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Definitions with an * denote definitions not found in the Word Power book, but are necessary in understanding the word or the root of the word.

a fortiori

For a still stronger reason; all the more. Used of a conclusion that is logically more certain than another.


Adherence; compliance; continuance.

Abu Dhabi

A sheikdom and city of eastern Arabia on the Persian Gulf. The city is the capital of the federated United Arab Emirates. With enormous oil revenues, the sheikdom has one of the highest per capita incomes in the world.


1. Judgment, as by a jury or judge, that a defendant is not guilty of a crime as charged.
2. The state of being found or proved not guilty.


1. A source of continuing, increasing irritation or trouble.
2. Exasperation.


1. In or into a position in which the hands are on the hips and the elbows are bowed outward.
2. Being in a bent, bowed, or arched position.


1. The Arabic system of numeration; the decimal system.
2. Computation with Arabic figures.


A vehement quarrel.


An abrupt change within a sentence to a second construction inconsistent with the first, sometimes used for rhetorical effect.

Example: "I warned him that if he continues to drink, what will become of him?"

anaphylactic shock

A sudden, severe allergic reaction characterized by a sharp drop in blood pressure, urticaria, and breathing difficulties that is caused by the injection of a foreign substance, such as a drug or bee venom, into the body after a preliminary or sensitizing injection. The reaction may be fatal if emergency treatment, including the administration of epinephrine injections, is not given immediately.


1. Having both female and male characteristics.
2. Being neither distinguishably masculine nor feminine, as in dress, behavior, or appearance; unisex.


A short account of a particular incident or event, especially of an interesting or amusing nature.*


1. Deviation or departure from the normal or common order, form, or rule.
2. One that is peculiar, irregular, abnormal, or difficult to classify.
3. The angular deviation, as observed from the sun, of a planet from its perihelion.


Capable of preventing or counteracting infection.


One that is contradictory or contrary to another; an opposite.


Possible to estimate, measure, or perceive.


1a. A Native American people formerly inhabiting the Missouri River valley from Kansas into the Dakotas and now located in western North Dakota. Traditional life was based on agriculture and trade with the Plains Indians to the west.
1b. A member of this people.
2. The Caddoan language of this people.


1. A person who renounces material conforts and leads a life of austere self-discipline, especially as an act of religious devotion.
2. Leading a life of self-discipline and self-denial, especially for spiritual improvement.
3. Pertaining to or characteristic of; self-denying and austere.


1. Expulsion of breath in speech.
2. The act of breathing in; inhalation.
3. The process of removing fluids or gases from the body with a suction device.
4a. A strong desire for high achievement.
4b. An object of such desire; an ambition.


1. To set apart for a particular purpose; designate.
2. To select for a duty or office; appoint.
3. To give out as a task; allot.
4. To ascribe; attribute.
5. To transfer (property, rights, or interests) from one to another.
6. To place (a person or military unit) under a specific command.

au courant

1. Informed on current affairs; up-to-date.
2. Fully familiar; knowledgeable.


The largest city of New Zealand, on an isthmus of northwest North Island. It is a major port and an industrial center. Metropolitan area population, 860,000.


Weight or heaviness, especially of a person.


Not contaminated by or associated with any other living organisms. Usually used in reference to pure cultures of microorganisms that are completely free of the presence of other organisms.


The nonelastic rubber obtained form the latex of the South American tree Manilkara bidentata. It has been used in the manufacture of golf-ball covers and machine belts.


1. Stately and grand.
2. A member of the lowest grade of nobility.*
3. An important financier or industrialist, especially one with great power in a particular area.*


A shoulder-held weapon consisting of a long metal smoothbore tube for firing armor-piercing rockets at short range.


The Corinthian hero who, with the aid of the winged horse Pegasus, slew the Chimera.


A high-melting, lightweight, corrosion-resistant, rigid, steel-grey metallic element used as an aerospace structural material, as a moderator and reflector in nuclear reactors, and in a copper alloy used for springs, electrical contacts, and nonsparking tools.

Atomic number 4; atomic weight 9.0122; melting point 1,278° C; boiling point 2,970° C; specific gravity 1.848; valence electrons 2.


Sliced salt-cured, air-dried beef that is dressed with olive oil, lemon juice, and black pepper before serving.


Vigor; vivacity.


1. Of or characteristic of the countryside or its people; rustic.
2. Of or characteristic of sheperds or flocks; pastoral.
3. A pastoral poem.
4. A farmer or sheperd; a rustic.


1. A long, narrow rowboat used in the Middle East.
2. A small sailing vessel used in the eastern Mediterranean.


1. To check, adjust, or determine by comparison with a standard (the graduations of a quatitative measuring instrument).
2. To determine the caliber of (a tube).


In music, lively ad free. Used chiefly as a direction.


Characterized by or subject to whim; impulsive and unpredictable.


Resembling cheese.


To connect in a series of ties or links; form into a chain.


To concentrate emotional energy on (an object or idea).


1a. A warning or caution.
1b. A qualification of explanation.
2. A formal notice filed by an interested party with a court or officer, requesting the postponement of a proceeding until the filer is heard.


The process of preparing a printing surface for electrotyping by first engraving on a wax-coated metal plate.


The Japanese tea ceremony, an ancient ritual for the preparation, serving, and drinking of tea.

charm quark

A quark with a charge of +2/3, a mass about 2,900 times that of the electron, and a charm of +1.


1. A microscopic hairlike process extending from the surface of a cell or unicellular organism. Capable of rhythmical motion, it acts in unison with other such structures to bring about the movement of the cell or of the surrounding medium.
2. An eyelash.
3. One of the hairs along the margin or edge of a structure, such as a leaf, usually forming a fringe.


1. A close-fitting women's hat with a bell-like shape.
2. A usually bell-shaped cover, used chiefly to protect plants from frost.


Originating or exiting during the same period; lasting through the same era.


1. Shared power and authority vested among colleagues.
2. In the Roman Catholic Church, the doctrine that bishops collectively share power.


1. A huge statue.
2. Something likened to a huge statue, as in size or importance.


Bearing; deportment.


1. To disregard, especially the implied forgiveness of an offense by ignoring it.
2. To give tacit approval to.*
3. To pardon or forgive.*


A collection; an aggregation.


1. A continuous extent, succession, or whole, no part of which can be distinguished from neighboring parts except by arbitrary division.
2. In mathematics, a set having the same number of points as all the real numbers in an interval.


1. A hinged pair of curved iron bars for raising heavy objects, such as stones or timber.
2. An iron spike attached to the shoe to prevent slipping when walking on ice or climbing. In this case, also called climbing iron.


1. Deserving of often limited praise or commendation.
2. Worthy of belief.
3. Deserving of commercial credit; creditworthy.
4. That can be assigned.


1. Disposed to believe too readily; gullible.
2. Arising from or characterized by.


Loosely twisted worsted yarn for fancywork and embroidery.


A ridge with a gentle slope on one side and a cliff on the other.


1. A small cooking mold.
2. A dish, as of vegetables, fish, custard, or pastry, that is cooked and served in a small mold.


1. A sudden, disastrous collapse, downfall, or defeat; a rout.
2. A total, often ludicrous failure.
3. The breaking up of ice in a river.
4. A violent flood.


A polygon with ten angles and ten sides.


To remove official security from (a document).

deficit spending

The spending of public funds obtained by borrowing rather than taxation.


1. Precisely defined or explicit.
2. Supplying or being a final settlement or decision; conclusive.
3. Authoritative and complete.
4. In biology, fully formed or developed, as an organ or structure.
5. In grammar, a word that defines or limits, such as a demonstrative pronoun.


To cut down and clear away the trees or forests from.


1. Detention of a ship, freight car, or other cargo conveyance during loading or unloading beyond the scheduled time of departure.
2. Compensation paid for such detention.


1. To dry out thoroughly.
2. To preserve (foods) by removing the moisture.
3. To make dry, dull, or lifeless.


1. A relaxing or easing, as of tension between rivals.
2. A policy toward a rival nation or bloc characterized by increased diplomatic, commercial, and cultural contact and a desire to reduce tensions, as through negotiations or talks.


Having two heads.


1. A dabbler in an art or a field of knowledge.
2. A lover of the fine arts; a connoisseur.


To put to inconvenience; trouble.


Difference of opinion; disagreement.


1. To preserve as being different or distict.
2. To preserve distinctly; discern.
3. To make noticeable or different; set apart.
4. To cause (oneself) to be eminent or recognized.


Crudely or irregularly fashioned verse, often of a humorous or burlesque nature.

dolce vita

A luxurious, self-indulgent way of life.


A small, often medicated candy.


1. To make agreeable or gentle; mollify.
2. To sweeten.


1. Two individuals or units regarded as a pair.
2. In biology, one pair of homologous chromosomes resulting from the division of a tetrad during meiosis.
3. In chemistry, a divalent atom or radical.
4. In mathematics, an operator represented as a pair of vectors juxtaposed without multiplication.


A country of northwest South America on the Pacific Ocean. First occupied by the Spanish in 1534, the area achieved independence in 1830. Quito is the capital and Guayaquil the largest city. Population: 8,050,630.


Producing or capable of producing a desired effect.


Either of two large African antelopes (Taurotragus oryx or T. derbianus) having a light brown or grayish coat and spirally twisted horns.


Administration of electric current to the brain through electrodes placed on the head in order to induce unconsciousness and brief convulsions, used in the treatment of certain mental disorders, especially acute depression. Also called electroshock or electroshock therapy.

en brochette

On a skewer.


A group or set of nine.


A widely cultivated mushroom (Flammulina velutipes) native to North America and eastern Asia, having a pinlike appearance that superficially resembles the bean sprout. Also called golden needles.


The curve described by a point on the circumference of a circle as the circle rolls on the outside of the circumference of a second, fixed circle.


1. The outer, protective, nonvascular layer of the skin of vertebrates, covering the dermis.
2. An integument or outer layer of various invertibrates.
3. The outermost layer of cells overing the leaves and young parts of a plant.


An error in printing or writing, especially such an error noted in a list of corrections and bound into a book.


Deep, extensive learning.


A feeling of great happiness or well-being.


Slender, curved wood shavings used especially for packing.


1. An example.
2. A brief story used to make a point in an argument or to illustrate a moral truth.


1. To speak or write at length.
2. To wander freely.


1. Still in existance; not destroyed.
2. Standing out; projecting (archaic).


The members of an Italian political organization that controlled Italy under the fascist dictatorship of Benito Mussolini from 1922 to 1943.


In Roman mythology, any of a group of rural deities represented as having the body of a man and the horns, ears, tail, and sometimes legs of a goat.


1. One of a legendary group of heroic Irish warriors of the second and third centuries A.D.
2. A member of a secret revolutionary organization in the United States and Ireland in the mid-19th century, dedicated to the overthrow of British rule in Ireland.


1. In music, the prolongation of a tone, chord, or rest beyond its indicated time value.
2. The sign indicating this prolongation.


1. Characterized by extremely brutal or cruel crimes; vicious.
2. Infamous; scandalous.


Any of a large group of plant substances that includes the anthocyanins.


1. Foolish; nonsense.
2. A trifle; a geegaw.


Bearing, resembling, or hacing a profusion of leaves or fronds; leafy.


Lacking social polish; tactless.

gentian violet

A dye used in microscopy as a biological stain and in medicine as a bactericide, a fungicide, and an anthelmintic.


1. Any of various small, mouselike rodents of the genus Gerbillus and related genera of arid regions of Africa and Asia Minor, having long hind legs and a long tail.
2. The Mongolian gerbil (Meriones unguiculatus), having large dark eyes and a long furry tail and often kept as a pet.


1. A dry white table wine with a spicy bouquet, produced in the Alsace region of France.
2. A similar wine produced elsewhere.


One who examines glaciers and their effects on the landscape.


In music, a rapid slide through a series of consecutive tones in a scalelike passage.


Intuitive apprehension of spiritual truths, and esoteric form of knowledge sought by the Gnostics.


In Jewish folklore, an artificially created human being supernatural endowed with life.

Greenwich time

The mean solar time for the meridian at Greenwich, England, used as a basis for calculating time throughout most of the world. Also called universal time (UT).


1a. A reinforced eyelet, as in cloth or leather, through which a fastener may be passed.
1b. A small metal or plastic ring used to reinforce such an eyelet.
2. A loop of rope or metal used for securing the edge of a sail to its stay.


A country of northeast South America on the Atlantic Ocean. Settled originally by the Dutch in the 17th century, it was a British colony from 1814 until 1966, when it gained its independence. Georgetown is the capital and the largest city. Population: 918,000.


To intimidate or dominate in a blustering way.


1. Any of several small insectivorous mammals of the family Erinaceidae of Europe, Asia, and Africa, having the back covered with dense, erectile spines and characteristically rolling into a ball for protection.
2. Any of several spiny animals, such as the porcupine, that are similar to this mammal.


The first seven books of the Old Testament.


1. Capable of being passed from one generation to the next; hereditary.
2. Capable of inheriting or taking by inheritance.


1. A six-legged arthropod of the class Insecta; an insect.
2. Of or belonging to the class Insecta.
3. Having six legs or feet.


The Latin and poetic name for the island of Ireland.


1. Theatrical arts or performances.
2. Exaggerated emotional behavior calculated for an effect.


1. Conferring or showing respect.
2. A title, phrase, or grammatical form conveying respect, used especially when addressing a social superior.


A device, such as a clock or sundial, used in telling time.


Any of several instruments that measure atmospheric humidity.


Excessively inclined to find fault or judge with severity.


1. One who attacks and seeks to overthrow traditional or popular ideas or institutions.
2. One who destroys sacred religious images.


1. In philosophy, an adherent of the doctrine of magic.
2. An artist whose work is marked by magic.
3. A magician or ventriloquist.


1. The condition of being.
2. An indirect indication; a suggestion.
3. An inference.


1. Prompted by the occassion rather than being planned in advance.
2. Spoken, performed, done, or composed with little or no preparation.
3. Something, such as a speech, that is made or done extemporaneously.
4. In music, a short lyrical composition, especially for the piano.


Not favorable.


Formerly the Dutch East Indies, a country of southeast Asia in the Malay Archipelago comprising Sumatra, Java, Sulawesi, the Moluccas, parts of Borneo, New Guinea, and Timor, and many smaller islands. First visited by Dutch navigators in 1595-1596, Indonesia was dominated by the Dutch East Indies Company from 1602 to 1798, when authority was turned over to the government of the Netherlands. In 1945 the territory declared its independence, which was finally achieved in 1949. Jakarta, on Java, is the capital and the largest city. Population: 147,490,298.


1. Incapable of being expressed; indescribable or unnumerable.
2. Not to be uttered; taboo.


1. Introductory; initial.
2. Tending or used to start.


1. The act or an instance of, especially the introduction of an antigenic substance of vaccine into the body to produce immunity to a specific disease.
2. An informal, preemptive advertising tactic in which one party attempts to foresee and neutralize potentially damaging criticism from another party by being the first to confront troublesome issues.


1. Exceeding reasonable limits; immoderate.
2. Not regulated; disorderly.


1. To engage in secret or underhand schemes; plot.
2. To effect by secret scheming or plotting.
3. To arouse the interest or curiosity of.


1. Tending to rouse ill will, animosity, or resentment.
2. Containing or implying a slight; discriminatory.
3. Envious.


A small wild hog (Tayassu tajacu) with a range from the southwest United States to northern Argentina, having a gray and black coat with a white band from the back to the chest.


An indeterminably huge number.


Inclined to make a decision, especially moral or personal ones.


In Judaism, a prayer that is recited in the daily synagogue services and by mourners after the death of a close relative.


1. In Hinduism and Buddhism, the total effect of a person's actions and conduct during the successive phases of the person's existance, regarded as determining the person's destiny.
2. Fate; destiny.
3. A distinctive aura, atmosphere, or feeling.


A dish consisting of flaked fish, boiled rice, and egs.


1. A cask.
2. An obsolete English measure of capacity equal to about 18 gallons (68 liters).


Abnormal rearward curvature of the spine, resulting in protuberance of the upper back; hunchback.


1. Laypeople considered as a group.
2. All those persons who are not members of a given profession or other specialized field.


1. A four-wheeled carriage with front and back passenger seats that face each other and a roof in two sections that can be lowered or detached.
2. A style of automobile with a similar roof.


Of or relating to the working of stone or gems.


Relating to the wrongful taking and carrying away of the personal goods of another from his or her possession with intent to convert them to the taker's own use.*


The condition or quality of being permissive.*

leonine rhyme

A form of internal rhyme in which the word preceding the caesura rhymes with the final word in the line.

Example: "For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams."

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