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883 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
abate
verb: to decrease; reduce
abdicate
verb: to give up a position, right, or power
aberrant
adjective: deviating from what is normal
aberration
noun: something different from the usual or normal
abeyance
noun: temporary suppresion or suspension
abject
adjective: miserable; pitiful
abjure
verb: to reject; abandon formally
abscission
noun: the act of cutting; the natural separation of a leaf or other part of a plant
abscise
verb: to cut off or away
abscond
verb: to depart secretly
abstemious
adjective: moderate in appetite
abstinence
noun: the giving up of certain pleasures
abysmal
adjective: very bad
accretion
noun: growth in size or increase in amount
accrue
verb: to accumulate; grow by additions
adamant
adjective: uncompromising; unyielding
adjunct
noun: something added, attached, or joined
admonish
verb: to caution or reprimand
adulterate
verb: to corrupt or make impure
aesthetic
adjective: relating to beauty or art

noun: a conception of what is artistically beautiful
"The Gothic aesthetic dominated European art and architecture from approximately the 12th to the 15th century."
aesthete
noun: someone who cultivates a special sensitivity to beauty
affected
adjective: pretentious, phony

"It has been argued that the emphasis on so-called "proper English" leads to unnatural and affected speech"
affinity
noun: fondness; liking; similarity
aggrandize
verb: to make larger or greater

One of the concerns of the framers of the U.S. constitution was that one branch of government would try to aggrandize itself at the expense of the others
aggregate
adjective: amounting to a whole; total

The aggregate wealth of a country includes private as well as public resources and possesions.

verb: to collect into a mass

noun: collective mass or sum
alacrity
noun: cheerful willingness; eagerness; speed
alchemy
noun: medieval chemical philosophy based on changing mtal into gold; a seemingly magical power or process of transmutation
allay
verb: to lessen; ease; soothe

Improvements in antivirus software have allayed many people's fears of having their computers infected with malicious software
alleviate
verb: to relieve; improve partially
alloy
noun: a combination; a mixture of two or more metals
allure
noun: the power to entice by charm

verb: to entice by charm
amalgamate
verb: to combine into a unified whole

Former members of Game and Minority Report were amalgamated to form Browntown
ambiguous
adjective: unclear or doubtful in meaning
ambivalence
noun: the state of having conflicting emotional attitudes

John felt some ambivalence about getting married before finishing college
ambrosia
noun: something delicious; the food of the gods

adjective: ambrosial
ameliorate
verb: to improve
amenable
adjective: agreeable; cooperative; suited

The young writer is amenable to suggestions for improving her prose style to make it more interesting
amenity
noun: something that increases comfort

Many amenities considered normal and necessary by people in developed countries, such as indoor plumbing, were luxuries only a few generations ago
amulet
noun: ornament worn as a charm againts evil spirits
anachronism
noun: something out of the proper time

Some experts regard the retirement age of 65 as an anachronism at a time when people in the developed world have much longer life expectancies than previously.
analgesic
noun: medication that reduces or eliminates pain
analogous
adjective: comparable
analog
noun: something that is comparable to something else

Some commentators have posited the existence of an analog to the Protestant work ethic in Chinese culture, which they call the "Confucian work ethic," to explain the economic success of some countries with large Chinese populations.
anarchy
noun: absence of government; state of disorder
anodyne
noun: something that calms or soothes pain

Some people use alcohol as an anodyne to numb their emotional pain
anodyne
adjective: relaxing or capable of soothing pain

The public relations officer is remarkably anodyne; all he does is mouth comforting, politically correct platitudes,saying nothin of substance
anomalous
adjective: irregular; deviating from the norm
antecedent
noun: something that comes before
antediluvian
adjective: prehistoric
antipathy
noun: dislike; hostility
apathy
noun: indifference
apex
noun: the highest point
apogee
noun: the point in an orbit most distant from the body being orbited; the highest point
apothegm
noun: a terse, witty saying
also spelled apophthegm

One of the best-known political apothegms was written by the British historian, Lord Acton: "Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely."
appease
verb: to calm; pacify; placate
appellation
noun: name
apposite
adjective: strikingly appropriate and relevant
apprise
verb: to inform
approbation
noun: praise; approval
appropriate
verb: to take possession for one's own use; confiscate

The invading army appropriated supplies from the houses of the local people
apropos
adjective: relevant

Apropos of nothing, the speaker declared that the purpose of life is to love.
arabesque
noun: ornate design featuring intertwined curves; a ballet position in which one leg is extended in back while the other supports the weight of the body

The ballerina stunned the audience with her perfectly executed arabesque
archeology
noun: the study of material evidence of past human life
ardor
noun: great emotion or passion
arduous
adjective: extremely difficult; laborious
argot
noun: a specialized vocabulary used by a group

Writers of crime fiction often use the argot of criminals and detectives to create a realistic atmosphere.
arrest
verb: to stop; to seize

Temporary arrest of the patient's respiration made it easier for the doctor to perform surgery on him
artifact
noun: item made by human craft
artless
adjective: guileless; natural
ascetic
noun: one who practices self denial
Muslim ascetics consider the internal battle againts human passions a greater jihad than the struggle againts infidels.

adjective: self-denying or austere
The writer's ascetic lifestyle helped her to concentrate on finishing her novel.

noun: asceticism
asperity
noun: severity; harshness; irritability
aspersion
noun: slander; false rumor

The Republic of Singapore is a young democracy, and its leaders often respond strongly to journalists and others who cast aspersions on their integrity.
assiduous
adjective: diligent; hard-working
assuage
verb: to make less severe
astringent
adjective: harsh; severe
asylum
noun: place of refuge or shelter
atavism
noun: in biology, the reappearance of a characteristic in an organism after several generations of absence; individual or a part that exhibits atavism; return of a trait after a period of absence
attenuate
verb: to weaken
audacious
adjective: bold; daring
austere
adjective: stern; unadorned
autonomous
adjective: self-governing; independent
avarice
noun: greed
aver
verb: to affirm; declare to be true
avocation
noun: secondary occupation

Dan became so proficient at his avocation -computer programming- that he is thinking of giving up his job as a teacher to do it full time.
avuncular
adjective: like an uncle, benevolent and tolerant
axiomatic
adjective: taken for granted; self-evident; obvious; containing aphorisms or maxims
bacchanalian
adjective: pertaining to riotous or drunken festivity; pertaining to revelry
banal
adjective: commonplace; trite
banter
noun: playful conversation
bard
noun: poet
bawdy
adjective: obscene
beatify
verb: to sanctify; to bless; to ascribe a virtue to

noun: beatification
bedizen
verb: to dress in a vulgar, showy manner

Janell went to the costume party bedizened as a french maid.
behemoth
noun: huge creature; anything very large and powerful
belie
verb: to contradict; misrepresent; give a false impression

Raymond's austere facial expression belies his fun personality.
beneficent
adjective: kindly; doing good
bifurcate
verb: to divide into two parts

noun: bifurcation
blandishment
noun: flattery
blase, apostrophe thing over the "e"
adjective: bored because of frequent indulgence; unconcerned
bolster
verb: to give a boost to; prop up; support
bombastic
adjective: pompous; using inflated language
boorish
adjective: rude; insensitive
bovine
adjective: cowlike
brazen
adjective: bold; shameless
broach
verb: to mention for the first time
bucolic
adjective: characteristic of the countryside; rustic; pastoral
burgeon
verb: to flourish

The burgeoning world population resulted in an increase in pollution.
burnish
verb: to polish

The poet T.S. Eliot burnished his reputation as one of the master poets of the twentieth century with Four Quartets, four long poems published between 1936 and 1942.
buttress
verb: to reinforce; support
cacophonous
adjective: unpleasant or harsh-sounding
cadge
verb: to beg; sponge

An enduring image of he Great Depression in America is the out-of-work man cadging money with the line, "Hey, mister, can you spare a dime for a cup of coffee?"
callous
adjective: thick skinned; insensitive
calumny
noun: false and malicious accusation; slander
canard
noun: false, deliberately misleading story
canon
noun: an established principle; a basis or standard for judgement; a group of literary works

Canons of aesthetic taste vary over the years; the Rococo period, for example, valued ornate art.

The 60-volume Great Books of th Western World is an attempt to gather the central canon of Western civilization into one collection.

Adjective: canon

The system of civil law originated in the Roman Empire and was kept alive in the Middle Ages in the canon law of the Church.

Adjective: canonical - belonging to a group of literary works

The English professor is trying to persuade the chairperson of her department to let her teach some writers that are not canonical.
cant
noun: insincere talk; language of a particular group

Commentators dismissed the speech as the mere cant of someone desperately trying to be reelected.
cantankerous
adjective: irritable; ill-humored

I will always remember lola Norma as a cantankerous old woman who was constantly complaining about something or other.
capricious
adjective: fickle
caprice
noun: an inclination to change one's mind compulsively

Styles in high fashion seem governed by caprice as much as anything else.
captious
adjective: faultfinding; intended to entrap, as in an argument

The English teacher is so pedantic and captious in her marking that her students hve become discouraged.
cardinal
adjective: of foremost importance
carnal
adjective: of the flesh or body; related to physical appetites
carping
verb: to find fault; complain

The band decided to continue to play in their new style despite the carping of critics who said it was a sell-out to commercial interests.
cartography
noun: the science of making maps
caste
noun: any of the hereditary social classes of Hindu society; social stratification

adjective: caste

Most modern corporations employ a sort of caste system, with senior executives at the top and ordinary workers at the bottom.
castigation
noun: punishment; chastisement; criticism
cataclysm
noun: a violent upheaval that causes great destruction and change

The French Revolution of 1789 was a cataclysm whose effects are still felt today.
catalyst
noun: something that causes change
categorical
adjective: absolute; without exception

Incest is categorically forbidden by every state in the US.
caucus
noun: smaller group within an organization

The workers formed an informal caucus to discuss their difficulties.

The parliament's minority caucus issued a report condemning government policy.
causal
adjective: involving a cause
caustic
adjective: sarcastically biting; burning
celestial
adjective: concerning the sky or heavens; sublime
centrifugal
adjective: moving away from the center

As the empire expanded, there was an ever-increasing centrifugal stress as remote colonies sought autonomy.
centripetal
adjective: moving or directed toward a center
champion
verb: to defend or support

Robin Hood is famous for championing the underdogs of England
chasten
verb: to correct by punishment or reproof; to restrain or subdue

The child's behavior improved after she had been chastened by punishment.
chicanery
noun: trickery; fraud
chicanery
noun: trickery; fraud

The governor ordered an audit to investigate alleged financial chicanery.
chivalry
noun: the qualities idealized by knighthood such as bravery and gallantry toward women
churlish
adjective: rude; boorish
circuitous
adjective: roundabout

After robbing the store, the theif took a circuitous route back to his house in case anyone was following her.
clairvoyant
noun: one who can predict the future; psychic
clamor
noun: noisy outcry

Over the past 12 years or so the voices clamoring for better protection of the Earth's rain forests have increased dramatically.

verb: clamor - to cry out noisily

The crowd clamored their disapproval of the plan.
cloister
verb: to confine; seclude

The writer cloistered herself in a country house to finish her novel.

adjective: cloistered - shut away from the world

The journalist described the large American philanthropic foundations as arrogant, elitist, and cloistered.

noun: cloister - a monastery or convent
coagulate
verb: to thicken; congeal
coalesce
verb: to cause to become one

A recent theory of how the Earth got its moon is that a very large object collided with the Earth about 4.5 million years ago to cause iron-free material that gradually coalesced into the moon.
coda
noun: concluding part of a literary or musical composition; something that summarizes or concludes

The coda of the Danish composer Per Norgard's Sixth Symphony seems to return to the serene sounds of the opening
codify
verb: to systematize

The state legislature voted to codify regulations governing banking fraud.

noun: codification

The most influential codification of civil law as the Napoleonic Code in France.

adjective: codified
cognizant
adjective: informed; conscious; aware
collage
noun: artistic composition of materials pasted over a surface; an assemblage of diverse elements

Modern Singapore is a multiethnic collage of Malays, Indians, Chinese, and many other groups.
commensurate
adjective: proportional

One of the cornerstones of capitalism is the conviction that a worker's rewards should be commensurate with his or her contribution.
compendium
noun: brief, comprehensive summary

When one is studying a complex novel, it is helpful to have a compendium that gives information about characters, setting, plot, etc.
complacent
adjective: self-satisfied

Although Tom received an "A" on his midterm exam, Professor Donovan warned him not to become complacent since the work in the second term would be harder.
complaisant
adjective: overly polite; willing to please; obliging
complement
noun: something that completes or makes up a whole
compliant
adjective: yielding
compunction
noun: uneasiness caused by guilt

One of the main goals of military training is to train soldiers to kill without compunction.

I felt much compunction while asking kellie to fill out documentation for my volunteer hours; I felt she was doing me big favor and I was over-staying my welcome.
concave
adjective: curving inward
conciliatory
adjective: overcoming distrust or hostility

The leader of the country made conciliatory statements assuring the world that his country did not intend to acquire nuclear weapons.
concoct
verb: to invent
concomitant
noun: existing concurrently

It appears that bureaucracies are today a necessary evil, a concomitant of modern society
condone
verb: to overlook voluntarily; forgive
confound
verb: to baffle; perplex; mix up
congenial
adjective: similar in tastes and habits; friendly; suited to

The dating service matches men and women with congenial interests.
conjugal
adjective: pertaining to marriage agreement
connoisseur
noun: a person possessing expert knowledge or training; a person of informed and discriminating taste
conscript
noun: person compulsorily enrolled for military service

verb: conscript - to enroll a person for military service

noun: conscription
consecrate
verb: to declare sacred
contend
verb: to assert

noun: contention - an assertion

The study's contention is that obesity is America's biggest health problem.
contentious
adjective: quarrelsome; causing quarrels
acrimonious
adjective: caustic, stinging, or bitter in nature, speech, behavior, etc.

There was an acrimonious debate between the two candidates.
contiguous
adjective: touching; neighboring; connecting without a break

There are 48 contiguous states in the US.
continence
noun: self-control; abstention from sexual activity
contrite
adjective: very sorrowful for a wrong
contumacious
adjective: disobedient; rebellious

Ethan is sometimes contumacious, not listening when he is told to stop jumping on the couch.

In the late eighteenth century, Great Britain tried unsuccessfully to put down the uprising againts their rule by contumacious Americans, leading eventually to the establishment of a separate nation.
conundrum
noun: riddle; puzzle with no solution

The paradoxical statement "This statement is false" presents us with a conundrum
convention
noun: practice widely observed in a group; custom; accepted technique or device
converge
verb: to approach; come together; tend to meet
convex
adjective: curved outward
convivial
adjective: sociable

Kevin is so convivial; he knows everbody and he is so well-liked.

One of the jobs of an ambassador is to provide an convivial atmosphere for diplomats to meet.
convoluted
adjective: twisted; complicated

Unraveling the convoluted genetic code is one of the great achievements of modern science.

When I put a pair of ear phones in my pocket, the wires often get convoluted.

If you don't study circuits, it be convoluted to you.
copious
adjective: abundant; plentiful

The copious rainfall was welcomed by farmers in the parched land.

A typical bento party is characterized my copious amounts of hair gel and shirts from express men.
coquette
noun: woman who flirts

The cute nurse I saw at University Hospital was a coquette; she eye F-ed me all morning.
cornucopia
noun: horn overflowing with fruit and grain; state of abundance; an abundant, overflowing supply

The US economy has produced a cornucopia of employment opportunities.

Thanks to my dad I now have a cornucopia of polo ralph lauren shirts.
cosmology
noun: study of the universe as a totality; theory of the origin and structure of the universe
cosmos
noun: the physical universe regarded as a totality
cosmic
adjective: relating to the physical universe, especially as distinct from earth, and suggests infinite vastness
covert
adjective: hidden; secret

The cute nurse thought I was a spy on a covert, or secret mission.
contrived
adjective: obviously planned or forced; artificial; strained; obviously planned or calculated; not spontaneous or natural; labored
chagrin
noun: feeling of mental unease, as of annoyance or embarrassment, caused by failure, disappointment, or a disconcerting event

To her chagrin, the party ended just as she arrived.
covetous
adjective: desiring something owned by another

I am covetous of rolando's receiver gloves.
cozen
verb: to mislead by trick or fraud; deceive

I could not cozen Ethan into believing that mommy and daddy was downstairs. To my chagrin, ethan did not fall for my chicanery and continued to cry.
craven
adjective: cowardly

Raymond is craven when asked to kill an insect.
credence
noun: acceptance of something that is true

If you cry wolf often with no real danger, people will be less likely to give credence to your future calls for help.
credo
noun: statement of belief or principle

My credo is "If you're not hot or I can't get anything from you, then there's no point in me talking to you."
daunt
verb: to discourage; intimidate; dishearten
dearth
noun: scarcity

In america affluence is located disproportionately in the private sector, leaving a dearth of resources available for the publix sector.

There is a dearth of hot puti girls that eye F kenny, he claims.
debauchery
noun: corruption

According to my dad, there is much debauchery in the Philippine government, since politicians often give and accept bribes.
decorum
noun: proper behavior

Although I think Kellie is smokin' hot, I know I am just a volunteer observing a skilled therapist, so I must keep it professional by not flirting and by maintaining decorum.

adjective: decorous
defame
verb: to malign; harm someone's reputation

Socrates was defamed as a teacher who corrupted the morals of his students.
default
verb: to fail to act
deference
noun: respect; regard for another's wish

The proposal was dropped in deference to the objections of a number of people.
defer
verb: to submit to the wishes of another due to respect or recognition of the person's authority or knowledge

The young lawyer deferred to the view of the senior partner in the law firm.
dufunct
adjective: no longer existing
delineate
verb: to represent or depict

Quantum theory led to the formation of the uncertainty principle, which was delineated in 1937 by Werner Heisenberg
demographic
adjective: related to population balance

Demographic trends in many European countries indicate that in the next generation there will be relatively fewer working people to support retired people.
demography
noun: the study of human population

demographer is one who studies human population
demotic
adjective: pertaining to people
demur
verb: to express doubt

The Supreme Court's decision was not unanimous; one justice demurred, saying that the majority decision used specious reasoning.
denigrate
verb: to slur someone's reputation
denizen
noun: an inhabitant; a regular visitor

The US Census Bureau has the responsibility of collecting information about the denizens of the United States.
denouement
noun: outcome; unraveling of the plot of a play or work of literature

The book tells the story of what was for Europe a rather embarassing denouement to the Crusades.
deride
verb: to mock
derivative
noun: something derived; unoriginal

The drug morphine is the principal derivative of opium

adjective: derivative

The critic dismissed the new novel as dull and derivative.

verb: derive - obtained from another source
dessicate
verb: to dry completely
desuetude
noun: state of disuse

NASA is considering a plan to refurbish booster rockets from the Apollo Program that have fallen into desuetude.
desultory
adjective: random; disconnected; rambling

The jury had difficulty following the witnesses' desultory testimony.

Rather than go through his GRE book in a desultory manner, Raymond delineated a plan to split up the book in sections, and finish them in a certain order, so that the task would appear less daunting.
deterrent
noun: something that discourages or hinders
detraction
noun: the act of taking away; derogatory comment on a person's character

The writer responded in a letter to the critic's long list of detractions about his book.
diaphanous
adjective: transparent; fine-textured; insubstantial; vague

In WWII, many soldiers went to war with diaphanous dreams of glory, but fund instead horror and death.
diatribe
noun: bitter verbal attack

The crazy lady from the movie Jesus camp launched into a diatribe againts the evils of Harry Potter books.
dichotomy
noun: division into two usually contradicting parts

The philosopher is a dualist who argues that there is a dichotomy between the mind and physical phenomena.
diffidence
noun: shyness; lack of confidence

My diffidence shows when I am around beautiful women, which is evident in the fact that I hardly talk to them.
diffuse
verb: to spread out

The idea of equality and liberty diffused through society after the French Revolution.

adjective: diffuse - wordy; rambling; spread out

This essay is so diffuse it is difficult to follow its central argument.
digression
noun: the act of straying from the main point
platonic
adjective: spiritual, without sensual desire, or theoretical
dirge
noun: funeral hymn
disabuse
verb: to free from a misconception
discerning
adjective: perceptive; exhibiting keen insight and good judgement

verb: discern - to perceive something obscure
discomfit
verb: to make uneasy; disconcert

Raymond was discomfited by having to carry the chocolates and thank you card all morning in the hospital.
discordant
adjective: not in tune

In a pluralistic society there exists a cacophony of discordant voices, each shouting to be heard.
discredit
verb: to dishonor; disgrace; cause to be doubted
discrepancy
noun: difference between
dirge
noun: funeral hymn

The pianist played a dirge at Matt's funeral.
disabuse
verb: to free from a misconception

One year of medical school was enough to disabuse Steve of the idea that medical school is a "piece of cake"
discrete
adjective: constituting a separate thing; distinct

Like the physicist, the abstract artist strives to identify the discrete elements of reality and to understand how they interact.
discretion
noun: quality of showing self-restraint in speech or actions; circumspection; freedom to act on one's own
circumspect
adjective: heedful of potential consequences; prudent; careful and sensible; marked by sound judgement
disingenuous
adjective: not candid; crafty
disinterested
adjective: unprejudiced; objective

The newspaper reporter looked for disinterested witnesses to the events so that she could get an objective account of what had happened.
disjointed
adjective: lacking order or coherence; dislocated
dismiss
verb: put away from consideration; reject

Investigators dismissed the man's account of a visit to another planet aboard an alien spacecraft as the product of an overactive imagination.
disparage
verb: to belittle

Philosophy is sometimes disparaged as merely an intellectual game.
disparate
adjective: dissimilar

Many technological projects are interdisciplinary, requiring a knowledge of fields as disparate as physics and biology.
dissemble
verb: to pretend; disguise one's motives

I dissembled that I did not find Kellie attractive, though I did glance at her whenever I felt she wouldn't notice.

I believe you are dissembling. Tell me the truth! Do you really like my haircut?
disseminate
verb: to spread; scatter; disperse

I disseminated the seeds in the back yard and waited for flowers to sprout.

Belief in reincarnation appeared as doctrine first in India an was disseminated throughout Asia by Buddhism.
dissident
noun: person who disagrees about beliefs, etc.
dissolution
noun: disintegration; debauchery

Some philosophers maintain that the dissolution of the body does not mean the destruction of the mind
dissonance
noun: discord; lack of harmony
distend
verb: to expand; swell out
distill
verb: extract the essential elements
distrait
adjective: inattentive; preoccupied

The chairperson became distrait because his secretary was not sitting in her usual position on his right.
diverge
verb: to vary; go in different directions from the same point
divest
verb: to strip; deprive; rid

The candidate for secretary of defense pledged to divest himself of the shares he held in defense-related companies.
divulge
verb: to make known something that is secret

Under the Geneva Conventions prisoners of war cannot be tortured and forced to divulge information.
doctrinaire
adjective: relating to a person who cannot compromise about points of a theory or doctrine; dogmatic; unyielding

The doctrinaire Marxists say that capitalism is merely a temporary phenomenon on the road to socialism.
doggerel
noun: poor verse
dogmatic
adjective: stating opinions without proof

Since every case is unique, jurists must not be dogmatic in applying precedents to make their decision, but instead must base their decision on a combination of such precedents and the facts of the case at hand.
dogma
noun: a belief asserted on authority without evidence

Religions whose dogma specifies a time of the creation of the world have found difficulty in reconciling their view of creation with that of modern science.
dormant
adjective: inactive
dross
noun: waste; worthless matter; trivial matter

One of the ways the dross among blogs on the internet are filtered out from the worthwhile ones is through links good blogs provide to other good blogs.
dupe
verb: to deceive; trick
ebullient
adjective: exhilarated; enthusiastic

The ebullient candidate for president appeared before his supporters to announce that he had one in a landslide.
eclectic
adjective: selecting from various sources
effervescence
noun: state of high spirits or liveliness; the process of bubbling as gas escapes

adjective: effervescent
effete
adjective: depleted of vitality, exhausted; overrefined; decadent; no longer productive, infertile

It is interesting to observe how some traditions remain strong, while others gradually become effete.
efficacy
noun: efficiency; effectiveness
effrontery
noun: shameless boldness; presumptuousness

In her essay the student had the effrontery to argue that school is largely a waste of time.
egoism
noun: the tendency to see things in relation to oneself; self-centeredness
egotistical
adjective: excessively self-centered; conceited
elegy
noun: poem or song expressing lamentation

Adonais is a pastoral elegy written by Percy Bysshe Shelly in the spring of 1821 after he learned of the death of his friend and fellow poet John Keats.
elicit
verb: to provoke; draw out

The Socratic method is designed to elicit responses that guide the student toward understanding.

Nothing the teacher could say was able to elicit a response from the bored students.
elixir
noun: a substance believed to hve the power to cure ills
Elysian
adjective: blissful; delightful

The novel portrays an Elysian world in which suffering and death have been eliminated.
emaciated
adjective: thin and wasted

The prisoner was emaciated after being fed only bread and water for three months.
embellish
verb: to adorn; decorate; enhance; make more attractive by adding details

It seems to be almost a natural human trait to embellish a good story to make it an even better story.
emollient
adjective: soothing; mollifying

The veteran mediator is famous for his emollient approach that rarely fails to find a way to bring opposing sides together.

noun: emollient - an agent that soothes or makes more acceptable
empirical
adjective: derived from observation or experiment

It has been said that Charles Darwin, virtually single-handedly, emancipated science from the idealogies of philosophy and religion by being fiercely independent in his thinking, rejecting all prevailing dogmas as to the immutability of species and relying solely on empirical evidence.
emulate
verb: to imitate; copy
heuristic
adjective: educational method in which students learn from their own investigations
encomium
noun: a formal expression of praise

The prime minister asked her speechwriter to compose an encomium for the retiring general.

Encomiums to Pope Paul II began to be published in newspapers around he world shortly after his death in 2005.
endemic
adjective: inherent; belonging to an area

Malaria, once endemic to the area, has now been largely eradicated.

Faced with endemic high unemployment, the government lowered taxes on foreign investment to encourage economic growth.
enervate
verb: to weaken

During WWII Russian commanders counted on the bitter cold to enervate German soldiers invading their country.
engender
verb: to cause; produce

Freudians believe that the traumatic events of infancy often engender repression that creates neuroses.

Much of the tragedy of the Holocaust can be attributed to the fanatical racism engendered by the Nazis.
enhance
verb: to increase; improve
entomology
noun: the scientific study of insects
enunciate
verb: to pronounce clearly

In everyday speech the sounds of many words are not enunciated clearly.
ephemeral
adjective: short-lived; fleeting
epistemology
noun: branch of philosophy that examines the nature of knowledge

The cognitive sciences are providing epistemology with new insights into how the mind acquires knowledge.
equable
adjective: steady; unvarying; serene

Throughout the crisis the president remained equable.

Perth, Australia is often cited as a pleasant place to live because of its equable climate.
equitable
adverb: fair, just, impartial

Some people want to ensure that the fruits of capitalism are shared equitably.
equanimity
noun: composure; calmness

Emergency room doctors and nurses are trained to maintain their equanimity when treating patients.
equivocate
verb: to intentionally use vague language; to use ambiguous or unclear expressions, usually to avoid commitment or in order to mislead; be deliberately ambiguous or unclear in order to withhold information;
synonyms: evade, stall, dodge

Mary Jane said to Peter Parker, "Don't equivocate; tell me if you love me or not."
semantics
noun: interpretation of a word, sentence, or other language form
errant
adjective: mistaken; straying from the proper course

The pitcher's errant fastball struck the batter on the shoulder.
erudite
adjective: learned; scholarly

The young history Ph.D candidate is not as erudite his supervising professor, who appears to know just about everything that happened in history.

Members of the Society of Jesus (often called Jesuits), are famous for their erudition, which they believe should be used in the service of God.
esoteric
adjective: hard to understand; known only to a few

Much slang originates in a specific group as a sort of argot that allows that group to share something esoteric.
essay
verb: to make an attempt; subject to a test

The composer began work on a sonata, a form she had not previously essayed.

The infant essayed walking up a stairs for the first time in her life.
estimable
adjective: admirable; possible to estimate

Chris Everet was an estimable tennis player who won three Wimbeldon titles.
ethnocentric
adjective: based on the attitude that one's group is superior

The words "primitive" and "savage" reflect an ethnocentric bias in Western culture that regards societies that do not have Western science and technology as inferior because they have not achieved as much material success as Western societies.

noun: ethnocentrism - During certain periods of Chinese history, foreigners were considered to be "barbarians"; perhaps this ethnocentrism made it difficult for the Chinese to accept innovations from other countries.
etiology
noun: causes or origins

The diversity of factors involved in triggering cancers maes it difficult to be certain of the etiology of a particular case of cancer.
etymology
noun: origin and history of a word

"Folk etymology" is the term used by linguists to refer to popular theories of how words originated or changed their meaning.
eugenics
noun: study of factors that influence the hereditary qualities of the human race and ways to improve these qualities.

Alexander Graham Bell advocated a form of eugenics; from his research, he concluded that deafness was hereditary and in 1881 he recommended that deaf people be prohibited from getting married.
eulogy
noun: high praise, especially of a person who has recently died
euphemism
noun: use of agreeable or inoffensive language in place of unpleasant or offensive language.
euphoria
noun: a feeling of extreme happiness
eugenics
noun: study of factors that influence the hereditary qualities of the human race and ways to improve these qualities.

Alexander Graham Bell advocated a form of eugenics; from his research, he concluded that deafness was hereditary and in 1881 he recommended that deaf people be prohibited from getting married.
euthanasia
noun: mercy killing
evince
verb: to show plainly; be an indication of

The student's response to the teacher's question evinced his ignorance of the subject.
evocative
adjective: tending to call to mind or produce a reaction

noun: evocation
Some literary critics believe that Charles Dicken's use of caricature makes his characters one-dimensional, but others see these characters as evocations of universal human types that resonate powerfully with readers' experiences of real people.

verb: evoke
The terms "loaded language" and "charged language" are used to specify language that has so many connotations for most readers that it is difficult for a writer to use it without evoking myriad associations, which will distract attention from the topic under discussion.
exacerbate
verb: to aggravate; make worse
exact
verb: to force the payment of; demand and obtain by authority

The conquering rulers exacted a tax of 10% from every adult male in the country.
exacting
adjective: extremely demanding

Amateur radio equipment generally is not built to the exacting standards that professional and military radio equipment is.
exculpate
verb: to clear of blame; vindicate

The report exculpated the FBI of any wrongdoing in its handling of the investigation.

The defendant's attorney brought forward new evidence that exculpated her of the crime.
execrable
adjective: detestable; abhorrent

The people living in the slums of Mexico City live in execrable conditions.
exhort
verb: to urge by strong appeals

The principal exhorted the students to study hard for the final exams.
exigency
noun: crisis; urgent requirements

Astronauts must be prepared for exigencies such as damage to their spacecraft's life support system.
existential
adjective: having to do with existence; based on experience; having to do with the philosophy of existentialism

Existential writers writers such as Albert Camus and Jean-Paul Sartre tend to focus on the individual human condition as opposed to human social interaction.
exorcise
verb: to expel evil spirits; free from bad influences
expatiate
verb: to speak or write at length

Every year the book club invites a famous author to come to expatiate on the art of writing

The literature student was amazed that the professor could expatiate for an hour on a poem containing only 12 words.
expatriate
verb: to send into exile

People seeking asylum in another country are sometimes expatriated

noun: expatriate - a person living outside his or her own land
The eminent poet T.S. Eliot was born in the United States in 1888 and lived in England as an expatriate from 1914 until 1927, when he became a British subject.
adjective: expatriate
expiate
verb: to atone for

The pilgrims undertook their long journey to expiate their sins.

The bad guy from Da Vinci code whipped himself to expiate his sins.

noun: expiation - atonement; compensation for a wrong
explicate
verb: to explain; interpret; classify

The literature exam requires students to explicate three poems they studied in class.

In 8th grade english, we once had to explicate the song "Crash" by Dave Matthews Band.

noun: explication - an explanation; interpretation
expository
adjective: explanatory; serving to explain: an expository essay; expository writing
extant
adjective: in existence; not lost

Unfortunately for Bible scholars, there are no extant writings of Jesus Christ.

The book contains all the extant writings of Edgar Allen Poe.
extemporaneous
adjective: unrehearsed

I hate doing "free style" or extemporaneous dancing while trying out for small group; I never know what to do.
extirpate
verb: to root up; to destroy

The new federal prosecutor promised voters that he would extirpate corruption in the state.
extraneous
adjective: not essential
extrapolation
noun: the act of estimation by projecting known information

verb: extrapolate - I extrapolate that I will not do well on the verbal section based on the current information that I have not learned all 800 words yet.
extrinsic
adjective: not inherent or essential

Being born to a wealthy family can be considered an extrinsic advantage to a person.
facetious
adjective: humorous
facilitate
verb: to make less difficult
factotum
noun: a person who does all sorts of work; a handyman

The general's aide-de-camp functions as the general's factotum.
fallacious
adjective: based on a false idea or fact; misleading

The belief of the Nazis that they could create a "master race" was based on the fallacious premise that some races are inherently superior to others.
fallacy
noun: an incorrect idea
fallow
adjective: plowed but not sowed; uncultivated

The farmer could not afford to let any of his fields lie fallow.

At the beginnin of each school year the teacher looks out at the new students and thnks of a fallow field, ready to be cultivated.
fatuous
adjective: foolishly self-satisfied; foolish or silly, especially in a smug or self-satisfied way.

"Don't you like the poor bachelor?" he yammered in a fatuous way.

The teacher was becoming tired of her student's fatuous response to literature.
fauna
noun: animals of a period or region

When humans introduce fauna from one habitat into another habitat, the ecological balance is upset.
fawning
adjective: seeking favor by flattering

In an episode of Scrubs, the fawning surgeons did favors for the head doctor so they could keep their jobs.
felicitous
adjective: suitably expressed; appropriate; well-chosen

The Gettysburg Address is full felicitious phrases such as "government of the people, by the people, and for the people."
feral
adjective: existing in a wild or untamed state

Feral dogs returning to an untamed state after domestication sometimes form packs, becoming a threat to humans.
fervor
noun: warmth and intensity of emotion

American soldiers were welcomed back to the United States with fervor after the end of WWII.

Tim Tebow passes and runs with equal fervor.
fervent
adjective: full of strong emotion; impassioned

Niels, a fervent born again christian, believes strongly in no sexual relations before marriage. F that shit.
fetid
adjective: having a bad smell

Mosquitoes are breeding in the fetid pond.
fetter
verb: to bind; confine

The poet William Blake believed that each person creates "mind-forged manacles," fettering his or her natural instincts and spirit.

noun: fetter - something that restricts or restrains

The libertarian believes that modern democratic governments place unacceptable fetters on individual liberty

adjective: fettered - bound or confined
fiat
noun: arbitrary order; authorization; an authoritative decree, sanction, or order by a person or group of persons having absolute authority to enforce it:

The king ruled by fiat.
arbitrary
adjective: subject to individual will or judgement without restriction: an arbitrary decision; having unlimited power; uncontrolled or unrestricted by law; despotic; tyrannical
fidelity
noun: loyalty; exact correspondence
filibuster
noun: use of obstructive tactics in a legislature to block passage of a law

The senator threatened that his filibuster would include a full reading of his eight-volume autobiography.
finesse
verb: to handle with a deceptive or evasive strategy; to use finesse, that is, refinement in performance

Engineers decided that the problem could be finessed by using lighter materials.
fissure
noun: crevice

Geologists measure the width of the fissure regularly to monitor movement of the Earth's plates in the area.
flag
verb: to droop; grow weak

The marathon runner began to flag about two miles from te finish line.
fledgling
noun: beginner; novice

adjective: fledgling - immature or inexperienced
flora
noun: plants of a region or era
florid
adjective: ruddy; reddish; flowery

A florid style is generally best avoided when one is writing a business letter or report.
flourish
noun: an embellishment or ornamentation

Rhetorical flourishes are generally frowned upon under the canons of modern English.

verb: flourish - to grow vigorously, or to thrive
sophistry
noun: reasoning that is subtle and seemingly true but is actually incorrect
flout
verb: to treat scornfully

The student's essay flouts the rules of written English.
flux
noun: flowing; a continuous moving

The education system is in a state of flux, as administrators struggle to keep up with changes in society.
foment
verb: to incite; arouse

The government accused the newspaper of fomenting unrest in the country.

The country accused the neighboring country of employing agents to foment revolution.
forbearance
noun: patience

The president warned that great courage and forbearance would be required to see the war through to a successful conclusion.
forestall
verb: to prevent; delay

The government took steps to forestall an economic downturn by increasing government spending.
formidable
adjective: menacing; threatening

By the middle of the nineteenth century the United States had become a formidable economic and military power.
forswear
verb: renounce; repudiate

When she became a US citizen, Julia forswore allegiance to all other countries and pledged to defend the United States if called upon to do so.
founder
verb: to sink; fail; collapse

The negotiations foundered when agreement could not be reached on the central issue.
fracas
noun: a loud quarrel; brawl

The police were called in to break up a fracas that had erupted in the bar.
fractious
adjective: quarrelsome; unruly; rebellious

In an effort to unify their divided party, its leaders decided to first placate the party's most fractious elements.
fresco
noun: a painting done on plaster
frieze
noun: ornamental band on a wall

Archaeologists are studying the frieze, which they hope will give them a better understanding of life in ancient greece.
froward
adjective: stubbornly contrary; obstinately disobedient

The froward horse resisted every effort of its rider to make it follow the path.

Whenever Ethan acts frowardly, he gets a time out.
frugality
noun: thrift
fulminate
verb: to attack loudly; denounce

The reformer fulminated againts a society in which wealth is distributed so unequally.
fulsome
adjective: so excessive as to be disgusting

The actor was embarrassed by the fulsome praise he received after winning the Academy Award for best actor.
fusion
adjective: union; synthesis
fission
splitting into two parts
futile
adjective: ineffective; useless; fruitless
gainsay
verb: to deny; dispute; oppose

No one can gainsay the fact that UF beat OSU's ass in the BCS title game.
gambol
verb: to frolic; leap playfully

Ethan gamboled around the airport waiting area while we waited for Karen to tell us whether or not we would be stuck in New York for the weekend.

noun: gambol - frolicking about
garrulous
adjective: very talkative; wordy

Sharkey is often garrulous - talkative and wordy.

The garrulous witness keps digressing from his account of the incident to tell amusing anecdotes.
gauche
adjective: coarse and uncouth; clumsy

The protagonist of the novel is a shy woman who becomes flustered and gauche in formal social situtions.

What is considered gauche in one culture might not be considered gauche in another culture; for example, burping is considered rude in America but is acceptible in China.
geniality
noun: cheerfulness; kindliness; sociability

The host's geniality impressed everyone at the party.

adjective: genial - having a pleasant or friendly disposition
gerrymander
verb: to divide an area into voting districts in a way that favors a political party
glib
adjective: fluent in an insincere way; offhand; marked by ease and fluency of speech or writing that often suggests or stems from insincerity, superficiality, or deceitfulness

The suspect's explanation sounded suspiciously glib to the detective.
goad
verb: to prod; urge on

I goaded Kevin into trying out flag football. He quit right away.
gossamer
adjective: sheer; light and delicate, like cobwebs

The pilot assured me that the glider's gossamer wings would support the aircraft just fine, but I still had my doubts.

Some experts in NASA believe that what they call a gigantic "gossamer spacecraft" could be constructd in space using extremely lightweight materials.
gouge
verb: to tear out; scoop out; overcharge

The store is able to gouge its customers because it is the only store in the area that carries that particular line of merchandise.
grandiloquent
adjective: pompous; bombastic

The orator abandoned grandiloquent phrases and instead uses simple and direct language.
gregarious
adjective: sociable

Human beings are gregarious creatures that are comfortable living in groups of around 150 individuals.

Greg Podraza is gregarious, meaning sociable. Probably why Melissa Santilli likes him.
grouse
verb: to complain

Instead of grousing about your noisy neighbors, do something about it: knock on their door and tell them to shut the hell up.

noun: grouse
The lieutenant told his men "If you have any grouses, take them to the captain."

Anyone with a grouse about my speed drills can talk to me after practice.
guileless
adjective: free of cunning or deceit; artless
guile
noun: deception or trickery
guise
noun: outward appearance; false appearance; pretense

According to Hindu belief, God appears throughout history in many guises.
gullible
adjective: easily deceived
gustatory
adjective: affecting the sense of taste
halcyon
adjective: calm and peaceful; happy; golden; prosperous

The movie evokes the halcyon years immediately after WWII when America was at peace and the economy was booming.
hallowed
adjective: holy; sacred
harangue
noun: long, pompous speech; tirade

Browntown listened to Roger's half-time harangue about poor flag pulling, dropped passes, and overall lack of fervor in the football game.
harrowing
adjective: extremely distressing; terrifying

The journey "inward" to explore the unconscious mind has been described as more harrowing than the most dangerous voyage to explore the earth.
hermetic
adjective: tightly sealed; magical

The "hermetic tradition" refers to a number of interrelated subjects such as alchemy, magic, and astrology.
heterodox
adjective: unorthodox; not widely accepted

The orthodox view among scientists is that the ancestors of the great apes and humans evolved solely in Africa; however, recently a competing, heterodox view has arisen theorizing that they also may have evolved in Euroasia.
hieroglyphics
noun: a system of writing in which pictorial symbols represent meaning or sounds; writing or symbols that are difficult to decipher; the symbols used in advanced mathematics.
hirsute
adjective: covered with hair

Monkeys and the sasquatch are hirsute, meaning covered with hair.
histrionic
adjective: relating to exaggerated emotional behavior calculated for effect; theatrical arts or performances; deliberately affected or self-consciously emotional; overly dramatic, in behavior or speech

Most mothers are astute at judging whether their child's tears are genuine or merely histrionic.

noun: histrionics - emotional behavior done for effect

"Cut the histrionics and tell me how you really feel," the woman said to her angry husband.
homeostasis
noun: automatic maintenance by an organism of normal temperature, chemical balance, etc. within itself
homily
noun: sermon; tedious moralizing lecture; platitude
homogeneous
adjective: composed of identical parts; uniform in composition
hyperbole
noun: purposeful exaggeration for effect

It would be hyperbole to say that scientists have gained a perfect understanding of the process of human evolution; however, it is fair to say that over the last century and a half a reasonably clear idea of it has emerged.
iconoclastic
adjective: attacking cherished traditions

The linguist and political commentator Noam Chomsky has been described as gleefully iconoclastic because of the zeal with which he attacks many of the central beliefs of American society.
icon
noun: an image or representation
idolatry
noun: idol worship; blind or excessive devotion

During the Protestant Reformation images in churches were felt to be a form of idolatry and were banned and destroyed.
igneous
adjective: produced by fire; volcanic
imbroglio
noun: complicated situation; an entanglement

The president warned Congress that the US should not become involved in the diplomatic imbroglio.
immutable
adjective: unchangeable

noun: immutability
The dogma of creation and the immutability of species was endorsed virtually unanimously by the leading anatomists, botanists, and zoologists of Charles Darwin's day.
impair
verb: to damage; injure
impassive
adjective: showing no emotion

The judge sat impassive through the entire murder trial, carefully considering the evidence presented.
impecunious
adjective: poor; having no money

The impecunious artist is applying for a grant so that she can continue playing full time.
impede
verb: to hinder; block

The development of the western region of China has been impeded by a lack of trained workers.
impermeable
adjective: impossible to penetrate
imperturbable
adjective: not easily disturbed

An important attribute of a leader is the ability to remain imperturbable in a crisis.
impervious
adjective: impossible to penetrate; incapable of being affected

We were amazed how Laura could sit at the noisy party studying organic chemistry, impervious to the noise around her.
impinge
verb: to strike; encroach

When you look at a star that is 50 light years away, the light that is impinging on your retina forms an image of the star as it was 50 years in the past.
implacable
adjective: inflexible; incapable of being pleased

Sometimes seen as implacable foes of science, many theologians are working to reconcile divergent views of science and religion.
implausible
adjective: unlikely; unbelievable

It seems implausible to some people that a complex organ such as the human eye developed purely as a result of the process of evolution through natural selection.
implicit
adjective: implied; understood but not stated

Implicit in the idea of democracy is the notion of individual liberty.
implication
that which is hinted at or suggested; something implied
implode
verb: to collapse inward violently
imprecation
noun: curse

The convicted man was taken away by court officers, uttering imprecations againts the jury that had found him guilty.
impute
verb: to relate to a particular cause or source; attribute the fault to; assign as a characteristic

People often impute great cleverness to cats.
inadvertently
adverb: carelessly; unintentionally

Nickelback says that it is easy to inadvertently use the melody of another song when composing.
incarnate
adjective: having bodily form

Christians believe that Jesus Christ was God incarnate.
inchoate
adjective: imperfectly formed or formulated

In his book, Chronicles, Bob Dylan describes the process of how some of his songs went from an inchoate state to finished, well-produced songs.
incongruity
noun: state of not fitting

There is an incongruity between the poem's solemn tone and its light-hearted theme.
incongruous
adjective: not fitting
inconsequential
adjective: insignificant; unimportant

The meeting of Ray and Jenilee at the flag football game seemed inconsequential at the time, but in retrospect it was the beginning of their long relationship.
incorporate
verb: introduce something into another thing already in existence; combine

According to Bob Dylan in his autobiography, Chronicles, he systematically tried to incorporate what he learned about life and music into the songs he wrote.
incursion
noun: sudden invasion

At first, the Native Americans were not too concerned about the incursions of European settlers, but their anxiety grew with the relentless flow of people, until, finally, calamitous wars were fought between the two sides.
indeterminate
adjective: uncertain; indefinite

The novel describes the main character as "being of an indeterminate age, somewhere between 50 and 60."
indigence
noun: poverty

Most economists believe that the best way to prevent indigence is to expand employment opportunities.

Those living in indigence are often impecunious.
indigent
adjective: in poverty

For approximately 20% of he world's population, nearly all of whom are indigent, malnutrition is the main impediment to achieving good health
indolent
adjective: habitually lazy; idle

An arguement againts welfare is that it encourages people to be indolent.

My indolent ways are over; I will now stay busy and work hard every day so I will get accepted into PT school.
ineluctable
adjective: not to be avoided or escaped; inevitable

No one can escape the ineluctable truth that every creature that is born will one day die.
inert
adjective: unable to move; sluggish

The teacher was frustrated by his inability to get an answer to his question from his inert class.

The old buckeye that had a tumor removed was inert; Kellie essentially moved his muscles and joints for him.
inertia
noun: disinclination to action or change

The fact that industrialization occured in Europe hundreds of years before it did in china, which had reached a similar level of technology, is perhaps attributable to cultural factors such as bureaucratic inertia in china an a culture that placed a high value on the status quo.
status quo
the existing state of affairs
ingenuous
adjective: naive and trusting; lacking sophistication

The conman could not bring himself to take advantage of the ingenuous boy.
inherent
adjective: firmly established by nature or habit
innocuous
adjective: harmless

RJ looks inocuous, but his martial arts training will kick your ass.
insensible
adjective: unconscious; unresponsive

The gas is intended to render enemy soldiers insensible.

A punch to the head by Chuck Lidell will most likely leave you insensible.
insinuate
verb: to suggest; say indirectly; imply

If you read his speech carefully you will see that the senator is insinuating that his party has taken the wrong path.
insipid
adjective: lacking flavor; dull

Ironically, the book about how to write lively, engaging prose is an insipid piece of writing.

Indonesians who travel to America sometimes find the food so insipid that they add chili to it.
insouciant
adjective: indifferent; lacking concern or care

Considering the gravity of the situation, Nancy's colleagues could not understand her insouciant attitude.

The "cool" look that many fashion models affect seems meant to convey a look of insouciance.
insularity
noun: narrow-mindedness; isolation

The country's insularity makes it difficult for its people to accept ideas from different cultures.
insuperable
adjective: insurmountable; unconquerable

Since, according to the theory of relativity, an object traveling at the speed of light would have infinite mass, astronauts traveling at that speed would, presumably, face insuperable difficulties.
intangible
adjective: not material

When considering what occupation to pursue it is prudent to consider intangible rewards as well as financial ones.
interdict
verb: to forbid; prohibit; to confront and halt the activities, advance, or entry of

Under US law, interdicted goods can be seized by customs officials.

Military intelligence officers played a major role in interdicting spies attempting to pass top-secret intelligence to the enemy.
internecine
adjective: deadly to both sides

The US civil war was an internecine conflict that lead to the deaths of 620,000 soldiers out of the 2.4 million who fought in the war
interpolate
verb: to insert; change by adding new words or material

Scholars disagree on whether the text is entirely the work of the original author or cantains passages interpolated by later writers.
interregnum
noun: interval between reigns; gap in continuity

The interregnum between the two empires was a period of near anarchy.
intimate
adjective: marked by close aquaintance

Over the years the boss and her assistant have become intimate friends as well as colleagues.

verb: intimate - to make known subtly and indirectly

The editor intimated that substantial changes would have to be made in the book.
intractable
adjective: not easily managed

General practitioners are equipped to deal with most psychosomatic disorders, but in intractable cases a psychiatrist is consulted.

Although the majority of Americans are members of what has been called the "affluent society", poverty remains an intractable problem, with a sizable minority of people living below what is considered to be an acceptable standard of living.
intransigence
noun: stubbornness; refusal to compromise

Each side in the negotiations accused the other of intransigence, so talks broke down.
introspective
adjective: contemplating one's own thoughts and feelings

In many ways William Wordsworth's great poem The Prelude is an introspective work, retrospectively exploring his thoughts and feelings as he matured.
inundate
verb: to cover with water; overwhelm

Farmers in the arid areas called for the government to build a dam to provide water to irrigate their crops and provide hydroelectric power; however, this plan was opposed by enviromentalists, who dislike inundation of land because it would have an adverse effect on wildlife.
inured
verb: hardened; accustomed; used to

After 20 years in the army, the chaplain had not become inured to the sight of men dying in the battlefield.
invective
noun: verbal abuse

The debate judge cautioned participants not to engage in invective, but rather in reasoned and decorous discourse.
inveigh
verb: to disapprove; protest vehemently

The conservative writer inveighed againts the school board's decision to exclude moral education from the curriculum.
inveigle
verb: to win over by flattery or coaxing

The students inveigled their professor into postponing the test for a week.
inveterate
adjective: confirmed; long-standing; deeply rooted

The columnist is an inveterate iconoclast who continually questions conventional wisdom.
invidious
adjective: likely to provoke ill will; offensive

Most publications in the United States prohibit their writers from making invidious comparisons between racial groups.
irascible
adjective: easily angered

The irascible old man complains every time someone makes a little noise.
irresolute
adjective: unsure of how to act; weak

The president admonished Congress, saying that although it faced difficult choices it must not be irresolute.
itinerant
adjective: wandering from place to place; unsettled

According to state law, companies hiring itinerant workers must provide adequate housing for them.
itinerary
noun: route of a traveler's journey
jaundiced
adjective: having a yellowish discoloration of the skin; affected by envy, resentment, or hostility

Norman's experience as an infantryman during the war has given him a jaundiced view of human nature.

jaundice - noun, a medical condition often due to liver disease and characterized by yellowness of the skin.
jibe
verb: to be in agreement

The auditor checked the company's account books to make sure that they jibed with the tax return it filed.
jocose
adjective: fond of joking; jocular; playful
juggernaut
noun: a huge force destroying everything in its path

Some people in Britain regard American English as a juggernaut sweeping through the British Isles, destroying British English.
junta
noun: group of people united in political intrigue

The country's ruling junta consists of a general, an admiral, and the mayor of the capital city.
juxtapose
verb: place side by side
juxtapose
verb: place side by side

noun: juxtaposition - side-by-side placement
kudos
noun: fame; glory; honor

Kudos won by Bod Dylan include an honorary doctorate in music from Princeton University.
labile
adjective: likely to change

Blood pressure in human beings is, to varying degrees, labile.
laconic
adjective: using few words

The laconic actor seemed to be a good choice to play the strong, silent hero in the western.
lambaste
verb: to thrash verbally or physically

The critic lambasted the movie in her column, calling it "the most insipid, jejune film made in our generation."
lascivious
adjective: lustful

The court ruled that the movie could be censored because its sole aim was to promote lascivious thoughts.
lassitude
noun: lethargy; sluggishness

After the death of his wife, Steven suffered a three-month period of lassitude and depression.
latent
adjective: present but hidden; potential

Some experts in human psychology believe that we are just beginning to explore the latent powers of the human mind.
laud
verb: to praise
lethargic
adjective: inactive

After the 18-hour flight from new york to singapore, the passengers were lethargic.
levee
noun: an embankment that prevents a river from overflowing

An extensive system of levees is the only way to prevent the river from flooding the area during periods of heavy rain.
levity
noun: light manner or attitude

The comedian has a gift for finding an element of levity in the most serious of subjects.
liberal
adjective: tolerant; broad-minded; generous; lavish
libertine
noun: one without moral restraint

Don Juan is a legendary, archetypal libertine whose story has been told by many poets, such as Lord Byron.
libido
noun: sexual desire

According to psychologists, the libido of human males peaks at around the age of 18.
Lilliputian
adjective: extremely small

Microbiologists study Lilliputian organisms.
limn
verb: to draw; describe

The artist based his painting on a sketch he had limned several years earlier.
limpid
adjective: clear; transparent

At the bottom of the limpid water in Boracay we could see schools of fish swimming.
linguistic
adjective: pertaining to language

Humans are at the acme of their linguistic proficiency in the first several years of life, during which they master thousands of complex grammatical operations.
linguistics
noun: the scientific study of language

linguist - someone who studies language
litany
noun: lengthy recitation; repetitive chant

The student listened intently to his teacher's litany of the grammatical errors commited by the class.
literati
noun: scholarly or learned persons
litigation
noun: legal proceedings

The radio amateur's neighbor resorted to litigation in an attempt to have her neighbor dismantle his 100-foot-high antenna tower.
log
noun: record of voyage; record of daily activities
loquacious
adjective: talkative
limpid
adjective: clear; transparent

At the bottom of the limpid water in Boracay we saw schools of fish.

The critic praised the novel for its limpid prose and original characters.
lucid
adjective: bright; clear; intelligible

Dr. Barnard made his views on euthanasia clear in this lucid injunction: "Just do it."
lucre
noun: money or profits

Many religions regard the pursuit of lucre for what it can do to help others as laudable.
luminous
adjective: bright; brilliant; glowing

The moon is the most luminous object in the night sky.

noun: luminosity

A supernova can suddenly increase its luminosity to as much as a billion times its normal brightness.
lustrous
adjective: shining

On the clear night we gazed up in awe at the lustrous stars.

Lil John's teeth and crunk cup are lustrous with diamonds.
Machiavellian
adjective: crafty; double-dealing

One theory of the evolution of high intelligence in primates is that it evolved largely as a result of Machiavellian calculations on the part of apes.
machinations
noun: plots or schemes

The mayor resorted to behind-the-scenes machinations to try to win his party's nomination for governor.
maelstrom
noun: whirpool; turmoil

Nearly everyone in europe was caught up in the maelstrom that was WWII.
magnanimity
noun: generosity; nobility

The senator showed is magnanimity when he conceded defeat to his opponent in the disputed election, saying that further uncertainty would be harmful to public confidence in the political system.
malign
verb: to speak evil of

Lawyers are sometimes maligned as greedy and dishonest.
malinger
verb: to feign illness to escape duty

In order to discourage malingering, the company decided to require employees taking sick leave to produce a doctor's certification of their illness.
malleable
adjective: capable of being shaped by pounding; impressionable
maverick
noun: dissenter

Bernie Sanders of Vermont has a reputation as a maverick; he is one of only two members of the United States Congress who is independent (that is, not a member of the Republican or Democratic party).
megalomania
noun: delusions of power or importance

In his farewell speech the retiring trial judge warned his colleagues to beware of megalomania as they exercise their power in the courtroom.
menagerie
noun: a variety of animals kept together

Linda seems to take home every abandoned pet in the town; she now has an incredible menagerie of dogs, cats, turtles, rabbits, and other animals.
mendacious
adjective: dishonest

The judge ruled the testimony inadmissable because he considered it mendacious.
mendicant
noun: beggar

In thailand it is traditional for young men to become monks for a year, a period during which they become mendicants.

Mendicants can't be choosers.
meretricious
adjective: gaudy; plausible but false; specious; alluring by a show of flashy or vulgar attractions; pertaining to or characteristic of a prostitute; attracting attention in a vulgar manner; having the ring of truth or plausibility but actually fallacious

One of the allures of jargon is that it can make a poor idea appear worthwhile, or something meretricious easier to accept because it is dressed in fancy language.
mesmerize
verb: to hypnotize
metamorphosis
noun: change; transformation
metaphysics
noun: a branch of philosophy that investigates the ultimate nature of reality
meteorological
adjective: concerned with the weather

meteorology - science that deals with weather and atmospheric phenomena
meticulous
adjective: very careful; fastidious; painstaking; taking or showing extreme care about minute details

Science is an empirical field of study based on the belief that the laws of nature can best be discovered by meticulous observation and experimentation.
mettle
noun: courage; endurance

In many cultures, young men are expected to test their mettle by performing difficult and dangerous tasks, like in Sparta.
mettlesome
adjective: full of courage and fortitude; spirited

The mettlesong young officer was well regarded by all the senior officers.
meddlesome
adjective: inclined to interfere
microcosm
noun: a small system having analogies to a larger problem; small world
militate
verb: to work againts

The manager asked all of his employees to think of any factors that might militate againts the project's success.

Don't militate againts Hattie the therapist. She wants you to get better as soon as possible so you will leave Hanna House.
minatory
adjective: threatening; menacing

Intelligence information suggests minatory troop concentrations on the border.
miniscule
adjective: very small
minutia
noun: petty details

President Ronald Reagan said that a president should concentrate on the formulation and execution of broad policy and leave the minutia of running the country to subordinates.
misanthrope
noun: one who hates humanity

Mr. scrooge was a misanthrope - he hated humanity.
miscellany
noun: mixture of writings on various subjects

The book is a fascinating miscellany collected from the writer's life work.
miscreant
noun: villain; criminal

The public execution of miscreants was common in Great Britain in the eighteenth century.
misogynist
noun: one who hates women

Some people have called the philosopher Freidrich Nietzsche a misogynist because of the numerous negative comments he made about women.
mitigate
verb: to cause to become less harsh, severe, or painful; alleviate

noun: mitigation - the act of reducing the severity or painfulness of something

Before sentencing the woman, the judge asked if she had anything to say in mitigation.
mnemonic
adjective: related to memory; assisting memory

The more absurd, exaggerated, grotesque the images used as a mnemonic device to help remember a poem, the easier it will be to recall.
mnemonics
noun: a system that develops and improves the memory
modicum
noun: limited quantity

The scientist Carl Sagan wrote about astronomy and other scientific subjects in a way that enabled a reader with even a modicum of knowledge of science to understand what he was saying.
mollify
verb: to soothe

The prime minister tried to mollify people protesting the tax increase with a promise that she would order a study of other means to raise revenue.
monolithic
adjective: solid and uniform; constituting a single, unified whole

In the fifteenth century, there was a significant movement to revitalize the Church from within; however, it had become so monolithic over the centuries and contained so many vested interest that piecemeal reform was difficult and ineffective.
morose
adjective: ill-humored; sullen
motley
adjective: many colored; made up of many parts

The new political party is made up of a motley group of people who are unhappy with the existing parties.
multifarious
adjective: diverse

The nationalities of the members of FSA are quite multifarious, but most of them are asian countries.
ire
noun: intense anger; wrath
mundane
adjective: worldy as opposed to spiritual; concerned with the ordinary

Fundamentalists contend that the Bible's account of the creation is literally true, while others believe tht it is the retelling of a powerful myth current in the Middle East that sought to explain the mundane in spiritual language.
necromacy
noun: black magic

Television might seem like necromacy to a time traveler from the fifteenth century.
negate
verb: to cancel out; nullify

The soldiers' poor treatment of the prisoners negated any goodwill they had built up among the population.
neologism
noun: new word or expression
neophyte
noun: novice; beginner

The school provides extensive support and guidance for neophyte teachers.
nexus
noun: a means of connection; a connected group or series; a center

Wall Street is the nexus of America's financial system.
nonplussed
adjective: bewildered; completely puzzled or confused; perplexed

The members of the football team were nonplussed by the presence of a female reporter in the locker room.
nostalgia
noun: sentimental longing for a past time

The product's marketing is centered on nostalgia for the 1950s.
nostrum
noun: medicine or remedy of doubtful effectiveness; supposed cure

Although there are many nostrums urged on obese consumers, the ony effective remedy for this condition is prosaic but nonetheless valid: eat less and exercise more
prosaic
adjective: commonplace or dull; unimaginative
neologism
noun: new word or expression

Since I have been away from gainesville all summer, I am not familiar with the neologism "rapex".
narcotic
noun: anything that exercises a soothing or numbing affect or influence

Television is a narcotic for many people.
nugatory
adjective: trifling; invalid; of very little importance; trivial; insignificant

The historian has a knack for focusing on information that appears nugatory but that, upon examination, illuminates the central issue.
obdurate
adjective: stubborn

Raymond is obdurate about one thing: no talking while watching LOST.
obsequious
adjective: overly submissive

Tom's tendency to submit meekly to any bullying authority is so great that his wife suggested he overcome his obsequiousness by taking an assertiveness training couse.


During my short stay at Auntie Conchita's house, I acted obsequious to avoid conflict, because she is so overbearing and controlling.
obsequy
noun: funeral ceremony (often used in the plural, obsequies)

Solemn obsequies were held for President John F. Kennedy following his assassination.
obviate
verb: to make unnecessary; to anticipate and prevent; prevent from happening

An experienced physician can often discern if a patient's symptoms are psychosomatic, thus obviating the need for expensive medical tests.
occlude
verb: to shut; block
occult
adjective: relating with practices connected with supernatural phenomena

In his book Supernature the biologist Lyell Watson explores what he regards as phenomena on the border between natural and occult phenomena.
odyssey
noun: a long, adventurous voyage; a quest
officious
adjective: too helpful; meddlesome

Auntie conchita's officious nature showed when she made Karen attempt to buy diapers at the closed pharmacy.
meddlesome
adjective: interfering; intrusive
olfactory
adjective: concerning the sense of smell
oligarchy
noun: form of government in which power belongs to only a few leaders
onerous
adjective: burdensome

The duty the judge considers most onerous is sentencing convicted criminals.
onomatopoeia
noun: formation or use of words that imitate sounds of the actions they refer to

One theory of the origin of language is that it began a a sort of onomatopoeia as early humans imitated sounds they heard.
opprobrium
noun: disgrace; contempt

It is difficult to imagine the opprobrium heaped on a person who is a traitor to hs or her group.
ornithologist
noun: scientist who studies birds
oscillate
verb: to move back and forth
oscillate
verb: to move back and forth

The teacher oscillates between a student-centered approach to teaching and a subject-centered approach.
ostentatious
adjective: showy; trying to attract attention; pretentious

Some would regard buying a castle in france as an ostentatious display of wealth.
pretentious
adjective: making an exaggerated outward show; ostentatious; showy; claiming or demanding a position of distinction or merit, especially when unjustified.
overweening
adjective: presumptuous; arrogant; overbearing

The ancient greeks believed that overweening pride - what they called hubris - would be punished eventually, by the gods
paean
noun: song of joy or triumph; a fervent expression of joy

Fundamentally, the poem is a paean of joy, celebrating the coming of democracy to the country.
paleontology
noun: study of past geological eras through fossil remains; the study of the forms of life existing n prehistoric or geologic times, as represented by the fossils of plants, animals, and other organisms.
pallid
adjective: lacking color or liveliness

Archeological evidence indicates that women have been using makeup to give color to a pallid face for millenia.
panegyric
noun: elaborate praise; formal hymn of praise

Many panegyrics were written to Abraham Lincoln in the years after his death, and he has become one of the most revered figures in American history.
paragon
noun: model of excellence or perfection

The epic poet Homer was regarded by the ancient greeks as a paragon of literary excellence.
partisan
adjective: one-sided; commited to a party, group, or cause; prejudiced
pathological
adjective: departing from normal condition
pathos
noun: a quality, as of an experience or a work of art, that arouses feelings of pity, sympathy, tenderness or sorrow
patois
noun: a regional dialect; nonstandard speech; jargon

In singapore the lingua franca is increasingly becoming singapore english, widely regarded as a patois.
paucity
noun: scarcity; dearth
pedantic
adjective: showing off learning
pedant
noun: a person who makes an excessive or inappropriate display of learning; a person who adheres rigidly to book knowledge without regard to common sense.
pellucid
adjective: transparent; translucent; easily understood
penchant
noun: inclinaton

Sue has a penchant for science, while her brother is more interested in the arts.
aloof
adverb: at a distance, especially in feeling or interest; apart

adjective: reserved or reticent; indifferent; not interested
penury
noun: extreme poverty

I'd rather not pay money to watch another penury to riches movie, even if it has will smith.
peregrination
noun: a wandering from place to place

Swami Vivekanada's peregrinations took him all over india.

Neil's family's peregrinations across america will end in papua new guinea.
peremptory
adjective: imperative; leaving no choice

The general's words were spoken in the peremptory tone of a man who is used to having his commands obeyed without question.
perennial
adjective: present throughout the years; persistent

Perennial warfare has left most of the people of the country in poverty.
perfidious
adjective: faithless; disloyal; untrustworthy

I have a history of being a perfidious boyfriend.
perfunctory
adjective: superficial; not thorough; performed really as a duty

The perfunctory inspection of the airplane failed to reveal structural faults in the wing.

Flight attendants usually show the safety procedures in an aircraft like putting on a seatbelt in a perfunctory manner.
perigree
noun: point in an orbit that is closest to the earth

The earth observation satellite reaches a perigree of 320 miles above the earth's surface.
permeable
adjective: penetrable

Wetsuits, used by divers in cold water, are permeable to water but designed to retain body heat.
perturb
verb: to disturb greatly; make uneasy or anxious; cause a body to deviate from its regular orbit

The fallacious article explaining a scheduled change in the GRE this september greatly perturbed Raymond.

noun: perturbation - disturbance

"perturbations in the Earth's orbit around the sun."
pervasive
adjective: spread throughout every part
pervade
verb: to spread throughout every part
petulant
adjective: rude; peevish

The boy's father worried that his disobedient and petulant child would grow up to be a bitter and annoying man.
phlegmatic
adjective: calm in temperament; sluggish
phoenix
noun: anything that is restored after suffering great destruction

The captain believed the battalion had been destroyed by the enemy and was amazed to see it arise, phoenix-like, its men still fighting valliantly.
physiognomy
noun: facial features

I'm a big face guy. I'm a sucker for girls who have beautiful physiognomy.
piety
noun: devoutness

The medieval French monk was revered for his piety.
devout
adjective: devoted to divine worship or service
piquant
adjective: appealingly stimulating; pleasantly pungent; attractive

Many of the guests enjoyed the piquant barbecue sauce but others found it too spicy for their taste.
pique
noun: fleeting feeling of hurt pride

Sally left the restaurant in a fit of pique after her date called to say he couldn't come because he was working late.
pique
verb: to provoke or arouse

The geologist's curiosity was piqued by the unusual appearance of the rock formation.
placate
verb: to lessen another's anger; to pacify

Jenilee placated raymond's anger by singing the oscar meyer weiner song.
placid
adjective: calm

We were amazed how the monk was able to remain placid despite the fire that was raging through the building.
plaintive
adjective: melancholy; mournful

After the battle all that could be heard was the plaintive cries of women who had lost their husbands.
phlegmatic
adjective: not easily excited to action or display of emotion; apathetic; calm, composed

Rebecca is a quiet person, but beneath a phlegmatic exterior lies a continual ferment of emotion.
ferment
noun: a state of agitation or turbulent change or development

The political ferment produced new leadership
plasticity
noun: condition of being able to be shaped or formed; pliability

The sociologist is continually amazed by the plasticity of social institutions.
platitude
noun: stale, overused expression

Though Sarah's marriage didn't seem to be going well she took comfort in the platitude that the first six months of a marriage were always the most difficult.
platonic
adjective: spiritual; without sensual desire; theoretical

Gradually what had been a platonic relationship between tim and kyoko became a romantic one.
plethora
noun: excess; overabundance

The funeral business has produced a plethora of euphemisms such as the "slumber room" for the place where the corpse is placed for viewing.
plumb
verb: to determine the depth; to examine deeply

"a person plums the depths of despair"
plume
verb: to congratulate oneself in a self-satisfied way

John plumed himself on his ability to read both Sanskrit and Greek.
plummet
verb: to fall; plunge

The fighter jet, struck by an enemy missle, plummeted to earth.
plutocracy
noun: society ruled by the wealthy

It has been argued that modern democracies are plutocracies to the extent that wealth allows certain people to have a disproportionately large influence on political decision-making.
porous
adjective: full of holes
poseur
noun: person who affects (pretend or feign) an attitude or identity to impress others

People who wear skater clothes, but don't skate, are usually called poseurs.
pragmatic
adjective: practical
pragmatism
a practical way of approaching situations or solving problems
pragmatist
noun: someone who approaches situations in a practical way
prate
verb: to talk idly; chatter

The "talk radio" program allows people to call in and prate about their pet peeves.
prattle
noun: meaningless, foolish talk
preamble
noun: preliminary statement
precarious
adjective: uncertain

Jenilee is sometimes precarious of my faithfulness to her, especially after the jenny talana episode; however, I will never cheat on her.
precept
noun: principle; law

A good precept I like to follow in playing team sports is if you don't go to practice, you shouldn't play in the game.
precipitate
verb: to cause to happen; throw down from a height

A declaration of war was precipitated by the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

adjective: rash; hasty; sudden

The secretary of state advised the president not to take precipitate action.

adjective: precipitous - hasty; quickly with too little caution
precursor
noun: forerunner; predecessor

The precursor to the theory of plate tectonics was the theory of continental drift.
porous
adjective: full of holes
preempt
verb: to supersede; appropriate for oneself; to cause to be set aside, especially to displace as inferior; to take the place of; replace

The movie was preempted for the president's emergency address to the nation.
prehensile
adjective: capable of grasping

Animals with prehensile tails using it for grabbing onto shit.
antiquate
verb: to make obsolete, old-fashioned, or out of date by replacing with something newer or better

This latest device will antiquate the ice-cube tray.
premonition
noun: forewarning; presentiment

Shortly after his reelection in 1864, President Abraham Lincoln had a premonition of hs impending death and on April 14, 1865, he was shot and died the next day.
presage
verb: to foretell; indicate in advance

The english poet william blake believed hs work presaged a new age in which people would achieve political and spiritual freedom.
presumptuous
adjective: rude; improperly bold

The new employee did not offer her advice to her boss because she was afraid he might consider it presumptuous for a recent graduate to make a suggestion to someone with 30 years experience in the field.
presumptuous
adjective: rude; improperly bold

verb: presume

noun: presumption
preternatural
adjective: beyond the normal course of nature; supernatural

Most scientists believe that putative preternatural phenomena are outside the scope of scientific inquiry.
putative
adjective: commonly regarded as such; reputed; supposed

The putative boss of the mob.
prevaricate
verb: to quibble; evade the truth

Journalists accused government leaders of prevaricating about the progress of the war.
quibble
noun: an instance of the use of ambiguous, prevaricating, or irrelevant language to evade a point at issue

verb: to evade the truth of a point or question by raising irrelevant objections
primordial
adjective: original; existing from the beginning

Scholars are divided as to whether polytheism represents a degeneration from a primordial monotheism, or was a precursor to a more sophisticated view, monotheism.
pristine
adjective: untouched; uncorrupted

The bank's hermetically sealed vault has kept the manuscript in pristine condition for 50 years.

Jenilee is the virgin slayer; she likes pristine boys.
probity
noun: honesty; high-mindedness; integrity and uprightness; having strong moral principles

No one questioned the probity of the judge being considered for elevation to the US supreme court.
problematic
adjective: posing a problem; doubtful; unsettled
prodigal
adjective: wasteful; extravagant; lavish

Jenilee discourages raymond's prodigal spending on Jcrew stuff.
profound
adjective: deep; not superficial
profundity
noun: the quality of being profound
prohibitive
adjective: so high as to prevent the purchase or use of; preventing; forbidding

Most people in poor countries are unable to purchase a computer because of its prohibitive price

noun: prohibition
proliferate
verb: to increase rapidly

With the pervasive influence of American culture, "fast-food" restaurants are proliferating in many countries

noun: proliferation

A problem with proliferation of jargon is that it impedes communication between different fields of knowledge.
propensity
noun: inclination; tendency

There is a natural propensity to stress the importance of what one is saying by exaggerating it.
propitiate
verb: to win over; appease
libation
noun: a pouring out of wine or other liquid in honor of a deity
propriety
noun: correct conduct; fitness; the quality of being proper; appropriateness

Judges are expected to conduct themselves with propriety, especially in the courtroom.
fitness
noun: suitability or appropriateness; the quality of being suitable; the quality of being qualified

"they had to prove their fitness for the position"
proscribe
verb: to condemn; forbid; outlaw
proscriptive
adjective: relating to prohibition; prohibitive

Proponents of the view that dictionaries should be proscriptive, dictating what correct usage is, believe that without such guides the standard of language will decline.
provident
adjective: providing for future needs; frugal

The provident ant that spends the summer saving food for the winter.
puissant
adjective: powerful

The article analyzes the similarities and differences between the Roman Empire and the British Empire when each was at its most puissant.

noun: pussiance - power
punctilious
adjective: careful in observing rules of behavior or ceremony; strictly attentive to minute details of form in action or conduct

The prime minister reminded his staff that they must be punctilious in following protocol during the visit by the foreign head of state.
pungent
adjective: stong or sharp in smell or taste; penetrating; caustic; to the point

Slang frequently expresses an idea succinctly and pungently.
purport
verb: to profess; suppose; claim

Nearly everyone in the US purports to believe in God and many people are members of churches.
purport
verb: to profess; suppose; claim

noun: meaning intended or implied; the meaning; purpose, intention, object

the main purport of your letter

the main purport of their visit to france
pusillanimous
adjective: cowardly

A ship captain is considered pusillanimous if he abandons his ship before everyone else has.

noun: pusillanimity - cowardice
quagmire
noun: marsh, bog; difficult situation; a predicament

a quagmire of financial indebtedness

The federal government's antitrust suit in the 1990s againts microsoft created a legal quagmire.
extricate
verb: to free or release from entanglement; disengage

"to extricate someone from a dangerous situation or quagmire."
quail
verb: to cower; lose heart

The defendant quailed when the judge entered the room to announce the sentence.
qualified
adjective: limited; restricted in some way

"a qualified endorsement"

noun: qualification - limitation or restriction

So many qualifications had been added to the agreement that Sue was now reluctant to sign it.

verb: qualify - to modify or limit in some way

"to qualify an endorsement"
qualm
noun: sudden feeling of faintness or nausea; uneasy feeling about the rightness of actions

The judge had no qualms about sentencing the thief to five years imprisonment.

Raymond had a qualm after reading the fallacious artice purporting that the GRE was being changed this september.
query
verb: to question

The ability of george to throw a nice spiral was not queried.
query
verb: to question

noun: a question
quibble
verb: to argue over insignificant or irrelevant details

The lawyers spent so much time quibbling over details that they made little progress in reaching an agreement on the central issue.

noun: an evasion of the point of an argument by raising irrelevant distinctions or objections
quiescent
adjective: inactive; still

Although malignant tumors may remain quiescent for a period of time, they never become benign.

noun: quiescence - inactiveness; stillness
quorum
noun: number of members necessary to conduct a meeting

The US senate's majority leader asked three members of his party to be available to help form a quoroum.
raconteur
noun: witty, skillful storyteller

Former president bill clinton is known as an accomplished raconteur who can entertain guests with amusing anecdotes about politics all evening.
rail
verb: to scold with bitter or abusive language

Dad rails apu everytime the dumb dog barks too much or destroys something.
raiment
noun: clothing

It took two hours for the princess' handmaidens to help her put on her splendid raiment for her coronation as queen.
ramification
noun: implication; outgrowth; consequence

The full ramification of the invention of the laser did not become apparent for many years; now it is used on a great variety of applications, from DVD players to surgery.
rarefied
adjective: refined

Many scholars flourish in the rarefied intellectual atmosphere of the Institute for Advanced Studies in Princeton, New Jersey.

verb: rarefy - to make thinner, purer, or more refined
rationale
noun: fundamental reason
rebus
noun: puzzle in which pictures or symbols represents words

Egyptian writing uses the principle of the rebus, substituting pictures for words.
recalcitrant
adjective: resisting authority or control

The officer had no choice but to recommend that the recalcitrant soldier be court-martialed.
recant
verb: to retract a statement or opinion

Jenilee often calls me mean things, only to recant it later.

The bishop told the theologian that he must recant his heretical teaching or risk excommunication.
recluse
noun: person who lives in seclusion and often in solitude

adjective: reclusive

John is a reclusive person who enjoys reading more than anything else.
recondite
adjective: abstruse; hard to understand; profound; beyond ordinary knowledge or understanding

Many classical and biblical references known to educated nineteenth-century readers are now considered recondite by most readers.
redoubtable
adjective: formidable; arousing fear; worthy of respect

As a result of winning 95% of her cases, the prosecutor has earned a reputation as a redoubtable attorney.
refractory
adjective: stubborn; unmanageable; resisting ordinary methods of treatment

The general practitioner called in specialists to help determine the cause of the patient's refractory illness.

verb: refract - to deflect sound or light
refulgent
adjective: brightly shining; resplendent(shining brilliantly; gleaming; splendid)

On the queen's neck was a necklace of jewels, in the middle of which was a large, refulgent diamond.

troops resplendent in white uniforms

resplendent virtues
refute
verb: to contradict; disprove

noun: refutation
regale
verb: to entertain

Former US presidents lyndon johnson, ronald reagan, and bill clinton often regaled visitors with amusing political anecdotes.
relegate
verb: to send or consign(to banish or set apart in one's mind) to an inferior position

He has been relegated to a post at the fringes of the diplomatic service.
remonstrate
verb: to object or protest

Minority members of the committe remonstrated with the majority members, saying that the proposal was unjust.
renege
verb: to go back on one's word

He has reneged on his promise.
reparation
noun: amends; compensation

The judge said she would not sentence the man to jail on the condition that he pay full reparation to the family hurt by his crime.
repine
verb: fret; complain

The president told the congressional representative he should stop repining over the lost opportunity and join the majority in exploring new ones.
reprise
noun: a repetition, especially of a piece of music; repeat an earlier theme of a composition

The standing ovation at the end of the set meant that the band had little choice but to reprise a few of their most popular tunes.
reproach
verb: to find fault with; blame

The speaker in andrew marvell's poem "to his coy mistress" reproaches his beloved for ignoring the passing time and for not being willing to physically express her love for him.
reproach
verb: to find fault with; blame

noun: blame; disgrace, discredit, or blame incurred

"to bring reproach on one's family"
reprobate
noun: morally unprincipled person

The social worker refused to give up hope of reforming the criminal who was generally regarded as a reprobate.
repudiate
verb: to reject as having no authority

In the 1960s, many black leaders such as Malcom X repudiated integration and nonviolence in favor of black separatism and passive resistance in the fight for civil rights.
rescind
verb: to cancel

The salesperson said he would rescind his offer to sell the goods at a 10% discount unless he received ful payment within 24 hours.
resolution
noun: determination; resolve

Raymond's resolution to get accepted into PT school reached new heights after observing at University Hospital.
resolve
noun: determination; firmness of purpose

President Abraham Lincoln displayed remarkable resolve in preventing the confederate states from seceding.

verb: resolve - to come to a definite or earnest decision about; determine to do something

I have resolved that I shall live to the full.
reticent
adjective: not speaking freely; reserved; reluctant

Many people in the west are reticent to criticize science, which in the view of many has become a sacred cow.
reverent
adjective: expressing deep respect; worshipful

The biologist Loren Eisely had what could be described as a reverent attitude toward nature.

verb: revere
riposte
noun: a retaliatory action or retort

The commander decided that the enemy attack must be countered with a quick riposte.
rococo
adjective: excessively ornate; highly decorated; style of architecture in 18th century europe
rubric
noun: title or heading; category; established mode of procedure or conduct; protocol

The data from the experiment was so diverse that the scientist decided to design a new rubric to organize it.
rue
verb: to regret

The judge old the convicted man that he would come to rue his decision to commit the crime
ruse
noun: trick; crafty stratagem; subterfuge; any trick devised or used to attain a goal or to gain an advantage over an adversary or competitor.

In july, 1999, a group of christians from the UK traveled to various countries in which Crusaders had massacred people to apologize; however,man of the Moslems spurned this overture, believing it to be another Crusade in the form of a ruse.
overture
noun: an opening or initiating move toward negotiations, a new relationship, an agreement, etc. a formal or informal proposal or offer

"overtures of peace"

"a shy man who rarely made overtures of friendship"
sage
adjective: wise

Urban Meyer posted this sage, simple message in the locker room: "The pain of discipline. The pain of regret. You choose."

noun: sage - wise older person
salacious
adjective: lascivious; lustful

Playboy magazine is too salacious to be in the public library.
salubrious
adjective: healthful

The salubrious effects of exercise on both physical and mental health have been well documented.
salutary
adjective: expecting an improvement; favorable to health, promoting health; healthful; promoting or conducive to some beneficial purpose; wholesome

The system of universal education is in our age the most prominent and salutary feature of the spirit of enlightenment.
sanction
verb: to approve; ratify; permit

noun: approval; ratification; permission

noun: penalization, a penalty that acts to ensure compliance or conformity; a coercive measure adopted usually by several nations acting together againts a nation violating international law

"The UN has the power to compel obedience to international law by sanctions or even war."
sanction
can also mean...
verb: to penalize
sardonic
adjective: cynical; scornfully mocking; sneering; bitter

"a sardonic grin"

Satire that is too sardonic often loses its effectiveness.
sartorial
adjective: pertaining to tailors, tailoring, or tailored clothing

Off-screen, the glamorous actress' sartorial style runs more to jeans and t-shirts than to elaborate gowns
satiate
verb: to satisfy

The bully satiated his fury by pummeling the helpless little boy.
saturate
verb: to soak thoroughly; imbue throughout

The writer's recollection of her childhood is saturated with sunshine and laughter.
saturnine
adjective: gloomy

With the big storm in cleveland during my last morning in University Hospital, my mood was saturnine.
satyr
noun: a creature tht is half-man half-beast with the horns and legs of a goat; it is a follower of Dionysos; a lecher ( a man given to excessive sexual desire; a lascivious or licentious man)
licentious
adjective: sexually unrestrained; lascivious; libertine; lewd; unrestrained by law or general morality; immoral; disregarding rules
savor
verb: to enjoy; have a distinctive flavor or smell; to exhibit the peculiar characteristics

His business practices savor of greed.
satyr
noun: a creature tht is half-man half-beast with the horns and legs of a goat; it is a follower of Dionysos; a lecher ( a man given to excessive sexual desire; a lascivious or licentious man)
schematic
adjective: relating to or in the form of an outline or diagram

The engineer outlined the workings of the factory in schematic form.
secrete
verb: produce and release substance into organism
sedition
noun: behavior prompting rebellion

The federal prosecutor argued that the journalist's article could be interpreted as an act of sedition since it strongly suggested that the government should be overturned.
sedulous
adjective: diligent

The nobel prize-winning scientist attributed his success to what he termed "curiousity, a modicum of intelligence, and sedulous application."
seismic
adjective: relating to earthquakes; earthshaking
sensual
adjective: relating to the senses; gratifying the physical senses, especially sexual appetites
sensuous
adjective: relating to the senses; operating through the senses
sentient
adjective: aware; conscious; able to percieve

noun: sentience
servile
adjective: submissive; obedient
sextant
noun: navigation tool that determines latitude and longitude
shard
noun: a piece of broken glass of pottery
sidereal
adjective: relating to the stars
simian
adjective: apelike; relating to apes

"people denied the evolutionary significance of the simian characteristics of human beings."
simile
noun: comparison of one thing with another using "like" or "as"
sinecure
noun: well-paying job or office that requires little or no work
singular
adjective: unique; extraordinary; odd

The defendent's singular appearance made it easy to identify him later.
sinuous
adjective: winding; intricate; complex

The students had trouble following the philosopher's sinuous line of reasoning.
skeptic
noun: one who doubts
nihilist
noun: one who believes tht existance and all traditional values are meaningless
sobriety
noun: seriousness

she approaches her studies with commendable sobriety
sodden
adjective: thoroughly soaked; saturated
solicitous
adjective: concerned; attentive; eager

kellie is solicitous of the health and progress of all her patients.
soliloquy
noun: literary or dramatic speech by one character, not addressed to others
solvent
adjective: able to meet financial obligations

During the divorce my dad had difficulty remaining solvent; fortunately he turned out just fine.
somatic
adjective: relating to or affecting the body; corporeal(of the nature of the physical body; bodily)
corporeal
adjective: of the nature of the physical body; bodily; material; tangible

"corporeal property"
soporific
adjective: sleep producing
sordid
adjective: filthy; contemptible and corrupt

The monica lewinski scandal ranks as one of th most sordid affairs in american history.
specious
adjective: seeming to be logical and sound, but not really so

the article rebuts the specious argument advanced by the so-called expert in the field

in the logic class, students were asked to identify specious lines of reasoning in several arguments.
spectrum
noun: band of colors produced when sunlight passes through a prism; a broad range of related ideas or objects
spendthrift
noun: person who spends money recklessly, person who is not thrifty

adjective: spendthrift - wasteful and extravagant

Greg's spendthrift habits resulted in his accumulating a huge amount of credit card debt.
sporadic
adjective: irregular
squalor
noun: filthy, wretched condition

The family lives in squalor in the slums of Manila.
staccato
adjective: marked by abrupt, clear-cut sounds

we listened to the staccato steps of the woman in high heels running down the street.
stanch
verb: to stop or check the flow of

the medic used a tourniquet to stanch the woman's bleeding wound.
stentorian
adjective: extremely loud

The speaker's stentorian voice rang through the hall.
stigma
noun: mark of disgrace or inferiority

giving psychological treatment to a child may cause him to acquire a stigma as a result of officially being labeled as deviant.
stigmatize
verb: to mark as disgraceful or inferior

The civil rights movement helped to stigmatize racism.
stint
verb: to be sparing

Stinting on butter used in cooking is a good idea.

Stinting on funding for education is a bad idea.

noun: stint - a period of time spent doing something

a short stint in the army
stipulate
verb: to specify as an essential condition

The contract stipulates that the agreement will remain in force unless both sides agree to cancel it.
stipulation
noun: essential conditions

stipulations in a contract should be clear in order to obviate the need for parties to resort to litigation.
stolid
adjective: having or showing little emotion

luke was one of those stolid individuals who rarely show their feelings.
stratified
adjective: arranged in layers

noun: stratum - layer

plural of stratum is strata

social stratification - hierarchical arrangement of individuals in a society into classes or castes
striated
adjective: marked with thin, narrow grooves or channels

noun: striation -

the geologist examined striations in the rock to learn abut the glacier tha had made them 10,000 years ago.
stipulation
noun: essential conditions

stipulations in a contract should be clear in order to obviate the need for parties to resort to litigation.
stricture
noun: something that restrains; negative criticism

lawyers are expected to abide by a set of ethical strictures in their practice of the law

the central paradox of poetry is tht the strictures imposed by form on a talented poet can help produce works of great power.
strident
adjective: loud; harsh unpleasantly noisy

Calls for the prime minister's resignation became more strident after it was discovered tht he hd strong connections to orgnized crime.
strut
verb: to swagger; display to impress others
stultify
verb: to impair or reduce to uselessness

rote learning stultifies students' creativity

businessess complained that government regulations are stultifying free competition and innovation.
stupefy
verb: to dull the senses of; stun; astonish; to overwhelm with amazement

After 3 shots of tequila, raymond was stupefied

RJ was stupefied that he nearly got a perfect score on the GRE.
stygian
adjective: dark and gloomy; hellish

The news that the country was being invaded plunged it into a stygian doom.
subpoena
noun: notice ordering someone to appear in court
subside
verb: to settle down; grow quiet
substantiate
verb: to support with proof or evidence

Advocates of the theory that atlantis existed mre than 6,000 years ago sometimes use evidence of dubious authenticity to substantiate their claims.
dubious
adjective: doubtful
substantive
adjective: essential; pertaining to the substance

The judge cautioned the attorney to present only information that was subtantive to the case at hand.
subsume
verb: to include; incorporate

The scientist was abe to formulate a general principle that subsumes five more specific principles.
subversive
adjective: intended to undermine or overthrow, especially an established government

noun: person intending to undermine somethin
succor
noun: relief; help in time of distress or want

the woman provided succor to the enemy in the form of food.

the depressed man found succor by going inside the church to pray
suffrage
noun: right to vote
sundry
adjective: various

the book tells the story of the protagonist's sundry adventures in Africa over the last 20 years.
supersede
verb: to replace especially to displace as inferior or antiquated

Some experts predict that books made from paper will one day be superseded by electronic books.
supine
adjective: lying on the back; marked by lethargy
supplant
verb: to replace; substitute

some fear that AI machines wil eventually supplant biological life forms
suppliant
adjective: beseeching(beg eagerly for, to make urgent appeal; to implore urgently)

The worshippers raised their suppliant voices to God, praying for forgiveness.

They besought him to go at once.

Earnestly did I beseech, but to no avail.
supplicant
noun: person who asks humbly and earnestly

the supplicant approached the king, begging him to forgive their offences.

the mother of the criminal appeared as a supplicant before the governor, asking him to grant her son clemency.
supposition
noun: the act of assuming to be true or real

Science proceeds on the supposition that knowledge is possible.

The astronomers searching for aliens are proceeding on the supposition that life requires water.
syllogyism
noun: a form of deductive reasoning that has a major premise, a minor premise, and a conclusion
sylvan
adjective: related to the woods or forest

The poet lives in sylvan seclusion, writing about the beauty of nature.
tacit
adjective: silently understood; implied

By tacit agreement no one in 1425 talked about grace's loud moans during sex while she was in the room.
talisman
noun: charm to bring good luck and avert misfortune
tangential
adjective: peripheral; digressing

the evidence had only a tangential bearing on the case, so the judge told the lawyer to present ony a brief summary of it
tautology
noun: unnecessary repetition

"old adage" is an tautology, or "widow woman"
taxonomy
noun: the science of classification; in biology, the process of classifying organisms in categories
tenet
noun: belief; doctrine

A central tenet of democracy is that the law should treat everyone equally.
tenuous
adjective: weak; insubstantial

The study established a tenuous relationship between brain size in mammals and intelligence.
terrestrial
adjective: earthly; commonplace
theocracy
noun: government by priests representing a god
secularization
noun: process by which society gradually changes from close identification with th institutions of religion to a greater separation of religion from the rest of social life.
thespian
noun: an actor or actress
timbre
noun: the characteristic quality of sound produced by a particular instrument or voice; tone color
tirade
noun: long, violent speech; verbal assault
toady
noun: flatterer; hanger-on; yes-man
tome
noun: book, usually large and academic

This 800 page tome called biology contains most of the information students need to learn for the introductory biology course.
torpor
noun: lethargy; dormancy, as of a hibernating animal; sluggish inactivity

After returning home from the tiring europe trip, Raymond sank into a peaceful torpor, watching tv and sleeping.
torque
noun: a turning or twisting force
tortuous
adjective: having many twists and turns; highly complex

The person's tortuous journey from cynicism and despair to faith and hope.

It was hard to follow the tortuous line of reasoning used by mathematicians.
tout
verb: to promote or praise energetically

the critic touted moby dick as the greatest book in american literature
tout
verb: to promote or praise energetically

the critic touted moby dick as the greatest book in american literature
tractable
adjective: obedient; yielding

The violent prisoner became tractable after he was given a sedative.
transgression
noun: act of trespassing or violating a law or rule

She would not put up with any transgression of classroom rules.

verb: transgress

Western medicine transgressed Hippocrates' prescriptions for medicine when doctors messed up patients with purges and bloodletting.
transient
adjective: temporary; short-lived; fleeting
anomie
noun: state or condition of individuals or society characterized by a breakdown or absence of social norms and values, as in the case of uprooted people
translucent
adjective: partially transparent
travail
noun: work, especially arduous work; tribulation; anguish

America's early pioneers endured great travail.
travesty
noun: parody; exaggerated imitation; caricature

The playwright complained tht the musical comedy version of his play was a travesty of his work.
treatise
noun: article treating a subject systematically and thoroughly
tremulous
adjective: trembling; quivering; frugal; timid

The soldier, his voice tremulous, begged his captor not to kill him.
trepidation
noun: fear and anxiety

John tried to hide his trepidation when he proposed to Susie, the girl he loved.
truculence
noun: aggressiveness; ferocity

When i first started playing flag football I pulled flags with truculence.
tryst
noun: agreement between lovers to meet; rendezvous

Jenilee and Raymond joke about setting up a tryst at my dad's timeshare.
tumid
adjective: swollen; distended; pompous or inflated, as language; turgid; bombastic; bulging

The british writer george orwell often satirized tumid political prose.
tumid
adjective: swollen; distended; pompous or inflated, as language; turgid; bombastic; bulging

The british writer george orwell often satirized tumid political prose.
turbid
adjective: muddy; opaque; a state of great confusion; not clear or transparent because of stirred up sediment; clouded

the turbid waters near the waterfall

the turbid state of the soldier's mind the night before the big battle was set to begin.
turgid
adjective: swollen; bloated; pompous, bombastic, tumid

she did not want the report written in the turgid prose too often ound in official documents.
tutelary
adjective: serving as a guardian or protector

some people believe in guardian angels, a tutelary being that guides and protects them.
uncanny
adjective: mysterious; strange
undulating
adjective: moving in waves

The undulating terrain of the area has made it difficult for engineers to build road there.
unfeigned
adjective: not false; not made up; genuine
untenable
adjective: indefensible

The prime minister's position became untenable after he lost the support of his own party, so he resigned from office.
untoward
adjective: not favorable; troublesome; adverse; unruly

The commander told his troops that untoward circumstances had prevented victory, but that if they fought on valiantly, victory would be achieved eventually.