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aberrant deviating from the norm
alacrity eager and enthusiastic willingness
anomaly deviation from the normal order, form, or rule; abnormality
approbation an expression of approval or praise
assuage to ease or lessen; to appease or pacify
audacious daring and fearless; recklessly bold
capricious inclined to change one’s mind impulsively; erratic; unpredictable
censure to criticize severely; to officially rebuke
chicanery trickery or subterfuge
connoisseur an informed and astute judge in matters of taste; expert
discordant conflicting; dissonant or harsh in sound
disparate fundamentally distinct or dissimilar
eloquent well-spoken; expressive; articulate
enervate to weaken; to reduce in vitality
ennui dissatisfaction and restlessness resulting from boredom or apathy
equivocate to use ambiguous language with a deceptive intent
exculpate exonerate; to clear of blame
exigent urgent; pressing; requiring immediate action or attention
filibuster intentional obstruction, esp. using prolonged speechmaking to delay
legislative action
ingenuous artless; frank and candid; lacking in sophistication
inured accustomed to accepting something undesirable
irascible easily angered; prone to temperamental outbursts
laud to praise highly
magnanimity the quality of being generously noble in mind and heart, esp. in forgiving
martial associated with war and the armed forces
mundane of the world; typical of or concerned with the ordinary
nascent coming into being; in early developmental stages
nebulous vague; cloudy; lacking clearly defined form
neologism a new word, expression, or usage; the creation or use of new words or senses
noxious harmful; injurious
obtuse lacking sharpness of intellect; not clear or precise in thought or expression
obviate to anticipate and make unnecessary
onerous troubling; burdensome
parody a humorous imitation intended for ridicule or comic effect, esp. in literature and art
perennial recurrent through the year or many years; happening repeatedly
perfunctory cursory; done without care or interest
prattle to babble meaninglessly; to talk in an empty and idle manner
prescience foreknowledge of events; knowing of events prior to their occurring
prevaricate to deliberately avoid the truth; to mislead
refute to disprove; to successfully argue against
relegate to forcibly assign, esp. to a lower place or position
solicitous concerned and attentive; eager
sporadic occurring only occasionally, or in scattered instances
static not moving, active, or in motion; at rest
stupefy to stun, baffle, or amaze
tortuous winding; twisting; excessively complicated
truculent fierce and cruel; eager to fight
voracious having an insatiable appetite for an activity or pursuit; ravenous
waver to move to and fro; to sway; to be unsettled in opinion
abscond to depart clandestinely; to steal off and hide
ameliorate to make better or more tolerable
arduous strenuous; taxing; requiring significant effort
ascetic one who practices rigid self-denial, esp. as an act of religious devotion
austere without adornment; bare; severely simple; ascetic
axiom a universally recognized principle
axiomatic taken as a given; possessing self-evident truth
bucolic rustic and pastoral; characteristic of rural areas and their inhabitants
canonical following or in agreement with accepted, traditional standards
contentious argumentative; quarrelsome; causing controversy or disagreement
convoluted complex or complicated
culpable deserving blame
disabuse to undeceive; to set right
eclectic composed of elements drawn from various sources
effrontery extreme boldness; presumptuousness
ephemeral brief; fleeting
erudite very learned; scholarly
eulogy a speech honoring the dead
extemporaneous improvised; done without preparation
facetious playful; humorous
fulminate to loudly attack or dece
hyperbole an exaggerated statement, often used as a figure of speech
lucid clear; easily understood
oscillation the act or state of swinging back and forth witha steady, uninterrupted rhythm
paean a song or hymn of praise and thanksgiving
penurious penny-pinching; excessively thrifty; ungenerous
perfidy intentional breach of faith; treachery
pernicious extremely harmful; potentially causing death
perspicacious acutely perceptive; having keen discernment
pious extremely reverent or devout; showing strongreligious devotion
precipitate acting with excessive haste or impulse
precipitate to cause or happen before anticipated or required
precursor one that precedes and indicates or advancesanother
predilection a disposition in favor of something; preference
prolific producing large volumes or amounts; productive
qualms misgivings; reservations; causes for hesitancy
quiescence stillness; motionlessness; quality of being at rest
recant to retract, esp. a previously held belief
redoubtable awe-inspiring; worthy of honor
reticent quiet; reserved; reluctant to express thoughts and feelings
satire a literary work that ridicules or criticizes a human vice through humor or derision
sordid characterized by filth, grime, or squalor; foul
squalid sordid; wretched and dirty as from neglect
squander to waste by spending or using irresponsibly
stoic indifferent to or unaffected by pleasure or pain;steadfast
stymie to block; thwart
supplant to take the place of; supersede
synthesis the combination of parts to make a whole
torpid lethargic; sluggish; dormant
torque a force that causes rotation
ubiquitous existing everywhere at the same time;
constantly encountered; widespread
veracity truthfulness; honesty
vilify to defame; to characterize harshly
virulent extremely harmful or poisonous; bitterly hostile or antagonistic
abate to lessen in intensity or degree
accolade an expression of praise
adulation excessive praise; intense adoration
aesthetic dealing with, appreciative of, or responsive to art or the beautiful
avarice greed, esp. for wealth
burgeon to grow rapidly or flourish
cacophony harsh, jarring, discordant sound; dissonance
canon an established set of principles or code of laws,
often religious in nature
castigation severe criticism or punishment
catalyst a substance that accelerates the rate of a
chemical reaction without itself changing
catalyst a person or thing that causes change
caustic burning or stinging; causing corrosion
chary wary; cautious; sparing
cogent appealing forcibly to the mind or reason; convincing
complaisance the willingness to comply with the wishes of others
contrite regretful; penitent; seeking forgiveness
dearth smallness of quantity or number; scarcity; a lack
demur to question or oppose
didactic intended to teach or instruct
discretion cautious reserve in speech; ability to make
responsible decisions
disinterested indifferent; free from self-interest
dogmatic stubbornly opinionated
ebullience the quality of lively or enthusiastic expression of thoughts and feelings
elegy a mournful poem, esp. one lamenting the dead
emollient soothing, esp. to the skin; making less harsh
empirical based on observation or experiment
enigmatic mysterious; obscure; difficult to understand
esoteric intended for or understood by a small, specific group
exonerate to remove blame
fallacy an invalid or incorrect notion; a mistaken belief
furtive marked by stealth; covert; surreptitious
gregarious sociable; outgoing; enjoying the company of other people
harangue to deliver a pompous speech or tirade
heretical violating accepted dogma or convention
impecunious lacking funds; without money
incipient beginning to come into being or to become apparent
inert unmoving; lethargic; sluggish
innocuous harmless; causing no damage
intransigent refusing to compromise
inveigle to obtain by deception or flattery
morose sad; sullen; melancholy
odious evoking intense aversion or dislike
opaque impenetrable by light; not reflecting light
peruse to examine with great care
preen to dress up; to primp; to groom oneself with
elaborate care
prodigious abundant in size, force, or extent; extraordinary
putrefy to rot; to decay and give off a foul odor
quaff to drink deeply
sanction authoritative permission or approval; a penalty intended to enforce compliance
urbane sophisticated; refined; elegant
viscous thick; sticky
acerbic having a sour or bitter taste or character
amalgamate to combine several elements into a whole
amenable agreeable; responsive to suggestion
bolster to provide support or reinforcement
bombast self-important or pompous writing or speech
bombastic pompous; grandiloquent
credulous tending to believe too readily; gullible
diatribe a harsh denunciation
fawn to flatter or praise excessively
fervent greatly emotional or zealous
flout to demonstrate contempt for, as in a rule or convention
fortuitous happening by fortunate accident or chance
garrulous pointlessly talkative; talking too much
germane relevant to the subject at hand; appropriate in subject matter
glib marked by ease or informality; nonchalant;
lacking in depth; superficial
halcyon calm and peaceful
hubris arrogant presumption or pride
idolatrous given to intense or excessive devotion to something
imminent about to happen; impending
imperturbable marked by extreme calm, impassivity and steadiness
impetuous hastily or rashly energetic; impulsive and vehement
implacable not capable of being appeased or significantly changed
indifferent having no interest or concern; showing no bias or prejudice
intrepid steadfast and courageous
laconic using few words; terse
malleable capable of being shaped or formed; tractable; pliable
maverick an independent individual who does not go along with a group or party
mendacity the condition of being untruthful; dishonesty
mercurial characterized by rapid and unpredictable change in mood
meticulous characterized by extreme care and precision; attentive to detail
mollify to calm or soothe; to reduce in emotional intensity
obdurate unyielding; hardhearted; intractable
obfuscate to deliberately obscure; to make confusing
obsequious exhibiting a fawning attentiveness
obstinate stubborn; hard-headed; uncompromising
opprobrium disgrace; contempt; scorn
ostentatious characterized by or given to pretentiousness
pedantic the parading of learning; excessive attention to minutiae and formal rules
pervade to permeate throughout
pervasive having the tendency to permeate or spread throughout
phlegmatic calm; sluggish; unemotional
pirate to illegally use or reproduce
plethora an overabundance; a surplus
polemical controversial; argumentative
pragmatic practical rather than idealistic
rancorous characterized by bitter, long-lasting resentment
rhetoric the art or study of effective use of language for communication and persuasion
salubrious promoting health or well-being
sedulous diligent; persistent; hard-working
solvent able to meet financial obligations; able to dissolve another substance
soporific causing drowsiness; tending to induce sleep
aggrandize to increase in intensity, power, or prestige
alchemy a medieval science aimed at the transmutation of metals, esp. base metals into gold
anachronism something or someone out of place in terms of historical or chronological context
astringent having a tightening effect on living tissue;
harsh; severe
contiguous sharing a border; touching; adjacent
convention a generally agreed-upon practice or attitude
cynicism an attitude or quality of belief that all people are motivated by selfishness
decorum polite or appropriate conduct or behavior
derision scorn; ridicule; contemptuous treatment
desiccate to dry out or dehydrate; to make dry or dull
dilettante one with an amateurish or superficial interest in the arts or a branch of knowledge
disparage to slight or belittle
divulge to disclose something secret
immutable not capable of change
inimical damaging; harmful; injurious
intractable not easily managed or directed; stubborn; obstinate
neophyte a recent convert; a beginner; novice
presumptuous overstepping due bounds (as of propriety or courtesy); taking liberties
pristine pure; uncorrupted; clean
probity adherence to highest principles; uprightness
proclivity a natural predisposition or inclination
profligate excessively wasteful; recklessly extravagant
propensity a natural inclination or tendency; penchant
prosaic dull; unimaginative
pungent characterized by a strong, sharp smell or taste
quixotic foolishly impractical; marked by lofty romantic ideals
quotidian occurring or recurring daily; commonplace
rarefy to make or become thin, less dense; to refine
recondite hidden; concealed; difficult to understand; obscure
refulgent radiant; shiny; brilliant
renege to fail to honor a commitment; to go back on a promise
shard a piece of broken pottery or glass
sparse thin; not dense; arranged at widely spaced intervals
spendthrift one who spends money wastefully
subtle not obvious; elusive; difficult to discern
tacit implied; not explicitly stated
terse brief and concise in wording
tout to publicly praise or promote
trenchant sharply perceptive; keen; penetrating
unfeigned genuine; not false or hypocritical
untenable indefensible; not viable; uninhabitable
vacillate to waver indecisively between one course of action or opinion and another; to waver
variegated multicolored; characterized by a variety of patches of different color
vexation annoyance; irritation
vigilant alertly watchful
vituperate to use harsh condemnatory language; to abuse or censure severely or abusively; to berate
volatile readily changing to a vapor; changeable; fickle; explosive
acumen quick, keen, or accurate knowledge or insight
adulterate to reduce purity by combining with inferior ingredients
archaic outdated; associated with an earlier, perhaps more primitive, time
aver to state as a fact; to confirm or support
dissemble to disguise or conceal; to mislead
eccentric departing from norms or conventions
endemic characteristic of or often found in a particular
locality, region, or people
evanescent tending to disappear like vapor; vanishing
exacerbate to make worse or more severe
grandiloquence pompous speech or expression
hackneyed rendered trite or commonplace by frequent usage
hedonism devotion to pleasurable pursuits, esp. to the pleasures of the senses
hegemony the consistent dominance of one state or ideology over others
iconoclast one who attacks or undermines traditional
conventions or institutions
impassive revealing no emotion
impunity immunity from punishment or penalty
inchoate in an initial stage; not fully formed
infelicitous unfortunate; inappropriate
insipid without taste or flavor; lacking in spirit; bland
loquacious extremely talkative
luminous characterized by brightness and the emission of light
malevolent having or showing often vicious ill-will, spite, or hatred
misanthrope one who hates all other humans
mitigate to make or become less severe or intense; to moderate
occlude to obstruct or block
pedagogy the art or profession of training, teaching, or instructing
penury poverty; destitution
pine to yearn intensely; to languish; to lose vigor
pith the essential or central part
pithy precise and brief
placate to appease; to calm by making concessions
platitude a superficial remark, esp. one offered as meaningful
plummet to plunge or drop straight down
prodigal recklessly wasteful; extravagant; profuse; lavish
profuse given or coming forth abundantly; extravagant
proliferate to grow or increase swiftly and abundantly
queries questions; inquiries; doubts in the mind; reservations
querulous prone to complaining or grumbling; quarrelsome
recalcitrant obstinately defiant of authority; difficult to manage
repudiate to refuse to have anything to do with; to disown
rescind to invalidate; to repeal; to retract
reverent marked by, feeling, or expressing a feeling of
profound awe and respect
specious seeming true, but actually being fallacious; misleadingly attractive
spurious lacking authenticity or validity; false; counterfeit
subpoena a court order requiring appearance and/or testimony
succinct brief; concise
superfluous exceeding what is sufficient or necessary surfeit excess; overindulgence
tenacity the quality of adherence or persistence to something valued
tenuous having little substance or strength; flimsy; weak
tirade a long and extremely critical speech; a harsh denunciation
transient fleeting; passing quickly; brief
alloy to commingle; to debase by mixing with something inferior
appropriate to take for one’s own use; confiscate
arrest to suspend; to engage; to hold one’s attention
august majestic; venerable
bent leaning; inclination; proclivity; tendency
broach to bring up or ance; to begin to talk about
brook to tolerate, endure, or countenance
cardinal of great importance
color to change as if by dyeing, i.e., to distort, gloss, or affect
damp to diminish the intensity or check the vibration of sound, etc.
die a part of a machine that punches shaped holes or cuts
essay to test or try; to attempt or experiment
exact to demand, call for, require or take
flag to sag or droop; to become spiritless; to decline
flip sarcastic, impertinent
ford to wade across the shallow part of a river or stream
grouse to complain or grumble
guy a cord or cable used to steady or guide something
intimate to imply, suggest, or insinuate
list to tilt or lean to one side
lumber to move heavily and clumsily
milk to exploit; to squeeze every last ounce of
mince toproce or speak affectedly; to speak too
carefully; also, to take tiny steps or tiptoe
nice exacting; fastidious; extremely, even excessively, precise
obtain to be established, accepted, or customary
occult hidden; concealed; beyond comprehension
pedestrian commonplace; trite; unremarkable; quotidian
pied multicolored, usually in blotches or patches
pine to lose vigor (as through grief); to yearn
plastic moldable; pliable; not rigid
prize/ to pry; to press or force with a lever; something
taken by force; spoils
rail to complain about bitterly
rent/ torn, past of rend; an opening or tear caused by such
quail to lose courage; to become frightened
qualify to limit
sap to enervate or weaken the vitality of
scurvy contemptible; despicable
singular exceptional; unusual; odd
steep to saturate or completely soak
strut the supporting structural cross-part of a wing
table to remove (as a parliamentary motion) from consideration
tender to proffer or offer; to give
waffle to equivocate; to change one’s position
wag wit; joker
abjure to reject solemnly; to recant; to avoid
abrogate to abolish or annul by authority; to put down
abscission the act of cutting off or removing
acarpous effete; no longer fertile; worn out
accretion growth; increase by successive addition; building up
admonish to reprove; to express warning or disapproval
adroit adept; dexterous
adumbrate to foreshadow or intimate; to suggest sketchily; to obscure
anathema a solemn or ecclesiastical (religious) curse; accursed or thoroughly loathed person or thing
anodyne/ soothing; something that assuages or allays pain or comforts
antipathy aversion; dislike
antithetical diametrically opposed; as in antithesis
apocryphal of dubious authenticity or origin; spurious
apogee farthest or highest point; culmination; zenith (antonym:perigee)
apostate one who abandons long-held religious or politicalconvictions
apotheosis deification; glorification to godliness
apposite appropriate; pertinent; relevant; apropos
apprise to give notice to; to inform
arabesque a complex, ornate design; also to a dance position
arcane mysterious; abstruse; esoteric; knowable only to initiates
arrant impudent
artless completely without guile; natural; without artificiality
ascetic/ someone practicing self-denial; austere; stark
asperity severity; rigor; roughness; harshness; acrimony irritability
aspersion an act of defamation or maligning; animadversion
assay/ an analysis; examination; test; to put to a test
asseverate to aver; to allege; to assert
assiduous diligent; hard-working; sedulous
attenuate to rarefy; to weaken or make thinner
augury omen; portent
auspice protection or support; patronage
auspicious favorable; propitious; successful; prosperous
aver to affirm; to assert; to prove; to justify; to asseverate
baleful sinister; pernicious; ominous
bane cause of injury; poison; source of harm
beatify to bless, make happy, or ascribe a virtue to; to regard as saintly
bedizen to adorn, especially in a cheap, showy manner; to festoon
belie to give a false impression of; to misrepresent
bellicose belligerent; pugnacious; warlike
bilge bulge; the protuberance of a cask
blandish to toady or fawn
blithe carefree; merry
boisterous loud; noisy; rough; lacking restraint
boor a rude or insensitive person; lout
burnish to polish; to rub to a shine
byzantine labyrinthine; complex
cabal a scheme or plot; a group of plotters
cachinnate to laugh loudly
cadge to sponge or mooch
cajole to inveigle, coax, or wheedle
calumniate to slander; to make a false accusation
calumny slander; aspersion
caparison to adorn or bedizen
captious calculated to confuse or entrap in argument; hypercritical; caviling
caret an insertion mark (^) used by editors and proofreaders
cavil to find fault without good reason
celerity speed; alacrity
chasten to chastise or correct
chauvinist a blindly devoted patriot
chimera an illusion; originally, an imaginary fire-breathing she-monster
churlish boorish; vulgar; loutish; difficult and intractable
coalesce to come together; to fuse or unite
coda concluding section of a musical or literary piece
coeval of the same period; coexisting
commensurate matching; corresponding or proportionate in degree, size, or amount
contemn to scorn or despise
contumacious insubordinate; rebellious
corrigible capable of being set right; correctable; reparable
countenance/ to approve of or tolerate; face; composure
cozen to deceive, beguile, or hoodwink
craven contemptibly fainthearted; lacking any courage
curmudgeon a crusty, ill-tempered coot; a misanthrope
daunt to cow or dismay
debacle rout; fiasco; complete failure
decorous correct; formal; marked by decorum
defalcate to embezzle or misappropriate
denigrate to blacken; to belittle; to sully; to defame; to disparage
denouement an outcome or solution; the unraveling of a plot
deposition accretion; depositing; building up layer by layer; official testimony
deprecate to disparage or belittle; to put down
depredate to plunder, pillage, ravage, or destroy; to exploit in a predatory manner
derivative unoriginal; obtained from another source
descant to comment at length
descry to discriminate or discern
desuetude disuse
desultory random; thoughtless; marked by a lack of plan or purpose
detraction slandering; al attack; aspersion
diaphanous transparent; gauzy
diffident reserved, shy, or unassuming; lacking in self-confidence
digress to stray from the point; to go off on a tangent
dilatory causing delay; procrastinating
din loud, sustained noise
dirge a song of grief or lamentation
disaffect to estrange or alienate the affection of
discomfit to defeat; to put down
discursive digressive; passing from one topic to another
dissolution disintegration; looseness in morals
distention the state or act of extending or being swollen out of shape
distrait distracted; absent-minded, especially due to anxiety
doggerel trivial, poorly constructed verse
dross slag, waste, or foreign matter; impurity; surface scum
dulcet melodious; harmonious; mellifluous
dynamo generator; forceful, energetic person
eclectic culled from many sources
edacious voracious; devouring
edifying enlightening
effluvia outflow in a stream of particles; a noxious odor or vapor
effrontery boldness; impudence; arrogance
effusive gushing; excessively demonstrative
egress exit
encomium glowing and enthusiastic praise; panegyric; tribute; eulogy
endemic restricted or peculiar to a particular region; indigenous
engender to cause; to produce; to give rise to
enormity excessive wickedness; evilness (Don’t confuse with “enormousness,” which means great size.)
ephemeral evanescent; fleeting; short-lived
epicure one devoted to sensual pleasure, particularly in food and drink; gourmand; sybarite
episodic loosely connected; not flowing logically
epithet disparaging word or phrase
epitome embodiment; quintessence
equanimity composure; self-possession
equipoise equal distribution of weight; equilibrium
errant traveling; itinerant; peripatetic
eschew to shun or avoid
estimable worthy; formidable
evince to show clearly; to indicate
excoriate to censure scathingly; to upbraid
exegesis critical examination; explication
exemplar typical or standard specimen; paradigm; model
expatiate to descant; to discourse; to discuss or write about at length
expiate to atone or make amends for
expostulate to argue earnestly in order to dissuade, correct, or protest
expurgate to remove obscenity; to purify; to censor
exscind to cut out or extirpate
extant existing; not destroyed or lost
extirpate to destroy; to exterminate; to cut out; to exscind
fallow untilled; inactive; dormant
fatuous silly; inanely foolish
feckless ineffectual; irresponsible
felicitous apt; suitably expressed; well-chosen; apropos
fetid stinking; smelly; malodorous
fetter to shackle; to put in chains
filigree an ornamental work, especially of delicate lacelike patterns
florid flowery; ruddy; ornate
foment to incite; to rouse
forbearance patience; willingness to wait
forestall to act in a way to hinder; to exclude or prevent an action; to avert
forswear torece; to disallow; to repudiate
fracas noisy quarrel; imbroglio; brawl
fractious quarrelsome; rebellious; unruly; refractory; irritable
frieze a semi-sculptural, raised-surface ornamental facade to a building
froward intractable; not willing to yield or comply; recalcitrant
gainsay to deny, dispute, contradict, to oppose
gambol to skip about playfully
garner to gather and save; to store up
gauche crude; awkward; tasteless
gossamer delicate; insubstantial or tenuous; insincere
guile artfulness; trickery; chicanery; duplicity
hallow to make holy; to consecrate
harrow to distress; to create stress; to torment
heretical unorthodox; iconoclastic; dissenting from established dogma
hermetic sealed by fusion; airtight
heterodox unorthodox; heretical; iconoclastic
hirsute hairy; shaggy
homiletics the art of preaching
homily a sermon or morally instructive lecture
iconoclastic attacking cherished beliefs; heretical; heterodox
idyll a carefree, light-hearted pastoral or romantic episode; a literary or musical piece describingsuch
ignominious shameful; dishonorable; ignoble; undignified
imbroglio difficult or embarrassing situation
impassive expressionless; stoic; stolid; unsusceptible to emotion; apathetic; phlegmatic
imperious commanding; masterful; arrogant; domineering; haughty
importune to ask incessantly; to beg; to nag
impugn to attack or assail ally; to censure; to execrate
impute to attribute to a cause or source; to ascribe
indefatigable doggedness; tirelessness
indolent lazy; listless; torpid
ineluctable certain; inevitable
ingenuous guileless; trusting; naive; credulous
inherent ingrained within one’s nature; intrinsic; innate; firmly established
inimical hostile; adverse; unfriendly
inimitable one of a kind; peerless
iniquity gross injustice; wickedness
innervate to supply with nerves; to embolden; to energize
inscrutable incapable of being discovered or understood
insensible unconscious; unresponsive; unaffected; numb
insouciant unconcerned; carefree; heedless
insular parochial; narrow-minded
interdict to prohibit; to forbid; to ban; to halt
inveigh to attack ally; to dece; to deprecate
inveterate deep-rooted; ingrained; habitual
involute intricate; complex; convoluted
itinerate to travel from place to place; to peregrinate
jejune vapid; uninteresting; immature; puerile
jibe to agree; to be in accord
jocose, jocular humorous; gay; blithe
labile readily open to change; unstable
lachrymose causing tears; tearful
lambaste to censure; to excoriate; to berate
lassitude listlessness; languor; weariness
libertine someone unrestrained by morality or convention
limn to draw; to outline in detail; to delineate; to describe
limpid transparent; serene; clear; untroubled; pellucid
lubricious lewd; wanton; greasy; slippery
luculent easily understood; lucid; clear
macerate to waste away; to soften or wear away by excessive fasting or by excessive steeping
maculate marked with spots or blotches; besmirched; impure
malinger to feign illness so as to avoid work; to avoid work
maunder to digress; to meander; to stray from the topic or path
mellifluous sweetly flowing, usually used to describe use of words
mendicant beggar; supplicant
meretricious cheap; gaudy; tawdry; flashy; showy
metamorphose to transform; to change utterly
mettle strength of spirit; courage; stamina
mettlesome courageous; high-spirited
militate to have weight; to bear on; to argue (against)
minatory menacing; threatening
misogynist one who hates women/females
multifarious varied; motley; greatly diversified
nadir low point; perigee
natty trimly neat and tidy; smart
nexus a connection, tie, or link
noisome offensive, especially to one’s sense of smell; fetid
nonplused baffled; in a quandary; at a loss for what to say or do
nostrum panacea; cure-all; placebo; questionable remedy; palliative
nugatory trifling; inconsequential
obloquy abusively detractive language; sharp criticism;
obstreperous noisy; loud
officious meddlesome; pushy in one’s services
ossified tending to become more rigid; conventional;
sterile and reactionary with age; literally, turned into bone
ostensible seeming; appearing as such; professed
overweening presumptuously arrogant; supercilious; oearing
palliate to make something appear less serious; to gloss over
panegyric formal praise; eulogy; encomium
paradigm a model, example, or pattern; exemplar
pariah an outcast; a rejected and despised person
parry to block; to evade or ward off, as a blow
parsimonious cheap; miserly
partisan/ committed to a party; biased or prejudiced;
supporter; adherent
paucity scarcity; a lacking of
peccadillo a slight offense; literally, a minor sin
pellucid transparent; easy to understand; limpid
penchant strong inclination; a liking
peregrination traveling about; wandering
peremptory admitting of no contradiction; haughty; imperious
perigee closest or lowest point in an orbit; nadir
peripatetic itinerant; traveling; nomadic
peroration the concluding part of a speech; grandiloquent speech
personable pleasing in appearance; attractive
petrous like a rock; hard; stony
petulant impatient; irritable
philistine a crass individual guided by material rather than by intellectual or artistic values
phlegmatic impassive; stoical; lethargic; sluggish
picaresque involving clever rogues or adventurers
pillory to punish; to hold up to public scorn
piquant agreeably pungent; stimulating
pique/ resentment; to annoy, irritate, or offend; to excite, provoke, or arouse
placebo inactive pill prescribed for mental relief rather than for physical effect; something tending to soothe
plangent pounding; thundering; resounding
plumb to measure the depth; to examine critically
poignant distressing; pertinent; touching; stimulating; emotional
poseur affected or insincere person; literally, a poser
prate to chatter; to babble, as in prattle
precarious uncertain; risky; dangerous
precept rule establishing standards of conduct
precis concise summary of essential points
preempt to replace; to supersede; to appropriate
profligate spendthrift; prodigal; wildly extravagant
prolix long-winded
propinquity nearness in time or place; affinity of nature
propitiate to appease; to conciliate
proscribe to ostracize; to banish; to outlaw
provident frugal; looking to the future
puerile childish; immature
pugnacious contentious; quarrelsome; contumacious; given to fighting; belligerent
puissance power; strength
punctilious precise; paying attention to trivialities, especially in regard to etiquette
pundit an authority on a subject; one who gives opinions
pusillanimous cowardly; craven
querulous habitually complaining; whining
raffish tawdry; flashy; meretricious; low; vulgar; base
ramify to be divided or subdivided; to branch out
rapacious voracious; greedy; plundering
rebus riddle; a representation of words by pictures or symbols
recidivism relapse into antisocial or criminal behavior
recondite abstruse; profound; arcane
reconnaissance preliminary survey to gain information, especially of an enemy
reconnoiter to engage in reconnaissance
recreant/ coward; cowardly; craven; pusillanimous
recumbent leaning; resting; prone
redolent fragrant; suggestive or evocative
refractory stubborn; unmanageable; intractable; unruly; fractious
regale to delight or entertain; to feast
remonstrate to protest; to object
repine to feel or express dejection or discontent; to long for
repudiate to disown; to disavow; to reject as untrue
resolute adamant; steadfast; determined; irresolute
rubric heading, title, or category
rue to regret; to feel remorse or sorrow
runic mysterious; magical
sagacious having sound judgment; perceptive; wise
salacious obscene
salient prominent; protruding; conspicuous; relevant
salutary wholesome; causing improvement; favorable to health
sanctimony self-righteousness
sanguine cheerful; confident; optimistic
satiate to surfeit; to overindulge
saturnine gloomy; dark; sullen; morose
seine a large net dragged to catch fish
seminal like a seed; constituting a source; originative
sententious aphoristic or moralistic; epigrammatic; tending to moralize excessively
sidereal astral; relating to stars or constellations
simper/ to smirk; a silly smile
sinecure position requiring little or no work and usually
providing an income
sinuous winding; undulating; serpentine
slake to satisfy or quench
sodden soaked or drenched; unimaginative; dull
solder to weld, fuse, or join
sophistry fallacious reasoning; faulty logic
sophomoric self-assured though immature; affected; bombastic; lacking maturity
splenetic bad-tempered; irritable
stanch to stop the flow of a fluid
stentorian extremely loud and powerful
stint to restrain; to be sparing or frugal
striated striped; grooved; banded
stygian gloomy; dark
succor assistance; relief in time of distress
sundry various; miscellaneous; separate
supercilious disdainful; arrogant; haughty
supine mentally or morally slack; literally, lying on one’s back; prone
suppliant supplicant; asking humbly; beseeching
supplicant beggar; mendicant
tamp to plug; to drive in or down by a series of blows
tautology a repetition; a redundancy
tawdry cheap; gaudy; showy; tacky; meretricious
tendentious biased; showing marked tendencies
timorous timid; fearful; diffident
toady sycophant; flatterer
torrid scorching; ardent; passionate
tractable docile; obedient; easily led
travesty mockery; caricature; parody
tumid swollen
turbid roiled; muddy; clouded to the point of being opaque
turgid swollen; tumid; thick; pompous; bombastic
turpitude depravity; prurience
tyro novice; greenhorn; rank amateur
umbrage offense; resentment; pique
undulate to move in wavelike fashion; to fluctuate
untoward perverse; unruly; unseemly
upbraid to scold; to censure; to rebuke; to chastise
usury the practice of charging an exorbitant or illegal rate of interest
vaunt to brag or boast
venal capable of being bought or bribed; mercenary; purchasable
venerate to revere; to worship
verisimilitude appearance of truth or reality
veritable authentic; honest-to-goodness
virago a loud, domineering woman; a scold or nag
vitiate to pervert; to debase; to spoil; to make ineffective
volubility fluency; verbosity; easy use of spoken language
waft to cause to move as if by a light breeze
welter to writhe; to toss about; to be in turmoil
wend to go; to proceed; to walk
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