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128 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
a priori
adjective
Proceeding from a known or assumed cause to a necessarily related effect; deductive.
abstruse
adjective
Difficult to understand; recondite.
addle
verb
To muddle; confuse
adjunct
noun
Something attached to another in a dependent or subordinate position.
admixture
noun
The act of mixing or mingling, the state of being mingled or mixed
alacrity
noun
Cheerful willingness; eagerness.
ameliorate
verb
To make or become better; improve.
anathema
noun
A formal ecclesiastical ban, curse, or excommunication.
anomie
noun
Social instability caused by erosion of standards and values.
apotheosis
noun
Exaltation to divine rank or stature; deification.
append
verb
To add as a supplement or appendix
apposite
adjective
Strikingly appropriate and relevant
arch
adjective
Mischievous; roguish
atavism
noun
The return of a trait or recurrence of previous behavior after a period of absence.
automaton
noun
A self-operating machine or mechanism, especially a robot.
avatar
noun
An embodiment, as of a quality or concept; an archetype
banal
adjective
Drearily commonplace and often predictable; trite
blotto
adjective
Intoxicated; drunk
cabal
noun
A clique (often secret) that seeks power usually through intrigue
caprice
noun
An impulsive change of mind.
caveat
noun
A warning or caution
circuitous
adjective
Being or taking a roundabout, lengthy course
concomitant
adjective
Occurring or existing concurrently; attendant
constitutional
noun
A walk taken regularly for one's health.
consumption
noun
Pulmonary tuberculosis (no longer in technical use)
cosset
verb
To pamper.
coterie
noun
A small, often select group of persons who associate with one another frequently.
curmudgeon
noun
An ill-tempered person full of resentment and stubborn notions.
deleterious
adjective
Having a harmful effect; injurious
denouement
noun
The final resolution or clarification of a dramatic or narrative plot
desiccate
verb
To dry out thoroughly
diaphanous
adjective
Of such fine texture as to be transparent or translucent
diaspora
noun
A dispersion of a people (esp. Jews) from their original homeland
dolorous
adjective
Marked by or exhibiting sorrow, grief, or pain.
dowager
noun
A widow who holds a title or property derived from her deceased husband.
dysphoria
noun
An emotional state characterized by anxiety, depression, or unease
ecumenical
adjective
Of worldwide scope or applicability; universal.
effete
adjective
Depleted of vitality, force, or effectiveness; exhausted
effluvial
noun
A usually invisible emanation or exhalation, as of vapor or gas.
ephemeral
adjective
Lasting for a markedly brief time
epicure
noun
A person with refined taste, especially in food and wine.
exigency
noun
The state or quality of requiring much effort or immediate action
explicate
verb
To make clear the meaning of; explain.
floe
noun
A segment that has separated from such an ice mass.
florid
adjective
Flushed with rosy color; ruddy.
foist
verb
To pass off as genuine, valuable, or worthy
folie a deux
noun
A condition in which symptoms of a mental disorder occur simultaneously in two individuals who share a close relationship or association.
garret
noun
A room on the top floor of a house, typically under a pitched roof; an attic.
gentrification
verb
The restoration and upgrading of deteriorated urban property by middle-class or affluent people
germinal
adjective
Of, relating to, or occurring in the earliest stage of development
grandiloquent
noun
Pompous or bombastic speech or expression.
guile
noun
Treacherous cunning; skillful deceit
hale
verb
To compel to go
harangue
noun
A long pompous speech, especially one delivered before a gathering
hedging
verb
To minimize or protect against the loss of by counterbalancing one transaction
husbanded
verb
To use sparingly or economically; conserve
impasse
noun
A situation that is so difficult that no progress can be made
impunity
noun
Exemption from punishment, penalty, or harm
intercession
noun
Entreaty in favor of another, especially a prayer or petition to God in behalf of another.
interlocutor
noun
Someone who takes part in a conversation, often formally or officially.
inure
verb
To habituate to something undesirable, especially by prolonged subjection; accustom
ire
noun
Anger; wrath
jag
noun
A period of overindulgence in an activity; a spree
jaunt
noun
A short trip or excursion, usually for pleasure; an outing
lackadaisical
adjective
Lacking spirit, liveliness, or interest; languid
lapis
noun
A medium to dark blue.
laudanum
noun
A tincture of opium, formerly used as a drug.
leitmotif
noun
A dominant and recurring theme, as in a novel.
litany
noun
A liturgical prayer consisting of a series of petitions recited by a leader alternating with fixed responses by the congregation
manque
adjective
Unfilled or frustrated in realizing an ambition
mensch
noun
A person having admirable characteristics, such as fortitude and firmness of purpose
miasma
noun
A noxious atmosphere or influence
mire
verb
To cause to sink or become stuck in or as if in mire.
misanthropic
adjective
Characterized by a hatred or mistrustful scorn for humankind
mise en scene
noun
The arrangement of performers and properties on a stage for a theatrical production or before the camera in a film.
morass
noun
Something that hinders, engulfs, or overwhelms
nadir
noun
The lowest point
narcosis
noun
A condition of deep stupor or unconsciousness produced by a drug or other chemical substance.
nihilism
noun
An extreme form of skepticism that denies all existence.
ostensible
adjective
Represented or appearing as such; ostensive
palimpsest
noun
An object, place, or area that reflects its history
palpable
adjective
Capable of being handled, touched, or felt; tangible
panacea
noun
A remedy for all diseases, evils, or difficulties; a cure-all.
pantheon
noun
A temple dedicated to all gods.
paroxysm
noun
A sudden outburst of emotion or action
parricide
noun
The murdering of one's father, mother, or other near relative.
pathos
noun
A quality, as of an experience or a work of art, that arouses feelings of pity, sympathy, tenderness, or sorrow.
perspicacity
noun
Acuteness of perception, discernment, or understanding.
pittance
noun
A very small amount
plaint
noun
A complaint
pogrom
noun
An organized, often officially encouraged massacre or persecution of a minority group
polemic
noun
A controversial argument, especially one refuting or attacking a specific opinion or doctrine.
pragmatic
adjective
Dealing or concerned with facts or actual occurrences; practical.
precarious
adjective
Dangerously lacking in security or stability
prestidigitation
noun
Performance of or skill in performing magic or conjuring tricks with the hands; sleight of hand.
preternatural
adjective
Out of or being beyond the normal course of nature; differing from the natural.
promulgate
verb
To make known (a decree, for example) by public declaration; announce officially
protract
verb
To draw out or lengthen in time; prolong
pulchritude
noun
Great physical beauty and appeal.
redolent
adjective
Having or emitting fragrance; aromatic.
reprieve
verb
To postpone or cancel the punishment of.
reprobate
noun
A morally unprincipled person.
resplendent
adjective
Splendid or dazzling in appearance; brilliant.
rotary
noun
Traffic circle
rote
noun
A memorizing process using routine or repetition, often without full attention or comprehension
scruple
noun
An uneasy feeling arising from conscience or principle that tends to hinder action
seamy
adjective
Sordid; base
semiotics
noun
The theory and study of signs and symbols, especially as elements of language or other systems of communication
sordid
adjective
Filthy or dirty; foul.
stasis
noun
A condition of balance among various forces; motionlessness
stein
noun
A mug, especially one for beer, usually holding about a pint.
sunder
verb
To break or wrench apart; sever
surcease
verb
To bring or come to an end; stop.
surreptitious
adjective
Obtained, done, or made by clandestine or stealthy means.
Svengali
noun
A person who, with evil intent, tries to persuade another to do what is desired
swain
noun
A beau.
tacit
adjective
Not spoken
tawdry
adjective
Gaudy and cheap in nature or appearance
traipse
verb
To walk or tramp about; gad
unfetter
verb
To set free or keep free from restrictions or bonds.
untrammeled
adjective
Not limited or restricted; unrestrained.
utilitarian
adjective
Of, relating to, or in the interests of utility
vagary
adjective
An extravagant or erratic notion or action.
vernal
adjective
Of, relating to, or occurring in the spring.
vicissitude
noun
A change or variation.
viscous
noun
Having relatively high resistance to flow.
vituperative
adjective
Using, containing, or marked by harshly abusive censure.
whit
noun
The least bit; an iota