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English language - Dictionaries P...

                         Oxford English Reference

                      British Library Cataloguing Data
         The concise Oxford dictionary of current English.--8th ed.
                     1. English language--Dictionaries
                 I. Allen, R. E. (Robert Edward), 1944-423
                       ISBN 0-19-861243-5 thumb index
                          ISBN 0-19-861200-1 plain

1.0 P...

   P(1)      n.  (also p) (pl.  Ps or P's) the sixteenth letter of the

   P(2)      abbr.  (also P.) 1 (on road signs) parking.  2 Chess pawn.  3
             Physics poise (unit).  4 proprietary.

   P(3)      symb.  Chem.  the element phosphorus.

   p         abbr.  (also p.) 1 Brit. penny, pence.  2 page.  3 pico-.  4
             piano (softly).

2.0 PA...

   PA        abbr.  1 personal assistant.  2 public address (esp.  PA
             system).  3 Press Association.  4 US Pennsylvania (in official
             postal use).

   Pa        symb.  Chem.  the element protactinium.

   pa        n.  colloq.  father.  [abbr. of PAPA]

   p.a.      abbr.  per annum.

   pabulum   n.  food, esp. for the mind (mental pabulum).  [L f.  pascere

   PABX      abbr.  Brit.  private automatic branch exchange.

   paca      n.  any tailless rodent of the genus Cuniculus, esp. the spotted
             cavy of S. and Central America.  [Sp. & Port., f. Tupi]

   pace(1)   n. & v.  --n.  1 a a single step in walking or running.  b the
             distance covered in this (about 75 cm or 30 in.).  c the
             distance between two successive stationary positions of the same
             foot in walking.  2 speed in walking or running.  3 Theatr. &
             Mus. speed or tempo in theatrical or musical performance (played
             with great pace).  4 a rate of progression.  5 a a manner of
             walking or running; a gait.  b any of various gaits, esp. of a
             trained horse etc. (rode at an ambling pace).  --v.  1 intr.  a
             walk (esp. repeatedly or methodically) with a slow or regular
             pace (pacing up and down).  b (of a horse) = AMBLE.  2 tr.
             traverse by pacing.  3 tr. set the pace for (a rider, runner,
             etc.).  4 tr. (foll. by out) measure (a distance) by pacing.
             Ьkeep pace (often foll. by with) advance at an equal rate (as).
             pace bowler Cricket a bowler who delivers the ball at high speed
             without spin.  pace-setter 1 a leader.  2 = PACEMAKER 1.  put a
             person through his (or her) paces test a person's qualities in
             action etc.  set the pace determine the speed, esp. by leading.
             stand (or stay) the pace be able to keep up with others.
             ЬЬ-paced adj.  pacer n.  [ME f. OF pas f. L passus f.  pandere
             pass- stretch]

   pace(2)   prep.  (in stating a contrary opinion) with due deference to
             (the person named).  [L, ablat. of pax peace]

   pacemaker n.  1 a competitor who sets the pace in a race.  2 a natural or
             artificial device for stimulating the heart muscle and
             determining the rate of its contractions.

   pacha     var. of PASHA.

   pachinko  n.  a Japanese form of pinball.  [Jap.]

   pachisi   n.  a four-handed Indian board-game with six cowries used like
             dice.  [Hindi, = of 25 (the highest throw)]

   pachyderm n.  any thick-skinned mammal, esp. an elephant or rhinoceros.
             ЬЬpachydermatous adj.  [F pachyderme f. Gk pakhudermos f.
             pakhus thick + derma -matos skin]

   pacific   adj. & n.  --adj.  1 characterized by or tending to peace;
             tranquil.  2 (Pacific) of or adjoining the Pacific.  --n. (the
             Pacific) the generally placid expanse of ocean between America
             to the east and Asia to the west.  ЬPacific Time the standard
             time used in the Pacific region of Canada and the US.
             ЬЬpacifically adv.  [F pacifique or L pacificus f.  pax pacis

             n.  the act of pacifying or the process of being pacified.
             ЬЬpacificatory adj.  [F f. L pacificatio -onis (as PACIFY)]

   pacifier  n.  1 a person or thing that pacifies.  2 US a baby's dummy.

   pacifism  n.  the belief that war and violence are morally unjustified and
             that all disputes can be settled by peaceful means.  ЬЬpacifist
             n. & adj.  [F pacifisme f.  pacifier PACIFY]

   pacify    v.tr.  (-ies, -ied) 1 appease (a person, anger, etc.).  2 bring
             (a country etc.) to a state of peace.  [ME f. OF pacifier or L
             pacificare (as PACIFIC)]

   pack(1)   n. & v.  --n.  1 a a collection of things wrapped up or tied
             together for carrying.  b = BACKPACK.  2 a set of items packaged
             for use or disposal together.  3 usu.  derog. a lot or set (of
             similar things or persons) (a pack of lies; a pack of thieves).
             4 Brit. a set of playing cards.  5 a a group of hounds esp. for
             foxhunting.  b a group of wild animals, esp. wolves, hunting
             together.  6 an organized group of Cub Scouts or Brownies.  7
             Rugby Football a team's forwards.  8 a a medicinal or cosmetic
             substance applied to the skin; = face-pack.  b a hot or cold pad
             of absorbent material for treating a wound etc.  9 = pack ice.
             10 a quantity of fish, fruit, etc., packed in a season etc.  11
             Med.  a the wrapping of a body or part of a body in a wet sheet
             etc.  b a sheet etc. used for this.  --v.  1 tr. (often foll. by
             up) a fill (a suitcase, bag, etc.) with clothes and other items.
             b put (things) together in a bag or suitcase, esp. for
             travelling.  2 intr. & tr. come or put closely together; crowd
             or cram (packed a lot into a few hours; passengers packed like
             sardines).  3 tr. (in passive; often foll. by with) be filled
             (with); contain extensively (the restaurant was packed; the book
             is packed with information).  4 tr. fill (a hall, theatre, etc.)
             with an audience etc.  5 tr. cover (a thing) with something
             pressed tightly round.  6 intr. be suitable for packing.  7 tr.
             colloq.  a carry (a gun etc.).  b be capable of delivering (a
             punch) with skill or force.  8 intr. (of animals or Rugby
             forwards) form a pack.  Ьpack-animal an animal for carrying
             packs.  pack-drill a military punishment of marching up and down
             carrying full equipment.  packed lunch a lunch carried in a bag,
             box, etc., esp. to work, school, etc.  packed out colloq.  full,
             crowded.  pack ice an area of large crowded pieces of floating
             ice in the sea.  pack it in (or up) colloq.  end or stop it.
             pack off send (a person) away, esp. abruptly or promptly.
             pack-rat US a large hoarding rodent.  pack-saddle a saddle
             adapted for supporting packs.  pack up colloq.  1 (esp. of a
             machine) stop functioning; break down.  2 retire from an
             activity, contest, etc.  send packing colloq.  dismiss (a
             person) summarily.  ЬЬpackable adj.  [ME f. MDu., MLG pak,
             pakken, of unkn. orig.]

   pack(2)   v.tr.  select (a jury etc.) or fill (a meeting) so as to secure
             a decision in one's favour.  [prob. f. obs. verb pact f.  PACT]

   package   n. & v.  --n.  1 a a bundle of things packed.  b a parcel, box,
             etc., in which things are packed.  2 (in full package deal) a
             set of proposals or items offered or agreed to as a whole.  3
             Computing a piece of software suitable for various applications
             rather than one which is custom-built.  4 colloq. = package
             holiday.  --v.tr. make up into or enclose in a package.
             Ьpackage holiday (or tour etc.) a holiday or tour etc. with all
             arrangements made at an inclusive price.  ЬЬpackager n.
             [PACK(1) + -AGE]

   packaging n.  1 a wrapping or container for goods.  2 the process of
             packing goods.

   packer    n.  a person or thing that packs, esp. a dealer who prepares and
             packs food for transportation and sale.

   packet    n.  1 a small package.  2 colloq. a large sum of money won,
             lost, or spent.  3 (in full packet-boat) hist. a mail-boat or
             passenger ship.  [PACK(1) + -ET(1)]

   packhorse n.  a horse for carrying loads.

   packing   n.  1 the act or process of packing.  2 material used as padding
             to pack esp. fragile articles.  3 material used to seal a join
             or assist in lubricating an axle.  Ьpacking-case a case (usu.
             wooden) or framework for packing goods in.

             n.  stout thread for sewing or tying up packs.

   pact      n.  an agreement or a treaty.  [ME f. OF pact(e) f. L pactum,
             neut. past part. of pacisci agree]

   pad(1)    n. & v.  --n.  1 a piece of soft material used to reduce
             friction or jarring, fill out hollows, hold or absorb liquid,
             etc.  2 a number of sheets of blank paper fastened together at
             one edge, for writing or drawing on.  3 = ink-pad.  4 the fleshy
             underpart of an animal's foot or of a human finger.  5 a guard
             for the leg and ankle in sports.  6 a flat surface for
             helicopter take-off or rocket-launching.  7 colloq. a lodging,
             esp. a bedsitter or flat.  8 the floating leaf of a water lily.
             --v.tr.  (padded, padding) 1 provide with a pad or padding;
             stuff.  2 (foll. by out) lengthen or fill out (a book etc.) with
             unnecessary material.  Ьpadded cell a room with padded walls in
             a mental hospital.  [prob. of LG or Du. orig.]

   pad(2)    v. & n.  --v.  (padded, padding) 1 intr. walk with a soft dull
             steady step.  2 a tr. tramp along (a road etc.) on foot.  b
             intr. travel on foot.  --n. the sound of soft steady steps.  [LG
             padden tread, pad PATH]

   padding   n.  soft material used to pad or stuff with.

   paddle(1) n. & v.  --n.  1 a short broad-bladed oar used without a
             rowlock.  2 a paddle-shaped instrument.  3 Zool. a fin or
             flipper.  4 each of the boards fitted round the circumference of
             a paddle-wheel or mill-wheel.  5 the action or a spell of
             paddling.  --v.  1 intr. & tr. move on water or propel a boat by
             means of paddles.  2 intr. & tr. row gently.  3 tr. esp.  US
             colloq. spank.  Ьpaddle-boat (or -steamer etc.) a boat, steamer,
             etc., propelled by a paddle-wheel.  paddle-wheel a wheel for
             propelling a ship, with boards round the circumference so as to
             press backwards against the water.  ЬЬpaddler n.  [15th c.:
             orig. unkn.]

   paddle(2) v. & n.  --v.intr. walk barefoot or dabble the feet or hands in
             shallow water.  --n. the action or a spell of paddling.
             ЬЬpaddler n.  [prob. of LG or Du. orig.: cf. LG paddeln tramp

   paddock   n.  1 a small field, esp. for keeping horses in.  2 a turf
             enclosure adjoining a racecourse where horses or cars are
             assembled before a race.  3 Austral. & NZ a field; a plot of
             land.  [app. var. of (now dial.)  parrock (OE pearruc): see

   Paddy     n.  (pl.  -ies) colloq. often offens.  an Irishman.  [pet-form
             of the Irish name Padraig (= Patrick)]

   paddy(1)  n.  (pl.  -ies) 1 (in full paddy-field) a field where rice is
             grown.  2 rice before threshing or in the husk.  [Malay padi]

   paddy(2)  n.  (pl.  -ies) Brit.  colloq.  a rage; a fit of temper.

   pademelon n.  any small wallaby of the genus Thylogale, inhabiting the
             coastal scrub of Australia.  [corrupt. of an Aboriginal name]

   padlock   n. & v.  --n. a detachable lock hanging by a pivoted hook on the
             object fastened.  --v.tr. secure with a padlock.  [ME f.
             LOCK(1): first element unexpl.]

   padouk    n.  1 any timber tree of the genus Pterocarpus, esp.  P.
             indicus.  2 the wood of this tree, resembling rosewood.

   padre     n.  a chaplain in any of the armed services.  [It., Sp., &
             Port., = father, priest, f. L pater patris father]

   padsaw    n.  a saw with a narrow blade, for cutting curves.

   paean     n.  (US pean) a song of praise or triumph.  [L f. Doric Gk paian
             hymn of thanksgiving to Apollo (under the name of Paian)]

   paederast var. of PEDERAST.

             var. of PEDERASTY.

             n.pl.  (treated as sing.) (US pediatrics) the branch of medicine
             dealing with children and their diseases.  ЬЬpaediatric adj.
             paediatrician n.  [PAEDO- + Gk iatros physician]

   paedo-    comb. form (US pedo-) child.  [Gk pais paid- child]

             n.  (US pedophile) a person who displays paedophilia.

             n.  (US pedophilia) sexual desire directed towards children.

   paella    n.  a Spanish dish of rice, saffron, chicken, seafood, etc.,
             cooked and served in a large shallow pan.  [Catalan f. OF paele
             f. L patella pan]

   paeon     n.  a metrical foot of one long syllable and three short
             syllables in any order.  ЬЬpaeonic adj.  [L f. Gk paion, the
             Attic form of paian PAEAN]

   paeony    var. of PEONY.

   pagan     n. & adj.  --n. a person not subscribing to any of the main
             religions of the world, esp. formerly regarded by Christians as
             unenlightened or heathen.  --adj.  1 a of or relating to or
             associated with pagans.  b irreligious.  2 identifying divinity
             or spirituality in nature; pantheistic.  ЬЬpaganish adj.
             paganism n.  paganize v.tr. & intr.  (also -ise).  [ME f. L
             paganus villager, rustic f.  pagus country district: in
             Christian L = civilian, heathen]

   page(1)   n. & v.  --n.  1 a a leaf of a book, periodical, etc.  b each
             side of this.  c what is written or printed on this.  2 a an
             episode that might fill a page in written history etc.; a
             record.  b a memorable event.  --v.tr. paginate.  [F f. L pagina
             f.  pangere fasten]

   page(2)   n. & v.  --n.  1 a boy or man, usu. in livery, employed to run
             errands, attend to a door, etc.  2 a boy employed as a personal
             attendant of a person of rank, a bride, etc.  3 hist. a boy in
             training for knighthood and attached to a knight's service.
             --v.tr.  1 (in hotels, airports, etc.) summon by making an
             announcement or by sending a messenger.  2 summon by means of a
             pager.  Ьpage-boy 1 = PAGE(2) n.  2.  2 a woman's hairstyle with
             the hair reaching to the shoulder and rolled under at the ends.
             [ME f. OF, perh. f. It.  paggio f. Gk paidion, dimin. of pais
             paidos boy]

   pageant   n.  1 a a brilliant spectacle, esp. an elaborate parade.  b a
             spectacular procession, or play performed in the open,
             illustrating historical events.  c a tableau etc. on a fixed
             stage or moving vehicle.  2 an empty or specious show.  [ME
             pagyn, of unkn. orig.]

   pageantry n.  (pl.  -ies) 1 elaborate or sumptuous show or display.  2 an
             instance of this.

   pager     n.  a radio device with a bleeper, activated from a central
             point to alert the person wearing it.

   paginal   adj.  1 of pages (of books etc.).  2 corresponding page for
             page.  ЬЬpaginary adj.  [LL paginalis (as PAGE(1))]

   paginate  v.tr.  assign numbers to the pages of a book etc.  ЬЬpagination
             n.  [F paginer f. L pagina PAGE(1)]

   pagoda    n.  1 a Hindu or Buddhist temple or sacred building, esp. a
             many-tiered tower, in India and the Far East.  2 an ornamental
             imitation of this.  Ьpagoda-tree any of various trees, esp.
             Sophora japonica, resembling a pagoda in shape.  [Port.  pagode,
             prob. ult. f. Pers.  butkada idol temple]

   pah       int.  expressing disgust or contempt.  [natural utterance]

   Pahlavi   n.  (also Pehlevi) the writing system of Persia from the 2nd c.
             BC to the advent of Islam in the 7th c.  AD.  [Pers.  pahlawi f.
             pahlav f.  parthava Parthia]

   paid      past and past part. of PAY(1).

   pail      n.  1 a bucket.  2 an amount contained in this.  ЬЬpailful n.
             (pl.  -fuls).  [OE p‘gel gill (cf. MDu.  pegel gauge), assoc.
             with OF paelle: see PAELLA]

   paillasse var. of PALLIASSE.

   paillette n.  1 a piece of bright metal used in enamel painting.  2 a
             spangle.  [F, dimin. of paille f. L palea straw, chaff]

   pain      n. & v.  --n.  1 a the range of unpleasant bodily sensations
             produced by illness or by harmful physical contact etc.  b a
             particular kind or instance of this (often in pl.: suffering
             from stomach pains).  2 mental suffering or distress.  3 (in
             pl.) careful effort; trouble taken (take pains; got nothing for
             my pains).  4 (also pain in the neck) colloq. a troublesome
             person or thing; a nuisance.  --v.tr.  1 cause pain to.  2 (as
             pained adj.) expressing pain (a pained expression).  Ьin pain
             suffering pain.  on (or under) pain of with (death etc.) as the
             penalty.  [ME f. OF peine f. L poena penalty]

   painful   adj.  1 causing bodily or mental pain or distress.  2 (esp. of
             part of the body) suffering pain.  3 causing trouble or
             difficulty; laborious (a painful climb).  ЬЬpainfully adv.
             painfulness n.

             n.  a medicine or drug for alleviating pain.  ЬЬpainkilling adj.

   painless  adj.  not causing or suffering pain.  ЬЬpainlessly adv.
             painlessness n.

             adj.  careful, industrious, thorough.  ЬЬpainstakingly adv.
             painstakingness n.

   paint     n. & v.  --n.  1 a colouring matter, esp. in liquid form for
             imparting colour to a surface.  b this as a dried film or
             coating (the paint peeled off).  2 joc. or archaic cosmetic
             make-up, esp. rouge or nail varnish.  --v.tr.  1 a cover the
             surface of (a wall, object, etc.) with paint.  b apply paint of
             a specified colour to (paint the door green).  2 depict (an
             object, scene, etc.) with paint; produce (a picture) by
             painting.  3 describe vividly as if by painting (painted a
             gloomy picture of the future).  4 joc. or archaic a apply liquid
             or cosmetic to (the face, skin, etc.).  b apply (a liquid to the
             skin etc.).  Ьpainted lady an orange-red butterfly, esp.
             Cynthia cardui, with black and white spots.  paint out efface
             with paint.  paint shop the part of a factory where goods are
             painted, esp. by spraying.  paint-stick a stick of water-soluble
             paint used like a crayon.  paint the town red colloq.  enjoy
             oneself flamboyantly.  ЬЬpaintable adj.  [ME f.  peint past
             part. of OF peindre f. L pingere pict- paint]

   paintbox  n.  a box holding dry paints for painting pictures.

             n.  a brush for applying paint.

             n.  a person who paints, esp. an artist or decorator.  [ME f. OF
             peintour ult. f. L pictor (as PAINT)]

             n.  a rope attached to the bow of a boat for tying it to a quay
             etc.  [ME, prob. f. OF penteur rope from a masthead: cf. G
             Pentertakel f.  pentern fish the anchor]

   painterly adj.  1 a using paint well; artistic.  b characteristic of a
             painter or paintings.  2 (of a painting) lacking clearly defined

   painting  n.  1 the process or art of using paint.  2 a painted picture.

   paintwork n.  1 a painted surface or area in a building etc.  2 the work
             of painting.

   painty    adj.  (paintier, paintiest) 1 of or covered in paint.  2 (of a
             picture etc.) overcharged with paint.

   pair      n. & v.  --n.  1 a set of two persons or things used together or
             regarded as a unit (a pair of gloves; a pair of eyes).  2 an
             article (e.g. scissors, trousers, or pyjamas) consisting of two
             joined or corresponding parts not used separately.  3 a an
             engaged or married couple.  b a mated couple of animals.  4 two
             horses harnessed side by side (a coach and pair).  5 the second
             member of a pair in relation to the first (cannot find its
             pair).  6 two playing cards of the same denomination.  7 Parl.
             either or both of two MPs etc. on opposite sides absenting
             themselves from voting by mutual arrangement.  --v.tr. & intr.
             1 (often foll. by off) arrange or be arranged in couples.  2 a
             join or be joined in marriage.  b (of animals) mate.  3 Parl.
             form a pair.  Ьin pairs in twos.  pair production Physics the
             conversion of a radiation quantum into an electron and a
             positron.  pair royal a set of three cards of the same
             denomination.  [ME f. OF paire f. L paria neut. pl. of par

   paisa     n.  (pl.  paise) a coin and monetary unit of India, Pakistan,
             Nepal, and Bangladesh, equal to one-hundredth of a rupee or
             taka.  [Hindi]

   Paisley   n.  (often attrib.) 1 a distinctive detailed pattern of curved
             feather-shaped figures.  2 a soft woollen garment having this
             pattern.  [Paisley in Scotland]

   pajamas   US var. of PYJAMAS.

   pakeha    n.  NZ a White person as opposed to a Maori.  [Maori]

   Paki      n.  (pl.  Pakis) Brit.  sl.  offens.  a Pakistani, esp. an
             immigrant in Britain.  [abbr.]

   Pakistani n. & adj.  --n.  1 a native or national of Pakistan.  2 a person
             of Pakistani descent.  --adj. of or relating to Pakistan.

   pakora    n.  a piece of cauliflower, carrot, or other vegetable, coated
             in seasoned batter and deep-fried.  [Hind.]

   pal       n. & v.  --n.  colloq. a friend, mate, or comrade.  --v.intr.
             (palled, palling) (usu. foll. by up) associate; form a
             friendship.  [Romany = brother, mate, ult. f. Skr.  bhratr

   palace    n.  1 the official residence of a sovereign, president,
             archbishop, or bishop.  2 a splendid mansion; a spacious
             building.  Ьpalace revolution (or coup) the (usu. non-violent)
             overthrow of a sovereign, government, etc.  at the hands of
             senior officials.  [ME f. OF palais f. L Palatium Palatine
             (hill) in Rome where the house of the emperor was situated]

   paladin   n.  hist.  1 any of the twelve peers of Charlemagne's court, of
             whom the Count Palatine was the chief.  2 a knight errant; a
             champion.  [F paladin f. It.  paladino f. L palatinus: see

             adj.  Zool.  of the Arctic and temperate parts of the old world.
             [PALAEO- + ARCTIC]

   palaeo-   comb. form (US paleo-) ancient, old; of ancient (esp.
             prehistoric) times.  [Gk palaios ancient]

             n.  the study of fossil plants.

             adj. & n.  (US Paleocene) Geol.  --adj. of or relating to the
             earliest epoch of the Tertiary period with evidence of the
             emergence and development of mammals.  --n. this epoch or
             system.  °Cf. Appendix II.  [PALAEO- + Gk kainos new]

             n.  (US paleoclimatology) the study of the climate in
             geologically past times.

             n.  (US paleogeography) the study of the geographical features
             at periods in the geological past.

             n.  (US paleography) the study of writing and documents from the
             past.  ЬЬpalaeographer n.  palaeographic adj.  palaeographical
             adj.  palaeographically adv.  [F pal‚ographie f. mod.L
             palaeographia (as PALAEO-, -GRAPHY)]

             adj.  (US paleolithic) Archaeol.  of or relating to the early
             part of the Stone Age.  [PALAEO- + Gk lithos stone]

             n.  (US paleomagnetism) the study of the magnetism remaining in

             n.  (US paleontology) the study of life in the geological past.
             ЬЬpalaeontological adj.  palaeontologist n.  [PALAEO- + Gk onta
             neut. pl. of on being, part. of eimi be + -LOGY]

             adj. & n.  (also Paleozoic) Geol.  --adj. of or relating to an
             era of geological time marked by the appearance of marine and
             terrestrial plants and animals, esp. invertebrates.  °Cf.
             Appendix II.  --n. this era (cf.  CENOZOIC, MESOZOIC).  [PALAEO-
             + Gk zoe life, zoos living]

   palaestra n.  (also palestra) Gk & Rom. Antiq.  a wrestling-school or
             gymnasium.  [ME f. L palaestra f. Gk palaistra f.  palaio

   palais    n.  colloq.  a public hall for dancing.  [F palais (de danse)
             (dancing) hall]

   palanquin n.  (also palankeen) (in India and the East) a covered litter
             for one passenger.  [Port.  palanquim: cf. Hindi palki f. Skr.
             palyanka bed, couch]

   palatable adj.  1 pleasant to taste.  2 (of an idea, suggestion, etc.)
             acceptable, satisfactory.  ЬЬpalatability n.  palatableness n.
             palatably adv.

   palatal   adj. & n.  --adj.  1 of the palate.  2 (of a sound) made by
             placing the surface of the tongue against the hard palate (e.g.
             y in yes).  --n. a palatal sound.  ЬЬpalatalize v.tr.  (also
             -ise).  palatalization n.  palatally adv.  [F (as PALATE)]

   palate    n.  1 a structure closing the upper part of the mouth cavity in
             vertebrates.  2 the sense of taste.  3 a mental taste or
             inclination; liking.  [ME f. L palatum]

   palatial  adj.  (of a building) like a palace, esp. spacious and splendid.
             ЬЬpalatially adv.  [L (as PALACE)]

             n.  territory under the jurisdiction of a Count Palatine.

             adj. (also Palatine) hist.  1 (of an official or feudal lord)
             having local authority that elsewhere belongs only to a
             sovereign (Count Palatine).  2 (of a territory) subject to this
             authority.  [ME f. F palatin -ine f. L palatinus of the PALACE]

             adj. & n.  --adj. of or connected with the palate.  --n. (in
             full palatine bone) each of two bones forming the hard palate.
             [F palatin -ine (as PALATE)]

   palaver   n. & v.  --n.  1 fuss and bother, esp. prolonged and tedious.  2
             profuse or idle talk.  3 cajolery.  4 colloq. an affair or
             business.  5 esp.  hist. a parley between African or other
             natives and traders.  --v.  1 intr. talk profusely.  2 tr.
             flatter, wheedle.  [Port.  palavra word f. L (as PARABLE)]

   pale(1)   adj. & v.  --adj.  1 (of a person or complexion) of a whitish or
             ashen appearance.  2 a (of a colour) faint; not dark or deep.  b
             faintly coloured.  3 of faint lustre; dim.  --v.  1 intr. & tr.
             grow or make pale.  2 intr. (often foll. by before, beside)
             become feeble in comparison (with).  ЬЬpalely adv.  paleness n.
             palish adj.  [ME f. OF pale, palir f. L pallidus f.  pallere be

   pale(2)   n.  1 a pointed piece of wood for fencing etc.; a stake.  2 a
             boundary or enclosed area.  3 Heraldry a vertical stripe in the
             middle of a shield.  Ьbeyond the pale outside the bounds of
             acceptable behaviour.  in pale Heraldry arranged vertically.
             [ME f. OF pal f. L palus stake]

   palea     n.  (pl.  paleae) Bot.  a chafflike bract, esp. in a flower of
             grasses.  [L, = chaff]

   paled     adj.  having palings.

   paleface  n.  a name supposedly used by the N. American Indians for the
             White man.

   paleo-    comb. form US var. of PALAEO-.

   Paleocene US var. of PALAEOCENE.

   Paleozoic US var. of PALAEOZOIC.

             adj. & n.  --adj. of or relating to Palestine, a region (in
             ancient and modern times) and former mandated territory on the
             E. Mediterranean coast.  --n.  1 a native of Palestine in
             ancient or modern times.  2 an Arab, or a descendant of one,
             born or living in the area formerly called Palestine.

   palestra  var. of PALAESTRA.

   palette   n.  1 a thin board or slab or other surface, usu. with a hole
             for the thumb, on which an artist lays and mixes colours.  2 the
             range of colours used by an artist.  Ьpalette-knife 1 a thin
             steel blade with a handle for mixing colours or applying or
             removing paint.  2 a kitchen knife with a long blunt round-ended
             flexible blade.  [F, dimin. of pale shovel f. L pala spade]

   palfrey   n.  (pl.  -eys) archaic a horse for ordinary riding, esp. for
             women.  [ME f. OF palefrei f. med.L palefredus, LL paraveredus
             f. Gk para beside, extra, + L veredus light horse, of Gaulish

   Pali      n.  an Indic language used in the canonical books of Buddhists.
             [Skr.  pali-bhasa f.  pali canon + bhasa language]

   palimony  n.  esp.  US colloq.  an allowance made by one member of an
             unmarried couple to the other after separation.  [PAL + ALIMONY]

             n.  1 a piece of writing-material or manuscript on which the
             original writing has been effaced to make room for other
             writing.  2 a monumental brass turned and re-engraved on the
             reverse side.  [L palimpsestus f. Gk palimpsestos f.  palin
             again + psestos rubbed smooth]

             n.  a word or phrase that reads the same backwards as forwards
             (e.g.  rotator, nurses run).  ЬЬpalindromic adj.  palindromist
             n.  [Gk palindromos running back again f.  palin again + drom-

   paling    n.  1 a fence of pales.  2 a pale.

             n.  Biol.  the exact reproduction of ancestral characteristics
             in ontogenesis.  ЬЬpalingenetic adj.  [Gk palin again + genesis
             birth, GENESIS]

   palinode  n.  1 a poem in which the writer retracts a view or sentiment
             expressed in a former poem.  2 a recantation.  [F palinode or LL
             palinodia f. Gk palinoidia f.  palin again + oide song]

   palisade  n. & v.  --n.  1 a a fence of pales or iron railings.  b a
             strong pointed wooden stake used in a close row for defence.  2
             US (in pl.) a line of high cliffs.  --v.tr. enclose or provide
             with a palisade.  Ьpalisade layer Bot.  a layer of elongated
             cells below the epidermis.  [F palissade f. Prov.  palissada f.
             palissa paling ult. f. L palus stake]

   pall(1)   n.  1 a cloth spread over a coffin, hearse, or tomb.  2 a
             shoulder-band with pendants, worn as an ecclesiastical vestment
             and sign of authority.  3 a dark covering (a pall of darkness; a
             pall of smoke).  4 Heraldry a Y-shaped bearing charged with
             crosses representing the front of an ecclesiastical pall.  [OE
             p‘ll, f. L pallium cloak]

   pall(2)   v.  1 intr. (often foll. by on) become uninteresting (to).  2
             tr. satiate, cloy.  [ME, f.  APPAL]

   palladia  pl. of PALLADIUM(2).

   Palladian adj.  Archit.  in the neoclassical style of Palladio.
             ЬЬPalladianism n.  [A.  Palladio, It. architect d. 1580]

             n.  Chem.  a white ductile metallic element occurring naturally
             in various ores and used in chemistry as a catalyst and for
             making jewellery.  °Symb.: Pd.  [mod.L f.  Pallas, an asteroid
             discovered (1803) just before the element, + -IUM; cf.  CERIUM]

             n.  (pl.  palladia) a safeguard or source of protection.  [ME f.
             L f. Gk palladion image of Pallas (Athene), a protecting deity]

             n.  a person helping to carry or officially escorting a coffin
             at a funeral.

   pallet(1) n.  1 a straw mattress.  2 a mean or makeshift bed.  [ME pailet,
             paillet f. AF paillete straw f. OF paille f. L palea]

   pallet(2) n.  1 a flat wooden blade with a handle, used in ceramics to
             shape clay.  2 = PALETTE.  3 a portable platform for
             transporting and storing loads.  4 a projection transmitting
             motion from an escapement to a pendulum etc.  5 a projection on
             a machine-part, serving to change the mode of motion of a wheel.
             ЬЬpalletize v.tr.  (also -ise) (in sense 3).  [F palette: see

   pallia    pl. of PALLIUM.

   palliasse n.  (also paillasse) a straw mattress.  [F paillasse f. It.
             pagliaccio ult. f. L palea straw]

   palliate  v.tr.  1 alleviate (disease) without curing it.  2 excuse,
             extenuate.  ЬЬpalliation n.  palliator n.  [LL palliare to cloak
             f.  pallium cloak]

             n. & adj.  --n. anything used to alleviate pain, anxiety, etc.
             --adj. serving to alleviate.  ЬЬpalliatively adv.  [F palliatif
             -ive or med.L palliativus (as PALLIATE)]

   pallid    adj.  pale, esp. from illness.  ЬЬpallidity n.  pallidly adv.
             pallidness n.  [L pallidus PALE(1)]

   pallium   n.  (pl.  palliums or pallia) 1 an ecclesiastical pall, esp.
             that sent by the Pope to an archbishop as a symbol of authority.
             2 hist. a man's large rectangular cloak esp. as worn in
             antiquity.  3 Zool. the mantle of a mollusc or brachiopod .  [L]

   pall-mall n.  hist.  a game in which a ball was driven through an iron
             ring suspended in a long alley.  [obs. F pallemaille f. It.
             pallamaglio f.  palla ball + maglio mallet]

   pallor    n.  pallidness, paleness.  [L f.  pallere be pale]

   pally     adj.  (pallier, palliest) colloq.  like a pal; friendly.

   palm(1)   n.  1 any usu. tropical tree of the family Palmae, with no
             branches and a mass of large pinnate or fan-shaped leaves at the
             top.  2 the leaf of this tree as a symbol of victory.  3 a
             supreme excellence.  b a prize for this.  4 a branch of various
             trees used instead of a palm in non-tropical countries, esp. in
             celebrating Palm Sunday.  Ьpalm oil oil from the fruit of any of
             various palms.  Palm Sunday the Sunday before Easter,
             celebrating Christ's entry into Jerusalem.  palm wine an
             alcoholic drink made from fermented palm sap.  ЬЬpalmaceous adj.
             [OE palm(a) f. Gmc f. L palma PALM(2), its leaf being likened to
             a spread hand]

   palm(2)   n. & v.  --n.  1 the inner surface of the hand between the wrist
             and fingers.  2 the part of a glove that covers this.  3 the
             palmate part of an antler.  --v.tr. conceal in the hand.  Ьin
             the palm of one's hand under one's control or influence.  palm
             off 1 (often foll. by on) a impose or thrust fraudulently (on a
             person).  b cause a person to accept unwillingly or unknowingly
             (palmed my old typewriter off on him).  2 (often foll. by with)
             cause (a person) to accept unwillingly or unknowingly (palmed
             him off with my old typewriter).  ЬЬpalmar adj.  palmed adj.
             palmful n.  (pl.  -fuls).  [ME paume f. OF paume f. L palma:
             later assim. to L]

   palmate   adj.  1 shaped like an open hand.  2 having lobes etc. like
             spread fingers.  [L palmatus (as PALM(2))]

   palmer    n.  1 hist.  a a pilgrim returning from the Holy Land with a
             palm branch or leaf.  b an itinerant monk under a vow of
             poverty.  2 a hairy artificial fly used in angling.  3 (in full
             palmer-worm) a destructive hairy caterpillar of a European moth,
             Euproctis chrysorrhoea.  [ME f. AF palmer, OF palmier f. med.L
             palmarius pilgrim]

   palmette  n.  Archaeol.  an ornament of radiating petals like a palm-leaf.
             [F, dimin. of palme PALM(1)]

   palmetto  n.  (pl.  -os) a small palm tree, e.g. any of various fan palms
             of the genus Sabal or Chamaerops.  [Sp.  palmito, dimin. of
             palma PALM(1), assim. to It. words in -etto]

   palmiped  adj. & n.  (also palmipede) --adj. web-footed.  --n. a
             web-footed bird.  [L palmipes -pedis (as PALM(2), pes pedis

   palmistry n.  supposed divination from lines and other features on the
             palm of the hand.  ЬЬpalmist n.  [ME (orig.  palmestry) f.
             PALM(2): second element unexpl.]

   palmy     adj.  (palmier, palmiest) 1 of or like or abounding in palms.  2
             triumphant, flourishing (palmy days).

   palmyra   n.  an Asian palm, Borassus flabellifer, with fan-shaped leaves
             used for matting etc.  [Port.  palmeira palm-tree, assim. to
             Palmyra in Syria]

   palomino  n.  (pl.  -os) a golden or cream-coloured horse with a
             light-coloured mane and tail, orig. bred in the south-western
             US.  [Amer. Sp. f. Sp.  palomino young pigeon f.  paloma dove f.
             L palumba]

   paloverde n.  any yellow-flowered thorny tree of the genus Cercidium in
             Arizona etc.  [Amer. Sp., = green tree]

   palp      n.  (also palpus) (pl.  palps or palpi) a segmented sense-organ
             at the mouth of an arthropod; a feeler.  ЬЬpalpal adj.  [L
             palpus f.  palpare feel]

   palpable  adj.  1 that can be touched or felt.  2 readily perceived by the
             senses or mind.  ЬЬpalpability n.  palpably adv.  [ME f. LL
             palpabilis (as PALPATE)]

   palpate   v.tr.  examine (esp. medically) by touch.  ЬЬpalpation n.  [L
             palpare palpat- touch gently]

   palpebral adj.  of or relating to the eyelids.  [LL palpebralis f. L
             palpebra eyelid]

   palpitate v.intr.  1 pulsate, throb.  2 tremble.  ЬЬpalpitant adj.  [L
             palpitare frequent. of palpare touch gently]

             n.  1 throbbing, trembling.  2 (often in pl.) increased activity
             of the heart due to exertion, agitation, or disease.  [L
             palpitatio (as PALPITATE)]

   palpus    var. of PALP.

   palsgrave n.  a Count Palatine.  [Du.  paltsgrave f.  palts palatinate +
             grave count]

   palstave  n.  Archaeol.  a type of chisel made of bronze etc. shaped to
             fit into a split handle.  [Da.  paalstav f. ON p lstavr f.  p ll
             hoe (cf. L palus stake) + stafr STAFF(1)]

   palsy     n. & v.  --n.  (pl.  -ies) 1 paralysis, esp. with involuntary
             tremors.  2 a a condition of utter helplessness.  b a cause of
             this.  --v.tr.  (-ies, -ied) 1 affect with palsy.  2 render
             helpless.  [ME pa(r)lesi f. OF paralisie ult. f. L paralysis:
             see PARALYSIS]

   palter    v.intr.  1 haggle or equivocate.  2 trifle.  ЬЬpalterer n.
             [16th c.: orig. unkn.]

   paltry    adj.  (paltrier, paltriest) worthless, contemptible, trifling.
             ЬЬpaltriness n.  [16th c.: f.  paltry trash app. f.  palt, pelt
             rubbish + -RY (cf.  trumpery): cf. LG paltrig ragged]

   paludal   adj.  1 of a marsh.  2 malarial.  ЬЬpaludism n. (in sense 2).
             [L palus -udis marsh + -AL]

   paly      adj.  Heraldry divided into equal vertical shapes.  [OF pal‚ f.
             pal PALE(2)]

             n.  the study of pollen, spores, etc., for rock-dating and the
             study of past environments.  ЬЬpalynological adj.  palynologist
             n.  [Gk paluno sprinkle + -LOGY]

   pampas    n.pl.  large treeless plains in S. America.  Ьpampas-grass a
             tall grass, Cortaderia selloana, from S. America, with silky
             flowering plumes.  [Sp. f. Quechua pampa plain]

   pamper    v.tr.  1 overindulge (a person, taste, etc.), cosset.  2 spoil
             (a person) with luxury.  ЬЬpamperer n.  [ME, prob. of LG or Du.

   pampero   n.  (pl.  -os) a strong cold SW wind in S. America, blowing from
             the Andes to the Atlantic.  [Sp. (as PAMPAS)]

   pamphlet  n. & v.  --n. a small, usu. unbound booklet or leaflet
             containing information or a short treatise.  --v.tr.
             (pamphleted, pamphleting) distribute pamphlets to.  [ME f.
             Pamphilet, the familiar name of the 12th-c. Latin love poem
             Pamphilus seu de Amore]

             n. & v.  --n. a writer of (esp. political) pamphlets.  --v.intr.
             write pamphlets.

   pan(1)    n. & v.  --n.  1 a a vessel of metal, earthenware, or plastic,
             usu. broad and shallow, used for cooking and other domestic
             purposes.  b the contents of this.  2 a panlike vessel in which
             substances are heated etc.  3 any similar shallow container such
             as the bowl of a pair of scales or that used for washing gravel
             etc. to separate gold.  4 Brit. the bowl of a lavatory.  5 part
             of the lock that held the priming in old guns.  6 a hollow in
             the ground (salt-pan).  7 a hard substratum of soil.  8 US sl.
             the face.  --v.  (panned, panning) 1 tr.  colloq. criticize
             severely.  2 a tr. (foll. by off, out) wash (gold-bearing
             gravel) in a pan.  b intr. search for gold by panning gravel.  c
             intr. (foll. by out) (of gravel) yield gold.  Ьpan out (of an
             action etc.) turn out in a specified way.  ЬЬpanful n.  (pl.
             -fuls).  panlike adj.  [OE panne, perh. ult. f. L patina dish]

   pan(2)    v. & n.  --v.  (panned, panning) 1 tr. swing (a cine-camera)
             horizontally to give a panoramic effect or to follow a moving
             object.  2 intr. (of a cine-camera) be moved in this way.  --n.
             a panning movement.  [abbr. of PANORAMA]

   pan(3)    n.  Bot.  1 a leaf of the betel.  2 this enclosing lime and
             areca-nut parings, chewed in India etc.  [Hindi f. Skr.  parna
             feather, leaf]

   pan-      comb. form 1 all; the whole of.  2 relating to the whole or all
             the parts of a continent, racial group, religion, etc.
             (pan-American; pan-African; pan-Hellenic; pan-Anglican).  [Gk f.
             pan neut. of pas all]

   panacea   n.  a universal remedy.  ЬЬpanacean adj.  [L f. Gk panakeia f.
             panakes all-healing (as PAN-, akos remedy)]

   panache   n.  1 assertiveness or flamboyant confidence of style or manner.
             2 hist. a tuft or plume of feathers, esp. as a head-dress or on
             a helmet.  [F f. It.  pennacchio f. LL pinnaculum dimin. of
             pinna feather]

   panada    n.  1 a thick paste of flour etc.  2 bread boiled to a pulp and
             flavoured.  [Sp. ult. f. L panis bread]

   panama    n.  a hat of strawlike material made from the leaves of a
             pine-tree.  [Panama in Central America]

             n. & adj.  --n.  1 a native or national of the Republic of
             Panama in Central America.  2 a person of Panamanian descent.
             --adj. of or relating to Panama.

   panatella n.  a long thin cigar.  [Amer. Sp.  panatela, = long thin
             biscuit f. It.  panatella dimin. of panata (as PANADA)]

   pancake   n. & v.  --n.  1 a thin flat cake of batter usu. fried and
             turned in a pan and rolled up with a filling.  2 a flat cake of
             make-up etc.  --v.  1 intr. make a pancake landing.  2 tr. cause
             (an aircraft) to pancake.  Ьflat as a pancake completely flat.
             Pancake Day Shrove Tuesday (on which pancakes are traditionally
             eaten).  pancake landing an emergency landing by an aircraft
             with its undercarriage still retracted, in which the pilot
             attempts to keep the aircraft in a horizontal position
             throughout.  [ME f.  PAN(1) + CAKE]

   panchayat n.  a village council in India.  [Hindi f. Skr.  pancha five]

   Panchen lama
             n.  a Tibetan lama ranking next after the Dalai lama.  [Tibetan
             panchen great learned one]

             adj.  Photog.  (of a film etc.) sensitive to all visible colours
             of the spectrum.

   pancreas  n.  a gland near the stomach supplying the duodenum with
             digestive fluid and secreting insulin into the blood.
             ЬЬpancreatic adj.  pancreatitis n.  [mod.L f. Gk pagkreas (as
             PAN-, kreas -atos flesh)]

             n.  a digestive extract containing pancreatic enzymes, prepared
             from animal pancreases.

   panda     n.  1 (also giant panda) a large bearlike mammal, Ailuropoda
             melanoleuca, native to China and Tibet, having characteristic
             black and white markings.  2 (also red panda) a Himalayan
             racoon-like mammal, Ailurus fulgens, with reddish-brown fur and
             a long bushy tail.  Ьpanda car Brit.  a police patrol car (orig.
             white with black stripes on the doors).  [Nepali name]

   pandect   n.  (usu. in pl.) 1 a complete body of laws.  2 hist. a
             compendium in 50 books of the Roman civil law made by order of
             Justinian in the 6th c.  [F pandecte or L pandecta pandectes f.
             Gk pandektes all-receiver (as PAN-, dektes f.  dekhomai

   pandemic  adj. & n.  --adj. (of a disease) prevalent over a whole country
             or the world.  --n. a pandemic disease.  [Gk pandemos (as PAN-,
             demos people)]

             n.  1 uproar; utter confusion.  2 a scene of this.  [mod.L
             (place of all demons in Milton's Paradise Lost) f.  PAN- + Gk
             daimon DEMON]

   pander    v. & n.  --v.intr. (foll. by to) gratify or indulge a person, a
             desire or weakness, etc.  --n.  1 a go-between in illicit love
             affairs; a procurer.  2 a person who encourages coarse desires.
             [Pandare, a character in Boccaccio and in Chaucer's Troilus and
             Criseyde, f. L Pandarus f. Gk Pandaros]

   pandit    var. of PUNDIT 1.

   P. & O.   abbr.  Peninsular and Oriental Shipping Company (or Line).

   Pandora's box
             n.  a process that once activated will generate many
             unmanageable problems.  [in Gk Mythol. the box from which the
             ills of mankind were released, Hope alone remaining: f. Gk
             Pandora all-gifted (as PAN-, doron gift)]

   p. & p.   abbr.  Brit.  postage and packing.

   pane      n.  1 a single sheet of glass in a window or door.  2 a
             rectangular division of a chequered pattern etc.  [ME f. OF pan
             f. L pannus piece of cloth]

   panegyric n.  a laudatory discourse; a eulogy.  ЬЬpanegyrical adj.  [F
             pan‚gyrique f. L panegyricus f. Gk panegurikos of public
             assembly (as PAN-, eguris = agora assembly)]

             v.tr.  (also -ise) speak or write in praise of; eulogize.
             ЬЬpanegyrist n.  [Gk panegurizo (as PANEGYRIC)]

   panel     n. & v.  --n.  1 a a distinct, usu. rectangular, section of a
             surface (e.g.  of a wall, door, or vehicle).  b a control panel
             (see CONTROL n.  5).  c = instrument panel.  2 a strip of
             material as part of a garment.  3 a group of people forming a
             team in a broadcast game, discussion, etc.  4 Brit.  hist. a
             list of medical practitioners registered in a district as
             accepting patients under the National Insurance Act.  5 a a list
             of available jurors; a jury.  b Sc. a person or persons accused
             of a crime.  --v.tr.  (panelled, panelling; US paneled,
             paneling) 1 fit or provide with panels.  2 cover or decorate
             with panels.  Ьpanel-beater one whose job is to beat out the
             metal panels of motor vehicles.  panel game a broadcast quiz
             etc. played by a panel.  panel heating the heating of rooms by
             panels in the wall etc. containing the sources of heat.  panel
             pin a thin nail with a very small head.  panel saw a saw with
             small teeth for cutting thin wood for panels.  panel truck US a
             small enclosed delivery truck.  [ME & OF, = piece of cloth, ult.
             f. L pannus: see PANE]

   panelling n.  (US paneling) 1 panelled work.  2 wood for making panels.

   panellist n.  (US panelist) a member of a panel (esp. in broadcasting).

   pang      n.  (often in pl.) a sudden sharp pain or painful emotion.
             [16th c.: var. of earlier prange pinching f. Gmc]

   panga     n.  a bladed African tool like a machete.  [native name in E.

   pangolin  n.  any scaly anteater of the genus Manis, native to Asia and
             Africa, having a small head with elongated snout and tongue, and
             a tapering tail.  [Malay peng-goling roller (from its habit of
             rolling itself up)]

   panhandle n. & v.  US --n. a narrow strip of territory extending from one
             State into another.  --v.tr. & intr.  colloq. beg for money in
             the street.  ЬЬpanhandler n.

   panic(1)  n. & v.  --n.  1 a sudden uncontrollable fear or alarm.  b
             (attrib.) characterized or caused by panic (panic buying).  2
             infectious apprehension or fright esp. in commercial dealings.
             --v.tr. & intr.  (panicked, panicking) (often foll. by into)
             affect or be affected with panic (was panicked into buying).
             Ьpanic button a button for summoning help in an emergency.
             panic-monger a person who fosters a panic.  panic stations a
             state of emergency.  panic-stricken (or -struck) affected with
             panic; very apprehensive.  ЬЬpanicky adj.  [F panique f. mod.L
             panicus f. Gk panikos f.  Pan a rural god causing terror]

   panic(2)  n.  any grass of the genus Panicum, including millet and other
             cereals.  [OE f. L panicum f.  panus thread on bobbin,
             millet-ear f. Gk penos web]

   panicle   n.  Bot.  a loose branching cluster of flowers, as in oats.
             ЬЬpanicled adj.  [L paniculum dimin. of panus thread]

             n.  1 a mock title for an important person.  2 a pompous or
             pretentious official etc.  [app. invented in nonsense verse by
             S. Foote 1755]

   panne     n. (in full panne velvet) a velvet-like fabric of silk or rayon
             with a flattened pile.  [F]

   pannier   n.  1 a basket, esp. one of a pair carried by a beast of burden.
             2 each of a pair of bags or boxes on either side of the rear
             wheel of a bicycle or motor cycle.  3 hist.  a part of a skirt
             looped up round the hips.  b a frame supporting this.  [ME f. OF
             panier f. L panarium bread-basket f.  panis bread]

   pannikin  n.  Brit.  1 a small metal drinking-cup.  2 the contents of
             this.  [PAN(1) + -KIN, after cannikin]

   panoply   n.  (pl.  -ies) 1 a complete or splendid array.  2 a complete
             suit of armour.  ЬЬpanoplied adj.  [F panoplie or mod.L panoplia
             full armour f. Gk (as PAN-, oplia f.  hopla arms)]

   panoptic  adj.  showing or seeing the whole at one view.  [Gk panoptos
             seen by all, panoptes all-seeing]

   panorama  n.  1 an unbroken view of a surrounding region.  2 a complete
             survey or presentation of a subject, sequence of events, etc.  3
             a picture or photograph containing a wide view.  4 a continuous
             passing scene.  ЬЬpanoramic adj.  panoramically adv.  [PAN- + Gk
             horama view f.  horao see]

   pan-pipes n.pl.  a musical instrument orig. associated with the Greek
             rural god Pan, made of a series of short pipes graduated in
             length and fixed together with the mouthpieces in line.

   pansy     n.  (pl.  -ies) 1 any garden plant of the genus Viola, with
             flowers of various rich colours.  2 colloq.  derog.  a an
             effeminate man.  b a male homosexual.  [F pens‚e thought, pansy
             f.  penser think f. L pensare frequent. of pendere pens- weigh]

   pant      v. & n.  --v.  1 intr. breathe with short quick breaths.  2 tr.
             (often foll. by out) utter breathlessly.  3 intr. (often foll.
             by for) yearn or crave.  4 intr. (of the heart etc.) throb
             violently.  --n.  1 a panting breath.  2 a throb.  ЬЬpantingly
             adv.  [ME f. OF pantaisier ult. f. Gk phantasioo cause to
             imagine (as FANTASY)]

   pantalets n.pl.  (also pantalettes) hist.  1 long underpants worn by women
             and girls in the 19th c., with a frill at the bottom of each
             leg.  2 women's cycling trousers.  [dimin. of PANTALOON]

   pantaloon n.  1 (in pl.) a hist. men's close-fitting breeches fastened
             below the calf or at the foot.  b esp.  US trousers.  2
             (Pantaloon) a character in Italian comedy wearing pantaloons (in
             sense 1a).  [F pantalon f. It.  pantalone, a character in
             Italian comedy]

             n.  Brit.  a large van for transporting furniture.  [PAN- +
             TECHNIC orig. as the name of a bazaar and then a furniture

   pantheism n.  1 the belief that God is identifiable with the forces of
             nature and with natural substances.  2 worship that admits or
             tolerates all gods.  ЬЬpantheist n.  pantheistic adj.
             pantheistical adj.  pantheistically adv.  [PAN- + Gk theos god]

   pantheon  n.  1 a building in which illustrious dead are buried or have
             memorials.  2 the deities of a people collectively.  3 a temple
             dedicated to all the gods, esp. the circular one at Rome.  [ME
             f. L f. Gk pantheion (as PAN-, theion holy f.  theos god)]

   panther   n.  1 a leopard, esp. with black fur.  2 US a puma.  [ME f. OF
             pantere f. L panthera f. Gk panther]

             n.  a woman's girdle with a crotch shaped like pants.

   panties   n.pl.  colloq.  short-legged or legless underpants worn by women
             and girls.  [dimin. of PANTS]

   pantihose n.  (US panty hose) (usu. treated as pl.) women's tights.
             [PANTIES + HOSE]

   pantile   n.  a roof-tile curved to form an S-shaped section, fitted to
             overlap.  [PAN(1) + TILE]

   panto     n.  (pl.  -os) Brit.  colloq.  = PANTOMIME 1.  [abbr.]

   panto-    comb. form all, universal.  [Gk pas pantos all]

             n.  1 Art & Painting an instrument for copying a plan or drawing
             etc. on a different scale by a system of jointed rods.  2 a
             jointed framework conveying a current to an electric vehicle
             from overhead wires.  ЬЬpantographic adj.  [PANTO- + Gk -graphos

   pantomime n.  1 Brit. a theatrical entertainment based on a fairy tale,
             with music, topical jokes, etc., usu. produced about Christmas.
             2 the use of gestures and facial expression to convey meaning,
             esp. in drama and dance.  3 colloq. an absurd or outrageous
             piece of behaviour.  ЬЬpantomimic adj.  [F pantomime or L
             pantomimus f. Gk pantomimos (as PANTO-, MIME)]

   pantothenic acid
             n.  a vitamin of the B complex, found in rice, bran, and many
             other foods, and essential for the oxidation of fats and
             carbohydrates.  [Gk pantothen from every side]

   pantry    n.  (pl.  -ies) 1 a small room or cupboard in which crockery,
             cutlery, table linen, etc., are kept.  2 a larder.  [ME f. AF
             panetrie, OF paneterie f.  panetier baker ult. f. LL panarius
             bread-seller f. L panis bread]

   pantryman n.  (pl.  -men) a butler or a butler's assistant.

   pants     n.pl.  colloq.  1 Brit. underpants or knickers.  2 US trousers
             or slacks.  Ьbore (or scare etc.) the pants off colloq.  bore,
             scare, etc., to an intolerable degree.  pants (or pant) suit
             esp.  US a trouser suit.  with one's pants down colloq.  in an
             embarrassingly unprepared state.  [abbr. of PANTALOONS]

   panty hose
             US var. of PANTIHOSE.

   panzer    n.  1 (in pl.) armoured troops.  2 (attrib.) heavily armoured
             (panzer division).  [G, = coat of mail]

   pap(1)    n.  1 a soft or semi-liquid food for infants or invalids.  b a
             mash or pulp.  2 light or trivial reading matter; nonsense.
             ЬЬpappy adj.  [ME prob. f. MLG, MDu.  pappe, prob. ult. f. L
             pappare eat]

   pap(2)    n.  archaic or dial.  the nipple of a breast.  [ME, of Scand.
             orig.: ult. imit. of sucking]

   papa      n.  archaic father (esp. as a child's word).  [F f. LL f. Gk

   papabile  adj.  suitable for high office.  [It., = suitable to be pope, f.
             L papa pope]

   papacy    n.  (pl.  -ies) 1 a pope's office or tenure.  2 the papal
             system.  [ME f. med.L papatia f.  papa pope]

   papain    n.  an enzyme obtained from unripe pawpaws, used to tenderize
             meat and as a food supplement to aid digestion.  [PAPAYA + -IN]

   papal     adj.  of or relating to a pope or to the papacy.  ЬPapal States
             hist.  the temporal dominions belonging to the Pope, esp. in
             central Italy.  ЬЬpapally adv.  [ME f. OF f. med.L papalis f.
             eccl.L papa POPE(1)]

   paparazzo n.  (pl.  paparazzi) a freelance photographer who pursues
             celebrities to get photographs of them.  [It.]

             adj.  like or related to the poppy.  ЬЬpapaveraceous adj.  [L
             papaver poppy]

   papaw     var. of PAWPAW.

   papaya    n.  = PAWPAW 1.  [earlier form of PAWPAW]

   paper     n. & v.  --n.  1 a material manufactured in thin sheets from the
             pulp of wood or other fibrous substances, used for writing or
             drawing or printing on, or as wrapping material etc.  2
             (attrib.) a made of or using paper.  b flimsy like paper.  3 =
             NEWSPAPER.  4 a a document printed on paper.  b (in pl.)
             documents attesting identity or credentials.  c (in pl.)
             documents belonging to a person or relating to a matter.  5
             Commerce a negotiable documents, e.g. bills of exchange.  b
             (attrib.) recorded on paper though not existing (paper profits).
             6 a a set of questions to be answered at one session in an
             examination.  b the written answers to these.  7 = WALLPAPER.  8
             an essay or dissertation, esp. one read to a learned society or
             published in a learned journal.  9 a piece of paper, esp. as a
             wrapper etc.  10 Theatr.  sl. free tickets or the people
             admitted by them (the house is full of paper).  --v.tr.  1 apply
             paper to, esp. decorate (a wall etc.) with wallpaper.  2 (foll.
             by over) a cover (a hole or blemish) with paper.  b disguise or
             try to hide (a fault etc.).  3 Theatr.  sl. fill (a theatre) by
             giving free passes.  Ьon paper 1 in writing.  2 in theory; to
             judge from written or printed evidence.  paper-boy (or -girl) a
             boy or girl who delivers or sells newspapers.  paper-chase a
             cross-country run in which the runners follow a trail marked by
             torn-up paper.  paper-clip a clip of bent wire or of plastic for
             holding several sheets of paper together.  paper-hanger a person
             who decorates with wallpaper, esp. professionally.  paper-knife
             a blunt knife for opening letters etc.  paper-mill a mill in
             which paper is made.  paper money money in the form of
             banknotes.  paper mulberry a small Asiatic tree, Broussonetia
             papyrifera, of the mulberry family, whose bark is used for
             making paper and cloth.  paper nautilus see NAUTILUS 2.  paper
             round 1 a job of regularly delivering newspapers.  2 a route
             taken doing this.  paper tape Computing tape made of paper, esp.
             that on which data or instructions are represented by means of
             holes punched in it, for conveying to a processor etc.  paper
             tiger an apparently threatening, but ineffectual, person or
             thing.  ЬЬpaperer n.  paperless adj.  [ME f. AF papir, = OF
             papier f. L papyrus: see PAPYRUS]

   paperback adj. & n.  --adj. (of a book) bound in stiff paper not boards.
             --n. a paperback book.

             n.  a small heavy object for keeping loose papers in place.

   paperwork n.  routine clerical or administrative work.

   papery    adj.  like paper in thinness or texture.

   papier mѓch‚
             n.  paper pulp used for moulding into boxes, trays, etc.  [F, =
             chewed paper]

             adj.  (of a plant) with a corolla like a butterfly.  [mod.L
             papilionaceus f. L papilio -onis butterfly]

   papilla   n.  (pl.  papillae) 1 a small nipple-like protuberance in a part
             or organ of the body.  2 Bot. a small fleshy projection on a
             plant.  ЬЬpapillary adj.  papillate adj.  papillose adj.  [L, =
             nipple, dimin. of papula: see PAPULA]

   papilloma n.  (pl.  papillomas or papillomata) a wartlike usu. benign

   papillon  n.  1 a toy dog of a breed with ears suggesting the form of a
             butterfly.  2 this breed.  [F, = butterfly, f. L papilio -onis]

   papist    n. & adj.  often derog.  --n.  1 a Roman Catholic.  2 hist. an
             advocate of papal supremacy.  --adj. of or relating to Roman
             Catholics.  ЬЬpapistic adj.  papistical adj.  papistry n.  [F
             papiste or mod.L papista f. eccl.L papa POPE(1)]

   papoose   n.  a N. American Indian young child.  [Algonquin]

   pappus    n.  (pl.  pappi) a group of hairs on the fruit of thistles,
             dandelions, etc.  ЬЬpappose adj.  [L f. Gk pappos]

   paprika   n.  1 Bot. a red pepper.  2 a condiment made from it.  [Magyar]

   pap test  n.  a test done by a cervical smear.  [abbr. of G. N.
             Papanicolaou, US scientist d. 1962]

   papula    n.  (also papule) (pl.  papulae) 1 a pimple.  2 a small fleshy
             projection on a plant.  ЬЬpapular adj.  papulose adj.  papulous
             adj.  [L]

             n.  the study of ancient papyri.  ЬЬpapyrological adj.
             papyrologist n.

   papyrus   n.  (pl.  papyri) 1 an aquatic plant, Cyperus papyrus, with dark
             green stems topped with fluffy inflorescences.  2 a a
             writing-material prepared in ancient Egypt from the pithy stem
             of this.  b a document written on this.  [ME f. L papyrus f. Gk

   par(1)    n.  1 the average or normal amount, degree, condition, etc.
             (feel below par; be up to par).  2 equality; an equal status or
             footing (on a par with).  3 Golf the number of strokes a
             first-class player should normally require for a hole or course.
             4 Stock Exch. the face value of stocks and shares etc. (at par).
             5 (in full par of exchange) the recognized value of one
             country's currency in terms of another's.  Ьabove (or below) par
             Stock Exch.  at a premium (or discount).  at par Stock Exch.  at
             face value.  par for the course colloq.  what is normal or
             expected in any given circumstances.  [L (adj. & n.) = equal,

   par(2)    n.  Brit.  esp. Journalism colloq.  paragraph.  [abbr.]

   par.      abbr.  (also para.) paragraph.

   par-      prefix var. of PARA-(1) before a vowel or h; (paraldehyde;
             parody; parhelion).

   para      n.  colloq.  1 a paratrooper.  2 a paragraph.  [abbr.]

   para-(1)  prefix (also par-) 1 beside (paramilitary).  2 beyond
             (paranormal).  3 Chem.  a modification of (paraldehyde).  b
             relating to diametrically opposite carbon atoms in a benzene
             ring (paradichlorobenzene).  [from or after Gk para- f.  para
             beside, past, beyond]

   para-(2)  comb. form protect, ward off (parachute; parasol).  [F f. It. f.
             L parare defend]

             n.  Biol.  the natural or artificial joining of two individuals.
             ЬЬparabiotic adj.  [mod.L, formed as PARA-(1) + Gk biosis mode
             of life f.  bios life]

   parable   n.  1 a narrative of imagined events used to illustrate a moral
             or spiritual lesson.  2 an allegory.  [ME f. OF parabole f. LL
             sense 'allegory, discourse' of L parabola comparison]

   parabola  n.  an open plane curve formed by the intersection of a cone
             with a plane parallel to its side, resembling the path of a
             projectile under the action of gravity.  [mod.L f. Gk parabole
             placing side by side, comparison (as PARA-(1), bole a throw f.

   parabolic adj.  1 of or expressed in a parable.  2 of or like a parabola.
             ЬЬparabolically adv.  [LL parabolicus f. Gk parabolikos (as

             adj.  = PARABOLIC 1.

             n.  1 (in full paraboloid of revolution) a solid generated by
             the rotation of a parabola about its axis of symmetry.  2 a
             solid having two or more non-parallel parabolic cross-sections.
             ЬЬparaboloidal adj.

             n.  1 a drug used to reduce pain and relieve fever.  2 a tablet
             of this.  [para-a cetyl aminophen ol]

             n.  an error in chronology, esp. by assigning too late a date.
             [PARA-(1) + Gk khronos time, perh. after anachronism]

   parachute n. & v.  --n.  1 a rectangular or umbrella-shaped apparatus
             allowing a person or heavy object attached to it to descend
             slowly from a height, esp.  from an aircraft, or to retard
             motion in other ways.  2 (attrib.) dropped or to be dropped by
             parachute (parachute troops; parachute flare).  --v.tr. & intr.
             convey or descend by parachute.  [F (as PARA-(2), CHUTE(1))]

             n.  1 a person who uses a parachute.  2 (in pl.) parachute

   Paraclete n.  the Holy Spirit as advocate or counsellor (John 14:16, 26,
             etc.).  [ME f. OF paraclet f. LL paracletus f. Gk parakletos
             called in aid (as PARA-(1), kletos f.  kaleo call)]

   parade    n. & v.  --n.  1 a a formal or ceremonial muster of troops for
             inspection.  b = parade-ground.  2 a public procession.  3
             ostentatious display (made a parade of their wealth).  4 a
             public square, promenade, or row of shops.  --v.  1 intr.
             assemble for parade.  2 a tr. march through (streets etc.) in
             procession.  b intr. march ceremonially.  3 tr. display
             ostentatiously.  Ьon parade 1 taking part in a parade.  2 on
             display.  parade-ground a place for the muster of troops.
             ЬЬparader n.  [F, = show, f. Sp.  parada and It.  parata ult. f.
             L parare prepare, furnish]

             n.  a drum roll with alternate beating of sticks.  [imit.]

   paradigm  n.  an example or pattern, esp. a representative set of the
             inflections of a noun, verb, etc.  ЬЬparadigmatic adj.
             paradigmatically adv.  [LL paradigma f. Gk paradeigma f.
             paradeiknumi show side by side (as PARA-(1), deiknumi show)]

   paradise  n.  1 (in some religions) heaven as the ultimate abode of the
             just.  2 a place or state of complete happiness.  3 (in full
             earthly paradise) the abode of Adam and Eve in the biblical
             account of the Creation; the garden of Eden.  ЬЬparadisaical
             adj.  paradisal adj.  paradisiacal adj.  paradisical adj.  [ME
             f. OF paradis f. LL paradisus f. Gk paradeisos f. Avestan
             pairidaeza park]

   parados   n.  an elevation of earth behind a fortified place as a
             protection against attack from the rear, esp. a mound along the
             back of a trench.  [F (as PARA-(2), dos back f. L dorsum)]

   paradox   n.  1 a a seemingly absurd or contradictory statement, even if
             actually well-founded.  b a self-contradictory or essentially
             absurd statement.  2 a person or thing conflicting with a
             preconceived notion of what is reasonable or possible.  3 a
             paradoxical quality or character.  [orig. = a statement contrary
             to accepted opinion, f. LL paradoxum f. Gk paradoxon neut. adj.
             (as PARA-(1), doxa opinion)]

             adj.  1 of or like or involving paradox.  2 fond of paradox.
             ЬЬparadoxically adv.

   paraffin  n.  1 an inflammable waxy or oily substance obtained by
             distillation from petroleum or shale, used in liquid form (also
             paraffin oil) esp. as a fuel.  2 Chem. = ALKANE.  Ьparaffin wax
             paraffin in its solid form.  [G (1830) f. L parum little +
             affinis related, from the small affinity it has for other

   paragoge  n.  the addition of a letter or syllable to a word in some
             contexts or as a language develops (e.g.  t in peasant).
             ЬЬparagogic adj.  [LL f. Gk paragoge derivation (as PARA-(1),
             agoge f.  ago lead)]

   paragon   n.  1 a a model of excellence.  b a supremely excellent person
             or thing.  2 (foll. by of) a model (of virtue etc.).  3 a
             perfect diamond of 100 carats or more.  [obs. F f. It.  paragone
             touchstone, f. med.Gk parakone whetstone]

   paragraph n. & v.  --n.  1 a distinct section of a piece of writing,
             beginning on a new usu. indented line.  2 a symbol (usu. X!X!)
             used to mark a new paragraph, and also as a reference mark.  3 a
             short item in a newspaper, usu. of only one paragraph.  --v.tr.
             arrange (a piece of writing) in paragraphs.  ЬЬparagraphic adj.
             [F paragraphe or med.L paragraphus f. Gk paragraphos short
             stroke marking a break in sense (as PARA-(1), grapho write)]

   parakeet  n.  (US also parrakeet) any of various small usu. long-tailed
             parrots.  [OF paroquet, It.  parrocchetto, Sp.  periquito, perh.
             ult. f. dimin. of Pierre etc. Peter: cf.  PARROT]

             n.  elements or factors in communication that are ancillary to
             language proper, e.g. intonation and gesture.

             n.  a cyclic polymer of acetaldehyde, used as a narcotic and
             sedative.  [PARA-(1) + ALDEHYDE]

   paralegal adj. & n.  esp.  US --adj. of or relating to auxiliary aspects
             of the law.  --n. a person trained in subsidiary legal matters.
             [PARA-(1) + LEGAL]

             n.pl.  (also -leipomena) 1 things omitted from a work and added
             as a supplement.  2 Bibl. the books of Chronicles in the Old
             Testament, containing particulars omitted from Kings.  [ME f.
             eccl.L f. Gk paraleipomena f.  paraleipo omit (as PARA-(1),
             leipo leave)]

             n.  (also -leipsis) (pl.  -ses) Rhet.  1 the device of giving
             emphasis by professing to say little or nothing of a subject, as
             in not to mention their unpaid debts of several millions.  2 an
             instance of this.  [LL f. Gk paraleipsis passing over (as
             PARA-(1), leipsis f.  leipo leave)]

   parallax  n.  1 the apparent difference in the position or direction of an
             object caused when the observer's position is changed.  2 the
             angular amount of this.  ЬЬparallactic adj.  [F parallaxe f.
             mod.L parallaxis f. Gk parallaxis change f.  parallasso to
             alternate (as PARA-(1), allasso exchange f.  allos other)]

   parallel  adj., n., & v.  --adj.  1 a (of lines or planes) side by side
             and having the same distance continuously between them.  b
             (foll. by to, with) (of a line or plane) having this relation
             (to another).  2 (of circumstances etc.) precisely similar,
             analogous, or corresponding.  3 a (of processes etc.) occurring
             or performed simultaneously.  b Computing involving the
             simultaneous performance of operations.  --n.  1 a person or
             thing precisely analogous or equal to another.  2 a comparison
             (drew a parallel between the two situations).  3 (in full
             parallel of latitude) Geog.  a each of the imaginary parallel
             circles of constant latitude on the earth's surface.  b a
             corresponding line on a map (the 49th parallel).  4 Printing two
             parallel lines (ll) as a reference mark.  --v.tr.  (paralleled,
             paralleling) 1 be parallel to; correspond to.  2 represent as
             similar; compare.  3 adduce as a parallel instance.  Ьin
             parallel (of electric circuits) arranged so as to join at common
             points at each end.  parallel bars a pair of parallel rails on
             posts for gymnastics.  ЬЬparallelism n.  [F parallЉle f. L
             parallelus f. Gk parallelos (as PARA-(1), allelos one another)]

             n.  Geom.  a solid body of which each face is a parallelogram.
             [Gk parallelepipedon (as PARALLEL, epipedon plane surface)]

             n.  Geom.  a four-sided plane rectilinear figure with opposite
             sides parallel.  Ьparallelogram of forces 1 a parallelogram
             illustrating the theorem that if two forces acting at a point
             are represented in magnitude and direction by two sides of a
             parallelogram meeting at that point, their resultant is
             represented by the diagonal drawn from that point.  2 this
             theorem.  [F parall‚logramme f. LL parallelogrammum f. Gk
             parallelogrammon (as PARALLEL, gramme line)]

             n.  Logic 1 a fallacy.  2 illogical reasoning (esp. of which the
             reasoner is unconscious).  ЬЬparalogist n.  paralogize v.intr.
             (also -ise).  [F paralogisme f. LL paralogismus f. Gk
             paralogismos f.  paralogizomai reason falsely f.  paralogos
             contrary to reason (as PARA-(1), logos reason)]

   paralyse  n.  (US paralyze) 1 affect with paralysis.  2 render powerless;
             cripple.  ЬЬparalysation n.  paralysingly adv.  [F paralyser f.
             paralysie: cf.  PALSY]

   paralysis n.  (pl.  paralyses) 1 a nervous condition with impairment or
             loss of esp. the motor function of the nerves.  2 a state of
             utter powerlessness.  [L f. Gk paralusis f.  paraluo disable (as
             PARA-(1), luo loosen)]

   paralytic adj. & n.  --adj.  1 affected by paralysis.  2 sl. very drunk.
             --n. a person affected by paralysis.  ЬЬparalytically adv.  [ME
             f. OF paralytique f. L paralyticus f. Gk paralutikos (as

             adj.  (of a body or substance) tending to become weakly
             magnetized so as to lie parallel to a magnetic field force.
             ЬЬparamagnetism n.

   paramatta var. of PARRAMATTA.

             n.  (also paramoecium) any freshwater protozoan of the genus
             Paramecium, of a characteristic slipper-like shape covered with
             cilia.  [mod.L f. Gk paramekes oval (as PARA-(1), mekos length)]

   paramedic n.  a paramedical worker.

             adj.  (of services etc.) supplementing and supporting medical

   parameter n.  1 Math. a quantity constant in the case considered but
             varying in different cases.  2 a an (esp. measurable or
             quantifiable) characteristic or feature.  b (loosely) a constant
             element or factor, esp. serving as a limit or boundary.
             ЬЬparametric adj.  parametrize v.tr.  (also -ise).  [mod.L f. Gk
             para beside + metron measure]

             adj.  (of forces) ancillary to and similarly organized to
             military forces.

             n.  Psychol.  = DђJ° VU.  [PARA-(1) + AMNESIA]

   paramo    n.  (pl.  -os) a high treeless plateau in tropical S. America.
             [Sp. & Port. f. L paramus]

             var. of PARAMECIUM.

   paramount adj.  1 supreme; requiring first consideration; pre-eminent (of
             paramount importance).  2 in supreme authority.  ЬЬparamountcy
             n.  paramountly adv.  [AF paramont f. OF par by + amont above:
             cf.  AMOUNT]

   paramour  n.  archaic or derog.  an illicit lover of a married person.
             [ME f. OF par amour by love]

   parang    n.  a large heavy Malayan knife used for clearing vegetation
             etc.  [Malay]

   paranoia  n.  1 a mental disorder esp. characterized by delusions of
             persecution and self-importance.  2 an abnormal tendency to
             suspect and mistrust others.  ЬЬparanoiac adj. & n.
             paranoiacally adv.  paranoic adj.  paranoically adv.  paranoid
             adj. & n.  [mod.L f. Gk f.  paranoos distracted (as PARA-(1),
             noos mind)]

             adj.  beyond the scope of normal objective investigation or
             explanation.  ЬЬparanormally adv.

   parapet   n.  1 a low wall at the edge of a roof, balcony, etc., or along
             the sides of a bridge.  2 a defence of earth or stone to conceal
             and protect troops.  ЬЬparapeted adj.  [F parapet or It.
             parapetto breast-high wall (as PARA-(2), petto breast f. L

   paraph    n.  a flourish after a signature, orig. as a precaution against
             forgery.  [ME f. F paraphe f. med.L paraphus for paragraphus

             n.pl.  (also treated as sing.) miscellaneous belongings, items
             of equipment, accessories, etc.  [orig. = property owned by a
             married woman, f. med.L paraphernalia f. LL parapherna f. Gk
             parapherna property apart from a dowry (as PARA-(1), pherna f.
             pherne dower)]

             n. & v.  --n. a free rendering or rewording of a passage.
             --v.tr. express the meaning of (a passage) in other words.
             ЬЬparaphrastic adj.  [F paraphrase or L paraphrasis f. Gk
             paraphrasis f.  paraphrazo (as PARA-(1) phrazo tell)]

             n.  paralysis of the legs and part or the whole of the trunk.
             ЬЬparaplegic adj. & n.  [mod.L f. Gk paraplegia f.  paraplesso
             (as PARA-(1), plesso strike)]

             n.  the study of mental phenomena outside the sphere of ordinary
             psychology (hypnosis, telepathy, etc.).  ЬЬparapsychological
             adj.  parapsychologist n.

   paraquat  n.  a quick-acting herbicide, becoming inactive on contact with
             the soil.  [PARA-(1) + QUATERNARY (from the position of the bond
             between the two parts of the molecule relative to quaternary
             nitrogen atom)]

             n.  a sport in which participants wearing open parachutes are
             towed behind a vehicle or motor boat to gain height before
             release for a conventional descent, usu. towards a predetermined
             target.  ЬЬparascender n.

             n.  (pl.  paraselenae) a bright spot, esp. an image of the moon,
             on a lunar halo. Also called mock moon.  [mod.L (as PARA-(1), Gk
             selene moon)]

   parasite  n.  1 an organism living in or on another and benefiting at the
             expense of the other.  2 a person who lives off or exploits
             another or others.  3 Philol. an inorganic sound or letter
             developing from an adjacent one.  ЬЬparasitic adj.  parasitical
             adj.  parasitically adv.  parasiticide n.  parasitism n.
             parasitology n.  parasitologist n.  [L parasitus f. Gk parasitos
             one who eats at another's table (as PARA-(1), sitos food)]

             v.tr.  (also -ise) infest as a parasite.  ЬЬparasitization n.

   parasol   n.  a light umbrella used to give shade from the sun.  [F f. It.
             parasole (as PARA-(2), sole sun f. L sol)]

             adj.  Anat.  relating to the part of the nervous system that
             consists of nerves leaving the lower end of the spinal cord and
             connecting with those in or near the viscera (cf.  SYMPATHETIC
             9).  [PARA-(1) + SYMPATHETIC, because some of these nerves run
             alongside sympathetic nerves]

             n.  Philol.  a derivation from a compound, e.g.  black-eyed from
             black eye(s) + -ed.  ЬЬparasynthetic adj.  [Gk parasunthesis (as
             PARA-(1), SYNTHESIS)]

   parataxis n.  Gram.  the placing of clauses etc. one after another,
             without words to indicate coordination or subordination, e.g.
             Tell me, how are you?  ЬЬparatactic adj.  paratactically adv.
             [Gk parataxis (as PARA-(1), taxis arrangement f.  tasso

   parathion n.  a highly toxic agricultural insecticide.  [PARA-(1) + THIO-
             + -ON]

             n. & adj.  Anat.  --n. a gland next to the thyroid, secreting a
             hormone that regulates calcium levels in the body.  --adj. of or
             associated with this gland.

   paratroop n.  (attrib.) of or consisting of paratroops (paratroop

             n.  a member of a body of paratroops.

             n.pl.  troops equipped to be dropped by parachute from aircraft.
             [contr. of PARACHUTE + TROOP]

             n. & adj.  --n. a fever resembling typhoid but caused by various
             different though related bacteria.  --adj. of, relating to, or
             caused by this fever.

   paravane  n.  a torpedo-shaped device towed at a depth regulated by its
             vanes or planes to cut the moorings of submerged mines.

   par avion adv.  by airmail.  [F, = by aeroplane]

   parboil   v.tr.  partly cook by boiling.  [ME f. OF parbo(u)illir f. LL
             perbullire boil thoroughly (as PER-, bullire boil: confused with

   parbuckle n. & v.  --n. a rope arranged like a sling, for raising or
             lowering casks and cylindrical objects.  --v.tr. raise or lower
             with this.  [earlier parbunkle, of unkn. orig.: assoc. with

   parcel    n. & v.  --n.  1 a goods etc. wrapped up in a single package.  b
             a bundle of things wrapped up, usu. in paper.  2 a piece of
             land, esp. as part of an estate.  3 a quantity dealt with in one
             commercial transaction.  4 archaic part.  --v.tr.  (parcelled,
             parcelling; US parceled, parceling) 1 (foll. by up) wrap as a
             parcel.  2 (foll. by out) divide into portions.  3 cover (rope)
             with strips of canvas.  Ьparcel post the branch of the postal
             service dealing with parcels.  [ME f. OF parcelle ult. f. L
             particula (as PART)]

   parch     v.  1 tr. & intr. make or become hot and dry.  2 tr. roast
             (peas, corn, etc.) slightly.  [ME perch, parche, of unkn. orig.]

   parched   adj.  1 hot and dry; dried out with heat.  2 colloq. thirsty.

   parchment n.  1 a an animal skin, esp. that of a sheep or goat, prepared
             as a writing or painting surface.  b a manuscript written on
             this.  2 (in full vegetable parchment) high-grade paper made to
             resemble parchment.  [ME f. OF parchemin, ult. a blend of LL
             pergamina writing material from Pergamum (in Asia Minor) with
             Parthica pellis Parthian skin (leather)]

   parclose  n.  a screen or railing in a church, separating a side chapel.
             [ME f. OF parclos -ose past part. of parclore enclose]

   pard      n.  archaic or poet.  a leopard.  [ME f. OF f. L pardus f. Gk

   pardalote n.  any small brightly-coloured Australian bird of the genus
             Pardalotus, with spotted plumage. Also called diamond-bird.
             [mod.L Pardalotus f. Gk pardalotos spotted like a leopard (as

   pardner   n.  US colloq.  a partner or comrade.  [corrupt.]

   pardon    n., v., & int.  --n.  1 the act of excusing or forgiving an
             offence, error, etc.  2 (in full free pardon) a remission of the
             legal consequences of a crime or conviction.  3 RC Ch. an
             indulgence.  --v.tr.  1 release from the consequences of an
             offence, error, etc.  2 forgive or excuse a person for (an
             offence etc.).  3 make (esp. courteous) allowances for; excuse.
             --int.  (also pardon me or I beg your pardon) 1 a formula of
             apology or disagreement.  2 a request to repeat something said.
             ЬЬpardonable adj.  pardonably adv.  [ME f. OF pardun, pardoner
             f. med.L perdonare concede, remit (as PER-, donare give)]

   pardoner  n.  hist.  a person licensed to sell papal pardons or
             indulgences.  [ME f. AF (as PARDON)]

   pare      v.tr.  1 a trim or shave (esp. fruit and vegetables) by cutting
             away the surface or edge.  b (often foll. by off, away) cut off
             (the surface or edge).  2 (often foll. by away, down) diminish
             little by little.  ЬЬparer n.  [ME f. OF parer adorn, peel
             (fruit), f. L parare prepare]

   paregoric n. (in full paregoric elixir) hist.  a camphorated tincture of
             opium used to reduce pain.  [LL paregoricus f. Gk paregorikos
             soothing (as PARA-(1), -agoros speaking f.  agora assembly)]

   pareira   n.  a drug from the root of a Brazilian shrub, Chondrodendron
             tomentosum, used as a muscle relaxant in surgery etc.  [Port.
             parreira vine trained against a wall]

             n.  1 Anat. the functional part of an organ as distinguished
             from the connective and supporting tissue.  2 Bot. the cellular
             material, usu. soft and succulent, found esp. in the softer
             parts of leaves, pulp of fruits, bark and pith of stems, etc.
             ЬЬparenchymal adj.  parenchymatous adj.  [Gk paregkhuma
             something poured in besides (as PARA-(1), egkhuma infusion f.
             egkheo pour in)]

   parent    n. & v.  --n.  1 a person who has begotten or borne offspring; a
             father or mother.  2 a person who has adopted a child.  3 a
             forefather.  4 an animal or plant from which others are derived.
             5 a source or origin.  6 an initiating organization or
             enterprise.  --v.tr. (also absol.) be a parent of.  Ьparent
             company a company of which other companies are subsidiaries.
             parent-teacher association a local organization of parents and
             teachers for promoting closer relations and improving
             educational facilities at a school.  ЬЬparental adj.  parentally
             adv.  parenthood n.  [ME f. OF f. L parens parentis f.  parere
             bring forth]

   parentage n.  lineage; descent from or through parents (their parentage is
             unknown).  [ME f. OF (as PARENT)]

             adj.  Med.  administered or occurring elsewhere than in the
             alimentary canal.  ЬЬparenterally adv.  [PARA-(1) + Gk enteron

             n.  (pl.  parentheses) 1 a a word, clause, or sentence inserted
             as an explanation or afterthought into a passage which is
             grammatically complete without it, and usu. marked off by
             brackets or dashes or commas.  b (in pl.) a pair of round
             brackets () used for this.  2 an interlude or interval.  Ьin
             parenthesis as a parenthesis or afterthought.  [LL f. Gk
             parenthesis f.  parentithemi put in beside]

             v.tr.  (also -ise) 1 (also absol.) insert as a parenthesis.  2
             put into brackets or similar punctuation.

             adj.  1 of or by way of a parenthesis.  2 interposed.
             ЬЬparenthetical adj.  parenthetically adv.  [PARENTHESIS after
             synthesis, synthetic, etc.]

   parenting n.  the occupation or concerns of parents.

   parergon  n.  (pl.  parerga) 1 work subsidiary to one's main employment.
             2 an ornamental accessory.  [L f. Gk parergon (as PARA-(1),
             ergon work)]

   paresis   n.  (pl.  pareses) Med.  partial paralysis.  ЬЬparetic adj.
             [mod.L f. Gk f.  pariemi let go (as PARA-(1), hiemi let go)]

   par excellence
             adv.  as having special excellence; being the supreme example of
             its kind (the short story par excellence).  [F, = by excellence]

   parfait   n.  1 a rich iced pudding of whipped cream, eggs, etc.  2 layers
             of ice-cream, meringue, etc., served in a tall glass.  [F
             parfait PERFECT adj.]

   pargana   n.  (also pergunnah, pergana) (in India) a group of villages or
             a subdivision of a district.  [Urdu pargana district]

   parget    v. & n.  --v.tr.  (pargeted, pargeting) 1 plaster (a wall etc.)
             esp. with an ornamental pattern.  2 roughcast.  --n.  1 plaster
             applied in this way; ornamental plasterwork.  2 roughcast.  [ME
             f. OF pargeter, parjeter f.  par all over + jeter throw]

   parhelion n.  (pl.  parhelia) a bright spot on the solar halo. Also called
             mock sun, sun-dog.  ЬЬparheliacal adj.  parhelic adj.  [L
             parelion f. Gk (as PARA-(1), helios sun)]

   pariah    n.  1 a social outcast.  2 hist. a member of a low caste or of
             no caste in S. India.  Ьpariah-dog = PYE-DOG.  [Tamil paraiyar
             pl. of paraiyan hereditary drummer f.  parai drum]

   parietal  adj.  1 Anat. of the wall of the body or any of its cavities.  2
             Bot. of the wall of a hollow structure etc.  3 US relating to
             residence within a college.  Ьparietal bone either of a pair of
             bones forming the central part of the sides and top of the
             skull.  [F pari‚tal or LL parietalis f. L paries -etis wall]

             n.  1 a form of betting in which those backing the first three
             places divide the losers' stakes (less the operator's
             commission).  2 a totalizator.  [F, = mutual stake]

   paring    n.  a strip or piece cut off.

   pari passu
             adv.  1 with equal speed.  2 simultaneously and equally.  [L]

   Paris commune
             see COMMUNE(1).

   Paris green
             n.  a poisonous chemical used as a pigment and insecticide.
             [Paris in France]

   parish    n.  1 an area having its own church and clergy.  2 (in full
             civil parish) a district constituted for purposes of local
             government.  3 the inhabitants of a parish.  4 US a county in
             Louisiana.  Ьparish clerk an official performing various duties
             concerned with the church.  parish council Brit.  the
             administrative body in a civil parish.  parish pump (often
             attrib.) a symbol of a parochial or restricted outlook.  parish
             register a book recording christenings, marriages, and burials,
             at a parish church.  [ME paroche, parosse f. OF paroche,
             paroisse f. eccl.L parochia, paroechia f. Gk paroikia sojourning
             f.  paroikos (as PARA-(1), -oikos -dwelling f.  oikeo dwell)]

             n.  an inhabitant of a parish.  [obs.  parishen f. ME f. OF
             parossien, formed as PARISH]

   Parisian  adj. & n.  --adj. of or relating to Paris in France.  --n.  1 a
             native or inhabitant of Paris.  2 the kind of French spoken in
             Paris.  [F parisien]

   parison   n.  a rounded mass of glass formed by rolling immediately after
             taking it from the furnace.  [F paraison f.  parer prepare f. L

   parity(1) n.  1 equality or equal status, esp. as regards status or pay.
             2 parallelism or analogy (parity of reasoning).  3 equivalence
             of one currency with another; being at par.  4 (of a number) the
             fact of being even or odd.  5 Physics (of a quantity) the fact
             of changing its sign or remaining unaltered under a given
             transformation of coordinates etc.  [F parit‚ or LL paritas (as

   parity(2) n.  Med.  1 the fact or condition of having borne children.  2
             the number of children previously borne.  [formed as -PAROUS +

   park      n. & v.  --n.  1 a large public garden in a town, for
             recreation.  2 a large enclosed piece of ground, usu. with
             woodland and pasture, attached to a country house etc.  3 a a
             large area of land kept in its natural state for public
             recreational use.  b a large enclosed area of land used to
             accommodate wild animals in captivity (wildlife park).  4 an
             area for motor vehicles etc. to be left in (car park).  5 the
             gear position or function in automatic transmission in which the
             gears are locked, preventing the vehicle's movement.  6 an area
             devoted to a specified purpose (industrial park).  7 a US a
             sports ground.  b (usu. prec. by the) a football pitch.  --v.tr.
             1 (also absol.) leave (a vehicle) usu. temporarily, in a car
             park, by the side of the road, etc.  2 colloq. deposit and
             leave, usu. temporarily.  Ьparking-light a small light at the
             side of a vehicle, for use when the vehicle is parked at night.
             parking-lot US an outdoor area for parking vehicles.
             parking-meter a coin-operated meter which receives fees for
             vehicles parked in the street and indicates the time available.
             parking-ticket a notice, usu. attached to a vehicle, of a
             penalty imposed for parking illegally.  park oneself colloq.
             sit down.  [ME f. OF parc f. med.L parricus of Gmc orig., rel.
             to pearruc: see PADDOCK]

   parka     n.  1 a skin jacket with hood, worn by Eskimos.  2 a similar
             windproof fabric garment worn by mountaineers etc.  [Aleutian]

   parkin    n.  Brit.  a cake or biscuit made with oatmeal, ginger, and
             treacle or molasses.  [perh. f. the name Parkin, dimin. of

             n.  = PARKINSON'S DISEASE.

   Parkinson's disease
             n.  a progressive disease of the nervous system with tremor,
             muscular rigidity, and emaciation. Also called PARKINSONISM.
             [J.  Parkinson, Engl. surgeon d. 1824]

   Parkinson's law
             n.  the notion that work expands so as to fill the time
             available for its completion.  [C. N.  Parkinson, Engl. writer
             b. 1909]

   parkland  n.  open grassland with clumps of trees etc.

   parkway   n.  1 US an open landscaped highway.  2 Brit. a railway station
             with extensive parking facilities.

   parky     adj.  (parkier, parkiest) Brit.  colloq.  chilly.  [19th c.:
             orig. unkn.]

   Parl.     abbr.  Brit.  1 Parliament.  2 Parliamentary.

   parlance  n.  a particular way of speaking, esp. as regards choice of
             words, idiom, etc.  [OF f.  parler speak, ult. f. L parabola
             (see PARABLE): in LL = 'speech']

   parlay    v. & n.  US --v.tr.  1 use (money won on a bet) as a further
             stake.  2 increase in value by or as if by parlaying.  --n.  1
             an act of parlaying.  2 a bet made by parlaying.  [F paroli f.
             It. f.  paro like f. L par equal]

   parley    n. & v.  --n.  (pl.  -eys) a conference for debating points in a
             dispute, esp. a discussion of terms for an armistice etc.
             --v.intr.  (-leys, -leyed) (often foll. by with) hold a parley.
             [perh. f. OF parlee, fem. past part. of parler speak: see

             n.  1 (Parliament) a (in the UK) the highest legislature,
             consisting of the Sovereign, the House of Lords, and the House
             of Commons.  b the members of this legislature for a particular
             period, esp. between one dissolution and the next.  2 a similar
             legislature in other nations and States.  [ME f. OF parlement
             speaking (as PARLANCE)]

             n. & adj.  --n.  1 a member of a parliament, esp. one
             well-versed in its procedures.  2 hist. an adherent of
             Parliament in the English Civil War of the 17th c.  --adj. =

             adj.  1 of or relating to a parliament.  2 enacted or
             established by a parliament.  3 (of language) admissible in a
             parliament; polite.  ЬParliamentary Commissioner for
             Administration the official name of the ombudsman in the UK.
             parliamentary private secretary a member of parliament assisting
             a government minister.

   parlour   n.  (US parlor) 1 a sitting-room in a private house.  2 a room
             in a hotel, convent, etc., for the private use of residents.  3
             esp.  US a shop providing specified goods or services (beauty
             parlour; ice-cream parlour).  4 a room or building equipped for
             milking cows.  5 (attrib.) derog. denoting support for political
             views by those who do not try to practise them (parlour
             socialist).  Ьparlour game an indoor game, esp. a word game.
             parlour-maid hist.  a maid who waits at table.  [ME f. AF
             parlur, OF parleor, parleur: see PARLANCE]

   parlous   adj. & adv.  archaic or joc.  --adj.  1 dangerous or difficult.
             2 hard to deal with.  --adv. extremely.  ЬЬparlously adv.
             parlousness n.  [ME, = PERILOUS]

   Parma violet
             n.  a variety of sweet violet with heavy scent and
             lavender-coloured flowers often crystallized for food
             decoration.  [Parma in Italy]

   Parmesan  n.  a kind of hard dry cheese made orig. at Parma and used esp.
             in grated form.  [F f. It.  parmegiano of Parma in Italy]

             adj. & n.  --adj.  1 of Parnassus, a mountain in C. Greece, in
             antiquity sacred to the Muses.  2 poetic.  3 of or relating to a
             group of French poets in the late 19th c., emphasizing
             strictness of form, named from the anthology Le Parnasse
             contemporain (1866).  --n. a member of this group.

   parochial adj.  1 of or concerning a parish.  2 (of affairs, views, etc.)
             merely local, narrow or restricted in scope.  ЬЬparochialism n.
             parochiality n.  parochially adv.  [ME f. AF parochiel, OF
             parochial f. eccl.L parochialis (as PARISH)]

   parody    n. & v.  --n.  (pl.  -ies) 1 a humorous exaggerated imitation of
             an author, literary work, style, etc.  2 a feeble imitation; a
             travesty.  --v.tr.  (-ies, -ied) 1 compose a parody of.  2 mimic
             humorously.  ЬЬparodic adj.  parodist n.  [LL parodia or Gk
             paroidia burlesque poem (as PARA-(1), oide ode)]

   parol     adj. & n.  Law --adj.  1 given orally.  2 (of a document) not
             given under seal.  --n. an oral declaration.  [OF parole (as

   parole    n. & v.  --n.  1 a the release of a prisoner temporarily for a
             special purpose or completely before the expiry of a sentence,
             on the promise of good behaviour.  b such a promise.  2 a word
             of honour.  --v.tr. put (a prisoner) on parole.  Ьon parole
             released on the terms of parole.  ЬЬparolee n.  [F, = word: see

             n.  a play on words; a pun.  [L f. Gk paronomasia (as PARA-(1),
             onomasia naming f.  onomazo to name f.  onoma a name)]

   paronym   n.  1 a word cognate with another.  2 a word formed from a
             foreign word.  ЬЬparonymous adj.  [Gk paronumon, neut. of
             paronumos (as PARA-(1), onuma name)]

   parotid   adj. & n.  --adj. situated near the ear.  --n. (in full parotid
             gland) a salivary gland in front of the ear.  Ьparotid duct a
             duct opening from the parotid gland into the mouth.  [F parotide
             or L parotis parotid- f. Gk parotis -idos (as PARA-(1), ous otos

   parotitis n.  1 inflammation of the parotid gland.  2 mumps.  [PAROTID +

   -parous   comb. form bearing offspring of a specified number or kind
             (multiparous; viviparous).  [L -parus -bearing f.  parere bring

   Parousia  n.  Theol.  the supposed second coming of Christ.  [Gk, =
             presence, coming]

   paroxysm  n.  1 (often foll. by of) a sudden attack or outburst (of rage,
             laughter, etc.).  2 a fit of disease.  ЬЬparoxysmal adj.  [F
             paroxysme f. med.L paroxysmus f. Gk paroxusmos f.  paroxuno
             exasperate (as PARA-(1), oxuno sharpen f.  oxus sharp)]

             adj. & n.  --adj. (esp. in ancient Greek) having an acute accent
             on the last syllable but one.  --n. a word of this kind.  [mod.L
             f. Gk paroxutonos (as PARA-(1), OXYTONE)]

   parpen    n.  a stone passing through a wall from side to side, with two
             smooth vertical faces.  [ME f. OF parpain, prob. ult. f. L per
             through + pannus piece of cloth, in Rmc 'piece of wall']

   parquet   n. & v.  --n.  1 a flooring of wooden blocks arranged in a
             pattern.  2 US the stalls of a theatre.  --v.tr.  (parqueted;
             parqueting) furnish (a room) with a parquet floor.  [F, = small
             compartment, floor, dimin. of parc PARK]

   parquetry n.  the use of wooden blocks to make floors or inlay for

   parr      n.  a young salmon with blue-grey finger-like markings on its
             sides, younger than a smolt.  [18th c.: orig. unkn.]

   parrakeet US var. of PARAKEET.

             n.  (also paramatta) a light dress fabric of wool and silk or
             cotton.  [Parramatta in New South Wales, Australia]

   parricide n.  1 the killing of a near relative, esp. of a parent.  2 an
             act of parricide.  3 a person who commits parricide.
             ЬЬparricidal adj.  [F parricide or L parricida (= sense 3),
             parricidium (= sense 1), of uncert. orig., assoc. in L with
             pater father and parens parent]

   parrot    n. & v.  --n.  1 any of various mainly tropical birds of the
             order Psittaciformes, with a short hooked bill, often having
             vivid plumage and able to mimic the human voice.  2 a person who
             mechanically repeats the words or actions of another.  --v.tr.
             (parroted, parroting) repeat mechanically.  Ьparrot-fashion
             (learning or repeating) mechanically without understanding.
             parrot-fish any fish of the genus Scarus, with a mouth like a
             parrot's bill and forming a protective mucous cocoon against
             predators.  [prob. f. obs. or dial. F perrot parrot, dimin. of
             Pierre Peter: cf.  PARAKEET]

   parry     v. & n.  --v.tr.  (-ies, -ied) 1 avert or ward off (a weapon or
             attack), esp. with a countermove.  2 deal skilfully with (an
             awkward question etc.).  --n.  (pl.  -ies) an act of parrying.
             [prob. repr. F parez imper. of parer f. It.  parare ward off]

   parse     v.tr.  1 describe (a word in context) grammatically, stating its
             inflection, relation to the sentence, etc.  2 resolve (a
             sentence) into its component parts and describe them
             grammatically.  ЬЬparser n.  esp. Computing [perh. f. ME pars
             parts of speech f. OF pars, pl. of part PART, infl. by L pars

   parsec    n.  a unit of stellar distance, equal to about 3.25 light years
             (3.08 x 10(16) metres), the distance at which the mean radius of
             the earth's orbit subtends an angle of one second of arc.
             [PARALLAX + SECOND(2)]

   Parsee    n.  1 an adherent of Zoroastrianism.  2 a descendant of the
             Persians who fled to India from Muslim persecution in the
             7th-8th c.  3 = PAHLAVI.  ЬЬParseeism n.  [Pers.  parsi Persian
             f.  pars Persia]

   parsimony n.  1 carefulness in the use of money or other resources.  2
             meanness, stinginess.  Ьlaw of parsimony the assertion that no
             more causes or forces should be assumed than are necessary to
             account for the facts.  ЬЬparsimonious adj.  parsimoniously adv.
             parsimoniousness n.  [ME f. L parsimonia, parcimonia f.  parcere
             pars- spare]

   parsley   n.  a biennial herb, Petroselinum crispum, with white flowers
             and crinkly aromatic leaves, used for seasoning and garnishing
             food.  Ьparsley fern a fern, Cryptogramma crispa, with leaves
             like parsley.  parsley-piert a dwarf annual herb, Aphanes
             arvensis.  [ME percil, per(e)sil f. OF peresil, and OE
             petersilie ult. f. L petroselinum f. Gk petroselinon;
             parsley-piert prob. corrupt. of F perce-pierre pierce stone]

   parsnip   n.  1 a biennial umbelliferous plant, Pastinaca sativa, with
             yellow flowers and a large pale-yellow tapering root.  2 this
             root eaten as a vegetable.  [ME pas(se)nep (with assim. to nep
             turnip) f. OF pasnaie f. L pastinaca]

   parson    n.  1 a rector.  2 a vicar or any beneficed member of the
             clergy.  3 colloq. any (esp. Protestant) member of the clergy.
             Ьparson's nose the piece of fatty flesh at the rump of a fowl.
             ЬЬparsonical adj.  [ME person(e), parson f. OF persone f. L
             persona PERSON (in med.L rector)]

   parsonage n.  a church house provided for a parson.

   part      n., v., & adv.  --n.  1 some but not all of a thing or number of
             things.  2 an essential member or constituent of anything (part
             of the family; a large part of the job).  3 a component of a
             machine etc. (spare parts; needs a new part).  4 a a portion of
             a human or animal body.  b (in pl.) = private parts.  5 a
             division of a book, broadcast serial, etc., esp. as much as is
             issued or broadcast at one time.  6 each of several equal
             portions of a whole (the recipe has 3 parts sugar to 2 parts
             flour).  7 a a portion allotted; a share.  b a person's share in
             an action or enterprise (will have no part in it).  c one's duty
             (was not my part to interfere).  8 a a character assigned to an
             actor on stage.  b the words spoken by an actor on stage.  c a
             copy of these.  9 Mus. a melody or other constituent of harmony
             assigned to a particular voice or instrument.  10 each of the
             sides in an agreement or dispute.  11 (in pl.) a region or
             district (am not from these parts).  12 (in pl.) abilities (a
             man of many parts).  13 US = PARTING 2.  --v.  1 tr. & intr.
             divide or separate into parts (the crowd parted to let them
             through).  2 intr.  a leave one another's company (they parted
             the best of friends).  b (foll. by from) say goodbye to.  3 tr.
             cause to separate (they fought hard and had to be parted).  4
             intr. (foll. by with) give up possession of; hand over.  5 tr.
             separate (the hair of the head on either side of the parting)
             with a comb.  --adv. to some extent; partly (is part iron and
             part wood; a lie that is part truth).  Ьfor the most part see
             MOST.  for one's part as far as one is concerned.  in part (or
             parts) to some extent; partly.  look the part appear suitable
             for a role.  on the part of on the behalf or initiative of (no
             objection on my part).  part and parcel (usu. foll. by of) an
             essential part.  part company see COMPANY.  part-exchange n.  a
             transaction in which goods are given as part of the payment for
             other goods, with the balance in money.  --v.tr. give (goods) in
             such a transaction.  part of speech n.  each of the categories
             to which words are assigned in accordance with their grammatical
             and semantic functions (in English esp. noun, pronoun,
             adjective, adverb, verb, preposition, conjunction, and
             interjection).  part-song a song with three or more voice-parts,
             often without accompaniment, and harmonic rather than
             contrapuntal in character.  part time less than the full time
             required by an activity.  part-time adj.  occupying or using
             only part of one's working time.  part-timer a person employed
             in part-time work.  part-work Brit.  a publication appearing in
             several parts over a period of time.  play a part 1 be
             significant or contributory.  2 act deceitfully.  3 perform a
             theatrical role.  take in good part see GOOD.  take part (often
             foll. by in) assist or have a share (in).  take the part of
             support; back up.  three parts three quarters.  [ME f. OF f. L
             pars partis (n.), partire, partiri (v.)]

   partake   v.intr.  (past partook; past part.  partaken) 1 (foll. by of,
             in) take a share or part.  2 (foll. by of) eat or drink some or
             colloq. all (of a thing).  3 (foll. by of) have some (of a
             quality etc.) (their manner partook of insolence).  ЬЬpartakable
             adj.  partaker n.  [16th c.: back-form. f.  partaker, partaking
             = part-taker etc.]

   parterre  n.  1 a level space in a garden occupied by flower-beds arranged
             formally.  2 US the ground floor of a theatre auditorium, esp.
             the pit overhung by balconies.  [F, = par terre on the ground]

             n.  Biol.  reproduction by a male gamete without fertilization,
             esp. as a normal process in invertebrates and lower plants.
             ЬЬparthenogenetic adj.  parthenogenetically adv.  [mod.L f. Gk
             parthenos virgin + genesis as GENESIS]

   Parthian shot
             n.  a remark or glance etc. reserved for the moment of
             departure.  [Parthia, an ancient kingdom in W. Asia: from the
             custom of a retreating Parthian horseman firing a shot at the

   partial   adj. & n.  --adj.  1 not complete; forming only part (a partial
             success).  2 biased, unfair.  3 (foll. by to) having a liking
             for.  --n.  Mus. any of the constituents of a musical sound.
             Ьpartial eclipse an eclipse in which only part of the luminary
             is covered or darkened.  partial verdict a verdict finding a
             person guilty of part of a charge.  ЬЬpartially adv.
             partialness n.  [ME f. OF parcial f. LL partialis (as PART)]

             n.  1 bias, favouritism.  2 (foll. by for) fondness.  [ME f. OF
             parcialit‚ f. med.L partialitas (as PARTIAL)]

             n.  a participator.

             v.intr.  1 (foll. by in) take a part or share (in).  2 literary
             or formal (foll. by of) have a certain quality (the speech
             participated of wit).  ЬЬparticipation n.  participator n.
             participatory adj.  [L participare f.  particeps - cipis taking
             part, formed as PART + -cip- = cap- stem of capere take]

             n.  Gram.  a word formed from a verb (e.g.  going, gone, being,
             been) and used in compound verb-forms (e.g.  is going, has been)
             or as an adjective (e.g.  working woman, burnt toast).
             ЬЬparticipial adj.  participially adv.  [ME f. OF, by-form of
             participe f. L participium (as PARTICIPATE)]

   particle  n.  1 a minute portion of matter.  2 the least possible amount
             (not a particle of sense).  3 Gram.  a a minor part of speech,
             esp. a short undeclinable one.  b a common prefix or suffix such
             as in-, -ness.  [ME f. L particula (as PART)]

             adj.  partly of one colour, partly of another or others.
             [PARTY(2) + COLOURED]

             adj. & n.  --adj.  1 relating to or considered as one thing or
             person as distinct from others; individual (in this particular
             instance).  2 more than is usual; special, noteworthy (took
             particular trouble).  3 scrupulously exact; fastidious.  4
             detailed (a full and particular account).  5 Logic (of a
             proposition) in which something is asserted of some but not all
             of a class (opp.  UNIVERSAL).  --n.  1 a detail; an item.  2 (in
             pl.) points of information; a detailed account.  Ьin particular
             especially, specifically.  [ME f. OF particuler f. L
             particularis (as PARTICLE)]

             n.  1 exclusive devotion to one party, sect, etc.  2 the
             principle of leaving political independence to each State in an
             empire or federation.  3 the theological doctrine of individual
             election or redemption.  ЬЬparticularist n.  [F particularisme,
             mod.L particularismus, and G Partikularismus (as PARTICULAR)]

             n.  1 the quality of being individual or particular.  2 fullness
             or minuteness of detail in a description.

             v.tr.  (also -ise) tr. (also absol.) 1 name specially or one by
             one.  2 specify (items).  ЬЬparticularization n.  [F
             particulariser (as PARTICULAR)]

             adv.  1 especially, very.  2 specifically (they particularly
             asked for you).  3 in a particular or fastidious manner.

             adj. & n.  --adj. in the form of separate particles.  --n.
             matter in this form.  [L particula PARTICLE]

   parting   n.  1 a leave-taking or departure (often attrib.: parting
             words).  2 Brit. the dividing line of combed hair.  3 a
             division; an act of separating.  Ьparting shot = PARTHIAN SHOT.

   parti pris
             n. & adj.  --n. a preconceived view; a bias.  --adj. prejudiced,
             biased.  [F, = side taken]

   partisan  n. & adj.  (also partizan) --n.  1 a strong, esp. unreasoning,
             supporter of a party, cause, etc.  2 Mil. a guerrilla in
             wartime.  --adj.  1 of or characteristic of partisans.  2 loyal
             to a particular cause; biased.  ЬЬpartisanship n.  [F f. It.
             dial.  partigiano etc. f.  parte PART]

   partita   n.  (pl.  partite) Mus.  1 a suite.  2 an air with variations.
             [It., fem. past part. of partire divide, formed as PART]

   partite   adj.  1 divided (esp. in comb.: tripartite).  2 Bot. & Zool.
             divided to or nearly to the base.  [L partitus past part. of
             partiri PART v.]

   partition n. & v.  --n.  1 division into parts, esp.  Polit. of a country
             with separate areas of government.  2 a structure dividing a
             space into two parts, esp. a light interior wall.  --v.tr.  1
             divide into parts.  2 (foll. by off) separate (part of a room
             etc.) with a partition.  ЬЬpartitioned adj.  partitioner n.
             partitionist n.  [ME f. OF f. L partitio -onis (as PARTITE)]

   partitive adj. & n.  Gram.  --adj. (of a word, form, etc.) denoting part
             of a collective group or quantity.  --n. a partitive word (e.g.
             some, any) or form.  Ьpartitive genitive a genitive used to
             indicate a whole divided into or regarded in parts, expressed in
             English by of as in most of us.  ЬЬpartitively adv.  [F partitif
             -ive or med.L partitivus (as PARTITE)]

   partizan  var. of PARTISAN.

   partly    adv.  1 with respect to a part or parts.  2 to some extent.

   partner   n. & v.  --n.  1 a person who shares or takes part with another
             or others, esp. in a business firm with shared risks and
             profits.  2 a companion in dancing.  3 a player (esp. one of
             two) on the same side in a game.  4 either member of a married
             couple, or of an unmarried couple living together.  --v.tr.  1
             be the partner of.  2 associate as partners.  ЬЬpartnerless adj.
             [ME, alt. of parcener joint heir, after PART]

             n.  1 the state of being a partner or partners.  2 a joint
             business.  3 a pair or group of partners.

   partook   past of PARTAKE.

   partridge n.  (pl. same or partridges) 1 any game-bird of the genus
             Perdix, esp.  P. perdix of Europe and Asia.  2 any other of
             various similar birds of the family Phasianidae, including the
             snow partridge.  [ME partrich etc. f. OF perdriz etc. f. L
             perdix -dicis: for -dge cf.  CABBAGE]

             adj.  about to give birth.  [L parturire be in labour, incept.
             f.  parere part- bring forth]

             n.  formal the act of bringing forth young; childbirth.  [LL
             parturitio (as PARTURIENT)]

   party(1)  n. & v.  --n.  (pl.  -ies) 1 a social gathering, usu. of invited
             guests.  2 a body of persons engaged in an activity or
             travelling together (fishing party; search party).  3 a group of
             people united in a cause, opinion, etc., esp.  a political group
             organized on a national basis.  4 a person or persons forming
             one side in an agreement or dispute.  5 (foll. by to) Law an
             accessory (to an action).  6 colloq. a person.  --v.tr. & intr.
             (-ies, -ied) entertain at or attend a party.  Ьparty line 1 the
             policy adopted by a political party.  2 a telephone line shared
             by two or more subscribers.  party-wall a wall common to two
             adjoining buildings or rooms.  [ME f. OF partie ult. f. L
             partire: see PART]

   party(2)  adj.  Heraldry divided into parts of different colours.  [ME f.
             OF parti f. L (as PARTY(1))]

   parvenu   n. & adj.  --n.  (fem.  parvenue) 1 a person of obscure origin
             who has gained wealth or position.  2 an upstart.  --adj.  1
             associated with or characteristic of such a person.  2 upstart.
             [F, past part. of parvenir arrive f. L pervenire (as PER-,
             venire come)]

   parvis    n.  (also parvise) 1 an enclosed area in front of a cathedral,
             church, etc.  2 a room over a church porch.  [ME f. OF parvis
             ult. f. LL paradisus PARADISE, a court in front of St Peter's,

   pas       n.  (pl. same) a step in dancing, esp. in classical ballet.  Ь
             pas de chat a leap in which each foot in turn is raised to the
             opposite knee.  pas de deux a dance for two persons.  pas gliss‚
             see GLISSђ.  pas seul a solo dance.  [F, = step]

   pascal    n.  1 the SI unit of pressure, equal to one newton per square
             metre.  2 (Pascal) Computing a programming language esp. used in
             education.  [B.  Pascal, Fr. scientist d. 1662: sense 2 so named
             because he built a calculating machine]

   paschal   adj.  1 of or relating to the Jewish Passover.  2 of or relating
             to Easter.  Ьpaschal lamb 1 a lamb sacrificed at Passover.  2
             Christ.  [ME f. OF pascal f. eccl.L paschalis f.  pascha f. Gk
             paskha f. Aram.  pasha, rel. to Heb.  pesah PASSOVER]

   pash      n.  sl.  a brief infatuation.  [abbr. of PASSION]

   pasha     n.  (also pacha) hist.  the title (placed after the name) of a
             Turkish officer of high rank, e.g. a military commander, the
             governor of a province, etc.  [Turk.  pasa, prob. = basa f.  bas
             head, chief]

   pashm     n.  the under-fur of some Tibetan animals, esp. that of goats as
             used for Cashmere shawls.

   Pashto    n. & adj.  --n. the official language of Afghanistan, also
             spoken in areas of Pakistan.  --adj. of or in this language.

   paso doble
             n.  1 a ballroom dance based on a Latin American style of
             marching.  2 this style of marching.  [Sp., = double step]

             n.  a ranunculaceous plant, Pulsatilla vulgaris, with
             bell-shaped purple flowers and fernlike foliage. Also called
             ANEMONE.  [earlier passe-flower f. F passe-fleur: assim. to
             pasque = obs.  pasch (as PASCHAL), Easter]

             n.  a lampoon or satire, orig. one displayed in a public place.
             [It.  pasquinata f.  Pasquino, a statue in Rome on which abusive
             Latin verses were annually posted]

   pass(1)   v. & n.  --v.  (past part.  passed) (see also PAST).  1 intr.
             (often foll. by along, by, down, on, etc.) move onward; proceed,
             esp. past some point of reference (saw the procession passing).
             2 tr.  a go past; leave (a thing etc.) on one side or behind in
             proceeding.  b overtake, esp. in a vehicle.  c go across (a
             frontier, mountain range, etc.).  3 intr. & tr. be transferred
             or cause to be transferred from one person or place to another
             (pass the butter; the title passes to his son).  4 tr. surpass;
             be too great for (it passes my comprehension).  5 intr. get
             through; effect a passage.  6 intr.  a be accepted as adequate;
             go uncensored (let the matter pass).  b (foll. by as, for) be
             accepted or currently known as.  c US (of a person with some
             Black ancestry) be accepted as White.  7 tr. move; cause to go
             (passed her hand over her face; passed a rope round it).  8 a
             intr. (of a candidate in an examination) be successful.  b tr.
             be successful in (an examination).  c tr. (of an examiner) judge
             the performance of (a candidate) to be satisfactory.  9 a tr.
             (of a bill) be examined and approved by (a parliamentary body or
             process).  b tr. cause or allow (a bill) to proceed to further
             legislative processes.  c intr. (of a bill or proposal) be
             approved.  10 intr.  a occur, elapse (the remark passed
             unnoticed; time passes slowly).  b happen; be done or said
             (heard what passed between them).  11 a intr. circulate; be
             current.  b tr. put into circulation (was passing forged
             cheques).  12 tr. spend or use up (a certain time or period)
             (passed the afternoon reading).  13 tr. (also absol.) (in field
             games) send (the ball) to another player of one's own side.  14
             intr. forgo one's turn or chance in a game etc.  15 intr. (foll.
             by to, into) change from one form (to another).  16 intr. come
             to an end.  17 tr. discharge from the body as or with excreta.
             18 tr. (foll. by on, upon) a utter (criticism) about.  b
             pronounce (a judicial sentence) on.  19 intr. (often foll. by
             on, upon) adjudicate.  20 tr. not declare or pay (a dividend).
             21 tr. cause (troops etc.) to go by esp. ceremonially.  --n.  1
             an act or instance of passing.  2 a success in an examination.
             b Brit. the status of a university degree without honours.  3
             written permission to pass into or out of a place, or to be
             absent from quarters.  4 a a ticket or permit giving free entry
             or access etc.  b = free pass.  5 (in field games) a
             transference of the ball to another player on the same side.  6
             a thrust in fencing.  7 a juggling trick.  8 an act of passing
             the hands over anything, as in conjuring or hypnotism.  9 a
             critical position (has come to a fine pass).  Ьin passing 1 by
             the way.  2 in the course of speech, conversation, etc.  make a
             pass at colloq.  make amorous or sexual advances to.  pass away
             1 euphem. die.  2 cease to exist; come to an end.  pass by 1 go
             past.  2 disregard, omit.  passed pawn Chess a pawn that has
             advanced beyond the pawns on the other side.  pass one's eye
             over read (a document etc.) cursorily.  pass muster see MUSTER.
             pass off 1 (of feelings etc.) disappear gradually.  2 (of
             proceedings) be carried through (in a specified way).  3 (foll.
             by as) misrepresent (a person or thing) as something else.  4
             evade or lightly dismiss (an awkward remark etc.).  pass on 1
             proceed on one's way.  2 euphem. die.  3 transmit to the next
             person in a series.  pass out 1 become unconscious.  2 Brit.
             Mil. complete one's training as a cadet.  3 distribute.  pass
             over 1 omit, ignore, or disregard.  2 ignore the claims of (a
             person) to promotion or advancement.  3 euphem. die.  pass round
             1 distribute.  2 send or give to each of a number in turn.  pass
             through experience.  pass the time of day see TIME.  pass up
             colloq.  refuse or neglect (an opportunity etc.).  pass water
             urinate.  ЬЬpasser n.  [ME f. OF passer ult. f. L passus

   pass(2)   n.  1 a narrow passage through mountains.  2 a navigable
             channel, esp. at the mouth of a river.  Ьsell the pass betray a
             cause.  [ME, var. of PACE(1), infl. by F pas and by PASS(1)]

   passable  adj.  1 barely satisfactory; just adequate.  2 (of a road, pass,
             etc.) that can be passed.  ЬЬpassableness n.  passably adv.  [ME
             f. OF (as PASS(1))]

             n.  Mus.  an instrumental piece usu. with a ground bass.  [It.
             f. Sp.  pasacalle f.  pasar pass + calle street: orig. often
             played in the streets]

             n.  1 the process or means of passing; transit.  2 = PASSAGEWAY.
             3 the liberty or right to pass through.  4 a the right of
             conveyance as a passenger by sea or air.  b a journey by sea or
             air.  5 a transition from one state to another.  6 a a short
             extract from a book etc.  b a section of a piece of music.  7
             the passing of a bill etc. into law.  8 (in pl.) an interchange
             of words etc.  9 Anat. a duct etc. in the body.  Ьpassage of (or
             at) arms a fight or dispute.  work one's passage earn a right
             (orig. of passage) by working for it.  [ME f. OF (as PASS(1))]

             v.  1 intr. (of a horse or rider) move sideways, by the pressure
             of the rein on the horse's neck and of the rider's leg on the
             opposite side.  2 tr. make (a horse) do this.  [F passager,
             earlier pass‚ger f. It.  passeggiare to walk, pace f.  passeggio
             walk f. L passus PACE(1)]

             n.  a narrow way for passing along, esp. with walls on either
             side; a corridor.

   passant   adj.  Heraldry (of an animal) walking and looking to the dexter
             side, with three paws on the ground and the right forepaw
             raised.  [ME f. OF, part. of passer PASS(1)]

   passband  n.  a frequency band within which signals are transmitted by a
             filter without attenuation.

   passbook  n.  a book issued by a bank or building society etc. to an
             account-holder recording sums deposited and withdrawn.

   pass‚     adj.  (fem.  pass‚e) 1 behind the times; out of date.  2 past
             its prime.  [F, past part. of passer PASS(1)]

             n.  a trimming of gold or silver lace, braid, beads, etc.  [F f.
             passement gold lace etc. f.  passer PASS(1)]

   passenger n.  1 a traveller in or on a public or private conveyance (other
             than the driver, pilot, crew, etc.).  2 colloq. a member of a
             team, crew, etc., who does no effective work.  3 (attrib.) for
             the use of passengers (passenger seat).  Ьpassenger-mile one
             mile travelled by one passenger, as a unit of traffic.
             passenger-pigeon an extinct wild pigeon of N. America, capable
             of long flight.  [ME f. OF passager f. OF passager (adj.)
             passing (as passage(1)): -n- as in messenger etc.]

             n.  1 a master-key.  2 a picture-frame (esp. for mounted
             photographs) consisting of two pieces of glass stuck together at
             the edges with adhesive tape.  3 adhesive tape or paper used for
             this.  [F, = passes everywhere]

   passer-by n.  (pl.  passers-by) a person who goes past, esp. by chance.

   passerine n. & adj.  --n. any perching bird of the order Passeriformes,
             having feet with three toes pointing forward and one pointing
             backwards, including sparrows and most land birds.  --adj.  1 of
             or relating to this order.  2 of the size of a sparrow.  [L
             passer sparrow]

   passible  adj.  Theol.  capable of feeling or suffering.  ЬЬpassibility n.
             [ME f. OF passible or LL passibilis f. L pati pass- suffer]

   passim    adv.  (of allusions or references in a published work) to be
             found at various places throughout the text.  [L f.  passus
             scattered f.  pandere spread]

   passing   adj. & n.  --adj.  1 in senses of PASS v.  2 transient, fleeting
             (a passing glance).  3 cursory, incidental (a passing
             reference).  --n.  1 in senses of PASS v.  2 euphem. the death
             of a person (mourned his passing).  Ьpassing note Mus.  a note
             not belonging to the harmony but interposed to secure a smooth
             transition.  passing shot Tennis a shot aiming the ball beyond
             and out of reach of the other player.  ЬЬpassingly adv.

   passion   n.  1 strong barely controllable emotion.  2 an outburst of
             anger (flew into a passion).  3 intense sexual love.  4 a strong
             enthusiasm (has a passion for football).  b an object arousing
             this.  5 (the Passion) a Relig. the suffering of Christ during
             his last days.  b a narrative of this from the Gospels.  c a
             musical setting of any of these narratives.  Ьpassion-flower any
             climbing plant of the genus Passiflora, with a flower that was
             supposed to suggest the instruments of the Crucifixion.
             passion-fruit the edible fruit of some species of
             passion-flower, esp.  Passiflora edulis: also called GRANADILLA.
             passion-play a miracle play representing Christ's Passion.
             Passion Sunday the fifth Sunday in Lent.  Passion Week 1 the
             week between Passion Sunday and Palm Sunday.  2 = Holy Week.
             ЬЬpassionless adj.  [ME f. OF f. LL passio -onis f. L pati pass-

   passional adj. & n.  --adj.  literary of or marked by passion.  --n. a
             book of the sufferings of saints and martyrs.

             adj.  1 dominated by or easily moved to strong feeling, esp.
             love or anger.  2 showing or caused by passion.  ЬЬpassionately
             adv.  passionateness n.  [ME f. med.L passionatus (as PASSION)]

             n.  the last two weeks of Lent.

   passivate v.tr.  make (esp. metal) passive (see PASSIVE).  ЬЬpassivation

   passive   adj.  1 suffering action; acted upon.  2 offering no opposition;
             submissive.  3 a not active; inert.  b (of a metal) abnormally
             unreactive.  4 Gram. designating the voice in which the subject
             undergoes the action of the verb (e.g. in they were killed).  5
             (of a debt) incurring no interest payment.  Ьpassive obedience 1
             surrender to another's will without cooperation.  2 compliance
             with commands irrespective of their nature.  passive resistance
             a non-violent refusal to cooperate.  passive smoking the
             involuntary inhaling, esp. by a non-smoker, of smoke from
             others' cigarettes etc.  ЬЬpassively adv.  passiveness n.
             passivity n.  [ME f. OF passif -ive or L passivus (as PASSION)]

   passkey   n.  1 a private key to a gate etc. for special purposes.  2 a

   passmark  n.  the minimum mark needed to pass an examination.

   Passover  n.  1 the Jewish spring festival commemorating the liberation of
             the Israelites from Egyptian bondage, held from the 14th to the
             21st day of the seventh month of the Jewish year.  2 = paschal
             lamb.  [pass over = pass without touching, with ref. to the
             exemption of the Israelites from the death of the first-born
             (Exod. 12)]

   passport  n.  1 an official document issued by a government certifying the
             holder's identity and citizenship, and entitling the holder to
             travel under its protection to and from foreign countries.  2
             (foll. by to) a thing that ensures admission or attainment (a
             passport to success).  [F passeport (as PASS(1), PORT(1))]

   password  n.  a selected word or phrase securing recognition, admission,
             etc., when used by those to whom it is disclosed.

   past      adj., n., prep., & adv.  --adj.  1 gone by in time and no longer
             existing (in past years; the time is past).  2 recently
             completed or gone by (the past month; for some time past).  3
             relating to a former time (past president).  4 Gram. expressing
             a past action or state.  --n.  1 (prec. by the) a past time.  b
             what has happened in past time (cannot undo the past).  2 a
             person's past life or career, esp. if discreditable (a man with
             a past).  3 a past tense or form.  --prep.  1 beyond in time or
             place (is past two o'clock; ran past the house).  2 beyond the
             range, duration, or compass of (past belief; past endurance).
             --adv. so as to pass by (hurried past).  Ьnot put it past a
             person believe it possible of a person.  past it colloq.
             incompetent or unusable through age.  past master 1 a person who
             is especially adept or expert in an activity, subject, etc.  2 a
             person who has been a master in a guild, Freemason's lodge, etc.
             past perfect = PLUPERFECT.  [past part. of PASS(1) v.]

   pasta     n.  1 a dried flour paste used in various shapes in cooking
             (e.g.  lasagne, spaghetti).  2 a cooked dish made from this.
             [It., = PASTE]

   paste     n. & v.  --n.  1 any moist fairly stiff mixture, esp. of powder
             and liquid.  2 a dough of flour with fat, water, etc., used in
             baking.  3 an adhesive of flour, water, etc., esp. for sticking
             paper and other light materials.  4 an easily spread preparation
             of ground meat, fish, etc.  (anchovy paste).  5 a hard vitreous
             composition used in making imitation gems.  6 a mixture of clay,
             water, etc., used in making ceramic ware, esp. a mixture of low
             plasticity used in making porcelain.  --v.tr.  1 fasten or coat
             with paste.  2 sl.  a beat or thrash.  b bomb or bombard
             heavily.  Ьpaste-up a document prepared for copying etc. by
             combining and pasting various sections on a backing.  ЬЬpasting
             n. (esp. in sense 2 of v.).  [ME f. OF f. LL pasta small square
             medicinal lozenge f. Gk paste f.  pastos sprinkled]

             n.  1 a sheet of stiff material made by pasting together sheets
             of paper.  2 (attrib.) a flimsy, unsubstantial.  b fake.

   pastel    n.  1 a crayon consisting of powdered pigments bound with a gum
             solution.  2 a work of art in pastel.  3 a light and subdued
             shade of a colour.  ЬЬpastelist n.  pastellist n.  [F pastel or
             It.  pastello, dimin. of pasta PASTE]

   pastern   n.  1 the part of a horse's foot between the fetlock and the
             hoof.  2 a corresponding part in other animals.  [ME pastron f.
             OF pasturon f.  pasture hobble ult. f. L pastorius of a
             shepherd: see PASTOR]

             v.tr.  (also -ise) subject (milk etc.) to the process of partial
             sterilization by heating.  ЬЬpasteurization n.  pasteurizer n.
             [L.  Pasteur, Fr. chemist d. 1895]

   pasticcio n.  (pl.  -os) = PASTICHE.  [It.: see PASTICHE]

   pastiche  n.  1 a medley, esp. a picture or a musical composition, made up
             from or imitating various sources.  2 a literary or other work
             of art composed in the style of a well-known author.  [F f. It.
             pasticcio ult. f. LL pasta PASTE]

   pastille  n.  1 a small sweet or lozenge.  2 a small roll of aromatic
             paste burnt as a fumigator etc.  Ьpastille-burner an ornamental
             ceramic container in which an aromatic pastille may be burnt.
             [F f. L pastillus little loaf, lozenge f.  panis loaf]

   pastime   n.  1 a pleasant recreation or hobby.  2 a sport or game.
             [PASS(1) + TIME]

   pastis    n.  an aniseed-flavoured aperitif.  [F]

   pastor    n.  1 a minister in charge of a church or a congregation.  2 a
             person exercising spiritual guidance.  3 a pink starling,
             Sturnus roseus.  ЬЬpastorship n.  [ME f. AF & OF pastour f. L
             pastor -oris shepherd f.  pascere past- feed, graze]

   pastoral  adj. & n.  --adj.  1 of, relating to, or associated with
             shepherds or flocks and herds.  2 (of land) used for pasture.  3
             (of a poem, picture, etc.) portraying country life, usu.  in a
             romantic or idealized form.  4 of or appropriate to a pastor.
             --n.  1 a pastoral poem, play, picture, etc.  2 a letter from a
             pastor (esp. a bishop) to the clergy or people.  Ьpastoral staff
             a bishop's crosier.  pastoral theology that considering
             religious truth in relation to spiritual needs.  ЬЬpastoralism
             n.  pastorality n.  pastorally adv.  [ME f. L pastoralis (as

   pastorale n.  (pl.  pastorales or pastorali) 1 a slow instrumental
             composition in compound time, usu. with drone notes in the bass.
             2 a simple musical play with a rural subject.  [It. (as

             n.  Austral.  a farmer of sheep or cattle.

   pastorate n.  1 the office or tenure of a pastor.  2 a body of pastors.

   pastrami  n.  seasoned smoked beef.  [Yiddish]

   pastry    n.  (pl.  -ies) 1 a dough of flour, fat, and water baked and
             used as a base and covering for pies etc.  2 a food, esp. cake,
             made wholly or partly of this.  b a piece or item of this food.
             Ьpastry-cook a cook who specializes in pastry, esp. for public
             sale.  [PASTE after OF pastaierie]

   pasturage n.  1 land for pasture.  2 the process of pasturing cattle etc.
             [OF (as PASTURE)]

   pasture   n. & v.  --n.  1 land covered with grass etc. suitable for
             grazing animals, esp. cattle or sheep.  2 herbage for animals.
             --v.  1 tr. put (animals) to graze in a pasture.  2 intr. & tr.
             (of animals) graze.  [ME f. OF f. LL pastura (as PASTOR)]

   pasty(1)  n.  (pl.  -ies) a pastry case with a sweet or savoury filling,
             baked without a dish to shape it.  [ME f. OF past‚ ult. f. LL
             pasta PASTE]

   pasty(2)  adj.  (pastier, pastiest) 1 of or like or covered with paste.  2
             unhealthily pale (esp. in complexion) (pasty-faced).  ЬЬpastily
             adv.  pastiness n.

   Pat       n.  a nickname for an Irishman.  [abbr. of the name Patrick]

   Pat.      abbr.  Patent.

   pat(1)    v. & n.  --v.  (patted, patting) 1 tr. strike gently with the
             hand or a flat surface.  2 tr. flatten or mould by patting.  3
             tr. strike gently with the inner surface of the hand, esp. as a
             sign of affection, sympathy, or congratulation.  4 intr. (foll.
             by on, upon) beat lightly.  --n.  1 a light stroke or tap, esp.
             with the hand in affection etc.  2 the sound made by this.  3 a
             small mass (esp. of butter) formed by patting.  Ьpat-a-cake a
             child's game with the patting of hands (the first words of a
             nursery rhyme).  pat on the back a gesture of approval or
             congratulation.  pat a person on the back congratulate a person.
             [ME, prob. imit.]

   pat(2)    adj. & adv.  --adj.  1 known thoroughly and ready for any
             occasion.  2 apposite or opportune, esp. unconvincingly so (gave
             a pat answer).  --adv.  1 in a pat manner.  2 appositely,
             opportunely.  Ьhave off pat know or have memorized perfectly.
             stand pat esp.  US 1 stick stubbornly to one's opinion or
             decision.  2 Poker retain one's hand as dealt; not draw other
             cards.  ЬЬpatly adv.  patness n.  [16th c.: rel. to PAT(1)]

   pat(3)    n.  Ьon one's pat Austral.  sl.  on one's own.  [Pat Malone,
             rhyming slang for own]

   patagium  n.  (pl.  patagia) Zool.  1 the wing-membrane of a bat or
             similar animal.  2 a scale covering the wing-joint in moths and
             butterflies.  [med.L use of L patagium f. Gk patageion gold

   patball   n.  1 a simple game of ball played between two players.  2
             derog. lawn tennis.

   patch     n. & v.  --n.  1 a piece of material or metal etc. used to mend
             a hole or as reinforcement.  2 a pad worn to protect an injured
             eye.  3 a dressing etc. put over a wound.  4 a large or
             irregular distinguishable area on a surface.  5 colloq. a period
             of time in terms of its characteristic quality (went through a
             bad patch).  6 a piece of ground.  7 colloq. an area assigned to
             or patrolled by an authorized person, esp.  a police officer.  8
             a number of plants growing in one place (brier patch).  9 a
             scrap or remnant.  10 a temporary electrical connection.  11
             hist. a small disc etc. of black silk attached to the face, worn
             esp. by women in the 17th-18th c. for adornment.  12 Mil. a
             piece of cloth on a uniform as the badge of a unit.  --v.tr.  1
             (often foll. by up) repair with a patch or patches; put a patch
             or patches on.  2 (of material) serve as a patch to.  3 (often
             foll. by up) put together, esp. hastily or in a makeshift way.
             4 (foll. by up) settle (a quarrel etc.) esp. hastily or
             temporarily.  Ьnot a patch on colloq.  greatly inferior to.
             patch cord an insulated lead with a plug at each end, for use
             with a patchboard.  patch panel = PATCHBOARD.  patch pocket one
             made of a piece of cloth sewn on a garment.  patch test a test
             for allergy by applying to the skin patches containing
             allergenic substances.  ЬЬpatcher n.  [ME pacche, patche, perh.
             var. of peche f. OF pieche dial. var. of piece PIECE]

             n.  a board with electrical sockets linked to enable changeable
             permutations of connection.

   patchouli n.  1 a strongly scented E. Indian plant, Pogostemon cablin.  2
             the perfume obtained from this.  [a native name in Madras]

   patchwork n.  1 needlework using small pieces of cloth with different
             designs, forming a pattern.  2 a thing composed of various small
             pieces or fragments.

   patchy    adj.  (patchier, patchiest) 1 uneven in quality.  2 having or
             existing in patches.  ЬЬpatchily adv.  patchiness n.

   pate      n.  archaic or colloq.  the head, esp. representing the seat of
             intellect.  [ME: orig. unkn.]

   pѓte      n.  the paste of which porcelain is made.  [F, = PASTE]

   pѓt‚      n.  a rich paste or spread of mashed and spiced meat or fish
             etc.  Ь pѓt‚ de foie gras a paste of fatted goose liver.  [F f.
             OF past‚ (as PASTY(1))]

   patella   n.  (pl.  patellae) the kneecap.  ЬЬpatellar adj.  patellate
             adj.  [L, dimin. of patina: see PATEN]

   paten     n.  1 a shallow dish used for the bread at the Eucharist.  2 a
             thin circular plate of metal.  [ME ult. f. OF patene or L
             patena, patina shallow dish f. Gk patane a plate]

   patent    n., adj., & v.  --n.  1 a government authority to an individual
             or organization conferring a right or title, esp. the sole right
             to make or use or sell some invention.  2 a document granting
             this authority.  3 an invention or process protected by it.
             --adj.  1 obvious, plain.  2 conferred or protected by patent.
             3 a made and marketed under a patent; proprietary.  b to which
             one has a proprietary claim.  4 such as might be patented;
             ingenious, well-contrived.  5 (of an opening etc.) allowing free
             passage.  --v.tr. obtain a patent for (an invention).  Ьletters
             patent an open document from a sovereign or government
             conferring a patent or other right.  patent leather leather with
             a glossy varnished surface.  patent medicine medicine made and
             marketed under a patent and available without prescription.
             patent office an office from which patents are issued.  Patent
             Roll (in the UK) a list of patents issued in a year.  ЬЬpatency
             n.  patentable adj.  patently adv. (in sense 1 of adj.).  [ME f.
             OF patent and L patere lie open]

   patentee  n.  1 a person who takes out or holds a patent.  2 a person for
             the time being entitled to the benefit of a patent.

   patentor  n.  a person or body that grants a patent.

   pater     n.  Brit.  colloq.  father.  °Now only in jocular or affected
             use.  [L]

             n.  the male head of a family or household.  [L, = father of the

   paternal  adj.  1 of or like or appropriate to a father.  2 fatherly.  3
             related through the father.  4 (of a government etc.) limiting
             freedom and responsibility by well-meant regulations.
             ЬЬpaternally adv.  [LL paternalis f. L paternus f.  pater

             n.  the policy of governing in a paternal way, or behaving
             paternally to one's associates or subordinates.  ЬЬpaternalist
             n.  paternalistic adj.  paternalistically adv.

   paternity n.  1 fatherhood.  2 one's paternal origin.  3 the source or
             authorship of a thing.  Ьpaternity test a blood test to
             determine whether a man may be or cannot be the father of a
             particular child.  [ME f. OF paternit‚ or LL paternitas]

             n.  1 a the Lord's Prayer, esp. in Latin.  b a rosary bead
             indicating that this is to be said.  2 a lift consisting of a
             series of linked doorless compartments moving continuously on a
             circular belt.  [OE f. L pater noster our father]

   path      n.  (pl.  paths) 1 a way or track laid down for walking or made
             by continual treading.  2 the line along which a person or thing
             moves (flight path).  3 a course of action or conduct.  4 a
             sequence of movements or operations taken by a system.
             ЬЬpathless adj.  [OE p‘th f. WG]

   -path     comb. form forming nouns denoting: 1 a practitioner of curative
             treatment (homoeopath; osteopath).  2 a person who suffers from
             a disease (psychopath).  [back-form. f.  -PATHY, or f. Gk
             -pathes -sufferer (as PATHOS)]

   Pathan    n.  a member of a Pashto-speaking people inhabiting NW Pakistan
             and SE Afghanistan.  [Hindi]

   pathetic  adj.  1 arousing pity or sadness or contempt.  2 Brit.  colloq.
             miserably inadequate.  3 archaic of the emotions.  Ьpathetic
             fallacy the attribution of human feelings and responses to
             inanimate things, esp. in art and literature.  ЬЬpathetically
             adv.  [F path‚tique f. LL patheticus f. Gk pathetikos (as

             n.  1 a person who explores new territory, investigates a new
             subject, etc.  2 an aircraft or its pilot sent ahead to locate
             and mark the target area for bombing.

   patho-    comb. form disease.  [Gk pathos suffering: see PATHOS]

   pathogen  n.  an agent causing disease.  ЬЬpathogenic adj.  pathogenous
             adj.  [PATHO- + -GEN]

             n.  (also pathogeny) the manner of development of a disease.
             ЬЬpathogenetic adj.

             adj.  1 of pathology.  2 of or caused by a physical or mental
             disorder (a pathological fear of spiders).  ЬЬpathologically

   pathology n.  1 the science of bodily diseases.  2 the symptoms of a
             disease.  ЬЬpathologist n.  [F pathologie or mod.L pathologia
             (as PATHO-, -LOGY)]

   pathos    n.  a quality in speech, writing, events, etc., that excites
             pity or sadness.  [Gk pathos suffering, rel. to paskho suffer,
             penthos grief]

   pathway   n.  1 a path or its course.  2 Biochem.  etc. a sequence of
             reactions undergone in a living organism.

   -pathy    comb. form forming nouns denoting: 1 curative treatment
             (allopathy; homoeopathy).  2 feeling (telepathy).  [Gk patheia

   patience  n.  1 calm endurance of hardship, provocation, pain, delay, etc.
             2 tolerant perseverance or forbearance.  3 the capacity for calm
             self-possessed waiting.  4 esp.  Brit. a game for one player in
             which cards taken in random order have to be arranged in certain
             groups or sequences.  Ьhave no patience with 1 be unable to
             tolerate.  2 be irritated by.  [ME f. OF f. L patientia (as

   patient   adj. & n.  --adj. having or showing patience.  --n. a person
             receiving or registered to receive medical treatment.
             ЬЬpatiently adv.  [ME f. OF f. L patiens -entis pres. part. of
             pati suffer]

   patina    n.  (pl.  patinas) 1 a film, usu. green, formed on the surface
             of old bronze.  2 a similar film on other surfaces.  3 a gloss
             produced by age on woodwork.  ЬЬpatinated adj.  patination n.
             [It. f. L patina dish]

   patio     n.  (pl.  -os) 1 a paved usu. roofless area adjoining and
             belonging to a house.  2 an inner court open to the sky in a
             Spanish or Spanish-American house.  [Sp.]

             n.  1 a shop where pastries are made and sold.  2 pastries
             collectively.  [F pѓtisserie f. med.L pasticium pastry f.  pasta

   Patna rice
             n.  a variety of rice with long firm grains.  [Patna in India,
             where it was orig. grown]

   patois    n.  (pl. same) the dialect of the common people in a region,
             differing fundamentally from the literary language.  [F, = rough
             speech, perh. f. OF patoier treat roughly f.  patte paw]

   patrial   adj. & n.  Brit.  hist.  --adj. having the right to live in the
             UK through the British birth of a parent or a grandparent.  --n.
             a person with this right.  ЬЬpatriality n.  [obs. F patrial or
             med.L patrialis f. L patria fatherland f.  pater father]

   patriarch n.  1 the male head of a family or tribe.  2 (often in pl.)
             Bibl. any of those regarded as fathers of the human race, esp.
             the sons of Jacob, or Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and their
             forefathers.  3 Eccl.  a the title of a chief bishop, esp. those
             presiding over the Churches of Antioch, Alexandria,
             Constantinople, and (formerly) Rome; now also the title of the
             heads of certain autocephalous Orthodox Churches.  b (in the
             Roman Catholic Church) a bishop ranking next above primates and
             metropolitans, and immediately below the pope.  c the head of a
             Uniate community.  4 a the founder of an order, science, etc.  b
             a venerable old man.  c the oldest member of a group.
             ЬЬpatriarchal adj.  patriarchally adv.  [ME f. OF patriarche f.
             eccl.L patriarcha f. Gk patriarkhes f.  patria family f.  pater
             father + -arkhes -ruler]

             n.  1 the office, see, or residence of an ecclesiastical
             patriarch.  2 the rank of a tribal patriarch.  [med.L
             patriarchatus (as PATRIARCH)]

             n.  (pl.  -ies) a system of society, government, etc., ruled by
             a man and with descent through the male line.  ЬЬpatriarchism n.
             [med.L patriarchia f. Gk patriarkhia (as PATRIARCH)]

   patrician n. & adj.  --n.  1 hist. a member of the ancient Roman nobility
             (cf.  PLEBEIAN).  2 hist. a nobleman in some Italian republics.
             3 an aristocrat.  --adj.  1 noble, aristocratic.  2 hist. of the
             ancient Roman nobility.  [ME f. OF patricien f. L patricius
             having a noble father f.  pater patris father]

             n.  1 a patrician order; an aristocracy.  2 the rank of
             patrician.  [L patriciatus (as PATRICIAN)]

   patricide n.  = PARRICIDE (esp. with reference to the killing of one's
             father).  ЬЬpatricidal adj.  [LL patricida, patricidium, alt. of
             L parricida, parricidium (see PARRICIDE) after pater father]

             adj.  of or relating to, or based on kinship with, the father or
             descent through the male line.  [L pater patris father + LINEAL]

   patrimony n.  (pl.  -ies) 1 property inherited from one's father or
             ancestor.  2 a heritage.  3 the endowment of a church etc.
             ЬЬpatrimonial adj.  [ME patrimoigne f. OF patrimoine f. L
             patrimonium f.  pater patris father]

   patriot   n.  a person who is devoted to and ready to support or defend
             his or her country.  ЬЬpatriotic adj.  patriotically adv.
             patriotism n.  [F patriote f. LL patriota f. Gk patriotes f.
             patrios of one's fathers f.  pater patros father]

   patristic adj.  of the early Christian writers or their work.
             ЬЬpatristics n.pl. (usu. treated as sing.).  [G patristisch f. L
             pater patris father]

   patrol    n. & v.  --n.  1 the act of walking or travelling around an
             area, esp. at regular intervals, in order to protect or
             supervise it.  2 one or more persons or vehicles assigned or
             sent out on patrol, esp. a detachment of guards, police, etc.  3
             a a detachment of troops sent out to reconnoitre.  b such
             reconnaissance.  4 a routine operational voyage of a ship or
             aircraft.  5 a routine monitoring of astronomical or other
             phenomena.  6 Brit. an official controlling traffic where
             children cross the road.  7 a unit of six to eight Scouts or
             Guides.  --v.  (patrolled, patrolling) 1 tr. carry out a patrol
             of.  2 intr. act as a patrol.  Ьpatrol car a police car used in
             patrolling roads and streets.  patrol wagon esp.  US a police
             van for transporting prisoners.  ЬЬpatroller n.  [F patrouiller
             paddle in mud f.  patte paw: (n.) f. G Patrolle f. F patrouille]

   patrolman n.  (pl.  -men) US a policeman of the lowest rank.

   patrology n.  (pl.  -ies) 1 the study of the writings of the Fathers of
             the Church.  2 a collection of such writings.  ЬЬpatrological
             adj.  patrologist n.  [Gk pater patros father]

   patron    n.  (fem.  patroness) 1 a person who gives financial or other
             support to a person, cause, work of art, etc., esp. one who buys
             works of art.  2 a usu. regular customer of a shop etc.  3 Rom.
             Antiq.  a the former owner of a freed slave.  b the protector of
             a client.  4 Brit. a person who has the right of presenting a
             member of the clergy to a benefice.  Ьpatron saint the
             protecting or guiding saint of a person, place, etc.  [ME f. OF
             f. L patronus protector of clients, defender f.  pater patris

   patronage n.  1 the support, promotion, or encouragement given by a
             patron.  2 a patronizing or condescending manner.  3 Rom. Antiq.
             the rights and duties or position of a patron.  4 Brit. the
             right of presenting a member of the clergy to a benefice etc.  5
             a customer's support for a shop etc.  [ME f. OF (as PATRON)]

   patronal  adj.  of or relating to a patron saint (the patronal festival).
             [F patronal or LL patronalis (as PATRON)]

   patronize v.tr.  (also -ise) 1 treat condescendingly.  2 act as a patron
             towards (a person, cause, artist, etc.); support; encourage.  3
             frequent (a shop etc.) as a customer.  ЬЬpatronization n.
             patronizer n.  patronizing adj.  patronizingly adv.  [obs. F
             patroniser or med.L patronizare (as PATRON)]

             n. & adj.  --n. a name derived from the name of a father or
             ancestor, e.g.  Johnson, O'Brien, Ivanovich.  --adj. (of a name)
             so derived.  [LL patronymicus f. Gk patronumikos f.  patronumos
             f.  pater patros father + onuma, onoma name]

   patroon   n.  US hist.  a landowner with manorial privileges under the
             Dutch governments of New York and New Jersey.  [Du., = PATRON]

   patsy     n.  (pl.  -ies) esp.  US sl.  a person who is deceived,
             ridiculed, tricked, etc.  [20th c.: orig. unkn.]

   patt‚e    adj.  (of a cross) having almost triangular arms becoming very
             broad at the ends so as to form a square.  [F f.  patte paw]

   patten    n.  hist.  a shoe or clog with a raised sole or set on an iron
             ring, for walking in mud etc.  [ME f. OF patin f.  patte paw]

   patter(1) v. & n.  --v.  1 intr. make a rapid succession of taps, as of
             rain on a window-pane.  2 intr. run with quick short steps.  3
             tr. cause (water etc.) to patter.  --n. a rapid succession of
             taps, short light steps, etc.  [PAT(1)]

   patter(2) n. & v.  --n.  1 a the rapid speech used by a comedian or
             introduced into a song.  b the words of a comic song.  2 the
             words used by a person selling or promoting a product; a sales
             pitch.  3 the special language or jargon of a profession, class,
             etc.  --v.  1 tr. repeat (prayers etc.) in a rapid mechanical
             way.  2 intr. talk glibly or mechanically.  [ME f.  pater =

   pattern   n. & v.  --n.  1 a repeated decorative design on wallpaper,
             cloth, a carpet, etc.  2 a regular or logical form, order, or
             arrangement of parts (behaviour pattern; the pattern of one's
             daily life).  3 a model or design, e.g. of a garment, from which
             copies can be made.  4 an example of excellence; an ideal; a
             model (a pattern of elegance).  5 a wooden or metal figure from
             which a mould is made for a casting.  6 a sample (of cloth,
             wallpaper, etc.).  7 the marks made by shots, bombs, etc. on a
             target or target area.  8 a random combination of shapes or
             colours.  --v.tr.  1 (usu. foll. by after, on) model (a thing)
             on a design etc.  2 decorate with a pattern.  Ьpattern bombing
             bombing over a large area, not on a single target.  [ME patron
             (see PATRON): differentiated in sense and spelling since the
             16th-17th c.]

   patty     n.  (pl.  -ies) 1 a little pie or pastry.  2 US a small flat
             cake of minced meat etc.  [F pѓt‚ PASTY(1)]

   pattypan  n.  a pan for baking a patty.

   patulous  adj.  1 (of branches etc.) spreading.  2 formal open; expanded.
             ЬЬpatulously adj.  patulousness n.  [L patulus f.  patere be

   paua      n.  1 a large edible New Zealand shellfish of the genus
             Haliotis.  2 its ornamental shell.  3 a fish-hook made from
             this.  [Maori]

   paucity   n.  smallness of number or quantity.  [ME f. OF paucit‚ or f. L
             paucitas f.  paucus few]

   Pauli exclusion principle
             n.  Physics the assertion that no two fermions can have the same
             quantum number.  [W.  Pauli, Austrian physicist d. 1958]

   Pauline   adj.  of or relating to St Paul (the Pauline epistles).  [ME f.
             med.L Paulinus f. L Paulus Paul]

   Paul Jones
             n.  a ballroom dance in which partners are exchanged according
             to a pattern.  [the name of an Amer. naval officer d. 1792]

   paulownia n.  any Chinese tree of the genus Paulownia, with fragrant
             purple flowers.  [Anna Paulovna, Russian princess d. 1865]

   paunch    n. & v.  --n.  1 the belly or stomach, esp. when protruding.  2
             a ruminant's first stomach; the rumen.  3 Naut. a thick strong
             mat.  --v.tr. disembowel (an animal).  ЬЬpaunchy adj.
             (paunchier, paunchiest).  paunchiness n.  [ME f. AF pa(u)nche,
             ONF panche ult. f. L pantex panticis bowels]

   pauper    n.  1 a person without means; a beggar.  2 hist. a recipient of
             poor-law relief.  3 Law a person who may sue in forma pauperis.
             ЬЬpauperdom n.  pauperism n.  pauperize v.tr.  (also -ise).
             pauperization n.  [L, = poor]

   pause     n. & v.  --n.  1 an interval of inaction, esp. when due to
             hesitation; a temporary stop.  2 a break in speaking or reading;
             a silence.  3 Mus. a mark (3! 3!) over a note or rest that is to
             be lengthened by an unspecified amount.  --v.intr.  1 make a
             pause; wait.  2 (usu. foll. by upon) linger over (a word etc.).
             Ьgive pause to cause (a person) to hesitate.  [ME f. OF pause or
             L pausa f. Gk pausis f.  pauo stop]

   pavage    n.  1 paving.  2 a tax or toll towards the paving of streets.
             [ME f. OF f.  paver PAVE]

   pavane    n.  (also pavan) hist.  1 a stately dance in elaborate clothing.
             2 the music for this.  [F pavane f. Sp.  pavana, perh. f.  pavon

   pave      v.tr.  1 a cover (a street, floor, etc.) with paving etc.  b
             cover or strew (a floor etc.) with anything (paved with
             flowers).  2 prepare (paved the way for her arrival).
             Ьpaving-stone a large flat usu. rectangular piece of stone etc.
             for paving.  ЬЬpaver n.  paving n.  pavior n.  (also paviour).
             [ME f. OF paver, back-form. (as PAVEMENT)]

   pav‚      n.  1 a paved street, road, or path.  2 a setting of jewels
             placed closely together.  [F, past part. of paver: see PAVE]

   pavement  n.  1 Brit. a paved path for pedestrians at the side of and a
             little higher than a road.  2 the covering of a street, floor,
             etc., made of tiles, wooden blocks, asphalt, and esp. of
             rectangular stones.  3 US a roadway.  4 Zool. a pavement-like
             formation of close-set teeth, scales, etc.  Ьpavement artist 1
             Brit. an artist who draws on paving-stones with coloured chalks,
             hoping to be given money by passers-by.  2 US an artist who
             displays paintings for sale on a pavement.  [ME f. OF f. L
             pavimentum f.  pavire beat, ram]

   pavilion  n. & v.  --n.  1 Brit. a building at a cricket or other sports
             ground used for changing, refreshments, etc.  2 a summerhouse or
             other decorative building in a garden.  3 a tent, esp. a large
             one with crenellated decorations at a show, fair, etc.  4 a
             building used for entertainments.  5 a temporary stand at an
             exhibition.  6 a detached building at a hospital.  7 a usu.
             highly decorated subdivision of a building.  8 the part of a cut
             gemstone below the girdle.  --v.tr. enclose in or provide with a
             pavilion.  [ME f. OF pavillon f. L papilio -onis butterfly,

   pavior, paviour
             see PAVE.

   pavlova   n.  a meringue cake with cream and fruit.  [A.  Pavlova, Russ.
             ballerina d. 1931]

   Pavlovian adj.  of or relating to I. P. Pavlov, Russian physiologist d.
             1936, or his work, esp. on conditioned reflexes.

   pavonine  adj.  of or like a peacock.  [L pavoninus f.  pavo -onis

   paw       n. & v.  --n.  1 a foot of an animal having claws or nails.  2
             colloq. a person's hand.  --v.  1 tr. strike or scrape with a
             paw or foot.  2 intr. scrape the ground with a paw or hoof.  3
             tr.  colloq. fondle awkwardly or indecently.  [ME pawe, powe f.
             OF poue etc. ult. f. Frank.]

   pawky     adj.  (pawkier, pawkiest) Sc. & dial.  1 drily humorous.  2
             shrewd.  ЬЬpawkily adv.  pawkiness n.  [Sc. & N.Engl. dial.
             pawk trick, of unkn. orig.]

   pawl      n. & v.  --n.  1 a lever with a catch for the teeth of a wheel
             or bar.  2 Naut. a short bar used to lock a capstan, windlass,
             etc., to prevent it from recoiling.  --v.tr. secure (a capstan
             etc.) with a pawl.  [perh. f. LG & Du.  pal, rel. to pal fixed]

   pawn(1)   n.  1 Chess a piece of the smallest size and value.  2 a person
             used by others for their own purposes.  [ME f. AF poun, OF peon
             f. med.L pedo -onis foot-soldier f. L pes pedis foot: cf.  PEON]

   pawn(2)   v. & n.  --v.tr.  1 deposit an object, esp. with a pawnbroker,
             as security for money lent.  2 pledge or wager (one's life,
             honour, word, etc.).  --n.  1 an object left as security for
             money etc. lent.  2 anything or any person left with another as
             security etc.  Ьin (or at) pawn (of an object etc.) held as
             security.  [ME f. OF pan, pand, pant, pledge, security f. WG]

             n.  a person who lends money at interest on the security of
             personal property pawned.  ЬЬpawnbroking n.

   pawnshop  n.  a shop where pawnbroking is conducted.

   pawpaw    n.  (also papaw, papaya) 1 a an elongated melon-shaped fruit
             with edible orange flesh and small black seeds.  b a tropical
             tree, Carica papaya, bearing this and producing a milky sap from
             which papain is obtained.  2 US a N. American tree, Asimina
             triloba, with purple flowers and edible fruit.  [earlier
             papay(a) f. Sp. & Port.  papaya, of Carib orig.]

   PAX       abbr.  private automatic (telephone) exchange.

   pax       n.  1 the kiss of peace.  2 (as int.) Brit.  sl. a call for a
             truce (used esp. by schoolchildren).  [ME f. L, = peace]

   pay(1)    v. & n.  --v.tr.  (past and past part.  paid) 1 (also absol.)
             give (a person etc.) what is due for services done, goods
             received, debts incurred, etc. (paid him in full; I assure you I
             have paid).  2 a give (a usu. specified amount) for work done, a
             debt, a ransom, etc. (they pay њ6 an hour).  b (foll. by to)
             hand over the amount of (a debt, wages, recompense, etc.) to
             (paid the money to the assistant).  3 a give, bestow, or express
             (attention, respect, a compliment, etc.) (paid them no heed).  b
             make (a visit, a call, etc.) (paid a visit to their uncle).  4
             (also absol.) (of a business, undertaking, attitude, etc.) be
             profitable or advantageous to (a person etc.).  5 reward or
             punish (can never pay you for what you have done for us; I shall
             pay you for that).  6 (usu. as paid adj.) recompense (work,
             time, etc.) (paid holiday).  7 (usu. foll. by out, away) let out
             (a rope) by slackening it.  --n. wages; payment.  Ьin the pay of
             employed by.  paid holidays an agreed holiday period for which
             wages are paid as normal.  paid-up member (esp. of a trade-union
             member) a person who has paid the subscriptions in full.
             pay-as-you-earn Brit.  the deduction of income tax from wages at
             source.  pay-bed a hospital bed for private patients.  pay-claim
             a demand for an increase in pay, esp. by a trade union.  pay-day
             a day on which payment, esp. of wages, is made or expected to be
             made.  pay dearly (usu. foll. by for) 1 obtain at a high cost,
             great effort, etc.  2 suffer for a wrongdoing etc.  pay dirt (or
             gravel) US 1 Mineral. ground worth working for ore.  2 a
             financially promising situation.  pay envelope US = pay-packet.
             pay for 1 hand over the price of.  2 bear the cost of.  3 suffer
             or be punished for (a fault etc.).  pay in pay (money) into a
             bank account.  paying guest a boarder.  pay its (or one's) way
             cover costs; not be indebted.  pay one's last respects show
             respect towards a dead person by attending the funeral.  pay off
             1 dismiss (workers) with a final payment.  2 colloq. yield good
             results; succeed.  3 pay (a debt) in full.  4 (of a ship) turn
             to leeward through the movement of the helm.  pay-off n.  sl.  1
             an act of payment.  2 a climax.  3 a final reckoning.  pay out
             (or back) punish or be revenged on.  pay-packet Brit.  a packet
             or envelope containing an employee's wages.  pay phone a
             coin-box telephone.  pay the piper and call the tune pay for,
             and therefore have control over, a proceeding.  pay one's
             respects make a polite visit.  pay station US = pay phone.  pay
             through the nose colloq.  pay much more than a fair price.  pay
             up pay the full amount, or the full amount of.  put paid to
             colloq.  1 deal effectively with (a person).  2 terminate (hopes
             etc.).  ЬЬpayee n.  payer n.  [ME f. OF paie, payer f. L pacare
             appease f.  pax pacis peace]

   pay(2)    v.tr.  (past and past part.  payed) Naut.  smear (a ship) with
             pitch, tar, etc. as a defence against wet.  [OF peier f. L
             picare f.  pix picis PITCH(2)]

   payable   adj.  1 that must be paid; due (payable in April).  2 that may
             be paid.  3 (of a mine etc.) profitable.

   payback   n.  1 a financial return; a reward.  2 the profit from an
             investment etc., esp. one equal to the initial outlay.  Ьpayback
             period the length of time required for an investment to pay for
             itself in terms of profits or savings.

   PAYE      abbr.  Brit.  pay-as-you-earn.

   payload   n.  1 the part of an aircraft's load from which revenue is
             derived.  2 a the explosive warhead carried by an aircraft or
             rocket.  b the instruments etc. carried by a spaceship.

   paymaster n.  1 an official who pays troops, workmen, etc.  2 a person,
             organization, etc., to whom another owes duty or loyalty because
             of payment given.  3 (in full Paymaster General) Brit. the
             minister at the head of the Treasury department responsible for

   payment   n.  1 the act or an instance of paying.  2 an amount paid.  3
             reward, recompense.  [ME f. OF paiement (as PAY(1))]

   paynim    n.  archaic 1 a pagan.  2 a non-Christian, esp. a Muslim.  [ME
             f. OF pai(e)nime f. eccl.L paganismus heathenism (as PAGAN)]

   payola    n.  esp.  US 1 a bribe offered in return for unofficial
             promotion of a product etc. in the media.  2 the practice of
             such bribery.  [PAY(1) + -ola as in Victrola, make of

   payroll   n.  a list of employees receiving regular pay.

   paysage   n.  1 a rural scene; a landscape.  2 landscape painting.  ЬЬ
             paysagist n.  [F f.  pays country: see PEASANT]

3.0 Pb...

   Pb        symb.  Chem.  the element lead.  [L plumbum]

   PBX       abbr.  private branch exchange (private telephone switchboard).

4.0 PC...

   PC        abbr.  1 (in the UK) police constable.  2 (in the UK) Privy
             Counsellor.  3 personal computer.

   p.c.      abbr.  1 per cent.  2 postcard.

   PCB       abbr.  1 Computing printed circuit board.  2 Chem.
             polychlorinated biphenyl, any of several toxic aromatic
             compounds containing two benzene molecules in which hydrogens
             have been replaced by chlorine atoms, formed as waste in
             industrial processes.

   PCM       abbr.  pulse code modulation.

   pct.      abbr.  US per cent.

5.0 PD...

   PD        abbr.  US Police Department.

   Pd        symb.  Chem.  the element palladium.

   pd.       abbr.  paid.

   p.d.q.    abbr.  colloq.  pretty damn quick.

   PDT       abbr.  US Pacific Daylight Time.

6.0 PE...

   PE        abbr.  physical education.

   p/e       abbr.  price/earnings (ratio).

   pea       n.  1 a a hardy climbing plant, Pisum sativum, with seeds
             growing in pods and used for food.  b its seed.  2 any of
             several similar plants (sweet pea; chick-pea).  Ьpea-brain
             colloq.  a stupid or dim-witted person.  pea-green bright green.
             pea-souper Brit.  colloq.  a thick yellowish fog.  [back-form.
             f.  PEASE (taken as pl.: cf.  CHERRY)]

   peace     n.  1 a quiet; tranquillity (needs peace to work well).  b
             mental calm; serenity (peace of mind).  2 a (often attrib.)
             freedom from or the cessation of war (peace talks).  b (esp.
             Peace) a treaty of peace between two States etc. at war.  3
             freedom from civil disorder.  4 Eccl. a ritual liturgical
             greeting.  Ьat peace 1 in a state of friendliness.  2 serene.  3
             euphem. dead.  hold one's peace keep silence.  keep the peace
             prevent, or refrain from, strife.  make one's peace (often foll.
             by with) re-establish friendly relations.  make peace bring
             about peace; reconcile.  the peace (or the queen's peace) peace
             existing within a realm; civil order.  Peace Corps US an
             organization sending young people to work as volunteers in
             developing countries.  peace-offering 1 a propitiatory or
             conciliatory gift.  2 Bibl. an offering presented as a
             thanksgiving to God.  peace-pipe a tobacco-pipe as a token of
             peace among US Indians.  [ME f. AF pes, OF pais f. L pax pacis]

   peaceable adj.  1 disposed to peace; unwarlike.  2 free from disturbance;
             peaceful.  ЬЬpeaceableness n.  peaceably adv.  [ME f. OF
             peisible, plaisible f. LL placibilis pleasing f. L placere

   peaceful  adj.  1 characterized by peace; tranquil.  2 not violating or
             infringing peace (peaceful coexistence).  3 belonging to a state
             of peace.  ЬЬpeacefully adv.  peacefulness n.

             n.  a person who brings about peace.  ЬЬpeacemaking n. & adj.

   peacetime n.  a period when a country is not at war.

   peach(1)  n.  1 a a round juicy stone-fruit with downy cream or yellow
             skin flushed with red.  b the tree, Prunus persica, bearing it.
             2 the yellowish-pink colour of a peach.  3 colloq.  a a person
             or thing of superlative quality.  b an attractive young woman.
             Ьpeach-bloom an oriental porcelain-glaze of reddish pink, usu.
             with green markings.  peach-blow 1 a delicate purplish-pink
             colour.  2 = peach-bloom.  peaches and cream (of a complexion)
             creamy skin with downy pink cheeks.  peach Melba see MELBA.
             ЬЬpeachy adj.  (peachier, peachiest).  peachiness n.  [ME f. OF
             peche, pesche, f. med.L persica f. L persicum (malum), lit.
             Persian apple]

   peach(2)  v.  1 intr. (usu. foll. by against, on) colloq. turn informer;
             inform.  2 tr.  archaic inform against.  [ME f.  appeach f. AF
             enpecher, OF empechier IMPEACH]

   pea-chick n.  a young peafowl.  [formed as PEACOCK + CHICK(1)]

   peacock   n.  1 a male peafowl, having brilliant plumage and a tail (with
             eyelike markings) that can be expanded erect in display like a
             fan.  2 this type of ostentatious display.  Ьpeacock blue the
             lustrous greenish blue of a peacock's neck.  peacock butterfly a
             butterfly, Inachis io, with eyelike markings on its wings.  [ME
             pecock f. OE pea f. L pavo + COCK(1)]

   peafowl   n.  1 a peacock or peahen.  2 a pheasant of the genus Pavo.

   peahen    n.  a female peafowl.

             n.  a sailor's short double-breasted overcoat of coarse woollen
             cloth.  [prob. f. Du.  pijjakker f.  pij coat of coarse cloth +
             jekker jacket: assim. to JACKET]

   peak(1)   n. & v.  --n.  1 a projecting usu. pointed part, esp.: a the
             pointed top of a mountain.  b a mountain with a peak.  c a stiff
             brim at the front of a cap.  d a pointed beard.  e the narrow
             part of a ship's hold at the bow or stern (forepeak;
             after-peak).  f Naut. the upper outer corner of a sail extended
             by a gaff.  2 a the highest point in a curve (on the peak of the
             wave).  b the time of greatest success (in a career etc.).  c
             the highest point on a graph etc.  --v.intr. reach the highest
             value, quality, etc. (output peaked in September).  Ьpeak hour
             the time of the most intense traffic etc.  peak-load the maximum
             of electric power demand etc.  ЬЬpeaked adj.  peaky adj.
             peakiness n.  [prob. back-form. f.  peaked var. of dial.  picked
             pointed (PICK(2))]

   peak(2)   v.intr.  1 waste away.  2 (as peaked adj.) sharp-featured;
             pinched.  [16th c.: orig. unkn.]

   peaky     adj.  (peakier, peakiest) 1 sickly; puny.  2 white-faced.

   peal(1)   n. & v.  --n.  1 a the loud ringing of a bell or bells, esp. a
             series of changes.  b a set of bells.  2 a loud repeated sound,
             esp. of thunder, laughter, etc.  --v.  1 intr. sound forth in a
             peal.  2 tr. utter sonorously.  3 tr. ring (bells) in peals.
             [ME pele f.  apele APPEAL]

   peal(2)   n.  a salmon grilse.  [16th c.: orig. unkn.]

   pean(1)   n.  Heraldry fur represented as sable spotted with or.  [16th
             c.: orig. unkn.]

   pean(2)   US var. of PAEAN.

   peanut    n.  1 a leguminous plant, Arachis hypogaea, bearing pods that
             ripen underground and contain seeds used as food and yielding
             oil.  2 the seed of this plant.  3 (in pl.) colloq. a paltry or
             trivial thing or amount, esp. of money.  Ьpeanut butter a paste
             of ground roasted peanuts.

   pear      n.  1 a yellowish or brownish-green fleshy fruit, tapering
             towards the stalk.  2 any of various trees of the genus Pyrus
             bearing it, esp.  P. communis.  Ьpear-drop a small sweet with
             the shape of a pear.  [OE pere, peru ult. f. L pirum]

   pearl(1)  n. & v.  --n.  1 a (often attrib.) a usu. white or bluish-grey
             hard mass formed within the shell of a pearl-oyster or other
             bivalve mollusc, highly prized as a gem for its lustre (pearl
             necklace).  b an imitation of this.  c (in pl.) a necklace of
             pearls.  d = mother-of-pearl (cf.  seed-pearl).  2 a precious
             thing; the finest example.  3 anything resembling a pearl, e.g.
             a dewdrop, tear, etc.  --v.  1 tr.  poet.  a sprinkle with
             pearly drops.  b make pearly in colour etc.  2 tr. reduce
             (barley etc.) to small rounded grains.  3 intr. fish for
             pearl-oysters.  4 intr.  poet. form pearl-like drops.  Ьcast
             pearls before swine offer a treasure to a person unable to
             appreciate it.  pearl ash commercial potassium carbonate.  pearl
             barley barley reduced to small round grains by grinding.  pearl
             bulb a translucent electric light bulb.  pearl button a button
             made of mother-of-pearl or an imitation of it.  pearl-diver a
             person who dives for pearl-oysters.  pearl millet a tall cereal,
             Pennisetum typhoides.  pearl onion a very small onion used in
             pickles.  pearl-oyster any of various marine bivalve molluscs of
             the genus Pinctada, bearing pearls.  ЬЬpearler n.  [ME f. OF
             perle prob. f. L perna leg (applied to leg-of-mutton-shaped

   pearl(2)  n.  Brit.  = PICOT.  [var. of PURL(1)]

   pearled   adj.  1 adorned with pearls.  2 formed into pearl-like drops or
             grains.  3 pearl-coloured.

             adj.  having or producing the appearance of mother-of-pearl.

   pearlite  var. of PERLITE.

   pearlized adj.  treated so as to resemble mother-of-pearl.

   pearlware n.  a fine white glazed earthenware.

   pearlwort n.  Bot.  any small herbaceous plant of the genus Sagina,
             inhabiting rocky and sandy areas.

   pearly    adj. & n.  --adj.  (pearlier, pearliest) 1 resembling a pearl;
             lustrous.  2 containing pearls or mother-of-pearl.  3 adorned
             with pearls.  --n.  (pl.  -ies) (in pl.) Brit.  1 pearly kings
             and queens.  2 a pearly king's or queen's clothes or pearl
             buttons.  ЬPearly Gates colloq.  the gates of Heaven.  pearly
             king (or queen) Brit.  a London costermonger (or his wife)
             wearing clothes covered with pearl buttons.  pearly nautilus see
             NAUTILUS.  ЬЬpearliness n.

   pearmain  n.  a variety of apple with firm white flesh.  [ME, = warden
             pear, f. OF parmain, permain, prob. ult. f. L parmensis of Parma
             in Italy]

   peart     adj.  US lively; cheerful.  [var. of PERT]

   peasant   n.  1 esp.  colloq. a countryman or countrywoman; a rustic.  2 a
             a worker on the land, esp. a labourer or smallholder.  b hist. a
             member of an agricultural class dependent on subsistence
             farming.  3 derog. a lout; a boorish person.  ЬЬpeasantry n.
             (pl.  -ies).  peasanty adj.  [ME f. AF paisant, OF pa‹sent,
             earlier pa‹sence f.  pa‹s country ult. f. L pagus canton]

   pease     n.pl.  archaic peas.  Ьpease-pudding boiled split peas (served
             esp. with boiled ham).  [OE pise pea, pl.  pisan, f. LL pisa f.
             L pisum f. Gk pison: cf.  PEA]

             n.  a small tube for blowing dried peas through as a toy.

   peat      n.  1 vegetable matter decomposed in water and partly
             carbonized, used for fuel, in horticulture, etc.  2 a cut piece
             of this.  ЬЬpeaty adj.  [ME f. AL peta, perh. f. Celt.: cf.

   peatbog   n.  a bog composed of peat.

   peatmoss  n.  1 a peatbog.  2 any of various mosses of the genus Sphagnum,
             which grow in damp conditions and form peat as they decay.

             n.  a smooth finely-ribbed satiny fabric of silk or rayon.  [F,
             = skin of silk]

   pebble    n.  1 a small smooth stone worn by the action of water.  2 a a
             type of colourless transparent rock-crystal used for spectacles.
             b a lens of this.  c (attrib.) colloq. (of a spectacle-lens)
             very thick and convex.  3 an agate or other gem, esp. when found
             as a pebble in a stream etc.  Ьnot the only pebble on the beach
             (esp. of a person) easily replaced.  pebble-dash mortar with
             pebbles in it used as a coating for external walls.  ЬЬpebbly
             adj.  [OE papel-stan pebble-stone, pyppelripig pebble-stream, of
             unkn. orig.]

   p.e.c.    abbr.  photoelectric cell.

   pecan     n.  1 a pinkish-brown smooth nut with an edible kernel.  2 a
             hickory, Carya illinoensis, of the southern US, producing this.
             [earlier paccan, of Algonquian orig.]

   peccable  adj.  formal liable to sin.  ЬЬpeccability n.  [F, f. med.L
             peccabilis f.  peccare sin]

             n.  (pl.  -oes or -os) a trifling offence; a venial sin.  [Sp.
             pecadillo, dimin. of pecado sin f. L (as PECCANT)]

   peccant   adj.  formal 1 sinning.  2 inducing disease; morbid.  ЬЬpeccancy
             n.  [F peccant or L peccare sin]

   peccary   n.  (pl.  -ies) any American wild pig of the family Tayassuidae,
             esp.  Tayassu tajacu and T. pecari.  [Carib pakira]

   peccavi   int. & n.  --int. expressing guilt.  --n.  (pl.  peccavis) a
             confession of guilt.  [L, = I have sinned]

   p€che Melba
             n.  = peach Melba (see MELBA).  [F]

   peck(1)   v. & n.  --v.tr.  1 strike or bite (something) with a beak.  2
             kiss (esp. a person's cheek) hastily or perfunctorily.  3 a make
             (a hole) by pecking.  b (foll. by out, off) remove or pluck out
             by pecking.  4 colloq. (also absol.) eat (food) listlessly;
             nibble at.  5 mark with short strokes.  6 (usu. foll. by up,
             down) break with a pick etc.  --n.  1 a a stroke or bite with a
             beak.  b a mark made by this.  2 a hasty or perfunctory kiss.  3
             sl. food.  Ьpeck at 1 eat (food) listlessly; nibble.  2 carp at;
             nag.  3 strike (a thing) repeatedly with a beak.  pecking (or
             peck) order a social hierarchy, orig. as observed among hens.
             [ME prob. f. MLG pekken, of unkn. orig.]

   peck(2)   n.  1 a measure of capacity for dry goods, equal to 2 gallons or
             8 quarts.  2 a vessel used to contain this amount.  Ьa peck of a
             large number or amount of (troubles, dirt, etc.).  [ME f. AF
             pek, of unkn. orig.]

   pecker    n.  1 a bird that pecks (woodpecker).  2 US coarse sl. the
             penis.  Ьkeep your pecker up Brit.  colloq.  remain cheerful.

   peckish   adj.  colloq.  1 hungry.  2 US irritable.

   pecorino  n.  (pl.  -os) an Italian cheese made from ewes' milk.  [It. f.
             pecorino (adj.) of ewes f.  pecora sheep]

   pecten    n.  (pl.  pectens or pectines) Zool.  1 a comblike structure of
             various kinds in animal bodies.  2 any bivalve mollusc of the
             genus Pecten. Also called SCALLOP.  ЬЬpectinate adj.  pectinated
             adj.  pectination n. (all in sense 1).  [L pecten pectinis comb]

   pectin    n.  Biochem.  any of various soluble gelatinous polysaccharides
             found in ripe fruits etc. and used as a setting agent in jams
             and jellies.  ЬЬpectic adj.  [Gk pektos congealed f.  pegnumi
             make solid]

   pectoral  adj. & n.  --adj.  1 of or relating to the breast or chest;
             thoracic (pectoral fin; pectoral muscle).  2 worn on the chest
             (pectoral cross).  --n.  1 (esp. in pl.) a pectoral muscle.  2 a
             pectoral fin.  3 an ornamental breastplate esp. of a Jewish high
             priest.  [ME f. OF f. L pectorale (n.), pectoralis (adj.) f.
             pectus pectoris breast, chest]

   pectose   n.  Biochem.  an insoluble polysaccharide derivative found in
             unripe fruits and converted into pectin by ripening, heating,
             etc.  [pectic (see PECTIN) + -OSE(2)]

   peculate  v.tr. & intr.  embezzle (money).  ЬЬpeculation n.  peculator n.
             [L peculari rel. to peculium: see PECULIAR]

   peculiar  adj. & n.  --adj.  1 strange; odd; unusual (a peculiar flavour;
             is a little peculiar).  2 a (usu. foll. by to) belonging
             exclusively (a fashion peculiar to the time).  b belonging to
             the individual (in their own peculiar way).  3 particular;
             special (a point of peculiar interest).  --n.  1 a peculiar
             property, privilege, etc.  2 a parish or church exempt from the
             jurisdiction of the diocese in which it lies.  [ME f. L
             peculiaris of private property f.  peculium f.  pecu cattle]

             n.  (pl.  -ies) 1 a idiosyncrasy; unusualness; oddity.  b an
             instance of this.  2 a characteristic or habit (meanness is his
             peculiarity).  3 the state of being peculiar.

             adv.  1 more than usually; especially (peculiarly annoying).  2
             oddly.  3 as regards oneself alone; individually (does not
             affect him peculiarly).

   pecuniary adj.  1 of, concerning, or consisting of, money (pecuniary aid;
             pecuniary considerations).  2 (of an offence) entailing a money
             penalty or fine.  ЬЬpecuniarily adv.  [L pecuniarius f.  pecunia
             money f.  pecu cattle]

   pedagogue n.  archaic or derog.  a schoolmaster; a teacher.  ЬЬpedagogic
             adj.  pedagogical adj.  pedagogically adv.  pedagogism n.  (also
             pedagoguism).  [ME f. L paedagogus f. Gk paidagogos f.  pais
             paidos boy + agogos guide]

   pedagogy  n.  the science of teaching.  ЬЬpedagogics n.  [F p‚dagogie f.
             Gk paidagogia (as PEDAGOGUE)]

   pedal(1)  n. & v.  --n.  1 any of several types of foot-operated levers or
             controls for mechanisms, esp.: a either of a pair of levers for
             transmitting power to a bicycle or tricycle wheel etc.  b any of
             the foot-operated controls in a motor vehicle.  c any of the
             foot-operated keys of an organ used for playing notes, or for
             drawing out several stops at once etc.  d each of the
             foot-levers on a piano etc. for making the tone fuller or
             softer.  e each of the foot-levers on a harp for altering the
             pitch of the strings.  2 a note sustained in one part, usu. the
             bass, through successive harmonies, some of which are
             independent of it.  --v.  (pedalled, pedalling; US pedaled,
             pedaling) 1 intr. operate a cycle, organ, etc. by using the
             pedals.  2 tr. work (a bicycle etc.) with the pedals.  Ьpedal
             cycle a bicycle.  [F p‚dale f. It.  pedale f. L (as PEDAL(2))]

   pedal(2)  adj.  Zool.  of the foot or feet (esp. of a mollusc).  [L
             pedalis f.  pes pedis foot]

   pedalo    n.  (pl.  -os) a pedal-operated pleasure-boat.

   pedant    n.  1 a person who insists on strict adherence to formal rules
             or literal meaning at the expense of a wider view.  2 a person
             who rates academic learning or technical knowledge above
             everything.  3 a person who is obsessed by a theory; a
             doctrinaire.  ЬЬpedantic adj.  pedantically adv.  pedantize
             v.intr. & tr.  (also -ise).  pedantry n.  (pl.  -ies).  [F
             p‚dant f. It.  pedante: app. formed as PEDAGOGUE]

   pedate    adj.  1 Zool. having feet.  2 Bot. (of a leaf) having divisions
             like toes or a bird's claws.  [L pedatus f.  pes pedis foot]

   peddle    v.  1 tr.  a sell (goods), esp. in small quantities, as a
             pedlar.  b advocate or promote (ideas, a philosophy, a way of
             life, etc.).  2 tr. sell (drugs) illegally.  3 intr. engage in
             selling, esp. as a pedlar.  [back-form. f.  PEDLAR]

   peddler   n.  1 a person who sells drugs illegally.  2 US var. of PEDLAR.

   pederast  n.  (also paederast) a man who performs pederasty.

   pederasty n.  (also paederasty) anal intercourse between a man and a boy.
             [mod.L paederastia f. Gk paiderastia f.  pais paidos boy +
             erastes lover]

   pedestal  n. & v.  --n.  1 a base supporting a column or pillar.  2 the
             stone etc. base of a statue etc.  3 either of the two supports
             of a knee-hole desk or table, usu. containing drawers.  --v.tr.
             (pedestalled, pedestalling; US pedestaled, pedestaling) set or
             support on a pedestal.  Ьpedestal table a table with a single
             central support.  put (or set) on a pedestal regard as highly
             admirable, important, etc.; venerate.  [F pi‚destal f. It.
             piedestallo f.  piЉ foot f. L pes pedis + di of + stallo

             n. & adj.  --n.  1 (often attrib.) a person who is walking, esp.
             in a town (pedestrian crossing).  2 a person who walks
             competitively.  --adj. prosaic; dull; uninspired.  Ьpedestrian
             crossing Brit.  a specified part of a road where pedestrians
             have right of way to cross.  pedestrian precinct an area of a
             town restricted to pedestrians.  ЬЬpedestrianism n.
             pedestrianize v.tr. & intr.  (also -ise).  pedestrianization n.
             [F p‚destre or L pedester -tris]

             US var. of PAEDIATRICS.

   pedicab   n.  a pedal-operated rickshaw.

   pedicel   n.  (also pedicle) 1 a small (esp. subordinate) stalklike
             structure in a plant or animal (cf.  PEDUNCLE).  2 Surgery part
             of a graft left temporarily attached to its original site.
             ЬЬpedicellate adj.  pediculate adj.  [mod.L pedicellus & L
             pediculus dimin. of pes pedis foot]

   pedicular adj.  (also pediculous) infested with lice.  ЬЬpediculosis n.
             [L pedicularis, -losus f.  pediculus louse]

   pedicure  n. & v.  --n.  1 the care or treatment of the feet, esp. of the
             toenails.  2 a person practising this, esp. professionally.
             --v.tr. treat (the feet) by removing corns etc.  [F p‚dicure f.
             L pes pedis foot + curare: see CURE]

   pedigree  n.  1 (often attrib.) a recorded line of descent of a person or
             esp. a pure-bred domestic or pet animal.  2 the derivation of a
             word.  3 a genealogical table.  4 colloq. the 'life history' of
             a person, thing, idea, etc.  ЬЬpedigreed adj.  [ME pedegru etc.
             f. AF f. OF pie de grue (unrecorded) crane's foot, a mark
             denoting succession in pedigrees]

   pediment  n.  1 a the triangular front part of a building in Grecian
             style, surmounting esp. a portico of columns.  b a similar part
             of a building in Roman or Renaissance style.  2 Geol. a broad
             flattish rock surface at the foot of a mountain slope.
             ЬЬpedimental adj.  pedimented adj.  [earlier pedament, periment,
             perh. corrupt. of PYRAMID]

   pedlar    n.  (US peddler) 1 a travelling seller of small items esp.
             carried in a pack etc.  2 (usu. foll. by of) a retailer of
             gossip etc.  ЬЬpedlary n.  [ME pedlere alt. of pedder f.  ped
             pannier, of unkn. orig.]

   pedo-     comb. form US var. of PAEDO-.

   pedology  n.  the scientific study of soil, esp. its formation, nature,
             and classification.  ЬЬpedological adj.  pedologist n.  [Russ.
             pedologiya f. Gk pedon ground]

   pedometer n.  an instrument for estimating the distance travelled on foot
             by recording the number of steps taken.  [F p‚domЉtre f. L pes
             pedis foot]

   peduncle  n.  1 Bot. the stalk of a flower, fruit, or cluster, esp. a main
             stalk bearing a solitary flower or subordinate stalks (cf.
             PEDICEL).  2 Zool. a stalklike projection in an animal body.
             ЬЬpeduncular adj.  pedunculate adj.  [mod.L pedunculus f. L pes
             pedis foot: see -UNCLE]

   pee       v. & n.  colloq.  --v.  (pees, peed) 1 intr. urinate.  2 tr.
             pass (urine, blood, etc.) from the bladder.  --n.  1 urination.
             2 urine.  [initial letter of PISS]

   peek      v. & n.  --v.intr. (usu. foll. by in, out, at) look quickly or
             slyly; peep.  --n. a quick or sly look.  [ME pike, pyke, of
             unkn. orig.]

   peekaboo  adj. & n.  --adj.  1 (of a garment etc.) transparent or having a
             pattern of small holes.  2 (of a hairstyle) concealing one eye
             with a fringe or wave.  --n.  US = BO-PEEP.  [PEEK + BOO]

   peel(1)   v. & n.  --v.  1 tr.  a strip the skin, rind, bark, wrapping,
             etc. from (a fruit, vegetable, tree, etc.).  b (usu. foll. by
             off) strip (skin, peel, wrapping, etc.) from a fruit etc.  2
             intr.  a (of a tree, an animal's or person's body, a painted
             surface, etc.) become bare of bark, skin, paint, etc.  b (often
             foll. by off) (of bark, a person's skin, paint, etc.) flake off.
             3 intr. (often foll. by off) colloq. (of a person) strip for
             exercise etc.  4 tr.  Croquet send (another player's ball)
             through the hoops.  --n. the outer covering of a fruit,
             vegetable, prawn, etc.; rind.  Ьpeel off 1 veer away and detach
             oneself from a group of marchers, a formation of aircraft, etc.
             2 colloq. strip off one's clothes.  ЬЬpeeler n. (in sense 1 of
             v.).  [earlier pill, pele (orig. = plunder) f. ME pilien etc. f.
             OE pilian (unrecorded) f. L pilare f.  pilus hair]

   peel(2)   n.  a shovel, esp. a baker's shovel for bringing loaves etc.
             into or out of an oven.  [ME & OF pele f. L pala, rel. to
             pangere fix]

   peel(3)   n.  (also pele) hist.  a small square tower built in the 16th c.
             in the border counties of England and Scotland for defence
             against raids.  [ME pel stake, palisade, f. AF & OF pel f. L
             palus stake: cf.  PALE(2)]

   peeler    n.  Brit.  archaic sl. or dial.  a policeman.  [Sir Robert Peel,
             Engl. statesman d. 1850]

   peeling   n.  a strip of the outer skin of a vegetable, fruit, etc.
             (potato peelings).

   peen      n. & v.  --n. the wedge-shaped or thin or curved end of a
             hammer-head (opp.  FACE n.  5a).  --v.tr.  1 hammer with a peen.
             2 treat (sheet metal) with a stream of metal shot in order to
             shape it.  [17th c.: also pane, app. f. F panne f. Du.  pen f. L
             pinna point]

   peep(1)   v. & n.  --v.intr.  1 (usu. foll. by at, in, out, into) look
             through a narrow opening; look furtively.  2 (usu. foll. by out)
             a (of daylight, a flower beginning to bloom, etc.) come slowly
             into view; emerge.  b (of a quality etc.) show itself
             unconsciously.  --n.  1 a furtive or peering glance.  2 the
             first appearance (at peep of day).  Ьpeep-bo = BO-PEEP.
             peep-hole a small hole that may be looked through.  peeping Tom
             a furtive voyeur.  peep-show a small exhibition of pictures etc.
             viewed through a lens or hole set into a box etc.  peep-sight
             the aperture backsight of some rifles.  peep-toe (or -toed) (of
             a shoe) leaving the toes partly bare.  [ME: cf.  PEEK, PEER(1)]

   peep(2)   v. & n.  --v.intr. make a shrill feeble sound as of young birds,
             mice, etc.; squeak; chirp.  --n. such a sound.  [imit.: cf.

   peeper    n.  1 a person who peeps.  2 colloq. an eye.  3 US sl. a private

   peepul    n.  (also pipal) = BO-TREE.  [Hindi pipal f. Skr.  pippala]

   peer(1)   v.intr.  1 (usu. foll. by into, at, etc.) look keenly or with
             difficulty (peered into the fog).  2 appear; peep out.  3
             archaic come into view.  [var. of pire, LG piren; perh. partly
             f.  APPEAR]

   peer(2)   n. & v.  --n.  1 a (fem.  peeress) a member of one of the
             degrees of the nobility in Britain, i.e.  a duke, marquis, earl,
             viscount, or baron.  b a noble of any country.  2 a person who
             is equal in ability, standing, rank, or value; a contemporary
             (tried by a jury of his peers).  --v.intr. & tr. (usu. foll. by
             with) rank or cause to rank equally.  Ьpeer group a group of
             people of the same age, status, interests, etc.  peer of the
             realm (or the United Kingdom) any of the class of peers whose
             adult members may all sit in the House of Lords.  ЬЬpeerless
             adj.  [ME f. AF & OF pe(e)r, perer f. LL pariare f. L par equal]

   peerage   n.  1 peers as a class; the nobility.  2 the rank of peer or
             peeress (was given a life peerage).  3 a book containing a list
             of peers with their genealogy etc.

   peeve     v. & n.  colloq.  --v.tr. (usu. as peeved adj.) annoy; vex;
             irritate.  --n.  1 a cause of annoyance.  2 vexation.
             [back-form. f.  PEEVISH]

   peevish   adj.  querulous; irritable.  ЬЬpeevishly adv.  peevishness n.
             [ME, = foolish, mad, spiteful, etc., of unkn. orig.]

   peewit    n.  (also pewit) 1 a lapwing.  2 its cry.  [imit.]

   peg       n. & v.  --n.  1 a a usu. cylindrical pin or bolt of wood or
             metal, often tapered at one end, and used for holding esp. two
             things together.  b such a peg attached to a wall etc. and used
             for hanging garments etc. on.  c a peg driven into the ground
             and attached to a rope for holding up a tent.  d a bung for
             stoppering a cask etc.  e each of several pegs used to tighten
             or loosen the strings of a violin etc.  f a small peg,
             matchstick, etc. stuck into holes in a board for calculating the
             scores at cribbage.  2 Brit. = clothes-peg.  3 Brit. a measure
             of spirits or wine.  --v.tr.  (pegged, pegging) 1 (usu. foll. by
             down, in, out, etc.) fix (a thing) with a peg.  2 Econ.  a
             stabilize (prices, wages, exchange rates, etc.).  b prevent the
             price of (stock etc.) from falling or rising by freely buying or
             selling at a given price.  3 mark (the score) with pegs on a
             cribbage-board.  Ьoff the peg (of clothes) ready-made.  peg away
             (often foll. by at) work consistently and esp. for a long
             period.  peg down restrict (a person etc.) to rules, a
             commitment, etc.  peg-leg 1 an artificial leg.  2 a person with
             an artificial leg.  peg on = peg away.  peg out 1 sl. die.  2
             score the winning point at cribbage.  3 Croquet hit the peg with
             the ball as the final stroke in a game.  4 mark the boundaries
             of (land etc.).  a peg to hang an idea etc. on a suitable
             occasion or pretext etc. for it.  a round (or square) peg in a
             square (or round) hole a misfit.  take a person down a peg or
             two humble a person.  [ME, prob. of LG or Du. orig.: cf. MDu.
             pegge, Du. dial.  peg, LG pigge]

   pegboard  n.  a board having a regular pattern of small holes for pegs,
             used for commercial displays, games, etc.

   pegmatite n.  a coarsely crystalline type of granite.  [Gk pegma -atos
             thing joined together f.  pegnumi fasten]

   pegtop    n.  a pear-shaped spinning-top with a metal pin or peg forming
             the point, spun by the rapid uncoiling of a string wound round

   Pehlevi   var. of PAHLAVI.

   PEI       abbr.  Prince Edward Island.

   peignoir  n.  a woman's loose dressing-gown.  [F f.  peigner to comb]

             adj. & n.  --adj. (of a word, an expression, etc.) depreciatory.
             --n. a depreciatory word.  ЬЬpejoratively adv.  [F p‚joratif
             -ive f. LL pejorare make worse (pejor)]

   pekan     n.  a N. American flesh-eating mammal, Martes pennanti, valued
             for its fur.  [Can.F f. Abnaki p‚kan‚]

   peke      n.  colloq.  a Pekingese dog.  [abbr.]

   Pekingese n. & adj.  (also Pekinese) --n.  (pl. same) 1 a a lap-dog of a
             short-legged breed with long hair and a snub nose.  b this
             breed.  2 a citizen of Peking (Beijing) in China.  3 the form of
             the Chinese language used in Beijing.  --adj. of or concerning
             Beijing or its language or citizens.

   pekoe     n.  a superior kind of black tea.  [Chin. dial.  pek- ho f.  pek
             white + ho down, leaves being picked young with down on them]

   pelage    n.  the fur, hair, wool, etc. of a mammal.  [F f.  poil hair]

   Pelagian  adj. & n.  --adj. of or concerning the monk Pelagius (4th-5th
             c.) or his theory denying the doctrine of original sin.  --n. a
             follower of Pelagius.  ЬЬPelagianism n.  [eccl.L Pelagianus f.

   pelagian  adj. & n.  --adj. inhabiting the open sea.  --n. an inhabitant
             of the open sea.  [L pelagius f. Gk pelagios of the sea

   pelagic   adj.  1 of or performed on the open sea (pelagic whaling).  2
             (of marine life) belonging to the upper layers of the open sea.
             [L pelagicus f. Gk pelagikos (as PELAGIAN)]

             n.  any plant of the genus Pelargonium, with red, pink, or white
             flowers and fragrant leaves. Also called GERANIUM.  [mod.L f. Gk
             pelargos stork: cf.  GERANIUM]

   pele      var. of PEEL(3).

   pelf      n.  derog. or joc.  money; wealth.  [ME f. ONF f. OF pelfre,
             peufre spoils, of unkn. orig.: cf.  PILFER]

   pelham    n.  a horse's bit combining a curb and a snaffle.  [the surname

   pelican   n.  any large gregarious waterfowl of the family Pelecanidae
             with a large bill and a pouch in the throat for storing fish.
             Ьpelican crossing (in the UK) a pedestrian crossing with traffic
             lights operated by pedestrians.  [OE pellican & OF pelican f. LL
             pelicanus f. Gk pelekan prob. f.  pelekus axe, with ref. to its

   pelisse   n.  hist.  1 a woman's cloak with armholes or sleeves, reaching
             to the ankles.  2 a fur-lined cloak, esp. as part of a hussar's
             uniform.  [F f. med.L pellicia (vestis) (garment) of fur f.
             pellis skin]

   pelite    n.  a rock composed of claylike sediment.  [Gk pelos clay, mud]

   pellagra  n.  a disease caused by deficiency of nicotinic acid,
             characterized by cracking of the skin and often resulting in
             insanity.  ЬЬpellagrous adj.  [It. f.  pelle skin, after

   pellet    n. & v.  --n.  1 a small compressed ball of paper, bread, etc.
             2 a pill.  3 a a small mass of bones, feathers, etc.
             regurgitated by a bird of prey.  b a small hard piece of animal,
             usu. rodent, excreta.  4 a a piece of small shot.  b an
             imitation bullet for a toy gun.  --v.tr.  (pelleted, pelleting)
             1 make into a pellet or pellets.  2 hit with (esp. paper)
             pellets.  ЬЬpelletize v.tr.  (also -ise).  [ME f. OF pelote f. L
             pila ball]

   pellicle  n.  a thin skin, membrane, or film.  ЬЬpellicular adj.  [F
             pellicule f. L pellicula, dimin. of pellis skin]

   pellitory n.  any of several wild plants, esp.: 1 (in full pellitory of
             Spain) a composite plant, Anacyclus pyrethrum, with a
             pungent-flavoured root, used as a local irritant etc.  2 (in
             full pellitory of the wall) a low bushy plant, Parietaria
             judaica, with greenish flowers growing on or at the foot of
             walls.  [(sense 1) alt. f. ME f. OF peletre, peretre f. L
             pyrethrum f. Gk purethron feverfew: (sense 2) ult. f. OF
             paritaire f. LL parietaria f. L paries -etis wall]

   pell-mell adv., adj., & n.  --adv.  1 headlong, recklessly (rushed
             pell-mell out of the room).  2 in disorder or confusion (stuffed
             the papers together pell-mell).  --adj. confused, tumultous.
             --n. confusion; a mixture.  [F p€le-m€le, OF pesle mesle, mesle
             pesle, etc., redupl. of mesle f.  mesler mix]

   pellucid  adj.  1 (of water, light, etc.) transparent, clear.  2 (of
             style, speech, etc.) not confused; clear.  3 mentally clear.
             ЬЬpellucidity n.  pellucidly adv.  [L pellucidus f.  perlucere
             (as PER-, lucere shine)]

   Pelmanism n.  1 a system of memory-training orig. devised by the Pelman
             Institute.  2 a card-game based on this.  ЬЬPelmanize v.tr.
             (also -ise).

   pelmet    n.  a narrow border of cloth, wood, etc. above esp. a window,
             concealing the curtain rail.  [prob. f. F PALMETTE]

   pelorus   n.  a sighting device like a ship's compass for taking bearings.
             [perh. f.  Pelorus, reputed name of Hannibal's pilot]

   pelota    n.  a Basque or Spanish game played in a walled court with a
             ball and basket-like rackets attached to the hand.  [Sp., =
             ball, augment. of pella f. L pila]

   pelt(1)   v. & n.  --v.  1 tr. (usu. foll. by with) a hurl many small
             missiles at.  b strike repeatedly with missiles.  c assail (a
             person etc.) with insults, abuse, etc.  2 intr. (usu. foll. by
             down) (of rain etc.) fall quickly and torrentially.  3 intr. run
             fast.  4 intr. (often foll. by at) fire repeatedly.  --n. the
             act or an instance of pelting.  Ьat full pelt as fast as
             possible.  [16th c.: orig. unkn.]

   pelt(2)   n.  1 the undressed skin of a fur-bearing mammal.  2 the skin of
             a sheep, goat, etc. with short wool, or stripped ready for
             tanning.  3 joc. the human skin.  ЬЬpeltry n.  [ME f. obs.
             pellet skin, dimin. of pel f. AF pell, OF pel, or back-form. f.
             peltry, AF pelterie, OF peleterie f.  peletier furrier, ult. f.
             L pellis skin]

   pelta     n.  (pl.  peltae) 1 a small light shield used by the ancient
             Greeks, Romans, etc.  2 Bot. a shieldlike structure.  ЬЬpeltate
             adj.  [L f. Gk pelte]

   pelvic    adj.  of or relating to the pelvis.  Ьpelvic girdle the bony or
             cartilaginous structure in vertebrates to which the posterior
             limbs are attached.

   pelvis    n.  (pl.  pelvises or pelves) 1 a basin-shaped cavity at the
             lower end of the torso of most vertebrates, formed from the
             innominate bone with the sacrum and other vertebrae.  2 the
             basin-like cavity of the kidney.  [L, = basin]

   Pembs.    abbr.  Pembrokeshire (a former county in Wales).

   pemmican  n.  1 a cake of dried pounded meat mixed with melted fat, orig.
             made by N. American Indians.  2 beef so treated and flavoured
             with currants etc. for use by Arctic travellers etc.  [Cree
             pimecan f.  pime fat]

   pemphigus n.  Med.  the formation of watery blisters or eruptions on the
             skin.  ЬЬpemphigoid adj.  pemphigous adj.  [mod.L f. Gk pemphix
             -igos bubble]

   PEN       abbr.  International Association of Poets, Playwrights, Editors,
             Essayists, and Novelists.

   Pen.      abbr.  Peninsula.

   pen(1)    n. & v.  --n.  1 an instrument for writing or drawing with ink,
             orig. consisting of a shaft with a sharpened quill or metal nib,
             now more widely applied.  2 a (usu. prec. by the) the occupation
             of writing.  b a style of writing.  3 Zool. the internal
             feather-shaped cartilaginous shell of certain cuttlefish, esp.
             squid.  --v.tr.  (penned, penning) 1 write.  2 compose and
             write.  Ьpen and ink n.  1 the instruments of writing.  2
             writing.  pen-and-ink adj.  drawn or written with ink.
             pen-feather a quill-feather of a bird's wing.  pen-friend a
             friend communicated with by letter only.  pen-light a small
             electric torch shaped like a fountain-pen.  pen-name a literary
             pseudonym.  pen-pal colloq. = pen-friend.  pen-pusher colloq.
             derog.  a clerical worker.  pen-pushing colloq.  derog.
             clerical work.  put pen to paper begin writing.  [ME f. OF penne
             f. L penna feather]

   pen(2)    n. & v.  --n.  1 a small enclosure for cows, sheep, poultry,
             etc.  2 a place of confinement.  3 an enclosure for sheltering
             submarines.  4 a Jamaican farm or plantation.  --v.tr.  (penned,
             penning) (often foll. by in, up) enclose or shut in a pen.  [OE
             penn, of unkn. orig.]

   pen(3)    n.  a female swan.  [16th c.: orig. unkn.]

   pen(4)    n.  US sl.  = PENITENTIARY n.  1.  [abbr.]

   penal     adj.  1 a of or concerning punishment or its infliction (penal
             laws; a penal sentence; a penal colony).  b (of an offence)
             punishable, esp. by law.  2 extremely severe (penal taxation).
             Ьpenal servitude hist.  imprisonment with compulsory labour.
             ЬЬpenally adv.  [ME f. OF penal or L poenalis f.  poena PAIN]

   penalize  v.tr.  (also -ise) 1 subject (a person) to a penalty or
             comparative disadvantage.  2 make or declare (an action) penal.
             ЬЬpenalization n.

   penalty   n.  (pl.  -ies) 1 a a punishment, esp. a fine, for a breach of
             law, contract, etc.  b a fine paid.  2 a disadvantage, loss,
             etc., esp. as a result of one's own actions (paid the penalty
             for his carelessness).  3 a a disadvantage imposed on a
             competitor or side in a game etc. for a breach of the rules etc.
             b (attrib.) awarded against a side incurring a penalty (penalty
             kick; penalty goal).  4 Bridge etc. points gained by opponents
             when a contract is not fulfilled.  Ьpenalty area Football the
             ground in front of the goal in which a foul by defenders
             involves the award of a penalty kick.  penalty box Ice Hockey an
             area reserved for penalized players and some officials.  the
             penalty of a disadvantage resulting from (a quality etc.).
             penalty rate Austral.  an increased rate of pay for overtime.
             under (or on) penalty of under the threat of (dismissal etc.).
             [AF penalte (unrecorded), F p‚nalit‚ f. med.L penalitas (as

   penance   n. & v.  --n.  1 an act of self-punishment as reparation for
             guilt.  2 a (in the RC and Orthodox Church) a sacrament
             including confession of and absolution for a sin.  b a penalty
             imposed esp. by a priest, or undertaken voluntarily, for a sin.
             --v.tr. impose a penance on.  Ьdo penance perform a penance.
             [ME f. OF f. L paenitentia (as PENITENT)]

             adj.  almost ringlike.  [L paene almost + ANNULAR]

   penates   n.pl.  (in Roman mythology) the household gods, esp. of the
             storeroom (see LARES).  [L f.  penus provision of food]

   pence     pl. of PENNY.

   penchant  n.  an inclination or liking (has a penchant for old films).
             [F, pres. part. of pencher incline]

   pencil    n. & v.  --n.  1 (often attrib.) a an instrument for writing or
             drawing, usu. consisting of a thin rod of graphite etc. enclosed
             in a wooden cylinder (a pencil sketch).  b a similar instrument
             with a metal or plastic cover and retractable lead.  c a
             cosmetic in pencil form.  2 (attrib.) resembling a pencil in
             shape (pencil skirt).  3 Optics a set of rays meeting at a
             point.  4 Geom. a figure formed by a set of straight lines
             meeting at a point.  5 a draughtsman's art or style.  --v.tr.
             (pencilled, pencilling; US penciled, penciling) 1 tint or mark
             with or as if with a pencil.  2 (usu. foll. by in) a write, esp.
             tentatively or provisionally (have pencilled in the 29th for our
             meeting).  b (esp. as pencilled adj.) fill (an area) with soft
             pencil strokes (pencilled in her eyebrows).  Ьpencil-case a
             container for pencils etc.  pencil-sharpener a device for
             sharpening a pencil by rotating it against a cutting edge.
             ЬЬpenciller n.  [ME f. OF pincel ult. f. L penicillum
             paintbrush, dimin. of peniculus brush, dimin. of penis tail]

   pendant   n.  (also pendent) 1 a hanging jewel etc., esp. one attached to
             a necklace, bracelet, etc.  2 a light fitting, ornament, etc.,
             hanging from a ceiling.  3 Naut.  a a short rope hanging from
             the head of a mast etc., used for attaching tackles.  b =
             PENNANT 1.  4 the shank and ring of a pocket-watch by which it
             is suspended.  5 (usu. foll. by to) a match, companion,
             parallel, complement, etc.  [ME f. OF f.  pendre hang f. L

   pendent   adj.  (also pendant) 1 a hanging.  b overhanging.  2 undecided;
             pending.  3 Gram. (esp. of a sentence) incomplete; not having a
             finite verb (pendent nominative).  ЬЬpendency n.  [ME (as

   pendente lite
             adv.  Law during the progress of a suit.  [L]

             n.  Archit.  a curved triangle of vaulting formed by the
             intersection of a dome with its supporting arches.  [F pendentif
             -ive (adj.) (as PENDANT)]

   pending   adj. & prep.  --predic.adj.  1 awaiting decision or settlement,
             undecided (a settlement was pending).  2 about to come into
             existence (patent pending).  --prep.  1 during (pending these
             negotiations).  2 until (pending his return).  Ьpending-tray a
             tray for documents, letters, etc., awaiting attention.  [after F
             pendant (see PENDENT)]

   pendragon n.  hist.  an ancient British or Welsh prince (often as a
             title).  [Welsh, = chief war-leader, f.  pen head + dragon

   penduline adj.  1 (of a nest) suspended.  2 (of a bird) of a kind that
             builds such a nest.  [F (as PENDULOUS)]

   pendulous adj.  1 (of ears, breasts, flowers, bird's nests, etc.) hanging
             down; drooping and esp. swinging.  2 oscillating.  ЬЬpendulously
             adv.  [L pendulus f.  pendere hang]

   pendulum  n.  a weight suspended so as to swing freely, esp. a rod with a
             weighted end regulating the movement of a clock's works.  Ьswing
             of the pendulum the tendency of public opinion to oscillate
             between extremes, esp. between political parties.  [L neut. adj.
             (as PENDULOUS)]

   peneplain n.  Geol.  a fairly flat area of land produced by erosion.  [L
             paene almost + PLAIN(1)]

             n.pl.  1 innermost shrines or recesses.  2 secret or hidden
             parts; mysteries.  [L, neut. pl. of penetralis interior (as

   penetrate v.  1 tr.  a find access into or through, esp. forcibly.  b
             (usu. foll. by with) imbue (a person or thing) with; permeate.
             2 tr. see into, find out, or discern (a person's mind, the
             truth, a meaning, etc.).  3 tr. see through (darkness, fog,
             etc.) (could not penetrate the gloom).  4 intr. be absorbed by
             the mind (my hint did not penetrate).  5 tr. (as penetrating
             adj.) a having or suggesting sensitivity or insight (a
             penetrating remark).  b (of a voice etc.) easily heard through
             or above other sounds; piercing.  6 tr. (of a man) put the penis
             into the vagina of (a woman).  7 intr. (usu. foll. by into,
             through, to) make a way.  ЬЬpenetrable adj.  penetrability n.
             penetrant adj. & n.  penetratingly adv.  penetration n.
             penetrative adj.  penetrator n.  [L penetrare place or enter
             within f.  penitus interior]

   penguin   n.  any flightless sea bird of the family Spheniscidae of the
             southern hemisphere, with black upper-parts and white
             under-parts, and wings developed into scaly flippers for
             swimming underwater.  [16th c., orig. = great auk: orig. unkn.]

   penholder n.  the esp. wooden shaft of a pen with a metal nib.

             adj.  Biol.  1 having or forming a small tuft or tufts.  2
             marked with streaks as of a pencil or brush.  [L penicillum: see

             n.  any of various antibiotics produced naturally by moulds of
             the genus Penicillium, or synthetically, and able to prevent the
             growth of certain disease-causing bacteria.  [mod.L Penicillium
             genus name f. L penicillum: see PENCIL]

   penile    adj.  of or concerning the penis.  [mod.L penilis]

   penillion pl. of PENNILL.

   peninsula n.  a piece of land almost surrounded by water or projecting far
             into a sea or lake etc.  ЬЬpeninsular adj.  [L paeninsula f.
             paene almost + insula island]

   penis     n.  (pl.  penises or penes) 1 the male organ of copulation and
             (in mammals) urination.  2 the male copulatory organ in lower
             vertebrates.  [L, = tail, penis]

   penitent  adj. & n.  --adj. regretting and wishing to atone for sins etc.;
             repentant.  --n.  1 a repentant sinner.  2 a person doing
             penance under the direction of a confessor.  3 (in pl.) various
             RC orders associated for mutual discipline etc.  ЬЬpenitence n.
             penitently adv.  [ME f. OF f. L paenitens f.  paenitere repent]

             adj.  of or concerning penitence or penance.  Ьpenitential
             psalms seven psalms (6, 32, 38, 51, 102, 130, 143) expressing
             penitence.  ЬЬpenitentially adv.  [OF penitencial f. LL
             paenitentialis f.  paenitentia penitence (as PENITENT)]

             n. & adj.  --n.  (pl.  -ies) 1 US a reformatory prison.  2 an
             office in the papal court deciding questions of penance,
             dispensations, etc.  --adj.  1 of or concerning penance.  2 of
             or concerning reformatory treatment.  3 US (of an offence)
             making a culprit liable to a prison sentence.  ЬGrand
             Penitentiary a cardinal presiding over the penitentiary.  [ME f.
             med.L paenitentiarius (adj. & n.) (as PENITENT)]

   penknife  n.  a small folding knife, esp. for carrying in a pocket.

   penman    n.  (pl.  -men) 1 a person who writes by hand with a specified
             skill (a good penman).  2 an author.  ЬЬpenmanship n.

   Penn.     abbr.  (also Penna.) Pennsylvania.

   pennant   n.  1 Naut. a tapering flag, esp. that flown at the masthead of
             a vessel in commission.  2 = PENDANT 3a.  3 = PENNON.  4 US a
             flag denoting a sports championship etc.  [blend of PENDANT and

   penniless adj.  having no money; destitute.  ЬЬpennilessly adv.
             pennilessness n.

   pennill   n.  (pl.  penillion) (usu. in pl.) an improvised stanza sung to
             a harp accompaniment at an eisteddfod etc.  [Welsh f.  penn

   pennon    n.  1 a long narrow flag, triangular or swallow-tailed, esp. as
             the military ensign of lancer regiments.  2 Naut. a long pointed
             streamer on a ship.  3 a flag.  ЬЬpennoned adj.  [ME f. OF f. L
             penna feather]

   penn'orth var. of PENNYWORTH.

   Pennsylvania Dutch
             n.  1 a dialect of High German spoken by descendants of
             17th-18th-c.  German and Swiss immigrants to Pennsylvania etc.
             2 (as pl.) these settlers or their descendants.

             n. & adj.  --n.  1 a native or inhabitant of Pennsylvania, a
             State of the US.  2 (prec. by the) esp.  US Geol. the upper
             Carboniferous period or system.  --adj.  1 of or relating to
             Pennsylvania.  2 esp.  US Geol. of or relating to the upper
             Carboniferous period or system.

   penny     n.  (pl.  for separate coins -ies, for a sum of money pence) 1 a
             British coin and monetary unit equal to one-hundredth of a
             pound.  °Abbr.: p.  2 hist. a former British bronze coin and
             monetary unit equal to one-two-hundred-and-fortieth of a pound.
             °Abbr.: d.  3 US colloq. a one-cent coin.  4 Bibl. a denarius.
             Ьin for a penny, in for a pound an exhortation to total
             commitment to an undertaking.  like a bad penny continually
             returning when unwanted.  pennies from heaven unexpected
             benefits.  penny black the first adhesive postage stamp (1840,
             value one penny).  penny cress Bot.  a plant, Thlaspi arvense,
             with flat round pods.  penny dreadful Brit.  a cheap sensational
             comic or story-book.  the penny drops colloq.  one begins to
             understand at last.  penny farthing Brit.  an early type of
             bicycle with one large and one small wheel.  a penny for your
             thoughts a request to a thoughtful person to confide in the
             speaker.  penny-in-the-slot (of a machine) activated by a coin
             pushed into a slot.  penny-pincher a niggardly person.
             penny-pinching n.  meanness.  --adj. mean.  penny post Brit.
             hist.  the system of carrying letters etc. at a standard charge
             of 1d.  regardless of distance.  penny whistle a tin pipe with
             six holes giving different notes.  penny wise too careful in
             saving small amounts.  penny wise and pound foolish mean in
             small expenditures but wasteful of large amounts.  a pretty
             penny a large sum of money.  two a penny almost worthless though
             easily obtained.  [OE penig, penning f. Gmc, perh. rel. to

   -penny    comb. form Brit.  forming attributive adjectives meaning
             'costing ... pence' (esp. in pre-decimal currency) (fivepenny).

             n.  1 a creeping mint, Mentha pulegium, cultivated for its
             supposed medicinal properties.  2 US an aromatic plant, Hedeoma
             pulegioides.  [app. f. earlier puliol(e) ryall f. AF puliol, OF
             pouliol ult. f. L pulegium + real ROYAL]

             n.  a unit of weight, 24 grains or one-twentieth of an ounce

   pennywort n.  any of several wild plants with rounded leaves, esp.: 1
             (wall pennywort) Umbilicus rupestris, growing in crevices.  2
             (marsh or water pennywort) Hydrocotyle vulgaris, growing in
             marshy places.  [ME, f.  PENNY + WORT]

             n.  (also penn'orth) 1 as much as can be bought for a penny.  2
             a bargain of a specified kind (a bad pennyworth).  Ьnot a
             pennyworth not the least bit.

   penology  n.  the study of the punishment of crime and of prison
             management.  ЬЬpenological adj.  penologist n.  [L poena penalty
             + -LOGY]

   pens‚e    n.  a thought or reflection put into literary form; an aphorism.

   pensile   adj.  1 hanging down; pendulous.  2 (of a bird etc.) building a
             pensile nest.  [L pensilis f.  pendere pens- hang]

             n. & v.  --n.  1 a a regular payment made by a government to
             people above a specified age, to widows, or to the disabled.  b
             similar payments made by an employer etc. on the retirement of
             an employee.  2 a a pension paid to a scientist, artist, etc.
             for services to the state, or to fund work.  b any pension paid
             esp. by a government on charitable grounds.  --v.tr.  1 grant a
             pension to.  2 bribe with a pension.  Ьpension off 1 dismiss
             with a pension.  2 cease to employ or use.  ЬЬpensionless adj.
             [ME f. OF f. L pensio -onis payment f.  pendere pens- pay]

             n.  a European, esp. French, boarding-house providing full or
             half board at a fixed rate.  Ь en pension as a boarder.  [F: see

             adj.  1 entitled to a pension.  2 (of a service, job, etc.)
             entitling an employee to a pension.  ЬЬpensionability n.

             adj. & n.  --adj. of or concerning a pension.  --n.  (pl.  -ies)
             1 a pensioner.  2 a creature; a hireling.  ЬGrand Pensionary
             hist.  the first minister of Holland and Zealand (1619-1794).
             [med.L pensionarius (as PENSION(1))]

   pensioner n.  a recipient of a pension, esp. the retirement pension.  [ME
             f. AF pensionner, OF pensionnier (as PENSION(1))]

   pensive   adj.  1 deep in thought.  2 sorrowfully thoughtful.  ЬЬpensively
             adv.  pensiveness n.  [ME f. OF pensif, -ive f.  penser think f.
             L pensare frequent. of pendere pens- weigh]

   penstemon var. of PENTSTEMON.

   penstock  n.  1 a sluice; a floodgate.  2 US a channel for conveying water
             to a water-wheel.  [PEN(2) in sense 'mill-dam' + STOCK]

   pent      adj.  (often foll. by in, up) closely confined; shut in (pent up
             feelings).  [past part. of pend var. of PEN(2) v.]

   penta-    comb. form 1 five.  2 Chem. (forming the names of compounds)
             containing five atoms or groups of a specified kind
             (pentachloride; pentoxide).  [Gk f.  pente five]

             n.  1 a musical instrument with five strings.  2 a series of
             five musical notes.

   pentacle  n.  a figure used as a symbol, esp. in magic, e.g. a pentagram.
             [med.L pentaculum (as PENTA-)]

   pentad    n.  1 the number five.  2 a group of five.  [Gk pentas -ados f.
             pente five]

             adj.  Zool.  having five toes or fingers.

   pentagon  n.  1 a plane figure with five sides and angles.  2 (the
             Pentagon) a the pentagonal Washington headquarters of the US
             defence forces.  b the leaders of the US defence forces.
             ЬЬpentagonal adj.  [F pentagone or f. LL pentagonus f. Gk
             pentagonon (as PENTA-, -GON)]

   pentagram n.  a five-pointed star formed by extending the sides of a
             pentagon both ways until they intersect, formerly used as a
             mystic symbol.  [Gk pentagrammon (as PENTA-, -GRAM)]

             adj.  Bot.  having five pistils.

             n.  a solid figure with five faces.  ЬЬpentahedral adj.

             adj.  1 Bot. having five parts in a flower-whorl.  2 Zool.
             having five joints or parts.

             n.  1 a verse of five feet, e.g. English iambic verse of ten
             syllables.  2 a form of Gk or Latin dactylic verse composed of
             two halves each of two feet and a long syllable, used in elegiac
             verse.  [L f. Gk pentametros (as PENTA-, -METER)]

             adj.  Bot.  having five stamens.

   pentane   n.  Chem.  a hydrocarbon of the alkane series.  °Chem. formula:
             C[5]H[12].  [Gk pente five + ALKANE]

   pentangle n.  = PENTAGRAM.  [ME perh. f. med.L pentaculum PENTACLE, assim.
             to L angulus ANGLE]

   pentanoic acid
             n.  Chem.  a colourless liquid carboxylic acid used in making
             perfumes.  [PENTANE]

             n.  a five-sided prism with two silvered surfaces used in a
             viewfinder to obtain a constant deviation of all rays of light
             through 90ш.

             n.  the first five books of the Old Testament, traditionally
             ascribed to Moses.  ЬЬpentateuchal adj.  [eccl.L pentateuchus f.
             eccl.Gk pentateukhos (as PENTA-, teukhos implement, book)]

             n.  an athletic event comprising five different events for each
             competitor.  ЬЬpentathlete n.  [Gk f.  pente five + athlon

             adj.  Mus.  1 consisting of five notes.  2 relating to such a

             adj.  Chem.  having a valency of five; quinquevalent.

   Pentecost n.  1 a Whit Sunday.  b a festival celebrating the descent of
             the Holy Spirit on Whit Sunday.  2 a the Jewish harvest
             festival, on the fiftieth day after the second day of Passover
             (Lev. 23:15-16).  b a synagogue ceremony on the anniversary of
             the giving of the Law on Mount Sinai.  [OE pentecosten & OF
             pentecoste, f. eccl.L pentecoste f. Gk pentekoste (hemera)
             fiftieth (day)]

             adj. & n.  --adj. (also pentecostal) 1 of or relating to
             Pentecost.  2 of or designating Christian sects and individuals
             who emphasize the gifts of the Holy Spirit, are often
             fundamentalist in outlook, and express religious feelings by
             clapping, shouting, dancing, etc.  --n. a Pentecostalist.
             ЬЬPentecostalism n.  Pentecostalist adj. & n.

   penthouse n.  1 a house or flat on the roof or the top floor of a tall
             building.  2 a sloping roof, esp. of an outhouse built on to
             another building.  3 an awning, a canopy.  [ME pentis f. OF
             apentis, -dis, f. med.L appendicium, in LL = appendage, f. L (as
             APPEND): infl. by HOUSE]

             n.  (pl.  pentimenti) the phenomenon of earlier painting showing
             through a layer or layers of paint on a canvas.  [It., =

             n.  (US pentobarbital) a narcotic and sedative barbiturate drug
             formerly used to relieve insomnia.  [PENTA-, BARBITONE,

   pentode   n.  a thermionic valve having five electrodes.  [Gk pente five +
             hodos way]

   pentose   n.  Biochem.  any monosaccharide containing five carbon atoms,
             including ribose.  [PENTA- + -OSE(2)]

   pent-roof n.  a roof sloping in one direction only.  [PENTHOUSE + ROOF]

             n.  (also penstemon) any American herbaceous plant of the genus
             Penstemon, with showy flowers and five stamens, one of which is
             sterile.  [mod.L, irreg. f.  PENTA- + Gk stemon warp, used for

   pentyl    n.  = AMYL.  [PENTANE + -YL]

   penult    n. & adj.  --n. the last but one (esp. syllable).  --adj. last
             but one.  [abbr. of L paenultimus (see PENULTIMATE) or of

             adj. & n.  --adj. last but one.  --n.  1 the last but one.  2
             the last syllable but one.  [L paenultimus f.  paene almost +
             ultimus last, after ultimate]

   penumbra  n.  (pl.  penumbrae or penumbras) 1 a the partly shaded region
             around the shadow of an opaque body, esp. that around the total
             shadow of the moon or earth in an eclipse.  b the less dark
             outer part of a sunspot.  2 a partial shadow.  ЬЬpenumbral adj.
             [mod.L f. L paene almost + UMBRA shadow]

   penurious adj.  1 poor; destitute.  2 stingy; grudging.  3 scanty.
             ЬЬpenuriously adv.  penuriousness n.  [med.L penuriosus (as

   penury    n.  (pl.  -ies) 1 destitution; poverty.  2 a lack; scarcity.
             [ME f. L penuria, perh. rel. to paene almost]

   peon      n.  1 a a Spanish American day labourer or farm-worker.  b a
             poor or destitute South American.  2 an Indian office messenger,
             attendant, or orderly.  3 a bullfighter's assistant.  4 hist. a
             worker held in servitude in the southern US.  ЬЬpeonage n.
             [Port.  peao & Sp.  peon f. med.L pedo -onis walker f. L pes
             pedis foot: cf.  PAWN(1)]

   peony     n.  (also paeony) (pl.  -ies) any herbaceous plant of the genus
             Paeonia, with large globular red, pink, or white flowers, often
             double in cultivated varieties.  [OE peonie f. L peonia f. Gk
             paionia f.  Paion, physician of the gods]

   people    n. & v.  --n.  1 (usu. as pl.) a persons composing a community,
             tribe, race, nation, etc.  (the English people; a warlike
             people; the peoples of the Commonwealth).  b a group of persons
             of a usu. specified kind (the chosen people; these people here;
             right-thinking people).  2 (prec. by the; treated as pl.) a the
             mass of people in a country etc. not having special rank or
             position.  b these considered as an electorate (the people will
             reject it).  3 parents or other relatives (my people are
             French).  4 a subjects, armed followers, a retinue, etc.  b a
             congregation of a parish priest etc.  5 persons in general
             (people do not like rudeness).  --v.tr. (usu. foll. by with) 1
             fill with people, animals, etc.; populate.  2 (esp. as peopled
             adj.) inhabit; occupy; fill (thickly peopled).  Ьpeople's
             democracy a political system, esp. in E. Europe, with power
             regarded as invested in the people.  [ME f. AF poeple, people,
             OF pople, peuple, f. L populus]

   PEP       abbr.  Brit.  1 Political and Economic Planning.  2 Personal
             Equity Plan.

   pep       n. & v.  colloq.  --n. vigour; go; spirit.  --v.tr.  (pepped,
             pepping) (usu. foll. by up) fill with vigour.  Ьpep pill a pill
             containing a stimulant drug.  pep talk a usu. short talk
             intended to enthuse, encourage, etc.  [abbr. of PEPPER]

   peperino  n.  a light porous (esp. brown) volcanic rock formed of small
             grains of sand, cinders, etc.  [It. f.  pepere pepper]

   peperoni  var. of PEPPERONI.

   peplum    n.  1 a short flounce etc. at waist level, esp. of a blouse or
             jacket over a skirt.  2 Gk Antiq. a woman's outer garment.  [L
             f. Gk peplos]

   pepo      n.  (pl.  -os) any fleshy fruit of the melon or cucumber type,
             with numerous seeds and surrounded by a hard skin.  [L, =
             pumpkin, f. Gk pepon abbr. of pepon sikuos ripe gourd]

   pepper    n. & v.  --n.  1 a a hot aromatic condiment from the dried
             berries of certain plants used whole or ground.  b any climbing
             vine of the genus Piper, esp.  P.  nigrum, yielding these
             berries.  2 anything hot or pungent.  3 a any plant of the genus
             Capsicum, esp.  C. annuum.  b the fruit of this used esp. as a
             vegetable or salad ingredient.  4 = CAYENNE.  --v.tr.  1
             sprinkle or treat with or as if with pepper.  2 a pelt with
             missiles.  b hurl abuse etc. at.  3 punish severely.  Ьblack
             pepper the unripe ground or whole berries of Piper nigrum as a
             condiment.  green pepper the unripe fruit of Capsicum annuum.
             pepper-mill a device for grinding pepper by hand.  pepper-pot 1
             a small container with a perforated lid for sprinkling pepper.
             2 a W. Indian dish of meat etc. stewed with cayenne pepper.  3
             colloq. a Jamaican.  red (or yellow) pepper the ripe fruit of
             Capsicum annuum.  sweet pepper a pepper with a relatively mild
             taste.  white pepper the ripe or husked ground or whole berries
             of Piper nigrum as a condiment.  [OE piper, pipor f. L piper f.
             Gk peperi f. Skr.  pippali- berry, peppercorn]

   pepperbox n.  = pepper-pot.

             n.  1 the dried berry of Piper nigrum as a condiment.  2 (in
             full peppercorn rent) a nominal rent.

             n.  1 a a mint plant, Mentha piperita, grown for the
             strong-flavoured oil obtained from its leaves.  b the oil from
             this.  2 a sweet flavoured with peppermint.  3 Austral. any of
             various eucalyptuses yielding oil with a similar flavour.
             ЬЬpepperminty adj.

   pepperoni n.  (also peperoni) beef and pork sausage seasoned with pepper.
             [It.  peperone chilli]

             n.  any cruciferous plant of the genus Lepidium, esp. garden

   peppery   adj.  1 of, like, or containing much, pepper.  2 hot-tempered.
             3 pungent; stinging.  ЬЬpepperiness n.

   peppy     adj.  (peppier, peppiest) colloq.  vigorous, energetic, bouncy.
             ЬЬpeppily adv.  peppiness n.

   pepsin    n.  an enzyme contained in the gastric juice, which hydrolyses
             proteins.  [G f. Gk pepsis digestion]

   peptic    adj.  concerning or promoting digestion.  Ьpeptic glands glands
             secreting gastric juice.  peptic ulcer an ulcer in the stomach
             or duodenum.  [Gk peptikos able to digest (as PEPTONE)]

   peptide   n.  Biochem.  any of a group of organic compounds consisting of
             two or more amino acids bonded in sequence.  [G Peptid,
             back-form. (as POLYPEPTIDE)]

   peptone   n.  a protein fragment formed by hydrolysis in the process of
             digestion.  ЬЬpeptonize v.tr.  (also -ise).  [G Pepton f. Gk
             peptos, neut.  pepton cooked]

   per       prep.  1 for each; for every (two sweets per child; five miles
             per hour).  2 by means of; by; through (per post; per rail).  3
             (in full as per) in accordance with (as per instructions).  4
             Heraldry in the direction of.  Ьas per usual colloq.  as usual.

   per-      prefix 1 forming verbs, nouns, and adjectives meaning: a
             through; all over (perforate; perforation; pervade).  b
             completely; very (perfervid; perturb).  c to destruction; to the
             bad (pervert; perdition).  2 Chem. having the maximum of some
             element in combination, esp.: a in the names of binary compounds
             in -ide (peroxide).  b in the names of oxides, acids, etc. in
             -ic (perchloric; permanganic).  c in the names of salts of these
             acids (perchlorate; permanganate).  [L per- (as PER)]

             adv. & n.  archaic or joc.  --adv. perhaps.  --n. uncertainty;
             chance; conjecture; doubt (esp.  beyond or without
             peradventure).  [ME f. OF per or par auenture by chance (as PER,

             v.  1 tr. walk through, over, or about (streets, the country,
             etc.).  2 intr. walk from place to place.  3 tr.  a travel
             through and inspect (territory).  b formally establish the
             boundaries of (a parish etc.) by walking round them.
             ЬЬperambulation n.  perambulatory adj.  [L perambulare
             perambulat- (as PER-, ambulare walk)]

             n.  Brit.  formal = PRAM.  [PERAMBULATE]

   per annum adv.  for each year.  [L]

   percale   n.  a closely woven cotton fabric like calico.  [F, of uncert.

   per capita
             adv. & adj.  (also per caput) for each person.  [L, = by heads]

   perceive  v.tr.  1 apprehend, esp. through the sight; observe.  2 (usu.
             foll. by that, how, etc. + clause) apprehend with the mind;
             understand.  3 regard mentally in a specified manner (perceives
             the universe as infinite).  ЬЬperceivable adj.  perceiver n.
             [ME f. OF per‡oivre, f. L percipere (as PER-, capere take)]

   per cent  adv. & n.  (US percent) --adv. in every hundred.  --n.  1
             percentage.  2 one part in every hundred (half a per cent).  3
             (in pl.) Brit. public securities yielding interest of so much
             per cent (three per cents).

             n.  1 a rate or proportion per cent.  2 a proportion.  3 colloq.
             personal benefit or advantage.

             n.  Statistics one of 99 values of a variable dividing a
             population into 100 equal groups as regards the value of that

   percept   n.  Philos.  1 an object of perception.  2 a mental concept
             resulting from perceiving, esp. by sight.  [L perceptum
             perceived (thing), neut. past part. of percipere PERCEIVE, after

             adj.  capable of being perceived by the senses or intellect.
             ЬЬperceptibility n.  perceptibly adv.  [OF perceptible or LL
             perceptibilis f. L (as PERCEIVE)]

             n.  1 a the faculty of perceiving.  b an instance of this.  2
             (often foll. by of) a the intuitive recognition of a truth,
             aesthetic quality, etc.  b an instance of this (a sudden
             perception of the true position).  3 Philos. the ability of the
             mind to refer sensory information to an external object as its
             cause.  ЬЬperceptional adj.  perceptual adj.  perceptually adv.
             [ME f. L perceptio (as PERCEIVE)]

             adj.  1 capable of perceiving.  2 sensitive; discerning;
             observant (a perceptive remark).  ЬЬperceptively adv.
             perceptiveness n.  perceptivity n.  [med.L perceptivus (as

   perch(1)  n. & v.  --n.  1 a usu. horizontal bar, branch, etc. used by a
             bird to rest on.  2 a usu. high or precarious place for a person
             or thing to rest on.  3 a measure of length, esp. for land, of
             5« yards (see also ROD, POLE).  --v.intr. & tr. (usu. foll. by
             on) settle or rest, or cause to settle or rest on or as if on a
             perch etc. (the bird perched on a branch; a town perched on a
             hill).  Ьknock a person off his perch 1 vanquish, destroy.  2
             make less confident or secure.  square perch 30¬ sq. yards.  [ME
             f. OF perche, percher f. L pertica pole]

   perch(2)  n.  (pl. same or perches) any spiny-finned freshwater edible
             fish of the genus Perca, esp.  P. fluviatilis of Europe.  [ME f.
             OF perche f. L perca f. Gk perke]

   perchance adv.  archaic or poet.  1 by chance.  2 possibly; maybe.  [ME f.
             AF par chance f.  par by, CHANCE]

   percher   n.  any bird with feet adapted for perching; a passerine.

   percheron n.  a powerful breed of cart-horse.  [F, orig. bred in le
             Perche, a district of N. France]

             n.  Chem.  a salt or ester of perchloric acid.

   perchloric acid
             n.  Chem.  a strong liquid acid containing heptavalent chlorine.
             [PER- + CHLORINE]

             adj. & n.  --adj.  1 able to perceive; conscious.  2 discerning;
             observant.  --n. a person who perceives, esp. something outside
             the range of the senses.  ЬЬpercipience n.  percipiently adv.
             [L (as PERCEIVE)]

   percolate v.  1 intr. (often foll. by through) a (of liquid etc.) filter
             or ooze gradually (esp. through a porous surface).  b (of an
             idea etc.) permeate gradually.  2 tr. prepare (coffee) by
             repeatedly passing boiling water through ground beans.  3 tr.
             ooze through; permeate.  4 tr. strain (a liquid, powder, etc.)
             through a fine mesh etc.  ЬЬpercolation n.  [L percolare (as
             PER-, colare strain f.  colum strainer)]

             n.  a machine for making coffee by circulating boiling water
             through ground beans.

   per contra
             adv.  on the opposite side (of an account, assessment, etc.); on
             the contrary.  [It.]

   percuss   v.tr.  Med.  tap (a part of the body) gently with a finger or an
             instrument as part of a diagnosis.  [L percutere percuss- strike
             (as PER-, cutere = quatere shake)]

             n.  1 Mus.  a (often attrib.) the playing of music by striking
             instruments with sticks etc.  (a percussion band).  b the
             section of such instruments in an orchestra (asked the
             percussion to stay behind).  2 Med. the act or an instance of
             percussing.  3 the forcible striking of one esp. solid body
             against another.  Ьpercussion cap a small amount of explosive
             powder contained in metal or paper and exploded by striking,
             used esp. in toy guns and formerly in some firearms.
             ЬЬpercussionist n.  percussive adj.  percussively adv.
             percussiveness n.  [F percussion or L percussio (as PERCUSS)]

             adj.  esp. Med.  made or done through the skin.  [L per cutem
             through the skin]

   per diem  adv., adj. & n.  --adv. & adj. for each day.  --n. an allowance
             or payment for each day.  [L]

   perdition n.  eternal death; damnation.  [ME f. OF perdiciun or eccl.L
             perditio f. L perdere destroy (as PER-, dere dit- = dare give)]

             adj.  formal permanent; eternal; durable.  ЬЬperdurability n.
             perdurably adv.  [ME f. OF f. LL perdurabilis (as PER-,

   pЉre      n.  (added to a surname to distinguish a father from a son) the
             father, senior (cf.  FILS).  [F, = father]

   PЉre David's deer
             n.  a large slender-antlered deer, Elaphurus davidianus.  [after
             Father A.  David, Fr. missionary d. 1900]

             v.intr.  archaic or joc.  travel; journey, esp. extensively or
             at leisure.  ЬЬperegrination n.  peregrinator n.  [L peregrinari
             (as PEREGRINE)]

   peregrine n. & adj.  --n. (in full peregrine falcon) a kind of falcon much
             used for hawking.  --adj.  archaic imported from abroad;
             foreign; outlandish.  [L peregrinus f.  peregre abroad f.  per
             through + ager field]

             adj.  1 (of a statement or command) admitting no denial or
             refusal.  2 (of a person, a person's manner, etc.) dogmatic;
             imperious; dictatorial.  3 Law not open to appeal or challenge;
             final.  4 absolutely fixed; essential.  Ьperemptory challenge
             Law a defendant's objection to a proposed juror, made without
             needing to give a reason.  ЬЬperemptorily adv.  peremptoriness
             n.  [AF peremptorie, OF peremptoire f. L peremptorius deadly,
             decisive, f.  perimere perempt- destroy, cut off (as PER-, emere
             take, buy)]

   perennial adj. & n.  --adj.  1 lasting through a year or several years.  2
             (of a plant) lasting several years (cf.  ANNUAL).  3 lasting a
             long time or for ever.  4 (of a stream) flowing through all
             seasons of the year.  --n. a perennial plant (a herbaceous
             perennial).  ЬЬperenniality n.  perennially adv.  [L perennis
             (as PER-, annus year)]

             n.  (in the Soviet Union) the policy or practice of
             restructuring or reforming the economic and political system.
             [Russ.  perestroika = restructuring]

   perfect   adj., v., & n.  --adj.  1 complete; not deficient.  2 faultless
             (a perfect diamond).  3 very satisfactory (a perfect evening).
             4 exact; precise (a perfect circle).  5 entire; unqualified (a
             perfect stranger).  6 Math. (of a number) equal to the sum of
             its divisors.  7 Gram. (of a tense) denoting a completed action
             or event in the past, formed in English with have or has and the
             past participle, as in they have eaten.  8 Mus. (of pitch)
             absolute.  9 Bot.  a (of a flower) having all four types of
             whorl.  b (of a fungus) in the stage where the sexual spores are
             formed.  10 (often foll. by in) thoroughly trained or skilled
             (is perfect in geometry).  --v.tr.  1 make perfect; improve.  2
             carry through; complete.  3 complete (a sheet) by printing the
             other side.  --n.  Gram. the perfect tense.  Ьperfect binding a
             form of bookbinding in which the leaves are attached to the
             spine by gluing rather than sewing.  perfect interval Mus.  a
             fourth or fifth as it would occur in a major or minor scale
             starting on the lower note of the interval, or octave.  perfect
             pitch = absolute pitch 1.  ЬЬperfecter n.  perfectible adj.
             perfectibility n.  perfectness n.  [ME and OF parfit, perfet f.
             L perfectus past part. of perficere complete (as PER-, facere

   perfecta  n.  US a form of betting in which the first two places in a race
             must be predicted in the correct order .  [Amer. Sp.  quiniela
             perfecta perfect quinella]

             n.  1 the act or process of making perfect.  2 the state of
             being perfect; faultlessness, excellence.  3 a perfect person,
             thing, or example.  4 an accomplishment.  5 full development;
             completion.  Ьto perfection exactly; completely.  [ME f. OF f. L
             perfectio -onis (as PERFECT)]

             n.  1 the uncompromising pursuit of excellence.  2 Philos. the
             belief that religious or moral perfection is attainable.
             ЬЬperfectionist n. & adj.  [PERFECT]

             adj. & n.  Gram.  --adj. (of an aspect of a verb etc.)
             expressing the completion of an action (opp.  IMPERFECTIVE).
             --n. the perfective aspect or form of a verb.  [med.L
             perfectivus (as PERFECT)]

   perfectly adv.  1 completely; absolutely (I understand you perfectly).  2
             quite, completely (is perfectly capable of doing it).  3 in a
             perfect way.

   perfecto  n.  (pl.  -os) orig.  US a large thick cigar pointed at each
             end.  [Sp., = perfect]

   perfervid adj.  literary very fervid.  ЬЬperfervidly adv.  perfervidness
             n.  [mod.L perfervidus (as PER-, FERVID)]

   perfidy   n.  breach of faith; treachery.  ЬЬperfidious adj.  perfidiously
             adv.  [L perfidia f.  perfidus treacherous (as PER-, fidus f.
             fides faith)]

             adj.  (of a plant) having the stalk apparently passing through
             the leaf.  [mod.L perfoliatus (as PER-, FOLIATE)]

   perforate v. & adj.  --v.  1 tr. make a hole or holes through; pierce.  2
             tr. make a row of small holes in (paper etc.) so that a part may
             be torn off easily.  3 tr. make an opening into; pass into or
             extend through.  4 intr. (usu. foll. by into, through, etc.)
             penetrate.  --adj.  perforated.  ЬЬperforation n.  perforative
             adj.  perforator n.  [L perforare (as PER-, forare pierce)]

   perforce  adv.  archaic unavoidably; necessarily.  [ME f. OF par force by

   perform   v.  1 tr. (also absol.) carry into effect; be the agent of; do
             (a command, promise, task, etc.).  2 tr. (also absol.) go
             through, execute (a public function, play, piece of music,
             etc.).  3 intr. act in a play; play music, sing, etc. (likes
             performing).  4 intr. (of a trained animal) execute tricks etc.
             at a public show.  ЬЬperformable adj.  performability n.
             performatory adj. & n.  (pl.  -ies).  performer n.  performing
             adj.  [ME f. AF parfourmer f. OF parfournir (assim. to forme
             FORM) f.  par PER- + fournir FURNISH]

             n.  1 (usu. foll. by of) a the act or process of performing or
             carrying out.  b the execution or fulfilment (of a duty etc.).
             2 a staging or production (of a drama, piece of music, etc.)
             (the afternoon performance).  3 a person's achievement under
             test conditions etc. (put up a good performance).  4 colloq. a
             fuss; a scene; a public exhibition (made such a performance
             about leaving).  5 a the capabilities of a machine, esp. a car
             or aircraft.  b (attrib.) of high capability (a performance

             adj. & n.  --adj.  1 of or relating to performance.  2 denoting
             an utterance that effects an action by being spoken or written
             (e.g.  I bet, I apologize).  --n. a performative utterance.

   performing arts
             n.pl.  the arts, such as drama, music, and dance, that require
             performance for their realization.

   perfume   n. & v.  --n.  1 a sweet smell.  2 fluid containing the essence
             of flowers etc.; scent.  --v.tr.  also (usu. as perfumed adj.)
             impart a sweet scent to; impregnate with a sweet smell.
             ЬЬperfumy adj.  [F parfum, parfumer f. obs. It.  parfumare,
             perfumare (as PER-, fumare smoke, FUME): orig. of smoke from a
             burning substance]

   perfumer  n.  a maker or seller of perfumes.  ЬЬperfumery n.  (pl.  -ies).

             adj.  1 done merely for the sake of getting through a duty.  2
             superficial; mechanical.  ЬЬperfunctorily adv.  perfunctoriness
             n.  [LL perfunctorius careless f. L perfungi perfunct- (as PER-,
             fungi perform)]

   perfuse   v.tr.  1 (often foll. by with) a besprinkle (with water etc.).
             b cover or suffuse (with radiance etc.).  2 pour or diffuse
             (water etc.) through or over.  3 Med. cause a fluid to pass
             through (an organ etc.).  ЬЬperfusion n.  perfusive adj.  [L
             perfundere perfus- (as PER-, fundere pour)]

   pergana   var. of PARGANA.

   pergola   n.  an arbour or covered walk, formed of growing plants trained
             over trellis-work.  [It. f. L pergula projecting roof f.
             pergere proceed]

   pergunnah var. of PARGANA.

   perhaps   adv.  1 it may be; possibly (perhaps it is lost).  2 introducing
             a polite request (perhaps you would open the window?).  [PER +

   peri      n.  (pl.  peris) 1 (in Persian mythology) a fairy; a good (orig.
             evil) genius.  2 a beautiful or graceful being.  [Pers.  pari]

   peri-     prefix 1 round, about.  2 Astron. the point nearest to (perigee;
             perihelion).  [Gk peri around, about]

   perianth  n.  the outer part of a flower.  [F p‚rianthe f. mod.L
             perianthium (as PERI- + Gk anthos flower)]

   periapt   n.  a thing worn as a charm; an amulet.  [F p‚riapte f. Gk
             periapton f.  hapto fasten]

             n.  (pl.  pericardia) the membranous sac enclosing the heart.
             ЬЬpericardiac adj.  pericardial adj.  pericarditis n.  [mod.L f.
             Gk perikardion (as PERI- + kardia heart)]

   pericarp  n.  the part of a fruit formed from the wall of the ripened
             ovary.  [F p‚ricarpe f. Gk perikarpion pod, shell (as PERI-,
             karpos fruit)]

             n.  the membrane enveloping cartilage tissue (except at the
             joints).  [PERI- + Gk khondros cartilage]

   periclase n.  a pale mineral consisting of magnesia.  [mod.L periclasia,
             erron. f. Gk peri exceedingly + klasis breaking, from its
             perfect cleavage]

             adj.  Geol.  (of a mound etc.) sloping down in all directions
             from a central point.  [Gk periklines sloping on all sides (as
             PERI-, CLINE)]

   pericope  n.  a short passage or paragraph, esp. a portion of Scripture
             read in public worship.  [LL f. Gk perikope (as PERI-, kope
             cutting f.  kopto cut)]

             n.  the membrane enveloping the skull.  [mod.L f. Gk (as PERI-,
             kranion skull)]

   peridot   n.  a green variety of olivine, used esp. as a semiprecious
             stone.  [ME f. OF peritot, of unkn. orig.]

   perigee   n.  the point in a celestial body's orbit where it is nearest
             the earth (opp.  APOGEE).  ЬЬperigean adj.  [F p‚rig‚e f. mod.L
             f. Gk perigeion round the earth (as PERI-, ge earth)]

             adj.  of or relating to a region adjoining a glacier.

             adj.  (of stamens) situated around the pistil or ovary.  [mod.L
             perigynus (as PERI-, -GYNOUS)]

             n.  (pl.  perihelia) the point of a planet's or comet's orbit
             nearest to the sun's centre.  [Graecized f. mod.L perihelium (as
             PERI-, Gk helios sun)]

   peril     n. & v.  --n. serious and immediate danger.  --v.tr.  (perilled,
             perilling; US periled, periling) threaten; endanger.  Ьat one's
             peril at one's own risk.  in peril of with great risk to (in
             peril of your life).  peril point US Econ.  a critical threshold
             or limit.  [ME f. OF f. L peric(u)lum]

   perilous  adj.  1 full of risk; dangerous; hazardous.  2 exposed to
             imminent risk of destruction etc.  ЬЬperilously adv.
             perilousness n.  [ME f. OF perillous f. L periculosus f.
             periculum: see PERIL]

   perilune  n.  the point in a body's lunar orbit where it is closest to the
             moon's centre (opp.  APOLUNE).  [PERI- + L luna moon, after

   perilymph n.  the fluid in the labyrinth of the ear.

   perimeter n.  1 a the circumference or outline of a closed figure.  b the
             length of this.  2 a the outer boundary of an enclosed area.  b
             a defended boundary.  3 an instrument for measuring a field of
             vision.  ЬЬperimetric adj.  [F p‚rimЉtre or f. L perimetrus f.
             Gk perimetros (as PERI-, metros f.  metron measure)]

   perinatal adj.  of or relating to the time immediately before and after

   perineum  n.  the region of the body between the anus and the scrotum or
             vulva.  ЬЬperineal adj.  [LL f. Gk perinaion]

   period    n. & adj.  --n.  1 a length or portion of time (showers and
             bright periods).  2 a distinct portion of history, a person's
             life, etc. (the Georgian period; Picasso's Blue Period).  3
             Geol. a time forming part of a geological era (the Quaternary
             period).  4 a an interval between recurrences of an astronomical
             or other phenomenon.  b the time taken by a planet to rotate
             about its axis.  5 the time allowed for a lesson in school.  6
             an occurrence of menstruation.  7 a a complete sentence, esp.
             one consisting of several clauses.  b (in pl.) rhetorical
             language.  8 esp.  US a = full stop (see FULL(1)).  b used at
             the end of a sentence etc. to indicate finality, absoluteness,
             etc. (we want the best, period).  9 a a set of figures marked
             off in a large number to assist in reading.  b a set of figures
             repeated in a recurring decimal.  c the smallest interval over
             which a function takes the same value.  10 Chem. a sequence of
             elements between two noble gases forming a row in the periodic
             table.  --adj. belonging to or characteristic of some past
             period (period furniture).  Ьof the period of the era under
             discussion (the custom of the period).  period piece an object
             or work whose main interest lies in its historical etc.
             associations.  [ME f. OF periode f. L periodus f. Gk periodos
             (as PERI-, odos = hodos way)]

   periodate n.  Chem.  a salt or ester of periodic acid.

   periodic  adj.  1 appearing or occurring at regular intervals.  2 of or
             concerning the period of a celestial body (periodic motion).  3
             (of diction etc.) expressed in periods (see PERIOD n.  7a).
             Ьperiodic decimal Math.  a set of figures repeated in a
             recurring decimal.  periodic function Math.  a function
             returning to the same value at regular intervals.  periodic
             table an arrangement of elements in order of increasing atomic
             number and in which elements of similar chemical properties
             appear at regular intervals.  ЬЬperiodicity n.  [F p‚riodique or
             L periodicus f. Gk periodikos (as PERIOD)]

   periodic acid
             n.  Chem.  a hygroscopic solid acid containing heptavalent
             iodine.  [PER- + IODINE]

             n. & adj.  --n. a newspaper, magazine, etc. issued at regular
             intervals, usu.  monthly or weekly.  --adj.  1 published at
             regular intervals.  2 periodic, occasional.  ЬЬperiodically adv.

             n.  the division of history into periods.

             n.pl.  (treated as sing.) the branch of dentistry concerned with
             the structures surrounding and supporting the teeth.
             ЬЬperiodontal adj.  periodontist n.  [PERI- + Gk odous odont-

             n.  = PERIODONTICS.

             n.  (pl.  periostea) a membrane enveloping the bones where no
             cartilage is present.  ЬЬperiosteal adj.  periostitis n.  [mod.L
             f. Gk periosteon (as PERI-, osteon bone)]

             adj. & n.  --adj.  1 (of a teacher) working in more than one
             school or college etc.  2 going from place to place; itinerant.
             3 (Peripatetic) Aristotelian (from Aristotle's habit of walking
             in the Lyceum whilst teaching).  --n. a peripatetic person, esp.
             a teacher.  ЬЬperipatetically adv.  peripateticism n.  [ME f. OF
             peripatetique or L peripateticus f. Gk peripatetikos f.
             peripateo (as PERI-, pateo walk)]

             n.  a sudden change of fortune in a drama or in life.  [Gk (as
             PERI-, pet- f.  pipto fall)]

             adj. & n.  --adj.  1 of minor importance; marginal.  2 of the
             periphery; on the fringe.  3 Anat. near the surface of the body,
             with special reference to the circulation and nervous system.  4
             (of equipment) used with a computer etc. but not an integral
             part of it.  --n. a peripheral device or piece of equipment.
             Ьperipheral nervous system Anat.  the nervous system outside the
             brain and spinal cord.  ЬЬperipherally adv.

   periphery n.  (pl.  -ies) 1 the boundary of an area or surface.  2 an
             outer or surrounding region (built on the periphery of the old
             town).  [LL peripheria f. Gk periphereia circumference (as
             PERI-, phereia f.  phero bear)]

             n.  (pl.  periphrases) 1 a roundabout way of speaking;
             circumlocution.  2 a roundabout phrase.  [L f. Gk f.  periphrazo
             (as PERI-, phrazo declare)]

             adj.  Gram.  1 of or involving periphrasis.  2 (of a case,
             tense, etc.) formed by combination of words rather than by
             inflection (e.g.  did go, of the people rather than went, the
             people' s).  ЬЬperiphrastically adv.  [Gk periphrastikos (as

             adj.  (of a temple) surrounded by a single row of columns.  [Gk
             peripteron (as PERI-, Gk pteron wing)]

   periscope n.  an apparatus with a tube and mirrors or prisms, by which an
             observer in a trench, submerged submarine, or at the rear of a
             crowd etc., can see things otherwise out of sight.

             adj.  of a periscope.  Ьperiscopic lens a lens allowing distinct
             vision over a wide angle.  ЬЬperiscopically adv.

   perish    v.  1 intr. be destroyed; suffer death or ruin.  2 a intr. (esp.
             of rubber, a rubber object, etc.) lose its normal qualities;
             deteriorate, rot.  b tr. cause to rot or deteriorate.  3 tr. (in
             passive) suffer from cold or exposure (we were perished standing
             outside).  Ьperish the thought an exclamation of horror against
             an unwelcome idea.  ЬЬperishless adj.  [ME f. OF perir f. L
             perire pass away (as PER-, ire go)]

             adj. & n.  --adj. liable to perish; subject to decay.  --n. a
             thing, esp. a foodstuff, subject to speedy decay.
             ЬЬperishability n.  perishableness n.

   perisher  n.  Brit.  sl.  an annoying person.

   perishing adj. & adv.  colloq.  --adj.  1 confounded.  2 freezing cold,
             extremely chilly.  --adv. confoundedly.  ЬЬperishingly adv.

   perisperm n.  a mass of nutritive material outside the embryo-sac in some
             seeds.  [PERI- + Gk sperma seed]

             n.  an involuntary muscular wavelike movement by which the
             contents of the alimentary canal etc. are propelled along.
             ЬЬperistaltic adj.  peristaltically adv.  [mod.L f. Gk
             peristello wrap around (as PERI-, stello place)]

   peristome n.  1 Bot. a fringe of small teeth around the mouth of a capsule
             in mosses and certain fungi.  2 Zool. the parts surrounding the
             mouth of various invertebrates.  [mod.L peristoma f.  PERI- + Gk
             stoma mouth]

   peristyle n.  a row of columns surrounding a temple, court, cloister,
             etc.; a space surrounded by columns.  [F p‚ristyle f. L
             peristylum f. Gk peristulon (as PERI-, stulos pillar)]

             n.  (pl.  peritoneums or peritonea) the double serous membrane
             lining the cavity of the abdomen.  ЬЬperitoneal adj.  [LL f. Gk
             peritonaion (as PERI-, tonaion f.  -tonos stretched)]

             n.  an inflammatory disease of the peritoneum.

   periwig   n.  esp.  hist.  a wig.  ЬЬperiwigged adj.  [alt. of PERUKE,
             with -wi- for F -u- sound]

             n.  1 any plant of the genus Vinca, esp. an evergreen trailing
             plant with blue or white flowers.  2 a tropical shrub,
             Catharanthus roseus, native to Madagascar.  [ME f. AF pervenke,
             OF pervenche f. LL pervinca, assim. to PERIWINKLE(2)]

             n.  = WINKLE.  [16th c.: orig. unkn.]

   perjure   v.refl.  Law 1 wilfully tell an untruth when on oath.  2 (as
             perjured adj.) guilty of or involving perjury.  ЬЬperjurer n.
             [ME f. OF parjurer f. L perjurare (as PER-, jurare swear)]

   perjury   n.  (pl.  -ies) Law 1 a breach of an oath, esp. the act of
             wilfully telling an untruth when on oath.  2 the practice of
             this.  ЬЬperjurious adj.  [ME f. AF perjurie f. OF parjurie f. L
             perjurium (as PERJURE)]

   perk(1)   v. & adj.  --v.tr. raise (one's head etc.) briskly.  --adj.
             perky; pert.  Ьperk up 1 recover confidence, courage, life, or
             zest.  2 restore confidence or courage or liveliness in (esp.
             another person).  3 smarten up.  [ME, perh. f. var. of PERCH(1)]

   perk(2)   n.  Brit.  colloq.  a perquisite.  [abbr.]

   perk(3)   v.  colloq.  1 intr. (of coffee) percolate, make a bubbling
             sound in the percolator.  2 tr. percolate (coffee).  [abbr. of

   perky     adj.  (perkier, perkiest) 1 self-assertive; saucy; pert.  2
             lively; cheerful.  ЬЬperkily adv.  perkiness n.

   perlite   n.  (also pearlite) a glassy type of vermiculite, expandable to
             a solid form by heating, used for insulation etc.  [F f.  perle

   perm(1)   n. & v.  --n. a permanent wave.  --v.tr. give a permanent wave
             to (a person or a person's hair).  [abbr.]

   perm(2)   n. & v.  colloq.  --n. a permutation.  --v.tr. make a
             permutation of.  [abbr.]

             n.  subsoil which remains below freezing-point throughout the
             year, as in polar regions.  [PERMANENT + FROST]

   permalloy n.  an alloy of nickel and iron that is easily magnetized and
             demagnetized.  [PERMEABLE + ALLOY]

   permanent adj.  lasting, or intended to last or function, indefinitely
             (opp.  TEMPORARY).  Ьpermanent magnet a magnet retaining its
             magnetic properties without continued excitation.  Permanent
             Secretary (or Under-secretary etc.) Brit.  a senior grade in the
             Civil Service, often a permanent adviser to a minister.
             permanent set 1 the irreversible deformation of a substance
             after being subjected to stress.  2 the amount of this.
             permanent tooth a tooth succeeding a milk tooth in a mammal, and
             lasting most of the mammal's life.  permanent wave an artificial
             wave in the hair, intended to last for some time.  permanent way
             Brit.  the finished roadbed of a railway.  ЬЬpermanence n.
             permanency n.  permanentize v.tr.  (also -ise).  permanently
             adv.  [ME f. OF permanent or L permanere (as PER-, manere

             n.  Chem.  any salt of permanganic acid, esp. potassium

   permanganic acid
             n.  Chem.  an acid containing heptavalent manganese.  [PER- +
             MANGANIC: see MANGANESE]

             n.  1 the state or quality of being permeable.  2 a quantity
             measuring the influence of a substance on the magnetic flux in
             the region it occupies.

   permeable adj.  capable of being permeated.  [L permeabilis (as PERMEATE)]

   permeate  v.  1 tr. penetrate throughout; pervade; saturate.  2 intr.
             (usu. foll. by through, among, etc.) diffuse itself.
             ЬЬpermeance n.  permeant adj.  permeation n.  permeator n.  [L
             permeare permeat- (as PER-, meare pass, go)]

   Permian   adj. & n.  Geol.  --adj. of or relating to the last period of
             the Palaeozoic era with evidence of the development of reptiles
             and amphibians, and deposits of sandstone.  °Cf. Appendix II.
             --n. this period or system.  [Perm in Russia]

   per mille adv.  (also per mil) in every thousand.  [L]

             adj.  allowable.  ЬЬpermissibility n.  permissibly adv.  [ME f.
             F or f. med.L permissibilis (as PERMIT)]

             n.  (often foll. by to + infin.)  consent; authorization.  [ME
             f. OF or f. L permissio (as PERMIT)]

             adj.  1 tolerant; liberal, esp. in sexual matters (the
             permissive society).  2 giving permission.  Ьpermissive
             legislation legislation giving powers but not enjoining their
             use.  ЬЬpermissively adv.  permissiveness n.  [ME f. OF (-if
             -ive) or med.L permissivus (as PERMIT)]

   permit    v. & n.  --v.  (permitted, permitting) 1 tr. give permission or
             consent to; authorize (permit me to say).  2 a tr. allow; give
             an opportunity to (permit the traffic to flow again).  b intr.
             give an opportunity (circumstances permitting).  3 intr. (foll.
             by of) admit; allow for.  --n.  1 a a document giving permission
             to act in a specified way (was granted a work permit).  b a
             document etc. which allows entry into a specified zone.  2
             formal permission.  ЬЬpermittee n.  permitter n.  [L permittere
             (as PER-, mittere miss- let go)]

             n.  Electr.  a quantity measuring the ability of a substance to
             store electrical energy in an electric field.

   permutate v.tr.  change the order or arrangement of.  [as PERMUTE, or
             back-form. f.  PERMUTATION]

             n.  1 a an ordered arrangement or grouping of a set of numbers,
             items, etc.  b any one of the range of possible groupings.  2
             any combination or selection of a specified number of things
             from a larger group, esp.  Brit. matches in a football pool.
             ЬЬpermutational adj.  [ME f. OF or f. L permutatio (as PERMUTE)]

   permute   v.tr.  alter the sequence or arrangement of.  [ME f. L permutare
             (as PER-, mutare change)]

   Permutit  n.  propr.  an artificial zeolite used as an ion exchanger esp.
             for the softening of water.  [G f. L permutare to exchange]

             adj.  destructive; ruinous; fatal.  Ьpernicious anaemia see
             ANAEMIA.  ЬЬperniciously adv.  perniciousness n.  [L perniciosus
             f.  pernicies ruin f.  nex necis death]

             adj.  colloq.  1 fastidious.  2 precise or over-precise.  3
             ticklish, requiring tact or careful handling.  [19th-c. Sc.:
             orig. unkn.]

             v.intr.  formal pass or spend the night.  ЬЬpernoctation n.  [LL
             pernoctatio f. L pernoctare pernoctat- (as PER-, noctare f.  nox
             noctis night)]

   peroneal  adj.  Anat.  relating to or near the fibula.  [mod.L peronaeus
             peroneal muscle f.  perone fibula f. Gk perone pin, fibula]

   perorate  v.intr.  1 sum up and conclude a speech.  2 speak at length.  [L
             perorare perorat- (as PER-, orare speak)]

             n.  the concluding part of a speech, forcefully summing up what
             has been said.

             n.  Biochem.  any of a class of enzymes found esp. in plants,
             which catalyze the oxidation of a substrate by hydrogen

   peroxide  n. & v.  --n.  Chem.  1 a = hydrogen peroxide.  b (often
             attrib.) a solution of hydrogen peroxide used to bleach the hair
             or as an antiseptic.  2 a compound of oxygen with another
             element containing the greatest possible proportion of oxygen.
             3 any salt or ester of hydrogen peroxide.  --v.tr. bleach (the
             hair) with peroxide.  [PER- + OXIDE]

             adj. & n.  --adj.  1 a at right angles to the plane of the
             horizon.  b (usu. foll. by to) Geom. at right angles (to a given
             line, plane, or surface).  2 upright, vertical.  3 (of a slope
             etc.) very steep.  4 (Perpendicular) Archit. of the third stage
             of English Gothic (15th-16th c.) with vertical tracery in large
             windows.  5 joc. in a standing position.  --n.  1 a
             perpendicular line.  2 a plumb-rule or a similar instrument.  3
             (prec. by the) a perpendicular line or direction (is out of the
             perpendicular).  ЬЬperpendicularity n.  perpendicularly adv.
             [ME f. L perpendicularis f.  perpendiculum plumb-line f.  PER- +
             pendere hang]

             v.tr.  commit or perform (a crime, blunder, or anything
             outrageous).  ЬЬperpetration n.  perpetrator n.  [L perpetrare
             perpetrat- (as PER-, patrare effect)]

   perpetual adj.  1 eternal; lasting for ever or indefinitely.  2
             continuous, uninterrupted.  3 colloq. frequent, much repeated
             (perpetual interruptions).  4 permanent during life (perpetual
             secretary).  Ьperpetual calendar a calendar which can be
             adjusted to show any combination of day, month, and year.
             perpetual check Chess the position of play when a draw is
             obtained by repeated checking of the king.  perpetual motion the
             motion of a hypothetical machine which once set in motion would
             run for ever unless subject to an external force or to wear.
             ЬЬperpetualism n.  perpetually adv.  [ME f. OF perpetuel f. L
             perpetualis f.  perpetuus f.  perpes -etis continuous]

             v.tr.  1 make perpetual.  2 preserve from oblivion.
             ЬЬperpetuance n.  perpetuation n.  perpetuator n.  [L perpetuare
             (as PERPETUAL)]

             n.  (pl.  -ies) 1 the state or quality of being perpetual.  2 a
             perpetual annuity.  3 a perpetual possession or position.  Ьin
             (or to or for) perpetuity for ever.  [ME f. OF perpetuit‚ f. L
             perpetuitas -tatis (as PERPETUAL)]

   perpetuum mobile
             n.  1 = perpetual motion.  2 Mus. = MOTO PERPETUO.  [L perpetuus
             continuous + mobilis movable, after PRIMUM MOBILE]

   perplex   v.tr.  1 puzzle, bewilder, or disconcert (a person, a person's
             mind, etc.).  2 complicate or confuse (a matter).  3 (as
             perplexed adj.) archaic entangled, intertwined.  ЬЬperplexedly
             adv.  perplexingly adv.  [back-form. f.  perplexed f. obs.
             perplex (adj.) f. OF perplexe or L perplexus (as PER-, plexus
             past part. of plectere plait)]

             n.  (pl.  -ies) 1 bewilderment; the state of being perplexed.  2
             a thing which perplexes.  3 archaic an entangled state.  [ME f.
             OF perplexit‚ or LL perplexitas (as PERPLEX)]

   per pro.  abbr.  through the agency of (used in signatures).  °The correct
             sequence is A per pro. B, where B is signing on behalf of A.  [L
             per procurationem]

             n.  1 an extra profit or allowance additional to a main income
             etc.  2 a customary extra right or privilege.  3 an incidental
             benefit attached to employment etc.  4 a thing which has served
             its primary use and to which a subordinate or servant has a
             customary right.  [ME f. med.L perquisitum f. L perquirere
             search diligently for (as PER-, quaerere seek)]

   Perrier   n.  propr.  an effervescent natural mineral water.  [the name of
             a spring at VergЉze, France, its source]

   perron    n.  an exterior staircase leading up to a main entrance to a
             church or other (usu. large) building.  [ME f. OF ult. f. L
             petra stone]

   perry     n.  (pl.  -ies) Brit.  a drink like cider, made from the
             fermented juice of pears.  [ME pereye etc. f. OF per‚, ult. f. L
             pirum pear]

   per se    adv.  by or in itself; intrinsically.  [L]

   persecute v.tr.  1 subject (a person etc.) to hostility or ill-treatment,
             esp.  on the grounds of political or religious belief.  2
             harass; worry.  3 (often foll. by with) bombard (a person) with
             questions etc.  ЬЬpersecutor n.  persecutory adj.  [ME f. OF
             persecuter back-form. f.  persecuteur persecutor f. LL
             persecutor f. L persequi (as PER-, sequi secut- follow, pursue)]

             n.  the act or an instance of persecuting; the state of being
             persecuted.  Ьpersecution complex (or mania) an irrational
             obsessive fear that others are scheming against one.

             n.  1 the steadfast pursuit of an objective.  2 (often foll. by
             in) constant persistence (in a belief etc.).  [ME f. OF f. L
             perseverantia (as PERSEVERE)]

             v.intr.  1 continue action etc. for an unusually or excessively
             long time.  2 Psychol. tend to prolong or repeat a response
             after the original stimulus has ceased.  ЬЬperseveration n.  [L
             perseverare (as PERSEVERE)]

   persevere v.intr.  (often foll. by in, at, with) continue steadfastly or
             determinedly; persist.  [ME f. OF perseverer f. L perseverare
             persist f.  perseverus very strict (as PER-, severus severe)]

   Persian   n. & adj.  --n.  1 a a native or inhabitant of ancient or modern
             Persia (now Iran).  b a person of Persian descent.  2 the
             language of ancient Persia or modern Iran.  °With modern
             reference the preferred terms are Iranian and Farsi.  3 (in full
             Persian cat) a a cat of a breed with long silky hair and a thick
             tail.  b this breed.  --adj. of or relating to Persia or its
             people or language.  ЬPersian carpet (or rug) a carpet or rug of
             a traditional pattern made in Persia.  Persian lamb the silky
             tightly curled fur of a young karakul, used in clothing.  [ME f.
             OF persien f. med.L]

             n.pl.  window shutters, or outside blinds, with louvres.  [F,
             fem. pl. of obs.  persien Persian]

             n.  light raillery, banter.  [F persifler banter, formed as PER-
             + siffler whistle]

   persimmon n.  1 any usu. tropical evergreen tree of the genus Diospyros
             bearing edible tomato-like fruits.  2 the fruit of this.
             [corrupt. of an Algonquian word]

   persist   v.intr.  1 (often foll. by in) continue firmly or obstinately
             (in an opinion or a course of action) esp. despite obstacles,
             remonstrance, etc.  2 (of an institution, custom, phenomenon,
             etc.) continue in existence; survive.  [L persistere (as PER-,
             sistere stand)]

             adj.  1 continuing obstinately; persisting.  2 enduring.  3
             constantly repeated (persistent nagging).  4 Biol. (of horns,
             leaves, etc.) remaining instead of falling off in the normal
             manner.  ЬЬpersistence n.  persistency n.  persistently adv.

   person    n.  1 an individual human being (a cheerful and forthright
             person).  2 the living body of a human being (hidden about your
             person).  3 Gram. any of three classes of personal pronouns,
             verb-forms, etc.: the person speaking (first person); the person
             spoken to (second person); the person spoken of (third person).
             4 (in comb.) used to replace -man in offices open to either sex
             (salesperson).  5 (in Christianity) God as Father, Son, or Holy
             Ghost (three persons in one God).  6 euphem. the genitals
             (expose one's person).  7 a character in a play or story.  Ьin
             one's own person oneself; as oneself.  in person physically
             present.  person-to-person 1 between individuals.  2 (of a phone
             call) booked through the operator to a specified person.  [ME f.
             OF persone f. L persona actor's mask, character in a play, human

   persona   n.  (pl.  personae) 1 an aspect of the personality as shown to
             or perceived by others (opp.  ANIMA).  2 Literary criticism an
             author's assumed character in his or her writing.  Ь persona
             grata a person, esp. a diplomat, acceptable to certain others.
             persona non grata a person not acceptable.  [L (as PERSON)]

             adj.  pleasing in appearance and behaviour.  ЬЬpersonableness n.
             personably adv.

   personage n.  1 a person, esp. of rank or importance.  2 a character in a
             play etc.  [ME f.  PERSON + -AGE, infl. by med.L personagium
             effigy & F personnage]

   personal  adj.  1 one's own; individual; private.  2 done or made in
             person (made a personal appearance; my personal attention).  3
             directed to or concerning an individual (a personal letter).  4
             referring (esp. in a hostile way) to an individual's private
             life or concerns (making personal remarks; no need to be
             personal).  5 of the body and clothing (personal hygiene;
             personal appearance).  6 existing as a person, not as an
             abstraction or thing (a personal God).  7 Gram. of or denoting
             one of the three persons (personal pronoun).  Ьpersonal column
             the part of a newspaper devoted to private advertisements or
             messages.  personal computer a computer designed for use by a
             single individual, esp. in an office or business environment .
             personal equation 1 the allowance for an individual person's
             time of reaction in making observations, esp. in astronomy.  2 a
             bias or prejudice.  personal equity plan a scheme for limited
             personal investment in shares, unit trusts, etc.  personal
             identification number a number allocated to an individual,
             serving as a password esp.  for a cash dispenser, computer, etc.
             personal pronoun a pronoun replacing the subject, object, etc.,
             of a clause etc., e.g.  I, we, you, them, us.  personal property
             (or estate) Law all one's property except land and those
             interests in land that pass to one's heirs (cf.  REAL(1) adj.
             3).  personal service individual service given to a customer.
             personal stereo a small portable audio cassette player, often
             with radio, or compact disc player, used with lightweight
             headphones.  personal touch a way of treating a matter
             characteristic of or designed for an individual.  [ME f. OF f. L
             personalis (as PERSON)]

             n.  (pl.  -ies) 1 the distinctive character or qualities of a
             person, often as distinct from others (an attractive
             personality).  2 a famous person; a celebrity (a TV
             personality).  3 a person who stands out from others by virtue
             of his or her character (is a real personality).  4 personal
             existence or identity; the condition of being a person.  5 (usu.
             in pl.) personal remarks.  Ьhave personality have a lively
             character or noteworthy qualities.  personality cult the extreme
             adulation of an individual.  [ME f. OF personalit‚ f. LL
             personalitas -tatis (as PERSONAL)]

             v.tr.  (also -ise) 1 make personal, esp. by marking with one's
             name etc.  2 personify.  ЬЬpersonalization n.

             adv.  1 in person (see to it personally).  2 for one's own part
             (speaking personally).  3 as a person (a God existing
             personally).  4 in a personal manner (took the criticism

             n.  (pl.  -ies) Law one's personal property or estate (opp.
             REALTY).  [AF personalt‚ (as PERSONAL)]

   personate v.tr.  1 play the part of (a character in a drama etc.; another
             type of person).  2 pretend to be (another person), esp. for
             fraudulent purposes; impersonate.  ЬЬpersonation n.  personator
             n.  [LL personare personat- (as PERSON)]

             n.  the quality or condition of being an individual person.

             n.  1 the act of personifying.  2 (foll. by of) a person or
             thing viewed as a striking example of (a quality etc.) (the
             personification of ugliness).

   personify v.tr.  (-ies, -ied) 1 attribute a personal nature to (an
             abstraction or thing).  2 symbolize (a quality etc.) by a figure
             in human form.  3 (usu. as personified adj.) embody (a quality)
             in one's own person; exemplify typically (has always been
             kindness personified).  ЬЬpersonifier n.  [F personnifier (as

   personnel n.  a body of employees, persons involved in a public
             undertaking, armed forces, etc.  Ьpersonnel carrier an armoured
             vehicle for transporting troops etc.  personnel department etc.
             the part of an organization concerned with the appointment,
             training, and welfare of employees.  [F, orig. adj. = personal]

             n. & adj.  --n.  1 a the art of drawing solid objects on a
             two-dimensional surface so as to give the right impression of
             relative positions, size, etc.  b a picture drawn in this way.
             2 the apparent relation between visible objects as to position,
             distance, etc.  3 a mental view of the relative importance of
             things (keep the right perspective).  4 a geographical or
             imaginary prospect.  --adj. of or in perspective.  Ьin
             perspective 1 drawn or viewed according to the rules of
             perspective.  2 correctly regarded in terms of relative
             importance.  ЬЬperspectival adj.  perspectively adv.  [ME f.
             med.L perspectiva (ars art) f.  perspicere perspect- (as PER-,
             specere spect- look)]

   Perspex   n.  propr.  a tough light transparent acrylic thermoplastic used
             instead of glass.  [L perspicere look through (as PER-, specere

             adj.  having mental penetration or discernment.
             ЬЬperspicaciously adv.  perspicaciousness n.  perspicacity n.
             [L perspicax -acis (as PERSPEX)]

             adj.  1 easily understood; clearly expressed.  2 (of a person)
             expressing things clearly.  ЬЬperspicuity n.  perspicuously adv.
             perspicuousness n.  [ME, = transparent f. L perspicuus (as

             n.  1 = SWEAT.  2 sweating.  ЬЬperspiratory adj.  [F (as

   perspire  v.  1 intr. sweat or exude perspiration, esp. as the result of
             heat, exercise, anxiety, etc.  2 tr. sweat or exude (fluid
             etc.).  [F perspirer f. L perspirare (as PER-, spirare breathe)]

   persuade  v.tr. & refl.  1 (often foll. by of, or that + clause) cause
             (another person or oneself) to believe; convince (persuaded them
             that it would be helpful; tried to persuade me of its value).  2
             a (often foll. by to + infin.) induce (another person or
             oneself) (persuaded us to join them; managed to persuade them at
             last).  b (foll. by away from, down to, etc.) lure, attract,
             entice, etc. (persuaded them away from the pub).  ЬЬpersuadable
             adj.  persuadability n.  persuasible adj.  [L persuadere (as
             PER-, suadere suas- advise)]

   persuader n.  1 a person who persuades.  2 sl. a gun or other weapon.

             n.  1 persuading (yielded to persuasion).  2 persuasiveness (use
             all your persuasion).  3 a belief or conviction (my private
             persuasion).  4 a religious belief, or the group or sect holding
             it (of a different persuasion).  5 colloq. any group or party
             (the male persuasion).  [ME f. L persuasio (as PERSUADE)]

             adj.  able to persuade.  ЬЬpersuasively adv.  persuasiveness n.
             [F persuasif -ive or med.L persuasivus, (as PERSUADE)]

   PERT      abbr.  programme evaluation and review technique.

   pert      adj.  1 saucy or impudent, esp. in speech or conduct.  2 (of
             clothes etc.) neat and suggestive of jauntiness.  3 = PEART.
             ЬЬpertly adv.  pertness n.  [ME f. OF apert f. L apertus past
             part. of aperire open & f. OF aspert f. L expertus EXPERT]

   pertain   v.intr.  1 (foll. by to) a relate or have reference to.  b
             belong to as a part or appendage or accessory.  2 (usu. foll. by
             to) be appropriate to.  [ME f. OF partenir f. L pertinere (as
             PER-, tenere hold)]

             adj.  stubborn; persistent; obstinate (in a course of action
             etc.).  ЬЬpertinaciously adv.  pertinaciousness n.  pertinacity
             n.  [L pertinax (as PER-, tenax tenacious)]

   pertinent adj.  1 (often foll. by to) relevant to the matter in hand;
             apposite.  2 to the point.  ЬЬpertinence n.  pertinency n.
             pertinently adv.  [ME f. OF pertinent or L pertinere (as

   perturb   v.tr.  1 throw into confusion or disorder.  2 disturb mentally;
             agitate.  3 Physics & Math. subject (a physical system, or a set
             of equations, or its solution) to a perturbation.  ЬЬperturbable
             adj.  perturbative adj.  perturbingly adv.  [ME f. OF pertourber
             f. L (as PER-, turbare disturb)]

             n.  1 the act or an instance of perturbing; the state of being
             perturbed.  2 a cause of disturbance or agitation.  3 Physics a
             slight alteration of a physical system, e.g. of the electrons in
             an atom, caused by a secondary influence.  4 Astron. a minor
             deviation in the course of a celestial body, caused by the
             attraction of a neighbouring body.

   pertussis n.  whooping cough.  [mod.L f.  PER- + L tussis cough]

   peruke    n.  hist.  a wig.  [F perruque f. It.  perrucca parrucca, of
             unkn. orig.]

   peruse    v.tr.  1 (also absol.) read or study, esp. thoroughly or
             carefully.  2 examine (a person's face etc.) carefully.
             ЬЬperusal n.  peruser n.  [ME, orig. = use up, prob. f. AL f.
             Rmc (as PER-, USE)]

   Peruvian  n. & adj.  --n.  1 a native or national of Peru.  2 a person of
             Peruvian descent.  --adj. of or relating to Peru.  ЬPeruvian
             bark the bark of the cinchona tree.  [mod.L Peruvia Peru]

   perv      n. & v.  (also perve) sl.  --n.  1 a sexual pervert.  2 Austral.
             an erotic gaze.  --v.intr.  1 act like a sexual pervert.  2
             (foll. by at, on) Austral. gaze with erotic interest.  [abbr.]

   pervade   v.tr.  1 spread throughout, permeate.  2 (of influences etc.)
             become widespread among or in.  3 be rife among or through.
             ЬЬpervasion n.  [L pervadere (as PER-, vadere vas- go)]

   pervasive adj.  1 pervading.  2 able to pervade.  ЬЬpervasively adv.
             pervasiveness n.

   perve     var. of PERV.

   perverse  adj.  1 (of a person or action) deliberately or stubbornly
             departing from what is reasonable or required.  2 persistent in
             error.  3 wayward; intractable; peevish.  4 perverted; wicked.
             5 (of a verdict etc.) against the weight of evidence or the
             judge's direction.  ЬЬperversely adv.  perverseness n.
             perversity n.  (pl.  -ies).  [ME f. OF pervers perverse f. L
             perversus (as PERVERT)]

             n.  1 an act of perverting; the state of being perverted.  2 a
             perverted form of an act or thing.  3 a preference for an
             abnormal form of sexual activity.  b such an activity.  [ME f. L
             perversio (as PERVERT)]

   pervert   v. & n.  --v.tr.  1 turn (a person or thing) aside from its
             proper use or nature.  2 misapply or misconstrue (words etc.).
             3 lead astray (a person, a person's mind, etc.) from right
             opinion or conduct, or esp. religious belief.  4 (as perverted
             adj.) showing perversion.  --n.  1 a perverted person.  2 a
             person showing sexual perversion.  ЬЬperversive adj.
             pervertedly adv.  perverter n.  [ME f. OF pervertir or f. L
             pervertere (as PER-, vertere vers- turn): cf.  CONVERT]

   pervious  adj.  1 permeable.  2 (usu. foll. by to) a affording passage.  b
             accessible (to reason etc.).  ЬЬperviousness n.  [L pervius (as
             PER-, vius f.  via way)]

   Pesach    n.  the Passover festival.  [Heb.  Pesah]

   peseta    n.  the chief monetary unit of Spain, orig. a silver coin.
             [Sp., dimin. of pesa weight f. L pensa pl. of pensum: see

   pesky     adj.  (peskier, peskiest) esp.  US colloq.  troublesome;
             confounded; annoying.  ЬЬpeskily adv.  peskiness n.  [18th c.:
             perh. f.  PEST]

   peso      n.  (pl.  -os) 1 the chief monetary unit of several Latin
             American countries and of the Philippines.  2 a note or coin
             worth one peso.  [Sp., = weight, f. L pensum: see POISE(1)]

   pessary   n.  (pl.  -ies) Med.  1 a device worn in the vagina to support
             the uterus or as a contraceptive.  2 a vaginal suppository.  [ME
             f. LL pessarium, pessulum f.  pessum, pessus f. Gk pessos oval

   pessimism n.  1 a tendency to take the worst view or expect the worst
             outcome.  2 Philos. a belief that this world is as bad as it
             could be or that all things tend to evil (opp.  OPTIMISM).
             ЬЬpessimist n.  pessimistic adj.  pessimistically adv.  [L
             pessimus worst, after OPTIMISM]

   pest      n.  1 a troublesome or annoying person or thing; a nuisance.  2
             a destructive animal, esp. an insect which attacks crops,
             livestock, etc.  3 archaic a pestilence; a plague.  Ьpest-house
             hist.  a hospital for sufferers from the plague etc.  [F peste
             or L pestis plague]

   pester    v.tr.  trouble or annoy, esp. with frequent or persistent
             requests.  ЬЬpesterer n.  [prob. f.  impester f. F empestrer
             encumber: infl. by PEST]

   pesticide n.  a substance used for destroying insects or other organisms
             harmful to cultivated plants or to animals.  ЬЬpesticidal adj.

             adj.  1 noxious; pestilent.  2 harmful; pernicious; bearing
             moral contagion.  [L pestifer, -ferus (as PEST)]

             n.  a fatal epidemic disease, esp. bubonic plague.  [ME f. OF f.
             L pestilentia (as PESTILENT)]

   pestilent adj.  1 destructive to life, deadly.  2 harmful or morally
             destructive.  3 colloq. troublesome; annoying.  ЬЬpestilently
             adv.  [L pestilens, pestilentus f.  pestis plague]

             adj.  1 of or relating to pestilence.  2 dangerous; troublesome;
             pestilent.  ЬЬpestilentially adv.  [ME f. med.L pestilentialis
             f. L pestilentia (as PESTILENT)]

   pestle    n. & v.  --n.  1 a club-shaped instrument for pounding
             substances in a mortar.  2 an appliance for pounding etc.  --v.
             1 tr. pound with a pestle or in a similar manner.  2 intr. use a
             pestle.  [ME f. OF pestel f. L pistillum f.  pinsare pist- to

   pestology n.  the scientific study of pests (esp. harmful insects) and of
             methods of dealing with them.  ЬЬpestological adj.  pestologist

   Pet.      abbr.  Peter (New Testament).

   pet(1)    n., adj., & v.  --n.  1 a domestic or tamed animal kept for
             pleasure or companionship.  2 a darling, a favourite (often as a
             term of endearment).  --attrib.adj.  1 kept as a pet (pet lamb).
             2 of or for pet animals (pet food).  3 often joc. favourite or
             particular (pet aversion).  4 expressing fondness or familiarity
             (pet name).  --v.tr.  (petted, petting) 1 treat as a pet.  2
             (also absol.) fondle, esp. erotically.  ЬЬpetter n.  [16th-c.
             Sc. & N.Engl. dial.: orig. unkn.]

   pet(2)    n.  a feeling of petty resentment or ill-humour (esp.  be in a
             pet).  [16th c.: orig. unkn.]

   peta-     comb. form denoting a factor of 10(15).  [perh. f.  PENTA-]

   petal     n.  each of the parts of the corolla of a flower.  ЬЬpetaline
             adj.  petalled adj. (also in comb.).  petal-like adj.  petaloid
             adj.  [mod.L petalum, in LL metal plate f. Gk petalon leaf f.
             petalos outspread]

   petard    n.  hist.  1 a small bomb used to blast down a door etc.  2 a
             kind of firework or cracker.  Ьhoist with one's own petard
             affected oneself by one's schemes against others.  [F p‚tard f.
             p‚ter break wind]

   petasus   n.  1 an ancient Greek hat with a low crown and broad brim, esp.
             (in Greek mythology) as worn by Hermes.  2 the winged hat of
             Hermes.  [L f. Gk petasos]

   petaurist n.  any flying squirrel of the genus Petaurista, native to E.
             Asia.  [Gk petauristes performer on a springboard (petauron)]

   Pete      n.  Ьfor Pete's sake see SAKE(1).  [abbr. of the name Peter]

   petechia  n.  (pl.  petechiae) Med.  a small red or purple spot as a
             result of bleeding into the skin.  ЬЬpetechial adj.  [mod.L f.
             It.  petecchia a freckle or spot on one's face]

   peter(1)  v. & n.  --v.intr.  1 (foll. by out) (orig. of a vein of ore
             etc.) diminish, come to an end.  2 Bridge play an echo.  --n.
             Bridge an echo.  [19th c.: orig. unkn.]

   peter(2)  n.  sl.  1 a prison cell.  2 a safe.  [perh. f. the name Peter]

   peterman  n.  (pl.  -men) sl.  a safe-breaker.

   Peter Pan n.  a person who retains youthful features, or who is immature.
             [hero of J. M. Barrie's play of the same name (1904)]

   Peter Principle
             n.  joc.  the principle that members of a hierarchy are promoted
             until they reach the level at which they are no longer
             competent.  [L. J.  Peter, its propounder, b. 1919]

   petersham n.  thick corded silk ribbon used for stiffening in dressmaking
             etc.  [Lord Petersham, Engl. army officer d. 1851]

   Peter's pence
             n.pl.  RC Ch.  1 hist. an annual tax of one penny, formerly paid
             to the papal see.  2 (since 1860) a voluntary payment to the
             papal treasury.  [St Peter, as first pope]

   pethidine n.  a synthetic soluble analgesic used esp. in childbirth.
             [perh. f.  PIPERIDINE (from which the drug is derived) + ETHYL]

   petiole   n.  the slender stalk joining a leaf to a stem.  ЬЬpetiolar adj.
             petiolate adj.  [F p‚tiole f. L petiolus little foot, stalk]

   petit     adj.  esp. Law petty; small; of lesser importance.  Ьpetit jury
             = petty jury.  [ME f. OF, = small, f. Rmc, perh. imit. of
             child's speech]

   petit bourgeois
             n.  (pl.  petits bourgeois pronunc. same) a member of the lower
             middle classes.  [F]

   petite    adj.  (of a woman) of small and dainty build.  Ь petite
             bourgeoisie the lower middle classes.  [F, fem. of PETIT]

   petit four
             n.  (pl.  petits fours) a very small fancy cake, biscuit, or
             sweet.  [F, = little oven]

   petition  n. & v.  --n.  1 a supplication or request.  2 a formal written
             request, esp. one signed by many people, appealing to authority
             in some cause.  3 Law an application to a court for a writ etc.
             --v.  1 tr. make or address a petition to (petition your MP).  2
             intr. (often foll. by for, to) appeal earnestly or humbly.
             ЬPetition of Right 1 hist. a parliamentary declaration of rights
             and liberties of the people assented to by Charles I in 1628.  2
             Law a common-law remedy against the crown for the recovery of
             property.  ЬЬpetitionable adj.  petitionary adj.  petitioner n.
             [ME f. OF f. L petitio -onis]

   petitio principii
             n.  a logical fallacy in which a conclusion is taken for granted
             in the premiss; begging the question.  [L, = assuming a
             principle: see PETITION]

             n.  a dandy or coxcomb.  [F, = little master]

   petit mal n.  a mild form of epilepsy with only momentary loss of
             consciousness (cf.  GRAND MAL).  [F, = little sickness]

   petit point
             n.  1 embroidery on canvas using small stitches.  2 tent-stitch.
             [F, = little point]

   petits pois
             n.pl.  small green peas.  [F]

             adj.  denoting a sonnet of the kind used by the Italian poet
             Petrarch (d. 1374), with an octave rhyming abbaabba, and a
             sestet usu. rhyming cdcdcd or cdecde.

   petrel    n.  any of various sea birds of the family Procellariidae or
             Hydrobatidae, usu. flying far from land.  [17th c. (also
             pitteral), of uncert. orig.: later assoc. with St Peter (Matt.

   Petri dish
             n.  a shallow covered dish used for the culture of bacteria etc.
             [J. R.  Petri, Ger. bacteriologist d. 1921]

             n.  1 the process of fossilization whereby organic matter is
             turned into a stony substance.  2 a petrified substance or mass.
             3 a state of extreme fear or terror.  [PETRIFY after

   petrify   v.  (-ies, -ied) 1 tr. paralyse with fear, astonishment, etc.  2
             tr. change (organic matter) into a stony substance.  3 intr.
             become like stone.  4 tr. deprive (the mind, a doctrine, etc.)
             of vitality; deaden.  [F p‚trifier f. med.L petrificare f. L
             petra rock f. Gk]

   petro-    comb. form 1 rock.  2 petroleum (petrochemistry).  [Gk petros
             stone or petra rock]

             n. & adj.  --n. a substance industrially obtained from petroleum
             or natural gas.  --adj. of or relating to petrochemistry or

             n.  1 the chemistry of rocks.  2 the chemistry of petroleum.

             n.  a notional unit of currency earned by a petroleum-exporting

             n.  a rock-carving, esp. a prehistoric one.  [PETRO- + Gk glyphe

             n.  the scientific description of the composition and formation
             of rocks.  ЬЬpetrographer n.  petrographic adj.  petrographical

   petrol    n.  Brit.  1 refined petroleum used as a fuel in motor vehicles,
             aircraft, etc.  2 (attrib.) concerned with the supply of petrol
             (petrol pump; petrol station).  Ьpetrol bomb a simple bomb made
             of a petrol-filled bottle and a wick.  [F p‚trole f. med.L
             petroleum: see PETROLEUM]

             n.  US petroleum jelly.  [mod.L f.  PETROL + -atum]

   petroleum n.  a hydrocarbon oil found in the upper strata of the earth,
             refined for use as a fuel for heating and in internal-combustion
             engines, for lighting, dry-cleaning, etc.  Ьpetroleum ether a
             volatile liquid distilled from petroleum, consisting of a
             mixture of hydrocarbons.  petroleum jelly a translucent solid
             mixture of hydrocarbons used as a lubricant, ointment, etc.
             [med.L f. L petra rock f. Gk + L oleum oil]

   petrolic  adj.  of or relating to petrol or petroleum.

   petrology n.  the study of the origin, structure, composition, etc., of
             rocks.  ЬЬpetrologic adj.  petrological adj.  petrologist n.

   petrous   adj.  1 Anat. denoting the hard part of the temporal bone
             protecting the inner ear.  2 Geol. of, like, or relating to
             rock.  [L petrosus f. L petra rock f. Gk]

   petticoat n.  1 a woman's or girl's skirted undergarment hanging from the
             waist or shoulders.  2 sl.  a a woman or girl.  b (in pl.) the
             female sex.  3 (attrib.) often derog. feminine; associated with
             women (petticoat pedantry).  ЬЬpetticoated adj.  petticoatless
             adj.  [ME f.  petty coat]

   pettifog  v.intr.  (pettifogged, pettifogging) 1 practise legal deception
             or trickery.  2 quibble or wrangle about petty points.
             [back-form. f.  PETTIFOGGER]

             n.  1 a rascally lawyer; an inferior legal practitioner.  2 a
             petty practitioner in any activity.  ЬЬpettifoggery n.
             pettifogging adj.  [PETTY + fogger underhand dealer, prob. f.
             Fugger family of merchants in Augsburg in the 15th-16th c.]

   pettish   adj.  peevish, petulant; easily put out.  ЬЬpettishly adv.
             pettishness n.  [PET(2) + -ISH(1)]

   petty     adj.  (pettier, pettiest) 1 unimportant; trivial.  2 mean,
             small-minded; contemptible.  3 minor; inferior; on a small scale
             (petty princes).  4 Law (of a crime) of lesser importance (petty
             sessions) (cf.  COMMON, GRAND).  Ьpetty bourgeois = PETIT
             BOURGEOIS.  petty bourgeoisie = petite bourgeoisie.  petty cash
             money from or for small items of receipt or expenditure.  petty
             jury a jury of 12 persons who try the final issue of fact in
             civil or criminal cases and pronounce a verdict.  petty officer
             a naval NCO.  petty treason see TREASON.  ЬЬpettily adv.
             pettiness n.  [ME pety, var. of PETIT]

   petulant  adj.  peevishly impatient or irritable.  ЬЬpetulance n.
             petulantly adv.  [F p‚tulant f. L petulans -antis f.  petere

   petunia   n.  1 any plant of the genus Petunia with white, purple, red,
             etc., funnel-shaped flowers.  2 a dark violet or purple colour.
             [mod.L f. F petun f. Guarani pety tobacco]

   petuntse  n.  a white variable feldspathic mineral used for making
             porcelain.  [Chin.  baidunzi f.  bai white + dun stone + suffix

   pew       n. & v.  --n.  1 (in a church) a long bench with a back; an
             enclosed compartment.  2 Brit.  colloq. a seat (esp.  take a
             pew).  --v.tr. furnish with pews.  ЬЬpewage n.  pewless adj.
             [ME pywe, puwe f. OF puye balcony f. L podia pl. of PODIUM]

   pewit     var. of PEEWIT.

   pewter    n.  1 a grey alloy of tin with lead, copper, or antimony or
             various other metals.  2 utensils made of this.  3 sl. a tankard
             etc. as a prize.  ЬЬpewterer n.  [ME f. OF peutre, peualtre f.
             Rmc, of unkn. orig.]

   peyote    n.  1 any Mexican cactus of the genus Lophophora, esp.  L.
             williamsii having no spines and button-like tops when dried.  2
             a hallucinogenic drug containing mescaline prepared from this.
             [Amer. Sp. f. Nahuatl peyotl]

7.0 Pf....

   Pf.       abbr.  pfennig.

   Pfc.      abbr.  US Private First Class.

   pfennig   n.  a small German coin, worth one-hundredth of a mark.  [G,
             rel. to PENNY]

8.0 PG

   PG        abbr.  1 (of films) classified as suitable for children subject
             to parental guidance.  2 paying guest.

9.0 pH...

   pH        n.  Chem.  a logarithm of the reciprocal of the hydrogen-ion
             concentration in moles per litre of a solution, giving a measure
             of its acidity or alkalinity.  [G, f.  Potenz power + H (symbol
             for hydrogen)]

   phaeton   n.  1 a light open four-wheeled carriage, usu. drawn by a pair
             of horses.  2 US a touring-car.  [F pha‚ton f. L Phaethon f. Gk
             Phaethon, son of Helios the sun god who was allowed to drive the
             sun-chariot for a day, with disastrous results]

   phage     n.  = BACTERIOPHAGE.  [abbr.]

   phagocyte n.  a type of cell capable of engulfing and absorbing foreign
             matter, esp. a leucocyte ingesting bacteria in the body.
             ЬЬphagocytic adj.  [Gk phag- eat + -CYTE]

             n.  the ingestion of bacteria etc. by phagocytes.  ЬЬphagocytize
             v.tr.  (also -ise).  phagocytose v.tr.

   -phagous  comb. form that eats (as specified) (ichthyophagous).  [L
             -phagus f. Gk -phagos f.  phagein eat]

   -phagy    comb. form the eating of (specified food) (ichthyophagy).  [Gk
             -phagia (as -PHAGOUS)]

   phalange  n.  1 Anat. = PHALANX 4.  2 (Phalange) a right-wing activist
             Maronite party in Lebanon (cf.  FALANGE).  [F f. L phalanx: see

             adj.  Anat.  of or relating to a phalanx.

   phalanger n.  any of various marsupials of the family Phalangeridae,
             including cuscuses and possums.  [F f. Gk phalaggion spider's
             web, f. the webbed toes of its hind feet]

   phalanx   n.  (pl.  phalanxes or phalanges) 1 Gk Antiq. a line of battle,
             esp. a body of Macedonian infantry drawn up in close order.  2 a
             set of people etc. forming a compact mass, or banded for a
             common purpose.  3 a bone of the finger or toe.  4 Bot. a bundle
             of stamens united by filaments.  [L f. Gk phalagx -ggos]

   phalarope n.  any small wading or swimming bird of the subfamily
             Phalaropodidae, with a straight bill and lobed feet.  [F f.
             mod.L Phalaropus, irreg. f. Gk phalaris coot + pous podos foot]

   phalli    pl. of PHALLUS.

   phallic   adj.  1 of, relating to, or resembling a phallus.  2 Psychol.
             denoting the stage of male sexual development characterized by
             preoccupation with the genitals.  ЬЬphallically adv.  [F
             phallique & Gk phallikos (as PHALLUS)]

             adj.  centred on the phallus or on male attitudes.
             ЬЬphallocentricity n.  phallocentrism n.

   phallus   n.  (pl.  phalli or phalluses) 1 the (esp. erect) penis.  2 an
             image of this as a symbol of generative power in nature.
             ЬЬphallicism n.  phallism n.  [LL f. Gk phallos]

   phanariot n.  hist.  a member of a class of Greek officials in
             Constantinople under the Ottoman Empire.  [mod.Gk phanariotes f.
             Phanar the part of the city where they lived f. Gk phanarion
             lighthouse (on the Golden Horn)]

             n.  Bot.  a plant that has stamens and pistils, a flowering
             plant (cf.  CRYPTOGAM).  ЬЬphanerogamic adj.  phanerogamous adj.
             [F phan‚rogame f. Gk phaneros visible + gamos marriage]

             var. of FANTASIZE.

   phantasm  n.  1 an illusion, a phantom.  2 (usu. foll. by of) an illusory
             likeness.  3 a supposed vision of an absent (living or dead)
             person.  ЬЬphantasmal adj.  phantasmic adj.  [ME f. OF fantasme
             f. L f. Gk phantasma f.  phantazo make visible f.  phaino show]

             n.  1 a shifting series of real or imaginary figures as seen in
             a dream.  2 an optical device for rapidly varying the size of
             images on a screen.  ЬЬphantasmagoric adj.  phantasmagorical
             adj.  [prob. f. F fantasmagorie (as PHANTASM + fanciful ending)]

   phantast  var. of FANTAST.

   phantasy  var. of FANTASY.

   phantom   n. & adj.  --n.  1 a ghost; an apparition; a spectre.  2 a form
             without substance or reality; a mental illusion.  3 Med. a model
             of the whole or part of the body used to practise or demonstrate
             operative or therapeutic methods.  --adj. merely apparent;
             illusory.  Ьphantom circuit an arrangement of telegraph or other
             electrical wires equivalent to an extra circuit.  phantom limb a
             continuing sensation of the presence of a limb which has been
             amputated.  phantom pregnancy Med.  the symptoms of pregnancy in
             a person not actually pregnant.  [ME f. OF fantosme ult. f. Gk
             phantasma (as PHANTASM)]

   Pharaoh   n.  1 the ruler of ancient Egypt.  2 the title of this ruler.
             ЬPharaoh's serpent an indoor firework burning and uncoiling in
             serpentine form.  ЬЬPharaonic adj.  [OE f. eccl.L Pharao f. Gk
             Pharao f. Heb.  par' oh f. Egypt.  pr-' o great house]

   Pharisee  n.  1 a member of an ancient Jewish sect, distinguished by
             strict observance of the traditional and written law, and
             commonly held to have pretensions to superior sanctity.  2 a
             self-righteous person; a hypocrite.  ЬЬPharisaic adj.
             Pharisaical adj.  Pharisaism n.  [OE fariseus & OF pharise f.
             eccl.L pharisaeus f. Gk Pharisaios f. Aram.  p' risayyѓ pl. f.
             Heb.  par–s separated]

             adj.  1 of or engaged in pharmacy.  2 of the use or sale of
             medicinal drugs.  ЬЬpharmaceutically adv.  pharmaceutics n.  [LL
             pharmaceuticus f. Gk pharmakeutikos f.  pharmakeutes druggist f.
             pharmakon drug]

             n.  a person qualified to prepare and dispense drugs.

             n.  the science of drugs, esp. relating to medicinal products in
             their natural or unprepared state.  [Gk pharmakon drug + gnosis

             n.  the science of the action of drugs on the body.
             ЬЬpharmacological adj.  pharmacologically adv.  pharmacologist
             n.  [mod.L pharmacologia f. Gk pharmakon drug]

             n.  1 a book, esp. one officially published, containing a list
             of drugs with directions for use.  2 a stock of drugs.
             ЬЬpharmacopoeial adj.  [mod.L f. Gk pharmakopoiia f.
             pharmakopoios drug-maker (as PHARMACOLOGY + -poios making)]

   pharmacy  n.  (pl.  -ies) 1 the preparation and the (esp. medicinal)
             dispensing of drugs.  2 a pharmacist's shop, a dispensary.  [ME
             f. OF farmacie f. med.L pharmacia f. Gk pharmakeia practice of
             the druggist f.  pharmakeus f.  pharmakon drug]

   pharos    n.  a lighthouse or a beacon to guide sailors.  [L f. Gk Pharos
             island off Alexandria where a famous lighthouse stood]

   pharyngo- comb. form denoting the pharynx.

             n.  (pl.  -ies) an incision into the pharynx.

   pharynx   n.  (pl.  pharynges) a cavity, with enclosing muscles and mucous
             membrane, behind the nose and mouth, and connecting them to the
             oesophagus.  ЬЬpharyngal adj.  pharyngeal adj.  pharyngitis n.
             [mod.L f. Gk pharugx -ggos]

   phase     n. & v.  --n.  1 a distinct period or stage in a process of
             change or development.  2 each of the aspects of the moon or a
             planet, according to the amount of its illumination, esp. the
             new moon, the first quarter, the last quarter, and the full
             moon.  3 Physics a stage in a periodically recurring sequence,
             esp. of alternating electric currents or light vibrations.  4 a
             difficult or unhappy period, esp. in adolescence.  5 a genetic
             or seasonal variety of an animal's coloration etc.  6 Chem. a
             distinct and homogeneous form of matter separated by its surface
             from other forms.  --v.tr. carry out (a programme etc.) in
             phases or stages.  Ьin phase having the same phase at the same
             time.  out of phase not in phase.  phase in (or out) bring
             gradually into (or out of) use.  phase rule Chem.  a rule
             relating numbers of phases, constituents, and degrees of
             freedom.  three-phase (of an electric generator, motor, etc.)
             designed to supply or use simultaneously three separate
             alternating currents of the same voltage, but with phases
             differing by a third of a period.  ЬЬphasic adj.  [F phase & f.
             earlier phasis f. Gk phasis appearance f.  phaino phan- show]

   phatic    adj.  (of speech etc.) used to convey general sociability rather
             than to communicate a specific meaning, e.g. 'nice morning,
             isn't it?'.  [Gk phatos spoken f.  phemi phan- speak]

   Ph.D.     abbr.  Doctor of Philosophy.  [L philosophiae doctor]

   pheasant  n.  any of several long-tailed game-birds of the family
             Phasianidae, orig. from Asia.  ЬЬpheasantry n.  (pl.  -ies).
             [ME f. AF fesaunt f. OF faisan f. L phasianus f. Gk phasianos
             (bird) of the river Phasis in Asia Minor]

             n.  an acetyl derivative of phenol used to treat fever etc.
             [PHENO- + ACETYL + -IN]

   pheno-    comb. form 1 Chem. derived from benzene (phenol; phenyl).  2
             showing (phenocryst).  [Gk phaino shine (with ref. to substances
             used for illumination), show]

             n.  (US phenobarbital) a narcotic and sedative barbiturate drug
             used esp. to treat epilepsy.

             n.  a large or conspicuous crystal in porphyritic rock.  [F
             ph‚nocryste (as PHENO-, CRYSTAL)]

   phenol    n.  Chem.  1 the monohydroxyl derivative of benzene used in
             dilute form as an antiseptic and disinfectant. Also called
             CARBOLIC.  °Chem. formula: C[6]H[5]OH.  2 any hydroxyl
             derivative of an aromatic hydrocarbon.  ЬЬphenolic adj.  [F
             ph‚nole f.  phЉne benzene (formed as PHENO-)]

             n.  Chem.  a white crystalline solid used in solution as an
             acid-base indicator and medicinally as a laxative.  [PHENOL +
             phthal f.  NAPHTHALENE + -IN]

   phenomena pl. of PHENOMENON.

             adj.  1 of the nature of a phenomenon.  2 extraordinary,
             remarkable, prodigious.  3 perceptible by, or perceptible only
             to, the senses.  ЬЬphenomenalize v.tr.  (also -ise).
             phenomenally adv.

             n.  Philos.  1 the doctrine that human knowledge is confined to
             the appearances presented to the senses.  2 the doctrine that
             appearances are the foundation of all our knowledge.
             ЬЬphenomenalist n.  phenomenalistic adj.

             n.  Philos.  1 the science of phenomena.  2 the description and
             classification of phenomena.  ЬЬphenomenological adj.
             phenomenologically adv.

             n.  (pl.  phenomena) 1 a fact or occurrence that appears or is
             perceived, esp.  one of which the cause is in question.  2 a
             remarkable person or thing.  3 Philos. the object of a person's
             perception; what the senses or the mind notice.  [LL f. Gk
             phainomenon neut. pres. part. of phainomai appear f.  phaino

   phenotype n.  Biol.  a set of observable characteristics of an individual
             or group as determined by its genotype and environment.
             ЬЬphenotypic adj.  phenotypical adj.  phenotypically adv.  [G
             Phaenotypus (as PHENO-, TYPE)]

   phenyl    n.  Chem.  the univalent radical formed from benzene by the
             removal of a hydrogen atom.  [PHENO- + -YL]

             n.  Biochem.  an amino acid widely distributed in plant proteins
             and essential in the human diet.  [PHENYL + ALANINE]

             n.  an inherited inability to metabolize phenylalanine,
             ultimately leading to mental deficiency if untreated.  [PHENYL +
             KETONE + -URIA]

   pheromone n.  a chemical substance secreted and released by an animal for
             detection and response by another usu. of the same species.
             ЬЬpheromonal adj.  [Gk phero convey + HORMONE]

   phew      int.  an expression of impatience, discomfort, relief,
             astonishment, or disgust.  [imit. of puffing]

   phi       n.  the twenty-first letter of the Greek alphabet.  ЬPhi Beta
             Kappa 1 (in the US) an intercollegiate honorary society to which
             distinguished scholars may be elected (from the initial letters
             of a Greek motto, = philosophy is the guide to life).  2 a
             member of this society.  [Gk]

   phial     n.  a small glass bottle, esp. for liquid medicine.  [ME f. OF
             fiole f. L phiola phiala f. Gk phiale, a broad flat vessel: cf.

   Phil.     abbr.  1 Philadelphia.  2 Philharmonic.  3 Philippians (New
             Testament).  4 Philosophy.

   phil-     comb. form var. of PHILO-.

   -phil     comb. form var. of -PHILE.

   philabeg  var. of FILIBEG.

             n.  any highly-scented deciduous flowering shrub of the genus
             Philadelphus, esp. the mock orange.  [mod.L f. Gk philadelphon]

   philander v.intr.  (often foll. by with) flirt or have casual affairs with
             women; womanize.  ЬЬphilanderer n.  [philander (n.) used in Gk
             literature as the proper name of a lover, f.  Gk philandros fond
             of men f.  aner male person: see PHIL-]

             n.  = PHILANTHROPIST (see PHILANTHROPY).  [Gk philanthropos (as
             PHIL-, anthropos human being)]

             adj.  loving one's fellow men; benevolent.  ЬЬphilanthropically
             adv.  [F philanthropique (as PHILANTHROPE)]

             n.  1 a love of mankind.  2 practical benevolence, esp. charity
             on a large scale.  ЬЬphilanthropism n.  philanthropist n.
             philanthropize v.tr. & intr.  (also -ise).  [LL philanthropia f.
             Gk philanthropia (as PHILANTHROPE)]

   philately n.  the collection and study of postage stamps.  ЬЬphilatelic
             adj.  philatelically adv.  philatelist n.  [F philat‚lie f. Gk
             ateleia exemption from payment f.  a- not + telos toll, tax]

   -phile    comb. form (also -phil) forming nouns and adjectives denoting
             fondness for what is specified (bibliophile; Francophile).  [Gk
             philos dear, loving]

   Philem.   abbr.  Philemon (New Testament).

             adj.  1 fond of music.  2 used characteristically in the names
             of orchestras, choirs, etc. (Royal Philharmonic Orchestra).  [F
             philharmonique f. It.  filarmonico (as PHIL-, HARMONIC)]

             n.  (often attrib.) 1 a lover of Greece and Greek culture.  2
             hist. a supporter of the cause of Greek independence.
             ЬЬphilhellenic adj.  philhellenism n.  philhellenist n.  [Gk
             philellen (as PHIL-, HELLENE)]

   -philia   comb. form 1 denoting (esp. abnormal) fondness or love for what
             is specified (necrophilia).  2 denoting undue inclination
             (haemophilia).  ЬЬ-philiac comb. form forming nouns and
             adjectives.  -philic comb. form forming adjectives.  -philous
             comb. form forming adjectives.  [Gk f.  philos loving]

   philippic n.  a bitter verbal attack or denunciation.  [L philippicus f.
             Gk philippikos the name of Demosthenes' speeches against Philip
             II of Macedon and Cicero's against Mark Antony]

             adj.  of or relating to the Philippine Islands or their people;
             Filipino.  [Philip II of Spain]

             n. & adj.  --n.  1 a member of a people opposing the Israelites
             in ancient Palestine.  2 (usu.  philistine) a person who is
             hostile or indifferent to culture, or one whose interests or
             tastes are commonplace or material.  --adj. hostile or
             indifferent to culture, commonplace, prosaic.  ЬЬphilistinism n.
             [ME f. F Philistin or LL Philistinus f. Gk Philistinos =
             Palaistinos f. Heb.  pelistЊ]

   Phillips  n.  (usu.  attrib.) propr.  denoting a screw with a cross-shaped
             slot for turning, or a corresponding screwdriver.  [name of the
             original US manufacturer]

             n.  a collector of matchbox labels.  ЬЬphillumeny n.  [PHIL- + L
             lumen light]

   Philly    n.  US sl.  Philadelphia.  [abbr.]

   philo-    comb. form (also phil- before a vowel or h) denoting a liking
             for what is specified.

             n.  (pl.  philodendrons or philodendra) any tropical American
             climbing plant of the genus Philodendron, with bright foliage.
             [PHILO- + Gk dendron tree]

             n.  a person who likes or admires women.  [PHILO- + Gk gune

   philology n.  1 the science of language, esp. in its historical and
             comparative aspects.  2 the love of learning and literature.
             ЬЬphilologian n.  philologist n.  philological adj.
             philologically adv.  philologize v.intr.  (also -ise).  [F
             philologie f. L philologia love of learning f. Gk (as PHILO-,

   Philomel  n.  (also Philomela) poet.  the nightingale.  [earlier philomene
             f. med.L philomena f. L philomela nightingale f. Gk philomela:
             cap. with ref. to the myth of Philomela]

             adj.  1 prolific.  2 loving one's offspring.

             n.  1 a person engaged or learned in philosophy or a branch of
             it.  2 a person who lives by philosophy.  3 a person who shows
             philosophic calmness in trying circumstances.  Ьphilosophers'
             (or philosopher's) stone the supreme object of alchemy, a
             substance supposed to change other metals into gold or silver.
             [ME f. AF philosofre var. of OF, philosophe f. L philosophus f.
             Gk philosophos (as PHILO-, sophos wise)]

             adj.  (also philosophic) 1 of or according to philosophy.  2
             skilled in or devoted to philosophy or learning; learned
             (philosophical society).  3 wise; serene; temperate.  4 calm in
             adverse circumstances.  ЬЬphilosophically adv.  [LL
             philosophicus f. L philosophia (as PHILOSOPHY)]

             v.  (also -ise) 1 intr. reason like a philosopher.  2 intr.
             moralize.  3 intr. speculate; theorize.  4 tr. render
             philosophic.  ЬЬphilosophizer n.  [app. f. F philosopher]

             n.  (pl.  -ies) 1 the use of reason and argument in seeking
             truth and knowledge of reality, esp. of the causes and nature of
             things and of the principles governing existence, the material
             universe, perception of physical phenomena, and human behaviour.
             2 a a particular system or set of beliefs reached by this.  b a
             personal rule of life.  3 advanced learning in general (doctor
             of philosophy).  4 serenity; calmness; conduct governed by a
             particular philosophy.  [ME f. OF filosofie f. L philosophia
             wisdom f. Gk (as PHILO-, sophos wise)]

   philtre   n.  (US philter) a drink supposed to excite sexual love in the
             drinker.  [F philtre f. L philtrum f. Gk philtron f.  phileo to

   -phily    comb. form = -PHILIA.

   phimosis  n.  a constriction of the foreskin, making it difficult to
             retract.  ЬЬphimotic adj.  [mod.L f. Gk, = muzzling]

   phiz      n.  (also phizog) Brit.  colloq.  1 the face.  2 the expression
             on a face.  [abbr. of phiznomy = PHYSIOGNOMY]

   phlebitis n.  inflammation of the walls of a vein.  ЬЬphlebitic adj.
             [mod.L f. Gk f.  phleps phlebos vein]

             n.  1 the surgical opening or puncture of a vein.  2 esp.  hist.
             blood-letting as a medical treatment.  ЬЬphlebotomist n.
             phlebotomize v.tr.  (also -ise).  [ME f. OF flebothomi f. LL
             phlebotomia f. Gk f.  phleps phlebos vein + -TOMY]

   phlegm    n.  1 the thick viscous substance secreted by the mucous
             membranes of the respiratory passages, discharged by coughing.
             2 a coolness and calmness of disposition.  b sluggishness or
             apathy (supposed to result from too much phlegm in the
             constitution).  3 archaic phlegm regarded as one of the four
             bodily humours.  ЬЬphlegmy adj.  [ME & OF fleume f. LL phlegma
             f. Gk phlegma -atos inflammation f.  phlego burn]

             adj.  stolidly calm; unexcitable, unemotional.  ЬЬphlegmatically

   phloem    n.  Bot.  the tissue conducting food material in plants (cf.
             XYLEM).  [Gk phloos bark]

             n.  a substance formerly supposed to exist in all combustible
             bodies, and to be released in combustion.  [mod.L f. Gk phlogizo
             set on fire f.  phlox phlogos flame]

   phlox     n.  any cultivated plant of the genus Phlox, with scented
             clusters of esp. white, blue, and red flowers.  [L f. Gk phlox,
             the name of a plant (lit. flame)]

   -phobe    comb. form forming nouns and adjectives denoting fear or dislike
             of what is specified (xenophobe).  [F f. L -phobus f. Gk -phobos
             f.  phobos fear]

   phobia    n.  an abnormal or morbid fear or aversion.  ЬЬphobic adj. & n.
             [-PHOBIA used as a separate word]

   -phobia   comb. form forming abstract nouns denoting fear or aversion of
             what is specified (agoraphobia; xenophobia).  ЬЬ-phobic comb.
             form forming adjectives.  [L f. Gk]

   phoebe    n.  any American flycatcher of the genus Sayornis.  [imit.:
             infl. by the name]

             n. & adj.  --n. a member of a Semitic people of ancient
             Phoenicia in S. Syria or of its colonies.  --adj. of or relating
             to Phoenicia.  [ME f. OF phenicien f. L Phoenicia f. L Phoenice
             f. Gk Phoinike Phoenicia]

   phoenix   n.  1 a mythical bird, the only one of its kind, that after
             living for five or six centuries in the Arabian desert, burnt
             itself on a funeral pyre and rose from the ashes with renewed
             youth to live through another cycle.  2 a unique person or
             thing.  [OE & OF fenix f. L phoenix f. Gk phoinix Phoenician,
             purple, phoenix]

   pholas    n.  a piddock, esp. of the genus Pholas.  [mod.L f. Gk pholas
             that lurks in a hole (pholeos)]

   phon      n.  a unit of the perceived loudness of sounds.  [Gk phone

   phonate   v.intr.  utter a vocal sound.  ЬЬphonation n.  phonatory adj.
             [Gk phone voice]

   phone(1)  n. & v.tr. & intr.  colloq.  = TELEPHONE.  Ьphone book =
             telephone directory.  phone-in n.  a broadcast programme during
             which the listeners or viewers telephone the studio etc. and
             participate.  [abbr.]

   phone(2)  n.  a simple vowel or consonant sound.  [formed as PHONEME]

   -phone    comb. form forming nouns and adjectives meaning: 1 an instrument
             using or connected with sound (telephone; xylophone).  2 a
             person who uses a specified language (anglophone).  [Gk phone
             voice, sound]

   phonecard n.  a card containing prepaid units for use with a Cardphone.

   phoneme   n.  any of the units of sound in a specified language that
             distinguish one word from another (e.g.  p, b, d, t as in pad,
             pat, bad, bat, in English).  ЬЬphonemic adj.  phonemics n.  [F
             phonЉme f. Gk phonema sound, speech f.  phoneo speak]

   phonetic  adj.  1 representing vocal sounds.  2 (of a system of spelling
             etc.) having a direct correspondence between symbols and sounds.
             3 of or relating to phonetics.  ЬЬphonetically adv.  phoneticism
             n.  phoneticist n.  phoneticize v.tr.  (also -ise).  [mod.L
             phoneticus f. Gk phonetikos f.  phoneo speak]

   phonetics n.pl.  (usu. treated as sing.) 1 vocal sounds and their
             classification.  2 the study of these.  ЬЬphonetician n.

   phonetist n.  1 a person skilled in phonetics.  2 an advocate of phonetic

   phoney    adj. & n.  (also phony) colloq.  --adj.  (phonier, phoniest) 1
             sham; counterfeit.  2 fictitious; fraudulent.  --n.  (pl.  -eys
             or -ies) a phoney person or thing.  ЬЬphonily adv.  phoniness n.
             [20th c.: orig. unkn.]

   phonic    adj. & n.  --adj. of sound; acoustic; of vocal sounds.  --n. (in
             pl.) a method of teaching reading based on sounds.  ЬЬphonically
             adv.  [Gk phone voice]

   phono-    comb. form denoting sound.  [Gk phone voice, sound]

   phonogram n.  a symbol representing a spoken sound.

             n.  1 Brit. an early form of gramophone using cylinders and able
             to record as well as reproduce sound.  2 US a gramophone.

             n.  1 writing in esp. shorthand symbols, corresponding to the
             sounds of speech.  2 the recording of sounds by phonograph.
             ЬЬphonographic adj.

   phonology n.  the study of sounds in a language.  ЬЬphonological adj.
             phonologically adv.  phonologist n.

   phonon    n.  Physics a quantum of sound or elastic vibrations.  [Gk phone
             sound, after PHOTON]

   phony     var. of PHONEY.

   phooey    int.  an expression of disgust or disbelief.  [imit.]

   -phore    comb. form forming nouns meaning 'bearer' (ctenophore;
             semaphore).  ЬЬ-phorous comb. form forming adjectives.  [mod.L
             f. Gk -phoros -phoron bearing, bearer f.  phero bear]

   phoresy   n.  Biol.  an association in which one organism is carried by
             another, without being a parasite.  ЬЬphoretic adj.  [F phor‚sie
             f. Gk phoresis being carried]

   phormium  n.  1 a liliaceous plant, Phormium tenax, yielding a leaf-fibre
             that is used commercially.  2 New Zealand flax.  [mod.L f. Gk
             phormion a species of plant]

   phosgene  n.  a colourless poisonous gas (carbonyl chloride), formerly
             used in warfare.  °Chem. formula: COCl[2].  [Gk phos light +
             -GEN, with ref. to its orig. production by the action of
             sunlight on chlorine and carbon monoxide]

             n.  Biochem.  any enzyme that catalyses the synthesis or
             hydrolysis of an organic phosphate.

   phosphate n.  1 any salt or ester of phosphoric acid, esp. used as a
             fertilizer.  2 an effervescent drink containing a small amount
             of phosphate.  ЬЬphosphatic adj.  [F f.  phosphore PHOSPHORUS]

   phosphene n.  the sensation of rings of light produced by pressure on the
             eyeball due to irritation of the retina.  [irreg. f. Gk phos
             light + phaino show]

   phosphide n.  Chem.  a binary compound of phosphorus with another element
             or group.

   phosphine n.  Chem.  a colourless ill-smelling gas, phosphorus trihydride.
             °Chem. formula: PH[3].  ЬЬphosphinic adj.  [PHOSPHO- + -INE(4),
             after amine]

   phosphite n.  Chem.  any salt or ester of phosphorous acid.  [F (as

   phospho-  comb. form denoting phosphorus.  [abbr.]

             n.  Biochem.  any lipid consisting of a phosphate group and one
             or more fatty acids.

   phosphor  n.  1 = PHOSPHORUS.  2 a synthetic fluorescent or phosphorescent
             substance esp.  used in cathode-ray tubes.  Ьphosphor bronze a
             tough hard bronze alloy containing a small amount of phosphorus,
             used esp. for bearings.  [G f. L phosphorus PHOSPHORUS]

             v.tr.  combine or impregnate with phosphorus.

             n.  1 radiation similar to fluorescence but detectable after
             excitation ceases.  2 the emission of light without combustion
             or perceptible heat.  ЬЬphosphoresce v.intr.  phosphorescent

             n.  a non-crystalline form of apatite.

             n.  Chem.  a non-metallic element occurring naturally in various
             phosphate rocks and existing in allotropic forms, esp. as a
             poisonous whitish waxy substance burning slowly at ordinary
             temperatures and so appearing luminous in the dark, and a
             reddish form used in matches, fertilizers, etc.  °Symb.: P.
             ЬЬphosphoric adj.  phosphorous adj.  [L, = morning star, f. Gk
             phosphoros f.  phos light + -phoros -bringing]

             v.tr.  Chem.  introduce a phosphate group into (an organic
             molecule etc.).  ЬЬphosphorylation n.

   phossy jaw
             n.  colloq.  hist.  gangrene of the jawbone caused by phosphorus
             poisoning.  [abbr.]

   phot      n.  a unit of illumination equal to one lumen per square
             centimetre.  [Gk phos photos light]

   photic    adj.  1 of or relating to light.  2 (of ocean layers) reached by

   photism   n.  a hallucinatory sensation or vision of light.  [Gk photismos
             f.  photizo shine f.  phos photos light]

   photo     n. & v.  --n.  (pl.  -os) = PHOTOGRAPH n.  --v.tr.  (-oes, -oed)
             = PHOTOGRAPH v.  Ьphoto-call an occasion on which theatrical
             performers, famous personalities, etc., pose for photographers
             by arrangement.  photo finish a close finish of a race or
             contest, esp. one where the winner is only distinguishable on a
             photograph.  [abbr.]

   photo-    comb. form denoting: 1 light (photosensitive).  2 photography
             (photocomposition).  [Gk phos photos light, or as abbr. of

             n.  the study of the effects of light on living organisms.

   photocell n.  = photoelectric cell.

             n.  the study of the chemical effects of light.  ЬЬphotochemical

             n.  = FILMSETTING.

             n.  conductivity due to the action of light.  ЬЬphotoconductive
             adj.  photoconductor n.

             n.  a machine for producing photocopies.

   photocopy n. & v.  --n.  (pl.  -ies) a photographic copy of printed or
             written material produced by a process involving the action of
             light on a specially prepared surface.  --v.tr.  (-ies, -ied)
             make a photocopy of.  ЬЬphotocopiable adj.

             n.  a semiconductor diode responding electrically to

             adj.  marked by or using emissions of electrons from substances
             exposed to light.  Ьphotoelectric cell a device using this
             effect to generate current.  ЬЬphotoelectricity n.

             n.  an electron emitted from an atom by interaction with a
             photon, esp. one emitted from a solid surface by the action of

             n.  the emission of electrons from a surface by the action of
             light incident on it.  ЬЬphotoemitter n.

   photofit  n.  a reconstructed picture of a person (esp. one sought by the
             police) made from composite photographs of facial features (cf.

             adj.  1 (esp. of a person) having an appearance that looks
             pleasing in photographs.  2 Biol. producing or emitting light.
             ЬЬphotogenically adv.

   photogram n.  1 a picture produced with photographic materials but without
             a camera.  2 archaic a photograph.

             n.  the use of photography for surveying.  ЬЬphotogrammetrist n.

             n. & v.  --n. a picture taken by means of the chemical action of
             light or other radiation on sensitive film.  --v.tr. (also
             absol.) take a photograph of (a person etc.).  ЬЬphotographable
             adj.  photographer n.  photographic adj.  photographically adv.

             n.  the taking and processing of photographs.

             n.  1 an image produced from a photographic negative transferred
             to a metal plate and etched in.  2 this process .  [F (as
             PHOTO-, gravure engraving)]

             n.  the art or practice of relating news by photographs, with or
             without an accompanying text, esp. in magazines etc.
             ЬЬphotojournalist n.

             n.  (also photolitho) lithography using plates made
             photographically.  ЬЬphotolithographer n.  photolithographic
             adj.  photolithographically adv.

             n.  decomposition or dissociation of molecules by the action of
             light.  ЬЬphotolyse v.tr. & intr.  photolytic adj.

             n.  an instrument for measuring light.  ЬЬphotometric adj.
             photometry n.

             n.  a photograph of an image produced by a microscope.
             ЬЬphotomicrography n.

   photon    n.  a quantum of electromagnetic radiation energy, proportional
             to the frequency of radiation.  [Gk phos photos light, after

             n.  offset printing with plates made photographically.

             n.  the period of daily illumination which an organism receives.
             ЬЬphotoperiodic adj.

             n.  the response of an organism to changes in the lengths of the
             daily periods of light.

             n.  an abnormal fear of or aversion to light.  ЬЬphotophobic

             n.  any living structure that responds to incident light.

             adj.  reacting chemically, electrically, etc., to light.
             ЬЬphotosensitivity n.

             n.  = FILMSETTING.  ЬЬphotoset v.tr.  (past and past part.
             -set).  photosetter n.

             n.  the luminous envelope of a star from which its light and
             heat radiate.  ЬЬphotospheric adj.

   Photostat n. & v.  --n.  propr.  1 a type of machine for making
             photocopies.  2 a copy made by this means.  --v.tr. (photostat)
             (-statted, -statting) make a Photostat of.  ЬЬphotostatic adj.

             n.  the process in which the energy of sunlight is used by
             organisms, esp. green plants to synthesize carbohydrates from
             carbon dioxide and water.  ЬЬphotosynthesize v.tr. & intr.
             (also -ise).  photosynthetic adj.  photosynthetically adv.

             n.  a transistor that responds to incident light by generating
             and amplifying an electric current.

             n.  the tendency of a plant etc. to bend or turn towards or away
             from a source of light.  ЬЬphototropic adj.

             adj.  relating to the production of electric current at the
             junction of two substances exposed to light.

   phrasal   adj.  Gram.  consisting of a phrase.  Ьphrasal verb an idiomatic
             phrase consisting of a verb and an adverb (e.g.  break down) or
             a verb and a preposition (e.g.  see to).

   phrase    n. & v.  --n.  1 a group of words forming a conceptual unit, but
             not a sentence.  2 an idiomatic or short pithy expression.  3 a
             manner or mode of expression (a nice turn of phrase).  4 Mus. a
             group of notes forming a distinct unit within a larger piece.
             --v.tr.  1 express in words (phrased the reply badly).  2 (esp.
             when reading aloud or speaking) divide (sentences etc.) into
             units so as to convey the meaning of the whole.  3 Mus. divide
             (music) into phrases etc. in performance.  Ьphrase book a book
             for tourists etc. listing useful expressions with their
             equivalent in a foreign language.  ЬЬphrasing n.  [earlier
             phrasis f. L f. Gk f.  phrazo declare, tell]

             n.  a written symbol representing a phrase, esp. in shorthand.

             n.  (pl.  -ies) 1 a choice or arrangement of words.  2 a mode of
             expression.  ЬЬphraseological adj.  [mod.L phraseologia f. Gk
             phraseon genit. pl. of phrasis PHRASE]

   phreatic  adj.  Geol.  1 (of water) situated underground in the zone of
             saturation; ground water.  2 (of a volcanic eruption or
             explosion) caused by the heating and expansion of underground
             water.  [Gk phrear phreatos well]

   phrenetic adj.  1 frantic.  2 fanatic.  ЬЬphrenetically adv.  [ME, var. of

   phrenic   adj.  Anat.  of or relating to the diaphragm.  [F phr‚nique f.
             Gk phren phrenos diaphragm, mind]

             n.  hist.  the study of the shape and size of the cranium as a
             supposed indication of character and mental faculties.
             ЬЬphrenological adj.  phrenologist n.

   Phrygian  n. & adj.  --n.  1 a native or inhabitant of ancient Phrygia in
             central Asia Minor.  2 the language of this people.  --adj. of
             or relating to Phrygia or its people or language.  ЬPhrygian
             bonnet (or cap) an ancient conical cap with the top bent
             forwards, now identified with the cap of liberty.  Phrygian mode
             Mus.  the mode represented by the natural diatonic scale E-E.

   phthalic acid
             n.  Chem.  one of three isomeric dicarboxylic acids derived from
             benzene.  ЬЬphthalate n.  [abbr. of NAPHTHALIC: see NAPHTHALENE]

   phthisis  n.  any progressive wasting disease, esp. pulmonary
             tuberculosis.  ЬЬphthisic adj.  phthisical adj.  [L f. Gk f.
             phthino to decay]

   phut      n.  a dull abrupt sound as of an impact or explosion.  Ьgo phut
             colloq.  (esp. of a scheme or plan) collapse, break down.
             [perh. f. Hindi phatna to burst]

   phycology n.  the study of algae.  ЬЬphycological adj.  phycologist n.
             [Gk phukos seaweed + -LOGY]

             n.  any of various fungi which typically form non-septate
             mycelium.  [Gk phukos seaweed + pl. of Gk mukes mushroom]

   phyla     pl. of PHYLUM.

             n.  (pl.  -ies) 1 a small leather box containing Hebrew texts on
             vellum, worn by Jewish men at morning prayer as a reminder to
             keep the law.  2 an amulet; a charm.  3 a usu. ostentatious
             religious observance.  4 a fringe; a border.  [ME f. OF f. LL
             phylacterium f. Gk phulakterion amulet f.  phulasso guard]

   phyletic  adj.  Biol.  of or relating to the development of a species or
             other group.  [Gk phuletikos f.  phuletes tribesman f.  phule

   phyllo-   comb. form leaf.  [Gk phullo- f.  phullon leaf]

   phyllode  n.  a flattened leaf-stalk resembling a leaf.  [mod.L phyllodium
             f. Gk phullodes leaflike (as PHYLLO-)]

             adj.  feeding on leaves.

             n.  one of the K vitamins, found in cabbage, spinach, and other
             leafy green vegetables, and essential for the blood clotting
             process. Also called vitamin K[1].

             n.  any bat of the family Phyllostomatidae having a nose leaf.
             [PHYLLO- + Gk stoma mouth]

             n.  (also phyllotaxy) the arrangement of leaves on an axis or
             stem.  ЬЬphyllotactic adj.

             n.  any plant-louse of the genus Phylloxera, esp. of a species
             attacking vines.  [mod.L f. Gk phullon leaf + xeros dry]

   phylo-    comb. form Biol.  denoting a race or tribe.  [Gk phulon, phule]

             n.  (also phylogeny) 1 the evolutionary development of an
             organism or groups of organisms.  2 a history of this.
             ЬЬphylogenetic adj.  phylogenic adj.

   phylum    n.  (pl.  phyla) Biol.  a taxonomic rank below kingdom
             comprising a class or classes and subordinate taxa.  [mod.L f.
             Gk phulon race]

   physalis  n.  any plant of the genus Physalis, bearing fruit surrounded by
             lantern-like calyxes (see Chinese lantern 2).  [Gk physallis
             bladder, with ref. to the inflated calyx]

   physic    n. & v.  esp.  archaic.  --n.  1 a medicine (a dose of physic).
             2 the art of healing.  3 the medical profession.  --v.tr.
             (physicked, physicking) dose with physic.  Ьphysic garden a
             garden for cultivating medicinal herbs etc.  [ME f. OF fisique
             medicine f. L physica f. Gk phusike (episteme) (knowledge) of

   physical  adj. & n.  --adj.  1 of or concerning the body (physical
             exercise; physical education).  2 of matter; material (both
             mental and physical force).  3 a of, or according to, the laws
             of nature (a physical impossibility).  b belonging to physics
             (physical science).  --n. (in full physical examination) a
             medical examination to determine physical fitness.  Ьphysical
             chemistry the application of physics to the study of chemical
             behaviour.  physical geography geography dealing with natural
             features.  physical jerks colloq.  physical exercises.  physical
             science the sciences used in the study of inanimate natural
             objects, e.g.  physics, chemistry, astronomy, etc.  physical
             training exercises promoting bodily fitness and strength.
             ЬЬphysicality n.  physically adv.  physicalness n.  [ME f. med.L
             physicalis f. L physica (as PHYSIC)]

   physician n.  1 a a person legally qualified to practise medicine and
             surgery.  b a specialist in medical diagnosis and treatment.  c
             any medical practitioner.  2 a healer (work is the best
             physician).  [ME f. OF fisicien (as PHYSIC)]

   physicist n.  a person skilled or qualified in physics.

   physico-  comb. form 1 physical (and).  2 of physics (and).  [Gk phusikos
             (as PHYSIC)]

             adj.  relating to physics and chemistry or to physical

   physics   n.  the science dealing with the properties and interactions of
             matter and energy.  [pl. of physic physical (thing), after L
             physica, Gk phusika natural things f.  phusis nature]

   physio    n.  (pl.  -os) colloq.  a physiotherapist.  [abbr.]

   physio-   comb. form nature; what is natural.  [Gk phusis nature]

             n.  (pl.  -ies) hist.  1 government according to the natural
             order, esp. as advocated by some 18th-c. economists.  2 a
             society based on this.  ЬЬphysiocrat n.  physiocratic adj.  [F
             physiocratie (as PHYSIO-, -CRACY)]

             n.  (pl.  -ies) 1 a the cast or form of a person's features,
             expression, body, etc.  b the art of supposedly judging
             character from facial characteristics etc.  2 the external
             features of a landscape etc.  3 a characteristic, esp. moral,
             aspect.  ЬЬphysiognomic adj.  physiognomical adj.
             physiognomically adv.  physiognomist n.  [ME fisnomie etc. f. OF
             phisonomie f. med.L phisonomia f. Gk phusiognomonia judging of a
             man's nature (by his features) (as PHYSIO-, gnomon judge)]

             n.  the description of nature, of natural phenomena, or of a
             class of objects; physical geography.  ЬЬphysiographer n.
             physiographic adj.  physiographical adj.  physiographically adv.
             [F physiographie (as PHYSIO-, -GRAPHY)]

             adj.  (also physiologic) of or concerning physiology.
             Ьphysiological salt solution a saline solution having a
             concentration about equal to that of body fluids.
             ЬЬphysiologically adv.

             n.  1 the science of the functions of living organisms and their
             parts.  2 these functions.  ЬЬphysiologist n.  [F physiologie or
             L physiologia f. Gk phusiologia (as PHYSIO-, -LOGY)]

             n.  the treatment of disease, injury, deformity, etc., by
             physical methods including manipulation, massage, infrared heat
             treatment, remedial exercise, etc., not by drugs.
             ЬЬphysiotherapist n.

   physique  n.  the bodily structure, development, and organization of an
             individual (an undernourished physique).  [F, orig. adj. (as

   -phyte    comb. form forming nouns denoting a vegetable or plantlike
             organism (saprophyte; zoophyte).  ЬЬ-phytic comb. form forming
             adjectives.  [Gk phuton plant f.  phuo come into being]

   phyto-    comb. form denoting a plant.

             n.  the chemistry of plant products.  ЬЬphytochemical adj.
             phytochemist n.

             n.  Biochem.  a blue-green pigment found in many plants, and
             regulating various developmental processes according to the
             nature and timing of the light it absorbs.  [PHYTO- + Gk khroma

             n.  (also phytogeny) the science of the origin or evolution of

             n.  the geographical distribution of plants.

             n.  the study of plant diseases.

             adj.  feeding on plants.

             n.  plankton consisting of plants.

   phytotomy n.  the dissection of plants.

             adj.  poisonous to plants.

             n.  1 any toxin derived from a plant.  2 a substance poisonous
             or injurious to plants, esp. one produced by a parasite.

10.0 pi...

   pi(1)     n.  1 the sixteenth letter of the Greek alphabet.  2 (as &pi.)
             the symbol of the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its
             diameter (approx. 3.14159).  Ьpi-meson = PION.  [Gk: sense 2 f.
             Gk periphereia circumference]

   pi(2)     adj.  Brit.  sl.  pious.  Ьpi jaw a long moralizing lecture or
             reprimand.  [abbr.]

   pi(3)     US var. of PIE(3).

   piacular  adj.  formal 1 expiatory.  2 needing expiation.  [L piacularis
             f.  piaculum expiation f.  piare appease]

   piaffe    v.intr.  (of a horse etc.) move as in a trot, but slower.  [F
             piaffer to strut]

   piaffer   n.  the action of piaffing.

   pia mater n.  Anat.  the delicate innermost membrane enveloping the brain
             and spinal cord (see MENINX).  [med.L, = tender mother, transl.
             of Arab.  al-' umm al-rakika: cf.  DURA MATER]

   piani     pl. of PIANO(2).

   pianism   n.  1 the art or technique of piano-playing.  2 the skill or
             style of a composer of piano music.  ЬЬpianistic adj.
             pianistically adv.

             adj., adv., & n.  Mus.  --adj. performed very softly.  --adv.
             very softly.  --n.  (pl.  -os or pianissimi) a passage to be
             performed very softly.  [It., superl. of PIANO(2)]

   pianist   n.  the player of a piano.  [F pianiste (as PIANO(1))]

   piano(1)  n.  (pl.  -os) a large musical instrument played by pressing
             down keys on a keyboard and causing hammers to strike metal
             strings, the vibration from which is stopped by dampers when the
             keys are released.  Ьpiano-accordion an accordion with the
             melody played on a small vertical keyboard like that of a piano.
             piano organ a mechanical piano constructed like a barrel-organ.
             piano-player 1 a pianist.  2 a contrivance for playing a piano
             automatically.  [It., abbr. of PIANOFORTE]

   piano(2)  adj., adv., & n.  --adj.  1 Mus. performed softly.  2 subdued.
             --adv.  1 Mus. softly.  2 in a subdued manner.  --n.  (pl.  -os
             or piani) Mus. a piano passage .  [It. f. L planus flat, (of
             sound) soft]

             n.  Mus.  formal or archaic a piano.  [It., earlier piano e
             forte soft and loud, expressing its gradation of tone]

   Pianola   n.  1 propr. a kind of automatic piano; a player-piano.  2
             (pianola) Bridge an easy hand needing no skill.  3 (pianola) an
             easy task.  [app. dimin. of PIANO(1)]

   piano nobile
             n.  Archit.  the main storey of a large house.  [It., = noble

   piassava  n.  1 a stout fibre obtained from the leaf-stalks of various
             American and African palm-trees.  2 any of these trees.  [Port.
             f. Tupi pia‡ ba]

   piastre   n.  (US piaster) a small coin and monetary unit of several
             Middle Eastern countries.  [F piastre f. It.  piastra
             (d'argento) plate (of silver), formed as PLASTER]

   piazza    n.  1 a public square or market-place esp. in an Italian town.
             2 US the veranda of a house.  [It., formed as PLACE]

   pibroch   n.  a series of esp. martial or funerary variations on a theme
             for the bagpipes.  [Gael.  piobaireachd art of piping f.
             piobair piper f.  piob f. E PIPE]

   pic       n.  colloq.  a picture, esp. a cinema film.  [abbr.]

   pica(1)   n.  Printing 1 a unit of type-size (1/6 inch).  2 a size of
             letters in typewriting (10 per inch).  [AL pica 15th-c. book of
             rules about church feasts, perh. formed as PIE(2)]

   pica(2)   n.  Med.  the eating of substances other than normal food.
             [mod.L or med.L, = magpie]

   picador   n.  a mounted man with a lance who goads the bull in a
             bullfight.  [Sp. f.  picar prick]

             adj.  (of a style of fiction) dealing with the episodic
             adventures of rogues etc.  [F f. Sp.  picaresco f.  pЎcaro

   picaroon  n.  1 a a rogue.  b a thief.  2 a a pirate.  b a pirate ship.
             [Sp.  picarўn (as PICARESQUE)]

   picayune  n. & adj.  US --n.  1 colloq. a small coin of little value, esp.
             a 5-cent piece.  2 an insignificant person or thing.  --adj.
             mean; contemptible; petty.  [F picaillon Piedmontese coin, cash,
             f. Prov.  picaioun, of unkn. orig.]

             n.  (pl.  piccalillis) a pickle of chopped vegetables, mustard,
             and hot spices.  [18th c.: perh. f.  PICKLE + CHILLI]

             n. & adj.  (US pickaninny) --n.  (pl.  -ies) often offens. a
             small Black or Australian Aboriginal child.  --adj.  archaic
             very small.  [W.Ind. Negro f. Sp.  peque¤o or Port.  pequeno

   piccolo   n.  (pl.  -os) 1 a small flute sounding an octave higher than
             the ordinary one.  2 its player.  [It., = small (flute)]

             n.  (pl.  -os) a small S. American armadillo, Chlamyphorus
             truncatus.  [Sp.  pichiciego perh. f. Guarani pichey armadillo +
             Sp.  ciego blind f. L caecus]

   pick(1)   v. & n.  --v.tr.  1 (also absol.) choose carefully from a number
             of alternatives (picked the pink one; picked a team; picked the
             right moment to intervene).  2 detach or pluck (a flower, fruit,
             etc.) from a stem, tree, etc.  3 a probe (the teeth, nose, ears,
             a pimple, etc.) with the finger, an instrument, etc. to remove
             unwanted matter.  b clear (a bone, carcass, etc.) of scraps of
             meat etc.  4 (also absol.) (of a person) eat (food, a meal,
             etc.) in small bits; nibble without appetite.  5 (also absol.)
             esp.  US pluck the strings of (a banjo etc.).  6 remove stalks
             etc. from (esp. soft fruit) before cooking.  7 a select (a route
             or path) carefully over difficult terrain by foot.  b place
             (one's steps etc.) carefully.  8 pull apart (pick oakum).  9 (of
             a bird) take up (grains etc.) in the beak.  --n.  1 the act or
             an instance of picking.  2 a a selection or choice.  b the right
             to select (had first pick of the prizes).  3 (usu. foll. by of)
             the best (the pick of the bunch).  Ьpick and choose select
             carefully or fastidiously.  pick at 1 eat (food) without
             interest; nibble.  2 = pick on 1 (see PICK(1)).  pick a person's
             brains extract ideas, information, etc., from a person for one's
             own use.  pick holes (or a hole) in 1 make holes in (material
             etc.) by plucking, poking, etc.  2 find fault with (an idea
             etc.).  pick a lock open a lock with an instrument other than
             the proper key, esp.  with intent to steal.  pick-me-up 1 a
             tonic for the nerves etc.  2 a good experience, good news, etc.
             that cheers.  pick off 1 pluck (leaves etc.) off.  2 shoot
             (people etc.) one by one without haste.  3 eliminate (opposition
             etc.) singly.  pick on 1 find fault with; nag at.  2 select.
             pick out 1 take from a larger number (picked him out from the
             others).  2 distinguish from surrounding objects or at a
             distance (can just pick out the church spire).  3 play (a tune)
             by ear on the piano etc.  4 (often foll. by in, with) a
             highlight (a painting etc.) with touches of another colour.  b
             accentuate (decoration, a painting, etc.) with a contrasting
             colour (picked out the handles in red).  5 make out (the meaning
             of a passage etc.).  pick over select the best from.  pick a
             person's pockets steal the contents of a person's pockets.  pick
             a quarrel start an argument or a fight deliberately.  pick to
             pieces = take to pieces (see PIECE).  pick up 1 grasp and raise
             (from the ground etc.) (picked up his hat).  2 gain or acquire
             by chance or without effort (picked up a cold).  3 a fetch (a
             person, animal, or thing) left in another person's charge.  b
             stop for and take along with one, esp. in a vehicle (pick me up
             on the corner).  4 make the acquaintance of (a person) casually,
             esp. as a sexual overture.  5 (of one's health, the weather,
             share prices, etc.) recover, prosper, improve.  6 (of a motor
             engine etc.) recover speed; accelerate.  7 (of the police etc.)
             take into charge; arrest.  8 detect by scrutiny or with a
             telescope, searchlight, radio, etc. (picked up most of the
             mistakes; picked up a distress signal).  9 (often foll. by with)
             form or renew a friendship.  10 accept the responsibility of
             paying (a bill etc.).  11 (refl.) raise (oneself etc.) after a
             fall etc.  12 raise (the feet etc.) clear of the ground.  13
             Golf pick up one's ball, esp. when conceding a hole.  pick-up 1
             sl. a person met casually, esp. for sexual purposes.  2 a small
             open motor truck.  3 a the part of a record-player carrying the
             stylus.  b a detector of vibrations etc.  4 a the act of picking
             up.  b something picked up.  pick-your-own (usu.  attrib.) (of
             commercially grown fruit and vegetables) dug or picked by the
             customer at the place of production.  take one's pick make a
             choice.  ЬЬpickable adj.  [ME, earlier pike, of unkn. orig.]

   pick(2)   n. & v.  --n.  1 a long-handled tool having a usu. curved iron
             bar pointed at one or both ends, used for breaking up hard
             ground, masonry, etc.  2 colloq. a plectrum.  3 any instrument
             for picking, such as a toothpick.  --v.tr.  1 break the surface
             of (the ground etc.) with or as if with a pick.  2 make (holes
             etc.) in this way.  [ME, app. var. of PIKE(2)]

   pickaback var. of PIGGYBACK.

             US var. of PICCANINNY.

   pickaxe   n. & v.  (US pickax) --n. = PICK(2) n.  1.  --v.  1 tr. break
             (the ground etc.) with a pickaxe.  2 intr. work with a pickaxe.
             [ME pikois f. OF picois, rel. to PIKE(2): assim. to AXE]

             n.  hist.  a German soldier's spiked helmet.  [G]

   picker    n.  1 a person or thing that picks.  2 (often in comb.) a person
             who gathers or collects (hop-picker; rag-picker).

   pickerel  n.  (pl. same or pickerels) a young pike.  [ME, dimin. of

   picket    n. & v.  --n.  1 a person or group of people outside a place of
             work, intending to persuade esp. workers not to enter during a
             strike etc.  2 a pointed stake or peg driven into the ground to
             form a fence or palisade, to tether a horse, etc.  3 (also
             picquet, piquet) Mil.  a a small body of troops sent out to
             watch for the enemy, held in readiness, etc.  b a party of
             sentries.  c an outpost.  d a camp-guard on police duty in a
             garrison town etc.  --v.  (picketed, picketing) 1 a tr. & intr.
             station or act as a picket.  b tr. beset or guard (a factory,
             workers, etc.) with a picket or pickets.  2 tr. secure (a place)
             with stakes.  3 tr. tether (an animal).  Ьpicket line a boundary
             established by workers on strike, esp. at the entrance to the
             place of work, which others are asked not to cross.  ЬЬpicketer
             n.  [F piquet pointed stake f.  piquer prick, f.  pic PICK(2)]

   pickings  n.pl.  1 perquisites; pilferings (rich pickings).  2 remaining
             scraps; gleanings.

   pickle    n. & v.  --n.  1 a (often in pl.) food, esp. vegetables,
             preserved in brine, vinegar, mustard, etc. and used as a relish.
             b the brine, vinegar, etc. in which food is preserved.  2
             colloq. a plight (a fine pickle we are in!).  3 Brit.  colloq. a
             mischievous child.  4 an acid solution for cleaning metal etc.
             --v.tr.  1 preserve in pickle.  2 treat with pickle.  3 (as
             pickled adj.) sl. drunk.  [ME pekille, pykyl, f. MDu., MLG
             pekel, of unkn. orig.]

   pickler   n.  1 a person who pickles vegetables etc.  2 a vegetable
             suitable for pickling.

   picklock  n.  1 a person who picks locks.  2 an instrument for this.

             n.  a person who steals from the pockets of others.

             adj.  1 of or like Mr Pickwick in Dickens's Pickwick Papers,
             esp. in being jovial, plump, etc.  2 (of words or their sense)
             misunderstood or misused, esp.  to avoid offence.

   picky     adj.  (pickier, pickiest) colloq.  excessively fastidious;
             choosy.  ЬЬpickiness n.

   picnic    n. & v.  --n.  1 an outing or excursion including a packed meal
             eaten out of doors.  2 any meal eaten out of doors or without
             preparation, tables, chairs, etc.  3 (usu. with neg.) colloq.
             something agreeable or easily accomplished etc. (it was no
             picnic organizing the meeting).  --v.intr.  (picnicked,
             picnicking) take part in a picnic.  ЬЬpicnicker n.  picnicky
             adj.  colloq.  [F pique-nique, of unkn. orig.]

   pico-     comb. form denoting a factor of 10(-12) (picometre).  [Sp. pico
             beak, peak, little bit]

   picot     n.  a small loop of twisted thread in a lace edging etc.  [F,
             dimin. of pic peak, point]

   picotee   n.  a type of carnation of which the flowers have a light ground
             and dark-edged petals.  [F picot‚ -‚e past part. of picoter
             prick (as PICOT)]

   picquet   var. of PICKET 3.

   picric acid
             n.  a very bitter yellow compound used in dyeing and surgery and
             in explosives.  ЬЬpicrate n.  [Gk pikros bitter]

   Pict      n.  a member of an ancient people of N. Britain.  ЬЬPictish adj.
             [ME f. LL Picti perh. f.  pingere pict- paint, tattoo]

             n.  (also pictogram) 1 a a pictorial symbol for a word or
             phrase.  b an ancient record consisting of these.  2 a pictorial
             representation of statistics etc. on a chart, graph, etc.
             ЬЬpictographic adj.  pictography n.  [L pingere pict- paint]

   pictorial adj. & n.  --adj.  1 of or expressed in a picture or pictures.
             2 illustrated.  3 picturesque.  --n. a journal, postage stamp,
             etc., with a picture or pictures as the main feature.
             ЬЬpictorially adv.  [LL pictorius f. L pictor painter (as

   picture   n. & v.  --n.  1 a (often attrib.) a painting, drawing,
             photograph, etc., esp. as a work of art (picture frame).  b a
             portrait, esp. a photograph, of a person (does not like to have
             her picture taken).  c a beautiful object (her hat is a
             picture).  2 a a total visual or mental impression produced; a
             scene (the picture looks bleak).  b a written or spoken
             description (drew a vivid picture of moral decay).  3 a a film.
             b (in pl.) Brit. a showing of films at a cinema (went to the
             pictures).  c (in pl.) films in general.  4 an image on a
             television screen.  5 colloq.  a esp.  iron. a person or thing
             exemplifying something (he was the picture of innocence).  b a
             person or thing resembling another closely (the picture of her
             aunt).  --v.tr.  1 represent in a picture.  2 (also refl.; often
             foll. by to) imagine, esp. visually or vividly (pictured it to
             herself).  3 describe graphically.  Ьget the picture colloq.
             grasp the tendency or drift of circumstances, information, etc.
             in the picture fully informed or noticed.  out of the picture
             uninvolved, inactive; irrelevant.  picture-book a book
             containing many illustrations.  picture-card a court-card.
             picture-gallery a place containing an exhibition or collection
             of pictures.  picture-goer a person who frequents the cinema.
             picture hat a woman's wide-brimmed highly decorated hat as in
             pictures by Reynolds and Gainsborough.  picture-moulding 1
             woodwork etc. used for framing pictures.  2 a rail on a wall
             used for hanging pictures from.  picture-palace (or -theatre)
             Brit.  archaic a cinema.  picture postcard a postcard with a
             picture on one side.  picture window a very large window
             consisting of one pane of glass.  picture-writing a mode of
             recording events etc. by pictorial symbols as in early
             hieroglyphics etc.  [ME f. L pictura f.  pingere pict- paint]

             adj.  1 (of landscape etc.) beautiful or striking, as in a
             picture.  2 (of language etc.) strikingly graphic; vivid.
             ЬЬpicturesquely adv.  picturesqueness n.  [F pittoresque f. It.
             pittoresco f.  pittore painter f. L (as PICTORIAL): assim. to

   piddle    v. & n.  --v.intr.  1 colloq. urinate (used esp. to or by
             children).  2 work or act in a trifling way.  3 (as piddling
             adj.) colloq. trivial; trifling.  --n.  colloq.  1 urination.  2
             urine (used esp. to or by children).  ЬЬpiddler n.  [sense 1
             prob. f.  PISS + PUDDLE: sense 2 perh. f.  PEDDLE]

   piddock   n.  any rock-boring bivalve mollusc of the family Pholadidae,
             used for bait.  [18th c.: orig. unkn.]

   pidgin    n.  a simplified language containing vocabulary from two or more
             languages, used for communication between people not having a
             common language.  Ьpidgin English a pidgin in which the chief
             language is English, used orig. between Chinese and Europeans.
             [corrupt. of business]

   pi-dog    var. of PYE-DOG.

   pie(1)    n.  1 a baked dish of meat, fish, fruit, etc., usu. with a top
             and base of pastry.  2 anything resembling a pie in form (a mud
             pie).  Ьeasy as pie very easy.  pie chart a circle divided into
             sectors to represent relative quantities.  pie-eater Austral.
             sl.  a person of little account.  pie-eyed sl.  drunk.  pie in
             the sky an unrealistic prospect of future happiness after
             present suffering; a misleading promise.  [ME, perh. = PIE(2) f.
             miscellaneous contents compared to objects collected by a

   pie(2)    n.  archaic 1 a magpie.  2 a pied animal.  [ME f. OF f. L pica]

   pie(3)    n. & v.  (US pi) --n.  1 a confused mass of printers' type.  2
             chaos.  --v.tr.  (pieing) muddle up (type).  [perh. transl. F
             P&AC.T&EA. = PIE(1)]

   pie(4)    n.  hist.  a former monetary unit of India equal to one-twelfth
             of an anna.  [Hind. etc.  pa' i f. Skr.  pad, padi quarter]

   piebald   adj. & n.  --adj.  1 (usu. of an animal, esp. a horse) having
             irregular patches of two colours, esp. black and white.  2
             motley; mongrel.  --n. a piebald animal, esp. a horse.

   piece     n. & v.  --n.  1 a (often foll. by of) one of the distinct
             portions forming part of or broken off from a larger object; a
             bit; a part (a piece of string).  b each of the parts of which a
             set or category is composed (a five-piece band; a piece of
             furniture).  2 a coin of specified value (50p piece).  3 a a
             usu. short literary or musical composition or a picture.  b a
             theatrical play.  4 an item, instance, or example (a piece of
             impudence; a piece of news).  5 a any of the objects used to
             make moves in board-games.  b a chessman (strictly, other than a
             pawn).  6 a definite quantity in which a thing is sold.  7
             (often foll. by of) an enclosed portion (of land etc.).  8
             derog.  sl. a woman.  9 US (foll. by of) sl. a financial share
             or investment in (has a piece of the new production).  --v.tr.
             1 (usu. foll. by together) form into a whole; put together; join
             (finally pieced his story together).  2 (usu. foll. by out) a
             eke out.  b form (a theory etc.) by combining parts etc.  3
             (usu. foll. by up) patch.  4 join (threads) in spinning.  Ьbreak
             to pieces break into fragments.  by the piece (paid) according
             to the quantity of work done.  go to pieces collapse
             emotionally; suffer a breakdown.  in one piece 1 unbroken.  2
             unharmed.  in pieces broken.  of a piece (often foll. by with)
             uniform, consistent, in keeping.  piece-goods fabrics, esp.
             Lancashire cottons, woven in standard lengths.  a piece of cake
             see CAKE.  piece of eight hist.  a Spanish dollar, equivalent to
             8 reals.  piece of goods sl.  derog.  a woman.  a piece of one's
             mind a sharp rebuke or lecture.  piece of water a small lake
             etc.  piece of work a thing made by working (cf.  nasty piece of
             work).  piece-rates a rate paid according to the amount
             produced.  piece-work work paid for by the amount produced.  say
             one's piece give one's opinion or make a prepared statement.
             take to pieces 1 break up or dismantle.  2 criticize harshly.
             ЬЬpiecer n. (in sense 4 of v.).  [ME f. AF pece, OF piece f.
             Rmc, prob. of Gaulish orig.: cf.  PEAT]

   piЉce de r‚sistance
             n.  (pl.  piЉces de r‚sistance pronunc. same) 1 the most
             important or remarkable item.  2 the most substantial dish at a
             meal.  [F]

   piecemeal adv. & adj.  --adv. piece by piece; gradually.  --adj. partial;
             gradual; unsystematic.  [ME f.  PIECE + - meal f. OE m‘lum
             (instr. dative pl. of m‘l MEAL(1))]

   piecrust  n.  the baked pastry crust of a pie.  Ьpiecrust table a table
             with an indented edge like a piecrust.

   pied      adj.  particoloured.  ЬPied Piper a person enticing followers
             esp. to their doom.  [ME f.  PIE(2), orig. of friars]

             n.  (pl.  pieds-…-terre pronunc. same) a usu. small flat, house,
             etc. kept for occasional use.  [F, lit. 'foot to earth']

   piedmont  n.  a gentle slope leading from the foot of mountains to a
             region of flat land.  [It.  piemonte mountain foot, name of a
             region at the foot of the Alps]

   pie-dog   var. of PYE-DOG.

   pieman    n.  (pl.  -men) a pie seller.

   pier      n.  1 a a structure of iron or wood raised on piles and leading
             out to sea, a lake, etc., used as a promenade and landing-stage,
             and often with entertainment arcades etc.  b a breakwater; a
             mole.  2 a a support of an arch or of the span of a bridge; a
             pillar.  b solid masonry between windows etc.  Ьpier-glass a
             large mirror, used orig. to fill wall-space between windows.
             [ME per f. AL pera, of unkn. orig.]

   pierce    v.  1 tr.  a (of a sharp instrument etc.) penetrate the surface
             of.  b (often foll. by with) prick with a sharp instrument, esp.
             to make a hole in.  c make (a hole etc.) (pierced a hole in the
             belt).  d (of cold, grief, etc.) affect keenly or sharply.  e
             (of a light, glance, sound, etc.) penetrate keenly or sharply.
             2 (as piercing adj.) (of a glance, intuition, high noise, bright
             light, etc.) keen, sharp, or unpleasantly penetrating.  3 tr.
             force (a way etc.) through or into (something) (pierced their
             way through the jungle).  4 intr. (usu. foll. by through, into)
             penetrate.  ЬЬpiercer n.  piercingly adv.  [ME f. OF percer f. L
             pertundere bore through (as PER-, tundere tus- thrust)]

   pierrot   n.  (fem.  pierrette) Theatr.  1 a white-faced entertainer in
             pier shows etc. with a loose white clown's costume.  2 a French
             pantomime character so dressed.  [F, dimin. of Pierre Peter]

   piet…     n.  a picture or sculpture of the Virgin Mary holding the dead
             body of Christ on her lap or in her arms.  [It. f. L (as PIETY)]

   pietas    n.  respect due to an ancestor, a forerunner, etc.  [L: see

   pietism   n.  1 a pious sentiment.  b an exaggerated or affected piety.  2
             (esp. as Pietism) hist. a movement for the revival of piety in
             the Lutheran Church in the 17th c.  ЬЬpietist n.  pietistic adj.
             pietistical adj.  [G Pietismus (as PIETY)]

   piety     n.  (pl.  -ies) 1 the quality of being pious.  2 a pious act.
             [ME f. OF piet‚ f. L pietas -tatis dutifulness (as PIOUS)]

             n.  electric polarization in a substance resulting from the
             application of mechanical stress, esp. in certain crystals.
             ЬЬpiezoelectric adj.  piezoelectrically adv.  [Gk piezo press +

             n.  an instrument for measuring the magnitude or direction of

   piffle    n. & v.  colloq.  --n. nonsense; empty speech.  --v.intr. talk
             or act feebly; trifle.  ЬЬpiffler n.  [imit.]

   piffling  adj.  colloq.  trivial; worthless.

   pig       n. & v.  --n.  1 a any omnivorous hoofed bristly mammal of the
             family Suidae, esp. a domesticated kind, Sus scrofa.  b US a
             young pig; a piglet.  c (often in comb.) any similar animal
             (guinea-pig).  2 the flesh of esp. a young or sucking pig as
             food (roast pig).  3 colloq.  a a greedy, dirty, obstinate,
             sulky, or annoying person.  b an unpleasant, awkward, or
             difficult thing, task, etc.  4 an oblong mass of metal (esp.
             iron or lead) from a smelting-furnace.  5 sl.  derog. a
             policeman.  --v.  (pigged, pigging) 1 tr. (also absol.) (of a
             sow) bring forth (piglets).  2 tr.  colloq. eat (food) greedily.
             3 intr. herd together or behave like pigs.  Ьbleed like a pig
             (or stuck pig) bleed copiously.  buy a pig in a poke buy,
             accept, etc. something without knowing its value or esp.  seeing
             it.  in pig (of a sow) pregnant.  in a pig's eye colloq.
             certainly not.  make a pig of oneself overeat.  make a pig's ear
             of colloq.  make a mess of; bungle.  pig in the middle a person
             who is placed in an awkward situation between two others (after
             a ball game for three with one in the middle).  pig-iron crude
             iron from a smelting-furnace.  Pig Island Austral. & NZ sl.  New
             Zealand.  pig it live in a disorderly, untidy, or filthy
             fashion.  pig-jump Austral.  sl.  n.  a jump made by a horse
             from all four legs.  --v.intr. (of a horse) jump in this manner.
             pig Latin a made-up jargon.  pig-meat Brit.  pork, ham, or
             bacon.  pig out (often foll. by on) esp.  US sl.  eat
             gluttonously.  pigs might fly iron.  an expression of disbelief.
             pig-sticker a long sharp knife.  pig's wash = PIGSWILL.
             ЬЬpiggish adj.  piggishly adv.  piggishness n.  piglet n.
             piglike adj.  pigling n.  [ME pigge f. OE pigga (unrecorded)]

   pigeon(1) n.  1 any of several large usu. grey and white birds of the
             family Columbidae, esp.  Columba livia, often domesticated and
             bred and trained to carry messages etc.; a dove (cf.
             rock-pigeon).  2 a person easily swindled; a simpleton.
             Ьpigeon-breast (or -chest) a deformed human chest with a
             projecting breastbone.  pigeon-breasted (or -chested) having a
             pigeon-breast.  pigeon-fancier a person who keeps and breeds
             fancy pigeons.  pigeon-fancying this pursuit.  pigeon-hawk =
             MERLIN.  pigeon-hearted cowardly.  pigeon-hole n.  1 each of a
             set of compartments in a cabinet or on a wall for papers,
             letters, etc.  2 a small recess for a pigeon to nest in.
             --v.tr.  1 deposit (a document) in a pigeon-hole.  2 put (a
             matter) aside for future consideration or to forget it.  3
             assign (a person or thing) to a preconceived category.  pigeon
             pair Brit.  1 boy and girl twins.  2 a boy and girl as sole
             children.  pigeon's milk 1 a secretion from the oesophagus with
             which pigeons feed their young.  2 an imaginary article for
             which children are sent on a fool's errand.  pigeon-toed (of a
             person) having the toes turned inwards.  ЬЬpigeonry n.  (pl.
             -ies).  [ME f. OF pijon f. LL pipio -onis (imit.)]

   pigeon(2) n.  1 = PIDGIN.  2 colloq. a particular concern, job, or
             business (that's not my pigeon).

   piggery   n.  (pl.  -ies) 1 a pig-breeding farm etc.  2 = PIGSTY.  3

   piggy     n. & adj.  --n.  (also piggie) colloq.  1 a little pig.  2 a a
             child's word for a pig.  b a child's word for a toe.  3 Brit.
             the game of tipcat.  --adj.  (piggier, piggiest) 1 like a pig.
             2 (of features etc.) like those of a pig (little piggy eyes).
             Ьpiggy bank a pig-shaped money box.  piggy in the middle = pig
             in the middle.

   piggyback n. & adv.  (also pickaback) --n. a ride on the back and
             shoulders of another person.  --adv.  1 on the back and
             shoulders of another person.  2 on the back or top of a larger
             object.  [16th c.: orig. unkn.]

   pigheaded adj.  obstinate.  ЬЬpigheadedly adv.  pigheadedness n.

   pigment   n. & v.  --n.  1 colouring-matter used as paint or dye, usu. as
             an insoluble suspension.  2 the natural colouring-matter of
             animal or plant tissue, e.g. chlorophyll, haemoglobin.  --v.tr.
             colour with or as if with pigment.  ЬЬpigmental adj.  pigmentary
             adj.  [ME f. L pigmentum f.  pingere paint]

             n.  1 the natural colouring of plants, animals, etc.  2 the
             excessive colouring of tissue by the deposition of pigment.

   pigmy     var. of PYGMY.

   pignut    n.  = earth-nut.

   pigpen    n.  US = PIGSTY.

   pigskin   n.  1 the hide of a pig.  2 leather made from this.  3 US a

             n.  1 the hunting of wild boar with a spear on horseback.  2 the
             butchering of pigs.

   pigsty    n.  (pl.  -ies) 1 a pen or enclosure for a pig or pigs.  2 a
             filthy house, room, etc.

   pigswill  n.  kitchen refuse and scraps fed to pigs.

   pigtail   n.  1 a plait of hair hanging from the back of the head, or
             either of a pair at the sides.  2 a thin twist of tobacco.
             ЬЬpigtailed adj.

   pigwash   n.  = PIGSWILL.

   pigweed   n.  any herb of the genus Amaranthus, grown for grain or fodder.

   pika      n.  any small rabbit-like mammal of the genus Ochotona, with
             small ears and no tail.  [Tungus piika]

   pike(1)   n.  (pl. same) 1 a large voracious freshwater fish, Esox lucius,
             with a long narrow snout and sharp teeth.  2 any other fish of
             the family Esocidae.  Ьpike-perch any of various pikelike
             perches of the genus Lucioperca or Stizostedion.  [ME, = PIKE(2)
             (because of its pointed jaw)]

   pike(2)   n. & v.  --n.  1 hist. an infantry weapon with a pointed steel
             or iron head on a long wooden shaft.  2 N.Engl. the peaked top
             of a hill, esp. in names of hills in the Lake District.  --v.tr.
             thrust through or kill with a pike.  Ьpike on colloq.  withdraw
             timidly from.  [OE pic point, prick: sense 2 perh. f. ON]

   pike(3)   n.  1 a toll-gate; a toll.  2 a turnpike road.  [abbr. of

   pike(4)   n.  a jackknife position in diving or gymnastics.  [20th c.:
             orig. unkn.]

   pikelet   n.  N.Engl.  a thin kind of crumpet.  [Welsh (bara) pyglyd
             pitchy (bread)]

   pikeman   n.  (pl.  -men) the keeper of a turnpike.

   piker     n.  a cautious, timid, or mean person.

   pikestaff n.  1 the wooden shaft of a pike.  2 a walking-stick with a
             metal point.  Ьplain as a pikestaff quite plain or obvious
             (orig.  packstaff, a smooth staff used by a pedlar).

   pilaster  n.  a rectangular column, esp. one projecting from a wall.
             ЬЬpilastered adj.  [F pilastre f. It.  pilastro f. med.L
             pilastrum f. L pila pillar]

   pilau     n.  (also pilaff, pilaw) a Middle Eastern or Indian dish of
             spiced rice or wheat with meat, fish, vegetables, etc.  [Turk.

   pilch     n.  archaic a baby's usu. waterproof garment worn over a nappy.
             [OE pyl(e)ce f. LL pellicia: see PELISSE]

   pilchard  n.  a small marine fish, Sardinia pilchardus of the herring
             family (see SARDINE).  [16th-c.  pilcher etc.: orig. unkn.]

   pile(1)   n. & v.  --n.  1 a heap of things laid or gathered upon one
             another (a pile of leaves).  2 a a large imposing building (a
             stately pile).  b a large group of tall buildings.  3 colloq.  a
             a large quantity.  b a large amount of money; a fortune (made
             his pile).  4 a a series of plates of dissimilar metals laid one
             on another alternately to produce an electric current.  b =
             atomic pile.  5 a funeral pyre.  --v.  1 tr.  a (often foll. by
             up, on) heap up (piled the plates on the table).  b (foll. by
             with) load (piled the bed with coats).  2 intr. (usu. foll. by
             in, into, on, out of, etc.) crowd hurriedly or tightly (all
             piled into the car; piled out of the restaurant).  Ьpile arms
             hist.  place (usu. four) rifles with their butts on the ground
             and the muzzles together.  pile it on colloq.  exaggerate.  pile
             on the agony colloq.  exaggerate for effect or to gain sympathy
             etc.  pile up 1 accumulate; heap up.  2 colloq. run (a ship)
             aground or cause (a vehicle etc.) to crash.  pile-up n.  colloq.
             a multiple crash of road vehicles.  [ME f. OF f. L pila pillar,
             pier, mole]

   pile(2)   n. & v.  --n.  1 a heavy beam driven vertically into the bed of
             a river, soft ground, etc., to support the foundations of a
             superstructure.  2 a pointed stake or post.  3 Heraldry a
             wedge-shaped device.  --v.tr.  1 provide with piles.  2 drive
             (piles) into the ground etc.  Ьpile-driver a machine for driving
             piles into the ground.  pile-dwelling a dwelling built on piles,
             esp. in a lake.  [OE pil f. L pilum javelin]

   pile(3)   n.  1 the soft projecting surface on velvet, plush, etc., or
             esp.  on a carpet; nap.  2 soft hair or down, or the wool of a
             sheep.  [ME prob. f. AF pyle, peile, OF poil f. L pilus hair]

   piles     n.pl.  colloq.  haemorrhoids.  [ME prob. f. L pila ball, f. the
             globular form of external piles]

   pileus    n.  (pl.  pilei) the caplike part of a mushroom or other fungus.
             ЬЬpileate adj.  pileated adj.  [L, = felt cap]

   pilewort  n.  the lesser celandine.  [PILES, f. its reputed efficacy
             against piles]

   pilfer    v.tr.  (also absol.) steal (objects) esp. in small quantities.
             ЬЬpilferage n.  pilferer n.  [ME f. AF & OF pelfrer pillage, of
             unkn. orig.: assoc. with archaic pill plunder: PELF]

   pilgrim   n. & v.  --n.  1 a person who journeys to a sacred place for
             religious reasons.  2 a person regarded as journeying through
             life etc.  3 a traveller.  --v.intr.  (pilgrimed, pilgriming)
             wander like a pilgrim.  ЬPilgrim Fathers English Puritans who
             founded the colony of Plymouth, Massachusetts, in 1620.
             ЬЬpilgrimize v.intr.  (also -ise).  [ME pilegrim f. Prov.
             pelegrin f. L peregrinus stranger: see PEREGRINE]

             n. & v.  --n.  1 a pilgrim's journey (go on a pilgrimage).  2
             life viewed as a journey.  3 any journey taken for nostalgic or
             sentimental reasons.  --v.intr. go on a pilgrimage.  [ME f.
             Prov.  pilgrinatge (as PILGRIM)]

   Pilipino  n.  the national language of the Philippines.  [Tagalog f. Sp.

   pill      n.  1 a solid medicine formed into a ball or a flat disc for
             swallowing whole.  b (usu. prec. by the) colloq. a contraceptive
             pill.  2 an unpleasant or painful necessity; a humiliation (a
             bitter pill; must swallow the pill).  3 colloq. or joc. a ball,
             e.g. a football, a cannon-ball.  Ьsugar (or sweeten) the pill
             make an unpleasant necessity acceptable.  [MDu., MLG pille prob.
             f. L pilula dimin. of pila ball]

   pillage   v. & n.  --v.tr. (also absol.) plunder; sack (a place or a
             person).  --n. the act or an instance of pillaging, esp. in war.
             ЬЬpillager n.  [ME f. OF f.  piller plunder]

   pillar    n.  1 a a usu. slender vertical structure of wood, metal, or
             esp.  stone used as a support for a roof etc.  b a similar
             structure used for ornament.  c a post supporting a structure.
             2 a person regarded as a mainstay or support (a pillar of the
             faith; a pillar of strength).  3 an upright mass of air, water,
             rock, etc. (pillar of salt).  4 a solid mass of coal etc. left
             to support the roof of a mine.  Ьfrom pillar to post (driven
             etc.) from one place to another; to and fro.  pillar-box Brit.
             a public postbox shaped like a pillar.  pillar-box red a bright
             red colour, as of pillar-boxes.  Pillars of Hercules 1 two rocks
             on either side of the Strait of Gibraltar.  2 the ultimate
             limit.  ЬЬpillared adj.  pillaret n.  [ME & AF piler, OF pilier
             ult. f. L pila pillar]

   pillbox   n.  1 a small shallow cylindrical box for holding pills.  2 a
             hat of a similar shape.  3 Mil. a small partly underground
             enclosed concrete fort used as an outpost.

   pillion   n.  1 seating for a passenger behind a motor cyclist.  2 hist.
             a a woman's light saddle.  b a cushion attached to the back of a
             saddle for a usu. female passenger.  Ьride pillion travel seated
             behind a motor cyclist etc.  [Gael.  pillean, pillin dimin. of
             pell cushion f. L pellis skin]

             n.  hist.  an instrument of torture used for squeezing the
             fingers.  [ME pyrwykes, pyrewinkes, of unkn. orig.]

   pillock   n.  Brit.  sl.  a stupid person; a fool.  [16th c., = penis
             (var. of pillicock): 20th c. in sense defined]

   pillory   n. & v.  --n.  (pl.  -ies) hist. a wooden framework with holes
             for the head and hands, enabling the public to assault or
             ridicule a person so imprisoned.  --v.tr.  (-ies, -ied) 1 expose
             (a person) to ridicule or public contempt.  2 hist. put in the
             pillory.  [ME f. AL pillorium f. OF pilori etc.: prob. f. Prov.
             espilori of uncert. orig.]

   pillow    n. & v.  --n.  1 a a usu. oblong support for the head, esp. in
             bed, with a cloth cover stuffed with feathers, flock, foam
             rubber, etc.  b any pillow-shaped block or support.  2 =
             lace-pillow.  --v.tr.  1 rest (the head etc.) on or as if on a
             pillow (pillowed his head on his arms).  2 serve as a pillow for
             (moss pillowed her head).  Ьpillow-fight a mock fight with
             pillows, esp. by children.  pillow-lace lace made on a
             lace-pillow.  pillow lava lava forming rounded masses.  pillow
             talk romantic or intimate conversation in bed.  ЬЬpillowy adj.
             [OE pyle, pylu, ult. f. L pulvinus cushion]

             n.  a washable cotton etc. cover for a pillow.

             n.  = PILLOWCASE.

   pillule   var. of PILULE.

   pillwort  n.  an aquatic fern, Pilularia globulifera, with small globular
             spore-producing bracts.

   pilose    adj.  (also pilous) covered with hair.  ЬЬpilosity n.  [L
             pilosus f.  pilus hair]

   pilot     n. & v.  --n.  1 a person who operates the flying controls of an
             aircraft.  2 a person qualified to take charge of a ship
             entering or leaving harbour.  3 (usu.  attrib.) an experimental
             undertaking or test, esp. in advance of a larger one (a pilot
             project).  4 a guide; a leader.  5 archaic a steersman.  --v.tr.
             (piloted, piloting) 1 act as a pilot on (a ship) or of (an
             aircraft).  2 conduct, lead, or initiate as a pilot (piloted the
             new scheme).  Ьpilot balloon a small balloon used to track air
             currents etc.  pilot-bird a rare dark-brown Australian babbler,
             Pycnoptilus floccosus, with a distinctive loud cry.  pilot chute
             a small parachute used to bring the main one into operation.
             pilot-cloth thick blue woollen cloth for seamen's coats etc.
             pilot-fish a small fish, Naucrates ductor, said to act as a
             pilot leading a shark to food.  pilot-house = wheel-house.
             pilot-jacket = PEA-JACKET.  pilot-light 1 a small gas burner
             kept alight to light another.  2 an electric indicator light or
             control light.  pilot officer Brit.  the lowest commissioned
             rank in the RAF.  ЬЬpilotage n.  pilotless adj.  [F pilote f.
             med.L pilotus, pedot(t)a f. Gk pedon oar]

   Pilsner   n.  (also Pilsener) a lager beer brewed or like that brewed at
             Pilsen (Plzen) in Czechoslovakia.

   pilule    n.  (also pillule) a small pill.  ЬЬpilular adj.  pilulous adj.
             [F f. L pilula: see PILL]

   pimento   n.  (pl.  -os) 1 a small tropical tree, Pimenta dioica, native
             to Jamaica.  2 the unripe dried berries of this, usu. crushed
             for culinary use. Also called ALLSPICE.  3 = PIMIENTO.  [Sp.
             pimiento (as PIMIENTO)]

   pimiento  n.  (pl.  -os) = sweet pepper (see PEPPER).  [Sp. f. L pigmentum
             PIGMENT, in med.L = spice]

   pimp      n. & v.  --n. a man who lives off the earnings of a prostitute
             or a brothel; a pander; a ponce.  --v.intr. act as a pimp.
             [17th c.: orig. unkn.]

   pimpernel n.  any plant of the genus Anagallis, esp.  = scarlet pimpernel.
             [ME f. OF pimpernelle, piprenelle ult. f. L piper PEPPER]

   pimping   adj.  1 small or mean.  2 sickly.  [17th c.: orig. unkn.]

   pimple    n.  1 a small hard inflamed spot on the skin.  2 anything
             resembling a pimple, esp. in relative size.  ЬЬpimpled adj.
             pimply adj.  [ME nasalized f. OE piplian break out in pustules]

   PIN       n.  personal identification number (as issued by a bank etc. to
             validate electronic transactions).  [abbr.]

   pin       n. & v.  --n.  1 a a small thin pointed piece of esp. steel wire
             with a round or flattened head used (esp. in sewing) for holding
             things in place, attaching one thing to another, etc.  b any of
             several types of pin (drawing-pin; safety pin; hairpin).  c a
             small brooch (diamond pin).  d a badge fastened with a pin.  2 a
             peg of wood or metal for various purposes, e.g. a wooden skittle
             in bowling.  3 something of small value (don't care a pin; for
             two pins I'd resign).  4 (in pl.) colloq. legs (quick on his
             pins).  5 Med. a steel rod used to join the ends of fractured
             bones while they heal.  6 Chess a position in which a piece is
             pinned to another.  7 Golf a stick with a flag placed in a hole
             to mark its position.  8 Mus. a peg round which one string of a
             musical instrument is fastened.  9 a half-firkin cask for beer.
             --v.tr.  (pinned, pinning) 1 a (often foll. by to, up, together)
             fasten with a pin or pins (pinned up the hem; pinned the papers
             together).  b transfix with a pin, lance, etc.  2 (usu. foll. by
             on) fix (blame, responsibility, etc.) on a person etc. (pinned
             the blame on his friend).  3 (often foll. by against, on, etc.)
             seize and hold fast.  4 Chess prevent (an opposing piece) from
             moving except by exposing a more valuable piece to capture.  Ьon
             pins and needles in an agitated state of suspense.  pin down 1
             (often foll. by to) bind (a person etc.) to a promise,
             arrangement, etc.  2 force (a person) to declare his or her
             intentions.  3 restrict the actions or movement of (an enemy
             etc.).  4 specify (a thing) precisely (could not pin down his
             unease to a particular cause).  5 hold (a person etc.) down by
             force.  pin one's faith (or hopes etc.) on rely implicitly on.
             pin-feather Zool.  an ungrown feather.  pin-high Golf (of a
             ball) at the same distance ahead as the pin.  pin-money 1 hist.
             an allowance to a woman for dress etc. from her husband.  2 a
             very small sum of money, esp. for spending on inessentials (only
             works for pin-money).  pins and needles a tingling sensation in
             a limb recovering from numbness.  pin-table a table used in
             playing pinball.  pin-tuck a very narrow ornamental tuck.
             pin-up 1 a photograph of a popular or sexually attractive
             person, designed to be hung on the wall.  2 a person shown in
             such a photograph.  pin-wheel a small Catherine wheel.  split
             pin a metal cotter pin passed through a hole and held in place
             by its gaping split end.  [OE pinn f. L pinna point etc., assoc.
             with penna PEN(1)]

   pina colada
             n.  a drink made from pineapple juice, rum, and coconut.  [Sp.,
             lit. 'strained pineapple']

   pinafore  n.  esp.  Brit.  1 a an apron, esp. with a bib.  b a woman's
             sleeveless wraparound washable covering for the clothes, tied at
             the back.  2 (in full pinafore dress) a collarless sleeveless
             dress worn over a blouse or jumper.  [PIN + AFORE (because orig.
             pinned on the front of a dress)]

   pinaster  n.  = cluster pine.  [L, = wild pine f.  pinus pine + -ASTER]

   pinball   n.  a game in which small metal balls are shot across a board
             and score points by striking pins with lights etc.

   pince-nez n.  (pl. same) a pair of eyeglasses with a nose-clip instead of
             earpieces.  [F, lit. = pinch-nose]

   pincers   n.pl.  1 (also pair of pincers) a gripping-tool resembling
             scissors but with blunt usu. concave jaws to hold a nail etc.
             for extraction.  2 the front claws of lobsters and some other
             crustaceans.  Ьpincer movement Mil.  a movement by two wings of
             an army converging on the enemy.  [ME pinsers, pinsours f. AF f.
             OF pincier PINCH]

   pincette  n.  small pincers; tweezers.  [F]

   pinch     v. & n.  --v.  1 tr.  a grip (esp. the skin of part of the body
             or of another person) tightly, esp. between finger and thumb
             (pinched my finger in the door; stop pinching me).  b (often
             absol.) (of a shoe, garment, etc.) constrict (the flesh)
             painfully.  2 tr. (of cold, hunger, etc.) grip (a person)
             painfully (she was pinched with cold).  3 tr.  sl.  a steal;
             take without permission.  b arrest (a person) (pinched him for
             loitering).  4 (as pinched adj.) (of the features) drawn, as
             with cold, hunger, worry, etc.  5 a tr. (usu. foll. by in, of,
             for, etc.) stint (a person).  b intr. be niggardly with money,
             food, etc.  6 tr. (usu. foll. by out, back, down) Hort. remove
             (leaves, buds, etc.) to encourage bushy growth.  7 intr. sail
             very close to the wind.  --n.  1 the act or an instance of
             pinching etc. the flesh.  2 an amount that can be taken up with
             fingers and thumb (a pinch of snuff).  3 the stress or pain
             caused by poverty, cold, hunger, etc.  4 sl.  a an arrest.  b a
             theft.  Ьat (or in) a pinch in an emergency; if necessary.  feel
             the pinch experience the effects of poverty.  pinch-hitter US 1
             a baseball player who bats instead of another in an emergency.
             2 a person acting as a substitute.  [ME f. AF & ONF pinchier
             (unrecorded), OF pincier, ult. f. L pungere punct- prick]

   pinchbeck n. & adj.  --n. an alloy of copper and zinc resembling gold and
             used in cheap jewellery etc.  --adj.  1 counterfeit; sham.  2
             cheap; tawdry.  [C.  Pinchbeck, Engl. watchmaker d. 1732]

             n.  (pl.  -ies) (also attrib.) a miserly person.

             n.  a small cushion for holding pins.

   pine(1)   n.  1 any evergreen tree of the genus Pinus native to northern
             temperate regions, with needle-shaped leaves growing in
             clusters.  2 the soft timber of this, often used to make
             furniture. Also called DEAL(2).  3 (attrib.) made of pine.  4 =
             PINEAPPLE.  Ьpine cone the cone-shaped fruit of the pine tree.
             pine marten a weasel-like mammal, Martes martes, native to
             Europe and America, with a dark brown coat and white throat and
             stomach.  pine nut the edible seed of various pine trees.
             ЬЬpinery n.  (pl.  -ies).  [ME f. OE pin & OF pin f. L pinus]

   pine(2)   v.intr.  1 (often foll. by away) decline or waste away, esp.
             from grief, disease, etc.  2 (usu. foll. by for, after, or to +
             infin.) long eagerly; yearn.  [OE pinian, rel. to obs. E pine
             punishment, f. Gmc f. med.L pena, L poena]

   pineal    adj.  shaped like a pine cone.  Ьpineal body (or gland) a
             pea-sized conical mass of tissue behind the third ventricle of
             the brain, secreting a hormone-like substance in some mammals.
             [F pin‚al f. L pinea pine cone: see PINE(1)]

   pineapple n.  1 a tropical plant, Ananas comosus, with a spiral of
             sword-shaped leaves and a thick stem bearing a large fruit
             developed from many flowers.  2 the fruit of this, consisting of
             yellow flesh surrounded by a tough segmented skin and topped
             with a tuft of stiff leaves.  [PINE(1), from the fruit's
             resemblance to a pine cone]

   pinetum   n.  (pl.  pineta) a plantation of pine-trees or other conifers
             for scientific or ornamental purposes.  [L f.  pinus pine]

   pinfold   n. & v.  --n. a pound for stray cattle etc.  --v.tr. confine
             (cattle) in a pinfold.  [OE pundfald (as POUND(3), FOLD(2))]

   ping      n. & v.  --n. a single short high ringing sound.  --v.intr. make
             a ping.  [imit.]

   pinger    n.  1 a device that transmits pings at short intervals for
             purposes of detection or measurement etc.  2 a device to ring a

   pingo     n.  (pl.  -os) Geol.  a dome-shaped mound found in permafrost
             areas.  [Eskimo]

   ping-pong n.  = table tennis.  [imit. f. the sound of a bat striking a

   pinguid   adj.  formal or joc.  fat, oily, or greasy.  [L pinguis fat]

   pinhead   n.  1 the flattened head of a pin.  2 a very small thing.  3
             colloq. a stupid or foolish person.

   pinheaded adj.  colloq.  stupid, foolish.  ЬЬpinheadedness n.

   pinhole   n.  1 a hole made by a pin.  2 a hole into which a peg fits.
             Ьpinhole camera a camera with a pinhole aperture and no lens.

   pinion(1) n. & v.  --n.  1 the outer part of a bird's wing, usu. including
             the flight feathers.  2 poet. a wing; a flight-feather.  --v.tr.
             1 cut off the pinion of (a wing or bird) to prevent flight.  2 a
             bind the arms of (a person).  b (often foll. by to) bind (the
             arms, a person, etc.) esp. to a thing.  [ME f. OF pignon ult. f.
             L pinna: see PIN]

   pinion(2) n.  1 a small cog-wheel engaging with a larger one.  2 a cogged
             spindle engaging with a wheel.  [F pignon alt. f. obs.  pignol
             f. L pinea pine-cone (as PINE(1))]

   pink(1)   n. & adj.  --n.  1 a pale red colour (decorated in pink).  2 a
             any cultivated plant of the genus Dianthus, with sweet-smelling
             white, pink, crimson, etc. flowers.  b the flower of this plant.
             3 (prec. by the) the most perfect condition etc. (the pink of
             elegance).  4 (also hunting-pink) a a fox-hunter's red coat.  b
             the cloth for this.  c a fox-hunter.  --adj.  1 (often in comb.)
             of a pale red colour of any of various shades (rose-pink;
             salmon-pink).  2 esp.  derog. tending to socialism.  Ьin the
             pink colloq.  in very good health.  pink-collar (usu.  attrib.)
             (of a profession etc.) traditionally associated with women (cf.
             white-collar, blue-collar (see BLUE(1))).  pink disease a
             disease of young children with pink discoloration of the
             extremities.  pink elephants colloq.  hallucinations caused by
             alcoholism.  pink-eye 1 a contagious fever in horses.  2
             contagious ophthalmia in humans and some livestock.  pink-gin
             gin flavoured with angostura bitters.  ЬЬpinkish adj.  pinkly
             adv.  pinkness n.  pinky adj.  [perh. f. dial.  pink-eyed having
             small eyes]

   pink(2)   v.tr.  1 pierce slightly with a sword etc.  2 cut a scalloped or
             zigzag edge on.  3 (often foll. by out) ornament (leather etc.)
             with perforations.  4 adorn; deck.  Ьpinking shears (or
             scissors) a dressmaker's serrated shears for cutting a zigzag
             edge.  [ME, perh. f. LG or Du.: cf. LG pinken strike, peck]

   pink(3)   v.intr.  (of a vehicle engine) emit a series of high-pitched
             explosive sounds caused by faulty combustion.  [imit.]

   pink(4)   n.  hist.  a sailing-ship, esp. with a narrow stern, orig. small
             and flat-bottomed.  [ME f. MDu.  pin(c)ke, of unkn. orig.]

   pink(5)   n.  a yellowish lake pigment made by combining vegetable
             colouring matter with a white base (brown pink; French pink).
             [17th c.: orig. unkn.]

   pink      (6) n.  Brit.  1 a young salmon.  2 dial. a minnow.  [15th c.
             penk, of unkn. orig.]

   pinkie    n.  esp.  US & Sc.  the little finger.  [cf. dial.  pink small,
             half-shut (eye)]

   Pinkster  n.  US Whitsuntide.  Ьpinkster flower the pink azalea,
             Rhododendron nudiflorum.  [Du., = Pentecost]

   pinna     n.  (pl.  pinnae or pinnas) 1 the auricle; the external part of
             the ear.  2 a primary division of a pinnate leaf.  3 a fin or
             finlike structure, feather, wing, etc.  [L, = penna feather,
             wing, fin]

   pinnace   n.  Naut.  a warship's or other ship's small boat, usu.
             motor-driven, orig.  schooner-rigged or eight-oared.  [F
             pinnace, pinasse ult. f. L pinus PINE(1)]

   pinnacle  n. & v.  --n.  1 the culmination or climax (of endeavour,
             success, etc.).  2 a natural peak.  3 a small ornamental turret
             usu. ending in a pyramid or cone, crowning a buttress, roof,
             etc.  --v.tr.  1 set on or as if on a pinnacle.  2 form the
             pinnacle of.  3 provide with pinnacles.  [ME pinacle f. OF
             pin(n)acle f. LL pinnaculum f.  pinna wing, point (as PIN,

   pinnae    pl. of PINNA.

   pinnate   adj.  1 (of a compound leaf) having leaflets arranged on either
             side of the stem, usu. in pairs opposite each other.  2 having
             branches, tentacles, etc., on each side of an axis.  ЬЬpinnated
             adj.  pinnately adv.  pinnation n.  [L pinnatus feathered (as

   pinni-    comb. form wing, fin.  [L pinna]

   pinniped  adj. & n.  --adj. denoting any aquatic mammal with limbs ending
             in fins.  --n. a pinniped mammal.  [L pinna fin + pes ped- foot]

   pinnule   n.  1 the secondary division of a pinnate leaf.  2 a part or
             organ like a small wing or fin.  ЬЬpinnular adj.  [L pinnula
             dimin. of pinna fin, wing]

   pinny     n.  (pl.  -ies) colloq.  a pinafore.  [abbr.]

   pinochle  n.  US 1 a card-game with a double pack of 48 cards (nine to ace
             only).  2 the combination of queen of spades and jack of
             diamonds in this game.  [19th c.: orig. unkn.]

   pinole    n.  US flour made from parched cornflour, esp. mixed with sweet
             flour made of mesquite beans, sugar, etc.  [Amer. Sp. f. Aztec

   pi¤on     n.  1 a pine, Pinus cembra, bearing edible seeds.  2 the seed of
             this, a type of pine nut.  [Sp. f. L pinea pine cone]

   pinpoint  n. & v.  --n.  1 the point of a pin.  2 something very small or
             sharp.  3 (attrib.) a very small.  b precise, accurate.  --v.tr.
             locate with precision (pinpointed the target).

   pinprick  n.  1 a prick caused by a pin.  2 a trifling irritation.

   pinstripe n.  1 a very narrow stripe in (esp. worsted or serge) cloth.  2
             a fabric or garment with this.

   pint      n.  1 a measure of capacity for liquids etc., one-eighth of a
             gallon or 20 fluid oz. (0.568 litre).  2 Brit.  a colloq. a pint
             of beer.  b a pint of a liquid, esp. milk.  3 Brit. a measure of
             shellfish, being the amount containable in a pint mug (bought a
             pint of whelks).  Ьpint-pot a pot, esp. of pewter, holding one
             pint, esp. of beer.  pint-sized colloq.  very small, esp. of a
             person.  [ME f. OF pinte, of unkn. orig.]

   pinta     n.  Brit.  colloq.  a pint of milk.  [corrupt. of pint of]

   pintail   n.  a duck, esp.  Anas acuta, or grouse with a pointed tail.

   pintle    n.  a pin or bolt, esp. one on which some other part turns.  [OE
             pintel penis, of unkn. orig.: cf. OFris. etc.  pint]

   pinto     adj. & n.  US --adj. piebald.  --n.  (pl.  -os) a piebald horse.
             [Sp., = mottled, ult. f. L pictus past part. of pingere paint]

   pinworm   n.  a small parasitic nematode worm, Enterobius vermicularis, of
             which the female has a pointed tail.

   piny      adj.  of, like, or full of pines.

   Pinyin    n.  a system of romanized spelling for transliterating Chinese.
             [Chin.  pin-yin, lit. 'spell sound']

   piolet    n.  a two-headed ice-axe for mountaineering.  [F]

   pion      n.  Physics a meson having a mass approximately 270 times that
             of an electron.  Also called pi meson (see PI(1)).  ЬЬpionic
             adj.  [PI(1) (the letter used as a symbol for the particle) +

   pioneer   n. & v.  --n.  1 an initiator of a new enterprise, an inventor,
             etc.  2 an explorer or settler; a colonist.  3 Mil. a member of
             an infantry group preparing roads, terrain, etc.  for the main
             body of troops.  --v.  1 a tr. initiate or originate (an
             enterprise etc.).  b intr. act or prepare the way as a pioneer.
             2 tr.  Mil. open up (a road etc.) as a pioneer.  3 tr. go
             before, lead, or conduct (another person or persons).  [F
             pionnier foot-soldier, pioneer, OF paonier, peon(n)ier (as

   pious     adj.  1 devout; religious.  2 hypocritically virtuous;
             sanctimonious.  3 dutiful.  Ьpious fraud a deception intended to
             benefit those deceived, esp. religiously.  ЬЬpiously adv.
             piousness n.  [L pius dutiful, pious]

   pip(1)    n. & v.  --n. the seed of an apple, pear, orange, grape, etc.
             --v.tr.  (pipped, pipping) remove the pips from (fruit etc.).
             ЬЬpipless adj.  [abbr. of PIPPIN]

   pip(2)    n.  Brit.  a short high-pitched sound, usu. mechanically
             produced, esp. as a radio time signal.  [imit.]

   pip(3)    n.  1 any of the spots on a playing-card, dice, or domino.  2
             Brit. a star (1-3 according to rank) on the shoulder of an army
             officer's uniform.  3 a single blossom of a clustered head of
             flowers.  4 a diamond-shaped segment of the surface of a
             pineapple.  5 an image of an object on a radar screen.  [16th c.
             peep, of unkn. orig.]

   pip(4)    n.  1 a disease of poultry etc. causing thick mucus in the
             throat and white scale on the tongue.  2 colloq. a fit of
             disgust or bad temper (esp.  give one the pip).  [ME f. MDu.
             pippe, MLG pip prob. ult. f. corrupt. of L pituita slime]

   pip(5)    v.tr.  (pipped, pipping) Brit.  colloq.  1 hit with a shot.  2
             defeat.  3 blackball.  Ьpip at the post defeat at the last
             moment.  pip out die.  [PIP(2) or PIP(1)]

   pipa      n.  an aquatic toad, Pipa pipa, having a flat body with long
             webbed feet, the female of which carries her eggs and tadpoles
             in pockets on her back. Also called SURINAM TOAD.  [Surinam
             Negro pip l (masc.), pip  (fem.)]

   pipal     var. of PEEPUL.

   pipe      n. & v.  --n.  1 a tube of metal, plastic, wood, etc. used to
             convey water, gas, etc.  2 (also tobacco-pipe) a a narrow wooden
             or clay etc. tube with a bowl at one end containing burning
             tobacco, the smoke from which is drawn into the mouth.  b the
             quantity of tobacco held by this (smoked a pipe).  3 Mus.  a a
             wind instrument consisting of a single tube.  b any of the tubes
             by which sound is produced in an organ.  c (in pl.) = BAGPIPES.
             d (in pl.) a set of pipes joined together, e.g. pan-pipes.  4 a
             tubal organ, vessel, etc. in an animal's body.  5 a high note or
             song, esp. of a bird.  6 a cylindrical vein of ore.  7 a cavity
             in cast metal.  8 a a boatswain's whistle.  b the sounding of
             this.  9 a cask for wine, esp. as a measure of two hogsheads,
             usu.  equivalent to 105 gallons (about 477 litres).  10 archaic
             the voice, esp. in singing.  --v.tr.  1 (also absol.) play (a
             tune etc.) on a pipe or pipes.  2 a convey (oil, water, gas,
             etc.) by pipes.  b provide with pipes.  3 transmit (music, a
             radio programme, etc.) by wire or cable.  4 (usu. foll. by up,
             on, to, etc.)  Naut.  a summon (a crew) to a meal, work, etc.  b
             signal the arrival of (an officer etc.) on board.  5 utter in a
             shrill voice; whistle.  6 a arrange (icing, cream, etc.) in
             decorative lines or twists on a cake etc.  b ornament (a cake
             etc.) with piping.  7 trim (a dress etc.) with piping.  8 lead
             or bring (a person etc.) by the sound of a pipe.  9 propagate
             (pinks etc.) by taking cuttings at the joint of a stem.  Ьpipe
             away give a signal for (a boat) to start.  pipe-cleaner a piece
             of flexible covered wire for cleaning a tobacco-pipe.  pipe down
             1 colloq. be quiet or less insistent.  2 Naut. dismiss from
             duty.  pipe-fish any of various long slender fish of the family
             Syngnathidae, with an elongated snout.  pipe-light a spill for
             lighting a pipe.  pipe major an NCO commanding regimental
             pipers.  pipe-organ Mus.  an organ using pipes instead of or as
             well as reeds.  pipe-rack a rack for holding tobacco-pipes.
             pipe-rolls hist.  the annual records of the British Exchequer
             from the 12th-19th c.  prob. because subsidiary documents were
             rolled in pipe form.  pipe-stem the shaft of a tobacco-pipe.
             pipe-stone a hard red clay used by US Indians for tobacco-pipes.
             pipe up begin to play, sing, speak, etc.  put that in your pipe
             and smoke it colloq.  a challenge to another to accept something
             frank or unwelcome.  ЬЬpipeful n.  (pl.  -fuls).  pipeless adj.
             pipy adj.  [OE pipe, pipian & OF piper f. Gmc ult. f. L pipare
             peep, chirp]

   pipeclay  n. & v.  --n. a fine white clay used for tobacco-pipes,
             whitening leather, etc.  --v.tr.  1 whiten (leather etc.) with
             this.  2 put in order.

   pipedream n.  an unattainable or fanciful hope or scheme.  [orig. as
             experienced when smoking an opium pipe]

   pipeline  n.  1 a long, usu. underground, pipe for conveying esp. oil.  2
             a channel supplying goods, information, etc.  Ьin the pipeline
             awaiting completion or processing.

   pip emma  adv. & n.  Brit.  colloq.  = P.M.  [formerly signallers' names
             for letters PM]

   piper     n.  1 a bagpipe-player.  2 a person who plays a pipe, esp. an
             itinerant musician.  [OE pipere (as PIPE)]

             n.  Chem.  a peppery-smelling liquid formed by the reduction of
             pyridine.  [L piper pepper + -IDE + -INE(4)]

   pipette   n. & v.  --n. a slender tube for transferring or measuring small
             quantities of liquids esp. in chemistry.  --v.tr. transfer or
             measure (a liquid) using a pipette.  [F, dimin. of pipe PIPE]

   piping    n. & adj.  --n.  1 the act or an instance of piping, esp.
             whistling or singing.  2 a thin pipelike fold used to edge hems
             or frills on clothing, seams on upholstery, etc.  3 ornamental
             lines of icing, cream, potato, etc. on a cake or other dish.  4
             lengths of pipe, or a system of pipes, esp. in domestic use.
             --adj. (of a noise) high; whistling.  Ьpiping hot very or
             suitably hot (esp. as required of food, water, etc.).

             n.  any bat of the genus Pipistrellus, native to temperate
             regions and feeding on insects .  [F f. It.  pipistrello, vip-,
             f. L vespertilio bat f.  vesper evening]

   pipit     n.  1 any of various birds of the family Motacillidae, esp. of
             the genus Anthus, found worldwide and having brown plumage often
             heavily streaked with a lighter colour.  2 = meadow pipit.
             [prob. imit.]

   pipkin    n.  a small earthenware pot or pan.  [16th c.: orig. unkn.]

   pippin    n.  1 a an apple grown from seed.  b a red and yellow dessert
             apple.  2 colloq. an excellent person or thing; a beauty.  [ME
             f. OF pepin, of unkn. orig.]

   pipsqueak n.  colloq.  an insignificant or contemptible person or thing.

   piquant   adj.  1 agreeably pungent, sharp, or appetizing.  2 pleasantly
             stimulating, or disquieting, to the mind.  ЬЬpiquancy n.
             piquantly adv.  [F, pres. part. of piquer (as PIQUE(1))]

   pique(1)  v. & n.  --v.tr.  (piques, piqued, piquing) 1 wound the pride
             of, irritate.  2 arouse (curiosity, interest, etc.).  3 (refl.;
             usu. foll. by on) pride or congratulate oneself.  --n.
             ill-feeling; enmity; resentment (in a fit of pique).  [F piquer
             prick, irritate, f. Rmc]

   pique(2)  n. & v.  --n. the winning of 30 points on cards and play in
             piquet before one's opponent scores anything.  --v.  (piques,
             piqued, piquing) 1 tr. score a pique against.  2 intr. score a
             pique.  [F pic, of unkn. orig.]

   piqu‚     n.  a stiff ribbed cotton or other fabric.  [F, past part. of
             piquer: see PIQUE(1)]

   piquet(1) n.  a game for two players with a pack of 32 cards (seven to ace
             only).  [F, of unkn. orig.]

   piquet(2) var. of PICKET 3.

   piracy    n.  (pl.  -ies) 1 the practice or an act of robbery of ships at
             sea.  2 a similar practice or act in other forms, esp.
             hijacking.  3 the infringement of copyright.  [med.L piratia f.
             Gk pirateia (as PIRATE)]

   piragua   n.  1 a long narrow canoe made from a single tree-trunk.  2 a
             two-masted sailing barge.  [Sp. f. Carib, = dug-out]

   piranha   n.  (also piraya) any of various freshwater predatory fish of
             the genera Pygocentrus, Rooseveltiella, or Serrasalmus, native
             to S. America and having sharp cutting teeth.  [Port. f. Tupi,
             var. of piraya scissors]

   pirate    n. & v.  --n.  1 a a person who commits piracy.  b a ship used
             by pirates.  2 a person who infringes another's copyright or
             other business rights; a plagiarist.  3 (often attrib.) a
             person, organization, etc., that broadcasts without official
             authorization (pirate radio station).  --v.tr.  1 appropriate or
             reproduce (the work or ideas etc. of another) without
             permission, for one's own benefit.  2 plunder.  ЬЬpiratic adj.
             piratical adj.  piratically adv.  [ME f. L pirata f. Gk peirates
             f.  peirao attempt, assault]

   piraya    var. of PIRANHA.

   piripiri  n.  (pl.  piripiris) NZ a rosaceous plant, Acaena anserinifolia,
             native to New Zealand and having prickly burs.  [Maori]

   pirogue   n.  = PIRAGUA.  [F, prob. f. Galibi]

   pirouette n. & v.  --n. a dancer's spin on one foot or the point of the
             toe.  --v.intr. perform a pirouette.  [F, = spinning-top]

   pis aller n.  a course of action followed as a last resort.  [F f.  pis
             worse + aller go]

   piscary   n.  Ьcommon of piscary the right of fishing in another's water
             in common with the owner and others.  [ME f. med.L piscaria
             neut. pl. of L piscarius f.  piscis fish]

             adj.  = PISCATORY 1.  ЬЬpiscatorially adv.

   piscatory adj.  1 of or concerning fishermen or fishing.  2 addicted to
             fishing.  [L piscatorius f.  piscator fisherman f.  piscis fish]

   Pisces    n.  (pl. same) 1 a constellation, traditionally regarded as
             contained in the figure of fishes .  2 a the twelfth sign of the
             zodiac (the Fishes).  b a person born when the sun is in this
             sign.  ЬЬPiscean n. & adj.  [ME f. L, pl. of piscis fish]

             n.  the artificial rearing of fish.  ЬЬpiscicultural adj.
             pisciculturist n.  [L piscis fish, after agriculture etc.]

   piscina   n.  (pl.  piscinae or piscinas) 1 a stone basin near the altar
             in RC and pre-Reformation churches for draining water used in
             the Mass.  2 a fish-pond.  3 hist. a Roman bathing-pond.  [L f.
             piscis fish]

             adj.  of or concerning fish.  [L piscis fish]

             n.  a bathing-pool.  [F (as PISCINA)]

             adj.  fish-eating.  [L piscis fish + -VOROUS]

   pish      int.  an expression of contempt, impatience, or disgust.

   pisiform  adj.  pea-shaped.  Ьpisiform bone a small bone in the wrist in
             the upper row of the carpus.  [mod.L pisiformis f.  pisum pea]

   pismire   n.  dial.  an ant.  [ME f.  PISS (from smell of anthill) + obs.
             mire ant]

   piss      v. & n.  coarse sl.  °Usually considered a taboo word.  --v.  1
             intr. urinate.  2 tr.  a discharge (blood etc.) when urinating.
             b wet with urine.  3 tr. (as pissed adj.) Brit. drunk.  --n.  1
             urine.  2 an act of urinating.  Ьpiss about fool or mess about.
             piss artist 1 a drunkard.  2 a person who fools about.  3 a glib
             person.  piss down rain heavily.  piss off Brit.  1 go away.  2
             (often as pissed off adj.) annoy; depress.  piss-pot a
             chamber-pot.  piss-taker a person who mocks.  piss-taking
             mockery.  piss-up a drinking spree.  take the piss (often foll.
             by out of) mock; deride.  [ME f. OF pisser (imit.)]

   pissoir   n.  a public urinal.  [F]

   pistachio n.  (pl.  -os) 1 an evergreen tree, Pistacia vera, bearing small
             brownish-green flowers and ovoid reddish fruit.  2 (in full
             pistachio nut) the edible pale-green seed of this.  3 a pale
             green colour.  [It.  pistaccio and Sp.  pistacho f. L pistacium
             f. Gk pistakion f. Pers.  pistah]

   piste     n.  a ski-run of compacted snow.  [F, = racetrack]

   pistil    n.  the female organs of a flower, comprising the stigma, style,
             and ovary.  ЬЬpistillary adj.  pistilliferous adj.  pistilline
             adj.  [F pistile or L pistillum PESTLE]

             adj.  1 having pistils.  2 having pistils but no stamens.

   pistol    n. & v.  --n.  1 a small hand-held firearm.  2 anything of a
             similar shape.  --v.tr.  (pistolled, pistolling; US pistoled,
             pistoling) shoot with a pistol.  Ьhold a pistol to a person's
             head coerce a person by threats.  pistol-grip a handle shaped
             like a pistol-butt.  pistol-shot 1 the range of a pistol.  2 a
             shot fired from a pistol.  pistol-whip (-whipped, -whipping)
             beat with a pistol.  [obs. F f. G Pistole f. Czech pist' al]

   pistole   n.  hist.  a foreign (esp. Spanish) gold coin.  [F pistole abbr.
             of pistolet, of uncert. orig.]

   pistoleer n.  a soldier armed with a pistol.

   piston    n.  1 a disc or short cylinder fitting closely within a tube in
             which it moves up and down against a liquid or gas, used in an
             internal-combustion engine to impart motion, or in a pump to
             receive motion.  2 a sliding valve in a trumpet etc.
             Ьpiston-ring a ring on a piston sealing the gap between the
             piston and the cylinder wall.  piston-rod a rod or crankshaft
             attached to a piston to drive a wheel or to impart motion.  [F
             f. It.  pistone var. of pestone augment. of pestello PESTLE]

   pit(1)    n. & v.  --n.  1 a a usu. large deep hole in the ground.  b a
             hole made in digging for industrial purposes, esp. for coal
             (chalk pit; gravel pit).  c a covered hole as a trap for esp.
             wild animals.  2 a an indentation left after smallpox, acne,
             etc.  b a hollow in a plant or animal body or on any surface.  3
             Brit.  Theatr.  a = orchestra pit.  b usu.  hist. seating at the
             back of the stalls.  c the people in the pit.  4 a (the pit or
             bottomless pit) hell.  b (the pits) sl. a wretched or the worst
             imaginable place, situation, person, etc.  5 a an area at the
             side of a track where racing cars are serviced and refuelled.  b
             a sunken area in a workshop floor for access to a car's
             underside.  6 US the part of the floor of an exchange allotted
             to special trading (wheat-pit).  7 = COCKPIT.  8 Brit.  sl. a
             bed.  --v.  (pitted, pitting) 1 tr. (usu. foll. by against) a
             set (one's wits, strength, etc.) in opposition or rivalry.  b
             set (a cock, dog, etc.) to fight, orig. in a pit, against
             another.  2 tr. (usu. as pitted adj.) make pits, esp. scars, in.
             3 intr. (of the flesh etc.) retain the impression of a finger
             etc. when touched.  4 tr.  Hort. put (esp. vegetables etc. for
             storage) into a pit.  Ьdig a pit for try to ensnare.  pit-head 1
             the top of a mineshaft.  2 the area surrounding this.  pit of
             the stomach 1 the floor of the stomach.  2 the depression below
             the bottom of the breastbone.  pit pony hist.  a pony kept
             underground for haulage in coal-mines.  pit-prop a balk of wood
             used to support the roof of a coal mine.  pit-saw a large saw
             for use in a saw-pit.  pit viper any US snake of the family
             Crotalidae with a pit between the eye and the nostril.  [OE pytt
             ult. f. L puteus well]

   pit(2)    n. & v.  US --n. the stone of a fruit.  --v.tr.  (pitted,
             pitting) remove pits from (fruit).  [perh. Du., rel. to PITH]

   pita      var. of PITTA.

   pit-a-pat adv. & n.  (also pitter-patter) --adv.  1 with a sound like
             quick light steps.  2 with a faltering sound (heart went
             pit-a-pat).  --n. such a sound.  [imit.]

   pitch(1)  v. & n.  --v.  1 tr. (also absol.) erect and fix (a tent, camp,
             etc.).  2 tr.  a throw; fling.  b (in games) throw (a flat
             object) towards a mark.  3 tr. fix or plant (a thing) in a
             definite position.  4 tr. express in a particular style or at a
             particular level (pitched his argument at the most basic level).
             5 intr. (often foll. by against, into, etc.) fall heavily, esp.
             headlong.  6 intr. (of a ship etc.) plunge in a longitudinal
             direction (cf.  ROLL v.  8a).  7 tr.  Mus. set at a particular
             pitch.  8 intr. (of a roof etc.) slope downwards.  9 intr.
             (often foll. by about) move with a vigorous jogging motion, as
             in a train, carriage, etc.  10 Cricket a tr. cause (a bowled
             ball) to strike the ground at a specified point etc.  b intr.
             (of a bowled ball) strike the ground.  11 tr.  colloq. tell (a
             yarn or a tale).  12 tr.  Golf play (a ball) with a pitch shot.
             13 tr. pave (a road) with stones.  --n.  1 a the area of play in
             a field-game.  b Cricket the area between the creases.  2
             height, degree, intensity, etc. (the pitch of despair; nerves
             were strung to a pitch).  3 a the steepness of a slope, esp. of
             a roof, stratum, etc.  b the degree of such a pitch.  4 Mus.  a
             that quality of a sound which is governed by the rate of
             vibrations producing it; the degree of highness or lowness of a
             tone.  b = concert pitch.  5 the pitching motion of a ship etc.
             6 Cricket the act or mode of delivery in bowling, or the spot
             where the ball bounces.  7 colloq. a salesman's advertising or
             selling approach.  8 Brit. a place where a street vendor sells
             wares, has a stall, etc.  9 (also pitch shot) Golf a high
             approach shot with a short run.  10 Mech. the distance between
             successive corresponding points or lines, e.g. between the teeth
             of a cog-wheel etc.  11 the height to which a falcon etc. soars
             before swooping on its prey.  12 the delivery of a baseball by a
             pitcher.  Ьpitch-and-toss a gambling game in which coins are
             pitched at a mark and then tossed.  pitched battle 1 a vigorous
             argument etc.  2 Mil. a battle planned beforehand and fought on
             chosen ground.  pitched roof a sloping roof.  pitch in colloq.
             set to work vigorously.  pitch into colloq.  1 attack forcibly
             with blows, words, etc.  2 assail (food, work, etc.) vigorously.
             pitch on (or upon) happen to select.  pitch-pipe Mus.  a small
             pipe blown to set the pitch for singing or tuning.  pitch up
             Cricket bowl (a ball) to bounce near the batsman.  pitch wickets
             Cricket fix the stumps in the ground and place the bails.  [ME
             pic(c)he, perh. f. OE picc(e)an (unrecorded: cf.  picung

   pitch(2)  n. & v.  --n.  1 a sticky resinous black or dark-brown substance
             obtained by distilling tar or turpentine, semi-liquid when hot,
             hard when cold, and used for caulking the seams of ships etc.  2
             any of various bituminous substances including asphalt.  --v.tr.
             cover, coat, or smear with pitch.  Ьpitch-black (or -dark) very
             or completely dark.  pitch-pine any of various pine-trees, esp.
             Pinus rigida or P. palustris, yielding much resin.  [OE pic f.
             Gmc f. L pix picis]

             n.  a mineral form of uranium oxide occurring in pitchlike
             masses and yielding radium.  [G Pechblende (as PITCH(2),

             n.  1 a large usu. earthenware jug with a lip and a handle, for
             holding liquids.  2 a modified leaf in pitcher form.  3 (in pl.)
             broken pottery crushed and reused.  Ьpitcher-plant any of
             various plants, esp. of the family Nepenthaceae or
             Sarraceniaceae, with pitcher leaves that can hold liquids, trap
             insects, etc.  ЬЬpitcherful n.  (pl.  -fuls).  [ME f. OF
             pichier, pechier, f. Frank.]

             n.  1 a person or thing that pitches.  2 Baseball a player who
             delivers the ball to the batter.  3 a stone used for paving.

   pitchfork n. & v.  --n. a long-handled two-pronged fork for pitching hay
             etc.  --v.tr.  1 throw with or as if with a pitchfork.  2 (usu.
             foll. by into) thrust (a person) forcibly into a position,
             office, etc.  [in ME pickfork, prob. f.  PICK(1) + FORK, assoc.
             with PITCH(1)]

             n.  obsidian etc. resembling pitch.

   pitchy    adj.  (pitchier, pitchiest) of, like, or dark as pitch.

   piteous   adj.  deserving or causing pity; wretched.  ЬЬpiteously adv.
             piteousness n.  [ME pito(u)s etc. f. AF pitous, OF pitos f. Rmc
             (as PIETY)]

   pitfall   n.  1 an unsuspected snare, danger, or drawback.  2 a covered
             pit for trapping animals etc.

   pith      n. & v.  --n.  1 spongy white tissue lining the rind of an
             orange, lemon, etc.  2 the essential part; the quintessence
             (came to the pith of his argument).  3 Bot. the spongy cellular
             tissue in the stems and branches of dicotyledonous plants.  4 a
             physical strength; vigour.  b force; energy.  5 archaic spinal
             marrow.  --v.tr.  1 remove the pith or marrow from.  2 slaughter
             or immobilize (an animal) by severing the spinal cord.  Ьpith
             helmet a lightweight sun-helmet made from the dried pith of the
             sola etc.  ЬЬpithless adj.  [OE pitha f. WG]

             n.  any prehistoric apelike human of the extinct genus
             Pithecanthropus, now considered to be part of the genus Homo
             (see also JAVA MAN).  [Gk pithekos ape + anthropos man]

   pithos    n.  (pl.  pithoi) Archaeol.  a large storage jar.  [Gk]

   pithy     adj.  (pithier, pithiest) 1 (of style, speech, etc.) condensed,
             terse, and forcible.  2 of, like, or containing much pith.
             ЬЬpithily adv.  pithiness n.

   pitiable  adj.  1 deserving or causing pity.  2 contemptible.
             ЬЬpitiableness n.  pitiably adv.  [ME f. OF piteable, pitoiable
             (as PITY)]

   pitiful   adj.  1 causing pity.  2 contemptible.  3 archaic compassionate.
             ЬЬpitifully adv.  pitifulness n.

   pitiless  adj.  showing no pity (the pitiless heat of the desert).
             ЬЬpitilessly adv.  pitilessness n.

   pitman    n.  1 (pl.  -men) a collier.  2 US (pl.  -mans) a connecting rod
             in machinery.

   piton     n.  a peg or spike driven into a rock or crack to support a
             climber or a rope.  [F, = eye-bolt]

   Pitot tube
             n.  a device consisting of an open-ended right-angled tube used
             to measure the speed or flow of a fluid.  [H.  Pitot, Fr.
             physicist d. 1771]

   pitpan    n.  a Central American boat made from a tree-trunk.  [Miskito]

   pitta     n.  (also pita) a flat hollow unleavened bread which can be
             split and filled with salad etc.  [mod.Gk, = a cake]

   pittance  n.  1 a scanty or meagre allowance, remuneration, etc. (paid him
             a mere pittance).  2 a small number or amount.  3 hist. a pious
             bequest to a religious house for extra food etc.  [ME f. OF
             pitance f. med.L pi(e)tantia f. L pietas PITY]

             var. of PIT-A-PAT.

             n.  any evergreen shrub of the family Pittosporaceae, chiefly
             native to Australasia with many species having fragrant foliage.
             [Gk pitta PITCH(2) + sporos seed]

   pituitary n. & adj.  --n.  (pl.  -ies) (also pituitary gland or body) a
             small ductless gland at the base of the brain secreting various
             hormones essential for growth and other bodily functions.
             --adj. of or relating to this gland.  [L pituitarius secreting
             phlegm f.  pituita phlegm]

   pity      n. & v.  --n.  (pl.  -ies) 1 sorrow and compassion aroused by
             another's condition (felt pity for the child).  2 something to
             be regretted; grounds for regret (what a pity!; the pity of it
             is that he didn't mean it).  --v.tr.  (-ies, -ied) feel (often
             contemptuous) pity for (they are to be pitied; I pity you if you
             think that).  Ьfor pity's sake an exclamation of urgent
             supplication, anger, etc.  more's the pity so much the worse.
             take pity on feel or act compassionately towards.  ЬЬpitying
             adj.  pityingly adv.  [ME f. OF pit‚ f. L pietas (as PIETY)]

             n.  any of a group of skin diseases characterized by the
             shedding of branlike scales.  [mod.L f. Gk pituriasis f.
             pituron bran]

   pi—       adv.  Mus.  more (pi— piano).  [It.]

   pivot     n. & v.  --n.  1 a short shaft or pin on which something turns
             or oscillates.  2 a crucial or essential person, point, etc., in
             a scheme or enterprise.  3 Mil. the man or men about whom a body
             of troops wheels.  --v.  (pivoted, pivoting) 1 intr. turn on or
             as if on a pivot.  2 intr. (foll. by on, upon) hinge on; depend
             on.  3 tr. provide with or attach by a pivot.  ЬЬpivotable adj.
             pivotability n.  pivotal adj.  [F, of uncert. orig.]

   pix(1)    n.pl.  colloq.  pictures, esp. photographs.  [abbr.: cf.  PIC]

   pix(2)    var. of PYX.

   pixel     n.  Electronics any of the minute areas of uniform illumination
             of which an image on a display screen is composed.  [abbr. of
             picture element: cf.  PIX(1)]

   pixie     n.  (also pixy) (pl.  -ies) a being like a fairy; an elf.
             Ьpixie hat (or hood) a child's hat with a pointed crown.  [17th
             c.: orig. unkn.]

   pixilated adj.  (also pixillated) 1 bewildered; crazy.  2 drunk.  [var. of
             pixie-led (as PIXIE, LED)]

   pizazz    n.  (also pizzazz, pzazz etc.)  sl.  verve, energy, liveliness,

   pizza     n.  a flat round base of dough with a topping of tomatoes,
             cheese, onions, etc.  [It., = pie]

   pizzeria  n.  a place where pizzas are made or sold.  [It. (as PIZZA)]

   pizzicato adv., adj., & n.  Mus.  --adv. plucking the strings of a violin
             etc. with the finger.  --adj. (of a note, passage, etc.)
             performed pizzicato.  --n.  (pl.  pizzicatos or pizzicati) a
             note, passage, etc. played pizzicato.  [It., past part. of
             pizzicare twitch f.  pizzare f.  pizza edge]

   pizzle    n.  esp.  Austral.  the penis of an animal, esp. a bull,
             formerly used as a whip.  [LG pesel, dimin. of MLG pese, MDu.

11.0 pk.

   pk.       abbr.  1 park.  2 peak.  3 peck(s).

12.0 pl....

   pl.       abbr.  1 plural.  2 place.  3 plate.  4 esp. Mil. platoon.

   PLA       abbr.  (in the UK) Port of London Authority.

   placable  adj.  easily placated; mild; forgiving.  ЬЬplacability n.
             placably adv.  [ME f. OF placable or L placabilis f.  placare

   placard   n. & v.  --n. a printed or handwritten poster esp. for
             advertising.  --v.tr.  also 1 set up placards on (a wall etc.).
             2 advertise by placards.  3 display (a poster etc.) as a
             placard.  [ME f. OF placquart f.  plaquier to plaster f. MDu.

   placate   v.tr.  pacify; conciliate.  ЬЬplacatingly adv.  placation n.
             placatory adj.  [L placare placat-]

   place     n. & v.  --n.  1 a a particular portion of space.  b a portion
             of space occupied by a person or thing (it has changed its
             place).  c a proper or natural position (he is out of his place;
             take your places).  2 a city, town, village, etc. (was born in
             this place).  3 a residence; a dwelling (has a place in the
             country; come round to my place).  4 a a group of houses in a
             town etc., esp. a square.  b a country house with its
             surroundings.  5 a person's rank or status (know their place; a
             place in history).  6 a space, esp. a seat, for a person (two
             places in the coach).  7 a building or area for a specific
             purpose (place of worship; bathing-place).  8 a a point reached
             in a book etc. (lost my place).  b a passage in a book.  9 a
             particular spot on a surface, esp. of the skin (a sore place on
             his wrist).  10 a employment or office, esp. government
             employment (lost his place at the Ministry).  b the duties or
             entitlements of office etc. (is his place to hire staff).  11 a
             position as a member of a team, a student in a college, etc.  12
             Brit. any of the first three or sometimes four positions in a
             race, esp. other than the winner (backed it for a place).  13
             the position of a figure in a series indicated in decimal or
             similar notation (calculated to 50 decimal places).  --v.tr.  1
             put (a thing etc.) in a particular place or state; arrange.  2
             identify, classify, or remember correctly (cannot place him).  3
             assign to a particular place; locate.  4 a appoint (a person,
             esp. a member of the clergy) to a post.  b find a situation,
             living, etc. for.  c (usu. foll. by with) consign to a person's
             care etc. (placed her with her aunt).  5 assign rank,
             importance, or worth to (place him among the best teachers).  6
             a dispose of (goods) to a customer.  b make (an order for goods
             etc.).  7 (often foll. by in, on, etc.) have (confidence etc.).
             8 invest (money).  9 Brit. state the position of (any of the
             first three or sometimes four runners) in a race.  10 tr. (as
             placed adj.) a Brit. among the first three or sometimes four in
             a race.  b US second in a race.  11 Football get (a goal) by a
             place-kick.  Ьall over the place in disorder; chaotic.  give
             place to 1 make room for.  2 yield precedence to.  3 be
             succeeded by.  go places colloq.  be successful.  in place in
             the right position; suitable.  in place of in exchange for;
             instead of.  in places at some places or in some parts, but not
             others.  keep a person in his or her place suppress a person's
             pretensions.  out of place 1 in the wrong position.  2
             unsuitable.  place-bet 1 Brit. a bet on a horse to come first,
             second, third, or sometimes fourth in a race.  2 US a bet on a
             horse to come second.  place-brick an imperfectly burnt brick
             from the windward side of the kiln.  place card a card marking a
             person's place at a table etc.  place in the sun a favourable
             situation, position, etc.  place-kick Football a kick made when
             the ball is previously placed on the ground.  place-mat a small
             mat on a table underneath a person's plate.  place-name the name
             of a town, village, hill, field, lake, etc.  place-setting a set
             of plates, cutlery, etc. for one person at a meal.  put oneself
             in another's place imagine oneself in another's position.  put a
             person in his or her place deflate or humiliate a person.  take
             place occur.  take one's place go to one's correct position, be
             seated, etc.  take the place of be substituted for; replace.
             ЬЬplaceless adj.  placement n.  [ME f. OF f. L platea f. Gk
             plateia (hodos) broad (way)]

   placebo   n.  (pl.  -os) 1 a a pill, medicine, etc. prescribed for
             psychological reasons but having no physiological effect.  b a
             placebo used as a control in testing new drugs etc.  c a blank
             sample in a test.  2 RC Ch. the opening antiphon of the vespers
             for the dead.  [L, = I shall be acceptable or pleasing f.
             placere please, first word of Ps. 114:9]

   placenta  n.  (pl.  placentae or placentas) 1 a flattened circular organ
             in the uterus of pregnant mammals nourishing and maintaining the
             foetus through the umbilical cord and expelled after birth.  2
             (in flowers) part of the ovary wall carrying the ovules.
             ЬЬplacental adj.  [L f. Gk plakous -ountos flat cake f. the root
             of plax plakos flat plate]

   placer    n.  a deposit of sand, gravel, etc., in the bed of a stream
             etc., containing valuable minerals in particles.  [Amer. Sp.,
             rel. to placel sandbank f.  plaza PLACE]

   placet    n.  an affirmative vote in a church or university assembly.  [L,
             = it pleases]

   placid    adj.  1 (of a person) not easily aroused or disturbed; peaceful.
             2 mild; calm; serene.  ЬЬplacidity n.  placidly adv.  placidness
             n.  [F placide or L placidus f.  placere please]

   placket   n.  1 an opening or slit in a garment, for fastenings or access
             to a pocket.  2 the flap of fabric under this.  [var. of

   placoid   adj. & n.  --adj.  1 (of a fish-scale) consisting of a hard base
             embedded in the skin and a spiny backward projection (cf.
             CTENOID).  2 (of a fish) covered with these scales.  --n. a
             placoid fish, e.g. a shark.  [Gk plax plakos flat plate]

   plafond   n.  1 a an ornately decorated ceiling.  b such decoration.  2 an
             early form of contract bridge.  [F f.  plat flat + fond bottom]

   plagal    adj.  Mus.  (of a church mode) having sounds between the
             dominant and its octave (cf.  AUTHENTIC).  Ьplagal cadence (or
             close) a cadence in which the chord of the subdominant
             immediately precedes that of the tonic.  [med.L plagalis f.
             plaga plagal mode f. L plagius f. med. Gk plagios (in anc. Gk =
             oblique) f. Gk plagos side]

   plage     n.  1 Astron. an unusually bright region on the sun.  2 a sea
             beach, esp. at a fashionable resort.  [F, = beach]

             n.  1 the act or an instance of plagiarizing.  2 something
             plagiarized.  ЬЬplagiarist n.  plagiaristic adj.

             v.tr.  (also -ise) (also absol.) 1 take and use (the thoughts,
             writings, inventions, etc. of another person) as one's own.  2
             pass off the thoughts etc. of (another person) as one's own.
             ЬЬplagiarizer n.  [L plagiarius kidnapper f.  plagium a
             kidnapping f. Gk plagion]

   plagio-   comb. form oblique.  [Gk plagios oblique f.  plagos side]

             n.  a series of feldspar minerals forming glassy crystals.
             [PLAGIO- + Gk klasis cleavage]

   plague    n., v., & int.  --n.  1 a deadly contagious disease spreading
             rapidly over a wide area.  2 (foll. by of) an unusual
             infestation of a pest etc. (a plague of frogs).  3 a great
             trouble.  b an affliction, esp. as regarded as divine
             punishment.  4 colloq. a nuisance.  --v.tr.  (plagues, plagued,
             plaguing) 1 affect with plague.  2 colloq. pester or harass
             continually.  --int.  joc. or archaic a curse etc. (a plague on
             it!).  ЬЬplaguesome adj.  [ME f. L plaga stroke, wound prob. f.
             Gk plaga, plege]

   plaice    n.  (pl. same) 1 a European flatfish, Pleuronectes platessa,
             having a brown back with orange spots and a white underside,
             much used for food.  2 (in full American plaice) a N. Atlantic
             fish, Hippoglossoides platessoides.  [ME f. OF pla‹z f. LL
             platessa app. f. Gk platus broad]

   plaid     n.  1 (often attrib.) chequered or tartan, esp. woollen, twilled
             cloth (a plaid skirt).  2 a long piece of plaid worn over the
             shoulder as part of Highland Scottish costume.  ЬЬplaided adj.
             [Gael.  plaide, of unkn. orig.]

   plain(1)  adj., adv., & n.  --adj.  1 clear; evident (is plain to see).  2
             readily understood; simple (in plain words).  3 a (of food,
             sewing, decoration, etc.) uncomplicated; not elaborate;
             unembellished; simple.  b without a decorative pattern.  4 (esp.
             of a woman or girl) ugly.  5 outspoken; straightforward.  6 (of
             manners, dress, etc.) unsophisticated; homely (a plain man).  7
             (of drawings etc.) not coloured (penny plain, twopence
             coloured).  8 not in code.  --adv.  1 clearly; unequivocally (to
             speak plain, I don't approve).  2 simply (that is plain stupid).
             --n.  1 a level tract of esp. treeless country.  2 a basic
             knitting stitch made by putting the needle through the back of
             the stitch and passing the wool round the front of the needle
             (opp.  PURL(1)).  Ьbe plain with speak bluntly to.  plain card
             neither a trump nor a court-card.  plain chocolate dark
             chocolate without added milk.  plain clothes ordinary clothes
             worn esp. as a disguise by policemen etc.  plain-clothes
             (attrib.) wearing plain clothes.  plain cook a person competent
             in plain English cooking.  plain dealing candour;
             straightforwardness.  plain sailing 1 sailing a straightforward
             course.  2 an uncomplicated situation or course of action.
             plain service Eccl.  a church service without music.
             plain-spoken outspoken; blunt.  plain suit a suit that is not
             trumps.  plain text a text not in cipher or code.  plain time
             time not paid for at overtime rates.  plain weaving weaving with
             the weft alternately over and under the warp.  ЬЬplainly adv.
             plainness n.  [ME f. OF plain (adj. & n.) f. L planus (adj.),
             planum (n.)]

   plain(2)  v.intr.  archaic or poet.  1 mourn.  2 complain.  3 make a
             plaintive sound.  [ME f. OF plaindre (stem plaign-) f. L
             plangere planct- lament]

             n.  = PLAINSONG.

   plainsman n.  (pl.  -men) a person who lives on a plain, esp. in N.

   plainsong n.  unaccompanied church music sung in unison in medieval modes
             and in free rhythm corresponding to the accentuation of the
             words (cf.  GREGORIAN CHANT).

   plaint    n.  1 Brit.  Law an accusation; a charge.  2 literary or archaic
             a complaint; a lamentation.  [ME f. OF plainte fem. past part.
             of plaindre, and OF plaint f. L planctus (as PLAIN(2))]

   plaintiff n.  Law a person who brings a case against another into court
             (opp.  DEFENDANT).  [ME f. OF plaintif (adj.) (as PLAINTIVE)]

   plaintive adj.  1 expressing sorrow; mournful.  2 mournful-sounding.
             ЬЬplaintively adv.  plaintiveness n.  [ME f. OF (-if, -ive) f.
             plainte (as PLAINT)]

   plait     n. & v.  --n.  1 a length of hair, straw, etc., in three or more
             interlaced strands.  2 = PLEAT.  --v.tr. form (hair etc.) into a
             plait.  [ME f. OF pleit fold ult. f. L plicare fold]

   plan      n. & v.  --n.  1 a a formulated and esp. detailed method by
             which a thing is to be done; a design or scheme.  b an intention
             or proposed proceeding (my plan was to distract them; plan of
             campaign).  2 a drawing or diagram made by projection on a
             horizontal plane, esp. showing a building or one floor of a
             building (cf.  ELEVATION).  3 a large-scale detailed map of a
             town or district.  4 a a table etc. indicating times, places,
             etc. of intended proceedings.  b a scheme or arrangement
             (prepared the seating plan).  5 an imaginary plane perpendicular
             to the line of vision and containing the objects shown in a
             picture.  --v.  (planned, planning) 1 tr. (often foll. by that +
             clause or to + infin.) arrange (a procedure etc.) beforehand;
             form a plan (planned to catch the evening ferry).  2 tr.  a
             design (a building, new town, etc.).  b make a plan of (an
             existing building, an area, etc.).  3 tr. (as planned adj.) in
             accordance with a plan (his planned arrival; planned
             parenthood).  4 intr. make plans.  Ьplanning permission Brit.
             formal permission for building development etc., esp. from a
             local authority.  plan on colloq.  aim at doing; intend.
             ЬЬplanning n.  [F f. earlier plant, f. It.  pianta plan of
             building: cf.  PLANT]

   planar    adj.  Math.  of, relating to, or in the form of a plane.

   planarian n.  any flatworm of the class Turbellaria, usu. living in fresh
             water.  [mod.L Planaria the genus-name, fem. of L planarius
             lying flat]

   planchet  n.  a plain metal disc from which a coin is made.  [dimin. of
             planch slab of metal f. OF planche: see PLANK]

             n.  a small usu. heart-shaped board on castors with a pencil
             that is supposedly caused to write spirit messages when a
             person's fingers rest lightly on it.  [F, dimin. of planche

   Planck's constant
             n.  (also Planck constant) a fundamental constant, equal to the
             energy of quanta of electromagnetic radiation divided by its
             frequency, with a value of 6.626 x 10(-34) joules.  [M.  Planck,
             Ger. physicist d. 1947]

   plane(1)  n., adj., & v.  --n.  1 a a flat surface on which a straight
             line joining any two points on it would wholly lie.  b an
             imaginary flat surface through or joining etc. material objects.
             2 a level surface.  3 colloq. = AEROPLANE.  4 a flat surface
             producing lift by the action of air or water over and under it
             (usu. in comb.: hydroplane).  5 (often foll. by of) a level of
             attainment, thought, knowledge, etc.  6 a flat thin object such
             as a tabletop.  --adj.  1 (of a surface etc.) perfectly level.
             2 (of an angle, figure, etc.) lying in a plane.  --v.intr.  1
             (often foll. by down) travel or glide in an aeroplane.  2 (of a
             speedboat etc.) skim over water.  3 soar.  Ьplane chart a chart
             on which meridians and parallels of latitude are represented by
             equidistant straight lines, used in plane sailing.  plane
             polarization a process restricting the vibrations of
             electromagnetic radiation, esp. light, to one direction.  plane
             sailing 1 the practice of determining a ship's position on the
             theory that she is moving on a plane.  2 = plain sailing (see
             PLAIN(1)).  plane-table a surveying instrument used for direct
             plotting in the field, with a circular drawing-board and pivoted
             alidade.  [L planum flat surface, neut. of planus PLAIN(1)
             (different. f.  PLAIN(1) in 17th c.): adj. after F plan, plane]

   plane(2)  n. & v.  --n.  1 a tool consisting of a wooden or metal block
             with a projecting steel blade, used to smooth a wooden surface
             by paring shavings from it.  2 a similar tool for smoothing
             metal.  --v.tr.  1 smooth (wood, metal, etc.) with a plane.  2
             (often foll. by away, down) pare (irregularities) with a plane.
             3 archaic level (plane the way).  [ME f. OF var. of plaine f. LL
             plana f. L planus PLAIN(1)]

   plane(3)  n. (in full plane-tree) any tree of the genus Platanus often
             growing to great heights, with maple-like leaves and bark which
             peels in uneven patches.  [ME f. OF f. L platanus f. Gk platanos
             f.  platus broad]

   planet    n.  1 a celestial body moving in an elliptical orbit round a
             star; the earth.  2 esp. Astrol.  hist. a celestial body
             distinguished from the fixed stars by having an apparent motion
             of its own (including the moon and sun), esp. with reference to
             its supposed influence on people and events.  ЬЬplanetology n.
             [ME f. OF planete f. LL planeta, planetes f. Gk planetes
             wanderer, planet f.  planaomai wander]

             n.  (pl.  planetariums or planetaria) 1 a domed building in
             which images of stars, planets, constellations, etc. are
             projected for public entertainment or education.  2 the device
             used for such projection.  3 = ORRERY.  [mod.L (as PLANET)]

   planetary adj.  1 of or like planets (planetary influence).  2
             terrestrial; mundane.  3 wandering; erratic.  Ьplanetary nebula
             a ring-shaped nebula formed by an expanding shell of gas round a
             star.  [LL planetarius (as PLANET)]

             n.  any of a vast number of minute planets or planetary bodies.
             Ьplanetesimal hypothesis the theory that planets were formed by
             the accretion of planetesimals in a cold state.  [PLANET, after

   planetoid n.  = ASTEROID.

   plangent  adj.  1 (of a sound) loud and reverberating.  2 (of a sound)
             plaintive; sad.  ЬЬplangency n.  [L plangere plangent- lament]

             n.  an instrument for mechanically measuring the area of a plane
             figure.  ЬЬplanimetric adj.  planimetrical adj.  planimetry n.
             [F planimЉtre f. L planus level]

   planish   v.tr.  flatten (sheet metal, coining-metal, etc.) with a
             smooth-faced hammer or between rollers.  ЬЬplanisher n.  [ME f.
             OF planir smooth f.  plain PLANE(1) adj.]

             n.  a map formed by the projection of a sphere or part of a
             sphere on a plane, esp. to show the appearance of the heavens at
             a specific time or place.  ЬЬplanispheric adj.  [ME f. med.L
             planisphaerium (as PLANE(1), SPHERE): infl. by F planisphЉre]

   plank     n. & v.  --n.  1 a long flat piece of timber used esp. in
             building, flooring, etc.  2 an item of a political or other
             programme (cf.  PLATFORM).  --v.tr.  1 provide, cover, or floor,
             with planks.  2 (usu. foll. by down; also absol.) esp.  US
             colloq.  a put (a thing, person, etc.) down roughly or
             violently.  b pay (money) on the spot or abruptly (planked down
             њ5).  Ьplank bed a bed of boards without a mattress, esp. in
             prison.  walk the plank hist.  (of a pirate's captive etc.) be
             made to walk blindfold along a plank over the side of a ship to
             one's death in the sea.  [ME f. ONF planke, OF planche f. LL
             planca board f.  plancus flat-footed]

   planking  n.  planks as flooring etc.

   plankton  n.  the chiefly microscopic organisms drifting or floating in
             the sea or fresh water (see BENTHOS, NEKTON).  ЬЬplanktonic adj.
             [G f. Gk plagktos wandering f.  plazomai wander]

   planner   n.  1 a person who controls or plans the development of new
             towns, designs buildings, etc.  2 a person who makes plans.  3 a
             list, table, etc., with information helpful in planning.

   plano-    comb. form level, flat.  [L planus flat]

             adj.  (of a lens etc.) with one surface plane and the other

             adj.  (of a lens etc.) with one surface plane and the other

             adj.  relating to or produced by a process in which printing is
             done from a plane surface.  ЬЬplanography n.

             n.  a flat plate used as a gauge for plane surfaces in

   plant     n. & v.  --n.  1 a any living organism of the kingdom Plantae,
             usu. containing chlorophyll enabling it to live wholly on
             inorganic substances and lacking specialized sense organs and
             the power of voluntary movement.  b a small organism of this
             kind, as distinguished from a shrub or tree.  2 a machinery,
             fixtures, etc., used in industrial processes.  b a factory.  3
             colloq. something, esp. incriminating or compromising,
             positioned or concealed so as to be discovered later.  --v.tr.
             1 place (a seed, bulb, or growing thing) in the ground so that
             it may take root and flourish.  2 (often foll. by in, on, etc.)
             put or fix in position.  3 deposit (young fish, spawn, oysters,
             etc.) in a river or lake.  4 station (a person etc.), esp. as a
             spy or source of information.  5 refl. take up a position
             (planted myself by the door).  6 cause (an idea etc.) to be
             established esp. in another person's mind.  7 deliver (a blow,
             kiss, etc.) with a deliberate aim.  8 sl. position or conceal
             (something incriminating or compromising) for later discovery.
             9 a settle or people (a colony etc.).  b found or establish (a
             city, community, etc.).  10 bury.  Ьplant-louse a small insect
             that infests plants, esp. an aphis.  plant out transfer (a
             plant) from a pot or frame to the open ground; set out
             (seedlings) at intervals.  ЬЬplantable adj.  plantlet n.
             plantlike adj.  [OE plante & F plante f. L planta sprout, slip,

             adj. & n.  --adj. of or relating to the kings of England from
             Henry II to Richard II.  --n. any of these kings.  [= sprig of
             broom (L planta genista) worn as a distinctive mark, the origin
             of their surname]

             n.  any shrub of the genus Plantago, with broad flat leaves
             spread out close to the ground and seeds used as food for birds
             and as a mild laxative.  Ьplantain lily = HOSTA.  [ME f. OF f. L
             plantago -ginis f.  planta sole of the foot (from its broad
             prostrate leaves)]

             n.  1 a banana plant, Musa paradisiaca, widely grown for its
             fruit.  2 the starchy fruit of this containing less sugar than a
             dessert banana and chiefly used in cooking.  [earlier platan f.
             Sp.  pl (n)tano plane-tree, prob. assim. f. Galibi palatana

   plantar   adj.  of or relating to the sole of the foot.  [L plantaris f.
             planta sole]

             n.  1 an estate on which cotton, tobacco, etc. is cultivated,
             esp. in former colonies, formerly by slave labour.  2 an area
             planted with trees etc.  3 hist. a colony; colonization.
             Ьplantation song a song of the kind formerly sung by Blacks on
             American plantations.  [ME f. OF plantation or L plantatio (as

   planter   n.  1 a person who cultivates the soil.  2 the manager or
             occupier of a coffee, cotton, tobacco, etc.  plantation.  3 a
             large container for decorative plants.  4 a machine for planting
             seeds etc. (potato-planter).

             adj. & n.  --adj. (of an animal) walking on the soles of its
             feet.  --n. a plantigrade animal, e.g. humans or bears (cf.
             DIGITIGRADE).  [F f. mod.L plantigradus f. L planta sole +
             -gradus -walking]

   plaque    n.  1 an ornamental tablet of metal, porcelain, etc., esp.
             affixed to a building in commemoration.  2 a deposit on teeth
             where bacteria proliferate.  3 Med.  a a patch or eruption of
             skin etc. as a result of damage.  b a fibrous lesion in
             atherosclerosis.  4 a small badge of rank in an honorary order.
             ЬЬplaquette n.  [F f. Du.  plak tablet f.  plakken stick]

   plash(1)  n. & v.  --n.  1 a splash; a plunge.  2 a a marshy pool.  b a
             puddle.  --v.  1 tr. & intr. splash.  2 tr. strike the surface
             of (water).  ЬЬplashy adj.  [OE pl‘sc, prob. imit.]

   plash(2)  v.tr.  1 bend down and interweave (branches, twigs, etc.) to
             form a hedge.  2 make or renew (a hedge) in this way.  [ME f. OF
             pla(i)ssier ult. f. L plectere plait: cf.  PLEACH]

   plasma    n.  (also plasm) 1 the colourless fluid part of blood, lymph, or
             milk, in which corpuscles or fat-globules are suspended.  2 =
             PROTOPLASM.  3 a gas of positive ions and free electrons with an
             approximately equal positive and negative charge.  4 a green
             variety of quartz used in mosaic and for other decorative
             purposes.  ЬЬplasmatic adj.  plasmic adj.  [LL, = mould f. Gk
             plasma -atos f.  plasso to shape]

             n.  (pl.  plasmodesmata) a narrow thread of cytoplasm that
             passes through cell walls and affords communication between
             plant cells.  [PLASMA + Gk desma bond, fetter]

             n.  (pl.  plasmodia) 1 any parasitic protozoan of the genus
             Plasmodium, including those causing malaria in man.  2 a form
             within the life cycle of various micro-organisms including slime
             moulds, usu. consisting of a mass of naked protoplasm containing
             many nuclei.  ЬЬplasmodial adj.  [mod.L f.  PLASMA(1) + - odium:
             see -ODE(1)]

             v.intr. & tr.  (US plasmolyze) undergo or subject to

             n.  contraction of the protoplast of a plant cell as a result of
             loss of water from the cell.  [mod.L (as PLASMA, -LYSIS)]

   plaster   n. & v.  --n.  1 a soft pliable mixture esp. of lime putty with
             sand or Portland cement etc. for spreading on walls, ceilings,
             etc., to form a smooth hard surface when dried.  2 Brit. =
             sticking-plaster (see STICK(2)).  3 hist. a curative or
             protective substance spread on a bandage etc.  and applied to
             the body (mustard plaster).  --v.tr.  1 cover (a wall etc.) with
             plaster or a similar substance.  2 (often foll. by with) coat
             thickly or to excess; bedaub (plastered the bread with jam; the
             wall was plastered with slogans).  3 stick or apply (a thing)
             thickly like plaster (plastered glue all over it).  4 (often
             foll. by down) make (esp. hair) smooth with water, cream, etc.;
             fix flat.  5 (as plastered adj.) sl. drunk.  6 apply a medical
             plaster or plaster cast to.  7 sl. bomb or shell heavily.
             Ьplaster cast 1 a bandage stiffened with plaster of Paris and
             applied to a broken limb etc.  2 a statue or mould made of
             plaster.  plaster of Paris fine white plaster made of gypsum and
             used for making plaster casts etc.  plaster saint iron.  a
             person regarded as being without moral faults or human frailty.
             ЬЬplasterer n.  plastery adj.  [ME f. OE & OF plastre or F
             plastrer f. med.L plastrum f. L emplastrum f. Gk emplastron]

             n.  two boards with a filling of plaster used to form or line
             the inner walls of houses etc.

   plastic   n. & adj.  --n.  1 any of a number of synthetic polymeric
             substances that can be given any required shape.  2 (attrib.)
             made of plastic (plastic bag).  --adj.  1 capable of being
             moulded; pliant; supple.  2 moulding or giving form to clay,
             wax, etc.  3 Biol. exhibiting an adaptability to environmental
             changes.  4 (esp. in philosophy) formative, creative.  Ьplastic
             arts art forms involving modelling or moulding, e.g. sculpture
             and ceramics, or art involving the representation of solid
             objects with three-dimensional effects.  plastic bomb a bomb
             containing plastic explosive.  plastic explosive a putty-like
             explosive capable of being moulded by hand.  plastic surgeon a
             qualified practitioner of plastic surgery.  plastic surgery the
             process of reconstructing or repairing parts of the body by the
             transfer of tissue, either in the treatment of injury or for
             cosmetic reasons.  ЬЬplastically adv.  plasticity n.  plasticize
             v.tr.  (also -ise).  plasticization n.  plasticizer n.
             plasticky adj.  [F plastique or L plasticus f. Gk plastikos f.
             plasso mould]

             n.  propr.  a soft plastic material used, esp. by children, for
             modelling.  [PLASTIC + -INE(4)]

   plastid   n.  any small organelle in the cytoplasm of a plant cell,
             containing pigment or food.  [G f. Gk plastos shaped]

   plastron  n.  1 a a fencer's leather-covered breastplate.  b a lancer's
             breast-covering of facings-cloth.  2 a an ornamental front on a
             woman's bodice.  b a man's starched shirt-front.  3 a the
             ventral part of the shell of a tortoise or turtle.  b the
             corresponding part in other animals.  4 hist. a steel
             breastplate.  ЬЬplastral adj.  [F f. It.  piastrone augment. of
             piastra breastplate, f. L emplastrum PLASTER]

   plat(1)   n.  US 1 a plot of land.  2 a plan of an area of land.  [16th
             c.: collateral form of PLOT]

   plat(2)   n. & v.  --n. = PLAIT n.  1.  --v.tr.  (platted, platting) =
             PLAIT v.

   platan    n.  = PLANE(3).  [ME f. L platanus: see PLANE(3)]

   plat du jour
             n.  a dish specially featured on a day's menu.  [F, = dish of
             the day]

   plate     n. & v.  --n.  1 a a shallow vessel, usu. circular and of
             earthenware or china, from which food is eaten or served.  b the
             contents of this (ate a plate of sandwiches).  2 a similar
             vessel usu. of metal or wood, used esp. for making a collection
             in a church etc.  3 US a main course of a meal, served on one
             plate.  4 Austral. & NZ a contribution of cakes, sandwiches,
             etc., to a social gathering.  5 (collect.) a utensils of silver,
             gold, or other metal.  b objects of plated metal.  6 a piece of
             metal with a name or inscription for affixing to a door,
             container, etc.  7 an illustration on special paper in a book.
             8 a thin sheet of metal, glass, etc., coated with a sensitive
             film for photography.  9 a flat thin usu. rigid sheet of metal
             etc. with an even surface and uniform thickness, often as part
             of a mechanism.  10 a a smooth piece of metal etc. for
             engraving.  b an impression made from this.  11 a a silver or
             gold cup as a prize for a horse-race etc.  b a race with this as
             a prize.  12 a a thin piece of plastic material, moulded to the
             shape of the mouth and gums, to which artificial teeth or
             another orthodontic appliance are attached.  b colloq. a
             complete denture or orthodontic appliance.  13 Geol. each of
             several rigid sheets of rock thought to form the earth's outer
             crust.  14 Biol. a thin flat organic structure or formation.  15
             a light shoe for a racehorse.  16 a stereotype, electrotype, or
             plastic cast of a page of composed movable types, or a metal or
             plastic copy of filmset matter, from which sheets are printed.
             17 US Baseball a flat piece of whitened rubber marking the
             station of a batter or pitcher.  18 US the anode of a thermionic
             valve.  19 a horizontal timber laid along the top of a wall to
             support the ends of joists or rafters (window-plate).  --v.tr.
             1 apply a thin coat esp. of silver, gold, or tin to (another
             metal).  2 cover (esp. a ship) with plates of metal, esp. for
             protection.  3 make a plate of (type etc.) for printing.  Ьon a
             plate colloq.  available with little trouble to the recipient.
             on one's plate for one to deal with or consider.  plate armour
             armour of metal plates, for a man, ship, etc.  plate glass thick
             fine-quality glass for shop windows etc., orig. cast in plates.
             plate-rack Brit.  a rack in which plates are placed to drain.
             plate tectonics Geol.  the study of the earth's surface based on
             the concept of moving 'plates' (see sense 13 of n.) forming its
             structure.  plate tracery Archit.  tracery with perforations in
             otherwise continuous stone.  ЬЬplateful n.  (pl.  -fuls).
             plateless adj.  plater n.  [ME f. OF f. med.L plata plate armour
             f.  platus (adj.) ult. f. Gk platus flat]

   plateau   n. & v.  --n.  (pl.  plateaux or plateaus) 1 an area of fairly
             level high ground.  2 a state of little variation after an
             increase.  --v.intr.  (plateaus, plateaued) (often foll. by out)
             reach a level or stable state after an increase.  [F f. OF
             platel dimin. of plat flat surface]

             n.  Brit.  a person employed in fixing and repairing railway

   platelet  n.  a small colourless disc of protoplasm found in blood and
             involved in clotting.

   platen    n.  1 a plate in a printing-press which presses the paper
             against the type.  2 a cylindrical roller in a typewriter
             against which the paper is held.  [OF platine a flat piece f.
             plat flat]

             adj.  richly ornamented in a style suggesting silverware.  [Sp.
             plateresco f.  platero silversmith f.  plata silver]

   platform  n.  1 a raised level surface; a natural or artificial terrace.
             2 a raised surface from which a speaker addresses an audience.
             3 Brit. a raised elongated structure along the side of a track
             in a railway station.  4 the floor area at the entrance to a
             bus.  5 a thick sole of a shoe.  6 the declared policy of a
             political party.  Ьplatform ticket a ticket allowing a
             non-traveller access to a station platform.  [F plateforme
             ground-plan f.  plate flat + forme FORM]

   plating   n.  1 a coating of gold, silver, etc.  2 racing for plates.

   platinic  adj.  of or containing (esp. tetravalent) platinum.

   platinize v.tr.  (also -ise) coat with platinum.  ЬЬplatinization n.

   platinoid n.  an alloy of copper, zinc, nickel, and tungsten.

   platinum  n.  Chem.  a ductile malleable silvery-white metallic element
             occurring naturally in nickel and copper ores, unaffected by
             simple acids and fusible only at a very high temperature, used
             in making jewellery and laboratory apparatus.  °Symb.: Pt.
             Ьplatinum black platinum in powder form like lampblack.
             platinum blonde (or blond) adj.  silvery-blond.  --n. a person
             with silvery-blond hair.  platinum metal any metallic element
             found with and resembling platinum e.g. osmium, iridium, and
             palladium.  [mod.L f. earlier platina f. Sp., dimin. of plata

   platitude n.  1 a trite or commonplace remark, esp. one solemnly
             delivered.  2 the use of platitudes; dullness, insipidity.
             ЬЬplatitudinize v.intr.  (also -ise).  platitudinous adj.  [F f.
             plat flat, after certitude, multitudinous, etc.]

   Platonic  adj.  1 of or associated with the Greek philosopher Plato (d.
             347 BC) or his ideas.  2 (platonic) (of love or friendship)
             purely spiritual, not sexual.  3 (platonic) confined to words or
             theory; not leading to action; harmless.  ЬPlatonic solid (or
             body) any of the five regular solids (tetrahedron, cube,
             octahedron, dodecahedron, icosahedron).  ЬЬPlatonically adv.  [L
             Platonicus f. Gk Platonikos f.  Platon Plato]

   Platonism n.  the philosophy of Plato or his followers.  ЬЬPlatonist n.

   platoon   n.  1 Mil. a subdivision of a company, a tactical unit commanded
             by a lieutenant and usu. divided into three sections.  2 a group
             of persons acting together.  [F peloton small ball, dimin. of
             pelote: see PELLET, -OON]

             n.  S.Afr.  remote country districts.  ЬЬplattelander n.
             [Afrik., = flat land]

   platter   n.  1 a large flat dish or plate, esp. for food.  2 colloq. a
             gramophone record.  Ьon a platter = on a plate (see PLATE).  [ME
             & AF plater f. AF plat PLATE]

   platy-    comb. form broad, flat.  [Gk platu- f.  platus broad, flat]

             n.  any invertebrate of the phylum Platyhelminthes, including
             flatworms, flukes, and tapeworms.

   platypus  n.  an Australian aquatic egg-laying mammal, Ornithorhynchus
             anatinus, having a pliable ducklike bill, webbed feet, and sleek
             grey fur. Also called DUCKBILL.

             adj. & n.  --adj. (of primates) having nostrils far apart and
             directed forwards or sideways (cf.  CATARRHINE).  --n. such an
             animal.  [PLATY- + Gk rhis rhin- nose]

   plaudit   n.  (usu. in pl.) 1 a round of applause.  2 an emphatic
             expression of approval.  [shortened f. L plaudite applaud,
             imper. pl. of plaudere plaus- applaud, said by Roman actors at
             the end of a play]

   plausible adj.  1 (of an argument, statement, etc.) seeming reasonable or
             probable.  2 (of a person) persuasive but deceptive.
             ЬЬplausibility n.  plausibly adv.  [L plausibilis (as PLAUDIT)]

   play      v. & n.  --v.  1 intr. (often foll. by with) occupy or amuse
             oneself pleasantly with some recreation, game, exercise, etc.  2
             intr. (foll. by with) act light-heartedly or flippantly (with
             feelings etc.).  3 tr.  a perform on or be able to perform on (a
             musical instrument).  b perform (a piece of music etc.).  c
             cause (a record, record-player, etc.) to produce sounds.  4 a
             intr. (foll. by in) perform a role in (a drama etc.).  b tr.
             perform (a drama or role) on stage, or in a film or broadcast.
             c tr. give a dramatic performance at (a particular theatre or
             place).  5 tr. act in real life the part of (play truant; play
             the fool).  6 tr. (foll. by on) perform (a trick or joke etc.)
             on (a person).  7 tr. (foll. by for) regard (a person) as
             (something specified) (played me for a fool).  8 intr.  colloq.
             participate, cooperate; do what is wanted (they won't play).  9
             intr. gamble.  10 tr. gamble on.  11 tr.  a take part in (a game
             or recreation).  b compete with (another player or team) in a
             game.  c occupy (a specified position) in a team for a game.  d
             (foll. by in, on, at, etc.) assign (a player) to a position.  12
             tr. move (a piece) or display (a playing-card) in one's turn in
             a game.  13 tr. (also absol.) strike (a ball etc.) or execute (a
             stroke) in a game.  14 intr. move about in a lively or
             unrestrained manner.  15 intr. (often foll. by on) a touch
             gently.  b emit light, water, etc. (fountains gently playing).
             16 tr. allow (a fish) to exhaust itself pulling against a line.
             17 intr. (often foll. by at) a engage in a half-hearted way (in
             an activity).  b pretend to be.  18 intr. (of a cricket ground
             etc.) be conducive to play as specified (the pitch is playing
             fast).  19 intr.  colloq. act or behave (as specified) (play
             fair).  20 tr. (foll. by in, out, etc.) accompany (a person)
             with music (were played out with bagpipes).  --n.  1 recreation,
             amusement, esp. as the spontaneous activity of children and
             young animals.  2 a the playing of a game.  b the action or
             manner of this.  c the status of the ball etc. in a game as
             being available to be played according to the rules (in play;
             out of play).  3 a dramatic piece for the stage etc.  4 activity
             or operation (are in full play; brought into play).  5 a freedom
             of movement.  b space or scope for this.  6 brisk, light, or
             fitful movement.  7 gambling.  8 an action or manoeuvre, esp. in
             or as in a game.  Ьat play engaged in recreation.  in play for
             amusement; not seriously.  make play act effectively.  make a
             play for colloq.  make a conspicuous attempt to acquire.  make
             play with use ostentatiously.  play about (or around) behave
             irresponsibly.  play along pretend to cooperate.  play back play
             (sounds recently recorded), esp. to monitor recording quality
             etc.  play-back n.  a playing back of a sound or sounds.  play
             ball see BALL(1).  play by ear 1 perform (music) without the aid
             of a score.  2 (also play it by ear) proceed instinctively or
             step by step according to results and circumstances.  play one's
             cards right (or well) make good use of opportunities; act
             shrewdly.  play down minimize the importance of.  play ducks and
             drakes with see DUCK(1).  played out exhausted of energy or
             usefulness.  play false act, or treat a (person), deceitfully or
             treacherously.  play fast and loose act unreliably; ignore one's
             obligations.  play the field see FIELD.  play for time seek to
             gain time by delaying.  play the game see GAME(1).  play God see
             GOD.  play havoc with see HAVOC.  play hell with see HELL.  play
             hookey see HOOKEY.  play into a person's hands act so as
             unwittingly to give a person an advantage.  play it cool colloq.
             1 affect indifference.  2 be relaxed or unemotional.  play the
             man = be a man (see MAN).  play the market speculate in stocks
             etc.  play off (usu. foll. by against) 1 oppose (one person
             against another), esp. for one's own advantage.  2 play an extra
             match to decide a draw or tie.  play-off n.  a match played to
             decide a draw or tie.  play on 1 continue to play.  2 take
             advantage of (a person's feelings etc.).  play oneself in become
             accustomed to the prevailing conditions in a game etc.  play on
             words a pun.  play-pen a portable enclosure for young children
             to play in.  play possum see POSSUM.  play safe (or for safety)
             avoid risks.  play-suit a garment for a young child.  play to
             the gallery see GALLERY.  play up 1 behave mischievously.  2
             cause trouble; be irritating (my rheumatism is playing up
             again).  3 obstruct or annoy in this way (played the teacher
             up).  4 put all one's energy into a game.  play up to flatter,
             esp. to win favour.  play with fire take foolish risks.
             ЬЬplayable adj.  playability n.  [OE plega (n.), pleg(i)an (v.),
             orig. = (to) exercise]

   playa     n.  a flat dried-up area, esp. a desert basin from which water
             evaporates quickly.  [Sp., = beach, f. LL plagia]

   play-act  v.  1 intr. act in a play.  2 intr. behave affectedly or
             insincerely.  3 tr. act (a scene, part, etc.).  ЬЬplay-acting n.
             play-actor n.

   playbill  n.  1 a poster announcing a theatrical performance.  2 US a
             theatre programme.

   playboy   n.  an irresponsible pleasure-seeking man, esp. a wealthy one.

   player    n.  1 a person taking part in a sport or game.  2 a person
             playing a musical instrument.  3 a person who plays a part on
             the stage; an actor.  4 = record-player.  Ьplayer-piano a piano
             fitted with an apparatus enabling it to be played automatically.
             [OE plegere (as PLAY)]

             n.  a playmate.

   playful   adj.  1 fond of or inclined to play.  2 done in fun; humorous,
             jocular.  ЬЬplayfully adv.  playfulness n.

   playgoer  n.  a person who goes often to the theatre.

             n.  an outdoor area for children to play on.

   playgroup n.  a group of preschool children who play regularly together at
             a particular place under supervision.

   playhouse n.  1 a theatre.  2 a toy house for children to play in.

             n.  each of a set of usu. 52 oblong pieces of card or other
             material with an identical pattern on one side and different
             values represented by numbers and symbols on the other, used to
             play various games.

             n.  a field used for outdoor team games.

   playlet   n.  a short play or dramatic piece.

   playmate  n.  a child's companion in play.

   plaything n.  1 a toy or other thing to play with.  2 a person treated as
             a toy.

   playtime  n.  time for play or recreation.

             n.  a person who writes plays.

   plaza     n.  a market-place or open square (esp. in a Spanish town).
             [Sp., = place]

   plc       abbr.  (also PLC) Public Limited Company.

   plea      n.  1 an earnest appeal or entreaty.  2 Law a formal statement
             by or on behalf of a defendant.  3 an argument or excuse.  Ьplea
             bargaining US an arrangement between prosecutor and defendant
             whereby the defendant pleads guilty to a lesser charge in the
             expectations of leniency.  [ME & AF ple, plai, OF plait, plaid
             agreement, discussion f. L placitum a decree, neut. past part.
             of placere to please]

   pleach    v.tr.  entwine or interlace (esp. branches to form a hedge).
             [ME pleche f. OF (as PLASH(2))]

   plead     v.  (past and past part.  pleaded or esp.  US, Sc., & dial.
             pled) 1 intr. (foll. by with) make an earnest appeal to.  2
             intr.  Law address a lawcourt as an advocate on behalf of a
             party.  3 tr. maintain (a cause) esp. in a lawcourt.  4 tr.  Law
             declare to be one's state as regards guilt in or responsibility
             for a crime (plead guilty; plead insanity).  5 tr. offer or
             allege as an excuse (pleaded forgetfulness).  6 intr. make an
             appeal or entreaty.  ЬЬpleadable adj.  pleader n.  pleadingly
             adv.  [ME f. AF pleder, OF plaidier (as PLEA)]

   pleading  n.  (usu. in pl.) a formal statement of the cause of an action
             or defence.

   pleasance n.  a secluded enclosure or part of a garden, esp. one attached
             to a large house.  [ME f. OF plaisance (as PLEASANT)]

   pleasant  adj.  (pleasanter, pleasantest) pleasing to the mind, feelings,
             or senses.  ЬЬpleasantly adv.  pleasantness n.  [ME f. OF
             plaisant (as PLEASE)]

             n.  (pl.  -ies) 1 a pleasant or amusing remark, esp. made in
             casual conversation.  2 a humorous manner of speech.  3
             jocularity.  [F plaisanterie (as PLEASANT)]

   please    v.  1 tr. (also absol.) be agreeable to; make glad; give
             pleasure to (the gift will please them; anxious to please).  2
             tr. (in passive) a (foll. by to + infin.) be glad or willing to
             (am pleased to help).  b (often foll. by about, at, with) derive
             pleasure or satisfaction (from).  3 tr. (with it as subject;
             usu. foll. by to + infin.) be the inclination or wish of (it did
             not please them to attend).  4 intr. think fit; have the will or
             desire (take as many as you please).  5 tr. (short for may it
             please you) used in polite requests (come in, please).  Ьif you
             please if you are willing, esp.  iron. to indicate
             unreasonableness (then, if you please, we had to pay).  pleased
             as Punch see PUNCH(4).  please oneself do as one likes.
             ЬЬpleased adj.  pleasing adj.  pleasingly adv.  [ME plaise f. OF
             plaisir f. L placere]

             adj.  causing pleasure; agreeable.  ЬЬpleasurableness n.
             pleasurably adv.  [PLEASURE + -ABLE, after comfortable]

   pleasure  n. & v.  --n.  1 a feeling of satisfaction or joy.  2 enjoyment.
             3 a source of pleasure or gratification (painting was my chief
             pleasure; it is a pleasure to talk to them).  4 formal a
             person's will or desire (what is your pleasure?).  5 sensual
             gratification or enjoyment (a life of pleasure).  6 (attrib.)
             done or used for pleasure (pleasure-ground).  --v.  1 tr. give
             (esp. sexual) pleasure to.  2 intr. (often foll. by in) take
             pleasure.  Ьtake pleasure in like doing.  with pleasure gladly.
             [ME & OF plesir, plaisir PLEASE, used as a noun]

   pleat     n. & v.  --n. a fold or crease, esp. a flattened fold in cloth
             doubled upon itself.  --v.tr. make a pleat or pleats in.  [ME,
             var. of PLAIT]

   pleb      n.  colloq. usu.  derog.  an ordinary insignificant person.
             ЬЬplebby adj.  [abbr. of PLEBEIAN]

   plebeian  n. & adj.  --n. a commoner, esp. in ancient Rome.  --adj.  1 of
             low birth; of the common people.  2 uncultured.  3 coarse,
             ignoble.  ЬЬplebeianism n.  [L plebeius f.  plebs plebis the
             common people]

             n.  1 the direct vote of all the electors of a State etc. on an
             important public question, e.g. a change in the constitution.  2
             the public expression of a community's opinion, with or without
             binding force.  3 Rom.Hist. a law enacted by the plebeians'
             assembly.  ЬЬplebiscitary adj.  [F pl‚biscite f. L plebiscitum
             f.  plebs plebis the common people + scitum decree f.  sciscere
             vote for]

   plectrum  n.  (pl.  plectrums or plectra) 1 a thin flat piece of plastic
             or horn etc. held in the hand and used to pluck a string, esp.
             of a guitar.  2 the corresponding mechanical part of a
             harpsichord etc.  [L f. Gk plektron f.  plesso strike]

   pled      see PLEAD.

   pledge    n. & v.  --n.  1 a solemn promise or undertaking.  2 a thing
             given as security for the fulfilment of a contract, the payment
             of a debt, etc., and liable to forfeiture in the event of
             failure.  3 a thing put in pawn.  4 a thing given as a token of
             love, favour, or something to come.  5 the drinking of a
             person's health; a toast.  6 a solemn undertaking to abstain
             from alcohol (sign the pledge).  7 the state of being pledged
             (goods lying in pledge).  --v.tr.  1 a deposit as security.  b
             pawn.  2 promise solemnly by the pledge of (one's honour, word,
             etc.).  3 (often refl.) bind by a solemn promise.  4 drink to
             the health of.  Ьpledge one's troth see TROTH.  ЬЬpledgeable
             adj.  pledger n.  pledgor n.  [ME plege f. OF plege f. LL
             plebium f.  plebire assure]

   pledgee   n.  a person to whom a pledge is given.

   pledget   n.  a small wad of lint etc.  [16th c.: orig. unkn.]

   pleiad    n.  a brilliant group of (usu. seven) persons or things.  [named
             after PLEIADES]

   Pleiades  n.pl.  a cluster of stars in the constellation Taurus, usu.
             known as 'the Seven Sisters'.  [ME f. L Ple‹as f. Gk Pleias

             adj. & n.  Geol.  --adj. of or relating to the first epoch of
             the Quaternary period marked by great fluctuations in
             temperature with glacial periods followed by interglacial
             periods.  --n. this epoch or system. Also called Ice age.  °Cf.
             Appendix II.  [Gk pleistos most + kainos new]

   plenary   adj.  1 entire, unqualified, absolute (plenary indulgence).  2
             (of an assembly) to be attended by all members.  [LL plenarius
             f.  plenus full]

             n. & adj.  --n.  (pl.  -ies) a person (esp. a diplomat) invested
             with the full power of independent action.  --adj.  1 having
             this power.  2 (of power) absolute.  [med.L plenipotentiarius f.
             plenus full + potentia power]

   plenitude n.  literary 1 fullness, completeness.  2 abundance.  [ME f. OF
             f. LL plenitudo f.  plenus full]

   plenteous adj.  poet.  plentiful.  ЬЬplenteously adv.  plenteousness n.
             [ME f. OF plentivous f.  plentif -ive f.  plent‚ PLENTY: cf.

   plentiful adj.  abundant, copious.  ЬЬplentifully adv.  plentifulness n.

   plenty    n., adj., & adv.  --n. (often foll. by of) a great or sufficient
             quantity or number (we have plenty; plenty of time).  --adj.
             colloq. existing in an ample quantity.  --adv.  colloq. fully,
             entirely (it is plenty large enough).  [ME plenteth, plente f.
             OF plentet f. L plenitas -tatis f.  plenus full]

   plenum    n.  1 a full assembly of people or a committee etc.  2 Physics
             space filled with matter.  [L, neut. of plenus full]

             adj.  showing different colours when viewed in different
             directions.  ЬЬpleochroism n.  [Gk pleion more + -khroos f.
             khros colour]

             n.  Biol., Chem., & Mineral.  the occurrence of more than one
             distinct form.  ЬЬpleomorphic adj.  [Gk pleion more + morphe

   pleonasm  n.  the use of more words than are needed to give the sense
             (e.g.  see with one's eyes).  ЬЬpleonastic adj.  pleonastically
             adv.  [LL pleonasmus f. Gk pleonasmos f.  pleonazo be

             n.  (also plesiosaur) any of a group of extinct marine reptiles
             with a broad flat body, short tail, long flexible neck, and
             large paddle-like limbs.  [mod.L f. Gk plesios near + sauros

   plessor   var. of PLEXOR.

   plethora  n.  1 an oversupply, glut, or excess.  2 Med.  a an abnormal
             excess of red corpuscles in the blood.  b an excess of any body
             fluid.  ЬЬplethoric also adj.  plethorically adv.  [LL f. Gk
             plethore f.  pletho be full]

   pleura(1) n.  (pl.  pleurae) 1 each of a pair of serous membranes lining
             the thorax and enveloping the lungs in mammals.  2 lateral
             extensions of the body-wall in arthropods.  ЬЬpleural adj.
             [med.L f. Gk, = side of the body, rib]

   pleura(2) pl. of PLEURON.

   pleurisy  n.  inflammation of the pleura, marked by pain in the chest or
             side, fever, etc.  ЬЬpleuritic adj.  [ME f. OF pleurisie f. LL
             pleurisis alt. f. L pleuritis f. Gk (as PLEURA(1))]

   pleuro-   comb. form 1 denoting the pleura.  2 denoting the side.

   pleuron   n.  (pl.  pleura) = PLEURA(1) 2.  [Gk, = side of the body, rib]

             n.  pneumonia complicated with pleurisy.

   Plexiglas n.  propr.  = PERSPEX.  [formed as PLEXOR + GLASS]

   plexor    n.  (also plessor) Med.  a small hammer used to test reflexes
             and in percussing.  [irreg. f. Gk plexis percussion + -OR(1)]

   plexus    n.  (pl. same or plexuses) 1 Anat. a network of nerves or
             vessels in an animal body (gastric plexus).  2 any network or
             weblike formation.  ЬЬplexiform adj.  [L f.  plectere plex-

   pliable   adj.  1 bending easily; supple.  2 yielding, compliant.
             ЬЬpliability n.  pliableness n.  pliably adv.  [F f.  plier
             bend: see PLY(1)]

   pliant    adj.  = PLIABLE 1.  ЬЬpliancy n.  pliantly adv.  [ME f. OF (as

   plicate   adj.  Biol. & Geol.  folded, crumpled, corrugated.  ЬЬplicated
             adj.  [L plicatus past part. of plicare fold]

   plication n.  1 the act of folding.  2 a fold; a folded condition.  [ME f.
             med.L plicatio or L plicare fold, after complication]

   pli‚      n.  Ballet a bending of the knees with the feet on the ground.
             [F, past part. of plier bend: see PLY(1)]

   pliers    n.pl.  pincers with parallel flat usu. serrated surfaces for
             holding small objects, bending wire, etc.  [(dial.)  ply bend
             (as PLIABLE)]

   plight(1) n.  a condition or state, esp. an unfortunate one.  [ME & AF
             plit = OF pleit fold: see PLAIT: -gh- by confusion with

   plight(2) v. & n.  archaic --v.tr.  1 pledge or promise solemnly (one's
             faith, loyalty, etc.).  2 (foll. by to) engage, esp. in
             marriage.  --n. an engagement or act of pledging.  Ьplight one's
             troth see TROTH.  [orig. as noun, f. OE pliht danger f. Gmc]

   plimsoll  n.  (also plimsole) Brit.  a rubber-soled canvas sports shoe.
             [prob. from the resemblance of the side of the sole to a
             PLIMSOLL LINE]

   Plimsoll line
             n.  (also Plimsoll mark) a marking on a ship's side showing the
             limit of legal submersion under various conditions.  [S.
             Plimsoll, Engl. politician d. 1898, promoter of the Merchant
             Shipping Act of 1876]

   plinth    n.  1 the lower square slab at the base of a column.  2 a base
             supporting a vase or statue etc.  [F plinthe or L plinthus f. Gk
             plinthos tile, brick, squared stone]

   Pliocene  adj. & n.  Geol.  --adj. of or relating to the last epoch of the
             Tertiary period with evidence of the extinction of many mammals,
             and the development of hominids.  --n. this epoch or system.
             °Cf. Appendix II.  [Gk pleion more + kainos new]

   pliss‚    adj. & n.  --adj. (of cloth etc.) treated so as to cause
             permanent puckering.  --n. material treated in this way.  [F,
             past part. of plisser pleat]

   PLO       abbr.  Palestine Liberation Organization.

   plod      v. & n.  --v.  (plodded, plodding) 1 intr. (often foll. by
             along, on, etc.) walk doggedly or laboriously; trudge.  2 intr.
             (often foll. by at) work slowly and steadily.  3 tr. tread or
             make (one's way) laboriously.  --n. the act or a spell of
             plodding.  ЬЬplodder n.  ploddingly adv.  [16th c.: prob. imit.]

   -ploid    comb. form Biol.  forming adjectives denoting the number of sets
             of chromosomes in a cell (diploid; polyploid).  [after HAPLOID]

   ploidy    n.  the number of sets of chromosomes in a cell.  [after
             DIPLOIDY, POLYPLOIDY , etc.]

   plonk(1)  v. & n.  --v.tr.  1 set down hurriedly or clumsily.  2 (usu.
             foll. by down) set down firmly.  --n.  1 an act of plonking.  2
             a heavy thud.  [imit.]

   plonk(2)  n.  colloq.  cheap or inferior wine.  [orig. Austral.: prob.
             corrupt. of blanc in F vin blanc white wine]

   plop      n., v., & adv.  --n.  1 a sound as of a smooth object dropping
             into water without a splash.  2 an act of falling with this
             sound.  --v.  (plopped, plopping) intr. & tr. fall or drop with
             a plop.  --adv. with a plop.  [19th c.: imit.]

   plosion   n.  Phonet.  the sudden release of breath in the pronunciation
             of a stop consonant.  [EXPLOSION]

   plosive   adj. & n.  Phonet.  --adj. pronounced with a sudden release of
             breath.  --n. a plosive sound.  [EXPLOSIVE]

   plot      n. & v.  --n.  1 a defined and usu. small piece of ground.  2
             the interrelationship of the main events in a play, novel, film,
             etc.  3 a conspiracy or secret plan, esp. to achieve an unlawful
             end.  4 esp.  US a graph or diagram.  5 a graph showing the
             relation between two variables.  --v.  (plotted, plotting) tr.
             1 make a plan or map of (an existing object, a place or thing to
             be laid out, constructed, etc.).  2 (also absol.) plan or
             contrive secretly (a crime, conspiracy, etc.).  3 mark (a point
             or course etc.) on a chart or diagram.  4 a mark out or allocate
             (points) on a graph.  b make (a curve etc.) by marking out a
             number of points.  ЬЬplotless adj.  plotlessness n.  plotter n.
             [OE and f. OF complot secret plan: both of unkn. orig.]

   plough    n. & v.  (esp.  US plow) --n.  1 an implement with a cutting
             blade fixed in a frame drawn by a tractor or by horses, for
             cutting furrows in the soil and turning it up.  2 an implement
             resembling this and having a comparable function (snowplough).
             3 ploughed land.  4 (the Plough) the constellation Ursa Major or
             its seven bright stars.  --v.  1 tr. (also absol.) turn up (the
             earth) with a plough, esp. before sowing.  2 tr. (foll. by out,
             up, down, etc.) turn or extract (roots, weeds, etc.) with a
             plough.  3 tr. furrow or scratch (a surface) as if with a
             plough.  4 tr. produce (a furrow or line) in this way.  5 intr.
             (foll. by through) advance laboriously, esp. through work, a
             book, etc.  6 intr. (foll. by through, into) move like a plough
             violently.  7 intr. & tr.  Brit.  colloq. fail in an
             examination.  Ьplough back 1 plough (grass etc.) into the soil
             to enrich it.  2 reinvest (profits) in the business producing
             them.  Plough Monday the first Monday after the Epiphany.  put
             one's hand to the plough undertake a task (Luke 9:62).
             ЬЬploughable adj.  plougher n.  [OE ploh f. ON plўgr f. Gmc]

   ploughman n.  (pl.  -men) a person who uses a plough.  Ьploughman's lunch
             a meal of bread and cheese with pickle or salad.  ploughman's
             spikenard a composite fragrant plant, Inula conyzae, with
             purplish-yellow flowerheads.

             n.  the cutting blade of a plough.

   plover    n.  any plump-breasted wading bird of the family Charadriidae,
             including the lapwing, usu. having a pigeon-like bill.  [ME & AF
             f. OF plo(u)vier ult. f. L pluvia rain]

   plow      US var. of PLOUGH.

   ploy      n.  colloq.  a stratagem; a cunning manoeuvre to gain an
             advantage.  [orig. Sc., 18th c.: orig. unkn.]

   PLP       abbr.  (in the UK) Parliamentary Labour Party.

   PLR       abbr.  (in the UK) Public Lending Right.

   pluck     v. & n.  --v.  1 tr. (often foll. by out, off, etc.) remove by
             picking or pulling out or away.  2 tr. strip (a bird) of
             feathers.  3 tr. pull at, twitch.  4 intr. (foll. by at) tug or
             snatch at.  5 tr. sound (the string of a musical instrument)
             with the finger or plectrum etc.  6 tr. plunder.  7 tr. swindle.
             --n.  1 courage, spirit.  2 an act of plucking; a twitch.  3 the
             heart, liver, and lungs of an animal as food.  Ьpluck up summon
             up (one's courage, spirits, etc.).  ЬЬplucker n.  pluckless adj.
             [OE ploccian, pluccian, f. Gmc]

   plucky    adj.  (pluckier, pluckiest) brave, spirited.  ЬЬpluckily adv.
             pluckiness n.

   plug      n. & v.  --n.  1 a piece of solid material fitting tightly into
             a hole, used to fill a gap or cavity or act as a wedge or
             stopper.  2 a a device of metal pins in an insulated casing
             fitting into holes in a socket for making an electrical
             connection, esp. between an appliance and the mains.  b colloq.
             an electric socket.  3 = sparking-plug (see SPARK(1)).  4
             colloq. a piece of (often free) publicity for an idea, product,
             etc.  5 a mass of solidified lava filling the neck of a volcano.
             6 a cake or stick of tobacco; a piece of this for chewing.  7 =
             fire-plug.  --v.  (plugged, plugging) 1 tr. (often foll. by up)
             stop (a hole etc.) with a plug.  2 tr.  sl. shoot or hit (a
             person etc.).  3 tr.  colloq. seek to popularize (an idea,
             product, etc.) by constant recommendation.  4 intr.  colloq.
             (often foll. by at) work steadily away (at).  Ьplug in connect
             electrically by inserting a plug in a socket.  plug-in adj.
             able to be connected by means of a plug.  plug-ugly US sl.  n.
             (pl.  -ies) a thug or ruffian.  --adj. villainous-looking.
             ЬЬplugger n.  [MDu. & MLG plugge, of unkn. orig.]

   plum      n.  1 a an oval fleshy fruit, usu. purple or yellow when ripe,
             with sweet pulp and a flattish pointed stone.  b any deciduous
             tree of the genus Prunus bearing this.  2 a reddish-purple
             colour.  3 a dried grape or raisin used in cooking.  4 colloq.
             the best of a collection; something especially prized (often
             attrib.: a plum job).  Ьplum cake a cake containing raisins,
             currants, etc.  plum duff a plain flour pudding with raisins or
             currants.  plum pudding a rich boiled suet pudding with raisins,
             currants, spices, etc.  [OE plume f. med.L pruna f. L prunum]

   plumage   n.  a bird's feathers.  ЬЬplumaged adj. (usu. in comb.).  [ME f.
             OF (as PLUME)]

             n.  a person who trades or works in ornamental feathers.  [F f.
             plumasse augment. of plume PLUME]

   plumb(1)  n., adv., adj., & v.  --n. a ball of lead or other heavy
             material, esp. one attached to the end of a line for finding the
             depth of water or determining the vertical on an upright
             surface.  --adv.  1 exactly (plumb in the centre).  2
             vertically.  3 US sl. quite, utterly (plumb crazy).  --adj.  1
             vertical.  2 downright, sheer (plumb nonsense).  3 Cricket (of
             the wicket) level, true.  --v.tr.  1 a measure the depth of
             (water) with a plumb.  b determine (a depth).  2 test (an
             upright surface) to determine the vertical.  3 reach or
             experience in extremes (plumb the depths of fear).  4 learn in
             detail the facts about (a matter).  Ьout of plumb not vertical.
             plumb-line a line with a plumb attached.  plumb-rule a mason's
             plumb-line attached to a board.  [ME, prob. ult. f. L plumbum
             lead, assim. to OF plomb lead]

   plumb(2)  v.  1 tr. provide (a building or room etc.) with plumbing.  2
             tr. (often foll. by in) fit as part of a plumbing system.  3
             intr. work as a plumber.  [back-form. f.  PLUMBER]

   plumbago  n.  (pl.  -os) 1 = GRAPHITE.  2 any plant of the genus Plumbago,
             with grey or blue flowers. Also called LEADWORT.  [L f.  plumbum

   plumbeous adj.  1 of or like lead.  2 lead-glazed.  [L plumbeus f.
             plumbum LEAD(2)]

   plumber   n.  a person who fits and repairs the apparatus of a
             water-supply, heating, etc.  [ME plummer etc. f. OF plommier f.
             L plumbarius f.  plumbum LEAD(2)]

   plumbic   adj.  1 Chem. containing lead esp. in its tetravalent form.  2
             Med. due to the presence of lead.  ЬЬplumbism n. (in sense 2).
             [L plumbum lead]

   plumbing  n.  1 the system or apparatus of water-supply, heating, etc., in
             a building.  2 the work of a plumber.  3 colloq. lavatory

   plumbless adj.  (of a depth of water etc.) that cannot be plumbed.

   plumbous  n.  Chem.  containing lead in its divalent form.

   plume     n. & v.  --n.  1 a feather, esp. a large one used for ornament.
             2 an ornament of feathers etc. attached to a helmet or hat or
             worn in the hair.  3 something resembling this (a plume of
             smoke).  4 Zool. a feather-like part or formation.  --v.  1 tr.
             decorate or provide with a plume or plumes.  2 refl. (foll. by
             on, upon) pride (oneself on esp. something trivial).  3 tr. (of
             a bird) preen (itself or its feathers).  ЬЬplumeless adj.
             plumelike adj.  plumery n.  [ME f. OF f. L pluma down]

   plummet   n. & v.  --n.  1 a plumb or plumb-line.  2 a sounding-line.  3 a
             weight attached to a fishing-line to keep the float upright.
             --v.intr.  (plummeted, plummeting) fall or plunge rapidly.  [ME
             f. OF plommet dimin. (as PLUMB(1))]

   plummy    adj.  (plummier, plummiest) 1 abounding or rich in plums.  2
             colloq. (of a voice) sounding affectedly rich or deep in tone.
             3 colloq. good, desirable.

   plumose   adj.  1 feathered.  2 feather-like.  [L plumosus (as PLUME)]

   plump(1)  adj. & v.  --adj. (esp. of a person or animal or part of the
             body) having a full rounded shape; fleshy; filled out.  --v.tr.
             & intr. (often foll. by up, out) make or become plump; fatten.
             ЬЬplumpish adj.  plumply adv.  plumpness n.  plumpy adj.  [ME
             plompe f. MDu.  plomp blunt, MLG plump, plomp shapeless etc.]

   plump(2)  v., n., adv., & adj.  --v.  1 intr. & tr. (often foll. by down)
             drop or fall abruptly (plumped down on the chair; plumped it on
             the floor).  2 intr. (foll. by for) decide definitely in favour
             of (one of two or more possibilities).  3 tr. (often foll. by
             out) utter abruptly; blurt out.  --n. an abrupt plunge; a heavy
             fall.  --adv.  colloq.  1 with a sudden or heavy fall.  2
             directly, bluntly (I told him plump).  --adj.  colloq. direct,
             unqualified (answered with a plump 'no').  [ME f. MLG plumpen,
             MDu.  plompen: orig. imit.]

   plumule   n.  1 the rudimentary shoot or stem of an embryo plant.  2 a
             down feather on a young bird.  ЬЬplumulaceous adj. (in sense 2).
             plumular adj. (in sense 1).  [F plumule or L plumula, dimin. (as

   plumy     adj.  (plumier, plumiest) 1 plumelike, feathery.  2 adorned with

   plunder   v. & n.  --v.tr.  1 rob (a place or person) forcibly of goods,
             e.g. as in war.  2 rob systematically.  3 (also absol.) steal or
             embezzle (goods).  --n.  1 the violent or dishonest acquisition
             of property.  2 property acquired by plundering.  3 colloq.
             profit, gain.  ЬЬplunderer n.  [LG plЃndern lit. 'rob of
             household goods' f. MHG plunder clothing etc.]

   plunge    v. & n.  --v.  1 (usu. foll. by in, into) a tr. thrust
             forcefully or abruptly.  b intr. dive; propel oneself forcibly.
             c intr. & tr. enter or cause to enter a certain condition or
             embark on a certain course abruptly or impetuously (they plunged
             into a lively discussion; the room was plunged into darkness).
             2 tr. immerse completely.  3 intr.  a move suddenly and
             dramatically downward.  b (foll. by down, into, etc.) move with
             a rush (plunged down the stairs).  c diminish rapidly (share
             prices have plunged).  4 intr. (of a horse) start violently
             forward.  5 intr. (of a ship) pitch.  6 intr.  colloq. gamble
             heavily; run into debt.  --n. a plunging action or movement; a
             dive.  Ьplunging (or plunge) neckline a low-cut neckline.  take
             the plunge colloq.  commit oneself to a (usu. risky) course of
             action.  [ME f. OF plungier ult. f. L plumbum plummet]

   plunger   n.  1 a part of a mechanism that works with a plunging or
             thrusting movement.  2 a rubber cup on a handle for clearing
             blocked pipes by a plunging and sucking action.  3 colloq. a
             reckless gamble.

   plunk     n. & v.  --n.  1 the sound made by the sharply plucked string of
             a stringed instrument.  2 US a heavy blow.  3 US = PLONK(1) n.
             --v.  1 intr. & tr. sound or cause to sound with a plunk.  2 tr.
             US hit abruptly.  3 tr.  US = PLONK(1) v.  [imit.]

             adj. & n.  Gram.  --adj. (of a tense) denoting an action
             completed prior to some past point of time specified or implied,
             formed in English by had and the past participle, as: he had
             gone by then.  --n. the pluperfect tense.  [mod.L plusperfectum
             f. L plus quam perfectum more than perfect]

   plural    adj. & n.  --adj.  1 more than one in number.  2 Gram. (of a
             word or form) denoting more than one, or (in languages with dual
             number) more than two.  --n.  Gram.  1 a plural word or form.  2
             the plural number.  ЬЬplurally adv.  [ME f. OF plurel f. L
             pluralis f.  plus pluris more]

   pluralism n.  1 holding more than one office, esp. an ecclesiastical
             office or benefice, at a time.  2 a form of society in which the
             members of minority groups maintain their independent cultural
             traditions.  3 Philos. a system that recognizes more than one
             ultimate principle (cf.  MONISM 2).  ЬЬpluralist n.  pluralistic
             adj.  pluralistically adv.

   plurality n.  (pl.  -ies) 1 the state of being plural.  2 = PLURALISM 1.
             3 a large or the greater number.  4 US a majority that is not
             absolute.  [ME f. OF pluralit‚ f. LL pluralitas (as PLURAL)]

   pluralize v.  (also -ise) 1 tr. & intr. make or become plural.  2 tr.
             express in the plural.  3 intr. hold more than one
             ecclesiastical office or benefice.

   pluri-    comb. form several.  [L plus pluris more, plures several]

   plus      prep., adj., n., & conj.  --prep.  1 Math. with the addition of
             (3 plus 4 equals 7).  °Symbol: +.  2 (of temperature) above zero
             (plus 2ш C).  3 colloq. with; having gained; newly possessing
             (returned plus a new car).  --adj.  1 (after a number) at least
             (fifteen plus).  2 (after a grade etc.) rather better than (beta
             plus).  3 Math. positive.  4 having a positive electrical
             charge.  5 (attrib.) additional, extra (plus business).  --n.  1
             = plus sign.  2 Math. an additional or positive quantity.  3 an
             advantage (experience is a definite plus).  --conj.  colloq.
             disp. also; and furthermore (they arrived late, plus they were
             hungry).  Ьplus sign the symbol +, indicating addition or a
             positive value.  [L, = more]

             n.  long wide men's knickerbockers usu. worn for golf etc.
             [20th c.: so named because the overhang at the knee requires an
             extra four inches]

   plush     n. & adj.  --n. cloth of silk or cotton etc., with a long soft
             nap.  --adj.  1 made of plush.  2 plushy.  ЬЬplushly adv.
             plushness n.  [obs. F pluche contr. f.  peluche f. OF peluchier
             f. It.  peluzzo dimin. of pelo f. L pilus hair]

   plushy    adj.  (plushier, plushiest) colloq.  stylish, luxurious.
             ЬЬplushiness n.

   plutarchy n.  (pl.  -ies) plutocracy.  [Gk ploutos wealth + -arkhia -rule]

   Pluto     n.  the outermost known planet of the solar system.  [L f. Gk
             Plouton god of the underworld]

             n.  (pl.  -ies) 1 a government by the wealthy.  b a State
             governed in this way.  2 a wealthy ‚lite or ruling class.
             ЬЬplutocratic adj.  plutocratically adv.  [Gk ploutokratia f.
             ploutos wealth + -CRACY]

   plutocrat n.  derog. or joc.  1 a member of a plutocracy or wealthy ‚lite.
             2 a wealthy and influential person.

   pluton    n.  Geol.  a body of plutonic rock.  [back-form. f.  PLUTONIC]

   Plutonian adj.  1 infernal.  2 of the infernal regions.  [L Plutonius f.
             Gk Ploutonios (as PLUTO)]

   plutonic  adj.  1 Geol. (of rock) formed as igneous rock by solidification
             below the surface of the earth.  2 (Plutonic) = PLUTONIAN.
             [formed as PLUTONIAN]

   plutonium n.  Chem.  a dense silvery radioactive metallic transuranic
             element of the actinide series, used in some nuclear reactors
             and weapons.  °Symb.: Pu.  [PLUTO (as the next planet beyond
             Neptune) + -IUM]

   pluvial   adj. & n.  --adj.  1 of rain; rainy.  2 Geol. caused by rain.
             --n. a period of prolonged rainfall.  ЬЬpluvious adj. (in sense
             1).  [L pluvialis f.  pluvia rain]

             n.  a rain-gauge.  ЬЬpluviometric adj.  pluviometrical adj.
             pluviometrically adv.  [L pluvia rain + -METER]

   ply(1)    n.  (pl.  -ies) 1 a thickness or layer of certain materials,
             esp. wood or cloth (three-ply).  2 a strand of yarn or rope etc.
             [ME f. F pli f.  plier, pleier f. L plicare fold]

   ply(2)    v.  (-ies, -ied) 1 tr. use or wield vigorously (a tool, weapon,
             etc.).  2 tr. work steadily at (one's business or trade).  3 tr.
             (foll. by with) a supply (a person) continuously (with food,
             drink, etc.).  b approach repeatedly (with questions, demands,
             etc.).  4 a intr. (often foll. by between) (of a vehicle etc.)
             travel regularly (to and fro between two points).  b tr. work (a
             route) in this way.  5 intr. (of a taxi-driver, boatman, etc.)
             attend regularly for custom (ply for trade).  6 intr. sail to
             windward.  [ME plye, f.  APPLY]

   Plymouth Brethren
             n.pl.  a strict Calvinistic religious body formed at Plymouth in
             Devon c.1830, having no formal creed and no official order of

   plywood   n.  a strong thin board consisting of two or more layers glued
             and pressed together with the direction of the grain

13.0 PM...

   PM        abbr.  1 Prime Minister.  2 post-mortem.  3 Provost Marshal.

   Pm        symb.  Chem.  the element promethium.

   p.m.      abbr.  after noon.  [L post meridiem]

   PMG       abbr.  1 Paymaster General.  2 Postmaster General.

   PMT       abbr.  premenstrual tension.

14.0 PNdb...

   PNdB      abbr.  perceived noise decibel(s).

   pneumatic adj. & n.  --adj.  1 of or relating to air or wind.  2
             containing or operated by compressed air.  3 connected with or
             containing air cavities esp. in the bones of birds or in fish.
             Ьpneumatic drill a drill driven by compressed air, for breaking
             up a hard surface.  pneumatic trough a shallow container used in
             laboratories to collect gases in jars over the surface of water
             or mercury.  ЬЬpneumatically adv.  pneumaticity n.  [F
             pneumatique or L pneumaticus f. Gk pneumatikos f.  pneuma wind
             f.  pneo breathe]

             n.pl.  (treated as sing.) the science of the mechanical
             properties of gases.

   pneumato- comb. form denoting: 1 air.  2 breath.  3 spirit.  [Gk f.
             pneuma (as PNEUMATIC)]

             n.  1 the branch of theology concerned with the Holy Ghost and
             other spiritual concepts.  2 archaic psychology.
             ЬЬpneumatological adj.

             n.  1 the gaseous cavity of various hydrozoa, such as the
             Portuguese man-of-war.  2 an aerial root specialized for gaseous
             exchange found in various plants growing in swampy areas.

   pneumo-   comb. form denoting the lungs.  [abbr. of pneumono- f. Gk
             pneumon lung]

             n.  a lung disease caused by inhalation of dust or small
             particles.  [PNEUMO- + Gk konis dust]

             adj.  of or relating to the lungs and stomach.

             n.  (pl.  -ies) Surgery the surgical removal of a lung or part
             of a lung.

   pneumonia n.  a bacterial inflammation of one lung (single pneumonia) or
             both lungs (double pneumonia) causing the air sacs to fill with
             pus and become solid.  ЬЬpneumonic adj.  [L f. Gk f.  pneumon

             n.  inflammation of the lungs usu. caused by a virus.

             n.  the presence of air or gas in the cavity between the lungs
             and the chest wall.

   PNG       abbr.  Papua New Guinea.

15.0 PO...

   PO        abbr.  1 Post Office.  2 postal order.  3 Petty Officer.  4
             Pilot Officer.

   Po        symb.  Chem.  the element polonium.

   po        n.  (pl.  pos) Brit.  colloq.  a chamber-pot.

   POA       abbr.  (in the UK) Prison Officers' Association.

   poach(1)  v.tr.  1 cook (an egg) without its shell in or over boiling
             water.  2 cook (fish etc.) by simmering in a small amount of
             liquid.  ЬЬpoacher n.  [ME f. OF pochier f.  poche POKE(2)]

   poach(2)  v.  1 tr. (also absol.) catch (game or fish) illegally.  2 intr.
             (often foll. by on) trespass or encroach (on another's property,
             ideas, etc.).  3 tr. appropriate illicitly or unfairly (a
             person, thing, idea, etc.).  4 tr.  Tennis etc. take (a shot) in
             one's partner's portion of the court.  5 a tr. trample or cut up
             (turf) with hoofs.  b intr. (of land) become sodden by being
             trampled.  ЬЬpoacher n.  [earlier poche, perh. f. F pocher put
             in a pocket (as POACH(1))]

   pochard   n.  any duck of the genus Aythya, esp.  A. ferina, the male of
             which has a bright reddish-brown head and neck and a grey
             breast.  [16th c.: orig. unkn.]

   pochette  n.  a woman's envelope-shaped handbag.  [F, dimin. of poche
             pocket: see POKE(2)]

   pock      n.  (also pock-mark) 1 a small pus-filled spot on the skin, esp.
             caused by chickenpox or smallpox.  2 a mark resembling this.
             Ьpock-marked bearing marks resembling or left by such spots.
             ЬЬpocky adj.  [OE poc f. Gmc]

   pocket    n. & v.  --n.  1 a small bag sewn into or on clothing, for
             carrying small articles.  2 a pouchlike compartment in a
             suitcase, car door, etc.  3 one's financial resources (it is
             beyond my pocket).  4 an isolated group or area (a few pockets
             of resistance remain).  5 a a cavity in the earth containing
             ore, esp. gold.  b a cavity in rock, esp. filled with foreign
             matter.  6 a pouch at the corner or on the side of a billiard-
             or snooker-table into which balls are driven.  7 = air pocket.
             8 (attrib.) a of a suitable size and shape for carrying in a
             pocket.  b smaller than the usual size.  --v.tr.  (pocketed,
             pocketing) 1 put into one's pocket.  2 appropriate, esp.
             dishonestly.  3 confine as in a pocket.  4 submit to (an injury
             or affront).  5 conceal or suppress (one's feelings).  6
             Billiards etc. drive (a ball) into a pocket.  Ьin pocket 1
             having gained in a transaction.  2 (of money) available.  in a
             person's pocket 1 under a person's control.  2 close to or
             intimate with a person.  out of pocket having lost in a
             transaction.  out-of-pocket expenses the actual outlay of cash
             incurred.  pocket battleship hist.  a warship armoured and
             equipped like, but smaller than, a battleship.  pocket borough
             Brit.  hist.  a borough in which the election of political
             representatives was controlled by one person or family.  pocket
             gopher = GOPHER(1) 1.  pocket knife a knife with a folding blade
             or blades, for carrying in the pocket.  pocket money 1 money for
             minor expenses.  2 Brit. an allowance of money made to a child.
             put one's hand in one's pocket spend or provide money.
             ЬЬpocketable adj.  pocketless adj.  pockety adj. (in sense 5 of
             n.).  [ME f. AF poket(e) dimin. of poke POKE(2)]

             n.  1 a notebook.  2 a booklike case for papers or money carried
             in a pocket.  3 US a purse or handbag.  4 US a paperback or
             other small book.

   pocketful n.  (pl.  -fuls) as much as a pocket will hold.

   poco      adv.  Mus.  a little; rather (poco adagio).  [It.]

   pod       n. & v.  --n.  1 a long seed-vessel esp. of a leguminous plant,
             e.g. a pea.  2 the cocoon of a silkworm.  3 the case surrounding
             locust eggs.  4 a narrow-necked eel-net.  5 a compartment
             suspended under an aircraft for equipment etc.  --v.  (podded,
             podding) 1 intr. bear or form pods.  2 tr. remove (peas etc.)
             from pods.  Ьin pod colloq.  pregnant.  [back-form. f. dial.
             podware, podder field crops, of unkn. orig.]

   podagra   n.  Med.  gout of the foot, esp. the big toe.  ЬЬpodagral adj.
             podagric adj.  podagrous adj.  [L f. Gk pous podos foot + agra

   podgy     adj.  (podgier, podgiest) 1 (of a person) short and fat.  2 (of
             a face etc.) plump, fleshy.  ЬЬpodginess n.  [19th c.: f.  podge
             a short fat person]

   podiatry  n.  US = CHIROPODY.  ЬЬpodiatrist n.  [Gk pous podos foot +
             iatros physician]

   podium    n.  (pl.  podiums or podia) 1 a continuous projecting base or
             pedestal round a room or house etc.  2 a raised platform round
             the arena of an amphitheatre.  3 a platform or rostrum.  [L f.
             Gk podion dimin. of pous pod- foot]

   podzol    n.  (also podsol) a soil with minerals leached from its surface
             layers into a lower stratum.  ЬЬpodzolize v.tr. & intr.  (also
             -ise).  [Russ. f.  pod under, zola ashes]

   poem      n.  1 a metrical composition, usu. concerned with feeling or
             imaginative description.  2 an elevated composition in verse or
             prose.  3 something with poetic qualities (a poem in stone).  [F
             poЉme or L poema f. Gk poema = poiema f.  poieo make]

   poesy     n.  archaic 1 poetry.  2 the art or composition of poetry.  [ME
             f. OF poesie ult. f. L poesis f. Gk poesis = poiesis making,
             poetry (as POEM)]

   poet      n.  (fem.  poetess) 1 a writer of poems.  2 a person possessing
             high powers of imagination or expression etc.  ЬPoet Laureate
             (in the UK) a poet appointed to write poems for State occasions.
             Poets' Corner part of Westminster Abbey where several poets are
             buried or commemorated.  [ME f. OF poete f. L poeta f. Gk poetes
             = poietes maker, poet (as POEM)]

   poetaster n.  a paltry or inferior poet.  [mod.L (as POET): see -ASTER]

   poetic    adj.  (also poetical) 1 a of or like poetry or poets.  b written
             in verse.  2 elevated or sublime in expression.  Ьpoetic justice
             well-deserved unforeseen retribution or reward.  poetic licence
             a writer's or artist's transgression of established rules for
             effect.  ЬЬpoetically adv.  [F po‚tique f. L poeticus f. Gk
             poetikos (as POET)]

   poeticize v.tr.  (also -ise) make (a theme) poetic.

   poetics   n.  1 the art of writing poetry.  2 the study of poetry and its

   poetize   v.  (also -ise) 1 intr. play the poet.  2 intr. compose poetry.
             3 tr. treat poetically.  4 tr. celebrate in poetry.  [F po‚tiser
             (as POET)]

   poetry    n.  1 the art or work of a poet.  2 poems collectively.  3 a
             poetic or tenderly pleasing quality.  4 anything compared to
             poetry.  [ME f. med.L poetria f. L poeta POET, prob. after

   po-faced  adj.  1 solemn-faced, humourless.  2 smug.  [20th c.: perh. f.
             PO, infl. by poker-faced]

   pogo      n.  (pl.  -os) (also pogo stick) a toy consisting of a
             spring-loaded stick with rests for the feet, for springing about
             on.  [20th c.: orig. uncert.]

   pogrom    n.  an organized massacre (orig. of Jews in Russia).  [Russ., =
             devastation f.  gromit' destroy]

   poignant  adj.  1 painfully sharp to the emotions or senses; deeply
             moving.  2 arousing sympathy.  3 sharp or pungent in taste or
             smell.  4 pleasantly piquant.  ЬЬpoignance n.  poignancy n.
             poignantly adv.  [ME f. OF, pres. part. of poindre prick f. L

             n.  an organism that regulates its body temperature by
             behavioural means, such as basking or burrowing; a cold-blooded
             organism (cf.  HOMOEOTHERM).  ЬЬpoikilothermal adj.
             poikilothermia n.  poikilothermic adj.  poikilothermy n.  [Gk
             poikilos multicoloured, changeable + therme heat]

   poilu     n.  hist.  a French private soldier, esp. as a nickname.  [F,
             lit. hairy f.  poil hair]

   poinciana n.  any tropical tree of the genus Poinciana, with bright showy
             red flowers.  [mod.L f. M. de Poinci, 17th-c. governor in the
             West Indies + -ana fem. suffix]

   poind     v. & n.  Sc.  --v.tr. distrain upon; impound.  --n.  1 an act of
             poinding.  2 an animal or chattel poinded.  [ME f. OE pyndan

             n.  a shrub, Euphorbia pulcherrima, with large showy scarlet or
             pink bracts surrounding small yellow flowers.  [mod.L f. J. R.
             Poinsett, Amer. diplomat d. 1851]

   point     n. & v.  --n.  1 the sharp or tapered end of a tool, weapon,
             pencil, etc.  2 a tip or extreme end.  3 that which in geometry
             has position but not magnitude, e.g.  the intersection of two
             lines.  4 a particular place or position (Bombay and points
             east; point of contact).  5 a a precise or particular moment (at
             the point of death).  b the critical or decisive moment (when it
             came to the point, he refused).  6 a very small mark on a
             surface.  7 a a dot or other punctuation mark, esp.  = full
             point = FULL(1).  b a dot or small stroke used in Semitic
             languages to indicate vowels or distinguish consonants.  8 =
             decimal point.  9 a stage or degree in progress or increase
             (abrupt to the point of rudeness; at that point we gave up).  10
             a level of temperature at which a change of state occurs
             (freezing-point).  11 a single item; a detail or particular (we
             differ on these points; it is a point of principle).  12 a a
             unit of scoring in games or of measuring value etc.  b an
             advantage or success in less quantifiable contexts such as an
             argument or discussion.  c a unit of weight (2 mg) for diamonds.
             d a unit (of varying value) in quoting the price of stocks etc.
             13 a (usu. prec. by the) the significant or essential thing;
             what is actually intended or under discussion (that was the
             point of the question).  b (usu. with neg. or interrog.; often
             foll. by in) sense or purpose; advantage or value (saw no point
             in staying).  c (usu. prec. by the) a salient feature of a
             story, joke, remark, etc. (don't see the point).  14 a
             distinctive feature or characteristic (it has its points; tact
             is not his good point).  15 pungency, effectiveness (their
             comments lacked point).  16 a each of 32 directions marked at
             equal distances round a compass.  b the corresponding direction
             towards the horizon.  17 (usu. in pl.) Brit. a junction of two
             railway lines, with a pair of linked tapering rails that can be
             moved laterally to allow a train to pass from one line to the
             other.  18 Brit. = power point.  19 (usu. in pl.) each of a set
             of electrical contacts in the distributor of a motor vehicle.
             20 Cricket a a fielder on the off side near the batsman.  b this
             position.  21 the tip of the toe in ballet.  22 a promontory.
             23 the prong of a deer's antler.  24 the extremities of a dog,
             horse, etc.  25 Printing a unit of measurement for type bodies
             (in the UK and US 0.0138 in., in Europe 0.0148 in.).  26 Hunting
             a a spot to which a straight run is made.  b such a run.  27
             Heraldry any of nine particular positions on a shield used for
             specifying the position of charges etc.  28 Boxing the tip of
             the chin as a spot for a knockout blow.  29 Mil. a small leading
             party of an advanced guard.  30 hist. a tagged lace for lacing a
             bodice, attaching a hose to a doublet, etc.  31 Naut. a short
             piece of cord at the lower edge of a sail for tying up a reef.
             32 the act or position of a dog in pointing.  --v.  1 (usu.
             foll. by to, at) a tr. direct or aim (a finger, weapon, etc.).
             b intr. direct attention in a certain direction (pointed to the
             house across the road).  2 intr. (foll. by at, towards) a aim or
             be directed to.  b tend towards.  3 intr. (foll. by to)
             indicate; be evidence of (it all points to murder).  4 tr. give
             point or force to (words or actions).  5 tr. fill in or repair
             the joints of (brickwork) with smoothly finished mortar or
             cement.  6 tr.  a punctuate.  b insert points in (written Hebrew
             etc.).  c mark (Psalms etc.) with signs for chanting.  7 tr.
             sharpen (a pencil, tool, etc.).  8 tr. (also absol.) (of a dog)
             indicate the presence of (game) by acting as pointer.  Ьat all
             points in every part or respect.  at the point of (often foll.
             by verbal noun) on the verge of; about to do (the action
             specified).  beside the point irrelevant or irrelevantly.  case
             in point an instance that is relevant or (prec. by the) under
             consideration.  have a point be correct or effective in one's
             contention.  in point apposite, relevant.  in point of fact see
             FACT.  make (or prove) a (or one's) point establish a
             proposition; prove one's contention.  make a point of (often
             foll. by verbal noun) insist on; treat or regard as essential.
             nine points nine tenths, i.e. nearly the whole (esp.  possession
             is nine points of the law).  on (or upon) the point of (foll. by
             verbal noun) about to do (the action specified).  point-duty the
             positioning of a police officer or traffic warden at a crossroad
             or other point to control traffic.  point lace thread lace made
             wholly with a needle.  point of honour an action or circumstance
             that affects one's reputation.  point of no return a point in a
             journey or enterprise at which it becomes essential or more
             practical to continue to the end.  point of order a query in a
             debate etc. as to whether correct procedure is being followed.
             point-of-sale (usu.  attrib.) denoting publicity etc. associated
             with the place at which goods are retailed.  point of view 1 a
             position from which a thing is viewed.  2 a particular way of
             considering a matter.  point out (often foll. by that + clause)
             indicate, show; draw attention to.  point-to-point a
             steeplechase over a marked course for horses used regularly in
             hunting.  point up emphasize; show as important.  score points
             off get the better of in an argument etc.  take a person's point
             concede that a person has made a valid contention.  to the point
             relevant or relevantly.  up to a point to some extent but not
             completely.  win on points Boxing win by scoring more points,
             not by a knockout.  [ME f. OF point, pointer f. L punctum f.
             pungere punct- prick]

             adj. & adv.  --adj.  1 a (of a shot) aimed or fired horizontally
             at a range very close to the target.  b (of a distance or range)
             very close.  2 (of a remark, question, etc.) blunt, direct.
             --adv.  1 at very close range.  2 directly, bluntly.  [prob. f.
             POINT + BLANK = white spot in the centre of a target]

   pointed   adj.  1 sharpened or tapering to a point.  2 (of a remark etc.)
             having point; penetrating, cutting.  3 emphasized; made evident.
             ЬЬpointedly adv.  pointedness n.

   pointer   n.  1 a thing that points, e.g. the index hand of a gauge etc.
             2 a rod for pointing to features on a map, chart, etc.  3
             colloq. a hint, clue, or indication.  4 a a dog of a breed that
             on scenting game stands rigid looking towards it.  b this breed.
             5 (in pl.) two stars in the Great Bear in line with the pole

             n.  Art a technique of impressionist painting using tiny dots of
             various pure colours, which become blended in the viewer's eye.
             ЬЬpointillist n. & adj.  pointillistic adj.  [F pointillisme f.
             pointiller mark with dots]

   pointing  n.  1 cement or mortar filling the joints of brickwork.  2
             facing produced by this.  3 the process of producing this.

   pointless adj.  1 without a point.  2 lacking force, purpose, or meaning.
             3 (in games) without a point scored.  ЬЬpointlessly adv.
             pointlessness n.

   pointsman n.  (pl.  -men) Brit.  1 a person in charge of railway points.
             2 a policeman or traffic warden on point-duty.

   pointy    adj.  (pointier, pointiest) having a noticeably sharp end;

   poise(1)  n. & v.  --n.  1 composure or self-possession of manner.  2
             equilibrium; a stable state.  3 carriage (of the head etc.).
             --v.  1 tr. balance; hold suspended or supported.  2 tr. carry
             (one's head etc. in a specified way).  3 intr. be balanced;
             hover in the air etc.  [ME f. OF pois, peis, peser ult. f. L
             pensum weight f.  pendere pens- weigh]

   poise(2)  n.  Physics a unit of dynamic viscosity, such that a tangential
             force of one dyne per square centimetre causes a velocity change
             one centimetre per second between two parallel planes in a
             liquid separated by one centimetre.  [J. L. M.  Poiseuille, Fr.
             physician d. 1869]

   poised    adj.  1 composed, self-assured.  2 (often foll. by for, or to +
             infin.) ready for action.

   poison    n. & v.  --n.  1 a substance that when introduced into or
             absorbed by a living organism causes death or injury, esp. one
             that kills by rapid action even in a small quantity.  2 colloq.
             a harmful influence or principle etc.  3 Physics & Chem. a
             substance that interferes with the normal progress of a nuclear
             reaction, chain reaction, catalytic reaction, etc.  --v.tr.  1
             administer poison to (a person or animal).  2 kill or injure or
             infect with poison.  3 infect (air, water, etc.) with poison.  4
             (esp. as poisoned adj.) treat (a weapon) with poison.  5 corrupt
             or pervert (a person or mind).  6 spoil or destroy (a person's
             pleasure etc.).  7 render (land etc.) foul and unfit for its
             purpose by a noxious application etc.  Ьpoison gas = GAS n.  4.
             poison ivy a N. American climbing plant, Rhus toxicodendron,
             secreting an irritant oil from its leaves.  poison-pen letter an
             anonymous libellous or abusive letter.  ЬЬpoisoner n.  poisonous
             adj.  poisonously adv.  [ME f. OF poison, poisonner (as POTION)]

   Poisson distribution
             n.  Statistics a discrete frequency distribution which gives the
             probability of events occurring in a fixed time.  [S. D.
             Poisson, French mathematician d. 1840]

   poke(1)   v. & n.  --v.  1 (foll. by in, up, down, etc.)  a tr. thrust or
             push with the hand, point of a stick, etc.  b intr. be thrust
             forward.  2 intr. (foll. by at etc.) make thrusts with a stick
             etc.  3 tr. thrust the end of a finger etc. against.  4 tr.
             (foll. by in) produce (a hole etc. in a thing) by poking.  5 tr.
             thrust forward, esp. obtrusively.  6 tr. stir (a fire) with a
             poker.  7 intr.  a (often foll. by about, around) move or act
             desultorily; potter.  b (foll. by about, into) pry; search
             casually.  8 tr.  coarse sl. have sexual intercourse with.  9
             tr. (foll. by up) colloq. confine (esp. oneself) in a poky
             place.  --n.  1 the act or an instance of poking.  2 a thrust or
             nudge.  3 a device fastened on cattle etc. to prevent them
             breaking through fences.  4 a a projecting brim or front of a
             woman's bonnet or hat.  b (in full poke-bonnet) a bonnet having
             this.  Ьpoke fun at ridicule, tease.  poke one's nose into
             colloq.  pry or intrude into (esp. a person's affairs).  [ME f.
             MDu. and MLG poken, of unkn. orig.]

   poke(2)   n.  dial.  a bag or sack.  Ьbuy a pig in a poke see PIG.  [ME f.
             ONF poke, poque = OF poche: cf.  POUCH]

   poker(1)  n.  a stiff metal rod with a handle for stirring an open fire.
             Ьpoker-work 1 the technique of burning designs on white wood
             etc. with a heated metal rod.  2 a design made in this way.

   poker(2)  n.  a card-game in which bluff is used as players bet on the
             value of their hands.  Ьpoker-dice dice with card designs from
             ace to nine instead of spots.  poker-face 1 the impassive
             countenance appropriate to a poker-player.  2 a person with
             this.  poker-faced having a poker-face.  [19th c.: orig. unkn.:
             cf. G pochen to brag, Pochspiel bragging game]

   pokeweed  n.  a tall hardy American plant, Phytolacca americana, with
             spikes of cream flowers and purple berries that yield emetics
             and purgatives.  [poke, Amer. Ind. word + WEED]

   pokey     n.  US sl.  prison.  [perh. f.  POKY]

   poky      adj.  (pokier, pokiest) (of a room etc.) small and cramped.
             ЬЬpokily adv.  pokiness n.  [POKE(1) (in colloq. sense
             'confine') + -Y(1)]

   polack    n.  US sl.  offens.  a person of Polish origin.  [F Polaque and
             G Polack f. Pol.  Polak]

   polar     1 adj.  a of or near a pole of the earth or a celestial body, or
             of the celestial sphere.  b (of a species or variety) living in
             the north polar region.  2 having magnetic polarity.  3 a (of a
             molecule) having a positive charge at one end and a negative
             charge at the other.  b (of a compound) having electric charges.
             4 Geom. of or relating to a pole.  5 directly opposite in
             character or tendency.  Ьpolar bear a white bear, Ursus
             maritimus, of the Arctic regions.  polar body a small cell
             produced from an oocyte during the formation of an ovum, which
             does not develop further.  polar circle each of the circles
             parallel to the equator at a distance of 23ш 27° from either
             pole.  polar coordinates a system by which a point can be
             located with reference to two angles.  polar curve a curve
             related in a particular way to a given curve and to a fixed
             point called a pole.  polar distance the angular distance of a
             point on a sphere from the nearest pole.  polar star = POLESTAR.
             ЬЬpolarly adv.  [F polaire or mod.L polaris (as POLE(2))]

   polari-   comb. form polar.  [mod.L polaris (as POLAR)]

             n.  an instrument used to measure the polarization of light or
             the effect of a substance on the rotation of the plane of
             polarized light.  ЬЬpolarimetric adj.  polarimetry n.

             n.  = POLARIMETER.  ЬЬpolariscopic adj.

   polarity  n.  (pl.  -ies) 1 the tendency of a lodestone, magnetized bar,
             etc., to point with its extremities to the magnetic poles of the
             earth.  2 the condition of having two poles with contrary
             qualities.  3 the state of having two opposite tendencies,
             opinions, etc.  4 the electrical condition of a body (positive
             or negative).  5 a magnetic attraction towards an object or

   polarize  v.  (also -ise) 1 tr. restrict the vibrations of (a transverse
             wave, esp. light) to one direction.  2 tr. give magnetic or
             electric polarity to (a substance or body).  3 tr. reduce the
             voltage of (an electric cell) by the action of electrolysis
             products.  4 tr. & intr. divide into two groups of opposing
             opinion etc.  ЬЬpolarizable adj.  polarization n.  polarizer n.

             n.  Chem.  the analysis by measurement of current-voltage
             relationships in electrolysis between mercury electrodes.
             ЬЬpolarographic adj.

   Polaroid  n.  propr.  1 material in thin plastic sheets that produces a
             high degree of plane polarization in light passing through it.
             2 a type of camera with internal processing that produces a
             finished print rapidly after each exposure.  3 (in pl.)
             sunglasses with lenses made from Polaroid.  [POLARI- + -OID]

   polder    n.  a piece of low-lying land reclaimed from the sea or a river,
             esp.  in the Netherlands.  [MDu.  polre, Du.  polder]

   Pole      n.  1 a native or national of Poland.  2 a person of Polish
             descent.  [G f. Pol.  Polanie, lit. field-dwellers f.  pole

   pole(1)   n. & v.  --n.  1 a long slender rounded piece of wood or metal,
             esp. with the end placed in the ground as a support etc.  2 a
             wooden shaft fitted to the front of a vehicle and attached to
             the yokes or collars of the draught animals.  3 = PERCH(1).
             --v.tr.  1 provide with poles.  2 (usu. foll. by off) push off
             (a punt etc.) with a pole.  Ьpole position the most favourable
             position at the start of a motor race (orig.  next to the inside
             boundary-fence).  pole-vault (or -jump) n.  the athletic sport
             of vaulting over a high bar with the aid of a long flexible pole
             held in the hands and giving extra spring.  --v.intr. take part
             in this sport.  pole-vaulter a person who pole-vaults.  under
             bare poles Naut.  with no sail set.  up the pole sl.  1 crazy,
             eccentric.  2 in difficulty.  [OE pal ult. f. L palus stake]

   pole(2)   n.  1 (in full north pole, south pole) a each of the two points
             in the celestial sphere about which the stars appear to revolve.
             b each of the extremities of the axis of rotation of the earth
             or another body.  c see magnetic pole.  °The spelling is North
             Pole and South Pole when used as geographical designations.  2
             each of the two opposite points on the surface of a magnet at
             which magnetic forces are strongest.  3 each of two terminals
             (positive and negative) of an electric cell or battery etc.  4
             each of two opposed principles or ideas.  5 Geom. each of two
             points in which the axis of a circle cuts the surface of a
             sphere.  6 a fixed point to which others are referred.  7 Biol.
             an extremity of the main axis of any spherical or oval organ.
             Ьbe poles apart differ greatly, esp. in nature or opinion.
             ЬЬpoleward adj.  polewards adj. & adv.  [ME f. L polus f. Gk
             polos pivot, axis, sky]

   poleaxe   n. & v.  --n.  1 a battleaxe.  2 a butcher's axe.  --v.tr. hit
             or kill with or as if with a poleaxe .  [ME pol(l)ax, -ex f.
             MDu.  pol(l)aex, MLG pol(l)exe (as POLL(1), AXE)]

   polecat   n.  1 Brit. a small European brownish-black fetid flesh-eating
             mammal, Mustela putorius, of the weasel family.  2 US a skunk.
             [pole (unexplained) + CAT]

   polemic   n. & adj.  --n.  1 a controversial discussion.  2 Polit. a
             verbal or written attack, esp. on a political opponent.  --adj.
             (also polemical) involving dispute; controversial.
             ЬЬpolemically adv.  polemicist n.  polemicize v.tr.  (also
             -ise).  polemize v.tr.  (also -ise).  [med.L polemicus f. Gk
             polemikos f.  polemos war]

   polemics  n.pl.  the art or practice of controversial discussion.

   polenta   n.  porridge made of maize meal etc.  [It. f. L, = pearl barley]

   polestar  n.  1 Astron. a star in Ursa Minor now about 1ш distant from the
             celestial north pole.  2 a a thing or principle serving as a
             guide.  b a centre of attraction.

   police    n. & v.  --n.  1 (usu. prec. by the) the civil force of a State,
             responsible for maintaining public order.  2 (as pl.) the
             members of a police force (several hundred police).  3 a force
             with similar functions of enforcing regulations (military
             police; railway police).  --v.tr.  1 control (a country or area)
             by means of police.  2 provide with police.  3 keep order in;
             control.  Ьpolice constable see CONSTABLE.  police dog a dog,
             esp. an Alsatian, used in police work.  police officer a
             policeman or policewoman.  police State a totalitarian State
             controlled by political police supervising the citizens'
             activities.  police station the office of a local police force.
             [F f. med.L politia POLICY(1)]

   policeman n.  (pl.  -men; fem.  policewoman, pl.  -women) a member of a
             police force.

   policy(1) n.  (pl.  -ies) 1 a course or principle of action adopted or
             proposed by a government, party, business, or individual etc.  2
             prudent conduct; sagacity.  [ME f. OF policie f. L politia f. Gk
             politeia citizenship f.  polites citizen f.  polis city]

   policy(2) n.  (pl.  -ies) 1 a contract of insurance.  2 a document
             containing this.  [F police bill of lading, contract of
             insurance, f. Prov.  poliss(i)a prob. f. med.L apodissa,
             apodixa, f. L apodixis f. Gk apodeixis evidence, proof (as APO-,
             deiknumi show)]

             n.  a person or body holding an insurance policy.

   polio     n.  = POLIOMYELITIS.  [abbr.]

             n.  Med.  an infectious viral disease that affects the central
             nervous system and which can cause temporary or permanent
             paralysis.  [mod.L f. Gk polios grey + muelos marrow]

   Polish    adj. & n.  --adj.  1 of or relating to Poland.  2 of the Poles
             or their language.  --n. the language of Poland.  ЬPolish
             notation Math.  a system of formula notation without brackets
             and punctuation.  [POLE + -ISH(1)]

   polish    v. & n.  --v.  1 tr. & intr. make or become smooth or glossy by
             rubbing.  2 (esp. as polished adj.) refine or improve; add
             finishing touches to.  --n.  1 a substance used for polishing.
             2 smoothness or glossiness produced by friction.  3 the act or
             an instance of polishing.  4 refinement or elegance of manner,
             conduct, etc.  Ьpolish off finish (esp. food) quickly.  polish
             up revise or improve (a skill etc.).  ЬЬpolishable adj.
             polisher n.  [ME f. OF polir f. L polire polit-]

   politburo n.  (pl.  -os) the principal policy-making committee of a
             Communist party, esp.  in the USSR.  [Rus.  politbyuro f.
             politЎcheskoe byurў political bureau]

   polite    adj.  (politer, politest) 1 having good manners; courteous.  2
             cultivated, cultured.  3 refined, elegant (polite letters).
             ЬЬpolitely adv.  politeness n.  [L politus (as POLISH)]

   politesse n.  formal politeness.  [F f. It.  politezza, pulitezza f.
             pulito polite]

   politic   adj. & v.  --adj.  1 (of an action) judicious, expedient.  2 (of
             a person) prudent, sagacious.  3 political (now only in body
             politic).  --v.intr.  (politicked, politicking) engage in
             politics.  ЬЬpoliticly adv.  [ME f. OF politique f. L politicus
             f. Gk politikos f.  polites citizen f.  polis city]

   political adj.  1 a of or concerning the State or its government, or
             public affairs generally.  b of, relating to, or engaged in
             politics.  c belonging to or forming part of a civil
             administration.  2 having an organized form of society or
             government.  3 taking or belonging to a side in politics.  4
             relating to or affecting interests of status or authority in an
             organization rather than matters of principle (a political
             decision).  Ьpolitical asylum see ASYLUM.  political economist a
             student of or expert in political economy.  political economy
             the study of the economic aspects of government.  political
             geography that dealing with boundaries and the possessions of
             States.  political prisoner a person imprisoned for political
             beliefs or actions.  political science the study of the State
             and systems of government.  political scientist a specialist in
             political science.  ЬЬpolitically adv.  [L politicus (as

             n.  1 a person engaged in or concerned with politics, esp. as a
             practitioner.  2 a person skilled in politics.  3 US derog. a
             person with self-interested political concerns.

             v.  (also -ise) 1 tr.  a give a political character to.  b make
             politically aware.  2 intr. engage in or talk politics.
             ЬЬpoliticization n.

   politico  n.  (pl.  -os) colloq.  a politician or political enthusiast.
             [Sp. or It. (as POLITIC)]

   politico- comb. form 1 politically.  2 political and (politico-social).
             [Gk politikos: see POLITIC]

   politics  n.pl.  1 (treated as sing. or pl.) a the art and science of
             government.  b public life and affairs as involving authority
             and government.  2 (usu. treated as pl.) a a particular set of
             ideas, principles, or commitments in politics (what are their
             politics?).  b activities concerned with the acquisition or
             exercise of authority or government.  c an organizational
             process or principle affecting authority, status, etc. (the
             politics of the decision).

   polity    n.  (pl.  -ies) 1 a form or process of civil government or
             constitution.  2 an organized society; a State as a political
             entity.  [L politia f. Gk politeia f.  polites citizen f.  polis

   polka     n. & v.  --n.  1 a lively dance of Bohemian origin in duple
             time.  2 the music for this.  --v.intr.  (polkas, polkaed or
             polka'd, polkaing) dance the polka.  Ьpolka dot a round dot as
             one of many forming a regular pattern on a textile fabric etc.
             [F and G f. Czech pulka half-step f.  pul half]

   poll(1)   n. & v.  --n.  1 a the process of voting at an election.  b the
             counting of votes at an election.  c the result of voting.  d
             the number of votes recorded (a heavy poll).  2 = GALLUP POLL,
             opinion poll.  3 a a human head.  b the part of this on which
             hair grows (flaxen poll).  4 a hornless animal, esp. one of a
             breed of hornless cattle.  --v.  1 tr.  a take the vote or votes
             of.  b (in passive) have one's vote taken.  c (of a candidate)
             receive (so many votes).  d give (a vote).  2 tr. record the
             opinion of (a person or group) in an opinion poll.  3 intr. give
             one's vote.  4 tr. cut off the top of (a tree or plant), esp.
             make a pollard of.  5 tr. (esp. as polled adj.) cut the horns
             off (cattle).  6 tr.  Computing check the status of (a computer
             system) at intervals.  Ьpoll tax 1 hist. a tax levied on every
             adult.  2 = community charge.  ЬЬpollee n. (in sense 2 of n.).
             pollster n.  [ME, perh. f. LG or Du.]

   poll(2)   n.  a tame parrot (Pretty poll!).  Ьpoll parrot a user of
             conventional or clich‚d phrases and arguments.  [Poll, a
             conventional name for a parrot, alt. f.  Moll, a familiar form
             of Mary]

   pollack   n.  (also pollock) a European marine fish, Pollachius
             pollachius, with a characteristic protruding lower jaw, used for
             food.  [earlier (Sc.)  podlock: orig. unkn.]

   pollan    n.  a freshwater fish, Coregonus pollan, found in Irish lakes.
             [perh. f. Ir.  poll deep water]

   pollard   n. & v.  --n.  1 an animal that has lost or cast its horns; an
             ox, sheep, or goat of a hornless breed.  2 a tree whose branches
             have been cut off to encourage the growth of new young branches,
             esp. a riverside willow.  3 a the bran sifted from flour.  b a
             fine bran containing some flour.  --v.tr. make (a tree) a
             pollard.  [POLL(1) + -ARD]

   pollen    n.  the fine dustlike grains discharged from the male part of a
             flower containing the gamete that fertilizes the female ovule.
             Ьpollen analysis = PALYNOLOGY.  pollen count an index of the
             amount of pollen in the air, published esp. for the benefit of
             those allergic to it.  ЬЬpollenless adj.  pollinic adj.  [L
             pollen pollinis fine flour, dust]

   pollex    n.  (pl.  pollices) the innermost digit of a forelimb, usu. the
             thumb in primates.  [L, = thumb or big toe]

   pollie    var. of POLLY(2).

   pollinate v.tr.  (also absol.) sprinkle (a stigma) with pollen.
             ЬЬpollination n.  pollinator n.

   polling   n.  the registering or casting of votes.  Ьpolling-booth a
             compartment in which a voter stands to mark the ballot-paper.
             polling-day the day of a local or general election.
             polling-station a building, often a school, where voting takes
             place during an election.

   pollinic  see POLLEN.

             adj.  bearing or producing pollen.

   polliwog  n.  (also pollywog) US dial.  a tadpole.  [earlier polwigge,
             polwygle f.  POLL(1) + WIGGLE]

   pollock   var. of POLLACK.

   pollute   v.tr.  1 contaminate or defile (the environment).  2 make foul
             or filthy.  3 destroy the purity or sanctity of.  ЬЬpollutant
             adj. & n.  polluter n.  pollution n.  [ME f. L polluere pollut-]

   polly(1)  n.  (pl.  -ies) colloq.  a bottle or glass of Apollinaris water.

   polly(2)  n.  (also pollie) (pl.  -ies) Austral. & US a politician.

   Pollyanna n.  a cheerful optimist; an excessively cheerful person.
             ЬЬPollyannaish adj.  Pollyannaism n.  [character in a novel
             (1913) by E. Porter]

   pollywog  var. of POLLIWOG.

   polo      n.  a game of Eastern origin like hockey played on horseback
             with a long-handled mallet.  Ьpolo-neck a high round turned-over
             collar.  polo-stick a mallet for playing polo.  [Balti, = ball]

   polonaise n. & adj.  --n.  1 a dance of Polish origin in triple time.  2
             the music for this.  3 hist. a woman's dress consisting of a
             bodice and a skirt open from the waist downwards to show an
             underskirt.  --adj. cooked in a Polish style.  [F, fem. of
             polonais Polish f. med.L Polonia Poland]

   polonium  n.  Chem.  a rare radioactive metallic element, occurring
             naturally in uranium ores.  °Symb.: Po.  [F & mod.L f. med.L
             Polonia Poland (the discoverer's native country) + -IUM]

   polony    n.  (pl.  -ies) Brit.  = BOLOGNA SAUSAGE.  [app. corrupt.]

             n.  a noisy mischievous ghost, esp. one manifesting itself by
             physical damage.  [G f.  poltern create a disturbance + Geist

   poltroon  n.  a spiritless coward.  ЬЬpoltroonery n.  [F poltron f. It.
             poltrone perh. f.  poltro sluggard]

   poly      n.  (pl.  polys) colloq.  polytechnic.  [abbr.]

   poly-(1)  comb. form denoting many or much.  [Gk polu- f.  polus much,
             polloi many]

   poly-(2)  comb. form Chem.  polymerized (polyunsaturated).  [POLYMER]

             adj.  Bot.  having numerous stamens grouped into three or more

   polyamide n.  Chem.  any of a class of condensation polymers produced from
             the interaction of an amino group of one molecule and a
             carboxylic acid group of another, and which includes many
             synthetic fibres such as nylon.

   polyandry n.  1 polygamy in which a woman has more than one husband.  2
             Bot. the state of having numerous stamens.  ЬЬpolyandrous adj.
             [POLY-(1) + andry f. Gk aner andros male]

             n.  (pl.  polyanthuses) a flower cultivated from hybridized
             primulas.  [mod.L, formed as POLY-(1) + Gk anthos flower]

             n.  any of a class of polymers in which the units are linked
             through a carbonate group, mainly used as moulding materials.

             n.  any aquatic annelid worm of the class Polychaeta, including
             lugworms and ragworms, having numerous bristles on the fleshy
             lobes of each body segment.  ЬЬpolychaetan adj.  polychaetous

             adj.  1 many coloured.  2 (of radiation) containing more than
             one wavelength.  ЬЬpolychromatism n.

             adj. & n.  --adj. painted, printed, or decorated in many
             colours.  --n.  1 a work of art in several colours, esp. a
             coloured statue.  2 varied colouring.  ЬЬpolychromic adj.
             polychromous adj.  [F f. Gk polukhromos as POLY-(1), khroma

             n.  the art of painting in several colours, esp. as applied to
             ancient pottery, architecture, etc.  [F polychromie (as

             n.  a clinic devoted to various diseases; a general hospital.

             adj.  (of a solid substance) consisting of many crystalline
             parts at various orientations, e.g. a metal casting.

             adj.  Chem.  having more than one ring of atoms in the molecule.

             adj. & n.  --adj. (of an animal) having more than five fingers
             or toes.  --n. a polydactyl animal.

   polyester n.  any of a group of condensation polymers used to form
             synthetic fibres such as Terylene or to make resins.

             n.  Chem. = POLYTHENE.

             n.  = POLYTHENE.

             adj.  1 having more than one wife or husband at the same time.
             2 having more than one mate.  3 bearing some flowers with
             stamens only, some with pistils only, some with both, on the
             same or different plants.  ЬЬpolygamic adj.  polygamist n.
             polygamously adv.  polygamy n.  [Gk polugamos (as POLY-(1),
             -gamos marrying)]

   polygene  n.  Biol.  each of a group of independent genes that
             collectively affect a characteristic.

             n.  the (usu. postulated) origination of a race or species from
             several independent stocks.  ЬЬpolygenetic adj.

   polygeny  n.  the theory that mankind originated from several independent
             pairs of ancestors.  ЬЬpolygenism n.  polygenist n.

   polyglot  adj. & n.  --adj.  1 of many languages.  2 (of a person)
             speaking or writing several languages.  3 (of a book, esp. the
             Bible) with the text translated into several languages.  --n.  1
             a polyglot person.  2 a polyglot book, esp. a Bible.
             ЬЬpolyglottal adj.  polyglottic adj.  polyglottism n.  [F
             polyglotte f. Gk poluglottos (as POLY-(1), glotta tongue)]

   polygon   n.  a plane figure with many (usu. a minimum of three) sides and
             angles.  Ьpolygon of forces a polygon that represents by the
             length and direction of its sides all the forces acting on a
             body or point.  ЬЬpolygonal adj.  [LL polygonum f. Gk polugonon
             (neut. adj.) (as POLY-(1) + - gonos angled)]

   polygonum n.  any plant of the genus Polygonum, with small bell-shaped
             flowers. Also called KNOTGRASS, KNOTWEED.  [mod.L f. Gk

   polygraph n.  a machine designed to detect and record changes in
             physiological characteristics (e.g. rates of pulse and
             breathing), used esp. as a lie-detector.

   polygyny  n.  polygamy in which a man has more than one wife.
             ЬЬpolygynous adj.  [POLY-(1) + gyny f. Gk gune woman]

             n.  (pl.  polyhedra) a solid figure with many (usu. more than
             six) faces.  ЬЬpolyhedral adj.  polyhedric adj.  [Gk poluedron
             neut. of poluedros (as POLY-(1), hedra base)]

             n.  = POLYMATH.

   polymath  n.  1 a person of much or varied learning.  2 a great scholar.
             ЬЬpolymathic adj.  polymathy n.  [Gk polumathes (as POLY-(1),
             math- stem manthano learn)]

   polymer   n.  a compound composed of one or more large molecules that are
             formed from repeated units of smaller molecules.  ЬЬpolymeric
             adj.  polymerism n.  polymerize v.intr. & tr.  (also -ise).
             polymerization n.  [G f. Gk polumeros having many parts (as
             POLY-(1), meros share)]

             adj.  Biol.  having many parts.

             n.  1 a Biol. the existence of various different forms in the
             successive stages of the development of an organism.  b =
             PLEOMORPHISM.  2 Chem. = ALLOTROPY.  ЬЬpolymorphic adj.
             polymorphous adj.

             adj. & n.  --adj. of or relating to Polynesia, a group of
             Pacific islands including New Zealand, Hawaii, Samoa, etc.  --n.
             1 a a native of Polynesia.  b a person of Polynesian descent.  2
             the family of languages including Maori, Hawaiian, and Samoan.
             [as POLY-(1) + Gk nesos island]

             n.  any disorder that affects many of the peripheral nerves.
             ЬЬpolyneuritic adj.

             n. & adj.  Math.  --n. an expression of more than two algebraic
             terms, esp. the sum of several terms that contain different
             powers of the same variable(s).  --adj. of or being a
             polynomial.  [POLY-(1) after multinomial]

   polynya   n.  a stretch of open water surrounded by ice, esp. in the
             Arctic seas.  [Russ. f.  pole field]

   polyp     n.  1 Zool. an individual coelenterate.  2 Med. a small usu.
             benign growth protruding from a mucous membrane.  [F polype (as

   polypary  n.  (pl.  -ies) the common stem or support of a colony of
             polyps.  [mod.L polyparium (as POLYPUS)]

             n.  Biochem.  a peptide formed by the combination of about ten
             or more amino acids.  [G Polypeptid (as POLY-(2), PEPTONE)]

             adj.  Zool.  able to feed on various kinds of food.

   polyphase adj.  Electr.  (of a device or circuit) designed to supply or
             use simultaneously several alternating currents of the same
             voltage but with different phases.

   polyphone n.  Phonet.  a symbol or letter that represents several
             different sounds.

             adj.  1 Mus. (of vocal music etc.) in two or more relatively
             independent parts; contrapuntal.  2 Phonet. (of a letter etc.)
             representing more than one sound.  ЬЬpolyphonically adv.  [Gk
             poluphonos (as POLY-(1), phone voice, sound)]

   polyphony n.  (pl.  -ies) 1 Mus.  a polyphonic style in musical
             composition; counterpoint.  b a composition written in this
             style.  2 Philol. the symbolization of different vocal sounds by
             the same letter or character.  ЬЬpolyphonous adj.

   polypi    pl. of POLYPUS.

   polyploid n. & adj.  Biol.  --n. a nucleus or organism that contains more
             than two sets of chromosomes.  --adj. of or being a polyploid.
             ЬЬpolyploidy n.  [G (as POLY-(1), -PLOID)]

   polypod   adj. & n.  Zool.  --adj. having many feet.  --n. a polypod
             animal.  [F polypode (adj.) f. Gk (as POLYPUS)]

   polypody  n.  (pl.  -ies) any fern of the genus Polypodium, usu. found in
             woods growing on trees, walls, and stones.  [ME f. L polypodium
             f. Gk polupodion (as POLYPUS)]

   polypoid  adj.  of or like a polyp.  ЬЬpolypous adj.

             n.  = POLYPROPYLENE.

             n.  Chem.  any of various polymers of propylene including
             thermoplastic materials used for films, fibres, or moulding
             materials. Also called POLYPROPENE.

   polypus   n.  (pl.  polypi or polypuses) Med.  = POLYP 2.  [ME f. L
             polypus f. Gk polupos, polupous cuttlefish, polyp (as POLY-(1),
             pous podos foot)]

             n.  any of a group of carbohydrates whose molecules consist of
             long chains of monosaccharides.

   polysemy  n.  Philol.  the existence of many meanings (of a word etc.).
             ЬЬpolysemic adj.  polysemous adj.  [POLY-(1) + Gk sema sign]

             n.  a thermoplastic polymer of styrene, usu. hard and colourless
             or expanded with a gas to produce a lightweight rigid white
             substance, used for insulation and in packaging.

             adj.  1 (of a word) having many syllables.  2 characterized by
             the use of words of many syllables.  ЬЬpolysyllabically adv.

             n.  a polysyllabic word.

             n. & adj.  --n. an institution of higher education offering
             courses in many (esp. vocational) subjects at degree level or
             below.  --adj. dealing with or devoted to various vocational or
             technical subjects.  [F polytechnique f. Gk polutekhnos (as
             POLY-(1) tekhne art)]

             n.  Chem.  a tough translucent polymer resistant to chemicals
             and used to coat cooking utensils etc.  °Abbr.: PTFE.  [POLY-(2)
             + TETRA- + FLUORO- + ETHYLENE]

             n.  the belief in or worship of more than one god.  ЬЬpolytheist
             n.  polytheistic adj.  [F polyth‚isme f. Gk polutheos of many
             gods (as POLY-(1), theos god)]

   polythene n.  Chem.  a tough light thermoplastic polymer of ethylene, usu.
             translucent and flexible or opaque and rigid, used for packaging
             and insulating materials. Also called POLYETHYLENE, POLYETHENE.

             n.  Mus.  the simultaneous use of two or more keys in a
             composition.  ЬЬpolytonal adj.

             adj.  Chem.  (of a compound, esp. a fat or oil molecule)
             containing several double or triple bonds and therefore capable
             of further reaction.

             n.  any polymer containing the urethane group, used in
             adhesives, paints, plastics, rubbers, foams, etc.

             adj.  Chem.  having a valency of more than two, or several
             valencies.  ЬЬpolyvalence n.

   polyvinyl acetate
             n.  Chem.  a soft plastic polymer used in paints and adhesives.
             °Abbr.: PVA.

   polyvinyl chloride
             n.  a tough transparent solid polymer of vinyl chloride, easily
             coloured and used for a wide variety of products including
             pipes, flooring, etc.  °Abbr.: PVC.

   polyzoan  n.  = BRYOZOAN.

   pom       n.  1 a Pomeranian dog.  2 Austral. & NZ sl.  offens. = POMMY.

   pomace    n.  1 the mass of crushed apples in cider-making before or after
             the juice is pressed out.  2 the refuse of fish etc. after the
             oil has been extracted, generally used as a fertilizer.  [ME f.
             med.L pomacium cider f. L pomum apple]

   pomade    n. & v.  --n. scented dressing for the hair and the skin of the
             head.  --v.tr. anoint with pomade.  [F pommade f. It.  pomata f.
             med.L f. L pomum apple (from which it was orig. made)]

   pomander  n.  1 a ball of mixed aromatic substances placed in a cupboard
             etc. or hist. carried in a box, bag, etc. as a protection
             against infection.  2 a (usu. spherical) container for this.  3
             a spiced orange etc. similarly used.  [earlier pom(e)amber f. AF
             f. OF pome d'embre f. med.L pomum de ambra apple of ambergris]

   pomatum   n. & v.tr.  = POMADE.  [mod.L f. L pomum apple]

   pome      n.  a firm-fleshed fruit in which the carpels from the central
             core enclose the seeds, e.g. the apple, pear, and quince.
             ЬЬpomiferous adj.  [ME f. OF ult. f.  poma pl. of L pomum fruit,

             n.  1 a an orange-sized fruit with a tough golden-orange outer
             skin containing many seeds in a red pulp.  b the tree bearing
             this fruit, Punica granatum, native to N. Africa and W. Asia.  2
             an ornamental representation of a pomegranate.  [ME f. OF pome
             grenate (as POME, L granatum having many seeds f.  granum seed)]

   pomelo    n.  (pl.  -os) 1 = SHADDOCK.  2 US = GRAPEFRUIT.  [19th c.:
             orig. unkn.]

             n.  1 a small dog with long silky hair, a pointed muzzle, and
             pricked ears.  2 this breed.  [Pomerania in Germany and Poland]

   pomfret   n.  1 any of various fish of the family Stromateidae of the
             Indian and Pacific Oceans.  2 a dark-coloured deep-bodied marine
             fish, Brama brama, used as food.  [app. f. Port.  pampo]

             n.  (also Pontefract-cake) Brit.  a small round flat liquorice
             sweetmeat orig. made at Pontefract (earlier Pomfret) in

             n.  fruit-growing.  [L pomum fruit + CULTURE]

   pommel    n. & v.  --n.  1 a knob, esp. at the end of a sword-hilt.  2 the
             upward projecting front part of a saddle.  --v.tr.  (pommelled,
             pommelling; US pommeled, pommeling) = PUMMEL.  Ьpommel horse a
             vaulting horse fitted with a pair of curved handgrips .  [ME f.
             OF pomel f. Rmc pomellum (unrecorded), dimin. of L pomum fruit,

   pommy     n.  (also pommie) (pl.  -ies) Austral. & NZ sl.  offens.  a
             British person, esp. a recent immigrant.  [20th c.: orig.

   pomology  n.  the science of fruit-growing.  ЬЬpomological adj.
             pomologist n.  [L pomum fruit + -LOGY]

   pomp      n.  1 a splendid display; splendour.  2 (often in pl.) vainglory
             (the pomps and vanities of this wicked world).  [ME f. OF pompe
             f. L pompa f. Gk pompe procession, pomp f.  pempo send]

   pompadour n.  a woman's hairstyle with the hair in a high turned-back roll
             round the face.  [f. Marquise de Pompadour, the mistress of
             Louis XV of France d. 1764]

   pompano   n.  (pl.  -os) any of various fish of the family Carangidae or
             Stromateidae of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, used as food.
             [Sp.  p mpano]

   pom-pom   n.  an automatic quick-firing gun esp. on a ship.  [imit.]

   pompon    n.  (also pompom) 1 an ornamental ball or bobble made of wool,
             silk, or ribbons, usu. worn on women's or children's hats or
             clothing.  2 the round tuft on a soldier's cap, the front of a
             shako, etc.  3 (often attrib.) a dahlia or chrysanthemum with
             small tightly-clustered petals.  [F, of unkn. orig.]

   pompous   n.  1 self-important, affectedly grand or solemn.  2 (of
             language) pretentious; unduly grand in style.  3 archaic
             magnificent; splendid.  ЬЬpomposity n.  (pl.  -ies).  pompously
             adv.  pompousness n.  [ME f. OF pompeux f. LL pomposus (as

   'pon      prep.  archaic = UPON.  [abbr.]

   ponce     n. & v.  Brit.  sl.  --n.  1 a man who lives off a prostitute's
             earnings; a pimp.  2 offens. a homosexual; an effeminate man.
             --v.intr. act as a ponce.  Ьponce about move about effeminately
             or ineffectually.  ЬЬponcey adj.  (also poncy) (in sense 2 of
             n.).  [perh. f.  POUNCE(1)]

   poncho    n.  (pl.  -os) 1 a S. American cloak made of a blanket-like
             piece of cloth with a slit in the middle for the head.  2 a
             garment in this style.  [S.Amer. Sp., f. Araucanian]

   pond      n. & v.  --n.  1 a fairly small body of still water formed
             naturally or by hollowing or embanking.  2 joc. the sea.  --v.
             1 tr. hold back, dam up (a stream etc.).  2 intr. form a pond.
             Ьpond-life animals (esp. invertebrates) that live in ponds.  [ME
             var. of POUND(3)]

   ponder    v.  1 tr. weigh mentally; think over; consider.  2 intr. (usu.
             foll. by on, over) think; muse.  [ME f. OF ponderer f. L
             ponderare f.  pondus -eris weight]

             adj.  literary having appreciable weight or significance.
             ЬЬponderability n.  [LL ponderabilis (as PONDER)]

             n.  literary the act or an instance of weighing, balancing, or
             considering.  [L ponderatio (as PONDER)]

   ponderosa n.  US 1 a N. American pine-tree, Pinus ponderosa.  2 the red
             timber of this tree.  [mod.L, fem. of L ponderosus: see

   ponderous adj.  1 heavy; unwieldy.  2 laborious.  3 (of style etc.) dull;
             tedious.  ЬЬponderosity n.  ponderously adv.  ponderousness n.
             [ME f. L ponderosus f.  pondus -eris weight]

   pondweed  n.  any of various aquatic plants, esp. of the genus
             Potamogeton, growing in still or running water.

   pone(1)   n.  US 1 unleavened maize bread, esp. as made by N. American
             Indians.  2 a fine light bread made with milk, eggs, etc.  3 a
             cake or loaf of this.  [Algonquian, = bread]

   pone(2)   n.  the dealer's opponent in two-handed card games.  [L, 2nd
             sing. imper. of ponere place]

   pong      n. & v.  Brit.  colloq.  --n. an unpleasant smell.  --v.intr.
             stink.  ЬЬpongy adj.  (pongier, pongiest).  [20th c.: orig.

   pongal    n.  1 the Tamil New Year festival at which new rice is cooked.
             2 a dish of cooked rice.  [Tamil ponkal boiling]

   pongee    n.  1 a soft usu. unbleached type of Chinese silk fabric.  2 an
             imitation of this in cotton etc.  [perh. f. Chin. dial.  pun-chi
             own loom, i.e. home-made]

   pongid    n. & adj.  --n. any ape of the family Pongidae, including
             gorillas, chimpanzees, and orang-utans.  --adj. of or relating
             to this family.  [mod.L Pongidae f.  Pongo the genus-name: see

   pongo(1)  n.  (pl.  -os) 1 an orang-utan.  2 Naut.  sl. a soldier.
             [Congolese mpongo, orig. of African apes]

   pongo(2)  n.  (pl.  -os) Austral. & NZ sl.  offens.  an Englishman.  [20th
             c.: orig. unkn.]

   poniard   n.  literary a small slim dagger.  [F poignard f. OF poignal f.
             med.L pugnale f. L pugnus fist]

   pons      n.  (pl.  pontes) Anat. (in full pons Varolii) the part of the
             brain stem that links the medulla oblongata and the thalamus.
             Ьpons asinorum any difficult proposition, orig. a rule of
             geometry from Euclid ('bridge of asses').  [L, = bridge: Varolii
             f. C.  Varoli, It. anatomist d. 1575]

   pont      n.  S.Afr.  a flat-bottomed ferry-boat.  [Du.]

             var. of POMFRET-CAKE.

   pontes    pl. of PONS.

   pontifex  n.  (pl.  pontifices) 1 = PONTIFF.  2 Rom. Antiq. a member of
             the principal college of priests in Rome.  ЬPontifex Maximus the
             head of this.  [L pontifex -ficis f.  pons pontis bridge + -fex
             f.  facere make]

   pontiff   n.  RC Ch. (in full sovereign or supreme pontiff) the Pope.  [F
             pontife (as PONTIFEX)]

             adj. & n.  --adj.  1 RC Ch. of or befitting a pontiff; papal.  2
             pompously dogmatic; with an attitude of infallibility.  --n.  1
             an office-book of the Western Church containing rites to be
             performed by the Pope or bishops.  2 (in pl.) the vestments and
             insignia of a bishop, cardinal, or abbot.  Ьpontifical mass a
             high mass, usu. celebrated by a cardinal, bishop, etc.
             ЬЬpontifically adv.  [ME f. F pontifical or L pontificalis (as

             v. & n.  --v.intr.  1 a play the pontiff; pretend to be
             infallible.  b be pompously dogmatic.  2 RC Ch. officiate as
             bishop, esp. at mass.  --n.  1 the office of pontifex, bishop,
             or pope.  2 the period of this.  [L pontificatus (as PONTIFEX)]

             pl. of PONTIFEX.

             n.  Brit.  1 a card-game in which players try to acquire cards
             with a face value totalling 21 and no more.  2 = NATURAL n.  4a.
             [prob. corrupt.]

             n. & v.  --n.  1 a flat-bottomed boat.  2 each of several boats,
             hollow metal cylinders, etc., used to support a temporary
             bridge.  3 = CAISSON 1, 2.  --v.tr. cross (a river) by means of
             pontoons.  [F ponton f. L ponto -onis f.  pons pontis bridge]

   pony      n.  (pl.  -ies) 1 a horse of any small breed.  2 a small
             drinking-glass.  3 (in pl.) sl. racehorses.  4 Brit.  sl. њ25.
             Ьpony-tail a person's hair drawn back, tied, and hanging down
             like a pony's tail.  pony-trekker a person who travels across
             country on a pony for pleasure.  pony-trekking this as a hobby
             or activity.  [perh. f.  poulney (unrecorded) f. F poulenet
             dimin. of poulain foal]

   pooch     n.  esp.  US sl.  a dog.  [20th c.: orig. unkn.]

   poodle    n.  1 a a dog of a breed with a curly coat that is usually
             clipped.  b this breed.  2 a lackey or servile follower.  [G
             Pudel(hund) f. LG pud(d)eln splash in water: cf.  PUDDLE]

   poof      n.  (also pouf, poove) Brit.  sl.  derog.  1 an effeminate man.
             2 a male homosexual.  ЬЬpoofy adj.  [19th c.: cf.  PUFF in sense

   poofter   n.  sl.  derog. = POOF.

   pooh      int. & n.  --int. expressing impatience or contempt.  --n.  sl.
             excrement.  [imit.]

   Pooh-Bah  n. (also pooh-bah) a holder of many offices at once.  [a
             character in W. S. Gilbert's The Mikado (1885)]

   pooh-pooh v.tr.  express contempt for; ridicule; dismiss (an idea etc.)
             scornfully.  [redupl. of POOH]

   pooja     var. of PUJA.

   pooka     n.  Ir.  a hobgoblin.  [Ir.  pЈca]

   pool(1)   n. & v.  --n.  1 a small body of still water, usu. of natural
             formation.  2 a small shallow body of any liquid.  3 =
             swimming-pool (see SWIM).  4 a deep place in a river.  --v.  1
             tr. form into a pool.  2 intr. (of blood) become static.  [OE
             pol, MLG, MDu.  pol, OHG pfuol f. WG]

   pool(2)   n. & v.  --n.  1 a (often attrib.) a common supply of persons,
             vehicles, commodities, etc. for sharing by a group of people (a
             typing pool; a pool car).  b a group of persons sharing duties
             etc.  2 a the collective amount of players' stakes in gambling
             etc.  b a receptacle for this.  3 a a joint commercial venture,
             esp. an arrangement between competing parties to fix prices and
             share business to eliminate competition.  b the common funding
             for this.  4 a US a game on a billiard-table with usu. 16 balls.
             b Brit. a game on a billiard-table in which each player has a
             ball of a different colour with which he tries to pocket the
             others in fixed order, the winner taking all of the stakes.  5 a
             group of contestants who compete against each other in a
             tournament for the right to advance to the next round.  --v.tr.
             1 put (resources etc.) into a common fund.  2 share (things) in
             common.  3 (of transport or organizations etc.) share (traffic,
             receipts).  4 Austral.  sl.  a involve (a person) in a scheme
             etc., often by deception.  b implicate, inform on.  Ьthe pools
             Brit. = football pool.  [F poule (= hen) in same sense: assoc.
             with POOL(1)]

   poolroom  n.  US 1 a betting shop.  2 a place for playing pool.

   poon      n.  any E. Indian tree of the genus Calophyllum.  Ьpoon oil an
             oil from the seeds of this tree, used in medicine and for lamps.
             [Sinh.  puna]

   poop(1)   n. & v.  --n. the stern of a ship; the aftermost and highest
             deck.  --v.tr.  1 (of a wave) break over the stern of (a ship).
             2 (of a ship) receive (a wave) over the stern.  [ME f. OF pupe,
             pope ult. f. L puppis]

   poop(2)   v.tr. (esp. as pooped adj.) US colloq.  exhaust; tire out.
             [20th c.: orig. unkn.]

   poor      adj.  1 lacking adequate money or means to live comfortably.  2
             (foll. by in) deficient in (a possession or quality) (the poor
             in spirit).  3 a scanty, inadequate (a poor crop).  b less good
             than is usual or expected (poor visibility; is a poor driver; in
             poor health).  c paltry; inferior (poor condition; came a poor
             third).  4 a deserving pity or sympathy; unfortunate (you poor
             thing).  b with reference to a dead person (as my poor father
             used to say).  5 spiritless; despicable (is a poor creature).  6
             often iron. or joc. humble; insignificant (in my poor opinion).
             Ьpoor-box a collection-box, esp. in church, for the relief of
             the poor.  poor law hist.  a law relating to the support of
             paupers.  poor man's an inferior or cheaper substitute for.
             poor man's weather-glass the pimpernel.  poor-rate hist.  a rate
             or assessment for relief or support of the poor.  poor relation
             an inferior or subordinate member of a family or any other
             group.  poor-spirited timid; cowardly.  poor White offens.
             (esp. used by Blacks) a member of a socially inferior group of
             White people.  take a poor view of regard with disfavour or
             pessimism.  [ME & OF pov(e)re, poure f. L pauper]

   poorhouse n.  hist.  = WORKHOUSE 1.

   poorly    adv. & adj.  --adv.  1 scantily; defectively.  2 with no great
             success.  3 meanly; contemptibly.  --predic.adj. unwell.

   poorness  n.  1 defectiveness.  2 the lack of some good quality or

   poove     var. of POOF.

   POP       abbr.  Post Office Preferred (size of envelopes etc.).

   pop(1)    n., v., & adv.  --n.  1 a sudden sharp explosive sound as of a
             cork when drawn.  2 colloq. an effervescent sweet drink.  --v.
             (popped, popping) 1 intr. & tr. make or cause to make a pop.  2
             intr. & tr. (foll. by in, out, up, down, etc.) go, move, come,
             or put unexpectedly or in a quick or hasty manner (pop out to
             the shops; pop in for a visit; pop it on your head).  3 a intr.
             & tr. burst, making a popping sound.  b tr. heat (popcorn etc.)
             until it pops.  4 intr. (often foll. by at) colloq. fire a gun
             (at birds etc.).  5 tr.  sl. pawn.  6 tr.  sl. inject (a drug
             etc.).  7 intr. (often foll. by up) (of a cricket-ball) rise
             sharply off the pitch.  --adv. with the sound of a pop (heard it
             go pop).  Ьin pop Brit.  sl.  in pawn.  pop off colloq.  1 die.
             2 quietly slip away (cf.  sense 2 of v.).  pop the question
             colloq.  propose marriage.  pop-shop Brit.  sl.  a pawnbroker's
             shop.  pop-up 1 (of a toaster etc.) operating so as to move the
             object (toast when ready etc.) quickly upwards.  2 (of a book,
             greetings card, etc.) containing three-dimensional figures,
             illustrations, etc., that rise up when the page is turned.  3
             Computing (of a menu) able to be superimposed on the screen
             being worked on and suppressed rapidly.  [ME: imit.]

   pop(2)    adj. & n.  colloq.  --adj.  1 in a popular or modern style.  2
             performing popular music etc. (pop group; pop star).  --n.  1
             pop music.  2 a pop record or song (top of the pops).  Ьpop art
             art based on modern popular culture and the mass media, esp. as
             a critical comment on traditional fine art values.  pop festival
             a festival at which popular music etc. is performed.  [abbr.]

   pop(3)    n.  esp.  US colloq.  father.  [abbr. of POPPA]

   pop.      abbr.  population.

   popadam   var. of POPPADAM.

   popcorn   n.  1 Indian corn which bursts open when heated.  2 these
             kernels when popped.

   pope(1)   n.  1 (as title usu.  Pope) the head of the Roman Catholic
             Church (also called the Bishop of Rome).  2 the head of the
             Coptic Church.  3 = RUFF(2).  Ьpope's eye 1 a lymphatic gland
             surrounded with fat in the middle of a sheep's leg.  2 Sc. a cut
             of steak.  ЬЬpopedom n.  popeless adj.  [OE f. eccl.L papa
             bishop, pope f. eccl.Gk papas = Gk pappas father: cf.  PAPA]

   pope(2)   n.  a parish priest of the Orthodox Church in Russia etc.
             [Russ.  pop f. OSlav.  popu f. WG f. eccl.Gk (as POPE(1))]

   popery    n.  derog.  the papal system; the Roman Catholic Church.

   pop-eyed  adj.  colloq.  1 having bulging eyes.  2 wide-eyed (with
             surprise etc.).

   popgun    n.  1 a child's toy gun which shoots a pellet etc. by the
             compression of air with a piston.  2 derog. an inefficient

   popinjay  n.  1 a fop, a conceited person, a coxcomb.  2 a archaic a
             parrot.  b hist. a figure of a parrot on a pole as a mark to
             shoot at.  [ME f. AF papeiaye, OF papingay etc. f. Sp.  papagayo
             f. Arab.  babaga: assim. to JAY]

   popish    adj.  derog.  Roman Catholic.  ЬЬpopishly adv.

   poplar    n.  1 any tree of the genus Populus, with a usu. rapidly growing
             trunk and tremulous leaves.  2 US = tulip-tree.  [ME f. AF
             popler, OF poplier f.  pople f. L populus]

   poplin    n.  a plain-woven fabric usu. of cotton, with a corded surface.
             [obs. F papeline perh. f. It.  papalina (fem.)  PAPAL, f. the
             papal town Avignon where it was made]

   popliteal adj.  of the hollow at the back of the knee.  [mod.L popliteus
             f. L poples -itis this hollow]

   poppa     n.  US colloq.  father (esp. as a child's word).  [var. of PAPA]

   poppadam  n.  (also poppadom, popadam) Ind.  a thin, crisp, spiced bread
             eaten with curry etc.  [Tamil pappadam]

   popper    n.  1 Brit.  colloq. a press-stud.  2 a person or thing that
             pops.  3 colloq. a small vial of amyl nitrite used for

   poppet    n.  1 Brit.  colloq. (esp. as a term of endearment) a small or
             dainty person.  2 (in full poppet-head) the head of a lathe.  3
             a small square piece of wood fitted inside the gunwale or
             washstrake of a boat.  Ьpoppet-head Brit.  the frame at the top
             of a mine-shaft supporting pulleys for the ropes used in
             hoisting.  poppet-valve Engin.  a mushroom-shaped valve, lifted
             bodily from its seat rather than hinged.  [ME popet(te), ult. f.
             L pup(p)a: cf.  PUPPET]

             n.  Cricket a line four feet in front of and parallel to the
             wicket, within which the batsman must keep the bat or one foot
             grounded to avoid the risk of being stumped.  [POP(1), perh. in
             obs. sense 'strike']

   popple    v. & n.  --v.intr. (of water) tumble about, toss to and fro.
             --n. the act or an instance of rolling, tossing, or rippling of
             water.  ЬЬpopply adj.  [ME prob. f. MDu.  popelen murmur,
             quiver, of imit. orig.]

   poppy     n.  (pl.  -ies) any plant of the genus Papaver, with showy often
             red flowers and a milky sap with narcotic properties.  ЬPoppy
             Day = Remembrance Sunday.  poppy-head 1 the seed capsule of the
             poppy.  2 an ornamental top on the end of a church pew.
             ЬЬpoppied adj.  [OE popig, pap‘g, etc. f. med.L papauum f. L

   poppycock n.  sl.  nonsense.  [Du. dial.  pappekak]

   popsy     n.  (also popsie) (pl.  -ies) colloq.  (usu. as a term of
             endearment) a young woman.  [shortening of POPPET]

   populace  n.  1 the common people.  2 derog. the rabble.  [F f. It.
             popolaccio f.  popolo people + -accio pejorative suffix]

   popular   adj.  1 liked or admired by many people or by a specified group
             (popular teachers; a popular hero).  2 a of or carried on by the
             general public (popular meetings).  b prevalent among the
             general public (popular discontent).  3 adapted to the
             understanding, taste, or means of the people (popular science;
             popular medicine).  Ьpopular front a party or coalition
             representing left-wing elements.  popular music songs, folk
             tunes, etc., appealing to popular tastes.  ЬЬpopularism n.
             popularity n.  popularly adv.  [ME f. AF populer, OF populeir or
             L popularis f.  populus people]

             v.tr.  (also -ise) 1 make popular.  2 cause (a person,
             principle, etc.) to be generally known or liked.  3 present (a
             technical subject, specialized vocabulary, etc.)  in a popular
             or readily understandable form.  ЬЬpopularization n.
             popularizer n.

   populate  v.tr.  1 inhabit; form the population of (a town, country,
             etc.).  2 supply with inhabitants; people (a densely populated
             district).  [med.L populare populat- (as PEOPLE)]

             n.  1 a the inhabitants of a place, country, etc. referred to
             collectively.  b any specified group within this (the Irish
             population of Liverpool).  2 the total number of any of these (a
             population of eight million; the seal population).  3 the act or
             process of supplying with inhabitants (the population of forest
             areas).  4 Statistics any finite or infinite collection of items
             under consideration.  Ьpopulation explosion a sudden large
             increase of population.  [LL populatio (as PEOPLE)]

   populist  n. & adj.  --n. a member or adherent of a political party
             seeking support mainly from the ordinary people.  --adj. of or
             relating to such a political party.  ЬЬpopulism n.  populistic
             adj.  [L populus people]

   populous  adj.  thickly inhabited.  ЬЬpopulously adv.  populousness n.
             [ME f. LL populosus (as PEOPLE)]

   porbeagle n.  a large shark, Lamna nasus, having a pointed snout.
             [18th-c. Corn. dial., of unkn. orig.]

   porcelain n.  1 a hard vitrified translucent ceramic.  2 objects made of
             this.  Ьporcelain clay kaolin.  porcelain-shell cowrie.
             ЬЬporcellaneous adj.  porcellanous adj.  [F porcelaine cowrie,
             porcelain f. It.  porcellana f.  porcella dimin. of porca sow (a
             cowrie being perh. likened to a sow's vulva) f. L porca fem. of
             porcus pig]

   porch     n.  1 a covered shelter for the entrance of a building.  2 US a
             veranda.  3 (the Porch) = the Stoa (see STOA 2).  ЬЬporched adj.
             porchless adj.  [ME f. OF porche f. L porticus (transl. Gk stoa)
             f.  porta passage]

   porcine   adj.  of or like pigs.  [F porcin or f. L porcinus f.  porcus

   porcupine n.  1 any rodent of the family Hystricidae native to Africa,
             Asia, and SE Europe, or the family Erethizontidae native to
             America, having defensive spines or quills.  2 (attrib.)
             denoting any of various animals or other organisms with spines.
             Ьporcupine fish a marine fish, Diodon hystrix, covered with
             sharp spines and often distending itself into a spherical shape.
             ЬЬporcupinish adj.  porcupiny adj.  [ME f. OF porc espin f.
             Prov.  porc espi(n) ult. f. L porcus pig + spina thorn]

   pore(1)   n.  esp. Biol.  a minute opening in a surface through which
             gases, liquids, or fine solids may pass.  [ME f. OF f. L porus
             f. Gk poros passage, pore]

   pore(2)   v.intr.  (foll. by over) 1 be absorbed in studying (a book
             etc.).  2 meditate on, think intently about (a subject).  [ME
             pure etc. perh. f. OE purian (unrecorded): cf.  PEER(1)]

   porgy     n.  (pl.  -ies) US any usu. marine fish of the family Sparidae,
             used as food. Also called sea bream.  [18th c.: orig. uncert.:
             cf. Sp. & Port.  pargo]

   porifer   n.  any aquatic invertebrate of the phylum Porifera, including
             sponges.  [mod.L Porifera f. L porus PORE(1) + - fer bearing]

   pork      n.  the (esp. unsalted) flesh of a pig, used as food.
             Ьpork-barrel US colloq.  government funds as a source of
             political benefit.  pork-butcher a person who slaughters pigs
             for sale, or who sells pork rather than other meats.  pork pie a
             pie of minced pork etc. eaten cold.  pork pie hat a hat with a
             flat crown and a brim turned up all round.  [ME porc f. OF porc
             f. L porcus pig]

   porker    n.  1 a pig raised for food.  2 a young fattened pig.

   porkling  n.  a young or small pig.

   porky(1)  adj.  (porkier, porkiest) 1 colloq. fleshy, fat.  2 of or like

   porky(2)  n.  (pl.  -ies) US colloq.  a porcupine.  [abbr.]

   porn      n.  colloq.  pornography.  [abbr.]

   porno     n. & adj.  colloq.  --n. pornography.  --adj. pornographic.

             n.  1 the explicit description or exhibition of sexual activity
             in literature, films, etc., intended to stimulate erotic rather
             than aesthetic or emotional feelings.  2 literature etc.
             characterized by this.  ЬЬpornographer n.  pornographic adj.
             pornographically adv.  [Gk pornographos writing of harlots f.
             porne prostitute + grapho write]

   porous    adj.  1 full of pores.  2 letting through air, water, etc.  3
             (of an argument, security system, etc.) leaky, admitting
             infiltration.  ЬЬporosity n.  porously adv.  porousness n.  [ME
             f. OF poreux f. med.L porosus f. L porus PORE(1)]

   porphyria n.  any of a group of genetic disorders associated with abnormal
             metabolism of various pigments.  [mod.L f.  porphyrin purple
             substance excreted by porphyria patients f. Gk porphura purple]

   porphyry  n.  (pl.  -ies) 1 a hard rock quarried in ancient Egypt,
             composed of crystals of white or red feldspar in a red matrix.
             2 Geol. an igneous rock with large crystals scattered in a
             matrix of much smaller crystals.  ЬЬporphyritic adj.  [ME ult.
             f. med.L porphyreum f. Gk porphurites f.  porphura purple]

   porpoise  n.  any of various small toothed whales of the family
             Phocaenidae, esp. of the genus Phocaena, with a low triangular
             dorsal fin and a blunt rounded snout.  [ME porpays etc. f. OF
             po(u)rpois etc. ult. f. L porcus pig + piscis fish]

   porridge  n.  1 a dish consisting of oatmeal or another meal or cereal
             boiled in water or milk.  2 sl. imprisonment.  ЬЬporridgy adj.
             [16th c.: alt. of POTTAGE]

   porringer n.  a small bowl, often with a handle, for soup, stew, etc.
             [earlier pottinger f. OF potager f.  potage (see POTTAGE): -n-
             as in messenger etc.]

   port(1)   n.  1 a harbour.  2 a place of refuge.  3 a town or place
             possessing a harbour, esp. one where customs officers are
             stationed.  Ьport of call a place where a ship or a person stops
             on a journey.  Port of London Authority the corporate body
             controlling the London harbour and docks.  [OE f. L portus & ME
             prob. f. OF f. L portus]

   port(2)   n. (in full port wine) a strong, sweet, dark-red (occas. brown
             or white) fortified wine of Portugal.  [shortened form of
             Oporto, city in Portugal from which port is shipped]

   port(3)   n. & v.  --n. the left-hand side (looking forward) of a ship,
             boat, or aircraft (cf.  STARBOARD).  --v.tr. (also absol.) turn
             (the helm) to port.  Ьport tack