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SAT Voca

QuestionAnswer
abase to humble ,disgrace
abandon total lack of inhibition
abate decrease, reduce
abdicate to give up a position, right, or power
aberration something different from the usual
abet to aid; act as accomplice
abhor to loathe, detest
abject miserable, pitiful
abolitionist one who opposes the practice of slavery
abortive interrupted while incomplete
abridge to condense, shorten
abrogate to put an end to, abolish by authority
abscond to depart secretly
absolve to forgive, free from blame
abstain to choose not to do something
accolade praise, distinction
accrue to accumulate, grow by additions
acerbic bitter, sharp in taste or temper
acme highest point; summit
acquiesce to agree; comply quietly
acrid harsh, bitter
acrimony bitterness, animosity
acuity sharpness
acumen sharpness of insight
adage old saying or proverb
adamant uncompromising, unyielding
adapt to accommodate; adjust
adhere to cling or follow without deviation
adjacent next to
admonish to caution or reprimand
adroit skillful, accomplished, highly competent
adulation high praise
adumbrate to sketch, outline in a shadowy way
adversarial antagonistic, competitive
aerie nook or nest built high in the air
aesthetic pertaining to beauty or art
affable friendly, easy to approach
affected pretentious, phony
affluent rich, abundant
affront personal offense, insult
agenda plan, schedule
agile well coordinated, nimble
agitation commotion, excitement; uneasiness
agrarian relating to farming or rural matters
alacrity cheerful willingness, eagerness; speed
alias assumed name
alienated distanced, estranged
allegory symbolic representation
alleviate to relieve, improve partially
allure to entice by charm; attract
allusion indirect reference
aloof detached, indifferent
altruism unselfish concern for others' welfare
ambiguous uncertain; subject to multiple interpretations
ambivalence attitude of uncertainty; conflicting emotions
ameliorate to make better, improve
amenable agreeable, cooperative
amend to improve or correct flaws in
amenity pleasantness; something increasing comfort
amiable friendly, pleasant, likable
amicable friendly, agreeable
amoral unprincipled, unethical
amorphous having no definite form
amphibian creature equally at home on land or in water
ample abundant, plentiful
amulet ornament worn as a charm against evil spirits
anachronistic outdated
anarchy absence of government or law; chaos
anathema ban, curse; something shunned or disliked
animation enthusiasm, excitement
animosity hatred, hostility
annul to cancel, nullify, declare void, or make legally invalid
anomaly irregularity or deviation from the norm
anonymity condition of having no name or an unknown name
antagonist foe, opponent, adversary
antecedent coming before in place or time
anthology collection of literary works
antipathy dislike, hostility; extreme opposition or aversion
antiquated outdated, obsolete
antiquity ancient times; the quality of being old
antithesis exact opposite or direct contrast
apathy lack of feeling or emotion
aphorism old saying or short, pithy statement
apocryphal not genuine; fictional
apostate one who renounces a religious faith
appease to satisfy, placate, calm, pacify
approbation praise; official approval
appropriate to take possesion of
arable suitable for cultivation
arbitrary depending solely on individual will; inconsistent
arboreal relating to trees; living in trees
arcane secret, obscure, known only to a few
archaic antiquated, from an earlier time; outdated
archipelago large group of islands
ardent passionate, enthusiastic, fervent
arduous extremely difficult, laborious
arid extremely dry or deathly boring
arsenal ammunition storehouse
articulate well spoken, expressing oneself clearly
artisan craftsperson; expert
ascend to rise or climb
ascetic self-denying, abstinent, austere
ashen resembling ashes; deathly pale
askew crooked, tilted
aspersion false rumor, damaging report, slander
aspire to have great hopes; to aim at a goal
assail to attack, assault
assiduous diligent, persistent, hard-working
assuage to make less severe, ease, relieve
astringent harsh, severe, stern
astute having good judgment
atone to make amends for a wrong
atrocious monstrous, shockingly bad, wicked
attain to accomplish, gain
attenuate to make thin or slender; weaken
audacious bold, daring, fearless
audible capable of being heard
augment to expand, extend
augury prophecy, prediction of events
august dignified, awe inspiring, venerable
auspicious having favorable prospects, promising
austere stern, strict, unadorned
authoritarian extremely strict, bossy
autocrat dictator
avarice greed
avenge to retaliate, take revenge for an injury or crime
aver to declare to be true, affirm
aversion intense dislike
avert to turn (something) away; prevent, hinder
aviary large enclosure housing birds
awry crooked, askew, amiss
baleful harmful, with evil intentions
ballad folk song, narrative poem
balm soothing, healing influence
banal trite, overly common
bane something causing death, destruction, or ruin
banter playful conversation
bastion fortification, stronghold
bay to bark, especially in a deep prolonged way
beguile to deceive, mislead; charm
behemoth huge creature
belabor to insist repeatedly or harp on
belie to misrepresent; expose as false
bellicose warlike, aggressive
belligerent hostile, tending to fight
benefactor someone giving aid or money
beneficent kindly, charitable; doing good deeds; producing good effects
benighted unenlightened
benign kindly, gentle, or harmless
bequeath to give or leave through a will; to hand down
berate to scold harshly
beseech to beg, plead, implore
bestial beastly, animal-like
bias prejudice, slant
bibliography list of books
bisect to cut into two (usually equal) parts
blanch to pale; take the color out of
blandish to coax with flattery
blasphemous cursing, profane, irreverent
blatant glaring, obvious, showy
blight to afflict, destroy
boisterous rowdy, loud, unrestrained
bombastic using high-sounding but meaningless language
boor crude person, one lacking manners or taste
botanist scientist who studies plants
bovine cowlike; relating to cows
brazen bold, shameless, impudent; of or like brass
broach to mention or suggest for the first time
burgeon to sprout or flourish
burnish to polish, make smooth and bright
buttress to reinforce or support
cacophony jarring, unpleasant noise
cajole to flatter, coax, persuade
callous thick-skinned, insensitive
callow immature, lacking sophistication
candor honesty of expression
canny smart; founded on common sense
capitulate to submit completely, surrender
capricious impulsive, whimsical, without much thought
caricature exaggerated portrait, cartoon
cartography science or art of making maps
castigate to punish, chastise, criticize severely
catalyst something causing change without being changed
catholic universal; broad and comprehensive
caucus smaller group within an organization; a meeting of such a group
caustic biting, sarcastic; able to burn
cede to surrender possession of something
censorious severely critical
cessation temporary or complete halt
chagrin shame, embarrassment, humiliation
champion to defend or support
chaotic extremely disorderly
charlatan quack, fake
chary watchful, cautious, extremely shy
chastise to punish, discipline, scold
chide to scold, express disapproval
chromatic relating to color
circuitous roundabout
circumference boundary or distance around a circle or sphere
circumscribe to encircle; set limits on, confine
circumspect cautious, wary
citadel fortress or stronghold
civil polite; relating to citizens
clairvoyant having ESP, psychic
clamor to make a noisy outcry; a noisy outcry
clandestine secretive, concealed for a darker purpose
clemency merciful leniency
cloister to confine, seclude
coalesce to grow together or cause to unite as one
coddle to baby, treat indulgently
coerce to compel by force or intimidation
cogent logically forceful, compelling, convincing
coherent intelligible, lucid, understandable
collateral accompanying
colloquial characteristic of informal speech
collusion collaboration, complicity, conspiracy
commensurate proportional
commodious roomy, spacious
communicable transmittable
commute to change a penalty to a less severe one
compensate to repay or reimburse
complacent self-satisfied, smug
complement to complete, perfect
compliant submissive and yielding
complicity knowing partnership in wrongdoing
compunction feeling of uneasiness caused by guilt or regret
concave curving inward
concede to yield, admit
conciliatory overcoming distrust or hostility
concur to agree
condone to pardon or forgive; overlook, justify, or excuse a fault
conduit tube, pipe, or similar passage
conflagration big, destructive fire
confound to battle, perplex
congeal to become thick or solid, as a liquid freezing
congenial similar in tastes and habits
conglomerate collected group of varied things
conjecture speculation, prediction
conscientious governed by conscience; careful and thorough
consecrate to declare sacred; dedicate to a goal
consensus unanimity, agreement of opinion or attitude
consolation something providing comfort or solace for a loss or hardship
consolidate to combine, incorporate
constrained forced, compelled; confined, restrained
construe to explain or interpret
contentious quarrelsome, disagreeable, belligerent
continence self-control, self-restraint
contravene to contradict, deny, act contrary to
contrite deeply sorrowful and repentant for a wrong
conundrum riddle, puzzle or problem with no solution
convalescence gradual recovery after an illness
convene to meet, come together, assemble
conventional typical, customary, commonplace
convex curved outward
convoluted twisted, complicated, involved
copious abundant, plentiful
corpulence obesity, fatness, bulkiness
corroborate to confirm, verify
cosmetic relating to beauty; affecting the surface of something
cosmopolitan sophisticated, free from local prejudices
coterie small group of persons with a similar purpose
coven group of witches
covert hidden; secret
covet to desire strongly something possessed by another
crass crude, unrefined
craven cowardly
credence acceptance of something as true or real
credulous gullible, trusting
creed statement of belief or principle
cryptic puzzling
cuisine characteristic style of cooking
culmination climax, final stage
culpable guilty, responsible for wrong
cupidity greed
curmudgeon cranky person
cursory hastily done, superficial
curt abrupt, blunt
curtail to shorten
cynic person who distrusts the motives of others
daunt to discourage, intimidate
dearth lack, scarcity, insufficiency
debase to degrade or lower in quality or stature
debauch to corrupt, seduce from virtue or duty; indulge
debilitate to weaken, enfeeble
debunk to discredit, disprove
deciduous losing leaves in the fall; short-lived, temporary
decorum proper behavior, etiquette
decry to belittle, openly condemn
deface to mar the appearances of, vandalize
defamatory slanderous, injurious to the reputation
deferential respectful and polite in a submissive way
deflation decrease, depreciation
defunct no longer existing, dead, extinct
delectable appetizing, delicious
delegate to give powers to another
deleterious harmful, destructive, detrimental
deluge flood
demagogue leader, rabble-rouser, usually using appeals to emotion or prejudice
demean to degrade, humiliate, humble
demographics data relating to study of human population
demote to reduce to a lower grade or rank
demur to express doubts or objections
denigrate to slur or blacken someone's reputation
deplete to use up, exhaust
deplore to express or feel disapproval of; regret strongly
deploy to spread out strategically over an area
depravity sinfulness, moral corruption
deprecate to belittle, disparage
depreciate to lose value gradually
deride to mock, ridicule, make fun of
derivative copied or adapted; not original
desiccate to dry completely, dehydrate
desist to stop doing something
despondent feeling discouraged and dejected
despot tyrannical ruler
destitute very poor, poverty-stricken
desultory at random, rambling, unmethodical
deter to discourage; prevent from happening
deviate to stray, wander
devout deeply religious
dexterous skilled physically or mentally
dialect regional style of speaking
diaphanous allowing light to show through; delicate
diatribe bitter verbal attack
dictum authoritative statement; popular saying
didactic excessively instructive
diffidence shyness, lack of confidence
diffuse widely spread out
digress to turn aside; to stray from the main point
dilapidated in disrepair, run down, neglected
dilate to enlarge, swell, extend
dilatory slow, tending to delay
diplomacy discretion, tact
dirge funeral hymn
disarray clutter, disorder
disburse to pay out
discern to perceive something obscure
disconcerting bewildering, perplexing, slightly disturbing
discordant harsh-sounding, badly out of tune
discredit to dishonor or disgrace
discrepancy difference between
disdain to regard with scorn and contempt
disgorge to vomit, discharge violently
disheveled untidy, disarranged, unkempt
disparage to belittle, speak disrespectfully about
disparate dissimilar, different in kind
dispassionate free from emotion; impartial, unbiased
dispel to drive out or scatter
dispense to distribute, administer
disperse to break up, scatter
dispirit to dishearten, make dejected
disrepute disgrace, dishonor
dissemble to pretend, disguise one's motives
disseminate to spread far and wide
dissipate to scatter; to pursue pleasure to excess
dissuade to persuade someone to alter original intentions
distraught very worried and distressed
dither to move or act confusedly or without clear purpose
diurnal daily
divine to foretell or know by inspiration
divisive creating disunity or conflict
docile tame, willing to be taught
doctrinaire rigidly devoted to theories
dogmatic rigidly fixed in opinion, opinionated
doleful sad, mournful
dormant at rest, inactive, in suspended animation
doting excessively fond, loving to excess
dour sullen and gloomy; stern and severe
drivel stupid talk; slobber
droll amusing in a wry, subtle way
dulcet pleasant sounding, soothing to the ear
dupe to deceive, trick; a fool or pawn
duplicity deception, dishonesty, double-dealing
dyspeptic suffering from indigestion; gloomy and irritable
ebb to fade away, recede
ebullient exhilarated, full of enthusiasm and high spirits
eclectic selecting from various sources
ecstatic joyful
edict law, command, official public order
edifice building
edify to instruct morally and spiritually
efface to erase or make illegible
effervescent bubbly, lively
effigy stuffed doll; likeness of a person
effrontery impudent boldness; audacity
effulgent brilliantly shining
effusive expressing emotion without restraint
egocentric acting as if things are centered around oneself
egregious conspicuously bad
elation exhilaration, joy
elegy mournful poem, usually about the dead
elicit to draw out, provoke
eloquence fluent and effective speech
emaciated skinny, scrawny, gaunt, especially from hunger
emancipate to set free, liberate
embellish to ornament; make attractive with decoration or details; add details to a statement
embezzle to steal money in violation of a trust
eminent celebrated, distinguished; outstanding, towering
emollient having soothing qualities, especially for skin
empathy identification with another's feelings
emulate to copy, imitate
endemic belonging to a particular area, inherent
enervate to weaken, sap strength from
engender to produce, cause, bring about
enigmatic puzzling, inexplicable
enjoin to urge, order, command; forbid or prohibit, as by judicial order
enmity hostility, antagonism, ill-will
ennui boredom, lack of interest and energy
enormity state of being gigantic or terrible
ensconce to settle comfortably into a place
enthrall to captivate, enchant, enslave
entreat to plead, beg
enunciate to pronounce clearly
ephemeral momentary, transient, fleeting
epicure person with refined taste in food and wine
epigram short, witty saying or poem
epilogue concluding section of a literary work
epitome representative of an entire group; summary
equanimity calmness, composure
equine relating to horses
equivocal ambiguous, open to more than one interpretation
equivocate to use vague or ambiguous language intentionally
eradicate to erase or wipe out
errant straying, mistaken, roving
erudite learned, scholarly
eschew to abstain from, avoid
esoteric understood by only a learned few
espouse to support or advocate; to marry
estrange to alienate, keep at a distance
ethereal not earthly, spiritual, delicate
eulogy high praise, often in a public speech
euphemism use of an inoffensive word or phrase in place of a more distasteful one
euphony pleasant, harmonious sound
euphoria feeling of well-being or happiness
evade to avoid, dodge
evanescent momentary, transitory, short-lived
evict to put out or force out
exacerbate to aggravate, intensify the bad qualities of
exasperation irritation
excerpt selection from a book or play
excruciating agonizing, intensely painful
exculpate to clear of blame or fault, vindicate
execrable utterly detestable, abhorrent
exhilaration state of being energetic or filled with happiness
exhort to urge or incite by strong appeals
exonerate to clear of blame, absolve
exorbitant extravagant, greater than reasonable
expedient convenient, efficient, practical
expiate to atone for, make amends for
explicit clearly defined, specific; forthright in expression
exponent one who champions or advocates
expound to elaborate; to expand or increase
expunge to erase, eliminate completely
expurgate to censor
extemporaneous unrehearsed, on the spur of the moment
extenuate to lessen the seriousness
extol to praise
extricate to free from, disentangle
extrinsic not inherent or essential, coming from without
exuberant lively, happy, and full of good spirits
exude to give off, ooze
exult to rejoice
fabricate to make or devise; construct
facade face, front; mask, superficial appearance
facile very easy
fallacious wrong, unsound, illogical
fallow uncultivated, unused
fanaticism extreme devotion to a cause
farcical absurd, ludricrous
fastidious careful with details
fathom to measure the depth of, gauge
fatuous stupid; foolishly self-satisfied
fawn to flatter excessively, seek the favor of
faze to bother, upset, or disconcert
feckless ineffective, careless, irresponsible
fecund fertile, fruitful, productive
feign to pretend, give a false impression; to invent falsely
felicitous suitable, appropriate; well-spoken
fell to chop, cut down
fervid passionate, intense, zealous
fetid foul-smelling, putrid
fiasco disaster, utter failure
fidelity loyalty
finicky fussy, difficult to please
flaccid limp, flabby, weak
flagrant outrageous, shameless
flamboyant flashy, garish; exciting, dazzling
flaunt to show off
flora plants
florid gaudy, extremely ornate; ruddy, flushed
flounder to falter, waver; to muddle, struggle
flout to treat contemptuously, scorn
fluctuate to alternate, waver
foible minor weakness or character flaw
foil to defeat, frustrate
foment to arouse or incite
ford to cross a body of water at a shallow place
foreboding dark sense of evil to come
forestall to prevent, delay; anticipate
forethought anticipation, foresight
forgo to go without, refrain from
forlorn dreary, deserted; unhappy; hopeless, despairing
foreswear to repudiate, renounce, disclaim, reject
forte strong point, something a person does well
fortuitous happening by luck, fortunate
foster to nourish, cultivate, promote
founder to fall helplessly; sink
fracas noisy dispute
fractious unruly, rebellious
fraudulent deceitful, dishonest, unethical
fraught full of, accompanied by
frenetic wildly frantic, frenzied, hectic
fulsome sickeningly excessive; repulsive
funereal mournful, appropriate to a funeral
furtive secret, stealthy
gargantuan giant, tremendous
garner to gather and store
garrulous very talkative
gaunt thin and bony
genre type, class, category
germinate to begin to grow (as with a seed or idea)
gestation growth process from conception to birth
gibe to make heckling, taunting remarks
girth distance around something
glib fluent in an insincere manner; offhand, casual
gluttony eating and drinking to excess
goad to prod or urge
grandiloquence pompous talk, fancy but meaningless language
grandiose magnificent and imposing; exaggerated and pretentious
gratis free, costing nothing
gratuitous free, voluntary; unnecessary and unjustified
gregarious outgoing, sociable
grievous causing grief or sorrow; serious and distressing
grimace facial expression showing pain or disgust
grovel to humble oneself in a demeaning way
guile trickery, deception
gullible easily deceived
gustatory relating to sense of taste
habitat dwelling place
hackneyed worn out by overuse
hapless unfortunate, having bad luck
harbinger precursor, sign of something to come
hardy robust, vigorous
haughty arrogant and condescending
hedonism pursuit of pleasure as a goal
hegemony leadership, domination, usually by a country
heinous shocking, wicked, terrible
hemorrhage heavy bleeding; to bleed heavily
heretical opposed to an established religious orthodoxy
heterogeneous composed of unlike parts, different, diverse
hew to cut with an ax
hiatus break, interruption, vacation
hoary very old; whitish or gray from age
homage public honor and respect
homogeneous composed of identical parts
hone to sharpen
husband to farm; manage carefully and thriftily
hutch pen or coop for animals; shack, shanty
hygienic clean, sanitary
hyperbole purposeful exaggeration for effect
hypochondria unfounded belief that one is often ill
hypocrite person claiming beliefs or virtues he or she doesn't really possess
hypothesis assumption subject to proof
iconoclast one who attacks traditional beliefs
idealism pursuit of noble goals
idiosyncrasy peculiarity of temperament, eccentricity
ignominous disgraceful and dishonorable
illicit illegal, improper
illusory unreal, deceptive
illustrious famous, renowned
immaculate spotless; free from error
immerse to bathe, dip; to engross, preoccupy
immune exempt; protected from harm or disease; unresponsive to
immutable unchangeable, invariable
impair to damage, injure
impasse blocked path, dilemma with no solution
impassive showing no emotion
impeach to charge with misdeeds in public office; accuse
impeccable flawless, without fault
impecunious poor, having no money
impediment barrier, obstacle; speech disorder
imperious arrogantly self-assured, domineering, overbearing
impertinent rude
impervious impossible to penetrate; incapable of being affected
impetuous quick to act without thinking
impious not devout in religion
implacable inflexible, incapable of being pleased
implicate to involve in a crime, incriminate
implicit implied, not directly expressed
importune to ask repeatedly, beg
impotent powerless, ineffective, lacking strength
impoverish to make poor or bankrupt
imprecation curse
impregnable totally safe from attack, able to resist defeat
impudent arrogant, audacious
impugn to call into question, attack verbally
inane foolish, silly, lacking significance
inaugurate to begin or start officially; to induct into office
incandescent shining brightly
incarcerate to put in jail; to confine
incendiary combustible, flammable, burning easily
incense to infuriate, enrage
inception beginning
incessant continuous, never ceasing
inchoate imperfectly formed or formulated
incipient beginning to exist or appear; in an initial stage
incisive perceptive, penetrating
incognito in disguise, concealing one's identity
incontrovertible unquestionable, beyond dispute
incorrigible incapable of being corrected
incredulous skeptical, doubtful
inculcate to teach, impress in the mind
indefatigable never tired
indelible permanent, not erasable
indigenous native, occurring naturally in an area
indigent very poor
indignant angry, incensed, offended
indolent habitually lazy, idle
indomitable fearless, unconquerable
indubitable unquestionable
induce to pursuade; bring about
inept clumsy, awkward
inert unable to move, tending to inactivity
inevitable certain, unavoidable
inexorable inflexible, unyielding
infamy reputation for bad deeds
infer to conclude, deduce
infinitesimal extremely tiny
infirmity disease, ailment
ingenious original, clever, inventive
ingenuous straightforward, open; naive and unsophisticated
ingrate ungrateful person
ingratiate to bring oneself purposely into another'a good graces
inhibit to hold back, prevent, restrain
inimical hostile, unfriendly
iniquity sin, evil act
injunction command, order
innate natural, inborn
innocuous harmless; inoffensive
innovate to invent, modernize, revolutionize
innuendo indirect and subtle criticism, insinuation
insatiable never satisfied
inscrutable impossible to understand fully
insidious sly, treacherous, devious
insinuate to suggest, say indirectly, imply
insipid bland, lacking flavor; lacking excitement
insolent insulting and arrogant
instigate to incite, urge, agitate
insular isolated, detached
insurgent rebellious, insubordinate
insurrection rebellion
integral central, indispensable
integrity decency, honesty; wholeness
intemperate not moderate
inter to bury
interloper trespasser; meddler in others' affairs
intermittent starting and stopping
interrogate to question formally
intimation clue, suggestion
intractable not easily managed
intransigent uncompromising, refusing to be reconciled
intrepid fearless
intrinsic inherent, internal
introspective contemplating one's own thoughts and feelings
introvert someone given to self-analysis
inundate to cover with water; overwhelm
inure to harden; accustom; beceom used to
invective verbal abuse
inveterate confirmed, long-standing, deeply rooted
invidious envious; obnoxious
invincible invulnerable, unbeatable
iota very tiny amount
irascible easily angered
iridescent showing many colors
itinerant wandering from place to place, unsettled
itinerary route of a traveler's journey
jaded tired by excess or overuse; slightly cynical
jargon nonsensical talk; specialized language
jettison to cast off, throw cargo overboard
jingoism belligerent support of one's country
jocular jovial, playful, humorous
juncture point where two things are joined
kernel innermost, essential part; seed grain, often in a shell
kinetic relating to motion; characterized by movement
knell sound of a funeral bell; omen of death or failure
kudos fame, glory, honor
labyrinth maze
lachrymose tearful
lackadaisical idle, lazy; apathetic, indifferent
laconic using few words
laggard dawdler, loafer, lazy person
lament to deplore, grieve
lampoon to attack with satire, mock harshly
languid lacking energy,indifferent, slow
larder place where fod is stored
largess generosity; gift
lassitude lethargy, sluggishness
latent present but hidden; potential
laudable deserving of praise
laxity carelessness
legerdemain trickery
legible readable
lenient easygoing, permissive
lethargy indifferent inactivity
levitate to rise in the air or cause to rise
levity humor, frivolity, gaiety
lexicon dictionary, list of words
liberal tolerant, broad-minded; generous, lavish
libertine one without moral restraint
licentious immoral; unrestrained by society
limpid clear, transparent
lionize to treat as a celebrity
lissome easily flexed, limber, agile
listless lacking energy and enthusiasm
literate able to read and write; well-read and educated
lithe moving and bending with ease; graceful
livid discolored from a bruise; reddened with anger
loiter to stand around idly
loquacious talkative
lucid clear and easily understood
ludicrous laughable, ridiculous
lugubrious sorrowful, mournful; dismal
lumber to move slowly and awkwardly
luminous bright, brilliant, glowing
lurid harshly shocking, sensational; glowing
luxuriance elegance, lavishness
lyrical suitable for poetry and song; expressing feeling
maelstrom whirlpool; turmoil; agitated state of mind
magnanimous generous, noble in spirit
magnate powerful or influential person
malady illness
malapropism humorous misuse of a word
malcontent discontented person, one who holds a grudge
malefactor evil-doer; culprit
malevolent ill-willed; causing evil or harm to others
malice animosity, spite, hatred
malinger to evade responsibility by pretending to be ill
mandatory necessary, required
mannered artificial or stilted in character
mar to damage, deface; spoil
maritime relating to the sea or sailing
martial warlike, pertaining to the military
martinet strict disciplinarian, one who rigidly follows rules
martyr person dying for his or her beliefs
masochist one who enjoys pain or humiliation
maudlin overly sentimental
mawkish sickeningly sentimental
medieval relating to the Middle Ages (about a
melancholy sadness, depression
menagerie various animals kept together for exhibition
mendacious dishonest
mendicant beggar
mentor experienced teacher and wise adviser
mercenary soldier for hire in foreign countries; motivated by greed
mercurial quick, shrewd, and unpredictable
meretricious gaudy, falsely attractive
meritorious deserving reward or praise
metamorphosis change, transformation
metaphor figure of speech comparing two different things
meticulous extremely careful, fastidious, painstaking
mettle courageousness; endurance
militate to operate against, work against
misanthrope person who hates human beings
misconstrue to misunderstand, fail to discover
miserliness extreme stinginess
misnomer an incorrect name or designation
missive note or letter
mitigate to soften, or make milder
mnemonic relating to memory; designed to assist memory
mollify to calm or make less severe
molt to shed hair, skin, or an outer layer periodically
monastic extremely plain or secluded, as in a monastery
monologue dramatic speech performed by one actor
montage composite picture
moot debatable; purely academic, deprived of practical significance
morbid gruesome; relating to disease; abnormally gloomy
moribund dying, decaying
morose gloomy, sullen, or surly
morsel small bit of food
mote small particle, speck
motley many colored; composed of diverse parts
mottle to mark with spots
mundane worldly; commonplace
munificent generous
mutability changeability
myriad immense number; multitude
nadir lowest point
nascent starting to develop, coming into existence
nebulous vague, cloudy
nefarious vicious, evil
neophyte novice, beginner
nettle to irritate
niche recess in a wall; best position for something
nihilism belief that existence and all traditional values are meaningless
nocturnal pertaining to night; active at night
noisome stinking, putrid
nomadic moving from place to place
nominal existing in name only; negligible
notoriety unfavorable fame
novice apprentice, beginner
novitiate state of being a beginner or novice
noxious harmful, unwholesome
nuance shade of meaning
nullify to make legally invalid; to counteract the effect of
obdurate stubborn
obfuscate to confuse, obscure
oblique indirect, evasive; misleading, devious
oblivious unaware, inattentive
obsequious overly submissive, brownnosing
obsolete no longer in use
obstinate stubborn
obstreperous troublesome, boisterous, unruly
obviate to make unnecessary; to anticipate and prevent
occlude to shut, block
odious hateful, contemptible
officious too helpful, meddlesome
ominous menacing, threatening, indicating misfortune
omniscient having infinite knowledge, all-seeing
onerous burdensome
opaque impervious to light; difficult to understand
opine to express an opinion
opportune appropriate, fitting
opprobrious disgraceful, contemptuous
opulence wealth
oration lecture, formal speech
oscillate to move back and forth
ossify to turn to bone; to become rigid
ostentatious showy
ostracism exclusion, temporary banishment
ouster expulsion, ejection
overwrought agitated, overdone
pacify to restore calm, bring peace
palatial like a palace, magnificent
palaver idle talk
pall covering that darkens or obscures; coffin
pall to lose strength or interest
palliate to make less serious, ease
pallid lacking color or liveliness
palpable obvious, real, tangible
paltry pitifully small or worthless
panacea cure-all
panache flamboyance, verve
pandemic spread over a whole area or country
panegyric elaborate praise; formal hymn of praise
panorama broad view; comprehensive picture
paradigm ideal example, model
paradox contradiction, incongruity; dilemma, puzzle
paragon model of excellence or perfection
paramount supreme, dominant, primary
paraphrase to reword, usually in simpler terms
parasite person or animal that lives at another's expense
parch to dry or shrivel
pariah outcast
parity equality
parochial of limited scope or outlook, provincial
parody humorous imitation
parry to ward off or deflect
parsimony stinginess
partisan strong supporter; biased in favor of
pastiche piece of literature or music imitating other works
pathos pity, compassion
patrician aristocrat
patronize to condescend to, disparage; to buy from
paucity scarcity, lack
pauper very poor person
peccadillo minor sin or offense
pedagogue teacher
pedant uninspired, boring academic
pedestrian commonplace
peer contemporary, equal, match
peerless unequaled
penchant inclination
penitent expressing sorrow for sins or offenses, repentant
pensive thoughtful
penury extreme poverty
perennial present throughout the years; persistent
perfidious faithless, disloyal, untrustworthy
perfunctory done in a routine way; indifferent
peripatetic moving from place to place
perjure to tell a lie under oath
permeable penetrable
pernicious very harmful
perpetual endless, lasting
pertinent applicable, appropriate
perusal close examination
pervert to cause to change in immoral way; to misuse
pestilence epidemic, plague
petulance rudeness, peevishness
phalanx massed group of soldiers, people, or things
philanderer pursuer of casual love affairs
philanthropy love of humanity; generosity to worthy causes
philistine narrow-minded person, someone lacking appreciation for art or culture
phlegmatic calm in temperament; sluggish
phobia exaggerated, illogical fear
piety devoutness
pilfer to steal
pinnacle peak, highest point of development
pious dedicated, devout, extremely religious
pique fleeting feeling of hurt pride
pithy profound, substantial; concise, succinct, to the point
placate to soothe or pacify
placid calm
plagiarist one who steals words or ideas
plaintiff injured person in a lawsuit
platitude stale, overused expression
plentitude abundance, plenty
plethora excess, overabundance
pliant pliable, yielding
plucky courageous, spunky
plummet to fall, plunge
ply to use diligently; to engage; to join together
poignant emotionally moving
polemic controversy, argument; verbal attack
polyglot speaker of many languages
pontificate to speak in a pretentious manner
pore to study closely or meditatively
porous full of holes, permeable to liquids
portent omen
posterity future generations; all of a person's descendants
potable drinkable
pragmatic practical; moved by facts rather than abstract ideals
prattle meaningless, foolish talk
precarious uncertain
precipice edge, steep overhang
precipitous hasty, quickly, with too little caution
preclude to rule out
precocious unusually advanced at an early age
precursor forerunner, predecessor
predilection preference, liking
preface introduction to a book; introductory remarks to a speech
premeditate to consider, plan beforehand
prepossessing attractive, engaging, appealing
preposterous absurd, illogical
presage to foretell, indicate in advance
prescient having foresight
presumptuous rude, improperly bold
pretext excuse, pretended reason
prevalent widespread
prevaricate to lie, evade the truth
pristine untouched, uncorrupted
privation lack of usual necessities or comforts
probity honesty, high-mindedness
proclivity tendency, inclination
procrastinator one who continually and unjustifiably postpones
prodigal wasteful, extravagant, lavish
prodigious vast, enormous, extraordinary
proficient expert, skilled in a certain subject
profligate corrupt, degenerate
profuse lavish, extravagant
progenitor originator, forefather, ancestor in a direct line
progeny offspring, children
prognosis prediction of disease outcome; any prediction
prolific productive, fertile
prologue introductory section of a literary work or play
promontory piece of land or rock higher than its surroundings
promulgate to make known publicly
propensity inclination, tendency
propitious favorable, advantageous
proponent advocate, defender, supporter
prosaic relating to prose; dull, commonplace
proscribe to condemn; to forbid, outlaw
proselytize to convert to a particular belief or religion
prostrate lying face downward, lying flat on ground
protagonist main character in a play or story, hero
protean readily assuming different forms or characters
protocol ceremony and manners observed by diplomats
provincial rustic, unsophisticated, limited in scope
prowess bravery, skill
proximity nearness
prude one who is excessively proper or modest
prudent careful, cautious
pry to intrude into; force open
pseudonym pen name; fictitious or borrowed name
puerile childish, immature, silly
pugnacious quarrelsome, eager and ready to fight
pulchritude beauty
punctilious careful in observing rules of behavior or ceremony
pungent strong or sharp in smell or taste
punitive having to do with punishment
purge to cleanse or free from impurities
quagmire marsh; difficult situation
quandary dilemma, difficulty
quarantine isolation period, originally 40 days, to prevent spread of disease
quell to crush or subdue
querulous inclined to complain, irritable
quibble to argue about insignificant and irrelevant details
quiescence inactivity, stillness
quintessence most typical example; concentrated essence
quixotic overly idealistic, impractical
quotidian occurring daily; commonplace
raconteur witty, skillful storyteller
rail to scold with bitter or abusive language
ramble to roam, wander; to babble, digress
ramification an implication, outgrowth, or consequence
rancor bitter hatred
rant to harangue, rave, forcefully scold
rapport relationship of trust and respect
rapt deeply absorbed
rarefy to make thinner, purer, or more refined
rash careless, hasty, reckless
raucous harsh sounding; boisterous
ravage to destroy, devastate
ravenous extremely hungry
raze to tear down, demolish
reactionary marked by extreme conservatism, especially in politics
rebuff blunt rejection
rebuke to reprimand, scold
rebut to refute by evidence or argument
recalcitrant resisting authority or control
recant to retract a statement, opinion, etcetera
reclusive shut off from the world
recondite relating to obscure learning; known to only a few
recount to describe facts or events
redress relief from wrong or injury
redundancy unnecessary repetition
refract to deflect sound or light
refuge escape, shelter
regimen government rule; systematic plan
rejoinder response
relinquish to renounce or surrender something
relish to enjoy greatly
remuneration pay or reward for work, trouble, etcetera
renascent reborn, coming into being again
renegade traitor, person abandoning a cause
renege to go back on one's word
renown fame, widespread acclaim
repast meal or mealtime
repeal to revoke or formally withdraw (often a law)
repentant apologetic, guilty, remorseful
replete abundantly supplied
repose relaxation, leisure
reprehensible blameworthy, disreputable
reproach to find fault with; blame
reprobate morally unprincipled person
reprove to criticize or correct
requite to return or repay
rescind to repeal, cancel
residue remainder, leftover, remnant
resilient able to recover quickly after illness or bad luck; able to bounce back to shape
resolute determined; with a clear purpose
respite interval of relief
resplendent splendid, brilliant
restive impatient, uneasy, restless
reticent not speaking freely; reserved
retort cutting response
retrospective review of the past
revelry boisterous festivity
revere to worship, regard with awe
revert to backslide, regress
revile to criticize with harsh language, verbally abuse
rhetoric persuasive use of language
ribald humorous in vulgar way
riddle to make many holes in; permeate
rife widespread, prevalent; abundant
risque bordering on being inappropriate or indecent
robust strong and healthy; hardy
rostrum stage for public speaking
rotund round in shape; fat
rue to regret
ruminate to contemplate, reflect upon
rustic rural
saccharine excessively sweet or sentimental
sagacious shrewd
salient prominent or conspicuous
sallow sickly yellow in color
salubrious healthful
salutation greeting
sanction permission, support; law; penalty
sanctuary haven, retreat
sanguine ruddy; cheerfully optimistic
sardonic cynical, scornfully mocking
satiate to satisfy
saunter to amble; walk in a leisurely manner
savant learned person
savory agreeable in taste or smell
scale to climb to the top of
scintilla trace amount
scintillate to sparkle, flash
scoff to deride, ridicule
score notation for a musical composition
score to make a notch or scratch
scrupulous restrained; honest; careful and precise
scrutiny careful observation
scurrilous vulgar, low, indecent
secular not specifically pertaining to religion
sedentary inactive, stationary; sluggish
seminal relating to the beginning or seeds of something
senescent aging, growing old
sentient aware, conscious, able to perceive
sequester to remove or set apart; put into seclusion
seraphic angelic, pure, sublime
serpentine serpentlike; twisting, winding
servile submissive, obedient
shard piece of broken glass or pottery
shirk to avoid a task due to laziness or fear
simper to smirk, smile foolishly
sinecure well-paying job or office that requires little or no work
singe to burn slightly, scorch
sinuous winding; intricate, complex
skeptical doubtful, questioning
skulk to move in a stealthy or cautious manner; sneak
slight to treat as unimportant; insult
sloth sluggishness, laziness
slough to discard or shed
slovenly untidy, messy
sobriety seriousness
sodden thoroughly soaked; saturated
sojourn visit, stay
solace comfort in distress; consolation
solicitous concerned, attentive; eager
soliloquy literary or dramatic speech by one character, not addressed to others
soluble capable of being solved or dissolved
somber dark and gloomy; melancholy, dismal
somnolent drowsy, sleepy; inducing sleep
sonorous producing a full, rich sound
sophistry deceptive reasoning or argumentation
sophomoric immature and overconfident
soporific sleepy or tending to cause sleep
sordid filthy; contemptible and corrupt
sovereign having supreme power
spartan austere, severe, grave; simple, bare
spontaneous on the spur of the moment, impulsive
sporadic infrequent, irregular
spurious lacking authenticity; counterfeit, false
spurn to reject or refuse contemptuously; scorn
squalid filthy; morally repulsive
squander to waste
staccato marked by abrupt, clear-cut sounds
staid self-restrained to the point of dullness
stand group of trees
stark bare, empty, vacant
stifle to smother or suffocate; suppress
stipend allowance; fixed amount of money paid regularly
stockade enclosed area forming defensive wall
stoic indifferent to or unaffected by emotions
stolid having or showing little emotion
strident loud, harsh, unpleasantly noisy
stringent imposing severe, rigorous standards
stupefy to dull the senses of; stun, astonish
stymie to block or thwart
suave smoothly gracious or polite; blandly ingratiating
subjugate to conquer, subdue; enslave
sublime awe-inspiring; of high spiritual or moral value
subliminal subconscious; imperceptible
subterfuge trick or tactic used to avoid something
subterranean hidden, secret; underground
subtle hard to detect or describe; perceptive
subvert to undermine or corrupt
succinct terse, brief, concise
succulent juicy; full of vitality or freshness
suffragist one who advocates extended voting rights
sullen brooding, gloomy
sully to soil, stain, tarnish, taint
supercilious arrogant, haughty, overbearing, condescending
superficial hasty; shallow and phony
superfluous extra, more than necessary
supersede to take the place of; replace
supplicant one who asks humbly and earnestly
surfeit excessive amount
surly rude and bad-tempered
surmise to make an educated guess
surmount to conquer, overcome
surreptitious characterized by secrecy
susceptible vulnerable, unprotected
sybarite person devoted to pleasure and luxury
sycophant self-serving flatterer, yes-man
syllabus outline of a course
symbiosis cooperation, mutual helpfulness
synopsis plot summary
synthesis blend, combination
tacid silently understood or implied
taciturn uncommunicative, not inclined to speak much
tactile relating to the sense of touch
taint to spoil or infect; to stain honor
talon claw of an animal, especially a bird of prey
tang sharp flavor or odor
tangential digressing, diverting
tangible able to be sensed, perceptible, measurable
tawdry gaudy, cheat, showy
temperance restraint, self-control, moderation
tempered moderated, restrained
tempestuous stormy, raging, furious
tenable defensible, reasonable
tenacious stubborn, holding firm
tenet belief, doctrine
tenuous weak, insubstantial
tepid lukewarm; showing little enthusiasm
terse concise, brief, free of extra words
testament statement of belief; will
tether to bind, tie
theocracy government by priests representing a god
thesaurus book of synonyms and antonyms
timorous timid, shy, full of apprehension
tirade long, violent speech; verbal assault
toady flatterer, hanger-on, yesman
tome book, usually large and academic
torpid lethargic; unable to move; dormant
torrid burning hot; passionate
tortuous having many twists and turns; highly complex
toxin poison
tractable obedient, yielding
transcend to rise above, go beyond
transient temporary, short-lived, fleeting
transitory short-lived, existing only briefly
translucent partially transparent
travesty parody, exaggerated imitation, caricature
tremulous trembling, quivering; fearful, timid
trenchant acute, sharp, incisive; forceful, effective
trepidation fear and anxiety
trifling of slight worth, trivial, insignificant
trite shallow, superficial
troupe group of actors
truncate to cut off, shorten by cutting
tryst agreement between lovers to meet; rendezvous
tundra treeless plain found in arctic or subarctic regions
turgid swollen, bloated
turpitude inherent vileness, foulness, depravity
tyro beginner, novice
ubiquitous being everywhere simultaneously
umbrage offense, resentment
unadulterated absolutely pure
unanimity state of total agreement or unity
unconscionable unscrupulous; shockingly unfair or unjust
unctuous greasy, oily; smug and falsely earnest
undulating moving in waves
unequivocal absolute, certain
uniform consistent and unchanging; identical
unimpeachable beyond question
unscrupulous dishonest
upbraid to scold sharply
uproarious loud and forceful
urbane courteous, refined, suave
usurp to seize by force
usury practice of lending money at exorbitant rates
utopia perfect place
vacillate to waver, show indecision
vagrant poor person with no home
vanquish to conquer, defeat
vapid tasteless, dull
variegated varied; marked with different colors
vaunted boasted about, bragged about
vehement strong, urgent
vendetta prolonged feud marked by bitter hostility
venerable respected because of age
vent to express, say out loud
veracity accuracy, truth
verbatim word for word
verbose wordy
verity truthfulness; belief viewed as true and enduring
vermin small creatures offensive to humans
vernacular everyday language used by ordinary peoples; specialized language of a profession
vernal related to spring
versatile adaptable, all-purpose
vestige trace, remnant
vex to irritate, annoy; confuse, puzzle
viable workable, able to succeed or grow
vicarious substitute, surrogate; enjoyed through imagined participation in another's experience
vie to compete, contend
vigilant attentive, watchful
vilify to slander, defame
vim energy, enthusiasm
vindicate to clear of blame; support a claim
vindictive spiteful, vengeful, unforgiving
virile manly, having qualities of an adult male
virtuoso someone with masterly skill; expert musician
virulent extremely poisonous; malignant; hateful
viscous thick, syrupy, and sticky
vitriolic burning, caustic; sharp, bitter
vituperate to abuse verbally
vivacious lively, spirited
vociferous loud, vocal, and noisy
volition free choice, free will; act of choosing
voluble speaking much and easily, talkative; glib
voracious having a great appetite
vulnerable defenseless, unprotected; innocent, naive
waive to refrain from enforcing a rule; to give up a legal right
wan sickly pale
wanton undisciplined, unrestrained, reckless
wary careful, cautious
whet to sharpen, stimulate
whimsical playful or fanciful idea
writ written document, usually in law
wry amusing, ironic
xenophobia fear or hatred of foreigners or strangers
yoke to join together
zealot someone passionately devoted to a cause
zenith highest point, summit
zephyr gentle breeze
zoologist scientist who studies animals
Created by: diligencer on 2009-08-16



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