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Dais (n.) a raised platform at one end of a room The dais was lowered to make the speaker look taller.
Dally (v.) to loiter; to waste time Please do not dally or we will miss our appointment.
Dank (adj.) damp and chilly The cellar became very dank during the winter time.
Dauntless (adj.) fearless; not discouraged The dauntless ranger scaled the mountain to complete the rescue.
Dearth (n.) scarcity; shortage A series of coincidental resignations left the firm with a dearth of talent.The dearth of the coverage forced him to look for a new insurance agent.
Debacle (n.) disaster; collapse; a rout The Securities and Exchange Commission and the stock exchanges implemented numerous safeguards to head off another debacle on Wall Street.
Debase (v.) to make lower in quality The French are concerned that "Franglais," a blending of English and French, will debase their language.
Debauchery (n.) indulgence in one's appetites The preacher decried debauchery and urged charity.
Debilitate (v.) to enfeeble; to wear out The phlebitis debilitated him to the point where he was unable even to walk. The illness will debilitate the muscles in his legs.
Debonair (adj.) having an affable manner; carefree; genial Opening the door for another is a debonair action.
Decadence (n.) a decline in morals or art Some believe the decadence of Nero's rule led to the fall of the empire.
Deciduous (adj.) shedding; temporary When the leaves began to fall from the tree we learned that it was deciduous.
Decisiveness (n.) an act of being firm or determined Decisiveness is one of the key qualities of a successful executive.
Decorous (adj.) showing decorum; propriety, good taste This movie provides decorous refuge from the violence and mayhem that permeates the latest crop of Hollywood films. The decorous suit was made of fine material.
Decry (v.) to denounce or condemn openly The pastor decried all forms of discrimination against any minority group.
Defamation (n.) to harm a name or reputation; to slander The carpenter felt that the notoriousness of his former partner brought defamation to his construction business.
Deference (n.) a yielding of opinion; courteous respect for To avoid a confrontation, the man showed deference to his friend. The deference shown to the elderly woman's opinion was heartwarming.
Deferential (adj.) yielding to the opinion of another After debating students living in the Sixth Ward for months, the mayor's deferential statements indicated that he had come to some understanding with them.
Defunct (adj.) no longer living or existing The man lost a large sum of money when the company went defunct.
Deign (v.) condescend; stoop He said he wouldn't deign to dignify her statement with a response. Fired from his job as a programmer analyst, Joe vowed he would never deign to mop floors-even if he were down to his last penny.
Deleterious (adj.) harmful; hurtful; noxious Deleterious fumes escaped from the overturned truck.
Deliberate (v.; adj.) to consider carefully; weigh in the mind; intentional The jury deliberated for three days before reaching a verdict. The brother's deliberate attempt to get his sibling blamed for his mistake was obvious to all.
Delineate (v.) to outline; to describe She delineated her plan so that everyone would have a basic understanding of it.
Deliquesce (v.) to dissolve The snow deliquesced when the temperature rose.
Delusion (n.) a false belief or opinion The historian suffered from the delusion that he was Napoleon.
Demise (n.) ceasing to exist as in death The demise of Gimbels followed years of decline.
Demur (v.; n.) to object; objection; misgiving She hated animals, so when the subject of buying a cat came up, she demurred. She said yes, but he detected a demur in her voice. She was nominated to sit on the committee, but she demurred. The council president called for a vote, and hearing no demur, a
Denigrate (v.) to defame, to blacken or sully; to belittle After finding out her evil secret, he announced it to the council and denigrated her in public. Her attempt to denigrate the man's name was not successful.
Denounce (v.) to speak out against; condemn A student rally was called to denounce the use of drugs on campus.
Depict (v.) to portray; describe The mural depicts the life of a typical urban dweller.
Deplete (v.) to reduce; to empty, exhaust Having to pay the entire bill will deplete the family's savings.
Deposition (n.) a removal from office or power; a testimony Failing to act lawfully could result in his deposition. She met with her lawyer this morning to review her deposition.
Depravity (n.) moral corruption; badness Drugs and money caused depravity throughout the once decorous community. The depravity of the old man was bound to land him in jail one day.
Deprecate (v.) to express disapproval of; to protest against The environmentalists deprecated the paper companies for cutting down ancient forests. The organization will deprecate the opening of the sewage plant.
Depredation (n.) a plundering or laying waste The pharaoh's once rich tomb was empty after centuries of depredation from grave robbers.
Deride (v.) to laugh at with contempt; to mock No matter what he said, he was derided. It is impolite to deride someone even if you dislike him.
Derision (n.) the act of mocking; ridicule, mockery A day of derision from the boss left the employee feeling depressed. Constant derision from classmates made him quit school.
Derisive (adj.) showing disrespect or scorn for The derisive comment was aimed at the man's life long enemy.
Derogatory (adj.) belittling; uncomplimentary He was upset because his annual review was full of derogatory
Descant (v.) lengthy talking or writing The man will descant on the subject if you give him too much speaking time.
Desecrate (v.) to profane; violate the sanctity of The teenagers' attempt to desecrate the church disturbed the community.
Desist (v.) to stop or cease The judge ordered the man to desist from calling his ex-wife in the middle of the night.
Desolate (adj.) to be left alone or made lonely Driving down the desolate road had Kelvin worried that he wouldn't reach a gas station in time.
Despoil (v.) to take everything; plunder The Huns despoiled village after village.
Despotism (n.) tyranny; absolute power or influence The ruler's despotism went uncontested for 30 years.
Destitute (adj.) poor; poverty-stricken One Bangladeshi bank makes loans to destitute citizens so that they may overcome their poverty. Many of the city's sections are destitute.
Desultory (adj.) moving in a random, directionless manner The thefts were occurring in a desultory manner making them difficult to track.
Detached (adj.) separated; not interested; standing alone Detached from modern conveniences, the islanders live a simple, unhurried life.
Deter (v.) to prevent; to discourage; hinder He deterred the rabbits by putting down garlic around the garden.
Determinate (adj.) distinct limits The new laws were very determinate as far as what was allowed and
Devoid (adj.) lacking; empty The interplanetary probe indicated that the planet was devoid of any atmosphere.
Dexterous (adj.) skillful, quick mentally or physically The dexterous gymnast was the epitome of grace on the balance beam.
Diatribe (n.) a bitter or abusive speech During the divorce hearings she delivered a diatribe full of the emotion pushing her away from her husband. The diatribe was directed towards a disrespectful supervisor.
Dichotomy (n.) a division into two parts or kinds The dichotomy within the party threatens to split it. The dichotomy between church and state renders school prayer unconstitutional.
Dictum (n.) a formal statement of either fact or opinion Computer programmers have a dictum: garbage in, garbage out.
Didactic (adj.) instructive; dogmatic; preachy Our teacher's didactic technique boosted our scores. The didactic activist was not one to be swayed.
Diffidence (n.) a hesitation in asserting oneself A shy person may have great diffidence when forced with a problem.
Diffident (adj.) timid; lacking self-confidence The director is looking for a self-assured actor, not a diffident one. Her diffident sister couldn't work up the courage to ask for the sale.
Diffuse (adj.) spread out; verbose (wordy); not focused The toys were discovered in a diffuse manner after the birthday party. His monologue was so diffuse that all his points were lost.
Digress (v.) stray from the subject; wander from topic It is important to not digress from the plan of action.
Dilettante (n.) an admirer of the fine arts; a dabbler Though she played the piano occasionally, she was more of a dilettante.
Diligence (n.) hard work Anything can be accomplished with diligence and commitment.
Diminutive (adj.; n.) smaller than average; a small person; a word, expressing smallness, formed when a suffix is added They lived in a diminutive house. The diminutive woman could not see over the counter.
Din (n.) a noise which is loud and continuous The din of the jackhammers reverberated throughout the concrete canyon.
Dint (n.) strength The dint of the bridge could hold trucks weighing many tons.
Dirge (n.) a hymn for a funeral; a song or poem expressing lament The mourners sang a traditional Irish dirge .
Disapprobation (n.) disapproval Her disapprobation of her daughter's fiancée divided the family.
Disarray (n.) (state of) disorder The thief left the house in disarray.
Disavow (v.) to deny; to refuse to acknowledge The actor has disavowed the rumor.
Discerning (adj.) distinguishing one thing from another; having good judgment He has a discerning eye for knowing the original from the copy. Being discerning about a customer's character is a key qualification for a loan officer.
Discomfit (v.) to frustrate the expectations of The close game discomfited the number one player.
Discord (n.) disagreement; lack of harmony There was discord amidst the jury, and therefore a decision could not be
Discourse (v.) to converse; to communicate in an orderly fashion The scientists discoursed on a conference call for just five minutes but
Discreet (adj.) showing good judgment in conduct; prudent We confided our secret in Mary because we knew she'd be discreet.
Discrete (adj.) separate; individually distinct; composed of distinct parts There were four discrete aspects to the architecture of the home. The citizens committee maintained that road widening and drainage were hardly discrete issues.
Discriminate (v.) distinguish; demonstrate bias Being a chef, he discriminated carefully among ingredients. Reeling from the fact that senior managers had been caught on tape making offensive remarks, the CEO said he would not tolerate any of his firm's employees discriminating against anyone for any r
Disdain (n.; v.) intense dislike; look down upon; scorn She showed great disdain toward anyone who did not agree with her. She disdains the very ground you walk upon.
Disentangle (v.) to free from confusion We need to disentangle ourselves from the dizzying variety of choices.
Disheartened (adj.) discouraged; depressed After failing the exam, the student became disheartened and wondered if he would ever graduate.
Disingenuous (adj.) not frank or candid; deceivingly simple (opposite: ingenious) The director used a disingenuous remark to make his point to the student. He always gives a quick, disingenuous response; you never get a straight answer.
Disinterested (adj.) neutral; unbiased (alternate meaning; uninterested) A disinterested person was needed to serve as arbitrator of the argument. He never takes sides; he's always disinterested.
Disparage (v.) to belittle; undervalue; to discredit After she fired him she realized that she had disparaged the value of his assistance. The lawyer will attempt to disparage the testimony of the witness.
Disparate (adj.) unequal; dissimilar; different They came from disparate backgrounds, one a real estate magnate, the other a custodian. The disparate numbers of players made the game a sure blowout.
Disparity (n.) difference in form, character, or degree There is a great disparity between a light snack and a great feast.
Dispassionate (adj.) lack of feeling; impartial She was a very emotional person and could not work with such a dispassionate employer.
Disperse (v.) to scatter; separate The pilots dispersed the food drops over a wide area of devastation.
Disputatious (adj.) argumentative; inclined to disputes His disputatious streak eventually wore down his fellow parliament members. The child was so disputatious he needed to be removed from the room.
Dissemble (v.) to pretend; to feign; to conceal by pretense The man dissembled his assets shamelessly to avoid paying alimony. Agent 007 has a marvelous ability to dissemble his real intentions.
Disseminate (v.) to circulate; scatter He was hired to disseminate newspapers to everyone in the town.
Dissent (v.) to disagree; differ in opinion They agreed that something had to be done, but dissented on how to do it.
Dissonance (n.) musical discord; a mingling of inharmonious sounds; nonmusical; disagreement; lack of harmony
Dissonant (adj.) not in harmony; in disagreement Despite several intense rehearsals, the voices of the choir members continued to be dissonant. The dissonant nature of the man's temperament made the woman fearful to approach him with the new idea.
Distant (adj.) having separations or being reserved Rolonda's friends have become more distant in recent years.
Distention (n.) inflation or extension The bulge in the carpet was caused by the distention of the wood
Dither (v.; n.) to act indecisively; a confused condition She dithered every time she had to make a decision. Having to take two tests in one day left the student in a dither.
Diverge (v.) separate, split The path diverges at the old barn, one fork leading to the house, and the other leading to the pond. The wide, long river diverged into two distinct separate rivers, never again to join.
Diverse (adj.) different; varied The course offerings were so diverse I had a tough time choosing.
Divestiture (n.) being stripped When it was found the team cheated, there was a divestiture of their crown.
Docile (adj.) manageable; obedient; gentle We needed to choose a docile pet because we hadn't the patience for a lot of training.
Document (n.; v.) official paper containing information; to support; substantiate; verify They needed a written document to prove that the transaction occurred. Facing an audit, she had to document all her client contacts.
Doggerel (n.) verse characterized by forced rhyme and meter Contrary to its appearance, doggerel can contain some weighty messages.
Dogma (n.) a collection of beliefs The dogma of the village was based on superstition.
Dogmatic (adj.) stubborn; biased; opinionated Their dogmatic declaration clarified their position. The dogmatic statement had not yet been proven by science. The student's dogmatic presentation annoyed his classmates as well as his instructor.
Dormant (adj.) as if asleep The animals lay dormant until the spring thaw.
Doting (adj.) excessively fond of With great joy, the doting father held the toddler.
Doughty (adj.) brave and strong The doughty fireman saved the woman's life.
Dowdy (adj.) shabby in appearance The dowdy girl had no buttons on her coat and the threads were falling apart.
Dubious (adj.) doubtful; uncertain; skeptical; suspicious Many people are dubious about the possibility of intelligent life on other planets. The new information was dubious enough to re-open the case.
Duplicity (n.) deception She forgave his duplicity but divorced him anyway.
Duress (n.) imprisonment; the use of threats His duress was supposed to last 10-15 years. The policewoman put the man under duress in order to get a confession. The Labor Department inspector needed to establish whether the plant workers had been held under duress.
Duress (n.) imprisonment; the use of threats His duress was supposed to last 10-15 years. The policewoman put the man under duress in order to get a confession. The Labor Department inspector needed to establish whether the plant workers had been held under duress.
Created by: Alex Moscow