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100 terms

Reader's Digest: Word Power

Words from Reader's Digest "Word Power" column.
STUDY
PLAY
motif
Repeating theme/subject
diorama
A small 3-D scene
opaque
Lack of shine or light; blocking light
montage
A collection of images
batik
A fabric-dyeing method which uses wax to coat areas that don't need to be dyed
docent
A guide that conducts tours, usually for a museum
gild
to cover with gold or a gold-colored material
tactile
Perceptible to touch
diptych
Two pictures laid on a pair of hinged panels
emboss
To raise a design from a surface material
amorphous
Lacking a defined shape or form
pilaster
A shallow column shape protruding from the wall
mandala
A religious symbol associated with meditation, usually created with geometric patterns and shapes
tesselate
To form squares or blocks
chiaroscuro
The distribution of values in a picture
kiln
An oven used for firing pottery
adage
A traditional proverb that states a typical observation
adorn
To decorate
advent
The arrival or coming of
adept
Skilled
adamant
Inflexible; unyielding
adverse
Unfavorable towards
adherent
A supporter of a cause
admonition
Warning; advice
adduce
To cite something as an example for an argument
adulterate
To harm by adding too much
advertent
Vigilant; alert, attentive
ad-lib
To improvise
ad hoc
For a particular purpose or result
adjunct
Temporarily associated with
addle
To tamper or muddle with
adumbrate
To give a rough, sketchy outline of
saga
A long story of heroic adventures and successes
stigma
A mark of shame or disgrace
innuendo
A subtle put-down; a slightly derogatory remark
bedevil
To harrass or torment
repugnant
Repulsive; offensive
redeploy
To transport troops, workers, or materials from one area to another more greater effects
maturation
The process of ripening/maturing
heyday
Best years; "Golden Age"; era of successes
dalliance
Wasting of time; frivolous, silly activity
reticent
Uncommunicative
literally
Actually; really as
oxymoron
Contrdiction in terms; combination of two opposite words, such as sweet sorrow, or bittersweet
pliant
Flexible; easily bent or twist
tepid
Lukewarm; half-hearted
quintessence
The vital, most important part of; refined essence
finicky
Fussy; picky
analogy
A similarity seen between the features of different objects
supplant
To replace one w/ another
geocentric
Mesured or viewed as from the center of Earth
implement
Activate; put into action/effect; incorporate
veritable
True; not false/imaginary
cretin
Clod; a stupid, indecent person
assent
Agreement to a proposal
perpetrate
To commit; carry out; put into action
serene
Calm; tranquil; free of storms
provocation
The act of stirring up; agitating
onslaught
A very fierce ambush or attack
harbinger
A sign or indication of things to come
trajectory
Path; progression
imminent
Ready to occur
malign
To speak ill of
surmise
To infer; assume
tripe
Something poor and worthless, or offensive. Also the edible portion of a cud-chewing animal's stomach lining
calibrate
To correct/adjust perfectly and precisely
spelunking
The hobby or job of exploring caves
mandible
The [lower] jaw, comprised of a single bone
condone
To identify something (usually negative) as acceptable or harmless
satire
Sarcasm or irony used to express feelings about foolishness or immoral conduct
palatable
Compatible to the taste
arbiter
A judge; one whose opinion is authoritative
coercive
Ruling or conquering by force
impugn
To accuse as false; usually by words or debate
lemming
A short-tailed rodent, known for its often suicidal mass migrations :(
symbiosis
Cooperation between two different organisms
skew
To distort or slant; to tamper with
vociferous
Met with a loud outcry or protest
preclude
To rules out; to eliminate/make impossible
duplicitous
Deceptive; marked by contradictory second thoughts
catharsis
Purification, often with emotional renewal/purification as well
monolithic
Massive; representing uniform and inflexibilty
dissonance
Lack of agreement between beliefs and actions
bifurcated
Divided into 2 branches or parts
heinous
Abominable
accrue
To accumulate or be increased periodically; to come as a result of some action
iniquity
Wickedness; terrible injustice
sanitorium
An institution for resting or recuperating
impetuous
Acting upon impulsive force
finagle
To obtain by trickery; dishonest, indirect means
beguile
To charm or divert; to pass time pleasantly
flaunt
To display, especially pretentiously and intending to impress others
palazzo
A large building; usually referred to ones in Italy
inquisition
Harsh, severe questioning
gaudy
Flashy; extravagant
fop
A vain or silly person
ennui
Boredom; feeling of weariness, tiredness
ken
Range of knowledge
equipoise
State of equality and balance between forces
virago
Loud, strong woman