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165 Cards in this Set

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missile
object to be thrown or projected. After carefully folding his book report into a paper airplane, Beavis threw the missle across the classroom at Butthead.
misogynist
haterof women. She accused him of being a misogynist because he had been a bachelor all his life
misogamy
hatred of marriage. He remained a bachelor not because of misogamy but because of ill fate: his fiancee died before the wedding.
misnomer
wrong name; incorrect designation. His tyrannical conduct proved to all that his nickanem, King Eric the Just, was a misnomer
mishap
accident. With a little care you could have avoided this mishap
misgivings
doubts. Hamlet described his misgivings to Horatio but decided to fence with Laertes despite his foreboding of evil.
miserly
stingy; mean. Transformed by his vision on Christmas Eve, mean old Scrooge ceased being miserly and became a generous, kind old man.
misdemeanor
minor crime. The culprit pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor rather than face trial for a felony
miscreant
wretch; villain. his kindness to the miscreant amazed all of us who had expected to hear severe punishment pronounced.
misconstrue
interpret incorrectly; misjudge. She took the passage seriously rather than humorously because she miscontrued the author's ironic tone.
mischance
ill luck. by mischance, he lost his week's salary.
miscellany
mixture of writings on various subjects. This is an interesting miscellany of 19thC prose and poetry
misapprehension
error; misunderstanding. To avoid misapprehension, I am going to ask all of you to repeat the instructions I have given
misanthrope
one who hates mankind. In Gulliver's Travels, Swift portrays human beings as vile, degraded beasts; for this reason, various critics consider him a misanthrope.
mirth
merriment; laughter. Sober Malvolio found Sir Toby's mirth improper
mire
entangle; stick in swampy ground. Their rear wheels became mired in mud
mirage
unreal reflection; optical illusion. The lost prospector was fooled by a mirage in the desert.
minutiae
petty details. She would have liked to ignore the minutiae of daily living.
minute
extremely small. The twins resembled one another closely; nly minute differences set them apart.
minuscule
extremely small. Why should I involve myself with a project with so minuscule a chance for success?
minion
a servile dependent. He was always accompanied by several of his minions because he enjoyed their subservience and flattery
mincing
affectedly dainty. Yum-yum walked across the stage with mincing steps
minatory
menacing; threatening. Jabbing a minatory forefinger at Dorothy, the WIcked Witch cried, "I'll get you, and your little dog, too."
mimicry
imitation. Her gift for mimicry was so great that her friends said that she should be in the theater
millennium
thousand year period
millitate
work against. Your record of lateness and absence will militate against your chances of promotion.
millitant
combative; bellicose. Although at this time he was advocating a policy of neutrality, one could usually find him adopting a more millitant attitude
millieu
environment; means of expression. Surrounded by smooth ppreppies and arty bohemians, the country boy from Smalltown, USA, felt out of his millieu. Although he has produced excellent oil paintings and lithographs, his proper millieu is watercolor
migratory
wandering. The return of the migratory birds to the northern sections of this country is a harbinger of spring
migrant
changing its habitat; wandering. These migrant birds return every spring
microcosm
small world; the world in miniature. The village community that Jane Austen depicts serves as a microcosm of English society in her time, for in this small world we see all the social classes meeting and mingling
miasma
swamp gas; heavy, vaporous atmosphere, often emanating from decaying atter; pervasive corrupting influence. The smog hung over Victorian London like a dark cloud; noisome, reeking of decay, it was a visible miasma
mettle
courage; spirit. When challenged by the other horses in the race, the thoroughbred proved it mettle by its determination to hold the lead
metropolis
large city. Every evening this terminal is filled with the thousands of commuters who are going from this metropolis to their homes in the suburns
meticulous
excessively careful; painstaking; scrupulous, Martha Stewart was a meticulous housekeeper, fussing about each and every detail that went into making up her perfect home
methodical
systematic. An accountant must be methodical and maintain order among his financial records
meteoric
swift; momentarily brillaint. We all wnondered at his meteoric rise to fame
mete
measure; distribute. He tried to be impartial in his efforts to mete out justice
metaphsical
pertaining to speculative philosophy. The modern poets have gone back to the fanciful poems of the metaphysical poets of the 17th C for many of their images
metaphor
implied comparison. "He soared like an eagle' is an example of a simile. "he is an eagle in flight' a metaphor
metamorphosis
change of form. The metamorphosis of catepillar to butterfly is typical of many such changes in animal life
metallurgical
pertaining to the art of removing metals from ores. During the course of his metallurgical research, the scientist developed a steel alloy of tremendous strength
mesmerize
hypnotize. The incessant drone seemed to mesmerize him and place him in a trance
merger
combination (of two business corporations) when the firm's president married the director of financial planning, the office joke was that it wasn't a marriage, it was a merger
meretricious
flashy; tawdry. her jewels were inexpensive but not meretricious
mercurial
capricious, changing; ficle. Quick as quicksilver to change, he was mercurial in nature and therefore unreliable
mercenary
motivated solely by money or gain. "I;;m not in this war because I get my kicks waving flags." said the mercenary soldier. "I'm in it for the dough'.
mercantile
concerning trade. I am more interested in the opportunities available in the mecantile field than I am in those in the legal profession
mentor
counselor; teacher. During this very trying period, she could not have had a better mentor, for the teacher was sympathetic and understanding
menial
suitable for servants; lowly; mean. Her wicked stepmother forced Cinderella to do menial tasks around the hous while her ugly stepsisters lolled around painting their toenails
mendicant
beggar. "O noble sir, give alms to the poor" cried Aladdin, playing the mendicant
mendacious
lying; habitually dishonest. Distrusting HUck from the start, Miss Watson assumed he was mendacious and refused to believe a word he said
menagerie
collection of wild animals. Whenever the children run wild around the house, Mom shouts, "calm down! I'm not running a menagerie!"
memorialize
commemorate. Let us memorialize his great contribution by dedicating this library in his honor
memento
token; reminder. Take this book as a memento of your visit.
mellifluous
sweetly or smoothly flowing; melodious. Italian is a mellifluous languageg, especially suited to being sung
melee
fight. The captain tried to ascertain the cause of the melee that had broken out among the crew members
melancholy
glommy; morose; blue. To Eugene,stuck in his small town, a train whistle was a melancholy sound, for it made him think of all the places he would never get to see
megalomania
mania for doing grandiose things. Developers who spend millions tring to build the world;s tallest skyscraper suffer from megalomania
meek
submissive; patient and long0suffering. Mr. Barrett never expected his meek daughter would dare to defy him by eloping with her suitor
medley
mixture. To avoid boring dancers by playing any one tune for too long, bands may combine three or four tunes into a medley
medium
appropriate occupation or means of expression; channel of communication; compromise. Film was Anna;s mediuml she expressed herself through her cinematography
medium
element that is a creature's natural environment; nutrient setting in which microorganisism are cultivated. We watched the dolphins sporting in the sea and marveled at their grace in their proper medium
medium
element that is a creature's natural environment; nutrient setting in which microorganisms are cultivated
meditation
reflection; thought. She reached her decision only after much meditation
mediocre
ordinary; commonplace. We were disappointed because he gave a rather mediocre performance in this role
mediate
settle a dispute through the services of an outsider. King solomon was asked to mediate a dispute between two women, each of whom claimed to be the mother of the same child
meddlesome
interfering. He felt his marriage was suffering because of his meddlesome momther in law
meander
wind or turn in its course. Needing to stay close to a source of water, he followed every twist and turn of the stream as it meandered through the countryside.
mealymouthed
indirect in speech; hypocritical; evasive. Rather than tell Jill directly what he disliked, Jack made a few mealymouthed comments and tried to change the subject
meager
scanty; inadequate. Still hungry after his meager serving of porridge. Oliver Twist asked for a second helping
mayhem
injury to body. The riot was marked not only by mayhem, with its attendant loss of life and lib, but also by arson and pillage
maxim
proverb; a truth pithily stated. Aesop's fables illustrate moral maxims
mawkish
mushy and gushy; icky-sticky sentimental; maudilin. Whenever Gigi and her boyfriend would sigh and get all lovely dovey, her little brother would shout, 'Yuck; protesting their mawkish behavior
maverick
rebel; nonconformist. To the masculine literary establishment, George Sand with her insistence on wearing trousers and smoking cigars was clearly a maverick who fought her proper womanly role
mauve
pale purple. The mauve tint in the lilac bush was another indication that spring had finally arrived
mausoleum
monumental tomb. His body was placed in the family mausoleum
maul
handle roughly. The rock star was mauled by his overexcited fans
maudlin
effusively sentimental.Whenever a particularly maudlin tearjerker was playing at the movies
matrix
point of origin; array of numbers or algebraic symbols; mold or die. SOme historians claim the Nile Valley was the matrix of Western civilization
matriculate
enroll (in college or graduate school). Incoming students formally matriculate at our college in a special ceremony during which they sign the official register of students
matriarch
woman who rules a family or larger social group. The matriarch ruled her gypsy tribe with a firm hand
maternal
motherly. Many animals display maternal instincts only whie their offspring are young and helpless.
materialisim
preoccupation with physical comforts and things. By its nature, materialism is opposed to idealism, for where the materialist emphsizes the needs of the body, the idealist emphasizes the needs of the soul
masticate
chew. We must masticate our food carefully and slowly in order to avoid digestive disorders
masochist
person who enjoys his own pain. The masochist begs, 'Hit me'. The sadist smiles and says, "I won't'
martyr
one who voluntarily suffers death for his or her religion or cause; great sufferer. By burning her at the stake, the English made JOan of Arc a martyr for her faith
martinet
No talking at meals! No mingling with the servants! Miss Minchin was a martinet who insisted that the schoolgirls in her charge observe each regulation to the letter
martial
warlike. The sound of martial music inspired the young cadet with dreams of military glory
marsupial
one of a family of mammals that nurse their offspring in a pouch. The most common marsupial in North America is the opossum
marshal
put in order. At a debate tournament, extemporaneous speakers have only a minute or two to marshal their thoughts before addressing their audience
marred
damagedl disfigured. She had to refinish the marred surface of the table
marked
noticeable; targeted for vengeance. He walked with a marked limp, a souvenir of an old IRA attack. As British ambassador, he knew he was a marked man
maritime
bordering on the sea; nautical. The Maritime Provinces depend on the sea for their wealth
marital
pertaining to marriage. After the publication of his book on marital affairs, he was often consulted by married people on the verge of divorce
manumit
emancipate; free from bondage. Englightened slave owners were willing to manumit their slaves and thus put an end to the evil of slavery int he country
mannered
affected; not natural. Attempting to copy the style of his wealthy neighbors. Gatsy adopted a mannered, artificial way of speech
manipulate
operate with one's hands; control or play upon (people, forces etc). artfully. Jim Henson understood how to manipulate the Muppets. Madonna understands how to manipulate publicity. (And men)
manifold
numerous; varied. I cannot being to tell you how much I appreciate your naifold kindnesses.
manifesto
declaration; statement of policy. The communist Manifesto by Marx and Engels proclaimed the principles of modern communism.
manifestation
outward demonstration; indication. mozart's early attraction to the harpsichord was the first manifestation of his pronounced musical bent.
manifest
evident; visible; obvious. Digby's embarrassment when he met Madonna was manifest; his ears turned bright pink, he kept scuffing one shoe in the dirt, and he couldn't look her in the eye
maniacal
raging mad; insane. Though Mr. Rochester had locked his mad wife in the attic, he could still hear her maniacal laughter echoing througout the house
mangy
shabby; wretched. We finally threw out the mangy rug that the dog had destroyed
mandatory
obligatory. These instructions are mandatory; any violation will be severly punished
mandate
order; chrge. In his inaugural address, the president stated that he had a mandate from the people to seek an end to social evils such as poverty and poor housing
manacle
order; charge. In his inaugural address, the president stated that he had a mandate from the people to seek an end to social evils such as poverty and poor housing.
mammoth
giganticl enormous. To try tomemorize every word on this vocabulary list would be a mammoth undertaking; take on projects that are more manageable in size
mammal
vertebrate animal whose female suckles its young. many people regard the whale as a fish and do not realize thta it is a mammal
malodorous
foul-smelling. The compost heap was most malodorous in summer
malleable
capable of being shaped by pounding; impressionable. Gold is a malleable metal, easily shaped into bracelets and rings. Fagin hoped Oliver was a malleable in summer
malingerer
one who feigns illness to escape duty. The captain ordered the sergeant to punish all malingerers and force them to work
malignant
injurious; tending to cause death; aggressively malevolent. Though many tumors are benigh, some are malignant, growing out of control and endangering the life of the patient
malign
speak evil of; bad-mouth; defame. Putting her hands over her ears, Rose refused to listen to Betty malign her friend Susan
malicious
hateful; spiteful. Jealous of Cinderella's beauty, her malicious stepsisters expressed their spie by forcing her to do menial tasks
malfeasance
wrongdoing. The authorities did not discover the campaign manager's malfeasance until after he had spent most of the money he had embezzled
malevolent
wishing evil, lago is a malevolent villain who takes pleasure in ruining Othelio.
malefactor
evildoer; criminal. Mighty Mouse will save the day, hunting down malefactors and rescuing innocent mice from peril
malediction
curse. When the magic mirror revealed that Snow White was still avlie, the wicked queen cried out in rage and uttered dreadful maledictions
malcontent
person dissatisfied with existing state of affairs. He was one of the few malcontents in Congress; he constantly voiced his objectios to the presidential program
malapropism
comic misuse of a word. When Mrs. Malaprop criticizes Lydia for being'as headstrong as an allegory on he banks of the Nile,' she confuses 'allegory and 'alligator' in a typical malapropism.
malaise
uneasiness; vague feeling of ill health. Feeling slightly queasy before going onstage, Carol realized that this touch of malaise was merely stage fright.
malady
illness. A myysterious malady swept the country, filling doctors' offices with feverish, purple-spotted patients
maladroit
clown, clumsy; bungling. "Oh! My stupid tongue!" exclaimed Jane, embarrassed at having said anything so maladroit
maim
mutilate; injure. The hospital could not take care of all who had been mangled or maimed in the railroad accident
magnitude
greatness; extent. It is difficult to comprehend the magnitude of his crime
magniloquent
boastful, pompous. IN thir stories of the trial, the reporters ridiculed the magniloquent speeches of the defense attorney.
magnate
person of prominence or influence. Growing up in Pittsburgh, Annie Dillard was surrounded by the mansions of the great steel and coal magnates who set their mark on that city
magnanimity
generosity. Noted for his magnanimity, philanhropist Eugene LAgn donated millions to charity
magisterial
authoritative; imperious. The learned doctor laid down the law to his patient in a magisterial tone of voice
maelsrom
whirlpool. The canoe was tossed about in the maelstrom
madrigal
pastoral song. Her program of folk songs included several madrigals that she sang to the ccompaniment of a lute
maculated
spotted; tained. Instead of writing that Gorbachev had a birthark on his forehead, the pompous young poet sang of the former premier's maculated brow
machinations
evil schemes or plots. Fortunately, Batman saw through the wily machinations of the Riddler and saved Gotham City from destruction by the forces of evil
Machiavellian
crafty; double-dealing. I do not think he will be a good ambassador because he is not accustomed to the Machiavellian maneuverings of foreign diplomats.
macerate
soften by soaking in liquid; waste away. The strawberries had been soaking in the champagne for so long that they had begun to macerate; they literally fell apart at the touch of a spoon.
mace
ceremonial staff; clublike medieva weapon. The Grand Marshall of the parade raised his mace to signal that it was time for the procession to begin
macabre
gruesome; grisly. The city morgue is a macabre spot for the uninitiated
luxuriant
abundant; rich and splendid; fertile. Lady Godiva was completely covered by her luxuriant hair
lustrous
shining. Her large and lustrous eyes gave a touch of beauty to an otherwise drab face.
luster
shine; floss. The soft luster of the silk in the dim light was pleasing.
lurk
stealthily lie in waiting; slin k; exist unperceived. "Who knows what evils lurk in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows."
lurid
wild; sensationa; grphic; gruesome. Do thelurid cover stories in the Enquirer actually influence people to buy that trashy tabloid?
lunge
make a quick forward dive or reach; thrust. The wide receiver lunged forward to grab the football. With his sword, Dartagnan lunged at his adversary
lunar
pertaining to the moon. Lunar craters can be plainly seen with the aid of a small telescope
luminous
shining; issuing light. The sun is a luminous body.
luminary
celebrity; dignitary. A leading light of the American stage, Ethel Barrymore was a theatrical luminary whose name lives on
lumen
unit of light energy (one candle's worth). In buying light bulbs, she checked not only their power, as measured in watts, but their brightness, as measured in lumens
lumber
move heavily or clumsily. Still somewhat torpid after its long hibernation, the bear lumbered through the woods
lull
moment of calm. Not wanting to get wet, the waited under the awning for a lull in the rain
lugubrious
mournful. The lugubrious howling of the dogs added to our sadness
ludicrous
laughable; trifling. Let us be serious; this is not a ludicrous issue.
lucre
money. Preferring lucre to undying fame, he wrote stories of popular appeal
lucrative
profitable. he turned his jobby into a lucrative profession
lucid
easily understood; clear; intelligible. Lexy makes an excellent teacher; her explantations of technical points are lucid enough for a child to grasp
low
moo. Fro the hilltop, they could see the herd like ants in the distance; they could barely hear the cattle low
lout
clumsy person. The delivery boy is an awkward lout
loquacious
talkative. Though our daughter barely says a word to us these days, put a phone in her hand and see how loquacious she can be: our phone bills are out of sight!
lope
gallop slowly. As the horses loped along, we had an opportunity to admire the ever-changing scenery
loom
appear or take shape (usually in an enlarged or distorted form). The shadow of the gallows looked threateningly above the small boy
longevity
long life. When he reached ninety, the old man was proud of his longevity
loll
lounge about. They lolled around in their chairs watching television.
loiter
hang around; linger. The policeman told him not to loiter in the alley
log
record of a voyage or flight; record of day-to day activities. "Flogged two seamen today for insubordination,' wrote Captain Bligh in the Bounty's log
lofty
very hihg. Though Barbara Jordan's fellow students used to tease her about her lofty ambitions, she rose to hold one of the hightest positios in the land