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205 Cards in this Set

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macaronic
denoting language, esp. burlesque verse, containing words or inflections from one language introduced into the context of another.
macerate
soften or break up something (esp. food) by soaking in a liquid

become softened or broken up by soaking

cause to grow thinner or waste away, esp. by fasting
Mach
ratio of speed of a bnody to the speed of sound in the surrounding medium. Mach 1 = speed of sound, Mach 2 = twice the speed of sound ,etc.
Machiavellian
cunning, scheming and unscrupulous, esp in politics or in advancing one's career
machinate
engage in plots and intrigues; scheme
macrocosm
the Universe
madrigal
a part-song for several voices, esp. one of the Renaissance period, typically arranged in elaborate counterpoint and w/o instrumental accompaniment. Originally used of a genre of 14th century Italian songs, the term now usually refers to English or Italian songs of the late 16h and 17th c., in a free style strongly influenced by the text.
maelstrom
a powerful whirpool in the sea or a river.
maenad
(in ancient Greece) a female follower of Bacchus, the god of wine, traditionally associated w/ divine possession and frenzied rites.
maestoso
(music) in a majestic manner; a movement or passage marked to be performed in this way
maestro
a distinguished musician
Magi
the "wise men" from the East who brought gifts to the baby Jesus.
Magna Carta
a charter of liberty and political rights obtained from King John of England by his rebellious barons at Runnymede in 1215, which came to be seen as the seminal document of English constitutional practice.
magneto
a small electric generator containing a permanent magnet and used to provide high-voltage pulses esp (formerly) in the ignition systems of internal combustion engines.
magniloquent
using high flown or bombastic language
magnum opus
a large and important work of art, music, or literature, esp. one regarded as the most important work of an artist or writer.
maharaja
an Indian prince ranking righer than a rajah, esp. one who ruled a Native State before independence (1947).
mahatma
(in the Indian subcontinent) a person regarded w/ reverence or loving respect; a holy person or sage.

a person in India or Tibet said to have supernatural powers
Mahayana
one of the 2 major traditions of Buddhism, now practiced in a variety of forms, esp in China, Tibet, Japan and Korea. Altruistically oriented spiritual practice as emobdied in the ideal of the Bodhisattva. 1st C. CE.
maieutic
of or denoting the Socratic mode of inquiry, which aims to bring a person's latent ideas into clear consiousness.
maillot
a pair of tights worn for dancing or gymnastics

a woman's tight-fitting one-piece simwsuit

a jersey or top, esp. one worn in sports such as cycling.
maiolica
fine earthenware w/ colored decoration on an opaque white tin glaze, originating in Italy during the Renaissance.
maitre d'hotel
the person in a restaurant who oversees the serving staff, and who typically handles reservations

manager of a hotel
majolica
a kind of earthenware made in imitation of Italian maiolica, esp. in England 19th CE
major domo
the chief steward of a large household
majority
the age when aperson is legally considered a full adult
majuscule
large lettering, either capital or uncial, in which all the letters are usually the same height.

a large letter.
maladroit
ineffective or bungling; clumsy.
malaise
a general feeling of discomfort, illness, or uneasiness whose exact cause is difficult to identify.
malapert
boldly disrespectful to a person of higher standing; an impudent person
malaprop
the mistaken use of a word in place of a similar-sounding one, often with unintentionally amusing effect, (dance a "flamingo" instead of dance a "flamenco")
malediction
a magical word or phrase uttered w/ the intention of bringing about evil; a curse
malefactor
a person who commits a crime or some other wrong.
malefic
causing or capable of causing harm or destruction, esp. by supernatural means

relating to the planets Saturn and Mars, traditionally considered by astologists to have an unfavorable influence.
malevolent
having or showing a wish to do evil to others
malfeasance
wrongdoing, esp. by a public official when it affects his or her public duties.
malign
evil in nature or effect; malevolent

(disease) malignant
mlignant
very virulent or infectious

tending to invade normal tissue or to recure after removal; cancerous

characterized by intense ill will.
malinger
exaggerate or feign illness in order to escape duty or work
maladorous
smelling very unpleasant
malversation
corrupt behavior in a position of trust, esp in public office
mammon
wealth regarded as an evil influence or false object of worshi pand devotion. It was taken by medieval writers as the name of the devil of covetousness.
manana
in the indefinite future, implying procrastnation.
mandala
geometric figure representing the universe in Hindu and Buddhist symbolism.

(Jungian) such a symbol in a dream, representing the dreamer's search for completeness and self-unity.
mandamus
judicial writ issued as a command to an inferior court or ordering a person to perform a public or statutory duty.
mandarin
powerful official or senior bureaucrat, esp. one perceived as reactionary and secretive.
manege
an arena, school, or enclosed area in which horses and riders are trained

the movements of a trained horse

horsemanship
Manichaeism
a dualistic religious system w/ Christian, Gnostic, and pagan elements, founded in Persia in the 3rd C. by Manes. The system was based on a supposed primeval conflict between light and darkness. It spread widely in the Roman Empire and in Asia, and survived in Chinese Turkestan until the 13th C.

religious or philophical dualism.
manifest
a document giving comprehensive details of a ship and its cargo and other contents, passengers, and crew for the use of customs officers.

same as above, but for airplane, or train.
manifesto
a public declaration of policy and aims, esp. one issued before an election by a political party or candidate.
manikin
a person who is very small, esp one not otherwise abnormal or deformed

a jointed model of the human body, used in anatomy or as an artist's lay figure.
manna
(Biblical) the substance miraculously supplied as food to the Israelites in the wilderness

an unexpected or gratuitous benefit

(Christian context) spiritual nourishment
mano-a-mano
competition/combat that is hand-to-hand.
manque
having failed to become what one might have been; unfulfilled: "a poet manque"
mansard
a roof that has four sloping sides, each of which becoems steeper halfway down

a story or apartment under a mansard roof
mansuetude
meekness; gentleness
mantic
of or relating to divination or prophecy
manumit
release from slavery; set free
maquiladora
a factory in Mexico run by a foreign company (typically American) and exporting its products (typically, assembled from parts imported into Mexico) to the country of that company.
marchioness
wife or widow of a marquess

woman holding the rank of marquess in her own right
mare's nest
a complex and difficult situation

an illusory discovery
marginalia
marginal notes
mariculture
the cultivation of fish or other marine life for food
Mariolatry
idolatrous worship of the Virgin Mary
marque
a make of car, as distinct from a specific model
marquee
a lg tent used for social or commercial functions
marquess
a British nobleman ranking above an earl/count and below a duke
marquetry
inlaid work made from small pieces of variously colored wood or other materials, used chiefly for the decoration of furniture
marquise
a finger ring set w/ a pointed oval gem or cluster of gem

a chilled essert similar to a chocolate mousse
martinet
a strict disciplinarian, esp in the armed forces.
masque
a form of amateur dramatic entertainment, popular among the nobility in the 16th and 17th-C England, which consisted of dancing and acting performed by masked players

a masked ball
massif
a compact group of mountains, esp. one that is separate from other groups.
mast
fruit of beech, oak, chestnut, and other forest trees, esp. as food for pigs and wild animals.
mate
leaves of a S American shrub which is high in caffeine and bitter
materfamilias
the female head of a family or household.
matins
a serice of morning prayer in various churches, esp the Anglican Church

a service of the W Christian Church, originally said (or chanted) at or after midnight, but historically often held w/ lauds on the previous evening.
matrix
an environment or material in which something develops; a surrounding medium or structure

a mass of fine-grained rock in which gems, crystals, or fossils are embedded

the tissue from which a tooth, hair, feather, nail, etc. arises.

fine material

a mold in which something, such as printing type or a phonograph record, is cast or shaped

an organizational strucutre in which two or more lines of command, responsibility, or communication may run through the same individual
matron
a married woman, esp a dignified and sober middle-aged one
maudlin
self-pityingly or tearfully sentimental, often through drunkenness
maven
an expert or connoisseur
mawkish
sentimental in a feeble or sickly way

having a faint sickly flavor
maya
the supernatural power wielded by Hindu gods and demons to produce illusions

the power by which the universe becomes manifest

the illusion or appearance of the phenomenal world
mayhen
a former designation for the crime of maliciously injuring or maiming someone, originally so as to render the victim defenseless.
mea culpa
an acknowledgment of one's fault or error:
"well, whose fault was that?"
"mea culpa!" Frank said.
meed
a deserved share or reward
Megillah
also: "The whole megillah"
something in its entirety, esp. a complicated set of arrangements or a long-winded story
megrim
depression, low spirits

a whim or fancy

old-fashioned term for migraine
melange
a mixture, a medley
meld
(in cards) lay down or declare (a combination of cards) in order to score points: "my opponent melded four kings".
meliorism
the belief that the world can be made better by human effort
mellifluous
(of a voice or words) sweet or musical; pleasant to hear
meme
an element of a culture or system of behavior that may be considered to replicate by passing from one individual to another by nongenetic means, esp. imitation.
memento mori
an object serving as a warning or reminder of death, such as a skull.
mendacious
not telling the truth; lying.
mendacity
untruthfulness
mendicant
given to begging

of, belonging to, or denoting one of the religious orders that originally relied solely on alms
menhir
a tall upright stone of a kind erected in prehistoric times in western Europe.
mensch
a person, esp. a man, of integrity and honor.
mensural
of or involving measuring

(in music) involving notes of definite duration and usually a regular meter.
mephitic
(esp of a gas or vapor) foul-semlling; noxious
mercenary
making money at the price of ethics
mercurial
(of a person) subject to sudden or unpredictable changes of mood or mind

(of a person) sprightly; lively
mere
a lake, pond, or arm of the sea; often appearing in place names.
meretricious
apparently attractive but having in reality no value or integrity

of, relating to, or characterstic of a prostitute.
meronym
term that denotes part of something but that is used to refer to the whole of it. "best heads in government"
= metonymy
mesalliance
a marriage w/ a person thought to be unsuitable or of a lower social position
meshuga
(of a person) mad; idiotic
mesne
(in law) intermediate; intervening
mesomorph
a person w/ a compact and muscular body build
messianic
fervent and passionate
mestizo
a man of mixed race, esp. the offspring of European and native parents.
metanoia
change in one's way of life resulting from penitence or spiritual conversion.
metaphysical
abstract, above natural law

of or characteristic of the English poets of the 17th C whose works exhibited subtlety of thought and complex imagery
metathesis
transposition of sounds or letters in a word, esp one occurring in the development of a language over time (Li Bo => Li Bai)
mete
boundary stone
metempsychosis
the supposed transmigration at death of the soul of a human being or animal into a new body of the same or a different species.
metier
a trade, profession, or occupation

an occupation or activity that one is good at

an outstanding or advantageous characteristic
metis
a person (esp in W Canada) of mixed American Indian and Euro-American ancestry.
metonymy
the substitution of the name of an attribute or adjunct for that of the thing meant, for example "suit" = "business executive".
metroplex
a very large metropolitan area, esp one that is an aggregation of two or more cities.
mews
a row or street of houses or apts that have been converted from stables or built to look like former stables.

a group of stables, typically w/ rooms above, built around a yard or along an alley.
mezzanine
a low story between 2 others in a building, typically between the ground and second floors

the lowest balcony of a theater, cinema, stadium,.

relating to or denoting unsecured, higher-yielding loans that are subordinate to bank loans and secured loans but rank above equity.
miasma
a highly unpleasant or unhealthy smell or vapor

an oppressive or unpleasant atmosphere that surrounds or emanates from something.
micturate
urinate
midden
a dunghill or refuse heap

a prehistoric refuse heap associated w/ a site of human habitation, often a focus of scientific study.
Middle English
English language from c.1150 to c.1470, reflecting the post-conquest (post 1066) influence of Norman French on Old English.
mien
a person's look or manner, esp one of a particular kind indicating character or mood.
miff
put out of humor; offend; annoy

a petty quarrel or fit of pique
militate
(of a fact or circumstance) be a powerful or conclusive factor in preventing
milksop
a person who is indecisive and lacks courage
millenarian
relating to or believing in the idea that Christ will return to earth and reign for one thousand years.

believing in the imminence or inevitability of a golden age of peace, justice, and prosperity

denoting a religious or political group seeking solutions to present crises through rapid and radical transformation of politics and society
milliner
a person who makes or sells women's hats
milquetoast
a person who is timid or submissive
mimesis
representation or imitation of the real world in art and lit

the deliberate imitation of the behavior of one group of ppl by another as afactor in social chane
minacious
menacing; threatening
minatory
expressing or conveying a threat
mingy
mean and stingy

unexpectedly or undesirably small
minuscule
of or in a small cursive script of the Roman alphabet, developed in the 7th century AD.

small or lowercase letter.
minx
an impudent, cunning, or boldly flirtatious girl or young woman
minyan
a meeting of Jews for public worship
miscarry
(of a letter) fail to reach its destination
miscegenation
the interbreeding of ppl considered to be of different races
miscreant
a person who behaves badly, breaks the law

a heretic

heretical
mis en scene
the arrangement of scenery and stage properties in a play

the setting or surroundings of an event or action
misnomer
a wrong or inaccurate name or designation; a wrong or inaccurate use of a name or term
missal
any book of prayers
missive
a letter, esp a long or official one
mixologist
bartender; a person who is skilled and mixing cocktails and other drinks.
mnemonic
the power of memory
modality
modal quality

particular mode in which something exists or is expereinced or expressed

a particular form of sensory perception
moderne
of or relating to a popularization of the art deco style marked by bright colors and geometric shapes

facetiously or disparagingly denoting an ultra-modern style
modiste
a fashionable milliner or dressmaker.
moiety
each of two parts into which a thing is or can be divided

each of two social or ritual groups into which a people is divided, esp among Australian Aboriginals and some American Indians

a part or portion, esp a lesser share
moire
silk fabric that has been subjected to heat and pressure rollers after weaving to give it a rippled appearance

denoting or showing a pattern of irregular wavy lines like that of such silk
molder
slowly decay or disintegrate, esp because of neglect
mollycoddle
treat (someone) very indulgently or protectively.

an effeminate or ineffectual man or boy; a milksop
monad
a single unit; the number one (as opposed to Dyad; triad)

Gottfried Leibniz (1646-1716) philosophy: an indivisible and hence ultimately simple entity, such as an atom or a person

a name formerly used for a single-celled organism.
monadnock
an isolated hill or ridge of erosion-resistant rock rising above a peneplain
monetize
convert into or express in the form of currency
monism
theory/doctrine that denies the existence of a distinction/duality in some sphere, such as that between matter and mind, or God and the world

the doctrine that only one supreme being exists
monition
a warning of impending danger

a formal notice from a bishop or ecclesiastical court admonishing a person not to do something specified.
monitory
giving or serving as a warning.
monocoque
an aircraft or vehicle structure in which the chassis is integral w/ the body
monoculture
the cultivation of a single crop in a given area
monody
an ode sung by a single actor in a Greek tragedy

a poem lamenting a person's death

music w/ only one melodic line
monomania
exaggerated or obsesive enthusiasm for or preoccupation w/ one thing
mons pubis
the rounded mass of fatty tissue lying over the joint of the pubic bones, in women typically more prominent and also called the mons veneris ("Venus's Mount")
moratorium
a postponement or temporary prohibition of an activity

a legal authorization to debtors to postpone payment
mordacious
denoting or using biting sarcasm or invective

(of a person or animal) given to biting
mordant
having or showing a sharp or critical quality; biting

an adhesive compound for fixing gold leaf

a corrosive liquid used to etch the lines on a printing plate
moribudn
(of a person) at the point of death

(of a thing) in terminal decline; lacking vitality or vigor
morpheme
a meaningful morphological unit of a language that cannot be further divided (eg the 3 units IN, COME, -ING, forming INCOMING)
morphology
the study of the forms of things, especially:
biology that deals w/ the form of living organisms, and w/ relationships between their structures

study of the forms of words
mortify
subdue (The body or its needs and desires) by self-denial or discipline

(of flesh) be affected by gangrene or necrosis
mortise
a hole or recess cut into a part, designed to receive a corresponding projection (a tenon) on another part so as to join or lock the parts together.
mossback
an old-fashioned or extremely conservative person
motet
a short piece of sacred choral music, typically polyphonic and unaccompanied
motile
(of cells) capable of motion (sperm)

of, relating to, or characterized by bodily responses that involve muscular rather than audiovisual sensations
mot juste
the exact; the appropriate word
moue
"moo" a pouting expression used to convey annoyance or distaste
mountebank
a person who deceives others, esp in order to trick them out of their money; a charlatan.

in former times, a person who sold patent medicines in public places.
moxie
a form of character, determination, or nerve: "when you've got moxie, you need the clothes to match"
mucilage
a viscous secretion or bodily fluid

an adhesive solution; gum, glue.
muezzin
a man who calls Muslims to prayer from the minaret of a mosque
mufti
a Muslim legal expert who is empowered to give rulings on religious matters

plain clothes worn by a person who wears a unifrom for his or her job, such as a soldier or police officer.
mugwump
a person who remains aloof or independent, esp from party politics.
mulct
extract money from (someone) by fine or taxation

defraud (someone) of (money or possessions)
muliebrity
womanly qualities; womanhood.
mullion
a vertical bar between the panes of glass in a window
mummery
a performance by mummers (masked actors in a mime show)

ridiculous ceremonial, esp of a religious nature
muniment
a document or record, esp one kept in an archive.
murrain
any of the various infectious diseases affecting cattle or other animals

a plague, epidemic, or crop blight.
Muse
(in Greek/Roman mythology) each of the 9 Goddesses, the daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne, who preside over the arts and sciences

a woman, or a force personified as a woman, who is the source of inspiration for a creative artist.
must
grape juice before or during fermentation

(also, for this, musth) the frenzied state of certain male animals, esp elephants or camels, that is associated w/ the season: "a big old bull elephant in must"
mutable
liable to change

inconstant w/ one's affections
mutatis mutandis
(used when comparing 2 or more cases/situations) making necessary alterations of detail while not affecting the main point at issue: "what is true of undergraduate teaching in England is equally true, mutatis mutandis, of American graduate schools"
mutism
inability to speak

unwillingness or refusal to speak, arising from psychological causes such as depression or trauma (also: elective mutism)
mutualism
the doctrine that mutual dependence is necessary to social well-being

symbiosis that is beneficial to both organisms involved.
muzzy
unable to think clearly; confused

(of a person's eyes or visual image) blurred

not thought out clearly; vague

(of sound) indistinct
mycology
the scientific study of fungi
myology
the study of the structure, arrangement, and action of muscles
myopic
nearsighted

lacking imagination, foresight, or intellectual insight
myriad
countless

(in classical history) 10,000
mystagogue
a teacher or propounder of mystical doctrines
mythomania
an abnormal or pathological tendency to exaggerate or tell lies