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- DEFINITION: To lose the right to vote.
- SENTENCE: The Jim Crow laws disenfranchised African-American voters by requiring racially segregating polling areas, among others.
- SYNONYMS: n/a
- ANTONYMS: n/a
- DEFINITION: To force to act or think in a certain way by use of pressure, threats, or torture; to compel
- SENTENCE: Stalin used terror to coerce the Russian people to unquestioningly follow his leadership.
- SYNONYMS: force, urge, intimidate
- ANTONYMS: leave alone, follow
egalitarian (n, adj)
- DEFINITION: Favoring social equality; belief in a society in which all people have equal political, economic, and civil rights
- SENTENCE: American utopian leaders dreamed of creating egalitarian communities, in which everyone had the same rights.
- SYNONYMS: equitable, democratic, impartial
- ANTONYMS: unequal, varying
- DEFINITION: Hostile and aggressive; warlike
- SENTENCE: When North Korea defied world opinion by conducting an underground test of a nuclear bomb, world leaders denounced the action as belligerent.
- SYNONYMS: aggressive, cantankerous, antagonistic
- ANTONYMS: cooperative, kind, helping
- DEFINITION: A severe interrogation; a systematic questioning
- SENTENCE: Senator McCarthy conducted an inquisition in the 1950s to supposedly weed out Communists with harsh questions.
- SYNONYMS: interrogation, questioning, inquiry
- ANTONYMS: n/a
- DEFINITION: To make a situation better
- SENTENCE: Amelia was able to ameliorate the tense situation by speaking calmly.
- SYNONYMS: assuage, mollify, mitigate
- ANTONYMS: worsen, hurt, aggravate
- DEFINITION: To make a situation worse
- SENTENCE: Batman learned that his efforts exacerbated Gotham's crime problem by leading to an escalation of violence to challenge him.
- SYNONYMS: aggravate, exasperate, worsen
- ANTONYMS: ameliorate, assuage, mollify, mitigate
- DEFINITION: Sharing an edge or boundary; touching
- SENTENCE: Hawaii and Alaska are the only two states in the USA that are not contiguous with another state.
- SYNONYMS: adjacent, bordering
- ANTONYMS: divided, separated
- DEFINITION: To thoroughly dry out; to make lifeless, totally arid
- SENTENCE: The Dry Valleys exist because 100 mph downwinds desiccate all moisture.
- SYNONYMS: dry, dehydrate
- ANTONYMS: moisten, wet, moisturize
- DEFINITION: Relevant; to the point
- SENTENCE: When you’re in a college interview, make sure to ask pertinent questions about the specific college.
- SYNONYMS: relevant, applicable, pertaining
- ANTONYMS: irrelevant, pointless, trivial, unrelated
- DEFINITION: Association or participation in a wrongful act
- SENTENCE: The criminal’s mother was charged with complicity after she helped her son escape from the police.
- SYNONYMS: collaboration, collusion, involvement
- ANTONYMS: innocence, ignorance, noninvolvement.
exonerate, exculpate (v)
- DEFINITION: To free from guilt or blame
- SENTENCE: Dumbledore was not able to exonerate Sirius Black of the murder of Peter Pettigrew and 12 Muggles for many years.
- SYNONYMS: absolve, acquit, vindicate
- ANTONYMS: condemn, charge, blame
- DEFINITION: Not open to question; undeniable; irrefutable
- SENTENCE: It’s an indisputable fact that Ted will eventually meet the mother of his children, because he has been telling the story for seven years and has all the proof.
- SYNONYMS: absolute, actual, incontrovertible
- ANTONYMS: dubious, questionable, doubtful
- DEFINITION: An act or instance that is used as an example in dealing with later similar instances
- SENTENCE: Jefferson set the precedent of shaking the President's hand rather than bowing; now everyone follows his example.
- SYNONYMS: antecedent, model, example
- ANTONYMS: subsequent, following
- DEFINITION: Without previous example; describing something that has never happened before
- SENTENCE: Will Smith has achieved unprecedented success in the film industry as an African American action star.
- SYNONYMS: unparalleled, unique, remarkable
- ANTONYMS: mundane, usual, unexceptional
- DEFINITION: Misconduct or wrongdoing especially by a public official
- SENTENCE: President Nixon was charged with several charges of malfeasance when he installed recording devices at the Watergate democratic headquarters.
- SYNONYMS: misconduct, impropriety, misbehavior
- ANTONYMS: honor, virtue
- DEFINITION: To bring to a stop; halt
- SENTENCE: Environmentalists hope to arrest the reduction of the ozone layer.
- SYNONYMS: constrain, stop, limit
- ANTONYMS: encourage, continue, incite
- DEFINITION: A serious situation or problem
- SENTENCE: When her daughter was diagnosed with leukemia, Isobel recognized the gravity of the situation and agreed to donate bone marrow to save her daughter.
- SYNONYMS: weighty, grievous, important
- ANTONYMS: light, insubstantial, unimportant
- DEFINITION: To cause an event to happen
- SENTENCE: The discovery of Soviet missiles in Cuba precipitated the Cuban Missile Crisis, during which a nuclear war could have happened.
- SYNONYMS: trigger, cause, advance
- ANTONYMS: check, slow, wait
- DEFINITION: Elevation of a land surface
- SENTENCE: Relief maps of the USA show rises in the mountains in the east and west.
- SYNONYMS: n/a
- ANTONYMS: n/a
- DEFINITION: To restrain; halt; hold back; contain
- SENTENCE: During the Cold War, the US policy of containment was designed to check the expansion of Soviet power and influence.
- SYNONYMS: arrest, stop, limit
- ANTONYMS: continue, hasten, expedite
- DEFINITION: To become weak, feeble, or spiritless
- SENTENCE: Whenever Beyonce wins an award, she thanks her parents for never letting her enthusiasm for music flag.
- SYNONYMS: decline, recede, weaken
- ANTONYMS: increase, spirited, excite
- DEFINITION: Characterized by the ability to make fine distinctions; refined taste
- SENTENCE: Some people are known for their discriminating tastes in rare wine, fine clothes, and valuable art.
- SYNONYMS: astute, discerning, keen
- ANTONYMS: inclusive, uncritical, unperceptive
- DEFINITION: To overshadow; outshine; surpass
- SENTENCE: Sometimes Amy feels that her own achievements will be eclipsed by those of her older sister, who is much more accomplished than Amy herself.
- SYNONYMS: outdo, outshine, exceed
- ANTONYMS: fall behind, fail
- DEFINITION: To devise a new word or phrase
- SENTENCE: Shakespeare is credited with coining many new words for the English language; no one before him had ever used words such as “assassin” before.
- SYNONYMS: create, compose, establish
- ANTONYMS: destroy, erase, undo