The Phrontistery



Word Definition
babeldoma confused sound of voices
babirusalarge wild pig of Indonesia
babooneryfoolishness; stupidity; nonsense
baccatehaving berries; berry-like
bacchanaldrunkard; reveller
bacciferousbearing berries
bacciformshaped like a berry
baccivorouseating berries
bacillicidekiller of berries
backpiecearmour covering the back
backstaystay extending from ship's mastheads to the side of the ship
bactericidekiller of bacteria
baculineof, like or pertaining to the stick or cane; of, like or pertaining to flogging
baculumpenis bone in some mammals
baculusrod, staff or scepter of power
badigeonplaster and ground stone mixture for repairing masonry
badinageplayful repartee or banter
baedekerguide book
baetylmagical or holy meteoric stone
baftcheap coarse cotton fabric
bagarrescuffle or brawl
baggingcoarse fabric for making bags or sacks
bagniobathing house
bahadurself-important official
bahuvrihicompound word whose second part is a noun but that acts as an adjective
bailbarrier or pole separating horses in an open stable
bailivateoffice of a bailiff
bailmentdelivery of goods in trust
baisemainkiss on the hand
baizecoarse napped cotton or wool fabric
bakelitetype of solid plastic
balanismuse of suppositories
balatronjoker; clown
balbrigganknitted cotton fabric
baldachinrich embroidered silk and gold fabric
baldaquincovering or canopy over a throne or altar
balderdashnonsense; a jumble of words
baldricshoulder strap for holding sword
balefirebonfire or beacon-fire
balisaurlong-tailed badger
balistrariacross-shaped opening in wall for firing arrows
balizepole mounted on seashore as beacon
ballasterone who supplies ships with ballast
balletomaniaabnormal fondness for ballet
ballistocardiographinstrument for detecting body movements caused by heartbeat
ballistophobiafear of missiles
ballottementdiagnosis of pregnancy by applying sharp force to abdomen
ballyhoobombastic or pretentious nonsense
balmoralitysuperficial enthusiasm for Scottish culture
balneographywritten description of baths
balneologythe science of the therapeutic use of baths
balustraderow of columns supporting a stair rail
balzarinelight cotton dress material
bamboshdeceptive nonsense
banausicmaterialistic; merely mechanical; pertaining to workshops
bandeletsmall flat moulding around a column
banderolflat band with an inscription; small banner
bandicootsmall long-nosed ratlike marsupial
bandobastdetailed organization; settlement
bandoliershoulder belt for carrying ammunition
bandorebass cittern
bangtailmustang or wild horse
banjolincombination of banjo and mandolin
banjulelecombination of banjo and ukulele
bannockflat unleavened loaf of bread
banquetteraised way or footway above a parapet
bantengwild ox of Southeast Asia
bantlingbrat; whelp; bastard child
baptisterypart of church reserved for performing baptisms
barunit of pressure of one million dynes per square centimeter
baragnosisloss of ability to distinguish weight
baragouinany jargon or unintelligible language
barasinghadeer dwelling in swamps of India
baratheapebbly silk or worsted fabric with broken rib weave
barathruman abyss; an insatiable person
barbarocracygovernment by barbarians
barbetstout-billed tropical bird
barbetteearthen terrace inside the parapet of a rampart
barbicanprojecting watchtower over the gate of a castle
barbigerousbearded; bearing a beard
barbitonlute or lyre with many strings
barbulasmall tuft of hair just below the lower lip
barcarolegondolier's song
bardelpack saddle
bardocucullushooded cloak worn by monks
bardolatryexcessive devotion to or worship of Shakespeare
baregegauzy fabric of silk, cotton, wool, or worsted
bargemasterowner of a barge
barkentinethree-masted vessel
barleycornold unit of length equal to one-third inch
barmyeast; froth on fermenting liquor
barmasterlocal judge among miners
barmclothan apron
barmkinbattlement or turret on the outer wall of a castle
barnunit of area measurement of particles equal to 100 square femtometres
barnardmember of gang of thieves who acts as decoy
barodynamicsscience of the support and mechanics of bridges
barognosisability to perceive weight
barographinstrument for recording air pressure
barologystudy of gravitation
barouchefour-wheeled hooded carriage
barracanfine silk cloth
barracoondepot for slaves
barrascoarse linen fabric
barrateensome kind of fabric
barratryinciting riot or violence
barreplacing capo or finger across guitar strings
barruletnarrow heraldic bar
bartisanparapet or battlement
baryecoiadeafness; hardness of hearing
baryphonichaving difficulty speaking
basculeapparatus of which one end rises as the other sinks
basialof, like or pertaining to kissing
basilicaRoman Catholic church given special privileges
basiliconkind of ointment
bassinetlight, conical helmet
bastinadeto beat with a stick or baton, especially on the feet
bastiontower at the corner of a fortification
bastlefortified house with vaulted ground floor
bateleurshort-tailed African eagle
bathmismdirective evolutionary force
batholithlarge mass of intruded igneous rock
bathophobiafear of falling from a high place
bathosappearance of the commonplace in elevated matter for rhetorical effect
bathymeterinstrument for recording contours of deep oceans
bathyorographicalof, like or pertaining to depth underwater or elevation above sea level
bathypelagicfound in the depths of the sea
bathysmalof, like or pertaining to the depths of the ocean
bathythermographinstrument for recording water temperature as compared to depth
batikmethod of dyeing fabric by covering certain sections with wax
batistefine soft sheer fabric of plain weave
batologythe study of brambles
batonheraldic sign of bastardy
batophobiafear of heights or being close to tall buildings
batrachianof, like or pertaining to frogs or toads
batrachophobiafear of frogs and toads
batraquomancydivination using frogs
battentimber used to fasten down a door or hatch
battledorebat used to strike shuttlecock; game played with such a bat
battologyfutile, futile repetition in speech or writing
battueindiscriminate slaughter; driving game towards slaughter
baudunit of data transmission speed of one signal event per second
bausondhaving white spots on the forehead
bavardagechattering; prattle
bavianinsignificant or unskilled poet
bavina bundle of brushwood
bayaderefabric with horizontal stripes in strongly contrasting colours
bdellismuse of leeches for blood-letting
bdelloidof, like or pertaining to leeches
bdellotomyact of cutting a leech to increase its suction
beadlechurch caretaker or usher; mace-bearing official of an institution
beadsmanmonk or almoner who prays for benefactor
beatabeatified woman
Beatlemaniaobsession with the Beatles
beatsterfish net repairer
beatusbeatified man
beauperslinen fabric used for flags
beaverhinged face guard on a helmet
beblubbereddisfigured from weeping
bechicrelieving coughs
becketlarge hook or bracket used to hold tackle or spars
becketsrope handles
bedaggleto soil by dragging along the wet ground
bedswerverunfaithful spouse
beehardwood on either side of bowsprit through which forestays are reeved
beeledouble-pointed miner's pick
beerocracygovernment by brewers or brewing interests
beeskepstraw beehive
beestingsthe first milk drawn from a cow after calving
behitheron this side of; on the near side of
behoofa benefit resulting from some course of action
beirapygmy antelope
belunit of noise intensity equal to ten decibels
belayto secure a rope by winding on a pin or cleat
belchercoloured; spotted neckerchief
beldaman old woman; a hag; an ancestress
belemnoidshaped like a dart
belikemost likely; probably
bellarminelarge jug with rounded belly and narrow neck
bellcoteornamental structure to hold one or two large bells
bellecisminclination towards violence; hawkishness
belliferousbringing war
bellingdeer's mating call
bellipotentmilitarily powerful
bellonionmechanical instrument combining trumpets and drums
bellwetherone who takes the lead; indicator of trends
beloidshaped like an arrow
belomancydivination by means of arrows
belonephiliasexual obsession with sharp objects
belonephobiafear of pins and needles
belonoidshaped like a needle
belvedereraised covered terrace or pavilion
belvedereraised turret or lantern on the top of a house
bemaraised part of an Eastern church containing the altar
benedicta newly married man who has long been a bachelor
benefactiveindicating for whom or which
benefickindly; benign; beneficent
beneficeecclesiastical office to which revenue is attached
beneficiateto treat ores to remove impurities
bengalinecrosswise ribbed fabric
benishlong-sleeved Middle Eastern outer garment
benthicof, like or pertaining to the depths of the ocean
benthosflora and fauna of the ocean floor
berceaucovered walk
bergamaskcountry dance
bergespy glass or telescope
berlinfour-wheeled covered carriage
berlinecrude winter sled
bermnarrow shelf or ledge at the top or bottom of a slope
besomcurler's broom
bestiarianindividual opposed to vivisection
bestiocracyrule by beasts
bethela place of worship for seamen; nonconformist chapel
betimesin short time; speedily
bêtisefoolish act or situation
bewrayto reveal; to betray; to divulge
bezeloblique side or face of a cut gem
bezesteenEastern marketplace
beziquecard game played with two decks of cards
bezoarstony material found in ruminants' stomachs
bharalbluish-gray Himalayan goat
biarchygovernment by two people; diarchy
bibaciousoverly fond of drinking
bibelottrinket; miniature book of elegant design
bibitoryof, like or pertaining or pertaining to drinking
biblioclasmdestruction of books or the Bible
bibliogenesisproduction of books
bibliognostwell-read individual; person with wide knowledge of books
bibliolatryworship of the Bible or other books
bibliologystudy of books
bibliomancydivination by opening a book at random
bibliomaniacraze for books or reading
bibliophagistone who devours books, literally or figuratively
bibliophilylove or fondness for books or reading
bibliophobiafear of books
bibliopoesymaking of books
bibliotaphone who hoards or hides books
biblioticsstudy of documents to determine authenticity
bibulousaddicted to alcohol
bickernanvil pointed at both ends
bicollateralhaving two identical sides
bicornhaving two horns or points
bidderymetal alloy inlaid with silver and/or gold
bidenticulatehaving two teeth
biduouslasting two days
bienséancesomething appropriate or proper
bifariousorganized in two rows
bifiddivided in two by a deep split
bifilarhaving two threads
bigentialconsisting of two races, genera, or subspecies
biggina building
bighta wide bay; a bend or coil in a rope
bijugatehaving heads on both sides of a coin
bilboiron bar used to shackle prisoners' feet
bilgelower point of inner hull of a ship; nonsense or rubbish
biliousill-tempered; very unpleasant
billingsgatecoarsely abusive language
billonbase metal, alloy of copper, tin or silver
bilocationability to be in two places at once
biloquistone capable of speaking with two distinct voices
bimetallismcurrency exchange on both the gold and silver standards
binarchygovernment by two people; diarchy
binatedoubled; coupled
binauralof, pertaining to or heard by both ears
bindleblanket roll
binnaclecase in which a ship's compass is kept
binotonousconsisting or comprised of two musical tones
binturongcivet of southeastern Asia with long prehensile tail
biobibliographyannotated biographical bibliography
biocenosisstate of association of creatures in a certain region
biocentrichaving life as main principle
biocidekilling living material
bioecologystudy of interaction of life in the environment
biogenesistheory that all life is derived from living matter alone
biognosygeneral study or theory of life
biolithrock formed by living creatures
biometricsstudy of biological measurement
bionergyvital essence or force
bionomicsstudy of organisms interacting in their environments
biopicfilm telling the life-story of a celebrity
biotaxyclassification of living organisms
biotoperegion of uniform environment and types of organisms
biramousforked; with two branches
biremerowed ship or galley with two banks of oars
birettasquare three-ridged cap worn by Catholic clergy
birlto make a log spin by walking on it
bistwice; in two places
biscachaburrowing South American rodent
biserialin two rows or columns
bismershame; disgrace; scorn
bisociationassociation of an object with two or more ideas
bisontineof, like or pertaining to bison
bistourynarrow surgical knife
bistrepigment with brownish colour derived from soot
bisulcatecloven-footed; cleft in two
bitheismbelief in two gods
bitternsmall heron
bittsposts mounted on a ship for fastening ropes
biunecombining two entities into one
biverbalof, like or pertaining to two words; having a double sense
biviousoffering a choice; splitting between two directions
blackguarda menial helper
blackguardto vituperate; to portray as a scoundrel
blaguepretentious nonsense
blaina boil or blister
blandiloquencecomplimentary speech; flattery
blandishto flatter and coax; to cajole
blanketcoarse woollen cloth
blarneyskilful flattery; nonsense
blastogenesisreproduction by budding
blattnerphoneinstrument used to record sound on magnetic tape
blattoidof, like or pertaining to cockroaches
blauwbokextinct bluish-coloured antelope of southern Africa
blazonheraldic arms painted on knight's shield or surcoat; to describe heraldically
blenchto shrink or flinch
blennoidof or resembling mucus
blennophobiafear of slime
blennysmall elongated marine fish
blepharalof, like or pertaining to eyelids
blesbokSouth African antelope with white patch on forehead
blesiloquentspeaking with a stammer or lisp
bletcheroushaving an ugly design
bletherskatea garrulous talker of nonsense
bletonismalleged ability to find an underground water supply
blewittype of edible toadstool
blissomsubject to or having strong sexual desires
bloomeryfactory where iron bars are manufactured
bloviateto write or speak windily
blucherleather half-boot
bluepeterblue flag with white square in centre used as ship's signal
bluestockingearly feminist; educated or literary woman
blungeto mix clay with water
blypepiece of skin that peels off after a sunburn
boanergesskilled orator with powerful voice
boatswainship's crewmember in charge of equipment and maintenance
bobbinetmachine-made cotton lace
bobechecircular wax catcher that fits over a candle
bobstayrope used on ships to steady the bowsprit
bockingsmoked herring
bodachold man; churl; goblin or spectre
bodementprediction or prophecy
bodewashcow dung
bodgepiece of poor or clumsy workmanship
bodkinsmall tool for pricking holes; small dagger
boeotianstupid; dull
boethetichelpful, curative
boganquiet tributary or backwater
boggartspectre; bugbear; goblin
bolarof, like or pertaining to clay
bolectionmoulding around a panel
boleroSpanish dance with sudden pauses and sharp turns
bolidelarge meteor that bursts; a fireball
bollardshort post on a wharf or ship to which ropes are tied
bolometerinstrument for measuring radiant energy or infrared light
boltheadstraight-necked distillation vessel or flask
boltropestrong rope stitched to edges of a sail
bolusrounded mass
bomanwell dressed criminal
bombardinstrument like the bassoon
bombardonlarge keyless bass trumpet
bombasterone who stuffs or pads things
bombastrybombastic language or composition
bombazinetwilled silk and worsted fabric
bombébulging outwards
bombicof, like or pertaining to silkworms
bombilateto hum, buzz or drone
bombositythe buttocks
bombousconvex; rounded
bombycineof, like or pertaining to silk or cotton
bombylioushumming or buzzing
bonbonnièresmall box used for sweetmeats
boncelarge marble used in games
bongoreddish African antelope with white vertical stripes
bonificationpaying of bonus or reward
boniformhaving the form of good
bonifyto improve or ameliorate
boningestimating straightness by looking along a row of poles
bonismthe doctrine that the world is good but not perfect
bontbokSouth African antelope with unusual coloration
bonzeryBuddhist monastery
bonzolineartificial ivory-like substance used to make billiard balls
boodlecounterfeit money; funds obtained by corruption
boragerough-stemmed herb used in salads
borascoviolent wind squall
boratothin fabric
borborologyfilthy talk
borborygmusrumbling noise in the intestines
bordartenant who holds land at his lord's pleasure
bordereaudetailed bill or invoice
bordureborder surrounding a heraldic shield
boretidal flow of water up estuaries
bornélimited; narrow-minded
borsellainstrument for shaping glass vessels
bortdiamond fragments or dust
boscagethick foliage; woodland
boschveldtbush country; wilderness
bosketthicket; plantation
boskycovered with trees or shrubs
bossa-novaBrazilian dance similar to samba
bostonwaltz-like dance
botlarva of a botfly that infests horses
botanomancydivination using burning branches or plants
botonéehaving three buds like a trefoil
botryoidallike a bunch of grapes
bottinesmall boot
bottomryusing the ship as collateral to finance a sea voyage
boucléfabric of uneven looped yarn
bouillottecard game resembling poker
bouleuterionmeeting-place; assembly hall
bouleversementoverturning; reversal; ruin
boultto sift through cloth; to examine by sifting
bounto prepare; to dress; to set out
bourdondrone bass of a bagpipe or organ
bourgeoisificationconversion to a bourgeois way of life or perspective
bourréeFrench baroque dance with quick rhythm
boursocratstock exchange official
boustrophedonwriting alternating left-right then right-left
boutadesudden outburst
bovicideslaughter of cattle; one who kills cattle
boweranchor carried at bow of a ship
boweryseedy or run-down district of a city
bowlinerope used to keep weather edge of a sail taut
bowspritspar that extends at bows of a ship
boyaucommunication trench
boyga problem difficult to get to grips with
brabbleto squabble or quarrel
braccatehaving feathered legs or feet
braccialebracket or socket mounted on a wall
bracerarmour for the lower arm
brachfemale hunting hound
brachalarmour for the arm
brachetwhelp; brat; bitch hound
brachiationact of swinging by one's arms from place to place
brachiferousbearing or having branches or arms
brachiotomyamputation of an arm
brachycatalecticlacking two syllables from end of a line of verse
brachyceroushaving horns or antennae clipped or removed
brachydactyloushaving short or stubby fingers
brachygraphywriting using abbreviations or shortened characters; shorthand
brachyologylaconic, abbreviated or interrupted speech
brackishsaltish; very salty
brackleto break bread or cake into pieces
bracteatethin beaten plate of gold or silver
bradawlsmall boring tool
bradyseismslow up-and-down movement of the earth's crust
braguettearmoured codpiece
brailleather strap to bind a hawk's wing
brailsropes on edge of sail for hauling up
brairdto appear above ground (of crops)
branchialof, like or pertaining to gills
branchiferoushaving or bearing gills
brandlingstriped earthworm used as fishing bait
brankto prance; toss the head; to strut
branslean old French follow-the-leader dance
braseroa place where criminals and heretics are burned
brashcollection of broken pieces of rock or ice
brassagedifference between cost of minting coin and its value
brassardbadge worn on the arm; piece of armour for the arm
bratticefixed tower of wood on a castle wall
bratticepartition in mine shaft used to support walls and roof
braxydisease of sheep causing fits
brayheraldic device of a barnacle or horse's bit
brayerinstrument for spreading ink in printing
breamto clean a ship's bottom by burning off seaweed
breastsummerbeam supporting front of a building; bressummer
brecciageological formation of angular fragments of rock
breedbatesomeone looking for an argument
brehonjudge or magistrate in ancient Ireland
breloquean ornament attached to a watch
bremefierce; cruel; keen
bressummerbeam supporting a wall over an opening
bretaschepartition to control ventilation in a mine
brevemark over letter to indicate a short vowel sound
brevetcommission enabling officer to take higher rank
breviarybook containing daily church service
breviatea brief compendium; a lawyer's brief
breviloquenceshort-windedness; tendency towards brevity in speech
brevipedshort-legged creature
brevipennatehaving short wings
bricoleharness for humans to pull heavy loads
bridewellhouse of corrections; jail
bridgewateranything undesirable or worthless
bridoonlight military bridle
brigandineleather armour with metal scales
brigantinetwo-masted ship
brigueto intrigue
brilliantinelight lustrous cotton and worsted fabric
brilliantineperfumed oil for making hair glossy
brimborionworthless nonsense; trash
brindledmarked with streaks or spots
brioenthusiastic vigour
briquetheraldic device of a flint and steel
brisurepart of a parapet breaking from the general direction
britskaopen four-wheeled carriage
broadclothdense twilled wool or worsted fabric
brocaderich silk fabric with raised patterns
brocardelementary law or principle; canon; axiom; maxim
brochluminous ring around the moon
brochéwith raised pattern
brochetteskewer for holding food steady while cooking
brockentwo-year-old stag
brockfacedhaving a white mark on the face or snout
brodequinlight boot worn inside heavier boots
broderieembroidery pattern
broganstrong and tough working shoe
bromafood; aliment
bromatologystudy of food
bromidrosisstrong-smelling sweat
bromographya treatise on food
bromographywritten description of food
bromopneabad breath
bronchostemporary loss of voice; laryngitis
bronchoscopeinstrument for examining the windpipe
brontologyscientific study of thunder
brontomancydivination using thunder
brontophobiafear of thunder and lightning
brouettesmall two-wheeled carriage
broughamone-horse closed carriage
bruitsomething rumoured widely; to report or spread rumour
brumalof, like or pertaining to winter
brumousfoggy; wintry
brunneousdark brown
bruxismhabitual grinding of the teeth
bruxomaniacompulsion for grinding teeth
bryologythe study of mosses and liverworts
bubalineof, like or pertaining to buffalo or antelopes
bubonalgiapainful inflammation of the groin
buccalof, like or pertaining to the mouth or cheek
buccanmetal frame on which meat is dried and/or roasted
buccinaRoman curved trumpet
buccinalshaped or sounding like a trumpet
bucculadouble chin
bucentaurlegendary half-man and half-ox
buck-and-wingsolo tap dance with many leg flings and leaps
buckminsterfullerenestable carbon molecule with structure like a geodesic dome
buckramstiff-finished cotton or linen used for linings of garments
bucoliastwriter of pastoral poems
bucolicof, like or pertaining to the tending of cattle; rustic; rural
buddlesloping container for washing ore
buffechin-piece for helmet with breathing holes
bufoniformshaped like a toad
bufoteninehallucinogen found in certain tropical toads
bugabooloud or empty nonsense
buhlinlaying of precious material onto furniture
bulbiferousbearing bulbs
bulbulgregarious songbird
bulgurcooked broken wheat
bulimyextreme hunger
bullaround seal attached to a papal bull
bullacewild plum
bullanticcapitalized and ornamented, as letters used on papal bulls
bullarycollection of papal bulls
bullatehaving a blistered or puckered appearance
bulliformshaped like a blister or boil
bullionismbelief in the importance of metallic currency in economics
bullitionthe act of boiling
bullockan ox or castrated bull
bullyragto assault with abusive language; to badger
bulsea small bag for diamonds or gold dust
bulwarkthe side of a ship above the deck
bumboatsmall boat used in harbours to carry provisions
bumickycement mixed with stone chips used in masonry
bummelstroll; leisurely journey
bumpcoarse cotton fabric
bumpkinspar projecting from stern of ship
bumptiousoffensively conceited or self-assertive
buncombespeech-making intended for the mass media; humbug
buntmiddle of sail, fish-net or cloth when slack
buntinglight loosely woven fabric used for flags
buntlinerope attached to middle of square sail to haul it up to the yard
burdetcotton fabric
burgagetenure in socage for a yearly rent
burganetlight helmet with nose and cheek protection
burgeesmall ship's flag used for identification or signalling
burgensicof, like or pertaining to a borough or its citizens
burgravecommander of a German town or castle
burketo suppress quietly; to bypass or avoid
burlapcoarse plain-woven jute or hemp fabric
burnetdark brown; dark woollen cloth
burrelcoarse russet cloth
burrolean eavesdropper
burrstonetype of rock used to make millstones
bursalof, like or pertaining to a state's revenues
bursarytreasury of a monastery or college
bursesquare cloth case to carry the corporal during Communion service
bursiculateresembling a small pouch
bursiformshaped like a pouch or purse
buskintragedy as a dramatic genre
bussrude or playful kiss
buteonineof, like or pertaining to buzzards
buttunit of volume equal to two hogsheads or 126 gallons
butterystoreroom for provisions and liquors
butyraceousresembling, producing or having the qualities of butter
butyricof, like or pertaining to butter
byrea cow barn
byrniecoat of mail or breastplate
byssaceousdelicately filamentous
byssiferoushaving tufts or threads
byssinesilky; soft; having many threads
byssoidfibrous; cottony soft
byssusmummy-wrapping fabric
bywoneragricultural labourer

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 © 1996-2021 Stephen Chrisomalis. Links to this page may be made without permission.

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