As the hurricane's force abated, the winds dropped and the sea became calm.
(aab duh kayt)
To give up a position, right, or power
With the angry mob clamoring outside the palace, the kind abdicated his throne and fled.
(uh ber unt)
Deviating from what is normal or expected
Since he had been a steady, cheerful worker for many years, his fellow postal workers did not expect his aberrant burst of rage.
(uh bay uhns)
Temporary suppression or suspension
The baseball game was held in abeyance while it continued to rain.
To reject; to abandon formally
The spy abjured his allegiance to the United States when he defected to Russia.
To leave secretly
The patron absconded from the restaurant without paying his bill by sneaking out the back door.
To choose not to do something
Before the medical procedure, you must abstain from eating.
(aab stee me uhs)
Moderate in appetite
Because Alyce is a vegetarian, she was able to eat only an abstemious meal at the Texas Steakhouse.
An extremely deep hole
The submarine dove into the abyss to chart the previously unseen depths.
(uh kree shuhn)
A gradual growth in size; an increase in amount
The committee's strong fund-raising efforts resulted in an accretion in scholarship money.
(uh si juh luhs)
Sour in taste or manner
The acidulous taste of the spoiled milk made the young boy's lips pucker.
The highest point; the summit; the highest level or degree attainable.
Just when he reached the acme of his power, the dictator was overthrown.
(uh duhl tuhr ayt)
To make impure
The restaurateur made his ketchup last longer by adulterating it with water.
(aad vuh kayt)
To speak in favor of
The vegetarian advocated a diet containing no meat.
(ayr ee) (eer ee)
A nest built high in the air; an elevated often secluded, dwelling.
Perched high amount the trees, the eagle's aerie was filled with eggs.
(ehs then tick)
Concerning the appreciation of beauty
The aesthetic movement regarded the pursuit of beauty as the only true purpose of art.
(uh fehk tihd)
The affected hairdresser spouted French phrases, though she had never been to France.
(uh graan diez) (aa gruhn diez)
to increase in power, influence, and reputation
The supervisor sought to aggrandize himself by claiming that the achievements of his staff were actually his own.
(uh laak crih tee)
speed or quickness
The restaurant won a reputation for fine clients' requests with alacrity.
(uh lee vee ayt)
to make more bearable
Taking aspirin helps to alleviate a headache.
(uh maal gun mayt)
to combine; to mix together
Giant Industries amalgamated with Mega Products to form Giant-Mega Products Incorporated.
(aam bihg yoo uhs)
doubtful or uncertain; can be interpreted several ways
The directions he gave were so ambiguous that we disagreed on which way to turn.
(uh meel yuhr ayt)
to make better; to improve
The doctor was able to ameliorate the patient's suffering using painkillers.
(uh mohr tiez) (aam er tiez)
to diminish by installment payments
While college students are notorious for accumulating credit card debt, they are not as well known for amortizing it.
(aam yoo liht)
an ornament worn as a charm against evil spirits
Though she claimed it was not because of superstition, Vivian always wore an amulet around her neck.
(uh naak ruh nih suhm)
something out of place in time
The play was set in the nineteenth century, but was ruined by anachronisms like the lead actor's digital watch.
(aah nuhl jee zhuh)
a lessening of pain without loss of consciousness
After having her appendix removed, Tatiana welcomed the analgesia that the painkillers provided.
(uh naal uh guhs)
similar or alike in some way; equivalent
His mother argued that not going to college was analogous to throwing his life away
(aah nuh dien)
something that calms or soothes pain
The massage was an anodyne that helped remove the knots from the lawyer's tense shoulders
(uh nahm uh lee)
deviation from what is normal
Albino animals may display too great an anomaly in their coloring to attract normally colored mates.
(aan taa gun niez)
to annoy or provoke anger
The child discovered that he could antagonize the cat by pulling its tail.
(aan tih puh thee)
The antipathy between fans of the rival soccer teams made the game even more electrifying to watch.
(aa pah thee)
lack of interest or emotion
The apathy of voters is so great that less than half the people who are eligible to vote actually bother to do so.
(uh pahk ruh fuhl)
of questionable authority or authenticity
There is no hard or authoritative evidence to support the apocryphal tales that link the Roswell, New Mexico incident to a downed UFO
(uh pahs tayt)
one who renounces a religious faith
So that he could divorce his wife, the king scoffed at the church doctrines and declared himself an apostate.
(aa pruh bay shun)
approval and praise
The approbation that Jerry Lewis received in France included a medal from the Ministry of Culture.
(ahr bih trayr ee)
determined by chance or impulse
When you lack the information to judge what to do next, you will be forced to make and arbitrary decision
(ahr bih trayt)
to judge a dispute between two opposing parties
Since the couple could not come to an agreement, a judge was forced to arbitrate their divorce proceedings.
intense and passionate feeling
Bishops ardor for landscape was evident when he passionately described the beauty of the scenic Hudson Valley.
(ahr kay ihk)
Her archaic Commodore computer could not run the latest software.
(aa ruh gayt)
to claim without justification; to claim for oneself without right
Gretchen watched in astonishment as her boss arrogated the credit for her brilliant work on the project.
(ahr tih kyuh luht)
able to speak clearly and expressively
She is extremely articulate when it comes to expressing her pro-labor views; as a result unions are among her strongest supporters.
to attack; to assault
The foreign army will try to assail our bases, but they will not be successful in their attack.
to make something unpleasant less severe
Like many people, Philip Larkin used alcohol to assuage his sense of meaninglessness and despair.
(uh tehn yoo ayt)
to reduce in force or degree; to weaken
The Bill of Rights attenuated the traditional power of government to change laws at will.
(aw day shuts)
fearless and daring
The audacious peasant dared to insult the king's mother.
(aw gyuh ree)
a prophecy; a prediction of events
Troy hoped the rainbow was an augury of good things to come.
The august view of the Grand Teton summit took my breath away
severe or stern in appearance, undecorated
The lack of decoration makes Zen temples seem austere to the untrained eye
(aak see uhm)
premise; postulate; self-evident truth
Halle lived her life based on the axioms her grandmother had passed on to her.
His conversation consisted of banal phrases like "Have a nice day" or "Another day, another dollar"
a bell tower; the room in which a bell is hung
The town was shocked when a bag of money was found stashed in the old belfry of the church
As predicted, a bevy of teenagers surrounded the rock star's limousine.
(bi fuhr kayt)
to divide into two parts
The large corporation just released a press statement announcing its plans to bifurcate.
to cheat; to defraud
When the greedy salesman realized that his customer spoke poor French, he bilked the tourist out of 20 euros.
to afflict; to destroy
The farmers feared that the night's frost would blight the potato crops entirely.
joyful, cheerful, or without appropriate though
Summer finally came, and the blithe students spent their days at the beach
to support; to prop up
The presence of giant footprints bolstered the argument that Bigfoot was in the area.
(bahm baast ihk)
pompous in speech and manner
Mussolini's speeches were mostly bombastic; his boasting and outrageous claims had no basis in fact.
(bah nuh mee)
good-natured geniality; an atmosphere of good cheer
The aspects of her job that Dana loved the most were the flexible hours and the pleasant bonhomie in the office.
a crude person; one lacking manners or taste
"That utter boor ruined my recital with his constant guffawing!" wailed the pianist.
to grow and flourish
Faulkner neither confirmed nor denied stories about himself, allowing rumor to burgeon where it would.
He burnished the silver coffee pot until it shone brightly
a secret group seeking to overturn something
The boys on the street formed a cabal to keep girls out of their tree house.
(kuh kah fuh nee)
a harsh, jarring noise
The junior high orchestra created an almost unbearable cacophony as they tried to tune their instruments.
(kaa luhm nee)
a false and malicious accusation; misrepresentation
The unscrupulous politician used calumny to bring down his opponent in the senatorial race.
That tabloid's feature story about a goat giving birth to a human child was clearly a canard.
impartial and honest in speech
The observations of a child can be charming since they are candid and unpretentious.
(kuh pree shuhs)
changing one's mind quickly and often
Queen Elizabeth I was quite capricious; her courtiers could never be sure which one would catch her fancy.
(kahr tahg ruh fee)
the science or art of making maps
Gail's interest in cartography may stem from the extensive traveling she did as a child.
(kaa stih gayt)
to punish or criticize harshly
Martina castigated her boyfriend for not remembering her birthday.
kaa tuh lihst
something that brings about a change in something else
The imposition of harsh taxes was the catalyst that finally brought on the revolution
kaa thuh lihk
universal; broad and comprehensive
His catholic musical tastes included everything from opera to rap.
biting in wit
Dorothy Parker gained her caustic reputation from her cutting, yet witty, insults.
great disorder; a confused situation
In most religious traditions, God created an ordered universe from chaos.
shoh vuh nist
someone prejudiced in favor of a group to which he or she belongs
The attitude that men must be obeyed since they are inherently superior to women is common among male chauvinists.
shi kay nuh ree
deception by means of craft or guile
Dishonest used-car salesmen often use chicanery to sell their beat-up old cars.
suhr kuhm spehkt
cautious; aware of potential consequences
She was very circumspect in her language and behavior when first introduced to her fiancé's parents.
sickly sweet; excessive
When Enid and Jay first started dating, their cloying affection toward one another often made their friends ill
koh uh lehs
to grow together to form a single whole
The sun and planets eventually coalesced out of a vast cloud of gas and dust
a strongbox; a large chest for money
The bulletproof glass of the coffer is what keeps the crown jewels secure.
convincing and well-reasoned
Swayed by the cogent argument of the defense, the jury had no choice but to acquit the defendant.
kuh loo shuhn
a collaboration; complicity; conspiracy
It came to light that the police chief and the mafia had a collusion in running the numbers racket.
to overlook, pardon or disregard
Some theorists believe that failing to prosecute minor crimes is the same as condoning an air of lawlessness.
kah nuh suhr
a person with expert knowledge or discriminating tastes
Dr. Crane was a connoisseur of fine food and wine, drinking and eating only the best.
deeply sorrowful and repentant for a wrong
After three residents were mugged in the lobby while the watchman was away from his post, he felt very contrite.
kahn huh may shuhs
The contumacious teenager ran away from home when her parents told her she was grounded.
kahn vuh loo tehd
intricate and complicated
Although many people bought the professor's book, few people could follow its convoluted ideas and theories.
kuh rahb uhr ayt
to support with evidence
All the DA needed were fingerprints to corroborate the witness's testimony that he saw the defendant in the victim's apartment.
to pamper; to treat with great care
Marta just loves to cosset her first and only grandchild.
koh tuh ree
an intimate group of persons with a similar purpose
Angel invited a coterie of fellow stamp enthusiasts to a stamp-trading party.
The craven lion cringed in the corner of his cage, terrified of the mouse.
kreh juh luhs
too trusting; gullible
Although some four-year olds believe in the Tooth Fairy, only the most credulous nine-year olds also believe in her.
kruh shehn doh
steady increase in volume or force
The crescendo of tension became unbearable as Evel Knievel prepared to jump his motorcycle over the school buses.
kyoo pih dih tee
greed; strong desire
The thief stared at the shining jewels with cupidity in his gleaming eyes.
kuhr muh juhn
a cranky person, usually an old one
Ernesto was a notorious curmudgeon who snapped at anyone who disturbed him for any reason
dehb yoo tahnt
a young woman making debut in high society
The debutante spent hours dressing for her very first ball, hoping to catch the eye of an eligible bachelor.
dih klih vih tee
a downward slope
Because the village was situated on the declivity of a hill, it never flooded.
deh kuhr uhs
proper; tasteful; socially correct
The countess trained her daughters in the finer points of decorous behavior, hoping they would make a good impression when she presented them at Court.
deh kohr uhm
appropriateness of behavior or conduct; propriety
The countess complained that the vulgar peasants lacked the decorum appropriate for a visit to the palace.
to mar the appearance of; to vandalize
After the wall was torn down, the students began to deface the statues of Communist leaders of the former Eastern Bloc.
deh fuh ruhsn ts
The respectful young law clerk treated the Supreme Court justice with the utmost deference.
dehl ih teer ee uhs
subtly or unexpectedly harmful
If only we had known the clocks were defective before putting them on the market, it wouldn't have been quite so deleterious to our reputation.
deh muh gahg
a leader or rabble-rouser, usually one appealing to emotion or prejudice
He began his career as a demagogue, giving fiery speeches at political rallies.
to express doubts or objections
When scientific authorities claimed that all the planets revolved around the Earth, Galileo, with his superior understanding of the situation, was forced to demur.
to speak of or treat with contempt; to mock
The awkward child was often derided by his cooler peers.
deh sih kayt
to dry out thoroughly
After a few weeks lying on the desert's baking sands, the cow's carcass became completely desiccated.
dehs uhl tohr ee
jumping from one thing to another; disconnected
Athena had a desultory academic record; she had changed majors 12 times in 3 years.
di aaf uh nuhs
allowing light to show through; delicate
These diaphanous curtains do nothing to block out sunlight.
die uh trieb
an abusive, condemnatory speech
The trucker bellowed a diatribe at the driver who had cut him off
an authoritative statement
"You have time to lean, you have time to clean," was the dictum our boss made us live by.
dih fih dint
Steve was diffident during the job interview because of his nervous nature and lack of experience in the field.
to make larger; to expand
When you enter a darkened room, the pupils of your eyes dilate so as to let in more light.
dihl uh tohr ee
intended to delay
The congressman used dilatory measures to delay the passage of a bill.
dih luh tahnt
someone with an amateurish and superficial interest in a topic.
Jerry's friends were such dilettantes they seemed to have new jobs and hobbies every week.
a funeral hymn or mournful speech
Melville wrote a dirge for the funeral of James McPherson, a Union general who was killed in 1864
dih suh byuze
to set right; to free from error
Galileo's observations disabused sholars of the notion that the sun revolved around the Earth.
to perceive or recognize
It is easy to discern the difference between butter and butter-flavored topping.
dih spuh ruht
fundamentally different; entirely unlike
Although the twins are physically identical, their personalities are disparate.
dihs sehm buhl
to present a false appearance; to disguise one's real intentions or character
THe villain could dissemble to the police not longer--he admitted the deed and tore up the floor to reveal the stash of stolen money.
dihs uh nuhns
a harsh and disagreeable combination, especially of sounds
Cognitive dissonance is the inner conflict produced when long-standing beliefs are contradicted by new evidence.
the female branch of a family
The lazy husband refused to cook dinner for his wife, joking that the duty belongs to the distaff's side
to swell, inflate, or bloat
Her stomach was distended after she gorged on the six-couse meal.
to act confusedly or without clear purpose
Ellen dithered around her apartment, uncertain how to tackle the family crisis.
die uhr uuhl
Diurnal creatures tend to become inactive during the night
to foretell or know by inspiration
The fortune-teller divined from the pattern of tea leaves that her customer would marry five times.
dahk truh nayr
rigidly devoted to theories without regard for practicality; dogmatic
The professor's manner of teaching was considered doctrinaire for such a liberal school
a firmly held opinion, especially a religious belief
Linus's central dogma was that children who believed in the Great Pumpkin would be rewarded
dahg maat ihk
dictatorial in one's opinions
The dictator was dogmatic claiming he, and only he, was right.
amusing in a wry, subtle way
Although the play couldn't be described as hilarious, it was certainly droll.
Bugs Bunny was able to dupe Elmer Fudd by dressing up as a lady rabbit
dihs pehp tihk
suffering from indigestion; gloomy and irritable
The dyspeptic young man cast a gloom over the party the minute he walked in
ih byool yuhnt
exhilarated; full of enthusiasm and high spirits
The ebullient child exhausted the baby-sitter, who lacked the energy to keep up with her
ih klehk tihk
selecting from or made up from a variety of sources
Budapest's architecture is an eclectic mix of eastern and western styles.
eh duh fie
to instruct morally and spiritually
The guru was paid to edify the actress in the ways of Buddhism.
eh fih kuh see
The efficacy of penicillin was unsurpassed when it was first introduced; the drug completely eliminated almost all bacterial infections.
eh fuh jee
a stuffed doll; a likeness of a person
Protesters burned effigies of the unpopular leader.
ih fruhnt uhr ee
impudent boldness; audacity
The receptionist had the effrontery to laugh out loud when the CEO tripped over a computer wire and fell flat on his face.
eh luh jee
a sorrowful poem or speech
Though the beautiful elegy is about death and loss, it urges its readers to endure this life, and to trust in spirituality
ehl uh kwunt
persuasive and moving, especially in speech
The Gettysburg Address is moving not only because of its lofty sentiments but because of its eloquent words.
ehm behl ihsh
to add ornamental or fictitious details
Britt embellished her résumé, hoping to make the lowly positions she had held seem more important.
ehm yuh layt
to copy; to try to equal or excel
The graduate student sought to emulate his professor in every way, copying not only how she taught but also how she conducted herself outside of class.
ehn koh me uhm
She wrote an encomium in praise of the outgoing president.
ehn deh mihk
belonging to a particular area; inherent
The health department determined that the outbreak was endemic to the small village, so they quarantined the inhabitants before the virus could spread.
ehn Uhr vayt
to reduce in strength
The guerrillas hoped that a series of surprise attacks would enervate the regular army.
ehn gehn duhr
to produce, cause or bring about
His fear and hatred of clowns was engendered when he witnessed a bank robbery carried out by five men wearing clown suits and make-up.
ih nig muh
a puzzle; a mystery
Speaking in riddles and dressed in old robes, the artist gained a reputation as something of an enigma
ih noo muhr ayt
to count, list or itemize
Before making his decision, Jacob asked the waiter to enumerate the different varieties of ice cream that the restaurant carried.
ih fehm uhr uhl
lasting a short time
The lives of mayflies seem ephemeral to us, since the flies' average life span in a matter of hours
eh pih kyoor
a person with refined taste in food and wine
Niren is an epicure who always throws the most splendid dinner parties.
ih kwihv uh kayt
to use expressions of double meaning in order to mislead
When faced with criticism of his policies, the politician equivocated and left all parties thinking he agreed with them.
ih raat ihk
wandering and unpredictable
The plot seemed predictable until it suddenly took a series of erratic turns that surprised the audience.
Edda, a fashion maven, knew instantly that her friend's new Kate Spade bag was really an ersatz version purchased on the street.
ehr uh dite
learned; scholarly; bookish
The annual meeting of philosophy professors was a gathering of the most erudite, well-published individuals in the field
to shun; to avoid (as something wrong or distasteful)
The filmmaker eschewed artificial light for her actors, resulting in a stark movie style
eh suh tehr ihk
known or understood only by a few
Only a handful of experts are knowledgeable about the esoteric world of particle physics
eh stuh muh buhl
Most people consider it estimable that Mother Teresa spent her life helping the poor of India.
the beliefs of character of a group
It is the Boy Scouts' ethos that one should always be prepared.
yoo luh jee
a speech in praise of someone
His best friend gave the eulogy, outlining his many achievements and talents.
yoo fum ih zuhm
use of an inoffensive word or phrase in place of a more distasteful one
The funeral director preferred to use the euphemism "sleeping" instead of the word "dead."
yoo fuh nee
pleasant, harmonious sound
To their loving parents, the children's orchestra performance sounded like euphony, although an outside observer would have called it a cacophony of hideous sounds.
ihg zaas uhr bayt
to make worse
It is unwise to take aspirin to try to relieve heartburn since, instead of providing relief, it will only exacerbate the problem.
ehk skuhl payt
to clear from blame; to prove innocent
The legal system is intended to convict those who are guilty and exculpate those who are innocent.
ehk suh juhnt
urgent; requiring immediate action
The patient was losing blood so rapidly that it was exigent to stop the bleeding.
ihg zahn uh rayt
to clear of blame
The fugitive was exonerated when another criminal confessed to committing the crime
ehk splih siht
clearly stated or shown; forthright in expression
The journalist wrote an explicit description of the gruesome murder.
ehk spoh nuhnt
one who champions or advocates
The vice president was an enthusiastic exponent of computer technology
ehk spuhr gayt
Government propagandists expurgated all negative references to the dictator from the film.
This field should lie fallow for a year so the soil does not become completely depleted.
fuh nah tih kuhl
acting excessively enthusiastic; filled with extreme, unquestioned devotion
The stormtroopers were fanatical in their devotion to the emperor, readily sacrificing their lives for him.
fah choo uhs
stupid; foolishly self-satisfied
Ted's fatuous comments always embarrassed his keen-witted wife at parties
The understudy fawned over the director in hopes of being cast in the part on a permanent basis.
fertile; fruitful; productive
The fecund couple yielded a total of 20 children.
intensely emotional; feverish
The fans of Maria Callas were particularly fervid doing anything to catch a glimpse of the great opera singer.
The fetid stench from the outhouse caused Francesca to wrinkle her nose in disgust.
to decline in vigor, strength, or interest
The marathon runner slowed down as his strength flagged.
excessively decorated or embellished
The palace had been decorated in an excessively florid style; every surface had been carved and gilded.
to arouse or incite
The rebels tried to foment revolution through their attacks on the government.
to cross a body of water by wading
Because of the recent torrential rains, the cowboys were unable to ford the swollen river.
to prevent or delay; to anticipate
The landlord forestalled T.J.'s attempt to avoid paying rent by waiting for him outside his door.
four too ih tuhs
happening by chance; fortunate
It was fortuitous that he won the lotto just before he had to pay back his loans.
The general had a hard time maintaining discipline among his factious troops.
früh näht ihk
The employee's frenetic schedule left her little time to socialize.
fru gaa luh tee
tending to be thrifty or cheap
Scrooge Mc Duck's frugality was so great that he accumulated enough wealth to fill a giant storehouse with money.
Glenn was furtive when he peered out of the corner of his eye at the stunningly beautiful model.
to dance or skip around playfully
From her office, Amy enviously watched the playful puppies gambol around Central Park
to gather and store
The director managed to garner financial backing from several different sources for his next project.
gaar uh luhs
tending to talk a lot
The garrulous parakeet distracted its owner with its continuous talking.
meh stay shuhn
to growth process from conception to birth
THe longer the gestation period of an organism, the more developed the baby is at birth
fluent in an insincere manner; offhand; casual
The slimy politician managed to continue gaining supporters because he was a glib speaker.
to glare or stare angrily and intensely
The cranky waiter glowered at the indecisive customer.
gray day shuhn
a degree or stage in a process; a variation in color
The paint store offers so many different gradations of red that it's impossible to choose among them
greh gayr ee uhs
She was so gregarious that when she found herself alone she felt quite sad
causing grief or sorrow; serious and distressing
Maude and Bertha sobbed loudly throughout the grievous event
to humble oneself in a demeaning way
Thor groveled to his ex-girlfriend, hoping she would take him back
Since he was not fast enough to catch the roadrunner on foot, the coyote resorted to guile in an effort to trap his enemy.
guh luh buhl
The con man pretended to be a bank officer so as to fool gullible bank customers into giving him their account information
unfortunate; having bad luck
I wish someone would give that poor, hapless soul some food and shelter.
hih jeh muh nee
the domination of one state or group over its allies
When Germany claimed hegemony over Russia, Stalin was outraged.
huhr meh tihk
The hermetic seal of the jar proved impossible to break.
heh tuh ruh jee nee uhs
composed of unlike parts; different; diverse
The United Nations is by nature a heterogenous body.
very old; whitish or gray from age The old man's hoary beard contrasted starkly to the new stubble of his teenage grandson.
huh mah juhn uhs
of a similar kind
the class was fairly homogeneous since almost all of the students were journalism majors.
to manage economically; to use sparingly
The cyclist paced herself at the start of the race, knowing that if she husbanded her resources she'd have the strength the break out of the pack later on.
hie puhr boh lee
purposeful exaggeration for effect
When the mayor claimed his town was one of the seven wonders of the world, outsiders classified his statement as a hyperbole.
ie kahn uh klaast
one who opposed established beliefs, customs, and institutions
His lack of regard for traditional beliefs soon established him as an iconoclast.
ih dee uh sihn kruh see
peculiarity of temperament; eccentricity
His numerous idiosyncrasies included a fondness for wearing bright green shoes with mauve socks.
ihg noh buhl
having low moral standards; not noble in character; mean
The photographer was paid a princely sum for the picture of the self-proclaimed ethicist in the ignoble act of pick-pocketing.
to infuse, dye, wet, or moisten
Marcia struggled to imbue her children with decent values, a difficult task in this day and age.
a blocked path; a dilemma with no solution
The rock slide produced an impasse, so no one could proceed further on the road.
ihm pih kyoo nee uhs
poor; having no money
After the stock market crashed, many former millionaires found themselves impecunious.
im puhr tuhr buh buhl
not capable of being disturbed
The counselor had so much experience dealing with distraught children that she was imperturbable, even when faced with the wildest tantrums.
ihm puhr vee uhs
impossible to penetrate; incapable of being affected
A good raincoat will be impervious to moisture.
ihm peh choo uhs
quick to act without thinking
It is not good for an investment broker to be impetuous since much thought should be given to all the possible options.
ihm per uhs
not devout in religion
The nun cut herself off from her impious family after she entered the convent.
ihm play kuh buhl
unable to be calmed down or made peaceful
Hist rage at the betrayal was so great that he remained implacable for weeks
ihm prih kay shuhn
Spouting violent imprecations, Hank searched for the person who had vandalized his truck.
to call into question; to attack verbally
"How dare you impugn my motives?" protested the lawyer, on being accused of ambulance chasing.
in car nuh deen
blood-red in color
At his mother's mention of this baby pictures, the shy boy's cheeks turned incarnadine with embarrassment.
ihn koh uht
not fully formed; disorganized
The ideas expressed in Nietzsche's mature work also appear in an inchoate form in his earliest writing.
ihn kühl kayt
to teach; to impress in the mind
Most parents inculcate their children with their beliefs and ideas instead of allowing their children to develop their own values.
ihn duh luhnt
habitually lazy or idle
Her indolent ways got her fired from many jobs.
ihn ehk suhr uh buhl
The inexorable force of the twister swept away their house
ihn jehn Zoo uhs
showing innocence or childlike simplicity
She was so ingenuous that her friends feared that her innocence and trustfulness would be exploited when she visited the big city.
an ungrateful person
When none of her relatives thanked her for the fruitcakes she had sent them, Audrey condemned them all as ingrates.
ihn gray shee ayt
to gain favor with another by deliberate effort; to seek to please somebody so as to gain an advantage
The new intern tried to ingratiate herself with the managers so that they might consider her for a future job.
ih nihm ih kuhl
Even though a cease-fire had been in place for months, the two sides were still inimical to each other.
ih nihk wih tee
a sin; an evil act
"I promise to close every den of iniquity in this town!" thundered the conservative new mayor.
ih nahk yoo uhs
Some snakes are poisonous, but most species are innocuous and pose no danger to humans.
an investigation; an inquiry
The police chief ordered an inquest to determine what went wrong.
(in sih pid)
lacking interest or flavor
The critic claimed that the painting was insipid, containing no interesting qualities at all.
(ihn suh rehk shuhn)
Ater the emperor's troops crushed the insurrection, its leaders fled the country.
After giving the masses one last chance to pay their respects, the leader's body was interred.
(in tuh reg nuhm)
a period between reigns
When John F. Kennedy was shot, there was a brief interregnum before Lyndon B. Johnson became president.
(ihn traak huh buhl)
not easily managed or manipulated
Intractable for hours, the wild horse eventually allowed the rider to mount.
ihn traan suh juhnt
uncompromising; refusing to be reconciled
The professor was intransigent on the deadline, insisting that everyone turn the assignment in a the same time.
ihn dreh pihd
fearless; resolutely courageous
Despite freezing winds, the intrepid hiker completed his ascent.
(ih nuhn dayt)
to overwhelm; to cover with water
The tidal wave inundated Atlantis, which was lost beneath the water.
to harden; accustom
Eventually, Hassad became inured to the sirens that went off every night and could sleep through them.
(ihn vek tihv)
The stream of invective poured from Mrs. Pratt's mouth as she watched the vandals smash her ceramic frog.
in ves tuh chur
ceremony conferring authority
At Napoleon's investiture, he grabbed the crown from the Pope's hands and placed it on his head himself.
(ihn vihd ee uhs)
envious, obnoxious, or offensive; likely to promote ill-will
It is cruel and invidious for parent to play favorites with their children.
(ih rah suh buhl)
easily made angry
Attila the Hun's irascible and violent nature made all who death with him fear for their lives.
(ie tihn uhr uhnt)
wandering from place to place; unsettled
The itinerant tomcat came back to the Johansson homestead every two month
nonsensical talk; specialized language
You need to master technical jargon in order to communicate successfully with engineers.
jeht ih zuhn
to discard; to get rid of as unnecessary or encumbering
The sinking ship jettisoned its cargo in a desperate attempt to reduce its weight.
jing goh ihz uhm
belligerent support of one's country
The professor's jingoism made it difficult for the students to participate in an open political discussion.
jahk yuh luhr
The jocular old man entertained his grandchildren for hours.
joo dih shuhs
The wise and distinguished judge was well known for having a judicious temperament
a point of time, especially one where two things are joined
At this juncture, I think it would be a good idea for us to take a coffee break.
having a sharp edge; intellectually sharp; perceptive
With her keen intelligence, she figured out the puzzle in ten second flat
to set fire of ignite; to excite or inspire
With only damp wood to work with, Tilda had great difficulty trying to kindle the campfire.
kih neh tihk
relating to motion; characterized by movement
The kinetic sculpture moved back and forth, startling the museum visitors.
sound of a funeral bell; omen of death or failure
When the townspeople heard the knell from the church belfry, they knew that their mayor had died.
fame, glory, or honor
The actress happily accepted kudos from the press for her stunning performance in the film
laak ruh mohs
Marcella always became lachrymose when it was time to bid her daughter good-bye.
luh kah nihk
using few words
He was the classic laconic native of Maine; he talked as if he were ring charged for each word.
to express sorrow; to grieve
The children continued to lament the death of the goldfish weeks after its demise
to ridicule with satire
The mayor hated being lampooned by the press for his efforts to improve people's politeness.
lacking energy; indifferent; slow
The languid cat cleaned its fur, ignoring the vicious snarling dog chained a few feet from it.
laa puh der ee
relating to precious stones or the art of cutting them
Most lapidary work today is done with the used of motorized equipment.
laar suh nee
theft of property
The crime of stealing a wallet can be categorized as petty larceny.
generous giving (as of money) to others who may seem inferior
She always relied on her parents' largess, but after graduation she had to get a job.
laas ih tood
a state of diminished energy
The lack of energy that characterized patients with anemia makes lassitude one of the primary symptoms of the disease.
potentially available, but not readily apparent
Latent trait testing seeks to identify skills that the test takers may have but are not aware of.
to give praise; to glorify
Parades and fireworks were staged to laud the success of the rebels.
extremely generous or extravagant; giving unsparingly
She was so lavish with her puppy that it soon became overweight and spoiled.
After being swindled once, Ruth became leery of strangers trying to sell her things.
lehn Uhr duh mayn
The little boy thought his legerdemain was working on his mother, but she in fact knew about every hidden toy and stolen cookie.
luh thar jik
acting in an indifferent or slow, sluggish manner
The clerk was so lethargic that, even when business was slow, he always had a long line in front of him.
leh vih tee
an inappropriate lack of seriousness; an overly casual atmosphere
The joke added a jarring noted of levity to the otherwise serious meeting.
lihb uh ruhl
tolerant or broad-minded; generous or lavish
Cali's liberal parents trusted her and allowed her to manage her own affairs to a large extent.
lihb Uhr teen
a free thinker (usually used disparagingly); one without moral restraint.
The libertine took pleasure in gambling away his family's money.
lie sehn shuhs
immoral; unrestrained by society
Religious citizens were outraged by the licentious exploits of the free-spirited artists living in town.
Fernando could see all the way to the bottom through the pond's limpid water.
lie uhn iez
to treat as a celebrity
After the success of his novel, the author was lionized by the press.
easily flexed; limber; agile
The lissome yoga instrustor twisted herself into shapes that her students could only dream of.
lacking in energy and enthusiasm
Listless and depressed after breaking up with his girlfriend, Raj spent his days moping on the couch.
discolored from a bruise; plea; reddened with anger
André was livid when he discovered that someone had spilled grape juice all over his cashmere coat.
loh kway shuhs
She is naturally loquacious, which is a problem in situations where listening is more important than talking.
clear and easily understood
The explanations were written in a simple and lucid manner so that students were immediately able to apply what they learned.
loo goo bree uhs
sorrowful; mournful; dismal
Irish wakes are a rousing departure from the lugubrious funeral services to which most people are accustomed.
to move slowly and awkwardly
The bear lumbered toward the garbage, drilling at the prospect of the leftovers he smelled.
loo muhn uhs
bright; brilliant; glowing
The park was bathed in luminous sunshine that warmed the bodies and the souls of the visitors
mahk uh nay shuhn
plot or scheme
Tired of his enemies' endless machinations to remove him from the throne, the kind had them executed.
whirlpool; turmoil; agitated state of mind
The transportation systems of the city had collapsed in the maelstrom of war.
powerful or influential person
The entertainment magnate bought two cable TV stations to add to his collection of magazines and publishing houses.
Malediction noun maal ih dihk shun
a curse; a wish of evil upon another The frog prince looked for a princess to kiss him and put an end to the witch's malediciton.
Malinger verb muh ling guhr
to evade responsibility by pretending to be ill As common way to avoid the draft was by malingering--pretending to be mentally or physically ill so as to avoid being taken by the army.
Malleable adj mal yuh buhl
capable of being shaped Gold is most malleable of precious metals; it can easily be formed into almost any shape.
Mannered adj maan uhrd
artificial or stilted in character The portrait is an example of the mannered style that was favored in that era.
Mar verb mahr
to damage or deface; to spoil Telephone poles mar the natural beauty of the countryside.
Martinet noun mahr tihn eht
strict disciplinarian; one who rigidly follows rules A complete martinet, the official insisted that Pete fill out all the forms again even though he was already familiar with his case.
Maudlin adj mawd lihn
overly sentimental The movie's treatment of the mother's death was so maudlin that, instead of making the audience cry, it made them cringe.
Mendacious adj mehn day shuhs
dishonest So many of her stories were mendacious that I decided she must be a pathological liar.
Mendicant noun mehn dih kuhnt
beggar "Please, sir can you spare a dime" begged the mendicant as the businessman walked past.
Mercurial adj muhr kyoor ee uhl
quick, shrewd, and unpredictable Her mercurial personality made it difficult to guess how she would react to the bad news.
Meretricious adj mehr ih trihsh uhs
gaudy; falsely attractive The casino's meretricious decor horrified the cultivated interior designer.
Metaphor noun meht uh fohr
figure of speech comparing two different things The metaphor "a sea of troubles" suggests a lot of troubles by comparing their number to the vastness of the sea.
Meticulous adj mih tihk yuh luhs
extremely careful; fastidious; painstaking To find all the clues at the crime scene, the meticulous investigators examined every inch of the area.
Militate verb mihl ih tayt
to operate against; work against Lenin militated against the tsar for years before he overthrew him and established the Soviet Union.
Mirth noun muhrth
frivolity; gaiety; laughter Vera's hilarious jokes contributed to the general mirth at the dinner party.
Misanthrope noun mihs ahn throhp
a person who dislikes others The Grinch was such a misanthrope that even the sight of children singing made him angry.
Missive noun mihs ihv
a written note or letter Nixon wrote many missives to his wife before they were married.
Mitigate verb miht ih gayt
to soften; to lessen The judge mitigated the sentence because the man acted in self-defense.
Mollify verb mahl uh fie
to calm or make less severe When the wind died down, the lake mollified.
Molt verb muhlt
to shed hair, skin, or an outer layer periodically. The snake molted its skin and left it behind in a crumpled mess.
Monastic adj muh naas tihk
extremely plain or secluded, as in a monastery The graduate student retired to her monastic cabin in the woods in order to finish her dissertation.
Monotony noun muh naht nee
no variation; tediously the same The monotony of monogamous relationships bores some people.
Mores noun mawr ayz
fixed customs or manner; moral attitudes In keeping with the mores of ancient Roman society, Nero held a celebration every weekend.
Multifarious adj muhl tuh faar ee uhs
diverse The U of M is a fairly multifarious community.
Myopic adj mie ahp ihk
lacking foresight; having narrow view or short-range perspective. Some religious conservatives are extremely myopic.
Nadir noun nay dihr
lowest point As Joey waited in line to audition for the diaper commercial, he realized he had reached the nadir of his acting career.
Naïve adj nah eev
lacking sophistication or experience Inexperienced writers often are naïve and assume that big words make them sound smarter.
Nascent adj nay sehnt
starting to develop; coming into existence The advertising campaign was still in a nascent stage, and nothing had been finalized yet.
Neologism noun nee ah luh ji zuhm
new word or expression Aunt Mabel simply does not understand today's youth; she is perplexed by their clothing, music and neologisms.
Neophyte noun nee oh fiet
novice; beginner As a first year rower, Gretchen is a neophyte.
Nettle verb neh tuhl
to irritate I don't particularly like having blue hair--I just do it to nettle my parents.
Noisome adj noy suhm
stinking;putrid A dead mouse trapped in your walls produces a noisome odor.
Nominal adj nah mihn uhl
existing in name only; negligigle During college, I was a nominal member of the Spanish Department committee as I never really attended meetings.
Nuance noun noo ahns
a subtle expression of meaning or quality The scholars argued for hours over tiny nuances in the interpretation of the last line of the poem.
Numismatics noun nu miz maa tiks
coin collecting Tomas's passion for numismatics has resulted in an impressive collection of coins from all over the world.
Obdurate adj ahb duhr uht
hardened in feeling; resistant to persuasion The president was completely obdurate on the issue, and no amount of persuasion would change his mind.
Oblique adj oh bleek
indirect or evasive; misleading or devious Usually open and friendly, Reynaldo has been behaving in a curiously oblique manner lately.
Obsequious adj uhb see kwee uhs
overly submissive and eager to please The obsequious new associate made sure to compliment her supervisor's tie and agree with him on every issue.
Obstinate adj ahb stih nuht
stubborn; unyielding The obstinate child could not be made to eat any food that he perceived to be "yucky."
Obviate verb ahb vee ayt
to prevent; to make unnecessary The river was shallow enought to wade across at many point, which obviated the need for a bridge.
Occlude verb uh klood
to stop up; to prevent the passage of A shadow is thrown across the Earth's surface during a solar eclipse, when the light from the sun is occluded by the moon.
Officious adj uh fihsh uhs
too helpful; meddlesome While planning her wedding, Maya discovered just how officious her future mother-in-law could be.
Onerous adj oh neh ruhs
troublesome and oppressive; burdensome The assignment was so extensive and difficult to manage that it proved onerous to the team in charge or it.
Opaque adj oh payk
impossible to see through; preventing the passage of light. The heavy build-up of dirt and grime on the windows made them almost opaque.
Opine verb oh pien
to express an opinion During the graduate seminar, the student wasted no time opining that the author misinterpreted the historic event.
Opprobrium noun uh pro bree uhm
public disgrace After the scheme to defraud the elderly was made public, the treasurer resigned in utter opprobrium.
Orotund adj or uh tuhnd
pompous Some professors become quite orotund after receiving tenure.
Ossify verb ah sih fie
to change into bone; to become hardened or set in rigidly conventional pattern The forensics expert ascertained the body's age based on the degree to which the facial structure had ossified.
Ostensible adj ah stehn sih buhl
apparent The ostensible reason for his visit to her house was to borrow a book ,but he secretly just wanted to ask her to dinner.
Ostentation noun ah stehn tay shuhn
excessive showiness The ostentation of the Sun King's court is evident in the lavish decoration and luxuriousness of his palace at Versailles.
Overwrought adj oh vuhr rawt
agitated; overdone The lawyer's overwrought voice on the phone made her clients worry about the outcome of their case.
Palatial adj puh lay shuhl
relating to a palace; magnificent After living in a cramped studio apartment for years, Cara thought the modest one bedroom looked downright palatial.
Palliate verb paa lee ayt
to make less serious; to ease The alleged crime was so vicious that the defense lawyer could not palliate it for the jury.
Pallid adj paa lihd
lacking color or liveliness After having the flu for 3 days, Alison's skin was pallid.
Panache noun puh nahsh
flamboyance or dash in style and action; verve Leah has such panache when planning parties, even when they're last minute affairs.
Panegyric noun paan uh jeer ihk
elaborate praise; formal hymn of praise The director's panegyric for the donor who kept his charity going was heart-warming.
Panoply noun paa nuh plee
impressive array Her résumé indicates a panoply of skills and accomplishments.
Paradox noun par uh doks
a contradiction or dilemma It is a paradox that those most in need of medical attention are often those least able to obtain it.
Paragon noun par uh gohn
model of excellence or perfection He is the paragon of what a judge should be: honest, intelligent, hardworking and just.
Pare verb payr
to trim of excess; to reduce The cook's hands were sore after she pared hundreds of potatoes for the banquet.
Pariah noun puh rie uh
an outcast Once he betrayed those in his community, he was banished and lived the life of a pariah.
Parley noun par lee
discussion, usually between enemies The parley between the rival cheerleading teams resulted in neither side admitting that they copied each others dance moves.
Parry verb paar ree
to ward off or deflect, especially by a quick-witted answer Kari parried every question the army officers fired at her, much to their frustration.
Pastiche noun pah steesh
a piece of literature or music imitating other works The playwright's clever pastiche of the well-known children's story had the audience rolling in the aisles.
Pathogenic adj paa thoh jehn ihk
causing disease Bina's research on the origins of pathogenic microorganisms should help stop the spread of the disease.
Peccadillo noun pehk uh dih loh
a minor sin or offense Gabriel tends to harp on his brother's peccadilloes and never lets him live them down.
Pedant noun peh daant
someone who shows off learning The graduate instructor's tedious and excessive commentary on the subject soon gained her a reputation as a pedant.
Pejorative noun peh jaw ruh tihv
having bad connotations; disparaging The teacher scolded Mark for his unduly pejorative comments about his classmate's presentation.
Penury noun pehn yuh ree
an oppressive lack of resources (as money); severe poverty Once a famous actor, he eventually died in penury and anonymity.
Peregrinate verb peh ruh gruh nayt
to wander from place to place; to travel especially on foot. Shivani enjoyed peregrinating the expansive grounds of Central Park.
Perfidious adj puhr fih dee uhs
willing to betray someone's trust The actress's perfidious companion revealed all of her intimate secrets to the gossip columnist.
Perfunctory adj pur fuhnk tuhr ee
done in a routine way; indifferent The machine-like teller processed the transaction and gave the waiting customer a perfunctory smile.
Peripatetic adj peh ruh puh teh tihk
wandering from place to place, especially on foot. Eleana's peripatetic meanderings took her all over the countryside in the summer months.
Permeate verb puhr mee ayt
to penetrate The miraculous new cleaning fluid is able to permeate stains and dissolve them in minutes.
Perspicacious adj puhr spuh kay shuhs
shrewd, astute, or keen-witted Inspectore Poirot used his perspicacious mind to solve mysteries.
Pervade verb puhr vayd
to be present throughout; to permeate Four spices--cumin, turmeric, coriander, and cayenne--pervade almost every Indian dish, and give the cuisine its distinctive flavor.
Phalanx noun fay laanks
a compact or close-knit body of people, animals or things A phalanx of guards stood outside the prime minister's home day and night.
Philanthropy noun fihl aan throh pee
charity; a desire or effort to promote goodness The Metropolitan Museum of Art owes much of its collection to the philanthropy of private collectors who willed their estates. to the museum.
Philistine noun fihl uh steen
a person who is guided by materialism and is disdainful of intellectual or artistic values. The philistine never even glanced at the rare violin in his collection but instead kept an eye on its value and sold it at profit.
Phlegmatic adj flehg maa tihk
calm and unemotional in temperament Although the bomb could go off at any moment, the phlegmatic demolition expert remained calm and unafraid.
Pithy adj pih thee
profound or substantial yet concise, succinct, and to the point. Martha's pithy comments during the interview must have been impressive because she got the job.
Placate verb play cayt
to soothe or pacify The burglar tried to placate the snarling dog by referring to it as a "nice doggy" and offering it a treat.
Plastic adj plaa stihk
able to be molded, altered, or bent The new material was very plastic and could be formed into products of vastly different shape.
Plebeian adj plee bee uhn
crude or coarse; characteristic of commoners. After five weeks of rigorous studying, the graduate settled in for a weekend of plebeian socializing and television watching.
Plethora noun pleh thor uh
excess Assuming that more was better, the defendant offered the judge a plethora of excuses.
Plucky adj pluh kee
courageous; spunky The plucky young nurse dove into the foxhole, determined to help the wounded soldier at Versailles.
Polemic noun ph leh mihk
controversy; argument; verbal attack The candidate's polemic against his opponent was vicious and small-minded rather than convincing and well-reasoned.
Politic adj pah lih tihk
shrewd and practical in managing or dealing with things; diplomatic She was wise to curb her tongue and was able to explain her problem to the judge in a respectful and politic manner.
Polyglot noun pah lee glaht
a speaker or many languages Ling's extensive travels have helped her to become a true polyglot.
Posit verb pah siht
to assume as real or conceded; to propose as an explanation Before proving the math formula, we needed to posit that x and y were real numbers.
Potentate noun poh tehn tayt
a monarch or ruler with great power Alex was much kinder before he assumed the role of potentate.
Pragmatic adj praag maa tihk
practical, as opposed to idealistic While idealistic gamblers think they can get rich by frequenting casinos, pragmatic gamblers realize that the odds are heavily stacked against them.
Prattle noun praa tuhl
meaningless, foolish talk Her husband's mindless prattle drove Heidi insane; sometimes she wished he would just shut up.
Precipitate adj preh sih puh tayt
thrown violently or brought about abruptly; lacking deliberation. Theirs was a precipitate marriage--they had only known each other for two weeks before they wed.
Précis noun pray see
short summary of facts Farah wrote a précis of her thesis on the epic poem to share with the class.
Prescient adj preh shuhnt
having foresight Jonah's decision to sell the apartment seemed to be a prescient one, as its value soon dropped by half.
Prevaricate verb prih vaar uh cayt
to lie or deviate from the truth Rather than admit that he had overslept again, the employee prevaricated and claimed that heavy traffic had prevented him from arriving at work on time.
Pristine adj prih steen
fresh and clean; uncorrupted Since concerted measures had been taken to prevent looting, the archeological site was still pristine when researchers arrived.
Probity noun proh bih tee
complete honesty and integrity George Washington's reputation for probity is illustrated in the legend about his inability to lie after he chopped down the cherry tree.
Proclivity noun proh clih vuh tee
a natural inclination or predisposition Her childhood love of acting, singing and adoration indicated a proclivity for the theater in later life.
Prodigal adj prah dih guhl
lavish; wasteful The prodigal son quickly wasted all of his inheritance on a lavish lifestyle devoted to pleasure.
Profligate adj prah flih guht
corrupt; degenerate Some historians claim that it was the Roman's decadent, profligate behavior that led to the decline of the Roman Empire.
Proliferate verb proh lih fuhr ayt
to increase in number quickly Although he only kept two guinea pigs initially, they proliferated to such an extent that soon he had dozens.
Propitiate verb proh pih shee ayt
to conciliate; to appease Because their gods were angry and vengeful, the Vikings propitiated them with many sacrifices.
Propriety noun pruh prie uh tee
the quality of behaving in a proper manner; obeying rules and customs. The aristocracy maintained a high level of propriety, adhering to even the most minor social rules.
Prudence noun proo dehns
wisdom, caution, or restraint The college student exhibited prudence by obtaining practical experience along with her studies, which greatly strengthened her résumé.
Puerile adj pyoo ruhl
childish, immature, or silly Olivia's boyfriend's puerile antics are really annoying; sometimes he acts like a five year old!
Pugilism noun pyoo juhl ih suhm
boxing Pugilism had been defended as a positive outlet for aggressive impulses.
Pulchritude noun puhl kruh tood
beauty The mortals gazed in admiration at Venus, stunned by her incredible pulchritude.
Pungent adj puhn juhnt
sharp and irritating to the senses The smoke from the burning tires was extremely pungent.
Pusillanimous adj pyoo suh laanih muhs
cowardly; without courage The pusillanimous man would not enter the yard where the miniature poodle was barking.
Querulous adj kwehr yoo luhs
inclined to complain; irritable Curtis's complaint letter received prompt attention after the company labeled him a querulous potential troublemaker.
Quiescent adj kwie eh sihnt
motionless Many animals are quiescent over the winter months, minimizing activity in order to conserve energy.
Quixotic adj kwihk sah tihk
overly idealistic; impractical The practical Danuta was skeptical of her roommate's quixotic plans to build a roller coaster in their yard.
Quotidian adj kwo tih dee uhn
occurring daily; commonplace The sight of people singing on the street is so quotidian in New York that passersby rarely react to it.
Raconteur noun raa cahn tuhr
a witty, skillful storyteller The raconteur kept all the passengers entertained with his stories during the six-hour flight.
Rarefy verb rayr uh fie
to become thinner or sparser Since the atmosphere rarefies as altitudes increase, the air at the top of very tall mountains is too thin to breathe.
Redress noun rih drehs
relief from wrong or injury Seeking redress for the injuries she had received in the accident, Doreen sued the driver of the truck that had hit her.
Rejoinder noun rih joyn duhr
response Patrick tried desperately to think of a clever rejoinder to Marianna's joke, but he couldn't.
Repast noun rih paast
meal or mealtime Ravi prepared a delicious repast of chicken tikka and naan.
Replete adj rih pleet
abundantly supplied; complete The gigantic supermarket was replete with consumer products of every kind.
Repose noun rih pohz
relaxation; leisure After working hard every day in the busy city, Mike finds his repose on weekends playing golf with friends.
Repudiate verb ree pyoo dee ayt
to reject the validity of The old woman's claim that she was Russian royalty was repudiated by other known relatives.
Requite verb rih kwiet
to return or repay Thanks for offering to lend me $1,000, but I known I'll never be able to requite your generosity.
Restive adj reh stihv
impatient, uneasy, or restless The passengers became restive after having to wait in line for hours and began to shout complaints at the airline staff.
Reticent adj reh tih suhnt
silent; reserved Physically small and verbally reticent, Joan Didion often went unnoticed by those she was reporting on.
Rhetoric noun reh tuhr ihk
effective writing or speaking Lincoln's talent for rhetoric was evident in his beautifully expressed Gettysburg Address.
Ribald adj rih buhld
humorous in a vulgar way The court jester's ribald brand of humor delighted the rather uncouth king.
Rococo adj ruh koh koh
very highly ornamented; relating to an 18th century artistic style of elaborate ornamentation. The ornate furniture in the house reminded Tatiana of the rococo style.
Rustic adj ruh stihk
rural The rustic cabin was an ideal setting for a vacation in the country.
Sacrosanct adj saa kroh sannkt
extremely sacred; beyond criticism Many people considered Mother Teresa to be sacrosanct and would not tolerate any criticism of her.
Sagacious adj suh gay shuhs
shrewd; wise Owls have a reputation for being sagacious perhaps because of their big eyes, which resemble glasses.
Salient adj say lee uhnt
prominent; or notable significance His most salient characteristic is his tendency to dominate every conversation.
Salubrious adj suh loo bree uhs
healthful Run-down and sickly, Rita hoped that the fresh mountain air would have a salubrious effect on her health.
Sanguine adj saan gwuhn
ruddy; cheerfully optimistic A sanguine person thinks the glass is half full, whereas a depressed person thinks it's half empty.
Sardonic adj sahr dah nihk
cynical;scornfully mocking Isabella was offended by the sardonic way in which her date made fun of her ideas and opinions.
Satiate verb say shee ayt
to satisfy fully or overindulge Her desire for power was so great that nothing less than complete control of the country could satiate it.
Scintilla noun sihn tihl uh
trace amount This poison is so powerful that no more than a scintilla of it is needed to kill a horse.
Sedition noun sih dih shuhn
behavior that promotes rebellion or civil disorder against the state Li was arrested for sedition after he gave a fiery speech in the main square.
Sentient adj sehn shuhnt
aware; conscious; able to perceive The anesthetic didn't work, and I was still sentient when the dentist started drilling!
Seraphic adj seh rah fihk
angelic; sweet Selena's seraphic appearance belied her nasty bitter personality.
Sinecure noun sien ih kyoor
a well-paying job or office that requires little or no work The corrupt mayor made sure to set up all his relatives in sinecures within the administration.
Slake verb slayk
to calm down or moderate In order to slake his curiosity, Bryan finally took a tour backstage at the theater.
Sobriquet noun soh brih keht
nickname One of Ronald Reagan's sobriquets was "The Gipper."
Solecism noun sah lih sihz uhm
grammatical mistake "I ain't going with you," she said, obviously unaware of her solecism.
Soporific adj sahp uhr ihf ihk
causing sleep or lethargy The movie proved to be so soporific that soon loud snores were heard throughout the cinema.
Spartan adj spahr tihn
highly self-disciplined; frugal; austere When he was in training, the athlete preferred to live in a spartan room, so he could shut out all distractions.
Specious adj spee shuhs
deceptively attractive; seemingly plausible but fallacious The student's specious excuse for being late sounded legitimate, but was proved otherwise when his teacher called his home.
Sportive adj spohr tihv
frolicsome; playful The lakeside vacation meant more sportive opportunities for the kids than the wine tour through France.
Stasis noun stay sihs
a state of static balance or equilibrium; stagnation The rusty, ivy-covered World War II tank had obviously been in stasis for years.
Stentorian adj stehn tohr ee yehn
extremely loud Cullen couldn't hear her speaking over the stentorian din of the game on TV.
Stigma noun stihg mah
a mark of shame or discredit In The Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynne was requiredd to wear the letter A on her clothes as a public stigma for her adultery.
Stolid adj stah lihd
unemotional; lacking sensitivity The prisoner appeared stolid and unaffected by the judge's harsh sentence.
Stratagem noun straa tuh juhm
trick designed to deceive an enemy The Trojan Horse must be one ofthe most successful military stratagems used in all of history.
Sublime adj suh bliem
lofty or grand The music was so sublime that it transformed the rude surroundings into a special place.
Sully verb suh lee
to tarnish; to taint With the help of a public relations firm, he was able to restore his sullied reputation.
Supplant verb suh plaant
to replace (another) by force; to take the place of The new and inexperienced basketball coach was brought in to supplant the former one.
Surfeit noun suhr fiht
excessive amount Because of the surfeit of pigs, pork prices have never been lower.
Surly adj suhr lee
rude and bad-tempered When asked to clean her room, the surly daughter slammed the door in her mother's face.
Sybarite noun sih buh riet
a person devoted to pleasure and luxury A confirmed sybarite, the wife of the company owner nearly fainted at the idea of having to drink a cheap bottle of wine.
Sycophant noun sih kuh fuhnt
a self-serving flatterer; a yes-man Dreading criticism, the actor surrounded himself with admirers and sycophants.
Symbiosis noun sihm bee oh sihs
cooperation; mutual helpfulness The rhino and the tick-eating brid live in symbiosis; the rhino gives the bird food in the form of ticks, and the bird rids the rhino of parasites.
Syncopation noun sihn cuh pay shun
temporary irregularity in musical rhythm A jazz enthusiast will appreciate the use of syncopation in that musical genre.
Tacit adj taa siht
done without using words Although not a word was said, everyone in the room knew that a tacit agreement had been made about what course of action to take.
Taciturn adj taa sih tuhrn
silent; not talkative The clerk's taciturn nature earned him the nickname Silent Bob.
Talon noun taa luhn
claw of an animal, especially a bird of prey A vulture holds its prey in its talons while it dismembers it with its beak.
Tangential adj taan jehn shuhl
digressing; diverting Your argument is interesting, but it's tangential to the matter at hand, so I suggest we get back to the point.
Tawdry adj taw dree
gaudy, cheap, or showy The performer changed into her tawdry, spangled costume and stepped out onto the stage to do her show.
Terrestrial adj tuh reh stree uhl
earthly; down-to-earth; commonplace Many "extraterrestrial" objects turn out to be terrestrial in origin, as when flying saucers turn out to be normal airplanes.
Tirade noun tie rayd
a long, harsh speech or verbal attack Observers were shocked at the manager's tirade over such a minor mistake.
Toady noun toh dee
one who flatters in the hope of gaining favors The king was surrounded by toadies who rushed to agree with whatever outrageous thing he said.
Tome noun tohm
a book, usually a large and academic one The teacher was forced to refer to various tomes to find the answer to the advanced student's question.
Torpor noun tohr puhr
extreme mental and physical sluggishness After surgery, the patient's torpor lasted several hours until the anesthesia wore off.
Transitory adj trahn sih tohr ee
temporary; lasting a brief time The reporter's homes were transitory; she stayed in one place only long enough to cover the current story.
Trenchant adj trehn chuhnt
acute, sharp, or incisive; forceful; effective Tyrone's trenchant observations in class made him the professor's favorite student.
Turgid adj tuhr jihd
swollen as from a fluid; bloated In the process of osmosis, water passes through the walls of turgid cells, ensuring that they never contain too much water.
Tyro noun tie roh
beginner; novice As a freshman on the rowing team, Gretchen was considered a tyro.
Umbrage noun uhm brihj
Harry Potter took umbrage at Professor Umbridge's decision to take his broom.
Unconscionable adj uhn kahn shuhn uh buhl
unscrupulous; shockingly unfair or unjust It is unconscionable that the man that shot Trayvon Martin had not been arrested.
Unequivocal adj uhn ee kwih vi kuhl
absolute; certain The jury's verdict was unequivocal; the organized crime boss would be locked up for life.
Upbraid verb uhp brayd
to scold sharply The teacher upbraided the student for scrawling graffiti all over the walls of the school.
Usury noun yoo zhuh ree
the practice of lending money at exorbitant rates The moneylender was convicted of usury when it was discovered that he charged 50 percent interest on all his loans.
Vacillate verb VAA sihl ayt
to physically sway; to be indecisive. The customer held up the line as he vacillated between ordering chocolate-chip or rocky-road ice cream.
Variegated adj VAAR ee uh GAYT ehd
varied; marked with different colors The variegated foliage of the jungle allows it to support thousands of different animal species.
Venerable adj VEH nehr uh buhl
respected because of age All of the villagers sought the venerable old woman's advice whenever they had a problem.
Venerate verb VEHN uhr ayt
to respect deeply In a traditional Confucian society, the young venerate their elders, deferring to the elders' wisdom and experience.
Veracity noun vuhr AA sih tee
filled with truth and accuracy She had a reputation for veracity, so everyone trusted her description of events.
Verbose adj vuhr BOHS
wordy The professor's answer was so verbose that his student forgot what the original question had been.
Verdant adj VUHR duhnt
green with vegetation; inexperienced He wandered deep into the verdant woods in search of mushrooms and other edible flora.
Vernal adj vuhr nuhl
related to spring; fresh Bea basked in the balmy vernal breezes, happy that winter was coming to an end.
Vestige noun VEH stihj
a trace; a remnant Vestiges of the former tenant still remained in the apartment, though he hadn't lived there for years.
Vex verb (vehks)
to annoy, irritate, puzzle or confuse The old man who loved his peace and quiet was vexed by his neighbor's loud music.
Vicissitude noun vih SIH sih tood
a change or variation Investors must be prepared for vicissitudes of the stock market.
Vim noun vihm
vitality and energy The vim with which she worked so early in the day explained why she was so productive.
Viscous adj VIH skuhs
thick and adhesive, like a slow-flowing fluid Most viscous liquids, like oil or honey, become even thicker as they are cooled down.
Vituperate verb vih TOO puhr ayt
to abuse verbally; to berate Vituperating someone is never a constructive way to effect change.
Volatile adj VAH luh tuhl
easily aroused or changeable; lively or explosive His volatile personality made it difficult to predict his reaction to anything.
Voluble adj VAHL yuh buhl
talkative; speaking easily; glib The voluble man and his reserved wife prove the old saying that opposites attract.
Wan adj wahn
sickly pale The sick child had a wan face, in contrast to her rosy-cheeked sister.
Wanton adj WAHN tuhn
undisciplined; unrestrained; reckless The townspeople were outraged by the wanton display of disrespect when they discovered the statue of the town founder covered in graffiti.
Waver verb WAY vuhr
to fluctuate between choices If you waver too long before making a decision about which testing site to register for, you may not get your first choice.
Whimsical adj WIHM sih cuhl
lightly acting in a fanciful or capricious manner; unpredictable The ballet was whimsical, delighting the children with its imaginative characters and unpredictable sets.
Wily adj WIE lee
clever; deceptive Yet again, the wily coyote managed to elude the ranchers who wanted to capture it.
Winsome adj WIHN suhm
charming; happily engaging Lenore gave the doorman a winsome smile, and he let her pass to the front of the line.
Wizened adj WIH zuhnd
shriveled; withered; wrinkled The wizened old man was told that the plastic surgery necessary to make him look young again would cost most money than he could imagine.
Wraith noun rayth
a ghost or specter; a ghost of a living person seen just before his or her death Gideon thought he saw a wraith one night as he sat vigil outside his great uncle's bedroom door.
Xenophobia noun zee nuh FOH bee uh
a fear or hatred of foreigners or strangers Countries in which xenophobia is prevalent often have more restrictive immigration policies than countries that are more open to foreign influences.
Yoke verb yohk
to join together As soon as the farmer had yoked his oxen together, he began to plow the fields.
Zeal noun zeehl
passion; excitement She brought her typical zeal to the project, sparking enthusiasm in the other team members.
Zealot noun ZEH luht
someone passionately devoted to a cause The religious zealot had no time for those who failed to share his strong beliefs.
Zenith noun ZEE nihth
the point of culmination; peak The diva considered her appearance at the Metropolitan Opera to be the zenith of her career.
Zephyr noun ZEH fuhr
a gentle breeze; something airy or unsubstantial The zephyr from the ocean made the intense heat on the beach bearable for the sunbathers.
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