n. 1. A tree or shrub trained to grow in a flat plane against a wall, often in a symmetrical pattern. 2. A trellis or other framework on which an espalier is grown. — tr.v. 1. To train as or on an espalier.
She looked up and spoke to Sabine, who was pushed back against the brick wall as if espaliered there by years of careful pruning.Ann Patchett, The Magician’s Assistant
n. 1. a. Growth or increase in size by gradual external addition, fusion, or inclusion. b. Something added externally to promote such growth or increase.
Now it seemed to Marta that she was filled with a vapor, such a smoke as folk have in their steadings toward the end of winter, that is the accretion of all the fires that have been made over the winter, and all the food that has been cooked, and all the breaths that have been taken.– Jane Smiley, The Greenlanders
I saw this word at work this week and fell in love with it, and then it appeared in my book today.
n. Coolness and composure, esp. in trying circumstances.
At least Walter was giving me the respect of being angry. Edna’s unshakable sangfroid had been so minimizing.Elizabeth Gilbert, City of Girls
n. 1. Dash; verve. 2. A bunch of feathers or a plume, esp. on a helmet.
Celia didn’t eat anything, but sat quietly on one of the couches, handling her martini glass and cigarette with more panache than anything I’d ever seen.Elizabeth Gilbert, City of Girls
n. 1.a. A burned substance, such as coal, that is not reduced to ashes but it incapable of further combustion. b. A partly charred substance that can burn further but without flame.
tr.v. 1. To prevent the occurrence, realization, or attainment of. 2. To oppose and defeat the efforts, plans, or ambitions of.
n. 1. The quality or state of being brief in duration. 2. Concise expression; terseness.
When a sentence is made stronger, it usually becomes shorter. Thus, brevity is a by-product of vigor.William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White, The Elements of Style
n. A tendency to lapse into a previous pattern of behavior, esp. a tendence to return to criminal habits.
v. intr. 1. To jostle and push. 2. to work or move rapidly and energetically. 3. To act aggressively, esp. in business dealings.
n. 1. The act or instance of jostling or shoving. 2. Energic activity; drive. 3. slang. An illicit or unethical way of doing business or obtaining money; a fraud or deceipt.
adj. 1. Uncommon; rare. 2. Exquisite; choice. 3. Overrefined; forced. 4. Pretentious; overblown.
58 Gin, like many distilleries, offers gin tuition… She handed each of us a clipboard, on which was a list of twenty-six botanicals. Some of these were fairly mainstream, like pink grapefruit and chamomile; others were more recherché, like aniseed and cassia.”Anthony Lane, “Ginmania,” The New Yorker