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Expanding My Vocabulary: Napoelonic Edition

Here are some words I had to look up during my recent reading of Andrew Roberts’s Napoleon: A Life:

  • peculation, an embezzlement
  • manque, having failed to become what one might have been
  • otiose, serving no practical purpose or result
  • oleaginously, marked by an offensively ingratiating manner or quality
  • histrionics, exaggerated dramatic behavior designed to attract attention
  • stentorian, loud and powerful (voice)
  • chivvied, told repeatedly to do something
  • obsequies, funeral rites
  • escarpment, a long, steep slope, especially one at the edge of a plateau or separating areas of land at different heights
  • lacuna, an unfilled space or interval
  • prorogued, discontinue a session of (a parliament or other legislative assembly) without dissolving it
  • debouching, emerge from a narrow or confined space into a wide, open area
  • auto-da-fe, act of faith; public penance
  • proscenium, the part of a theater stage in front of the curtain
  • lachrymose, tearful or given to weeping
  • avuncular, of or relating to an uncle; kind and friendly toward a younger person
  • morganatic, of or denoting a marriage in which neither the spouse of lower rank nor any children have any claim to the possessions or title of the spouse of higher rank

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