Here are the meanings of the least commonly found words that have been used in (mostly) recent Times articles.

1. tanara — the sound of a horn or trumpet:

But the day was not yet full of wonders, for before Zelikman could answer there were shouts from behind and then the commotion. tanara of an inhuman horn. Gentlemen of the Road (April 1, 2007)

2. orotund – full, strong or bombastic:

Submit to the orotundevocative language of the 1982 book in which Audre Lorde invented a genre she called “biomythography”? Self-study, becoming American and the Art of Translation (February 25, 2023)

3. tontine — a somewhat macabre investment vehicle in which people pool their money together, and the survivors receive the share of each person who dies:

Popular culture embellished the tontine’s malevolent reputation. Works by Agatha Christie, Robert Louis Stevenson and PG Wodehouse all featured tontine members conspiring to kill each other hoping for a great reward. Protracted legal questions must be resolved, according to today tontine enthusiasts When Others Die, Tontine Investors Win (March 24, 2017)

4. near — things that are not, well, art:

The objects are displayed on pedestals made of buckets, flower pots, furniture or other traditional items near materials What to See in New York Art Galleries This Week (July 27, 2017)

5. encouraged and 6. to encourage — to spice up or make attractive:

An Englishwoman living in Prague, she works as a translator – not of novels, but of operating instructions for power tools. Definitely gloomy, she is allergic to any form of artifice or motivation. Moral Questions Hide Beneath Ghost Story in “Melmoth” (October 9, 2018)

7. mammon — wealth that has a corrupting influence:

In so doing, it is effecting a partial reconciliation between America’s Christian heritage, with its profound skepticism about the possibility of serving God and Mammon, and America’s unlimited opportunities to get rich. In “Gatsby,” money clearly corrupts once you have it, as possessions imbue you with the “vast carelessness” of Tom and Daisy Buchanan or the cold-eyed manipulative spirit of the men who use Gatsby as their front. – Opinion: Ross Douthat on “The Great Gatsby” (June 20, 2023)

8. arcana — mysterious or specialist knowledge, language or information:

The Italian thinker, who died in 2016, was a professor, novelist – who wrote, in particular and in his time inevitably, “The Name of the Rose” – semiotician, columnist and connoisseur of arcana. Review ‘Umberto Eco’: Remembering a Literary Explorer (June 29, 2023)

9. monocracy — a government ruled by one person:

The changes, Sarkozy insisted, strengthen the power of the Parliament and will make the president more responsible. But his critics, including the main opposition party, the Socialists, said they would increase the power of the already semi-regal president, creating “monocracy.” Sarkozy Ekes Out Victory on Constitutional Changes (July 22, 2008)

10. meat – choice dish:

In addition to some supposed tonic drinks, according to the Gray’s Papaya, Boulevard Drinks offers a single. meata lean hot dog heated on a grill with your choice of sauerkraut, cheese sauce, red stewed onions, chopped raw onions and Texas-wiener-style meat sauce with finely chopped onions mixed in. Dog Ziggity: New Jersey’s Own Hot Dogs (September 24, 2013)

And a bonus: arrange – total or extreme:

It constitutes a rejection of eager and innocent articulation. And as such, it is arrange and thoughtless injustice that must be stopped. Opinion: A Language Test That Stigmatizes Black Children (October 7, 2022)

The list of the easiest words of the week:

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