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100 Cards in this Set

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depredate
v. to plunder, pillage, ravage or destroy; to exploit in a predatory manner.

The pirates depredated every ship that came through the straits for two years, until no captain was willing to risk that route and the port town became deserted.
derision
n. scorn, ridicule, contemptuous treatment.
desuetude
n. disuse

After sitting abandoned for years, the house's desuetude came to an end when the county bought it and turned it into a teen center.
desultory
adj. random; thoughtless; marked by a lack of plan or purpose.

His desultory efforts in studying for the test were immediately obvious to his teacher as soon as she began to score his exam.
detraction
n. Slandering, verbal attack, aspersion

Apparently the mayor's campaign of detraction backfired, since a record number of people voted for his opponent, many of them citing the vitriol of the mayor's attacks as the reason they voted against him.
didactic
adj. intended to teach or instruct
die
n. a tool used for shaping

When coins are made by hand, a die is usually used to press the design on each coin.
diffident
adj. reserved, shy, unassuming; lacking in self-confidence.

He was a diffident reader of his own poetry, and which sometimes kept his audience from recognizing the real power of his writing.
dilatory
adj. causing delay, procrastinating

The legislator was able to create the dilatory effect he sought by means of a twenty-three-hour long filibuster.
dilettante
n. one with an amateurish or superficial interest in the arts or a branch of knowledge
disabuse
v. to undeceive; to set right.

I hate to disabuse you of the notion of your own genius, but you just got a D on that midterm that you said you were going to ace.
discomfit
v. to defeat, put down

The enemy's superior planning and resources discomfited us. They defeated us easily, despite our hopes of discomfiting their attack.
discretion
n. cautious reserve in speech; ability to make responsible decisions.
disparate
adj. fundamentally distinct or dissimilar.
dissemble
v. to disguise or conceal; to mislead

Her coy attempts to dissemble her plagiarism were completely transparent; no one believed her.
dissolution
n. disintegration, looseness in morals.
dissolute
adj. licentious, libertine.
distrait
v. distracted; absent-minded, especially due to anxiety

When he kept forgetting what he was talking about during dinner, it became clear that he was distrait, and was no doubt preoccupied with the meeting planned for the next day.
doggerel
n. trivial, poorly constructed verse
dross
n. slag, waste or foreign matter, impurity, surface scum
dulcet
adj. melodious, harmonious, mellifluous

The dulcet tones of the dulcimer were exquisite and made the performance particularly memorable.
dynamo
n. generator; forceful, energetic person
ebullience
adj. the quality of lively or enthusiastic expression of thoughts and feeling

Vivian's ebullience was contagious, which is what made her such a great tour guide; her infectious enthusiasm for her subject always communicated itself to her listeners.
edifying
adj. enlightening, informative.

The lecture we attended on the consequences of globalization was highly edifying, but what I learned only made me want to know more.
effrontery
n. extreme boldness; presumptuousness

The effrontery of her demand astonished everyone; no one had ever dared ask the head of the department to explain his reasoning before.
effusive
adj. gushing, excessively demonstrative

Her effusive good wishes seemed a bit forced; it was hard to believe she was no longer bitter about having had her own grant proposal turned down.
egress
n. exit

The dancer's final egress from the stage brought the audience to its feet in a standing ovation.
emollient
adj. soothing, especially to the skin; making less harsh; mollifying.

Oatmeal's emollient qualities when added to bath water make it an effective aid in soothing the discomfort of poison oak.
encomium
n. glowing and enthusiastic praise; panegyric, tribute, eulogy

The recently released tribute album was created as an encomium to the singer many considered the grandfather of soul music.
endemic
adj. characteristic of or often found in a particular locality, region, or people; restricted to or peculiar to that region; indigenous
enervate
v. to weaken; to reduce in vitality
enigmatic
adj. mysterious; obscure; difficult to understand.
enormity
n. excessive wickedness; evilness

The enormity of the terrorist act stunned and outraged the world.
ephemeral
adj. brief; fleeting, short-lived
epicure
n. one devoted to sensual pleasure, particularly in food and drink; gourmand, sybarite
episodic
adj. loosely connected, not flowing logically, occurring at intervals

The episodic structure of the novel mirrored the main character's fragmented experience of events during the war.
epithet
n. disparaging word or phrase

The epithets he flung in drunken anger came back to haunt him the next morning when everyone refused to talk to him.
equanimity
n. composure, self-possession

Theo's ability to maintain his equanimity was sorely tested by the end of two hours at the zoo; his composure was most threatened when his nephew reached into the cage to pull the monkey's tail.
equivocate
v. to use ambiguous language with a deceptive intent
errant
adj. traveling, itinerant, peripatetic

Travels with Charley is Steinbeck's account of his errant journey across America with his French poodle, Charley.
erudite
adj. very learned; scholarly
eschew
v. to shun or avoid
essay
v. to test or try; attempt experiment

It was incredible to watch Valerie essay her first steps after her long convalescence; we were so proud of how hard she had worked at her rehabilitation.
estimable
adj. worthy, formidable

Despite his estimable efforts, Alvin was unable to finish his spinach; it really was an impressive attempt, though.
evanescent
adj. tending to disappear like vapor; vanishing

All trace of the evanescent first snow vanished as soon as the midday sun appeared.
evince
v. to show clearly, to indicate

Although Victor's work evinced great potential, he had significantly more to do before his article would be ready for publication.
exact
v. to demand, call for, require, take
excoriate
v. to censure scathingly, to upbraid

The editor excoriated those artists who attended the event instead of observing the boycott called for by human rights groups.
exculpate
v. exonerate; to clear of blame

Far from exculpating him as he had hoped, the new evidence only served to convince the jury of his guilt.
exemplar
n. typical or standard specimen; paradigm, model
exhort
v. to incite, to make urgent appeals.

At the last second I realized that he was waving his arms frantically to exhort me to look down before I fell off the cliff.
exigent
adj. urgent; pressing; requiring immediate action or attention.

Exigent circumstances require extreme action; if we didn't act soon we would lose the scavenger hunt, so we just went to the store and bought the rest of the items.
exonerate
v. to remove blame
expatiate
v. to discuss or write about at length; to range freely.

My aunt and uncle expatiated on the subject of their Florida vacation for three hours, qaccompaned by slides, until we were all crazy with boredom.
expiate
v. to atone or make amends for.

He feared that nothing could expiate the insensititivy of his comments.
expurgate
v. to remove obscenity, purify, censor.

The expurgated version of the novel was incredibly boring; it turned out that the parts the censors removed had been the only interesting ones.
extant
adj. existing, not destroyed or lost.

There are forty-eight copies of the Gutenberg Bible extant today.
extemporaneous
adj. improvised; done without preparation
extirpate
v. to destroy, exterminate, cut out. pull out by the roots.

The dodo bird was extirpated by a combination of hunting by humans and predation by non-native animals.
facetious
adj. playful; humorous; not serious.

I hope his comment about the thirty page paper due tomorrow was facetious, or I'm going to be up all night writing.
fallow
adj. untilled, inactive, dormant.

The farmer hoped that leaving the field fallow for a season would mean that next year he could grow a bumper crop of Brussels sprouts.
fatuous
adj. silly, inanely foolish

We suspected that the fatuous grin on Amy's face was evidence of a chocolate chip cookie overdose; she had eaten so many that she had become completely goofy.
fawn
v. to flatter or praise excessively

Hector used to think it would be great to be a rock star and have groupies fawning all over him; he changed his mind the first time the fans tore all his clothes off.
feckless
adj. ineffectual; irresponsible

My feckless brother managed to get himself grounded again, proving one more time that I am the more responsible sibling.
felicitous
adj. apt; suitably expressed, well chosen, apropos; delightful.

She can always be counted on for the most felicitious remark; she has something appropriate for every occasion.
fell
n. a barren or stony hill; an animal's hide

The cabin stood isolated on the wind-swept fell.
fervent
adj. greatly emotional or zealous
fetid
adj. stinking, having a heavy bad smell.

We were never able to determine exactly what the fetid green substance we found in the refrigerator was; no one was willing to get close enough to that horrible smell to investigate.
fetter
v. to shackle, put in chains, restrain.

Fran was fettered in her attempts to find the hotel by her inability to speak French.
filigree
n. an ornamental work, especially of delicate lacelike patterns; resembling such a pattern.

The decorative filigree of its design disguised the wrought iron fence's practical purpose.
flag
v. to sag or droop, to become spiritless, to decline.
flip
adj. sarcastic, impertinent
florid
adj. flushed with color, ruddy, ornate.

Glen always became a little florid when he drank; his face became bright red.
flout
v. to demonstrate contempt for.

Gertrude's reputation for flouting the rules was so well known that she was no longer able to get away with anything at all.
foment
v. to stir up, incite, rouse.

Although they accused Kayla of fomenting the protest, she had actually been the one trying to calm everyone down.
forbearance
n. patience, willingness to wait.
ford
v. to wade across the shallow part of a river or stream.
forestall
v. to act in a way to hinder, exclude or prevent an action; to circumvent or thwart.

The famous actress was trying to forestall aging by undergoing ever more bizarre therapies and cosmetic surgeries.
forswear
v. to renounce, disallow, repudiate.

Foreswearing all previous alliances, the paranoid dictator vowed to allow no one to share his power.
fortuitious
adj. happening by fortunate accident or chance
fracas
n. noisy fight or quarrel, brawl.
fractious
adj. quarrelsome, rebellious, unruly, cranky.

Vince's fractious response to my suggestion was completely uncharacteristic, given his usually easygoing and agreeable attitude.
froward
adj. intractable, not willing to yield or comply, stubbornly disobedient.

Two year-olds have a reputation for being froward; they've discoverd the pleasure of saying no.
fulminate
v. to attack loudly or denounce.

Since he had been fulminating against coporate misconduct for years, his enemies were gleeful to uncover evidence of the million-dollar payoff he received from the state's largest company.
furtive
adj. marked by stealth; covert; surreptitious.

His furtive glances around the room made him look guilty, even if he wasn't really trying to hide anything.
gainsay
v. to deny, dispute, contradict, oppose.
gambol
v. to skip about playfully, frolic.

Every March, the students performed the rites of spring by gamboling about half naked.
garner
v. to gather and save, store up, acquire.
garrulous
adj. pointlessly talkative, talking too much.

It was easy to see how nervous Gary was by how much he was talking; he always gets garrulous when he is anxious.
gauche
adj. crude, awkward, tasteless
germane
adj. relevant to the subject at hand; appropriate in subject matter.
glib
adj. marked by ease or informality; nonchalant; lacking depth; superficial.
gossamer
adj. delicate, insubstanial or tenous; insincere
grandiloquence
n. pompous speech or expression
grouse
v. to complain or grumble.

Fedinand's constant grousing about my violin playing has finally convinced me I might need lessons.
guile
n. trickery, duplicity, cunning.

The wily con man used guile to part us from our money, but at least we ended up with this lovely snake oil.
guy
n. a rope or cord attached to something as a brace or guide.

We were all nervous that the guy for the pulley would give way, but the platform stayed intact, so it must have been fine.
hackneyed
adj. rendered trite or commonplace by frequent usage.

Every hackneyed phrase began as something other than a cliche; it only ended up on the greeting card circuit because enough people repeated it over and over.
halcyon
adj. calm and peaceful, prosperous.

I always hated it when the halcyon days of summer were interrupted by the start of school in the fall.
hallow
v. to set apart as holy.

The site for the new church was set aside and hallowed in a special ceremony.