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270 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
paean
song of praise or joy
palatial
magnificent
palimpsest
parchment used for second time after original writing has been erased
pall
grow tiresome
pallet
small, poor bed
palliate
ease pain; make less severe or offensive
pallid
pale; wan
palpable
tangible; easily perceptible
panacea
cure-all; remedy for all diseases
pandemic
widespread; affecting the majority of people
pander
cater to the low desires of others
panegyric
formal praise
pantomime
acting without dialogue
papyrus
ancient paper made from stem of papyrus plant
parable
short, simple story teaching a moral
paradigm
model; example; pattern
paradox
something apparently contradictory in nature; statement that looks false but is actually correct
paragon
* model of perfection
parallelism
state of being parallel; similarity
parameter
limit; independent variable
paraphernalia
equipment; odds and ends
parasite
animal or plant living off another; toady; sycophant
pariah
social outcast
parity
equality; close resemblance
parlance
language; idiom
parley
conference
parochial
narrow in outlook; provincial; related to parishes
paroxysm
fit or attack of pain, laughter, rage
parquet
floor made of wood strips inlaid in a mosaic-like pattern
parry
ward off a blow; deflect
partisan
* one-sided; prejudiced; committed to a party
pastiche
imitation of another's style in musican composition or in writing
pastoral
rural
patent
open for the public to read; obvious
pathological
* pertaining to disease
pathos
tender sorry; pity; quality in art or literature that produces these feelings
patina
green crust on old bronze works; tone slowly taken by varnished painting
patois
local or provincial dialect
patrician
noble; aristocratic
paucity
* scarcity
pauper
very poor person
peccadillo
slight offense
pecuniary
pertaining to money
pedagogue
teacher
pedagogy
teaching; art of education
pedant
scholar who overemphasizes book learning or technicalities
pedantic
* bookish; showing off learning
pedestrian
ordinary; unimaginative
peerless
having no equal; incomparable
pejorative
negative in connotation; having a belittling effect
pell-mell
in confusion; disorderly
pellucid
transparent; limpid; easy to understand
penchant
* strong inclination; liking
pendant
hanging down from something
pendulous
hanging; suspended
penumbra
partial shadow (in an eclipse)
penury
* severe poverty; stinginess
peon
landless agricultural worker; bond servant
percussion
striking one object against another sharply
perdition
damnation; complete ruin
peregrination
journey
peremptory
demanding and leaving no choice
perennial
* something long-lasting
perfidious
* treacherous; disloyal
perforate
pierce; put a hole through
perfunctory
* superficial; not thorough; lacking interest, care, or enthusiasm
perigree
point of moon's orbit when it is nearest the Earth
peripatetic
walking about; moving
perjury
false testimony while under oath
permeable
* penetrable; porous; allowing liquids or gas to pass through
pernicious
very destructive
peroration
conclusion of an oration
perpetual
everlasting
perpetuate
make something last; preserve from extinction
perquisite
any gain above stipulated salary
personable
attractive
perspicacious
having insight; penetrating; astute
perspicuity
clearness of expression; freedom from ambiguity
perspicuous
plainly expressed
pert
impertinent; forward
pertinacious
stubborn; persistent
peruse
read with care
pervasive
* spread throughout
perverse
stubbornly wrongheaded; wicked and unacceptable
perversion
corruption; turning from right to wrong
pestilential
causing plague; baneful
pestle
tool for mashing or grinding substances in a hard bowl
petrify
turn to stone
petulent
touchy; peevish
pharisaical
pertaining to the Pharisees, who paid scrupulous attention to tradition; self-righteous; hypocritical
phenomena
observable facts; subjects of scientific investigation
philanthropist
lover of mankind; doer of good
philatelist
stamp-collector
philistine
narrow-minded person
philology
study of language
phlegmatic
* calm; not easily disturbed
phoenix
symbol of immortality or rebirth
phylum
major classification, second to kingdom, of plants and animals; division
physiognomy
face
physiological
pertaining to the science of the function of living organisms
piebald
of different colors; mottled; spotted
piecemeal
one part at a time; gradually
pied
variagated; multicolored
piety
* devoutness; reverence for God
pillage
plunder
pillory
punish by placing in a wooden frame; subject to criticism and ridicule
pine
languish, decline; long for; yearn
pinion
restrain
piquant
pleasantly tart-tasting; stimulating
pique
irritation; resentment
pique
provoke or arouse; annoy
piscatorial
pertaining to fishing
pitfall
hidden danger; concealed trap
pith
core or marrow; essense; substance
pittance
small allowance or wage
placate
* pacify; conciliate
plaintive
mournful
plait
braid; intertwine
plasticity
* ability to be molded
platitude
* trite remark; commonplace statement
platonic
purely spiritual; theoretical; without sensual desire
plaudit
enthusiastic approval; round of applause
plausible
having a show of truth but open to doubt; specious
plebeian
common; pertaining to the common people
plenary
complete; full
plenitude
abundance; completeness
plethora
* excess; overabundance
pliant
flexible; easily influenced
plight
condition; state (especially a bar state or condition); predicament
pluck
courage
plumage
feathers of a bird
plumb
examine critically in order to understand; measure depth (by sounding)
plumb
vertical
plummet
* fall sharply
plutocracy
society ruled by the wealthy
podiatrist
doctor who treats ailments of the feet
polemic
controversy; argument in support of point of view
polemical
aggressive in verbal attach; disputatious
politic
expedient; prudent; well devised
polity
form of government of nation or state
polyglot
speaking several languages
pomposity
self-important behaviour; acting like a stuffed shirt
ponderous
weighty; unwieldy
pontifical
pertaining to a bishop or pope; pompous or pretentious
pore
study industriously; ponder; scrutinize
porous
* full of pores; like a sieve
portend
foretell; presage
portent
sign; omen
posterity
descendants; future generations
postulate
self-evident truth
posture
assume an affected pose; act artificially
potable
suitable for drinking
potentate
monarch; sovereign
poultice
soothing application applied to sore and inflamed portions of hte body
practicable
feasible
pragmatic
* practical (as opposed to idealistic); concerned with the practical worth or impact of something
pragmatist
practical person
prate
speak foolishly; boast idly
prattle
babble
preamble
* introductory statement
precarious
* uncertain; risky
precedent
preceeding in time, rank, etc.
precept
practical rule guiding conduct
precipice
cliff; dangerous position
precipitant
something that causes a substance in a chemical solution to separate out in solid form
precipitate
* rash; premature; hasty; sudden
precipitate
throw headlong; hasten
precipitous
steep; overhasty
précis
concise summing up on main points
preclude
make impossible; eliminate
precocious
advanced in development
precursor
* forerunner
predilection
partiality; preference
preeminent
outstanding; superior
preempt
head off; forestall by acting first; appropriate for oneself; supplant
preen
make oneself tidy in appearance; feel self-satisfaction
prefatory
introductory
prehensile
capable of grasping or holding
prelate
church dignitary
premonitory
serving to warn
preponderance
superiority of power, quantity, etc.
prerogative
privilege; unquestionable right
presage
foretell
prescience
ability to foretell the future
presentiment
feeling something will happen; anticipatory fear; premonition
prestige
impression produced by achievements or reputation
presumptuous
* arrogant; taking liberties
pretentious
ostentatious; pompous; making unjustified claims; overambitious
preternatural
beyond that which is normal in nature
pretext
excuse
prevail
induce; triumph over
prevaricate
* lie
primogeniture
seniority by birth
primordial
existing at the beginning (of time); rudimentary
pristine
* characteristic of earlier times; primitive; unspoiled
privation
* hardship; want
privy
secret; hidden; not public
probe
explore with tools
probity
* uprightness; incorruptibility
problematic
* doubtful; unsettled; questionable; perplexing
proclivity
inclination; natural tendency
procurement
obtaining
prodigal
* wasteful; reckless with money
prodigious
marvelous; enormous
prodigy
highly gifted child; marvel
profane
violate; desecrate; treat unworthily
profligate
dissipated; wasteful; wildly immoral
profound
* deep; not superficial; complete
profusion
overabundance; lavish expenditure; excess
progenitor
ancestor
prognosticate
predict
prohibitive
* tending to prevent the purchase or use of something; inclined to prevent or forbid
proletarian
member of the working class; blue collar guy
proliferate
* grow rapidly; spread; multiply
prolific
abundantly fruitful
prolixity
tedious wordiness; verbosity
promiscuous
mixed indiscriminantly; haphazard; irregular, particularly sexually
promontory
headland
prompt
cause; provoke; provide a cue for an actor
promulgate
proclaim a doctrine or law; make known by official publication
prone
inclined; prostrate
propagate
multiply; spread
propellant
substance that propels or drives forward
propensity
* natural inclination
prophylactic
used to prevent diseases
propinquity
nearness; kinship
propitiate
* appease
propitious
favorable; fortunate; advantageous
propound
put forth for analysis
propriety
* fitness; correct conduct
propulsive
driving forward
prosaic
dull and unimaginative; matter-of-fact; factual
proscenium
part of stage in front of curtain
proscribe
* ostracize; banish; outlaw
proselytize
induce someone to convert to a religion or belief
prosody
art of vesification
prostrate
stretch out full on ground
protean
versatile; able to take on many forms
protocol
diplomatic etiquette
protract
prolong
proturberance
protrusion; bulge
provenance
origin or source of something
provender
dry food; fodder
provident
displaying foresight; thrifty; preparing for emergencies
provincial
pertaining to a province; limited in outlook; unsophisticated
provisional
tentative
proviso
stipulation
provocative
arousing anger or interest; annoying
prowess
extraordinary ability; military bravery
proxy
unauthorized agent
prudent
cautious; careful
prurient
having or causing lustful thoughts and desires
puerile
childish
pugilist
boxer
pugnacity
combativeness; disposition to fight
puissant
powerful; strong; potent
pulchritude
beauty; comeliness
pulmonary
pertaining to the lungs
pulverize
crush or grind into very small particles
punctilious
stressing niceties of conduct or form; minutely attentive (perhaps too much so) to fine points
pundit
authority on a subject; learned person; expert
pungent
* stinging; sharp in taste or smell; caustic
purchase
firm grasp or footing
purgatory
place of spiritual expiation
purport
intention; meaning
purse
picker; contract into wrinkles
purveyor
furnisher of foodstuffs; caterer
pusillanimous
cowardly; fainthearted
putative
supposed; reputed
pylon
marking post to guide aviators; steel tower supporting cables or telephone lines