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70 terms


1. misogamy
N. hatred of marriage. He remained a bachelor not because of misogamy but because of ill fate; his fiancee died before the wedding.
2. misogynist
N. hater of women. She accused him of being a misogynist because he had been a bachelor all his life.
3. missile
N. object to be thrown or projected. After carefully folding his book report into a paper airplane, Beavis threw the missile across the classroom at Butthead. Rocket scientists are building guided missiles; Beavis and Butthead can barely make unguided ones.
4. missive
N. letter. The ambassador received a missive from the Secretary of State.
. mite
N. very small object or creature; small coin. Gnats are annoying mites that sting.
6. mitigate
V. lessen in intensity; moderate; appease. Because solar energy has the power to reduce greenhouse gases and provide increased energy efficiency, conversion to the use of solar energy may help mitigate global warming.
7. mnemonic
ADJ. pertaining to memory. She used mnemonic tricks to master new words.
8. mobile
ADJ. movable; not fixed. The mobile blood bank operated by the Red Cross visited our neighborhood today. mobility, N.
9. mock
V. ridicule; imitate, often in derision. It is unkind to mock anyone; it is stupid to mock anyone significantly bigger than you mockery, N.
10. mode
N. prevailing style; manner; was of doing something. The rock star had to have her hair done in the latest mode; frizzed, with occasional moussed spikes for variety. Henry plans to adopt a simpler mode of life; he is going to become a mushroom hunter and live off the land.
11. modicum
N. limited quantity. Although his story is based on a modicum of truth, most of the events he describes are fictitious.
12. modish
ADJ. fashionable. She always discarded all garments that were no longer modish.
13. modulate
V. tone down in intensity; regulate; change from one key to another. Always singing at the top of her lungs, the budding Brunhilde never learned to modulate her voice modulation, N.
14. mogul
N. powerful person. The oil moguls made great profits when the price of gasoline rose.
15. molecule
N. the smallest particle (one or more atoms) of a substance that has all the properties of that substance. In chemistry, we study how atoms and molecules react to form new substances.
16. mollify
V. soothe. airline customer service representative tried to mollify the angry passenger by offering her a seat in first class.
17. molt
V. shed or cast off hair or feathers. When Molly's canary molted, he shed feathers all over the house.
18. molten
ADJ. melted. The city of Pompeii was destroyed by volcanic ash rather than by molten lava flowing from Mount Vesuvius.
19. momentous
ADJ. very important. When Marie and Pierre Curie discovered radium, they had no idea of the momentous impact their discovery would have upon society.
20. momentum
N. quantity of motion of a moving body; impetus. The car lost momentum as it tried to ascend the steep hill.
21. monarchy
N. government under a single ruler. Though England today is a monarchy, there is some question whether it will be one in 20 years, given the present discontent at the prospect of prince Charles as king.
22. monastic
ADJ. related to monks or monasteries; removed from worldly concerns. Withdrawing from the world, Thomas Merton joined a contemplative religious order and adopted the monastic life.
23. monetary
ADJ. pertaining to money. Jane held the family purse strings; she made all monetary decisions affecting the household.
24. monochromatic
ADJ. having only one color. Most people who are color blind actually can distinguish several colors; some, however, have a truly monochromatic view of a world all in shades of gray.
25. monolithic
ADJ. solidly uniform; unyielding. Knowing the importance of appearing resolute, the patriots sought to present a monolithic front.
26. monotheism
N. belief in one God. Abraham was the first to proclaim his belief iproplen monotheism.
27. monotony
N. sameness leading to boredom. What could be more deadly dull than the monotony of punching numbers into a computer hour after hour? monotonous, ADJ.
28. monumental
ADJ. massive. Writing a dictionary is a monumental task.
29. moodiness
N. fits of depression or gloom. We could not discover the cause of her recurrent moodiness.
30. moratorium
N. legal delay of payment. If we declare a moratorium and delay collection of debts for six months, I am sure the farmers will be able to meet their bills.
31. morbid
ADJ. given to unwholesome thought; moody; characteristic of disease. People who come to disaster sites just to peer at the grisly wreckage are indulging their morbid curiosity, N.
32. mordant
ADJ. biting; sarcastic; stinging. Actors feared the critic's mordant pen.
33. mores
N. conventions; moral standards; customs. In America, Benazir Bhutto dressed as Western women did; in Pakistan, however, she followed the mores of her people, dressing in traditional veil and robes.
34. moribund
ADJ. dying. Hearst took a moribund, failing weekly newspaper and transformed it into one of the liveliest, most profitable daily papers around.
35. morose
ADJ. ill-humored; sullen; melancholy. Forced to take early retirement, Bill acted morose for months; than, all of a sudden, he shook off his gloom and was his usual cheerful self.
36. mortician
N. undertaker. The mortician prepared the corpse for burial.
37. mortify
V. humiliate; punish the flesh. She was so mortified by her blunder that she ran to her room in tears.
38. mosaic
N. picture made of small, colorful inlaid tiles. The mayor compared the city to a beautiful mosaic made up of people of every race and religion on earth. also ADJ.
39. mote
N. small speck. The tiniest mote in the eye id very painful.
40. motif
N. theme. This simple motif runs throughout the score.
41. motility
N. ability to move spontaneously. Certain organisms exhibit remarkable motility; motile spores, for example may travel for miles before coming to rest. motile, ADJ.
42. motley
ADJ. multicolored; mixed. The jester wore a motley tunic, red and green and blue and gold all patched together haphazardly. Captain Ahab had gathered a motley crew to sail the vessel; old sea dogs and runaway boys, pillars of the church and drunkards, even a tattooed islander who terrified the rest of the crew.
43. mottled
ADJ. blotched in coloring; spotted. When old Falstaff blushed, his face became mottled, all pink and purple and red.
44. mountebank
N. charlatan; boastful pretender. The patent medicine man was a mountebank.
45. muddle
V. confuse; mix up. He thoughts were muddled and chaotic. also N.
46. muggy
ADJ. warm and damp. August in New York City is often muggy.
47. mulct
V. defraud a person of something. The lawyer was accused of trying to mulct the boy of his legacy.
48. multifarious
ADJ. varied; greatly diversified. A career woman and mother, she was constantly busy with the multifarious activities of her dally life.
49. multiform
ADJ. having many forms. Snowflakes are multiform but always hexagonal.
50. multilingual
ADJ, having many languages. Because they are bordered by so many countries, the Swiss people are multilingual.
51. multiplicity
N. state of being numerous. She was appalled by the multiplicity of details she had to complete before setting out on her mission.
52. mundane
ADJ. worldly as opposed to spiritual; everyday. Uninterested in philosophical or spiritual discussions, Tom talked only of mundane matters such as the daily weather forecast or the latest basketball results.
53. munificent
ADJ. very generous. Shamelessly fawning over a particularly generous donor, the dean kept referring to her as "our munificent benefactor." munificence, N.
54. mural
N. wall painting. The walls of the Chicano Community Center are covered with murals painted in the style of Diego Rivera, the great Mexican artist.
5. murky
ADJ. dark and gloomy; thick with fog; vague. The murky depths of the swamp were so dark that you couldn't tell the vines and branches from the snakes. murkiness, N.
56. muse
V. ponder. For a moment he mused about the beauty of the scene, but his thoughts soon changed as he recalled his own personal problems. also N.
57. musky
ADJ. having the odor of musk. She left a trace of musky perfume behind her.
58. muster
V. gather; assemble. Washington mustered his forces at Trenton.
59. musty
ADJ. stale; spoiled by age. The attic was dark and musty.
60. mutability
N. ability to change in form; fickleness. Going from rags to riches, and then back to rags again, the bankrupt financier was a victim of the mutability of fortune. mutable, ADJ.
61. muted
ADJ. silent; muffled; toned down. Thanks to the thick, sound-avsorbing walls of the cathedral, only muted traffic noise reached the worshippers within. mute, V, N.
62. mutilate
V. maim. The torturer threatened to mutilate his victim.
63. mutinous
ADJ. unruly; rebellious. The captain had to use force quiet his mutinous crew. mutiny, N.
64. myopic
ADJ. nearsighted; lacking foresight. Stumbling into doors despite the coke-bottle lenses on his glasses, the nearsighted Mr. Magoo is markedly myopic. In playing all summer long and falling to store up food for winter, the grasshopper in Aesop's fable was myopic as well myopia. N.
65. myriad
N. very large number. Myriads of mosquitoes from the swamps invaded our village every twilight also ADJ.
66. nadir
N. lowest point. Although few people realized it, the Dow-Jones averages had reached their nadir and would soon begin an upward surge.
67. naivete
N. quality of being unsophisticated; simplicity; artlessness; gullibility. Touched by the naivete of sweet, convent-trained Cosette, Marius pledges himself to protect innocence naive, ADJ.
68. narcissist
N. conceited person. A narcissist is his own best friend;
69. narrative
ADJ. related to telling a story. A born teller of tales. Oisen used her impressive narrative skills to advantage in her impressive narrative skills to advantage in her story "I Stand Here lroning" also N.
70. nascent
ADJ. incipient; coming into being. It we could identify there revolutionary movements in their nascent state, we would be able to eliminate serious trouble in later years.