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280 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
abrogate
v. to abolish, repeal, or nullify
abstruse
adj. difficult to understand
abysmal
adj. extremely hopeless or wretched; bottomless
accolade
n. an award or honor
acerbic
adj. bitter, sour, severe
acumen
n. keeness of judgment; mental sharpness
affable
adj. easy to talk to; friendly
afford
v. to permit or allow; enable
aggregate
n., adj. collection of things mixed together; the sum total
allocate
v. to distribute, assign, or allot
aloof
adj. standoffish, uninvolved, keeping one's distance
ameliorate
v. to make better or more tolerable
anachronistic
adj. out of place in time or history
anathema
n. something or someone loathed or detested
ancillary
adj. subordinate; providing assistance
annul
v. to make void, usually refers to marriage
anomaly
n. an aberration, deviation, or irregularity
anthropology
n. the study of human cultures
antithetical
adj. in opposition, contrary to
apostate
n. one who deserts his or her professed principles or faith
apotheosis
n. elevation to divine status; the perfect example of something
appropriate
v. to take without permission; to set aside for particular use
archetype
n. an original model or pattern
ardent
adj. passionate
ascertain
v. to determine with certainty; to find out definately
ascetic
adj. hermitlike, practicing self-denial
assiduous
adj. hardowrking, diligent, busy
assuage
v. to soothe, pacify, or relieve
attrition
n. gradual wearing away; a natural or expected decrease in size or number
augury
n. an omen, especially a good omen
auspices
n. protection, support; sponsorship
avarice
n. greed
avuncular
adj. kind, helpful, generous; like a nice uncle
barometer
n. an instrument that measures atmospheric pressure
beguile
v. to delude by guile or crafty; to mislead, divert
behest
n. a command or order
beleaguer
v. to surround, besiege, or harass
belie
v. to give a false impression; to contradict
bellicose
adj. warlike, belligerent
bequest
n. something left to someone in a will
blithe
adj. carefree, cheerful
broach
v. to open up a subject, often a delicate one, for discussion
brusque
adj. rough and short in manner, blunt, abrupt
burgeon
v. to expand; to flourish
buttress
n., v. a support for a building or structure; to support
cabal
n. a group of conspirators; the acts of such a group; a clique
cajole
v. to persuade with flattery or gentle urging
calipers
n. a pinching instrument used for determining the thickness of objects or the distance between surfaces
candor
n. sincerity, honesty
cannon
n. a rule or law, especially a religious one; a body of rules or laws; an authoritative list; the set of works by an author that are accepted as authentic
cantankerous
adj. ill-natured, contentious
canvass
v. to campaign; to seek or solicit orders, votes, etc.
capacitor
n. a device that stores energy
capitulate
v. to surrender, give up, or give in
capricious
adj. unpredictable, likely to change at any moment
captious
adj. ill-natured, quarrelsom
carp
v. to complain or find fault with someone
cartography
n. the study and creation of maps
castigate
v. to criticize severely, to chastise
catalyst
n. anyone or anything that makes something happen without being difrectly involved
catharsis
n. purification that brings emotional relief or renewal
cavil
v. to quibble, to raise trivial questions
censure
v. to condemn severely for doing something bad
chagrin
n. humiliation; embarrassed disappointment
chicanery
n. trickery, deceitfulness, artifice (especially legal or political)
chimerical
adj. imaginary, given to fantasy
choleric
adj. hot-tempered, quick to anger
circumvent
v. to go around
closefisted
adj. stingy
coalesce
v. to come together as one, to fuse, to unite
cogitate
v. to ponder; to meditate; to think carefully about
colloquial
adj. ordinary, informal in relationship to speech
conscript
v. enlisted, drafted, or enrolled; usually refers to mandatory military service
corroborate
v. to confirm; to back up with evidence
coterie
n. a group of close associates; a circle of friends
coy
adj. shy, reluctant to make a commitment
craven
adj. cowardly, afraid
curmudgeon
n. a greedy, irascible, crotchety old person
dearth
n. a shortage or scarcity of something
debacle
n. a big disaster
deft
adj. very skillful
dehydrate
v. to remove water
deleterious
adj. harmful
demagogue
n. a leader of the people, but more a rabble-rouser
demography
n. the statistical study of the characteristics of populations
desalinate
v. to remove salt from something
desiccate
v. to dry out
diplomatic
adj. tactful; good at negotiating
discomfit
v. to frustrate, to confuse
dither
v. to vacillate between choices; to tremble with excitement
diural
adj. occurring every day; occuring during hte daytime
divisive
adj. creating conflict and disagreement
draconian
adj. severe, harsh, cruel
ebullient
adj. bubbling with excitement, exuberant
eclectic
adj. drawn from many sources
effigy
n. a likeness of a person, usually one used to express hatred for that person
egregious
adj. extremely bad, flagrant
elliptical
adj. oval; missing a word or words; obscure
endemic
adj. native, restricted to a particular region or area, indigenous
ephemeral
adj. lasting a very short time
equine
adj. relating to horses, horselike
equivocal
adj. ambiguous, intentionally confusing, capable of being interpreted many ways
ersatz
adj. serving as a substitute; synthetic, artificial
ethereal
adj. heavenly, light, insubstantial
etymology
n. the study of words and their meanings
euphonious
adj. pleasant-sounding, opposite of cacophonous; melodious
evanescent
adj. fleeting, vanishing, happening only for the briefest period
evince
v. to demonstrate convincingly; to prove
execrate
v. to curse, denounce
exhume
v. to unbury; to dig out of the ground
exonerate
v. to free completely from blame
expeditious
adj., v. prompt, speedy; to expedite
expiate
v. to make amends, to atone
expunge
v. to erase, obliterate, to blot out
facile
adj. fluent, skillful in a superficial way
fervent
adj. having intense feeling, enthusiastic; fervid
feign
v. to pretend; to make a false representation of something
flaccid
adj. soft and limp
florid
adj. very fancy, usually refers to intangivle objects (ie. florid speech)
flout
v. to disregard something or someone out of disrespect
ford
n., v. the shallow part of a river; to cross a river at the shallow part
forensics
n. the art or study of argumentation and formal debate
fortuitous
adj. accidental, occuring by chance
fracas
n. a big fight
furrow
n., v. a narrow groove made in the ground; to make wrinkles in the face
gaffe
n. a social blunder, an embarrasing mistake, a faux pas
galvanize
v. to startle into sudden activity; to revitalize
gastoronomy
n. the art of eating well
germane
adj. relevant, applicable, pertinent
glower
v. to look or stare with sullen dislike or anger
goldbrick
v., n. to swindle to sell something worthless as if it were valuable; a swindle
grandiloquent
adj. using a lot of big, fancy words to sound impressive
gratuitous
adj. given freely; uncalled for; unjustified; unprovoked
glut
n. surplus, overabundance
hackneyed
adj. overused, trite, stale
halcyon
adj. peaceful, serene; carefree
harbinger
n. a forerunner, a signal of
hedonism
n. the persuit of pleasure as a way of life
hegemony
n. leadership, especially of one nation over another
hermetic
adj. airtight, impervious to external influence
homily
n. a sermon
hubris
n. excessive pride
humanist
n. one who has great concern for human welfare, values, and dignity; a student of the classics
hybrid
n. formed, bred or composed from different elements
hypodermic
adj. beneath the skin
idiosncratic
adj. quirky, peculiar, eccentric
ignominy
n. shame, disrepute, disgrace
importune
v. to beg, urge, or insist persistently
inane
adj. silly, senseless
incantation
n. a chant
incarnate
adj. in the flesh
incensed
adj. very angry
inchoate
adj. incomplete; only partially formed
indignant
adj. angry or insulted, especially as a result of something unjust or unworthy
indolent
adj. averse to activity; habitually lazy
ineffable
adj. incapable of being expressed or described
inexorable
adj. relentless, inevitable, unavoidable
inoculate
v. to protect against disease
insouciant
adj. nonchalant, lighthearted, carefree
irascible
adj. easily angered or provoked; irritable
jaunt
n. a short pleasure trip
jejune
adj. lacking maturity or significance; irrelevant
jettison
v. to throw or cast off
jingoist
n. an excessively vigilant patriot; a bellicose chauvinist; a war mongering nationalist
jurisprudence
n. the study of law
karma
n. consequences of one's actions; fate, destiny
kudos
n. honor, glory, acclaim, compliment
lambaste
v. to assalt violently with words
lament
v. to mourn
laudatory
adj. praising
lax
adj. not strict; careless or negligent
lexicon
n. a glossary or dictionary
limpid
adj. transparent, clear, lucid
liniment
n. a medicinal liquid or salve for rubbing on the skin
liquidate
v. to get rid of; to settle a debt
lugubrious
adj. exaggeratedly mournful
luminary
n. a person who has attained eminence in his/her field
maudlin
adj. silly and overly sentimental
maverik
n. a nonconformist; a rebel
mellifluous
adj. flowing sweetly, usually refers to sounds or voices
mendacious
adj. lying, dishonest
meritorious
adj. deserving praise or reward
mirth
n. amusement or laughter
misanthrope
n. one who hates people
mollify
v. to soften, soothe, pacify
moribund
adj. dying
narcissism
n. excessive love of one's body or oneself
nebulous
adj. vague, hazy, indistinct
neologism
n. a new word or phrase; a new usage of a word
neophyte
n. a novice or begginer
noisome
adj. offensive or disgusting; stinking, noxious
noxious
adj. harmful offensive
nuance
n. a subtle difference or distinction
numerology
n. the study of numbers for the purposes of predicting the future
obdurate
adj.stubborn, insensitive, unyielding, resistant to persuasion
obeisance
n. deep reverence; a bow or curtsy
obfuscate
v. to darken or confuse
obsequious
adj. fawning, subservient, servile, excessively deferential
odometer
n. instrument that measures how many miles one has traveled
olfactory
adj. pertaining to the sense of smell
oligarchy
n. government by only a very few people
ornate
adj. very fancy, usually refers to tangivle objects (ie. orate woodwork)
palliative
adj., n. something that provides temporary relief without getting rid of the problem
paltry
adj. insignificant; worthless
panacea
n. something that cures everything
panache
n. flair, verve; dashing elegance
paragon
n. a model of excellence
peccadillo
n. a minor offense or error
pedantic
adj. boringly scholarly or academic; overconcerned with details
penurious
adj. extremely stingy, poor, or miserly
perfidy
n. treachery
perfunctory
adj. unenthusiastic, careless
pernicious
adj. deadly, extremely evil
perquisite
n. a privilege that goes along with a job; a "perk"
philistine
n. a smugly ignorant person with no appreciation for intellectual or artistic matters
piquant
adj. pleasantly sharp in favor; interestingly provocative or stimulating
pique
v. to excite; to arouse an emotion or provoke to action
plebeian
adj. common, vulguar, low-class
poignant
adj. painfully emotional, extremely moving, sharp, or astute
portent
n. an omen, a sign of something coming
potentate
n. a person who possesses great power
predilection
n. a natural preference for something
preempt
v. to seize something by prior right
prescient
adj. having knowledge of things before they exist or happen
priggish
adj. very fussy, self-righteous, high-maintenance, usually refers to people
profligate
adj. extravagantly wasteful; wildly immoral
prolific
adj. abundantly productive, fruitful, or fertile
promulgate
v. to publicly or formally declare something
prosaic
adj. dull, unimaginative
pugnacious
adj. quarrelsome, combative, always ready to right
pulchritude
n. physical beauty
queue
n., v. a line; to line up
quiescent
adj. motionless; at rest; still
quintessential
adj. being the most perfect example of
quixotic
adj. idealistic to a foolish or impractical degree, like Don Quixote
quotidian
adj. daily; everyday; ordinary
raze
v. to completely destroy or level something
rebuke
to criticize sharply
recapitulate
v. to review or summarize
recidivism
n. the act of repeating an offense
redolent
adj. fragrant
renege
v. to go back on a bet or promise
retrenchment
n. cutting down or off, reduction
rhetoric
n. the study or art of using language well; the use of undue exaggeration
sacrosanct
adj. sacred, held to be inviolable
sanguine
adj. cheerful, optimistic, hopeful
sardonic
adj. mocking, scornful
saturnine
adj. gloomy or taciturn
scrupulous
adj. strict, careful; hesitant for ethical reasons
semantic
n. pertaining to the meaning of words or symbols
semaphore
n. a system of signaling, usually through the use of flags
serendipity
n. acciental good fortune, discovering good things without looking for them
skinflint
n. a mean, penny pinching person
smidgen
n. a very small amount
somber
adj. depressing, dismal, gloomy
specious
adj. deceptively plausible or attractive; misleading
stand
n. a group of trees
sublime
adj. of great intellectual, oral, or spiritual value
subsidy
n. a gift of money
subterfuge
n. deceptive stategy used to conceal, escape, or evade
supercilious
adj. haughty, patrionizing
supplicate
v. to ask or beg humbly
tenable
adj. valid capable of being argued successfully
threadbare
adj. falling apart, meager, poor, old
truculent
adj. fierce, cruel, savagely brutal
turbid
adj. unclear or opaque; lacking clarity or purity
uncanny
adj. extraordinary, mysterious, uncomfortably strange
unilateral
adj. involving one side only; done on the behalf of one side only
usury
n. the practice of lending money at a high rate of interest
vacuous
adj. empty of content; lacking in ideas or intelligence
vapid
adj. dull, spiritless
verdant
adj. covered with green plants; leafy; inexperienced
vernacular
n. everyday speech, slang, idiom
vestige
n. a remaining bit of something, a last trace
vilify
v. to say vile things about; to defame
wane
v. to decrease in strength or intensity; to fade away; to decline in power
wanton
adj. malicious, unjustifiable, unprovoked, egregious
wizened
adj. shriveled, withered, shrunken
zeitgeist
n. the mood or spirit of the times
zenith
n. the highest point; peak; pinnacle