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Abate

To reduce in amount

Abstain

To choose not to do something

Aggrandize

to increase in power, influence, and reputation

amalgamate

to combine; to mix together

ameliorate

to make better; to improve

anachronism

something out of place in time

antipathy

extreme dislike

arbitrate

to judge a dispute between two opposing parties

ardor

intense and passionate feeling

assuage

to make something unpleasant less severe

attenuate

to reduce in force or degree; to weaken

audacious

fearless and daring

austere

severe or stern in appearance; undecorated

banal

predictable, boring

bolster

to support; to prop up

bombastic

pompous in speech and manner

cacophony

harsh, jarring noise

capricious

changing one's mind quickly and often

castigate

to punish or criticize harshly

catalyst

something that brings about a change in something else

caustic

biting in wit

chauvinist

someone prejudiced in favor of a group in which he or she belongs

chicanery

deception by means of craft or guile

cogent

convincing and well reasoned

convoluted

intricate and complicated

corroborate

to provide supporting evidence

credulous

to trusting; gullible

deference

respect, courtesy

deride

to speak of or treat with contempt; to mock

desiccate

to dry out thoroughly

desultory

jumping from one thing to another; disconnected

diatribe

an abusive, condemnatory speech

diffident

lacking self confidence

dilate

to make larger; to expand

dilatory

intended to delay

dilettante

someone with an amateurish and superficial interest in a topic

dirge

a funeral hymn or mournful speech

disabuse

to set right; to free from error

disparate

fundamentally different; entirely unlike

dissemble

to present a false appearance; to disguise one's real intentions or character

dissonance

a harsh and disagreeable combination, often of sounds

dogma

a firmly held opinion, often a religious belief

dogmatic

dictatorial in one's opinions

dupe

to deceive; a person who is easily deceived

efficacy

effectiveness

elegy

a sorrowful poem or speech

enervate

to reduce in strength

engender

to produce, cause, or bring about

enigma

a puzzle; a mystery

enumerate

to count, list, or itemize

ephemeral

lasting a short time

equivocate

to use expressions of double meaning in order to mislead

erudite

learned, scholarly, bookish

esoteric

known or understood by only a few

estimable

admirable

eulogy

speech in praise of someone

euphemism

use of an inoffensive word or phrase in place of a more distasteful one

exacerbate

to make worse

exculpate

to clear from blame; prove innocent

exigent

urgent; requiring immediate action

exonerate

to clear from blame

fawn

to grovel

fervid

intensely emotional; feverish

florid

excessively decorated or embellished

foment

to arouse or incite

garrulous

tending to talk a lot

gregarious

outgoing,sociable

guile

deceit or trickery

iconoclast

one who opposes established beliefs, customs, and institutions

imperturbable

not capable of being disturbed

impervious

impossible to penetrate; incapable of being affected

impetuous

quick to act without thinking

implacable

unable to be calmed down or made peaceful

inchoate

not fully formed; disorganized

ingenuous

showing innocence or childlike simplicity

inimical

hostile, unfriendly

innocuous

harmless

insipid

lacking interest or flavor

intransigent

uncompromising; refusing to be reconciled

inundate

to overwhelm; to cover with water

irascible

easily made angry

laconic

using few words

lament

to express sorrow; to grieve

laud

to give praise; to glorify

lucid

clear and easily understood

luminous

bright, brilliant, glowing

malinger

to evade responsibility by pretending to be ill

mitigate

to lessen; to soften

mollify

to calm or make less severe

obdurate

hardened in feeling; resistant to persuasion

obsequious

overly submissive and eager to please

obstinate

stubborn, unyielding

obviate

to prevent; to make unnecessary

occlude

to stop up; to prevent the passage of

onerous

troublesome and oppressive; burdensome

opaque

impossible to see through; preventing the passage of light

opprobrium

public disgrace

ostentation

excessive showiness

paradox

a contradiction or dilemma

paragon

model of excellence or perfection

pedant

someone who shows off learning

perfidious

willing to betray one's trust

perfunctory

done in a routine way; indifferent

permeate

to penetrate

placate

to soothe or pacify

plastic

able to be molded, altered, or bent

pragmatic

practical as opposed to idealistic

precipitate

to throw violently or bring about abruptly; lacking deliberation

prevaricate

to lie or deviate from the truth

prodigal

lavish, wasteful

proliferate

to increase the number quickly

propitiate

to conciliate; to appease

propriety

correct behavior; obedience to rules and customs

prudence

wisdom, caution, or restraint

quiescent

motionless

rarefy

to make thinner or sparser

repudiate

to reject the validity of

reticent

silent, reserved

rhetoric

effective writing or speaking

satiate

to satisfy fully or overindulge

soporific

causing sleep or lethargy

specious

deceptively attractive; seemingly plausible but fallacious

stigma

a mark of shame or discredit

stolid

unemotional; lacking sensitivity

sublime

lofty or grand

tacit

don without using words

tirade

long, harsh speech or verbal attack

torpor

extreme mental and physical sluggishness

transitory

temporary, lasting a brief time

vacillate

to sway physically; to be indecisive

venerate

to respect deeply

veracity

filled with truth and accuracy

verbose

wordy

vex

to annoy

waver

to fluctuate between choices

zeal

passion, excitement

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