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- adj.relying upon doctrine or dogma, as opposed to evidence
- An example of dogmatic is insisting that a feminist view is the one and only way to look at literature.
- She's become so dogmatic lately that arguing with her is pointless.
- adj.selecting or employing individual elements from a variety of sources:
- "Many modern decorators prefer an eclectic style." (n: eclecticism)
- n.effectiveness; capability to produce a desired effect
- An example of efficacy is when a crime bill is effective at stopping crime.
- questioned the efficacy of the alarms in actually preventing auto theft
- adj., nthe quality of flowing out. something that flows out, such as a stream from a river (n: effluence)
- An example of effluent is sewage dumped into the Mississippi river.
- The factory has been accused of discharging effluent into the river.
- adj., n.softening; something that softens
- Aloe cream that you put on sunburned skin is an example of an emollient cream.
- An approach to resolving conflict intended to create a peace treaty that will end a war between two fighting countries is an example of an emollient approach.
- v.to strive to equal or excel (n: emulation)
- An example of emulate is a little boy trying to be like his father.
- She grew up emulating her sports heroes.
- n.a formal eulogy or speech of praise
- An example of an encomium is the speech given to the recipient of a service award presented each year by a town’s city hall.
- the encomiums bestowed on a teacher at her retirement ceremonies
- adj.prevalent in or native to a certain region, locality, or people:
- "The disease was endemic to the region." Don't confuse this word with epidemic.
- v.to weaken or destroy the strength or vitality of:
- "The heat enervated everyone."
- (adj: enervating)
- v.to give rise to, to propagate, to cause:
- "His slip of the tongue engendered much laughter."
- n.puzzle; mystery:
- "Math is an enigma to me."
- (adj: enigmatic)
- adj.lasting for only a brief time, fleeting (n: ephemera)
- An example of ephemeral is a plant blossom that only lasts one day.
- the autumnal blaze of colors is always to be treasured, all the more so because it is so ephemeral
- adj.ambiguous; unclear; subject to more than one interpretation -- often intentionally so:
- "Republicans complained that Bill Clinton's answers were equivocal."
- (v. equivocate)
- adj.scholarly; displaying deep intensive learning. (n: erudition)
- An example of erudite is a professor of literature.
- the most erudite people in medical research attended the conference
- adj.intended for or understood by only a few:
- "The esoteric discussion confused some people."
- (n: esoterica)
- n.a spoken or written tribute to the deceased (v. eulogize)
- An example of a eulogy is a tribute given about someone at a funeral Mass.
- He delivered a moving eulogy at his father's funeral.
- v.to increase the bitterness or violence of; to aggravate:
- "The decision to fortify the border exacerbated tensions."
- v.to demonstrate or prove to be blameless:
- "The evidence tended to exculpate the defendant."
- (adj: exculpatory)
- adj.exceeding customary or normal limits, esp. in quantity or price:
- "The cab fare was exorbitant."
- adj.fully and clearly expressed
- An example of explicit is someone giving very straightforward directions to a location.
- They were given explicit instructions.
- adj.in existence, still existing:
- "The only extant representative of that species."
- n., v.a measure of length (six feet) used in nautical settings. to penetrate to the depths of something in order to understand it:
- "I couldn't fathom her reasoning on that issue."
- v.to seek favor or attention; to act subserviently (n, adj: fawning)
- An example of to fawn is how a young girl acts towards a boy she likes.
- a student who could not wait to fawn over the new teacher
- v.to give false appearance or impression:
- "He feigned illness to avoid going to school." (adj: feigned)
- adj.highly emotional; hot:
- "The partisans displayed a fervent patriotism."
- (n: fervor)
- n., adj.a baby bird; an inexperienced person; inexperienced.
- A company that has just opened its doors and gone into business is an example of a fledgling.
- at hockey he's still a fledgling and needs to work on his basic skating skills
- adj.flushed with a rosy color, as in complexion; very ornate and flowery:
- "florid prose."
- An example of someone who would be described as florid is a red-faced, flushed runner whose face has turned red with exertion.
- gave a florid speech in honor of the queen's visit
- "We tried to save the floundering business."
- adj.verbose; talkative; rambling:
- "We tried to avoid our garrulous neighbor."
- n., adj.fine cobweb on foliage; fine gauzy fabric; very fine:
- "She wore a gossamer robe."
- n.skillful deceit:
- "He was well known for his guile."
- (v. bequile; adj: beguiling. Note, however, that these two words have an additional meaning: to charm (v.) or charming (adj:), while the word guile does not generally have any such positive connotations)
- adj.honest; straightforward (n: guilelessness)
- An example of someone who is guileless is an honest and innocent girl who just arrived in a big city and who believes that everyone is as honest and good as she.
- she was an easygoing, guileless young woman who was comfortable just being herself
- An example of hapless is someone who seems to break everything they touch.
- She plays the hapless heroine who is unlucky in love.
- adj., adv.headfirst; impulsive; hasty. impulsively; hastily; without forethought:
- "They rushed headlong into marriage."
- adj.similar in nature or kind; uniform:
- "a homogeneous society."
- n.one who attacks traditional ideas or institutions or one who destroys sacred images (adj: iconoclastic)
- An example of an iconoclast is someone who destroys pictures of Jesus.
- An example of an iconoclast is someone who protests against democracy in the U.S.
- notorious as an iconoclast, that music critic isn't afraid to go after sacred cows
- adj.penniless; poor
- An example of impecunious is someone living on the street.
- they were so impecunious that they couldn't afford to give one another even token Christmas gifts
- An example of imperious is a demand by a new house guest that you go to the store and buy him the type of drink he enjoys.
- an imperious little boy who liked to tell the other scouts what to do
- n.insinuation or connotation (v. implicate)
- An example of implication is the policeman connecting a person to a crime even though there is no evidence.
- I'm offended by his implication that women can't be good at mathematics.
- v.to suggest indirectly; to entail:
- "She implied she didn't believe his story." (n: implication)
- n.an absence of foresight; a failure to provide for future needs or events:
- "Their improvidence resulted in the loss of their home."
- adj.in an initial or early stage; incomplete; disorganized:
- "The act of writing forces one to clarify incohate thoughts."
- adj.not capable of being corrected:
- "The school board finally decided the James was incorrigible and expelled him from school."
- adj.permanent; unerasable; strong:
- "The Queen made an indelible impression on her subjects."
- adj.undescribable; inexpressible in words; unspeakable
- An example of ineffable is overwhelming sadness that one does not know how to show.
- An example of ineffable is the name of a deity that cannot be said out of respect.
- an ineffable beauty descends upon the canyon as the sun begins to set
- v.to deduce:
- "New genetic evidence led some zoologists to infer that the red wolf is actually a hybrid of the coyote and the gray wolf."
- "She developed an ingenious method for testing her hypothesis."(n: ingenuity)
- adj.unsophisticated; artless; straightforward; candid:
- "Wilson's ingenuous response to the controversial calmed the suspicious listeners."
- v.to hold back, prohibit, forbid, or restrain (n: inhibition, adj: inhibited)
- An example of inhibit is locking a door to keep people from coming in.
- You shouldn't allow fear of failure to inhibit you.
- adj.harmless; having no adverse affect; not likely to provoke strong emotion
- An example of innocuous is playful teasing between friends.
- He told a few innocuous jokes.