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worddefinition
dacoity A term used for "banditry" in India. The spelling is the anglicized version of the Hindi word and as a colloquial Anglo-Indian word with this meaning, it appears in the Glossary of Colloquial Anglo-Indian Words and Phrases (1903). Banditry is criminal activity involving robbery by groups of armed bandits. The Thuggee and Dacoity Suppression Acts, 1836-1848 was enacted in British India under East India Company rule. Areas with ravines or forests, like Chambal, Chilapata Forests were once known for dacoits.
dactyl A metrical unit with stressed-unstressed-unstressed syllables. The word "poetry" is itself a dactyl.
dactylonomy The use of one's fingers to express numbers.
dado In architectural terminology, the dado is the lower part of a wall, below the dado rail and above the skirting board.
dalek A member of a fictional extraterrestrial race of mutants from the British science fiction television series Doctor Who.
darnel Lolium temulentum, typically known as darnel or cockle, is an annual plant that forms part of the Poaceae family and part of the Lolium genus. The plant stem can grow up to 1 meter tall, with inflorescence in the ears and purple grain.
dashiki A colorful men's garment widely worn in West Africa that covers the top half of the body. It has formal and informal versions and varies from simple draped clothing to fully tailored suits. Traditional female attire is called a caftan, or kaftan.
daven To recite the Jewish liturgy; to pray.
davit A davit is a structure, usually made of steel, which is used to lower things over an edge of a long drop off such as lowering a maintenance trapeze down a building or launching a lifeboat over the side of a ship.
démarche 1. A démarche is a formal diplomatic representation of the official position, views, or wishes on a given subject from government to another. 2. A diplomatic maneuver; one handled with finesse. 3. A protest launched through diplomatic measures.
de jure Latin meaning in law or lawfully. The opposite of de facto.
deadfall A mass of brush and fallen trees.
debouch March out (as from a defile) into open ground; "The regiments debouched from the valley."
decalogue The Ten Commandments found in Exodus 20.
decennial The tenth anniversary of an event or happening.
deckle A removable wooden frame or "fence" used in manual papermaking. In a related sense, it can also mean a deckle edge which is a type of rough cut edged paper used in the book trade.
deckle edge The rough uncut edge of a sheet of paper, formed by a deckle.
decompensation 1. The failure of an organ (especially the liver or heart) to compensate for the functional overload resulting from disease. 2. The failure to generate effective psychological coping mechanisms in response to stress, resulting in personality disturbance or disintegration, especially that which causes relapse in schizophrenia.
decorticated Having had the outer layer removed. In medicine, this may refer to the outer lining of an organ. In botany, it may mean the outer layer of a plant structure.
decretal Of or relating to a decree.
dectuple To multiply by ten.
decussate Cross or intersect so as to form a cross; "this nerve decussates the other"; "the fibers decussate."
deferent A deferent is a large circle encircling the Earth, on which an epicycle moves.
defilade A unit or position is "in defilade" if it uses natural or artificial obstacles to shield or conceal. For an armored fighting vehicle (AFV), defilade is synonymous with a hull-down or turret-down position. Defilade is also used to refer to a position on the reverse slope of a hill or within a depression in level or rolling terrain. Defiladed positions on hilltops are advantageous because they allow a defender to take advantage of the height of the terrain without suffering the disadvantage of being silhouetted against the sky. However, because of the slope, "dead space" that cannot be engaged with direct fire will be created in front of the position. Ideally this dead space should be covered by the interlocking fields of fire of other nearby positions, and/or by pre-planned indirect fire such as mortars or other forms of artillery.
deipnosophist (Literature / Rhetoric) Rare. A person who is a master of dinner-table conversation.
delate To carry; to convey.
delenda Latin for "destroyed." Known from the famous phrase "Carthago delenda est," "Carthage must be destroyed."
delict A concept of civil law in which a willful wrong or an act of negligence gives rise to a legal obligation between parties even though there has been no contract between the parties.
delphinids Oceanic dolphins are the members of the Delphinidae family of cetaceans. These marine mammals are related to whales and porpoises. They are found worldwide, mostly in the shallower seas of the continental shelves.
dentex A large active predatory sparid fish, Dentex dentex, of Mediterranean and East Atlantic waters, having long sharp teeth and powerful jaws.
deontology 1. Ethical theory concerned with duties and rights. 2. The ethical doctrine which holds that the worth of an action is determined as by its conformity to some binding rule rather than by its consequences.
derogation 1. An act which belittles; disparagement; the act of derogating. 2. The temporary or partial nullification of a law.
desideratum Something that is wished for, or considered desirable.
desuetude 1. A state of inactivity or disuse. 2. In law, desuetude (from the Latin word desuetudo: outdated, no longer custom) is a doctrine that causes statutes, similar legislation or legal principles to lapse and become unenforceable by a long habit of non-enforcement or lapse of time.
dhurrie A thick flat-woven rug or carpet used traditionally in India as floor-coverings (also durrie or durry).
diastema A gap between the teeth.
diastematic Describing a musical notation in which the pitch of a note is represented by its vertical position on the page.
dibble (Also, dibber.) A pointed hand tool for making holes in the ground for seeds or young plants.
dicacity Pertness; sauciness.
dilaudid Hydromorphone hydrochloride: a narcotic analgesic (trade name Dilaudid) used to treat moderate to severe pain. Dilaudid preparations are similar to those containing morphine, but are stronger and have fewer side effects.
dilbit Dilbit (diluted bitumen) is a means of transporting highly viscous hydrocarbon. Per the Alberta Oil Sands Bitumen Valuation Methodology, "Dilbit Blends" means "Blends made from heavy crudes and/or bitumens and a diluent usually condensate, for the purpose of meeting pipeline viscosity and density specifications, where the density of the diluent included in the blend is less than 800 kg/m3." If the diluent density is greater than or equal to 800 kg/m3, the diluent is typically synthetic crude and accordingly the blend is called synbit.
dioptrics Dioptrics is the study of the refraction of light, especially by lenses. Telescopes that create their image with an objective that is a convex lens (refractors) are said to be "dioptric" telescopes.
dipsomania An uncontrollable craving for alcohol.
dirigiste Controlled or guided by a central authority, as in an economy.
dispensationalism A Christian theological scheme developed by theologian John Nelson Darby that outlined specific historic epochs or dispensations that are pre-ordained by God. This pre-millennialist view often encourages the Christian faithful to await salvation while remaining aloof from sinful secular society since they will be raptured before the Tribulations.
dispositive 1. Relating to or bringing about the settlement of an issue or the disposition of property. 2. Dealing with the disposition of property by deed or will.
distrain Legally take something in place of a debt payment; confiscate by distress; levy a distress on.
distraint Distraint or distress is "the seizure of someone's property in order to obtain payment of rent or other money owed," especially in common law countries.
dithyramb In classical poetry, a type of melic verse associated with drunken revelry and performed to honor Dionysus (Bacchus), the Greek god of wine. In modern usage, the term has come to mean a poem of impassioned frenzy and irregular character.
diwan 1. A Muslim council of state. 2. A collection of Persian or Arabic poems, usually by one author.
dodecahedron Any polyhedron with twelve flat faces, but usually a regular dodecahedron is meant: a Platonic solid. It is composed of 12 regular pentagonal faces, with three meeting at each vertex, and is represented by the Schläfli symbol {5,3}. It has 20 vertices and 30 edges. Its dual polyhedron is the icosahedron, with Schläfli symbol {3,5}. A large number of other (nonregular) polyhedra also have 12 sides, but are given other names. The most frequently named other dodecahedron is the rhombic dodecahedron.
dolorimetry The measurement of pain sensitivity or pain intensity.
Donatism A schismatic Christian religion in northern Africa from the 4th to the 7th century; held that only those who led a blameless life belonged in the church or could administer the sacraments.
dosshouse A flophouse (US English), doss-house or dosshouse (UK English) is a place that offers very cheap lodging, generally by providing only minimal services.
douceur Gentleness and sweetness of manner; agreeableness; a gift for service done or to be done; an honorarium; a present; sometimes, a bribe.
doughty Brave, courageous and stouthearted.
doula A woman who is trained to assist another woman during childbirth and who may provide support to the family after the baby is born.
dovecote A dovecote or dovecot (Scots: Doocot) is a building intended to house pigeons or doves. Dovecotes may be square or circular free-standing structures or built into the end of a house or barn. They generally contain pigeonholes for the birds to nest.
dowager A widow holding property received from her deceased husband.
doxastic Of, pertaining to, or depending on opinion; conjectural.
dragoman The official title of a person who would function as an interpreter, translator and official guide between Turkish, Arabic, and Persian-speaking countries and polities of the Middle East and European embassies, consulates, vice-consulates and trading posts. A dragoman had to have a knowledge of Arabic, Turkish, and European languages.
dreist keck, unverfroren, anmaßend, frech
drogher A freight barge of the West Indies, rigged as a cutter or schooner.
dropsy Swelling, edema, often from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
drosometer A device for measuring the amount of dew on a surface.
Druze An independent religious sect living chiefly in the mountainous regions of Syria and Lebanon, founded in the 11th century, having a faith containing elements of Christianity, Judaism and Islam, and believing in the transmigration of souls and the ultimate perfection of humankind.
ductus Melodic movement, or order of successive notes, which may be rectus (direct, i.e. ascending), reversus or revertens (reversed, i.e. descending), circumcurrens (circumcurrent, i.e. ascending and descending).
dulcitone A keyboard instrument in which sound is produced by a range of tuning forks, which vibrate when struck by felt-covered hammers.
durbar Durbar (دربار - darbār) is an Iranian term meaning the Shah's noble court. It was later used in India and Nepal for a ruler's court or feudal levee as the latter came to be ruled and later administered by Persians and Perso-Turcomen rulers.
dyarchy A form of government having two joint rulers.
dyskinesia Condition characterized by involuntary movements, similar to a tic or chorea.
dysphemism The use of a word or phrase to replace another and that is considered more offensive or more vulgar than the word or phrase it replaces; a word or phrase that is used to replace another in this way.
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