attrition: 1. the action or process of gradually reducing the strength or effectiveness of someone or something through sustained attack or pressure. the battle would result in further attrition of their already lame naval force. 2. (in scholastic theology) sorrow, but not contrition, for sin.

austere: severe or strict in manner, attitude, or appearance.

castigate: reprimand (someone) severely.

dearth: a scarcity or lack of something.

dereliction: the state of having been abandoned and become dilapidated.

externality: 1. ECONOMICS a side effect or consequence of an industrial or commercial activity that affects other parties without this being reflected in the cost of the goods or services involved, such as the pollination of surrounding crops by bees kept for honey. 2. PHILOSOPHY the fact of existing outside the perceiving subject.

fugue: 1. MUSIC a contrapuntal composition in which a short melody or phrase (the subject) is introduced by one part and successively taken up by others and developed by interweaving the parts. 2. PSYCHIATRY a state or period of loss of awareness of one's identity, often coupled with flight from one's usual environment, associated with certain forms of hysteria and epilepsy.

subvert: undermine the power and authority of (an established system or institution).