Here are the meanings of the least-found words that were used in (mostly) recent Times articles.

1. geoid — a model of average sea level throughout the world:

Geodesists will then use these gravity readings to make a model that best represents average sea level everywhere in the world, even on land. Because the pull of gravity varies everywhere, this model, called the geoid, resembles a lumpy potato. — The U.S. Is Getting Shorter, as Mapmakers Race to Keep Up (May 22, 2020)

2. finitude — the quality of having a limit:

So this year, pick at most half a dozen big stories to follow carefully and in depth. Read books, not just the latest headlines. Learn key names and legislation. Find trustworthy journalists to keep you up-to-date. Then remember your finitude and ignore everything else. — Forget the Beach Bod. Try These Soul Resolutions Instead. (Jan. 1, 2023)

3. infinitude — the quality of having no limit:

Powers’s insightful, often poetic prose draws us at once more deeply toward the infinitude of the imagination and more vigorously toward the urgencies of the real and familiar stakes rattling our persons and our planet. — In Richard Powers’s New Novel, Hope for a Grieving Kid and Planet May Lurk in the Human Brain (Sept. 21, 2021)

4. longan — a small juicy fruit similar to a lychee:

Worakanya Panyaprasertkit, a longan exporter in Thailand, said a shipment of her fruit was stuck at the border with Vietnam for 60 days. By the time China announced it would open its border crossing with the country in January, most of the fruit had already gone bad. — A Side-Effect of China’s Strict Virus Policy: Abandoned Fruit (Feb. 5, 2022)

5. boogaloo — a genre of Latin music and dance popular in the 1960s:

Afro-Cuban jazz was pioneered in the 1940s by Mario Bauza in Harlem. Boogaloo and salsa combined African American and Latin sounds that reflected life in the South Bronx in the 1960s. — The New York City Mixtape (Feb. 9, 2023)

6. deadeye — highly accurate:

When San Diego State’s coaches delivered scouting reports to the their players on the Huskies, Scholl gave the report on Calcaterra. He informed the Aztecs of Calcaterra’s deadeye shooting — a team-high 44 percent from behind the 3-point arc — and also that even though he is a role player, averaging about 14 minutes per game, he is not shy. — Life Happened, and Somehow Put Them in the Championship Game (April 3, 2023)

7. galangal — an earthy, citrusy spice often used in Southeast Asian cuisine:

The recipe is most closely modeled after some of my favorite versions of the Sundanese soup sayur asem, the slightly sweet lemongrass and galangal-infused broth of Isan-style tom klong pla and Timorese fish in sour broth. — A Vegetable Soup That Delicately Balances Sweet and Sour (Feb. 17, 2023)

8. vivace — musical direction to play in a brisk manner:

In her Op. 109, the Sonata No. 30 in E, the lilting vivace opening crested and fell in force — more a wave than a ripple, but, in its alluringly long line, still beating from the same source. — Review: Mitsuko Uchida Revisits Beethoven’s Final Sonatas (Feb. 26, 2023)

9. tacet — musical direction to leave an instrument or voice silent:

He will do so only after a new, improbable overture that could be described with a single musical term: tacet. As they arrive, audience members will be asked to surrender their mobile phones, watches and other electronic devices before entering the drill hall, where they will put on noise-cancelling headphones and sit in cloth deck chairs designed to Ms. Abramovic’s specifications. — Marina Abramovic and Igor Levit’s Variation on ‘Goldberg’ Will Make the Audience Earn Its Bach (Dec. 2, 2015)

10. gelid — icy:

If the previous evening’s sauna left you craving more, it’s time to get hard core. The motley village of saunas at Sukkerbiten — each structure different from the rest — offers direct access to the still, gelid waters of the fjord. — 36 Hours in Oslo (Jan. 26, 2023)

And the list of the week’s easiest words:

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