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abash absolute

abate absolve
abdicate absquatulate
aberration abstinent
abhor abstract (adj)
abject abstract (v)
abnegate abstruse
abortive abysmal
abridge acatalepsy
abscond accolade
(AB suh loot) adj. total; unlimited; perfect (is also a noun).
An absolute ruler is one is ruled by no one else. An absolute rule is
one with no exceptions. Death is an absolute.
(uh BASH) v. to make ashamed; to embarrass; to destroy the self-
possession or self-confidence of
Morgan felt abashed by her inability to remember her lines in the
school play.
(ab ZOLV) v. to forgive or free from blame; to free from sin; to free
from obligation
The Savior has absolved us from sin. Tom's admission of guilt
absolved Harry, who had be accused of the original crime.
(uh BAYT) v. to subside; to reduce
Gradually, the agony abated from wound in his leg.
(ab SKWOCH uh layt) v. run away; to flee
quickly (usually with someone or
(AB duh kayt) v. to step down from a position of power or responsibility.
Pres. Nixon abdicated the presidency. Mary abdicated her secretarial
responsibilities by not doing her reports and flying to Hawaii.
(AB stuh nunt) adj. abstaining; voluntarily not doing something,
especially something pleasant that is bad for you or has a bad
Bob was a smoker, now he's abstinent.
(ab uh RAY shun) n. something not typical; a deviation from the
The restaurant is bad, the good meal we once was an aberration.
Tom's behavior was aberrant.
(AB strakt) adj. theoretical; impersonal; disassociated from any
specific instance; the essentials of larger thing or several things(is
also a noun, and a verb)
An abstract view is to see the whole not the details.
(ab HOR) v. to hate very, very much; to detest
to abhor raw chicken livers is to have an abhorrence of
them to find them abhorrent.
(AB strakt) v. remove, separate; to draw away the
attention of; to make a summary or abstract of;
Data was abstracted from hospital records.
(AB jekt) adj. hopeless; extremely sad and servile; defeated
Abject poverty is hopeless, desperate poverty and is overused by
(ab STROOS) adj. hard to understand
The professor's lecture was very abstruse.
(AB nuh gayt) v. to deny oneself things; to reject; to renounce
Samantha abnegated desserts for one month after getting on the
(uh BIZ mul) adj. extremely hopeless or wretched; bottomless
The nation's debt crisis is abysmal, with no solution in sight.
(uh BOR tiv) adj. unsuccessful
Fred's attempt to climb the mountain was abortive
because he fell off.
"(ay KAT ul ep see) n. an ancient skeptical view that no more than probably knowledge is
available to humans; human knowledge never amounts to certainty, but only to probability, and
who advocated a suspension of judgment upon all questions, even upon the doctrine of acatalepsy
itself; uncertainty in the diagnosis or prognosis of diseases; a weak understanding; mental
(uh BRIJ) v. to shorten; to condense
Mormon abridged an ancient records for the Book of
(AK uh layd) n. an award; an honor;
The dancing team received accolades from the critics.
(ab SKAWND) v. to depart secretly and
hide oneself
accost adherent
accost admonish
acerbic adroit
acquiesce adulation
acrid adulterate
acrimonious adumbrate
acumen adverse
acute aesthetic
adamant affable
address affectation
(ad HEER unt) n. follower; supporter; believer
The king's adherents threw a big birthday party for him.
(uh KAWST)v. to approach and speak to someone aggressively.
Amanda karate chopped the stranger who accosted her in the
(ad MAHN ish) v. to scold gently; to warn (n. admonition, adj.
The mother admonished her children for eating that which she told
them not to.
(uh KOST) v. to approach and speak to often in a challenging or aggressive
way; approach and address (someone) boldly or aggressively; approach with
hostility or harmful intent
The student had accosted the principal in front of the student body; later he
was arrested for dealing drugs.
(uh DROYT) adj. skillful; dexterous; clever; shrewd; socially at ease
It would be hard to dance adroitly with your shoes on the wrong
(uh SUR bik) adj. bitter; sour; severe
John sate silently as our teacher read aloud her acerbic comments on his paper
Acerb and acerbic are synonyms. Acerbity is bitterness.
(aj uh LAY shun) n. wild or excessive admiration; flattery (v.
The rock star grew to abhor the adulation of his fans.
(ak wee ES) v. to comply passively; to accept; to assent; to agree
I acquiesced to the robbers demands. You can exhibit acquiescence.
(uh DUL tuh rayt) v. to contaminate; to make impure
Our radioactive orange juice had definitely been
(AK rid) adj. harsh; like acid; deeply or violently bitter
The chili we had at the party had an acrid taste; it was harsh and unpleasant.
Johnny has a real acrid personality.
(AD dum brayt) v. to foreshadow vaguely;
to suggest, disclose, or outline partially;
(ak ruh MOH nee us) adj. full of spite; bitter; nasty (especially in feeling,
language, or manner)
Joan and Kim have a very acrimonious relationship; they don't even
acknowledge each other. He went through an acrimonious divorce.
(ad VURS) adj. unfavorable; antagonistic
We played our soccer game under adverse conditions.
(AK yoo mun) n. keenness of judgment; mental sharpness
John has a lot of business acumen.
(es THET ik) adj. having to do with artistic beauty; artistic (n.
aesthete ES theet)
John is considered an aesthete for his admiration of beautiful
(uh KYOOT) adj. sharp; shrewd; characterized by sharpness or severity; having
a sudden onset, sharp rise, and short course; felt, perceived, or experienced
intensely; demanding urgent attention
If you eyesight is acute, you can see things others can't. (only means sharp in a
figurative sense. You would never say a knife is acute.)
(AF uh bul) adj. easy to talk to; friendly (n. affability)
The Jefferson's dog was big, but affable.
(AD uh munt) adj. stubborn; unyielding; completely inflexible
Candice was adamant: she would never go out with Paul again.
(Adamancy is being adamant).
(af ek TAY shun) n. unnatural or artificial behavior, usually intended to impress
to affect a characteristic or habit is to adopt it consciously, usually in the hopes of impressing
others. A person with affectation is said to be affected.
Becky's English accent is an affectation.
(uh DRES) v. to speak to; to direct one's attention to
Ernie addressed the problem of addressing the convention by
writing his speech.
affinity alleviate
affluent allocate
affront alloy
agenda allusion
aggregate aloof
agnostic altruism
agrarian amalgamate
alacrity ambience
alexithymia ambiguous
allege ambivalent
(uh LEE vee ayt) v. to relieve, usually temporarily or incompletely;
to make bearable; to lessen
The medicine alleviate my headache, for a little while at least.
(uh FIN uh tee) n. sympathy; attraction; kinship; similarity
Ducks have an affinity for water. There is an affinity between snow
and water.
(AL uh kayt) v. to distribute; to assign; to allot
I allocated $100 to student wages for the week. Jan spent
several hours trying to allocate blame.
(AF loo unt) adj. rich; prosperous
Rich people are affluent.
(AL oy) n. a combination of two or more things, usually metals (v. to alloy is to mix two things
together )
Brass in an alloy of copper and zinc.
Unalloyed means undiluted or pure. Unalloyed love is love undiminished by an negative feelings.
(uh FRUNT) v. to insult, especially to the face by behavior
or language; to cause offense to;
(uh LOO zhun) n. an indirect reference ( often to a literary work); a hint
To allude to something is to refer to it indirectly.
I liked the way you blow out candles....(she is alluding to the party).
(uh JEN duh) n. program; the things to be done
What's on the agenda for the board meeting? What's the
politician's agenda?
(uh LOOF) adj. uninvolved; standing off; keeping one's
Al, on the roof, felt very aloof.
(AG ruh gut) n. sum total; a collection of separate things mixed
together (also a v. and adj.)
Chili is an aggregate of beef and beans. You make chili by
aggregating beef and beans.
(AL troo iz um) v. selflessness; generosity; devotion to the interest of others
The private foundation depended on the altruism of the extremely rich old
man. To be altruistic is to help others without expectation of personal gain.
(ag NAHS tik) n. one who believes that the existence of a God can
be neither proven nor disproven (n. agnosticism)
Heath is agnostic, he doesn't know if there is or is not a God.
(uh MAL guh mayt) v. to unite in or as if in an amalgam; to merge
into a single body
Amalgamating different styles of music.
(uh GRAR ee un) adj. relating to land; relating to the management
of farming of land
Politics in this country often pit the rural, agrarian interests against
the urban interests.
(AM bee uns) n. atmosphere; mood; feeling (adj. ambient
-surrounding or circulating)
The roses on the bed created just the right ambience.
(uh LAK ri tee) n. cheerful eagerness or readiness to respond
John couldn't wait for his parents to leave. He carried their luggage
to the car with great alacrity.
(am BIG yoo us) adj. unclear in meaning; confusing; capable of
being interpreted in different ways
We listened to the weather report, but the forecast was ambiguous.
(uh leks ih THEE mee uh) n. the inability
to express one's feelings
(am BIV uh lunt) adj. undecided; having opposed
feelings simultaneously
Susan felt ambivalent about George as a boyfriend.
(uh LEJ) v. to assert without proof
Bill alleges I stole his hat.
ameliorate analogy
amenable anarchy
amenity anecdote
amiable anguish
amnesty animadversion
amoral animosity
amorous anomaly
amorphous antecedent
anachronism antipathy
anacoluthon antithesis
(uh NAL uh jee) n. a comparison of one thing to another; similarity (adj.
analogous - performing a similar function, comparable in certain respects)
Having allergies in summer is like being run over by a car is to draw an
(uh MEEL yuh rayt) v. to make better or more tolerable
The condition of the prisoners was ameliorated when the warden
gave them color TV sets and keys to their cells.
(AN ur kee) n. absence of government or control; lawlessness;
The country fell into a state of anarchy after the rebels kidnapped
the president.
(uh MEE nuh bul) adj. obedient; willing to give in to the wishes of
another; agreeable
I suggested that Bart pay for my lunch, and he was amenable.
(AN ik doht) n. a short account of a humorous or revealing incident
The old lady kept the repair man amused with anecdote about her
cute dog.
(uh MEN i tee) adj. pleasantness; attractive or comfortable feature
The amenities at the hotel were a swimming pool and a luscious
(ANG gwish) n. agonizing physical or mental pain
Scott never overcame the anguish about his accident that
took the woman's life.
(AY mee uh bul) adj. friendly; agreeable
Our amiable guide made us feel right at home in what would
otherwise have been cold and forbidding museum.
(a nuh mad VUR shun) n. a critical and
usually censorious remark - often used
with on; adverse criticism;
(AM nuh stee) n. an official pardon for a group of people who have violated a
law or policy - this is always used to refer to a group, never to just an
The governor gave amnesty to the criminals for their co-operation in capturing
their leader.
(an uh MAHS uh tee) n. resentment; hostility; ill will
The rivals for the state championship felt great animosity
toward each other.
(ay MOR ul) adj. lacking a sense of right and wrong; neither good
nor bad, neither moral nor immoral; without moral feelings
A moral person does right, an immoral does wrong, an amoral
simply does.
(uh NAHM uh lee) n. an aberration; an irregularity; a
A snowy day in June is an anomaly.
(AM ur us) adj. feeling loving, especially in a sexual sense; in love;
relating to love
The amorous couple made quite a scene at the movie.
(an tuh SEED unt) n. someone or something that went before;
something that provides a model for something that came after it
The horse drawn carriage is the antecedent of the automobile.
(uh MOR fus) adj. shapeless; without a regular or stable shape;
blob like
Ed's teacher said that his term paper was amorphous; she said that
it was as shapeless and disorganized as a cloud.
(an TIP uh thee) n. firm dislike; a dislike
I feel antipathy toward bananas wrapped in ham. My
feelings are quite antipathetic.
(uh NAK ruh niz um)n. something out of place in time or history;
an incongruity
A visit from your family doctor to your home anachronism.
(an TITH uh sis) n. direct opposite
Erin is the antithesis of Erika, one is bright and beautiful
the other dull and plain.
(uh nub kuh LOO thawn) n. syntactical inconsistency or
incoherence within a sentence; a shift in an unfinished
sentence from one syntactic construction to another;
apartheid approbation
apathy appropriate
aphorism aptitude
aplomb arbiter
apocalypse arbitrary
apophasis arcane
apotheosis archaic
appease archetype
appreciate ardent
apprehensive arduous
(ap ruh BAY shun) n. approval; praise
The crowd expressed its approbation of what the team
had done.
(uh PAHRT hayt)n. the abhorrent policy
of racial segregation and oppression in
the Republic of South Africa
(uh PROH pree ayt) v. to take without permission; to set aside for a
particular use
Nick appropriated my lunch by grabbing out of my hands and
eating it.
(AP uh thee) n. lack of interest; lack of feeling; lack of interest or concern
The customer service desk of Microsoft definitely has apathy towards the
people who call them. To say there are apathetic is an understatement.
(AP tuh tood) n. capacity for learning;
natural ability
(AF uh riz um) n. a brief, often witty saying; a proverb
Benjamin Franklin was fond of aphorisms. He was
frequently aphoristic.
(AHR buh tur) n. one who decides; a
(uh PLOMB) n. complete and confident composure or
You've handled a difficult situation with perfect aplomb.
(AHR buh trer ee) adj. random;
(uh PAHK uh lips) n. a prophetic
revelation, especially one concerning the
end of the world
(ahr KAYN) adj. mysterious; known only to a select few
The rites of the secret cult were arcane.
(uh POF uh sis) n. denial of one's intention to speak of a
subject that is at the same time names or insinuated (i.e. I
shall not mention Caesar's avarice, nor his cunning, nor
his morality.)
(ahr KAY ik) adj. extremely old; ancient;
(uh pahth ee OH sis) n. elevation to divine; the perfect example of
Shannon considers his muscles to be the apotheosis of the muscle
builders everywhere.
(AHR kuh type) n. an original model or pattern
Plato is the archetype of all philosophers.
(uh PEEZ) v. to soothe; to pacify by giving in to
The woman handed over her purse to the robber in an
effort to appease him.
(AHR dunt) adj. passionate; enthusiastic
Kim is an ardent massage therapist; there's nothing she'd
rather do.
(uh PREE shee ayt) v. to increase in value
(AHR joo us) adj. hard; difficult
(ap ruh HEN siv) adj. worried; anxious (misapprehension is a
The apprehensive child clung to his father's leg as they walked by
the lion's den.
aristocratic attrition
artful audacity
artifice augment
ascendancy auspicious
ascetic austere
assiduous autocratic
assimilate autonomous
assuage avarice
astute avaricious
atrophy averse
(uh TRISH un) n. gradual wearing away, weakening, or loss; a natural or
expected decrease in numbers or size; the act of rubbing together; the act of
wearing or grinding down by friction.
The company preferred to lose workers through attrition when they moved
away, retired, or decided to change jobs.
(uh ris tuh KRAT ik) adj. of noble birth;
(aw DAS uh tee) n. boldness; reckless
daring; impertinence ( A person with
audacity is said to be audacious)
(AHRT ful) adj. crafty; wily; sly (someone who is artless is simple
and honest)
The artful scout master told the scouts there was a bear in the
woods, thus causing the scouts to lie quietly.
(awg MENT) v. to make bigger; to add to ; to increase
The army augmented its attack by sending in a few
thousand more soldiers.
(AHRT uh fus) n. a clever trick; cunning
The Trojan Horse was an artifice designed to get soldiers inside the
walls. The mother had to resort to artifice to get her children to take
their baths.
(aw SPISH us) adj. favorable; promising; pointing to a good result
A clear sky in the morning is an auspicious sign on the day of a
(uh SEN DUN SEE) v. supremacy; domination
Small computers have been the ascendancy for the past few years.
When something is in ascendancy, it is ascendant.
(aw STEER) adj. unadorned; stern; forbidding; without excess
The Kelly's have a very austere home, not much hanging on the
walls. John has an austere personality and so he doesn't make
many friends.
(uh SET ik) adj. hermitlike; practicing self-denial (also a
noun and an ascetic is someone who practices asceticism.
Fasting can be a joyful ascetic experience.
(aw tuh KRAT ik) adj. ruling with absolute authority; extremely
A two year old can be very autocratic - he wants what he wants
when he wants it.
(uh SIJ oo us) adj. hardworking; busy; quite diligent
The workmen were assiduous in their effort to get nothing done.
Instead of working they drank mate all day long.
(aw TAHN uh mus) adj. acting independently ( to act
autonomously is to act on your own authority)
(uh SIM uh layt) v. to take in; to absorb; to learn thoroughly
To assimilate an idea is to take it in as thoroughly as if you had
eaten it.
(AV ur is) v. greed; excessive love of riches (opposite of generosity
and philanthropy)
The rich man's avarice was annoying to everyone who wanted his
(uh SWAYJ) v. to soothe; to pacify; to ease the pain of; to relieve
Robbin was extremely angry, but I assuaged her by promising to
leave the house and never return.
(a vuh RI shush) adj. greedy of gain; excessively acquisitive in
seeking to hoard riches.
An avaricious scheme to con the elderly couple out of thousands of
(uh STOOT) adj. shrewd; keen in judgment
Morris was an astute judge of character; he was very good at seeing
what people are really like.
(uh VURS)adj. To oppose; don't want to something
Mike had an aversion to brushing his teeth.
(A truh fee) n. decrease in size or wasting
away of a body part or tissue; a wasting
away or progressive decline;
avow belaud
avuncular beleaguer
awry belie
axiom belittle
balderdash belligerent
banal bemused
bane benefactor
bastion benevolent
beget benign
belabor bequest
(be LAWD) v. to praise, usually to excess;
(uh VOW) v. to claim; to declare boldly; to admit
At 25, John finally avowed that he couldn't stand his
mother's gravy.
(bih LEE gur) v. to surround; to besiege; to harass
No one could leave the beleaguered city; the attacking
army had close off all exits.
(uh VUNG kyuh lur) adj. like an uncle, especially a nice uncle
Professor Tom often gave us avuncular advice. He took real interest
in us.
(bih LYE) v. to give a false impression of; to contradict
The messy appearance of the banquet table belied the
huge effort to set it up.
(uh RYE) adj. off course; twisted to one side
The old man's hat was awry on his head.
(bih LIT ul) v. to make seem little; to put
someone down
(AK see um) n. self-evident rule or truth; a widely
accepted saying
Everything that lives eventually dies. (this is an axiom)
(buh LIJ ur unt) adj. combative; quarrelsome; waging war
To be belligerent is to push people around, to be noisy, and
argumentative, to threaten other people, to make a nuisance of
(bahl DUR dash) n. nonsense
(bih MYOOZD) adj. confused;
(buh NAL) adj. unoriginal; ordinary
The dinner conversation was so banal that Jack fell asleep in her
dessert dish. What made Jack fall asleep was the banality of the
dinner conversation.
(BEN uh fak tur) n. one who provides help, especially in the form of
a gift or donation
Benefactor is to give, beneficiary is to receive.
(bayn) n. poison, torment; cause of harm
To say that someone is the bane of your existence means
they poison your enjoyment of life.
(beh NEV uh lunt) adj. generous, kind;
doing good deeds
(BAS chun) n. stronghold; fortress; fortified place
Mrs. Garnett's classroom is the bastion of banality.
(bih NYNE) adj. gentle; not harmful;
kind; mild
(bih GET) v. to give birth to; to create; to lead to; to cause
One lie often begets another.
(bih KWEST) n. something left to
someone in a will
(bi LAY bur) v. to go over repeatedly or to an absurd
Don't belabor the point.
bereaved bourgeois
beset bovine
bigot brevity
blasphemy broach
blatant bucolic
bleat bumptious
blight bureaucracy
blithe burgeon
bloviate burlesque
bollix cacophony
(boor ZWAH) adj. middle class, usually in a pejorative sense;
boringly conventional
A hip city person might think the suburbs as being to bourgeois.
(buh REEVD) adj. deprived or left
desolate, especially through death
(BOH vyne) adj. cow related; cow like
Making a mooing noise is said to be bovine.
(bih SET) v. to harass; to surround
The bereft widow was beset by grief
(BREV i tee) n. briefness
(BIH gut) n. a person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to
his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially : one who
regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic
group) with hatred and intolerance
(brohch) v. to open up a subject for
discussion, often a delicate subject
(BLAS fuh mee) n. irreverence; an insult to something
held sacred; profanity
To blaspheme is to swear or say irreverent things.
(byuoo KAHL ik) adj. charmingly rural; rustic; country
The bucolic scene didn't to much for the city fellow.
(BLAYT unt) adj. unpleasantly or offensively noisy;
David was blatantly critical of our efforts.
(BUMP shus) adj. presumptuously, obtusely, and often noisily self-
A bumptious young man whose family wealth gave him a sense of
(bluh eet) v. to make the natural cry of a sheep or goat; to talk
complainingly or with a whine or foolishly (n. bleater)
But why can't I go? she bleated. I listened to their inane bleat all
(byoo RAHK ruh see) n. a system of government
administration consisting of numerous bureaus or offices
(blyte) n. a disease in plants; anything that injures or
An early frost proved a blight to the citrus crops last year.
(BUR jun) v. to expand; to flourish
The burgeoning weeds in our yard soon overwhelmed the
(blythe) adj. carefree; cheerful
The children were playing blithely in the hazardous-wast
(bur LESK) n. a ludicrous, mocking, or exaggerated imitation
The actors frequently performed burlesque works on the stage.
(BLO vee ayt) v. to speak or write verbosely and windily
Bill O'Rielly does not want to you bloviate when writing to
(kuh KAHF uh nee) n. harsh- sounding mixture of words, voices,
or sounds
A cacophony isn't just noise, it's a lot of noise that doesn't sound
good together.
(BAH lixs) v. to throw into disorder;
(usually used with up)
cadence castigate
cajole catalyst
cajolery categorical
callow caterwaul
candor catharsis
capitalism cathect
capitulate catholic
caprice caustic
capricious censure
caricature cerebral
(KAS tuh gayt) v. to criticize severely; to chastise
My mom castigated me for failing to pick her up at the
(KAYD uns) n. rhythm; the rise and fall of
(KAT uh list) n. in chemistry, something that changes the rate of a chemical
reaction without itself being changed; anyone or anything that makes
something happen w/o being directly involved in it
The hijacking provided the catalyst for Congress' new anti-terrorism
(kuh JOHL) v. to persuade someone to do something he or she doesn't
want to do; to persuade with flattery or gentle urging in the face of
reluctance; to deceive with soothing words or false promises
Joel cajoled me into going to the meeting I didn't need or want to go to.
(kat uh GOR uh kul) adj. unconditional;
(kuh JOHL uh ree) n. flattery intended to
(KAT er wawl) v. to make a harsh cry; to
protest or complain noisily
(KAL oh) adj. immature
To be callow is to be youthfully nave, inexperience's, and unsophisticated. A
teenager might show callow disregard for the feelings of adults. Driving a car
in and out of parking lots at 7-11's is a callow pursuit.
(kuh THAR sis) n. purification that brings emotional relief or
His mother gave him a raw egg as a cathartic to make him vomit up
the shoe polish. Sherri finds sad movies cathartic.
(KAN dur) n. truthfulness; sincere
(kuh THEKT) v. to invest emotionally or
mentally in an idea, object, or another
(KAP uh tuh liz um) n. free enterprise
(KATH lik) adj. universal; embracing everything
Da Vinci was a catholic genius who excelled at everything
he did.
(kuh PICH uh layt) v. to surrender; to give up or give in
To recapitulate is not to capitulate again, but is to summarize.
(KAW stik) adj. like acid; corrosive
The teacher's caustic criticism of Sally's term paper left
her in tears.
(kuh PREES) n. a sudden, impulsive, and seemingly unmotivated
notion or action; a sudden usually unpredictable condition, change,
or series of changes; a disposition to do things impulsively
The caprices of weather.
(SEN shur) v. to condemn severely for
doing something bad
(kuh PRISH us) adj. unpredictable; likely to change at
any moment
The weather is often said to be capricious.
(suh REE brul) adj. brainy; intellectually
(KAR uh kuh chur) n. a portrait or description that is purposely distorted
or exaggerated, often to prove some point about its subject
To caricature someone is to create a distorted portrait of that person.
cerebrate chronicle
chagrin circuitous
charisma circumlocution
charlatan circumscribe
chasm circumspect
chastise circumvent
chicanery civil
chimera clemency
choleric clique
chronic coalesce
(KRAHN uh kul) n. a record of events in
order of time; a history
(SAIR uh brayt) v. to use the mind; think;
(sur KYOO uh tus) adj. roundabout; not following a direct path
The salesman's route was circuitous- it wound aimlessly through
many small towns. A circuitous argument is one that rambles
around for a while before making a point.
(shuh GRIN) n. humiliation; embarrassed disappointment
Doug was filled with chagrin when he lost the game because he
kicked the ball in the wrong goal.
(sur kum loh KYOO shun) n. an indirect expression; use of wordy or evasive
Morgan's father's circumlocution left everyone in the courthouse wondering
what had been said. To use a lot of big, vague words and to speak in a
disorganized way is to be circumlocutory.
(kuh RIZ muh) n. a magical-seeming ability to
attract followers or inspire loyalty
(SUR kum skrybe) v. to draw a line
around; to set the limits; to define; to
(SHAR luh tun) n. fraud; quack; con man
The flea market usually attracts a lot of charlatans who
sell phony products.
(SUR kum spekt) adj. cautious
The circumspect general did everything he could not
to put men in harms way.
(KAZ um) n. a deep, gaping hole; a gorge
(sur kum VENT) v. to frustrate as thought by
The school board circumvented the students' effort to
install TV's in every classroom.
(chas TYZE) v. to inflict punishment on;
to discipline
(SIV ul) adj. polite; civilized; courteous
(shi KAY nuh ree) n. trickery; deceitfulness; artifice, especially legal
or political
Political news would be dull if not for the chicanery of our elected
(KLEM un see) n. mercy; forgiveness; mildness
Mild weather is called clement weather. You should wear
a coat in inclement weather.
(kye MEER uh) n. an illusion; a foolish fancy
Susan's dream of becoming a movie star was just a
(kleek) n. an exclusive group bound
together by some shared quality or
(KAHL ur ik) adj. hot-tempered; quick to anger
The choleric administrator kept everyone in the office in a
state of terror.
(koh uh LES) v. to come together as one; to fuse; to unite
The family coalesced to keep higher standards.
(KRAHN ik) adj. constant; lasting a long
time; inveterate
coerce complement
cogent complicity
cognitive compunction
cognizant conciliate
coherent conciliatory
colloquial concise
comely concord
commensurate concur
compelling concurrent
compendium condescend
(KAHM pluh munt) v. to complete or fill
up; to be the perfect counterpart
(koh URS) v. to force someone to do or
not do something
(kum PLIS uh tee) n. participation in
wrongdoing; the act of being an
(KOH junt) adj. powerfully convincing
Shaft was cogent in explaining why he needed the
confidential files.
(kum PUNK shun) n. anxiety arising from awareness of guilt;
distress of mind over an anticipate action or result; a twinge of
misgiving; a feeling of guilt or moral scruple that follows the doing
of something bad (special usage - a pricking of the conscience)
(KAHG nu tiv) adj. dealing with how we know the world
around us through our senses; mental
(kuhn SI lee ayt) v. to gain (as goodwill) by pleasing
acts; to make compatible; to appease
(KAHG nu zunt) adj. aware; conscious
(kun SIL ee uh tor ee) adj. making peace; attempting
to resolve a dispute through good will
(koh HEER unt) adj. holding together; making sense
A coherent wad of cotton balls. ( To hold together is to
(kun SYSE) adj. brief and to the point;
(kul OH kwee ul) adj. conversational; informal in language (a colloquy is a conversation or
conference); using a conversational style; characteristic of familiar and informal conversation
The new coworker's rudeness soon began - to use a colloquial expression - to rub me the wrong
way. A colloquial essay on what makes a marriage successful.
(KAHN kord) n. harmony; agreement
The war between the neighboring tribes ended 30 years of
(KUM lee) adj. pleasurably conforming to notions of good
appearance, suitability, or proportion; having a pleasing
(kuhn KUR) v. to act together to a
common end; to express agreement; to
happen together
(kuh MEN sur it) adj. equal;
(kun KUR unt) adj. happening at the
same time; parallel
(kum PEL ing) adj. forceful; causing to
(KAHN duh send) v. to stoop to someone
else's level, usually in an offensive way; to
(kum PEN dee um) n. a summary; an abridgement
The Book of Mormon is a compendium of ancient
prophetic writings.
condone construe
conducive consummate
congenial contentious
congenital contiguous
conjecture contingent
connoisseur contrite
consecrate contrived
consensus conventional
consonant convivial
consternation copious
(kun STROO) v. to interpret
The meaning of the poem, as I construed it, had to deal
with love for dogs.
(kun DOHN) v. to overlook; to permit to
(kun SUM it) adj. perfect; complete; supremely skillful
(KAYN suh mayt - v. to finish or to make complete)
(kun DOO siv) adj. promoting
The chairs in the library are not conducive to sleep.
(kun TEN shus) adj. argumentative;
(kun JEEN yul) adj. agreeably suitable;
(kun TIG yoo us) adj. side by side;
(kun JEN uh tul) adj. describing a trait or condition
acquired between conception and birth; innate
(kun TIN junt) adj. dependent; possible
(kun JEK chur) v. to guess; to deduce or infer on slight
evidence (also a noun)
A conjecture is conjectural.
(kun TRYTE) adj. admitting guilt;
especially feeling remorseful
(kahn uh SUR) n. an expert, particularly
in matters of art or taste.
(kun TRYVED) adj. artificial; labored
No one laughed at Mark's contrived attempt at humor
(KAHN suh krayt) v. to make or declare
(kun VEN shun ul) adj. common;
customary; unexceptional
(kun SEN sus) n. unanimity or general
(kun VIV ee ul) adj. fond of partying; festive; friendly; agreeable; relating to, or
occupied with or fond of feasting, drinking, and good company
A convivial gathering is one in which the people present enjoy eating, drinking,
and being together. The family reunion was a convivial event.
(KAHN suh nunt) adj. harmonious; in
(KOH pee us) adj. abundant; plentiful
I have a copious supply of flour in my pantry.
(kahn stur NAY shun) n. amazement or dismay
that hinders or throws into confusion; feelings of
anxiety or dismay, typically something unexpected;
corollary credulous
corroborate criterion
cosmopolitan cryptic
countenance culminate
coup culpable
covert cursory
covet curtail
crapulence cynic
crapulent dabbler
crapulous darg
(KREJ uh lus) adj. eager to believe; gullible
The credulous housewife believed that she had won a
million from PCH.
(KOR uh ler ee) n. something that follows; a natural consequence
Bloodshed and death are corollaries of any declaration of war.
(krye TEER ee un) n. standard; basis for judgment
The plural for criterion is criteria. You can't have one criteria. You
can't have criterions and no such thing as a criteria.
(kuh ROB uh rayt) v. to confirm; to back
up with evidence
(KRIP tik) adj. mysterious; mystifying
(kahz muh PAHL uh tun) adj. at home in many places or
situations; internationally sophisticated
A true cosmopolitan traveler never feels like a foreigner anywhere
on earth.
(KUL myh nayt) v. to climax; to reach full
(KOWN tuh nuns) n. face; facial
expression, especially an encouraging one
(KUL puh bul) adj. deserving blame;
(koo) n. brilliant victory or accomplishment; the violent
overthrow of a government by a small internal group
(KUR suh ree) adj. hasty; superficial
To give a book a cursory reading is to skim it quickly without
comprehending too much. To make a cursory attempt at learning
French is to memorize a couple of easy words and then forget it.
(KUV urt) adj. secret; hidden
(kur TAYL) v. to shorten; to cut short (KUV it) v. to wish for enviously
(SIN ik) n. one who deeply distrusts human nature;
one who beliefs humans are motivated only by
(KRAP yoo lunz) n. given to or resulting from
intemperance; suffering from intemperance with food or
drink i.e. overeating and being drunken (crapulency)
(DAB ul ur) n. one that dabbles; not deeply engaged in or
concerned with something
He was a dabbler, learning the basics of many arts but mastering
(KRAP yoo lunt) adj. sick from gross
excess in drinking or eating
(dahrg) n. a day's work; a fixed amount
of work;
(KRAP yoo lus) adj. marked by intemperance especially in eating or
drinking; sick from excessive indulgence in liquor (n. crapulent,
crapulence, crapulency)
daunt defenestration
dearth deference
debacle definitive
debauchery degenerate
debilitate deleterious
decadent delineate
decimate delude
decorous deluge
deduce demagogue
defame demure
(dee feh nuh STRAYH shun) n. a throwing of a person or thing out
of a window; a usually swift dismissal or expulsion (defenestrate
(dawnt) v. to make fearful; to intimidate
The size of the players on the other team was daunting. (To be
dauntless or undaunted is to be fearless or unintimidated.)
(DEF ur uns) n. submission to another's will; respect; courtesy (to
show deference to another is to place their wishes above your own -
you defer to them)
(durth) n. lack; scarcity
(di FIN uh tiv) adj. conclusive; providing
the last word
(di BAHK ul) n. violent breakdown;
sudden overthrow; overwhelming defeat
(di JEN uh rayt) v. to break down; to deteriorate
A person's behavior that has degenerated can be referred
to as a degenerate (di JEN ur it)
(di BAW chuh ree) n. wild living; excessive intemperance (to
debauch someone is to seduce or corrupt them.)
The debauchery of the prodigal's son caused him to sore
(del uh TIR ee us) adj. harmful
Smoking is deleterious to your health.
(di BIL uh tayt) v. to weaken; to cripple
(di LIN ee ayt) v. to describe accurately;
to draw in outline (n. delineation)
(DEK uh dunt) adj. decaying or decayed, especially in terms of morals (n.
decadence). Characterized by or appealing to self-indulgence.
Carousing in local bars instead of going to class is decadent. If a cake is
decadent is appealing to you and you want to indulge; it is weakening the
resolve you normally have of not eating cake.
(dye LOOD) v. to deceive ( to be deluded
is to suffer from delusion)
(DES uh mayt) v. to kill or destroy a large
part of
(DEL yooj) n. a flood; an inundation (often used figuratively)
The radio station was deluged with phone calls when they stopped
playing music and turned on O'Rielly.
(DEK ur us) adj. prober; in good taste; orderly (decorous behavior is
good, polite, orderly behavior
To behave decorously is to behave with decorum (di KOR um)
(DEM uh gawg) n. a leader of the people, but more a rabble rouser
A leader, but not in a good sense of the word. He manipulates the
public support his aims.
(di DOOS) v. to conclude from the
evidence; to infer
"(dih MYOOR) adj. reserved, modest; affectedly modest, reserved or
When we first met Kelly, she was quiet and demure."
(di FAYM) v. to libel or slander; to ruin
the good name of
denizen destitute
denouement desultory
depravity dialectical
deprecate dictum
deride didactic
derision diffident
derogatory digress
desiccate dilettante
despondent discern
despot discreet
(DES tuh toot) adj. extremely poor; utter lacking
The teacher said the students were destitute of intellectual
(DEN i zun) n. inhabitant
To be a denizen of a restaurant is to go there often, so often they
wonder if you live there. To be denizen of a country is to live there.
(DES ul tor ee) adj. without a plan or purpose; disconnected;
Phil made a few desultory attempts to start a garden; but nothing
came of it.
(day nu MAHN) n. the outcome of a complex sequence of
events; the final outcome of the main dramatic
complication in a literary work
(dye uh LEK ti kul) adj. relating to discussions; relating to the rules
and methods of reasoning; approaching truth in the middle of
opposing extremes. (n. dialectics)
The game of 20 questions is dialectical.
(di PRAV uh tee) n. extreme wickedness
or corruption
(DIK tum) n. an authoritative saying; an adage; a maxim; a proverb
no pain, no gain is a hackneyed (lacking in freshness or
originality) dictum of sadistic coaches everywhere.
(DEP ruh kayt) v. to express disproval of
You have deprecating remarks. Or be self-deprecating which is to
make little of one's own efforts, often in the hope that someone will
else will say you're doing swell.
"(dye DAK tik) adj. intended to teach; morally instructive; pedantic;
intended to convey instruction and information
The priest's conversation was always didactic. He never said
anything that wasn't intended to teach a lesson."
(di RYDE) v. to ridicule; to laugh at contemptuously
The boss derided his secretary who later quit because she could not
handle derision (di RIZH un).
(DIF i dunt) adj. timid; lacking in self-confidence (diffident and
confident are opposites)
Carla's diffidence led many participants to believe she hadn't been
at the meeting when she had.
(dih RIH shun) n. the use of ridicule or scorn to show
contempt, a state of being laughed at or ridiculed; an
object of ridicule or scorn; contemptuous ridicule or
(dye GRES) v. to stray from the main
(di RAHG uh tor ee) adj. disapproving;
(DIL uh tahnt) n. someone with superficial knowledge of
the arts or a branch of knowledge; an amateur; a dabbler
You can always tell a dilettante from a true professional
(DES uh kayt) v. to dry out
The hot wind desiccated the few grapes that remained on the vine.
Plums become prunes through a process of desiccation.
(dih SURN) v. to have insight; to see
things clearly; to discriminate; to
(dih SPAHN dunt) adj. extremely
depressed; full of despair (n.
(dih SKREET) adj. prudent; judiciously
reserved (one who is discreet uses discretion)
(DES puht) n. an absolute ruler; an
discrete distend
discriminate distinguish
disdain docile
disinterested doctrinaire
disparage dogmatic
disparate dolt
dissemble domestic
disseminate dormant
dissipate dubious
dissolution dudgeon
(di STEND) v. to swell; to extend a great deal
A swelling is a distension.
(dih SKREET) adj. unconnected; separate; distinct
The twins were identical but the personalities were
(di STING gwish) v. to tell apart; to cause
to stand out
(dih SKRIM uh nayt) v. to notice or point our the difference between
two or more things; to discern; to differentiate
Indiscriminate means not discriminating; in other words, random
or haphazard.
(DAHS ul) adj. easily taught; obedient; easy to handle
The baby raccoons appeared docile at first, but they were
almost impossible to control.
(dis DAYN) n. arrogant scorn; contempt (also a verb)
The millionaire looked upon the poor workers with much
(dahk truh NAYR) adj. inflexibility committed to a doctrine or
theory without regard to is practicality; dogmatic (also a noun)
(dis IN truh stid) adj. not taking sides; unbiased (should not be
used to mean uninterested)
A disinterested observer is one who has no personal stake in or
attachment to what is being observed.
(dawg MAT ik) adj. arrogantly assertive of unproven ideas; stubbornly
claiming that something (often a system of beliefs) is beyond dispute
A dogma is a belief. A dogmatic person is someone who is stubbornly
convinced of his beliefs. The opinions or ideas dogmatically asserted by a
dogmatic person are known collectively as dogma.
(dih SPAR ij) v. to belittle; to say uncomplimentary things
about, usually in a somewhat indirect way
(dult) n. a stupid person (doltishly,
(DIS pur it) adj. different; incompatible; unequal
The disparate groups only united because they disliked
the candidate.
(duh MES tik) adj. Having to do with the
household or family; not foreign
(dih SEM bul) v. to put on a false appearance; to conceal
facts, intentions, or feelings under some pretense; to hide
something under a false appearance; to put on the
appearance of; simulate;
(DOR munt) adj. inactive; as though
asleep; asleep
(dih SEM uh nayt) v. to spread the seeds
of something; to scatter; to make widely
(DOO bee us) adj. full of doubt; uncertain; giving rise to uncertainty; a doubtful
promise or outcome; questionable or suspect as to true nature or equality
A dubious person is a person who has doubts. Dubious and doubtful don't
mean exactly the same thing. A doubtful outcome is an outcome that isn't
certain to occur. Something beyond doubt is indubitable.
(DIS uh payt) v. to thin out, drift away, or dissolve; to cause to thin
out, drift away, or dissolve; to waste or squander
We can also say that a person is dissipated, by which we mean that
he indulges in wild living.
(DUJ un) n. a fit or state of indignation
(dis uh LOO shun) n. the breaking up or dissolving of something
into parts; disintegration
A person who is dissolute has lived life in the fast lane too long.
duplicity elicit
ebullient elliptical
eccentric elusive
eclectic emigrate
edify eminent
efface empirical
effusion emulate
egalitarian encroach
egocentric endemic
egregious enervate
(ih LIS it) v. to bring out; to call forth (doo PLIS uh tee) n. the act of being two-
face; double dealing; deception
(ih LIP ti kul) adj. oval; missing a word or words; obscure; marked
by extreme economy of speech or writing; relating to deliberate
John is a writer with an elliptical style.
(ih BUL yunt) adj. boiling; bubbling with excitement; exuberant
A person overflowing with enthusiasm might be said to be
(ih LOO siv) adj. hard to pin down; evasive
To be elusive is to elude.
(ek SEN trik) adj. not conventional; a
little kooky; irregular
(EM uh grayt) v. to move to a new country; to move
to a new place to live; to expatriate
(ih KLEK tik) adj. choosing the best from many sources;
drawn from many sources
George's eclectic reading made him well rounded.
(EM uh nunt)adj. well-know and respected; standing out from all
others in quality or accomplishment; outstanding
Don't confuse this word with imminent.
(ED uh fye) v. to enlighten; to instruct; especially in
moral or religious matters
(em PIR uh kul) adj. relying on
experience or observation; not merely
(ih FAYS) v. to erase; to rub away the features of
To be self-effacing is to be modest.
(EM yuh layt) v. to strive to equal or excel,
usually through imitation
(ih FYOO zhun) n. a pouring forth; unrestrained expression of
words or feelings; fluid that escapes
Her poetic effusions became tiresome.
(en KROHCH) v. to make gradual or
stealthy inroads into; to trespass; to
advance beyond the usual or proper limits.
(ih gal uh TAYR ee un) adj. believing in the social
and economic equality of all people.
(en DEM ik) adj. native; restricted to a particular region or era;
You won't find that kind of tree in California; it's endemic to our
part of the country.
(ee goh SEN trik) adj. selfish; believing
that one is the center of everything
(EN ur vayt) v. to reduce the strength or energy of, especially to do
so gradually
Sander felt enervated by his long ordeal and couldn't make himself
get out of bed.
(ih GREE jus) adj. extremely bad;
enfranchise equivocal
engender erudite
enigma esoteric
enormity espouse
envisage ethereal
ephemeral euphemism
epigram evanescent
epitome exacerbate
equanimity exacting
equitable exalt
(ih KWIV uh kul) adj. ambiguous; intentionally confusing; capable of being
interpreted in more than one day.
To be equivocal is to be intentionally ambiguous. To be equivocal is to
equivocate. To equivocate is to mislead by saying confusing or ambiguous
(en FRAN chyze) v. to grant the privileges of citizenship, especially
the right to vote
In the U.S., citizens become enfranchised on their 18th birthday.
(ER yoo dyte) adj. scholarly; deeply learned
To be erudite is to possess erudition or extensive
(en JEN dur) v. to bring into existence; to create; to cause
The bitter lieutenant engendered discontent among his troops.
(es uh TER ik) adj. hard to understand; understood by only a select
few; peculiar
The author's books were so esoteric that not even his mother ever
bought any of them
(uh NIG muh) n. a mystery
(eh SPOWZ) v. to support; to advocate
(I NOR muh tee) n. extreme evil; a hideous offense; immensity; an outrageous, improper, vicious,
or immoral act; the quality or state of being huge; a quality of momentous importance or impact.
Hitler's soldiers stormed through the village, committing one enormity after another.
NOTE: Hugeness or great size is NOT the main meaning of this word. When you talk about size it
is immensity.
(ih THIR ee ul) adj. heavenly; as light and insubstantial as a gas or ether
The ethereal music we heard turned came from the Mormon Tabernacle
Choir. The ethereal mist on the hillside was delicate and beautiful.
(in VIZ ij) v. to view or regard in a certain way; to have a
mental picture of especially in advance of realization;
( YOO fuh miz um) n. a pleasant or inoffensive expression used in
the place of an unpleasant or offensive one.
Taking the bus uptown was her euphemism for dying.
(i FEM ur al) adj. lasting a very short time
Some friendships are ephemeral.
(ev uh NES unt) adj. fleeting; vanishing; happening for
only the briefest period.
Meteors are evanescent.
(EP uh gram) n. a brief and usually witty or satirical saying; often
Ben Franklin's famous epigram Remember that time is money.
(ig ZAS ur bayt) v. to make worse.
(i PIT uh mee) n. a brief summary that captures the
meaning of the whole; the perfect example of something;
a paradigm
(ig ZAK ting) adj. extremely demanding; difficult; requiring great
skill or care
The surgeon's exacting task was to reconnect the patient's severed
(ek wuh NIM uh tee) n. composure; calm
The fire rage through the house, but Rachel faced the
danger with equanimity.
(ig ZAWLT) v. to raise high; to glorify (EK wuh tuh bul) adj. fair
exasperate expedite
exemplary explicit
exemplify extol
exhaustive extraneous
exhort extrapolate
exigency extricate
existential extrovert
exonerate exult
expatriate fabrication
expedient fabulist
(EK spi dyte) v. to speed up or ease the
progress of
(ig ZAS puh rayt) v. to annoy thoroughly; to make very
angry; to try the patience of
Sometimes kids can exasperate their parents.
(ik SPLIS it) adj. clearly and directly
(ig ZEM plur ee) adj. outstanding; worthy of
imitation; serves as a pattern
(ik STOHL) v. to praise highly; to laud (ig ZEM pluh fye) v. to illustrate by
example; to serve as a good example
(ik STRAY nee us) adj. unnecessary; irrelevant; extra
To be extraneous is to be extra, but always with the sense of being
(ig ZAWS tiv) adj. thorough; rigorous;
complete; painstaking
(ik STRAP uh layt) v. to project to or
deduce from something known; to infer
(ig ZORT) v. to urge strongly; to give a serious
warning to (adj. hortatory HOR tuh tor ee)
(EK struh kayt) v. to free from difficulty
(EK si jen see) n. an emergency; an urgency
An academic exigency; you haven't opened a book all
term and the final is tomorrow. Exigent means urgent.
(EKS truh vurt) n. an open, outgoing person; a person
whose attention is focused on others rather than on
himself or herself
(eg zis TEN shul) adj. having to do with existence; of, relating to, or affirming
existence; grounded in existence or the experience of existence
having to do with the body of thought called existentialism, which basically
holds that human beings are responsible for their own actions but is otherwise
too complicated to summarize in a singe sentence.
(ig ZULT) v. to rejoice; to celebrate
The U.S. men's soccer team exulted in winning the World
(ig ZAHN uh rayt) v. to free completely
from blame; to exculpate
(FAB ruh kay shun) n. a lie; something
made up
(eks PAY tree ayt) v. to throw (someone) out of his or her
native land; to move away from one's native land; to
(fa byoo list) n. a creator or writer of fables; liar; a
person who invents elaborate, dishonest stories;
(ik SPEE dee unt) adj. providing an immediate
advantage; serving one's immediate self-interest;
facetious felicity
facile fervor
faction fetter
fallacious fidelity
farcical figurative
fastidious finesse
fatalist flagrant
fatuous flaunt
fauna flippant
fecund flout
(fuh LIS uh tee) n. happiness; skillfulness; especially at expressing
things; adeptness
Shakespeare wrote with great felicity.
(fuh SEE shus) adj. humorous; not
serious; clumsily humorous
(FUR vur) n. great warmth or earnestness; ardor; zeal
The fans showed their fervor with a parade celebration
after their team won the title.
(FAS il) adj. fluent; skillful in a superficial way; easily
accomplished or attained; used or comprehended with ease; readily
manifested and often lacking sincerity or depth
This problem needs more than just a facile solution.
(FET ur) v. to restrain; to hamper (literally a chain attached to the
foot of a criminal to restrain them)
To be unfettered is to be unrestrained or free from hindrances.
(FAK shun) n. a group, usually a small part of a larger
group, united around some cause; disagreement within
an organization
(fuh DEL uh tee) n. faithfulness; loyalty
(fuh LAY shus) adj. embodying a fallacy;
tending to deceive or mislead;
(FIG yur uh tiv) adj. based on figures of speech; expressing
something in terms usually used for something else; metaphorical
(FARS i kul) adj. absurd; ludicrous
The farcical routine that a person has to go through to get
a refund from that company.
(fi NES) n. skillful maneuvering; subtlety;
(fa STID ee us) adj. meticulous; demanding; finicky
Jeb was fastidious in his work habits that he needed neither a
wastebasket nor an eraser.
(FLAY grunt) adj. glaringly bad;
notorious; scandalous
(FAYT uh list) n. someone who believes that future events are
already determined and that humans are powerless to change them
To be a fatalist is to be fatalistic.
(flawnt) v. to show off; to display
(FACH oo us) adj. foolish; silly; idiotic
(FLIP punt) adj. lacking proper respect or seriousness
He made a flippant response to a serious question.
(FAW nuh) n. animals
We didn't see much fauna on our hike, but we did see lots
of flora.
(flowt) v. to disregard something out of disrespect
A driver flouts the traffic laws by driving through red
lights and knocking down pedestrians.
(FEE kund) adj. fertile; productive
The fecund mother rabbit gave birth to 100's of little
foible frenetic
foment frugal
forbear furtive
forego gainsay
formicate garrulous
formication genre
forsake genteel
fortuitous gesticulate
founder glib
fraternal glut
(fruh NET ik) adj. frantic; frenzied
There was a lot of frenetic activity in the office, but nothing ever
seemed to get accomplished.
(FOY bul) n. a minor character flow
(FROO gul) adj. economic; penny-
(foh MENT) v. to stir up; to instigate
The bad news from abroad fomented pessimism among
the investors.
(FUR tiv) adj. secretive; sly; attempting to avoid notice or attention,
typically because of guilt or a belief that discovery would lead to trouble;
secretive; suggestive of guilty nervousness
The burglars were furtive; the took everything out from under our nose.
(for BAYR) v. to refrain from; to abstain
(gayn SAY) v. to declare to be untrue or
invalid; to contradict, oppose;
(for GOH) v. to do without; to forbear
(GAR uh lus) adj. talkative; chatty; pointlessly or annoyingly
A garrulous boy was in constant trouble for talking out of turn.
(FOR mih kayt) v. to crawl around like ants; to swarm
with ants or other crawling things;
(ZHAHN ruh) n. a type of category;
especially of art or writing
(for mih KAY shun) n. a tactile hallucination involving the
belief that something is crawling on the body or under the
(jen TEEL) adj. refined; polite; aristocratic; affecting refinement
The ladies at the ball were too genteel to accept our invitation to
(for SAYK) v. to abandon; to renounce; to
(jes TIK yuh layt) v. to make gestures, especially when
speaking or in place of speaking
A person who gesticulates makes gesticulations.
(for TOO uh tus) adj. accidental;
occurring by chance
(gli buh) adj. marked by ease of informality; showing little
forethought or preparation; lacking depth and substance; readily
fluent often thoughtless, superficially, or insincerely; marked by
ease and fluency in speaking or writing often to the point of being
insincere (n. glibness adv. glibly)
(FOWN dur) v. to fail; to collapse; to sink
The candidate's campaign foundered when it was
revealed that he had an affair.
(glut) n. surplus; an overabundance
We had a glut of contributions but a dearth of volunteers.
(fruh TUR nul) adj. like brothers
There was fraternal feeling among the troops.
glutch harridan
goldbrick hedonism
grandiloquent hegemony
grandiose heresy
gratuitous hermetic
gregarious heyday
guile hiatus
hackneyed hierarchy
hapless histrionics
harbinger homily
(HAR ih dun) n. shrew; an ill-tempered,
scolding, vicious woman
(gluhch) v. to swallow; a mouthful
(HEED uh niz um) n. the pursuit of pleasure as a way of life
Peter's life of hedonism came to an end when his lottery winnings
ran out.
(GOHLD brik) n. a worthless brick that looks like gold; something
that appears valuable but is actually worthless; a person who shirks
assigned work.
(hi JEM uh nee) n. leadership, especially of one nation
over another
America once held an unchallenged nuclear hegemony.
(gran DIL uh kwunt) adj. pompous; using a lot of big fancy words
in an attempt to sound impressive
The payroll office's manner of speech was grandiloquent rather
than eloquent.
(HER uh see) n. any belief that is strongly
opposed to established beliefs
(GRAN dee ohs) adj. absurdly
(hur MET ik) adj. impervious to external
influence; airtight
(gruh TOO uh tus) adj. given freely (said of something bad);
unjustified; unprovoked; uncalled for
Their attack against us was gratuitous; we had never done anything
to offend them.
(HAY day) n. golden age; prime
(gruh GAR ee us) adj. sociable; enjoying the company of
Bees are said to be gregarious insects.
(hye AY tus) n. a break or interruption,
often from work
(gyle) n. cunning; duplicity; artfulness; deceitful cunning
A person so full of guile he can't even be trusted to give you the
correct time of day.
(HYE uh rahr kee) n. an organization based
on rank or degree; pecking order
(HAK need) adj. overused; trite; stale
As cold as ice is a hackneyed expression.
overly dramatic behavior or speech for effect or to attract attention
behavior or speech for effect, as insincere or exaggerated
expression of an emotion; dramatics; operatics:
Cut out the histrionicswe know you're not really mad.
(HAP lis) adj. unlucky
Alex led a hapless existence that made all his friends' lives
seem fortunate by comparison.
(HAHM uh lee) n. a sermon
The football coach gave a lengthy homily before the
big game.
(HAR bin jur) n. a forerunner; a signal of
Warm weather is the harbinger of spring.
homogeneous idyllic
husbandry ignominy
hyperbole illicit
hypothecate imminent
hypothetical immutable
iconoclast impartial
idemnify impeccable
ideology imperial
idiom impervious
idiosyncrasy impetuous
(eye DIL ik) adj. charming in a rustic way; naturally peaceful
The built their house on an idyllic spot. An idyllic vacation could be
called an idyll (EYE dul)
(hoh muh JEE nee us) adj. uniform;
made entirely of one thing
(IG nuh min ee) n. deep disgrace
The ignominy of losing the spelling bee was too much for Jan, who
decided to give up spelling altogether.
(HUZ bun dree) n. thrifty management of resources; live-stock
Husbandry is the practice of conserving money or resources. To
husband is to economize.
(I LIS it) adj. illegal; not permitted (hye PUR buh lee) n. an exaggeration
used as a figure of speech; exaggeration.
(IM uh nunt) adj. just about to happen (hye PAH thuh kayt) v. to make an
assumption for the sake of an argument;
(I MYOO tuh bul) adj. unchangeable; not capable of or
susceptible to change (mutable means changeable)
The immutable laws of nature.
(hye puh THET uh kul) adj. uncertain;
(im PAHR shul) adj. fair; not favoring
one side or the other; unbiased
(eye KAHN uh klast) n. one who attacks popular beliefs or
Herbert's iconoclastic views were not popular with the older
members of the board.
(im PEK uh bul) adj. flawless; entirely without sin; not
capable of sinning; free from fault or blam;
"(in dem nuh fi) v. to secure against or make compensation for hurt,
loss, or damage;
The company generously indemnifies workers who are injured on
the job."
(im PEER ee ul) adj. like an emperor or an empire
The palace was decorated with imperial splendor
(eye dee AHL uh jee) n. a system of social
or political ideas
(im PUR vee us) adj. not allowing
anything to pass through
(ih DEE um) n. the language peculiar to a people; an expression in the usage of a language that is peculiar to
itself either grammatically ( no, it wasn't me) or in having a meaning that cannot be derived from the
conjoined meanings of its elements (as Monday week for "the Monday a week after next Monday"); a style or
form of artistic expression that is characteristic of an individual, a period or movement; or a medium or
The expression "give way", meaning "retreat", is an idiom. "Break a leg" and "shape up or ship out" are idioms
(im PECH oo wus) adj. impulsive; extremely impatient
Sam was so impetuous that she never took more than a few seconds
to make up her mind.
(id ee oh SINK ruh see) n. a peculiarity;
an eccentricity
impetus incipient
implement incisive
impotent incondite
impugn incongruous
inane incorrigible
inaugurate incredulous
incandescent increment
incantation inculcate
incense indifferent
incessant indigenous
(in SIP ee unt) adj. beginning; emerging
The support for the plan was incipient, and the planners hoped it
would soon grow and spread.
(IM puh tus) n. a driving force, stimulation or encouragement
resulting in increased activity; the property possessed by a moving
body in virtue of its mass and its motion
His discoveries have given impetus to further research.
(in SYE siv) adj. cutting right to the heart of the matter;
impressively direct and decisive
She's known for her incisive mind and quick wit.
(IM pluh munt) v. to carry out
The government was better at creating new laws than
at implementing them.
(in KAHN dayt) adj. badly put together;
crude; rough; unmannerly;
(IM puh tunt) adj. powerless; helpless; unable to perform sexual
We felt impotent in the face of their overpowering opposition to our
(in KAHN groo us) adj. not harmonious; not consistent; not
appropriate; not fitting in
The modern kitchen seemed incongruous in the restored 18th
century farm home.
(im PYOON) v. to attack, especially to attack the truth or integrity of
The critic impugned the originality of Jacob's novel.
(in KOR uh juh bul) adj. incapable of
being reformed
(i NAYN) adj. silly; senseless; lacking significance,
meaning, or point;
I quickly tire of their inane comments.
(in KRE dyoo lus) adj. unwilling to admit
or accept what is offered as true;
skeptical; expressing incredulity;
(in AW gyuh rayt) v. to begin officially; to
induct formally into office
(IN cruh munt) n. to increase; one in a
series of increases
(in kun DES unt) adj. brilliant; giving off heart or light
An incandescent person is one who gives off light or energy in a
figurative sense.
(in KUL kayt) v. to teach and impress by frequent repetitions or
The teacher inculcated her students the importance of good study
(in kan TAY shun) n. a chant; the repetition of statements
or phrases in a way reminiscent of a chant
(in DIF ur unt) adj. not caring one way or
the other; apathetic; mediocre
(in SENS) v. to make very angry
(in DIJ uh nus) adj. native; originating in that area
Fast food restaurants are indigenous to America.
(in SES unt) adj. unceasing
The noise from the street was incessant.
indigent infer
indignant infinitesimal
indolent ingenuous
indulgent inherent
ineffable injunction
inept innate
inert innocuous
inexorable inordinate
infamous insatiable
infatuated insidious
(in FUR) v. to conclude; to deduce (IN di junt) adj. poor; suffering from
extreme poverty
(in fin uh TES uh mul) adj. very, very,
very, small; infinitely small
(in DIG nunt) adj. angry, especially as a result of
something unjust or unworthy; insulted;
He was very indignant about the changes.
(in JEN yoo us) adj. frank; without deception; simple; artless; charmingly
nave; showing innocent or childlike simplicity and candidness; lacking craft or
To be disingenuous means to be crafty or artful, giving a false appearance of
simple and lacking in candor.
(IN duh lunt) adj. lazy; causing little or no pain slow to develop or
heal; averse to activity, effort, or movement
She is indolent and irresponsible.
(in HAIR unt) adj. part of the essential
nature of something; intrinsic
(in DUL junt) adj. lenient; yielding to
(in JUNGK shun) n. a command or order,
especially a court order
(in EF uh bul) adj. incapable of being expressed or described in
words; not to be uttered
An ineffable beauty descends upon the canyon as the sun begins to
(i NAYT) adj. existing since birth; inborn; inherent
Jane has an apparently innate ability to throw the football
that well.
(in EPT) adj. clumsy; incompetent; gauche
Julia's inept attempt at humor drew only groans form the
(i NAHK yoo us) adj. harmless; banal
Mary took offense at Bruce's innocuous comment about
the saltiness of her soup.
(in URT) adj. inactive; sluggish; not reacting chemically
Having colds made the children inert and reluctant to get out of
(in OR dun nit) adj. excessive;
(in EK sur uh bul) adj. relentless; inevitable; unavoidable
The inexorable waves pounded the shore.
(in SAY shuh bul) adj. hard or impossible
to satisfy; greedy; avaricious
(IN fuh mus) adj. shamefully wicked; having an extremely bad
reputation; disgraceful
To be infamous is to be famous for something evil or bad. Infamy is
the state of being infamous.
(in SID ee us) adj. treacherous; sneaky
Winter was insidious; it crept in under the doors and
through the cracks in the windows.
(in FACH oo ay tid) adj. foolish; foolishly passionate or attracted;
made foolish; foolishly in love
I was infatuated with Ryan's racing car.
insinuate intrinsic
insipid introspective
insolent inundate
instigate invective
insular inveterate
insurgent irascible
integral ironic
intractable irrevocable
intransigent itinerant
intrepid judicious
(in TRIN sik) adj. part of the essential
nature or constitution of something;
(in SIN yoo ayt) v. to hint; to creep in
(in truh SPEC tiv) adj. tending to think about
oneself; examining one's feelings
(in SIP id) adj. dull; bland; banal
(IN un dayt) v. to flood; to cover
completely with water; to overwhelm
(IN suh lunt) adj. arrogant; insulting
The insolent sales clerk said she was sorry but the store
did not accept cash.
(in VEK tive) n. insulting or abusive speech; of, relating
to; or characterized by insult or abuse
(IN stuh gayt) v. to provoke; to stir up
(in VET ur it) adj. habitual; firm in habit;
deeply rooted
(IN suh lur) adj. like an island; isolated
Living on the deserted island, she lived a very insular
(ear RAZ uh bul) n. marked by hot temper; easily
provoked to anger
An irascible old football coach.
(in SUR junt) n. a rebel; someone who
revolts against a government
(eye RAHN ik) adj. meaning the opposite of what you
seem to say; using words to mean something other than
what they seem to mean.
(IN tuh grul) adj. essential
(i REV uh kuh bul) adj. irreversible;
cannot be revoked
(in TRAK tuh bul) adj. uncontrollable; stubborn;
The intractable child was a torment to his nursery leader.
(eye TIN ur unt) adj. moving from place
to place
(in TRAN suh junt) adj. uncompromising;
stubborn; (n. intransigence)
(joo DISH us) adj. exercising sound
(in TRE ped) adj. resolute fearlessness,
fortitude and endurance; dauntless
kinetic legacy
labyrinth lethargy
lackadaisical levity
laconic libel
lament litigate
lampoon litmus test
languish loquacious
largess lucid
latent lugubrious
laud luminous
(LEG uh see) n. something handed down
from the past; a bequest
(ki NET ik) adj. having to do with motion;
lively; active
(LETH ur jee) n. sluggishness; laziness;
drowsiness; indifference
(LAB uh rinth) n. a maze; something like
a maze
(LEV uh tee) n. lightness; frivolity;
(lack KUH dayz ih kul) adj. lacking life,
spirit, or zest
(LYE bul) n. a written or published falsehood that injures
the reputation of, or defames, someone.
(luh KAHN ik) adj. using few words, especially to the
point of seeming rude or mysterious
(LIT uh gayt) v. to try in court; to engage
in legal proceedings
(luh MENT) v. to mourn
"(LIT mus TEST) n. a test in which a single factor (as an attitude,
event, or fact) is decisive.
The litmus test of good bar-b-que ribs is if they are fall-off-the-bone
(lam POON) v. to satirize; to mock; to
(loh KWAY shus) adj. talking a lot or too
(LANG gwish) v. to become weak, listless,
or depressed
(LOO sid) adj. clear; easy to understand
(lahr JES) n. generous giving of gifts (or the gifts
themselves); generosity; philanthropy
(loo GOO bree us) adj. exaggeratedly mournful
David's lugubrious eulogy at the funeral of his dog eventually made
everyone start giggling.
(LAYT unt) adj. present but not visible or
apparent; potential
(LOO muh nus) adj. giving off light;
glowing; bright
(lawd) v. to praise; to applaud; to extol;
to celebrate
machination marshal
magnanimous martial
magnate martyr
malaise matriculate
malfeasance maudlin
malinger maverick
malleable maxim
mandate mediate
manifest mellifluous
manifesto mendacious
(MAHR shul) v. to arrange in order; to gather together
for the purpose of doing something
(mak uh NAY shun) n. scheming activity
for an evil purpose
(MAHR shul) adj. warlike; having to do
with combat
(mag NAN uh mus) adj. forgiving;
unresentful; noble in spirit; generous
(MAHR tur) n. someone who gives up his or her life in
pursuit of a cause, especially a religious one; one who
suffers for a cause; one who makes a show of suffering in
order to arouse sympathy
(MAG nayt) n. a rich, powerful, or very
successful business person
(muh TRIK yuh layt) v. to enroll,
especially at a college
(ma LAYZ) n. a feeling of depression, uneasiness, or queasiness
Malaise descended on the calculus class when the teacher
announced a quiz.
(MAWD lin) adj. silly and overly
(mal FEE zuns) n. an illegal act,
especially by a public official
(MAV ur ik) n. a nonconformist; a rebel (muh LING ger) v. to pretend to be sick to
avoid doing work or one's duty
(MAK sim) n. a fundamental principle;
an old saying
(MAL ee uh bul) adj. easy to shape or
(MEE dee ayt) v. to help settle differences
(MAN dayt) n. a command or authorization to do
something the will of the voters as expressed by the results
of an election
(muh LIF loo us) adj. sweetly flowing
The choir's mellifluous singing made us feel as though we
were being covered with a sticky yellow liquid.
(MAN uh fest) adj. visible; evident
(men DAY shus) adj. lying; dishonest
The jury saw through the mendacious witness and
convicted the defendant.
(man uh FES toh) n. a public declaration of beliefs or
principles, usually political ones
mendicant monolithic
mercurial moribund
metamorphosis morose
mewl mortify
microcosm mundane
milieu munificent
minuscule myopia
misanthropic myriad
mitigate narcissism
mollify nebulous
(mah nuh LITH ik) adj. massive, solid, uniform, and
unyielding; cast as a single piece; consisting of or
constituting a single unit; exhibiting or characterized by
often rigidly fixed uniformity
(MEN di kunt) n. a beggar
(MOR uh bund) adj. dying
The steel industry in this country was moribund a few
years ago, and is all but gone today.
(mur KYOOR ee ul) adj. emotionally
unpredictable; rapidly changing in mood
(muh ROSE) adj. having a sullen and gloomy
disposition; marked by or expressive of gloom
(met uh MOR fuh sis) n. a magical change
in form; a striking or sudden change
(MOR tuh fye) adj. to humiliate (mee yul) v. to cry weakly; to whimper
(mun DAYN) adj. ordinary; pretty
boring; not heavenly and eternal
(MYE kruh kahz um) n. the world in
(myoo NIF uh sunt) adj. very generous;
(mil YOO) n. environment; surroundings
The farmer on vacation in the big city felt out of his
(mye OH pee uh) adj. nearsightedness; lack of foresight
The workers' dissatisfaction was inflamed by
management's myopia on the subject of wages.
(MIN uh skyool) adj. very tiny
(MIR ee ud) n. a huge number
(mis un THRAHP ik) adj. hating mankind
(misogynist - mis AH juh nist - hates women)
(NAHR si siz um) n. excessive love of
one's body or oneself
(MIT uh gayt) v. to moderate the effect of
(NEB yuh lus) adj. vague, hazy; indistinct (MAHL uh fye) v. to soften; to soothe; to
nefarious obfuscate
neologism oblique
nihilism oblivion
nominal obscure
nostalgia obsequious
notorious obtuse
novel officious
noxious onerous
nuance opaque
obdurate opulent
(AUH fuh skayt) v. to darken; to confuse; to
make confusing; to be evasive;
(ni FAR ee us) adj. evil; flagrantly wicked
(oh BLEEK) adj. indirect; at an angle
An oblique argument is one that does not directly
confront the true subject.
(nee OL uh jiz um) n. a new word or
phrase; a new usage of a word
(uh BLIV ee un) n. total forgetfulness; the
state of being forgotten
(NYE uh liz um) n. the belief that there are
no values or morals in the universe
(ub SKYOOR) adj. unknown; hard to
understand; dark
(NOM uh nul) adj. in name only; insignificant; trifling;
being according to plan; of, relating to, or constituting a
(ub SEE kwee us) adj. fawning; subservient; sucking up
to; servile; complacent; obedient; dutiful
(nahs TAL juh) n. sentimental longing for
the past; homesickness
(ahb TOOS) adj. insensitive; blockheaded; lacking
sharpness or quickness of sensibility or intellect; not clear
or precise; difficult to comprehend; not pointed or acute
(noh TOR ee us) adj. famous for
something bad
(uh FISH us) adj. annoying eager to help or advise; volunteering
one's services where they are neither asked for nor needed;
(NAHV ul) adj. new; original
(AHN ur us) adj. burdensome; oppressive; involving,
imposing, or constituting a burden; having legal
obligations that outweigh the advantages
(NAHK shus) adj. harmful or destructive to living beings; offensive;
constituting a harmful influence on mind or behavior; especially
morally corrupting.
(oh PAYK) adj. impossible to see
through; impossible to understand
(NOO ahns) n. a subtle difference or
(AHP yuh lunt) adj. luxurious; exhibiting or characterized by
opulence; amply or plentifully provided or fashioned after to the
point of ostentation
(AHB duh rit) adj. stubborn and insensitive; hardened in feelings;
resistant to persuasion or softening influences; stubbornly
persistent in wrong doing
orthodox paradigm
ostensible paradox
ostentatious pariah
pacify parochial
painstaking parody
palliate parsimonious
palpable partisan
paltry patent
panacea pathology
panglossian patrician
(PAR uh dime) n. a model or example
(OR thuh dahks) adj. conventional; adhering to
established principles or doctrines, especially in
religion; by the book
(PAR uh dahks) v. a true statement or phenomenon that
nonetheless seems to contradict itself; an untrue statement or
phenomenon that nonetheless seems logical
(ah STEN suh bul) adj. apparent (but misleading); professed;
intended for display; being such in appearance; plausible rather
than demonstrably true or real
(puh REE uh) n. member of a low caste in India; an
outcast; one that is despised or rejected;
(ahs ten TAY shus) adj. excessively
conspicuous; showing off
(puh ROH kee ul) adj. narrow or confined in point of
view; provincial; of or relating to a church parish; limited
in range or scope
(PAS uh fye) v. to calm someone down; to
(PAR uh dee) n. a satirical imitation (PYAN stay king) adj. extremely careful;
taking pains
(pahr suh MOH nee us) adj. stingy;
frugal to the point of stinginess
(PAL ee ayt) v. to relieve or alleviate something without getting rid
of the problem; to assuage; to mitigate
You take aspirin in the hope that it will palliate your headache.
(PAHR tuh zun) n. one who supports a
particular person, cause, or idea
(PAL puh bul) adj. capable of being
touched; obvious; tangible
(PAYT unt) adj. obvious; open to public inspection; readily visible
or intelligible; making exclusive or proprietary claims or
pretensions; protecting inventions
(PAWL tree) adj. insignificant; worthless;
mean; despicable; meager;
(puh THAL uh jee) v. the science of
(pan uh SEE uh) n. something that cures
(puh TRISH un) v. a person of noble
birth; an aristocrat
(pan GLAW see un) adj. marked by the view that all is for
the best in this best of possible worlds; excessively
patronize pensive
paucity peremptory
peccadillo perennial
peccant perfidy
pedantic perfunctory
pedestrian peripatetic
peevish periphery
pejorative perjury
penchant permeate
penitent pernicious
(PEN siv) adj. thoughtful and sad (PAY truh nyze) v. to treat as inferior; to
condescend to
(puh REMP tuh ree) adj. final;
categorical; dictatorial
(PAW suh tee) n. scarcity
There is no paucity of water in the ocean.
(puh REN ee ul) adj. continual;
happening again and again or year after
(pek uh DIL oh) n. a minor offense
(PUR fuh dee) n. treachery
"(PEK unt) adj. guilty of a moral offense; violating a principle or
Outside the confessional stood a short line of peccant parishioners
waiting to seek redemption for their sins."
(pur FUNGK tuh ree) adj. unenthusiastic; careless; lacking in
interest or enthusiasm; characterized by routine or superficiality;
(puh DAN tik) adj. boringly scholarly or academic;
narrowly, stodgily, and often ostentatiously learned;
(per uh peh TET ik) adj. wandering;
traveling continually; itinerant
(puh DES tree un) adj. unimaginative;
(puh RIF uh ree) n. the outside edge of
(PEE vish) adj. querulous in
temperament or mood; a perversely
obstinate; marked by ill temper
(PUR jur ee) n. lying under oath (pi JOR uh tiv) adj. negative;
disparaging; (also a noun)
(PUR mee ayt) v. to spread or seep
through; to penetrate
(PEN chunt) n. s strong taste or liking for
something; a predilection
(pur NISH us) adj. deadly; extremely evil (PEN uh tunt) adj. sorry; repentant;
perquisite philistine
perseverate pious
perspicacious pique (n.)
perspicacity pique (v.)
pertinent pithy
perturb pivotal
peruse placate
pervade plaintive
petulant platitude
philanthropy plebeian
(FIL i steen) n. smugly ignorant person with no
appreciation of intellectual or artistic matters
(PUR kwuh zit) n. a privilege that goes
along with a job; a perk
(PYE us) adj. reverent or devout; outwardly ( and sometimes falsely)
reverent or devout; hypocritical;
They lived a quiet, pious life. I'm tired of hearing policitians making
pious pronouncements about the devotion to the people.
(pur SEV uh rayt) v. Continuation of something (as repetition of a
word) usually to an exceptional degree or beyond a desired point; to
repeat something insistently or redundantly
(peek) n. a transient feeling of wounded
(pur spuh KAY shus) adj. of acute mental vision or
discernment; having a ready insight into and
understanding of things
"(peek) v. to arouse anger or resentment in; to excite or arouse
especially by provocation, challenge, or rebuff; pride;
Brightly colored objects pique a baby's interest. His abbrasive
remarks towards the obstinant woman were intended to pique her."
(pur spuh KAS uh tee) n. keenness of mental perception and
understanding; discernment; shrewdness: intelligence manifested
by being astute (as in business dealings);
(PI thee) adj. consisting of or abounding in pith -
substantial quality as of meaning; having substance and
(PUR tuh nunt) adj. relevant; dealing
with the matter at hand
(PIV uh tul) adj. crucial
(pur TURB) v. to disturb greatly; to cause to be
worried or upset; to throw into confusion;
(PLAY kayt) v. to pacify; to appease; to
soothe or mollify especially by
(puh ROOZ) v. to read carefully; to
examine or consider with attention and in
(PLAYN tiv) adj. expressing sadness or
(pur VAYD) v. to spread throughout
(PLAT uh tood) n. a dull or trite remark; a clich
The lecturer threw some many platitudes at us; it was definitely a
platitudinous speech.
(PEH chuh lunt) adj. insolent or rude in speech or behavior; rude;
cranky; ill-tempered
A petulant and fussy man who is always blaming everyone else for
his problems.
(pluh BEE un) adj. common; vulgar; low class;
bourgeois; crude or coarse in manner or style
(fi LAN thruh pee) n. love of mankind,
especially by doing good deeds
plethora precipitancy
poignant precipitate (adj.)
polarize precipitate (v.)
polemic precipitous
ponderous preclude
portent precursor
postulate predilection
pragmatic preeminent
precedent preempt
precept premise
(prih SIP ih tun see) n. undue haste or
suddenness; rashness or suddenness of
(PLETH ur uh) n. an excess
(pri SIP uh tayt) adj. unwisely hasty or rash; exhibiting violent or
unwise speed
A precipitate decision is one made without enough thought
(POYN yunt) adj. painfully emotional;
extremely moving; sharp or astute
(pri SIP uh tayt) v. to cause to happen
abruptly; to throw violently; to throw
(POH luh ryze) v. to break up into
opposing factions or groupings
(pri SIP uh tus) adj. steep
(puh LEM ik) n. powerful argument often made to attack
or refute a controversial issue or refutation of the opinions
or principles of another; the art or practice of disputation
or controversy; aggressive controversialist
(pri KLOOD) v. to prevent something
from ever happening
(PAHN dur us) adj. so large as to be clumsy; massive; dull; of very
great weight; unwieldy or clumsy because of weight and size;
oppressively or unpleasantly dull
(pri KUR sur) n. forerunner; something that goes before
and anticipates or paves the way for whatever it is that
(POR tent) n. an omen; a sign of
something coming in the future
(pred uh LEK shun) n. Natural
preference for something
(PAHS chuh lut) n. something accepted as true, existent,
or necessary without proof; an axiom (also a verb); a
hypothesis advanced as en essential presupposition;
condition, or premise of a train of reasoning
(pree EM uh nunt) adj. better than
anyone else; outstanding; supreme
(prag MAT ik) adj. practical; down to earth; based
on experience rather than theory
(pree EMPT) v. to seize something by
prior right
(PRES uh dunt) n. an earlier example or
model of something
(PREM is) n. an assumption; the basis for
a conclusion
(PREE sept) v. a rule to live by; a principle establishing a
certain kind of action or behavior; a maxim
preponderant profane
prepossess profligate
prerogative profuse
pretentious proletariat
prevail proliferate
prevaricate prolific
pristine promulgate
prodigal propensity
prodigious propitious
prodigy propriety
(proh FAYN) adj. not having to do with religion; irreverent;
blasphemous (also a v.)
Nick profaned his priceless statue by using it as a doorstop.
(pree PAWN duh runt) adj. having superior weight, force,
or influence; having greater prevalence
(PRAHF luh git) adj. extravagantly
wasteful and, usually, wildly immoral
(pree puh ZES) v. to preoccupy; to influence beforehand
or prejudice; to make a good impression on beforehand
(pruh FYOOS) adj. flowing; extravagant
(pri RAHG uh tiv) n. a right or privilege connected exclusively with
a position, a person, a class, a nation, or some other group or
(proh luh TER ee ut) n. the industrial
working class
(pree TENT shus) adj. unjustified or excessive claims; expressive of affected,
unwarranted, or exaggerated importance, worth, or stature; making demands
on one's skill, ability, or means.
The houses in the neighborhood are large and pretentious. The pretentious
daring of the Green Mountain Boys in crossing the lake.
(proh LIF uh rayt) v. to spread or grow
(pri VAYL) v. to triumph; to overcome rivals; (with
on, upon, or with) to persuade
(proh LIF ik) adj. abundantly productive;
fruitful or fertile
(pree VER i kayt) v. to speak or act in a evasive way; deviate from
the truth
Government officials prevaricated about the real costs of the project.
(PRAHM ul gayt) v. to proclaim; to
publicly or formally declare something
(PRIS teen) adj. original; unspoiled; pure
(pruh PEN suh tee) n. a natural inclination
or tendency; a predilection
(PRAHD uh gul) adj. wastefully extravagant; characterized by
profuse or wasteful expenditure; yielding abundantly (often used
with of here)
(pruh PISH us) adj. marked by favorable
signs or conditions
(pruh DIJ us) adj. extraordinary;
enormous; exciting amazement or
(pruh PRYE uh tee) n. properness; good
(PRAHD uh jee) n. an extremely talented
child; an extraordinary accomplishment
or occurrence
prosaic purported
proscribe pusillanimous
prose putative
protagonist quail
protract qualify
provident qualitative
provincial querulous
provisional quixotic
prudent ramification
puerile rancor
(pur PORT id) adj. rumored; claimed
(proh ZAY ik) adj. dull; unimaginative; like prose;
everyday, ordinary
Heroic characters wasted in prosaic lives.
(pyoo sil LAN nuh mus) adj. lacking courage or
determination, and resolution; marked by contemptible
(proh SKRYBE) v. to outlaw; to prohibit
(PYOO tuh tiv) adj. commonly accepted; supposed; reputed
When you use the word putative, you emphasize that the reason is
only supposed, not proven
(prohz) n. the ordinary language people use in speaking
or writing; a dull or ordinary style, quality, or condition;
(kwail) v. to give way; falter; to recoil in
dread or terror; cower;
(proh TAG uh nist) n. the leading character in a novel,
play or other work; a leader or champion
(KWAL uh fye) v. to modify or restrict (proh TRAKT) v. to prolong
(KWAL uh tay tiv) adj. having to do with
the quality or qualities of something
(PRAHV uh dunt) adj. preparing for the
future; providing for the future
(KWHERE uh lus) adj. habitually
complaining; fretful, whining
(pruh VIN shul) adj. limited in outlook to one's own
small corner of the world; narrow
(kwik SAHT ik) adj. romantic or idealistic
to a foolish or impractical degree
(pruh VIZH uh nul) adj. conditional;
temporary; tentative
(ram uh fuh KAY shun) n. a consequence;
a branching out
(PROOD unt) adj. careful; having
(RANG kur) n. bitter, long-lasting ill will
or resentment
(PYOOR ee ul -or- PYOOR ul) adj.
juvenille; childish; silly;
rapacious redolent
rebut refute
recalcitrant reiterate
recant relegate
reciprocal relentless
reclusive relinquish
recondite remonstrate
reconnoiter renounce
recrimination reparation
rectitude repercussion
(RED uh lunt) adj. fragrant (ruh PAY shus) adj. greedy; plundering;
(ri FYOOT) v. to prove to be false; to
(ri BUT) v. to contradict; to argue in
opposition to; to prove to be false
(ree IT uh rayt) v. to say again; to repeat (ri KAL suh trunt) adj. stubbornly defiant
of authority or control; disobedient
(REL uh gayt) v. to banish; to send away
(ri KANT) v. to publicly take back and
deny (something previously said or
believed); to openly confess error
(ri LENT lis) adj. continuous;
(ri SIP ruh kul) adj. mutual; shared;
(ri LING kwish) v. to release or let go of; to
surrender; to stop doing
(ri KLOOS iv) adj. hermitlike; withdrawn
from society
(ri MAHN strayt) v. to argue against; to
protest; to raise objections
(REK un dyte) adj. hard to understand;
over one's head
(ri NOWNSE) v. to give up formally or
reassign; to disown; to have nothing to do
(ree kahn NOY tur) v. to make a reconnaissance of; to
engage in reconnaissance
They were sent ahead to reconnoiter.
(rep uh RAY shun) n. paying back;
making amends; compensation
(ri krim uh NAY shun) n. a bitter counteraccusation, or
the act of making a bitter counteraccusation
(ree pur KUSH un) n. a consequence; an
indirect effect
(REK tuh tood) n. the quality or state of being straight;
moral integrity; the quality of or state of being correct in
judgment or procedure;
replenish respite
replete reticence
reprehensible reticent
reprisal revere
reproach reverie
reprove rhetoric
repudiate rigorous
requisite robust
requite rogue
resolute rudimentary
(RES pit) n. a period of rest or relief (ri PLEN ish) v. to fill again; to resupply;
to restore
(REH tuh sents) n. a state of being inclined to silence or
uncommunicative speech; reserved; restrained in expression,
presentation, or appearance; reluctant
(ri PLEET) adj. completely filled;
(RET uh sunt) adj. quiet; restrained; reluctant to
speak, especially about oneself
(rep ri HEN suh bul) adj. worthy of blame
or censure
(ri VEER) v. to respect highly; to honor
(ri PRYE zul) n. a military action undertaken in revenge
for another, an act of taking an eye for an eye
(REH vuh ree) n. daydream; the
condition of being lost in thought
(ri PROHCH) v. to scold, usually in
disappointment; to blame; to disgrace
(RET ur ik) n. the art of formal speaking
or writing; inflated discourse
(ri PROOV) v. to criticize mildly
(RIG ur us) adj. strict; harsh; severe
(ri PYOO dee ayt) v. to reject; to renounce; to
disown; to have nothing to do with
(roh BUST) adj. strong and healthy;
(REK wuh zit) adj. required; necessary
(rohg) n. a criminally dishonest person; a
(rih KWYTE) v. to make a return for, repay; to make
retaliation for, avenge; to make suitable return to for a
benefit or service or for an injury.
(roo duh MEN tuh ree) adj. basic; crude;
unformed or undeveloped
(REZ uh loot) adj. determined; firm;
ruminate scrupulous
rustic scrutinize
sacrosanct secular
sagacious sedition
salient sedulous
salutary sentient
sanctimonious sequester
sanguine serendipity
sardonic servile
scintillate singular
(SKROO pyuh lus) adj. strict; careful;
hesitant for ethical reasons
(ROO muh nayt) v. to contemplate; to
ponder; to mull over
(SKROOT uh nyze) v. to examine very
(RUS tik) adj. rural; lacking urban
comforts or sophistication
(SEK yuh lur) adj. having nothing to do with
religion or spiritual concerns
(SAK roh sangkt) adj. sacred; held to be
(si DISH un) n. treason; the incitement of
public disorder or rebellion
(suh GAY shus) adj. discerning; shrewd;
keen in judgment; wise
(SEJ uh lus) adj. involving or accomplished with careful
perseverance; diligent in application or pursuit;
(SAYL yunt) adj. sticking out;
conspicuous; leaping
(SEN shunt) adj. able to perceive by the
sense; conscious
(SAL yuh ter ee) adj. healthful; remedial;
(si KWES tur) v. to set or keep apart
(sangk tuh MOH nee us) adj. pretending to
be devout; affecting religious feeling
(ser un DIP uh tee) n. accidental good fortune;
discovering good things without looking for them
(SANG gwin) adj. cheerful; optimistic;
(SUR vyle) adj. submissive and
subservient; like a servant
(sahr DAHN ik) adj. mocking; scornful
(SING gyuh lur) adj. unique; superior;
exceptional; strange
(SIN tuh layt) v. to sparkle, either literally
or figuratively
skulduggery spurious
slander squalor
sloth squander
solicitous stagnation
solvent static
soporific staunch
sordid stigmatize
spawn stipulate
specious stoic
sporadic stratum
(SPYOOR ee us) adj. false; fake; of falsified or erroneously
attributed origin; of illegitimate birth; outwardly similar or
corresponding to something without having its genuine qualities
(skul DUH jury) n. underhanded or unscrupulous
behavior; a devious device or trick
(SKWAHL ur) n. filth; wretched,
degraded, or repulsive living
(SLAN dur) v. to speak badly about someone publicly; to
defame; to spread malicious rumor
(SKWHAN dur) v. to waste (slawth) n. laziness; sluggishness
(stag NAY shun) n. motionless; inactivity
(suh LIS uh tus) adj. eager and attentive, often to the
point of hovering; anxiously caring or attentive
(STAT ik) adj. stationary; not changing or
(SAHL vunt) adj. not broke or bankrupt;
able to pay one's bills
(stawnch) adj. firmly committed; firmly
in favor or; steadfast
(sahp uh RIF ik) adj. sleep inducing; extremely boring; very sleepy;
of, relating to, or marked by sleepiness or lethargy
This medicine is soporific, so do not drive after taking it.
(STIG muh tyze) v. to brand with
disgrace; to set a mark of disgrace upon
(SOR did) adj. vile; filthy; squalid
(STIP yuh layt) v. to require something as
part of an agreement
(spawn) v. to bring forth; to produce a
large number
(STOH ik) adj. indifferent (at least outwardly) to pleasure
or pain, to joy or grief, to fortune or misfortune
(SPEE shus) adj. deceptively plausible or attractive;
having a false look of truth or genuineness
(STRAT um) n. a layer; a level
(spuh RAD ik) adj. stopping and starting;
scattered; occurring in bursts every once
in a while
stricture succumb
strife supercilious
stringent superficial
stymie superfluous
subjugate surfeit
sublime surreptitious
substantive surrogate
subtle sycophant
subversive synthesis
succinct tacit
(suh KUM) v. to yield or submit; to die (STRIK chur) n. a restriction; a
limitation; a negative criticism
(soo pur SIL ee us) adj. haughty;
(stryfe) n. bitter conflict; discord; a
struggle or clash
(soo pur FISH ul) adj. on the surface
only; shallow; not thorough
(STRIN junt) adj. strict; restrictive
(soo PUR floo us) adj. extra;
unnecessary; redundant
(SYTE mee) v. to thwart; to get in the way
of; to hinder
(SUR fit) n. excess; and excessive amount; excess or
overindulgence in eating or drinking
(SUB juh gayt) v. to subdue and
dominate; to enslave
(sur up TISH us) adj. sneaky; secret (suh BLYME) adj. awesome; extremely
exalted; lofty; majestic
(SUR uh git) adj. substitute (SUB stan tiv) adj. having substance;
real; essential; solid; substantial
(SIK uh funt) n. one who sucks up to
others; a servile self-seeking flatterer
(SUT ul) adj. not obvious; able to make
fine distinctions; ingenious; crafty
(SIN thuh sis) n. the combining of parts
to form a whole
(sub VUR siv) adj. corrupting;
overthrowing; undermining; insurgent
(TAS it) adj. implied; not spoken
There was a tacit agreement among the men that women
had no business in their poker game.
(suk SINGKT) adj. brief and to the point;
taciturn tentative
tangential tenuous
tangible terse
tantamount thewy
tautological tirade
temerity torpor
temperate touch
tenable touchstone
tenacious tout
tenet transcend
(TEN tuh tiv) adj. experimental;
temporary; uncertain
(TAS ih turn) adj. untalkative by nature
(TEN yoo us) adj. flimsy; extremely thin; not thick;
having little substance or strength
(tan JEN shul) adj. only superficially related to the
matter at hand; not especially relevant; peripheral
(turs) adj. using no unnecessary words;
(TAN juh bul) adj. touchable; palpable
(thyoo ee) adj. a well-developed sinew or muscle;
muscular power or strength; often used in the
(TAN tuh mownt) adj. equivalent to
(TYE rayd) n. a prolonged, bitter speech (tawt uh LAH juh kul) adj. redundant;
(TOR pur) n. sluggishness; inactivity;
(tuh MER uh tee) n. boldness;
recklessness; audacity
(too SHAY) interj. used to acknowledge a hit in fencing or
the success or appropriateness of an argument, an
accusation, or a witty point
(TEM pur it) adj. mild; moderate;
(TUCH stohn) n. a standard; a test of
authenticity or quality
(TEN uh bul) adj. defensible, as in one's position in an
argument; capable of being argued successfully; valid
(towt) v. to praise highly; to brag publicly
(tuh NAY shus) adj. persistent; stubborn;
not letting go
(tran SEND) v. to go beyond or above; to
(TEN it) n. a shared principle or belief
The tenets of his religion prevented him from smoking.
transient unwitting
trepidation urbane
trepidation usurp
truculent utilitarian
turpitude vacillate
ubiquitous vapid
unconscionable vehement
unctuous venal
undulate venerate
unremitting veracious
(un WIT ing) adj. unintentional;
ignorant; not aware
(TRAN shunt) adj. not staying for a long
time; temporary
(ur BAYN) adj. poised; sophisticated; refined;
notably polite or polished in manner
(trep uh DAY shun) n. fear;
apprehension; nervous trembling
(yoo SURP) v. to seize wrongfully
(tre PUH day shun) n. nervous or fearful
feeling of uncertain agitation
(yoo til uh TAR ee un) adj. stressing usefulness or utility
above all other qualities; pragmatic
(TRUH kyuh lunt) adj. feeling or displaying ferocity; deadly,
destructive; scathingly harsh; aggressively self-assertive
Die-hard fans who became truculent and violent after their team's
(VAS uh layt) v. to be indecisive; to waver
(TUR puh tood) n. shameful wickedness; depravity; inherent baseness;
Pictorial advertisements for chic clothing and fragrances in which drug
addiction and other forms of moral turpitude are depicted as alternative
fashion statements.
(VAP id) adj. without liveliness; dull;
(yoo BIK wuh tus) adj. existing or being
everywhere at the same time;
(VEE uh munt) adj. intense; forceful;
(un KAHN shuh nuh bul) adj. not
controlled by conscience; unscrupulous
(VEEN ul) adj. capable of being bribed;
willing to do anything for money; corrupt
(UNGK choo us) adj. oily, both literally
and figuratively; insincere
(VEN uh rayt) v. to revere; to treat as something holy, especially
because of great age; to regard with reverential respect or with
admiring deference
(UN juh layt) v. to form or move in waves; to rise
and fall in volume, pitch, or cadence; to present a
wavy appearance;
(vuh RAY shus) adj. truthful, honest, marked by truth; accurate
(adv. Veraciously n. veraciousness)
He has a reputation for being veracious, so people generally take
his word for things.
(un ri MIT ing) adj. unceasing; unabated;
veracity vilify
verbose vindicate
verisimilitude vindictive
verity virtuoso
vernacular virulent
vestige visionary
vex vitiate
viable vitriolic
vicarious vociferous
vicissitude volatile
(VIL uh fye) v. to say vile things about someone; to defame; to lower
in estimation or importance; to utter slanderous and abusive
statements against
(vuh RAS uh tee) n. devotion to the truth; power of conveying or perceiving
truth; conformity with truth or fact; something true
We questioned the veracity of his statements.
(VIN duh kayt) v. to clear from all blame
or suspicion; to justify
(vur BOHS) adj. using too many words; not
succinct; circumlocutory; using more words than
necessary; given to wordiness
(vin DIK tiv) adj. seeking revenge
(ver uh si MIL uh tood) n. similarity to reality; the
appearance of truth; looking like the real thing
(vur choo WHO soh) n. a masterful musician; a
masterful practitioner in some other field
(VER eh tee) n. the quality or state of being true or real - truthful or
honest; something (statement) that is true;
No one is questioning your verity-just your memory of events that
happened long ago.
(VIH uh lunt) adj. extremely poisonous;
malignant; full of hate
(vur NAK yuh lur) n. everyday speech;
slang; idiom
(VIZH uh ner ee) n. a dreamer; someone
with impractical goals or ideas about the
(VES tij) n. a remaining bit of something;
a last trace
(VISH ee ayt) v. to make impure; to pollute; to make faulty or
defective; to debase in moral or aesthetic status; to make ineffective
Fraud vitiates a contract.
(veks) v. to annoy; to pester; to confuse
(vi tree AHL ik) adj. caustic; full of
bitterness; virulence of feeling or of
(VYE uh bul) adj. capable of living;
(voh SIF ur us) adj. loud; noisy
(vye KAR ee us) adj. experienced, performed, or suffered through
someone else; living through the experience of another as though
they were one's own experience
(VAHL uh tul) adj. quick to evaporate;
highly unstable; explosive
(vi SIS uh tood) n. upheaval; natural
change; change in fortune
wanton (adj.)
(voh LISH un) n. will; conscious choice; an act of making
a choice or decision; a choice or decision made; the power
of choosing or determining
(vul YOO bul) adj. easily rolling or turning; characterized by ready
or rapid speech; continuous flow of words;
He became as voluble in his admiration as he had been before in
his reproof.
(WAHN ton) adj. hard to control; playfully mean or cruel; lewd or causing
sexual excitement, lustful; merciless, inhuman; having no just foundation or
provocation; being without check or limitation, extravagant; malicious;
unjustifiable; unprovoked; egregious; hard to control; playfully mean or cruel;
(WIL ful) adj. deliberate; obstinate;
insistent on having one's way
(WYZE ay kur) n. one who pretends to
knowledge or cleverness, especially a
smart aleck;
(WIST ful) adj. yearning; sadly longing;
(ZEL us) adj. enthusiastically devoted to
something; fervent