GRE 500

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Becho
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GRE 500
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2015-12-14 18:40:51
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500 flashcard list
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  1. abate
    v
    • to lessen in intensity or degree
    • Although she filed her tax returns late, Mary hoped the IRS would abate the penalties
    • Synonyms: decrease
  2. aberrant
    a
    • deviating from the norm
    • The child is usually well-mannered; sticking out her tongue was aberrant behavior.
    • Synonyms: abnormal, deviant, anomalous
  3. abjure
    v
    • to renounce or reject solemnly
    • I had no choice but to abjure my allegiance to the organization after the chairman appointed his underqualified friends to the board.
    • Synonyms: recant
  4. abrogate
    v
    • to repeal; to revoke
    • Activists launched a statewide campaign to abrogate the death penalty
    • Synonyms: annul
  5. abstemious
    a
    • eating and drinking in moderation
    • Studies have shown that abstemious people live longer, but i love cheesecake too much to moderate my intake.
    • Synonyms: self-restrained
  6. accolade
    n
    • an expression of praise
    • The speeches at Sue's retirement dinner were filled with accolades of her achievements.
    • Synonyms: kudos
  7. acerbic
    a
    • having a sour or bitter taste or character
    • The child was so adorable that even the acerbic old man had to smile.
    • Synonyms: acrid
  8. acumen
    n
    • quick, keen, or accurate knowledge or insight
    • Her business acumen led her to invest in new companies just before they launched successful products.
    • Synonyms: shrewdness, perspicacity
  9. admonish
    v
    • to reprove; to express warning or disapproval
    • Adam admonished his son for tracking mud into the house
    • Synonyms: caution
  10. adroit
    a
    • adept; dexterous
    • The adroit watchmaker carefully repaired my grandfather's shattered pocket watch.
    • Synonyms: skillful
  11. adulation
    n
    • excessive praise; intense adoration
    • The young girl's adulation of the pop singer irritated her older brothers.
    • Synonyms: idolization
  12. adulterate
    v
    • to reduce purity by combining with inferior ingredients
    • Some people believe that cream and sugar adulterate coffee.
    • Synonyms: taint; debase
  13. aesthetic
    a
    • dealing with, appreciative of, or responsive to art or beauty
    • Elena enjoys the aesthetic qualities of great works of literature.
    • Synonyms: artistic
  14. aggrandize
    v
    • to increase in intensity, power, or prestige
    • The Romans aggrandized their influence through the use of military tactics.
    • Synonyms: strengthen, exalt
  15. alacrity
    n
    • eager and enthusiastic willingness
    • The alacrity with which students headed for the door when the bell rang was a sure indication that the class was boring.
    • Synonyms: eagerness, enthusiasm, readiness
  16. alchemy
    n
    • a medieval science aimed at the transmutation of metals, especially base metals, into gold
    • Although alchemy never produced its intended results, it led to advances in industries like metal refining and manufacturing.
    • Synonyms: sorcery
  17. amalgamate
    v
    • to combine several elements into a whole
    • The law allows two or more small companies to amalgamate into one large corporation.
    • Synonyms: unite
  18. amenable
    a
    • agreeable; responsive to suggestion
    • Even investment banks, which traditionally resist restraints, are now amenable to some regulations.
    • Synonyms: acquiescent
  19. anachronistic
    a
    • out of place in terms of historical or chronological context
    • The movie, set in ancient Rome, was criticized for its use of exploding projectiles, wine glasses, and other anachronistic props.
    • Synonyms: misplaced
  20. anathema
    n
    • a solemn or ecclesiastical (religious) curse; a cursed or thoroughly loathed person or thing
    • When the soccer player's bribery scandal came to light, the signed jersey the fan once had treasured became anathema to him.
    • Synonyms: detested thing
  21. anomaly
    n
    • deviation from the normal order, form, or rule; abnormality
    • It was an anomaly that I got a D on that quiz, because my grades are usually excellent.
    • Synonyms: abnormality, aberration, peculiarity
  22. antipathy
    n
    • aversion; dislike
    • I know my antipathy toward lawyers isn't fair, but I cant help thinking the worst of every one I meet.
    • Synonyms: abhorrence
  23. antithetical
    a
    • diametrically opposed; as in antithesis
    • She quit her position as press secretary when she realized that her views on civil rights were antithetical to the senator's.
    • Synonyms: opposite
  24. apocryphal
    a
    • of dubious authenticity or origin; spurious
    • The apocryphal story about the origins of the school mascot is clearly a legend.
    • Synonyms: questionable
  25. apogee
    n
    • farthest or highest point; culmination; zenith
    • Winning the Pulitzer Prize was an affirmation that the journalist was at the apogee of her career
    • Synonyms: summit
  26. apostate
    n
    • one who abandons long-held religious or political convictions
    • The senator was branded an apostate after he switched political parties midterm.
    • Synonyms: defector
  27. apotheosis
    n
    • deification; supreme example
    • With the face that launched a thousand ships, Helen of Troy was said to be the apotheosis of female beauty.
    • Synonyms: quintessence
  28. apposite
    a
    • appropriate; pertinent; relevant
    • The lawyer argued that the witness's testimony was apposite to the case.
    • Synonyms: suitable
  29. apprise
    v
    • to give notice to; to inform
    • Be sure to apprise the security officers that you will be visiting the site so they don't think you are a trespasser.
    • Synonyms: notify
  30. approbation
    n
    • an expression of approval or praise
    • The civil rights leader's most recent speech to her supporters was received with great approbation.
    • Synonyms: admiration, esteem
  31. arabesque
    n
    • a complex, ornate design; also a dance position
    • The highly valuable picture frame was covered with arabesques, including gold-leaf animals, plants, and fruits.
    • Synonyms: ornamentation
  32. arcane
    a
    • mysterious; esoteric
    • Arcane vocabulary words are a source of great frustration for many GRE takers.
    • Synonyms: inscrutable
  33. archaic
    a
    • outdated; associated with an earlier, perhaps more primitive time
    • In the current age of cell phones, many are treating landline telephones as an archaic form of technology.
    • Synonyms: antiquated
  34. artless
    a
    • completely without guile; unsophisticated
    • A few unscrupulous people took advantage of the artless owner of the antique shop.
    • Synonyms: naive
  35. ascetic
    n
    • someone practicing self-denial
    • The ascetic tried to convince others that there was virtue in the denial of worldly goods.
    • Synonyms: Spartan
  36. aspersion
    n
    • an act of defamation or maligning
    • The hot-headed candidate cast aspersions on his opponent's honesty.
    • Synonyms: slander
  37. assay
    v
    • to put to a test
    • Her ability to quickly assay a situation and find a solution is what makes her a great manager and troubleshooter.
    • Synonyms: assess
  38. assiduous
    a
    • diligent; hard-working
    • The Internet has made research so easy that the gap between the assiduous student and the lackadaisical student is harder to discern.
    • Synonyms: devoted
  39. assuage
    v
    • to ease or lessen; to appease or pacify
    • Shining a flashlight under the bed helped to assuage the child's fears of a monster lurking there.
    • Synonyms: alleviate, allay, soothe
  40. astringent
    a
    • biting; severe
    • After hearing the director's astringent criticism of his performance, the actor stormed out of the theater.
    • Synonyms: harsh
  41. atrophy
    v
    • to waste away or deteriorate
    • Kate's leg had been in a cast for weeks, and her muscles are starting to atrophy from lack of use.
    • Synonyms: wither
  42. attenuate
    v
    • to weaken or make thinner
    • Economic hardships have attenuated the value of the dollar, making it much more expensive for Americans to travel in Europe
    • Synonyms: rarefy
  43. audacious
    a
    • daring and fearless; recklessly bold
    • The candidate made the audacious claim that his rival had mismanaged public funds.
    • Synonyms: impudent, foolhardy
  44. augury
    n
    • omen; portent
    • The smooth test-run of the new software was a favorable augury of the product's success
    • Synonyms: indication
  45. auspices
    n
    • protection or support
    • Since my project falls under the auspices of the Department of Homeland Security, I no longer have to wait in airport lines.
    • Synonyms: patronage
  46. auspicious
    a
    • favorable
    • The cost of failure is too great, so we must wait for the most auspicious moment to strike.
    • Synonyms: propitious
  47. avarice
    n
    • greed, especially for wealth
    • The investor's avarice led her to make risky moves to increase her already sizable fortune
    • Synonyms: acquistitiveness
  48. aver
    v
    • to state as a fact; to confirm or support
    • The court records show that the witness averred that she saw the defendant at the scene of the crime.
    • Synonyms: assert, affirm
  49. baleful
    a
    • sinister; ominous
    • The set director created a baleful scene of a dark, dirty alley on a rainy night.
    • Synonyms: threatening
  50. beatify
    v
    • to bless, make happy, or ascribe a virtue to
    • Inductions into the Hall of Fame are ways to beatify the greatest players of the game.
    • Synonyms: exalt
  51. behemoth
    n
    • something enormous; a gigantic creature
    • That huge shopping mall is a behemoth that ruins the charm of the historical waterfront.
    • Synonyms: leviathan
  52. beleaguer
    v
    • to beset; to besiege
    • Within a week of starting the job, she was beleaguered by complaints from clients and employees about the company's bad service
    • Synonyms: harass
  53. belie
    v
    • to give a false impression of
    • The lack of school funding belies the government's claim of making education reform a top priority.
    • Synonyms: contradict
  54. bellicose
    a
    • belligerent; warlike
    • The bellicose voices in the Senate grab the headlines, but fortunately the diplomatic voices are more likely to grab the votes.
    • Synonyms: hostile
  55. boisterous
    a
    • loud; noisy; lacking restraint
    • Children are boisterous by nature, but experienced teachers can calm an entire class down in a matter of seconds.
    • Synonyms: raucous
  56. bolster
    v
    • to provide support
    • Bob convinced me he was right only after he bolstered his argument with facts and data.
    • Synonyms: reinforce
  57. bombast
    n
    • self-important or pompous writing or speech
    • The CEO's toast at the launch party was quickly turning into bombast.
    • Synonyms: bluster
  58. boor
    n
    • a rude or insensitive person
    • Many people have called him a boor; his genius leaves him with little patience for social niceties
    • Synonyms: churl
  59. burgeon
    v
    • to grow rapidly or flourish
    • The researcher was pleased to discover that the wolf population burgeoned only two years after the area was turned into a reserve.
    • Synonyms: increase
  60. burnish
    v
    • to make smooth; to rub to a shine
    • A few more big sales will burnish my reputation and position me well for my next salary review.
    • Synonyms: polish
  61. byzantine
    a
    • labyrinthine; complex
    • In our department, byzantine filing systems are a form of job security since we are the only ones who can find key documents.
    • Synonyms: intricate
  62. cabal
    n
    • a scheme or plot; a group of plotters
    • The stock price of a healthy company is not likely to drop that dramatically unless a cabal of investors decides to sell the stock short.
    • Synonyms: coterie
  63. cachinnate
    v
    • to laugh loudly
    • The mad scientist began to cachinnate after he thought of a brilliant plan to capture the hero.
    • Synonyms: guffaw
  64. cacophony
    n
    • harsh, jarring, discordant sound; dissonance
    • Gerald can't sleep because of the cacophony of car alarms going off each night.
    • Synonyms: inharmony
  65. cajole
    v
    • to inveigle; to coax through flattery
    • The director had to cajole the vain actor into wearing the chicken suit.
    • Synonyms: wheedle
  66. calumniate
    v
    • to slander
    • Tight political races can become very dirty in their final days, with each candidate trying to calumniate the other.
    • Synonyms: smear
  67. calumny
    n
    • slander
    • Othello believed the calumny that his wife was cheating on him, setting in motion Shakespeare's tragedy.
    • Synonyms: defamation
  68. canon
    n
    • an established set of principles or code of laws, often religious in nature
    • The priest encouraged the parishioners to adhere to the canons of the church.
    • Synonyms: rules
  69. capricious
    a
    • inclined to change one's mind impulsively or unpredictably
    • At first the child wanted tacos, but now she wants banana pudding; she cannot help her capricious appetite.
    • Synonyms: whimsical, erratic, fickle
  70. captious
    a
    • calculated to confuse or entrap in argument
    • Watch out for captious questions during the cross-examination; the opposing counsel is a master at entrapping witnesses on the stand.
    • Synonyms: tricky
  71. castigate
    v
    • to severely criticize or punish
    • The teacher castigated the student for arriving late to class.
    • Synonyms: chastise
  72. catalyst
    n
    • a substance that accelerates the rate of a chemical reaction without itself changing; a person who causes change
    • We hope the new ambassador will be a catalyst for reviving peace discussions.
    • Synonyms: accelerator, impetus
  73. caustic
    a
    • burning or stinging, causing corrosion
    • We were reminded to wear gloves when handling the caustic chemicals.
    • Synonyms: sarcastic
  74. celerity
    n
    • speed
    • The celerity with which she accepted the terms indicated that we had perhaps offered too much.
    • Synonyms: haste
  75. censure
    v
    • to criticize severely; to officially rebuke
    • When the senator was caught buying a boat with taxpayer dollars, many members of his party publicly censured him.
    • Synonyms: chastise, denounce, reprimand
  76. chary
    a
    • wary; cautious, sparing
    • Chuck was chary about lending money to his brother, who has always mismanaged his bank accounts.
    • Synonyms: careful
  77. chasten
    v
    • to restrain or correct
    • We all hoped that joining the army would chasten his wild behavior.
    • Synonyms: reprove
  78. chauvinist
    n
    • a blindly devoted patriot
    • Giovanni is a chauvinist about his grandmother's cooking and complains constantly whenever he eats at an Italian restaurant.
    • Synonyms: jingoist
  79. chicanery
    n
    • trickery or subterfuge
    • Enron's financial chicanery included creating fake businesses in order to boost profit.
    • Synonyms: ruse, sham, deception
  80. chimera
    n
    • an illusion; originally, an imaginary fire-breathing monster
    • Your vision of running New York City entirely on solar power is a chimera.
    • Synonyms: delusion
  81. churlish
    a
    • vulgar; difficult and intractable
    • As I am far from a morning person, my loud nieces are likely to find me churlish before eight o'clock.
    • Synonyms: boorish
  82. coalesce
    v
    • to come together or unite
    • Suddenly, all the different ideas coalesced into one perfect story, and the rest of the script practically wrote itself.
    • Synonyms: fuse
  83. coda
    n
    • concluding section of a musical or literary piece
    • At the end of the movie, a coda described what happened to each of the characters in her life.
    • Synonyms: conclusion
  84. cogent
    a
    • appealing forcibly to the mind or reason; convincing
    • Corrine's cogent argument made a lot of sense to me, so I switched my vote.
    • Synonyms: persuasive
  85. commensurate
    a
    • matching; corresponding in degree, size, or amount
    • Many job listings don't give a specific salary, but state that it will be commensurate with experience
    • Synonyms: proportionate
  86. complaisance
    n
    • the willingness to comply with the wishes of others
    • The child showed her complaisance by wearing the dress her mother chose.
    • Synonyms: agreeableness
  87. connoisseur
    n
    • an informed and astute judge in matters of taste; expert
    • Derek is such a chocolate connoisseur that he has chocolates shipped to him from Belgium and Switzerland.
    • Synonyms: aficionado, enthusiast, specialist
  88. contiguous
    a
    • sharing a border; touching; adjacent
    • We offer free shipping to any of the forty-eight contiguous states in the United States.
    • Synonyms: bordering
  89. contrite
    a
    • regretful, penitent; seeking forgiveness
    • The judge looked favorably on the defendant's contrite plea for leniency.
    • Synonyms: apologetic
  90. convention
    n
    • a generally agreed-upon practice or attitude
    • Flouting convention, the bride wore a brilliant red suit while her bridesmaids were dressed in white.
    • Synonyms: custom
  91. corrigible
    a
    • capable of being set right; correctable
    • The earlier the intervention, the more corrigible the condition; if left too long, it can't be fixed.
    • Synonyms: reformable
  92. cosset
    v
    • to coddle
    • He was a selfish child and was cosseted by his parents, so he never learned to share or to compromise.
    • Synonyms: pamper
  93. countenance
    v
    • to approve of or tolerate
    • The judge was quite a disciplinarian and would not countenance any stunts in his courtroom.
    • Synonyms: sanction
  94. cozen
    v
    • to deceive, beguile, or hoodwink
    • A common Internet scam attempts to cozen people into revealing their bank account details.
    • Synonyms: mislead
  95. craven
    a
    • contemptibly fainthearted; lacking any courage
    • Despite all his military training, he feared he was craven by nature and would turn and run in battle.
    • Synonyms: cowardly
  96. credulous
    a
    • tending to believe too readily
    • The con artist easily deceived his credulous victims.
    • Synonyms: gullible
  97. crestfallen
    a
    • dejected; disappointed
    • She interviewed for the position three times and was crestfallen when the job was finally offered to another candidate.
    • Synonyms: discouraged
  98. curmudgeon
    n
    • an irritable, ill-tempered person
    • My neighbor is an old curmudgeon who complains loudly whenever anyone makes a sound.
    • Synonyms: complainer
  99. cursory
    a
    • hasty; done with little attention
    • The producer took a cursory look at the script, then tossed it in the trash.
    • Synonyms: hurried
  100. cynicism
    n
    • an attitude or quality of belief that all people are motivated by selfishness
    • People driven by cynicism are often skeptical of others' generosity.
    • Synonyms: distrust, pessimism
  101. daunt
    v
    • to cow or dismay
    • The size of the workload alone is likely to daunt even the most dedicated students.
    • Synonyms: discourage
  102. dearth
    n
    • smallness of quantity or number; scarcity; a lack
    • Given the dearth of food in her pantry, Rebecca considered having her pet rabbit for dinner.
    • Synonyms: deficiency
  103. debacle
    n
    • rout; fiasco; complete failure
    • Our date was a debacle; not only did I forget her name and spill wine on her, but we ran into my ex-girlfriend, who told me I had ruined her life.
    • Synonyms: breakdown
  104. decorous
    a
    • correct; formal; marked by decorum
    • I don't trust such decorous behavior; people who rely so heavily on politeness probably have something to hide.
    • Synonyms: proper
  105. decorum
    n
    • polite or appropriate conduct or behavior
    • There are courses available in which one can learn the proper decorum for job interviews, such as shaking hands firmly and looking your interviewer in the eye.
    • Synonyms: propriety
  106. demur
    v
    • to question or oppose
    • Concerned about the budget deficit, I had to demur at the candidate's position on lowering taxes.
    • Synonyms: object
  107. denigrate
    v
    • to belittle; to defame
    • Some tried to denigrate the hometown hero with stories of his questionable private life, but most citizens still idolized him.
    • Synonyms: disparage
  108. denizen
    n
    • inhabitant; one who frequents a place
    • The denizens of that artists' studio are a tight-knit group who don't welcome strangers.
    • Synonyms: resident
  109. denouement
    n
    • an outcome or solution; the unraveling of a plot
    • The story lacks both a conflict and a denouement; it's just a description of a day in the life of the main character.
    • Synonyms: resolution
  110. deposition
    n
    • official testimony
    • The deposition states that the defendant was at home on the night in question, but I know that's not the whole story.
    • Synonyms: statement
  111. depreciate
    v
    • to disparage or put down
    • Annie has low self-esteem and always deprecates herself despite her many accomplishments
    • Synonyms: belittle
  112. derision
    n
    • scorn; ridicule; contemptuous treatment
    • The regional manager was held in derision by the entire board for botching his annual presentation.
    • Synonyms: mockery, contempt
  113. derivative
    a
    • unoriginal; obtained from another source
    • Until she developed her own style, her early paintings were derivative; their reliance on another artists' work was obvious.
    • Synonyms: adapted
  114. descry
    v
    • to observe or discern
    • The astute editor could descry a misspelling or factual error before the rest of us could even finish the sentence.
    • Synonyms: detect
  115. desecrate
    v
    • to violate the sanctity of
    • When folding a national flag, you should not desecrate it by letting it drag on the ground.
    • Synonyms: defile
  116. desiccate
    v
    • to dry out; to make dull or dry
    • When you desiccate fresh herbs, they keep longer, but lose some of their flavor.
    • Synonyms: dehydrate
  117. desuetude
    n
    • the state of not being used
    • VCRs fell into desuetude as more people started buying DVD players
    • Synonyms: disuse
  118. desultory
    a
    • random; disconnected
    • The patient's desultory speech pattern was a sign she was still under the anesthetic.
    • Synonyms: haphazard
  119. detraction
    n
    • slandering, verbal attack; aspersion
    • The company's representatives responded quickly to the whistleblower's detraction and hoped to deflect any bad press about the faulty product.
    • Synonyms: disparagement
  120. diaphanous
    a
    • transparent; gauzy
    • The celebrity's diaphanous dress was the talk of the town the next day.
    • Synonyms: translucent
  121. diatribe
    n
    • a harsh denunciation
    • My failure to turn off the light led to my father's diatribe on saving electricity.
    • Synonyms: fulmination
  122. didactic
    a
    • intended to teach or instruct
    • A didactic lecture is far more effective when it is interactive.
    • Synonyms: pedagogic
  123. diffident
    a
    • reserved; shy; lacking in self-confidence
    • He is too diffident to be a good teacher, which is a shame because he possesses a boundless knowledge of the subject.
    • Synonyms: timid
  124. dilatory
    a
    • causing delay
    • I realized later that the students' dilatory interruptions were a plot to get to the end of class before I had time to assign the homework.
    • Synonyms: dallying
  125. dilettante
    n
    • one with an amateurish or superficial interest in the arts or a branch of knowledge
    • These advanced cheese-tasting courses are meant for connoisseurs; dilettantes should take the beginners' class.
    • Synonyms: amateur
  126. din
    n
    • loud, sustained sounds
    • The din in the train station rendered cell phone conversation futile, but fortunately texting saved the day.
    • Synonyms: noise
  127. dirge
    n
    • a song or poem of grief
    • At the funeral, Claudia sang a dirge that she had composed in honor of her grandmother.
    • Synonyms: lament
  128. discomfit
    v
    • to embarrass or perplex
    • The students discomfited me with sharp questions, a sign that I wasn't prepared enough for class.
    • Synonyms: disconcert
  129. discordant
    a
    • conflicting; dissonant or harsh in sound
    • The sound of the opera singer's voice over the accordion was quite discordant.
    • Synonyms: cacophonous, inharmonious, jarring
  130. discretion
    n
    • cautious reserve in speech; ability to make responsible decisions
    • Daniel edited his article with discretion and double-checked all the facts and quotes.
    • Synonyms: carefulness
  131. discursive
    a
    • digressive; passing from one topic to another
    • It took the discursive professor two class sessions to get through the same material that it took the succinct professor to get through in one.
    • Synonyms: rambling
  132. disinterested
    a
    • unbiased, neutral, or free from personal motive
    • Seamus and his landlord turned to a disinterested third party to resolve their dispute over the security deposit.
    • Synonyms: dispassionate
  133. disparage
    v
    • to slight or belittle
    • The bully disparaged the classmate for her mismatched socks and outdated clothes.
    • Synonyms: demean
  134. disparate
    a
    • fundamentally distinct or dissimilar
    • After the controversial proposition passed, there were disparate reactions.
    • Synonyms: incongruent, contrasting, unlike
  135. dissemble
    v
    • to disguise or conceal; to mislead
    • The celebrity wore a wig and glasses to dissemble her appearance and avoid prying photographers.
    • Synonyms: camoflauge
  136. distention
    n
    • the state or act of extending or being swollen out of shape
    • After eating the large holiday meal, I could barely hide the distention of my belly.
    • Synonyms: swelling
  137. divulge
    v
    • to disclose something secret
    • CIA agents may not divulge any information related to their jobs, even family members.
    • Synonyms: reveal
  138. doggerel
    n
    • trivial or poorly constructed verse
    • Amid the doggerel on the bathroom walls, there is occasionally one piece of poetry that's quite clever.
    • Synonyms: limerick
  139. dogmatic
    a
    • stubbornly opinionated
    • Nancy is dogmatic about food and insists that lemon makes everything taste better.
    • Synonyms: adamant
  140. dormant
    a
    • inactive; in abeyance
    • The separatist group, which had been dormant after the arrest of a top leader, struck last night for the first time in five years.
    • Synonyms: latent
  141. dross
    n
    • slag; worthless matter; impurity
    • Meditation is a good technique for purging the dross of your everyday thoughts.
    • Synonyms: waste
  142. dulcet
    a
    • melodious; pleasant-sounding
    • The dulcet tones of her voice lulled the baby to sleep.
    • Synonyms: harmonious
  143. dynamo
    n
    • generator; forceful, energetic person
    • The visionary dynamo had no problems finding investors for her start-up
    • Synonyms: live wire
  144. ebullience
    n
    • The quality of lively or enthusiastic expression of thoughts or feelings
    • Edna can hardly contain her ebullience when she talks about her new puppy.
    • Synonyms: effervescence
  145. eccentric
    a
    • departing from norms or conventions
    • The new physics professor quickly became known for flinging marbles around the room, throwing things off the roof, and other eccentric teaching methods.
    • Synonyms: unconventional, aberrant, peculiar
  146. eclectic
    a
    • culled from many sources
    • One has to be well-versed in dozens of topics to appreciate the writer's eclectic references.
    • Synonyms: varied
  147. edifying
    a
    • enlightening
    • Spending the holidays with his family was edifying; I now know the source of  many of his quirks and fears.
    • Synonyms: instructive
  148. effluvia
    n
    • outflow in a stream of particles; a noxious odor or vapor
    • The effluvia that emerged when we unclogged our shower drain was as disturbing as it was smelly.
    • Synonyms: emanations
  149. effrontery
    n
    • boldness; impudence; arrogance
    • The effrontery of the CEOs who insist on bonuses during the recession is not ingratiating them to the public.
    • Synonyms: presumptuousness
  150. effusive
    a
    • gushing; excessively demonstrative
    • It was hard not to feel welcomed by such an effusive greeting.
    • Synonyms: profuse
  151. egress
    n
    • a path to go out; the right to go out
    • As a result of the tragic fire in a garment factory in 1911, factories and other places of business must now have at least two means of egress.
    • Synonyms: exit
  152. elegy
    n
    • a mournful poem, especially one lamenting the dead
    • After Lincoln's assassination, Walt Whitman wrote an elegy that is now considered one of his finest poems.
    • Synonyms: lament
  153. eloquent
    a
    • well-spoken; expressive
    • The author of the book sounded eloquent when he read his work, but he mumbled and stuttered during the Q & A session.
    • Synonyms: articulate, persuasive, fluent
  154. emollient
    a
    • soothing, especially to the skin; making less harsh
    • The emollient properties of aloe make it a popular additive to moisturizers.
    • Synonyms: softening
  155. empirical
    a
    • based on observation or experiment
    • The researchers spent four years gathering empirical data for their study on obsessive-compulsive behaviors.
    • Synonyms: observed
  156. encomium
    n
    • glowing and enthusiastic praise
    • The young actress received encomiums from theater critics for her stunning debut.
    • Synonyms: tribute
  157. endemic
    a
    • characteristic of or often found in a particular locality, region, or people
    • The destruction of plant and animal habitats is endemic to population growth.
    • Synonyms: native, indigenous
  158. enervate
    v
    • to weaken; to reduce in vitality
    • Working a double shift at the restaurant enervated me.
    • Synonyms: debilitate, sap
  159. engender
    v
    • to cause; to give rise to
    • The president's policies have engendered arguments within the party.
    • Synonyms: propagate
  160. enigmatic
    a
    • mysterious; obscure; difficult to understand
    • Historians have long debated the meaning of the Mona Lisa's enigmatic smile.
    • Synonyms: cryptic
  161. ennui
    n
    • dissatisfaction or restlessness resulting from boredom or apathy
    • At least a dozen students became victims of ennui during the torturous economics lecture.
    • Synonyms: boredom, languor, tedium
  162. enormity
    n
    • excessive wickedness; evil
    • Genocide is such an enormity that one wonders if its perpetrators are as human as you or I.
    • Synonyms: outrage
  163. ephemeral
    a
    • fleeting; short-lived
    • This bump to his ego lasted far longer than his ephemeral brush with fame.
    • Synonyms: brief
  164. epicure
    n
    • one devoted to sensual pleasure, particularly food and drink
    • Always trust an epicure's restaurant recommendations.
    • Synonyms: gourmet
  165. episodic
    a
    • loosely connected; sporadic
    • The comic's episodic narrative was entertaining, though hard to follow.
    • Synonyms: occasional
  166. epithet
    n
    • disparaging or descriptive word or phrase
    • An old man yelled epithets at the kids who were vandalizing a wall.
    • Synonyms: slur
  167. epitome
    n
    • embodiment or quintessence
    • He's the epitome of a used-car salesman; slicked-back hair, toothy smile, and unctuous manner.
    • Synonyms: representation
  168. equanimity
    n
    • composure; self-possession
    • My mother took the news of the stolen car with surprising equanimity.
    • Synonyms: calmness
  169. equivocate
    v
    • to use ambiguous language with a deceptive intent
    • When asked by employees about cuts to benefits, the CEO equivocated and steered the discussion to a different topic.
    • Synonyms: prevaricate, vacillate, quibble
  170. errant
    a
    • wandering; straying
    • No amount of hair gel can tame the errant strands at the top of my head.
    • Synonyms: roving
  171. erudite
    a
    • learned
    • Social policy advocates, political strategists, and economists often call on the erudite professor for advice.
    • Synonyms: scholarly
  172. eschew
    v
    • to avoid
    • In order to reduce his cholesterol my father must eschew foods high in saturated fat and sodium.
    • Synonyms: shun
  173. esoteric
    a
    • intended for or understood by a small, specific group
    • Janice's thesis on deconstructing syntax and meter of Old Norse poetry is esoteric.
    • Synonyms: obscure
  174. estimable
    a
    • worthy; formidable
    • All great heroes, in order to be great heroes, must have equally estimable foes.
    • Synonyms: admirable
  175. evanescent
    a
    • tending to disappear like vapor; vanishing
    • Despite the evanescent nature of fashion, the classic look of blue jeans and a T-shirt will never go out of style
    • Synonyms: ephemeral
  176. evince
    v
    • to show clearly
    • I told the bully I was not afraid, but my knocking knees evinced otherwise.
    • Synonyms: manifest
  177. exacerbate
    v
    • to make worse or more severe
    • Scratching an insect bite will only exacerbate the itch.
    • Synonyms: aggravate, intensify
  178. excoriate
    v
    • to censure scathingly
    • The radio host excoriated the caller for defending the unpopular politician
    • Synonyms: upbraid
  179. exculpate
    v
    • to exonerate; to clear of blame
    • It took centuries for the church to officially exculpate Galileo for stating that the Earth revolved around the Sun.
    • Synonyms: absolve, pardon, acquit
  180. exegesis
    n
    • critical examination; explication
    • The exegesis of the ancient Rosetta Stone has contributed much to our understanding of hieroglyphic writing.
    • Synonyms: interpretation
  181. exemplar
    n
    • typical or standard specimen; model
    • "Candy Girl" is an exemplar of the Jackson 5's best work.
    • Synonyms: archetype
  182. exigent
    a
    • urgent; pressing; requiring immediate action or attention
    • I've already missed two payments, so writing a check to the gas company is my most exigent priority.
    • Synonyms: crucial, dire, imperative
  183. exonerate
    v
    • to remove blame
    • Velma insists that she did not commit the crime and that DNA evidence will exonerate her.
    • Synonyms: acquit
  184. expurgate
    v
    • to remove obscenity, especially from a book
    • The expurgated edition of the story is more suitable for children.
    • Synonyms: censor
  185. extirpate
    v
    • to destroy; to tear up by the roots; to cut out
    • After the break-up, she extirpated his face from every photo in the album.
    • Synonyms: abolish
  186. fallacy
    n
    • an invalid or incorrect notion; a mistaken belief
    • Scientists have exposed the fallacy that certain cigarettes are safe.
    • Synonyms: misconception
  187. fallow
    a
    • unseeded; inactive; dormant
    • My creativity has lain fallow this winter; I haven't written anything in months.
    • Synonyms: unproductive
  188. fatuous
    a
    • silly; foolish
    • Critics claim that fatuous reality shows have eroded standards of  taste and quality in the public realm.
    • Synonyms: inane
  189. fawn
    v
    • to flatter or praise excessively
    • The star's fans fawned over his great new look.
    • Synonyms: adulate
  190. feckless
    a
    • ineffectual; irresponsible
    • The feckless chief inspector always solved the crime despite his ignorance and uselessness.
    • Synonyms: incompetent
  191. felicitous
    a
    • apt; suitably expressed; well chosen
    • The felicitous arrival of the pizza put my grumbling stomach at ease.
    • Synonyms: appropriate
  192. fervent
    a
    • greatly emotional or zealous
    • Fred sent a fervent letter to his senator expressing his strong opposition to the bill.
    • Synonyms: ardent
  193. fetid
    a
    • stinking; smelly
    • I needed gloves, bleach, and a mask to clean the fetid refrigerator
    • Synonyms: malodorous
  194. fetter
    v
    • to shackle; to put in chains
    • My understanding of the argument was fettered by my lack of fluency in the language.
    • Synonyms: restrain
  195. filibuster
    n
    • intentional obstruction, especially using prolonged speechmaking to delay legislative action
    • The senators decided that a filibuster was their only remaining option to block the other party's legislation.
    • Synonyms: delay, impediment,  hindrance
  196. filigree
    n
    • an ornamental work, especially of delicate, lace-like patterns
    • I appreciate the work that goes into making filigree jewelry, but i prefer a simpler modern style.
    • Synonyms: ornamentation
  197. florid
    a
    • flowery; ornate; ruddy
    • The lyrics to the song were possibly florid; every other word was about hearts or love.
    • Synonyms: flowery
  198. flout
    v
    • to demonstrate contempt for, as in a rule or convention
    • Fabio flouts the class rules by speaking out of turn and interrupting students.
    • Synonyms: defy
  199. foment
    v
    • to incite; to rouse
    • Elvis's rock music was said to foment impure thoughts and rebelliousness in his young audience.
    • Synonyms: instigate
  200. forbearance
    n
    • patience; willingness to wait
    • His forbearance in not replying to the extremely sarcastic waiter was commendable.
    • Synonyms: tolerance
  201. forestall
    v
    • to hinder; to avert
    • In order to forestall his creditors, Jack put his utility bills on a new credit card, thereby exacerbating the problem.
    • Synonyms: prevent
  202. forswear
    v
    • to renounce; repudiate
    • I forswear Twinkies, Ding Dongs, and other junk food and promise to maintain a healthier diet.
    • Synonyms: disavow
  203. fortuitous
    a
    • happening by fortunate accident or chance
    • It was fortuitous that I missed the bus and ended up running into an old friend on the street.
    • Synonyms: lucky
  204. founder
    v
    • to sink; to fail completely
    • I had a great business plan and product, but my company foundered because I couldn't attract investors.
    • Synonyms: stumble
  205. fracas
    n
    • noisy quarrel; brawl
    • The fracas outside of the nightclub caused the manager to call the police.
    • Synonyms: donnybrook
  206. fractious
    a
    • quarrelsome; unruly
    • What appeared to outsiders as a fractious department was actually an open and democratic team in which all opinions were heard and debated.
    • Synonyms: irritable
  207. frieze
    n
    • a semi-sculptural, raised-surface strip of ornamental facade on a building
    • It is ironic that a frieze depicting the Roman conquest, enslavement, and plundering of Corinth adorns the courthouse.
    • Synonyms: decorative band
  208. furtive
    a
    • marked by stealth; covert; surreptitious
    • Jack shot a furtive glance at the celebrity who sat at the next table.
    • Synonyms: shifty
  209. gainsay
    v
    • to deny; to oppose
    • After I easily won the Pac-Man tournament, my competitors could no longer gainsay my video-game dominance.
    • Synonyms: contradict
  210. gambol
    v
    • to skip about playfully
    • After months in their winter den, the polar bear cubs finally emerged and gamboled in the snow.
    • Synonyms: frolic
  211. garner
    v
    • to gather and save; to store up
    • The talented actor continued to garner accolades despite his brushes with the law.
    • Synonyms: amass
  212. garrulous
    a
    • pointlessly talkative; talking too much
    • I just wanted the garrulous waiter to stop rambling and take my order.
    • Synonyms: loquacious
  213. gauche
    a
    • crude; awkward
    • Asking how much the property cost at the housewarming party was gauche.
    • Synonyms: tactless
  214. germane
    a
    • relevant to the subject at hand; appropriate in subject matter
    • Greg could have cut out several sentences from his essay that were not germane to his thesis statement.
    • Synonyms: applicable
  215. glib
    a
    • marked by ease or informality; nonchalant; lacking in depth
    • Your glib response to my question lets me know that you don't take me seriously.
    • Synonyms: superficial
  216. gossamer
    a
    • delicate; insubstantial or tenuous
    • Light filtered in through the gossamer curtains.
    • Synonyms: diaphanous
  217. grandiloquence
    n
    • pompous speech or expression
    • The nominee ended up losing votes because his grandiloquence annoyed his audience at every campaign speech.
    • Synonyms: bombast
  218. gratuitous
    a
    • unnecessary; uncalled for
    • Constructive comments will help me improve, but gratuitous criticism just makes me defensive.
    • Synonyms: unprovoked
  219. gregarious
    a
    • sociable; outgoing; enjoying the company of other people
    • The gregarious employees liked to get together after work.
    • Synonyms: affable
  220. guile
    n
    • artfulness; trickery; duplicity
    • Pulling off slight-of-hand tricks successfully requires dexterity and guile.
    • Synonyms: deceit
  221. hackneyed
    a
    • rendered trite or commonplace by frequent usage
    • "You win some, you lose some" is an example of a hackneyed saying.
    • Synonyms: banal
  222. halcyon
    a
    • calm and peaceful
    • I'm looking forward to a halcyon vacation on a secluded beach.
    • Synonyms: serene
  223. hallowed
    a
    • holy; consecrated
    • Strawberry Fields in Central Park is hallowed ground for fans of John Lennon.
    • Synonyms: revered
  224. harangue
    v
    • to deliver a pompous speech or tirade
    • Sonny harangued his brother for returning the car with no gas.
    • Synonyms: hassle
  225. harbinger
    n
    • something that signals what is to come
    • The Grim Reaper, with his cloak and scythe, is a harbinger of death.
    • Synonyms: forerunner
  226. harrow
    v
    • to distress; to cause agony to
    • The child's uncontrollable outbursts at home harrowed his parents.
    • Synonyms: torment
  227. hedonism
    n
    • devotion to pleasurable pursuits, especially to the pleasures of the senses
    • Monks lead a quiet, ascetic life devoid of hedonism.
    • Synonyms: debauchery, indulgence
  228. hegemony
    n
    • the consistent dominance of one state or ideology over others
    • At its height, the Roman Empire exercised hegemony over the entire Mediterranean area.
    • Synonyms: predominance, leadership
  229. heretical
    a
    • dissenting from established dogma
    • Some might find it heretical to put celery in a grilled-cheese sandwich, but I recommend trying it before passing judgement.
    • Synonyms: unorthodox
  230. hermetic
    a
    • sealed; airtight
    • When you buy a bottle of medicine, check the hermetic seal to make sure it is not broken.
    • Synonyms: impervious
  231. heterodox
    a
    • unorthodox; iconoclastic
    • The heterodox dessert combined bits of bacon and chocolate.
    • Synonyms: heretical
  232. homily
    n
    • a sermon or morally instructive lecture
    • The priest's homily encouraged people to be generous toward their enemies.
    • Synonyms: admonition
  233. hubris
    n
    • arrogant presumption or pride
    • The governor's hubris was in appointing his son to lead the commission.
    • Synonyms: conceit
  234. iconoclast
    n
    • one who attacks or undermines traditional conventions or institutions
    • Socrates was put on trial and accused of being an iconoclast on matters of politics and religion.
    • Synonyms: radical, rebel
  235. iconoclastic
    a
    • attacking cherished beliefs
    • The controversial artist's iconoclastic work both stunned and impressed critics.
    • Synonyms: irreverent
  236. idolatrous
    a
    • given to intense or excessive devotion to something
    • My son's idolatrous adoration of his grandmother is overwhelming; I think he loves her more than me!
    • Synonyms: committed
  237. idyll
    n
    • a carefree, lighthearted pastoral or romantic episode
    • Often while riding the subway to her monotonous job, she daydreamed of a tropical idyll.
    • Synonyms: carefree scene
  238. ignominious
    a
    • shameful; undignified
    • The senator's corruption scandal cast an ignominious shadow over his career.
    • Synonyms: humiliating
  239. imbroglio
    n
    • difficult or bitter situation
    • The governor was caught in an imbroglio over misappropriated funds.
    • Synonyms: entanglement, disagreement
  240. imminent
    a
    • about to happen
    • The police have identified a suspect and an arrest is imminent.
    • Synonyms: impending
  241. immutable
    a
    • not capable of change
    • Gravity is an immutable law of nature.
    • Synonyms: permanent
  242. impassive
    a
    • revealing no emotion
    • The defendant looked surprisingly impassive after the judge sentenced him to life in prison.
    • Synonyms: apathetic, imperturbable
  243. impecunious
    a
    • lacking funds; without money
    • The impecunious author survived on the generosity of her friends until she sold her first manuscript.
    • Synonyms: destitute
  244. imperious
    a
    • commanding; arrogant; haughty
    • Writers and photographers feared the editor-in-chief because of her imperious attitude.
    • Synonyms: domineering
  245. imperturbable
    a
    • marked by extreme calm, impassivity, and steadiness
    • After an hour of meditation, Ivan is imperturbable and nothing will faze him.
    • Synonyms: unflappable
  246. impetuous
    a
    • hastily or rashly energetic; impulsive and vehement
    • Teenagers often make impetuous decisions that they later regret.
    • Synonyms: reckless
  247. implacable
    a
    • not capable of being appeased or significantly changed
    • Sadly, Irina is an implacable pessimist and will never see the brighter side of any situation.
    • Synonyms: uncompromising
  248. importune
    v
    • to ask incessantly; to beg; to nag
    • The actor importuned the director to give him a bigger part in the play.
    • Synonyms: exhort
  249. impugn
    v
    • to challenge; to call into question
    • The candidate impugned his opponent's flawless record in office.
    • Synonyms: discredit
  250. impunity
    n
    • immunity from punishment or penalty
    • I was granted impunity for my repeated absences from work due to serious medical problems.
    • Synonyms: exemption
  251. inchoate
    a
    • in an initial stage; not fully formed
    • The more experienced engineers sent his original, inchoate proposal black for revision.
    • Synonyms: rudimentary, amorphous
  252. incipient
    a
    • beginning to come into being or to become apparent
    • Fortunately,the doctor detected the patient's incipient tumor during a routine check-up.
    • Synonyms: developing
  253. indefatigable
    a
    • dogged; tireless
    • The shark's indefatigable pursuit of the seal was eventually rewarded.
    • Synonyms: unflagging
  254. indifferent
    a
    • having no interest or concern; showing no bias or prejudice
    • Some buyers are indifferent to shipping costs and will order items online with no regard for the extra charges.
    • Synonyms: disinterested
  255. indolent
    a
    • lazy; listless
    • The fat, indolent cat didn't even stir when the mouse skittered across the kitchen.
    • Synonyms: lethargic
  256. ineptitude
    n
    • incompetence
    • The ineptitude of the new assistant was maddening; he forgot to take meeting minutes and misplaced the packages he was supposed to send out.
    • Synonyms: incapacity
  257. inert
    a
    • unmoving; lethargic; sluggish
    • The overweight dog is inert and refuses to go for a walk.
    • Synonyms: motionless
  258. infelicitous
    a
    • unfortunate; inappropriate
    • An uncomfortable silence fell over the dinner table after one of the guests made an infelicitous comment to the hostess.
    • Synonyms: malapropos, ill-chosen
  259. ingenuous
    a
    • artless; frank and candid; lacking in sophistication; naive
    • Her fears about childbirth seemed ingenuous to the women at the baby shower.
    • Synonyms: guileless, innocent, trusting
  260. inherent
    a
    • ingrained within one's nature
    • Even though lumpectomies are common, there are still dangers inherent to any surgery.
    • Synonyms: intrinsic
  261. inimical
    a
    • damaging, harmful, or injurious; hostile, adverse, or unfriendly
    • It has been proven that asbestos has inimical effects on respiratory health.
    • Synonyms: deleterious
  262. iniquity
    n
    • gross injustice; wickedness
    • The iniquity of the government bailouts angers me; large corporations are being saved, while public schools are struggling for funding.
    • Synonyms: sin
  263. innocuous
    a
    • harmless; causing no damage
    • The movie is innocuous entertainment suitable for all ages.
    • Synonyms: inoffensive
  264. inscrutable
    a
    • incapable of being discovered or understood
    • The secrets of the inscrutable Sphinx are likely to remain undiscovered forever.
    • Synonyms: unfathomable
  265. insensible
    a
    • unconscious; unresponsive
    • The boxer dropped his defenses just long enough for his opponent to land a right hook that left him insensible on the canvas for a few minutes.
    • Synonyms: indifferent
  266. insipid
    a
    • without taste or flavor; lacking in spirit
    • Without any seasoning or sauce, chicken can often be insipid and dry.
    • Synonyms: bland
  267. insouciant
    a
    • unconcerned; carefree; heedless
    • The insouciant cyclist sang along with his headphones as he wove in and out of busy downtown traffic.
    • Synonyms: nonchalant
  268. insular
    a
    • provincial; narrow-minded
    • The board was so insular in its thinking that its members were shocked to hear criticism of its policies from stockholders.
    • Synonyms: isolated
  269. intractable
    a
    • not easily managed or directed
    • The financial crisis has created intractable problems for the new government in power.
    • Synonyms: stubborn, obstinate
  270. intransigent
    a
    • refusing to compromise
    • Otto's intransigent stance made an out-of-court settlement unlikely.
    • Synonyms: inflexible
  271. intrepid
    a
    • steadfast and courageous
    • The intrepid eater will try any regional dish wherever she travels.
    • Synonyms: fearless
  272. inured
    a
    • accustomed to accepting something undesirable
    • The explorer was inured to the cold wind; she no longer noticed her chapped skin.
    • Synonyms: numbed, habituated, hardened
  273. inveigle
    v
    • to obtain by deception or flattery
    • The salesperson inveigled the woman to buy the outlandish and expensive hat.
    • Synonyms: manipulate
  274. irascible
    a
    • easily angered; prone to temperamental outbursts
    • The hot-headed coach frequently shouted irascible comments at the referees.
    • Synonyms: touchy, testy, irritable
  275. itinerant
    a
    • traveling from place to place
    • Long before newspapers, telephones, and the Internet, itinerant salesmen were once valuable sources of news.
    • Synonyms: roving
  276. jejune
    a
    • vapid; uninteresting; immature
    • Critics slammed the author's first novel for being jejune; hopefully her second will be more mature.
    • Synonyms: childish
  277. jettison
    v
    • to throw overboard
    • The CEO of the failing company jettisoned the entire product development department and hired a new team.
    • Synonyms: discard
  278. jibe
    v
    • to agree; to be in accord
    • Despite our very different backgrounds, Richard's political views jibe rather closely with my own.
    • Synonyms: conform
  279. jocular
    a
    • humorous; joking
    • Her jocular attitude and hilarious take on things made him a pleasure to work with.
    • Synonyms: jesting
  280. kinetic
    a
    • characterized by motion
    • The kinetic choreography had audience members gasping during the performance.
    • Synonyms: dynamic
  281. laconic
    a
    • using few words
    • The exhausted babysitter's laconic response was simply, "No."
    • Synonyms: terse
  282. lambaste
    v
    • to excoriate; to berate
    • The coach lambasted his players at halftime for their bad attitude, bad decisions, and exceptionally bad performance.
    • Synonyms: scold
  283. laud
    v
    • to praise highly
    • The sea-weary crew lauded the captain's decisions to stay in port for an extra day.
    • Synonyms: acclaim, extol
  284. libertine
    n
    • someone unrestrained by morality or convention
    • Libertines challenge society's understanding or morality and sexuality.
    • Synonyms: swinger
  285. limn
    v
    • to draw; to outline in detail
    • The artist limned the Parisian market scene so perfectly that I could imagine myself in the painting.
    • Synonyms: describe
  286. limpid
    a
    • transparent; serene; untroubled
    • I looked into my ailing grandmother's limpid eyes and understood that she was at peace with her life.
    • Synonyms: clear
  287. lissome
    a
    • supple; graceful
    • The ballerina's lissome form does not come easily; she spends hours practicing every day.
    • Synonyms: lithe
  288. loquacious
    a
    • extremely talkative
    • My aunt is annoyingly loquacious; she speaks at great length about minor occurrences in her life.
    • Synonyms: garrulous
  289. lubricious
    a
    • lewd; wanton; slippery
    • The lubricious stare from that strange man in the park left me disgusted.
    • Synonyms: salacious
  290. luminous
    a
    • characterized by brightness and the emission of light
    • Sirius is considered the most luminous star in the northern sky.
    • Synonyms: brilliant, radiant
  291. maculate
    a
    • marked with spots or blotches; impure
    • After the unruly holiday feast, we all laughed over the maculate tablecloth.
    • Synonyms: stained
  292. magnanimous
    a
    • generous and noble in mind and heart, especially in forgiving
    • Giving the employees Fridays off during the summer was a magnanimous gesture.
    • Synonyms: altruistic, beneficent, high-minded
  293. malevolent
    a
    • having or showing often vicious ill will, spite, or hatred
    • Once the intruder revealed his gun, it was clear that he had malevolent intentions.
    • Synonyms: evil
  294. malinger
    v
    • to feign illness to avoid work
    • She malingered so often that when she actually fell ill, she had used up all of her sick days.
    • Synonyms: dodge
  295. malleable
    a
    • capable of being shaped or formed; tractable
    • Mabel kneaded the malleable clay into a work of art.
    • Synonyms: pliable
  296. martial
    a
    • associated with war and the armed forces
    • During the riots, the National Guard was called in to enforce martial law.
    • Synonyms: military, soldierly
  297. maverick
    n
    • an independent individual who does not go along with a group
    • The candidate was once considered a maverick, but now most people agree that he just follows the party line.
    • Synonyms: nonconformist
  298. mellifluous
    a
    • sweetly flowing, often used to describe a voice
    • The grandmother's mellifluous voice soothed the crying child.
    • Synonyms: smooth
  299. mendacity
    n
    • the condition of being untruthful
    • When his lies became public, Will lost many friends because of his mendacity.
    • Synonyms: dishonesty
  300. mendicant
    n
    • beggar; supplicant
    • The humble mendicant spent his days collecting money to help others.
    • Synonyms: pauper
  301. mercurial
    a
    • characterized by rapid and unpredictable change in mood
    • You can never tell what mood the director will be in because of his mercurial personality.
    • Synonyms: inconstant
  302. meretricious
    a
    • flashy; gaudy
    • The meretricious stretch limousine looked out of place in the church parking lot.
    • Synonyms: tawdry
  303. meticulous
    a
    • characterized by extreme care and precision; attentive to detail
    • Maury is a meticulous editor who will find every last typo and mistake.
    • Synonyms: conscientious
  304. mettle
    n
    • strength of spirit; courage
    • The weeks of physical competition tested his mettle in unforeseen ways.
    • Synonyms: fortitude
  305. minatory
    a
    • menacing; threatening
    • The territorial dog gave a minatory look at the mail carrier.
    • Synonyms: intimidating
  306. misanthrope
    n
    • one who hates all the other humans
    • The movie is about an adorable young child who wins the heart of a misanthrope.
    • Synonyms: cynic
  307. misogynist
    n
    • one who hates women
    • Sometimes I wonder if my boss is a misogynist because none of the female employees get promotions.
    • Synonyms: sexist
  308. mitigate
    v
    • to make or become less severe or intense; to moderate
    • Aspirin can mitigate pain.
    • Synonyms: lessen
  309. mollify
    v
    • to calm or sooth; to reduce in emotional intensity
    • Marlena tried to mollify her angry neighbor by offering to pay for the broken window.
    • Synonyms: pacify
  310. morose
    a
    • sad; sullen
    • Alan's morose attitude made him an unpopular dinner guest.
    • Synonyms: melancholy
  311. mundane
    a
    • of the world; typical or concerned with the ordinary
    • You might think that an office is too mundane a setting for a comedy, but popular TV shows prove otherwise.
    • Synonyms: commonplace, everyday, banal
  312. munificence
    n
    • generosity
    • I respect Bill Gates for his munificence; he has funded much of the research to combat malaria in developing countries.
    • Synonyms: bounteousness
  313. nadir
    n
    • low point
    • At my emotional nadir, I considered some drastic options to relieve my pain.
    • Synonyms: rock bottom
  314. nascent
    a
    • coming into being; in early developmental stages
    • My novel is still in nascent form, so I'm hesitant to describe the plot.
    • Synonyms: emerging, embryonic, burgeoning
  315. natty
    a
    • trimly neat and tidy
    • The natty young man always wore a well-pressed suit into the office.
    • Synonyms: dapper
  316. nebulous
    a
    • vague; cloudy; lacking clearly defined form
    • My plans for tomorrow are nebulous, but I'll contact you later to work out the details.
    • Synonyms: hazy, unformulated, unclear
  317. nefarious
    a
    • wicked
    • Some of the most nefarious criminals in the world are held in that maximum-security prison.
    • Synonyms: sinful
  318. neologism
    n
    • a new word, expression, or usage
    • Many neologisms arise from technology, including "spam," "mouse," and "internet."
    • Synonyms: coinage (of a word or phase)
  319. neophyte
    n
    • a recent convert; a beginner
    • The freshman senator is a neophyte to the conventions of Capitol Hill.
    • Synonyms: tyro, novice
  320. nexus
    n
    • a connection; tie or link
    • Greenwich Village became a nexus for artists and writers during the 1920s.
    • Synonyms: core
  321. noisome
    a
    • offensive, especially to one's sense of smell
    • We took out the garbage, but the noisome stench remained.
    • Synonyms: foul
  322. nonplussed
    a
    • baffled; at a loss for what to say or do
    • When I first saw that I had the winning lottery numbers I was nonplussed, but I soon recovered and went on a shopping spree.
    • Synonyms: bewildered
  323. nostrum
    n
    • panacea; questionable remedy
    • Chocolate chip cookies were an effective nostrum for the crying child.
    • Synonyms: cure-all
  324. noxious
    a
    • harmful; injurious
    • I think my old car is leaking noxious gases because whenever I drive it, I get a headache.
    • Synonyms: toxic, poisonous, deleterious
  325. nugatory
    a
    • trifling; inconsequential
    • Our meeting was derailed because we discussed nugatory details instead of matters of substance.
    • Synonyms: piddling
  326. obdurate
    a
    • unyielding; hardhearted
    • The obdurate ruler would not change his policies, even to ease the suffering of his people.
    • Synonyms: intractable
  327. obfuscate
    v
    • to deliberately obscure; to make confusing
    • The politician obfuscated the truth about his corruption by accusing his opponent of having an affair.
    • Synonyms: confound
  328. obloquy
    n
    • sharp criticism; abusively detractive language
    • After the judge was arrested for accepting bribes, she became the target of public obloquy.
    • Synonyms: calumny
  329. obsequious
    a
    • exhibiting a fawning attentiveness
    • Roger thought fawning over the boss would help him get promoted, but his obsequious behavior annoyed his co-workers.
    • Synonyms: kowtowing
  330. obstinate
    a
    • stubborn; hardheaded
    • Otto was obstinate and refused to compromise even on trivial issues.
    • Synonyms: uncompromising
  331. obstreperous
    a
    • noisy; defiant
    • The obstreperous child ran down the aisles of the movie theater and disrupted audience members.
    • Synonyms: unruly
  332. obtuse
    a
    • lacking in sharpness or intellect; not clear or precise in thought or expression
    • My father is obtuse when it comes to computers; he doesn't even know how to turn one on.
    • Synonyms: thickheaded, simple-minded, dull-witted
  333. obviate
    v
    • to anticipate and make unnecessary
    • Streaming movies online obviates the need to go to a video store.
    • Synonyms: intervene, preclude, avert
  334. occlude
    v
    • to obstruct or block
    • The last mile of the trail was occluded by overgrowth brush and fallen trees.
    • Synonyms: clog, congest
  335. odious
    a
    • evoking intense aversion or dislike
    • Rotting eggs cause an odious smell.
    • Synonyms: repugnant
  336. officious
    a
    • meddlesome; pushy in one's services
    • My neighbor is extremely officious; she keeps offering to set me up with her nephew.
    • Synonyms: intrusive
  337. ombudsman
    n
    • a person who investigates citizens' complaints
    • The newspaper's ombudsman fielded phone calls from readers who complained about factual errors in the front-page story.
    • Synonyms: mediator
  338. onerous
    a
    • troubling; burdensome
    • Shoveling out the stables is a more onerous task than feeding the chickens.
    • Synonyms: arduous, grueling, laborious
  339. opaque
    a
    • impenetrable by light; not reflecting light
    • The opaque curtains prevent the early morning light from waking me up.
    • Synonyms: turbid
  340. opprobrium
    n
    • disgrace; contempt
    • Allegations of steroid use brought such opprobrium that the athlete lost several sponsors.
    • Synonyms: scorn
  341. ossified
    a
    • tending to become more rigid; conventional; turned into bone
    • At what point is it no longer possible to change the ossified opinions of someone from an older generation?
    • Synonyms: hardened
  342. ostensible
    a
    • seeming; appearing as much
    • The ostensible purpose of college is for children to learn about different academic areas, but what they really learn are life skills and responsibility.
    • Synonyms: outward
  343. ostentatious
    a
    • characterized by or given to pretentiousness
    • The economic downturn is causing some wealthy people to curtail their ostentatious lifestyles.
    • Synonyms: showy
  344. overweening
    a
    • presumptuously arrogant; overbearing
    • The overweening pride of the celebrity is unbearable; he showed up at the restaurant with an entourage and expected to be seated immediately.
    • Synonyms: excessive
  345. palliate
    v
    • to make something appear less serious; to make less severe
    • I tried to palliate the throbbing migraine with aspirin and deep breathing, but what i really needed was to go home and sleep.
    • Synonyms: mitigate
  346. panegyric
    n
    • formal praise
    • At the retirement dinner, Juan's panegyric on loyalty and friendship brought tears to a few people's eyes.
    • Synonyms: encomium
  347. pariah
    n
    • an outcast; a rejected and despised person
    • His abrasive attitude and angry outbursts made him a pariah at the office.
    • Synonyms: leper
  348. parody
    n
    • a humorous imitation intended for ridicule or comic effect, especially in literature and art
    • The comedy troupe performed a parody in which a popular young actress was portrayed by a large hairy man.
    • Synonyms: satire, lampoon, caricature
  349. parsimonious
    a
    • cheap; miserly
    • The parsimonious man left a meager tip for the kind and overworked waitress.
    • Synonyms: stingy
  350. partisan
    a
    • biased or prejudiced
    • Many newspapers have become increasingly partisan, and few offer objective and balanced coverage of current events.
    • Synonyms: sectarian
  351. paucity
    n
    • scarcity
    • In the dead of winter, there is a paucity of fresh vegetables available at the farmers' market.
    • Synonyms: dearth
  352. peccadillo
    n
    • a slight offense; literally, a minor sin
    • Taking a few office supplies from the office was a a peccadillo, but stealing a laptop is a whole different story.
    • Synonyms: infraction
  353. pecuniary
    a
    • having to do with money
    • The stockbroker was motivated by pecuniary interests and resorted to insider trading.
    • Synonyms: financial
  354. pedagogy
    n
    • the art or profession of training, teaching, or instructing
    • The pedagogy of early primary science focuses on the development of critical thinking skills and exploration through hands-on experiments.
    • Synonyms: education
  355. pedantic
    a
    • the parading of learning; excessive attention to minutiae and formal rules
    • Pete is pedantic about grammar and will nitpick my essay for even the minutest of errors.
    • Synonyms: bookish
  356. pellucid
    a
    • transparent; easy to understand
    • If the tax code were more pellucid, thousands of accountants would be out of business.
    • Synonyms: clear
  357. penchant
    n
    • strong inclination; a liking
    • The stylist has a penchant for expensive designer labels.
    • Synonyms: fondness
  358. penury
    n
    • poverty; destitution
    • During the Great Depression, thousands of people lost their life savings and were reduced to penury.
    • Synonyms: indigence
  359. perennial
    a
    • recurrent throughout the year or over many years; happening repeatedly or continually
    • David is the perennial optimist; he is always hopeful no matter how bad things get at the office.
    • Synonyms: lasting, returning
  360. perfunctory
    a
    • done without care or interest; done merely as a duty
    • I don't expect warm hugs at the registration office, but even a perfunctory hello would be nice.
    • Synonyms: obligatory, cursory, automatic
  361. perigee
    n
    • the point nearest the earth in an orbit of a body
    • At its perigee, the moon appears to be larger in our night sky.
    • Synonyms: nearest point
  362. peripatetic
    a
    • itinerant; traveling on foot
    • It's difficult to maintain lasting relationships and long-term employment with such a peripatetic lifestyle.
    • Synonyms: roving
  363. personable
    a
    • pleasing in appearance or personality
    • I think personable bartenders make more money than the grumpy or homely ones.
    • Synonyms: winning
  364. peruse
    v
    • to examine with great care
    • Frank peruses every page of the newspaper for any mention of his name.
    • Synonyms: scrutinize
  365. pervade
    v
    • to permeate
    • Spring pervaded the entire city; flowers were blooming and everyone was energetic and happy.
    • Synonyms: infuse
  366. pervasive
    a
    • having the tendency to permeate or spread throughout
    • Exaggeration is pervasive in advertising today. I just saw an ad for a diet pill that works overnight!
    • Synonyms: ubiquitous
  367. petulant
    a
    • ill-tempered; irritable
    • The parents apologized for their petulant child and left the dinner party early.
    • Synonyms: peevish
  368. phlegmatic
    a
    • calm; sluggish; unemotional
    • Even though Phil seems phlegmatic, I think he actually cares about doing a good job.
    • Synonyms: dispassionate
  369. pine
    v
    • to yearn intensely; to languish; to lose vigor
    • Meredith lost her appetite and became noticeably thinner as she pined for her dog, which had been missing for three months.
    • Synonyms: mourn, desire
  370. pirate
    v
    • to illegally use or reproduce
    • I always heed the warnings and do not pirate materials by making illegal copies.
    • Synonyms: steal
  371. pith
    n
    • the essential or central part
    • Please stop digressing and get to the pith of your argument.
    • Synonyms: core, quintessence
  372. pithy
    a
    • precise and brief
    • The car had a banal but pithy bumper sticker; "Mean people suck."
    • Synonyms: succinct
  373. placate
    v
    • to appease; to calm by making concessions
    • Doctors often placate children with lollipops after giving them shots.
    • Synonyms: assuage, pacify
  374. platitude
    n
    • a superficial remark, especially one offered as meaningful
    • The politician's speech was full of the regular, tired platitudes about "making the world a better place for our children and our children's children."
    • Synonyms: cliche
  375. plethora
    n
    • an overabundance; a surplus
    • The plethora of pastries at the bakery made it difficult to decide.
    • Synonyms: plenty
  376. plummet
    v
    • to plunge or drop straight down
    • I watched my flower pot plummet five stories and then shatter on the pavement.
    • Synonyms: fall; decline
  377. polemical
    a
    • controversial; argumentative
    • Paula disagrees with many of her college's policies and often sends polemical letters to the school paper.
    • Synonyms: contentious
  378. pragmatic
    a
    • practical rather than idealistic
    • Pragmatic solutions often involve cooperation and compromise.
    • Synonyms: realistic
  379. prattle
    v
    • to babble meaninglessly; to talk in an empty and idle manner
    • I couldn't stand to hear my teenage sister prattle on about the prom during dinner, so I left the table.
    • Synonyms: chatter, blather
  380. preen
    v
    • to dress up; to primp; to groom oneself with elaborate care
    • Male birds of paradise preen their feathers and clean their nests in order to woo females.
    • Synonyms: beautify
  381. prescience
    n
    • knowing of events prior to their occurring
    • The fortune-teller's prescience of death prevented her from leaving the house.
    • Synonyms: presage, foreknowledge, insight
  382. presumptuous
    a
    • overstepping due bounds (as of propriety or courtesy); taking liberties
    • It was very presumptuous of him to ask for a raise after only two months at the company.
    • Synonyms: presuming, rash
  383. prevaricate
    v
    • to deliberately avoid the truth; mislead
    • When my grandmother asked about her broken vase, my brother and I began to prevaricate.
    • Synonyms: misinform, deceive, hedge
  384. pristine
    a
    • pure; uncorrupted; clean
    • Much of the tundra in northern Canada is still pristine since the region has not been developed.
    • Synonyms: untouched
  385. probity
    n
    • adherence to highest principles; uprightness
    • The judge's reputation of probity is well deserved; she rescued herself from a case because she had gone to school with the defendant.
    • Synonyms: integrity
  386. proclivity
    n
    • a natural predisposition or inclination
    • Gerald's main personality flaw is his proclivity to do anything that anyone asks of him.
    • Synonyms: penchant
  387. prodigal
    a
    • recklessly wasteful; extravagant
    • The teacher's pet was given prodigal praise.
    • Synonyms: profuse, lavish
  388. prodigious
    a
    • abundant in size, force, or extent; extraordinary
    • Prodigious numbers of villagers, young and old, traveled to the castle to pay their respects to the departed queen.
    • Synonyms: immense
  389. profligate
    a
    • excessively wasteful; recklessly extravagant
    • The profligate young man racked up quite the credit card debt.
    • Synonyms: prodigal
  390. profuse
    a
    • given or coming forth in great abundance
    • Dogs tend to shed profuse amounts of fur with the change of the seasons.
    • Synonyms: copious, extravagant
  391. proliferate
    v
    • to grow or increase swiftly and abundantly
    • Without expedient diplomacy, nuclear weapons might proliferate.
    • Synonyms: burgeon, propagate
  392. propensity
    n
    • a natural inclination or tendency
    • Independent study programs are designed for students who have a propensity for taking cross-curricular courses and have the discipline to do so on their own.
    • Synonyms: proclivity
  393. prosaic
    a
    • dull; unimaginative
    • Critics bashed the play because of its creative and prosaic plot.
    • Synonyms: lackluster, commonplace
  394. protracted
    a
    • extended in time
    • Protracted contract negotiations prolonged the project.
    • Synonyms: prolonged
  395. prowess
    n
    • superior skill or daring
    • The gymnast's athletic prowess shined through her routines during the all-around competition.
    • Synonyms: mastery
  396. pugnacious
    a
    • contentious; quarrelsome; given to fighting
    • The service industry is no place for pugnacious people.
    • Synonyms: belligerent
  397. pundit
    n
    • an authority on a subject; one who gives opinions
    • The political pundits had a field day with the senator's corruption charges.
    • Synonyms: expert
  398. pungent
    a
    • characterized by a strong, sharp smell or taste
    • Some people love the pungent aroma of garlic while others find it offensive.
    • Synonyms: acrid, pointed
  399. pusillanimous
    a
    • cowardly; craven
    • The pusillanimous manager preferred to let the employee show up hours late every day rather than confront him.
    • Synonyms: timid
  400. putrefy
    v
    • to rot; to decay and give off a foul odor
    • Bacteria caused the raw meat to putrefy and stink up the whole refrigerator.
    • Synonyms: spoil
  401. quaff
    v
    • to drink deeply
    • Inga quaffed a liter of water after the marathon.
    • Synonyms: imbibe
  402. quagmire
    n
    • a situation that is difficult to get out of
    • The company fell into a quagmire when it ran out of money after promising employees year-end bonuses.
    • Synonyms: predicament
  403. quash
    v
    • to quell; to put an end to forcibly
    • The governor called in the riot police to quash the protest, which was getting larger and more unruly.
    • Synonyms: suppress
  404. querulous
    a
    • prone to complaining or grumbling; quarrelsome
    • I've had numerous arguments with that querulous man.
    • Synonyms: cantankerous, complaining
  405. query
    n
    • question; inquiry; doubt in the mind; reservation
    • The magazine editor compiled a list of queries for the fact checker to address.
    • Synonyms: question, reservation
  406. quixotic
    a
    • foolishly impractical; marked by lofty romantic ideals
    • Maria's parents thought that her plans to move to the French countryside were just quixotic dreams.
    • Synonyms: fanciful, idealistic
  407. quotidian
    a
    • occurring or recurring daily; commonplace
    • The nonprofit organization strives to supply the quotidian needs of people in remote parts of developing countries.
    • Synonyms: ordinary, everyday
  408. raffish
    a
    • unconventional and slightly disreputable; carefree; vulgar
    • Though he was raffish, there was something about his careless style that was refreshing in the stuffy boardroom.
    • Synonyms: rakish
  409. rancorous
    a
    • characterized by bitter, long-lasting resentment
    • The rancorous feud between the rival families lasted decades.
    • Synonyms: acrimonious
  410. rankle
    v
    • to irritate; to cause resentment
    • The critic's mixed review of the book rankled the author for days.
    • Synonyms: irk
  411. rarefy
    v
    • to make or become thin or less dense
    • It is hard for climbers to breathe the rarefied air at the top of Mount Everest without oxygen masks.
    • Synonyms: refine, purify
  412. recalcitrant
    a
    • obstinately resistant to authority; difficult to manage
    • Boot camps are sometimes used as a last resort to deal with recalcitrant teenagers.
    • Synonyms: defiant, rebellious
  413. recondite
    a
    • hidden; concealed; difficult to understand; obscure
    • The recondite speech of the guest lecturer left audience members confused and bored.
    • Synonyms: abstruse, esoteric
  414. reconnoiter
    v
    • to engage in reconnaissance
    • The captain sent soldiers to reconnoiter the region for signs of enemy activity.
    • Synonyms: investigate
  415. redolence
    n
    • the state of being fragrant, suggestive, or evocative
    • The redolence of dried leaves always brings me back to the colorful falls of my childhood in New England.
    • Synonyms: fragrance
  416. redress
    v
    • to set something right; to make amends for
    • The waitress redressed her mistake by offering the diners a free dessert.
    • Synonyms: rectify
  417. refulgent
    a
    • radiant; shining; brilliant
    • At night, Las Vegas is a refulgent sight against the dark and vast desert sky.
    • Synonyms: luminous, resplendent
  418. refute
    v
    • to disprove; to successfully argue against
    • His claim to be the child's father was refuted by DNA evidence.
    • Synonyms: rebut, counter
  419. regale
    v
    • to delight or entertain
    • I would regale you with stories from the family reunion, but let's just say I'm glad that I live on the other side of the country.
    • Synonyms: amuse
  420. relegate
    v
    • to forcibly assign, especially to a lower place or position
    • When we moved into a smaller house, my art studio was relegated to the basement.
    • Synonyms: demote, downgrade, consign
  421. renege
    v
    • to fail to honor a commitment; to break a promise
    • Roommate contracts are important in case one party reneges on the agreed financial contributions to the household.
    • Synonyms: withdraw
  422. repartee
    n
    • witty conversation
    • Few contemporary films have the same clever repartee between the lead characters as those screwball comedies of the 1930s.
    • Synonyms: banter
  423. reprehensible
    a
    • worthy of blame or censure
    • The principal suspended the student for his reprehensible behavior at school.
    • Synonyms: shameful
  424. repudiate
    v
    • to refuse to have anything to do with; to disown
    • Galileo was forced to repudiate his heliocentric findings before the church tribunal.
    • Synonyms: abandon, deny
  425. rescind
    v
    • to invalidate; to repeal; to retract
    • Once he realized he had given his troops the wrong target, the captain rescinded his order to attack.
    • Synonyms: void, annul
  426. reverent
    a
    • marked by, feeling, or expressing profound awe and respect
    • The entire audience settled into a reverent silence when the Dalai Lama began to speak.
    • Synonyms: respectful
  427. rhetoric
    n
    • the art or study of effective use of language for communication and persuasion
    • Clearly the lawyer was skilled at the art of rhetoric; her closing arguments were lucid and moving.
    • Synonyms: elocution
  428. risible
    a
    • causing laughter; laughable
    • The teenager was embarrassed by his mother's blond highlights, her use of slang, her constant texting, and her risible attempts to seem younger.
    • Synonyms: ludicrous
  429. rue
    v
    • to regret; to feel remorse or sorrow for
    • That mouse will rue the day it ever skittered into my kitchen.
    • Synonyms: lament
  430. sagacious
    a
    • having sound judgement; perceptive
    • Though he was not an expert, Jorge's sagacious observations made him a valuable member of the team
    • Synonyms: wise
  431. salacious
    a
    • lascivious; lustful; obscene
    • Let's be honest; the more salacious the gossip, the more we love it.
    • Synonyms: lewd
  432. salient
    a
    • prominent; relevant
    • Perhaps the most salient features of the great white shark are its rows of razor-sharp teeth.
    • Synonyms: conspicuous
  433. salubrious
    a
    • promoting health or well-being
    • I hope the salubrious climate of the Bahamas will soothe my stress.
    • Synonyms: healthful
  434. salutary
    a
    • wholesome; favorable to health
    • Salutary exercises such as stretching can keep tendonitis from getting worse.
    • Synonyms: salubrious
  435. sanction
    n
    • authoritative permission or approval; a penalty intended to enforce compliance
    • City officials granted a sanction to the nonprofit organization, which is organizing a marathon to raise money for cancer research.
    • Synonyms: countenance
  436. sanguine
    a
    • cheerful; confident; optimistic
    • Ana's sanguine disposition is infectious; everyone cheers up whenever she enters the room.
    • Synonyms: upbeat
  437. saturnine
    a
    • gloomy; dark; sullen
    • The saturnine look on her face indicated that things had not gone well at the hospital.
    • Synonyms: melancholy
  438. schism
    n
    • a split into factions
    • Arguments over reading choices caused a schism in my book club; now we have separate fiction and nonfiction groups.
    • Synonyms: division
  439. sedulous
    a
    • diligent; persistent; hard-working
    • With sedulous concentration, the chess player managed to defeat the reigning champion.
    • Synonyms: assiduous
  440. shard
    n
    • a piece of broken pottery or glass
    • I still found shards of glass in the car weeks after the windshield was repaired.
    • Synonyms: fragment
  441. sidereal
    a
    • astral; relating to stars or constellations
    • The girl loved to learn about constellations, galaxies, novas, and all things sidereal.
    • Synonyms: stellar
  442. sinecure
    n
    • a job that pays a salary but requires little work
    • A sinecure was given to the CEO's son and now he spends most of his days browsing the internet.
    • Synonyms: cushy job
  443. sinuous
    a
    • winding; undulating
    • A chill ran down my spine when I glimpsed a sinuous shape weave through the underbrush.
    • Synonyms: serpentine
  444. slake
    v
    • to satisfy or quench
    • How could any vampire resist slaking his thirst at the sight of such a long, porcelain neck?
    • Synonyms: abate
  445. sodden
    a
    • soaked or drenched
    • My shirt was sodden with rain and mud after we played soccer during the downpour.
    • Synonyms: saturated
  446. solicitous
    a
    • concerned and attentive; eager
    • Our neighbor made solicitous inquiries about our family after my grandmother passed away.
    • Synonyms: ardent, considerate, desirous
  447. solvent
    a
    • able to meet financial obligations; able to dissolve another substance
    • It was impossible for Stephen to remain solvent after he lost his job.
    • Synonyms: sound
  448. sophistry
    n
    • fallacious reasoning; faulty logic
    • The subtlety of his sophistry made him a dangerous con man.
    • Synonyms: casuistry
  449. soporific
    a
    • causing drowsiness; tending to induce sleep
    • The professor's lecture was so soporific that I had to pinch myself to stay awake.
    • Synonyms: tranquilizing
  450. sparse
    a
    • thin; not dense; arranged at widely spaced intervals
    • Vegetation is sparse in the Arctic, especially during the winter when the region receives little sunlight for plants to flourish.
    • Synonyms: scarce; sporadic
  451. specious
    a
    • seemingly true, but actually being fallacious; misleadingly attractive
    • Consumers should be wary of specious advertisements that endorse faulty products.
    • Synonyms: deceptive
  452. spendthrift
    n
    • one who spends money wastefully
    • Before he lost his job, he was a spendthrift who squandered his paycheck on champagne, caviar, and other luxury items.
    • Synonyms: squanderer
  453. sporadic
    a
    • occurring only occasionally, or in scattered instances
    • Sporadic fire drills kept dorm residents prepared for a real emergency.
    • Synonyms: intermittent, irregular, desultory
  454. spurious
    a
    • lacking authenticity or validity; false; counterfeit
    • The painting sold as a da Vinci was later discovered to be spurious--the work of a 19th-century forger.
    • Synonyms: illegitimate, phony
  455. static
    a
    • not moving, active, or in motion; at rest
    • Although the student intensely reviews her notes, her test scores have been static.
    • Synonyms: inert, stagnant, immobile
  456. stentorian
    a
    • extremely loud and powerful
    • The sergeant's stentorian voice and physical size made disobedience unthinkable.
    • Synonyms: booming
  457. stupefy
    v
    • to stun, baffle, or amaze
    • The magician aimed to stupefy his audience with his amazing stunts and illusions.
    • Synonyms: astonish, bewilder, astound
  458. stygian
    a
    • gloomy; dark
    • The moonless night and the suffocating humidity created a stygian backdrop for the murder.
    • Synonyms: infernal
  459. subpoena
    n
    • a court order requiring appearance and/or testimony
    • The witness was served with a subpoena, so he had to appear in court the following week.
    • Synonyms: summons, decree
  460. subtle
    a
    • not obvious; elusive; difficult to discern
    • Crime scene investigators are trained to notice subtle clues left by perpetrators.
    • Synonyms: inconspicuous, indirect
  461. succinct
    a
    • brief; concise
    • Please keep acceptance speeches succinct so all the winners get a chance to speak.
    • Synonyms: terse
  462. superfluous
    a
    • exceeding what is sufficient or necessary
    • Even after I cut out all the superfluous details, my research paper was still longer than the recommended page limit.
    • Synonyms: excessive, lavish
  463. surfeit
    n
    • excess; overindulgence
    • The surfeit of food at the banquet caused more than a few stomachaches that evening.
    • Synonyms: overabundance, surplus
  464. sybarite
    n
    • a person who leads a life of pleasure and luxury
    • After winning the lottery, Justin quit his grueling job, and he is now living as a sybarite on a boat in the Caribbean.
    • Synonyms: hedonist
  465. sycophant
    n
    • someone who tries to get ahead through flattery and fawning
    • The sycophants who served on the royal court always let the queen win every croquet match.
    • Synonyms: toady
  466. tacit
    a
    • implied; not explicitly stated
    • My presentation to the investors went well and a tacit agreement was made to proceed with my business plan.
    • Synonyms: implicit, unspoken
  467. taciturn
    a
    • uncommunicative; silent
    • The taciturn grandfather hardly said a word at the wedding and sat silently all evening.
    • Synonyms: reserved
  468. tenacious
    a
    • adhering to or persisting in something valued
    • My grandfather's tenacious grip on old habits keeps him away from new experiences.
    • Synonyms: adamant, persevering
  469. tenuous
    a
    • having little substance or strength; flimsy; weak
    • The poor grades from the final exam demonstrated that the students had nothing more than a tenuous understanding of the material.
    • Synonyms: shaky, feeble
  470. terse
    a
    • brief and concise in wording
    • My mother left me a terse message after I broke my curfew; "Home. Now."
    • Synonyms: succinct, laconic
  471. timorous
    a
    • timid; fearful
    • After the earthquake, our dog was so timorous that he refused to leave his spot under the kitchen table.
    • Synonyms: apprehensive
  472. tirade
    n
    • a long and extremely critical speech; a harsh denunciation
    • After several employees arrived at work after ten o'clock, the boss went on a tirade about punctuality.
    • Synonyms: censure, harangue
  473. toady
    n
    • sycophant; flatterer
    • The spineless toady in my department strokes the president's ego in order to get a promotion.
    • Synonyms: flunky
  474. tortuous
    a
    • winding; twisting; excessively complicated
    • The tortuous path through the redwoods twists around dozens of tree trunks.
    • Synonyms: meandering, circuitous
  475. tout
    v
    • to publicly praise or promote
    • Javier's parents always tout his achievements to their coworkers and friends.
    • Synonyms: laud, herald, acclaim
  476. transient
    a
    • fleeting; passing quickly; brief
    • Anti-inflammatory medication can provide transient relief for arthritis but does not cure the condition.
    • Synonyms: temporary, momentary
  477. trenchant
    a
    • sharply perceptive; keen; penetrating
    • To become a world-class chess player, one must have both a trenchant strategy and an understanding of human nature.
    • Synonyms: incisive
  478. truculent
    a
    • fierce and cruel; eager to fight
    • My neighbor's truculent dog has attacked and chased several kids on the block.
    • Synonyms: brutal, vitriolic, belligerent
  479. truncate
    v
    • to cut off abruptly
    • Carmen's road trip was supposed to last for two weeks, but she had to truncate her trip when she got sick.
    • Synonyms: shorten
  480. tyro
    n
    • novice; greenhorn; rank amateur
    • The tyro was unable to stand on top of the surfboard and balance, even on calm waters.
    • Synonyms: beginner
  481. unfeigned
    a
    • genuine; not false or hypocritical
    • I could not tell if his apology was unfeigned since he was smiling the entire time.
    • Synonyms: honest, sincere
  482. untenable
    a
    • indefensible; not viable; uninhabitable
    • The captain ordered soldiers to pull out from the untenable situation
    • Synonyms: flawed, illogical
  483. untrammeled
    a
    • not hampered or impeded
    • Sometimes I miss the untrammeled life of my college years, before I had a mortgage, a job, and a family to support.
    • Synonyms: unrestrained
  484. urbane
    a
    • sophisticated; refined; elegant
    • The author maintained an urbane tone even in her personal letters.
    • Synonyms: cultivated
  485. vacillate
    v
    • to move indecisively between one course of action or opinion and another
    • Ashley vacillated between the two job offers, one offered a higher salary and the other offered better benefits.
    • Synonyms: waver
  486. vagary
    n
    • unpredictable action
    • Some investors prefer the relative stability of bonds to the vagaries of the stock market.
    • Synonyms: caprice
  487. variegated
    a
    • multicolored; characterized by a variety of patches of different color
    • As she flew across the country for the first time, the child marveled at the variegated landscape below.
    • Synonyms: diversified
  488. venal
    a
    • capable of being bought or bribed
    • He avoided spending a night in jail because he was able to pay off the venal police officer.
    • Synonyms: corruptible
  489. venerate
    v
    • to revere; to worship
    • The whole family venerates Grandma Sue because she is so generous, patient, and loving
    • Synonyms: idolize
  490. verisimilitude
    n
    • appearance of truth or reality
    • Some video games have achieved such verisimilitude that they are now being used to train pilots and soldiers.
    • Synonyms: authenticity
  491. vexation
    n
    • annoyance; irritation
    • My brother's pranks on the whole family are a source of vexation, not amusement.
    • Synonyms: aggravation
  492. vigilant
    a
    • alertly watchful
    • The new parents were vigilant over their baby and stayed up all night when she got sick.
    • Synonyms: wary, attentive
  493. viscous
    a
    • thick; sticky
    • The viscous batter clung to the sides of the bowl.
    • Synonyms: gelatinous
  494. vituperate
    v
    • to use harsh, condemnatory language; to abuse severely
    • I want to vituperate the company for violating pollution laws, especially since it markets itself as being ecologically conscious.
    • Synonyms: berate, rebuke
  495. volatile
    a
    • readily changing to a vapor; changeable; fickle
    • The price of the volatile stock rose and fell sharply throughout the day.
    • Synonyms: explosive, mercurial
  496. voracious
    a
    • having an insatiable appetite for an activity or pursuit
    • He is a voracious reader; he finishes two books each week.
    • Synonyms: avid, ravenous, rapacious
  497. waft
    v
    • to cause to move as if by a light breeze
    • The smell of freshly baked apple pie wafted into my bedroom and my mouth began to water.
    • Synonyms: drift
  498. waver
    v
    • to move to and fro; to sway; to be unsettled in opinion
    • At the ice cream shop, the child wavered between mint chocolate chip and fudge vanilla swirl.
    • Synonyms: vacillate, falter, hesitate
  499. wend
    v
    • to go; to proceed
    • I had to wend my way through the crowds so I could get up close to the stage.
    • Synonyms: meander
  500. zealous
    a
    • fervent; ardent; impassioned
    • Andy is a zealous fan of the show; he always stays home on Friday nights to watch it and has yet to miss an episode.
    • Synonyms: fanatical, passionate
  501. antediluvian
    a
    • extremely primitive or outmoded
    • Crystalline intelligence is an antediluvian paradigm.
    • Synonyms: ancient, outdated
  502. invidious
    a
    • tending to cause discontent, animosity, or envy; unpleasant and likely to cause bad feelings in other people
    • Inevitably, his remarkable success attracted the invidious attention of the other sales representatives
    • Synonyms: envious
  503. ineluctable
    a
    • not able to be avoided, changed, or resisted
    • The ineluctable approach of winter had many worried about the cost of heating their homes
    • Synonyms: inevitable
  504. plangent
    a
    • emitting a loud, deep, and often sad sound
    • He sang a plangent, haunting song about a long-ago love.
    • Synonyms: anguished, doleful
  505. demarcate
    v
    • to distinguish or set apart; to show the limits or edges of (something)
    • The plot of land is demarcated by a low brick wall.
    • Synonyms: define, circumscribe
  506. superannuate
    v
    • to make, declare, or prove obsolete or out-of-date
    • His pilot's license was withdrawn and he was superannuated.
    • Synonyms: pensioned, retired
  507. senescence
    n
    • the condition or process of deterioration with age(biological)
    • The American baby boom generation, whose senescence had created a huge market for equipment that aided the enfeebled and disabled...
    • Synonyms: aging, deterioration
  508. acrimonious
    a
    • angry and bitter
    • He went through an acrimonious divorce.
    • Synonyms: acrid, bitter, rancorous
  509. pernicious
    a
    • causing great harm or damage often in a way that is not easily seen or noticed
    • She thinks television has a pernicious influence on our children.
    • Synonyms: detrimental, harmful
  510. precocious
    a
    • exhibiting mature qualities at an unusually early age
    • She was a precocious child who could read before she went to school.
    • Synonyms: early, premature
  511. probity
    n
    • adherence to the highest principles and ideals
    • a person of indisputable probity must head the disciplinary panel
    • Synonyms: integrity, uprightness
  512. odium
    n
    • hatred and condemnation accompanied by loathing or contempt
    • time did nothing to diminish the odium in which the traitor lived out his days
    • Synonyms: disgrace, dishonor
  513. lachrymose
    a
    • tending to cause tears; tending to cry often
    • The more lachrymose mourners at the funeral required a steady supply of tissues.
    • Synonyms: tearful, weepy
  514. polemic
    n
    • the art or practice of disputation or controversy
    • Her book is a fierce polemic against the inequalities in our society.
    • Synonyms: controversial, critical
  515. concomitant
    a
    • existing or occurring with something else, often in a lesser way; accompanying; concurrent
    • Within the redevelopment area, many businesses are struggling with falling sales concomitant with a district in decline.
    • Synonyms: concurrent
  516. austere
    a
    • without adornment; bare; severely simple
    • It looks spare and austere, but we spent 1,000 hours creating these.
    • Synonyms: ascetic
  517. axiomatic
    a
    • taken as a given; possessing self-evident truth
    • After Vietnam, it was axiomatic that the press would approach those in power with a skepticism verging on cynicism.
    • Synonyms: assumed; self-evident
  518. extemporaeous
    a
    • improvised; done without preparation
    • But extemporaneous speech is not his strongest suit; Becho expresses himself much better creatively than he does in conversation.
    • Synonyms: impromptu
  519. fulminate
    v
    • to loudly attack or denounce
    • With Osama bin Laden inconveniently dead, the party out of power needs someone to fulminate against.
    • Synomyms: denounce, condemn
  520. paean
    n
    • a song or hymn of praise and thanksgiving
    • Shockingly, his paean to the good old days did not prevail.
    • Synonyms: hymn, anthem
  521. perfidy
    n
    • intentional breach of faith; treachery
    • Grace has been especially severe on the 12-person jury, which she has accused of all manner of perfidy.
    • Synonyms: betrayal
  522. perspicacious
    a
    • acutely perceptive; having keen discernment
    • Thank you for being such an astute reader and perspicacious student of the environment.
    • Synonyms: acute, clever, discerning
  523. precipitate
    v
    • to hasten the occurrence of; bring about prematurely, hastily, or suddenly
    • Unlike some of her peers, she is not motivated by an ideological zeal to precipitate Israel's destruction.
    • Synonyms: accelerate
  524. reticent
    a
    • quiet; reserved; reluctant to express thoughts or feelings
    • Leno asked why he has been so reticent to publicize his opinions about President Obama and his policies.
    • Synonyms: reserved, restrained
  525. veracity
    n
    • truthfulness; honesty
    • Still the evidence for this comes from one anonymous source, so its veracity remains uncertain.
    • Synonyms: truthfulness; honesty
  526. ameliorate
    v
    • to make better or more tolerable
    • At the time, Bratton sought to ameliorate the tension between the LAPD and Muslims.
    • Synonyms: amend, mitigate, alleviate
  527. bucolic
    a
    • rustic and pastoral; characteristic of rural areas and their inhabitants
    • During the day, shops were open and the relatively simple, bucolic life of a farming village seemed to go on normally.
    • Synonyms: agrarian, pastoral
  528. contentious
    a
    • argumentative; quarrelsome; causing controversy or disagreement
    • And the commissioners wisely left untouched the most contentious issues, such as voter identification laws.
    • Synonyms: argumentative
  529. dearth
    n
    • smallness of quantity or number; scarcity; a lack
    • The FDA is hoping to remedy the dearth of knowledge with a plea aimed at influential drugmakers.
    • Synonyms: deficiency, inadequacy
  530. redoubt
    n
    • awe-inspiring; worthy of honor
    • In the 1990s, progressive politicians led by the redoubtable Al Gore, viewed the “digital divide” as a dire national crisis.
    • Synonyms: formidable
  531. quiescence
    n
    • stillness; motionless; quality of being at rest
    • During that period, there were long pauses and periods of quiescence that could lead one to believe that the revolt had subsided.
    • Synonyms: calm, quiet, rest
  532. ubiquitous
    a
    • existing everywhere at the same time; constantly encountered; widespread
    • But that changed in the 19th century, when two important developments helped make ice cream the ubiquitous snack it is today.
    • Synonyms: omnipresent, pervasive
  533. torpid
    a
    • lethargic; sluggish dormant (noun form of torpor)
    • The patient became torpid when their blood pressure lowered dramatically.
    • Synonyms: apathetic, lethargic

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