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70 Cards in this Set

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adj. relating to the stars
She was amzed at the number of astral bodies the new telescope revealed.
adj. binding; causing contraction; harsh or severe.
The astringent quality of the unsweetened lemon juice made swallowing difficult. also N.
adj. enormously large or extensive.
The government seemed willing to spend astronomical sums on weapons development.
adj. wise; shrewd; keen.
The painter was an astute observer, noticing every tiny detail of her model's appearance and knowing exactly how important each one was.
adv. into parts; apart
A fierce quarrel split the partnership asunder; the two partners finally sundered their connections because their points of view were poles.
n. place of refuge or shelter; protection.
The refugees sought asylum from religious persecution in a new land.
adj. not identical on both sides of a dividing central line
Because one eybrow was set markedly higher than the other, William's face had a particularly asymmetric appearance. asymmetry, N.
n. resemblance to remote ancestors rather than to parents; reversion to an earlier type; throwback
In his love for gardening, Martin seemed an atavism to his Tuscan ancestors who lavished great care on their small plots of soil. atavistic, adj.
n. one who denies the existence of God
"An atheist is a man who has no invisible means of support."
v. make amends for; pay for.
He knew no way in which he could atone for his brutal crime.
n. brutal deed.
In time of war, many atrocities are committed by invading armies
n. wasting away
Polio victims need physiotherapy to prevent the atrophy of affected limbs
adj. alert and watchful; considerate; thoughtful.
Spellbound, the attentive audience watched the final game of the tennis match, never taking their eyes from the ball.
v. make thinner; weaken or lessen (in density, force, degree).
The long, dry spell attenuated the creek to the merest trickle.
v. testify; bear witness
Having served as a member of a grand jury, I can attest that our system of indicting individuals is in need of improvement.
attribute (noun usage)
n. essential quality
His outstanding attribute was his kindness
attribute (verb usage)
v. ascribe; explain
I attribute her success in science to the encouragement she received from her parents
n. gradual decrease in numbers; reduction in the work force without firing employees; wearing away of opposition by means of harassment
In the 1960s urban churches suffered from attrition as members moved from the cities to the suburbs.
adj. not normal
The child psychiatrist reasured Mrs. Keaton that playing doctor was not atypical behavior for a child of young Alex's age.
adj. daring; bold.
Audiences cheered as Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia made their audacious, death-defying leap to freedom and escaped Darth Vader's troops. audacity, N.
n. examination of accounts
When the bank examiners arrived to hold their annual audit; they discovered the embezzlements of the chief cashier. also v.
v. increase; add to.
Armies augment their forces by calling up reinforcements; teachers augment their salaries by taking odd jobs.
n. omen; prophecy.
He interpreted the departure of the birds as an augury of evil. augur, v.
adj. impressive; majestic
Visiting the palace at Versailles, she was impressed by the august surroundings in which she found herself.
n. sun's corona; halo
Many medieval paintings depict saintly characters with aureoles around their heads.
adj. pertaining to the aurora borealis
The auroral display was particularly spectacular that evening.
adj. favoring success.
With favorable weather conditions, it was an auspicious moment to set sail.
adj. forbiddingly stern; severely simple and unornamented
The headmaster's austere demeanor tended to scare off the more timid students, who never visited his study willingly.
v. prove genuine.
An expert was needed to authenticate the original Van Gogh painting, distinguishing it from its imitation
adj. subordinating the individual to the state; completely dominating another's will
The leaders of the authoritarian regime ordered the suppression of the democratic protest movement.
adj. having the weight of authority; peremptory and dictatorial
Impressed by the young researcher's well-documented presentation, we accepted her analysis of the experiment as authoritative.
adj. having absolute, unchecked power; dictatorial.
A person accustomed to exercising authority may become autocratic if his or her power is unchecked.
n. mechanism that imitates actions of humans.
Long before science fiction readers became aware of robots, writers were creating stories of automations who could outperform humans.
adj. self-governing.
Although the University of California at Berkeley is just one part of the state university system, in many ways Cal Berkeley is autonomous, for it runs several programs that are not subject to outside control. autonomy, N.
n. examination of a dead body; postmortem
The medical examiner ordered an autopsy to dtermine the cause of death. also N.
n. great mass of falling snow and ice
The park ranger warned the skiers to stay on the main trails, where they would be in no danger of being burried beneath of a sudden avalanche.
n. greediness for wealth
Montaigne is correct in maintaining that it is not poverty, but rather abundance, that breeds avarice: the more shoes Imelda Marcos had, the more she craved.
v. take vengeance for something (or on behalf of someone).
Hamlet vowed he would avenge his father's murder and punish Claudius for his horrible crime.
v. assert confidently or declare; as used in law, state formally as a fact.
The self-proclaimed psychic averred that, because he had extrasensory perception on which to base his predictions, he needed no seismographs or other gadgets in order to foretell earthquakes.
adj. reluctant; disinclined
The reporter was averse to revealing the sources of his information.
n. firm dislike
Bert had an aversion to yuppies; Alex had an aversion to punks.
v. prevent; turn away
She averted her eyes from the dead cat on the highway.
n. enclosure for birds.
The aviary at the zoo held nearly 300 birds.
adj. greedy; eager for
He was avid for learning and read everything he could get. avidity, N.
n. secondary or minor occupation.
His hobby proved to be so fascinating and profitable that gradually he abandoned his regular occupation and concentrated on his avocation.
v. delcare openly
Lana avowed that she never meant to steal Debbie's boyfriend, but no one believed her avowal of innocence.
adj. like an uncle
Avuncular pride did not prevent him from noticing his nephew's shortcomings.
n. solemn wonder
The tourists gazed with awe at the tremendous expanse of the Grand Canyon.
n. pointed tool used for piercing
She used an awl to punch additional holes in the leather belt she had bought.
adv. distorted; crooked
He held his head awry, giving the impression that he had caught cold in his neck during the night. also adj.
n. self-evident truth requiring no proof
The Declaration of Independence records contain certain self-evident truths or axioms, the first of which is "All men are created equal."
adj. sky blue
Azure skies are indicative of good weather.
chatter idly.
the little girl babbled about her doll. also n.
adj. drunken
Emperor Nero attended the bacchanalian orgy.
v. pester; annoy
she was forced to change her telephone number because she was badgered by obscene phone calls.
n. teasing conversation
Her friends at work greeted the news of her engagement with cheerful badinage.
v. frustrate; perplex.
The new baffled the enemy agents
v. harass; tease
The school bully baited the smaller children, terrorizing them.
adj. threatening; menacing; sinister; foreshadowing evil
The bully's baleful glare across the classroom warned Tim to expect trouble after school.
v. stop short, as if faced with an obstacle, and refuse to continue
The chief of police balked at sending his officers into the riot-torn area.
balk (verb usage)
v. foil
When the warden learned that several inmates were planning to escape, he took steps to balk their attempt
n. heavy substance used to add stability or weight.
The ship was listing badly to one side; it was necessary to shift the ballast in the hold to get her back on an even keel. also v.
n. something that relieves pain
Friendship is the finest balm for the pangs of disappointed love.
adj. mild; fragrant
A balmy breeze refreshed us after the sultry blast
adj. hackneyed; commonplace; trite; lacking originality
The hack writer's worn-out cliches made his comic sketch seem banal. He even resorted to the banality of having someone slip on a banana peel!
v. discuss lightly or glibly; exchange (words) heatedly.
While the president was happy to bandy patriotic generalizations with anyone who would listen to him, he refused to bandy words with unfriendly reporters at the press conference.
n. curse; cause of ruin
Lucy's little brother was the bane of her existence, scribbling on walls with her lipstick and pouring her shampoo down the drain.
adj. destructive; causing ruin or death
Anointment seems intended to apply the power of natural and supernatural forces to the sick and thus to ward off the baneful influences of diseases and of demons
adj. good-naturedly ridiculing
They resented his bantering remarks because they misinterpreted his teasing as sarcasm
n. sharp projection from fishhook or other object; openly cutting remark
If you were a politician, which would you prefer, being caught on the barb of a fishhook or being subjected to malicious verbal barbs?