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If your little brother quietly obeys your instructions and waits for you at the food court while you and your friends wander around the mall, he's probably a tractable child, meaning he's obedient, flexible, and responds well to directions.
Watch out when a situation becomes volatile— it is likely to change for the worse suddenly. You fight and then make up with your partner often if you two have a volatile relationship.
When something is strong and able to recover from damage quickly, call it resilient.If you're rough on your toys, the ones that don't break are resilient.
Someone who is introspective spends considerable time examining his own thoughts and feelings. If you take to your diary after an unhappy break-up, you are being introspective.
- Something that's incongruous is inconsistent or incompatible with something else. Remember that Sesame Street song "One of these things is not like the other"? They were talking about that one thing being incongruous.
- inappropriate, unsuitable, unsuited
Autocratic describes a way of ruling, but not in a nice way. An autocratic leader is one who rules with an iron fist; in other words — someone with the behavior of a dictator.
Someone who is dogmatic has arrogant attitudes based on unproved theories. If you dogmatically assert that the moon is made of green cheese, you'll just get laughed at.
modern; up to date
- If something is feasible, then you can do it without too much difficulty. When someone asks "Is it feasible?" the person is asking if you'll be able to get something done.
- achievable, attainable, realizable, viable
Things that are worthwhile are good — they're worth the time or money you spend on them.
A temporary gap, pause, break, or absence can be called a hiatus. When your favorite TV show is on hiatus, that means there are no new episodes — not forever, just for a little while.
When an army crosses a border into another country for battle, they are making an incursion into enemy territory. An incursion is an invasion as well as an attack.
Terse means brief, or using very few words. If your teacher tells you to make your writing in your essay style terse and to the point, he's saying use as few words as you can and be simple and clear
Tardiness is the quality of being late. When people don't show up on time, they're guilty of tardiness; lateness
- a state of physical or mental weariness; lack of energy.
- she was overcome by lassitude and retired to bed
Expiate means to make amends or atone for a wrong you or someone else has committed.
When you conceal something, you are keeping it from being discovered: ���To avoid another argument with his cousins, Jonathan worked hard to conceal his disappointment at the outcome of the race.”
Someone who acts as a surrogate takes the place of another person. If a celebrity leaves her seat to use the restroom in the middle of a big Hollywood awards ceremony, a surrogate will take his or her place until she returns.
Abjure means to swear off, and it applies to something you once believed. You can abjure a religious faith, you can abjure your love of another person, and you can abjure the practice of using excessive force in interrogation.
An interrogation is a question or an intense questioning session. Police do interrogations of suspects all the time.
To resign is to quit or retire from a position. You can also resign yourself to something inevitable, like death — meaning you just accept that it's going to happen.
If you abstain from something, you restrain yourself from consuming it. People usually abstain from things that are considered vices — like drinking alcohol or eating chocolate.
- Drive through a forest that's just been destroyed by a fire, and you'll get an idea of what barren means — stripped of vegetation and devoid of life
- unproductive, infertile, unfruitful, sterile, arid, desert
- complete (used for emphasis)
- He was so filled from his encounter with God that he was downright joyful, literally glowing.
To enchant is to cast a spell over someone, like a witch might do. It also means to attract or catch someone's attention in a less mystical way.
A prospector is someone looking for mineral deposits. Prospectors are usually after gold
Solitude is the state of being alone. You might crave solitude after spending the holidays with your big, loud family — you want nothing more than to get away from everyone for a little while.
Immensity is hugeness. When something is so large or numerous you can hardly believe it, it has the quality of immensity..
An impervious surface is one that can't be penetrated. The word is often followed by "to," as in "His steely personality made him impervious to jokes about his awful haircut."
Are you sleepy? Maybe you need to doze a little. To doze is to sleep lightly or to take a nap.
An assault is an attack. Getting punched, yelled at, or bombed are all types of assault.
To afflict is to cause suffering, pain, or misery. It’s often associated with medical conditions. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is most likely to afflict someone who spends many hours every day typing on our computers; harass
If you revamp something, you renovate or remake it. You'll have to revamp your vacation plans if the hotel where you were planning to stay has closed for repairs and renovations.
If you see your mother every day, but seldom see your dad because he works late, you might be grateful for the opportunity to hang with him on the weekends. Use the adjective seldom to refer to things that don't happen very often.
- feeling or causing someone to feel uncomfortably confined or hemmed in by lack of space/constricted in size
- the staff had to work in cramped conditions
To veer is to make a sudden turn, like when a driver veers off the pavement, or a pleasant conversation veers off in a troubling direction.
If something is baffling, it's completely confusing or mysterious. You might find your friend's hatred for the taste of chocolate utterly baffling.
Something that's enigmatic is tough to figure out. It's puzzling and even mysterious, like those weird secret college societies, Mona Lisa's smile or the New York Times crossword.
What's a question or problem that requires a bit of thought before you answer? It's a riddle, of course. The verb riddle can mean to speak in a puzzling fashion, though that use is not very common.
- destroy utterly; obliterate.
- a simple bomb of this type could annihilate them all
Something abiding sticks around, lasting a long time. Abiding is usually used with feelings and memories — as in your abiding love for Elmo.
Something stifling makes you feel suffocated. If your mother insists on accompanying you on your first date, that will probably feel stifling.
- Bad luck, an injury, a mistake, an unfortunate outfit, or a crime — anything can be called horrendous if it causes such dread or fear that you can barely even think about it.
- awful, dire, direful, dread, terrible
A superstition is a belief or practice that isn’t entirely based on facts or reality, like carrying a rabbit’s foot because you think it brings you good fortune, or believing that Friday the 13th is a day of bad luck.
A composite is something made up of complicated and related parts. A composite photograph of your family might have your eyes, your sister’s nose, your dad’s mouth, and your mother’s chin.
When you swathe yourself in a blanket, you are wrapping or swaddling yourself up in it. Swathe a baby up and you're creating a little cocoon where she can sleep.
Autumn is the season after summer, when leaves fall from trees. It's also the season when the days get shorter and colder, and everything turns brown and drab, but people like it anyway, for the cocoa and cider, probably.
- indifferent to pain or pleasure
- Jan is stoic about the pain of her arthritis.
- a state of near-unconsciousness or insensibility
- They left him slumped in a drunken stupor.
- large or heavy and therefore difficult to carry or use; unwieldy
- Cumbersome diving suits.
- difficult to carry or move because of its size, shape, or weight
- The first mechanical clocks were large and unwieldy.
- arranged neatly and in order
- His scrupulously tidy apartment.
- (of a person or their manner) appearing deceitful or evasive
- A shifty, fast-talking lawyer.
- suggest or call attention to indirectly; hint at
- She had a way of alluding to Jean but never saying her name.
- of the nature of or indicative of disease
- The treatment of morbid obesity,
- unwilling and hesitant; disinclined
- She seemed reluctant to discuss the matter.
- of vital importance; crucial
- Immediate action was imperative.
- a situation in which no progress is possible, especially because of disagreement; a deadlock
- The current political impasse.
- completely baffling; very puzzling
- A perplexing problem.
- impossible to understand; perplexing
- The crime is a baffling mystery for the police.
- break or cause to break suddenly and violently into pieces
- Bullets riddled the bar top, glasses shattered, bottles exploded.
- belonging naturally; essential
- Access to the arts is intrinsic to a high quality of life.
- a thing added to something else as a supplementary rather than an essential part
- Computer technology is an adjunct to learning.
- a region in an organ or tissue that has suffered damage through injury or disease, such as a wound, ulcer, abscess, tumor, etc
- Symptoms include clusters of red lesions.
- discharge (moisture or a smell) slowly and steadily
- The beetle exudes a caustic liquid.
- (of a person) display (an emotion or quality) strongly and openly
- Mr. Thomas exuded friendship and goodwill.
- escape or avoid, especially by cleverness or trickery
- Friends helped him to evade capture for a time.
- avoid giving a direct answer to (a question)
- He denied evading the question.
- additional but subordinate; secondary
- The collateral meanings of a word.
- lower in rank or position
- His subordinate officers.
Sponges absorb liquid and are used for washing and cleaning
- A rounded vault forming the roof of a building or structure, typically with a circular base
- The dome of St. Paul's Cathedral.
- make narrower, especially by encircling pressure
- Chemicals that constrict the blood vessels.
- make or become wider, larger, or more open
- Her eyes dilated with horror.
- springing back quickly when squeezed or stretched; elastic
- He left the room with a springy step.
- grass and the surface layer of earth held together by its roots
- They walked across the springy turf.
- annoy or irritate (a person) with persistent fault-finding or continuous urging
- She constantly nags her daughter about getting married.
a device for keeping the atmosphere moist in a room
- a short period of intense activity of a specified kind
- Occasional bouts of strenuous exercise.
- requiring or using great exertion
- Occasional bouts of strenuous exercise.
- drive, push, or cause to move in a particular direction, typically forward
- The boat is propelled by using a very long paddle.
lack of air or inability to breathe
- a band of material around the neck of a shirt, dress, coat, or jacket, either upright or turned over and generally an integral part of the garment
- We turned our collars up against the chill.
- apply or bring to bear (a force, influence, or quality)
- The moon exerts a force on the Earth.
- a single step taken when walking or running
- He stepped back a pace.
- consistent and continuous speed in walking, running, or moving
- Most traffic moved at the pace of the riverboat.
- a slatted wooden case used for transporting or storing goods
- A crate of bananas.
- A thin, narrow piece of wood, plastic, or metal, especially one of a series that overlap or fit into each other, as in a fence or a Venetian blind
- A slatted wooden case, for example crate.
- deny (a person or place) the possession or use of something
- The city was deprived of its water supplies.
- a painful, involuntary contraction of a muscle or muscles, typically caused by fatigue or strain
- He suffered severe cramps in his neck.
a cover for the blade of a knife or sword
- destroy or ruin (something)
- The city was devastated by a huge earthquake
- an involuntary quivering movement
- A disorder that causes tremors and muscle rigidity.
- tremble or shake with a slight rapid motion
- The tree's branches stopped quivering.
- a person's manner of walking
- The easy gait of an athlete.
- She answered without hesitation.
- the central point, pin, or shaft on which a mechanism turns or oscillates
- The machine turns on a pivot.
- move or swing back and forth at a regular speed; swing
- A pendulum oscillates about its lowest point.
- saliva falling from the mouth
- The baby begins to drool, then to cough.
- (of a liquid) flow in a small stream
- A solitary tear trickled down her cheek.
- done or existing alone
- A solitary tear trickled down her cheek
- experience or cause to experience a slight prickling or stinging sensation
- She was tingling with excitement.