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History of the United States, Volume 5   By: (1844-1917)

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[Transcriber's Notes]

Text has been moved to avoid fragmentation of sentences.

Here are the definitions of some uncommon words.

ad valorem In proportion to the value:

akouphone Table model hearing aid sold around 1900.

auriferous Containing gold.

balustrades Rail and the row of posts that support it.

between Scylla and Charybdis Between two perilous alternatives, which cannot be passed without falling victim to one or the other.

biograph Moving picture machine.

brevet Promoting a military officer to a higher rank without an increase of pay and with limited exercise of the higher rank, often granted as an honor immediately before retirement.

Caryatids Sculptured female figure used as a column.

catafalque Raised structure on which a deceased person lies or is carried in state. A hearse.

Charybdis Daughter of Gaea and Poseidon, a monster mentioned in Homer and later identified with the whirlpool Charybdis, in the Strait of Messina off the NE coast of Sicily. See: between Scylla and Charybdis.

climacteric Period of decrease of reproductive capacity; any critical period; a year of important changes in health and fortune.

cloture Closing a debate and causing an immediate vote to be taken on the question.

Cobden Club A gentlemen's club in West London founded in the 1870s and named after Richard Cobden. The club offers "art and entertainment for the working man".

derogation Detract, as from authority, estimation, etc.; stray in character or conduct; degenerate; disparage or belittle.

enginery Machinery consisting of engines collectively.

Ethnology Branch of anthropology that analyzes cultures, (formerly) a branch of anthropology dealing with the origin, distribution, and distinguishing characteristics of the races of humankind.

excogitated Think out; devise; invent; study intently to comprehend fully.

execrable Utterly detestable; abominable; abhorrent; very bad:

ex proprio vigore By its own strength; of its own force.

fyke net Long bag net distended by hoops; fish can pass easily in, without being able to exit.

gonfalons Banner suspended from a crosspiece, especially for an ecclesiastical procession or as the ensign of a medieval Italian republic.

graphophone Phonograph for recording and reproducing sounds on wax records.

hegira Journey to a more desirable or congenial place.

hustings Temporary platform where candidates for the British Parliament stood when nominated and from which they addressed the electors; any place where political campaign speeches are made; political campaign trail.

imbroglios Complicated or bitter misunderstanding; confused heap.

mare clausum Body of navigable water under the sole jurisdiction of a nation.

memoriter By heart; by memory.

modus vivendi Manner of living; way of life; lifestyle. Temporary arrangement pending a settlement of matters in debate.

mugwumpery Republican who refused to support the party nominee, James G. Blaine, in the presidential campaign of 1884. Uncommitted person; a person who is neutral on a controversial issue.

muniment Title deed or a charter, defending rights.

mutoscope Simple form of moving picture machine; a series of views are printed on paper and mounted around the periphery of a wheel. The rotation of the wheel brings them sequentially into view and the blended effect renders apparent motion.

Nestor Oldest and wisest of the Greeks in the Trojan War and a king of Pylos.

obloquy Censure, blame, or abusive language; discredit, disgrace, denunciation.

outre mer French: Overseas.

pergolas Arbor or a passageway of columns supporting a roof or trelliswork of climbing plants.

Plaisance Place laid out as a pleasure garden or promenade.

pelagic Pertaining to the oceans; living near the surface of the ocean, far from land.

pendency Pending, undecided, as a lawsuit awaiting settlement.

peristyle Colonnade surrounding a building or an open space... Continue reading book >>

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