R-Word Definitions


rabbet. Groove.
Rabelaisian. Author. Lusty humor and bold caricature.
raceme. Flowers are arranged singly along the axis. (Lily-of-the-valley).
racemic. Equal concentrations of dextro- and laevorotary isomers.
rachetis. A main axis or shaft
rachitis. Rickets.
rack. Either of two gaits of horses: the single-foot or the pace.
rack. A thin mass of wind-driven clouds.
rack. Wrack. Wrack and ruin. 
rack. To drain wine from the dregs. ("To rack the last drop from the dregs of the keg.")
rack. Rack of lamb. A roast between shoulder and loin.
rack-rent. Exorbitant rent. 
raclette. Swiss dish of cheese on bread or boiled potatoes. Raclette cheese.
raddle. To twist together, interweave.
raddled. Worn-out and broken down.
radical. 1. Of or designating a word root. 2. Growing from the root.
raffle. Rubbish, debris.
rega. Traditional Hindu musical form expressing some aspect of religious feeling, and setting forth a tonal system in which variations are improvised within a prescribed framework typical progressions, melodic formulas, and rhythmic patterns.
raglan. Loose garment with slanted shoulders & sleeves extending to the neck.
ragout. Meat and vegetable stew.
raki. Anise-flavored Balkan grape or plum brandy.(ratafia).
rale. Abnormal respiratory sound. (retraction, rhonchus).
rallentando. Gradually slackening tempo. (rintorzando).
ralliform. Pertaining to the rail; a marsh bird.
ralph. Upchuck. ("He just ralphed up his supper.")
Rama. Deified hero worshiped as the incarnation of Vishnu.
ramate. Branched.
Rambouillet. A sheep. (Merino)
rambutan. A fruit tree. (S. E. Asia. Edible oval red fruit with soft spines.)
ramekin. 1. Cheese preparation made with eggs and bread crumbs or unsweetened puff pastry served in individual dishes. 2. An individual dish used for both baking and serving. (Our Pyrex dishes are ramekin.)
ramie. Flax-like fiber from the ramie plant used for fabrics and cordage.
ramiform. Branching.
ramose. 1. Branching; 2. Having many branches.
rampike. Standing dead tree or tree stump. A snag.
rampion. Root used in salads.
ramson. Eurasian garlic. Root used in salads and relishes.
ramton. African. Oil-rich seeds.
Ran. Norse goddess of the sea.
rancheria. Mexican herdsman's hut, village.
randan. Three rowers: four oars. One oar in front, two in middle, one in rear. (scull)
rani. 1. Rajah's wife; 2. Reigning Hindu princess or queen.
ranula. Cyst on underside of tongue caused by salivary-gland obstruction.
ranunculus. Buttercups.
raphe. Ridge between two similar parts (scrotum).
raphide. Needle-shaped calcium oxalate crystals.
rapparee. 1. Freebooting 16th C. Irish soldier; 2. Robber.
rappee. Strong snuff.
raree show. 1. A peep show. 2. A street show.
rareripe. Ripening early. (remontant).
rasbora. Bright tropical fish.
rasorial. Scratching the ground for food. (Emus are cursorial while chickens are rasorial.)
ratable. 1. Estimated or appraised; 2. Proportional; 3. Liable to assessment.
ratafia. 1. Sweet almond-kernel-flavored cordial. (Raki)
rataplan. rat-a-tat-tat.
ratine. Loosely-woven fabric with nubby weave.
ratite. Flightless birds (flat breastbone): ostrich, emu.
ratoon. basil shoot sprouting from banana, pineapple, or sugar cane; to grow a crop from ratoons.
ratteen. Thick twilled, woolen cloth. (ratine. Like a tweed.) 
ravel. 1. to unravel; 2. To tangle or complicate. 3.. A broken thread.
ravelment. Confusion, complexity, tangle.
raven. 1. To consume greedily; 2. To seek prey or plunder. (ravenous. "To raven it down.")
ravigote. Vinegar sauce: minced onion, capers, and herbs.
ravin. 1. Voracity; 2. Something taken as prey; 3. The act of preying.
rawinsonde. Takes upper-air wind velocity and direction.
reagor. Orange-red arsenic used in fireworks, tanning, and as pigment.
realpolitik. Expansionist national policy. Sole principle: advancement of national. interest.
Reaumir. 0° to 80.°
reave. To tear apart.
rebato. Stiff flaring lace collar worn by both sexes in 17th C.
rebec. Pear-shaped medieval three-stringed bowed instrument (like violin?) (bandore).
rebozo.. Head shawl. (like bambushka).
rebus. Picture puzzle.
recension. Critical revision of text incorporating most plausible elements from other sources. (redact: to edit for publication).
recitative. Opera and oratorio: Text read with slight melodic variation.
recitativo.. Same thing.
réclame. 1. Public acclaim; 2. Taste for same.
reclinate. Turned down toward base.
recrement. Refuse, dross.
recto. Right side of page, top side of leaf.
rectory. Minister's/priest's house.
rectrix. One of bird's stiff main tail-feathers. (remex - flight feather).
rectus. Straight muscles of abdomen, eye, neck, and thigh.
recurvate. Curved backward.
recusant. 1. Roman Catholic who refused to attend Anglican church from Henry VIII to George II; 2. A dissident, non-conformer.
redact. 1. To frame a proclamation; 2. To edit or revise for publication.
redd. To put in order. ("to redd up the place"0.
rede. 1. To give advice; 2. To explain. ("He gave them his rede.").
redeye. 1. Railroad signal; 2. Cheap whiskey; 3. Rock bass; 4. Overnight flight.
redia. Trematode larva (can give rise to cerocariae).
redigote. 1. Man's long double-breasted topcoat with full skirt; 2. Woman's full length unlined coat or dress open to show dress underneath. ("She was wearing a red dress topped by a white redigote.").
red ocher. Mixture of clay and rust.
red osier. N. A. shrub.
redout. Reddening of visual field caused by blood forced to head in low-G.
redpoll. Finch.
Red Poll. Horn-less cattle.
redshank. Old World wading bird.
reduvid. Hemipterous blood-sucking bugs. (e.g., mosquitoes.) (tabanid).
reedbird. Bobolink. (ortolan, ricebird).
reedbuck. African antelope. (saiga, sassaby)
reeding. Convex molding having thin, reed-like parallel strips.
reedling. Small Eurasian marsh bird.
reef. 1. To shorten a sail by tucking in a part of it and rolling it around a yard; 2. To shorten a topmast or bowsprit by taking a part of it in.
reef knot. Square knot.
reeve. 1. High local officer appointed by the king; 2. Bailiff or steward of a manor; 3. Minor officers of parishes or other; 4. Elected president of town council (Can.)
reeve. 1. To pass a rope through a hole, ring, pulley, or block; 2. To thus fasten.
reeve. The female grouse.
reflex angle. Between 180° and 360°
reflexive. 1. Reflexive verb ; "She dressed herself"; 2. Reflexive pronoun, "She dressed herself".
refrangible. Refractable.
regardent. With the face turned backward in profile.
regelation. 1. Fusion of two blocks of ice by pressure; 2. Successive melting and freezing under pressure.
reggae. Jamaica: calypso, soul, and rock and roll. Simple syncopated rhythm.
regimentals. Military dress.
regisseur. Ballet director. (Kapellmeister, presentor).
regulus professor. Royal crown subsidy.
reglet. 1. Narrow, flat molding. 2. Flat wooden type separator. (reeding).
regnal. Specified year of monarch's reign calculated from date of accession.
regnant. 1. Reigning; 2. Predominant; 3. Prevalent, widespread. (The Queen Regnant).
regolith. Loose rock lying on top of bedrock (land surface).
reify. To treat an abstraction as though it had concrete existence.
reins. 1. Kidneys. loins, or lower back; 2. Seat of affections.
rejective art. Minimalist art.
relative biological effectiveness. Pertains to radiation.
relative pronoun. Pro noun that 1. introduces a relative clause, and 2. refers to an antecedent.
relaxin. Secreted by corpus luteum during childbirth.
reliquiae. Remains, esp. fossil. ("The reliquiae at Olduvai.")
relucent. reflecting light. ("The light reflected off the relucent water.")
reluct. To show reluctance or repugnance.
remand. 1. to order back; To send back to prison, to another court, or to another agency for further proceedings; 
remanence. Magnetic.
remarque. Mark made in margin of an engraving indicating stage of development prior to completion.
remex. Flight feather of a bird's wing. (rectrix, tectrix).
remise. To relinquish a claim to, surrender a deed.
remittance man. Lives abroad on funds sent from home.
remontant. Blooms more than once during a season. (rareripe)
rémoulade. A piquant cold sauce for cold meat made of mayonnaise, chopped pickles, capers, anchovies, and herbs.
remuda. Herd of horses from which ranch hands select their mounts.
rencounter. An unplanned meeting. (random encounter).
renitent. 1. Resistant to physical pressure; 2. recalcitrant.
renminbi. Chinese coin.
rennet. Dried extract from ruminant's stomach used to curdle milk.
rennin. The enzyme, used to make cheese and junket.
renninogen. Rennin precursor.
rente. 1. Annuity; 2. French national debt securities; 3.. Their interest. (consols).
rentler. Fr.: fixed income from property rental or investments. (tontine).
reoviruses. Found in healthy respiratory and digestive tracts.
repand. Wavy margin.
repetend. 1. Refrain; 2. repeating digits in a proper fraction.
repine. 1. To be low in spirits, to fret or complain, 2. To yearn after.
replevin. Action taken to recover allegedly stolen property; the writ.
reposit. To store.
repoussé. 1. Decorated with relief patterns formed by hammering on the other side; 2. Raised in relief.
reprise. 1. Repetition of phrase or verse; 2. Recurrence or resumption of an action; 3. Annual charge taken out of an estate.
repugn. To resist, fight back.
reredos. 1. retable.(overhanging top shelf of an altar.) 2. The back of an open hearth. 
res adjudicata.  Res judicata.
réseau. 1. Net foundation for lace; 2. Astronomical measurement grid; 3. Fine lines in three colors (photography). (reticle).
reseda. 1. Grayish/dark green to yellow green or light olive; 2. Mignonette. (flower).
res gestae. 1. Things done, deeds; 2. Facts admissible in court.
resile. To spring back (resilient).
res judicata. An adjudicated legal precedent.
resorcinol. Used for skin diseases, dyes, resin adhesives, and pharmaceuticals.
responsory. Responsive reading.
res publica. 1. Republic or state; 2. The public weal.
resting cell. Not actively dividing.
resupine. Inverted or seemingly turned upside down.
resupine. Supine; lying on the back.
ret. To moisten or soak flax. (macerate).
retable. 1. The overhanging top shelf of an altar. 2. Painted panels.
rete. An anatomical network: veins, arteries, or nerves. (reticulated).
retene. Crystalline. Derived from pine tar and tar oils.
retiary. Resembling a web or net.
reticule. 1. Reticle. 2. A woman's drawstring handbag or purse.
reticuloendothelial system. All phagocytic cells except the leukocytes.
reticulum. 1. Net-like structure. 2. Second stomach of a ruminate.
retinaculum. Band-like structure that holds an organ in place (See "vinculum").
retinine. Crystalline retinal pigment, component of rhodopsin.
retroflex. Pronounced with the tip of the tongue turned back against the roof of the mouth.
retrorse. Turned backward or downward.
retroussé. Nose turned up at the end.
retsina. Resinated Greek wine.
retuse. Leaves having a rounded or blunt apex. (hebetate? erose?) Tulip tree.
revenant. 1. One who returns after an absence. 2. One who returns after death.
revers. Part of garment turned back to show the reverse (viz., label).
reversioner. Person entitled to receive an estate after the reversion (grant) runs out.
revolute. Rolled back from the tips or margins (leaves).
Reye's syndrome. Acute encephalopathy in children, usually following flu.
rhabdomancy. Water-dousing.
rhabdomyoma. Tumor in striated muscle fibers - Gr.: rhabdos, (rod).
rhabdovirus. Includes rabies.
rehadamanthine. Strictly and uncompromisingly just.
Rhae-to-Romanic. Romance language of southern Switzerland, northern Italy and Tyrol.
rhatany. S. A. shrubs, astringent (styptic, contracting) roots.
rheology. Deformation and flow of matter.
rheometer. Measures blood flow.
rheotaxis. Movement of an organism in response to electric current.
rhetor. Teacher of rhetoric. Orator.
rhizobium. Leguminous nitrogen-fixing bacteria.
rhizocephalon. Aquatic crustaceans parasitic on other crustaceans.
rhizogenic. Giving rise to roots.
rhizoid. 1. rootlike liverwort, moss, and fern attachment filaments. 2. root-like extension of the thallus of a fungus.
rhizomorph. Rootlike part.
rhizopod. Amoebae and rotarians moving and taking in food with pseudopods.
rhizopus. Common bread mold.
rhizosphere. Region of increased biological activity in the neighborhood of a root.
rhizotomy. Surgical severance of the spinal nerve roots to alleviate pain.
Rhodesian ridgeback. Large African dog.
rhodochrosite. Manganese ore.
rhodolite. Rose-red or pink garnet gem. - Gr.: rhodo-, (red).
rhodoplast. Reddish chromophore found in red algae.
rhodopsine. The pigment sensitive to red light in the retinal rods, consisting of opsin and retinene.
rhodora. Rhododendron.
rhomboid. Parallelogram with unequal sides.
rhombus. An equilateral parallelogram.
rhonchus. Bronchial rattling caused by mucus. (rales).
rhumb line. Path of a ship that maintains a fixed compass direction, crossing the meridians at the same angle.
rhynchocephalian. Mostly extinct reptiles.
rhyolite. Glassy volcanic rock like granite, exhibiting flow lines.
rialto. 1. Theatrical district. 2. Marketplace.
riata, reata. Lariat.
riband. Ribbon.
ribband. Holds ship's ribs in place while planking or plating is being applied.
ribose. pentose sugar.
ricebird. The bobolink. (ortolan, reedbird.)
ricer. Rices soft foods.
Richard Roe. law: Name used for fictitious or unidentified person.
ricin. Extracted from castor bean, used as biochemical reagent.
rickettsia. Parasites that cause typhus and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
rickey. Gin rickey: Sugar, water, lime juice, and gin.
rick-rack. Flat narrow zigzag braid.
ricotta. Resembles cottage cheese.
ridge-back. Rhodesian ridgeback.
ridgling. Male animal with one or two undescended testicles.
ridley. A marine turtle.
rifampicin. Has both antiviral and antibacterial action.
riff. Short rhythmic phrase repeated constantly.
rigadoon. A lively, jumping quickstep for one couple - (as in Brigadoon).
Rig Veda. Earliest collection of Hindu sacred verses.
Riksmal. Official literary form of Norwegian based on written Danish.
riley. Riled.
rime riche. Rhyme using words that are pronounced alike but have different meanings: write-right, port-deport.
rimose. Full of chinks, cracks, or crevices.
rinderpest. Acute, contagious, viral cattle disease.
rintorzando. Sudden increase in emphasis.
ringbone. Bony growth on fetlock (just above hoof), pastern, or coffin-bone (The bone inside a horse's foot).
ringent. Having gaping liplike parts such as the shells of certain bivalves.
Ringer's solution. Used topically as a physiological saline.
ringhals. African snake that spits its venom.
riparian right. Right of the owner of a riverbed regarding fishing or its use.
Ripuerian. 4th C. Franks living along the Rhine.
Risorgimento. Movement for unification of Italy from 1750 to 1870.
risotto. Rice cooked in broth with grated cheese and seasonings.
rissole. Deep-fat-fried, pastry-enclosed croquette filled with minced meat or fish.
rissolé. Browned by frying.
ritornello. 1. Instrumental solo after each stanza of a vocal 2. Passage for the full orchestra in a concerto grosso. 3. Instrumental interlude in 17th C. opera. 4. Rondo refrain.
ritter. A knight. (John Ritter).
rivage. Coast, shore, or bank.
rive. 1. Rend. 2. To distress the spirit.
river horse. hippopotamus.
riverine. Pertaining to a river. 2. Located on the banks of a river, riparian.
riviére. One strand necklace of diamonds or other gems.
roan. Chestnut, bay, or sorrel coat, sprinkled with white or gray.
robalo. Marine fish.
roble California oak..
roborant. Restoring vigor or strength, analeptic. ("That fresh air had a roborant impact on me.").
rob roy. Irish whiskey cocktail. (Robert, the Bruce).
rocambole. Garlic-like root. (ramson).
roche moutonnée. Bedrock outcrop worn smooth by glacial erosion.
rochet. Linen or lawn ceremonial vestment worn by bishops.
rockaway. 4-wheeled carriage with two seats and a standing top.
rockrose. Shrub
rockshaft. A shaft that rocks.
rodomontade. Braggadocio. (from Rodomonte, in Orlando Inamorata, Boiardo).
rogation. 1. A prayer, esp. as chanted during Rogation Day. 2. The proposal of a law.
Rogation Day. One of the three days of praise preceding Ascension Day.
rogatory. Requiring information, questioning.
rolamite. Two or more rollers connected by a belt but relatively loose.
roman â clef. Novel in which actual persons or places are depicted in fictional guise.
roman-fleuve. Multi-volume novel covering several generations of a family.
Romano. Sharper than Parmisan.
Romansch. Eastern Switzerland and adjacent Italy.
remaunt. A verse romance.
rondeau. 1. A lyrical French poem having 10 or 13 lines, with two rhymes repeated throughout and with opening phrase repeated twice as a refrain. 2. A monophonic trouvâre (12th & 13th C., narrative, chansons de geste) song.
rondel. A rondeau with 14 lines.
rondelet. Short 5 or 7-line rondeau with one refrain per stanza.
rondo. A musical composition with a refrain that occurs at least three times in its original key between contrasting couplets.
rondure. Circular or gracefully rounded.
ronnel. Insecticide.
rood screen. Ornamented altar screen surmounted by a crucifix separating the choir from the nave.
roof tree. Ridge pole.
roque. Difficult form of croquet played on a hard court. (Like pall mall).
root cap. Covers root tip.
root knot. Plant disease.
roquelaure. Man's knee-length 18th C. cloak
rorqual. Whales.
rosaceous. Rose family.
roseate. 1. Cheerful, optimistic. Rose-colored.
roselle. Used for jelly and beverages.
roseola. Skin rash.
Rosh Hoshannah. Jewish New Year.
rostellum. Small beak-like part: stigma (apex of the pistil) of an orchid, hooked projection on head of tapeworm.
rostrum. 1. Speaking platform in the Forum, which was decorated with the prows of captured enemy ships.. 2. Raised dais for public speaking.
rostrate. Having a rostrum (beak-like part).
rota. 1. Roll call of names. 2. A round of duties. 3. Tribunal of prelates, called in full the Sacred Roman Rota, that serves as an ecclesiastical court.
rotl. Mediterranean unit of weight, running from one to five pounds.
rotogravure. Intaglio printing process by which imagery is transferred from a copper cylinder to a web of paper, plastic or similar material in a rotary press.
rottenstone. Friable, decomposed, siliceous limestone used for polishing.
rotund. 1. Rounded, plump. 2. Sonorous.
roturier. A commoner. (plebe)
roulade. 1. rapid run of several notes sung to one syllable. 2. roll on a drum. 3. Slice of meat rolled around a filling and cooked.
rouleau. 1. Small roll of coins wrapped in paper. 2. Roll of ribbon for piping.
roundel. 1. Curved form. Semicircular panel, window, or recess. 2. A rondel. 3. A rondeau. 4. An English variation of the rondeau consisting of 3 triplets, with a refrain after the first and third.
rondely. Poem or song with a regularly repeating refrain.
roup. Infectious poultry and pigeon disease.
rout. To make a loud noise o clamor.
roux. Flour and fat cooked together and used as a thickening.
rove. 1. To put fibers through an eye. 2. To stretch and twist fibers before spinning, ravel out.
rowan. Small deciduous tree.
royal flush. Top 5 cards in one hand: Ace, king, queen, jack, ten.
rubasse. Ruby-red quartz.
rubato. Rhythmic flexibility within a measure.
rubellite. Red tourmaline gemstone.
rubella. German measles. 
rubeola. any measles.
rubiginous. Rust-colored, reddish-brown. Ferruginous.
rubric. 1. Red-letter title, heading, or letter. 2. Title of statute or chapter in code of law. 3. A class or category. 4. Direction in missal, hymnal, or other liturgical book. 5. Authoritative direction. 6. Short commentary covering a broad subject. 7. Red ocher.
rubricate. 1. To arrange, write, or print as rubric. 2. To provide with rubrics. 3. To establish rules for.
rubrician. Ecclesiastical rubrics expert.
ruche. Fine fabric ruffle for trimming woman's garments.
ruck. Jumble.
ruck. 1. To crease. 2. To irritate. 3. A crease or pucker. (Rucksack).
ruction. 1. A riotous disturbance. 2. A noisy quarrel.
ruff. European fish.
ruderal. Growing in rubbish, poor land, or waste. ("New Hampshire is known for its ruderal pastures.")
rudesby. Ill-bred, insolent, or ill-tempered person.
rue. Medicinal leaves.
rue anemone. Wildflower.
ruff. Playing a trump card when one cannot follow through.
ruffle. To swagger, behave roughly. ("My Lord Wessex ruffled into the Globe Theater.")
rufous. Strong yellowish-pink to moderate orange. (Rufous-sided towhee).
ruga. Fold, crease, or wrinkle, as in stomach lining.
rugose. Having many wrinkles or creases.
rumaki. Japanese appetizer. Marinated chicken liver and a water chestnut grilled in a rasher of bacon.
rumen. First stomach of a ruminant animal.
runagate. Renegade or deserter.
runcinate. Saw-toothed divisions directed backward.
rune. 1. Letters of Scandinavian and Anglo-Saxon alphabets. 2. Magic charm.
rune. Finnish poem.
rushlight. A candle with a rush wick.
rusk. 1. Light, soft-textured sweetened biscuit. 2. Sweet raised bread dried and browned in an oven.
ruth. 1. Compassion for another. 2. Misery about one's own misdeeds.
rutilant. Bright red.
rutile. Lustrous red, reddish-brown, or black Titanium dioxide used as a gem, as a titanium ore, and in paints and fillers.
rya. 1. Hand-woven Scandinavian rug with thick pile and very colorful abstract designs.. 2. A rya pattern.
rynd. An iron bar supporting an upper millstone.
ryot. Indian tenant or peasant farmer