Here are some words to permeate your vocabulary in the new year without seeming pretentious

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• aberration = deviation, a departure from what is normal or desirable
• à la carte = separately priced, with each dish on a menu priced separately
• apathetic = not taking any interest in anything, or not bothering to do anything
• apprise = to inform or give notice to somebody about something
• ballyhoo = NOUN sensational, loud, or sustained advertising; VERB to advertise or publicize something loudly and insistently
• canard = a hoax, a deliberately false report or rumor, especially something silly intended as a joke
• conundrum = an intricate and difficult problem; something that is puzzling or confusing; a riddle, especially one with an answer in the form of a play on words
• curate = NOUN a priest’s assistant, member of the Christian clergy who assists a vicar, rector, or priest; VERB transitive and intransitive verb: to be the curator of a museum, gallery, or other collection; transitive verb to organize and choose the items in an exhibition at a museum or gallery
• deign = VERB to do something in a way that shows that it is considered a great favor; to do something in a haughty manner
• détente = a relaxation of tension or hostility between nations
• dispositive = deciding or bringing about the final outcome or settlement of a court case
• exacerbate = to make an already bad or problematic situation worse
• fait accompli = something that is already done or decided and seems unalterable
• feint = a deceptive action made to disguise what is really intended
• furtive = secretive, done in a way that is intended to escape notice; shifty, presenting the appearance, or giving the impression, of somebody who has something to hide
• garrulous = excessively or pointlessly talkative; wordy, using many or too many words
• haute couture = the creation of exclusive custom-fitted clothing; the design and production of fashionable high-quality custom-made clothes
• hegemony = control or dominating influence by one person or group, especially by one political group over society or one nation over others
• heuristic = ADJECTIVE (education) relating to or using a method of teaching that encourages learners to discover solutions for themselves; (philosophy science) using or arrived at by a process of trial and error rather than set rules; NOUN a helpful procedure for arriving at a solution but not necessarily a proof
• hoplite = in ancient Greece, a heavily armed foot soldier
• insouciant = free from concern, worry, or anxiety; carefree; nonchalant
• internecine = relating to or involving conflict within a group or organization; mutually destructive, damaging or injuring participants on both sides of a conflict
• nascent = in the process of emerging, being born, or starting to develop
• obelus [/obelisk] = a printed mark (†) used in modern editions of ancient manuscripts to indicate that the passage marked is thought not to be genuine; a dagger sign (†) that is used as a reference mark, especially to a footnote
• obsequious = excessively eager to please or obey
• outrage = an extremely violent or cruel act; a very offensive or insulting act; fury, intense anger and indignation aroused by a violent or offensive act
• perambulate = to walk about
• permeate = to enter something and spread throughout it, so that every part or aspect of it is affected; to pass through the minute openings in a porous substance or membrane, or make something such as a liquid pass through
• pretentious = self-important, acting as though more important or special than is warranted, or appearing to have an unrealistically high self-image; made to look important, intended to seem to have a special quality or significance, but often seeming forced or overly clever; ostentatious, extravagantly and consciously showy or glamorous
• proclivity = a natural tendency to behave in a particular way
• quid pro quo = something given or done in exchange for something else
• rapprochement = the establishment or renewal of friendly relations between people or nations that were previously hostile or unsympathetic toward each other
• recidivism = the tendency to relapse into a previous undesirable type of behavior, especially crime
• reprisal = a violent military action, e.g. the killing of prisoners or civilians, carried out in retaliation for an enemy’s action; a strong or violent retaliation for an action that somebody has taken; the forcible seizure of property or people from another country as retaliation for some injury
• surreptitious = done in a concealed or underhand way to escape notice, especially disapproval
• tendentious = written or spoken with personal bias in order to promote a cause or support a viewpoint, trying to influence opinion
• tumult = a violent or noisy commotion; a psychological or emotional upheaval or agitation
• ubiquitous = present everywhere at once, or seeming to be
• veracity = the truth, accuracy, or precision of something


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