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Editorial: On Vocabulary by Stefn Sylvester | Poemify


This is going to be lengthy. So please, settle down in your favourite position (lie down, sit, stand, squat, hang mid air... whatever suits you),and then, grab a cup of coffee and let's get started.

In today's Vocabulary class, we are going to learn some new literary words to spice up our poetry writing. 

In many writing exercises, whether they be writing a job application, creating a speech, orbusiness writing, you will probably have been told to use everyday words and keep your language simple. That is often very sound advice, and helps keep communication simple and effective. 

In some contexts, though, you may wish to use a less common, more elevated word. This list of words below would largely be used in writing that was intentionally seeking a literary tone. For us, it is a poem. 


Here we go, literary words.

A
abode - a home
access - an outburst of an emotion
adieu - goodbye
afar - at a distance
apace - quickly
argosy - a large merchant ship
arrant - utter
asunder - into pieces
atrabilious - melancholy or bad-tempered
aurora - the dawn

B
bard - a poet
barque - a boat
bedizen - dress gaudily
beget - produce (a child)
behold - see
beseech - ask urgently and fervently
bestrew - scatter
betide - happen
betoken - be a warning of
blade - sword
blithe - happy
bosky - covered by trees or bushes
brand - a sword
brume - mist or fog

C
celerity - swiftness
circumvallate - surround with a rampart or wall
clarion - loud and clear
cleave to - stick fast to
cockcrow - dawn
coruscate - flash or sparkle
crapulent - relating to the drinking of alcohol
crescent - growing

D
darkling relating to growing darkness
deep, - the sea
dell - a small valley
dingle - a deep wooded valley
divers - of varying types
Dives - a rich man
dolour - great sorrow
dome - a stately building
dulcify - sweeten

E
effulgent - shining brightly
eld - old age
eminence - a piece of rising ground
empyrean - the sky
ere - before
erne - a sea eagle
espy - catch sight of
ether - the clear sky
evanescent - quickly fading

F
farewell -  goodbye
fervid  - hot or glowing
fidus -  Achates a faithful friend
finny -  relating to fish
firmament  - the sky
flaxen -  pale yellow
fleer  - jeer or laugh disrespectfully
flexuous  - full of bends and curves
fulgent  - shining brightly
fulguration  - a flash like lightning
fuliginous  - sooty; dusky
fulminate  - explode violently
furbelow  - adorn with trimmings

G
gird  - secure with a belt
glaive  - a sword
gloaming  - dusk
greensward  - grassy ground
gyre  - whirl or gyrate
hark  - listen
horripilation  - gooseflesh; hair standing on end
hymeneal -  relating to marriage

I
ichor  - blood, or a fluid likened to it
illude  - trick someone
imbrue  - stain one's hand or sword with blood
impuissant  - powerless
incarnadine  - colour (something) crimson
ingrate  - ungrateful
inhume  - bury
inly  - inwardly
ire  - anger
isle  - an island
knell  - the sound of a bell

L
lachrymal  - connected with weeping or tears
lacustrine  - associated with lakes
lambent  - softly glowing or flickering
lave  - wash or wash over
lay -  a song
lea  - an area of grassy land
lenity  - kindness or gentleness
lightsome  - nimble
limn  - represent in painting or words
lucent  - shining

M
madding  - acting madly; frenzied
mage  - a magician or learned person
main  -  the open ocean
malefic  - causing harm
manifold  - many and various
marge  - a margin
mead  - a meadow
mephitic  - foul-smelling
mere  - a lake or pond
moon  - a month
morrow  - the following day
muliebrity  - womanliness

N
nescient  - lacking knowledge; ignorant
nigh  - near
niveous  - snowy
nocuous  - noxious, harmful, or poisonous
noisome  - foul-smelling
nymph  - a beautiful young woman
orb  - an eye
orgulous  - proud or haughty

P
pellucid  - translucent
perchance  - by some chance
perfervid  - intense and impassioned
perfidious  - deceitful and untrustworthy
philippic  - a bitter verbal attack
plangent  - loud and mournful
plash  -  a splashing sound
plenteous  - plentiful
plumbless  - extremely deep
poesy  - poetry
prothalamium  - a song or poem celebrating a wedding
puissant  - powerful or influential
pulchritude  - beauty
purl  - flow with a babbling sound
quidnunc  - an inquisitive and gossipy person

R
realm  - a kingdom
refulgent  - shining brightly
rend  - tear to pieces
repine  - be discontented
Rhadamanthine stern and incorruptible in judgement
roundelay  - a short, simple song with a refrain
rubescent  - reddening
rutilant  - glowing or glittering with red or golden light

S
sans  - without
scribe  - write
sea-girt  - surrounded by sea
sempiternal  - everlasting
serpent  - a snake
shade  - a ghost
ship of the desert  - a camel
shore country  - by the sea
slay  - kill
slumber sleep
star-crossed  - ill-fated
steed  - a horse
stilly  - still and quiet
storied  - celebrated in stories
strand  - a shore
Stygian  - very dark
summer  - a year of a person's age
supernal  - relating to the sky or the heavens
susurration  - a whispering or rustling sound
swain  - a young lover or suitor
sword,  - the military power; violence
sylvan  - wooded

T
tarry  - delay leaving
temerarious  - rash or reckless
tenebrous  - dark; shadowy
threescore  - sixty
thrice  - three times
tidings -  news; information
toilsome  - involving hard work
tope  - drink alcohol to excess
travail  - painful or laborious effort
troublous  - full of troubles
tryst  - a rendezvous between lovers
unman  - deprive of manly qualities
vestal  - chaste; pure
vesture  - clothing
virescent  - greenish
viridescent  - greenish or becoming green
visage  - a person's face

W
want  - lack or be short of
wax  - become larger or stronger
wayfarer  - a person who travels on foot
wed  - marry
welkin,  - the sky or heaven
whited sepulchre  - a hypocrite
wind  - blow (a bugle)
without  - outside
wondrous  - inspiring wonder
wont  - accustomed
wonted  - usual
wrathful  - extremely angry
wreathe -  twist or entwine

Y
yon  - yonder; that
yore  - of former ties or long ago
youngling -  a young person or animal

Z
zephyr  - a soft, gentle breeze