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ascetic

a person who gives up material comforts and leads a life of self-denial, especially as an act of religious devotion

bowdlerize

to remove or delete parts of a book, song or other work that are considered offensive; to expurgate

bungler

someone who is clumsy or inept; a person who makes mistakes because of incompetence

charlatan

a fake; fraud; imposter; cheat

chimerical

given to fantastic schemes; existing only in the imagination; impossible; vainly conceived

clairvoyant

having the supposed power to see objects and events that cannot be perceived with the five traditional senses; a seer

demagogue

a leader who appeals to the fears, emotions, and prejudices of the populace

dirge

a funeral hymn; a slow, mournful

dissembler

a liar and deceiver

draconian

characterized by very strick laws, rules, and punishments

fiasco

a complete failure; a debacle

galvanize

to electrify; to stir into action as if with an electric shock

gerrymander

to divide a geographic area into voting districts so as to give unfair advantage to one party in elections

halcyon

idyllically calm and peaceful; an untroubled golden time of satisfaction, happiness, and tranquility

hedonist

a person who believes that a pleasure is the chief goal of life

iconoclast

a person who attacks and ridicules cherished figures, ideas, and institutions

impecunious

poor; penniless; not affluent

jovial

good-humored; cheerful; jocular

juggernaut

an irresistible force that crushes everything in its path

laconic

very brief; concise; succinct; terse

martinet

a strict disciplinarian, a person who demands absolute adherence to forms and rules

maudlin

tearful; excessively sentimental, but not mawkish

maverick

an independent individual who does not go along with a group or party; a nonconformist

misanthrope

a person who hates or distrusts humankind

nadir

the lowest point; the bottom

nefarious

famous for being wicked

neophyte

a beginner; someone new to a field or activity

oracle

a person considered to be oracular, that is a source of wise counsel or prophetic opinions

ostracize

to deliberately exclude from a group; to banish

pandemonium

a wild uproar; tumult

partisan

a supporter of a person, party, or cause; a person with strong and perhaps biased beliefs

patron

a person who makes a gift or bequest

picayune

small value or importance; petty; trifling

polymath

a person whose expertise spans a significant number of subject areas

prodigy

a person with great talent; a young genius

prognosticator

a person who makes predictions based upon current information of data

proponent

one who argues in support of something; an advocate; a champion of a cause

pundit

an expert commentator; an authority who expresses his or her opinion, usually on political issues

quixotic

foolishly impractical in the pursuit of ideals; impractical idealism

raconteur

a person who excels in telling

recluse

a person who leads a seluded or solitary life

renegade

a disloyal person who betrays his or her cause; a traitor; a deserter

reprobate

a morally unprincipled person

rhetorician

an eloquent writer or speaker; a master of rhetoric

serendipity

discovery by fortunate accident

skeptic

a person doubts, asks questions

sophistry

a plausible but deliberately misleading or fallacious argument designed to deceive someone

spartan

simple; plain; austere

stoic

seeminly indifferent to or unaffected by joy, grief, pleasure, or pain; impassive and emotionless

sycophant

a person seeks favor by flattering people of influence; a today; someone who behaves in an obsequious or servile manner.

zealot

a very enthusiastic person; a champion; a true believer, perhaps to an excessive degree; a fanatic

zenith

the highest point; the peak; the apex

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