Essential Vocabulary Words For ELA
Terms in this set (45)
neatly skillful and quick in one's movements: a deft piece of footwork.
• demonstrating skill and cleverness: the script was both deft and literate.
1 enjoyment or vigor in doing something; zest: she sang it with gusto.
• [in singular] archaic a relish or liking: he had a particular gusto for those sort of performances.
2 archaic style of artistic execution.
(of water) slightly salty, as is the mixture of river water and seawater in estuaries.
• (of fish or other organisms) living in or requiring brackish water.
• unpleasant or distasteful: the lighting in the movie is brackish.
a small hill or mound.
one's opponent in a contest, conflict, or dispute: Davis beat his old adversary in the quarterfinals.
• (the Adversary) the Devil.
giving the impression that something bad or unpleasant is going to happen; threatening; inauspicious: there were ominous dark clouds gathering overhead.
accorded a great deal of respect, especially because of age, wisdom, or character: a venerable statesman.
• (in the Roman Catholic Church) a title given to a deceased person who has attained a certain degree of sanctity but has not been fully beatified or canonized.
• (in the Anglican Church) a title given to an archdeacon.
in its original condition; unspoiled: pristine copies of an early magazine.
• clean and fresh as if new; spotless: a pristine white shirt.
1 absorb all the attention or interest of: the notes totally engrossed him.
• archaic gain or keep exclusive possession of (something): the country had made the best of its position to engross trade.[from Old French en gros, from medieval Latin in grosso 'wholesale.']
2 Law produce (a legal document) in its final or definitive form.
send (someone) away from a country or place as an official punishment: they were banished to Siberia for political crimes.
• forbid, abolish, or get rid of (something unwanted): it's perfectly feasible to banish the smoke without banning smoking | all thoughts of romance were banished from her head.
a comparison between two things, typically for the purpose of explanation or clarification: an analogy between the workings of nature and those of human societies | he interprets logical functions by analogy with machines.
• a correspondence or partial similarity: the syndrome is called deep dysgraphia because of its analogy to deep dyslexia.
• a thing that is comparable to something else in significant respects: works of art were seen as an analogy for works of nature.
• Logic a process of arguing from similarity in known respects to similarity in other respects.
• Linguistics a process by which new words and inflections are created on the basis of regularities in the form of existing ones.
• Biology the resemblance of function between organs that have a different evolutionary origin.
noun (plural analyses |-ˌsēz| )
detailed examination of the elements or structure of something, typically as a basis for discussion or interpretation: statistical analysis | an analysis of popular culture.
• the process of separating something into its constituent elements. Often contrasted with synthesis.
• the identification and measurement of the chemical constituents of a substance or specimen.
• short for psychoanalysis.
• Linguistics the use of separate, short words and word order rather than inflection or agglutination to express grammatical structure.
• Mathematics the part of mathematics concerned with the theory of functions and the use of limits, continuity, and the operations of calculus.
the state of the atmosphere at a place and time as regards heat, dryness, sunshine, wind, rain, etc.: if the weather's good, we can go for a walk.
• cold, wet, and unpleasant or unpredictable atmospheric conditions; the elements: stone walls provide shelter from wind and weather.
• [as modifier] denoting the side from which the wind is blowing, especially on board a ship; windward: the weather side of the yacht. Contrasted with lee.
standing out so as to be clearly visible: he was very thin, with a conspicuous Adam's apple.
• attracting notice or attention: he showed conspicuous bravery.
clearly visible or understood; obvious: [with clause] : it became apparent that he was talented | for no apparent reason she laughed.
• seeming real or true, but not necessarily so: his apparent lack of concern.
1 a thing that is accepted as true or as certain to happen, without proof: they made certain assumptions about the market | [with clause] : we're working on the assumption that the time of death was after midnight.
2 the action of taking or beginning to take power or responsibility: the assumption of an active role in regional settlements.
3 (Assumption) the reception of the Virgin Mary bodily into heaven. This was formally declared a doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church in 1950. See also Dormition.
• the feast in honor of this, celebrated on August 15.
4 archaic arrogance or presumption.
an attempt to deceive someone into believing that one can or will do something: the offer was denounced as a bluff | his game of bluff.
verb [no object]
try to deceive someone as to one's abilities or intentions: he's been bluffing all along | he bluffed his way onto an Antarctic supply vessel | [with object] : the object is to bluff your opponent into submission.
• (in a card game) bet heavily on a weak hand in order to deceive opponents.
verb [no object]
start to lose strength or momentum: her smile faltered and then faded | (as adjective faltering) : his faltering career.
• speak in a hesitant or unsteady voice: [with direct speech] : "I c-c-can't," he faltered.
• move unsteadily or in a way that shows lack of confidence: he faltered and finally stopped in midstride.
a symbol (*) used to mark printed or written text, typically as a reference to an annotation or to stand for omitted matter.
verb [with object] (usually as adjective asterisked)
mark (printed or written text) with an asterisk: asterisked entries.
noun (usually misgivings)
a feeling of doubt or apprehension about the outcome or consequences of something: we have misgivings about the way the campaign is being run | I felt a sense of misgiving at the prospect of retirement.
1 a result or effect of an action or condition: many have been laid off from work as a consequence of the administration's policies.
2 [often with negative] importance or relevance: the past is of no consequence | he didn't say anything of great consequence.
• dated social distinction: a woman of consequence.
verb [with object]
identify the nature of (an illness or other problem) by examination of the symptoms: doctors diagnosed a rare and fatal liver disease.
• (usually be diagnosed) identify the nature of the medical condition of (someone): she was finally diagnosed as having epilepsy | 20,000 men are diagnosed with skin cancer every year.
a very steep rock face or cliff, typically a tall one: we swerved toward the edge of the precipice | figurative : the country was teetering on the precipice of political anarchy.
verb [with object]
fill (something) up again: he replenished Justin's glass with mineral water.
• restore (a stock or supply of something) to the former level or condition: all creatures need sleep to replenish their energies.
verb [with object]
recognize or treat (someone or something) as different: the child is perfectly capable of distinguishing reality from fantasy.
• [no object] perceive or point out a difference: bees are unable to distinguish between red, black, and various grays.
• manage to discern (something barely perceptible): it was too dark to distinguish anything more than their vague shapes.
• be an identifying or characteristic mark or property of: what distinguishes sports from games?
• (distinguish oneself) make oneself prominent and worthy of respect through one's behavior or achievements: many distinguished themselves in the fight.
an individual animal, plant, piece of a mineral, etc., used as an example of its species or type for scientific study or display.
• an example of something such as a product or piece of work, regarded as typical of its class or group.
• a sample for medical testing, especially of urine.
• informal used to refer humorously to a person or animal: in her he found himself confronted by a sorrier specimen than himself.
relating to the commissioning or preparing of material for publication: a pillar of scholarly publishing and editorial excellence.
• relating to the part of a newspaper or magazine that contains news, information, or comment as opposed to advertising.
a newspaper article written by or on behalf of an editor that gives an opinion on a topical issue.
• the parts of a newspaper or magazine that are not advertising.
verb [with object]
form an idea of the amount, number, or value of; assess: when you evaluate any hammer, look for precision machining | [with clause] : computer simulations evaluated how the aircraft would perform.
• Mathematics find a numerical expression or equivalent for (an equation, formula, or function).
full of or shedding light; bright or shining, especially in the dark: the luminous dial on his watch | a luminous glow | figurative : her eyes were luminous with joy.
• (of a color) very bright; harsh to the eye: he wore luminous green socks.
• Physics relating to light as it is perceived by the eye, rather than in terms of its actual energy.
a mixture of various ingredients or elements: a concoction of gables, shingles, stained glass, and towers inspired by English medieval houses.
• an elaborate story, especially a fabrication: her story is an improbable concoction.
noun (plural hypotheses |-ˌsēz| )
a supposition or proposed explanation made on the basis of limited evidence as a starting point for further investigation: professional astronomers attacked him for popularizing an unconfirmed hypothesis.
• Philosophy a proposition made as a basis for reasoning, without any assumption of its truth.
the action of one object coming forcibly into contact with another: there was the sound of a third impact | bullets that expand and cause devastating injury on impact.
• the effect or influence of one person, thing, or action, on another: our regional measures have had a significant impact on unemployment.
verb |imˈpakt| [no object]
1 come into forcible contact with another object: the shell impacted twenty yards away.
• [with object] chiefly North American come into forcible contact with: an asteroid impacted the earth some 60 million years ago.
• [with object] press firmly: the animals' feet do not impact and damage the soil as cows' hooves do.
2 (impact on) have a strong effect on someone or something: high interest rates have impacted on retail spending | [with object] : the move is not expected to impact the company's employees.
1 (often aptitude for) a natural ability to do something: he had a remarkable aptitude for learning words.
• a natural tendency: his natural aptitude for failure.
2 archaic suitability or fitness: aptitude of expression.
1 a long flat-topped fixture in a store or bank across which business is conducted with customers.
• US a long flat-topped structure used for serving food and drinks in a cafeteria or bar.
• North American a countertop.
2 an apparatus used for counting: the counter tells you how many pictures you have taken.
• a person who counts something, for example votes in an election.
• Physics an apparatus used for counting individual ionizing particles or events.
3 a small disk used as a place marker or for keeping the score in board games.
• a token representing a coin.
many places to find information
noun (usually embers)
a small piece of burning or glowing coal or wood in a dying fire: the dying embers in the fireplace | figurative : the flickering embers of nationalism.
1 of chief importance; principal: the government's primary aim is to see significant reductions in unemployment.
2 earliest in time or order of development: the primary stage of their political education.
• not derived from, caused by, or based on anything else: the research involved the use of primary source materials in national and local archives.
3 relating to education for children between the ages of about five and ten: a primary school.
4 Biology & Medicine belonging to or directly derived from the first stage of development or growth: a primary bone tumor.
5 (Primary) Geology former term for Paleozoic.
6 relating to or denoting the input side of a device using electromagnetic induction, especially in a transformer.
7 Chemistry (of an organic compound) having its functional group located on a carbon atom that is bonded to no more than one other carbon atom.
• (chiefly of amines) derived from ammonia by replacement of one hydrogen atom by an organic group.
noun (plural primaries)
1 (also primary election) a preliminary election to appoint delegates to a party conference or to select the candidates for a principal, especially presidential, election.
2 a primary color.
• Ornithology a primary feather.
• Astronomy the body orbited by a smaller satellite or companion.
• a primary coil or winding in an electrical transformer.
3 (the Primary) Geology, dated the Primary or Paleozoic era.
awaiting decision or settlement: nine cases were still pending.
• about to happen; imminent: with a presidential election pending, it would be wrong to force the changes through now | the pending disaster.
until (something) happens or takes place: they were released on bail pending an appeal.
noun (plural momenta |-tə| or momentums)
1 Physics the quantity of motion of a moving body, measured as a product of its mass and velocity.
2 the impetus gained by a moving object: the vehicle gained momentum as the road dipped.
• the impetus and driving force gained by the development of a process or course of events: the investigation gathered momentum in the spring.
1 written or spoken language in its ordinary form, without metrical structure: a short story in prose | [as modifier] : a prose passage.
• plain or dull writing, discourse, or expression: medical and scientific prose.
2 another term for sequence ( sense 4 of the noun).
1 [no object] talk tediously: prosing on about female beauty.
2 [with object] dated compose or convert into prose.
dark or dull in color or tone; gloomy: the night skies were somber and starless.
• oppressively solemn or sober in mood; grave: he looked at her with a somber expression.
verb [with object]
1 bear all or part of the weight of; hold up: the dome was supported by a hundred white columns.
• produce enough food and water for; be capable of sustaining: the land had lost its capacity to support life.
• be capable of fulfilling (a role) adequately: tutors gain practical experience that helps them support their tutoring role.
• endure; tolerate: at work during the day I could support the grief.
2 give assistance to, especially financially; enable to function or act: the government gives $2.5 billion a year to support the activities of the voluntary sector.
• provide with a home and the necessities of life: my main concern was to support my family.
• give approval, comfort, or encouragement to: I like to visit her to support her | the proposal was supported by many delegates.
• suggest the truth of; corroborate: the studies support our findings.
• be actively interested in and concerned for the success of (a particular sports team).
• (as adjective supporting) (of an actor or a role) important in a play or film but subordinate to the leading parts.
• (of a pop or rock group or performer) function as a secondary act to (another) at a concert.
3 Computing (of a computer or operating system) allow the use or operation of (a program, language, or device): the new versions do not support the graphical user interface standard.
1 a thing that bears the weight of something or keeps it upright: the best support for a camera is a tripod.
• the action or state of bearing the weight of something or someone or of being so supported: she clutched the sideboard for support.
2 material assistance: he urged that military support be sent to protect humanitarian convoys | [as modifier] : support staff.
• approval, encouragement, or comfort: the paper printed many letters in support of the government | she's been through a bad time and needs our support.
• a source of comfort or encouragement: he was a great support when her father died.
• a secondary act at a pop or rock concert.
• technical help given to the user of a computer or other product.
noun (plural strategies)
a plan of action or policy designed to achieve a major or overall aim: time to develop a coherent economic strategy | shifts in marketing strategy.
• the art of planning and directing overall military operations and movements in a war or battle. Often contrasted with tactics (see tactic).
• a plan for military operations and movements during a war or battle: nonprovocative defense strategies.
an action or strategy carefully planned to achieve a specific end.
• (tactics) [also treated as singular] the art of disposing armed forces in order of battle and of organizing operations, especially during contact with an enemy. Often contrasted with strategy.
a group of lines forming the basic recurring metrical unit in a poem; a verse.
• a group of four lines in some Greek and Latin meters.