L-Word Vocabulary Definitions


laeger. defensive encampment circled by armored vehicles (circumvallation, enceinte)
labarum. ecclesiastical banner for processions; Constantine's cr banner (guidon).
labialize. to round, make labial
labia majora.  
labia minora.  
labiodental. articulated with the lips and teeth
labiovelar. simultaneously labial and velar, as in kw in quick
labret. lip ornament
labrum. lip-like structure
laburnum. ornamental shrubs (alburnum?)
lac, lakh. 100,000; a very large number (shell lac)
laccolith. igneous rock intruded between sedimentary layers
laches. negligence, esp. delay in asserting a right or a claim
lacinate. fringed (lacy)
lacunar. a ceiling with recessed panels (pendentive)
lacustrine. pertaining to lakes
lade. to burden
Laertes. Odysseus' father
lag. a strip that forms a part of the covering for a cylindrical object
lag. to arrest or imprison; a convict; an ex-con; a sentence
laga., ligan., lag-end. jettisoned cargo with floats
Lag b'Omer. Jewish holiday
lagomorph. gnawing mammals (rabbits, hares, pikas)
laic, laical. laity
laid paper. paper made on wire molds that give it a watermark of close, thin lines
laird. owner of a landed estate
laissez passer. a pass used in lieu of a passport (See also carnet, passe partout).
lake. deep red; organic coloring matter with inorganic base
Lallan. Scottish lowland
lam. to give a thorough beating (lambast, "a good lamming", tuck, larrup).
lambrequin. cloth worn over knight's helmets; drapery for top of window, door, or shelf
lamellibranch. clams, mussels and oysters (lamella)
lamellicorns. scarabs and other beetles with leaf-tipped antennae
lamia. serpent with head and breasts of woman, sucking children's blood
Lammas. English harvest festival, August 1
lammergeier. large predatory mountain bird
lampion. oil-burning outdoor lamp, colored glass
lanai. Hawaiian verandah or roofed patio
lanate. having or consisting of woolly hairs (lanolin)
lancelet. small flattened marine organisms with notochord
lanceolate. narrow and tapering at each end
lancet arch. arch pointed like spearhead
landside. flat side of plow opposite furrow
landsleit. plural of landsman (Yiddish)
landsman. a fellow Jew from the same town in Eastern Europe
langlauf. a cross-country ski run
langley. a unit of illumination used to measure the temperature of a star
langouste. the spiny lobster
langue d'oc. Provencal
langue d'oil. French
languet. resembling a tongue
langur. long-tailed Asian monkey
laniferous. having wool or wool-like hair
lanthorn. lantern
lanuginous. downy
lanugo. fine, soft hair
Laocoon. Trojan priest killed by 2 serpents for having warned Trojans about horse.
Laodicean. religiously lukewarm
Laomedon. Founder/king of Troy, Priam's dad
laparotomy. incision in abdominal wall
lapidarian. inscribed in stone
lapillus. a small solidified fragment of lava
lapin. rabbit; rabbit fur (Bugs Bunny, look out!)
lap joint. ends overlapped (scarf)
lappet. flap; wattle (caruncle, operculum)
larboard. port (starboard and larboard)
lardon/lardoon. a strip of fat for larding meat (lard)
lares and penates. household possessions
largetto. moderately slow
larigan. moccasin with knee-high leggings
larrup. hit ("He got a good larrupping.")
lascar. East Indian sailor
last. unit of weight or volume: 80 bushels, 640 gallons, 2 tons
latakia. Turkish tobacco
latchet. leather thong fastening sandal on foot
laterite. red residual soil sometimes used as iron ore (Red Mountain) - (taconite).
latifundium. a great landed estate, esp., in ancient Rome
launce. the sand lance
lavabo. ceremonial hand-washing and Psalm recital before Eucharist; bowl and tank (piscina).
laver. same thing for Roman priests: made of stone
laverock. a skylark
layering. rooting, with peat moss and plastic sheet
lazar. one afflicted with loathsome disease: e.g., leprosy
lazarette. hospital treating infectious diseases
leading tone. the 7th tone of a scale a half-tone below the tonic: a sub-tone
leafage. leaves, foliage
lection. a variant reading or transcription of text; a Scriptural reading
legate. emissary of the pope
legato. in a smooth, even style
leghorn. bleached straw of an Italian wheat; leghorn fabric or hat; chicken
legist. specialist in law (legalist).
lehua. Hawaiian tree
leister. trident
leitmotif. leading motif: recurring theme in a novel, musical signature for something
leman. lover; mistress
lemma. subsidiary proposition supporting main; title theme; word in glossary
Lampira. 16th C. Indian leader who resisted the Spanish
Lenape. The Delaware
lenis. little or no aspiration: b and d, compared to p and t (Latin: "soft")
Lent. the 40 weekdays from Ash Wednesday until Easter Sunday.
Lenten. meager, somber
lentiak. the mastic tree
lento. slowly
lepidote. covered with small, scurfy(loose, scaly crust) scales - lepido (scale, flake). (leprous).
leporine. rabbits or hares - Lat.: lepus, (hare).
leptocephalous. slender, transparent larvae of eels and other fishes - Gr.: leptos, (fine, slender).
lepton. small coin - leptos
lepton. spin , mass less than muons (electrons)
leptosome. person with frail, thin body
lespedeza. bush clovers - Sp.: Lespeder, Gov. of East Florida
letters of marque. authorized piracy
leukorrhea. vaginal discharge - leuko + rhein, (to flow)
leucoplast. A colorless plastid in the cytoplasm of plant cells around which starch collects - leuko, (colorless) + plassin, (to mold)
leukocyte. White cell.
leukoderma. Unpigmented skin.
leukoma. A dense, white opacity of the cornea. (cataract?)
leukopenia. Abnormally low white count - leuko + penia, (poverty).
Levalloisian. early Paleolithic flint-chippers
levee. formal reception; reception held by bigwig on arising from bed
leveret. young hare - lepus.
levigate. to grind into fine powder; to suspend in a liquid; to smooth, polish
levirate. marrying one's brother's widow, as required by Hebrew law
lewis. a dovetailed iron tenon made to fit into a stone so that it can be hoisted
lexeme. one of the vocabulary items of a language
liang. Chinese weight: 37.24 grams
libeccio. southwest wind in Italy (li beech eeo)
libretto. text of an opera
lich gate. roofed gateway to a churchyard (the corpse gate)
lickerish. lecherous
liederkranz. soft cheese, like mild Limburger
lienal. pertaining to the spleen - Lat.: lien, (spleen).
lierne. reinforcing rib for rib connections in Gothic churches
ligase. splits off pyrophosphate group from ATP
lighter. large barge for cargo unloading
lights. lungs used as food
lignify. to convert to wood in cell wall
ligroin. flammable petroleum fraction
ligulate. strap-shaped - Gr.: lingua, (tongue).
ligure. precious stone of ancient Israel - Gr.: ligurin,
likuta. coin (Zaire)
lilangi. Swazi coin
Lilith . Adam's first wife
limacene. slug-like
limbers. gutters on keelson that drain bilge water into the pump
limbus. distinctive border - Lat.: limnus, (border).
lime. Old World linden tree
limicoline. pertaining to shore birds such as sandpipers - Lat.: limus, (mud) + coleus, (to inhabit).
limnetic. freshwater - Gr.: limne, (lake).
limnology. study of bodies of fresh water
limonite. iron ore - Gr.: leimon, (meadow).
limpkin. brownish wading bird; warm, swampy regions; wailing call
linage. payment for written work by the line
linalool. used to make perfume
lineament. distinctive shape or line of the face; characteristic feature
Linear B. Cretan, Mycenian
linear perspective.  converging lines
lineolate. marked with fine lines
ling. 1. Heather 2. Cod or burbot.
lingum. stylized phallus worshipped as Siva symbol
lingcod. food fish
linguine. ling, narrow strips
lingulate. tongue-shaped
linin. filamentous achromatic material in nucleus connecting chromatin
link-boy. carried torch
linsang. carnivorous mammals with spotted coats and long, banded tails
linsey-woolsey. coarse fabric of cotton or linen and wool
linstock. long forked stick for holding cannon match
linter. short fibers clinging to cotton seeds after first ginning
lipase. enzyme hydrolyzing fats
lipotropic. preventive excessive accumulation of fat in liver
Liptauer soft Hungarian cheese or imitation cottage cheese spread
liquate. to separate metals in an alloy by melting
liripipe. long scarf or cord hanging from a hood
list. to be pleasing to or satisfy
listel. narrow border or molding
lichee,litchi. lichee nuts
literatim. letter for letter
lithia. lithium oxide
lithiasia. formation of harmful calculi in body
lithic. pertaining to stone or lithium
lithophyte. plant that grows on rocky surface; rocky organism like coral
lithopone. white zinc/barium pigment
lithotomy. surgery to remove calculi
lithotrity.. surgical operation of pulverizing calculi in bladder or urethra
lithotropy.. ultrasonic pulverization of calculi
litotes.. double negative
literateur. man of letters (literatus)
littoral. pertaining to the shore
liturgy. rite of the Eucharist; order of public service
live bearer. ovoviviparous fish, like guppy
liverwort. hepatica
livre. French pound
lixiviate. to wash or percolate the soluble matter from (elutriate)
llano. large, grassy, almost treeless plain, esp., in S.A. (altiplano, pampa).
loach. like catfish
lob. clumsy, dull, looby
lobefin. coelocanth
lobelia. plant
lobscouse. a seaman's stew
lobulate. having lobules
lobworm. lugworm
lachia. discharge from vagina after childbirth
locular. formed of small cells or cavities (alveolar)
loculus. "little place" (alveolus)
locus classicus. illustrative passage from classics
lodicule. small scale at the base of each flower in grasses
loge. balcony compartment
loggia. roofed open gallery, open balcony in a theater
logion. one of the sayings of Jesus not recorded in the Gospels (Agrapha)
logogram. symbol like $ for "dollar", % for "percent"
logogriph. word puzzle in which clues are a series of verses
Logos. Cosmic reason (Greek); will of God, as revealed in John
Lollard. Wycliffe's followers in 14th centuries
lollop. lounge about; to move with bobbing motion (to loll around)
lolly. piece of hard candy (lollipop)
loment. pod having constrictions separating individual seed
longanimity. equanimity in the face of suffering; forbearance
long-headed. dolichocephalic; foresighted or wise
longicorn. long-horned beetle (lamellicorn).
longspur. northern birds
looby. big, gangling, clumsy fellow; lubber
loofa. vine: fruit used as sponge
loosestrife. plant
lop. to hang loosely, as in lop-eared
loppy. pendulous
loquat. small fruit tree or its fruit (cherimoya, mangosteen).
lordosis. spine curved forward
lorgnon. lorgnette
lorica. protective shell (diatom)
lorikeet. Australian parrots
loris. small, nocturnal, aboriginal primates of S.A. with large eyes
lory. Australasian parrots
losel. worthless
lotah. Indian copper or brass water or food pot
loti. Lesotho coin
lotic. living in or pertaining to moving water (trout are lotic fish) (locustrine)
Louis d'or. pre-Revolutionary
Louis Quatorze. Louis XIV Pr.: "cay-tors"
Louis Quinze. Louis XV Pr.: "kaynz"
Louis Seize. Louis XVI Pr.: "seez"
Louis Treize. Louis XIII Pr.: "treez"
lovage. a plant
Love-Lies-Bleeding. tropical flower
lovelock. a lock of hair tied with ribbon worn by 17th (1600's), 18th C (1700's). courtiers (havelock)
lowboy. table-like chest of drawers
lubber line. ship's heading
lubricious. slippery; lewdness; sexually stimulating; shifty, tricky
lucerne. alfalfa
Lucifer. Venus as morning star
Lucina. goddess of childbirth
lucubrate. to write in a scholarly fashion (to work at night by lamplight) 
lucubrations. laborious study or writing; pedantry
luculent. easily understood, lucid
Lucullan. Lavish, luxurious
lues. syphilis
lugger. small 2- or-3-masted fishing boat with lugsails and jibs on bowsprit
lumbago. lumbar muscles and tendons
lumbricoid. resembling an earthworm
lumpen. the dispossessed; lowest stratum of proletariat
lumper. laborer loading/unloading ships (navvy)
lumpfish. covered with lumps
lunate. crescent-shaped
Luna. goddess of the moon
lunette. crescent-shaped opening in vaulted roof or in wall
lunette. defensive military formation: two projecting faces
lungwort. treats respiratory disorders
lunker. unusually large: e.g., game fish ("a big lunker")
lunula. crescent-shaped structure or marking
lunular. crescent-shaped
Lupercalia. fertility festival in Rome in honor of pastoral god Lupercus
lunation. period between two successive new moons (29 days, 12 hours)
lune. portion of circle enclosed by two longitude semi-circles
lupine. ravenous, rapacious
lupus. any of several disease of the skin and mucous membranes
lurch. losing position in cribbage ("left them in the lurch"?)
lustihood. sexual capacity or physical and mental vigor
lustral. rite of purification (lustrous).
lustrum . Roman period of purification after 5-year census
lusus naturae. freak of nature (moon calf).
luteal. pertaining to corpus luteum
lutein . yellow pigment found in corpus luteum, body fat, and egg yolk
luteous. light or moderate greenish-yellow
lutetium. rare earth element
luxate. to dislocate
luxe. elegantly sumptuous
lycee. French high school
lyseum. public hall; organization
lychnia. campions
lycopodium. club mosses; used in fireworks and pills
lyddite. picrate explosive
lymphadenitis. inflammation of the lymph nodes
lymphalism. hyperplasia of lymph nodes, spleen, and bone marrow
lymphocytosis. Great increase in leukocytes
lymphoma. Any of various abnormal proliferative diseases of the lymhoid tissue
lymphopoiesis. The formation of lymphocytes
lyncean. lynx-eyed - Gr.: lunkeios, ("Lynceus, the Warder", Argus-eyed)
lyonnaise. cooked with onions
lyophilizer. freeze dryer
lyrate. curved like a lyre
lyrebird. Australian - tail spread like a lyre during courtship
lysin. destroys microorganisms
lytta. thin cartilaginous strip on underside of tongue of e.g., dogs