Fracas

n. A noisy disorderly fight or quarrel; a brawl.

People were scrambling to get out of the way of the impending fracas when a short man with a jet-black beard was seen stepping forth and addressing the warring factions.

Olga Grushin, The Line

Pith

n. 1. Bot. The soft spongy parenchymatous center of the stems of most flowering plants. 2. Zool. The soft inner substance of a feather or hair. 3. The essential or central part; the heart or essence. 4. Strenth; vigor; mettle. 5. Significance; importance.

Today, fifty-two years later, its vigor is unimpaired, and for sheer pith I think it probably sets a record that is not likely to be broken.

E.B. White, Introduction to The Elements of Style

Surfeit

n. 1. a. Overindulgence in food or drink. b. The result of such overindulgence; satiety or disgust. 2. An excessive amount.

He died old and respected — of a surfeit of violets some say — he never could get enough violets.

Peter S. Beagle, The Last Unicorn

Accretion

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.