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

-- adj. 1. Large and impressive in size, scope, or extent; magnificent. 2a. Rich and sumptuous. 2b. Of a solemn, stately, or splendid nature. 3a. Dignified or noble in appearance or effect. 3b. Noble or admirable in conception or intent. c. Lofty or sublime in character. 4. Wonderful or very pleasing. 5. Having higher rank than others of the same category. 6. Having more importance than others; principal. 7. Of a haughty or pretentious nature. 8. Including or covering all units or aspects.

Retort 1
--v. tr. 1.a. To reply, especially to answer in a quick, caustic, or witty manner. 1.b. To present a counterargument to. 2. To return in kind; pay back.
--n. 1. A quick, incisive reply, especially one that turns the first speaker's words to his or her own disadvantage. 2. The act or an instance of retorting.

Retort 2
--n. A closed laboratory vessel with an outlet tube at the top, used for distillation, sublimation, or decomposition by heat.

--v. tr. 1. To subject (a substance) to distillation. 2. To separate (a distillate) by distillation. 3. To increase the concentration of, separate, or purify by or as if by distillation. 4. To separate or extract the essential elements of: distill the crucial points of the book. 5. To exude or give off (matter) in drops or small quantities.

--n. 1. a. A short literary composition on a single subject, usually presenting the personal view of the author. b. Something resembling such a composition: a photojournalistic essay. 2. A testing or trial of the value or nature of a thing: an essay of the students' capabilities. 3. An initial attempt or endeavor, especially a tentative attempt; --tr.v. 1. To make an attempt at; try. 2. To subject to a test.

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