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Grade 9 Vocabulary Word Part of Speech venerable adjective

Definition worthy of respect because of advanced age, dignity, etc.



foolish for a grown person to say or do; childish



lack of proper seriousness; improper gaiety



thrifty; not wasteful



feeling of intense dislike

List 1 Sample Sentence At family reunions our venerable grandmother, now past eighty, is accorded great respect.

Some seniors think it's fun to throw objects at passing cars, but I consider it puerile.

During the assembly George kept giggling; levity for which his teacher later scolded him.

Her frugal attitude allowed her to save a good deal of money at the supermarket.

Because of his bigoted remarks, the speaker provoked the antipathy of the audience.

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Grade 9 Vocabulary avocation noun charlatan noun

a hobby; supplementary occupation one who poses as an expert in a skill or profession for which he is not qualified

doughty elucidate indolent

adjective verb adjective

brave; strong and able to make clear; explain lazy

Bird watching was an avocation that gave him many hours of pleasure. The Great Imposter is a movie about a charlatan who posed successfully as a surgeon.

The doughty naval commander fought against very heavy odds. You may elucidate what happened after you relax for a while. He was indolent by nature but still blamed the heat wave for his inability to do work.

Grade 9 Vocabulary Word Part of Speech ludicrous adjective

Definition causing laughter because absurd or ridiculous; laughably absurd



young and inexperienced; immature

blithe nepotism

adjective noun

merry; cheerful; happy favoritism shown to relatives, especially in securing jobs



to speak evil of; to slander

List 2 Sample Sentence His answer to the question was so ludicrous that everyone burst out laughing.

He was surprised when his company hired a callow youth just out of college for the important new position.

Our neighbor is a blithe fellow who tells amusing stories. Whenever a President appoints a relative to a government position, the cry of nepotism is raised by the opposing party.

I cannot bear to hear you malign such a good man.

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Grade 9 Vocabulary posthumous


occurring after death; published after the author's death

heinous clandestine

adjective adjective

outrageously evil or wicked kept secret or hidden especially for some illegal purpose; secretive



to disprove or demonstrate the falsity of something



hasty, hurried or not thorough

Only two of Emily Dickinson\s poems were published before she died; the rest were posthumous.

The convict was severely punished for his heinous crime. The clandestine activities of the terrorist group were never discovered by the police.

The district attorney summoned many witnesses to refute the testimony of the defendant.

His cursory studying of the material could not give him a full understanding of the subject.

Grade 9 Vocabulary Word Part of Speech reticent travail adjective noun

Definition quiet, reserved, or uncommunicative hard work; exhausting labor; agony

opulence arduous

noun adjective

wealth, luxury, or abundance. difficult, strenuous, or hard to achieve



practically worthless; petty; trifling

List 3 Sample Sentence Because she was so reticent, very few people got to know her well. His family found that the travail of serving ten years in a prison camp had changed him greatly.

She was amazed at the opulence of her neighbors. Climbing the tree proved to be an arduous task but not a particularly dangerous one.

I complained not because of the paltry three cents that I was overcharged but because of the principle of the thing.

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Grade 9 Vocabulary abduct verb tractable adjective

to carry off by force easily managed, taught, or controlled



to do away with or destroy; to blot out completely

prodigious haughty

adjective adjective

extraordinary in size or amount; enormous having or showing great pride in oneself and disdain, contempt, or scorn for others

The kidnappers abducted the child from her home. The horse was tractable as long as he was going in the direction of the barn; otherwise he was unmanageable.

He tried to obliterate from his memory any trace of that horrible day.

Anyone who has orbited the Earth has performed a prodigious task. He seemed at first to be rather cold and haughty, but we came to realize that this was due mainly to his shyness.

Grade 9 Vocabulary Word equanimity

Part of Speech noun

Definition Evenness of mind or temper; calmness; composure

exacerbate gratuity

verb noun

To irritate or make bitter; to make more violent A tip; payment for service for which no bill is offered



Skeptical; doubtful; too extraordinary to be believed



Talkative; chatty

List 4 Sample Sentence When one becomes engaged in an argument it is best to retain one\s equanimity in order to keep the dispute from exploding into something bigger.

The line of questions so exacerbated the witness that he refused to answer. A gratuity of 10 to 15 percent of the check is customary in many restaurants.

The teacher was incredulous when he heard the amazing excuse.

The lawyer\s loquacious summation annoyed his client, who could see that the jury was losing attention.

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Grade 9 Vocabulary reprehensible


Deserving blame; wrong



Strict; rigid; exacting

taciturn ubiquitous vapid

adjective adjective adjective

Habitually silent; not given to conversation Present everywhere Having lost its spirit or zest; spiritless

The man did not find the action of his enemy as reprehensible as he thought he would.

The Dean imposed a curfew of 7:00, the most stringent one in the history of the school.

John Wayne often portrays taciturn characters in his movies. The ubiquitous pizza parlors seem to be feeding America. The guest speaker made one of the most vapid speeches the audience had ever heard.

Grade 9 Vocabulary Word meticulous

Part of Speech adjective

Definition Overly or unduly careful about small details; extremely careful

altruism (altruist)


Unselfish concern for the welfare of others; selflessness



To improve or make better



Characteristic of the country and country people; simple and unsophisticated



To make fun of; to scorn

List 5 Sample Sentence She was extremely meticulous about her clothes and spent hours dressing for a party.

Altruism is a virtue that very few people possess.

Despite the Mayor's best efforts, he could not ameliorate the situation in the ghetto.

His rustic manners seemed out of place in the elegant setting of the hotel dining room.

The teacher told the obnoxious student not to deride his fellow classmates.

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Grade 9 Vocabulary diffident


Lacking self confidence; timid; shy



To exclude someone from a social group by general consent



Savage; cruel; fierce; warlike



To clear of suspicion, as of a charge of wrongdoing



Eager and ready to fight; quarrelsome

We discovered that beneath his diffident Personality there was an active and inquiring mind.

Although he was found innocent of treason, Aaron Burr was ostracized by society and left this country to live in England.

The debate, which might have been very interesting, was marred by a truculent exchange of personal abuse.

Since he has been fully vindicated by the investigation, he will resume his old position in the government.

He became much less pugnacious after he picked fights with boys who gave him sound beatings.

Grade 9 Vocabulary Word forbidding

Part of Speech adjective

Definition looking dangerous, threatening, disagreeable, repellent



foolish, silly, lacking sense or meaning



to become accustomed to something, difficult, painful, etc.



the complete absence of government, political disorder or violence, disorder in any activity



hostility, antagonism, hatred; the bitter feelings of an enemy

List 6 Sample Sentence The glow from the distant lighthouse cast a forbidding hue over the ocean.

We were trying not to sound inane as we spoke to the art historian, but we really knew nothing about the subject.

I never became inured to running in the early morning.

"If he gets up, we\ll all get up. It\ll be anarchy," is a famous line from The Breakfast Club.

Many Americans cannot help but feel enmity toward Osama Bin Laden and his terrorist network.

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Grade 9 Vocabulary sinecure


any office or position that brings profit or advantage without involving much work or responsibility



not expressed or declared openly, but implied or understood



to trick into doing something, to lead on with deception



anything that is or seems to be out of its proper time in history



too great a desire to have wealth; greed for riches

No one would ever need to retire from a job that is a sinecure.

Her nod was enough tacit approval for me to understand her message.

The salesman had a reputation for inveigling his customers into buying things they did not intend to buy.

For a girl to call her boyfriend her "beau" is anachronistic in 2011.

His avarice increased with age, until it became an uncontrollable obsession for wealth.

Grade 9 Vocabulary Word Part of Speech condone verb

Definition to excuse, forgive, or pardon; to overlook an offense



made trite and commonplace by overuse; stale

imperative mundane

adjective adjective

required; absolutely necessary; compulsory worldly, (as distinguished from heavenly); commonplace



calm; peaceful; undisturbed

List 7 Sample Sentence His behavior was so outrageous that I cannot see how anyone could even try to condone it.

His writing style is weakened by repeated use of hackneyed phrases.

It is imperative that you submit your application before May 1. Now that we have discussed all those profound philosophical problems, let's get down to the mundane job of preparing dinner.

Although the scene was still placid, I knew that before long we were in for some wild excitement.

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Grade 9 Vocabulary spurious adjective

not genuine or true; lacking in authenticity; fake



marked by secrecy or concealment; furtive; sly



refined; polite and courteous in a smooth, polished way; suave



a social outcast; one despised by society



to violate the sacredness of something; to profane; to treat as if not sacred

The document on which we had intended to base our case turned out to be spurious--a crude counterfeit.

Creeping stealthily, through the underbrush, the soldiers approached their enemies.

I admired the urbane ease with which he handled the difficult situation.

In Lord of the Flies, Piggy quickly became the pariah of the small society that formed on the island.

Vandals had desecrated the church by carving their initials on the large wooden doors.

Grade 9 Vocabulary Word Part of Speech Definition vociferous adjective loud, noisy, or vehement in making one's feelings known



a mild or pleasant expression substituted for one that is harsh or blunt



a scarcity or lack; too small a supply or shortage



a person or thing that comes before to announce or give an indication of what is to follow



angry, wrathful, incensed

List 8 Sample Sentence The judge ordered the vociferous spectator to be thrown out of the courtroom

Instead of calling Meredith "fat," he tactfully employed the euphemism "pleasingly plump."

When the crops failed, there was a dearth of grain for flour, and bread prices skyrocketed.

The first robin is a well-known harbinger of spring. The first vulture circling is a harbinger of something else.

He is usually even-tempered, but he becomes irate when he encounters rudeness.

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Grade 9 Vocabulary pinnacle noun

the highest point, peak; culmination



stubbornly disobedient or rebellious; hard to handle; unruly



dirty from neglect; wretched



unclear; vague; cloudy, misty



to speak out against strongly and openly; to denounce

At the very pinnacle of success, he enjoyed wealth, admiration from others, and widespread affection.

We cannot allow one recalcitrant student to disrupt the work of the entire class.

Jakob Riis photographed the awful living conditions in the squalid tenements of New York.

His ideas were so nebulous that no one could agree or disagree with him. The graduation speaker decried the tendency of too many Americans to seek wealth before all else.

Grade 9 Vocabulary Word Part of Speech extol innate verb adjective

Definition to praise highly; to laud that which seems to be with someone from birth; existing naturally rather than acquired



a perplexing or seemingly unexplainable matter or person



a continuing and bitter hate or ill will; deep spite and malice.



a violent verbal attack; strong criticism, insult curses, etc.

List 9 Sample Sentence The speaker extolled the doctor for his great contributions to mankind. His good taste and courtesy are not the result of training but rather are innate.

The many aspects of his changing personality make Tom an enigma to me.

Unfortunately, the debate between them was marked by personal rancor rather than honest discussion of the issues.

It is possible to wage a hard-hitting political campaign without resorting to the use of invectives.

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Grade 9 Vocabulary acumen noun

keenness and quickness in understanding and dealing with a situation; shrewdness



not easily moved to pity or sympathy; hardhearted, stubborn or obstinate



practical; concerned with actual, everyday things rather than with theory or speculation



fearlessly daring; bold; arrogantly insolent



common, unoriginal, drearily predictable

In the 19th century, many fortunes were made by men with great business acumen.

In spite of all our efforts to persuade him, he remained obdurate.

Rather than listening to the politicians explain the theories of poverty, he had the pragmatic problem of getting food on the table.

In this time of crisis, we need imaginative, bold and even audacious leadership.

The lecturer\s banal comments bored the audience to tears.

Grade 9 Vocabulary Word culpable

Part of Speech adjective

Definition Responsible for doing something wrong; deserving blame; guilty



Deserving disgrace or shame; dishonorable; despicable

ostentatious vicissitudes

adjective noun

showing off boastfully; boastful changes in fortune; ups and downs in circumstances



cheerful willingness or eagerness

List 10 Sample Sentence Anyone who took any part in the conspiracy was considered equally culpable.

The traitor spent the last years of his life in ignominious exile.

The man displayed his expensive new suit in a very ostentatious manner. You must learn to face the many vicissitudes of life.

Since Bob needed a job to pay for his college expenses, he accepted with alacrity the offer.

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Grade 9 Vocabulary decadent


in a state of decline or decay; deteriorating






Reckless, boldness; foolish disregard for danger



composed of materials gained from many sources, systems, etc.



a thing or person accursed or damned; a thing or person greatly detested; a formal curse

When people lose interest in literature, it's a sign that the society is becoming decadent.

The garrulous cab driver kept up a steady stream of chatter.

In 1941, Japanese militarists had the temerity to risk the future of their country on the wild gamble of a knockout blow on Pearl Harbor.

The statesman did no believe in only one political philosophy, but rather took a more eclectic view of world affairs.

After almost 200 years, the name of Benedict Arnold is still anathema to Americans.

Grade 9 Vocabulary Word magnanimous

Part of Speech adjective

noble in mind; high-souled; generous in overlooking injury or insult; rising above pettiness or meanness



a person who hates or mistrusts all people



unreasonably cheap or stingy



a person who has or professes to have great learning; actual or self- professed authority



offering unnecessary or unwanted advice or services; meddlesome, especially in an

List 11 Sample Sentence

Churchill emphasized that we should be firm in war, defiant in defeat, and magnanimous in victory.

Because of his hateful stares and habitual silence, the man had the reputation of being a misanthrope.

He had become so accustomed to a parsimonious way of living that he denied himself even the simplest comforts.

During the week of the Super Bowl, many so-called pundits are always telling you in advance which team will win the game.

To disguise the fact that he was performing no useful function, he developed an officious manner of intruding into everyone else\s work

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Grade 9 Vocabulary
overbearing way



bold; fearless; dauntless; very brave



very sad or mournful, especially in a way that seems exaggerated or ridiculous



intended for or understood by only a chosen few beyond the knowledge and understanding of most people



arrogant; haughty; seeking to dominate; overbearing



distressing to the feelings; touching; appealing to the emotions; affecting

All honors should go to the intrepid and highly trained men who are exploring outer space.

His lugubrious expression was intended to suggest that he, more than anyone else, understood the sadness of the occasion.

The lecture was too esoteric to be appreciated by most people in the audience.

He is so inflated with the sense of his own importance that he adopts an imperious manner toward his subordinates.

Who can remain unmoved by the poignant scene in which Sidney Carton sacrifices his life for the woman he loves.

Grade 9 Vocabulary Word repugnant tacit

Part of Speech adjective adjective

Definition distasteful; offensive; repulsive implied but not expressed



involving sympathetic participation by a person in the experiences of another; experienced or endured or enjoyed through imaginative participation in the experiences of another



to evade or conceal the truth; to deviate from the truth; to lie

List 12 Sample Sentence I find his horrible manners utterly repugnant. Since mother raised no objection to my idea, I assumed that I had her tacit consent to go ahead with the plan.

Having been too frail to participate in competitive sports, he took vicarious pleasure in his younger brother's football heroics.

Although you may be tempted to prevaricate, in the long run it will be better off if you own up to what you did.

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Grade 9 Vocabulary supercilious


contemptuously proud; haughty; disdainful

enervate plethora

verb noun

to weaken; to deprive of force an excess; an overabundance



an original that serves as a model on which later stages are based or judged; an early and typical example

askew abrogate

adverb verb

to one side; crookedly to cancel or repeal by authority; to annul

In spite of his supercilious attitude, I refuse to concede that he is our social superior.

The long stretch of hot, humid weather enervated all of us. The boy has a plethora of energy and inventiveness, which he sometimes directs into mischief.

Salinger's brilliant Catcher in the Rye has served as the prototype for many novels about confused teenagers.

In my efforts to straighten the picture, I knocked the lampshade askew. Since the treaty had proved unworkable, the two nations decided to abrogate it.

Grade 9 Vocabulary Word bequeath

Part of Speech verb

Definition to leave to another in a will; to hand down



to praise highly



grossly stupid or dull; coarse



smug; self satisfied; pleased with oneself



great misery or distress; great trouble

List 13 Sample Sentence My father bequeathed to his children a little money and the glorious example of a life well spent in the service of his country.

At the testimonial dinner, he was lauded by community leaders for his service to the school.

His attempts to argue about a subject far beyond his depth seemed only to reveal his crass ignorance and conceit.

He had the complacent attitude of a man who considers himself superior to the "common herd."

The tribulations which he suffered and overcame have made him a wiser, more compassionate person.

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Grade 9 Vocabulary cajole


to coax or persuade with insincere or false words; to wheedle



mental distress due to disappointment or humiliation



easily taught; responsive; tractable



to waver in mind or opinion



marked by wisdom and good judgment

Using rather far-fetched promises, I finally cajoled her into accompanying us to the fair

When he did not receive an invitation, he tried unsuccessfully to conceal his deep-seated chagrin.

Since I expected him to be unruly, I was pleasantly surprised by his gentle, docile behavior.

When you have considered all the factors carefully and have decided what is right, act without vacillating.

His sage advice has helped thousands of people deal with their problems.

Grade 9 Vocabulary Word Part of Speech dupe verb

Definition to deceive

acme deter homily

noun verb noun

highest point; pinnacle to restrain or discourage from action through fear a sermon; a discourse emphasizing moral principles



one who cultivates refined tastes, especially in eating and drinking

List 14 Sample Sentence Only an inexperienced and naive person could be duped into investing money in such a hairbrained scheme.

Election to the Presidency was the acme of his long and brilliant career. Once he had decided where his duty lay, nothing could deter him. Instead of those high-flown homilies, we need some good practical plans.

The store specializes in delicacies that will please even the most demanding epicures.

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Grade 9 Vocabulary surfeit noun itinerant adjective

excessive amount traveling from place to place

cache incite appease

noun verb verb

a hiding place to instigate; to spur on to bring to a state of peace or quiet; to satisfy by making concessions or giving in to

I have had my surfeit of excuses and evasions; I want action! Peter became an itinerant folk singer, traveling to college campuses all over the land.

The conspirators had set up a cache of firearms in the old farmhouse. Only intolerable living conditions could have incited the peasants to rebellion. The tyrant can be appeased only by absolute submission to his will.

Grade 9 Vocabulary Word Part of Speech impetuous adjective

Definition impulsive; done hastily or rashly



treachery; breach of trust or faith



a dirty, wretched dwelling place



coming into view or being; arrival

List 15 Sample Sentence Because he is impetuous by nature, John often has cause to regret his rash actions.

Because he betrayed our country, Benedict Arnold's name has become a symbol of perfidy in American history.

It is shocking that the families of the migratory workers had to live in such hovels.

The advent of winter brings thoughts of sleds, ice-skates, and skis.

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Grade 9 Vocabulary indigent adjective

needy; poor



impudence; shameless boldness

rectify amass

verb verb

to correct; to set right to accumulate; to gather together

The purpose of this new program is to help those indigent people who can't help themselves.

How does he have the effrontery to ask me for help when he ignored my requests during my time of need.

It is good to rectify a mistake; it is better not to make it in the first place. By saving systematically over the years, he amassed a large fortune.