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75 Cards in this Set

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ebb
V. recede; lessen
Mrs. Dalloway sat on the beach and watched the tide ebb.
ebullient
ADJ. showing excitement; overflowing with enthusiasm
Her ebullient nature could not be repressed; she was always bubbling over with exuberance.
eccentric
ADJ. irregular; odd; whimsical; bizarre
The comet veered dangerously close to the earth in its eccentric orbit.
eclectic
ADJ. drawn from disparate sources
His style of interior decoration was eclectic.
ectasy
N. rapture; joy; any overpowering emotion
When Allison received her long-hoped-for letter of acceptance from Harvard, she was in ectasy.
effervescence
N. inner excitement or exuberance; bubbling from fermentation or carbonation
Nothing depressed Sue from long; her natural effervescence soon reasserted itself.
effrontery
N. arrogant boldness
Lady Bracknell was shocked taht Jack, a man of no rank or breeding, had possessed the effrontery to court the daughter of a noble family.
egotistical
ADJ. excessively self-centered; self-important; conceited
Typical egotistical remark: "But enough of this chit-chat about you and your little problems. Let's talk about what's really important: "ME"!
egregious
ADJ. notorious; gross; shocking
She was an egregious liar; we all knew better than to believe a word she said.
elicit
V. draw out; call forth
The camp couselor's humorous remarks finally elicited a smile from the shy new camper.
eloquence
N. expressiveness; persuasive speech
The crowds were stirred by Martin Luther King's eloquence.
elucidate
V. explain; enlighten
He was called upon to elucidate the disputed points in his article.
elusive
ADJ. evasive; baffling; hard to grasp
Trying to pin down exactly when the contractors would be done remodeling the house, Nancy was frustrated by their elusive replies.
emanate
V. issue forth
A strong odor of sulfer emanated from the spring.
empathy
N. ability to identify with another's feelings, ideas, etc.
What made Ann such a fine counselor was her empathy, her ability to put herself in her client's place and feel his emotions as if they were her own.
empirical
ADJ. based on experience
He distrusted hunches and intuitive flashes; he placed his reliance entirely on empirical data.
encumber
V. burden
Some people encumber themselves with too much luggage when they go for short trips.
engross
V. occupy fully
John was so engrossed in his studies that he did not hear his mother call.
enterprising
ADJ. ready to undertake ambitious projects
An enterprising young man, Matt saw business opportunities on every side and was always eager to capitalize them.
entice
V. lure; attract; tempt
She always tried to entice her baby brother into mischief.
enumerate
V. list; mention one by one
Huck hung his head in shame as Miss Watson enumerated his many flaws.
equivocal
ADJ. ambiguous; intentionally misleading
Rejecting the candidate's equivocal comments on tax reform, the reporters pressed him to state clearly where he stood on the issue.
esoteric
ADJ. hard to understand; known only to the chosen few
New Yorker short stories often included esoteric allusions to obscure people and events.
estranged
ADJ. separated; alienated
The estranged wife sought a divorce.
ethereal
ADJ. light; heavenly; unusually refined
In Shakespeare's The Tempest, the spirit Ariel is an ethereal creature, too airy and unearthly for our mortal world.
evenhanded
ADJ. impartial; fair
Do men and women receive evenhanded treatment from their teachers, or, as recent studies suggest, do teachers pay more attention to male students than females?
eventuality
N. possible occurence
The government instituted new security procedures to prepare of the eventuality of a terrorist attack.
exacting
ADJ. extremel demanding
Cleaning the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel was an exacting task, one that demanded extremely meticulous care on the part of the restorers.
exculpate
V. clear from blame
Though Sid came up with excuse after excuse to exculpate himself, Samantha still blamed him for his conduct.
exonerate
V. acquit; exculpate
The defense team feverishly sought fresh evidence that might exonerate its client.
expansive
ADJ. outgoing and sociable; able to increase in size
Mr. Fezziwig was in an expansive humor, cheerfully urging his guests to join in the Christmas feast.
expedient
ADJ. suitable to achieve a particular end; practical
A pragmatic politician, he was guided by what was expedient rather than by what was ethical.
explicate
V. explain; interpret; clarify
Harry Levin explicated James Joyce's often bewildering novels with such clarity that even Finnegan's Wake seemed comprehensible to his students.
exploit
N. deed or action, particularly a brave deed
Raoule Wallenberg was noted for his exploits in rescuing Jews from Hitler's forces.
expunge
V. wipe out; remove; destroy
If you hit the "Delete" key by mistake, you can accidentally expunge an entire block of text.
expurgate
V. clean; remove offensive parts of a book
The editors felt that certain passages in the book had to be expurgated before it could be used in the classroom.
extraneous
ADJ. not essential; superfluous
No wonder Ted can't think straight! His mind is so cluttered up with extraneous trivia, he can't concentrate on the essentials.
extrapolate
V. infer; project from known data into the unknown; make a conjecture
Based on what they could extrapolate from the results of the primaries on Super Tuesday, the networks predicted that Bob Dole would be the Republican candidate for the presidency.
extricate
V. free; disentangle
The fox could not extricate itself from the trap.
facile
ADJ. easy; superficial
Words came easily to John: he was a facile speaker and prided himself on being ready to make a speech at a moment's notice.
fallible
ADJ. liable to error
I know I am fallible, but I feel confident that I am right this time.
farce
N. braod comedy; mockery
Nothing went right; the entire interview degenerated into a farce.
fastidious
ADJ. difficult to please; squeamish
Bobby was such a fastidious eater that he would eat a sandwich only if his mother first cut off every scrap of crust.
fawning
ADJ. seeking favor by cringing and flattering; obsequious
"Stop crawling around like a bootlicker! I can't stand your sweet talk and fawning ways."
ferment
N. agitation; commotion
With the breakup of the Soviet Union, much of Eastern Europe was in a state of ferment.
Fervor
N. glowing ardor; intensity of feeling
At the protest rally, the students cheered the strikers and booed the dean with equal fervor.
fester
V. provoke keen irritation or resentment
Joe's insult festered in Anne's mind for days, and made her too angry to speak to him.
fetid
ADJ. having a foul, disgusting odor
Change the kitty litter in the cat box right now! No selfrespecting cat would use a litter box with such a fetid smell.
fetter
V. shackle
The prisoner was fettered to the wall.
fiasco
N. total failure
Tanya's attempt to look sophisticated by smoking was a fiasco.
fiery
ADJ. easily provoked; passionate; burning
By reputation, redheads have fiery tempers.
finesse
N. delicate skill
The finesse and adroitness with which the surgeon wielded her scalpel impressed the observers in the operating theater.
firebrand
N. hothead; troublemaker
The police tried to keep track of all the local firebrands when the president came to town.
fissure
N. crevice
The mountain climbers secured footholds in tiny fissures in the rock.
fitful
ADJ. spasmodic; intermittent
After several fitful attempts, he decided to postpone the start of the project until he felt more energetic.
flippant
ADJ. lacking proper seriousness
When Mark told Mona he loved her, she dismissed his earnest declaration with a flippant "Oh, you say that to all the girls!"
flout
V. reject; mock
The headstrong youth flouted all authority; he refused to be curbed.
foible
N. weakness; slight fault
We can overlook the foibles of our friends; no one is perfect.
foliage
N. masses of leaves
Every autumn before the leaves fell he promised himself he would drive through New England to admire the colorful fall foliage.
forbearance
N. patience
We must use forbearance in dealing with him because he is still weak from his illness.
foreboding
N. premonition of evil
Suspecting no conspiracies against him, Caesar gently riduculed his wife's forebodings about the Ides of March.
forestall
V. prevent by taking action in advance
By setting up a prenuptial agreement, the prospective bride and groom hoped to forestall any potential arguments about money in the event of a divorce.
formidable
ADJ. inspiring fear or apprehension; difficult; awe-inspiring
In the film Meet the Parents, the hero is understandably nervous about meeting his fiancee's father, a former CIA agent.
forthright
ADJ. outspoken; frank
Never aftraid to call a spade a spade, she was perhaps too forthright to be a successful party politician.
fortuitous
ADJ. accidental; by chance
Though he pretended their encounter was fortuitous, he'd actually been hanging around her usual haunts for the past two weeks, hoping she'd turn up.
foster
V. rear; encourage
According to the legend, Romulus and Remus were fostered by a she-wolf who raised the abandoned infants as her own.
fraudulent
ADJ. cheating; deceitful
The government seeks to prevent fraudulent and misleading advertising.
frivolous
ADJ. lacking in seriousness; self-indulgently carefree; unimportant
Though Nancy enjoyed Bill's frivolous, lighthearted companionship, she sometimes wondered wheter he could ever be serious.
furtive
ADJ. stealthy; sneaky
Noticing the furtive glance the customer gave the diamond bracelet on the counter, the jeweler wondered whether he had a potential shoplifter on his hands.
futile
ADJ. useless; hopeless; ineffectual
It is futile for me to try to get any work done around here while the telephone is ringing every thirty seconds.
gale
N. windstorm; gust of winds; emotional outburst
The Weather Channel warned viewers about a rising gale.
galvanize
V. stimulate by shock; stir up; revitalize
News that the prince was almost at their door galvanized the ugly stepsisters into a frenzy of combing and primping.
garble
V. mix up; distort
A favorite party game involves passing a whispered message from one person to another, till, by the time it reaches the last player, everyone has totally garbled the message.
garish
ADJ. over-bright in color; gaudy
She wore a gaudy rhinestone necklace with an excessively garish gold lame dress.
garrulous
ADJ. loquacious; wordy; talkative
My Uncle Henry can out-talk any three people I know.l He is the most garrulous person in the village.