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Hardened in feeling, resistant to persuasion
The Judge was completely OBDURATE on the decision and no amount of pleading would change his mind.
No variation, tediously the same
The MONOTONY of his factory job slowly drove him insane.
To fluctuate between choices
If you WAVER too long you may miss out on the opportunity.
Able to be molded, altered or bent
Silly Putty is very PLASTIC and could be molded into any shape.
Lightly acting in a fanciful or capricious manner; unpredictable
The WHIMSICAL movie appealed both to children and their parents.
Easily aroused or changeable; lively or explosive
His VOLATILE attitude made it difficult to critique his work.
He alienated himself at work by VEXING his coworkers all day long.
Practical as opposed to idealistic
The PRAGMATIC gamble will always work the odds and know when to quit.
Filled with truth and accuracy
She was known for her VERACITY so many people were quick to trust her.
His answer was so VERBOSE they forgot what the original question was.
Her ZEAL about fashion design always inspired her students.
Lacking sophistication or experience
Having never left the country before he seemed much more NAIVE than the other foreigners.
- To calm or make less severe
- The racist man was so irate that it seemed impossible to MOLLIFY his anger.
Willing to betray one's trust
My PERFIDIOUS friend told my girlfriend about my one night stand.
Done in a routine way; indifferent
The bank teller did his job in a PERFUNCTORY way leaving the customers feeling cold and unimportant.
Causing sleep or lethargy
The professor’s lecture was so SOPORIFIC that soon half the students were asleep.
The new cloth prevented any liquids from PERMEATING into the lower layers.
Long, harsh speech or verbal attack
People were shocked by the chef’s TIRADE over such a minor mistake.
Silent, not talkative
Because of his TACITURN nature people often thought he was very shy.
To physically sway or be indecisive
The customer VACILLATED for over thirty minutes unable to make up his mind.
To satisfy fully or overindulge
The growing boy had such an apatite that nothing could SATIATE it.
Extremely careful about details
To solve the puzzle you must METICULOUSLY examine every piece.
To throw violently or bring about abruptly; lacking deliberation
Since they only knew each other for a short time, people expected the PRECIPITATE marriage to end in divorce.
Someone who shows off learning
The student’s PEDANT attitude and behavior soon alienated her from her classmates.
Lofty or grand
The music was so SUBLIME it transformed the old warehouse into a special place.
Extreme mental and physical sluggishness
After surgery, the patient experienced TORPOR until the anesthesia wore off.
Charity, a desire or effort to promote goodness
The PHILANTHROPY of the donors allowed the students to attend university.
Done without using words
Although all remained silent everyone knew TACITLY what actions needed to be taken.
Model of excellence or perfection
She is the PARAGON of what a judge should be: honest, intelligent, and impartial.
Impossible to see through, preventing the passage of light
The dirt on the windows almost made them OPAQUE.
Temporary, lasting a brief time
The writer lived a TRANSITORY life living in a place only long enough to write a book.
To stop up, prevent the passage of
The moon OCCLUDES the light from the Sun during a solar eclipse.
His OSTENTATION attitude was evident in the way he showed off every new purchase.
To prevent; to make necessary
The river was shallow enough to wade across, which OBVIATED the need for a bridge.
Bright, brilliant, glowing
The living room was filled with LUMINOUS sunlight which made it perfect for the lazy dog to sleep.
The OBSTINATE child would not eat any green vegetables.
Fresh and clean, uncorrupted
The cave-in blocked the tomb’s entrance leaving the site PRISTINE.
To soften, to lessen
The judge MITIGATED the sentence because the crime was committed out of necessity.
To respect deeply
In many Asian cultures, the young are taught to VENERATE their elders, even people only one year older.
A person who dislikes others
He is such a MISANTHROPE that even the sight of children playing makes him angry.
The PRODIGAL son quickly wasted all of his inheritance on a lavish lifestyle.
Wisdom, caution or restraint
The student showed PRUDENCE by obtaining work experience relating to her major.
To reject the validity of
The man’s claim that he won the lottery was quickly REPUDIATED when his ticket didn’t match the winning numbers.
The day spa offered a PLETHORA of treatments, more than anyone could need.
Overly-submissive and eager to please
Hoping to get a raise the worker was always very OBSEQUIOUS when around his boss.
She was the most LOQUACIOUS student in the class, which was often problematic.
Clear and easily understood
To make the instructions easily understood they were written in a simple and LUCID way.
Acting in an indifferent or slow, sluggish manner
The clerk was so LETHARGIC that he always had a long line in front of him.
Troublesome and oppressive; burdensome
The project was so extensive and difficult it proved ONEROUS to the team in charge of it.
A mark of shame or discredit
The woman wore the letter “A” on her clothes as a public STIGMA for her adultery.
To evade responsibility by pretending to be ill
By MALINGERING the young men dodged the draft.
Deceptively attractive; seemingly plausible but fallacious
Although false, the student’s SPECIOUS excuse seemed legitimate.
After the scheme to embezzle the elderly was made public, the treasurer resigned in utter OPPROBRIUM.
Effective writing or speaking
His talent for RHETORIC was evident in his beautifully expressed speech.
Physically small and RETICENT in her speech, she often went unnoticed.
Unemotional, lacking sensitivity
The prisoner appeared STOLID and unaffected by the judge’s harsh sentence.
To conciliate, to appease
The management PROPITIATED the irate union by agreeing to raise wages for its members.
Many animals are QUIESCENT over the winter months.
Sharp and irritating to the senses
The smoke from the burning tires was extremely PUNGENT.
Acting in a proper manner, obeying rules and customs
The aristocracy maintained a high level of PROPRIETY, adhering to even the most minor social rules.
To increase in number quickly
Although he only kept two guinea pigs initially, they PROLIFERATED to such an extent that he soon had dozens.
Capable of being shaped
Gold is the most MALLEABLE of precious metals; it can be easily made it any shape.
To soothe or pacify
The burglar tried to PLACATE the snarling dog with steak.
A firmly held opinion, especially a religious belief
His central DOGMA was that children who believed in the Great Pumpkin would be rewarded.
A harsh and disagreeable combination, especially of sounds
Cognitive DISSONANCE is the inner conflict produced when long standing beliefs are contradicted by new evidence.
To present a false appearance, to disguise one's real intentions or character
The villain could DISSEMBLE to the police no longer – he confessed to the crime.
A contradiction or dilemma
It is a PARADOX that those most in need of medical attention are often those least able to obtain it.
A figure of speech comparing two different things, a symbol
The METAPHOR “A sea of troubles,” suggests a lot of troubles by comparing their number to the vastness of the sea.
To make thinner or sparser
Since the atmosphere RAREFIES as altitudes increase, the air at the top of very tall mountains is too thin to breathe.
A puzzle, a mystery
Speaking in riddles and dressed in old robes, the artist gained a reputation as something of an ENIGMA.
To produce, cause, or bring about
His fear and hatred of clowns was ENGENDERED when he witnessed his father’s death by the clown.
To reduce in strength
The guerrillas hoped that a series of surprise attacks would ENERVATE the regular army.
To copy; to try to equal or excel
The students wished to EMULATE their professor in every way.
Persuasive and moving, especially in speech
The speech is moving not only because of its lofty ideas but also because of its ELOQUENT words.
A sorrowful poem or speech
Even though the ELEGY was about death, it urges its readers to endure this life.
The EFFICACY of the drug was unsurpassed when it was first introduced.
Selecting from or made up from a variety of sources
Budapest’s architecture is an ECLECTIC mix of eastern and western styles.
To deceive or a person who is easily deceived
Bugs Bunny was able to DUPE Elmer Fudd by dressing up like a lady.
Dictatorial in one's opinions
The dictator was DOGMATIC he and only he was right.
To make worse
It is unwise to take aspirin to try to relieve heartburn; it will only EXACERBATE it.
Use of an inoffensive word or phrase in place of a more distasteful one
The funeral director preferred to use the EUPHEMISM “sleeping” instead of the word “dead.”
Speech in praise of someone
His best friend gave the EULOGY, outlining his many achievements.
Most people consider it ESTIMABLE that she spent her life helping the poor.
Known or understood only by a few
Only a handful of experts are knowledgeable about the ESOTERIC world of particle physics.
Learned, scholarly, bookish
The annual meeting appealed only to the most ERUDITE university professors.
Wandering and unpredictable
The plot seemed predictable until it suddenly took a series of ERRATIC turns.
To use expressions of double meaning in order to mislead
When faced with criticism of his policies, the politician EQUIVOCATED and left all parties thinking he agreed with them.
Lasting a short time
The lives of mayflies seem EPHEMERAL to us.
To count, list, itemize
Moses returned from the mountain with tablets on which the commandments were ENUMERATED.
Excessively decorated or embellished
The palace had been decorated in an excessively FLORID style.
Intensely emotional, feverish
The fans were unusually FERVID, doing anything to catch a glimpse of the singer.
The understudy FAWNED over the director in hopes of being cast in the movie.
Acting excessively enthusiastic, filled with extreme, unquestioned devotion
The soldiers were FANATICAL in their devotion to the general.
Clearly stated or shown; forthright in expression
The owners of the house left a list of EXPLICIT instructions detailing their house-sitters’ duties.
To clear of blame
The fugitive was EXONERATED when another criminal confessed.
Urgent; requiring immediate action
The patient was losing blood so rapidly that it was EXIGENT to stop the bleeding.
To clear from blame, prove innocent
The adversarial legal system is intended to convict those who are guilty and to EXCULPATE those who are innocent.
Quick to act without thinking
It is not good for an investment broker to be IMPETUOUS, since much though should be given to all possible options.
Impossible to penetrate; incapable of being affected
A good raincoat will be IMPERVIOUS to moisture.
Not capable of being disturbed
Her experience dealing with distraught children made her IMPERTURBABLE, even when faced with the wildest tantrums.
One who opposes established beliefs, customs and institutions
His lack of regard for traditional beliefs soon established him as an ICONOCLAST.
Of a similar kind
The class was fairly HOMOGENOUS, since almost all of the students were senior journalism majors.
The con man pretended to be a bank officer so as to fool GULLIBLE bank customers into giving him their account information
Since he was not fast enough to catch the roadrunner on foot, the coyote resorted to GUILE in an effort to trap his enemy.
She was so GREGARIOUS that when she found herself alone she felt quite sad.
Tending to talk a lot
The GARRULOUS parakeet distracted its owner with its continuous talking.
Tending to be thrifty or cheap
Scrooge’s FRUGALITY was so great he accumulated a great amount of wealth.
To arouse or incite
The protesters tried to FOMENT feelings against the war through their speeches.
to give praise; to glorify
Parades and fireworks were staged to LAUD the success of the rebels.
To express sorrow, to grieve
The children continued to LAMENT the death of the goldfish weeks after its death.
Using few words
She was a LACONIC poet who builds her reputation on using words as sparingly as possible.
easily made angry
Attila the Hun’s IRASCIBLE and violent nature made all who dealt with him fear for their lives.
To overwhelm, to cover with water
The tidal wave INUNDATED Atlantis, which was lost beneath the water.
Uncompromising, refusing to be reconciled
The professor was INTRANSIGENT on the deadline, insisting that everyone turn the assignment in at the same time.
Lacking interest or flavor
The critic claimed that painting was INSIPID, containing no interesting qualities at all.
Some snakes are poisonous, but most species are INNOCUOUS and pose no danger to humans.
Even though the children had grown up together they were INIMICAL to each other at school.
Showing innocence or childlike simplicity
She was so INGENUOUS that her friends feared that her innocence and trustfulness would be exploited.
Not fully formed, disorganized
The ideas expressed in his work also appear in an INCHOATE form in his earlier work.
Unable to be calmed down or made peaceful
His rage at the betrayal was so great that he remained IMPLACABLE for weeks.
Appropriateness of behavior or conduct; propriety
The countess complained that the vulgar peasants lacked the DECORUM appropriate for a visit to the palace.
The respectful young law clerk treated the Supreme Court justice with the utmost DEFERENCE.
To speak of or treat with contempt, to mock
The awkward child was often DERIDED by his “cooler” peers.
To dry out thoroughly
After a few weeks of lying on the desert’s baking sands, the cow’s carcass become completely DESICCATED.
Jumping from one thing to another; disconnected
She had a DESULTORY academic record; she had changed majors 12 times.
An abusive, condemnatory speech
The trucker bellowed a DIATRIBE at the driver who had cut him off.
His DIFFIDENT manner during the job interview stemmed from his nervous nature.
To make larger, expand
When you enter a darkened room, your pupils DILATE to let more light in.
Intended to delay
The congressman used DILATORY measure to delay the passage of the bill.
Someone with an amateurish and superficial interest in a topic
His friends were such DILETTANTES that they seemed to have new jobs and hobbies every week.
A funeral hymn or mournful speech
His brother wrote a DIRGE to be read at the funeral.
Set right, free from error
Galileo’s observations DISABUSED scholars of the notion that the Sun revolved around the Earth.
To perceive or recognize
It is easy to DISCERN the difference between butter and butter-flavored topping.
Fundamentally different; entirely unlike
Although the twins appear to be identical physically, their personalities are DISPARATE.
Harsh, jarring noise
The junior high orchestra created an almost unbearable CACOPHONY as they tried to tune their instruments.
Impartial and honest in speech
The observations of a child can be charming since they are CANDID and unpretentious.
Changing one's mind quickly and often
Queen Elizabeth I was quite CAPRICIOUS; her courtiers could never be sure which of their number would catch her fancy.
To punish or criticize harshly
Singapore authorities CASTIGATE perpetrators of minor crimes.
Something that brings about a change in something else
The imposition of harsh taxes was the CATALYST that finally brought on the revolution.
Biting in wit
She gained her reputation for CAUSTIC wit from her cutting, yet clever, insults.
Great disorder or confused situation
In most religious traditions, God created an ordered universe from CHAOS.
Someone prejudiced in favor of a group that he or she belongs to
The attitude that men are inherently superior to women and therefore must be obeyed is common among male CHAUVINISTS.
Deception by means of craft or guile
Dishonest used car salesmen often use CHICANERY to sell their beat-up old cars.
Convincing and well-reasoned
Swayed by the COGENT argument of the defense, the jury had no choice but to acquit the defendant.
To overlook, pardon or disregard
Some theorists believe that failing to prosecute minor crimes is the same as CONDONING an air of lawlessness.
Intricate and complicated
Although many people bought “A Brief History of Time,” few could follow its CONVOLUTED ideas and theories.
Fingerprints CORROBORATED the witness’s testimony that he saw the defendant.
Too trusting; gullible
Although some four yr olds believe in the Easter Bunny, only the most CREDULOUS nine yr olds also believe in him.
Steadily increasing in volume or force
The CRESCENDO of tension became unbearable as he prepared to jump his motorcycle.
To reduce in amount, degree, or severity
As the hurricane’s force ABATED, the winds dropped and the sea became calm.
To leave secretly
The patron ABSCONDED from the restaurant without paying his bill by sneaking out the back door.
An extremely deep hole
The submarine dove into the ABYSS to char the previously unseen depths.
To make impure
The restaurateur made his ketchup last longer by ADULTERATING it with water.
Extremely generous or extravagant; to give unsparingly
She LAVISHED the puppy with so many treats it soon became over weight.
To speak in favor of
The vegetarian ADVOCATED a diet containing no meat.
Concerning the appreciation of beauty
Followers of the AESTHETIC Movement regarded the pursuit of beauty as the only true purpose of art.
To increase in power, influence and reputation
The supervisor sought to AGGRANDIZE himself by claiming that the achievements of his staff were actually his own.
To make more bearable
Taking aspirin helps to ALLEVIATE a headache.
To combine, to mix together
Giant Industries AMALGAMATED with Mega Products to form Giant-Mega Products Inc.
Doubtful or uncertain, can be interpreted several ways
The directions she gave were so AMBIGUOUS that we disagreed on which way to turn.
To make better; to improve
The doctor was able to AMELIORATE the patient’s suffering using painkillers.
Something out of place in time
The aged hippie used ANACHRONISTIC phrases like groovy and far out that had not been popular for years.
Similar or alike in some way; equivalent to
In a famous argument for the existence of God, the universe is ANALOGOUS to a mechanical timepiece, the creation of a divinely intelligent “clockmaker.”
Deviation from what is normal
Albino animals may display too great an ANOMALY in their coloring to attract normally colored mates.
To annoy or provoke to anger
The child discovered that he could ANTAGONIZE the cat by pulling its tail.
The ANTIPATHY between the French and the English regularly erupted into open warfare.
Lack of interest or emotion
The APATHY of voters is so great that less than half the people who are eligible to vote actually bother to do so.
To judge a dispute between two opposing parties
Since the couple could not come to agreement, a judge was forced to ARBITRATE their divorce proceedings.
Her ARCHAIC pc could not run the latest software.
Intense and passionate feeling
Bishop’s ARDOR for landscape was evident when he passionately described the beauty of the scenic Hudson Valley.
Able to speak clearly and expressively
She is such an ARTICULATE defender of labor that unions are among her strongest supporters.
To make something unpleasant less severe
Serena used aspirin to ASSUAGE her pounding headache.
Reduce in force or degree; weaken
The Bill of Rights ATTENUATED the traditional power of government to change laws at will.
Fearless and daring
Her AUDACIOUS nature allowed her to fulfill her dream of skydiving.
Severe or stern in appearance; undecorated
The lack of decoration makes Zen temples seem AUSTERE to the untrained eye.
Predictable, cliched, boring
He used BANAL phrases like “Have a nice day” or “Another day, another dollar."
Support, prop up
The presence of giant footprints BOLSTERED the argument that Sasquatch was in the area.
Pompous in speech and manner
The dictator’s speeches were mostly BOMBASTIC; his boasting and outrageous claims had no basis in fact.
To lie or deviate from the truth
Rather than admit he didn't know the answer, he PREVARICATED and made an answer that seemed right.
To choose to not to do something
Due to his fear of the dentist he choose to ABSTAIN from going there.