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Definitions include synonyms.

Quiz yourself by thinking what should be in each of the black spaces below before clicking on it to display the answer.
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Answer
abacus   A calculating table or frame.  
abase   To lower physically or depress; humiliate, humble, degrade, debase.  
abash   To make ashamed, embarrass, confuse, confound; to put to shame; disconcert; discomfit.  
abate   To reduce to a lower state, amount, or degree; diminish in force or intensity; ebb, relent, lessen, diminish, subside, wane.  
abdicate   To surrender, renounce or relinquish, as sovereign power of office, throne; to resign.  
aberration   Deviation from what is expected; abnormality, anomaly, divergence, irregularity.  
abet   To assist, encourage by aid, countenance; especially in crime.  
abeyance   Suspension; temporary suppression; condition of being undetermined.  
abhor   To regard with horror or detestation; to shrink back with shuddering from; to detest, loathe, abominate, hate.  
abide   To endure; sustain; bear patiently; tolerate; put up with.  
abjure   To renounce upon oath; forswear, disavow, recant, abandon, reject, repudiate.  
abnegation   Renunciation; self-denial, repudiation.  
abominate   Detestable, detested, loathsome; to detest, hate, loathe, abhor.  
abraded   Rubbed off, worn away by friction.  
abrogate   To repeal or annul by authority; to abolish, as of laws, decrees, ordinances, customs, etc.  
abscond   To hide, withdraw, or depart secretly, especially to avoid prosecution; decamp, flee, escape.  
absolve   To set free, release or discharge from obligation, debt, responsibility, blame, sin, guilt.  
abstain   To choose not to do something; forbear, refrain, withhold.  
abstemious   Used with temperance or moderation; sparing in diet or indulgence; continent, self-restraining.  
abstruse   Difficult to comprehend or understand; obscure; recondite.  
abut   To border on; to lie adjacent; to project; to terminate; to be contiguous; to meet.  
abysmal   Bottomless; pertaining to or resembling an abyss; extremely bad.  
acarpous   No longer fertile; worn out; effete.  
accede   To give in; to agree or assent to a proposal or a view.  
acclaim   To applaud; to express great approval.  
acclaimed   Greatly praised or lauded, revered, highly respected.  
acclivity   Incline; ascent.  
accolade   An expression of approval, praise; a special acknowledgment or award.  
accord   Agreement or concurrence of opinion, will, or action.  
accouter   To equip; attire, array.  
accretion   Increasing by natural growth; growing together of parts naturally separate.  
acerbity   Sourness of taste; harshness, bitterness, or severity as of temper, of language, of pain.  
acidulous   Sour in taste or manner; acerbic, biting, piquant, tart.  
acme   Highest point; apex, summit, peak.  
acquiesce   To rest satisfied or without opposition; submit, comply, yield, assent, consent, accede.  
acrimonious   Sharp, bitter, mean-spirited, hateful; sharp in language or tone.  
acrophobia   Fear of heights.  
actuarial   Calculating; relating to statistical calculation, especially of life expectancy.  
actuate   To motivate or activate.  
acuity   Sharpness, acuteness.  
adamant   Resistant to reason; determined, inflexible, unshakable, unyielding.  
addle   To muddle, confuse.  
adherent   Supporter; having the quality of clinging or sticking.  
adjunct   An appendage; something attached to something else in a subordinate capacity.  
adjuration   A grave warning or solemn urging.  
admonitory   Of or pertaining to counsel against fault or oversight; of admonition; of warning.  
adorn   To make more beautiful and attractive; to decorate.  
adroit   Dexterous, deft, skillful.  
adulation   Flattery; fulsome praise.  
adulterate   To make impure; debase, doctor, dope, load.  
adulteration   Mixing with extraneous material, substitution of one substance for another; to make impure.  
adventitious   Not innate or inherent, foreign; accidental, additional, appearing casually.  
adversity   The state of adverse conditions; state of misfortune or calamity.  
advert   To call attention, refer.  
aegis   Shield, defense, protection, guidance, endorsement.  
aerie   The nest of a large bird; any high and remote but commanding place.  
aesthetic   Concerning the appreciation of beauty.  
affable   Easily approachable, polite, friendly.  
affected   Influenced or changed by something; artificial, simulated in order to impress.  
affinity   A natural attraction or feeling of kinship to a person or thing.  
affliction   A state of pain, suffering, distress, agony; the cause of such state.  
affront   An open or intentional offense, slight, or insult.  
agglomeration   The act or process of collecting in a mass; a heaping together.  
aggrandize   Increase in power, influence, reputation; to make appear great or greater; exalt, elevate, glorify.  
aggravate   To make worse, or more severe; to render less tolerable, more offensive; to intensify.  
agile   Quick; apt or ready to move; nimble; active.  
agnostic   One who is uncertain of the existence of a deity; unaware or non concerned with the specific nature of interaction.  
agog   Highly excited, anxious, eager, impatient.  
agrarian   Pertaining to land; agricultural or rural.  
ail   To cause to suffer or hurt; to trouble; to afflict.  
alacrity   Speed, quickness; celerity, dispatch, haste; eagerness, liveliness, enthusiasm.  
alcove   Nook, recess, partially enclosed place.  
allay   To make quiet or put at rest; to pacify or appease; to quell; to calm.  
allegiance   Loyalty; fidelity; adherence.  
allegory   A story in which characters are used as symbols; fable.  
alleviate   To reduce in severity, as in pain; allay, assuage, comfort, ease, relieve.  
alliteration   The repetition of beginning sounds.  
alloy   To mix or combine; often used of metals.  
allude   To refer to something indirectly or by suggestion; insinuate, hint, imply, indicate, suggest, intimate.  
allure   To entice, attract, bait.  
allusion   Indirect reference, hint, covert indication.  
aloof   Reserved, indifferent, without sympathy, away, apart.  
altruistic   Beneficent; unselfish; selfless; humane.  
amalgamate   To combine, mix, unite; merge, mingle, blend, coalesce.  
ambidextrous   Able to use the left hand or the right equally well.  
ambiguous   Open to multiple interpretations; vague; unclear; uncertain, nebulous.  
ambivalence   A state of uncertainty or indecisiveness; the coexistence of opposing attitudes or feelings.  
ambrosial   Succulently sweet or fragrant; worthy of the gods.  
ameliorate   To heal, improve, make better, solve.  
amenable   Readily manageable; open to suggestion; willing; receptive.  
amity   Friendship.  
amok   Out of control, especially when armed and dangerous.  
amoral   Being neither moral nor immoral.  
amorous   Inclined to love; having a propensity to love; indicating love or sexual desire.  
amorphous   Without form or shape.  
amortize   To decrease an amount gradually or in installments, especially to write off an expenditure or liquidate a debt.  
amulet   An ornament worn as a charm against evil spirits; talisman, fetish.  
anachronism   Something misplaced in time.  
analgesic   Reducing pain without loss of consciousness.  
analogous   Comparable; corresponding to something else.  
analogy   A relationship of resemblance or equivalence between two things, as a basis for explanation.  
anarchist   One who believes in or advocates the absence of government.  
anathema   A solemn curse, denunciation, imprecation; anything pronounced as such.  
anecdote   A short account of an incident, often humorous.  
anguish   Severe suffering; excruciating distress.  
animadversion   A criticism, a critical remark.  
animosity   Violent hatred leading to active opposition; active enmity; strong dislike.  
animus   Hostile feeling; basic impulses and instincts which govern one's actions.  
anneal   To make less brittle; to temper; to toughen.  
annotate   To comment; to add critical or explanatory commentary or analysis.  
anodyne   Capable of soothing or eliminating pain; comforting; analgesic.  
anoint   To consecrate; to smear or rub over with oil or an unctuous substance, especially for consecration.  
anomalous   Abnormal; irregular.  
anomaly   A deviation from a rule or from what is regarded as normal; aberration, irregularity, abnormality.  
antagonism   A strong natural opposition, dislike, or hatred; antipathy.  
antecede   To precede; to predate or antedate.  
antediluvian   Extremely ancient or antiquated; old; prehistoric.  
anthology   A book of literary selections.  
anthropoid   Human-like; humanoid.  
anthropomorphic   Given human attributes; having human form.  
anticlimax   A break in the final crescendo or climax of a narrative, producing a disappointing end.  
antidote   Medicine used against a poison or disease.  
antipathy   Extreme dislike; aversion, incompatibility, repugnance, distaste, emnity, contrariety.  
antiquated   Out of date; old-fashioned; obsolete.  
antithesis   Opposite; contrast.  
antithetical   Directly opposing.  
apartheid   The policy of racial separation used in South Africa from 1948 to 1990.  
apathy   Lack of interest or enthusiasm; disinterest.  
aphasia   Loss of speech or language faculty.  
aphorism   An original laconic phrase conveying some principle or concept; a saying or maxim.  
apiary   A place where bees and their hives are kept.  
aplomb   Self-confidence; poise, composure, assurance.  
apocryphal   Of doubtful authenticity, or lacking authority; anecdotal, doubtful, disputed, fraudulent.  
apologist   one who speaks or writes in defense of a cause  
apophthegm   A short, witty, instructive saying; an aphorism or maxim  
apostate   One who renounces long-held religious or political convictions; defector, deserter, traitor.  
apothecary   A person or store providing drugs and medicines.  
apothegm   A short, witty, instructive saying; an aphorism or maxim.  
apotheosis   Glorification, exaltation; glorified example or ideal; apex.  
appease   To make pacify; dispel, placate, quell, mollify, propitiate.  
appellation   A name, title, or designation.  
apposite   Appropriate, relevant, well-suited; fit for; positioned at rest in respect to another.  
apprehensive   Anticipating something with anxiety or fear; Perceptive; quick to learn; intelligent.  
apprise   To notify or inform.  
approbation   Approval, sanction, commendation or official recognition; praise, acclaim.  
appropriate   To claim or use as by an exclusive right; to take at the exclusion of others;  
appurtenance   Subordinate possession; equipment used for a specific task or purpose; gear.  
apropos   Regarding or concerning, with reference to; appropriate or pertinent to the situation  
apt   Well-suited, quick-witted.  
aquiline   Curved; hooked; of, pertaining to, or characteristic of eagles.  
arabesque   An elaborate design of intertwined floral figures or complex geometrical patterns.  
arbitrage   Any market activity in which a commodity is bought and then sold quickly for substantial profit.  
arbitrary   Determined by chance or impulse; indiscriminate, erratic, random, changeable.  
arbitrate   To make a judgment on a dispute; adjudicate, moderate, intervene, judge.  
arboreal   Of, relating to, or resembling a tree.  
arboretum   A place where many varieties of trees are grown for research, educational, and ornamental purposes.  
arcade   A row of arches; a covered passageway with shops.  
arcane   Obscure; secret; esoteric.  
archaic   Antiquated; out-dated; ancient, bygone, obsolete, stale, vintage.  
archetype   Prototype, primitive pattern; a quintessence.  
ardor   Intense and passionate feeling; devotion, fervor, fire, zeal, enthusiasm.  
arduous   Difficult to ascend; laborious; strenuous.  
argot   Jargon; slang; specialized informal vocabulary.  
aria   Operatic solo.  
arraign   To charge in court; indict.  
arrant   Utter; complete; in the highest degree.  
array   To clothe, ornament, adorn, attire; An orderly series, arrangement, sequence.  
arrogance   Proud, superior manner of behavior.  
arrogate   To claim for oneself without justification or right; take, appropriate, presume.  
arroyo   A water course; rivulet; gully.  
articulate   To speak clearly and expressively; fluent, eloquent; to connect by joints.  
artifice   Trickery, deception.  
artless   Without guile, cunning, or deceit; honest, natural; lacking art, knowledge, or skill.  
ascend   To go up.  
ascendancy   Controlling influence; supremacy; superiority; dominant control.  
ascertain   To find out; discover; establish; determine.  
ascetic   Practicing self-denial; austere; stark.  
ascribe   To refer; to attribute.  
aseptic   Free from microbes; sterile.  
ashen   Ash colored; pale, wan, pallid.  
asinine   Stupid; failing to exercise intelligence or judgment.  
askance   Sideways; obliquely; (of a look or glance) with disapproval, skepticism, or suspicion.  
askew   Turned or twisted to one side; unfavorable.  
asperity   Roughness; harshness; ill temper, irritability.  
aspersion   A slanderous remark.  
assail   To assault; beset, strike, storm.  
assay   To analyze or evaluate; a trial, attempt, essay.  
assiduous   Diligent, hard-working; sedulous.  
assuage   To make an unpleasant thing less severe; ease, allay, alleviate, mitigate, relieve, pacify, soothe.  
asterisk   A symbol to highlight words or characters.  
astral   Relating to or resembling the stars.  
astringent   Sharp, caustic, severe, binding; a substance causing tissue contraction.  
astute   Quick to find an advantage; shrewd; clever; critically discerning.  
asunder   Into separate parts or pieces; apart.  
atavism   The recurrence/reversion to a past behavior, characteristic, or style after a long period of absence.  
atheistic   Absence of, or rejection of, belief in the existence of deities  
atonement   A repair done for the sake of a damaged relationship.  
atrophy   Wasting or withering away, from lack of use.  
attenuate   To reduce in size, force, value, amount, or degree; weaken, enervate, dilute.  
attribute   A characteristic or quality of a thing; To associate ownership with.  
attune   To bring into harmony.  
audacious   Daring, foolishly bold; impudent.  
augury   An omen, prediction, or prophecy; auspices, harbinger, portent, presage.  
august   Dignified, grand; of noble birth; admirable, majestic, awe-inspiring, venerable.  
auspicious   Of good omen; indicating future success.  
austere   Severely simple, unornamented, strictly plain, forbiddingly stern.  
autocratic   Having absolute, unchecked power; dictatorial.  
automaton   Mechanism that follows precise sequences of instructions; a formal system.  
auxiliary   Helping, supporting; additional or subsidiary.  
avarice   Excessive or inordinate desire of gain; greed for wealth; cupidity  
aver   To assert the truth of; affirm with confidence; declare in a positive manner; justify.  
aversion   Strong dislike; opposition, antipathy, disinclination, reluctance.  
avert   To turn aside or away; to prevent.  
aviary   A house, enclosure, large cage, or other place for keeping birds confined; a bird house.  
avid   Enthusiastic; passionate; longing eagerly; eager; greedy.  
avocation   Secondary or minor occupation.  
avow   To declare openly, boldly, as something believed to be right; to own, acknowledge or confess frankly.  
avuncular   Like an uncle.  
awl   A pointed tool for piercing.  
awry   Oblique, crooked; askew; perverse, improper.  
azure   Sky blue.  
babble   Idle talk; senseless prattle; gabble; twaddle; inarticulate speech; a sound like flowing water.  
bacchanalian   Of or pertaining to the festival of Bacchus; given to reveling and drunkenness.  
badinage   Teasing conversion; playful raillery; banter.  
bait   To intentionally harass, tease; attract, entice.  
baleful   Portending evil; ominous; having a malign influence; deadly.  
balk   To stop, check, block, foil, refuse suddenly; a ridge or beam.  
balmy   Soothing, fragrant, mild, pleasant.  
banal   Predictable, boring, or cliched; common, hackneyed, insipid, stale, tired, prosaic, vapid.  
bandy   To use or pass about casually, as a name; to exchange.  
baneful   Causing harm or ruin; pernicious; destructive.  
baroque   Ornate; intricate; embellished; decorated; laden with detail.  
barrage   An artificial obstruction, such as a dam, in a river; a concentrated discharge of projectile weapons; an overwhelming outburst of words, especially of criticism.  
barren   Of poor fertility, infertile; sterile; bleak.  
bastion   A stronghold; one who strongly defends some principle.  
bathetic   Possessing insincere or excessive pathos;  
bawdy   Obscene, unchaste, filthy; of rudely humorous sexual nature.  
beatific   Blessed; blissful; heavenly.  
beatify   To make blissful; to bless or ascribe a virtue to.  
beatitude   Supreme, utmost bliss; blessedness; happiness.  
bedizen   To ornament something in showy, tasteless, or gaudy finery.  
beholden   Owing something to another; indebted, bound, obligated.  
beleaguer   To surround with troops; besiege; vex, harass, or beset.  
belie   to give a false representation of, to misrepresent; to contradict, to show (something) to be false.  
bellicose   Belligerent; pugnacious; warlike; hostile.  
belligerent   Of or pertaining to war; engaged in warfare; warring; antagonistic, bellicose, combative, pugnacious, quarrelsome, truculent.  
benign   Kind; gentle; mild. Not malign or malignant.  
benison   A blessing; beatitude, benediction.  
berate   To rate or chide vehemently; to scold or lecture; to reprehend.  
bereft   Deprived of, lacking, stripped of, robbed of; pained by the loss of someone.  
besmirch   To make dirty or soiled; tarnish, especially someone's reputation; debase.  
bevy   A large group; bunch, pack, band, troop.  
bilk   To cheat or defraud; beat, gyp, overreach, swindle.  
blandishment   Flattering speech or actions designed to persuade or influence.  
blithe   Joyful, cheerful, or without concern; carefree, careless, merry.  
bluff   An expression of self-confidence for the purpose of intimidation; braggadocio.  
bolster   To support or prop up; brace, buttress, stay, sustain, underpinning, uphold.  
bonhomie   Good-natured geniality; atmosphere of good cheer.  
boor   Crude person lacking manners; oaf, clod, lout, vulgarian, rude, uncultured, insensitive.  
bowdlerize   To remove parts of a work considered to be offensive; expurgate, censor; after Thomas Bowdler.  
braggadocio   A braggart; empty boasting.  
braggart   Someone who boasts.  
brevity   The quality of being brief in duration; succinctness, conciseness.  
brook   To tolerate; a small body of running water.  
burgeon   To grow or expand; swell to the point of bursting; bud, bloom, flourish, prosper, thrive.  
burlesque   A derisive art form that mocks by imitation or parody; a variety adult entertainment show, usually including titillation such as striptease.  
burnish   To make smooth or shiny by rubbing; polish, shine, buff.  
buttress   Anything that serves to support something; a prop.  
cabal   A secret group seeking to overturn something; coterie, circle, clan, clique, mafia, ring.  
cacophony   A harsh, jarring noise; chaos, clamor, din, noise.  
callow   Immature, lacking in life experience; lacking color; shallow or weak-willed.  
canard   A lie or false rumor.  
candid   Impartial and honest; direct, frank, sincere, forthright.  
caprice   A whim; an impulsive, seemingly unmotivated notion or action.  
capricious   Impulsive and unpredictable; determined by chance, impulse, or whim; fickle; whimsical; arbitrary.  
castigate   To punish or criticize harshly; admonish, rebuke, reprimand, reprove, upbraid.  
catholic   Universal, broad, comprehensive; extensive, general.  
celerity   Speed.  
chary   Cautious, wary, careful, shy; sparing, ungenerous.  
chicanery   Deception by use of trickery or subterfuge; a false argument; artifice, deception, dishonesty, sophistry, underhandedness.  
chimeric   Fantastically improbable; unrealistic; of or related to a chimera.  
circlet   A small circle; a crown without arches or a covering.  
circumspect   Cautious; aware of potential consequences; prudent, mindful, solicitous, wary.  
clarion   Loud and clear; a medieval brass instrument, related to the trumpet, or its sound.  
coeval   Existing during the same era, age, time period; contemporary.  
cogitate   To meditate, ponder, think deeply; consider, devise.  
collation   Bringing together, collecting or gathering.  
colligate   To formally link or connect together logically.  
collusion   Conspiracy, collaboration, or complicity; intrigue, machination, connivance.  
commensurate   Equal in extent; proportionate.  
complaisance   Tending to comply; obliging; willing to please; amiable; agreeable.  
complaisant   Willing to do what pleases others; obliging; compliant. [Distinct from homophone: "complacent."]  
conceit   Overly high self-esteem; vain pride; hubris; a whimsical idea, notion, thought, extravagant metaphor.  
conclave   A prive, confidential or secret meeting.  
consort   The spouse of a monarch; a partnership or association.  
contagion   The agent that causes a contagious disease, such as a bacterium or a virus.  
contemn   To view with contempt; despise.  
contrite   Filled with deep sorrow for wrongdoing; penitent, apologetic, regretful, remorseful.  
convoluted   Intricate, complicated; byzantine, complex, elaborate, perplexing.  
corroborate   To support with evidence; authenticate, back, buttress, confirm, substantiate, validate, verify.  
cosset   To treat with great care; overly indulge; pamper, spoil.  
coterie   An intimate group of persons with a similar purpose; clique, set.  
craven   Lacking courage, cowardly; spineless, timid, fainthearted.  
cupidity   Greed; avarice, covetousness, rapacity.  
cygnet   A young swan.  
cynosure   That which serves to guide or direct; something that is the center of attention; an object that serves as a focal point of attraction and admiration.  
debutante   A young woman making formal debut in society; maiden.  
declivity   Downward slope; decline, descent, slant.  
décolleté   Having a low-cut neck line.  
decorous   Proper, tasteful, socially correct; appropriate, courteous, polite, comme il faut.  
decorum   Appropriate behavior or conduct; propriety, decency, etiquette.  
deference   Courteous regard for another’s wish; respect, courtesy, honor, obeisance, reverence, veneration.  
deluge   A torrential rain; to overwhelm or overrun; inundate.  
demagogue   An orator or leader who gains favor by appealing to emotion or o prejudice; agitator.  
demoniac   Of or pertaining to demons; demonic, fiendish; possessed by a demon.  
demotic   Of or relating to the common people; popular.  
denizen   Inhabitant or resident; regular visitor.  
depredation   An act of consuming agricultural resources (crops, livestock), especially as plunder; a raid or predatory attack  
dereliction   Willful neglect of one's duty; the act of abandoning something, or the state of being abandoned  
deride   To speak of or treat with contempt; mock; ridicule, gibe, jeer, scoff, sneer, taunt.  
descry   To discover by looking carefully; detect.  
diadem   A royal crown.  
diaphanous   Allowing light to show through; delicate, gauzy, sheer, tenuous, translucent.  
diatribe   An abusive, condemnatory speech; invective, tirade, jeremiad, fulmination, harangue.  
dictum   An authoritative statement; adage, apothegm, aphorism, decree, edict, maxim.  
dilate   To expand or cause to be expanded; to speak or write at length, adding details and clarifying meaning.  
dilatory   Intended to cause delay; dragging, flagging.  
dint   Means, way, agency.  
dirge   A funeral hymn or mournful speech; lament, elegy.  
disabuse   To correct a false impression; undeceive; set right.  
disaffected   Resentful and rebellious, especially against authority; disloyal, antagonistic, seditious.  
discrete   Individually distinct, separate, unconnected, non-continuous.  
disenfranchise   To deprive of a civil right.  
disparate   Essentially different, entirely unlike; divergent, diverse, variant.  
disputatious   Argumentative, fond of arguing; of or relating to something that is in question as to its value or intent; contentious.  
dissemble   To present a false appearance; to disguise one's true intentions or character; act, affect, camouflage, disguise, pose, sham.  
dissent   To disagree or withhold assent; a difference of opinion; protest, objection, resistance.  
divestiture   The sale, liquidation, or spinoff of a corporate division or subsidiary.  
divulge   To make known something private or secret; disclose, reveal, expose.  
docket   A calendar of cases awaiting action in a court; a list of things to be done; an agenda.  
doctrinaire   Unable to compromise; dogmatic, unyielding, dictatorial.  
doggerel   Drivel, nonsense; comic verse, usually irregular in measure.  
dogmatic   Dictatorial in opinion; authoritarian, arbitrary, doctrinal, imperious, domineering.  
droll   Amusing in a wry, subtle way; funny, entertaining, witty.  
duplicity   Intentional or deliberate deception; double dealing; hypocrisy.  
dyslogistic   Expressing censure or disapproval. Opposite of eulogistic.  
eclectic   Selecting from or composed of elements drawn from various sources; broad, selective, catholic.  
edify   To instruct morally and spiritually; educate, enlighten, guide, teach.  
efficacy   Effectiveness; vigor, strength, force, dynamism, efficiency, productiveness, proficiency.  
effigy   Likeness of a person, stuffed doll; dummy, figure, image.  
effrontery   Impudence, boldness; audacity; brashness; gall; nerve; presumption; temerity.  
egress   An exit or way out; the process of exiting or leaving. Opposite of ingress.  
elegy   A speech, poem, song expressing sorrow; dirge, lament.  
elucidate   To make clear; to clarify; to shed light upon; to explain, enlighten, explicate, illuminate.  
emblazon   To adorn with prominent markings; to draw, inscribe; to celebrate or extol as with deeds or merit.  
encomium   Warm praise, especially a formal expression of such; tribute, salutation, eulogy, panegyric.  
enduring   To continue or carry on with something, despite obstacles or hardships; to last.  
enervate   To reduce strength; debilitate, sap, weaken, enfeeble, unnerve.  
entreat   To make an earnest petition or request; importune, supplicate, beseech; to prevail upon by prayer or solicitation; persuade.  
epicure   Person with refined taste in food and drink; connissuer, gastronomist, gourmand.  
erratic   Irregular, wandering, and unpredictable; capricious, irresolute, whimsical, inconstant.  
erudite   Learned, scholarly, with emphasis on knowledge gained from books; scholastic.  
eschew   To avoid; to shun; applied to the avoidance or shunning of an idea, concept, or other intangible.  
esoteric   Understood only by a few; related to concepts that are highly theoretical, without obvious practical application; abstruse, obscure.  
espouse   To accept, support, adopt, take on as one’s own; to become married to.  
estimable   Admirable; commendable, laudable, praiseworthy, venerable, worthy.  
ethos   The character or fundamental values of a group; culture, philosophy, ethic.  
eulogistic   Praising highly is speech or writing; of or pertaining to a eulogy; meliorative.  
eulogy   An oration to honor a deceased person, usually at a funeral; the act of praising, speaking highly, commending; panegyric.  
euphemism   A word or phrase used to replace one that is considered distasteful.  
euphony   Pleasant, harmonious sound; melody, music, sweetness. Opposite of Cacophony.  
euthanasia   The practice of killing a human being or animal for humane reasons; an easy death.  
exacerbate   To make worse; aggravate, irritate, intensify, provoke, annoy.  
exculpate   To free from blame or guilt; vindicate, exonerate, acquit.  
exegesis   An explanation or critical interpretation of a religious text.  
exigency   Urgent requirements, pressing needs (often used in the plural).  
exonerate   To free from accusation or blame; acquit; to free from an obligation, responsibility or task.  
exorbitant   Exceeding proper limits; extravagant; excessive or unduly high, as a fee or interest rate.  
explicate   To explain meticulously or in great detail; to elucidate; to analyze or interpret.  
exploit   A heroic action, achievement, or deed; to use for one's own advantage; to use.  
exponent   One who champions or advocates; supporter, representative, proponent.  
expurgate   To censor; sanitize, cut, purge, bowdlerize.  
exscind   To cut out.  
extant   Still in existence; currently existing; not having disappeared; still alive; not extinct.  
factotum   A person having many diverse activities or responsibilities; a general servant; handyman.  
fallacious   Characterized by fallacy; false or mistaken; deceptive or misleading.  
fallow   Inactive; undeveloped; uncultivated, as of land.  
falter   To waver or be unsteady; to stammer; to stumble; to hesitate or be uncertain.  
fanatical   Filled with unquestioned devotion to a cause; extremist, zealous, frenzied, fiery.  
fancied   Imagined, unreal; desired.  
faneant   Shiftless, lazy, work-shy.  
farce   A style of humor marked by broad improbabilities with little regard to regularity or method; sarcasm; broad comedy; mockery.  
fatuous   Stupid; foolishly self-satisfied; inane, ludicrous, preposterous, silly.  
febrile   Feverish, or having a high temperature; full of nervous energy.  
feckless   Lacking purpose, careless; without skill, ineffective, incompetent.  
fecundity   Fertility; fruitfulness; the ability to cause growth.  
feint   A movement made to confuse an opponent; that which is feigned; an assumed or false appearance; a pretense, stratagem, or fetch.  
felicitous   Well-fitting, happening at the right time; well-chosen; apropos, appropriate, opportune, apt.  
felicity   Happiness; apt and pleasing; appropriateness.  
fell   Having an extremely cruel or irrational trait; deadly; to cut, knock, bring down.  
felon   A person convicted of a serious criminal offense.  
ferment   To stir up, agitate, cause unrest; to react, brew, catalyze, foment.  
ferocity   Marked by extreme and violent energy; extreme or intense; savage cruelty; fierceness; furiousness; fury; vehemence; wildness.  
ferret   To uncover and bring to light by searching; to drive or hunt out of hiding  
fervid   Intensely hot, emotional, or zealous; extremely hot; very passionate; fervent, ardent.  
fervor   An intense, heated emotion; passionate enthusiasm; passion, ardor.  
fester   To become septic, rotten; to worsen from lack of attention; rankle, resentment.  
fete   A festival open to the public, the proceeds from which are often given to charity; a feast, celebration, or carnival.  
fetid   Foul-smelling; malodorous.  
fetter   To shackle, bind, restrain, impede; to hamper; anything that restricts or restrains in any way.  
feud   A state of long-standing mutual hostility.  
fiat   An authoritative command or order to do something; an effectual decree; a command  
fidelity   Faithfulness, loyalty; accuracy, or exact correspondence to some input or given.  
fidget   To wiggle or twitch; to move around nervously, idly, restlessly.  
figurehead   A carved figure on the prow of a ship; someone in a nominal position of leadership who has no actual power; a front.  
filch   To steal.  
filial   Pertaining to son or daughter; of generations descending from a specific previous one.  
filibuster   Delaying tactics, especially long, often irrelevant speeches given in order to delay progress or block legislation.  
filigree   A delicate and intricate ornamentation made from twisted metal wire.  
firebrand   An argumentative troublemaker or revolutionary; one who agitates against the current situation; hothead; agitator.  
flak   Criticism; anti-aircraft artillery.  
florid   Elaborately ornate; flowery, embellished, baroque, rococo; red in color.  
foil   Defeat, frustrate, prevent, counter; contrast.  
foment   To arouse or incite; agitate, inflame, instigate, kindle.  
ford   A shallow place where a a body of water can be crossed on foot; to cross a body of water on foot; traverse, wade.  
foreman   The member of a jury who presides over it and speaks on its behalf; leader of a work crew.  
fortuitous   Happening by chance, fortunate; lucky, propitious, haphazard.  
fragile   Easily broken or destroyed; often of subtle or intricate structure.  
furtive   Stealthy or secretive; clandestine, covert, shifty, surreptitious, underhand.  
gambol   To dance, skip, leap playfully; caper, cavort, frolic, rollick, romp.  
gaudy   Very showy or ornamented; excessive, or in a tasteless or vulgar manner.  
glower   To glare or stare angrily and intensely; scowl, frown.  
grave   Of importance; momentous; weighty; influential; sedate; serious; solemn; staid; weighty.  
gregarious   Outgoing, sociable; congenial, affable, communicative.  
grievous   Causing grief or sorrow; series and distressing; dire, dolorous, grave, mournful.  
guile   Deceit or trickery; artifice, duplicity, chicanery, cunning.  
gust   A strong, abrupt rush of wind; any rush or outburst.  
gymnosperm   A coniferous plant.  
hapless   Unfortunate, having bad luck; ill-fated, unlucky, jinxed.  
heterogeneous   Diverse in kind or nature; composed of diverse parts; assorted, mixed, varied.  
hoary   White with age; ancient, venerable, antique.  
hoi polloi   The masses; Greek for 'the many'.  
husband   To manage economically, use sparingly; conserve.  
hyperbole   Exaggeration for effect; embellishment, overstatement, inflation.  
ichthyology   The study of fish.  
iconoclast   One who attacks popular beliefs or traditions; rebel, nonconformist, revolutionary, maverick.  
idiosyncrasy   A structural or behavioral characteristic peculiar to an individual or group; quirk, mannerism, foible.  
idolatry   Blind or excessive devotion to something; worship of idols.  
idyll   A short poem or prose piece depicting a rural or pastoral scene, usually in idealized terms; a carefree or romantic interlude.  
ignoble   Having low moral standards; not noble in character; lowly; vulgar; common; undignified.  
ignominious   Marked by shame or disgrace; dishonorable, undignified, degrading.  
impecunious   Poor; indigent, destitute, impoverished.  
impetuous   Quick to act without thinking; impulsive, rash, reckless, spontaneous.  
impious   Not devout; profane, immoral, irreverent.  
imprecation   A curse; damnation.  
impugn   To call into question; challenge, dispute, contradict.  
incarnadine   Blood-red in color; reddened; ruddy.  
inchoate   Not fully formed; amorphous, elementary, immature, rudimentary, chaotic, confused, incoherent.  
inculcate   To teach, impress in the mind; implant, indoctrinate, instill, preach.  
indolent   Habitually lazy or idle; faneant, languid, slothful, sluggish.  
ineluctable   Impossible to avoid or escape; inescapable, irresistible; inevitable.  
inerrancy   Freedom from error.  
inexorable   Unyielding; relentless, implacable, adamant, obdurate.  
ingrate   ungrateful person; cad, churl.  
ingratiate   To seek to please another to gain favor or advantage; flatter, suck up.  
inimical   Adverse; hostile, unfriendly, harmful, detrimental.  
inquest   An investigation or inquiry; probe, quest, research.  
insipid   Flavorless; flat; lacking character or definition; cloyingly sweet or sentimental; dull, bland, vapid.  
interregnum   A period between two reigns; interval.  
intractable   Not easily manipulated; stubborn, unyielding, unruly.  
intrepid   Fearless; brave, courageous.  
inundate   To overwhelm; to cover with water; deluge; drown; engulf; flood; submerge.  
invective   Abusive language; denunciation, revilement, vituperation.  
investiture   Ceremony conferring authority; inauguration, induction, initiation, installment.  
invidious   Envious, obnoxious, or offensive; likely to promote ill-will; insulting, discriminatory, jaundiced, resentful.  
irascible   Irritable, easily angered; cantankerous, ornery, testy.  
isthmus   A narrow strip of land, bordered on both sides by water, and connecting two larger landmasses.  
jabber   To talk rapidly, indistinctly, or unintelligibly; to utter gibberish or nonsense.  
jettison   To discard, as something encumbering or unneeded; eject,dump.  
jibe   A facetious or insulting remark; a jeer, taunt, barb.  
jingoism   Belligerent nationalism; chauvinism.  
jocular   Playful; humorous, amusing, comical.  
judicious   Sound in judgement; circumspect, prudent, sagacious, sapient.  
juncture   A place where things join, a junction; a critical moment in time; crossroads, confluence, convergence.  
junket   A feast, banquet, picnic; a trip, meeting, errand, especially one taken for pleasure by an official at public expense.  
ken   Range of knowledge.  
kinetic   Relating to motion; characterized by movement; active, dynamic, mobile.  
knell   The sound of a bell, especially to indicate a funeral, disaster, failure; toll, peal, chime.  
knoll   A small mound or rounded hill. Variant of knell.  
kudos   Fame, glory, honor; acclaim, encomium, praise, homage.  
labile   Liable to slip, err, fall, or apostatize; apt or likely to change; unstable.  
lachrymose   Pertaining to tears; tearful, weeping.  
laconic   Using few words; briefing and to the point; concise, curt, pithy, terse, taciturn.  
lapidary   Relating to precious stones or the art of cutting them.  
larceny   The theft of property; robbery, stealing.  
largess   Generous giving; benevolence, boon, compliment, favor.  
lascivious   Driven by lust; wanton, lewd.  
lassitude   A state of diminished energy; fatigue, languor, weariness, tiredness.  
latent   Present but not yet apparent, active, or developed; concealed, dormant, inert, potential, quiescent.  
lavish   Extremely generous of extravagant; giving unsparingly; opulent, luxuriant, profuse, superabundant.  
legerdemain   Trickery or sleight of hand; chicanery, conjuring.  
levity   An inappropriate lack of seriousness; frivolity, humor, amusement.  
libertine   A free thinker, usually used disparagingly; one without moral restraint; hedonist, debauched person, roué.  
libidinous   Having lustful desires; characterized by lewdness; sensual, lascivious.  
libretto   The text of a dramatic musical work, such as an opera.  
licentious   Lacking restraint, or ignoring societal standards, particularly in sexual conduct; amoral, incontinent.  
limpid   Clear, transparent; lucid; pellucid; serene.  
lionize   To treat as a celebrity; honor, ply, regail.  
lissome   Easily flexed; limber, agile, lithe, graceful.  
livid   Discolored from a bruise, black and blue; enraged, furious, reddened, insulted; pale, ashen, pallid.  
loquacious   Talkative; effusive, garrulous, verbose.  
lugubrious   Sorrowful, mournful; dismal, gloomy, somber, woeful, funeral.  
macerate   To soften or separate something into pieces by means of immersing it in liquid.  
maelstrom   Whirlpool, turmoil; agitated state of mind; Charybdis, eddy, turbulence.  
magisterial   Of or relating to a magister; commanding, authoritative, domineering, dictatorial.  
malady   Any ailment or disease of the human body; especially, a lingering or deep-seated disorder.  
malapropism   The blundering use of an inappropriate word or expression in place of a similar sounding one.  
malediction   A curse; evil speech.  
malign   Evil or malignant; malevolent; to make defamatory statements about someone or something.  
malison   A curse; malediction.  
mantic   Prophetic; of or relating to divination and prophecy.  
martinet   Strict disciplinarian; one who rigidly follows rules; stickler, tyrant, dictator.  
maudlin   Overly sentimental; bathetic; mawkish; saccharine; weepy.  
mawkish   Overly sentimental; nauseating or insipid in taste or smell.  
mellifluous   Sweet, smooth, flowing; often used of a person's voice, tone or writing style; melodious.  
mendacious   Dishonest; deceitful, false, lying, untruthful.  
mendicant   Panhandler, beggar, pauper.  
mercurial   Quick, shrewd, and unpredictable; capricious, clever, volatile, fickle, whimsical.  
meretricious   Attractive on the surface but of little value; flashy, gaudy, tawdry, insincere.  
mesmerize   To hypnotize; enchant.  
metaphor   An figure of speech that creates an implicit, non-literal comparison, e.g. 'sea of troubles'.  
mete   To measure; dispense, measure (out), allot, especially punishment, reward etc.  
militate   To operate against; influence, affect, change.  
miscellaneous   Consisting of a variety of ingredients or parts; having diverse characteristics; sundry, various.  
missive   A letter or message.  
moribund   Near death; stagnant, obsolete, declining; without force or vitality.  
multifarious   Diverse; motley, legion, varied, assorted.  
munificent   Very generous; liberal, lavish, unsparing.  
mutable   Capable of or subject to change or alteration; prone to frequent change.  
myriad   Constituting a very large, indefinite number; innumerable; composed of numerous diverse elements or facets.  
nadir   Lowest point. Opposite of Zenith.  
naiveté   Lack of sophistication, experience, judgement or worldliness; artlessness; gullibility; credulity.  
nascent   Coming into existence; incipient, emerging, embryonic, inchoate.  
natation   The act or process of swimming.  
neologism   New word or expression; slang.  
neophyte   Novice; beginner, apprentice, greenhorn, tyro.  
nettle   To irritate; annoy, vex.  
noisome   Stinking; putrid, disgusting, foul, malodorous.  
nominal   Existing in name only; minimal, negligible, trifling, titular.  
nonplus   To perplex or bewilder; to confound, flummox; surprise.  
nostrum   A medicine or remedy in conventional use which has not been proven to have any desirable medical effects.  
noxious   Unpleasant and possibly also harmful, typically in reference to odorous fumes  
nuance   A subtle expression of meaning or quality; minor distinction; gradation, subtlety, tone.  
nubile   Of an age suitable for marriage; marriageable; attractive.  
nugatory   Trivial, trifling or of little importance; ineffective, invalid or futile.  
numismatics   Coin collecting.  
nuptial   Of or pertaining to wedding and marriage; capable or characteristic of breeding.  
obdurate   Hardened, resistant to persuasion; inflexible, intransigent, recalcitrant, tenacious, unyielding.  
obloquy   Abusive language; disgrace suffered from abusive language; defamation, insult, slander, disgrace, infamy.  
obtain   To get hold of; gain possession of, procure, acquire; to exist or be the case; to hold true, be in force, or last.  
obviate   To prevent, or make unnecessary; preclude, prohibit, forestall.  
odious   Arousing or meriting strong dislike, aversion, or intense displeasure; repulsive; hateful; vile.  
odium   Hatred, dislike, detestation; the quality that provokes hatred; offensiveness.  
odor   Any smell, whether fragrant or offensive, scent, perfume; strong, pervasive quality; esteem, repute.  
odoriferous   Giving off an odor.  
officious   Offensively intrusive or interfering; meddlesome, eager, intrusive, pushy.  
ominous   Foreboding misfortune or evil; having significance as an omen; menacing, threatening.  
onerous   Burdensome; troublesome and oppressive; arduous, difficult, exacting, laborious, trying.  
opaqueness   Preventing passage of light; not transparent; obscure.  
opine   To express an opinion; point out, voice.  
opprobrium   Public disgrace; disrepute; ignominy; infamy, obloquy.  
ornithology   The scientific study of birds.  
overweening   Unduly confident, arrogant, presumptuous, conceited; exaggerated, excessive, overbearing.  
paean   Any loud and joyous song; a song of triumph; an expression of praise.  
palatial   Relating to a palace; magnificent; grand; stately  
panegyric   A formal speech or opus of public praise; homage; eulogy; encomium.  
panoply   Impressive array; display; fanfare; parade; pomp; shine; show.  
paradox   a contradiction or dilemma; ambiguity, incongruity.  
parry   To ward off or deflect; avoid, evade, repel.  
pastiche   A work imitating another work of literature, music, arts; medley, spoof.  
pastoral   Of or pertaining to shepherds; relating to rural life; relating to the care of souls, or to the pastor of a church.  
patent   Explicit and obvious; open to the public to read.  
pathological   Pertaining to pathology, disease; relating to or caused by a physical or mental disorder.  
pathos   That quality which which awakens tender emotions, such as pity, sorrow; contagious warmth of feeling, action, or expression.  
patina   The color or incrustation which age and wear give to objects; green crust on bronze; tone slowly taken by varnished paintings.  
patois   A local or provincial dialect; Creole.  
patrician   Of or pertaining to a person of high birth; noble, privileged, not plebeian.  
patron   A supporter, customer, sponsor.  
paucity   Fewness in number; a small number or amount; meagerness; dearth; scantiness; scarcity.  
peccadillo   A small flaw, offense, sin; a weakness in one's character; lapse, failing, fault, misstep.  
pecuniary   Of, or relating to, money; monetary.  
pedant   One who is overly concerned with formal rules, technicalities, and trivial points of learning.  
pedantic   Being overly concerned with formal rules and trivial points; showing off one’s knowledge, often in a boring manner.  
pedestrian   Ordinary, dull, unimaginative; everyday; unexceptional, unremarkable, commonplace.  
peerless   Having no equal, incomparable.  
pejorative   Negative in connotation; disparaging, belittling, derogatory, dyslogistic.  
pellucid   Transparent; easily understood; clear; limpid.  
pensive   Having the appearance of deep, often melancholic, thinking; looking thoughtful, especially from sadness.  
penury   Severe poverty; oppressive lack of resources; destitution, impoverishment.  
perfidious   Treacherous, disloyal, faithless.  
perfunctory   Done in a routine way; lacking interest, care, or enthusiasm; indifferent, superficial, not thorough.  
peripatetic   Wandering, esp on foot; itinerant; nomadic; wayfaring.  
permeate   To penetrate and pass through without causing rupture or displacement; pervade, suffuse, imbue, infuse.  
peruse   To look over casually; to skim; to read with care.  
pervade   To permeate; imbue, infuse, penetrate, suffuse.  
perverse   Willfully erring; obstinately in the wrong; stubbornly wayward; intractable; vexing; wicked; contrary.  
pest   An annoying, harmful, often destructive creature; an annoying person.  
pestilential   Producing pestilence or plague; pestilent; baneful.  
petrify   To produce rigidness akin to stone; to immobilize with fright.  
phalanx   A compact or organized body of people or things; legion, mass, formation.  
philistine   Lacking in appreciation for art or culture; narrow minded; exclusively interested in material gain; boor, materialist.  
philology   The humanistic study of historical linguistics.  
phlegmatic   Calm and unemotional, indifferent, impassive, apathetic, sluggish.  
phoenix   A symbol of rebirth or immortality; anything that is reborn after apparently being destroyed.  
phylum   A rank in the classification of organisms, below kingdom and above class; a division.  
physiognomy   The general appearance or aspect of a thing; the face or countenance.  
physiological   Pertaining to the science of the functions of life and of the physical and chemical phenomena involved.  
pied   Decorated or colored in blotches; variegated.  
pith   The spongy substance in the center of the stems of many plants; the essential or vital part of an idea, theory, thing; core, marrow, essence, substance.  
plastic   Able to be molded, altered, or bent; adaptable, ductile, malleable, pliant.  
pleonastic   Using an excessive number of words, especially using different words having the same meaning; redundant; "killed it dead."  
plethora   Excess; glut, overabundance, surfeit.  
polemic   Controversy; argument, denunciation, refutation.  
politic   Shrewd and practical; diplomatic; tactful.  
posit   To assume as real or conceded; propose as an explanation; suggest.  
posse   A group of people summoned to help law enforcement; a group of associates.  
pragmatic   Useful in practice, not just theory; functional, practical, utilitarian, realistic.  
prate   To talk much and to little purpose; be loquacious, speak foolishly, chatter, babble.  
precept   A rule or principle, especially one governing personal conduct.  
precipitate   To bring about abruptly; lacking deliberation; abrupt, hasty, ill-considered, impetuous, rash, reckless.  
precis   A short summary of facts; abstract, overview, dossier.  
preclude   To remove the possibility of; rule out; prevent or exclude.  
precocious   Characterized by exceptionally early development or maturity.  
predilection   Condition of favoring or liking; tendency towards, proclivity, predisposition.  
prefatory   Introductory, preliminary, serving as a prelude or preface.  
prevaricate   To lie or deviate from the truth; equivocate; perjure.  
prim   Very precise and formal; prudish, overly correct in behavior, straight-laced.  
primogeniture   Seniority by birth; an exclusive right of inheritance belonging to the eldest son.  
probity   Complete honesty and integrity; virtue, rectitude, uprightness.  
proclivity   A natural inclination or predisposition; tendency, bias, leaning, penchant, predilection, prejudice, propensity.  
prodigal   Lavish; wasteful; extravagant; profligate.  
profligate   Corrupt or degenerate; dissolute, wasteful, extravagant, improvident, prodigal.  
progenitor   Any of a person's direct ancestors; a predecessor of something, especially if also a precursor or model.  
propitiate   To conciliate or appease; mollify, pacify, placate.  
propriety   Obeying customs and rules; decency, decorum, modesty, appropriateness.  
provoke   To incite to anger or resentment; harass, molest, goad; to bring about deliberately; induce, elicit, evoke, cause, stimulate.  
prudence   Wisdom, caution, or restraint; astuteness, circumspection, judiciousness, discretion.  
prurient   Arousing or appealing to sexual desire; lustful, lascivious.  
puerile   Childish or immature; juvenile, jejune, silly, infantile.  
pugilist   Professional boxer.  
punctilious   Strictly attentive to detail; meticulous or fastidious, particularly to codes or conventions; precise or scrupulous; finicky, nitpicky.  
pusillanimous   Lacking courage; cowardly, fainthearted, timid, craven.  
qualified   Meeting the standards, requirements, and training for a position; restricted or limited by conditions.  
quibble   A trivial or minor complaint, objection or argument; To complain or argue in such a manner.  
quiescent   Dormant, latent; at rest, motionless.  
raconteur   A witty skillful storyteller; monologist.  
ratiocination   The activity or process of reasoning; thought or reasoning that is exact, valid and rational; a proposition arrived at by such thought.  
rebus   A kind of word puzzle which uses pictures to represent words or parts of words.  
recreant   Unfaithful or disloyal to a cause; a faithless or disloyal person, a coward.  
redoubtable   Eliciting respect or fear; imposing; awe-inspiring; formidable.  
redress   Relief for wrong or injury; amends, reparation, restitution, quittance, indemnity.  
refractory   Obstinate, unruly, stubborn, unmanageable; strongly opposed to something; incapable of registering a reaction or stimulus.  
rejoinder   Response; retort, riposte, come-back.  
render   To cause to become; to interpret; to deliver, give, provide; to secretly capture and turn over.  
renowned   Famous, celebrated, or well-known.  
repast   A meal.  
repine   To regret; to complain; to be low spirited or fretful.  
replete   Abundantly supplied, complete; full, abounding.  
repose   Relaxation; leisure, calmness, tranquility.  
repudiate   To reject validity; deny, disavow, disclaim, disown, renounce.  
restive   Restlessly impatient, obstinately resisting control; agitated, anxious, fretful.  
retroactive   Extending to a prior time or to prior conditions; ex post facto.  
retrograde   Directed backwards, retreating; reverting especially inferior state, declining; inverse, reverse.  
rider   Amendment or clause added to a legislative bill  
rococo   Very highly ornamented; 18th century French artistic style of elaborate ornamentation.  
roseate   Like the rose flower, pink, rosy; optimistic.  
rostrum   A dais, pulpit, or other platform for a speaker, conductor, performer; the snout of a dolphin.  
rote   Mechanical routine; a fixed, habitual, repetitive, or mechanical course of procedure; learning by this method.  
rout   To roar; to bellow; to snort; to snore loudly; to defeat completely, forcing into disorderly retreat; to search or root in the ground, as a swine.  
rubric   A heading or title highlighted in red; a title of a category or a class; an established rule, custom, guideline.  
rue   To repent of or regret (some past action or event); to wish that a past action or event had not taken place.  
ruffian   A scoundrel, rascal, or unprincipled, deceitful, brutal and unreliable person; rogue; scamp.  
ruminate   To chew over; to meditate or reflect; mull over, ponder.  
rumple   To make wrinkled.  
runic   Of, pertaining to, or written using runes; mysterious.  
rustic   Rural; bucolic, pastoral.  
saccharine   Of or relating to saccharin or sugar; excessively sweet; syrupy; cloying.  
sacrosanct   Most sacred, inviolable; holy; beyond alteration, criticism, or interference, especially due to religious sanction.  
sagacious   Having keen discernment, judgment, farsightedness; shrewd, wise, astute, sage-like.  
salacious   Promoting sexual desire or lust; lascivious or bawdy; obscene or lewd; lascivious, lustful, obscene.  
salient   Worthy of note, pertinent or relevant; prominent, marked, outstanding.  
sallow   Having a grayish, yellow-green hue; dirty, murky; sickly in color.  
salubrious   Promoting health or well-being, especially related to air; wholesome, bracing, therapeutic, tonic.  
salutary   Effecting or designed to effect an improvement; remedial: as advice; promoting good health; wholesome; curative.  
sanctimonious   Making a show of being morally better than others, especially hypocritically pious; self-righteous, phony.  
sanction   An approval, by an authority, that makes something valid. A penalty or coercive measure, intended to ensure compliance, esp. one adopted by nations or an international body.  
sanguinary   Eager for bloodshed; bloodthirsty; bloody, gory.  
sanguine   Ruddy or rosy; cheerfully optimistic; confident, hopeful, positive.  
sapient   Possessing wisdom and discernment.  
sardonic   Scornfully mocking or cynical; disdainfully or ironically humorous; sarcastic, acerbic, caustic, satirical, snide.  
sartorial   Of or relating to the quality of dress; to tailoring; vestiary.  
sash   A decorative length of cloth worn as a broad belt or over the shoulder, often for ceremonial purposes; opening part of a window.  
sate   To satisfy; fill up.  
satiate   To fill to satisfaction or excess; glut, gorge, surfeit.  
saturnine   Of or born under Saturn's influence; containing lead, or suffering from lead poisoning; gloomy, depressed, dull.  
satyr   A lecherous man; a faun.  
savant   A person of learning, scholar; a person extremely knowledgeable in one area, but deficient in others.  
savor   To possess a particular taste, smell, distinctive quality; to appreciate, enjoy or relish something.  
scad   A large number or quantity; a type of fish.  
scent   A smell or odor; a perfume.  
schism   A split or separation within a group or organization, typically caused by discord; a formal division or split within a religious body.  
scintilla   A small spark or flash; a trace amount; iota, mote, speck.  
scotch   Of Scottish origin; a surface cut or abrasion; to cut or score; to debunk or discredit an idea or rumor.  
scourge   A persistent pest, illness, or source of trouble; a whip often of leather; to strike, as with a whip.  
scribble   To write or draw carelessly, hurriedly.  
scurrilous   Given to vulgar verbal abuse, foul-mouthed; (of language) coarse, vulgar, abusive, or slanderous.  
scurry   To run away with quick light steps, to scamper.  
sedition   Behavior that promotes rebellion or civil disorder against the state; conspiracy, insurrection, insubordination.  
seemly   Proper, appropriate.  
seine   A long net having floats attached at the top and weights at the bottom, used in shallow water for catching fish.  
semblance   Likeness, similarity; seeming, outward appearance, guise, show; figure, form.  
sententious   Using as few words as possible; pithy, concise, terse; tending to use trite aphorisms or maxims.  
sentient   Capable of sensation, aware, conscious; intelligent, thinking, feeling, sensitive.  
sequester   To separate from all external influence; isolate, segregate, seclude.  
seraphic   Angelic; sweet, cherubic, heavenly.  
sere   Without moisture, dry; the entire sequence of ecological communities successively occupying an area from the initial stage to the climax.  
serendipity   An unsought, unintended, unexpected discovery or learning experience that happens by accident.  
sermon   Religious discourse; a written or spoken address on a religious or moral matter; a lengthy speech of reproval.  
servile   Of or pertaining to a slave; submissive or slavish.  
sever   To cut free.  
shallow   Having little depth; concerned with superficial matters; lacking interest or substance.  
sham   A fake; an imitation that purports to be genuine; trick, hoax; a decorative cover for a pillow.  
shard   A piece of broken glass or pottery, especially one found in an archaeological dig.  
sheaf   Any collection of things bound together; a bundle.  
shrew   Any of numerous small mouselike chiefly nocturnal mammals; an ill-tempered, nagging woman: a scold.  
shunt   To divert, turn aside, re-direct.  
shyster   Someone who acts in a disreputable, unethical or unscrupulous way, especially in the practice of law and politics, or a con artist.  
sibylline   Of or pertaining to a sibyl or female oracle; prophetic, oracular, clairvoyant.  
simian   Of or pertaining to apes; ape-like.  
simile   A figure of speech in which unlike things are compared, generally using "like" or "as."  
simper   To smile in a frivolous, self-conscious, often coy manner.  
simulate   To model, replicate, duplicate the behavior, appearance or properties of.  
sinecure   A well paid job or office with little responsibility.  
skein   A length of thread or yarn wound in a loose long coil; something suggesting the coil of a skein; a complex tangle.  
skiff   A small flat-bottomed open boat with a pointed bow and square stern; a boat small enough for sailing or rowing by one person.  
skinflint   One who is excessively stingy or cautious with money; a tightwad; a miser.  
skit   A short comic performance.  
skittish   Easily scared; timid.  
skullduggery   Activities intended to deceive; a con or hoax.  
slack   Lax; not tense; not hard drawn; not firmly extended; weak; not holding fast.  
slake   To become mixed with water; to quench, sate, satisfy.  
sleeper   Something that achieves unexpected success, value, or importance after an interval of time; a saboteur who lives unobtrusively until activated by a prearranged signal.  
sleight   Cunning, craft, artful practice; dexterity, skill.  
slew   A large quantity; change of position; to rotate or turn something about its axis.  
smolder   To burn with no flame and little smoke; to show signs of repressed anger or other strong emotion.  
solecism   Error in the use of language, especially etiquette; any faux pas against behavioral norms; intentional use of grammar/spelling errors for effect.  
solicitous   Anxious or concerned; marked by or given to anxious care, hovering attentiveness.  
soliloquy   The act of a character speaking to himself so as to reveal his thoughts to the audience; written discourse of this form.  
solstice   Either of two points when the sun is at its greatest distance from the celestial equator.  
somatic   Of the body.  
sonnet   A fixed verse form of Italian origin; a poem.  
sophistry   An argument that seems plausible, but is fallacious or misleading, often deliberately; trickery, rhetoric.  
sophomoric   Conceited and overconfident of knowledge but poorly informed and immature; overblown; affected.  
soporific   Causing sleep or lethargy; hypnotic, somnolent, narcotic.  
specious   Deceptively attractive; of questionable truth or merit; illusory, sophistic, spurious.  
spurious   False, not authentic or genuine; illegitimate, fake, counterfeit.  
squander   To waste, lavish, splurge.  
staid   Serious, organized, and professional; always fixed in the same location; stationary; composed, regular, steady, sober.  
stasis   A state of balance or equilibrium; standstill, inertia.  
stickler   One who is extremely fussy or particular; one who insists on precision or correctness.  
stilted   Stiff and artificially formal; supported by stilts.  
stint   A period of time spent doing or being something; a spell; to be sparing, thrifty, stingy, mean.  
stoic   Indifferent to pleasure or pain, impassive; of or related to Stoicism.  
stolid   Unemotional, impassive; indifferent, phlegmatic, stoic, apathetic.  
stratagem   A trick designed to deceive an opponent; trojan horse, artifice, feint, ruse, wile.  
strut   To walk proudly or haughtily; to bulge out; a supporting bar.  
stygian   Dark, gloomy; infernal, hellish, deathly; of the river Styx.  
subaltern   Of a lower rank or position; inferior or secondary; subordinate.  
subdue   To overcome or bring under control.  
sublimate   To change from solid to gas; to purify or refine; to divert the primitive instinct into socially acceptable behavior.  
sublime   Lofty or grand; exalted, glorious, magnificent, majestic, noble, resplendent.  
suborn   To induce someone to commit an unlawful or malicious act, or to commit perjury.  
substantiate   To verify something by supplying evidence; corroborate, authenticate; to give material form or substance to something; embody.  
subsume   To include or contain under something else; encompass; in logic, to consider an occurrence as part of a principle or rule.  
succor   Aid, assistance or relief given to one in distress; ministration.  
sully   To soil, stain, tarnish; to dirty; to damage or corrupt, as a reputation.  
summarily   Performed speedily and without formal ceremony; over a short period of time, briefly.  
superannuated   Obsolete due to age; retired, discarded, disqualified due to age.  
supercilious   Arrogantly superior; showing contemptuous indifference; haughty, condescending, patronizing, disdainful.  
supererogatory   More than needed or demanded; pertaining to supererogation, or doing more than is required, especially with reference to good works in Roman Catholicism; superfluous.  
superfluous   In excess of what is needed or required; excessive, extraneous, extra, pleonastic.  
supplant   To replace by force; to take place of; displace, supersede.  
suppliant   Entreating with humility; beseeching; one who pleads or requests earnestly.  
supplicate   To petition humbly; pray, beg, plead.  
sustain   To maintain (something), or keep it in existence; provide for or nourish; experience or suffer.  
swarthy   Tawny, dusky, dark; dark-skinned; evil, malicious; weathered, rough.  
swathe   A bandage, band; to bind with a swathe, band, bandage, or rollers.  
swerve   To go out of a straight line; to bend; to turn aside or deviate to avoid impact.  
swill   To drink greedily; kitchen waste, garbage.  
sybarite   A person devoted to pleasure and luxury; hedonist, sensualist, voluptuary.  
sycophant   A self-serving flatter; toady, bootlicker, yes-man.  
syllogism   A subtle or deceptive piece of reasoning; a deductive inference in logic.  
sylvan   Pertaining to the forest or woodlands; wooded.  
symbiosis   A mutually beneficial relationship; cooperation, interdependence, association.  
synoptic   Of, or relating to a synopsis; pertaining to or affording an overall view.  
tacit   Done without using words; implicit, implied, unsaid, undeclared.  
taciturn   Habitually silent; untalkative, reticent, laconic.  
talon   A sharp, hooked claw of a bird of prey or other predatory animal.  
tarnish   To discolor due to oxidation; to soil, sully, damage or compromise.  
tautology   A redundant or repetitive use of words; a logical statement that is true for all values of its variables.  
tellurian   Of, relating to, or inhabiting the Earth.  
tendentious   Marked by a strong implicit point of view or tendency; partisan, biased.  
terrene   Pertaining to the earth; earthly, terrestrial, worldly as opposed to heavenly.  
terrestrial   Earthly; earthbound, commonplace, sublunary, tellurian, terrene.  
thrall   One who is enslaved or mind-controlled; the state of being under another's control; enthall.  
timorous   Fearful, afraid, timid.  
tirade   A long, angry or violent speech; diatribe, obloquy, fulmination, revilement, harangue.  
torpid   Apathetic, sluggish, or lethargic; unable to move or feel; dormant.  
torpor   Extreme mental and physical sluggishness; languor, lethargy, lassitude, apathy.  
torque   A turning or twisting force producing rotation about an axis.  
transitory   Lasting for a brief time; ephemeral, fleeting, impermanent, evanescent, momentary.  
travesty   An absurd or grotesque misrepresentation; a parody or stylistic imitation; caricature.  
trenchant   Acute, sharp, or incisive; biting, caustic, cunning, keen; very effective and articulate.  
turgid   Swollen from fluid; bloated, distended.  
tyro   Beginner; novice, apprentice, neophyte, tenderfoot.  
ulterior   Beyond what is obvious or evident; subsequent; situated beyond.  
umbrage   Anger or annoyance caused by something offensive; doubt or suspicion; leaves that provide shade, as the foliage of trees.  
unconscionable   Unfair or unjust; unscrupulous; dishonorable, indefensible.  
uncouth   Rough, clumsy, awkward, unrefined, crude.  
unction   A religious or ceremonial anointing; a smug, exaggerated use of language; smarminess.  
unctuous   Insincerely and profusely polite; oily, slimy; rich, lush, concentrated.  
undermine   Hinder, sabotage; to dig, tunnel, hollow out as if making a cave or opening.  
undulate   To move or cause to move in a wavelike motion; fluctuate, oscillate.  
unequivocal   Absolute or certain; categorical, clear, explicit, express, unambiguous.  
unerring   Not missing the target; consistently accurate; infallible.  
unfledged   Immature or inexperienced.  
unguent   Any cream containing medicinal ingredients applied to the skin for therapeutic purposes; ointment, salve.  
union jack   The flag of the United Kingdom.  
unrequited   Not reciprocated.  
upbraid   To criticize severely; reprove, rebuke, chide, exprobrate, blame, censure, condemn, reproach.  
upshot   Outcome.  
urbane   Socially refined and assured from wide experience; polite, polished, svelte, suave.  
ursine   Resembling, characteristic of, pertaining to bears.  
usury   An exorbitant rate of interest, in excess of any legal or moral standards; the practice of lending at such rates.  
uxorious   Overly devoted or submissive to one's wife.  
vacillate   To alternate between extremes; to be indecisive; fluctuate, oscillate, waver, dither.  
vagary   An erratic notion, action, desire; caprice, whim.  
vainglorious   With excessive vanity or unwarranted pride; boastful; conceited.  
vanguard   The leading units at the front of an army or fleet; the persons at the forefront of any group or movement.  
vanquish   To defeat or conquer in battle; subjugate; to defeat in a contest, conflict, or competition; to overcome or subdue.  
vassal   A person, nation, etc., in a subordinate, suppliant, or dependent position relative to another.  
vaunted   Highly or widely praised, boasted, publicized.  
venerable   Respected because of age; distinguished, respectable, honored, revered, elderly.  
ventral   Related to the abdomen or stomach; abdominal; on the front side of the human body.  
verbiage   An overabundance of words; the manner in which something is expressed in words.  
verdant   Green, lush in vegetation; grassy, leafy, wooded; inexperienced.  
verdigris   A blue-green patina on weathered copper, brass, or bronze; also used as a paint pigment.  
verisimilar   Appearing to be true or real; probable, likely.  
verisimilitude   The property of seeming true, of resembling reality; realism; something which merely appears to be true.  
veritable   True, real, rightly named.  
verity   The quality of being true, factual, or real; lasting truth or principle.  
vernal   Pertaining to spring; fresh, youthful.  
verve   Excitement of imagination, artistic energy and enthusiasm; vigor, vitality, liveliness; rapture, spirit, energy.  
vestige   A faint trace or sign left by something no longer present; remnant, remains, hint, relic.  
vex   To annoy, irritate, puzzle, confuse; bother, chafe, exasperate, irk, nettle, provoke.  
vexillology   The study of flags.  
viand   An item of food; a choice of dish.  
vicarious   Experienced or gained by substitution of another, such as through watching or reading; done on behalf of others, by a deputy or intermediary.  
vicissitude   Regular change or succession from one thing to another, or one part of a cycle to the next; alternation, mutual succession, interchange, a change in one's fortunes.  
victuals   Food supplies; provisions.  
vim   Vitality and energy; force; power.  
virago   A large, strong, courageous or aggressive woman; a noisy, scolding, or domineering woman.  
visceral   Perceived in or as if in the viscera; profound; instinctive.  
viscid   Adhesive, gluey, gummy, viscous.  
vitiate   To spoil, make faulty; to reduce the value, quality, or effectiveness of something; to corrupt; debase  
vitriol   Bitterly scathing or abusive language; corrosive, caustic criticism.  
vituperation   Overly harsh criticism or invective; severe censure, castigation, reproach.  
volition   The mental power or ability of choosing; agency, will.  
voluble   Talkative; garrulous, loquacious, glib, verbose.  
voracious   Having a great appetite for something; ravenous; wanting or devouring great quantities of food.  
vouchsafe   To condescendingly grant a right, benefit, outcome; to deign to acknowledge; guarantee  
vulpine   Of, resembling, or characteristic of a fox; cunning; clever.  
waffle   To speak equivocally; to vacillate; to be vague.  
waft   To float easily or gently through the air.  
wanderlust   A strong impulse or longing to travel.  
wane   To decrease in size, power, value, intensity; draw gradually to an end; decline; often used of light and moon phases.  
wangle   To obtain through manipulative or deceitful methods; falsify.  
wanton   Unrestrained, undisciplined, reckless; capricious, malicious, lewd, licentious.  
welter   To be soaked or steeped in, to wallow; a general confusion, a disorderly mixture.  
wend   To go or proceed along some course or way.  
wheedle   To cajole or attempt to persuade by flattery; to obtain something by guile or trickery.  
whelp   The young of a mammal; an insolent youth.  
whimsical   Determined by, arising from, or marked by whim; capricious, impulsive, fanciful, playful, arbitrary, flippant.  
whinny   To neigh, as a horse.  
whorl   A pattern of concentric circles; a volution or turn in concentric lines, as in fingerprints. Homophones: whirl.  
wince   A sudden movement or gesture of shrinking away; to flinch as if in pain or distress.  
winsome   Charming; inspiring trust and approval in an innocent manner; attractive, delightful.  
wispy   Lacking clarity or distinctness; barely discernible; thin, slight, faint.  
wistful   Full of yearning or longing; sadly pensive.  
witless   Without wit or understanding; hence, indiscreet; not under the guidance of judgment; foolish, idiotic.  
witticism   A witty remark; wisecrack, joke, jape, bon mot.  
wizened   Withered; wrinkled, shriveled, dried up, as from age or illness.  
woe   Deep distress or misery, as from grief; wretchedness, sorrow.  
wont   Accustomed or used (to or with a thing); likely.  
woo   To seek the affection of with intent to romance; to seek to achieve, try to gain; to tempt or invite; to entreat, solicit, importune.  
wraith   A ghost; a ghost of a living person seen just before his/her death; apparition, shade, spirit.  
wrest   To obtain by pulling or violent force; to usurp forcefully.  
writ   A written order.  
writhe   To twist, as in pain, struggle, or embarrassment; to move with a twisting or contorted motion; to suffer acutely.  
xenophobia   An exaggerated or abnormal fear of strangers or foreigners.  
yarn   A story, a tale, especially one that is incredible; bundles of fibers twisted together.  
yen   A strong desire, urge, yearning, longing; the unit of Japanese currency.  
yeoman   A subordinate, deputy, aide, or assistant; person owning small estate, commoner of good standing.  
yoke   To link, to join; to unite, to connect.  
yokel   An unsophisticated person (pejorative); a person of rural background.  
zephyr   A light wind from the west; a gentle breeze; any thing of fine, soft, or light quality, especially fabric.  


   





 
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