123 terms

24-1

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acrimonious
Locked in a mean-spirited, bitter argument? That's an acrimonious situation that might result in fists flying unless you and your opponent can cool down. marked by strong resentment or cynicism
calcify
become impregnated with calcium salts; become inflexible and unchanging
decry
When you dye your hair pink and orange, your mother decries your act as a horror and bursts into tears. She criticizes your choice of colors, stating that pink and purple would have looked better. express strong disapproval of
exuberant
Are you feeling really happy and enthusiastic about something? Describe yourself with the adjective, exuberant! joyously unrestrained; unrestrained, especially with regard to feelings; produced or growing in extreme abundance
impugn
To impugn means to call into question or attack as wrong. If your usually grumpy brother is suddenly nice and sweet, you'll impugn his motives if you're smart — he probably just wants something from you. attack as false or wrong
momentous
Momentous describes an important event or moment in time. It is used for a time of great consequence or for a major accomplishment, and is almost always reserved for good things. The day Barack Obama was elected president was a momentous day for America. of very great significance
ossify
Ossify means to become bony. When a baby is born, some of their "bones" are actually soft cartilage, which allows for growth. As the child grows, these soft areas ossify into actual bone. The knee cap, for example, begins to ossify between ages 3 and 6. become bony; cause to become hard and bony; make rigid and set into a conventional pattern
provoke
Anything that brings about a strong reaction can be said to provoke. You can provoke that lion if you want. But if he responds by attacking, don't come running to me. provide the needed stimulus for; call forth (emotions, feelings, and responses); evoke or provoke to appear or occur; annoy continually or chronically
safeguard
A safeguard is a defense or precaution. You could describe a flu shot as a safeguard against getting sick, for example. make safe; escort safely; a precautionary measure warding off impending danger or damage or injury etc.; a document or escort providing safe passage through a region especially in time of war
squander
To squander means to spend extravagantly, thoughtlessly, or wastefully. If you need to save for college, don't squander her income on nightly sushi dinners. spend thoughtlessly; throw away; spend extravagantly
avid
Avid usually means very eager or enthusiastic. If you're an avid reader, it means you read as much as you can, whenever you can. marked by active interest and enthusiasm; (often followed by `for') ardently or excessively desirous
condemn
You can condemn, or openly criticize, someone who is behaving inappropriately. If you are an animal rights activist, you would probably condemn someone for wearing fur. express strong disapproval of; demonstrate the guilt of (someone); compel or force into a particular state or activity; declare or judge unfit for use or habitation; appropriate (property) for public use
demur
If your mother asks you to clean your room and you refuse, you demur. And if your friend invites you to the Death Metal Forever concert but you hesitate, you demur. Whether you object, politely disagree, or hesitate, you demur. take exception to; (law) a formal objection to an opponent's pleadings; enter a demurrer
figurative
When speech or writing is not literal, it is figurative, like when you say you have a ton of homework. You don't really have 2000 pounds of homework, do you? Also, when art depicts a figure from life it is figurative, like a figurative drawing of a dancer. (used of the meanings of words or text) not literal; using figures of speech; consisting of or forming human or animal figures
incubate
When a chicken sits on an egg, it incubates it. To incubate means to keep something safe and warm so that it can grow. grow under conditions that promote development; sit on (eggs)
obligatory
Obligatory describes something you do because you have to, not because you want to. When you buy a car, you have to fill out the obligatory forms. In many homes, saying please and thank you is obligatory. required by obligation or compulsion or convention; morally or legally constraining or binding
peripheral
Scanners, printers, and speakers are peripheral devices for a computer because they aren't central to the working of the computer itself. Anything peripheral is on the margin, or outside, while main things, like a computer's processor, are not peripheral. on or near an edge or constituting an outer boundary; the outer area; (computer science) electronic equipment connected by cable to the CPU of a computer
repudiate
To repudiate something is to reject it, or to refuse to accept or support it. If you grow up religious, but repudiate all organized religion as an adult, you might start spending holidays at the movies, or just going to work. refuse to acknowledge, ratify, or recognize as valid; cast off
skirt
avoid or try to avoid fulfilling, answering, or performing (duties, questions, or issues); pass around or about; move along the border; extend on all sides of simultaneously; encircle; form the edge of; informal terms for a (young) woman; cloth covering that forms the part of a garment below the waist
vignette
A vignette is a brief but powerful scene. A good vignette leaves you wanting more. a brief literary description; a small illustrative sketch (as sometimes placed at the beginning of chapters in books); a photograph whose edges shade off gradually
barrage
A barrage is something that comes quickly and heavily — as an attack of bullets or artillery, or a fast spray of words. the heavy fire of artillery to saturate an area rather than hit a specific target; address with continuously or persistently, as if with a barrage; the rapid and continuous delivery of linguistic communication (spoken or written)
contradict
Contra- usually means "against," and to contradict is to go against or say the opposite of what someone else is doing or saying. Sometimes to contradict is to frustrate with words, like when one person says "The sky is blue" and another says "No, it's azure." prove negative; show to be false; deny the truth of; be in contradiction with; be resistant to
dispassionate
Dispassionate describes someone who is not getting carried away by—or maybe not even having—feelings. It's something you'd want to see in a surgeon, who keeps cool under pressure, but not in a romantic partner. unaffected by strong emotion or prejudice
gargantuan
Whether you're talking about your gargantuan appetite or a gargantuan building, use the word gargantuan to describe something so big that big just isn't, well, big enough to accurately describe it. of great mass; huge and bulky
inundate
To inundate means to quickly fill up or overwhelm, just like a flood. Your bathroom could be inundated with water if the pipes burst, and hopefully your inbox is inundated with nice emails on your birthday. fill or cover completely, usually with water; fill quickly beyond capacity; as with a liquid
obstinate
When someone is beyond stubborn, use the word obstinate instead: "You obstinate old mule! Get out of my way!" tenaciously unwilling or marked by tenacious unwillingness to yield; stubbornly persistent in wrongdoing; resistant to guidance or discipline; persist stubbornly
plausible
If something is plausible, it's reasonable or believable. Things that are plausible could easily happen. A woman becoming President is very plausible. A giraffe becoming President is not. apparently reasonable and valid, and truthful; given to or characterized by presenting specious arguments
resign
To resign is to quit or retire from a position. You can also resign yourself to something inevitable, like death — meaning you just accept that it's going to happen. accept as inevitable; leave (a job, post, or position) voluntarily
slippery
causing or tending to cause things to slip or slide; not to be trusted
warp
To warp is to bend, twist, or otherwise become misshapen. Wooden furniture left outside in the rain will often warp from the moisture. bend out of shape, as under pressure or from heat; make false by mutilation or addition; as of a message or story; a shape distorted by twisting or folding; a twist or aberration; especially a perverse or abnormal way of judging or acting; a moral or mental distortion; yarn arranged lengthways on a loom and crossed by the woof
cache
Cache sounds like what it is, a stash, and sometimes people — usually the criminal type — have a cache of stolen cash. a hidden storage space (for money or provisions or weapons); (computer science) RAM memory that is set aside as a specialized buffer storage that is continually updated; used to optimize data transfers between system elements with different characteristics
daunt
The Cowardly Lion in the Wizard of Oz appeared at first to be easily daunted, but, in fact, he showed unusual courage. Still, his efforts to daunt Dorothy, the Scarecrow, and the Tin Man were less than successful. cause to lose courage
distort
Distort means to twist out of shape. When you look at a tree through a twisting kaleidoscope, you distort its image, making its branches and leaves look wavy and misshapen. twist and press out of shape; alter the shape of (something) by stress
gullible
If you are gullible, the joke is on you because you are easily fooled. naive and easily deceived or tricked; easily tricked because of being too trusting
lurid
When people are lured into looking at something, they may be drawn to it because it's a shocking, graphic, or horrible scene, something lurid and very vivid that pulls them in. Shrunken heads of witch doctors and crime scenes are examples of lurid things. horrible in fierceness or savagery; shining with an unnatural red glow as of fire seen through smoke; ghastly pale
obstreperous
Obstreperous means boisterous, noisy, aggressive, defiant. You've probably seen an obstreperous child in the grocery store, pulling away from her mother, screaming at the top of her lungs. noisily and stubbornly defiant; boisterously and noisily aggressive
proscribe
To proscribe something is to forbid or prohibit it, as a school principal might proscribe the use of cell phones in class. command against
rhetorical
If you ask a rhetorical question it means you don't necessarily expect an answer, but you do want an occasion to talk about something. of or relating to rhetoric; given to rhetoric, emphasizing style at the expense of thought;
spur
To spur something on is to get it going, to encourage it, to hasten it or stimulate. Cowboys wear spiky metal tools called spurs on their boots to kick their horse, and spur them to greater speed. incite or stimulate; a verbalization that encourages you to attempt something; a sharp prod fixed to a rider's heel and used to urge a horse onward; strike with a spur
avant-garde
The term avant-garde refers to innovative or experimental concepts or works, or the group of people producing them. Pushing boundaries with his development of Cubism, Pablo Picasso was part of the early 20th-century art world's avant-garde. radically new or original; any creative group active in the innovation and application of new concepts and techniques in a given field (especially in the arts)
bewilderment
If you spoke nothing but German one day to your English-speaking friends and co-workers, it would probably result in complete bewilderment. Bewilderment is a state of being confused and puzzled. confusion resulting from failure to understand
bizarre
A person, object, or situation that's bizarre is very odd or unusual in appearance, style, or character. If your teacher walked into class wearing a purple boa, cat's eyes glasses and three inch heels, you might comment, "How bizarre!" conspicuously or grossly unconventional or unusual
cantankerous
If someone is cantankerous he has a difficult disposition. Take care not to throw your ball into the yard of the cantankerous old man down the street — he'll cuss you out and keep your ball. stubbornly obstructive and unwilling to cooperate; having a difficult and contrary disposition
comprehensive
When you want to describe something that includes all or most details, you can use the adjective comprehensive. If you get the comprehensive treatment at a spa, it might include massage, manicure and a facial. including all or everything; broad in scope; an intensive examination testing a student's proficiency in some special field of knowledge
cooperative
As an adjective, cooperative describes working together agreeably for a common purpose or goal as in cooperative play or cooperative employee. involving the joint activity of two or more; an association formed and operated for the benefit of those using it
correspondence
Correspondence is a body of letters or communications. If you've ever had a pen pal or an email buddy, you've written plenty of correspondence. communication by the exchange of letters; compatibility of observations; (mathematics) an attribute of a shape or relation; exact reflection of form on opposite sides of a dividing line or plane
cosmetic
Cosmetic refers to how something or someone looks. Visit the cosmetics department of a store if you are looking to buy lipstick, and visit a cosmetic surgeon if you are looking to buy new lips. serving an esthetic rather than a useful purpose; serving an aesthetic purpose in beautifying the body; a toiletry designed to beautify the body
crabby
If you're in a really bad or irritable mood, you can say you're crabby. Loud talking and laughing during a movie might make you crabby. annoyed and irritable
efficient
The adjective efficient describes function and use with the least amount of waste and most economy. being effective without wasting time or effort or expense; able to accomplish a purpose; functioning effectively
elusive
Things that are elusive are hard to find, pin down, or remember. They slip right out of your grasp. skillful at eluding capture; difficult to detect or grasp by the mind or analyze; making great mental demands; hard to comprehend or solve or believe
encore
A performance that's repeated or added to the regular performance is called an encore. If you're deaf from last night's concert, it might be because the band played for two hours and then did a thirty minute encore. an extra or repeated performance; usually given in response to audience demand; request an encore, from a performer
euphoric
To be euphoric is to be carried away with amazingly good feelings. The euphoric feeling of having won the lottery ended quickly when you saw your pet ferret chewing up your lottery ticket. exaggerated feeling of well-being or elation;
fanfare
Fanfare is a loud, proud burst of something to get attention. If you open up a carpet store with one of those sky-sweeping lights, lots of balloons, and a brass band, you're doing it with great fanfare. a gaudy outward display; (music) a short lively tune played on brass instruments
flaunt
Flaunt is "to display proudly or show off," like when you flaunt your new Italian leather jacket by wearing it to the beach and pretending you're cold to make sure everyone sees it. display proudly; act ostentatiously or pretentiously; the act of displaying something ostentatiously
frolicsome
Frolicsome is having a merry time of it. Picture frolicsome girls and boys playing tag, running through the meadow, laughing and rolling in the grass. given to merry frolicking;
hazardous
The noun "hazard" means something dangerous, and the adjective hazardous refers to anything that involves danger. A golf course with lots of sand traps is especially hazardous for golfers. That's why those traps are called hazards. involving risk or danger
illicit
Illicit means not allowed by law or custom. An illicit drug trade is one that happens under the radar of the law. contrary to accepted morality (especially sexual morality) or convention; contrary to or forbidden by law
intricacy
The noun intricacy means a quality of being complex or elaborately detailed. You could compliment the intricacy of your friend's complicated hairdo. marked by elaborately complex detail
legitimate
Something legitimate is the real deal — according to the law. based on known statements or events or conditions; show or affirm to be just and legitimate; authorized, sanctioned by, or in accordance with law; make legal
missive
A missive usually refers to the old-school style of hand-written communication on paper (remember that?), but these days you also might hear an email called a missive, too. No matter how you deliver it, a missive is a message. a written message addressed to a person or organization
principle
A principle is a kind of rule, belief, or idea that guides you. You can also say a good, ethical person has a lot of principles. a basic generalization that is accepted as true and that can be used as a basis for reasoning or conduct; a basic truth or law or assumption; a rule or standard especially of good behavior; rule of personal conduct
prohibition
Prohibition is the act of forbidding or outlawing something, like when my mom placed a prohibition on watching TV during dinner (causing everyone to skip dinner). the action of prohibiting or inhibiting or forbidding (or an instance thereof); refusal to approve or assent to; a decree that prohibits something; a law forbidding the sale of alcoholic beverages
salvo
A salvo is when troops fire their guns all at the same time. A salvo of shots might signal the beginning of a military battle. rapid simultaneous discharge of firearms; an outburst resembling the discharge of firearms or the release of bombs; a sudden outburst of cheers
shatter
break into many pieces; cause to break into many pieces; damage or destroy
stimulation
Stimulation spurs an organism to act. It can also be any specific event that causes someone to do something. the act of arousing an organism to action; any stimulating; information or event; acts to arouse action; (physiology) the effect of a stimulus (on nerves or organs etc.); mutual sexual fondling prior to sexual intercourse
strain
The noun strain is a stretch, effort, or exertion — you can strain your ankle or patience. to exert much effort or energy; become stretched or tense or taut; separate by passing through a sieve or other straining device to separate out coarser elements; a succession of notes forming a distinctive sequence; (biology) a group of organisms within a species that differ in trivial ways from similar groups; the general meaning or substance of an utterance
swamp
A swamp is an area that floods every year because the land is low. Watch out for alligators if you visit Atchafalaya National Wildlife Refuge in Louisiana, the largest swamp in the United States. drench or submerge or be drenched or submerged; fill quickly beyond capacity; as with a liquid; a situation fraught with difficulties and imponderables; low land that is seasonally flooded; has more woody plants than a marsh and better drainage than a bog
synergistic
When something is synergistic, it means various parts are working together to produce an enhanced result. If you've just heard a synergistic symphony, the musicians must have played very well together. working together; used especially of groups, as subsidiaries of a corporation, cooperating for an enhanced effect; used especially of drugs or muscles that work together so the total effect is greater than the sum of the two (or more); of or relating to the theological doctrine of synergism
trove
treasure of unknown ownership found hidden (usually in the earth)
disposition
Someone's disposition is their mood or general attitude about life. If your friend woke up on the wrong side of the bed, tell her that she might need a disposition makeover. your usual mood; the act or means of getting rid of something
frolicking (frolic)
A frolic is a light-hearted, fun, often silly activity. To frolic is to cavort, romp, or run around — to have fun. play boisterously; gay or light-hearted recreational activity for diversion or amusement
succession
Use the word succession to describe things that follow one another, as well as the order in which they do so. The Vice President is first in line of succession to be the president and the Secretary of State is fourth. acquisition of property by descent or by will; a group of people or things arranged or following in order; the action of following in order; a following of one thing after another in time
taut
Taut means "tight, not slack." "The tightrope ought to be taut and not dangling down by the lion cage." pulled or drawn tight; subjected to great tension; stretched tight
commendation
If you got a commendation for your brave deeds during the earthquake, then congratulations! A commendation is an award praising someone's actions. an official award (as for bravery or service) usually given as formal public statement; a message expressing a favorable opinion
consequential
Things that are consequential are important — extremely important. Electing a new president and having a baby are consequential. Killing a fly? Not so much. having important issues or results
retroactive
The adjective retroactive refers to something happening now that affects the past. For example, a retroactive tax is one that is passed at one time, but payable back to a time before the tax was passed. affecting things past; descriptive of any event or stimulus or process that has an effect on the effects of events or stimuli or process that occurred previously
insensitive
When you're insensitive, you're not feeling something. You can be insensitive to the weather or other people's problems. deficient in human sensibility; not mentally or morally sensitive; not responsive to physical stimuli
unaffected
When bad weather or a mean aunt or some other force takes over and you still don't change, you're unaffected. If your party was unaffected by the rain and Aunt Emma's no-fun attitude, then everyone probably had a good time. undergoing no change when acted upon; free of artificiality; sincere and genuine
attest
To attest is to prove or declare to be true. For example: the fact that you aced the SAT attests to the strength of your vocabulary. provide evidence for; stand as proof of; show by one's behavior, attitude, or external attributes; authenticate, affirm to be true, genuine, or correct, as in an official capacity; establish or verify the usage of; give testimony in a court of law
disingenuous
Use the adjective disingenuous to describe behavior that's not totally honest or sincere. It's disingenuous when people pretend to know less about something than they really do. not straightforward or candid; giving a false appearance of frankne;
sanctimonious
The sanctimonious person sounds like a hypocrite when he preaches to a friend about the evils of drugs, while he drinks one beer after another. excessively or hypocritically pious
tyrannical
A tyrannical ruler wields absolute power and authority, and often wields that power unjustly, cruelly, or oppressively. characteristic of an absolute ruler or absolute rule; having absolute sovereignty; marked by unjust severity or arbitrary behavior
tranquility
The noun tranquility means "a state of peace and quiet," like the tranquility you feel at the shore of a quiet lake or inside a beautiful cathedral. an untroubled state; free from disturbances; a state of peace and quiet; a disposition free from stress or emotion
desirability
the quality of being worthy of desiring; attractiveness to the opposite sex
commemorate
To commemorate something means to remember something and by doing so to honor it, as in "We would like to commemorate his many years of past service by presenting him with this lovely gold watch." call to remembrance; keep alive the memory of someone or something, as in a ceremony; be or provide a memorial to a person or an event; mark by some ceremony or observation
lament
If you are really upset or sorry about something, you might lament it. A lament is full of regret and grief. a cry of sorrow and grief; a song or hymn of mourning composed or performed as a memorial to a dead person; a mournful poem; a lament for the dead; regret strongly; express grief verbally
sensational
Something sensational gets your attention. It's either amazing or a little trashy — like a sensational tabloid story. causing intense interest, curiosity, or emotion; commanding attention; relating to or concerned in sensation
vapid
Reserve the adjective vapid for the airhead in your office that brings nothing to the table, except maybe the doughnuts. Vapid is an adjective to describe someone or something that is dull or uninspiring. lacking significance or liveliness or spirit or zest; lacking taste or flavor or tang
insipid
Something insipid is lacking in flavor or interest. You'll probably find the generic poems inside of greeting cards insipid. lacking interest or significance or impact; lacking taste or flavor or tang
impeccable
The adjective impeccable describes something or someone without any flaws. A stand-up comedian needs impeccable timing for his jokes to work. without fault or error; not capable of sin
instigate
When you instigate something, you start it, but the word carries conflict with it. If you are suspended for wearing a political t-shirt, the incident might instigate days of protest by students and faculty. provoke or stir up; serve as the inciting cause of
defuse
remove the triggering device from; quell, assuage, peace
encompass
Encompass means to contain. When you see the word, picture a campus which encompasses lecture halls, a football field, a medical center, a dining hall and some parking lots. include in scope; include as part of something broader; have as one's sphere or territory
deviate
If something turns off course or is diverted, it deviates from the expected or the norm. Deviating from explicit recipe directions is never a good idea, unless you want inedible food or a kitchen fire. a person whose behavior deviates from what is acceptable especially in sexual behavior; markedly different from an accepted norm; turn aside; turn away from; cause to turn away from a previous or expected course; be at variance with; be out of line with
palliative
That which is palliative relieves and soothes, but isn't expected to cure. A heating pack is a commonly employed palliative for temporarily reducing the pain of strained muscles. moderating pain or sorrow by making it easier to bear; remedy that alleviates pain without curing
extravagant
Extravagant is an adjective that means expensive, excessive, and over the top. A chandelier in your dining room is normal. But crystal coated walls and silk plush carpeting? That's a bit extravagant. recklessly wasteful; unrestrained, especially with regard to feelings
deprivation
A state of deprivation means something is missing, and the situation is serious. If you're suffering from "sleep deprivation," you haven't slept in a long time. the disadvantage that results from losing something; act of depriving someone of food or money or rights; a state of extreme poverty
complacence
the feeling you have when you are satisfied with yourself
latency
Latency is a noun referring to something inactive, dormant, or lying in wait. It's the state of not being visibly active yet — like when you're hiding out and waiting to jump up and yell "Surprise!" the state of being not yet evident or active; the time that elapses between a stimulus and the response to it; (computer science) the time it takes for a specific block of data on a data track to rotate around to the read/write head
engross
Engross is a verb that means to consume all of your attention or time. Once you engross yourself in the culture of high salaries and unlimited spending accounts, it's hard to go back to cooking at a sandwich shop. devote (oneself) fully to; consume all of one's attention or time;
resigned
To resign is to quit or retire from a position. You can also resign yourself to something inevitable, like death — meaning you just accept that it's going to happen. accept as inevitable; leave (a job, post, or position) voluntarily
recommence
The verb recommence means "begin again." Play may recommence in a baseball game after a rain delay, for example, or your diet may recommence after the new year. cause to start anew; begin again
contour
Contour is the outline or shape of something. A shoe that fits well along the contours or shape of your foot is a good fit. a line drawn on a map connecting points of equal height; any spatial attributes (especially as defined by outline); a feature (or the order or arrangement of features) of anything having a complex structure; form the contours of
vestige
Vestige is an elegant word. It's all about shadows, and gives us a way to talk about traces or reminders of something that has disappeared or is disappearing. an indication that something has been present
deride
The verb deride means to show a low opinion of someone or something. The jerk would deride the other kids on the bus by calling them names or pulling their hair until the driver decided to de-ride him by kicking him off the bus. treat or speak of with contempt
parch
If you don't water your lawn all summer, the hot weather will parch the grass until it's brown and withered. To parch is to dry up or wither due to sunlight or heat. cause to wither or parch from exposure to heat
erroneous
The adjective erroneous describes something or someone as mistaken and incorrect. Early explorers had the erroneous notion that the oceans were full of dragons. containing or characterized by error
translucent
A translucent material lets light pass through, but objects on the other side can't be seen clearly. Think: Shrinky Dinks or stained glass. allowing light to pass through diffusely
disruptive
Anything disruptive is loud, chaotic, and disorderly. Disruptive things disturb people and upset the applecart. characterized by unrest or disorder or insubordination
divisive
If you say something that is intended to make people angry with each other, your words are divisive. For example, saying "only stupid people like dogs" are words divisive enough to get people fighting mad — at you! dissenting (especially dissenting with the majority opinion)
treatise
Our principal published her fifty-page "Treatise on Gum Chewing" days before she was carted away by men in white coats. Treatises are formal papers that treat a specific subject. Gum chewing shouldn't merit one. a formal exposition;
grouchy
annoyed and irritable
jaded
If you've done something so much that it doesn't excite you anymore but just leaves you tired, consider yourself jaded. If someone says you look a little jaded, it just means that you look tired. exhausted; dulled by surfeit
exultant
Use the adjective exultant to describe the triumphant feeling you get when you succeed at something. The kids on the Little League team who win the championship game will be exultant. joyful and proud especially because of triumph or success
concealment
Use the noun concealment when you talk about the act of hiding something. The concealment of your terrible haircut is easy — just wear a hat. the condition of being concealed or hidden; a covering that serves to conceal or shelter something; the activity of keeping something secret
counteracting
act in opposition to; oppose or check by a counteraction; oppose and mitigate the effects of by contrary actions; destroy property or hinder normal operations
partisan
If something is prejudicial towards a particular point of view, you can call it partisan. You'll often hear of the partisan politics in the US — since politicians seem to be so devoted to either the Republican or Democratic parties. a fervent and even militant proponent of something; devoted to a cause or party; a pike with a long tapering double-edged blade with lateral projections; 16th and 17th centuries
pious
If someone is deeply religious and visibly follows all the moral and ethical codes of his religion, he is pious. Don't become a priest if you're not prepared to live a pious life. having or showing or expressing reverence for a deity
wield
If you wield a tool or a weapon, you handle it effectively. Picture a gallant knight wielding a sword or a skillful chef wielding a whisk. handle effectively; have and exercise
tabloid
A tabloid is a newspaper, especially one that's smaller than a traditional daily paper and focuses on sensational news items. If you're lucky, you might read some juicy tabloid headlines when you pass the corner newsstand. newspaper with half-size pages; sensationalist journalism
tang
any of various coarse seaweeds; a tart spicy quality
exposition
An exposition takes place when you "expose" something — like at a fair or convention for showing off goods, art, or similar wares. An exposition can also be the section of a story that explains the basics of the tale. a collection of things (goods or works of art etc.) for public display; a systematic interpretation or explanation (usually written) of a specific topic; (music) the section of a movement (especially in sonata form) where the major musical themes first occur
surfeit
Steve baked a surfeit of jam tarts. Steve ate a surfeit of jam tarts. Steve surfeited himself on jam tarts. Whether surfeit is a noun or a verb (as in "overabundance" or "gorge"), Steve is likely to end up with a bellyache. indulge (one's appetite) to satiety; supply or feed to surfeit; the state of being more than full; eating until excessively full; the quality of being so overabundant that prices fall
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