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Entry By: CJ Cooney
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ultima ratio regum
ool-tuh-muh RAW-tee-o RAY-goom
the last argument of kings; war1792The Rights of ManWithout consuming, like the Ultima Ratio Regum, it winds its progress from nation to nation, and conquers by a silent operation.1884PhilistiaYou know the motto Louis Quatorze used to cast on his bronze cannon—'Ultima ratio regum.' Well, we Socialists ought to be able to find better logic for our opponents than that, oughtn't we?'1981The Ionian MissionIf Captain Aubrey were to turn his cannon - the ultima ratio regum, and of other bullies - on Professor Graham, the truth would remain unaltered.1992Snow Crash'What does ultima ratio regum mean?' | 'The Last Argument of Kings,'' the Librarian says.
a stronghold; a defensive line or position1882The Naval War of 1812The Louisiana herself took no part in this action. Patterson had previously landed some of her guns on the opposite bank of the river, placing them in a small redoubt. To match these the British also threw up some works and placed in them heavy guns, and all through New Year's day a brisk cannonade was kept up across the river between the two water-batteries, but with very little damage to either side.1902Story of My LifeThe harbour was our joy, our paradise. What glorious sails we had to Bedford Basin, to McNabb's Island, to York Redoubt, and to the Northwest Arm! And at night what soothing, wondrous hours we spent in the shadow of the great, silent men-of-war. Oh, it was all so interesting, so beautiful! The memory of it is a joy forever.1987ShadowfiresThe stillness of the mountain redoubt seemed less ominous than it had… 1988The Maze in the MirrorPandross's security redoubt wasn't all that far…1997SkydarkBut even with the wags travel was a high risk enterprise, and increasingly the mattrans units in the redoubts offered the best option for a change of scene or quick exit from a hotspot.
execution of a heretic; burning at the stake; death sentence levied by the Spanish Inquisition1932The Pastures of HeavenFor a moment I thought this auto-da-fé was serious.1989Hollywood...I shall ask the governor, most respectfully, to refrain from his auto-da-fé until there is a new trial…1991Entoverse They're rounding up all the heretics for the great auto-da-fé.
a thrill; a brief episode of excitement1905Heretics When a French journalist desires a frisson there is a frisson; he discovers, let us say, that the President of the Republic has murdered three wives. 1991Prince of ChaosAs I grew older, however, I, too, came to enjoy it, partly for the occasional frisson it provided my adolescence.1995Tap...a frisson of awe at the sheer Power of the Chip.2001The Blue NowhereHe would rather have had her close, Gillette decided, remembering during her visits how he'd loved to brush fingertips with her or press his shoe against the side of her foot, the contact producing an electric frisson that was akin to making love.
a silly person; a person who changes their mind at the drop of a hat1907Heart of the WestHe shut himself in his room like some venomous kobold or flibbertigibbet, whining, complaining, cursing, accusing.1969Slaughterhouse FiveAll this responsibility at such an early age made her a bitchy flibbertigibbet.1986Forrest Gump'This is the foul fiend Flibbertigibbet,' Tom o'Bedlam say.
metteur en scène
me-toor awn sen
the director of a movie or of a stage play1957From Russia with LoveHe had been directly behind the mass executions of the 1930s when a million died, he had been metteur en scène of most of the great Moscow show trials, he had organized the bloody genocide in the Central Caucasus in February 1944…
Labels: Ian Fleming
dull and stupid; vacuous1847Wuthering Heights'I've tied his tongue,' observed Heathcliff. 'He'll not venture a single syllable all the time! Nelly, you recollect meat his age—nay, some years younger. Did I ever look so stupid: so 'gaumless,' as Joseph calls it?' 1918Songs of the RidingsHe minds His business, does the Lord, An' wastes no gaumless words.
equivalent; equal in significance or power1597The Essays: Of Custom and EducationOnly superstition is now so well advanced, that men of the first blood, are as firm as butchers by occupation; and votary resolution, is made equipollent to custom, even in matter of blood.1822The Fortunes of Nigel'Doubtless, my lord, the having, as you say, deserved it, must be an excruciation to your own mind,' replied his tormentor; 'a kind of mental and metaphysical hanging, drawing, and quartering, which may be in some measure equipollent with the external application of hemp, iron, fire, and the like, to the outer man.'1869The Symbolism of FreemasonryThe ladder of Masonry, like the equipollent ladders of its kindred institutions, always had seven steps, although in modern times the three principal or upper ones are alone alluded to.
a fair or carnival that raises funds for charity1865Hans Brinker or The Silver SkatesMen, women, and children go clattering about in wooden shoes with loose heels; peasant girls who cannot get beaux for love, hire them for money to escort them to the kermis, and husbands and wives lovingly harness themselves side by side on the bank of the canal and drag their pakschuyts to market.1894The Red LilyIn the movement and the noise of the kermess she said…1911The Phantom of the OperaBut the curtain rose on the kermess scene and Richard made a sign to the stage-manager to go away.
a defensive shield1903Shapes of ClayAgainst abstractions evermore you charge | You hack no helmet and you need no targe.1913The Fall of TroyAugeias' monstrous stable there was wrought | With cunning craft on that invincible targe; | And Hercules was turning through the same | The deep flow of Alpheius' stream divine,1987A Gathering of Heroes...a frail, leather-covered wood targe met the wide blade's lashing hammer-blow.