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854 Cards in this Set

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abase
v. to lower in rank, prestige, or esteem; to humiliate; to humble
abet
v. to support or encourage someone, especially someone who has done something wrong
abeyance
n. suspension; temporary cessation
abjure
v. to repudiate; to take back; to refrain from
abomination
n. something despised or abhorred; extreme loathing
aboriginal
adj. native; dating back to the very beginning
abound
v. to be very numerous (abounding is the adjective)
abrogate
v. to abolish or repeal formally; to set aside; to nullify
accede
v. to give in; to yield; to agree
accentuate
v. to emphasize; to accent; to highlight
access
n. the right or ability to approach, enter, or use (can also be used as a verb)
acclaim
v. to praise publicly and enthusiastically (n. acclamation)
accord
v. to agree; to be in harmony; to grant or bestow
accouterments
n. personal clothing, accessories, or equipment; trappings
accrue
v. to accumulate over time
acquisitive
adj. seeking or tending to acquire; greedy
acquit
v. to find not guilty; to behave or conduct oneself (n. acquittal) def. 2: to acquit oneself in performing some duty is to do a decent job, usually under adverse conditions
acronym
n. a word made up of the initials of other words (RADAR)
ad-lib
v. to improvise; to speak or act spontaneously
adage
n. a traditional saying; a proverb
adduce
v. to bring forward as an example or as proof; to cite
adjourn
v. to suspend until another time
adjunct
n. something to added to or connected with something else; an assistant (an adjunct professor is one who lacks a permanent position on the faculty)
adventitious
adj. accidental; connected to but nonetheless unrelated; irrelevant
advent
n. arrival; coming; beginning (often used in Christianity)
adverse
adj. unfavorable (don't confuse with averse; n. adversity)
advocate
n. a person who argues in favor of a position (v. advocate: to support; n. advocacy: a support or an agreement with a position)
affidavit
n. a sworn written statement made before an official
affiliate
v. to become closely associated with [if you are affiliated (adj.) with something, you are an affiliate (n.) and you have an affiliation (n.)]
affliction
n. misery; illness; great suffering; a source of misery, illness, or great suffering
afford
v. to give; to supply; to confer upon
affront
n. insult; a deliberate act of disrespect (can also be used as a verb; effrontery: rude and disrespectful behavior)
aftermath
n. consequence; events following some occurrence or calamity
aggrandize
v. to exaggerate; to cause to appear greater; to increase (something) in power, reputation (self-aggrandizing: to aggressively increase one's position, power, reputation, or wealth, always with a negative connotation)
aggrieve
v. to mistreat; to do grievous injury to; to distress
aghast
adj. terrified; shocked
alchemy
n. a seemingly magical process of transformation
alienate
v. to estrange; to cause to feel unwelcome or unloved; to make hostile (noun is alienation)
allegiance
n. loyalty
allegory
n. a story in which the characters are symbols with moral or spiritual meanings
allot
v. to apportion, allocate, or assign (n. allotment: a group of things that have been allotted)
altercation
n. a heated fight, argument, or quarrel
amass
v. to pile up; to accumulate; to collect for one's own use
amid
prep. in the middle of
anathema
n. something or someone loathed or detested
ancillary
adj. subordinate; providing assistance
angst
n. anxiety; fear; dread
annex
v. to add or attach
annuity
n. an annual allowance or income; the annual interest payment on an investment; any regular occurance or income
antedate
v. to be older than; to have come before
anterior
adj. situated in front
anthology
n. a collection, especially of literary works (verb is anthologize)
anthropomorphic
adj. ascribing human characteristics to nonhuman animals or objects (Greek word anthropos means man or human; it means to see human shapes in things that are not human, either literally or metaphorically. hands of a clock and car has a mind of its own are both anthropomorphic)
antipodal
adj. situated on opposite sides of the Earth (noun is antipodes)
antiquity
n. ancientness; ancient times (adj. antiquated: too old-fashioned to be of any use anymore; n. antiques are overpriced furniture from the olden days; n. antiquary: a person who studies ancient things (sometimes called, though more incorrectly, antiquarian)
aperture
n. an opening
apex
n. highest point
apogee
n. the most distant point in the orbit of the moon or artificial satellite
apoplexy
n. a stroke (that is, numbness and paralysis resulting from the sudden loss of blood flow to the brain; adjective is apoplectic)
apostasy
n. abandonment or rejection of faith or loyalty (n. apostate: a person who commits apostasy)
appalling
adj. causing horror or consternation
apparition
n. a ghost or ghostly object
appellation
n. a name
appendage
n. something added on to something else; a supplement (v. append: to add something on to something else; n. appendix: a small apparently useless organ attached to your intestine)
apportion
v. to distribute proportionally; to divide into portions
apposite
adj. distinctly suitable; pertinent
appraise
v. to estimate the value or quality of; to judge (n. appraisal: act of appraising)
apprise
v. to give notice to; to inform
appurtenance
n. something extra; an appendage; an accessory
apropos
adj. appropriate; coming at this right time
apt
adj. appropriate; having a tendency to; likely
archives
n. a place where historical documents or materials are stored; the documents or materials themselves [can also be verb; a person who does this is an archivist (n.), and things related to archives are archival (adj.)]
arid
adj. very dry; lacking life, interest or imagination
armament
n. implements of war; the process of arming for war
armistice
n. truce
arraign
v. to bring to court to answer an indictment; to accuse (n. arraignment: an act of arraigning)
arrant
adj. utter; unmitigated; bad
arrears
n. the state of being in debt; unpaid debts
arsenal
n. a collection of armaments; a facility for storing or producing armament; a supply of anything useful
Articulate
v. to pronounce clearly; to express clearly
Artisan
n. a person skilled in a craft
Ascertain
v. to determine with certainty; to find out definitely
Ascribe
v. to credit to or assign; to attribute
Askance
adv. with suspicion or disapproval
Aspersion
n. a slanderous or damning remark
Assail
v. to attack vigorously (n. assailant: an attacker)
Assert
v. to claim strongly; to affirm
Assess
v. to evaluate; to estimate; to appraise (v. reassess: to reevaluate something)
Astringent
adj. harsh; sever; withering
asylum
n. mental hospital or similar institution; refuge; a place of safety
atone
v. to make amends (this is followed with "for")
atrophy
v. to wither away ; to decline from disuse
attest
v to give proof of; to declare to be true or correct; to give testimony
attribute
v. to credit to or assign; to ascribe (can also be a noun)
augur
v. to serve as an omen or be a sign; to predict or foretell (noun is augury)
august
adj. inspiring admiration or awe
auspices
n. protection; support; sponsorship (adj. auspicious: promising, favorable, or fortunate.)
auxiliary
adj. secondary; additional; giving assistance or aid
avail
v. to help; to be of use; to serve (adj. availing: helpful or of use)
avant-garde
n. the vanguard; members of a group, especially of a literary or artistic one, who are at the cutting edge of their field (can also be adjective)
aversion
n. a strong feeling of dislike (adj. averse: having an aversion against something)
avert
v. to turn away; to prevent
avid
adj. eager; enthusiastic (n. avidity: eagerness; enthusiasm)
bacchanal
n. a party animal; a drunken reveler; a drunken revelry or orgy [think Bacchus, Roman god of wine; bacchanalia is a word for such a party (n.)]
baleful
adj. menacing; threatening
balk
v. to abruptly refuse (to do something); to stop short
ballyhoo
n. sensational advertising or promotion; uproar
balm
n. something that heals or soothes [adj. balmy weather is weather that's mild, pleasant, and wonderful. slang definition (adj.) is eccentric or foolish]
bandy
v. to toss back and forth; to exchange
banter
n. an exchange of good-humored or mildly teasing remarks (can also be verb: to converse with someone)
baroque
adj. extravagantly ornate; flamboyant in style (Baroque is a study of art, architecture, and music in Europe from 1600s-1700s)
barrage
n. a concentrated outpouring of artillery fire, or of anything else (can also be used as verb)
bauble
n. a gaudy trinket; a small, inexpensive ornament
bedlam
n. noisy uproar and chaos; a place characterized by noisy uproar and chaos
begrudge
v. to envy another's possession or enjoyment of something; to be reluctant to give, or to give grudgingly
behest
n. command; order
bemoan
v. to mourn about; to lament
benediction
n. a blessing; an utterance of good wishes
benighted
adj. ignorant; unenlightened
bestow
v. to present as a gift; to confer
bile
a greenish-yellow liquid excreted by the liver
bilious
adj. ill-tempered; cranky
bivouac
n. a temporary encampment, especially of soldiers(can also be used as verb, but it refers to people rather than soldiers)
blanch
v. to turn pale; to cause to turn pale
blandishment
n. flattery
bland
adj. mild; tasteless; dull; unlively
bliss
n. perfect contentment; extreme joy (adj. blissful: serenely and supremely content)
bluster
v. to roar; to be loud; to be tumultuous (can also be used as noun: roar; adjective is blustery, which is usually used with wind)
bombast
n. pompous or pretentious speech or writing (adj. bombastic)
bon vivant
n. a person who enjoys good food, good drink, and luxurious living
bona fide
adj. sincere; done in good faith; authentic; genuine
boon
n. a blessing; a benefit
boor
n. a rude or churlish person (adjective is boorish)
booty
n. goods taken from an enemy in war; plunder; stolen or confiscated goods
botch
v. to bungle; to ruin through poor or clumsy effort
bracing
adj. invigorating
brandish
v. to wave or display threateningly
bravado
n. a false show or ostentatious show of bravery or defiance
brawn
n. big muscles; great strength (adj. is brawny)
brazen
adj. impudent; bold ( can also mean is made of or is similar to brass)
breach
n. a violation; a gap or break
brink
n. edge (brinkmanship is a political term describing a n effort by one country or official to gain advantage over another by appearing willing to push a dangerous situation to the brink, such as resorting to nuclear weapons)
bristle
v. to stiffen with anger; to act in a way suggestive of an animal whose hair is standing on end; to appear in some way similar to hair standing on end (n. bristle: short, stiff hairs)
bromide
n. a dull, obvious, over familiar saying; a cliché (refers to certain compounds containing bromine)
brouhaha
n. uproar; hubbub
brusque
adj. abrupt in manner; blunt
buffoon
n. a joker, especially one who is coarse or acts like an ass
bulwark
n. a wall used as an defensive fortification; anything used as the main defense against anything else
byzantine
adj. extremely intricate or complicated in structure; having to do with the Byzantine Empire
cabal
n. a group of conspirators; the acts of such a group; a clique
cache
n. a hiding place; the things hidden in a secret place
calamity
n. a disaster
callous
adj. insensitive; emotionally hardened (n. Callus a patch of thickened or rough skin)
calumny
n. slander; a maliciously false statement (v. calumniate)
canon
n. a rule or law, especially a religious one; a body of rules or laws; an official set of holy books; an authoritative list; the set of works by an author that are accepted as authentic
cant
n. insincere or hypocritical speech
canvass
v. to seek votes or opinions; to conduct a survey (not same as canvas, a rough cotton cloth that stuff like circus tents are made of; n. canvass: an act of canvassing)
capacious
adj. spacious; roomy; commodious
capital
n. the town or city that is the seat of government; money, equipment, and property owned by a business; wealth used in creating more wealth
captivate
v. to fascinate; to enchant; to enrapture
carcinogenic
adj. causing cancer (carcinogen is an agent that causes cancer).
cardinal
adj. most important; chief
careen
v. to swerve; to move rapidly without control; to lean to one side
cartography
n. the art of making maps and charts (n. cartographer: a person who makes maps and charts)
cascade
n. a waterfall; anything resembling a waterfall (can also be a verb)
cataclysm
n. a violent upheaval; an earthquake; a horrible flood (adj. is cataclysmic)
caucus
n. a meeting of the members of a political party or political faction; a political group whose members have common interests or goals (can also be verb)
cavalier
adj. arrogant; haughty; carefree; causal
cavil
v. to quibble; to raise trivial objections (can also be a noun)
chaff
n. worthless stuff
chameleon
n. a highly changeable person (like chameleon, the lizard that changes color to match surroundings and camouflage)
champion
v. to defend; to support
channel
v. to direct; to cause to follow a certain path
chaste
adj. pure and unadorned; abstaining from sex
cherub
n. a supercute chubby-cheeked child; a kind of an angel (adj. is cherubic)
chortle
v. to chuckle with glee (can also be a noun)
churl
n. a rude person; a boor (adj is churlish)
chutzpah
n. brazenness; audacity
cipher
n. a zero; a nobody; a code; the solution to a code (v. decipher to decode a message; v. encipher: to put into code)
circumnavigate
v. to sail or travel all the way around (can be used figuratively)
citadel
n. a fortress defending a city; a stronghold; a bulwark
clandestine
adj. concealed or secret, usually for evil or subversive purpose
classic
adj. top-notch; of the highest quality; serving as a standard or model ( can also be noun; Classical refers to Greece and Rome)
cleave
v. to cling; to split (has opposite definitions)
climatic
adj. having to do with climate (don't get confused with climactic, which means having to do with climax)
cloister
n. a covered walk, with columns on one side, that runs along the perimeters of a courtyard, especially in a convent or monastery; a convent or monastery; a tranquil, secluded place (verb form: to cloister someone is to put them into seclusion)
clone
n. an exact duplicate; an organism genetically identical to another (can also be a verb)
clout
n. a blow; influence
cloy
v. to cause to feel too full, especially when indulging something overly sweet; to become wearisome through excess
coddle
v. to baby
cogitate
v. to ponder; to meditate; to think carefully about (noun is cogitation)
cohort
n. a group
commemorate
v. to honor the memory of; to serve as memorial to (commemoration is noun)
commiserate
v. to express sorrow or sympathy for; to sympathize with; to pity (noun is commiseration)
commodious
adj. spacious; roomy; capacious (notice that some words with prefix "com" and "con" mean "with" somebody or something, though not this one and a few others)
compatible
adj. harmonious; capable of functioning, working, or living together in harmony; consistent (opposite is incompatible; noun is compatibility)
competent
adj. capable; qualified (opposite is incompetent; noun is competence)
compile
v. to gather together; to gather together into a book (noun is compilation)
comply
v. to act or be in accordance (add with after; noun is compliance)
composed
adj. calm; tranquil (noun is composure)
compromise
n. a settlement of differences in which each sides gives up something ( can also be a verb or it can mean to abandon or give up)
compunction
n. remorse; a feeling of uneasiness at doing something wrong
concave
adj. curved inward, like the inside of a circle or sphere (not convex)
concede
v. to acknowledge as true or right; to grant or yield (noun is concession)
concentric
adj. having the same center
concert
n. combined action; agreement (adj. is concerted)
concoct
v. to create by mixing ingredients; to devise (noun is concoction)
concomitant
adj. following from; accompanying; going along with
confederate
n. an ally; an accomplice (like Confederacy; confederate is also verb)
confer
v. to exchange ideas; to consult with; to bestow (n. conference is a meeting at which people confer)
confidant
n. a person with whom secrets or private thoughts are shared (n. confidante: female confidant)
configuration
n. arrangement (v. configure: to arrange)
conflagration
n. a large fire
confluence
n. a flowing together
confound
v. to bewilder; to amaze; to throw into confusion
congeal
v. to solidify; to jell
conjugal
adj. having to do with marriage
connive
v. to conspire; to aid or encourage a wrong by feigning ignorance (n. connivance)
conservatory
n. a greenhouse, usually one attached to another structure; a music or drama school
consign
v. to hand over; to assign; to entrust; to banish (n. consignment)
consolidate
v. to combine or bring together; to solidify; to strengthen
conspicuous
adj. easily seen; impossible to miss
consternation
n. a sudden confusion
constituency
n. the group of voters represented by a politician; a group of supporters for anything (made up of constituents)
contempt
n. disdain; disgrace (such as contempt of the court)
continuum
n. a continuous whole without clear division into paarts
contraband
n. smuggled goods
contretemps
n. an embarrassing occurrence; a mishap
contumely
n. rudeness; insolence; arrogance (adj. contumelious)
conundrum
n. a puzzle or problem without a solution
convene
v. to gather together; to assemble; to meet (n. convention is an event at which people convene)
conversant
adj. familiar; experienced
converse
n. the opposite
convey
v. to transport; to conduct; to communicate (n. conveyance: an act of transporting)
conviction
n. strong belief; a determination of guilt
convolution
n. a twist or turn; the act of twisting or turning (a convoluted plot has lots of twists and turn; a convoluted argument is a complex argument that is hard to follow; v. convolute)
copious
adj. abundant; plentiful
cordial
adj. gracious; warm; sincere (n. cordiality)
corollary
n. a preposition that follow easily and obviously from another; a natural consequence or conclusion (like in geometry)
corporeal
adj. material; tangible; having substance, like the body (don't get confused with corporal, which means having to do with body; corpulent is a person with lots of body fat; corp is a body of people)
correlation
n. a mutual relation between two or more things
corrosive
adj. eating away; destructive
corrugated
adj. shaped with folds or waves
coterie
n. a group of close associates; a circle (of friends of associates)
cower
v. to shrink away or huddle up in fear
crass
adj. extremely unrefined; gross; stupid
craven
adj. cowardly
crescendo
n. a gradual increase in the volume of a sound; a gradual increase in the intensity of anything
crestfallen
adj. dejected; dispirited [think head is crest, when dejected you put your head down, so "crest" (head) + "fallen" (down)]
crevice
n. a narrow split, crack, or fissure (a large crevice in a glacier is called a crevasse)
cringe
v. to shrink back with fear; to cower; to be servile or suck up in a horrible way
critique
n. a critical review (can also be a verb; neutral connotation though often used negatively)
crux
n. the central point; the essence (crux of an argument is crucial part of it)
cuisine
n. a style of cooking
cull
v. to pick out from among many; to select; to collect
curb
v. to restrain or control (noun is something that curbs)
curmudgeon
n. a difficult, bad-tempered person (usually used with "old")
cursory
adj. quick and not thorough; hasty; superficial
debase
v. to lower in quality or value; to degrade (n. debasement; see abase)
debunk
v. to expose the nonsense of (n. bunk: meaningless talk or nonsense)
decree
n. an official order, usually having the force of law (can also be a verb)
decry
v. to put down; to denounce
deem
v. to judge; to consider
deficit
n. a shortage especially of money (closely related to deficiency and defect)
defile
v. to make filthy or foul; to desecrate
deft
adj. skillful
defunct
adj. no longer in effect; no longer in existence (related to function)
degrade
v. to lower in dignity or status; to corrupt; to deteriorate (noun is degradation and adjective is degraded)
deign
v. to condescend; to think it in accordance with one's dignity (to do something)
deity
n. a god or goddess (v. deify: to treat someone as a deity)
dejected
v. depressed; disheartened (noun is dejection, think rejection causes dejection)
delectable
adj. delightful; delicious
delinquent
adj. neglecting a duty or law; late in payment (can also be a noun: a person that neglects the law)
delve
v. to search or study intensively (originally meant to dig)
demeanor
n. behavior; manner (don't confuse with v. demean or adj. demeaning. v. demean means to lower its dignity or stature)
demise
n. death
demography
n. the statical study of characteristics of populations (think democracy is people, graph is statistics, so it is people statistics; person that studies this is a demographer)
demure
adj. shy; reserved; sedate (don't confuse with demur)
demur
v. to object; to take exception (don't confuse with demure)
denomination
n. a classification; a category name
denote
v. to signify; to indicate; to mark
denounce
v. to condemn (n. denunciation)
depict
v. to portray, especially in a picture; to describe (n. depiction; think de"pict" means to draw a "pict"ure in one's mind)
deplete
v. to decrease the supply of; to exhaust; to use up (n. depletion; adj. replete: full, n. repletion)
deplore
v. to regret; to condemn; to lament
deploy
v. to station soldiers or armaments strategically; to arrange strategically
depose
v. to remove from office or position of power
depredate
v. to prey upon; to plunder (n. depredation or predation)
derelict
adj. neglectful; delinquent; deserted (can also be a noun)
desist
v. to stop doing (something)
devout
adj. deeply religious; fervent (related to devoted; n. devotee)
diatribe
n. a bitter; abusive denunciation
dichotomy
n.a division into two parts, especially contradictory ones
diffuse
v. to cause to spread out; to cause to disperse; to disseminate (can also be adj; noun is diffusion)
dilapidated
adj. broken down; fallen into ruin (comes from Latin version meaning to pelt with stones)
dilate
v. to make larger; to become larger; to speak or write at length (n. dilation)
dilemma
n. a situation in which one must choose between two equally attractive choices; any problem or predicament (comes from Greek words meaning double proposition, so it's real meaning is between two things but informally it can mean between any amount of choices; close synonym of quandary)
diminution
n. the act or process of diminishing; reduction (adj. diminutive means very small)
dire
adj. disastrous; desperate
dirge
n. a funeral song (a mournful song played at your funeral intended to make people you know feel sad)
disaffect
v. to cause to lose affection; to estrange; to alienate (disaffection means the loss of affection; adj. disaffected is no longer content or no longer loyal)
disarray
n. disorder; confusion (can also be a verb)
disclaim
v. to deny any claim to; to renounce (n. disclaimer; like the advertisements)
discomfit
v. to frustrate; to confuse
disconcert
v. to upset; to ruffle; to perturb
discrepancy
n. difference; inconsistency (adj. discrepant)
discursive
adj. rambling from one topic to another, usually aimlessly
disgruntle
v. to make sulky and dissatisfied; to discontent (adj. disgruntled: discontented; discontent)
disinformation
n. false information purposely disseminated, usually by a government, for the purpose of creating a false impression
dismal
adj. dreary; causing gloom; causing dread
dismay
v. to fill with dread; to discourage greatly; to perturb (n. dismay: anxiety; dread; sudden disappointment)
dispassionate
adj. unaffected by passion; impartial; calm (adj. impassioned: passionate, emotional, all worked up; adj. dispassionate: cool and objective, not to let judgement be affected by emotions; adj. impassive: closely related word that means revealing no emotions, expressionless)
disperse
v. to scatter; to spread widely; to disseminate (n. dispersion)
dispirit
v. to discourage; to dishearten; to lose spirit
disposition
n. characteristic attitude; state of mind; inclination; arrangement (opp. predisposition an attitude or state of mind beforehand)
disproportionate
adj. out of proportion; too much or too little (opp. proportionate)
disquiet
v. to make uneasy (can also be a noun meaning unease or nervousness)
dissemble
v. to conceal the real nature of; to act or speak falsely in order to deceive (not the same thing as disassemble)
dissent
v. to disagree; to withhold approval (n. dissenter: a person who dissents; can also be a noun)
disservice
n. a harmful action; an ill turn
dissident
n. a person who disagrees or dissents (dissident can also be an adjective)
dissuade
v. to persuade not to (opposite of persuade; dissuasion is noun)
distinct
adj. separate; different; clear and unmistakeable (n. distinction; opposite is indistinct)
diurnal
adj. occurring every day; occurring during the daytime (opposite of nocturnal)
divine
v. to intuit; to prophesy (n. divination)
divulge
v. to reveal, especially to reveal something that has been secret
document
v. to support with evidence, especially written evidence
doldrums
n. low spirits; a state of inactivity (for sailors it means a place near the equator with little winds)
doleful
adj. sorrowful; filled with grief (syn. dolorous)
dolt
n. a stupid person; a dunce
dotage
n. senility; foolish affection (to dote on something is to be foolishly or excessively affectionate toward it)
double entendre
n. a word or phrase having a double meaning, especially when the second meaning is risqué
dour
adj. forbidding; severe; gloomy
downcast
adj. directed downward; dejected
downplay
v. to minimize; to represent as being insignificant
draconian
adj. harsh; severe; cruel (often capitalized; derived from the name of Draco, an Athenian official who created a notoriously harsh code of laws)
droll
adj. humorous; amusing in an odd, often understated way
dross
n. worthless stuff, especially worthless stuff arising from the production of valuable stuff
duress
n. coercion; compulsion by force or threat (usually preceded by under)
ebb
v. to diminish; to recede (also means from old word to mean low tide; opposite is flood)
ecclesiastical
adj. having to do with the church
eclipse
v. to block the light of; to overshadow; to reduce the significance of; to surpass
ecosystem
n. a community of organisms and the physical environment in which they live (n. ecology: science of the relationships between organisms an their environment; adjective is ecological)
edict
n. an official decree
edifice
n. a big, imposing building
effectual
adj. effective; adequate (opp. ineffectual)
efficacy
n. effectiveness
effigy
n. a likeness of someone, especially one used in expressing hatred for the person of whom it is a likeness (often used in the clichéd phrased burned an effigy)
elation
n. a feeling of great joy (adj. elated; v. elate)
electorate
n. the body of people entitled to vote in an election; the voters (adj. electoral)
elegy
n. a mournful poem or other piece of writing; a mournful piece of music (adj. elegiac)
elite
n. the best or most select group (can also be a adjective; elitists are snobs)
elocution
n. the art of public speaking (a locution is a particular phrase or word; when someone speaks well he is eloquent)
emaciate
v. to make extremely thin through starvation or illness (n. emaciation)
emanate
v. to come forth; to issue (n. emanation)
emancipate
v. to liberate; to free from bondage or restraint (n. emancipation)
embargo
n. a government order suspending foreign trade; a government order suspending the movement of freight-carrying ships in and out of the country's ports (syn. sanction)
embellish
v. to adorn; to beautify by adding ornaments; to add fanciful or fictitious details to (n. belle is a beautiful young woman; to embellish is to make beautiful or to adorn; can also have negative connotations, such as when lies are added to make a story more appealing)
embody
v. to personify; to give physical form to (n. embodiment)
embroil
v. to involve in conflict; to throw into disorder (n. imbroglio: a confused, difficult, embarrassed situation)
embryonic
adj. undeveloped; rudimentary (any unborn animal that is in earliest stages of development)
emissary
n. a messenger or representative sent to represent another (v. emit: to send out; n. emission: something sent out; emissary: a person sent out as a messenger or representative)
empathy
n. identification with the feelings or thoughts of another (v. empathize; don't get confused with sympathy and apathy; empathy goes further than sympathy)
empower
v. to give power or authority to; to enable
endear
v. to make dear; to make beloved (n. endearment)
engaging
adj. charming; pleasing; attractive
enmity
n. deep hatred; animosity; ill will (enmity is what enemies feel towards each other)
ennui
n. boredom; listless lack of interest (french word for boredom)
ensue
v. to follow immediately afterward; to result
entail
v. to have as necessary consequence; to involve
entity
n. something that exists; a distinct thing (opposite is nonentity)
entreat
v. to ask earnestly; to beg; to plead (n. entreaty)
entrepreneur
n. an independent business person; one who starts, runs and assumes the risk of operating an independent business enterprise (adj. entrepreneurial)
enumerate
v. to name one by one; to list (innumerable things are too numerous to be able to listed one by one)
envision
v. to imagine; to forsee (envisage is a synonym but is just a little bit more stilted.)
epicure
n. a person with refined taste in wine and food (adj. epicurean)
epilogue
n. an afterword; a short concluding chapter of a book; a short speech at the end of a play (opposite of prologue)
epoch
n. an era; a distinctive period of time (don't confuse with epic; adj. epochal: extremely important)
equestrian
adj. having to do with horseback riding (can also be a noun who rides on horseback)
errant
adj. wandering; straying; in error (not to be confused with arrant)
estimable
adj. worthy of admiration; capable of being estimated
estrange
v. to make unfriendly or hostile; to cause to feel removed from
ethics
adj. moral standards governing behavior (adj. ethical)
eulogy
n. a spoken or written tribute to a person, especially a person who has just died (v. eulogize; syn. panegyric)
evince
v. to demonstrate convincingly; to prove
evoke
v. to summon forth; to draw forth; to awaken; to produce or suggest (n. evocation; don't confuse with invoke)
excise
v. to remove by cutting, or as if by cutting (n. excision)
exempt
adj. excused; not subject to (can also be verb, n. exemption)
exhume
v. to unbury; to dig out of the ground
exodus
n. a mass departure or journey away (second book of Bible containing the exit of Moses and the Israelite from Egypt)
exorbitant
adj. excessively costly; excessive (literally sky-high or out of reach, figuratively costs are out of reach)
expiate
v. to make amends for; to atone for (n. expiation
explicate
v. to make a detailed explanation of the meaning of (n. explication; inexplicable is unexplainable)
exposition
n. explanation; a large public exhibition (v. expound; expository)
expostulate
v. to reason with someone in order to warn or dissuade
expunge
v. to erase; to eliminate any trace of
exquisite
adj. extraordinarily fine or beautiful; intense
extant
adj. still in existence
extort
v. to obtain through force, threat or illicit means ("tort" means twist, n. extortion, see tortuous)
extremity
n. the outermost point or edge; the greatest degree; grave danger; a limb or appendage of the body
exuberant
adj. highly joyous or enthusiastic; overflowing; lavish (n. exuberance)
facade
n. the front of a building; the false front of a building; the false front or misleading appearance of anything
facet
n. any of the flat, polished surfaces of a cut gem; aspect
fallacy
n. a false notion or belief; a misconception (adj. fallacious)
fathom
v. to understand; to penetrate the meaning of
faux
adj. false (faux pas means literally false step but it usually means an embarrassing mistake)
fawn
v. to exhibit affection; to seek favor through flattery; to kiss up to someone
feign
v. to make a false representation of; to pretend (a feigning motion, gesture, or action is a feint which can also be a verb)
fester
v. to generate pus; to decay
fetish
n. an object of obsessive reverence, attention, or interest (many people often associate this with sexual desire, though the original meaning use to have a religious one)
fiasco
n. a complete failure or disaster; an incredible screwup
fiat
n. arbitrary decree or order
fickle
adj. likely to change for no good reason
figment
n. something made up or invented; a fabrication
fiscal
adj. pertaining to financial matters; monetary
fledgling
adj. inexperience or immature (full-fledged means complete, full-grown)
flippant
adj. frivolously disrespectful; saucy; pert; flip (n. flippancy; see flip)
florid
adj. ruddy; flushed; red-faced (related to floral and florist)
fodder
n. coarse food for livestock; raw material (fodder and food have same root)
folly
n. foolishness; insanity; imprudence (folly and fool have same root)
foray
n. a quick raid or attack; an initial venture
forebode
v. to be an omen of; to predict; to foretell (sometimes means to predict or prophesy; n. foreboding: the feeling that something awful is about to happen; syn. bode)
foreclose
v. to deprive a mortgagor of his or her right to redeem a property; to shut out or exclude (n. foreclosure)
forensic
adj. related to or used in courts of law (can also be the study or practice of debate)
forestall
v. to thwart, prevent, or hinder something from happening; to head off
foreswear
v. to retract, renounce, or recant; to take back
forte
n. a person's strong point, special talent, or specialty
forthright
adj. frank; outspoken; going straight to the point
foster
v. to encourage; to promote the development of
fragmentary
adj. incomplete; disconnected; made up of fragments (v. fragment: to break into pieces; adj. fragmented: divided)
fruitful
adj. productive; producing good or abundant results; successful (fruitless means unproductive, pointless, or unrewarding; to reach fruition is to accomplish or fulfill what has been sought or striven for)
fuel
v. to stimulate; to ignite; to kindle; as if providing with fuel
fulminate
v. to denounce vigorously; to protest vehemently against something (syn. diatribe)
gaffe
n. a social blunder; an embarrassing mistake; a faux pas
galvanize
v. to startle into sudden activity; to revitalize (to galvanize is to literally cover with zinc, protecting and making it stronger)
gambit
n. a scheme to gain an advantage; to ploy
gamut
n. the full range (of something)
garner
v. to gather; to acquire; to earn
gastronomy
n. the art of eating well
generic
adj. general; common; not protected by trademark
genesis
n. origin; creating; beginning (first book of bible)
genocide
n. the extermination of national, racial, or religious group (the Holocaust; "cide" means murder such as homicide, matricide is mother-murder, patricide is father murder, suicide is self-murder, insecticide murders insects)
germane
adj. applicable; pertinent; relevant
ghastly
adj. shockingly horrible; frightful; ghostlike
gratis
adj. free of charge (n. gratuity: an amount that is paid by choice; gratuitous violence is violence that is unwarranted and not essential to the plot)
grievous
adj. tragic; agonizing; severe
grimace
v. to make an ugly, disapproving facial expression (can also be a noun)
guise
n. appearance; semblance (can also mean false appearance or a pretense)
habituate
v. to train; to accustom to a situation (n. habitué: a person that is a frequent visitor sf some place)
halcyon
adj. peaceful; carefree; serene
harass
v. to harass repeatedly; to torment or pester
harbinger
n. the precursor; an indication; an omen
harp
v. to repeat tediously; to go on and on about something (don't confuse with v. carp: to complain excessively or finding unreasonable fault with something)
harry
v. to harass; to annoy (adj. harried)
heinous
adj. shockingly evil; abominable; atrocious
herald
n. a royal proclaimer; a harbinger
hoary
adj. gray or white with age; ancient; stale
homage
n. reverence; respect
hubris
n. arrogance; excessive pride
hypertrophy
n. excessive growth
hypocrisy
n. insincerity; two-facedness (n. hypocrite; adj. hypocritical)
idiom
n. an expression whose meaning is different from the literal meaning of words (adj. idiomatic; letting the cat out the bag)
imbue.
v. to inspire; to permeate or tinge (syn. infuse)
impasse
n. a deadlock; a situation from which there is no escape
impeach
v. to accuse or indict; to challenge; call into question (impeachment of President Richard Nixon)
impecunious
adj. without money; penniless (adj. pecuniary: relating to money; v. peculate: to embezzle or steal money)
impede
v. to obstruct or interfere with; to delay (n. impediment)
impending
adj. approaching; imminent; looming (v. impend)
impenetrable
adj. incapable of being penetrated; impervious; incomprehensible (syn. impregnable)
imperative
adj. completely necessary; vitally important (can also be a noun: command, order, or requirement)
impetuous
adj. rash;; overimpulsive; headlong
implication
n. something implied or suggested; ramification (syn. intimation; not same thing as infer: infer is to figure out what is being implied)
importune
v. to urge with annoying persistence; to trouble (adj. importunate)
impoverish
v. to reduce to poverty; to make destitute (n. impoverishment: poverty, the act of reducing poverty)
impregnable
adj. unconquerable; able to withstand attack; impenetrable
impresario
n. a person who manages public entertainments (especially operas, but other events as well)
impromptu
adj. done without preparation, on the spur of the moment
improvise
v. to perform without preparation (n. improvisation: the act or an instance of improvising)
impunity
n. freedom from punishment or harm
inadvertent
adj. unintentional; heedless; not planned
inalienable
adj. sacred; incapable of being transferred lost, or taken away
incarnation
n. embodiment (reincarnation is when your soul returns to earth in another body)
incendiary
adj. used for setting property on fire; tending to arous passion or anger; inflammatory (v. incense: to anger)
inclination
n. tendency; preference; liking (adj. inclined)
inculcate
v. to instill or implant by repeated suggestions or admonitions
incumbent
adj. currently holding an office; obligatory (can also be a noun)
incursion
n. a hostile invasion; a raid
indict
v. to charge with a crime; to accuse of wrongdoing (n. indictment)
induce
v. to persuade; to influence; to cause (n. inducement: something that persuades)
ineluctable
adj. inescapable; incapable of being resisted or avoided
ineradicable
adj. incapable of being removed or destroyed or eradicated
inflammatory
adj. fiery; tending to arouse passion or anger; incendiary (don't get confused with inflammable, both are related to fire but only inflammatory is tending to arouse passion or anger)
influx
n. inflow; arrival of large numbers of people or things (in flux means in a state of change)
infraction
n. violation; infringement; the breaking of a law (fracture is to break; infraction is a breaking of a law)
infrastructure
n. the basic framework of a system; foundation
infringe
v. to violate; to encroach or trespass (n. infringement)
infuse
v. to introduce into; to instill; to imbue (n. infusion)
ingratiate
v. to work to make yourself liked ()n. ingratiation)
inimical
adj. unfavorable; harmful; detrimental; hostile
inimitable
adj. impossible to imitate; incomparable; matchless; the best
innuendo
n. an insinuation; a sly hint (pl. innuendos)
inquisition
n. ruthless questioning; an official investigation characterized with cruelty (Spanish Inquisition)
insouciant
adj. nonchalant; lighthearted; carefree
insufferable
adj. unbearable; intolerable
insuperable
adj. unable to be overcome; insurmountable; overwhelming
insurrection
n. the act of open rebellion against authority; revolt
integral
adj. essential indispensable (v. integrate: to make whole; inter: whole number; integral sometimes means whole, fulfilled, or perfect)
interim
n. meantime; an intervening time; a temporary arrangement (can also be an adjective)
interloper
n. an intruder; trespasser; unwanted person
interlude
n. an intervening episode; an intermission; a pause
interminable
adj. seemingly unending; tediously long (v. terminate is end like in Terminator; interminable means unending)
intermittent
adj. occasional; repeatedly starting and stopping; recurrent
intersperse
v. to place at intervals; to scatter among
intervene
v. to come between opposing groups; to mediate; to take place; to occur between times
intimate
v. to hint or imply
intricate
adj. complicated; sophisticated; having many parts or facets (n. intricacy)
intrigue
n. a secret scheme; a crafty plot
invidious
adj. causing envy or resentment; offensively harmful
inviolate
adj. free from injury; pure (syn. inviolable: unassailable, incapable of being harmed)
invoke
v. to entreat or pray for; to call as in prayer; to declare to be in effect (n. invocation)
iridescent
adj. displaying glowing, changing colors (closely related to iris, colored part of eye)
jargon
n. the specialized language or vocabulary of a particular job or trade; meaningless or pretentious language; a local dialect or idiom or vernacular
jaunt
n. a short pleasure trip (can also be used as a verb; jaunty means lighthearted, sprightly, or dapper
jingoism
n. belligerent, chauvinistic patriotism
jocular
adj. humorous; jolly; fond of joking (syn. jocund: cheerful,merry, or pleasant rather than overtly funny; syn. 2 jocose: more funny than jocular)
jubilation
n. exultation joy (adj. jubilant; jubilee: a jubilant celebration)
junction
n. convergence; linkup; the act or state of being joined together (syn. juncture: junction that usually refers to more important point in time or crucial state of affairs; conjunction: concurrence, combination)
junta
n. a small group ruling a country after a coup d'état
karma
n. good or bad emanations from someone or something
larceny
n. theft; robbery (adj. larcenous)
lascivious
adj. lustful; obscene; lewd
lavish
v. to spend freely or bestow generously; to squander (can also be an adjective)
lax
adj. negligent; lazy; irresponsible (n. laxity)
layman
n. a nonprofessional; a person who is not a member of the clergy (pl. laity)
liaison
n. connection; association; alliance; secret love affair
licentious
adj. lascivious; lewd; promiscuous; amoral (n. licentiousness)
limpid
adj. transparent; clear; lucid
listless
adj. sluggish; without energy or enthusiasm (n. listlessness)
litany
n. recital or list; tedious recounting
livid
adj. discolored; black and blue; enraged
loath
adj. extremely unwilling; reluctant (describes mood; loathsome is used to describe people that are disgusting or repellent; don't confuse with loathe: despise or hate)
lobby
v. to urge legislative action; to exert influence (n. lobbyist: a person who lobbies)
lout
n. boor; oaf; clod (adj. loutish)
ludicrous
adj. ridiculous; absurd
lyrical
adj. melodious; song-like; poetic
malapropism
n. humorous misuse of a word that sounds similar to the word intended but has a ludicrously different meaning
malediction
n. curse or slander
mania
n. crazed, excessive excitement; insanity; delusion (n. maniac: a person that is maniacal; adj. maniac: a person with mania)
marginal
adj. related to or located the margin or border; at the lower limit of quality; insignificant (a person who manages to qualify for something may be said to qualify for it only marginally)
materialistic
adj. preoccupied with material things; greedy for possessions
mawkish
adj. overly sentimental; maudlin
meander
v. to travel along a winding or indirect route; to ramble or stray off topic
medium
n. the means by which someone is conveyed or accomplished; a substance through which something is transferred or conveyed; the materials used by an artist (pl. media)
melancholy
adj. gloomy; depressed and weary (can also be a noun, alt. adj: melancholic; alt. n. melancholia)
melee
n. a brawl; a confused fight or struggle; a violent free-for-all; tumultuous confusion
menagerie
n. a collection of animals
meticulous
adj. precise and careful about details; fussy
millennium
n. a period of 1,000 years; a thousandth anniversary (adj. millennial)
mire
n. marshy, mucky ground (can also be a verb, figurative or literal; quagmire: swamp or marsh, figuratively a complicated predicament)
mode
n. method of doing; type; manner; fashion
modulate
v. to reduce or regulate; to lessen the intensity of
momentum
n. the force of movement; speed; impetus
moratorium
n. a suspension of activity; a period of delay
mores
n. a customary moral standards (noun is always plural)
motif
n. a recurring theme or idea
motley
adj. extremely varied or diverse; heterogeneous; multicolored
municipal
adj. pertaining to a city (or town) and its government (n. municipality: a distinct city or town with its own government)
muse
v. to ponder; to meditate (can also be a noun, anyone who inspires an artist's creativity; adj. bemused: preoccupied or engrossed)
muster
v. to assemble for battle or inspection; to summon up ("to pass muster" is an idiomatic expression which means to be found acceptable)
mystic
adj. otherwordly; mysterious; enigmatic (can also be noun, a person who has contact with other worlds; mysticism is the practice of spiritual discipline of trying to reach or understand God through deep meditation
nebulous
adj. vague or indistinct; unclear; hazy (n. nebula: a cloud of interstellar gas and dust, plural nebulae)
nemesis
n. unconquerable opponent or rival; one who seeks just compensation or revenge to right a wrong
neophyte
n. beginner; novice ("neo" means new, neologism for example is a new word or an old word used in a new way. Neonate is newborn; neoprene is a new kind of synthetic rubber, or at least new when it was invented)
nirvana
n. a blissful, painless, worry-free state
noisome
adj. offensive or disgusting; stinking; noxious (does not have to do with noise)
nomadic
adj. wandering from place to place; without a permanent home (n. nomad: one of a group of wandering people who move from place to place in search of food and water for themselves and for their animals)
nomenclature
n. a set or system of names; a designation; a terminology (n. nomenclator: a giver of names
nonchalant
adj. indifferent; coolly unconcerned; blasé (n. nonchalance)
nullify
v. to repeal; to cancel; to void (adj. null means empty or ineffective; v. annul to cancel or make void a marriage or law)
obeisance
n. a bow or curtsy; deep reverence (related to obey and obedience)
objective
adj. unbiased; unprejudiced (n. objectivity; n. objective: goal, destination, or aim; opposite: subjective)
obtrusive
adj. interfering; meddlesome, having a tendency to butt in (v. intrude)
obviate
v. to make unnecessary; to avert
occult
adj. supernatural; magic; mystical (can also be noun)
odious
adj. hateful; evil; vile (n. odium: hatred, deep contempt, or disgrace)
odyssey
n. a long, difficult journey, usually marked by many changes of fortune (Homer's epic poem)
olfactory
adj. pertaining to the sense of smell (gustatory is related but refers to taste)
oligarchy
n. government by only a very few people (n. oligarch: one of the ruling leaders)
ominous
adj. threatening; menacing; portending doom (related: omen)
omniscient
adj. all-knowing; having infinite wisdom (omni- is a prefix meaning all, omnipotent means all-powerful, an omnivorous animal eats all kinds of food, and something omnipresent is seen everywhere)
opprobrious
adj. damning; extremely critical; disgraceful (n. opprobrium: reproach, scorn, or disgrace)
ordinance
n. law; regulation; decree (don't confuse with ordnance, or military weapons or artillery)
oscillate
v. to swing back and forth; to pulsate; to waver or vacillate between beliefs or ideas
osmosis
gradual or subtle absorption (in science diffusion of a fluid through a membrane)
ostracize
v. to shun; to shut out or exclude a person from a group (n. ostracism)
oust
v. to eject; to expel; to banish (n. ouster: an instance of ousting)
override
v. to overrule; to prevail over
overture
n. an opening move; preliminary offer (musical term means a composition that introduces a larger work)
oxymoron
n. a figure of speech in which two contradictory words or phrases are used together
palatable
adj. pleasant to the taste; agreeable to the feelings (palate refers both to mouth and, more commonly, to taste)
palindrome
n. a word or expression that reads the same way right to left as it does left to right
pallor
n. paleness; whiteness
pandemic
adj. prevalent through a large area (epidemic is a larger scale endemic refers to a particular place)
panegyric
n. an elaborate praise; eulogy
parable
n. religious allegory; fable; morality tale
paragon
n. a model or pattern of excellence
parallel
adj. similar; comparable (can also be a noun and a verb)
paranoia
n. a mental illness in which the sufferer believes people are out to get him; unreasonable anxiety (adj. paranoid)
paranormal
adj. having to do with an event or events that can't be explained scientifically; supernatural (polite synonym for phony)
paroxysm
n. a sudden, violent outburst; a severe attack
partition
n. division; diving wall (can also be a verb)
pastoral
adj. rural; rustic; peaceful and calm, like the country (syn. halcyon, but pastoral has more of a country association)
pathos
n. that which makes people feel pity or sorrow (don't confuse with bathos which is trite, insincere, and sentimental pathos)
patina
n. a surface discoloration caused by age and oxidation
patrimony
n. an inheritance, especially from a father; a legacy (related word: patronage; patrons are people that give patrimony)
peculiar
adj. unusual; bizarre; individual; belonging to a particular region
peregrination
n. wandering; traveling; expedition
perigee
n. the closest point in the orbit of the moon or of an artificial satellite
perpetrator
n. the one who committed the act
perpetuate
v. to make something perpetual; to keep from perishing
perverse
adj. contrary; stubborn
phantasm
n. apparition; ghost; phantom
phlegmatic
adj. calm or indifferent; not easily roused to excitement (phlegm now means mucus; syn. stolid)
pilgrimage
n. religious or spiritual journey; excursion; peregrination (a pilgrim is someone who takes a long journey from home for a religious or spiritual reason)
placebo
n. a false medication; a fake medication sued as a control in tests of the effectiveness of drugs
platonic
adj. nonsexual; purely spiritual (love that never gets physical)
plausible
adj. believable; convincing (opp. implausible; n. plausibility)
pliable
adj. flexible; easy to bend; easy to convince, persuade, or mold
plight
n. a dangerous, distressing, or unpleasant situation
plunder
v. to loot; to ransack (can also be a noun)
pluralism
n. a condition of society in which distinct groups exist and function together yet restrain their own identities (adj. pluralistic)
pontificate
v. to speak pompously or dogmatically (n. pontification)
porous
adj. filled with many tiny holes; permeable; absorbent (to be porous is to have porousness or porosity)
posterior
adj. situated in end (opposite of anterior)
posterity
n. future generations; descendants; heirs
posthumous
adj. occurring after one's death; published after the death of the author
posture
v. to act or speak artificially or affectedly
prattle
v. to chatter on and on; to babble childishly (can also be a noun)
precarious
adj. dangerously insecure or unsteady
precocious
adj. unusually mature; uncommonly gifted (n. precociousness or precocity)
predecessor
n. someone or something that precedes in time (opp. successor)
predicament
n. a dangerous or unpleasant situation; a dilemma
predispose
v. to make susceptible; to put in a frame of mind for; to incline toward (n. predisposition)
predominant
adj. most important; dominant; having power over others (v. predominate)
pregnant
adj. highly significant; overflowing
prelude
n. introduction; something that precedes something else
premeditated
adj. planned before hand; prearranged; plotted (v. to meditate is to think long and hard about something)
preponderance
n. superiority in weight, number, size, extent, influence, etc.; majority; predominance
presage
v. to portend; to foreshadow; to forecast or predict
presentiment
n. the feeling that something (especially something bad) is about to happen
presumably
adv. probably; the assumption is that; doubtless
presuppose
v. to assume beforehand; to take for granted in advance; to require as a prior condition
primal
adj. first; original; of the greatest importance
pristine
adj. perfectly clean and untouched; uncontaminated
privation
n. lack of comforts or necessities; poverty (n. deprivation: the state of being deprived of things, especially something important to one's well-being)
proclaim
v. to announce; declare; make known
procure
v. to obtain or acquire by special means (n. procurement)
progeny
n. offspring; descendants
propagate
v. to reproduce; to multiply; to spread or disseminate
propound
v. to set forth or purpose; to offer for consideration (same roots as propose and proposition)
protocol
n. diplomatic etiquette and customs
protégé
n. a person under the care of someone interested in his welfare or career (female: protégée)
provocation
n. the act of provoking; incitement; cause (v. provoke)
prowess
n. exceptional skill or strength; uncommon bravery
prurient
adj. having lustful thoughts or desires; causing lust (n. prurience)
pseudonym
n. a false name; an alias ("pseudo" means false, a psuedointellectual person is someone that pretends to be interested in intellectual things)
psyche
n. the human soul; the mind; the spirit
pummel
v. to pound or punch with the fists
punctilious
adj. meticulously attentive to detail; scrupulously exact (more erudite way to say anal-retentive)
pundit
n. an expert; an authority; a learned person
pungent
adj. sharp-tasting or sharp-smelling; acrid; caustic
punitive
adj. inflicting a punishment
purblind
adj. dim-sighted; practically blind; lacking understanding or imagination
puritanical
adj. severe and strict about morals (Puritans were a group of people who were very strict about morals)
quaint
adj. pleasantly old-fashioned; picturesque
quandary
n. state of perplexity; predicament; dilemma
quasi
adv. or adj., almost; near; resembling
quay
n. a landing on the edge of the water; wharf; pier
quell
v. to put an end; to squelch; to suppress
query
n. a question; an inquiry (can also be a verb)
queue
n. a line of file (can also be a verb)
quiescent
adj. motionless; at rest; still
quintessential
adj. being the most perfect example of (n. quintessence)
quizzical
adj. teasing; mocking; questioning; inquisitive (adj. quizzical: questioning and inquisitive)
quotidian
adj. daily; everyday; ordinary
rampant
adj. widespread; uncontrollable; prevalent; raging
rapture
n. ecstasy; bliss; unequaled joy (adj. rapturous; adj. rapt: entranced or ecstatic; enraptured: to be enthralled or in state of rapture)
rarefied
adj. esoteric; interesting to a select group only; exalted; thin (v. rarefy)
ratify
v. to confirm; to approve something formally (n. ratification)
ratiocination
n. logical reasoning (v. ratiocinate)
rationale
n. underlying reason; basis; reasoning (v. rationalize)
raucous
adj. stridently loud; harsh; rowdy
reactionary
adj. ultraconservative; right-wing; backward-thinking (can also be a noun)
rebuff
v. to snub; to reject (can also be a noun)
recidivism
n. the act of repeating an offense (recidivist: a person who repeats an offense)
reclaim
v. to make uncultivated areas of land fit for cultivation; to recover usable substances from refuse; to claim again; to demand the restoration of (n. reclamation)
redeem
v. to buy back; to fulfill; to make up for; to rescue from sin (irredeemable: unable to be rescued from sin or wrongdoing)
redress
v. to remedy; to make amends for (n.redress: reparation, compensation, making amends for a wrong)
referendum
n. a public vote on measure proposed or passed by a legislature (referendum and refer are closely related)
refractory
adj. disobedient and hard to manage; resisting treatment
regimen
n. a regulated course
regime
n.a governing power; a system of government; a period in which a government is in power
remission
n. the temporary or permanent disappearance of a disease; pardon (v. remit: to send back or pay; remission: payment)
remuneration
n. payment; recompense (it is one way to redress a crime)
render
v. to make; to cause to be; to provide; to depict
rend
v. to tear; to rip (adj. rent)
repartee
n. a quick, witty reply; witty, spirited conversation full of quick, witty replies
replicate
v. to reproduce exactly; to duplicate; to repeat (n. replica)
repose
n. rest; tranquility; relaxation
repress
v. to hold back; to conceal from oneself; to suppress (n.repression)
reprimand
n. stern reproof; official rebuke (can also be a verb)
reprisal
n. retaliation; revenge; counterattack (v. reprise)
reprobate
n. a depraved, wicked person; a degenerate
repugnant
adj. repulsive; offensive; disgusting
resignation
n. passive submission; acquiescence (adj. resigned)
resplendent
adj. brilliantly shining; radiant; dazzling
resurrection
n. return to life; revival
retort
v. to make a sharp reply (can also be a noun)
retrospect
n. looking backward; a review (n. retrospective: an exhibition of an artist's work from over a period of years; opp.: prospect: a view of the future, either figurative or literal)
revamp
v. to revise; to renovate
revel
v. to enjoy thoroughly; to take delight in; to carouse (n. revelry; person who revels is a reveler)
revile
v. to scold abusively; to berate; to denounce
revulsion
n. loathing; repugnance; disgust (no such thing as revulse)
rhapsodize
v. to speak extremely enthusiastically; to gush (adj. rhapsodic)
ribald
adj. indecent or vulgar; off-color (n. ribaldry: ribald language)
rife
adj. occurring frequently; widespread; common; swarming
rivet
v. to engross; to hold firmly (related word: transfix)
rout
v. to put to flight; to scatter; to cause a huge defeat (can also be a noun)
rue
v. to mourn; to regret (adj. rueful)
sally
n. a sudden rushing attack; an excursion; an expedition; a repartee; a clever rejoinder (can also be a noun)
salutation
n. greeting; welcome; opening words of greeting (n. salutatory: a welcoming address given to an audience, given by a salutatorian, or a person that has the second highest grade point average in the class)
sanction
n. official permission or approval; endorsement; punitive measure (other definition is opposite of this, like cleave; can also be a verb)
sarcasm
n. irony; jokingly or bitingly saying the opposite of what is meant sneer (adj. sarcastic)
savant
n. a scholar; a very knowledgeable and learned person pundit erudite (usually with more sophisticated feats of knowledge because of French roots; savoir-faire is another French phrase that means social grace, or the knowledge of what to do and how to believe in any situation)
scant
adj. limited; meager; barely sufficient (can also be a verb; similar with scanty, scant is barely sufficient in amount but scanty means barely sufficient in number, extent, or quantity)
schism
n. division; separation; discord or disharmony
scorn
v. to disdain; to find someone or something contemptible (can also be a noun)
seamless
adj. without a seam; without anything to indicate where two things were joined together; smooth
secede
v. to withdraw from an alliance (n. succession)
seclusion
n. aloneness; withdrawal from other people (v. seclude)
sect
n. a small religious subgroup or religion; any group with a uniting theme of purpose (matters pertaining to sects are sectarian; sectarian def. 2: single-mindedly devoted to a sect; nonsectarian: not pertaining to any particular sect or group)
sedentary
adj. largely confined to sitting down; not physically active
self-made
adj. having succeeded in life without help from others (n. self-esteem: opinion one has of oneself; self-evident: obvious without need to be pointed out; self-possessed person: one who has good control of his or her feelings; self-righteous person: a person who is sanctimonious, smug, and intolerant of others, believing that everything he or she does is right; self-satisfied person: a person who is over-satisfied with oneself; A self-starter takes initiative and doesn't need the help of others to get going)
sententious
adj. preachy; pompous; excessively moralizing; self-righteous
serene
adj. calm; peaceful; tranquil; untroubled (n. serenity)
serpentine
adj. snakelike in either shape or movement; winding as a snake travels (syn. tortuous)
shackle
n. a manacle; a restraint (can also be a verb)
shibboleth
n. a distinctive word pronunciation or behavior that typifies a particular group; a slogan or catchword (can also be a common saying that is essentially meaningless)
shrewd
adj. wily; cunning; sly
singular
adj. exceptional; unique; unusual (does not mean single)
skirmish
n. a fight between small numbers of troops; a brief conflict (can also be a verb)
skittish
adj. nervous; easily startled; jumpy
slake
v. to quench; to satisfy; to assuage
solace
n. consolation; comfort (can also be a verb)
solidarity
n. sense of unity; a sense of sharing a common goal or attitude
sophomoric
adj. juvenile; childishly goofy
sordid
adj. morally vile; filthy; squalid
sovereign
n. supreme ruler; monarch (can also be an adjective meaning principal or foremost; n. sovereignty: supremacy of authority, what kings use to exercise authority over kingdoms)
spate
n. a sudden outpouring (British meaning: literal flood; syn. influx)
specious
adj. something that seems correct or appropriate but that lacks real worth; deceptive; misleading; not genuine superfluous
specter
n. ghost; phantom (doesn't have to be literal, such as anything that haunts; adjectives: spectral, specterlike)
spectrum
n. a broad sequence or range of different but related thing s or ideas
spurn
v. to reject disdainfully; to scorn
stalwart
adj. sturdily built; robust; valiant; unwavering
stark
adj. utter; unmitigated; harsh; desolate (can also be an adverb meaning utterly)
stint
v. restrict or hold back on; to be frugal (adj. stinting; n. stint: a period of time spent doing a job or special duty)
stipend
income; allowance; salary
stolid
adj. not easily roused to emotion; impassive; apathetic; phlegmatic
stout
adj. plump; stocky; substantial (also means brave, plucky, or resolute)
stratagem
n. a maneuver designed to outwit an enemy; a scheme; a ruse (to develop stratagems toward a particular goal is to develop a strategy)
Stringent
adj. strict
stupendous
adj. remarkable; extraordinary; remarkably large or extraordinarily gigantic
stupor
n. a stunned condition; near-unconsciousness; apathy; inertia
subside
v. to sink or settle; to diminish; to lessen (adj. stuporous; v. stupefy: to astonish or stun)
subsidiary
adj. supplemental; additional; secondary or subordinate (can also be used as a noun, which then refers to a smaller company controlled by or associated with a larger company)
subsidize
v. to provide financial aid; to make a financial contribution
substantiate
v. to prove; to verify; to confirm (substantial is a closely relate words that means of significant size, worth, or importance)
subterfuge
n. artifice; a trick or stratagem; a ruse
suffice
v. to be sufficient; to be enough
suffrage
n. the right to vote
suffuse
v. to cover; to overspread; to saturate (adj. suffuse)
sumptuous
adj. luxurious; splendid; lavish
supersede
v. to take the place of; to supplant; to make something obsolete
supine
adj. lying on one's back (sometimes means someone who is inert or inactive; opposite of prone or lying on ones face)
supplication
n. humble prayer; earnest entreaty (v. supplicate; n. supplicant: one who supplicates or makes supplications)
suppress
v. to overpower; to subdue; to quash (see repress)
surmise
v. to conjecture; to guess (can also mean a noun meaning a guess or supposition)
surreal
adj. having an unreal fantastic quality; hallucinatory; dreamlike
susceptible
adj. capable of being influenced by something; capable of being or receptive to
sweeping
adj. far-reaching; extensive; wide-ranging
syntax
n. the patterns or rules governing the way grammatical sentences are formed in a given language
systemic
adj. affecting the entire system especially the entire body (systemic disease affects whole body; don't confuse with systematic)
tactical
adj. having to do with tactics especially naval or military tactics; marked tactics or deft maneuvering
taint
n. contaminant; a trace of something spoiled contaminated off-flavor (can also be a verb)
tedium
n. dullness; monotony; boredom
teem
v. to swarm; to be inundated; to overrun
temporal
adj. pertaining to time; pertaining to life; earthly existence; non eternal; short-lived
temporize
v. to stall; to cause delay through indecision; extemporize-
tepid
adj. lukewarm; halfhearted
thesis
n. a theory to be proven; a subject for a composition; a formal paper using original research on a subject (pl. theses; opp. antithesis: direct opposite)
thorny
adj. full of difficulties; tough; painful (usually figurative)
threshold
n. the sill of a doorway; a house's or building's entrance; any point of beginning or entering
throttle
v. to choke; to strangle; to work a fuel lever or feed the flow of fuel to an engine (can also be a noun; car's throttle is the gas pedal; to make something go faster put it into throttle; to run an engine at full throttle is full speed; to do anything else in full throttle is to do it quick and with single-mindness)
thwart
v. to prevent from being accomplished; to frustrate; to hinder
timorous
adj. fearful; easily frightened (related to timid)
titillate
v. to excite; to stimulate; to tease (noun form of word)
titular
adj. in title or name only; nominal (also means bearing the same name)
toil
n. hard work; labor; drudgery; exhausting effort (can also be a verb)
tortuous
adj. winding; twisting; serpentine; full of curves (used figuratively as in hard to follow or understand; don't confuse with torturous)
toxic
adj. poisonous (noun is toxin)
transfix
v. to cause to stand motionless with awe amazement emotion; to rivet
trauma
n. severe shock or distress; a violent wound; a wrenching experience (in medical terms it means a severe wound or shock to body; adj. is traumatic; v. traumatize)
travesty
n. a grotesque or shameful imitation; a mockery; a perversion
trenchant
adj. concise; effective; caustic
triumvirate
n. a ruling coalition of three officials; any group of three working jointly
tryst
n. a secret meeting of lovers
tumult
n. violent noisy commotion; uproar; outbreak (adj. tumultuous)
turbid
adj. murky; opaque; unclear (can also be used figuratively to mean confused or muddled; n. turbidity)
turmoil
n. state of great confusion or commotion
uncanny
adj. extraordinary; unimaginable; seeming supernatural (not opposite of canny, meaning artful, wily, or shrewd)
underlying
adj. basic; fundamental; only noticeable under scrutiny
undermine
v. to impair; to subvert; to weaken by excavating underneath
underpinning
n. a system of supports beneath; a foundation or basis
underscore
v. to underline; to emphasize
underwrite
v. to sponsor; to subsidize; to insure (a person or company that underwrites something is called an underwriter)
unilateral
adj. involving one side only; done on behalf of one side only; one-sided; not mutual (a unilateral contract is one in which only one of the signers bare any obligations; bilateral means two-sided; multilateral means multiple sided)
usury
n. lending money at an extremely high rate of interest (usurer is someone that does this; adj. usurious)
vacuous
adj. empty of content; lacking in ideas or intelligence (vacant also refers to emptiness, but vacant usually means literally empty, but vacuous can be not literal such as a dumb person has a vacuous skull)
vagary
n. whim; unpredictable action; wild notion (often occurs in plural: vagaries)
vanquish
v. to conquer; to overpower
veneer
n. facade; coating; outward appearance
verdant
adj. covered with green plants; leafy; inexperience (derived from French green)
verge
n. border; brink; edge (can also be a verb; converge: to come together or meet; diverge: to separate)
verity
n. the quality of being true; something true (mean truth-related words come from Latin root "verus" such as verisimilar meaning having the appearance of a truth, or verisimilitude meaning the quality of being verisimilar; v. aver means to state with confidence, as if you know it is the truth; verify means to prove that something is true, or to confirm it; veracious means habitually truthful)
vie
v. to complete; to contest; to struggle
vigilant
adj. constantly alert; watchful; wary (n. vigilance; vigil is a related word meaning a period of watch or staying awake or peaceful protesting)
vignette
n. a small decorative design or drawing; a short literary sketch; a brief but expressive scene in a play or movie
viscous
adj. thick; gluey; sticky (to be viscous is to have viscosity)
vivacious
adj. lively; animated; full of prep (to be have vivacious is to have vivacity)
vogue
n. fashion; style (to be in vogue is to be susceptible to vogues or to voguish
voluminous
adj. large; extensive; having great volume
voluptuous
adj. pleasant to the senses; luxurious; pleasure-seeking; extra full and shapely (a voluptuary person is one addicted to voluptuous things)
voracious
adj. having a huge appetite; ravenously
waft
v. to float; to drift; to blow
waive
v. to relinquish a right; to forgo; to put aside for the time being; to forego (n. waiver)
wake
an all-night vigil kept over a dead body before it is buried; the trail a boat leaves behind it in the water; a track or path left behind something
wane
v. to decrease in strength or intensity; ti fade away; to decline in power (ant. wax)
warrant
v. to justify; to provide grounds for; to guarantee (noun: authorization or official permit; n. warranty: written gurantee)
wary
adj. cautious; watchful; careful (v. beware)
wizened
adj. shriveled; withered; shrunken
woe
adj. suffering; affliction; distress (adj woeful)
wrath
n. deep anger; fury
zeitgeist
n. the mood or spirit of the times (German word mean time spirit)
zenith
n. highest point; peak; pinnacle