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127 Cards in this Set

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  • Back
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abase
v; lower; degrade; humiliate
abash
v; embarrass
abate
v; subside or moderate
aberrant
adj; abnormal or deviant
Astronomers accidentally discovered Pluto because of Neptune’s aberrant behavior.
abeyance
n; suspended action
abject
adj; wretched; lacking pride
abjure
v; renounce oath upon; disavow
Peter abjured Jesus three times.
ablution
n; washing
Lady Macbeth engaged in ablution while she was sleep-walking.
abnegation
n; renunciation; self-sacrifice
Superman’s abnegation seemed to kill him, but Toy Man’s blast merely sent him to the future.
abrogate
v; abolish
Abrogate slavery! Abrogate slavery!
abscond
v; depart secretly and hide
The Knights Templar took their holy documents and absconded to avoid being slaughtered.
abstemious
adj; sparing in eating and drinking; temperate
Falstaff was the opposite of abstemious—he had a healthy appetite (litote).
abut
v; border upon; adjoin
accede
v; agree
acclivity
n; sharp upslope of a hill
Melville told his daughter to hold Fanny’s hand when they went up the acclivity.
accoutre
v; equip
Hamlet and Laertes were accoutred with swords to duel.
accretion
n; growth; increase
“Ah!” Melville said, “when shall this accretion be finished?” (to Hawthorne).
accrue
v; come about by addition
The number of books in my library has accrued quickly in recent years.
acerbic
adj; bitter or sour in nature; sharp and cutting
Hamlet has an acerbic wit.
acerbity
n; bitterness of speech and temper
Iago’s acerbity is frightening as it is engaging.
acetic
adj; vinegary
This salad tastes awfully acetic. Smells like it, too.
acidulous
adj; slightly sour; sharp; caustic
Everything the acidulous Hamlet said was misunderstood.
acrid
adj; sharp; bitterly pungent
Brian Fantana’s cologne “Sex Panther” was acrid (remember Ferrell’s word).
acrimonious
adj; bitter in words or manner
Being passed over for Cassio is the source of Iago’s acrimony.
actuarial
adj; calculating; pertaining to insurance statistics
insurance statistics
actuate
v; motivate
Being passed over for Cassio actuated Iago to spin his web of deceit.
acuity
n; sharpness
No character in literature has a mental acuity to match Hamlet.
acumen
n; mental keenness
Hamlet’s acumen would allow him to see through Iago in seconds.
adjunct
n; something nonessential added on
My Scotty Cameron served as an adjunct to Nubbins.
adjutant
n; staff officer assisting the commander; assistant
Cassio became a sort of adjutant to Othello.
adventitious
adj; accidental; casual
advert
v; refer (to)
Dandy Fop constantly adverts to history texts he has read.
aegis
n; shield; defense
Under the aegis of his titanium alloy cape, Professor Chaos could not be harmed.
aeire
n; nest of a large bird of prey
Kiss had to rescure Santa from a pterodactyl aeire.
aggrandize
v; increase or intensify; raise in power, wealth, rank, or honor
When Grandizer needed to aggrandize his power, he would use his rainbow-beam.
agog
adj; highly excited; intensely curious
alacrity
n; cheerful promptness; eagerness
Sancho gave up his governorship with alacrity—he had had enough.
alimentary
adj; supplying nourishment
Kitty was alimentary during Levin’s brother Nicolai’s recovery.
alloy
v; mix; make less pure; lessen or moderate;
While my satisfation for finishing Don Quixote was great, it was alloyed because I wanted there to be more.
alluvial
adj; pertaining to soil deposits left by running water
soil left by running water
ambulatory
adj; able to walk; not bedridden
After drinking his special medicine, Don Quixote was ambulatory and ready to go (though Sancho wasn’t).
ameliorate
v; improve
Don Quixote wanted to ameliorate the lives of those who could not improve themeselves.
amenable
adj; readily managed or willing to be led
Rocinante was more amenable than most horses would have been.
analgesic
adj; causing insensitivity to pain
The doctor gave her morphine as an analgesic.
anathema
n; solemn curse; someone or something regared as a curse
The gypsy put an anathema on the Simpsons that caused Marge to be covered in blue hair.
ancillary
adj/n; serving as an aid; auxiliary
Sancho was Don Quixote’s ancillary.
animadversion
n; critical remark
Melville’s novels were subject to severely disproving animadversions.
animus
n; hostile feeling or intent
Melville harbored a severe animus toward Washington Irving, calling him a “grasshopper.”
anneal
v; reduce brittleness and improve toughness by heating and cooling
He annealed the sword to make sure it was tough enough.
antipathy
n; aversion; dislike
Sancho’s antipathy toward pain kept him from engaging the squire of the disguised Bachelor Sansón Carrasco.
apathy
n/adj; lack of caring; indifference
Hamlet seemed apathetic to the murder of his father because he didn’t immediately avenge him.
aplomb
n; poise; assurance
Falstaff’s aplomb in the face of Hal’s revelation that he was the theif made it appear as though he wasn’t embarrassed or upset at all.
apostate
n; one who abandons his religious faith or political beliefs
Apostles adhere to beliefs; apostates renounce beliefs.
apothegm
n; pithy, compact saying
aphorism; pithy
apotheosis
n; ideal example of something; raise to level of godhood
Henry James is the apotheosis of a novelist.
application
n; diligent attention
Because of his application to his studies, Jason’s grades improved dramatically.
approbation
n; approval
Don Quixote wanted the approbation of Dulcinea for the adventures he had undertaken.
appurtenances
n; subordinate/secondary possessions
He bought the estate and all its appurtenances.
apropos
adj; to the point and timely
Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address was extremely apropos.
apropos
prep; with reference to; regarding
Apropos Toni Morrison, she has his flaws as a novelist.
arboretum
n; place where different varieties of trees and shrubs are studied and exhibited
Mr. Miagi studied bonzi trees at the arboretum.
argot
n; slang
Instead of “New Slang” by the Shins, it’s New Argot.
arrears
n; being in debt
In Puddn’head Wilson, Fake Tom was badly in arrears from his gambling habit.
ascendancy
n; controlling influence
Huck couldn’t tolerate any ascendancy—he refused to answer to anyone.
ascetic
adj; practicing self-denial; austere (severe)
Don Quixote’s ascetic creed kept him from enjoying wordly pleasures.
asperity
n; sharpness (of temper)
Roxy’s asperity surfaced whenever the real Chambers disrespected her.
aspersion
n; slanderous remark
Marc threatened to sue Paul over the aspersion.
assay
v; analyze; evaluate
When I assayed the exam, I found some unfair questions.
assiduous
adj; diligent
In Animal Farm, Boxer works assiduously to complete the work.
assuage
v; ease or lessen (pain); satisfy (hunger); sooth (anger);
Don Quixote’s magical concoction assuaged any ailment.
astringent
adj/n; binding; causing contraction; harsh or severe
Many critics aren’t nearly as astringent towards contemporary authors as they should be.
atavism
n; resemblance to remote ancestors rather than to parents; reversion to an earlier type; throwback
To commemorate the ’86 Mets, the team wore atavistic (adj. form) uniforms.
attenuate
v; make thinner; weaken or lessen (in density, force degree)
Don Quixote’s adventures combined with the lack of food helped to attenuate his already thin appeareance.
attrition
n; gradual decrease in numbers; wearing away opposition by harassment
World basketball programs are suffering from attrition as their superstars leave for the NBA in America.
augury
n; omen; prophecy
“A red sun rises” is an evil augury, meaning that “blood has been spilt this night.”
august
adj; impressive; majestic
That stupid Jim Carrey could have been synonomously called “The August.”
austere
adj; forbiddingly stern; severely simple and unornamented
Mother Superior was austere with Billy, and it nearly got her killed.
aver
v; assert confidently or declare; as used in law, state formally as a fact
Cartman averred that Jews were evil—there wasn’t a hint of jest or indecision.
avocation
n; secondary or minor occupation
He gave his vocation, teaching, to focus on his avocation, carpentry.
axiom
n; self-evident truth requiring no proof
Proverb; adage;
bacchanalian
adj; drunken
We had broken bottle fights during the bacchanalian pre-graduation party.
badinage
n; teasing conversation
Chad didn’t like getting involved in a badinage with us—he was never witty enough to retaliate.
baleful
adj; threatening; menacing; sinister; foreshadowing evil
The baleful red color in the morning sky made me uncomfortable about the coming day.
balk
v; foil
Desdemona balked Iago’s plan by revealing everything.
ballast
n;v; heavy substance used to add stability or weight
The Apollo 13 astronauts had to ballast the command module so that they would reenter the atmosphere at the correct trajectory—they were underweight.
banal
adj; hackneyed; commonplace; trite; lacking originality
Chad is so banal—all he ever says is “What can you do?” and other worn-out phrases.
bandy
v; discuss lightly or glibly; exchange words heatedly
You shouldn’t bandy sports-talk at a funeral!
bane
n; curse; cause of ruin
Jafar’s desire for power was his bane.
barrister
n; counselor-at-law
Mike Schmidt is a ball-breaking barrister.
bauble
n; trinket; trifle
Aladdin, that lamp is no small bauble—I think it has a genie inside!
beatific
adj; showing or producing joy; blissful
Genie’s beatific parade produced one happy crowd.
bedizen
v; dress with vulgar finery
The whore bedizend herself out for the “date.”
bedraggle
v/adj; wet thoroughly
Raja bedraggled Jasmin’s suitor when he pushed him into the fountain.
beholden
adj; obligated; indebted
The guy at the beginning of The Godfather didn’t come to the Don first because he didn’t want to be beholden to the mob.
behoove
v ;be necessary or proper for; be incumbent upon
Because we were so much funnier than Chad, it behooved us to help him develop his wit so that he could keep up.
belie
v; contradict; give a false impression
Chad’s friendship with us belied his lack of wit—everyone thought he should be funny.
bellicose
adj; warlike; pugnacious; naturally inclined to fight
Chad liked for us to think that he was bellicose and that he went around Magoffin county bars picking fights with bacchanalians.
bemoan
v; lament; express disapproval of
bemused
adj; confused; lost in thought; preoccupied
Chad had a bemused look on his face when I told him the Pigeon story—he didn’t get it.
benison
n; blessing
beset
v; harass or trouble
Our A-Men series is beset on all sides by legal issues
besmirch
v; soil; defile
Mark was furious: Paul had besmirched his name!
betoken
v; signify; indicate
bifurcated
adj; divided into two branched; forked
I came to a bifurcated road, and I took the road less traveled.
bilious
adj; suffering from a liver complaint; peevishly ill humored
She was bilious at certain times of the month, not finding humor in anything.
bilk
v; swindle; cheat
Johnny tried to jew, or bilk, the hotel clerk down to a reasonable rate.
billowing
adj; swelling out in waves; surging
Joe and I were billowing and the opposition was running scared: I buried a 45 foot putt on number 1 for birdie.
bivouac
n; temporary encampment
temporary encampment
blandish
v; cajole; coax with flattery
I blandished Pudge into playing golf by telling him how close he seemed to really striking the ball well.
blandishment
n; flattery
Chad doesn’t need blandishments—he’s cocky enough without flattery.
blasé
adj; bored with pleasure or dissipation
blithe
adj; carefree and unconcerned (perhaps foolishly so); cheerful and gay
Pudge was blithe in how he handled the 10th: he didn’t think he would drive it errantly and it cost him.
bluff
adj; rough but good-natured
Chad is the opposite of bluff: a selfish pussy.
bombastic
adj; pompous; using inflated language
Aladdin acted pompous as Prince Ali: he should have just beeeeen himself, not an overblown clown.
boorish
adj; rude; insensitive
Paul was very boorish at dinner—he talked with his mouth open and took all of the roles.
bowdlerize
v; expurgate
A text that has been bowdlerized has had all of the controversial parts removed.
brackish
adj; somewhat saline
These green beans are brackish—don’t use so much salt.
braggadocio
n; boasting
The first thing Larry did when he saw me was begin letting fly braggadocios about how well he played.
brook
v; tolerate; endure
Mr. Gullett wouldn’t brook Chad’s plan to practice with his dad instead of playing with the team, so he bit his head off.
browbeat
v; bully; intimidate
Chad tried to browbeat us, but we knew he was a pussy.
brusque
adj; blunt; abrupt
Kramer was being brusque when he told Audrey about her big nose.
bucolic
adj; rustic; pastoral
When Odysseus returns to Ithaca, he stays on a farm with a bucolic gentleman.
bugaboo
n; bugbear; object of baseless terror
If you get scared of such bugaboos as Freddy Kreuger then you’re just a coward—it’s not even scary.
bullion
n; gold and silver in the form of bars
They store a lot of bullion in Fort Knox.
bulwark
n; earthwork or other strong defense; person who defends
Colin Powell was Secretary of bulwark, in a sense.
burgeon
v; grow forth; send out buds
Melville said he was like a seed and that he had no burgeoning until he was 25 years old.
burnish
v; make shiny by rubbing polish