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Magoosh Common Words VI
Terms in this set (50)
noun: an intense feeling of dislike or aversion
Maria had an antipathy for tour groups, often bolting to the other side of the museum as soon as she saw a chaperone leading a group of wide-eyed tourists.
As a child she was quite maladroit, but as an adult, she has become an adept dancer.
noun: someone who exhibits great independence in thought and action
Officer Kelly was a maverick, rarely following police protocols or adopting the conventions for speech common among his fellow officers.
verb: cause to be more favorably inclined; gain the good will of
I was able to placate the angry mob of students by promising to bring cookies on Monday.
adjective: wasting time
Lawyers use dilatory tactics so that it takes years before the case is actually decided.
noun: a trite or obvious remark
Herbert regarded the minister's remark as a mere banality until Sharon pointed out profound implications to the seemingly obvious words.
adjective: based on pretense; deceptively pleasing
Almost every image on TV is specious and not to be trusted.
adjective: plausible but false
He made a career out of specious arguments and fictional lab results, but lost his job and reputation when his lies were exposed by an article in The New York Times.
verb: to express criticism towards
At first, Sarah was going to yell at the boy, but she didn't want to reproach him for telling the truth about the situation.
verb: assume as fact
Initially, Einstein posited a repulsive force to balance Gravity, but then rejected that idea as a blunder.
adjective: (used of conduct or character) deserving or bringing disgrace or shame
Since the politician preached ethics and morality, his texting of revealing photographs was ignominious, bringing shame on both himself and his party.
adjective: determined by chance or impulse or whim rather than by necessity or reason
Nearly every month our capricious CEO had a new plan to turn the company around, and none of them worked because we never gave them the time they needed to succeed.
noun: wealth as evidenced by sumptuous living
Russian oligarchs are famous for their opulence, living in fancy homes and dining on expensive cavier.
verb: reduce the length of something
The soccer game was truncated when the monsoon rain began to fall.
verb: cause to become widely known
Before the effects of anaethesia were disseminated, patients had to experience the full pain of a surgery.
adjective: timid by nature or revealing fear and nervousness
Since this was her first time debating on stage and before an audience, Di's voice was timorous and quiet for the first 10 minutes.
adjective: repetitive and boring; not spiritual
Nancy found doing dishes a thorougly mundane task, although Peter found a kind of Zen pleasure in the chore.
adjective: relating to the ordinary world
Though we think of the pope as someone always dealing in holy matters, he is also concerned with mundane events, such as deciding when to set his alarm each morning.
adjective: unaffected by strong emotion or prejudice
A good scientist should be dispassionate, focusing purely on what the evidence says, without personal attachment.
adjective: pathetically cowardly
Though the man could have at least alerted the police, he crouched cravenly in the corner as the old woman was mugged.
verb: criticize severely or angrily; censure
The police chief rebuked the two officers whose irresponsible decisions almost led to the deaths of seven innocent by-standers.
noun: a subtle difference in meaning or opinion or attitude
Because of the nuances involved in this case, I hired an outside consultant to advice us and help.
noun: compulsory force or threat
The witness said he signed the contract under duress and argued that the court should cancel the agreement.
adjective: producing the intended result
Since Maggie's cough syrup, which had expired five years back, was no longer efficacious, she coughed through the night.
adjective: not in keeping with accepted standards of what is right or proper in polite society
Eating with elbows on the table is considered indecorous in refined circles.
adjective: not wise
Hitler, like Napoleon, made the imprudent move of invading Russia in winter, suffering even more casualties than Napoleon had.
noun: a state of uncertainty about what should be done (usually following some important event)
Ever since Elvira resigned as the head of marketing, everything about our sales strategy has been in a state of flux.
noun: the tendency to be untruthful
I can forgive her for her mendacity but only because she is a child and is seeing what she can get away with.
verb: call forth (emotions, feelings, and responses)
Just smiling--even if you are depressed--can elicit feelings of pleasure and happiness.
adjective: demanding strict attention to rules and procedures
Most of the students disliked the teacher because of his stringent homework policy, but many students would later thank him for demanding so much from them.
adverb: with a look of suspicion or disapproval
The old couple looked askance on the teenagers seated next to them, whispering to each other, "They've got rings through their noses and purple hair!"
verb: unsure how to act or respond
Shirley was totally nonplussed when the angry motorist cut her off and then stuck his finger out the window.
adjective: free from undue bias or preconceived opinions
The judge was not impartial since he had been bribed by the witness's family.
adjective: showing a brooding ill humor
Herbert took board games too seriously, often appearing sullen after losing.
adjective: enlightening or uplifting so as to encourage intellectual or moral improvement
I recently read an article in the Times about whether good literature is edifying or not; specifically, does reading more make a person more moral.
adjective: marked by quiet and caution and secrecy; taking pains to avoid being observed
While at work, George and his boss Regina felt the need to be as furtive as possible about their romantic relationship.
adjective: confined to and understandable by only an enlightened inner circle
Map collecting is an esoteric hobby to most, but to geography geeks it is a highly enjoyable pasttime.
adjective: lasting a very short time
The unpredictable and transient nature of deja vu makes it a very difficult phenomenon to study properly.
adjective: full of or showing high-spirited merriment
The political candidate and his supporters were jovial once it was clear that she had won.
verb: pacify by acceding to the demands of
Neville Chamberlain, the British prime minister during WWII, tried to appease Hitler and in doing so sent a clear message: you can walk all over us.
adjective: demanding considerable mental effort and skill; testing powers of endurance
In order to deal with the arduous cross-country journey, truck drivers often survive on a string of caffeinated drinks, staying awake for up to 30 hours at a time.
adjective: expressing disapproval (usu. refers to a term)
Most psychologists object to the pejorative term "shrink", believing that they expand the human mind, not limit it.
noun: something that is not normal, standard, or expected
After finding an anomaly in the data, she knew that she would have to conduct her experiment again.
verb: interpret in the wrong way
The politician never trusted journalists because he though that they misconstrue his words and misrepresent his positions.
verb: support and strengthen
The case for the suspect's innocence was bolstered considerably by the fact that neither fingerprints nor DNA were found at the scene.
adjective: avoiding waste, efficient
Journalists favor an economical style of writing, in which no unnecessary words are used and every sentence is as short as possible.
adjective: harmful to living things
The BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico was deleterious to the fishing industry in the southern states.
adjective: troubled persistently especially with petty annoyances
With a team of new hires to train, Martha was constantly harried with little questions and could not focus on her projects.
noun: the feeling of remorse or guilt that comes from doing something bad
Those who show contrition during their prison terms--especially when under review by a parole board--often get shortened sentences.
adjective: overly concerned with details; fussy
Whitney is fastidious about her shoes, arranging them on a shelf in a specific order, each pair evenly spaced.
noun: a strong verbal or written attack on someone or something.
The professor launched into a polemic, claiming that Freudian theory was a pack of lies that absolutely destroyed European literary theory.
adjective: having or showing profound knowledge
Before the Internet, the library was typically were you would find erudite readers.
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