Sophomore Vocab

160 terms by aviguana 

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Sadlier-Oxford Level H Units 1-8

aberration

(n.) a departure from what is proper, right, expected, or normal; a lapse from a sound mental state

ad hoc

(adj.) for this specific purpose; improvised; with respect to this

bane

(n.) the source or cause of fatal injury, death, destruction, or ruin; death or ruin itself; poison

bathos

(n.) the intrusion of commonplace or trite material into a context whose tone is lofty or elevated; grossly insincere or exaggerated sentimentality; the lowest phase, nadir; an anticlimax, comedown

cantankerous

(adj.) ill-tempered, quarrelsome; difficult to get along or deal with

casuistry

(n.) the determination of right and wrong in questions of conduct or conscience by the application of general ethical principles; specious argument

de facto

(adj.) actually existing or in effect, although not legally required or sanctioned; (adv.) in reality, actually

depredation

(n.) the act of preying upon or plundering

empathy

(n.) a sympathetic understanding of or identification with the feelings, thoughts, or attitudes of someone or something else

harbinger

(n.) a forerunner, herald; (v.) to herald the approach of

hedonism

(n) the belief that the attainment of pleasure is life's chief aim; devotion to or pursuit of pleasure

lackluster

(adj.) lacking brilliance or vitality; dull

malcontent

(adj.) discontented with or in open defiance of prevailing conditions; (n.) such a person

mellifluous

(adj.) flowing sweetly or smoothly; honeyed

nepotism

(n.) undue favoritism to or excessive patronage of one's relatives

pander

(v.) to cater to or provide satisfaction for the low tastes or vices of others; (n.) a person who does this

peccadillo

(n.) a minor sin or offense; a trifling fault or shortcoming

pièce de résistance

(n) the principal dish of a meal; the principal event, incident, or item; an outstanding accomplishment

remand

(v.) to send or order back; in law, to send back to jail or to a lower court

syndrome

(n.) a group of symptoms or signs that collectively characterize or indicate a disease, disorder, abnormality, etc.

abeyance

(n.) A state of suspension or temporary inaction, or set aside.

ambivalent

(adj.) having opposite and conflicting feelings about someone or something.

beleaguer

(v.) to set upon from all sides; to surround with an army; to trouble, harass.

carte blanche

(n.) full freedom or authority to act at one's own discretion.

cataclysm

(n.) a sudden, violent, or devastating upheaval; a surging flood, deluge.

debauch

(v.) to corrupt morally, seduce; to indulge in dissipation; (n.) an act or occasion of dissipation or vice

éclat

(n.) dazzling or conspicuous success or acclaim; great brilliance (of performance or achievement)

fastidious

(adj.) overly demanding or hard to please; excessively careful in regard to details; easily disgusted.

gambol

(v.) to jump or skip about playfully

imbue

(v.) to soak or stain throughly; to fill the mind

inchoate

(adj.)just beginning; not fully shaped or formed

lampoon

(n.) , a malicious satire; (v.) to satirize, ridicule

malleable

(adj.) capable of being formed into different shapes; capable of being altered, adapted, or influenced

nemesis

(n.) an agent or force inflicting vengeance or punishment; retribution itself; an unbeatable rival

opt

(v.) to make a choice or decision

philistine

(adj.) lacking in, hostile to, or smugly indifferent to cultural and artistic values or refinements; such a person

picaresque

(adj.) involving or characteristic of clever rogues or adventurers

queasy

(adj.) nauseated or uneasy; causing nausea or uneasiness; troubled

refractory

(adj.) stubborn; hard or difficult to manage; not responsive to treatment or cure

savoir-faire

(n.) the ability to say and do the right thing in any situation; social competence

abortive

(adj) failing to accomplish an intended aim or purpose; only partially or imperfectly developed

bruit

(v) to spread news, reports, or unsubstantiated rumors

contumelious

(adj) insolent or rude in speech or behavior; insultingly abusive; humiliating

dictum

(n) a short saying; an authoritative statement

ensconce

(v) to settle comfortably and firmly in position; to put or hide in a safe place

iconoclastic

(adj) attacking or seeking to overthrow popular or traditional beliefs, ideas, or institutions

in medias res

(adv) in or into the middle of a plot; into the middle of things

internecine

(adj) mutually destructive; characterized by great slaughter and bloodshed

maladroit

(adj) lacking skill or dexterity; lacking tact, perception, or judgment

maudlin

(adj) excessively or effusively sentimental

modulate

(v) to change or vary the intensity or pitch; to temper or soften; to regulate, adjust

portentous

(adj) foreshadowing an event to come; causing wonder or awe; self consciously weighty, pompous

prescience

(n) knowledge of events or actions before they happen; foresight

quid pro quo

(n) something given in exchange or return for something else

salubrious

(adj) conducive to health or well-being; wholesome

saturnalian

(adj) characterized by riotous or unrestrained revelry or licentiousness

touchstone

(n) a means of testing worth or genuineness

traumatic

(adj) so shocking to the emotions as to cause lasting and substantial psychological damage

vitiate

(v) to weaken, debase, or corrupt; to impair the quality or value of

waggish

(adj) fond of making jokes; characteristic of a joker; playfully humorous or droll

aficionado

(n.) an enthusiastic and usually expert follower or fan

browbeat

(v.) to intimidate by a stern or overbearing manner; to bully

commensurate

(adj.) equal in size, extent, duration, or importance; proportionate; measurable by the same standards

diaphanous

(adj.) very sheer and light; almost completely transparent

emolument

(n.) profit derived from an office or position or from employment; a fee or salary

foray

(n.) a quick raid, especially for plunder; a venture into some field of endeavor; (v.) to make such a raid

genre

(n.) a type, class, or variety, especially a distinctive category of literary composition; a style of painting in which everyday scenes are realistically depicted

homily

(n.) a sermon stressing moral principles; a tedious moralizing lecture or discourse

immure

(v.) to enclose or confine within walls; to imprison; to seclude

insouciant

(adj.) blithely indifferent or unconcerned; carefree; happy-go-lucky

matrix

(n.) a mold; the surrounding situation or environment

obsequies

(n.) funeral rights or ceremonies

panache

(n.) a confident and stylish manner, dash; a strikingly elaborate or colorful display

persona

(n.) a character in a novel or play; the outward character or role that a person assumes

philippic

(n.) a bitter verbal attack

prurient

(adj.) having lustful desires or interests; tending to arouse sexual desires

sacrosanct

(adj.) very sacred or holy; inviolable; set apart or immune from questioning or attack

systemic

(adj.) of or pertaining to the entire body; relating to a system or systems

tendentious

(adj.) intended to promote a particular point of view, doctrine, or cause; biased or partisan

vicissitude

(n.) a change, variation, or alteration; (pl.) successive or changing phases or conditions

affinity

(n.) a natural attraction to a person, thing, or activity; a relationship, connection

bilious

(adj.) peevish or irritable; sickeningly unpleasant

cognate

(adj.) closely related in origin, essential nature, or function; (n.) such a person or thing

corollary

(n.) a proposition that follows from one already proven; a natural consequence or result; (adj.) resultant or consequent

cul-de-sac

(n.) a blind alley or dead-end street; any situation in which further process is impossible; an impasse

derring-do

(n.) valor or heroism; daring deeds or exploits (often used to poke fun at false heroics)

divination

(n.) the art or act of predicting the future or discovering hidden knowledge

elixir

(n.) a potion once thought capable of curing all ills and maintaining life indefinitely; a panacea; a sweet liquid used as a vehicle in medicines

folderol

(n.) foolish talk, ideas, or procedures; nonsense; a trifle

gamut

(n.) an entire range or series

hoi polloi

(n.) the common people, the masses

ineffable

(adj.) not expressible in words; too great or too sacred to be uttered

lucubration

(n.) laborious study or thought, especially at night; the result of such work

mnemonic

(adj.) relating to or designed to assist the memory; (n.) a device to aid the memory

obloquy

(n.) a public abuse indicating strong disapproval or censure; the disgrace resulting from such treatment

parameter

(n.) a determining or characteristic element; a factor that shapes the total outcome; a limit, boundary

pundit

(n.) a learned person; one who gives authoritative opinions

risible

(adj.) pertaining to laughter; able or inclined to laugh; laughable

symptomatic

(adj.) typical or characteristic; being or concerned with a symptom of a disease

volte-face

(n.) an about-face; a complete reversal

ancillary

(adj.) subordinate or supplementary

bowdlerize

(v.) to remove material considered offensive (from a book, play, film, etc.)

condescend

(v.) to come down or stoop voluntarily to a lower level; to deal with people in a patronizing manner

cozen

(v.) to trick; to cheat or swindle

enclave

(n.) an enclosed district, region, or area inhabited by a particular group of people or having a special character

forte

(n.) a person's strong point; what a person does best

gratis

(adj.) free; (adv.) without charge

icon

(n.) a representation or image of a sacred personage, often considered sacred itself; an image or picture; a symbol; a graphic symbol on a computer monitor display; an object of blind devotion

interstice

(n.) a small, narrow space between things or parts of things

macrocosm

(n.) the universe considered as a whole; the entire complex structure of something

mountebank

(n.) a trickster or swindler; a charlatan

paean

(n.) a song of praise, a joy, or triumph

persiflage

(n.) lighthearted joking, talk, or writing

plethora

(n.) overfullness; superabundance; superfluity

pragmatic

(adj.) concerned with practical considerations or values; dealing with actions and results rather than with abstract theory; stiff in one's opinions

quizzical

(adj.) puzzled; mocking; odd; equivocal

rapacity

(n.) inordinate greed; the disposition to obtain one's desires by force, extortion, or plunder

schism

(n.) a formal split with a religious organization; any division or separation of a group or organization into hostile factions

therapeutic

(adj.) having the power to heal or cure; beneficial

virtuoso

(n.) a brilliant performer; a person with masterly skill or technique; (adj.) masterly or brilliant

aegis

(n.) protection; patronage; sponsorship

apprise

(v.) to inform of; to make aware of by giving oral or written notice

bibulous

(adj.) fond of or inclined to drink; absorbent

claque

(n.) a group of people hired to applaud a performer or performance; enthusiastic or fawning admirers; an opera hat

deracinate

(v.) to pull up by the roots; to root out, uproot, or dislocate; to eliminate all traces of

eleemosynary

(adj.) charitable; dependent upon or supported by charity; derived from or provided by charity

indigenous

(adj.) originating in the country or region where found, native; inborn; inherent

lachrymose

(adj.) given to tears or weeping; causing to shed tears; mournful, lugubrious

lexicon

(n.) a dictionary of a language; the special vocabulary of a person, group, or subject; a compendium

melee

(n.) a confused struggle; a violent free-for-all; a tumultuous mingling.

microcosm

(n.) a miniature world or universe; a group or system viewed as the model of a larger group or system.

minuscule

(adj.) very small, tiny; (n.) a lowercase letter

obfuscate

(v.) to darken or obscure; to confuse or bewilder

paternalism

(n.) the policy or practice of treating or governing people in the manner of a father dealing with his children

polarize

(v.) to cause or concentrate around two conflicting or contrasting positions; to cause light to vibrate in a pattern.

purview

(n.) the range, extent, or scope of something; in law, the scope or limit of what is provided in a statute

sanguine

(adj.) having a ruddy complexion; of a naturally cheerful, confident, or optimistic outlook

solecism

(n.) a substandard or ungrammatical usage; a breach of etiquette; any impropriety or mistake

vassal

(n.) a person under the protection of a feudal lord to whom he or she owes allegiance; a subordinate or dependent; a servant; (adj.) subservient

verisimilitude

(n.) the quality of appearing to be true, real, likely, or probable

adjunct

(n.) something added to something else as helpful or useful but not essential; an assistant or helper; a valuable quality or characteristic. (adj.) added or connected in a subordinate capacity; attached to a faculty or staff in an auxiliary capacity

bellwether

(n.) the male sheep that leads the flock to the slaughterhouse; a leader, as in desperate or violent undertaking; an indicator of trends.

caterwaul

(v.) to howl or screech like a cat; to quarrel; (n.) a harsh or noisy cry; a racket

chimerical

(adj.) absurd; wildly fantastic; impossible

effete

(adj.) lacking in wholesome vigor or energy; worn-out or exhausted; sterile or unable to produce; out of date

fait accompli

(n.) an accomplished and presumably irreversible deed, fact, or action

hidebound

(adj.) narrow-minded and rigid, especially in opinions or prejudices; stubbornly and unthinkingly conservative

hierarchy

(n.) any system of things or people arranged or graded one above another in order of rank, wealth, class, etc.

liturgy

(n.) a religious service or rite; the form of a ritual or other act of public worship

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