V. be unfaithful; reveal (unconsciously or unwillingly). The spy betrayed his country by selling military secrets to the enemy. When he was taken in for questioning, the tightness of his lips betrayed his fear of being caught.
V. become engaged to marry. The announcement that they had become betrothed surprised their friends who had not suspected any romance. betrothal, N.
N. large group. The movie actor was surrounded by a bevyof starlets.
ADJ. slanted; prejudiced. Because the judge played golf regularly with the district attorney's father, we feared he might be biased in the prosecution's favor. bias, N.
ADJ. two-chambered, as a legislative body. The United States Congress is a bicameral body.
V. quarrel. The children bickered morning, noon, and night, exasperating their parents.
ADJ. every two years. Seeing no need to meet more frequently, the group held biennial meetings instead of annual ones. Plants that bear flowers biennially are known as biennials.
N. stubborn intolerance. Brought up in a democratic atmosphere, the student was shocked by the bigotry and narrowness expressed by several of his classmates.
ADJ. suffering from indigestion; irritable. His bilious temperament was apparent to all who heard him rant about his difficulties.
V. swindle; cheat. The con man specialized in bilking insurance companies.
ADJ. swelling out in waves; surging. Standing over the air vent, Marilyn Monroe tried vainly to control her billowing skirts.
N. temporary encampment. While in bivouac, we spent the night in our sleeping bags under the stars. alsoV.
ADJ. fantastic; violently contrasting. The plot of the novel was too bizarre to be believed.
V. bleach; whiten. Although age had blanched his hair, he was still vigorous and energetic.
ADJ. soothing or mild; agreeable. Jill tried a bland ointment for her sunburn. However, when Jack absentmindedly patted her on the sunburned shoulder, she couldn't maintain a bland disposition.
N. flattery. Despite the salesperson's blandishments, the customer did not buy the outfit.
N. loud, harsh roar or screech; dazzling blaze of light. I don't know which is worse: the steady blare of a boom box deafening your ears or a sudden blare of flashbulbs dazzling your eyes.
ADJ. bored with pleasure or dissipation. Although Beth was as thrilled with the idea of a trip to Paris as her classmates were, she tried to act super cool and blasé, as if she'd been abroad hundreds of times.
N. irreverence; sacrilege; cursing. In my father's house, the Dodgers were the holiest of holies; to cheer for another team was to utter words of blasphemy. blasphemous,ADJ.
ADJ. flagrant; conspicuously obvious; loudly offensive. To the unemployed youth from Dublin, the "No Irish Need Apply" placard in the shop window was a blatant mark of prejudice.
ADJ. cold or cheerless; unlikely to be favorable. The frigid, inhospitable Aleutian Islands are bleak military outposts. It's no wonder that soldiers assigned there have a bleak attitude toward their posting.
ADJ. suffering from a disease; destroyed. The extent of the blighted areas could be seen only when viewed from the air.
ADJ. gay; joyous; heedless. Shelley called the skylark a "blithe spirit" because of its happy song.
ADJ. swollen or puffed as with water or air. Her bloated stomach came from drinking so much water.
N. club; heavy-headed weapon. Attacked by Dr. Moriarty, Holmes used his walking stick as a bludgeon to defend himself. "Watson," he said, "I fear I may have bludgeoned Moriarty to death."
ADJ. rough but good-natured. Jack had a bluff andhearty manner that belied his actual sensitivity; he never let people know how thin-skinned he really was.
N. pretense (of strength); deception; high cliff. Claire thought Lord Byron's boast that he would swim the Hellespont was just a bluff; she was astounded when he dove from the high bluff into the waters below.