In the May 13 issue of New York Magazine, Kathryn Schulz introduced a critique of F. Scott Fitzgerald's much-beloved novel The Great Gatsby with a reference to the current movie-driven Gatsby resurgence as a recrudescence:

Since we find ourselves, as we cyclically do here, in the middle of another massive Gatsby recrudescence, allow me to file a minority report.

Recrudescence means "a return of something [usually negative] after an abatement," and it's a word you're not likely to see often. A quick look at the usage tracker (see below) on the Dictionary page shows that it appears primarily in literature, rather than in News, Medicine/Science, Business, Arts/Culture, Sports, or Tech.

But that doesn't mean that you, like Schulz, can't enjoy using this word, which allows you to sneak "crud" into a high-minded description of something you're not a fan of (that is nevertheless enjoying a return to popularity).


Got any ideas for good uses of recrudescence? Or are there other unusual vocabulary words you've come across lately? Let us know by leaving a comment below.