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- (v): to stop up; to prevent the passage of
- A shadow is thrown across the earth's surface during a solar eclipse, when the light from the sun is OCCLUDED by the moon.
- (adj): troublesome and oppressive; burdensome
- The assignment was so extensive and difficult to manage that it proved ONEROUS to the team in charge of it.
- (adj): impossible to see through; preventing the passage of light
- the heavy buildupu of dirt and grime on the windows almost made them OPAQUE.
- (n): public disgrace
- After the scheme to embezzle the elderly was made public, the treasurer resigned in utter OPPROBRIUM.
- (n): excessive showiness
- The OSTENTATION of the Sun King's court is evident in the lavish decoration and luxuriousness of his palace at Versailles.
- (n): a contradiction or dilemma
- It is a PARADOX that those in need of medical attention are often those least able to obtain it.
- (n): model of excellence or perfection
- She is the PARAGON of what a judge should be: honest, intelligent, hardworking, and just.
- (n): someone who shows off learning
- The graduate instructor's tedious and excessive commentary on the subject soon gained her a reputation as a PEDANT.
- (adj): willing to betray one's trust
- The actress's PERFIDIOUS companion revealed all of her intimate secrets to the gossip columnist.
- (adj): done in a routine way; indifferent
- The machinelike bank teller processed the transaction and gave the waiting customer a PERFUNCTORY smile.
- (v): to soothe or pacify
- The burglar tried to PLACATE the snarling dog by saying "nice doggy," and offering it a treat.
- (adj): excess
- Assuming that more was better, the defendant offered the judge a PLETHORA of excuses.
- (adj): practical as opposed to idealistic
- While daydreaming gamblers think they can get rich by frequenting casinos, PRAGMATIC gamblers realize that the odds are heavily stacked against them.
- (v): to lie or deviate from the truth
- Rather than admit that he had overslept again, the employee PREVARICATED and claimed that heavy traffic had prevented him from arriving at work on time.
- (adj): lavish, wasteful
- The PRODIGAL son quickly wasted all of his inheritance on a lavish lifestyle devoted to pleasure.
- (v): to conciliate; to appease
- The management PROPITIATED the irate union by agreeing to raise wages for its members.
- (n): wisdom, caution, or restraint
- The college student exhibited PRUDENCE by obtaining practical experience along with her studies, which greatly strengthened her resume.
- (adj): motionless
- Many animals are QUIESCENT over the winter months, minimizing activity in order to conserve energy.
- (v): to make thinner or sparser
- Since the atmosphere RAREFIES as altitudes increase, the air at the top of very tall mountains is too thin to breathe.
- (v): to reject the validity of
- The old woman's claim that she was Russian royalty was REPUDIATED when DNA tests showed she was of no relation to them.