v. to give up completely
abandoned the sinking ship.
v. to lose self-confidence; to confuse, put to shame
abashed before the assembled dignitaries.
v. to give up claim to
abdicated the throne
v. to encourage -or support
treacherously abetted the enemy.
v. to shorten
abridged his lengthy speech.
v. to abolish or render void
a treaty abrogated by mutual consent.
adj. moderate in the use of food or drink
abstemious in his habits.
adj. pertaining to school
theoretical academic interests
an academic discussion, with no practical implications.
v. to agree to
accede to a request.
v. to quicken, speed tip
took an accelerated course in order to graduate early.
n. an award or salute
a tremendous accolade for a returning hero.
n. agreement or harmony
in full accord with his view.
adj. sharp or harsh in language or temper
stung by the acrimonious remark.
n. keenness of mind or insight
showing exceptional business acumen.
v. to warn or find fault gently
admonishing the unruly child.
n. an opponent
his adversary in a bitter debate.
calm in the face of adversity.
adj. pertaining to the beautiful
interested in aesthetic values rather than in purely practical affairs.
adj. sociable, courteous, and agreeable in manner
a much admired, affable gentleman.
adj. prosperous, flourishing; copious
a large bequest from an affluent grandfather.
adj. self-assertive; attacking, offensive
annoyed people by his aggressive attitude;
n. eagerness; cheerful promptness
responded to the flattering offer with alacrity.
v. to estrange
alienated by his gruff manner.
v. to calm; to lessen in severity
at ease now that his fears have been allayed.
v. to refer to indirectly
alluded quite subtly to his friend's misfortune.
v. to tempt by flattery or an attractive offer
allured by the prospect of a new job.
adj. having or expressing more than one possible meaning, sometimes intentionally
puzzled by the ambiguous statement.
adj. obedient; willing to submit
amenable to the suggestion.
adj. good-natured; friendly
attracted friends by his amiable disposition.
n. a thing placed or occurring out of its normal time
A machine gun at the Battle of Yorktown would be an anachronism.
n. a relation between two things shown in the resemblance not of the things themselves but of their characteristics
He indicated points of analogy between the two situations.
n. state of confusion or lawlessness
a country brought to utter anarchy by civil war.
n. a feeling of hatred
felt no animus, even against the enemy.
n. historical records
in the annals of literature.
adj. of unknown authorship
an anonymous publication.
n. a collection of choice literary works
an anthology of modern poetry.
n. contrast; the direct opposite
He is the exact antithesis of what I find attractive in men.
n. lack of feeling, emotion, or interest
attributed his failure to apathy, rather than lack of ability.
Being unprepared, John is apprehensive of the examination.
v. to inform
apprised his lieutenants of the new situation.
n. approval; praise
a plan that met with hearty approbation.
adj. likely; inclined or disposed
apt to succeed.
an apt remark.
apt at woodcarving.
n. a person who has authority to decide matters in dispute
a fair decision rendered by the arbiter.
n. an original pattern
copies reproduced from the archetype.
adj. dry; barren
the arid desert land.
n. government by the best people; a privileged class
special privileges enjoyed by the aristocracy.
n. a temporary suspension of hostilities.
The armistice halted the war.
adj. sly; crafty
attained his mean objective by artful measures.
v. to speak clearly or distinctly
articulated slowly so that he could not be misunderstood.
an articulate man, always ready to give his views.
adj. rigorously self-denying
pursued the ascetic life of a monk.
adv. with distrust
looked askance at the forged signature.
v. to declare positively; to confirm
asseverated his views with conviction.
an assiduous worker, toiling long hours.
n. a place offering shelter and retreat
found asylum from persecution.
n. one who denies that God exists
The atheist declared, "There is no God."
attributed his success to bard work.
Generosity was his outstanding attribute.
augment [R:g5ment, 5R:gmEnt]
v. to increase or enlarge
an army augmented by numerous enlistments.
ad. indicating a happy outcome
The prospect for this project appears auspicious.
proved to be an authentic document.
feared by the masses as an autocratic ruler.
n. excessive greed
a fortune accumulated by avarice and miserliness.
adj. unsymmetrical; not straight
the picture, hanging awry on the wall.
adj. lacking in freshness, originality, or vigor
bored by his banal remarks.
adj. destructive, poisonous
a baneful effect, causing serious injury.
n. conversation which is amusing and not serious
He considered himself a master of witty banter.
n. a stick or staff
The conductor wielded his baton gracefully.
v. to give a false idea of
His gracious manner belied his evil purpose.
adj. inclined to quarrel; warlike
His bellicose attitude often got John into fights.
adj. engaged in war
two belligerent nations warring fiercely.
adj. kindly; charitable
like a benevolent monarch, bestowing many favors.
v. to deprive or leave desolate by loss
a widow just bereaved of her husband.
v. to soil or dirty
besmirched his opponent's good name with vile epithets.
misled by a biased point of view.
n. a lover of books
The bibliophile fingered the old book fondly.
adj. queer; unusual in appearance
bizarre clothes, outlandish in the extreme.
adj. gentle; polite
a bland diet, without irritating foods.
n. a flattering speech or act
attracted people by his blandishments.
v. to scar or spoil
Bad associates blemished his character
a character without a blemish.
v. to ruin or decay
the rotting wheat-, blighted by incessant rain.
adj. gay and light-hearted in spirit or mood
spread cheer with her blithe spirit.
n. a swamp
sank into the spongy bog.
adj. high-sounding; pretentious in language
a bombastic speech, inflated with meaningless high-flown words.
adj. unrefined in speech or manners
exhibited the boorish manners of a backwoodsman.
adj. relating to the countryside
The painting shows a typically bucolic scene with peasants harvesting crops in a field.
n. a clown
acting like a buffoon, full of ludicrous tricks.
n. an embankment used as a fortification; a person, idea, or object serving as a protection
a lofty bulwark for defense.
acted as a bulwark in the fight against crime.
adj. obnoxiously conceited or self-assertive
a bumptious monitor, puffed up with his own importance,
n. a small group of persons engaged in plotting
a cabal of prominent persons united to overthrow the government.
adj. unharmonious sounding
a cacophonous blare of trumpets, noisy and discordant.
adj. corpselike; hence, haggard, pale
His face appeared cadaverous from long imprisonment.
adj. unfeeling or insensitive
made callous by long suffering.
v. to accuse falsely or maliciously in order to injure another's reputation; slander
calumniated his political opponent by spreading false rumors.
adj. frank, outspoken
The two presidents have had candid talks about the current crisis.
adj. ill-natured; quarrelsome
showed a cantankerous and sullen disposition.
adj. inclined, through some whim or fancy change the mind, purpose, or actions suddenly
a capricious person, undependable in mood or temper.
adj. quick to find fault about trifles
a captious critic pouncing on slight laws.
n. a picture or other description of a person which exaggerates ludicrously one or more of his distinctive features
not a realistic portrait but a malicious caricature.
v. to punish or criticize severely
castigated for using improper language.
adj. pertaining to the sky; heavenly
a celestial pageant of bright stars.
n. an extreme patriot
a chauvinist with most pride in his country.
n. trickery, deception
practised chicanery all his shady dealings.
adj. continuing a long time; habitual
a chronic complaint, persisting for years.
looked about him circumspectly.
v. to gain an advantage by the use of trick to evade by the use of deception; to go around
circumvented the law by evasive practices.
adj. of or having to do with citizens or the state; polite, courteous
We I civil duties as well as civil liberties.
adj. loud and noisy
a clamorous outburst the crowd outside.
adj. secret; stealthy
a clandestine meeting known only to a few.
adj. merciful; gentle
a clement judge who tempered justice with leniency.
n. alliance; merging of various units into one unit
three parties forming a coalition to rule the country.
n. compelling a person by physical force or other means to do something against his will
rendered his services without the slightest coercion.
adj. having the force to compel, usually by appealing to reason
persuaded by cogent arguments.
n. working together secretly for an evil purpose
acted in collusion to overthrow the government.
a commodious apartment.
adj. capable of existing together in harmony
It was when we started living together that we found we just weren't compatible.
n. a brief summary of the main ideas of a larger work
a compendium of chemistry in a slim volume.
n. payment for services
just compensation for his labor.
looked on his own performance with a complacent smile.
n. regret for wrongdoing
displayed slight compunction for his misdeed.
v. to yield; to admit as true
conceded victory to a superior force.
adj. well-deserved (applied chiefly to punishment)
received condign punishment for his crime.
v. to express sympathy with another in sorrow, pain, or misfortune
condoled with each other in their grief.
v. to forgive or overlook (an offense)
condoned the deed, in view of the offender's age.
n. a person allied with others for a special purpose (frequently a bad one)
joined his confederate in secret enterprise.
two confederate groups hurrying to their rendezvous.
adj. possessing similar interests and tastes; able to get on well with others
congenial people with similar backgrounds.
congenial to his taste.
v. to guess
Without facts, we can only conjecture about his guilt.
v. to set apart as sacred; to devote or dedicate to some aim
consecrate the battlefield with a monument to the dead heroes.
consecrated his life to teaching.
n. general agreement
The consensus of the committee was that no action should be taken.
n. amazement; lack of courage caused by fearful prospect
The threat struck deep consternation into John.
n. to interpret, explain the sense of, or analyze
construed the statement to his own advantage.
adj. perfect or highly accomplished
achieved with consummate skill.
consummated the deal without delay.
adj. expressive of contempt (an emotion involving anger and disgust)
cast a contemptuous look at his subordinate.
adj. festive; gay
a convivial party.
shed copious tears at the bad news.
corpulent due to excessive eating.
n. one who is at home in all countries
A cosmopolitan can feel at ease anywhere in the world.
a world-wide traveler, cosmopolitan in tastes and attitudes.
n. a group of people joined by common interests a coterie of select friend.
a coterie of writers
n. a face
His countenance expressed his complete disgust.
refused to countenance disrespectful conduct.
adj. coarse and stupid
displayed crass ignorance.
the deed of a craven, motivated by fear.
a craven act which shocked the world.
n. trust or belief
gave little credence to the rumor.
adj. worthy of belief
a credible story, true to life.
adj. deserving or reflecting Credit or honor
applauded for his creditable performance.
adj. inclined to believe anything; easily imposed upon
a credulous fool whom anyone can dupe.
v. to shrink in fear
cringing before superior force.
adj. decisive or critical; difficult
the crucial event that decided the outcome.
adj. containing hidden meaning
a cryptic message, difficult to decipher.
adj. deserving blame or censure
removed from office for culpable negligence.
adj. burdensome and clumsy
a cumbrous knapsack, impeding his march.
v. to control, check, or restrain
forcibly curbed the people's protest.
adj. hurried; hence, superficial
Time permitted only a cursory examination.
adj. rudely abrupt
offended by the curt response.
adj. sneeringly distrustful of the good motives or conduct of others
belittled the hero with a cynical remark.
a dearth of news, brought about by censorship.
n. submitting to the wishes or judgment of another
yielded out of deference to the old man.
n. a god
The sun was a deity to ancient peoples.
adj. very pleasing
a delectable meal, tastefully prepared.
v. to erase or cancel, take out or remove
deleted an offensive phrase.
v. to sketch or portray
striking features, delineated by a master artist.
n. an offender
found to be a delinquent by the court.
too many people who are delinquent in meeting their civic duties.
n. a great flood; downpour
a spring deluge which caused the river to overflow.
n. a leader who tries to stir the passions of people for his own purposes
the mob roused by an unprincipled demagogue.
n. behavior; bearing
carrying himself with a proud demeanor.
adj. affectedly or falsely modest or prim
serious demure as a Victorian maiden.
v. to speak against
denounced by the press as a traitor.
v. to empty or to use up
depleted the public treasury by vast building programs.
adj. to express sorrow or grief over
a lamentable situation deplored by all parties.
adj. of low morals; corrupt
a depraved mind, devising evil.
adj. to plead or argue against a certain course of action
deprecated the proposal severely.
adj. to belittle or speak slightingly of
depreciated John's acting ability.
n. widespread ruin
the city left in utter devastation by war.
adj. winding; indirect
took a devious, rather than the direct way home.
used devious means to attain his wicked ends.
adj. lacking in; not possessing
a speech devoid of even a trace of ill-will.
adj. devoted to religious observances
devout in his regularity of attendance at worship.
n. art authoritative statement; a saying
an imperial dictum demanding instant compliance.
adj. designed to teach, imparting a lesson
a poem with a didactic purpose.
adj. lacking in self-confidence
too diffident to lead a group.
n. a situation calling for a choice between two equally difficult alternatives; hence, a difficult or perplexing situation
faced with a dilemma defying solution.
n. one who dabbles in the fine arts for amusement only and without concentrated study
a doctor by profession, a dilettante in art.
v. to confuse; to embarrass
disconcerted by his suspicious stare.
adj. depressed; without hope or possibility of consolation
made disconsolate by abject poverty.
v. to converse or talk; to discuss
discoursed at length on the rise of political parties.
two discrete issues, totally unrelated.
adj. rambling from one subject to another
a discursive letter, covering many topics.
n. inequality; difference in image, quantity, character, or rank
great disparity between promise and performance.
adj. free from feeling or partiality
coldly dispassionate as the chairman of the meeting
v. to do speedily; to send off
dispatched with remarkable promptness.
done with all possible dispatch.
v. to drive away; to scatter
dispelled a doubt that had lingered.
v. to disagree; to differ in opinion
He dissented violently, rejecting compromise.
adj. living loosely; unrestrained in conduct or morals
his life wasted by dissolute conduct.
adj. mentally distressed; distracted
distraught by trials and tribulations.
adj. varied; different
two diverse characters; one candid, the other insincere.
a diverting one of the most amusing I've ever seen.
v. to make public or reveal
refused to divulge his source of information.
adj. positive in expressing an opinion; asserting an opinion as though it were an undisputed fact
spoken dogmatically, as if the speaker considered himself infallible.
adj. sorrowful; mournful
a dolorous song full of sorrow for past joys.
possessed dynamic energy, tireless and powerful.
adj. pertaining to the clergy or the church
recognized as an authority in ecclesiastic matters. Antonyms: secular, lay
an ecclesiastic of liberal views.
n. a public command or proclamation issued by an authority
proclaimed by royal edict.
v. to instruct or uplift, particularly in morals or religion
a story that edifies the reader, as well as entertains him
adj. no longer productive; hence, lacking in or, worn out
powerful in ancient days, now an effete civilization.
an egotistic person, flourishing on praise.
adj. often of mistakes, extremely and noticeably bad
It was an egregious error for a statesman to show such ignorance.
v. to exclaim or utter suddenly
ejaculated a cry of horror.
v. to draw out
elicited no response from the audience.
v. to make clear; to explain
elucidated his theory so that even a schoolboy could understand it.
n. a person sent on an errand or mission
delegated his emissary to conclude a pact.
v. to cause, produce, or stir up
an act that engendered good will.
n. boredom; weariness of mind
fell asleep at the meeting from sheer ennui.
v. to follow or result
Silence ensued when the leader arose to speak.
v. to beg earnestly
entreated the judge to show mercy.
She refused to become involved with him despite his passionate entreaties.
adj. very short-lived
an ephemeral joy, lasting but a day.
n. a person devoted to luxurious living and pleasure
an epicurean, seeking to enjoy every meal.
His entire existence demonstrated his epicurean tastes.
n. a brief pointed saying
a speech full of original epigrams.
n. a tombstone inscription
an epitaph engraved on marble.
n. a phrase that describes a quality (good or bad) in a person or thing
"Glaring" error is a commonly used epithet.
n. evenness of temper or mind
suffered his cruel fate with equanimity.
v. to make a mistake or to do something wrong
He erred in agreeing to her appointment.
adj. irresponsible, eccentric; lacking a fixed purpose erratic behavior
He drove in an erratic course down the road.
adj. having or containing a lot of specialist knowledge
an erudite person, an editor of many books.
adj. understood by only a select few
an esoteric subject, discussed only by scholars.
exceptionable behavior, universally criticized.
v. to free from blame
exculpated by a jury.
adj. serving as a model; commendable
exemplary conduct approved by all.
n. departure, emigration
the pathetic exodus of refugees from their homeland.
adj. strange and foreign
an exotic costume imported from Asia.
v. to speak or write at great length
He expatiated on the subject for two hours.
v. to banish or exile; to withdraw from one's country
expatriated for treachery to his country.
expatriates who left the United States to live in Paris.
adj. convenient in helping to attain some purpose
found it expedient to maintain silence at that moment.
tried all expedients to achieve a quick result.
exploit [5eksplRit, iks5plRit]
v. to use for one's selfish purpose
refugees exploited by unscrupulous employers.
lauded for his exploits in science.
v. to set forth in detail; to explain
expounded his theory in a learned article.
v. to purify (usually a piece of writing) of offensive material
expurgate all obscenities before the book could be sold.
adj. done or spoken on the spur of the moment or without preparation
an extemporaneous speech.
adj. no longer existing or active
the extinct dinosaur, alive only in history.
v. to root out, destroy totally
extirpated the cause of trouble.
adj. not essential; foreign
excluded material extraneous to the subject.
n. great rejoicing
received the good news with exultation.
n. front or face, especially of a building
a facade of marble.
adj. given to joking or inappropriate gaiety; said in fun
brightened the evening with his facetious remarks.
adj. unsound; misleading
led astray by fallacious reasoning and plans.
adj. liable to make mistakes or be deceived
Being human, Tom was naturally fallible.
v. to penetrate and understand
difficult to fathom his mysterious actions.
adj. foolish; silly
a fatuous suggestion that struck us as stupid.
The soldiers were pledged to fealty to their ruler.
adj. workable, proved practical by previous experience.
a feasible plan
v. to pretend
He feigned to be angry, but we saw through his pretense.
n. a state of happiness; a high ability
promoted felicity in the nation.
lie has a felicity of language, mastery of the well-chosen phrase.
adj. spirited; ardent
a fervid debater, full of emotion.
n. a garland of flowers, leaves, etc. hung between two points
the room bright with festoons of Thanksgiving decorations.
a room festooned with spring flowers.
n. something that is believed to have magical powers; an object of unreasoning devotion and worship
savages worshipping the fetish in a ceremonial dance.
Photography, begun as a hobby, became a fetish.
n. a ludicrous and complete failure
all his glorious plans ending in a fiasco.
adj. unreal; made-up
used a fictitious name to avoid being recognized.
adj. lacking firmness
muscles grown flaccid after the illness.
adj. outstandingly bad
condemned for his flagrant abuse of power.
adj. elaborately showy
written in a flamboyant, style, full of highly decorative imagery.
v. display or wave boastfully
flaunted the excellent report before his delighted parents.
adj. passing swiftly
the fleeting hours of happiness
v. to waver from one course to another; to vary irregularly
his mood fluctuating with every hour.
v. to exercise self control; to keep from
forbearing to shoot the animal despite temptation.
adj. pertaining to public discussion or law courts
a lawyer gifted in forensic debate.
a fortuitous meeting with a friend in need.
n. a disorderly quarrel
A fracas broke up the meeting.
v. to prevent (the attainment of an object); to defeat or render ineffectual
His scholastic progress was frustrated by a serious illness.
adj. disgustingly excessive
nauseated by fulsome praise.
v. to trim or decorate
dishes garnished attractively with greens.
n. a record of a person's or a family's ancestors or relatives
an interesting genealogy, including saints and sinners.
chemistry, which had its genesis in alchemy.
v. to make gestures, or indicate feelings by motions
gesticulated wildly to show his distress.
adj. horrible, deathlike
a ghastly disaster which shocked the world.
v. to laugh at; to utter with scorn
gibed at his enemy mercilessly.
adj. smooth-spoken, fluent
a glib liar, distorting the truth effortlessly.
adj. inclined to cat to excess
gulped down his food in gluttonous fashion.
n. a very thin gauzelike fabric or structure
a poem so delicate that it seemed an unreal gossamer.
the gossamer wings of a dragon fly.
adj. habitually fond of associating in a company or herd
gregarious sheep; that gregarious animal, man.
n. a distortion of the face to express an attitude or feeling
a grimace that was more expressive than words.
v. to greet
The crowd hailed the returning hero.
v. to deliver a long. noisy speech
harangued the multitude.
an empty harangue which bored his audience.
n. a forerunner; ail announcer
the robin, harbinger of spring.
adj. proud; looking down with contempt on others
dismissed the messenger in a haughty manner.
adj. thoughtless; taking little care
rushed into battle, heedless of the danger.
adj. wicked; hateful
committed a heinous crime.
n. an opinion held in opposition to the traditional view
a view condemned as heresy.
n. a gap or vacancy; break
left a hiatus on the page where he erased a sentence.
adj. pertaining to the theater; designed for show
broke into histrionic laughter, hollow and insincere.
n. a trick or deception; a practical joke
played a hoax upon the credulous public.
He hoaxed the crowd completely with his disguise.
n. two words having the same sound but different meanings
confusing such homonyms as mail add male.
n. a dirty or wretched dwelling
born in a hovel, died in a mansion.
n. extravagant exaggeration for effect
An example of hyperbole: "There are a million objections to the project."
n. an assumption made for the sake of argument
worked from a fantastic hypothesis.
n. a. personal peculiarity
Wearing white was one of Whistler's idiosyncrasies.
adj. incurring public disgrace
suffered an ignominious descent from political power.
adj. spotless; pure
an immaculate reputation.
adj. likely to occur soon
stood in imminent peril.
adj. exempt from; protected from
immune from taxation.
v. to pierce through with a pointed instrument
impaled a spider to the wall.
v. to accuse (a public official) of wrongdoing; to cast discredit upon
impeached the judge for accepting a bribe.
impeached his motives.
performed with impeccable skill.
adj. incapable of being penetrated
a mind impervious to new ideas.
adj. incapable of being soothed, made peaceful, or forgiving
adj. implied but not clearly expressed; unquestioning
an implicit agreement.
import [im5pR:t 5impR:t]
n. meaning; significance or importance
a matter of great import.
n. a person who pretends to be someone else in order to deceive others
He felt like an impostor among all those intelligent people, as if he had no right to be there.
n. a curse
hurled imprecations at those who would not listen to him.
an impregnable fortress.
n. improper act, manners, or expression
guilty of impropriety in public office.
adj. lacking in thrift; not providing for future needs
an improvident spender.
v. to attack or criticize as false; to call in question
impugned his honesty.
v. to imprison
crushed his opponents by incarcerating them.
adj. cutting, penetrating
adv. with one's identity concealed
n. an increase
a salary increment.
n. an officeholder
the incumbent in an election.
felt it incumbent to reply.
an indefatigable worker.
Rice is indigenous to China.
adj. stubborn in determination not to be subdued
n. a conclusion reached by reasoning from data or premises
an inference drawn from his remarks.
adj. demonstrating originality, skill, or resourcefulness
an ingenious device.
adj. simple and straightforward; concealing nothing
an ingenuous plan that anyone could see through.
v. to win another's favor or good opinion
tried to ingratiate himself with the politician.
v. to check or hinder
inhibited his friend from a foolhardy course.
adj. harmless; inoffensive
an innocuous remark, but it enraged him.
n. an indirect reference or suggestion (frequently derogatory)
conveyed his idea by innuendo.
spoiled by inordinate praise.
adj. unable to be satisfied
adj. incapable of interpretation or understanding
the inscrutable smile of the Mona Lisa.
adj. working secretly or slyly
that insidious disease, cancer.
v. to stir tip
instigated discontent among the soldiers.
n. honesty, moral soundness
a man of proved integrity.
v. to speak angrily or bitterly
inveighed against economic discrimination.
adj. easily angered
Even petty things made Peter irascible.
aroused his ire.
adj. tedious, monotonous
an irksome chore that no one liked.
adj. traveling about; wandering
an itinerant salesman.
n. confused, unintelligible, meaningless talk; special vocabulary used only by members of a group or trade
Variety, a newspaper written in theatrical jargon.
adj. having an air of easy carelessness or liveliness
walked with a jaunty step.
His life was in jeopardy.
v. to throw overboard (as cargo); to throw off (as a burden or something in the way )
jettisoned their old candidate as a political liability.
adj. wise; using or exhibiting good judgment
a well-chosen plan, termed judicious by all.
adj. constantly changing or varying in pattern or scenes
kaleidoscopic views of New York.
n. range of sight or understanding
something beyond our ken.
n. a confusing set of connecting passages or paths in which it is easy to get lost
Finally, through a labyrinth of corridors she found his office.
adj. causing or given to shedding tears
a lachrymose tragedy.
adj. saying much in few words
a laconic reply that spoke volumes.
indicted for grand larceny.
adj. hidden; present but not fully developed
latent talent that time will reveal.
adj. profuse or generous; given to extravagance
lavish in praise.
a lavish spender.
a lethal weapon.
n. prolonged duration of life
a country remarkable for the longevity of its inhabitants.
v. to bellow softly like cattle
the lowing herd in the meadow.
adj. clear; transparent
a lucid explanation of a difficult text.
adj. ridiculous; producing laughter
a ludicrous remark that set them all to roaring.
n. an eminent person; a celestial body
the platform graced by a number of luminaries.
adj. sacrificing moral principles in order to attain power; politically cunning
a machiavellian design, wickedly contrived.
adj. bearing, or acting with, deliberate ill-will or spite
hurting with malicious intent.
v. to assume a deceptive appearance or character
a thief masquerading as an honest man.
a masquerade so perfect no one could guess his identity.
adj. sentimental to the point of tears
turned maudlin at the mention of his lost dog.
v. to walk about (or talk) aimlessly; to wind about (as a stream)
meandered through the town, looking into shop windows.
adj. average in quality
a mediocre performance, unworthy of his talents.
adj. acting solely from a consideration of reward or profit
actuated by a mercenary motive.
adj. attracting in a false, cheap, or showy manner
a meretricious beauty that is too flashy to be real.
adj. fussy about minute details
took meticulous pains with his composition.
n. disposition; spirit
His mettle was tried in battle.
n. a little world, or a universe in miniature
The audience was selected to create a microcosm of American society.
v. to make fun of or copy by imitating
mimicked the comedian's gestures.
adj. hating or distrusting mankind
condemned for his misanthropic views.
n. a name or term that describes wrongly
To call him a brave man is really a misnomer.
n. a speech by one person
The actor gave his views in a dramatic monologue.
adj. gloomy; ill-humored
shunned because of his morose temper.
adj. of various colors; of mixed ingredients
a motley costume; a motley crowd.
adj. spotted or streaked with varied colors
a mottled pony.
adj. of, or pertaining to, the world, as contrasted with the spirit
adj. dark; cloudy
a murky cavern.
adj. given to frequent change in nature, mood, or form
mutable in mood as a spring wind.
the myriad stars in the heavens.
adj. pertaining to ships or navigation
a nautical career.
v. to irritate or provoke
nettled by his critics.
adj. pertaining to, or occurring in, the night
awakened by the sounds of a nocturnal prowler.
adj. foul-smelling; harmful
the swamp gave off a noisome odor.
adj. unmoved or indifferent; casual
reacted to the news in a nonchalant manner.
felt nostalgia for the old homestead.
adj. widely known (in a bad sense)
a notorious gambler.
n. a beginner
conducted himself in politics like a novice.
adj. hard-hearted; stubborn
an obdurate, unrepentant criminal.
adj. forgetful; absent-minded
walking oblivious of his surroundings.
n. a persistent feeling, idea, activity, etc., which dominates a person; the state of being exclusively preoccupied by a fixed idea
Now that he has learned bowling, it has become his obsession.
adj. no longer in use
an obsolete word, not even included by most dictionaries.
adj. thrusting oneself or itself into undue prominence
made himself obnoxiously obtrusive.
v. to prevent, dispose of, or make unnecessary by appropriate actions
an act which obviated all objections.
an omnipotent despot.
n. burden; duty
bore the onus of his difficult office creditably.
adj. apparent; pretended
his ostensible, though not actual, purpose.
v. to banish; to exclude from public favor or privileges
a former premier ostracized by popular vote.
n. a remedy for all ills
seeking a panacea to cure our social troubles.
n. a speech or writing of extravagant praise
delivered a panegyric at his friend's testimonial dinner.
n. a self -contradictory statement; something 'that appears to be absurd and yet may be true -"Life is too important a matter to he taken seriously."
a paradox by Oscar Wilde.
v. to restate the meaning of a passage in other words
paraphrased the poem in a few lines of prose.
n. a humorous imitation of an author's style and mannerisms
wrote a parody on Kipling's "Gunga Din".
The trial was a parody of justice.
n. a petty fault
possesses one peccadillo among his many virtues.
adj. pertaining to money
involved in pecuniary difficulties.
n. one who proudly shows off his learning or who overrates his knowledge
like a pedant glorying in his scholarly trifles.
adj. sadly thoughtful
softly sang his pensive song.
adj. positive in expressing an opinion
gave a peremptory judgment.
adj. clinging doggedly to an opinion or purpose
pertinacious in his efforts.
v. to read carefully
perused the important letter.
adj. willfully bent on doing the wrong thing
a perverse lad, always disobeying his parents.
v. to paralyze with horror, fear, or surprise
petrified by the enemy bombardment.
n. adopting and reproducing, without acknowledgment, the writings or ideas of another and passing them off as one's own
denied the charge of deliberate plagiarism.
n. a dull and commonplace remark
bored people by his pompous phrases and platitudes.
adj. pertaining to the common people; hence, common or vulgar
plebeian in his tastes and outlook.
n. a direct vote by the people
The decision to confederate was ratified by plebiscite.
adj. gripping and moving the feelings powerfully; piercing, biting, pointed
a poignant grief.
a poignant cry; poignant wit.
adj. very heavy; clumsy
a ponderous speech, extremely boring.
adj. uncertain or risky
earning a precarious livelihood, providing no luxuries.
adj. very steep; descending rapidly
a precipitous cliff.
a precipitous decline in popularity.
adj. remarkable for early mental development
A precocious child, she went to university at the age of 15.
adj. inclined to plunder or rob; preying on, others
predatory bands roaming the countryside.
predatory animals prowling about.
n. partiality or preference for; a favorable opinion arrived at beforehand
a predilection for theatricals.
n. an introduction, forerunner, or preliminary step
a short prelude to the play.
n. a privilege or power attaching to a position
It is a woman's prerogative to refuse to tell her age.
n. esteem or influence accorded for recognized achievements or reputation
As Senator he enjoyed great prestige.
n. something taken for granted; going beyond proper bounds
acted on a reasonable presumption.
His question was downright presumption.
v. to disguise or conceal the truth to lie
prevaricated in order to avoid detection.
v. to postpone or put off to another time
missed his opportunity by procrastinating too long.
v. to forecast
The Weather Bureau prognosticates daily.
n. the wage-earning class
a truckman, humble member of the proletariat.
n. a cliff
an imposing promontory along the coast.
v. to publish or proclaim; to spread abroad
The President promulgated a decree.
adj. bulging or swelling out
a protuberant jaw.
adj. temporary; for the time being
a provisional plan until a permanent decision is reached.
worked in close proximity to his home.
n. a false name assumed by a writer
concealed his identity by a pseudonym.
adj. inflicting, or concerned with, punishment
took punitive measures against deserters.
v. to crush; to render void
quashed a rebellion; quashed an indictment.
adj. given to fault-finding and complaining
Her querulous nature estranged many people.
adj. extravagantly romantic or idealistic; highly impractical
a quixotic scheme that can never materialize.
n. a skilled storyteller
held spellbound by a superb raconteur.
n. one who advocates extreme basic changes
The reform movement was led by a radical.
radical measures adopted to meet the emergency.
n. a branching; sub-division
studied the subject in all its ramifications.
v. to tear down completely
razed the old building.
v. to restate in a brief, concise form; to sum up
recapitulated the main ideas.
adj. mutual; done in return for something received
held each other in reciprocal esteem.
adj. lying down; leaning back or down
resting in a recumbent position.
adj. fragrant; reminiscent of
a room redolent of roses.
redolent of olden times.
adj. commanding fear or respect
cringing before a redoubtable enemy.
v. to prove incorrect or false
refuted his opponent's argument.
v. repeat (several times)
reiterated his story once more.
a remunerative job.
n. one who forsakes political or party principles or his religious faith
a renegade from his former allegiance.
n. injury inflicted in turn for one received
took action in reprisal against his neighbor.
n. feeling of displeasure or indignation resulting from mistreatment or abuse
showed resentment at what he considered an unwarranted insult.
adj. elastic; light-hearted
a resilient Spirit, refusing to admit defeat.
n. temporary deferment or cessation of work or pain; a temporary delay in the execution of -a sentence
a brief respite from labor.
granted the doom man a temporary respite.
n. the reward or punishment exacted for an injury, wickedness, or other action
suffered just retribution for his folly.
v. to make good; to recover
retrieved a mistake.
retrieved the suitcase left at the station.
retrieved his lost fortunes.
v. to echo
a shot reverberating through the valley.
adj. in an early stage of development
possessing only a rudimentary, knowledge of physics.
v. to be sorry for
He will rue the day he left home.
adj. very holy
a shrine. regarded as sacrosanct.
adj. wise; shrewd
proved to be sagacious in his judgment.
a sallow complexion.
v. to rush forth suddenly
sallied out to meet the enemy.
amused the audience with his sallies against his opponent.
adj. pretending to be religious
showed his hypocrisy in a sanctimonious display of piety.
a sanguinary battle.
adj. of a hopeful disposition; blood-red in color
a perennial optimist, sanguine in temperament.
adj. pertaining to a tailor or clothes
a picture of sartorial perfection.
n. an attentive or flattering follower; a country influenced or controlled by another
a prince surrounded by many satellites.
Freedom is conspicuously absent ,in the Soviet satellites.
The moon is the only natural satellite of the earth, but in recent years it has been joined by many artificial satellites.
n. a trace; a particle
not a scintilla of convincing evidence.
v. to punish severely; to afflict
a disease that scourged the country.
The Black Plague was a dreadful scourge of the Middle Ages.
v. to examine carefully
scrutinized the contents of the letter.
n. a party slogan
a shibboleth designed to attract votes.
v. to smile in a silly or affected way
She gave her teacher a simpering smile.
stood nervously, a simper on his face.
n. employment entailing little or no responsibility or labor
His job was a sinecure.
adj. threatening or showing evil; dishonest
the sinister look of a gangster.
adj. flimsy and cheap
sleazy cloth which is used only in cheap garments.
adj. untidy and dirty
I'll have to improve my slovenly habits - my mother's coming to stay.
adj. tending to induce sleep
a poorly written novel, soporific in effect.
adj. mean and base; filthy
Sordid motives breed selfish actions.
adj. supreme power and authority; independent of the control of any other government
possessing sovereign powers; a sovereign state.
adj. occurring singly, at irregular intervals; scattered
sporadic cases of illness.
v. to refuse or reject with contempt
an offer that was spurned instantly.
n. indifferent, calm in bearing pain or pleasure; practising remarkable self-control over emotions
maintained a stoic attitude despite all his trials.
adj. having a very severe effect, or being extremely limiting
The most stringent laws in the world are useless unless there is the will to enforce them.
adj. amazing by, virtue of its immense size, force, or any quality in exceptional degree
The circus is a stupendous spectacle.
a succulent steak.
adj. close, hot, and moist
sultry tropical weather.
adj. lying flat on the back; inert, inactive, averse to taking action
resting in a supine position.
a supine, ineffective administrator.
adj. real; actual
tangible gains which may be seen. and counted.
an act that is tantamount to treason.
v. to reproach with contempt
taunted him with the charge of failure to act promptly.
hurled taunts at his foes.
adj. in abundance, fertile, highly productive
the teeming tropics, rank with vegetation.
n. unwise or reckless boldness
leaped into battle with thoughtless temerity.
adj. worldly, as opposed to spiritual; existing for a time only
a man preoccupied with temporal matters.
v. to delay or refuse to commit oneself in order to gain time
temporized while his friends hurried to his aid.
n. a principle of belief held as true
a tenet of religion which be maintained loyally.
adj. slender; not substantial
clung desperately to his tenuous hope.
adj. calm; peaceful
a tranquil summer night.
v. to break a law or command; to violate a moral principle
transgressed the bounds of decency; transgressed the law.
tremulous with fright.
adj. of little worth or importance
a trivial offense.
adj. cruel, fierce; harsh
a dispute marked by a truculent attitude on both sides.
adj. swollen, inflated; using big or high-sounding words
turgid rivers overflowing their banks.
a turgid prose style.
adj. existing everywhere
The common cold is a ubiquitous complaint.
adj. incapable of being defended or held
withdrew the argument as untenable.
adj. materially or practically useful
beautiful, but not utilitarian.
v. to subdue or conquer
an army vanquished with heavy losses.
v. to boast
proudly vaunted his strength.
n. a superficial appearance or show designed to impress one with superiority
pierced beneath his thin veneer of elegance.
adj. deserving respect or reverence because of age
a venerable leader.
adj. pertaining to spring
an array of vernal flowers.
adj. able to do many things skillfully
versatile in all the arts.
adj. taking the place of another; felt, received, or done in place of another
took vicarious pleasure in his brother's victory.
n. a change from one condition to another, often unexpected
suffered many vicissitudes of fortune.
n. a scolding or ill-tempered woman
My neighbor's wife is a virago.
v. to scold or blame loudly, find fault with in abusive language
an angry man, vituperating the world.
v. to give up (privileges, etc.); to do without
waived his rights to the property.
n. a sudden notion or passing fancy
frequently acted on the whim of the moment.
v. to twist about (usually with pain)
writhed in agony on the floor.
adj. full of enthusiasm or eagerness
a zealous supporter of the government's policies
n. the highest point
the zenith of his career.