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|100 Words Encountered in|
Click word for detail
buttressan architectural feature that supports the wall of a building
other common meaning(s) — as in: a flying buttress
The buttress wall supports the main wall while preserving an open feel in the house.
masonrystone or brick parts of a structure such as a building or wall; or the craft of building with such materials
Falling masonry is dangerous in an earthquake.
cupolaan architectural feature at the top of a roof, usually dome-shaped and opened by windows or columns
Possibly the most famous cupola is that at Saint Peter’s Cathedral at the Vatican.
landmarksomething very important
something easily recognized (such as a monument, building, or geographic feature) — especially one that helps one to know where she is; or that is a tourist destination
It was a landmark Supreme Court decision.
symmetrybalance among the parts of something
or more specifically:
having an exact reflection of form on opposite sides of a dividing line or plane
The building has multiple local symmetries.
piazzaarchitecture: Italian term for a plaza (large open square created or defined by several buildings forming a perimeter enclosure)
They filmed it at the Piazza Navona in Rome.
He was searched again in the anteroom before entering her office.
postmodernismaims to please, surprise or amuse by dismissing the logic, simplicity, and order inherent in modernist architecture and by combining different styles or shapes in unexpected ways
other common meaning(s) — with regard to architecture
Postmodern architects may consider many modern buildings to be soulless.
acousticrelating to properties of sound or hearing
or of a guitar or other musical instrument: not using electricity to amplify sound
She plays an acoustic guitar.
insulateto cover something with a material to prevent passage of something such as heat, cold, noise, or electricity
other common meaning(s) — as in: insulate the attic
We had his bedroom insulated before winter came.
annexan addition that extends a main building
to attach something — especially to something larger or more important
other common meaning(s) — as in: annex of the main building
The YMCA added an annex where younger children can play.
keystonesomething of importance upon which other things depend
architecture or masonry: the central building block at the top of an arch or vault (providing pressure to lock the other blocks into place)
the keystone of campaign reform was the ban on soft money
a beautiful room with an alcove window
ratiothe relative magnitudes of two quantities — often expressed as a:b (which could also be expressed as the fraction a/b)
The ratio of the 2nd to 4th finger length predicts spatial ability in men.
coefficientphysics: a constant number that serves as a measure of some property or characteristic (such as the coefficient of thermal expansion)
other common meaning(s) — as in: coefficient of thermal expansion
Determine the coefficient of friction between the two objects.
prominentwell-known — especially of a person who is respected
conspicuous (easily noticed) because of position or importance
She is a prominent member of our community.
compliantconforming to rules
other common meaning(s) — as in: compliant with the law
The company was fined for not being regulation 4.3 compliant.
paviliona large structure separate from a main structure — in various senses such as:
We’re meeting for a picnic under the pavilion at the park.
basilicain Roman architecture, a public building for assemblies
a Roman Catholic church or cathedral accorded certain privileges (typically architecturally similar to earlier Roman basilica)
We visited St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City.
condemnan official government finding that a building is not suitable to be occupied
other common meaning(s) — as in: condemned the building
The building was condemned by the inspector.
renderto portray or create something in a particular way; or to interpret, translate, or extract from
(see word notes for more detailed definitions based on context)
other common meaning(s) — as in: rendered with, or rendered from
The pianist rendered the Beethoven sonata beautifully.
metal spikes protrude from the dog’s collar
foremana person who is in charge of other workers
a juror in a court case who is selected by other jurors to head the jury
She complained to the shop foreman.
Shakespeare often makes us think by juxtaposing contrasting concepts like youth and age or freedom and responsibility.
latticean object or pattern made from crisscrossing two sets of lines — leaving diamond- or square-shaped spaces where they do not overlap
an arrangement of points or particles or objects in a regular periodic pattern
The house has a decorative lattice fence in front.
contractan agreement - typically written and enforceable by law
other common meaning(s) — as in: legal contract
She signed the contract.
perimeterthe outer edge — in various senses such as:
Don’t go beyond the perimeter of the campgrounds.
premisesland and buildings together — especially of a business or organization
other common meaning(s) — as in: located on the premises
She was injured on the premises of the defendant.
The situation could quickly deteriorate.
coherentsensible and clear; or describing parts as fitting together in a consistent or pleasing manner
She is more coherent now than she was just after the accident an hour ago.
constraintsomething that limits something’s motion or someone’s actions; or the state of being so limited
Both sides have demonstrated a lack of constraint in the discussions.
arbora framework that supports climbing plants; or a shady rest area made by such a framework or by trees and shrubs — as in: shaded arbor
The arbor provided a shady resting place in the park.
The story takes place during medieval times.
contemporarycharacteristic of or belonging to the present time
other common meaning(s) — as in: contemporary design
It’s easier to find outstanding books when selecting from those that have been in print for a long time, but were it not for that I would prefer modern literature with its contemporary language, issues, and ideas.
Renaissancethe period of European history known for a revival of intellectual and artistic achievement (14th through mid-17th centuries)
other common meaning(s) — (with an uppercase "R")
We’re visiting the museum to see the exhibit of Renaissance art.
aestheticrelated to beauty or good taste — often referring to one’s appreciation of beauty or one’s sense of what is beautiful
beautiful or tasteful
It was not aesthetically pleasing.
We’re considering five primary criteria as we compare job applicants.
transparentable to be seen through with clarity
other common meaning(s) — as in: transparent shower door
The transparent shower door shows water spots.
opaquenot able to see through at all
other common meaning(s) — as in: opaque shower door
They are engineering a window that can convert from transparent to opaque with the push of a button.
translucentalmost transparent; allowing light to pass through diffusely — as in: translucent shower door
I could see a vague form through the translucent glass.
mosaicart consisting of a design made of small pieces of colored stone or glass
or more rarely:
anything comprised of many differing parts of equal importance, but varying appearance
The museum preserved a beautiful mosaic floor.
flexiblebendable or adaptable in various senses:
The job has flexible working hours.
plumbexactly vertical or straight — as in: it is plumb
Don’t assume ghosts if your door swings by itself. It is probably not plumb.
The university is comprised of six colleges.
The architect used long vertical lines to pull the eye upward.
Paintings in which horizontal lines dominate, tend to be relaxing.
derivativesomething developed from something else such as:
a highly derivative prose style
acute anglesharp; or an angle measuring between 0 and 90 degrees
other common meaning(s) — as in: an acute angle
Roofs at acute angles are common in snow country.
invertto turn something in the opposite position — such as upside down, inside out, or (of two things) in switched position
We rode an inverted loop roller coaster.
fabricateto make or manufacture something — especially by assembling components
other common meaning(s) — as in: fabricate metal parts
A full machine shop allows them to quickly fabricate parts and create test fixtures.
Although wealthy, the family is not ostentatious.
utilitariandesigned for usefulness rather than beauty or style — as in: utilitarian furniture
She likes plain utilitarian kitchenware.
The couch is covered with synthetic leather.
It’s difficult to spot the birds in the foliage.
It was an ingenious solution to the problem—as reliable as it was easy.
elegantrefined and tasteful in appearance, behavior or style
other common meaning(s) — as in: an elegant gown
She was an elegant bride.
eleganta solution that is simpler (and often more comprehensive) than most would anticipate
other common meaning(s) — as in: as elegant equation
It is an elegant solution that will reduce complexity and save material.
promenadea public pathway for leisurely walking — especially one near the ocean
walking leisurely — especially in a public place
The ladies promenaded along the beach
obstruct the path
linearrelating to a line
describing a proportional relationship that can be graphed with a straight line (described mathematically as an equation whose terms are of the first degree)
more rarely: a straightforward sequence such as "linear thinking"
a linear measurement
bronzea reddish brown metal that is made of copper and (usually) tin
the reddish-brown color of the metal (such as a bronze tan)
something made of the alloy — such as a sculpture
She received the bronze medal at the Olympics.
beveltwo surfaces meeting at an angle (that isn’t 90 degrees) — as in: beveled edge
a beveled mirror
The surgeon consulted his colleagues.
sheertypically of fabric: very thin and delicate — often transparent
other common meaning(s) — as in: a sheer blouse
She likes sheer silk stockings.
ornateof a thing: having lots of decorative detail
of speech: more complicated than necessary because of unusual words and phrases (fans might call it flowery or finely finished, but most would call it too complicated or showy)
The hotel is decorated with ornate furniture, lots of carved designs, and gold leaf gilding.
People congregated outside of City Hall to protest.
reconcileto bring into agreement
(see word notes for more detailed definitions based on context)
other common meaning(s) — as in: reconciled their differences
She reconciled her checking account statement.
premierthe best or most important
other common meaning(s) — as in: premier architect
the premier architect in Saint Louis
China recently emerged as a world power.
appropriatesuitable (fitting) for a particular situation
other common meaning(s) — as in: it is appropriate
These clothes aren’t appropriate for work.
assessconsider something and make a judgment
other common meaning(s) — as in: assess the situation
They assessed the property’s value at $500,000.
attributea characteristic (of something or someone)
other common meaning(s) — as in: It is an attribute of...
She described his physical attributes.
uniformconsistent (the same in some way)
more common meaning(s) — as in: uniform commercial code
A diverse committee will provide a better solution than a committee that is uniform.
It has only three major components.
Apple is considered one of the most innovative companies.
She inherited the manor, but seldom visited it.
most teenagers are surprisingly conformist within a subgroup
sublimepure or extreme
other common meaning(s) — as in: sublime ignorance
With a sublime ignorance of human nature, she set out to save the world.
She wrote the book at the pinnacle of her fame.
I love a lake with tranquil blue water.
I think she’s made a good case. I can neither add to it nor detract from it.
conventionsomething regarded as normal or typical
other common meaning(s) — as in: conventional behavior
It was once conventional wisdom that the earth was flat.
dwellinga house or shelter in which someone lives
other common meaning(s) — as in: a modest dwelling
There is a second dwelling unit on the property.
accommodateprovide (or have the ability to provide) something desired or needed
other common meaning(s) — as in: Each room can accommodate four
The lab can accommodate up to 30 students at one time.
dwellmake one’s home in; or to live in; or to stay (in a place)
other common meaning(s) — as in: It dwells in the forest.
The creature dwells in the forest.
contemporaryliving at the same time
something occurring in the same period of time as something else
other common meaning(s) — as in: they are contemporaries
Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo were contemporary artists who competed for some projects.
A computer model is used to simulate the effects of wind.
suburbanrelating to a residential district located on the outskirts of a city (near the city, but far from the center of it)
She drives from her home in the suburbs to her office downtown.
The corporation was housed in an imposing edifice.
harmoniousco-existing peacefully; or having components that are combined in a pleasing way
other common meaning(s) — as in: live together harmoniously
We work to encourage the harmonious coexistence of different cultures.
We were impressed by her opulent home.
occupantone who lives or habitually works in a specific place
someone presently in a room, car, or seat
someone currently holding a position
The occupant of the home must be warned.
In the summer, our afternoon breezes come predominantly from the southwest.
It’s a difficult situation, but she accentuates the positive and does not get overwhelmed.
accommodationsphysical space — especially a place where travellers can stay
other common meaning(s) — as in: hotel accommodations
Overnight accommodations are available.
accordin keeping with; or in agreement/harmony/unity with
other common meaning(s) — as in: according to, or in accord with
She will get a fair trial in accordance with the law.
agendaa list of matters to be discussed at a meeting
other common meaning(s) — as in: on the agenda
Everyone received a copy of the agenda the day before the meeting.
He alluded to Susan without mentioning her name.
Although in the middle of Dallas, the restaurant has a Maui Beach ambiance.
the patient is ambulatory.
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