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100 Cards in this Set

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abate
v. to lessen in intensity or degree.

We realized with great relief that the storm had abated before breaking through the sea wall.
abjure
v. to renounce or reject solemnly; to recant; to avoid.

Steve had to abjure all indulgence when he entered the training camp.
abrogate
v. to abolish or annul by authority; put down.

The court ruling abrogated the defendent's rights to any profit from the sale of the house.
abscission
n. act of cutting off or removing.

Dr. Carter recommended an immediate abscission of the abscess in order to minimize any further infection.
accretion
n. growth increase by succesive addition, building up.

Limestone is formed by the accretionof tiny particles from objects such as shells and coral overa very, very long time.
acumen
n. quick, keen, or accurate knowledge or insight.

Her acumen in anticipating her opponent's strategy is legendary; it's what makes her so hard to beat.
adroit
adj. adept, dexterous.

Karl had always been an adroit manipulator; even when he was a kid he could get people to do what he wanted.
adulation
n excessive praise; intense adoration.

Leif Garrett was the object of much adolescent adulation.
adulterate
v. to reduce purity by combining with inferior ingredients.

There was a huge scandal when customers discovered that the health food store had been adulterating the wheat grass juice with clippings from the front lawn.
adumbrate
v. to foreshadow vaguely, intimate, suggest, or outline sketchily.

The possibilites for futher cooperation between the two parties were adumbrated at the first, private meeting, but nothing was finalized until much later.
alacrity
n. eager and enthusiastic willingness.

Amy responded to the invitaton to join the planning committee with alacrity, and even volunteered to take on additional responsibilities.
alloy
v. to comingle; to debase by mixing with something inferior.

Alloying the punch with prune juice turned out not to be such a good idea after all.
amalgamate
v. to combine several elements into a whole.

Alicia's initial attempts to amalgamate baroque and rap music were not very successful.
ameliorate
v. to make better or more tolerable.

Jonas was sure that nothing could ameliorate the taste of beets; brussels sprouts on the other hand, could be made quite palatable with the introduction of plenty of butter.
anathema
n. a solemn or ecclesiastical (religious) curse; accursed or thoroughly loathed person or thing.

He was anathema to his entire town once it was revealed that he had been a secret police informant.
anodyne
adj. soothing

Don't you agree that nothing is quite so anodyne as a long soak in a bubble bath?
antipathy
n. aversion, dislike.

Sam very clearly expresses his antipathy toward certain breakfast foods in the Dr. Seuss classic, Green Eggs and Ham.
apogee
n. farthest or highest point, culmination; zenith.

No one could have foreseen that receiving the Pulitzer Prize at the age of 18 would be the apogee of his career.
apostate
n. one who abandons long-held religious or political convictions, a betrayer of a cause.

Jordan was an apostate of modern culture; he renounced all the trappings of modern life that he used to love, and went to live in a cave.
apposite
adj. appropriate, pertinent, relevant, apropos.

His choice of songs for the opening ceremony was entirely apposite; everyone agreed that it was perfectly suited to the event.
approbation
n. an expression of approval or praise.

Providing approbation for good behavior is the best way to train puppies; the praise is particularly effective when accompanied by treats.
appropriate
v. to take for one's own use, confiscate.

Even though he appropriated each of the elements of his design from others, the way in which he combined them was uniquely his own.
arabesque
n. complex, ornate design.

A beautiful arabesque of fruits and flowers surrounded the central pattern of the print.
arduous
adj. stenuous, taxing, requiring significant effort.

Learning all these vocab words may seem like an arduous task, but if you just learn a few a day, it will be a piece of cake, I promise.
arrant
adj. impudent; in every way, being completely such, barefaced, utter.

Don Juan's arrant philandering made him a legend. He seemed to have had the ability to turn many of his admirers into arrant fools.
artless
adj. completely without guile; natural, without artificiality.

Her artless portrayal of the young ingenue charmed the critics, who all commented on her fresh, unaffected performance.
asperity
n. severity, rigor; roughness, harshness; acrimony, irritability.

The asperity of a northern winter can lead to serious depression.
aspersion
n. an act of defamation or maligning.

She had to resort to aspersions when she realized her argument wouldn't hold up against close scrutiny.
assiduous
adj. diligent, hard-working.

Carla was an assiduous note-taker. She wrote down almost every word of her professor's lectures.
assuage
v. to ease or lessen; to appease or pacify.

Ken was able to assuage the pain of his headache by lying in a dark room with a damp cloth over his eyes.
astringent
adj. having a tightening effect on living tissue; harsh; severe.

Although she hadn't intended to be quite so harsh, Kala's astringent remarks apparently made the board drop the proposal altogether.
attenuate
v. to rarefy, weaken or make thinner, lessen.

The endless discussion attenuated the point until everyone lost interest in it.
audacious
adj. daring and fearless; recklessly bold.

Liz is an audacious mountain climber who goes where few of her competitors dare to follow.
augury
n. omen, portent, the reading of omens.

Augury in ancient Rome and other societies was performed largely by interpreting the flight of birds.
august
adj. majestic, venerable.

The august presence of the pharaohs endures though the millennia, embodied in their massive tombs.
auspice
n. protection or support, patronage.

As long as we were working under the auspices of the local authorities, the villagers were extremely cooperative; once we headed out on our own, however, we found that no one wanted to talk to us.
austere
adj. without adornment; bare; severely simple; ascetic.

The building's austere facade gave no indication of the rich ornamentation inside.
avarice
n. greed, especially for wealth.

King Midas' avarice led him to wish for the power to turn everything he touched to gold.
aver
v. to state as a fact; to confirm or support.

Although Michelle averred that she would never be late again, her friends remained understandably skeptical.
axiom
n. a universally recognized principle; a generally accepted or common saying.
axiomatic
adj. taken as a given; possessing self-evident truth.
baleful
adj. sinister, pernicious, ominous.

The basilisk is a notoriously cranky, albeit mythical, creature whose baleful glare is fatal.
bane
adj. cause of injury, source of harm; source of persistent frustration.
beatify
v. to bless, make happy, or ascribe a virtue to; to regard as saintly.
bedizen
v. to adorn, especially in a cheap, showy manner; festoon, caparison.

The speakeasy was bedizened with every manner of tawdry decoration.
belie
v. to give a false impression of, to misrepresent.

Gabriela's seeming clumsiness belied her true grace as a dancer.
bellicose
adj. belligerent, pugnacious, warlike.

Ted's bellicose expression warned me that he had discovered I had eaten the last of the ice cream.
bent
n. leaning, inclination, proclivity, tendency.

Mike's bent for self-destructive behavior worried his friends.
blandish
v. to coax with flattery, toady or fawn.

The minister was famous for his abilty to blandish his way from obscurity to vicarious power; it seemed as if every ruler was receptive to bootlicking.
blithe
adj. carefree, merry.

Paul's blithe attitude toward his housecleaning led to a comfortable, if sometimes dusty, clutter.
boisterous
adj. loud, noisy, rough, lacking restraint.
bolster
v. to provide support or reinforcement.
bombastic
adj. pompous; grandiloquent.

The self-important leader's speech was so bombastic that even his most loyal followers were rolling their eyes.
boor
n. a rude or insensitive person; lout; yokel.
broach
v. bring up, announce, begin to talk about.
brook
v. to tolerate, endure, countenance.

Our drill sergeant made it very clear she would brook no insubordination; even any quiet grumbling would be grounds for endless pushups.
bucolic
adj. rustic and pastoral; characteristic of rural areas and their inhabitants.
burgeon
v. to grow rapidly or flourish.

The burgeoning population transformed the town into a bustling metropolis.
burnish
v. to polish, rub to a shine.

Be careful about burnishing certain old lamps; you never know which one is going to have a genie in it.
byzantine
adj. labrynthine, complex.

Tom's byzantine explanation of why he missed curfew was confusing even to his parents who were used to his convoluted punishment-avoidance strategies.
cadge
v. to sponge, beg, or mooch.

He was always cadging change from me, which added up to a lot of money over time.
cajole
v. to inveigle, coax, wheedle, sweet-talk.
caluminate
v. to slander, make a false accusation.

Tom caluminated his rival by accusing him of having been unfaithful, but it backfired because when the truth came out, Tom ended up looking petty and deceitful.
capricious
adj. inclined to change one's mind impulsively; erratic; unpredictable.
cardinal
adj. of basic importance or consequence; primary
caret
n. an insertion mark used by editors and proofreaders.
castigation
n. severe criticism or punishment.
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.
censure
v. to critisize severely; to officially rebuke.

n. a judgment involving condemnation; the act of blaming or condemning.
chary
adj. wary; cautious; sparing.

Claduette was chary with her praise lest it go to Fred's head.
chasten
v. to chastise or correct; subdue.

The piano teacher knew it would be difficult to chasten the student's rebellious spirit without breaking it.
chicanery
n. trickery or subterfuge.
chimera
n. an illusion; originally, an imaginary fire-breathing she-monster
churlish
adj. boorish, vulgar, loutish; difficult and intractable.
coda
n. concluding section to a musical or literary piece, something that concludes or completes.

The presentation of the lifetime achievement award was a fitting coda both to the evening and to his years of work with the organization.
color
v. to change as if by dyeing, influence, distort, or gloss over.
commensurate
adj. matching, corresponding, or proportionate in degree, size, amount or other property.
complaisance
n. the willingness to compy with the wishes of others.

A "yes man" is characterized by his complaisance.
consequential
adj. pompous, self important.

Although he thought himself a respected and well-liked man, his consequential air was intensely annoying to those around him.
contemn
v. to scorn or despise.

I contemn their attempts to curry favor; nothing is more contemptible than a sycophant.
contentious
adj. argumentative; quarrelsome; causing controversy or disagreement.
contiguous
adj. sharing a border; touching; adjacent.
contrite
adj. regretful; penitent; seeking forgiveness.

Wayne was hardly contrite for the practical joke he pulled; even though he said he was sorry, the twinkle in his eye and barely suppressed grin seemed to indicate otherwise.
corrigible
adj. capable of being set right, correctable, reparable.

Stuttering is often a highly corrigible speech impediment, which can be corrected through speech therapy.
incorrigible
adj. not reformable, uncontrollable, recalcitrant.
countenace
v. to approve of or tolerate.

I was willing to countenance any level of bickering and dispute as long as everyone agreed with me in the end.
cozen
v. to deceive, beguile, hoodwink.

The corrupt televangelist cozened millions of dollars out of his viewers by convincing them that he would perform miracles to make them all win the lottery.
craven
adj. contemptibly fainthearted, pusillanimous, lacking any courage.

Steve lived in craven fear of being found out as a fraud.
credulous
adj. tending to believe too readily; gullible.
culpable
adj. deserving blame.
damp
v. to diminish the intensity or check something, such as a sound or feeling.

Her hopes were damped when she checked the mailbox and there was still no letter for the fourth day in a row.
daunt
v. to intimidate or dismay.

At first, Bilbo was daunted by the task given him.
dearth
n. smallness of quantity or number; scarcity; lack.
debacle
n. rout, fiasco, complete failure.
decorum
n. politeness or appropriateness of conduct or behavior.
demur
v. to question or oppose.

Bob demurred at the suggestion that he clean the house while we swim.
denigrate
v. blacken, belittle, sully, defame, disparage.
denoument
n. an outcome or solution; the unraveling of a plot.

Receiving the Nobel Prize was a fitting denoument to his brilliant research.
deprecate
v. to disparage or belittle.

You can deprecate his work all you want but it won't affect my opinion; I don't care if his writing is sometimes amateurish, I still like it.