The definitions below are from various sources, including the American Heritage Electronic Dictionary, 3rd Ed., v.3.6a © 1994 Softkey International.

Cant 1
— n. 1. Angular deviation from a vertical or horizontal plane or surface; an inclination or a slope. 2. A slanted or oblique surface.
— tr. v. 1. To give a slanting edge to. 2. To change direction of suddenly.
— intr. v. 1. To lean to one side; slant. 2. To take an oblique direction or course; swing around, as a ship.

Cant 2
— n. 1. The special vocabulary peculiar to the members of an underworld group; argot. 2. Whining speech, such as that used by beggars. 3. The special terminology understood among the members of a profession, discipline, or class but obscure to the general population; jargon.
— intr. v. 1. To speak in argot or jargon. 2. To speak in a whining, pleading tone.

Arabesque
— n. 1. A ballet position in which the dancer bends forward while standing on one straight leg with the arm extended forward and the other arm and leg extended backward. 2. A complex, ornate design of intertwined floral, foliate, and geometric figures. 3. Music. A usually short, whimsical composition especially for the piano that features many embellished passages. 4. An intricate or elaborate pattern or design.

Idiom
— n. 1. A speech form or an expression of a given language that is peculiar to itself grammatically or cannot be understood from the individual meanings of its elements. 2. The specific grammatical, syntactic, and structural character of a given language. 3. Regional speech or dialect. 4.a. A specialized vocabulary used by a group of people; jargon: legal idiom. b. A style or manner of expression peculiar to a given people. 5. A style of artistic expression characteristic of a particular individual, school, period, or medium.

Ethos
— n. The disposition, character, or fundamental values peculiar to a specific person, people, culture, or movement.

Observation
— n. 1.a. The act or faculty of observing. b. The fact of being observed. 2.a. The act of noting and recording something, such as a phenomenon, with instruments. b. The result or record of such notation: a meteorological observation. 3. A comment or remark. 4. An inference or a judgment that is acquired from or based on observing.

Skeptic
— n. 1. One who instinctively or habitually doubts, questions, or disagrees with assertions or generally accepted conclusions. 2. One inclined to skepticism [the doctrine that absolute knowledge is impossible and that inquiry must be a process of doubting in order to acquire approximate or relative certainty.]


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