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70 Cards in this Set

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philatelist
n. stamp-collector
philistine
n. narrow-minded person, uncultured and exclusively interested in material gain
philology
n. study of language
phlegmatic
adj. calm; not easily disturbed


The doctor was a cheerful but phlegmatic person, unexcited in the face of sudden emergencies
phoenix
n. symbol of immortality or rebirth


like the legendary Phoenix rising from its ashes
phylum
n. major classification, second to kingdom, of plants and animals; division
physiognomy
n. face


my ability to analyze a person's character by studying his physiognomy
piebald
adj. of different colors; mottled; spotted
piecemeal
adv. one part at a time; gradually


this is too long and dense, i'll have to read it piecemeal
pied
adj. variegated; multicolored


the pied cloth
pillage
v. plunder


the enemy pillaged the quiet village and left it in ruins
pillory
v. punish by placing in a wooden frame; subject to criticism and ridicule

Even tho he was mocked and pilloried...
pine
v. languish (1. lose vigor, become weak 2. pine w/ desire or longing); long for; yearn

Having lived in the city for too long, cindy pined for the mountains
pinion
v. restrain

They pinioned his arms against his body
piquant
adj. pleasantly tart-tasting; stimulating


the piquant sauce
pique
n. irritation; resentment

she showed her pique at her loss

v. provoke or arouse; annoy

i tried to pique his interest
piscatorial
adj. pertaining to fishing
pitfall
n. hidden danger; concealed trap

beware the pitfall of excessive pride
pith
n. core or marrow; essence; substance


pineapples have a woody central pith
pithy
adj. concise; meaningful; substantial; meaty

he summed it up in one pithy remark, "he's bogus!"
pittance
n. a small allowance or wage


he could not live on the pittance he received as a pension
placid
peaceful; calm

i really need a vacation in a placid environment
plaintive
adj. mournful


the dove has a plaintive and melancholy call
plait
v. braid; intertwine

the dancers plaited ribbons in their hair
plasticity
n. ability to be molded


When clay dries out, it loses its plasticity and becomes less malleable
platitude
n. trite (hackneyed - lacking freshness/effectiveness)remark; commonplace statement

a flat,dull, trite remark


the platitude of most political oratory
plaudit
n. enthusiastic approval; round of applause

plaudits of the critics
plebeian
adj. common; pertaining to the common people

his speeches were aimed at the plebeian minds
plenary
adj. complete; full


the union leader was given plenary power
plenitude
n. abundance; completeness
plethora
n. excess; overabundance

she always has a plethora of excuses
pliable
adj. flexible; yielding; adaptable


pliable copper tubing
pliant
adj. flexible; easily influence

Pinnochio's disposition was pliant; he was like putty in his tempters' hands


disposition = natural spirit/mood/attitude
plight
n. condition, state (esp a bad state or condition); predicament


to find oneself in a sorry plight
pluck
n. courage


impressed by the boy's pluck
plumage
n. feathers of a bird
plumb
v. examine critically in order to understand; measure depth (by sounding)

Watson could never fully plumb the depths of Holmes's thought processes

adj. vertical

drop a plumb line from the ceiling
plutocracy
n. society ruled by the wealthy
podiatrist
n. doctor who treats ailments of the feet
poignancy
n. quality of being deeply moving; keeness of emotion

the social worker was touched by the poignancy of the scene
polarize
v. split into opposite extremes or camps


The abortion issue has polarized the country into pro-choice and anti-abortion camps
polemic
n. controversy; argument in support of point of view

Her essays were, for the main part, polemics for the party's policy
polemical
adj. aggressive in verbal attack; disputatious


she was a master of polemical rhetoric
politic
adj. expedient(suitable or conducive to advantage or interest); prudent (judicious; sagacious; circumspect); well devised (well planned)


Even tho he was disappointed, he did not think it politic to refuse this offer
polity
n. form of gov't of nation or state

our polity should be devoted to...
polyglot
adj. speaking several languages


NYC is a polyglot community
pomposity
n. self-important behavior; acting like a stuffed shirt

we laughed at the commencement speaker's pomposity
ponderous
adj. weighty; unwieldy


His humor lacked the light touch; his jokes were always ponderous
pontifical
adj. pertaining to a bishop or pope; pompous or pretentious

It was clear from his pontifical pronouncements that John was destined for a high pontifical office
pore
v. study industriously; ponder; scrutinize


She spends hours poring over her anatomy text
portend
v. foretell; presage

The king did not know what these omens might portend and asked his soothsayers to interpret them
portent
n. sign; omen; forewarning


He regarded the black cloud as a portent of evil
portend
v. foretell; presage (something that portends/foreshadows)

The king did not know what these omens might portend and asked his soothsayers to interpret them
portent
n. sign; omen; forewarning


He regarded the black cloud as a portent of evil
portly
adj. stout; corpulent
poseur
n. person who pretends to be sophisticated, elegant, etc. to impress others

he's a poseur
posterity
n. descendants; future generations


We hope to leave a better world to posterity
posthumous
adj. after death (as of child born after father's death or book published after author's death

It was only after the posthumous publication of his last novel that they recognized his great talent
postulate
n. self-evident truth


We must accept these statements as postulates before pursuing our discussions any futher
posture
v. assume an affected pose; act artificially

No matter how much he boasted or postured, i could not believe he was as important as he pretended to be
potable
adj. suitable for drinking

how can we make sea water potable?
potent
adj. powerful; persuasive; greatly influential
potentate
n. monarch; sovereign


The potentate spent more time at Monte Carlo than he did on the throne
potion
n. dose (of liquid)
potpourri
n. heterogeneous mixture; medley


a potpourri of songs
poultice
n. soothing application applied to sore and inflamed portions of the body


apply the poultice to the inflammation
prate
v. speak foolishly; boast idly (having no basis)

Let us not prate about our qualities; rather, let our virtues speak for themselves
prattle
v. babble


he prattled on and on...
preamble
n. introductory statement

in the preamble to the constitution
precarious
adj. uncertain; risky


a precarious investment