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120 Cards in this Set

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propitiate
appease. The natives offered sacrifices to propitiate the gods.
propinquity
nearness; kinship. Their relationship could not be explained as being based on mere propinquity. They were more than relatives; they were true friends.
prophylactic
used to prevent disease. Despite all prophylactic measures introduced by the authorities, the epidemic raged until cool weather set in.
prophetic
having to do with predicting the future. In interpreting Pharaoh's prophetic dream, Joseph said that the seven fat cows eaten by the seven lean cows represented seven years of plenty followed by seven years of famine.
propensity
natural inclination. Convinced of his own talent, Sl has an unfortunate propensity to belittle the talents of others.
propellant
substance that propels or drives forward. The development of our missle program has forced our scientists to seek more powerful propellants
propagate
multiply; spread. Since bacteria propagate more quickly in unsanitary environments, it is important to keep hospital rooms clean.
prone
incline to ; prostate. She was prone to sudden fits of anger during which she would lie prone on the floor, screaming and kicking her heels.
promulgate
proclaim a doctrine or law; make known by official publication. When Moses came down from the mountaintop prepared to promulgate God's commandments, he was appalled to discover his followers worshipping a golden calf.
prompt
cause; provoke; provide a cue for an actor. Whatever prompted you to ask for such a big piece of cake when you're on a diet.
promote
help to flourish; advance in rank; publicize. Foundr of the Children's Defense Fund, Marian Wright Edleman caeaselessly promotes the welfare of young people everywhere
promontory
headland. They erected a lighthouse on the promontory to warn approaching ships of their nearness to the shore.
promiscuous
mixed indiscriminnately; haphazard; irregular, particularly sexually. In the opera La Boheme, we get a picture of the promiscuous life led by the young artists of Paris.
prominent
conspicuous; notable; protruding. Have you ever noticed that Prince Charle's prominent ears make him resemble the big-eared character in Mad comics?
prolong
extend; draw out; lengthen. In their determination to discover ways to prolong human life, doctors fail to take into account that longer lives are not always happier one.
prominent
conscpicuous; notable; protruding. Have you ever noticed that Prince Charles's prominent ears make him resemble the big-eared character in Mad comics?
prolong
extend; draw out; lenthen. In their determination to discover ways to prolong human life, doctors fail to take into account that longer lives are not always happier one.
prologue
introduction (to a poem ot play). In the prologue to Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare introduces the audience to the fedu between the Montagues and the Capulets.
prolixity
tedious wordiness; verbosity. A writer who suffers from prolixity tells his readers everything they never wanted to know about his subject (or were too bored to ask).
prolific
abundantly fruitful. She was a prolific writer who produced as many as three books a year.
proliferate
grow rapidly; spread; multiply. Times of economic hardship inevitably encourage countless get-rich-quick schemes to proliferate
proletaraian
member of the working class; blue collar guy. 'workers of the world, unite! you have nothing to lose but your chains' is addressed to proletarians not preppies.
projectile
missle. Man has always huried projectiles at his enmy whether in the form of stones or of highly explosive shells.
prohibitive
tending to prevent the purchase of use of something; inclined to prevent or forbid. SUsie wanted to y a new VOlvo but had to settle for a use Dodge because the new car's price was prohibitive.
prognosticate
predict. I prognosticate disaster unless we change our wasteful ways.
prognosis
forecasted course of a diseas; prediction. If the doctor's prognosis is correct, the patient will be in a coma for at least twenty-four hours.
progeny
children; offspring. He was produ of his progency but regardedGeorge as the most promising of all hi chidren
progenitor
ancestor. The Roth family, whose progenitors emigrated fromGermany early in the 19th C, settled in Peru, Illionis.
profusion
overabundance; lavish expenditure; excess. Freddy was so overwhelmed by the profsuion of choices on the menu that he knwocked over his wine glass and soaked ihis host. He made profuse apologises to his host, the waiter, the busboy, the people at the next table, and the man in the men's room giving out paper towels.
profound
deep, not superficial; complete. Fredu's remarkable insights into human behavior caused his fellow scientists to honor him as a profound thinker.
profligate
dissipated; wasteful; wildl immoral. Although surrounded by wild and profligate companions, she managed to retain some sense of decency
profane
violate; desecrate; treat unworthily. The members of the mysterious Far Eastern cult sought to kill the British explorer because he had profaned the sancitity of their holy goblet by using it as an ashtray.
prodigy
highly figted child; marvel. Menuhin was a prodigy, performing wonders on his violin when he was barely eight years old.
prodigious
marvelous; enormous. Watching the champion weight lifter heave the weightly barebell to shoulder height and then boost it overhead, we marvelled at his prodigious strength.
prodigal
wasteful; reckless with money. Don't be so prodigal spending my money; when you've earned some money,, you can waste as much of it as you want
prod
poke; stir up; urge. If you prod him hard enough, he'll eventually clean his room.
procurement
obtaining. The personnel department handles the procurement of new employees.
procrastinate
postpone; delay or put off. Looking at four years of receipts and checks he still had to sort throug, Bob was truly sorry he had procrastinated for so long and had not finished filing his taxes long ago.
proclivity
inclination; natural tendency. Watching the two-year-old voluntarily put away his toys, I was amazed by his proclivity for neatness.
problematic
doubtful; unsettled; questionable; perplexing. Given the way building costs have exceeded estimates for the job,whether the areana will ever be completed is problematic.
probity
uprightness; incorruptibility. Everyone took his probity for granted; his defalcations, therefore, shocked us all.
probe
explore with tools. The surgeon probed the wound for foreign matter before suturing it.
privy
secret; hidden; not public. We do not care for privy chamber government.
privation
hardship; want. In his youth, he knew hunger and privation
pristine
characteristic of earlier times; primitive, unspoiled. This area has been preseved in all its pristine wildness.
primogeniture
senority by birth. By virtue of primogeniture, in some cultures the first-born child has many priviledges denied his brothers and sisters.
prim
very precise and formal; exceedingly proper. Many people commented on the contrast between the prim attire of the young lady and the inappropriate clothing worn by her escort.
prey
target of a hunt; victim. In stalking the wild asparagus, Euell Gibbons has as his prey not wild beasts but wild plants.
prevaricate
some people believe that to prevaricate in a good cause is justifiable and regard the statement as a 'white lie'
prevalent
widespread; generally accepted. A radical committed to social change, Reed had no patience with the conservative views prevalent in the America of his day.
prevail
induce; triumph over. He tried to prevail on her to type his essay for him.
pretext
excuse. She looked for a good pretext to get out of paying a visit to her aunt.
preternatural
beyond that which is normal in nature. John's mother's total ability to tell when he was lying struck him as almost preternatural.
pretentious
ostentatious; pompous; making unjustified claims; overambitious. The other prize winner isn't wearing her medal; isn't it a bit pretentious of you to wear yours.
presumptuous
arrogant; taking liberties. It seems presumptuous for one so relatively new to the field to challenge the conclusions of its leading experts.
prestige
impression produced by achievements or reputation. Many students want to to Harvard University, not for the education offered, but for the prestige of Harvard's name.
presentiment
feeling something will happen; anticipatory fear; premonition. Saying goodbye at the airport. Jack had a sudden presentiment that this was the last time he would see Jill.
prescience
ability to foretell the future. Given the current wave of Japan-bashing, it does not take prescience for me to foresee problems in our future trade relations with Japan.
presage
foretell. The vultures flying overhead presaged the discovery of the corpse in the desert.
prerogative
priviledge; unquestionable right. The President cannot levy taxes; that is the prerogative of the legislative branch of government.
preposterous
absurb; ridculous. When the candidate tried to downplay his youthful experiments with marijuana by saying he hadn'ts inhaled, we all thought, 'what a preposterous excuse!'
preponderance
superiority of power, quantity. etc. The rebes sought to overcome the preponderance of strength of the government forces by engaging in guerilla tactics, preponderate
premonitory
serving to warn. you should have vsited a doctor as soon as you felt these premonitory chest pains
premonition
forewarning. We ignored these premonitions of diaster becaues they appeared to be based on childish fears.
premise
assumption; postulate. On the premise that there's no fool like an old fool, ".T. Barnum hired a 90 year-old clown for his circus.
premeditate
plan in advnace. She had premeditated the murder for months, reading about common poisons and buying weed killer that contained arsenic.
prelude
introduction; forerunner. I am afriad that this border raid is the prelude to more serious attacks.
prelate
church dignitary. The archibishop of Moscow and other high-ranking prelates visited the Ruissian Orthodox seminary.
prehensile
capable of grasping or holding. Monkeys used not onnly their arms and legs but also their prehensile tails in traveling through the trees.
prefatory
introductory. The chariman made a few prefatory remarks before he called on the first speaker.
preen
make oneself tidy in appearance; feel sel-fatisfaction. As Kitty preened before the mirror, carefully smoothing her shining hair, she couldn't help preening herself on her good looks.
preempt
head off; forestall by acting first; appropriate for oneself; supplant. Hopngt o preempt any attempts by the opposition to make educational reform a hot political issue, the candidate set out her own plan to revitalize the public schools.
preeminent
outstanding; superor. The king traveled the BOston because he wanted the preeminent surgeon in the field to perform the operation.
predilection
partiality; preference. Although the artist used various media from time to time, she had a predilection for watercolors.
predicament
tricky or dangerous situation; dilemma. Tied to the railroad tracks by the villain, Pauline strained against her bonds. How would she escape from this terrible predicament?
predetermine
predestine; settle or decide beforehand; influence markedly. Romeo and Juliet believd that Fate had predetermined their meeting. bea gathered estimates from cateers, florists, and stationers so that she could predeterminie the costs of holding a catered buffet. Philip' love of athletics predetermined his coice of a career in sports marketing.
predecessor
former occupant of a post. I hope I can live up to the fine example set by my late predecessor in this office.
predator
creature that seizes and devours another animal; person who robs or explits others. Not just cats, but a wide variety of predators-owls, hawks, weasels, foxes-catch mice for dinner. A carnvore is by definition predatory, for he pretys on weaker creatures.
precursor
forerunner. Though Gray and BUrns share many traits with the Romantic poets who followed them, most critics consider them precursors of the Romantic movement.
precocious
advanced in development. Listening to the grown-up way the child discussed serious topics, we couldn't help remarking how precocious she was.
preclude
make impossible; eliminate. The fact that the band was already booked to play in Hollywood on New Year's Eve precluded their accepting the offer of a New Year's Eve gig in London.
precise
exact. If you don't give me precise directions and a map, I'll never find your place.
precis
concise suming up of main points. BEfore making her presentation at the conference, Ellen wrote a neat precis of the major elements she would cover.
precitous
steep; overhasty. This hill is difficult to climb because it is so prcipitous; one slip, and our descnet will be precipitous as well.
precipitate
throw headlong; hasten. The removal of American political support appeared to have precipitated the downfall of the Marcos regime.
precipitate
rash; premature; hasty; sudden. Though I was angry enough to resign on the spot, I had enough sense to keep myself from quitting a job in such a precipitate fashion.
precipice
cliff, dangerous position. Suddenly Indiana Jones found himself dangling from the edge of a precipice
precept
practical rule guiding conduct. 'love thy neighbor as theyself' is a worthwhile precept.
precedent
preceding in time, rank. Our discussions, precedent to this event, certainly did not give you any reason to believe that we would adopt your proposal.
precedent
something preceding in time that may be used as an authority or guide for future action; an earlier occurrence. The law professor asked Jill to state which famous case served as a precedent for the court's decision in Brown II
precarious
uncertain; risky. Saying the stockwas currently overpriced and would be a precarious investment, the broker advised her cient against purchasing it.
preamble
introductory statement. In the Preamble to the Constitution, the purpose of the document is set forth.
prattle
babble. Baby John prattled on and on about the cats and his ball and the Cookie Monster.
prate
speak foolishly; boast idly. Let us not prate about our qualities; rather, let our virtues speak for themselves.
pragmatist
practical person. No pragmtist enjoys becoming involved in a game that he can never win.
pragmatic
practical (as opposed to idealistic); concerned with the practical worth or impact of something. This coming trip to France should provide me with a pragmatic test of the value of my conversational Frech class.
practical
based on experience; useful. He was a practical man, opposed to theory.
practicable
feasible. The board of directors decided that the plan was practicable and agreed to undertake the project.
poultice
soothing application applied to sore and inflamed portions of the body. She was advised to apply a flaxseed poutice to the inflammation.
potpourri
heterogeneous mixture; medley. The folk singer offered a potpourri of songs from many lands.
potion
dose (of liquid). Tristan and Isolde drink a love potion in the first act of the opera.
potential
expressing possibility; latent. This juvenile delinquent is a potential murderer.
potentate
monarch; sovereign. The potentate spent more time at Monte Carlo than he did at home on his throne.
potent
powerful; persuasive; greatly influential. looking at the expiration date on the cough syrup bottle, we wondered whether the medication would still be potent
potable
suitable for drinking. The recent drought in the Middle Atlantic States has emphasized the need for extensive research in ways of making sea water potable.
posture
assume an affected pose; act ratifically. No matter how much Arnold Boasted or postured, I could not believe he was as important as he pretended to be.
postulate
self-evident truth. We must accept these statements as postulates before pursuing our discussions any further.
posthumous
after death (as of chid born after father's death or book published after author's death). The critics ignored his works during his lifetime; it was only after the posthumous publication of his last novel that they recognized his great talent.
posterity
descendants; future generations. We hope to leave a better world to posterity.
poseur
person who pretends to be sophisticated, elegant to impress others. Some thought Dali was a brilliant painter; others dismissed him as a poseur.
portly
stout; corpulent. The salesclerk tactuflly referred to the overweight customer as portly rather than fat.
portent
sign; omen; forewarning. He regarded the black cloud as a portent of evil.
portend
foretell; presage. The king did not know what these omens might portend and asked his soothsayers to interpret them.
porous
full of pores; like a sieve Dancers like to wear porous clothing because it allows the ready passage of water and air.
pore
study industriously; ponder; scrutinize. Determined to become a physician, Beth spends hours poring over her anatomy text.
pontifical
pertaining to a bishop or pope; pompous or pretentious. From the very beginning of his ministry it was clear from his pontifical pronoucements that John was destined for a high pontifical office.
ponderous
weightly; unwiely. His humor lacked the light touch; his jokes were always ponderous.
pomposity
self-important behaviorl acting like a stuffed shirt. Although the commencement speaker had some good things to say, we had to laugh at his pomposity and general air of paradiung his own dignity.
polyglot
speaking several languages. New York city is a polyglot community because of the thousands of immigrants who settle there.
polygamist
one who has more than one spouse at a time. He was arrested as a polygamist when his two wives filed complaints about him.