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255 Cards in this Set

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pecuniary
pertaining to money. Seldom earning enough to cover their expenses, folk-dance teachers work because they love dancing, not because they expect any pecuniary reward.
paucity
scarcity. They closed the restaurant because the paucity of customers made it uneconomical to operate
pauper
very poor person. Though WIdow Brown was living on a reduced income, she was byno means a pauper.
peccadillo
slight offense. Whenever HUck wiped a cookie from the jar, Miss Watson reacted as if he were guilty of armed robbery, not of some mere peccadillo.
patronise
support, act superior toward; be a customer of penniless artists hope to find some wealthy art lover who will patronise them
patrician
noble; aristocratic. We greatly admired h well-bred, patrician elegance
patriarch
father and ruler of a family or tribe. In many primitive tribes, the leader and lawmaker was the patriarch.
patois
local or provincial dialect. His years of study of the language at the university did not enable him to understand the patois of the natives
patina
green crust on old bronze works; tone slowly taken by varnished painting. Judging by the patina on this bronze statue, we can conclude that this is the work of a medieval artist.
pathos
tender sorrow; pity; quality in art of literature that produces these feelings. The quiet tone of pathos that ran through the novel never degnerated into the maudin or the overly sentimental
pathological
pertaining to disease. As we study the pathological aspects of this disease, we must not overlook the psychological elements.
pathetic
causing sadness, compassion, pity; touching. Everyone int he auditorium was weepingby the time she finished her pathetic tale about the orphaned boy
patent
open for the public to read; obvious. It was patent to everyone that the witness spoke the truth.
pastoral
rural. In these stories of pastoral life, we find an understanding of the daily tasks of country folk.
pastiche
imitation of another's style in musical composition or inwriting. We cannot even say that her music is a pastiche of this or that compser; it is, rather, reminiscent of many musician
passive
not active; act upon.
passe
old-fashioned; past the prime. Her style is passe and reminiscnet of the Victoria era
partition
divide into parts. Before their second daughter was born, Jason and LIzzie decided each child needed a room of her own, and so they partitioned a large bedroom into two small but separate rooms.
partiality
inclination; bis. As a judge, not only must I be unbiased, but I must also avoid any evidenfe of partiality when I award the prize.
partial
incomplete; having a liking for osmething. In this issue we have published only a partial list of contirbutors because we lack space to acknowledge everyone I am extremely partial to chocolate eclairs.
parsimony
stinginess; excessive frugality. Silas Marner's parsimony did not allow him to indulge in any luxuries.
parry
ward off a blow; deflect. Unwilling to injure his opponent in such a pointless clas, Dartagnan simply tried to parry his rival's thrusts. What fun it was to watch Katherine Hepburn and SPencer Trcy parry each other's verbal thrusts in their classic screwball comedies
parquet
floor made of wood strips inlaid in a msiaic like pattern. In laying the floor, the carpenters combined redwood and oak in an elegant parquet.
paroxysm
fit or attackof pain, laughter, rage. When he heard of his son's misdeeds, he was seized by a paroxysm of rage
parody
humorous imitation; spoof; takeoff; travesty, comedy. The show Forbidden Broadway presents parodies spoofing the year's new productions playing on Broadway.
parochial
narrow in outlook; provnicial; related to parishes. Although Jane Austen writes novels set in small rural communities, her concerns are universal, not parochial.
parley
conference. The peace parley has not produced the anticipated truce
parlance
language; idiom. All this legal parlance confuses me; I need an interpreter
parity
equality; close resemblance. I find your analogy inaccurate because I do not see the parity between the two illustrations
pariah
social outcast. If everyone ostracized singer Mariah carey, would she then be Mariah the pariah?
parched
extremely dry; very thirsty. The parched desert landscape seemed hostile to life.
parasite
animal or plant living on another; toady; sycophant. The tapeworm is an example of the kind of parasite that may infest the human body.
paraphrase
restate a passage in one's own words while retaining thought of author. In 250 words or less, paraphrase this article
paraphernalia
equipment; odds and ends. Her desk was cluttered with paper, pen, ink, dictionary and other paraphernalia of the writing craft.
paranoia
psychosis marked by delusions of grandeur or persecution. Suffering from paranoia, he claimed everyone was out to get him. Ironically, his claim was accurate; even paranoids have enmies, paranoid, paranoiac.
paramour
illicit lover. She sought a divorce on the grounds that her husband had a paramour in another town.
paramount
foremost in importance; supreme. Proper nutrition and hygiene are of paramount importance in adolescent development and growth
parameter
limit; independent variable. We need to define the parameters of the problem.
parallelism
state of being parallel; similarity. Although the twins were separated at birth and grew up in different adoptive familites, a striking parallelism exists between their lives.
paragon
model of perfecion. Her fellow students disliked Lavinia because Miss Minchin always pointed her out as a paragon of virtue
paradox
something apparently contradictory in nature; statement that looks false but is actually correct. Richard presents a bit of a paradox, for he is a card-carrying ember of both the National Rifle Association and the relatively pacifist American Civil Liberties Union.
paradigm
model; example; pattern. Pavlov's experiment in which he trains a dog to salivate on hearing a bell is a paradign of the conditioned-response experiment in behavioral psychology
parable
short, simple story teaching a moal. let us apply to our own conduct the lesson that this parable teachers.
papyrus
ancient paper made from stem of papyrus plant. The ancient Egyptians were among the first to write on papyrus
pantomime
acting without dialogue, improvise, impromptu. Because he worked in pantomime, the clown could be understood wherever he appeared.
panoramic
denoting an unobstructed and comprehensive view. On a clear day, from the top of the Empire State Building you can get a panoramic view of New York City and neighboring stretches of New Jersey and Long Island.
panegyric
formal praise. Blushing at all the praise heaped uponn him by the speakers, the modest hero said, "I don't deserve such panegyrics."
pander
cater to the low desires of others. The reviewer accused the makers of Lehal Weapon of pandering to the masses' taste for violence
pandemonium
wild tumult, rage. When the ships collided in the harbor, pandemonium broke out among the passengers
pandemic
widespread; affecting the majority of people. They feared the AIDS epidemic would soon reach pandemic proportions
panache
flair; flamboyance, elegant. Many performers imitate Noel Coward, but few have his panache and sense of style
panacea
cure-all; remedy for all diseases. There is no easy panacea that will solve our complicated international situation.
pan
criticize harshly. Hoping for a rave review of his new show, the playwright was miserable when the critics panned it unanimously.
paitry
insignificant; petty; trifling. 'One hundred dollars for a genuine imitation Rolex watch! Lady, this is a paltry sum to pay for such a high-class piece of jewelry.'
palpitate
throb; flutter. As she became excited, her heart began to palpitate more and more erratically.
palpable
tangible; easily perceptible. I cannot understand how you could overlook such a palpable blunder
pallid
pale; wan. Because his occupation required that he work at night and sleep during the day, he had an exceptionally allid complexion.
palliate
ease pain; make less severe or offensive. If we cannot cure this disease at present, we can, at least, try to palliate the symptoms
pallet
small, poor bed. The weary traveler went to sleep on his straw pallet.
pall
grow tiresome. The study of word lists can eventually pall and put one to sleep
palimpsest
parchment used for second time after original writing has been erased. Using chemical reagents, scientists have been able to restore the original writings on many palimpsests.
palette
board on which a painter mixes pigments. At the present time, art supply sotres are selling a paper palette that may be discarded after use.
paleontology
study of prehistoric life. The professor of paleontology had a superb collection of fossils.
Palatial
magnificent. He proudly showed us through his palatial home.
palate
roof of the mouth; sense of taset. When you sound out the letter 'd', your tongue curves up to touch the edge of your palate. When Alice was sick, her mother made special meals to tempt her palate.
palatable
agreeable; pleasing to the taste. Neither Jack's underbaked opinions nor his overcooked casseroles were palatable to me.
painstaking
showing hard work; taking great care. The new high-frequency word list is the result of painstaking efforts on the part of our research staff.
paean
song of praise or joy. Peaans celebrating the victory filled the air.
pacify
soothe; ake calm or quiet; subdue. Dentits critcize the practice of guing fussy chidren sweets ot pacify them
pacifist
one opposed to force; antimillitarist. During the war, pacifists, though they refused to bear arms, served in the front lines as ambulance drivers and medical corpsmen
pachyderm
thick-skinned animal. The elphant is probably the best-known pachyderm
ovoid
egg-shaped. At Easter she had to cut out hundreds of brightly colored ovoid shapes.
overwrought
extremely agtated; hysterical. When Kate heard the news of the sudden tragedy, she became too overwroght to work and had to leave the office early.
overweening
presumptuous; arrogant. His over-weeningpride in his accomplishments was not justified.
overt
open to view. According to the United States Consitution, a person must commit an overt act before he may be tried for treason
overbearing
bossy; arrogant; decisvely important. Certain of her own importance and of the unimportance of everyone else, Lady Bracknell was intolerably over-bearing in maner. "In choosing a husband,' she said. 'good birth is of overbearing importance; compared to that, neither wealth nor talent signifies.'
ovation
enthusiastic applause. When Placido Domingo came on stage in the first act of La Boheme, he was greeted by a tremendous ovation
outwit
outsmart; trick. By disguising himself as an old woman. Holmes was able to outwit his pursuers and escape capture.
outstrip
surpass; outdo. Jess Owens easily outstripped his competitors to win the gold medal at the Olympic Games
outspoken
candid; blunt. The candidate was too outspoken to be a successful politician; he had not yet learned to weigh his words carefully.
outskirts
fringes; outer borders. Living on the outskirts of Boston, Sarah sometimes felt as if she were cut off from the cultural heart of the city
outmoded
no longer stylist; old-fashioned. Unconcerned about keeping in style, Lenore was perfectly happy to wear outmoed clothes as long as they were clean and unfrayed
outlandish
bizarre; peculiar; unconventional. The eccentric professor who engages in markedly outlandish behavior is a stock figure in novels with an academic setting.
oust
expel; drive out. The world wondered if Aquinowould be able to oust Marcos from office.
ostracize
exclude from public favor; ban. As soon as the newspapers carried the story of his connection with the criminals his friends began to ostracise him
ostentatious
showy; pretentious; trying to attract attention. Trump's latest casino in Atlantic City is the most ostentatious gambling palace in the East; it easily out glitters its competitors
ostensible
apparent; professed; pretended. Although the ostensible purpose of this expedition is to discover new lands, we are really interested in finding new markets for our products
ossify
change or harden into bone. When he called his opponent a 'bonehead' he implied that his adversary's brain had ossified and that he was not capable of clear thinking
osseous
made of bone; bony. The hollow 'soft spot' found at the top of the infant's skull gradually closes as new osseous tissue fills in the gap
oscillate
vibrate pendulumlike; waver. It is interesting to note how public opinino oscillates between the extremes of optimism and pessimism
orthography
correct spelling. Many of us find English orthography difficult to master because so many of our words are not written phoneticall
orthodox
traditional; conservative in belief. Faced with a problem, she preferred to take an orthodox approach rather than shock anyone.
ornithologist
scientific student of birds. Audubon's drawings of American bird life have been of interest not only to ornithoogists but also to the general public.
ornate
excessively or elaborately decorated. With its elaborately carved, convoluted lines, furniture of the Baroque period was highly ornate
orifice
mouthlike opening, small opening. The Howe Caverns were discovered when someone observed that a cold wind was issuing from an orifice in the hillside
orientation
act of finding oneself in society. Freshman orientation provides the incoming students with an opportunity to learn about their new environment and their place in it.
orient
get one's bearings; adjust. Philip spend his first day in Denver orienting himself to the city.
orgy
wild, drunken revelry; unrestrained indulgence. The Roman emperor's orgies were far wilder than the toga party in the movie Animal House. When her income tax refund check finally arrived. Sally indulged in an orgy of shopping.
ordinance
decree, rule. Passing a red light is a violation of a city ordinance.
ordeal
severe trial or affliction, challenge. June was so painfully shy that it was an ordeal for her to speak up when the teacher called on her in class.
ordain
decree or command; grant holy orders; predestine. The king ordained that no foreigner should be allowed to nter the city. The Bishop of Michigan ordained David a deacon in the Episcopal church. The young lovers felt that fate had ordained their meeting
oratorio
dramatic poem set to music. The Glee Club decided to present an oratorio during their recital
orator
public speaker. The abolitionist Frederick Douglass was a brilliant orator whose speeches brought home to his audience the evils of slavery
oracular
prophetic; uttered as if with divine authority; mysterious or ambiguous. Like many others who sought divine guidance from the oracle at Delphi, Oedipus could not understand the enigmatic the enigmatic oracular warning he received.
opus
work. Although many critics hailed his Fifth Sympohny, he did not regard it as his major opus
opulence
extreme wealth; luxuriousness; abundance. The glitter and opulence of the ballroom took Cinderella's brath away
optometrist
one who fits glasses to remedy visual defects. Although an optometrist is qualified to treat many eye disorders, she may not use medicines or surgery in her examinations.
optional
not compulsory; left to one's choice. I was impressed by the range of optional accessories for my microcomputer that were avilable
optimum
most favorable. If you wait for the optimum moemnt to act, you may never begin your project.
optimist
person who looks on the bright side. The pessimist says the glass is half-empty; the optmist says it is half-full
optician
maker and seller of eyeglasses. The patient took the prescription given him by his oculist to the optician
opprobrium
insult,deframe, infamy; vilification. He refused to defend himself against the slander and opprobrium hurled against him by the newspaper; he preferred to reply on his record.
opportunist
individual who sacrificies principles for expediency by taking advantage of circumstances. Forget about ethic! he's such an opportunist that he'll vote in favor of any deal that will give him a break
opportune
timely; well-chosen. Cher looked at her father struggling to balance his checkbook; clearly this would not be an opportune mment to ask him for an increase in her allowance.
opiate
medicine to induce sleep or deaden pain; something that relieves emotions or causes inaction. To say that religion is the opiate of the peopl is to condemn religion as a drug that keeps the people quiet and submissive to those in power
opaque
dark; not transparent. The opaque window shade kept the sunlight out of the room.
opalescent
iridescnet; lustrous. The oil slick on the water had an opalescent, rainbowlike sheen.
onus
burden; responsibility. The emperor was spared the onus of signing the surrender papers; instead, he relegated the assignment to his generals
onslaught
vicious assault. We suffered many casualities during the unexpected onslaugh of the enemy troops
onomatopoeia
words formed an imitation of natura sounds. Words like 'rustle' and 'gargle' are illustrations of onomatopoeia.
onerous
burdensome. She asked for an assistant because her work load was too onerous.
omnivorous
eating both plant and animal food; devouring everything. Some animals, including humans, are omnivorous and eat both meat and vegetables; others are either carnivorous or herbivorous.
omiscient
all-knowing. I do not pretend to be omniscient, but I am positive about this fact.
omnipresent
universally present; ubiquitous. On Christmas Eve, Santa Claus is omnipresent.
omnipotent
all-powerful. The monarch regarded himself as omnipotent and responsible to no one for his acts
ominous
threatening. Those clouds are ominous; they suggest that a severe storm is on the way.
oligarchy
government by a priviledge few. One small clique ran the student council: what had been intended as a democratic governing body had turned into an oligarchy.
olfactory
concering the sense of smell. A wine tastr must have a discriminating palate and a keen olfactory sense, for a good wine appeals both to the taste buds and to the nose.
ogle
look at amorously; make eyes at. At the coffee house, Walter was too shy to ogle the pretty girls openly; instead, he peeked out at them from behind a rubber plant
officious
meddlesome; excessively pushy in offering one's services. After her long flight, Jill just wanted to nap, but the officious bellboy was intent on showing her all the special features of the deluxe suite.
offhand
casual; done without prior thought. Expecting to be treated with due propriety by her hosts. Great-Aunt Maud was offended by their offhand manner.
offensive
attacking; insulting; distasteful. Getting into street brawls is no minor offense for professional boxers, who are required by law to restrict their offensive impulses ot the rings.
odyssey
long, eventful journey. The refugee's hourney from Cambdia was a terrifying odyssey.
odorous
having an odor. This variety of hybrid tea rose is more odorous than the one you have in your garden.
odoriferous
giving off an odor. The odoriferous spices stimulated her jaded appetite.
odium
detestation; hatefulness; disrepute. Prince Charming could not express the odium he felt toward Cinderella's stepsisters because of their mistreatment of poor Cinderella
odious
hateful; vile. Cinderella's ugly stepsisters had the odious habit of popping their zits in public
oculist
physician who specializes in treatment of the eyes. In many states, an oculist is the only one who may apply medicinal drops to the eyes for the pirpose of examining them.
occult
mysterious; secret; supernatural. The occult rites of the organization were revealed only to members
occlude
shut; close. A blood clot occluded an artery to the heart
occident
the west. It will take time for the Occident to understand the ways and customs of the Orient
Obviate
make unnecessary; get rid of. I hope this contribution will obviate any need for further collections of funds
obtuse
blunt; stupid. What can you do with somebody who's so obtuse that he can't even tell that you're insulting him?
obtrude
push (oneself or one's ideas) forward or intrude; butt in; stick out or extrude.Because Fanny was reluctant to obtrude her opinions about child-raising upon her daughter in law, she kept a close watch on her tongue.
obstreperous
boisterous; oisy. What do you do when an obstreperous horde of drunken policemen carouses through your hotel, crashing into potted plants and singing vulgar songs?
obstinate
stubborn; hard to control or treat. We tried to persuade him to give up smoking, but he was obstinate and refused to change
obstetrician
physician specializing in delivery of babies. Unlike midwives, who care for women giving birth at home, obstetricians generally work in a hospital setting
obsolete
outmoded, outdated. 'Hip' is an obsolete expression; it went out with love beads and tie-dye shirts
obsidian
black volcanic rock. The deposits of obsidian on the mountain slopes were an indication that the volcano had erupted in ancient times
obsessive
related to thinking about something constantly; preoccupying. Ballet, which had been a hobby, began to dominate his life; his love of dancing became obsesive
obsequy
funeral ceemony. Hundred paid their last respects at his obsequies
obsequious
slavishly attentive; servile; sycophantic. Helen valued people who behaved as if they respected themselves; nothing irritated her more than an excessively obsequious waiter or a fawning salesclerk.
obscure
darken; make unclear. At times he seemed purposely to obscure his meaning, preferring mystery to clarity
obscure
dark; vague; unclear. Even after I read the poem a fourth time, its meaning was still obscure
obnoxious
offensive. I find your behavior obnoxious please mend your ways
obloquy
slander; disgrace; infamy. I resent the obloquy that you are casting upon my reputation
oblivious
inattentive or unmindful; wholly absorbed Deep in her book, Nancy was oblivious to the noisy squabbles of her brother and his friends.
oblivion
obscurity; forgetfulness. After a decade of popularity, Hurston's works had fallen into oblivion; no one bothered to read them any more
obliterate
destroy completely. The tidal wave obliterated several island villages
oblique
indirect; slanting (deviating from the perpendicular or from a straight line). Casting a quick, oblique glance at the reviewing stand, the sergeant ordered the company to march, 'Oblique Right'.
obligatory
binding; required. It is obligatory that books borrowed from the library be returned within two weeks
objective
goal; aim. A degree in medicine was her ultimate objective
objective
not influenced by emotions; fair. Even though he was her son, she tried to be objective about his behavior
obituary
death notice. I firt learned of her death when I read the obituary in the newspaper
obfuscate
confuse; muddle; cause confusion; make needlessly complex. Was the president's spokesman trying to clarify the whitewater mystery, or was he trying to obfuscate the issue so the voters would never figure out what went on?
obese
excessively fat
obelisk
tall column tapering and ending in a pyramid. Cleopatra's Needle is an obelisk in New York City's CEntral Park
obeisance
bow. She made an obesiance as the ing and queen entered the room
obdurate
stubborn. He was obdurate in his refusal to listen to our complaints
oaf
stupid, awkward person, 'watch what you're doing, you clumsy oaf'
nutrient
nourishing substance. As a budding nutritionist, Kim has learned to design diets that contain foods rich in important basic nutrients
nurture
nourish; educate; foster. The Head Start program attempts to nurture prekindgergarten chilren so that they will do well when they enter public school
nuptial
related to marriage. Reluctant to be married ina t raditional setting, theyd ecided to hold their uptial ceremony at the carousel in Golden Gate Park
numismatist
person who collects coins. The numismatist had a splendid collection of antique coins
nullify
to make invalid. Once the contract was nullified, it no longer had any legal force.
nugatory
futile; worthless. This agreemen is nugatory for no court will enforce it
nubile
marriageable. Mrs. Bennet, in Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, was worrid about finding suitable husbands for her five nubile daughters
nuance
shade of difference in meaning or color; subtle distinction. Jody gazed at the Monet landscape for an hour, appreciating every subtle nuance of color in the painting
noxious
harmful. We must trace the source of these noxious gases before they asphyxiate us
novice
beginner. Even a novice at working with computers can install Barron's Computer study Program for the GRE by following the asy steps outlined in the user's manual
novelty
something new; newness. The computer is no longer a novelty around the office
notoriety
disrepute; ill fame. To the starlet, any publicity was good publicity; if she couldn't have a good reputation, she'd selttle for notoriety.
notable
conspicuous; important; distinguished. Normally notable for his calm in the kitchen, today the head cook was shaking, for the notable chef Julia Child was coming to dinner
nostrum
questionable medicine. No quack selling nostrums is going to cheat me.
nostalgia
homesickness; longing for the past. My grandfather seldom spoke of life in the old country; he had little patience with nostalgia
nonplus
bring to a halt by confusion; perplex. Jack's uncharacteristic rudeness nonplussed Jill, leaving her uncertain how to react
nonentity
person of no importance; nonexistence. Because the two older princes dismissed their youngest brother as a nonentiy, they did not realize that he was quietly plotting to seize the throne
nonedescript
undistinctive; ordinary. The private detective was a short, nondescipt fellow with no outstanding features, the sort of person one would never notice in a crowd.
noncommittal
neutral; unpledge; undecided. We were annoyed by his noncommittal reply for we had been led to expect definite assurances of his approval
nonchalance
indifference; lack of concern; composure. Cool, calm and collected underfire. James Bond shows remarkable nonchalance in the face of danger
nominal
in name only; trifling. He offered to drive her to the airport for only a nominal fee
nomenclature
terminology; system of names. Sharon found Latin word parts useful in translating medical nonmenclature; when her son had to have a bilateral myringotomy, she figured out that he needed a hole in each of his eardrums to end his earaches.
nomadic
wandering. Several nomadic tribes of Indians would hunt in this area each year.
noisome
foul-smelling; unwholesome. The noisome atmosphere downwind of the oil refinery not only stank but also damaged the lungs of everyone living in the area
nocturnal
done at night. Mr. Jones obtained a watchdog to prevent the nocturnal raids on his chicken coops
nirvana
in BUddhist teachings, the ideal state in which the individual loses himself in the attainment of an impersonl beatitude. Despite his desire to achieve nirvana, the young Buddhist found that even the buzzing of a fly could distract him from his meditation
nip
stop something's growth or development; snip off; bite; make numb with cold. The twins were plotting mishief, but Mother intervened and nipped their plan in the bud. Last week a guard dog nipped the postman in the leg; this week the extreme chill nipped his fingers till he could barely hold the mail
nihilist
one who considers traditional beliefs to be groundless and existence meaningless; absolute skeptic; revoluntionary terrorist. In his final ays, Hitler revealed himself a power-mad nihilist, ready to annihilate all of Western Europe, even to destroy Germany itself, in order that his will might prevail
niggle
spend too much time on minor points; carp. Let's not niggle over details
niggardly
meanly stingy; parsimonious. The niggardly pittance the widow receives from the government cannot keep her from poverty.
nicety
precision; minute distcintion. I cannot distinguish between such niceties of reasoning
nib
beak; pen point. THe nibs of fountain pens often become clotted and corroded
nexus
connection. I fail to see the nexus that binds these two widely separated events
nettle
annoy; vex. Do not let her nettle you with her sarcastic remarks
nether
lower. Tradition locates hell in the nether regions
nepotism
favoritism (to a relative). John left his position with the company because he felt that advancement was based on nepotism rather than ability
neophyte
recent convert; beginner. This mountain slope contains slides that will challenge experts as well as neophytes
neologism
new or newly coined word or phrase. As we invent new techniques and professions, we must also invent neologisms such as 'microcomputer' and 'astronaut' to describe them
nemesis
someone seeking revenge. Abandoned at sea in a small oat, the vengeful Captain Bligh vowed to be the nemesis of Fletcher Christian and his fellow mutineers
negligible
so small, trifling, or unimportant as to be easily disregarded. Because the damage to his car had been negligible, Michael decided he wouldn't bother to report the matter to his insurance company
negligence
neglect; failure to take reasonable care. Tommy failed to put back the cover on the well after he fetched his pail of water; because of his negligence, Kitty fell in.
negate
cancel out; nullify; deny. A sudden surge of adrenalin can negate the effects of fatigue. There's nothing like a good shock to wake you up
nefarious
very wicked. The villan's crimes, though various, were one and all nefarious.
necromancy
black magic; dealings with the dead. THe evil sorcerer performed feats of necromancy, callingon the spirits of the dead to tell the future. necromancer n.
nebulous
vague; hazy; cloudy. Phil and Dave tried to come up with a clear, intelligible business plan, not some hazy, bebulous proposal.
navigable
wide and deep enough to allow ships to pass through; able to be steered. So much sand had built up at the bottom of the canal that the waterway was barely navigable
nautical
pertaining to ships or navigation. The Maritime Museum contains models of clipper ships, lobooks, anchors, and many other items of a nautical nature.
nauseate
cause to become sick; fill with disgust. The foul smells began to nauseate her.
natty
neatly or smartly dressed. Priding himself on being a natty dresser, the ganster Bugsy Siegel collected a wardrobe of imported suit and ties.
natation
swimming. The Red Cross emphsizes the need for courses in natation
nascent
incipient; at the beginning, coming into being. If we could identify these revolutionary movements in their nascent state, we would be able to eliminate serious trouble in later years.
narrative
related to telling a story. A born teller of rales. Olsen used her impressive narrative skills to advantage in her story, 'I stand herer ironing'
narcissist
conceited person. A narcissist is his own best friend.
naivete
quality of being unsophisticated; simplicity; artlessness; gullibility. Touched by the naivete of sweet, convent-trained Cosette, Marius pledges himself to protect her innocence
nadir
lowest point. Although few people realized it, the Dow-Jones averages had reached their nadir and would soon begin an upward surge
myriad
very large number. Myriads of mosquitoes from the swamps invaded our village every twillight
myopic
nearsighted; lacking foresight. Stumbling into doors despite the coke-bottle lenses on his glasses, the nearsighted Mr. Magoo is markedly myopic. IN playing all summer long and failing to store up food for winter, the grasshopper in Aesop's fable was myopic as well. myopia. N
mutinous
unruly; rebellious. The captain had to use force to quiet his mutinous crew
mutilate
maim. The tortuerer threatened to mutilate his victim
musty
stale; spoiled by age. The attic was dark and musty
muster
gather; assemble. Washington mustered his forces at Trenton
musky
having the odor of musk. She left a trace of musky perfume behind her.
muse
ponder. For a moment he mused about the beauty of the scene, but his thoughts soon changed as he reaclled his own personal problems.
murky
dark and gloomy; thick with fog; vague. The murky depths of the swamp were so dark that you couldnt tell the vines and branches from the snakes.
mural
wall painint. The walls of the Chicano community center are covered with mural painted in the style of Diego Rivera, the great Mexican artist
munificent
very generous. Shamelessly fawning over a particularly generous donr, the dean kept referring to her as 'our munificent benfactor' munificence N
mundane
worldly as opposed to spiritual;everyday. Uninterested in philosophical or spiritual discussions. Tom talked only of mundane matters such as the daily weather forecast or the latest basketball results
multiplicity
state of being numerous. She was appalled by the multiplicity of details she had to complete before setting out on her mission
multilingual
having many languages. Because they are bordered by so many countries, the Swiss people are multilingual.
multiform
having many forms, Snowflakes are multiform but always hexagonal
multifarious
varied; greatly diversified. A career woman and mother, she was constanly busy with the multifarious activities of her daily life
mulct
defraud a person of something. The lawyer was accused of trying to mulct the boy of his legacy
muggy
warm and damp. August in New York City is often muggy
muddle
confuse; mix up. Her thougths were uddled and chaotic
mountebank
charlatan; boastful pretender. The patent medicine man was a mountebank
mottled
blotched in coloring; spotted. When old Falstaff blushed, his face became mottled, all pink and purple and red
motley
multicolored, mixed, The jester wore a motley tunic, red and green and blue nd gold all patched together haphazardly
motility
ability to move spontaneously Certain organisms exhibit remarkable motility; motile spores, eg, may travel for miles before coming to rest.
motif
theme. This simple motif runs throughout the score
mote
small speck. The tiniest mote in the eye is very painful
mosaic
picture made of small, colorful inlaid tiles. The mayor compared the city to a beautiful mosaic made up of people of every race and religion on earth
mortifcian
undertaker. The mortician prepared the corpse for burial
morose
ill-humored; sullen; melancholy. Forced to take early retirement, Bill acted morose for mothsl then, all of a sudden, he shook off his gloom and was his usual cheerful self
moribund
dying. Hearst took a moribund, failing weekly newspaper and transformed it into one of the liveliest, most profitable daily papers around
mores
conventions; moral standards; customs. In america, Benazir Bhutto dressed as Western women did, in Pakistan however, she followed the mores of the peopel, dressing in traditional veil and robes