Study your flashcards anywhere!

Download the official Cram app for free >

  • Shuffle
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Alphabetize
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Front First
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Both Sides
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Read
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off

How to study your flashcards.

Right/Left arrow keys: Navigate between flashcards.right arrow keyleft arrow key

Up/Down arrow keys: Flip the card between the front and back.down keyup key

H key: Show hint (3rd side).h key

A key: Read text to speech.a key


Play button


Play button




Click to flip

15 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
  • 3rd side (hint)

\\yoo-KAYS; -KAYZ; YOO-kays; -kayz\\, noun

1. In imperial Russia, a published proclamation or order having the force of law.
2. Any order or decree issued by an authority; an edict.
I took a playwriting course from the noted Prof. A. M. Drummond, a huge man on crutches who right off the bat delivered a ukase never to begin a play with the telephone ringing.
-- Arthur Laurents, Original Story By

This new ukase, however, ignited bureaucratic warfare and spawned rival and conflicting rules and concepts, frittering away time and effort.
-- Richard B. Frank, Downfall: The End of the Imperial Japanese Empire

Ukase derives from Russian ukaz, "decree," from Old Church Slavonic ukazu, "a showing, proof," from u-, "at, to" + kazati, "to point out, to show."
quagmire \\KWAG-myr; KWOG-\\, noun

1. Soft, wet, miry land that shakes or yields under the feet.
2. A difficult or precarious position or situation; a predicament.
. . .drenching rains that reduced all the roads to quagmires.
-- "The Career of a Soldier", New York Times, July 24, 1885

Slowly, inevitably, over the course of several months, Don Jaime's pupil draws him into a quagmire of plot and counterplot.
-- Walter Satterthwait, "Crossing Swords", New York Times, June 6, 1999

While the Nobel Prize in Literature, which he was awarded in 1957, should have signaled the pinnacle of Camus's career, it came at a time when he was struggling in the deepening quagmire of the Algerian war.
-- Isabelle de Courtivron, "Rebel Without a Cause", New York Times, December 14, 1997

Quagmire is from quag, a dialectical variant of quake (from Old English cwacian) + mire, from Old Norse myrr, "a swamp."
argot \\AHR-go; -gut\\, noun

1. A specialized and often secret vocabulary and idiom peculiar to a particular group.
2. A secret language or conventional slang peculiar to thieves, tramps, and vagabonds.
In William Aberg's "Siempre," set in an unusual Arizona jail that housed both men and women, a veteran talks a novice through fear of the penitentiary (the pinta, in Mexican argot) to which she is being sent.
-- Bell Gale Chevigny, Doing Time: 25 Years of Prison Writing

The side road was a bit narrow but in good repair. But as happened from time to time, the last few miles to our destination, in this case the park, were unpaved--"unsealed" in Aussie argot.
-- Don Langley, "Life in the Vast Lane", Los Angeles Times, November 14, 1999

In the argot of geology, paleomagnetic specialists are sometimes called paleomagicians.
-- John Mcphee, Annals of the Former World

No one likes jargon, especially other people's jargon, and few bodies of professional lingo are less beloved than the argot of educators.
-- Howard Gardner, The Disciplined Mind: What All Students Should Understand

Argot is from the French.
prepotency \\pree-POTE-n-see\\, noun

1. The quality or condition of having superior power, influence, or force; predominance.
2. (Biology) The capacity, on the part of one of the parents, as compared with the other, to transmit more than his or her own share of characteristics to their offspring.
The awesome prepotency of this smokescape is no illusion, for this is an epicentre of power, oil capital of the Western world and the most industrialised corner of the United States.
-- "Dark heart of the American dream", The Observer, June 16, 2002

Though Sir Tristram lost his record, his prepotency was reinforced at the Doomben races as three of the big race winners carry his blood.
-- "Sir Tristram loses record", Evening Post (Wellington, New Zealand), May 29, 2001

These several remarks are apparently applicable to animals; but the subject is here much complicated, partly owing to the existence of secondary sexual characters; but more especially owing to prepotency in transmitting likeness running more strongly in one sex than in the other, both when one species is crossed with another, and when one variety is crossed with another variety.
-- Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species

Prepotency is from Latin praepotentia, from prae-, "before" + potentia, "power," from potens, "able, powerful," present participle of posse, "to be able."
circumspect \\\\SUR-kuhm-spekt\\\\, adjective

Marked by attention to all circumstances and probable consequences; cautious; prudent.
When the evidence is plentiful and the theories well confirmed, we can be more confident of the historical scenarios we propose; when theories are weak or evidence scarce, we ought to be more circumspect.
-- Robert J. Richards, "You Can't Get There From Here", New York Times, February 27, 2000

One had the feeling, indeed, that he rather enjoyed being mysterious, for although he regularly granted interviews to scholars and journalists after leaving the State Department, he was always circumspect and often cryptic in what he said.
-- John Lewis Gaddis, "Dean Rusk's Personal Truce", New York Times, July 1, 1990

Sadie is the gracious one, as if being the elder requires that she be circumspect and observe the manners.
-- Vincent Canby, "A Visit With Two Indomitable Sisters,", New York Times, April 7, 1995

Circumspect comes from the past participle of Latin circumspicere, "to look around, to consider carefully," from circum-, "around" + specere, "to look." The noun form is circumspection.
gregarious \\grih-GAIR-ee-us\\, adjective

1. Tending to form a group with others of the same kind.
2. Seeking and enjoying the company of others.
True locusts, which are actually certain kinds of grasshoppers, are usually solitary and rather sluggish, but when they are crowded they enter a gregarious and highly active migratory phase.
-- Gilbert Waldbauer, Millions of Monarchs, Bunches of Beetles

In the newly discovered gene, the change of a single unit of DNA converts the worm from a solitary forager into a gregarious diner.
-- "Can Social Behavior of Man Be Glimpsed in a Lowly Worm?", New York Times, September 7, 1998

My efforts to cultivate an identity as a strong silent type have consistently been undermined by my gregarious nature and my delight in conversation.
-- Marty Jezer, Stuttering: A Life Bound Up in Words

Although social and gregarious when he wants to be, Phil learned, during our early years together, not only to savor but also to require long periods of hermitlike solitude.
-- Frances K. Conley, Walking Out on the Boys

Gregarious is from Latin gregarius, "belonging to a herd or flock," from grex, greg-, "herd, flock."
prolix \\pro-LIKS; PRO-liks\\, adjective

1. Extending to a great length; unnecessarily long; wordy.
2. Tending to speak or write at excessive length.
It was a cumbersome book, widely criticized for being prolix in style and maddeningly circular in argument.
-- Simon Winchester, "Word Imperfect", The Atlantic, May 2001

Montaigne is a little too prolix in his determination to tell us almost everything that happens as he fishes his way across the country, and he gives us a few too many accounts of the people he meets and of their repetitiously gloomy opinions.
-- Adam Hochschild, "Deep Wigglers of the Volga", New York Times, June 28, 1998

Greenspan, on the other hand, is given to prolix comments whose sentences are hung like Christmas trees with dependent clauses.
-- John M. Berry, "Greenspan: A Man Aware of Feasibility", Washington Post, June 14, 1987

Prolix is derived from Latin prolixus, "poured forth, overflowing, extended, long," from pro-, "forward" + liquere, "to be fluid." Entry and Pronunciation for prolix
apostasy \\uh-POS-tuh-see\\, noun

Total desertion or departure from one's faith, principles, or party.
Party loyalty was fierce, political apostasy despised, and breakaway movements and third parties rarely exercised more than temporary influence.
-- Edward Ranson, "Electing a president 1896", History Today, October 1, 1996

The French were advancing the holy cause of liberty; any American who criticized them was guilty of "apostasy" and "heresies."
-- Richard Brookhiser, "In Love With Revolution", New York Times, November 17, 1996

No sooner did it become clear that this was how I really felt, and that I fully intended to carry on with the war I had started against those ideas, than the exculpatory explanation for my apostasy was dropped, and in its place came shock and a deep sense of betrayal.
-- Norman Podhoretz, Ex-Friends

Apostasy is derived from Greek apostasis, "a standing away from, a defection, a revolt," from aphistanai, "to stand off or away from, to revolt," from apo-, "from, away from" + histanai, "to stand."
impugn \\im-PYOON\\, transitive verb

To attack by words or arguments; to call in question; to make insinuations against; to oppose or challenge as false; to gainsay.

As might be expected of fanatical flag idolaters, the GAR did not accept refusals lightly, and in one instance in Illinois impugned the patriotic loyalty of recalcitrant local school administrators by spreading rumors that one of them was a foreign alien yet to be naturalized and the other a draft dodger who evaded Civil War service by fleeing to Canada.
-- Albert Boime, The Unveiling of the National Icons

After hearing that her brother had been impugned by his political rivals, she also wrote a verse defense of his honor, entitled "Lines on reading an attack upon the political career of the late Albert Baker Esqr."
-- Caroline Fraser, God's Perfect Child

Still, I was unpleasantly surprised when, in the morning, several of my coworkers took it upon themselves to crassly impugn G.B.'s capacity for leadership.
-- Lydia Millet, George Bush, Dark Prince of Love

Even though it is nowhere alleged that disclosures of sinful activity by priests impugn the integrity of the entire ministry, that nevertheless is the passing legacy of the current scandals.
-- William F. Buckley Jr., "The House of Disillusion", National Review, May 14, 2002

Impugn comes from Latin impugnare, "to assail," from in-, "against" + pugnare, "to fight."
trice \\TRYS\\, noun

A very short time; an instant; a moment; -- used chiefly in the phrase "in a trice."
There is no reason to doubt Alma here since so many other witnesses over the years tell similar tales . . . of the moody Mahler who would switch from eloquence to silence in a trice for no apparent reason.
-- Jonathan Carr, Mahler: A Biography

Our super sleuth decided to take action and the mystery was solved in a trice.
-- "Furthermore", The Guardian, October 30, 2001

Catastrophic fires could wipe out as much as 1 million sq km of rain forest in a trice.
-- Sandy M. Fernandez, "Global Concern", Time, September 18, 2000

Trice is from Middle English (at a) trise, literally, "(at one) pull," from trisen, "to pull," from Middle Dutch trisen, "to hoist," from trise, "a windlass, a pulley."
bedaub \\bih-DOB\\, transitive verb

1. To smudge over; to besmear or soil with anything thick and dirty.
2. To overdecorate; to ornament showily or excessively.
The patient's signature is less neat than usual, not only because of his agitated state but also, quite possibly, because the pen is so bedaubed with chocolate that it slips through his fingers.
-- Marcel Beyer, "The Karnau Tapes.", Grand Street, Fall 1997

Only their wagon keeps on rolling, empty, bedaubed with tears, under our windows.
-- Laszlo Darvasi and Ivan Sanders, "Stories of Kisses, Stories of Tears.", Grand Street, March 1, 1997

Bedaub is from be-, "thoroughly" + daub, from Medieval French dauber, "to plaster," perhaps from Old French dauber, "to clothe in white, white-wash, plaster," from Latin dealbare, "to whitewash, to plaster," from de- (intensive prefix) + albus, "white."
efficacious \\ef-ih-KAY-shuhs\\, adjective

Possessing the quality of being effective; producing, or capable of producing, the effect intended; as, an efficacious law.
Lawyers make claims not because they believe them to be true, but because they believe them to be legally efficacious.
-- Paul F. Campos, Jurismania

Henri IV wrote to his son's nurse, Madame de Montglat, in 1607 insisting 'it is my wish and my command that he be whipped every time he is stubborn or misbehaves, knowing full well from personal experience that nothing in the world is as efficacious'.
-- Katharine MacDonogh, Reigning Cats and Dogs: A History of Pets at Court Since the Renaissance

Plagued by rats, the citizens of Hamelin desperately seek some efficacious method of pest control.
-- Francine Prose, review of The Pied Piper of Hamelin, as retold by Robert Holden, New York Times, August 16, 1998

Efficacious is from Latin efficax, -acis, from efficere, "to effect, to bring about," from ex-, "out" + facere, "to do or make."
cavort \\kuh-VORT\\, intransitive verb

1. To bound or prance about.
2. To have lively or boisterous fun; to behave in a high-spirited, festive manner.
. . .Enkidu, who was seduced by gradual steps to embrace the refinements of civilization, only to regret on his deathbed what he had left behind: a free life cavorting with gazelles.
-- Yi-Fu Tuan, Escapism

But why struggle with a term paper on the elements of foreshadowing in Bleak House when I could be cavorting on the beach.
-- Dani Shapiro, Slow Motion

By 1900, Leo-Chico would have been thirteen years old, and just past his bar mitzvah, or old enough to know better than to cavort with street idlers and gamblers.
-- Simon Louvish, Monkey Business

The men spent the next few weeks there drinking beer, eating hibachi-grilled fish, and cavorting with the young ladies.
-- Robert Whiting, Tokyo Underworld

Cavort is perhaps an alteration of curvet, "a light leap by a horse" (with the back arched or curved), from Italian corvetta, "a little curve," from Middle French courbette, from courber, "to curve," from Latin curvare, "to bend, to curve," from curvus, "curved, bent."
refractory \\rih-FRAK-tuh-ree\\, adjective

1. Stubbornly disobedient; unmanageable.
2. Resisting ordinary treatment or cure.
3. Difficult to melt or work; capable of enduring high temperature.
It's a head shot of Lucien Bouchard peering out of the dark, openmouthed, teeth showing, eyes glittering and appearing not to have shaved in a week. In another age, the shot might have been held up to a refractory kid with the warning, "The boogeyman will get you if you don't watch out."
-- George Bain, "Whose Reality?", Time, October 13, 1997

And even those most refractory infections of all, those caused by viruses--formerly dismissed as untreatable because viruses disappeared into the inner labyrinths of the living cells, merging into the very genomes--were becoming amenable to early treatments.
-- Frank Ryan M.D., Virus X

Bauxite is mined in only a few places. It is used to make aluminum, iron, copper and dozens of refractory products such as the bricks used to line blast furnaces.
-- Robert Goodrich, "Melvin Price Support Center's Bauxite Will Be Sold", St. Louis Post-Dispatch, August 10, 2000

Refractory comes from Latin refractarius, "stubborn," from refragari, "to oppose, to withstand, to thwart."
accede \\ak-SEED\\, intransitive verb

1. To agree or assent; to give in to a request or demand.
2. To become a party to an agreement, treaty, convention, etc.
3. To attain an office or rank; to enter upon the duties of an office.
Well, after much blustering and standing and sitting, he acceded to my demand.
-- Alfred Alcorn, Murder in the Museum of Man

Jiang Zemin, the Chinese president, announced that China would accede to the Information Technology Agreement signed last winter, which will eliminate China's steep tariffs on imported computer and telecommunications equipment.
-- John M. Broder, "U.S. and China Reach Trade Pacts but Clash on Rights", New York Times, October 30, 1997

She is looking down at him with a tender smile, as if he were a prince, Harry thinks, and she a servant, grateful to accede to his every whim.
-- Millicent Dillon, Harry Gold

Accede derives from Latin accedere, "to approach, to accede," from ad-, "toward, to" + cedere, "to move, to yield."