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ISEE Vocabulary

ISEE Vocabulary Words

WordDefinition
abduct (v.) - to kidnap
abase (v.) - to lower, demean, degrade
abscond (v.) - to sneak away and hide
abate (v.) - to lessen, to reduce in severity
abbreviate (v.) - to shorten, reduce
abundant (adj.) - in great numbers
accede (v.) - to agree
accentuate (v.) - to emphasize, to highlight
aberration (n.) - a deviation from the expected course
abhor (v.) - to hate, loathe
abide (v.) - to put up with, tolerate
abject (adj.) - of the most miserable kind
abort (v.) - to give up unfinished
abridge (v.) - to shorten, cut down
accommodating (adj.) - obliging, helpful
accost (v.) - to approach or confront aggressively
acumen (n.) - keen insight
acute (adj.) - sharp, severe
affable (adj.) - friendly, amiable
affluent (adj.) - rich, wealthy
aggrandize (v.) - to increase or make greater
abrogate (v.) - to abolish, often by authority
aggregate (v.) to gather, amass
aghast (adj.) struck by amazement
agoraphobia (n.) an abnormal fear of open or public places
akimbo (adj.) with hands on hips
alacrity (n.) speed readyness
algid (adj.) fridgid, cold
allay (v.) to sooth, assuage
alleviate (v.) to relieve
aloof (adj.) reserved, distant
altercation (n.) an argument, dispute
amalgamation (n.) a union, a merger
ambivalent (adj.) having contradictory feelings
amble (v.) to stroll, walk
ameliorate (v.) - to improve, to make better
amend (v.) - to change for the better,
amiable (adj.) - friendly, affable
amorous (adj.) - relating to or showing love
amorphous (adj.) - without shape or borders
anomaly (n.) - something that does not fit into the normal order
antechamber (n.) - a waiting room
anxiety (n.) - uneasiness
aphorism (n.) - a short saying
apocalypse (n.) - total devastation, the end of the world
apparitional (adj.) - ghostly, spectral
arbitrator (n.) - one who settles controversy between two sides
ascetic (n.) - one who practices restraint as a means of self-discipline
assuage (v.) - to ease, pacify
atone (v.) - to apologize, make amends
audacious (adj.) - excessively bold
augment (v.) - to increase or make larger
austere (adj.) - very bare, bleak, simple
baleful (adj.) - harmful, threatening
bard (n.) - a poet, often a singer as well
battery (n.) - an assault or an array of similar things intended for use together
belligerent (adj.) - contentious, ready to fight
benevolent (adj.) - kind, good, caring
benign (adj.) - non-threatening, innocuous
berate (v.) - to scold severely
bereft (adj.) - without, devoid of
bide (v.) - to wait, or remain in a condition
bilk (v.) - to cheat, to swindle
blandish (v.) - to coax through flattery
bloated (adj.) - swollen, bigger than desired
boisterous (adj.) - loud, energetic
bourgeois (adj.) - middle class
brash (adj.) - hasty or lacking in sensitivity
brazen (adj.) - excessively bold, brash
brumal (adj.) - wintry, relating to winter
brusque (adj.) - short, abrupt, dismissive
buffet (n.) - a spread of food involving choices
buffet (v.) - to hit or strike
burgeon (v.) - to come forth, blossom
cacophony (n.) - noise, discordant sound
cadence (n.) - rhythm
cajole (v.) - to urge, coax
callous (adj.) - harsh, cold, unfeeling
calumny (n.) - an attempt to defame another's reputation
camaraderie (n.) - cheerful unity among a group
canvas (n.) - a piece of cloth on which an artist paints
capricious (adj.) - impulsive, unpredictable, subject to whim
captivate (v.) - to hold the interest of, to gain the attention of
carouse (v.) - to revel, to party
cavity (n.) - a hole
cavort (v.) - to frolic, leap, prance
celestial (adj.) - relating to the sky or the heavens
chastise (v.) - to criticize, to scold
choreographed (adj.) - arranged, as in dance
circumlocution (n.) - indirect language
circumspect (adj.) - cautious
clairvoyant (adj.) - able to see things that others cannot
claustrophobia (n.) - an abnormal fear of closed or crowed spaces
cliché (n.) - a trite, overused expression
coalesce (v.) - to combine into one
cogent (adj.) - intelligent, viable
collusion (n.) - a conspiracy, a secret agreement
colossus (n.) - an enormous structure
comatose (adj.) - lethargic
commendable (adj.) - worthy of praise
commodious (adj.) - spacious, roomy
compel (v.) - to force
complicit (adj.) - being an accomplice in a wrong act
compliment (n.) - an expression of esteem or approval
concede (v.) - to give in, to accept
conciliatory (adj.) - agreeable, friendly
concoct (v.) - to make up or invent
concord (n.) - agreement
conduit (n.) - a pipe, passage, channel
confluence (n.) - a convergence, a coming together
confound (v.) - to frustrate
connotation (n.) - a meaning or association suggested by a word beyond its definition
contusion (n.) - bruise, injury
convalescence (n.) - the gradual return to health after illness
copious (adj.) - abundant, plentiful
corpulent (adj.) - very fat
cosmopolitan (adj.) - worldly, sophisticated
credulity (n.) - readiness to believe
cursory (adj.) - brief to the point of being superficial
daft (adj.) - insane, foolish
daunting (adj.) - intimidating
dearth (n.) - a lack, scarcity
defame (v.) - to destroy the reputation of
deft (adj.) - skilled, adept
defunct (adj.) - no longer used or existing
deleterious (adj.) - harmful
delude (v.) - to deceive, to mislead
deluge (n.) - a great flood or something that overwhelms like a flood
derelict (adj.) - run-down, abandoned
desolate (adj.) - deserted, lifeless
despondent (adj.) - discouraged, hopeless, depressed
destitute (adj.) - impoverished
diaphanous (adj.) - transparent, light, airy
dictate (v.) - to pronounce, command, prescribe
differentiate (v.) - to distinguish, to make different
dilapidated (adj.) - in a state of disrepair
diligent (adj.) - careful, showing care
diminish (v.) - to decrease or make smaller
diminutive (adj.) - miniature, small
discreet (adj.) - prudent or inconspicuous
discrete (adj.) - separate, distinct, individual
disparage (v.) - to criticize, degrade, belittle
dissonance (n.) - lack of harmony or agreement
divergent (adj.) - different, deviating, contrary
diverse (adj.) - varied
divisive (adj.) - causing conflict, opposition
domicile (n.) - a residence, a home
doppelganger (n.) - a ghostly double of a living person
douse (v.) - to drench, saturate
dutiful (adj.) - careful to fulfill obligations
dynamic (adj.) - characterized by continuous change or activity
elocution (n.) - the art of public speaking
elucidate (v.) - to clarify
empathetic (adj.) - feeling another’s pain as own's own
empathy (n.) - the experience of another’s feelings as one's own
enervate (v.) - to weaken, make weary
enervated (adj.) - lacking energy, weakened, exhausted
entity (n.) - something that exists as a discrete unit
entomology (n.) - the study of insects
envious (adj.) - jealous
erect (v.) - to construct, to raise
erroneous (adj.) - mistaken, incorrect
euphoric (adj.) - elated, overjoyed
exacerbate (v.) - to make more violent, intense
excursion (n.) - a trip, an outing
exemplary (adj.) - serving as an example
exigent (adj.) - critical, urgent
existential (adj.) - relating to existence
exorbitant (adj.) - excessive
extol (v.) - to praise
extravagant (adj.) - excessive, over-the-top
fabricate (v.) - to invent, make-up, concoct
fabulist (n.) - a teller of fables; a liar
facile (adj.) - easy
fallacious (adj.) - incorrect, misleading
familial (adj.) - relating to family
fatuous (adj.) - silly, foolish
fecund (adj.) - fertile, fruitful
feign (v.) - to fake or pretend to
feral (adj.) - savage, wild, untamed
fetter (v.) - to restrain, chain, tie
fey (adj.) - magical
fickle (adj.) - characterized by changeableness, whimsical
figurative (adj.) - symbolic
firmament (n.) - the sky, the heavens
flabbergasted (adj.) - astounded, stupefied
flaccid (adj.) - limp
flattery (n.) - compliments, sycophancy
flout (v.) - to scorn, ignore, show contempt for
fluctuate (v.) - to vary irregularly
flux (n.) - a state of constant change or a flow
forage (v.) - to rummage, scavenge, graze for food
forestall (v.) - to delay, impede
forlorn (adj.) - lonely, hopeless
formidable (adj.) - arousing fear or alarm
forsake (v.) - to abandon, forget
fortify (v.) - to strengthen
fortitude (n.) - strength, bravery
fortuitous (adj.) - lucky, occurring by chance
foster (v.) - to stimulate, promote, encourage
frenetic (adj.) - frenzied, hectic, frantic
gape (v.) - to open the mouth and stare stupidly
gay (adj.) - happy, cheery, or homosexual
gluttonous (adj.) - insatiable in appetite
goad (v.) - to urge, to provoke into action
gourmand (n.) - one who likes eating and drinking
grandiose (adj.) - extraordinary, grand in scope
gregarious (adj.) - sociable, outgoing
grotto (n.) - a small cave or cavern
guile (n.) - deceitful actions or behavior
hail (v.) - to come from
hapless (adj.) - unlucky
harmony (n.) - agreement, often of sound
harrowing (adj.) - agonizing, distressing
hedonist (n.) - one whose primary pursuit is pleasure
henchman (n.) - a trusted follower, goon
hiatus (n.) - an interruption in continuity, a break
hiemal (adj.) - wintry, relating to winter
hierarchy (n.) - a ranking system of groups or individuals
histrionic (adj.) - excessively dramatic or emotional
idolatrous (adj.) - worshiping excessively an object or person
illusory (adj.) - deceptive, produced by an illusion
immaculate (adj.) - impeccably clean, spotless, pure
immutable (adj.) - not susceptible to change
impecunious (adj.) - excessively poor
impervious (adj.) - unable to be penetrated, unaffected
impudent (adj.) - rude, improper
incessant (adj.) - without interruption
incisive (adj.) - clear, sharp, direct
inclement (adj.) - stormy, bad, severe
inclination (n.) - a tendency, propensity
indictment (n.) - accusation of wrongdoing
indignation (n.) - anger due to an unfair situation
inextricable (adj.) - hopelessly confused or tangled
infuse (v.) - to inject
ingenious (adj.) - marked by special intelligence
inimical (adj.) - hostile, threatening
iniquity (n.) - a wicked act, a sin
innate (adj.) - inborn, native, inherent
innocuous (adj.) - harmless
inquisitor (n.) - someone who asks questions or makes an inquiry
inundate (v.) - to flood
invariable (adj.) - not susceptible to change
invective (n.) - a verbal attack
inveterate (adj.) - habitual, natural
irascible (adj.) - easily angered
jubilant (adj.) - joyful, happy
judicious (adj.) - of sound judgment
juvenile (adj.) - young or immature
juxtapose (v.) - to put next to each other
labyrinthine (adj.) - intricate, maze-like
laceration (n.) - a cut, a rip
lachrymose (adj.) - tearful
latent (adj.) - present but hidden
laud (v.) - to applaud or praise
laudatory (adj.) - admiring, praising
lavish (adj.) - extravagant
lethargic (adj.) - sluggish, weary, apathetic
lewd (adj.) - vulgar, offensive, rude
libel (n.) - a statement giving an unjust or unfavorable representation of a person or thing
licentious (adj.) - amoral, lawless, lewd
limber (adj.) - bending or flexing readily, pliable
limpid (adj.) - clear, easily understood
linchpin (n.) - something that holds separate things together
lithe (adj.) - graceful, flexible, supple
loquacious (adj.) - talkative
lull (n.) - a relatively calm interval, as in a storm
luminescence (n.) - light from non-thermal sources
magnanimous (adj.) - generous, noble
malaise (n.) - vague feeling of discomfort
malevolent (adj.) - having intent to harm others
malicious (adj.) - malevolent, harmful
malign (v.) - to slander, to smear, to libel, to defame, to speak evil of
malleable (adj.) - easily shaped or formed
mandatory (adj.) - required, not optional
manifest (v.) - to show clearly
manifold (adj.) - many
masticate (v.) - to chew
matrimony (n.) - marriage
maudlin (adj.) - sentimental
maxim (n.) - a common saying of advice or virtue
meager (adj.) - lacking in quality stature
mediate (v.) - to intervene, to arbitrate, to sort out
melodramatic (adj.) - exaggeratedly emotional or sentimental; histrionic
mendacious (adj.) - inclined to lie or mislead
meritorious (adj.) - deserving of praise or merit
metamorphosis (n.) - a change of form, shape or substance
mimic (v.) - to imitate, to copy
misogyny (n.) - hatred of women
modicum (n.) - a small amount of something
mollify (v.) - to soften in temper
mercurial (adj.) - quick and changeable in temperment
monogamy (n.) - having only one spouse at a time
mores (n.) - moral attitudes
morose (adj.) - gloomy or sullen
munificent (adj.) - generous, benevolent
mutability (n.) - capability of change
myopic (adj.) - short-sighted
myriad (adj.) - consisting of a very great number
narrate (v.) - to tell a story
nebulous (adj.) - indistinct, hazy
nefarious (adj.) - horribly villainous
neologism (n.) - the creation of new words, or a new word
neonate (n.) - a newborn baby
noisome (adj.) - foul, offensive, particularly to the sense of smell
notoriety (n.) - infamy, known in bad regard
novel (adj.) - strikingly new, unusual, or different
noxious (adj.) - harmful, toxic
obdurate (adj.) - unyielding to persuasion or moral influences
obfuscate (v.) - to render incomprehensible
obsequious (adj.) - excessively compliant or submissive
odious (adj.) - meriting strong displeasure
officious (adj.) - offering unwanted help or service
olfactory (adj.) - relating to the sense of smell
ominous (adj.) - foreboding or foreshadowing evil, portentous
oration (n.) - a dignified and formal speech
ostracize (v.) - to exclude from a community
pacify (v.) - to sooth, ease
paragon (n.) - model of perfection
pariah (n.) - an outcast
parody (n.) - a satirical imitation
patent (adj.) - clear, apparent
pedagogue (n.) - a schoolteacher
pellucid (adj.) - clear
penchant (n.) - a tendency, partiality, preference
peregrinate (v.) - to travel from place to place on foot
perfunctory (adj.) - showing little enthusiasm, done as duty
permeate (v.) - to spread out, to pervade
persevere (v.) - to persist, remain constant
pertinacious (adj.) - stubbornly persistent, holding to a belief or position
peruse (v.) - to examine carefully
pervasive (adj.) - to spread throughout
petulance (n.) - irritability, impoliteness
physiognomy (n.) - the art of judging human character from facial features
pique (v.) - to provoke or to cause indignation
pithy (adj.) - succinctly meaningful
pittance (n.)– - very small amount
placate (v.) - to soothe, appease
placid (adj.) - calm, tranquil
plethora (n.) - a great number, an abundance
pliable (adj.) - flexible, bendable
poach (v.) - to hunt or fish illegally
poised (adj.) - balanced, readied
polygamy (n.) - having more than one spouse at a time
portentous (adj.) - foreboding or forshadowing evil, ominous
portly (adj.) - fat, chubby, round
precarious (adj.) - dangerously lacking in
predestination (n.) - the concept of destiny or fate
premonition (n.) - a presentiment of the future
preponderance (n.) - a great amount or frequency
presage (n.) - an omen
prestidigitation (n.) - a sleight of hand
presumptuous (adj.) - disrespectfully bold
profane (adj.) - indecent, blasphemous
profuse (adj.) - abundant, lavish, prolific
propensity (n.) - an inclination, preference
propriety (n.) - decency, state of being proper
protean (adj.) - readily taking on various shapes or forms
prudent (adj.) - cautious, careful
puerile (adj.) - immature
pugnacious (adj.) - belligerent
pulchritude (n.) - physical beauty
punctilious (adj.) - eager to follow rules
pungent (adj.) - having a sharp, strong quality especially related to smell
purport (v.) - to present an intention that is often false
putrid (adj.) - rotten, rancid, foul
quaint (adj.) - old-fashioned
quid pro - (n., latin) – a mutually beneficial exchange
quotidian (adj.) - daily, everyday
radiant (adj.) - bright, beaming
rancid (adj.) - rotten, spoiled, disgusting in smell or taste
ratiocinate (v.) - to think, contemplate
raze (v.) - to demolish
recalcitrant (adj.) - defiant
recalibrate (v.) - to readjust or make corrections to
recapitulate (v.) - to repeat, reiterate
rectify (v.) - to set right, correct
redact (v.) - to revise, edit
redoubtable (adj.) - formidable, commanding respect
redress (v.) - to set right or remedy
reel (v.) - to be thrown off balance or feel dizzy
refrain (v.) - to hold oneself back, forbear
reiterate (v.) - to repeat
relish (v.) - to take zestful pleasure in, enjoy flavor of
remiss (adj.) - negligent, exhibiting carelessness
render (v.) - to say, or to make
renovate (v.) - to restore, return to original state
repose (n.) - rest, sleep
reprehensible (adj.) - deserving criticism
repudiate (v.) - to reject, turn down
repulse (v.) - to cause disgust or distaste, or to drive back, repel
requisition (n.) - a demand for goods, often by an authority
restitution (n.) - compensation, reimbursement
retaliation (n.) - revenge, punishment
retract (v.) - withdraw
retribution (n.) - vengeance, revenge, payback
revel (v.) - to enjoy
rife (adj.) - abundant
ruddy (adj.) - having a healthy, reddish color
ruse (n.) - a trick
saccharine (adj.) - overly sweet
rustic (adj.) - relating to country life
sacrosanct (adj.) - sacred, holy
sagacious (adj.) - shrewd, showing sound judgment
salient (adj.) - significant, conspicuous
salutation (n.) - a greeting
sanguine (adj.) - cheery, optimistic, hopeful
sate (v.) - to satisfy (an appetite) fully.
satiate (v.) - to satisfy excessively
savor (v.) - to appreciate fully, enjoy
scathing (adj.) - hurtful, critical
scourge (n.) - a plague
scurrilous (adj.) - crude, vulgar
sedate (v.) - to calm, soothe
sedentary (adj.) - sitting
seer (n.) - a fortune teller
seminal (adj.) - original, ground-breaking
serendipity (n.) - the act of finding things not sought, luck
slander (n.) - a FALSE statement to damage the reputation of anothr
sobriety (n.) - moderation from excess, calm, tranquility
somnolent (adj.) - sleepy
soothsayer (n.) - a fortune teller
sordid (adj.) - dirty
spectral (adj.) - ghostly
spurious (adj.) - FALSE but intended to seem believable or possible
stagnant (adj.) - still, not flowing
stagnate (v.) - to be idle, to be still
static (adj.) - not moving, being at rest
steadfast (adj.) - fixed or unchanging
strenuous (adj.) - requiring tremendous strength or energy
strife (n.) - conflict
stupefy (v.) - to astound
submissive (adj.) - easily yielding to authority
subsist (v.) - to live, exist
succinct (adj.) - marked by compact precision
suffice (v.) - to meet needs
supplant (v.) - to displace and substitute for another
surfeit (n.) - an excess, a surplus, an overabundance
surmise (v.) - to guess, infer, suppose
surreptitious (adj.) - done in a secret, or stealthy way
swarthy (adj.) - of dark color or complexion
sybarite (n.) - someone devoted to pleasure and luxuary, a voluptuary
sycophant (n.) - a self-serving flatterer
sympathetic (adj.) - compassionate
sympathy (n.) - an expression of pity for another, compassion
synopsis (n.) - a summary
taciturn (adj.) - not inclined to talk
tantamount (adj.) - equivalent in value or significance
tedious (adj.) - boring, dull
telepathic (adj.) - capable of reading minds
tenuous (adj.) - having little substance or strength
terrestrial (adj.) - relating to the land
terse (adj.) - abrupt, short, brief
timorous (adj.) - fearful, timid
tome (n.) - a large book
toothsome (adj.) - delicious, luscious
torpid (adj.) - lazy, lethargic, moving slowly
torrid (adj.) - giving off intense heat, passionate
tortuous (adj.) - winding, twisted
tragedy (n.) - a disastrous event, or a work of art in which the hero meets a terrible fate
tranquil (adj.) - calm, serene, peaceful
travesty (n.) - a grossly inferior imitation
trek (v.) - to walk, travel by foot
trite (adj.) - overused, hackneyed
truculent (adj.) - eager to fight, violent
ubiquitous (adj.) - existing everywhere, widespread
ultimate (n.) - the last part, or a fundamental element
umbrage (n.) - anger, offense, resentment
uncanny (adj.) - of supernatural character or origin
undulate (v.) - to move in a smooth wavelike motion
uniform (adj.) - unvarying, conforming to one principle
unilateral (adj.) - having only one side
unique (adj.) - being the only one of its kind
upbraid (v.) - to criticize, scold, reproach
vacillate (v.) - to sway from one side to another
variance (n.) - a difference between what is expected and what actually occurs
variegate (v.) - to diversify
vast (adj.) - enormous, immense
veneer (n.) - a superficial or deceptively attractive appearance, facade
veracious (adj.) - honest, truthful
verbose (adj.) - wordy
vicarious (adj.) - experienced through another's actions
vicissitudes (n.) - the unexpected changes and shifts often encountered in one’s life
vigor (n.) - vitality and energy, vim
vim (n.) - and energy, vigor
vivacious (adj.) - lively, spirited, full of life
vocation (n.) - one’s work or professional calling
volition (n.) - a conscious choice or decision
voluminous (adj.) - large, ample
voluptuary (n.) - someone devoted to sensory pleasure and luxury, a sybaritye
wane (v.) - to decrease gradually in size or degree
wax (v.) - to increase gradually in size or degree
weather (v.) - to withstand or survive a situation
whet (v.) - to make more keen, stimulate
winsome (adj.) - charming, attractive
Zeitgeist (n.) - the spirit of the time
Created by: ian.ayres@yale.edu on 2006-11-14



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