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69 Cards in this Set

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Abrogate
repeal

So why is Washington seeking to abrogate the ABM Treaty, to push ahead with its anti-ballistic missile Star Wars programme?
Acerbic
bitter

At times, the playwright allows an acerbic tone to pierce through otherwise arid or flowery prose
Acumen
mental sharpness

Mysteries...which no political sagacity or critical acumen could have divined.
Ameliorate
to improve

Wine ameliorates by age
ancillary
subordinate, assistant

The Convocation of York seems to have been always considered as inferior, and even ancillary, to the greater province
apostate
one who deserts his principles/faith

So spake the apostate angel.
apotheosis
paragon

Their leader was the apotheosis of courage.
ascetic
practicing self-denial, especially for religion

Modern race drivers are, by comparison, an ascetic bunch, largely non-drinkers, definitely non-smokers, who trot off dutifully to bed when they are told.
assiduous
diligent

an assiduous worker who strove for perfection
augury
good omen


From their flight strange auguries she drew
auspices
protection

under the auspices of a king
avarice
greed

To desire money for its own sake, and in order to hoard it up, is avarice
avuncular
kind

Already, during the course of this brief exchange, I am aware of smiling wryly and generally sending out the kind of friendly, apparently avuncular social messages which I know are expected of me.
behest
command
belie
to contradict, give a false impression

Their laughter belied their outward grief.
bequest
something left in a will
blithe
carefree
cabal
a group of conspirators

If you constantly disagreed with Winters, he wrote you out of his cabal, his conspiracy against the poetry establishment.
candor
honesty
capacitor
device that stores energy
captiulate
to give in

"I am ashamed to think how easily we capitulate to badges and names." --Emerson
captious
quarrelsome
carp
to complain about someone

Carping and caviling at faults of manner.
castigate
to chastise

It was not good enough to castigate him for his sins.
cavil
to quibble

Carping and caviling at faults of manner.
chicanery
deceitfulness
chimerical
imaginary
choleric
Hot-tempered

But the records of his service show that Jacobsz was also choleric, quick-tempered, and sensitive to any slight; that he sometimes drank to excess.
cogitate
to ponder, to think carefully about

Still cogitating and looking for an explanation in the fire.
craven
cowardly

The poor craven bridegroom said never a word
curmudgeon
a greedy, irascible, crotchety old person

A gray-headed curmudgeon of a negro.
dearth
a shortage of something

the dearth of uncensored, firsthand information about the war
debacle
a big disaster
deleterious
harmful

the deleterious effects of smoking.
demagogue
a leader of the people, but more a rabble-rouser

Even when he showed his true colors as a demagogue and trickster, Stalin did so in such a crisp and weighty, confidence-inspiring manner that he bewitched not only his conversational partner but himself as well.
discomfit
to frustrate, to confuse

A few of Dr. Baden's anecdotes ramble pointlessly, and his gusto in describing the anatomical characteristics of exhumed bodies may discomfit the squeamish.
diurnal
occuring during the daytime

diurnal animals
draconian
severe, harsh, cruel

a draconian legal code; draconian budget cuts.
ebullient
bubbling with excitement, exuberant

The ebullient enthusiasm of the French.
equine
relating to horses
equivocal
ambiguous, intentionally confusing, capable of being interpreted many ways

an equivocal statement
ersatz
serving as a substitute; synthetic, artificial

ersatz coffee made mostly of chicory
etymology
the study of words
ethereal
heavenly, light, insubstantial
euphonious
pleasant-sounding, melodious
evince
to prove

evince distaste by grimacing
execrate
to curse, denounce
expiate
to make amends, to atone

expiate one's sins by acts of penance.
facile
fluent, skllful in a superficial way
fecund
fertile, productive

For 21 years after the birth of the Prince of Wales, the fecund royal couple produced children at the rate of two every three years -- eight boys and six girls in all.
florid
very fancy, usually refers to intangible objects

florid speech
fracas
a brawl
gaffe
a social blunder, a faux pas, an embarrassing mistake
galvanzie
to startle into sudden activity

Issues that once galvanized the electorate fade into irrelevance
gastronomy
the art of eating well
germane
relevant, applicable, pertinent

The phrase would be more germane to the matter
goldbrick
to swindle, to sell something worthless as if it were valuable
hackneyed
trite, overused
halcyon
peaceful, serene, carefree

It was a halcyon life, cocktails and bridge at sunset, white jackets and long gowns at dinner, good gin and Gershwin under the stars.
Prescribe
to lay down a rule
proscribe
to condemn or forbid as harmful or unlawful
hermetic
airtight, impervious to external influence
homily
a sermon
importune
to beg, urge, or insist persistently
incensed
very angry
inchoate
incomplete
indolent
habitually lazy
ineffable
incapable of being expressed or described
inexorable
relentless, inevitable, unavoidable