a shelter serving as a place of safety or sanctuary
In August, editor-at-large Leigh Buchanan and I traveled to the foundation's headquarters, an oasis
of greenery and glass in sweltering Kansas City, Missouri.
—Inc (Sep 27, 2011)
showing unfeeling resistance to tender feelings
dutifully complying with the commands or instructions of those in authority
“‘With all due respect, I have the honor to be, Sir, “‘Your most obedient
and humble servant.’
bending the head or body or knee as a sign of reverence or submission or shame or greeting
make obscure or unclear
Yet as we tried to understand, there always seemed to be an obfuscating
layer: something or someone was working against comprehension.
—Time (Dec 11, 2010)
the goal intended to be attained (and which is believed to be attainable)
"Our main objective
is to maintain a balance between market share and profitability," Chief Executive Officer Marco Antonio Bologna said in the earnings statement.
—Reuters (Feb 13, 2012)
the state of being obligated to do or pay something
indirect in departing from the accepted or proper way; misleading
An old man, of monstrous obesity, seated on a wooden chair, devoured his pittance with animal voracity, casting on either side oblique
(followed by `to' or `of') lacking conscious awareness of
They were lying down and apparently oblivious
to my approach—perhaps asleep.
state of disgrace resulting from public abuse
Thus public men are content to leave their reputation to posterity; great reactions take place in opinion; nay, sometimes men outlive opposition and obloquy
—Newman, John Henry Cardinal
not clearly understood or expressed
Nor has any obscure
, mysterious, or illusive point in history been cleared up by the spirits.
attentive in an ingratiating or servile manner
no longer in use
Over the past dozen or so years, hospitals across the country have gone digital, leading to better patient outcomes and making hangar-size file-storage facilities obsolete
—Slate (Apr 9, 2012)
tenaciously unwilling or marked by tenacious unwillingness to yield
No opposition was so great, no difficulty so stubborn and obstinate
, which he did not conquer by his beloved Son, the author of our salvation.
noisily and stubbornly defiant
If particularly wild, obstinate, or obstreperous
, he still keeps breaking away, and refusing to come into camp.
—Shields, George O.
block passage through
Through Icy Sound we found some difficulty in penetrating, as the channel was much obstructed
come into possession of
Nine years later, Napoleon managed, by skilful intrigues, to obtain
quiet possession of Malta.
“We’ve done research, and the ads are considered annoying, irritating and obtrusive
,” Mr. Norris said after watching Barnes & Noble’s presentation.
—New York Times (Nov 7, 2011)
slow to learn or understand; lacking intellectual acuity
The affair had been mentioned so plainly that it was impossible for the most dense and obtuse
person not to have understood the allusion.
prevent the occurrence of; prevent from happening
Fevers are at present alarmingly prevalent, arising from causes which judicious attention and sanitary means would easily obviate
—Ballou, Maturin Murray
block passage through
In many cases we can dissolve the clot that is occluding
the artery or blood vessel in the brain and restore normal flow.
—Seattle Times (Nov 29, 2010)
supernatural practices and techniques
live (in a certain place)
Another reason sales have fallen is that previously occupied
homes have become a better deal than new homes.
—Time (Apr 17, 2012)
Hideous and odious
, revolting beyond all expression, the underground war finished by becoming impossible.
hate coupled with disgust
Week after week, the seceders were held up to public odium
, derision and scorn.
having a natural fragrance
substances are fragrant for many years, exhaling continually, yet are not quickly consumed.
a long wandering and eventful journey
He hit six rodeos in seven days, an odyssey
that took him to stops in Texas, Arkansas, New Mexico and California.
—Newsweek (Dec 10, 2010)
cause to feel resentment or indignation
The research said milder expressions should be used to "avoid offending
the public and stoking social tensions".
—BBC (Feb 27, 2012)
intrusive in a meddling or offensive manner
Be kind, of course; that’s only your duty, but I call it officious
and presumptuous to interfere in other people’s lives.
compensate for or counterbalance
The chain has been raising prices on some drinks to help offset
higher costs for commodities like coffee and milk.
—New York Times (Jan 27, 2012)
look at with amorous intentions
“This simple food keeps you in beautiful health, Father,” said Mistletoe, ogling
the swarthy face of the Abbot with an affection that he duly noted.
of or relating to olfaction
The human brain’s olfactory
bulb is activated differently depending on where a smell hits the nostril, indicating that odor receptor organization is not uniform.
—Scientific American (Sep 26, 2011)
a political system governed by a few people
The track management of this particular university was an oligarchy
; was governed by a few absolute individuals.
—Marchand, J. N.
a sign of something about to happen
Pale-faced, wide-eyed, statuesque, their presence, interpreted by a vivid imagination, might have been regarded as an omen
of impending misfortune.
—Harris, Joel Chandler
threatening or foreshadowing evil or tragic developments
He knew there was something ominous
in her silence, like gathering thunder.
leave undone or leave out
Titles are abbreviated, mottoes dropped, foot notes cut out, and many earlier poems reduced, or omitted
having unlimited power
We can still call Him Omnipotent
in the sense that He possesses all the power there is.
being present everywhere at once
feeding on both plants and animals
Rats and mice are practically omnivorous
, feeding upon all kinds of animal and vegetable matter.
—Lantz, David E.
not easily borne; wearing
using words that imitate the sound they denote
the rapid and continuous delivery of linguistic communication (spoken or written)
Most companies are facing an onslaught
of information about customers from social networks, the Internet, and mobile devices.
—BusinessWeek (Sep 6, 2011)
an onerous or difficult concern
having a play of lustrous rainbow colors
It is a picture beautiful as the opalescent
colors of a soap bubble.
not transmitting or reflecting light or radiant energy; impenetrable to sight
Comets differ from the bodies which we have just been describing in that they appear filmy and transparent, whereas the others are solid and opaque
—Dolmage, Cecil Goodrich Julius
a person secretly employed in espionage for a government
a narcotic drug that contains opium or an opium derivative
Signs of opiate
drug use include pinpoint pupils, too much sleep, too little motivation, unexplained absences and worsening grades, counselors say.
—Seattle Times (Oct 1, 2011)
someone who offers opposition
Sarkozy has been criticized by opponents
and even some allies for his sometimes brutal manner of pushing through decisions.
—Time (Apr 23, 2012)
suitable or at a time that is suitable or advantageous especially for a particular purpose
Most viewed the budget surplus as opportune
: a chance to pay down the national debt, cut taxes, shore up entitlements or pursue new spending programs.
—Washington Post (Feb 19, 2012)
a person who places expediency above principle
A Rangoon resident told the BBC that some of these groups were seen as opportunists
playing along with the junta for personal gain.
—BBC (Mar 30, 2010)
a body of people united in opposing something
Medical Missions in Persia have already worked wonders, breaking down opposition
, winning friends even amongst the most fanatical.
marked by unjust severity or arbitrary behavior
The consequences flowing from this unjust and oppressive
system of taxation are appalling.
—Cloud, D. C.
state of disgrace resulting from public abuse
They know how easily the taunting of Mr Brown over bullying allegations and ill-scripted condolence letters engendered public sympathy rather than opprobrium
—BBC (Apr 28, 2010)
a person disposed to take a favorable view of things
possible but not necessary; left to personal choice
All other laws, it is optional
with each man to obey, or not, as he may choose.
rich and superior in quality
The count was rich in land, but his income could not be compared with that of the opulent
—Palacio Valdés, Armando
a musical work that has been created
Barnes will perform his opus
, "Acknowledgment of a Celebration," which he debuted at last fall's Earshot Jazz Festival.
—Seattle Times (May 31, 2010)
an authoritative person who divines the future
Dionysus further possessed the prophetic gift, and his oracle
at Delphi was as important as that of Apollo.
of or relating to an oracle
Nor does his philosophic attitude exclude the possibility of a certain faith in oracular
foresight and divination.
a person who delivers a speech or oration
As an orator
Senator Evarts stood in the foremost rank, and some of his best speeches were published.
an authoritative rule
Police say officers began patrolling parks near the stadium Monday night to make sure no park ordinances
are violated, especially those related to alcohol.
—Seattle Times (Apr 10, 2012)
lacking special distinction, rank, or status; commonly encountered
While the government and the developers are doing well, many ordinary
people are hurt by the high cost of living.
—Time (Apr 3, 2012)
the status of being ordained to a sacred office
Some forty English students are educated for the priesthood and return on their ordination
for work in their native land.
—O'Reilly, Elizabeth Boyle
of or relating to foodstuff grown or raised without synthetic fertilizers or pesticides or hormones
a course introducing a new situation or environment
To reduce the number of dropouts, it is offering students a three-week “orientation
” during which they can quit without charge.
—Economist (Sep 9, 2010)
an aperture or hole that opens into a bodily cavity
The mouth, a round, lipless orifice
, contracted or dilated at will; from it came whistling words.
—Diffin, Charles Willard
the source of something's existence or from which it derives or is derived
British, but especially English, place names are, in a vast majority of cases, either of Saxon, Norse, or Celtic origin
—Russell, T. O.
come into existence; take on form or shape
Some plants, such as the sweet potato, originated
in the Andes Mountains but apparently spread across the Pacific Ocean before the arrival of Columbus.
—Science Magazine (Feb 6, 2012)
marked by elaborate rhetoric and elaborated with decorative details
a zoologist who studies birds
Besides the structural resemblances, which are, of course, the only ones considered by ornithologists
in classifying birds, the indigo buntings have several sparrow-like traits.
(of sounds) full and rich
adhering to what is commonly accepted
His opinions, clashing as they did with orthodox
creeds, were given in a tentative, questioning fashion, so that where ecclesiastical censure fell, retreat was easier.
having a set of mutually perpendicular axes; meeting at right angles
His love of the orthogonal
, which like 1980s dance moves once verged on the robotic, is relaxing into less pure angles.
—The Guardian (Sep 19, 2010)
move or swing from side to side regularly
When the polariton flow was excited with two laser beams, the quantum fluid began to oscillate
backwards and forwards in ways predicted by quantum mechanics.
—Forbes (Jan 9, 2012)
composed of or containing bone
make rigid and set into a conventional pattern
Looking at it out of the corner of my eye, I could think about being a teenager, before roles were ossified
and boundaries set.
—New York Times (Nov 24, 2010)
appearing as such but not necessarily so
This already-exhaustive book is studded with diary entries, academic papers and other ostensible
evidence that its fictitious stories of destruction are true.
—New York Times (Jun 6, 2010)
(of a display) tawdry or vulgar
He was frugal and dressed in plain, ordinary clothes rather than extravagant or ostentatious
—Reilly, S. A.
expel from a community or group
Although she may have been more sinned against than sinning, she is cast out and ostracized
—Moody, Dwight Lyman
serving no useful purpose; having no excuse for being
There is no superfluous ornament in his orations, nothing tawdry, nothing otiose
remove from a position or office
Maldives' torture- addicted previous president was ousted
and a more democratic government was established.
—Seattle Times (May 3, 2012)
something that results
conspicuously or grossly unconventional or unusual
His outsized personality and outlandish
comments - maybe not so absurd given what Ryan's New York Jets have achieved - draw notice no matter the situation.
—Seattle Times (Jan 23, 2011)
strike with disgust or revulsion
Every single time reporters, analysts, and citizens are astonished, outraged
, shocked anew that the politician didn’t just go ahead and admit what he did.
—Slate (Nov 9, 2011)
grossly offensive to decency or morality; causing horror
“The suffering and bloodshed is outrageous
and it is unacceptable,” Mr. Obama said at the White House, after meeting with Mrs. Clinton.
—New York Times (Feb 24, 2011)
outlying areas (as of a city or town)
given to expressing yourself freely or insistently
Even my lady, so blunt and outspoken
by nature, had shrunk from trying to question the Dutch girl about her lover.
—Weyman, Stanley John
beat through cleverness and wit
To top it all off, he regularly outwits
his elders, showing natural positional sense and finishing moves with the poise and intelligence of an expert.
—The Guardian (Apr 1, 2010)
enthusiastic recognition (especially one accompanied by loud applause)
Buster Poster, receiving rousing ovations
from fans every time his name was announced, cleared another milestone with an RBI single in the first.
—Seattle Times (Apr 5, 2012)
having or showing arrogant superiority to and disdain of those one views as unworthy
He who had been so unprincipled and arrogant, so insolent and overbearing
, his cleverness no longer needed, was tossed aside by his employers.
win a victory over
management by overseeing the performance or operation of a person or group
The former Pennsylvania senator defended the practice by saying that Congress has an important oversight
role in shaping the federal budget.
—Chicago Tribune (Feb 23, 2012)
open and observable; not secret or hidden
In this music, the Caribbean element often isn’t overt
but is coded in the relationship between rhythm and melody.
—New York Times (Mar 6, 2010)
cause the downfall of; of rulers
Just two weeks ago, Mali’s 1991 revolution was reversed when mutinous soldiers overthrew
a democratically elected government.
—New York Times (Apr 6, 2012)
There were crack riders and ropers who, just because they felt such overweening
pride in their own prowess, were not really very valuable men.
I think I was not so much afraid as oppressed by an almost overwhelming
sense of loneliness.
deeply agitated especially from emotion
Belshazzar, pale-faced and utterly overwrought
, physically exhausted, mentally apprehensive, followed his father, walking alone.
—Potter, Margaret Horton
marked by excessive enthusiasm for and intense devotion to a cause or idea
conjoining contradictory terms (as in `deafening silence')
go, the silent disco is right up there, along with vegan bacon, jumbo shrimps and the living dead.
—The Guardian (Jan 29, 2011)