifestyle (from the initials of well-off older person)

Wowser — chiefly Austral./NZ a puritanical, prudish person or a killjoy

Xenology — the scientific study of extraterrestrial phenomena

Ylem — (in big bang theory) the primordial matter of the universe

Zetetic — proceeding by inquiry or investigation

Zoolatry — the worship of animals

Zopissa — a medicinal preparation made from wax and pitch scraped from the sides of ships

Zorro — a South American kind of fox

Zyrian — a former term for Komi, a language spoken in an area of Russia west of the Urals; at present the last entry in the Oxford English Dictionary TC mark

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