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adj: having a sour or bitter taste or character; sharp; biting
Acerbic comments directed at those who deserve them.
verb: to increase in intensity, power, influence, or prestige
aggrandize your farm by purchasing the property next to it.
- noun: a medieval science aimed at the transmutation of metals, esp. base metals into gold
- (an alchemist is one who practices alchemy)
It's the same transition that let us move from alchemy to atomic physics.
adj: agreeable; responsive to suggestion
Managements of both companies must be amenable to the idea.
noun: something or someone out of place in terms of historical or chronological context
adj: having a tightening effect on living tissue; harsh; severe; something with a tightening effect on tissue
The physical properties of the powder also give it a mildastringent action.
adj: sharing a border; touching; adjacent
So far gene recombination can move only single genes or small contiguous gene units.
noun: a generally agreed-upon practice or attitude
Convention holds that politics stops at the water's edge
- adj: tending to believe too readily; gullible
- noun form: credulity
The law will afford relief even to the simple and credulous who have been duped by art and falsehood.
- noun: an attitude or quality of belief that all people are motivated by selfishness
- adj form: cynical
Such people need to rethink their cynicism because it distorts their thinking.
- noun: polite or appropriate conduct or behavior
- adj form: decorus
How you handle it is an index of the quality, wisdom and decorum of the things inside you.
- noun: scorn, ridicule, contemptuous treatment
- adj form: derisive
- verb form: deride
The comment met with immediate derision across the internet.
verb: to dry out or dehydrate; to make dry or dull
noun: one with an amateurish or superficial interest in the arts or a branch of knowledge
Most of my readers don't know I'm a dilettante techno musician.
verb: to slight or belittle
Don't disparage anecdotal evidence or pretend that there is no emotion in medical research.
verb: to disclose something secret
Its consultants almost never even divulge their clients' identities.
verb: to flatter or praise excessively
Western culture seems to fawn over attention-seeking extroverts while introverts are overlooked.
verb: to show contempt for, as in a rule or convention
A college of wit-crackers cannot flout me out of my humor.
adj: pointlessly talkative; talking too much
adj: marked by ease or informality; nonchalant; lacking in depth; superficial
Many senior administrators are smooth and glib, in the manner of politicians.
noun: overbearing presumption or pride; arrogance
The leader of the cult had so much hubris he believed the government would never be able to capture him.
adj: about to happen; impending
When the Secret Service arrived, everyone knew the president’s arrival was imminent.
adj: not capable of change
When two people get married, it is with the assumption that their feelings for each other are immutable and will never alter.
adj: hastily or rashly energetic; impulsive and vehement
His impetuous behavior landed him in prison.
adj: having no interest or concern; showing no bias or prejudice
adj: damaging; harmful; injurious
The dog and cat are inimical to each other.
adj: not easily managed or directed; stubborn; obstinate
It was a brilliant simplification of an intractable problem.
adj: steadfast and courageous
The intrepid kitten walked slowly in front of the two big dogs.
adj: using few words; terse
a laconic reply
noun: an independent individual who does not go along with a group or party
You are the maverick who chooses to buck the accepted scientific orthodoxy.
adj: characterized by rapid and unpredictable change in mood
While she can be mercurial, he is grounding
verb: to calm or soothe; to reduce in emotional intensity
If nothing else, it may mollify their concerns for awhile.
noun: a recent convert; a beginner; novice
Pitching a tent can be frustrating for seasoned and neophyte campers alike.
verb: to deliberately obscure; to make confusing
The purpose of writing is to communicate, not to obfuscate.
adj: hard-headed; uncomprimising
Employees grow more obstinate when put back to work under a court decree.
adj: characterized by or given to pretentious display; showy
The city lacks ostentatious palaces, temples, or monuments.
- verb: to permeate throughout
- adj form: pervasive
In fact, steer clear of the negativity that can pervade academia.
adj: calm; sluggish; unemotional
We are said to be the most phlegmatic and unemotional of peoples.
noun: an overabundance; a surplus
But the plethora of commercial interruptions is often hard to take.
adj: practical rather than idealistic
The book's mind-over-matter approach is pragmatic and well-explained.
adj: overstepping due bounds (as of propriety or courtesy); taking liberties
Also, it would be presumptuous of me to say what your dream means to you.
adj: pure; uncorrupted; clean
Cooled further and cut, pristine glass is very strong.
noun: adherence to highest principles; complete and confirmed integrity; uprightness
Singapore is now a model of probity, but in the 1950's it was awash in corruption.
noun: a natural predisposition or inclination
I'm pretty sure dogs are born with a proclivity to enjoy riding in the car.
- adj: excessively wasteful; recklessly extravagant
- noun form: profligacy
The curse of broadcast technologies is that they are profligate users of limited resources.
noun: a natural inclination or tendency; penchant
But odder still is the coyote's propensity for breeding with wolves.
adj: dull; lack in spirit or imagination
Whether the prosaic chancellor shares these ambitions is unclear.
adj: characterized by a strong, sharp smell or taste
Swarms of flies rose from pungent clots of slick, stagnant water.
adj: foolishly impractical; marked by lofty romantic ideals
She is a quixotic mixture of illusion and reality.
adj: occurring or recurring daily; commonplace
Their cabinets are quotidian, their surroundings absolutely ordinary.
verb: to make or become thin, less dense; to refine
the law gets so rarefied that it doesn't reflect the reality of people's lives then you are in trouble.
adj: hidden; concealed; difficult to understand; obscure
Well, anyone who has ever pored over a scientific research paper will recall its recondite jargon.
adj: radiant; shiny; brilliant
Color, refulgent and ecstatic, turns out to trump sculptural form.
verb: to fail to honor a commitment; to go back on a promise
Many worried that the mayor would renege on any pledge to not resort to layoffs.
adj: diligent; persistent; hard-working
The success of this very useful scheme was due chiefly to his sedulous interest and help.
noun: a piece of broken pottery or glass
Not one more shard of ice need melt to make this a reality.
adj: causing drowsiness; tending to induce sleep
TV is a great soporific, often much needed as an escape, but it isn't good for you.
adj: thin; not dense; arranged at widely spaced intervals
The vegetation is sparse, and cattle and people dominate.
noun: one who spends money wastefully
His spendthrift ways with our money were replaced with miserly ways with his own.
adj: not obvious; elusive; difficult to discern
In fact, our own lives sometimes depend on recognizing the subtle differences.
adj: implied; not explicitly stated
All effective writers and speakers have learned the convention of tacit knowledge.
adj: brief and concise in wording
The film's style is so economical it seems almost terse.
verb: to publicly praise or promote
Each year, selective colleges tout their application totals, along with the virtues of their applicants.
adj: sharply perceptive; keen; penetrating
Marvin’s trenchant wit made him a popular speaker at conservative fundraisers.
adj: genuine; not false or hypocritical
It is with unfeigned regret the colonel commanding bids you all an affectionate farewell.
adj: indefensible; not viable; uninhabitable
The falls might have saved the forests by making logging there untenable.
verb: to waver indecisively between one course of action or opinion and another
Those who vacillate or sulk, will miss a window of opportunity.
adj: multicolored; characterized by a variety of patches of different color
Grows in sun or shade, but variegated types show better color in full sun.
- noun: annoyance; irritation
- verb form: vex
Mere annoyance, vexation, or inconvenience could not support an award of damages.
- adj: alertly watchful
- noun form: vigilance
We need to be more vigilant concerning our environment
verb: to use harsh condemnatory language; to abuse or censure severely or abusively; to berate
every week the minister would ascend the pulpit andvituperate the parishioners
- adj: readily changing to a vapor; changeable; fickle; explosive
- noun form: volatility
These plants are a type of mint and produce a host of volatile oils and other chemicals.