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abate

to lessen in intensity or degree

accolade

an expression of praise

adulation

excessive praise; intense adoration

aesthetic

dealing with , appreciative of, or responsive to art or the beautiful

ameliorate

to make better or more tolerable

ascetic

one who practices rigid self-denial, esp. as an act of religious devotion

avarice

greed, esp. for wealth

axiom

a universally recognized principle

burgeon

to grow rapidly or flourish

bucolic

rustic and pastoral; characteristic of rural areas and their inhabitants

cacophony

harsh, jarring, discordant sound; dissonance

canon

an established set of principles or code of laws, often religious in nature

castigation

severe criticism or punishment

catalyst

a substance that accelerates the rate of a chemical reaction without itself changing

caustic

burning or stinging; causing corrosion

chary

wary; cautious; sparing

cogent

appealing forcibly to the mind or reason; convincing

complaisance

the willingness to comply with the wishes of others

contentious

argumentative; quarrelsome; causing controversy or disagreement

contrite

regretful; penitent; seeking forgiveness

culpable

deserving blame

dearth

smallness of quantity or number; scarcity; a lack

demur

to question or oppose

didactic

intended to teach or instruct

discretion

cautious reserve in speech; ability to make responsible decisions

disinterested

free of bias or self-interest

dogmatic

expressing a rigid opinion based on unproved or unprovable principles

ebullience

(noun) the quality of lively or enthusiastic expression of thoughts and feelings

eclectic

composed of elements drwan from various sources

elegy

a mournful poem, esp. one lamenting the dead

emollient

soothing, esp. to the skin; making less harsh; mollifying; an agent that softens or smoothes the skin

empirical

based on observation or experiment

enigmatic

mysterious; obscure; difficult to understand

ephemeral

brief; fleeting

esoteric

intended for or understood by a small, specific group

facetious

playful; humorous

fallacy

an invalid or incorrect notion; a mistaken belief

furtive

marked by stealth; covert; surreptitious

gregarious

sociable; outgoing; enjoying the company of other people

harrangue

to deliver a pompous speech or tirade; a long, pompous speech

heretical

violating accepted dogma or convention

hyperbole

an exaggerated statement, often used as a figure of speech

impecunious

lacking funds; without money

incipient

beginning to come into being or to become apparent

inert

unmoving; lethargic; sluggish

innocuous

harmless; causing no damage

intransigent

refusing to compromise

inveigle

to obtain by deception or flattery

morose

sad; sullen; melancholy

odious

evoking intense aversion or dislike

opaque

impenetrable by light; not reflecting light

oscillation

the act or state of swinging back and forth with a steady, uninterrupted rhythm

penurious

penny-pinching; excessively thrifty; ungenerous

pernicious

extremely harmful; potentially casuing death

peruse

to examine with great care

pious

extremely reverent or devout; showing strong religious devotion

precursor

one that precedes and indicates or announces another

preen

to dress up; to primp; to groom oneself with elaborate care

prodigious

abundant in size, force, or extent; extraordinary

prolific

producing large volumes or amounts; productive

putrefy

to rot; to decay and give off a foul odor

quaff

to drink deeply

quiescence

stillness; motionlessness; quality of being at rest

redoubtable

awe-inspiring; worthy of honor

sanction

authoritative permission or approval; a penalty intended to enforce compliance; to give permission or authority to

satire

a literary work that ridicules or criticizes a human vice through humor or derision

squalid

sordid; wretched and dirty as from neglect

stoic

indifferent to or unaffected by pleasure or pain; steadfast

supplant

to take the place of; supersede

torpid

lethargic; sluggish; dormant

ubiquitous

existing everywhere at the same time; constantly encountered; widespread

urbane

sophisticated; refined; elegant

vilify

to defame; to characterize harshly

viscous

thick; sticky

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