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85 terms

Vocabulary List #4

This is our current list. We will have a test on these terms during the week after Thanksgiving vacation.
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the human condition
the state of living unique to mankind in which we experience and question the challenges, sorrows, joys, and mysteries existence
the humanities
academic disciplines engaged in non-empirical study of what it means to be human, including religion, philosophy, languages, and the arts
literature
writings in prose or verse, especially those exhibiting excellence of form or expression exploring ideas of permanent or universal interest
symbol
(n.) something that stands for or suggests something else by reason of relationship, association, convention, or accidental resemblance; especially : a visible sign of something invisible
myth
(n.) a traditional story about heroes or supernatural beings, often attempting to explain the origins of natural phenomena or aspects of human behavior
chaos
(n.) a state of utter confusion; a state of things in which chance is supreme; especially : the confused unorganized state of primordial matter before the creation of distinct forms
countenance
(n.) appearance, especially the expression of the face
immortal
(adj.) not subject to death
Zeus
an Olympian; most powerful god; god of the sky; ruler of heaven and earth; Roman name: Jupiter
Poseidon
god of the sea and earthquakes; created the horse
Athena
an Olympian; born out of the head of the most powerful god; goddess of wisdom, arts and crafts, victory in battle [strategy]; Roman name: Minerva
odyssey
a long wandering or voyage usually marked by many changes of fortune
nymph
a beautiful, immortal maiden dwelling in mountains, forests, trees, or water
Circe
an enchantress who detains Odysseus on her island and turns his men into swine; she has braided hair and a braided wand of willow
Penelope
the faithful wife of a great Greek hero [Odysseus], she resists the advances of many suitors until she is finally reunited with her husband
Lotus-Eaters
[In the Odyssey,] inhabitants of an island that is home to a strange plant that makes people forget about their cares and memories
Siren
[One of a group of sea nymphs who by] their sweet singing lured mariners to destruction on the rocks surrounding their island
succulent
(adj.) full of juice : JUICY
prophecy
(n.) prediction of the future, made under divine inspiration
kleos aphthiton
everlasting glory, eternal fame
lament
(v.) to express grief for or about; mourn | "Apollo would often ____ the death of his friend, Hyacinthus."
malicious
(adj.) deliberately harmful : MALEVOLENT, PERNICIOUS | "Agnes spread ___ rumors about her enemy."
alchemy
(n.) A medieval philosophy and early form of chemistry whose aims were the transformation of base metals into gold and the discovery of a cure for all diseases and a potion for eternal youth.
perdition
(n.) loss of the soul; eternal damnation | "The young artist would risk __ in order to capture the divine beauty of the beautiful maiden on canvas."
melancholy
(adj.) depressed in spirits : SAD
calamity
(n.) a disastrous event marked by great loss and lasting distress and suffering | "The introduction of amateur bull riding to the annual Dawson Fall Festival ended in ___."
omen
(n.) an occurrence or phenomenon believed to be signify a future event; PORTENT | "She interpreted the appearance of the black cat with thirteen toes as a bad ____." | Note: the word PORTENT is similar to omen; a portent is usually an omen that something bad is going to happen.
chaste
(adj.) morally pure in thought or conduct; decent and modest
taciturn
(adj.) habitually silent, reserved, or uncommunicative; not inclined to conversation
reverie
(n.) an act or state of absent-minded daydreaming | "Staring out the window at the beautiful landscape, Hildegard was lost in a state of ___."
tedium
(n.) the state of being bored or the quality of being boring; monotony
estranged
(adj.) no longer friendly; hostile, unsympathetic, or indifferent; alienated
abyss
(n.) an immeasurably deep chasm, depth, or void | "Alone on the island, Calypso plunged into an ___ of loneliness and despair."
automaton
(n.) a self-operating machine or mechanism, especially a robot; a person that behaves or responds in a mechanical way | "Under the hypnotic spell of the moon, the frightening zombie -- a staggering, thoughtless, groaning ___ -- wandered the forest until dawn."
bower
(n.) a shelter (as in a garden) made with tree boughs or vines twined together; a lady's private apartment in a medieval hall or castle | "The beautiful princess spent her time reading poetry in a peaceful ___ in the castle garden."
ardent
(adj.) expressing or characterized by warmth of feeling; passionate : FERVENT | "Antoinette was an __ fan of Justin Bieber; the walls of her room were covered with images of his face."
sumptuous
(adj.) extremely costly, rich, luxurious, or magnificent | "Captured in a spell, the maiden slept in a ___ chamber decorated with rich fabrics and tapestries of velvet, silk, gold, and silver.
loathsome
(adj.) hateful, vile, highly offensive, revolting : ODIOUS | "Not a single villager felt sympathy for the __ ogre."
sagacity
(n.) foresight, discernment, or keen perception; ability to make good judgments : WISDOM | "King Arthur valued Merlin for his friendship, humor, honesty, and ____."
pallor
(n.) extreme or unnatural paleness | "The face of the vampire exhibited a horrifying ___."
divine
(adj.) of, relating to, or proceeding directly from God or a god
mundane
(adj.) belonging to this earth or world; not ideal or heavenly; commonplace; everyday; ordinary
archetype
(n.) an original model or type after which other similar things are patterned; a prototype | "The evil queen in Snow White is an ___ for many fairy tales."
Actaeon
a hunter turned into a stag and killed by his own hounds for having seen a goddess bathing
Apollo
an Olympian; god of the sun, fine arts, music, poetry, medicine, eloquence, archery, and young, unmarried men; his twin sister is the goddess of the hunt
Artemis
an Olympian; her twin brother is the god of the sun; goddess of the hunt, the moon, and unmarried girls
psyche
conscious and unconscious forces in an individual that influence thought, behavior and personality; in Greek, this word is related to the idea of the soul and the mind
mediate
to bring about (an agreement, accord, truce, peace) as an intermediary between parties by compromise, reconciliation, removal of misunderstanding
sublime
(adj.) inspiring awe; uplifting emotion because of its beauty, nobility, grandeur, or immensity | "The view from the North Rim of the Grand Canyon is truly __."
transfigure
(v.) to change completely the nature or appearance of something so that it becomes more glorified, praised, or honored | Note: ___is related to the verb metamorphose, except that ___ suggests a change for the better
imbecile
(n.) a person of low intelligence; a silly person; a dolt | "The robot was skilled at physical movement, but whenever it entered a conversation, it appeared to be an ___."
delusion
(n.) a false belief or opinion; a persistent false psychotic belief regarding the self or persons or objects outside the self that is maintained despite indisputable evidence to the contrary
perilous
(adj.) very hazardous or dangerous | "The knight embarked upon a ___ journey throughthe dark, wild, lonely forest."
simile
(n.) a figure of speech comparing two unlike things that is often introduced by like or as
metaphor
(n.) a figure of speech that compares two things without using the word like or as
profound
(adj.) having intellectual depth and insight; difficult to fathom or understand
emanate
(v.) proceed or issue forth, as from a source | "Chilling mists and strange howls ___ from the dark, haunted swamp."
prosaic
(adj.) lacking imagination and spirit; dull; straightforward, matter-of-fact
personification
(n.) a figure of speech in which an object or abstract idea is given human characteristics
lucid
(adj.) easily understood; CLEAR; also: of or relating to a period of normality between periods of insane or irresponsible behavior
Arachne
a weaver who was transformed into a spider
Daphne
a nymph pursued by the god of poetry; she was transformed into a laurel tree in order to avoid his embrace.
Pygmalion
he falls in love with a statue that is brought to life for him by the goddess of beauty
Prometheus
he stole fire from Mt. Olympus and gave it to man; chained to a rock by the most powerful god as punishment; he is the champion of mankind; the subtitle for Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein is "The Modern __"
Phaeton
he lost control of his father's sun chariot; he was killed by the most powerful god, who later transformed his mourning sisters into poplar trees
Orpheus
he almost freed his wife from the underworld but looked back at the last moment and lost her forever; husband of Eurydice; he is very skilled at playing a certain musical instrument
exalt
(v.) to praise highly : GLORIFY; to raise in rank, character, or status; elevate
Pandora
made by request of the most powerful Olympian, she opened a box that contained all of the troubles of mankind; she is the "Eve" of mythology
lyre
(n.) a stringed instrument of the harp family having two curved arms connected at the upper end by a crossbar, used to accompany a singer or reciter of poetry, especially in ancient Greece
maelstrom
(n.) a whirlpool of extraordinary size or violence
ethereal
(adj.) characterized by lightness and insubstantiality; intangible; almost as light as air; airy
corporeal
(adj.) having material or physical form or substance : TANGIBLE; of, relating to, or characteristic of the body
tumult
(n.) a noisy disturbance; agitation
ignominy
(n.) great personal dishonor or humiliation; public shame
cur
(n.) a dog considered to be inferior or undesirable; a mongrel
gaunt
very thin especially from disease or hunger or cold
elan
(n.) distinctive and stylish elegance; also: a positive feeling of wanting to push ahead with something
rudimentary
(adj.) of or relating to basic facts or principles; elementary; fundamental; not elaborated or perfected : BASIC
assuage
(v.) to make something less intense or severe; to soothe, moderate, or relieve
Naiad
a freshwater nymph | They inhabit such things as brooks, springs, and fountains.
Nereid
a saltwater nymph (a sea nymph) | There are fifty Nereid, all of whom are the daughters of Nereus, a shape-shifter god who is the son of Pontus (the sea) and Gaia (the earth).
disconsolate
(adj.) beyond consolation; extremely dejected
baleful
(adj.) threatening or foreshadowing evil or tragic events; menacing; sinister
lugubrious
(adj.) mournful, dismal, or gloomy, especially to an exaggerated or ludicrous degree
obsequious
(adj.) attempting to win favor from influential people by flattery