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11 Cards in this Set

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abash
(uh BASH)v to make ashamed; to embarrass
Sue felt abashed by her inability to remember the words to "Old MacDon Had.."
To do something without shame or embarrassment is to do it unabashedly.
Ken turned in a paper he had unabashedly copied from the National Enquirer.
abate
(uh BAYT) v to subside; to reduce
George spilled hot coffee on his leg. He was in pain, till the agony abated.
Bad weather abates when the weather changes.
A tax abatement is a reduction in taxes. Businesses are sometimes given tax abatements if they build factories where jobs are needed.
abdicate
(AB duh kayt) v to step down from a position of power or responsibility
When King Edward VIII of England decided to marry a commoner, he abdicated the crown.
Even people who aren't monarchs can abdicate their duties and responsibilities.
Mary abdicated her responsibilities as a secretary when she wouldn't answer the phone.
aberration
(ab uh RAY shun) n something not typical; a deviation from the standard
Tom's bad behavior was an aberration; normally, he was a good boy.
The chef at this restaurant is dreadful; the good meal we just had was an aberration.
An aberration is an aberrant (uh BER unt) occurrence
Tom's behavior was aberrant. The summer snowstorm was aberrant.
-Note carefully the pronunciation of these words-
abhor
(ab HOR)v to hate very, very much; to detest
* Emanuel abhorred having anvils dropped on his head.
To abhor something is to view it with horror. Hating a person is almost friendly in comparison with abhorring him or her.
To abhor raw chicken livers is to have an abhorrence of them or to find them abhorrent.
abject
(AB jekt) adj hopeless; extremely sad and servile; defeated
An abject person is one who is crushed and without hope. A slave would be abject, in all likelihood.
Perhaps 90% of the time, when you encounter this word it will be followed by the word poverty. Abject poverty is hopeless, desperate poverty. The phrase "abject poverty" is overused. Writers use it because they are too lazy to think of anything more novel.
abnegate
(AB nuh gayt) v to deny oneself things; to reject; to renounce
* Sue abnegated desserts for one month after getting on the scale.
* Ascetics practice self-abnegation because they believe it will bring them closer to spiritual purity.
Self-abnegation is giving up oneself, usually for some higher cause.
abortive
(uh BOR tiv) adj unsuccessful
* Mary and Elizabeth made an abortive effort to bake a birthday cake; it didn't result in a cake at all.
* Fred's attempt to climb the mountain was abortive; he fell off when he was halfway up.
To abort something is to end it before it is completed. An aborted pregnancy is called an abortion. It does not have to be the result of a medical procedure.
abridge
(uh BRIJ) v to shorten; to condense
* The thoughtful editor had abridged the massive book by removing the boring parts.
An abridged dictionary is one that has been shortened to keep it from crushing desks and people's laps.
absolute
(AB suh loot) adj total; unlimited; perfect
An absolute ruler is one who is ruled by no one else. An absolute mess is a total mess. An absolute rule is one that has no exceptions and that you must follow, no two ways about it.
-Absolute is also a noun. It means something that is total, unlimited, or perfect. Death, for living things, is an absolute. There just isn't any way around it.
absolve
(ab ZOLV) v to forgive or free from blame; to free from sin; to free from an obligation
* The priest absolved the sinner who had come to church to confess his sin.
* Tom's admission of guilt absolved Dick, who had orgininally been accused of the crime.
It is also possible to absolve someone of a responsiblity.
* Bill absolved Mary of her obligation to go to the prom with him. That is, he told her she could go with Joe.
The act of absolving is called absolution (ab suh LOO shun).