Words Beginning with C.
cabal n. A number of persons secretly united for effecting by intrigue some private purpose.
cabalism n. Superstitious devotion to one’s religion.
cabinet n. The body of men constituting the official advisors of the executive head of a nation.
cacophony n. A disagreeable, harsh, or discordant sound or combination of sounds or tones.
cadaverous adj. Resembling a corpse.
cadence n. Rhythmical or measured flow or movement, as in poetry or the time and pace of marching troops.
cadenza n. An embellishment or flourish, prepared or improvised, for a solo voice or instrument.
caitiff adj. Cowardly.
cajole v. To impose on or dupe by flattering speech.
cajolery n. Delusive speech.
calculable adj. That may be estimated by reckoning.
calculus n. A concretion formed in various parts of the body resembling a pebble in hardness.
callosity n. The state of being hard and insensible.
callow adj. Without experience of the world.
calorie n. Amount of heat needed to raise the temperature of 1 kilogram of water 1 degree centigrade.
calumny n. Slander.
Calvary n. The place where Christ was crucified.
Calvinism n. The system of doctrine taught by John Calvin.
Calvinize v. To teach or imbue with the doctrines of Calvinism.
came n. A leaden sash-bar or grooved strip for fastening panes in stained-glass windows.
cameo n. Any small engraved or carved work in relief.
campaign n. A complete series of connected military operations.
Canaanite n. A member of one of the three tribes that dwelt in the land of Canaan, or western Palestine.
canary adj. Of a bright but delicate yellow.
candid adj. Straightforward.
candor n. The quality of frankness or outspokenness.
canine adj. Characteristic of a dog.
canon n. Any rule or law.
cant v. To talk in a singsong, preaching tone with affected solemnity.
cantata n. A choral composition.
canto n. One of the divisions of an extended poem.
cantonment n. The part of the town or district in which the troops are quartered.
capacious adj. Roomy.
capillary n. A minute vessel having walls composed of a single layer of cells.
capitulate v. To surrender or stipulate terms.
caprice n. A whim.
caption n. A heading, as of a chapter, section, document, etc.
captious adj. Hypercritical.
captivate v. To fascinate, as by excellence. eloquence, or beauty.
carcass n. The dead body of an animal.
cardiac adj. Pertaining to the heart.
cardinal adj. Of prime or special importance.
caret n. A sign (^) placed below a line, indicating where omitted words, etc., should be inserted.
caricature n. a picture or description in which natural characteristics are exaggerated or distorted.
carnage n. Massacre.
carnal adj. Sensual.
carnivorous adj. Eating or living on flesh.
carouse v. To drink deeply and in boisterous or jovial manner.
carrion n. Dead and putrefying flesh.
cartilage n. An elastic animal tissue of firm consistence.
cartridge n. A charge for a firearm, or for blasting.
caste n. The division of society on artificial grounds.
castigate v. To punish.
casual adj. Accidental, by chance.
casualty n. A fatal or serious accident or disaster.
cataclysm n. Any overwhelming flood of water.
cataract n. Opacity of the lens of the eye resulting in complete or partial blindness.
catastrophe n. Any great and sudden misfortune or calamity.
cathode n. The negative pole or electrode of a galvanic battery.
Catholicism n. The system, doctrine, and practice of the Roman Catholic Church.
catholicity n. Universal prevalence or acceptance.
cat-o-nine-tails n. An instrument consisting of nine pieces of cord, formerly used for flogging in the army and navy.
caucus n. A private meeting of members of a political party to select candidates.
causal adj. Indicating or expressing a cause.
caustic adj. Sarcastic and severe.
cauterize v. To burn or sear as with a heated iron.
cede v. To pass title to.
censor n. An official examiner of manuscripts empowered to prohibit their publication.
censorious adj. Judging severely or harshly.
census n. An official numbering of the people of a country or district.
centenary adj. Pertaining to a hundred years or a period of a hundred years.
centiliter n. A hundredth of a liter.
centimeter n. A length of one hundredth of a meter.
centurion n. A captain of a company of one hundred infantry in the ancient Roman army.
cereal adj. Pertaining to edible grain or farinaceous seeds.
ceremonial adj. Characterized by outward form or ceremony.
ceremonious adj. Observant of ritual.
cessation n. Discontinuance, as of action or motion.
cession n. Surrender, as of possessions or rights.
chagrin n. Keen vexation, annoyance, or mortification, as at one’s failures or errors.
chameleon adj. Changeable in appearance.
chancery n. A court of equity, as distinguished from a common-law court.
chaos n. Any condition of which the elements or parts are in utter disorder and confusion.
characteristic n. A distinctive feature.
characterize v. To describe by distinctive marks or peculiarities.
charlatan n. A quack.
chasm n. A yawning hollow, as in the earth’s surface.
chasten v. To purify by affliction.
chastise v. To subject to punitive measures.
chastity n. Sexual or moral purity.
chateau n. A castle or manor-house.
chattel n. Any article of personal property.
check v. To hold back.
chiffon n. A very thin gauze used for trimmings, evening dress, etc.
chivalry n. The knightly system of feudal times with its code, usages and practices.
cholera n. An acute epidemic disease.
choleric adj. Easily provoked to anger.
choral adj. Pertaining to, intended for, or performed by a chorus or choir.
Christ n. A title of Jesus
christen v. To name in baptism.
Christendom n. That part of the world where Christianity is generally professed.
chromatic adj. Belonging, relating to, or abounding in color.
chronology n. The science that treats of computation of time or of investigation and arrangement of events.
chronometer n. A portable timekeeper of the highest attainable precision.
cipher v. To calculate arithmetically. (also a noun meaning zero or nothing)
circulate v. To disseminate.
circumference n. The boundary-line of a circle.
circumlocution n. Indirect or roundabout expression.
circumnavigate v. To sail quite around.
circumscribe v. To confine within bounds.
circumspect adj. Showing watchfulness, caution, or careful consideration.
citadel n. Any strong fortress.
cite v. To refer to specifically.
claimant n. One who makes a claim or demand, as of right.
clairvoyance n. Intuitive sagacity or perception.
clamorous adj. Urgent in complaint or demand.
clan n. A tribe.
clandestine adj. Surreptitious.
clangor n. Clanking or a ringing, as of arms, chains, or bells; clamor.
clarify v. To render intelligible.
clarion n. A small shrill trumpet or bugle.
classify v. To arrange in a class or classes on the basis of observed resemblance; and differences.
clearance n. A certificate from the proper authorities that a vessel has complied with the law and may sail.
clemency n. Mercy.
clement adj. Compassionate.
close-hauled adj. Having the sails set for sailing as close to the wind as possible.
clothier n. One who makes or sells cloth or clothing.
clumsy adj. Awkward of movement.
coagulate v. To change into a clot or a jelly, as by heat, by chemical action, or by a ferment.
coagulant adj. Producing coagulation.
coalescence n. The act or process of coming together so as to form one body, combination, or product.
coalition n. Combination in a body or mass.
coddle v. To treat as a baby or an invalid.
codicil n. A supplement adding to, revoking, or explaining in the body of a will.
coerce v. To force.
coercion n. Forcible constraint or restraint, moral or physical.
coercive adj. Serving or tending to force.
cogent adj. Appealing strongly to the reason or conscience.
cognate adj. Akin.
cognizant adj. Taking notice.
cohere v. To stick together.
cohesion n. Consistency.
cohesive adj. Having the property of consistency.
coincide v. To correspond.
coincidence n. A circumstance so agreeing with another: often implying accident.
coincident adj. Taking place at the same time.
collaborate v. To labor or cooperate with another or others, especially in literary or scientific pursuits.
collapse v. To cause to shrink, fall in, or fail.
collapsible adj. That may or can collapse.
colleague n. An associate in professional employment.
collective adj. Consisting of a number of persons or objects considered as gathered into a mass, or sum.
collector n. One who makes a collection, as of objects of art, books, or the like.
collegian n. A college student.
collide v. To meet and strike violently.
collier n. One who works in a coal-mine.
collision n. Violent contact.
colloquial adj. Pertaining or peculiar to common speech as distinguished from literary.
colloquialism n. Form of speech used only or chiefly in conversation.
colloquy n. Conversation.
collusion n. A secret agreement for a wrongful purpose.
colossus n. Any strikingly great person or object.
comely adj. Handsome.
comestible adj. Fit to be eaten.
comical adj. Funny.
commemorate v. To serve as a remembrance of.
commentary n. A series of illustrative or explanatory notes on any important work.
commingle v. To blend.
commissariat n. The department of an army charged with the provision of its food and water and daily needs.
commission v. To empower.
commitment n. The act or process of entrusting or consigning for safe-keeping.
committal n. The act, fact, or result of committing, or the state of being
commodity n. Something that is bought and sold.
commotion n. A disturbance or violent agitation.
commute v. To put something, especially something less severe, in place of.
comparable adj. Fit to be compared.
comparative adj. Relative.
comparison n. Examination of two or more objects with reference to their likeness or unlikeness.
compensate v. To remunerate.
competence n. Adequate qualification or capacity.
competent adj. Qualified.
competitive adj. characterized by rivalry.
competitor n. A rival.
complacence n. Satisfaction with one’s acts or surroundings.
complacent adj. Pleased or satisfied with oneself.
complaisance n. Politeness.
complaisant adj. Agreeable.
complement v. To make complete.
complex adj. Complicated.
compliant adj. Yielding.
complicate v. To make complex, difficult, or hard to deal with.
complication n. An intermingling or combination of things or parts, especially in a perplexing manner.
complicity n. Participation or partnership, as in wrong-doing or with a wrong-doer.
compliment v. To address or gratify with expressions of delicate praise.
component n. A constituent element or part.
comport v. To conduct or behave (oneself).
composure n. Calmness.
comprehensible adj. Intelligible.
comprehension n. Ability to know.
comprehensive adj. Large in scope or content.
compress v. To press together or into smaller space.
compressible adj. Capable of being pressed into smaller compass.
compression n. Constraint, as by force or authority.
comprise v. To consist of.
compulsion n. Coercion.
compulsory adj. Forced.
compunction n. Remorseful feeling.
compute v. To ascertain by mathematical calculation.
concede v. To surrender.
conceit n. Self-flattering opinion.
conceive v. To form an idea, mental image or thought of.
concerto n. A musical composition.
concession n. Anything granted or yielded, or admitted in response to a demand, petition, or claim.
conciliate v. To obtain the friendship of.
conciliatory adj. Tending to reconcile.
conclusive adj. Sufficient to convince or decide.
concord n. Harmony.
concordance n. Harmony.
concur v. To agree.
concurrence n. Agreement.
concurrent adj. Occurring or acting together.
concussion n. A violent shock to some organ by a fall or a sudden blow.
condensation n. The act or process of making dense or denser.
condense v. To abridge.
condescend v. To come down voluntarily to equal terms with inferiors.
condolence n. Expression of sympathy with a person in pain, sorrow, or misfortune.
conduce v. To bring about.
conducive adj. Contributing to an end.
conductible adj. Capable of being conducted or transmitted.
conduit n. A means for conducting something, particularly a tube, pipe, or passageway for a fluid.
confectionery n. The candy collectively that a confectioner makes or sells, as candy.
confederacy n. A number of states or persons in compact or league with each other, as for mutual aid.
confederate n. One who is united with others in a league, compact, or agreement.
confer v. To bestow.
conferee n. A person with whom another confers.
confessor n. A spiritual advisor.
confidant n. One to whom secrets are entrusted.
confide v. To reveal in trust or confidence.
confidence n. The state or feeling of trust in or reliance upon another.
confident adj. Assured.
confinement n. Restriction within limits or boundaries.
confiscate v. To appropriate (private property) as forfeited to the public use or treasury.
conflagration n. A great fire, as of many buildings, a forest, or the like.
confluence n. The place where streams meet.
confluent n. A stream that unites with another.
conformance n. The act or state or conforming.
conformable adj. Harmonious.
conformation n. General structure, form, or outline.
conformity n. Correspondence in form, manner, or use.
confront v. To encounter, as difficulties or obstacles.
congeal v. To coagulate.
congenial adj. Having kindred character or tastes.
congest v. To collect into a mass.
congregate v. To bring together into a crowd.
coniferous adj. Cone-bearing trees.
conjecture n. A guess.
conjoin v. To unite.
conjugal adj. Pertaining to marriage, marital rights, or married persons.
conjugate adj. Joined together in pairs.
conjugation n. The state or condition of being joined together.
conjunction n. The state of being joined together, or the things so joined.
connive v. To be in collusion.
connoisseur n. A critical judge of art, especially one with thorough knowledge and sound judgment of art.
connote v. To mean; signify.
connubial adj. Pertaining to marriage or matrimony.
conquer v. To overcome by force.
consanguineous adj. Descended from the same parent or ancestor.
conscience n. The faculty in man by which he distinguishes between right and wrong in character and conduct.
conscientious adj. Governed by moral standard.
conscious adj. Aware that one lives, feels, and thinks.
conscript v. To force into military service.
consecrate v. To set apart as sacred.
consecutive adj. Following in uninterrupted succession.
consensus n. A collective unanimous opinion of a number of persons.
conservatism n. Tendency to adhere to the existing order of things.
conservative adj. Adhering to the existing order of things.
conservatory n. An institution for instruction and training in music and declamation.
consign v. To entrust.
consignee n. A person to whom goods or other property has been entrusted.
consignor n. One who entrusts.
consistency n. A state of permanence.
console v. To comfort.
consolidate v. To combine into one body or system.
consonance n. The state or quality of being in accord with.
consonant adj. Being in agreement or harmony with.
consort n. A companion or associate.
conspicuous adj. Clearly visible.
conspirator n. One who agrees with others to cooperate in accomplishing some unlawful purpose.
conspire v. To plot.
constable n. An officer whose duty is to maintain the peace.
constellation n. An arbitrary assemblage or group of stars.
consternation n. Panic.
constituency n. The inhabitants or voters in a district represented in a legislative body.
constituent n. One who has the right to vote at an election.
constrict v. To bind.
consul n. An officer appointed to reside in a foreign city, chiefly to represent his country.
consulate n. The place in which a consul transacts official business.
consummate v. To bring to completion.
consumption n. Gradual destruction, as by burning, eating, etc., or by using up, wearing out, etc.
consumptive adj. Designed for gradual destruction.
contagion n. The communication of disease from person to person.
contagious adj. Transmitting disease.
contaminate v. To pollute.
contemplate v. To consider thoughtfully.
contemporaneous adj. Living, occurring, or existing at the same time.
contemporary adj. Living or existing at the same time.
contemptible adj. Worthy of scorn or disdain.
contemptuous adj. Disdainful.
contender n. One who exerts oneself in opposition or rivalry.
contiguity n. Proximity.
contiguous adj. Touching or joining at the edge or boundary.
continence n. Self-restraint with respect to desires, appetites, and passion.
contingency n. Possibility of happening.
contingent adj. Not predictable.
continuance n. Permanence.
continuation n. Prolongation.
continuity n. Uninterrupted connection in space, time, operation, or development.
continuous adj. Connected, extended, or prolonged without separation or interruption of sequence.
contort v. To twist into a misshapen form.
contraband n. Trade forbidden by law or treaty.
contradiction n. The assertion of the opposite of that which has been said.
contradictory adj. Inconsistent with itself.
contraposition n. A placing opposite.
contravene v. To prevent or obstruct the operation of.
contribution n. The act of giving for a common purpose.
contributor n. One who gives or furnishes, in common with others, for a common purpose.
contrite adj. Broken in spirit because of a sense of sin.
contrivance n. The act planning, devising, inventing, or adapting something to or for a special purpose.
contrive v. To manage or carry through by some device or scheme.
control v. To exercise a directing, restraining, or governing influence over.
controller n. One who or that which regulates or directs.
contumacious adj. Rebellious.
contumacy n. Contemptuous disregard of the requirements of rightful authority.
contuse v. To bruise by a blow, either with or without the breaking of the skin.
contusion n. A bruise.
convalesce v. To recover after a sickness.
convalescence n. The state of progressive restoration to health and strength after the cessation of disease.
convalescent adj. Recovering health after sickness.
convene v. To summon or cause to assemble.
convenience n. Fitness, as of time or place.
converge v. To cause to incline and approach nearer together.
convergent adj. Tending to one point.
conversant adj. Thoroughly informed.
conversion n. Change from one state or position to another, or from one form to another.
convertible adj. Interchangeable.
convex adj. Curving like the segment of the globe or of the surface of a circle.
conveyance n. That by which anything is transported.
convivial adj. Devoted to feasting, or to good-fellowship in eating or drinking.
convolution n. A winding motion.
convolve v. To move with a circling or winding motion.
convoy n. A protecting force accompanying property in course of transportation.
convulse v. To cause spasms in.
convulsion n. A violent and abnormal muscular contraction of the body.
copious adj. Plenteous.
coquette n. A flirt.
cornice n. An ornamental molding running round the walls of a room close to the ceiling.
cornucopia n. The horn of plenty, symbolizing peace and prosperity.
corollary n. A proposition following so obviously from another that it requires little demonstration.
coronation n. The act or ceremony of crowning a monarch.
coronet n. Inferior crown denoting, according to its form, various degrees of noble rank less than sovereign.
corporal adj. Belonging or relating to the body as opposed to the mind.
corporate adj. Belonging to a corporation.
corporeal adj. Of a material nature; physical.
corps n. A number or body of persons in some way associated or acting together.
corpse n. A dead body.
corpulent adj. Obese.
corpuscle n. A minute particle of matter.
correlate v. To put in some relation of connection or correspondence.
correlative adj. Mutually involving or implying one another.
corrigible adj. Capable of reformation.
corroborate v. To strengthen, as proof or conviction.
corroboration n. Confirmation.
corrode v. To ruin or destroy little by little.
corrosion n. Gradual decay by crumbling or surface disintegration.
corrosive n. That which causes gradual decay by crumbling or surface disintegration.
corruptible adj. Open to bribery.
corruption n. Loss of purity or integrity.
cosmetic adj. Pertaining to the art of beautifying, especially the complexion.
cosmic adj. Pertaining to the universe.
cosmogony n. A doctrine of creation or of the origin of the universe.
cosmography n. The science that describes the universe, including astronomy, geography, and geology.
cosmology n. The general science of the universe.
cosmopolitan adj. Common to all the world.
cosmopolitanism n. A cosmopolitan character.
cosmos n. The world or universe considered as a system, perfect in order and arrangement.
counter-claim n. A cross-demand alleged by a defendant in his favor against the plaintiff.
counteract v. To act in opposition to.
counterbalance v. To oppose with an equal force.
countercharge v. To accuse in return.
counterfeit adj. Made to resemble something else.
counterpart n. Something taken with another for the completion of either.
countervail v. To offset.
counting-house n. A house or office used for transacting business, bookkeeping, correspondence, etc.
countryman n. A rustic.
courageous adj. Brave.
course n. Line of motion or direction.
courser n. A fleet and spirited horse.
courtesy n. Politeness originating in kindness and exercised habitually.
covenant n. An agreement entered into by two or more persons or parties.
covert adj. Concealed, especially for an evil purpose.
covey n. A flock of quails or partridges.
cower v. To crouch down tremblingly, as through fear or shame.
coxswain n. One who steers a rowboat, or one who has charge of a ship’s boat and its crew under an officer.
crag n. A rugged, rocky projection on a cliff or ledge.
cranium n. The skull of an animal, especially that part enclosing the brain.
crass adj. Coarse or thick in nature or structure, as opposed to thin or fine.
craving n. A vehement desire.
creak n. A sharp, harsh, squeaking sound.
creamery n. A butter-making establishment.
creamy adj. Resembling or containing cream.
credence n. Belief.
credible adj. Believable.
credulous adj. Easily deceived.
creed n. A formal summary of fundamental points of religious belief.
crematory adj. A place for cremating dead bodies.
crevasse n. A deep crack or fissure in the ice of a glacier.
crevice n. A small fissure, as between two contiguous surfaces.
criterion n. A standard by which to determine the correctness of a judgment or conclusion.
critique n. A criticism or critical review.
crockery n. Earthenware made from baked clay.
crucible n. A trying and purifying test or agency.
crusade n. Any concerted movement, vigorously prosecuted, in behalf of an idea or principle.
crustacean adj. Pertaining to a division of arthropods, containing lobsters, crabs, crawfish, etc.
crustaceous adj. Having a crust-like shell.
cryptogram n. Anything written in characters that are secret or so arranged as to have hidden meaning.
crystallize v. To bring together or give fixed shape to.
cudgel n. A short thick stick used as a club.
culinary adj. Of or pertaining to cooking or the kitchen.
cull v. To pick or sort out from the rest.
culpable adj. Guilty.
culprit n. A guilty person.
culvert n. Any artificial covered channel for the passage of water through a bank or under a road, canal.
cupidity n. Avarice.
curable adj. Capable of being remedied or corrected.
curator n. A person having charge as of a library or museum.
curio n. A piece of bric-a-brac.
cursive adj. Writing in which the letters are joined together.
cursory adj. Rapid and superficial.
curt adj. Concise, compressed, and abrupt in act or expression.
curtail v. To cut off or cut short.
curtsy n. A downward movement of the body by bending the knees.
cycloid adj. Like a circle.
cygnet n. A young swan.
cynical adj. Exhibiting moral skepticism.
cynicism n. Contempt for the opinions of others and of what others value.
cynosure n. That to which general interest or attention is directed.