- paean Dictionary lookup
(n.) a song of praise or triumph
A paean was written in honor of the victorious warrior.
- palatial Dictionary lookup
(adj.) large and ornate, like a palace
The new palatial home contained two pools and an indoor track for jogging.
- palindrome Dictionary lookup
(n.) a word or phrase which reads the same backwards and forwards
Bob, "Dad," and "Madam" are examples of palindromes.
- palliate Dictionary lookup
(v.) to alleviate or ease pain but not cure; to make appear less serious
The medication will help palliate the pain.
The lawyer attempted to palliate the offense to the jury.
- pallid Dictionary lookup
(adj.) pale in color
The visitor left the hospital room with a pallid face.
- pallor Dictionary lookup
(n.) lack of facial color
The more vivid the testimony grew, the more the witness seemed to take on a ghostly pallor.
- panegyric Dictionary lookup
(n.) high praise
Upon his retirement, he received a great panegyric from many of his associates.
His panegyric to his opponent stood in sharp contrast to the harsh tenor of the campaign.
- paradigm Dictionary lookup
(n.) model, prototype; pattern
The machine could no longer be produced after the paradigm was destroyed.
The Massachusetts gubernatorial race was considered a paradigm of campaign civility.
- parapet Dictionary lookup
(n.) a wall for protection; a low wall or railing
The parapet protected the kingdom from the raging army.
The parapet kept the child from falling into the river.
- paraphernalia Dictionary lookup
(n.) equipment; accessories
She looked guilty since the drug paraphernalia was found in her apartment.
- pariah Dictionary lookup
(n.) an outcast
The pariah of the group sat by himself under the tree.
- parity Dictionary lookup
(n.) state of being the same in power, value, or rank
When the younger brother was promoted to co-president with the elder son, it established parity between the two.
- parley Dictionary lookup
(v.) to speak with another; to discourse
I will parley the information to the appropriate person.
- parochial Dictionary lookup
(adj.) religious; narrow-minded
Devout Christians, the Chesterfields enrolled their children in a parochial school.
Governor Kean urged Republicans to rise above parochial interests and be the party of inclusion.
- parry Dictionary lookup
(v.) to avoid; to ward off
I dislike talking to the woman so I will attempt to parry her by ducking around the corner.
- parse Dictionary lookup
(v.) to separate (a sentence) into parts and describe the function of each
An English teacher may ask a student to parse a sentence.
- parsimonious Dictionary lookup
(adj.) very frugal; unwilling to spend
The owner was so parsimonious he refused to purchase new curtains when the old ones fell off the window.
The parsimonious individual argued that twenty-five cents was much too expensive for a pack of gum.
- parsimony Dictionary lookup
(n.) to be unreasonably careful when spending
The parsimony of the wealthy woman was uncalled for.
- partisan Dictionary lookup
(n.; adj.) supporter; follower; biased; one-sided
The union president is a partisan of minimum-wage legislation.
A partisan for the incumbent mayor will not support the challenger.
- passive Dictionary lookup
(adj.) submissive; unassertive
He is so passive that others walk all over him.
- paucity Dictionary lookup
The described feast was actually a buffet with a paucity of food.
- pavilion Dictionary lookup
(n.) a large tent or covered area, usually used for entertainment
The wedding pavilion was not only beautifully decorated, but also served as welcome protection from a sudden downpour.
- peccadillo Dictionary lookup
(n.) a slight fault or offense
The child was embarrassed when he was caught committing the peccadillo of eating chocolate before dinner.
- pecuniary Dictionary lookup
(adj.) pertaining to money
The retiring employee was delighted when he received a pecuniary gift.
- pedagogue Dictionary lookup
(n.) a teacher
Seeing the way she worked with children there was no doubt she was a true pedagogue.
- pedestrian Dictionary lookup
(adj.) mediocre; ordinary
We expected the meal to be exceptional, but it was just pedestrian.
- pejorative Dictionary lookup
(adj.) making things worse
The pejorative comment deepened the dislike between the two families.
- pellucid Dictionary lookup
The pellucid material was not an adequate shield from the sun.
- penchant Dictionary lookup
(n.) a liking for
I have a penchant for all flavors of ice cream.
- penitent Dictionary lookup
(adj.) feeling sorry for what one has done
The burglar expressed his penitent feelings during his confession.
- pensive Dictionary lookup
(adj.) reflective; contemplative
She was in a pensive mood, just wanting to be alone to think.
My hours alone are often more pensive than the time I spend with friends.
The pensive mood was broken by a witty joke.
- perceptive Dictionary lookup
(adj.) full of insight; aware
The perceptive detective discovered that the murder weapon was hidden in a safe under the floor.
- perdition Dictionary lookup
The perdition of the building was caused by the strong quake.
- peremptory Dictionary lookup
(adj.) barring future action; that cannot be denied, changed, etc.
The peremptory means of defense was satisfactory to keep out the intruders.
The wildcat strike was a peremptory move on the part of the workers.
- perfidious Dictionary lookup
(adj.) faithless; treacherous
The trust between the business associates was broken after the perfidious actions by one of the partners.
- perfunctory Dictionary lookup
(adj.) done in a routine, mechanical way, without interest
Change in career is a good cure for someone who has become bored with their occupation and is currently performing their duties in a perfunctory fashion.
The girl will not improve unless she changes her perfunctory attitude.
- perjury Dictionary lookup
(n.) the practice of lying
The already sensational trial of a star athlete turned all the more so when it turned out that a police detective had committed perjury.
Lying while on the witness stand is perjury.
- permeable Dictionary lookup
(adj.) porous; allowing to pass through
Because the material was permeable, the water was able to drain.
- perpetual Dictionary lookup
(adj.) never ceasing; continuous
Perpetual pain keeps the woman from walking.
- perquisite Dictionary lookup
(n.) extra payment; a tip
After working overtime, I had enough money to make a perquisite on my loan.
- pertinent Dictionary lookup
(adj.) related to the matter at hand
During a trial everyone should concentrate on the same subject, stating only pertinent information.
- peruse Dictionary lookup
(v.) to read carefully; to study
A vast majority of time was spent perusing the possible solution to the dilemma.
- pervade Dictionary lookup
(v.) to occupy the whole of
Her perfume was so strong that it pervaded the whole room.
- pervasive Dictionary lookup
(adj.) spreading throughout
The home was filled with the pervasive aroma of baking bread.
- pessimism Dictionary lookup
(n.) seeing only the gloomy side; hopelessness
After endless years of drought, pessimism grew in the hearts of even the most dedicated farmer.
- petty Dictionary lookup
(adj.) unimportant; of subordinate standing
With all of the crime in the world, stealing bubble gum is considered petty theft.
- petulant Dictionary lookup
(adj.) peevish; cranky; rude
The long illness put the boy in a petulant mood.
The tone of his voice and the things that he says become quite petulant when he has not gotten enough sleep.
- phenomenon Dictionary lookup
(n.) exceptional person; unusual occurrence
Not for nothing do they call Yankee Stadium "The House that Ruth Built"-the Babe was a phenomenon.
The northern lights are a rare phenomenon for those not living near the Arctic Circle.
- phlegmatic Dictionary lookup
(adj.) without emotion or interest; sluggish and dull
The playwright had hoped his story would take theatergoers on an emotional roller coaster, but on opening night they just sat there, stonefaced and phlegmatic.
The phlegmatic child rarely went outside to play.
- phobia Dictionary lookup
(n.) morbid fear
Fear of heights is a not uncommon phobia.
- pied Dictionary lookup
(adj.) colored, blotched together
The extreme heat caused the colors to become pied.
- pinioned Dictionary lookup
(adj.) bound fast
The two rafts were pinioned by steel wire.
- pious Dictionary lookup
(adj.) religious; devout; dedicated
The religious couple believed that their pious method of worship would bring them eternal life.
The statues of the saints have pious symbolism.
Many people think of this land as pious territory.
- pique Dictionary lookup
(n.; v.) resentment at being slighted; to provoke
Being passed over for the promotion aroused his pique.
The more he piqued her, the redder she grew.
- pithy Dictionary lookup
(adj.) terse and full of meaning
Columnist William Safire, a former presidential speech writer, has a way with words that often yields pithy comments.
- pittance Dictionary lookup
(n.) a small amount
The reward money was only a pittance compared to the money lost.
The little girl received a pittance every week for keeping her room clean.
- platonic Dictionary lookup
(adj.) idealistic or impractical; not amorous or sensual
The platonic advice of the doctor was to stay away from all odors.
Our relationship is platonic now, but I hope it will someday be otherwise.
- plausible Dictionary lookup
(adj.) probable; feasible
After weeks of trying to determine what or who was raiding the chicken coop, the farmer came up with a plausible explanation.
After scrimping and saving for a decade, it was now plausible to send his daughter to college.
- plenary Dictionary lookup
(adj.) full; entire; complete
A plenary class of students staged the protest.
- plethora Dictionary lookup
(n.) a superabundance
There was a plethora of food at the royal feast.
- plumb Dictionary lookup
(adj.; v.) perfectly straight down; to solve
The two walls met plumb at the corner.
I was able to plumb the riddle in a few seconds.
- polemic Dictionary lookup
The polemic decision caused a stir in the community.
- polemicist Dictionary lookup
(n.) a person skilled in argument
The polemicist could debate any case skillfully.
- pommel Dictionary lookup
(n.) the rounded, upward-projecting front of a saddle
The woman was so nervous about being on the horse she would not let go of the pommel.
- portend Dictionary lookup
(v.) to be an omen of; signify
The distant roll of thunder portends of an oncoming storm.
- potent Dictionary lookup
(adj.) having great power or physical strength
He took very potent medication and felt better immediately.
- prate Dictionary lookup
(v.) talking foolishly; chatter
It is not uncommon for people to prate when they become nervous about speaking to a superior.
- precarious Dictionary lookup
(adj.) depending upon another; risky, uncertain
The precarious plans fell through when the second couple changed their plans.
My position in the negotiations was precarious at best.
- precept Dictionary lookup
(n.) a rule or direction of moral conduct
The organization believed their members should abide by certain precepts.
- precipitate Dictionary lookup
(v.; adj.) to cause to happen; happening quickly
A rude comment may precipitate an argument.
The precipitating flood caught the village off-guard.
- preclude Dictionary lookup
(v.) inhibit; make impossible
A healthy diet and lifestyle will not preclude you from getting ill, although it improves your immune system.
Exercise may help to preclude heart disease.
- precocious Dictionary lookup
(adj.) developed or matured earlier than usual
The precocious eight year-old wanted to read the romance novel.
- predecessor Dictionary lookup
(n.) one who has occupied an office before another
Although her predecessor did not accomplish any goals that would help the poor, the new mayor was confident that she could finally help those in need.
- prefatory Dictionary lookup
(adj.) coming before
The prefatory comments informed the audience of what was to come.
- preponderate Dictionary lookup
(adj.) to outweigh; to be superior in amount, weight, etc.
His positive qualities are the preponderate ones over his occasional rudeness.
- presage Dictionary lookup
(n.) an omen; a foreshadowing characteristic
They considered the rainbow at their wedding a presage for a happy life.
Bright sun in the morning was a good presage that it was going to be a good day.
- prescience Dictionary lookup
(n.) knowing about something before it happens
The morning of the big game I had a prescience that we would win.
- prevalent Dictionary lookup
(adj.) generally occurring
Rain is usually more prevalent than snow during April.
- pristine Dictionary lookup
(adj.) primitive, pure, uncorrupted
The pristine lake had not been marred by pollution.
She had such a pristine look about her, you would have thought she was an angel.
- problematic Dictionary lookup
(adj.) being hard to deal with; unsolved situation
The constant squeak of the door was problematic.
The tense political struggle remains problematic.
- prodigious Dictionary lookup
(adj.) wonderful; enormous
The prodigious festivities lasted until the wee hours of the morning.
The Empire State Building required a prodigious amount of steel to erect.
- profound Dictionary lookup
(adj.) deep; knowledgeable; thorough
It was with profound regret and sorrow that the family had to leave their homeland for a more prosperous country.
- profusion Dictionary lookup
(n.) great wastefulness; a large abundance of
The profusion of the food-fight was unforgivable considering the worldwide hunger problem.
The profusion of uneaten food was sent to the shelter.
The wet winter brought about a profusion of mosquitoes.
- progeny Dictionary lookup
(n.) children; offspring
It is through his progeny that his name shall live on.
The princes were the progeny of royalty.
- proliferate Dictionary lookup
(v.) to reproduce quickly
Gerbils are known to proliferate quickly.
- prolific Dictionary lookup
The merger resulted in a prolific business which became an asset to the community.
- promontory Dictionary lookup
(n.) a piece of land jutting into a body of water
The boat hit the rocky promontory, splitting the bow.
- propagate Dictionary lookup
(v.) to reproduce or multiply
Rabbits and gerbils are said to propagate quickly.
- propensity Dictionary lookup
(n.) a natural tendency towards; bias
I have a propensity to talk too fast.
She has a propensity to hire men over women.
- propitiate Dictionary lookup
(v.) to win the goodwill of
If I try my best I will hopefully propitiate my new supervisor.
- prosaic Dictionary lookup
(adj.) tiresome; ordinary
He wanted to do something new; he was tired of the prosaic activities his parents suggested each day.
The only entertainment would be a prosaic game of cards.
- proselytize Dictionary lookup
(v.) to convert from one belief or religion to another
The preacher often attempts to proselytize wayward travelers.
- protocol Dictionary lookup
(n.) an original draft or record of a document
The protocol was given to the president once it was completed.
- provident Dictionary lookup
(adj.) prudent; economical
It was provident, in his opinion, to wait and buy the new car when he was financially secure.
- provincial Dictionary lookup
(adj.) regional; unsophisticated
After living in the city for five years, he found that his family back home on the farm was too provincial for his cultured ways.
- proviso Dictionary lookup
(n.) A clause stating a condition or stipulation
The governor began the conference with a proviso stating the disastrous results of the flood.
- provoke Dictionary lookup
(v.) to stir action or feeling; arouse
By calling him names, he was provoking a fight.