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100 Cards in this Set

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  • Back
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.
adj. airtight, impervious to outside influence.
adj. unorthodox, heretical, iconoclastic
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.
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."
adj. given to intense or excessive devotion to something.
n. a carefree, light-hearted pastoral or romantic episode or experience; a literary or musical piece describing such.
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.
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.
adj. not capable of change.
adj. revealing no emotion or sensibility.

The guards at Buckingham Palace are required to be completely impassive; they can't show any emotion whatsoever.
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.
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.
adj. marked by extreme calm, impassivity and steadiness.
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.
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.
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.
v. to attack or assail verbally, censure, execrate, deny.
n. immunity from punishment, penalty or harm.
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.
adj. in an initial stage, not fully formed.

My vague, inchoate response did not satisfy the committee.
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.
adj. not easily exhaustible, tireless, dogged.
adj. having no interest or concern, apathetic; showing no bias or prejudice.
adj. lazy, listless, torpid.

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

George refused to accept the ineluctable reality of death, so he planned to have himself frozen.
adj. unfortunate; inappropriate.
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.
adj. damaging, harmful, injurious, hostile, unfriendly.

He seemed inimical to my overtures of friendship, refusing even to talk to me.
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.
n. wickedness, gross injustice
v. to supply with nerves, energize.

Innervated by our coach's pep talk, we were filled with energy for the upcoming game.
adj. harmless; causing no damage
adj. incapable of being discovered or understood, mysterious.
adj. unconscious, unresponsive, unaware, unaffected, numb.
adj. without taste or flavor, lacking in spirit, dull.
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.
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.
v. to prohibit, forbid, ban, halt.

Although Prohibition attempted to interdict the sale of alcohol, it was never entirely successful.
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.
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.
adg. refusing to compromise

He was an intransigent supporter of the tax cut, refusing to compromise even the slightest bit.
adj. steadfast, courageous
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.
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.
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.
adj. deep rooted, ingrained, habitual.

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

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

The jejune lecture on various ways to wash clothes had us half-asleep after ten minutes.
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.
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.
adj. having to do with motion; lively; active
adj. readily open to change, unstable.

He was so emotionally labile that he could be crying one minute and laughing the next.
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.
n. listlessness, languor, weariness.

Those two push-ups I attempted filled me with lassitude for the rest of the day.
v. to praise highly
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.
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.
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.
v. to move heavily and clumsily or with a rumbling sound.

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

He boss suspected her of malingering until she brought a note in from her doctor.
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.
n. an independent individual who does not go along with a group or party.
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.
n. the condition of being being untruthful, dishonesty.
adj. characterized by rapid and unpredictable change in mood.
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.
adj. courageous, high-spirited.

The mettlesome doctor risked his own life to try to save the wounded soldiers on both sides.
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.
v. to exploit, to squeeze every last ounce of.
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.
v. pronounce or speak effectedly or too carefully, euphemize, take tiny steps, tiptoe.
v. to make or become less severe or intense, moderate.
v. to calm or soothe, reduce in emotional intensity.
adj. varied, motley, greatly diversified.

The objects of his multifarious crushes ranged from Katherine Hepburn to the cashier at the grocery store.
n. low point, perigee.
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.
n. a recent convert; a beginner; a novice.
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.
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.
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.
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.
n. cure-all, placebo, questionable remedy.

Any nostrum that claims to cure both a hangover and bunions is either a miracle or a fraud.
adj. harmful, injurious.
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.
v. to deliberately obscure, to make confusing.
adj. exhibiting a fawning attentiveness; subservient.

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

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

The proper conditions for the summit will only obtain if all parties agree to certain terms.
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.
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.
v. to obstruct or block.

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

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

The students couldnt' bear to face their teacher's opprobrium after they all failed the midterm exam.
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.
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.
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.