Vocabulary expansion

acerbic
(adj.) biting, bitter in tone or taste (Jill became extremely acerbic and began to cruelly make fun of all her friends.)
acrimony
(n.) bitterness, discord (Though they vowed that no girl would ever come between them, Biff and Trevor could not keep acrimony from overwhelming their friendship after they both fell in love with the lovely Teresa.)
acumen
(n.) keen insight (Because of his mathematical acumen, Larry was able to figure out in minutes problems that took other students hours.)
adumbrate
(v.) to sketch out in a vague way (The coach adumbrated a game plan, but none of the players knew precisely what to do.)
alacrity
(n.) eagerness, speed (For some reason, Chuck loved to help his mother whenever he could, so when his mother asked him to set the table, he did so with alacrity.)
anathema
(n.) a cursed, detested person (I never want to see that murderer. He is an anathema to me.)
antipathy
(n.) a strong dislike, repugnance (I know you love me, but because you are a liar and a thief, I feel nothing but antipathy for you.)
approbation
(n.) praise (The crowd welcomed the heroes with approbation.)
arrogate
(v.) to take without justification (The king arrogated the right to order executions to himself exclusively.)
ascetic
(adj.) practicing restraint as a means of self-discipline, usually religious (The priest lives an ascetic life devoid of television, savory foods, and other pleasures.)
aspersion
(n.) a curse, expression of ill-will (The rival politicians repeatedly cast aspersions on each others’ integrity.)
assiduous
(adj.) hard-working, diligent (The construction workers erected the skyscraper during two years of assiduous labor.)
B
blandish
(v.) to coax by using flattery (Rachel’s assistant tried to blandish her into accepting the deal.)
boon
(n.) a gift or blessing (The good weather has been a boon for many businesses located near the beach.)
brusque
(adj.) short, abrupt, dismissive (The captain’s brusque manner offended the passengers.)
buffet
1. (v.) to strike with force (The strong winds buffeted the ships, threatening to capsize them.)
2. (n.) an arrangement of food set out on a table (Rather than sitting around a table, the guests took food from our buffet and ate standing up.)
burnish
(v.) to polish, shine (His mother asked him to burnish the silverware before setting the table.)
buttress
1. (v.) to support, hold up (The column buttresses the roof above the statue.)
2. (n.) something that offers support (The buttress supports the roof above the statues.)
C
cacophony
(n.) tremendous noise, disharmonious sound (The elementary school orchestra created a cacophony at the recital.)
cajole
(v.) to urge, coax (Fred’s buddies cajoled him into attending the bachelor party.)
calumny
(n.) an attempt to spoil someone else’s reputation by spreading lies (The local official’s calumny ended up ruining his opponent’s prospect of winning the election.)
capricious
(adj.) subject to whim, fickle (The young girl’s capricious tendencies made it difficult for her to focus on achieving her goals.)
clemency
(n.) mercy (After he forgot their anniversary, Martin could only beg Maria for clemency.)
cogent
(adj.) intellectually convincing (Irene’s arguments in favor of abstinence were so cogent that I could not resist them.)
concomitant
(adj.) accompanying in a subordinate fashion (His dislike of hard work carried with it a concomitant lack of funds.)
conflagration
(n.) great fire (The conflagration consumed the entire building.)
contrite
(adj.) penitent, eager to be forgiven (Blake’s contrite behavior made it impossible to stay angry at him.)
conundrum
(n.) puzzle, problem (Interpreting Jane’s behavior was a constant conundrum.)
credulity
(n.) readiness to believe (His credulity made him an easy target for con men.)
cupidity
(n.) greed, strong desire (His cupidity made him enter the abandoned gold mine despite the obvious dangers.)
cursory
(adj.) brief to the point of being superficial (Late for the meeting, she cast a cursory glance at the agenda.)
D
decry
(v.) to criticize openly (The kind video rental clerk decried the policy of charging customers late fees.)
defile
(v.) to make unclean, impure (She defiled the calm of the religious building by playing her banjo.)
deleterious
(adj.) harmful (She experienced the deleterious effects of running a marathon without stretching her muscles enough beforehand.)
demure
(adj.) quiet, modest, reserved (Though everyone else at the party was dancing and going crazy, she remained demure.)
deprecate
(v.) to belittle, depreciate (Always over-modest, he deprecated his contribution to the local charity.)
deride
(v.) to laugh at mockingly, scorn (The bullies derided the foreign student’s accent.)
desecrate
(v.) to violate the sacredness of a thing or place (They feared that the construction of a golf course would desecrate the preserved wilderness.)
desiccated
(adj.) dried up, dehydrated (The skin of the desiccated mummy looked like old paper.)
diaphanous
(adj.) light, airy, transparent (Sunlight poured in through the diaphanous curtains, brightening the room.)
diffident
(adj.) shy, quiet, modest (While eating dinner with the adults, the diffident youth did not speak for fear of seeming presumptuous.)
discursive
(adj.) rambling, lacking order (The professor’s discursive lectures seemed to be about every subject except the one initially described.)
dissemble
(v.) to conceal, fake (Not wanting to appear heartlessly greedy, she dissembled and hid her intention to sell her ailing father’s stamp collection.)
dither
(v.) to be indecisive (Not wanting to offend either friend, he dithered about which of the two birthday parties he should attend.)
E
ebullient
(adj.) extremely lively, enthusiastic (She became ebullient upon receiving an acceptance letter from her first-choice college.)
effrontery
(n.) impudence, nerve, insolence (When I told my aunt that she was boring, my mother scolded me for my effrontery.)
effulgent
(adj.) radiant, splendorous (The golden palace was effulgent.)
egregious
(adj.) extremely bad (The student who threw sloppy joes across the cafeteria was punished for his egregious behavior.)
enervate
(v.) to weaken, exhaust (Writing these sentences enervates me so much that I will have to take a nap after I finish.)
ephemeral
(adj.) short-lived, fleeting (She promised she’d love me forever, but her “forever” was only ephemeral: she left me after one week.)
eschew
(v.) to shun, avoid (George hates the color green so much that he eschews all green food.)
evanescent
(adj.) fleeting, momentary (My joy at getting promoted was evanescent because I discovered that I would have to work much longer hours in a less friendly office.)
evince
(v.) to show, reveal (Christopher’s hand-wringing and nail-biting evince how nervous he is about the upcoming English test.)
exculpate
(v.) to free from guilt or blame, exonerate (My discovery of the ring behind the dresser exculpated me from the charge of having stolen it.)
execrable
(adj.) loathsome, detestable (Her pudding is so execrable that it makes me sick.)
exigent
(adj.) urgent, critical (The patient has an exigent need for medication, or else he will lose his sight.)
expiate
(v.) to make amends for, atone (To expiate my selfishness, I gave all my profits to charity.)
expunge
(v.) to obliterate, eradicate (Fearful of an IRS investigation, Paul tried to expunge all incriminating evidence from his tax files.)
extant
(adj.) existing, not destroyed or lost (My mother’s extant love letters to my father are in the attic trunk.)
extol
(v.) to praise, revere (Violet extolled the virtues of a vegetarian diet to her meat-loving brother.)
F
fallacious
(adj.) incorrect, misleading (Emily offered me cigarettes on the fallacious assumption that I smoked.)
fastidious
(adj.) meticulous, demanding, having high and often unattainable standards (Mark is so fastidious that he is never able to finish a project because it always seems imperfect to him.)

 

Twitter

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>