Reader's Digest: Word Power

100 terms by dont_ask72

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Words from Reader's Digest "Word Power" column.

motif

Repeating theme/subject

diorama

A small 3-D scene

opaque

Lack of shine or light; blocking light

montage

A collection of images

batik

A fabric-dyeing method which uses wax to coat areas that don't need to be dyed

docent

A guide that conducts tours, usually for a museum

gild

to cover with gold or a gold-colored material

tactile

Perceptible to touch

diptych

Two pictures laid on a pair of hinged panels

emboss

To raise a design from a surface material

amorphous

Lacking a defined shape or form

pilaster

A shallow column shape protruding from the wall

mandala

A religious symbol associated with meditation, usually created with geometric patterns and shapes

tesselate

To form squares or blocks

chiaroscuro

The distribution of values in a picture

kiln

An oven used for firing pottery

adage

A traditional proverb that states a typical observation

adorn

To decorate

advent

The arrival or coming of

adept

Skilled

adamant

Inflexible; unyielding

adverse

Unfavorable towards

adherent

A supporter of a cause

admonition

Warning; advice

adduce

To cite something as an example for an argument

adulterate

To harm by adding too much

advertent

Vigilant; alert, attentive

ad-lib

To improvise

ad hoc

For a particular purpose or result

adjunct

Temporarily associated with

addle

To tamper or muddle with

adumbrate

To give a rough, sketchy outline of

saga

A long story of heroic adventures and successes

stigma

A mark of shame or disgrace

innuendo

A subtle put-down; a slightly derogatory remark

bedevil

To harrass or torment

repugnant

Repulsive; offensive

redeploy

To transport troops, workers, or materials from one area to another more greater effects

maturation

The process of ripening/maturing

heyday

Best years; "Golden Age"; era of successes

dalliance

Wasting of time; frivolous, silly activity

reticent

Uncommunicative

literally

Actually; really as

oxymoron

Contrdiction in terms; combination of two opposite words, such as sweet sorrow, or bittersweet

pliant

Flexible; easily bent or twist

tepid

Lukewarm; half-hearted

quintessence

The vital, most important part of; refined essence

finicky

Fussy; picky

analogy

A similarity seen between the features of different objects

supplant

To replace one w/ another

geocentric

Mesured or viewed as from the center of Earth

implement

Activate; put into action/effect; incorporate

veritable

True; not false/imaginary

cretin

Clod; a stupid, indecent person

assent

Agreement to a proposal

perpetrate

To commit; carry out; put into action

serene

Calm; tranquil; free of storms

provocation

The act of stirring up; agitating

onslaught

A very fierce ambush or attack

harbinger

A sign or indication of things to come

trajectory

Path; progression

imminent

Ready to occur

malign

To speak ill of

surmise

To infer; assume

tripe

Something poor and worthless, or offensive. Also the edible portion of a cud-chewing animal's stomach lining

calibrate

To correct/adjust perfectly and precisely

spelunking

The hobby or job of exploring caves

mandible

The [lower] jaw, comprised of a single bone

condone

To identify something (usually negative) as acceptable or harmless

satire

Sarcasm or irony used to express feelings about foolishness or immoral conduct

palatable

Compatible to the taste

arbiter

A judge; one whose opinion is authoritative

coercive

Ruling or conquering by force

impugn

To accuse as false; usually by words or debate

lemming

A short-tailed rodent, known for its often suicidal mass migrations :(

symbiosis

Cooperation between two different organisms

skew

To distort or slant; to tamper with

vociferous

Met with a loud outcry or protest

preclude

To rules out; to eliminate/make impossible

duplicitous

Deceptive; marked by contradictory second thoughts

catharsis

Purification, often with emotional renewal/purification as well

monolithic

Massive; representing uniform and inflexibilty

dissonance

Lack of agreement between beliefs and actions

bifurcated

Divided into 2 branches or parts

heinous

Abominable

accrue

To accumulate or be increased periodically; to come as a result of some action

iniquity

Wickedness; terrible injustice

sanitorium

An institution for resting or recuperating

impetuous

Acting upon impulsive force

finagle

To obtain by trickery; dishonest, indirect means

beguile

To charm or divert; to pass time pleasantly

flaunt

To display, especially pretentiously and intending to impress others

palazzo

A large building; usually referred to ones in Italy

inquisition

Harsh, severe questioning

gaudy

Flashy; extravagant

fop

A vain or silly person

ennui

Boredom; feeling of weariness, tiredness

ken

Range of knowledge

equipoise

State of equality and balance between forces

virago

Loud, strong woman

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