ADJ. lacking proper seriousness. When Mark told Mona he loved her, she dismissed his earnest declaration with a flippant "Oh, you say that to all the girls!" flippancy, N.
V. fly; dart lightly; pass swiftly by. Like a bee flitting from flower to flower, Rose flitted from one boyfriend to the next.
N. mass of floating ice. The ship made slow progress as it battered its way through the ice floes.
N. plants of a region or era. Because she was a botanist, she spent most of her time studying the flora of the desert.
ADJ. ruddy; reddish; flowery. If you go to Florida and get a sunburn, your complexion will look florid.
V. struggle and thrash about; proceed clumsily or falter. Up to his knees in the bog, Floyd floundered about, trying to regain his footing. Bewildered by the new software, Flo floundered until Jan showed her how to get started.
V. grow well; prosper; decorate with ornaments. The orange trees flourished in the sun.
V. reject; mock. The headstrong youth flouted all authority; he refused to be curbed.
V. waver; shift. The water pressure in our shower fluctuates wildly; you start rinsing yourself off with a trickle, and, two minutes later, a blast of water nearly knocks you down.
N. smoothness of speech. He spoke French with fluency and ease.
N. unlikely occurrence; stroke of fortune. When Dou- glas defeated Tyson for the heavyweight championship, some sportscasters dismissed his victory as a fluke.
V. confuse. The teacher's sudden question flustered him and he stammered his reply.
N. flowing; series of changes. While conditions are in such a state of flux, I do not wish to commit myself too deeply in this affair.
N. coarse food for cattle, horses, etc. One of Nancy's chores at the ranch was to put fresh supplies of fodder in the horses' stalls.
N. weakness; slight fault. We can overlook the foibles of our friends; no one is perfect.
N. contrast. In Star Wars, dark, evil Darth Vader is a perfect foil for fair-haired, naive Luke Skywalker.
V. defeat; frustrate. In the end, Skywalker is able to foil Vader's diabolical schemes.
N. masses of leaves. Every autumn before the leaves fell he promised himself he would drive through New England to admire the colorful fall foliage.
V. stir up; instigate. Cheryl's archenemy Heather spread some nasty rumors that fomented trouble in the club. Do you think Cheryl's foe meant to foment such discord?
ADJ. rash. Don't be foolhardy. Get the advice of experienced people before undertaking this venture.
N. dandy; man excessively concerned with his clothes. People who dismissed young Mizrahi as a fop felt chagrined when he turned into one of the top fashion designers of his day. foppish,ADJ.
N. patience. We must use forbearance in dealing with him because he is still weak from his illness.
N. place where a river can be crossed on foot. Rather than risk using the shaky rope bridge, David walked a halfmile downstream until he came to the nearest ford. alsoV.
N. ancestors. Reverence for one's forebears (sometimes referred to as ancestor worship) plays an important part in many Oriental cultures.
N. premonition of evil. Suspecting no conspiracies against him, Caesar gently ridiculed his wife's forebodings about the Ides of March.
ADJ. suitable to debate or courts of law. In her best forensic manner, the lawyer addressed the jury. forenSiCS, N.
V. give an indication beforehand; portend; prefigure. In retrospect, political analysts realized that Yeltsin's defiance of the attempted coup foreshadowed his emergence as the dominant figure of the new Russian republic.
N. ability to foresee future happenings; prudence. A wise investor, she had the foresight to buy land just before the current real estate boom.
V. prevent by taking action in advance. By setting up a prenuptial agreement, the prospective bride and groom hoped to forestall any potential arguments about money in the event of a divorce.
V. give up; do without. Determined to lose weight for the summer, Ida decided to forgo dessert until she could fit into a size eight again.
ADJ. sad and lonely; wretched. Deserted by her big sisters and her friends, the forlorn child sat sadly on the steps awaiting their return.
N. ceremonious quality; something done just for form's sake. The president received the visiting heads of state with due formality: flags waving, honor guards standing at attention, anthems sounding at full blast. Signing this petition is a mere formality; it does not obligate you in any way.
ADJ. menacing; threatening. We must not treat the battle lightly for we are facing a formidable foe.
V. desert; abandon; renounce. No one expected Foster to forsake his wife and children and run off with another woman.
V. renounce; abandon. The captured knight could escape death only if he agreed to forswear Christianity and embrace Islam as the one true faith.
N. strong point or special talent. I am not eager to play this rather serious role, for my forte is comedy.
ADJ. outspoken; straightforward; frank. Never afraid to call a spade a spade, she was perhaps too forthrightto be a successful party politician.
N. bravery; courage. He was awarded the medal for his fortitude in the battle.
ADJ. accidental; by chance. Though he pretended their encounter was fortuitous, he'd actually been hanging around her usual haunts for the past two weeks, hoping she'd turn up.
N. place of assembly to discuss public concerns; meeting for discussion. The film opens with a shot of the ancient Forum in Rome, where several senators are discussing the strange new sect known as Christians. At the end of the movie, its director presided over a forum examining new fashions in filmmaking.
V. rear; encourage. According to the legend, Romulus and Remus were fostered by a she-wolf who raised the abandoned infants with her own cubs. alsoADJ.
V. fail completely; sink. After hitting the submerged iceberg, the Titanic started taking in water rapidly and soon foundered.
N. person who establishes (an organization, business). Among those drowned when the Titanic sank was the founder of the Abraham & Straus department store.
N. brawl, melee. The military police stopped the fracas in the bar and arrested the belligerents.
ADJ. unruly; disobedient; irritable. Bucking and kicking, the fractious horse unseated its rider.
ADJ. weak. The delicate child seemed too frail to lift the heavy carton. frailty, N.
N. right granted by authority; right to vote; business licensed to sell a product in a particular territory. The city issued a franchise to the company to operate surface transit lines on the streets for ninety-nine years. For most of American history women lacked the right to vote: not until the early twentieth century was the franchise granted to women. Stan owns a Carvel's ice cream franchise in Chinatown.
ADJ. wild. At the time of the collision, many people became frantic with fear.
V. associate in a friendly way. After the game, the members of the two teams fraternized as cheerfully as if they had never been rivals.
ADJ. cheating; deceitful. The government seeks to prevent fraudulent and misleading advertising.
ADJ. filled. Since this enterprise is fraught with danger, I will ask for volunteers who are willing to assume the risks.
N. brawl. The three musketeers were in the thick of the fray.
ADJ. frenzied; frantic. His frenetic activities convinced us that he had no organized plan of operation.
ADJ. madly excited. As soon as they smelled smoke, the frenzied animals milled about in their cages.
N. painting on plaster (usually fresh). The cathedral is visited by many tourists who wish to admire the frescoes by Giotto.
V. to be annoyed or vexed. To fret over your poor grades is foolish; instead, decide to work harder in the future.
N. clash in opinion; rubbing against. At this time when harmony is essential, we cannot afford to have any friction in our group.
ADJ. intensely cold. Alaska is in the frigid zone.
ADJ. lacking in seriousness; self-indulgently carefree; relatively unimportant. Though Nancy enjoyed Bill's frivolous, lighthearted companionship, she sometimes wondered whether he could ever be serious. frivolity, N.
ADJ. prankish; gay. The frolicsome puppy tried to lick the face of its master.
N. fern leaf; palm or banana leaf. After the storm the beach was littered with the fronds of palm trees.
N. thrift; economy. In economically hard times, anyone who doesn't learn to practice frugality risks bankruptcy. frugal,ADJ.
N. bearing of fruit; fulfillment; realization. This building marks the fruition of all our aspirations and years of hard work.
V. thwart; defeat. We must frustrate this dictator's plan to seize control of the government.
ADJ. fleeting or transitory; roving. The film brought a few fugitive images to her mind, but on the whole it made no lasting impression upon her.
N. support on which a lever rests. If we use this stone as a fulcrum and the crowbar as a lever, we may be able to move this boulder.
ADJ. disgustingly excessive. His fulsome praise of the dictator revolted his listeners.
V. basic; primary; essential. The committee discussed all sorts of side issues without ever getting down to addressing the fundamental problem.
N. leave of absence; vacation granted a soldier or civil servant. Dreaming of her loved ones back in the States, the young soldier could hardly wait for her upcoming furlough.
N. frenzy; great excitement. The story of her embezzlement of the funds created a furor on the Stock Exchange.
ADJ. stealthy; sneaky. Noticing the furtive glance the customer gave the diamond bracelet on the counter, the jeweler wondered whether he had a potential shoplifter on his hands.
N. union; coalition. The opponents of the political party in power organized a fusion of disgruntled groups and became an important element in the election.
ADJ. useless; hopeless; ineffectual. It is futile for me to try to get any work done around here while the telephone is ringing every thirty seconds. futility, N.
N. animal-biting fly; an irritating person. Like a gadfly, he irritated all the guests at the hotel; within forty-eight hours, everyone regarded him as an annoying busybody.
N. social blunder. According to Miss Manners, to call your husband by your lover's name is worse than a mere gaffe; it is a tactical mistake.