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1,000 terms

Elite Cumulative Vocab 2012 AB 1-500

elite summer vocab week 1-4
STUDY
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ambiguous
having more than one possible interpretation
discern
to perceive and understand so as to make distinctions
provocative
tending to stimulate by making one interested or angry
influx
a mass arrival or incoming
terrestrial
relating to the Earth
vehement
forceful; furious
narcissistic
excessively interested in one's own appearance, comfort, importance, etc.
tangible
able to be touched or treated as real
exemplary
worthy to serve as a model
malign
to talk badly of something or someone; harmful
preeminent
superior in status or fame to all others, esp. as a generally recognized quality
prominent
noticeable; widely known
conflate
to bring together; to merge into a composite whole
prone
tending to or likely to do something; lying face down
modest
limited in amount, extent, etc.
milestone
an important event
attain
to reach, get, or accomplish
tenuous
weak; thin
recidivist
one who returns to criminal habits
colt
a young male horse
elated
in high spirits; joyful
languid
sluggish; lacking energy
adept
very skilled, esp. in natural talent improved by practice
lofty
very high; noble
vie
to compete
hypocrisy
the pretense of having virtues or beliefs that one does not really have
ornate
highly, often excessively decorated
allocate
to set apart for a special purpose; designate
autonomy
independence; self-government
laity
all the people not belonging to a given profession, esp. the clergy
reprimand
a severe, often formal, rebuke; to rebuke severely
clique
exclusive group of people
profuse
giving or pouring forth freely; generous
adorn
add beauty; to decorate
facilitate
to make easier
reciprocate
to give something in return
gape
to open wide; to stare with the mouth open
deadlock
a tie; a standstill
connive
to cooperate secretly in wrongful action
consortium
an association, esp. of businesses or investors, engaging in a joint venture
salacious
lustful; obscene
mores
accepted rules of behavior
nihilism
a belief that rejects all moral or religious values; the belief that the destruction of political or social institutions is necessary for future improvement
ado
trouble; fuss
blasé
indifferent or bored with life; unimpressed as if because of too much worldly experience
espouse
to give loyalty or support to; to adopt
vapid
lacking interest, animation, or flavor
venal
capable of being bribed or corrupted
clandestine
done in secret, esp. to conceal something improper
enervate
to weaken
consternation
a sudden feeling of anxiety, shock, or confusion
clarify
to make clear or easier to understand
envelop
to enclose or surround
dispense
to administer; to distribute; (with prep. 'with') to do without
discrepancy
lack of agreement; difference
precipitous
resembling a cliff; extremely steep
concerted
planned or accomplished together
scion
an heir; a descendant
harangue
a long pompous speech; a speech or piece of writing expressing strong emotion; a tirade
loath
unwilling, reluctant
rebut
to refute, esp. by offering opposing arguments or evidence
buffet
to knock about; to push or force roughly
encore
again, once more; a second performance; an audience's call for a second performance
mandate
a command; an order
frolic
to behave playfully and without inhibition
overt
open; not hidden
feign
to pretend; to fake
verve
energy in movement; exuberance
coup
a clever, sudden act or maneuver
expedite
to speed up
valor
marked courage or bravery
polyglot
one who speaks many languages; speaking many languages
incredulous
disbelieving; skeptical
artifact
an object produced by human work, esp. one of historical or archaeological interest
seminal
original and inspiring further similar efforts
vice
an evil practice or habit
distend
to stretch out; to expand
blandishment
a flattering act or remark; allurement; enticement
prim
overly proper; precise to the point of affection; prudish
forge
to give form or shape to; to advance gradually
altercation
a heated or noisy argument
querulous
inclined to find fault; complaining; full of complaint
outmoded
no longer in fashion
vocation
a regular occupation, esp. one for which a person is particularly suited
consummate
complete; supremely accomplished
check
to restrain or block
modicum
a small quantity
vicarious
felt as if one were taking part in the experiences of another
surrogate
a substitute
tenacious
holding firmly; cohesive
cupidity
strong desire for wealth; greed
facet
any number of sides or aspects
covet
to desire strongly
censure
to criticize severely
sanctimonious
pretending holiness; hypocritically devout
archetype
the original pattern or model; a perfect example
heed
to pay attention to
escapade
a reckless adventure
kindle
to set on fire; ignite
abstruse
difficult to understand
precipice
a cliff; the edge of a dangerous situation
garnish
to decorate; adorn
insight
the power to sense or understand something
offhand
without preparation or forethought
nebulous
unclear; vague
negligible
of little value or importance
liaison
a communication between different groups; the person in charge of a communication
inveigle
to obtain by flattery
capitulate
to surrender under specific conditions; to give up all resistance
fete
lavish entertainment; a festival
jaundice
prejudice; bias; a yellowish discoloration of the skin
bacchanalian
characterized by riotous, drunken partying
nettle
to bother; to irritate
cite
to refer to or quote
chastise
to punish by beating; to scold or condemn sharply
maxim
a short saying expressing a general principle
deploy
to station or assemble troops or forces in position
perceptive
capable of quickly understanding
reprieve
to postpone or cancel punishment
nativity
birth, esp. with reference to place, time, etc.
grandiose
impressive; imposing; showy
bewitch
to put a spell on; to charm
profligate
immorally wasteful
knack
a specific talent for doing something, esp. one that is difficult to teach
myriad
an indefinitely large number
baroque
fantastically over-decorated; gaudily ornate
impel
to push something into motion
relegate
to assign to an obscure place or condition; to send away
debris
bits and pieces of rubbish
colloquy
conversation, esp. a formal one
diminution
a decrease or diminishing
abstemious
moderate, esp. in eating and drinking
apathy
lack of emotion; lack of concern, esp. to matters of general importance
brusque
abrupt and curt of manner
egalitarian
of the belief that all people should have equal rights
coiffure
a hairstyle
avarice
excessive desire for wealth
earnest
showing deep sincerity; serious
fortify
to make stronger
commend
to express approval of
contrive
to bring about artificially
deficient
lacking an essential quality; inadequate in amount or degree
excise
to remove by or as if by cutting
banter
good-humored teasing
cataclysm
a disastrous event, usually one that brings about great change
prevail
to triumph over; to be or become most common
subjective
based on personal experience or feeling, not on external evidence
become
to be appropriate or suitable to; to look good with
arrogate
to claim for one's self unjustly
foster
to bring up or nurture
fluctuate
to move back and forth or up and down, esp. unpredictably
empirical
based on experience rather than a theory
disconcert
to make confused or uneasy
levity
lack of seriousness, esp. when improper
belittle
to put down; to speak of contemptuously
efface
to rub out, as from a surface; to erase
gambol
to leap about playfully; to frolic
suave
effortlessly smooth and courteous in social situations
hallowed
made or set apart as holy
pejorative
downgrading, demeaning
undaunted
not faltering or hesitating because of fear or discouragement
recapitulate
to summarize; to paraphrase
effect
to bring about
ample
enough, or more than enough; plentiful
laconic
brief in speech; using few words
chasten
to correct by punishment or criticism; to restrain
converse
to engage in spoken exchange of ideas
impede
to obstruct
ostensible
outwardly appearing as such
nostalgia
a general longing for the past or to return home
loquacious
very talkative
kindred
related or similar in origin or nature
tenable
able to be maintained or defended, either in an argument or debate or against an attack
pedestrian
done on foot; ordinary; commonplace
pecuniary
of or involving money
preponderance
superiority in weight, force, importance or influence
pedagogy
the art or profession of teaching
intuition
instinctive knowledge, acquired without conscious reason
brandish
to shake or weave, as of a weapon; to show threateningly
contiguous
sharing a common boundary; adjoining
altruistic
unselfish; benevolent; caring more for others than oneself
complacent
too pleased with oneself; self-satisfied
endow
to provide with material goods, talents, or qualities
lambaste
to scold or criticize severely; to beat or whip severely
disposition
personality; temperament
attrition
gradual reduction
imminent
impending; threatening; likely to happen
stifle
to suffocate or smother
avid
having a passionate desire
adjunct
something attached to another in a subordinate position
abhor
to detest; to shrink from in disgust
flummox
to confuse or perplex
smirk
to smile in a self-satisfied or artificial way
feral
existing in a wild or untamed state
captious
critically faultfinding
emanate
to send forth; to come forth
increment
an increase in quantity; to increase
encompass
to surround; to include
deprecate
to express disapproval of
obdurate
not easily moved to pity or sympathy
assuage
to lessen pain or distress
adjacent
adjoining; next to
gala
characterized by festivity; a festive occasion, esp. a lavish social event
mediate
to resolve (arguments or disputes) by working with the conflicting parties
empathy
ability to understand and identify with another's feelings and emotions
skeptical
tending to question or doubt
veneer
an attractive, ultimately misleading outward show; thin layer
illuminate
to light up
fluent
easy; graceful
cascade
a waterfall or series of small waterfalls; a succession of stages, processes, or units
curb
to restrain or control
civic
pertaining to a city or citizen
binge
a period of uncontrolled self-indulgence
pittance
a small amount, esp. of money
dilemma
a situation in which one must choose between two equally bad alternatives
lair
the dwelling of a wild animal
qualify
to modify, limit, or restrict, as by giving exceptions
determinate
having exact limits; final; firm in purpose
anecdote
a brief story, often humorous
paramount
supreme; ranking higher than others in power or importance
voluntary
willing; unforced
refuge
a shelter or sanctuary
balmy
soothing, mild, pleasant
counterintuitive
contrary to intuition or common sense
replicate
to copy, reproduce, or repeat
rapport
concord; trustful relationship; harmony
nominal
appearing in name only; negligible or of low amount
dissuade
to discourage from a course of action
effervescent
giving off gas bubbles; showing high spirits or excitement
defile
to corrupt; to desecrate or sully
bulwark
a wall or embankment used for a defensive fortification; something serving as a defense or safeguard, often figurative
proclivity
a natural or habitual tendency or inclination
awry
away from the correct course; wrong; deviant
apt
appropriate; having a natural tendency
canny
clever and cautious
soliloquy
a dramatic speech delivered by a character to himself
scapegoat
one who takes blame
caveat
a warning
haunt
to visit often or continually
lament
to grieve; to regret deeply; a mournful song
prattle
to talk idly or babble; inconsequential talk
inclined
disposed; willing
panoply
a splendid array; ceremonial dress with all accessories
omnivorous
able to eat any kind of food
conundrum
a riddle or puzzle, esp. one without a solution
ruthless
having no compassion or pity
interstices
small spaces between things
prophecy
a prediction
insinuate
to hint
credence
belief; mental acceptance as true or real
accrue
to come as a gain; to increase
hidebound
narrow-minded
matrix
a surrounding substance within which something else originates or is contained
Spartan
hardy, frugal and highly disciplined; not lavish or luxurious
dregs
the worst part; the sediment in a liquid
perplex
to puzzle, confuse, or bewilder
onus
an unpleasant task or duty; a burden or obligation
station
social position
sedition
the promotion of rebellion against the government
maverick
one who rebels; a nonconformist; an individualist
lacerate
to rip, cut, or tear; to cause deep emotional pain
convoluted
intricate; complicated
tedious
boring; tiresome; monotonous
epicure
one with refined tastes, esp. in food and wine
temper
to bring down in tone; to moderate; to soften
counter
to offer in response
gourmet
a connoisseur of food and drink
dissemble
to deceive or conceal; to hide one's motives; to simulate
sodden
thoroughly wet, drenched
grapple
to struggle with something; to grip and hold
hefty
heavy
flaccid
lacking firmness
bellwether
something that serves as an indicator or leader of future trends
compunction
a feeling or uneasiness caused by a sense of guilt
gale
a strong wind
ire
anger
travail
painfully difficult work; pain or suffering from mental or physical hardship
fractious
disruptive or irritable
groggy
confused, sluggish, or dizzy, as from lack of sleep or drunkenness
windfall
unexpected good fortune
implicate
to incriminate; to show or suggest involvement
illicit
unlawful; improper
haven
a safe place
rife
prevalent, abundant
predicament
a troublesome or embarrassing situation
consolidate
to combine into a whole; to strengthen
compulsion
irresistible impulse; force
malfeasance
wrongdoing, esp. by a public official
sate
to satisfy (any appetite or desire) fully
implode
to violently collapse inward
salient
important, prominent, most noticeable
convey
to carry or transmit; to communicate
incursion
an attack or raid; the act of entering another's territory
rifle
to search quickly through something
jargon
the specialized terminology of a profession; incoherent speech
sybarite
one devoted to luxury
sloth
laziness
asset
a valuable thing, quality, or resource
traverse
to travel over or through
combustible
capable of catching fire
pontificate
to speak pompously and at length
sentiment
a feeling or opinion, esp. based on emotion instead of reason
interloper
one who interferes with the affairs of others; a meddler
delectable
very pleasing; delightful, esp. to the taste
blemish
a flaw that harms the appearance of something
equanimity
evenness of temper, esp. as a characteristic state
peevish
irritable; querulous
waddle
to walk rocking from side to side
gross
total, entire; glaringly obvious, flagrant
skew
to place at an angle; to cause bias in or distort; asymmetric; distorted or biased
humdrum
dull; routine; commonplace
marshal
to arrange in order
aggregate
total
intemperate
lacking in moderation; excessive
veer
to change direction
rapture
the experience of great joy; ecstasy
contemplate
to look at or think about carefully; to consider as a possibility
savor
to taste or smell, esp. with pleasure; the taste or smell
incontrovertible
impossible to dispute
graze
to feed on grasses
coincide
to occur at the same time or be at the same place; to agree exactly
portray
to make a likeness of; to describe in words
furrow
a trench in the earth made by a plow; a wrinkle
quaff
to drink quickly or with enthusiasm
hierarchy
a ranking according to status or ability; a group having authority
deter
to prevent or discourage from acting by means of fear or doubt
glutton
one who eats too much
proliferate
to grow or reproduce rapidly
unmitigated
absolute; positive; severe
inscrutable
hard to understand; enigmatic
decry
to speak out against strongly and openly
horde
a group of people; a large crowd
tangent
an abrupt digression or change of course
chaos
complete disorder
apprise
to inform or notify
comprise
to include; to contain; to be composed of
vertex
highest point; summit
pundit
a person who gives opinions or commentary; an educated person
depreciate
to reduce in price or value
sustenance
the support of life or health
surfeit
an excess
stringent
imposing strict standards of performance; constricted
calumny
a false and malicious statement; slander
accede
to agree to something
demise
destruction; death
construe
to interpret
disheveled
disarranged; untidy; rumpled
oracle
a person thought to be a source of wisdom or prophecy
virtuoso
one with great skill, esp. in music or the arts
symbiotic
involving a close relationship of mutual dependence
eyesore
something that is unpleasant or offensive to view
decimate
to destroy or kill a large part of (a group)
libel
a false written statement that damages a person's reputation
coerce
to force by threat or intimidation
cursory
superficially done; performed rapidly
cumbersome
clumsy or difficult to manage
fester
to rot; to decay; to putrefy
deem
to have as an opinion; to consider
connote
to imply something beyond a literal meaning
rash
showing boldness or haste without judgment
jeremiad
an elaborate and lengthy tale of sadness
matriarch
a woman who rules a family or clan; a highly respected woman who is a mother
limber
bending easily; flexible
demure
coy; modest; reserved
pilfer
to steal a small amount
gargantuan
of huge size or capacity
flag
to slow down in pace
diagnosis
the recognition of a disease or injury by symptoms; a critical analysis of the nature of something
foolhardy
reckless; bold without judgment
incriminate
to make appear guilty of a crime or fault
flaunt
to display ostentatiously; to show off; to boast
exploit
a bold or daring act
impervious
completely resistant to penetration; unaffected
plaintive
expressing sorrow
culpable
deserving blame or punishment
infringe
to trespass; to violate
medley
a mixture of things not usually placed together
deference
yielding an opinion, desire, or position to another out of respect
warrant
to justify or deserve
scurrilous
using indecent of abusive language
forgo
to abstain from or relinquish; to do without
distraction
mental distress; that which amuses or entertains
dilate
to made wider; to expand
detest
to hate
belated
delayed; postponed; detained
gadfly
a person who annoys others
circumvent
to go around; bypass; to surround
poise
self-assurance; composure; equilibrium
opulence
extreme wealth; luxuriousness; abundance
fissure
split; an opening
bridle
to restrain
presage
to indicate or warn in advance
reproach
to express disapproval for a fault, usually out of a sense of disappointment
rapacious
excessively greedy; taking by force
viscous
resistant to flow; thick (of a liquid)
divine
related to a god; supremely good or beautiful
shibboleth
a custom or phrase distinctive of a particular group, class, etc.
pauper
one who is extremely poor, esp. one living on public charity
lavish
generous; extravagant
adversary
an enemy; opponent
defray
provide for the payment of
formidable
inspiring fear or dread
patrician
a person of refined manners or background; a member of the aristocracy; aristocratic
fume
to be in a state of anger
procrastinate
to delay; to put off
yoke
to join together; to unite closely
circumscribe
to define the limits of
resonant
strong and deep in tone
relief
a distinction or prominence due to contrast
Machiavellian
practicing deceit or cunning; favoring expediency over moral principle
harbor
to give shelter; to entertain or nourish (a specific thought or feeling)
havoc
great destruction and devastation
premeditate
to think out, plan, or scheme beforehand
recumbent
lying down in a position of comfort
demean
to disrespect; to lower; to degrade; to ridicule
chide
to scold
byzantine
highly complicated or intricate; characterized by devious plotting
lull
to soothe or calm; to deceive into trustfulness
homogeneous
uniform; of the same kind
hypothesis
a tentative explanation; something assumed true for the sake of argument or investigation
shoal
an area of shallow water
satire
irony, sarcasm, or caustic wit used to attack human vice or folly, esp. in a literary work
goad
to prod or urge, as if with a pointed stick; a long stick used to prod animals; something used to urge on
figment
something that is created; something that is imagined
centrifugal
moving away from the center
stratum
a level or layer
paradox
a statement or situation that appears contradictory
utilitarian
stressing practical use over other values
vestige
a trace of something that once existed but has disappeared
denizen
an inhabitant; one who is often found in a particular place
parlay
to use success in one thing to achieve greater success in further things; to transform a gain into something of greater value
dispatch
to send off promptly; efficient speed; a message, esp. official or from a journalist
malcontent
a dissatisfied person
usurp
to take over by force (e.g., property or rights) without legal authority
oblique
not straight to the point; indirect
insensible
not able to feel or perceive; unresponsive
uproarious
extremely funny
consign
to give to the care of another; to set apart
complicity
association or participation in a wrongful act
whimsical
not able to be predicted; constantly changing
caustic
capable of burning or corroding by chemical action; bitingly sarcastic, cutting
truncate
to cut short
inscribe
to write, carve or engrave words or letters on or in a surface
impertinent
rude
municipal
relating to local government
margin
a border or edge; a limit in condition or ability; an amount or degree of difference
subsidize
to assist financially or pay for, esp. by the government
sporadic
occurring irregularly
dislodge
to force out of a concealed position
decisive
conclusive; beyond doubt; showing determination
detriment
injury or damage
succulent
full of juice; highly enjoyable
immaterial
not significant or relevant
pale
to decrease in relative importance
humane
kind; compassionate
incorrigible
unable to be corrected or reformed
patrimony
property inherited from one's father or other ancestor
enumerate
to count off or list
mannerism
a distinctive behavioral trait; an idiosyncrasy
reserved
self-restrained and withdrawn in speech and manner
benchmark
a standard to which other things are compared or by which they are measured
bedlam
any place or condition of noise and confusion
innovative
marked by a new or unusual way of doing things
relent
to become less severe; to give in
token
performed only as an indication of intent
reflective
thoughtful
opportune
suitable for a particular purpose; occurring at a favorable moment
decoy
a thing or person used to lure or tempt into a trap
boisterous
noisy and wild; unruly
factious
causing dissension
cudgel
a heavy, usually short, stick or club; to hit with such a stick or club
depict
to represent; to portray
slander
a false, oral statement that damages a person's reputation; to make such a statement
arid
dry and barren; not interesting
heterogeneous
not similar; very different; mixed together
rotund
rounded in figure; plump
apprehend
to become aware of through the senses
idiosyncrasy
a particular, peculiar, or eccentric trait
apprehension
worry or unease
strident
loud, shrill, or harshly grating; forcefully assertive or harshly critical
rampant
unrestrained
acquit
to declare free of guilt; to clear
supplant
to take the place of
tortuous
winding, twisted
ilk
kind; sort; class
debunk
to expose the falsehood of
folly
an act of foolishness
impetus
an impelling or originating force
cache
a hiding place for storage of provisions or valuables
sensuous
appealing to the senses, esp. those involved in appreciating beauty
congeal
to solidify by or as if by freezing
transpose
to change the relative position or order of
gratis
free of charge
martinet
one who is strict in discipline, and enjoys authority too much
appall
to horrify
scenario
an outline for a planned series of events, either real or imagined; a summary of a work of fiction
plight
sad situation
oligopoly
domination of a market by only a few businesses
shambles
utter disorder
exorbitant
excessive
celerity
speed in motion; swiftness
uncouth
uncultured; crude
obliterate
to destroy so as to leave no trace
delineate
to draw the outline of; describe in words or gestures
extenuate
to lessen the seriousness of, esp. by giving partial excuses
beset
to attack from all sides; to trouble persistently
smolder
to burn without a flame and with little smoke; to exist in a barely suppressed state (as with anger or tension)
vigilant
alert and watchful, esp. for what is dangerous
usury
excessive charging of interest
intricate
elaborately detailed
shuffle
to walk while scraping or sliding the feet
raucous
loud and harsh
prostrate
lying face down, esp. as a sign of humility or worship; physically or emotional exhausted
recluse
one who hides from the world
meander
to follow a winding course; to wander without any fixed destination
shrewd
clever in practical matters; cunning
vivacious
full of animation
appease
to satisfy or attempt to satisfy demands by granting concessions
extemporaneous
done with little or no preparation
scurry
to move with light running steps
temporize
to act evasively in order to gain time
zenith
maximum; the highest point
thwart
to prevent or frustrate
excoriate
to denounce sharply; to tear or wear the skin off
credulous
tending to believe too easily
stamina
resistance to fatigue or hardship; endurance
mendicant
a beggar; one who depends on charity for support
scour
to wash by scrubbing vigorously
amorous
feeling strong attraction, esp. sexual
refractory
stubbornly resistant to control, authority, or treatment
parvenu
someone recently risen to a higher social class and not yet accepted by others in that class, often because of a lack of manners
stoic
apparently indifferent to joy, grief, pleasure, or pain
abolish
to put an end to
maim
to cripple; to mutilate; to disable
fiasco
a major disaster
nemesis
one who inflicts justified or great punishment; a source of harm or ruin
nonplus
to put at a loss what to do or think
parsimony
excessive care in spending; stinginess
implicit
not plainly stated
agitate
to move violently; to disturb
aesthetic
relating to beauty
indifferent
uncaring; showing no bias or preference
manumit
to grant freedom to slaves; to emancipate
cynical
distrusting others from a sense that everyone's motives are selfish
animosity
bitter hostility, esp. that which provokes punitive action
amiable
friendly and agreeable; sociable
emigration
departure from one country for another
paucity
smallness of number; scarcity
disgruntled
discontented; displeased
commence
to begin
raze
to demolish; to flatten to ground level
therapeutic
having healing powers
superfluous
unnecessary; extra
figurehead
a person with apparent but no real authority
undulate
to move in a wave-like motion
quibble
to criticize or evade the truth by raising trivial or irrelevant objections
esteem
high regard; respect; to regard highly
stentorian
extremely loud
revere
to honor
trying
resulting from great difficulties; irritating
forlorn
appearing sad because abandoned; in pitiful condition; almost without hope
sonorous
having a full, deep sound; impressive in style of speech
clamber
to crawl or climb with difficultly, esp. on all fours
beneficent
performing deeds of kindness or charity; producing a good result
digress
to turn aside from the main subject
impending
about to happen
repress
to hold back; to put down by force
divisive
creating conflict
maudlin
excessively sentimental
spendthrift
one who spends money wastefully
obsequious
showing too great a willingness to serve or obey
perennial
lasting through the years
punitive
inflicting or intended to inflict punishment
euphoria
a feeling of great happiness
flux
flow; continuous change or movement
misanthrope
one who hates or mistrusts mankind
antipathy
a feeling of strong repulsion or aversion
malefactor
one who does wrong; a villain
tractable
easily managed or controlled
fawn
to exhibit affection like a dog; to flatter excessively
quandary
a state of uncertainty, esp. about what course of action to take
dote
to show excessive love or fondness
aggrandize
to enlarge; increase in size, power or rank
wax
to become larger
retribution
punishment for a wrong committed
abound
to be plentiful
wary
cautious; on guard
wince
to flinch in pain or fear
fortitude
strength of mind that allows one to endure adversity
reminisce
to recall the past, esp. fondly
sanctuary
a holy place; a place of refuge
civil
observing accepted social customs; not rude
viable
able to live; capable of success
myopic
near-sighted
mogul
a rich or powerful person
delve
to look for; to search; to investigate
cavil
to argue in a petty fashion; make trifling objections
notorious
having a bad reputation
disingenuous
not straightforward or candid; crafty
litigant
one who is engaged in a lawsuit
fertile
producing abundantly; prolific
hapless
unfortunate; unlucky
timbre
the distinguishing quality of a sound
skittish
nervous; easily frightened
connoisseur
an expert, esp. in the fine arts
prototype
the original model; someone or something that serves to illustrate the typical qualities of a class
patronize
to sponsor or support; to be kind or helpful in a snobbish way, as if dealing with an inferior
segue
an easy, effective, or uninterrupted transition
falter
to hesitate or stumble
expedition
a journey undertaken for a specific reason, such as for war or exploration; speed in doing something
expertise
specialized skill or knowledge
torrent
a swift-flowing stream; an uncontrolled outpouring
deity
a god
immune
not subject to an obligation imposed on others; not affected by an influence
venomous
malignant; spiteful; secreting poison
nomad
one who has no permanent home
subdue
to conquer; to make less intense
ruffle
to take away the smoothness of; to discompose
conviction
a strong belief or opinion
penury
lack of money, property, or necessities
veritable
being truly named; real or genuine
frugal
careful in spending money or resources
absolve
to free from guilt or blame
gyrate
to revolve on an axis; to spin
benefactor
one who helps and supports others
resonate
to echo
quarry
a hunted bird or animal; prey
clamor
a loud and continuous noise
fracas
a noisy fight
fluke
an accidental stroke of good luck
predominant
surpassing all others; most common
insatiable
incapable of being satisfied
sedate
calm; quiet
nirvana
a place of ideal peace and harmony
haggard
appearing tired and thin, as from anxiety, disease, hunger, etc.
collateral
parallel; serving to support; of a secondary nature
rural
relating to the country or farming
nuance
variation of meaning; subtlety
etymology
the study of origins of words
mayhem
deliberate injury of someone, esp. maiming; a state of violent chaos
alliteration
repetition of initial consonants in several words in a phrase or line
inception
commencement; beginning; origin
tout
to solicit customers; to praise or recommend highly
acoustics
science of sound; quality that makes a room easy or hard to hear in
assail
to attack; to assault
lummox
a clumsy person
abject
of the lowest degree; brought low in condition
xenophobia
fear or hatred of strangers or foreigners
palpable
capable of being handled, touched, or felt; easily perceived
subvert
to corrupt; to overthrow completely
periphery
a boundary line; perimeter; an outside surface
tyranny
arbitrary or unrestrained exercise of power; despotic abuse of authority
regress
to return to a previous state
plummet
to decline or descend sharply
placebo
something presented as a drug, but having no actual effect
putative
put forth or accepted as true on inadequate grounds; supposed
concede
to acknowledge as true
maul
to injure; mangle
serendipity
unexpected gift or discovery
obtuse
slow in understanding; dull; stupid
fitful
occurring in irregular outbursts; occurring in spurts
novice
a person new to a field or activity; a beginner
underscore
to emphasize
ode
a long, lyrical poem, usually serious or meditative in nature
wry
dryly humorous, with a touch of irony
dreary
depressing and boring
placate
to make less angry
correlate
to correspond; to be mutually related
valiant
courageous, brave, as in battle
fathom
to measure the depth of; to understand
perpetuity
a state or infinite or indefinitely long duration
euphony
pleasing sound, esp. of words
palliate
to lessen the pain or severity
gibe
to ridicule
writhe
to twist or squirm, as in pain, struggle or embarrassment
nondescript
lacking distinction or individual character
mar
to damage
docile
easy to teach; submissive
ambiance
environment
invoke
to call upon; to appeal to, as for confirmation; to summon
quotidian
daily; customary
mélange
a mixture; a hodgepodge
beatific
showing joy or saintliness
succumb
to give in or yield
meretricious
attracting attention in a vulgar way
grimace
a facial expression that shows disapproval or pain; to make such an expression
occult
relating to the supernatural; beyond human comprehension; mysterious
teeming
overfilled; crowded; pouring out
pedantic
putting unnecessary stress on minor or purely academic knowledge
mangle
to mutilate; to disfigure something by cutting or crushing
respite
temporary relief
pandemonium
a situation of great confusion, esp. because of fear or anger
urban
relating to a city
sweltering
oppressively hot and humid
explicit
fully revealed or made clear
candor
frankness or sincerity of expression
surmise
to infer something by intuition or with slender evidence; such an inference
rectitude
conduct according to moral principles
trek
to travel or migrate, esp. slowly or with great difficulty
aural
perceived by the ear
benevolent
characterized by doing good
idyllic
pleasing and simple
preposterous
absurd; ridiculous; senseless; irrational
sanction
to give official approval
shirk
to put off or avoid performing (a duty or responsibility)
insuperable
impossible to overcome
forage
to search for food or provisions
hirsute
having excessive body hair
rancorous
bitter and resentful
gruesome
causing horror; frightful and shocking
strut
to walk with a proud, arrogant bearing
eulogy
a speech or written tribute in praise of someone who has died
leery
suspicious; distrustful
laden
loaded; burdened; afflicted
inalienable
not able to be taken away or transferred to others
cleave
to split with a sharp instrument; to cling
annul
to make void or invalid
gregarious
seeking and enjoying the company of others; tending to move in a group
entourage
a group of attendants or followers
pungent
sharp to the smell or taste
decor
a decorative style or scheme, as of a room
benediction
blessing
fervent
passionate; eager; earnest
jeopardy
risk of loss or injury; peril
unassuming
modest; not pretentious
malady
a disease; illness; sickness
florid
flushed with rosy color; overdecorated
obstreperous
noisy and stubbornly defiant
nocturnal
occurring at night
primordial
living or existing at the very beginning
fastidious
not easy to please; very critical or discriminating
tranquil
calm, unruffled
forensic
related to the law or debate
regime
a government or form of government; the time when a particular government is in power
incongruous
lacking agreement; incompatible
temperate
consistent; moderate; without extremes
quaint
odd, esp. in an old-fashioned way
unkempt
sloppy; messy; unclean
cacophony
a harsh, jarring sound
bravura
a showy display
purport
to claim, esp. falsely
ferment
excitement; agitation
gangly
awkwardly tall
adage
a familiar saying; a proverb
malaise
a vague feeling of physical discomfort or uneasiness
pervade
to spread through or be present throughout
lax
careless; lacking firmness
indignation
anger aroused by something unjust or evil
eon
a long period of time
arcane
understood only by a few
castigate
to criticize or punish severely, esp. in public
induct
to place formally in office; to admit as a member
trivial
of little worth or importance
corollary
a natural consequence or effect; a deduction or an inference
overwrought
extremely nervous or excited
disabuse
to free from error or falsehood
generic
without a trademark; general
stipulate
to agree to a fact as part of a larger debate; to state a demand in an agreement
volatile
tending to vary widely; unstable; quickly evaporating
fetid
having a bad odor
disarray
confusion, disorder
plethora
an excessive amount
exacerbate
to make more violent, bitter, or severe
ephemeral
lasting a short time, fleeting
disposed
having a preference or tendency
beacon
a signaling light; a source of guidance or inspiration
definitive
complete
incessant
never pausing; continuous; without a stop
conceit
a fanciful idea or image, esp. an exaggerated poetic comparison; an extravagant construction
largess
generosity in giving gifts
eschew
to avoid, to shun
blatant
offensively obvious; unpleasantly noisy
innocuous
harmless
derive
to obtain from a specified source
uncanny
strangely unsettling, as if of supernatural origin
avocation
a hobby
impinge
to have an effect on something, esp. a negative one; to encroach
cavalcade
an order of events; a procession
facade
outward appearance; the face of a building
emphatic
done or expressed with force
hallmark
any mark or symbol of genuineness or high quality
propaganda
material distributed by those in favor of a specific cause and reflecting their point of view
acrid
harsh; sarcastic; bitter to the taste
abide
to tolerate
disconsolate
extremely unhappy; seemingly beyond comforting
lugubrious
sad or mournful, esp. in a way that seems exaggerated or ridiculous
dogmatic
arrogantly asserting unproved principles
alienate
to make unfriendly or hostile
ascertain
to discover with certainty, as through examination
ulterior
lying beyond what is evident, revealed, or claimed
subterfuge
a sneaky or devious method for avoiding difficulty or unpleasantness
vernacular
informal speech; native language
rebuke
to criticize sharply
affluence
wealth
camaraderie
loyalty; a warm, friendly feeling among members of a group
regimen
a set of rules, usually followed for a therapeutic effect
doctrine
a set of principles (religious, political, etc.); a rule of law, esp. as established by precedent
effrontery
bold and insulting behavior
terse
without unnecessary words; succinct
jilt
to reject or cast off
infinitesimal
exceedingly small; minute
variegated
distinctly marked with different colors; diverse
erratic
inconsistent, unpredictable
venial
easily excused or forgiven
zeal
intense passion or enthusiasm
peer
a person or thing of the same rank
olfactory
relating to the sense of smell
divulge
to reveal or make known
conducive
tending to bring about
odyssey
a long, adventurous journey
negotiate
to succeed in going over, coping with, or accomplishing
submissive
willing to obey without hesitation; docile
encumber
to burden or weigh down
endeavor
a serious attempt or effort
inextricable
incapable of being solved or untangled
scruple
a moral principle that restrains actions
antediluvian
very old; outdated
innate
possessed at birth; inborn
hedonist
someone who seeks only pleasure
rote
mechanical memorization, often without full understanding
byproduct
a side-effect; something produced in the making of something else
liable
legally obligated; likely (w/reference to an unfavorable outcome)
august
inspiring awe or admiration, esp. because of high rank or character
discreet
careful about what one says or does; prudent
egregious
outstanding for undesirable qualities; remarkably bad
improvident
not preparing for the future; incautious
sanguine
optimistic, cheerful
impoverished
without money; deprived of natural resources
diffident
lacking self-confidence; timid; shy
tenor
the general character or meaning of something
excruciating
severely painful
repel
to drive or force back; to drive off
surly
sullen and rude
coax
to persuade or obtain by pleading or flattery
sinecure
a paid position that requires little or no work
venerable
worthy of honor and respect by reason of dignity, age, etc.
emulate
to copy someone; to imitate
tandem
a relationship between two people or things involving cooperative action
sequester
to move or set apart; to quarantine
quintessence
a pure substance or essence of something
squander
to spend wastefully
antiseptic
free from germs; thoroughly clean; a substance that inhibits the growth of germs
contrite
feeling sorry for what one has done
edifice
a building; architectural monument
antithesis
direct contrast; opposition
improvise
to do without preparation
deplete
to gradually use up (resources, strength, etc.)
amorphous
without definite shape; shapeless; unorganized
ubiquitous
present everywhere
recur
to repeat; to occur again
nurture
to nourish, educate, or encourage
scintillate
to give off sparks; to be animated or brilliant
purvey
to supply
palette
a board which an artist can hold while painting and on which colors can be mixed; the range of colors used in a particular painting or by a particular artist
entropy
a steady decline in the order within a system; disorder, chaos
gamut
an entire range or series
draconian
extremely harsh and severe
commodious
spacious; roomy
rank
conspicuously offensive, esp. in smell or taste; complete
engaging
attractive; charming
electorate
the total group of qualified voters
habitat
the place where a person or thing is ordinarily found
lackadaisical
showing lack of interest or spirit
girth
the distance around something; circumference
sycophant
one who seeks favor by flattering people of wealth or influence
stem
to stop; to restrain
self-abnegation
the putting aside of personal interest for the sake of others
barrage
a heavy, prolonged attack
anachronism
something not belonging to a certain time period
linchpin
a central element that holds other parts together
rancid
spoiled or rotten (esp. oils or fats)
atavistic
reverting to past traits, esp. to traits absent for a long time
craven
cowardly; contemptibly timid
hermetic
completely sealed, esp. from entry or escape of air
placid
calm, undisturbed
defer
to delay; to put off
transient
passing with time; remaining only briefly
coherent
logically consistent and orderly
opportunist
one who takes advantage of every opportunity, whether or not it is moral to do so
precarious
dangerously insecure or unstable
germane
fitting and appropriate
allege
to assert to be true, esp. without or before proof
reticence
the quality or state of being silent or uncommunicative
inculcate
to teach or impress by frequent repetition; to instill
burnish
to polish
inordinate
excessive, unrestrained
abdicate
to willingly give up the position of king, queen, etc.; to choose not to fulfill a role or duty
extricate
to remove from an entanglement or difficulty
crevice
a crack or narrow fissure
austere
stern or severe in appearance; without luxury
manifest
obvious; very clear; evident
voracious
devouring; extremely hungry
repose
relaxation; a state of rest
abrade
to wear down a surface by or as if by scraping
hoodwink
to deceive; to mislead
bondage
slavery; servitude
premonition
a sense of a future event; a warning in advance
dismay
to destroy courage or resolution; to cause to lose enthusiasm, to disillusion
posterity
future generations
magnanimous
generous; noble in mind
renovate
to make new
embed
to fix in a surrounding mass
winsome
charming, esp. in a childlike or innocent way
irascible
easily angered; quick-tempered
morass
an area of swampy ground; something that hinders
commandeer
to seize or take, esp. by police or military force
subside
to settle down
culinary
relating to the kitchen or cookery
commodity
an item of trade or commerce, esp. as distinguished from a service
palatable
pleasant or acceptable to the taste
subtle
not immediately obvious; hard to understand
judicious
wise and careful
quixotic
foolishly idealistic; extravagantly chivalrous
desiccate
to dry completely
maelstrom
a violently confused state; a very large whirlpool
cajole
to attempt to persuade with flattery or insincere talk
astringent
severe; strong; harsh
seduce
to lure or attract; to lead astray
firebrand
one who stirs up trouble or revolt
podium
a raised platform on which a speaker or conductor stands
herald
to bear news; to announce
confiscate
to seize (private property) by or as if by someone in authority
remiss
careless in, or negligent about, attending to a task
evoke
to call forth or call to mind
sacrosanct
very sacred, holy, or inviolable
engender
to beget; to cause; to promote
phlegmatic
having a calm, sluggish temperament; unemotional
solicitous
showing anxious concern
recede
to go back; to withdraw
laudable
worthy of praise
burgeon
to sprout or grow rapidly
halcyon
calm; peaceful
allegory
a literary work in which the characters represent abstract ideas; a symbolic representation
hubris
excessive pride
apogee
the highest point; the farthest point in a satellite's orbit
sully
to dirty or tarnish, esp. by disgracing
ensue
to happen subsequently
catharsis
purging of the emotions
choleric
easily angered; bad-tempered
mnemonic
pertaining to or assisting the memory
equivocal
capable of multiple interpretations; unclear
reprehensible
deserving to be severely criticized
banish
to drive away; to force to leave a place by official decree
sullen
showing silent anger and unwillingness to be pleasant to people
putrid
in a foul state, as of decaying flesh; rotten
epitome
a representative example of a type
assimilate
to take in as one's own; to absorb; to adapt or adjust to the customs, etc. of a group
robust
strong and full of health
congenial
suited to one's needs or nature; friendly; sympathetic
elaborate
detailed; carefully thorough; to develop with care or at greater length
gauche
socially awkward
cornucopia
an abundance
salve
an ointment that heals or soothes, a balm; to soothe or heal with such an ointment
extract
to remove, esp. with effort
versatile
competent in many things
adduce
to show as an example or means of proving something
extol
to praise highly and lavishly
interlocutor
someone who takes part in a conversation, esp. formally
encomium
high praise
abduct
to take away, kidnap
indelible
incapable of being removed or erased
gauge
an instrument for measuring or testing; to measure
mercurial
easily changeable; erratic
prudent
marked by careful planning; discreet
cryptic
secretive or partially concealed; mysterious
menial
lowly or servant-like
montage
a composite of elements, esp. pictures, placed closely next to one another
drastic
extreme; severe
acumen
quickness and accuracy of judgement or insight
cosmopolitan
having worldwide scope; so sophisticated as to be at home in all parts of the world
obtrude
to push forward; to impose (oneself or ideas) on others
paroxysm
a sudden convulsion or outburst; a fit
monolithic
massive, solid and uniform in appearance
approbation
official approval
heyday
a time of success or popularity
cantankerous
bad-tempered; quarrelsome
berate
to scold severely and at length
vantage
a position that gives a wide view
redress
to set right; to remedy
arable
suitable for growing crops (of land)
explicate
to give a detailed, usually learned explanation or analysis
claustrophobia
fear of confined spaces
indefatigable
tireless, unceasing
advocate
to speak in support of something
tract
an area of land or water; a brief written work, usually on a religious or political topic
itinerant
traveling from place to place, esp. for work
acrimony
bitter, sharp hostility in speech or behavior
incoherent
not sticking together; not logically connected
moratorium
suspension of activity; authorized delay
provenance
place or source of origin
melancholy
sad, esp. a lingering or habitual state of mind; persistent sadness
downtrodden
badly and unfairly treated; oppressed
affable
friendly; easy to talk to
disseminate
to scatter widely; (of information) to make known
panacea
a cure-all or an all-purpose solution
dire
warning of or having terrible conseqences
blight
a plant disease; something that impairs growth, progress, or prosperity
concur
to agree
moribund
approaching death; nearly obsolete
cordial
warm and friendly; hearty