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- to evade resposibility by pretending to be ill
- A common way to avoid the draft was by malingering-pretending to be mentally or physically ill so as to avoid being taken by the Army.
- capable of being shaped
- Gold is the most malleable of precious metal; it can easily be formed into almost any shape.
- a figure of speech comparing two different things, a symbol
- The metaphor ' a sea of troubles' suggests a lot of troubles by comparing their number to the vastness of the sea.
Similar: analogy, comparison
- extremely careful about details
- The investigators were instructed to find all the clues at the crime scene, so they meticulously covered every inch of the area.
Similar: conscientious, precise, scrupulous
- a person who dislikes others
- The Grinch was such a misanthrope that even the sight of children singing made him angry.
- to soften, to lessen
- A judge may mitigate a sentence if she decides that a person committed a crime out of need.
Similar: alleviate, lighten,assuage,palliate,temper
- to calm or make less severe
- Their arguement was so intense that is was difficult to believe any compromise would mollify them.
- no variation, tediously the same
- The monotomy of the sound of the dripping faucet almost drove the research assistant crazy.
Similar: drone, tedium
- lacking sophistication or experience
- Having never traveled before, the hillbillies were totally naive to the customs of Beverly Hills.
Similar: artless, credulous,simple,guileless,unaffected,ingenuous
- hardened in feeling, resistant to persuasion
- The President was completely obdurate on the issue, and no amount of persuasion would change his mind.
Similar: inflexible, tenacious,intransigent,recalcitrant
- overly-submissive and eager to please
- The obsequious new associate made sure to compliment her supervisor's tie and agree with him on every issue
- stubborn, unyeilding
- The obstinate child could not be made to eat any food which he preceived to be 'yucky'.
- to prevent; to make unnecessary
- The river was shallow enough to wade across at many points, which obviated the need for a bridge.
- to stop up, prevent the passage of
- A shadow is thrown across the Earth's surface during a solar eclipse, when the light from the sun is occluded by the moon.
Similar: barricade, obstruct,block,close
- troublesome and oppressive; burdensome
- THe assignment was so extensive and difficult to manage that it proved onerous to the team in charge of it.
- Impossible to see through, preventing the passage of light
- The heavy build-up of dirt and grime on the windows made them almost opaque.
- public disgrace
- After the scheme to embezzle the elderly was made public, the treasure resigned in utter opprobrium.
- excessive showiness
- The ostentation of the Sun's King court is evident in the lavish decoration and luxuriousness of his palace Versailles.
Similar: conspicuousness, pretentiousness,flashiness,showiness
- a contradiction or dilemma
- It is a paradox that those most in need of medical attention are often those least able to obtain it.
Similar: incongruity, ambiguity
- model of excellence or perfection
- He is the paragon of what a judge should be; honest, intelligent, hardworking and just.
- somone who shows off learning
- The graduate instructor's tedious and excessive commentary on the sublect soon gain her a reputation as a pedant.
- willing to betray one's trust
- The actress's perfidous companion revealed all of her intimate secrets to the gossp columnist.
- done in a routine way; indifferent
- The machine-like teller processed the transaction and gave the waiting customer a perfunctory smile.
Similar: apathetic, automatic,mechanical
- to penetrate
- The miraculous new cleaning fliud is able to permeate stains and dissolve them in minutes.
- to be present throughout, to permeate
- Four spices-cumin, turmeric, coriander and cayenne- pervade almost every Indian dish, and give the cuisine its distinctive flavor.
- charity , a desire or effort to promote goodness
- The Metropolitan Museum of Art owes much of its collection to the philanthropy of private of private collectors who willed their estates to the museum.
- calm and unemotional in temperament
- Although the bomb could go off at any moment, the phlegmatic demolition expert remained calm nad unafriad.
- to soothe or pacify
- The burglar tried to placate the snarling dog by refferring to it as a 'nice doggy' and offerring it a treat.
- able to be molded, altered or bent
- The new material was very plastic and could be formed into products of vastly different shape.
- Assuming that more was better, the defendant offered the judge a plethora of excuses.
Similar: glut, superfluity,overabunace,surfeit
- practical as opposed to idealistic
- While idealistic gamblers think they can get rich by frequenting casinos, pragmatic gamblers realize that the odds are heavily stacked against them.
- Similar: realistic, rational
- to throw violently or bring about abrublty; lackin deliberation
- Theirs was a precipitate marrige-they had only known each other for two weeks befor they wed.
- to lie or deviate from the truth
- Rather than admit that he had overslept again, the employee prevaricated and claimed that heavy traffic had prevented him from arriving at work on time.
- fresh and clean, uncorrupted
- Since concerted measures had been taken to prevent looting, the archeological site was still pristine when researchers arrived.
- complete honesty and intergrity
- George Washington's reputation for probity is illustrated in the legend about his inability to lie after he chopped down the cherry tree.
- a natural inclination or predisposition
- Her childhood love of acting, singing and adoration indicated a proclivity for the theater in later life.
- lavish, wasteful
- The Prodigal Son quickly wasted all of his inheritance on a lavish lifestyle devoted to pleasure.
- to increase in number quickly
- Although he only kept two guinea piga intially, they proliferated to such an extent that he soon had dozens.
- to conciliate, to appease
- Because their gods were angry and vengeful, the Vikings propitiated them with many sacrafices.
- acting in a proper manner, obeying rules and customs
- The aristocracy maintained a high level of propriety, adhering to even the most minor social rules.
Similar: decency, decorum,modesty,seemly
- wisdom, caution or restraint
- The college student exhibited prudence by obtaining practical experience along with her studies, which greatly strengthened her resume.
- sharp and irritating to the senses
- The smoke rom the burning tires was extremely pungnet.