N. book for religious instruction; instruction by question and answer. He taught by engaging his pupils in a catechism until they gave him the correct answer.
ADJ. without exceptions; unqualified; absolute. Though the captain claimed he was never, never sick at sea, he finally had to qualify his categorical denial: he was "hardly ever" sick at sea.
V. supply something desired (whether good or bad). The chef was happy to cater to the tastes of his highly sophisticated clientele. Critics condemned the movie industry for catering to the public's ever-increasing appetite for violence.
N. purging or cleansing of any passage of the body. Aristotle maintained that tragedy created a catharsis by purging the soul of base concepts.
ADJ. broadly sympathetic; liberal. He was extremely catholic in his taste and read everything he could find in the library.
N. private meeting of members of a party to select officers or determine policy. At the opening of Congress, the members of the Democratic Party held a caucus to elect the Majority Leader of the House and the Party Whip.
V. make watertight by filling in cracks. Jack had to caulk the tiles in the shower stall to stop the leak into the basement below.
ADJ. implying a cause-and-effect relationship. The psychologist maintained there was a causal relationship between the nature of one's early childhood experiences and one's adult personality. causality, N.
ADJ. burning; sarcastically biting. The critic's caustic remarks angered the hapless actors who were the subjects of his sarcasm.
N. procession; parade. As described by Chaucer, the cavalcade of Canterbury pilgrims was a motley group.
ADJ. offhand or casual; haughty. The disguised prince resented the cavalier way in which the palace guards treated him. How dared they handle a member of the royal family so unceremoniously!
V. make frivolous objections. It's fine when you make sensible criticisms, but it really bugs me when you cavil about unimportant details. also N.
V. yield (title, territory) to; surrender formally. Eventually the descendants of England's Henry II were forced to cede their French territories to the King of France.
ADJ. famous; well-known. Thanks to their race to break Roger Maris's home-run record, Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire are two of America's most celebrated baseball players. celebrity, N.
N. speed; rapidity. Hamlet resented his mother's celerity in remarrying within a month after his father's death.
ADJ. heavenly. She spoke of the celestial joys that awaited virtuous souls in the hereafter.
ADJ. unmarried; abstaining from sexual intercourse. The perennial bachelor vowed to remain celibate. celibacy, N.
N. overseer of morals; person who reads to eliminate inappropriate remarks. Soldiers dislike having their mail read by a censor but understand the need for this precaution. alsoV.
ADJ. critical. Censorious people delight in casting blame.
V. blame; criticize. The senator was censured for behavior inappropriate to a member of Congress. also N.
ADJ. measure of temperature used widely in Europe. On the centigrade thermometer, the freezing point of water is zero degrees.
ADJ. radiating; departing from the center. Many automatic drying machines remove excess moisture from clothing by centrifugal force.
ADJ. tending toward the center. Does centripetal force or the force of gravity bring orbiting bodies to the earth's surface?
N. Roman army officer. Because he was in command of a company of one hundred soldiers, he was called a centurion.
ADJ. pertaining to the brain or intellect. The content of philosophical works is cerebral in nature and requires much thought.
N. thought. Mathematics problems sometimes require much cerebration.
ADJ. marked by formality. Ordinary dress would be inappropriate at so ceremonious an affair.
N. certainty. Though there was no certitude of his getting the job, Lou thought he had a good chance of doing so.