N. shallow body of water near a sea; lake. They enjoyed their swim in the calm lagoon.
N. laypersons; persons not connected with the clergy. The laity does not always understand the clergy's problems.
V. beat; thrash verbally or physically. It was painful to watch the champion lambaste his opponent, tearing into him mercilessly.
V. grieve; express sorrow. Even advocates of the war lamented the loss of so many lives in combat. lamentation, N.
V. ridicule. This article lampoons the pretensions of some movie moguls. also N.
N. small surgical tool for making incisions. With the sharp tip of her lancet, Doctor Wheeler cut into the abscess, opening it to let it drain.
ADJ. weary; sluggish; listless. Her siege of illness left her languid and pallid.
V. lose animation; lose strength. Left at Miss Minchin's school for girls while her father went off to war, Sarah Crewe refused to languish; instead, she hid her grief and actively befriended her less fortunate classmates.
N. lassitude; depression. His friends tried to overcome the languor into which he had fallen by taking him to parties and to the theater.
ADJ. long and thin. Lank, gaunt, Abraham Lincoln was a striking figure.
V. take in food or drink with one's tongue; splash gently. The kitten neatly lapped up her milk. The waves softly lapped against the pier.
N. theft. Because of the prisoner's record, the district attorney refused to reduce the charge from grand larceny to petty larceny.
N. pantry; place where food is kept. The first thing Bill did on returning home from school was to check what snacks his mother had in the larder.
N. generous gift. Lady Bountiful distributed largess to the poor.
N. languor; weariness. After a massage and a long soak in the hot tub, I gave in to my growing lassitude and lay down for a nap.
ADJ. potential but undeveloped; dormant; hidden. Polaroid pictures are popular at parties, because you can see the latent photographic image gradually appear before your eyes.
ADJ. coming from the side. In order to get good plant growth, the gardener must pinch off all lateral shoots.
N. freedom from narrow limitations. I think you have permitted your son too much latitude in this matter.
V. praise. The NFL lauded Boomer Esiason's efforts to raise money to combat cystic fibrosis. laudable, laudatory, ADJ.
ADJ. liberal; wasteful. The actor's lavish gifts pleased her. also V.
ADJ. careless. We dislike restaurants where the service is lax and inattentive.
V. cause to rise or grow lighter; enliven. As bread dough is leavened, it puffs up, expanding in volume.
N. lustfulness; impurity in thought and deed. In his youth he led a life of lechery and debauchery; he did not mend his ways until middle age. lecherous, ADJ.
N. reading desk. The chaplain delivered his sermon from a hastily improvised lectern.
ADJ. suspicious; cautious. Don't eat the sushi at this restaurant; I'm a bit leery about how fresh the raw fish is.
N. room to move; margin. When you set a deadline, allow a little leeway.
N. a gift made by a will. Part of my legacy from my parents is an album of family photographs.
N. explanatory list of symbols on a map. The legend at the bottom of the map made it clear which symbols stood for rest areas along the highway and which stood for public camp sites. (secondary meaning)
N. sleight of hand. The magician demonstrated his renowned legerdemain.
N. mildness; permissiveness. Considering the gravity of the offense, we were surprised by the leniency of the sentence.
ADJ. like a lion. He was leonine in his rage.
ADJ. deadly. It is unwise to leave lethal weapons where children may find them.
ADJ. drowsy; dull. The stuffy room made her lethargic: she felt as if she was about to nod off.
N. earthen or stone embankment to prevent flooding. As the river rose and threatened to overflow the levee, emergency workers rushed to reinforce the walls with sandbags.
V. float in the air (especially by magical means). As the magician passed his hands over the recumbent body of his assistant, she appeared to rise and levitate about three feet above the table.
N. lack of seriousness; lightness. Stop giggling and wriggling around in the pew: such levity is improper in church.
V. impose (a fine); collect (a payment). Crying "No taxation without representation," the colonists demonstrated against England's power to levy taxes.
ADJ. lustful. They found his lewd stories objectionable.
N. compiler of a dictionary. The new dictionary is the work of many lexicographers who spent years compiling and editing the work.
N. dictionary. I cannot find this word in any lexicon in the library.
N. drawback; debts. Her lack of an extensive vocabulary was a liability that she was eventually able to overcome.
N. contact keeping parts of an organization in communication; go-between; secret love affair. As the liaison between the American and British forces during World War II, the colonel had to ease tensions between the leaders of the two armies. Romeo's romantic liaison with Juliet ended in tragedy.
N. defamatory statement; act of writing something that smears a person's character. If Batman wrote that the Joker was a dirty, 'rotten, mass-murdering criminal, could the Joker sue Batman for libel?
N. one who sets free. Simon Bolivar, who led the South American colonies in their rebellion against Spanish rule, is known as the great liberator. liberate,V.
N. debauched person. Although she was aware of his reputation as a libertine, she felt she could reform him and help him abandon his dissolute way of life.
ADJ. lustful. They objected to his libidinous behavior.
N. emotional urges behind human activity. The psychiatrist maintained that suppression of the libido often resulted in maladjustment and neuroses.
N. text of an opera. The composer of an opera's music is remembered more frequently than the author of its libretto.
ADJ. amoral; lewd and lascivious; unrestrained. Unscrupulously seducing the daughter of his host, Don Juan felt no qualms about the immorality of his licentious behavior.
N. legal claim on property. There was a delay before Ralph could take possession of his late uncle's home; apparently, another claimant had a lien upon the estate.
ADJ. like wood. Petrified wood may be ligneous in appearance, but it is stone-like in composition.
ADJ. extremely small. Tiny and delicate, the model was built on a lilliputian scale. also N.
ADJ. flexible. Hours of ballet classes kept him limber.
N. region near heaven or hell where certain souls are kept; a prison (slang). Among the divisions of Hell are Purgatory and Limbo.
N. humorous short verse. The limerick form is the best; its meter is pure anapest. A limerick's fun for most everyone, and the word may occur on your test.
V. draw; outline; describe. Paradoxically, the more realistic the details this artist chooses, the better able she is to limn her fantastic, other-worldly landscapes.
ADJ. clear. A limpid stream ran through his property.
N. something that holds or links various parts together. The linchpin in the district attorney's case was a photograph showing the defendant shaking hands with the hired killer.
N. descent; ancestry. He traced his lineage back to Mayflower days.
N. features, especially of the face. She quickly sketched the lineaments of his face.
V. loiter or dawdle; continue or persist. Hoping to see Juliet pass by, Romeo lingered outside the Capulet house for hours. Though Mother made stuffed cabbage on Monday, the smell lingered around the house for days.
ADJ. pertaining to language. The modern tourist will encounter very little linguistic difficulty as English has become an almost universal language.
N. ointment; lotion; salve. The trainer carefully applied the liniment to the quarterback's bruise, gently rubbing it into the skin.
V. treat as a celebrity. She enjoyed being lionized and adored by the public.
V. settle accounts; clearup. He was able to liquidate all his debts in a short period of time.
V. tilt; lean over. That flagpole should be absolutely vertical; instead, it lists to one side. (secondary meaning)
ADJ. lacking in spirit or energy. We had expected him to be full of enthusiasm and were surprised by his listless attitude.
N. supplicatory prayer. On this solemn day, the congregation responded to the prayers of the priest during the litany with fervor and intensity.
ADJ. flexible; supple. Her figure was lithe and willowy.
N. lawsuit. Try to settle this amicably; I do not want to become involved in litigation. litigant, N.
N. understatement for emphasis. To say, "He little realizes," when we mean that he does not realize at all, is an example of the kind of understatement we call litotes.
ADJ. lead-colored; black and blue; enraged. His face was so livid with rage that we were afraid that he might have an attack of apoplexy.
ADJ. reluctant; disinclined. Romeo and Juliet were both loath for him to go.
V. detest. Booing and hissing, the audience showed how much they loathed the wicked villain.
N. metal-bearing vein. If this lode that we have discovered extends for any distance, we have found a fortune.
ADJ. very high. Though Barbara Jordan's fellow students used to tease her about her lofty ambitions, she rose to hold one of the highest positions in the land.
N. record of a voyage or flight; record of day to day activities. "Flogged two seamen today for insubordination" wrote Captain Bligh in the Bounty's log. To see how much work I've accomplished recently, just take a look at the number of new files listed on my computer log.
V. hang around; linger. The policeman told him not to loiter in the alley.
V. lounge about. They lolled around in their chairs watching television.
N. long life. When he reached ninety, the old man was proud of his longevity.
V. appear or take shape (usually in an enlarged or distorted form). The shadow of the gallows loomed threateningly above the small boy.
V. gallop slowly. As the horses loped along, we had an opportunity to admire the ever-changing scenery.
ADJ. talkative. Though our daughter barely says a word to us these days, put a phone in her hand and see how loquacious she can be: our phone bills are out of sight! loquacity, N.