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360 Cards in this Set

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  • Back
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abate
subside or moderate
Rather than leaving immediately, they waited for the storm to abate.
aberrant
abnormal or deviant
Given the aberrant nature of the data, we came to doubt the validity of the entire experiment.
abrasive
rubbing away, tending to grind down
Just as abrasive cleaning powders can wear away a shiny finish, abrasive remarks can wear away a listener's patience.
abstemious
sparing in eating and drinking
abstruse
obscure, profound, difficult to understand
accolade
an award of merit
acquiesce
to agree without protest, assent
acrimonious
bitter in words or manner
acute
quickly perceptive, keen, brief and severe
adherent
supporter, follower
adroit
skillful, nimble
adulation
flattery, admiration
adversary
opponent
adverse
unfavourible, hostile
advocate
urge for, plead for
affable
easily approachable
affinity
natural liking, kinship, similarity
affirmation
positive assertion, confirmation
altruistic
unselfishly generous, concerned for others
ambivalence
being in a state of confused emotions
ameliorate
improve, make more satisfactory
amorphous
formless, lacking shape or definition
anarchist
person who seeks to overturn the established government
anecdote
short account of an amusing or interesting event
animosity
active enmity
antagonistic
hostile, opposed
antiquated
old-fashioned, obsolete
antithesis
contrast, direct opposite of or to
apathy
lack of caring
apocryphal
untrue, made up
appease
pacify or soothe
apprehension
fear
arable
fit for growing crops
arbitrary
randomly selected without reason
archaic
antiqauted, old-fashioned
ardor
heat, passion, zeal
arid
dry, barren
ascendancy
controlling influence
Leaders of religious cults maintain ascendancy over their followers.
ascetic
practicing self-denial, austere (stern or cold)
assuage
ease or lessen pain, satisfy hunger, soothe anger
astute
wise, shrewd
atrophy
waste away
audacious
daring, bold
augment
increase, add to
Beth augmented her inadequate salary by selling tupperware at friends' homes.
austerity
sternness, severity, lack of luxury
autonomous
self-governing
aversion
firm dislike
banal
hackneyed, commonplace, trite
bane
cause of ruin
belie
contradict, give a false impression
belittle
to make fun of
benign
favourable, not malignant
bequeath
leave to someone by will, hand down
blasphemy
irreverence, sacrilege, cursing
bolster
support, reinforce
buttress
support, prop up
cacophonous
discordant, inharmonious
candor
frankness
capricious
fickle, incalculable, unpredictable
caricature
distortion
censorious
critical
Censorious people delight in casting blame.
certitude
certainty
Though there was no certitude of his getting the job, Lou though he had a good chance of doing so.
charlatan
quack, pretender to knowledge
clemency
act of leniency or mercy, mildness of the weather
coercion
use of force to get someone's compliace
concede
admit, yield
conciliatory
reconciling, appeasing, amiable
Hoping to end the coldness that had grown between them, he wrote a conciliatory note.
concur
agree in opinion
condone
to overlook voluntarily, to forgive
corroberate
confirm, verify, support
conflagration
great fire
confound
to confuse, puzzle
consensus
general agreement
contagion
infection
contemporary
person belonging to the same period
contend
struggle, compete, assert earnestly
contentious
quarrelsome
converge
approach, tend to meet
conviction
strongly held belief
corroborate
confirm, support
credulity
belief on slight evidence
cursory
casual, hastily done
curtail
shorten, reduce
daunt
intimidate, frighten
dawdle
loiter, waste time
debunk
expose something as nonsensical or false
decorum
propriety, orderliness and good taste in manners
defame
harm someone's reputation, malign
deference
courteous regard for another's wish
deliberate
consider, ponder
delineate
portray, depict, sketch
deplore
regret strongly, express grief over
depravity
corruption, wickedness
deprecate
express disapproval of, protest against, belittle
deride
ridicule, make fun of
derivative
unoriginal
despondent
depressed, gloomy
despot
tyrant, harsh authoritarian ruler
deterrent
hindrance, something that discourages
didactic
instructional, teaching
Pope's lengthy poem "An Essay on Man" is too didacticfor my taste: i dislike it when poets turn preachy and moralize.
diminution
lessen, reduce in size
disband
dissolve, disperse
discordant
not harmonious, conflicting
discrepancy
lack of consistency, difference
Noticing some discrepancies in his description of the crime, the police began to mistrust the witness's testimony.
discursive
digressing, rambling
disparage
belittle, make fun of
disparity
difference, condition of inequality
dispel
drive away
disputatious
arguementative, fond of arguing
disseminate
distribute, spread, scatter
dissent
disagree
dissipate
squander, waste , scatter
dissonance
lack of agreement, conflict, disagreeable combination of sounds
dissuade
advise against
divergent
differing, deviating
divulge
reveal
doctrine
teachings in general, particular principle taught
dogmatic
opinionated, arbitrary
We tried to discourage Doug from being so dogmatic but he refused to believe his opinions were wrong.
dubious
doubtful, questionable
duplicity
hypocrisy
ebb
recede, lessen
eclectic
selective in choosing from a variety of sources
effervescent
exuberant, bubbly, excited
eloquence
persuasive manner of speech
elusive
evasive, hard to grasp
emulate
imitate, rival
In a brief essay, describe a person you admire, someone whose virtues you would like to emulate.
enervate
weaken
engender
cause, produce
enigma
puzzle, mystery
enumerate
list, mention one by one
ephemeral
short lived, fleeting
With its adult stage lasting less than two days, the mayfly is by definition an ephemeral creature.
epicure
connoisseur of food and drink
episodic
divided into incidents, occurring at intervals
equanimity
calmness of temperament, composure
equivocal
ambiguous, intentionally misleading
erroneous
mistaken, wrong
erudite
learned, scholarly
esoteric
difficult to understand, known only by a selected few
espouse
adopt, support
ethereal
light, heavenly, usually refined
In Shakespeare's "The Tempest", the spirit Ariel is an ethereal creature, too airy and unearthly for our mortal world.
euphemism
mild expression used in place of an unpleasant one
euphonious
pleasing in sound
evanescent
fleeting, vanishing
exacerbate
worsen, embitter
The latest bombing exacerbated England's existing bitterness against the IRA.
exacting
extremely demanding
exemplify
serve as an example of, embody
exculpate
acquit, exonerate
epedient
practical, politic
explicit
totally clear, definite, outspoken
exploit
brave deed or action
expository
explanatory, intended to explain
extant
still in existance
extol
praise, gratify
extraneous
not esential, superfluous
extricate
free, disentangle
The fox could not extricate himself from the trap
exuberance
overflowing abundance, joyful enthusiasm, flambouyance
fallacious
false, misleading
fastidious
difficult to please
fervor
glowing ardor, intensity of feeling
fickle
changeable, faithless
flagrant
conspicuously wicked, blatant, outrageous
flippant
lacking proper seriousness
florid
ruddy, reddish, flowery
If you go to Florida and get a sunburn, you will look florid.
foolhardy
rash
forestall
prevent by taking action in advance
forsake
abandon, desert, renounce
fortuitous
accidental, by chance
foster
encourage
founder
fail completely, sink
After hitting the iceberg, the Titanic started taking in water rapidly and soon foundered.
furtive
stealthy, sneaky
futile
ineffective, fruitless
galvanize
stimulate by shock, revitalize
garbled
mixed up, jumbled, distorted
garrulous
loquacious, wordy, talkative
germane
pertinent, relevant, bearing upon the case at hand
glacial
like a glacier, extremely cold
glib
fluent, facile, slick
gregarious
sociable
grievance
cause of complaint
guile
skillful deciet, cunning
Iago uses considerable guile to trick Othello into believing Desdemona has been unfaithful.
hallowed
blessed, consecrated
Although the dead girl's parents had never been acitve churchgoers, they insisted that their daughter be buried in hallowed ground.
hamper
obstruct
hardy
sturdy, robust, able to withstand inclement weather
hedonist
one who believes that pleasure is the sole aim in life
heresy
opinion contrary to popular belief, opinion contrary to accepted religion
heterodox
unorthodox, unconventional
heyday
time of great success, prime
hiatus
gap, pause
hoard
stockpile, acumulate for future use
Whenever there are rumors of a food shortage, many people are tempted to hoard food.
hone
sharpen
Determined to get a good shave, Ed honed his razor with great care.
husband
use sparingly, conserve, save
Marathon runners must husband their energy so that they can finish the race.
hyperbole
exaggeration, overstatement
iconoclast
one who attacks cherished traditions
A born iconoclast, Jean Genet deliberately set out to shock conventional theatergoers with his radical plays.
idiosyncrasy
inidividual trait usually odd in nature, eccentricity
ignominy
deep disgrace, shame or dishonor
illicit
illegal
immaculate
spotless, flawless
immutable
unchangeable
impassive
without feeling, stoical, imperturbable
impecunious
without money
impel
drive or force onward
A strong feeling of urgency impelled her; if she failed to do the project right then, she knew that she would never get it done.
imperceptable
unnoticeable, undetectable
imperious
haughty, commanding, domineering or overbearing
impetuous
violent, hasty, rash
implausible
unbelieveable, unlikely
implement
put into effect, supply with tools
implicit
understood but not stated, implied
Jack never told Jill he adored her, he believed this was implicit in his actions.
impromptu
without previous preparation, on the spur of the moment
impudence
impertinence, insolence, offensively bold behavior
inadvertently
by oversight, carelessly or unintentionally
inane
silly, senseless
incense
enrage, infuriate
incisive
cutting, sharp
incite
arouse to action, motivate
incongruous
not fitting, absurd
inconsequential
unimportant, insignificant
incontrovertible
indisputable, not open to question
incorrigible
uncorrectable
indefatigable
tireless
indict
charge
indigenous
native
indigent
poor, destitute
indiscriminate
choosing at random, confused
indolent
lazy
indomitable
unconquerable, unyielding
indubitable
unable to be doubted, unquestionable
induce
pursuade, bring about
indulge
treat leniently, humor
inept
absurd, incompetent
inert
inactive, lacking power to move
inexorable
relentless, unyielding
Ignoring the defence attorney's pleas for clemency, the judge was inexorable, giving the felon the maximum punishment allowed by law.
infamous
notoriously bad, having a bad reputation,
infraction
violation of a rule or law, breach
ingrate
ungreateful person
inherent
firmly established by nature or habit, intrinsic, essential characteristic
Elaine's inherent love of justice caused her to champion people whom she thought society had treated unfairly.
inimical
unfriendly, hostile, harmful, detrimental
innate
inborn
Mozart's parents soon recognized his innate talent for music
innocuous
harmless
inopportune
untimely, poorly chosen
insinuate
imply, hint, creep in
insipid
lacking flavor, dull
insolvent
bankrupt, unable to repay one's debts
insularity
narrow-mindedness, isolation
insuperable
insumountable, unbeatable
insurgent
rebellious
intermittent
periodic, on and off
intractable
unruly, stubborn
intransigence
refusal of any compromise, stubborn
intrepid
fearless
intrinsic
essential, in-built, natural
Although my grandmother's china has little intrinsic value, i shall always treasure it.
inundate
overwhelm, flood, submerge
This semester i am inundated with work. you should see the piles of paperwork flooding my desk.
irascible
irritable, easily angered
irreproachable
blameless, impeccable
Homer's conduct at the office party was irreproachable, nobody had anything bad to say.
irresolute
uncertain how to act, weak, indecisive
jargon
language used by a special group, technical terminology, gibberish
jocular
said or done in jest, joking
kindle
to start a fire, inspire
laconic
brief and to the point
lassitude
langour, weariness, lethargy
levity
lack of seriousness
list
tilt, lean over
listlessness
lack in spirit or energy
lofty
high
lucid
easily understood, clear, intelligible
lurid
wild, sensational, graphic, gruesome
lurid details
magnanimous
generous
magnate
person of prominence or influence, powerful or influential person
maladroit
clumsy, bungling
malevolent
wishing evil
marred
damaged, disfigured
martinent
rigid disciplinarian, strict military officer
meager
scanty, inadequate
meander
follow a winding or turning course, move idly without fixed direction
medley
mixture
meek
quiet, obedient, spiritless
mercenary
interested in money or gain
mercurial
capricious, changing, fickle
misanthrope
one who hates mankind
mitigate
appease, moderate
mollify
soothe
momentous
very important
monotony
sameness leading to boredom
morbid
moody, characteristic of disease
morose
ill-humored, sullen, melancholy
munificent
very generous
mutability
ability to change form, fickleness
naivete
unsophisticated, simplicity, gullibility (naive)
nefarious
very wicked
negate
nullify, cancel out, deny
nonchalance
indifference
nonentity
person of no importance, nonexistence
notoriety
ill fame, disrepute
novelty
something new
The computer is no longer a novelty around the office
nuance
shade of difference in meaning or color
Jody has an extraordinary eye for color. She can look at a painting and see the nuances in the paint that are indistinguishable to me.
obdurate
stubborn
oblivion
obscurity, forgetfulness
obsequious
servile compliance, fawning
Why are some waiters so obsequious?
obstinate
stubborn, hard to control or treat
obtuse
blunt, stupid
officious
meddlesome, excessively pushy in offering one's services
After the long flight, Jill just wanted to nap, but the officious bellboy was intent to show her the hotel.
opulence
extreme wealth, abundance
ornate
excessively or elaborately decorated
ostentatious
showy, pretentious trying to attract attention
pacifist
opposed to force
paltry
insignificant, petty
paradigm
model, example, pattern
paradox
something that appears false but is actually true
paragon
model of perfection
parochial
narrow in outlook, provincial
Although Jane Austen's novels are set in small rural communities, her concerns are universal, not parochial.
parody
spoof, humerous imitation
parry
ward off a blow, deflect
parsimony
stinginess, excessive frugality
partisan
one-sided, prejudiced
paucity
scarcity. lack
pedantic
showing off learning, bookish
penchant
strong inclination or liking
Dave has a penchant for taking risks.
perfunctory
superficial, lacking interest or enthusiasm, not thorough
perjury
false testimony under oath
pernicious
very destructive
perpetuate
make something last, preserve from extinction
perturb
disturb greatly
pervasive
spread throughout every part, pervading
Despite airing them for several hours, Martha could not rid her clothes of the pervasive odor that clung to them.
petulant
touchy, peevish, annoyed
philanthropist
lover of mankind, doer of good
pious
devout, religious
pithy
concise, meaningful, substantial
pivotal
crucial, key, vital
placate
pacify, conciliate
platitude
trite remark, common statement
In giving advice to his son, old Polonius expressed himself only in platitudes; every word out of his mouth was trite.
pliant
flexible, easily influenced
plight
sad/bad condition, state, predicament
poignancy
quality of being deeply moving
polemical
aggressive in verbal attack, disputatious
potent
powerful, persuasive, greatly influential
pragmatic
practical, concerned with the practical worth or impact of something
prattle
babble
precarious
uncertain, risky
precipitate
rash, premature, hasty, sudden
precipitous
steep, overhasty
This hill is difficult to climb because it is so precipitous.
preclude
make impossible, eliminate
precocious
advanced in development
Listening to the grown-up way the child discussed serious topics, we couldn't help remarking how precocious she was.
predilection
partiality, preference
presumptuous
overconfident, impertinently bold, taking liberties.
Matilda thought it was somewhat presumptuous of the young man to have dressed her without being introduced first.
pretentious
overambitious, ostentatious, pompous, making unjustified claims
proclivity
inclination, natural tendency
prodigal
wasteful, wreckless with money
prodigious
marvelous, enormous
profane
violate, desecrate, treat unworthily
profligate
dissipated, wasteful, wildly immoral
profusion
overabundance, lavish expenditure, excess
proliferation
rapid growth, spread, multiplication
prolific
abundantly fruitful
prophetic
foretelling the future
propitious
favourible, fortunate, advantageous
protract
prolong
provisional
tentative
proximity
nearness
pugnacity
combativeness, disposition to fight
quandary
dilemma
quell
extinguish, quiet, put down