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279 Cards in this Set

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abdicate

(verb)
to give up a position, right or power

The king abdicated his throne.


synonyms: quit, resign, renounce, step down
abduct

(verb)
forcefully and wrongfully to carry, take or lead away

The kidnappers abducted the child.

synonyms: kidnap, carry off
abhor

(verb)
to hate, to view with repugnance, to detest

Her mother said, "I abhor violence."

synonyms: hate, loathe, abominate
absurd

(adjective)
ridiculously unreasonable, lacking logic

His argument was absurd.

ridiculous, ludicrous, preposterous, bizarre, inane
abyss

(noun)
deep hole; deep immeasureable space, gulf or cavity

She fell into the abyss.

synonyms: chasm, pit
accelerate

(verb)
to increase in speed, cause to move faster

Press the gas peddle to accelerate.


speed up, hasten, expedite
acclaim

(noun)
praise, enthusiastic approval

Her research won her great accalaim.

synonyms: praise, approval, plaudit, adulation
acclaim

(verb)
to approve, to praise, to applaud

The students acclaimed their teacher for her work.

synonyms: cheer, applaud, praise, honor, exalt, extol
acute

(adjective)
sharp in some way (as in geometry or in intellect); crucial (as in "acute shortage")

Her mind was still acute. She had an acute need to be around her loved ones.

synonyms: sharp, shrewd, keen, perceptive, crucial
adage

(noun)
old saying, proverb

She loved the adage her aunt told her.

synonyms: proverb, maxim
adhere

(verb)
to stick

The chewing gum adhered to the bottom of her shoe. He adhered to the teachings of the Catholic Church

synonyms: stick to; follow
adjourn

(verb)
to suspend for a period of time; to postpone

They adjourned the meeting.

synonyms: suspend, recess, postpone
adjunct

(adjective)
associated with as in a secondary position

She was not a regular member of the faculty; she was an adjunct professor.

synonyms: accessory, assisting
admonish

(verb)
to scold; to remind; to advise against something

He admonished her not to forget her mother's birthday.

synonyms: warn, caution, scold
adorn

(verb)
to decorate or add beauty to

She adorned her hair with flowers.

synonyms: decorate, ornament, embellish
adversary

(noun)
opponent, enemy

Time was her adversary.

synonyms: enemy, foe, opponent
aeronautic

(adjective)
relating to aircraft

He wanted to be an aeronautic engineer because he loved airplanes
affable

(adjective)
pleasantly easy to get along with; friendly and warm.

She was so affable that no one could dislike her.

synonyms: agreeable, amiable, amicable
affectation

(noun)
putting on airs; pretense; a false impression

He had an affectation of using a French accent when speaking to his friends.

pretension, artificiality, airs, sham, facade, pose
aghast

(adjective)
overcome by surprise, disgust or amazement; shocked

She was aghast that they put their grandmother in a nursing home.

synonyms: shocked, appalled astounded, dismayed, astonished
agility

(noun)
being able to move quickly and easily; being nimble

She was a great softball player and mathematician; she had physical and mental agility.

synonyms: nimbleness, dexterity, deftness
agile

(adjective)
able to move quickly, easily and nimbly

She was an agile second baseman.

synonyms: nimble, deft
agitate

(verb)
to shake or grow excited; to excite

He was so disruptive in class that he agitated the teacher.

synonyms: stir up, disturb, upset
aimless

(adjective)
lacking purpose or goals

He wandered walked around in an aimless fashion.

synonyms: purposeless, haphazard, accidental
alleviate

(verb)
lessen, to make easier

Her love alleviated their sorrow.

synonyms: lessen, decrease, relieve, soothe, mitigate, assuage, ease, allay
allure

(noun)
fascination, appeal

The internet has great allure to Rocco.

synonyms: temptation, attraction, fascination
aloof

(adjective)
distant in relations with other people

Blaze was not blase; she was not aloof from her friends.

synonyms: distant, detached, cool, blase
altruistic

(adjective)
concerned for the welfare of others.

Blaze is an altruistic kid.

synonyms: benevolent, charitable
amateur

(noun)
not a professional; someone not paid to engage in a sport, art, etc.

She was an amateur naturalist, but hoped to become a professional one someday.

synonyms: non-professional, buff, devotee, dabbler, enthusiast
amend

(verb)
to alter, to add to or subtract from formally

The founders amended the constitution.

synonyms: alter, improve, repair, mend, make better
amorous

(adjective)
having to do with love

Rocco wrote amorous poems to Angelina.

synonyms: romantic
amorphous

(adjective)
without shape or form;

His essay was like an amoeba; it was amorphous.

synonyms: shapeless, vague

synonyms: shapeless, vague
amphibian

(noun)
animal capable of breathing in air or water.

Frogs are amphibians.
angular

(adjective)
having clear angles; having bony facial features

The lead character, Joey, in No Promises in the wind had a lean and angular face.
animosity

(noun)
ill will, intense dislike

There is great animosity between the Shiite Muslims and the Sunni Muslims in Iraq.

synonyms: ill will, bitterness, rancor, acrimony, enmity
annihilate

(verb)
destroy completely

The hydrogen bomb is capable of annihilating an entire city.

synonyms: destroy, devastate, demolish
antidote

(noun)
substance that can counteract poison

The rattlesnake bit him; he needed an antidote quickly.

synonyms: counteragent, neutralizer, remedy
aperture

(noun)
opening

The aperture of a camera lens is a circular opening that changes size to regulate the amount of light going through.

synonyms: hole, opening, gap
aqueous

(adjective)
composed mostly of, containing

She used an aqueous solution of sulfuric acid.

synonyms: watery, hydrous, aquatic
ardent

(adjective)
characterized by passion or desire

The knight showed his ardent love for her by battling the dragon.

synonyms: passionate, fervent
arid

(adjective)
very dry, lacking moisture; unimaginative

Like the Sahara Desert, his prose was arid.

synonyms: dry, parched, barren, dull, uninteresting, insipid
aroma

(noun)
fragrance, odor, smell

I love the aroma of fresh coffee.

synonyms: fragrance, odor
articulate

(adjective)
well-spoken, clearly presented

After learning her SSAT vocabulary, Blaze was quite articulate.

synonyms: eloquent
articulate

(verb)
to speak clearly

The teacher asked Chloe to articulate her reasons for her opinion.

synonyms: enunciate
artifice (1)

(noun)
clever ruse, ploy

The Greeks use of a wooden horse was a brilliant artifice.

synonyms: ruse, ploy, stratagem, trick, deception
ascertain

(verb)
to find out or discover by examination

George Washington sent out scouts to ascertain the precise location of the British troops.

synonyms: determine, discover, unearth, find out
assailable

(adjective)
able to be attacked

Her argument was like a house of straw; it was quite assailable.

synonyms: vulnerable, unprotected
astound

(verb)
to overwhelm with amazement

Your brilliance never ceases to astound me.

synonyms: amaze, stun, stupify
astute

(adjective)
shrewd and perceptive; able to understand quickly.

Fagan was an astute leader of young orphans.

synonyms: shrewd, foxy, crafty, wily; discerning, perceptive, incisive
atrocity

(noun)
horrible act

The genocide in Darfur is an atrocity.

synonyms: horror, barbarity, outrage
audacity

(noun)
boldness or daring

Oliver had the audacity to ask for more gruel.

synonyms: boldness, daring, a lot of nerve, impudence
authoritative

(adjective)
having great authority

Mrs. Mordente is an authoritative writing teacher

synonyms: masterful
banal

(adjective)
boringly predictable

George Bush's speech was banal.

synonyms: insipid, boring, dull, bland
banish

(verb)
to send away, to exile

After the food fight, the principal banished Kevin from the lunchroom.

synonyms: exile, expel, send away, get rid of
barrier

(noun)
something that makes progress harder; a limit or boundary

Illiteracy is a barrier to progress. Jenna and Blaze wanted a barrier down the middle of their room.

synonyms: obstacle, limitation
beguile

(verb)
to delude, deceive by trickery

Rocco beguiled Mom into letting him go to Connor and Will's.

synonyms: charm, allure, bewitch, captivate
belligerence

(noun)
aggressive hostility

Rocco displayed great belligerence when Mom told him to brush his teeth.

synonyms: combativeness, hostility
benefactor

(noun)
someone who gives financial assistance

Interlochen is lucky to have several benefactors.

synonyms: patron, backer, donor
beneficial

(adjective)
conferring benefit, advantageous, helpful

Mrs. Persau's assistance is beneficial.

synonyms: advantageous, favorable
benevolence

(noun)
inclination to do good deeds

The king showed great benevolence to his people.

synonyms: kindliness, favor, largess
bewildered

(adjective or noun)
confused, puzzled, perplexed

The algebra problem bewildered her.

synonyms: confused, perplexed,
bias

(noun)
prejudice, inclination

Since his mother was Irish, he loved and had a strong bias for Irish things.

synonyms: partiality
bias

(verb)
to cause prejudice, to influence unfairly.

Osama bin Laden has tried to bias many Arab youth against the United States.

synonyms: prejudice, negatively influence
bile

(noun)
ill temper, irritability

The teacher displayed bile towards her students.

synonyms: bitterness, bad temper
bliss

(noun)
supreme happiness; utter joy or contentment; heaven; paradise

To finish studying vocabulary, for Blaze was bliss.

synonyms: joy, delight, ecstasy
brevity

(noun)
being brief; not lasting a long time

The laconic speaker loved brevity.

synonyms: shortness, terseness, swiftness
bounty

noun
(1) abundance or (2) reward

The harvest was bountiful.

He was a bounty hunter in the Old West; he captured outlaws for a bounty, a reward.

synonyms: abundance, cornucopia, reward
bravado

(noun)
showy and pretentious display of courage; false courage

The coward's bravado quickly vanished when the outlaws pointed a gun at him.

synonyms: swagger, bluster
cajole

(verb)
to persuade with flattery; to coax; to wheedle

Alice tried to cajole her Dad into buying her a laptop

synonyms: coax, wheedle
cantankerous

(adjective)
quarrelsome and grouchy

Oscar the Grouch is usually cantankerous

synonyms: grouchy, ill-tempered
caprice

(noun)
whim, impulse, an idea that just pops into your head; something unplanned

On a caprice, she dove into the river for a swim with all her clothes on.

synonyms: whim, impulse
celestial

(adjective)
relating to the heavens

The planets are celestial bodies.

synonyms: heavenly, divine
censor

(verb)
to remove parts of books, plays or other writings; such as offensive words

The teacher censored all the bad words from a novel before letting the children read it.

synonyms: suppress, delete
censor

(noun)
person who removes parts of books, plays or other writings; such as offensive words

In some societies, there are censors who censor all newspapers to remove criticism of the government.

synonyms: government editor
chronic

(adjective)
continuing over a long time; long standing

Some people suffer chronic fatigue.

synonyms: persistent, constant, continuous
circumscribe

(verb)
to encircle

Magellan circumscribed the globe. A fence circumscribed the property.

synonyms: encircle; outline; encompass
choleric

(adjective)
bad tempered

The choleric baby was being exceptionally cantankerous.

synonyms: bad-tempered
condone

(verb)
to overlook, tolerate, allow

The mother condoned the child's animosity.

synonyms: overlook, accept, tolerate
constrict

(verb)
to tighten, squeeze.

As her throat began to swell, her airways constricted.

synonyms: squeeze, tighten, stifle
contemplation

(noun)
thoughtful observation

She sat in blissful contemplation in the wolf preserve

synonyms: meditation; thought
contend

(verb)
(1) to fight or struggle against, to debate; (2) to assert.

Their team was contending for first place.

synonyms: compete, argue, assert
contentious

(adjective
eager to quarrel

Rocco was being very contentious today.

synonyms: quarrelsome, cantankerous, pugnacious
convene

(verb)
to assemble or meet

The school board members convene once a month.

synonyms: assemble, gather
conventional

(adjective)
established or approved by general usage

She liked to dress in a conventional manner, so she wore nothing outlandish.

synonyms: customary, normal
copious

(adjective)
abundant, large in number

In making her study guide, she wrote copious notes.

synonyms: abundant, plentiful, profuse
countenance

(verb)
to approve or support; condone

When the child became cantankerous, the mother said, "I will not countenance such behavior."

synonyms: condone, approve
countenance

(noun)
face or facial expression

The music teacher had a warm countenance.

synonyms: appearance, demeanor, visage
couplet

(noun)
two rhyming lines of a poem

She loved to write couplets.
courier

(noun)
person who carries messages, news or information

Lena's first job was as a courier.

synonyms: carrier, runner, messenger
cue

(noun)
signal, hint

The play director insisted that each performer begin right on cue.

synonyms: signal, hint, prompt
curvature

(noun)
curved nature

She could not stand straight up because she suffered from curvature of the spine

synonyms: arc, bow
dawdle

(verb)
waste time with idle lingering

Please don't dawdle; you're late for school!

synonyms: linger, dally
dearth

(noun)
scarcity, lack

There was a dearth of food; the only copious item was water

synonyms: shortage, scarcity
deceit

(noun)
deception, trickery

He was too altruistic to use deceit to achieve his goals.

synonyms: dishonesty, fraudulence, deception
declamation

(noun)
exercise in giving speeches; sometimes meaning a long speech

Preacher Herman's declamation made many of the congregation members drowsy.

synonyms: long speech
deject

(verb)
to depress or make sad

She was mature enough not to become dejected when her adversary won the tournament.

synonyms: discourage, dishearten, sadden
delude

(verb)
to deceive, mislead

It was not just bravado; he was actually deluded into thinking that he was strong enough to climb the mountain.

synonyms: deceive, dupe
deluge

(noun)
flood, great rainstorm; metaphorically, an outpouring of something like emotion

It had gotten so arid that they prayed for a deluge.

synonyms: flood, torrent, overflow
deluge

(verb)
to flood, to overflow

His fans held him in such acclaim that they deluged him with fan mail.

synonyms: to inundate, to flood,
demote

(verb)
to reduce in rank or grade(opposite of promote)

She was demoted back to the third grade.

synonyms: downgrade
deplore

(verb)
to regard as deeply regrettable

I deplore your aggressive behavior

synonyms: regret, lament, denounce, condemn
desolation

(noun)
state of being destroyed, barren

The terrible deluge brought devastation and desolation to the village.

synonyms: barrenness, bleakness
despicable

(adjective)
deserving scorn or contempt

His chronic bile was despicable.

synonyms: contemptible, hateful, mean, vile, detestable
despondent

(adjective)
in a state of deep depression

The former general was despondent after being demoted to colonel.

synonyms: depressed, morose, desolate, forlorn
destitute

(adjective)
without something; poor

After the deluge brought desolation to her village, she was despondent because she was destitute

synonyms: bereft, devoid, lacking, poor, impoverished
devotee

(noun)
someone passionately devoted

She was a devotee of Johnny Depp; she deluged him with fan mail.

synonyms: enthusiast, fan, admirer
devout

(adjective)
deeply religious

Agnes was ardently religious. She was devout. Indeed, she was pious (holy).

synonyms: pious, religious
dexterity

(noun)
skill in using hands or body; agility

The pianist had great dexterity and could play very quickly.

synonyms: skill, agility
dingy

(adjective)
dark or drab in color; shabby; squalid; dirty

He was so destitute that all he owned were his dingy clothes.

synonyms: shabby, dirty, filthy
din

(noun)
loud, confusing noise

The children were so boisterous in the cafeteria that they made quite a din.

synonyms: clamor, noise
disseminate

(verb)
to scatter or spread widely

They disseminated the newsletters by courier instead of mail, because they wanted the recipients to get them quickly.

synonyms: spread widely, broadcast, disperse
diplomatic

(adjective)
tactful; skilled in conducting negotiations between nations

The king was in a cantankerous mood, so the queen, who wanted him to give the people a holiday, approached him diplomatically.

synonyms: tactful
disclaim

(verb)
to deny ownership of or association with

Since he had gotten over his fit of bile, he deceitfully disclaimed ever having been in a bad mood

synonyms: repudiate, reject, disown, disavow, renounce
dismal

(adjective)
causing gloom; cheerless

The dingy cell they put him in made him dismal.

synonyms: miserable, dreary
discursive

(adjective)
covering a wide set of topics

She tried to cajole the discursive teacher into sticking to one main point.

synonyms: rambling
doff

(verb)
to remove or take off

Deluded into believing that there was no one around, they doffed their clothes and went in for a swim only to hear the shouts of bar patrons observing from below.

synonyms: to shed
dogged

(adjective)
persistent in effort; tenacious

Even though he was being abducted, the child doggedly fought the kidnappers.

synonyms: tenacious, stubbornly determined
dogmatic

(adjective)
unquestioning belief in certain ideas

The dogmatic priest adhered completely to the Bible and would not consider any different ideas.

synonyms: opinionated, absolute, dictatorial
ebullient

(adjective)
overflowing with enthusiasm, excitement or fervor; high-spirited.

The harvest had produced such bounty that the farmers were ebulient.

synonyms: bubbling, exuberant, enthusiastic
eccentric

(adjective)
odd, unorthodox, unconventional

The young woman did so many things on mere caprice that her friends thought her eccentric.

synonyms: odd, unconventional
eccentric

(noun)
an odd person

The eccentric did absolutely nothing in a conventional way.

synonyms: oddball, weirdo, nonconformist
effect

(noun)
result

Even though she was really frightened, her bravado had the desired effect: the robber ran away.

synonyms: result
effect

(verb)
to cause; to produce; to bring about

Thomas Jefferson's dogged efforts effected the changes he wanted: ten amendments were added to the Constitution.

synonyms: bring about; cause; produce
elusive

(adjective)
difficult to find; difficult to catch

Robin Hood was a very elusive adversary for the Sheriff of Nottingham.

synonyms: slippery, evasive
embellish

(verb)
to add detail or decoration

She embellished her writing with copious details.

synonyms: elaborate, expand, ornament
eminent

(noun)
distinguished; high in rank

The students acclaimed the eminent scholar.

synonyms: prominent, famous, distinguished
emulate

(verb)
copy, imitate

Don't emulate your brother! All he does is dawdles.

synonyms: imitate, simulate, copy
enact

(verb)
to make into law

Congress refused to enact most of Truman's Fair Deal proposals.

synonyms: to pass a law
encompass

(verb)
to form a circle around

Mountains encompassed the entire valley; in fact, they circumscribed it.

synonyms: encircle, circumscribe
endorse

(verb)
to approve, to support

He would not endorse his teacher's dogmatic views.

synonyms: approve, support, authorize
enigma

(noun)
puzzle, mystery

He could not figure out what she was thinking; her countenance was an enigma.

synonyms: mystery, riddle, puzzle
ensnare

(verb)
to capture in, as in a snare; to involve

I'm an honest person. I don't want to be ensnared in one of your artifices.

synonyms: trap
err

(verb)
to make a mistake

He did not deliberately engage in deceit. He simply erred.

synonyms: to make an error
erudite

(adjective)
knowledgeable and learned

The teacher deserved her reputation for eminence; she was quite erudite.

synonyms: learned, knowledgeable, wise
etiquette

(noun)
code of social behavior

During a declamation, it is improper etiquette to make noise.

Synonyms: manners, decorum
expunge

(verb)
to delete or omit completely

In some countries, the censors expunge from newspapers all criticisms of the government.

synonyms: delete, erase, obliterate
extricate

(verb)
to release from difficulty or entanglement

The compassionate naturalist extricated the hawk that had gotten ensnared in a fishing line.

synonyms: disengage, release
extroverted

(adjective)
outgoing or interested in people

She was so extroverted that she never had a dearth of friends.

synonyms: outgoing, gregarious
fanatic

(noun)
someone with excessive enthusiam

She wasn't just a devotee of Johnny Depp; she was a fanatic and had her whole room decorated with his pictures.

synonyms: zealot
fatigue

(verb)
to tire out

After awhile, the din of the party fatigued me.

synonyms: tire out, make weary
fatigue

(noun)
tiredness; weariness

He suffered from chronic fatigue and on most days fell asleep during class.

synonyms: exhaustion
fauna

(noun)
animal life in a given area

We tried to observe the fauna of the Pacific Northwest, but much of it was elusive.

synonyms: animals, wildlife
fervent

(adjective)
showing great warmth, intensity, enthusiasm

Susan B. Anthony fervently disseminated her views about the rights of women.

synonyms: warm, eager, enthusiastic
fickle

(adjective)
easily changeable, especially in emotions

Although she expressed her fervent love for him last week, she was fickle and dumped him for a new boyfriend yesterday.

synonyms: inconstant; changeable
fidelity (1)

(noun)
faithfulness

He said to the traitor, "We cannot condone your lack of fidelity to our nation."

synonyms: loyalty, allegiance, devotion
fidelity (2)

(noun)
truthfulness

He said to the perjurer, "We cannot condone your lack of fidelity to the truth."

synonyms: truthfulness, accuracy
flagrant

(adjective)
outrageously glaring, notorious

"You're flagrant insults are despicable. You should learn to be more diplomatic."

synonyms: glaring, obvious
flippant

(adjective)
not serious; not respectful of other's feelings

I cannot endorse your flippant remark; you should think before you speak.

synonyms: frivolous, irreverent
formidable

(adjective)
able to inspire awe or wonder because of power or size

Their erudite classmate was a formidable member of the debating team.

synonyms: impressive, awe-inspiring
foundation

(noun)
basis or groundwork of something, whether a building or idea

His dogmatic views had no real foundation.

synonyms: groundwork, basis
frequent

(adjective)
often

He was so frequently choleric that he made everything dismal.

synonyms: often, common
frequent

(verb)
to visit often

numerous types of fauna frequented the stream.

synonyms: visit often
futile

(adjective)
ineffective, useless

It is futile to deny it; we saw you steal the cookies. Don't try to disclaim your involvement.

synonyms: useless, pointless, hopeless
germinate

(verb)
to sprout, to bud

As if on cue, the seeds she planted germinated exactly one week later.

synonyms: sprout, grow
glib

(adjective)
having a ready flow of words, a fast talker (implies deceitful).

He wasn't just garrulous; he was downright glib so I didn't trust him.

synonyms: flip, verbose (in a negative way)
gregarious

(adjective)
fond of company

He was so gregarious that he did not mind the din of a lively party.

synonyms: sociable, amiable, convivial
grotesque

(adjective)
odd or unnatural

The gathering of Death Eaters that Voldemort convened was grotesque.

synonyms: bizarre, outlandish, ugly
grovel

(verb)
to humble oneself, to beg

The toady was grovelling before the king. He was a complete sycophant.

synonyms: beg, crawl
gruesome

(adjective)
grisly, horrible

Edgar Allen Poe embellishes many of his stories with gruesome descriptions.

synonyms: frightful, ghastly
hallowed

(adjective)
holy

Devout Muslims regard the holy city of Mecca as hallowed ground.

synonyms: holy, sacred
harbinger

(noun)
omen, sign of a future event

Some people contend (assert) that the groundhog's appearance on February 2nd is a harbinger of spring.

synonyms: omen, precursor
heed

(noun)
careful attention

He is just a contentious (argumentative) person. Pay him no heed.

synonyms: listen to
hovel

(noun)
small, miserable shack

The eccentric old man lived in a dingy, dismal hovel.

synonyms: shack, shanty
immaculate

(adjective)
spotless, free from error

Mom was ebullient when Katherine cleaned her room so well that it was immaculate.

synonyms: spotless, errorless, faultless, unblemished, impeccable
imminent

(adjective)
about to happen, on the verge of occurring

She was so fickle and lacking fidelity that her decision to switch boyfriends was imminent.

synonyms: impending, approaching
impervious

(adjective)
incapable of being penetrated; unable to be influenced

The building's foundation was impervious to mice and other pests. She was impervious to their scorn.

synonyms: impenetrable
impious

(adjective)
lacking respect for religion

The devout worshpers viewed her flippant remark as impious.

synonyms: sacrilegious, irreverent
imply

(verb)
suggest without stating directly

His fervent declamation implied that he was really a fanatic.

synonyms: suggest, hint, intimate
inadvertent

(adjective)
unintentional

If you sit with your leg under you, you may inadvertently constrict the blood flow to it, and "put it to sleep."

synonyms: unintentional, accidental
incentive

(noun)
motivation to do something, inducement

The meeting had become rancorous, so they had great incentive to adjourn it.

synonyms: motive, inducement
incredulous

(adjective)
not believing

He was so obnoxious that I was incredulous when he said he had written a book on etiquette.

synonyms: disbelieving, skeptical
inert

(adjective)
having no power to move or react

He was so fatigued that he was almost inert.

synonyms: sluggish, dormant, inactive, lethargic
ingenuity

(noun)
creativity, cleverness

Although she was only an amateur scientist, her invention showed great ingenuity.

synonyms: creativity, inventiveness
insinuation

(noun)
sly suggestion made to cause suspicion

The censor expunged the writer's insinuation that the king had become feeble.

synonyms: hint, suggestion, implication
insurgent

(noun)
rebel, person who rebels

The insurgents wanted to effect a change in the government.

synonyms: rebel
insurgent

(adjective)
rebellious; starting a revolt

The insurgent students had the audacity (boldness, impudence) to lock the principal in her office.

synonyms: rebellious
irate

(adjective)
full of anger

The irate mob had nothing but animosity for the king.

synonyms: angry, infuriated, enraged
jeer

(verb)
to mock in an abusive way

The incredulous crowd jeered when the governor said that he would enact new laws to protect them.

synonyms: ridicule, mock, scoff
judicious

(adjective)
having wise judgment

The first Constitutional Convention judiciously amended the Constitution.

synonyms: wise, sage, sagacious
lagoon

(noun)
shallow body of water connected to a larger one

He had to extricate his pet cat from the lagoon into which it had fallen.

synonyms: inlet, pool
lethargy

(noun)
drowsiness, tiredness

His feeling of lethargy was so strong that he remained essentially inert.

synonyms: sluggishness, fatigue
limber

(adjective)
bending and moving easily

At fifty seven years old, try as he might, he could not emulate the movements of the limber teenager.

synonyms: agile, supple
magnanimous

(adjective)
having great or noble spirit, acting generously

His kindness was no affectation; he was genuinely magnanimous and altruistic

synonyms: big-hearted, generous, noble, princely
marvel

(noun)
amazing thing; something marvelous

The automatic aperture on his new camera was a marvel: it let in just the right amount of light.

synonyms: a wonder, a miracle
marvel

(verb)
to be full of wonder; be greatly impressed, be amazed

I marvel at your formidable strength.

synonyms: be amazed
meager

(adjective)
very small or insufficient

Oliver's food was so meager, he had to grovel for more.

synonyms: slight, skimpy, inadequate, insufficient
meek

(adjective)
humble and submissive

He was the opposite of extroverted; he was meek.

synonyms: passive, docile, compliant
melancholy

(adjective)
very sad or depressing

The meager hovel in which he had to live made him frequently melancholy.

synonyms: gloomy, mournful
miniscule

(adjective)
tiny, miniature

The bee sting caused her throat to constrict to the point that she had only a miniscule opening through which to breathe

synonyms: microscopic, minute
misbegotten

(adjective)
poorly conceived, poorly planned

Devastation was imminent because their battle plan was misbegotten; they put it together too hastily.

synonyms: ill-conceived; illegitimate
nebulous

(adjective)
cloudy, hazy, not well defined

Their reasons for considering the field hallowed were nebulous at best; perhaps they thought it was the site of a great battle.

synonyms: hazy, cloudy, ill-defined, unclear
obnoxious

(adjective)
offensive and very disagreeable

His flagrant farting was obnoxious.

synonyms: offensive, repugnant, repellant
obscure

(adjective)
hard to see, unknown

She spoke so circuitously that her main point was obscure.

synonyms: vague, unclear
obscure

(verb)
to hide or make difficult to find

His grotesque face obscured his gentle and magnanimous soul.

synonyms: hid, clouded over
obsolete

(adjective)
outmoded; outdated; no longer useful

Once he had one the lottery, his hovel became obsolete.

synonyms: outdated, passe, outmoded
obstruct

(verb)
to get in the way of, to block, to hamper

A recently formed lagoon obstructed his path.

synonyms: block, clog, impede
olfactory

(adjective)
relating to the sense of smell

The deer must heed its olfactory sense; if it smells a wolf it must run.
ominous

(adjective)
threatening, menacing, having the character of an evil omen

The gruesome discovery of a half-eaten antelope was ominous; it implied that a large predator was nearby.

synonyms: foreboding
opportune

(adjective)
appropriate time to do something; timely; lucky

It was an opportune time for a dinner party; mom had just cleaned the house and it was immaculate.

synonyms: timely, appropriate, lucky
orbit

(verb)
to circle around something else

The moon orbits the earth, which orbits the Sun; the wolfpack orbited the herd of deer.

synonyms: circle, revolve around
orbit

(noun)
the path of something that circles something else.

The wolves made three orbits around the deer herd, implying that an attack was imminent.

synonyms: circuit, revolution
palatable

(adjective)
good tasting

Although their dinner was meager, it was quite palatable.

synonyms: agreeable, appetizing, savory
paradox

(noun)
apparent contradiction; something that is true but seems contrary to common sense

There is an old adage that states: "The paradox of government is that the person who desires power most is the one who should have it least."

synonyms: contradiction
perjury

(noun)
false statements under oath

If you adhere to the truth, you cannot commit perjury.

synonyms: falsehood, lies
petrify

(verb)
to turn to stone; to paralyze with fear

The ominous sound of a door creaking petrified him.

synonyms: fossilize, paralyze, stun
pious

(adjective)
religiously devout or moral

She was so pious that she was impervious to temptation.

synonyms: devout, religious
plausible

(adjective)
believable, seeming to be true

Her claim that she ripped the shirt inadvertently was plausible.

synonyms: believable, conceivable, credible
pompous

(adjective)
stiff, unnatural formality

His pompous behavior of acting so important was obnoxious.

synonyms: stuffy, stiff, affected, pretentious, self-important
profound

(adjective)
deep, wise, serious

He had profound understanding of the conflict and made a judicious decision

synonyms: wise, deep, sagacious
prolific

(adjective)
producing great amounts; fertile

His ingenuity made him a prolific inventor.

synonyms: productive, fertile
pungent

(adjective)
sharp, flavorful (sometimes too flavorful)

The pungent odor was an enigma; no one knew what caused it.

synonyms: biting, acrid, piquant
quell

(verb)
to quiet something raucous; crush, defeat, conquer

The army quelled the insurgents.

synonyms: suppress, overpower, overcome
rabble

(noun)
large disorderly mob

He erred by inciting the rabble; he thought that he could control them but the irate mob quickly turned on him as well.

synonyms: crowd, mob, multitude, horde
ransack

(verb)
plunder; search by taking everything out and leaving a mess

The impious robbers ransacked the church, looking for gold.

synonyms: plunder, pillage, loot
raze

(verb)
to completely destroy a building, city, etc.

The soldiers had an incentive to raise the building because snipers were firing at them from inside.

synonyms: demolish, destroy, flatten, wreck, level
recluse

(noun)
one who lives and stays away from others

He was a recluse, the complete opposite of his brother, who was gregarious.

synonyms: hermit, loner
recur

(verb)
to occur again

Every time he stepped into the perfume factory, the same olfactory sensation would recur.

synonyms: repeat, return
reek

(adjective)
giving off a strong, offensive odor

When she told him he reeked, he asked, "Are you insinuating that the awful smell came from me?"

synonyms: stink
regal

(adjective)
royal, splendid

The rabble jeered at her regal attitude as the insurgents led her to the guillotine.

synonyms: royal, kingly, majestic
reign

(verb)
to rule over

The king reigned magnanimously.

synonyms: rule
reign

(noun)
period when a ruler is in power

The reign of Julius Caesar was a time of prolific growth of the Roman Empire.

synonyms: ruling period
reimburse

(verb)
to repay someone

The Government had to reimburse her after the soldiers inadvertently razed her home.

synonyms: compensate, repay
reinforce

(verb)
strengthen

When the deluge subsided, it was an opportune time to reinforce the dam.

synonyms: support, strengthen
renowned

(adjective)
well-known, famous

The politician was renowned for his glib speeches.

synonyms: famed, notable
repartee

(noun)
witty conversation

Renowned for his repartee, he was the life of the party.

synonyms: banter
repudiate

(verb)
to reject something one was once associated with

He repudiated his previously pious attitude.

synonyms: reject, disown, renounce
repugnant

(adjective)
repulsive, revolting

To some people, the reek of pungent odors are repugnant.

synonyms: distasteful, offensive
revel

(verb)
celebrate noisily; have a party

During his brief reign, the king often reveled with his friends.

synonyms: celebrate, indulge
rout

(noun)
total defeat

The loss of the first battle was a harbinger of the rout to come.

synonyms: defeat, destruction
rout

(verb)
to defeat, to conquer

When ordered to battle, the soldiers shook off their lethargy and routed their enemies.

synonyms: defeat, overwhelm
satellite

(noun)
moon; small thing going around a bigger thing

The moon is a satellite that orbits the earth. Sputnick was the first man-made satellite that orbited the earth.

synonym: moon
saucy

(adjective)
flippant, impertinent

Her saucy remarks got her in trouble with her parents.

synonyms: rude, flippant
scathing

(adjective)
overly critical

In her scathing remarks, she called the war in Iraq a misbegotten venture.

synonyms: searing, critical
schism

(noun)
division of groups

The animosity in Iraq dates back to the 8th Century schism between the Shiite and Sunni Muslims.

synonyms: division, disunity
scrupulous

(adjective)
acting with strict morality

She scrupulously guarded the regal banquet; she didn't take even a miniscule morsel for herself.

synonyms: moral, ethical conscientious, principled
seethe

(verb)
to bubble from within, as a volcano

When the police ransacked her house, it made her anger seethe.

synonyms: boil, bubble
sentry

(noun)
guard, watchman

Joe was too meek to be a good sentry.

synonyms: watchman, lookout
shrewd

(adjective)
clever, keen-witted

She was too shrewd to let his opposition obstruct her from reaching her goals.

synonyms: clever, keen, astute, cunning, wily
significant

(adjective)
meaningful, important

Her perjury was significant in that it caused the criminal to go free and obtructed justice.

synonyms: important,
sinister

(adjective)
threatening, evil, menacing

His sinister gaze petrified her.

synonyms: ominous, wicked
slack

(noun)
lack of tautness

There was no wind so there was a lot of slack in the lines to the sails.

synonyms: looseness
slack

(adjective)
sluggish, idle, relaxed

The sentry was not doing his job; he was too slack.

synonyms: lax, negligent, careless, slow
solicit

(verb)
to seek something from someone

The courier solicited reimbursement for his expenses.

synonyms: request, seek
splice

(verb)
join two pieces together

Film splicing, in which two pieces of film are glued together, is now obsolete; all splicing of scenes is now done electronically.

synonyms: join, connect, attach, link
spurn

(verb)
reject with scorn

The melancholy child spurned her parents attempts to cheer her up.

synonyms: refuse, snub
squalid

(adjective)
very dirty or foul, wretched

The recluse lived in a dingy, squalid hovel in an arid desert.

synonyms: filthy, sordid, foul
staunch

(adjective)
steady, loyal

He was a staunch ally, who would never repudiate his support for the President.

synonyms: steadfast, firm, stable, faithful
stealthy

(adjective)
sneaky, secret

Because she was so limber, she was able to climb to the roof in a stealthy manner.

synonyms: sneaky, clandestine, furtive
suave

(adjective)
smooth, graceful and confident in speech and behavior (sometimes insincerely)

Because he was so suave when he dumped her, it made her seethe.

synonyms: smooth, gracious, sophisticated, courtly
subdue

(verb)
to bring under control

The army needed reinforcements to quell, or subdue, the insurgents.

synonyms: control, overcome, vanquish
succeed

(verb) (1)
to follow, to come after

George Bush succeeded Bill Clinton as President of the United States.

synonyms: follow, replace
succeed

(verb) (2)
to prosper, do well

The Soviet Union succeeded in placing the first man-made satellite into orbit around the earth.

synonyms: achieve positive results
suffice

(verb)
to be adequate or enough

The politician's nebulous promises did not suffice to win him votes.

synonyms: satisfy, be sufficient
surfeit

(noun)
overly abundant supply, an excess

At the banquet there was a surfeit of palatable food.

synonyms: overabundance, excess
surmise

(verb)
to guess, to infer

He surmised their location, even though they were trying to be stealthy.

synonyms: guess, speculate, infer
surrogate

(noun)
substitute

The court appointed surrogate parents for the orphan; they scrupulously managed his wealth.

synonyms: substitute, proxy
taciturn

(adjective)
tending not to speak, shy

Although he was taciturn, when he did speak his words were quite profound.

synonyms: shy, quiet, reserved, guarded
tactful

(adjective)
acting with sensitivity to others' feelings

Her remarks were too saucy and not tactful.

synonyms: diplomatic, discreet, judicious, thoughtful
taint

(verb)
to contaminate, to corrupt, to poison

He could no longer revel in his success, as his repugnant behavior had tainted the mood.

synonyms: contaminate, spoil, corrupt, stain
taut

(adjective)
stretched tightly

The lines to the sails were taut; there was not the slightest slack in them.

synonyms: tight, tense, stretched
temperate

(adjective)
moderate, avoiding extreme positions

He was temperate by nature, but scathingly critical of the current government

synonyms: moderate, restrained, sensible
tepid

(adjective)
lukewarm

Although he was a staunch Republican, his support for George Bush was tepid at best.

synonyms: lukewarm, unenthusiastic, half-hearted
token

(noun)
sign or symbol

She spurned the token he gave her to profess his love.

synonyms: symbol, expression
token

(adjective)
solely for show

She surmised that she was appointed to be the token woman on the committee.

synonyms: nominal, meaningless
torrid

(adjective)
extremely hot, scorching

Their romance was not tepid, it was torrid.

synonyms: sizzling, hot
trepidation

(noun)
fear, apprehension

Her trepidation recurred each time she saw the sinister man.

synonyms: fear, fright, anxiety
trite

(adjective)
lacking originality

After awhile, what seemed like witty repartee became trite.

synonyms: unoriginal, uninspired, stale, banal
tumult

(noun)
noise and confusion

In the midst of all the tumult, the army was able to subdue the crowd.

synonyms: disorder
tyranny

(noun)
harsh exercise of absolute power

After the emperor routed the supporters of democracy, he ruled by tyranny.

synonyms: oppression, repression
ultimate

(adjective)
the highest or final point

Space and time are the ultimate paradox; they appear to have neither a beginning nor an end.

synonyms: maximum, final, fundamental
unanimous

(adjective)
approved by everyone concerned

They unanimously voted for Jane to succeed John as chairperson of the club.

synonym: uncontested, unopposed
unkempt

(adjective)
messy, sloppy

There was a surfeit of dirty clothes on the floor; the place was unkempt.

synonyms: sloppy, slovenly, untidy
usurp

(verb)
to seize, to take by force

The dictator usurped power from the unanimously chosen president, and thereafter ruled by tyranny.

synonyms: seize, grab
vacate

(verb)
to leave (as in vacation)

The schism with the king caused the prince to vacate the palace.

synonyms: leave, depart
vehement

(adjective)
with deep feeling

She was vehement in her view that the rebels had to be subdued.

synonyms: passionate, earnest, fervent
vex

(verb)
annoy

Being a token woman on the committee vexed her.

synonyms: irritate, bother, annoy
wan

(adjective)
pale, lacking color

While he was suave at the outset, his complexion became wan as he realized that his two girlfriends were comparing notes.

synonyms: pale, ashen
wantonly

(adverb)
without a reason

He wantonly solicited a murder.

synonyms: indiscriminately, randomly
wretched

(adjective)
miserable, pathetic

He was a wretched recluse.

synonyms: dejected, forlorn