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550 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
abate
v. to decrease; reduce
abdicate
v. to give up a position right, or power
aberrant
adj. deviating from what is normal
abeyance
n. temporary suppression or suspension
abject
adj. miserable; pitiful
abjure
v. to reject; abandon formally
abscission
n. the act of cutting; the natural separation of a leaf or other part of a plant
abscond
v. to depart secretly
abstemious
adj. moderate in appeptite
abstinence
n. the giving up of certain pleasures
abysmal
adj. very bad
accretion
n. growth in size or increase in amount
accure
v. to accumulate; grow by additions
adamant
adj. uncompromising; unyielding
adjunct
n. something added, attached, or joined
admonish
v. to caution or reprimand
adulterate
v. to corrupt or make impure
aesthetic
adj. relating to beauty or art
affected
adj. pretentious, phony
affinity
n. fondness; liking; similarity
aggrandize
v. to make larger or greater
aggregate
adj. amounting to a whole; total
alacrity
n. cheerful willingness; eagerness; speed
alchemy
n. medieval chemical philosophy based on changing metal into gold; a seemingly magical power or process of transmutation
allay
v. to lessen; ease; soothe
alleviate
v. to relieve; improve partially
alloy
n. a combination; a mixture of two or more metals
allure
n. the power to entice by charm
amalgamate
v. to combine into a unified whole
ambiguous
adj. unclear or doubtful in meaning
ambivalence
n. the state of having conflicting emotional attitudes
ambrosia
n. something delicious; the food of the gods
ameliorate
v. to improve
amenable
adj. agreeable; cooperative; suited
amenity
n. something that creases comfort
amulet
n. ornament worn as a charm against evil spirits
anachronism
n. something out of the proper time
analgestic
n. medication that reduces or eliminates pain
analogous
adj. comparable
anarchy
n. absence of government; state of disorder
anodyne
n. something that calms or soothes pain
anomalous
adj. irregular; deviating from the norm
antecedent
n. something that comes before
antediluvian
adj. prehistoric
antipathy
n. dislike; hostility
apathy
n. indifference
apex
n. the highest point
apogee
n. the point in an orbit most distant from the body being orbited; the highest point
apothegm
n. a terse, witty saying
appease
v. to calm; pacify; placate
appellation
n. name
apposit
adj. strikingly appropriate and relevant
apprise
v. to inform
approbation
n. praise; approval
appropriate
v. to take possession for one's own use; confiscate
apropos
adj. relevant
arabesque
n. ornate design featuring intertwined curves; a ballet position in which one leg is extended in back while the other supports the weight of the body
archeology
n. the study of material evidence of past human life
ardor
n. great emotion or passion
arduous
adj. extremely difficult; laborious
argot
n. a specialized vocabulary used by a group
arrest
v. to stop; to seize
artifact
n. item made by human craft
artless
adj. guileless; natural
ascetic
n. one who practices self-denial
asperity
n. severity; harshness; irritability
aspersion
n. slander; false rumor
assiduous
adj. diligent; hard-working
assuage
v. to make less severe
astringent
adj. harsh; severe
asylum
n. place of refuge or shelter
atavism
n. in biology, the reappearance of a characteristic in an organism after several generations of absence; individual or a part that exhibits atavism; return of a trait after a period of absence
attenuate
v. to weaken
audacious
adj. bold daring
austere
adj. stern; unadorned
autonomous
adj. self-governing; independent
avarice
n. greed
aver
v. to affirm; declare to be true
avocation
n. secondary occupation
avuncular
adj. like an uncle. benevolent and tolerant
axiomatic
adj. taken for granted
bacchanalian
adj. pertaining to riotous or drunken festivity; pertaining to revelry
banal
adj. commonplace; trite
banter
n. playful conversation
bard
n. poet
bawdy
adj. obscene
beatify
v. to sanctify; to bless; to ascribe a virtue to
bedizen
v. to dress in a vulgar, showy manner
bebemoth
n. huge creature; anything very large and powerful
belie
v. to contradict; misrepresent; give a false impression
beneficent
adj. kindly; doing good
bifurcate
v. to divide into two parts
blandishment
n. flattery
blasé
adj. bored because of frequent indulgence; unconcerned
bolster
v. to give a boost to; prop up; support
bombastic
adj. pompous; using inflated language
boorish
adj. rude; insensitive
bovine
adj. cowlike
brazen
adj. bold; shameless
broach
v. mention for the first time
bucolic
adj. characteristic of the countryside; rustic; pastoral
burgeon
v. to flourish
burnish
v. to polish
buttress
v. to reinforce; support
cacophonous
adj. unpleasant or harsh-sounding
cadge
v. to beg; sponge
callous
adj. thick-skinned; insensitive
calumny
n. false and malicious accusation; slander
canard
n. false, deliberately misleading story
canon
n. an established principle; a basis or standard for judgment; a group of literary works
cant
n. insincere talk; language of a particular group
cantankerous
adj. irritable; ill-humored
capricious
adj. fickle
captious
adj. faultfinding; intended to entrap, as in a argument
cardinal
adj. of foremost importance
carnal
adj. of the flesh or body; related to physical appetitis
carping
v. to find fault; complain
cartography
n. science of making maps
caste
n. any of the hereditary social classes of Hindu society; social stratification
castigation
n. punishment; chastisement; criticism
cataclysm
n. a violent upheaval that causes great destruction and change
catalyst
n. something causing change
categorical
adj. absolute; without exception
caucus
n. smaller group within an organization
causal
adj. involving a cause
caustic
adj. sarcastically biting; buring
celestial
adj. concerning the sky or heavens; sublime
centrifugal
adj. moving away from a center
centripetal
adj. moving or directed toward a center
champion
v. to defend or support
chasten
v. to correct by punishment or reproof; to restrain or subdue
chicanery
n. trickery; fraud
chivalry
n. the qualities idealized by knighthood such as bravery and gallantry toward women
churish
adj. rude; boorish
cicuitous
adj. roundabout
clairvoyant
n. one who can predict the future; psychic
clamor
n. noisy outcry
clique
n. a small, exclusive group
cloister
v. to confine; seclude
coagulate
v. thicken; congeal
coalesce
v. to cause to become one
coda
n. concluding part of a literary or musical composition; something that summarizes or concludes
codify
v. to systematize
cognizant
adj. informed; conscious; aware
collage
n. artistic composition of materials pasted over a surface; an assemblage of diverse elements
commensurate
adj. proportional
compendium
n. brief, comprehensive summary
complacent
adj. self-satisfied
complaisant
adj. overly polite; willing to please; obliging
complement
n. something that completes or makes up a whole
compliant
adj. yielding
compunction
n. uneasiness caused by guilt
concave
adj. curving inward
conciliatory
adj. overcoming distrust or hostility
concoct
v. to invent
concomitant
n. existing concurrently
condone
v. to overlook voluntarily; forgive
confound
v. to baffle; perplex; mix up
congenial
adj. similar in tastes and habits; friendly; suited to
conjugal
adj. pertaining to marriage agreement
connoisseur
n. a person possessing expert knowledge or training; a person of informed and discriminating taste
conscript
n. person compulsorily enrolled for milliary service
consecrate
v. to declare sacred
contend
v. to assert
contentious
adj. quarrelsome; causing quarrels
contiguous
adj. touching; neighboring; connecting without a break
continence
n. self-control; abstention from sexual activity
contrite
adj. very sorrowful for a wrong
contumacious
adj. disobedient; rebellious
conundrum
n. riddle; puzzle with no solution
convention
n. practice widely observed in a group; custom; accepted technique or device
converge
v. to approach; come together; tend to meet
convex
adj. curved outward
convivial
adj. sociable
convoluted
adj. twisted; complicated
copious
adj. abundant; plentiful
coquette
n. woman who flirts
cornucopia
n. horn overflowing with fruit and grain; state of abundance
cosmology
n. study of the universe as a totality; theory of the origin and structure of the universe
covert
adj. hidden; secret
covetous
adj. desiring something owned by another
cozen
v. to mislead by trick or fraud; deceive
craven
adj. cowardly
credence
n. acceptance of something as true
credo
n. statement of belief or principle; creed
daunt
v. to discourage; intimidate; dishearten
dearth
n. scarcity
debauchery
n. corruption
decorum
n. proper behavior
defame
v. to malign; harm someone's reputation
default
v. to fail to act
deference
n. respect; regard fr another's wish
defunct
adj. no longer existing
delineate
v. to represent or depict
demographic
adj. related to population balance
demotic
adj. pertaining to people
demur
v. to express doubt
denigrate
v. to slur someone's reputation
denizen
n. an inhabitant; a regular visitor
denouement
n. outcome; unraveling of the plot of a play or work of literature
deride
v. to mock
derivative
n. something derived; unoriginal
desiccate
v. to dry completely
desuetude
n. state of disuse
desultory
adj. random; disconnected; rambling
deterrent
n. something that discourages or hinders
detraction
n. the act of taking away; derogatory comment on a person'a character
diaphanous
adj. transparent; fine-textured; insubstantial; vague
diatribe
n. bitter verbal attack
dichotomy
n. division into two usually contradictory parts
diffidence
n. shyness; lack of confidence
diffuse
v. to spread out
digression
n. act of straying from the main point
dirge
n. funeral hymn
diabuse
v. to free from a misconception
discerning
adj. perceptive; exhibiting keen insight and good judgment
discomfit
v. to make uneasy; disconcert
discordant
adj. not in tune
discredit
v. to dishonor; disgrace; cause to be doubted
discrepancy
n. difference between
discrete
adj. constituting a separate thing; distinct
discretion
n. quality of showing self-restraint in speech or actions; circumspection; freedom to act on one's own
disingenuous
adj. not candid; crafty
disinterested
adj. unprejudiced; objective
disjointed
adj. lacking order or coherence; dislocated
dismiss
v. put away from consideration; reject
disparage
v. to belittle
disparate
adj. dissimilar
dissemble
v. to pretend; disguise one's motives
disseminate
v. to spread; scatter; disperse
dissident
n. person who disagrees about beliefs, etc.
dissolution
n. disintegration; debauchery
dissonance
n. discord; lack of harmony
distend
v. to expand; swell out
distill
v. extract the essential elements
distrait
adj. inattentive; preoccupied
diverge
v. to vary; go in different directions from the same point
divest
v. to strip; deprive; rid
divulge
v. to make known something that is secret
doctrinaire
adj. relating to a person who cannot compromise about points of a theory or doctrine; dogmatic; unyeilding
document
v. to provide with written evidence to support
doggerel
n. poor verse
dogmatic
adj. stating opinions without proof
dormant
adj. inactive
dross
n. waste; worthless matter; trivial matter
dupe
v. to deceive; trick
ebullient
adj. exhilarated; enthusiastic
eclectic
adj. selecting from various sources
effervescence
n. state of high spirits or liveliness; the process of bubbling as gas escaped
effete
adj. depleted of vitality; overrefined; decandent
efficacy
n. efficiency; effectiveness
effrontery
n. shameless boldness; presumptuousness
egoism
n. the tendency to see things in relation to oneself; self-centeredness
egotistical
adj. excessively self-centered; conceited
elegy
n. poem or song expressing lamentation
elicit
v. to provoke; draw out
elixir
n. a substance believed to have the power to cure ills
Elysian
adj. blissful; delightful
emaciated
adj. thin and wasted
embellish
v. to adorn; decorate; enhance; make more attractive by adding details
emollient
adj. soothing; mollifying
empirical
adj. derived from observation or experiment
emulate
v. to imitate; copy
encomium
n. a formal expression of praise
endemic
adj. inherent; belonging to an area
enervate
v. to weaken
engender
v. to cause; produce
enhance
v. to increase; improve
entomology
n. the scientific study of insects
enunciate
v. to pronounce clearly
ethnocentric
adj. based on the attitude that one's group is superior
etiology
n. causes or origins
etymology
n. origin and history of a word
eugenics
n. study of factors that influence that hereditary qualities of the human race and ways to improve these qualities
eulogy
n. high praise, especially a person who has recently died
euphemism
n. use of agreeable or inoffensive language in place of unpleasant or offensive language
euphoria
n. a feeling or extreme happiness
euthanasia
n. mercy killing
evince
v. to show plainly; be an indication of
evocative
adj. tending to call to mind or produce a reaction
exacerbate
v. to aggravate; make worse
exact
v. to force the payment of; demand and obtain by authority
exculpate
v. to clear of blame; vindicate
execrable
adj. detestable; abhorrent
exhort
v. to urge by strong appeals
exigency
n. crisis; urgent requirements
existential
adj. having to do with existence; based on experience; having to do with the philosophy of existentialism
exorcise
v. to expel evil spirits; free from bad influences
expatiate
v. to speak or write at length
expatriate
v. to send into exile
facetious
adj. humorous
expiate
v. to atone for
explicate
v. to explain; interpret; clarify
expository
adj. explanatory
extant
adj. in existence; not lost
extemporaneous
adj. unrehearsed
extirpate
v. to root up; to destroy
extraneous
adj. not essential
extrapolation
n. the act of estimation by projecting known information
extrinsic
adj. not inherent or essential
ephemeral
adj. short-lived; fleeting
epistemology
n. branch of philosophy that examines the nature of knowledge
equable
adj. steady; unvarying; serene
equanimity
n. composure; calmness
equivocate
v. to intentionally use vague language
errant
adj. mistaken; straying from the proper course
erudite
adj. learned; scholarly
esoteric
adj. hard to understand; known only to a few
essay
v. to make an attempt; subject to a test
estimable
adj. admirable; possible to estimate
facilitate
v. to make less difficult
factotum
n. a person who does all sorts of work; a handyman
fallacious
adj. based on a false idea or fact; misleading
fallow
adj. plowed but not sowed; uncultivated
fatuous
adj. foolishly self-satified
fauna
n. animals of a period or region
fawning
adj. seeking favor by flattering
felicitous
adj. suitably expressed; appropriate; well-chosen
feral
adj. existing in a wild or untamed state
fervor
n. warmth and intensity of emotion
fetid
adj. having a bad smell
fetter
v. to bind; confine
fiat
n. arbitrary order; authorization
fidelity
n. loyalty; exact correspondence
filibuster
n. use of obstructive tactics in a legislature to black passage of law
finesse
v. to handle with a deceptive or evasive strategy; to use finesse, that is, refinement in performance
fissure
n. crevice
flag
v. to droop; grow weak
fledgling
n. beginner; noivce
flora
n. plants of a region or era
florid
adj. ruddy; reddish; flowery
flourish
n. an embellishment or ornamentation
flout
v. to treat scornfully
flux
n. flowing; a continuous moving
foment
v. to incite; arouse
forberance
n. patience
forestall
v. to prevent; delay
formidable
adj. menacing; threatening
forswear
v. renounce; repudiate
founder
v. to sink; fail; collapse
fracas
n. a loud quarrel; brawl
fractious
adj. quarrelsome; unruly; rebellious
fresco
n. a painting done on plaster
frieze
n. ornamental band on a wall
froward
adj. stubbornly contrary; obstinately disobedient
frugality
n. thrift
fulminate
v. to attack loudly; denounce
fulsome
adj. so excessive as to be disgusting
fusion
adj. union; synthesis
futile
adj. ineffective; useless; fruitless
gainsay
v. to deny; dispute; oppose
gambol
v. to frolic; leap playfully
garrulous
adj. very talkative; wordy
gauche
adj. coarse and uncouth; clumsy
geniality
n. cheerfulness; kindliness; sociability
gerrymander
v. to divide an area into voting districts in a way that favors a political party
glib
adj. fluent in an insincere way; offhand
goad
v. to prod; urge on
gossamer
adj. sheer; light and delicate, like cobwebs
gouge
v. to tear out; scoop out; overcharge
grandiloquent
adj. pompous; bombastic
gregarious
adj. sociable
grouse
v. to complain
guileless
adj. free of cunning or deceit; artless
guise
n. outward appearance; false appearance; pretense
gullible
adj. easily deceived
gustatory
adj. affecting the sense of taste
halcyon
adj. calm and peaceful; happy; golden; prosperous
hallowed
adj. holy; sacred
harangue
n. long, pompous speech; tirade
harrowing
adj. extremely distressing; terrifying
herbivorous
adj. relating to a herbivore, an animal that feeds mainly on plants
hermetic
adj. tightly sealed; magical
heterodox
adj. unorthodox; not widely accepted
hieroglyphics
n. a system of writing in which pictorial symbols represent meaning or sounds; writing or symbols that are difficult to decipher; the symbols used in advanced mathematics
hirsute
adj. covered with hair
histrionic
adj. relating to exaggerated emotional behavior calculated for effect; theatrical arts or performance
homeostasis
n. automatic maintenance by an organism of normal temperature, chemical balance, etc. within itself
homily
n. sermon; tedious moralizing lecture; platitude
homogeneous
adj. composed of identical parts; uniform in composition
hyperbole
n. purposeful exaggeration for effect
iconoclastic
adj. attacking cherished traditions
idolatry
n. idol worship; blind or excessive devotion
igneous
adj. produced by fire; volcanic
imbroglio
n. complicated situation; an entanglement
immutable
adj. unchangeable
impair
v. to damage; injure
impassive
adj. showing no emotion
impecunious
adj. poor; having no money
impede
v. to hinder; block
impermeable
adj. impossible to penetrate
imperturbable
adj. not easily disturbed
impervious
adj. impossible to penetrate; incapable of being affected
impinge
v. to strike; encroach
implacable
adj. inflexible; incapable of being pleased
implausible
adj. unlikely; unbelievable
implicit
adj. implied; understood but not stated
implode
v. collapse inward violently
imprecation
n. curse
impute
v. to relate to a particular cause or source; attribute the fault to; assign as a characteristic
inadvertently
adv. carelessly; unintentionally
incarnate
adj. having bodily form
inchoate
adj. imperfectly formed or formulated
incogruity
n. state of not fitting
inconsequential
adj. insignificant; unimportant
incorporate
v. introduce something into another thing already in existence; combine
incursion
n. sudden invasion
indeterminate
adj. uncertain; indefinite
indigence
n. poverty
indolent
adj. habitually lazy; idle
ineluctable
adj. not to be avoided or escaped; inevitable
inert
adj. unable to move; sluggish
ingenuous
adj. naive and trusting; lacking sophistication
inherent
adj. firmly established by nature of habit
innocuous
adj. harmless
insensible
adj. unconscious; unresponsive
insinuate
v. to suggest; say indirectly; imply
insipid
adj. lacking in flavor; dull
insouciant
adj. indifferent; lacking concern or care
insularity
n. narrow-mindedness; isolation
insuperable
adj. insurmountable; unconquerable

e.g. insuperable difficulties
intangible
adj. not material
interdict
v. to forbid; prohibit; to confront and halt the activities, advance, or entry of
internecine
adj. deadly to both sides
interpolate
v. to insert; change by adding new words or material
interregnum
n. interval between reigns; gap in continuity
intimate
adj. marked by close acquaintance
intractable
adj. not easily managed
intransigence
n. stubbornness; refusal to compromise
introspective
adj. contemplating one's own thoughts and feelings
inundate
v. to cover with water; overwhelm
inured
v. hardened; accustomed; used to
invective
n. verbal abuse
inveigh
v. to disprove; protest vehemently
inveigle
v. to win over by flattery or coaxing
inveterate
adj. confirmed; long-standing; deeply rooted
invidious
adj. likely to provoke ill will offensive
irascible
adj. easily angered
irresolute
adj. unsure of how to act; weak
itinerant
adj. wandering from place to place; unsettled
itinerary
n. route of a traveler's journey
jaundiced
adj. having a yellowish discoloration of the skin; affected by envy, resentment, or hostility
jibe
v. to be in agreement
jocose
adj. fond of joking; jocular; playful
juggernaut
n. huge force destroying everything in its path
junta
n. group of people united in political intrigue
juxapose
n. place side by side
kudos
n. fame; glory; honor
labile
adj. likely to change
laconic
adj. using few words
lambaste
v. to thrash verbally or physically
lascivious
adj. lustful
lassitude
n. lethargy; sluggishness

e.g. overcome by lassitude --> take a nap
latent
adj. present but hidden; potential
laud
v. to praise
lethargic
adj. inactive
levee
n. an embankment that prevents a river from overflowing
levity
n. light manner or attitude

e.g. introduce levity to a serious atmosphere
liberal
adj. tolerant; broad-minded; generous; lavish
libertine
n. one without moral restraint
libido
n. sexual desire
Lilliputian
adj. extremely small
limn
v. to draw; describe
limpid
adj. clear; transparent
linguistic
adj. pertaining to lanugage
litany
n. lengthy recitation; repetitive chant
literati
n. scholarly or learned persons
litigation
n. legal proceedings
log
n. record of a voyage; record of daily activities
loquacious
adj. talkative
lucid
adj. bright; clear; intelligent

e.g. lucid discussions of complex scientific topics
lucre
n. money or profits

e.g. lucre draws people to speculate
luminious
adj. bright; brilliant; glowing
lustrous
adj. shining
Machiavellian
adj. crafty; double-dealing

e.g. Machiavellian to replace his boss
machinations
n. strategy; plots or schemes
maelstrom
n. whirlpool; turmoil

e.g. into the maelstrom of wars
magnanimity
n. generosity; nobility
malign
v. to speak evil of

e.g. lawyers maligned as greedy
malinger
v. to feign illness to escape duty
malleable
adj. capable of being shaped by pounding; impressionable

e.g. students as malleable clay
maverick
n. independent politicians
megalomania
n. delusions of power or importance
menagerie
n. a variety of animals kept together
mendacious
adj. dishonest

e.g. ruled the defendant disingenuous and mendacious
mendicant
n. beggar

e.g. as a mendicant monk
meretricious
adj. gaudy; plausible but false; specious
mesmerize
v. to hypnotize
metamorphosis
n. change; transformation

e.g. metamorphosed from lazy to hard-working
metaphysics
n. a branch of philosophy that investigates the ultimate nature of reality
meterological
adj. concerned with the weather
meticulous
adj. very careful; fastidious

eg. scientists make meticulous observation
mettle
n. courage; endurance
mettlesome
adj. full of courage; spirited
microcosm
n. small system having analogies to a large system; small world
militate
v. to work against
minatory
adj. threatening
minuscule
adj. very small
minutia
n. petty details
misanthrope
n. one who hates humanity
miscellany
n. mixture of writings on various subjects
miscreant
n. criminal
misogynist
n. one who hates women
mitigate
v. to alleviate
mnemonic
adj. related to memory; assisting memory
modicum
n. limited quantity
mollify
v. to soothe
monolithic
adj. solid and uniform
morose
adj. ill-humored

eg. not to be morose when facing death
motley
adj. many colored; made up of many parts
multifarious
adj. diverse
mundane
adj. 平凡
necromancy
n. black magic
negate
v. nullify
neologism
n. new word or expression
neophyte
n. beginner
nexus
n. connection; center
nonplussed
adj. bewildered
nostalgia
n. 懷舊之情
nostrum
n. medicine or remedy of doubtful effectiveness
nugatory
adj. invalid
obdurate
adj. stubborn
obseuious
adj. overly submissive
obsequy
n. funeral ceremony
obviate
v. to prevent
occlude
v. to block

e.g. The sun is occluded by clouds
occult
adj. relating to practices connected with supernatural
odyssey
n. a long, adventurous voyage
officious
adj. too helpful
olfactory
adj. concerning the sense of smell
oligarchy
n. form of government in which power belongs to only a few leaders
onerous
adj. burdensome
onomatopoeia
n. formation/use of words that imitate sounds of the actions they refer to

eg. "ping-pong"
opprobrium
n. disgrace; contempt
ornithologist
n. scientist who studies birds
oscillate
v. to move back and forth
ostentatious
adj. showy; trying to attract attention
overweening
adj. arrogant
paean
n. song of joy or triumph
palenotology
n. study of past geological ears through fossil remains
pallid
adj. lacking color or liveliness
panegyric
n. elaborate praise
paragon
n. model of excellence or perfection
partisan
adj. one-sided; committed to a party, group, or cause
pathological
adj. departing from normal condition
patois
n. regional dialect; nonstandard speech
paucity
n. scarcity
pedantic
adj. showing off learning
pellucid
adj. transparent; easily understood
penchant
n. inclination