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Cabal (n.) a group of persons joined by a secret The very idea that there could be a cabal cast suspicion on the whole operation.
Cache (n.) stockpile; store; heap; hiding place for goods The town kept a cache of salt on hand to melt winter's snow off the roads. Extra food is kept in the cache under the pantry. The cache for his jewelry was hidden under the bed.
Cacophonous (adj.) sounding jarring The cacophonous sound from the bending metal sent shivers up our spines.
Cacophony (n.) a harsh, inharmonious collection of sounds; dissonance The beautiful harmony of the symphony was well enjoyed after the cacophony coming from the stage as the orchestra warmed up. The amateur band created more cacophony than beautiful sound.
Cajole (v.) to coax with insincere talk To cajole the disgruntled employee, the manager coaxed him with lies and sweet talk. The salesman will cajole the couple into buying the stereo.
Calamity (n.) disaster The fire in the apartment building was a great calamity.
Caliber (n.) quality The caliber of talent at the show was excellent.
Callow (adj.) being young or immature With the callow remark the young man demonstrated his age. Although the girl could be considered an adult, the action was very callow.
Calumny (n.) slander I felt it necessary to speak against the calumny of the man's good reputation.
Canard (n.) a false statement or rumor The canard was reported in a scandalous tabloid.
Candid (adj.) honest; truthful; sincere People trust her because she's so candid.
Cant (n.) insincere or hypocritical statements of high ideals; the jargon of a particular group or occupations The theater majors had difficulty understanding the cant of the computer scientists. The remarks by the doctor were cant and meant only for his associates.
Caprice (n.) a sudden, unpredictable or whimsical change The caprice with which the couple approached the change of plans was evidence to their young age. The king ruled by caprice as much as law.
Capricious (adj.) changeable; fickle The capricious bride-to-be has a different church in mind for her wedding every few days.
Captious (adj.) disposed to find fault A captious attitude often causes difficulties in a relationship.
Carte blanche (n.) unlimited authority The designer was given carte blanche to create a new line for the fall.
Cascade (n; v.) waterfall; pour; rush; fall The hikers stopped along the path to take in the beauty of the rushing cascade. The water cascaded down the rocks into the pool. He took a photograph of the lovely cascade. The drapes formed a cascade down the window.
Castigate (v.) to punish through public criticism The mayor castigated the police chief for the rash of robberies.
Cataclysm (n.) an extreme natural force The earthquake has been the first cataclysm in five years.
Catalyst (n.) anything which creates a situation in which change can occur The low pressure system was the catalyst for the nor'easter.
Catharsis (n.) a purging or relieving of the body or soul He experienced a total catharsis after the priest absolved his sins. Admitting his guilt served as a catharsis for the man.
Caustic (adj.) eating away at; sarcastic words The caustic chemicals are dangerous. The girl harmed her mother with her caustic remarks. His caustic sense of humor doesn't go over so well when people don't know what they're in for.
Cavil (v.) to bicker The children are constantly caviling.
Censor (v.) to examine and delete objectionable material The children were allowed to watch the adult movie only after it had been censored.
Censure (n.; v.) a disapproval; an expression of disapproval; to criticize or disapprove of His remarks drew the censure of his employers. A censure of the new show upset the directors. Her parents censured her idea of dropping out of school.
Ceremonious (adj.) very formal or proper The black-tie dinner was highly ceremonious.
Cessation (n.)ceasing; a stopping The cessation of a bad habit is often difficult to sustain.
Chafe (v.) to annoy, to irritate; to wear away or make sore by rubbing His constant teasing chafed her. He doesn't wear pure wool sweaters because they usually chafe his skin.
Chaffing (n.) banter; teasing The king was used to his jesters good-natured chaffing.
Chagrin (n.) a feeling of embarrassment due to failure or disappointment To the chagrin of the inventor, the machine did not work. She turned red-faced with chagrin when she learned that her son had been caught shoplifting.
Charisma (n.) appeal; magnetism; presence She has such charisma that everyone likes her the first time they meet her.
Charlatan (n.) a person who pretends to have knowledge; an impostor; fake The charlatan deceived the towns people. It was finally discovered that the charlatan sitting on the throne was not the real king.
Chary (adj.) cautious; being sparing in giving Be chary when driving at night. The chary man had few friends.
Chaste (adj.) virtuous; free of obscenity Because the woman believed in being chaste, she would not let her date into the house.
Chastise (v.) to punish; discipline; admonish The dean chastised the first-year student for cheating on the exam.
Cherish (v.) to feel love for The bride vowed to cherish the groom for life.
Chicanery (n.) trickery or deception The swindler was trained in chicanery. A news broadcast is no place for chicanery.
Chimera (n.) an impossible fancy Perhaps he saw a flying saucer, but perhaps it was only a chimera.
Choleric (adj.) cranky; cantankerous; easily moved to feeling displeasure The choleric man was continually upset by his neighbors. Rolly becomes choleric when his views are challenged.
Chortle (v.) to make a gleeful, chuckling sound The chortles emanating from the audience indicated it wouldn't be as tough a crowd as the stand-up comic had expected.
Churlishness (n.) crude or surly behavior; behavior of a peasant The fraternity's churlishness ran afoul of the dean's office. The churlishness of the teenager caused his employer to lose faith in him.
Circumlocution (n.) a roundabout or indirect way of speaking; not to the point The man's speech contained so much circumlocution that I was unsure of the point he was trying to make. The child made a long speech using circumlocution to avoid stating that it was she who had knocked over the lamp.
Circumlocutory (adj.) being too long, as in a description or expression; a roundabout, indirect, or ungainly way of expressing something It was a circumlocutory documentary that could have been cut to half its running time to say twice as much.
Circumspect (adj.) considering all circumstances A circumspect decision must be made when so many people are involved.
Citadel (n.) a fortress set up high to defend a city A citadel sat on the hill to protect the city below.
Clandestine (adj.) secret The clandestine plan must be kept between the two of us!
Clemency (n.) mercy toward an offender; mildness The governor granted the prisoner clemency. The weather's clemency made for a perfect picnic.
Cloture (n.) a parliamentary procedure to end debate and begin to vote Cloture was declared as the parliamentarians readied to register their votes.
Cloying (adj.) too sugary; too sentimental or flattering After years of marriage the husband still gave cloying gifts to his wife. Complimenting her on her weight loss, clothing and hairstyle was a cloying way to begin asking for a raise.
Coagulate (v.) to become a semisolid, soft mass; to clot The liquid will coagulate and close the tube if left standing.
Coalesce (v.) to grow together The bride and groom coalesced their funds to increase their collateral. At the end of the conference the five groups coalesced in one room.
Coda (n.) in music, a concluding passage By the end of the coda, I was ready to burst with excitement over the thrilling performance. The audience knew that the concerto was about to end when they heard the orchestra begin playing the coda.
Coddle (v.) to treat with tenderness A baby needs to be coddled.
Codify (v.) to organize laws or rules into a systematic collection The laws were codified by those whom they affected. The intern codified all the city's laws into a computerized filing system.
Coffer (n.) a chest where money or valuables are kept The coffer that contained the jewels was stolen.
Cogent (adj.) to the point; clear; convincing in its clarity and presentation The lawyer makes compelling and cogent presentations, which evidently help him win 96 percent of his cases. He made a short, cogent speech which his audience easily understood.
Cogitate (v.) to think hard; ponder; meditate It is necessary to cogitate on decisions which affect life goals. The room was quiet while every student cogitated during the calculus exam.
Cognate (adj.; n.) having the same family; a person related through ancestry English and German are cognate languages. The woman was a cognate to the royal family.
Cognitive (adj.) possessing the power to think or meditate; meditative; capable of perception Cognitive thought makes humans adaptable to a quickly changing environment. Once the toddler was able to solve puzzles, it was obvious that her cognitive abilities were developing.
Cognizant (adj.) aware of; perceptive She became alarmed when she was cognizant of the man following her. It was critical to establish whether the defendant was cognizant of his rights.
Coherent (adj.) sticking together; connected; logical; consistent The course was a success due to its coherent information. If he couldn't make a coherent speech, how could he run for office?
Cohesion (n.) the act of holding together The cohesion of the group increased as friendships were formed. The cohesion of different molecules forms different substances.
Cohort (n.) a group; band The cohort of teens gathered at the athletic field.
Collaborate (v.) to work together; cooperate The two builders collaborated to get the house finished.
Colloquial (adj.) having to do with conversation; informal speech The colloquial reference indicated the free spirit of the group. When you listen to the difference between spoken colloquial conversation and written work, you realize how good an ear a novelist must have to write authentic dialogue.
Collusion (n.) secret agreement for an illegal purpose The authority discovered a collusion between the director and treasurer.
Comeliness (n.) beauty; attractiveness in appearance or behavior The comeliness of the woman attracted everyone's attention.
Commiserate (v.) to show sympathy for The hurricane victims commiserated about the loss of their homes.
Commodious (adj.) spacious and convenient; roomy The new home was so commodious that many new pieces of furniture needed to be purchased.
Communal (adj.) shared or common ownership The communal nature of the project made everyone pitch in to help.
Compatible (adj.) in agreement with; harmonious When repairing an automobile, it is necessary to use parts compatible with that make and model.
Complacent (adj.) content; self-satisfied; smug The CEO worries regularly that his firm's winning ways will make it complacent. The candidate was so complacent with his poll numbers that he virtually stopped campaigning.
Complaisance (n.) the quality of being agreeable or eager to please The complaisance of the new assistant made it easy for the managers to give him a lot of work without worrying that he may complain.
Compliant (adj.) complying; obeying; yielding Compliant actions should be reinforced. The slave was compliant with every order to avoid being whipped.
Comport (v.) fitting in It was easy to comport to the new group of employees.
Comprehensive (adj.) all-inclusive; complete; thorough It's the only health facility around to offer comprehensive care.
Compromise (v.) to settle by mutual adjustment Labor leaders and the automakers compromised by agreeing to a starting wage of $16 an hour in exchange for concessions on health-care premiums.
Concede (v.) to acknowledge; admit; to surrender; to abandon one's position After much wrangling, the conceded that the minister had a point. Satisfied with the recount, the mayor conceded graciously.
Conceit (n.) an exaggerated personal opinion The man's belief that he was the best player on the team was pure conceit.
Conciliation (n.) an attempt to make friendly or placate The attempt at conciliation.
Conciliatory (adj.) to reconcile The diplomat sought to take a conciliatory approach to keep the talks going.
Concise (adj.) in few words; brief; condensed The concise instructions were printed on two pages rather than the customary five.
Conclave (n.) any private meeting or closed assembly The conclave was to meet in the executive suite.
Condescend (v.) to come down from one's position or dignity The arrogant, rich man was usually condescending towards his servants.
Condone (v.) to overlook; to forgive The loving and forgiving mother condoned her son's life of crime. I will condone your actions of negligence.
Confluence (n.) a thing which is joined together Great cities often lie at the confluence of great rivers.
Confound (v.) to lump together, causing confusion; to damn The problem confounded our ability to solve it. Confound you, you scoundrel!
Conglomeration (n.) a collection or mixture of various things The conglomeration is made up of four different interest groups. The soup was a conglomeration of meats and vegetables.
Conjoin (v.) to combine The classes will conjoin to do the play.
Conjure (v.) to call upon or appeal to; to cause to be, appear, come The smell of the dinner conjured images of childhood. The magician conjured a rabbit out of a hat.
Connivance (n.) secret cooperation in wrong doing With the guard's connivance, the convict was able to make his escape.
Connoisseur (n.) expert; authority (usually refers to a wine or food expert) They allowed her to choose the wine for dinner since she was the connoisseur.
Connotative (adj.) containing associated meanings in addition to the primary one Along with the primary meaning of the word, there were two connotative meanings. The connotative meaning of their music was spelled out in the video.
Consecrate (v.) to declare sacred; to dedicate We will consecrate the pact during the ceremony. The park was consecrated to the memory of the missing soldier.
Consequential (adj.) following as an effect; important His long illness and consequential absence set him behind in his homework. The decision to move the company will be consequential to its success.
Consort (n.; v.) a companion, spouse; to associate An elderly woman was seeking a consort. They waited until dark to consort under the moonlight.
Conspicuous (adj.) easy to see; noticeable The diligent and hardworking editor thought the obvious mistake was conspicuous.
Consternation (n.) amazement or terror that causes confusion The look of consternation on the child's face caused her father to panic.
Constrain (v.) to force, compel; to restrain It may be necessary to constrain the wild animal if it approaches the town. The student was constrained to remain in her seat until the teacher gave her permission to leave.
Consummation (n.) the completion; finish Following the consummation of final exams, most of the students graduated.
Contemporary (adj.) living or happening at the same time; modern Contemporary furniture will clash with your traditional sectional.
Contempt (n.) scorn; disrespect The greedy, selfish banker was often discussed with great contempt.
Contentious (adj.) quarrelsome The contentious student was asked to leave the classroom. They hate his contentious behavior because every suggestion they give ends in a fight.
Contest (v.) to attempt to disprove or invalidate I will attempt to contest the criminal charges against me.
Contiguous (adj.) touching; or adjoining and close, but not touching There are many contiguous buildings in the city because there is no excess land to allow space between them.
Contravene (v.) to act contrary to; to oppose or contradict The story of the accused contravened the story of the witness. The United Nations held that the Eastern European nation had contravened the treaty.
Contrite (adj.) regretful; sorrowful; having repentance Regretting his decision not to attend college, the contrite man did not lead a very happy life. A contrite heart has fixed its wrongs.
Contumacious (adj.) resisting authority The man was put in jail for contumacious actions.
Contusion (n.) a bruise; an injury where the skin is not broken The man was fortunate to receive only contusions from the crash.
Conundrum (n.) a puzzle or riddle I spent two hours trying to figure out the conundrum. The legend says that to enter the secret passageway, one must answer the ancient conundrum.
Conventional (adj.) traditional; common; routine The bride wanted a conventional wedding ceremony, complete with white dresses, many flowers, and a grand reception party. Conventional telephones are giving way to videophones.
Converge (v.) to move toward one point (opposite: diverge) It was obvious that an accident was going to occur as the onlookers watched the two cars converge. The two roads converge at the corner.
Conviviality (n.) a fondness for festiveness or joviality His conviviality makes him a welcome guest at any social gathering.
Convoke (v.) a call to assemble The teacher convoked her students in the auditorium to help prepare them for the play.
Copious (adj.) abundant; in great quantities Her copious notes touched on every subject presented in the lecture.
Corpulence (n.) obesity The corpulence of the man kept him from fitting into the seat.
Correlate (v.) to bring into mutual relation The service man was asked to correlate the two computer demonstration pamphlets.
Corroborate (v.) to confirm the validity The witness must corroborate the prisoner's story if she is to be set free.
Coterie (n.) a clique; a group who meet frequently, usually socially A special aspect of campus life is joining a coterie. Every day after school she joins her coterie on the playground and they go out for a soda.
Covenant (n.) a binding and solemn agreement With the exchange of vows, the covenant was complete.
Covetous (adj.) greedy; very desirous Lonnie, covetous of education, went to almost every lecture at the university. Covetous of her neighbor's pool, she did everything she could to make things unpleasant.
Cower (v.) to huddle and tremble The lost dog cowered near the tree. The tellers cowered in the corner as the bandit ransacked the bank.
Coy (adj.) modest; bashful; pretending shyness to attract Her coy manners attracted the man. He's not really that shy, he's just being coy.
Crass (adj.) stupid or dull; insensitive; materialistic To make light of someone's weakness is crass. They made their money the old-fashioned way, but still they were accused of being crass. My respect for the man was lowered when he made the crass remark.
Craven (n.; adj.) coward; abject person; cowardly While many fought for their rights, the craven sat shaking, off in a corner somewhere. Craven men will not stand up for what they believe in.
Culpable (adj.) deserving blame; guilty The convicted criminal still denies that he is culpable for the robbery.
Curb (n.) a restraint or framework A curb was put up along the street to help drainage.
Curmudgeon (n.) an ill-tempered person The curmudgeon asked the children not to play near the house.
Cursory (adj.) hasty; slight The detective's cursory examination of the crime scene caused him to overlook the lesser clues.
Cynic (n.) one who believes that others are motivated entirely by selfishness. The cynic felt that the hero saved the man to become famous.
Created by: Alex Moscow