Monthly Archives: December 2005

hurdy-gurdy

1. a medieval stringed instrument played by turning a rosined wheel with a crank and depressing keys connected to tangents on the strings 2. any instrument, such as a barrel organ, played by turning a crank

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malthusian

of or relating to Malthus or to his theory that population tends to increase at a faster rate than its means of subsistence and that unless it is checked by moral restraint or disaster (as disease, famine, or war) widespread poverty and degradation inevitably result

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umbrage

1. offense; resentment 2a. something that affords shade b. shadow or shade 3. a vague or indistinct indication; a hint

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venal

1a. open to bribery; mercenary b. capable of betraying honor, duty, or scruples for a price; corruptible 2. marked by corrupt dealings, especially bribery 3. obtainable for a price

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factotum

an employee or assistant who serves in a wide range of capacities

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