H-Word Definitions


habanera. slow
habdalah. Jewish Sabbath/holy day closing ceremony
habergeon. vest of mail; a hauberk
habitus. susceptibility to disease (constitution)
hacek. inverted circumflex
hackamore. band blinding horses during break-in
hackbut. harquebus
hackle. mangle by hacking
hackle. jagged
hackamack. tamarack (larch tree)
hadal. ocean depths below 6 klicks
hade. inclination from the vertical of a vein, fault or lode
hadron. any particles that take part in the strong interaction
haef. a jot, cheese-paring
hafiz. Moslem who has memorized the Koran
hag. quagmire; spot that is more solid; peat bog cutting
Hagar. Abraham’s concubine
Haggadah. traditional Jewish literature
hagiarchy. government by holy men
Hagiographa. Psalms through Chronicles
hagriography. lives of saints
hagioscope. opening allowing people in transept to see the altar
ha-ha, haw-haw. sunken moat or hedge: doesn’t spoil the view
haik. large piece of cloth worn as outer garment by Arabs
haiku. 5, 7, 5 syllables in three lines
hairspace. printing term
hairstreak. butterfly
hake. like cod
Hakenkreutz. Nazi swastika
hakim. Moslem physician
hakim. Moslem ruler, provincial governor, or judge
Halakah. legal part of Talmud
halation. blurring around bright objects
halberd. pike-axe
halcyon. bird that calmed the sea on the winter solstice; kingfisher; prosperous, golden
half-crown. 2 shillings, 1 sixpence
half-sovereign. ten shillings
halidom. holy; sanctuary
halite. rock salt
hael. chant of praise: Psalms 133 – 118 during Passover and other holidays
hallux. big toe
halobiont. lives in salty environment
halocline. vertical gradient in ocean salinity
halothane. anesthetic
halter. club-like balancing organs that are rudimentary hind wings of dipterous flies
halvah. crushed sesame seeds in honey
hamadryad. lives only as long as her tree
hamadryas. heavy-maned north African baboon
hamal. Moslem porter
hamate. hooked at the tip
hame. one of two pieces of wood on harness of draft animal
handfast. handshake pledge
handsel. earnest money; 1st money taken in; gift to wish good luck in new business
handspike. a bar used as a lever
hanging indentation. lines other than the first
hangtag. merchandise tag
Hansard. Congressional Record for Parliament
hanse. medieval trade association
hanuman. monkey with bristly face
haole. non-native to Hawaii
hapax legomenon. word only occurring once in recorded corpus of a language
haftarah. reading from the prophets following lesson from the Torah
haploid. # of chromosomes in germ cell, half the number in a somatic cell
haplology. shortening of a word by contraction
haptosis. halving, from diploid to haploid
hapten. incomplete antigen that cannot stimulate antibodies in vivo but can in vitro
haptic. sense of touch
hard-edge. painting; sharp edges, bright colors
hards coarse. refuse of fibers
hardstand. paved parking area
hare-bell. blue flowers
haricot. beans or peas; highly seasoned lamb stew with veggies
harl. fibers of hemp or flax
harlequin bug. cabbage eater
harmatan. dry, dusty North African coastal wind
harpins. extensions of the ribbands of a ship under construction
Harpy. voracious monster with head and trunk of woman; predatory person; shrew
harquebus. matchlock, 1400’s
harridan. vicious, scolding woman
harrier. slender, narrow-winged hawks
harrow. to sack, plunder
hart’s tongue. evergreen fern
haruspex. Roman priest who read the entrails
hasepfeffer. marinated rabbit stew
haslet. edible viscera of an animal
hastate. spear-head shaped
hatchel. comb for separating flax
hatchment. panel bearing the coat of arms of a dead person
hauberk. chain mail
haugh. low-lying meadow in a river valley
haulm . stems of peas, beans, etc.
haunch. hip, buttock, and upper thigh
haustelum. mouth prolonged into a sucking proboscis
haustorium.  specialized hyphae used by fungi to feed
hautboy. oboe
haute ecole. art and practice of expert horsemanship
havelock. cap cover with neck protection
haversack. bag worn over one shoulder
haw. fruit of hawthorne
haw. nictitating membrane
hawksbeard. like dandelion
hawksbill. sea turtle
hawse. space between bows and anchors of an anchored ship
header. header pipe; floor or roof beam between two long beams that supports the tailpieces; a brick laid across rather than parallel with a wall; one who fits or removes
head gate. control gate above a lock; floodgate
head pin. kingpin
headsail. a jib set forward of a head-mast
headstall. part of a bridle that fits over the horse’s head
heartblock. atrial and ventricle beats are uncoordinated
hearth money. Peter’s pence (annual voluntary contribution to expenses of the Holy See
heartsease. peace of mind; flower
heartwood. harder than the sapwood (sapwood = xylem)
heath hen. prairie chicken
heavy spar. barite
hebdomad. group of seven
hebdomadal. weekly
Hebe. goddess of youth and spring
hebephrenia. delusions, regressive behavior
hebetate. to make obtuse or dull
hebetude. dullness of mind, mental lethargy
Hecate. fertility goddess (Gr.) and protector of witches
hecatomb. large-scale sacrifice or slaughter; originally, 100 oxen
hectocotylus. modified arm of octopus functioning as reproductive organ
hector. Trojan prince killed by Achilles; bully; to swagger, intimidate, dominate
Hecuba. Priam’s wife
heddle. one of a set of parallel wires in a loom to separate and guide warp threads and make a path for the shuttle
hedonics. study of pleasant and unpleasant sensations; relationship of pleasure to duty
hedonism. doctrine: behavior is motivated by desire for pleasure and avoidance of pain
heel-and toe. stride in which heel touches ground before other foot leaves ground
heel bone. calcaneous
heelpost. hingepost
heeltap. small amount of liquor resembling a drinking vessel
heft. to lift
hefty. weighty; powerful
Hegelianism. dialectic is used as analytical tool to approach a higher unity
height-to-paper. Height of type from foot to face: 0.9186 inches
heir presumptive. hereditary claim can be defeated if a younger sibling is born
Hel. daughter of Loki and goddess of death; underworld of dead not killed in battle
heldentenor. tenor with striking dramatic quality suitable for heroic roles
heliacal. pertaining to the sun
helicoid. flattened spiral; curve generated when a curve is twisted around an axis and advanced along the axis at a rate having a constant ratio
helicon. large circular brass tuba that fits around player’s shoulder
heliogravure. photogravure
Helios. son of Hyparion. Drives his chariot across the sky
heliotaxis. movement of an organism in response to sunlight
heliotype. photo-mechanically produced printing plate
helllbender. large, aquatic salamander
hellbox. printer’s receptacle for broken type
helldiver. New World grebe
Helle. drowned in Hellespont
hellebore. alkaloid-bearing plant
hellgramite. large brown aquatic larva of the Dobson fly
hellhound Cerberus
helminth. parasitic intestinal nematode
helminthic. vermifuge
helotism. social class is persistently oppressed
helpmeet. helpmate (see funny story in dictionary)
helve. handle of tool
Helvetii. Celtic people inhabiting Switzerland during Caesar’s era
hemal. pertaining to blood vessels
hematite. chief ore of iron
hematoblast. immature blood cell
hematocrit. centrifuge
hematopoiesis. body’s production of blood
hematosis. oxygenation of blood in lungs
hematozoan. parasitic protozoan that live in blood
heme. iron-bearing component of hemoglobin
hemelytron. insect forewing thickened at base, membranous at apex (true bug)
hemialgia. pain in half the body
hemicellulose. more complex than sugars, less complex than cellulose, synthetic
hemichordate. marine worm, notochord and gill slit
hemicycle. semicircular arrangement
hemidemisemiquaver. 1/64th note
hemihedral. only half the faces required for complete symmetry
hemimorphic. asymmetric at the axial ends
hemimorphite calamine
hemin. heme chloride
hemiparasite. partially parasitic
hemiplegia. one side paralyzed
hemipterous. true bugs
hemisitch. half a line of verse, especially when separated by a cesura
hemochromotosis.  accumulation of iron in skin. liver enlargement and diabetes
hematoflagellate. typtanosome
hemoleukocyte. leukocyte
hemoptysis spitting up blood.
hemp agrimony. Eurasian flower
hen-and-chickens.  plants with lots of offshoots, especially the houseleek
henbane poisonous.
hendecasyllabic. 11 syllables
hendiasis.. "grace and favor" instead of "gracious favor"
henequen. plant for rope fiber
henna. tree or shrub; moderate to strong reddish-brown to strong brown
henotheism. belief in one god without denying the existence of others
hent. to seize
hepatica. flower
Hephaestus. god of fire and metalworking
Hepplewhite. late 18th C. furniture
Heptateuch. first 7 books of Old Testament
Hera. sister and wife of Zeus (Roamn: Juno)
Heracles. Hercules
herb bennet. medicinal plant
herb Paris. plant
herdic. small horse-drawn cab with side seats and rear entry
hereditament. inheritable property
heresiarch. founder of a heresy
heriot. tribute rendered to feudal lord on death of tenant
herma. Hermes head on a square stone post
Hermaphrodites. son of Hermes and Aphrodite who became united with nymph Salmacis
hermeneutics. science of interpretation, esp. the Bible
Hermes. god of commerce, invention, cunning, and theft (Greek Mercury)
Hermes Trismegistus. Thoth, legendary author of books on alchemy, astrology and magic
hern. a heron
Hero. priestess of Aphrodite beloved by Leander
heroic couplet. a rhymed couplet in iambic pentameter
heroic play. Restoration tragedy in rhymed couplets.. extravagant declamatory rhetoric
heroic verse. epic/dramatic poetry: dactylic hexameter in Greek, iambic pentameter in English
Herrenvolk. people assertedly endowed with the right to dominate and exploit others
Hesperides. nymphs who, with a dragon, guard the garden where the golden apples grow
hesperidin. in citrus fruit
hesperidium .berry like a citrus fruit
Hesperus. Venus at night
hessian fly. eats grain
Hestia. goddess of the hearth
hessoite. essonite (Inferior garnet)
hetaeraa. cultivated courtesan or concubine; adventuress
heterocarcal. asymmetric tail fin (like shark)
heterochromal. lacking specific genetic activity
heterecious. spending different life cycle phases on different hosts
heterogamete. male and female sex cells are different
heterogametic. dissimilar pair of sex chromosomes
heterogamous. fusion of unlike gametes in the reproductive process
heterogamy. alternation of generations, one sexual, one parthogenetic
heterogenous. originating outside the body
heterogynous. as in ants
heterologous. derived from different species pertaining to elements not normally occurring in a given part of the body
heterology. lack of correspondence of body parts
heteromerous. unequal or different parts within the same structure
heteromorphic. different forms at different times in the life cycle (butterflies)
heteronymous. not autonomous subject to external control
heteronym. same spelling, different meaning and pronunciation
heteronymous. different names but interrelated: "master", "mistress"
heterophylous different leaves on one plant (sassafras)
heterophyte. parasite or saprophyte that lives off other plants
heteroplasty. grafting of foreign tissue
heteroploid. having a chromosome number that isn’t an integral multiple of the haploid #
heteropterous. true bugs
heterosis. hybrid vigor
heterotaxis.. abnormal structural arrangement
heterotropic. deriving nourishment from organic food (all animals, some plants)
heulandite.. zeolite
heuristic.. guided by intuition; learning through discovery; 
hexachord.. six tones, with a semitone in the middle
hexad.. group of six
hexamerous.. six similar parts or divisions
Hexateuch.. 1st 6 books of Old Testament
hibernaculum.. winter shelter for a hibernating animal (bear?)
hickey.. pipe-bender; threaded fitting connecting fixture to outlet box
hidalgo. minor nobility
hiddenite. transparent emerald-green spodumene
hidrosis. diaphorescence (excessive perspiration)
hiemal.. brumal
hierodule. temple slave in service of specified deity
hierology. sacred literature of a given people
heirophant. expounder of Eleusinian mysteries; interpreter of arcane knowledge
higgle. haggle
highbinder. Chinese-American secret society of assassins and blackmailers; corrupt politician
higher criticism . critical study of biblical texts: character, composition, editing
High German. central and southern Germany
High Holiday. Rosh Hashanah; Yom Kippur
High Mass. A sung mass, priest or prelate, assisted by deacon
high relief. project by at least half their depth
hilum. mark where seed was attached to its stalk; small opening in organ for duct, nerves, or vessels.
himation. long loose outer garment worn by men and women in ancient Greece
Himyarite. ancient tribe of southwest Arabia
hin. Hebrew half-gallon
Hinayana. conservative Buddhist sect: Pali scriptures, non-theistic ideal of self purification to nirvana
hindgut. posterior embryonic alimentary canal
Hindi. cultural group in northern India
hindquarter. back half of a side of beef, including one or two ribs
Hinduism. diverse body of religion, philosophy, and cultural practice. Belief in reincarnation, supreme being of many forms and natures. View that opposing theories are aspects of one eternal truth. By desire for liberation from earthly evils
hinny. male horse and female ass
hippocampus. one of two ridges along each lateral ventricle of the brain
hippocras. cordial made from one and spices, formerly used as medicine
Hippocrene. the fountain on Mt. Helicon held sacred to the Muses and source of poetic inspiration
hippodrome. chariot races
hippogriff. horse below and griffin above
Hippolyta. Queen of the Amazons, slain by Hercules as one of his labors
Hippolytus. son of Theseus who spurned his stepmother’s (Phaedra’s) advances and was killed by Poseidon
hiragana. one of two sets of Japanese syllabaries, having a cursive form
hircine. goat (smelly)
hirudin. from salivary glands of leeches. anticoagulant
hispid. bristly
histaminase. digestive enzyme that converts histadine to histamine
histiocyte. ingests foreign particles in the blood
histology. study of the microscopic structure of tissue
historicism. theory that history is controlled by non-human influences
Hittite. northern Syria, 2000 – 1200 B. C.
hoagi. herohoatzin - brown-crested bird
hob. shelf in back of fireplace for keeping things warm
Hobbism. powerful government control
hobbledehoy. gawky adolescent boy
hock. white Rhine wine
hodad. pretends to be a surfer (beach bum)
hoedown. square dance
hogan. earth-covered Navajo dwelling
Holarctic. zoographic region: nearctic and Palearctic
holism. reality is made up of unified wholes that are greater than the sum of their parts
holland. window shade and upholstery fabric, often glazed
hollendaise sauce. butter, egg yolks, and lemon or vinegar
Hollands. gin made in the Netherlands
hollywood bed. low legs or none, upholstered headboard
hom. an island in a river
holm oak. prickly evergreen leaves
holoblastic. entire egg separates into individual blastomeres
Holocene. end of Pleistocene to present (the more recent of the two Quaternary epochs)
holocrine. secretion is formed by degeneration of gland’s cells, e.g., sebaceous cells
holoenzyme. complete enzyme, consisting of an apoenzyme and a coenzyme
Holofernes. In the Apocrypha, an Assyrian general of Nebuchadnezar’s killed by Judith
holograph. a document written wholly in the handwriting of the one who signs it.
holohedral. having as many planes as required for complete crystalline symmetry
holophrastic. polysynthetic (language such as Eskimo: sentence or phrase elements are combined into one utterance and don’t exist separately.
holothurian. echinoderms, including sea cucumber
holotype. single specimen used as basis for taxonomic class. Later becomes the type specimen
holozoic. eats organic material, like animals
holus-bolus. all at once
Holy See. court, office, jurisdiction of Pope
holystone. sandstone used to scrub decks
Holy Synod. governing body of Easter Orthodox Church
Holy Week. week before Easter
Homburg. soft, dented crown and slightly rolled brim
homeo-. like
homeomorphism. close crystalline similarity, different composition; one-to-one correspondence of two geometric figures that is continuous in both directions
homomorphism. similarity of external form, appearance, or size
homeopathy . use of minute quantities of medications that in large amounts, produce symptoms like those of the disease being treated
Homeric. heroic, epic
Homestead Act. 160 acres and a mule after five years (clearing and improving the land)
homestead law. can’t force sale to meet general debts
homiletics. art of preaching
hominid. man-like (Hominidae)
hominoid. man and apes (Hominoidea)homocercal
homocercal. symmetrical tail.. most bony fishes
homoeroticism. homosexuality
homogamous. self-fertilizing; sexually same on same plant
homograph. same spelling but differ in meaning, origin and sometimes, pronunciation
Homoiusian. Arian heresy: Jesus and god are similar but not same substance
homologate.  
officially approve, confirm  
homologous. Having a similar position, structure or function; corresponding in structure and evolutionary origin (flippers of a seal and arms of a human); aliphatic hydrocarbons
homology. topological classification that imposes an algebraic hierarchy on families of geometric figures
homoiosine projection. an equal-area split-up (oceans) map of the earth’s surface 
homonym. same sound, different meaning
Homoousian. winners at Council of Nicea –Jesus consubstantial with God
homophone. same sound but different spelling, origin, and meaning
homophonic. single melodic line with accompaniment
homophylly. resemblance arising from common ancestor
homoplasy. convergent evolution
homopterous. aphids, cicadas, and scale insects
homotaxis. Similarity of arrangements and fossils different times and places
homothallic. Male and female organs in the same thallus
honan. Pongee fabric of even color made originally by Honan silkworms
hone. to hanker for
honeyeater. birds with long tongues
hong. foreign trading house in China
hooch. thatched hut
hoopoo. Old World bird
hop. vine used in brewing beer; opium
hora. round dance of Rumania and Israel
horary. hourly
hornbeam. tree
hornbook. horn book cover
hornito. low volcanic mound
horn mad. enraged, exceedingly wroth
hornpout. catfish
horologe. timepiece
horrent. covered with bristles (see hispid)
horripilation. bristling of body fur
horse latitudes. 30-35 calms, light winds
horst. A massive, elevated block of the earth’s crust lying between two faults.
Hospitaler. 12th-C Palestine
hostler. services horses or large vehicles (locomotives)
Houdan. chicken
hour angle. Angle measured westward from the zenith along the celestial equator.
howler. monkey
hoy. A small, sloop-rigged coaster. A heavy barge
huareche. flat-heeled with woven leather straps
huckaback. coarse cotton for toweling
Hudbrasitc. mock heroic style
hugger-mugger. disorderly; secret
Hugoenot. French Protestants during Reformation.
hemectant. promotes retention of moisture
humerus. upper arm bone
humic. pertaining to humus
hummus. pureed chickpeas and tahini used as sandwich spread
hunk. disagreeable old grouch; stingy, too
hussar. light cavalryman, 15th C.
Hussite. follower of John Huss
Hyacinthus. pretty boy accidentally killed by Apollo. Blood gave rise to hyacinth.
hyalin. transparent. Occurs in some skin diseases.
hyalite. Clear, colorless opal.
hybridoma. Normal cell and tumor cell. Produces a specific antibody.
hydrothose. Microscopic epidermal structure in plants that excretes water.
hydatid. Formed by tapeworm infestation.
hydranth. Mouth and tentacles of a feeding polyp in a hydroid colony.
hydrastine. Alkaloid used to treat catarrh.
hydrocele. Pathological accumulation of fluid in testes.
hydroforming. Converting naphthas to high-octane aromatics
hydrogenase. Enzyme catalyzes hydrogen formation in certain microorganisms.
hydrography. Ocean
hydrology. Effects of water on land and in the atmosphere.
hydromancy . Divination by water (?!)
hydromedusa. A hydrozoan in its medusoid stage.
hydromel. Mead
hydrometeor. Rain, snow, sleet, hail.
hydronium. Water
hydrophane. Opal that’s opaque when dry but transparent when wet.
hydrothorax. Serous fluid in pleural cavities.. cardiac failure.
hydroxlamine. NH2OH, explosive above 130.
hydrozoan. One of various hydroids, hydrocorals, and siphonophores.
hyetal. Pertaining to rain or rainy regions (see pluvial)
Hygeia. Goddess of health.
hylozoism. Life is a derivative of matter, that life and matter are inseparable, or that matter possess a spiritual component.
Hymen. God of marriage.
Hymenopteran. two pairs of membranous wings. Ants, bees, and wasps.
hymnody. Singing of hymns. Composing of hymns.
hymnology. Same thing.
hyoid bone. U-shaped bone between the mandible and the larynx at tongue’s base.
hyoscine. scopolamine
hyoscyamine.. Alkaloid.
hypabyssa.l. Solidifying as a dike or a sill before reaching the earth’s surface.
hypaethral. Roofless.
hypanthium. Cup-shaped floral receptacle of various plants.
Hyperborean. Very cold.
hypercatalexis. Adding excess syllables
hyperemia. Abnormally large blood supply.
hyperesthesia. hypersensitivity.
Hyperion. Son of Gaia and Uranus and father of Helios.
hyperkeratosis. hypertrophy of the horny layer of the skin.
hyperkinesia. Can’t sit still.
hypermarket.. Supermarket and department store.
hypermeter Hypercatalexis.
hypermetropia. hyperopia
hyperopia. Far-sightedness
hypermnesia. Unusually exact or vivid memory.
hyperon. Decays into nucleon and several other particles.
hyperostosis. Abnormal growth of bone tissue
hyperplasis. Abnormal but nonmalignant growth
hyperploid. In excess of but not exact multiple of diploid.
hyperpnea. Abnormally deep and rapid breathing.
hypersexual. Guess!
hypersthene. pyroxine mineral.
hypetoic. Extreme muscular or arterial tension
hypha. Threadlike elements forming the mycelium of a fungus.
hypnagogic. Drowsiness preceding sleep.
hypnophobia. Abnormal fear of sleep.
hypnopompic. half-awake
Hypnos. God of sleep
hypocaust. Rome: space under floor for heat to travel.
hypocenter. Spot directly below a nuclear blast.
hypochondrium. Upper lateral region of abdomen, just below the ribs.
hypocorism. Term of endearment, pet name.
hypocotyl. Stem below cotyledons.
hypocycloid. Rolls inside a circle
hypodermis. Just below the epidermis; secretes chitinous cuticle in arthropods.
hypoesthesia Diminished sensitivity.
hypogastrium. The lowest of the three middle regions of the abdomen.
hypogeum. Ancient basement. Subterranean burial chamber (catacomb).
hypogene. Formed or situated below the earth’s surface.
hypogenous. Fungi growing on underside of leaf.
hypogynous. Floral parts that are not in contact with the ovary.
hypoglossal nerve.  Operates the tongue.
hypomania. Slightly abnormal overactivity and elation.
hyponasty. Leaves bend upward because their bottoms grow fast.
hypophysis. The pituitary gland.
hypoplasia.  Incomplete development.
hypoploid. Chromosome number a few below the normal diploid number.
hypopnea. Abnormally slow and shallow breathing.
hypostatis.. The essence of something; Any of the Trinity; Christ, in which the human and divine natures are combined; sediment settling to the bottom; one gene suppresses another that is not an allele but affects the same organ.
hypostatize. To symbolize in concrete form; To ascribe material existence to.
hyposthenia. weak as a kitten
hypotaxis. Dependent or subordinate relationship of clauses with conjunctions.
hypothecate. To pledge as collatoral without transferring title or possession.
hypsography. Study of earth’s topology above sea level. Maps thus prepared.
hypsometer.  Uses boiling points to determine altitudes.
hyrax. like woodchucks but more closely related to ungulates.
hyson. Chinese green tea.
hyssop. Biblical. Flowers, perfume, and condiment.
hysteron proteron  "bred and born" instead of "born and bred"