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15 Cards in this Set

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  • 3rd side (hint)
pastiche \pass-TEESH\ noun
1 : a literary, artistic, musical, or architectural work that imitates the style of previous work; also : such stylistic imitation
2 a : a musical, literary, or artistic composition made up of selections from different works : potpourri b : hodgepodge
When Alfred Tennyson was only 14, he wrote a clever pastiche of Elizabethan drama.
billingsgate \BIL-ingz-gayt\ noun
: coarsely abusive language
A steady stream of billingsgate could be heard coming from the basement after my father hit his thumb with his hammer.
vicissitude \vuh-SISS-uh-tood\ noun
1 a : the quality or state of being changeable : mutability b : natural change or mutation visible in nature or in human affairs
2 *a : a favorable or unfavorable event or situation that occurs by chance : a fluctuation of state or condition b : a difficulty or hardship attendant on a way of life, a career, or a course of action and usually beyond one's control c : alternating change : succession
You have to be able to withstand financial losses to weather the vicissitudes of the stock market
despot \DESS-putt\ noun
1 a : a Byzantine emperor or prince b : a bishop or patriarch of the Eastern Orthodox Church c : an Italian hereditary prince or military leader during the Renaissance
2 a : a ruler with absolute power and authority *b : a person exercising power tyrannically
"Her spoilt younger sister, Phoebe, is a lip-glossed despot, able to command ... attention with a flick of her pretty head." (Lisa Allardice, The Daily Telegraph [London], March 22, 2003)
infinitesimal \in-fin-ih-TESS-uh-mul\ adjective
1 : taking on values arbitrarily close to but greater than zero
*2 : immeasurably or incalculably small
The days get longer in seemingly infinitesimal increments, but by the end of February we've gained two whole hours of sunlight since the winter solstice.
consternation \kahn-ster-NAY-shun\ noun
: amazement or dismay that hinders or throws into confusion
The Bakers were relieved to find a motel in so remote a spot, but their relief turned to consternation when they learned the place didn't have any rooms available for the night.
misanthrope \MISS-un-throhp\ noun
: a person who hates or distrusts humankind
Moliere's 1666 satiric comedy Le Misanthrope portrays the life of Alceste, a misanthrope who is completely intolerant of society and everyone in it.
indigence \IN-dih-junss\ noun
: a level of poverty in which real hardship and deprivation are suffered and comforts of life are wholly lacking
"It is a fine thing, reader, to be lifted in a moment from indigence to wealth." (Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre)
harbinger \HAR-bin-jer\ noun
1 : one that pioneers in or initiates a major change : precursor
*2 : one that presages or foreshadows what is to come
"More often than not, robins are year-round residents...[L]et hummingbirds and orioles be your harbingers of spring." (Scott Shalaway, Charleston Gazette, January 30, 2005)
habeas corpus \HAY-bee-us-KOR-pus\ noun
*1 : any of several common-law writs issued to bring a party before a court or judge; especially : a writ for inquiring into the lawfulness of the restraint of a person who is imprisoned or detained in another's custody
2 : the right of a citizen to obtain a writ of habeas corpus as a protection against illegal imprisonment
Sam's lawyers have filed a writ of habeas corpus to prove that his conviction was based on illegally obtained evidence
maquette \mak-ET\ noun
: a usually small preliminary model (as of a sculpture or a building)
At the town meeting the architect presented a maquette of the proposed new school, which will include a state-of-the-art gymnasium and media center.
emolument \ih-MAHL-yuh-munt\ noun
: the returns arising from office or employment usually in the form of compensation or perquisites
"Unlike some of his counterparts... in other cities, he is not paid by the team, and, indeed, has refused any emolument for his work." (Roger Angell, The New Yorker, November 28, 1983)
factoid \FAK-toyd\ noun
1 : an invented fact believed to be true because of its appearance in print
*2 : a briefly stated and usually trivial fact
The show consists of entertainment news interspersed with video factoids about Hollywood stars.
sylph \SILF\ noun
1 : an elemental being in the theory of Paracelsus that inhabits air
*2 : a slender graceful woman or girl
The dancer was a graceful, elegant sylph upon the stage.
ken \KEN\ noun
1 a : the range of vision b : sight, view *2 : the range of perception, understanding, or knowledge
The author advised the aspiring writers in the crowd to develop an authoritative voice by sticking to subjects within their ken