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assuage

to make easier or milder, relieve; to quiet, calm; to put an end to, appease, satisfy, quench; mitigate, alleviate, slake, allay

decadence

decline, decay, or deterioration; a condition or period of decline or decay; excessive self-indulgence; degeneration, corruption

expostulate

to attempt to dissuade someone from some course of decision by earnest reasoning; protest, remonstrate, complain

hiatus

a gap, opening, break (in the sense of having an element missing); pause, lacuna

innuendo

a hint, indirect suggestion, or reference (often in a derogatory sense); insinuation, intimation

intercede

to plead on behalf of someone else; to serve as a third party or go-between in a disagreement; intervene, mediate

meritorious

worthy, deserving recognition and praise; praiseworthy, laudable, commendable

prerogative

a special right or privilege; a special quality showing excellence; perquisite, perk

simulate

to make a pretense of, imitate; to show the outer signs of

umbrage

shade cast by trees; foliage giving shade; an overshadowing influence or power; offense, resentment; a vague suspicion; irritation, pique, annoyance

ameliorate

to improve, make better, correct a flaw or shortcoming; amend, better

bombastic

pompous or overblown in language; full of high-sounding words intended to conceal a lack of ideas; inflated, highfalutin, high-flown, pretentious

drivel

saliva or mucus flowing from the mouth or nose; foolish, aimless talk or thinking; nonsense; balderdash, hogwash, tommyrot; to let saliva flow from the mouth; to utter nonsense or childish twaddle; to waste or fritter away foolishly; slaver

epitome

a summary, condesed account; an instance that represents a larger reality; abstract, digest, model, archetype

infringe

to violate, trespass, go beyond recognized bounds; encroach, impinge, intrude, poach

ingratiate

to make oneself agreeable and thus gain favor or acceptance by other (sometimes used in a critical or derogatory sense); cozy up to, curry favor with

intrinsic

belonging to someone or something by its very nature, essential, inherent; orginating in a bodily organ or part; immanent, organic

permeate

to spread through, penetrate, soak through

stringent

strict, severe; rigorously or urgently binding or compelling; sharp or bitter to the taste; stern, rigorous, tough, urgent, imperative

surmise

to think or believe without certain supporting evidence; to conjecture or guess; infer, gather; likely idea that lacks definite proof; inference, presumption

abominate

to have an intense dislike or hatred for; loathe, abhor, despise, detest

circuitous

roundabout, not direct; indirect, meandering, winding

expedite

to make easy, cause to progress faster; accelerate, facilitate, speed up

inadvertent

resulting from or marked by lack of attention; unintentional, accidental; accidental, unconsidered

nominal

existing in name only, not real; too small to be considered or taken seriously; titular, token, trifling, inconsequential

noncommittal

not decisive or definite; unwilling to take a clear position or to say yes or no; cagey, uninformative, playing it safe, playing it close to the vest

proclivity

a natural or habitual inclination or tendency (especially of human character or behavior); natural bent, penchant, propensity

sangfroid

composure or coolness, especially in trying circumstances; poise, self-assurance, equanimity

seditious

resistant to lawful authority; having the purpose of overthrowing an established government; mutinous, rebellious, subversive

tenuous

thin, slender, not dense; lacking clarity or sharpness; of slight importance or significance; lacking a sound basis; poorly supported; flimsy, insubstantial, vague, hazy

amorphous

shapeless, without definite form; of no particular type of character; without organization, unity, or cohesion; formless, unstructured, nebulous, inchoate

contraband

illegal traffic, sumggled goods; illegal, prohibited; illicit, bootleg, unlawful

erudite

scholarly, learned, bookish, pedantic; profoundly educated, well-read

gossamer

thin, light, delicate, insubstantial; filmy, diaphanous, sheer, airy, feathery, gauzy; a very thin, light cloth

insular

relating to, characteristic of, or situated on an island; narrow or solated in outlook or experience; narrow-minded, parochial, provincial

irrevocable

incapable of being changed or called back; irreversible, unrecallabe, unalterable

repudiate

to disown, reject, or deny the validity of; disavow, abjure, renounce

resilient

able to return to an original shape or form; able to recover quickly; springy, elastic, buoyant, bouncy

scurrilous

coarsely abusive, vulgar or low (especially in language), foul-mouthed; obscene, filthy, abusive, vituperative

sedulous

persistent, showing industry and determination; assiduous, tireless, indefatigable

autonomy

self-government, political control; home rule

caveat

a warning or caution to prevent misunderstanding or discourage behavior; admonition, word to the wise

extricate

to free from entanglements or difficulties; to remove with effort; disentangle, extract, disengage

filch

to steal, especially in a sneaky way and in petty amounts; pilfer, purloin, swipe

precept

a rule of conduct or action; principle, maxim

salutary

beneficial, helpful; healthful, wholesome; salubrious, curative

scathing

bitterly severe, withering; causing great harm; searing, harsh, ferocious, savage

scourge

to whip, punish severely; flog, beat; a cause of affliction or suffering; a source of severe punishment or criticism; bane, plague, pestilencef

soporific

tending to cause sleep, relating to sleepiness or lethargy; something that induces sleep; narcotic anesthetic

vapid

dull, uninteresting, tiresome; lacking in sharpness, flavor, liveliness, or force; insipid, lifeless, colorless

aspersion

a damaging or derogatory statement; the act of slandering or defaming; innuendo, calumny, denigration

bizarre

extremely strange, unusual, atypical; grotesque, fantastic, outlandish

brusque

abrupt, blunt, with no formatlities; curt, tactless, ungracious, gruff, rough

cajole

to coax, persuade through flattery or artifice; to deceive with soothing thoughts or false promises; wheedle, inveigle, soft-soap, sweet-talk

demagogue

a leader who exploits popular prejudices and false claims and promises in order to gain power; rabble-rouser, firebrand

ennui

weariness and dissatisfaction from lack of occupation or interest, boredom; languor, world-weariness, listlessness

immutable

not subject to change, constant; unchangeable, unalterable, fixed, invariable

insurgent

one who rebels or rises against authority; rising in revolt refusing to accept authority; surging or rushing in or on; revolutionary, rebellious, mutinous

surreptitious

stealthy, secret, intended to escape observation; made or accomplished by fraud; furtive, covert, clandestine, concealed

vicarious

performed, suffered, or otherwise experienced by one person in place of another; surrogate, substitute, imagined, secondhand

austere

severe or stern in manner; without adornment or luxury, simple, plain; harsh or sour in flavor; forbidding, rigorous, puritanical, ascetic, unadorned, subdued

concoct

to prepare by combining ingredients, make up (as a dish); to devise, invent, fabricate; create, fashion, rustle up

desecrate

to commit sacrilege upon, treat irreverently; to conataminate, pollute; profane, defile, violate

infraction

a breaking of a law or obligation; violation, transgression, breach, offense

mitigate

to make milder or softer, to moderate in force or intensity; lessen, relieve, alleviate, diminish

pillage

to rob of goods by open force (as in war), plunder; ravage, sack, loot; the act of looting; booty

punctilious

very careful and EXACT, attentive to fine points of etiquette or propriety; precise, scrupulous, exacting, fussy, finicky

restitution

the act of restoring someone or something to the rightful owner or to a former state or position; making good on a loss or damage; compensation, reimbursement, redress, restoration

stalwart

strong and sturdy; brave; resolute; stout, intrepid, valiant; a brave, strong person; a strong supporter; one who takes an uncompromising position; mainstay

vulnerable

open to attack; capable of being wounded or damaged; unprotected; defenseless, exposed, unguarded

corpulent

fat; having a large, bulky body; overweight, heavy, obese, stout, portly

disavow

to deny responsibility for or connection with; disown, disclaim, retract, abjure

dissipate

to cause to disappear; to scatter, dispel; to spend foolishly, squander; to be extravagant in pursuit of pleasure; disperse, strew, diffuse, waste

expurgate

to remove objectionable passages or words from a written text; to cleanse, purify; purge, censor, BOWDLERIZE

gauntlet

an armored or protective glove; a challenge; two lines of men armed with weapons with which to beat a person forced to run between them; an ordeal; dare, provocation, trial, punishment

impugn

to call into question; to attack as false; challenge, deny, dispute, query, question

perfidy

faithlessness, treachery; betrayal, disloyalty, TREASON, duplicity

relegate

to place in a lower position; to assign, refer, turn over; to banish; transfer, consign, demote, exile

squeamish

inclined to nausea; easily shocked or upset; excessively fastidious or refined; nauseated, queasy, delicate, oversensitive, priggish

susceptible

open to; easily influenced; lacking in resistance; vulnerable, receptive, impressionable

abate

to make less in amount, degree, etc.; to subside, become less; to nullify; to deduct, omit; diminish, decrease, subside, let up

avarice

a greedy desire, particularly for wealth; cupidity, rapacity, acquisitiveness

culpable

deserving blame, worthy of condemnation; guilty, delinquent, peccant, blameworthy

egregious

conspicuous, standing out from the mass (used particularly in an unfavorable sense); glaring, flagrant, blatant

equivocate

to speak or act in a way that allows for more than one interpretation; to be deliberately vague or ambiguous; to talk out of both sides of one's mouth, plater, hedge

nebulous

cloudlike, resembling a cloud; cloudy in color, not transparent; vague, confused, indistinct; hazy, fuzzy, cloudy, vague, murky, opaque, indeterminate

novice

one who is just a beginner at some activity requiring skill and experience (also used adjectivally); neophyte, tyro, trainee, apprentice

pretentious

done for show, striving to make a big impression; claiming merite or position unjustifiably; making demands on one's skill or abilities, ambitious; inflated, ostentatious, affected

slovenly

untidy, dirty, careless; unkempt, slatternly, slipshod, lax

torpid

inactive, sluggish, dull; lethargic, otiose, languid

bedlam

a state or scene of uproar and confusion; commotion, pandemonium, chaos, anarchy

covert

hidden, disguised, purposefully kept secret; sheltered, secluded; undercover, clandestine, sub-rosa; a sheltered place, a hiding place

debonair

pleasant, courteous, lighthearted; smooth and polished in manner and apearance; carefree, jaunty, gracious, suave, urbane

efficacious

effective, producing results; effectual, efficient, potent, powerful

equanimity

calmness, compsure, refusal to panic; tranquility, imperturbability

gist

the essential part, main point, or essence; substance, core, nucleus

gratuitous

freely given; not called for by circumstances, unwarranted; voluntary, unjustified, uncalled-for

motley

showing great variety; composed of different elements or many colors; variegated, heterogenous, diverse; a jester's costume; a jester; fool

procrastinate

to delay, put off until later; stall, temporize, dillydally

reprobate

a depraved, vicious, or unprincipled person, scoundrel; blackguard; wicked, corrupt, or unprincipled; immoral; to disapprove of, condemn

abstemious

moderate, sparing (as in eating and drinking); characterized by abstinence and self-discipline; temperate, sober, moderate

corroborate

to confirm, make more certain, bolster, substantiate, verify; refute, contradict, undermine, discredit

discursive

passing aimlessly from one place or subject to another, rambling, roving, nomadic; digressive, diffuse, wandering, episodic

disseminate

to scatter or spread widely; disperse, publicize, broadcast, circulate

foist

to impose by fraud; to pass off as worthy or genuine; to bring about by stealth, dishonesty, or coercion; pass off, palm off, fob off

gauche

awkward, lacking in social graces, tactless, clumsy; inept, uncouth, maladroit

heresy

an opinion different from accepted belief; the denial of an idea that is generally held sacred; unorthodox belief, heterodoxy

palpable

capable of being TOUCHED or FELT; EASILY SEEN, HEARD, or recognized; tangible, plain, obvious, manifest

pernicious

extremely harmful; deadly, fatal; injurious, deleterious, baleful, noxious

satiate

to satisfy completely; to fill to excess; gratify, cloy, surfeit, gorge; full, satisfied

absolve

to clear from blame, responsibility, or guilt; acquit, exonerate, vindicate, excuse, pardon

caricature

a representation (especially a drawing) in which the subject's characteristic features are deliberately exaggerated; cartton, burlesque, parody, lampoon; to present someone or something in a deliberately distorted way

contiguous

side by side, touching; near; adjacent in time; adjoining, abutting, next door to

extenuate

to lessen the seriousness or magnitude of an offense by making partial excuses; moderate, mitigate, diminish, downplay

implicit

implied or understood though unexpressed; without doubts or reservations, unquestioning; potentially contained in; inferred, tacit, unspoken, unconditional

ostentatious

marked by conspicuous or pretentious display, showy; flashy, overdone, affected, flamboyant

paragon

a model of excellence or perfection; exemplar, ideal, paradigm, model, good example

prosaic

dull, lacking in distinction and originality; matter-of-fact, straightforward; characteristic of prose, not poetic; commonplace, humdrum, literal, pedestrian

sanctimonious

making a show of virtue or righteousness; hypocritically moralistic or pious, self-righteous, canting, holier-than-thou

scintillating

sparkling, twinkling, exceptionally brilliant (applied to mental or personal qualities); stimulating, lively, glittering, flashing

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