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150 Cards in this Set

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cabal
small group of persons escretly united to promote their own interests. The cabal was defeated when its scheme was discovered
buxom
full-bosomed; plump; jolly. High fashion models usually are slender rather than buxom
buttress
support; prop up. Just as architects buttress the walls of cathedrals with flying buttresses, debaters buttress their arguments with facts
burnish
make shiny by rubbing; polish. The maid burnished the brass fixtures until they reflected the lamplight
burlesque
give an imitation that ridicules. In Galaxy Quest, Alan Rickman burlesques Mr. Spock of Star Trek, outrageously parodying Spock;s unemotional manner and stiff bearing
burgeon
grow forth; send out buds. In that spring, the plants that burgeon are a promise of the beauty that is to come
bureaucracy
overregulated administrative system marked by red tape. The internal Revenue Service is the ultimate bureacracy; taxpayers wasted so much paper filling out IRS forms and that the IRS bureaucrats printed up a new set of rules requiring the taxpayers to comply with the paperwork reduction act.
bungle
mismanage; blunder. Don't botch this assignment, Burnstead; if you bungle the job, you're fired!
bulwark
earthwork or other strong defense; person whod efends. The navy is our pricncipal bulwark against invasion
bullion
gold and silver in the form of bars. Much bulion is stored in the vaults at Fort Knox
bugaboo
bugbear; object of baseless terror. If we become frightened by such bugaboos, we are no wiser than the birds who fear scarecrows.
buffoonery
clowning. In the Ace Ventura movies, Jim Carrey's buffonery was hilarious; like BOzo the Clown, he's a natural buffoon
buffet
slap; batter; knwock about. To buffet something is to rough it up. (Buffet rhymes with tray).
bucolic
rustic; pastoral, countryside. Filled with browsin cows and bleating sheep, th meadow was a charmingly bucolic sight
buccaneer
pirate. At Disneland the Pirates of the Caribbean sing a song about their lives as bloody buccaneers
brusque
blunt; abrupt. She was offended by the brusque reply.
brunt
main impact or shock. Tom Sawyer claimed credit for painting the fence, but the brunt of the work fell on others. HOwever, Tom bore the brunt of Aunt Polly's complaints when the paint began to peel
browse
gaze; skm or glance at casually. 'HOw now, brownc ow, browsing in the green, green grass."
browbeat
bully; intimidate. Billy resisted Ted's attempts to browbeat him into handing over his lunch money
brook
tolerate; endure. The dean would brook no interference with his disciplinary actions (secondary meaning)
brooch
ornamental clasp. She treasured the brooch becasue it was an heirloom
brochure
pamphlet. This brochure of farming was issued by the Dept of Agriculture
brocade
rich; figred fabric. The sofa was covered with expensive brocade
broach
introduce; open up. Jack did not even try to broach the subject of religion with his in-laws.
brittle
easily broken; difficult. My employer's brittle personality made it difficult for me to get along with her
bristling
rising like bristles; showing irritation. The dog stood there, bristling with anger
brindled
tawny or grayish with streaks or spots. He was disappointed in the litter because the puppies were brindled, h had hoped for animals of a uniform color.
brevity
conciseness. Brevity is essential wen you send a telegram of cablegram; you are charged for every word
breadth
width; extent. We were impressed by the breadth of her knowledge
breach
breaking of contract or duty; fissure or gap. Jill sued Jack for breach of promise, claiming he had broken their engagement
brazen
insolent; (thick face), bold. Her brazen contempt for authority angered the officials
brawn
muscular strength; sturdiness. It takes brawn to become a champion weight-lifter. brawny
bravado
swagger; assumed air of defiance. The bravado of the young criminal disappeared when he was confronted by the victims of his brutal attack.
brandish
wave around; flousih. Alarmed, doctor Watson widly brandished his gun until Holmes told him to put the thing away before he shot himself.
braggart
boaster. Modest by nature, she was no braggart, preferrin to let her accomplishments speak for themselves
braggadocio
boasting. He was disliked because his manner was always full of braggadocio
brackish
somewhat saline. he found the only wells in the area were brackish; drinking the water made him nauseous
boycott
refrain from buying or using. To put pressure on grape growers to stop using pesticides that harmed the farm workers' health, Cesar Chavez called for consumers to boycott grapes
bowlderize
expurgate (erase). After the film editors had bowdlerized the language in the script, the motion picture's rating was changed from 'R' to "PG'
bovine
cowlike; placid and dull. Nothing excites Esther' even when she won the state lottery, sthe still preserved her air of bovine calm
bourgeois
middle class; selfishly materialistic; dully conventional. Technically, anyone who belongs to the middle class is bourgeois, but, given the word's connaotations, most people resent it if you call them that
bountiful
abundant; graciously generous. Thanks to the good harvest, we had a bountiful supply of food and we could be as bountiful as we liked in distributing food to the needy
bouillon
clear beef soup. The cup of bouillon served by the stewards was welcomed by those who had been chilled by the cold ocean breezes
boorish
rude; insensitive. Though Mr. Potts constantly interrupted his wife, she ignored his boorish behavior, for she had lost hope of teaching him courtesy
boon
blessing; benefit. The recent rains that filled our empty reservoirs were a boon to the whole community
bombastic
pompous; using inflated language. Puffed up with conceit, the orator spoke in such a bombastic manner that we longed to deflate him. bombast.
bombardment
attack (as with missiles) the enemy bombardment demolished the town. Members of the opposition party bombarded the prime minister with questions about the enemy attack.
bolt
dash or dart off; fasten (a door); gobble down. Jack was set to bolt out the front door, but Jill bolted the door. 'Eat your breakfast,' she said, 'don't bolt your food'
bolt
door bar; fastening pin or sccrew; lengthen of fabric. The carpenter shut the workshop door, sliding the heavy metal bolt into place.
bolster
support; reinforce. The debaters ammassed file boxes full of evidence to bolster their arguments
boisterous
violent; rough; noisy. The unruly crowd became even more boisterous when he tried to quiet them
bohemian
unconventional (in an artistic way) Gertrude stein ran off to Paris to live an ecentric, bohemian life style
bogus
counterfiet; not authentic. The police quickly found the distributors of the bogus 20 dollars bills
bode
foreshadow; portend. The goomy skies and the sulfurous odors from the mineral springs seemed to bode evil to those who settled in the area
bluster
blow in heavy gusts; threaten emptily; bully. 'Let the stormy winds bluster' cried Jack. 'we'll set sail tongith' Jiill let Jack Bbluster; she wasn't going anywwhere, no matter what he said
bluff
pretense (of strength); deception; high cliff. Claire thought Jim boast that the would swim the Hellespont was just a bluff
bludgeon
club; heavy-headed weapon. Attacked by Dr. Moriarty, Holmes used his walking stick as a bludgeon to defend himself. 'Watson' he said. 'I fear I may have bludgeoned MOriarty to death.'
blowhard
talkative boaster. After all Sol's talk about his big show business connections led nowhere, Sally decided he was just another blowhard
blithe
carefree and unconcerned (perhaps foolishly so); cheerful and gay. Micawber's blithe optimism that something would turn up proved unfounded, and he wound up in debtors' prison
blighted
suffering from a disease; destroyed. The extent of the blighted areas could be seen only when viewed from the air
bleak
cold or cheerless; unliekly to be favorable. In the mid bleak winter
blatant
extremely obvious; loudly offensive. Caught in a blatant lie, the scoundrel had only one regret' he wished that he had lied more subtly. blatancy N
blasphemy
irreverence; sacriledge; cursing. In my father's house, the Dodgers were the holieset of holies; to cheer for antoher team was to utter words of blasphemy. blasphemous adj
blase
bored with pleasure or dissipation. Although Beth was as thrilled with the idea of a trip to Paris as her classmates were, she tried to act supercool and blase, as if she'd been abroad hundreds of times
blare
loud, harsh roar or screech; dazzling blaze of light. I dunno which is worse; the steady blare of a boom box deafening your ears or a sudden blare of flashbulbs dazzling your eyes
blandishment
flattery. Despite the salesperson's blandishments, the customer did not buy the outfit
blandish
cajole; coax with flattery. Despite with all their sweet talking, Lindsay and Paris wre unable to blandish the doorman into leeting them into the exclusive club.
bland
soothing or mild; agreeable. Jill tried a bland ointment for her sunburn. however, when Jack absenmindedly patted her on the sunburned shoulder, she coudln't maintain her bland personal. blandness N
bizarre
fantastic; violently contrasting. The plot of the novel was too bizarre to be believed
bivouac
temporary encampment. While in bivouac, we spent the night in our sleeping bags under the stars
billowing
swelling out in waves surgin. Standing over the air vent, Marilyn Monroe tried vainly to control her billowing skirts
bilk
siwindle; cheat. The con man specialized in bilking insurance companies
bilious
suffering from a liver complaint; peevishly ill humored. If our tummy's feeling biliou, try Carter's Little Liver Pills for fast relief. British linguistic purists regard Americanisms with bilious eye, pouncing on each supposed barbarism viciously
bigotry
stubborn intolerance. Brough up in a democratic atmosphere, the student was shocked by the bigotry and narrowness expressed by several of his classmates
bifurcated
divided into two branches; forked. With a bifurcated branch and a piece of ealstic rubber, he made a crude but effective slingshot.
biennial
every two years. Seeing no need to meet more frequently, the group held biennial meetings. Instead of annual ones.
bicker
quarrel. The chidren bickered morning, noon and night, exasperating their parents
bicameral
two chambered, as a legislative body. The United states Congress is a bicameral body
bevy
large group. The movie actor was surrounded by a bevy of starlets
betroth
become engaged to marry. The announcement that they had become betrothed surprised their friends who had not suspected any roamnce. betryothal
betray
be unfaithful; reveal (unconsciously or unwilingly). The spy betrayed his country by selling military ecrets to the enemy
bestow
confer. He wished to bestow great honors upon the hero
bestial
beastlike; bruta; inhuman. According to legend, the werewolf was able to abandon its human shape and assume a bestial form.
besmirch
soil; defile. The scandalous remarks in the newspaper besmirch the reputations of every member of the society
besiege
surround with armed forces; harass (with requests). When the bandits besieged the village, the villagers holed up in the town hall and prepared to withstand a long siege
beset
harass or trouble; hem in. Many vexing problems beet the American public school system
beseech
beg; plead with. The workaholic exceutive;s wife beseeched him to spend more time with their son.
berserk
frenzied. Angered, he went berserk and began to wreck his room
bereft
deprived of; lacking. The foolish gambler soon found himself bereft of funds
bereavement
state of being deprived of something valuable or beloved. His friends gathered to console him upon his sudden bereavement
berate
scold strongly. He feared she would berate him for his forgetfulness
bequeath
leave to someone by menas of a will; hand down. In his will, father bequeathed his watch to Philip; the bequest meant a great deal to the boy. bequest N
bent
determined; natura; talent or inclination. Bent on advancing in the business world, the secretary heroine of Working Girl had a true bent for high finance
benison
blessing. let us pray that the benison of peace once more shall prevail among the nations of the world
benign
kindly; favorable; not malignant. Though her benign smile and gentle bearing made Miss Marple seema sweet little old lady, in reality she was a tough minded, shrewd observer of human nature. benignity N
benevolent
generous; charitable. Mr. Fezziwig was a benevolet employer who wished to make Christmas merrier for young Scrooge and his other employees. benevolence N
beneficial
helpful; useful
beneficient
kindly; doing good. The overgenerous philantrhopisthad to curb his beneficient impulses before he gave away all his money and left himself with nothing
benefactor
gift giver; patron. Scrooge later became james's benefactor and gave him gifts
benediction
blessing. The appearance of the sun after the man rainy days was like a benediction
bemused
confused; lost in thought; preoccupied. Jill studied the garbled instructions with a bemused look on her face
bemoan
lament; express disapproval of. GThe widow bemoaned the death of her beloved husband
belligerent
quarrelsome. Whenever he had too much to dirn, he became belligerent and tried to pick fights with strangers. belligerence N
bellicose
warlike; pugnacious; naturally inclined to fight. Someone who is spoiling for a fight is by definition bellicose
belittle
disparage; deprecate. Parentsshould not belittle their children's early attempts at drawing, but should encourage at their efforts
belie
contradict; give a false impression. his coarse, hard bitten exterior belied his innate sensitivity
beleaguer
besiege or attack; harrass. The babysitter was surrounded by a crowd of unmanageable brats who relentlessly beleaguered her
belated
delayed. He apologised for his belated note of condolence to the widow of his friend and explained that he had jsut learned of her husband's untimely death
belabor
explain or go over excessively or to a ridiculous degree; assail vertablly. The debate coahc warned her student noto bore the audience by belaboring his point
behoove
be necessary or proper for; be incumbent upon. because the interest of the ruler and the ruled are incompatible, it behooves the ruler to trust no one.
behemoth
huge creatures; something of monstrous size of power. Sportscasters nicknaed the linebacker 'The behemoth'
beguile
mislead or dellude; cheat; pass time. With flattery and big talk of easy money, the con men beguiled Kyle into betting his allowance on the shell game
begrudge
resent. I begrudge every minute I have to psend attending meetings
beget
father; produce; give rise to. One good turn may deserve another; it does not necessarily beget another
befuddle
confuse thorougly. His attempts to clarify the situation succeeded only in befuddling her further
beeline
direct; quick route. As soon as the movie was over, John made a beeline for the exit
bedraggle
wet thorougly. We were so bedraggled by the severe storm that we had to change into dry clothing.
beatitude
blessedness; state of bliss. Growing closer to God each day, the mystic achieved a state of indescribable beatitude
beatify
bless or sanctify; proclaim someone dead to be one of the blessed. In 1996 pope john paul traveled to belgium to beatify father damien, who died in 1889 afte r caring for lepers in hawaii.
beatific
showing or producing joy; blissful. When Jay first saw the new puppy, a beatific smile spread across his face
bawdy
indecent; obscene. Jack took offense at Jill's bawdy remarks. What kind of young man did she think he was?
bauble
trinklet; trifle. The child was delighted with the bauble she had won in the grab bag
bate
let down; restrain. Until it was time to open the presents, the children had to bate their curiosity. bated ad
bastion
stronghold; something seen as a source of protection. The villagers fortified the twon hall, hoping this improvised bastion could protect them from the guerrilla raids
bask
luxuriate; take pleasure in warmth. Basking on the beach, she relaxed so completely that she fell asleep
barterer
trader. The abrterer exchanged trinkets for the natives' furs
barrister
counselor-at-law. Falsworthy started as a barrister, but, when he found the practice of law boring, turned to writing
barrage
barrier laid down by artillery fire; overwhelming profusion. The company was forced to retreat through the barrage of heavy cannons.
baroque
higly ornate. Accustomed to the severe, angular lines of modern skyscrapers,t hey found the flamboyance of baroque architecture amusing
barefaced
shameless; bold; unconcealed. Shocked by Huck Finn's barefced lies, Miss Watson prayed the good lord would give him a sense of his unregenerate wickedness
bard
poet. The ancient bard homer sang of the fall of Troy
barb
sharp projection from fishhook or other object; openly cutting remark. If you were a politican, which would you prefer, being caught on the barb of a fishhook or being subjected to malicious verbal barbs?
bantering
good naturedly ridiculing. They rsented his bantering remarks because they misinterpreted his teasing as sarcasm
baneful
destructive; casuing ruin or death. Anointment seems intended to apply the power of natural and supernatural forces to the sick and thus to ward off the baneful influences of diseases and of demons
bane
curse; cause of ruin. Lucky's little brother was the bane of her existence, scribbling on walls with her lip stick and pouring her shampoo down the drain
bandy
discuss lightly or flibly exchange (words) heatedly. While the prsdient was happy to bandy patriotic generalizations with anyone who would listen to him, he refused to bandy words with unfriendly reporters at the press conference
banal
hackneyed; commonplace; trite; lacking originality. The hack writHe even resorted to the banal comic sketch seem banal. He even resorted to the banality of having someone slip on a banana peel!
balmy
mild ; fragrant. A balmy breeze refreshed us after the sultry blast
ballast
heavy substance used to add stability or weight. The ship was listing badly to one side; it was necessary to shift the ballast in the hold to get her back on an even keel
balk
foil. (to stop) When the warden learned that several inmates were planning to escape, he took steps to balk their attempt
baleful
threatening; menacing; sinister; foreshadowing evil. The bully's baleful glare across the classrom warned tom to expect trouble after school
baffle
frustrate; perplex. The new code baffled the enemy agents
badinage
teasing conversation. her friends at work greeted the news of her engagement with cheerful badinage
badger
pester; annoy. She was forced to change her telephone no. because she was badgered by obscene phone calls
bacchanalian
drunken. emperor nero attended the bacchanalian orgy
azure
sky blue. Azure skies are indicative of good weather
axiom
self-evident truth requiring no proof. The declation of independence records certain self evident truths or axioms, the first of which is 'all men are created equal'.
awry
distorted; crooked. He held his head awry, giving the impression that he had caught cold in his neck during the night
awl
pointed tool used for piercing. She used an awl to punch additional holes in the leather belt she had bought
awe
solemn wonder. The tourists gazed with awe at the tremendous expanse of the Grand canyon