E.g.Speaker Pelosi came out of that meeting, and she was once again adamant about saying a public option must be in the bill.
adapt: make fit for; change to suit a new purpose
E.g.One way to adapt is to become smaller, generation by generation.
addendum: something added or to be added, especially a supplement to a book
E.g.The date on the bottom of the addendum is April 2007.
addiction: compulsive physiological and psychological need for a substance; being abnormally dependent on something
E.g.No matter what form we find it in, addiction is not fun; drugs, alcohol, overeating, overworking, smoking or sex.
addle: muddle; drive crazy; become confused
E.g.This idiotic plan is confusing enough to addle anyone.
adept: expert at; very skilled; having or showing knowledge and skill and aptitude
E.g.Mr. Williams was known as an adept improviser who effortlessly switched between classical, jazz and pop styles.
adhere: stick fast; stick to firmly; be compatible or in accordance with
E.g.That is why the claying is necessary; it makes the grain adhere to the earth, otherwise it would float.
adherent: person who adheres; one who follows or upholds a leader, party, cause
E.g.In the wake of the scandal, John, the senator's one-time adherent, quickly deserted him.
adjacent: adjoining; neighboring; close to; lying near
E.g.Philip's best friend Jason lived only four houses down the block, close but not immediately adjacent.
adjunct: something added on or attached generally nonessential or inferior
E.g.Although I don't absolutely need a second computer, I plan to buy a laptop to serve as an adjunct to my desktop model.
admonish: warn; counsel someone against something to be avoided
E.g.I would again admonish the reader carefully to consider the nature of our doctrine.
adorn: enhance or decorate with or as if with ornaments
E.g.This small icon indicates that the plastic yard sign they adorn is either recyclable.
adroit: skillful and adept under pressing conditions
E.g.I should work in adroit references to this evening's speeches.
adulation: excessive flattery or admiration; unmerited praise
E.g.The rock star thrived on the adulation of his groupies and yes men.
adulterate: make impure by adding inferior or tainted substances
E.g.It is a crime to adulterate foods without informing the buyer.
advent: coming or arrival, especially of something extremely important
E.g.Reasoning by analogy, we can come to no other conclusion, unless their advent is anticipated by the arrival of ready-made colonists from the more advanced earth, like ourselves.
adventitious: accidental; casual; not inherent but added extrinsically
E.g.He found this adventitious meeting with his friend extremely fortunate.
adversary: opponent in contest; someone who offers opposition
E.g.The young wrestler struggled to defeat his adversary.
adverse: in opposing direction; harmful or unfavorable; acting or serving to oppose
E.g.The recession had a highly adverse effect on father's investment portfolio: he lost so much money that he could no longer afford the house.
adversity: state of misfortune, hardship, or affliction; misfortune
E.g.A young boy who's strength in adversity is an inspiration to all who know him.
advocacy: support; active pleading on behalf of something
E.g.No threats could dissuade Bishop Desmond Tutu from his advocacy of the human rights of black South Africans.
advocate: speak, plead, or argue in favour of; plead for; push for something
E.g.The some doctors advocate a smoking ban in the entire house.
aesthetic: elegant or tasteful; of or concerning appreciation of beauty or good taste
E.g.Kenneth Cole, the American designer known for his modern, urban aesthetic, is hawking $35 T-shirts.
affable: easily approachable; warmly friendly
E.g.Accustomed to cold, aloof supervisors, Nicholas was amazed at how affable his new employer was.
affected: speaking or behaving in artificial way; emotionally stirred or moved; infected or attacked
E.g.The other boys laughed so unmercifully at what they termed my affected accent.
affidavit: written statement made under oath
E.g.This is an official affidavit from the court and it is saying that the whole thing was a hoax.
affiliation: partnership; alliance; association in the same family or society
E.g.This affiliation is a way for us to be able to provide our clients with the full spectrum of services and expertise they need.
affinity: natural attraction, liking, or feeling of kinship; relationship by marriage
E.g.She felt an affinity with all who suffered; their pains were her pains.
affirmation: positive assertion; confirmation; solemn pledge by one who refuses to take an oath
E.g.Despite Tom's affirmation of innocence, Aunt Polly still suspected he had eaten the pie.
affliction: cause or condition of pain, suffering, or distress
E.g.Even in the midst of her affliction, Elizabeth tried to keep up the spirits of those around her.
affluence: abundance; a plentiful supply of material goods; wealth
E.g.Foreigners are amazed by the affluence and luxury of the American way of life.
affront: insult; offense; intentional act of disrespect
E.g.When Mrs. Proudie was not seated beside the Archdeacon at the head table, she took it as a personal affront and refused to speak to her hosts for a week.
agenda: items of business at a meeting; list or program of things to be done or considered
E.g.His agenda is certainly different from the President's and the administration's, but we will seek additional opportunities to work together with him.
agglomeration: collection; heap; act or process of gathering into a mass
E.g.It took weeks to assort the agglomeration of miscellaneous items she had collected on her trip.
aggrandize: increase scope of; extend; intensify; make greater in power, influence, stature, or reputation
E.g.The history of the past quarter century illustrates how a President may aggrandize his power to act aggressively in international affairs without considering the wishes of Congress.
aggregate: gather into a mass, sum, or whole; amount to
E.g.Before the Wall Street scandals, dealers managed to aggregate great wealth in short periods of time.
aghast: struck by shock, terror, or amazement
E.g.The film grabs you by the throat so that any feeling of being aghast is contained – and you hold on to that feeling up to the very last scene.
agility: mentally quick; moving quickly and lightly
E.g.The agility of the acrobat amazed and thrilled the audience.
agitate: cause to move with violence or sudden force; upset; disturb
E.g.However, since President has now announced that Emergency, the only demand that the lawyers can now agitate is the restoration of the old Supreme Court.
agnostic: one who is skeptical of existence of a god or any ultimate reality
E.g.William's presence by so much as a purr or a claw, and I have noticed that the agnostic is the only creature living who can treat a preacher with so much contempt.
agrarian: pertaining to land or its cultivation; relating to agricultural or rural matters
E.g.The economic relationship between the two nations has expanded during the past decade amid China's economic boom and Argentina's rise in agrarian production.
alacrity: cheerful promptness or willingness; eagerness; speed or quickness
E.g.Phil and Dave were raring to get off to the mountains; they packed up their ski gear and climbed into the van with alacrity.
alchemy: medieval chemistry; magical or mysterious power or process of transforming
E.g.The changing of baser metals into gold was the goal of the students of alchemy in medieval.
alcove: nook; small, recessed section of a room
E.g.In front of centre window in alcove is a small table on which is a parlour lamp, and some newspapers, including the "New York Sun."
alias: assumed name; another name; name that has been assumed temporarily
E.g.Since the alias is already defined in our management pack it should work fine.
alienate: cause to become unfriendly or hostile; transfer property or ownership; isolate or dissociate emotionally
E.g.We could not see what should again alienate us from one another, or how one brother could again oppress another.
alimentary: providing nourishment; concerned with food, nutrition, or digestion
E.g.The alimentary canal in our bodies is so named because digestion of foods occurs there.
alimony: payment by a husband to his divorced wife, or vice versa
E.g.Also, payer and payee can't file joint tax returns in the same year alimony is paid.
allay: calm; pacify; reduce the intensity of; relieve
E.g.The crew tried to allay the fears of the passengers by announcing that the fire had been controlled.
allege: state without proof; assert to be true
E.g.If what Justice Department prosecutors allege is true, the five guards should have to answer for what happened on Sept. 16, 2007.
allegiance: loyalty to a nation, sovereign, or cause; fidelity to any person or thing; devotion
E.g.They didn't want to salute the flag, saying that kind of allegiance is only for God.
allegory: symbolic representation of abstract ideas or principles in narrative, dramatic, or pictorial form
E.g.Pilgrim's Progress is an allegory of the temptations and victories of man's soul.
alleviate: provide physical relief, as from pain; make easier; remove in part
E.g.This should alleviate the pain; if it does not, we shall have to use stronger drugs.
alliteration: repetition of beginning sound in poetry
E.g."The furrow followed free" is an example of alliteration.
allocate: assign; distribute according to plan
E.g.Even though the Red Cross did allocate a large sum for the relief of the sufferers of the disaster, many people perished.
alloy: combine; mix; make less pure; lessen or moderate
E.g.Our concern for Dwight Gooden, who injured his pitching arm in the game, will alloy our delight at the Yankees' victory.
allude: refer casually or indirectly, or by suggestion
E.g.Try not to mention divorce in Jack's presence because he will think you allude to his marital problems with Jill.
allure: attract with something desirable; be highly, often subtly attractive
E.g.Promises of quick profits allure the unwary investor.
aloft: in or into a high place; high or higher up
E.g.It tried to remain aloft, but its flying grew wild and reckless.
altercation: noisy quarrel; contention in words; dispute carried on with heat or anger; controversy
E.g.So loud were their voices raised in altercation that the storm without was scarce heeded.
altruistic: unselfishly generous; concerned for others
E.g.In providing tutorial assistance and college scholarships for hundreds of economically disadvantaged youths, Eugene Lang performed a truly altruistic deed.
amalgamate: combine; unite in one body; mix or alloy a metal with mercury
E.g.The unions will attempt to amalgamate their groups into one national body.
amass: collect; gather for oneself, as for one's pleasure or profit
E.g.The miser's aim is to amass and hoard as much gold as possible.
ambidextrous: capable of using either hand with equal ease
E.g.A switch-hitter in baseball should be naturally ambidextrous.
ambience: particular environment or surrounding influence; atmosphere of environment
E.g.A certain ambience is lost when you choose a tampon over a cocktail glass at a party.
ambiguous: unclear or doubtful in meaning
E.g.His ambiguous instructions misled us; we did not know which road to take.
ambivalence: state of having contradictory or conflicting emotional attitudes, such as love and hate
E.g.Torn between loving her parents one minute and hating them the next, she was confused by the ambivalence of her feelings.
amble: moving at an easy pace; walk slowly or leisurely
E.g.When she first mounted the horse, she was afraid to urge the animal to go faster than a gentle amble.
ambrosia: something with delicious flavor or fragrance; fruit dessert made of oranges and bananas with shredded coconut
E.g.Hughes got a taste of that ambrosia, and he'll never forget the satisfaction it brings.
ambulatory: able to walk; formed or adapted for walking; not stationary
E.g.Juan was a highly ambulatory patient; not only did he refuse to be confined to bed, but he insisted on riding his skateboard up and down the halls.
ambush: disposition or arrangement of troops for attacking an enemy unexpectedly from a concealed station
E.g.They separated into three hostile tribes, and darted upon each other from ambush with dreadful war-whoops, and killed each other by thousands.
ameliorate: make or become better; improve; grow better
E.g.Many social workers have attempted to ameliorate the conditions of people living in the slums.
amenable: responsive to advice or suggestion; responsible to higher authority; willing to comply with; agreeable
E.g.He was amenable to any suggestions that came from those he looked up to.
amend: change for the better; improve; remove faults or errors
E.g.Would McCain amend executive orders to ensure that communications between persons outside government and White House staff are disclosed to the public?
amenities: convenient features; courtesies
E.g.In addition to the customary amenities for the business traveler-fax machines, modems, a health club-the hotel offers the services of a butler versed in the social courtesies.
amiable: good-natured and likable; lovable; warmly friendly
E.g.In Little Women, Beth is the amiable daughter whose loving disposition endears her to all who know her.
amicable: exhibiting friendliness or goodwill; not quarrelsome
E.g.Beth's sister Jo is the hot-tempered tomboy who has a hard time maintaining amicable relations with those around her.
amiss: out of proper order; not in perfect shape; faulty
E.g.I knew that weapons would not come in amiss, and I re-entered his room to get his rifle and shot-gun.
amity: friendship; peaceful relations, as between nations
E.g.Student exchange programs such as the Experiment in International Living were established to promote international amity.
amnesia: partial or total loss of memory, usually resulting from shock or illness
E.g.Selective amnesia is a politically valuable trait.
amnesty: general pardon granted by government, especially for political offenses
E.g.If the amnesty is approved by parliament, it will apply to capital stashed in off-shore tax havens up to the end of last year.
amoral: lacking moral sensibility; not caring about right and wrong.
E.g.Compared with evil immorality, being amoral is more like being naughty.
amorous: moved by sexual love; loving
E.g."Love them and leave them" was the motto of the amorous Don Juan.
amorphous: formless; lacking shape or definition
E.g.As soon as we have decided on our itinerary, we shall send you a copy; right now, our plans are still amorphous.
amphibian: able to live both on land and in water
E.g.Frogs are classified as amphibian.
amphitheater: oval building with tiers of seats from central open space or arena
E.g.The spectators in the amphitheater cheered the gladiators.
ample: more than enough in size or scope or capacity; fairly large
E.g.They insist that food are being provided to the Palestinians in ample supplies, and that the only way to weaken Hamas is to maintain the blockade.
amputate: cut off part of body, especially by surgery; prune
E.g.When the doctors had to amputate the young man's leg to prevent the spread of cancer, he did not let the loss of a limb keep him from participating in sports.
amulet: object worn, especially around neck, as a charm against evil or injury; charm
E.g.In Thailand, the Jatukam Ramathep amulet is popular with everyone from Bangkok bankers to village taxi drivers.
analgesic: serving to reduce sensibility to pain without loss of consciousness
E.g.The analgesic qualities of this lotion will provide temporary relief.
analogous: comparable; similar or alike
E.g.She called our attention to the things that had been done in an analogous situation and recommended that we do the same.
analogy: similarity in some respects; comparison based on similarity
E.g.This analogy is almost always noted without further comment, although in fact it may be taken further.
anarchist: person who seeks to overturn established government; advocate of abolishing authority
E.g.Denying she was an anarchist, Katya maintained she wished only to make changes in our government, not to destroy it entirely.
anarchy: absence of governing body; state of disorder; political disorder and confusion
E.g.One might say that eastern Congo is already in anarchy, but Congo has faded from the headlines in recent months.
anathema: solemn curse; someone or something regarded as a curse
E.g.To the Ayatolla, America and the West were anathema; he loathed the democratic nations, cursing them in his dying words.
ancestry: family descent; series or line of ancestors; lineage
E.g.David can trace his ancestry as far back as the seventeenth century, when one of them was a court trumpeter somewhere in Germany.
anchor: secure or fasten firmly; be fixed in place; narrate or coordinate
E.g.We set the post in concrete to anchor it in place.
ancillary: serving as aid or accessory; auxiliary
E.g.In an ancillary capacity, Doctor Watson was helpful; however, Holmes could not trust the good doctor to solve a perplexing case on his own.
anecdote: short account of amusing or interesting event; short narrative; secret story of history or biography
E.g.Of all the millions who are moved by this historic occasion, while I am amongst these, my anecdote is and would be far less remarkable.
anemia: condition in which blood lacks red corpuscles; deficiency of red blood cells; lack of vitality
E.g.Long standing illnesses often result in anemia, loss of weight and occasional bleeding from the stomach.
anesthetic: substance that causes loss of sensation; producing temporary loss or impairment of feeling
E.g.His monotonous voice acted like an anesthetic; his audience was soon asleep.
anguish: agonizing physical or mental pain; extreme suffering
E.g.Visiting the site of the explosion, the governor wept to see the anguish of the victims and their families.
angular: sharp-cornered; consisting of an angle or angles; stiff in manner
E.g.Mr. Spock's features, though angular, were curiously attractive, in a Vulcan way.
animated: having life or vigor or spirit; filled with activity; in form of cartoon
E.g.On entering his room I found Holmes in animated conversation with two men.
animosity: bitter hostility; active hatred; hostile feeling or act
E.g.I will also say, though, I've worked for Bill Clinton for years, and Bill Clinton, another Democrat who pushed socially responsible programs, got a lot of animosity from the right.
animus: feeling of enmity or ill will; attitude that informs one's actions; disposition
E.g.The animus of the speaker became obvious to all when he began to indulge in sarcastic and insulting remarks.
annals: chronological record of the events of successive years
E.g.In the annals of this period, we find no mention of democratic movements.
annex: append or attach; take possession of; incorporate into an existing political unit
E.g.Mexico objected to the United States' attempts to annex the territory that later became the state of Texas.
annihilate: destroy completely; reduce to nonexistence
E.g.The enemy in its revenge tried to annihilate the entire population.
annotate: comment; make explanatory notes
E.g.In the appendix to the novel, the editor sought to annotate many of the author's more esoteric references.
annuity: annual payment of allowance or income; periodical payment, amounting to a fixed sum in each year
E.g.The annuity he setup with the insurance company supplements his social security benefits so that he can live very comfortably without working.
annul: make or declare void or invalid; reduce to nothing
E.g.The parents of the eloped couple tried to annul the marriage.
anodyne: source of relaxation or comfort; medicine that relieves pain
E.g.The sound of classical music is usually just anodyne I need after a tough day at work.
anoint: apply oil or similar substance to; put oil on during religious ceremony as a sign of sanctification or consecration.
E.g.He described how the prophet Samuel to anoint David with oil, crown him king of Israel.
anomalous: deviating from normal or common order, form, or rule
E.g.He was placed in the anomalous position of seeming to approve procedures which he despised.
anomaly: irregularity; person or something that is unusual; departure from normal or common order
E.g.No doubt, this anomaly is the result of the uncertain international environment and high interest rates.
anonymity: state of being nameless; one that is unknown or unacknowledged
E.g.In my view, death in anonymity is the ultimate insult to human dignity.
antagonism: active resistance; condition of being an opposing principle, force, or factor
E.g.Barry showed his antagonism toward his new stepmother by ignoring her whenever she tried talking to him.
antecede: precede; go before in time, and sometimes in place, rank, or logical order
E.g.The invention of the radiotelegraph should antecede the development of television by a quarter of a century.
antecedents: preceding events or circumstances that influence what comes later; ancestors or early background
E.g.Smuggled out of Germany and adopted by a Christian family, she knew nothing of her birth and antecedents until she was reunited with her family in 1989.
antediluvian: antiquated; extremely old and ancient; belonging to very ancient times
E.g.Looking at his great aunt's antique furniture, which must have been cluttering up her attic since the time of Noah's flood, the young heir exclaimed, "Heavens! How positively antediluvian!".
anthem: song of praise or patriotism; song of devotion or loyalty
E.g.Let us now all join in singing the national anthem.
anthology: book of literary selections by various authors
E.g.This anthology of science fiction was compiled by the late Isaac Asimov.
anthropoid: manlike; resembling a human, especially in shape or outward appearance
E.g.The gorilla is the strongest of the anthropoid animals.
anthropologist: one who studies history and science of mankind
E.g.Eighty-three years ago, an anthropologist from the Field Museum dug up the remains of 22 people from marked graves in Labrador, Canada.
anthropomorphic: having human form or characteristics
E.g.Primitive religions often have deities with anthropomorphic characteristics.
anticlimax: letdown in thought or emotion; decline viewed in disappointing contrast with previous rise
E.g.After the fine performance in the first act, the rest of the play was an anticlimax.
antidote: medicine to counteract a poison or disease; agent that relieves or counteracts
E.g.They believe that because this anti-heroin antidote is what finally worked with some of the victims.
antipathy: strong feeling of aversion; dislike
E.g.Tom's extreme antipathy for disputes keeps him from getting into arguments with his temperamental wife.
antiquated: too old to be fashionable, suitable, or useful; obsolete; aged
E.g.We are tolerably conversant with the early English poets; and can discover no resemblance whatever, except in antiquated spelling and a few obsolete words.
antiseptic: substance that prevents infection; substance that restricts the growth of disease-causing microorganisms
E.g.Regular washing with antiseptic is often enough to heal a skin infection.
antithesis: contrast; direct contrast; opposition
E.g.This tyranny was the antithesis of all that he had hoped for, and he fought it with all his strength.
anvil: heavy block of iron or steel with a smooth, flat top on which metals are shaped by hammering;
E.g.The man put the iron block on the anvil.
apathy: lack of caring; indifference
E.g.A firm believer in democratic government, she could not understand the apathy of people who never bothered to vote.
aperture: opening; diameter of such an opening; hole
E.g.She discovered a small aperture in the wall, through which the insects had entered the room.
apex: highest point; vertex; summit; climax
E.g.He was at the apex of his career: he had climbed to the top of the heap.
aphasia: loss of speech due to injury or illness
E.g.After the automobile accident, the victim had periods of aphasia when he could not speak at all or could only mumble incoherently.
aphorism: definition or concise statement of principle; tersely phrased statement of truth or opinion
E.g.An aphorism differs from an adage in that it is more philosophical or scientific.
apiary: place where bees and beehives are kept, especially where bees are raised for their honey
E.g.Although he spent many hours daily in the apiary, he was very seldom stung by a bee.
aplomb: poise; self-confident assurance
E.g.Gwen's aplomb in handling potentially embarrassing moments was legendary around the office; when one of her clients broke a piece of her best crystal, she coolly picked up her own goblet and hurled it into the fireplace.
apocalyptic: prophetic; involving or portending widespread devastation
E.g.The crowd jeered preacher's apocalyptic predictions of doom at the street.
apocryphal: untrue; of questionable authorship or authenticity; erroneous; fictitious
E.g.To impress his friends, Tom invented apocryphal tales of his adventures in the big city.
apogee: the highest point; point in orbit most distant from the body being orbited
E.g.When the moon in its orbit is farthest away from the earth, it is at its apogee.
apolitical: having aversion or lack of concern for political affairs
E.g.It was hard to remain apolitical during the Vietnam War; even people who generally ignored public issues felt they had to take political stands.
apologist: person who argues in defense or justification of something, such as doctrine, policy, or institution
E.g.Finally, the fifth item mentioned by the apologist is the rigid monotheism which stamps the whole volume.
apostate: one who abandons his religious faith or political beliefs
E.g.Because he switched from one party to another, his former friends shunned him as an apostate.
apotheosis: elevation to godhood; fact or action of becoming a god; an ideal example of something
E.g.The apotheosis of a Roman emperor was designed to insure his eternal greatness: people would worship at his altar forever.
appall: depress or discourage with fear; grow faint or become weak
E.g.The horrifying conditions in the city's jails might appall you.
apparent: capable of being seen, or easily seen; open to view; visible to eye
E.g.It was apparent to all that he was guilty.
apparition: ghostly figure; sudden or unusual sight; appearance; state of being visible
E.g.On the castle battlements, an apparition materialized and spoke to Hamlet, warning him of his uncle's treachery.
appease: bring peace, quiet, or calm to; satisfy or relieve
E.g.Tom and Jody tried to appease the crying baby by offering him one toy after another, but he would not calm down until they pacified his hunger by giving him a bottle.
appellation: name; title; act of naming; act of appealing for aid, sympathy
E.g.Macbeth was startled when the witches greeted him with an incorrect appellation. Why did they call him Thane of Cawdor, he wondered, when the holder of that title still lived?.
append: attach; add as supplement or appendix
E.g.When you append a bibliography to a text, you have just created an supplementary material.
application: close attention; work of applying something; verbal or written request for assistance
E.g.Pleased with how well Tom had whitewashed the fence, Aunt Polly praised him for his application to the task.
apposite: strikingly appropriate and relevant; well-suited
E.g.He was always able to find the apposite phrase, the correct expression for every occasion.
appraise: estimate value of; evaluate, especially in official capacity
E.g.It is difficult to appraise the value of old paintings; it is easier to call them priceless.
appreciate: be thankful for; increase in worth; be thoroughly conscious of
E.g.I am truly thankful for the stocks, which would appreciate in value considerably in future years.
apprehend: take into custody; arrest a criminal; grasp mentally; perceive
E.g.The police will apprehend the culprit and convict him.
apprehensive: capable of apprehending; knowing; conscious; relating to the faculty of apprehension; sensible; feeling; perceptive
E.g.Here I walked about for a long time, feeling very strange, and mortally apprehensive of some one coming in and kidnapping me.
apprise: inform; give notice to; make aware
E.g.If you apprise him the dangerous weather conditions, he has to postpone his trip.
approbation: expression of warm approval; praise
E.g.She looked for some sign of approbation from her parents, hoping her good grades would please them.
apropos: with reference or regard; in respect
E.g.I'll admit - this list is completely in apropos of nothing.
aptitude: inherent ability; quickness in learning and understanding
E.g.The counselor gave him an aptitude test before advising him about the career he should follow.
aquiline: curved or hooked like an eagle's beak
E.g.He can be recognized by his aquiline nose, curved like the beak of the eagle.
arable: fit for growing crops, as by plowing
E.g.The first settlers wrote home glowing reports of the New World, praising its vast acres of arable land ready for the plow.
arbiter: person with power to decide a dispute; judge
E.g.As an arbiter in labor disputes, she has won the confidence of the workers and the employers.
arbitrary: randomly chosen; determined by chance or impulse, and not by reason or principle
E.g.He threw an arbitrary assortment of clothes into his suitcase and headed off, not caring where he went.
arboreal: tree-dwelling; treelike; living in trees
E.g.Learn about the arboreal emblems that represent the provinces and territories of Canada.
arboretum: place where different tree varieties are exhibited
E.g.Walking along the tree-lined paths of the arboretum, Rita noted poplars, firs, and some particularly fine sycamores.
arcade: covered passageway, usually lined with shops; simple arched opening in a wall; vault or vaulted place
E.g.The arcade was popular with shoppers because it gave them protection from the summer sun and the winter rain.
arcane: secret; mysterious; known only to the initiated
E.g.Secret brotherhoods surround themselves with arcane rituals and trappings to mystify outsiders.
archaeology: study of artifacts and relics of early mankind
E.g.The professor of archaeology headed an expedition to the Gobi Desert in search of ancient ruins.
archaic: no longer current or applicable; antiquated
E.g."Methinks," "thee," and "thou" are archaic words that are no longer part of our normal vocabulary.
archetype: prototype; original model or type after which other similar things are patterned
E.g.The Brooklyn Bridge was the archetype of the many spans that now connect Manhattan with Long Island and New Jersey.
archipelago: group of closely located islands
E.g.When I looked at the map and saw the archipelago in the South Seas, I longed to visit them.
archives: public records; place where public records are kept
E.g.These documents should be part of the archives so that historians may be able to evaluate them in the future.
arduous: demanding great effort or labor; difficult
E.g.Her arduous efforts had sapped her energy.
aria: operatic solo; solo vocal piece with instrumental accompaniment
E.g.Of course, throwing a pop star at an aria is a particularly uninspired solution.
arid: dry; lacking moisture, especially having insufficient rainfall to support trees or plants
E.g.The cactus has adapted to survive in an arid environment.
aristocracy: hereditary nobility; privileged class
E.g.Americans have mixed feelings about hereditary aristocracy.
armada: a fleet of warships; a large group of moving things
E.g.Queen Elizabeth's navy defeated the mighty armada that threatened the English coast.
aromatic: fragrant or sweet-smelling; caused by fragrant odor
E.g.Medieval sailing vessels brought aromatic herbs from China to Europe.
arraign: officially charge someone in a court of law
E.g.After his indictment by the Grand Jury, the County Criminal Court should arraign the accused man.
array: set out for display or use; place in orderly arrangement
E.g.He requested to array the whole regiment on the parade ground.
arrears: being in debt; unpaid, overdue debt or an unfulfilled obligation
E.g.He was in arrears with his payments on the car.
arroyo: deep gully; a dry gulch; brook or creek; watercourse
E.g.Until the heavy rains of the past spring, this arroyo had been a dry bed.
arsenal: storage place for military equipment; stock of weapons
E.g.People are forbidden to smoke in the arsenal for fear that a stray spark might set off the munitions stored there.
artery: one of the vessels or tubes which carry either venous or arterial blood from the heart; major transit corridor
E.g.The Yangtze River is the main artery of traffic in center China.
articulate: expressing oneself easily in clear and effective language
E.g.Her articulate presentation of the advertising campaign impressed her employers.
artifice: subtle but base deception; trickery; cleverness or skill; ingenuity
E.g.The Trojan War proved to the Greeks that cunning and artifice were often more effective than military might.
artisan: manually skilled worker; craftsman, as opposed to artist
E.g.A noted artisan, Arturo was known for the fine craftsmanship.
artless: free of artificiality; natural; open and honest
E.g.Sophisticated and cynical, Jack could not believe Jill was as artless and naive as she appeared to be.
ascendancy: superiority or decisive advantage; domination
E.g.Leaders of religious cults maintain ascendancy over their followers by methods that can verge on brainwashing.
ascertain: find out for certain; discover with certainty; make sure of
E.g.Please ascertain her present address.
ascetic: leading a life of self-discipline and self-denial; austere
E.g.The wealthy, self-indulgent young man felt oddly drawn to the strict, ascetic life led by members of some monastic orders.
ascribe: inscribe or dedicate; attribute to a specified cause, source, or origin; assign as a quality
E.g.Other people ascribe his exclusion from the canon to an unsubtle form of racism.
aseptic: preventing infection; having cleansing effect
E.g.Hospitals succeeded in lowering the mortality rate as soon as they introduced aseptic conditions.
ashen: ash-colored; very pale; consisting of ashes
E.g.Her face was ashen with fear.
asinine: utterly stupid or silly; inanely foolish
E.g.Your asinine remarks prove that you have not given this problem any serious consideration.
askance: with sideways or indirect look; Turned to side, especially of eyes
E.g.Looking askance at her questioner, she displayed her scorn.
askew: turned or twisted toward one side; at an angle
E.g.When he placed his hat askew upon his head, his observers laughed.
asperity: sharpness of temper; roughness or harshness, as of surface, sound, or climate
E.g.These remarks, spoken with asperity, stung the boys to whom they had been directed.
aspirant: one who aspires, as to advancement, honors, or a high position
E.g.Although I am an aspirant for public office, I am not willing to accept the dictates of the party bosses.
aspire: seek to attain; long for; strive toward an end
E.g.If you aspire to a career in professional sports, please enroll in a graduate program in sports management.
assail: assault; attack with or as if with violent blows
E.g.These days nightmares assail him regularly.
assay: analyze; evaluate; examine by trial or experiment; put to test
E.g.When they assay the ore, they find that they have discovered a very rich vein.
assent: express agreement to what is alleged or proposed; accept
E.g.It gives me great pleasure to assent to your request.
assiduous: constant in application or attention; diligent; unceasing or persistent
E.g.He was assiduous, working at this task for weeks before he felt satisfied with his results.
assimilate: incorporate and absorb into mind; make similar; cause to resemble
E.g.The manner in which the United States was able to assimilate immigrants during the 19th and early 20th century will always be a source of pride to Americans.
assuage: ease or lessen pain; satisfy or appease
E.g.Jilted by Jane, Dick tried to assuage his heartache by indulging in ice cream.
assumption: something taken for accepted as true without proof; taking over or taking possession of
E.g.The young princess made the foolish assumption that the regent would not object to power.
asteroid: small planet; any small celestial bodies that revolve around the sun
E.g.With Vista at opposition, the asteroid is at its closest point to Earth in its orbit.
astigmatism: eye defect that prevents proper focus
E.g.As soon as his parents discovered that the boy suffered from astigmatism, they took him to the optometrist for corrective glasses.
astral: relating to stars; star-shaped
E.g.She was amazed at the number of astral bodies the new telescope revealed.
astringent: causing contraction; having the effect of drawing tissue together; stern or austere
E.g.The juice from the last pressing being very dark and astringent, is put with the inferior wine.
astronomical: enormously large or extensive; relating to astronomy
E.g.The government seems willing to spend astronomical sums on weapons development.
asunder: into separate parts or pieces; apart
E.g.A fierce quarrel split the partnership asunder: the two partners finally sundered their connections because their points of view were poles apart.
asylum: place of refuge or shelter; protection
E.g.The refugees sought asylum from religious persecution in a new land.
asymmetric: not identical on both sides of a dividing central line
E.g.Because one eyebrow was set markedly higher than the other, William's face had a particularly asymmetric appearance.
atavism: resemblance to remote ancestors rather than to parents; deformity returning after passage of two or more generations
E.g.The doctors ascribed the child's deformity to an atavism.
atheistic: denying existence of God; godless
E.g.His atheistic remarks shocked the religious worshippers.
atone: make amends, as for sin or fault; pay for; turn away from sin
E.g.He knew no way in which he could atone for his brutal crime.
atrocity: brutal deed; atrocious condition, quality, or behavior; monstrousness
E.g.Unfortunately, the normal social reaction to atrocity is to banish it from our awareness.
atrophy: wasting away; decrease in size; reduction in the functionality of an organ caused by disease
E.g.It confirms earlier research showing a link between brain atrophy and low levels of B12.
attentive: alert and watchful; considerate; thoughtful
E.g.Spellbound, the attentive audience watched the final game of the tennis match, never taking their eyes from the ball.
attenuate: make slender, fine, or small; weaken; lessen density of
E.g.By withdrawing their forces, the generals hoped to attenuate the enemy lines.
attest: testify; authenticate, affirm to be true
E.g.Having served as a member of the Grand Jury, I can attest that our system of indicting individuals is in need of improvement.
attire: clothing; dress
E.g.I will attire my Jane in satin and lace, and she shall have roses in her hair; and I will cover the head I love best with a priceless veil.
attribute: essential quality; reputation; honor
E.g.His outstanding attribute was his kindness.
attrition: gradual decrease in numbers; reduction in work force without firing employees; wearing away of opposition by means of harassment
E.g.In the 1960s urban churches suffered from attrition as members moved from the cities to the suburbs.
atypical: not normal; unusual or irregular; not representative of a group, class, or type
E.g.The child psychiatrist reassured Mrs. Keaton that playing doctor was not atypical behavior for a child of young Alex's age. "Yes," she replied, "but not charging for house calls!".
audacious: fearlessly, often recklessly daring; bold
E.g.Audiences cheered as Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia made their audacious, death defying leap to freedom, escaping Darth Vader's troops.
audit: examination of accounts; adjustment or correction of accounts
E.g.When the bank examiners arrived to hold their annual audit, they discovered the embezzlements of the chief cashier.
augment: make greater, as in size, extent, or quantity
E.g.Armies augment their forces by calling up reinforcements.
augury: sign of something coming; art or practice of foretelling events by signs or omens
E.g.He interpreted the departure of the birds as an augury of evil.
august: impressive; majestic; inspiring awe or admiration
E.g.Visiting the palace at Versailles, she was impressed by the august surroundings in which she found herself.
auroral: characteristic of dawn; dawning, eastern, like new beginning; relating to the atmospheric phenomenon auroras
E.g.The auroral display was particularly spectacular that evening.
auspicious: attended by favorable circumstances; marked by success; prosperous
E.g.With favorable weather conditions, it was an auspicious moment to set sail.
authenticate: prove genuine; establish authenticity of
E.g.An expert was needed to authenticate the original Van Gogh painting, distinguishing it from its imitation.
authoritative: having weight of authority; peremptory and dictatorial
E.g.Impressed by the young researcher's well-documented presentation, we accepted her analysis of the experiment as authoritative.
autocratic: having absolute, unchecked power; dictatorial
E.g.Someone accustomed to exercising authority may become autocratic if his or her power is unchecked.
automaton: mechanism that imitates actions of humans
E.g.Long before science fiction readers became aware of robots, at this book writer was presenting a story of automaton who could outperform men.
autonomous: self-governing; not controlled by others or by outside forces; independent
E.g.Although the University of California at Berkeley is just one part of the state university system, in many ways it is autonomous, for it runs several programs that are not subject to outside control.
autopsy: examination of dead body; post-mortem
E.g.The medical examiner ordered an autopsy to determine the cause of death.
auxiliary: helper, additional or subsidiary
E.g.To prepare for the emergency, they built an auxiliary power station.
avalanche: great mass of falling snow and ice
E.g.The park ranger warned the skiers to stay on the main trails, where they would be in no danger of being buried beneath a sudden avalanche.
avarice: greediness for wealth; insatiable desire of gain
E.g.King Midas is a perfect example of avarice, for he was so greedy that he wished everything he touched would turn to gold.
avenge: take vengeance for something, or on behalf of someone
E.g.Hamlet vowed he would avenge his father's murder and punish Claudius for his horrible crime.
aver: declare to be true; affirm
E.g.The witnesses aver that he was holding a gun.
averse: reluctant; disinclined; turned away or backward; unwilling
E.g.The reporter was averse to revealing the sources of his information.
aversion: firm dislike; turning away; avoidance of a thing, situation, or behavior because of dislike
E.g.Risk aversion is one of the most serious problems and largest cost of our human space flight.
avert: prevent; turn or cause to turn off or away
E.g.She had to avert her eyes from the dead cat on the highway.
aviary: large cage, building, or inclosure in which birds are reared or kept
E.g.The aviary at the zoo held nearly 300 birds.
avid: greedy; eager for; marked by keen interest and enthusiasm
E.g.He was avid for learning and read everything he could get.
avocation: activity taken up in addition to one's regular work or profession, usually for enjoyment
E.g.His hobby proved to be so fascinating and profitable that gradually he abandoned his regular occupation and concentrated on his avocation.
avow: declare openly; acknowledge openly, boldly, and unashamedly
E.g.Lana began to avow that she never meant to steal Debbie's boyfriend.
avuncular: in manner of uncle, pertaining to uncle; kind, genial, benevolent or tolerant
E.g.Avuncular pride did not prevent him from noticing his nephew's shortcomings.
awe: mixed emotion of reverence, respect, dread, and wonder; fear, as of something evil
E.g.The tourists gazed with awe at the tremendous expanse of the Grand Canyon.
awful: causing fear, dread, or terror; extremely bad or unpleasant; terrible
E.g.He says the budget is in awful shape and we need to take steps to fix it.
awry: in a position that is turned toward one side; away from correct course
E.g.He held his head awry, giving the impression that he had caught cold in his neck during the night.
axiom: self-evident truth requiring no proof
E.g.Before a student can begin to think along the lines of Euclidean geometry, he must accept certain principle or axiom.
azure: sky blue; light purplish-blue
E.g.Azure skies are indicative of good weather.
babble: talk foolishly or idly; utter meaningless confusion of words or sounds
E.g.The little girl likes to babble about her doll.
bacchanalian: drunken; relating to reveling and drunkenness
E.g.Emperor Nero attended the bacchanalian orgy.
badger: pester; annoy persistently; persuade through constant efforts
E.g.She is forced to change her telephone number because obscene phone calls badger her.
E.g.Technically, anyone who belongs to the middle class is bourgeois, but, most people resent it if you call them that.
bout: contest between antagonists; contest or fight; a period of time spent in a particular way, as in illness
E.g.She's still recovering from a bout of flu.
bovine: dull, slow-moving, and stolid, like an ox; placid and dull
E.g.Nothing excites Esther; even when she won the state lottery, she still preserved her air of bovine calm.
bowdlerize: edit by omitting or modifying parts considered offensive, vulgar, or otherwise unseemly
E.g.After the film editors finished to bowdlerize the language in the script, the motion picture's rating was changed from "R" to "PG.".
braggart: boaster; one given to loud, empty boasting; very talkative person
E.g.Modest by nature, she was no braggart, preferring to let her accomplishments speak for themselves.
braid: weave; interweave three or more strands
E.g.Have you ever wanted to braid your own hair or someone else's hair?
brand: burning piece of wood; mark made by burning with a hot iron; distinctive mark upon in any way
E.g.He has his own brand of humor and always brings laugh for us.
brandish: move or wave, as a weapon; raise and move in various directions
E.g.Doctor Watson began to wildly brandish his gun until Holmes told him to put the thing away before he shot himself.
bravado: defiant or swaggering behavior; pretense of courage; false show of bravery
E.g.The bravado of the young criminal disappeared when he was confronted by the victims of his brutal attack.
brawl: fight; noisy quarrel or fight; loud party
E.g.Last week, two local men were killed in a brawl.
brawn: solid and well-developed muscles, especially of the arms and legs
E.g.In the mean time, his broad brawn is scratched by one of his grooms.
brazen: having loud, usually harsh, resonant sound; shameless
E.g.What's beyond brazen is they are demanding this trust while simultaneously refusing to disclose any evidence that shows whether they've already violated the trust.
breach: breaking of contract or duty
E.g.Jill sued Jack for breach of promise, claiming he had broken his promise to marry her.
breadth: measure or dimension from side to side; width; extent
E.g.We were impressed by the breadth of her knowledge.
breed: raise; produce offspring; give birth to or hatch; mate
E.g.In a fast neutron reactor, this process is optimized so that it can breed fuel, often using a depleted uranium blanket around the core.
brevity: quality or state of being brief in duration; concise expression
E.g.Brevity is essential when you send a telegram or cablegram; you are charged for every word.
brim: brink; edge
E.g.She shut her book and slowly looked up; her hat brim partially shaded her face, yet I could see, as she raised it, that it was a strange one.
brindled: of brownish, tawny colour, with streaks, spots, or patterns
E.g.He was disappointed in the litter because the puppies were brindled, he had hoped for animals of a uniform color.
brink: edge, margin, or border of a steep place verge
E.g.Beyond the verge of provocation I never ventured; on the extreme brink I liked well to try my skill.
brisk: marked by speed, liveliness, and vigor; energetic; swift; keen or sharp in speech or manner
E.g."Come in!" called a brisk, familiar voice, as Ronny knocked lightly on the almost closed door.
bristling: rising like bristles; showing irritation
E.g.The dog stood there, bristling with anger.
brittle: easily broken; having little elasticity
E.g.My employer's self-control was as brittle as an egg-shell.
broach: introduce; bring up for discussion or debate; announce
E.g.Jack did not even try to broach the subject of religion with his in-laws.
brochure: pamphlet; small book usually having paper cover
E.g.This brochure on farming was issued by the Department of Agriculture.
broil: cook by direct exposure to heat over fire; subject to great heat; be subjected to the action of heat; be greatly heated
E.g.I have to broil in this hot sun to get them back!
brooch: ornamental clasp; decorative pin worn by women
E.g.The brooch was a gift from Burton and she wore it when she wed him.
brood: think long and anxiously; be in a state of gloomy, serious thought
E.g.It's no use to brood over one's past mistakes.
brook: creek; stream
E.g.At the bottom of the hill ran a little brook, and on the opposite side of it was a bank.
browbeat: bully; intimidate; discourage or frighten with threats
E.g.Billy resisted Ted's attempts browbeat him into handing over his lunch money.
browse: graze; skim or glance at casually
E.g."How now, brown cow, browsing in the green, green grass." I remember lines of verse that I came across while I browse through the poetry section of the local bookstore.
bruise: injure, as by a blow or collision; contuse; fight with the fists
E.g.She fell, but did not bruise her knee in such a soft land.
brunt: main impact or shock; main burden
E.g.Tom Sawyer claimed credit for painting the fence, but the brunt of the work fell on others.
brusque: abrupt and curt in manner or speech; rudely abrupt, unfriendly
E.g.Was Bruce too brusque when he brushed off Bob's request with a curt "Not now!"?.
buccaneer: pirate; robber upon the sea
E.g.At Disneyland a pirate of the Caribbean sings a song about his live as bloody buccaneer.
bucolic: rustic; pastoral; agricultural; relating to country affairs, or to shepherd's life and occupation
E.g.Filled with browsing cows and bleating sheep, the meadow was a charmingly bucolic sight.
buffoon: one who makes a practice of amusing others by low tricks, antic gestures; droll; mimic; clown
E.g.This buffoon is the most self-centered idiot I have ever seen or heard.
buffoonery: clowning; arts and practices of buffoon, as low jests, ridiculous pranks, vulgar tricks and postures
E.g.In the Ace Ventura movies, Jim Carrey's buffoonery was hilarious: like Bozo the Clown, he's a natural buffoon.
bulge: cause to curve outward; swell up; stick out; protrude
E.g.When the inserted balloon is filled with water, they bulge out in a variety of shapes.
bulk: majority; main part; volume; mass
E.g.Canada's largest bulk food retailer, it has more than 112 stores.
bullion: gold and silver in the form of bars
E.g.Much bullion is stored in the vaults at Fort Knox.
bully: noisy, blustering fellow; one who is threatening and quarrelsome; insolent, tyrannical fellow
E.g.I found early in life that the best way to defeat a bully is a punch to the nose.
bulwark: earthwork or other strong defense; person who defends
E.g.The navy is our principal bulwark against invasion.
bump: impact as from a collision; lump on the body caused by a blow
E.g.Have you ever found a small lump or a bump on your body?
bungle: mismanage; blunder; work or act in clumsy, awkward, or blundering manner
E.g.Don't botch this assignment, Bumstead; if you bungle the job, you're fired!.
buoyant: able to float; cheerful and optimistic
E.g.When the boat capsized, her buoyant life jacket kept Jody afloat.
bureaucracy: over-regulated administrative system
E.g.The Internal Revenue Service is the ultimate bureaucracy. Taxpayers wasted so much paper filling out IRS forms that the IRS bureaucrats printed up a new set of rules requiring taxpayers to comply with the Paper-work Reduction Act.
burgeon: grow forth; send out buds; grow or develop rapidly
E.g.In the spring, the plants that burgeon are a promise of the beauty to come.
burlesque: give an imitation that ridicules; imitate mockingly or humorously
E.g.In Spaceballs, we see Rick Moranis burlesque Darth Vader of Star Wars, outrageously parodying Vader's stiff walk and hollow voice.
burnish: make shiny by rubbing; polish
E.g.I burnish the brass fixtures until they reflect the lamplight.
buttress: support physically; prop up; support something or someone by supplying evidence
E.g.The attorney came up with several far-fetched arguments in a vain attempt to buttress his weak case.
buxom: healthily plump and ample of figure; full-bosomed; vigorous; jolly
E.g.A generation ago, fat babies were considered healthy and buxom actresses were popular, but society has since come to worship thinness.
cabal: small group of persons secretly united to promote their own interests
E.g.The number of Republicans who support this man and his cabal is astonishing, but nothing will change the minds of that percentage.
cache: hiding place; secret store of valuables or money
E.g.The detectives followed the suspect until he led them to the cache where he had stored his loot.
E.g.As we examine ancient manuscripts, we become impressed with the calligraphy of the scribes.
callous: emotionally hardened; unfeeling
E.g.He had worked in the hospital for so many years that he was callous to the suffering in the wards.
callow: youthful; immature; inexperienced; without feathers
E.g.As a freshman, Jack was sure he was a man of the world; as a sophomore, he made fun of freshmen as callow youths.
calorific: capable of producing heat; causing heat; heating
E.g.Coal is much more calorific than green wood.
calumny: false statement maliciously made to injure another's reputation; slander
E.g.He could endure his financial failure, but he could not bear the calumny that his foes heaped upon him.
camaraderie: good-fellowship; companionship; close friendship in friends or teammates
E.g.What he loved best about his job was the sense of camaraderie he and his coworkers shared.
candor: frankness; quality of being honest and straightforward in attitude and speech
E.g.Jack can carry candor too far: when he told Jill his honest opinion of her, she nearly slapped his face.
canine: related to dogs; dog-like; affecting or derived from dogs
E.g.If your canine is able to sit when you tell it to then this means that you have a lot of control over your animal.
canker: corroding or sloughing ulcer; anything which corrodes, corrupts, or destroy; disease incident to trees, causing the bark to rot and fall off
E.g.Drug addiction is a dangerous canker in society.
canny: having pleasing or useful qualities; gentle; knowing; cautious; cunning; shrewd
E.g.The first and most immediate of these is a certain canny captain of many wars whose regiment is still at the disposal of either army.
cant: inclination or slope; slanted or oblique surface; jargon, especially of thieves; dialect
E.g.Often she's understood what I was trying to accomplish with the book before I did, and has gently but firmly brought me into line whenever I strayed from my own voice and slipped into jargon, cant, or false sentiment.
cantankerous: ill humored; irritable; marked by ill-tempered contradiction or opposition; ugly; malicious
E.g.Constantly complaining about his treatment and refusing to cooperate with the hospital staff, he was a cantankerous patient.
cantata: story or poem set to music that can be sung by chorus
E.g.The choral society sang the new cantata composed by its leader.
canter: slow gallop; moderate running pace of horse
E.g.Because the racehorse had outdistanced its competition so easily, the reporter wrote that the race was won in a canter.
canto: part or division of poem of some length
E.g.This is the first canto of Dante's poetic masterpiece The Divine Comedy.
canvass: determine votes; examine carefully or discuss thoroughly; scrutinize
E.g.After volunteers helped canvass the sentiments of his constituents, the congressman was confident that he represented the majority opinion of his district.
capacious: capable of containing a large quantity; spacious or roomy
E.g.In the capacious rotunda of the railroad terminal, thousands of travelers lingered while waiting for their train.
capacity: mental or physical ability; ability to accommodate
E.g.Mike had the capacity to handle several jobs at once.
capillary: long and slender with a very small internal diameter
E.g.It passed from a capillary tube.
capitulate: surrender; end all resistance; give up; go along with or comply
E.g.The enemy was warned to capitulate or face annihilation.
caprice: sudden, unexpected fancy; impulsive change of mind
E.g.Some revolutions may have originated in caprice, or generated in ambition.
capricious: fickle; impulsive and unpredictable; apt to change opinions suddenly
E.g.The storm was capricious: it changed course constantly.
caption: title; chapter heading; text under illustration
E.g.We got an caption error in The Far Side cartoons shown yesterday.
captious: intended to confuse in an argument
E.g.I resent the way he asked that was captious question.
carapace: hard outer covering or case of certain organisms such as arthropods and turtles
E.g.The top shell is the carapace while the bottom is called the plastron.
cardinal: chief; serving as an essential component
E.g.If you want to increase your word power, the cardinal rule of vocabulary-building is to read.
cardiologist: doctor who specializes in medical problems related to heart
E.g.When the physician noticed Philip had a slight heart murmur, she referred him to a cardiologist for further tests.
careen: lean to one side, as a ship under press of sail; sway from side to side
E.g.He saw the taxicab careen wildly as it rounded the corner.
career: profession or occupation; individual’s work and life roles over their lifespan
E.g.The Italian Prime Minister and media tycoon Sylvia Berlusconi bought AC Milan in 1986 and the team's fortunes have mirrored his colorful career in politics.
caricature: representation that is deliberately exaggerated to produce a comic effect
E.g.The caricature he drew yesterday emphasized a personal weakness of the people he burlesqued.
carnage: destruction of life; savage and excessive killing of many people
E.g.The film The Killing Fields vividly depicts the carnage wreaked by Pol Pot's followers in Cambodia.
carnal: fleshly; of or relating to body or flesh; bodily
E.g.This wasn't about love, this was about raw animal attraction, about kindred spirits in carnal lust.
carnivorous: eating or feeding on flesh; predatory
E.g.The lion's a carnivorous beast. A hunk of meat makes up his feast.
carping: fault-finding; excessive complaining; of unreasonable criticism or censure
E.g.A carping critic is a nit-picker: he loves to point out flaws. If you don't like this definition, feel free to carp.
cartographer: one who makes maps or charts
E.g.Though not a professional cartographer, Tolkien was able to construct a map of his fictional world.
cascade: small waterfall; sudden downpour
E.g.We were too tired to appreciate the beauty of this cascade because we had to detour around it to avoid watering down.
caste: any of the hereditary social classes and subclasses of South Asian societies
E.g.The caste refers to social system based on rigid distinctions of birth, rank, and wealth.
casual: informal; purposeless; occurring by chance
E.g.The wildlife officer, in casual conversation, asks Hunter Joe where that deer came from.
casualty: serious or fatal accident; someone injured or killed in an accident
E.g.On holiday weekends this city usually has at least one automotive casualty.
cataclysm: an event resulting in great loss and misfortune; deluge or overflowing of water
E.g.A cataclysm such as the French Revolution affects all countries.
catalyst: agent which brings about chemical change while it remains unaffected and unchanged
E.g.Many chemical reactions cannot take place without the presence of a catalyst.
catapult: slingshot; hurling machine; military machine for hurling missiles, used in ancient and medieval times
E.g.The airplane is launched from battleship by catapult.
cataract: large or high waterfall; eye abnormality
E.g.She gazed with awe at the mighty cataract known as Niagara Falls.
catastrophe: calamity; disaster; state of extreme ruin and misfortune
E.g.The 1906 San Francisco earthquake was a catastrophe that destroyed most of the city.
catcall: shout of disapproval; boo; shout or whistle expressing dislike, especially from crowd or audience
E.g.Every major league pitcher has off days during which he must learn to ignore any catcall and angry hiss from the crowd.
catechism: book for religious instruction; instruction by question and answer
E.g.He taught by engaging his pupils in a catechism until they gave him the correct answer.
categorical: absolute; having no exception; of using category or categories
E.g.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.
cater: supply what is needed or desired; provide food professionally for special occasion
E.g.The chef was happy to cater to the tastes of his highly sophisticated clientele.
catharsis: purging or cleansing of any passage of body
E.g.Aristotle maintained that tragedy created a catharsis by purging the soul of base concepts.
catholic: broadly sympathetic; universal; related to Roman Catholic Church
E.g.He was extremely catholic in his taste and read everything he could find in the library.
caucus: private meeting of members of a party to select officers or determine policy
E.g.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.
causal: implying cause-and-effect relationship
E.g.The psychologist maintained there was a causal relationship between the nature of one's early childhood experiences and one's adult personality.
caustic: capable of burning, corroding, dissolving, or eating away by chemical action
E.g.The critic's caustic remarks angered the hapless actors who were the subjects of his sarcasm.
cavalcade: ceremonial procession or display; succession or series
E.g.As described by Chaucer, the cavalcade of Canterbury pilgrims was a motley group.
cavalier: offhand or casual; given to haughty disregard of others
E.g.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!.
cavil: criticise for petty or frivolous reasons; raise trivial objections
E.g.It's fine when you make sensible criticisms, but it really bugs me when you cavil about unimportant details.
cede: yield or formally resign and surrender to another
E.g.Eventually the descendants of England's Henry II were forced to cede their French territories to the King of France.
celerity: swiftness of action or motion; speed
E.g.Hamlet resented his mother's celerity in remarrying within a month after his father's death.
celestial: relating to the sky or the heavens; supremely good; god or angel
E.g.She spoke of the celestial joys that awaited virtuous souls in the hereafter.
celibate: unmarried; abstaining from sexual intercourse
E.g.The perennial bachelor vowed to remain celibate.
cemetery: place or ground set apart for the burial of the dead; graveyard
E.g.A vehicle for conveying a coffin is to a church or cemetery.
censor: overseer of morals; official responsible for removal of objectionable or sensitive content
E.g.Soldiers dislike having their mail read by a censor but understand the need for this precaution.
censorious: critical; addicted to censure; severe in making remarks on others, or on their writings or manners; implying or expressing censure
E.g.But it is childish to waste our time in censorious judgment on the individual who does no worse than represent a ruling type.
censure: expression of strong disapproval or harsh criticism; blame
E.g.Today's paper will censure the senator for behavior inappropriate to a member of Congress.
centigrade: measure of temperature, used widely in Europe
E.g.On the centigrade thermometer, the freezing point of water is zero degrees.
centrifugal: radiating; departing from the center
E.g.Many automatic drying machines remove excess moisture from clothing by centrifugal force.
centripetal: tending toward center; moving or directed toward center or axis
E.g.Does centripetal force or the force of gravity bring orbiting bodies to the earth's surface?.
centurion: officer of ancient Roman army, in command of a century of soldiers or minor division
E.g.Because he was in command of a company of one hundred soldiers, he was called a centurion.
cerebral: relating to the brain or cerebrum; intellectual rather than emotional
E.g.The content of philosophical works is cerebral in nature and requires much thought.
cerebration: act of cerebrating; thinking, mental activity
E.g.Mathematics problems sometimes require much cerebration.
ceremonious: marked by formality; strictly observant of or devoted to ceremony or ritual
E.g.Ordinary dress would be inappropriate at so ceremonious an affair.
certitude: state of being certain; complete assurance; confidence
E.g.Though there was no certitude of his getting the job, Lou thought he had a good chance of doing so.
cessation: bringing or coming to end; ceasing
E.g.The airline's employees threatened a cessation of all work if management failed to meet their demands.
cession: yielding to another; ceding or surrendering
E.g.The cession of Alaska to the United States is discussed in this chapter.
chafe: wear away or irritate by rubbing; make sore by rubbing; annoy; vex
E.g.The high collar used to chafe against my neck.
chaff: trivial or worthless matter; thin dry bracts or scales, especially
E.g.When you separate the wheat from the chaff, be sure you keep the wheat.
chaffing: joking; use of light, frivolous language by way of fun or ridicule
E.g.The blacksmith was accustomed to the clangor of hammers on steel.
clap: applaud; slap; strike together with a sharp sound, as one hard surface on another
E.g."Fairfax will smile you a calm welcome, to be sure," said I; "and little Adele will clap her hands and jump to see you: but you know very well you are thinking of another than they, and that he is not thinking of you."
clapper: metal striker that hangs inside bell and makes sound by hitting side; someone who applauds
E.g.Wishing to be undisturbed by the bell, Dale wound his scarf around the clapper to muffle the noise of its striking.
clasp: fastening device; firm grip
E.g.When the clasp on Judy's bracelet broke, Fred repaired it, bending the hook back into shape.
claustrophobia: abnormal fear of being in narrow or enclosed spaces
E.g.His fellow classmates laughed at his claustrophobia and often threatened to lock him in his room.
cleave: split with or as if with a sharp instrument; pierce or penetrate; remain faithful to
E.g.Julia Child can cleave a whole roast duck in two.
cleft: crack or crevice; a split or indentation between two parts, as of the chin
E.g.Trying for a fresh handhold, the mountain climber grasped the edge of a cleft in the sheer rock face.
clemency: mildness, as of the weather
E.g.The lawyer was pleased when the case was sent to Judge Smith's chambers because Smith was noted for her clemency toward first offenders.
clientele: clients of professional person; body of customers or patrons
E.g.Her clientele is a little bit different than the average movie store, because most of her customers only have a limited interest in film due to busy schedules.
climactic: relating to the highest point; ascending or leading to climax
E.g.When he reached the climactic portions of the book, he could not stop reading.
clime: region; climate; particular region as defined by its weather or climate
E.g.His doctor advised him to move to a milder clime.
clip: small section of filmed or filed material
E.g.Phil's job at Fox Sports involved selecting the most important clip of the day's sporting highlights for later broadcast.
clique: small exclusive group of friends or associates
E.g.Fitzgerald wished that he belonged to the clique of popular athletes and big men on campus who seemed to run Princeton's social life.
cloister: place, especially a monastery or convent, devoted to religious seclusion; secluded, quiet place
E.g.The nuns lived a secluded life in the cloister.
clot: thick, viscous, or coagulated mass or lump, as of blood; compact group
E.g.You can see a clot of automobiles blocking the tunnel's entrance.
clout: blow, especially with fist; great influence, especially political or social
E.g.But then again, the new administration's foreign policy clout is yet to be truly tested.
cloying: distasteful because excessive; excessively sweet or sentimental
E.g.Disliking the cloying sweetness of standard wedding cakes, Jody and Tom chose to have homemade carrot cake at the reception.
coagulate: cause transformation of liquid into or as if into soft, semisolid, or solid mass
E.g.Even after you remove the pudding from the burner, it will continue to coagulate as it stands; therefore, do not overcook the pudding, lest it become too thick.
coalesce: combine; fuse; grow together; come together so as to form one whole; unite
E.g.Through it all, he tries to cling to a trembling grip on reality, as love and pain coalesce into a shocking.
coalition: partnership; league; state of being combined into one body
E.g.The Rainbow coalition united people of all races in a common cause.
coax: persuade or try to persuade by pleading or flattery; move to or adjust toward a desired end
E.g.Whenever the famished great girls had an opportunity, they would coax or menace the little ones out of their portion.
coddle: treat gently; cook in water just below boiling point
E.g.Don't coddle the children so much; they need a taste of discipline.
codicil: supplement or appendix, especially to a will
E.g.Miss Havisham kept her lawyers busy drawing up another codicil to add to her already complicated will.
codify: arrange laws, rules as a code; classify; arrange or systematize
E.g.We need to take the varying rules and regulations of the different health agencies and codify them into a national health code.
coercion: use of force to get someone to obey
E.g.The inquisitors used both physical and psychological coercion to force Joan of Arc to deny that her visions were sent by God.
cogent: reasonable and convincing; based on evidence; forcefully persuasive
E.g.It was inevitable that David chose to go to Harvard: he had several cogent reasons for doing so, including a full-tuition scholarship.
cogitate: think earnestly or studiously; meditate; ponder; think deeply
E.g.Cogitate on this problem; the solution will come.
cognate: related by blood; having common ancestor; related or analogous in nature, character, or function
E.g.The English word "mother" is cognate to the Latin word "mater," whose influence is visible in the words "maternal" and "maternity.".
cognitive: knowing or perceiving; part of mental functions that deals with logic
E.g.Though Jack was emotionally immature, his cognitive development was admirable; he was very advanced intellectually.
cognizance: knowledge or recognition; awareness; range of what one can know or understand
E.g.During the election campaign, the two candidates were kept in full cognizance of the international situation.
cohere: stick or hold together in a mass that resists separation
E.g.Solids have a greater tendency to cohere than liquids.
cohesion: tendency to keep together
E.g.A firm believer in the maxim "Divide and conquer," the evil emperor sought to disrupt the cohesion of the federation of free nations.
coiffure: hairstyle; head-dress; manner of arranging or dressing hair
E.g.You can make a statement with your choice of coiffure: in the sixties many African Americans affirmed their racial heritage by wearing their hair in Afros.
coin: make pieces of money from metal; invent or fabricate
E.g.Slanderers coin nasty rumors.
coincidence: two or more things occurring at the same time by chance
E.g.Was it just a coincidence that John and she had chanced to meet at the market, or was he deliberately trying to seek her out?
colander: bowl-shaped strainer, used to wash or drain foods
E.g.Before serving the spaghetti, place it in a colander to drain it.
collaborate: work together, especially in a joint intellectual effort
E.g.The easy way to collaborate is to pay attention to the small things in life.
collage: work of art put together from fragments
E.g.Scraps of cloth, paper doilies, and old photographs all went into her collage.
collate: examine in order to verify authenticity; arrange in order
E.g.They will collate the newly found manuscripts to determine their age.
collateral: security pledged for repayment of loan
E.g.The sum you wish to borrow is so large that it must be secured by collateral.
colloquial: of informal spoken language or conversation; conversational or chatty
E.g.He might have to explain colloquial English to her, but he did not have to explain the intangibles of their lives and work.
collusion: secret agreement for an illegal purpose; conspiracy
E.g.They're in collusion with the government and just want a piece of the pie like everyone else.
colossal: of extraordinary size; huge; gigantic
E.g.Radio City Music Hall has a colossal stage.
coma: state of profound insensibility from which it is difficult or impossible to rouse a person
E.g.A person in a coma is alive, but unconscious.
comatose: in coma; extremely sleepy; unconscious
E.g.We would expect a reasonable adult, if a kid is in comatose, to call an ambulance.
combustible: capable of igniting and burning; easily aroused or excited
E.g.After the recent outbreak of fires in private homes, the fire commissioner ordered that all combustible materials be kept in safe containers.
comely: pleasing or attractive to the eye; handsome; graceful
E.g.I would rather have a poor and comely wife than a rich and homely one.
comeuppance: rebuke; punishment or retribution that one deserves; outcome which is justly deserved
E.g.After his earlier rudeness, we were delighted to see him get his comeuppance.
commandeer: force into military service; take for public use; seize for military use; take arbitrarily or by force
E.g.The policeman had to commandeer the first car that approached and ordered the driver to go to the nearest hospital.
commemorate: serve as a memorial to; honor the memory of with a ceremony
E.g.The story of Fairchild that Mr. Moore was helping to commemorate is well-known in Silicon Valley.
commensurate: of the same size, extent, or duration as another
E.g.Your reward will be commensurate with your effort.
commiserate: feel or express pity or sympathy for
E.g.Her friends commiserate with the widow.
commodious: spacious and comfortable; fit; proper; convenient
E.g.After sleeping in small roadside cabins, they found their hotel suite commodious.
commonplace: ordinary; having no remarkable features
E.g.We think the key to making this stuff more commonplace is keeping it affordable for everyone.
communal: held in common; of a group of people
E.g.When they were divorced, they had trouble dividing their communal property.
compact: closely and firmly united or packed together; briefly giving gist of something
E.g.His short, compact body was better suited to wrestling than to basketball.
compartment: one of parts or spaces into which an area is subdivided; separate room, section, or chamber
E.g.And it also had hints for making snow forts, including "make sure to include an icy compartment to store your vodka."
compassion: sensation of sorrow excited by the distress or misfortunes of another; pity; commiseration
E.g.Many men were moved, and many women's compassion testified itself in tears.
compatible: harmonious; having similar disposition and tastes
E.g.They were compatible neighbors, never quarreling over unimportant matters.
compensatory: serving to compensate or as compensation; making amends; repaying
E.g.Can a compensatory education program make up for the inadequate schooling he received in earlier years?
compile: put together or compose from materials gathered from several sources
E.g.We planned to compile a list of the words most frequently used on these examinations.
complacency: feeling of contented self-satisfaction, especially when unaware of upcoming trouble
E.g.Full of complacency about his latest victories, he looked smugly at the row of trophies on his mantelpiece.
complaisant: trying to please; showing cheerful willingness to do favors for others
E.g.The courtier obeyed the king's orders in a complaisant manner.
complement: complete; consummate; make perfect
E.g.The waiter recommended a glass of port to complement the cheese.
complementary: serving to fill out or to complete; supplying mutual needs or offsetting mutual lacks
E.g.John and Lisa's skills are complementary; he's good at following a daily routine, while she's great at handling emergencies.
compliance: readiness to yield; happy friendly agreement
E.g.Bullheaded Bill was not noted for easy compliance with the demands of others.
compliant: yielding to request or desire; ready to accommodate; disposed or willing to comply;
E.g.Because Joel usually gave in and went along with whatever his friends desired, his mother worried that he might be too compliant.
complicity: participation; involvement as partner or accomplice, especially in crime or other wrongdoing
E.g.You cannot keep your complicity in this affair secret very long; you would be wise to admit your involvement immediately.
component: element; ingredient; abstract part of something
E.g.I wish this component like all others of my stereo system is working at the same time.
composure: mental calmness; calm or tranquil state of mind
E.g.Even the latest work crisis failed to shake her composure.
E.g.I would have definitely given the film more marks were it something more congruent with my tastes.
conifer: any gymnospermous tree or shrub bearing cones
E.g.More than two-thirds of Canada’s forest land consists of conifer forests – cone-bearing and usually evergreen trees that are used for softwood.
conjecture: believe especially on uncertain or tentative grounds
E.g.I can now conjecture readily that this streak of light was, in all likelihood, a gleam from a lantern carried by someone across the lawn.
conjugal: belonging to marriage; suitable or appropriate to the marriage state or to married persons; matrimonial
E.g.No conjugal visits are allowed in US federal prisons.
conjure: call on or summon by sacred name or in solemn manner; implore earnestly; practice magical arts
E.g.The magician will conjure a rabbit out of his hat.
connoisseur: specialist; person with expert knowledge or training, especially in the fine arts
E.g.A literature professor by training and a self-taught art connoisseur, Charles Ryskamp served three decades as director first of the Pierpont Morgan Library.
conscientious: diligent; responsible; reliable
E.g.He deferred his departure a whole week, and during that time he made me feel what severe punishment a good yet stern, a conscientious yet implacable man can inflict on one who has offended him.
consensus: general agreement or accord; opinion reached by a group as a whole
E.g.The main consensus from the group was to center on students and their parents.
consign: give, transfer, or deliver in a formal manner, as if by signing over into the possession of another
E.g.Perhaps it would be better to consign it to a place where others may not so readily gain access to it.
consistency: harmonious uniformity or agreement among things or parts
E.g.Accuracy and consistency is far more important to me than just speed.
console: cheer from distress or depression; alleviate grief and raise spirits of; relieve; comfort
E.g.With him I was at perfect ease, because I knew I suited him; all I said or did seemed either to console or revive him.
consonant: compatible; harmonious
E.g.New consonant music and postmodern music for contemporary composers and performers.
consort: associate; join
E.g.Mikhail Gorbachev was the rising star of the Politburo, she, a politically aware consort with a doctorate of her own in Marxist philosophy.
conspiracy: plot; intrigue; agreement to perform together an illegal, wrongful, or subversive act
E.g.Information minister Jerry Gana released a statement in which he says there has been an international media conspiracy against Nigeria.
conspire: make a secret agreement, to do some act, as to commit treason or a crime, or to do some unlawful deed; plot together
E.g.A group of men were charged to conspire against the duly elected government.
consternation: intense state of fear or dismay; astonishment combined with terror
E.g.One would never think that a hunter would display such consternation when a bear closed to camp.
constituent: component or part; citizen, voter
E.g.A machine will not function properly if any constituent of it is defective.
constitution: law determining the fundamental political principles of a government; the act of forming something
E.g.President Putin said Britain knew Russia's constitution prohibits such an extradition.
constraint: something that restricts or confines within prescribed bounds
E.g.Given the budget constraint, it was impossible to accomplish my goals.
consummate: carried to the utmost extent or degree; of the highest quality; complete; perfect
E.g.She dealt with the problem with consummate skill.
contaminate: make impure or unclean by contact or mixture; pollute; defile
E.g.Compact fluorescent light bulbs contaminate the environment with 30000 pounds of mercury each year.
contempt: state of being despised or dishonored; disgrace; disobedience to, or open disrespect of
E.g.The poor fools, who hold science in contempt, have no ability to realize that science proves them wrong at every turn.
contend: strive in opposition; contest; dispute; struggle for
E.g.John has to contend with great difficulties.
contention: competing as for profit or prize
E.g.The teams were in fierce contention for first place.
contentious: quarrelsome; disagreeable; marked by heated arguments or controversy
E.g.The contentious gentleman in the bar ridiculed anything anyone said.
contest: contend for; call in question; oppose; dispute
E.g.The lawyer decided to contest the claim, and tried to prove that it was false.
E.g.Last week the Italian Prime Minister apologized to parliament in Rome for his alleged remarks about the superiority of western culture over that of Islam, claiming his words had been taken out of context.
contiguous: sharing an edge or boundary; touching; neighboring
E.g.The two houses had contiguous yards so the families shared the landscaping expenses.
continence: self control; self restraint; partial or complete abstention from sexual activity
E.g.Lucy exhibited impressive continence in steering clear of fattening foods, and she lost 50 pounds.
contingent: possible, or liable, but not certain, to occur; incidental; casual.
E.g.All salaries are reckoned on contingent as well as on actual services.
contrive: form by an exercise of ingenuity; devise; invent; design
E.g.Can you contrive to escape here early?
contrived: forced; artificially formal; obviously planned or calculated; not natural
E.g.Feeling ill at ease with his new in-laws, James made a few contrived attempts at conversation and then retreated into silence.
controvert: oppose with arguments; attempt to prove to be false or incorrect; contradict
E.g.The witness's testimony was so clear and her reputation for honesty so well-established that the defense attorney decided it was wiser to make no attempt to controvert what she said.
contusion: injury that doesn't break the skin
E.g.After her fall, Sue was treated for a large contusion of left arm.
conundrum: riddle; difficult problem; dilemma
E.g.For this reason, the best way out of this conundrum is a political compromise.
convene: cause to come together formally
E.g.Six days 'public notice must be given when announcing HTA meeting schedules, meaning the earliest the board can next convene is July 24.
convention: social or moral custom; formal meeting of members, representatives, or delegates; agreement between states
E.g.Moreover, following this convention is our friend's normal behavior when in such a mood.
conventional: based upon tradition rules; formed by agreement or compact
E.g.Meanwhile, In Russia, hardliners contend that their nation should rely more on nuclear weapons to offset NATO's superiority in conventional military forces and to cope with the U.S. missile defense program, now creeping toward Russia's borders.
converge: approach; tend to meet; come together
E.g.African-American men from all over the United States will converge on Washington to take part in the historic Million Men march.
conversant: familiar, as by study or experience; able to converse knowledgeably
E.g.The lawyer is conversant with all the evidence.
converse: chat; talk informally; engage in a spoken exchange of thoughts
E.g.Eva is all ears while Lulu and Lola converse.
convert: change something into another form; transform
E.g.However, he suggests that this only be done if the convert is also willingly accepted into his position by the community.
convex: curving outward; having surface that bulges outward, as the exterior of sphere
E.g.He polished the convex lens of his telescope.
conveyance: act of conveying; tools of conveying, especially vehicle for transportation
E.g.During the transit strike, as common commuters I have to use other conveyance.
conviction: judgment that someone is guilty of crime; strongly held belief
E.g.Even her conviction for murder did not shake Peter's judgment that Harriet was innocent of the crime.
convivial: festive; occupied with or fond of the pleasures of good company
E.g.The convivial celebrators of the victory sang their college songs.
convoke: call together; cause to assemble in meeting; convene
E.g.He has to convoke Congress at the outbreak of the emergency.
E.g.Poole was fast asleep after the gin and water, the mad lady, who was as cunning as a witch, would take the keys out of her pocket, and let herself out of her chamber.
cupidity: greed; excessive desire, especially for wealth
E.g.The defeated people could not satisfy the cupidity of the conquerors, who demanded excessive tribute.
curator: one who manages museum or library; superintendent; manager
E.g.She believes the most important quality for a curator is a deep, engaged knowledge of and curiosity about what is happening in contemporary art.
curb: bend or curve; guide and manage, or restrain
E.g.Paradoxically, Ray's strong-arming may be helping to curb violence in Bangalore.
curmudgeon: ill-tempered person full of stubborn ideas or opinions
E.g.Although he was regarded by many as a curmudgeon, a few of us were aware of the many kindnesses and acts of charity that he secretly performed.
cursive: flowing, as writing letters joined one to another without raising pen; running
E.g.In normal writing we run our letters together in cursive form; in printing, we separate the letters.
cursory: casual; brief or broad; not cautious, nor detailed
E.g.Because a cursory examination of the ruins indicates the possibility of arson, we believe the insurance agency should undertake a more extensive investigation of the fire's cause.
curtail: cut short or reduce; cut off end or tail, or any part
E.g.When Herb asked Diane for a date, she said she was really sorry she couldn't go out with him, but her dad had ordered her to curtail her social life.
cynical: skeptical of motives of others; selfishly calculating; negative or pessimistic
E.g.What I find sad, and cynical, is that this guy is essentially saying things will not be better by 2012.
cynosure: object that serves as a focal point of attention and admiration; something that strongly attracts attention; center of attraction
E.g.As soon as the movie star entered the room, she became the cynosure of all eyes.
dabble: splash liquid gently and playfully; undertake something without serious intent
E.g.Over recent weeks we've watched Sen. John McCain dabble at being a 'candidate for change' to counter Sen. Barack Obama.
dainty: delicately beautiful or charming; exquisite; gratification or pleasure taken in anything
E.g.I did her hair, soft-like, round her forehead, all in dainty curls, and just to one side of her neck I put a bunch of most beautiful purple pansies.
dais: raised platform for guests of honor
E.g.When he approached the dais, he was greeted by cheers from the people who had come to honor him.
dank: disagreeably damp or humid; cold moisture; unpleasant humidity
E.g.When they're ten thousand miles away, hiding in dank caves and surrounded by hundreds, if not thousands of armed, hard-core Taliban militia forming concentric defensive rings protecting them, in the toughest terrain on earth.
dapper: neatly dressed; very stylish in dress; lively and alert
E.g.In "The Odd Couple" TV show, Tony Randall played Felix Unger, an excessively dapper soul who could not stand to have a hair out of place.
dappled: spotted; having mottled or spotted skin or coat
E.g.The sunlight filtering through the screens created a dappled effect on the wall.
dart: move suddenly and rapidly
E.g.Your eyes take them in, then dart away to something else.
daunt: frighten; abate the courage of; discourage
E.g.Other northern employers were shocked that ex-slaves refused to work in conditions that would not daunt a farmer in the North.
dauntless: bold; incapable of being discouraged; fearless
E.g.Despite the dangerous nature of the undertaking, the dauntless soldier volunteered for the assignment.
dawdle: proceed slowly; waste time
E.g.We have to meet a deadline so don't dawdle; just get down to work.
dazzle: overpower with light; confuse the sight of by brilliance of light; bewilder or surprise with brilliancy
E.g.His eyes dazzle before the strong light.
deadlock: standstill resulting from opposition of two forces or factions; stalemate
E.g.Because negotiations had reached a deadlock, some of the delegates had begun to mutter about breaking off the talks.
deadpan: wooden; impersonal; deliberately impassive or expressionless, as face or look
E.g.We wanted to see how long he could maintain his deadpan expression.
dearth: scarcity; shortage of food; famine from failure or loss of crops
E.g.The dearth of skilled labor compelled the employers to open trade schools.
debase: reduce in quality or value; lower in esteem; degrade
E.g.In The King and l, Anna refuses to kneel down and prostrate herself before the king, for she feels that to do so would debase her position.
debauch: corrupt; seduce from virtue
E.g.Did Socrates' teachings lead the young men of Athens to be virtuous citizens, or did they debauch the young men, causing them to question the customs of their fathers?
debilitate: make weak; enfeeble; impair the strength of
E.g.Michael's severe bout of the flu might debilitate him so much that he was too tired to go to work for a week.
debonair: friendly; of good appearance and manners; graceful
E.g.The debonair youth was liked by all who met him, because of his cheerful and obliging manner.
debunk: expose as false, exaggerated, worthless; ridicule
E.g.Pointing out that he consistently has voted against strengthening anti-pollution legislation, reporters debunk the candidate's claim that he is a fervent environmentalist.
debutante: young woman making formal entrance into society
E.g.After her father loses everything, the debutante is forced to flee, pursued by gangsters.
decadence: process, condition, or period of deterioration or decline; falling off or away; decay
E.g.The moral decadence of the people was reflected in the lewd literature of the period.
decapitate: behead; cut off the head of
E.g.They did not hang Lady Jane Grey; they beheaded her. "Off with her head!" cried the Duchess, eager to decapitate poor Alice.
decelerate: slow down rate of advancement of; decrease speed of
E.g.Seeing the emergency blinkers in the road ahead, I decelerate quickly.
deciduous: falling off as of leaves; falling off or shed at specific season or stage of growth
E.g.The oak is a deciduous tree; in winter it looks quite bare.
decimate: destroy or kill a large part of; select by lot and kill one in every ten of
E.g.We do more to decimate our population in automobile accidents than we do in war.
decipher: convert code into ordinary language; read with difficulty
E.g.Lacking his code book, the spy was unable to decipher the scrambled message sent to him from the KGB.
declivity: downward slope, as of a hill
E.g.The children loved to ski down the declivity.
decomposition: breakdown or decay of organic materials; act or result of decomposing
E.g.Despite the body's advanced state of decomposition, the police were able to identify the murdered man.
decorum: propriety in manners and conduct; good taste in manners; conventions or requirements of polite behavior
E.g.Keeping public decorum is an important factor in media credibility.
decoy: lure or bait; means used to mislead or lead into danger
E.g.The wild ducks were not fooled by the decoy.
decree: order from one having authority; decision, order, or sentence by court
E.g.The decree is signed establishing the School for Primary School Teachers, which later becomes the National Teachers.
decrepit: weakened, worn out, or broken down by old age, illness, or hard use
E.g.The decrepit car blocked traffic on the highway.
decrepitude: state of collapse caused by illness or old age
E.g.I was unprepared for the state of decrepitude in which I had found my old friend; he seemed to have aged twenty years in six months.
decry: express strong disapproval of; disparage
E.g.The founder of the Children's Defense Fund, Marian Wright Edelman, would strongly decry the lack of financial and moral support for children in America today.
deducible: capable of being derived by reasoning from known principles or facts
E.g.If we accept your premise, your conclusions are easily deducible.
deface: mar or spoil appearance or surface; impair usefulness, value, or influence of
E.g.If you deface a library book, you will have to pay a hefty fine.
default: failure to act; an option that is selected automatically
E.g.When the visiting team failed to show up for the big game, they lost the game by default.
defeatist: attitude of one who is ready to accept defeat as a natural outcome
E.g.If you maintain your defeatist attitude, you will never succeed.
defect: abandon or turn against; cease or change one's loyalty
E.g.Pakistani terrorists regularly defect to another terrorist group with a totally different political platform.
defection: withdrawing support or help; act of abandoning something to which one is bound by allegiance or duty; failure in duty
E.g.The children, who had made him an idol, were hurt most by his defection from our cause.
defer: delay till later; put off; hold back to a later time
E.g.I would again defer to responsible judgment when we're dealing with these kind of things.
defiance: refusal to yield; readiness to contend or resist
E.g.Now I feel by imperceptible signs, which I cannot yet interpret but will later, that his defiance is about to thaw.
defile: pollute; make dirty or spotty
E.g.The hoodlums defile the church with their scurrilous writing.
definitive: final; complete; precisely defined or explicit
E.g.And finally, the utility of the skeleton would be mostly likely to aid in definitive identification.
deflect: turn aside; draw someone's attention away from something
E.g.No one believed that his life was saved because his cigarette case could deflect the bullet.
defoliate: strip leaves or branches from; cause leaves of plant, tree, or forest to fall off, especially by use of chemicals
E.g.In Vietnam the army made extensive use of chemical agents to defoliate the woodlands.
defray: paycosts of; undertake payment of; make compensation to or for
E.g.Her employer offered to defray the costs of her postgraduate education.
deft: quick and skillful; neat in action or performance
E.g.The deft waiter uncorked the champagne without spilling a drop.
defunct: dead; no longer in use or existence
E.g.The lawyers sought to examine the books of the defunct corporation.
degenerate: become worse; decline; fall
E.g.Not to appear to disgrace his family, to degenerate from the popular qualities, or lose the influence.
degradation: humiliation; debasement; decline to a lower condition, quality, or level
E.g.Some secretaries object to fetching the boss a cup of coffee, because they resent the degradation of being made to do such lowly tasks.
dehydrate: remove water from; dry out; lose water or bodily fluids
E.g.Running under a hot sun would quickly dehydrate the body; joggers soon learn to carry water bottles and to drink from them frequently.
deify: turn into a god; idolize or idealize; worship or revere as a god
E.g.Admire Elvis Presley all you want; just don't deify him.
deign: condescend to give or grant; esteem worthy; consider worth notice
E.g.Microsoft is accusing Google with regard to Google's new App Sync software, which allows Gmail users to tap into any records they might deign to keep in Outlook.
delete: erase; strike out; remove or make invisible
E.g.Less is more: if you delete this paragraph, your whole essay will have greater appeal.
deleterious: having harmful effect; injurious; having quality of destroying life; noxious; poisonous
E.g.If you believe that smoking is deleterious to your health, then quit!.
deliberate: consider; think about carefully; weigh
E.g.Offered the new job, she asked for time to deliberate before she told them her decision,.
delineate: portray; depict; draw or trace outline of; sketch out
E.g.Using only a few descriptive phrases, you delineate the character of Mr. Collins so well that we can predict his every move.
delirium: mental disorder marked by confusion
E.g.In his delirium, the drunkard saw pink panthers and talking pigs.
delta: an area of flat land where a river spreads out into several smaller rivers before entering the sea
E.g.The Chevron Texaco oil company in Nigeria is using aircraft to evacuate hundreds of villagers from areas affected by unrest in the country's oil-producing southern delta region.
delude: deceive mind or judgment of; lead from truth or into error; frustrate or disappoint
E.g.His mistress may delude herself into believing that he would leave his wife and marry her.
deluge: great flood; heavy downpour; any overflowing of water
E.g.When we advertised the position, we received a deluge of applications.
delusion: false belief; mistaken or unfounded opinion
E.g.Don suffers from delusion of grandeur: he thinks he's a world-famous author when he's published just one paperback book.
delve: dig ground, as with spade; search deeply and laboriously
E.g.To delve into old books and manuscripts is part of a researcher's job.
demean: degrade; debase, as in dignity or social standing
E.g.Standing on his dignity, he refused to demean himself by replying to the offensive letter.
demeanor: conduct; management; way in which a person behaves
E.g.It'll be interesting to see what her demeanor is and what kind of witness she is.
demented: insane; mad; of unsound mind; mentally ill
E.g.What kind of demented image of him have you painted in your head? In fact, he is a real gentleman.
demise: end of existence or activity; termination
E.g.Upon the demise of the dictator, a bitter dispute about succession to power developed.
demolition: act of overthrowing, pulling down, or destroying
E.g.One of the major aims of the air force was the complete demolition of all means of transportation by bombing of rail lines and terminals.
demur: object because of doubts; hesitate
E.g.When offered a post on the board of directors, David had to demur: he had scruples about taking on the job because he was unsure he could handle it in addition to his other responsibilities.
demure: modest and reserved in manner or behavior
E.g.She was demure and reserved, a nice modest girl whom any young man would be proud to take home to his mother.
E.g.Because they had no health insurance, the father's costly illness left the family destitute.
desultory: aimless; haphazard; at random; not connected with subject
E.g.In prison Malcolm X set himself the task of reading straight through the dictionary; to him, reading was purposeful, not desultory.
detached: emotionally removed; calm and objective; apart from others; separate
E.g.A psychoanalyst must maintain a detached point of view and stay uninvolved with his or her patients' personal lives.
detain: keep back or from; withhold; restrain from proceeding; stay or stop; delay
E.g.The power to detain people without filing criminal charges against them is a dictatorial power.
determination: act of making or arriving at a decision; putting an end to; termination
E.g.My only problem with this determination is the lack of certainty about the date of the questioned photo.
deterrent: something that discourages; tending to deter
E.g.As Bush's view , North Korea is the main deterrent from a peaceful resolution.
detonation: explosion; violent release of energy caused by chemical or nuclear reaction
E.g.The detonation of the bomb could be heard miles away.
detraction: slandering; act of discrediting from someone's reputation
E.g.He is offended by your today's detraction of his ability as a leader.
detrimental: causing damage or harm; injurious
E.g.The candidate's acceptance of major financial contributions from a well known racist ultimately proved detrimental to his campaign, for he lost the backing of many of his early grassroots supporters.
deviate: turn away from a principle, norm; depart; diverge
E.g.Richard did not deviate from his daily routine: every day he set off for work at eight o'clock, had his sack lunch at 12:15, and headed home at the stroke of five.
devious: departing from correct or accepted way; misleading; not straightforward
E.g.The story of Byzantine art, though not precisely devious, is not straightforward either.
devise: form, plan, or arrange in the mind; transmit or give by will
E.g.How clever he must be to devise such a devious plan!.
devoid: completely lacking; barren or empty
E.g.You may think her mind is a total void, but she's actually not devoid of intelligence. She just sounds like an airhead.
devotee: enthusiastic follower; one who is devoted or self-dedicated to a cause or practice
E.g.A devotee of the opera, he bought season tickets every year.
devout: expressing devotion or piety; earnest in religious field
E.g.The devout man prayed daily.
dexterous: skillful in the use of the hands; having mental skill
E.g.The magician was so dexterous that we could not follow him as he performed his tricks.
diabolical: extremely evil or cruel; expressive of cruelty or befitting hell
E.g.Cabinet's approval of the draft legislation was diabolical and contradicted the Bible, he said in a statement.
diffuse: spread out widely; scatter freely; pour out and cause to spread freely
E.g.Hamilton wished to concentrate power; Jefferson to diffuse power.
digression: wandering from the main path of a journey; diversion
E.g.This was the path to digression, as this is where I began to become slightly jaded.
dilapidated: in disrepair, run down; of very poor quality or condition
E.g.Rather than get discouraged, the architect saw great potential in the dilapidated house.
dilate: make wider or larger; cause to expand; enlarge; widen
E.g.I just had an eye exam and those eye drops that dilate your eyes makes things fuzzy!
dilemma: predicament; state of uncertainty or between equally unfavorable options
E.g.It could create a painful dilemma for the group's members: either accept a lower price or give up additional production quotas they have just given themselves.
dilute: weaken; make thinner or less concentrated by adding a liquid such as water
E.g.A couple of years back you very loudly opposed the creation of "60 MINUTES 2", I think, that it might dilute the brand that you helped build up.
E.g.The campaign was highly negative in tone; each candidate tried to discredit the other.
discrepancy: lack of consistency; difference
E.g.The police noticed an obvious discrepancy in his description of the crime and did not believe him.
discrete: separate; consisting of unconnected distinct parts
E.g.The universe is composed of discrete bodies.
discretion: knowing how to avoid embarrassment or distress; trait of judging wisely and objectively
E.g.The servants showed great tact and discretion.
discriminate: make a clear distinction; distinguish; make sensible decisions; judge wisely
E.g.It's not just a notion when 46 states can still discriminate against same-sex couples getting married.
discriminating: able to see differences; showing careful judgment or fine taste
E.g.A superb interpreter of Picasso, she was sufficiently discriminating to judge the most complex works of modern art.
discursive: tending to depart from main point or cover a wide range of subjects
E.g.As the lecturer wandered from topic to topic, we wondered what if any point there was to his discursive remarks.
disdain: view with scorn or contempt; feel with aversion
E.g.In the film Funny Face, the bookish heroine used to disdain fashion models for their lack of intellectual interests.
disembark: go ashore from ship; unload cargo from ship; leave a vehicle or aircraft
E.g.Before the passengers could disembark, they had to pick up their passports from the ship's purser.
disenfranchise: deprive of civil right; deprive someone of franchise, generally their right to vote
E.g.The imposition of the poll tax effectively would disenfranchise poor Southern blacks, who lost their right to vote.
disengage: release from something that holds firmly
E.g.It becomes so overwhelming that I just disengage from the situation, and think my own thoughts.
disfigure: change appearance of something or someone to the negative; deform
E.g.The ugly frown liked to disfigure his normally pleasant face.
disgorge: bring up and expel from throat or stomach; vomit; discharge or pour forth contents
E.g.Unwilling to disgorge the cash he had stolen from the pension fund, the embezzler tried to run away.
disgruntle: cause being in bad temper; disappoint; disconcert
E.g.The numerous delays disgruntle the passengers.
dishearten: discourage; cause to lose courage or hope
E.g.His failure to pass the bar exam would dishearten him.
disheveled: marked by disorder; untidy; having hair in loose disorder
E.g.Your disheveled appearance will hurt your chances in this interview.
disinclination: unwillingness; lack of inclination; mild aversion
E.g.Some mornings I feel a great disinclination to get out of bed.
disingenuous: giving a false appearance of frankness; insincere
E.g.Now that we know the mayor and his wife are engaged in a bitter divorce fight, we find their earlier remarks regretting their lack of time together remarkably disingenuous.
disinter: dig up; unearth; dig up or remove from grave or tomb; bring to public notice
E.g.They planned to disinter the body and hold an autopsy.
disinterested: not interested; indifferent; free of self-interest; impartial
E.g.Given the judge's political ambitions and the lawyers' financial interest in the case, the only disinterested person in the courtroom may have been the court reporter.
disjointed: separated at joints; out of joint; lacking order or coherence
E.g.His remarks were so disjointed that we could not follow his reasoning.
dislodge: remove or force out from a position or dwelling previously occupied
E.g.Thrusting her fist up under the choking man's lower ribs, Margaret used the Heimlich maneuver to dislodge the food caught in his throat.
dismantle: take apart; disassemble; tear down
E.g.Some analysts speculate that Citigroup is facing pressure to dismantle from the federal government.
dismember: cut into small parts; withdraw or exclude from membership, as of a society or body
E.g.Who did dismember the Austrian Empire? Several new countries were established.
dismiss: stop considering; end employment or service of; discharge; refuse to accept or recognize
E.g.Believing in John's love for her, she can dismiss the notion that he might be unfaithful.
disparage: belittle; speak of in a slighting or disrespectful way; reduce in esteem or rank
E.g.A doting mother, Emma was more likely to praise her son's crude attempts at art than to disparage them.
disparate: fundamentally distinct or different in kind; entirely dissimilar
E.g.Unfortunately, Tony and Tina have disparate notions of marriage: Tony sees it as a carefree extended love affair, while Tina sees it as a solemn commitment to build a family and a home.
disparity: difference; condition or fact of being unequal, as in age, rank, or degree
E.g.Their disparity in rank made no difference at all to the prince and Cinderella.
dispassionate: calm; impartial; unaffected by strong emotion or prejudice
E.g.Known in the company for his cool judgment, Bill could impartially examine the causes of a problem, giving a dispassionate analysis of what had gone wrong, and go on to suggest how to correct the mess.
dispatch: act of sending off something; property of being prompt and efficient; message usually sent in haste
E.g.He sent a dispatch to headquarters informing his commander of the great victory.
dispel: scatter; drive away; cause to vanish
E.g.The bright sunlight eventually might dispel the morning mist.
dispense: distribute; prepare and give out; deal out in parts or portions
E.g.I was told that occasionally there is no medication to dispense, sometimes because of a lack of money but other times because of no drugs available in our remote area.
disperse: move away from each other; cause to separate; cause to become widely known
E.g.The police fired tear gas into the crowd to disperse the protesters.
dispirited: lacking in spirit; affected or marked by low spirits
E.g.The coach used all the tricks at his command to buoy up the enthusiasm of his team, which had become dispirited at the loss of the star player.
disputatious: argumentative; fond of arguing; inclined to dispute
E.g.Convinced he knew more than his lawyers, Alan was a disputatious client, ready to argue about the best way to conduct the case.
dissection: analysis; cutting apart in order to examine
E.g.The dissection of frogs in the laboratory is particularly unpleasant to some students.
dissemble: disguise or conceal behind a false appearance; make a false show of
E.g.Even though John tried to dissemble his motive for taking modern dance, we all knew he was there not to dance but to meet girls.
disseminate: distribute; spread; scatter like seeds
E.g.By their use of the Internet, propagandists have been able to disseminate their pet doctrines to new audiences around the globe.
dissent: differ in opinion or feeling; withhold assent or approval
E.g.In the future Supreme Court decision, Justice O'Connor will dissent from the majority opinion.
dissertation: formal essay; paper written by candidate for doctoral degree at university
E.g.In order to earn a graduate degree from many of our universities, a candidate is frequently required to prepare a dissertation on some scholarly subject.
dissident: disagreeing, especially with a majority; rebellious
E.g.In the purge that followed the student demonstrations at Tiananmen Square, the government hunted down the dissident students and their supporters.
dissimulate: pretend; hide feelings from other people
E.g.She tried to dissimulate her grief by her exuberant attitude.
dissipate: spend or expend wastefully; vanish by dispersion; drive away; disperse
E.g.He is a fine artist, but I fear he may dissipate his gifts if he keeps wasting his time playing games.
dissolution: breaking of union; decomposition into fragments or parts; extinction of life; decay
E.g.Which caused King Lear more suffering: the dissolution of his kingdom into warring factions, or of his aged, failing body?.
dissonance: discord; disagreeable sounds; harsh, disagreeable combination of sounds
E.g.Composer Charles Ives often used dissonance clashing or unresolved chords for special effects in his musical works.
dissuade: persuade not to do; discourage
E.g.Since Tom could not dissuade Huck from running away from home, he decided to run away with him.
distant: far in space or time; cold in manner
E.g.His distant greeting made me feel unwelcome from the start.
distend: swell out or expand from or as if from internal pressure
E.g.I can tell when he is under stress by the way the veins distend on his forehead.
distill: give off liquid; purify; refine; increase the concentration of
E.g.And if you feel you must distill the history from the fiction, then you are welcome to do research of your own.
distinct: definite; separate; different
E.g.The UN has always been at pains to say that its role in occupied Iraq is distinct from that of the US-led forces, and many ordinary Iraqis appreciated that the primary UN role was humanitarian.
distinction: excellence or eminence; note or mark of difference
E.g.A slave, of course, in distinction from a free woman, is not permitted complaints.
distinctive: special; unique; marking or expressing distinction or difference
E.g.It is the retailer of unique, distinctive furniture in the Kitchener-Waterloo area.
distort: twist out of proper or natural relation of parts; misshape; misrepresent
E.g.It is difficult to believe the newspaper accounts of the riots because of the way some reporters distort and exaggerate the actual events.
distraught: deeply agitated, as from emotional conflict; mad; insane
E.g.Her father had recently died and her mother was still distraught from the loss.
diurnal: daily; relating to or occurring in a 24-hour period
E.g.A farmer cannot neglect his diurnal tasks at any time; cows, for example, must be milked regularly.
diva: female operatic singer or star
E.g.Although world famous as a diva, she did not indulge in fits of temperament.
diverge: vary; go in different directions from the same point
E.g.The spokes of the wheel diverge from the hub.
diverse: differing in some characteristics; various
E.g.The professor suggested diverse ways of approaching the assignment and recommended that we choose one of them.
diversion: act of turning aside; pastime; activity that relaxes or entertains
E.g.Fargo-Moorhead area officials already have decided that a diversion is the best option but are debating the size and location of the channel.
divest: free of; rid; remove all of one's clothing
E.g.Most secretive of men, let him at last divest himself of secrets, both his and ours.
divine: perceive intuitively; foresee future; have nature of or being a deity
E.g.Nothing infuriated Tom more than Aunt Polly's ability to divine when he was telling the truth.
divulge: reveal; make known to public
E.g.Will update regarding the details, but all I can divulge is that it involves a really good-looking guy.
docile: obedient; ready and willing to be taught; easily managed or handled
E.g.As docile as he seems today, that old lion was once a ferocious, snarling beast.
doctrinaire: unable to compromise about points of doctrine; unyielding
E.g.Weng had hoped that the student-led democracy movement might bring about change in China, but the repressive response of the doctrinaire hard liners crushed his dreams of democracy.
doctrine: principles presented for belief, as by religious; principle of law; act of teaching; instruction
E.g.An essential element to the doctrine is the employer's "continued willingness to employ" the employee.
document: provide written evidence; record in detail
E.g.She kept all the receipts from her business trip in order to document her expenses for the firm.
doff: take off; remove; tip or remove one's hat in salutation; put aside; discard
E.g.A gentleman used to doff his hat to a lady.
doggerel: poor verse; of crude or irregular construction
E.g.Although we find occasional snatches of genuine poetry in her work, most of her writing is mere doggerel.
doldrums: period of depression or unhappy listlessness; slack period; state of inactivity
E.g.Once the excitement of meeting her deadline was over, she found herself in the doldrums.
dolt: stupid person; person who is not very bright
E.g.I thought I was talking to a mature audience; instead, I find myself addressing a dolt or idiot.
dominant: major; important; outweighing
E.g.If the projects are successful, they will help place Russia firmly on the map as one of the world's dominant energy suppliers.
dominate: monopolize; command; rule; prevail; be prevalent in
E.g.People tend to have one side of their brain dominate their thought patterns.
domineer: rule or exercise power in cruel; rule over or control arbitrarily
E.g.Students prefer teachers who guide, not ones who domineer.
don: put clothing on one's body
E.g.When Clark Kent has to don his Superman outfit, he changes clothes in a convenient phone booth.
E.g.Keats believed in the enduring power of great art, which would outlast its creators' brief lives.
energize: give energy to; make forceful and active; supply with an electric current
E.g.Rather than exhausting Maggie, dancing and singing energize her.
enervate: weaken or destroy strength or vitality of; remove a nerve or part of a nerve
E.g.She was slow to recover from her illness; even a short walk to the window would enervate her.
enfranchise: admit to rights of citizenship, especially the right to vote
E.g.USA didn't enfranchise Blacks before the Civil War.
engage: obtain for services of; arrange for the use of; pledge or promise, especially to marry
E.g.She then discussed how the classroom environment, and the teacher knowing how best to get kids to engage, is critical to a good classroom.
engaging: charming; tending to draw attention or affections
E.g.Everyone liked Nancy's pleasant manners and engaging personality.
engender: cause; bring into existence; give rise to
E.g.To receive praise for real accomplishments would engender self-confidence in a child.
engross: occupy exclusively; absorb; acquire most or all of; write or print the final draft of; make large or larger
E.g.John and Chris engross in their studies that both don't hear mother call.
engulf: absorb or swallow up as in a gulf; flow over or cover completely
E.g.We see the bright light engulf him completely.
enhance: make better or more attractive; increase; improve
E.g.This sauce will enhance the flavor of the meat.
enigma: puzzle; difficult problem
E.g."What do women want?" asked Dr. Sigmund Freud. Their behavior was an enigma to him.
enjoin: direct or impose with urgent appeal; order with emphasis
E.g.His cultures enjoin Patel from eating the flesh of a cow, which is sacred in India.
enlist: enter on a list; enroll; register; engage for military or naval service
E.g.It seems strange to me that all round me do not burn to enlist, but join in the same enterprise.
enmity: ill will; hatred; quality or state of being hostile
E.g.At Camp David, President Carter labored to bring an end to the enmity that prevented the peaceful coexistence of Egypt and Israel.
ennui: feeling of being bored by something tedious
E.g.The monotonous routine of hospital life induced a feeling of ennui that made him moody and irritable.
enormity: hugeness in a bad sense; act of extreme evil or wickedness
E.g.He did not realize the enormity of his crime until he saw what suffering he had caused.
enrapture: please intensely; fill with great delight or joy
E.g.The freshness of the voices and the excellent orchestration enrapture the audience.
ensconce: settle oneself securely or comfortably; place or conceal in secure place
E.g.Now that you ensconce their children safely in the private school, the jet-setting parents decide to leave for Europe.
ensue: pursue; follow or come afterward; follow as a consequence
E.g.The evils ensue from lack of a stable government.
entail: imply or require; cause to ensue or accrue; cut or carve in ornamental way
E.g.To identify the unique features would again entail awareness of reality.
enterprise: company; firm; organization created for business ventures
E.g.Huck was always willing to take a hand in any enterprise that offered entertainment and required no capital, for he had a troublesome superabundance of that sort of time which is not money.
enterprising: full of initiative; marked by aggressive ambition and energy and initiative
E.g.By coming up with fresh ways to market the company's products, Mike proved himself to be an enterprising businessman.
enthrall: capture; attract and hold by charm, beauty, or excellence; hold in bondage or subjection
E.g.From the moment he saw her picture, her beauty should enthrall him.
entice: attract by arousing hope or desire
E.g.That would give a much needed boost to the export industry and again entice foreign capital into the country.
entity: real being; something that exists as a particular and discrete unit; fact of existence
E.g.Persons and corporations are equivalent entity under the law.
entomology: study of insects; branch of zoology which treats of insects
E.g.Kent found entomology the most annoying part of his biology course; studying insects bugged him.
entourage: a group of attendants or associates; one's environment
E.g.She told her friends, the ambassador and his entourage from the Emperor, her husband would come back.
entrance: fill with delight or wonder; put into a trance; attract
E.g.Shafts of sunlight on a wall could entrance her and leave her spellbound.
entreat: plead; make earnest request of; ask for earnestly
E.g.She had to entreat her father to let her stay out till midnight.
entrepreneur: person who organizes and operates a business; contractor
E.g.Opponents of our present tax program argue that it discourages entrepreneur from trying new fields of business activity.
enumerate: list each one; mention one by one
E.g.Huck hung his head in shame as Miss Watson began to enumerate his many flaws.
enunciate: speak distinctly; state or set forth precisely or systematically; pronounce; articulate
E.g.Stop mumbling! How will people understand you if you do not enunciate?.
ephemeral: short-lived; enduring a very short time
E.g.The mayfly is an ephemeral creature: its adult life lasts little more than a day.
epic: long heroic poem, or similar work of art
E.g.This epic is a riddle wrapped in a mystery.
epicure: a person with refined taste, especially in food and wine
E.g.The epicure frequents this restaurant because it features exotic wines and dishes.
epigram: witty thought or saying, usually short; short, witty poem expressing a single thought or observation
E.g.The disadvantage of the epigram is the temptation it affords to good people to explain it to the others who are assumed to be too obtuse to comprehend it alone.
epilogue: short speech at conclusion of dramatic work
E.g.The audience was so disappointed in the play that many did not remain to hear the epilogue.
episodic: loosely connected; divided into incidents; occurring or appearing at usually irregular intervals
E.g.Though he tried to follow the plot of Gravity's Rainbow, John found the novel too episodic; he enjoyed individual passages, but had trouble following the work as a whole.
epitaph: inscription on tombstone in memory
E.g.In his will, he dictated the epitaph he wanted placed on his tombstone.
epithet: word or phrase characteristically used to describe a person or thing
E.g.So many kings of France were named Charles that you could tell one apart only by his epithet: Charles the Wise was someone far different from Charles the Fat.
epitome: representative or perfect example of a class or type; brief summary, as of a book or article
E.g.Singing "I am the very model of a modern Major-General," in The Pirates of Penzance, Major-General Stanley proclaimed himself the epitome of an officer and a gentleman.
epoch: particular period of history, especially one considered remarkable
E.g.The glacial epoch lasted for thousands of years.
equable: tranquil; not varying; uniform; not easily disturbed
E.g.After the hot summers and cold winters of New England, he found the climate of the West Indies equable and pleasant.
equanimity: calmness of temperament; steadiness of mind under stress.
E.g.Even the inevitable strains of caring for an ailing mother did not disturb Bea's equanimity.
equestrian: one who rides a horse or performs on horseback
E.g.These paths in the park are reserved for only one equestrian and his steeds.
equilibrium: mental or emotional balance; state of balance of any causes, powers, or motives
E.g.A society which remains in equilibrium is termed static, that which is changing is called dynamic.
equine: be similar or bear likeness to horse; relating to horse
E.g.His long, bony face had an equine look to it.
equinox: period of equal days and nights; beginning of Spring and Autumn
E.g.The vernal equinox is usually marked by heavy rainstorms.
equitable: marked by or having equity; just and impartial
E.g.I am seeking an equitable solution to this dispute, one that will be fair and acceptable to both sides.
equity: ownership interest of shareholders in a corporat; something that is just and fair
E.g.One of the reasons we have invested so heavily in equity is because there has been a drastic disparity in these classrooms, in these desks, in how the base education has been delivered.
equivocal: open to two or more interpretations and often intended to mislead
E.g.Rejecting the candidate's equivocal comments on tax reform, the reporters pressed him to state clearly where he stood on the issue.
equivocate: lie; mislead; attempt to conceal the truth
E.g.The audience saw through his attempts to equivocate on the subject under discussion and ridiculed his remarks.
erode: eat away; wear away by abrasion; become worn
E.g.The film shows how dripping water to erode the limestone until only a thin shell remained.
erotic: pertaining to passionate love; tending to arouse sexual desire
E.g.The erotic passages in this novel should be removed as they are merely pornographic.
errant: wandering; deviating from an appointed course, or from a direct path; roving
E.g.Never shoot at anything without a clearly apparent backstop to contain errant rounds.
erratic: no fixed or regular course; wandering
E.g.State Senate Minority Leader, a Democrat, accused him of engaging in erratic behavior.
erroneous: containing or derived from error; mistaken
E.g.I thought my answer was correct, but it was erroneous.
erudite: learned; scholarly, with emphasis on knowledge gained from books
E.g.Though his fellow students thought him erudite, Paul knew he would have to spend many years in serious study before he could consider himself a scholar.
escapade: wild and exciting undertaking; adventurous or unconventional act
E.g.The headmaster could not regard this latest escapade as a boyish joke and expelled the young man.
eschew: avoid; refuse to use or participate in; stand aloof from
E.g.Hoping to present himself to his girlfriend as a totally reformed character, he tried to eschew all the vices, especially chewing tobacco and drinking bathtub gin.
esoteric: hard to understand; known only in a particular group
E.g.The New Yorker short stories often include esoteric allusions to obscure people and events: the implication is, if you are in the in-crowd, you'll get the reference; if you come from Cleveland, you won't.
espionage: spying; secret observation
E.g.In a statement Monday, the families admit the hikers apparently strayed into Iran by accident, but say: "The allegation that our loved ones may have been engaged in espionage is untrue."
espouse: take in marriage; marry; give one's loyalty or support to; adopt
E.g.She was always ready to espouse a worthy cause.
esteem: regard with respect; favorable regard
E.g.Jill and sisters esteem Jack's taste in music, but they deplore his taste in clothes.
estranged: separated; caused to be unloved
E.g.The estranged wife sought a divorce and believed it was unique chance to lead a new life.
ethereal: light as air; heavenly; unusually refined
E.g.In Shakespeare's The Tempest, the spirit Ariel is an ethereal creature, too airy and unearthly for our mortal world.
ethnic: relating to races; group of people sharing common racial, national, or religious heritage
E.g.But guess why they stay home and suppress what they call ethnic unrest?
ethos: disposition, character, or fundamental values peculiar to a specific person, people, culture, or movement
E.g.Seeing how tenderly ordinary Spaniards treated her small daughter made author Barbara Kingsolver aware of how greatly children were valued in the Spanish ethos.
etymology: study of historical development of languages, particularly as manifested in individual words
E.g.A knowledge of etymology can help you on many English tests: if you know what the roots and prefixes mean, you can determine the meanings of unfamiliar words.
euphemism: mild expression to replace offensive, unpleasant, or embarrassing one
E.g.Regardless of what death euphemism is chosen, there looks to be plenty of people such as Uribe and Santos hoping that Marulanda is indeed dead.
euphoria: feeling of great happiness and well-being, sometimes exaggerated
E.g.Delighted with her SAT scores, sure that the university would accept her, Allison was filled with euphoria.
euthanasia: practice of ending life of hopelessly ill individuals; assisted suicide
E.g.Euthanasia has always been the topic of much moral debate.
evanescent: fleeting; vanishing or likely to vanish like vapor
E.g.Brandon's satisfaction in his new job was evanescent, for he immediately began to notice its many drawbacks.
evasive: avoiding or escaping from difficulty or danger; deliberately vague or ambiguous
E.g.Your evasive answers convinced the judge that you were withholding important evidence.
E.g.Those are made to dwell in fruitful lands; there they take root, and gain a settlement.
fruition: bearing of fruit; fulfillment; realization
E.g.This building marks the fruition of all our aspirations and years of hard work.
frustrate: make null; bring to nothing; prevent from taking effect or attaining fulfillment
E.g.We must frustrate this dictator's plan to seize control of the government.
fugitive: lasting only a short time; fleeting; elusive
E.g.The film brought a few fugitive images to her mind, but on the whole it made no lasting impression upon her.
fulcrum: support on which a lever rests; prop or support
E.g.If we use this stone as a fulcrum and the crowbar as a lever, we may be able to move this boulder.
fulsome: offensively flattering or insincere; offensive; disgusting
E.g.His fulsome praise of the dictator revolted his listeners.
fumble: feel or grope about; make awkward attempts to do or find something; play childishly; \turn over and over
E.g.But then we heard the tramp of men coming to the door, and heard them begin to fumble with the pad-lock, and heard a man say: "I TOLD you we'd be too soon; they haven't come -- the door is locked."
functional: useful; in good working order
E.g.The estimated cost of staffing and maintaining a functional pest management center is approximately 1 million dollars per year.
fundamental: relating to foundation or base; elementary; primary; essential
E.g.El Niao is a natural phenomenon, but some are worried that climate change could now be altering the cycle in fundamental ways.
furor: great excitement; public disorder or uproar
E.g.The story of her embezzlement of the funds created a furor on the Stock Exchange.
furrow: trench in the earth made by a plow; any trench, channel, or groove, as in wood or metal; wrinkle on the face
E.g.A furrow or groove is formed by running water.
furtive: marked by quiet and caution and secrecy
E.g.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.
fusion: union; act of melting together by heat
E.g.True, the energy released in fusion is less than using He-3, but is magnitude cheaper and faster.
fussy: easily upset; given to bouts of ill temper; full of superfluous details
E.g.It can indeed be fussy, filling with ornament what should be empty space.
futile: useless; having no useful result; vain
E.g.Do you simply ignore in futile hope that will cause them to go away?
gadfly: any of various flies, that bite or annoy livestock and other animals; irritating person
E.g.Like a gadfly, he irritated all the guests at the hotel; within forty-eight hours, everyone regarded him as an annoying busybody.
gaffe: socially awkward or tactless act; foolish error, especially one made in public
E.g.According to Miss Manners, to call your husband by your lover's name is worse than a mere gaffe; it is a tactical mistake.
gainsay: speak against; contradict; oppose in words; deny or declare not to be true
E.g.She was too honest to gainsay the truth of the report.
gait: manner of walking or stepping; bearing or carriage while moving; walk; rate of moving
E.g.The lame man walked with an uneven gait.
galaxy: large, isolated system of stars, as the Milky Way; any collection of brilliant personalities
E.g.Give me a sky and I'll show you what a galaxy is all about.
gale: very strong wind; gust of wind; emotional outburst as laughter or tears
E.g.The Weather Channel warned viewers about a rising gale, with winds of up to sixty miles per hour.
gall: bitterness of feeling; vexation
E.g.Sometimes, gall is so shameless it's turned into an art form.
gall: bitterness of feeling; vexation
E.g.Sometimes, gall is so shameless it's turned into an art form.
galleon: large sailing ship, usually having two or more decks and carrying guns
E.g.The Spaniards pinned their hopes on the galleon, the large warship.
galley: boat propelled by oars; large vessel for war and national purposes
E.g.The boy was caught and sold to be a galley slave.
galvanize: stimulate by shock; stir up; stimulate to action
E.g.Perhaps SIV was waiting for some event or announcement to once again galvanize people into marching.
gambit: chess move in which player sacrifices minor pieces in order to obtain advantageous position
E.g.The player was afraid to accept his opponent's gambit because he feared a trap which as yet he could not see.
gambol: dance and skip about in sport; leap playfully
E.g.See children gambol in the park is a pleasant experience.
gamely: bravely; in game manner; in willing and spirited fashion
E.g.Because he had fought gamely against a much superior boxer, the crowd gave him a standing ovation when he left the arena.
gamut: entire range; all notes in musical scale
E.g.In this performance, the leading lady was able to demonstrate the complete gamut of her acting ability.
gape: open widely; yawn from sleepiness, weariness, or dullness
E.g.We saw the huge pit gape before him; if he stumbled, he would fall in.
garbled: mixed up; difficult to understand because it has been distorted
E.g.A favorite party game involves passing a whispered message from one person to another until, by the time it reaches the last player, the message is totally garbled.
gargantuan: huge; of a tremendous size, volume, degree
E.g.The gargantuan wrestler was terrified of mice.
garish: over-bright in color; tastelessly showy
E.g.She wore a rhinestone necklace with an excessively garish gold lame dress.
garner: gather; store up; amass; acquire
E.g.And, of course, that urge to garner is one way in which power ultimately corrupts.
garnish: decorate with ornamental appendages
E.g.Parsley was used to garnish the boiled potato.
garrulous: talking much and repetition of unimportant or trivial details
E.g.My Uncle Henry can outtalk any three people I know. He is the most garrulous person in Cayuga County.
gauche: awkward or lacking in social graces; coarse and uncouth
E.g.Compared to the sophisticated young ladies in their elegant gowns, tomboyish Jo felt gauche and out of place.
gaudy: very showy or ornamented, especially when excessive, or in a tasteless or vulgar manner
E.g.The newest Trump skyscraper is typically gaudy, covered in gilded panels that gleam in the sun.
gaunt: very thin, especially from disease or hunger or cold; barren
E.g.His once round face looked surprisingly gaunt after he had lost weight.
gavel: hammer-like tool; small mallet used by a presiding officer or a judge
E.g.And again, this -- these aren't final tallies until the gavel is actually down.
gawk: stare foolishly; look in open-mouthed awe
E.g.The country boys gawk at the skyscrapers and neon lights of the big city.
gazette: periodical; newspaper or official journal
E.g.The Ontario gazette is a weekly publication from the Ontario government.
genealogy: account or history of descent of person or family from ancestor; lineage
E.g.He was proud of his genealogy and constantly referred to the achievements of his ancestors.
generality: quality of being general; an idea having general application
E.g.This report is filled with generality; be more specific in your statements.
generate: bring into being; give rise to; produce
E.g.Their primary concern is not the health of the American people it is to maximize the revenue they can generate from the American people.
generic: of an entire group or class; general
E.g.I typically ask whether another suitable drug is available in a generic form.
genesis: coming into being of something; origin
E.g.But let's rewind, back to the beginning, as their genesis is available for all to read online.
geniality: warmth of disposition and manners; kindliness; sympathy
E.g.This restaurant is famous and popular because of the geniality of the proprietor who tries to make everyone happy.
genre: type or class; a kind of literary or artistic work
E.g.Considering this change in genre, is there room for Castlevania to move into other styles of game?
genteel: well-bred; marked by refinement in taste and manners
E.g.We are looking for a man with a genteel appearance who can inspire confidence by his cultivated manner.
gentility: quality of being well-mannered; refinement; people of good birth
E.g.Her family was proud of its gentility and elegance.
gentle: well-born; of a good family or respectable birth; mild; meek; bland; amiable; tender
E.g.His aunt Polly stood surprised a moment, and then broke into a gentle laugh.
gentry: the most powerful members of society
E.g.The local gentry did not welcome the visits of the summer tourists and tried to ignore their presence in the community.
germ: bacteria; earliest form of an organism; seed
E.g.He finds that his diet of wheat germ and organic honey isn't nutritious at all.
germane: related to the topic being discussed or considered; appropriate or fitting; relevant
E.g.The judge refused to allow the testimony to be heard by the jury because it was not germane to the case.
germinal: containing seeds of later development; creative
E.g.Such an idea is germinal, I am certain that it will influence thinkers and philosophers for many generations.
germinate: cause to sprout or grow; come into existence
E.g.After the seeds germinate and develop their permanent leaves, the plants may be removed from the cold frames and transplanted to the garden.
gesticulation: deliberate, vigorous motion or gesture
E.g.The operatic performer is trained to make an exaggerated gesticulation because of the large auditorium.
ghastly: horrible; inspiring shock; extremely unpleasant or bad
E.g.Another reason the summer of 2009 seems so ghastly is because other countries are living through infinitely more exciting times.
gibberish: unintelligible or nonsensical talk or writing; babbling
E.g.True, the great majority of these would be gibberish, but writing a program that can screen out them is a difficult project.
gibe: mock; laugh at with contempt and derision
E.g.As you gibe at their superstitious beliefs, do you realize that you, too, are guilty of similarly foolish thoughts?
giddy: lacking seriousness; dizzy; frivolous and lighthearted
E.g.The Democrats were still in giddy spirits during the convention and didn't take rivals seriously.
gingerly: with great care or delicacy; cautiously
E.g.To separate egg whites, first crack the egg gingerly.
girth: distance around something; circumference
E.g.It took an extra-large cummerbund to fit around Andrew Carnegie's considerable girth.
gist: most essential or most vital part of some idea or experience; central idea
E.g.The legends vary in detail but the gist is the same.
glacial: like a glacier; extremely cold; lacking warmth and friendliness
E.g.Never a warm person, when offended John could seem positively glacial.
glare: light; brightness; fierce or angry stare
E.g.The next thing I remember is, waking up with a feeling as if I had had a frightful nightmare, and seeing before me a terrible red glare, crossed with thick black bars.
glaring: shining intensely and blindingly; staring with anger or fierceness
E.g.More glaring is the omission of accounting for regional differences in the cost of living, such as housing costs, which vary greatly throughout the country.
glaze: thin smooth shiny coating; glassy film, as one over the eyes
E.g.That glaze is just a mix of strained pulp and sugar.
gleam: cause to emit a flash of light
E.g.Shakespeare makes Portia exclaim, when she sees the light of a candle, the only light for the palaces of kings in her day, gleam from the window of her home, which she is approaching.
glean: gather; collect; pick up
E.g.You may misinterpret your cat if you try to glean a message from her eyes alone.
glib: performed with a natural or offhand ease
E.g."Excuse me, sir," said the man in glib English.
glimmer: shine brightly, like a star or a light
E.g.The stairs were partially illumined by an uncertain glimmer from a narrow window into the street.
glitter: bright, sparkling light; brilliant and showy luster; brilliancy
E.g.The gloss and glitter of Hollywood seemed fascinating to the girl.
gloat: feel or express great, often malicious, pleasure or self-satisfaction
E.g.The only time you can sit back, relax and gloat is when you win it all.
gloss: provide extensive explanation for words or phrases
E.g.No matter how hard he tried to talk around the issue, President Bush could not gloss over the fact that he had raised taxes after all.
glossary: brief explanation of words, often placed at back of book
E.g.I have found the glossary in this book very useful; it has eliminated many trips to the dictionary.
glossy: smooth and shining; reflecting luster from smooth or polished surface; plausible
E.g.I want this photograph printed on glossy paper.
glow: shine with an intense or white heat; give forth vivid light and heat; exhibit a strong, bright color
E.g.The children's cheeks glow from the cold.
glower: look at with a fixed gaze; angry stare
E.g.The angry brothers glower at his father.
glut: fill beyond capacity, especially with food; swallow greedlly
E.g.The many manufacturers glut the market and could not find purchasers for the excess articles they have produced.
glutton: person who eats too much food and drink
E.g.When Mother saw that Bobby had eaten all the cookies, she called him a little glutton.
gnarled: twisted; knotty; made rough by age or hard work
E.g.The gnarled oak tree had been a landmark for years and was mentioned in several deeds.
gnome: dwarf; fabled race of dwarflike creatures who live underground
E.g.In medieval mythology, gnome was the special guardian and inhabitant of subterranean mines.
goad: urge with a long pointed stick; give heart or courage to
E.g.His friends goad him until he yields to their wishes.
gobble: swallow or eat greedily or hastily; gulp; utter a sound like a turkey cock
E.g.As I am still hungry, I gobble up a second sandwich.
gorge: stuff oneself; overeat; make a pig of oneself
E.g.The guests gorge themselves with foods as though they had not eaten for days.
gorge: stuff oneself; overeat; make a pig of oneself
E.g.The guests gorge themselves with foods as though they had not eaten for days.
gory: bloody; full by bloodshed and violence
E.g.At last night's gathering, Thompson described in gory detail the injuries suffered by McCain during his capture and detention at the Hoa Lo Prison in North Vietnam.
gossamer: sheer, light, delicate, or tenuous
E.g.They would laugh in gossamer tones, and then move on gracefully to someone else, sometimes moving gracefully at speeds exceeding 40 mph.
gouge: force with the thumb; make a groove in
E.g.He began to gouge a small pattern in the sand with his cane.
gouge: force with the thumb; make a groove in
E.g.He began to gouge a small pattern in the sand with his cane.
gourmand: person who takes excessive pleasure in food and drink
E.g.John is a gourmand lacking self restraint; if he enjoys a particular cuisine, he eats far too much of it.
gourmet: person with discriminating taste in food and wine
E.g.The gourmet stated that this was the best onion soup she had ever tasted.
gracious: beneficent; merciful; disposed to show kindness or favor
E.g.He actually went on to praise John McCain for giving a gracious concession speech.
graduate: one who has received an academicals or professional degree; one who has completed the prescribed course of study
E.g.He is a graduate in medicine.
graduated: having a university degree; having completed training; having steps; arranged by grade, level, degree
E.g.Margaret loved her graduated set of Russian hollow wooden dolls; she spent hours happily putting the smaller dolls into their larger counterparts.
granary: building for storing threshed grain; region yielding much grain
E.g.When you harvest your crop, you store it in a fat dried mud and stick granary, which is taller than you can reach.
grandeur: quality or condition of being grand; magnificence
E.g.The concept that matter and energy are inter-convertible strikes to the core of the universe, probably exceeds in grandeur any other picture the field of physical science.
grandiloquent: speaking or expressed in lofty style; using high sounding language; overly wordy
E.g.The politician could never speak simply; she was always grandiloquent.
grandiose: impressive from inherent grandeur; large and impressive, in size, scope or extent
E.g.The aged matinee idol still had grandiose notions of his supposed importance in the theatrical world.
granulate: form into grains or small masses; make rough on surface
E.g.We used to granulate sugar in order to dissolve more readily.
graphic: represented by graph; described in vivid detail; clearly outlined
E.g.Read the story, then enlarge the title graphic to see what its about.
graphite: something used as a lubricant and as a moderator in nuclear reactors
E.g.One of the benefits of using graphite is that it keeps the silver from oxidizing, so bullets come out bright and shiny.
grapple: wrestle; come to grips with; seize firmly, as with the hands
E.g.He can grapple with the burglar and overpowered him.
grate: make a harsh noise; have an unpleasant effect; shred
E.g.The screams of the quarreling children grate on her nerves.
gratify: give pleasure to; satisfy; indulge; make happy
E.g.Hence an important means towards happiness is the control of our desires, and the extinction of those that we cannot gratify, which is brought about by virtue.
gratis: free, without charge; costing nothing
E.g.The company offered to give one package gratis to every purchaser of one of their products.
gratuitous: given freely; unwarranted; granted without recompense; unearned
E.g.Yet many of these movies contain gratuitous and graphic violence.
gratuity: something given freely or without recompense; free gift; a present
E.g.To express their gratitude, patients provided a more-or-less voluntary gratuity.
gravity: seriousness; solemn and dignified feeling; natural force between two massive bodies
E.g.We could tell we were in serious trouble from the gravity of the principal's expression.
gregarious: sociable; seeking and enjoying the company of others
E.g.Natural selection in gregarious animals operates upon groups rather than upon individuals.
grievance: cause of grief or distress; discomfort or pain
E.g.When her supervisor ignored her complaint, she took her grievance to the union.
grill: question severely; torture or afflict
E.g.In violation of the Miranda law, the policemen grill the suspect for several hours before reading him his rights.
grim: unrelenting; rigid; dismal and gloomy; cold and forbidding
E.g.Robert held her gaze for a long time, his expression grim and slightly troubled.
grimace: facial distortion to show feeling such as pain, disgust
E.g.Even though he remained silent, his grimace indicated his displeasure.
grisly: frightfully; terribly; inspiring horror
E.g.The Israeli strikes on Gaza are being broadcast in grisly detail almost continually on Arab satellite networks.
groom: boy or young man; waiter; servant; man recently married, or about to be married; bridegroom
E.g.In the United States, on average a groom is 2.3 years older than his bride.
groove: long narrow furrow or channel; settled routine; very pleasurable experience
E.g.If a groove is chipped across one of the concrete columns or through one of the bond beams within the walls, it will weaken the structure.
grotesque: fantastic; comically hideous; unnatural in shape or size; abnormal
E.g.On Halloween people enjoy wearing grotesque costumes.
grotto: small cave, usually with attractive features
E.g.Inside the grotto is a large hole full of toads and serpents, by which you descend to a small cellar containing the spring.
grouse: complain or grumble; seek or shoot grouse
E.g.Students traditionally grouse about the abysmal quality of "mystery meat" and similar dormitory food.
grovel: crawl or creep on ground; remain prostrate
E.g.Do we not grovel here long enough, eating and drinking like mere brutes?
growl: utter a deep guttural sound, as angry dog; give forth an angry, grumbling sound; emit low guttural sound
E.g.Meanwhile Armstrong continues to grunt, to growl, to bite into his gums but all to no avail: he's over five minutes behind now.
grudge: be unwilling or reluctant to give or admit; be envious; show discontent
E.g.The students have to stop protesting and grudge the higher tuition money.
grudging: unwilling or with reluctance; stingy
E.g.We received only grudging support from the mayor despite his earlier promises of aid.
gruel: liquid food made by boiling oatmeal
E.g.Our daily allotment of gruel made the meal not only monotonous but also unpalatable.
grueling: by effort to the point of exhaustion, especially physical effort
E.g.Lawmakers around the nation spent Tuesday in grueling, around-the-clock budget sessions as they struggled to avoid government shutdowns.
gruesome: causing horror and repugnance; frightful and shocking
E.g.Rader seemed to proudly relive his crimes as he recounted his killings in gruesome detail, right in front of the victims' families.
gruff: having rough, surly, or harsh nature
E.g.Although he was blunt and gruff with most people, he was always gentle with children.
grumble: utter or emit low dull rumbling sounds
E.g.When a local historical society showed interest in preserving the Cider Barrel, he began to grumble, complaining about the "society."
guffaw: loud, rude burst of laughter; horse-laugh
E.g.A loud guffaw that came from the closed room indicated that the members of the committee had not yet settled down to serious business.
guile: skillful deceit; disposition to deceive or cheat; disguise cunningly
E.g.lago uses considerable guile to trick Othello into believing that Desdemona has been unfaithful.
guileless: free from deceit; sincere; honest
E.g.He is naive, simple, and guileless; he cannot be guilty of fraud.
guise: outward appearance or aspect; mode of dress; false appearance
E.g.The Mona Lisa, in its kind of mysterious guise, is really a creation of 19th-century French critics who chose to see it in those terms.
gull: mostly white aquatic bird having long pointed wings and short legs
E.g.The Yukon's most common and widespread gull species arrive in early-May and breed throughout the area.
gullible: easily deceived or cheated; easily tricked because of being too trusting
E.g.This time, unlike gullible investors during the 1920s, the big losers would be taxpayers, who never had the choice of not playing.
gush: flow forth suddenly in great volume; make an excessive display
E.g.The president uses Twitter to inform followers about events he attends, to post articles he finds interesting, and to gush about famous visitors to campus.
gust: blast; outburst
E.g.If a gust of wind swept the waste, I looked up, fearing it was the rush of a bull; if a plover whistled, I imagined it a man.
gustatory: relating to sense of taste; relating to gustation
E.g.The Thai restaurant offered an unusual gustatory experience for those used to a bland cuisine.
gusto: vigorous enjoyment; enthusiasm
E.g.The culture of making learning something to love and engage in with gusto is totally absent.
gusty: windy or stormy; given to sudden bursts of passion; excitable; irritable
E.g.Winds may be occasionally gusty from the northwest during the afternoon