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15 Cards in this Set

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Ruritanian \rur-ih-TAY-nee-un\ adjective
of, relating to, or having the characteristics of an imaginary place of high romance
Tolkien fans were elated when the Ruritanian world of Middle Earth was finally depicted on the big screen.
motley \MAHT-lee\ adjective
*1 : variegated in color
2 : composed of diverse often incongruous elements
Lenny went to the medieval festival dressed in the bright motley garb of a court jester.
placid \PLASS-id\ adjective
: serenely free of interruption or disturbance; also : complacent
It was fortunate that the horse Becky was riding had a placid disposition and didn't try to bolt when the car backfired
eristic \ih-RISS-tik\ adjective
characterized by disputatious and often subtle and specious reasoning
Scott grew tired of the eristic arguments his friend put forth and refused to discuss the issue further
indigenous \in-DIJ-uh-nuss\ adjective
having originated in and being produced, growing, living, or occurring naturally in a particular region or environment
2 : innate, inborn
Most people know that kangaroos are indigenous to Australia, but some species are also found on the island of New Guinea.
avuncular \uh-VUNK-yuh-ler\ adjective
of or relating to an uncle
*2 : suggestive of an uncle especially in kindliness or geniality
Despite avuncular assurances that he remembered what it was like to be young, Katy's landlord still expected her to be a responsible tenant.
eclectic \ih-KLEK-tik\ adjective
selecting what appears to be best in various doctrines, methods, or styles
*2 : composed of elements drawn from various sources; also : heterogeneous
Old-school musicians joined with today's rising stars to showcase an eclectic mix of music for charity
extraneous \ek-STRAY-nee-us\ adjective
1 : existing on or coming from the outside
2 *a : not forming an essential or vital part b : having no relevance
3 : being a number obtained in solving an equation that is not a solution of the equation
After he finished the first draft of his essay, Brad reread it and deleted the extraneous material, making it more concise and focused.
incontrovertible \in-kahn-truh-VER-tuh-bul\ adjective
not open to question : indisputable
If something is indisputable, it's incontrovertible. But if it is open to question, is it "controvertible"? It sure is. The antonyms "controvertible" and "incontrovertible" are both derivatives of the verb "controvert" (meaning "to dispute or oppose by reasoning"), which is itself a spin-off of "controversy." And what is the source of all of these controversial terms? The Latin adjective "controversus," which literally means "turned against."
spontaneous \spahn-TAY-nee-us\ adjective
done, said, or produced freely and naturally
2 : acting or taking place without apparent external cause or influence
Since childhood, Marie has been prone to spontaneous displays of affection.
doctrinaire \dahk-truh-NAIR\ adjective
attempting to put into effect an abstract doctrine or theory with little or no regard for practical difficulties : dogmatic
"Doctrinaire" didn't start out as a critical word. In post-revolutionary France, a group who favored constitutional monarchy called themselves Doctrinaires. "Doctrine" in French, as in English, is a word for the principles on which a government is based; it is ultimately from Latin "doctrina," meaning "teaching" or "instruction." But both ultraroyalists and revolutionists strongly derided any doctrine of reconciling royalty and representation as utterly impracticable, and they resented the Doctrinaires' influence over Louis XVIII. So "doctrinaire" became an adjective in French, and "there adhered to it some indescribable tincture of unpopularity which was totally indelible" (Blanc's History of ten years 1830-40, translated by Walter K. Kelly in 1848). Within 20 years "doctrinaire" had also become the English adjective we have today.
capricious \kuh-PRISH-us\ adjective
governed or characterized by sudden, impulsive, and seemingly unmotivated ideas or actions : unpredictable
Given his capricious nature, Irving is more likely to go wherever the road takes him than follow any scripted plan.
vernal \VER-nul\ adjective
of, relating to, or occurring in the spring
2 : fresh or new like the spring; also : youthful
The stream began to murmur by the door, and the fragrance of growing herbs and flowers came softly on the vernal breeze." (Mark Twain, Life on the Mississippi
haptic \HAP-tik\ adjective
relating to or based on the sense of touch
2 : characterized by a predilection for the sense of touch
Mark could tell the different kinds of yarn apart purely by haptic clues.
volant \VOH-lunt\ adjective
having the wings extended as if in flight — used of a heraldic bird
*2 : flying or capable of flying
3 : quick, nimble
Archaeopteryx, a dinosaur with well-developed wings, had wing feathers with a structure and arrangement like that of modern volant birds — indicating it could fly.