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100 Cards in this Set

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harangue
v. to deliver a loud, pompous speech or tirade.

After having been harangued for hours about the superiority of his methods, we should be forgiven for laughing when his demonstration failed.
hermetic
adj. airtight, impervious to outside influence.
heterodox
adj. unorthodox, heretical, iconoclastic
homily
n. a sermon or morally instructive lecture, a platitude.

The subject of the minister's homilies ranged from the importance of compassion to the virtues of brushing one's teeth three times a day.
iconoclast
n. one who attacks or undermines traditional conventions or institutions.

Frank always isisted on being the iconoclast; whenever everyone else agreed to "up," he would argue for "down."
idolatrous
adj. given to intense or excessive devotion to something.
idyll
n. a carefree, light-hearted pastoral or romantic episode or experience; a literary or musical piece describing such.
ignominious
adj. shameful, dishonorable, ignoble, undignified, disgraceful.

It was an ignominious, though deserved, end to all his boasting when the wheels fell off his car halfway through the race.
imbroglio
n. difficult or embarrassing situation.

We could see a public relations imbroglio developing before our eyes when the food fight started in the senior citizens' home right as the mayor began his speech.
immutable
adj. not capable of change.
impassive
adj. revealing no emotion or sensibility.

The guards at Buckingham Palace are required to be completely impassive; they can't show any emotion whatsoever.
impecunious
adj. lacking funds; without money.

The impecunious actor was so desperate for money that he had to sacrifice his artisitc principles and work as a mime for a few months.
imperious
adj. commanding, masterful, arrogant, domineering, haughty.

Her imperious manner was extremely annoying to her employees, who thought her arrogance was unfounded since she wasn't even that bright.
imperturbable
adj. marked by extreme calm, impassivity and steadiness.
impetuous
adj. hastily or rashly energetic; impulsive and vehement.

We regretted our impetuous decision to spend our vacaton in Greendland when we realized we hadn't packed any warm clothing.
implacable
adj. not capable of being appeased or significantly changed.

Her anger over her partner's betrayal was implacable; nothing anyone said or did would appease her.
importune
v. to ask incessantly, beg, nag.

Jerry's constant importuning for time off worked in a way; he had plenty of time off once he was fired for nagging his boss about a vacation.
impugn
v. to attack or assail verbally, censure, execrate, deny.
impunity
n. immunity from punishment, penalty or harm.
impute
v. to attribute to a cause or source, ascribe, assign as a characteristic.

The mechanic imputed my car's failure to start to the absence of gasoline in the tank.
inchoate
adj. in an initial stage, not fully formed.

My vague, inchoate response did not satisfy the committee.
incipient
adj. beginning to come into being or to become apparent.

I could sense the dull throbbing in my head that was the sign of an incipient headache.
indefatigable
adj. not easily exhaustible, tireless, dogged.
indifferent
adj. having no interest or concern, apathetic; showing no bias or prejudice.
indolent
adj. lazy, listless, torpid.

Alex was so indolent that he hired other people to wash his hands for him.
ineluctable
adj. certain, inevitable.

George refused to accept the ineluctable reality of death, so he planned to have himself frozen.
infelicitous
adj. unfortunate; inappropriate.
ingenuous
adj. artless, frank and candid, lacking in sophistication.

His ingenuous question revealed how naive he was, but his ingenuousness was actually refreshing in this group of cynical, scheming old men.
inimical
adj. damaging, harmful, injurious, hostile, unfriendly.

He seemed inimical to my overtures of friendship, refusing even to talk to me.
inimitable
adj. one of a kind, peerless.

She lived up to every expectation when she arrived at the party decked out in ostrich feathers and sequins in her usual inimitable style.
iniquity
n. wickedness, gross injustice
innervate
v. to supply with nerves, energize.

Innervated by our coach's pep talk, we were filled with energy for the upcoming game.
innocuous
adj. harmless; causing no damage
inscrutable
adj. incapable of being discovered or understood, mysterious.
insensible
adj. unconscious, unresponsive, unaware, unaffected, numb.
insipid
adj. without taste or flavor, lacking in spirit, dull.
insouciant
adj. unconcerned, carefree, nonchalant.

Her insouciant attitude toward her schoolwork meant that she rarely turned in her papers or bothered to study for a test.
insular
adj. parochial, narrow-minded, like an island.

The small fishing community had a very insular attitude towards outsiders, viewing them as strange and generally distrusting them.
interdict
v. to prohibit, forbid, ban, halt.

Although Prohibition attempted to interdict the sale of alcohol, it was never entirely successful.
intimate
v. to imply, suggest or insinuate.

The governor intimated that she might run for Congress, but coyly refused to commit one way or the other.
intractable
adj. not easily managed or directed, stubborn, obstinate.

He was most the most intractable child I have ever met; nothing I tried would get him to brush his teeth or go to bed.
intransigent
adg. refusing to compromise

He was an intransigent supporter of the tax cut, refusing to compromise even the slightest bit.
intrepid
adj. steadfast, courageous
inured
adj. accustomed to accepting something undesirable.

I have become inured to waking up at 5 a.m.; I still don't like it, but at least I'm used to it.
inveigh
v. to attack verbally, denounce, deprecate.

Inveighing against the government's policies will do you no good if you don't bother to vote as well.
inveigle
v. to obtain by decepton or flattery.

I can't believe she inveigled a ticket to the concert; I've been trying to get one for weeks.
inveterate
adj. deep rooted, ingrained, habitual.

Tim was such an inveterate liar that he lied even when he thought he was telling the truth.
irascible
adj. easily angered; prone to tempermental outbursts.

Irascible to the end, the grouchy old man started a fight on his deathbed.
itinerate
v. to travel from place to place.
jejune
adj. vapid, uninteresting; childish, immature; lacking nutrition.

The jejune lecture on various ways to wash clothes had us half-asleep after ten minutes.
jibe
v. to agree, to be in accord

Since their accounts of the evening didn't jibe, we knew that least one of them wasn't telling the truth.
jocose
adj. given to joking; humorous.

The jocose man could always be counted on for some levity, but it was almost impossible to get him to stop joking even for a minute.
kinetic
adj. having to do with motion; lively; active
labile
adj. readily open to change, unstable.

He was so emotionally labile that he could be crying one minute and laughing the next.
laconic
adj. using few words; terse.

We took her "good" as high praise indeed, since that was more than our laconic band teacher usually said in a whole week.
lassitude
n. listlessness, languor, weariness.

Those two push-ups I attempted filled me with lassitude for the rest of the day.
laud
v. to praise highly
limn
v. to draw, outline in detail.

The painter limned the old man's face in such exquisite and expressive lines that it almost looked as if he might open his mouth and speak.
limpid
adj. transparent, serene, clear and simple in style, untroubled.

The once-limpid pond had become a nasty soup of algae, beer cans, and a random tennis shoe or two.
list
v. to tilt or lean to one side.

The ship listed to one side after running aground on a rock and filling partially with water.
lumber
v. to move heavily and clumsily or with a rumbling sound.

The truck lumbered about like a drunken dinosaur.
magnanimity
n. the quality of being generously noble in mind and heart, especially in forgiving.
malinger
v. to feign illness so as to avoid work.

He boss suspected her of malingering until she brought a note in from her doctor.
maunder
v. to talk or move aimlessly, mutter.

After we maundered about for over three hours I started to suspect that our guide didn't have the slightest idea where he was going.
maverick
n. an independent individual who does not go along with a group or party.
mellifluous
adj. sweetly flowing, usually used to describe words or sounds.

The mellifluous sound of her voice lulled me to sleep, though this wasn't what she had in mind since she was trying to chastise me.
mendacity
n. the condition of being being untruthful, dishonesty.
mercurial
adj. characterized by rapid and unpredictable change in mood.
meretricious
adj. tawdry, pretentious, attractive but false, showy, having to do with prositution.

His meretricious argument had all the false allure of a low-rent Vegas nightclub: showy on the outside, but seedy and desperate on the inside.
mettlesome
adj. courageous, high-spirited.

The mettlesome doctor risked his own life to try to save the wounded soldiers on both sides.
militate
v. to have weight or bearing on, to argue (against).

The president's advisors warned him that the volatility of the situtation militated against any rash action.
milk
v. to exploit, to squeeze every last ounce of.
minatory
adj. menacing, threatening.

Disregarding the minatory signs, we opened the door and discovered that the ferocious dog that the sign had warned us about was a dachshund.
mince
v. pronounce or speak effectedly or too carefully, euphemize, take tiny steps, tiptoe.
mitigate
v. to make or become less severe or intense, moderate.
mollify
v. to calm or soothe, reduce in emotional intensity.
multifarious
adj. varied, motley, greatly diversified.

The objects of his multifarious crushes ranged from Katherine Hepburn to the cashier at the grocery store.
nadir
n. low point, perigee.
natty
adj. trimly neat and tidy, dapper.

My grandmother is always complaining that there are no more natty dressers; she just doesn't think that baggy jeans and sneakers can compete with the zoot suits of her adolescence.
neophyte
n. a recent convert; a beginner; a novice.
nexus
n. a connection, tie, or link; center or focus.

Although many people have studied the nexus between rehabilitation programs for prisoners and rates of recidivism, no one has been able to draw any universally accepted conclusions about the relationship.
nice
adj. exacting, extremely or even excessively precise; done with delicacy or skill.

The distinction he drew between the two findings was so nice that most of his listeners weren't even sure it was there.
noisome
adj. offensive, especially to one's sense of smell, fetid.

I don't know how anyone with a nose can live in an apartment that noisome.
nonplussed
adj. baffled, in a quandary, at a loss for what to say, do or think.

The movie left me a little nonplussed since I didn't understand the languages that either the movie or the subtitles were in.
nostrum
n. cure-all, placebo, questionable remedy.

Any nostrum that claims to cure both a hangover and bunions is either a miracle or a fraud.
noxious
adj. harmful, injurious.
obdurate
adj. unyielding, hardhearted, inflexible.

The villain's obdurate heart was unmoved by the plight of the villagers; he refused to show any compassion at all.
obfuscate
v. to deliberately obscure, to make confusing.
obsequious
adj. exhibiting a fawning attentiveness; subservient.

His obsequious fawing over Brandy made him seem more like her pet than her peer.
obstreperous
adj. noisy. loudly stubborn, boisterous.

That obsteperous two-year-old has the lungs of an opera singer.
obtain
v. to be established, accepted, or customary, prevail.

The proper conditions for the summit will only obtain if all parties agree to certain terms.
obtuse
adj. lacking sharpness of intellect, not clear or precise in thought or expression.

Her approach was so obtuse that it took me twenty minutes to figure out she was asking me out.
obviate
v. to anticipate and make unnecessary.

Finding my keys in my pocket obviated the need for the private investigators I just hired to locate them.
occlude
v. to obstruct or block.

The big bus that parked right in front of us occluded our view.
officious
meddlesome, pushy in offering one's services where they are unwanted.
onerous
adj. troubling, burdensome

Every spring I dread the onerous task of filing my income tax return.
opprobrium
n. disgrace, contempt, scorn.

The students couldnt' bear to face their teacher's opprobrium after they all failed the midterm exam.
ostensible
adj. seeming, appearing as such, professed.

Even though his ostensible reason for coming to all the games was his love of the sport, we knew his crush on the team captain was his real reason.
ostentatious
adj. characterized by or given to pretentiousness.

The ostentatious display of his diplomas on the front door of his office backfired whenever anyone noticed that the names of all the schools were spelled incorrectly.
overweening
adj. presemptuously arrogant, overbearing, immoderate.

His overweening arrogance made everyone want to smack him, which was the only way he got to be the center of attention that he imagined he should be.