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120 Cards in this Set

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  • Back
acumen
keenness of insight
quickness or accuracy of judgment
perspicacity; shrewdness; acuity
adjudicate
to act as a judge in a matter; arbitrate; referee; meditate
anachronism
a chronological misplacing of events, objects, customs, or persons in regard to each other; chronological error
apocryphal
of doubtful or questionable authenticity; fictitious, mythical, spurious, bogus
disparity
a difference or inequality in age, rank, degree, amount, or quality; a dissimilarity, unlikeness, discrepancy, incongruity
dissimulate
to hide or disguise one's true thoughts, feelings, or intentions; dissemble, pretend, misprepresent
empirical
derived from, dependent upon, or guided by practical experience, observation, or experiment, rather than by theory; so verifiable; observed, pragmatic
flamboyant
highly elaborate or ornate; vividly colored; strikingly brilliant or bold; showy, ostentatious; florid
fulsome
offensively insincere or excessive; disgusting, sickening; inordinate, repulsive
immolate
to kill as a sacrifice, expecially by fire; slay, kill
imperceptible
extremely slight; incapable of being perceived by the senses or the mind; minimal undetectable
lackey
a uniformed male servant; a servile follower; footman, toady, flunky, hanger-on
liaison
the contact of means of communication between groups; any close relationship; intermediary, channel
monolithic
characterized by massiveness, solidness, and total uniformity; undifferentiated, massive, dense
mot juste
the most suitable or exact word or expression; right word
nihilism
a total rejection of existing laws, institutions, and moral values, extreme radicalism
patrician
a member of the ruling class; belonging to or befitting of such a person; aristocrat, peer, noble; highborn
propitiate
to make someone or something favorably inclined toward oneself; to satisfy; placate, mollify
sic
thus so, intentionally written so
sublimate
to redirect the energy of a biological or instinctual impulse into a higher or more acceptable channel; rechannel, elevate
apostate
one who forsakes his or her religion, party, or cause; renegade, defector, turncoat
bravado
a display of false or assumed courage; swagger, bluster, braggadocio
consensus
a collective or general agreement of opinion, feeling, or thinking
constrict
to make smaller or narrower, draw together, squeeze; to stop or cause to falter; contract, curb, restrain
dichotomy
a division into two contradictory or mutually exclusive parts; a branching or forking in an ancestral line; schism, division, bifurcation
effusive
highly demonstrative; unrestrained; gushy, lavish
euphoria
a feeling of great happiness or well-being, often with no objective basis; elation, bliss, ecstasy, rapture
gothic
characterized by or emphasizing a gloomy setting and grotesque or violent events; such a literary or artistic style; a type of medieval architecture; sinister, eerie
impasse
a dead end; a position from which there is no escape; a problem to which there is no solution; deadlock, standoff, stalemate
lugubrious
sad, mournful, or gloomy, especially to an exaggerated or ludicrous degree; doleful, melancholy, dismal, dolorous
metamorphosis
a complete transformation, as if by magic; change, makeover
mystique
an aura or attitude of mystery or veneration surrounding something or someone; charisma
non sequitur
an inference or conclusion that does not follow logically from the facts or premises; illogical reference, unsound conclusion
parlous
full of danger or risk, perilous; hazardous, risky, dangerous
punctilio
a minute detail of conduct or procedure; an instant of time; fine point, nicety
quagmire
soft, soggy mud or slush; a difficult or entrapping situation; fen, marsh, bog, morass
quixotic
extravagantly or romantically idealistic; visionary without regard to practical considerations; fanciful, impractical, utopian
raconteur
a person who tells stories and anecdotes with great skill; storyteller, anecdotist
sine qua non
an essential or indispensable element or condition
vendetta
a prolonged feud, often between two families, characterized by retaliatory acts of revenge; blood feud, rivalry
apposite
appropriate; suitable; apt; relevant, pertinent, material, germane
augur
a prophet or seer; to predict, foreshadow; oracle; bode
bilk
to defraud, cheat, or swindle; to evade payment of; to frustrate, thwart, dupe, cozen
charisma
to special personal magnetism that makes an individual exceptionally appealing to other people; appeal, charm, mystique
debilitate
to make weak or feeble; enervate, sap, exhaust, enfeeble
execrable
utterly detestable, hateful, or abhorrent; extremely inferior; odious, abominable, reprehensible
impinge
to strike against or collide with violently; to encroach or obtrude upon; horn in, affect
labyrinth
a bewildering maze; any confusing or complicated situation; tangle, mystery, enigma
narcissism
excessive self-love; absorption in oneself; egotism, conceit, vanity, amour propre
niggardly
stingy; meanly small or insufficient; tightfisted, penny-pinching, mean
pastiche
a dramatic, musical, or literary work made up of bits and pieces from other sources; a hodgepodge; medley, patchwork, melange, potpourri
precarious
very uncertain or unsure; dangerous or risky; perilous, dubious, ticklish
rapport
a close or harmonious relationship; bond, tie, affinity, understanding
utilitarian
stressing practicality over other considerations; relating to the belief that what is good or desirable is determined purely by its usefulness; practical, functional, pragmatic
vacuous
devoid of matter, substance, or meaning; lacking ideas or intelligence; purposeless; inane, insipid, fatuous, void, empty
vagary
an inpredictable, erratic, or seemingly purposeless action, occurrence, or notion; caprice, whim, quirk
viable
capable of living or developing under normal circumstances
xenophobia
undue or unreasonable fear, hatred, or contempt of foreigners or strangers; provinciality, parochialism, chauvinism
zany
clownish or funny in a crazy, bizarre, or ludicrous way; one who plays the clown; comical, daffy; buffoon
zealot
a fanatical partisan; an ardent follower; fanatic, extremist
accolade
praise or approval; a ceremonial embrace or greeting
acerbity
sourness or bitterness of taste; harshness or severity of manner or expression; acidity, astringency, mordancy, asperity
attrition
the process of wearing down by friction or gradual impairment; abrasion, erosion, exhaustion, reduction
bromide
a trite or commonplace remark; a tiresome or boring person; a sedative; cliche, platitude
chauvinist
extravagantly patriotic; blindly devoted to a cause; such a person; superpatriot, flag-waver, jingoist
chronic
continuing over a long period of time or recurring often; recurrent, persistent, inveterate, habitual
expound
to explain in detail; elucidate, explicate, delineate
factionalism
party strife and intrigue; infighting, dissension
immaculate
spotless; without blemish or fault; unsoiled, impeccable
imprecation
a curse; the act of cursing; execration, malediction
ineluctable
not able to be avoided, changed, or overcome; unavoidable, inescapable, inevitable
mercurial
characterized by rapid and unpredictable changes of mood; fickle or inconstant; erratic, flighty, capricious, volatile
palliate
to make less serious or severe by glossing over; to relieve without actually curing, mitigate; alleviate, extenuate
protocol
customs and regulations dealing with official behavior and etiquette; a type of international agreement; code of conduct; minutes
resplendent
shining or gleaming brilliantly; splendid or magnificent; radiant, dazzling, glorious
stigmatize
to brand or mark as in some way discreditable, disgraceful, or ignominious; sully, taint, disgrace
sub rosa
in secret; confidentially; privately; covertly, stealthily, furtively
vainglory
excessive pride in and boastfulness about one's own accomplishments or qualities; vanity, conceit, swagger, pretentiousness
vestige
a trace or visible evidence of something that once existed but now is lost or vanished; artifact, relic, remains
volition
the power to choose, will, or decide; the act of choosing, willing, or deciding; free will, choice
accoutrements
accessory items of clothing or equipment; gear, equipage, apurtenances
apogee
the point in the orbit of a heavenly body or artificial satellite farthest from the earth; the farthest or highest point; zenith, apex, summit, pinnacle
apropos
appropriate, opportune; relevantly; incidentally, by the way; speaking of; pertinent, germane, apposite, relevant
bicker
to engage in a petty or peevish dispute; to move or run rapidly, rush; to flicker, quiver
coalesce
to blend together or fuse so as to form one body or substance
contretemps
an inopportune or embarrassing occurrence; a mishap; blunder, mischance, faux pas, gaffe
convolution
a rolling up, coiling, or twisting together; a sinuous folding or design; twist, turn, complication
cull
to pick out or select; to gather or collect; glean, choose, pluck
disparate
completely distinct or different; entirely dissimilar
dogmatic
certain of the truth of one's own ideas; inclined to state opinions as if they were indisputable facts; opinionated, doctrinaire, authoritarian
licentious
morally or sexually unrestrained; having no reguard for accepted rules, customs, or laws; wanton, dissolute, lascivious
mete
to distribute or apportion by or as if by measure; to allot; assign, parcel out
noxious
harmful to physical health or morals; pernicious, noisome, deleterious, toxic
polemic
an aggressive attack on or refutation of a specific opinion or doctrine; diatribe, controversy
populous
full of people; filled to capacity; crowded, teeming, swarming
probity
complete and confirmed honesty; total integrity; uprightness, rectitude
repartee
a swift, witty reply; skill in making such replies or conversation; retort, comeback, banter, verbal sparring
supervene
to take place or occur as something additional or unexpected; to follow immediately after; ensue, succeed
truncate
to shorten by or as if by cutting off; lop; trim, abbreviate, curtail
unimpeachable
beyond doubt or reproach; unquestionable; irreproachable, irrefutable, unassailable
adumbrate
to outline or sketch broadly; to foreshadow or prefigure; indicate
apotheosis
the elevation of a person to a divine rank or status; a glorified ideal; deification
ascetic
practicing strict self-denial for the sake of personal or spiritual discipline; one who leads a life of self-discipline; austere, spartan; celibate
bauble
a small, showy ornament of little value or use; trifle, gewgaw, knickknack, bagatelle
beguile
to mislead or deceive; to cheat; to divert; to cause to vanish unnoticed; delude, dupe; lure, while away
burgeon
to put forth new buds, leaves, or greenery; to develop rapidly or suddently; sprout, blossom, bloom, flourish
complement
something that completes a whole; the quantity or number needed to make up a whole; the full number or allowance; to complete; balance; round out
contumacious
obstinately or willfully disobedient; openly rebellious; impudent, unruly, defiant, refractory
curmudgeon
an irascible, churlish person; grouch, crank, sorehead, churl
didactic
intended to instruct, especially morally; inclined to moralize too much; educational, instructional, moralistic
disingenuous
lacking in sincerity or candor; artful, sly, two-faced, insincere
exculpate
to clear of guilt or blame; absolve, exonerate, acquit
faux pas
a slip in manners or conduct; a social blunder
fulminate
to denounce or condemn vehemently; to explode; rail, inveigh
fustian
inflated or pretentious language in speech or writing; a cloth made of cotton and flax; rant, claptrap, bombast, grandiloquence
hauteur
haughtiness of bearing or attitude
inhibit
to restrain or hold back; to hinder or arrest; to prohibit; repress, check, suppress
jeremiad
an elaborate or prolonged lamentation; any tale of woe; paean, song of praise
opportunist
one who makes a practice of taking advantage of circumstances to further his or her own self-interest, regardless of principles or ultimate consequences; self-seeker, exploiter
unconscionable
not guided or restrained by conscience, prudence, or reason; unscrupulous; immoderate; unjustifiable, indefensible, unforgivable