651 terms

Fresno County Spelling Bee

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abate
to make less in amount, degree, force "The weatherman said that the storm would abate."
abhor
to shrink from in fear; disgust or hatred; detest "I abhor baiting my fishhook with worms."
abode
a place where one lives or stays; home; residence "He remained in his abode."
absurd
so clearly untrue or unreasonable as to be ridiculous "It was absurd to say the baby could reach the counter."
active
lively, busy, agile "Last night I babysat for a very active two-year old."
advise
to give advice or an opinion to; counsel "The lawyer will advise her client."
against
in opposition to "The student council voted against school uniforms."
almond
the edible, nutlike kernel of the small, dry peachlike fruit of a tree "Modesto is known as an almond growing region."
amaze
to fill with great surprise or sudden wonder "The musician's talent will amaze the audience."
antics
odd and funny; ludicrous; pranks, capers "The antics of the little monkey made him seem almost human."
appoint
to name or select officially for an office, position "We will appoint a chairman."
argue
to dispute or quarrel. "My friend and I often argue over trivial details.
arrange
to put in the correct, proper, or suitable order "The librarian will arrange the books."
ascend
to go upward "My ears always pop when planes ascend."
aspirin
a white crystalline drug used as a pain and fever remedy "The doctor prescribed aspirin and bed rest for my cold."
ballad
a romantic or sentimental song with the same melody for each stanza "The singer sang a beautiful ballad."
ballot
a ticket or paper by which a vote is registered; act or method of voting "The class president was elected by a written ballot."
balsa
a tropical American tree that yields an extremely light and buoyant wood used for airplane models, rafts "The balsa provides wood for models."
bankrupt
a person legally declared unable to pay his debts "The store's owner was bankrupt and had to go out of business."
banter
to tease or make fun of in a playful, good-natured way "The children banter with each other."
barley
a cereal grass; grain used in making soups, malts and as feed for animals "My mother added barley to the soup to thicken it."
barren
not bringing useful results, unproductive; unprofitable "The barren field was eroding."
barter
to trade for goods or services without using money "The market offered to barter groceries for custodial work."
basin
a washbowl or sink "Rinse your contact lenses over a basin with the drain closed."
believe
to take as true; to have confidence in the promise of another "I believe in my religion."
benefit
promotion of welfare or prosperity "This project will benefit all mankind."
boggle
to confuse or overwhelm "Her idea would boggle your mind."
brief
condensed; short; outline of an argument "Her synopsis of the story was very brief."
burglar
a person who commits burglary "The burglar was brought to trial."
business
a commercial or industrial enterprise "Starting a new business requires money and dedication."
caboose
the trainmen's car on a freight train, usually at the rear "The caboose was the last car."
caldron
a large kettle or boiler "The stew simmered in the caldron."
career
one's progress through life or in a particular vocation "She chose her career carefully."
casserole
earthenware or glass baking dish, or food cooked in one "Please bring a vegetable casserole to the pot luck."
category
one of the divisions used in a system of classification "This chemistry book should be placed in the science category."
character
a person in a novel, story or play "The author created a very believable character in this novel."
chocolate
a food prepared from ground cacao beans. "For dessert we are serving chocolate cake."
chorus
music written for group singing "The group joined together for the chorus."
collar
the part of a garment that encircles the neck; band or chain or leather for the neck of a dog, cat or other pet "Laddie wore a jeweled collar."
compel
to enforce or constrain, as to do something "The new laws compel judges to issue the maximum sentence."
computer
a programmable electronic device that performs operations on data at high speed "Knowing how to use a computer can help you get a better job."
convert
to change from one form to another "We learned how to convert fractions to decimals."
convoy
a protecting escort, as for ships or troops; a group traveling together "Destroyers will convoy the troopships."
copra
the source of coconut meat or coconut oil "Hawaii produces a great amount of copra."
corral
an enclosure for holding or capturing horses or other livestock; pen; to confine; roundup "The wild horses were penned in the corral on the ranch."
corrupt
spoiled; contaminated; morally unsound "The corrupt official accepted a bribe."
creeper
a person or animal that moves along close to the ground; lowest gear in a truck; one-piece garment for a baby; vine with tendrils "The small bird was a creeper searching for insects."
crick
a painful muscle spasm or cramp in the neck or back, etc. "Watching the tennis match gave her a crick in the neck."
crimson
deep red color "The sky, at sunset, became beautifully crimson."
crisis
a turning point in the course of anything; decisive or crucial time, stage of event "His fever reached its crisis at three in the morning."
custom
usual practice of behaving; habit; duties or taxes imposed by a government on imported or exported goods "Having parties at Halloween was the custom of the neighborhood."
dampen
to make moist; to deaden, depress or lessen "She was asked to dampen the clothes so they could be ironed later."
dapper
small and neat; trim; active and smart "He looked dapper in the new suit from his tailor."
data
things known or assumed; facts or figures for information "The computer analyst fed the data into the machine."
deafen
overwhelm with noise "The volume of the loudspeaker will deafen the audience."
debark
to unload from or leave a ship or aircraft "We will proceed to debark the material as soon as the plane stops."
decipher
decode "I could not decipher the doctor's handwriting."
defect
lack of something for completeness; deficiency; forsake one's cause and join the opposition "It was on sale because of a defect in the pattern."
deflect
to turn or make bend to one side; swerve "They used their shields to deflect the arrows."
deft
skillful in a quick, sure and easy way; dexterous "With deft fingers, she continued knitting the sweater."
depress
to press down; push or pull down; lower "If you depress this button, water comes out."
depth
distance from the top downward; deepness; intensity, as of colors "They dropped a stone in the well to try to determine its depth."
desist
to cease; stop; abstain from action "The librarian urged them to desist their discussion so others could study and concentrate."
dessert
usually the sweet course of a dinner; pie; cake, puddings, etc. "Lemon pie is my favorite dessert."
destroy
to tear down; demolish; to break up; ruin; crush "The demolition crew will destroy the whole building."
detract
to take something desirable away from "Frowning will detract from the beauty of her face."
devoid
completely without; empty or destitute "Crippled badly from the accident, he was devoid of any way to resume his former occupation."
dictionary
wordbook, lexicon "If you can't spell the beginning of a word, it is hard to look it up in a dictionary."
direct
consisting of the exact words of the writer or speaker; to show the way to "It was a direct quotation by the speaker."
discard
to throw away, abandon; get rid of as having no value "They planned to discard the unwanted clothing."
discipline
training that develops self-control or character "In obedience classes, pet owners learn to discipline their pets consistently."
dismal
causing gloom; depressing; bleak; dreary "It was a dark and dismal day."
disrupt
to break up; rend asunder; to disturb or interrupt "Bringing up the subject will disrupt the orderliness of this meeting."
distinct
clearly perceived or marked off; plain, well-defined; individual "The medal he received showed a distinct and special honor."
distract
to draw the mind away in another direction; divert "In order to take it from the child, we had to distract his attention by allowing him to pet the cat."
distress
to cause sorrow or misery; pain; suffering "Arthritic pain causes distress in her stiff knee when she walks.
dither
to be nervously excited or confused "Before the curtain rose, she was all in a dither."
dogged
not giving in readily; persistent; stubborn "He showed a dogged resistance to all arguments."
dormant
sleeping; quiet; still; inoperative; inactive "Some plants and animals are dormant during the cold weather."
dosage
the system to be followed in taking doses, as of medicine "He forgot to take his dosage of cough medicine."
doting
foolishly fond; excessively "Sometimes a doting parent can cause problems for the child."
dowdy
not neat or stylish in dress or appearance; shabby "Many of the candidates appeared dowdy."
downy
soft and fluffy, like down "The child petted the downy chick."
draggy
slow moving; lethargic; dull; boring "Some of us are draggy, especially in the early morning."
dreadful
inspiring dread; terrible or awesome "The volcano's eruption was dreadful."
drizzle
a fine, mistlike rain "The drizzle was just enough to make the sidewalks slippery."
dual
of two; having or composed of two parts or kinds; double "He had a dual personality, sometimes very kind, sometimes very aloof and severe."
dusky
lacking light; dim; shadowy "In the dusky room, he could only identify outlines."
eclipse
the partial or total obscuring of the sun when the moon comes between it and the earth; or of the moon when the earth's shadow is cast upon it. "We studied the lunar eclipse in class."
edict
an official proclamation or public order made by authority or decree "The edict issued by the King had to be obeyed by all."
efface
to rub out, as from a surface; erase; wipe out; obliterate "They tried to efface the memory."
elude
to avoid or escape from by quickness, cunning, evade "We will try to elude the traffic congestion."
embark
to board a ship, airplane; to begin a journey, an enterprise "We embark on our journey to Europe at 7:00 p.m."
emblem
a visible symbol of a thing, class of people; a sign "The cross is an emblem of Christianity."
emboss
to cover or decorate with designs; to carve, raise or print a design so it is above the surface; embellish; ornament "She asked her sister to emboss the new chair."
emerge
to develop or evolve as something new, improved "A new town will emerge after construction."
employ
to engage services or labor for pay "The new business is seeking to employ fifty qualified workers."
encamp
to set up a campsite; to put in a camp "The meadow along the river looked like a good site to encamp."
enchant
to charm; bewitch; set a spell on as by magic; delight "Her acting will enchant all who see the play."
endorse
to give approval to; support; sanction "The community will endorse the candidate."
endow
provide with money, talent, quality or property, etc. "In her will, she will endow the hospital with a permanent income."
engorge
to devour greedily "The hungry man seemed to engorge his meal."
engross
to occupy one's whole attention "This book will thoroughly engross him."
engulf
to swallow up; overwhelm "The raging river will engulf the house."
enough
sufficient "Do you have enough clothes for your trip?"
enrich
to give greater value, importance, effectiveness, etc., to "The new class will enrich the curriculum."
error
mistake "Be careful that you don't make an error in spelling this word."
erupt
burst forth or out; to break out in a rash "Lava will erupt from the volcano."
ethnic
designating any, or of any, of the basic groups or divisions of mankind, having the same customs, characteristics, history or language "His ethnic background was Italian."
excel
to be better or greater than; superior to "Tests showed he would excel in Social Studies."
facet
any of a number of sides or aspects, as of a personality "They had never seen the generous facet of his personality."
facile
not hard to do or achieve "After years of practice, her violin playing appeared facile."
faithful
having or showing a strong sense of duty or responsibility "My dog is a very faithful companion."
famine
any acute shortage "The people were suffering from the famine."
feather
the lightweight body covering of birds "Use the feather duster to clean these figurines."
February
the second month of the year "Valentine's Day is February 14th."
feeble
without force or effectiveness "Their feeble attempt was not successful."
fiction
anything made up or imagined, as a statement or story "The librarian directed us to the fiction section."
flaming
burning with fire; blazing; intensely emotional "We watched the fire flaming and casting sparks high in the air."
flimsy
thin and easily broken or damaged; poorly made and fragile "The door was flimsy and could not be locked."
fluent
moving or flowing smoothly; able to write or speak easily, expressively "The teacher was fluent in three languages."
fracas
noisy fight or loud quarrel; brawl "They were having a fracas in the hall."
furnish
supply, provide or equip; to put furniture into a room "They decided to furnish the den with modern pieces."
gallant
stately; imposing "The gallant ship cruised into the harbor."
gamut
the entire range or extent, as of emotions "The actress demonstrated the gamut of emotions."
garble
to confuse or mix up unintentionally "Although she had studied the poem, she started to garble it when it was her turn to recite."
genius
remarkable intellectual aptitude "Only a genius can join Mensa, the high IQ society."
giraffe
large, cud-chewing animal with a very long neck "Seeing the giraffe made our trip to the zoo more enjoyable."
glisten
to shine or sparkle with reflected light, as a wet or polished surface "The new car did glisten in the sunlight."
glossy
having a smooth, shiny appearance or finish "The glossy cat was sleeping in the window."
goulash
a beef stew with onion, paprika and caraway seeds. "My Hungarian grandmother's favorite dish was goulash."
govern
to exercise authority over; rule, administer; direct or control "The officials will govern in an orderly manner."
grammar
the system of word structures and word arrangements of a given language at a given time "In order to speak the language, an understanding of grammar is helpful."
granite
a very hard, crystalline, plutonic rock, gray to pink in color, consisting of feldspar, quartz, and smaller amounts of other minerals "The polished granite shone in the sunlight."
graze
to feed on (growing grass, herbage, a pasture, etc.) "The cattle will graze on the slopes all winter."
gritty
of, like, or containing sand; brave; plucky "Water from the creek left a gritty substance in the bottom of the cup."
gruel
thin, easily digested broth made of meal with water or milk "The hot, tasty gruel did not hurt her sore throat as she swallowed."
heckle
to annoy or harass by interrupting with questions or taunts "The audience began to heckle the speaker."
hinge
a joint or device on which a door, gate, lid, etc., swings "The hinge needed oiling."
hobble
to walk lamely or awkwardly; limp "The horse tried to hobble to the corral."
honest
frank and open "The store owner had an honest face."
honor
to respect greatly; regard highly; esteem "The family met to honor the visiting grandparents."
hopeless
impossible to solve, deal with, teach, etc. "After working on the problem for ten hours, it appeared hopeless."
hostile
having or showing ill will; unfriendly; antagonistic "The lion appeared hostile as the hunter approached."
hunger
discomfort or pain caused by lack of food "My hunger pangs kept me from concentrating on the test."
idler
person who does no work; wastes time; lazy person "No one ever saw him doing things, so they thought him an idler."
ignite
to set fire to; cause to burn "They will ignite the trees with a torch."
ignore
to disregard deliberately; pay no attention to; refuse to consider "The driver appeared to ignore the road signs."
impede
to bar or hinder the progress of; obstruct or delay "Some members tried to impede the program."
impish
mischievous "The child gave him an impish grin and then ran down the street."
impose
to force on another or others without right or invitation; obtrude "Although she did not receive an invitation, she tried to impose on the family."
incite
to set in motion, to urge to action; stir up, rouse "The news of the riot may incite others to act."
induct
to lead in; install, as in office; initiate; enroll in the services "The chairman used a candlelight ceremony to induct new members."
inert
having few or no active properties "The inert gas is not considered to be a danger."
inkling
a vague idea or notion; suspicion "She had an inkling that the biggest present was for her."
innate
existing naturally rather than acquired; possessed at birth, inherent "He has an innate talent for math."
inset
to insert into something else; a map set inside the border of a larger one; a piece of material sewed into a garment "The inset shows the downtown section of the city."
inspire
to fill with high or reverent emotion; stimulate to creativity or action "The concert did inspire him to be a musician."
jabber
fast, incoherent, nonsensical talk; gibberish "No one could understand the jabber of the twins."
jacket
a short coat "This blue jacket would look nice with your new skirt."
jagged
having sharp projecting points; notched or ragged "The jagged edge scratched the smooth surface of the table."
jargon
incoherent speech; gibberish; specialized vocabulary and idioms of those in their own line of work "She recognized the jargon of classmates taking computer classes."
jetsam
that part of the cargo thrown overboard to lighten the ship in danger; discardings "Some of the jetsam they threw overboard might be sorely missed later."
jitney
formerly old slang for five cents, a nickel; small car or bus which travels a regular route and charges a low fare for passengers to ride "The driver of the jitney now charges passengers a dollar."
jostle
to bump or push, as in a crowd; elbow or shove roughly "As the number increased, the crowd began to jostle the players."
journal
a brief account of daily events "We kept a journal of our vacation."
kapok
fiber used for stuffing mattresses, sleeping bags, pillows, etc. "After such a long time of use, the kapok had to be replaced."
kettle
a metal container for boiling or cooking "I'll boil some water in the kettle for your tea."
kindling
bits of dry wood or other easily-lighted material for starting a fire "The campers gathered kindling for the fire."
kosher
loosely, prepared according to traditional Jewish recipes "The kosher pickles were very tasty."
ladle
to dip out and pour as with a ladle "The cook will ladle the soup for each customer."
lament
an outward expression of sorrow; lamentation; wail "A long lament was heard in the garden."
lawyer
an attorney "You should consult your lawyer before signing this contract."
lecture
an informative talk given before an audience, class, etc., and usually prepared beforehand "The history lecture was very interesting."
lettuce
any of a genus of plants grown for its edible green leaves "I'll begin washing the lettuce for the salad."
license
a document, printed tag, permit, etc., indicating that such permission had been granted "The officer asked to see the man's license."
lightning
a flash of light in the sky caused by the discharge of atmospheric electricity from one cloud to another or between a cloud and the earth "The lightning flashed in the sky."
limb
an arm, leg, or wing "He was very lucky; only one limb was broken in the accident."
lining
to cause to or to bring to a straight row or conformity; in alignment "The astronomer was lining up his telescope to look at the stars."
linkage
a linking or being linked "The investigator studied the linkage between the clues."
listless
having no interest in what is going on about one, as a result of illness, weariness, dejection, etc., spiritless; languid "The listless dog lay on the floor by the fire."
lonely
alone, solitary "I was very lonely when I first moved to town."
loose
not confined or restrained; free; unbound "The sails were loose in the breeze."
lucid
clearheaded; rational "The lucid thinker explained the axiom."
macaroon
a cookie made chiefly of egg whites, sugar and coconut or almond paste "I'll bring some macaroon cookies for the bake sale."
machinery
the working parts of a machine or instrument "The workers had the day off when the machinery broke down."
mackerel
a fish, commonly used in cat food. "Canned mackerel is my cat's favorite food."
magnet
a piece of iron or steel that attracts metal "We use a magnet on our refrigerator to hold our shopping list."
margarine
a food product usually made from vegetable oils and skim milk "Would you like margarine or butter on your toast?"
medley
a musical piece made up of tunes or passages from various works "The chorus performed the medley very well."
method
a way of doing anything "What method did you use to arrive at your answer?"
milling
circular or random motion of or as a herd or crowd "The ducks were milling around the bread crumbs."
mimic
imitative; inclined to copy; to ape; make believe; mock "The actor could mimic many of his fellow artists."
murmur
a low indistinct sound "Sitting on the patio, I could hear the murmur of the wind in the trees."
narrate
to tell in writing or speech "The teacher began to narrate the story."
nectar
any very delicious drink; sweetish liquid in flowers gathered by bees to make honey "The icy cold lemonade was like nectar."
nightmare
a frightening or oppressing dream "I had a really scary nightmare last night."
ninth
the ordinal number 9th "In many districts ninth grade is the first year of high school."
nomad
member of a tribe of people having no permanent home; wanderer "Like a nomad, he roamed all over the world."
notice
a written or printed sign giving some public information, warning or rule "The public meeting notice was posted all over town."
nubby
covered with small nubs, or lumps; having a rough, knotted surface "The nubby fabric was rough to touch."
oblong
longer than broad; elongated, specif., (a) rectangular and longer in one direction than in the other, esp. longer horizontally, (b) elliptical "They wondered what was in the oblong box."
obstacle
something that stands in the way or opposes "Scaling the wall was the final challenge of the obstacle course."
occur
to take place; happen "The celebration will occur next week."
offense
the condition of being offended, esp. of feeling hurt, resentful, or angry; umbrage "His friend took offense from the joke."
optic
of the eyes; sense of sight "The optic nerve was not damaged."
orchid
the flower of a tropical plant "As we stepped off the plane in Hawaii, we were given an orchid lei."
ostrich
a large, swift-running bird of Africa and the Near East, the largest and most powerful of living birds: it has a long neck, very long legs with two toes on each foot, and small, useless wings; the white tail and wing feathers of the male are used in millinery and as trimming "The white ostrich feather adorned her new hat."
owing
due; unpaid; because of "The balance owing was ten dollars."
ozone
an unstable, pale-blue gas, with a penetrating odor; it is an allotropic form of oxygen "The ozone layer is very important for man's survival."
package
a wrapped or boxed thing or group of things "I hope the package will arrive in the mail today."
pamphlet
a short publication with no cover "Please send me your pamphlet about summer camp."
parallel
extending in the same direction and same distance apart "Center Avenue runs parallel to Maple Street."
partner
a person who takes part in some activity in common with another or others "His partner kept the books, and he did the purchasing."
passage
permission, right, or a chance to pass "The hunters received passage through the field."
passive
offering no opposition or resistance; submissive; yielding; patient "The passive cat was carried to the veterinarian's office."
pastime
something that helps time pass enjoyably "Cooking and making pastry is my favorite pastime."
pasture
to graze or feed on (grass, etc.) "The cattle will pasture in the meadow."
pattern
a regular, mainly unvarying way of acting or doing "The psychologist will study the animal's behavior pattern."
people
human beings "A large group of people gathered to watch the parade."
perturb
to cause to be alarmed, agitated, or upset; disturb or trouble greatly "The loudspeaker may perturb the musician in the adjoining room."
pesky
annoying; disagreeable; troublesome "We all swatted at the pesky mosquitoes."
pigment
coloring matter, usually insoluble powder, mixed with oil or water, etc., to make paints; coloring matter in the cells, tissues of plants, animals "Pigment in some plants is increased when they grow in full sun."
pilgrim
person who wanders; traveler to shrine or holy place; any member of the English Puritans who founded Plymouth colony in 1620 "Priscilla was the bride of a pilgrim."
plunder
to rob or despoil by force, esp. in warfare "The military will plunder the village after the battle."
polar
opposite in character, nature, direction, etc. "The twins were polar in their taste in music."
poncho
a cloak like a blanket with a hole in the middle for the head "The warm poncho is valuable in winter weather."
portion
share; part of "They were willing to give up a portion of their food."
portly
large and heavy in a dignified, stately way; stout; corpulent "He bought his clothing in the section for portly men."
possess
to have as an attribute, quality, faculty, etc. "The man is known to possess wisdom."
posture
the position or carriage of the body in standing or sitting; bearing "Good posture is important for good health."
powder
any dry substance in the form of very fine, dustlike particles, produced by crushing, grinding, etc. "Without rain, the soil became a powder."
prepare
to make ready, usually for a specific purpose "How are you going to prepare for the spelling competition?"
prior
preceding in time; earlier; previous "References from a prior employer were needed."
proceed
to advance or go on; to move along or to be carried on; come forth "After answering this question, please proceed to the next."
prompt
quick to act or do; ready; punctual; done, spoken, without delay "A good example will help to prompt him to turn in his homework."
prosper
succeed; thrive; grow vigorously; wealth; good fortune "Having found the right soil conditions, his crop began to prosper."
prying
improperly curious or inquisitive "Someone was prying into her personal affairs."
raccoon
a small carnivore of North America, usually nocturnal "A raccoon raided our campsite while we were asleep."
rally
to summon or bring together for a common purpose; assist; support a cause "He was sent to rally the retreating troops."
rampant
growing luxuriantly; flourishing "The roses were rampant in the garden."
ransom
consideration paid for the release of a captured person "The kidnapper demanded $500,000 in ransom for the child."
raspberry
small round fleshy red or black berry "These raspberry preserves won a blue ribbon at the county fair."
rating
a placement in a certain rank or class "The program received the top rating."
razor
sharp-edged cutting instrument for shaving or cutting off hair "No one was allowed to use his razor."
react
to act in return or reciprocally "The director did not expect the actress to react that way."
receive
to take into one's hand or possession "I hope I receive a portable CD player for my birthday."
redeem
to get back; recover, as by paying a fee "The renter wants to redeem his deposit."
refuge
a place of safety; shelter; safe retreat "The deer sought a refuge from the hunters."
relent
to soften in temper; become less severe, stern, stubborn "Perhaps he will relent and allow you to go if you promise to return early."
remnant
what is left over; remainder; residue "The small piece of cloth left from the bolt will sell as a remnant."
render
to give, hand over, submit, as for approval; to give in return "When you finish shopping, the clerk will render a bill for payment."
rescue
to free or save from danger, imprisonment, evil, etc. "He was a hero because the rescue had been a success."
retain
to keep in mind "After studying the words for six weeks, we should retain most of them."
retrieve
to get and bring back "That dog certainly loves to retrieve the ball."
revenge
to inflict damage, injury, or punishment in return for an injury, insult, etc. "The leaders plotted revenge for the bombing."
riddle
any puzzling, perplexing, or apparently inexplicable person or thing, as a difficult problem or enigmatic saying: enigma "Rita recited the riddle, and Roger responded."
romaine
a variety of lettuce "Caesar salad recipes usually call for romaine lettuce."
roommate
one of two or more persons sharing a room "Luckily, my roommate at camp didn't snore."
ruin
the remains of a fallen building, city, etc., or something destroyed, devastated, decayed, etc. "The explorer discovered the ruin deep within the jungle."
rumor
definite talk not based on knowledge; hearsay; gossip "We have heard a rumor that there will be no test tomorrow."
rustle
to make or cause to make an irregular succession of soft sounds "The leaves rustle in the wind."
safety
freedom from danger; security "Safety precautions are very important both at home and at school."
scarlet
very bright red with a slightly orange tone "The scarlet car captured everyone's attention."
scissors
a cutting instrument with handles and a pair of blades "Using sewing scissors for cutting paper makes them dull."
scribble
illegible or careless handwriting; scrawl "The doctor's scribble was hard to read."
scurry
to run hastily; scamper "The rabbits will scurry through the woods."
secure
free from fear, care, doubt, or anxiety; not worried, troubled, or apprehensive "Within the fort, the cavalry felt secure."
sentry
sentinel, esp. any of the military guard posted to warn of danger "The sentry would not open the gate to anyone without identification."
session
a school term or period of study "The fall session of school was about to end."
shaky
not firm; weak, unsteady; trembling, not dependable; questionable "After the earthquake, the walls were shaky."
shepherd
a person who herds and takes care of sheep "The shepherd guarded the flock during the night."
signal
a sign or event fixed or understood as the occasion for prearranged combined action "The bugle will signal the attack."
skeptic
person who habitually doubts, questions or suspends judgment on generally accepted matters "He was such a skeptic that he was known as 'Doubting Thomas'."
skirmish
a brief encounter between small groups, usually an incident of a battle "The skirmish was quickly forgotten after the peace treaty was signed."
slacken
to become less active, intense, brisk "The runners began to slacken their pace."
smoky
emitting smoke, especially in large quantities "A smoky fire doesn't provide much warmth."
suet
the hard fat about the kidneys and loins of beef and mutton "I asked the butcher to prepare the suet I need for the plum pudding."
surround
to enclose on all sides; encircle "For safety reasons we needed to surround our pool with a fence."
tactics
any method used to gain an end; esp., skillful methods or procedure "Although successful, his tactics were questioned."
tarnish
to dull or discolor the surface of a metal object; to spoil, mar or debase a memory; lose luster from oxidation "Silver needs to be polished often or it will tarnish."
tariff
duty or tax placed by a government on imports and some exports; any list or scale of prices, charges etc. "We felt the tariff was too high."
technology
applied science "The rate of technology seems to increase every day."
terrific
extraordinary; astounding "We saw a terrific movie last night."
threshold
a doorsill, a beginning point "The guest paused at the threshold, stunned by the beauty of the room."
traffic
the movement or number of automobiles along a street "There is a lot more traffic on the freeway these days."
tribute
something given, done, or said, as a gift, testimonial, etc., to show gratitude, respect, honor, or praise "Their success was a tribute to his leadership."
upheaval
the action or instance of lifting up from beneath, especially the earth's crust "Ancient volcanoes caused a great deal of upheaval in this area."
uproar
loud, confused noise; din "The uproar was very difficult to quiet."
useful
that can be used to advantage; helpful "The fork is a useful implement."
utensil
an instrument or container used in a household "A ladle is the proper utensil to use for serving soup."
vaccine
any preparation of killed microorganisms, living weakened organisms, etc., introduced into the body to produce immunity to a specific disease by causing the formation of antibodies "The polio vaccine was a tremendous advance in medicine."
veteran
a former member of the armed forces "Only one World War I veteran attended the ceremony this year."
vigil
watchful staying awake; a watch kept for a period of time "While others slept, he kept his lonely vigil."
villain
an evil person; scoundrel "In a melodrama the audience boos whenever the villain appears."
volume
the quantity, strength, or loudness of sound "The volume of the music was deafening."
warbler
a bird which sings in trills, runs or quavers; songster "Though we could not see him, we heard the melodious song of the warbler."
warmth
state of giving off moderate degree of heat; moderate, mild heat "We could feel the warmth of the sun on our faces."
whistle
to make a clear, shrill cry; said of some birds and animals "We heard the birds whistle in the trees."
whittle
to reduce, destroy, or get rid of gradually, as if by whittling away with a knife "We hope to whittle down the cost of the project."
whoosh
to make a quick, hissing or rushing sound of something moving swiftly through the air "At takeoff, the rocket will whoosh by the airport."
width
distance from side to side; breadth "We have to measure the width of the shelf to make sure it will fit the space."
wiring
the action of a person or thing that wires "The electrician did the wiring very quickly."
worsted
a smooth compact yarn from long wool fibers, or the fabric made from the yarn "These worsted wool trousers will last a long time."
wrapper
that in which something is wrapped; covering; cover "The gum wrapper was a shiny silver."
yawn
an act of yawning or opening wide "The movie was boring, and the audience began to yawn."
yearlin
an animal one year old or in its second year "The rancher brought the yearling into the barn."
abdicate
to give up formally (a high office, authority, throne, etc.) "The king plans to abdicate his throne."
abdominal
lower part of the trunk of the human body; in, on or for the abdomen "The abdominal bandage seemed too tight."
aberrant
abnormal or deviant "Her rude, aberrant behavior was quite a shock."
abrogate
to cancel or repeal by authority "Congress must abrogate the new tax law."
acetylene
a colorless, poisonous, highly flammable gaseous hydrocarbon "This most brilliant of the illuminating gases is acetylene."
acrimonious
stinging, caustic "Those acrimonious remarks will make you unpopular."
acquittal
discharge of duty; being set free by the court "From lack of evidence submitted, the judge decreed an acquittal."
adolescence
the time of life between puberty and maturity; youth "During adolescence, one is often uncertain."
aesthetic
sensitive to art and beauty "In order to help develop their children's aesthetic tastes, many family trips to art galleries were planned."
affinity
close relationship "Fish have an affinity with water."
agglomeration
a jumbled heap, mass, etc. "The agglomeration of articles for the rummage sale was staggering."
aghast
feeling great horror or dismay "Upon seeing the tornado's destruction, he was aghast."
aluminum
most abundant metal element in the Earth's crust "Don't put aluminum foil in the microwave."
ambiguous
not clear "The treaty is very ambiguous."
anachronism
anything that is or seems to be out of its proper time in history "A black and white television is an anachronism today."
anathema
a thing or person greatly detested "Censorship is anathema to Americans."
anonymous
no name known or acknowledged; name withheld "The poem read was written by an anonymous poet."
antiquated
no longer used or useful; obsolete "The old cabin contained some antiquated relics of the olden days."
antithesis
the direct opposite "Love is the antithesis of hate."
apocryphal
spurious; counterfeit "The apocryphal memories of the countess cannot be admitted as evidence."
apostle
the first advocate of a view point or reform "The student body president was an apostle for year-round school."
apparition
a strange figure appearing suddenly and thought to be a ghost "After hearing the spooky story, the children thought they saw an apparition."
appropriate
to take for one's own, often without right "I wish my roommate would not appropriate my clothes."
aqueduct
large pipe made for bringing water from a distant source "The aqueduct provided the farmers with the much needed water for crops."
archetype
the perfect example of a type or group "Mickey Mouse is the archetype for cartoon characters."
ascension
the act of ascending "We watched the balloon's ascension into the clouds."
asceticism
religious doctrine where self-denial is practiced to reach a higher spiritual state "Trappist monks practice asceticism."
assuage
sooth, ease "Saying 'I'm sorry' is a way to assuage your guilt ."
atrophy
a wasting away of body tissue, organ, or the failure of an organ or part to grow or develop, as because of insufficient nutrition "Without proper nutrition, the muscles will atrophy."
awkward
not graceful, clumsy "My walk was very awkward right after my cast was removed."
baccalaureate
an address or sermon delivered to a graduating class at commencement "The graduating seniors and their families will attend the baccalaureate."
bailiwick
one's particular area of authority, activity, interest "The coach's bailiwick is tennis."
balustrade
a railing "The balustrade around the porch was made of cedar."
barrage
a heavy, prolonged attack of words, blows "Suddenly the speaker was under a barrage of questions."
battalion
a large group of soldiers arrayed for battle; any large group joined in some activity "He had command of a battalion during World War II."
biennial
happening every two years "The reunion is held on a biennial basis."
bilingual
of or in two languages; capable of using two languages with equal skill "He was offered the position because he was bilingual in English and Spanish."
bizarre
marked by extreme contrasts and incongruities of color, design, or style "Her purple and orange hair was bizarre."
boisterous
loud, rowdy "The security officer had to quiet the boisterous group."
boulevard
a broad often landscaped thoroughfare "Sometimes using the boulevard is faster than taking the freeway."
broccoli
green vegetable high in vitamins "The consumption of broccoli has increased in recent years."
buoyancy
the tendency of a body to float in a fluid "Filling the raft with more air will increase its buoyancy."
calligraphy
beautiful handwriting; penmanship "Calligraphy is an art - a talent to be thankful for."
camaraderie
loyalty and warm, friendly feeling among comrades "Within the Girl Scout troop, there was great camaraderie."
camouflage
disguise or concealment of this kind "The tanks' camouflage prevented enemy planes from seeing them."
capitulation
statement of the main parts of a subject; conditional surrender "Their leader decided that capitulation was best."
carcinogen
cancer causing "Scientists seem to discover a new carcinogen every day."
carburetor
a device in which air is mixed with gasoline spray to make an explosive mixture in an internal combustion engine "The carburetor in the truck had to be replaced."
carnivorous
meat-eating "The lion is a carnivorous animal."
cataclysm
any great upheaval that causes sudden and violent changes "The weakened government could not withstand another cataclysm."
catastrophe
calamity "The Northridge Earthquake was a catastrophe."
centrifugal
radiating or departing from the center "The road was banked to counteract the centrifugal force."
chamois
a soft leather made from the hide of a chamois, deer or sheep "The gloves were made of chamois leather."
chandelier
lighting fixture hanging from a ceiling, with branches for candles or bulbs "The chandelier swayed, and we hurried out from under it."
chaotic
completely confused or disordered condition "The era of the Hundred Years' War was very chaotic."
charlatan
fake "The phony scientist was a charlatan."
chimerical
imaginary "Her fears are as chimerical as the hallucinations of insanity."
chivalry
the noble qualities a medieval knight was supposed to have; courage, honor and readiness to help the weak, and to protect women "We loved his chivalry, seemingly borrowed from the knights of old."
chromosome
one of the DNA containing bodies in a cell nucleus "This particular gene is found at the end of chromosome 23."
cinematographer
a motion-picture cameraman "Cecil B. DeMille was a great cinematographer."
circumference
a line that goes around or encloses a circle "When drawing a snowman, the head usually has a smaller circumference than the body."
clairvoyance
keen perception or insight "His clairvoyance with a crystal ball was amazing."
clique
a small, exclusive group of people "She refused to join the clique of students."
coercive
of coercion or tending to coerce "During the American Revolution, the colonists fought against the coercive government of Great Britain."
colleague
associate in office "His colleague is going to attend the same workshop."
colloquial
conversational "The politician's colloquial language endeared him to small town voters."
commingle
to mingle together; intermix, blend "The separate tribes began to commingle through marriage."
compassionate
feeling or showing compassion "The compassionate nurse listened to the patient's tale."
condolence
expression of sympathy with another in grief "A note of condolence is appropriate at time of death."
conjecture
an inference, theory, or prediction based on guesswork; guess "After hearing the facts, she knew that her conjecture was wrong."
connoisseur
a person who has expert knowledge and keen discrimination in some field, especially in the fine arts or in matters of taste "His discerning taste buds made him a connoisseur of good wine."
consensus
an opinion held by all or most "The consensus of party professionals was sought."
contemptuous
full of contempt; scornful; disdainful "The speaker was very contemptuous of the hecklers."
convoluted
extremely involved; intricate "The convoluted plot was difficult to understand."
correspondence
a communication by exchange of letters "Please file this correspondence alphabetically."
counterfeit
to imitate or copy, especially with intent to deceive "There is a way to check if a bill is counterfeit."
critique
the act or art of criticizing; criticism "The director did not like the critique of his movie."
croissant
a crescent roll "A hot, buttery croissant was enjoyed by each one attending the festive brunch."
crucifixion
a crucifying or being crucified "The punishment of crucifixion was practiced in ancient times."
debacle
an overwhelming defeat or rout "His resignation from power caused the greatest debacle in the history of his country."
decelerate
to reduce speed; slow down "The driver began to decelerate as he rounded the bend."
deciduous
shedding leaves annually "The fall colors on the deciduous trees are beautiful."
delicatessen
a shop where sandwich items meats and cheeses are sold "Let's stop at the delicatessen to pick up things for our picnic."
depressant
lowering the rate of muscular or nervous activity; to sadden or lower "The medicine was given as a depressant."
derrick
large apparatus for lifting and moving heavy objects; tall tapering framework over an oil well "The workmen used a derrick to take the piano up to the 7th floor."
designate
to point or mark out; specify; appoint "I will designate one of my friends to chair this committee."
dexterity
skill in using one's mind; cleverness "Her mental dexterity was amazing."
dialysis
the separation of crystalloids from colloids as the elimination of impurities from the blood during kidney failure "One of our child movie stars has to be hospitalized for dialysis."
dichotomy
division into two (contrasting) halves, pairs of sets "Reconciling the dichotomy between public and private interests is a difficult job."
differentiate
distinguish between "The shopper tried to differentiate between the two sweaters."
dilapidated
broken down; shabby and neglected "We bought a dilapidated house and tried to repair it."
dilemma
predicament; a situation in which one must choose between alternatives "His dilemma was in having to decide on which color paint to use."
disguise
to change the manner or appearance of in order to prevent recognition "I will need a mask to disguise myself for the Halloween Party."
disproportionate
not in proportion "The harsh punishment was disproportionate to the infraction."
disseminate
to scatter seed; to sow widely; spread abroad "When the dandelion becomes that feathery little puffball, the breezes cause it to disseminate."
dissertation
a formal and lengthy discourse or treatise on some subject "The student completed her dissertation for the degree of doctor."
divination
a successful guess; clever conjecture "Her divination of the winner was accurate."
ebullient
overflowing with enthusiasm, high spirits "After winning the game, the fans were ebullient."
ecclesiastical
of the church "His writings were based on ecclesiastical discipline."
echelon
any of the levels of responsibility or importance in an organization "She worked in the echelon where major decisions were made."
eczema
an inflammatory, itching disease of the skin "A victim of eczema, she could not wear makeup on her face."
effectuate
to bring about; cause to happen; effect "The team members are trying to effectuate change in spring training rules."
egalitarian
advocating, or characterized by the belief that all men should have equal political, social and economic rights "The country's government was egalitarian."
ellipsis
the omission of a word or words necessary for complete grammatical construction but understood in the context "Add ellipsis where I have indicated on the rough draft of the legal pleading."
embarrass
to cause to feel self-conscious, ill at ease "He did not want to embarrass himself in front of his friends."
emulate
to try to equal or surpass; to rival successfully "The baby birds strutted back and forth trying to emulate the actions of their parents."
encapsulate
to put in concise form; condense "We tried to encapsulate the week's news in five minutes."
entomology
the study of insects "My career in entomology began with a fascination about butterflies."
ephemeral
lasting a very short time "The sunset was ephemeral in its beauty."
epitome
a short statement of the main points of a book, report, incident; abstract; summary; representative or typical of a class "He was the epitome of jockeys everywhere - slim, wiry and brisk."
equivocal
two or more meanings; purposely vague; misleading; ambiguous "Her answer was equivocal, but we couldn't get a definite opinion."
esoteric
beyond the understanding or knowledge or most people "Few people attended the esoteric lecture on holography."
etymology
The origin and development of a word, affix, phrase, etc. "The origin and development of words is a branch of linguistics called etymology."
eulogy
speech or writing in praise of a person, event or thing; commendation "We listened with full hearts to the eulogy on President Kennedy."
euphoria
a feeling of vigor, well-being, or high spirits "The team had the euphoria that comes from winning."
exacerbate
to exasperate; annoy; irritate; embitter "He intended to exacerbate the already tense situation by making an exorbitant demand."
exonerate
to relieve of a burden; unload; free from guilt; absolve "This alibi would prove his innocence and exonerate him of the crime."
expedient
useful for effecting a desired result "It was expedient for him to alter the facts."
expertise
the skill, knowledge, judgment of an expert "She was known for her expertise in music."
expletive
an oath or exclamation "She shouted an expletive when the car would not start."
expropriate
to deprive of ownership; dispossess "The state will expropriate acreage for the new airport."
facetious
joking, or trying to be jocular, esp. at an inappropriate time "His mother could not tolerate his facetious remarks."
Fahrenheit
a temperature scale "Normal body temperature is 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit."
fastidious
not easy to please; very critical or discriminating "With fastidious attention to detail, the musician practiced the piece again."
feasible
capable of being done or carried out; possible; practicable "Chartering a bus seems the most feasible method of transportation."
felicitous
well-chosen; appropriate; apt; yielding great pleasure "He was a felicitous choice for the new position."
ferocious
fierce; savage; violently cruel "The lion has a ferocious growl."
fictitious
imaginary happening; not real; false; pretended; assumed for disguise "Some novelists use a fictitious name under which they write."
filibuster
to obstruct the passage of a bill by making long speeches, introducing irrelevant issues, etc. "The senator carried out his filibuster, ignoring remarks from the floor."
finagle
to cheat; to get something by trickery "Students find many ways to finagle their way out of homework."
firmament
the sky, viewed poetically as a solid arch or vault "The sun and the moon are both seen in the firmament at that time."
fissure
long, narrow, deep cleft or crack; dividing or breaking into parts "The ice, breaking up, opened a wide fissure between the floes."
flabbergast
to make speechless with amazement; astonish "Seeing a dog climb a tree may flabbergast you."
flourish
grow vigorously; thrive; prosper "These plants will flourish if you give them proper water and fertilizer."
fluctuate
to move back and forth, up and down; to be continually changing "Bank interest rates fluctuate from time to time."
forfeit
to lose, give up, or be deprived of "You forfeit privileges by not registering."
fraudulent
deceitful; based on trickery; intentional deception "The investigation proved the papers to be fraudulent."
fricassee
a dish of meat cut into pieces and stewed in a gravy "Chicken fricassee tastes good on a cold evening."
galleon
large Spanish ship of the 15th/16th century "The galleon had four decks at the stern."
gambol
to jump and skip about in play; frolic "To gambol about the dance floor is to have a good time."
gauche
lacking social grace; tactless "My companion's gauche remarks to the staff were very embarrassing."
gazetteer
a geographical dictionary "The gazetteer portion of this dictionary contains more than seven thousand place names."
geriatrics
branch of medicine dealing with the elderly "As the population ages, geriatrics will become more lucrative."
gourmet
a connoisseur of fine food and drink "A good gourmet restaurant covets a recommendation from a food critic."
grievance
circumstance thought to be unjust; resentment or complaint "Many thought she had reason for her grievance."
guileless
candid, frank; open "His guileless smile made instant friendships."
harangue
to deliver a long, scolding speech "I hope the coach doesn't harangue us for the lousy game we played."
harassment
worrying or annoying with repeated attacks "Sexual harassment in the workplace will not be tolerated."
heartily
friendly, sincere, cordial way; with zest, enthusiasm "He laughed heartily, thoroughly enjoying the play."
hegemony
leadership or dominance, especially that of one state or nation over others "The Chinese say the Soviets are establishing military hegemony over the free world."
hemorrhage
heavy bleeding "Jim had a bad hemorrhage in his arm after the auto accident."
hepatitis
an inflammation of the liver "Exposure to the hepatitis virus prevents a person from donating blood."
herbivorous
feeding on plants "Deer and sheep are herbivorous animals."
hospitable
friendly, kind and solicitous toward guests; favoring comfort of new arrivals; receptive or open to new ideas "Southern people are said to be most hospitable even to strangers."
humanity
human; human characteristics or nature; mankind; people "Humanity everywhere does not always have the same kindness or sympathy."
hybrid
anything of mixed origin, unlike parts "Rock and roll is a hybrid of blues and jazz."
hygiene
science of health and its maintenance; sanitary practices; cleanness "We are taught hygiene for the preservation of health and prevention of disease."
hyperbole
obvious and intentional exaggeration "A clown uses hyperbole to make the stunts funnier."
hypochondriac
a person who has hypochondria "The hypochondriac made his tenth visit to the hospital in ten days."
hypocrisy
a pretending to be what one is not, or to feel what one does not feel "The senator showed his hypocrisy by saying he was for the bill and then voting against it."
ideology
the doctrines, opinions, or way of thinking of an individual class, etc. "Democracy is the American ideology."
idiosyncrasy
personal peculiarity or mannerism "It was her idiosyncrasy to wear earmuffs in warm weather."
ignominy
shame and dishonor "What he did brought ignominy to his friends and family."
immunity
resistance to disease; projection against disease "Having a childhood disease does not always develop an immunity to it."
impasse
deadlock "Russia and the United States reached an impasse in their negotiations."
impecunious
having no money "I am sorry to announce that the school board is in an impecunious situation as a result of Proposition 13."
impertinent
not showing proper respect or manners "The impertinent child must be taught some manners."
imperturbable
that cannot be disconcerted, disturbed, or excited; impassive "The imperturbable cat sat in the midst of the moving."
implement
any article or device used or needed for a given activity; fulfill "The hammer and the saw are needed by the carpenter to implement his job."
inaugurate
to introduce into office with ceremonies "Every four years we inaugurate a President."
incongruous
lacking harmony or agreement "Hiking boots were incongruous to the wet suit outfit."
incorrigible
that cannot be corrected, improved, or reformed "They held out little hope for the prisoner because he was incorrigible."
incredulous
showing doubt or disbelief "Their eyes were large with incredulous joy."
indiscreet
lacking prudence; unwise; careless "She was indiscreet in going shopping during school hours."
indomitable
not easily discouraged "Even after three unsuccessful attempts, the new skier was indomitable."
inducement
motive; incentive; persuasion "As an inducement for entering into the contract, she would receive a percentage of sales."
inertia
a tendency to remain in a fixed condition without change "The nation was declining due to inertia."
infatuated
lacking sound judgment; foolish "He was infatuated by the John Wayne movie and decided to become a cowboy."
infirmity
feebleness; weakness; frailty or ailment; defect We realized his infirmity kept him a captive of a wheelchair."
inimical
unfriendly; hostile "The inimical participants at the rally prevented the audience from having fun."
inordinate
lacking restraint or moderation "The press and public took an inordinate interest in everything he did."
insatiable
constantly wanting more; that cannot be satisfied or appeased "After two banana splits, we knew he had an insatiable appetite."
inscrutable
that cannot be easily understood "Charley Chan was often inscrutable."
insinuation
sly hint or suggestion "Your insinuation of unfairness on my part is unjust."
intermittent
stopping and starting again at intervals; periodic "Heavy traffic forced us into intermittent driving."
intravenous
in, or directly into, a vein or veins "The doctor prescribed intravenous feeding for the patient."
inveigle
to lead on with deception "The salesman intended to inveigle me into buying the car."
irascible
easily angered; quick-tempered "The irascible old man is constantly picking fights."
irreparable
not reparable; that cannot be repaired, mended, remedied "If the condors disappear, that will be an irreparable loss."
isthmus
a neck; a narrow passage; narrow strip of land, having water at each side and connecting two larger bodies of land "The Isthmus of Panama connects Central America and South America."
jamboree
a large festive gathering "They scheduled a jamboree in the town park for this weekend."
javelin
a slender metal-tipped shaft thrown for distance "The next javelin thrower holds the Olympic record for this event."
judicious
having, applying, or showing sound judgment; wise and careful "The judicious driver stopped at the crosswalk."
kayak
an Eskimo canoe, or one similar "The ocean was too rough to go out in the kayak."
khaki
a light yellowish brown color "The soldiers wore their khaki uniforms."
knowledge
understanding or skill gained by experience or learning "Two weeks of tennis lessons increased my knowledge of the game."
lackadaisical
listless; languid "Tom was lackadaisical in the hot, humid weather."
languid
sluggish "She was a languid person, lacking force and quickness."
laryngitis
inflammation of the voice box "I always get laryngitis at the end of a cold."
laureate
worthy of honor; distinguished; pre-eminent, especially among poets "Rudyard Kipling was a poet laureate of England."
leisurely
without haste; deliberate; slow; unhurried "He strolled leisurely along the boardwalk."
leniency
mildness; permissiveness "The judge was known for his leniency with first time offenders."
leukemia
a cancerous disease of the tissues and often the blood "The leukemia patient needed a bone marrow transplant."
lieutenant
an officer empowered to act for a higher official "The lieutenant brought the message to the meeting."
luminous
giving off light; shining; bright "The moon was luminous in the night."
maelstrom
a strong violent whirlpool; a great turmoil "Their dog's illness caused the family a maelstrom of emotions."
malfeasance
wrongful conduct, especially by a public official "The mayor's malfeasance resulted in a recall election."
malleable
capable of being changed, molded, trained, etc. "Tin is a very malleable metal."
maneuver
any movement or procedure intended as a skillful or shrewd step toward some objective "The large ship's maneuver brought it closer to port."
masquerade
a party at which people wear masks and costumes "What are you wearing to the masquerade ball?"
mediocre
ordinary; commonplace "Because the service was only mediocre, we left a small tip."
metamorphosis
change of form, shape, structure, or substance "The metamorphosis of a caterpillar into a butterfly is one of nature's miracles."
mimicry
the action, art or instance of imitating "With your gift of mimicry, you should be in show business."
miniature
something much smaller than the usual size "That is an impressive collection of miniature cars."
miscellaneous
consisting of many things of different sorts "Most people have a drawer for all their miscellaneous things."
mischievous
conduct that is often playful but causes harm or annoyance "My mischievous puppy chewed the corner off my favorite book."
mulligatawny
an East Indian soup of meat, etc., flavored with curry "Mother had a very special recipe for mulligatawny."
munificence
very generous in giving; lavish "The president thanked the donor for her munificence."
mystique
a set of beliefs and attitudes developing around an object "The true mystique of jogging cannot be appreciated by non-runners."
nauseous
affected with or tending to cause stomach distress "I felt nauseous after eating too much ice cream."
nautical
of the sea or navigation "This fish restaurant has a nautical decor."
novelette
short fictional story "The novelette was made into a movie script."
nuptial
of or relating to marriage or a wedding "The nuptial ceremony will begin at 7:00 p.m."
obsolescent
going out of use; becoming outmoded "Phonograph records are becoming obsolescent."
occasion
fact or event making something possible; happening; occurrence "A chance meeting was the occasion of the renewal of their friendship."
occurrence
happening; event; something that takes place "The second occurrence of the conference will not be until next year."
oligarchy
a form of government in which the ruling power belongs to a few persons "Political office was restricted to those who knew a member of the oligarchy."
omniscient
having infinite knowledge "Goethe was omniscient in his era."
onomatopoeia
formation of a word by imitating the natural sound associated with the object or action involved "He used onomatopoeia to create sounds in his poetry."
opaque
not letting light pass through; not transparent or translucent "The window shade was opaque, emitting no light at all."
ophthalmologist
a physician specializing in diseases of the eye "The ophthalmologist had to dilate the patient's eyes."
orthodox
traditional; conservative in belief "He was very orthodox in his beliefs and practices."
pachyderm
any of various thick-skinned, hoofed mammals "The pachyderm house at the zoo is home for the elephants."
paraphernalia
personal belongings; articles used in a particular activity "Bring along your fishing paraphernalia when we go camping next week."
parsimonious
miserly "Scrooge was a parsimonious man."
pasteurize
partial sterilization of a fluid by exposure to heat "The dairy will pasteurize the milk before bottling."
patriarch
the father and ruler of a family "The family patriarch always sits at the head of the table."
perceptible
capable of being noticed "The difference between the two brands of hot dogs is hardly perceptible."
perennial
lasting or active throughout the whole year "To cut down on yardwork I planted mostly perennial plants."
pernicious
fatal; deadly "The common cold is usually not a pernicious disease."
perpetuity
the state or quality of being perpetual "Perpetuity is implied in the fundamental law of all national governments."
pharmaceutical
a medicinal material or product "The pharmaceutical company introduced its newest drug."
phenomenal
highly remarkable "Abraham Lincoln had a phenomenal memory."
phlegm
thick, stringy mucus discharged from the throat, as during a cold "The mixture of honey and lemon helped to rid his throat of phlegm."
pirouette
a rapid whirling or turning on the toe or ball of the foot "The ballerina performed the pirouette perfectly."
plagiarize
to take (ideas, writings, etc.) from (another) and pass them off as one's own "The teacher told the class not to plagiarize any work."
plausible
seemingly true; seemingly honest, trustworthy, etc. "The story he gave us sounded plausible."
plebeian
vulgar, coarse, or common "She has such a plebeian taste in home decorating."
plenary
for attendance by all members "The plenary session of the association was called to order by the president."
pneumonia
a disease of the lungs characterized by inflammation and congestion "Seniors, particularly, are advised to have flu shots to guard against pneumonia developing as a secondary infection."
poinsettia
Mexican and Central American plant with yellow flowers surrounded by tapering red leaves resembling petals "The name of the poinsettia plant is often mispronounced."
posthumous
happening after ones death "The athlete's posthumous induction into the Hall of Fame was very emotional."
precipitate
to cause to happen before expected "The jolt may precipitate an explosion."
precursor
a person or thing that goes before "Elvis was the precursor of rock and roll."
premiere
to exhibit (a play, movie, etc.) for the first time "The audience was filled with anticipation while waiting for the premiere performance to commence."
prerogative
an exclusive right or privilege exercised by virtue of rank, office, etc. "It is the prerogative of the senior class to sit in this section."
prevision
foresight or foreknowledge "Facing the downpour, she was thankful for her prevision to bring an umbrella."
prodigy
a person, thing or act so extraordinary as to inspire wonder "Mozart was a child prodigy."
profligate
extremely wasteful; recklessly extravagant "The profligate spender was soon penniless."
progeny
children, descendants, or offspring collectively "The old man's progeny gathered at his home to celebrate."
proliferate
to multiply rapidly "As nuclear weapons proliferate, we are all concerned."
propriety
conformity with what is proper or fitting "An etiquette book gives rules of propriety."
pterodactyl
an extinct flying reptile "The rendition of the pterodactyl was my favorite part of the dinosaur exhibit."
pulchritude
beauty; comeliness "The damsel's pulchritude was apparent to everyone."
quadratic
an algebraic term involving the square and no higher power of an unknown quantity "Solve this quadratic equation for the value of x."
query
to question "Use the query command when you want to search a database for information."
quixotic
extravagantly chivalrous or romantically idealistic "Patrolling the streets with knights in white armor is the quixotic method of solving crime."
raillery
light, good-natured ridicule or satire "Sir Winston Churchill's raillery often provoked laughter."
rapport
relationship, esp. a close one; agreement; harmony "She and her sister enjoyed a friendly rapport."
rapscallion
a rascal; rogue "The rapscallion ran off with the money."
receipt
written acknowledgement; to mark paid "The receipt showed the invoice had been paid in full."
reciprocal
done or felt equally by both sides "They had a reciprocal feeling of admiration for each other."
reconciliation
the act of restoring friendly relations "The treaty provided for a reconciliation between the two countries."
reconnaissance
an exploratory survey or examination "The corporal led a special squad on a reconnaissance mission."
redolence
the quality or state of being redolent, fragrant, aromatic "I liked the redolence of the pine boughs."
rejuvenate
to make seem fresh or new again "A long vacation will rejuvenate him."
reminisce
to think, talk or write about remembered events or experiences "We sat at the table to reminisce about our childhood experiences."
rendezvous
a planned meeting; a place for a planned meeting "We will rendezvous at the Park and Ride, then go on together to the party."
repatriate
to send back or return to the country of birth, citizenship, or allegiance "We hope they will repatriate our prisoners of war."
repertoire
the stock of special skills, devices, techniques of a particular person or particular field of endeavor "The ball player's repertoire was amazing."
repository
a box, chest, closet, or room in which things may be placed for safe keeping "The jewels were missing from the repository."
reservoir
a place where water is stored in quantity "During the drought the reservoir was dangerously low."
resilient
recovering strength, spirits, good humor, etc., quickly; buoyant "The American people are very resilient; they bounce back no matter what happens."
resuscitate
to revive from apparent death or from unconsciousness. "The paramedic's attempts to resuscitate the crash victim were unsuccessful."
retaliate
to return like for like "The government plans to retaliate for the terrorism."
retroactive
having application to or effect on things prior to its enactment "The retroactive pay increase was appreciated by all of the workers."
reverie
a dreamy, fanciful, or visionary notion or daydream "Her reverie was broken by his loud arrival."
rhetoric
the art of speaking correctly "I have to prepare a ten minute speech for my rhetoric class tomorrow."
ricochet
a glancing rebound "If you hit the ball here, it will ricochet off the table and land in the pocket."
rigmarole
a foolishly involved, fussy, or time-wasting procedure "Registration for school is full of rigmarole."
rosette
ornament made of ribbons gathered in the shape of a rose "He wore a rosette in the buttonhole of his lapel."
sacrosanct
very sacred, holy, or inviolable "The congregation felt the church was sacrosanct."
sanguinary
bloodthirsty "Some corsairs were very sanguinary."
satchel
A small flat-bottomed bag, sometimes with a shoulder strap "Before backpacks became popular, schoolchildren usually carried their books in a satchel."
scallion
variety of onion; long stem and almost bulbless root "We prefer the scallion rather than the large white or yellow onion."
scheme
a systemic or organized design "That's a very nice color scheme you have picked out."
schism
a split or division in an organized group or society "The selection of a new minister caused a schism in the church."
scrimmage
in football, the play that follows the snap of the ball "The tailback carried the ball twenty yards from the line of scrimmage."
scrumptious
very pleasing, attractive esp. to the taste; delicious "Not a crumb of the scrumptious cake was left."
secede
to withdraw from an organization "South Carolina was the first state to secede from the Union."
segue
to make a smooth transition, as from one topic to another "The speaker was noted for an ability to segue between opening jokes and the serious topic at hand."
seismologist
a scientist who studies earthquakes "The seismologist confirmed that the earthquake was centered twenty miles offshore."
seraglio
the palace of a Turkish sultan "The crown jewels were located in the seraglio."
serene
not disturbed or troubled "The serene lake did not have a ripple on the surface."
serviette
a table napkin "A serviette depicting Christmas scenes was at everyone's place."
siege
a continued attempt to gain possession of something "During the Civil War, the siege of Vicksburg lasted 186 days."
silhouette
an outline of a figure, garment, etc. "Jean's face was a silhouette against the screen."
sleuth
detective, or to act like a detective "It took a real sleuth to determine the origin of that word."
solemn
done or made seriously and thoughtfully "The veterans hold a solemn ceremony on Memorial Day."
solicitous
showing care, attention, or concern "The parents were solicitous about the child's health."
solstice
either of two points on the sun's ecliptic at which it is farthest north or south of the equator "In the northern hemisphere, the winter solstice comes just before Christmas."
somnolent
sleepy; drowsy "The somnolent truck driver stopped for coffee."
sophomoric
of, like, or characteristic of a sophomore or sophomores, often regarded as self-assured, opinionated, though immature "The sophomoric antics of our government were exposed."
spasmodic
having an involuntary contraction, temporarily or intermittently "She had a spasmodic tic in her right eyelid."
spectroscopy
the use of the spectroscope to study optics "The study of optics is aided by spectroscopy."
stanchion
an upright bar, post or support "Be sure you tie the sail securely to the stanchion."
statuary
sculpture, a collection of statues "The statuary lining the rose garden beckoned the visitors."
subterfuge
an expedient used to evade, escape or conceal "The students pretended to be sick as a subterfuge to taking the test."
succinct
clearly and briefly stated "The commander's orders to his men were succinct."
succumb
give away to; yield or submit "We expected him to succumb to persuasion."
superfluous
not needed, unnecessary, irrelevant "I have cut down every superfluous expense."
surreptitious
acting in a secret, stealthy way "The conspirators held a surreptitious meeting."
surveillance
supervision or inspection "The police kept the prisoners under constant surveillance."
svelte
slender, lithe "You look very svelte in that new outfit."
sympathize
to share or understand another's feelings; express pity "They could sympathize with their neighbors who had been robbed."
synthesis
the putting together of parts or elements so as to form a whole "A good composition is the synthesis of many skills."
tachometer
a device for indicating speed of rotation "Some sports cars have a tachometer located next to the speedometer."
taciturn
habitually unwilling to talk; reserved in speech "The taciturn farmer watched as we fixed our car."
therapeutic
serving to cure or heal; curative "The therapeutic treatment hastened his recovery."
thesaurus
a dictionary of synonyms "This word processing program features an excellent thesaurus, making it easy for the user to find appropriate synonyms."
tortoise
a land turtle "In one of Aesop's fables the tortoise wins a race against the hare."
treacherous
providing insecure footing or support "It was a very treacherous climb along the rock cliffs."
umbrage
resentment; offense "I take umbrage at that outrageous remark."
unconscionable
not being in accordance with what is right or just "Such unconscionable behavior will result in expulsion from school."
unscathed
not hurt, uninjured, unharmed "She was unscathed by their criticism."
utilitarian
of or having to do with utility; usefulness "A garbage can is a very utilitarian gift."
variegated
having patches, stripes or marks of different colors "This variegated ivy would look nice on the trellis."
vaudeville
light theater featuring variety acts "Bob Hope started his career as a vaudeville actor."
vertigo
a subjective sensation of dizziness in which an individual feels that he, or his surrounding, is whirling about sickeningly "With too much stress, she suffered from vertigo."
ventriloquist
someone whose voice can seemingly be made to come from another source "The conversation between the ventriloquist and the wooden dummy delighted the audience."
vignette
a short, delicate literary sketch "The vignette was a great work by the promising author."
xenophobia
fear or hatred of strangers or foreigners or of anything foreign or strange "Xenophobia limits people from learning about others."
xylophone
a musical percussion instrument "The xylophone is an instrument in the percussion family."
zealous
very eager; very enthusiastic "The politician's zealous supporters campaigned vigorously."