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- to depart clandestinely; to steal off and hide
- Several prisoners absconded from the jail.
- adj: deviating from the norm
- noun form: aberration
- aberrant weather we've been having
- noun: eager and enthusiastic willingness
- She accepted the invitation with an alacrity that surprised me.
- noun: deviation from the normal order, form, or rule; abnormality
- adj form: anomalous
- We couldn't explain the anomalies in the test results.
- noun: an expression of approval or praise
- The company has even received the approbation of its former critics.
- adj: stenuous, taxing; requiring significant effort
- an arduous journey across miles of desert
- verb: to ease or lessen; to appease or pacify
- He couldn't assuage his guilt over the divorce.
- adj: daring and fearless; recklessly bold
- noun form: audacity
- They have audacious plans for the new school.
- adj: without adornment; bare; severely simple; ascetic
- noun form: austerity
- They choose austere furnishings for the office.
- adj: taken as a given; possessing self-evident truth
- noun form: axiom
- it's axiomatic that the instinct for self-preservation is universal throughout the animal kingdom
- adj: following or in agreement with accepted, traditional standards
- noun form: canon
- What's been going on in the stock market hardly fits canonical notions of rationality.
- adj: inclined to change one's mind impulsively; erratic, unpredictable
- employees who are at the mercy of a capricious manager
- verb: to criticize severely; to officially rebuke
- The country faces international censure for its alleged involvement in the assassination.
- noun: trickery or subterfuge
- He wasn't above using chicanery to win votes.
- noun: an informed and astute judge in matters of taste; expert
- She is a connoisseur of African art.
- adj: complex or complicated
- a convoluted explanation that left the listeners even more confused than they were before
- verb: to undeceive; to set right
- let me disabuse you of your foolish notions about married life
- adj: conflicting; dissonant or harsh in sound
- She has the difficult task of bringing together a number of discordant elements.
- adj: fundamentally distinct or dissimilar
- disparate notions among adults and adolescents about when middle age begins
- noun: extreme boldness; presumptuousness
- the little squirt had the effrontery to deny eating any cookies, even with the crumbs still on his lips
- adj: well-spoken, expressive, articulate
- noun form: eloquence
- His success serves as an eloquent reminder of the value of hard work.
- verb: to weaken; to reduce in vitality
- the surgery really enervated me for weeks afterwards
- noun: dissatisfaction and restlessness resulting from boredom or apathy
- the kind of ennui that comes from having too much time on one's hands and too little will to find something productive to do
- verb: to use ambiguous language with a deceptive intent
- adj form: equivocal
- The applicant seemed to be equivocating when we asked him about his last job.
- adj: very learned; scholarly
- noun form: erudition
- the most erudite people in medical research attended the conference
- verb: exonerate; to clear of blame
- The court exculpated him after a thorough investigation.
- adj: urgent, pressing; requiring immediate action or attention
- started his workday with a flood of exigent matters that required his quick decision
- adj: improvised; done without preparation
- caught by surprise, I had to make an extemporaneousspeech at the awards banquet
- noun: intentional obstruction, esp. using prolonged speechmaking to delay legislative action
- They engaged in a filibuster that lasted for over a week.
- verb: to loudly attack or denounce
- She was fulminating about the dangers of smoking.
- adj: artless; frank and candid; lacking in sophistication
- The little boy’s ingenuous habit of constantly telling the truth made him unpopular at school.
- adj: accustomed to accepting something undesirable
- Does violence on television inure children to violence in real life?
- adj: easily angered; prone to temperamental outbursts
- an irascible old football coach
- verb: to praise highly
- adj form: laudatory
- an actor who in his lifetime received all the laud and honor that the theater world could bestow
- adj: clear; easily understood
- He is able to recognize his wife in his lucid moments.
- noun: the quality of being generously noble in mind and heart, esp. in forgiving
- adj form: magnanimous
- His enemies he treated with the greatest magnanimity; no bloody executions followed the victory of the Milvian Bridge.
- adj: associated with war and the armed forces
- one of the basic tenets of martial law
- adj: of the world; typical of or concerned with the ordinary
- mundane chores, like washing dishes
- adj: coming into being; in early developmental stages
- The actress is now focusing on her nascent singing career.
- adj: vague; cloudy; lacking clearly defined form
- These philosophical concepts can be nebulous.
- noun: a new word, expression, or usage; the creation or use of new words or senses
- He also joined words together to create neologisms
- adj: harmful, injurious
- mixing bleach and ammonia can cause noxious fumes that can seriously harm you
- adj: lacking sharpness of intellect; not clear or precise in thought or expression
- He is too obtuse to take a hint.
- verb: to anticipate and make unnecessary
- The new medical treatment obviates the need for surgery.
- adj: troubling; burdensome
- The government imposed onerous taxes on imports.
- noun: a song or hymn of praise and thanksgiving
- his retirement party featured many paeans for his long years of service to the company
- noun: a humorous imitation intended for ridicule or comic effect, esp. in literature and art
- He has a talent for writing parodies.
- adj: recurrent through the year or many years; happening repeatedly
- Flooding is a perennial problem for people living by the river.
- noun: intentional breach of faith; treachery
- adj form: perfidious
- They are guilty of perfidy.
- adj: cursory; done without care or interest
- the violinist delivered a perfunctory performance that displayed none of the passion and warmth he was once known for
- adj: acutely perceptive; having keen discernment
- noun form: perspicacity
- The perspicacious salesman earned a great living because he knew how to read his customers.
- verb: to babble meaninglessly; to talk in an empty and idle manner
- They prattled on into the night, discussing school, music, and friends.
- adj: acting with excessive haste or impulse
- verb: to cause to happen before anticipated or required
- The budget problem was precipitated by many unexpected costs.
- noun: a disposition in favor of something; preference
- a young lad with a predilection for telling tall tales
- noun: foreknowledge of events; knowing of events prior to their occurring
- adj form: prescient
- He predicted their response with amazing prescience.
- verb: to deliberately avoid the truth; to mislead
- Government officials prevaricated about the real costs of the project.
- noun: misgivings; reservations; causes for hesitancy
- she has no qualms about downloading pirated music files from the Internet
- verb: to retract, esp. a previously held belief
- Witnesses threatened to recant their testimony when the court released their names to the paper.
- verb: to disprove; to successfully argue against
- The lawyer refuted the testimony of the witness.
- verb: to forcibly assign, esp. to a lower place or position
- courtiers and generals who incurred the emperor's disfavor were soon relegated to the farther reaches of the empire
- adj: quiet; reserved; reluctant to express thoughts and feelings
- her husband is by nature a reticent person, and she resigned herself to that fact long ago
- adj: concerned and attentive; eager
- I appreciated his solicitous inquiry about my health.
- adj: characterized by filth, grime, or squalor; foul
- he managed to rise above the sordid streets upon which he grew up
- adj: occurring only occasionally, or in scattered instances
- sporadic loud noises kept startling everyone
- verb: to waste by spending or using irresponsibly
- squandered all her money gambling in casinos
- adj: not moving, active, or in motion; at rest
- the static installation of the statue in that niche means that no one will ever see its back, which is also of interest
- verb: to stun, baffle, or amaze
- stupefied by the ruling that he could not compete because his missed the qualifying age by two days
- verb: to block; to thwart
- Progress on the project has been stymied by lack of money.
- noun: the combination of parts to make a whole
- verb form: synthesize
- a philosophy that is a kind of synthesis of several schools of Western and Eastern thought
- noun: a force that causes rotation
- torque wrench
- adj: winding, twisting; excessively complicated
- a tortuous path up the mountain
- adj: fierce and cruel; eager to fight
- die-hard fans who became truculent and violent after their team's loss
- noun: truthfulness, honesty
- We questioned the veracity of his statements.
- adj: extremely harmful or poisonous; bitterly hostile or antagonistic
- the virulent look on her face warned me that she was about to say something unkind
- adj: having an insatiable appetite for an activity or pursuit; ravenous
- it seemed like the voracious kitten was eating her weight in food every day
- verb: to move to and fro; to sway; to be unsettled in opinion
- The kite wavered in the wind.