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160 terms

Sophomore Vocab

Sadlier-Oxford Level H Units 1-8
STUDY
PLAY
aberration
(n.) a departure from what is proper, right, expected, or normal; a lapse from a sound mental state
ad hoc
(adj.) for this specific purpose; improvised; with respect to this
bane
(n.) the source or cause of fatal injury, death, destruction, or ruin; death or ruin itself; poison
bathos
(n.) the intrusion of commonplace or trite material into a context whose tone is lofty or elevated; grossly insincere or exaggerated sentimentality; the lowest phase, nadir; an anticlimax, comedown
cantankerous
(adj.) ill-tempered, quarrelsome; difficult to get along or deal with
casuistry
(n.) the determination of right and wrong in questions of conduct or conscience by the application of general ethical principles; specious argument
de facto
(adj.) actually existing or in effect, although not legally required or sanctioned; (adv.) in reality, actually
depredation
(n.) the act of preying upon or plundering
empathy
(n.) a sympathetic understanding of or identification with the feelings, thoughts, or attitudes of someone or something else
harbinger
(n.) a forerunner, herald; (v.) to herald the approach of
hedonism
(n) the belief that the attainment of pleasure is life's chief aim; devotion to or pursuit of pleasure
lackluster
(adj.) lacking brilliance or vitality; dull
malcontent
(adj.) discontented with or in open defiance of prevailing conditions; (n.) such a person
mellifluous
(adj.) flowing sweetly or smoothly; honeyed
nepotism
(n.) undue favoritism to or excessive patronage of one's relatives
pander
(v.) to cater to or provide satisfaction for the low tastes or vices of others; (n.) a person who does this
peccadillo
(n.) a minor sin or offense; a trifling fault or shortcoming
pièce de résistance
(n) the principal dish of a meal; the principal event, incident, or item; an outstanding accomplishment
remand
(v.) to send or order back; in law, to send back to jail or to a lower court
syndrome
(n.) a group of symptoms or signs that collectively characterize or indicate a disease, disorder, abnormality, etc.
abeyance
(n.) A state of suspension or temporary inaction, or set aside.
ambivalent
(adj.) having opposite and conflicting feelings about someone or something.
beleaguer
(v.) to set upon from all sides; to surround with an army; to trouble, harass.
carte blanche
(n.) full freedom or authority to act at one's own discretion.
cataclysm
(n.) a sudden, violent, or devastating upheaval; a surging flood, deluge.
debauch
(v.) to corrupt morally, seduce; to indulge in dissipation; (n.) an act or occasion of dissipation or vice
éclat
(n.) dazzling or conspicuous success or acclaim; great brilliance (of performance or achievement)
fastidious
(adj.) overly demanding or hard to please; excessively careful in regard to details; easily disgusted.
gambol
(v.) to jump or skip about playfully
imbue
(v.) to soak or stain throughly; to fill the mind
inchoate
(adj.)just beginning; not fully shaped or formed
lampoon
(n.) , a malicious satire; (v.) to satirize, ridicule
malleable
(adj.) capable of being formed into different shapes; capable of being altered, adapted, or influenced
nemesis
(n.) an agent or force inflicting vengeance or punishment; retribution itself; an unbeatable rival
opt
(v.) to make a choice or decision
philistine
(adj.) lacking in, hostile to, or smugly indifferent to cultural and artistic values or refinements; such a person
picaresque
(adj.) involving or characteristic of clever rogues or adventurers
queasy
(adj.) nauseated or uneasy; causing nausea or uneasiness; troubled
refractory
(adj.) stubborn; hard or difficult to manage; not responsive to treatment or cure
savoir-faire
(n.) the ability to say and do the right thing in any situation; social competence
abortive
(adj) failing to accomplish an intended aim or purpose; only partially or imperfectly developed
bruit
(v) to spread news, reports, or unsubstantiated rumors
contumelious
(adj) insolent or rude in speech or behavior; insultingly abusive; humiliating
dictum
(n) a short saying; an authoritative statement
ensconce
(v) to settle comfortably and firmly in position; to put or hide in a safe place
iconoclastic
(adj) attacking or seeking to overthrow popular or traditional beliefs, ideas, or institutions
in medias res
(adv) in or into the middle of a plot; into the middle of things
internecine
(adj) mutually destructive; characterized by great slaughter and bloodshed
maladroit
(adj) lacking skill or dexterity; lacking tact, perception, or judgment
maudlin
(adj) excessively or effusively sentimental
modulate
(v) to change or vary the intensity or pitch; to temper or soften; to regulate, adjust
portentous
(adj) foreshadowing an event to come; causing wonder or awe; self consciously weighty, pompous
prescience
(n) knowledge of events or actions before they happen; foresight
quid pro quo
(n) something given in exchange or return for something else
salubrious
(adj) conducive to health or well-being; wholesome
saturnalian
(adj) characterized by riotous or unrestrained revelry or licentiousness
touchstone
(n) a means of testing worth or genuineness
traumatic
(adj) so shocking to the emotions as to cause lasting and substantial psychological damage
vitiate
(v) to weaken, debase, or corrupt; to impair the quality or value of
waggish
(adj) fond of making jokes; characteristic of a joker; playfully humorous or droll
aficionado
(n.) an enthusiastic and usually expert follower or fan
browbeat
(v.) to intimidate by a stern or overbearing manner; to bully
commensurate
(adj.) equal in size, extent, duration, or importance; proportionate; measurable by the same standards
diaphanous
(adj.) very sheer and light; almost completely transparent
emolument
(n.) profit derived from an office or position or from employment; a fee or salary
foray
(n.) a quick raid, especially for plunder; a venture into some field of endeavor; (v.) to make such a raid
genre
(n.) a type, class, or variety, especially a distinctive category of literary composition; a style of painting in which everyday scenes are realistically depicted
homily
(n.) a sermon stressing moral principles; a tedious moralizing lecture or discourse
immure
(v.) to enclose or confine within walls; to imprison; to seclude
insouciant
(adj.) blithely indifferent or unconcerned; carefree; happy-go-lucky
matrix
(n.) a mold; the surrounding situation or environment
obsequies
(n.) funeral rights or ceremonies
panache
(n.) a confident and stylish manner, dash; a strikingly elaborate or colorful display
persona
(n.) a character in a novel or play; the outward character or role that a person assumes
philippic
(n.) a bitter verbal attack
prurient
(adj.) having lustful desires or interests; tending to arouse sexual desires
sacrosanct
(adj.) very sacred or holy; inviolable; set apart or immune from questioning or attack
systemic
(adj.) of or pertaining to the entire body; relating to a system or systems
tendentious
(adj.) intended to promote a particular point of view, doctrine, or cause; biased or partisan
vicissitude
(n.) a change, variation, or alteration; (pl.) successive or changing phases or conditions
affinity
(n.) a natural attraction to a person, thing, or activity; a relationship, connection
bilious
(adj.) peevish or irritable; sickeningly unpleasant
cognate
(adj.) closely related in origin, essential nature, or function; (n.) such a person or thing
corollary
(n.) a proposition that follows from one already proven; a natural consequence or result; (adj.) resultant or consequent
cul-de-sac
(n.) a blind alley or dead-end street; any situation in which further process is impossible; an impasse
derring-do
(n.) valor or heroism; daring deeds or exploits (often used to poke fun at false heroics)
divination
(n.) the art or act of predicting the future or discovering hidden knowledge
elixir
(n.) a potion once thought capable of curing all ills and maintaining life indefinitely; a panacea; a sweet liquid used as a vehicle in medicines
folderol
(n.) foolish talk, ideas, or procedures; nonsense; a trifle
gamut
(n.) an entire range or series
hoi polloi
(n.) the common people, the masses
ineffable
(adj.) not expressible in words; too great or too sacred to be uttered
lucubration
(n.) laborious study or thought, especially at night; the result of such work
mnemonic
(adj.) relating to or designed to assist the memory; (n.) a device to aid the memory
obloquy
(n.) a public abuse indicating strong disapproval or censure; the disgrace resulting from such treatment
parameter
(n.) a determining or characteristic element; a factor that shapes the total outcome; a limit, boundary
pundit
(n.) a learned person; one who gives authoritative opinions
risible
(adj.) pertaining to laughter; able or inclined to laugh; laughable
symptomatic
(adj.) typical or characteristic; being or concerned with a symptom of a disease
volte-face
(n.) an about-face; a complete reversal
ancillary
(adj.) subordinate or supplementary
bowdlerize
(v.) to remove material considered offensive (from a book, play, film, etc.)
condescend
(v.) to come down or stoop voluntarily to a lower level; to deal with people in a patronizing manner
cozen
(v.) to trick; to cheat or swindle
enclave
(n.) an enclosed district, region, or area inhabited by a particular group of people or having a special character
forte
(n.) a person's strong point; what a person does best
gratis
(adj.) free; (adv.) without charge
icon
(n.) a representation or image of a sacred personage, often considered sacred itself; an image or picture; a symbol; a graphic symbol on a computer monitor display; an object of blind devotion
interstice
(n.) a small, narrow space between things or parts of things
macrocosm
(n.) the universe considered as a whole; the entire complex structure of something
mountebank
(n.) a trickster or swindler; a charlatan
paean
(n.) a song of praise, a joy, or triumph
persiflage
(n.) lighthearted joking, talk, or writing
plethora
(n.) overfullness; superabundance; superfluity
pragmatic
(adj.) concerned with practical considerations or values; dealing with actions and results rather than with abstract theory; stiff in one's opinions
quizzical
(adj.) puzzled; mocking; odd; equivocal
rapacity
(n.) inordinate greed; the disposition to obtain one's desires by force, extortion, or plunder
schism
(n.) a formal split with a religious organization; any division or separation of a group or organization into hostile factions
therapeutic
(adj.) having the power to heal or cure; beneficial
virtuoso
(n.) a brilliant performer; a person with masterly skill or technique; (adj.) masterly or brilliant
aegis
(n.) protection; patronage; sponsorship
apprise
(v.) to inform of; to make aware of by giving oral or written notice
bibulous
(adj.) fond of or inclined to drink; absorbent
claque
(n.) a group of people hired to applaud a performer or performance; enthusiastic or fawning admirers; an opera hat
deracinate
(v.) to pull up by the roots; to root out, uproot, or dislocate; to eliminate all traces of
eleemosynary
(adj.) charitable; dependent upon or supported by charity; derived from or provided by charity
indigenous
(adj.) originating in the country or region where found, native; inborn; inherent
lachrymose
(adj.) given to tears or weeping; causing to shed tears; mournful, lugubrious
lexicon
(n.) a dictionary of a language; the special vocabulary of a person, group, or subject; a compendium
melee
(n.) a confused struggle; a violent free-for-all; a tumultuous mingling.
microcosm
(n.) a miniature world or universe; a group or system viewed as the model of a larger group or system.
minuscule
(adj.) very small, tiny; (n.) a lowercase letter
obfuscate
(v.) to darken or obscure; to confuse or bewilder
paternalism
(n.) the policy or practice of treating or governing people in the manner of a father dealing with his children
polarize
(v.) to cause or concentrate around two conflicting or contrasting positions; to cause light to vibrate in a pattern.
purview
(n.) the range, extent, or scope of something; in law, the scope or limit of what is provided in a statute
sanguine
(adj.) having a ruddy complexion; of a naturally cheerful, confident, or optimistic outlook
solecism
(n.) a substandard or ungrammatical usage; a breach of etiquette; any impropriety or mistake
vassal
(n.) a person under the protection of a feudal lord to whom he or she owes allegiance; a subordinate or dependent; a servant; (adj.) subservient
verisimilitude
(n.) the quality of appearing to be true, real, likely, or probable
adjunct
(n.) something added to something else as helpful or useful but not essential; an assistant or helper; a valuable quality or characteristic. (adj.) added or connected in a subordinate capacity; attached to a faculty or staff in an auxiliary capacity
bellwether
(n.) the male sheep that leads the flock to the slaughterhouse; a leader, as in desperate or violent undertaking; an indicator of trends.
caterwaul
(v.) to howl or screech like a cat; to quarrel; (n.) a harsh or noisy cry; a racket
chimerical
(adj.) absurd; wildly fantastic; impossible
effete
(adj.) lacking in wholesome vigor or energy; worn-out or exhausted; sterile or unable to produce; out of date
fait accompli
(n.) an accomplished and presumably irreversible deed, fact, or action
hidebound
(adj.) narrow-minded and rigid, especially in opinions or prejudices; stubbornly and unthinkingly conservative
hierarchy
(n.) any system of things or people arranged or graded one above another in order of rank, wealth, class, etc.
liturgy
(n.) a religious service or rite; the form of a ritual or other act of public worship
mirage
(n.) something illusory, without substance, or without a basis in reality; an illusion
morass
(n.) a patch of low, soft, wet ground; a swamp; a confusing situation in which one is entrapped, as in quicksand
noisome
(adj.) offensive or disgusting; foul-smelling; harmful or injurious
oblivious
(adj.) forgetful; unaware
poltroon
(n.) a base coward
proselyte
(n.) a convert; a disciple
quasi
(adj.) resembling but not actually being; seemingly but not actually or completely
raillery
(n.) good-humored ridicule; teasing
ribald
(adj.) irreverently mocking; coarse, vulgar, or indecent in language
supine
(adj.) lying flat on one's back; listless or lethargic; apathetic or passive
vignette
(n.) a short description or sketch; a picture or illustration with edges that gradually shade off; a decorative design on the title page of a book or at the beginning or end of a chapter