N. object made by human beings, either handmade or mass-produced. Archaeologists debated the significance of the artifacts discovered in the ruins of Asia Minor but came to no conclusion about the culture they represented.
N. deception; trickery. The Trojan War proved to the Greeks that cunning and artifice were often more effective than military might.
N. manually skilled worker; craftsman, as opposed to artist. A noted artisan, Arturo was known for the fine craftsmanship of his inlaid cabinets.
ADJ. without guile; open and honest. Sophisticated and cynical, Jack could not believe Jill was as artless and naive as she appeared to be.
N. controlling influence; domination. Leaders of religious cults maintain ascendancy over their followers by methods that can verge on brainwashing.
V. find out for certain. Please ascertain her present address.
ADJ. practicing self-denial; austere. The wealthy, self-indulgent young man felt oddly drawn to the strict, ascetic life led by members of some monastic orders. also N.
V. refer; attribute; assign. I can ascribe no motive for her acts.
ADJ. preventing infection; having a cleansing effect. Hospitals succeeded in lowering the mortality rate as soon as they introduced aseptic conditions.
ADJ. ash-colored. Her face was ashen with fear.
ADJ. stupid. Your asinine remarks prove that you have not given this problem any serious consideration.
ADJ. with a sideways or indirect look. Looking askance at her questioner, she displayed her scorn.
ADJ. crookedly; slanted; at an angle. When he placed his hat askew upon his head, his observers laughed.
N. sharpness (of temper). These remarks, spoken with asperity, stung the boys to whom they had been directed.
N. seeker after position or status. Although I am an aspirant for public office, I am not willing to accept the dictates of the party bosses. alsoADJ.
V. seek to attain; long for. Because he aspired to a career in professional sports, Philip enrolled in a graduate program in sports management. aspiration, N.
V. assault. He was assailed with questions after his lecture.
V. analyze; evaluate. When they assayed the ore, they found that they had discovered a very rich vein. also N.
V. agree; accept. It gives me great pleasure to assentto your request.
V. declare or state with confidence; put oneself forward boldly. Malcolm asserted that if Reese quit acting like a wimp and asserted himself a bit more, he'd improve his chances of getting a date. assertion, N.
N. evaluation; judgment. Your SAT I score plays a part in the admission committee's assessment of you as an applicant.
ADJ. diligent. He was assiduous, working at this task for weeks before he felt satisfied with his results. assiduity, N.
V. absorb; cause to become homogeneous. The manner in which the United States was able to assimilate the hordes of immigrants during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries will always be a source of pride to Americans. The immigrants eagerly assimilated new ideas and customs; they soaked them up, the way plants soak up water.
V. ease or lessen (pain); satisfy (hunger); soothe (anger). Jilted by Jane, Dick tried to assuage his heartache by indulging in ice cream. One gallon later, he had assuaged his appetite but not his grief.
N. something taken for granted; taking over or taking possession of. The young princess made the foolish assumption that the regent would not object to her assumption of power. assume,V.
N. promise or pledge; certainty; self-confidence. When Guthrie gave Guinness his assurance that rehearsals were going well, he spoke with such assurance that Guinness felt relieved. assure,V.
N. small planet. Asteroids have become commonplace to the readers of interstellar travel stories in science fiction magazines.
N. eye defect that prevents proper focus. As soon as his parents discovered that the boy suffered from astigmatism, they took him to the optometrist for corrective glasses.