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Monday, November 19, 2012

All the Vocab

aberration - (noun) an optical phenomenon resulting from the failure of a lens or mirror to produce a good image; a disorder in one's mental state; a state or condition markedly different from the norm
abeyance - noun temporary cessation or suspension
abortive - adj. failing to accomplish an intended result
acerbity - noun a sharp sour taste; a sharp bitterness; a rough and bitter manner
acumen - noun a tapering point; shrewdness shown by keen insight
accolade - noun a tangible symbol signifying approval or distinction
Ad hoc- (adverb) for the special purpose or end presently under consideration
adjudicate - verb bring to an end; settle conclusively; put on trial or hear a case and sit as the judge at the trial of
adumbrate - verb give to understand; describe roughly or briefly or give the main points or summary of
affinity - noun a natural attraction or feeling of kinship; inherent resemblance between persons or things; the force attracting atoms to each other and binding them together in a molecule;(immunology) the attraction between an antigen and an antibody; a close connection marked by community of interests or similarity in nature or character; (biology) state of relationship between organisms or groups of organisms resulting in resemblance in structure or structural parts; (anthropology) kinship by marriage or adoption; not a blood relationship
aficionado - noun a serious devotee of some particular music genre or musical performer; a fan of bull fighting
ambivalent - adj. uncertain or unable to decide about what course to follow
anachronism - noun an artifact that belongs to another time; a person who seems to be displaced in time; who belongs to another age; something located at a time when it could not have existed or occurred
apocryphal - adj. being of questionable authenticity; of or belonging to the Apocrypha
apogee - noun apoapsis in Earth orbit; the point in its orbit where a satellite is at the greatest distance from the Earth; a final climactic stage
apostate - adj. not faithful to religion or party or cause; noun a disloyal person who betrays or deserts his cause or religion or political party or friend etc.
apotheosis - noun the elevation of a person (as to the status of a god); model of excellence or perfection of a kind; one having no equal
apropos - adj. of an appropriate or pertinent nature; adv. by the way; at an opportune time
ascetic - adj. practicing great self-denial; pertaining to or characteristic of an ascetic or the practice of rigorous self-discipline; noun someone who practices self denial as a spiritual discipline
attrition - noun the act of rubbing togeter; wearing something down by friction; a wearing down to weaken or destroy; sorrow for sin arising from fear of damnation; the wearing down of rock particles by friction due to water or wind or ice; erosion by frictionh
bane - (noun) something causes misery or death
bathos - (noun) triteness or triviality of style; a change from a serious subject to a disappointing one; insincere pathos
bauble - noun a mock scepter carried by a court jester; cheap showy jewelry or ornament on clothing
beatitude - noun one of the eight sayings of Jesus at the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount; in Latin each saying begins with `beatus' (blessed); a state of supreme happiness
beguile - verb attract; cause to be enamored; influence by slyness
beleaguer - verb surround so as to force to give up; annoy persistently
bete noire- noun someone or something which is particularly disliked or avoided; an object of aversion, the bane of one’s existence
bicker - noun a quarrel about petty points; verb argue over petty things
bilious - adj. suffering from or suggesting a liver disorder or gastric distress; relating to or containing bile; irritable as if suffering from indigestion
bode - verb indicate by signs
bravado - noun a swaggering show of courage
bromide - noun any of the salts of hydrobromic acid; formerly used as a sedative but now generally replaced by safer drugs; a trite or obvious remark
browbeat - verb discourage or frighten with threats or a domineering manner; intimidate; be bossy towards
bruit - verb tell or spread rumors
Burgeon- verb grow and flourish
cantankerous - (adj.) having a difficult and contrary disposition; stubbornly obstructive and unwilling to cooperate
carte blanche - noun complete freedom or authority to act
casuistry - (noun) moral philosophy based on the application of general ethical principles to resolve moral dilemmas; argumentation that is specious or excessively subtle and intended to be misleading
cataclysm - noun an event resulting in great loss and misfortune; a sudden violent change in the earth's surface
chauvinist - noun an extreme bellicose nationalist; a person with a prejudiced belief in the superiority of his or her own kind
chronic - adj. being long-lasting and recurrent or characterized by long suffering
coalesce - verb fuse or cause to grow together; mix together different elements
cognate - adj. having the same ancestral language; related by blood; related in nature; noun a word is cognate with another if both derive from the same word in an ancestral language; one related by blood or origin; especially on sharing an ancestor with another
commensurate - adj. corresponding in size or degree or extent
complement - noun something added to complete or make perfect;either of two parts that mutually complete each other; a word or phrase used to complete a grammatical construction; number needed to make up a whole force; a complete number or quantity;one of a series of enzymes in the blood serum that are part of the immune response; verb make complete or perfect; supply what is wanting or form the complement to
consensus - noun agreement in the judgment or opinion reached by a group as a whole
contretemps - noun an awkward clash
contumacious - adj. wilfully obstinate; stubbornly disobedient
contumelious - adj. arrogantly insolent
convolution - noun the action of coiling or twisting or winding together; a convex fold or elevation in the surface of the brain; the shape of something rotating rapidly
corollary - noun (logic) an inference that follows directly from the proof of another proposition; a practical consequence that follows naturally
cul de sac - noun a street with only one way in or out; a passage with access only at one end
cull - noun the person or thing that is rejected or set aside as inferior in quality; verb remove something that has been rejected;look for and gather
curmudgeon - noun a crusty irascible cantankerous old person full of stubborn ideas
dank - adj. unpleasantly cool and humid
debauch - noun a wild gathering involving excessive drinking and promiscuity; verb corrupt morally or by intemperance or sensuality
de facto - (noun) in fact; in reality
depredation - (noun) an act of plundering and pillaging and marauding; (usually plural) a destructive action
derring-do - noun brave and heroic deeds
diaphanous - adj. so thin as to transmit light
dichotomy - noun being twofold; a classification into two opposed parts or subclasses
dictum - noun an authoritative declaration; an opinion voiced by a judge on a point of law not directly bearing on the case in question and therefore not binding
didactic - adj. instructive (especially excessively)
disingenuous - adj. not straightforward or candid; giving a false appearance of frankness
disparate - adj. including markedly dissimilar elements;fundamentally different or distinct in quality or kind
disparity - noun inequality or difference in some respect
dissimulate - verb hide (feelings) from other people
divination - noun the art or gift of prophecy (or the pretense of prophecy) by supernatural means; successful conjecture by unusual insight or good luck; a prediction uttered under divine inspiration
dogmatic - adj. characterized by assertion of unproved or unprovable principles; relating to or involving dogma; of or pertaining to or characteristic of a doctrine or code of beliefs accepted as authoritative
eclat - noun brilliant or conspicuous success or effect; ceremonial elegance and splendor; enthusiastic approval
ecumenical - adj. of worldwide scope or applicability; concerned with promoting unity among churches or religions
effusive - adj. extravagantly demonstrative; uttered with unrestrained enthusiasm
elixir - noun a substance believed to cure all ills; a sweet flavored liquid (usually containing a small amount of alcohol) used in compounding medicines to be taken by mouth in order to mask an unpleasant taste; a hypothetical substance that the alchemists believed to be capable of changing base metals into gold
emolument - noun compensation received by virtue of holding an office or having employment (usually in the form of wages or fees)
empathy - (noun) understanding and entering into another's feelings 
empirical - adj. derived from experiment and observation rather than theory; relying on medical quackery
ensconce - verb fix firmly
euphoria - noun a feeling of great (usually exaggerated) elation
exculpate - verb pronounce not guilty of criminal charges
expound - verb add details, as to an account or idea; clarify the meaning of and discourse in a learned way, usually in writing; state
factionalism. noun refers to arguments or disputes among two or more small groups within a larger group 
fastidious - adj. giving careful attention to detail; hard to please; excessively concerned with cleanliness; having complicated nutritional requirements; especially growing only in special artificial cultures
faux pas - noun social mishap, party foul
fervid - adj. extremely hot; characterized by intense emotion
fetid - adj. offensively malodorous
flamboyant - adj. richly and brilliantly colorful; elaborately or excessively ornamented; noun showy tropical tree or shrub native to Madagascar; widely planted in tropical regions for its immense racemes of scarlet and orange flowers; sometimes placed in genus Poinciana
folderol - noun nonsensical talk or writing
foray - noun an initial attempt (especially outside your usual areas of competence); a sudden short attack; verb briefly enter enemy territory; steal goods; take as spoils
fulminate - noun a salt or ester of fulminic acid; verb cause to explode violently and with loud noise; come on suddenly and intensely; criticize severely
fulsome - adj. unpleasantly and excessively suave or ingratiating in manner or speech
fustian - noun a strong cotton and linen fabric with a slight nap;pompous or pretentious talk or writing
gambol - noun gay or light-hearted recreational activity for diversion or amusement; verb play boisterously
gargantuan - adj. of great mass; huge and bulky
gamut - noun a complete extent or range: "a face that expressed a gamut of emotions"; the entire scale of musical notes
gothic - adj. characterized by gloom and mystery and the grotesque; of or relating to the Goths; of or relating to the language of the ancient Goths; characteristic of the style of type commonly used for printing German; as if belonging to the Middle Ages; old-fashioned and unenlightened; noun a style of architecture developed in northern France that spread throughout Europe between the 12th and 16th centuries; characterized by slender vertical piers and counterbalancing buttresses and by vaulting and pointed arches; a heavy typeface in use from 15th to 18th centuries; extinct East Germanic language of the ancient Goths; the only surviving record being fragments of a 4th-century translation of the Bible by Bishop Ulfilas
genre - noun a class of art (or artistic endeavor) having a characteristic form or technique; a kind of literary or artistic work; an expressive style of music; a style of expressing yourself in writing
harbinger - (noun) an indication of the approach of something or someone; verb foreshadow or presage
hauteur - noun overbearing pride evidenced by a superior manner toward inferiors
hedonism - (noun) an ethical system that evaluates the pursuit of pleasure as the highest good; the pursuit of pleasure as a matter of ethical principle
heyday - noun the period of greatest prosperity or productivity
hoi polloi - noun the common people, the massesineffable - adj. too sacred to be uttered; defying expression or description
homily - noun a sermon on a moral or religious topic
iconoclastic - adj. destructive of images used in religious worship; said of religions, such as Islam, in which the representation of living things is prohibited; characterized by attack on established beliefs or institutions
imbue - verb suffuse with color; fill, soak, or imbue totally; spread or diffuse through
immaculate - adj. completely neat and clean; free from stain or blemish; without fault or error
immolate - verb offer as a sacrifice by killing or by giving up to destruction
immure - verb lock up or confine, in or as in a jail
impasse - noun a street with only one way in or out; a situation in which no progress can be made or no advancement is possible
imperceptible - adj. impossible or difficult to perceive by the mind or senses
imprecation - noun the act of calling down a curse that invokes evil (and usually serves as an insult); a slanderous accusation
inchoate - adj. only partly in existence; imperfectly formed
in medias res - into the middle of things 
incubus - noun a male demon believed to lie on sleeping persons and to have sexual intercourse with sleeping women; someone who depresses or worries others; a situation resembling a terrifying dream
ineluctable - adj. impossible to avoid or evade:"inescapable conclusion"
infrastructure - noun the stock of basic facilities and capital equipment needed for the functioning of a country or area; the basic structure or features of a system or organization
inhibit - verb limit the range or extent of; to put down by force or authority
insouciant - adj. marked by blithe unconcern
internecine - adj. characterized by bloodshed and carnage for both sides; (of conflict) within a group or organization
inveigle - verb influence or urge by gentle urging, caressing, or flattering
jeremiad - noun a long and mournful complaint
kudos - noun an expression of approval and commendation
lackey - noun a male servant (especially a footman); a person who tries to please someone in order to gain a personal advantage
lackluster - (adj.) lacking luster or shine; lacking brilliance or vitality
lagniappe - noun a small gift (especially one given by a merchant to a customer who makes a purchase)
lampoon - noun a composition that imitates somebody's style in a humorous way; verb ridicule with satire
liaison - noun a channel for communication between groups; a usually secretive or illicit sexual relationship
licentious - adj. lacking moral discipline; especially sexually unrestrained
lucubration - noun laborious cogitation; a solemn literary work that is the product of laborious cogitation
lugubrious - adj. excessively mournful
maladroit - adj. doesn't do well under stressful conditions
malcontent - (adj.) discontented as toward authority; noun a person who is discontented or disgusted
malleable - adj. capable of being shaped or bent or drawn out;easily influenced
matrix - noun mold used in the production of phonograph records, type, or other relief surface; the formative tissue at the base of a nail; the body substance in which tissue cells are embedded; a rectangular array of elements (or entries) set out by rows and columns; an enclosure within which something originates or develops (from the Latin for womb)
maudlin - adj. effusively or insincerely emotional
mellifluous - (adj.) pleasing to the ear
mercurial - adj. relating to or containing or caused by mercury;relating to or having characteristics (eloquence, shrewdness, swiftness, thievishness) attributed to the god Mercury; relating to or under the (astrological) influence of the planet Mercury; liable to sudden unpredictable change
metamorphosis - noun a complete change of physical form or substance especially as by magic or witchcraft; the marked and rapid transformation of a larva into an adult that occurs in some animals; a striking change in appearance or character or circumstances
mete - noun a line that indicates a boundary
mnemonic - adj. of or relating to or involved the practice of aiding the memory; noun a device (such as a rhyme or acronym) used to aid recall
modulate - verb vary the frequency, amplitude, phase, or other characteristic of (electromagnetic waves); adjust the pitch, tone, or volume of; change the key of, in music; fix or adjust the time, amount, degree, or rate of; vary the pitch of one's speech
monolithic - adj. characterized by massiveness and rigidity and total uniformity; imposing in size or bulk or solidity
mot juste - noun the approprite word or expression
mystique - noun an aura of heightened value or interest or meaning surrounding a person or thing
nemesis - noun (Greek mythology) the goddess of divine retribution and vengeance; something causes misery or death
nepotism - (noun) favoritism shown to relatives or close friends by those in power (as by giving them jobs)
nihilism - noun a revolutionary doctrine that advocates destruction of the social system for its own sake; complete denial of all established authority and institutions; the delusion that things (or everything, including the self) do not exist; a sense that everything is unreal
non sequitur - a conclusion not based logically on evidence, not based on premise
noxious - adj. injurious to physical or mental health
obloquy - noun state of disgrace resulting from public abuse; a false accusation of an offense or a malicious misrepresentation of someone's words or actions
obsequious - adj. attentive in an ingratiating or servile manner;attempting to win favor from influential people by flattery
opportunist - adj. taking immediate advantage, often unethically, of any circumstance of possible benefit; noun a person who places expediency above principle
opt - verb select as an alternative; choose instead; prefer as an alternative
palliate - verb provide physical relief, as from pain; lessen or to try to lessen the seriousness or extent of
pander - (noun) someone who procures customers for whores (in England they call a pimp a ponce); verb arrange for sexual partners for others; yield (to); give satisfaction to
panache - noun a feathered plume on a helmet; distinctive and stylish elegance
parameter - noun a constant in the equation of a curve that can be varied to yield a family of similar curves; a quantity (such as the mean or variance) that characterizes a statistical population and that can be estimated by calculations from sample data; any factor that defines a system and determines (or limits) its performance
parlous - adj. fraught with danger
patrician - adj. of the hereditary aristocracy or ruling class of ancient Rome or medieval Europe; of honorary nobility in the Byzantine empire; belonging to or characteristic of the nobility or aristocracy; noun a person of refined upbringing and manners; a member of the aristocracy
peccadillo - (noun) a petty misdeed
persona - noun (Jungian psychology) a personal facade that one presents to the world; an actor's portrayal of someone in a play
piece de resistance - (noun) the most noteworthy or prized feature, aspect, event, article, etc., of a series or group; special item or attraction.
philippic - noun a speech of violent denunciation
philistine - adj. of or relating to ancient Philistia or the culture of the Philistines; smug and ignorant and indifferent or hostile to artistic and cultural values; noun a member of an Aegean people who settled ancient Philistia around the 12th century BC; a person who is uninterested in intellectual pursuits
picaresque - adj. involving clever rogues or adventurers especially as in a type of fiction
polemic - adj. of or involving dispute or controversy; noun a controversy (especially over a belief or dogma); a writer who argues in opposition to others (especially in theology)
populous - adj. densely populated
portentous - adj. of momentous or ominous significance; puffed up with vanity; ominously prophetic
prescience - noun the power to foresee the future
probity - noun complete and confirmed integrity; having strong moral principles
prolix - adj. tediously prolonged or tending to speak or write at great length
propitiate - verb make peace with
protege - noun a person who receives support and protection from an influential patron who furthers the protege's career
protocol - noun code of correct conduct; forms of ceremony and etiquette observed by diplomats and heads of state; (computer science) rules determining the format and transmission of data
prototype - noun a standard or typical example
prurient - adj. characterized by lust
punctilio - noun strict observance of formalities; a fine point of etiquette or petty formality
pundit - noun someone who has been admitted to membership in a scholarly field
quagmire - noun a soft wet area of low-lying land that sinks underfoot
queasy - adj. causing or fraught with or showing anxiety; feeling nausea; feeling about to vomit; causing or able to cause nausea
quid pro quo - noun something for something; that which a party receives (or is promised) in return for something he does or gives or promises
quixotic - adj. not sensible about practical matters; unrealistic
raconteur - noun a person skilled in telling anecdotes
remand - (noun) the act of sending an accused person back into custody to await trial (or the continuation of the trial); verb refer (a matter or legal case) to another committee or authority or court for decision; lock up or confine, in or as in a jail
risible - adj. arousing or provoking laughter
sic - adv. intentionally so written (used after a printed word or phrase); verb urge a dog to attack someone
refractory - adj. temporarily unresponsive or not fully responsive to nervous or sexual stimuli; not responding to treatment; stubbornly resistant to authority or control; noun lining consisting of material with a high melting point; used to line the inside walls of a furnace
repartee - noun adroitness and cleverness in reply
resplendent - adj. having great beauty and splendor
sacrosanct - adj. must be kept sacred
salubrious - adj. favorable to health of mind or body; promoting health; healthful
saturnalian - Of unrestrained and intemperate jollity; riotously merry; dissolute.
savoir-faire - noun social skill
sine qua non - something essential, irreplaceable
stigmatize - verb mark with a stigma or stigmata; to accuse or condemn or openly or formally or brand as disgraceful
sub rosa - adv in secret, privately
supervene - verb take place as an additional or unexpected development
sublimate - adj. made pure; noun the product of vaporization of a solid; verb direct energy or urges into useful activities; vaporize and then condense right back again; change or cause to change directly from a solid into a vapor without first melting; remove impurities from, increase the concentration of, and separate through the process of distillation; make more subtle or refined
sycophant - noun a person who tries to please someone in order to gain a personal advantage
symptomatic - adj. relating to or according to or affecting a symptom or symptoms; characteristic or indicative of e.g. a disease
syndrome- (noun) a complex of concurrent things; a pattern of symptoms indicative of some disease
systemic - adj. affecting an entire system
tautology - noun useless repetition; (logic) a statement that is necessarily true
tendentious - adj. having or marked by a strong tendency especially a controversial one
touchstone - noun a basis for comparison; a reference point against which other things can be evaluated
traumatic - adj. psychologically painful; "few experiences are more traumatic than losing a child"; of or relating to a physical injury or wound to the body
truckle - noun a low bed to be slid under a higher bed; verb yield to out of weakness; try to gain favor by cringing or flattering
truncate - adj. terminating abruptly by having or as if having an end or point cut off; verb make shorter as if by cutting off; approximate by ignoring all terms beyond a chosen one; replace a corner by a plane
unconscionable - adj. greatly exceeding bounds of reason or moderation; lacking a conscience
unimpeachable - adj. beyond doubt or reproach; completely acceptable; not open to exception or reproach; free of guilt; not subject to blame
vainglory - noun outspoken conceit
vendetta - noun a feud in which members of the opposing parties murder each other
vestige - noun an indication that something has been present
vicissitude - noun mutability in life or nature (especially successive alternation from one condition to another); a variation in circumstances or fortune at different times in your life or in the development of something
vitiate - verb take away the legal force of or render ineffective; make imperfect; corrupt morally or by intemperance or sensuality
volition - noun the act of making a choice; the capability of conscious choice and decision and intention
volte-face - noun a major change in attitude or principle or point of view
waggish - adj. witty or joking

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