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432 terms

Cracking the GRE-2011 Edition- Hit Parade & Beyond Hit Parade Vocabulary Master List

STUDY
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aberrant, (n. form: aberration)
(adj) deviation from the norm
abscond
(v) to depart clandestinely; to steal off an hide
alacrity
(n) eager and enthusiastic willingness (like Michelle!)
anomaly, (adj. form: anomalous)
(n) deviation from the normal order, form, or rule; abnormality
approbation
(n) an expression of approval or praise
arduous
(adj.) strenuous, taxing; requiring significant effort
assuage
(v) to ease or lessen; to appease or pacify
audacious (n. form: audacity)
(adj.) daring and fearless; recklessly bold
austere (n. form: austerity)
(adj.) without adornment; bare; severely simple; ascetic
axiomatic (n. form: axiom)
(adj) taken as a given; posessing self-evident truth
canonical (n. form: canon)
(adj) forllowing or in agreement with accepted, traditional standards
capricious
(adj.) inclined to change one's mind impulsively; erratic; unpredictable
censure
(v) to criticize severely; to officially rebuke
chicanery
(n) trickery or subterfuge
connoisseur
(n) an informed and astute judge in matters of taste; expert
convoluted
(adj.) complex or complicated
disabuse
(v) to undeceive; to set right
discordant
(adj) conflicting; dissonant or harsh sounding
disparate
(adj.) fundamentally distinct or dissimilar
effrontery
(n) extreme boldness; presumptuousness
eloquent (n. form: eloquence)
(adj.) well-spoken, expressive, articulate
enervate
(v) to weaken; to reduce in vitality
ennui
(n) dissatisfaction from restlessness resulting from boredom or apathy
equivocate (adj. form: equivocal)
(v) to use ambiguous language with a deceptive intent
erudite (n. form: erudition)
(adj.) very learned; scholarly
exculpate
(v) exonerate; to clear of blame
exigent
(adj.) urgent, pressing; requiring immediate action or attention
extemporaneous
(adj.) improvised; done without preparation
filibuster
(n) intentional obstruction, esp. using prolonged speechmaking to delay legislative action
fulminate
(v) to loudly attack or denounce
ingenuous
(adj.) artless; frank and candid; lacking in a sophistication
inured
(adj.) accustomed to accepting something undesirable
irascible
(adj.) easily angered; prone to temperamental outbursts
laud (adj. form; laudatory)
(v) to praise highly
lucid
(adj.) clear; easily understood
magnanimity (adj. form: magnanimous)
(n) the quality of being generously noble in mind and heart esp. in forgiving
martial
(adj) associated with war and the armed forces
mundane
(adj.) of the world; typical pf or concerned with the ordinary
nascent
(adj.) coming into being; in early developmental stages
nebulous
(adj.) vague; cloudy; lacking clearly defined form
neologism
(n) a new word, expression or usage; the creation or usage of new words or senses
noxious
(adj.) harmful, injurious
obtuse
(adj.) lacking sharpness of intellect; not clear or precise in thought or expression
obviate
(v) to anticipate and make unnecessary
onerous
(adj.) troubling; burdensome
paean
(n) a song or hymn of praise and thanksgiving
parody
(n) a humorous imitation intended for ridicule of comic effect, esp. in literature and art
perennial
(adj.) recurrent throughout the years or many years; happening repeatedly
perfidy (adj. form: perfidious)
(n) intentional breach of faith; treachery
perfunctory
(adj.) cursory; done without care or interest
perspicacious (n. form: perspicacity)
(adj.) acutely perceptive; having keen discernment
prattle
(v) to babble meaninglessly; to talk in an empty and idle manner
precipitate
(adj.) acting with excessive haste or impulse
precipitate
(v) to cause or happen before anticipated or required
predilection
(n) a disposition in favor of something; preference
prescience (adj. form: prescient)
(n) foreknowledge of events; knowing of events prior to their occurring
prevaricate
(v) to deliberately avoid the truth; to mislead
qualms
(n) misgivings; reservations; causes for hesitancy
recant
(v) to retract, esp. a previously held belief
refute
(v) to disprove; to successfully urge against
relegate
(v) to forcibly assign, esp. to a lower place or position
reticent
(adj.) quiet; reserved; reluctant to express thoughts or feelings
solicitous
(adj.) concerned and attentive; eager
sordid
(adj.) characterized by film, grime, or squalor; foul
sporadic
(adj.) occurring only occasionally, or in scattered instances
squander
(v) to waste by spending or using irresponsibly
static
(adj.) not moving, active, or in motion; at rest
stupefy
(v) to stun, baffle, or amaze
stymie
(v) to block; thwart
synthesis (v. form: synthesize)
(n) the combination of parts to make a whole
torque
(n) a force that causes rotation
tortuous
(adj.) winding, twisting; excessively complicated
truculent
(adj.) fierce and cruel; eager to fight
veracity
(n) truthfulness, honesty
virulent
(adj.) extremely harmful or poisonous; bitterly hostile or antagonistic
voracious
(adj.) having an insatiable appetite for an activity or pursuit; ravenous
waver
(v) to move to and fro; to sway; to be unsettled in opinion
abate
(v) to lessen in intensity or degree
accolade
(n) an expression of praise
adulation
(n) excessive praise; intense adoration
aesthetic
(adj.) dealing with, appreciative of, or responsive to art or the beautiful
ameliorate
(v) to make better or make more tolerable
ascetic
(n) one who practice rigid self-denial, esp. as an act of religious devotion
avarice (adj. form: avaricious)
(n) greed, esp. for wealth
axiom (adj. form; axiomatic)
(n) a universally recognized principle
bucolic
(adj.) rustic and pastoral; characteristic of rural ares and their inhabitants
burgeon
(v) to grow rapidly or flourish
cacophony (adj. form: cacophonous)
(n) harsh, jarring, discordant sound; dissonance
canon (adj. form: canonical)
(n) an established set of principles or code of laws, often religious in nature
castigation (v. form: castigate)
(n) severe criticism or punishment
catalyst
(n) a substance that accelerates the rate of a chemical reaction without itself changing; a person or thing that cause change
caustic
(adj) burning or stinging; causing corrosion
chary
(adj.) wary, cautious, sparing
cogent
(adj.) appealing forcibly to the mind or reason; convincing
complaisance (adj. form: complaisant)
(n) the willingness to comply with the wishes of others
contentious
(adj.) argumentative; quarrelsome; causing controversy or disagreement
contrite (n. form: contrition)
(adj.) regretful; penitent; seeking forgiveness
culpable (n. form: culpability)
(adj.) deserving blame
dearth
(n) smallness of quantity or number; scarcity; a lack
demur
(v) to question or oppose
didactic
(adj.) intended to teach or instruct
discretion (adj. form: discreet)
(n) cautious reserve in speech; ability to make responsible decisions
disinterested
(adj.) free of bias or self-interest; impartial
dogmatic (n. form: dogma)
(adj.) expressing a rigid opinion based on unproved or unprovable principles
ebullience (adj. form: ebullient)
(n) the quality of lively or enthusiastic expression of thoughts and feelings
eclectic
(adj.) composed of elements drawn from various sources
elegy (adj. form: elegiac)
(n) a mournful poem, esp. one lamenting the dead
emollient
(adj./n.) soothing, esp. to the skin; making less harsh; mollifying; an agent that softens or smooths the skin
empirical
(adj.) based on observation or experiment
enigmatic (n. form: enigma)
(adj.) mysterious; obscure; difficult to understand
ephemeral
(adj.) brief;fleeting
esoteric
(adj.) intended for or understood by a small, specific group
eulogy (v. form: eulogize)
(n) a speech honoring the dead
exonerate
(v) to remove blame
facetious
(adj.) playful; humorous
fallacy (adj. form: fallacious)
(n) an invalid or incorrect notion; a mistaken belief
furtive
(adj.) marked by stealth; covert; surreptitious
gregarious
(adj.) sociable; outgoing; enjoying the company of other people
harangue
(v./n.) to deliver a pompous speech or tirade; a long, pompous speech
heretical (n. form: heresy)
(adj.) violating accepted dogma or convention
hyperbole (adj. form: hyperbolic)
(n) an exaggerated statement, often used as a figure of speech
impecunious
(adj.) lacking funds; without money
incipient
(adj.) beginning to come into being or to become apparent
inert
(adj.) unmoving; lethargic; sluggish
innocuous
(adj.) harmless; causing no damage
intransigent (n. form: intransigence)
(adj.) refusing to compromise
inveigle
(v) to obtain by deception or flattery
morose
(adj.) sad; sullen; melancholy
odious
(adj.) evoking intense aversion or dislike
opaque
(adj.) impenetrable by light; not reflecting light
oscillation (v. form: oscillate)
(n) the act or state of swinging back and forth with a steady, uninterrupted rhythm
penurious
(adj.) penny-pinching; excessively thrifty; ungenerous
pernicious
(adj.) extremely harmful; potentially causing death
peruse (n. form; perusal)
(v) to examine with great care
pious (n. form. piety)
(adj.) extremely reverent or devout; showing strong religious devotion
precursor
(n) one that precedes and indicates or announces another
preen
(v) to dress; to primp; to groom oneself with elaborate care
prodigious
(adj.) abundant in size, force or extent; extraordinary
prolific
(adj.) producing large volumes or amounts; productive
putrefy (adj. form: putrid)
(v) to rot; to decay and give off a foul odor
quaff
(v) to drink deeply
quiescence (adj. form: quiescent)
(n) stillness; motionlessness; quality of being at rest
redoubtable
(adj.) awe-inspiring; worthy of honor
sanction
(n/v) authoritative permission or approval; a penalty intended to enforce compliance; to give permission or authority to
satire (adj. form: satirical)
(n) a literary work that ridicules or criticizes a human vice through humor or derision
squalid (n. form: squalor)
(adj.) sordid; wretched and dirty as from neglect
stoic (n. form: stoicism)
(adj.) indifferent to or unaffected by pleasure or pain; steadfast
supplant
(v) to take the place of; supersede
torpid (n. form: torpor)
(adj.) lethargic; sluggish; dormant
ubiquitous
(adj.) existing everywhere at the same time; constantly encountered; wide-spread
urbane (n. form: urbanity)
(adj.) sophisticated, refined, elegant
vilify
(v) to defame; to characterize harshly
viscous (n. form; viscosity)
(adj.) thick; sticky
acumen
(n) keen, accurate judgement or insight
adulterate
(v) to reduce purity by combining with inferior ingredients
amalgamate (n. form: amalgamation)
(v) to combine several elements into a whole
archaic
(adj.) outdated; associated with an earlier, perhaps more primitive time
aver
(v) to state as a fact; to declare or assert
bolster
(v) to provide support or reinforcement
bombastic (n. form: bombast)
(adj.) pompous; grandiloquent
diatribe
(n) a harsh denunciation
dissemble
(v) to disguise or conceal; to mislead
eccentric
(adj.) departing from norms or conventions
endemic
(adj.) characteristic of or often found in a particular locality, region, of people
evanescent
(adj.) tending to disappear like vapor; vanishing
exacerbate
(v) to make worse or more severe
fervent (n. form: fervor)
(adj.) greatly emotional or zealous
fortuitous
(adj.) happening by accident or chance
germane
(adj.) relevant to the subject at hand; appropriate in subject matter
grandiloquence (adj. form: grandiloquent)
(n) pompous speech or expression
hackneyed
(adj.) rendered trite or commonplace by frequent usage
halcyon
(adj.) calm and peaceful
hedonism
(n) devotion to pleasurable pursuits, esp. to the pleasure of the senses (a hedonist is someone who pursue pleasure)
hegemony
(n) the consistent dominance of one state or ideology over others
iconoclast
(n) one who attacks or undermines traditional conventions or institution
idolatrous (n. form: idolatry)
(adj.) given to intense or excessive devotion to something
impassive
(adj.) revealing no emotion
imperturbable
(adj.) marked by extreme calm, impassivity and steadiness
implacable
(adj.) not capable of being appeased or significantly changed
impunity
(n) immunity from punishment or penalty
inchoate
(adj.) in an initial stage; not fully formed
infelicitous
(adj.) unfortunate; inappropriate
insipid
(adj.) without taste or flavor; lacking in spirit; bland
loquacious (n. form: loquacity)
(adj.) extremely talkative (like Michelle!)
luminous
(adj.) characterized by brightness and the emission of light
malevolent (n. form: malevolence)
(adj.) having or showing often vicious ill will, spite, or hatred
malleable
(adj.) capable of being shaped or formed; tractable; pliable
mendacity (adj. form: mendacious)
(n) the condition of being untruthful; dishonesty
meticulous
(adj.) characterized by extreme care and precision; attentive to detail
misanthrope (adj. form: misanthropic)
(n) one who hates all other humans
mitigate
(v) to make or become less severe or intense; to moderate
obdurate
(adj.) unyielding; hardhearted; intractable
obsequious
(adj.) exhibiting a fawning attentiveness
occlude
(v) to obstruct or block
opprobrium
(n) disgrace; contempt; scorn
pedagogy
(n) the profession or principles of teaching, or instructing
pedantic
(adj,) overly concerned with the trivial details of learning or education; show-offish about one's knowledge
penury
(n) poverty; destitution
pervasive
(adj.) having the tendency to permeate or spread throughout
pine
(v) to yearn intensely; to languish; to lose vigor
pirate
(v) to illegally use or produce
pith
(n) the essential or central part
pithy
(adj.) precise and brief
placate
(v) to appease; to clam by making concessions
platitude
(n) a superficial remark, esp. one offered as meaningful
plummet
(v) to plunge or drop straight down
prodigal
(adj.) recklessly wasteful; extravagant; profuse; lavish
profuse
(adj.) given or coming forth abundantly; extravagant
proliferate
(v) to grow or increase swiftly and abundantly
queries
(n) questions; inquiries; doubts in the mind; reservations
querulous
(adj.) prone to complaining or grumbling; peevish
rancorous (n. form: rancor)
(adj.) characterized by bitter, long-lasting resentment
recalcitrant
(adj.) obstinately defiant of authority; difficult to manage
repudiate
(v) to refuse to have anything to do with; disown
rescind
(v) to invalidate; to repeal; to retract
reverent (n. form: reverence)
(adj.) marked by, feeling or expressing a feeling of profound awe and respect
rhetoric
(n) the art or study of effective use of language for communication and persuasion
salubrious
(adj.) promoting health or well-being
solvent
(adj.) able to meet financial obligations; able to dissolve another substance
specious
(adj.) seeming true, but actually being fallacious; misleadingly attractive; plausible but false
spurious
(adj.) lacking authenticity or validity; false; counterfeit
subpoena
(n) a court order requiting appearance and/or testimony
succinct
(adj.) brief; concise
superfluous
(adj.) exceeding what is sufficient or necessary
surfeit
(n/v) an overabundant supply; excess; to feed or supply to excess
tenacity adj. form: tenacious)
(n) the quality of adherence to something valued; persistent determination
tenuous
(adj.) having little substance or strength; flimsy; weak
tirade
(n) a long and extremely critical speech; a harsh denunciation
transient
(adj.) fleeting; passing quickly; brief
zealous
(adj.) fervent; ardent; impassioned; devoted to a cause (a zealot is a zealous person)
acerbic
(adj.) having a sour or bitter taste or character; sharp; biting
aggrandize
(v) to increase in intensity, power, influence or prestige
alchemy
(n) a medieval science aimed at the transmutation of metals, esp. base metals into gold (an alchemist is one who practices alchemy)
amenable
(adj.) agreeable; responsive to suggestion
anachronism
(n) something or someone out of place in terms of historical or chronological context
astringent
(adj./n) having a tightening effect on living tissue; harsh; severe; something with a tightening effect on tissue
contiguous
(adj.) sharing a border; touching; adjacent
convention
(n) a generally agreed-upon practice or attitude
credulous (n. form: credulity)
(adj.) tending to believe too readily; gullible
cynicism (adj. form: cynical)
(n) an attitude or quality of belief that all people are motivated by selfishness
decorum (adj. form: decorous)
(n) polite or appropriate conduct or behavior
derision (adj. form: derisive; v. form: deride)
(n) scorn, ridicule, contemptuous treatment
desiccate
(v) to dry out or dehydrate; to make dry or dull
dilettante
(n) one with an amateurish or superficial interest in the arts or a branch of knowledge
disparage
(v) to slight or belittle
divulge
(v) to disclose something secret
fawn
(v) to flatter or praise excessively
flout
(v) to show contempt for, as in a rule or convention
garrulous
(adj.) pointlessly talkative, talking too much (not like Michelle! :P)
glib
(adj.) marked by ease or informality; nonchalant; lacking in depth; superficial
hubris
(n) overbearing presumption or pride; arrogance
imminent
(adj.) about to happen; impending
immutable
(adj.) not capable of change
impetuous
(adj.) hastily or rashly energetic; impulsive and vehement
indifferent
(adj.) having no interest or concern; showing no bias or prejudice
inimical
(adj.) damaging; harmful; injurious
intractable
(adj.) not easily managed or directed; stubborn; obstinate
intrepid
(adj.) steadfast and courageous
laconic
(adj.) using few words; terse
maverick
(n) an independent individual who does not go along with a group or party
mercurial
(adj.) characterized by rapid and unpredictable change in mood
mollify
(v) to calm or soothe; to reduce in emotional intensity
neophyte
(n) a recent convert; a beginner; novice
obfuscate
(v) to deliberately obscure; to make confusing
obstinate
(adj.) stubborn; hardheaded; uncompromising
ostentatious
(adj.) characterized by or given to pretentious play; showy
pervade (adj. form: pervasive)
(v) to permeate throughout
phlegmatic
(adj.) calm; sluggish; unemotional
pragmatic
(adj.) practical rather than idealistic
presumptuous
(adj.) over stepping due bounds (as of propriety or courtesy); taking liberties
pristine
(adj.) pure; uncorrupted; clean
probity
(n) adherence to highest principles; complete and confirmed integrity; uprightness
proclivity
(n) a natural predisposition or inclination
profligate (n. form: profligacy)
(adj.) excessively wasteful; recklessly extravagant
propensity
(n) a natural inclination or tendency; penchant
prosaic
(adj.) dull; lacking in spirit or imagination
pungent
(adj.) characterized by a strong, sharp smell or taste
quixotic
(adj.) foolishly impractical; marked by lofty romantic ideals
quotidian
(adj.) occurring or recurring daily; commonplace
rarefy
(v) to make or become thing, less dense; to refine
recondite
(adj.) hidden; concealed; difficult to understand; obscure
refulgent
(adj.) radiant; shiny; brilliant
renege
(v) to fail to honor a commitment; to go back on a promise
sedulous
(adj.) diligent; persistent; hardworking (like nerds!)
shard
(n) a piece of broken pottery or glass
soporific
(adj.) causing drowsiness; tending to induce sleep (like Turkey!)
sparse
(adj.) thin; not dense; arranged at widely spaced intervals
spendthrift
(n) one who spends money wastefully (like people who buy golden toilets! haha)
subtle
(adj.) not obvious; elusive; difficult to discern
tacit
(adj.) implied; not explicitly stated
terse
(adj.) brief and concise in wording
tout
(v) to publicly praise or promote
trenchant
(adj.) sharply perceptive; keen; penetrating
unfeigned
(adj.) genuine; not false or hypocritical
untenable
(adj.) indefensible; not viable; uninhabitable
vacillate
(v) to waver indecisively between one course of action or opinion and another; waver
variegated
(adj.) multicolored; characterized by a variety of patches of different colors
vexation (v. form: vex)
(n) annoyance; irritation
vigilant (n. form: vigilant)
(adj.) alertly watchful
vituperate
(v) to use harsh, condemnatory language; to abuse or censure severely or abusively; berate
volatile (n. form: volatility)
(adj.) readily changing to a vapor; changeable; fickle; explosive
plethora
(n) an overabundance; a surplus
alloy
(v) to commingle; to debase by mixing with something inferior-unalloyed means pure
appropriate
(v) to take for one's own, confiscate
arrest, arresting
(v./adj.) to suspend; to engage; holding one's attention: as in arrested adolescence, an arresting portrait
august
(adj.) majestic, venerable
bent
(n) leaning, inclination, proclivity, tendency [He had a naturally artistic bent]
broach
(v) bring up, announce, begin to talk about
brook
(v) to tolerate, endure, countenance
cardinal
(adj.) major, as in cardinal sin
chauvinist
(n) a blindly devoted patriot
color
(v) to change as if by dyeing, e.e., to distort, gloss or affect (usually the first)-[Yellow journalism covered the truth]
consequential
(adj.) pompous, self-important (primary definitions are: logically following; important)
damp
(v) to diminish the intensity or check the vibration of a sound
die
(n) a tool used for shaping, as in a tool-and-die shop
essay
(v) to test or try; attempt, experiment-[The newly born fawn essayed a few wobbly steps]
exact
(v) to demand, call for, require, take [Even a various war exacts a heavy price]
fell
(adj.) inhumanely cruel-[Fell beats surrounded the explorer]
fell
(v) to cause to fall by striking-[The lumberjacks arrived and felled many trees]
flag
(v) to sag or droop, to become spiritless, to decline: Think of a flag on a windless day, as in her flagging spirits
flip
(adj.) sarcastic, impertinent, as in flippant-[a flip remark]
ford
(v) to wade across the shallow part of a river or stream
grouse
(v) to complain or grumble
guy
(n/v) a rope, cord, or cable attached to something as a brace or guide; to steady or reinforce using a guy: Think guide
intimate
(v) to imply, suggest or insinuate-[Are you intimating that I cannot be trusted?]
list
(v) to tilt or lean on one side-[The ship's broken mass listed helplessly in the wind]
lumber
(v) to move heavily and clumsily-[Lumbering giants on land, walruses are actually graceful swimmers]
meet
(adj.) fitting, proper-[It is altogether meet that Jackie Robinson is in the baseball hall of fame.]
milk
(v) to exploit, to squeeze every ounce of-[I milked the position for all it was worth]
mince
(v) pronounce or speak affectedly, euphemize, speak too carefully-[Don't mince words.[ Also, to take tiny steps, tiptoe
nice
(adj.) exacting, fastidious, extremely precise: [He made a nice distinction between the two cases]
obtain
(adj.) to be established, accepted, or customary-[Those standards no longer obtain]
occult
(adj.) hidden, concealed, beyond comprehension
pedestrian
(adj.) commonplace, trite, unremarkable, quotidian
pied
(adj.) multicolored, usually in blotches-[The Pied Piper of Hamlin was co called because of his multicolored coat.]
pine
(v) to lose vigor (as through grief); to yearn
plastic
(adj.) moldable, pliable, not rigid
pluck
(n) courage, spunk, fortitude-[Churchill's speeches inspired a pluck of his countrymen during the war.]
prize
(v) to pry, to press or force with a lever; something taken by force, spoils-[The information was prized from him.]
quail
(v) to lose courage, turn frightened
qualify
(v) to limit-[Let me qualify that statement]
rail
(v) to complain about bitterly-[Early American progressives railed against the railroad barons.]
rent
(v/n) torn, past or rend-[He rent his garments]; an opening tear caused by such-[a large rent in the fabric]
sap
(adj.) a fool or nitwit-[Don't be a sap]
sap
(v) to enervate or weaken the vitality of-[The race sapped my strength]
scurvy
(adj.) contemptible, despicable-[He was a scurvy old reprobate.]
singular
(adj.) exceptional, unusual, odd-[He was singularly well-suited for the job]
stand
(n) a group of trees
steep
(v) to saturate or completely soak, as a in to let a tea bag steep-[She was steeped in esoteric knowledge]
strut
(n) the supporting structural cross-part of a wing
table
(v) to remove (as a parliamentary motion) from consideration-[They tabled the motion and will consider it again later]
tender
(v) to proffer or offer-[He tended his resignation]
waffle
(v) to equivocate; to change one's position [His detractors say that the President waffles too much; he can never make up his mind]
wag
(n) wit, joke [Groucho Max was a well-known wag]
abjure
(v) to renounce or reject solemnly; to recant; to avoid
adumbrate
(v) to foreshadow vaguely or intimate; to suggest or outline sketchily; to obscure or overshadow
anathema
(n) a solemn or ecclesiastical (religious) curse; accursed or thoroughly loathed person or thing
anodyne
(adj./n) soothing, something that assuages or allays pain or comfort
apogee
(n) farthest or highest point; culmination; zenith
apostate
(n) one who abandons long-held religious or political convictions
apotheosis
(n) deification, glorification to godliness, an exalted example, a model of excellence or perfection
asperity
(n) severity, rigor; roughness, harshness; acrimony, irritability
asseverate
(v) to aver, allege, assert
assiduous
(adj.) diligent, hard-working, sedulous
augury
(n) omen, portent
bellicose
(adj.) belligerent, pugnacious, warlike
calumniate
(v) to slander, make a false accusation; calumny means slander, aspersion
captious
(adj.) disposed to point out trivial faults, calculated to confuse or entrap in argument
cavil
(v) to find fault without good reason
celerity
(n) speed, alacrity-[think accelerate]
chimera
(n) an illusion; originally an imaginary fire-breathing she-monster
contumacious
(adj.) insubordinate, rebellious; contumely means insult, scorn, aspersion
debacle
(n) rout, fiasco, complete failure-[My first attempt at a souffle was a total debacle]
denouement
(n) an outcome or solution, the unraveling of a plot
descry
(v) to discriminate or discern
desuetude
(n) disuse-[After years of of desuetude, my French skills were finally put to use]
desultory
(adj.) random; aimless; marked by a lack of plan or purpose-[Her desultory performance impressed no one]
diaphanous
(adj.) transparent, gauzy
diffident
(adj.) reserved, shy, unassuming; lacking in self-confidence-[Surprisingly, the CEO of the corporation had been a diffident youth]
dirge
(n) a song of grief or lamentation-[We listened to the slow, funeral dirge]
encomium
(n) glowing and enthusiastic praise; panegyric, tribute, eulogy
eschew
(v) to shun or avoid-[She chose to eschew the movie theater, preferring to watch DVDs at home]
excoriate
(v) to censure scathingly, to upbraid
execrate
(v) denounce, feel loathing for, curse, declare to be evil
exegesis
(n) critical examination, explication
expiate
(v) to atone or make amends for-[Pia Zadora has expiated her movie career by good works and charity]
extirpate
(v) to destroy, exterminate, cut out, exscind
fatuous
(adj.) silly, inanely foolish-[I would ignore such a fatuous comment]
fractious
(adj.) quarrelsome, rebellious, unruly, refractory, irritable
gainsay
(v) to deny, dispute, contradict, oppose
heterodox
(adj.) unorthodox, heretical, iconoclast
imbroglio
(n) difficult or embarrassing situation
indefatigable
(adj.) not easily exhaustible; tireless, dogged
ineluctable
(adj.) certain, inevitable
inimitable
(adj.) one of a kind, peerless
inveterate
(adj.) deep rooted, ingrained, habitual
jejune
(adj.) vapid, uninteresting, nugatory; childish, immature, puerile
lubricious
(adj.) lewd, wanton, greasy, slippery
mendicant
(n) a beggar, supplicant
meretricious
(adj.) cheap, gaudy, tawdry, flashy, showy; attracting by false show
minatory
(adj.) menacing, threatening (reminds you of the Minotaur, a threatening creature indeed)
nadir
(n) low point, perigee
nonplussed
(adj.) baffled, bewildered, at a loss for what to do or think
obstreperous
(adj.) noisily and stubbornly defiant, aggressively boisterous
ossified
(adj.) tending to become more rigid, conventional, sterile and reactionary with age; literally, turned into bone
palliate
(v) to make something seem less serious, to gloss over, to make less severe or intense
panegyric
(n) formal praise, eulogy, encomium; panegyrical means expressing elaborate praise
parsimonious
(adj.) cheap, miserly-[A parsimonious person parses out his money with great difficult]
pellucid
(adj.) transparent, easy to understand, limpid
peroration
(n) the concluding part of a speech; flowery, rhetorical speech
plangent
(adj.) pounding, thundering, resounding
prolix
(adj.) long-winded, verbose; prolixity means verbosity-[Mikhail Gorbachev is famous for his prolixity]
propitiate
(v) to appease; to conciliate; propitious means auspicious, favorable
puerile
(adj.) childish, immature, jejune, nugatory
puissance
(n) power, strength; puissant means powerful, strong-[The senator delivered a puissant speech to the convention]
pusillanimous
(adj.) cowardly, craven
remonstrate
(v) to protest, object
sagacious
(adj.) having sound judgement; perceptive, wise, like a sage
salacious
(adj.) lustful, lascivious, bawdy
salutary
(adj.) remedial, wholesome, causing improvement
sanguine
(adj.) cheerful, confident, optimistic
saturnine
(adj.) gloomy, dark, sullen, morose
sententious
(adj.) aphoristic or moralistic; epigrammatic; tending to moralize excessively
stentorian
(adj.) extremely loud and powerful
stygian
(adj.) gloomy, dark
sycophant
(n) toady, servile, self-seeking flatterer; parasite
tendentious
(adj.) biased; showing marked tendencies
timorous
(adj.) timid, fearful, diffident
tyro
(n) novice, greenhorn, rank amateur
vitiate
(v) to corrupt, debase, spoil, make ineffective
voluble
(adj.) fluent, verbal, having easy to use of spoken language
insouciant
(adj.) unconcerned, carefree, heedless