587 terms

Tough Manhattan GRE 500 Essential and Advanced, Magoosh, Barron GRE Words Simplified

I have created this list from some of the most authoritative GRE resources in the market such as Magoosh, Manhattan, Barron's etc. This list was instrumental for me to get 96% on the GRE and 99% on GMAT. Happy studying and good luck.
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Terms in this set (...)

Redound
to have either a good or bad effect on something
Redact
putting something (as a literary work or a legislative bill) into acceptable form
Ecumenical
of worldwide scope or applicability

general, or universal; esp., of or concerning the Christian church as a whole
furthering or intended to further the unity or unification of Christian churches

Word Origin
LL oecumenicus < Gr oikoumenikos, of or from the whole world < oikoumenē ( gē), the inhabited (world) < oikein, to dwell, inhabit < oikos: see eco-
Ex- Having ecumenical approval is not important to me as being true to my reason.
Blandishment
the act of blandishing; cajolery
a flattering or ingratiating act or remark, etc. meant to persuade (usually used in pl.)
Ex- Once the person believes that certain ideas can lead to eternal happiness or to its antithesis, he cannot tolerate the possibility that the people he loves will be led astray by the blandishment of unbelievers. Sam Harris
Cinder
slag, as from the reduction of metallic ores
a rough piece of solid lava
any matter, as coal or wood, burned out or partly burned, but not reduced to ashes
a minute piece of such matter
a coal that is still burning but not flaming
([pl.]) ashes from coal or wood
Hobble
to go unsteadily, haltingly, etc.
to walk lamely or awkwardly; limp
transitive verb
to cause to go haltingly or lamely
to hamper the movement of (a horse, etc.) by tying two feet together
to hamper; hinder
noun
an awkward, halting walk; limp
a rope, strap, etc. used to hobble a horse; fetter
Concordat
a signed written agreement between two or more parties ( oft. nations) to perform some action
- Originally- an agreement between a pope and a government concerning regulations of church affairs
Ex-In places where scholars can still be stoned
to death for doubting the veracity of the Koran, Gould's notion of a
"loving concordat" between faith and reason would be perfectly
delusional. -EoF
Inerrant
not liable to error, Infallible

Ex-According to Gallup, 35 percent of Americans believe that the
Bible is the literal and inerrant word of the Creator of the universe.5- EoF
Canon
canon1 (ˈkænən Pronunciation for )

a law or body of laws of a church
an established or basic rule or principle ⇒ the canons of good taste
a standard to judge by; criterion
a body of rules, principles, criteria, etc.
the books of the Bible officially accepted by a church or religious body as divinely inspired
the works ascribed to an author that are accepted as genuine
the complete works, as of an author
those works, authors, etc. accepted as major or essential ⇒ the Victorian canon
([often C-], ecclesiastical) the fundamental and essentially unvarying part of the Mass, between the Preface and Communion, that centers on consecration of the bread and wine
a list of recognized saints as in the Roman Catholic Church
(music)
a contrapuntal device in which a melody introduced in one voice is restated in one or more other voices that overlap the first and successive voices in continuous and strict imitation
a composition so constructed
law

canon2 (ˈkænən Pronunciation for )

a member of a clerical group living according to a canon, or rule
a clergyman serving in a cathedral or collegiate church
canon regular
Bulwark
Defence
Ex- While moderation in religion may seem a reasonable position to
stake out, in light of all that we have (and have not) learned about
the universe, it offers no bulwark against religious extremism and
religious violence. -EoF
a protective structure of stone or concrete NOUN
EX. extends from shore into the water to prevent a beach from washing away
defend with a bulwark VERB
a fence-like structure around a deck NOUN
an embankment built around a space for defensive purposes NOUN
EX. "they stormed the ramparts of the city"; "they blew the trumpet and the walls came tumbling down"
Exegesis
an explanation or critical interpretation (especially of the Bible)
Ex- This is not new form of faith or even a new scriptural exegesis; it is simply a capitulation to variety of all-too-human interest that have nothing to do with God. EoF
Ignoramus
an ignorant person
Trepanning
Operate with trepan or trephine, a type of small crown saw used in surgery to remove a circular section, as of bone from the skull so that an evil can egress from the brain. A medieval procedure.

Ex- Though he (a man revived from the 14th century) would be considered a fool to think that the earth is the center of the cosmos, or that trepanning* constitutes a wise medical intervention, his religious ideas would still be beyond reproach.
Vivisection
the act of operating on living animals (especially in scientific research)
Amok
In a murderous frenzy
Ex- These events (war in the name of religion) should strike us
like psychological experiments run amok, for that is what they are.
-EoF
Repudiate
refuse to acknowledge, ratify, or recognize as valid

Ex-Muslims can be both racist and nationalistic, of course, but it seems all but certain that if the West underwent a massive conversion to Islam— and, perforce, repudiated all Jewish interests in the Holy Land—the basis for Muslim "hatred" would simply disappear.- Sam Harris in End of Faith
Perforce
by necessity

Ex-Muslims can be both racist and nationalistic, of course, but it seems all but certain that if the West underwent a massive conversion to Islam— and, perforce, repudiated all Jewish interests in the Holy Land—the basis for Muslim "hatred" would simply disappear.- EoF
Enunciate
express or state clearly
Chary
characterized by great cautious and wariness
Ex- "It's not going to be another Bush, I can tell you that --- Republicans are chary of dynasties," Mr. White said.
WASHINGTON TIMES (2004)
Overweening
arrogant; excessively proud
exaggerated; excessive
Derived Forms

Word Origin
ME oferweninge, prp. of oferwenen < OE oferwenan: see over- & , ween - it means imagine, think.
So overweening means to think too highly of oneself, exessive

Example Sentences Including 'overweening'
It would be nice to be free from the shadow of her mother's overweening ambition.
Jennifer Fallon MEDALON (2001)
Deign
do something that one considers to be below one's dignity

EX- Dr Mann didn't deign to interrupt his eating, but Jake shot me a second piercing squint.
George Cockcroft THE DICE MAN (1971)
Sedulous
Marked by care and persistent effort
EX. "her assiduous attempts to learn French"; "assiduous research"; "sedulous pursuit of legal and moral principles"

Etym-L sedulus < sedulo, diligently, orig., without guile < se-, apart (see secede) + dolus, trickery < Gr dolos: see , tale
Choleric
quickly aroused to anger

EX-This opposition resembles Galen's contrast of the choleric with the phlegmatic.
Kagan, Jerome &amp; Snidman, Nancy &amp; Arcus, Doreen &amp; Reznick, J. Steven GALEN&APOS;S PROPHECY: TEMPERAMENT IN HUMAN NATURE (1994)
Malapropism
the unintentional misuse of a word by confusion with one that sounds similar
Cavort
play boisterously VERB
EX. "The children frolicked in the garden"; "the gamboling lambs in the meadows"; "The toddlers romped in the playroom"
Persiflage
light teasing

Ex-Neither its carrot of wheedling persiflage nor its stick of turgid impotence are credible.
EXQUISITE CORPSE (2001)
Turgid
abnormally distended especially by fluids or gas ADJECTIVE
ostentatiously lofty in style ADJECTIVE
pompously embellished language NOUN

Ex-And took one turgid nipple into the hot wetness of his mouth and suckled.
Stephanie Laurens ALL ABOUT LOVE (2001)


adjective: (of language) pompous and tedious
The amount of GRE vocabulary he used increased with his years--by the time he was 60, his novels were so turgid that even his diehard fans refused to read them.
Traipse
to walk, wander, tramp, or gad (VERB dialect)

"The police traipse through the house, the reporters destroy the gardens."
Lisa Scottoline RUNNING FROM THE LAW (2001)
Hunker
squatting close to the ground ADJECTIVE
EX. "Now let's hunker down and prep for the GRE math"
Metier
an occupation for which you are especially well suited NOUN
EX. "in law he found his true metier"
an asset of special worth or utility NOUN
EX. "cooking is his metier (forte)"
Excoriate
1.to strip, scratch, or rub off the skin of; flay, abrade, chafe, etc.
2.to denounce harshly
Word Origin
ME excoriaten < L excoriatus, pp. of excoriare < ex-, out, off + corium, the skin: see corium
Pollyannaish
pleasantly (even unrealistically) optimistic

Etym: Pollyanna was name of the young heroine of novels by Eleanor H. Porter (1868-1920), U.S. writer

EX- While a Pollyanna attitude may not seem realistic, it may help you move beyond negativity and fear.
Jay Williams THE 24-HOUR TURNAROUND (2002)
Sententious
of or relating to a sentence ADJECTIVE
EX. "the sentential subject"
concise and full of meaning ADJECTIVE
EX. "the peculiarly sardonic and sententious style in which Don Luis composed his epigrams"- Hervey Allen
of or relating to relations between sentences ADJECTIVE
abounding in or given to pompous or aphoristic moralizing ADJECTIVE
EX. "too often the significant episode deteriorates into sententious conversation"- Kathleen Barnes
in a pithy sententious manner ADVERB

adjective: to be moralizing, usually in a pompous sense
The old man, casting his nose up in the air at the group of adolescents, intoned sententiously, "Youth is wasted on the young."
Conjugate
joined together especially in a pair or pairs

EX- Like Mr. Fogel had said while they were playing cards on the last visit: "Neither of us has anybody to conjugate.
Lisa Scottoline ROUGH JUSTICE (2001)
Provident
providing carefully for the future

EX. "wild squirrels are provident"; "a provident father plans for his children's education"
Derelict
deserted or abandoned as by an owner ADJECTIVE
EX. "a derelict ship"
failing in what duty requires ADJECTIVE
EX. "derelict (or delinquent) in his duty"; "neglectful of his duties"; "remiss of you not to pay your bills"

Etym: L derelictus, pp. of derelinquere, to forsake utterly, abandon < de-, intens. + relinquere: see relinquish
Lugubrious
- excessively mournful
- very sad or mournful, esp. in a way that seems exaggerated or ridiculous

EX- At the funeral, lugubrious songs filled the small church.e
Etym: c.1600, from Latin lugubris "mournful, pertaining to mourning," from lugere "to mourn," from PIE root *leug- "to break; to cause pain" (cf. Greek lygros "mournful, sad," Sanskrit rujati "breaks, torments," Lettish lauzit "to break the heart"). Related: Lugubriously; lugubriousness.
Approbatory
expressing or manifesting praise or approval

Word Origin
ME approbaten < L approbatus, pp. of approbare, approve
invidious
in a manner arousing resentment

adjective: likely to cause resentment
At a time when many others in the office were about to be laid off, many considered Cheryl's fine clothes that day an invidious display.

Etym: In- upon + vid -look, look down upon to cause resentment , envy
Peripatetic
traveling especially on foot,

a follower of Aristotle or an adherent of Aristotelianism

Etym:
Fr péripatétique < L peripateticus < Gr peripatētikos < peripatein, to walk about < peri-, around + patein, to walk < IE base * pent-, to step, go > find
Subterfuge
something intended to misrepresent the true nature of an activity
Deception

Finally deciding to abandon all subterfuge, Arthur revealed to Cindy everything about his secret affair over the past two years.

Word Origin
LL subterfugium < L subterfugere, to flee secretly, escape < subter, secretly (< subter, below) + fugere, to flee: see fugitive
Denouement
the final resolution of the main complication of a literary or dramatic work

Etym:
Fr < dénouer, to untie < dé- (L dis-), from, out + nouer, to tie < L nodare, to knot < nodus, a knot: see node
corollary
(ˈkɔrəˌlɛri)

a practical consequence that follows naturally

(logic) an inference that follows directly from the proof of another proposition

Word Origin
ME corolarie < LL corollarium, a deduction < L, orig., money paid for a garland, hence gift, gratuity < corolla: see corolla
obstreperous
noisily and stubbornly defiant (əbˈstrɛpərəs)

L obstreperus < obstrepere, to roar at < ob- (see ob-) + strepere, to roar < IE base * (s)trep-, to make a loud noise > OE thræft, strife
Nonchalant
(ˌnɑnʃəˈlɑnt)

marked by blithe unconcern
Incontrovertible
ɪnˌkɑntrəˈvɜrtəbəl
impossible to deny or disprove
Rout
An overwhelming defeat

A disorderly retreat or flight following defeat.
Internecine
characterized by bloodshed and carnage for both sides
, (of conflict) within a group or organization


adjective: (of conflict) within a group or organization
The guerilla group, which had become so powerful as to own the state police, was finally destroyed by an internecine conflict.

Word Origin
L internecinus < internecare, to kill, destroy < inter-, between + necare, to kill: see necro-
Vaunt
boast; brag

Word Origin
ME vaunten < OFr vanter < LL(Ec) vanitare < L vanus, vain

Ex- NewYork's much vaunted skyline
Desiderate
To miss, to feel the absence of, to long for, to want. From Latin, from the participle stem of the verb dēsīderāre (desire)
Desideratum
Something desired as a necessity

Etym: See entry 50

Ex- Subtlety of persuasion was the desideratum of style; sincerity was not a moral stance but a sales technique.
Lears, T. J. Jackson FABLES OF ABUNDANCE: A CULTURAL HISTORY OF ADVERTISING IN AMERICA (1994)
Solicitous
(adj.) showing concern or care; fearful or anxious about someone or something

So, should women who've had a heart attack lock the door, get divorced and turn away solicitous relatives?
USA TODAY (2002)
Abjure
Give up, renounce; repudiate, recant, or shun (especially formally or under oath)
Forswear (reject or renounce under oath; swear falsely in court), Eschew (shun, avoid, abstain from)
Word Origin
ME abjuren < L abjurare < ab-, from, away + jurare, to swear: see jury1

Ex- The moderates emphasized the utility of the clergy, but demanded that the clergy abjure fanaticism, the Inquisition and any political role.
Shubert, Adrian A SOCIAL HISTORY OF MODERN SPAIN (1991)
Malinger, Also Malingerer
TO FEIGN ILLNESS TO ESCAPE DUTY

Shirk

Ex- At one time, our country was full of hardworking respectful people, but now it seems that everyone is a malingerer with little inclination to work. -Magoosh

Etym: 1820, from French malingrer "to suffer," perhaps also "pretend to be ill," from malingre "ailing, sickly" (13c.), of uncertain origin, possibly a blend of mingre "sickly, miserable" and malade "ill." Mingre is itself a blend of maigre "meager" + haingre "sick, haggard," possibly from Germanic (cf. Middle High German hager "thin"). The sense evolution may be through notion of beggars with sham sores. Related: Malingered; malingering; malingerer (1785).
Discursive
wandering from one topic to another; skimming over many apparently unconnected subjects; rambling; desultory; digressive

proceeding to a conclusion by reason or argument rather than intuition

Word Origin
ML discursivus < L discursus: see discourse

He is in a talkative mood today, or rather a discursive one.
Michael Gruber TROPIC OF NIGHT (2003)
Facile
Easy like An author is facile with words. So the same meaning also gives rise to another meaning easy as in superficial
Abrogate
(v.) to repeal, cancel, declare null and void

Word Origin
< L abrogatus, pp. of abrogare, to repeal < ab-, away + rogare, to ask: see rogation

Ex-
But if they fail, the only recourse might be a state takeover in which the General Assembly would legislatively abrogate the contract.
PHILADELPHIA ENQUIRER (2002)

verb: revoke formally
As part of the agreement between the labor union and the company, the workers abrogated their right to strike for four years in exchange for better health insurance.
Halcyon
(n.) a legendary bird identified with the kingfisher; (adj.) of or relating to the halcyon; calm, peaceful; happy, golden; prosperous, affluent
Ineluctable
impossible to avoid or evade:"inescapable conclusion"

Ineluctable fate
Ex-The closures were temporary, but across Baghdad, they added to the ineluctable sense that the city is under siege.
TIME MAGAZINE (2004)

adjective: impossible to avoid or evade:
For those who smoke cigarettes for years, a major health crisis brought on by smoking is ineluctable.
Inexorable
Not to be persuaded, stopped, or moved by entreaty or plea; relentless.,

Not capable of being stopped; relentless; inevitable

Word Origin
L inexorabilis: see in-2 & , exorable;L exorabilis < exorare, to move by entreaty < ex-, out + orare: see oration
Gall
a digestive juice secreted by the liver and stored in the gallbladder

This meaning gave rise to two other meanings 1. Anger Ill-will, Choleric (same root) 2. Impudence and rudeness (US)
Word Origin
ME galle < OE (Anglian) galla (WS gealla), akin to Ger galle < IE base * ĝhel-, to shine, yellow > L fel, gall, Gr cholē, bile
Eschew
avoid and stay away from deliberately


Politicians are the masters of eschewing morals; academics are the masters of eschewing clarity.,
Chortle
To chuckle gleefully

Word Origin
Chuckle +Snort
Gossamer
(adj.) thin, light, delicate, insubstantial; (n.) a very thin, light cloth

Word Origin
ME gosesomer, lit., goose summer: with allusion to the warm period in fall ( St. Martin's summer) when geese are in season and gossamer is chiefly noticed
Subsume
to include or place within something larger or more comprehensive

Word Origin
ModL subsumere < L sub-, under + sumere, to take: see consume
Denigrate
blacken, belittle, sully, defame, disparage

Word Origin
< L denigratus, pp. of denigrare, to blacken < de-, intens. + nigrare, to blacken < niger, black: see -ate1

Women slander and denigrate their rivals, especially those who pursue short-term sexual strategies.
Buss, David M. THE EVOLUTION OF DESIRE: STRATEGIES OF HUMAN MATING (1994)
Expound
To explain in detail; to clarify

Word Origin
ME expounden < OFr expondre < L exponere, to put forth, expound < ex-, out + ponere, to put: see position

The Gospel should not be blamed, because the priests, as stupid as the legists, have been unable either to expound or to understand it.
Kishlansky, Mark A. (editor) SOURCES OF THE WEST: READINGS IN WESTERN CIVILIZATION, VOLUME 1: FROM THE BEGINNING TO 1715 (1995)
Pedantic
Characterized by a narrow, often ostentatious concern for book learning and formal rules

Word Origin
Fr pédant, pedant, schoolmaster < It pedante, ult. < Gr paidagōgos: see pedagogue

He condemned Franks as a pedant whose preachings on tactics and corps operations masked battlefield timidity.
Atkinson, Rick CRUSADE: THE UNTOLD STORY OF THE GULF WAR (1993)
Ingratiate
(v.) to make oneself agreeable and thus gain favor or acceptance by others (sometimes used in a critical or derogatory sense)

Word Origin
prob. via It ingratiare (now ingraziare) < L phr. in gratiam, for the favor of < in-, in + gratia, favor, grace

In other words," E. T." isn't pushy; it isn't constantly trying to explain or ingratiate itself.
TIME MAGAZINE (2002)
Intransigent
(adj.) refusing to compromise, irreconcilable. Uncompromising, unyielding, obdurate.

Word Origin
Fr intransigeant < Sp intransigente < L in-, in-2 + transigens, prp. of transigere, to come to a settlement, , transact

I faint now to imagine the soft suck your lovely legs were enduring - o the intransigent perfection of your lovely legs!
EXQUISITE CORPSE (2000)
Petulant
(adj.) peevish, annoyed by trifles, easily irritated and upset

Word Origin
L petulans (gen. petulantis), forward, petulant < base of petere, to rush at, fall: see feather

The Election of 1932 As the end of his term approached, President Hoover seemed to grow daily more petulant and pessimistic.
Garraty, John Arthur THE AMERICAN NATION: A HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES TO 1877 (1995)
Unscrupulous
(adj.) dishonest; not guided or controlled by moral principles or scruples

Here's what went wrong For a movie about unscrupulous people doing nasty things to one another--a 96-min.
TIME MAGAZINE (2002)

Word Origin:
Un-not + Scruples - principles
Bumble
to speak or behave clumsily or faltering, to make a humming or droning sound, to bungle, to botch, to blunder, to stumble ; Middle English bomblem; a clumsy religious figure (a beadle) in a work of literature
Implacable
Cannot be pacified or placated, inexorable

He felt in Alma Busch a blind groping implacable will stronger than his own will.
Joyce Carol Oates THE TATTOOED GIRL (2003)
Hegemony
the consistent dominance or influence of one group, state, or ideology over others

Crowd-pleasing French films like the 2001 smash hit Am élie fight American cultural hegemony.
TIME MAGAZINE (2004)
Insolent
(adj) boldly disrespectful in speech or behavior; rude

Word Origin
ME < L insolens < in-, in-2 + solens, prp. of solere, to be accustomed
Tempered
adjusted or attuned by adding a counterbalancing element

Ex-to temper criticism with reason

Temper also means trend. For instance: 'temper of the time', modern temper.
Foment
(v.) to promote trouble or rebellion; to apply warm liquids to, warm

Ex-to foment a riot

Word Origin
ME fomenten < OFr fomenter < LL fomentare < L fomentum, poultice < fovere, to keep warm < IE dhogwh- < base dhegwh-, to burn > Sans dáhati, (it) burns, MIr daig, fire
Subversive
(adj.) intended to undermine or overthrow; (n.) one who advocates or attempts to undermine a political system

Word Origin
ME subverten < MFr subvertir < L subvertere < sub-, sub- + vertere, to turn: see , verse

The play was promptly banned as subversive.
Repudiate
1. refuse to recognize or pay
2. to refuse to have anything to do with; disown or cast off publicly
3. to refuse to accept or support; deny the validity or authority of (a belief, a treaty, etc.)

Ex-He will make me love him, he will seduce me into making love with him, and then in triumph he will repudiate me.
Joyce Carol Oates MIDDLE AGE: A ROMANCE (2001)

Word Origin
< L repudiatus, pp. of repudiare, to put away, divorce < repudium, separation, a divorce < re-, away, back + base of pudere, to feel shame
Specious
an appearance of truth that is false or deceptive. EX. "the speciousness of his argument made many fall for it"

Word Origin
ME, fair, beautiful < L speciosus, showy, beautiful, plausible < species, look, show, appearance: see species. (remember looks/appearances are deceptive)
Harry
troubled persistently especially with petty annoyances

Ex- Belligerent checkpoint guards harry us from getting to an interview on time.
USA TODAY (2002),
Deleterious
Harmful

Ex- The boy had improved amazingly in the past few days, and in my opinion maternal fussing is deleterious to young persons.
Elizabeth Peters LORD OF THE SILENT (2001)

Etym:
1640s, from Medieval Latin deleterius, from Greek deleterios "noxious," from deleter "destroyer," from deleisthai "to hurt, injure." Related: Deleteriously; deleteriousness.
Nonplus
baffled, in a quandary, at a loss for what to say, do or think

From Latin nōn plūs, no more : nōn, not; see non- + plūs, more; see pelə-1 in Indo-European roots.
From Latin nōn plūs ("no more, no further")

Ex- The nominee remains nonplus, but his better half bears the better part of the burden.
CNN Transcript Jan 12, 2006
Craven
an abject coward

Ex-Jonathan Freedland objects to the word "craven" to describe Palestinian concessions.

craven (adj.) Look up craven at Dictionary.com
early 13c., cravant, perhaps from Old French crevante "defeated," past participle of cravanter "to strike down, to fall down," from Latin crepare "to crack, creak." Sense affected by crave and moved from "defeated" to "cowardly" (c.1400) perhaps via intermediary sense of "confess oneself defeated." Related: Cravenly; cravenness.
Furtive
(adj.) done slyly or stealthily, sneaky, secret, shifty; stolen
clandestine

While at work, George and his boss Regina felt the need to be as furtive as possible about their romantic relationship.
Rebuke
Reprimand

Their 2008 book, "The Sexual Person," just earned a rebuke from the U.S. bishops 'doctrine committee.
Overturning Catholic Moral Teaching on Homosexuality: Are Salzman And Lawler Right?
Contrite and hence also contrition
feeling regret for a fault or offence
Sincere remorse for wrongdoing; repentance. See Synonyms at penitence.,

No apology, no matter how contrite, is ever deemed sufficient.
2008 June 12 « Unambiguously Ambidextrous

Etym:
contrite (adj.) Look up contrite at Dictionary.com
c.1300, from Old French contrit and directly from Latin contritus, literally "worn out, ground to pieces," past participle of conterere "to grind," from com- "together" (see com-) + terere "to rub" (see throw (v.)). Used in English in figurative sense of "crushed in spirit by a sense of sin." Related: Contritely.
Remiss
(adj.) neglectful in performance of one's duty, careless

But I should point out that one area where we have been particularly remiss is in working with the aboriginal populations of this country.
Turning a Social Profit: Human Rights in the Age of Globalisation
Melee
(n.) a confused struggle; a violent free-for-all; a tumultuous mingling

Fr mêlée < OFr meslee: see medley

Ex-After enduring daily taunts about my name, I became enraged and pummeled the schoolyard bully and his sycophantic friends in a brutal melee.
Pummel
beat or pound with fists

Ex-After enduring daily taunts about my name, I became enraged and pummeled the schoolyard bully and his sycophantic friends in a brutal melee.

Etym: Pommel which is rounded back end of a sword
Becoming
Suitable; appropriate; proper; matching nicely

Her dress was becoming and made her look even beautiful
Virago
a large strong and aggressive woman

Poor Billy was the victim of the virago's invective—she railed at him for a good 30-minutes about how he is the scum of the earth for speaking loudly on his cellphone in public.

Etym:
late 14c., "man-like or heroic woman," from Latin virago, from vir "man" (see virile). Ælfric (c.1000), following Vulgate, used it in Gen. ii:23 (KJV = woman):
Beo hire nama Uirago, þæt is, fæmne, forðan ðe heo is of hire were genumen.
Ferret
(n.) a kind of weasel, polecat domesticated for catching rats and other rodents; (v.) to search or hunt out; to torment, badger

Audits should be conducted of all diocese to ferret out known abusers.
USA TODAY (2002)
Aboveboard
Honest

Etym: Above + Board (table)

"Welcome to California, where everything's aboveboard ," John said.
S.M. Stirling T2: INFILTRATOR (2001)
Extenuate
(v.) to lessen the seriousness or magnitude of an offense by making partial excuses; palliate

Ex-extenuating circumstances
His crime was extenuated by his mental illness- Manhattan

Word Origin
< L extenuatus, pp. of extenuare < ex-, out + tenuare, to make thin < tenuis, thin
Inclement
(adj.) stormy, harsh; severe in attitude or action

Word Origin
In+ clement - mild. Clement itself has a root in common with lean and lenient

"What brings you off the reservation on such an inclement Saturday evening?
Tony Hillerman TALKING GOD (1989)
Renege
fail to fulfill a promise or obligation

Ex-If someone reneged on a deal, they could never trade here again

Word Origin
Sp renegado, pp. of renegar, to deny < ML renegare < L re-, again + negare, to deny (see negation); the word replaces ME renagat < ML renegatus, pp. of renegare
Raffish
Cheaply vulgar in appearance or nature; tawdry; disreputable

Flaunting her curves in a clingy dress, made raffish with combat boots, she was a potentially fatal attraction well worth fighting for.
CHICAGO SUN-TIMES (2003)

Word Origin
Raff - scrap in british slang + ish
Rankle
To cause continuing anger or irritation
to cause or cause to have long-lasting anger, rancor, resentment, etc. ⇒ their indifference rankled him
verb: gnaw into; make resentful or angry
His constant whistling would rankle her, sometimes causing her to leave in a huff.
Word Origin
ME ranclen < OFr rancler < raoncle, draoncle, a fester, ulcer < ML dracunculus < L, dim. of draco, dragon
Facetious
joking often at inappropriate times; humorous;
adjective: cleverly amusing in tone
Facetious behavior will not be tolerated during sex education class; it's time for all of you to treat these matters like mature adults.
Hamstrung
ineffective, powerless; disabled, crippled, lame (as if by cutting one's hamstrings)
Piquant
(adj.) stimulating to the taste or mind; spicy, pungent; appealingly provocative

Her guests appreciated the serene elegance of the decor, the piquant variety of the menus, and above all the caliber of conversation.
Higonnet, Anne BERTHE MORISOT (1990)

Word Origin
Fr, prp. of piquer, to prick, sting: see pike2
Schmooze
A Yiddish expression meaning to chat idly or to cajole. Like many Yiddish expressions, the word sounds just like the meaning.

-- A trade organization for lobbyists still conducted its annual schmooze session with congressional staff members.
SEATTLE TIMES (1996)
Dispatch
Speed, promptness; send off or deal with in a speedy way

Gearing up for the 2008 Olympics, the city of Beijing worked with impressive dispatch: the National Stadium, colloquially referred to as the Bird's Nest, a work of such grandiosity that most municipalities would have labored five years to complete, was finished in less than half that time.
Hardiness
resilience, resolution, robustness, ruggedness, sturdiness, toughness

EX- Our Courage all is gone: Our hardiness (fool hardiness ) Hath us undone, undone.
Divine, Robert A. (editor) &amp; Breen, T. H &amp; Frederickson, George M &amp; Williams, R. Hal AMERICA PAST AND PRESENT (1995)
Humdrum
(adj.) ordinary, dull, routine, without variation, insipid

Hudson, who was vivacious in How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days and winsome in Almost Famous, is humdrum here.
USA TODAY (2003)
Prevail
(v.) to triumph over; to succeed; to exist widely, be in general use; to get someone to do something by urging

Before the match, Serena Williams was heavily favored, but Sabine Lisicki prevailed.
Cite
1. call in an official matter, such as to attend court
2. Quote

Ex- Veneman, asked if the department will cite the company for violations, said a government investigation at the plant is continuing.
SEATTLE TIMES (2002)

Word Origin
ME citen < OFr citer, to summon < L citare, to arouse, summon < ciere, to put into motion, rouse < IE base * kei- > Gr kinein, to move, OE hatan, to command
Importune
(v.) to trouble with demands; to beg for insistently; urge or entreat persistently or repeatedly

Ex-Confess yourself freely to her; importune her help to put you in your place again.
Gioia, Dana (editor) LITERATURE: AN INTRODUCTION TO FICTION, POETRY AND DRAMA (6TH EDN) (1995)

Word Origin
Fr importuner < OFr importun < L importunus, unsuitable, troublesome < in-, not + ( op) < portunus: see opportune

verb: beg persistently and urgently
After weeks of importuning the star to meet for a five-minute interview, the journalist finally got what she wanted.
Finagle
achieve something by means of trickery or devious methods

"If I was a CEO and wanted to finagle the numbers, I'd do something much more sophisticated," he says.
USA TODAY (2002)
Thoroughgoing
without qualification (EX. used informally as (often pejorative) intensifiers; "an arrant fool"; "a complete coward"; "a consummate fool"; "a double-dyed villain"; "gross negligence"; "a perfect idiot"; )
Legion
A large number; A military unit of the ancient Roman army, made up of about 5,000 foot soldiers and a group of soldiers on horseback.

Ex-
(adjective) numerous; many (used in the predicate) ⇒ her honors were legion
Hew
1. (US) to conform or adhere (to a line, rule, principle, etc.)
2. Strike;chop or hawk

Ex-When he appoints people of color or women who oppose his views or are known to hew to a different ideology, I'll truly be impressed.
SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE (2004)
Disabuse
Disenchant
Torrid
1. Intensely hot and dry. 2. Burning with passion.


Ex-If the world already knows about our torrid love affair, what's the harm in a bucket of fried clams?
Barbara Delinsky PASSION AND ILLUSION (1983)

Word Origin
L torridus < torrere, to dry: see thirst
Provincial
(adj.) pertaining to an outlying area; local; narrow in mind or outlook, countrified in the sense of being limited and backward; of a simple, plain design that originated in the countryside; (n.) a person with a narrow point of view; a person from an outlying area; a soldier from a province or colony
Decrepit
(adj.) old and feeble; worn-out, ruined

Ex- According to survivors, the vessel that sank Friday was overcrowded and decrepit and began leaking through its hull.
USA TODAY (2003)

Word Origin
ME & OFr < L decrepitus < de-, intens. + crepitus, pp. of crepare, to creak, rattle (in LL, to burst, die): see craven
Cavalier
1. carefree and nonchalant
2. haughty; arrogant; supercilious
3. an armed horseman; knight
4. a gallant or courteous gentleman, esp. one serving as a lady's escort
Bandy
To exchange words; to discuss casually. (bandied about = talked about) EX- PBd: People in our culture bandy about terms like sexual energy and sexual harmony without really understanding what they mean.
Mantak Chia, Maneewan Chia, Douglas Abrams, and Rachel Carlton Abrams, M.D THE MULTI-ORGASMIC COUPLE (2001)
Sclerotic
1. becoming rigid and unresponsive; losing the ability to adapt
2. of, characterized by, or having sclerosis{In medicine, sclerosis (also spelled sclerosus in the names of a few disorders) refers to the stiffening of a structure, usually caused by a replacement of the normal organ-specific tissue with connective tissue.)}
Verisimilitude
(n.) the quality of appearing to be true, real, likely, or probable

Ex- He is just a little too tall and too thin for verisimilitude.
Alex Shakar THE SAVAGE GIRL (2001)

Word Origin
< L verisimilis < verus, true (see very) + similis, , similar
Subterfuge
A deceptive stratagem or device; artifice

The government "is trying every subterfuge to recover votes.
USA TODAY (2004)

Word Origin
LL subterfugium < L subterfugere, to flee secretly, escape < subter, secretly (< subter, below) + fugere, to flee: see fugitive
Heretic
1. a person who holds religious beliefs in conflict with the dogma of the Roman Catholic Church
2. , a person who holds unorthodox opinions in any field (not merely religion)
Heckler
sb who annoys (a speaker) by interrupting with questions or taunts

Ex-They heckled him and interrupted his address with angry questions.
Grumble
to make low, unintelligible sounds in the throat; growl

Ex- The heckler, hiding amongst the amorphous crowd, is the epitome of cowardice - as soon as he has been identified, he goes scuttling off, head down, grumbling to himself.
Numinous
Suggesting the presence of a divine; spiritually elevated( contrast it with hagiographic which means books or biographies of saints)
Repast
A meal; food and drink for a meal

The most fun is a Valentine's Day repast with options for a meal at the table or in bed.
TIME MAGAZINE (2004)
Dander
1.(US Inform) anger; temper { also see "to get on'es dander up (informal) - to become or make angry; lose, or make lose, one's temper}
2. small scales from animal skins or hair or bird feathers that can cause allergic reactions in some people,
Corral
1. A pen for horses, cattle, and other animals
2. , to enclose; to restrict; to gather

The plucky election campaign has managed to corral support from the most unlikely corners--even typically derelict voters are eyeing the voting booth with more than indifference. -Magoosh
Rile
(It is a dialectic variation of roil which means make muddy, turbid by stirring up the sediments of liquid.
2. This same meaning also lead to - to agitate, irritate, enrage
Cavil
(v.) to find fault in a petty way, carp; (n.) a trivial objection or criticism

The grammar teacher caviled at the slightest fault, sometimes going so far as to berate students for forgetting to cross a 't'.
Superfluity
Excess, beyond what is needed
Subvert
Overthrow or undermine authority or prevailing idea etc
Converge
tending to come together from different directions

Lake Michigan forced major regional highways and rail lines to converge at its southern end.
CHICAGO SUN-TIMES (2002)
Undergird
1. to gird, strengthen, or brace from the bottom side
2. to supply support or a strong basis for

"We believe that certain universal values are going to support and undergird that process.
WASHINGTON TIMES (2003)
Gird
to encircle or fasten with a belt or band
to surround, encircle, or enclose
to equip, furnish, clothe, etc.
to endow with some attribute
to prepare (oneself) for action
Conflate
mix together different elements esp different texts and ideas


verb: mix together different elements or concepts
In her recent book, the author conflates several genres--the detective story, the teen thriller, and the vampire romance--to create a memorable read.

The mistake often made is to conflate occasionally clumsy or unresponsive parental behaviour, with systematic abuse and neglect.
SPIKED (2004)

"Don't conflate gossip with real news"
Trope
1. common and conventional ideas
2. figurative language

The axiom that `labor creates all wealth "had been the birthright of American unionism as well as a key trope of the producer ethic.
Kazin, Michael THE POPULIST PERSUASION: AN AMERICAN HISTORY (1995)
Anodyne
a medicine used to relieve pain
Contention
1. the act of contending; strife, struggle, controversy, dispute, quarrel, etc.
2. a statement or point that one argues for as true or valid

Ex- Author illustrates general contention (argument/claim) with a specific example.
Qualify
1. to limit; make less strong or positive

Ex- to qualify one's opinion
Persnickety
Extremely fastidious; fussy, meticulous

Ex- Meticulous to a fault, Sarah is often considered persnickety; unless, of course, her consummate eye for detail works in one's favor. -Magoosh
Unschooled
uninitiated; lacking in schooling, not educated;

Ex- To the unschooled the music of Bach, at once intensely personal because of the simplicity of its melodies and inaccessible because of contrapuntal complexity, can seem the product of two distinct composers.
Contumely
full of insolence; a rude expression intended to offend or hurt

Ex- Unlike her predecessor, Mayor Williams would not brook any impertinence from her subordinates. Even a seemingly innocuous comment she tended to construe as one full of contumely.
Execrate
deserving a curse, hiss at, abuse, loathe etc

Ex- The stage of daytime talk shows has become our Roman coliseum - the audience, hissing and booing, execrates the "culprit," who is forced to justify some unseemly behavior.
Implicate
Claim sb guilty, imply(more directly though) s/he is guilty

verb: to envy someone for possessing or enjoying something
Sitting all alone in his room, Harvey begrudged the happiness of the other children playing outside his window.
verb: to give reluctantly
We never begrudge money spent on ourselves.
So to speak
not literally, figuratively, metaphorically; in a manner of speaking
Wily
crafty; shrewdness as demonstrated by being skilled in deception

Ex- Max was so wily that he never could be caught in an outright lie; his duplicity worked its seductive spell through a calculated mix of half-truths and disingenuousness. -Magoosh
Knowing
1. having knowledge or information
2. shrewd; clever
3.implying shrewd understanding or possession of secret or inside information ⇒ a knowing look

She gave him a knowing look that was not so much accusatory as it was admonitory.
Stilted
Raised on stilts and hence also came to mean artificially stiff, akward or formal in manner

Ex- Jansen's writing strikes many as paradoxical: for one who is capable of enduing even the most recondite topics with a breezy tone, his prose becomes stilted in the informal correspondences he had with his contemporaries.
Preempt
1. to replace (TV programming) Ex- A governmental warning about an imminent terrorist attack would preempt ordinary network programming on television. -Magoosh
2. to seize before anyone else can, excluding others; appropriate beforehand
Seismic
Related to earthquakes

Word Origin
< Gr seismos, earthquake < seiein, to shake < IE base * twei-, to excite, shake, shock > Sans tviṣ-, to be excited, sparkle
Autodidactic
self taught
Peter out
gradually wither, languish and eventually vanish
Pugnacious
Belligerent, truculent
Patina
1. a fine coating of oxide on the surface of a metal such as copper, bronze
2. Gloss or superficial layer
Prodigious
Enormous
Forthcoming
happening in the near future; ready; willing to help; Ex. No answer was forthcoming.
Epigramatic
Terse, witty (like a maxim)
Operatic
of or relating to or characteristic of opera so also figuratively dramatic etc
Pan out
pan out well, succeed
Stultify
1. to render worthless, useless, or futile 2.to make dull or torpid 3. to make seem foolish, stupid, inconsistent, etc.; make absurd or ridiculous 4. (law) to allege to be of unsound mind and therefore not legally responsible

verb: cause one, through routine, to lose energy and enthusiasm
As an undergraduate Mark felt stultified by classes outside his area of study; only in grad school, in which he could focus solely on literary analysis, did he regain his scholarly edge.

Word Origin
LL stultificare < L stultus, foolish, akin to stolidus, stolid + facere, to make, , do1
Intrigue
(n.) Machination, crafty dealings, underhanded plotting; (v.) to form and carry out plots; to puzzle or excite the curiosity; secrete love affair
Trenchant
Sharp;Incisive; having keenness and forcefulness and penetration in thought, expression, or intellect

Most importantly, the word is different from 'insightful'

Ex- News blogs have become popular, as many offer trenchant commentary not found in most traditional media, which tend to eschew publishing writing that may be deemed offensive by some. -Magoosh
Polemic
a controversy (especially over a belief or dogma)
Probing
Thorough and diligent in investigation,
Simper
to smirk, smile foolishly
Telling
Startling, Effective, Forceful Ex- It is telling that ...
Disaffected
to cause to lose affection for; make unfriendly, discontented, or disloyal,ESP TOWARDS GOVT
Canard
(n.) a false rumor, fabricated story, folk tale, urban legend
Asides
remarks made to the audience that the rest of the characters onstage don't here
Inexorable
Implacable;
impervious to pleas, persuasion, requests, reason
adjective - not to be placated or appeased or moved by entreaty
Vapid
(adj.) dull, uninteresting, tiresome; lacking in sharpness, flavor, liveliness, or force
Ex- Vapid talk
Indisposed
(adj., part.) slightly ill; disinclined to do something; disqualify
Politic
adj. Prudent,shrewd, and expedient.
adj. Discreet and diplomatic.
adj. Artful, crafty or cunning.
Polymath
n. A person with extraordinarily broad and comprehensive knowledge. (Note- S/he is not necessarily a mathematician)
Sophomoric
Immature and overconfident; conceited(vain,)
Oblique
indirect or evasive; misleading or devious
Hector
1. Bully; intimidate with threats; bluster (Meaning must have its origin in Greek mythology: Hector was a mythical best Trojan warrior who was killed by Achilles during the Trojan War
Solicitude
Care or concern for someone or something (sometimes excessive)
Ex- It was not out of mere solicitude that Mozart, by then well established, sought out a young Beethoven—in the latter's early work Mozart divined a genius that he hoped to, in some way, cultivate.
Bracing
1. Invigorating,
2. a structural member used to stiffen a framework
Ineffable
ADJ- unspeakable, Incapable of being expressed in words, indescribable,

adjective: too sacred to be uttered; defying expression or description
While art critics can occasionally pinpoint a work's greatness, much of why a piece captures our imaginations is completely ineffable.
Broadside
a speech of violent denunciation, abusive attack (esp in newspaper)

broadside
noun: a strong verbal attack
Political broadsides are usually strongest in the weeks leading up to a national election.
Sate
fill to satisfaction

EX. "I am sated"
Countenance
(verb) permit or tolerate

Ex- The Democrats couldn't countenance the foul play of Ballmer's game.
Frederic Alan Maxwell BAD BOY BALLMER (2002)
Precedent
an example that is used to justify similar occurrences at a later time
Windfall
1. stroke of good luck; a sudden happening that brings good fortune (as a sudden opportunity to make money),
2. fruit that has fallen from the tree
Expatiate
TO SPEAK OR WRITE AT LENGTH, IN GREAT DETAIL
Modular
Cognitive science theory about how the brain is organized within its structures. Specific regions to perform specific information.; NOT UNITARY
Conversant
Knowledge about or experienced with (Not talkative!)
Recidivist
a person who goes back to crime
Inveigh
(v.) to make a violent attack in words, express strong disapproval; fulminate
(contrast the word with inveigle)
Inveigle
influence or urge by gentle urging, caressing, or flattering
Vassal
A lord who was granted land in exchange for service and loyalty to a greater lord

Ex- Queen Blanche's brothers, Louis and Robert, were appointed vassals to her spouse only in 1345, more than a decade after coronation.

Word Origin
OFr < ML vassalus, manservant, extension of vassus, servant < Celt: for IE base see valet
Serf
A medieval peasant legally bound to live on a lord's estate
Fretful
Worrisome, irritable, gnawing
Recrimination
return an accusation against someone or engage in mutual accusations
Odius
hateful, extremely unpleasant
Claque
(n.) a group of people hired to applaud a performer or performance; enthusiastic or fawning admirers; an opera hat
Officiate
preside over;, (v) to perform the duties of an office, to conduct a religious ceremony, to referee
Habiliments
Clothing, especially for professional, ceremonial, or other special purposes
Wanton
behave extremely cruelly and brutally also lascivious and promiscuous (compare it with libertine which is pure chase of pleasure)
Bluster
(v.) to talk or act in a noisy and threatening way; to blow in stormy gusts; (n.) speech that is loud and threatening
Patois
A regional dialect, especially a nonstandard one that has no written tradition

Ex- O'Neill's Irish patois so disconcerted the royal visitors that they found themselves struggling in vain to continue negotiations in their eloquent Queen's English. -Manhattan
Disportment
hobby, to divert or amuse (oneself); frolic

Ex- Traditional upper class disportments such as fox hunting have largely given way to more egalitarian amusements.- Manhattan
Wheedling
Gentle, constant persuading by flattery and teasing
Fabulist
a teller of fables; a liar
Cull
to select, weed out; to pick out; select ⇒ to cull facts from an encyclopedia; to pick out in order to discard or destroy ⇒ a librarian culled unneeded books
Undulating
wave-like motion;a gentle rising and falling in the manner of waves
Plumb
1. to discover the facts or contents of; fathom; solve; understand
2. the metal bob of a plumb line

Statistics need to be plumbed for their meaning: while both population and amount meat eaten annually remained static, the growing gap bet the wealthy and poor meant that the wealthy few were eating more meat than ever, while the masses suffered shortage. - Manhattan
Iniquitous
unjust; wicked; inrighteous
Enervate
weaken mentally or morally
Minatory
menacing, threatening
Pleonasm
the use of more words than necessary or an instance of this, such as a tiny little child
Rapacious
voracious, greedy, plundering, subsisting on prey
Odium
(n.) hatred, contempt; disgrace or infamy resulting from hateful conduct
Occlusive
tending to occlude i.e. block
Evince
to demonstrate, show clearly, to indicate
Quondam
former, erstwhile; bygone ("Let bygones be bygones")
Gratuitious
a relatively small amount of money given for services rendered (as by a waiter)
Sedition
an illegal action inciting resistance to lawful authority and tending to cause the disruption or overthrow of the government
Perfervid
ardent; impassioned;fervid;fervent
Prefigure
Foreshadow, portentous, presage
Tergiversate
be deliberately ambiguous or unclear in order to mislead or withhold information
Adumbrate
to foreshadow vaguely, intimate, suggest, or outline sketchily, give to understand, summary; delineate

Ex- Historically, they adumbrate a business consolidation phase coming as well as a stall in stock market momentum.,
Eleemosynary
charitable
Acclivity
an upward slope or grade (as in a road)
Staid
(adj.) serious and dignified; quiet or subdued in character or conduct
Lackey
Sycophant; A follower who behaves in the manner of a servant; toady; flunky. A liveried manservant; footman.
Myrmidon
1. a follower who carries out orders without question,
2. (Greek mythology) a member of the warriors who followed Achilles on the expedition against Troy
Gentry, Gentility
1. A class of powerful, well-to-do people who enjoy a high social status , 2. Aristocratic or well-bred people (just below in rank to the nobility) 3. people of a particular class or group ⇒ the newspaper gentry

Gentility- Upper Class Status; Conduct befitting such status

Word Origin
ME genterie, noble or high birth; prob. taken as sing. of genterise, gentility of birth < OFr, var. of gentilise < gentil: see gentle
Transgression
the action of going beyond or overstepping some boundary or limit; so also violation of law
Abjure
formally reject or disavow a formerly held belief, usually under pressure (Etym: away+swear)
Adjure
Command, enjoin, entreat
Etym: towards+swear
Depose
To remove from office or power

(Ety: put+down)
Reprove
(v.) to find fault with, scold, rebuke

(Ety: back+prove)
Arrogate
1. seize and take control without authority and possibly with force; appropriate arrogantly
2. to ascribe or attribute without reason

verb: seize and control without authority
Arriving at the small town, the outlaw arrogated the privileges of a lord, asking the frightened citizens to provide food, drink, and entertainment.

(Ety: towards+ask)
Abrogate
(v.) to repeal, cancel, declare null and void; abolish, nullify

(away+proposed law)
Sanctimonious
(adj.) making a show of virtue or righteousness; hypocritically moralistic or pious, self-righteous, canting, holier-than-thou
Simulacrum
an image; a likeness; semblance

noun: a representation of a person (especially in the form of sculpture)
The Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center showcases a simulacrum of all the present and approved buildings in the city of Shanghai.
noun: a bad imitation
The early days of computer graphics made real people into a simulacrum that now seems comical.
Sonorous
Full, deep, or rich in sound; impressive in style
Tractable
Easily managed or controlled, OBEDIENT; YIELDING
Ant: Intractable
(ety: tract- drag)
Aver
to declare or affirm solemnly and formally as true
(Ety: a-towards+ver- true)
Controvert
to dispute, reason or argue against

Ety: Turn + Against
(See also incontrovertible)
Abduct
Kidnap

(away+lead)
Upbraid
to scold, reproach, reporove sharply

Ex-The truth is that the Republican rivals really can't upbraid Romney for his business record because it would put them at odds with the philosophy of the Republican party.
Gainsay
(v.) to deny, contradict, controvert; to dispute, oppose

Ety: gain- against+say
Impudent
shamelessly bold; insolent; impertinent; rude; brash

Ex- She nearly sank upon the ground last night when he called the impudent wench his bride.
Apogee
Point at which an orbiting object is farthest from what is being orbited, or the apey of something; pinnacle;acme;zenith;summit;apex

Etym: apo-, from + gaia, gē, earth

Antonym: perigee (peri-near+ge -earth)

Ex- But I do see a grandiose future for Brazil, a future comparable only to the apogee of the great civilizations of yore.
Ribeiro, Joao Ubaldo AN INVINCIBLE MEMORY (1988)
Standoffish
lacking cordiality; discourteous; distant; aloof
Agglomerate
To pile or heap together, a mass or cluster

In base cannibalism, our baptized sins agglomerate --- envy, usury, calumny, or murder.
EXQUISITE CORPSE (2001)
Sprightly
(adj.) lively, full of life; spicy, flavorful
Palliate
remedy that alleviates pain without curing; extenuate i.e. lessen or to try to lessen the seriousness or extent of crime etc
Antagonize
1. Make hostile or unfriendly, provoke, enrage 2. Oppose or counteract
Protagonist fights with the antagonist.
Placate
to soothe or pacify; appease; mollify; assuage
Appease
To calm; to soothe or pacify; mollify; assuage; generally associated with cowardice and giving into bullying
Descry
Investigate, see carefully esp distant or obscure objects; catch sight of
Anchorite
hermit; one retired from society for religious reasons; recluse
Hegemony
the domination of one state or group over its allies

Crowd-pleasing French films like the 2001 smash hit Am élie fight American cultural hegemony.
TIME MAGAZINE (2004)
Bumpkin
1. an awkward, unsophisticated country person; a yokel; rustic (country bumpkin); boor (boorish); churl (churlish); peasant
2. a short beam projecting from a sailing ship, used as in securing a stay or brace

Boor is from a German word for farmer
kakistocracy
Government by the least qualified or most unprincipled citizens
(kaki- bad+cracy-govt)
Larky
done with a carefree adventure; capricious; whimsical; mercurial; arbitrary
Acrid
Harsh, bitter, sharp; caustic; acerbic; astringent; excoriate
excogitate
think thoroughly, plan, or devise; contrive
Furtive
Marked by stealth; covert; surreptitious; clandestine
Timorous
dastardly; timid, fearful, coward, craven, pusillanimous
Ascension
(New Testament) the rising of the body of Jesus into heaven on the 40th day after his Resurrection

2. Rising of sth/sb to the top; crescendo
Vitiate
corrupt morally or by intemperance or sensuality; debauch; ruin; debase
Depredate
deface, efface, to plunder, to lay waste, to prey upon; EX-That Egyptologists believe the ancient Egyptians' memory of the Pharaoh Tutankhamun quickly faded after his death is based on the fact that the Pharaoh's tomb was not "depredated" in antiquity, but rather was found nearly intact by twentieth-century archaeologists. -MGRE
Traduce
Slander, defame
Insalutary
deleterious, not beneficial, helpful; healthful, wholesome
Insalubrious
detrimental to health, unwholesome, deleterious
Risible
laughable, hilarious, provoking laughter
Divagate
To wander, ramble, or drift about hence, to digress.; diffuse ( e.g. diffuse speech i.e. speech going off topic a lot)
Dispassionate
(adj.) impartial; disinterested, not having personal motivation
Farrago
olio; pastiche; a careless or confused mixture; hodge-podge;
Occult
verb- eclipse Ex- "Other former members of NSYNC have felt their careers occulted (or eclipsed) by the stunning success of Justin Timberlake." -MGRE

(adj) Mysterious, magical, supernatural
Flagrant
Egregious; Glaringly bad; outrageous
Educe
elicit; To draw or bring out
Bedeck
decorate; embellish
A priori
Deduced from logic alone
A posteriori
Empirically
Enfeeble
make weak; enervate
innumerable
too numerous to be counted

contrast it with enumerable = countable
Acerbate
make sour or bitter; exacerbate
Omnibus
providing for many things at once
Ex- "an omnibus law"
Extrinsic
extraneous; not forming an essential part of a thing or arising or originating from the outside

Antonym: Intrinsic
Constancy
As well as meaning resoluteness it also means fortified; fidelity; loyalty; stability

Antonym: Inconstancy
Fugitive
Best know for its meaning as one who flees or runs away also means fleeting, lasting a very short time; wandering; difficult to grasp
Fortitude
Courage/strenght in facing difficulties
Stinting
holding back; limiting the supply (of supplies/money etc.) [stint (v)];
sparing or grudging in giving
Otiose
(adj) futile, lazy, slothful, idle, and useless
Meretricious
1. an appearance of truth that is false or deceptive
2. based on pretense,
EX. deceptively pleasing; "the gilded and perfumed but inwardly rotten nobility"; "meretricious praise"; "a meretricious argument"
Portentous
You are aware of its meaning as "ominous" however it also means "very significant, exciting wonder and awe."Ominous
Heterodox
UNORTHODOX; NOT WIDELY ACCEPTED
Limerick
5 line poem, usually funny
Bawdy
humorously vulgar
Parlous
full of danger or risk, perilous; precarious
Proletariat
Marx's term for the exploited class, the mass of workers who do not own the means of production
Legate
emissary; representative; deputy; a representative sent on a special mission, especially one representing the pope
Blather
To talk nonsense in an inane manner and at a great length. To gabble or talk ridiculously.; Ex- The politician's blather is all rhetoric and no sense.
Somnolent
Soporific; Drowsy; sleepy
Nugatory
TRIFLING; INVALID; frivolous
Bromide
a trite or obvious remark; cliche; shopworn

Instead of sharing his umbrella, the cheeky stranger offered Martha the following bromide: "Looks like it's raining."
Imprimatur
Formal approval; , Latin for "let it be printed" it is granted to Catholic Bishops to assure the reader that nothing therein is contrary to Catholic faith or morals.
Declamatory
bombastic; ostentatiously lofty in style;
Cabal
a clique (often secret) that seeks power usually through intrigue
Expiate
to atone or make amends for; ask to be forgiven
Threnody
a funeral song; requiem; dirge; elegy
Purloin
filch; pilfer; larceny
chanteuse
a female singer
Comestibles
suitable for use as food
Reprisal
A retaliation for an injury.

noun: a retaliatory action against an enemy in wartime
The Old Testament doctrine of an eye for an eye is not the kind of retaliation practiced in war; rather, an arm, a leg, and both ears are the reprisal for the smallest scratch.
Instantiation
to represent by a concrete example; instance; a representation of an idea in the form of an instance of it
Bridle
To bridle at : Bristle at; (v) To show sudden annoyance She bridled at the suggestion that she attend work on Sunday.
verb - put a bridle on
noun - the act of restraining power or action or limiting excess
noun - headgear for a horse

verb: the act of restraining power or action or limiting excess
New curfew laws have bridled people's tendency to go out at night.
verb: anger or take offense
The hostess bridled at the tactless dinner guests who insisted on eating before everybody had gotten their food.
Bristle
To react in an angry or offended manner, a stiff hair; to become tense with anger
Hoi Polloi
Common People
Ex- With all the trappings of a "successful" novelist, Farminghouse perhaps will most likely experience a(n) meteoric fame: posterity rarely looks kindly on those writers who bedazzle the hoi polloi.
Benighted
being in a state of intellectual darkness; ignorant; unenlightened

Ex- While society may regard science as some arcane activity closed off to the benighted masses, the daily life of a scientist--driving to work each day, checking emails, meeting deadlines--can seem quotidian.
Begrudge
deny; to give/alllow reluctantly, to envy a possession or one's enjoyment
verb: to envy someone for possessing or enjoying something
Sitting all alone in his room, Harvey begrudged the happiness of the other children playing outside his window.
verb: to give reluctantly
We never begrudge money spent on ourselves.
Unbidden
uninvited, not ordered or commanded; spontaneous, not asked or summoned;
Unimpeachable
beyond doubt or reproach; adjective - free of guilt; not subject to blame ; adjective - completely acceptable; not open to exception or reproach

After his long and unimpeachable service to the company, Sharat felt that a gold watch was a slap in the face rather than an honor.
Hauter
n. haughtiness in behavior; arrogance; showing disdain towards others


noun: overbearing pride evidenced by a superior manner toward inferiors
As soon as she won the lottery, Alice begin displaying a hauteur to her friends, calling them dirty-clothed peasants behind their backs.
Garbled
Confused, mixed up
Apprehension
Awareness, perception, knowledge of an impending physical contact; anxiety or fear about the future

Ex- Our apprehension of the world is only possible through the collaboration of the eye and brain. For without light striking the retina, there would be no image for the occipital lobe to project, so to speak, onto the conscious mind. And without the occipital lobe to manage visual input from the eyes, there would be no coherent reality.
Register
A form of language appropriate to a particular situation.
Loath
unwilling; reluctant (usually followed by an infinitive) ⇒ to be loath to depart
Loathe
Hate
Treacly
Cloyingly sweet or sentimental
Fulsome
excessive, overdone, sickeningly abundant
Glum
(adj.) depressed, gloomy; moody
Disconsolate
(adj.) unconsolable; deeply unhappy or dejected; without hope, beyond consolation
Scotch
(v) To put an end to

Ex- Once the formerly nomadic people developed farming and settled in a valley rich in natural resources and protected from invaders, they were able to live a halcyon existence for hundreds of years, a period which was 'scotched' only in the twentieth century when contact with Westerners destroyed that way of life. -MGRE
Frangible
fragile; easy to break
Juvenescence
youthfulness; adolescence
Nefarious
(adj.) wicked, depraved, devoid of moral standards
Feckless
Lazy and irresponsible; torpid
Nugatory
worthless, of no real value, trifling,
Mephitic
noisome; foul or offensive smelling
Flounder
to move clumsily; to struggle or proceed with difficulty; also a flat fish; to speak or act in an awkward, confused manner, with hesitation and frequent mistakes

EX- She was erudite but diffident, which explained her frequent reticence, even when her fellow scholars were floundering over material she understood well. -MGRE
Jejune
Dull, vapid, uninteresting; childish, immature; lacking nutrition

adjective: dull; lacking flavor
Although many top chefs have secured culinary foam's popularity in haute cuisine, Waters criticizes it for being jejune and unfilling.
adjective: immature; childish
Her boss further cemented his reuptation for being jejune after throwing a fit when the water cooler wasn't refilled.

Ex- With Tudjman gone and Milosevic at bay, the jejune West celebrates among the smoking ruins of the quondam prosperous Yugoslavia.
EXQUISITE CORPSE (2001)
Tenebrous
dark and gloomy

Ex- Then the cave was restored to its former state of tenebrous gloom.
Julian May IRONCROWN MOON: PART TWO OF THE BOREAL MOON TALE (2004)
Pertinacious
Holding firmly, even stubbornly, to a belief

Ex- The future of the accord was uncertain as desires to mitigate constituents' frustrations with previous votes along party lines were balanced with seemingly 'pertinacious' beliefs.
Interregnum
the time between two reigns, governments, etc.
Potlatch
A feast at which a wealthy person gives away food and goods as a sign of wealth and power.
Quietus
A silencing, suppressing, or ending.

noun
1. discharge or release from debt, obligation, or office
2. discharge or release from life; death
3. anything that kills
4. anything that serves to quiet, curb, or end an activity
Ontology
noun -the branch of metaphysics dealing with the nature of being, reality, or ultimate substance ,
the study of the nature of existence

Ex- Thompson's claim that the discovery of the sixth quark will be the last great scientific discovery is not a contention about scientific discovery itself but rather about (i) society's view of such discoveries. This fact explains why Thompson's thesis cannot be (ii) rebuffed as easily as other seemingly similar claims for Thomson's exhibits no unjustified prejudice in favor of present sentiment. Rather, Thomson contends that any future scientific discovery won't be deemed significant without a foundational change in (iii) ontology : energy rather than matter needs to be considered the foundational building blocks of the universe.
epistemology
A branch of philosophy that investigates the origin, nature, methods, and limits of human knowledge.
Dionysian
As distinguished from Apollonian, the word refers to sensual, pleasure-seeking impulses; of the orgiastic nature of the Dionysia; wild, frenzied, and sensuous; On the other hand, Apollonian means well-ordered, rational, and serene.

Etymology: In Greek mythology, Dionysus was the god of wine and revelry: identified with the Roman Bacchus

Ex- She had one inviolate rule when hosting her famous madcap revelries: only Dionysian people made the guest list.
Saturnalian
characterized by riotous, unrestrained, orgiastic revelry or licentiousness

Saturnalia: ([occas. with pl. v.]) 1. the ancient Roman festival of Saturn, held about Dec. 17, with general feasting and revelry in celebration of the winter solstice
2. ([s-] [ occas. with pl. v.]) any period or occasion of unrestrained, often orgiastic, revelry
Solstice
solstice The summer solstice is the day of the year with the most hours of daylight, and the winter solstice is the day of the year with the fewest hours of daylight. solstices
Plutonian
associated with the hell or underworld, infernal

Ex- the rows of abandoned, boarded-up tenement houses made for a rather Plutonian landscape
Quiescent
being quiet or still or inactive
Solecism
(n.) a substandard or ungrammatical usage; a breach of etiquette; any impropriety or mistake
Skullduggery
trickery; underhandedness
Strident
LOUD; HARSH; UNPLEASANTLY NOISY

EX- They were like two whispering voices inside his head, both so strident that they mixed and became unintelligible.
Garth Nix ABHORSEN (2003)
Innuendo
(n.) a hint, indirect suggestion, or reference (often in a derogatory sense)

Ex- The case for price-fixing proved difficult to prosecute as the available evidence of (i) collusion between the two companies never really rose above (ii) innuendo. While believed to exist at one point, all emails containing (iii) overt pricing agreements had mysteriously disappeared before the trial began. -MGRE
Cavernous
Like a large cave in size or darkness, Hollow and deep sounding

EX- A cavernous room or building is very large inside, and so it reminds you of a cave.Shrill teenage squeals echoed round the cavernous hall. - Coll
Excise
(v.) to remove by cutting; (n.) an indirect tax on the manufacture, sale, or distribution of a commodity or service
Ingenue
an artless girl; an actress who plays such parts
Bolt
(v.) dash or dart off (write something hurriedly and without much thought); fasten (a door); gobble down (to eat something very fast, swallowing large chunks)
Festoon
1. garland- an ornamental chain of flowers, leaves, or ribbons hanging in a loop or curve between two point
2. an ornamental chain of flowers or ribbons."
Hypnagogic
Somniferous; soporific; sleep inducing
Bathetic
TRITE, BANAL, , overly sentimental, , maudlin, producing an unintentional effect of anticlimax; an abrupt, often ludicrous change from the lofty to the ordinary or trivial in writing or speech; unintentional anticlimax
Abet
(v.) to encourage, assist, aid, support especially in something wrong or unworthy
Despoil
plunder; , To strip; to pillage
Bedaub
To smear over, as with something oily or sticky., spread or daub (a surface)
Palter
equivocate; prevaricate; , be deliberately ambiguous or unclear in order to mislead or withhold information

EX- I felt obliged to shift and palter , as someone once said -- to avoid your questions.
Thomas, Craig THE LAST RAVEN
Rhapsodize
Speak or write in an extravagantly enthusiastic manner

EX- Although the professor was well-respected for his vast array of knowledge, he would often (i) rhapsodize during his (ii) verbose lectures, unnecessarily extending class.
Tardy
Dilatory; Slow; late; overdue; delayed,
Browbeating
bullying, intimidate, hector
Reconnoiter
(v.) to engage in reconnaissance; to make a preliminary inspection
Log
to record or register the progress or occurrences

EX- Dictionaries today are (i) inadequate in capturing the meaning of many descriptors because use of common adjectives varies by personal experience. While someone accustomed to life in the snow-swept regions of Canada may describe a certain amount of snowfall as "light," someone from the arid southern regions of Arizona might describe (ii) the same volume of precipitation as "very heavy." Such regional discrepancies are not (iii) logged in current standard definitions. -MGRE
Hallow
(syn.) venerate, bless, consecrate, respect, revere

EX- He made a promise to himself never to hallow her grave and kept this promise even after he learned of how misguided his beliefs of her maliciousness had been.- MGRE
Laity
Nonprofessionals, laypeople collectively

EX- The ubiquitous nature of the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation (CMBR), which was originally thought to be error in detection instrumentation, lends credence to modern theories about the origin of the universe; such theories, many say, should be more axiomatic in the minds of the scientific laity. - MGRE
Bedlam
(n.) a state or scene of uproar and confusion
EX- Once someone has experienced the bedlam of war, he develops a more keen appreciation for the structure and order of daily life. -MGRE
provincial
Narrow-minded; unsophisticated

adjective: characteristic of the a limited perspective; not fashionable or sophisticated
Maggie's enthusiasm about her high school teams seemed provincial to her college classmates, all of whom were following a nationally ranked college team.
discrete
Distinct, separate
adjective: constituting a separate entity or part
What was once known as Czechoslovakia has since split into two discrete, independent nations.
expound
To explain in detail
verb: add details or explanation; clarify the meaning; state in depth
The CEO refused to expound on the decision to merge our department with another one, and so I quit.
forthcoming
about to appear; available when needed; communicative
adjective: available when required or as promised
The President announced that the senators were about to reach a compromise, and that he was eager to read the forthcoming details of the bill.
unscrupulous
Immoral
adjective: without scruples or principles
In the courtroom, the lawyer was unscrupulous, using every manner of deceit and manipulation to secure a victory for himself.
intransigent
(adj) adjective: unwilling to change one's beliefs or course of action
Despite many calls for mercy, the judge remained intransigent, citing strict legal precedence.
Austere
severe or stern in appearance; undecorated
adjective: practicing self-denial
His lifestyle of revelry and luxurious excess could hardly be called austere.
adjective: unadorned in style or appearance
Late Soviet architecture, although remaining largely austere, moved into experimental territory that employed previously unused shapes and structures.
adjective: harsh in manner of temperament
The principal of my elementary school was a cold, austere woman; I could never understand why she chose to work with children.
scrupulous
Conscientious; extremely thorough
adjective: characterized by extreme care and great effort
Because of his scrupulous nature, Mary put him in charge of numbering and cataloging the entire collection of rare stamps.
adjective: having a sense of right and wrong; principled
Everyone trusted what he said and followed his example because he was scrupulous and honest.
foment
Stir up; instigate
verb: try to stir up public opinion
After having his pay cut, Phil spread vicious rumors about his boss, hoping to foment a general feeling of discontent.
Ingenuous
NAIVE AND TRUSTING; LACKING SOPHISTICATION
adjective: to be naïve and innocent
Two-years in Manhattan had changed Jenna from an ingenuous girl from the suburbs to a jaded urbanite, unlikely to fall for any ruse, regardless of how elaborate.
upbraid
to scold sharply
verb: to reproach; to scold
Bob took a risk walking into the "Students Barbershop"—in the end he had to upbraid the apparently drunk barber for giving him an uneven bowl cut.
restive
impatient, uneasy, or restless
The crowd grew restive as the comedian's opening jokes fell flat.
Gossamer
(adj.) thin, light, delicate, insubstantial; (n.) a very thin, light cloth
adjective: characterized by unusual lightness and delicacy
The gossamer wings of a butterfly, which allow it to fly, are also a curse, so delicate that they are often damaged.
entrenched
adjective: fixed firmly or securely
By the time we reach 60-years old, most of our habits are so entrenched that it is difficult for us to change.
impudent
Rude
adjective: improperly forward or bold
In an impudent move, the defendant spoke out of order to say terribly insulting things to the judge.
inexorable
inflexible; unyielding
adjective: impossible to stop or prevent
The rise of the computer was an inexorable shift in technology and culture.
Fulminate
1. attack loudly in words; denounce thunderously; 2. explode noisily with sudden violence
languid
adjective: not inclined towards physical exertion or effort; slow and relaxed
As the sun beat down and the temperature climbed higher, we spent a languid week lying around the house.
timorous
timid, fearful, diffident
adjective: timid by nature or revealing fear and nervousness
Since this was her first time debating on stage and before an audience, Di's voice was timorous and quiet for the first 10 minutes.
Temerity
Boldness
Rebuke
Reprimand
verb: criticize severely or angrily; censure
The police chief rebuked the two officers whose irresponsible decisions almost led to the deaths of seven innocent by-standers.
craven
A coward
adjective: pathetically cowardly
Though the man could have at least alerted the police, he crouched cravenly in the corner as the old woman was mugged
stringent
Strict
adjective: demanding strict attention to rules and procedures
Most of the students disliked the teacher because of his stringent homework policy, but many students would later thank him for demanding so much from them.
dispassionate
(adj.) impartial; calm, free from emotion
adjective: unaffected by strong emotion or prejudice
A good scientist should be dispassionate, focusing purely on what the evidence says, without personal attachment.
vindictive
SPITEFUL; VENGEFUL; UNFORGIVING
adjective: to have a very strong desire for revenge
Though the other girl had only lightly poked fun of Vanessa's choice in attire, Vanessa was so vindictive that she waited for an entire semester to get the perfect revenge.
indignant
Angry at unfairness
adjective: feeling anger over a perceived injustice
When the cyclist swerved into traffic, it forced the driver to brake and elicited an indignant shout of "Hey, punk, watch where you're going!"
macabre
Gruesome; grisly
pine
verb: to yearn for
Standing forlornly by the window, she pined for her lost love.
screed
an abusive rant that has since become tedious and hackneyed
noun: an abusive rant (often tedious)
Joey had difficulty hanging out with his former best friend Perry, who, during his entire cup of coffee, enumerated all of the government's deficiencies--only to break ranks and launch into some screed against big business.
Inflammable
adjective: extremely controversial, incendiary
It only takes one person to leave an inflammable comment on an Internet thread for that thread to blow up into pages upon pages of reader indignation.
slapdash
adjective: carelessly and hastily put together
The office building had been constructed in a slapdash manner, so it did not surprise officials when, during a small earthquake, a large crack emerged on the façade of the building.
unnerve
verb: to make nervous or upset
At one time unnerved by math problems, she began avidly "Magoosh-ing", and soon became adept at even combinations and permutations questions.
telltale
adjective: revealing
The many telltale signs of chronic smoking include yellow teeth, and a persistent, hacking cough.
dog
verb: to pursue relentlessly; to hound
Throughout his life, he was dogged by insecurities that inhibited personal growth.
raft
noun: a large number of something
Despite a raft of city ordinances passed by an overzealous council, noise pollution continued unabated in the megalopolis.
exhort
(v.) to urge strongly, advise earnestly
verb: to strongly urge on; encourage
Nelson's parents exhorted him to study medicine, urging him to choose a respectable profession; intransigent, Nelson left home to become a graffiti artist.
ferret
(n.) a kind of weasel; (v.) to search or hunt out; to torment, badger
verb: to search for something persistently
Ever the resourceful lexicographer, Fenton was able to ferret out the word origin of highly obscure words.
Errant
adjective
roving or wandering, esp. in search of adventure; itinerant ⇒ a knight-errant
erring or straying from what is right or the right course
shifting about ⇒ an errant wind

adjective: to be wandering; not sticking to a circumscribed path
Unlike his peers, who spent their hours studying in the library, Matthew preferred errant walks through the university campus.
Pittance
(n.) a woefully meager allowance, wage, or portion
noun: a small amount (of money)
Vinny's uncle beamed smugly about how he'd offered his nephew fifty dollars for his Harvard tuition; even twice the amount would have been a mere pittance.
moment
noun: significant and important value
Despite the initial hullabaloo, the play was of no great moment in Hampton's writing career, and within a few years the public quickly forgot his foray into theater arts.
bootleg
transitive verb, intransitive verb
to make, carry, or sell (esp. liquor) illegally or such liquor
EX- During the heyday of Prohibition, bootlegging had become such a lucrative business that many who had been opposed to the 18th Amendment began to fear it would be repealed.
cadaverous
(adj.) pale, gaunt, resembling a corpse
adjective: emaciated; gaunt
Some actors take challenging roles in which they have to lose so much weight that they appear cadaverous.
raffish
1. adjective: marked by a carefree unconventionality or disreputableness
The men found him raffish, but the women adored his smart clothes and casual attitude.

2. Cheaply vulgar in appearance or nature; tawdry; disreputable
stolid
HAVING OR SHOWING LITTLE EMOTION
adjective: having or revealing little emotion or sensibility; not easily aroused or excited
Elephants may appear stolid to casual observers, but they actually have passionate emotional lives.
guffaw
verb: laugh boisterously
Whenever the jester fell to the ground in mock pain, the king guffawed, exposing his yellow, fang-like teeth.
Fete
To honor with a banquet or feast
verb: to celebrate a person
After World War II, war heroes were feted at first but quickly forgotten.
Proponent
(n.) one who puts forward a proposal; one who espouses/supports a cause or belief

noun: a person who pleads for a cause or propounds an idea
Ironically, the leading proponent of Flat-Earth Theory flies all over the world in an effort to win more adherents.
Boon
noun: a desirable state
Modern technology has been a boon to the travel industry.
adjective: very close and convivial
He was a boon companion to many, and will be sadly missed.
Moot
(adj.) open to discussion and debate, unresolved; (v.) to bring up for discussion; (n.) a hypothetical law case argued by students
adjective: open to argument or debate; undecidable in a meaningless or irrelevant way
Since the Board just terminated Steve as the CEO, what the finance committe might have thought of his proposed marketing plan for next year is now a moot point.
Genteel
(adj) refined; polite; aristocratic; affecting refinement
Banish
Exile
verb: expel from a community, residence, or location; drive away
The most difficult part of the fast was banishing thoughts of food.
Smattering
a slight or superficial understanding of a subject
noun: a slight or superficial understanding of a subject; a small amount of something
I know only a smattering of German, but Helen is able to read German newspapers and converse with natives.
Brusquely
adverb: in a blunt, direct manner
Not one for social pleasantries, the Chief of Staff would brusquely ask his subordinates anything he wanted, even coffee.
Exasperate
verb: to irritate intensely
As a child, I exasperated my mother with strings of never-ending questions.
Devolve
erb: pass on or delegate to another
The company was full of managers known for devolving tasks to lower management, but never doing much work themselves.
verb: grow worse (usually "devolve into")
The dialogue between the two academics devolved into a downright bitter argument.
Foible
a behavioral attribute that is distinctive and peculiar to an individual
When their new roommate sat staring at an oak tree for an hour, Marcia thought it indicated a mental problem, but Jeff assured her it was a harmless foible.
2. A special weakness of character; a failing; a weak point; a fault of a not very serious kind.
steadfast
adjective: marked by firm determination or resolution; not shakable
A good captain needs to be steadfast, continuing to hold the wheel and stay the course even during the most violent storm.
retract
To draw back; withdraw
verb: pull inward or towards a center; formally reject or disavow a formerly held belief, usually under pressure
Email is wonderfully efficient, but once something awkward or damaging has been sent, there is no way to retract it.
Incumbent
resting upon as a duty or obligation

adjective: necessary (for someone) as a duty or responsibility
Middle managers at times make important decisions, but real responsibility for the financial well-being of the corporation is ultimately incumbent on the CEO.
veneer
noun: covering consisting of a thin superficial layer that hides the underlying substance
Mark Twain referred to the Victorian Period in America as the "Gilded Age", implying the ample moral corruption that lay beneath a mere veneer of respectability.
Discreet
adjective: careful to protect one's speech or actions in order to avoid offense or gain an advantage
The professor thought that he was discreet, subtly wiping the stain off of his shirt, but as soon as he stepped off the podium a member of the audience pointed out the large ketchup stain.
besiege
(v.) to attack by surrounding with military forces; to cause worry or trouble
verb: harass, as with questions or requests; cause to feel distressed or worried
After discovering a priceless artifact in her backyard, Jane was besieged by phone calls, emails, and reporters all trying to buy, hold or see the rare piece of history.
obliging
Ready to do favors; helpful; courteous
adjective: showing a cheerful willingness to do favors for others
Even after all his success, I found him to be accommodating and obliging, sharing with me his "secret tips" on how to gain wealth and make friends.
snub
act or instance of snubbing (treating with contempt); rebuff; slight; insult
verb: refuse to acknowledge; reject outright and bluntly
Wheeler was completely qualified for the committee, but the board snubbed him, choosing an obviously lesser qualified candidate instead.
Beg the question
verb: to evade or dodge (a question)
By assuming that Charlie was headed to college—which he was not—Maggie begged the question when she asked him to which school he was headed in the Fall.

Ex- But these speculations are not satisfactory because they beg the question of why men need to resort to this tactic more than women.
Buss, David M. THE EVOLUTION OF DESIRE: STRATEGIES OF HUMAN MATING (1994),

to assume what has still to be proved
expunge
(v.) to erase, obliterate, destroy
verb: to eliminate completely
When I turned 18, all of the shoplifting and jaywalking charges were expunged from my criminal record.
conciliate
To reconcile, to pacify, to renew a friendship
verb: to make peace with
His opponents believed his gesture to be conciliatory, yet as soon as they put down their weapons, he unsheathed a hidden sword.
factious
causing dissension
adjective: produced by, or characterized by internal dissension
The controversial bill proved factious, as dissension even within parties resulted
defray
verb: to help pay the cost of, either in part of full
In order for Sean to attend the prestigious college, his generous uncle helped defray the excessive tuition with a monthly donation.
fractious
(adj.) tending to be troublesome; unruly, quarrelsome, contrary; unpredictable
adjective: irritable and is likely to cause disruption
We rarely invite my fractious Uncle over for dinner; he always complains about the food, and usually launches into a tirade on some touchy subject.
limpid
clear; transparent
adjective: clarity in terms of expression
Her limpid prose made even the most recondite subjects accessible to all.
remonstrate
(v.) to argue or plead with someone against something, protest against, object to
verb: to make objections while pleading
The mothers of the kidnapped victims remonstrated to the rogue government to release their children, claiming that the detention violated human rights.
jaundice
1. yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes caused by an accumulation of bile pigment (bilirubin) in the blood
2. a bitter or prejudiced state of mind, caused by jealousy, envy, etc.
Shelly was jaundiced towards Olivia; though the two had once been best friends, Olivia had become class president, prom queen, and, to make matters worse, the girlfriend of the one boy Shelly liked.
Peremptory
adjective
(law)
1. barring further action, debate, question, etc.; final; absolute; decisive
not requiring that any cause be shown ⇒ a peremptory challenge of a juror
2. that cannot be denied, changed, delayed, opposed, etc., as a command
3. intolerantly positive or assured; imperious ⇒ a peremptory manner; bossy and domineering
My sister used to peremptorily tell me to do the dishes, a chore I would either do perfunctorily or avoid doing altogether.
Pyrrhic
a too costly victory (in reference to either of two victories of Pyrrhus, king of Epirus, over the Romans in 280 and 279 b.c., with very heavy losses)

adjective: describing a victory that comes at such a great cost that the victory is not worthwhile
George W. Bush's win in the 2000 election was in many ways a pyrrhic victory: the circumstances of his win alienated half of the U.S. population.
Arriviste
noun: a person who has recently reached a position of power; a social climber
The city center was aflutter with arrivistes who each tried to outdo one another with their ostentatious sports cars and chic evening dress.
Mulct
verb: to defraud or swindle
The so-called magical diet cure simply ended up mulcting Maria out of hundreds of dollars, but did nothing for her weight.
picayune
(adj.) of little value or importance, paltry, measly; concerned with trifling matters, small-minded

adjective: trifling or petty (a person)
English teachers are notorious for being picayune; however, the English language is so nuanced and sophisticated that often such teachers are not being contrary but are only adhering to the rules.
parvenu
noun: a person who has suddenly become wealthy, but not socially accepted as part of a higher class
The theater was full of parvenus who each thought that they were surrounded by true aristocrats.
propitiate
to conciliate; to appease

verb: to placate or appease
The two sons, plying their angry father with cheesy neckties for Christmas, were hardly able to propitiate him - the father already had a drawer full of ones he had never worn before or ever planned to.
imbroglio
difficult or embarrassing situation

noun: a confusing and potentially embarrassing situation
The chef cook-off featured one gourmand who had the unfortunate distinction of mixing the wrong broths, creating an imbroglio that diners would not soon forget.
phantasmagorical
a series of images that seem as though they are out of a dream

adjective: illusive; unreal
Those suffering from malaria fall into a feverish sleep, their world a whirligig of phantasmagoria; if they recover, they are unsure of what actually took place and what was simply a product of their febrile imaginations.
Fell
cruel
adjective: terribly evil
For fans of the Harry Potter series, the fell Lord Voldemort, who terrorized poor Harry for seven lengthy installments, has finally been vanquished by the forces of good—unless, that is, JK Rowling decides to come out of retirement.
sangfroid
(n.) composure or coolness, especially in trying circumstances

noun: calmness or poise in difficult situations
The hostage negotiator exhibited a sangfroid that oftentimes was more menacing than the sword at his throat, or the gun at his head.
gerrymander
Process of redrawing legislative boundaries for the purpose of benefiting the party in power.

verb: to manipulate voting districts in order to favor a particular political party
Years ago, savvy politicians had gerrymandered the city center to ensure their re-election.
palimpsest
1. A manuscript written over earlier ones.

2. noun: something that has been changed numerous times but on which traces of former iterations can still be seen
The downtown was a palimpsest of the city's checkered past: a new Starbucks had opened up next to an abandoned, shuttered building, and a freshly asphalted road was inches away from a pothole large enough to swallow a small dog.
quisling
noun: a traitor
History looks unfavorably upon quislings; indeed they are accorded about the same fondness as Nero—he who watched his city burn down while playing the violin.
blinkered
adjective: to have a limited outlook or understanding
In gambling, the addict is easily blinkered by past successes and/or past failures, forgetting that the outcome of any one game is independent of the games that preceded it.
impute
verb: attribute (responsibility or fault) to something
He imputed his subpar performance on the test to a combination of stress and poor sleep.
provident
PROVIDING FOR FUTURE NEEDS; FRUGAL

adjective: careful in regard to your own interests; providing carefully for the future
In a move that hardly could be described as provident, Bert spend his entire savings on a luxurious cruise, knowing that other bills would come due a couple months later.
providential
Happening by good fortune

adjective
of, by, or as if decreed by divine providence
quail
intransitive verb

to draw back in fear; lose heart or courage; cower

Craig always claimed to be a fearless outdoorsman, but when the thunderstorm engulfed the valley, he quailed at the thought of leaving the safety of his cabin.
enjoin
verb: give instructions to or direct somebody to do something with authority; adjure

The government agency enjoined the chemical company to clean up the hazardous dump it had created over the years.
moribund
About to die or end.

adjective: being on the point of death; declining rapidly losing all momentum in progress
Whether you like it or not, jazz as a genre is moribund at best, possibly already dead.
mordant
(adj) Biting or caustic in thought, manner, or style; sharply or bitterly harsh

adjective: biting and caustic in thought, manner, or style
While Phil frequently made mordant remarks about company policy overall, he always was considerably gentler in discussing any person in particular.
punctilious
(adj.) very careful and exact, attentive to fine points of etiquette or propriety; meticulous

adjective: marked by precise accordance with details
The colonel was so punctilious about enforcing regulations that men fell compelled to polish even the soles of their shoes.
maunder
to talk or move aimlessly, mutter

verb: wander aimlessly
Max liked to maunder down by the seaside and pick up whatever sea shells he would stumble upon.
verb: speak (about unimportant matters) rapidly and incessantly
After drinking two expressos each, the animated couple would maunder loudly, annoying the other patrons in the coffee shop.
semblance
A likeness, outward appearance; an apparition; simulacrum

noun: an outward or token appearance or form that is deliberately misleading
While the banker maintained a semblance of respectability in public, those who knew him well were familiar with his many crimes.
redoubtable
(adj.) inspiring fear or awe; illustrious, eminent

adjective: inspiring fear or awe
On television basketball players don't look that tall, but when you stand in front of a seven-foot tall NBA player, he is truly redoubtable.
firebrand
(n.) a piece of burning wood; a troublemaker; an extremely energetic or emotional person

noun: someone who deliberately creates trouble
Freddie is a firebrand: every time he walks into the office, he winds up at the center of heated argument.
imperious
(adj.) overbearing, arrogant; seeking to dominate; pressing, compelling; peremptory

adjective: having or showing arrogant superiority to and disdain of those one views as unworthy
Children are imperious with each other before they learn that earning someone's respect is better than demanding.
magisterial
Learned and authoritative; adjective: offensively self-assured or given to exercising unwarranted power
Though she was only a third grade teacher, Ms. Martinet was magisterial in dealing with her class, lording over them like a queen.
flippant
frivolous and disrespectful; saucy; impertinent
adjective: showing inappropriate levity
Although Sam was trying to honor Mark's sense of humor, many found it quite flippant that he wore a comic nose and glasses mask to Mark's funeral.
corollary
(n.) a proposition that follows from one already proven; a natural consequence or result; (adj.) resultant or consequent

noun: a practical consequence that follows naturally
A corollary of Hurricane Sandy, which ravaged the east coast of the U.S., is a push to build higher sea walls to protect against future hurricanes.
dispensation
noun: an exemption from a rule or obligation
Since her father is a billionaire, she is given dispensation from many of the school's policies.
untrammeled
unrestrained; adjective: not confined or limited
The whole notion of living untrammeled inspired the American Revolution and was enshrined in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.
gambit
to take a risk for some advantage

noun: a manuveur or risk in a game or conversation, designed to secure an advantage
Randy played a gambit, telling his boss that he would leave at the end of the week if he didn't get a raise.
objurgate
scold; castigate

verb: express strong disapproval of
The manager spent an hour objurgating the employee in the hopes that he would not make these mistakes again.
inchoate
not fully formed; disorganized

adjective: only partly in existence; imperfectly formed
Inchoate ideas about the relation of humans to other animals had been discussed since the Middle Ages but the modern theory really began with Darwin.
Besotted
(adj.) intoxicated, drunk; infatuated or obsessed

adjective: strongly affectionate towards
Even though her father did not approve, Juliet became besotted with the young Romeo.
adjective: very drunk
Never before have I seen my mom so besotted, and honestly, I hope it's the last time she drinks so much.
Epigram
A concise but ingenious, witty, and thoughtful statement.; apothegm
noun: a witty saying
My favorite epigram from Mark Twain is "A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn no other way."
rapproachment
reconciliation; restoration of cordial relations, especially between two countries

noun: the reestablishing of cordial relations
Although Ann hoped that her mother and her aunt would have a rapprochement, each one's bitter accusations against the other made any reconciliation unlikely.
Apothegm
a short, instructive saying

noun: a short, pithy instructive saying
Winston Churchill is famous for many apothegms, but this might be his most famous: "It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried."
Inequity
an injustice

noun: injustice by virtue of not conforming with rules or standards
After decades of racial inequity, the "separate but equal" doctrine was successfully overturned.
inviolable
Secure from violation or from being profaned

adjective: never to be broken, infringed, or dishonored
Too many the grass at Wimbledon is inviolable and only greater tennis players are able to enjoy a game there.
impervious
impossible to penetrate; , (adj.) not affected or hurt by; admitting of no passage or entrance

adjective: not admitting of passage or capable of being affected
I am not impervious to your insults; they cause me great pain.
ethereal
(adj.) light, airy, delicate; highly refined; suggesting what is heavenly (rather than earthbound)

adjective: characterized by lightness and insubstantiality
Because she dances with an ethereal style, ballet critics have called her Madame Butterfly.
Coterminus
Adjacent; adjoining; having a common boundary.

adjective: being of equal extent or scope or duration
The border of the state is coterminous with geographic limits on travel; the east and north are surrounded by a nearly uncrossable river and the south by a desert.
pontificate
Speak pompously or dogmatically

verb: talk in a dogmatic and pompous manner
The vice-president would often pontificate about economic theory, as if no one else in the room were qualified to speak on the topic.
gumption
Courage and initiative; common sense

noun: resourcefulness and determination
Wallace Stegner lamented the lack of gumption in the U.S. during the sixties, claiming that no young person knew the value of work.
obtuse
lacking sharpness of intellect, not clear or precise in thought or expression


adjective: slow to learn or understand; lacking intellectual acuity; lacking in insight or discernment
Jackson was the most obtuse member of the team: the manager's subtle ironies were always lost on him.
desiccated
(adj., part.) thoroughly dried out; divested of spirit or vitality; arid and uninteresting

adjective: uninteresting, lacking vitality
Few novelists over 80 are able to produce anything more than desiccated works--boring shadows of former books.
raillery
(n.) good-humored ridicule; teasing

noun: light teasing
The new recruit was not bothered by the raillery, finding most of it light-hearted and good-natured.
exiguity
smallness; thinness; the quality of being meager.

noun: the quality of being meager
After two months at sea, the exiguity of the ship's supplies forced them to search for fresh water and food.
promulgate
To make known officially

verb: state or announce
The President wanted to promulgate the success of the treaty negotiations, but he had to wait until Congress formally approved the agreement.
capitulate
(v.) to end resistance, give up, surrender, throw in the towel

noun: to surrender (usually under agreed conditions)
Paul, losing 19-0 in a ping-pong match against his nimble friend, basically capitulated when he played the last two points with his eyes closed.
splenetic
adjective: very irritable
Ever since the car accident, Frank has been unable to walk without a cane, and so he has become splenetic and unpleasant to be around.
palaver
idle talk

verb: speak (about unimportant matters) rapidly and incessantly
During the rain delay, many who had come to see the game palavered, probably hoping that idle chatter would make the time go by faster.
flag
verb: droop, sink, or settle from or as if from pressure or loss of tautness; become less intense
After the three crushing defeats in the last three games, the team's enthusiasm began to flag.
adjudicate
To hear and decide judicially; to judge

verb: to serve as a judge in a competition; to arrive at a judgment or conclusion
Only those with the most refined palates were able to adjudicate during the barbeque competition.
infelicitous
adjective: inappropriate
During the executive meeting, the marketing director continued to make infelicitous comments about the CEO's gambling habit.
loath to
reluctant to; contrast it with loathe which means hate
adjective: unwillingness to do something contrary to your custom (usually followed by 'to')
I was loath to leave the concert before my favorite band finished playing.
obtain
PREVAIL, be in force. for e.g. rules obtaining in other jurisdictions

adjective: be valid, applicable, or true
The custom of waiting your turn in line does not obtain in some countries, in which many people try to rush to front of the line at the same time.
dissolution
DISINTEGRATION; DEBAUCHERY

noun: a living full of debauchery and indulgence in sensual pleasure
Many Roman emperors were known for their dissolution, indulging in unspeakable desires of the flesh.
Synoptic
General in view; giving synopsis. Abridged

Ex- Given the flood of information presented by the mass media, the only way for someone to keep abreast of the news is to rely on SYNOPTIC accounts.
Foreground
1. to bring to or place in the foreground; emphasize; highlight
Ex- The lionization of Nabokov as one of North America's literary giants has thrown the spotlight on his peripheral activities and has thus served to foreground his efforts as an amateur entomologist.
Abstain
Decline to vote, Hold back, refrain (especially from something bad or unhealthy)

Ex- The church board voted on whether to hold an abstinence rally to encourage young people not to become sexually active; while most members voted in favor, one voted against and two abstained, with one abstainer commenting that, as far as she knew, the church's teens were pretty abstemious already.
Aggrandize
Augment; TO MAKE LARGER OR GREATER; Exaggerate
clinch
Make final or settle conclusively; to fasten or hold together

Definition: Make final or settle conclusively; to fasten or hold together

Usage: When their best player was benched, the team fell behind, but once he was allowed back in the game, the team was able to clinch the win. / These two pieces have been clinched together with a clamp while the glue dries.

More Info: In sports, to clinch a championship is to gain so great a lead that it is impossible not to win. To clinch a contract is to lock it down. To clinch a nail is to flatten the part that sticks out—that is, to finish your work.
Confer
Definition: Consult, compare views; bestow or give

Usage: A Ph.D. confers upon a person the right to be addressed as "Doctor" as well as eligibility to pursue tenure-track professorship. / Excuse me for a moment to make a call—I can't buy this car until I confer with my spouse.

Related Words: Vest can mean "grant an authority or right," as in "The ownership of 51% of the stock vests her with the right to make decisions for the company."
Console
A control panel, or small table or cabinet (n); Lessen the suffering or grief of (v)

Usage: I was unable to console Tina after she fell asleep at the console of her airplane and thereby failed her pilot's exam.

Related Words: Succor (comfort, provide relief)

More Info: As a verb, the word is pronounced "con-SOLE." As a noun, it's pronounced "CON-sole."
Cerulean
azure, sky-blue

The skies remained cerulean , the sea gentle as a lamb, the beach smooth as satin.
Lenard, Yvonne CHANTAL (1989)
Lilac
Purplish white; Any of various shrubs of the genus Syringa, especially S. vulgaris, widely cultivated for its clusters of fragrant purplish or white flowers.
Lurid
Causing shock or horror
If you say that something is lurid, you are critical of it because it involves a lot of violence, sex, or shocking detail....lurid descriptions of their love life.
Manacle
(n., usually pl.) a handcuff, anything that chains or confines; (v.) to chain or restrain (as with handcuffs)

Ex- Some of the company's supporters charged that the negative report had been motivated by a broader political assault on the company that was designed to help market rivals who would like to see the company manacled.
Temporal
Auditio;
lasting only for a time; transitory; temporary, not eternal, of this world; worldly, not spiritual, civil or secular rather than ecclesiastical, of or limited by time, (grammar) expressing distinctions in time; pertaining to tense, a temporal thing, power, etc.


American English: temporal Temporal powers or matters relate to ordinary institutions and activities rather than to religious or spiritual ones....their spiritual and temporal leader.

Ex- But researchers actually found a surprising temporal relation between subjective experience and objectively measured neural events.
Posturing
Behave in a way that it is intended to impress or mislead people; an attitude assumed merely for effect

Ex- The recent publication of the painter Motherwell's substantial body of writings undermines Ann Gibson's assertion that the Abstract Expressionist were reluctant to articulate issues of artistic meaning and suggests that this supposed reticence was perhaps more artistic POSTURING than historical fact. - PowerPrep-II
epistolary
Concerned with letters; through correspondence, A piece of literature contained in or carried on by letters
Partisanship
an inclination to favor one group or view or opinion over alternatives; Someone who is partisan strongly supports a particular person or cause.He is clearly too partisan to be a referee.
orbicularis oris muscle
Closes the lips aka the kissing muscle.
Cantankerous
(adj.) irritable; ill-humored; stubborn; cranky

They're individualistic, and can be cantankerous.- Time
Contravene
to contradict, oppose, violate

Word Origin
Fr contrevenir < LL contravenire < L contra, against + venire, to come

Ex- The board has banned the movie on the grounds that it contravenes criminal libel laws.
Chiasmus
A statement consisting of two parallel parts in which the second part is structurally reversed ("Susan walked in, and out rushed Mary.")

Another example is "do not live to eat, but eat to live"
Metempsychosis
Transition of the soul of a human being at death into another body, whether human or beast.

Ex- As Prof. Wilson observes there is in the Rig-Veda, which is the stock Veda, scarcely any indication or doctrinal or philosophical
speculation, no allusion to the later notions of the several schools, nor is there any hint of metempsychosis" -- Riddles In Hindiusm
Phthisis
A wasting away (or a part or of the body); vernacular for pulmonary tuberculosis

Ex- "The post mortem gave the cause of death as ` phthisis ', or tuberculosis." --Ben Macintyre JOSIAH THE GREAT: THE TRUE STORY OF THE MAN WHO WOULD BE KING (2004)
Casuistry
1.specious reasoning
2. the application of general principles of ethics to specific problems of right and wrong in conduct, in order to solve or clarify them
3.subtle but misleading or false reasoning; sophistry, esp. about ethics

Ex- "Christianity, as any other system with moral values, must engage in casuistry."
Elwell, Walter (editor) THE CONCISE EVANGELICAL DICTIONARY OF THEOLOGY (1991)
Votary
A person bound by vows to live a life of religious worship or service; a faithful follower; an enthusiast

Ex- Silence is part of the spiritual discipline of a votary of truth
Predicate
1. to affirm or base (something) on or upon given facts, arguments, conditions, etc.
2. (grammar) the verb or verbal phrase, including any complements, objects, and modifiers, that is one of the two immediate constituents of a sentence and asserts something about the subject

Ex- agreed that it would be better to have the support of U. S. allies, but said: "We must not predicate our actions on global opinion.
SEATTLE TIMES (2002)
Thaumaturgy
- Acts of magic, miracle

Ex- By real magic people mean miracles, thaumaturgical acts, and supernatural powers - Net of Magic by Lee Siegel
Deracinate
verb (transitive)

1. to pull up by or as if by the roots; uproot; extirpate
2. to remove, as from a natural environment

Ex- "What if this text actually reveals to the deracinated urban school child or NRI reader that there is much shameful ambiguity in "ancient Indian culture" to which we should be reverently and unquestionably wedded? What if women learn that contemporary Indian sexuality has deep roots in, not the Wicked West but our own ancient Indian culture?"
Theodicy
(noun) the branch of theology that defends God's goodness and justice in the face of the existence of evil

Ex- There are many others, but I'll leave you with Plantinga's take on theodicy: why is there evil in the world. His answer is full of LOLz, for he explains that the best of all possible world must have evil in it.
Fire and Brimstone
God's punishment for sin.

Origin: Brimstone is an ancient term for sulfur

Ex- "Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and a horrible tempest, this shall be the portion of their cup." - Psalm 11:6
Rejigger
to change or rearrange n a new or different way

"Yet by rejiggering the balance of attention to accommodate more self-generated thought, we may actually get far closer to realizing the dreams we most want for ourselves." - Psychology Today
Palinopsia
Patients see afterimages, both as a reduced amount of time required to form an afterimage, and an increased duration of the afterimage. Even routine eye movement is accompanied by flickers of what the eye has scanned ("tracers").
Throw a monkey wrench
to interfere with a smoothly running operation; to upset something in progress

Origin:
In the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, people were being replaced by machines, so they would try to harm the machines by throwing things into gearboxes, etc.

In Belgium, they would throw their wooden shoes into the gears. The Flemish (and French) word for shoe is "sabot." When the workers threw their shoes into machines, they were sabotaging them. Really!

As far as the "monkey wrench," that is an adjustable wrench, or spanner, that was supposed to be so easy to use, that a monkey could use it. It also was thrown into machinery to sabotage it, or perhaps "wrench-age" it?
Pick up the tab
Pay the bill.

Ex- Since he came into a lot of money, he always picks up the tab whenever we go out to dinner.
Dismal
Causing gloom or misery; Causing gloom or misery; Dreary
Raison d'etre
reason or justification for existing; French for "reason of being"

Ex--She didn't need to be told those words were not just a motto---they were a raison d'être.
Stephanie Laurens SCANDAL&APOS;S BRIDE (2001)
Desolation
an event that results in total destruction
Bellwether
(n). the male sheep that leads the flock to the slaughterhouse; a leader, as in a desperate or violent undertaking; an indicator of trends SYN: ringleader, initiator, barometer ANT: follower, imitator, emulator
Feral
1. (esp. of an animal) in a wild state, esp. after escape from captivity or domestication,
2. EXISTING IN A WILD OR UNTAMED STATE
Parakeet
a small type of parrot often kept as a pet,
Croesus
King of Lydia, destroyed his own kingdom because of a misinterpreted oracle; , A very rich person

Ex- rich as Croesus- Engliss expression used to indicate great wealth
Unedifying
not edifying, distasteful; unpleasant (especially of an event taking place in public)
Ex- "the unedifying sight of the two leaders screeching conflicting proposals
Dative
0. adjective:(grammar) designating, of, or in the case of the indirect object of a finite verb
noun: the dative case: in English this case may be expressed analytically by to or by word order (Ex.: I gave the book to Jack, I gave him the book)
a word or phrase in this case

1. In general, the dative indicates a person or thing who is somehow interested in or affected by the action in some immediate way. ie. "He seemed to me to be a fool.",
2. Indirect object-used to answer the questions "to whom or for whom" used mostly after verbs of giving, telling, showing, saying.,
3. Expresses "to,for" when the verb has the meaning of giving, telling, or showing. Also called the Indirect Object. It refers to people-not things
Locution
A word or expression; phraseology; a particular style of speech
Ex- We're talking about the way the word like has become a ubiquitous locution in kids ' vocabularies.
PHILADELPHIA ENQUIRER (2002)

Ex- Sherman ended with his customary locution : "The Blue Eye is open for business, ladies and gentlemen.
Tony Daniel METAPLANETARY (20
Gravitas
Great or very dignified seriousness; Roman dignity equivalent to to Arete.

Ex- In other years, that was the type of gravitas or preparation that was expected.
SEATTLE TIMES (2004)
je ne sais quoi
an indescribable or inexpressible something; literally, "I know not what." (French)

Ex- "This house lacks what the French may call a certain je ne sais quoi," said the pretentious rich bastard.
Epidemiology
STUDY OF INCIDENCE, DISTRIBUTION AND CONTROL OF DISEASE IN A POPULATION
Caudate
- Principle component of the basal gangial system, mediating MOVEMENT, affective behavior, learning, reward, and other cognitive processes (COGNITION),
-part of basal ganglia, gray matter connecting the lateral ventricle to the temporal lobe, has functions in motor control as well as learning and memory; dysfunction in caudate nucleus are implicated in OCD, Parkinson's and Hungtington's

Ex- As you make your way through the scientific studies that Raeburn has assembled—the book touches on everything from prairie voles and Neanderthals to "the caudate, a deep brain structure associated with feelings of love" -NewYorker
abate
subside or moderate
aberrant
abnormal or deviant
abeyance
suspended action
abscond
depart secretly and hide
abstemious
sparing in eating and drinking temperate
admonish
warn reprove
adulterate
make impure by adding inferior or tainted substances
aesthetic
artistic dealing with appreciating beauty
aggregate
gather accumulate
alacrity
cheerful promptness; eagerness
alleviate
relieve
amalgamate
combine; unite in one body
ambiguous
unclear doubtful in meaning
ambivalence
the state of having contradictory or conflicting emotional attitudes
ameliorate
improve
anachronism
something or someone misplaced in time
analogous
comparable
anarchy
absence of governing body; state of disorder
anomalous
abnormal irregular
Apathy
lack of caring indifference
antipathy
aversion dislike
approbation
approval
arduous
difficult
apprise
inform
artless
without guile open and honest
ascetic
practicing self denial austere
assiduous
diligent
assuage
ease or less in pain satisfy hunger soothe anger
attenuate
make thinner weaken or lessen
audacious
daring bold
autonomous
self governing
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