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710 Cards in this Set

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accost
to approach and speak to, often in an aggressive manner.
abject
miserable, wretched
abstemious
eating and drinking sparingly or in moderation, temperate.
acquiesce
to give in or agree without protest or complaint but also without interest or excitement.
abstruse
very hard to understand,
acquisition
1. something acquired or owned.
2. the act of acquiring or owning things.
acquisitive
eager to acquire or own things.
acute
sharp, intense
acrid
harsh, burning, or biting to the taste or smell.
adage
an old saying, a maxim, or proverb.
adamant
stubborn, unyielding, inflexible.
adept
very skillful, expert.
adjunct
something separate and less important that is added to a main thing.
admonish
to warn, caution, scold, or criticize gently, esp. aginst doing something wrong or bad.
admonition
a mild criticism or reprimand, a gentle warning.
adroit
skillful or clever at doing a difficult thing.
adversary
a person one fights against, enemy, opponent.
advocate
a person who speaks or writes in support of another person or of a cause or issue; defender, champion.
aesthetic
of or pert. to beauty, showing appreciation of or sensitivity to beauty in art or nature, tasteful, artistic.
abate
to reduce or become less in value, amount ,or intensity.
affable
easy to talk to, pleasant, kindly, courteous, gracious
affinity
a natural attraction, close relationship, or intense liking.
affront
intentional offense or insult
alacrity
eager willingness and promptness, speed, quickness.
alchemical
pert. to an early form of chemistry primarily concerned with changing common metals into gold and concocting a potion that would ensure eternal youth; hence, possessing a seemingly magical power to change something or someone's form or appearance.
alienate
to make unfriendly or hostile, lose the support of.
altercation
an angry, loud dispute
altruistic
unselfishly concerned with or interested in the welfare of others.
amalgam
a mixture or combination.
ambivalent
simultaneously having opposite or conflicting feelings, such as love and hate, toward a person or thing.
amenable
willing to yield or cooperate, responsive to advice or authority, agreeable.
amiable
friendly, good-natured, agreeable
animosity
hatred, bitterness, extreme dislike
antediluvian
before the biblical flood.
anthology
a collection of selected writings.
antiquated
old-fashioned, outmoded, out-of-date
apathetic
lacking interest or concern, unresponsive.
apocryphal
probably not true, genuine, or authentic; spec., of questionable authorship.
appalling
causing dismay or amazement, frightful
appraise
to officially decide the worth or price of, evaluate, estimate, judge
apprehend
1. to become aware of through the senses; to understand, grasp mentally
2. to arrest (a suspected criminal).
apprehension
1. fear or worry of what may happen, dread.
2. the ability to understand a mental grasp.
apprehensive
fearful, anxious about something in the future.
apprise
to inform, notify
apt
1. having a natural tendency, likely.
2. to the point, suitable.
arbitrary
based only on one's own will or feelings, not based on reason or law.
arcane
understood or known only by a few, mysterious.
archaic
of an earlier period, of a time long past, old-fashioned, no longer in ordinary use.
artisan
a worker trained or skilled in some trade, craftsperson.
ascertain
to find out, make certain of.
ascetic
holding back from pleasures or comforts, self-denying.
assailant
an attacker
assent
agreement, acceptance, consent.
assert
to state confidently or declare firmly.
assess
to determine the value, importance, or extent of; to evaluate, estimate, weigh.
asset
a valuable thing, quality, or resource.
assiduous
showing careful, constant attention.
assuage
1. to make less severe or intense, mitigate, pacify.
2. to satisfy.
attest
to state that something is true, correct, or genuine, give evidence of, confirm.
auspicious
showing signs of future success, indicating a happy or fortunate outcome, favorable.
austere
1. stern or severe in appearance, grim.
2. severely simple, without luxury.
authenticate
to establish the truth of or show to be genuine.
authenticity
the condition or quality of being genuine or true.
authoritative
commanding, giving orders, showing authority.
avaricious
greedy for wealth or possessions, miserly.
banter
good-humored, playful teasing, or joking conversation.
barbarity
cruelty, brutality, savagery.
beguiling
charming, amusing, delightful.
belittle
to make something or someone seem small or unimportant.
belligerent
ready and eager to fight, quarrel, or make war.
beneficence
the doing of good; generosity or kindness.
beneficiary
a person who receives a benefit, spec. an inheritance, bequest or legacy.
benevolence
an inclination to do good; kindliness
benighted
in a state of mental or moral ignorance.
benign
kind, good-natured, arising from or indicative of goodness or happiness, not malevolent or malicious.
bequest
money or property given or left to someone by means of a will.
bestial
having the qualities of a beast, cruel, brutish.
bibliophile
a lover of books, a book collector.
blithe
carefree, showing no concern, thoughtless.
bombastic
using or pert. to speech or writing that sounds grand or impressive but has little meaning or substance.
bondage
slavery, servitude, subjection, serfdom.
boor
a crude, insensitive person.
breadth
width, the measure of something from side to side.
burgeoning
growing or developing quickly.
callous
unfeeling, insensitive, hardhearted.
candid
open and direct, frank, straightforward.
cantankerous
quick to dispute or quarrel, argumentative.
capacious
able to contain a large quantity, roomy, large.
capitulate
to yield, surrender, esp. under specifically negotiated terms.
capricious
unpredictable, changing suddenly for no apparent reason, inconstant.
castigate
to criticize harshly or severely, berate
categorical
absolute, without any question or condition.
celerity
speed, quickness.
charade
an elaborate and obvious show or illusion.
charlatan
a fake, phony, quack, or fraud, esp. one who pretends to have great knowledge or skill.
chasten
to discipline or punish in order to correct or improve.
chastise
to criticize or scold harshly.
chimerical
imaginary, unrealistic, wildly improbable
chronicler
a person who records events in order of time.
circumlocution
a roundabout or wordy way of expressing an idea.
circumspect
cautious, careful, considering all conditions before acting.
circumvent
to go around, bypass, get around by clever maneuvering.
clamor
a loud and continuous noise, strong and noisy protest or outcry, hubbub, uproar.
collaboration
a working with another or others, as on a literary or scientific project.
colloquium
a meeting for discussion, esp. an academic seminar to exchange views on a particular subject.
collusion
a secret agreement or cooperation between persons for an illegal or wrongful purpose.
collosal
very great in size, gigantic, enormous.
commonplace
ordinary, dull, unremarkable
communal
of or relating to a community; public.
concede
to acknowledge as being true, reasonable, or proper.
concoct
to make up, invent, cook up.
concomitant
existing with something else, accompanying.
concordance
an alphabetical index of the important words in a written work (or works of an author) indicating the passages in which they occur.
concur
to agree.
condescension
a proud, snobbish attitude toward anyone considered inferior.
confidant
a person to whom one entrusts personal matters or secrets.
conflagration
a great, destructive fire.
conjecture
an opinion or conclusion based on insufficient evidence, a guess.
conscientious
1. guided by conscience
2. showing thought and care.
conspiracy
a secret plot to commit an evil or illegal act.
constraint
a restriction or limitation.
contemplative
thoughtful, devoted to meditation.
contemporary
a person living at the same time as another.
contemptuous
full of contempt, thinking or treating as inferior or worthless.
contention
a claim that someone supports and argues for.
conviction
a strong belief or opinion.
convivial
1. festive
2. fond of good company, esp. when eating and drinking, sociable
corroborate
to support with more evidence, make more certain or believable, provide further proof.
coup
a brilliant move or action, clever maneuver.
coveted
possessing so much value as to inspire greed or envy
covetous
having a strong desire for something that belongs to someone else.
credence
belief or confidence in the truth of something.
cryptic
mysterious, baffling, having a hidden meaning.
cupidity
greed
cursory
done quickly with little attention to detail
cynical
expressing disbelief in or distrust of others out of a sense that everyone's motives and actions are selfish.
dearth
scarcity, scant supply, lack.
debase
to make lower in value, quality, character, or dignity.
debilitate
to make weak, enfeeble.
decadent
in a state of decline (as in art, literature, morals, etc.), self-indulgent or self-gratifying
decorum
formal, proper, or suitable behavior, dress, speech, etc.; conduct suitable to a situation.
deflate
to reduce the confidence or lessen the importance of
deft
skillful in a quick, smooth way.
deluge
a great flood or downpour.
denigrate
to defame, damage the reputation of
deplorable
1. very bad or unfortunate, regrettable
2. deserving strong disappoval or condemnation.
depraved
wicked, immoral, evil
derision
scornful or sneering laughter, taunting, mockery
desultory
moving or passing from one thing to another, not proceeding in an orderly or organized way, aimless, disconnected.
deteriorate
to grow worse, fall into disrepair, become lower in quality or value.
deviant
not normal, standard, acceptable; abnormal.
devil's advocate
a person who upholds an unpopular case or defends a questionable position for the sake of argument or out of sheer perversity.
devious
not honest and straightforward, sly, shifty, tricky
diagnosis
a careful examination of the facts or nature of something as a decision based on such an examination esp. one by a physician.
diction
manner of expression, choice and arrangement of words.
didactic
designed to instruct or guide behavior
diligence
steady and careful attention, esp. to work or duties.
din
a continuous, loud, annoying noise; uproar.
dire
causing great fear or distress, disastrous, terrible
disaffected
discontented, rebellious.
discern
to detect with the eyes or other senses, recognize mentally.
discerning
having or showing sharp perception and judgment, rapidly noticing small differences or fine distinctions
disclose
uncover, expose to view, reveal
disconcerting
upsetting, frustrating, or embarassing.
discordant
disagreeing, conflicting, clashing, not in harmony.
discourse
to talk, carry on a conversation
discreet
cautious in one's speech or actions, tactful
discretion
the exercise of caution or good judgment.
disdain
scorn, a feeling or show of dislike or disregard for something or someone considered inferior
disgruntled
dissatisfied, resentful, discontented.
disorient
to disturb someone's sense of time, place, or identity.
disparage
to speak of, treat, or regard as inferior or unimportant.
dispense
1. to deal out in portions, distribute, administer.
2. to get rid of, do away with, do without.
disposition
arrangement, makeup, composition.
disseminate
to scatter widely, spread abroad.
dissertation
a lengthy, formal piece of writing, spec. a thesis prepared for a doctoral degree.
dissonant
harsh and disagreeable in sound, jarring to the ear.
divergent
branching off, departing from a set course or opinion, deviating.
divulge
to make known, reveal (usu. something private or secret)
dogged
refusing to give up despite difficulties.
dogmatic
stating opinions in an overbearing manner, opinionated, dictatorial.
dotard
a feeble old person
dour
gloomy, severe, stern
drastic
extreme, severe, harsh, having a strong effect.
droll
amusingly strange, humorously odd.
dupe
to fool, trick, cheat.
dupe
someone easily fooled, tricked, or cheated.
duplicity
dishonesty, double-dealing, acting contrary to one's real feelings and beliefs in order to fool or cheat.
dwindle
to decrease steadily, shrink, diminish.
ebullient
overflowing with high spirits, enthusiasm, or excitement
eclectic
selecting, or consisting of selections, from a variety of sources, esp. the best of those sources; varied.
eclipse
to darken, diminish the brightness or importance of, overshadow, surpass, outshine.
edification
moral, spiritual, or intellectual improvement or instruction
edifying
morally, spiritually, or intellectually instructive.
egalitarian
promoting equal treatment for people, esp. as to social, political, and economic rights.
egregious
very bad or offensive in an obvious way, flagrant.
elated
full of joy or happiness, blissful
elicit
to bring out, draw forth.
elitism
a preference for rule or leadership by the elite class.
eloquent
expressed in a strong, clear, graceful, and persuasive way; moving, forceful.
elucidate
to make clear, explain
elude
to escape, avoid
elusive
1. hard to get hold of or capture.
2. hard to define, describe, understand, or remember.
embellish
to make beautiful by adding decoration
eminence
great distinction, superiority, or importance.
empathy
an identification with and ability to share another person's feelings or situation.
emphatic
expressed or done with emphasis, forceful.
emulate
to try to do as well as or better than, esp. by imitating; compete with, rival.
enamored
filled with love or desire, charmed
enervated
weakened, drained of stength or energy
enigma
a riddle, mystery, puzzle; a person, situation, statement, or text that causes confusion, doubt, or bewilderment
ensconced
settled securely or snuggly.
ensue
to follow as a consequence or result, occur next.
entail
to require as a necessary consequence, necessitate.
entity
something that exists and can be recognized as a particular and distinct unit.
enumerate
to list one after the other, count off, name individually
epic
pert. to or having the qualities of a long poem, novel, or play usu. written in a dignified or elevated style, celebrating heroes and heroic deeds.
equanimity
the quality or state of being calm, composed, and even-tempered
equivocate
to intentionally mislead or confuse by using language that can be understood in two or more ways.
erratic
1. not regular or consistent (as in quality or progress).
2. odd or peculiar.
erudite
having or exhibiting deep and extensive learning
esoteric
intended for or understood only by a select group.
estimable
deserving esteem
evanescent
vanishing, short-lived, fleeting
evasive
meaning to evade, not forthright; indirect, intentionally vague or misleading
evocative
having the power to call forth certain ideas or memories.
exasperate
to irritate extremly, to try the patience of.
exlusive
admitting only certain people as friends or members
exegesis
detailed explanation or analysis, esp. of a text.
exemplary
worthy to serve as a model
exert
to put forth or bring to bear
exonerate
to declare blameless, find innocent
exorbitant
far beyond what is usual or proper; excessive
expedient
a means to an end
exploit
a daring deed, heroic feat.
expound
to explain by giving detail
exquisite
of extreme beauty and excellence
extant
still existing
exultant
filled with great joy, expressing triumph
exultation
great rejoicing and jubilation, the state of being exultant
facade
an artificial or deceptive appearance
faculty
a power or capability of the mind or body, either natural or acquired.
far-fetched
not likely to be true or to happen
fatuous
silly or stupid in a complacent way.
feisty
full of spirit or nerve
felicitous
well suited or appropriate
fervid
glowing with feeling, fiery
fetid
having an offensive smell (as of decay), stinking.
fiasco
a total and ignominious failure.
fickle
not loyal or constant (as in affections), given to casual change.
fitful
irregular, intermittent
florid
overly decorated, flowery
flourish
a loud, lively sounding of trumpets.
foolhardy
bold in a foolish, reckless manner
forbidding
grim, sinister, menacing
forgery
an imitation (as of a signature or document) intended to be passed off as the real thing; a counterfeit
forthright
going straight to the point without hesitation, frank=, direct.
fortuitous
occuring by chance, accidental
frugal
careful in spending, using one's money or resources carefully and sparingly, thrifty, economical
furtive
sly, stealthy, shifty, underhanded
futile
of no use, ineffective, pointless
galvanize
to rouse to action, excite
garrulous
overly talkative, esp. about unimportant things
gaudy
excessively showy in a tasteless way
germane
pert. to what is under consideration or being discussed
giddy
dizzy, lightheaded.
grandiloquent
speaking in a lofty, pompous, or overblown manner
grandiose
1. impressive, magnificent
2. affectedly grand
grapple
to engage in a struggle at close quarters, wrestle, vie
gratify
please, satisfy, delight
gregarious
liking the companionship of others; sociable
grimace
to twist the face in an expression of pain, disapproval, frustration, or contempt.
hackneyed
made commonplace or dull by overuse.
hamper
to restrict the movements of, hinder, interfere with
haphazard
characterized by lack of order or direction, accidental, not planned.
harmonious
1. orderly and pleasing in sound or arrangement.
2. in accord or agreement.
headlong
literally, headfirst; figuratively, recklessly
hedonist
a person who follows a way of life devoted to the pursuit of pleasure and the avoidance of pain
hidebound
inflexible, close-minded, conservative, stubbornly stuck in one's ways
iconoclastic
attacking or opposing accepted, established beliefs or customs
ideological
relating to or based on ideas, esp. the ideas characteristic of a particular culture or group.
ill-conceived
badly planned
illicit
unlawful, illegal
illustrious
very well known, celebrated
imminent
about to happen
immutable
not changeable; fixed.
impart
to give or grant a share or portion of.
impasse
a predicament from which there is no escape, a deadlock.
impassive
unaffected by emotion, giving no sign of feeling
impeccable
without fault, flaw, or blemish
impede
to hinder, interfere with, obstruct
impending
about to happen
imperious
proud, overbearing, dictatorial
impervious
unreceptive to, unaffected by
impetuous
acting suddenly and forcefully, with much emotion and little thought; hasty, overeager, impatient
implicate
to connect (someone) to a plot, crime, etc.
imposing
impressive in appearance, manner, or size
impregnable
not able to be entered, penetrated, conquered, or overcome.
impressionable
easily affected or influenced, sensitive
impropriety
an improper act or an unacceptable use of language.
imprudent
unwise, lacking good judgment, not prudent
impudent
rude, disrespectful
inadvertent
not intentional
inane
without point or meaning, silly, foolish
incarcerate
to put in prison, imprison
incessant
unceasing, continuing without interruption.
incoherent
not expressed in a clear, orderly manner; hard to make sense of, disjointed, disorganized, not coherent.
inconceivable
not possible to imagine, unbelievable, unthinkable
incontrovertible
indisputable, unquestionable, not possible to argue with.
incorrigible
incapable of being corrected, improved, or reformed
incredulous
unable or unwilling to believe, doubting
indefatigable
never lacking energy, tireless
indeterminate
indefinite, unclear, not fixed or settled.
indignation
anger aroused by something unjust or unfair
indistinct
unclear, hard to recognize, blurred, dim, faint.
indulge
allow to act without restraint, give in to or satisfy (an appetite, whim, desire, etc.)
industrious
hardworking, persevering
ineffectual
not producing the desired effect
inert
having the power to move or respond
ingenious
clever, creative, imaginative
ingenuous
showing innocence or trust; childlike, sincere
inherent
essential, existing within someone or something as a natural, permanent element.
inimitable
not able to be copied or imitated, matchless
iniquity
great injustice, wickedness, sin
initial
of or coming at the beginning, earliest, first
initiative
the act of or the responsibility for taking the first step in doing something.
innocuous
harmless, causing no injury or ill will.
inquisitive
inclined to ask questions, extremely curious
inscrutable
mysterious, difficult to interpret or understand.
insidious
evil or treacherous in a sly, underhanded manner; working or spreading ill or harm in a hidden, dangerous way.
insinuation
a sly hint, indirect or covert suggestion, esp. of something unpleasant or disagreeable.
insipid
1. without flavor or taste, bland
2. not interesting, dull
insulated
set apart, isolated, protected, detached.
integral
essential, necessary for completion
integrate
to form into a unified whole, incorporate into a larger whole, unite.
integrity
moral or artistic honesty, strength of character.
intemperate
excessive, unruly, lacking in moderation
intractable
difficult to control, lead, or manipulate
intrepid
extremely brave, daring, unafraid.
intricacy
something detailed, complicated, complex, entangled, or involved.
intrigue
to arouse the interest, desire, or curiosity of; fascinate.
intuition
the faculty of knowing instinctively, without conscious reasoning; the knowledge so acquired.
inventiveness
originality, creativity
inscrutable
mysterious, difficult to interpret or understand.
insidious
evil or treacherous in a sly, underhanded manner; working or spreading ill or harm in a hidden, dangerous way.
insinuation
a sly hint, indirect or covert suggestion, esp. of something unpleasant or disagreeable.
insipid
1. without flavor or taste, bland
2. not interesting, dull
insulated
set apart, isolated, protected, detached.
integral
essential, necessary for completion
integrate
to form into a unified whole, incorporate into a larger whole, unite.
integrity
moral or artistic honesty, strength of character.
intemperate
excessive, unruly, lacking in moderation
intractable
difficult to control, lead, or manipulate
intrepid
extremely brave, daring, unafraid.
intricacy
something detailed, complicated, complex, entangled, or involved.
intrigue
to arouse the interest, desire, or curiosity of; fascinate.
intuition
the faculty of knowing instinctively, without conscious reasoning; the knowledge so acquired.
inventiveness
originality, creativity
inveterate
fixed in a habit or custom
invigorating
giving strength and energy to
irk
to bother, annoy, vex
irrevocable
not possible to bring back, undo, or alter
jostle
to crowd or brush against, push, elbow, shove
jovial
jolly, good-natured
jubilant
filled with or showing joy
judicious
characterized by good judgment, sensible, wise
keen
1. sharp
2. intellectually sharp, penetrating, piercing
3. intense
kindle
to ignite or light; hence, to stir up or excite
laceration
a jagged tear or wound
languid
having no energy or interest, slow, weak
languish
to lose strength or health, become weak, droop from longing or desire, pine, suffer
largess
1. a generous or lavish gift
2. generous or lavish giving, generosity
latent
present but not visible or active
laudable
worthy of praise or approval
legacy
money or property that has been left to someone by a will; an inheritance, anything handed down from the past.
legible
able to be read or deciphered easily
legitimate
lawful, legal
lethargic
having little or no energy, drowsy, dull
levity
joking or gaiety, esp. at inappropriate moments
listless
lacking spirit, energy, or interest
lithe
flexible in a gracious way, limber, supple
loquacious
talkative, esp. excessively
lucid
capable of being readily understood, clear, plain
lurid
causing horror or fear, terrible, shocking, sensational
luscious
having a pleasant taste and smell
luxuriant
1. showing thick and abundant growth, lush
2. very rich, fancy, or elaborate, as in decorations or furnishings
lyric
expressing strong personal feelings
magnanimous
1. generous in overlooking insults or injuries
2. noble, high-minded, unselfish
malevolent
wishing or doing evil to others, showing ill will
malicious
desiring to hurt or injure someone, full of ill will, evil, nasty, spiteful
malodorous
having a disagreeable odor, foul-smelling
manic
having or showing an exaggerated enthusiasm, interest, desire, or level of activity
masonry
stonework, brickwork, or a structure made of stone or brick
masquerade
to wear a disguise, pose, assume a false identity.
mediate
to bring about a settlement between disputing parties, act as a peacemaker or go-between
mercenary
greedy, motivated solely by the desire for money or material gain.
meritorious
deserving of praise, admiration, or reward; worthy.
metaphysical
of or pert. to metaphysics, the branch of philosophy that explores the nature of being and reality; hence, highly abstract or difficult to understand
methodical
carried out in an orderly or systematic way
mettle
spirit, courage, strength of character.
mime
to act out something silently with body movements and facial expressions.
minute
extremely small, tiny
misapprehension
misunderstanding
mishap
an unlucky or unfortunate accident
mock
pretended; not real but made to look so.
moderation
the condition or quality of avoiding extremes and staying within reasonable limits
modest
1. not vain or boastful, humble
2. limited in number, size, scope, etc.
3. simple, not elaborate or pretentious
monolithic
made of or resembling a single large block of stone; hence, solid, rigid, massive, and uniform in appearance or character.
morose
gloomy and irritable
mortified
humiliated, having one's self-respect or pride injured.
munificence
great generosity
muse
1. to consider, be absorbed in one's thoughts, contemplate, think or say in a reflective manner.
2. to ask oneself, wonder
muse
a source of inspiration
mystical
having a quality or meaning that is spiritual or beyond human understanding.
naive
showing a lack of wordly wisdom or sophistication; hence, simple, childlike, and innocent or foolish, impractical, and inexperienced.
nefarious
extremely wicked, villainous, evil
niche
1. a place or situation especially suited to a person or thing.
2. a recess in a wall, as for holding a small statue or other art object.
nonchalant
cool and unconcerned.
nondescript
lacking distinguishing features or characteristics, not easily described or classified
notable
worthy of note, distinguished, important, outstanding.
noteworthy
deserving attention, worthy of notice.
notorious
widely known, esp. unfavorably
noxious
harmful to a person's health or morals, not wholesome
novelty
something that is fresh, different, unusual, or the first of its kind.
obdurate
not easily moved by pity or persuasion, stubborn, inflexible
obfuscation
the often intentional act of confusing or making something unclear or difficult to understand
objective
1. not influenced by personal feelings or opinions, not biased.
2. having to do what is real, as opposed to what exists only in the mind
oblique
expressed in an indirect manner, not straightforward.
obliterate
to destroy completely, wipe out, remove any trace of.
oblivious
showing no awareness of, not minding.
obscure
to hide or conceal; to make vague, confusing, dim, or indistinct.
obsequious
too eager to please, flatter, or obey; fawning.
obsolete
no longer in use, out-of-date, outmoded
obtuse
slow in understanding or feeling, dull, stupid.
occult
beyond human comprehension, mysterious, magical
officious
overly eager or presumptuous in offering unsolicited assitance or advice, meddlesome
ominous
threatening or foreboding, sinister, full of or indicating potential evil or harm.
opaque
1. not allowing the passage of light, not transparent.
2. difficult to understand, unclear.
oppressive
harsh, difficult, hard to bear, burdensome
opulent
very rich, costly, expensive, indicative of great wealth
oracle
a priest through whom the gods were thought to respond to questions put to them by the ancient Greeks and Romans; hence, any person thought to possess great wisdom or authority
ordeal
an experience that is very difficult or painful.
orthodox
in accordance with long-established and commonly accepted beliefs or practices, esp. those of a religion; proper, generally accepted, customary.
oscillate
to move back and forth in a regular way, like a pendulum.
ostentatious
showy or flashy in an attempt to impress, making a conspicuous display to attact attention
outlandish
strange, unfamiliar, strikingly different or odd.
overt
done or shown openly, observable, not hidden or concealed, not covert.
overwrought
under considerable emotional strain; extremely nervous, excited, or tense
painstaking
careful, showing great effort
pallid
pale, wan; lacking color, strength, or vitality
paltry
so small as to be worthless or unimportant; trifling
panoramic
wide and comprehensive, usu. describing a view in every direction.
paragon
a model of excellence or perfection
patronizing
tending to treat others as inferior, acting with an air of condescension.
paucity
lack, scarcity, insufficiency of amount or number
peccadillo
a minor sin, fault, or error.
pedant
1. a person who makes a showy display of knowledge to impress others.
2. a peson who pays excessive attention to rules or details in learning or scholarship
pedestal
the base supporting a column, statue, lamp, or the like.
pedestrian
dull, ordinary, uninteresting
penchant
a strong liking or inclination
penury
extreme poverty, indigence, want, destitution
perceptive
capable of quickly understanding
perennial
lasting through many years, enduring, perpetual
perfunctory
1. done in a routine manner, as if merely to get finished; hasty.
2. showing little interest or enthusiasm, careless, halfhearted
perjure
to make (oneself) guilty of lying esp. while under an oath to tell the truth (as in a court of law)
permutation
a thorough change in form, character, or condition; transformation, altercation
pernicious
harmful, destructive.
persistent
continuing in spite of diffulty or opposition, persevering.
perspicacious
having a powerful and penetrating mind, quick to see and understand.
perturbation
agitation, disquiet, uneasiness
pervade
to spread throughout, permeate.
perverse
1. improper, incorrect
2. stubbornly contrary or wrongheaded.
pervert
to twist the meaning or character of
petrified
hardened, stonelike.
petty
spiteful, small-minded, mean
philistine
a narrow-minded person with ordinary tastes and ideas who has no interest in the arts or learning.
phlegmatic
not easily excited or moved to action, calm, unemotional
placid
calm, peaceful, quiet, restful
poignant
affecting the emotions, touching, intensely or painfully moving
poised
1. self-assured, at ease, composed
2. balanced, held steady.
pompous
puffed up with self-importance
ponderous
1. large and heavy, bulky
2. dull, boring, labored
portly
stout, heavyset, fat
posthumous
occurring after a person's death
potent
having a strong effect, powerful
pragmatic
practical as opposed to theoretical
precept
a rule for guiding conduct or action.
precipitate
to bring about suddenly or sooner than expected.
preconceived
formed in advance, as an opinion.
predetermined
decided in advance, determined beforehand
predilection
a preference, liking, tendency to favor.
preeminent
superior, outstanding, notable above all others.
preliminary
coming before or leading up to the main event, introductory, prefatory
preposterous
senseless, foolish, ridiculous
prescient
having knowledge of events before they occur, having foresight
prescribe
to give as an order or direction, lay down as a rule.
prevailing
widely accepted, most common or frequent
prevaricate
to lie, speak falsely, stray from the truth
primordial
primitive, original, basic, elemental, primeval
priority
1. something first in importance or order
2. the right of being first in importance, order, or rank
prodding
jabbing, poking, or goading with or as if with a prod (a pointed stick).
prodigious
1. huge, enormous, monumental; extraordinary in size, extent, or degree
2. marvelous, amazing, phenomenal
profound
1. deep
2. having or demonstrating deep understanding or intelligence
3. complete, absolute, unbroken
4. sweeping, extensive
5. intensely felt
profusion
a large supply, great quantity or amount
prognosis
a prediction, forecast, esp. about the course of a disease and the possibility of recovery
prolific
highly productive or fruitful
promulgate
to make known formally or officially, publish, circulate, proclaim, publicize
prone
stretched out face downward, prostrate.
propensity
a natural tendency or inclination
prophetic
of or pert. to a prophet (one who makes predictions) or to a prophecy (a prediction, esp. one that is divinely inspired)
propound
to present for consideration, suggest, propose
prosaic
unimaginative, boring, ordinary, dull
prosperity
wealth, good fortune, success
protagonist
the leading character in a work of literature.
protracted
drawn out in time, prolonged, stretched out, lengthened.
protruding
sticking up or out, projecting
proverbial
well-known because widely repeated; famous.
prurient
tending to have or causing lustful desires or thoughts
pugilist
a fighter, boxer
pungent
sharp or biting to smell or taste
purloin
to steal, pilfer, take dishonestly, commit theft.
purported
to claim, often falsely.
quagmire
an area of swampy ground, a bog; hence, a situation difficult to get out of.
quandary
a state of uncertainty about what to do; a perplexing or difficult situation, predicament, jam, fix, pickle
querulous
tending to find fault; complaining, peevish, or whiny.
quiescent
in a resting state, quiet, not active
quizzical
questioning, disbelieving, or puzzled.
rationalist
one whose opinions or beliefs are based on reasoning.
raucous
disorderly, wild, rowdy.
ravage
devastating damage, violent destruction
rebut
to deny or disapprove (an argument or claim) by offering opposing evidence or proof.
reckoning
the settling of accounts; an accounting, as for something received or done.
recluse
a person who lives alone, shut away from the outside world
reconcile
to bring into agreement, make consistent, harmonize.
recount
to narrate, tell in detail, describe
rectify
to set right or adjust
rectitude
rightness in principles and conduct
refinement
1. elegance of thought, feeling, manners, taste, or language.
2. improvement, polish
reflective
thoughtful
rejuvenated
refilled with energy or youthfulness, made to seem new or fresh again.
rejuvenating
refreshing, restorative, giving new life and energy to.
relent
to become more gentle, less severe, or more forgiving.
remonstrate
to argue with strong reasons against, plead in protest, present an objection.
renegade
disloyal, traitorous
renovate
to renew, make as good as new.
repression
the act or state of keeping something down or holding it in check, often by force.
repressive
tending or serving to keep something down or hold it in check, restrictive, authoritarian.
reproachful
full of or expressing disapproval for a wrong or fault
reprobate
a wicked, immoral person
rescind
to repeal or cancel
resentment
ill will produced by a perceived insult or injury.
resilient
recovering quickly, as from misfortune or illness.
resonant
having a full and rich tone or sound
resourceful
clever and creative in solving problems or difficulties.
revelation
something made known or revealed, esp. something surprising.
reverence
a feeling of awe and respect often mingled with affection
revitalize
to give new life and energy to, make vital again
ribald
coarse or vulgar in the use of language
robust
strong, hearty, sturdy, firm, full of health
rotund
round in shape, notably plump or chubby
rueful
filled with sorrow, regret, or pity
sabotage
to deliberately hinder, obstruct, injure, destroy, etc.
sagacious
wise, exercising sound judgment
salient
standing out, attracting attention, easily seen, noticeable
sallow
of a sickly, pale, yellowish color or complexion.
salubrious
favorable to health, healthful
salutary
promoting a beneficial purpose or effect, good for one's health, producing an improvement, remedial, corrective
satirical
relating to the art of exposing human folly or vice with wit
saunter
to walk in a leisurely way, stroll
savant
a person of great learning, scholar
savor
literally, to taste or smell with pleasure; figuratively, to enjoy, delight in, relish
scatterbrained
incapable of orderly thought, flighty
scintillating
1. emitting sparkles or twinkles of light, shining
2. lively, intelligent, clever, or witty
scope
range, the area covered
scoundrel
a dishonorable person, cad, villain
scruple
a moral principle that restrains action
scrupulous
precise and exacting
scurrilous
coarse, indecent, or abusive
self-aggrandizement
the increase of one's own importance, position, or reputation
senile
relating to or characteristic of old age, esp. showing a decline in mental abilities
sentiment
a feeling, opinion
sentimental
expressing tender feelings, sometimes to excess
shard
a fragment of a brittle substance, esp. of broken pottery
shrouded
shut off from sight or light, hidden, concealed
shun
to keep away from deliberately, avoid consistently or habitually
singular
extraordinary, rare, remarkable, exceptional
sinuous
having curves or turns, wavy, winding, snakelike
smirk
to smile in a self-satisfied or artificial way; simper.
sojourn
to remain or live (in a place) for a while.
sojourn
a temporary stay
solicitous
concerned, worried, or anxious about someone or something
soothsayer
one who claims to be able to foretell the future; a seer
soporific
inducing sleep; tending to dull the awareness
sparse
of a few, scattered elements; not thick or dense.
specificity
precision, definitiveness
specify
to state or list in detail, define, stipulate
spectral
spooky, eerie, otherworldly, like a specter (a ghost)
speculate
to reason and form theories on the basis of inadequate or inconclusive evidence.
speculator
a person who makes risky financial investments.
spendthrift
someone who wastes money or spends it foolishly
spontaneous
1. occuring naturally or without practice or forethought
2. acting in accordance with one's own inner nature rather than with external forces, guided by instinct or impulse.
spurious
fake, fraudulent, counterfeit
squabble
a noisy quarrel or argument, usu. over a small matter.
squandering
using or spending foolishly and wastefully.
staid
proper, sober, dignified, conservative, strait-laced.
stalwart
of outstanding strength, sturdy
stately
impressively formal and serious in style or proportions
stature
height or level of achievement
staunch
firm, loyal, true
steadfast
faithful, constant, loyal, firm
stereotype
something that conforms to a fixed pattern, not allowing for individuality, esp. a mental image or a way of thinking about a person, thing, or event.
stimulate
to excite to growth or greater action, rouse
stoic
not affected by or showing emotions, esp. pain or distress; calm, unmoved
stratagem
a trick or scheme used to outwit an enemy, gain an advantage, or achieve a goal.
stratum
a level, layer, rank, or grade
strident
loud, noisy, grating, shrill
studious
1. concerned with study or learning.
2. earnest, purposeful, deliberate.
stupefaction
a state of stupidity, grogginess, or half-consciousness
suave
smooth and courteous, polished and poised in social situations
subjective
of or arising from a person's emotions, prejudices, or interests, not from external evidence; based on personal feelings or opinions.
subordinate
occupying an inferior position, rank, or class; secondary, minor
subside
to become quiet or less active, settle down to a lower level
substantiate
to support by proof or reliable evidence
subtlety
a fine point, delicate distinction
succinct
expressed precisely and compactly, without wasted words.
suffused
spread through or over (as with light or color)
sumptuous
exceptionally rich and luxurious
supercilious
looking down at or treating others in a proudly superior way
superficial
concerned only with the surface, with what is obvious or apparent; shallow, lacking in depth or substance
superlative
excellent, of the greatest or highest quality.
surmise
to conclude based on scanty evidence, suppose, guess
surpassing
superior
surreptitious
secret and stealthy, not open or conspicuous
sustenance
food, nourishment
symmetrical
possessing symmetry, having balanced proportions.
tangential
straying from or only slightly connected (to a subject)
tantalizing
intensely tempting, arousing great interest or desire for something that seems unreachable or unobtainable
tattered
ragged, torn, shredded
tawdry
flashy and tasteless, cheap, showy
telltale
indicating or revealing something intended to be secret
tempestuous
stormy, passionate, greatly agitated, like a tempest (a violent windstorm)
tentative
hesitant, halting, uncertain, timid, halfhearted
tenure
1. the status assuring an employee a permanent position, esp. as a teacher.
2. the act, right, or manner of holding something (such as a teaching position) or the length of time something is held
theoretical
of, pert. to, or based on (1) unsupported opinion or limited information or (2) a general set of principles or knowledge
threadbare
so frayed that the threads show, old and worn out
throng
a host of people, crowd, multitude
timorous
fearful, hesitant, timid, lacking self-confidence
tirade
a prolonged and angry speech, harangue, diatribe
toady
someone who flatters others hoping to gain favors, an obsequious follower, bootlicking servant
tome
a weighty, large, or scholarly book
torrid
passionate, heated
transcribe
1. to make a handwritten or printed copy.
2. to translate or write out in the corresponding characters of another alphabet.
translucent
allowing the passage of light but not a view of objects beyond
treatise
a systematic and usu. lengthy and scholarly discussion of a subject in writing.
trivial
of small value or importance, not worth noticing
troupe
a group of touring theatrical performers.
tumult
1. great uproar or commotion
2. a noisy or violent outburst
turret
a little tower usu. at an angle of a larger structure.
tyrannize
to rule with absolute, often oppressive power
ubiquitous
existing everywhere at the same time, widespread
unblemished
having no fault or flaw
uncanny
strange, mysterious, eerie.
unconventional
not bound by accepted custom or practice, not ordinary, not conventional
underscore
to draw a line under; hence, to stress or emphasize
unenlightened
ignorant, misinformed, not educated or enlightened
uniform
identical or alike, unvarying, consistent
universal
1. including, covering, or involving all
2. existing or operating everywhere.
unprecedented
without parallel or precedent (an earlier example or model to follow)
unremitting
not letting up, constant
unrestrained
unchecked, uncontrolled, not under restraint
unsavory
literally, disagreeable to taste or smell; figuratively, undesirable, objectionable, morally offensive
unsettling
disturbing, causing uneasiness or confusion
unwieldy
not easy to handle or manage, esp. because of size, weight, awkward shape, etc.
upbraid
to criticize severely, rebuke
upright
honest, adhering to what is morally right or just
urbane
extremely polite and polished in manner
usurp
to seize and hold by force or without proper right or authority
valedictory
containing a farewell, of or relating to a leave-taking
valid
1. right, well-founded, reasonable, just.
2. legal, official
valor
bravery and determination in facing danger, esp. in war
vandalism
willful or malicious destruction of property
vanquish
to subdue, conquer, defeat, overcome
vantage point
a position from which one has a wide view
venerable
1. deserving respect because of age, character, achievements, etc.
2. impressive because of age
veritable
true, actual, not false or exaggerated
vernacular
the common, everyday spoken form of a language.
vibrant
filled with energy, lively
vigilant
on the alert, watchful
vilify
to abuse in speech or writing, say or write damaging of false things about, slander, defame
vindictive
motivated by a desire for revenge, unforgiving and spiteful
violate
1. to break or disregard
2. to defile, desecrate, or disrespect.
virtually
practically, almost but not quite, nearly
visceral
of or pert. to the internal organs of the body, esp. the abdomen; hence, instinctive and intuitive rather than intellectual or rational
vital
1. characteristic of living beings or essential to maintaining life
2. full of life and energy
3. being of the utmost importance.
vitality
1. the capacity to live or go on living
2. liveliness, pep
vivacious
filled with life and spirit, lively, sprightly
voluminous
of great volume, number, or extent
voracious
1. exceedingly hungry, ravenous
2. never getting enough of something
vulgar
1. without refinement or taste, coarse, crass, crude, gross
2. of or pert. to the common or ordinary people
vulnerable
susceptible to being injured or wounded, open to attack, having insufficient defenses
wane
to fade away, diminish gradually
wanton
1. mean or cruel without motive or provocation
2. immoral, lustful
3. careless, reckless
wary
watchful and cautious, distrustful, leery
wayward
1. willfully following one's own desires, disobedient, headstrong, contrary
2. inconstant and unpredictable
weathered
faded or altered by exposure to the weather
whim
an unpredictable and often sudden notion or fancy.
winsome
charming, agreeable, and pleasant in appearance or manner
wizened
shrunken, shriveled, wrinkled from aging
wreak
to inflict or bring about
writhe
to twist or turn, as in pain.