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83 Cards in this Set

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bard
n. poet
The ancient bard Homer sang of the fall of Troy
barefaced
adj. shameless; bold; unconcealed.
Shocked by Huck Finn's barefaced lies, Miss Watson prayed the good Lord would give him a sense of his unregnerate wickedness
baroque
adj. highly ornate
Accustomed to the severe, angular lines of modern skyscrapers, they found the flamboyance of baroque architecture amusing.
barrage
n. barrier laid down by artillery fire; overwhelming profusion
The company was forced to retreat through the barrage of heavy cannons.
barrister
n. counselor-at-law
Galsworthy started as barrister, but when he found the practice of law boring, turned to writing
barterer
n. trader
The barterer exchanged trinkets for the natives' furs
bask
v. luxuriate; take pleasure in warmth
Basking on the beach, she relaxed so completely that she fell asleep.
bastion
n. stronghold; something seen as a source of protection
The villagers fortified the town hall, hoping this improvised bastion could protect them from the guerrilla raids.
bate
v. let down; restrain
Until it was time to open the presents, the children had to bate their curiosity. bated, ADJ.
bauble
n. trinket; trifle, something of little value
The child was delighted with the bauble she had won in the grab bag.
bawdy
adj. indecent; obscene.
Jack too offense at Jill's bawdy remarks. What kind of young man did she think he was?
beatific
adj. showing or producing joy; blissful
When Johnny first saw the new puppy, a beatific smile spread across his face.
beatify
v. bless or sanctify; proclaim someone dead to be one of the blessed
In the 1996 Pope John Paul II traveled to Belgium to beatify Joseph De Veuster, better known as Father Damien, who died in 1889 after caring for lepers in Hawaii.
beatitude
n. blessedness; state of bliss
Growing closer to God each day, the mystic achieved a state of indescribable beatitude.
bedizen
v. dress with vulgar finery
The witch doctors were bedizened in their gaudiest costumes.
bedgraggle
v. wet thoroughly
We were so bedraggled by the severe storm that we had to change into dry clothing. bedraggled, adj.
beeline
n. direct, quick route
As soon as the movie was over, Jim made a beeline for the exit
befuddle
v. confused thoroughly
His attempts to clarify the situation succeeded only in befuddling her further.
beget
v. father; produce; give rise to
One good turn may deserve another; it does not necessarily beget another
begrudge
v. resent
I begrudge every minute I have to spend attending meetings
beguile
v. mislead or delude; cheat; pass time
With flattery and big talk of easy money, the con men beguiled Kyle into betting his allowance on the shell game. The men quickly beguiled poor Kyle of his money. Broke, he beguiled himself during the long hours by playing solitaire.
behemoth
n. huge creature; something of monstrous size or power
Sportscasters nicknamed the linebacker "The Behemoth."
beholden
adj. obligated; indebted.
Since I do not wish to be beholden to anyone, I cannot accept this favor.
behoove
v. be necessary or proper for; be incumbent upon
Because the interest of the ruler and the ruled are incompatible, it behooves the ruler to trust no one; to be suspicious of sycophants; to permit no one to gain undue power or influence; and above all, to use guile to unearth plots against the throne.
belabor
v. explain or go over excessively or to a ridiculous degree; assail verbally.
The debate coach warned her student not to bore the audience by belaboring his point
belated
adj. delayed
He apologized for his belated note of condolence to the widow of his friend and explained that he had just learned of her husband's untimely death
beleaguer
v. besiege or attack; harass
The babysitter was surrounded by a crowd of unmanageable brats who relentlessly beleaguered her.
belie
v. contradict; give a false impression
His coarse, hard-bitten exterior belied his innate sensitivity.
belittle
v. disparage; deprecate
Parents should not belittle their children's early attempts at drawing, but should encourage their efforts
bellicose
adj. warlike; pugnacious; naturally inclined to fight
Someone who is spoiling for a fight is by definition bellicose
belligerent
adj. quarrelsome
Whenever he had too much to drink, he became belligerent and tried to pick fights with strangers
bemoan
v. lament; express disapproval of
The widow bemoaned the death of her beloved husband. Although critics bemoaned the serious flaws in the author's novels, each year his latest book topped the best-seller list.
bemused
adj. confused; lost in thought; preoccupied.
Jill studied the garbled instructions with a bemused look on her face
benediction
n. blessing
The appearance of the sun after the many rainy days was like a benediction
benefactor
n. gift giver; patron
Scrooge later became Tiny Tim's benefactor and gave him gifts
beneficent
adj. kindly; doing good
The overgenerous philanthropist had to curb his beneficent impulses before he gave away all his money and left himself with nothing
beneficial
adj. helpful; useful
Tiny Tim's cheerful good nature had a beneficial influence on Scrooge's once-uncharitable disposition
beneficiary
n. person entitled to benefits or proceeds of an insurance policy or will
In Scrooge's will, he made TinyTim his beneficiary: everything he left would go to young Tim
benevolent
adj. generous; charitable
Mr. Fezziwig was a benevolent employer who wished to make Christmas merrier for young Scrooge and his other employees
benign
adj. kindly; favorable; not malignant.
Through her benign smile and gentle bearing made Miss Marple seem a sweet little ole lady, in reality she was a tough-minded, shrewd observer of human nature.
benison
n. blessing
Let us pray that the benison of peace once more shall prevail among the nations of the world
bent
adj.; n. determined; natural talent or inclination
Bent on advancing in the business world, the secretary-heroine of Working Girl had a true bent for high finance
bequeath
v. leave to someone by means of a will; hand down
In his will, Father bequeathed his watch to Phillip; the bequest meant a great deal to the boy. bequest, N.
berate
v. scold strongly.
He feared she would berate him for his forgetfulness
bereavement
n. state of being deprived of something valuable or beloved
His friends gathered to console him upon his sudden bereavement
bereft
adj. deprived of; lacking
The foolish gambler soon found himself bereft of funds
berserk
adv. frenzied
Angered, he went berserk and began to wreck the room
beseech
v. beg; plead with
The workaholic executive's wife beseeched him to spend more time with their son.
beset
v. harass or trouble; hem in
Many vexing problems beset the American public school system. Sleeping Beauty's castle was beset on all sides by dense thickets that hid it from view.
besiege
v. surround with armed forces; harass (with requests).
When the bandits besieged the village, the villagers holed up in the town hall and prepared to withstand a long siege.
besmirch
v. soil, defile
The scandalous remarks in the newspaper besmirch the reputations of every member of the society
bestial
adj. beastlike; brutal; inhuman
According to legend, the werewolf was able to abandon its human shape and assume a bestial form.
bestow
v. confer
He wished to bestow great honors upon the hero.
betoken
v. signify; indicate
The well-equipped docks, tall piles of cargo containers, and numerous vessels being loaded all betoken Oakland's importance as a port.
betray
v. be unfaithful; reveal (unconsciously or unwillingly)
The spy betrayed his country by selling military secrets to the enemy.
betroth
v. become engaged to marry
The announcement that they had become betrothed suprised their friends who had not suspected any romance. betrothal, N.
bevy
n. large group
The movie actor was surrounded by a bevy of starlets.
bicameral
adj. two-chambered, as a legislative body
The United States congress is a bicameral body.
bicker
v. quarrel
The children bickered morning, noon and night, exasperating their parents.
biennial
ajd. every two years.
Seeing no need to meet more frequently, the group held biennial meetings instead of annual ones. Plants that bear flowers biennially are known as biennials.
bifurcated
adj. divided into two branches; forked
With a bifurcated branch and a piece of elastic rubber, he made a crude but effective slingshot.
bigotry
n. stubborn intolerance
Brought up in a democratic atmosphere, the student was shocked by the bigotry and narrowness expressed by several of his classmates.
bilious
adj. suffering form a liver complaint; peevishly ill humored
If your tummy's feeling bilious, try Carter's Little Liver Pills for fast relief.
bilk
v. swindle; cheat
The con man specialized in bilking insurance companies.
billowing
adj. swelling out in waves; surging.
Standing over the air vent, Marilyn Monroe tried vainly to control her billowing skirts.
bivouac
n. temporary encampment
While in bivouac, we spent the night in our sleeping bags under the stars. also v.
bizarre
adj. fantastic; violently contrasting
The plot of the novel was too bizarre to be believed.
blanch
v. bleach; whiten
Although age had blanched his hair, he was still vigorous and energetic.
bland
adj. soothing or mild; agreeable
Jill tried a bland ointment for her sunburn.
blandish
v. cajole; coax with flattery
Despite all their sweet-talking, Suzi and Cher were unable to blandish the doorman into letting them into the hot new club.
blandishment
n. flattery
Despite the salesperson's blandishments, the customer did not buy the outfit.
blare
n. loud, harsh roar or screech; dazzling blaze of light.
I don't know which is worse: the steady blare of a boom box deafening your ears or a sudden blare of flashbulbs dazzling your eyes. also v.
blase'
adj. bored with pleasure or dissipation.
Although Beth was as thrilled with the idea of a trip to Paris as her classmates were, she tried to act supercool and blase', as if she'd been abroad hundreds of times.
blasphemy
n. irreverence; sacrilege; cursing
In my father's house, the Dodgers were the holiest of holies; to cheer for another team was to utter words of blasphemy. blasphemous, adj.
blatant
adj. extremely obvious; loudly offensive
caught in a blatant lie, the scoundrel had only one regret: he wished that he had lied more subtly. blatancy, N
bleak
adj. cold or cheerless; unlikely to be favorable.
The frigid, in hospitable Aleutian Islands are bleak military outposts.
blighted
adj. suffering from a disease; destroyed.
The extent of the blighted areas could be seen only when viewed from the air.
blithe
adj. carefree and unconcerned (perhaps foolishly so); cheerful and gay.
Micawber's blithe optimism that something would turn up proved unfounded, and he wound up in debtors prison.
bloated
adj. swollen or puffed as with water or air.
her bloated stomach came from drinking so much water
blowhard
n. talkative boaster.
After all Sol's talk about his big show business connections led nowhere, Sally decided he was just another blowhard.
bludgeon
n. club; heavy-headed weapon.
Attacked by Dr. Moriary, Holmes used his walking stick as a bludgeon to defend himself. "Watson," he said. "I fear I may have bludgeoned Moriary to death."
bluff
adj. rough but good-natured
Jack had a bluff and hearty manner that belied his actual sensitivity; he never let people know how thin-skinned he really was.
bluff (noun usage)
n. pretense (of strength); deception; high cliff
Claire thought Lord Byron's boast that he would swim the Hellespont was just a bluff; she was astounded when he dove from the high bluff into the waters below.