A new week of words! Enjoy, friends.

détente (dāˈtänt)

noun: the easing of hostility or strained relations, especially between countries

Etymology
Early 20th century: from French détente, literally ‘loosening, relaxation.’

Usage
Both sides attempted détente with some difficulty.


palimpsest (ˈpaləm(p)ˌsest)

noun: a manuscript or piece of writing material on which the original writing has been effaced to make room for later writing but of which traces remain; something reused or altered but still bearing visible traces of its earlier form

Etymology
Mid 17th century: via Latin from Greek palimpsēstos, from palin ‘again’ + psēstos ‘rubbed smooth.’

Usage
She had never seen a palimpsest before; this library held more intricacies than she could have imagined.


grimoire (grimˈwär)

noun: a book of magic spells and invocations

Etymology
Mid 19th century: French, alteration of grammaire ‘grammar.’

Usage
Her imagination ran wild; a childhood created world of potions, animals, and grimoires.


conventicle (kənˈven(t)ək(ə))

historical noun: a secret or unlawful religious meeting, typically of people with nonconformist views

Etymology
Late Middle English (in the general sense ‘assembly, meeting,’ particularly a clandestine or illegal one): from Latin conventiculum ‘(place of) assembly,’ diminutive of conventus ‘assembly, company,’ from the verb convenire (see convene).

Usage
Unaware, they had created a conventicle that made them outsiders in the eyes of the government.


moraine (məˈrān)

noun: Geology; a mass of rocks and sediment carried down and deposited by a glacier, typically as ridges at its edges or extremity

Etymology
Late 18th century: from French, from Italian dialect morena, from French dialect morre ‘snout’; related to morion1.

Usage
The professor pointed out the moraines in the mountains and valleys, unaware of his students’ confusion.

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