80 terms

English Midterm Vocab Compilation

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acquiesce
v. to accept without protest; to agree or submit

ac = to/toward; quiesce = rest
altercation
n. fight or dispute

alter = other; cari = difference
altruism
adj. unselfish regard for the welfare of others

alter = other; -ism = action or process
ephemeral
adj. lasting only a short time, fleeting

ex = out; pheme = day; -al = characterized by
epitaph
n. an inscription on a tombstone; a brief comment about a deceased person

epi = on/upon; taph = tomb
epitome
n. a summary, condensed account; an instance that represents a larger reality

epi = on/upon; tom = to cut
eponymous
adj. referring to the name of a person, a mythical being, or a literary figure associated with something, or to a word incorporating the name of such a person

epi = on/upon; nym = name; -ous = possessing/full of/characterized by
indisposed
adj. slightly ill; disinclined to do something

in = not; dis = apart; pos = put/place
juggernaut
n. n irresistible force that crushes everything in its path

Origin: Religion
Background: Altered from Jaggernaut, a title of Hindi god Krishna that literally meant "lord of the world".
juxtapose
v. place side by side (either physically or in a metaphorical way, such as to make a comparison)

juxta = close by; pos = put/place
malapropism
n. a word humorously misused

Origin: Literature
Background: Mrs. Malaprop in Sheridan's play "The Rivals" noted for her humorous misuse of large words.
myrmidon
n. obedient and unquestioning follower

Origin: Greek Myth
Background: A member of the war-like Thessalonian people led by Achilles at the siege of Troy.
narcisssim
n. excessive self love

Origin: Greek
Background: From Greek Narkissos, name of a beautiful youth in mythology who fell in love with his own reflection in a spring and was turned to the flower narcissus.
odyssey
n. a long, adventurous voyage; a quest

Origin: Literature
Background: Homer's epic poem told the story of odysseus's ten-year journey.
propinquity
adj. closeness; proximity

pro = forward/forth; pinqu = near; -ity = state or condition
pseudonym
n. a pen name, name assumed by a writer

pseudo = false; nym = name
quiescent
adj. inactive, at rest

quiese = rest; -ent = state or condition
rapprochement
n. reestablishing a cordial relationship

rap = again; proche = near; -ment = action or process
requiem
n. a song or religious service for the dead or lost

re = again; quiem = rest
unrequited
adj. not reciprocated or returned in kind

un = not; re = again; quit = release or discharge
anathema
n. an object of intense dislike; a curse or strong denunciation

ana = against; thema (tithenai) = theme
antithesis
n. the direct opposite, a sharp contrast

anti = opposite; thesis (tithenai) = subject
epithet
n. an adjective or descriptive phrase expressing a quality characteristic of the person or thing mentioned.

epi = upon, near; thet (tithenai) = theme
anarachy
n. a lack of government and law; confusion

an = against, without; arch = chief or ruler; -y = characterized by
oligarchy
n. a form of government in which all power is vested in a few persons or in a dominant class or clique; government by the few.

olig = small/little; arch = chief or ruler; -y = characterized by
gregarious
adj. living together in a herd or group; sociable, seeking the company of others

greg = group, flock; -ious = full of, characterized by
aggregation
n. a large group or collection of people, animals, or things.

ag(d) = to, toward; greg = group, flock; -ation = the act of doing something
egregious
adj. extraordinarily or conspicuously bad; glaring

e(x) = out; greg = group, flock; -ious = full of, characterized by
conducive
adj. making a certain situation or outcome likely or possible

con = with; duc = lead; -ive = experessing tendency, function, connection
induce
v. to cause, bring about; to persuade

in = in, into; duc = lead
traduce
v. to slander someone's reputation

tra(ns) = across; duc = lead
redoubt
n. an isolated work forming a complete enclosure of any form, used to defend a prominent point

re = again; doubt (duc) = lead
ponderous
adj. heavy; bulky and unwieldy; dull, labored

ponder = weight; -ous = full of
imponderable
adj. impossible to estimate, fathom or figure out

im = not; ponder = weight; -able = ability
preponderant
adj. superior in number, force, power, or importance.

pre = before; ponder = weight; -ant = kind of agent or indication
machiavellian
adj. governed by opportunity, not principled

Origin: Florentine
Background: Niccolo Machiavelli; Florentine statesman and author of "Del Principe," a work advising rulers to place advantage above morality.
phoenix
n. a bird of Egyptian mythology that periodically burned itself up and then reemerged from the ashes; a person or thing of unmatched quality

Origin: Greek
Background: A mythical bird of Arabia which flew to Egypt every 500 years to be reborn.
iridescent
adj. showing luminous colors that seem to change when seen from different angles

Origin: Greek
Background: Iris was the goddess of the rainbow along which she travelled to earth as a messenger of the gods
renascent
adj. coming into being again; showing renewed growth or vigor

Origin: Latin
Background: The Renaissance was the activity, spirit, or time of the great revival of art, literature, and learning in Europe beginning in the 14th century and extending to the 17th century, marking the transition from the medieval to the modern world.
titanic
adj. of enormous size, strength, power, or scope

Origin: Greek
Background: from Latin Titan, from Greek Titan, member of a mythological race of giants who attempted to scale heaven by piling Mount Pelion on Mount Ossa but were overthrown by Zeus and the gods.
hegemony
n. domination, authority; influence by one country over others socially, culturally, economically, etc.

hegemon = leader; -y characterized by
exegesis
n. explanation, especially of biblical passage

ex = out; ege = to guide
annunciation
The announcement by the angel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary that God wanted her to be the Mother of the Savior, Jesus Christ; the act of declaration or proclamation

an(d) = to, toward; nunci = speak, to declare; -ation = the act of doing something
renunciation
n. the act of turning away from, rejecting or denying

re = again; nunci = speak, to declare; -ation = the act of doing something
potentate
n. monarch or ruler with great power

potent = powerful, mighty; -ate = characterized by
puissant
adj. mighty; powerful; forceful

puiss = strong; -ant = kind of agent, indication
cataclysm
n. a violent upheaval that causes great destruction and change

cata = down, against; clysm = to wash
catapult
v. to launch
n. a device for hurling objects, a slingshot

cata = down, against; pult = to toss, hurl
verisimilitude
n. the appearance of being true or real

veri = true; simili = like, similar; -ude = indicating state or condition
verity
n. the quality of being true; something true

ver = true; -ity = state or condition
aver
v. to affirm, declare confidently

a(d) = to, toward; ver = truth
acquisitive
adj. seeking or tending to acquire; greedy

ac(d) = to, toward; quis = seek, ask; -tive = having the quality of
inquisition
n. an official investigation, especially one of a political or religious nature, characterized by lack of regard for individual rights, prejudice on the part of the examiners, and recklessly cruel punishments.

in = into, on, near; quis = seek, ask; -ition = condition or action
querulous
adj. inclined to complain; irritable

quer = to complain; -ous = having the quality of
debase
v. to lower in character, quality, or value; to degrade, adulterate; to cause to deteriorate

de = from, down, away; base = low
thespian
n. an actor or actress
adj. pertaining to tragedy or to the dramatic art in general

Origin: Greek
Background: From Greek Thespis, poet of 6c. B.C.E., the traditional father of Greek tragedy.
meander
v. to wander aimlessly

Origin: Greek
Background: from Greek Maiandros, name of a river in Caria noted for its winding course (the Greeks used the name figuratively for winding patterns).
stoic
adj. indifferent to or unaffected by pleasure or pain; steadfast

Origin: Greek
Background: from Greek stoikos "pertaining to a member of or the teachings of the school founded by Zeno
Lucullan
adj. sumptuous; luxurious

Origin: Roman
Background: from Lucius Licinius (ˈluːsɪəs lɪˈsɪnɪəs). ?110-56 bc, Roman general and consul, famous for his luxurious banquets. He fought Mithradates VI (74-66)
saturnalia
n. a period of unrestrained revelry; named after the ancient Roman festival of Saturn, with general feasting in revelry in honor of the winter solstice.

Origin: Roman
Background: time of merrymaking, 1590s, from Latin Saturnalia, ancient Roman festivals of Saturn (held in December), a time of merrymaking for all
meretricious
adj. alluring by a show of flashy or vulgar attractions
Based on pretense, deception, or insincerity

meretric = prostitute; -ious = having the qualities of, full of
meritorious
adj. deserving praise, reward, esteem, praiseworthy.

merit = worth, praise; -ious = having the qualities of, full of
importune
v. to beg persistently and urgently

im = into, towards; port = carry
opportunist
n. a person who takes advantage of opportunity with no regard for principle.

op = toward, against, in the way; port = carry; -ist = a person who
presumption
n. assumed knowledge in advance of proof

pre = before; sump = take, use; -tion = state or quality
subsume
v. to include as part of a larger group

sub = under; sume = take, use
acumen
n. keen, quick, accurate insight or judgment

acu = sharp; -en = quality or state
acute
adj. quickly perceptive; keen; brief and severe

acu = sharp
peremptory
adj. leaving no opportunity for denial or refusal, positive or assertive in speech

per = through, intensive; empt = take, buy; -ory = relating to
preempt
v. to seize something by prior right

pre = before; empt = take, buy
redemption
n. the action of saving or being saved from sin, error, or evil.

re = again, empt = take, buy, -ion = consisting of
pecuniary
adj. pertaining to money

pecuni = property; -ary = relating to
impecunious
adj. poor; having no money

im = not, pecuni = property; -ous = full of
luminary
n. bright object; celebrity; source of inspiration

lumen = light; -ary = of, relating to
luminescence
n. the production of light without heat

lumen = light; -escence = state or process
psyche
n. spirit, soul, mind

Origin: Greek Myth
Background: A Hellenistic personification of the soul as female, or sometimes as a butterfly. The allegory of Psyche's love for Cupid is told in The Golden Ass by Apuleius.
Palladium
n. safeguard, something to insure safety

Origin: Greek Myth
Background: Late Middle English (in the Greek sense): via Latin from Greek palladion, denoting an image of the goddess Pallas (Athene), on which the safety of Troy was believed to depend.
Sisyphean
adj. requiring endless effort; without result or success

Origin: Greek Myth
Background: Sisyphus, a son of Aeolus and ruler of Corinth, noted for his trickery: he was punished in Tartarus by being compelled to roll a stone to the top of a slope, the stone always escaping him near the top and rolling down again.
maenad
n. crazy woman

Origin: Greek Myth
Background: (in ancient Greece) a female follower of Bacchus, traditionally associated with divine possession and frenzied rites.
pyrrhic victory
n. success gained at too high a cost

Origin: Greek
Background: from Pyrrhus, king of Epirus, who defeated Roman armies at Asculum, 280 B.C.E., but at such cost to his own troops that he was unable to follow up and attack Rome itself, and is said to have remarked, "one more such victory and we are lost."