Card Set Information
to make or become less in degree, intensity,value, or amount
We waited for the storm to abate before weheaded out.
decrease, diminish, reduce, subside
ab dica te(AB-di-keyt)
to give up a right or responsibility, especially formally
Elizabeth II of England would probably not have become queen if her uncle, King EdwardVIII, had not abdicated.
relinquish, renounce, resign
ab erran t(ah-BER-uhnt)
going off the usual, normal, or right way;deviating from the usual or normal type
The aberrant weather during that rainy summerleft many feeling as though there had not beenany summer at all.
abnormal, atypical, deviant, unusual
ab eyanc e(uh-BEY-uhns)
a temporary state of inactivity
We kept our travel plans in abeyance anddid not go until we were certain that we hadenough money for the trip.
inactivity, recess, suspension
They lost everything when their house burneddown and have since lived in abject conditions,often homeless.
downtrodden, miserable, wretched
to formally reject, often under oath
Though she had completely changed herways, she could not abjure her former friends.
to leave secretly and suddenly
One minute the children were underfoot; thenext minute, they absconded with all thecookies.
disappear, escape, vanish
restrained, especially with food and alcohol
Since she began to do yoga, she has also beenabstemious with both alcohol and junk food.
frugal, moderate, restrained, temperate
like an abyss
: immeasurably great or low;hopelessly bad
He wrote the term paper all in one night, andthe results were abysmal.
bottomless, vast, wretched
acc ola de(A-kuh-LEYD)
an award or other expression of honor orpraise
Given the number of accolades she hasreceived for her work on stage and in film, it issurprising just how humble she is.
sour or harsh in taste, mood, or temperament
He tried to hide his bad mood, but his acerbic reply gave his anger away.
acidic, caustic, harsh, sharp
to grow through additions
As the years accrue, so does wisdom
accumulate, collect, increase
insight or shrewdness, especially in practicalmatters
Due to the combination of her personalwarmth and business acumen, her newcompany was an instant success.
discernment, insight, judgment,perception
Though the child protested, his parentswere adamant
: he had to be in bed by eighto’clock.
determined, inflexible, resolute,stubborn, unyielding
to advise against something; to gently scoldor warn
The teacher admonished the children fortracking mud down the hallways of the school.
advise, reprimand, warn
excessive admiration, praise, or devotion;flattery
The football star enjoyed the adulation ofthousands of fans until it was revealed that he had cheated.
devotion, fawning, flattery, worship
to make impure by adding foreign or inferiorelements, materials, or ingredients
Do not adulterate this cake batter by usingflour of such poor quality!
cheapen, corrupt, dilute, weaken
having to do with beauty or the arts
Though the morality of the movie is questionable,its aesthetic qualities are admirable
: it was beautifully filmed.
an attraction, especially one based on asimilarity in interests
Countless young women have read and rereadJane Eyre, feeling an affinity for its fierce heroine.
affection, fondness, sympathy
agg ran dize(uh-GRAN-dahyz)
to make greater in size, power, or honor; toenhance the appearance of greatness
The dictator aggrandized his power by takingcontrol of the press and all other media.
glorify, hype, inflate, strengthen
agg rega te(A-gre-guht or A-gre-GEYT)
(adj.) formed by grouping elements into onelarger body
The aggregate power of the teammates wasfar greater than you might imagine based ontheir individual talents.
accumulated, collective(v.) to group
elements into one larger body
We need to aggregate the survey results inorder to have a clear picture of the overall data.
assemble, collect, combine
(n.) a body of associated elements
In the aggregate, her small daily effortsresulted in a gorgeous book of poems.
combination, mass, whole
He replied to the invitation with alacrity; he was eager for the opportunity to travel toPuerto Rico.
liveliness, promptness, willingness
the power or process that can change somethingordinary into something valuable; amedieval pseudoscience with the purpose ofchanging lead into gold
The alchemy that transformed him into a dashinglyhandsome man in her eyes was love.
enchantment, magic, sorcery
to put to rest; to decrease in strength ordifficulty
After they heard the coyotes howling, nothingbut the dawn could allay their fears.
alleviate, calm, ease, lessen, relieve
to lessen the burden, make easier
Her calm support did much to alleviate hisdifficulties with the task.
allay, ease, lighten, relieve
a mixture of two or more different things;literally, a mixture of two or more metals orof a metal and nonmetal
Even sterling silver is actually an alloy of silverwith another metal, usually copper.
blend, combination, composite,compound
(v.) to attract
Only the possibility that his favorite singermight
could allure him to attend theconcert.
charm, entice, tempt
(n.) that which attracts
Easily nauseated, she could not see the allure of a roller coaster.
The musical was unbelievably banal; thecharacters, plot, and music completely lackedoriginality.
bland, conventional, hackneyed
obscene, often in a boisterous or humorousway
Shakespeare’s language can be as bawdy as itis beautiful.
coarse, indecent, lewd, vulgar
something enormous in size or power
The company was a behemoth, associatedwith about 1,000 brands, some of them evencompeting with each other.
beast, giant, leviathan, mammoth
to reveal the falsehood of, contradict
His blushing face belied his claim that he didnot care
disprove, negate, repudiate
inclined or eager to fight
The bellicose young man picked fights on theplayground nearly every day.
belligerent, combative, hostile,warlike
Every fall, they celebrated the beneficent Earth for its rich harvest.
benevolent, generous, kind
flattery intended to persuade
The blandishments of the salesperson got thebetter of her judgment, and she purchased thestereo, only to return it the next day.
coaxing, fawning, wheedling
to give support
The coach bolstered their spirits after theyplayed a poor first half, and ultimately theywon the game.
brace, sustain, uphold
obnoxiously pretentious in speech or writing
After an evening of listening to bombastic speeches, I left the award ceremony with aheadache.
rude in a way that reveals insensitivity to others
He lost several friends because of his boorish behavior at the party that night.
bad mannered, coarse, crude
He was so brazen as to interrupt the guestspeaker in the middle of her remarks.
audacious, cocky, impudent
to mention for the first time
Though he loved her dearly, he was too timidto broach the topic of marriage.
introduce, propose, suggest
having to do with shepherds or rural life
He enjoyed their vacation in bucolic northernNew England; she longed to return to the city.
pastoral, rural, rustic
to sprout, bloom, and grow
She burgeoned into an eager reader shortlyafter beginning first grade.
to polish, especially by rubbing
The carpenter burnished the surface of thetable until it was smooth and glossy.
brighten, rub, shine
to support, prop up
She listened to the anthem again and again, tobuttress her courage.
bolster, brace, strengthen
harsh, discordant sound
To her, it was powerfully stirring music; to herparents, it was unbearable cacophony.
false charges made with the intention ofharming the reputation of another
Despite the falseness of the charges, thecalumny ended her career in politics.
a body of fundamental rules or standards; a setof sacred texts or other comprehensive list oftexts
Many of the books we take as part of thecanon today may be forgotten in the nextcentury.
dogma, law, principle
the use of trite or stock language, especiallyfor insincere expressions of enthusiasm orpiety
We were disgusted with the empty cant of thepoliticians, who had done nothing to preventthe disaster.
impulsive, tending to act according to whim
He was so capricious that he rarely kept a joblonger than a few months.
arbitrary, erratic, unpredictable
tending to find fault; designed to confuse
The teacher’s feedback was more captious than instructive
cantankerous, faultfinding, finicky,nit-picking
ca stiga tion(kas-ti-GEY-shuhn)
severe criticism or punishment
The children did not expect such castigationfrom their gentle teacher, who later apologizedfor reprimanding them so harshly.
: chastisement, discipline, invective
ca taly st(KA-tuh-luhst)
an agent that causes or speeds up a changeor activity; literally, a substance that causes orspeeds up a chemical reaction
They had talked about moving for years; herpregnancy was the catalyst that finally spurredthem to take action.
: impetus, stimulus
relating to a cause
She understood the causal relationship betweenthe care she took with her studies and her grades
able to burn or corrode; sarcastic
Her caustic tone and sarcastic words saideverything we needed to know about herthoughts about getting fired.
: acerbic, biting, harsh
to raise minor objectionsHis tendency to cavil at new ideas made him apoor manager, and he was soon fired.Synonyms: criticize, quibble
blame, formal condemnation
The censure of her colleagues did nothing tocurb her illicit behavior.
: criticism, disapproval, reprimand
She was chary of auditioning for another playafter the last production ended in a debacle.
: careful, restrained, wary
to correct through punishment
The children were thoroughly chastened afterthey spent their weekend cleaning the playgroundthey had damaged.
: discipline, humiliate, subdue
deception through trickery
He won the competition through chicanery,not talent.
: artifice, cheating, subterfuge
a terrible illusion, an imagined monster
The chimera that haunts him at night is hisidea of himself in the future.
: delusion, mirage
going in a winding, indirect way
Though it may have been quicker to go by thehighway, we enjoyed the circuitous drive tothe lake.
: rambling, roundabout
to thicken; to gather in a mass
The milk became sour and began to coagulate.
: congeal, clot, curdle, solidify
the conclusion of a work of music, literature,drama, or film, often formally different fromthe rest of the work
We knew how the story was going to turn outlong before the play reached its coda.
: conclusion, ending, finale
very convincing and appealing to reason;relevant
The senator was not able to give a cogentargument in favor of his re-election.
: apt, compelling, persuasive, telling
equal or corresponding in measure, degree,intensity, or duration
If your effort is commensurate with yourdesire, you are likely to succeed.
: comparable, equivalent, proportionate
a summary of a larger work or body of knowledge;a complete list of items
The thin volume included a compendium of allthe different kinds of birds he had seen visitingthe woods in his backyard.
: abstract, digest, overview, survey
satisfied with one’s own condition
It is easy to be complacent with one’s owngood fortune rather than to use it to better thelives of others.
: self-satisfied, smug, unconcerned
compla isan t(kuhm-PLEY-suhnt)
inclined to please
The girl was shy but complaisant, and soonwarmed up to the company.
: agreeable, gracious, obliging
something that completes or perfects
For her, coffee is a necessary complement to breakfast.
: counterpart, enhancement,supplement
Stand firmly on your ground—don’t be socompliant!
: docile, obedient, obliging, yielding
tending to gain goodwill, overcome distrust
Upon hearing her conciliatory words, no onewas in the mood to argue anymore.
: appeasing, civil, placating
to confuse thoroughly
The directions confounded her so completelythat she ended up on the wrong side of town.
: baffle, bewilder, frustrate, perplex
one who understands, appreciates, and canmake judgments of an art or matter of taste
Though he claimed to be a connoisseur oftwentieth century art, he could not even tell aPicasso from a Pollock.
: aficionado, expert, specialist
opposition, strife; an idea proposed and heldin debate or argument
The constant mishaps of her lackadaisicalbrother became a source of contention withher husband.
: conflict, discord, quarrel
in contact, adjoining
The state of Alaska is contiguous with Canadabut not with the United States.
: adjacent, bordering, neighboring, touching
feeling or showing sorrow for wrongdoingThough he was contrite after their argument,she was not easily willing to forgive.Synonyms: apologetic, penitent, remorseful,sorry
The contumacious little girl refused to listen toreason and to wear a jacket or shoes.
: headstrong, obstinate
a complicated problem; literally, a riddle with apun or wordplay in its answer
The disorder in his bedroom every morningwas a conundrum, until they realized that hewas sleepwalking at night.
: puzzle, riddle, trick
a meeting; an agreement; the standard orusual way of doing things
As e-mail has become the main form of writtencorrespondence, many people are forgettingthe conventions of letter writing.
: custom, habit
enjoying company, food, and drink
A convivial person, she looks forward to theholidays even though they mark the beginningof winter.
: agreeable, friendly, jovial
conv olu ted(KON-vuh-loo-tuhd)
full of twists and turns, complicated
His convoluted directions were unnecessary;all that he needed to say was, “Turn left at thecorner.”
: complex, intricate, puzzling
She took copious notes and filled severalnotebooks every term.
: abundant, extensive, generous
completely lacking in courage
Please tell me you are not so craven as toforfeit the game rather than face your fiercestopponent.
: cowardly, fearful, timid
willing to believe; originating in credulity
As a teacher, he was far too credulous, and hisstudents could get away with almost anything,so long as they could tell a story to explain it.
: believing, gullible, unsuspecting
cul pabl e(KUHL-puh-buhl)
Though she was clearly culpable, she wasnever even charged for the crime.
: blameworthy, guilty, liable
a complete lack of faith, especially in thevalues and motives of humans
Despite his cynicism, he was also charming,and soon everyone was seduced by hisgloomy outlook.
: bitterness, negativism, pessimism,sarcasm
center of attraction
The movie star is an unapologetic cynosure;she always expects all eyes to be on her.
narrow-minded, prejudiced person
give voting rights
harmful, poisonous, lethal
payment for work done
recoil in fear of servility, shrink away from
noisy, attacking speach
petitioner (in court of law)
can be touched
cancel, deny, repeal
statement giving strong praise
shameful, very bad
can be believed, reasonable
of little value, gaudy
deliberate make something difficult to understand
flexible, not stubborn
self denying, refraining from indulging
self indulgence, pleasure-seeking
stubborn, holding firm to a purpose
support, prop up
informal words and phrases (i.e. to pull off, in a bind...)