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 3689 words.
This is the Complete Wordlist.
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.
embarrass He was not at all abashed by her open admiration.
subside or moderate Rather than leaving immediately, they waited for the storm to abate.
shorten Because we were running out of time, the lecturer had to abbreviate her speech.
renounce; give up When Edward VII abdicated the British throne, he surprised the entire world.
abnormal or deviant Given the aberrant nature of the data, we came to doubt the validity of the entire experiment.
assist, usually in doing something wrong She was unwilling to abet him in the swindle he had planned.
suspended action The deal was held in abeyance until her arrival.
wretched; lacking pride On the streets of New York the homeless live in abject poverty, huddling in doorways to find shelter from the wind.
renounce upon oath He abjured his allegiance to the king.
washing His daily ablutions were accompanied by loud noises that he humorously labeled "Opera in the Bath."
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.
loathe; hate Moses scolded the idol worshippers in the tribe because he abominated the custom.
unsuccessful; fruitless We had to abandon our abortive attempts.
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.
abolish He intended to abrogate the decree issued by his predecessor.
depart secretly and hide The teller absconded with the bonds and was not found.
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.
pardon (an offense) The father confessor absolved him of his sins.
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.
theoretical; not concrete; non-representational To him, hunger was an abstract concept; he had never missed a meal.
coarsely insulting; physically harmful An abusive parent damages a child both mentally and physically.
border upon; adjoin Where our estates abut, we must build a fence.
bottomless His arrogance is exceeded only by his abysmal ignorance.
agree If I accede to this demand for blackmail, I am afraid that I will be the victim of future demands.
move faster In our science class, we learn how falling bodies accelerate.
easy to approach; obtainable We asked our guide whether the ruins were accessible on foot.
additional object; useful but not essential thing She bought an attractive handbag as an accessory for her dress.
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.
sharp upslope of a hill The car could not go up the acclivity in high gear.
award of merit In Hollywood, an "Oscar" is the highest accolade.
agreement She was in complete accord with the verdict.
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.
equip The fisherman was accoutred with the best that the sporting goods store could supply
growth; increase The accretion of wealth marked the family's rise in power.
come about by addition You must pay the interest that has accrued on your debt as well as the principal sum.
slightly sour; sharp; caustic James was unpopular because of his sarcastic and acidulous remarks.
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.
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.
deliverance from a charge His acquittal by the jury surprised those who had thought him guilty.
sharp; bitterly pungent The acrid odor of burnt gunpowder filled the room after the pistol had been fired.
stinging, caustic His tendency to utter acrimonious remarks alienated his audience.
calculating; pertaining to insurance statistics According to recent actuarial tables, life expectancy is greater today than it was a century ago.
motivate I fail to understand what actuated you to reply to this letter so nastily.
sharpness In time his youthful acuity of vision failed him, and he needed glasses.
mental keenness His business acumen helped him to succeed where others had failed.
wise saying; proverb There is much truth in the old adage about fools and their money.
hard, inflexible He was adamant in his determination to punish the wrongdoer.
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.
muddle; drive crazy This idiotic plan is confusing enough to addle anyone.
supporter; follower In the wake of the scandal, the senator's one-time adherent quietly deserted him.
something attached to but holding an inferior position I will entertain this concept as an adjunct to the main proposal.
solemn urging Her adjuration to tell the truth did not change the witnesses' testimony.
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.
warn; reprove He admonished his listeners to change their wicked ways.
decorate Wall paintings and carved statues adorned the temple.
skillful His adroit handling of the delicate situation pleased his employers.
flattery; admiration The rock star thrived on the adulation of his groupies and yes-men.
make impure by mixing with baser substances It is a crime to adulterate foods without informing the buyer.
accidental; casual He found this adventitious meeting with his friend extremely fortunate.
arrival Most Americans were unaware of the advent of the Nuclear Age until the news of Hiroshima reached them.
opponent; enemy Batman struggled to save Gotham City from the machinations of his wicked adversary, the Joker.
unfavorable; hostile adverse circumstances compelled him to close his business.
poverty, misfortune We must learn to meet adversity gracefully.
refer to Since you advert to this matter so frequently, you must regard it as important.
urge; plead for The abolitionists advocated freedom for the slaves.
shield; defense Under the aegis of the Bill of Rights, we enjoy our most treasured freedoms.
courteous Although he held a position of responsibility, he was an affable individual and could be reached by anyone with a complaint.
artificial; pretended His affected mannerisms irritated may of us who had known him before his promotion.
written statement made under oath The court refused to accept his statement unless he presented it in the form of an affidavit.
joining; associating with His affiliation with the political party was of short duration for he soon disagreed with his colleagues.
kinship She felt an affinity with all who suffered; their pains were her pains.
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.
attach or add on; fasten First the registrar had to affix his signature to the license; then he had to affix his official seal.
abundance; wealth Foreigners are amazed by the affluence and luxury of the American way of life.
insult; offend Accustomed to being treated with respect, Miss Challoner was affronted by Vidal's offensive behavior.
openmouthed She stared, agape, at the many strange animals in the zoo.
items of business at a meeting We had so much difficulty agreeing upon an agenda that there was very little time for the meeting.
collection; heap It took weeks to assort the agglomeration of miscellaneous items she had collected on her trip.
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.
sum; total The aggregate wealth of this country is staggering to the imagination.
horrified He was aghast at the nerve of the speaker who had insulted his host.
nimbleness The agility of the acrobat amazed and thrilled the audience.
stir up; disturb Her fiery remarks agitated the already angry mob.
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.
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.
pertaining to land or its cultivation As a result of its recent industrialization, the country is gradually losing its agrarian traditions.
cheerful promptness He demonstrated his eagerness to serve by his alacrity in executing the orders of his master.
medieval chemistry The changing of baser metals into gold was the goal of the students of alchemy.
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.
an assumed name John Smith's alias was Bob Jones.
make hostile; separate Her attempts to alienate the two friends failed because they had complete faith in each other.
supplying nourishment The alimentary canal in our bodies is so named because digestion of foods occurs there.
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 a month in alimony.
calm; pacify The crew tried to allay the fears of the passengers by announcing that the fire had been controlled.
state without proof It is alleged that she had worked for the enemy.
story in which characters are used as symbols; fable Pilgrim's Progress is an allegory of the temptations and victories of the human soul.
relieve This should alleviate the pain; if it does not, we shall have to use stronger drugs.
repetition of beginning sound in poetry "The furrow followed free" is an example of alliteration.
mixture as of metals alloy of gold are used more frequently than the pure metal.
refer indirectly Try not to allude to this matter in his presence because the topic annoys him.
entice; attract allured by the song of the sirens, the helmsman steered the ship toward the reef.
indirect reference the allusions to mythological characters in Milton's poems bewilder the reader who has not studied Latin.
pertaining to soil deposits left by running water The farmers found the alluvial deposits at the mouth of the river very fertile.
upward The sailor climbed aloft into the rigging.
apart; reserved Shy by nature, she remained aloof while all the rest conversed.
noisy quarrel Throughout the altercation, not one sensible word was uttered.
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.
combine; unite in one body The unions will attempt to amalgamate their groups into one national body.
collect The miser's aim is to amass and hoard as much gold as possible.
female warrior Ever since the days of Greek mythology we refer to strong and aggressive women as amazons.
capable of using either hand with equal ease A switch-hitter in baseball should be naturally ambidextrous.
environment; atmosphere She went to the restaurant not for the food but for the ambience.
unclear or doubtful in meaning His ambiguous instructions misled us; we did not know which road to take.
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.
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.
food of the gods ambrosia was supposed to give immortality to any human who ate it.
able to walk He was described as an ambulatory patient because he was not confined to his bed.
improve Many social workers have attempted to ameliorate the conditions of people living in the slums.
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.
correct; change, generally for the better Hoping to amend his condition, he left Vietnam for the United States.
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.
agreeable; lovable His amiable disposition pleased all who had dealings with him.
friendly The dispute was settled in an amicable manner with no harsh words.
wrong; faulty Seeing her frown, he wondered if anything were amiss.
friendship Student exchange programs such as the Experiment in International Living were established to promote international amity.
loss of memory Because she was suffering from amnesia, the police could not get the young girl to identify herself.
pardon When his first child was born, the king granted amnesty to all in prison.
in a state of rage The police had to be called in to restrain him after he ran amok in the department store.
non-moral The amoral individual lacks a code of ethics; he should not be classified as immoral.
moved by sexual love; loving Don Juan was known for his amorous adventures.
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.
able to live both on land and in water Frogs are classified as amphibian.
oval building with tiers of seats The spectators in the amphitheater cheered the gladiators.
abundant He had ample opportunity to dispose of his loot before his police caught up with him.
enlarge Her attempts to amplify her remarks were drowned out by the jeers of the audience.
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.
charm; talisman Around her neck she wore the amulet that the witch doctor had given her.
something or someone misplaced in time Shakespeare's reference to clocks in Julius Caesar is an anachronism; no clocks existed in Caesar's time.
causing insensitivity to pain The analgesic qualities of his lotion will provide temporary relief.
comparable She called our attention to the things that had been done in an analogous situation and recommended that we do the same.
similarity; parallelism Your analogy is not a good one because the two situations are not similar.
person who rebels against the established order Only the total overthrow of all governmental regulations would satisfy the anarchist.
absence of governing body; state of disorder The assassination of the leaders led to a period of anarchy.
curse The high priest anathematized the heretic.
solemn curse; someone or something that is despised He heaped anathema upon his foe.
secure or fasten firmly; be fixed in place We set the post in concrete to anchor it in place.
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.
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.
condition in which blood lacks red corpuscles The doctor ascribes her tiredness to anemia.
substance that removes sensation with or without loss of consciousness His monotonous voice acted like an anesthetic; his audience was soon asleep.
acute pain; extreme suffering Visiting the site of explosion, Premier Gorbachev wept to see the anguish of the victims and their families.
sharp-cornered; stiff in manner His features, though angular, were curiously attractive.
critical remark He resented the animadversions of his critics, particularly because he realized they were true.
lively Her animated expression indicated a keenness of intellect.
active enmity He incurred the animosity of the ruling class because he advocated limitations of their power.
hostile feeling or intent The animus of the speaker became obvious to all when he began to indulge in sarcastic and insulting remarks.
records; history In the annals of this period, we find no mention of democratic movements.
reduce brittleness and improve toughness by heating and cooling After the glass is annealed, it will be less subject to chipping and cracking.
destroy The enemy in its revenge tried to annihilate the entire population.
comment; make explanatory notes In the appendix to the novel, the critic sought to annotate many of the more esoteric references.
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.
make void The parents of the eloped couple tried to annul the marriage.
drug that relieves pain; opiate His pain was so great that no anodyne could relieve it.
consecrate The prophet Samuel anointed David with oil, crowning him king of Israel.
abnormal; irregular He was placed in the anomalous position of seeming to approve procedures that he despised.
irregularity A bird that cannot fly is an anomaly.
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.
hostile; opposed Despite his lawyers' best efforts to stop him, the angry prisoner continued to make antagonistic remarks to the judge.
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.
precede The invention of the radiotelegraph anteceded the development of television by a quarter of a century.
antiquated; ancient The antediluvian customs had apparently not changed for thousands of years.
manlike The gorilla is the strongest of the anthropoid animals.
student of the history and science of humankind Anthropologists have discovered several relics of prehistoric humans in this area.
having human form or characteristics Primitive religions often have deities with anthropomorphic characteristics.
letdown in thought or emotion After the fine performance in the first act, the rest of the play was an anticlimax.
aversion; dislike His extreme antipathy to dispute caused him to avoid argumentative discussions with his friends.
obsolete; outdated Accustomed to editing his papers on word processors, Philip thought typewriters were too antiquated for him to use.
substance that prevents infection It is advisable to apply an antiseptic to any wound, no matter how slight or insignificant.
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.
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.
indifferent He felt apathetic about the conditions he had observed and did not care to fight against them.
lack of caring; indifference A firm believer in democratic government, she could not understand the apathy of people who never bothered to vote.
opening; hole She discovered a small aperture in the wall, through which the insects had entered the room.
tip; summit; climax He was at the apex of his career.
imitate or mimic He was suspended for a week because he had aped the principal in front of the whole school.
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.
pithy maxim An aphorism differs from an adage in that it is more philosophical or scientific.
a place where bees are kept Although he spent many hours daily in the apiary, he was very seldom stung by a bee.
poise; composure Wellington's nonchalance and aplomb in the heat of battle always heartened his followers.
prophetic; pertaining to revelations; especially of disaster His apocalyptic remarks were dismissed by his audience as wild surmises.
untrue; made up To impress his friends, Tom invented apocryphal tales of his adventures in the big city.
highest point When the moon in its orbit is furthest away from the earth, it is at its apogee.
stroke; loss of consciousness followed by paralysis He was crippled by an attack of apoplexy.
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.
druggist In Holland, apothecaries still sell spices as well as ointments and pills.
pithy, compact saying Proverbs are apothegms that have become familiar sayings.
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.
dismay; shock We were appalled by the horrifying conditions in the city's jails.
ghost; phantom Hamlet was uncertain about the identity of the apparition that had appeared and spoken to him.
pacify; soothe We have discovered that, when we try to appease our enemies, we encourage them to make additional demands.
name; title He was amazed when the witches hailed him with his correct appellation.
attach I shall append this chart to my report.
diligent attention; (secondary meaning) apply Pleased with how well Tom had whitewashed the fence, Aunt Polly praised him for his application.
appropriate; fitting He was always able to find the apposite phrase, the correct expression for every occasion.
estimate the value of It is difficult to appraise old paintings; it is easier to call them priceless.
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.
arrest ( a criminal); dread; perceive The police will apprehend the culprit and convict him before long.
fearful; discerning His apprehensive glances at the people who were walking in the street revealed his nervousness.
inform When he was apprised of the dangerous weather conditions, he decided to postpone his trip.
approval Wanting her parents' regard, she looked for some sign of their approbation.
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.
subordinate possessions He bought the estate and all its appurtenances.
with reference to; regarding I find your remarks apropos of the present situation timely and pertinent.
fitness; talent The counselor evaluated his aptitudes before advising him about the career he should follow.
curved, hooked He can be recognized by his aquiline nose, curved like the beak of the eagle.
fit for plowing The land was no longer arable; erosion had removed the valuable topsoil.
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.
unreasonable or capricious; tyrannical The coach claimed the team lost because the umpire made some arbitrary calls.
act as judge She was called upon to arbitrate the dispute between the union and the management.
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.
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.
secret; mysterious What was arcane to us was clear to the psychologist.
study of artifacts and relics of early mankind The professor of archaeology headed an expedition to the Gobi Desert in search of ancient ruins.
antiquated "Methinks," "thee," and "thou" are archaic words that are no longer part of our normal vocabulary.
prototype; primitive pattern The Brooklyn Bridge was the archetype of the many spans that now connect Manhattan with Long Island and New Jersey.
group of closely located islands When he looked at the map and saw the archipelagoes in the South Seas, he longed to visit them.
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.
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.
hard; strenuous Her arduous efforts had sapped her energy.
slang In the argot of the underworld, she "was taken for a ride."
operatic solo At her Metropolitan Opera audition, Marian Anderson sang an aria from Norma.
dry; barren The cactus had adapted to survive in an arid environment.
hereditary nobility; privileged class Americans have mixed feelings about hereditary aristocracy:
fleet of warships Queen Elizabeth's navy was able to defeat the mighty armada that threatened the English coast.
fragrant Medieval sailing vessels brought aromatic herbs from China to Europe.
charge in court; indict After his indictment by the Grand Jury, the accused man was arraigned in the County Criminal Court.
clothe; adorn She liked to watch her motherarray herself in her finest clothes before going out for the evening.
marshal; draw up in order His actions were bound to array public sentiment against him.
being in debt He was in arrears with his payments on the car.
pride, haughtiness The arrogance of the nobility was resented by the middle class.
gully Until the heavy rains of the past spring, this arroyo had been a dry bed.
effective; distinct Her articulate presentation of the advertising campaign impressed her employers.
products of primitive culture Archaeologists debated the significance of the artifacts discovered in the ruins of Asia Minor and came to no conclusion.
deception; trickery The Trojan War proved to the Greeks that cunning and artifice were often more effective than military might.
a manually skilled worker Artists and artisans alike are necessary to the development of a culture.
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.
controlling influence President Marcos failed to maintain his ascendency over Philippines.
preventing infection; having a cleansing effect Hospitals succeeded in lowering the mortality rate as soon as they introduced asceptic conditions.
doctrine of self-denial We find asceticism practiced in many monastries.
practicing self-denial; austere The wealthy young man could not understand the ascetic life led by the monks.
refer; attribute; assign I can ascribe no motive for her acts.
ash-colored; deadly pale Her face was ashen with fear.
stupid Your asinine remarks prove that you have not given this problem any serious consideration.
with a sideways or indirect look Looking askance at her questioner, she displayed her scorn.
crookedly; slanted; at an angle When he placed his hat askew upon his head, his observers laughed.
sharpness (of temper) These remarks, spoken with asperity, stung the boys to whom they had been directed.
slanderous remark Do not cast aspersions on her character.
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.
noble ambition Youth's aspirations should be as lofty as the stars.
assault He was assailed with questions after his lecture.
analyze; evaluate When they assayed the ore, they found that they had discovered a very rich vein.
agree; accept It gives me great pleasure to assent to your request.
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.
estimation; appraisal I would like to have your assessment of the situation in South Africa.
diligent It took Rembrandt weeks of assiduous labor before he was satisfied with his portrait of his son.
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.
ease; lessen(pain) Your messages of cheer should assuage her suffering.
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.
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.
small planet asteroids have become commonplace to the readers of interstellar travel stories in science fiction magazines.
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.
relating to the stars She was amazed at the number of astral bodies the new telescope revealed.
binding; causing contraction; harsh or severe The astringent quality of unsweetened lemon juice made swallowing difficult.
enormously large or extensive The government seemed willing to spend astronomical sums on weapons development.
wise; shrewd That was a very astute observation.
into parts; apart Their points of view are poles asunder.
place of refuge or shelter; protection The refugees sought asylum from religious persecution in a new land.
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.
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.
denying the existence of God His atheistic remarks shocked the religious worshippers.
make amends for; pay for He knew no way in which he could atone for his brutal crime.
brutal deed In time of war, many atrocities are committed by invading armies.
wasting away Polio victims need physiotherapy to prevent the atrophy of affected limbs.
make thin; weaken By withdrawing their forces, the generals hoped to attenuate the enemy lines.
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.
ascribe; explain I attribute her success in science to the encouragement she received from her parents.
essential quality His outstanding attribute was his kindness.
gradual wearing down They decided to wage a war of attrition rather than to rely on all-out attack.
daring; bold Audiences cheered as Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia made their audacious, death-defying leap to freedom and escaped Darth Vader's troops.
examination of accounts When the bank examiners arrived to hold their annual audit, they discovered the embezzlements of the chief cashier.
increase How can we hope to augment our forces when our allies are deserting us?
omen; prophecy He interpreted the departures of the birds as an augury of evil.
impressive; majestic Visiting the palace at Versailes, she was impressed by the august surroundings in which she found herself.
sun's corona; halo Many medieval paintings depict saintly characters with aureols around their heads.
pertaining to the aurora borealis The auroral display was particularly spectacular that evening.
favoring success With favorable weather conditions, it was an auspicious moment to set sail.
strict, stern His austere demeanor prevented us from engaging in our usual frivolous activities.
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.
prove genuine An expert was needed to authenticate the original Van Gogh painting, distinguishing it from its imitation.
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.
having the weight of authority; dictatorial We accepted her analysis of the situation as authoritative.
monarch with supreme power He ran his office like an autocrat, giving no one else any authority.
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.
self-governing This island is a colony; however, in most matters, it is autonomous and receives no orders from the mother country.
examination of a dead body; postmortem The medical examiner ordered an autopsy to determine the cause of death.
offering or providing help; additional or sub-sidiary To prepare for the emergency, they built an auxiliary power station.
greed for wealth King Midas's avarice has been famous for centuries.
reluctant He was averse to revealing the sources of his information.
firm dislike Their mutual aversion was so great that they refused to speak to one another.
prevent; turn away She averted her eyes from the dead cat on the highway.
state confidently I wish to aver that I am certain of success.
enclosure for birds The aviary at the zoo held nearly 300 birds.
greedy; eager for He was avid for learning and read everything he could get.
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.
declare openly I must avow that I am innocent.
like an uncle Avuncular pride did not prevent him from noticing his nephew's shortcomings.
solemn wonder The tourists gazed with awe at the tremendous expanse of the Grand Canyon.
pointed tool used for piercing She used an awl to punch additional holes in the leather belt she had bought.
distorted; crooked He held his head awry, giving the impression that he had caught cold in his neck during the night.
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.
sky blue azure skies are indicative of good weather.
chatter idly The little girl babbled about her doll.
drunken Emperor Nero attended the bacchanalian orgy.
pester; annoy She was forced to change her telephone number because she was badgered by obscene phone calls.
teasing conversation Her friends at work greeted the news of her engagement with cheerful badinage.
frustrate; perplex The new code baffled the enemy agents.
harass; tease The soldiers baited the prisoners, terrorizing them.
menacing; deadly Casting a baleful eye at his successful rival, the rejected suitor stole off, vowing to have his revenge.
foil When the warden learned that several inmates were planning to escape, he took steps to balk their attempt.
stoop short, as if faced with an obstacle, and refuse to continue The chief of police balked at sending his officers into the riot-torn area.
heavy substance used to add stability or weight The ship was listing badly to one side; it was necessary to shift the ballast in the hold to get her back on an even keel.
mild; fragrant A balmy breeze refreshed us after the sultry blast.
something that relieves pain Friendship is the finest balm for the pangs of disappointed love.
hackneyed; commonplace; trite His frequent use of cliches made his essay seem banal.
discuss lightly; exchange blows or words The president refused to bandy words with reporters at the press conference.
cause of ruin Lack of public transportation is the bane of urban life.
good-naturedly ridiculing They resented his bantering remarks because they misinterpreted his teasing as sarcasm.
sharp projection form fishhook, etc.; pointed comment The barb from the fishhook caught in his finger as he grabbed the fish.
poet The ancient bard Homer sang of the fall of Troy.
shameless; bold; unconcealed Shocked by Huck Finn's barefaced lies, Miss Watson prayed the good Lord would give him a sense of his unregenerate wickedness.
highly ornate Accustomed to the severe, angular lines of modern skyscrapers, they found the flamboyance of baroque architecture amusing.
barrier laid down by artillery fire; overwhelming profusion The company was forced to retreat through the barrage of heavy canyons.
counselor-at-law Galsworthy started as a barrister, but when he found the practice of law boring, turned to writing.
trader The barterer exchanged trinkets for the natives' furs.
luxuriate; take pleasure in warmth basking on the beach, she relaxed so completely that she fell asleep.
stronghold; something seen as a source of protection The villagers fortified the town hall, hoping this improvised bastion could protect them from the guerrila raids.
let down; restrain Until it was time to open the presents, the children had to bate their curiosity.
trinket; trifle The child was delighted with the bauble she had won in the grab bag.
indecent; obscene She took offense at his bawdy remarks.
giving bliss; blissful The beatific smile on the child's face made us very happy.
blessedness; state of bliss Growing closer to God each day, the mystic achieved a state of indescribable beatitude.
dress with vulgar finery The witch doctors were bedizened in their gaudiest costumes.
wet thoroughly We were so bedraggled by the severe storm that we had to change into dry clothing.
confuse thoroughly His attempts to clarify the situation succeeded only on befuddling her further.
father; produce; give rise to One good turn may deserve another; it does not necessarily beget another.
resent I begrudge every minute I have to spend attending meetings.
amuse; delude; cheat I beguiled himself during the long hours by playing solitaire.
huge creature; something of monstrous size or power Sportcasters nicknamed the linebacker "The Behemoth."
obligated; indebted Since I do not wish to be beholden to anyone, I cannot accept this favor.
be suited to; be incumbent upon In this time of crisis, it behooves all of us to remain calm and await the instructions of our superiors.
explain or go over excessively or to a ridiculous degree; assail verbally The debate coach warned her student not to bore the audience by belaboring his point.
delayed He apologized for his belated note of condolence to the widow of his friend and explained that he had just learned of her husband's untimely death.
besiege As soon as the city was beleaguered, the life became more subdued as the citizens began their long wait for outside assitance.
contradict; give a false impression His coarse, hard-bitten exterior belied his innate sensitivity.
disparage; depreciate Parents should not belittle their children's early attempts at drawing, but should encourage their efforts.
warlike His bellicose disposition alienated his friends.
quarrelsome Whenever he had too much to drink, he became belligerent and tried to pick fights with strangers.
confused; lost in thought; preoccupied Jill studied the garbled instructions with a bemused look on her face.
blessing The appearance of the sun after the many rainy days was like a benediction.
gift giver; patron Scrooge later became Tiny Tim's benefactor and gave him a benediction.
kindly; doing good The overgenerous philanthropist had to curb his beneficent impulses before he gave away all his money and left himself with nothing.
person entitled to benefits or proceeds of an insurance policy You may change your beneficiary as often as you wish.
generous; charitable His benevolent nature prevented him from refusing any beggar who accosted him.
kindly; favorable; not malignant The old man was well liked because of his benign attitude toward friend and stranger alike.
blessing Let us pray that the benison of peace once more shall prevail among the nations of the world.
determined; natural talent or inclination bent on advancing in the business world, the secretary heroine of Working Girl had a true bent for high finance.
leave to someone by means of a will; hand down In his will, Father bequeathed his watch to Phillip; the bequest meant a great deal to the boy.
scold strongly He feared she would berate him for his forgetfulness.
state of being deprived of something valuable or beloved His friends gathered to console him upon his sudden bereavement.
deprived of; lacking The foolish gambler soon found himself bereft of funds.
frenzied Angered, he went berserk and began to wreck the room.
harass; trouble Many problems beset the American public school system.
soil, defile The scandalous remarks in the newspaper besmirch the reputations of every member of the society.
beastlike; brutal; inhuman The Red Cross sought to put an end to the bestial treatment of prisoners of war.
confer He wished to bestow great honors upon the hero.
become engaged to marry The announcement that they had become betrothed surprised their friends who had not suspected any romance.
large group The movie actor was surrounded by a bevy of startlets.
two-chambered, as a legislative body The United States Congress is a bicameral body.
quarrel The children bickered morning, noon, and night, exasperating their parents.
every two years The group held biennial meetings instead of annual ones.
divided into two branches; forked With a bifurcated branch and a piece of elastic rubber, he made a crude but effective slingshot.
stubborn intolerance Brought up in a democratic atmosphere, student was shocked by the bigotry and narrowness expressed by several of his classmates.
suffering from indigestion; irritable His bilious temperament was apparent to all who heard him rant about his difficulties.
swindle; cheat The con man specialized in bilking insurance companies.
temporary encampment While in bivouac, we spent the night in our sleeping bags under the stars.
fantastic; violently contrasting The plot of the novel was too bizarre to be believed.
bleach; whiten Although age had blanched his hair, he was still vigorous and energetic.
flattery Despite the salesperson's blandishments, the customer did not buy the outfit.
soothing; mild She used a bland ointment for her sunburn.
bored with pleasure or dissipation Your blase attitude gives your students an erroneous impression of the joys of scholarship.
profane; impious The people in the room were shocked by his his blasphemous language.
extremely obvious; loudly offensive Caught in a blatant lie, the scoundrel had only one regret: he wished that he had lied more subtly.
cold; cheerless The Aleutian Islands are bleak military outposts.
suffering from a disease; destroyed The extent of the blighted areas could be seen only when viewed from the air.
gay; joyous; careless Shelley called the skylark a "blithe spirit" because of its happy song.
swollen or puffed as with water or air Her bloated stomach came from drinking so much water.
talkative boaster After all Sol's talk about his big show business connections led nowhere, Sally decided he was just another blowhard.
club; heavy-headed weapon His walking stick served him as a bludgeon on many occasions.
pretense (of strength); deception; high cliff Claire thought Lord Byron's boast that he would swim the Hellespont was just a bluff, she was astounded when he dove from the high bluff into the waters below.
error The criminal's fatal blunder led to his capture.
utter impulsively Before she could stop him, he blurted out the news.
foreshadow; portend The gloomy skies and the sulfurious odors from the mineral springs seemed to bode evil to those who settled in the area.
counterfeit; not authentic The police quickly found the distributors of the bogus twenty-dollar bills.
violent; rough; noisy The unruly crowd became even more boisterous when he tried to quiet them.
support; reinforce The debaters amassed file boxes full of evidence to bolster their arguments.
pompous, inflated language Filled with bombast, the orator's speech left the audience more impressed with his pomposity than with his logic.
blessing; benefit The recent rains that filled our empty reservoirs were a boon to the whole community.
rude; insensitive Though Mr. Potts constantly interrupted his wife, she ignored his boorish behavior, for she had lost hope of teaching him courtesy.
clear beef soup The cup of bouillon served by the stewards was welcomed by those who had been chilled by the cold ocean breezes.
generous; showing bounty She distributed gifts in a bountiful and gracious manner.
middle class The French Revolution was inspired by the bourgeois, who resented the aristocracy.
cowlike; placid and dull Nothing excites Esther; even when she won the state lottery, she still preserved her air of bovine calm.
expurgate After the film editors had bowdlerized the language in the script, the motion picture's rating was changed from "R" to "PG."
somewhat saline He found the only wells in the area were brackish; drinking the water made him nauseous.
boasting He was disliked because his manner was always full of braggadocio.
boaster Modest by nature, she was no braggart, preferring to let her accomplishments speak for themselves.
swagger; assumed air of defiance The bravado of the young criminal disappeared when he was confronted by the victims of his brutal attack.
muscular strength; sturdiness It takes brawn to become a champion weight-lifter.
insolent Her brazen contempt for authority angered the officials.
breaking of contract or duty; fissure; gap They found a breach in the enemy's fortifications and penetrated their lines.
width; extent We were impressed by the breadth of her knowledge.
conciseness brevity is essential when you send a telegram or cablegram; you are charged for every word.
tawny or grayish with streaks or spots He was disappointed in the litter because the puppies were brindled; he had hoped for animals of uniform color.
rising like bristles; showing irritation The dog stood there, bristling with anger.
easily broken; difficult My employer's brittle personality made it difficult for me to get along with her.
open up He did not even try to broach the subject of poetry.
rich, figured fabric The sofa was covered with expensive brocade.
pamphlet This brochure on farming was issued by the Department of Agriculture.
ornamental clasp She treasured the brooch because it was an heirloom.
tolerate; endure The dean would brook no interference with his disciplinary actions.
bully; intimidate Billy resisted Ted's attempts to browbeat him into handing over his lunch money.
blunt; abrupt She was offended by his brusque reply.
rustic; pastoral The meadow was the scene of bucolic gaiety.
clowning John Candy's buffoonery in Uncle Buck was hilarious.
bugbear; object of baseless terror If we become frightened by such bugaboos, we are no wiser than the birds who fear scarecrows.
gold and silver in the form of bars Much bullion is stored in the vaults at Fort Knox.
earthwork or other strong defense; person who defends The navy is our principal bulwark against invasion.
spoil by clumsy behavior I was afraid you would bungle his assignment but I had no one else to send.
government by bureaus Many people fear that the constant introduction of federal agencies will create a government by bureaucracy.
grow forth; send out buds In the spring, the plants that burgeon are a promise of the beauty that is to come.
give an imitation that ridicules In his caricature, he burlesqued the mannerisms of his adversary.
husky; muscular The burly mover lifted the packing crate with ease.
make shiny by rubbing; polish The maid burnished the brass fixtures until they reflected the lamplight.
support; prop up Just as architects buttress the walls of cathedrals with flying buttresses, debates buttress their arguments with facts.
full-bosomed; plump; jolly High fashion models usually are slender rather than buxom.
small group of persons secretly united to promote their own interests The cabal was defeated when its scheme was discovered.
hiding place The detectives followed the suspects until he led them to the cache where he had stored his loot.
discord Some people seem to enjoy the cacophony of an orchestra that is tuning up.
like a corpse; pale From his cadaverous appearance, we could see how the disease had ravaged him.
corpse In some states, it is illegal to dissect cadavers.
rhythmic rise and fall (of words or sounds); beat Marching down the road, the troops sang out, following the cadence set by the sergeant.
coax; wheedle I will not be cajoled into granting your wish.
disaster; misery As news of the calamity spread, offers of relief poured in to the stricken community.
ability; capacity A man of such caliber should not be assigned such menial tasks.
beautiful writing; excellent penmanship As we examine ancient manuscripts, we became impressed with the calligraphy of the scribes.
hardened; unfeeling He had worked in the hospital for so many years that he was callous to the suffering in the wards.
youthful; immature In that youthful movement, the leaders were only a little less callow than their immature followers.
heat-producing Coal is much more calorific than green wood.
malicious misrepresentation He could endure his financial failure, but he could not bear the calumny that his foes heaped upon him.
good-fellowship What he loved best about his job was the sense of camaraderie he and his co-workers shared.
shell or jewel carved in relief Tourists are advised not to purchase cameos from the street peddlers of Rome who sell poor specimens of the carver's art.
unfounded rumor It is almost impossible to protect oneself from such a base canard.
frankness The candor and simplicity of his speech impressed all, it was all clear he held nothing back.
related to dogs; doglike Some days the canine population of Berkeley seems almost to outnumber the human population.
any ulcerous sore; any evil Poverty is a canker in the body politic; it must be cured.
shrewd; thrifty The canny Scotsman was more than a match for the swindlers.
ill-humored; irritable Constantly complaining about his treatment and refusing to cooperate with the hospital staff, he was a cantankerous patient.
story set to music, to be sung by a chorus The choral society sang the new cantata composed by its leader.
slow gallop Because the racehorse had outdistanced its competition so easily, the reporter wrote that the race was won in a canter.
division of a long poem Dante's poetic masterpiece The Divine Comedy is divided into cantos.
pious phraseology; jargon of criminals Angry that the president had slashed the education budget, we dismissed his speech on the importance of education as mere cant.
determine or seek opinions, votes, etc. After canvassing the sentiments of his constituents, the congressman was confident that he represented the majority opinion of his district.
spacious In the capacious areas of the railroad terminal, thousands of travelers lingered while waiting for their train.
having a very fine bore The changes in surface tension of liquids in capillary vessels is of special interest to physicists.
surrender The enemy was warned to capitulate or face annihilation.
whim She was an unpredictable creature, acting on caprice, never taking thought of the consequences.
fickle; incalculable The storm was capricious and changed course constantly.
title; chapter heading; text under illustration I find the captions that accompany these cartoons very clever and humorous.
faultfinding His criticisms were always captious and frivolous, never offering constructive suggestions.
glass water bottle With each dinner, the patron receives a carafe of red or white wine.
shell covering the back (of a turtle, crab, etc) At the children's zoo, Richard perched on top of the giant turtle's hard carapace as it slowly made its way around the enclosure.
unit of weight for precious stones; measure of fineness of gold He gave her a diamond that weighed three carats and was mounted in an eighteen-carat gold band.
causing cancer Many supposedly harmless substances have been revealed to be carcinogenic.
chief If you want to increase your word power, the cardinal rule of vocabulary-building is to read.
lurch; sway from side to side The taxicab careened wildly as it rounded the corner.
distortion; burlesque The caricatures he drew always emphasized personal weaknesses of the people he burlesqued.
set of bells capable of being played The carillon in the bell tower of the Coca-Cola pavilion at the New York World's Fair provided musical entertainment every hour.
destruction of life The carnage that can be caused by atomic warfare adds to the responsibilities of our statesmen.
fleshly The public was more interested in carnal pleasures than in spiritual matters.
meat-eating The lion is a carnivorous animal.
drunken revel The party degenerated into an ugly carousal.
petty criticism; fault-finding Welcoming constructive criticism, Lexy appreciated her editor's comments, finding them free of carping.
rotting flesh of a dead body Buzzards are nature's scavengers; they eat the carrion left behind by other predators.
map-maker Though not a professional cartographer, Tolkien was able to construct a map of the fictional world.
small waterfall We could not appreciate the beauty of the many cascades as we made detours around each of them to avoid getting wet.
one of the hereditary classes in Hindu society, social stratification; prestige The differences created by caste in India must be wiped out if true democracy is to prevail in that country.
punishment; severe criticism Sensitive even to mild criticism, Woolf could not bear castigation that she found in certain reviews.
serious or fatal accident The number of automotive casualties on this holiday weekend was high.
deluge; upheaval A cataclysm such as the French Revolution affects all countries.
agent that brings about a chemical change while it remains unaffected and unchanged Many chemical reactions cannot take place without the presence of a catalyst.
slingshot; hurling machine Airplanes are sometimes launched from battleships by catapults.
great waterfall; eye abnormality She gazed with awe at the mighty cataract known as Niagara Falls.
calamity The Johnstown flood was a catastrophe.
book for religious instruction; instruction by question and answer He taught by engaging his pupils in a catechism until they gave him the correct answer.
without exceptions; unqualified; absolute Though the captain claimed he was never, never sick at sea, he finally qualified his categorical denial; he was hardly ever sick at sea.
purging or cleansing of any passage of the body Aristotle maintained that tragedy created a catharsis by purging the soul of base concepts.
purgative Some drugs act as laxatives when taken in small doses but act as cathartics when taken in much larger doses.
universal; wide-ranging liberal He was extremely catholic in his taste and read everything he could find in the library.
private meeting of members of a party to select officers or determine policy At the opening of Congress the members of the Democratic Party held a caucus to elect the majority leader of the House and the party whip.
to make watertight (by plugging seams) When water from the shower leaked into the basement, we knew it was time to caulk the tiles at the edges of the shower stall.
implying a cause-and-effect relationship The psychologist maintained there was a causal relationship between the nature of one's early childhood experiences and one's adult personality.
burning; sarcastically biting The critic's caustic remarks angered the hapless actors who were the subjects of his sarcasm.
burn with hot iron or caustic In order to prevent infection, the doctor cauterized the wound.
procession; parade As described by Chaucer, the cavalcade of Canterbury pilgrims was motley group.
casual and offhand; arrogant Sensitive about having her ideas taken lightly, Marcia felt insulted by Mark's cavalier dismissal of her suggestion.
make frivolous objections I respect your sensible criticisms, but I dislike the way you cavil about unimportant details.
transfer; yield title to I intend to cede this property to the city.
speed; rapidity Hamlet resented his mother's celerity in remarrying within a month after his father's death.
heavenly She spoke of the celestial joys that awaited virtuous souls in the hereafter.
abstaining from sexual intercourse; unmarried Though the late Havelock Ellis wrote extensively about sexual customs and was considered an expert in such matters, recent studies maintain he was celibate throughout his life.
critical censorious people delight in casting blame.
overseer of morals; person who eliminates inappropriate matter Soldiers dislike having their mail read by a censor but understand the need for this precaution.
blame; criticize He was censured for his inappropriate behavior.
mythical figure, half man and half horse I was particularly impressed by the statue of the centaur in the Roman Hall of the museum.
denoting a widely used temperature scale (basically same as Celsius) On the centigrade thermometer, the freezing point of water is zero degrees.
radiating; departing from the center Many automatic drying machines remove excess moisture from clothing by centrifugal force.
machine that separates substances by whirling them At the dairy, we employ a centrifuge to separate cream from milk.
tending toward the center Does centripetal force or the force of gravity bring orbiting bodies to the earth's surface?
Roman army officer Because he was in command of a company of one hundred soldiers, he was called a centurion.
pertaining to the brain or intellect The content of philosophical works is cerebral in nature and requires much thought.
thought Mathematics problems sometimes require much cerebration.
marked by formality Ordinary dress would be in appropriate at so ceremonious an affair.
stopping The workers threatened a cessation of all activities if their demands were not met.
yielding to another; ceding The cession of Alaska to the United States is discussed in this chapter.
warm by rubbing The collar chafed his neck.
bantering; joking Sometimes his flippant and chaffing remarks annoy us.
worthless products of an endeavor When you separate the wheat from the chaff, be sure you throw out the chaff.
vexation; disappointment Her refusal to go with us filled us with chagrin.
goblet; consecrated cup In a small room adjoining the cathedral, many ornately decorated chalices made by the most famous European goldsmiths were on display.
lizard that changes color in different situations Like the chameleon, he assumed the political coloration of every group he met.
support militantly Martin Luther King, Jr., won the Nobel Peace Prize because he championed the oppressed in their struggle for equality.
in utter disorder He tried to bring order into the chaotic state of affairs.
divine gift; great popular charm or appeal Political commentators have deplored the importance of a candidate's charisma in these days of television campaigning.
quack; pretender to knowledge When they realized that the Wizard didn't know how to get them back to Kansas, Dorothy and her friends were sure they'd been duped by a charlatan.
cautious; sparing or restrained about giving A prudent, thrifty New Englander, DeWitt was as chary of investing money in junk bonds as he was chary of paying people unnecessary compliments.
ornament a metal surface by indenting With his hammer, he carefully chased an intricate design onto the surface of the chalice.
abyss They could not see the bottom of the chasm.
framework and working parts of an automobile Examining the car after the accident, the owner discovered that the body had been ruined but that the chassis was unharmed.
discipline; punish in order to correct Whom God loves, God chastens.
pure Her chaste and decorous garb was appropriately selected for the solemnity of the occasion.
punish I must chastise you for this offense.
blindly devoted patriot A chauvinist cannot recognize any faults in his country, no matter how flagrant they may be.
marked by changes in fortune During his checkered career he had lived in palatial mansions and in dreary boardinghouses.
stop motion; curb or restrain Thrusting out her arm, Grandma checked Bobby's lunge at his sister. "Young man," she said, "you'd better check your temper."
angelic; innocent-looking With her cheerful smile and rosy cheeks, she was a particularly cherubic child.
trickery Your deceitful tactics in this case are indications of chicanery.
scold Grandma began to chide Steven for his lying.
fantastic; highly imaginative Poe's chimerical stories are sometimes too morbid for reading in bed.
courteous; faithful; brave chivalrous behavior involves noble words and good deeds.
hot-tempered His flushed, angry face indicated a choleric nature.
art of dancing Martha Graham introduced a form of choreography that seemed awkward and alien to those who had been brought up on classic ballet.
report; record (in chronological order) The gossip columnist was paid to chronicle the latest escapades of the socially prominent celebrities.
long established, as a disease The doctors were finally able to attribute his chronic headaches and nausea to traces of formaldehyde gas in his apartment.
boorish; rude Dismayed by his churlish manners at the party, the girls vowed never to invite him again.
having minute hairs The paramecium is a ciliated, one-celled animal.
nonentity; worthless person or thing She claimed her ex-husband was a total cipher and wondered why she had ever married him.
secret code Lacking his code book, the spy was unable to decode the message sent to him in cipher.
small ring; band This tiny circlet is very costly because it is set with precious stones.
roundabout Because of the traffic congestion on the main highways, she took a circuitous route.
indirect or roundabout expression He was afraid to call spade a spade and resorted to circumlocutions to avoid direct reference to his subject.
limit; confine Although I do not wish to circumscribe your activities, I must insist that you complete this assignment before you start anything else.
prudent; cautious Investigating before acting, she tried always to be circumspect.
outwit; baffle In order to circumvent the enemy, we will make two preliminary attacks in other sections before starting our major campaign.
fortress The citadel overlooked the city like a protecting angel.
quote; commend She could cite passages in the Bible from memory.
having to do with citizens or the state; courteous and polite Although internal Revenue Service agents are civil servants, they are not always civil to suspected tax evaders.
having foresight; fortuneteller Cassandra's clairvoyant warning was not heeded by the Trojans.
climb by crawling She clambered over the wall.
noise The clamor of the children at play outside made it impossible for her to take a nap.
secret After avoiding their chaperon, the lovers had a clandestine meeting.
loud, resounding noise The blacksmith was accustomed to the clangor of hammers on steel.
striker (tongue) of a bell Wishing to be undisturbed by the bell, Dale wound his scarf around the clapper to muffle its striking.
shrill, trumpetlike sound We woke to the clarion to muffle its striking.
fear of being locked in His fellow classmates laughed at his claustrophobia and often threatened to lock him in his room.
collarbone Even though he wore shoulder pads, the football player broke his clavicle during a practice scrimmage.
split asunder The lightening cleaves the tree in two.
split Erosion caused a cleft in the huge boulder.
disposition ot be lenient; mildness, as of the weather The lawyer was pleased when the case was sent to Judge Smith's chambers because Smith was noted for her clemency toward first offenders.
phrase culled in meaning by repetition High school compositions are often marred by such cliches as "strong as an ox."
body of customers The rock club attracted a young, stylish clientele.
relating to the highest point When he reached the climactic portions of the book, he could not stop reading.
region; climate His doctors advised him to move to a milder clime.
small, exclusive group She charged that a clique had assumed control of school affairs.
monastery or convent The nuns lived in the cloister.
great influence (especially political or social) Gatsby wondered whether he had enough clout to be admitted to the exclusive club.
distasteful (because excessive); excessively sweet or sentimental Disliking the cloying sweetness of standard wedding cakes, Jody and Tom chose a homemade carrot cake for their reception.
thicken; congeal; clot Even after you remove the pudding from the burner, it will continue to coagulate as it stands.
combine; fuse The brooks coalesce into one large river.
concluding section of a musical or literary composition The piece concluded with a distinctive coda that strikingly brought together various motifs.
treat gently; pamper Don't coddle the children to much; they need a taste of discipline.
supplement to the body of a will This codicil was drawn up five years after the writing of the original will.
arrange (laws, rules) as a code; classify We need to take the varying rules and regulations of the different health agencies and codify them into a national health code.
use of force They forced him to obey, but only by great coercion.
living at the same time as; contemporary coeval with the dinosaur, the pterodactyl flourished during the Mesozoic era.
convincing She presented cogent arguments to the jury.
think over cogitate on this problem; the solution will come.
related linguistically; allied by blood; similar or akin in nature The English word "mother" cognate to the Latin word "mater," whose influence is visible in the words "maternal" and "maternity."
having to do with knowing or perceiving related to the mental precesses Though Jack was emotionally immature, his cognitive development was admirable; he was very advanced intellectually.
knowledge During the election campaign, the two candidates were kept in full cognizance of the international situation.
tooth projecting from a wheel A bicycle chain moves through a series of cogs in order to propel the bike.
stick together Solids have a greater tendency to cohere than liquids.
tendency to keep together A firm believer in the maxim "Divide and conquer," the emperor, by lies and trickery, sought to disrupt the cohesion ofthe free nations.
armed band Caesar and his Roman cohorts conquered almost all of the known world.
hairstyle You can make a statement with your choice of coiffure: in the 60's many African-Americans affirmed their racial heritage by wearing their hair in Afros.
occurring at the same time Some people find the coincident events in Hardy's novels annoyingly improbable.
utensil with perforated bottom used for straining Before serving the spaghetti, place it in a colander to drain it.
work together Two writers collaborated in preparing this book.
work of art put together from fragments Scraps of cloth, paper doilies, and old photographs all went into her collage.
security given for loan The sum you wish to borrow is so large that it must be secured by collateral.
examine in order to verify authenticity; arrange in order They collated the newly found manuscripts to determine their age.
a light meal Tea sandwiches and cookies were offered at the collation.
pertaining to conversational or common speech Your use of colloquial expressions in a formal essay such as the one you have presented spoils the effect you hope to achieve.
informal discussion I enjoy our colloquies but I sometimes wish that they could be made more formal and more searching.
conspiring in a fraudulent scheme The swindlers were found guilty of collusion.
huge Radio City Music Hall has a colossal stage.
gigantic statue The legendary Colossus of Rhodes, bronze statue of the sun god that dominated the harbor of the Greek seaport, was one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
in a coma; extremely sleepy The long-winded orator soon had his audience in a comatose state.
easily burned After the recent outbreak of fires in private homes, the fire commissioner ordered that all combustible materials be kept in safe containers.
attractive; agreeable I would rather have a poor and comely wife than a rich and homely one.
something fit to be eaten The roast turkey and other comestibles, the wines, and the excellent service made this Thanksgiving dinner particularly memorable.
rebuke; deserts After his earlier rudeness, we were delighted to see him get his comeuppance.
courtesy; civility A spirit of comity should exist among nations.
to draft for military purposes; to take for public use The policeman commandeered the first car that approached and ordered the driver to go to the nearest hospital.
remembering; honoring The new commemorative stamp honors the late Martin Luther King, Jr.
equal in extent Your reward will be commensurate with your effort.
feel or express pity or sympathy for Her friends commiserated with the widow.
spacious and comfortable After sleeping in a small roadside cabins, they found their hotel suite commodious.
held in common; of a group of people When they were divorced, they had trouble dividing their communal property.
agreement; contract The signers of the Mayflower Compact were establishing a form of government.
tightly packed; firm; brief His short, compact body was better suited to wrestling than to basketball.
harmonious; in harmony with They were compatible neighbors, never quarreling over unimportant matters.
overpowering; irresistible in effect The prosecutor presented a well-reasoned case, but the defense attorney's compelling arguments for leniency won over the jury.
brief, comprehensive summary This text can serve as a compendium of the tremendous amount of new material being developed in this field.
making up for; repaying Can a compensatory education program make up for the inadequate schooling he received in earlier years?
listing of statistical information in tabular or book form The compilation of available scholarships serves a very valuable purpose.
self-satisfied There was a complacent look on his face as he examined his paintings.
trying to please; obliging The courtier obeyed the king's orders in a complaisant manner.
complete; consummate; make perfect The waiter recommended a glass of port to complement the cheese.
conformity in fulfilling requirements; readiness to yield The design for the new school had to be in compliance with the local building code.
yielding He was compliant and ready to go along with his friends' desires.
participation; involvement You cannot keep your complicity in this affair secret very long; you would be wise to admit your involvement immediately.
element; ingredient I wish all the components of my stereo system were working at the same time.
bear one's self; behave He comported himself with great dignity.
mental calmness Even the latest work crisis failed to shake her composure.
combine; constitute; pay interest; increase The makers of the popular cold remedy compounded a nasal decongestant with an antihistamine.
thorough; inclusive This book provides a comprehensive review of verbal and math skills for the SAT.
close; squeeze; contract She compressed the package under her arm.
include; consist of If the District of Columbia were to be granted a statehood, the United States of America would comprise fifty-onestates, not just fifty.
adjust; endanger the interests or reputation of Your presence at the scene of the dispute compromises our claim to neutrality in this matter.
remorse The judge was especially severe in this sentencing because he felt that the criminal had shown no compunction for his heinous crime.
reckon; calculate He failed to compute the interest, so his bank balance was not accurate.
link as in a chain It is difficult to understand how these events could concatenate as they did without outside assistance.
hollow The back-packers found partial shelter from the storm by huddling against the concave wall of the cliff.
admit; hield Despite all the evidence Monica had assembled, Mark refused to concede that she was right.
whimsical idea; extravagant metaphor He was an entertaining companion, always expressing himself in amusing conceits and witty turns of phrase.
having a common center The target was made of concentric circles.
beginning; forming of a idea At the first conception of the work, he was consulted.
mutually agreed on; done together The girl scouts in the troop made a concerted effort to raise funds for their annual outing, and emitted a concerted sigh when their leader announced that they had reached their goal.
an act of yielding Before they could reach an agreement, both sides had to make certain concessions.
reconciling; soothing She was still angry despite his conciliatory words.
brief and compact When you define a new word, be concise; the shorter the definition, the easier it is to remember.
private meeting He was present at all their conclaves as an unofficial observer.
decisive; ending all debate When the stolen books turned up in John's locker, we finally had conclusive evidence of the identity of the mysterious thief.
prepare by combining; make up in concert How did the inventive chef ever concoct such strange dish?
that which accompanies Culture is not always a concomitant of wealth.
harmony Watching Tweediedum and Tweedledee battle, Alice wondered why the two brothers could not manage to life in concord.
happening at the same time In America, the colonists were resisting the demands of the mother contry; at the concurrent moment in France, the middle class was sowing the seeds of rebellion.
agree Did you concur with the decision of the court or did you find it unfair?
bestow courtesies with a superior air The king condescended to grant an audience to the friends of the condemned man.
adequate; deservedly severe The public approved the condign punishment for the crime.
seasonings; spices Spanish food is full of condiments.
express sympathetic sorrow His friends gathered to condole with him over his loss.
overlook; forgive; give tacit approval; excuse Unlike Widow Douglass, who condoned Huck's minor offenses, Miss Watson did nothing but scold.
helpful; contributive Rest and proper diet are conducive to good health.
aqueduct; passageway for fluids Water was brought to the army in the desert by an improvised conduit from the adjoining mountain.
trusted friend He had no confidants with whom he could discuss his problems at home.
seize; commandeer The army confiscated all available supplies of uranium.
great fire In the conflagration that followed the 1906 earthquake, much of San Francisco was destroyed.
flowing together; crowd They built the city at the confluence of two rivers.
harmony; agreement In conformity with our rules and regulations, I am calling a meeting of our organization.
confuse; puzzle No mystery could confound Sherlock Holmes for long.
freeze; coagulate His blood congealed in his veins as he saw the dread monster rush toward him.
pleasant; friendly My father loved to go out for a meal with congenial companions.
existing at birth His congenital deformity disturbed his parents.
mass of material sticking together In such a conglomeration of miscellaneous statistics, it was impossible to find a single area of analysis.
correspondence of parts; harmonious relationship The student demonstrated the congruence of the two triangles by using the hypotenuse-arm theorem.
pine tree; cone-bearing tree According to geologists, the conifers were the first plants to bear flowers.
surmise; guess I will end all your conjectures; I admit I am guilty as charged.
pertaining to marriage Their dreams of conjugal bliss were shattered as soon as their temperaments clashed.
summon a devil; proactive magic; imagine; invent He conjured up an image of a reformed city and had the voters completely under his spell.
pretense of ignorance of something wrong; assistance; permission to offend With the connivance of his friends, he plotted to embarrass the teacher.
person competent to act as judge of art, ect.; a lover of an art She had developed into a connoisseur of fine china.
suggested or implied meaning of an expression Foreigners frequently are unaware of the connotations of the words they use.
pertaining to maffige or the matrimonial state In his telegram, he wished the newlyweds a lifetime of connubial bliss.
kinship The lawsuit developed into a test of the consanguinity of the claimant to the estate.
scrupulous; careful A conscientious editor checked every definition for its accuracy.
draftee; person forced into military service Did Rambo volunteer to fight in Vietnam, or was he a conscript, drafted against his will?
dedicate; sanctify We shall consecrate our lives to this noble purpose.
general agreement The consensus indicates that we are opposed to entering into this pact.
pompous; self-important Convinced of his own importance, the actor strutted about the dressing room with a consequential air.
school of the fine arts (especiallymusic or drama) A gifted violinist, Marya was selected to study at the conservatory.
deliver officially; entrust; set apart The court consigned the child to her paternal grandmother's care.
absence of contradictions; dependability; uniformity; degree of thickness Holmes judged puddings and explanations on their consistency; he liked his puddings without lumps and his explanations without improbabilities.
lessen sadness or disappointment; give comfort When her father died, Marius did his best to console Cosette.
harmony; agreement Her agitation seemed out of consonance with her usual calm.
associate with We frequently judge people by the company with whom they consort.
husband or wife The search for a consort for the young Queen Victoria ended happily.
treacherous plot Brutus and Cassius joined in the conspiracy to kill Julius Caesar.
supporter The congressman received hundreds of letters from angry constituents after the Equal Rights Amendment failed to pass.
compulsion; repression of feelings There was a feeling of constraint in the room because no one dared to criticize the speaker.
explain; interpret If I construe your remarks correctly, you disagree with the theory already advanced.
complete I have never seem anyone who makes as many stupid errors as you do; you must be a consummate idiot.
infection Fearing contagion, they took drastic steps to prevent the spread of the disease.
pollute The sewage system of the city so contaminated the water that swimming was forbidden.
scorn; disdain Even if you feel superior to others, it is unwise to show your contempt for them.
struggle; compete; assert earnestly In Revolt of the Black Athlete, sociologist Harry Edwards contends that young black athletes have been exploited by some college recruiters.
quarrelsome We heard loud and contentious noises in the next room.
dispute The defeated candidate attempted to contest the election results.
writings preceding and following the passage quoted Because these lines are taken out of context, they do not convey the message the author intended.
adjacent to; touching upon The two countries are contiguous for a few miles; then they are separated by the gulf.
self-restraint; sexual chastity She vowed to lead a life of continence.
conditional The continuation of this contract is contingent on the quality of your first output.
twistings; distortions As the effects of the opiate wore away, the contortions of the patient became more violent and demonstrated how much pain she was enduring.
illegal trade; smuggling; smuggled goods The coast guard tries to prevent contraband in U.S. waters.
contradict; oppose: infringe on or transgress Mr. Barrett did not expect his frail daughter Elizabeth to contravene his will by eloping with Robert Browning.
penitent Her contrite tears did not influence the judge when he imposed sentence.
forced; artificial; not spontaneous Feeling ill at ease with his new in-laws; James made a few contrived attempts at conversation and then retreated into silence.
oppose with arguments; contradict To controvert your theory will require much time but it is essential that we disprove it.
disobedient; resisting authority The contumacious mob shouted defiantly at the police.
bruise She was treated for contusions and abrasions.
riddle; difficult problem During the long car ride, she invented conundrums to entertain the children.
assemble Because much is needed legislation had to be enacted, the governor ordered the legislature to convene in special session by January 15.
ordinary; typical His conventional upbringing left him wholly unprepared for his wife's eccentric family.
social or moral custom; established practice Flying in the face of convention, George Sand (Amandine Dudevant) shocked her contemporaries by taking lovers and wearing men's clothes.
come together Marchers converged on Washington for the great Save Our Cities-Save Our Children March.
familiar with The lawyer is conversant with all the evidence.
opposite The inevitable converse of peace is not war but annihilation.
one who has adopted a different religion or opinion On his trip to Japan, though the President spoke at length about the merits of American automobiles, he made few converts to his beliefs.
curving outward He polished the convex lens of his telescope.
vehicle; transfer During the transit strike, commuters used various kinds of conveyances.
strongly held belief Nothing could shake his conviction that she was innocent.
raised platform for guests of honor When he approached the dais, he was greeted by cheers from the people who had come to honor him.
trifle with; procrastinate Laertes told Ophelia that Hamlet could only dally with her affections.
damp The walls of the dungeon were dank and slimy.
neat and trim In "The Odd Couple," Tony Randall played Felix Unger, an excessively dapper soul who could not stand to have a hair out of place.
spotted The sunlight filtering though the screens created a dappled effect on the wall.
smear (as with paint) From the way he daubed his paint on the canvas, I could tell he knew nothing of oils.
bold Despite the dangerous nature of the undertaking, the dauntless soldier volunteered for the assignment.
intimidate Your threats cannot daunt me.
loiter; waste time Inasmuch as we must meet a deadline, do not dawdle over this work.
standstill; stalemate The negotiations had reached a deadlock.
wooden; impassive We wanted to see how long he could maintain his deadpan expression.
scarcity The dearth of skilled labor compelled the employers to open trade schools.
breaking up; downfall This debacle in the government can only result in anarchy.
reduce to lower state Do not debase youself by becoming maudlin.
corrupt; make intemperate A vicious newspaper can debauch public ideals.
weaken; enfeeble Overindulgence debilitates character as well as physical stamina.
friendly; aiming to please The debonair youth was liked by all who met him, because of his cheerful and obliging manner.
rubble A full year after the earthquake in Mexico City, workers were still carting away the debris.
expose as false, exaggerated, worthless, etc.; ridicule Pointing out that he conhsistently had voted afainst strenghtening antipollution legislation, reporters debunked the candidate's claim that he was a fervent environmentalist.
yound woman making formal entrance into society As a debutante, she was often mentioned in the society columns of the newspapers.
decay The moral decadence of the people was reflected in the lewd literature of the period.
pour off gently Be sure to decant this wine before serving it.
behead They did not hang Lady Jane Grey; they decapitated her.
slow down Seeing the emergency blinkers in the road ahead, he decelerated quickly.
falling off, as of leaves The oak is a deciduous tree.
kill, usually one out of ten We do more to decimate our population in automobile accidents than we do in war.
decode I could not decipher the doctor's handwriting.
downward slope The children loved to ski down the declivity.
having a low-cut neckline Fashion decrees that evening gowns be decollete this season; bare shoulders are again the vogue.
decay Despite the body's advanced state of decomposition, the police were able to identify the murdered man.
propriety; seemliness Shocked by the unruly behavior, the teacher criticized the class for its lack of decorum.
lure or bait The wild ducks were not fooled by the decoy.
state of collagse caused by illness or old age I was unprepared for the state of decrepitude in which I had found my old friend; he seemed to have aged twenty years in six months.
express strong disapproval of ; disparage The founder of the Children's Defense Fund, Marian Wright Edelman, strongly decries the lack of financial and moral support for children in America today.
derived byreasoning If we accept your premise, your conclusions are easily deducible.
mar; disfigure If you deface a library book, you will have to pay a hefty fine.
harming a person's reputation Such defamation of character may result in a slander suit.
failure to do As a result of her husband's failure to appear in court, she was granted a divorce by default.
resigned to defeat; accepting defeat as a natural outcome If you maintain your defeatist attitude, you will never succeed.
desertion The children, who had made him an idol, were hurt most by his defection from our cause.
courteous regard for another's wish In deference to his desires, the employers granted him a holiday.
pollute; profane The hoodlums defiled the church with their scurrilous writing.
most reliable or complee Carl Sandburg's Abraham Lincoln may be regarded as the definitive work on the life of the Great Emancipator.
turn aside His life was saved when his cigarette case deflected the bullet.
destroy leaves In Vietnam the army made extensive use of chemical agents to defoliate the woodlands.
provide ofr the payment of Her employer offered to defray the costs of her postgraduate education.
to strip a priest or minister of church authority We knew the minister had violated church regulations, but we had not realized his offense was serious enough to cause him to be defrocked.
neat; skillful The deft waiter uncorked the champagne without spilling a drop.
dead; no longer in use or existence The lawyers sought to examine the books of the defunct corporation.
become worse; deteriorate As the fight dragged on, the champion's style degenerated until he could barely keep on his feet.
lowered in rank; debased The degraded wretch spoke only of his past glories and honors.
remove water from; dry out Vigorous dancing quickly dehydrates the body; between dances, be sure to drink more water than normal.
turn into a god; idolize Admire the rock star all you want; just don't deify him.
condescend He felt that he would debase himself if he deigned to answer his critics.
harmful Workers in nuclear research must avoid the deleterious effects of radioactive substances.
erase; strike out If you delete this paragraph, the composition will have more appeal.
consider; ponder; unhurried Offered the new job, she asked for time to deliberate before she made her decision.
portray He is weakest when he attempts to delineate character.
mental disorder marked by confusion The drunkard in his delirium saw strange animals.
flat plain of mud or sand between branches of a river His dissertation discussed the effect of intermittent flooding on the fertility of the Nile delta.
deceive Do not delude yourself into believing that he will relent.
flood; rush When we advertised the position, we received a deluge of applications.
false belief; hallucination This scheme is a snare and a delusion.
deceptive; raising vain hopes Do not raise your hopes on the basis of his delusive promises.
dig; investigate delving into old books and manuscripts is part of a researcher's job.
person who appeals to people's prejudice; false leader He was accused of being a demogogue because he made promises that aroused futile hopes in his listeners.
behavior; bearing His sober demeanor quieted the noisy revelers.
degrade; humiliate He felt that he would demean himself if he replied to the scurrilous letter.
insane She became increasingly demented and had to be hospitalized.
death Upon the demise of the dictator, a bitter dispute about succession to power developed.
related to population balance In conducting a survey, one should take into account demographic trends in the region.
destruction One of the major aims of the air force was the complete demolition of all means of transportation by the bombing of rail lines and the terminals.
fiendish The Spanish Inquisition devised many demoniac means of torture.
pertaining to the people He lamented the passing of aristocratic society and maintained that a demotic society would lower the nation's standards.
grave; serius; coy She was demure and reserved.
delay; object To demur at this time will only worsen the already serious situation; now is the time for action.
blacken All attempts to denigrate the character of our late President have failed; the people still love him and cherish his memory.
inhabitant of Ghosts are denizens of the land of the dead who return to earth.
meaning; distinguishing by name A dictionary will always give us the denotation of a word; frequently, it will always give us its connotation.
outcome; final development of the plot of a play or other literary work The play was childishly written; the denouement was obvious to sophisticated theatergoers as early as the middle of the first act.
condemn; critcize The reform candidate denounced the corrupt city officers for having betrayed the public's trust.
portray In this book, the author depicts the slave owners as kind and benevolent masters.
reduce; exhaust We must wait until we deplete our present inventory before we order replacements.
double-dealing; hypocrisy People were shocked and dismayed when they learned of his duplicity in this affair, as he had always seemed honest and straightforward.
regret Although I deplore the vulgarity of your language, I defend your right to express yourself freely.
move troops so that the battle line is extended at the expense of depth The general ordered the battalion to deploy in order to meet the offensive of the enemy.
dethrone; remove form office The army attempted to depose the king and set up a military government.
testimony under oath He made his deposition in the judge's chamber.
corruption; wickedness The depravity of the tyrant's behavior shocked us all.
express disapproval of; protest against; belittle A firm believer in old-fashioned courtesy, Miss Post deprecated the modern tendency to address new acquaintances by their first names.
lessen in value If you neglect this properly, it will depreciate.
plundering After the depredations of the invaders, the people were penniless.
insane He had to be institutionalized because he was deranged.
neglectful of duty; abandoned The corporal who fell asleep while on watch was thrown into the guardhouse for being derelic in his duty.
scoff at The people derided his grandiose schemes.
ridicule They greeted his proposal with derision and refused to consider it seriously.
unoriginal; obtained from another source Although her early poetry was clearly derivative in nature, the critics thought she had promise and eventually would find her own voice.
one who studies the skin and its diseases I advise you to consult a dermatologist about your acne.
expressing a low opinion I resent your derogatory remarks.
catch sight of In the distance, we could barely descry the enemy vessels.
profane; violate the sanctity of The soldiers desecrated the temple.
dry up A tour of this smokehouse will give you an idea of how the pioneers used to desiccate food in order to preserve it.
rob of joy; lay waste to; forsake The bandits desolated the countryside, burning farms and carrying off the harvest.
reckless outlaw Butch Cassidy was a bold desperado with a price on his head.
contemptible Your despicable remarks call for no reply.
scorn I despise your attempts at a reconciliation at this time and refuse to meet you.
plunder If you do not yield, I am afraid the enemy will despoil the countryside.
depressed; gloomy To the dismay of his parents, he became more and more depondent every day.
tyranny The people rebelled against the despotism of the king.
extremely poor The costs of the father's illness left the family destitute.
aimless; haphazard; digressing at random In prison Malcolm X set himself the task of reading straight through the dictionary; to him reading was purposeful, not desultory.
emotionally removed; calm and objective; indifferent A psychoanalyst must maintain a detached point of view and stay uninvolved with her patients' perssonal lives.
having a fixed order of procedure; invariable At the royal wedding, the procession of the nobles followed a determinate order of precedence.
something that discourages; hindrance Does the threat of capital punishment serve as a deterrent to potential killers?
explosion The detonation of the bomb could be heard miles away.
slandering; aspersion He is offended by your frequent detractions of his ability as a leader.
harmful; damaging Your acceptance of her support will ultimately prove detrimental rather than helpful to your cause.
turn away from Do not deviate from the truth; you must face the facts.
going astray; erratic Your devious behavior in this matter puzzles me since you are usually direct and straightforward.
lacking He was devoid of any personal desire for gain in his endeavor to secure improvement in the community.
deputize; pass to others It devolved upon us, the survivors, to arrange peace terms with the enemy.
enthusiastic follower A devotee of the opera, he bought season tickets every year.
pious The devout man prayed daily.
skillful The magician was so dexterous that we could not follow his movements as he performed his tricks.
devilish This scheme is so diabolical that I must reject it.
crown The king's diadem was on display at the museum.
art of debate I am not skilled in dialectic and therefore, cannot answer your arguments as forcefully as I wish.
sheer; transparent They saw the burglar clearly through the diaphanous curtain.
bitter scolding; invective During the lengthy diatribe delivered by his opponent he remained calm and self-controlled.
branching into two parts The dichotomy of our legislative system provides us with many safeguards.
arthoritative and weighty statement She repeated the statement as though it were the dictum of the most expert worker in the group.
teaching; instructional; preaching or moralizing The didactic qualities of his poetry overshadow its literary qualities; the lesson he teaches is more memorable than the lines.
device for stamping or impressing; mold In coining pennies, workers at the old mint squeezed sheets of softened copper between two dies.
shyness You must overcome your diffidence if you intend to become a salesperson.
wordiness; spreading in all directions like a gas Your composition suffers from a diffusion of ideas; try to be more compact.
wandering away from the subject Nobody minded when Professor Renoir's lectures wandered away from their offical theme; his digressions were always more fascinating than the topic of the day.
ruined because of neglect We felt that the dilapidated building needed several coats of paint.
expand In the dark, the pupils of your eyes dilate.
delaying Your dilatory tactics may compel me to cancel the contract.
problem; choice of two unsatisfactory alternatives In this dilemma, he knew no one to whom he could turn for advice.
aimless follower of the arts; amateur; dabbler He was not serious in his painting; he was rather a dilettante.
steadiness of effort; persisten hard work Her employers were greatly impressed by her diligence and offered her a partnership in the firm.
make less concentrated; reduce in strength She preferred her coffee diluted with milk.
lessening; reduction in size The blockaders hoped to achieve victory as soon as the diminution of the enemy's supplies became serious.
small boat (often ship's boat) In the film Lifeboat, an ill-assorted group of passengers from a sunken ocean liner are marooned at sea in a dinghy.
dull; not fresh; cheerless Refusing to be depressed by her dingy studio apartment, Bea spent the weekend polishing the floors and windows and hanging bright posters on the walls.
means; effort By dint of much hard work, the volunteers were able to control the raging forest fire.
continued loud noise The din of the jackhammers outside the classroom window drowned out the lecturer's voice.
like-size, three-dimensional scene from nature or history Because they dramatically pose actual stuffed animals against realistic painted landscapes, the dioramas at the Museum of Natural History particularly impress high school biology students.
disastrous People ignored her dire predictions of an approaching depression.
lament with music The funeral dirge stirred us to tears.
correct a false impression; undeceive I will attempt to diabuse you of your impression of my client's guilt; I know he is innocent.
disloyal Once the most loyal of Gorbachev's supporters, Shverdnaze found himself becoming increasingly disaffected.
disapproval; condemnation The conservative father viewed his daughter's radical boyfriend with disapprobation.
a disorderly or untidy state After the New Year's party, the once orderly house was in total disarray.
denial; disclaiming His disavowal of his part in the conspiracy was not believed by the jury.
dissolve; disperse The chess club disbanded after its disastrous initial season.
pay out When you disburse money on the company's behalf, be sure to get a receipt.
distinguishable; perceivable The ships in the harbor were not discernible in the fog.
mentally quick and observant; having insight Because he was considered the most discerning member of the firm, he was assigned the most difficult cases.
disown; renounce claim to If I grant you this previlege, will you disclaim all other rights?
reveal Although competitors offered him bribes, he refused to disclose any information about his company's forthcoming product.
confused; discomposed The novice square dancer became so discombobulated that he wandered into wrong set.
put to rout; defeat; disconcert This ruse will discomfit the enemy.
confuse; upset; embarrass The lawyer was disconcerted by the evidence produced by her adversary.
sad The death of his wife left him disconsolate.
inharmonious; conflicting She tried to unite the discordant factions.
disregard Be prepared to discount what he has to say about his ex-wife.
formal disscussion; conversation The young Plato was drawn to the Agora to hear the philosophical discourse of Socrates and his followers.
defame; destroy confidence in; disbelieve The campaign was highly negative in tone; each candidate tried to discredit the other.
lack of consistency; difference The police noticed some discrepancies in his description of the crime and did not believe him.
separate; unconnected The universe is composed of discrete bodies.
prudence; ability to adjust actions to circumstances Use your discretion in this matter and do not discuss it with anyone.
ability to see differences; prejudice They feared he lacked sufficient discrimination to judge complex works of modern art.
digressing; rambling They were annoyed and bored by her discursive remarks.
treat with scorn or contempt You make enemies of all you disdain.
go ashore; unload cargo from a ship Before the passengers could disembark, they had to pick up their passports from the ship's purser.
deprive of a civil right The imposition if the poll tax effectively disenfranchised poor Southern blacks, who lost their right to vote.
uncouple; separate; disconnect A standard movie routine involves the hero's desperate attempt to disengage a railroad car from a moving train.
mar the appearance of; spoil An ugly frown disfigured his normally pleasant face.
surrender something; efect; vomit Unwilling to disgorge the cash he had stolen from the pension fund, the embezzler tried to run away.
make discontented The passengers were disgruntled by the numerous delays.
discourage His failure to pass the bar exam disheartened him.
untidy Your disheveled appearance will hurt your chances in this interview.
unwilingness Some mornings I feel a great disinclination to get out of bed.
not naive; sophisticated Although he was young, his remarks indicated that he was disingenous.
unprejudiced The only disinterested person in the room was the judge.
dig up; unearth They disinterred the body and held an autopsy.
disconnected His remarks were so disjointed that we could not follow his reasoning.
remove (forcible) Thrusting her fist up under the choking man's lower ribs, Margaret used the Heimlich maneuver to dislodge the food caught in this throat.
take apart When the show closed, they dismantled the scenery before restoring it.
cut into small parts When the Austrian Empire was dismembered, several new countries were established.
eliminate from consideration; reject Believing in John's love for her, she dismissed the notion that he might be unfaithful.
belittle Do not disparage anyone's contribution; these little gifts add up to large sums.
basically different; unrelated It is difficult, if not impossible, to organize these disparate elements into a coherent whole.
difference; condition of inequality The disparity in their ages made no difference at all.
calm; impartial In a dispassionate analysis of the problem, he carefully examined the causes of the conflict and proceeded to suggest suitable remedies.
speediness; prompt execution; message sent with all due speed Young Napoleon defeated the enemy with all possible dispatch; he then sent a dispatch to headquarters, informing his commander of the great victory.
scatter; drive away; cause to vanish The bright sunlight eventually dispelled the morning mist.
scatter The police fired tear gas into crowd to disperse the protesters.
lacking in spirit The coach used all the tricks at his command to buoy up the enthusiasm of his team, which I had become dispirited at the loss of the star player.
amuse The popularity of Florida as a winter resort is constantly increasing; each year, thousands more disport themselves at Miami and Palm Beach.
argumentative; fond of argument People avoided discussing contemporary problems with him because of his disputatious manner.
a formal systematic inquiry; an explanation of the results of a formal inquiry In his disquisition, he outlined the steps he had taken in reaching his conclusions.
analysis; cutting apart in order to examine The dissection of frogs on the laboratory is particularly unpleasant to some students.
disguise; pretend Even though John tried to dissemble his motive for taking modern dance, we all knew there not to dance but to meet girls.
scatter (like seeds) The invention of the radio helped propagandists to disseminate their favorite doctrines very easily.
disagree In a landmark Supreme Court decision, Justice Marshall dissented from the majority opinion.
formal essay In order to earn a graduate degree from many of our universities, a candidate is frequently required to prepare a dissertation on some scholarly subject.
dissenting; rebellious In the purge that followed the student demonstrations at Tianamen Square, the government hunted down the dissident students and their supporters.
pretend; conceal by feigning She tried to dissimulate her grief by her exuberant attitude.
squander The young man quickly dissipated his inheritance and was soon broke.
disintegration; looseness in morals The profligacy and dissolution of life in Caligula's Rome appall some historians.
discord Some contemporary musicians deliberately use dissonance to achieve certain effects.
advise against He could not dissuade his friend from joining the conspirators.
reserved or aloof; cold in manner His distant greeting made me feel unwelcome from the start.
expand;swell out I can tell when he is under stress by the way the veins distend on his forehead.
purify; refine; concentrate A moonshiner distills mash into whiskey; an epigrammatist distills thoughts into quips.
twisting out of shape It is difficult to believe the newspaper accounts of this event because of the distortions and exaggerations of the reporters.
absentminded Because of his concentration on the problem, the professor often appeared distrait and unconcerned about routine.
upset; distracted by anxiety The distraught parents frantically searched the ravine for their lost child.
daily A farmer cannot neglect his diurnal tasks at any time; cows, for example, must be milked regularly.
operatic singer; prima donna Although world famous as a diva, she did not indulge in fits of temerament.
differing; deviating The two witnesses presented the jury with remarkably divergent accounts of the same epipode.
vary; go in different directionsfrom the same point The spokes of the wheel diverge from the hub.
differing in some characteristics; various There are diverse ways of approaching this problem.
act of turning aside; pastime After studying for several hours, he needed a diversion from work.
variety; dissimilitude The diversity of colleges in this country indicates that many levels of ability are being served.
strip; deprive He was divested of his power to act and could no longer govern.
perceive intuitively; foresee the future Nothing infuriated Tom more than Aunt Polly's ability to divine when he was not telling the truth.
reveal I will not tell you this news because I am sure you will divulge it prematurely.
obedient; easily managed As docile as he seems today, that old lion was once a ferocious, snarling beast.
program asfor trial; book where such entries are made The case of Smith v. Jones was entered in the docket for July 15.
unable to compromise about points of doctrine; dogmatic; unyielding Weng had hoped that the student-led democracy movement might bring about change in China, but the repressive response of the doctrinaire hard-liners crushed his dreams of democracy.
provide written evidence She kept all the receipts from her business trip in order to document her expenses for the firm.
shaky; infirm from old age Although he is not as yet a doddering and senile old man, his ideas and opinions no longer can merit the respect we gave them years ago.
take off A gentleman used to doff his hat to a lady.
determined;stubborn Les Miserables tells of Inspector Javert's long, dogged pursuit of the criminal Jean Valjean.
poorverse Although we find occasional snatches of genuine poetry in her work, most of her writing is mere doggerel.
positive; arbitrary Do not be so dogmatic about that statement; it can be easily refuted.
blues; listlessness; slack period Once the excitement of meeting her deadline was over, she found herself in the doldrums.
sorrowfrl He found the dolorous lamentations of the bereaved family emotionally disturbing and he left as quickly as he could.
stupid person I thought I was talking to a mature audience; instead, I find myself addressing a pack of dolts.
home Althoughhis legal domicile was in New York City, his work kept him away from his residence for many years.
rule over tyrannically Students prefer teachers who guide, not ones who domineer.
put on When Clark Kent had to don his Superman outfit, he changed clothes in a convenient phone booth.
sleeping; lethargic; torpid Sometimes dormant talents in our friends surprise those of us who never realize how gifted our acquaintances really are.
window projecting from roof In remodeling the attic into a bedroom, we decided that we needed to put in dormers to provide sufficient ventilation for the new room.
relating to the back of an animal A shark may be identified by its dorsal fin, which projects above the surface of the ocean.
file of documents on a subject Ordered by J. Edgar Hoover to investigate the senator, the FBI compiled a complete dossier.
senility In his dotage, the old man bored us with long tales of events in his childhood.
be excessively fond of; show signs of mental decline Not only grandmothers bore you with stories about their brilliant grandchildren; grandfathers dote on the littel rascals, too.
sullen; stubborn The man was dour abd taciturn.
plunge into water; drench; extinguish They doused each other with hoses and balloons.
slovenly; untidy She tried to change her dowdy image by buying a fashionable new wardrobe.
disheartened; sad Cheerful and optimistic by nature, Beth was never downcast despite the difficulties she faced.
dull; lacking color; cheerless The Dutch woman's drab winter coat contrasted with the distinctive, colorful native costume she wore beneath it.
sediment; worthless residue David poured the wine carefully to avoid stirring up the dregs.
queer and amusing He was a popular guest because his droll anecdotes were always entertaining.
idle person; male bee Content to let his wife support him, the would-be writer was in reality nothing but a drone.
talk dully; buzz or murmur like a bee On a gorgeous day, who wants to be stuck in a classroom listening to the teacher drone?
waste matter; worhtless impurities Many methods have been devised to separate the valuable metal from the dross.
menial work Cinderella's fairy godmother rescued her from a life of drudgery.
doubtful He has the dubious distinction of being the lowest man in his class.
malleability; flexibility; ability to be drawn out Copper wire has many industrial uses because of its extreme ductility.
sweet sounding The dulcet sounds of the birds at dawn were soon drowned out by the roar of traffic passing our motel.
someone easily fooled While the gullible Watson often was made a dupe by unscrupulous parties, Sherlock Holmes was far more difficult to fool.
forcible restraint, especially unlawfully The hostages were held under duress until the prisoners' demands were met.
respectful; obedient The dutiful child grew up to be a conscientious adult aware of his civic obligations.
shrink; reduce They spent so much money that their funds dwindled to nothing.
active; efficient A dynamic government is necessary to meet the demands of a changing society.
suffering from indigestion All the talk about rich food made him feel dyspeptic.
unrefined; coarse His earthy remarks often embarrassed the women in the audience.
recede; lessen His fortunes began to ebb during the recession.
showing excitement; overflowing with enthusiasm His ebullient nature could not be repressed.
oddity; idiosyncrasy Some of his friends tried to account for his rudeness to strangers as the eccentricity of genius.
odd; whimsical; irregular The comet passed close by the earth in its eccentric orbit.
pertaining to the church The minister donned his ecclesiastic garb and walked to the pulpit.
selective; composed of elements drawn from disparate sources His style of interior decoration was eclectic: bits and pieces of furnishings from widely divergent periods, strikingly juxtaposed to create a unique color.
darken; extinguish; surpass The new stock market high eclipsed the previous record set in 1985.
person concerned with the interrelationship between living organisms and their environment The ecologist was concerned that the new dam would upset the natural balance of the creatures living in Glen Canyon.
efficiency or conciseness in using something Reading the epigrams of Pope, I admire the economy of his verse: in few words he conveys worlds of meaning.
rapture, joy; any overpowering emotion The announcement that the war had ended brought on an ecstasy that resulted in many uncontrolled celebrations.
swirling current of water, air, etc. The water in the tide pool was still, except for an occasional eddy.
instruct; correct morally Although his purpose was to edify and not to entertain his audience, many of his listeners were amused and not enlightened.
weird In that eerie setting, it was easy to believe in ghosts and other supernatural beings.
rub out The coin had been handled so many times that its data had been effaced.
efficient If we are to succeed, we must seek effectual means of securing our goals.
having womanly traits His voice was high-pitched and effeminate.
inner excitement; exuberance Nothing depressed her for long; her natural effervescence soon reasserted itself.
worn out; exhausted; barren The literature of the age reflected the effete condition of the writers; no new ideas were forthcoming.
power to produce desired effect The efficacy of this drug depends on the regularity of the dosage.
dummy The mob showed its irritation by hanging the judge in effigy.
noxious smell Air pollution has become a serious problem in our major cities; the effluvium and the poisons in the air are hazards to life.
shameless boldness She had the effrontery to insult the guest.
pouring forth The critics objected to her literary effusion because it was too flowery.
pouring forth; gushing Her effusive manner of greeting her friends finally began to irritate them.
excessive interest in one's self; belief that one should be interested in one's self rather than in others His egoism prevented him from seeing the needs of his colleagues.
conceit; vanity She thought so much of herself that we found her egotism unwarranted and irritating.
notorious; conspicuously bad; shocking She was an egregious liar; we all knew better than to believe a word she said.
exit Barnum's sign "To the Egress" fooled many people who thought they were going to see an animal and instead found themselves in the street.
exclamation He could not repress an ejaculation of surprise when he heard the news.
addition of details; intricacy Tell what happened simply, without any elaboration.
overjoyed; in high spirits Grinning from ear to ear, Bonnie Blair was clearly elated by her Olympic victory.
poem or song expressing lamentation On the death of Edward King, Milton composed the elegy "Lycidas."
draw out by discussion The detectives tried to elicit where he had hidden his loot.
cure-all; something invigorating The news of her chance to go abroad acted on her like an elixir.
omission of words from a text Sometimes an ellipsis can lead to a dangling modifier, as in the sentence "Once dressed, you should refrigerate the potato salad.
oval; ambiguous, either purposely or because key words have been left out An elliptical billiad ball wobbles because it is not perfectly round; an elliptical remark baffles because it is not perfectly clear.
expressiveness; persuasive speech The crowds were stirred by Martin Luther King's eloquence.
explain; enlighten He was called upon to elucidate the disputed points in his article.
evasive; baffling; hard to grasp His elusive dreams of wealth were costly to those of his friends who supported him financially.
relating to paradise; blissful An afternoon sail on the bay was for her an elysian journey.
thin and wasted His long period of starvation had left him emaciated.
issue forth A strong odor of sulfur emanated from the spring.
set free At first, the attempts of the Abolitioninst to emancipate the slaves were unpopular in New England as well as in the South.
ban on commerce or other activity As a result of the embargo, trade with colonies was at a standstill.
commence; go on board a boat; begin a journey In devoting herself to the study of gorillas, Dian Fossey embarked on a course of action that was to cost her her life.
enclose; place in something Tales of actual historical figures like King Alfred have become embedded in legends.
adorn My mother-in-law's stories about her journey from Russia made us laugh because she embellished the bare facts of her travels with humourous acecdotes.
stealing The bank teller confessed his embezzlement of the funds.
throw into confusion He became embroiled in the heated discussion when he tried to arbitrate the dispute.
undeveloped; rudimentary The evil of class and race hatred must be eliminated while it is still in an embryonic state; otherwise, it may grow to dangerous proportions.
correction of errors; improvement Please initial all the emendations you have made in this contract.
correct, usually a text The critic emended the book by retranslating several passages.
substance causing vomiting The use of an emetic like mustard is useful in cases of poisoning.
high; lofty After his appointment to this emiment position, he seldom had time for his former friends.
agent; messenger The secretary of State was sent as the President's special emissary to the conference on disarmament.
soothing or softening remedy He applied an emollient to the inflamed area.
salary; compensation In addition to the emolument this position offers, you must consider the social prestige it carries with it.
ability to identify with another's feelings, ideas, etc What made Ann such a fine counselor was her empathy, her ability to put herself in her client's place and feel his emotions as if they were her own.
based on experience He distrusted hunches and intuitive flashes; he placed his reliance entirely on empirical data.
rival; imitate As long as our political leaders emulate the virtues of the great leaders of this country, we shall flourish.
in love Narcissus became enamored of his own beauty.
territory enclosed within an alien land The Vatican is an independent enclave in Italy.
praising; eulogistic Some critics believe that his encomiastic statements about Napoleon were inspired by his desire for material advancement rather than by an honest belief in the Emperor's genius.
high praise; eulogy Uneasy with the encomiums expressed by his supporters, Tolkien felt unworthy of such high praise.
surround Although we were encompassed by enemy forces, we were cheerful for we were well stocked and could withstand a siege until our allies joined us.
gradual intrusion The encroachment of the factories upon the neighborhood lowered the value of the real estate.
burden Some people encumber themselves with too much luggage, when they take short trips.
fond word or act Your gifts and endearments cannot make me forget your earlier insolence.
prevailinig among a specific group of people or in a specific are or country This disease is endemic in this part of the world; more than 80 percent of the population are at one time or another affected by it.
approve; support Everyone waited to see which one of the rival candidates for the city council the mayor would endorse.
provide with some quality; endow He was endued with a lion's courage.
lasting; surviving Keats believed in the enduring power of great art, which outlast its creator's brief lives.
invigorate; make forceful and active Rather than exhausting Maggie, dancing energized her.
weaken She was slow to recover from her illness; even a short walk to the window evervated her.
admit to the rights of citizenship (especially the right to vote) Although blacks were enfranchised shortly after the Civil War, women did not receive the right to vote until 1920.
attract; hire; pledge oneself; confront "Your case has engaged my interest, my lord," said Holmes, "You many engage my services."
cause; produce To receive praise for real accomplishments engenders self-confidence in a child.
occupy fully John was so engrossed in his studies that he did not hear his mother call.
advance; improve Your chances for promotion in this department will be enhanced if you take some more courses in evening school.
obscure; puzzling Many have sought to fathom the enigmatic smile of the Mona Lisa.
puzzle Depite all attempts to decipher the code, it remained an enigma.
command; order; forbid The owners of the company asked the court to enjoin the union from picketing the plant.
ill will; hatred At Camp David President Carter labored to bring an end to the enmity that prevented Egypt and Israel from living in peace.
boredom The monotonous routine of hopital life induced a feeling of ennui which made him moody and irritable.
hugeness (in a bad sense) He did not realize the enormity of his crime until he saw what suffering he had caused.
please intensely The audience was enraptured by the freshness of the voices and the excellent orchestration.
settle comfortably The parents thought that their children were ensconced safely in the private school and decided to leave for Europe.
follow The evils that ensued were the direct result of the miscalculations of the leaders.
capture; enslave From the moment he saw her picture, he was enthralled by her beauty.
lure; attract; tempt She always tried to entice her baby brother into mischief.
real being As soon as the charter was adopted, the United Nations became an entity and had to be considered as a factor in world diplomacy.
study of insects I found entomology the least interesting part of my course in biology; studying insects bored me.
put under a spell; carry away with emotion Shafts of sunlight on a wall could entrance her and leave her spellbound.
plead; ask earnestly She entreated her father to let her stay out till midnight.
entrance; a way in Because of his wealth and social position, he had entree into the most exclusive circles.
businessperson; contractor Opponents of our present tax program argue that it discourages entrepreneurs from trying new fields of business activity.
list; mention one by one Huck hung his head in shame as Miss Watson enumerated his many flaws.
speak distinctly How will people understand you if you do not enunciate?
enclose; surround Paris was environed by a wall
long period of time; an age It has taken eons for our civilization to develop.
ornament worn on the shoulder (of a uniform, etc.) The shoulder loops on Sam Spade's trench coat are the nonmilitary counterparts of the fringed epaulets on George Washington's uniform.
short-lived; fleeting The mayfly is an ephemeral creature.
connoisseur of food and drink epicures frequent this restaurant because it features exotic wines and dishes.
long heroic poem, novel, or similar work of art Kurosawa's film Seven Samurai is an epic portraying the struggle of seven warriors to destroy a band of robbers.
witty thought or saying, usually short Poor Richard's epigrams made Benjamin Franklin famous.
short speech at conclusion of dramatic work The audience was so disappointed in the play that many did not remain to hear the epilogue.
loosely connected Though he tried to follow the plot of Gravity's Rainbow, John found the novel too episodic.
philosopher who studies the nature of knowledge "What is more important, a knowledge of nature of the nature of knowledge?" the epistemologist asked the naturalist.
inscription in memory of a dead person In his will, he dictated the epitaph he wanted placed on his tombstone.
word or phrase characteristically used to describe a person or thing So many kings of France were named Charles that modern students need epithets to tell them apart: Charles the Wise, for example, was someone far different from Charles the Fat.
perfect example or embodiment Singing "I am the very model of a modern Major-General" in The Pirates of Penzance, Major-General Stanley proclaimed himself the epitome of an officer and a gentleman.
period of time The glacial epoch lasted for thousands of years.
tranquil; steady; uniform After the hot summers and cold winters of New England, he found the climate of the West Indies equable and pleasant.
calmness of temperament In his later years, he could look upon the foolishness of the world with equanimity and humor.
rider on horseback These paths in the park are reserved for equestrians and their steeds.
balance After the divorce, he needed some time to regain his equilibrium.
resembling a horse His long, bony face had an equine look to it.
period of equal days and nights; the beginning of spring and autumn The vernal equinox is usually marked by heavy rainstorms.
balance; balancing force; equilibrium The high-wire acrobat used his pole as an equipose to overcome the swaying caused by the wind.
fair; impartial I am seeking an equitable solution to this dispute, one which will be fair and acceptable to both sides.
fairness; justice Our courts guarantee equity to all.
doubtful; ambiguous Macbeth was misled by the equivocal statements of the witches.
lie; mislead; attempt to conceal the truth The audience saw through his attempts to equivocate on the subject under discussion and ridiculed his remarks.
eat away The limestone was eroded by the dripping water
pertaining to passionate love The erotic passages in this novel should be removed as they are merely pornographic.
wandering Many a charming tale has been written about the knights-errant who helped the weak and punished the guilty during the Age of Chivalry.
odd; unpredictable Investors become anxious when the stock market appears erratic.
mistaken; wrong I thought my answer was correct, but it was erroneous.
learned; scholarly His erudite writing was difficult to read because of the many allusions which were unfamiliar to most readers.
prank; flighty conduct The headmaster could not regard this latest escapade as a boyish joke and expelled the young man.
avoid He tried to eschew all display of temper.
hard to understand; known only to the chosen few New Yorker short stories often include esoteric allusions to obscure people and events: the implication is if you are in the in-crowd, you'll get the reference; if you come from Cleveland, you won't.
spying In order to maintain its power, the government developed a system of espionage that penetrated every hosehold.
adopt; support She was always ready to espouse a worthy cause.
repect; value; judge I esteem Ezra Pound both for his exciting poetry and for his acute comments on literature.
separated; alienated The estranged wife sought a divorce.
light; heavenly; fine Visitors were impressed by her ethereal beauty, her delicate charm.
relating to races Intolerance between ethnic groups is deplorable and usually is based on lack of information.
study of mankind Sociology is one aspect of the science of ethnology.
underlying character of a culture, group, etc. Seeing how tenderly Spaniards treated her small daughter made author Barbara Kingsolver aware of how greatly children were valued in the Spanish ethos.
study of word parts A knowledge of etymology can help you on many English tests.
pertaining to the improvement of race It is easier to apply eugenic principles to the raising of racehorses or prize cattle than t the development of human beings.
praising To everyone's surprise, the speech was eulogistic rather than critical in tone.
praise All the eulogies of his friends could not remove the sting of the calumny heaped upon him by his enemies.
mild expression in place of an unpleasant one The expression "he passed away" is a euphemism for "he died."
sweet sound Noted for its euphony even when it is spoken, the Italian language is particularly pleasing to the ear when sung.
feeling of exaggerated (or unfounded) well-being "Jill's been on cloud nine ever since Jacj asked her out," said Betty, dismissing her friend's euphoria.
mercy killing Many people support euthanasia for terminally ill patients who wish to die.
fleeting; vanishing For a brief moment, the entire skyline was bathed in an orange-red hue in the evanescent rays of the sunset.
not frank; eluding Your evasive answers convinced the judge that you were witholding important evidence.
impartial; fair Do men and women receive evenhanded treatment from their teachers, or, as recent studies suggest, do teachers pay more attention to male students than to females?
show clearly When he tried to answer the questions, he evinced his ignorance of the subject matter.
call forth He evoked much criticism by his hostile manner.
female sheep The flock of sheep was made up of dozens of ewes, together with only a handful of rams.
worsen; embitter This latest arrest will exacerbate the already existing discontent of the people and enrage them.
extremely demanding The colonies rebelled against the exacting financial claims of the mother country.
raise in rank or dignity; praise The actor Alec Guinness was exalted to the rank of knighthood by the Queen; he now is known as Sir Alec Guinness.
vex Johnny often exasperates his mother with his pranks.
selected passage (written or musical) The cinematic equivalent of an excerpt from a novel is a clip from a film.
treasury He had been Chancellor of the exchequer before his promotion to the office he now holds.
cut away; cut out When you excise the dead and dying limbs of a tree, you not only improve its appearance but also enhance its chances of bearing fruit.
flay; abrade These shoes are so ill-fitting that they will excoriate the feet and create blisters.
clear from blame He was exculpated of the crime when the real criminal confessed.
very bad The anecdote was in execrable taste and shocked the audience.
curse; express abhorrence for The world execrates the memory of Hitler and hopes that genocide will never again be the policy of any nation.
put into effect; carry out The choreographer wanted to see how well she could execute a pirouette.
explanation, especially of biblical passages I can follow your exegesis of this passage to a limited degree; some of your reasoning eludes me.
serving as a model; outstanding Her exemplary behavior was praised at commencement.
show by example; furnish an example Three-time winner of the Super Bowl, Joe Montana exemplifies the ideal quarterback.
effort; expenditure of much physical work The exertion involved in unscrewing the rusty bolt left her exhausted.
urge The evangelist will exhort all sinners in his audience to reform.
dig out of the ground; remove from a grave Because of the rumor that he had been poisoned, his body was exhumed in order that an autopsy might be performed.
urgent situation In this exigency, we must look for aid from our allies.
small; minute Grass grew there, an exiguous outcropping among the rocks.
pertaining to existence; pertaining to the philosophy of existentialism To the existential philosopher, human reason is inadequate to explain an irrational, meaningless universe.
departure The exodus from the hot and stuffy city was particularly noticeable on Friday evenings.
acquit; exculpate I am sure this letter naming the actual culprit will exonerate you.
excessive The people grumbled at his exorbitant prices but paid them because he had a monopoly.
drive our evil spirits By incantation and prayer, the medicine man sought to exorcise the evil spirits that had taken possession of the young warrior.
not native; strange Because of his exotic headdress, he was followed in the streets by small children who laughed at his strange appearance.
talk at length At this time, please give us a brief resume of your work; we shall permit you to expatiate later.
exile; someone who has withdrawn from his native land Henry James was an American expatriate who settled in England.
suitable; practical; politic A pragmatic politician, he was guided by what was expedient rather than by what was ethical.
hasten We hope you will be able to expedite delivery because of our tight schedule.
specialized knowledge; expert skill Although she was knowledgeable in a number of fields, she was hired for her particular expertise in computer programming.
make amends for (a sin) He tried to expiate his crimes by a full confession to the authorities.
interjection; profane oath The sergeant's remarks were filled with expletives that offended the new recruits.
explain; interpret; clarify Harry Levin explicated James Joyce's novels with such clarity that even Finnegan's Wake seemed comprehensible to his students.
totally clear; definite; outspoken Don't just hint around that you're dissatisfied: be explicit about what's bugging you.
deed or action, particularly a brave deed Raoul Wallenberg was noted for his exploits in rescuing Jews from Hitler's forces.
make use of, sometimes unjustly Caesar Chavez fought attempts to exploit migrant farmworkers in California.
explanatory; serving to explain The mannual that came with my VCR was no masterpiece of expository prose: its explanations were so garbled that I couldn't even figure out how to rewind a tape.
protest; remonstrance Despite the teacher's scoldings and expostulations, the class remained unruly.
risk, particularly of being exposed to disease or to the elements; unmasking; act of laying something open Exposure to sun and wind had dried out her hair and weathered her face.
cancel; remove If you behave, I will expunge this notation from your record.
clean; remove offensive parts of a book The editors felt that certain passages in the book had to be expurgated before it could be used in the classroom.
still in existence Although the authorities suppressed the book, many copies are extant and may be purchased at exorbitant prices.
not planned; impromtu Because his extemporaneous remarks were misinterpreted, he decided to write all his speeches in advance.
weaken; mitigate It is easier for us to extenuate our own shortcomings than those of others.
root up The Salem witch trials were a misguided attempt to extirpate superstition and heresy.
praise; glorify The astronauts were extolled as the pioneers of the Space Age.
wring from; get money by threats, etc. The blackmailer extorted money from his victim.
surrender of prisoner by one state to another The lawyers opposed the extradition of their client on the grounds that for more than five years he had been a model citizen.
not essential; external Do not pad your paper with extraneous matters; stick to essential items only.
projection; conjecture Based on their extrapolation from the results of the primaries on Super Tuesday, the networks predicted that George Bush would be the Republican candidate for the presidency.
free; disentangle He found that he could not extricate himself from the trap.
external; not inherent; foreign Do not be fooled by extrinsic causes. We must look for the intrinsic reason.
person interested mostly in external objects and actions A good salesperson in usually an extrovert, who likes to mingle with people.
force or push out Much pressure is required to extrude these plastics.
abundant; effusive; lavish His speeches were famous for his exuberant language and vivid imagery.
discharge; give forth The maple syrup is obtained from the sap that the trees exude in early spring.
rejoice We exulted when our team won the victory.
build; lie Because of the child's tendency to fabricate, we had trouble believing her.
front of the building The facade of the church had often been photographed by tourists because it was more interesting than the rear.
humorous; jocular Your facetious remarks are not appropriate at this serious moment.
small plane surface (of a gem); a side The stonecutter decided to improve the rough diamond by providing it with several facets.
easy; expert Because he was a facile speaker, he never refused a request to address an organization.
make less difficult He tried to facilitate repayment of the loan by getting a part-time job.
copy Many museums sell facsimilies of the works of art on display.
party; clique; dissension The quarrels and bickering of the two small factions within the club disturbed the majority of the members.
inclined to form factions; causing dissension. Your statement is factious and will upset the harmony that now exists.
artificial; sham Hollywood actresses often create factitious tears by using glycerine.
handyman; person who does all kinds of work Although we had hired him as a messenger, we soon began to use him as a general factotum around the office.
mental or bodily powers; teaching staff As he grew old, he feared he might lose his faculties and become useless to his employer.
misleading Your reasoning must be fallacious because it leads to a ridiculous answer.
liable to err I know I am fallible, but I feel confident that I am right this time.
plowed but sowed; uncultivated Farmers have learned that it is advisable to permit land to le fallow every few years.
hesitate When told to dive off the high board, she did not falter, but proceeded at once.
excessive zeal The leader of the group was held responsible even though he could not control the fanaticism of his followers.
imagined; unreal You are resenting fancied insults. No one has ever said such things about you.
breeder or dealer of animals The dog fancier exhibited her prize collie at the annual Kennel Club show.
whimsical; visionary This is a fanciful scheme because it does not consider the facts.
call by bugles or trumpets; showy display The exposition was opened with fanfare of trumpets and the firing of cannon.
unreal; grotesque; whimsical Your fears are fantastic because no such animal as you have described exists.
broad comedy; mockery Nothing went right; the entire interview degenerated into a farce.
difficult to please; squeamish The waitresses disliked serving him dinner because of his very fastidious taste.
belief that events are determined by forces beyond one's control With fatalism, he accepted the hardships that beset him.
comprehend; investigate I find his motives impossible to fathom.
foolish; inane He is far too intelligent to utter such fatuous remarks.
animals of a period or region The scientist could visualize the fauna of the period by examining the skeletal remains and the fossils.
courting favor by cringing and flattering She was constantly surrounded by a group of fawning admirers who had hoped to win some favor.
disconcert; dismay No crisis could faze the resourceful hotel manager.
practical This is an entirely feasible proposal. I suggest we adopt it.
feverish In his febrile condition, he was subject to nightmares and hallucinations.
feeble, ineffective; unthinking, irresponsible Einstein was noted for his extraordinary inspirations; on the other hand, he was noted for being feckless in his daily chores.
fertility; fruitfulness The fecundity of his mind is illustrated by the many vivid images in his poems.
pretend Lady Macbeth feigned illness in the courtyard although she was actually healthy.
trick; shift; sham blow The boxer was fooled by his opponent's feint and dropped his guard.
apt; suitably expressed; well chosen He was famous for his felicitous remarks and was called upon to serve as master-of-ceremonies at many banquet.
happines; appropriateness (of a remark, choice, etc.) She wrote a note to the newlyweds wishing them great felicity in their wedded life.
cruel; deadly The newspapers told of the tragic spread of the fell disease
person convicted of a grave crime A convicted felon loses the right to vote
agitation; commotion With the breakup of the Soviet Union, much of Eastern Europe was in a state of ferment.
drive or hunt out of hiding She was ferreted out their secret.
ardent; hot She felt that the fervent praise was excessive and somewhat undeserved.
ardent Her fervid enthusiasm inspired all of us to undertake the dangerous mission.
glowing ardor Their kiss was full of the fervor of first love.
generate pus When her finger began to fester, the doctor lanced it and removed the splinter that had caused the pus to form.
rankle, produce irritation or resentment Joe's insult festered in Anne's mind for days, and made her too angry to speak to him.
joyous; celebratory Their wedding in the park was a festive occasion.
honor at a festival The returning hero was feted at a community supper and dance.
malodorous The neglected wound became fetid.
shackle The prisoner was fettered to the wall.
total failure Our ambitious venture ended in a fiasco and we were forced to flee.
command I cannot accept government by fiat; I feel that I must be consulted.
changeable; faithless He discovered his supposedly faithful girlfriend was fickle
imaginary Although this book purports to be a biography of George Washington, many of the incidents are fictitious.
loyalty A dog's fidelity to its owner is one of the reasons why that animal is a favorite household pet.
invention; imaginary thing That incident never took place; it is a figment of your imagination.
not literal, but metaphorical; using a figure of speech "To lose one's marbles" is a figurative expression; if you're told Jack has lost his marbles, no one expects you to rush out to buy him a replacement set.
small ornamental statuette In the Maltese Falcon, Sam Spade was hired to trace the missing figurine of a black bird.
steal The boys filched apples from the fruit stand.
pertaining to a son or daughter Many children forget their filial obligations and disregard the wishes of their parents.
block legislation by making long speeches Even though we disapproved of Senator Foghorn's political goals, we were impressed by his ability to filibuster endlessly to keep an issue from coming to a vote.
delicate, lacelike metalwork The pendant with gold filigree that she wore round her neck trembled with each breath she took.
conclusion It is not until we reach the finale of this play that we can understand the author's message.
delicate skill The finesse and adroitness of the surgeon impressed the observers in the operating room.
too particular; fussy The old lady was finicky about her food and ate very little.
limited It is difficult for humanity with its finite existence to grasp the infinite.
hothead; troublemaker The police triedto keep track of all the local firebrands when the President came to town.
crevice The mountain climbers secured footholds in tiny fissures in the rock.
spasmodic; intermittent After several fitful attempts, he decided to postpone the start of the project until he felt more energetic.
flabby His sedentary life had left him with flaccid muscles.
conspicuously wicked We cannot condone such flagrant violations of the rules.
droop; grow feeble When the opposing hockey team scored its third goal only minutes into the first period, the home team's spirits flagged.
thresh grain by hand; strike or slap; toss about In medieval times, warriors flailed their foe with a metal ball attached to a handle.
talent She has an uncanny flair for discovering new artists before the public has become aware of their existence.
ornate Modern architecture has discarded the flamboyant trimming on buildings and emphasizes simplicity of line.
display ostentatiously She is not the one of those actresses who flaunt their physical charms; she can act.
strip off skin; plunder The criminal was condemned to be flayed alive.
spot Her cheeks flecked with tears, were testimony to the hours of weeping.
inexperienced While it is necessary to provide these fledgling poets with an opportunity to present their work, it is not essential that we admire everything they write.
rob; plunder The tricksters fleeced him of his inheritance.
wool coat of a sheep They shear sheep of their fleece, which they then comb into separate strands of wool.
light stroke as with a whip The horse needed no encouragement; only one flick of the whip was all the jockey had to apply to get the animal to run at top speed.
hesitate; shrink He did not flinch in the face of danger but fought back bravely.
trifling gaiety Your flippancy at this serious moment is offensive.
fly; dart lightly; pass swiftly by Like a bee flitting from flower to flower, Rose flitted from one boyfriend to the next.
mass of floating ice The ship made slow progress as it battered its way through the ice floes.
plants of a region or era Because she was a botanist, she spent most of her time studying the flora of the desert.
flowery; ruddy His complexion was even more florid than usual because of his anger.
drifting wreckage Beachcombers eke out a living by salvaging the flotsam and jetsam of the sea.
grow well; prosper; make sweeping gestures The orange trees flourished in the sun.
reject; mock The headstrong youth flouted all authority; he refused to be curbed.
wavering Meteorologists watch the fluctuations of the barometer in order to predict the weather.
smoothness of speech He spoke French with fluency and ease.
unlikely occurrence; stroke of fortune When Douglass defeated Tyson for the heavyweight championship, some sportscasters dismissed his victory as a fluke.
confuse The teacher's sudden question flustered him and he stammered his reply.
having vertical parallel grooves (as in a pillar) All that remained of the ancient building were the fluted columns.
flowing; series of changes While conditions are in such a state of flux, I do not wish to commit myself too deeply in this affair.
coarse food for cattle, horses etc. One of Nancy's chores ar the ranch was to put fresh supplies of fodder in the horses' stalls.
weakness; slight fault We can overlook the foibles of our friends; no one is perfect.
contrast In "Star Wars," dark, evil Darth Vader is a perfect foil for fair-haired, naive Luke Skywalker.
defeat; frustrate In the end, Skywalker is able to foil Vader's diabolical schemes.
insert improperly; palm off I will not permit you to foist such ridiculous ideas upon the membership of this group.
masses of leaves Every autumn before the leaves fell he promised himself he would drive though the New England to admire the colorful fall foliage.
stir up; instigate This report will foment disssension in the club.
rash Don't be foolhardy. Get the advice of experienced people before undertaking this venture.
vain about dress and appearance He tried to imitate the foppish manner of the young men of the court.
raid The company staged a midnight foray against the enemy outpost.
patience We must use forbearance in dealing with him because he is still weak from his illness.
place where a river can be crossed on foot Rather than risk using the shaky rope bridge, David walked a half-mile downstream until he came to the neartest ford.
ancestors Reverence for one's forebears (sometimes referred to as ancestor worship) plays an important part in many Oriental cultures.
premonition of evil Caeser ridiculed his wife's foreboding about the Ides of March.
suitable to debate or courts of law In her best forensic manner, the lawyer addressed the jury.
give an indication beforehand; portend; prefigure In retrospect, political analysts realized that Yeltsin's defiance of the attempted coup foreshadowed his emergence as the dominant figure of the new Russian republic.
ability to foresee future happenings; prudence A wise investor, she had the foresight to buy land just before the current real estate boom.
prevent by taking action in advance By setting up a prenuptial agreement, the prospective bride and groom hoped to forestall any potential arguments about money in the event of a divorce.
give up; do without Determined to lose weight for the summer, Ida decided to forgo dessert until she could fit into a size eight again.
adherence to established rules or procedures Signing this petition is a mere formality; it does not obligate you in any way.
menacing; threatening We must not treat the battle lightly for we are facing a formidable foe.
desert; abandon; renounce No one expected Foster to forsake his wife and children and run off with another woman.
renounce; abandon The captured knight could escape death only if he agreed to forswear Christianity and embrace Islam as the one true faith.
strong point or special talent I am not eager to play this rather seious role, for my forte is comedy.
straightforward; direct; frank I prefer Jill's forthright approach to Jack's tendency to beat around the bush.
bravery; courage He was awarded the medal for his fortitude in the battle.
accidental; by chance There is no connection between these two events; their timing is entirely fortuitous.
rear; encourage According to the legend, Romulus and Remus were fostered by a she-wolf that raised the abandoned infants as her own.
fail completely; sink After hitting the submerged iceberg, the Titanic started taking in water rapidly and soon foundered.
person who establishes (an organization, business) Among those drowned when the Titanic sank was the founder of the Abraham & Straus chain.
brawl; melee The military police stopped the fracas in the bar and arrested the belligerents.
unruly The fractious horse unseated its rider.
weakness The doctor prescribed vitamin and mineral supplements for the sick old woman because of her frailty.
right granted by authority The city issued a franchise to the company to operate surface transit lines on the streets for ninety-nine years.
wild At the time of the collision, many people became frantic with fear.
cheating; deceitful The government seeks to prevent fraudulent and misleading advertising.
filled Since this enterprise is fraught with danger, I will ask for volunteers who are willing to assume the risks.
brawl The three musketeers were in the thick of fray.
frenzied; frantic His frenetic activities convinced us that he had no organized plan of operation.
madly excited As soon as they smelled smoke, the frenzied animals milled about in their cages.
painting in plaste (usually fresh) The cathedral is visited by many tourists who wish to admire the frescoes by Glotto.
to be annonyed or vexed To fret over your poor grades is foolish; instead, decide to work harder in the future.
clash in opinion; rubbing against At this time when harmony is essential, we cannot afford to have any friction in our group.
ornamental band on a wall The frieze of the church was adorned with sculpture.
intensely cold Alaska is in the frigid zone.
waste He could not apply himself to any task and frittered away his time in idle conversation.
lacking in seriousness; self-indulgently carefree; relatively unimportant Though Nancy enjoyed Bill's frivolous, lighthearted companionship, she sometimes wondered whether he could ever be serious.
prankish; gay The frolicsome puppy tried to lick the face of its master.
fern leaf; palm or banana leaf After the storm the beach was littered with the fronds of palm trees.
bear fruit This peach tree should fructify in three years.
thrift; economy In these economically difficult days businesses must practice frugality or risk bankruptcy.
bearing of fruit; fulfillment; realization This building marks the fruition of all our aspirations and years of hard work.
fleeting or transitory; roving The film brought a few fugitive images to her mind, but on the whole it made no lasting impression upon her.
support on which a lever rests If we use this stone as a fulcrum and the crowbar as a lever, we may be able to move this boulder.
thunder; explode The people against whom she fulminated were innocent of any wrongdoing.
disgustingly excessive His fulsome praise of the dictator annoyed his listeners.
official As his case was transferred from one functionary to another, he began to despair of ever reaching a settlement.
basic; primary; essential The committee discussed all sorts of side issues without ever getting down to addressing the fundamental problem.
sad; solemn I fail to understand why there is such a funereal atmosphere; we have lost a battle, not a war.
frenzy; great excitement The story of her embezzlement of the funds created a furor on the stock exchange.
stealthy; sneaky The boy gave a furtive look at his classmate's test paper.
simultaneous firing or outburs (of missiles, questions, etc.) Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture concludes with a thunderous fusilade of cannon fire.
union; coalition The opponents of the political party in power organized a fusion of disgruntled groups and became an important element in the election.
ineffective; fruitless Why waste your time on futile pursuits?
animal-biting fly; an irritating person Like a gadfly, he irritated all the guests at the hotel; within forty eight hours, everyone regarded him as an annoying busybody.
social blunder According to Miss Manners, to call your husband by your lover's name is worse than a mere gaffe; it is a tactical mistake.
deny She was too honest to gainsay the truth of the report.
manner of walking or running; speed The lame man walked with an uneven gait.
the Milky Way; any collection of brilliant personalities The deaths of such famous actors as Clark Gable, Gary Cooper, Spencer Tracy, and Marlene Dietrich demonstrate that the galaxy of Hollywood superstars is rapidly disppearing.
large sailing ship The Spaniards pinned their hopes on the galleon, the large warship; the British, on the smaller and faster pinnace.
annoy; chafe Their taunts galled him.
bitterness; nerve The knowledge of his failure filled him with gall.
stimulate by shock; stir up The entire nation was galvanized into strong military activity by the news of the attack on Pearl Harbor.
opening in chess in which a piece is sacrificed The player was afraid to accept his opponent's gambit because he feared a trap which as yet he could not see.
skip; leap playfully Watching children gamboling in the park is a pleasant experience
in a spirited manner; with courage Because he had fought gamely against a much superior boxer, the crowd gave him a standing ovation when he left the arena.
entire range In this performance, the leading lady was able to demonstrate the complete gamut of her acting ability.
open widely The huge pit gaped before him; if he stumbled, he would fall in.
mixed up; jumbled; distorted A favorite party game involves passing a whispered message from one person to another; by the time it reaches the last player, the message has become totally garbled.
huge; enormous The gargantuan wrestler was terrified of mice.
waterspout carved in groteque figures on a building The gargoyles adorning the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris are amusing in their grotesqueness.
gaudy She wore a garish rhinestone necklace.
gather; store up She hoped to garner the world's literature in one library.
decorate Parsley was used to garnish the boiled potato.
talkativeness The man who married a dumb wife asked the doctor to make him deaf because of his wife's garrulity after her cure.
excessively talkative, especially about unimportant subjects; loquacious; wordy Many club members avoided the company of the garrulous junior executive because his contant chatter bored them to tears.
science of preparing and serving good food One of the by-products of his trip to Europe was his interest in gastronomy; he enjoyed preparing and serving foreign dishes to his friends.
clumsy; boorish Such remarks are gauche and out of place; you should apologize for making them.
flashy; showy Her gaudy taste in clothes apalled us.
lean and angular; barren His once-round face looked surprisingly gaunt after he had lost weight.
stare foolishly; look in open-mouthed awe The country boy gawked at the skyscrapers and neon lights of the big city.
official publication He read the gazettes regularly for announcement of his promotion.
record of descent; lineage He was proud of his genealogy and constantly referred to the achievements of his ancestors.
vague statement This report is filled with generalities; you must be more specific in you statements.
characteristic of an entire class or species Sue knew so many computer programmers who spent their spare time playing fantasy games that she began to think that playing Dungeon & Dragons was a generic trait.
beginning; origin Tracing the genesis of a family is the theme of "Roots."
cheerfulness; kindliness; sympathy This restaurant is famous and popular because of the geniality of the proprietor, who tries to make everyone happy.
particular variety of art or literature Both a short story writer and a poet, Langston Hughes proved himself equally skilled in either genre.
well-bred; elegant We are looking for a man with a genteel apperance who can inspire confidence by his cultivated manner.
those of gentle birth; refinement Her family was proud of its gentility and elegance.
people of standing; class of people just below nobility The local gentry did not welcome the visits of the summer tourists and tried to ignore their presence in the community.
bend the knee as in worship A proud denocrat, he refused to genuflect to any man.
pertinent; bearing upon the case at hand The lawyer objected that the testimony being offered was not germane to the case at hand.
pertaining to a germ; creative Such an idea is germinal; I am certain that it will influence thinkers and philosophers for many generations.
cause to sprout; sprout After the seeds germinate and develop their permanent leaves, the plants may be removed from the cold frames and transplanted to the garden.
government ruled by old people Gulliver visited a gerontocracy in which the young people acted as servants to their elders, all the while dreaming of the day they would be old enough to have servants of their own.
change in voting district lines in order to favor a political party The illogical pattern of the map of this congressional district is proof that the state legislature gerrymandered this area in order to favor the majority party.
evolve, as in prenatal growth While this scheme was being gestated by the conspirators, they maintained complete silence about their intentions.
motion; gesture Operatic performers are trained to make exaggerated gesticulations because of the large auditoriums in whic they appear.
horrible The murdered man was a ghastly sight.
nonsense; babbling Did you hear that foolish boy spouting gibberish about monsters from outer space?
mock As you gibe at their superstitious beliefs, do you realize that you, too, are guilty of similarly foolish thoughts?
light-hearted; dizzy He felt his giddy youth was past.
very carefully To separate egg whites, first crack the egg gingerly.
distance around something; circunference It took an extra-large cummerbund to fit around Andrew Carnegie's considerable girth.
essence she was asked to give the gist of the essay in two sentence.
like a glacier; extremely cold Never a warm person, when offended hugo could seem positively glacial.
highly conspicuous; harshly bright glaring spelling or grammatical errors in your resume will unfavorably impress potential employers.
cover with a thin and shiny surface The freezing rain glazed the streets and made driving hazardous.
gather leavings After the crops had been harvested by the machines, the peasants were permitted to glean the wheat left in the fields.
fluent He is a glib and articulate speaker.
shine erratically; twinkle In the darkness of the cavern, the glowworms hanging from the cavern roof glimmered like distant stars.
express evil satisfaction; view malevolently As you gloat over your ill-gotten wealth, do you think of the many victims you have defrauded?
brief explanation of words used in the text I have found the glossary in this book very useful; it has eliminated many trips to the dictionary.
smooth and shining I want this photograph printed on glossy paper, not matte.
over explain away No matter how hard he tried to talk around the issue, President Bush could not gloss over the fact that he had raised the taxes after all.
scowl The angry boy glowered at his father.
sticky; viscous Molasses is a glutinous substance.
someone who eats too much When Mother saw that Bobby had eaten all the cookies, she called him a little glutton.
overstock; fill to excess The many manufacturers glutted the market and could not find purchasers for the many articles they had produced.
twisted The gnarled oak tree had been a landmark for years and was mentioned in several deeds.
dwarf; underground spirit In medieval mythology, gnomes were the special guardians and inhabitants of subterranean mines.
urge on He was goaded by his friends until he yielded to their wishes.
narrow canyon; steep, rocky cleft Terrified of heights, George could not bring himself to peer down into the gorge to see the rapids below.
stuff oneself The gluttonous guest gorged himself with food as though he had not eaten for days.
bloody The audience shuddered as they listened to the details of the gory massacre.
sheer; like cobwebs Nylon can be woven into gossaner or thick fabrics.
tear out In that fight, all the rules were forgotten; the adversaries bit, kicked, and tried to gouge each other's eyes out.
epicure; person who takes excessive pleasure in food and drink goumands lack self-restraint; if they enjoy a particular cuisine, they eat far too much of it.
connoisseur of food and drink The gourmet stated that this was the best onion soup she had ever tasted.
arraged by degree (of height, difficulty, etc.) Margaret loved her graduated set of Russian hollow wooden dolls; she spent hours happily putting the smaller dolls into their larger counterparts.
storehouse for grain We have reason to be thankful, for our crops were good and our granaries are full.
impressiveness; stateliness; majesty No matter how often he hiked through the mountains, David never failed to be struck by the grandeur of the Sierra Nevada range.
pompous; bombastic; using high-sounding language The politician could bever speak simply; she was always grandiloquent.
imposing; impressive His grandiose manner impressed those who met him for the first time.
form into grains Sugar that has been granulated dissolves more readily than lump sugar.
pertaining to the art of delineating; vividly described I was particularly impressed by the graphic presentation of the storm.
wrestle; come to grips with He grappled with the burglar and overpowered him.
make a harsh noise; have an unpleasant effect; shred The screams of the quarreling children grated on her nerves.
please Her parents were gratified by her success.
free The company offered to give one package gratis to every purchaser of one of their products.
given freely; unwarranted; uncalled for Quit making gratuitous comments about my driving; no one asked you for your opinion.
tip Many service employees rely more on gratuities than on salaries for their livelihood.
seriousness We could tell we were in serious trouble from the gravity of her expression.
sociable Typically, party-throwers are gregarious; hermits are not.
cause of complaint When her supervisor ignored her complaint, she took her grievance to the union.
question severely In violation of the Miranda law, the police grilled the suspect for several hours before reading him his rights.
a facial distortion to show feeling such as pain, disgust, etc. Even though he remained silent, his grimace indicated his displeasure.
ghastly She shuddered at the grisly sight.
fantastic; comically hideous On Halloween people enjoy wearing groteque costumes.
small cavern The Blue Grotto in Capri can be entered only by small boats rowed by natives through a natural opening in the rocks.
complain; fuss Students traditionally grouse about the abysmal quality of "mystery meat" and similar dornitory food.
crawl or creep on ground; remain prostrate Even though we have been defeated, we do not have to grovel before our conquerors.
unwilling; reluctant; stingy We received only grudging support from the mayor despite his earlier promises of aid.
exhausting The marathon is a grueling race.
thin, liquid porridge Our daily allotment of gruel made the meal not only monotonous but also unpalatable.
grisly People screamed when her gruesome appearance was flashed on the screen.
rough-mannered Although he was blunt and gruff with most people, he was always gentle with children.
boisterous laughter The loud guffaws that came from the closed room indicated that the members of the committe had not yet settled down to a serious business.
without deceit He is naive, simple, and guileless; he cannot be guilty of fraud.
deceit; duplicity She achieved her high position by guile and treachery.
appearance; costume In the guise of a plumber, the detective investigated the murder case.
easily deceived He preyed upon gullible people, who believed his stories of easy wealth.
affecting the sense of taste The Thai restaurant offered an unusual gustatory experience for those used in a bland cuisine.
enjoyment; enthusiasm He accepted the assignment with such gusto that I feel he would have been satisfied with a smaller salary.
windy The gusty weather made sailing precarious.
apparatus used to maintain balance, ascertain direction, etc. By using a rotating gyroscope, they were able to stabilize the vessel, counteracting the rolling movements of the sea. 114. - apparatus used to maintain balance, ascertain direction, etc.
hairs on back and neck, especially of a dog The dog's hackles rose and he began to growl as the sound of footsteps grew louder.
commonplace; trite The English teacher criticized her story because of its hackneyed and unoriginal plot.
wasted away; gaunt After his long illness, he was pale and haggard.
argue about prices I prefer to shop in a store that has a one-price policy because, whenever I haggle with a shopkeeper, I am never certain that I paid a fair price for the articles I purchased.
calm; peaceful In those halcyon days, people were not worried about sneak attacks and bombings.
healthy After a brief illness, he was soon hale.
blessed; consecrated She was laid to rest in hallowed ground.
delusion I think you were frightened by a hallucination that you created in you own mind.
hesitant; faltering Novice extemporaneous speakers often talk in a halting fashion as they grope for the right words.
obstruct The minority party agreed not to hamper the efforts of the leaders to secure a lasting peace.
random; by chance His haphazard reading left him unaquainted with the authors of the books.
unfortunate This hapless creature had never known a moment's pleasure.
chance; luck In his poem hap, Thomas Hardy objects to the part chance plays in our lives.
long, passionate, and vehement speech In her lengthy harangue, the principal berated the offenders.
annoy by repeated attacks When he could not pay his bills as quickly as he had promised, he was harrassed by his creditors.
forerunner The crocus is an early harbinger of spring.
provide a refuge for; hide The church harbored illegal aliens who were political refugees.
sturdy; robust; able to stand inclement weather We asked the gardening expert to recommend particularly hardy plants that could withstand our harsh New England winters.
tiresome dwelling on a subject After he had reminded me several times about what he had done for me I told him to stop his harping on my indebtedness to him.
break up ground after plowing; torture I don't want to harrow you at this time by asking you to recall the details of your unpleasant experience.
harass, annoy, torment; raid The guerrilla band harried the enemy nightly.
deck opening; lid covering a deck opening The latch on the hatch failed to catch, so the hatch remained unlatched.
pride; arrogance I resent his haughtiness because he is no better than we are.
dangerous Your occupation is too hazardous for insurance companies to consider your application.
slightly obscure In hazy weather, you cannot see the top of this mountain.
hasty; rash The slave seized the unexpected chance to make a headlong dash across the border to freedom.
stubborn; willful; unyielding Because she refused to marry the man her parents had chosen for her, everyone scolded Minna and called her a foolish, headstrong girl.
person who verbally harasses others The heckler kept interrupting the speaker with rude remarks.
belief that pleasure is the sole aim in life hedonism and asceticism are opposing philosophies of human behavior.
not noticing; disregarding He drove on, heedless of the warnings that the road was dangerous.
dominance, especially of one nation over others As one Eastern European nation after another declared its independence, commentators marveled at the sudden breakdown of the once monolithic Soviet hegemony.
atrocious; hatefully bad Hitler's heinous crimes will never be forgotten.
grain-eating Some herbivorous animals have two stomachs for digesting their food.
opinion contrary to popular belief or to accepted religion He was threatened with excommunication because his remarks were considered to be pure heresy.
person who maintains opinions contrary to the doctrines of the church She was punished by the Spanish Inquisition because she was a heretic.
obscure and mysterious; occult It is strange to consider that modern chemistry originated in the hermetic teachings of the ancient alchemists.
sealed by fusion so as to be airtight After these bandages are sterilized, they are placed in hermetic containers.
home of a hermit Even in his remote hermitage he could not escape completely from the world.
one who studies reptiles As a boy, Indiana Jones had a traumatic experience involving snakes; sensibly enough, he studies to be archaeologist, not a herpetologist.
unorthodox; unconventional To those who upheld the belief that the earth did not move, Galileo's theory that the earth circled the sun was disturbingly heterodox.
dissimilar In a heterogeneous group, we have an unassorted assemblage, while in a homogeneous group we have people or things that have common traits.
cut to pieces with ax or sword The cavalry rushed into melee and hewed the enemy with their swords.
time of greatest success; prime In their heyday, the San Francisco Forty-Niners won the Super Bowl two years running.
gap; pause Except for a brief two-year hiatus, during which she enrolled in the Peace Corps, Ms. Clements has devoted herself to her medical career.
wintry Bears prepare for their long hibernal sleep by overeating.
sleep throughout the winter Bears are one of the many species of animals that hibernate.
body divided into ranks It was difficult to step out of one's place in this hierarchy.
picture writing The discovery of the Rosetta Stone enabled scholars to read the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics.
boisterous mirth The hilarity is improper on this solemn day of mourning.
furthest behind The coward could always be found in the hindmost lines whenever a battle was being waged.
block; obstacle Stalled cars along the highway are a hindrance to traffic that tow trucks should remove without delay.
back country They seldom had visitors, living as they did way out in the hinderlands.
one who serves for hire (usually used contemptuously) In a matter of such importance, I do not wish to deal with hirelings; I must meet with the chief.
hairy He was a hitsute individual with a heavy black beard.
theatrical He was proud of his histrionic ability and wanted to paly the role of Hamlet.
stockpile; accumulate for future use Whenever there are rumors of a food shortage, people are tempted to hoard food.
white with age The man was hoary and wrinkled when he was 70.
trick; practical joke Embarrassed by the hoax, he reddened and left the room.
destruction by fire Citizens of San Francisco remember that the destruction of the city was caused not by the earthquake but by the holocaust that followed.
pistol case Even when he was not in uniform, he carried a holster and pistol under his arm.
honor; tribute In her speech she tried to pay homage to a great man.
tendency of a system to maintain relative stability A breakdown of the body's immune system severely undermines the body's ability to maintain homeostasis.
domestic; made at home homespun wit, like homespun cloth, was often coarse and plain.
sermon; serious warning His speeches were always homilies, advising his listeners to repent and reform.
of the same kind Many educators try to put pupils of similar abilities in the same class because they believe that his homogeneous grouping is advisable.
sharpen To make shaving easier, he honed his razor with great care.
deceive; delude Having been hoodwinked once by the fast-talking salesman, he was extremely cautious when he went to purchase a used car.
crowd Just before Christmas the stores are filled with hordes of shoppers.
encouraging; exhortive The crowd listened to his hortatory statements with ever-growing excitement; finally they rushed from the hall to carry to his suggestions.
pertaining to cultivation of gardens When he bought his house, he beganto look for flowers and decorative shrubs, and began to read books dealing with horticultural matters.
shack; small, wretched house He wondered how poor people could stand living in such a hovel.
hang about; wait nearby The police helicopter hovered above the accident.
confused uproar The marketplace was a scene of hubbub and excitement.
arrogance; excessive self-conceit Filled with hubris, Lear refused to heed his friends' warnings.
color; aspect The aviary contained birds of every possible hue.
outcry When her purse was snatched, she raised such a hue and cry that the thief was captured.
kind His humane and considerate treatment of the unfortunate endeared him to all.
dull; monotonous After years of adventure, he could not settle down to a humdrum existence.
damp She could not stand the humid climate and moved to a drier area.
humbleness of spirit He spoke with a humility and lack of pride that impressed his listeners.
small hill The ascent of the hummock is not difficult and the view from the hilltop is ample reward tor the effort.
substance formed by decaying vegetable matter In order to improve his garden, he spread humus over his lawn and flower beds.
crash; rush The runaway train hurtled toward disaster.
frugality; thrift; agriculture He accumulated his small fortune by diligence and husbandry.
mongrel; mixed breed Mendel's formula explains the appearance of hybrids and pure species in breeding.
fear of water; rabies A dog that bites a human being must be observed for symptoms of hydrophobia.
exaggeration; overstatement This salesman is guilty of hyperbole in describing his product; it is wise to discount his claims.
excessively exacting You are hypercritical in your demands for perfection; we all make mistakes.
person unduly worried about his health; worrier without cause about illness The doctor prescribed chocolate pills for his patient who was a hypocondriac.
pretending to be virtuous; deceiving I resent his hypocritical posing as a friend for I know he is interested only in his own advancement.
based on assumptions or hypotheses Why do we have to consider hypothetical cases when we have actual case histories that we may examine?
study of fish Jacques Cousteau's rpograms about sea life have advanced the cause of ichthyology.
attacking cherished traditions George Bernard Shaw's iconoclastic plays often startled more conventional people.
religious image; idol The icons on the walls of the church were painted in the 13th century.
ideas of a group of people That ideology is dangerous to this country because it embraces undemocratic philosophies.
spcial usage in language I could not understand their idioms because literal translation made no sense.
peculiarity; eccentricity One of his personal idiosyncrasies was his habit of rinsing all cutlery given him in a restaurant.
private; peculiar to an individual Such behavior is idiosyncratic, it is as easily identifiable as a signature.
worship of idols; excessive admiration Such idolatry of singers of country music is typical of the excessive enthusiasm of youth.
charmingly carefree; simple Far from the city, she led an idyllic existence in her rural retreat.
produced by fire; volcanic Lava, pumice, and other igneous rocks are found in great abundance around Mount Vesuvius near Naples.
kindle; light When Desi crooned, "Baby, light my fire," literal-minded Lucy looked around for some paper to ignite.
of lowly origin; unworthy This plan is inspired by ignoble motives and I must, therefore, oppose it.
disgraceful The country smarted under the ignominious defeat and dreamed of the day when it would be victorious.
illegal The defense attorney claimed that the police had entrapped his client; that is, they had elicited the illicit action of which they now accuse of him.
infinite Human beings, having explored the far corners of the earth, are now reaching out into illimitable space.
brighten; clear up or make understandable; enlighten Just as a lamp can illuminate a dark room, a perceptive comment can illuminate a knotty problem.
misleading vision It is easy to create an optical illusion in which lines of equal length appear different.
deceiving This is only a mirage; let us not be fooled by its illusive effect.
deceptive; not real Unfortunately, the costs of running the lemonade stand were so high that Tom's profits proved illusory.
lack of balance or symmetry; disproportion Because of the great imbalance between the number of men and women invited, the dance was unsuccessful.
weakness of mind I am amazed at the imbecility of the readers of these trashy magazines.
drink in The dry soil imbibed the rain quickly.
complicated situation; perplexity; entanglement He was called in to settle the imbroglio but failed to bring harmony into the situation.
saturate, fill His visits to the famous Gothic cathedrals imbued him with feelings of awe and reverence.
pure; spotless The West Point cadets were immaculate as they lined up for inspection.
near at hand; impending Rosa was such a last-minute worker that she could never start writing a paper till the deadline was imminent.
state of being immovable Modern armies cannot afford the luxury of immobility, as they are vulnerable to attack while standing still.
offer as a sacrifice The tribal kind offered to immolate his daughter to quiet the angry gods.
imprison; shut up in confinement For the two weeks before the examination, the student immureed himself in his room and concentrated upon his studies.
unchangeable Scientists are constantly seeking to discover the immutable laws of nature.
worsen; diminish in value This arrest will impair her reputation in the community.
pierce He was impaled by the spear hurled by his adversary.
imperceptible; intangible The ash is so fine that it is impalpable to the touch but it can be seen as a fine layer covering the window ledge.
predicament from which there is no escape In this impasse, all turned to prayer as their last hope.
without feeling; not affected by pain The Native American has been incorrectly depicted as an impassive individual, undemonstrative and stoical.
charge with crime in office; indict The angry congressman wanted to impeach the President for his misdeeds.
faultless He was proud of his impeccable manners.
without money Now that he was wealthy, he gladly contributed to funds to assist impecunious and disbled persons.
hinder; block The special prosecutor determined that the Attorney General, though inept, had not intentionally set out to impede the progress of the investigation.
hindrance; stumbling-block She had a speech impediment that prevented her from speaking clearly.
nearing; approaching The entire country was saddened by the news of his impending death.
not able to be pierced or entered How could the murderer have gotten into the locked room? To Watson, the mystery, like the room, was impenetrable.
not repentant We could see by his brazen attitude that he was impenitent.
like an emperor; related to an empire When hotel owner Leona Helmsley appeared in ads as Queen Leona standing guard over the Palace Hotel, her critics mocked her imperial fancies.
lordliness; domineering manner; arrogance His imperiousness indicated that he had long been accustomed to assuming command.
impervious; not permitting passage through its substance This new material is impermeable to liquids.
insolent I regard your remarks as impertinent and I resent them.
calm; placid Wellington remained imperturbable and in full command of the situation in spite of the hyteria and panic all around him.
not penetrable; not permitting passage through You cannot change their habits for their minds are impervious to reasoning.
violent; hasty; rash We tried to curb his impetuous behavior because we felt that in his haste he might offend some people.
moving force; incentive; stimulus A new federal highway program would create jobs and five added impetus to our economic recovery.
irreverence; wickedness We must regard your blasphemy as an act of impiety.
infringe; touch; collide with How could they be married without impinging on one another's freedom?
irreverent The congregation was offended by her impious remarks.
incapable of being pacified Madame Defarge was the implacable enemy of the Evremonde family.
unlikely; unbelievable Though her alibi seened implausible, it in fact turned out to be true.
put into effect; supply with tools The mayor was unwilling to implement the plan until she was sure it had the governor's backing.
that which is hinted at or suggested If I understand the implications of your remark, you do not trust our captain.
understood but not stated Jack never told Jill he adored her; he believed his love was implicit in his deeds.
beg He implored her to give him a second chance.
suggest a meaning not expressed Even though your statement does not declare that you are at war with that country, your actions imply that that is the actual situation.
not wise I think it is impolitic to raise this issue at the present time because the public is too angry.
weightless I can evaluate the data gathered in this study; the imponderable items are not so easily analyzed.
urging; demanding He tried to hide from his importunate creditors until his allowance arrived.
beg persistently Democratic and Republican phone solicitors importuned her for contributions so frequently that she decided to give nothing to either party.
significance I feel that you have not grasped the full import of the message sent tous by the enemy.
assuming a false identity; masquerade She was imprisoned for her imposture of a doctor.
weak; ineffective Although he wished to break the nicotine habit, he found himself impotent in resisisting the craving for a cigarette.
curse Roused from the bed at what he considered an ungodly hour, Roy muttered imprecations under his breath.
invulnerable Until the development of the airplane as a military weapon, the fort was considered impregnable.
without previous preparation Her listeners were amazed that such a thorough presentation could be made in an impromptu speech.
state of being inappropriate Because of the impropriety of his costume, he was denied entrance into the dining room.
thriftless He was constantly being warned to mend his improvident ways and begin to "save for a rainy day."
compose on the spur of the moment She would sit at the piano and improvise for hours on themes from Bach and Handel.
lacking caution; injudicious It is imprudent to exercise vigorously and become overheated when you are unwell.
doubt; challenge; gainsay I cannot impugn your honesty without evidence.
powerlessness; feebleness The lame duck President was frustrated by his shift from enormous power to relative impuissance.
freedom from punishment The bully mistreated everyone in the class with impunity for he felt that no one would dare retaliate.
attribute; ascribe If I wished to impute blame to the officers in charge of this program, I would state my feelings definitely and immediately.
carelessly; unintentionally; by oversight She inadvertently omitted two questions on the examination and mismarked her answer sheet.
not to be taken away; nontransferable The Declaration of Independence mentions the inalienable rights that all of us possess.
silly; senseless Such comments are inane because they do not help us solve our program.
lifeless she was asked to identify the still and inanimate body.
speechless; producing indistinct speech He became inarticulate with rage and uttered sounds without meaning.
begin formally; install in office The candidate promised that he would inaugurate a new nationwide health care plan as soon as he was inaugurated as president.
stikingly bright; shining with intense heat If you leave on an incandescent light bulb, it quickly grows too hot to touch.
singing or chanting of magical formula Uttering incantations to make the brew more potent, the witch doctor stirred the liquid in the caldron.
disable During the winter, many people were incapacitated by respiratory ailments.
imprison The warden will incarcerate the felon after conviction.
endowed with flesh; personified Your attitude is so fiendish that you must be a devil incarnate.
act of assuming a human body and human nature The incarnation of Jesus Christ is a basic tenet of Christian theology.
arsonist The fire spread in such an unusual manner that the fire department chiefs were certain that it had been set by an incendiary.
enrage; infuriate Unkindness to children incensed her.
spur; motive Students who dislike school must be given an incentive to learn.
start; beginning She was involved with the project from its inception.
uninterrupted The crickets kept up an incessant chirping that disturbed our attempts to fall asleep.
recently begun; rudimentary; elementary Before the Creation, the world was an inchoate mass.
rate of occurrence; particular occurrence Health professionals expressed great concern over the high incidence of infant mortality in major urban areas.
not essential; minor The scholarship covered his major expenses at college and some of his incidental expenses as well.
beginning; in an early stage I will go to sleep early for I want to break an incipient cold.
cutting; sharp His incisive remarks made us see the fallacy in our plans.
arouse to action The demogogue incited the mob to take action into its own hands.
stormy; unkind I like to read a good book in inclement weather.
tending or leaning toward; bent Though I am inclined to be skeptical, the witness's manner inclines me to believe his story.
slope; slant The architect recommended that the nursing home's ramp be rebuilt because its incline was too steep for wheelchairs.
tending to include all The comedian turned down the invitation to join the Player's Club, saying any club that would let him in was too inclusive for him.
with identity concealed; using an assumed name The monarch enjoyed traveling throughthe town incognito and mingling with the populace.
unintelligible; muddled; illogical The bereaved father sobbed and stammered, his words becoming almost incoherent in his grief.
not spacious; inconvenient In their incommodious quarters, they had to improvise for closet space.
inharmonious The married couple argued incessantly and finally decided to separate because they were incompatible.
lack of harmony; absurdity The incongruity of his wearing sneakers with formal attire amused the observers.
insignificant; unimportant Brushing off Ali's apologies for having broken the wine glass, Tamara said, "Don't worry about it; it's inconsequential."
state of being self-contradictory; lack of uniformity or steadiness How are lawyers different from agricultural inspectors? Where lawyers check inconsistencies in witnesses' statements, agricultural inspectors check inconsistencies in Grade A eggs.
lacking self-restraint His incontinent behavior off stage shocked many people and they refused to attend the plays and movies in which he appeared.
indisputable We must yield to the incontrovertible evidence that you have presented and free your client.
introduce something into a larger whole; combine; unite Breaking with precedent, President Truman ordered the military to incorporate blacks into every branch of the armed services.
immaterial; without a material body We must devote time to the needs of our incorporeal mind as well as our corporeal body.
uncorrectable Though Widow Douglass hoped to reform Huck, Miss Watson pronounced him incorrigible and said he would come to no good end.
a tendency to disbelief Your incredulity in the face of all the evidence is hard to understand.
withholding belief; skeptical When Jack claimed he hadn't eaten the jelly doughnut, Jill took an incredulous look at his smeared face and laughed.
increase The new contract calls for a 10 percent increment in salary for each employee for the next two years.
accuse; serve as evidence against The witness's testimony against the racketeers incriminates some high public officials as well.
hatch; scheme Inasmuch as our supply of electricity is cut off, we shall have to rely on the hens to incubate these eggs.
burden; mental care; nightmare The incubus of financial worry helped bring on her nervous breakdown.
officeholder The newly elected public official received valuable advice from the present incumbent.
temporary invasion The nightly incursions and hit-and-run raids of our neighbors across the border tried the patience of the country to the point where we decided to retaliate in force.
bring upon oneself His parents refused to pay any future debts he might incur.
tireless He was indefatigable in his constant efforts to raise funds for the Red Cross.
make secure against loss; compensate for loss The city will indemnify all home owners whose property is spoiled by this project.
bind as servant or apprentice to master Many immigrants could come to America only after they had indentured themselves for several years.
uncertain; not clearly fixed; indefinite That interest rates shall rise appears certain; when they will do so, however, remains indeterminate.
suggestive; implying A lack of appetite may be indicative of a major mental or physical disorder.
charge If the grand jury indicts the suspect, he will go to trial.
unmoved; lacking concern Because she felt no desire to marry, she was indifferent to his constant proposals.
poverty Neither the economists nor the political scientists have found a way to wipe out the inequities of wealth and eliminate indigence from our society.
native Tobacco is one of the indigenous plants that the early explorers found in this country.
anger ar an injustice He felt indignation at the ill-treatment of the helpless animals.
offensive or insulting treatment Although he seemed to accept cheerfully the indignities heaped upon him, he was inwardly very angry.
choosing at random; confused She disapproved of her son's indiscriminate television viewing and decided to restrict him to educational programs.
too certain to be disputed In the face of these indisputable statements, I withdraw my complaint.
permanent The indissoluble bonds of marriage are all too often being dissolved.
write; compose Cyrano indited many letters for Christian.
laziness He outgrew his youthful indolence to become a model of industry and alertness on the job.
unconquerable The founders of our country had indomitable willpower.
beyond a doubt Because her argument was indubitably valid, the judge accepted it.
persuade; bring about After the quarrel, Tina said nothing could induce her to talk to Tony again.
pertaining to induction or preceeding from the specific to the general The discovery of the planet Pluto is an excellent example of the results that can be obtained from inductive reasoning.
humoring; yielding; lenient indulgent parents spoil their children by giving in to their every whim.
habitual intoxication Because of his inebriety, he was discharged from his position as family chauffeur.
unutterable; cannot be expressed in speech Such ineffable joy must be experienced; it cannot be described.
not effective; weak Because the candidate failed to get across his message to the public, his campaign was ineffectual.
irresistable; not to be escaped He felt that his fate was ineluctible and refused to make any attempt to improve his lot.
lacking skill; inadequate; inappropriate inept as a carpenter, Ira was all thumbs.
unfairness In demanding equal pay for equal work, women protest the basic inequity of a system that allots greater financial rewards to men.
infallibility Jane refused to believe in the pope's inerrancy, reasoning: "All human beings are capable of error. The pope is a human being. Therefore, he pope is capable of error.
state of being inert or indisposed to move Our inertia in this matter may prove disastrous; we must move to aid our allies immediately.
unavoidable Death and taxes are both inevitable.
relentless; unyielding; implacable After listening to the pleas for clemency, the judge was inexorable and gave the convicted man the maximum punishment allowed by law.
unerring We must remember that none of us is infallible; we all make mistakes.
notoriously bad Jesse James was an infamous outlaw.
childish; infantlike When will he outgrow such infantile behavior?
pertaining to hell; devilish They could think of no way to hinder his infernal scheme.
deduce; conclude We must be particularly cautious when we infer that a person is guilty on the basis of circumstantial evidence.
unbeliever The Saracens made war against tne infidels.
pass into or through; penetrate (an organization) sneakily In order to infiltrate enemy lines at night without being seen, the scouts darkened their faces and wore black coveralls.
very small In the twentieth century, physicists have made their greatest discoveries about the characteristics of infinitesimal objects like the atom and its parts.
weakness Her greatest infirmity was lack of willpower.
exaggerated; pompous; enlarged (with air or gas) His claims about the new product were inflated; it did not work as well as he had promised.
flowing into The influx of refugees into the country has taxed the relief agencies severely.
violation Because of his many infractions of school regulations, he was suspended by the dean.
violate; encroach I think your machine infringes on my patent and intend to sue.
clever He came up with a use for Styrofoam packing balls that was so ingenious that his business school professors declared it was marketable.
naive; young and unsophisticated Although she was over forty, the movie star still insisted that she be cast as an ingenuous sweet young thing.
deeply established; firmly rooted Try as they would, the missionaries were unable to uproot the ingrained superstitions of the natives.
ungrateful person That ingrate Bob sneered at the tie I gave him.
become popular with He tried to ingratiate himself into her parents' good graces.
firmly established by nature or habit His inherent love of justice compelled him to come to their aid.
prohibit; restrain The child was not inhibited in her responses.
unfriendly; hostile She felt that they were inimical and were hoping for her downfall.
matchless; not able to be imitated We admire Auden for his inimitable use of language; he is one of a kind.
unjust; wicked I cannot approve of the iniquitous methods you used to gain your present position.
begin; originate; receive into a group The college is about to initiate a program for reducing math anxiety among students.
harmful Smoking cigarettes can be injurious to your health.
hint This came as a complete surprise to me as I did not have the slightest inkling of your plans.
inborn His innate talent for music was soon recognized by his parents.
harmless Let him drink it; it is innocuous and will have no ill effect.
change; introduction of something new She loved innovatins just because they were new.
hint; insinuation I can defend myself against direct accusations; innuendos and oblique attacks on my character are what trouble me.
untimely; poorly chosen A rock concert is an inopportune setting for a quiet conversation.