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317 terms

Barron's GRE with sentences -Wordlist A

A complete list of Barron's GRE Wordlist, with meanings and sentences. The series has the entire wordlist split by alphabets, and also a mega complete wordlist, of all 3757 words. This is Wordlist A.
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abbreviate
shorten
Because we were running out of time, the lecturer had to abbreviate her speech.
abate
subside or moderate
Rather than leaving immediately, they waited for the storm to abate.
abortive
unsuccessful; fruitless
We had to abandon our abortive attempts.
absolute
complete; totally unlimited; certain
Although the King of Siam was an absolute monarch, he did not want to behead his unfaithful wife
without absolute evidence of her infidelity.
abstract
theoretical; not concrete; non-representational
To him, hunger was an abstract concept; he had never missed a meal.
abusive
coarsely insulting; physically harmful
An abusive parent damages a child both mentally and physically.
accelerate
move faster
In our science class, we learn how falling bodies accelerate.
accessible
easy to approach; obtainable
We asked our guide whether the ruins were accessible on foot.
accessory
additional object; useful but not essential thing
She bought an attractive handbag as an accessory for her dress.
abscond
depart secretly and hide
The teller absconded with the bonds and was not found.
aberrant
abnormal or deviant
Given the aberrant nature of the data, we came to doubt the validity of the entire experiment.
abeyance
suspended action
The deal was held in abeyance until her arrival.
adamant
hard, inflexible
He was adamant in his determination to punish the wrongdoer.
adulterate
make impure by mixing with baser substances It is a crime to adulterate foods without informing the buyer.
adversity
poverty, misfortune
We must learn to meet adversity gracefully.
abase
lower; degrade; humiliate
Anna expected to have to curtsy to the King of Siam; when told to cast herself down on the ground before
him, however she refused to abase herself.
abash
embarrass
He was not at all abashed by her open admiration.
abdicate
renounce; give up
When Edward VII abdicated the British throne, he surprised the entire world.
abet
assist, usually in doing something wrong
She was unwilling to abet him in the swindle he had planned.
abject
wretched; lacking pride
On the streets of New York the homeless live in abject poverty, huddling in doorways to find shelter from
the wind.
abjure
renounce upon oath
He abjured his allegiance to the king.
ablution
washing
His daily ablutions were accompanied by loud noises that he humorously labeled "Opera in the Bath."
abnegation
renunciation; self-sacrifice
Though Rudolph and Duchess Flavia loved one another, their love was doomed, for she had to wed the
king; their act of abnegation was necessary to preserve the kingdom.
abominate
loathe; hate
Moses scolded the idol worshippers in the tribe because he abominated the custom.
abrasive
rubbing away; tending to grind down
Just as abrasive cleaning powders can wear away a shiny finish, abrasive remarks can wear away a listener's
patience.
abrogate
abolish
He intended to abrogate the decree issued by his predecessor.
absolve
pardon (an offense)
The father confessor absolved him of his sins.
abstain
refrain; withhold from participation
After considering the effect of alcohol on his athletic performance, he decided to abstain from drinking
while he trained for the race.
abut
border upon; adjoin
Where our estates abut, we must build a fence.
abysmal
bottomless
His arrogance is exceeded only by his abysmal ignorance.
accede
agree
If I accede to this demand for blackmail, I am afraid that I will be the victim of future demands.
acclimate
adjust to climate or environment
One of the difficulties of our present air age is the need of travellers to acclimate themselves to their new
and often strange environments.
acclivity
sharp upslope of a hill
The car could not go up the acclivity in high gear.
accolade
award of merit
In Hollywood, an "Oscar" is the highest accolade.
accord
agreement
She was in complete accord with the verdict.
accost
approach and speak first to a person
When the two young men accosted me, I was frightened because I thought they were going to attack me.
accoutre
equip
The fisherman was accoutred with the best that the sporting goods store could supply
accretion
growth; increase
The accretion of wealth marked the family's rise in power.
accrue
come about by addition
You must pay the interest that has accrued on your debt as well as the principal sum.
acidulous
slightly sour; sharp; caustic
James was unpopular because of his sarcastic and acidulous remarks.
acme
peak; pinnacle; highest point
Welles's success in Citizen Kane marked the acme of his career as an actor; never again did he achieve such
popular acclaim.
acquiesce
assent; agree passively
Although she appeared to acquiesce to her employer's suggestions, I could tell she had reservations about
the changes he wanted made.
acquittal
deliverance from a charge
His acquittal by the jury surprised those who had thought him guilty.
acrid
sharp; bitterly pungent The acrid odor of burnt gunpowder filled the room after the pistol had been fired.
acrimonious
stinging, caustic
His tendency to utter acrimonious remarks alienated his audience.
actuarial
calculating; pertaining to insurance statistics
According to recent actuarial tables, life expectancy is greater today than it was a century ago.
actuate
motivate
I fail to understand what actuated you to reply to this letter so nastily.
acuity
sharpness
In time his youthful acuity of vision failed him, and he needed glasses.
acumen
mental keenness
His business acumen helped him to succeed where others had failed.
adage
wise saying; proverb
There is much truth in the old adage about fools and their money.
addendum
addition; appendix to book
Jane's editor approved her new comparative literature text but thought it would be even better with an
addendum on recent developments in literary criticism.
addle
muddle; drive crazy
This idiotic plan is confusing enough to addle anyone.
adherent
supporter; follower
In the wake of the scandal, the senator's one-time adherent quietly deserted him.
adjunct
something attached to but holding an inferior position
I will entertain this concept as an adjunct to the main proposal.
adjuration
solemn urging
Her adjuration to tell the truth did not change the witnesses' testimony.
adjutant
staff officer assisting the commander; assistant
Though Wellington delegated many tasks to his chief adjutant, Lord Fitzroy Somerset, Somerset was in no
doubt as to who made all major decisions.
admonish
warn; reprove
He admonished his listeners to change their wicked ways.
adorn
decorate
Wall paintings and carved statues adorned the temple.
adroit
skillful
His adroit handling of the delicate situation pleased his employers.
adulation
flattery; admiration
The rock star thrived on the adulation of his groupies and yes-men.
advent
arrival
Most Americans were unaware of the advent of the Nuclear Age until the news of Hiroshima reached
them.
adventitious
accidental; casual
He found this adventitious meeting with his friend extremely fortunate.
adversary
opponent; enemy
Batman struggled to save Gotham City from the machinations of his wicked adversary, the Joker.
adverse
unfavorable; hostile
adverse circumstances compelled him to close his business.
advert
refer to
Since you advert to this matter so frequently, you must regard it as important.
advocate
urge; plead for
The abolitionists advocated freedom for the slaves.
aegis
shield; defense
Under the aegis of the Bill of Rights, we enjoy our most treasured freedoms.
affable
courteous
Although he held a position of responsibility, he was an affable individual and could be reached by anyone
with a complaint.
affected
artificial; pretended
His affected mannerisms irritated may of us who had known him before his promotion.
affidavit
written statement made under oath
The court refused to accept his statement unless he presented it in the form of an affidavit.
affiliation
joining; associating with
His affiliation with the political party was of short duration for he soon disagreed with his colleagues.
affinity
kinship
She felt an affinity with all who suffered; their pains were her pains.
affirmation
positive assertion; confirmation; solemn pledge by one who refuses to take an oath
Despite Tom's affirmation of innocence, Aunt Polly still suspected he had eaten the pie.
affix
attach or add on; fasten
First the registrar had to affix his signature to the license; then he had to affix his official seal.
affluence
abundance; wealth
Foreigners are amazed by the affluence and luxury of the American way of life.
|affront~insult; offend
Accustomed to being treated with respect, Miss Challoner was affronted by Vidal's offensive behavior.
agape
openmouthed
She stared, agape, at the many strange animals in the zoo.
agenda
items of business at a meeting
We had so much difficulty agreeing upon an agenda that there was very little time for the meeting.
agglomeration
collection; heap
It took weeks to assort the agglomeration of miscellaneous items she had collected on her trip.
aggrandize
increase or intensify; raise in power, wealth, rank or honor
The history of the past quarter century illustrates how a President may aggrandize his power to act
aggressively in international affairs without considering the wishes of Congress.
aggregate
sum; total
The aggregate wealth of this country is staggering to the imagination.
aghast
horrified
He was aghast at the nerve of the speaker who had insulted his host.
agility
nimbleness
The agility of the acrobat amazed and thrilled the audience.
agitate
stir up; disturb
Her fiery remarks agitated the already angry mob.
agnostic
one who is skeptical of the existence of knowability of a god or any ultimate reality
The agnostic demanded proof before she would accept the statement of the minister.
agog
highly excited; intensely curious
We were all agog at the news that the celebrated movie star was giving up his career in order to enter a
monastery.
agrarian
pertaining to land or its cultivation
As a result of its recent industrialization, the country is gradually losing its agrarian traditions.
alacrity
cheerful promptness
He demonstrated his eagerness to serve by his alacrity in executing the orders of his master.
alchemy
medieval chemistry
The changing of baser metals into gold was the goal of the students of alchemy.
alcove
nook; recess
Though their apartment lacked a full-scale dining room, an alcove adjacent to the living room made an
adequate breakfast nook for the young couple.
alias
an assumed name
John Smith's alias was Bob Jones.
alienate
make hostile; separate
Her attempts to alienate the two friends failed because they had complete faith in each other.
alimentary
supplying nourishment
The alimentary canal in our bodies is so named because digestion of foods occurs there.
alimony
payments make to an ex-spouse after divorce
Because Tony had supported Tina through medical school, on their divorce he asked the court to award
him $500 a month in alimony.
allay
calm; pacify
The crew tried to allay the fears of the passengers by announcing that the fire had been controlled.
allege
state without proof
It is alleged that she had worked for the enemy.
allegory
story in which characters are used as symbols; fable
Pilgrim's Progress is an allegory of the temptations and victories of the human soul.
alleviate
relieve
This should alleviate the pain; if it does not, we shall have to use stronger drugs.
alliteration
repetition of beginning sound in poetry
"The furrow followed free" is an example of alliteration.
alloy
mixture as of metals
alloy of gold are used more frequently than the pure metal.
allude
refer indirectly
Try not to allude to this matter in his presence because the topic annoys him.
allure
entice; attract
allured by the song of the sirens, the helmsman steered the ship toward the reef.
allusion
indirect reference
the allusions to mythological characters in Milton's poems bewilder the reader who has not studied Latin.
alluvial
pertaining to soil deposits left by running water
The farmers found the alluvial deposits at the mouth of the river very fertile.
aloof
apart; reserved
Shy by nature, she remained aloof while all the rest conversed.
aloft
upward
The sailor climbed aloft into the rigging.
altercation
noisy quarrel
Throughout the altercation, not one sensible word was uttered.
altruistic
unselfishly generous; concerned for others
In providing tutorial assistance and college scholarships to hundreds of economically disadvantaged
youths, Eugene Lang performed a truly altruistic deed.
amalgamate
combine; unite in one body
The unions will attempt to amalgamate their groups into one national body.
amass
collect
The miser's aim is to amass and hoard as much gold as possible.
amazon
female warrior
Ever since the days of Greek mythology we refer to strong and aggressive women as amazons.
ambidextrous
capable of using either hand with equal ease
A switch-hitter in baseball should be naturally ambidextrous.
ambience
environment; atmosphere
She went to the restaurant not for the food but for the ambience.
ambiguous
unclear or doubtful in meaning
His ambiguous instructions misled us; we did not know which road to take.
ambivalence
the state of having contradictory or conflicting emotional attitudes
Torn between loving her parents one minute and hating them the next, she was confused by the
ambivalence of her feelings.
amble
moving at an easy pace
When she first mounted the horse, she was afraid to urge the animal to go faster than a gentle amble.
ambrosia
food of the gods
ambrosia was supposed to give immortality to any human who ate it.
ambulatory
able to walk
He was described as an ambulatory patient because he was not confined to his bed.
ameliorate
improve
Many social workers have attempted to ameliorate the conditions of people living in the slums.
amenable
readily managed; willing to be led
He was amenable to any suggestions that came from those he looked up to; he resented advice from his
inferiors.
amend
correct; change, generally for the better
Hoping to amend his condition, he left Vietnam for the United States.
amenities
convenient features; courtesies In addition to the customary amenities for the business traveler -- fax machines, modems, a health club --
the hotel offers the services of a butler versed in social amenities.
amiable
agreeable; lovable
His amiable disposition pleased all who had dealings with him.
amicable
friendly
The dispute was settled in an amicable manner with no harsh words.
amiss
wrong; faulty
Seeing her frown, he wondered if anything were amiss.
amity
friendship
Student exchange programs such as the Experiment in International Living were established to promote
international amity.
amnesia
loss of memory
Because she was suffering from amnesia, the police could not get the young girl to identify herself.
amnesty
pardon
When his first child was born, the king granted amnesty to all in prison.
amoral
non-moral
The amoral individual lacks a code of ethics; he should not be classified as immoral.
amorous
moved by sexual love; loving
Don Juan was known for his amorous adventures.
amorphous
shapeless; vague; indeterminate
John was subject to panic attacks that left him prey to vague, amorphous fears: he knew he was terrified,
but could neither define nor explain the cause of his terror.
amphibian
able to live both on land and in water
Frogs are classified as amphibian.
amphitheater
oval building with tiers of seats
The spectators in the amphitheater cheered the gladiators.
ample
abundant
He had ample opportunity to dispose of his loot before his police caught up with him.
amplify
enlarge
Her attempts to amplify her remarks were drowned out by the jeers of the audience.
amputate
cut off part of body; prune
When the doctors had to amputate Ted Kennedy's leg to prevent the spread of cancer, he did not let the
loss of his leg keep him from participating in sports.
amok
in a state of rage The police had to be called in to restrain him after he ran amok in the department store.
amulet
charm; talisman
Around her neck she wore the amulet that the witch doctor had given her.
anachronism
something or someone misplaced in time
Shakespeare's reference to clocks in Julius Caesar is an anachronism; no clocks existed in Caesar's time.
analgesic
causing insensitivity to pain
The analgesic qualities of his lotion will provide temporary relief.
analogous
comparable
She called our attention to the things that had been done in an analogous situation and recommended that
we do the same.
analogy
similarity; parallelism
Your analogy is not a good one because the two situations are not similar.
anarchist
person who rebels against the established order
Only the total overthrow of all governmental regulations would satisfy the anarchist.
anarchy
absence of governing body; state of disorder
The assassination of the leaders led to a period of anarchy.
anathema
solemn curse; someone or something that is despised
He heaped anathema upon his foe.
anathematize
curse
The high priest anathematized the heretic.
anchor
secure or fasten firmly; be fixed in place
We set the post in concrete to anchor it in place.
ancillary
serving as an aid or accessory; auxiliary
In an ancillary capacity Doctor Watson was helpful; however, Holmes could not trust the good doctor to
solve a perplexing case on his own.
anecdote
short account of an amusing or interesting event
Rather than make concrete proposals for welfare reform, President Raegan told anecdotes about poor
people who became wealthy despite their impoverished backgrounds.
anemia
condition in which blood lacks red corpuscles
The doctor ascribes her tiredness to anemia.
anesthetic
substance that removes sensation with or without loss of consciousness
His monotonous voice acted like an anesthetic; his audience was soon asleep.
anguish
acute pain; extreme suffering
Visiting the site of explosion, Premier Gorbachev wept to see the anguish of the victims and their families.
|angular~sharp-cornered; stiff in manner
His features, though angular, were curiously attractive.
animadversion
critical remark
He resented the animadversions of his critics, particularly because he realized they were true.
animated
lively
Her animated expression indicated a keenness of intellect.
animosity
active enmity
He incurred the animosity of the ruling class because he advocated limitations of their power.
animus
hostile feeling or intent
The animus of the speaker became obvious to all when he began to indulge in sarcastic and insulting
remarks.
annals
records; history
In the annals of this period, we find no mention of democratic movements.
anneal
reduce brittleness and improve toughness by heating and cooling
After the glass is annealed, it will be less subject to chipping and cracking.
annihilate
destroy
The enemy in its revenge tried to annihilate the entire population.
annotate
comment; make explanatory notes
In the appendix to the novel, the critic sought to annotate many of the more esoteric references.
annuity
yearly allowance
The annuity he set up with the insurance company supplements his social security benefits so that he can
live very comfortably without working.
annul
make void
The parents of the eloped couple tried to annul the marriage.
anodyne
drug that relieves pain; opiate
His pain was so great that no anodyne could relieve it.
anoint
consecrate
The prophet Samuel anointed David with oil, crowning him king of Israel.
anomalous
abnormal; irregular
He was placed in the anomalous position of seeming to approve procedures that he despised.
anomaly
irregularity
A bird that cannot fly is an anomaly.
anonymity
state of being nameless; anonymousness The donor of the gift asked the college not to mention him by name; the dean readily agreed to respect his
anonymity.
antagonistic
hostile; opposed
Despite his lawyers' best efforts to stop him, the angry prisoner continued to make antagonistic remarks to
the judge.
antecede
precede
The invention of the radiotelegraph anteceded the development of television by a quarter of a century.
antecedents
preceding events or circumstances that influence what comes later; early life; ancestors
Before giving permission for Drummie to marry Estella, Miss Havisham had a few questions about the
young man's birth and antecedents.
antediluvian
antiquated; ancient
The antediluvian customs had apparently not changed for thousands of years.
anthropoid
manlike
The gorilla is the strongest of the anthropoid animals.
anthropologist
student of the history and science of humankind
Anthropologists have discovered several relics of prehistoric humans in this area.
anthropomorphic
having human form or characteristics
Primitive religions often have deities with anthropomorphic characteristics.
anticlimax
letdown in thought or emotion
After the fine performance in the first act, the rest of the play was an anticlimax.
antipathy
aversion; dislike
His extreme antipathy to dispute caused him to avoid argumentative discussions with his friends.
antiquated
obsolete; outdated
Accustomed to editing his papers on word processors, Philip thought typewriters were too antiquated for
him to use.
antiseptic
substance that prevents infection
It is advisable to apply an antiseptic to any wound, no matter how slight or insignificant.
antithesis
contrast; direct opposite of or to
This tyranny was the antithesis of all that he had hoped for, and he fought it with all his strength.
anvil
iron block used in hammering out metals
After heating the iron horseshoe in the forge, the blacksmith picked it up with his tongs and set it on the
anvil.
apathetic
indifferent
He felt apathetic about the conditions he had observed and did not care to fight against them.
apathy
lack of caring; indifference
A firm believer in democratic government, she could not understand the apathy of people who never
bothered to vote.
ape
imitate or mimic
He was suspended for a week because he had aped the principal in front of the whole school.
aperture
opening; hole
She discovered a small aperture in the wall, through which the insects had entered the room.
apex
tip; summit; climax
He was at the apex of his career.
aphasia
loss of speech due to injury or illness
After the automobile accident, the victim had periods of aphasia when he could not speak at all or could
only mumble incoherently.
aphorism
pithy maxim
An aphorism differs from an adage in that it is more philosophical or scientific.
apiary
a place where bees are kept
Although he spent many hours daily in the apiary, he was very seldom stung by a bee.
aplomb
poise; composure
Wellington's nonchalance and aplomb in the heat of battle always heartened his followers.
apocalyptic
prophetic; pertaining to revelations; especially of disaster
His apocalyptic remarks were dismissed by his audience as wild surmises.
apocryphal
untrue; made up
To impress his friends, Tom invented apocryphal tales of his adventures in the big city.
apogee
highest point
When the moon in its orbit is furthest away from the earth, it is at its apogee.
apoplexy
stroke; loss of consciousness followed by paralysis
He was crippled by an attack of apoplexy.
apostate
one who abandons his religious faith or political beliefs
Because he switched from one party to another, his former friends shunned him as an apostate.
apothecary
druggist
In Holland, apothecaries still sell spices as well as ointments and pills.
apothegm
pithy, compact saying
Proverbs are apothegms that have become familiar sayings.
apotheosis
deification; glorification
The Roman empress Livia envied the late emperor his apotheosis; she hoped that on her death she, too, would be exalted to the rank of a god.
appal
dismay; shock
We were appalled by the horrifying conditions in the city's jails.
apparition
ghost; phantom
Hamlet was uncertain about the identity of the apparition that had appeared and spoken to him.
appease
pacify; soothe
We have discovered that, when we try to appease our enemies, we encourage them to make additional
demands.
appellation
name; title
He was amazed when the witches hailed him with his correct appellation.
append
attach
I shall append this chart to my report.
application
diligent attention; (secondary meaning) apply
Pleased with how well Tom had whitewashed the fence, Aunt Polly praised him for his application.
apposite
appropriate; fitting
He was always able to find the apposite phrase, the correct expression for every occasion.
appraise
estimate the value of
It is difficult to appraise old paintings; it is easier to call them priceless.
appreciate
be thankful for; increase in worth; be thoroughly conscious of
Little Orphan Annie truly appreciated the stocks Daddy Warbucks ave her, whose value appreciated
considerably over the years.
apprehend
arrest ( a criminal); dread; perceive
The police will apprehend the culprit and convict him before long.
apprehensive
fearful; discerning
His apprehensive glances at the people who were walking in the street revealed his nervousness.
apprise
inform
When he was apprised of the dangerous weather conditions, he decided to postpone his trip.
approbation
approval
Wanting her parents' regard, she looked for some sign of their approbation.
appropriate
acquire; take possession of for one's own use
The ranch owners appropriated the lands that had originally been set aside for the Indians' use.
appurtenances
subordinate possessions
He bought the estate and all its appurtenances.
apropos
with reference to; regarding
I find your remarks apropos of the present situation timely and pertinent.
aptitude
fitness; talent
The counselor evaluated his aptitudes before advising him about the career he should follow.
aquiline
curved, hooked
He can be recognized by his aquiline nose, curved like the beak of the eagle.
arable
fit for plowing
The land was no longer arable; erosion had removed the valuable topsoil.
arbiter
person with power to decide a matter in a dispute; judge
As an arbiter in labor disputes, she has won the confidence of the workers and the employers.
arbitrary
unreasonable or capricious; tyrannical
The coach claimed the team lost because the umpire made some arbitrary calls.
arbitrate
act as judge
She was called upon to arbitrate the dispute between the union and the management.
arboretum
place where different varieties of trees and shrubs are studied and exhibited
Walking along the treelined paths of the arboretum, Rita noted poplars, firs, and some particularly fine
sycamores.
arcade
a covered passageway, usually lined with shops
The arcade was popular with shoppers because it gave them protection from the summer sun and the
winter rain.
arcane
secret; mysterious
What was arcane to us was clear to the psychologist.
archaeology
study of artifacts and relics of early mankind
The professor of archaeology headed an expedition to the Gobi Desert in search of ancient ruins.
archaic
antiquated
"Methinks," "thee," and "thou" are archaic words that are no longer part of our normal vocabulary.
archetype
prototype; primitive pattern
The Brooklyn Bridge was the archetype of the many spans that now connect Manhattan with Long Island
and New Jersey.
archipelago
group of closely located islands
When he looked at the map and saw the archipelagoes in the South Seas, he longed to visit them.
archives
public records; place where public records are kept
These documents should be part of the archives so that historians may be able to evaluate them in the
future.
ardor
heat; passion; zeal
Katya's ardor was contagious; soon all her fellow demonstrators were busily making posters and handing
out flyers, inspired by her ardent enthusiasm for the cause.
arduous
hard; strenuous
Her arduous efforts had sapped her energy.
argot
slang
In the argot of the underworld, she "was taken for a ride."
aria
operatic solo
At her Metropolitan Opera audition, Marian Anderson sang an aria from Norma.
arid
dry; barren
The cactus had adapted to survive in an arid environment.
aristocracy
hereditary nobility; privileged class
Americans have mixed feelings about hereditary aristocracy:
armada
fleet of warships
Queen Elizabeth's navy was able to defeat the mighty armada that threatened the English coast.
aromatic
fragrant
Medieval sailing vessels brought aromatic herbs from China to Europe.
arraign
charge in court; indict
After his indictment by the Grand Jury, the accused man was arraigned in the County Criminal Court.
array
marshal; draw up in order
His actions were bound to array public sentiment against him.
array
clothe; adorn
She liked to watch her motherarray herself in her finest clothes before going out for the evening.
arrears
being in debt
He was in arrears with his payments on the car.
arrogance
pride, haughtiness
The arrogance of the nobility was resented by the middle class.
arroyo
gully
Until the heavy rains of the past spring, this arroyo had been a dry bed.
articulate
effective; distinct
Her articulate presentation of the advertising campaign impressed her employers.
artifacts
products of primitive culture
Archaeologists debated the significance of the artifacts discovered in the ruins of Asia Minor and came to
no conclusion.
|artifice~deception; trickery
The Trojan War proved to the Greeks that cunning and artifice were often more effective than military
might.
artisan
a manually skilled worker
Artists and artisans alike are necessary to the development of a culture.
artless
without guile; open and honest
Red Riding Hood's artless comment, "Grandma, what big eyes you have!" indicates the child's innocent
surprises at her "grandmother's" changed appearance.
ascendancy
controlling influence
President Marcos failed to maintain his ascendency over Philippines.
ascetic
practicing self-denial; austere
The wealthy young man could not understand the ascetic life led by the monks.
asceticism
doctrine of self-denial
We find asceticism practiced in many monastries.
ascribe
refer; attribute; assign
I can ascribe no motive for her acts.
asceptic
preventing infection; having a cleansing effect
Hospitals succeeded in lowering the mortality rate as soon as they introduced asceptic conditions.
ashen
ash-colored; deadly pale
Her face was ashen with fear.
asinine
stupid
Your asinine remarks prove that you have not given this problem any serious consideration.
askance
with a sideways or indirect look
Looking askance at her questioner, she displayed her scorn.
askew
crookedly; slanted; at an angle
When he placed his hat askew upon his head, his observers laughed.
asperity
sharpness (of temper)
These remarks, spoken with asperity, stung the boys to whom they had been directed.
aspersion
slanderous remark
Do not cast aspersions on her character.
aspirant
seeker after position or status
Although I am as aspirant for public office, I am not willing to accept the dictates of the party bosses.
aspiration
noble ambition Youth's aspirations should be as lofty as the stars.
assail
assault
He was assailed with questions after his lecture.
assay
analyze; evaluate
When they assayed the ore, they found that they had discovered a very rich vein.
assent
agree; accept
It gives me great pleasure to assent to your request.
assert
state strongly or positively; insist on or demand recognition of (rights, claims, etc).
When Jill asserted that nobody else in the junior class had such an early curfew, her parents Asserted
themselves, telling her that if she didn't get home by nine o'clock she would be grounded for the week.
assessment
estimation; appraisal
I would like to have your assessment of the situation in South Africa.
assiduous
diligent
It took Rembrandt weeks of assiduous labor before he was satisfied with his portrait of his son.
assimilate
absorb; cause to become homogenous
The manner in which the United States was able to assimilate the hordes of immigrants during the
nineteenth and early part of the twentieth centuries will always be a source of pride.
assuage
ease; lessen(pain)
Your messages of cheer should assuage her suffering.
assumption
something taken for granted; the taking over or taking possession of
The young princess made the foolish assumption that the regent would not object to her Assumption of
power.
assurance
promise or pledge; certainty; self-confidence
When Gutherie gave Guiness his assurance that rehearsals were going well, he spoke with such assurance
that Guiness was convinced.
asteroid
small planet
asteroids have become commonplace to the readers of interstellar travel stories in science fiction
magazines.
astigmatism
eye defect that prevents proper focus
As soon as his parents discovered that the boy suffered from astigmatism, they took him to the
optometrist for corrective glasses.
astral
relating to the stars
She was amazed at the number of astral bodies the new telescope revealed.
astringent
binding; causing contraction; harsh or severe
The astringent quality of unsweetened lemon juice made swallowing difficult.
|astronomical~enormously large or extensive
The government seemed willing to spend astronomical sums on weapons development.
astute
wise; shrewd
That was a very astute observation.
asunder
into parts; apart
Their points of view are poles asunder.
asylum
place of refuge or shelter; protection
The refugees sought asylum from religious persecution in a new land.
asymmetric
not identical on both sides of a dividing central line
Because one eyebrow was set markedly higher than the other, William's face had a particularly asymmetric
appearance.
atavism
resemblance to remote ancestors rather than to parents; reversion to an earlier type;
throwback
Martin seemed an atavism to his Tuscan ancestors who lavished great care on their small plots of soil.
atheistic
denying the existence of God
His atheistic remarks shocked the religious worshippers.
atone
make amends for; pay for
He knew no way in which he could atone for his brutal crime.
atrocity
brutal deed
In time of war, many atrocities are committed by invading armies.
atrophy
wasting away
Polio victims need physiotherapy to prevent the atrophy of affected limbs.
attenuate
make thin; weaken
By withdrawing their forces, the generals hoped to attenuate the enemy lines.
attest
testify; bear witness
Having served as a member of a grand jury, I can attest that our system of indicting individuals is in need
of improvement.
attribute
essential quality
His outstanding attribute was his kindness.
attribute
ascribe; explain
I attribute her success in science to the encouragement she received from her parents.
attrition
gradual wearing down
They decided to wage a war of attrition rather than to rely on all-out attack.
audacious
daring; bold
Audiences cheered as Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia made their audacious, death-defying leap to
freedom and escaped Darth Vader's troops.
audit
examination of accounts
When the bank examiners arrived to hold their annual audit, they discovered the embezzlements of the
chief cashier.
augment
increase
How can we hope to augment our forces when our allies are deserting us?
augury
omen; prophecy
He interpreted the departures of the birds as an augury of evil.
august
impressive; majestic
Visiting the palace at Versailes, she was impressed by the august surroundings in which she found herself.
aureole
sun's corona; halo
Many medieval paintings depict saintly characters with aureols around their heads.
auroral
pertaining to the aurora borealis
The auroral display was particularly spectacular that evening.
auspicious
favoring success
With favorable weather conditions, it was an auspicious moment to set sail.
austere
strict, stern
His austere demeanor prevented us from engaging in our usual frivolous activities.
austerity
sternness; severity; lack of luxuries
The austerity and dignity of the court were maintained by the new justices, who were a strict and solemn
group.
authenticate
prove genuine
An expert was needed to authenticate the original Van Gogh painting, distinguishing it from its imitation.
authoritarian
favoring or exercising total control; non-democratic
The people had no control over their destiny; they were forced to obey the dictates of the authoritarian
regime.
authoritative
having the weight of authority; dictatorial
We accepted her analysis of the situation as authoritative.
autocrat
monarch with supreme power
He ran his office like an autocrat, giving no one else any authority.
automaton
mechanism that imitates actions of humans
Long before science fiction readers became aware of robots, writers were creating stories of automation
who could outperform humans.
|autonomous~self-governing
This island is a colony; however, in most matters, it is autonomous and receives no orders from the mother
country.
autopsy
examination of a dead body; postmortem
The medical examiner ordered an autopsy to determine the cause of death.
auxiliary
offering or providing help; additional or sub-sidiary
To prepare for the emergency, they built an auxiliary power station.
avarice
greed for wealth
King Midas's avarice has been famous for centuries.
aver
state confidently
I wish to aver that I am certain of success.
averse
reluctant
He was averse to revealing the sources of his information.
aversion
firm dislike
Their mutual aversion was so great that they refused to speak to one another.
avert
prevent; turn away
She averted her eyes from the dead cat on the highway.
aviary
enclosure for birds
The aviary at the zoo held nearly 300 birds.
avid
greedy; eager for
He was avid for learning and read everything he could get.
avocation
secondary or minor occupation
His hobby proved to be so fascinating and profitable that gradually he abandoned his regular occupation
and concentrated on his avocation.
avow
declare openly
I must avow that I am innocent.
avuncular
like an uncle
Avuncular pride did not prevent him from noticing his nephew's shortcomings.
awe
solemn wonder
The tourists gazed with awe at the tremendous expanse of the Grand Canyon.
awl
pointed tool used for piercing
She used an awl to punch additional holes in the leather belt she had bought.
awry
distorted; crooked He held his head awry, giving the impression that he had caught cold in his neck during the night.
axiom
self-evident truth requiring no proof
Before a student can begin to think along the lines of Euclidean geometry, he must accept certain
principles or axioms.
azure
sky blue
azure skies are indicative of good weather.