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Abaft (adv.) on or toward the rear of a ship The passengers moved abaft of the ship so as to escape the fire in the front of the ship.
Abandon (v.; n) to leave behind; to give something up; freedom; enthusiasm;Impetuosity After failing for several years, he abandoned his dream of starting agrocery business. Lucy embarked on her new adventure with abandon.
Abase (v.) to degrade; humiliate; disgrace The mother's public reprimand abased the girl. The insecure father, after failing to achieve his own life-long goals, abased his children whenever they failed.
Abbreviate (v.) to shorten; compress; diminish His vacation to Japan was abbreviated when he acquired an illness treatable only in the United States.
Abdicate (v.) to reject, renounce, or abandon Due to his poor payment record, it may be necessary to abdicate our relationship with the client.
Aberrant (adj.) abnormal; straying from the normal or usual path The aberrant flight pattern of the airplane alarmed the air traffic controllers. His aberrant behavior led his friends to worry the divorce had taken its toll.
Abeyance (n.) a state of temporary suspension or inactivity Since the power failure, the town has been in abeyance.
Abhor (v.) to hate By the way her jaw tensed when he walked in, it is easy to see that she abhors him. The dog abhorred cats, chasing and growling at them whenever he had the opportunity.
Abject (adj.) of the worst or lowest degree The Haldemans lived in abject poverty, with barely a roof over their heads.
Abjure (v.) to give up The losing team may abjure to the team that is winning.
Abnegation (n.) a denial The woman's abnegation of her loss was apparent when she began to laugh.
Abominate (v.) to loathe; to hate Randall abominated all the traffic he encountered on every morning commute. Please do not abominate the guilty person until you hear the complete explanation.
Abridge (v.) to shorten; to limit The editor abridged the story to make the book easier to digest.
Abrogate (v.) to cancel by authority The judge would not abrogate the law.
Abrupt (adj.) happening or ending unexpectedly The abrupt end to their marriage was a shock to everyone.
Abscond (v.) to go away hastily or secretly; to hide The newly wed couple will abscond from the reception to leave on the honeymoon.
Absolve (v.) to forgive; to acquit The judge will absolve the person of all charges.After feuding for many years, the brothers absolved each other for the many arguments they had.
Abstemious (adj.) sparing in use of food or drinks If we become stranded in the snow storm, we will have to be abstemious with our food supply. In many abstemious cultures the people are so thin due to the belief that too much taken into the body leads to contamination of the soul.
Abstinence (n.) the act or process of voluntarily refraining from any action or practice; self-control; chastity In preparation for the Olympic games, the athletes practiced abstinence from red meat and junk food, adhering instead to a menu of pasta and produce.
Abstruse (adj.) hard to understand; deep; recondite The topic was so abstruse the student was forced to stop reading. The concept was too abstruse for the average student to grasp.
Abysmal (adj.) very deep The abysmal waters contained little plant life.
Accede (v.) to comply with; to consent to With defeat imminent, the rebel army acceded to hash out a peace treaty.
Acclaim (n.) loud approval; applause Edward Albee's brilliantly written Broadway revival of A Delicate Balance received wide acclaim.
Accolade (n.) approving or praising mention; a sign of approval or respect Rich accolades were bestowed on the returning hero. Accolades flowed into her dressing room following the opening-night triumph.
Accomplice (n.) co-conspirator; partner; partner-in-crime The bank robber's accomplice drove the get- away car.
Accretion (n.)growth by addition; a growing together by parts With the accretion of the new members, the club doubled its original size. The addition of the new departments accounts for the accretion of the company.
Accrue (v.) a natural growth; a periodic increase. Over the course of her college career, she managed to accrue a great deal of knowledge. The savings were able to accrue a sizable amount of interest each year. During his many years of collecting stamps, he was able to accrue a large collection of valuabl
Acerbic (adj.) tasting sour; harsh in language or temper Too much Bay Leaf will make the eggplant acerbic. The baby's mouth puckered when she was given the acerbic medicine. The columnist's acerbic comments about the First Lady drew a strong denunciation from the President.
Acquiesce (v.) to agree without protest The group acquiesced to the new regulations even though they were opposed to them. After a hard-fought battle, the retailers finally acquiesced to the draft regulations.
Acrid (adj.) sharp; bitter; foul smelling Although the soup is a healthy food choice, it is so acrid not many peoplechoose to eat it. The fire at the plastics factory caused an acrid odor to be emitted throughout the surrounding neighborhood.
Acrimony (n.) sharpness or bitterness in language or manner. The acrimony of her response was shocking.
Adage (n.) an old saying now accepted as being truthful The adage "do unto others as you wish them to do unto you" is still widely practiced.
Adamant (adj.) not yielding, firm After taking an adamant stand to sell the house, the man called the real estate agency. The girl's parents were adamant about not allowing her to go on a dangerous backpacking trip.
Addled (adj.) rotten The egg will become addled if it is left unrefrigerated.
Adept (adj.) skilled; practiced The skilled craftsman was quite adept at creating beautiful vases and candleholders.
Adjure (v.) solemnly ordered The jurors were adjured by the judge to make a fair decision.
Adroit (adj.) expert or skillful The repair was not difficult for the adroit craftsman. The driver's adroit driving avoided a serious accident.
Adulation (n.) praise in excess The adulation was in response to the heroic feat. The adulation given to the movie star was sickening.
Adulterate (v.) to corrupt, debase, or make impure The dumping of chemicals will adulterate the pureness of the lake.
Adversary (n.) an enemy; foe The peace treaty united two countries that were historically great adversaries.
Adverse (adj.) negative; hostile; antagonistic; inimical Contrary to the ski resort's expectations, the warm weather generated adverse conditions for a profitable weekend.
Advocate (v.; n.) to plead in favor of; supporter; defender Amnesty International advocates the cause for human rights. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a great advocate of civil rights.
Aesthetic (adj.) of beauty; pertaining to taste in art and beauty She found that her aesthetic sense and that of the artist were at odds. His review made one wonder what kind of aesthetic taste the critic had.
Affable (adj.) friendly; amiable; good-natured Her affable puppy loved to play with children.
Affiliate (v.) to connect or associate with; to accept as a member The hiking club affiliated with the bird-watching club.
Affinity (n.) a connection; similarity of structure There is a strong emotional affinity between the two siblings.It turns out that the elements bear a strong affinity to each other.
Aggrandize (v.) to make more powerful The king wanted to aggrandize himself and his kingdom.
Aghast (adj.) astonished; amazed; horrified; terrified; appalled Stockholders were aghast at the company's revelation. The landlord was aghast at his water bill.
Agrarian (adj.) of the land Many agrarian people are poor.
Alacrity (n.) eager readiness or speed The manager was so impressed by the worker's alacrity; he suggested a promotion. On the first day of her new job, the recent college graduate was able to leave early after completing all of her tasks with alacrity.
Alchemist (n.) a person who studies chemistry The alchemist's laboratory was full of bottles and tubes of strange looking liquids.
Alchemy (n.) any mysterious change of substance or nature The magician used alchemy to change the powder into a liquid
Allegory (n.) a symbolic description The book contained many allegories on Russian history.
Alleviate (v.) to lessen or make easier The airport's monorail alleviates vehicular traffic.
Allocate (v.) set aside; designate; assign There have been front row seats allocated to the performer's family. The farmer allocated three acres of his fields to corn.
Allude (v.) to refer indirectly to something The story alludes to part of the author's life. Without stating that the defendant was an ex-convict, the prosecutor alluded to the fact by mentioning his length of unemployment.
Allure (v.; n.) to attract; entice; attraction; temptation; glamour The romantic young man allured the beautiful woman by preparing a wonderful dinner. Singapore's allure is its bustling economy.
Allusion (n.) an indirect reference (often literary); a hint The mention of the pet snake was an allusion to the man's sneaky ways. In modern plays allusions are often made to ancient drama.
Aloof (adj.) distant in interest; reserved; cool Even though the new coworker was aloof, we attempted to be friendly. The calm defendant remained aloof when he was wrongly accused of fabricating his story.
Altercation (n.) controversy; dispute A serious altercation caused the marriage to end in a bitter divorce.
Altruism (n.) unselfish devotion to the welfare of others After the organization aided the catastrophe victims, it was given an award for altruism. She displayed such altruism by giving up all of her belongings and joining a peace corps in Africa.
Altruistic (adj.) unselfish The altruistic volunteer donated much time and energy in an effort toraise funds for the children's hospital.
Amalgam (n.) a mixture or combination (often of metals) The art display was an amalgam of modern and traditional pieces. That ring is made from an amalgam of minerals; if it were pure gold it would never hold its shape.
Amalgamate (v.) to mix, merge, combine If the economy does not grow, the business may need to amalgamate with a rival company. The three presidents decided to amalgamate their businesses to build one strong company.
Amass (v.) to collect together; accumulate Over the years the sailor has amassed many replicas of boats. The women amassed a huge collection of priceless diamonds and pearls.
Ambiguous (adj.) not clear; uncertain; vague The ambiguous law did not make a clear distinction between the new and old land boundary.
Ambivalent (adj.) undecided The ambivalent jury could not reach a unanimous verdict.
Ameliorate (v.) to improve or make better A consistent routine of exercise has shown to ameliorate health. We can ameliorate the flooding problem by changing the grading.
Amendment (n.) a positive change The amendment in his ways showed there was still reason for hope.
Amiable (adj.) friendly The newcomer picked the most amiable person to sit next to during the meeting.
Amiss (adj.; adv.) wrong; awry; wrongly; in a defective manner Seeing that his anorak was gone, he knew something was amiss .Its new muffler aside, the car was behaving amiss.
Amity (n.) friendly relations The amity between the two bordering nations put the populations at ease.
Amorphous (adj.) with no shape; unorganized; having no determinate form The amorphous gel seeped through the cracks. The amorphous group quickly got lost. The scientist could not determine the sex of the amorphous organism.
Amortize (v.) to put money into a fund at fixed intervals The couple was able to amortize their mortgage sooner than they thought.
Anachronism (n.) something out of place in time (e.g., an airplane in 1492) The editor recognized an anachronism in the manuscript where the character from the 1500s boarded an airplane. He realized that the film about cavemen contained an anachronism when he saw a jet cut across the horizon during a hunting scene.
Analogy (n.) similarity; correlation; parallelism The teacher used an analogy to describe the similarities between the two books. Comparing the newly discovered virus with one found long ago, the scientist made an analogy between the two organisms.
Anaphylaxis (n.) an allergic reaction The boy's severe anaphylaxis to a series of medications made writing prescriptions a tricky proposition.
Anarchist (n.) one who believes that a formal government is unnecessary The yell from the crowd came from the anarchist protesting the government. The anarchist attempted to overthrow the established democratic government of the new nation and reinstate chaos and disarray.
Anchorage (n.) something that can be relied on Knowing the neighbors were right next door was an anchorage for the elderly woman.
Anecdote (n.) a short account of happenings The speaker told an anecdote about how he lost his shoes when he was young.
Animosity (n.) a feeling of hatred or ill will Animosity grew between the two feuding families.
Anoint (v.) to crown; ordain A member of the monarchy was anointed by the king.
Anomaly (n.) an oddity, inconsistency; a deviation from the norm An anomaly existed when the report listed one statistic, and the spokeswoman reported another. In a parking lot full of Buicks, Chevys, and Plymouths, the Jaguar was an anomaly.
Anonymous (adj.) nameless; unidentified Not wishing to be identified by the police, he remained anonymous by returning the money he had stolen by sending it through the mail.
Antagonism (n.) hostility; opposition The antagonism was created by a misunderstanding. The rebellious clan captured a hostage to display antagonism to the new peace treaty.
Antipathy (n.) a strong dislike or repugnance Her antipathy for large crowds convinced her to decline the invitation to the city. The vegetarian had an antipathy toward meat.
Apathy (n.) lack of emotion or interest He showed apathy when his relative was injured. The disheartened peasants expressed apathy toward the new law which promised new hope and prosperity for all.
Apocalyptic (adj.) pertaining to a discovery or new revelation Science-fiction movies seem to relish apocalyptic visions.
Apocryphal (adj.) counterfeit; of doubtful authorship or authenticity The man who said he was a doctor was truly apocryphal.
Appease (v.) to satisfy; to calm A milk bottle usually appeases a crying baby.
Apposite (adj.) suitable; apt; relevant Discussion of poverty was apposite to the curriculum, so the professor allowed it. Without reenacting the entire scenario, the situation can be understood if apposite information is given.
Apprehensive (adj.) fearful; aware; conscious The nervous child was apprehensive about beginning a new school year.
Approbatory (adj.) approving or sanctioning The judge showed his acceptance in his approbatory remark.
Arable (adj.) suitable (as land) for plowing When the land was deemed arable the farmer decided to plow.
Arbiter (n.) one who is authorized to judge or decide The decision of who would represent the people was made by the arbiter.
Arbitrary (adj.) based on one's preference or judgment Rick admitted his decision had been arbitrary, as he claimed no expertise on the matter.
Arcane (adj.) obscure; secret; mysterious With an arcane expression, the young boy left the family wondering what sort of mischief he had committed. The wizard's description of his magic was purposefully arcane so that others would be unable to copy it.
Archetype (n.) original pattern or model; prototype This man was the archetype for scores of fictional characters. The scientist was careful with the archetype of her invention so that once manufacturing began, it would be easy to reproduce it.
Ardent (adj.) with passionate or intense feelings The fans' ardent love of the game kept them returning to watch the terrible team.
Arduous (adj.) laborious, difficult; strenuous Completing the plans for the new building proved to be an arduous affair. Building a house is arduous work, but the result is well worth the labor.
Arid (adj.) extremely dry, parched; barren, unimaginative The terrain was so arid that not one species of plant could survive. Their thirst became worse due to the arid condition of the desert.
Aromatic (adj.) having a smell which is sweet or spicy The aromatic smell coming from the oven made the man's mouth water.
Arrogant (adj.) acting superior to others; conceited After purchasing his new, expensive sports car, the arrogant doctor refused to allow anyone to ride with him to the country club.
Arrogate (v.) to claim or demand unduly The teenager arrogated that he should be able to use his parent's car whenever he desired.
Articulate (v.; adj.) to utter clearly and distinctly; clear, distinct; expressed with clarity; skillful with words It's even more important to articulate your words when you're on the phone. You didn't have to vote for him to agree that Adlai Stevenson was articulate. A salesperson must be articulate when speaking to a customer.
Artifice (n.) skill in a craft The artifice of glass-making takes many years of practice.
Ascetic (n.; adj.) one who leads a simple life of self-denial; rigorously abstinent The monastery is filled with ascetics who have devoted their lives to religion. The nuns lead an ascetic life devoted to the Lord.
Aseptic (adj.) germ free It is necessary for an operating room to be aseptic.
Askance (adv.) a sideways glance of disapproval The look askance proved the guard suspected some wrongdoing.
Asperity (n.) harshness The man used asperity to frighten the girl out of going. The asperity of the winter had most everybody yearning for spring.
Aspersion (n.) slanderous statement; a damaging or derogatory criticism The aspersion damaged the credibility of the organization. He blamed the loss of his job on an aspersion stated by his co-worker to his superior.
Aspirant (n.) a person who goes after high goals The aspirant would not settle for assistant director - only the top job was good enough.
Assay (n.) to determine the quality of a substance. Have the soil assayed.
Assess (v.) to estimate the value of She assessed the possible rewards to see if the project was worth her time and effort.
Assiduous (adj.) carefully attentive; industrious It is necessary to be assiduous if a person wishes to make the most of his time at work. He enjoys having assiduous employees because he can explain a procedure once and have it performed correctly every time.
Assuage (v.) to relieve; ease; make less severe Medication should assuage the pain. The medication helped assuage the pain of the wound.
Astringent (n.; adj.) a substance that contracts bodily tissues; causing contraction; tightening; stern, austere After the operation an astringent was used on his skin so that the stretched area would return to normal. The downturn in sales caused the CEO to impose astringent measures. Her astringent remarks at the podium would not soon be forgotten.
Astute (adj.) cunning; sly; crafty The astute lawyer's questioning convinced the jury of the defendant's guilt.
Atrophy (v.; n.) to waste away, as from lack of use; to wither; failure to grow A few months after he lost his ability to walk, his legs began to atrophy. The atrophy of the muscles was due to the injury.
Attenuate (v.) to thin out; to weaken Water is commonly used to attenuate strong chemicals. The chemist attenuated the solution by adding water.
Atypical (adj.) something that is abnormal The atypical behavior of the wild animal alarmed the hunters.
Audacious (adj.) fearless; bold The audacious soldier went into battle without a shield.
Augment (v.) to increase or add to; to make larger They needed more soup so they augmented the recipe. They were able to augment their savings over a period of time.
August (adj.) to be imposing or magnificent The palace was august in gold and crystal.
Auspicious (adj.) being of a good omen; successful It was auspicious that the sun shone on the first day of the trip. The campaign had an auspicious start, foreshadowing the future.
Austere (adj.) having a stern look; having strict self-discipline The old woman always has an austere look about her. The austere teacher assigned five pages of homework each day.
Authentic (adj.) real; genuine; trustworthy An authentic diamond will cut glass.
Authoritarian (n.; adj.) acting as a dictator; demanding obedience The authoritarian made all of the rules but did none of the work. Fidel Castro is reluctant to give up his authoritarian rule.
Autocracy (n.) an absolute monarchy; government where one person holds power The autocracy was headed by a demanding man. She was extremely power-hungry and therefore wanted her government to be an autocracy.
Autocrat (n.) an absolute ruler The autocrat in charge of the government was a man of power and prestige. The autocrat made every decision and divided the tasks among his subordinates.
Avarice (n.) inordinate desire for gaining and possessing wealth The man's avarice for money kept him at work through the evenings and weekends. The avarice of the president led to his downfall.
Aver (v.) to affirm as true The witness was able to aver the identity of the defendant.
Awry (adj; adv.) crooked(ly); uneven(ly); wrong; askew Hearing the explosion in the laboratory, the scientist realized the experiment had gone awry.
Azure (adj.) the clear blue color of the sky The azure sky made the picnic day perfect.
Created by: Alex Moscow