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947 Cards in this Set

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abase
(v.)
abase
(v.) to humiliate, degrade (After being overthrown and abased, the deposed leader offered to bow down to his conqueror.)
abate
(v.) to reduce, lessen (The rain poured down for a while, then abated.)
abdicate
(v.) to give up a position, usually one of leadership (When he realized that the revolutionaries would surely win, the king abdicated his throne.)
abduct
(v.) to kidnap, take by force (The evildoers abducted the fairy princess from her happy home.)
aberration
(n.) something that differs from the norm (In 1918, the Boston Red Sox won the World Series, but the success turned out to be an aberration, and the Red Sox have not won a World Series since.)
abet
(v.) to aid, help, encourage (The spy succeeded only because he had a friend on the inside to abet him.)
abhor
(v.) to hate, detest (Because he always wound up kicking himself in the head when he tried to play soccer, Oswald began to abhor the sport.)
abide
1. (v.) to put up with (Though he did not agree with the decision, Chuck decided to abide by it.) 2. (v.) to remain (Despite the beating they’ve taken from the weather throughout the millennia, the mountains abide.)
abject
(adj.) wretched, pitiful (After losing all her money, falling into a puddle, and breaking her ankle, Eloise was abject.)
abjure
(v.) to reject, renounce (To prove his honesty, the President abjured the evil policies of his wicked predecessor.)
abase
(v.) to humiliate, degrade (After being overthrown and abased, the deposed leader offered to bow down to his conqueror.)
abate
(v.) to reduce, lessen (The rain poured down for a while, then abated.)
abdicate
(v.) to give up a position, usually one of leadership (When he realized that the revolutionaries would surely win, the king abdicated his throne.)
abduct
(v.) to kidnap, take by force (The evildoers abducted the fairy princess from her happy home.)
aberration
(n.) something that differs from the norm (In 1918, the Boston Red Sox won the World Series, but the success turned out to be an aberration, and the Red Sox have not won a World Series since.)
abet
(v.) to aid, help, encourage (The spy succeeded only because he had a friend on the inside to abet him.)
abhor
(v.) to hate, detest (Because he always wound up kicking himself in the head when he tried to play soccer, Oswald began to abhor the sport.)
abide
1. (v.) to put up with (Though he did not agree with the decision, Chuck decided to abide by it.) 2. (v.) to remain (Despite the beating they’ve taken from the weather throughout the millennia, the mountains abide.)
abject
(adj.) wretched, pitiful (After losing all her money, falling into a puddle, and breaking her ankle, Eloise was abject.)
abjure
(v.) to reject, renounce (To prove his honesty, the President abjured the evil policies of his wicked predecessor.)
abnegation
(n.) denial of comfort to oneself (The holy man slept on the floor, took only cold showers, and generally followed other practices of abnegation.)
abort
(v.) to give up on a half-finished project or effort (After they ran out of food, the men, attempting to jump rope around the world, had to abort and go home.)
abridge
1. (v.) to cut down, shorten (The publisher thought the dictionary was too long and abridged it.) 2. (adj.) shortened (Moby-Dick is such a long book that even the abridged version is longer than most normal books.)
abrogate
(v.) to abolish, usually by authority (The Bill of Rights assures that the government cannot abrogate our right to a free press.)
abscond
(v.) to sneak away and hide (In the confusion, the super-spy absconded into the night with the secret plans.)
absolution
(n.) freedom from blame, guilt, sin (Once all the facts were known, the jury gave Angela absolution by giving a verdict of not guilty.)
abstain
(v.) to freely choose not to commit an action (Everyone demanded that Angus put on the kilt, but he did not want to do it and abstained.)
abstruse
(adj.) hard to comprehend (Everyone else in the class understood geometry easily, but John found the subject abstruse.)
accede
(v.) to agree (When the class asked the teacher whether they could play baseball instead of learn grammar they expected him to refuse, but instead he acceded to their request.)
accentuate
(v.) to stress, highlight (Psychologists agree that those people who are happiest accentuate the positive in life.)
accessible
(adj.) obtainable, reachable (After studying with SparkNotes and getting a great score on the SAT, Marlena happily realized that her goal of getting into an Ivy-League college was accessible.)
acclaim
(n.) high praise (Greg’s excellent poem won the acclaim of his friends.)
accolade
(n.) high praise, special distinction (Everyone offered accolades to Sam after he won the Noble Prize.)
accommodating
(adj.) helpful, obliging, polite (Though the apartment was not big enough for three people, Arnold, Mark, and Zebulon were all friends and were accommodating to each other.)
accord
(n.) an agreement (After much negotiating, England and Iceland finally came to a mutually beneficial accord about fishing rights off the cost of Greenland.)
accost
(v.) to confront verbally (Though Antoinette was normally quite calm, when the waiter spilled soup on her for the fourth time in 15 minutes she stood up and accosted the man.)
accretion
(n.) slow growth in size or amount (Stalactites are formed by the accretion of minerals from the roofs of caves.)
acerbic
(adj.) biting, bitter in tone or taste (Jill became extremely acerbic and began to cruelly make fun of all her friends.)
acquiesce
(v.) to agree without protesting (Though Mr. Correlli wanted to stay outside and work in his garage, when his wife told him that he had better come in to dinner, he acquiesced to her demands.)
acrimony
(n.) bitterness, discord (Though they vowed that no girl would ever come between them, Biff and Trevor could not keep acrimony from overwhelming their friendship after they both fell in love with the lovely Teresa.)
acumen
(n.) keen insight (Because of his mathematical acumen, Larry was able to figure out in minutes problems that took other students hours.)
acute
1. (adj.) sharp, severe (Arnold could not walk because the pain in his foot was so acute.) 2. (adj.) having keen insight (Because she was so acute, Libby instantly figured out how the magician pulled off his “magic.”)
adamant
(adj.) impervious, immovable, unyielding (Though public pressure was intense, the President remained adamant about his proposal.)
adept
(adj.) extremely skilled (Tarzan was adept at jumping from tree to tree like a monkey.)
adhere
1. (n.) to stick to something (We adhered the poster to the wall with tape.)
admonish
(v.) to caution, criticize, reprove (Joe’s mother admonished him not to ruin his appetite by eating cookies before dinner.)
adorn
(v.) to decorate (We adorned the tree with ornaments.)
adroit
(adj.) skillful, dexterous (The adroit thief could pick someone’s pocket without attracting notice.)
adulation
(n.) extreme praise (Though the book was pretty good, Marcy did not believe it deserved the adulation it received.)
adumbrate
(v.) to sketch out in a vague way (The coach adumbrated a game plan, but none of the players knew precisely what to do.)
adverse
(adj.) antagonistic, unfavorable, dangerous (Because of adverse conditions, the hikers decided to give up trying to climb the mountain.)
advocate
1. (v.) to argue in favor of something (Arnold advocated turning left at the stop sign, even though everyone else thought we should turn right.) 2. (n.) a person who argues in favor of something (In addition to wanting to turn left at every stop sign, Arnold was also a great advocate of increasing national defense spending.)
aerial
(adj.) somehow related to the air (We watched as the fighter planes conducted aerial maneuvers.)
aesthetic
(adj.) artistic, related to the appreciation of beauty (We hired Susan as our interior decorator because she has such a fine aesthetic sense.)
affable
(adj.) friendly, amiable (People like to be around George because he is so affable and good-natured.)
affinity
(n.) a spontaneous feeling of closeness (Jerry didn’t know why, but he felt an incredible affinity for Kramer the first time they met.)
affluent
(adj.) rich, wealthy (Mrs. Grebelski was affluent, owning a huge house, three cars, and an island near Maine.)
affront
(n.) an insult (Bernardo was very touchy, and took any slight as an affront to his honor.)
aggrandize
(v.) to increase or make greater (Joseph always dropped the names of the famous people his father knew as a way to aggrandize his personal stature.)
aggregate
1. (n.) a whole or total (The three branches of the U.S. Government form an aggregate much more powerful than its individual parts.) 2. (v.) to gather into a mass (The dictator tried to aggregate as many people into his army as he possibly could.)
aggrieved
(adj.) distressed, wronged, injured (The foreman mercilessly overworked his aggrieved employees.)
agile
(adj.) quick, nimble (The dogs were too slow to catch the agile rabbit.)
agnostic
(adj.) believing that the existence of God cannot be proven or disproven (Joey’s parents are very religious, but he is agnostic.)
agriculture
(n.) farming (It was a huge step in the progress of civilization when tribes left hunting and gathering and began to develop more sustainable methods of obtaining food, such as agriculture.)
aisle
(n.) a passageway between rows of seats (Once we got inside the stadium we walked down the aisle to our seats.)
alacrity
(n.) eagerness, speed (For some reason, Chuck loved to help his mother whenever he could, so when his mother asked him to set the table he did so with alacrity.)
alias
(n.) a false name or identity (He snuck past the guards by using an alias and fake ID.)
allay
(v.) to soothe, ease (The chairman of the Federal Reserve gave a speech to try to allay investors’ fears about an economic downturn.)
allege
(v.) to assert, usually without proof (The policeman had alleged that Marshall committed the crime, but after the investigation turned up no evidence, Marshall was set free.)
alleviate
(v.) to relieve, make more bearable (This drug will alleviate the symptoms of the terrible disease, but only for a while.)
allocate
(v.) to distribute, set aside (The Mayor allocated 30 percent of the funds for improving the town’s schools.)
aloof
(adj.) reserved, distant (The scientist could sometimes seem aloof, as if he didn’t care about his friends or family, but really he was just thinking about quantum mechanics.)
altercation
(n.) a dispute, fight (Jason and Lionel blamed one another for the car accident, leading to an altercation.)
amalgamate
(v.) to bring together, unite (Because of his great charisma, the presidential candidate was able to amalgamate all democrats and republicans under his banner.)
ambiguous
(adj.) uncertain, variably interpretable (Some people think Caesar married Cleopatra for her power, others believe he was charmed by her beauty. His actual reasons are ambiguous.)
ambivalent
(adj.) having opposing feelings (My feelings about Calvin are ambivalent because on one hand he is a loyal friend, but on the other, he is a cruel and vicious thief.)
ameliorate
(v.) to improve (The tense situation was ameliorated when Sam proposed a solution everyone could agree upon.)
amenable
(adj.) willing, compliant (Our father was amenable when we asked him to drive us to the farm so we could go apple picking.)
amenity
(n.) an item that increases comfort (Bill Gates’s house is stocked with so many amenities, he never has to do anything for himself.)
amiable
(adj.) friendly (An amiable fellow, Harry got along with just about everyone.)
amicable
(adj.) friendly (Claudia and Jimmy got divorced, but amicably and without hard feelings.)
amorous
(adj.) showing love, particularly sexual (Whenever Albert saw Mariah wear her slinky red dress, he began to feel quite amorous.)
amorphous
(adj.) without definite shape or type (The effort was doomed from the start, because the reasons behind it were so amorphous and hard to pin down.)
anachronistic
(adj.) being out of correct chronological order (In this book you’re writing, you say that the Pyramids were built after the Titanic sank, which is anachronistic.)
analgesic
(n.) something that reduces pain (Put this analgesic on the wound so that the poor man at least feels a little better.)
analogous
(adj.) similar to, so that an analogy can be drawn (Though they are unrelated genetically, the bone structure of whales and fish is quite analogous.)
anarchist
(n.) one who wants to eliminate all government (An anarchist, Carmine wanted to dissolve every government everywhere.)
anathema
(n.) a cursed, detested person (I never want to see that murderer. He is an anathema to me.)
anecdote
(n.) a short, humorous account (After dinner, Marlon told an anecdote about the time he got his nose stuck in a toaster.)
anesthesia
(n.) loss of sensation (When the nerves in his spine were damaged, Mr. Hollins suffered anesthesia in his legs.)
anguish
(n.) extreme sadness, torment (Angelos suffered terrible anguish when he learned that Buffy had died while combating a strange mystical force of evil.)
animated
(adj.) lively (When he begins to talk about drama, which is his true passion, he becomes very animated.)
annex
1. (v.) to incorporate territory or space (After defeating them in battle, the Russians annexed Poland.) 2. (n.) a room attached to a larger room or space (He likes to do his studying in a little annex attached to the main reading room in the library.)
annul
(v.) to make void or invalid (After seeing its unforeseen and catastrophic effects, Congress sought to annul the law.)
anomaly
(n.) something that does not fit into the normal order (“That rip in the space-time continuum is certainly a spatial anomaly,” said Spock to Captain Kirk.)
anonymous
(adj.) being unknown, unrecognized (Mary received a love poem from an anonymous admirer.)
antagonism
(n.) hostility (Superman and Bizarro Superman shared a mutual antagonism, and often fought.)
antecedent
(n.) something that came before (The great tradition of Western culture had its antecedent in the culture of Ancient Greece.)
antediluvian
(adj.) ancient (The antediluvian man still believed that Eisenhower was president of the United States and that hot dogs cost a nickel.)
anthology
(n.) a selected collection of writings, songs, etc. (The new anthology of Bob Dylan songs contains all his greatest hits and a few songs that you might never have heard before.)
antipathy
(n.) a strong dislike, repugnance (I know you love me, but because you are a liar and a thief, I feel nothing but antipathy for you.)
antiquated
(adj.) old, out of date (That antiquated car has none of the features, like power windows and steering, that make modern cars so great.)
antiseptic
(adj.) clean, sterile (The antiseptic hospital was very bare, but its cleanliness helped to keep patients healthy.)
antithesis
(n.) the absolute opposite (Your values, which hold war and violence in the highest esteem, are the antithesis of my pacifist beliefs.)
anxiety
(n.) intense uneasiness (When he heard about the car crash, he felt anxiety because he knew that his girlfriend had been driving on the road where the accident occurred.)
apathetic
(adj.) lacking concern, emotion (Uninterested in politics, Bruno was apathetic about whether he lived under a capitalist or communist regime.)
apocryphal
(adj.) fictitious, false, wrong (Because I am standing before you, it seems obvious that the stories circulating about my demise were apocryphal.)
appalling
(adj.) inspiring shock, horror, disgust (The judge found the murderer’s crimes and lack of remorse appalling.)
appease
(v.) to calm, satisfy (When the child cries, the mother gives him candy to appease him.)
appraise
(v.) to assess the worth or value of (A realtor will come over tonight to appraise our house.)
apprehend
1. (v.) to seize, arrest (The criminal was apprehended at the scene.) 2. (v.) to perceive, understand, grasp (The student has trouble apprehending concepts in math and science.)
approbation
(n.) praise (The crowd welcomed the heroes with approbation.)
appropriate
(v.) to take, make use of (The government appropriated the farmer’s land without justification.)
aquatic
(adj.) relating to water (The marine biologist studies starfish and other aquatic creatures.)
arable
(adj.) suitable for growing crops (The farmer purchased a plot of arable land on which he will grow corn and sprouts.)
arbiter
(n.) one who can resolve a dispute, make a decision (The divorce court judge will serve as the arbiter between the estranged husband and wife.)
arbitrary
(adj.) based on factors that appear random (The boy’s decision to choose one college over another seems arbitrary.)
arbitration
(n.) the process or act of resolving a dispute (The employee sought official arbitration when he could not resolve a disagreement with his supervisor.)
arboreal
(adj.) of or relating to trees (Leaves, roots, and bark are a few arboreal traits.)
arcane
(adj.) obscure, secret, known only by a few (The professor is an expert in arcane Lithuanian literature.)
archaic
(adj.) of or relating to an earlier period in time, outdated (In a few select regions of Western Mongolian, an archaic Chinese dialect is still spoken.)
archetypal
(adj.) the most representative or typical example of something (Some believe George Washington, with his flowing white hair and commanding stature, was the archetypal politician.)
ardor
(n.) extreme vigor, energy, enthusiasm (The soldiers conveyed their ardor with impassioned battle cries.)
arid
(adj.) excessively dry (Little other than palm trees and cacti grow successfully in arid environments.)
arrogate
(v.) to take without justification (The king arrogated the right to order executions to himself exclusively.)
artifact
(n.) a remaining piece from an extinct culture or place (The scientists spent all day searching the cave for artifacts from the ancient Mayan civilization.)
artisan
(n.) a craftsman (The artisan uses wood to make walking sticks.)
ascertain
(v.) to perceive, learn (With a bit of research, the student ascertained that some plants can live for weeks without water.)
ascetic
(adj.) practicing restraint as a means of self-discipline, usually religious (The priest lives an ascetic life devoid of television, savory foods, and other pleasures.)
ascribe
(v.) to assign, credit, attribute to (Some ascribe the invention of fireworks and dynamite to the Chinese.)
aspersion
(n.) a curse, expression of ill-will (The rival politicians repeatedly cast aspersions on each others’ integrity.)
aspire
(v.) to long for, aim toward (The young poet aspires to publish a book of verse someday.)
assail
(v.) to attack (At dawn, the war planes assailed the boats in the harbor.)
assess
(v.) to evaluate (A crew arrived to assess the damage after the crash.)
assiduous
(adj.) hard-working, diligent (The construction workers erected the skyscraper during two years of assiduous labor.)
assuage
(v.) to ease, pacify (The mother held the baby to assuage its fears.)
astute
(adj.) very clever, crafty (Much of Roger’s success in politics results from his ability to provide astute answers to reporters’ questions.)
asylum
1. (n.) a place of refuge, protection, a sanctuary (For Thoreau, the forest served as an asylum from the pressures of urban life.) 2. (n.) an institution in which the insane are kept (Once diagnosed by a certified psychiatrist, the man was put in an asylum.)
atone
(v.) to repent, make amends (The man atoned for forgetting his wife’s birthday by buying her five dozen roses.)
atrophy
(v.) to wither away, decay (If muscles do not receive enough blood, they will soon atrophy and die.)
attain
(v.) to achieve, arrive at (The athletes strived to attain their best times in competition.)
attribute
1. (v.) to credit, assign (He attributes all of his success to his mother’s undying encouragement.) 2. (n.) a facet or trait (Among the beetle’s most peculiar attributes is its thorny protruding eyes.)
atypical
(adj.) not typical, unusual (Screaming and crying is atypical adult behavior.)
audacious
(adj.) excessively bold (The security guard was shocked by the fan’s audacious attempt to offer him a bribe.)
audible
(adj.) able to be heard (The missing person’s shouts were unfortunately not audible.)
augment
(v.) to add to, expand (The eager student seeks to augment his knowledge of French vocabulary by reading French literature.)
auspicious
(adj.) favorable, indicative of good things (The tennis player considered the sunny forecast an auspicious sign that she would win her match.)
austere
(adj.) very bare, bleak (The austere furniture inside the abandoned house made the place feel haunted.)
avarice
(n.) excessive greed (The banker’s avarice led him to amass a tremendous personal fortune.)
avenge
(v.) to seek revenge (The victims will take justice into their own hands and strive to avenge themselves against the men who robbed them.)
aversion
(n.) a particular dislike for something (Because he’s from Hawaii, Ben has an aversion to autumn, winter, and cold climates in general.)
balk
(v.) to stop, block abruptly (Edna’s boss balked at her request for another raise.)
ballad
(n.) a love song (Greta’s boyfriend played her a ballad on the guitar during their walk through the dark woods.)
banal
(adj.) dull, commonplace (The client rejected our proposal because they found our presentation banal and unimpressive.)
bane
(n.) a burden (Advanced physics is the bane of many students’ academic lives.)
bard
(n.) a poet, often a singer as well (Shakespeare is often considered the greatest bard in the history of the English language.)
bashful
(adj.) shy, excessively timid (Frankie’s mother told him not to be bashful when he refused to attend the birthday party.)
abort
(v.) to give up on a half-finished project or effort (After they ran out of food, the men, attempting to jump rope around the world, had to abort and go home.)
abridge
1. (v.) to cut down, shorten (The publisher thought the dictionary was too long and abridged it.) 2. (adj.) shortened (Moby-Dick is such a long book that even the abridged version is longer than most normal books.)
abrogate
(v.) to abolish, usually by authority (The Bill of Rights assures that the government cannot abrogate our right to a free press.)
abscond
(v.) to sneak away and hide (In the confusion, the super-spy absconded into the night with the secret plans.)
absolution
(n.) freedom from blame, guilt, sin (Once all the facts were known, the jury gave Angela absolution by giving a verdict of not guilty.)
abstain
(v.) to freely choose not to commit an action (Everyone demanded that Angus put on the kilt, but he did not want to do it and abstained.)
abstruse
(adj.) hard to comprehend (Everyone else in the class understood geometry easily, but John found the subject abstruse.)
accede
(v.) to agree (When the class asked the teacher whether they could play baseball instead of learn grammar they expected him to refuse, but instead he acceded to their request.)
accentuate
(v.) to stress, highlight (Psychologists agree that those people who are happiest accentuate the positive in life.)
accessible
(adj.) obtainable, reachable (After studying with SparkNotes and getting a great score on the SAT, Marlena happily realized that her goal of getting into an Ivy-League college was accessible.)
acclaim
(n.) high praise (Greg’s excellent poem won the acclaim of his friends.)
accolade
(n.) high praise, special distinction (Everyone offered accolades to Sam after he won the Noble Prize.)
accommodating
(adj.) helpful, obliging, polite (Though the apartment was not big enough for three people, Arnold, Mark, and Zebulon were all friends and were accommodating to each other.)
accord
(n.) an agreement (After much negotiating, England and Iceland finally came to a mutually beneficial accord about fishing rights off the cost of Greenland.)
accost
(v.) to confront verbally (Though Antoinette was normally quite calm, when the waiter spilled soup on her for the fourth time in 15 minutes she stood up and accosted the man.)
accretion
(n.) slow growth in size or amount (Stalactites are formed by the accretion of minerals from the roofs of caves.)
acerbic
(adj.) biting, bitter in tone or taste (Jill became extremely acerbic and began to cruelly make fun of all her friends.)
acquiesce
(v.) to agree without protesting (Though Mr. Correlli wanted to stay outside and work in his garage, when his wife told him that he had better come in to dinner, he acquiesced to her demands.)
acrimony
(n.) bitterness, discord (Though they vowed that no girl would ever come between them, Biff and Trevor could not keep acrimony from overwhelming their friendship after they both fell in love with the lovely Teresa.)
acumen
(n.) keen insight (Because of his mathematical acumen, Larry was able to figure out in minutes problems that took other students hours.)
acute
1. (adj.) sharp, severe (Arnold could not walk because the pain in his foot was so acute.) 2. (adj.) having keen insight (Because she was so acute, Libby instantly figured out how the magician pulled off his “magic.”)
adamant
(adj.) impervious, immovable, unyielding (Though public pressure was intense, the President remained adamant about his proposal.)
adept
(adj.) extremely skilled (Tarzan was adept at jumping from tree to tree like a monkey.)
adhere
1. (n.) to stick to something (We adhered the poster to the wall with tape.)
admonish
(v.) to caution, criticize, reprove (Joe’s mother admonished him not to ruin his appetite by eating cookies before dinner.)
adorn
(v.) to decorate (We adorned the tree with ornaments.)
adroit
(adj.) skillful, dexterous (The adroit thief could pick someone’s pocket without attracting notice.)
adulation
(n.) extreme praise (Though the book was pretty good, Marcy did not believe it deserved the adulation it received.)
adumbrate
(v.) to sketch out in a vague way (The coach adumbrated a game plan, but none of the players knew precisely what to do.)
adverse
(adj.) antagonistic, unfavorable, dangerous (Because of adverse conditions, the hikers decided to give up trying to climb the mountain.)
advocate
1. (v.) to argue in favor of something (Arnold advocated turning left at the stop sign, even though everyone else thought we should turn right.) 2. (n.) a person who argues in favor of something (In addition to wanting to turn left at every stop sign, Arnold was also a great advocate of increasing national defense spending.)
aerial
(adj.) somehow related to the air (We watched as the fighter planes conducted aerial maneuvers.)
aesthetic
(adj.) artistic, related to the appreciation of beauty (We hired Susan as our interior decorator because she has such a fine aesthetic sense.)
affable
(adj.) friendly, amiable (People like to be around George because he is so affable and good-natured.)
affinity
(n.) a spontaneous feeling of closeness (Jerry didn’t know why, but he felt an incredible affinity for Kramer the first time they met.)
affluent
(adj.) rich, wealthy (Mrs. Grebelski was affluent, owning a huge house, three cars, and an island near Maine.)
affront
(n.) an insult (Bernardo was very touchy, and took any slight as an affront to his honor.)
aggrandize
(v.) to increase or make greater (Joseph always dropped the names of the famous people his father knew as a way to aggrandize his personal stature.)
aggregate
1. (n.) a whole or total (The three branches of the U.S. Government form an aggregate much more powerful than its individual parts.) 2. (v.) to gather into a mass (The dictator tried to aggregate as many people into his army as he possibly could.)
aggrieved
(adj.) distressed, wronged, injured (The foreman mercilessly overworked his aggrieved employees.)
agile
(adj.) quick, nimble (The dogs were too slow to catch the agile rabbit.)
agnostic
(adj.) believing that the existence of God cannot be proven or disproven (Joey’s parents are very religious, but he is agnostic.)
agriculture
(n.) farming (It was a huge step in the progress of civilization when tribes left hunting and gathering and began to develop more sustainable methods of obtaining food, such as agriculture.)
aisle
(n.) a passageway between rows of seats (Once we got inside the stadium we walked down the aisle to our seats.)
alacrity
(n.) eagerness, speed (For some reason, Chuck loved to help his mother whenever he could, so when his mother asked him to set the table he did so with alacrity.)
alias
(n.) a false name or identity (He snuck past the guards by using an alias and fake ID.)
allay
(v.) to soothe, ease (The chairman of the Federal Reserve gave a speech to try to allay investors’ fears about an economic downturn.)
allege
(v.) to assert, usually without proof (The policeman had alleged that Marshall committed the crime, but after the investigation turned up no evidence, Marshall was set free.)
alleviate
(v.) to relieve, make more bearable (This drug will alleviate the symptoms of the terrible disease, but only for a while.)
allocate
(v.) to distribute, set aside (The Mayor allocated 30 percent of the funds for improving the town’s schools.)
aloof
(adj.) reserved, distant (The scientist could sometimes seem aloof, as if he didn’t care about his friends or family, but really he was just thinking about quantum mechanics.)
altercation
(n.) a dispute, fight (Jason and Lionel blamed one another for the car accident, leading to an altercation.)
amalgamate
(v.) to bring together, unite (Because of his great charisma, the presidential candidate was able to amalgamate all democrats and republicans under his banner.)
ambiguous
(adj.) uncertain, variably interpretable (Some people think Caesar married Cleopatra for her power, others believe he was charmed by her beauty. His actual reasons are ambiguous.)
ambivalent
(adj.) having opposing feelings (My feelings about Calvin are ambivalent because on one hand he is a loyal friend, but on the other, he is a cruel and vicious thief.)
ameliorate
(v.) to improve (The tense situation was ameliorated when Sam proposed a solution everyone could agree upon.)
amenable
(adj.) willing, compliant (Our father was amenable when we asked him to drive us to the farm so we could go apple picking.)
amenity
(n.) an item that increases comfort (Bill Gates’s house is stocked with so many amenities, he never has to do anything for himself.)
amiable
(adj.) friendly (An amiable fellow, Harry got along with just about everyone.)
amicable
(adj.) friendly (Claudia and Jimmy got divorced, but amicably and without hard feelings.)
amorous
(adj.) showing love, particularly sexual (Whenever Albert saw Mariah wear her slinky red dress, he began to feel quite amorous.)
amorphous
(adj.) without definite shape or type (The effort was doomed from the start, because the reasons behind it were so amorphous and hard to pin down.)
anachronistic
(adj.) being out of correct chronological order (In this book you’re writing, you say that the Pyramids were built after the Titanic sank, which is anachronistic.)
analgesic
(n.) something that reduces pain (Put this analgesic on the wound so that the poor man at least feels a little better.)
analogous
(adj.) similar to, so that an analogy can be drawn (Though they are unrelated genetically, the bone structure of whales and fish is quite analogous.)
anarchist
(n.) one who wants to eliminate all government (An anarchist, Carmine wanted to dissolve every government everywhere.)
anathema
(n.) a cursed, detested person (I never want to see that murderer. He is an anathema to me.)
anecdote
(n.) a short, humorous account (After dinner, Marlon told an anecdote about the time he got his nose stuck in a toaster.)
anesthesia
(n.) loss of sensation (When the nerves in his spine were damaged, Mr. Hollins suffered anesthesia in his legs.)
anguish
(n.) extreme sadness, torment (Angelos suffered terrible anguish when he learned that Buffy had died while combating a strange mystical force of evil.)
animated
(adj.) lively (When he begins to talk about drama, which is his true passion, he becomes very animated.)
annex
1. (v.) to incorporate territory or space (After defeating them in battle, the Russians annexed Poland.) 2. (n.) a room attached to a larger room or space (He likes to do his studying in a little annex attached to the main reading room in the library.)
annul
(v.) to make void or invalid (After seeing its unforeseen and catastrophic effects, Congress sought to annul the law.)
anomaly
(n.) something that does not fit into the normal order (“That rip in the space-time continuum is certainly a spatial anomaly,” said Spock to Captain Kirk.)
anonymous
(adj.) being unknown, unrecognized (Mary received a love poem from an anonymous admirer.)
antagonism
(n.) hostility (Superman and Bizarro Superman shared a mutual antagonism, and often fought.)
antecedent
(n.) something that came before (The great tradition of Western culture had its antecedent in the culture of Ancient Greece.)
antediluvian
(adj.) ancient (The antediluvian man still believed that Eisenhower was president of the United States and that hot dogs cost a nickel.)
anthology
(n.) a selected collection of writings, songs, etc. (The new anthology of Bob Dylan songs contains all his greatest hits and a few songs that you might never have heard before.)
antipathy
(n.) a strong dislike, repugnance (I know you love me, but because you are a liar and a thief, I feel nothing but antipathy for you.)
antiquated
(adj.) old, out of date (That antiquated car has none of the features, like power windows and steering, that make modern cars so great.)
antiseptic
(adj.) clean, sterile (The antiseptic hospital was very bare, but its cleanliness helped to keep patients healthy.)
antithesis
(n.) the absolute opposite (Your values, which hold war and violence in the highest esteem, are the antithesis of my pacifist beliefs.)
anxiety
(n.) intense uneasiness (When he heard about the car crash, he felt anxiety because he knew that his girlfriend had been driving on the road where the accident occurred.)
apathetic
(adj.) lacking concern, emotion (Uninterested in politics, Bruno was apathetic about whether he lived under a capitalist or communist regime.)
apocryphal
(adj.) fictitious, false, wrong (Because I am standing before you, it seems obvious that the stories circulating about my demise were apocryphal.)
appalling
(adj.) inspiring shock, horror, disgust (The judge found the murderer’s crimes and lack of remorse appalling.)
appease
(v.) to calm, satisfy (When the child cries, the mother gives him candy to appease him.)
appraise
(v.) to assess the worth or value of (A realtor will come over tonight to appraise our house.)
apprehend
1. (v.) to seize, arrest (The criminal was apprehended at the scene.) 2. (v.) to perceive, understand, grasp (The student has trouble apprehending concepts in math and science.)
approbation
(n.) praise (The crowd welcomed the heroes with approbation.)
appropriate
(v.) to take, make use of (The government appropriated the farmer’s land without justification.)
aquatic
(adj.) relating to water (The marine biologist studies starfish and other aquatic creatures.)
arable
(adj.) suitable for growing crops (The farmer purchased a plot of arable land on which he will grow corn and sprouts.)
arbiter
(n.) one who can resolve a dispute, make a decision (The divorce court judge will serve as the arbiter between the estranged husband and wife.)
arbitrary
(adj.) based on factors that appear random (The boy’s decision to choose one college over another seems arbitrary.)
arbitration
(n.) the process or act of resolving a dispute (The employee sought official arbitration when he could not resolve a disagreement with his supervisor.)
arboreal
(adj.) of or relating to trees (Leaves, roots, and bark are a few arboreal traits.)
arcane
(adj.) obscure, secret, known only by a few (The professor is an expert in arcane Lithuanian literature.)
archaic
(adj.) of or relating to an earlier period in time, outdated (In a few select regions of Western Mongolian, an archaic Chinese dialect is still spoken.)
archetypal
(adj.) the most representative or typical example of something (Some believe George Washington, with his flowing white hair and commanding stature, was the archetypal politician.)
ardor
(n.) extreme vigor, energy, enthusiasm (The soldiers conveyed their ardor with impassioned battle cries.)
arid
(adj.) excessively dry (Little other than palm trees and cacti grow successfully in arid environments.)
arrogate
(v.) to take without justification (The king arrogated the right to order executions to himself exclusively.)
artifact
(n.) a remaining piece from an extinct culture or place (The scientists spent all day searching the cave for artifacts from the ancient Mayan civilization.)
artisan
(n.) a craftsman (The artisan uses wood to make walking sticks.)
ascertain
(v.) to perceive, learn (With a bit of research, the student ascertained that some plants can live for weeks without water.)
ascetic
(adj.) practicing restraint as a means of self-discipline, usually religious (The priest lives an ascetic life devoid of television, savory foods, and other pleasures.)
ascribe
(v.) to assign, credit, attribute to (Some ascribe the invention of fireworks and dynamite to the Chinese.)
aspersion
(n.) a curse, expression of ill-will (The rival politicians repeatedly cast aspersions on each others’ integrity.)
aspire
(v.) to long for, aim toward (The young poet aspires to publish a book of verse someday.)
assail
(v.) to attack (At dawn, the war planes assailed the boats in the harbor.)
assess
(v.) to evaluate (A crew arrived to assess the damage after the crash.)
assiduous
(adj.) hard-working, diligent (The construction workers erected the skyscraper during two years of assiduous labor.)
assuage
(v.) to ease, pacify (The mother held the baby to assuage its fears.)
astute
(adj.) very clever, crafty (Much of Roger’s success in politics results from his ability to provide astute answers to reporters’ questions.)
asylum
1. (n.) a place of refuge, protection, a sanctuary (For Thoreau, the forest served as an asylum from the pressures of urban life.) 2. (n.) an institution in which the insane are kept (Once diagnosed by a certified psychiatrist, the man was put in an asylum.)
atone
(v.) to repent, make amends (The man atoned for forgetting his wife’s birthday by buying her five dozen roses.)
atrophy
(v.) to wither away, decay (If muscles do not receive enough blood, they will soon atrophy and die.)
attain
(v.) to achieve, arrive at (The athletes strived to attain their best times in competition.)
attribute
1. (v.) to credit, assign (He attributes all of his success to his mother’s undying encouragement.) 2. (n.) a facet or trait (Among the beetle’s most peculiar attributes is its thorny protruding eyes.)
atypical
(adj.) not typical, unusual (Screaming and crying is atypical adult behavior.)
audacious
(adj.) excessively bold (The security guard was shocked by the fan’s audacious attempt to offer him a bribe.)
audible
(adj.) able to be heard (The missing person’s shouts were unfortunately not audible.)
augment
(v.) to add to, expand (The eager student seeks to augment his knowledge of French vocabulary by reading French literature.)
auspicious
(adj.) favorable, indicative of good things (The tennis player considered the sunny forecast an auspicious sign that she would win her match.)
austere
(adj.) very bare, bleak (The austere furniture inside the abandoned house made the place feel haunted.)
avarice
(n.) excessive greed (The banker’s avarice led him to amass a tremendous personal fortune.)
avenge
(v.) to seek revenge (The victims will take justice into their own hands and strive to avenge themselves against the men who robbed them.)
aversion
(n.) a particular dislike for something (Because he’s from Hawaii, Ben has an aversion to autumn, winter, and cold climates in general.)
balk
(v.) to stop, block abruptly (Edna’s boss balked at her request for another raise.)
ballad
(n.) a love song (Greta’s boyfriend played her a ballad on the guitar during their walk through the dark woods.)
banal
(adj.) dull, commonplace (The client rejected our proposal because they found our presentation banal and unimpressive.)
bane
(n.) a burden (Advanced physics is the bane of many students’ academic lives.)
bard
(n.) a poet, often a singer as well (Shakespeare is often considered the greatest bard in the history of the English language.)
bashful
(adj.) shy, excessively timid (Frankie’s mother told him not to be bashful when he refused to attend the birthday party.)
battery
1. (n.) a device that supplies power (Most cars run on a combination of power from a battery and gasoline.) 2. (n.) assault, beating (Her husband was accused of assault and battery after he attacked a man on the sidewalk.)
beguile
(v.) to trick, deceive (The thief beguiled his partners into surrendering all of their money to him.)
behemoth
(n.) something of tremendous power or size (The new aircraft carrier is among several behemoths that the Air Force has added to its fleet.)
benevolent
(adj.) marked by goodness or doing good (Police officers should be commended for their benevolent service to the community.)
benign
(adj.) favorable, not threatening, mild (We were all relieved to hear that the medical tests determined her tumor to be benign.)
bequeath
(v.) to pass on, give (Jon’s father bequeathed his entire estate to his mother.)
berate
(v.) to scold vehemently (The angry boss berated his employees for failing to meet their deadline.)
bereft
(adj.) devoid of, without (His family was bereft of food and shelter following the tornado.)
beseech
(v.) to beg, plead, implore (The servant beseeched the king for food to feed his starving family.)
bias
(n.) a tendency, inclination, prejudice (The judge’s hidden bias against smokers led him to make an unfair decision.)
bilk
(v.) cheat, defraud (The lawyer discovered that this firm had bilked several clients out of thousands of dollars.)
blandish
(v.) to coax by using flattery (Rachel’s assistant tried to blandish her into accepting the deal.)
blemish
(n.) an imperfection, flaw (The dealer agreed to lower the price because of the many blemishes on the surface of the wooden furniture.)
blight
1. (n.) a plague, disease (The potato blight destroyed the harvest and bankrupted many families.) 2. (n.) something that destroys hope (His bad morale is a blight upon this entire operation.)
boisterous
(adj.) loud and full of energy (The candidate won the vote after giving several boisterous speeches on television.)
bombastic
(adj.) excessively confident, pompous (The singer’s bombastic performance disgusted the crowd.)
boon
bourgeois
(n.) a middle-class person, capitalist (Many businessmen receive criticism for their bourgeois approach to life.)
brazen
(adj.) excessively bold, brash (Critics condemned the novelist’s brazen attempt to plagiarize Hemingway’s story.)
brusque
(adj.) short, abrupt, dismissive (The captain’s brusque manner offended the passengers.)
buffet
1. (v.) to strike with force (The strong winds buffeted the ships, threatening to capsize them.) 2. (n.) an arrangement of food set out on a table (Rather than sitting around a table, the guests took food from our buffet and ate standing up.)
burnish
(v.) to polish, shine (His mother asked him to burnish the silverware before setting the table.)
buttress
1. (v.) to support, hold up (The column buttresses the roof above the statue.) 2. (n.) something that offers support (The buttress supports the roof above the statues.)
cacophony
(n.) tremendous noise, disharmonious sound (The elementary school orchestra created a cacophony at the recital.)
cadence
(n.) a rhythm, progression of sound (The pianist used the foot pedal to emphasize the cadence of the sonata.)
cajole
(v.) to urge, coax (Fred’s buddies cajoled him into attending the bachelor party.)
calamity
(n.) an event with disastrous consequences (The earthquake in San Francisco was a calamity worse than any other natural disaster in history.)
calibrate
(v.) to set, standardize (The mechanic calibrated the car’s transmission to make the motor run most efficiently.)
callous
(adj.) harsh, cold, unfeeling (The murderer’s callous lack of remorse shocked the jury.)
calumny
(n.) an attempt to spoil someone else’s reputation by spreading lies (The local official’s calumny ended up ruining his opponent’s prospect of winning the election.)
camaraderie
(n.) brotherhood, jovial unity (Camaraderie among employees usually leads to success in business.)
candor
(n.) honesty, frankness (We were surprised by the candor of the mayor’s speech because he is usually rather evasive.)
canny
(adj.) shrewd, careful (The canny runner hung at the back of the pack through much of the race to watch the other runners, and then sprinted past them at the end.)
canvas
1. (n.) a piece of cloth on which an artist paints (Picasso liked to work on canvas rather than on bare cement.) 2. (v.) to cover, inspect (We canvassed the neighborhood looking for clues.)
capacious
(adj.) very spacious (The workers delighted in their new capacious office space.)
capitulate
(v.) to surrender (The army finally capitulated after fighting a long costly battle.)
capricious
(adj.) subject to whim, fickle (The young girl’s capricious tendencies made it difficult for her to focus on achieving her goals.)
captivate
(v.) to get the attention of, hold (The fireworks captivated the young boy, who had never seen such things before.)
carouse
(v.) to party, celebrate (We caroused all night after getting married.)
carp
(v.) to annoy, pester (The husband divorced his wife after listening to her carping voice for decades.)
catalog
1. (v.) to list, enter into a list (The judge cataloged the victim’s injuries before calculating how much money he would award.) 2. (n.) a list or collection (We received a catalog from J. Crew that displayed all of their new items.)
catalyze
(v.) to charge, inspire (The president’s speech catalyzed the nation and resuscitated the economy.)
caucus
(n.) a meeting usually held by people working toward the same goal (The ironworkers held a caucus to determine how much of a pay increase they would request.)
caustic
(adj.) bitter, biting, acidic (The politicians exchanged caustic insults for over an hour during the debate.)
cavort
(v.) to leap about, behave boisterously (The adults ate their dinners on the patio, while the children cavorted around the pool.)
censure
1. (n.) harsh criticism (The frustrated teenager could not put up with anymore of her critical mother’s censure.) 2. (v.) to rebuke formally (The principal censured the head of the English Department for forcing students to learn esoteric vocabulary.)
cerebral
(adj.) related to the intellect (The books we read in this class are too cerebral—they don’t engage my emotions at all.)
chaos
(n.) absolute disorder (Mr. Thornton’s sudden departure for the lavatory plunged his classroom into chaos.)
chastise
(v.) to criticize severely (After being chastised by her peers for mimicking Britney Spears, Miranda dyed her hair black and affected a Gothic style.)
cherish
(v.) to feel or show affection toward something (She continued to cherish her red plaid trousers, even though they had gone out of style and no longer fit her.)
chide
(v.) to voice disapproval (Lucy chided Russell for his vulgar habits and sloppy appearance.)
choreography
(n.) the arrangement of dances (The plot of the musical was banal, but the choreography was stunning.)
chronicle
1. (n.) a written history (The library featured the newly updated chronicle of World War II.) 2. (v.) to write a history (Albert’s diary chronicled the day-to-day growth of his obsession with Cynthia.)
chronological
(adj.) arranged in order of time (Lionel carefully arranged the snapshots of his former girlfriends in chronological order, and then set fire to them.)
circuitous
(adj.) roundabout (The bus’s circuitous route took us through numerous outlying suburbs.)
circumlocution
(n.) indirect and wordy language (The professor’s habit of speaking in circumlocutions made it difficult to follow his lectures.)
circumscribed
(adj.) marked off, bounded (The children were permitted to play tag only within a carefully circumscribed area of the lawn.)
circumspect
(adj.) cautious (Though I promised Rachel’s father I would bring her home promptly by midnight, it would have been more circumspect not to have specified a time.)
circumvent
(v.) to get around (The school’s dress code forbidding navel-baring jeans was circumvented by the determined students, who were careful to cover up with long coats when administrators were nearby.)
clairvoyant
(adj.) able to perceive things that normal people cannot (Zelda’s uncanny ability to detect my lies was nothing short of clairvoyant.)
clamor
1. (n.) loud noise (Each morning the birds outside my window make such a clamor that they wake me up.) 2. (v.) to loudly insist (Neville’s fans clamored for him to appear on stage, but he had passed out on the floor of his dressing room.)
clandestine
(adj.) secret (Announcing to her boyfriend that she was going to the gym, Sophie actually went to meet Joseph for a clandestine liaison.)
cleave
1. (v.) to divide into parts (Following the scandalous disgrace of their leader, the entire political party cleaved into warring factions.) 2. (v.) to stick together firmly (After resolving their marital problems, Junior and Rosa cleaved to one another all the more tightly.)
clemency
(n.) mercy (After he forgot their anniversary, Martin could only beg Maria for clemency.)
clergy
(n.) members of Christian holy orders (Though the villagers viewed the church rectory as quaint and charming, the clergy who lived there regarded it as a mildewy and dusty place that aggravated their allergies.)
cloying
(adj.) sickeningly sweet (Though Ronald was physically attractive, Maud found his constant compliments and solicitous remarks cloying.)
coagulate
(v.) to thicken, clot (The top layer of the pudding had coagulated into a thick skin.)
coalesce
(v.) to fuse into a whole (Gordon’s ensemble of thrift-shop garments coalesced into a surprisingly handsome outfit.)
cobbler
(n.) a person who makes or repairs shoes (I had my neighborhood cobbler replace my worn-out leather soles with new ones.)
coerce
(v.) to make somebody do something by force or threat (The court decided that Vanilla Ice did not have to honor the contract because he had been coerced into signing it.)
cogent
(adj.) intellectually convincing (Irene’s arguments in favor of abstinence were so cogent that I could not resist them.)
cognizant
(adj.) aware, mindful (Jake avoided speaking to women in bars because he was cognizant of the fact that drinking impairs his judgment.)
coherent
(adj.) logically consistent, intelligible (Renee could not figure out what Monroe had seen because he was too distraught to deliver a coherent statement.)
collateral
1. (adj.) secondary (Divorcing my wife had the collateral effect of making me poor, as she was the only one of us with a job or money.) 2. (n.) security for a debt (Jacob left his watch as collateral for the $500 loan.)
colloquial
(adj.) characteristic of informal conversation (Adam’s essay on sexual response in primates was marked down because it contained too many colloquial expressions.)
collusion
(n.) secret agreement, conspiracy (The three law students worked in collusion to steal the final exam.)
colossus
(n.) a gigantic statue or thing (For 56 years, the ancient city of Rhodes featured a colossus standing astride its harbor.)
combustion
(n.) the act or process of burning (The unexpected combustion of the prosecution’s evidence forced the judge to dismiss the case against Ramirez.)
commendation
(n.) a notice of approval or recognition (Jared received a commendation from Linda, his supervisor, for his stellar performance.)
commensurate
(adj.) corresponding in size or amount (Ahab selected a very long roll and proceeded to prepare a tuna salad sandwich commensurate with his enormous appetite.)
commodious
(adj.) roomy (Holden invited the three women to join him in the back seat of the taxicab, assuring them that the car was quite commodious.)
compelling
(adj.) forceful, demanding attention (Eliot’s speech was so compelling that Lenore accepted his proposal on the spot.)
compensate
(v.) to make an appropriate payment for something (Reginald bought Sharona a new dress to compensate her for the one he’d spilled his ice cream on.)
complacency
(n.) self-satisfied ignorance of danger (Colin tried to shock his friends out of their complacency by painting a frightening picture of what might happen to them.)
complement
(v.) to complete, make perfect (Ann’s scarf complements her blouse beautifully, making her seem fully dressed even though she isn’t wearing a coat.)
compliant
(adj.) ready to adapt oneself to another’s wishes (Sue had very strong opinions about what to do on a first date, and Ted was absolutely compliant.)
complicit
(adj.) being an accomplice in a wrongful act (By keeping her daughter’s affair a secret, Maddie became complicit in it.)
compliment
(n.) an expression of esteem or approval (I blushed crimson when Emma gave me a compliment on my new haircut.)
compound
1. (v.) to combine parts (The difficulty of finding a fire escape amid the smoke was compounded with the dangers posed by the panicking crowds.) 2. (n.) a combination of different parts (My attraction to Donna was a compound of curiosity about the unknown, physical desire, and intellectual admiration.) 3. (n.) a walled area containing a group of buildings (When the fighting started, Joseph rushed into the family compound because it was safe and well defended.)
comprehensive
(adj.) including everything (She sent me a comprehensive list of the ingredients needed to cook rabbit soufflé.)
compress
(v.) to apply pressure, squeeze together (Lynn compressed her lips into a frown.)
compunction
(n.) distress caused by feeling guilty (He felt compunction for the shabby way he’d treated her.)
concede
(v.) to accept as valid (Andrew had to concede that what his mother said about Diana made sense.)
conciliatory
(adj.) friendly, agreeable (I took Amanda’s invitation to dinner as a very conciliatory gesture.)
concise
(adj.) brief and direct in expression (Gordon did not like to waste time, and his instructions to Brenda were nothing if not concise.)
concoct
(v.) to fabricate, make up (She concocted the most ridiculous story to explain her absence.)
concomitant
(adj.) accompanying in a subordinate fashion (His dislike of hard work carried with it a concomitant lack of funds.)
concord
(n.) harmonious agreement (Julie and Harold began the evening with a disagreement, but ended it in a state of perfect concord.)
condolence
(n.) an expression of sympathy in sorrow (Brian lamely offered his condolences on the loss of his sister’s roommate’s cat.)
condone
(v.) to pardon, deliberately overlook (He refused to condone his brother’s crime.)
conduit
(n.) a pipe or channel through which something passes (The water flowed through the conduit into the container.)
confection
(n.) a sweet, fancy food (We went to the mall food court and purchased a delicious confection.)
confidant
(n.) a person entrusted with secrets (Shortly after we met, she became my chief confidant.)
conflagration
(n.) great fire (The conflagration consumed the entire building.)
confluence
(n.) a gathering together (A confluence of different factors made tonight the perfect night.)
conformist
(n.) one who behaves the same as others (Julian was such a conformist that he had to wait and see if his friends would do something before he would commit.)
confound
(v.) to frustrate, confuse (MacGuyver confounded the policemen pursuing him by covering his tracks.)
congeal
(v.) to thicken into a solid (The sauce had congealed into a thick paste.)
congenial
(adj.) pleasantly agreeable (His congenial manner made him popular wherever he went.)
congregation
(n.) a gathering of people, especially for religious services (The priest told the congregation that he would be retiring.)
congruity
(n.) the quality of being in agreement (Bill and Veronica achieved a perfect congruity of opinion.)
connive
(v.) to plot, scheme (She connived to get me to give up my vacation plans.)
consecrate
(v.) to dedicate something to a holy purpose (Arvin consecrated his spare bedroom as a shrine to Christina.)
consensus
(n.) an agreement of opinion (The jury was able to reach a consensus only after days of deliberation.)
consign
(v.) to give something over to another’s care (Unwillingly, he consigned his mother to a nursing home.)
consolation
(n.) an act of comforting (Darren found Alexandra’s presence to be a consolation for his suffering.)
consonant
(adj.) in harmony (The singers’ consonant voices were beautiful.)
constituent
(n.) an essential part (The most important constituent of her perfume is something called ambergris.)
constrain
(v.) to forcibly restrict (His belief in nonviolence constrained him from taking revenge on his attackers.)
construe
(v.) to interpret (He construed her throwing his clothes out the window as a signal that she wanted him to leave.)
consummate
(v.) to complete a deal; to complete a marriage ceremony through sexual intercourse (Erica and Donald consummated their agreement in the executive boardroom.)
consumption
(n.) the act of consuming (Consumption of intoxicating beverages is not permitted on these premises.)
contemporaneous
(adj.) existing during the same time (Though her novels do not feature the themes of Romanticism, Jane Austen’s work was contemporaneous with that of Wordsworth and Byron.)
contentious
(adj.) having a tendency to quarrel or dispute (George’s contentious personality made him unpopular with his classmates.)
contravene
(v.) to contradict, oppose, violate (Edwidge contravened his landlady’s rule against overnight guests.)
contrite
(adj.) penitent, eager to be forgiven (Blake’s contrite behavior made it impossible to stay angry at him.)
contusion
(n.) bruise, injury (The contusions on his face suggested he’d been in a fight.)
conundrum
(n.) puzzle, problem (Interpreting Jane’s behavior was a constant conundrum.)
convene
(v.) to call together (Jason convened his entire extended family for a discussion.)
convention
1. (n.) an assembly of people (The hotel was full because of the cattle-ranchers’ convention.) 2. (n.) a rule, custom (The cattle-ranchers have a convention that you take off your boots before entering their houses.)
convivial
(adj.) characterized by feasting, drinking, merriment (The restaurant’s convivial atmosphere put me immediately at ease.)
convoluted
(adj.) intricate, complicated (Grace’s story was so convoluted that I couldn’t follow it.)
copious
(adj.) profuse, abundant (Copious amounts of Snapple were imbibed in the cafeteria.)
cordial
(adj.) warm, affectionate (His cordial greeting melted my anger at once.)
coronation
(n.) the act of crowning (The new king’s coronation occurred the day after his father’s death.)
corpulence
(adj.) extreme fatness (Henry’s corpulence did not make him any less attractive to his charming, svelte wife.)
corroborate
(v.) to support with evidence (Luke’s seemingly outrageous claim was corroborated by witnesses.)
corrosive
(adj.) having the tendency to erode or eat away (The effect of the chemical was highly corrosive.)
cosmopolitan
(adj.) sophisticated, worldly (Lloyd’s education and upbringing were cosmopolitan, so he felt right at home among the powerful and learned.)
counteract
(v.) to neutralize, make ineffective (The antidote counteracted the effect of the poison.)
coup
1. (n.) a brilliant, unexpected act (Alexander pulled off an amazing coup when he got a date with Cynthia by purposely getting hit by her car.) 2. (n.) the overthrow of a government and assumption of authority (In their coup attempt, the army officers stormed the Parliament and took all the legislators hostage.)
covet
(v.) to desire enviously (I coveted Moses’s house, wife, and car.)
covert
(adj.) secretly engaged in (Nerwin waged a covert campaign against his enemies, while outwardly appearing to remain friendly.)
credulity
(n.) readiness to believe (His credulity made him an easy target for con men.)
crescendo
(n.) a steady increase in intensity or volume (The crescendo of the brass instruments gave the piece a patriotic feel.)
criteria
(n.) standards by which something is judged (Among Mrs. Fields’s criteria for good cookies are that they be moist and chewy.)
culmination
(n.) the climax toward which something progresses (The culmination of the couple’s argument was the decision to divorce.)
culpable
(adj.) deserving blame (He was culpable of the crime, and was sentenced to perform community service for 75 years.)
cultivate
(v.) to nurture, improve, refine (At the library, she cultivated her interest in spy novels.)
cumulative
(adj.) increasing, building upon itself (The cumulative effect of hours spent in the sun was a deep tan.)
cunning
(adj.) sly, clever at being deceitful (The general devised a cunning plan to surprise the enemy.)
cupidity
(n.) greed, strong desire (His cupidity made him enter the abandoned gold mine despite the obvious dangers.)
cursory
(adj.) brief to the point of being superficial (Late for the meeting, she cast a cursory glance at the agenda.)
curt
(adj.) abruptly and rudely short (Her curt reply to my question made me realize that she was upset at me.)
curtail
(v.) to lessen, reduce (Since losing his job, he had to curtail his spending.)
boon
(n.) a gift or blessing (The good weather has been a boon for many businesses located near the beach.)
daunting
(adj.) intimidating, causing one to lose courage (He kept delaying the daunting act of asking for a promotion.)
dearth
(n.) a lack, scarcity (An eager reader, she was dismayed by the dearth of classic books at the library.)
debacle
(n.) a disastrous failure, disruption (The elaborately designed fireworks show turned into a debacle when the fireworks started firing in random directions.)
debase
(v.) to lower the quality or esteem of something (The large raise that he gave himself debased his motives for running the charity.)
debauch
(v.) to corrupt by means of sensual pleasures (An endless amount of good wine and cheese debauched the traveler.)
debunk
(v.) to expose the falseness of something (He debunked her claim to be the world’s greatest chess player by defeating her in 18 consecutive matches.)
decorous
(adj.) socially proper, appropriate (The appreciative guest displayed decorous behavior toward his host.)
decry
(v.) to criticize openly (The kind video rental clerk decried the policy of charging customers late fees.)
deface
(v.) to ruin or injure something’s appearance (The brothers used eggs and shaving cream to deface their neighbor’s mailbox.)
defamatory
(adj.) harmful toward another’s reputation (The defamatory gossip spreading about the actor made the public less willing to see the actor’s new movie.)
defer
(v.) to postpone something; to yield to another’s wisdom (Ron deferred to Diane, the expert on musical instruments, when he was asked about buying a piano.)
deferential
(adj.) showing respect for another’s authority (His deferential attitude toward her made her more confident in her ability to run the company.)
defile
(v.) to make unclean, impure (She defiled the calm of the religious building by playing her banjo.)
deft
(adj.) skillful, capable (Having worked in a bakery for many years, Marcus was a deft bread maker.)
defunct
(adj.) no longer used or existing (They planned to turn the defunct schoolhouse into a community center.)
delegate
(v.) to hand over responsibility for something (The dean delegated the task of finding a new professor to a special hiring committee.)
deleterious
(adj.) harmful (She experienced the deleterious effects of running a marathon without stretching her muscles enough beforehand.)
deliberate
(adj.) intentional, reflecting careful consideration (Though Mary was quite upset, her actions to resolve the dispute were deliberate.)
delineate
(v.) to describe, outline, shed light on (She neatly delineated her reasons for canceling the project’s funding.)
demagogue
(n.) a leader who appeals to a people’s prejudices (The demagogue strengthened his hold over his people by blaming immigrants for the lack of jobs.)
demarcation
(n.) the marking of boundaries or categories (Different cultures have different demarcations of good and evil.)
demean
(v.) to lower the status or stature of something (She refused to demean her secretary by making him order her lunch.)
demure
(adj.) quiet, modest, reserved (Though everyone else at the party was dancing and going crazy, she remained demure.)
denigrate
(v.) to belittle, diminish the opinion of (The company decided that its advertisements would no longer denigrate the company’s competitors.)
denounce
(v.) to criticize publicly (The senator denounced her opponent as a greedy politician.)
deplore
(v.) to feel or express sorrow, disapproval (We all deplored the miserable working conditions in the factory.)
depravity
(n.) wickedness (Rumors of the ogre’s depravity made the children afraid to enter the forest.)
deprecate
(v.) to belittle, depreciate (Always over-modest, he deprecated his contribution to the local charity.)
derelict
(adj.) abandoned, run-down (Even though it was dangerous, the children enjoyed going to the deserted lot and playing in the derelict house.)
deride
(v.) to laugh at mockingly, scorn (The bullies derided the foreign student’s accent.)
derivative
(adj.) taken directly from a source, unoriginal (She was bored by his music because she felt that it was derivative and that she had heard it before.)
desecrate
(v.) to violate the sacredness of a thing or place (They feared that the construction of a golf course would desecrate the preserved wilderness.)
desiccated
(adj.) dried up, dehydrated (The skin of the desiccated mummy looked like old paper.)
desolate
(adj.) deserted, dreary, lifeless (She found the desolate landscape quite a contrast to the hustle and bustle of the overcrowded city.)
despondent
(adj.) feeling depressed, discouraged, hopeless (Having failed the first math test, the despondent child saw no use in studying for the next and failed that one too.)
despot
(n.) one who has total power and rules brutally (The despot issued a death sentence for anyone who disobeyed his laws.)
destitute
(adj.) impoverished, utterly lacking (The hurricane destroyed many homes and left many families destitute.)
deter
(v.) to discourage, prevent from doing (Bob’s description of scary snakes couldn’t deter Marcia from traveling in the rainforests.)
devious
(adj.) not straightforward, deceitful (Not wanting to be punished, the devious girl blamed the broken vase on the cat.)
dialect
(n.) a variation of a language (In the country’s remote, mountainous regions, the inhabitants spoke a dialect that the country’s other inhabitants had difficulty understanding.)
diaphanous
(adj.) light, airy, transparent (Sunlight poured in through the diaphanous curtains, brightening the room.)
didactic
1. (adj.) intended to instruct (She wrote up a didactic document showing new employees how to handle the company’s customers.) 2. (adj.) overly moralistic (His didactic style of teaching made it seem like he wanted to persuade his students not to understand history fully, but to understand it from only one point of view.)
diffident
(adj.) shy, quiet, modest (While eating dinner with the adults, the diffident youth did not speak for fear of seeming presumptuous.)
diffuse
1. (v.) to scatter, thin out, break up (He diffused the tension in the room by making in a joke.) 2. (adj.) not concentrated, scattered, disorganized (In her writings, she tried unsuccessfully to make others understand her diffuse thoughts.)
dilatory
(adj.) tending to delay, causing delay (The general’s dilatory strategy enabled the enemy to regroup.)
diligent
(adj.) showing care in doing one’s work (The diligent researcher made sure to check her measurements multiple times.)
diminutive
(adj.) small or miniature (The bullies, tall and strong, picked on the diminutive child.)
dirge
(n.) a mournful song, especially for a funeral (The bagpipers played a dirge as the casket was carried to the cemetery.)
disaffected
(adj.) rebellious, resentful of authority (Dismayed by Bobby’s poor behavior, the parents sent their disaffected son to a military academy to be disciplined.)
disavow
(v.) to deny knowledge of or responsibility for (Not wanting others to criticize her, she disavowed any involvement in the company’s hiring scandal.)
discern
(v.) to perceive, detect (Though he hid his emotions, she discerned from his body language that he was angry.)
disclose
(v.) to reveal, make public (The CEO disclosed to the press that the company would have to fire several employees.)
discomfit
(v.) to thwart, baffle (The normally cheery and playful children’s sudden misery discomfited the teacher.)
discordant
(adj.) not agreeing, not in harmony with (The girls’ sobs were a discordant sound amid the general laughter that filled the restaurant.)
discrepancy
(n.) difference, failure of things to correspond (He was troubled by the discrepancy between what he remembered paying for the appliance and what his receipt showed he paid for it.)
discretion
(n.) the quality of being reserved in speech or action; good judgment (Not wanting her patient to get overly anxious, the doctor used discretion in deciding how much to tell the patient about his condition.)
discursive
(adj.) rambling, lacking order (The professor’s discursive lectures seemed to be about every subject except the one initially described.)
disdain
1. (v.) to scorn, hold in low esteem (Insecure about their jobs, the older employees disdained the recently hired ones, who were young and capable.) 2. (n.) scorn, low esteem (After learning of his immoral actions, Justine held Lawrence in disdain.)
disgruntled
(adj.) upset, not content (The child believed that his parents had unjustly grounded him, and remained disgruntled for a week.)
disheartened
(adj.) feeling a loss of spirit or morale (The team was disheartened after losing in the finals of the tournament.)
disparage
(v.) to criticize or speak ill of (The saleswoman disparaged the competitor’s products to persuade her customers to buy what she was selling.)
disparate
(adj.) sharply differing, containing sharply contrasting elements (Having widely varying interests, the students had disparate responses toward the novel.)
dispatch
(v.) to send off to accomplish a duty (The carpenter dispatched his assistant to fetch wood.)
dispel
(v.) to drive away, scatter (She entered the office as usual on Monday, dispelling the rumor that she had been fired.)
disperse
(v.) to scatter, cause to scatter (When the rain began to pour, the crowd at the baseball game quickly dispersed.)
disrepute
(n.) a state of being held in low regard (The officer fell into disrepute after it was learned that he had disobeyed the orders he had given to his own soldiers.)
dissemble
(v.) to conceal, fake (Not wanting to appear heartlessly greedy, she dissembled and hid her intention to sell her ailing father’s stamp collection.)
disseminate
(v.) to spread widely (The politician disseminated his ideas across the town before the election.)
dissent
1. (v.) to disagree (The principal argued that the child should repeat the fourth grade, but the unhappy parents dissented.) 2. (n.) the act of disagreeing (Unconvinced that the defendant was guilty, the last juror voiced his dissent with the rest of the jury.)
dissipate
1. (v.) to disappear, cause to disappear (The sun finally came out and dissipated the haze.) 2. (v.) to waste (She dissipated her fortune on a series of bad investments.)
dissonance
(n.) lack of harmony or consistency (Though the president of the company often spoke of the company as reliant solely upon its workers, her decision to increase her own salary rather than reward her employees revealed a striking dissonance between her alleged beliefs and her actions.)
dissuade
(v.) to persuade someone not to do something (Worried that he would catch a cold, she tried to dissuade him from going out on winter nights.)
distend
(v.) to swell out (Years of drinking beer caused his stomach to distend.)
dither
(v.) to be indecisive (Not wanting to offend either friend, he dithered about which of the two birthday parties he should attend.)
divisive
(adj.) causing dissent, discord (Her divisive tactics turned her two friends against each other.)
divulge
(v.) to reveal something secret (Pressured by the press, the government finally divulged the previously unknown information.)
docile
(adj.) easily taught or trained (She successfully taught the docile puppy several tricks.)
dogmatic
(adj.) aggressively and arrogantly certain about unproved principles (His dogmatic claim that men were better than women at fixing appliances angered everyone.)
dormant
(adj.) sleeping, temporarily inactive (Though she pretended everything was fine, her anger lay dormant throughout the dinner party and exploded in screams of rage after everyone had left.)
dour
(adj.) stern, joyless (The children feared their dour neighbor because the old man would take their toys if he believed they were being too loud.)
dubious
(adj.) doubtful, of uncertain quality (Suspicious that he was only trying to get a raise, she found his praise dubious.)
duplicity
(n.) crafty dishonesty (His duplicity involved convincing his employees to let him lower their salaries and increase their stock options, and then to steal the money he saved and run the company into the ground.)
duress
(n.) hardship, threat (It was only under intense duress that he, who was normally against killing, fired his gun.)
dynamic
(adj.) actively changing (The parents found it hard to keep up with the dynamic music scene with which their children had become very familiar.)
ebullient
(adj.) extremely lively, enthusiastic (She became ebullient upon receiving an acceptance letter from her first-choice college.)
eclectic
(adj.) consisting of a diverse variety of elements (That bar attracts an eclectic crowd: lawyers, artists, circus clowns, and investment bankers.)
ecstatic
(adj.) intensely and overpoweringly happy (The couple was ecstatic when they learned that they had won the lottery.)
edict
(n.) an order, decree (The ruler issued an edict requiring all of his subjects to bow down before him.)
efface
(v.) to wipe out, obliterate, rub away (The husband was so angry at his wife for leaving him that he effaced all evidence of her presence; he threw out pictures of her and gave away all her belongings.)
effervescent
(adj.) bubbly, lively (My friend is so effervescent that she makes everyone smile.)
efficacious
(adj.) effective (My doctor promised me that the cold medicine was efficacious, but I’m still sniffling.)
effrontery
(n.) impudence, nerve, insolence (When I told my aunt that she was boring, my mother scolded me for my effrontery.)
effulgent
(adj.) radiant, splendorous (The golden palace was effulgent.)
egregious
(adj.) extremely bad (The student who threw sloppy joes across the cafeteria was punished for his egregious behavior.)
elaborate
(adj.) complex, detailed, intricate (Dan always beats me at chess because he develops such an elaborate game plan that I can never predict his next move.)
elated
(adj.) overjoyed, thrilled (When she found out she had won the lottery, the writer was elated.)
elegy
(n.) a speech given in honor of a dead person (At the funeral, the widow gave a moving elegy describing her love for her husband.)
elicit
(v.) to bring forth, draw out, evoke (Although I asked several times where the exit was, I elicited no response from the stone-faced policeman.)
eloquent
(adj.) expressive, articulate, moving (The priest gave such an eloquent sermon that most churchgoers were crying.)
elucidate
(v.) to clarify, explain (I didn’t understand why my friend was so angry with me, so I asked Janine to elucidate her feelings.)
elude
(v.) to evade, escape (Despite an intense search, the robber continues to elude the police.)
emaciated
(adj.) very thin, enfeebled looking (My sister eats a lot of pastries and chocolate but still looks emaciated.)
embellish
1. (v.) to decorate, adorn (My mom embellished the living room by adding lace curtains.) 2. (v.) to add details to, enhance (When Harry told me that he had “done stuff” on his vacation, I asked him to embellish upon his account.)
embezzle
(v.) to steal money by falsifying records (The accountant was fired for embezzling $10,000 of the company’s funds.)
emend
(v.) to correct or revise a written text (If my sentence is incorrect, the editor will emend what I have written.)
eminent
1. (adj.) distinguished, prominent, famous (Mr. Phillips is such an eminent scholar that every professor on campus has come to hear him lecture.) 2. (adj.) conspicuous (There is an eminent stain on that shirt.)
emollient
(adj.) soothing (This emollient cream makes my skin very smooth.)
emote
(v.) to express emotion (The director told the actor he had to emote, or else the audience would have no idea what his character was going through.)
empathy
(n.) sensitivity to another’s feelings as if they were one’s own (I feel such empathy for my sister when she’s in pain that I cry too.)
empirical
1. (adj.) based on observation or experience (The scientist gathered empirical data on the growth rate of dandelions by studying the dandelions behind his house.) 2. (adj.) capable of being proved or disproved by experiment (That all cats hate getting wet is an empirical statement: I can test it by bathing my cat, Trinket.)
emulate
(v.) to imitate (I idolize Britney Spears so much that I emulate everything she does: I wear her outfits, sing along to her songs, and date a boy named Justin.)
enamor
(v.) to fill with love, fascinate, usually used in passive form followed by “of” or “with” (I grew enamored of that boy when he quoted my favorite love poem.)
encore
(n.) the audience’s demand for a repeat performance; also the artist’s performance in response to that demand (At the end of the concert, all the fans yelled, “Encore! Encore!” but the band did not come out to play again.)
encumber
(v.) to weigh down, burden (At the airport, my friend was encumbered by her luggage, so I offered to carry two of her bags.)
enervate
(v.) to weaken, exhaust (Writing these sentences enervates me so much that I will have to take a nap after I finish.)
enfranchise
(v.) to grant the vote to (The Nineteenth Amendment enfranchised women.)
engender
(v.) to bring about, create, generate (During the Olympics, the victories of U.S. athletes engender a patriotic spirit among Americans.)
enigmatic
(adj.) mystifying, cryptic (That man wearing the dark suit and dark glasses is so enigmatic that no one even knows his name.)
enmity
(n.) ill will, hatred, hostility (Mark and Andy have clearly not forgiven each other, because the enmity between them is obvious to anyone in their presence.)
ennui
(n.) boredom, weariness (I feel such ennui that I don’t look forward to anything, not even my birthday party.)
entail
(v.) to include as a necessary step (Building a new fence entails tearing down the old one.)
enthrall
(v.) to charm, hold spellbound (The sailor’s stories of fighting off sharks and finding ancient treasures enthralled his young son.)
ephemeral
(adj.) short-lived, fleeting (She promised she’d love me forever, but her “forever” was only ephemeral: she left me after one week.)
epistolary
(adj.) relating to or contained in letters (Some people call me “Auntie’s boy,” because my aunt and I have such a close epistolary relationship that we write each other every day.)
epitome
(n.) a perfect example, embodiment (My mother, the epitome of good taste, always dresses more elegantly than I do.)
equanimity
(n.) composure (Even though he had just been fired, Mr. Simms showed great equanimity by neatly packing up his desk and wishing everyone in the office well.)
equivocal
(adj.) ambiguous, uncertain, undecided (His intentions were so equivocal that I didn’t know whether he was being chivalrous or sleazy.)
erudite
(adj.) learned (My Latin teacher is such an erudite scholar that he has translated some of the most difficult and abstruse ancient poetry.)
eschew
(v.) to shun, avoid (George hates the color green so much that he eschews all green food.)
esoteric
(adj.) understood by only a select few (Even the most advanced students cannot understand the physicist’s esoteric theories.)
espouse
(v.) to take up as a cause, support (I love animals so much that I espouse animal rights.)
ethereal
(adj.) heavenly, exceptionally delicate or refined (In her flowing silk gown and lace veil, the bride looked ethereal.)
etymology
(n.) the history of words, their origin and development (From the study of etymology, I know that the word “quixotic” derives from Don Quixote and the word “gaudy” refers to the Spanish architect Gaudí.)
euphoric
(adj.) elated, uplifted (I was euphoric when I found out that my sister had given birth to twins.)
evanescent
(adj.) fleeting, momentary (My joy at getting promoted was evanescent because I discovered that I would have to work much longer hours in a less friendly office.)
evince
(v.) to show, reveal (Christopher’s hand-wringing and nail-biting evince how nervous he is about the upcoming English test.)
exacerbate
(v.) to make more violent, intense (The gruesome and scary movie I saw last night exacerbated my fears of the dark.)
exalt
(v.) to glorify, praise (Michael Jordan is the figure in basketball we exalt the most.)
exasperate
(v.) to irritate, irk (George’s endless complaints exasperated his roomate.)
excavate
(v.) to dig out of the ground and remove (The pharaoh’s treasures were excavated by archeologists in Egypt.)
exculpate
(v.) to free from guilt or blame, exonerate (My discovery of the ring behind the dresser exculpated me from the charge of having stolen it.)
excursion
(n.) a trip or outing (After taking an excursion to the Bronx Zoo, I dreamed about pandas and monkeys.)
execrable
(adj.) loathsome, detestable (Her pudding is so execrable that it makes me sick.)
exhort
(v.) to urge, prod, spur (Henry exhorted his colleagues to join him in protesting against the university’s hiring policies.)
exigent
(adj.) urgent, critical (The patient has an exigent need for medication, or else he will lose his sight.)
exonerate
(v.) to free from guilt or blame, exculpate (The true thief’s confession exonerated the man who had been held in custody for the crime.)
exorbitant
(adj.) excessive (Her exorbitant praise made me blush and squirm in my seat.)
expedient
(adj.) advisable, advantageous, serving one’s self-interest (In his bid for reelection, the governor made an expedient move by tabling all controversial legislation.)
expiate
(v.) to make amends for, atone (To expiate my selfishness, I gave all my profits to charity.)
expunge
(v.) to obliterate, eradicate (Fearful of an IRS investigation, Paul tried to expunge all incriminating evidence from his tax files.)
expurgate
(v.) to remove offensive or incorrect parts, usually of a book (The history editors expurgated from the text all disparaging and inflammatory comments about the Republican Party.)
extant
(adj.) existing, not destroyed or lost (My mother’s extant love letters to my father are in the attic trunk.)
extol
(v.) to praise, revere (Violet extolled the virtues of a vegetarian diet to her meat-loving brother.)
extraneous
(adj.) irrelevant, extra, not necessary (Personal political ambitions should always remain extraneous to legislative policy, but, unfortunately, they rarely are.)
extricate
(v.) to disentangle (Instead of trying to mediate between my brother and sister, I extricated myself from the family tension entirely and left the house for the day.)
exult
(v.) to rejoice (When she found out she won the literature prize, Mary exulted by dancing and singing through the school’s halls.)
fabricate
(v.) to make up, invent (When I arrived an hour late to class, I fabricated some excuse about my car breaking down on the way to school.)
façade
facile
1. (adj.) easy, requiring little effort (This game is so facile that even a four-year- old can master it.) 2. (adj.) superficial, achieved with minimal thought or care, insincere (The business was in such shambles that any solution seemed facile at best; nothing could really helpit in the long-run.)
fallacious
(adj.) incorrect, misleading (Emily offered me cigarettes on the fallacious assumption that I smoked.)
fastidious
(adj.) meticulous, demanding, having high and often unattainable standards (Mark is so fastidious that he is never able to finish a project because it always seems imperfect to him.)
fathom
(v.) to understand, comprehend (I cannot fathom why you like that crabby and mean-spirited neighbor of ours.)
fatuous
(adj.) silly, foolish (He considers himself a serious poet, but in truth, he only writes fatuous limericks.)
fecund
(adj.) fruitful, fertile (The fecund tree bore enough apples to last us through the entire season.)
felicitous
1. (adj.) well suited, apt (While his comments were idiotic and rambling, mine were felicitous and helpful.) 2. (adj.) delightful, pleasing (I spent a felicitous afternoon visiting old friends.)
feral
(adj.) wild, savage (That beast looks so feral that I would fear being alone with it.)
fervent
(adj.) ardent, passionate (The fervent protestors chained themselves to the building and shouted all night long.)
fetid
(adj.) having a foul odor (I can tell from the fetid smell in your refrigerator that your milk has spoiled.)
fetter
(v.) to chain, restrain (The dog was fettered to the parking meter.)
fickle
(adj.) shifting in character, inconstant (In Greek dramas, the fickle gods help Achilles one day, and then harm him the next.)
fidelity
(n.) loyalty, devotion (Guard dogs are known for the great fidelity they show toward their masters.)
figurative
(adj.) symbolic (Using figurative language, Jane likened the storm to an angry bull.)
flabbergasted
(adj.) astounded (Whenever I read an Agatha Christie mystery novel, I am always flabbergasted when I learn the identity of the murderer.)
flaccid
(adj.) limp, not firm or strong (If a plant is not watered enough, its leaves become droopy and flaccid.)
flagrant
(adj.) offensive, egregious (The judge’s decision to set the man free simply because that man was his brother was a flagrant abuse of power.)
florid
(adj.) flowery, ornate (The writer’s florid prose belongs on a sentimental Hallmark card.)
flout
(v.) to disregard or disobey openly (I flouted the school’s dress code by wearing a tie-dyed tank top and a pair of cut-off jeans.)
foil
(v.) to thwart, frustrate, defeat (Inspector Wilkens foiled the thieves by locking them in the bank along with their stolen money.)
forage
(v.) to graze, rummage for food (When we got lost on our hiking trip, we foraged for berries and nuts in order to survive.)
forbearance
(n.) patience, restraint, toleration (The doctor showed great forbearance in calming down the angry patient who shouted insults at him.)
forestall
(v.) to prevent, thwart, delay (I forestalled the cold I was getting by taking plenty of vitamin C pills and wearing a scarf.)
forlorn
(adj.) lonely, abandoned, hopeless (Even though I had the flu, my family decided to go skiing for the weekend and leave me home alone, feeling feverish and forlorn.)
forsake
(v.) to give up, renounce (My New Year’s resolution is to forsake smoking and drinking.)
fortitude
(n.) strength, guts (Achilles’ fortitude in battle is legendary.)