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Terms in this set (49)
making less guilty or more forgivable
The jury was hardly moved by the man's plea that his loneliness was an ___________ factor in his crime of dognapping a prized pooch.
___________ by his parents to find a job, the 30-year-old loafer instead joined a gang of itinerant musicians.
to suddenly move in a particular direction
All alone in the mansion, Henrietta ___________ when she heard a sound.
something that speeds up an event
Rosa Parks's refusal to give up her bus seat acted as a ___________ for the Civil Rights Movement, setting into motion historic changes for African-Americans.
Some actors take challenging roles in which they have to lose so much weight that they appear ___________.
to be wandering; not sticking to a circumscribed path
Unlike his peers, who spent their hours studying in the library, Matthew preferred _________ walks through the university campus.
an ill-tempered or violent woman
Poor Billy was the victim of the __________ invective—she railed at him for a good 30-minutes about how he is the scum of the earth for speaking loudly on his cellphone in public.
eager to fight or argue; verbally combative
The comedian told one flat joke after another, and when the audience started booing, he ___________ spat back at them, "Hey, you think this is easy - why don't you buffoons give it a shot?"
significant and important value
Despite the initial hullabaloo, the play was of no great __________ in Hampton's writing career, and within a few years the public quickly forgot his foray into theater arts.
in a frenzied or uncontrolled state
Wherever the bowl haircut teen-idol went, his legions of screaming fans ran through the streets __________, hoping for a glance at his boyish face.
Many people have been __________ by Internet scams and never received their money back.
to gradually increase in size or intensity
Her enthusiasm for the diva's new album only __________ with each song; by the end of the album, it was her favorite CD yet.
two things are fundamentally different
With the advent of machines capable of looking inside the brain, fields as __________ as religion and biology have been brought together by scientists trying to understand what happens in the brain when people have a religious experience.
Often we imagine all monks to wear the ___________ smile of the Buddha, but, like any of us, a monk can have a bad day and not look very happy.
a wild, confusing fight or struggle
After enduring daily taunts about my name, I became enraged and pummeled the schoolyard bully and his sycophantic friends in a brutal ___________.
the highest point
The Ivy League is considered the _________ of the higher education system.
the pinnacle or top of a time period or career
During the __________ of Prohibition, bootlegging had become such a lucrative business that many who had been opposed to the 18th Amendment began to fear it would be repealed.
to confirm or lend support to (usually an idea or claim)
Her claim that frog populations were falling precipitously in Central America was __________ by locals, who reported that many species of frogs had seemingly vanished overnight.
to be in abundance
The exam's passage is _________ with difficult words, words that you may have learned only yesterday.
of primary importance; fundamental
Most cultures consider gambling a _________ sin and thus have outlawed its practice.
impossible to estimate or figure out
According to many lawmakers, the huge variety of factors affecting society make devising an efficient healthcare system an _________ task.
done before someone else can do it
Just as Martha was about to take the only cookie left on the table, Noah __________ swiped it.
a confusing mixture or jumble
Those in attendance represented a __________ of the city's denizens: chimney sweepers could be seen sitting elbow to elbow with stockbrokers.
clear and persuasive
A __________ argument will change the minds of even the most skeptical audience.
describes someone who is brilliant and lively
Richard Feynman was renowned for his __________ lectures—the arcana of quantum physics was made lucid as he wrote animatedly on the chalkboard.
to search for something persistently
Ever the resourceful lexicographer, Fenton was able to __________ out the word origin of highly obscure words.
to hold back or limit the flow or growth of something
To _________ the tide of applications, the prestigious Ivy requires that each applicant score at least 330 on the Revised GRE.
unreasonable; unscrupulous; excessive
The lawyer's demands were so ___________ that rather than pay an exorbitant sum or submit himself to any other inconveniences, the defendant decided to find a new lawyer.
a small amount (of money)
Vinny's uncle beamed smugly about how he'd offered his nephew fifty dollars for his Harvard tuition; even twice the amount would have been a mere __________.
warlike; inclined to quarrel
Known for their _________ ways, the Spartans were once the most feared people from Peloponnesus to Persia.
to strongly urge on; encourage
Nelson's parents ___________ him to study medicine, urging him to choose a respectable profession; intransigent, Nelson left home to become a graffiti artist.
a large number of something
Despite a __________ of city ordinances passed by an overzealous council, noise pollution continued unabated in the megalopolis.
to limit (usually modifying the growth of something)
Deserted for six months, the property began to look more like a jungle and less like a residence—weeds grew __________ in the front yard
the condition of being held back or limited
When government abuses are not kept in __________, that government is likely to become autocratic.
felt or undergone as if one were taking part in the experience or feelings of another
The advent of twitter is a celebrity stalker's dream, as he or she can—through hundreds of intimate "tweets"— ___________ live the life of a famous person.
The judge found the defendant's comments ___________ to the trial, and summarily dismissed him from the witness stand.
open and honest
The mayor, despite his avuncular face plastered about the city, was hardly ___________ - some concluded that it was his ingratiating smile that allowed him to engage in corrupt behavior and get away with it.
a lack of something
There is a _________ of jobs hiring today that require menial skills, since most such jobs have either been automated or outsourced.
a hater of mankind
Kevin is such a ___________ that he refused to attend the Christmas party, claiming that everyone's happiness was "fake" and "annoying."
a person who believes in the superiority of their group
The __________ lives on both sides of the political spectrum, outright shunning anybody whose ideas are not consistent with his own.
marked by disreputable or unfortunate happenings
One by one, the presidential candidates dropped out of the race, their respective __________ pasts— from embezzlement to infidelity—sabotaging their campaigns.
an aggressive takeover by a group (usually military); the group that executes such a takeover
As dangerous of a threat as North Korea is, some analysts believe that were a _________ suddenly to gain power, it could be even more unpredictable and bellicose than the current leadership
to willfully violate or destroy a sacred place
After ___________ the pharaoh's tomb, the archaeologist soon fell victim to a horrible illness.
to be remorseful
Though he stole his little sister's licorice stick with malevolent glee, Chucky soon became __________ when his sister wouldn't stop crying.
With the prospect of having to learn 3,000 words during the course of the summer, Paul was anything but ___________.
greed (one of the seven deadly sins)
The Spanish conquistadors were known for their ___________, plundering Incan land and stealing Incan gold.
appropriate, and matches nicely
Her dress was __________ and made her look even more beautiful.
making a show of being pious; holier-than-thou
Even during the quiet sanctity of evening prayer, she held her chin high, a __________ sneer forming on her face as she eyed those who were attending church for the first time.
The governor's __________ toward his rival was only inflamed when the latter spread false lies regarding the governor's first term.
completely stocked or furnished with something
Only weeks after the hurricane made landfall, the local supermarket shelves were _________ with goods, so quick was the disaster relief response.
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