Difficult English Vocabulary

7192 terms by tfsd 

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obstreperous

noisy, loud

contumacious

insubordinate, rebellious

mettlesome

courageous, high-spirited. Don't confuse with "meddlesome," meaning inclined to interfere.

cadge

to beg, to get by begging

pith

heart of the matter, basic trait. Also force, strength, or vigor

supine

lying on the back. Also slow to act, passive.

remonstrate

to protest, object

inveigh

to attack verbally, denounce, deprecate

precepts

rules establishing standards of conduct

impute

to attribute to a cause or source, ascribe

feckless

lacking purpose or vitality; ineffective; careless

decorum

propriety, properness.

penchant

strong inclination, a liking.

appropriate (verb)

take for one's own use, acquire, set aside. Don't confuse with "appropriate (adjective)," which means fitting or suitable.

truculence

aggressiveness, ferocity

garrulity

talkativeness. Adjective is garrulous--talkative

arabesque

a complex, ornate design. Also a dance position.

beatify

to bless, make happy, or ascribe a virtue to. Regard as saintly. Don't confuse with "beautify," which means to make beautiful.

forbearance

patience, willingness to wait.

veritable

unquestionable, true.

pragmatic

practical, favoring utility.

arrant

in every way, being completely such.

consequential

pompous, self important. Also having consequence, important. Also following as a result, or being an effect of some cause.

malinger

to fake illness or injury, in order to shirk a duty.

paucity

scarcity, a lacking of

striated

striped, grooved, or banded. Having stripes.

seminal

like a seed; constituting a source, originative.

attenuate

make thin. weaken, enervate.

precarious

uncertain, risky, dangerous.

enervate

weaken, deprive of strength, attenuate.

partisan

one-sided, committed to a party, biased or prejudiced.

equivocate

lie, mislead, conceal the truth.

assiduous

diligent, hard-working, sedulous.

anachronism

something out of place for its time

lassitude

weariness, tiredness

phlegmatic

calm, sluggish temperament; unemotional

sycophant

flatterer, parasite; a suck-up

perfunctory

superficial, listless, not thorough

impair

worsen, diminish in value

transient

temporary, fleeting

qualify

to limit

nascent

coming into existence, emerging

Quixotic

extravagantly chivalrous, romantically idealistic, impractical

reprobate

person hardened in sin; one devoid of decency

libertine

immoral person

tractable

easily influenced, obedient, docile

craven

cowardly

picaresque

involving clever rogues or adventurers. Don't confuse with "picturesque," which means picture-like, charming, or quaint.

sedulous

diligent, assiduous, devoted to a task

aver

affirm, assert, prove, justify

intrepid

fearless, brave, undaunted

impassive

without feeling, not affected by pain

salient

conspicuous, highly relevant, prominent

morose

gloomy, sullen

raffish

low, vulgar, base, tawdry

loquacious

talkative, garrulous

piquant

agreeably pungent, stimulating

demur

to hesitate, raise objections

equipoise

equal distribution of weight; equilibrium

abysmal

extreme; low, like an abyss

tawdry

cheap, gaudy, showy, tacky

dross

waste product, sludge; something worthless, common, or trivial

ardor

warm interest, passion, enthusiasm, zeal

insouciant

unconcerned, carefree

volubility

fluency, verbosity, easy use of spoken language

dulcet

melodious, harmonious

mellifluous

sweetly flowing; usually used to describe use of words (sweetly flowing words, as when the speech is characterized by high volubility.

desiccate

to dry up, dehydrate

harrow

to distress, create stress or torment

pellucid

transparent, easy to understand

pariah

an outcast, a rejected and despised person

taciturn

untalkative, silent

pique

resentment at being slighted

turgid

excessively ornate; swollen or bloated

]pillory

to punish, hold up to public scorn

adamant

hard and inflexible; unyielding

multifarious

varied, motley, greatly diversified

torpor

lethargy, sluggishness, dormancy

imprecation

an invocation of evil; a curse

audacious

daring; bold

hirsute

hairy, shaggy

tenacity

firmness, persistency, adhesiveness, tending to hang on

apostate

one who abandons long-held religious or political convictions

lachrymose

causing tears, tearful

welter

turmoil; a bewildering jumble

discomfit

to defeat, put down

laconic

brief, to the point, terse

venal

corruptible, bribable, unprincipled

ossify

to turn to bone; to settle rigidly into an idea or practice, become closed-minded

disingenuous

sophisticated, artful, trying to deceive, cunning

insensible

unconscious, unresponsive, unaffected

turbid

muddy, having the sediment stirred up

erudite

learned, scholarly

saturnine

gloomy, dark, sullen, morose

abeyance

suspended action

diaphanous

transparent, gauzy

epitome

representative, a summary or abstract, a typical example

squalid

foul, filthy

quiescent

at rest, dormant, torpid

recreancy

cowardice, a cowardly giving up

misanthrope

one who hates mankind

misogynist

one who hates women/females

castigate

to chastise, correct by punishing

apprehension

misgiving, dread. Also a stopping or arrest. Also an understandingprosaic--dull, tedious, commonplace

gainsay

deny

pungency

sharpness; stinging quality

approbation

approval

refractory

stubborn, unmanageable, intractable

contentious

quarrelsome, competitive, quick to fight, pugnacious

antipathy

aversion, dislike

hapless

unlucky, unfortunate

prevaricate

stray from or avoid the truth; equivocate

countenance

(n) mien, face (v) approve of

dogmatic

positive, certain, arbitrary, without room for discussion

strut

a supporting bar

felicitous

apt; suitably expressed, well chosen, apropos

apropos

appropriate to the situation; apt

implacable

incapable of being placated, unpleasable

raffish

disreputable; tawdry

guileless

without deceit, honest

resigned

unresisting, submissive

vituperate

berate, rail against, attack verbally

render

deliver, provide, represent

diffidence

shyness

sophistry

fallacious reasoning, faulty logic

fulminate

berate, vituperate, to thunder out, to explode,

dynamo

a generator, something that produces electric current; an energetic person

assay

an analysis, examination, test. To put to a test

hallow

to make holy; consecrate

disabuse

to undeceive, correct a false impression

boisterous

loud, noisy, rough, lacking restraint

inveigle

wheedle, led astray

sodden

soaked, saturated

perfidious

violating good faith, treacherous, dishonest

conundrum

a riddle, dilemma, enigma

denouement

an outcome or solution; the unraveling of a plot

stolid

showing no emotion; impassive

dissemble

present false appearance; deceive

desuetude

cessation of use; disuse

indefatigability

not easily exhaustible; tirelessness

dilatory

causing delay, procrastinating

garner

to gather and save; to store up

intractable

unruly, refractory, stubborn

delineate

to portray, depict, sketch out

ascetic

practicing self-denial, austere, stark

fervid

intense, zealous

daunt

intimidate, make fearful

burgeon

grow forth, send out buds

anomalous

unexpected, not normal, odd