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American Heritage dictionaries- the top 100 words every high school graduate should know. Here are the first 20.

abjure

to recant solemnly, renounce, or repudiate

abrogate

to abolish, do away with, or annul, especially by authority

abstemious

eating or drinking in moderation

acumen

quickness or keenness in judgement or insight

antebellum

belonging to the period before a war, especially the American Civil war

auspicious

attended by favorable circumstances

belie

to give a false representation to, misrepresent

bellicose

war like or hostile in manner or temperment

bowdlerize

to remove material that is considered objectionable of offensive

chicanery

deception by trickery or sophistry

chromosome

strand of DNA

churlish

of, like, or befitting a churl; boorish or vulgar

circumlocution

unnecessarily wordy or indirect language

circumnavigate

to go completely around

deciduous

shedding or loosing foliage at the end of a growing season.

deleterious

having a harmful or negative effect

diffident

lacking self-confidence

enervate

to weaken or destroy the strength or vitality of

enfranchise

to endow with the rights of citizenship, especially the right to vote

epiphany

a sudden realization of great truth

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