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100 terms

100 Words Every Freshman Should Know

These are 100 words that every freshman should know, from the editors of the AMERICAN HERITAGE Dictionaries.
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accentuate
(v) to give prominence to, emphasize or intensify
alliteration
(n) repetition of the same sounds, usually consonants at the beginning of words
analogy
(n) similarity in some respects between things that are otherwise unlike; an explanation of something by comparing it with something similar
antibody
(n) a protein produced int he blood or tissues in response to the presence of a specific toxin, foreign blood cell, or other antigen; provide immunity against microorganisms and toxins by binding with them
aspire
(v) to have a great ambition; desire strongly
bamboozle
(v) to deceive by elaborate trickery
bizarre
(adj) very strange or odd
boisterous
(adj) rough and stormy; violent; noisy and lacking restraint or discipline
boycott
(v) to act together in refusing to use, buy from or deal with, especially in an act of protest; (n) a refusal to buy from...
camouflage
(n) a method of concealing military troops or equipment by appearing to be part of the natural surrounding; (v) to conceal or hide by camouflage
chronology
(n) the order or sequence of events
commemorate
(v) to honor the memory of (someone or something), especially with a ceremony
cower
(v) to crouch or draw back, as from fear or pain
decorum
(n) proper behavior or conduct; propriety
deduction
(n) the act of subtracting; subtraction
deign
(v) to be willing to do something that one considers beneath one's dignity; condescend
despondent
(adj) feeling depression of spirits from loss of hope, confidence or courage; dejected
dialogue/dialog
(n) a conversation between two or more people
divulge
(v) to make known; reveal; tell
eclectic
(adj) choosing or taking what appears to be the best from various sources
ellipsis
(n) omission of parts of a sentence/phrase by the use of three period marks (...)
embargo
(n) an order by a government prohibiting merchant ships for entering or leaving its ports; (v) to place an embargo on
enthusiastic
(adj) having or showing great interest or excitement
exponent
(n) a number or symbol, placed to the right of and above the expression to which it applies, that indicates the number of times a mathematical expression is used as a factor
exult
(v) to rejoice greatly; be jubilant or triumphant
fallacy
(n) a false notion or mistake belief
flourish
(v) to grow or develop well or luxuriantly; thrive
formidable
(adj) arousing fear, dread, alarm or great concern; difficult to surmount, defeat or undertake
gargoyle
(n) a waterspout or ornamental figure in the form of a grotesque animal or person projecting from the gutter of a building
guerrilla
(n) a member of a military force that is not part of a regular army and operates in small bands in occupied territories to harass the enemy, as by surprise raids
guru
(n) a hindu spirit or teacher; a person who is followed as a leader or teacher
heritage
(n) something other than property passed down from preceding generations; a tradition
hieroglyphic
(adj) of/relating to a system of writing, such as that of ancient Egypt; (n) a picture or symbol used in hieroglyphic writing
hologram
(n) the photographic record of a three-dimensional image produced by photographic plates or film...
hypocrisy/hypocrite
(n) the practice of showing expressing feelings, beliefs or virtues that one does not actually hold or possess
immune
(adj) protected from disease naturally or by vaccination or inoculation; not affected by a given influence
impertinent
(adj) offensively bold; rude
inference
(n) the act or process of deciding or concluding by reasoning from evidence; something is decided by the above
introspection
(n) the examination of one's own thoughts and feelings
jaunty
(adj) having or showing a carefree self-confident air; stylish or smart in appearance
jovial
(adj) full of fun and good cheer; jolly
kilometer
(n) a unit of length equal to 1,000 meters; 0.62 of a mile
labyrinth
(n) a complex structure of connected passages through which it is difficult to find one's way; a maze
laconic
(adj) using few words; terse; concise
lichen
(n) an organism that consists of a fungus and an alga growing in close association with each other
light year
(n) the distance that light travels in one year, about 5.88 trillion miles
maneuver
(n) a planned movement that involves skill or cunning; (v) to change tactics or approach
marsupial
(n) any of various mammals, such as the kangaroo, opossum, or wombat, whose young continue to develop after birth in a pouch on the outside of the female's body
metaphor
(n) a figure of speech in which a word or phrase that is ordinarily associated with one thing is applied to something else, thus making a comparison between the two
mosaic
(n) a picture or design made on a surface by fitting and cementing together small colored pieces, as of tile, glass or stone; the art or process of making such pictures
mutation
(n) a change in a gene or chromosome of an organism that can be inherited by its offspring
nebulous
(adj) lacking definition or definite content
nocturnal
(adj) of, relating to, or occurring at night
nuisance
(n) a source of inconvenience or annoyance; a bother
omnivore
(n) an organism that eats both plants and animals
outrageous
(adj) exceeding all bounds of what is right or proper; immoral or offensive
ozone
(n) a poisonous, unstable form of oxygen that has three atoms per molecule rather than the usual two.
parasite
(n) an organism that lives in or on a different kind of organism from which it gets nourishment and to which it is sometimes harmful
participle
(n) a verb form that is used with auxiliary verbs to indicate certain tenses and that can also function as an adjective
phloem
(n) a plan tissue that conducts food from the leaves to the other plant parts
plateau
(n) an elevated, comparatively level expanse of land
polygon
(n) a flat, closed geometric figure bounded by three or more line segments; triangles, rectangles and octagons are all examples
protagonist
(n) the main character in a drama or literary work
pulverize
(v) to pound, crush or grind to powder or dust
quandary
(n) a condition of uncertainty or doubt; a dilemma
quarantine
(n) a condition, period of time, or place in which a person or animal is confined or kept in isolation in an effort to prevent a disease from spreading
quota
(n) an amount of something assigned, as to be done, made or sold
rainforest
(n) a dense evergreen forest with an annual rainfall of at least 160 inches
random
(adj) having no specific pattern, purpose or objective
recede
(v) to move back or away from a limit, degree, point, or mark
renaissance
(n) a rebirth or revival
renegade
(n) a person who rejects a cause, allegiance, religion or group for another; an outlaw
repose
(n) the act of resting or the state of being at rest
sacrifice
(n) the act of giving up something highly valued for the sake of something else considered to be of greater value
silhouette
(n) a drawing consisting of the outline of something, especially a human profile, filed in with a solid color; an outline of something that appears dark against a light background
solstice
(n) either of the times of year when the sun is farthest north or south of the equator
spectrum
(n) a broad range of related qualities, ideas or activities
stereotype
(n) a conventional or oversimplified idea or image
strategy
(n) a plan of action arrived at by means of planning intended to accomplish a specific goal
suffrage
(n) the right to vote in political elections
symbiosis
(n) the close association between two or more different organisms of different species, often but not necessarily benefiting each member
tariff
(n) a tax or duty imposed by a government on a category of imported or exported goods
technique
(n) a procedure or method for accomplishing a complicated task, as in a science or an art
tempo
(n) the speed at which music is or ought to be played; a characteristic rate or rhythm of something; a pace
toxin
(n) a poisonous substance produced by a living organism
tranquility
(n) the quality or condition of being free from disturbance; calmness; serenity
tumult
(n) noisy and disorderly activity; a commotion or disturbance
tundra
(n) a cold, treeless usually lowland area of far northern regions
ultraviolet
(adj) of or relating to electromagnetic radiation having wavelengths shorter than those of visible light but lover than those of x-rays
unanimous
(adj) sharing the same opinion; being fully in agreement; based on or characterized by complete agreement
undulate
(v) to move in waves or with a smooth wavy motion; to have a wavy appearance or form
vaccine
(n) a substance that stimulates cells in the immune system to recognize and attack disease-causing agents, especially through the production of antibodies
vacillate
(v) to be unable to decide between one opinion or course of action and another; waver
vertebrate
(n) any of a large group of animals having a backbone, including the fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals. (adj) having a backbone
virtuoso
(n) a musical performer of great excellence, technique, or ability; a person of great skill or technique
voracious
(adj) having or marked by an insatiable appetite for an activity or occupation; eating or eager to eat great amounts of food; ravenous
wretched
(adj) very unhappy or unfortunate; miserable; characterized by or causing distress or unhappiness
xylem
(n) a plant tissue that carries water and dissolved minerals up from the roots through the stem to the leaves and provides support for the softer tissues
yacht
(n) any of various relatively small sailing or motor-driven vessels used for pleasure trips or racing
zoology
(n) the branch of biology that deals with animals