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18 Cards in this Set

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having a sour or bitter taste or character; sharp; biting
The letters show the acerbic wit for which Parker was both admired and feared.


to increase in intensity, power, influence or prestige
aggrandizement, UK USUALLY aggrandisement
increase in power, importance or wealth:
He gives a lot of money to charity, but personal aggrandizement/self-aggrandizement is his motive.

a medieval science aimed as the transmutation of metals, esp. base metals into gold
(an alchemist is one who practices alchemy)
alchemy / noun [U]

1 a type of chemistry, especially from about 1100 to 1500, which dealt with trying to find a way to change ordinary metals into gold and with trying to find a medicine which would cure any disease

2 a process that is so effective that it seems like magic:
She manages, by some extraordinary alchemy, to turn the most ordinary of ingredients into the most delicious of dishes.

alchemist / noun [C]


agreeable; responsive suggestion
amenable / adjective
willing to accept or be influenced by a suggestion:
She might be more amenable to the idea if you explained how much money it would save.
Do you think the new manager will prove more amenable to our proposals?


something or someone out of place in terms of historical or chronological context
anachronism / noun [C]
a person, thing or idea which exists out of its time in history, especially one which happened or existed later than the period being shown, discussed, etc:
For some people, marriage is an anachronism from the days when women needed to be protected.

anachronistic /@%n{k.r@"nIs.tIk/ adjective
He described the law as anachronistic (= more suitable for an earlier time) and ridiculous.

anachronistically / adverb


having a tightening effect on living tissue; harsh; severe; something with a tightening effect on tissue
astringent (SEVERE) /@"strIn.dZ@nt/ adjective
describes remarks which are clever but very critical or unkind:
astringent criticism
her astringent wit

astringently /@" adverb

astringency /@" noun [U]

astringent (MEDICINE) /@"strIn.dZ@nt/ noun [C or U]
a drug or cream that causes the skin or other tissue to tighten so that the flow of blood or other liquids stops:
You can use (an) astringent to make your skin less oily.

astringent /@"strIn.dZ@nt/ adjective


sharing a border; touching; adjacent
contiguous /k@n"tIg.ju.@s/ adjective FORMAL
next to or touching another, usually similar, thing:
The two states are contiguous with/to each other, but the laws are quite different.

contiguity /%kQn.tI"gju:.I.ti/ US /%kA:n.º@"gju:.@.ºi/ noun [U] FORMAL


a generally agreed-upon practice or attitude
convention (CUSTOM) /k@n"vent.S@n/ noun

1 [C or U] (an example of) a usual or accepted way of behaving, especially in social situations, often following an old way of thinking or a custom in one particular society:
They defied/flouted/broke with convention by giving up their jobs and becoming self-sufficient.
Convention dictates that it is the man who asks the woman to marry him and not the reverse.
In many countries, it is the/a convention to wear black at funerals.

2 [C] a common way of showing something in art or writing:
an artistic convention

conventional /k@n"vent.S@n.@l/ adjective

1 traditional and ordinary:
conventional behaviour/attitudes/clothes
conventional medicine/farming
a conventional wedding
DISAPPROVING I find his art rather dull and conventional.
NOTE: The opposite is unconventional.

2 describes weapons which are not nuclear, or methods of fighting a war that do not involve nuclear weapons:
conventional weapons/bombs

conventionally /k@n"vent.S@n.@l.i/ adverb

conventionality /k@n%vent.S@n"{l.I.ti/ US /-@.ºi/ noun [U]


tending to believe too readily; gullible
(noun form: credulity)
credulous /"kred.jU.l@s/ adjective SLIGHTLY FORMAL
too willing to believe what you are told; easily deceived

credulously /"kred.jU.l@.sli/ adverb SLIGHTLY FORMAL

credulity /kr@"dju:.l@.ti/ US /-"du:.l@.ºi/ noun [U] (ALSO credulousness) SLIGHTLY FORMAL
willingness to believe that something is real or true


an attitude or quality of belief that all people are motivated by selfishness
(noun form: cynical)
cynic /"sIn.Ik/ noun [C] DISAPPROVING
a person who believes that people are only interested in themselves and are not sincere:
I'm too much of a cynic to believe that he'll keep his promise.
A cynic might say that the government has only taken this measure because it is concerned about its declining popularity.

cynicism /"sIn.I.sI.z@m/ noun [U] DISAPPROVING
He's often been accused of cynicism in his attitude towards politics.


polite or appropriate conduct or behavior
(adjective form: decorous)
decorum /dI"kO:.r@m/ US /-"kO:r.@m/ noun [U] FORMAL
behaviour that is controlled, calm and polite:
As young ladies we were expected to act/behave with proper decorum.


scorn, ridicule, contemptuous treatment
(adjective form: derisive; verb form: deride)
deride /dI"raId/ verb [T] FORMAL
to laugh at someone or something in a way which shows you think they are ridiculous or of no value:
He derided my singing as pathetic.
This building, once derided by critics, is now a major tourist attraction.

derision /dI"rIZ.@n/ noun [U] FORMAL
when someone or something is laughed at and considered ridiculous or of no value:
They treated his suggestion with derision.
Her speech was met with hoots/howls of derision.

derisive /dI"raI.sIv/ adjective (ALSO derisory) FORMAL
showing derision:
derisive laughter
a derisive comment/remark
See also derisory.

derisively /dI" adverb FORMAL


to dry out or dehydrate;
to make dry or dull
desiccated /"des.I.keI.tId/ US /-ºId/ adjective

1 dried:
100g of desiccated (= dried and broken into small pieces) coconut

2 DISAPPROVING not interesting or completely lacking in imagination:
All the party seems to have to offer is the same desiccated old ideas.

desiccation /%des.I"keI.S@n/ noun [U] SPECIALIZED
the process of becoming completely dried


one with amateurish or superficial interest in the arts or a branch of knowledge
dilettante /%dIl.@"t{n.ti/ noun [C] plural dilettantes or dilettanti USUALLY DISAPPROVING
a person who is or seems to be interested in a subject, but whose understanding of it is not very deep:
He's a bit of a dilettante as far as wine is concerned.


to slight or belittle
disparage /dI"sp{r.IdZ/ US /-"sper-/ verb [T]
to criticize someone or something in a way that shows you do not respect or value them:
The actor's work for charity has recently been disparaged in the press as an attempt to get publicity.

disparaging /dI"sp{r.I.dZIN/ US /-"sper-/ adjective
critical, in a way that shows you do not respect or value someone:
disparaging remarks

disparagingly /dI"sp{ US /-"sper-/ adverb

disparagement /dI"sp{r.IdZ.m@nt/ US /-"sper-/ noun [U]


to disclose something secret
divulge /daI"vVldZ/ verb [T]
to make something secret known:
Journalists do not divulge their sources.
[+ question word] The managing director refused to divulge how much she earned.


to flatter or praise excessively
fawn over/on sb phrasal verb DISAPPROVING
to praise someone too much and give them a lot of attention which is not sincere in order to get a positive reaction:
I hate waiters who fawn over you.

fawning /fO:.nIN/ US /fA:-/ adjective DISAPPROVING
a fawning young man

fawn on/upon sb phrasal verb
If an animal such as a dog fawns on/upon you, it is very friendly towards you and rubs itself against you.

fawn (BROWN) /fO:n/ US /fA:n/ adjective, noun [U]
(having) a pale yellowish brown colour

fawn (BROWN) /fO:n/ US /fA:n/ adjective, noun [U]
(having) a pale yellowish brown colour

fawn (DEER) /fO:n/ US /fA:n/ noun [C]
a young deer

to show contempt for, as in a rule or convention
flout /flaUt/ verb [T]
to intentionally disobey a rule, law, or custom:
Many motorcyclists flout the law by not wearing helmets.
The orchestra decided to flout convention/tradition, and wear their everyday clothes for the concert.