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90 Cards in this Set

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politic
expedent; prudent; well devised. Even though he was disappointed, he did not think it politic to refuse this offer.
polemical
aggressive in verbal attack; disputatious. Lexy was a master of polemical retori; she should have won a T-shirt with the slogan 'Born to debate'
polemic
controversy; argument in support of point of view. Her essays were, for the main part, polemics for the party's policy.
polarize
split into opposite extremes or camps. The abortion issue has polarized the country into pro-choice and anti-abortion camps.
poignancy
quality of being deeply moving; keenness of emotion. Watching the tearful reunion of the long-separated mother and chid, the social worker was touched by the poignancy of the scene.
podium
pedestal; raised platform. The audience applauded as the conductor made her way to the podium.
pittance
a small allowance or wage. He could not live on the pittance he received as a pension and had to look for an additional source of revenue
pithy
concise; meaningful; substantial; meaty. While other girls might have gone on and on about how uncool Elton was, Cher summed it up in one pithy remark: He's bogus !
pith
core or marroq; essence; substance. In preparing a pineapple for the table, first slice it in half and remove the woody central pith
pitfall
hidden danger; concea;ed trap. The preacher warned his flock to beware the pitfall of excessive pride, for pride brought on the angels' fall.
piscatorial
pertaining to fishing. he spent many happy hours at the lake in his piscatorial activities.
pique
provoke or arouse; annoy. "I know something you don't know, said Lucy, trying to pique Ethel's interest.
pique
irritation; resentment. She showed her pique at her loss by refusing to appear with the other contestants at the end of the competition.
piquant
pleasantly tart-tasting; stimulating. THe piquant sauce added to our enjoyment of the meal
pious
devout; religious. The challenge for church peopelt oday is how o be pious in the best sense, that is, to be devout without becoming hypocritical or sanctimonious
pinnacle
peak. We could see the morning sunlight illuminate the pinnacle while the rest of the mountain lay in shadow.
pinion
retrain. They pinioned his arms against his body but left his legs fere so that he could move about
pine
languish, decline; long for; yearn. Though she tried to be happy living with clara in the city, Heidi pined for the mountains and for her gruff but loving grandfather.
pillory
punish by placing in a wooden frame; subject to criticism and ridicule. Even though he was mocked and pilloried, he maintained that he was correct in his beliefs.
pillage
plunder, steal, rob. The enmy pillaged the quiet village and left it in ruins.
pigment
coloring matter. Van Gogh mixed various pigments with linseed oil to create his paints.
piety
devoutness; reverence for God. Living her life in prayer and good works, Mother Teresa exemplified the true spirit of piety.
pied
variegated; multicolored. The Pied Piper of Hamelin got his name from the multicolored clothing he wore
piecemeal
one part at a time; gradually. Tolstoy's War and Peace is too huge to finish in one sitting; I'll have to read it piecemeal.
piebald
of different colors; mottled; spotted. You should be able to identify Polka Dot in this race; he is the only piebald horse running.
physiological
pertaining to the science of the funtion of living organisms. To understand this disease fully, we must examine not only its physiological aspects but also its psychological elements.
physiognomy
face. He prided himself on his ability to analyze a person's character by studying his physiognomy.
phylum
major classification,s econd to kingdom of plants and animals; division. In sorting ou her hundred of packets of seeds, Katya decided to file them by phylum.
phoenix
symbol of immortality or rebirth. Like the legendary phoenix rising from its ashes, the city of San Francisco rose again after its destruction during the 1906 earthquake.
phobia
morbid fear. Her fear of flying was more than mere nervousness;it was a real phobia.
phlegmatic
calm; not easily disturbed. The nurse was a cheerful but phlegmatic person, unexcited in the face of sudden emergencies.
philology
study of language. The professor of philology advocated the use of Esperanto as an international language.
philistine
narrow-minded person, unculturered and exclusively interested in material gain. We need more men and women of culture and enlightenment; we have too many philistines among us.
philatelist
stamp collector. When she heard the value of the Penny Black Stamp, Phyllis was inspired to become a philatelist.
philanthropist
lover of mankind; doer of good. In his role as philantrhopist and public benefactor, John D Rockefeller, Sr.. donated millions to charity; as an individual; however, he was a tight-fisted old man
philanderer
faithless lover; flirt. Swearing he had never so much as looked at another woman, Jack assured Jill he was no philanderer
phenomena
observable facts; subjects of scientific investigation. We kept careful records of the phenomena we noted in the course of these experiments.
pharisaical
pertaining to the PHarisees, who paid scrupulous attention to tradition; self-rightenous; hy[ocritical. Walter Lippmann has pointed out that moralists who do not attemp to explain the moral code they advocate are often regarded as pharisaical and ignored.
petulant
touchy; peevish. If you'd had hardly any sleep for three ights and people kept on phoning and waking you up, you'd sound petulant, too.
petty
trivial; unimportant; very small. She had no major complaints to make about his work, only a few petty quibbles that were almost too minor to state.
petrify
turn to stone. His sudden and unexpected appearane seemed to petrify her.
pestle
tool for mashing or frinding substances in a hard bowl. from the way in which the elderly pharmacist pounted the drug with his pestle, young George could tell that his employer was agitated about something
pessimism
belief that life is basically bad or evil; gloominess. Considering how well you have done in the course so far, you have no real reason for such pessimism about your final grade.
perversion
corruption; turning from right to wrong. In as much as he had no motive for his crimes, we could not understand his perversion
perverse
stubbornly wrongheaded; wicked and unacceptable. When Jack was in a perverse mood, he would do the opposite of whatever Jill asked him. When Hannibal Lecter was in a perverse mood, he ate the flesh of his victims
pervasive
spread throughout. Despite airing them for several hours, she could not rid her clothes of the pervasive odor of mothballs that clung to them.
peruse
read with care. After the conflagration that burned down her house, Joan closely perused her home insurance policy to discover exactly what benefits her coverage provided.
perturb
disturb greatly. The though that electricity might be leaking out of the empty light-bulb sockets perturbed my aunt so much that at night she crept about the house bulbs in the vacant spots. perturbation
pertinent
suitable; to the point. The lawyer wanted to know all the pertinent details
pertinacious
stubborn; persistent. She is bound to succeed because her pertinacious nature will not permit her to quit.
perspicuous
plainly expressed. Her perspicuous comments eliminated all possiblity of misinterpretation
perspicuity
clearness of expression; freedom from ambiguity. One of the outstanding features of this book is the perspicuity of its author; her meaning is always clear.
perspicacious
having insight; penetrating; astute. The brilliant lawyer was knwon for his perspicacious deductions.
personable
attractive. The individual I am seeking to fill this position must be personable since he or she will be representing us before the public.
perquisite
any gain above stipulated salary. The perquisites attached to this job make it even more attractive than the salary indivates.
perpetuate
make something last; preserve from extinction. Some critics attack The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn because they believe Twain's book perpetuates a false image if blacks in his country.
perpetual
everlasting. Ponce de Leon hoped to find the legendary fountain of perpetual youth
perpetrate
commit an offense. Only an insane person could perpetrate such a horrible crime.
peroration
conclusion of an oration. The peroration was largely hortatory and brough the audience to its feet clamoring for action at its close.
pernicious
very destructive. The Athenians argued that Socrates's teachings had a pernicious effect on young and susceptible minds; therefore, they condemned him to death
permeable
penetrable; porous; allowing liquids or gas to pass through. If your jogging clothes werent msde out of permeable fabric, you'd drown in your own sweat (figuratively speaking)
perjury
false testimony while under oath. Rather than lie under oath and perhaps be indicted for perjury, the wF
periphery
edge, especially of a round surface. He sensed that there were something just beyond the periphery of his vision.
peripheral
marginal; outer. We lived, not in central london, but in one of those peripheral suburbs that spring up on the outskirts of a great city.
peripatetic
walking about; moving. The peripatetic school of philosophy derives its name from the fact that Aristotle walked with his pupils whie discussing philosophy with them
perimeter
outer boundary. To find the perimeter of any quadrilateral, we add the lengths of the four sides
perigee
point of moon's orbit when it is nearest the earth. The rocket which was designed to take photographs the moon was launched as the moon approached its perigee
perfunctory
superficial' not thorough; lacking interest, care, or enthusiasm. The auditor's perfunctory inspection of the books overlooked many errors.
perforate
pierce; put a hole through. before you can open the aspirin bottle, you must first perforaye the plastic safety seal that covers tha cap.
perfidious
treacheous; disloyal. when caesar realized that brutus had betrayed him, he reproached his perfidious friend
perennial
something long-lasting. These plants are hardy perennials and will bloom for many years.
peremptory
demanding and leaving no choice. From Jack's peremptory knock on the door, Jill could tell he would not give up until she let in
peregrination
journey. Auntie Mame was a world traveler whose peregrinations took her from tijuana to timbuktu
perdition
damnation; complete ruin. praying for salvation, young Daedalus feared he was damned to eternal perdition.
percussion
striking one object against another sharply. The drum is a percussion instrument
perceptive
insightful; aware; wise. Although Maud was a generally perceptive critic, she had her blind spots: she could never see flaws in the work of her friends.
peon
landless agricultural worker; bond servant. The land reformers sought to liberate the peons and establish them as independent farmers.
penury
severe poverty; stinginess. When his pension fund failed, Georget feared he would end his days in penury. He became such a penny-pincher that he turned into a closefisted, penurious mister.
penumbra
partial shadow (in an eclipse). During an eclipse, we can see an area of total darkness and a lighter area, which is the penumbra.
pensive
dreamily thoughtful; thoughful with a hint of sadness; contemplative. The pensive lover gazed at the portrait of his beloved and sighed deeply.
penitent
repentant. When he realized the enormity of his crime, he became remorseful and penitent.
pendulous
hangingl suspended. The pendulous chandeliers swayed in the breeze as if they were about to fall from the ceiling.
pendant
hanging down from something. Her pendant earrings glistened int he light
penchant
strong punishment for sin. The Ancient Mariner said, "I have penance done and penance more will do. " to atone for the sin of killing the albatross.
pellucid
transparent; limpid; easy to understand. After reading these stodgy philosophers, i find his pellicid style very enjoyable.
pell-mell
in confusion; disorderly. The excited students dashed pell-mell into the stadium to celebrate the victory.
pejorative
negative in connotation; having a belittling effect. = Raymond. Instead of criticizing Clinton's policies, the Republicans made pejorative remarks about his character.
peerless
having no equal; incomparable. The reigning operativ tenor of his generation, to his admirers Luciano Pavarotti was peerless: no one could compare with him.
pediatrician
physician specializing in children's diseases. The family doctor advised the parents to consult a pediatrician about their child's ailment.
pedestrian
ordinary; unimaginative. Unintentionally boring, he wrote page after page of pedestrian prose