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- To humble; to disgrace.
- My intention was not to abase the comedian.
- Synonyms: demean, humiliate
- To reduce in amount, degree, or severity.
- As the hurricane's force abated, the winds dropped and the sea became calm.
- Synonyms: ebb, lapse, let up, moderate, relent, slacken, subside, wane
- To give up a position, right, or power.
- With the angry mob clamoring outside the palace, the king abdicated his throne and fled.
- Synonyms: cede, quit, relinquish, resign, yield
- Deviating from what is normal or expected.
- Since he had been a steady, cheerful worker for many years, his fellow postal workers did not expect his aberrant burst of rage.
- Synonyms: abnormal, anomalous, deviant, divergent, errant, irregular
- Temporary suppression or suspension.
- The baseball game was held in abeyance while it continued to rain.
- Synonyms: deferral, delay, dormancy, postponement, remission
- To reject; to abandon formally.
- The spy abjured his allegiance to the United States when he defected to Russia.
- Synonyms: forswear, recall, recant, retract, take back
- To leave secretly.
- The patron absconded from the restaurant without paying his bill by sneaking out the back door.
- Synonyms: decamp, escape, flee
- To choose not to do something.
- Before the medical procedure, you must abstain from eating.
- Synonyms: forbear, refrain, withhold
- Moderate in appetite.
- Because Alyce is a vegetarian, she was able to eat only an abstemious meal at the Texas Steakhouse.
- Synonyms: abstinent, continent, self-restraining, sober, temperate
- An extremely deep hole.
- The submarine dove into the abyss to chart the previously unseen depths.
- Synonyms: chasm, void
- A gradual growth in size; an increase in amount.
- The committee's strong fund-raising efforts resulted in an accretion in scholarship money.
- Synonyms: accumulation, buildup
- Sour in taste or manner.
- The acidulous taste of the spoiled milk made the young boy's lips pucker.
- Synonyms: acerbic, acetous, biting, piquant, pungent, tart
- The highest point; the summit; the highest level or degree attainable.
- Just when he reached the acme of his power, the dictator was overthrown.
- Synonyms: apex, peak, summit
- To make impure.
- The restaurateur made his ketchup last longer by adulterating it with water.
- Synonyms: debase, doctor, load
- To speak in favor of.
- The vegetarian advocated a diet containing no meat.
- Synonyms: back, champion, support
(ayr ee) (eer ee)
- A nest built high in the air; an elevated, often secluded, dwelling.
- Perched high among the trees, the eagle's aerie was filled with eggs.
- Synonyms: perch, stronghold
(ehs theh tihk)
- Concerning the appreciation of beauty.
- The aesthetic movement regarded the pursuit of beauty as the only true purpose of art.
- Synonyms: artistic, tasteful
- Phony; artificial.
- The affected hairdresser spouted French phrases, though she had never been to France.
- Synonyms: insincere, pretentious, put-on
(uh graan diez)
- To increase in power, influence, and reputation.
- The supervisor sought to aggrandize himself by claiming that the achievements of his staff were actually his own.
- Synonyms: amplify, apotheosize, augment, dignify, elevate, enlarge, ennoble, exalt, glorify, magnify, swell, uplift
(uh laak crih tee)
- Speed or quickness.
- The restaurant won a reputation for fine service since the wait staff responded to their clients' request with alacrity.
- Synonyms: celerity, dispatch, haste, swiftness
- To make more bearable.
- Taking aspirin helps to alleviate a headache.
- Synonyms: allay, assuage, comfort, ease, lessen, lighten, mitigate, palliate, relieve
(uh maal guh mayt)
- To combine; to mix together.
- Giant Industries amalgamated with Mega Products to form Giant-Mega Products Incorporated.
- Synonyms: admix, blend, coalesce, combine, commingle, commix, compound, fuse, intermingle, intermix, merge, mingle, mix, unite
- Doubtful or uncertain; can be interpreted several ways.
- The directions he gave were so ambiguous that we disagreed on which way to turn.
- Synonyms: cloudy, doubtful, dubious, equivocal, indeterminate, nebulous, obscure, unclear, vague
(uh meel yuhr ayt)
- To make better; to improve.
- The doctor was able to ameliorate the patient's suffering using painkillers.
- Synonyms: amend, better, improve, pacify, upgrade
(uh mohr tiez)
- To diminish by installment payments.
- While college students are notorious for accumulating credit card debt, they are not as well known for amortizing it.
- Synonyms: decrease, reduce
(ahr kay ihk)
- Ancient; old-fashioned.
- Her archaic Commodore computer could not run the latest software.
- Synonyms: ancient, antediluvian, antique, bygone, dated, dowdy, fusty, obsolete, old-fashioned, outdated, outmoded, passe, prehistoric, stale, supernnuated, superseded, vintage
- Intense and passionate feeling.
- Bishop's ardor for landscape was evident when he passionately described the beauty of the scenic Hudson Valley.
- Synonyms: devotion, enthusiasm, fervency, fervidity, fervidness, fervor, fire, passion, zeal, zealousness
(aa ruh gayt)
- To claim without justification; to claim for oneself without right.
- Gretchen watched in astonishment as her boss arrogated the credit for her brilliant work on the project.
- Synonyms: appropriate, presume, take
- Able to speak clearly and expressively.
- She is extremely articulate when it comes to expressing her pro-labor views; as a result unions are among her strongest supporter.
- Synonyms: eloquent, expressive, fluent, lucid, silver-tongued, smooth-spoken
- To attack; to assault.
- The foreign army will try to assail our bases, but they will not be successful in their attack.
- Synonyms: beset, storm, strike
- To make something unpleasant less severe.
- Like many people, Philip Larkin used alcohol to assuage his sense of meaninglessness and despair.
- Synonyms: allay, alleviate, appease, comfort, conciliate, ease, lighten, mitigate, mollify, pacify, palliate, placate, propitiate, relieve, soothe, sweeten
(uh tehn yoo ayt)
- To reduce in force or degree; to weaken.
- The Bill of Rights attenuated the traditional power of government to change laws at will.
- Synonyms: debilitate, devitalize, dilute, enervate, enfeeble, rarefy, sap, thin, undermine, undo, unnerve, weaken
- Fearless and daring.
- The audacious peasant dared to insult the king's mother.
- Synonyms: adventuresome, aggressive, assertive, bold, brave, courageous, daring, dauntless, doughty, fearless, gallant, game, heroic, intrepid, mettlesome, plucky, stout, stouthearted, unafraid, undaunted, valiant, valorous, venturesome, venturous
(aw guh ree)
- A prophecy; a prediction of events.
- Troy hoped the rainbow was an augury of good things to come.
- Synonyms: auspice, harbinger, omen, portent, presage
- Dignified; grandiose.
- The august view of the Grand Teton summit took my breath away.
- Synonyms: admirable, awesome, grand, majestic
- Severe or stern in appearance; undecorated.
- The lack of decoration makes Zen temples seem austere to the untrained eye.
- Synonyms: bleak, dour, grim, hard, harsh, severe
- Premise; postulate, self-evident truth.
- Halle lived her life based on the axioms her grandmother had passed on to her.
- Synonyms: adage, aphorism, apothegm, maxim, rule