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250 Cards in this Set

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abase
to humble; disgrace (demean,humiliate). My intention was not to abase the comedian.
abeyance
temporary supression or suspension. The baseball game was held in abeyance while it rained. (deferral, delay, postponement, remission)
abjure
to reject; abandon formality. The spy abjured his allegiance to the US when he defected. (forswear, recall, recant, take back).
abstemious
moderate in appetite. Because AJ is a vegan, she was only able to eat an abstemious meal at the steakhouse. (abstinent, sober, temperate, continent)
accretion
a growth in size or amount. The committee's strong fund-raising efforts resulted in an accretion in scolarship money. (accumulation, buildup)
acidulous
sour in taste or manner. The acidulous taste of the spoiled milk... (acerbic, acetose, biting, piquant, pungent, tart)
acme
highest point; summit; highest level or degree attainable. Just when he reached the acme of his power, the dictator was overthrown. (apex, peak, summit)
aerie
a nest built high in the air; elevated, often secluded dwelling. Pearched high among the trees, the eagle's aerie was filled with eggs. (perch, stronghold)
affected
phony; artificial. The affected hairdresser spouted french phrases though she had never been to france. (insincere, pretentious; put on)
alacrity
promtness, cheerful readiness. The restaurant won a reputation for service since their staff responded to client requests with alacrity. (eagerness, swiftness)
anodyne
something that calms/soothes pain. The anodyne massage helped remove the knots from my shoulders. (opiate)
antipathy
extreme dislike. "The antipathy between the fans of the rival soccer teams..." (antimosity, animus, antagonism, aversoion, enmity)
apocryphal
of questionable authority or authenticity. "There is no authorative evidence to support the apocryphal tales of UFO encounters at Roswell." (disputed, fictitious, fraudulent)
apostate
one who renounces a religious faith "So that he could divorce his wife, the king scoffed at church doctrine and declared himself an apostate." (defector, traitor, deserter)
ardor
intense and passionate feeling. "Bishop's ardor for landscape was evident when he passionately described the beauty of the scene." (devotion, fervency, fervidity, fervidness, fervor, fire, passion, zeal)
arrogate
to claim without justification; "Gretchen watched in astonishment as her boss arrogated the credit for her brilliant work." (appropriate, presume, take)
attenuate
to reduce in force or degree; weaken "The Bill of Rights attenuated the traditional power of government to change laws at will." (debilitate, devitalize, enervate, enfeeble, rarefy, sap, thin, dilute, undermine, weaken, undo, unnerve, water, weaken)
augury
prophecy, prediction of events "Troy hoped the rainbow was an augury of good things to come." (auspices, harbinger, omen, portent, presage)
august
dignified, grandiose "The august view of the Grand Teton sumit took my breath away." (admirable, awesome, grand, majestic)
banal
cliched, boring, predictable "His conversation consisted of banal phrases like 'have a nice day' or 'Another day, another dollar.'" (bland, cliched, commonplace, tired, trite, vapid, worn-out"
bevy
group. "As predicted, a bevy of teenagers surrounded the star's limo." (band, bunch, gang, troop)
bifrucate
divide into two parts. "The large corporation just released a press statement announcing its plans to bifrucate." (bisect)
blithe
joyful, cheerful, or without appropriate thought. "Summer finally came, and the blithe students spent their days at the beach." (carefree, lighthearted, merry)
bonhomie
good natured geniality; atmosphere of good cheer. "The aspects of her job that Dana loved the most were the flexable hours and the pleasant bonhomie in the office."
burnish
to polish. "He burnished the silver coffee pot until it shone brightly." (buff, luster, polish, scour)
cabal
a secret group seeking to overturn something. "The boys on the street formed a cabal to keep girls out of the tree house." (camp, circle, clique, coterie, in-group, mafia, mob, ring)
calumny
a false and malicious accusation; misrepesentation. "The unscrupulous politician used calumny to bring down his opponent." (defamation, libel, slander)
canard
a lie. "The tabloid's feature about a goat giving birth to a human was clearly a canard." (falsehood, falsity, fib, misrepresentation, prevarication, tale, untruth."
catholic
universal, broad and comprehensive. "Hot tea with honey is a catholic remedy for a sore throat." (extensive, general)
caustic
biting in wit "Dorothy Parker gained her caustic reputation from her cutting, yet witty, insults." (acerbic, biting, mordant, trechant)
cloying
sickly sweet, excessive "When Enid and Jay first started dating, their cloying affection to each other was annoying." (excessive, fulsome)
coffer
strongbox, large chest for money. "The bulletproof glass of the coffer is what keeps the crown jewels secure." (chest, exchequer, treasury, war chest)
contumacious
rebellious. "The contumacious teen ran away from home when her parents grounded her." (factious, insubordinate, insurgent, mutinous, rebellious, seditious)
cosset
to pamper, to treat with great care. "Marta just loves to cosset her only grandchild." (cater to, cuddle, dandle, fondle, love, pamper, pet, spoil)
coterie
an intimate group of persons with a similar purpose. "Angel invites a coterie of fellow stamp collectors to the stamp party." (clique, set)
craven
lacking courage. "The craven lion cringed when he saw the mouse." (faint-hearted, spineless, timid)
credulous
too trusting; gullible "Though many 4-year-olds believe in the Tooth Fairy, only the most credulous 9-year-olds also believe in her." (naive, susceptible, trusting)
crescendo
steadily increasing in volume or force. "The crescendo of tension became unbearable as Evil Kinevel prepared to jump." (acme, capstone, crest, culmen, meridian, peak)
cupidity
greed; strong desire. "The thief stared at the shining jewels with cupidity in his eyes." (avarice, covetousness, rapacity)
curmudgeon
cranky person, usually old "Ernesto was a notorious curmudgeon who snapped at anyone who disturbed him."
declivity
downward slope "Because the village was situated on the declivity of a hill, it never flooded." (decline, descent, grade, slant, tilt)
decorous
proper, tasteful, socially correct "The countess trained her daughters in the finer points of decorous behavior, hoping they would make a good impression." (appropriate, courteous, polite)
decorum
appropriateness of behavior or conduct; propriety "The countess complained that the vulgar peasants lacked the decorum appropriate for a visit to the palace." (correctness, decency, etiquette, manners, mores, propriety, seemliness)
deleterious
subtly or unexpectedly harmful "If only we had known the clocks were defective before putting them on the market, it wouldn't have been quite so deleterious to our reputation." (adverse, inimical, injurious, hurtful)
demagogue
a leader, rabble-rouser, usually appealing to emotion or prejudice "He began his career as a demagogue, giving firey speeches at political rallies." (agitator, inciter, instigator)
demur
to express doubts or objections. "When scientists claimed all planets revolved around the earth, Galileo, with his superior knowledge, was forced to demur." (dissent, expostulate, kick, protest, remonstrate)
desultory
jumping from one thing to another, disconnected "Athena had a desultory academic record; she changed majors 12 times!" (erratic, haphazard, indiscriminate, random)
diaphanous
allowing light to shine through; delicate "These diaphanous curtains do nothing to block out the sunlight." (gauzy, sheer, tenuous, translucent, transparent)
diffident
lacking self-confidence. "Steve's diffidence during the interview stemmed from his nervous nature and lack of experience in the field." (backward, bashful, coy, demure, retiring, modest, shy, timid, self-effacing)
dilatory
intended to delay; procrastinating. "The congressman used dilatory measures to delay the passage of the bill." (sluggish, putting off)
dirge
funeral hymn or mournful speech. "Melville wrote the poem 'A dirge for James McPherson' for the funeral of the Union general." (elegy, lament)
dissemble
to present a false appearance; to disguise one's real intentions or character. "The villain could dissemble to the police no longer --- he decided to confess." (camouflage; cloak; feign)
dissonance
a harsh or disagreeable combination, especially of sounds. "Cognative dissonance is the inner conflict produced when long-standing beliefs are contradicted by new evidence." (clash, contention, discord, dissension, dissent, dissidence, friction, strife, variance)
distaff
the female branch of a family "The lazy husband refused to cook dinner for his wife, joking that the duty belongs to the distaff's side."
dither
to act confusedly or without purpose "Ellen dithered around her apartment, uncertain how to handle the family crisis." (falter, vacillate, waffle, waver, hesitate)
diurnal
existing during the day. "Diurnal creatures tend to become inactive during the night." (daylight, daytime)
divine
to foretell or know by inspiration "The fortune-teller divined from the pattern of tea leaves that her customer would marry five times." (auger, foresee, intuit, predict, presage)
doctrinaire
rigidly devoted to theories without regard for practicality; dogmatic. "The professor's manner of teaching was considered doctrinaire for such a liberal school." (dictatorial, inflexible)
ebullient
exhilirated, full of enthusiam. "The ebuillient child exhausted the baby-sitter who could not keep up." (ardent, avid, bubbly)
effrontery
impudent boldness, audacity. "The receptionist had the effrontery to laugh out loud when the CEO tripped." (brashness, gall, nerve, presumption)
encomium
warm praise. "Georgia's 'Ecomium to Helen' was written as a tribute to Helen of Troy." (citation, eulogy, panegyric, salutation, tribute)
ephemeral
lasting a short time. "The lives of mayflies seem ephemeral to us since their average lifespan is only hours." (evanescent, fleeting, momentary, transient)
epicure
person with refined taste in food and wine. "Niren is an epicure who always throws the most splendid dinner parties" (connoisseur, bon vivant, gastronome, gastronomer/ist, gourmand, gourmet)
ersatz
fake, artificial "Elds, a fashion maven, knew instantly that her friend's new Kate Spade bag was really an erats." (false, imitation)
eschew
to shun, to avoid "The filmmaker eschewed artificial light for actors, resulting in a stark movie style" (avoid, elude, escape, evade)
ethos
beliefs or character of a group. "It is the Boy Scouts' etos that one should always be prepared." (ethic, philosophy)
euphony
pleasant, harmonous sound. "To their loving parents, the children's orchestra performance sounded like euphony, althouth the outside observer would have probably called it cacophony." (melody, sweetness, music)
exponent
one who champions or advocates "The vice president was an enthusiastic exponent of computer technology." (representative, supporter)
expurgate
to censor "Government propagandists expurgated all negative references to the dictator." (cut, sanitize)
fatuous
stupid, foolishly self-satisfied "Ted's fatuous comments always embarassed his keen-witted wife at parties." (absurd, ludicrous, preposterous, ridiculous, silly)
fecund
fertile, fruitful, productive "The fecund couple yielded 20 children." (flourishing, prolific)
fetid
foul-smelling, putrid "The fetid stench from the outhouse caused Bill to barf." (funky, malodorous, noisome, rank, stinky)
florid
excessively decorated or embellished "The palace had been decorated in an excessively florid style; every surface had been carved and guilded." (baroque, elaborate, flamboyant, ornate, ostentatious, Rococo)
foment
to arouse or incite "The rebels tried to foment revolution through their attacks on the government." (agitate, impassion, inflame, instigate, kindle)
ford
to cross a body of water by wading "Because of the recent torrential rains, the cowboys were unable to ford the swolen river." (traverse, wade)
fractious
unruly, rebellious "The general had a hard time maintaining discipline among his fractious troops."
gambol
to dance or skip around playfully "From her office, Amy enviously watched the playful puppies gambol around the park." (caper, cavort, frisk, rollick, romp)
glib
fluent in an insincere manner, offhand, casual "The slimy politician managed to continue gaining supporters because he was a glib speaker." (easy, superficial)
glower
to glare, stare angrily and intensely "The cranky waiter glowered at the indecisive customer." (frown, lower, scowl)
guile
deceit, trickery "Since he was not fast enough to catch the roadrunner, the coyote resorted to guile in an effort to trap his enemy." (artifice, chicanery, connivery, duplicity)
hermetic
tightly sealed "The hermetic seal of the jar proved impossible to break." (airtight, impervious, watertight)
hoary
very old, whitish or gray from age "The old man's hoary beard contrasted starkly to the new stubble of his teenage grandson." (ancient, antediluvian, venerable, vintage)
iconoclast
one who OPPOSES established beliefs, customs and institutions "His lack of regard for traditional beliefs soon established him as an iconoclast." (maverick, noncomformist, rebel, revolutionary)
ignoble
having low moral standards, not noble in character, mean "The potographer was paid a princely sum for the picture of the self-proclaimed ethicist in the ignoble act of pick-pocketing." (lowly, vulgar)
impecunious
poor, having no money. "After the stock market crash, many former millionaires found themselves impecunious." (destitute, impoverished, indigent, needy, penniless)
impetuous
quick to act without thinking "It is not good for an investment broker to be impetuous since much thought should be given to all possible outcomes." (impulsive, precipitate, rash, reckless, spontaneous)
imprecation
a curse "Spouting violent imprecations, Hank searched for the person who damaged his truck." (damnation)
impugn
to call into question, to attack verbally "How dare you impugn my motives?" protested the lawyer on being accused of ambulance chasing. (challenge, dispute)
incarnadine
blood-red in color. "At his mother's mention of his baby pictures, the shy boy's cheeks turned incarnadine with embarrassment." (reddened, ruby, ruddy)
incohate
not fully formed, disorganized "The ideas expressed in Nietzche's mature work also appear in an incohate form in his earliest writing." (amorphous, incoherent, incomplete, unorganized)
inculcate
to teach, impress in the mind "Most parents inculcate their children with their beliefs and ideas instead of allowing their children to develop their own values." (implant, indoctrinate, instill, preach)
indolent
habitually lazy, idle "Her indolent ways got her fired from many jobs." (lethargic, slothful, sluggish)
ingenuous
showing innocence or childlike simplicity "She was so ingenuous that her friends feared that her innocence and truthfulness would be exploited." (artless, guileness, innocent, naive, simple, unaffected)
inimical
hostile, unfriendly "Even though a cease-fire had been in place for months, the two sides were still inimical to each other." (adverse, antagonistic, dissident, recalcitrant)
iniquity
sin, evil act " 'I promise to close every den of iniquity in this town!' Thundered the new conservative mayor."
insipid
lacking interest or flavor "The critic claimed that the painting was insipid, containing no interesting qualities." (banal, bland, dull, stale, vapid)
interregnum
interval between reigns "When JFK was shot, there was a brief interregnum before LBJ became president."
intransigent
uncompromising, refusing to be reconciled "The professor was intrasigent on the deadline, insisting that everyone turn in the paper at the same time." (implacable, inexorable, obdurate, obstinate, remorseless, rigid, unbending, unrelenting, unyielding)
inure
to harden, accustom, become used to "Eventually, Hassad became inured to the sirens that went off all night and could sleep through them." (condition, familiarize, habituate)
invective
abusive language "A stream of invectives poured from Mrs. Pratt's mouth as she watch the vandals smash her ceramic frog." (denuciation, revilement, vituperation)
investiture
ceremony conferring authority "At Napoleon's investiture, he grebbed the crown from the Pope's hands and placed it on his head himself." (inaugural, inauguration, induction, initiation, installation)
invidious
envious, obnoxious, offensive, likely to promote ill-will "It is cruel and invidious for parents to play favorites with their children." (discriminatory, insulting, jaundiced, resentful)
iracsible
easily made angry "Atilla the Hun's irascible and violent nature made all who dealt with him fear for their lives. (cantankerous, irritable, ornery, testy)
itinerant
wandering from place to place, unsettled "The itinerant tomcat came back to the Johansson homestead every two months." (nomadic, vagrant)
jingoism
beligerant support of one's country "The professor's jingoism made it difficult for the students to participate in an open political discussion." (chauvinism, nationalism)
kinetic
relating to motion; characterized by movement "The kinetic sculpture moved back and forth, startling the museum visitors." (active, dynamic, mobile)
knell
sound of a funeral bell; omen of death or failure "When the townspeople heard the knell from the church belfry, they knew that their mayor had died." (chime, peal, toll)
kudos
fame, glory, honor "The actress happily accepted kudos from the press for her stunning performance in the film." (acclaim, encomium, homage, praise)
lachrymose
tearful "Marcella always became lachrymose when it was time to bid her daughter good-bye." (teary, weepy)
laconic
using few words "He was the classic laconic native of Maine; he talked as if he was being charged for each word." (concise, pithy, curt, taciturn, terse)
languid
lacking energy, slow; indifferent "The languid cat cleaned its fur, ignoring the snarling dog chained a few feet away." (fainéant, lackadaisical, listless, sluggish, weak)
lapidary
relating to precious stones or the art of cutting them "Most lapidary work today is done with the use of machines."
largess
generous giving (as of money) to others who may seem inferior "She'd always relied on her parent's largess, but after graduation she had to get a job." (benevolence, boon, compliment, favor, present)
lassitude
a state of diminished energy "The lack of energy that characterizes patients with anemia makes lassitude one of the primary symptoms of the disease." (debilitation, enervation, fatuige, languor, listlessness, tiredness, weariness)
legerdemain
trickery "The little boy thought his legerdemain was working on his mother, but she in fact knew about every hidden toy and stolen cookie." (chicanery, conjuring)
levity
an inappropriate lack of seriousness, overly casual (amusement, humor)
libertine
a free thinker, usually used disparagingly; one without moral restraint "The libertine took pleasure in gambling away his family's money." (hedonist)
licentious
immoral, unrestrained by society "Religious citizens were outraged by the licentious exploits of the free-spirited artists living in town." (lewd, wanton)
limpid
clear, transparent "Fern could see all the way to the bottom through the pond's limpid water." (lucid, pellucid, serene)
lionize
to treat as a celebrity "After the success of his novel, the author was lionized by the press." (feast, honor, ply, regale)
lissome
easily flexes, limber, agile "The lissome yoga instructor twisted herself into shapes that her students could only dream of." (graceful, lithe, supple)
listless
lacking energy and enthusiam "Listless and depressed after breaking up with his girlfriend, Raj spent his days moping on the couch." (fainéant, indolent, languid, lethargic, sluggish)
livid
discolored from a bruise; pale; reddened with anger "Andre was livid when he discovered that someone had spilled juice on his coat." (ashen, black-and-blue, furious, pallid)
lugubrious
sorrowful, mournful, dismal "Irish wakes are a rousing departure from the lugubrious funeral services to which most people are accustomed." (funeral, gloomy, melancholy, somber, woeful)
machination
plot or scheme "Tired of his enemies' endless machinations to remove him from the throne, the king had them executed." (cabal, conspiracy, design, intrigue)
malestrom
whirlpool, turmoil, agitated state of mind "The transportation system of the city had collapsed in the maletrom of war." (Charybdis, eddy, turbulence)
malediction
a curse, a wish of evil upon another "The frog prince looked from a princess to kiss him and put an end to the witch's malediction." (anathema, imprecation)
malinger
to evade responsibility by pretending to be ill "A common way to avoid the draft was by malingering... pretending to be mentally or physically ill." (shirk, slack)
mannered
artificial or stilted in character "The portrait is an example of the mannered style that was favored in that era." (affected, unnatural)
martinet
strict disciplinarian; one who rigidly follows rules. "A complete martinet, the official insisted that Pete fill out all the forms again even though he was already familiar with his case." (dictator, stickler, tyrant)
maudlin
overly sentimental "The mother's death should have been a touching scene, but the movie's treatment of it was so maudlin that, instead of making the audience cry, it made them cringe." (bathetic, mawkish,saccharine,weepy)
mendicant
beggar "Can you spare a dime? begged the mendicant as the man walked past." (panhandler, pauper)
meretricious
gaudy; falsely attractive "The casino's meretricious decor horrified the cultivated interior designer." (flashy, insincere, loud, specious, tawdry)
militate
to operate against; to work against "Lenin militated against the tsar for years before he overthrew him." (influence, affect, change)
mirth
frivolty, gaiety, laughter "Vera's hilarious jokes contributed to the general mirth at the party." (hilarity, glee, jollity, merriment)
misanthrope
a person who dislikes others "The Grinch was such a misanthrope that even the sight of children singing made him angry." (crumudgeon)
missive
a written note or letter "Priscilla spent hours composing a romantic missive for Elvis" (message)
mollify
to calm or make less severe "Their argument was so intense that it was difficult to believe any compromise would mollify them." (appease, assuage, conciliate, pacify)
monastic
extremely plain or secluded as in a monastery. "The philosopher retired to his monastic lodgings to contemplate life free from any worldly distraction." (austere, contemplative, disciplined, regimented, self-abnegating)
mores
mixed customs or manners; moral attitudes "In keeping with the mores of ancient Roman society, Nero held a celebration every weekend." (conventions, practices)
multifarious
diverse "Ken opened the hotel room window, letting the multifarious noises of the great city." (assorted, heterogeneous, legion, motley, multifold, multiform, multiplex, multivarious, populous, varied)
nadir
lowest point "As Joey waited in line to audition for the diaper commercial, he realized he had reached the nadir of his acting career." (bottom, depth, pit)
nettle
to irritate "I don't particularly like having blue hair... I just do it to nettle my parents." (annoy, vex)
noisome
stinking, putrid "A dead mouse trapped in your wall produces a noisome odor." (disgusting, foul, malodorous)
numismatics
coin collecting "Tomas's passion for numismatics has resulted in an impressive collection of coins from all over the world."
obdurate
hardened in feeling, resistant to persuasion "The president was completely obdurate on the issue, and no amount of persuasion would change his mind." (inflexible, intrasigent, recalcitrant, tenacious, unyielding)
oblique
indirect, evasive, misleading, devious "Usually open and friendly, Reinaldo has been behaving in a curiously oblique manner lately." (glancing, slanted, tangential)
obsequious
overly submissive and eager to please "The obsequious new associate made sure to compliment her supervisor's tie and agree with him on every issue." (compliant, deferential, servile, subservient)
obviate
to prevent; to make unnecessary "The river was shallow enough to wade across at many points, which obviated the need for a bridge." (forestall, preclude, prohibit)
officious
too helpful, meddlesome "While planning her weddine, Maya discovered just how officious her future mother-in-law could be." (eager, intrusive, unwanted)
opprobrium
public disgrace "After the scheme to embezzle the elderly was made public, the treasurer resigned in utter opprobrium." (discredit, disgrace, dishonor, disrepute, ignominy,infamy,obloquy,shame)
orotund
pompous "Roberto grew tired of his date's orotund babble about her new job and decided the date would be their last." (aureate, bombastic, declamatory, euphuistic, flowery, grandiloquent, magniloquent, oratorical, overblown, sonorous)
ossify
to change into bone, to become hardened or set in a rigidly conventional pattern "The forensics expert ascertained the body's age based on the degree to which the facial structure had ossified."
ostensible
apparent "The ostensible reason for his visit was to borrow a book, but he secretly wanted to chat with the lovely Wanda." (represented, supposed, surface)
ostentation
excessive showiness "The ostentation of the Sun King's court is evident in the lavish decoration and luxuriousness of his palace at Versailles." (conspicuousness, flashiness, pretentiousness, showiness)
palliate
to make less serious; ease "The alleged crime was so vicious that the defense lawyer could not palliate it for the jury." (alleviate,assuage,extenuate,mitigate)
pallid
lacking in color or liveliness "The old drugstore's pallid window could not compete with Wal-Mart's extravagant display next door." (ashen, blanched, ghostly, pale, wan)
panache
flamboyance or dash in style and action; verve (Leah has such panache when planning parties, even when they're last-minute affairs." (flair)
panaegyric
elaborate praise, formal hymn of praise "The director's panegyric for the donor who kept his charity going was heart-warming." (compliment, homage)
panoply
impressive array "His resumé indicates a panoply of skills and accomplishments." (array, display, fanfare, parade, pomp, shine, show)
pariah
an outcase "Once he betrayed those in his community, he was banished and lived the life of a pariah." (castaway, derelict, leper, offscouring, untouchable)
parley
discussion, usually between enemies "The parley between the rival cheerleading squads resulted in neither side admiting that they had copied the other's dance moves." (debate, dialogue, negotiations, talks)
parry
to ward off or deflect, especially by a quick-witted answer " Kari parried every question the army officers fired at her, much to their frustration." (avoid, evade, repel)
pastiche
piece of literature of music imitating the works of others "The singer's clever pastiche of the well-known children's story had the audience rolling in the aisles." (medley, spoof)
pecadillo
minor sin or offense "Gabriel tends to harp on his brother's pecadillos and never lets him live them down." (failing, fault, lapse, misstep)
penury
an opressive lack of resources (as money); severe poverty "Once a famous actor, he eventually dies in penury and anonymity." (destitution, impover
peregrinate
to wander from place to place; to travel, especially on foot. "Shivani enjoyed peregrinating the expansive grounds of Central Park." (journey, traverse, trek)
perfidious
willing to betray one's trust. "The actress's perfidious companion revealed all of her intimate secrets to the gossip columnist." (disloyal, faithless, traitorous, treacherous)
peripatetic
wanterint from place to place, especially on foot "Eleana's peripatetic meanderings took her all over the countryside in the summer months." (itinerant, nomadic, wayfaring)
perspicacious
shrewd attitude, keen-witted "Inspector Poirot used hs prespicacioius mind to solve mysteries." (insightful, intelligent, sagacious)
phalanx
a compact or close-knit body fo people, animals, or things "A phlanx of guards stood outside the prime minister's home day and night." (legion, mass)
philistine
a person who is guided by materialism and is disdainful of intellectual or artistic values "The philistine never even glanced at the rare violin in his collection but instead kept an eye on its value and sold it for a profit." (boor, bourgeois, capitalist, clown, lout, materialist, vulgarian)
phlegmatic
calm and unemotional in temperment "Although the bomb could go off at any moment, the phlegmatic demolition expert remained calm and unafraid." (apathetic, calm, emotionless, impassive, indifferent, passionless, unemotional)
pithy
profound, substantial; concise, succint, to the point "Martha's pithy comments during the interview must have been impressive because she got the job." (brief, compact, laconic, terse)
plebian
crude or coarse; characteristic of commoners "After five weeks of studying, the graduate settled for a weekend of plebian socializing and TV watching." (conventional, unrefined)
plucky
courageous, spunky "The plucky young nurse dove into the foxhole, determined to help the wounded soldier." (bold, brave, gusty)
polemic
controversy, argument, verbal attack. "The candidate's polemic against his opponent was vicious and small-minded rather than convincing and well-reasoned." (denunciation; refutation)
politic
shrewd and practical in managing or dealing with things; diplomatic "She was wise to curb her tongue and was able to explain her problem to the judge in a respectful and politic manner." (tactful)
polyglot
a speaker of many languages "Ling's extensive travels have helped her to become a true polyglot."
potentate
a monarch or ruler with great power "Alex was much kinder before he assumed the role of potentate." (dominator, leader)
précis
short summary of facts "Fara wrote a précis of her thesis on the epic poem to share with the class." (summation)
prescient
having foresight "Jonah's decision to sell the apartment seemed to be a prescient one, as its value soon dropped by half." (augural, divinatory, mantic, oracular, premonitory)
prevaricate
to lie or deviate from the truth. "Rather than admit that he had overslept again, the employee prevaricated and claimed that heavy traffic prevented him from arriving on time." (equivocate, lie, perjure)
probity
complete honesty and integrity "Washington's reputation for probity is illustrated in the legend about his inability to lie after he chopped down the cherry tree." (integrity, morality, rectitude, uprightness, virtue)
profligate
corrupt, degenerate "Some historians claim that it was the Romans' decadent, profligate behavior that led to the decline of the Roman Empire." (dissolute, extravagant, improvident, prodigal, wasteful)
propitiate
to conciliate, to appease "Because their gods were angry and vengeful, the Vikings propitiated them with many sacrifices." (appease, conciliate, mollify, pacify, placate)
propriety
the quality of behaving in a proper manner, obeying rules and customs "The aristocracy maintained a high level of propriety, adhering to even the most minor social rules." (appropriateness, decency, decorum, modesty)
puerile
childish, immature, silly "Olivia's boyfriend's puerile antics are really annying; sometimes he acts like a five-year-old!" (infantile, jejune, juvenile)
pugilism
boxing "Pugilism has been defended as a positive outlet for agressive impulses." (fighting, sparring)
pulchritude
beauty "The mortals gazed in admiration at Venus, stunned by her incredible pulcritude." (comeliness, gorgeousness, handsomeness, loveliness, prettiness)
pusillanimous
cowardly, without courage "The pusillanimous man would not enter the yard where the poodle was barking." (cowardly, timid)
querulous
inclined to complain, irritable "Curtis's complaint letter received prompt attention after the company labeled him a querulous potential troublemaker." (peevish, puling, sniveling, whiny)
quiescent
motionless "Many animals are quiescent over the winter months, minimizing activity in order to conserve energy." (dormant, latent)
quixotic
overly idealistic, impractical "The practical Danuta was skeptical of her roommate's quixotic plans to build a roller coster in their yard." (capricious, impulsive, romantic, unrealistic)
quotidian
occuring daily, commonplace "The sight of people singing on the street is so quotidian in New York that passersby rarely react to it." (everyday, normal, usual)
raconteur
witty, skillful storyteller "The ranconteur kept all the passengers entertained with his stories during the six-hour flight." (anecdotalist, monologist)
redress
relief from wrong or injury "Seeking redress for the injuries she had received in the accident, Doreen sued the driver of the truck that hit her." (amends, indemnity, quittance, reparation, restitution)
rejoinder
response "Patrick tried desperately to think of a clever rejoinder to Marianna's joke, but he couldn't." (retort, riposte)
repast
meal or mealtime "Ravi prepared a delicious repast of chicken." (banquet, feast)
repose
relaxation, leisure "After working hard every day in the busy city, Mike finds his repose on weekends playing golf with friends." (calmness, tranquility)
requite
to return or repay "Thanks for offering to lend me $1000, but I know I'll never be able to requite your generosity." (compensate, reciprocate)
restive
impatient; uneasy, restless "The passengers became restive after having to wait in line for hours and began to shout complaints at the airline staff." (agitated, anxious, fretful)
ribald
humerous in a vulgar way "The court jester's ribald brand of humor delighted the rather uncouth king." (coarse, gross, indelicate, lewd, obscene)
rococo
very highly ornamented; relating to an 18th century artistic style of elaborate ornamentation "The ornate furniture in the house reminded Jen of the rococo style." (intricate, ornate)
sacrosanct
extremely sacred; beyone criticism "Many people considered Mother Teresa to be sacrosanct and would not tolerate any criticism of her. (holy, inviolable, off-limits)
sagacious
shrewd, wise "Owls have a reputation for being sagacious, perhaps because of their big eyes, which resemble glasses." (astute, judicious, perspicacious, sage, wise)
salient
prominent, of notable significance "His most salient characteristic is his tendency to dominate every conversation." (marked, noticeable, outstanding)
sanguine
ruddy; cheerfully optimistic "A sanguine person thinks the glass is half full, whereas a depressed person thinks it's half empty." (confident, hopeful, positive, rosy, rubicund)
seraphic
angelic, sweet "Selena's seraphic appearance belied her nasty, bitter personality." (cherubic, heavenly)
sinecure
a well paying job or office that requires little or no work "The corrupt mayor made sure to set up all of his relatives in sinecures within the administration."
slake
to calm down or moderate "In order to slake his curiosity, Brian finally took a tour backstage at the theater." (moderate, quench, satisfy)
sobriquet
nickname "One of Regan's sorbriquets was 'The Gipper'." (alias, pseudonym)
solecism
grammatical mistake; blunder in speech "'I ain't going with you.' she said, obviously unaware of her solecism." (blooper, faux pas, vulgarism)
soporific
causing sleep or lethargy "The movie proved to be so soporific that soon loud snores were heard throughout the cinema." (hypnotic, narcotic, slumberous, somnolent)
sportive
frolicsome, playful "The lakeside vacation meant more sportive opportunities for the kids than the wine tour through France." (frisky, merry)
stasis
a state of static balance or equilibrium, stagnation. "The rusty, ivy-colored WW II tank had obviously been in stasis for years." (inertia, standstill)
stentorian
extremely loud "Cullen couldn't hear her speaking over the stentorian din of the game on TV." (clamorous, noisy)
stolid
unemotional, lacking sensitivity "The prisoner appeared stolid and unaffected by the judge's harsh sentence." (apathetic, impassive, indifferent, phlegmatic, stoical, unconcerned)
stratagem
trick designed to deceive an enemy "The Trojan Horse must be one of the most successful military stratagems used throughout history." (artifice, feint, maneuver, ruse, while)
surfeit
excessive amount "Because of the surfeit of pigs, pork prices have never been lower." (glut, plethora, repletion, superfluity, surplus)
sybarite
a person devoted to pleasure and luxury "A confirmed sybarite, the nobleman fainted at the thought of having to leave his palace and live in a small cottage." (hedonist, pleasuremonger, sensualist)
sycophant
a self-serving flatterer, yes-man "Dreading criticism, the actor surrounded himself with admirers and sycophants." (bootlicker, fawner, lickspittle, toady)
syncopation
temporary irregularity in musical rhythm "A jazz enthusiast will appreciate the use of syncopation in the musical genre."
taciturn
silent, non talkative "The clerk's taciturn nature earned him the nickname Silent Bob." (laconic, reticent)
toady
one who flatters in the hope of gaining favors "The king was surrounded by toadies who rushed to agree with whatever outrageous thing he said." (parasite, sycophant)
tome
a book (usually large or academic) "The teacher was forced to refer to various tomes to find the answer to the advanced student's question." (codex, volume)
torpor
extreme mental and physicl sluggishness "After surgery, the patient's torpor lasted several hours until the anesthesia wore off." (apathy, languor)
trenchant
acute, sharp, incisive, forceful, effective "Tyrone's trenchant observation in class made him the professor's favorite student." (biting, caustic, cutting, keen)
turgid
swollen as from a fluid, bloated "In the process of osmosis, water passes through the walls of turgid cells, ensuring that they never contain too much water." (distended)
tyro
beginner, novice "An obvious tyro at salsa, Millicent received no invitations to dance." (apprentice, fledgling, greenhorn, neophyte, tenderfoot)
umbrage
offense, resentment "The businessman took umbrage at the security guard's accusation that he had shoplifted a pack of gum." (asperity, dudgeon, ire, pique, rancor)
unequivocal
absolute, certain "The jury's verdict was unequivocal: the organized crime boss would be locked up for life." (categorical, clear, explicit, express, unambiguous)
upbraid
to scold sharply "The teacher upbraided the student for scrawling graffiti all over the walls of the school." (berate, chide, rebuke, reproach, tax)
variegated
varied, marked with different colors "The variegated foliage of the jungle allows it to support thousands of animal species." (diversified)
venerate
to respect deeply "In a traditional Confucian society, the young venerate their elders, deferring to their elders' wisdom and experience." (adore, honor, idolize, revere)
verdant
green with vegetation, inexperienced "He wandered deep into the verdant woods in search of mushrooms and other edible flora" (grassy, leafy, wooded)
vernal
related to spring, fresh "Bea basked in the balmy vernal breezes, happy that winter was coming to an end." (springlike, youthful)
vestige
trace, remnant "Vestiges of the former tenant still remained in the apartment, though he hadn't lived there for years." (relic, remains, sign)
vex
to annoy, irritate; puzzle, confuse "The old man who loved his peace and quiet was vexed by his neighbor's loud music." (annoy, bother, chafe, exasperate, irk, nettle, peeve, provoke)
vicissitude
a change or variation, ups and downs "Investors must be prepared for vicissitudes in the stock market." (inconstancy, mutability)
vim
vitality and energy "The vim with which she worked so early in the day explained why she was so productive." (force, power)
viscous
thick and adhesive, like a slow-flowing fluid "Most viscous liquids, like oil or honey, become even thicker as they are cooled down." (gelatinous, glutinous, thick)
vituperate
to abuse verbally, berate "Vituperating someone is never a constructive way to effect change." (castigate, reproach, scold)
voluble
talkative, speaking easily, glib "The voluble man and his reserved wife proved the old saying that opposites attract." (loquacious, verbose)
wan
sickly, pale "The sick child had a wan face, in contrast to her rosy-cheeked sister." (ashen, sickly)
whimsical
lightly acting in a fanciful or capricious manner; unpredictable "The ballet was whimsical, delighting the children with its imaginative characters and unpredictable sets." (capricious, erratic, flippant, frivolous)
winsome
charming, happily engaging "Lenore gave the doorman a winsome smile, and he let her pass to the front of the line." (attractive, delightful)
wizened
shriveled, withered, wrinkled "The wizened old man was told that the plastic surgery necessary to make him look young again would cost more money that he could imagine." (atrophied, desiccated, gnarled, wasted)
wraith
a ghost or specter; a ghost of a living person seen just before his or her death "Gideon thought he saw a wraith late one nibht as he sat vigil outside his great uncle's bedroom door." (apparition, bogeyman, phantasm, shade, spirit)
zephyr
a gentle breeze; something airy or unsubstantial "The zephyr from the ocean made the intense heat on the beach bearable for the sunbathers." (breath, draft)