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431 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
Abscond
v; to depart clandestinely; to steal off and hide
Aberrant
adj; deviating from the norm
(n; aberration)
Alacrity
n; eager and enthusiastic willingless
Anomaly
n; deviation from the normal order, form, or rule; abnormality
(adj; anomalous)
Approbation
n; an expression of approval or praise
Arduous
adj; strenuous, taxing; requiring significant effort
Assuage
v; to ease or lessen; to appease or pacify
Audacious
adj; daring and fearless; recklessly bold
(n; audacity)
Austere
adj; without adornment; bare; severely simple; ascetic
(n; austerity)
Axiomatic
adj; taken as a given; possessing self-evident truth
(n; axiom)
Canonical
adj; following or in agreement with accepted, traditional standards
(n; canon)
Capricious
adj; inclined to change one's mind impulsively; erratic, unpredictable
Censure
v; to criticize severely; to officially rebuke
Chicanery
n; trickery or subterfuge
Connoisseur
n; an informed and astute judge in matters of taste; expert
Convoluted
adj; complex or complicated
Disabuse
v; to undeceive; to set right
Discordant
adj; conflicting; dissonant or harsh in sound
Disparate
adj; fundamentally distinct or dissimilar
Effrontery
n; extreme boldness; presumptuousness
Eloquent
adj; well-spoken, expressive, articulate
(n; eloquence)
Enervate
v; to weaken; reduce in vitality
Ennui
n; dissatisfaction and restlessness resulting from boredom or apathy
Equivocate
v; to use ambiguous language with a deceptive intent
(adj; equivocal)
Erudite
adj; very learned, scholarly
(n; erudition)
Exculpate
v; exonerate; to clear of blame
Exigent
adj; urgent, pressing; requiring immediate action or attention
Extemporaneous
adj; improvised; done without preparation
Filibuster
n; intentional obstruction, esp. using prolonged speechmaking to delay legislative action
Fulminate
v; to loudly attack or denounce
Ingenuous
adj; artless; frank and candid; lacking in sophistication
Inured
adj; accustomed to accepting something undesirable
Irascible
adj; easily angered; prone to temperamental outbursts
Laud
v; to praise highly
(adj; laudatory)
Lucid
adj; clear; easily understood
Magnanimity
n; the quality of being generously noble in mind and heart, esp. in forgiving
(adj. magnanimous)
Martial
adj; associated with war and the armed forces
Mundane
adj; of the world; typical of or concerned with the ordinary
Nascent
adj; coming into being; in early developmental stages
Nebulous
adj; vague; cloudy; lacking clearly defined form
Neologism
n; a new word, expression, or usage; the creation or use of new words or senses
Noxious
adj; harmful, injurious
Obtuse
adj; lacking sharpness of intellect; not clear or precise in thought or expression
Obviate
v; to anticipate and make unnecessary
Onerous
adj; troubling; burdensome
Paean
n; a song or hymn of praise and thanksgiving
Parody
n; a humorous imitation intended for ridicule or comic effect, esp. in literature and art
Perennial
adj; recurrent through the year or many years; happening repeatedly
Perfidy
n; intentional breach of faith; treachery
(adj; perfidious)
Perfunctory
adj; cursory; done without care or interest
Perspicacious
adj; acutely perceptive; having keen discernment
(n; perspicacity)
Prattle
v; to babble meaninglessly; to talk in an empty and idle manner
Precipitate (adj)
adj; acting with excessive haste or impulse
Precipitate (v)
v; to cause or happen before anticipated or required
Predilection
n; a disposition in favor of something; preference
Prescience
n; a foreknowledge of events; knowing of events prior to their occurring
(adj; prescient)
Prevaricate
v; to deliberately avoid the truth; to mislead
Qualms
n; misgivings; reservations; causes for hesitancy
Recant
v; to retract, esp. a previously held belief
Refute
v; to disprove; to successfully argue against
Relegate
v; to forcibly assign, esp. to a lower place or position
Reticent
adj; quiet; reserved; reluctant to express thoughts or feelings
Solicitous
adj; concerned and attentive; eager
Sordid
adj; characterized by filth, grime, or squalor; foul
Sporadic
adj; occurring only occasionally, or in scattered instances
Squander
v; to waste by spending or using irresponsibly
Static
adj; not moving, active, or in motion; at rest
Stupefy
v; to stun, baffle, or amaze
Stymie
v; to block; thwart
Synthesis
n; the combination of parts to make a whole
(v; synthesize)
Torque
n; a force that causes rotation
Tortuous
adj; winding, twisting; excessively complicated
Truculent
adj; fierce and cruel; eager to fight
Veracity
n; truthfulness, honesty
Virulent
adj; extremely harmful or poisonous; bitterly hostile or antagonistic
Voracious
adj; having an insatiable appetite for an activity or pursuit; ravenous
Waver
v; to move to and fro; to sway; to be unsettled in opinion
Abate
v; to lessen in intensity or degree
Accolade
n; an expression of praise
Adulation
n; excessive praise; intense adoration
Aesthetic
adj; dealing with, appreciative of, or responsive to art or the beautiful
Ameliorate
v; to make better or more tolerable
Ascetic
n; one who practices rigid self-denial, esp. as an act of religious devotion
Avarice
n; greed, esp. for wealth
(adj. avaricious)
Axiom
n; a universally recognized principle
(adj; axiomatic)
Burgeon
v; to grow rapidly or flourish
Bucolic
adj; rustic and pastoral; characteristic of rural areas and their inhabitants
Cacophony
adj; harsh, jarring, discordant sound; dissonance
(adj; cacophonous)
Canon
n; an established set of principles or code of laws, often religious in nature
(adj; canonical)
Castigation
n; severe criticism or punishment
(v; castigate)
Catalyst
n; a substance that accelerates the rate of a chemical reaction without itself changing; a person or thing that causes change
Caustic
adj; burning or stinging; causing corrosion
Chary
adj; wary; cautious; sparing
Cogent
adj; appealing forcibly to the mind or reason; convincing
Complaisance
n; the willingness to comply with the wishes of others
(adj; complaisant)
Contentious
adj; argumentative; quarrelsome; causing controverty or disagreement
Contrite
adj; regretful; pentient; seeking forgiveness
(n; contrition)
Culpable
adj; deserving blame
(n; culpability)
Dearth
n; smallness in quantity of number; scarcity; a lack
Demur
v; to question or oppose
Didactic
adj; intended to teach or instruct
Discretion
n; cautious reserve in speech; ability to make responsible decisions
(adj; discreet)
Disinterested
adj; free of bias or self-interest; impartial
Dogmatic
adj; expressing a rigid opinion based on unproved or unprovable principles
(n; dogma)
Ebullience
n; the quality of lively or enthusiastic expression of thoughts and feelings
(adj; ebullient)
Eclectic
adj; composted of elements drawn from various sources
Elegy
n; a mournful poem, esp. one lamenting the dead
(adj; elegiac)
Emollient
adj/n: soothing, esp. to the skin; making less harsh; mollifying; an agent that softens or smooths the skin
Empirical
adj; based on observation or experiment
Enigmatic
adj; mysterious; obscure; difficult to understand
(n; enigma)
Ephemeral
adj; brief; fleeting
Esoteric
adj; intended for or understood by a small, specific group
Eulogy
n; a speech honoring the dead
(v; eulogize)
Exonerate
v; to remove blame
Facetious
adj; playful; humorous
Fallacy
n; an invalid or incorrect notion; a mistaken belief
(adj; fallacious)
Furtive
adj; marked by stealth; covert; surreptitious
Gregarious
adj; sociable; outgoing; enjoying the company of other people
Harrangue
v/n; to deliver a pompous speech or tirade; a long, pompous speech
Heretical
adj; violating acepted dogma or convention
(n; heresy)
Hyperbole
n; an exaggerated statement, often used as a figure of speech
(adj; hyperbolic)
Impecunious
adj; lacking funds; without money
Incipient
adj; beginning to come into being or to become apparent
Inert
adj; unmoving; lethargic; sluggish
Innocuous
adj; harmless; causing no damage
Intransigent
adj; refusing to compromise
(n; intransigence)
Inveigle
v; to obtain by deception or flattery
Morose
adj; sad; sullen; melancholy
Odious
adj; evoking intense aversion or dislike
Opaque
adj; impenetrable by light; not reflecting light
Oscillation
n; the act of state of swinging back and forth with a steady, uninterrupted rhythm
(v; oscillate)
Penurious
adj; penny-pinching; excessively thrifty; ungenerous
Pernicious
adj; extremely harmful; potentially causing death
Peruse
v; to examine with great care
(n; perusal)
Pious
adj; extremely reverent or devout; showing strong religious devotion
(n; piety)
Precursor
n; one that preceds and indicates or announces another
Preen
v; to dress up; to primp; to groom oneself with elaborate care
Prodigious
adj; abundant in size, force, or extent; extraordinary
Prolific
adj; producing large volumes or amounts; productive
putrefy
v; to rot; to decay and five off a foul odor
(adj; putrid)
Quaff
v; to drink deeply
Quiescence
n; stillness; motionlessness; quality of being at rest
(adj; quiescent)
Redoubtable
adj; awe-inspiring; worthy of honor
Sanction
n/v; authoritative permission or approval; a penalty intended to enforce compliance; to give permission or authority to
Satire
n; a literary work that ridicules or criticizes a human vice through humor or derision
(adj; satirical)
Squalid
adj; sordid; wretched and dirty as from neglect
(n; squalor)
Stoic
adj; indifferent to or unaffected by pleasure or pain; steadfast
(n; stoicism)
Supplant
v; to take the place of; supersede
Torpid
adj; lethargic; sluggish; dormant
(n; torpor)
Ubiquitous
adj; existing everywhere at the same time; constantly encountered; wide-spread
Urbane
adj; sophisticated; refined; elegant
(n; urbanity)
Vilify
v; to defame; to characterize harshly
Viscous
adj; thick; sticky
(n; viscosity)
Acumen
n; keen, accurate judgement or insight
Adulterate
v; to reduce purity by combining with inferior ingredients
Amalgamate
v; to combine several elements into a whole
(n; amalgamation)
Archaic
adj; outdated; associated with an earlier, perhaps more primitive, time
Aver
v; to state as a fact; to declare or assert
Bolster
v; to provide support or reinforcement
Bombastic
adj; pompous; grandiloquent
(n; bombast)
Diatribe
n; a harsh denunciation
Dissemble
v; to disguise or conceal; to mislead
Eccentric
adj; departing from norms or conventions
Endemic
adj; characteristic of or often found in a particular locality, region, or people
Evanescent
adj; tending to disappear like vapor; vanishing
Exacerbate
v; to make worse or more severe
Fervent
adj; greatly emotional or zealous
(n; fervor)
Fortuitous
adj; happening by accident or chance
Germane
adj; relevant to the subject at hand; appropriate in subject matter
Grandiloquence
Pompous speech or expression
(adj; grandiloquent)
Hackneyed
adj; rendered trite or commonplace by frequent usage
Halcyon
adj; calm and peaceful
Hedonism
n; devotion to pleasurable pursuits, esp. to the pleasures of the senses
(a hedonist is someone who pursues pleasure)
Hegemony
n; the consistent dominance of one state or ideology over others
Iconoclast
n; one who attacks or undermines traditional conventions or institutions
Idolatrous
adj; given to intense or excessive devotion to something
(n; idolatry)
Impassive
adj; revealing no emotion
Imperturbable
adj; marked by extreme calm, impassivity and steadiness
Implacable
adj; not capable of being appeased or significantly changed
Impunity
n; immunity from punishment or penalty
Inchoate
adj; in an initial stage; not fully formed
Infelecitous
adj; unfortunate; inappropriate
Insipid
adj; without taste of flavor; lacking in spirit; bland
Loquacious
adj; extremely talkative
(n; loquacity)
Luminous
adj; characterized by brightness and the emission of light
Malevolent
adj; having or shoving often vicious ill will, spite, or hatred
(n; malevolence)
Malleable
adj; capable of being shaped or formed; tractable; pliable
Mendacity
n; the condition of being untruthful; dishonesty
(adj; mendacious)
Meticulous
adj; characterized by exteme care and precision; attentive to detail
Misanthrope
n; one who hates all other humans
(adj; misanthropic)
Mitigate
v; to make or become less severe or intense; to moderate
Obdurate
adj; unyielding; hardhearted; intractable
Obsequious
adj; exhibiting a fawning attentiveness
Occlude
v; to obstruct or block
Opprobrium
n; disgrace; contempt; scorn
Pedagogy
n; the profession or principles of teaching, or instructing
Pedantic
adj; overly concerned with the trivial details of learning or education; show-offish about one's knowledge
Penury
n; poverty; destitution
Pervasive
adj; having the tendency to permeate or spread throughout
Pine
v; to yearn intensely; to languish; to lose vigor
Pirate
v; to illegally use or reproduce
Pith
n; the essential or central part
Pithy
Precise and brief
Placate
v; to appease; to calm by making concessions
Platitude
n; superficial remark, esp. one offered as meaningful
Plummet
n; to plunge or drop straight down
Polemical
adj; controversial; argumentative
Prodigal
adj; recklessly wasteful; extravagant; profuse; lavish
Profuse
adj; given or coming forth abundantly; extravagant
Proliferate
v; to grow or increase swiftly and abundantly
Queries
n; questions; inquiries; doubts in the mind; reservations
Querulous
adj; prone to complaining or grumbling; peevish
Rancorous
adj; characterized by bitter, long-lasting resentment
(n; rancor)
Recalcitrant
adj; obstinately defiant of authority; difficult to manage
Repudiate
v; to refuse to have anything to do with; disown
Rescind
v; to invalidate; to repeal; to retract
Reverent
adj; marked by, feeling, or expressing a feeling of profound awe and respect
(n; reverence)
Rhetoric
n; the art or study of the effective use of language for communication and persuasion
Salubrious
adj; promoting health or well-being
Solvent
adj; able to meet financial obligations; able to dissolve another substance
Specious
adj; seeming true, but actually being fallacious; misleadingly attractive; plausible but false
Spurious
Lacking authenticity or validity; false; counterfeit
Subpoena
n; a court order requiring appearance and/or testimony
Succinct
adj; brief; concise
Superfluous
adj; exceeding what is sufficient or necessary
Surfeit
n/v; an overabundant supply; excess; to feed or supply to excess
Tenacity
n; the quality of adherence or persistence to something valued; persistent determination
(adj; tenacious)
Tenuous
adj; having little substance or strength; flimsy; weak
Tirade
n; a long and extremely critical speech; a harsh denunciation
Transient
adj; fleeting; passing quickly; brief
Zealous
adj; fervent; ardent; impassioned; devoted to a cause (a zealot is a zealous person)
Acerbic
adj; having a sour or bitter taste or character; sharp; biting
Aggrandize
v; to increase in intensity, power, influence, or prestige
Alchemy
n; a medieval science aimed at the transmutation of metals, esp. base metals into gold (an alchemist is one who practices alchemy)
Amenable
adj; agreeable; responsive to suggestion
Anachronism
n; something or someone out of place in terms of historical or chronological context
Astringent
adj/n; having a tightening effect on living tissue; harsh; severe; something with a tightening effect on tissue
Contiguous
adj; sharing a border; touching; adjacent
Convention
n; a generally agreed-upon practice or attitude
Credulous
adj; tending to believe too readily; gullible
(n; credulity)
Cynicism
n; an attitude or quality of belief that all people are motivated by selfishness
(adj; cynical)
Decorum
n; polite or appropriate conduct or behavior
(adj; decorous)
Derision
n; scorn, ridicule, contemptuous treatment
(adj; derisive, v; deride)
Desiccate
v; to dry out or dehydrate; to make dry or dull
Dilettante
n; one with an amateurish or superficial interest in the arts or a branch of knowledge
Disparage
v; to slight or belittle
Divulge
v; to disclose something secret
Fawn
v; to flatter or praise excessively
Flout
v; to show contempt for, as in a rule or convention
Garrulous
adj; pointlessly talkative, talking too much
Glib
adj; marked by ease or informality; nonchalant; lacking in depth; superficial
Hubris
n; overbearing presumption or pride; arrogance
Imminent
adj; about to happen; impending
Immutable
adj; not capable of change
Impetuous
adj; hastily or rashly energetic; impulsive and vehement
Indifferent
adj; having no interest or concern; showing no bias or prejudice
Inimical
adj; damaging; harmful; injurious
Intractable
adj; not easily managed or directed; stubborn; obstinate
Intrepid
adj; steadfast and courageous
Laconic
adj; using few words; terse
Maverick
n; an independent individual who does not go along with a group or party
Mercurial
adj; characterized by rapid and unpredictable change in mood
Mollify
v; to calm or sooth; to reduce in emotional intensity
Neophyte
n; a recent convert; a beginner; novice
Obfuscate
v; to deliberately obscure; to make confusing
Obstinate
adj; stubborn; hardheaded; uncompromising
Ostentatious
adj; characterized by or given to pretentious display; showy
Pervade
v; to permeate throughout
(adj; pervasive)
Phlegmatic
adj; calm; sluggish; unemotional
Plethora
n; an overabundance; a surplus
Pragmatic
adj; practical rather than idealistic
Presumptuous
adj; overstepping due bounds (as of propriety or courtesy); taking liberties
Pristine
adj; pure; uncorrupted; clean
Probity
n; adherence to highest principles; complete and confirmed integrity; uprightness
Proclivity
n; a natural predisposition or inclination
Profligate
adj; excessively wasteful; recklessly extravagant
(n; profligacy)
Propensity
n; a natural inclination or tendency, penchant
Prosaic
adj; dull; lacking in spirit or imagination
Pungent
adj; characterized by a strong, sharp smell or taste
Quixotic
adj; foolishly impractical; marked by lofty romantic ideals
Quotidian
adj; occurring or recurring daily; commonplace
Rarefy
v; to make or become thin, less dense; to refine
Recondite
adj; hidden; concealed; difficult to understand; obscure
Refulgent
adj; radiant; shiny; brilliant
Renege
v; to fail to honor a commitment; to go back on a promise
Sedulous
adj; diligent; persistent; hard-working
Shard
n; a piece of broken pottery or glass
Soporific
adj; causing drowsiness; tending to induce sleep
Sparse
adj; thin; not dense; arranged at widely spaced intervals
Spendthrift
n; one who spends money wastefully
Subtle
adj; not obvious; elusive; difficult to discern
Tacit
adj; implied; not explicitly stated
Terse
adj; brief and concise in wording
Tout
v; to publicly praise or promote
Trenchant
adj; sharply perceptive; keen; penetrating
Unfeigned
adj; genuine; not false or hypocritical
Untenable
adj; indefensible; not viable; uninhabitable
Vacillate
v; to waver indecisively between one course of action or opinion and another; waver
Variegated
adj; multicolored; characterized by a variety of patches of different color
Vexation
n; annoyance; irritation
(v; vex)
Vigilant
adj; alertly watchful
(n; vigilance)
Vituperate
v; to use harsh, condemnatory language; to abuse or censure severely or abusively; berate
Volatile
adj; readily changing to a vapor; changeable; fickle; explosive
(n; volatility)
Alloy
v; to commingle; to debase by mixing with something inferior (unalloyed means pure)
Appropriate
v; to take for one's own use, confiscate
Arrest, Arresting
v/adj; to suspend; to engage; holding one's attention: as in arrested adolescence, an arresting portrait
August
adj; majestic; venerable
Bent
n; leaning, inclination, proclivity, tendency
(ex. he had a naturally artistic bent)
Broach
v; to bring up, announce, begin to talk about
Brook
v; to tolerate, endure, countenance
Cardinal
adj; major (as in cardinal sin)
Chauvinist
n; a blindly devoted patriot
Color
v; to change as if by dyeing, i.e. to distort, gloss, or affect (usually the first, ex. yellow journalism colored the truth)
Consequential
adj; pompous, self-important (primary definitions are: logically following; important)
Damp
v; to diminish the intensity or check the vibration of a sound
Die
n; a tool used for shaping, as in a tool-and-die shop
Essay
v; to test or try; attempt, experiment: (the newly born fawn essayed a few wobbly steps)
Exact
v; to demand, call for, require, take (ex. even a victorious war exacts a heavy price)
Fell
v; to cause to fall by striking (ex. the lumberjacks felled many trees)
Flag
v; to sag or droop, to become spiritless, to decline.
(Think of a flag on a windless day, as in, her flagging spirits)
Flip
adj; sarcastic, impertinent, as in flippant (ex. a flip remark)
Ford
v; to wade across the shallow part of a river or stream
Grouse
v; to complain or grumble
Guy
n/v; a rope, cord, or cable attached to something as a brace or guide; to steady of reinforce using a guy
(think guide)
Intimate
v; to imply, suggest, or insinuate
(ex. are you intimating that I cannot be trusted?)
List
v; to tilt or lean to one side
(ex. the ship's broken mast listed helplessly in the wind)
Lumber
v; to move heavily and clumsily
(ex. Lumbering giants on land, walruses are actually graceful swimmers)
Meet
adj; fitting, proper
(ex. it is altogether meet that Jackie Robinson is in the baseball hall of fame)
Milk
v; to exploit; to squeeze every last ounce of
(ex. I milked it for all it was worth)
Mince
v; pronounce or speak affectedly; euphemize, speak too carefully
(ex. Don't mince words).
Also, to take tiny steps, tiptoe
Nice
adj; exacting, fastidious, extremely precise
(ex. he made a nice distinction between the two cases)
Obtain
adj; to be established, accepted, or customary
(ex. those standards no longer obtain)
Occult
adj; hidden, concealed, beyond comprehension
Pedestrian
adj; commonplace, trite, unremarkable, quotidian
Pied
adj; multicolored, usually in blotches
(ex. the Pied Piper of Hamlin was so called because of his multicolored coat)
Pine
v; to lose vigor (as through grief); to yearn
Plastic
adj; moldable, pliable, not rigid
Pluck
n; courage, spunk, fortitude
(ex. Churchill's speeches inspired the pluck of his countrymen during the war)
Prize
v; to pry, to press or force with a lever, something taken by force, spoils
(ex. the information was prized from him)
Rail
v; to complain about bitterly
(ex. early American progressives railed against the railroad barons)
Rent
v/n; torn, past of rend
(ex. he rent his garments)
an opening or tear caused bu such
(ex. a large rent in the fabric)
Quail
v; to lose courage, turn frightened
Sap
v; to enervate or weaken the vitality of
(ex. that race sapped my strength)
Sap
n; a fool or nitwit
(ex. don't be a sap!)
Scurvy
adj; contemptible, despicable
(ex. he was a scurvy old reprobate)
Singular
adj; exceptional, unusual, odd
(ex. he was singularly well-suited for the job)
Stand
n; a group of trees
Steep
v; to saturate or completely soak, as in to let a tea bag steep
(ex. she was steeped in esoteric knowledge)
Strut
n; the supporting structural cross-part of a wing
Table
v; to remove (as a parliamentary motion) from consideration
(ex. they tabled the motion and will reconsider it again later)
Tender
v; to proffer or offer
(ex. he tendered his resignation)
Waffle
v; to equivocate; to change one's position
(ex. his detractors say that the President waffles too much; he can never make up his mind)
Wag
n; wit, joker
(ex. Groucho Marx was a well known wag)
Abjure
v; to renounce or reject solemnly; to recant; to avoid
Adumbrate
v; to foreshadow vaguely or intimate; to suggest or outline sketchily; to obscure or overshadow
Anathema
n; a solemn or ecclesiastical (religious) curse; accursed or thoroughly loathed person or thing
Anodyne
adj/n; soothing, something that assuages or allays pain, or comforts
Apogee
n; farthest or highest point; culmination; zenith
Apostate
n; one who abandons long-held religious or political convictions
Apotheosis
n; deification, glorification to godliness, an exalted example, a model of excellence or perfection
Asperity
n; severity, rigor; roughness, harshness; acrimony, irritability
Asseverate
v; to aver, allege, assert
Assiduous
adj; diligent, hard-working, sedulous
Augury
n; omen, portent
Bellicose
adj; belligerent, pugnacious, warlike
Calumniate
v; to slander, make a false accusation; calumny means slander, aspersion
Captious
adj; disposed to point out trivial faults, calculated to confuse or entrap in argument
Cavil
v; to find fault without good reason
Celerity
n; speed, alacrity (think accelerate)
Chimera
n; an illusion; originally, an imaginary fire-breathing she-monster
Contumacious
adj; insubordinate, rebellious (contumely means insult, scorn, aspersion)
Debacle
n; rout, fiasco, complete failure
Denouement
n; an outcome or solution; the unraveling of a plot
Descry
v; to discriminate or discern
Desuetude
n; disuse
(ex. after years of desuetude, my French skills were finally put to use)
Desultory
adj; random; aimless; marked by a lack of plan or purpose
Diaphanous
adj; transparent, gauzy
Diffident
adj; reserved, shy, unassuming; lacking in self-confidence
(ex. surprisingly, the CEO of the corporation had been a diffident youth)
Dirge
n; a song of grief or lamentation
Encomium
n; glowing and enthusiastic praise; panegyric, tribute, eulogy
Eschew
v; to shun or avoid
(ex. she chose to eschew the movie theater, preferring to watch DVDs at home)
Excoriate
v; to censure scathingly, to upbraid
Execrate
v; denounce, feel loathing for, curse, declare to be evil
Exegesis
n; critical examination, explication
Expiate
v; to atone or make amends for
(ex. Pia Zadora has expiated her movie career by good works and charity)
Extirpate
v; to destroy, exterminate, cut out, exscind
Fatuous
adj; silly, inanely foolish
Fractious
adj; quarrelsome, rebellious, unruly, refractory, irritable
Gainsay
v; to deny, dispute, contradict, oppose
Heterodox
adj; unorthodox, heretical, iconoclastic
Imbroglio
n; difficult or embarrassing situation
Indefatigable
adj; not easily exhaustible; tireless, dogged
Ineluctable
adj; certain, inevitable
Inimitable
adj; one of a kind, peerless
Insouciant
adj; unconcerned, carefree, heedless
Inveterate
adj; deep rooted, ingrained, habitual
Jejune
adj; vapid, uninteresting, nugatory, childish, immature, puerile
Lubricious
adj; lewd, wanton, greasy, slippery
Mendicant
n; a beggar, supplicant
Meretricious
adj; cheap, gaudy, tawdry, flashy, showy, attracting by false show
Minatory
adj; menacing, threatening
(think of the Minotaur)
Nadir
n; low point, perigee
Nonplussed
adj; baffled, bewildered, at a loss for what to do or think
Obstreperous
adj; Noisily and stubbornly defiant, aggressively boisterous
Ossified
adj; tending to become more rigid, conventional, sterile, and reactionary with age; literally, turned into bone
Palliate
v; to make something seem less serious, to gloss over, to make less severe or intense
Panegyric
n; formal praise, eulogy, encomium
(panegyrical means expressing elaborate praise)
Parsimonious
adj; cheap, miserly
Pellucid
adj; transparent, easy to understand, limpid
Peroration
n; the concluding part of a speech; flowery, rhetorical speech
Plangent
adj; pounding, thundering, resounding
Prolix
adj; long-winded, verbose
(prolixity means verbosity)
Propitiate
v; to appease; to conciliate
(propitious means auspicious, favorable)
Puerile
adj; childish, immature, jejune, nugatory
Puissance
n; power, strength
(pussiant means powerful, strong)
Pusillanimous
adj; cowardly, craven
Remonstrate
v; to protest, object
Sagacious
adj; having sound judgment; perceptive, wise; like a sage
Salacious
adj; lustful, lascivious, bawdy
Salutary
adj; remedial, wholesome, causing improvement
Sanguine
adj; cheerful, confident, optimistic
Saturnine
adj; gloomy, dark, sullen, morose
Sententious
adj; aphoristic or moralistic; epigrammatic; tending to moralize excessively
Stentorian
adj; extremely loud and powerful
Stygian
adj; gloomy, dark
Sycophant
n; toady, servile, self-seeking flatterer; parasite
Tendentious
adj; biased; showing marked tendencies
Timorous
adj; timid, fearful, diffident
Tyro
n; novice, greenhorn, rank amateur
Vitiate
v; to corrupt, debase, spoil, make ineffective
Voluble
adj; fluent, verbal, having easy use of spoken language