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Abate

To lessen in intensity or degree

Accolade

An expression of praise

Adulation

Excessive praise; intense adoration

Aesthetic

Dealing with art or the beautiful

Ameliorate

To make better or more tolerable

Ascetic

One who practices self-denial especially as an act of religious devotion

Avarice

Greed, especially for wealth

Axiom

A universally recognized principle

Burgeon

To grow rapidly or flourish

Bucolic

Rustic and pastoral; characteristic of rural areas and their inhabitants

Cacophany

Harsh, jarring, discordant sound; dissonance

Canon

A secular law, rule, or code of law

Castigation

Severe criticism or punishment

Catalyst

A substance that accelerates the rate of a chemical reaction without itself changing; a person or thing that causes change

Caustic

Burning and 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; impartial

Dogmatic

Expressing a rigid opinion based on unproved or unprovable principles

Ebullience

High spirits; exhilaration; exuberance

Eclectic

Composed of elements drawn from various sources

Elegy

A mournful poem, especially one lamenting the dead

Emollient

Soothing to the skin; making less harsh; mollifying

Empirical

Based on observation or experiment

Enigmatic

Mysterious; obscure; difficult to understand

Ephemeral

Brief; lasting a very short time

Esoteric

Intended for or understood by a specific group

Eulogy

A speech honoring the dead

Exonerate

To remove blame

Facetious

Playful; Humerous

Fallacy

An invalid or incorrect notion; a mistaken belief

Furtive

Marked by stealth; covert

Gregarious

Sociable; outgoing; enjoying the company of other people

Harangue

A long, pompous speech

Heretical

Violating accepted dogma or convention

Hyperbole

An exaggerated statement

Impecunious

Lacking funds; without money

Incipient

Beginning to come into being or to become apparent

Inert

Unmoving; sluggish; lethargic

Innocuous

Harmless; causing no damage

Intransigent

Refusing to compromise

Inveigle

To obtain by deception or flattery

Morose

Sad; sullen; melancholy

Odious

Deserving or causing hatred; hateful

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 causing death

Peruse

To examine with great care

Pious

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 in 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

Satire

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

Squalid

Sordid; wretched; neglected and filthy

Stoic

Indifferent to or unaffected by pleasure or pain

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

Villify

To defame; to characterize harshly

Viscous

Thick; sticky

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