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erichw1504's avatar

What word(s) from the dictionary do you think are extremely under used in today’s world?

Asked by erichw1504 (26398points) January 21st, 2011

Let bring back to life some words from the past that you think should be used in everyday conversation.

Please provide:
– The correct spelling of the word
– Its definition
– And use it in a sentence

If you don’t know of an old word that’s in the dictionary, then make one up that should be added to it!

Inspired by Conan’s claim that “thrice” is highly under used in today’s society.

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29 Answers

LuckyGuy's avatar

Bromidic: stale, trite, or commonplace through overuse; clichéd
The show Two and a Half Men is still popular even though every episode is just a collection of bromidic blather.

963chris's avatar

I would aver that most words with 3 or more syllables might fall into this category…such as charlatan, egregious, recondite, alienate…

Vunessuh's avatar

I think privy and profound and I rarely hear them used.

JustJessica's avatar

1.Plethora : [pleth-er-uh]
–noun: Overabundance; excess: a plethora of advice and a paucity of assistance.

2.Redundant : [ri-duhn-duhnt]
–adjective: Characterized by verbosity or unnecessary repetition in expressing ideas; prolix: a redundant style.

Plethora is favorite. I use it all the time.

boxer3's avatar

D: contrary to nature, reason, or common sense.
Ex: To think that there is no corruption in government, is absolutely preposterous.

Arbornaut's avatar

‘Grouse’ and ‘Bonzer’ both meaning good or excellent.
For example: “Bonzer effort on the job today fellas, how about a round of applause for Shaza for putting on a bloody Grouse feed for us all.”

‘Flabbergasted’: Amazed, astonished etc.

‘Cantankerous’: Difficult, ill tempered etc.

Brian1946's avatar

Cynosure: center of attention.

Sarah Palin is obsessed with being the cynosure.

deni's avatar

Okay, I thought for a sec this was about URBAN DICTIONARY and I got so excited, because the other day I was watching an episode of The Office and Creed used the term “hanging brain” so I looked it up on Urban Dictionary and have been laughing ever since. Not that I want to see people “hanging brain” but it’s a hilarious phrase.

CaptainHarley's avatar

“Arrogate” is defintely underutilized!

ucme's avatar

Discombobulated : To throw into confusion/upset.
The man in the pink dress was discombobulated upon viewing his reflection in the mirror XD

Fred931's avatar

Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis: “a factitious word alleged to mean ‘a lung disease caused by the inhalation of very fine silica dust, causing inflammation in the lungs.’”

Got a bad cough? Might be that dreaded ol’ Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis!

Taciturnu's avatar


taciturn : temperamentally disinclined to talk

I went on speech strike … remaining defiantly taciturn through a procession of speech therapists and psychotherapists, verbalizing only to the gardener and swearing him to silence. —Simon Schama, New Republic, 22 July 2002

ETpro's avatar

These days mixed morphemes are used all the time without calling them a portmanteau. How doleful.

morpheme, noun—a distinctive collocation of phonemes (as the free form pin or the bound form -s of pins) having no smaller meaningful parts

portmanteau, noun—1: a large suitcase. 2: a word or morpheme whose form and meaning are derived from a blending of two or more distinct forms (as smog from smoke and fog).

doleful, adj.—1: causing grief or affliction <a doleful loss>. 2: full of grief : cheerless <a doleful face>. 3: expressing grief : sad <a doleful melody>.

Definitions courtesy of Merrian Webster.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

dour – adj. – sullen or gloomy.

The words in this thread are mostly dour.

ETpro's avatar

@Arbornaut That sense for Grouse must be British slang. The word has 3 dictionary meanings. It’s a type of game bird often hunted. As a verb, in tmeans to complan and grumble. And a second noun meaning is complaint.

Arbornaut's avatar

@ETpro Australian and New Zealand slang.

ETpro's avatar

@Arbornaut Aha. Thanks. I learn something new every day on Fluther.

SavoirFaire's avatar

Avuncular – of or like an uncle.
Materteral – of or like an aunt.

     “Because my sister-in-law already had children, I technically married into avuncularity.”


Compossible – possible in coexistence with something else.

     “Unfortunately, many people do not realize that feeling certain is compossible with being wrong.”


Growlery – a secluded place where one can go when in a bad mood.

     “Okay, this is getting out of hand. Before I lose control, I’m just going to retreat to my growlery.”


Muliebrity – the condition of being a woman.

     “Though Anne was eminently qualified, her sexist boss refused to promote her due to the mere fact
     of her muliebrity.”


Lucubrate – to work, write, or study laboriously, especially at or through the night.
Lucubraton – laborious work, especially at night; the product of such work.

     “Lucubration is the modus operandi of many college students.”


Turophile – a connoisseur of cheese; a cheese fancier.

     “The French have a reputation for being turophiles.”


Ultracrepidate – to criticize beyond the sphere of one’s knowledge.

     “While common among humans in general, the internet is a treasure trove of ultracrepidation.”

SavoirFaire's avatar

Oh! I almost forgot malamanteau!

ETpro's avatar

@SavoirFaire What a malevolent move to out portmanteau me with malamanteau.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@ETpro I am lost in the bewilderness at your insinuendo. I must confess that I am a bit flustrated at the way you have misconscrewed me!

efritz's avatar

pootle: to wander or ramble, such as by walking or driving. “What’re you doing?” “Oh, just pootling around.” (although it kind of sounds like a verb for defacating, now that I think about it . . . )

@JustJessica – my dad uses plethora all the time. He’s so proud of that one cool word he discovered . . .

Ladymia69's avatar

I think the word “outstanding” should be used in place of the oft-abused “awesome”.

ETpro's avatar

@SavoirFaire Aha. Now I know who invented refudiate for Palin. :-)

@ladymia69 That’s an awesome idea.

anartist's avatar

miasma [see the fart question] SAY IT
noxious exhalations from putrescent organic matter; poisonous effluvia or germs polluting the atmosphere
The king of Farts shrouded himself with his own miasma.
The effect of his presence upon my asthma was severe.

anartist's avatar

meretricious (adj) cheap, tawdry [another underutilized word] , gaudy, of little value
having to do with prositution SAY IT
I have never seen such a meretricious bunch of crap as was in that Pier One.

lloydbird's avatar

Discomnockerated = Delighted
A la Ken Dodd.

ETpro's avatar

@anartist Excellent word. So few people know its meaning, and if you called someone that and they didn’t know it’s meaning, you could probably weasel out by telling them it means full of merit.

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