Terms in this set (48)
If someone is docile, he is easily taught or handled. If you suddenly became a trouble-maker in class, your teachers would long for the days when you were sweet and docile.
A sycophant is a person who tries to win favor from wealthy or influential people by flattering them. Also known as brown-nosers, teacher's pets or suck-ups.
a stiff flour pudding steamed or boiled usually and containing e.g. currants and raisins and citron
Use the adjective hoary to describe something that is old and worn out — like the hoary jokes your great uncle Albert clings to.
A dirge is a song of mourning, performed as a memorial to someone who's died. As you might imagine, a dirge is usually quite sad. Another word with a similar meaning that you might know is "requiem."
Dogma means the doctrine of belief in a religion or a political system.
This leads to putrefy, which means "make rotten," and finally putrefaction, the process of rotting or a state of being rotten.
To loll means to hang around lazily without doing much at all. It's a great pleasure to loll about in the park instead of going to work. But your boss might have a problem with it.
Wedding vows and vault combinations that can't be broken are considered inviolable. (Of course, divorce lawyers and bank robbers consider this a challenge.)
Use pungent to describe a taste or smell that gives a sharp sensation. "What is that pungent odor?" is a polite way of suggesting that someone in the room has BO.
A gewgaw is a little ornament or piece of jewelry. Gewgaws are cheap and don't have any purpose besides decoration.
If something looks or sounds ominous, be careful: a threat or an unpleasant event is at hand. If you see an ominous frown on your boss's face, you're in trouble!
Someone who's aloof isn't warm and friendly, instead being distant and reserved. That emotionally cold and detached fellow who keeps to himself, drinking espresso and reading French philosophy, would best be described as aloof.
Suppliers of victuals
(Victuals are anything that can be used as food. Even that plate of mystery meat that the lunch lady just gave you could be considered victuals.)
Choose the adjective petulant to describe a person or behavior that is irritable in a childish way.
The noun intimation means a hint or an indirect suggestion. Your teacher's intimation that there could be a quiz the next day might send you into a panic, while your friend sitting beside you might not even notice.
Ludicrous things are funny, absurd, or nonsensical. If someone says something silly or far-fetched, you could say "That's ludicrous!"
having a rising and falling motion or appearance like that of waves; undulating.
A paltry amount is so small it's not even worth thinking about. In the novel "Oliver Twist," when Oliver is given a paltry amount of gruel — not nearly enough — he asks, "Please, sir, can I have some more?"
Something immanent is inherent in and spread throughout something else — it's innate, intrinsic and inborn. Philosophers might debate about whether generosity is an immanent trait or something that people are taught.
Apocalypse is a word that means "the end of the world" — or something so destructive it seems like the world has ended in a place, like a major earthquake.
mist or fog.
A pompous person is arrogant or conceited. He'll walk into a party with an inflated ego, ready to tell anyone who will listen that "I'm kind of a big deal."
Compensation means "making up for a something." When a restaurant offers you a free dessert as compensation for messing up your dinner order, the hope is you will leave happy and come back again.
An insinuation is a sly way of saying something, usually something insulting. It can also be a way of worming your way into a group or situation.
If you're one of those people who believe there's nothing worth believing in, your doctrine is nihilism. In philosophy, nihilism is the complete rejection of moral values and religious beliefs.
If you study philosophy, you learn about existentialism, a school of thought that claims people are responsible for creating meaning out of life — since the world is meaningless.
a ring-shaped surface generated by rotating a circle around an axis that does not intersect the circle
a long (usually sleeveless) tunic of chain mail formerly worn as defensive armor
Here's a mind-bender: "This statement is false." If you think it's true, then it must be false, but if you think it's false, it must be true. Now, that's a paradox!
inflammation of the hands and feet caused by exposure to cold and moisture
move by using the arms to swing from branch to branch.
If you don't notice or aren't aware, it means that the adjective oblivious applies to you!
You've seen something transmogrify, or transform completely, if you've ever watched the process of a caterpillar becoming a butterfly.
If you disapprove of the overly submissive way someone is acting — like the teacher's pet or a celebrity's assistant — call them by the formal adjective obsequious.
Inchoate means just beginning to form. You can have an inchoate idea, like the earliest flickers of images for your masterpiece, or an inchoate feeling, like your inchoate sense of annoyance toward your sister's new talking parrot.
If you have a keen interest in something, you are really, really into it. Keen is an adjective that describes something that is intense, sharp, or focused.
the coalescence or growing together of parts originally separate.
Rationalism is a doctrine that prioritizes reason over emotion. If you're scared of the dark and convinced there's a monster in your closet, your parents will beg you to be rational, and rely on what you know (empty closet) instead of what your fear (monster!).
Use the adjective ossified to describe someone who's become stuck in his ways. You might feel that your uncle has become an ossified suburban soccer dad, set in his unbending view of the world and comfortable lifestyle.
When you extrapolate, you use specific details to make a general conclusion. For example, if you travel to Canada and encounter only friendly, kind natives, you might extrapolate that all Canadians are friendly.
If you see something you think might be a ghost, you can call it an apparition to hedge your bets. Apparition doesn't commit you in the same way the word ghost does—and saying that you've seen one won't cause you to be committed.
Decorum is proper and polite behavior. If you let out a big belch at a fancy dinner party, you're not showing much decorum.
Omnipotence is unlimited power. Bosses who behave as if they have omnipotence believe they have absolute power over the employees, maybe even down to the type of ink pens they are allowed to use.
large heavily built seabird with a long stout bill noted for its plunging dives for fish
When a person is inexorable, they're stubborn. When a thing or process is inexorable, it can't be stopped.
A pommel is the rounded knob on a horse's saddle that a rider grips with one hand. The raised front of the saddle itself can also be called a pommel.
Movie bank robbers always seem to pull some kind of ruse, a deceptive trick or tactic like hiding the money underneath the bank while they drive off in the getaway car to avoid capture by the police.