Vocab H Units 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, & 6

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Terms in this set (...)

Adjunct
n. something added to something else as helpful or useful but not essential; an assistant or helper; a valuable quality or characteristic; associate, addition, accessory; adj. added or connected in a subordinate capacity; attached to a faculty or staff in an auxiliary capacity
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, whine; n. a harsh or noisy cry; racket, screech
Chimerical
adj. absurd, wildly fantastic, impossible; 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 lacking in wholesome vigor or energy; worn-out or exhausted; sterile or unable to produce; out-of-date; decadent, enfeebled
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
Laissez-faire
adj. a philosophy or practice characterized by a usually deliberate abstention from direction or interference, especially with individual freedom of choice and action; noninterventional, nonrestrictive, hands-off
Liturgy
n. a religious service or rite; the form of a ritual or other act of public worship; observance
Microcosm
n. a miniature world or universe; a group or system viewed as the model of a larger group or system; epitome; word in little
Minuscule
adj. very small, tiny; infinitesimal, insignificant; n. a lowercase letter
Obfuscate
v. to darken or obscure; to confuse or bewilder, muddy the waters
Paternalism
n. the policy or practice of treating or governing people in the manner of a father dealing with his children; benevolence, solicitude, fatherliness
Polarize
v. to cause to concentrate around two conflicting or contrasting positions; to cause light to vibrate in a pattern; split, alienate, estrange
Purview
n. the range, extent, or scope of something in law; the scope or limit of what is provided in a statute; orbit
Sanguine
adj. having a ruddy complexion; of a naturally cheerful, confident, or optimistic outlook; flushed, rosy
Solecism
n. a substandard or ungrammatical usage; a breach of etiquette; any impropriety or mistake; misusage, blunder
Vassal
n. a person under the protection of a feudal lord to whom he or she owes allegiance; a subordinate or dependent; a servant or minion; adj. subservient, servile
Verisimilitude
n. the quality of appearing to be true, real, likely, or probable; realism, lifellikeness, authenticity
Ancillary
adj. subordinate or supplementary; auxiliary, accessory
Bowdlerize
v. to remove material considered offensive from a book, play, film, etc.; purge, expurgate
Condescend
v. to come down or stoop voluntarily to a lower level; to deal with people in a patronizing manner; talk down to
Cozen
v. to trick; to cheat or swindle; dupe, deceive, beguile, inveigle
Enclave
n. an enclosed district, region, or area inhabited by a particular group of people or having a special character; island, subgroup
Forte
n. a person's strong point; what a person does best ; gift, aptitude, specialty
Gratis
adj. free, on the house; adv. without charge
Icon
n. a representation or image of a sacred personage, often considered sacred itself; an image or picture; a symbol or graphic symbol on a computer monitor display; an object of blind devotion; emblem
Interstice
n. a small, narrow space between things or parts of things; lacuna, gap, slot, crevice, interval
Macrocosm
n. the universe considered as a whole; the entire complex structure of something; cosmos, entirety
Hoi polloi
n. the common people, the masses; rank and file
Ineffable
adj. not expressible in words; too great or too scared to be uttered; inexpressible
Lucubration
n. laborious study or thought, especially at night; the result of such work; burning the midnight oil
Mnemonic
adj. relating to or designed to assist the memory; n. a device to aid the memory; reminder, cue
Obloquy
n. public abuse indicating strong disapproval or censure; the disgrace resulting from such treatment; discredit, opprobrium, dishonor
Parameter
n. a determining or characteristic element; a factor that shapes the total outcome; a limit, boundary
Pundit
n. a learned person; one who gives authoritative opinions; expert, authority, savant
Risible
adj. pertaining to laughter; able or inclined to laugh; laughable, droll, ludicrous
Symptomatic
adj. typical or characteristic; being or concerned with a symptom or disease; indicative
Volte-face
n. an about-face; a complete reversal; turnabout
Aficionado
n. an enthusiastic and usually expert follower or fan; devotee, enthusiast
Browbeat
v. to intimidate by a stern or overbearing manner; to bully, cow, coerce
Commensurate
adj. equal in size, extent, duration, or importance; proportionate; measurable by the same standards; comparable, corresponding, coordinate
Diaphanous
adj. very sheer and light; almost completely transparent; translucent, gossamer
Emolument
n. profit derived from an office or position or from employment; a fee or salary; pay, wages
Foray
n. a quick raid, especially for plunder; a venture into some field of endeavor, sally, sortie; v. to make such a raid
Genre
n. a type, class, or variety, especially a distinctive category of literary composition; a style of painting in which everyday scenes are realistically depicted; species, sort, school
Homily
n. a sermon stressing moral principles; a tedious moralizing lecture or discourse
Immure
v. to enclose or confine within walls; to imprison; to seclude or isolate; mew up
Insouciant
adj. blithely indifferent or unconcerned; carefree, happy-go-lucky; blasé, devil-may-care
Modulate
v. to change or vary the intensity or pitch; to temper or soften, to regulate, adjust; adapt, moderate
Portentous
adj. foreshadowing an event to come; causing wonder or awe; self-consciously weighty, pompous; foreboding, ominous, pretentious
Prescience
n. knowledge of events or actions before they happen, foresight, foreknowledge
Quid pro quo
n. something given in exchange for something else; swap, trade
Salubrious
adj. conducive to health or well-being; wholesome; invigorating
Saturnalian
adj. characterized by riotous or unrestrained revelry or licentiousness; dissipated, debauched, orgiastic
Touchstone
n. a means of testing worth or genuineness; criterion, benchmark, yardstick
Traumatic
adj. so shocking to the emotions as to cause lasting and substantial psychological damage; jolting
Vitiate
v. to weaken, debase, or corrupt; to impair the quality of value of; degrade
Waggish
adj. fond of making jokes; characteristic of a joker; playfully humorous or droll; whimsical