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60 Cards in this Set

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  • Back
soporific
adj. causing drowsiness, tending to induce sleep
specious
adj. seeming true, but actually false, misleadingly attractive
spendthrift
n. one who spends money wastefully
splenetic
adj. bad-tempered, irritable

The patient became particularly splenetic whenever his spleen was bothering him, so the nurses stayed out of his room those days
spurious
adj. lacking authenticity or validity, false, counterfeit
stanch
v. to stop the flow of a fluid

The flow of blood from the cut was so slight that half a tissue was all that was needed to stanch it.
steep
v. to saturate or completely soak
stentorian
adj. extremely loud and powerful

Her grandfather's stentorian voice could be heard from anywhere in the house, and when he issued a command, everyone moved immediately
stint
v. to restrain, be sparing or frugal

I hate to stint on dessert, so I always save room for at least two portions.
striated
adj. striped, grooved, or banded.

It was initially a bit strange to drive over the grooves on the roads where the asphalt had been striated to provide better traction when it rained.
strut
n. a stuctural support used to brace a framework
stygian
adj. gloomy, dark

The stygian murk of the cave wasn't all that inviting, especially when bats started flying out of it.
succor
n. assistance, relief in time of distress

The brief rain did not provide much succor to the farmers who were losing their crops to drought.
sundry
adj. various, miscellaneous, separate
supercilious
adj. disdainful, arrogant, haughty, characterized by haughty scorn.

The snotty salesperson looked at the clothes I was wearing with a supercillious expression and apparently decided I wasn't worth her time, so she went back to filing her nails.
superfluous
adj. exceeding what is sufficient or necessary
supine
adj. inactive, lying on one's back, apathetic, mentally or morally slack
supplant
v. to take the place of, supersede

I was quickly supplanted in my girlfriend's affections by her new beau, and a month later she didn't even remember my name.
suppliant
adj. asking humbly, beseeching

The suppliant expression on the boy's face would have melted anyone's will to refuse him what he wanted.
surfeit
v. to feed or supply in excess

The girls surfeited themselves with candy and cookies at the birthday party, and all came home with stomachaches.
sycophant
n. someone who tries to flatter or please for personal gain, parasite
table
v. to remove (as a parlimentary motion) from consideration
tacit
adj. implied, not explicitly stated
taciturn
adj. not talkative, silent
tamp
v. to plug, to drive in or down by a series of blows.

The old many had a very specific ritual for tamping the tobacco into his pipe.
tendentious
adj. biased, showing marked tendencies

Although it was clearly a tendentious account, I found it very informative, though that may have been because I happened to agree with the author.
tender
v. to offer formally

We refused the terms of the truce the other side tendered, because they wanted us to surrender our water balloons first.
tenuous
adj. having little substance or strength, flimsy, weak
terse
adj. brief and concise in wording
timorous
adj. timid, fearful, diffident
toady
n. sycophant, flatterer, yes-man
torpid
adj. lethargic, sluggish, dormant
torque
n. a force that causes rotation.
torrid
adj. scorching, ardent, passionate hurried
tortuous
adj. winding, twisting, excessively complicated
tractable
adj. docile, obedient, easily led


The magician was looking for a tractable young assistant who would be willing to follow directions such as "get in the box so I can saw you in half."
travesty
n. mockery, caricature, parody
trenchant
adj. sharply perceptive, keen, penetrating, biting, clear cut

His trenchant criticism of the report revealed the fundamentally flawed premise on which it was based.
truculent
adj. fierce, scathing, eager to fight

The truculent trucker had already been arrested five times this year for starting barroom brawls.
tumid
adj. swollen

The river, tumid from the spring rains, overflowed its banks and flooded the surrounding fields.
turbid
adj. muddy, having sediment stirred up, clouded to the point being opaque, in a state of turmoil.

The coffee was so turbid from the grounds that seeped through the filter that it looked like mud.
turgid
adj. swollen, bloated, pompous, excessively ornate

Her turgid prose would have been difficult to take in any context, but it was particularly ill suited to a computer how-to-book.
tyro
n. novice, beginner in learning

Although he was only a tyro at the game of chess, he was able to win most of his matches against more experienced players.
ubiquitous
adj. existing everywhere at the same time, constantly encountered, widespread
umbrage
n. offense, resentment
undulate
v. to move in a wavelike fashion, fluctuate
unfeigned
adj. genuine, not false or hypocritical
untoward
adj. troublesome, unruly, unseemly, adverse
upbraid
v. to scold, censure, rebuke, chastise
usury
n. charging an exorbitant or illegal rate of interest
variegated
adj. multicolored, characterized by a variety of patches of different color
vaunt
v. to brag or boast
venal
adj. capable of being bought or bribed, mercenary
verisimilitude
n. appearing true or real

The verisimilitude of the wax figures was uncanny; they looked as if they would start to move and speak at any minute
viscous
adj. thick, sticky
vitiate
v. to reduce the value of, debase, spoil, make ineffective

His failure to live up to his end of the deal vitiated the entire agreement as far as I was concerned.
vituperate
v. to use harsh condemnatory language; abuse or censure severely

Don't you vituperate me, missy, when you know you're every bit as much to blame.
volatile
adj. readily changing to a vapor; changeable, fickle, explosive
welter
v. to writhe, to toss about, to be in turmoil

The lake weltered in the storm, tossing the boat up on huge waves
wend
v. to go, proceed, walk

We wended our way through the market, buying vegetables for dinner