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105 Cards in this Set

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(v) to lessen in intensity or degree

The storm abated. Attempts to abate the controversy failed.
a lessening in amount or degree

The noise abatement plan targeted live music venues.
(adj) deviating from the norm

His aberrant behavior raised eyebrows.
something or someone aberrant

The D she received on her test was an aberration.
(v) to renounce or reject solemnly; to recant; to avoid

She abjured her former lifestyle. He had to abjure all indulgence in training camp.
(v) to abolish or annul by authority; put down

The ruling abrogated his rights to any profit from the sale of the house. He abrogated his responsibility.
(n) act of cutting off or removing

He recommended abscission of the abscess. Resignation is the only way to abscise the corruption.
(v) to depart clandestinely; to steal off and hide

They absconded with his life savings. Raccoons are notorious for absconding shiny objects.
(n) an expression of praise; an award

She received her accolades graciously.
(n) growth, increase by successive addition; building up

Limestone is formed by accretion over a very long time. The accretion of dirt changed the color of the floor from white to brown.
(adj) having a sour or bitter taste or character

Her wit was quite acerbic. His acerbic comments upset the author. The acerbic tang of lemonade is refreshing.
(n) a quick, keen, or accurate knowledge or insight

He had business acumen.
(v) to reprove; to express warning or disapproval

Your roommate admonished you to put the toilet seat down.
a warning or a scolding

The admonition fell on deaf ears.
expressing warning or disapproval

His admonitory ton made us feel guilty.
(adj) adept, dexterous

He was an adroit manipulator. Her adroit response minimized the damage. He is ambidextrous and equally adroit at shooting marbles with either hand.
clumsy or bungling

Jerry Lewis made a career of playing maladroit characters.
(n) excessive praise; intense adoration

He was the object of adolescent adulation. He took his little brother's adulation for granted.
(v) to reduce purity by combining with inferior ingredients

The wheat grass juice was adulterated with clippings from the lawn. Inspectors tested the concrete to see if it had been improperly adulterated when it was mixed.
the process or effect of adulterating

unadulterated hogwash
(v) foreshadow vaguely, intimate, suggest, outline sketchily

The first volume only adumbrates the basics of the story that will be developed in the next two books.
(adj) dealing with, appreciative of, or responsive to art or the beautiful

Many see no aesthetic value in modern art. Her aesthetic sensibilities made it painful for her to be around so much polyester.
(v) to indrease in intensity, power, or prestige; to make appear greater

His attempts to aggrandize his achievements produced the opposite effect. He would have been better off without self-aggrandizing.

The ad campaign was part of a plan to aggrandize the company's stock before it went public.
(n) eager and enthusiastic willingness

The alacrity with which he offered to do the dishes made his mother suspicious. Amy responded to an invitation to join the planning committee with alacrity.
(n) a medieval science aimed at transmutation of metals, esp. base metals into gold; any magical or wonderful transformation

Although alchemy's goal of turning lead into gold may seem crazy now, the alchemical sciences were the precursors to our modern chemistry. The alchemy between the cast members transformed the familiar play into a completely new experience. An alchemist practices or studies alchemy.
(v) to comminigle; to debase by mixing with something inferior

(n) the mixture itself

Alloying the punch with prune juice was not such a good idea after all.

It was an alloy between sitcom and game show.

The movie was an unalloyed pleasure.
(v) to combine several elements into a whole

Her attempts to almagamate baroque and rap music were not successful. He needed a plan for amalgamating the two departments to minimize conflicts. A griffin is an amalgamation of an eagle and a lion into one mythical creature. The metal used in fillings is an amalgam of mercury and silver.
(v) to make better or more tolerable

Nothing can ameliorate the taste of beets. Attempts to ameliorate the relationship between the adversaries were futile.
(adj) agreeable; responsive to suggestion

He was amenable to receiving a raise. If you're amenable, let's go for a walk before lunch.
(n) something or someone out of place in terms of historical or chronilogical context

The watch worn by one of the characters was one of many anachronisms that spoiled the movie's credibility. The students felt his insistence on strict classroom discipline was an anachronism.
(n) a solemn, ecclesiastical or religious curse; accursed or thoroughly loathed person or thing

He was an anathema to his entire town after it was revealed that he had been a secret police informant.

The precepts of eugenics became universally anathema when the horrors of World War II were revealed.

Hearing the anathema pronounced against her filled her with foreboding.
(adj) soothing

(n) something that allays pain or comforts

Nothing is quite so anodyne as a long bubble bath soak.

It's anodyne effect can be enhanced by some good music and a glass of wine.

She looked forward to the anodyne of a relaxing weekend of camping at the lake.
(n) deviation from the normal order, form or rule; abnormality

Pickles for sale in a tire store would be an anomaly.

The anomalous results made her question her hypothesis.
(n) aversion, dislike

He expressed his antipathy toward beets.

Her antipathy toward her boss was tempered with gratitude for her big raise.
showing a strong aversion

He was completely antipathetic toward any new ideas.
(adj) diametrically opposed

He always expressed a position antithetical to mine.

Nothing could be more antithetical to the spirit of sportsmanship than point shaving.
the opposite of something

The antithesis of poverty is wealth.
(adj) of dubious authenticity or origin; spurious

Most believe that stories of alien abduction are apocryphal.

A flood of apocryphal stories about the movie star filled the tabloids and were later proven false.

The urban myth is apocryphal, but it pays to be careful.
(n) farthest or highest point; culminatin; zenith

Receiving the Pulitzer prize was the apogee of his career.
lowest or closest point; nadir

The moon is at apogee when it is farthest from the earth in its orbit; it is at perigree when it is closes to the earth.
(n) one who abandons long-held religious or political convictions, a betrayer of a cause
a passionate adherent, strong supporter
(n) deification; glorification to godliness; the perfect example

The apotheosis of technology in modern society is at a new high as consumers worship computers and gadgets.

She is the apotheosis of nurturing motherhood; she makes soup for the sick, nurses wounded birds, and listens to everyone's problems.
(adj) appropriate; relevant; pertinent; apropos

His choice of songs was entirely apposite and everyone agreed it was well suited to the event.

The fact that she hasn't called for two weeks is harly apposite to whether she's going to call after reading my love poem.
(v) give notice to, inform

He apprised her of her rights before questioning her.

He left a message to apprise me of the status of the shipment.
(n) an expression of approval or praise

Providing approbation for good behavior is the best way to train puppies.
to approve something officially
(v) to take for one's own use, confiscate

He appropriated the design from others.

The army appropriated housing, food and ammunition from the town's residents.

He appropriated the mannerisms of others.
(n) complex, ornate design

also a ballet position

The central pattern of the print is an arabesque of fruits and flowers.

Her assistants performed an arabesque of practiced efficiency around her as she prepared for the press conference.
(adj) mysterious, abstruse, esoteric, knowable only to initiates

She was a font of arcane knowledge such as the names of the pets of every cabinet member of every administration and how many gumballs are produced annually.

Knowledge of arcane secrets is restricted to those who work within the bureacracy.
deep secrets
a deep secret
(adj)outdated; associated with an earlier, perhaps more primitive time

His archaic leisure suit looked like it had been in storage for thirty years.

The archaic instruments used in the village clinic shocked the visiting physicians.
(adj) strenuous,taxing, requiring significant effort

His trip was arduous.

Learning these vocabulary words seems like an arduous task, but it will be a piece of cake.
(adj) impudent; in every way; being completely such; barefaced; utter

Don Juan's arrant philandering made him a legend; he turned many of his admireres into arrant fools.
(v) to suspend; to engage

His emotional development was arrested at a young age, and he often acts like a five year old.

My attention was arrested by the breathtaking view.
holding one's attention

It was an arresting portrait, and a crowd of people stared at it for hours.
(adj) completely without guile; natural, without artificiality; can also mean without skill

Her artless portrayal of the young ingenue charmed the critics.
the opposite of artless; can also mean showing art or skill

The Artful Dodger was a cunning pickpocket in Oliver Twist.
(n) one who practices rigid self-denial, esp. as an act of religious devotion

(adj) austere or stark

A true ascetic would be able to resist eating these chocolate eclairs.

His ascetic lifestyle is like that of a monk.

In keeping with his ascetic taste, the only place to sit was on the floor.
adherence to or belief in ascetic practices
(n) severity, rigor, roughness, harshness, acrimony, irritability

The asperity of her response to his plea for leniency indicated there was no chance she would decrease his sentence.

The asperity of a northern winter can lead to serious depression.
(n) an act of defamation or maligning

He resented the aspersions cast by his opponent.

She had to result to aspersions when she realized her argument wouldn't hold up against close scrutiny.
(adj) diligent, hard-working

She was an assiduous note-taker and wrote down every word of every lecture.
(v) to ease or lessen; to appease or pacify; you don't assuage happiness or good humor b/c assuage describes easing of things that cause pain or distress

Convincing her that it was the rage in Paris helped assuage her fears about painting her walls chartreuse.

He assuaged the pain of his headache by lying in a dark room with a damp cloth over his eyes.
(adj) having a tightening effect on living tissue; harsh; severe

She hadn't intended to be so harsh, but her astringent remarks made the board drop the proposal altogether.

Witch hazel is a mild facial astringent.
(v) to rarefy, weaken or make thinner, lessen

Copper's properties allow it to be attenuated to a thin filament and make it a useful material for wiring.

The atmosphere on top of Mt. Everest is so attenuated that climbers must carry oxygen with them.

The endless discussion attenuated interest in the point.
(adj) daring and fearless; recklessly bold

She is an audacious mountain climber who goes where few others dare to follow.

Cartoons often feature a villain with an audacious plan for world domination and a hero waiting to foil it.
the quality of being audacious

His friends were surprised by his audacity when he went up to the podium and started speaking even though he wasn't on the program.
(n) omen, portent, the reading of omens

Augury in ancient Rome and other societies was performed by interpreting the flight of birds.

His first attempts gave little augury of the skill he would later develop with practice.
(v) to predict

(n) the person or thing doing the foretelling

The flowers he sent augur well for the weekend.
(adj) majestic, venerable

The august presence of the pharaohs is embodied in their massive tombs.

The august politician conveyed a sense of dignity and subtle power.
(n) protection or support, patronage, sign or portent

They were cooperative as long as we worked under the auspices of local authorities.

Since the auspices looked good, we bought thirty lottery tickets.
(adj) favorable, propitious, successful, prosperous

The sold-out opening night was an auspicious beginning for the play's run.

Weddings are generally considered auspicious occasions because of the toasting and well-wishing that goes on.
(adj) without adornment; bare; severely simple; ascetic

The building's austere facade gave no indication of the rich ornamentation inside.

Lincoln's austere appearance did not reflect his sense of humor.

The austerity of her writing style makes her meaning seem simple, but she is actually known for the subtle complexity of her ideas.
can mean rigid economy, often followed by measures if used in this sense

He imposed austerity measures to stop the country's downward economic spiral
(n) greed, esp. for wealth

King Midas' avarice led him to wish for the power to turn everything he touched to gold.

The jurors apparently felt the request for 40 million dollars was avaricious
(v) to state as a fact, to confirm or support

He averred that he had been elsewhere when the burglary occurred, and the investigators could tell he meant it.

She averred that she would never be late again, but her friends remained skeptical.
(n) a universally recognized principle; a generally accepted or common saying

It is an axiom of the American legal system that one is innocent until proven guilty.

Every field has axioms,and it is surprising how often they are mutually incompatible when compared across fields.
(adj) taken as a given; possessing self-evident truth

It is axiomatic in this society that merit should be the basis for success in life.

Now it is axiomatic that most contagious diseases are caused by microscopic organisms, but most people used to think these diseases were caused by harmful vapors and personality traits.
(adj) sinister, pernicious, ominous; most often looks, glances, and glares are baleful, but other things can be baleful too.

The basilisk is a mythical creature whose baleful glare is fatal.

A baleful mood lingered in the room after Sir Evildoer departed.
(adj) cause of injury, source of harm, source of persistent frustration

more of a bane than a benefit

the bane of his existence
causing harm or ruin, pernicious, destructive

The baneful effect of the curfew on my social life cannot be overestimated.
BEATIFY (be careful to distinguish from beautify)
(v) to bless, make happy, ascribe a virtue to, regard as saintly

Every quality she possessed was beatified in the description.
state of bliss
having a blissful appearance

His beatific smile means he just at some exceptionally good sushi.
(v) to adorn, esp. in a cheap, showy manner; festoon, caparison (bedecked)

The speakeasy was bedizened with every manner of tawdry decoration.

The cow wandered home bedizened with a wreath of flowers over each horn.
(v) to give a false impression of, to misrepresent

His disapproving countenance was belied by the twinkle in his eye.

Her apparent clumsiness belied her true grace as a dancer.
(adj) belligerent, pugnacious, warlike

His bellicose demeanor hid a tender side.

His bellicose expression indicated that he knew I had eaten the last of the ice cream.
(n) leaning, inclination, proclivity, tendency

Puck was notorious for his mischievous bent.

His bent for self-destructive behavior worried his friends.
(v) to coax with flattery, toady or fawn (Do not confuse with brandish)

Blandishment is flattery intended to cajole or coax.
He was famous for his ability to blandish his way from obscurity to vicarious power because every ruler was receptive to his bootlicking.

Blandishment and an expensive present might convince me to forgive you.
to shake or waive menacingly
flattery intended to cajole or coax
(adj) carefree, merry

His blithe attitude toward housecleaning led to dusty clutter.

Her blithe disregard for what others thought made her the perfect hero for a coming-of-age teen movie.
(adj) loud, noisy, rough, lacking restraint

Our neighbors complained about our boisterous weekend gatherings.
(v) to provide support or reinforcement

He bolstered his argument with frequent references to legal theory.

I tried to bolster my confidence with some deep breathing.
(adj) pompous; grandiloquent

His speech was bombastic and even his loyal followers rolled their eyes.
self-important or pompous writing or speech

His books were always filled with bombast and impossible to read.
(n) a rude or insensitive person; lout; yokel

Never take a boor to dine with royalty; my boorish friend put his feet on the Queen's table.

She became downright boorish when she was drunk.
(v) to bring up, announce, begin to talk about

To broach the subject of her hideous brooch would have been impolitic.
(v) tolerate, endure, countenance

She made it clear she would brook no insubordination.

He refused to brook any more delay.