Sunday, 1 May 2011


Palatial: pertaining to a palace, grandiose, magnificent
Palaver: conference or discussion, idle chat, chat with flattery of cajolery involved
Palimpsest: erased parchment, which is then reused, manuscript written over earlier ones
Palisade: a fence of pales or stakes set firmly in the ground
Palladian: of or relating to wisdom or learning
Palliasse: mattress consisting of a thin pad filled with straw, sawdust, or hay
Palliate: to alleviate, reduce or remove pain
Pallid: pale, wan, deficient in color
Panacea: a cure-all, medicine, herb, or concoction designed or functioning as a cure-all
Panoply: a full collection or array, full set of armor
Panoramic: unbroken view of an entire surrounding area, inclusive presentation, survey
Pantomime: communication through gestures and facial movements
Parabola: mathematical term, looks akin to a “u” or “n”
Paradigm: clearly defined archetype, typical example or pattern of something
Paramour: lover, especially one in an adulterous relationship, lover, illicit lover
Paraph: a flourish at the end of a signature, may be used as a safeguard against forgery
Parvenu: noveau-riche, person risen to new status, but lacks the social skills necessary
Pasquinade: public farce, satire, or lampoon
Pastiche: literary patchwork, hodgepodge, collision of genres used to create a new item
Patina: natural tarnish from wear of usage and passage of time, verdigris
Patois: dialect other than the usual or literary dialect, uneducated or provincial language
Paucity: scarcity, lack of presence, fewness, a small number
Peccadillo: insignificant sin or wrongdoing, trifling fault
Peccavi: admission of guilt, confession
Pellucid: translucently clear, limpid, ethereal
Peninsula: piece of land mostly surrounded by water, except on one side
Pensive: brooding, reflecting, involving, or engaged in deep or serious thought
Penumbra: partial shadow, space of partial illumination, limits of a shadow
Percolate: to filter, to cause to filter, to cause to pass through pores or small holes
Perennial: lasting throughout the year
Perforate: to pierce, punch, or bore a hole or holes in, stab through, penetrate
Periphery: line that forms the boundary, limited circumference of sight, perimeter
Permeate: to pervade, to spread or flow throughout, to diffuse through
Perpetuity: the quality or condition of being perpetual, ceaseless, or continual
Phantasm: something apparently seen but having no physical reality, illusion
Philander: to womanize or entertain or elicit casual or wanton sex
Philanthropy: the effort or drive to further the well-being of humankind, generosity
Philosophy: discipline comprising aesthetics, ethics, metaphysics, and epistemology, etc.
Philtrum: subtle curve beneath the nose and on the upper lip, palate
Phoenix: mythical bird of fire which rises from it’s ashes in a cycle of rebirth
Pianissimo: musical direction, very softly
Piquant: aromatic, appetizing, appealingly provocative
Pirouette: ballet spin, ballet technique
Pizzicato: music term, played by plucking rather than bowing
Placid: sedate, calm, peaceful, relaxed, serene
Plumage: entire feathery covering or portion of a bird, feathers collectively
Pluvial: characterized or relating to rainfall
Pococurante: nonchalant, indifferent, lukewarm in opinion, insouciant
Poignant: profoundly moving, touching, physically or emotionally painful
Ponceau: a strong red to reddish orange
Porcelain: strong, vitreous, translucent ceramic with glazed colored material
Portfolio: portable case for carrying documents
Portico: porch or walkway with a roof supported by columns, often leads into an entrance
Portmanteaux: pl. large suitcase, merging of two words to form a new one, often a pun
Prairillon: a small meadow or tract of grassland, heath, plain
Precocious: manifesting or characterized by unusually early development or maturity
Prelude: preceding event or action, music term, preliminary, preambulate
Preterlabent: flowing beside or by, especially of a river or stream
Prismatic: refractive light of a spectrum, brilliantly colored
Pristine: in primordial condition, untouched, belonging to the earliest period or state
Promethean: boldly creative, defiantly original, deviating genius
Propinquity: nearness in place, approximate location, proximity, vicinity
Proscenium: Greek or Roman theater stage, the part of a stage in front of the curtain
Prosody: the rhythm, stress, and intonation of speech
Provocative: tending or serving to provoke, inciting, stimulating, irritating, or vexing
Prurient: having, relating to, or typified by lascivious or lustful thoughts or desires
Psithurisma: whisper, sound of wind through the trees, sound of wind-rustled leaves
Psittacism: automatic speech without thought of the meaning of the words spoken
Psyche: the mind or self as a functional entity, center of thought, feeling, and motivation
Punchinello: short, fat clown or clown puppet
Puree: rub through a strainer or process in an electric blender
Purlicue: space between the thumb and forefinger
Pyrrhic: of a victory, having high levels of casualties or damage on both sides

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