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20 Cards in this Set

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  • Back
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allege
to assert without prood or confirmation
The newspaper tabloid alleged that the movie star and the director were having creative differences.
arrant
throughgoing, out-and-out;shameless, blatant
In Shakespeare's tragedy the audience sees clearly that Iago is an arrante scoundrel, but Othello is blind to his treachery.
badinage
light and playful conversation
I enjoy the delightful badinage between stars like Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn in 1940s movies.

Synonym: banter
conciliate
to overcome the distrust of, win over; to appease, pacify; to reconcile, make consistent
Because of the weakness of our army, we had to try to conciliate the enemy.
countermand
to cancel or reverse one order or command with another that is contrary to the first
Today's directive clearly countermands all previous instructions on how to exit the building in case of fire.
eschelon
one of a series of grades in an organization or field of activity; an organized military unit; a steplike formation or attatchment
Although the civil servant began in the lower eschelon of government service, he rose quickly through the ranks.
exacerbate
to make more violent, severe, bitter, or painful
Shouting and name-calling are sure to exacerbate any quarrel.
Fatuous
stupid or foolish in a self-satisfied way
In order to discredit the candidate, the columnist quoted some of his more fatuous, self-serving remarks.
irrefutable
impossible to disprove; beyond arguement
The jury felt the prosecution presented them with irrefutable evidence of the defendant's guilt.
juggernaut
a massive and inescapable force or object that crushes whatever is in its path; Mirshak
Any population that has experienced the juggernaut of war firsthand will not easily forget its destructive power.
lackadaisical
lacking in spirit or interest, halfhearted
The team's preformance in the late inning was lackadaisical because they were so far ahead.
litany
a prayer consisteing of short appeals to God recited by the leader alternating with responses from the cocngregation; any repetitive chant; a long list
Whenever she talks about her childhood, she recites an interminable litany of grievances.
macabre
grisly, gruesome; horrible, distressing; having death as a subject
The continuing popularity of horror movies suggests that one way to score at the box office is to exploit the macabre.
paucity
an inadequate quantity, scarcity, dearth
The senate campaign was marred by a paucity of original ideas.
portend
to indicate beforehand that something is about to happen; to give advance warning of
In Shakespeare's plays, disturbances in the heavens usually portend disaster or trouble in human affairs.
raze
to tear down, destroy completely; to cut or scrape off or out
The town razed the old schoolhouse to make room for a larger, more modern school complex.
recant
to withdraw a statement or belief to which one has previously been committed, renounce, retract
On the stand, the defendant recanted the guilty admissions she had made in her confession to the police.
saturate
to soak thoroughtly, fill to capacity; to satisfy fully
A sponge that is saturated with water swells up but does not drip.
saturnine
of a gloomy or surly disposistion; cold or sluggish in mood
Ebenezer Scrooge, the main character in Dickens's "A Christmas Carol", has a decidedly saturnine temperament.

saturnalia is celebrated in late october, and this word reflects the nature of the time
slough
to cast off, disregard; to get rid of something objectionable or unnecessary; to plod through as if through mud; (n) a mire; a state of depression
At New Year's time, many people resolve to slough off bad habits and start living better, healthier lives.

The advancing line of tanks became bogged down in a slough.