1 shorten (a book, movie, speech, or other text) without losing the sense : the cassettes have been abridged from the original stories | [as adj. ] ( abridged) an abridged text of his speech. 2 Law curtail (rights or privileges) : even the right to free speech can be abridged.
difficult to understand; obscure : an abstruse philosophical inquiry
1) able to be reached or entered 2) easily understood 3) easily obtained or used (object) 4) friendly or easy to talk to/approachable (person)
enthusiastic and public praise the conference was acclaimed as a considerable success | [ trans. ] he was acclaimed a great painter.
excessive admiration or praise he found it difficult to cope with the adulation of the fans.
obedient or attentive to an excessive or servile degree : they were served by obsequious waiters.
one's opponent in a contest, conflict, or dispute : Davis beat his old adversary in the quarterfinals.
difficulties; misfortune : resilience in the face of adversity | she overcame many adversities.
able to recoil or spring back into shape after bending, stretching, or being compressed. • (of a person or animal) able to withstand or recover quickly from difficult conditions : the fish are resilient to most infections.
a person who publicly supports or recommends a particular cause or policy : he was an untiring advocate of economic reform. • a person who pleads on someone else's behalf : care managers can become advocates for their clients. • a pleader in a court of law; a lawyer : Marshall was a skilled advocate but a mediocre judge.
concerned with beauty or the appreciation of beauty : the pictures give great aesthetic pleasure. • giving or designed to give pleasure through beauty; of pleasing appearance.
friendly, good-natured, or easy to talk to : an affable and agreeable companion.
the action or process of affirming or being affirmed : an affirmation of basic human values | he nodded in affirmation. • Law a formal declaration by a person who declines to take an oath for reasons of conscience.
1) state as a fact/assert strongly and publicly 2)declare one's support for; uphold/defend 3) law that accepts the validity of something
make (suffering, deficiency, or a problem) less severe : he couldn't prevent her pain, only alleviate it | measures to alleviate unemployment.
not friendly or forthcoming; cool and distant : they were courteous but faintly aloof | an aloof and somewhat austere figure. • conspicuously uninvolved and uninterested, typically through distaste : he stayed aloof from the bickering.
selfless concern for the well-being of others : some may choose to work with vulnerable elderly people out of altruism.
open to more than one interpretation; having a double meaning : the question is rather ambiguous | ambiguous phrases. See note at doubtful . • unclear or inexact because a choice between alternatives has not been made : this whole society is morally ambiguous | the election result was ambiguous.
having mixed feelings or contradictory ideas about something or someone : some loved her, some hated her, few were ambivalent about her | an ambivalent attitude to terrorism.
comparable in certain respects, typically in a way that makes clearer the nature of the things compared : they saw the relationship between a ruler and his subjects as analogous to that of father and children.
a person who believes in or tries to bring about anarchy.
a state of disorder due to absence or nonrecognition of authority : he must ensure public order in a country threatened with anarchy. • absence of government and absolute freedom of the individual, regarded as a political ideal.
a short recount/story
a medicine taken or given to counteract a particular poison. • something that counteracts or neutralizes an unpleasant feeling or situation : laughter is a good antidote to stress.
1 anxiety or fear that something bad or unpleasant will happen : he felt sick with apprehension | she had some apprehensions about the filming. 2 understanding; grasp : the pure apprehension of the work of art. 3 the action of arresting someone : they acted with intent to prevent lawful apprehension.
1) based on random choice or personal whim, rather than any reason or system : his mealtimes were entirely arbitrary.
2) unrestricted authority
direct one's hopes or ambitions toward achieving something : we never thought that we might aspire to those heights | [with infinitive ] other people will aspire to be like you | [as adj. ] ( aspiring) an aspiring artist.
having or showing an ability to accurately assess situations or people and turn this to one’s advantage : an astute businessman.
1) regard something as being caused by (someone or something) 2) Ascribe a work or remark to (the building was attributed to Frank Llyod Wright) 3) Regard a quality or feature as characteristic of or possessed by (someone or something)
Make something greater by adding to it; increase: he augmented his summer income by painting houses
Favoring or enforcing strict obedience to authority Showing a lack of concern for the wishes or opinions of others
1) Having self government 2) Acting independently or having the freedom to do so
A firm dislike he had a deep-seated aversion to most forms of exercise.
a reluctance or lack of enthusiasm : Lucy felt a strong disinclination to talk about her engagement.
1 (of an appearance) fail to give a true notion or impression of (something); disguise or contradict : his lively alert manner belied his years. 2 fail to fulfill or justify (a claim or expectation); betray : the notebooks belie Darwin's later recollection.
well meaning and kindly : a benevolent smile. • (of an organization) serving a charitable rather than a profit-making purpose : a benevolent fund.
a person who boasts about achievements or possessions : [as adj. ] braggart men.
1) concise and exact use of words in writing or speech. 2) shortness of time : the brevity of human life.
verb [ trans. ] (often cajole someone into doing something) persuade someone to do something by sustained coaxing or flattery : he hoped to cajole her into selling the house | [ intrans. ] she pleaded and cajoled as she tried to win his support.
1) Persuade someone gradually or by flattery : the trainees were coaxed into doing hard, boring work 2) Use persuasion to obtain something from : we coaxed money out of my father 3) manipulate carefully into a particular shape or position : her hair had been coaxed into ringlets
open and honest, frankness
severely critical of others : modest, charitable in his judgments, never censorious, Jim carried tolerance almost too far.
given to sudden and unaccountable changes of mood or behavior : a capricious and often brutal administration | a capricious climate.
express severe disapproval of (someone or something), typically in a formal statement : a judge was censured in 1983 for a variety of types of injudicious conduct.
persuade (an unwilling person) to do something by using force or threats : they were coerced into silence. • obtain (something) by such means : their confessions were allegedly coerced by torture.
recall and show respect for (someone or something) in a ceremony : a wreath-laying ceremony to commemorate the war dead. • serve as a memorial to : a stone commemorating a boy who died at sea. • mark (a significant event) : the City of Boston commemorated the 400th anniversary of the discovery of America.
1) produce something by assembling
2) collect information in ordert o produce something
a feeling of smug or uncritical satisfaction with oneself or one's achievements
the figures are better, but there are no grounds for complacency.
1) The action or fact of complying with a wish or command : they must secure each other's cooperation or compliance
the state or feeling of being calm and i control of oneself
1 complete; including all or nearly all elements or aspects of something :a comprehensive list of sources.• of large content or scope; wide-ranging: a comprehensive collection of photographs.
1) admit something is true or valid after first denying or resisting it : I had to concede that i'd overreacted; the principle now seems to have been conceded
2) surrender or yield something that one possesses : to concede all the territory he'd won
3) fail to prevent the scoring of a goal or point by an opponent
Intended or likely to placate or pacify: a conciliatory approach
make (someone) less angry or hostile : they attempted to placate the students with promises
quell the anger, agitation, or excitement of : he had to pacify angry spectators.• bring peaceto (a country or warring factions), esp. by the use or threatened use ofmilitary force : the general pacified northern Italy.
put an end to
giving a lot of information clearly and in a few words; brief but comprehensive : a concise account of the country'shistory
1) be of the same opinion/to agree: the authors concurred with the majority
2) to happen/occur at the same time
in tests, cytogenetic determination has been found to concur with enzymatic determination.
acceptandallow (behavior that is considered morally wrong oroffensive) tocontinue: thecollegecannot condone any behavior that involves illicit drugs.• approve or sanction (something), esp. withreluctance: the practice is not officially condoned by any airline.
1) Slow and clumsy because of great weight : her footsteps were heavy and ponderous
2) dull, laborious, or excessively solemn : Liz could hardly restrain herself from finishing all his ponderous sentences
1) requiring considerable effort and time: years of laborious training| theworkisveryslowandlaborious.
2) (esp. of speech or writing style) showing obvious signs of effort and lacking in fluency : his slow, laboriousstyle.
difficult to carry or move because of its size, shape, or weight : the first mechanical clocks were large and unwieldy.
• (of a system or bureaucracy) too big or badly organized to function efficiently.
not feeling or showing emotion : impassive passersby ignore theperformers.
1) Fond of having heated arguments : a congenial hangout for disputatious academics
2) motivated by or causing strong opinions : disputatious council meetings
not self-indulgent, esp. when eating and drinking: “We only had a bottle.” “Very abstemious of you.”
An extensive fire that destroys a great deal of land or property
1) Cause surprise or confusion by acting against their expectations : the inflation figure confounded economic analysts
2) Prove (a theory, expectation, or prediction) wrong : the rise in prices confounded expectations
3) Defeat (a plan, aim or hope) : we will confound these tactics by the pressure groups
4) (often be confounded with) mix up (Something with something else)
A general agreement : a consensus of opinion among judges
a limitation or restriction: the availability of water is the main constraint on food production | time constraints make it impossible to do everything.• stiffness of mannerandinhibitioninrelations between people : they would be able to talk without constraint.
1) Contend with/against - struggle to surmount a difficulty or danger : she had to contend with his uncertain temper
2) Contend for - engage in a competition or campaign in order to win or achieve something : the local team should contend for a division championship
3) assert something as a position in an argument: he contends that the judge was wrong
causing or likely to cause an argument; controversial : a contentious issue.• involving heated argument: the socioeconomic plan had been the subject of contentious debate.
1) decrease in size, number, or range : glass contracts as it cools.
2) enter into a formal and legally binding agreement : the local authority will contract with a wide range of agencies to provide services.
1) a formal declarationthat someone is guilty of a criminal offense: she had a previous conviction for a similar offense.
2) a firmly held belief or opinion: his conviction that the death was no accident| she takes pride in stating her political convictions.
warm and friendly : the atmosphere was cordial andrelaxed.
• strongly felt : I earned his cordial loathing.
confirm or give support to (a statement, theory, or finding) : the witness had corroborated the boy's account of the attack.
a tendency to be too ready to believe that something is real ortrue.
aprincipleorstandard by which something may be judged or decided :the launch came too close to violating safety criteria.
hasty and therefore not thoroughor detailed : a cursory glance at thefigures.
reduce in extent or quantity; impose a restriction on : civil liberties were further curtailed.
Behavior in keeping with good taste and propriety : you exhibit remarkable modesty and decorum
The state or quality of conforming to conventionally accepted standards of behaviors or morals : he always behaved with the utmost propriety
-the condition of being right, appropriate, or fitting
they questioned the propriety of certain investments made by the council.
he alwaysbehavedwith the utmostpropriety.
Humble submission and respect : he addressed her with the deference due to age
The condition or process of degrading or being degraded : a trail of human misery and degradation
1) Treat or regard someone with contempt or disrespect
2) lower the character or quality of something
3) break down or deteriorate chemically
1) describe or portray (something) precisely : the law should delineate and prohibit behavior that is socially abhorrent.
2) Indicate the exact position of (a border or boundary)
inspiring disgust and loathing: repugnant : racial discrimination was abhorrent to us all
Publicly declare to be wrong or evil : the Assembly denounced the use of violence
feel or express strong disapprovalof (something) : we deplore this act of violence.
Wicked or morally corrupt
1) Express disapproval of : he sniffed in a deprecating way
2) Another term for depreciate : he deprecates the value of children's television
1) Diminishing in value over a period of time
2) disparage or belittle something
Regard or represent as being of little worth : he never missed an opportunity to disparage his competitors ; disparaging remarks
express contempt for; ridicule : critics derided the proposals as clumsy attempts to find a solution.
in low spirits from loss of hope or courage.
a thing that discourages orisintended to discourage someone from doing something.
tending to cause harm : releasing the documents would be detrimental tonational security | moving her could have a detrimental effect on her health.
1 showing a skillful use of underhanded tactics to achieve goals : he's as devious as a politician needs to be | they have devious ways of making money 2) (of a route or journey) longer and less direct than the most straightforward way : they arrived at the town by a devious route
spread or cause to spread over a wide area or among a large number of people
leave the main subject temporarily in speech or writing: Ihave digressed a little from my original plan.
careful and persistent work or effort
a reductioninthe size, extent, or importance of something : a permanentdiminution in value| thediseaseshows no signs of diminution.
having or showing good judgment : the restaurant attracts discerning customers.
1) disagreeing or incongruous : the principle of meritocracy is discordant with claims of inherited worth
2) characterized by quarreling and conflict : a study of children in discordant homes
3) harsh and jarring/lack of harmony: bombs, guns, and engines mingled in discordant sound
not in harmony or keeping with the surroundings or other aspects of something: the duffel coatlooked incongruous with the black dress she wore underneath.
(of a person) having or showing refined taste or good judgment: he became a discriminating collector and patron of the arts.
a lack of compatibility or similarity between two or more facts : there's a discrepancy between your account and his.
the feeling that someone or something is unworthy of one's consideration or respect; contempt : herupperlip curled in disdain | an aristocratic disdain for manual labor.
a great difference : economic disparities betweendifferent regions of the country| the great disparity of weight between the sun and the planets.
to spread or disperse (something, esp. information) widely : health authorities should foster good practice by disseminating information
hold or express opinions that are at variance with those previously, commonly, or officially expressed
Tending to be different or develop in different directions : divergent interpretations
abelief or set of beliefs held and taught by a church, political party, or other group : the doctrine of predestination.• a stated principle of governmentpolicy, mainly in foreign or military affairs : the Monroe Doctrine.
inclined to lay down principles as incontrovertibly true: he gives his opinion without trying to be dogmatic.
not able to be denied or disputed : incontrovertible proof
1 hesitating or doubting : Alex looked dubious, but complied.
2 not to berelied upon; suspect : extremely dubious assumptions.
deceitful, double dealing
(of a person) deceiving or misleading others, typically on a habitual basis.• intended to deceive or mislead : suchanact would have been deceitful and irresponsible.
deriving ideas, style, or taste from a broad and diverse range of sources : her musical tastes are eclectic.
the practice of talking and thinking about oneself excessively because of an undue sense of self-importance : in his arrogance and egotism, he underestimated Jill.
make (someone) ecstatically happy : I felt elated at beating Dennis.
fluentor persuasive speaking or writing : a preacher of great power and eloquence.
difficult to find, catch, orachieve: success will become ever more elusive.• difficult to remember or recall: theelusive thought he had had momentsbefore.
make (something) more attractive by the addition of decorative details or features : blue silk embellished with golden embroidery.
make (a statement or story) more interesting or entertaining by adding extra details, esp. ones that are not true : she had real difficulty telling the truth because she liked to embellish things.
match or surpass (a person or achievement), typicallyby imitation : lesser men trying to emulate his greatness.• imitate: hers is not a hairstyle I wish to emulate.
declare one's public approval or support of : the report was endorsed by the college.
intensify, increase, or further improve the quality, value, or extent of: his refusal does nothing to enhancehis reputation | computer techniques thatenhanceimages.
aperson or thing that is mysterious, puzzling, or difficult tounderstand.• a riddle or paradox.
the state or feeling of being actively opposed or hostile to someone or something : enmity between Protestants and Catholics | family feuds and enmities.
open to more than one interpretation; ambiguous : the equivocal nature of her remarks.• uncertain or questionable in nature: the results of the investigation were equivocal.
wrong; incorrect : employers sometimes make erroneous assumptions.
having or showing great knowledge orlearning.
intended for or likely to be understood by only a small numberofpeoplewithaspecializedknowledge or interest : esoteric philosophicaldebates.
a speech or piece of writing that praises someone or something highly, typically someone whohas just died : his good friend delivered a brief eulogy.
amildorindirectword or expressionsubstitutedfor one considered to be too harsh or bluntwhenreferring to something unpleasant or embarrassing
a derogatory or unpleasant term used instead of a pleasant orneutralone, such as “loony bin” for “mental hospital.”
make (a problem, bad situation, or negative feeling) worse : the forest fire was exacerbated by the lack of rain.
examining, including, or considering all elements or aspects; fully comprehensive : she has undergone exhaustive tests since becoming ill.
make someone feel very happy, animated or elated
the children were exhilarated by a sense of purpose
absolve someone from blame for a fault or wrongdoing
the court-martial exonerated me
they should exonerate these men from this crime
set or declare someone free from blame, guilt or responsibility
the pardon absolved them of any crimes
convenient and practical, although possibly improper or immoral
either side could break the agreement if it were expedient to doso.
• (of an action) suitable or appropriate: holding a public inquiry into the scheme was not
make (an action or process) happen sooner or be accomplished more quickly : he promised to expedite economic reforms
stated clearly and in detail, leaving no room for confusion or doubt : the speaker's intentions were notmadeexplicit.
• (of a person) stating something in such a way : let me be explicit.
make full use of and derive benefit from (a resource) : 500 companies sprang up to exploit this new technology.
• use (a situation or person) in an unfairorselfishway : the company was exploiting a legal loophole |accusations that he exploited a wealthy patient.
• benefit unfairly from the work of (someone), typically by overworking or underpaying them :making money does not always mean exploiting others.
praise enthusiastically : he extolled the virtues of the Russian peoples.
irrelevant or unrelated to the subject being dealt with: oneis obliged to wade through many pages of extraneous material.
free (someone or something) from a constraint or difficulty : he was trying to extricate himselffrom official duties.
filledwith or characterizedby a lively energy and excitement: giddily exuberant crowds| flamboyant and exuberant architectural invention.
make (an action or process) easy or easier : schools were located on the same campus to facilitate the sharing of resources.
Fallacious / Fallacy
amistaken belief, esp. one based on unsound argument: the notionthat the camera never lies is afallacy.
• faulty reasoning; misleading or unsound argument: the potential for fallacy which lies behind the notion of self-esteem.
very attentive to and concerned about accuracy and detail: hechooses his words with fastidiouscare.
• very concerned about matters of cleanliness: the child seemed fastidious about getting herfingers sticky or dirty.
possibleto doeasily or conveniently: it is not feasibleto putmostfindsfrom excavations on public display.
• informal likely; probable : the most feasible explanation.
intense and passionate feeling: he talked with all the fervor of a new convert.
(of something considered wrong or immoral) conspicuously or obviously offensive : hisflagrant bad taste | a flagrant violation of the law.
nothaving any seriouspurpose or value: rules to stop frivolouslawsuits.
• (of a person) carefree andnot serious.
sparing or economical with regard to money or food :he led a remarkably frugal existence
attempting to avoid notice orattention, typically because ofguilt or a beliefthatdiscovery would lead to trouble; secretive: they spent a furtiveday together | he stole a furtive glance at her.
excessively talkative, esp. on trivial matters : Polonius is portrayed as a foolish, garrulous old man.
1 an excessivelygreedy eater.
• a person who is excessively fond of or always eager for something : a glutton for adventure.
give (someone) pleasure or satisfaction : I was gratified to see the coverage in May's issue
• indulge or satisfy (a desire) : not all the sexual impulses can be gratified.
2 given or done free of charge: solicitors provide a form of gratuitous legal advice.
2 extreme or alarmingimportance; seriousness : crimes of the utmost gravity.
• seriousness orsolemnity of manner : has thepoet ever spoken with greater eloquence or gravity?
(of a person) fond of company; sociable : he was a popular and gregarious man.
sly or cunning intelligence: he used all his guile and guts to free himself from the muddle he was in.
a large basket with a lid used for laundry: a laundry hamper.
• a basket with a carrying handle and a hinged lid, used for food, cutlery, and plates on a picnic : a picnic hamper.
robust; capable of enduring difficult conditions.
arrogantly superioranddisdainful: a look of haughty disdain| a haughty aristocrat.
thepursuit of pleasure; sensual self-indulgence.
• opinion profoundlyat odds with what is generally accepted
a person who indulges in hypocrisy.
the practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one's own behavior does not conform; pretense.
1 an attempt to make something that is not the case appeartrue: hisangerismaskedby a pretense thatallis well
2 ( pretense to) a claim, esp. a false or ambitious one :he was quick to disclaim any pretense to superiority.
of, based on, or serving as a hypothesis : thatoption is merelyhypotheticalatthisjuncture.
a mode of behavior or way of thought peculiar to an individual : one of hislittleidiosyncrasieswas always preferring to be in the carfirst.
• a distinctive or peculiar feature or characteristicofa place or thing : the idiosyncrasies of the prisonsystem.
based on illusion; not real : she knew the safety of her room was illusory
unchanging over time or unable to be changed : an immutable fact.
weaken or damage (esp. ahumanfaculty or function) :drug use that impairs job performance.
(of behavior, performance, or appearance) in accordance with the highest standards of propriety; faultless : a man of impeccable character.
delay or prevent (someone or something) by obstructing them; hinder : the sap causes swellingthat can impede breathing.
(of an argument or statement) notseemingreasonable or probable; failing to convince: this is a blatantly implausible claim.
put (a decision, plan, agreement, etc.) into effect : the regulations implement a 1954 treaty.
not showing due respect for another person
1 not showing proper respect; rude : an impertinent question.
2 formal not pertinent to a particular matter; irrelevant: talk of “rhetoric” and “strategy” is impertinent to this process.
notresultingfromorachievedthrough deliberate planning: manyFrench leaders cannotacceptat all that American dominance is inadvertent
.• (of a mistake) made throughlack of care.
silly; stupid : don't constantly badger people with inane questions.
(of a person or mentalprocess) intelligently analytical and clear-thinking: she was an incisivecritic.
• (of an account) accurate and sharply focused: the songs offer incisive pictures of American ways.
encourageorstir up (violentorunlawful behavior) : the offense of inciting racial hatred.
• urge or persuade (someone) to act in aviolentorunlawful way : he incited loyal subjectsto rebellion.
including or covering all the services, facilities, or items normally expected or required : the price is inclusive, with few incidentals.
not important or significant: theytalked about inconsequential things.
(of a person or their tendencies) not able to be corrected, improved, or reformed: she's an incorrigible flirt.
formally accuse or charge (someone) with a serious crime : his former manager wasindicted for fraud.
1 having no particular interest or sympathy; unconcerned : they all seemed indifferent ratherthanangry| most workers were indifferent to foreign affairs.
2 neither good nor bad; mediocre : attempts to distinguishbetween good, bad, and indifferent work.
• notespecially good; fairly bad : a pair of indifferent watercolors.
done at random or without careful judgment : terrorist gunmen engaged in indiscriminatekilling.
• (of a person) not using or exercisingdiscrimination: she was indiscriminate withheraffections.
1 succeed in persuadingor influencing (someone) to do something: thepicketsinducedmanyworkers to stay away.
2 bring about or give rise to: none of thesemeasures induced a change ofpolicy.
lacking the ability or strength to move: she lay inert in her bed.
• lacking vigor : an inert political system.
clever, original, and inventive : he was ingenious enough to overcome thelimited budget.
existingin something as a permanent, essential, or characteristicattribute: anyform of mountaineering has its inherent danger
inborn; natural : her innatecapacityfororganization
not harmful or offensive : it wasaninnocuousquestion.
theactionor process ofinnovating.• a new method, idea, product, etc. : technological innovations designed to save energy.
lacking flavor : mugs of insipid coffee.
• lacking vigor or interest : many artists continued to churn out insipid, shallow works.
bring about or initiate (an action or event) : they instigated a reign of terror| instigating legal proceedings.
fearless; adventurous (often used for rhetorical or humorous effect) : our intrepid reporter
flood : the islands may be the first to be inundated as sea levels rise.
• figurative overwhelm (someone) with things or peopleto be dealt with: we've been inundated withcomplaints from listeners.
a passionate expression of grief or sorrow : his mother's night-long laments for his father | a song full of lament and sorrow.
• an expression of regret or disappointment; a complaint: there were constant laments about the conditions of employment.
praise (aperson or theirachievements) highly, esp. in a public context : the obituary lauded him as a greatstatesmanandsoldier
affected by lethargy; sluggish and apathetic : I felt tired and a little lethargic.
a lack of energy and enthusiasm : periods of weakness and lethargy
humor or frivolity, esp. the treatment of a serious matter with humor or in a manner lacking due respect : as an attempt to introduce a noteof levity, the words were a disastrous flop.
1 of imposing height : the elegant square was shaded by lofty palms.
• of a noble or exaltednature: an extraordinary mixture of harsh realityand lofty ideals.
• proud, aloof, or self-important: lofty intellectual disdain.
(of a person or their manner) lacking energy or enthusiasm : bouts of listless depression.
characterized by malice; intending or intended to do harm : malicious destruction of property.
impair the appearance of; disfigure: no wrinkles marred her face.
• impair the quality of; spoil: violence marred a number of New Year celebrations.
the intention or desire to do evil; ill will : I bear no malice toward anybody.
1) Tendency to consider material possessions and physical comfort as more important than spiritual values
2) Doctrine that nothing exists except matter and its movements and modifications.
Done according to a systematic or established form of procedure : a methodical approach to the evaluation of computer systems.
showing great attention to detail; very careful andprecise : he had always been so meticulous about his appearance.
of, relating to, orcharacteristic of a miser: his miserly great-uncle proved to be worth nearly $1 million.
• (of a quantity) pitiably small orinadequate: last year's miserly growthinsales.
A person who hoards wealth and spends as little money as possible.
Make less severe, serious, or painful : he wanted to mitigate misery in the world.
sullen and ill tempered
1) lacking interest or excitement; dull : seeking a way out of his mundane, humdrum existence
2) of this earthly world rather than a heavenly or spiritual one: according to the Shinto doctrine, spirits of the dead can act upon the mundane world.
1 nullify; makeineffective: alcohol negates the effects of the drug.
2 deny the existence of (something) : negating the political nature of education.
make legally null and void; invalidate : judgeswere unwilling to nullify government decisions.
• make of no use or value; cancel out : insulin can block therelease of the hormone and thereby nullify the effects of training.
1 not valid or legally binding : the contract was void.
2 (of speech or action) ineffectual; useless : all the stratagemsyou've worked out are rendered void.
3 completely empty: void spacessurround the tanks.; ( void of)freefrom; lacking : what were once the masterpieces of literature are now void of meaning.
(of a person or manner) feeling or appearing casually calm and relaxed; not displaying anxiety, interest, or enthusiasm : she gave a nonchalant shrug.
famous or well known, typically for some bad quality or deed : Los Angeles is notorious for its smog | he was a notorious drinker and womanizer.
1 thequality of being new, original, or unusual : the novelty of being a married woman wore off.
• a new or unfamiliar thing or experience: in 1914 air travel was still a novelty.
• [as adj. ] denoting somethingintended to be amusing as a result of its new or unusual quality : a novelty teapot.
2 a small and inexpensive toy or ornament: he bought chocolate novelties to decorate the Christmas tree.
care for and encourage the growth or development of :figurative my father nurtured my love of art.
• cherish (a hope, belief, or ambition) : foralong time she had nurtured the dream of buying a shop.
a raw material or primary agricultural product that can be bought and sold, such as copper or coffee.
• a useful or valuable thing, such as water or time.
wanting or devouring great quantities of food : he had a voracious appetite.
• having a very eager approach toan activity : his voracious reading of literature.
1 remarkably or impressively great in extent, size, or degree: the stove consumed a prodigious amount of fuel.
2 archaic unnatural or abnormal : rumors of prodigious happenings, such as monstrousbirths.
destroy utterly; wipe out : figurative the memory was so painful that he obliterated it from his mind.
• cause to become invisible or indistinct; blot out :clouds were darkening, obliterating the sun.
1 the state of being unaware or unconscious of what is happening: they drank themselves into oblivion.
• the state of being forgotten, esp. by the public : his name will fadeintooblivion
.• figurative extinction : only our armed forces stood between us and oblivion.
keep from being seen; conceal : gray clouds obscure the sun.
stubbornly refusing to change one's opinion or chosen course of action, despite attempts to persuade one to do so.
(of an unwelcome phenomenon or situation) very difficult to change or overcome : the obstinate problem of unemployment.
giving the impression that something bad or unpleasant is going to happen; threatening; inauspicious : there were ominous dark clouds gathering overhead.
1) conducive to success; favorable : it was not the most auspiciousmomenttoholdanelection.
• archaic characterized by success; prosperous: he was respectful to his auspicious customers.
not able to be seen through; not transparent: the windows were opaque with steam.
• figurative (esp. of language) hardor impossible to understand; unfathomable: technical jargon that was opaque to her.
[usu. with negative ] understand (a difficult problem or an enigmatic person) after much thought : he could scarcely fathom the idea that people actually lived in Las Vegas | [with clause ] he couldn't fathom why she was being so anxious.
2 measure the depth of (water) : an attempttofathom the ocean.
a person who exploits circumstances to gain immediate advantage rather than being guided by consistent principles or plans : most burglaries are committed by casual opportunists.
special words or expressions that are used by a particularprofessionorgroup and are difficult for others to understand : legal jargon
reduce (something) in quality or value; degrade : the love episodesdebase the dignity of the drama| [as adj. ] (debased)thedebasedtraditionsof sportsmanship.
• lower the moral character of (someone) : war debases people.
1 savagely cruel; exceedingly brutal : many early child-rearing practices were barbarous by modern standards.
2 primitive; uncivilized : a remote and barbarous country.• (esp. of language) coarse and unrefined.
hopefulness and confidence about the future orthesuccessful outcome of something : the talkshadbeen amicable, and there were grounds for optimism.
(of relations between people) having a spirit of friendliness; without serious disagreement or rancor :there will be an amicable settlement of the dispute.
ostentatiously rich and luxurious or lavish : the opulent comfort of a limousine.
characterized by vulgar or pretentious display; designed to impress or attract notice : books that people buy and display ostentatiously but never actuallyfinish.
a public speaker, esp. one who is eloquent or skilled.
a strong supporter of a party, cause, or person.
of, relating to, or situated on the edge or periphery of something : the peripheral areas of Europe.
• ofsecondary or minorimportance; marginal: she will see their problems as peripheral to her own.
make (something, typically an undesirable situation or an unfounded belief) continue indefinitely : the law perpetuated the interests of the ruling class.
• preserve (something valued) from oblivion or extinction : how did these first humans survive to perpetuate the species?
(esp. of an unwelcome influenceor physical effect)spreading widely throughout an areaor a group of people : ageism is pervasive and entrenched in oursociety.
a tendency to see the worst aspect of things or believe that the worst will happen; a lack of hope or confidence in the future : the dispute cast an air of deep pessimism over the future of the peace talks.
1 a factor situation that is observed to exist or happen, esp. one whose cause or explanation is in question :glaciers are unique andinteresting natural phenomena.• a remarkable person, thing, or event.
2 Philosophy the object of a person's perception; what the senses or the mindnotice.
a person who seeks to promote the welfare of others, esp. by the generous donation ofmoney to good causes.
the quality of being religious or reverent : acts of piety and charity.
• the quality of being dutiful: filialpiety.
• a belief or point of view that is accepted with unthinking conventionalreverence: the accepted pieties of our time.
dealing with things sensibly and realistically in a way that is based on practicalrather than theoretical considerations : a pragmatic approachtopolitics.
prevent from happening; make impossible : the secret nature of his work precluded official recognition.
• ( preclude someone from) (ofasituation or condition) preventsomeonefromdoingsomething:his difficulties preclude him from leading a normal life.
(of a child) having developed certain abilities or proclivities at an earlier age than usual : he was a precocious, solitary boy
.• (of behavior or ability) indicative of such development : a precocious talent for computing.
• (of a plant) flowering or fruiting earlier than usual.
done or existing alone : I live a pretty solitary life | tigers are essentially solitary.
• (of a place) secluded or isolated: solitaryfarmsteads.• [ attrib. ] [oftenwithnegative] single; only: we have not a solitary shred of evidence to go on.
an animal that naturally preys on others : wolves are major predators of rodents
• figurative a rapacious, exploitative person or group :her wealth made her vulnerable to predators.
• figurative a company that tries totake over another.
a person who held a job or office before the current holder : the new president's foreign policy is very similar to that of his predecessor.
• a thing that has been followed or replaced by another: the chapel wasbuilt in 1864 on the site of its predecessor.
(of a person or their behavior) failing to observe the limits of what is permitted or appropriate : I hope I won't be considered presumptuous if I offer some advice.
attempting to impress by affecting greater importance, talent, culture, etc., than is actually possessed : a pretentious literary device.
widespread in a particularareaat a particular time :the social ills prevalent in society today.
1 spending money or resources freely and recklessly; wastefully extravagant : prodigal habits die hard.
2 having or giving something on a lavish scale : the dessert was crunchy with brown sugar and prodigal with whipped cream.
(esp. of something offered or discharged) exuberantly plentiful; abundant : I offered my profuse apologies.
• archaic (of a person) lavish; extravagant: theyare profuse in hospitality.
1 relating or devoted to that which is not sacred or biblical; secular ratherthan religious : a talk that tackled topics both sacred andprofane.
• (of a person) not initiated intoreligiousrites or any esoteric knowledge : he was an agnostic, a profane man.
2 (of a person or their behavior) not respectful oforthodoxreligiouspractice; irreverent: desecration of the temple by profane adolescents.
treat (a sacred place or thing) with violent disrespect; violate : morethan 300 graves weredesecrated.
sacrilegious against God or sacred things; profane :blasphemous and heretical talk.
violation or misuse of what is regarded as sacred :putting ecclesiastical vestments to secular use was considered sacrilege.
1) verygreat or intense :profound social changes | profound feelings of disquiet.
• (of a disease or disability) very severe; deep-seated:a case of profound liver failure.
2)having or showing great knowledge or insight: a profoundphilosopher.
• (of a subject or thought) demanding deepstudyor thought : expressing profound truths in simple language.
3)at, from, or extending to a great depth; very deep : he opened the door with a profound bow.
an abundance or large quantity of something : a rich profusion of wildflowers | the foxgloves growingin profusion among the ferns.
rapid increase in numbers : a continuing threat of nuclear proliferation.• rapid reproduction of a cell, part, ororganism: we attempted to measure cell proliferation.
1 (of a plant, animal, or person) producing much fruit or foliage or many offspring : incaptivity, tigers are prolific breeders.
• (of an artist, author, or composer) producing manyworks: he was a prolific composer of operas.• (of a sports player) high-scoring : a prolific home-run hitter.
2 present in large numbers or quantities; plentiful :mahoganywasonce prolific in the tropical forests.
plant leaves, collectively : healthy green foliage.
• unsophisticated or narrow-minded, esp. when considered as typical of such regions.
1 of or concerning a province of a country or empire :provincialelections.
nearness in space, time, or relationship : do not operate microphones in close proximity to television sets.
acting with or showing care and thought for the future: no prudent money manager would authorize a loan without first knowing its purpose.
1) be entitled to a particularbenefit or privilege by fulfilling a necessary condition: they do not qualify for compensation payments.
a state of perplexity or uncertainty over what to do in a difficult situation : Kate is in a quandary.
• a difficult situation; a practical dilemma : a legal quandary.
1 walk for pleasure, typically without a definite route.
2 talk or write at length in a confused or inconsequentialway: herambled on about his acting career.
bitterness or resentfulness, esp. when long-standing : he spoke without rancor.
sign or give formal consent to (a treaty, contract, or agreement), making it officially valid.
a refutation or contradiction.
a person who lives a solitarylifeand tends to avoid other people.
tell someone about something; give an account of an event or experience : [ trans. ] I recounted the tale to Steve | [with clause ] he recounts how they often talked of politics.
1 put (something) right; correct : mistakes made now cannot be rectified later | effortsto rectify the situation.
no longer needed or useful; superfluous: an appropriate use for a redundant church | many of the old skills had become redundant.
prove (a statement or theory) to be wrong or false; disprove : these claims have not been convincinglyrefuted
.• prove that (someone) is wrong.
• deny or contradict (a statement or accusation) : a spokesman totally refuted the allegation of bias.
consign or dismiss to an inferior rank or position : they aim to prevent women from being relegated to a secondary role.
deliver (something) to a person's custody, typically in order for it to be sold : he consigned three paintings to Sotheby's.
• ( consign someone/somethingto) assign; commit decisively or permanently: she consigned the letter to the wastebasket.
deep regret or guilt for a wrong committed : they were filled with remorse and shame.
formally declare one's abandonment of (a claim, right, or possession) : Isabella offered to renounce her son's claim to the French crown.
• refuse to recognize or abide by any longer : these agreements were renounced after thefallof the czarist regime.
1 drive or force (an attack or attacker) back or away :government units sought to repel the rebels.
2 be repulsive or distasteful to : she was repelled by the permanent smell of drink on his breath.
3 formal refuse to accept (something, esp. an argument or theory) : the alleged right of lien led by the bankrupt's attorney was repelled.
deserving censure or condemnation : his complacency and reprehensible laxity.
1 not sufficiently strict or severe : lax security arrangements at the airport | he'd been a bit lax about discipline in school lately.
2 (of the limbs or muscles) relaxed.
a rebuke, esp. an official one.
reprimand or censure someone : hewas reproved for obscenity
refuse to accept or be associated with : she has repudiated policies associated with previouspartyleaders.
• deny the truth or validity of : the minister repudiated allegations of human rightsabuses.
1 (often reserves) a supply of a commodity not needed for immediate use but available if required : Australia has major coal, gas, and uranium reserves.
1 a firm decision to do or not to do something : she kept her resolution not to see Anne any more| a New Year's resolution.
firm determination to dosomething: she received information that strengthened her resolve | she intended to stick to her initial resolve.• a formal resolution by a legislative body or public meeting.
not revealing one's thoughts or feelings readily : she was extremely reticent about her personal affairs.
draw or pull (something) back or back in: she retracted her hand as if she'd been burned.
of, relating to, or concerned with the art of rhetoric :repetition is a common rhetorical device.
• expressed interms intended to persuade or impress: the rhetorical commitmentof the government to givepriority to primary education.
• (of a question) asked in order to producean effect or to make a statement rather than to elicit information.
evoke or draw out (a response, answer, or fact) from someone in reactiontoone's ownactionsorquestions : they invariably elicit exclamations ofapproval from guests.
1 thequality of beingextremely thorough, exhaustive, or accurate: his analysisislacking in rigor.
• severity or strictness : the full rigor of the law.
strong and healthy
a profoundly wise man, esp. one who features in ancient history or legend.
1 a threatened penalty for disobeying a law or rule : a range of sanctions aimed at deterringinsiderabuse.
2 official permission or approval for an action : he appealed to the bishop for his sanction.
3 (often be sanctioned) give official permission or approval for (an action) : only two treatments have beensanctioned by the Food and Drug Administration. See note at approve .
having or showinganexcessive willingness toserveor please others : bowing his headin a servilemanner.
a person inclined to question or doubt all accepted opinions.
slow-moving or inactive : a sluggishstream.
• lackingenergyor alertness : Alex wokelatefeelingtired and sluggish.
• slow to respond or make progress: thecarhad been sluggish all morning.
dark or dull in color or tone; gloomy : the night skies were somber and starless.• oppressively solemn or sober in mood; grave : he looked at her with a somber expression.
occurring at irregular intervals or only in afewplaces; scattered or isolated : sporadic fighting broke out.
waste (something, esp. money or time) in a reckless and foolish manner : entrepreneurs squander their profits on expensive cars.
• allow (an opportunity) to pass or be lost : the team squandered several good scoring chances.
• figurative showing no activity; dulland sluggish : a stagnant economy.
1 lacking in movement, action, or change, esp. in a way viewed as undesirable or uninteresting: demand has grown in what was a fairly static market| the whole ballet appeared too static.
lower in rank or position : his subordinate officers.• of less or secondary importance : in adventure stories, character must be subordinate to action.
provide evidence to support or prove the truthof: they had found nothing to substantiate the allegations.
briefly and clearly expressed : use short, succinct sentences
existing or occurring at or on the surface: the buildingsuffered only superficial damage.
• appearing to be true or realonlyuntil examinedmoreclosely: the resemblancebetweenthebreeds is superficial.
exceed; be greater than : prewar levels of production were surpassed in 1929.
• be better than : hecontinued to surpass me at all games.
kept secret, esp. because it wouldnot be approved of :they carried on a surreptitious affair
1 likely or liable to be influenced or harmed by a particular thing : patients with liver disease may besusceptible to infection.
1 strengthen or support physically or mentally : thisthought had sustained him throughouttheyears
apersonwhoactsobsequiouslytowardsomeone in order to gain advantage; aservileflatterer.
(of a person) reserved or uncommunicative in speech; saying little.
2 (often be tempered with) serve as a neutralizingor counterbalancing force to (something) : their idealism is tempered with realism
not certain or fixed; provisional: a tentative conclusion.• done without confidence; hesitant: he eventuallytried a few tentative steps round his hospitalroom.
1 arrangedor existing for the present, possibly to bechangedlater: aprovisionalgovernment| a provisional construction permit.
sparing in the use of words; abrupt: a terse statement.
grow or develop well orvigorously : the new baby thrived.• prosper; flourish : education groups thrive on organization
free from disturbance; calm : her tranquil gaze| the sea was tranquil.
lasting only for a short time; impermanent : a transient cold spell
(of a remark, opinion, or idea) overused and consequently of little import; lacking originality or freshness : this point may now seem obviousandtrite.
violent or unsteady movement of air or water, or of some other fluid : the plane shuddered as it entered some turbulence.
• figurative conflict; confusion : a time ofpolitical turbulence.
a stateofgreatdisturbance, confusion, or uncertainty :the country was in turmoil| he endured yearsofinner turmoil.
erode the base or foundation of (a rock formation).• dig or excavate beneath (a building orfortification) so as to make it collapse.
• figurative damage or weaken (someoneor something), esp. gradually or insidiously: this could undermine years of hard work.
1 make (a hole or channel) by digging: the cheapest way of doing this was to excavate a longtrench.
proceeding in a gradual, subtle way, but with harmful effects : sexually transmitted diseases can be insidious and sometimeswithout symptoms.
• treacherous; crafty : tangibleproof of an insidious alliance.
not justified or authorized : I am sure your fears are unwarranted.
take (a position of power or importance) illegally or by force : Richard usurped the throne.
• take the place of (someone in a position of power) illegally: supplant : the Hanoverian dynasty hadusurped the Stuarts.
alternate or waver between different opinions or actions; be indecisive : I had for a time vacillated between teaching and journalism.
regard with great respect; revere : Mother Teresa is venerated as asaint.
using or expressed in more words than are needed :much academic language is obscure and verbose.
physical strength and good health.• effort, energy, and enthusiasm : they set about the new task with vigor.• strong, healthy growth of a plant.
speak or write about in an abusively disparaging manner: he has beenvilifiedinthepress
clear (someone) of blame or suspicion : hospital staff were vindicated by the inquest verdict
• serious, sensible, and solemn : a sober view of life | his expression became sober.
a person highly skilled in music or another artistic pursuit : a celebratedclarinetvirtuoso| [as adj. ] virtuoso guitar playing.• a person with a special knowledge of or interest in works of art or curios.
2 liable to change rapidly and unpredictably, esp. for the worse : the political situation was becoming more volatile.
1 playfully quaint or fanciful, esp. in an appealing and amusing way : a whimsical sense of humor.
2 acting or behaving in acapriciousmanner: the whimsical arbitrariness of autocracy.
a person who is fanatical and uncompromising in pursuit of their religious, political, or otherideals.
a person who gives money or other help to a person or cause.
a legacy : her $135,000 was the largest bequest the library ever has received.• the action of bequeathing something : a painting acquired by bequest.
leave (a personal estate or one's body) to a person or other beneficiary by a will : an identical sum was bequeathed by Margaret | he bequeathed his art collection to the town.
• pass (something) on orleave (something) to someone else : he is ditchingthe unpopular policies bequeathed to him.
diligent and hard-working
having no parallel or equal; exceptional : thesuddenrisein unemployment is unparalleled in the postwar period.
1 [ attrib. ] (of a problem or issue) difficult and much debated; problematic : the vexed question of exactly how much money the government is going to spend.2 annoyed, frustrated, or worried : I'm very vexed with you!
divide and allocate : voting power will be apportioned according to contribution.
• assign : they did not apportionblame or liability to any one individual.
(esp. of the state) take away (property) from its owner :government plans to expropriate farmland.
• dispossess (someone) of property : the land reform expropriated the Irish landlords.
1 the making of amends for a wrong one has done, by paying money to or otherwise helping those who have been wronged : the courts required a convictedoffender to make financial reparationtohisvictim
2 archaic the action of repairing something : the old hallwaspulled down to avoid the cost of reparation.
1 restrict (something) within limits : their movements were strictly monitored and circumscribed.
1 suggest or hint (something bad or reprehensible) in an indirect and unpleasant way : [with clause] hewas insinuating that she had slept her way to the top.
2 ( insinuate oneself into) maneuver oneselfinto (a position of favor or office) by subtle manipulation:she seemed to be taking over, insinuating herself into the family.
having or showing no skill; clumsy : the inept handling of the threat.
1 having or showing an excessively high opinion of one's appearance, abilities, or worth: their flattery made him vain.
2 [ attrib. ] producing no result; useless : a vain attempt to tidy up the room | the vain hope of finding work.• having no meaning or likelihood of fulfillment : a vain boast.
(of a task, duty, or responsibility) involving an amount of effort and difficulty that is oppressively burdensome : he found his duties increasingly onerous.• Law involving heavy obligations : an onerous lease
requiring or using great exertion : Beijing's strenuous efforts to join the World Trade Organization.
1 physical or mental effort: she was panting with the exertion | a well-earnedrestafter their mental exertions.
2 the application of a force, influence, or quality : the exertion of authority.
make (someone) weak and infirm: a debilitating disease |[as adj. ] ( debilitated) a woman who had felt chronically debilitated and unwell foryears.
• hinder, delay, or weaken: thedebilitatingeffects of underinvestment.
given or giving without restraint; unsparing : he was unstinting in his praise.
(of a person) famous and respected within a particular sphere or profession : one of the world's most eminent statisticians.
• [ attrib. ] used to emphasizethe presence of a positive quality : the guitar'seminent suitability for recording studio work.
assign the responsibility for doing something to (someone) : I've been entrusted with the task of getting him safely back.
• put (something) into someone's care or protection :you persuade people to entrusttheirsavingstoyou.
a person who disparages someone or something.
1 gentle; kindly : her face was calm and benign | his benign but firm manner.• (of aclimate or environment) mild and favorable• not harmfultotheenvironment: [in combination] an ozone-benign refrigerant.
2 Medicine (of a disease) not harmful in effect: in particular, (of a tumor) not malignant.
1 (of a disease) very virulent or infectious.• (of a tumor) tending to invade normal tissue or to recur after removal; cancerous.
no longer existing or functioning : the now defunct communist common market.
a strong or habitual liking for something or tendency to do something : hehas a penchant for adopting stray dogs.
3 ( bent on) determined to do or have something: a missionary bent on saving souls | a mob bent on violence.
(of a person or their manner) childishly sulky or bad-tempered : he was moody and petulant | a petulant shake of the head.
not representative of a type, group, or class : a sample of people who are rather atypicalof the target audience | there were somewhat atypical results in May and November.
deal with or describe in an idealized or unrealistic fashion; make (something) seem better or more appealing than it really is : thetendency to romanticize nonindustrial societies | [ intrans. ] she was romanticizing about the past.
an innocent or unsophisticated young woman.• a part of this type in a play.• an actress who plays such a part.
an expert judge in matters of taste : a connoisseur ofmusic.
in a state or period of inactivity or dormancy: strikeswere headed by groupsofworkerswhohadpreviously been quiescent
impossible to perceive : his head moved in an almostimperceptiblenod.
kept secret, esp. because it would not be approved of :they carried on a surreptitious affair
showing or having an insensitive and cruel disregard for others : his callous commentsabout the murder made me shiver.
fond of or characterized by joking; humorous or playful: she sounded in a jocular mood | his voice was jocular.
not telling the truth; lying : mendacious propaganda.
• having an exciting and glamorouscharacterassociated with travel and a mixtureof cultures : their designs became a by wordforcosmopolitanchic.
familiarwithand at ease in many different countries andcultures
lower; humiliate. Defeated
ie) Queen Zenobia was forced to abase herself before the conquering Romans, who made her march in chains before the emperor in the procession celebrating his triumph.
I watched my colleagues abasing themselves before the board of trustees.
He was not at all abashed by her open admiration.
she was not abashed at being caught.
subside; decrease, lessen.
Rather than leaving immediately, they waited for the storm to abate.
Nothing abated his crusading zeal.
Because we were running out of time, the lecturer had to abbreviate her speech.
renounce; give up. When Edward VII abdicated the British throne to marry the woman he loved, he surprised the entire world.
Wilhelm abdicated as German emperor.
Ferdinand abdicated the throne in favor of the emperor's brother.
The movie Ransom describes the attempts to rescue a multimillionaire's son after the child's abduction by kidnappers.
Abnormal or deviant.
Given the aberrant nature of the data, we doubted the validity of the entire experiment.
aid, usually in doing something wrong; encourage.
She was unwilling to abet him in the swindle he had planned.
he was not guilty of murder but was guilty of aiding and abetting others.
The deal was held in abeyance until her arrival.
Matters were held in abeyance pending further inquiries.
She abhorred all forms of bigotry. abhorrence
Professional tax preparers abhor a flat tax because it would dry up their business.
wretched; lacking pride. On the streets of New York the homeless live in abject poverty, huddling in doorways to find shelter from the wind.
• (of an unhappy state of mind) experienced to the maximum degree: his letter plunged her into abject misery.
Renounce upon oath.
He abjured his allegiance to the king.
His refusal to abjure the catholic faith.
washing. His daily ablutions were accompanied by loud noises that he humorously labeled "Opera in the Bath".
1) repudiation (act of renouncing or rejecting something)
Abnegation of political law-making power.
Though Rudolph and Duchess Flavia loved one another, their love was doomed, for she had to marry the king; their act of abnegation was necessary to preserve the kingdom.
formally put an end to (a system, practice, or institution) : the tax was abolished in 1977.
2) extremely unpleasant
3) very bad
Mary liked John until she learned he was dating Susan; then she called him an abominable young man, with abominable taste in woman.
(of human races, animals, and plants) inhabiting or existing in a land from the earliest times or from before the arrival of colonists; indigenous
1) failing to produce the intended result; fruitless
She made two abortive attempts at suicide.
Wear away by friction; scrape; erode.
Because the sharp rocks had abraded the skin on her legs, she dabbed iodine on the scrapes and abrasions.
(of a substance or material) capable of polishing or cleaning a hard surface by rubbing or grinding.• tending to rub or graze theskin: the trees were abrasive to the touch.
• figurative (of sounds or music) rough to the ear; harsh : fast abrasive rhythms.
• figurative (of a person or manner) showing little concern for the feelings of others; harsh : her abrasive and arrogant personal style won her few friends.
repeal or do away with (a law, right, or formal agreement); abolish
A proposal to abrogate temporarily the right to strike.
He intended to abrogate the decree issued by his predecessor.
depart secretly and hide.
The teller who absconded with the bonds went uncaptured until someone recognized him from his photograph on "America's Most Wanted."
not qualified or diminished in any way; total : absolute secrecy | absolute silence | theattention he gave you was absolute.
the fact or practice of restraining oneself from indulging in something, typically alcohol : I started drinking again after six years of abstinence.
assimilate or incorporate; suck or drink up; wholly engage.
ie) During the 19th century, America absorbed hordes of immigrants, turning them into productive citizens.
Can Huggies diapers absorb more liquid than Pampers can?
This question does no absorb me; instead, it bores me.
border upon; adjoin.
Where our estates abut, we must build a fence.
1) extremely bad; appalling
The quality of her work is abysmal.
2) bottomless- off great extent
His arrogance is exceeded only by his abysmal ignorance.
If i acceded to this demand for blackmail, I am afraid that i will be the victim of future demands.
In our science class, we learn how falling bodies accelerate.
If you accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative, you may wind up with an overoptimistic view of the world.
Applaud; announce with great approval.
The NBC sportscasters acclaimed every American victory in the Olympics and decried every American defeat.
adjust to climate.
One of the difficulties of our present air age is the need of travelers to acclimate themselves to their new and often strange environments.
sharp upslope of a hill/cliff
The car wold not go up the acclivity in high gear.
Award of merit.
In Hollywood, an "Oscar" is the highest accolade.
Oblige or help someone; adjust or bring into harmony; adapt.
She was in complete accord with the verdict.
approach and address (someone) boldly or aggressively: reporters accosted him in the street.
• approach (someone) with hostility or harmful intent : he was accosted by a thief, demanding his money or his life.
• approach and address (someone) with sexual intent : a man tried to accost the girl on her way to school.
The fisherman was accoutred with the best that the sporting goods store could supply.
Come about by addition.
You must pay the interest that has accrued on your debt as well as the principal sum.
Bitterness of speech and temper
The meeting of the United Nations was marked with such acerbity that informed sources held out little hope of reaching any useful settlement of the problem.
The salad had an exceedingly acetic flavor.
Slightly sour; sharp, caustic.
James was unpopular because of his sarcastic and acidulous remarks.
His success in this role marked the acme of his career as an actor.
Assent; accept something reluctantly but without protest
Although she appeared to acquiesce to her employer's suggestions, I could tell she had reservations about the changes he wanted made.
Sara acquiesced in his decision.
a judgment that a person is not guilty of the crime with which the person has been charged : the trial resulted in an acquittal | the women felt their chances of acquittal were poor.
having an irritatingly strong and unpleasant taste or smell : acrid fumes.
• angry and bitter : an acrid farewell.
(typically of speech or a debate) angry andbitter: an acrimonious dispute about wages.
extreme or irrational fear of heights.
a person who compiles and analyzes statistics and uses them to calculate insurance risks and premiums.
I fail to understand what actuated you to reply to this letter so nastily.
In time his youthful acuity of vision failed him, and he needed glasses.
His business acumen helped him to succeed where others had failed.
Quickly perceptive; keen; brief and severe.
The acute young doctor realized immediately that the gradual deterioration of her patient's once acute hearing was due to a chronic illness, but not an acute one.
Wise saying; proverb
There is much truth in the old adage about fools and their money.
Bronson played the part of a revenge-driven man, adamant in his determination to punish criminals who destroyed his family.
An addition or supplement.
As an addendum to the minutes, let me point out that Susan moved to appoint Kathy and Arthur to the finance committee.
Muddle; drive crazy; become rotten
This idiotic plan is confusing enough to addle anyone.
She was adept at the fine art of irritating people.
Stick fast. I wil adhere to this opinion until proof that i am wrong is presented.
In the wake of the scandal, the senator's one-time adherents quickly deserted him.
Adjoining; neighboring; close by.
Phillip's best friend Jason lived only four houses down the block, close but not immediately adjacent.
Something added on or attached (generally nonessential or inferior). Although I don't absolutely need a second computer, I plan to buy a laptop to serve as an adjunct to my desktop model.
He admonished to his listeners to change their wicked ways. admonition
After the student protesters repeatedly rejected the dean's admonitions, the administration issued an ultimatum: either the students would end the demonstration at once or the campus police would arrest the demonstrators.
a final uncomprosing demand/ terms issued by a party to a dispute
His adroit handling of the delicate situation pleased his employers.
Make impure by adding cheaper, inferior or tainted substances.
It is a crime to adulterate foods without informing the buyer.
When consumers learned that Beech-Nut had adulterated their apple juice by mixing it with water, they protested vigorously.
Most Americans were unaware of the advent of the Nuclear Age until the news of Hiroshima reached them.
The advent of the holiday season.
He found this adventitious meeting with his friend extremely fortunate.
My adventures were always adventitious, always thrust on me.
Coming from outside; not native
The adventitious population.
The recession had a highly adverse effect on Father's investment portfolio.
Nest of a large bird of prey (eagle, hawk)
The mother eagle swooped down on the unwitting rabbit and bore it off to her aerie high in the Rocky mountains.
(of a person) not aware of the full facts : an unwitting accomplice.
• not done on purpose; unintentional: we are anxious to rectify the unwitting mistakes made in the past.
artificial; pretended; assumed in order to impress
His affected mannerisms annoyed us.
The gesture appeared both affected and stagy.
behavior, speech, or writing that is artificial and designed to impress
the affectation of a man who measures everyword for effect
she called the roomherboudoir, which hethought an affectation.
a studied display of real or pretended feeling
an affectation of calm.
a written statement confirmed by oath or affirmation, for use as evidence in court.
The court refused to accept his statement unless he presented it in the form of an affidavit.
joining; associating with.
His affiliation with the political party was of short duration for he soon disagreed with his colleagues.
Kinship; a natural liking/attraction to a person, thing, idea ; likeness/agreement
She felt an affinity with all who suffered; their pains were her pains.
Fasten; attach; add on
First the registrar had to affix her signature to the license; then she had to affix her official seal.
He licked the stamp and affixed it to the envelope.
A state of distress; cause of suffering
Even in the midst of her affliction, Elizabeth tried to keep up the spirits of those around her.
Foreigners are amazed by the affluence and luxury of the American way of life.
insult; offense; intentional act of disrespect
When Mrs. Proudie was not seated beside the Archdeacon at the head table, she took it as a personal affront and refused to speak to her hosts for a week.
People around the world wondered what the aftermath of China's violent suppression of the student protests would be.
the final or eventual outcome or conclusion of a discussion, action, or series of events : the upshot of the meeting was that he was on thenextplane to New York
It took weeks to assort the agglomeration of miscellaneous items she had collected on her trip.
arrange, distribute, sort
Increase or intensify
The history of the past quarter century illustrates how a president may aggrandize his power to act aggressively in international affairs without considering the wishes of Congress.
Before the Wall Street scandals, dealers in so-called junk bonds managed to aggregate great wealth in short periods of time.
Before you punish both boys for fighting, see whether you can determine which one was the aggressor.
The stood aghast at the sight of the place.
He was aghast at the nerve of the speaker who had insulted his host.
The agility of the acrobat amazed and thrilled the audience.
Quick to understand
A nimble plan
Stir up; disturb
Her fiery remarks agitated the already angry mob.
One that is skeptical of the existence or knowability of a god or any ultimate reality.
Pertaining to land or its cultivation.
Because its recent industrialization has transformed farmhands into factory workers, the country is gradually losing its agrarian traditions.
Eager to get away to the mountains, Phil and Dave packed up their ski gear and climbed into the van with alacrity.
The changing of baser metals into gold was the goal of the students of alchemy.
nook; small, recessed section of a room
Though their apartment lacked a full-scale dining room, an alcove adjacent to the living room made an adequate breakfast nook for the young couple.
assumed name/false name
The alimentary canal in our bodies is so named because digestion of foods occurs there.
payments to an ex-spouse after divorce.
Because Tony had supported Tina through medical school, on their divorce he asked the court to award him $500 a month in alimony.
The crew tried to allay the fears of the passengers by announcing that the fire had been controlled.
Although it is alleged that she has worked for the enemy, she denies the allegation and legally, we can take no action against her without proof.
Not even a term in prison could shake Lech Walesa's allegiance to Solidarity.
Story in which characters are used as symbols; fable.
Even though the Red Cross had allocated a large sum for the relief of the sufferers of the disaster, many people perished.
mix; make less pure; lessen or moderate.
Our delight at the Yankee's victory was alloyed by our concern for Dwight Gooden, who injured his pitching arm in the game.
Try not to mention divorce in Jack's presence because he will think you are alluding to his marital problems with Jill.
Allured by the song of the sirens, the helmsman steered the ship toward the reef.
to lead on by exciting hope or desire
When Amanda said to the ticket scal
The sailor climbed aloft into the rigging.
To get into a loft bed, you have to climb aloft.
Noisy quarrel, heated dispute
In that hot tempered household, no meal ever came to a peaceful conclusion; the inevitable altercation might even end in blows.
Combine, unite in one body.
The unions will attempt to amalgamate their groups into one national body.
The miser's aim is to amass and hoard as much gold as possible.
capable of using either hand with equal ease.
A switch-hitter in baseball should be naturally ambidextrous.
moving in an easy pace
When she first mounted the horse, she was afraid to urge the animal to go faster than a gentle amble.
able to walk; not bedridden
Juan was a highly ambulatory patient; not only did he refuse to be confined to bed, but he insisted on riding his skateboard up and down the halls.
Many social workers have attempted to ameliorate the conditions of people living in the slums.
readily managed, willing to be led.
Although the ambassador was usually amenable to friendly suggestions, he balked when we hinted that he should waive his diplomatic immunity and pay his parking tickets.
refrain from claiming, insisting on
refuse, to stop
He balked at making the speech;
Correct, change, generally for the better.
Hoping to amend his condition, he left Vietnam for the United States.
Convenient features; courtesies
In addition to the customary amenities for the business traveler- fax machines, modems, a health club-the hotel offers the services of a butler versed in the social amenities.
Heating is regarded as a basic amenity.
• thepleasantnessof a placeora person : the exertion of amenity toward the boss.
Agreeable, lovable, warmly friendly
In Little Women, Beth is the amiable daughter whose loving disposition endears her to all who know her.
Polite, friendly, not quarrelsome
There will be an amicable settlement of the dispute.
not quite right; inappropriate or out of place
there was something amiss about his calculations.
Seeing her frown, he wondered if anything were amiss.
a friendly relationship, friendship.
Student exchange programs such as the Experiment in International Living were established to promote international amity.
Loss of memory
Because she was suffering from amnesia, the police could not get the young girl to identify herself.
When his first child was born, the king granted amnesty to all in prison.
lacking a moral sense; unconcerned with the rightness or wrongness of something : an amoral attitude to sex.
showing, feeling, or relating to sexual desire
She rejected his amorous advances.
Love them and leave them, was the motto of the amorous Don Juan.
Formless, lacking shape or definition
As soon as we have decided on our itinerary, we shall send you a copy; right now, our plans are still amorphous.
amorphous blue forms and straight black lines.
make explicit the amorphous statements.
Abe to live both on land and in water.
Frogs are classified as amphibian.
oval building with tiers of seats
The spectators in the amphitheater cheered the gladiators.
there is ample time for discussion | an ample supply of consumer goods.
• large and accommodating: he leanedback in his ample chair.• used euphemistically to convey that someone is fat: she stood with her hands on her ample hips.
broaden or clarify by expanding; intensify
increasethevolume of (sound), esp. using an amplifier :the accompanyingchords have been amplified in our arrangement.
cut off part of body; prune.
to cut away dead or overgrown branches or stems, to increase fruitfulness and growth
prune back the branches
Reduce the extent of something by removing superfluous or unwanted parts
Reduction achieved by working harder or pruning costs.
Elliot deliberately pruned away details.
an ornament or small piece of jewelry thought to giveprotectionagainst evil, danger, or disease.
an object, typically an inscribed ring or stone, that is thought tohave magic powers and to bring good luck.
causing insensitivity to pain
an analgesic drug
The analgesic qualities of this lotion will provide temporary relief.
A well known analogy compares the body's immune system with an army whose defending troops are the lymphocytes or white blood cells.
a person who believes in or tries to bring about order
Denying she was an anarchist, Katya maintained she wished only to make changes in our government, not to destroy it entirely.
absence of governing body; state of disorder
The assassination of the leaders led to a period of anarchy.
David can trace his ancestry as far back as the 17th century.
secure or fasten firmly in place
We set the post in concrete to anchor it in place.
serving as an aid or accessory
the development of ancillary services to support its products.
paragraph 19 was merely ancillary to paragraph 16.
employment of specialist teachers and ancillaries.
In an ancillary capacity, Doctor Watson was helpful; however, Holmes could not trust the good doctor to solve a perplexing case on his own.
providing supplementary or additional helpand support: anauxiliarynurse| auxiliaryairportstaff.
• (of equipment) held in reserve : theshiphasanauxiliary power source.
Condition in which blood lacks red corpuscles
The doctor ascribes her tiredness to anemia
Substances that removes sensation with or without loss of consciousness
His monotonous voice acted like an anesthetic; his audience was soon asleep.
acute pain, extreme suffering
Visiting the site of the explosion, the governor wept to see the anguish of the victims and their families.
she shut her eyes in anguish | Philip gave a cry of anguish.
sharp cornered, stiff in manner
Mr.Spock's features, though angular, were curiously attractive, in a Vulcan way.
1 hostility or ill feeling : the author's animus toward her. The speaker's sarcastic comments about liberal do-gooders and elitist snobs revealed his deep-seated animus against his opponent.
2 motivation to do something : the reformist animuscame from within the Party.
a record of events year by year : eighth-century Northumberland annals.
• historicalrecords: the annals of the famous European discoverers
append or add as an extra or subordinate part, esp. to a document: the first ten amendmentswereannexed to the Constitution in 1791.
Mexico objected to the US's attempts to annex the territory that later became the state of Texas.
The enemy in its revenge tried to annihilate the entire population.
a simplebombof this type could annihilate them all
• defeat utterly : the stronger force annihilated its opponent virtually without loss.
a fixed sum of money paid to someone each year, typically for the rest of their life : he left her an annuity of $1,000 in his will.
The annuity he set up with the insurance company supplements his social security benefits so that he can live very comfortably without working.
declare invalid (an official agreement, decision, or result) : the elections were annulled by the general amid renewed protests.
The parents of the eloped couple tried to annul the marriage.
make or declare (something, typically a church) sacred; dedicate formally to a religious or divine purpose: the present Holy Trinity church was consecrated in 1844.
devote exclusively to a particular purpose
they'd decided to consecrate all their energies to this purposeful act.
He was placed in the anomalous position of seeming to approve procedures which he despised.
A bird that can't fly is an anomaly.
State of being nameless, anonymousness
The donor of the gift asked the college not to mention him by name; the dean readily agreed to respect his anonymity.
Having no name.
She tried to ascertain the identity of the writer of the anonymous letter.
The invention of the radiotelegraph anteceded the development of television by a quarter of a century.
Preceding events or circumstances that influence what comes later
She knew nothing of her birth and antecedents until she was reuinited with her family.
book of literary selections by various authors.
This anthology of science fiction was complied by the school.
An anthology of European writers.
regarding human beings as the center of the universe.
Without considering any evidence that might challenge his anthropocentric viewpoint, Hector categorically maintained that dolphins could not be as intelligent as men.
resembling a human being in form: cartoons of anthropoid frogs.
The gorilla is the strongest of the anthropoid animals.
Student of the history and science of mankind
Anthropologists have discovered several relics of prehistoric man in this area.
having human form or characteristics
Primitive religions often have deities with anthropomorphic characteristics.
a disappointing end to an exciting or impressiveseries of events : the rest of the journey was an anticlimax by comparison | a sense of anticlimax and incipientboredom.
a deep-seated feeling of dislike; aversion : his fundamental antipathy to capitalism | a thinly disguised mutual antipathy.
Tom's extreme antipathy for disputes keeps him from getting into arguments with his temperamental wife. Noise in any form is antipathetic to him. Among his other antipathies are honking cars, boom boxes, and heavy metal rock.
1) of, relating to, or denoting substances that prevent the growth of disease-causing microorganisms.
2)scrupulously cleanor pure, esp. so as to be bland orcharacterless: the antiseptic modernity of a conference center.
a person or thing that is the direct opposite of someone or something else : love is the antithesis of selfishness.
• a contrast or opposition between two things : the antithesis between occult and rational mentalities.
This tyranny was the antithesis of all that he had hoped for, and he fought it with all his strength.
lack of interest, enthusiasm, or concern : widespread apathy among students.
A firm believer in democratic government, she could not understand the apathy of people who never bothered to vote.
imitate the behavior or manner of (someone or something), esp. in an absurd or unthinking way :new architecture can respect the old withoutaping its style.
he was suspended for a week because he had aped the principal in front of the whole school.
She discovered a small aperture in the wall, through which the insects had entered the room.
The bell ropes passed through apertures in the ceiling.
At the apex of his career, the star was deluged with offers of leading roles; two years later, he was reduced to acting in mouthwash ads.
loss of speech due to injury or illness. After the automobile accident, the victim had periods of aphasia when he could not speak at all or could only mumble incoherently.
a pithy observation that contains a general truth, such as, “if it ain't broke, don't fix it.” See note at saying .• a concise statement of a scientific principle, typically by an ancient classical author.
1 (of language or style) conciseandforcefully expressive. Seenote at terse .
a place where bees are kept; a collection of beehives.
self-confidence or assurance, esp. when in a demanding situation : Diana passed the test with aplomb.
Gwen's aplomb in handling potentially embarrassing moments was legendary around the office; when one of her clients broke a piece of her best crystal, she cooly picked up her own goblet and hurled it into the fireplace.
prophetic; pertaining to revelations
The crowd jeered at the street preacher's apocalyptic predictions of doom.
untrue, made up
To impress his friends, Tom invented apocryphal tales of his adventures in the big city.
When the moon in its orbit is farthest away from the earth, it is at its apogee.
The White House is considered the apogee of American achievement.
Having an aversion or lack of concern for political affairs.
It was hard to remain apolitical during the Vietnam War; even people who generally ignored public issues felt they had to take political stands.
one who writes in defense of a cause or institution
Rather than act as an apologist for the current regime in Beijing and defend its brutal actions, the young diplomat decided to defect to the west.
An enthusiastic apologist for fascism in the 1920s.
one who abandons his religious faith or political beliefs.
Because he switched from one party to another, his former friends shunned him as an apostate.
the highest point in the development of something; culmination or climax :
his appearance as Hamlet was the apotheosis of his career.
The hero of the musical How to Succeed in Business...was the apotheosis of yuppieness.
elevation to godhood; an ideal example of something
The apotheosis of a Roman emperor was designed to insure his eternal greatness.
We were appalled by the horrifying conditions in the city's jails.
Firefighters use specialized apparatus to fight fires
On the castle battlements, an apparition materialized and spoke to Hamlet, warning him of his uncle's treachery.
pacify or soothe; relieve
Tom and Jody tried to appease the crying baby by offering him one toy after another, but he would not calm down until they appeased his hunger by giving him a bottle.
Amendments have been added to appease local pressure groups.
We give to charity because it appeases our guilt.
Macbeth was startled when the witches greeted him with an incorrect appellation. Why did they call him Thane of Cawdor, he wondered, when the holder of that title still lived?
the city fully justifies its appellation "the Pearl of the Orient."
When you append a bibliography to a text, you have just created an appendix.
the results of the survey are appended to this chapter.
The job takes a great deal of patience and application.
Pleased with how well Tom had whitewashed the fence, Aunt Polly praised him for his application to the task.
He was always able to find the apposite phrase, the correct expression for every occasion.
An apposite quotation; the observations are apposite to the discussion.
estimate the value of/assess the value or quality of
It is difficult to appraise the value of old paintings; it is easier to call them priceless.
The interviewer's job is to appraise and evaluate
They appraised the painting at $200.
She stealthily appraised him in a pocket mirror.
be thankful for; increase in worth; be throughly conscious of
Little Orphan Annie truly appreciated the stocks Daddy Warbucks gave her, which appreciated in value considerably over the years.
1 arrest (a criminal)
The police will apprehend the culprit and convict him before long.
a warrant was issued but he has not been apprehended.
2 understand or perceive: great art invites us to apprehend beauty.
When he was apprised of the dangerous weather conditions, he decided to postpone his trip.
I thought it right to apprise Chris of what had happened.
She looked for some sign of approbation from her parents, hoping her good grades would please them.
The opera met with high approbation.
acquire; take possession of for one's own use
The ranch owner's appropriated the lands that had originally been set aside for the Indian's use.
His images have been appropriated by advertisers.
with reference to; regarding
I find your remarks apropos of the present situation timely and pertinent.
She remarked apropos of the initiative, "It's not going to stop the abuse."
apposite; relevant to a particular time
she asked me a lot of very pertinent questions| the unreleased section of tape was not pertinent to the investigation.
fitness; talent; natural ability to do something
The counselor gave him an aptitude test before advising him about the career he should follow.
he had a remarkableaptitude for learning words.
aptitude of expression.
pertaining to water
Paul enjoyed aquatic sports such as scuba diving and snorkeling.
Cartoonists exaggerated the senator's aquiline nose, curving it until it looked like the beak of an eagle.
fit for growing crops
The first settlers wrote home glowing reports of the New World, praising its vast acres of arable land ready for the plow.
judge; person with power to decide a dispute
As an arbiter in labor disputes, she has won the confidence of the workers and the employers.
the military acted as arbiterofconflicts between political groups.
Because the negotiating teams had been unable to reach a contract settlement, an outside arbitrator was called upon to mediate the dispute.
arbitration: the use of an arbitrator to settle a dispute
place where different tree varieties are exhibited
Walking along the tree-lined paths of arboretum, Rita noted poplars, firs, and sycamores.
understood by few; mysterious or secret : modern math and its arcane notation.
Secret brotherhoods surround themselves with arcane rituals.
Consider the arcane terminology doctor's use and the impression they try to give that what is arcane to us is obvious to them.
study of artifacts and relics of early mankind
a very typical example of a certain person or thing : the book is a perfect archetype of thegenre.
The Brooklyn Bridge was the archetype of the many spans that now connect Manhattan with Ling Island and New Jersey.
a group of islands
public records, place where public records are kept
These documents should be part of the archives so historians can evaluate them in the future.
To get into the archives I had to fill in a request form.
enthusiasm or passion: they felt the stirrings of revolutionary ardor.
enthusiastic or passionate : an ardent baseball fan | an ardent suitor.
involving or requiring strenuous effort; difficult and tiring : an arduous journey.
Her arduous efforts had sapped her energy.
At her Metropolitan Opera audition, Marian Anderson sang an aria from Norma.
hotand arid conditions
The cactus had adapted to survive in an arid environment.
1 (of land) too poor to produce much or any vegetation
• showing no results or achievements; unproductive :much of philosophy has been barren.
2 (of a place or building) bleak and lifeless: the sports hall turned out to be a rather barren concrete building.
• empty of meaning or value : thoseyoung heads were stuffed with barren facts.
fleet of warships
awakening; provocation (of a response)
On arousal, Papa was always a grumpy bear.
The children tiptoed around the house, fearing they would arouse his anger by waking him up.
call or bring (someone) before a court to answer a criminal charge: her sister was arraigned on attempted murdercharges.
• find faultwith (someoneor something); censure :the soldiers bitterly arraigned the government for failing to keep its word.
formally accuse or charge (someone) with a serious crime : his former manager was indicted for fraud.
marshal; draw up in order
His actions were bound to array public sentiment against him
guide the direction of something
guests were marshaled into position
marshaling his thoughts
She liked to watch her mother array herself in her finest clothes before going out for the evening.
Arrayed across the table was a buffet.
being in debt
He was in arrears with his payments on the car.
stop or slow down; catch someone's attention
Slipping, the trapeze artist plunged from the heights until a safety net luckily arrested his fall.
This near disaster arrested the crowd's attention.
the spread of the disease can be arrested | [as adj. ] ( arrested) arrested development may occur.
his attention was arrested by a strange sound.
until the heavy rains of the past spring, this arroyo had been a dry bed.
storage place for military equipment
People are forbidden to smoke in the arsenal.
• [in sing.] figurative an array of resources available for a certain purpose : an arsenal of computers at our disposal.
Her articulate presentation of the advertising campaign impressed her employers
An articulate account of their experiences.
1 an object made by a human being, typically an item of cultural or historical interest : gold and silver artifacts.
The Trojan War proved to the Greeks that cunning and artifice were often more effective than military might.
Artifice and outright fakery.
manually skilled worker, craftsman
A noted artisan, Arturo was known for the fine craftsmanship of his cabinets.
without guile or deception: anartless, naive girl | artless sincerity.
• without effort or pretentiousness; naturaland simple : an artless literary masterpiece.
• without skill or finesse: herawkward, artless prose.
intricate and refined delicacy : orchestral playing of great finesse.
controlling influence; domination
Leaders of religious cults maintain ascendancy over their followers by methods that can verge on brainwashing.
The ascendancy of good over evil.
They have a moral ascendancy over the rich.
find out for certain.
Please ascertain her present address.
An attempt to ascertain the cause of the accident.
Management should ascertain whether adequate funding can be provided.
practicing self denial, austere
The wealthy self-indulgent young man felt oddly drawn to the strict ascetic life led by members of some monastic orders.
I can ascribe no motive for her acts.
He ascribed Jane's short temper to her upset stomach.
preventing infection; cleansing effect
Hospitals succeeded in lowering the mortality rate as soon as they introduced aseptic conditions.
her face was ashen with fear.
The ashen morning sky.
"What an asinine comment!" said Bob contemptuously. "I've never heard such a stupid remark."
sideways or indirect look; with an attitude of suspicion or disapproval.
Looking askance at her questioner, she displayed her scorn.
The reformers looked askance at the mystical tradition.
A waiter looked askance at Charlie's jeans.
crookedly, slanted, at an angle
The door was hanging askew on one twisted hinge
Her hat was slightly askew.
Judy constantly straightened the doilies on her furniture: she couldn't stand seeing them askew.
having an error involving time in a story. The reference to clocks in Julius Caesar is anachronistic: clocks did not exist in Caesar's time.
A solemn curse; someone or something regarded as a curse
something or someone that one dislikes
racial hatred was anathema to her.
The Ayatolla Khomeinin heaped anathema upon "the Great Satan", that is the United States.
to the Ayatolla, America and the West were anathema; he loathed the democratic nations, cursing them in his dying words.
sharpness (of temper).
these remarks, spoken with asperity, stung the boys to whom they had been directed.
He pointed this out with some asperity.
Harsh qualities or conditions: the asperities of a harsh and divided society.
A rough edge on a surface: the asperities of the metal surfaces
slander; slur; derogatory remark.
Unscrupulous politicians practice character assassination as a political tool, casting aspersions on their rivals.
I don't think anyone is casting aspersions on you.
having ambitions to achieve something, typically to follow a particular career : anaspirant.
Although i am an aspirant for public office, i am not willing to accept the dictates of the party bosses.
When they assayed the ore, they found that they had discovered a very rich vein.
It gives me great pleasure to assent to your request.
declare or state with confidence; put oneself forward boldly.
Malcom asserted that if Reese quit acting like a wimp and asserted himself a bit more, he'd improve his chances of getting a date.
He was assiduous, working at this task for weeks before he felt satisfied with his results.
1 take in (information, ideas, or culture) and understand fully : Marie triedtoassimilate the week's events.
• (usu. be assimilated)absorb and integrate (people, ideas, or culture) into a wider society or culture : pop trends areassimilated into the mainstream with alarming speed
2 cause (something) toresemble; liken : philosophers had assimilated thought to perception.
make (an unpleasant feeling) less intense : the letter assuaged the fears of most members.
Ease or lessen (pain); satisfy (hunger); soothe (anger). Jilted by Jane, Dick tried to assuage his heartache by indulging in ice cream. One gallon later, he had assuaged his appetite but not his grief.
something taken for granted; taking over or taking possession of.
the young princess made the foolish assumption that the regent would not object to her assumption of power.
Promise or pledge; certainty; self confidence.
When Guthrie gave Guinness his assurance that rehearsals were going well, he spoke with such assurance that Guinness felt relieved.
a small planet
Most asteroids are found in the region of space located between Mars and Jupiter, commonly known as the asteroid belt.
eye defect that prevents proper focus.
As soon as his parents discovered that the boy suffered from astigmatism, they took him to the optometrist for corrective glasses.
Relating to the stars.
She was amazed at the number of astral bodies the new telescope revealed.
Binding; causing contraction
The astringent quality of the unsweetened lemon juice made swallowing difficult.
An astringent skin lotion
He wanted an astronomical fee.
The government seems willing to spend astronomical sums on weapons development.
wise; shrewd; keen
John Jacob Astor made astute investments in land, shrewdly purchasing valuable plots throughout New York City.
into parts; apart
A fierce quarrel split the partnership asunder: the two partners finally sundered their connections because their points of view were poles asunder.
those whom God hath joined together let no man put asunder.
The desk burst asunder.
1 having or showing sharp powers of judgment; astute :she was shrewd enough to guess the motive behind his gesture
place of refuge or shelter; protection
The refugees sought asylum from religious persecution in a new land.
grantingasylumtoforeignerspersecuted for politicalreasons.
asylum for those too ill to care for themselves.
not identical on both sides of a dividing central line.
Because one eyebrow was set markedly higher than the other, William's face had a particularly asymmetric appearance.
reversion to something ancient or ancestral
In his love for gardening, Martin seemed an atavism to his Tuscan forebears, who lavished great care on their small plots of soil.
bound volume of maps charts or tables
make amends for; pay for
He knew no way in which he could atone for his brutal crime.
he was being helpful, toatone for his past mistakes.
In time of war, many atrocities are committed by invading armies
waste away: without exercise, the muscles will atrophy
gradually decline in effectiveness or vigor due to underuse or neglect
her artistic skills atrophied from lack of use
achieve or accomplish; gain.
The scarecrow sought to attain one gaol: he wished to obtain a brain.
make thin; weaken
By withdrawing their forces, the generals hoped to attenuate the enemy lines
her intolerance was attenuated by a rather unexpected liberalism.
Attenuated strains of rabies virus.
The trees are attenuated from being grown too close together.
testify, bear witness
Having served as a member of the Grand Jury, I can attest that our system of indicting individuals is in need of improvement.
His outstanding attribute was his kindness.
gradual decrease in numbers; reduction in the work force without firing employees; wearing away of opposition by means of harassment.
In the 1960s urban churches suffered from attrition as members moved from the cities to the suburbs.
Rather than fire staff members, church leaders followed a policy of attrition, allowing elderly workers to retire without replacing them.
The child psychiatrist reassured Mrs. Keaton that playing doctor was not atypical behavior for a child of young Alex's age.
Audiences cheered as Luke Skywalker and Princes Leia made their audacious, death-defying leap to freedom, escaping Darth vader's troops.
examination of accounts
When the bank examiners arrived to hold their annual audit, they discovered the embezzlements of the chief cashier.
pertaining to the sense of hearing.
Audrey suffered from auditory hallucinations: she thought elvis was speaking to her from the Great BEyond.
He interpreted the departure of the birds as an augury of evil.
Visiting the palace at Versailles, she was impressed by the august surroundings in which she found herself.
Many medieval paintings depict saintly characters with aureoles around hteir heads.
Forbiddingly stern; severely simple and unornamented.
The headmaster's austere demeanor tended to scare off the more timid students, who never visited his study willingly.
The room reflected the man, austere and bare, like a monk's cell, with no touches of luxury to moderate its austerity.
having the weight of authority; peremptory and dictatorial
Impressed by the young researcher's well-documented presentation, we accepted her analysis of the experiment as authoritative.
having absolute, unchecked power; dictatorial
Someone accustomed to exercising authority may become autocratic if his or her power is unchecked.
Dictators by definition are autocrats. Bosses who dictate behavior as well as letters can be autocrats too.
robot; person performing a task mechanically.
The assembly line job called for no initiative or intelligence on Homer's part; on automatic pilot, he pushed button after button like an automaton.
examination of a dead body; post mortem.
The medical examiner ordered an autopsy to determine the cause of death.
great mass of falling snow and ice.
greediness for wealth
King Midas is a perfect example of avarice, for he was so greedy that he wished everything he touched would turn to gold.
take vengeance for something (or on behalf of someone)
HAmlet vowed he would avenge his father's murder and punish Claudius for his horrible crime.
punishment inflicted or retribution exacted for an injury or wrong.
assert confidently; affirm.
Despite overwhelming popular skepticism about his voyage, Columbus averred he would succeed in finding a direct sea route to the Far East.
“You're the most beautiful girl in the world,” he averred.
The reporter was averse to revealing the sources of his information
prevent, turn away
She averted her eyes from the dead cat on the highway
enclosure for birds.
The aviary at the zoo held nearly 300 birds
greedy, eager for
Avid for pleasure, Abner partied with great avidity
an avidreader of science fiction| she took an avid interest in the project
secondary or minor occupation/ hobby
His hobby proved to be so fascinating and profitable that gradually he abandoned his regular occupation and concentrated on his avocation.
Lana avowed that she never meant to steal Debbie's boyfriend, but no one believed her avowal of innocence.
he avowed that he had voted Republican in every election
he avowed his change of faith
1 of or relating to an uncle.• kind and friendly toward a younger or less experienced person : an avuncular manner.
crooked; wrong; amiss
Noticing that the groom's tie was slightly awry, the bride reached over to set it straight.
many youthful romances go awry.
self evident truth requiring no proof
Azure skies are indicative of good weather
Emperor Nero attended the bacchanalian orgy
She was forced to change her telephone number because she was badgered by obscene phone calls.
Her friends at work greeted the news of her engagement with cheerful badinage
humorous or witty conversation : cultured badinage about art and life.
The new code baffled the enemy agents
cause someone to feel baffled
she was perplexed by her husband's moodiness| [asadj. ] ( perplexing) a perplexing problem.
cause someone to be perplexed and confused
the school bully baited the smaller children, terrorizing them
deadly; having a malign influence; ominous
The fortune teller made baleful predictions of terrible things to come
Bill shot a baleful glance in her direction
foil or thwart; stop short; refuse to go on.
When the warden learned that several inmates were planning to escape, he took steps to balk their attempt.
prevent something undesirable or wrong from succeeding
a brave policewoman foiled the armed robbery.
prevent (someone) from accomplishing something : he never did anything to thwart his father| he was thwarted in his desire to punish Uncle Fred.
heavy substance used to add stability or weight
The ship was listing badly to one side, it was necessary to shift the ballast in the hold to get her back on an even keel.
something that relieves pain
Friendship is the finest balm for the pangs of disappointed love
sudden sharp pain or painful emotion
Lindsey experienced a sharp pang of guilt
A balmy breeze refreshed us after the sultry blast.
hot and humid
of a person-attractive in a passionate nature
trite; commonplace; lacking originality
The hack writer's worn-out cliches made his comic sketch seem banal. He even resorted to the banality of having someone slip on a banana peel!
(of a phrase or idea) lacking significance through having been overused; unoriginal and trite :hackneyed old sayings.
discuss lightly or glibly; exchange (Words) heatedly
While the president was happy to bandy patriotic generalizations with anyone who would listen to him, he refused to bandy words with unfriendly reporters at the press conference.
pass on or discuss an idea or rumor in a casual way:$40,000 is the figure thats has been bandied about.• exchange; pass back and forth: they bandied words and laughs from one to another.
cause of ruin; curse
Lucy's little brother was the bane of her existence: his attempts to make her life miserable worked so well that she could have poisoned him with ratsbane for having such a baneful effect.
a cause of great distress or annoyance : the bane of the decorator is the long, narrow hall | the depressions that were the the bane of her existence.
the playful and friendly exchange of teasing remarks :there was much singing and good-natured banter.
sharp projection from fish-hook, etc; openly cutting remark
If you were a politician, which would you prefer, being caught on the barb of a fish-hook or being subjected to malicious verbal remarks?
the ancient bard Homer sang of the fall of Troy.
Accustomed to the severe lines of contemporary buildings, the architecture students found the flamboyance of baroque architecture amusing.
barrier laid down by artillery fire.
The company was forced to retreat through the barrage of heavy cannons.
desolate; fruitless and unproductive; lacking
Looking out at the trackless, barren desert, Indiana Jones feared that his search for the missing expedition would prove barren.
Hastily put together defensive barrier; obstacle
Marius and his fellow students hurriedly improvised a rough barricade to block police access to the student's quarter. Malcom and his brothers barricaded themselves in their bedroom to keep their mother from seeing the hole in hte bedroom floor.
luxuriate; take pleasure in warmth. Basking on the beach, she relaxed so completely that she fell asleep.
The villagers fortified the town hall, hoping this improvised bastion could protect them from the guerilla's raids.
strengthen (a place) with defensive works so as to protect it against attack : the whole town was heavily fortified |
• strengthen or invigorate (someone) mentally or physically : I was fortified by the knowledge that I was in a sympathetic house.•
restrain; let down
Until it was time to open the presents, the children had to bate their curiosity.
the child was delighted with the bauble she had won in the grab bag.
a thing of little value or importance; a small amount of something
thethousand yen he'd paid seemed the merest trifle.
we needn'ttroublethe headmaster over such trifles.
a beatific smile
extremely happy, full of joy
blessedness; state of bliss
Growing closer to God each day, the mystic achieved a state of indescribable beatitude.
dressed up or decorated gaudily : a dress bedizened with resplendent military medals.
the witch doctors were bedizened in all their gaudiest costumes.
extravagantly bright or showy, typically so as to be tasteless : silver bows and gaudy ribbons.
attractive and impressive through being richly colorful or sumptuous : she was resplendent in a sea-greendress.
splendid and expensive-looking : the banquet was a sumptuous, luxurious meal.
wet throughly; stain with mud
We were so bedraggled by the severe storm.
give strength or energy to : the shower had invigorated her| [as adj. ] ( invigorating) a brisk, invigorating walk.
direct, quick route
As soon as the movie was over, Jim made a beeline for the exit.
confuse thoroughly. His attempts to clarify the situation succeeded only in befuddling her further.
father; produce; give rise to
One good turn may deserve another; it does not necessarily beget another.
they hoped thattheKingmight beget an heir by his new queen.2 give rise to; bring about : success begets further success.
I begrudge eery minute i have to spend attending meetings; they're a complete waste of time.
mislead or delude; pass time
With flattery and big talk of easy money, the conmen beguiled Kyle into betting his allowance on the shell game.
Broke, he beguiled himself during the long hours by playing solitaire.
huge creature; monstrous animal
explain or go over excessively or to a ridiculous degree; attack verbally.
The debate coach warned her student not to bore the audience by belaboring her point.
He apologized for his belated note of condolence to the widow of his friend and explained that he had just learned of her husband's death.
besiege or attack; harassed
The babysitter was surrounded by a crowd of unmangeable brats who relentlessly beleaguered her.
demonstrating aggression and willingness to fight : a group of bellicosepatriots.
hostile and aggressive : a bull-necked, belligerent old man.
express discontent or sorrow over (something) : single women bemoaningtheabsence of men
puzzle, confuse, or bewilder (someone) : her bemused expression | she wasaccepted with bemused resignation by her parents as a hippie.
the appearance of the sun after the many rainy days was like a benediction.
Tiny Tim's cheerful good nature had a beneficial influence on Scrooge's once uncharitable disposition.
person entitled to benefits or proceeds of an insurance policy or will
leave (a personal estate or one's body) to a person or other beneficiary by a will : an identical sum wasbequeathedby Margaret | he bequeathed his art collection to the town.
scold or criticize (someone) angrily : my son beratedme for not giving him a Jewish upbringing
be deprived of a loved one through a profound absence, esp. due to the loved one's death : the year after they had been bereave
His friends gathered to console him upon his sudden bereavement.
deprived of; lacking
The foolish gambler soon found himself bereft of funds.
frenzy, wild, uncontrolled excitement
beg; plead with
The workaholic executive's wife beseeched him to spend more time with their son.
1 (of a problem or difficulty) trouble or threaten persistently : the social problems that beset the inner city |she was beset with self-doubt | [as adj. ] poverty is a besetting problem.
• surround and harass; assail on all sides : I was beset by clouds of flies.
Sleeping Beatuy's castle was beset on all sides by dense thickets that hid it from view.
2 ( hem someone/something in) (usu. be hemmed in) surround and restrict the space or movement of :he was hemmed in by the tables.
surround (a place) with armed forces in order to capture it or force its surrender; lay siege to : the guerrillas continued to besiege other major citiestothenorth
members of the new administration were besieged with job applications.
damagethereputation of (someone or something) in the opinion of others: he had besmirched the good name of his family.
sully, mar, or spoil : the land was defiled by a previous owner
confer or present (an honor, right, or gift) : the office wasbestowed on him by the chief of state
of or like an animal or animals : Darwin's revelations about our bestial beginnings.
be a sign of; indicate : she wondered if his cold, level gazebetokened indifference or anger.• be a warning or indicationof (a future event) : the falling comet betokened the trueend of Merlin's powers.
enter into a formal agreement to marry : soon I shall bebetrothed to Isabelle