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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
[(n.) associate, addition, accessory]

bellwether

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

caterwaul

(v.) to howl or screech like a cat; to quarrel; (n.) a harsh or noisy cry; a racket
[(v.) whine; (n.) wail, screech]

chimerical

(adj.) absurd; wildly fantastic; impossible
[fanciful, visionary, quixotic, pie-in-the-sky]

effete

(adj.) lacking in wholesome vigor or energy; worn-out or exhausted; sterile or unable to produce; out-of-date
[decadent, enfeeble, outmoded]

fait accompli

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

hidebound

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

hierarchy

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

liturgy

(n.) a religious service of rite; the form of ritual or other act of public worship
[ceremony, observance]

mirage

(n.) something illusory, without substance, or without a basis in reality; an illusion
[optical illusion]

morass

(n.) a patch of low, soft, wet ground; a swamp; a confusing situation in which one is entrapped, as in quicksand
[bog, quagmire]

noisome

(adj.) offensive or disgusting; foul-smelling; harmful or injurious
[fetid, noxious, vile, loathsome]

oblivious

(adj.) forgetful; unaware
[insensible]

poltroon

(n.) a base coward
[craven, dastard, "chicken"]

proselyte

(n.) a convert; a disciple
[novice, neophyte]

quasi

(adj.) resembling but not actually being; seemingly but not actually or completely
[kind of, semi-, as if]

raillery

(n.) good-humored ridicule; teasing
[banter, persiflage]

ribald

(adj.) irreverently mocking; coarse, vulgar, or indecent in language
[bawdy, risque]

supine

(adj.) lying flat on one's back; listless or lethargic; apathetic or passive
[prone, prostrate; inert]

vignette

(n.) a short description or sketch; a picture or illustrations with edges that gradually shade off; a decorative design on the top page of a book or at the beginning or end of a chapter
[thumbnail sketch, anecdote]

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