The Phrontistery

Books by Stephen Chrisomalis
Numerical Notation: A Comparative History Human Expeditions: Inspired by Bruce Trigger


Dictionary of Unusual Words

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logorrhea log-uh-RI-uh, n an excessive flow of words, prolixity [Gr logos word + roia flow, stream]

Welcome to the International House of Logorrhea, a free online dictionary of weird words and unusual words to help enhance your vocabulary. The IHL is a component of The Phrontistery, which has many other free word lists and resources related to obscure words.

Did you ever have an English teacher who told you 'Whenever you read something, and find an odd word you don't know, look it up in the dictionary and write it down'? Well, I took that advice to heart. Of course, once you have a few hundred cool words down on your list, you think to yourself (if you are as obsessive as I am), 'Wouldn't it be a lot easier if I just read the whole dictionary, so that I could just do this word writing thing once and be done with it?' The result, after nearly a decade of conscientious word-collecting, is the International House of Logorrhea.

I have compiled a list of 17,000 English words, ranging from merely uncommon words to the rarest of the rare words, nearly obsolete and just plain nutty! Each word is listed along with a brief, one-line definition. You should be able to get the general sense of most words, without having to read through pages of dictionary definitions. Having said that, don't go out and discard your dictionary.

While I have tried to be fairly comprehensive, this is not meant to be an unabridged dictionary or to include all rare words. I have omitted the following word categories from the IHL:

  • extremely obsolete words (generally pre-1600, with some latitude for very useful or interesting words)
  • words that are of strictly dialectal usage today
  • jargon, including medical, legal, biological, and other terms rarely found in non-specialist writing
  • foreign terms which, in writing, always require italicization
  • inflected forms of words (a single form is included for each word)
  • super-rare obscure words included instead in my Compendium of Lost Words

I have used a variety of dictionaries in compiling the IHL. While people have different tastes and needs when looking for a dictionary, I should mention those that have been of greatest use to me, many of which I have made available for sale through Amazon.com. My commissions from these sales help defray the cost of maintaining this site.

If you notice any misspelled, poorly defined or missing words, or if you have any comments or questions, please contact me. If you want help finding a word or have a similar word-related inquiry, check out these hints prior to e-mailing, please. Enjoy!



I hope you have found this site to be useful. If you have any corrections, additions, or comments, please contact me. Please note that I am not able to respond to all requests. Please consult a major dictionary before e-mailing your query. All material on this page © 1996-2014 Stephen Chrisomalis. Links to this page may be made without permission.

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