hard words

hard words
hard words
is a semi-technical term for what it immediately suggests, long and difficult words that are often derived from Latinate rather than English sources, such as rebarbative (= repellent) and nugatory (= futile, trifling). The first English dictionaries devoted much space to hard words, explaining words of foreign origin in terms of native English words. The following list is drawn from Robert Cawdrey's Table Alphabeticall of 1604:
agnition / acknowledgement / Latin gnoscere ‘to know’
carminate / to card wool / Latin carmen ‘a card for wool’
combure / to burn up / Latin comburere ‘to burn up, consume’
deambulation / a walking abroad / Latin ambulare ‘to walk’
enarration / exposition or commentary / Latin narrare ‘to relate’
All these words are now obsolete. The following, from the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary (6th edition, 2007), are still in use:
claustration / enclosure, confinement / Latin claustrum ‘enclosed space’
coriaceous / like leather / Latin corium ‘leather
edulcorate / purify / Latin dulcis ‘sweet’
evasible / able to be evaded / French (as table)
idoneous / apt, suitable / Latin idoneus ‘apt’
infraction / act of breaking an agreement / Latin frangere ‘to break’
straticulate / arranged in thin layers / Latin stratum ‘laid down’
tergiversation / equivocation, betrayal / Latin tergum ‘back’ and vertere ‘to turn’
velleity / a mere wish / Latin velle ‘to wish’

Modern English usage. 2014.

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  • hard words — plural noun 1. Words that give difficulty to a half educated reader 2. Harsh words 3. Angry words • • • Main Entry: ↑hard …   Useful english dictionary

  • hard words break no bones — A terser statement of the sentiment in sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me. Cf. c 1450 Towneley Play of Noah (EETS) 1. 380 Thise grete wordis shall not flay me. 1697 G. MERITON Yorkshire Ale (ed. 3) 84 Foul words… …   Proverbs new dictionary

  • hard words — critical remarks, cruel of cutting comments …   English contemporary dictionary

  • Hard — (h[aum]rd), a. [Compar. {Harder} ( [ e]r); superl. {Hardest}.] [OE. hard, heard, AS. heard; akin to OS. & D. hard, G. hart, OHG. herti, harti, Icel. har[eth]r, Dan. haard, Sw. h[*a]rd, Goth. hardus, Gr. kraty s strong, ka rtos, kra tos, strength …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Hard and fast — Hard Hard (h[aum]rd), a. [Compar. {Harder} ( [ e]r); superl. {Hardest}.] [OE. hard, heard, AS. heard; akin to OS. & D. hard, G. hart, OHG. herti, harti, Icel. har[eth]r, Dan. haard, Sw. h[*a]rd, Goth. hardus, Gr. kraty s strong, ka rtos, kra tos …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Hard cancer — Hard Hard (h[aum]rd), a. [Compar. {Harder} ( [ e]r); superl. {Hardest}.] [OE. hard, heard, AS. heard; akin to OS. & D. hard, G. hart, OHG. herti, harti, Icel. har[eth]r, Dan. haard, Sw. h[*a]rd, Goth. hardus, Gr. kraty s strong, ka rtos, kra tos …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Hard case — Hard Hard (h[aum]rd), a. [Compar. {Harder} ( [ e]r); superl. {Hardest}.] [OE. hard, heard, AS. heard; akin to OS. & D. hard, G. hart, OHG. herti, harti, Icel. har[eth]r, Dan. haard, Sw. h[*a]rd, Goth. hardus, Gr. kraty s strong, ka rtos, kra tos …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Hard clam — Hard Hard (h[aum]rd), a. [Compar. {Harder} ( [ e]r); superl. {Hardest}.] [OE. hard, heard, AS. heard; akin to OS. & D. hard, G. hart, OHG. herti, harti, Icel. har[eth]r, Dan. haard, Sw. h[*a]rd, Goth. hardus, Gr. kraty s strong, ka rtos, kra tos …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Hard coal — Hard Hard (h[aum]rd), a. [Compar. {Harder} ( [ e]r); superl. {Hardest}.] [OE. hard, heard, AS. heard; akin to OS. & D. hard, G. hart, OHG. herti, harti, Icel. har[eth]r, Dan. haard, Sw. h[*a]rd, Goth. hardus, Gr. kraty s strong, ka rtos, kra tos …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Hard finish — Hard Hard (h[aum]rd), a. [Compar. {Harder} ( [ e]r); superl. {Hardest}.] [OE. hard, heard, AS. heard; akin to OS. & D. hard, G. hart, OHG. herti, harti, Icel. har[eth]r, Dan. haard, Sw. h[*a]rd, Goth. hardus, Gr. kraty s strong, ka rtos, kra tos …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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