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42 Cards in this Set

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Coterie

Noun [-koh- tuh ree] [koh tuh -ree-]
An intinmate group of persons with a similar purpose

Angel invited a coterie of fellow stamp enthusiast to a stamp-trading party.

Synonyms: clique; set
Craven

Adj [-kray- vuhn]
Lacking courage

The craven lion cringed in the corner of his cage, terrified of the mouse.

Synonyms: faint-hearted; spineless; timid
Credulous

Adj [-kreh- juh luhs]
Too trusting; gullible

Though many 4-year-olds believe in the Tooth Fairy, only the most credulous 9-year-olds also believe in her.

Synonym: naive; susceptible; trusting
Crescendo

Noun [kruh -shehn- doh]
Steadily increasing in volume or force

The crescendo of tension became unbearable as Evel Knievel prepared to jump his motorcycle over the school buses.

Synonyms: acme; capstone; climax; crest; culmen; culmination; meridian; peak
Cupidity

Noun [kyoo -pih- dih tee]
Greed; strong desire

The thief stared at the shining jewels with cupidity in his gleaming eyes.

Synonyms: avarice; covetouness; rapacity
Curmudgeon

Noun [kuhr -muh- juhn]
Cranky person, usually old

Ernesto was a notorious curmudgeon who snapped at anyone who disturbed him.
Debutante

Noun [-dehb- yoo tahnt]
Young woman making debut in high society

The debutante spent hours dressing for her very first ball, hoping to catch the eye of an eligible bachelor.

Synonyms: lady; maiden
Declivity

Noun [dih -klih- vih tee]
downward slope

Because the village was situated on the declivity of a hill, it never flooded.

Synonyms: decline; descent; grade; slant; tilt
Decorous

Adj [-deh- kuhr uhs] [deh -kohr- uhs]
Proper, tasteful, socially correct

The countess trained her daughters in the finer points of decorous behavior, hoping they would make a good impression when she presented them at court.

Synonyms:appropriate; courteous; polite
Decorum

Noun [deh -kohr- uhm]
Appropriateness of behavior or conduct; propriety

The countess complained that the vulgar peasants lacked the decorum appropriate for a visit to the palace.

Synonyms: correctness; decency; etiquette; manners; mores; propriety; seemliness
Deface

Verb [dih -fays-]
To mar the appearance of, to vandalize

After the wall was torn down, the students began to deface the statues of communist leaders of the former Eastern bloc.

Synonyms: disfigure; impair; spoil
Deference

Noun
Respect, courtesy

The respectful young law clerk treated the Supreme Court justice with the utmost deference.

Synonyms: courtesy; homage; honor; obeisance; respect; reverence; veneration
Deleterious

Adj [dehl ih -teer- ee uhs]
Subtly or unexpectedly harmful

If only we had known the clocks were defective before putting them on the market, it wouldn't have been quite so deleterious to our reputation.

Synonyms: adverse; inimical; injurious; hurtful
Demagogue

Noun [-deh- muh gahg] [-deh- muh gawg]
A leader, rabble-rouser, usually appealing to emotion or prejudice

He began his career as a demagogue, giving fiery speeches at political rallies.

Synonyms: agitator; inciter; instigator
Demur

Verb [dih -muhr-]
To express doubts or objections

When scientific authorities claimed that all the planets revolved around the earth, Galileo, with his superior understanding of the situation, was forced to demur.

Synonyms: dissent; expostulate; kick; protest; remonstrate
Deride

Verb [dih -ried-]
To speak of or treat with contempt, to mock

The awkward child was often derided by his 'cooler' peers.

Synonyms: gibe; jeer; mock; ridicule
Desiccate

Verb [-deh- sih kayt]
To dry out thoroughly

After a few weeks lying in the desert, the cow's carcass became completely desiccated.

Synonyms: dehydrate; dry; parch
Desultory

Adj [dehs -uhl- tohr ee] [-dehz- uhl tohr ee]
Jumping from one thing to another; disconnected

Athena had a desultory academic record; she had changed majors 12 times in three years.

Synonyms: erratic; haphazard; indiscriminate; random
Diaphanous

Adj [die -aaf- uh nuhs]
Allowing light to show through; delicate

These diaphanous curtains do nothing to block out the sunlight.

Synonyms: gauzy; sheer; tenuous; translucent; transparent
Diatribe

Noun [-die- uh trieb]
An abusive, condemnatory speech

The trucker bellowed a diatribe at the driver who had cut him off.

Synonyms: fulmination; harangue; invective
Dictum

Noun [-dihk- tuhm]
Authoritative statement

"You have time to lean, you have time to clean," was the dictum our boss made us live by.

Synonyms: adage; apothegm; decree; edict
Diffident

Adj [-dih- fih dint]
Lacking self-confidence

Steve was diffident during the job interview because of his nervous nature and lack of experience in the field.

Synonyms: backward; bashful; coy; demure; modest; retiring; self-effacing; shy; timid
Dilate

Verb [-die- layt] [ die -layt-]
To make larger, to expand

When you enter a darkened room, the pupils of your eyes dilate so as to let in more light.

Synonyms: amplify; develop; elaborate; enlarge; expand; expatiate
Dilatory

Adj [-dihl- uh tohr ee]
Intended to delay, procrastinating

The congressman used dilatory measures to delay the passage of the bill.

Synonyms: sluggish; putting off
Dilettante

Noun [-dih- luh tahnt]
Someone with an amateurish and superficial interest in a topic

Jerry's friends were such dilettantes they seemed to have new jobs and hobbies every week.

Synonyms: amateur; dabbler; rookie
Dirge

Noun [duhrj]
A funeral hymn or mournful speech

Melville wrote the poem "A dirge for james McPherson" for the funeral of a Union general who was killed in 1864

Synonyms: elegy; lament
Disabuse

Verb [dih suh -byuze-]
To set right, to free from error

The scientist's observations diabused scholars of the notion that wheat could be turned into gold.

Synonyms: correct; dismiss; undeceive
Deride

Verb [dih -ried-]
To speak of or treat with contempt, to mock

The awkward child was often derided by his 'cooler' peers.

Synonyms: gibe; jeer; mock; ridicule
Desiccate

Verb [-deh- sih kayt]
To dry out thoroughly

After a few weeks lying in the desert, the cow's carcass became completely desiccated.

Synonyms: dehydrate; dry; parch
Desultory

Adj [dehs -uhl- tohr ee] [-dehz- uhl tohr ee]
Jumping from one thing to another; disconnected

Athena had a desultory academic record; she had changed majors 12 times in three years.

Synonyms: erratic; haphazard; indiscriminate; random
Diaphanous

Adj [die -aaf- uh nuhs]
Allowing light to show through; delicate

These diaphanous curtains do nothing to block out the sunlight.

Synonyms: gauzy; sheer; tenuous; translucent; transparent
Diatribe

Noun [-die- uh trieb]
An abusive, condemnatory speech

The trucker bellowed a diatribe at the driver who had cut him off.

Synonyms: fulmination; harangue; invective
Dictum

Noun [-dihk- tuhm]
Authoritative statement

"You have time to lean, you have time to clean," was the dictum our boss made us live by.

Synonyms: adage; apothegm; decree; edict
Diffident

Adj [-dih- fih dint]
Lacking self-confidence

Steve was diffident during the job interview because of his nervous nature and lack of experience in the field.

Synonyms: backward; bashful; coy; demure; modest; retiring; self-effacing; shy; timid
Dilate

Verb [-die- layt] [ die -layt-]
To make larger, to expand

When you enter a darkened room, the pupils of your eyes dilate so as to let in more light.

Synonyms: amplify; develop; elaborate; enlarge; expand; expatiate
Dilatory

Adj [-dihl- uh tohr ee]
Intended to delay, procrastinating

The congressman used dilatory measures to delay the passage of the bill.

Synonyms: sluggish; putting off
Dilettante

Noun [-dih- luh tahnt]
Someone with an amateurish and superficial interest in a topic

Jerry's friends were such dilettantes they seemed to have new jobs and hobbies every week.

Synonyms: amateur; dabbler; rookie
Dirge

Noun [duhrj]
A funeral hymn or mournful speech

Melville wrote the poem "A dirge for james McPherson" for the funeral of a Union general who was killed in 1864

Synonyms: elegy; lament
Disabuse

Verb [dih suh -byuze-]
To set right, to free from error

The scientist's observations diabused scholars of the notion that wheat could be turned into gold.

Synonyms: correct; dismiss; undeceive
Discern

Verb [dihs -uhrn-]
To perceive, to recognize

It is easy to discern the difference between butter and butter-flavored topping.

Synonyms: Differentiate; discriminate; distinguish
Disparate

Adj [-dih- spuh ruht] [di -spar- uht]
Fundamentally different; entirely unlike

Although the twins are physically identical, their personalities are disparate.

Synonyms: different; dissimilar; divergent; diverse; variant; various
Dissemble

Verb [dihs -sehm- buhl]
To represent a false appearance, to disguise one's real intentions or character

The villain could dissemble to the police no longer--he admitted the deed and tore up the floor to reveal the stash of stolen money.

Synonyms: camouflage; cloak; feign