CAT Vocabulary - Page 2 of 3
(n.) a raised platform at one end of a room
The dais was lowered to make the speaker look taller.
(v.) to loiter; to waste time
Please do not dally or we will miss our appointment.
(adj.) damp and chilly
The cellar became very dank during the winter time.
(adj.) fearless; not discouraged
The dauntless ranger scaled the mountain to complete the rescue.
(n.) scarcity; shortage
A series of coincidental resignations left the firm with a dearth of talent.
The dearth of the coverage forced him to look for a new insurance agent.
(n.) disaster; collapse; a rout
The Securities and Exchange Commission and the stock exchanges implemented
numerous safeguards to head off another debacle on Wall Street.
(v.) to make lower in quality
The French are concerned that “Franglais,” a blending of English and French, will
debase their language.
(n.) indulgence in one’s appetites
The preacher decried debauchery and urged charity.
(v.) to enfeeble; to wear out
The phlebitis debilitated him to the point where he was unable even to walk.
The illness will debilitate the muscles in his legs. debonair (adj.) having an affable
manner; carefree; genial Opening the door for another is a debonair action.
(n.) a decline in morals or art
Some believe the decadence of Nero’s rule led to the fall of the empire.
(adj.) shedding; temporary
When the leaves began to fall from the tree we learned that it was deciduous.
(n.) an act of being firm or determined
Decisiveness is one of the key qualities of a successful executive. decorous (adj.)
showing decorum; propriety, good taste This movie provides decorous refuge from
the violence and mayhem that permeates the latest crop of Hollywood films. The
decorous suit was made of fine material.
(v.) to denounce or condemn openly
The pastor decried all forms of discrimination against any minority group. defamation
(n.) to harm a name or reputation; to slander The carpenter felt that the
notoriousness of his former partner brought defamation to his construction business.
deference (n.) a yielding of opinion; courteous respect for To avoid a confrontation,
the man showed deference to his friend. The deference shown to the elderly woman’
s opinion was heartwarming.
(adj.) yielding to the opinion of another
After debating students living in the Sixth Ward for months, the mayor’s deferential
statements indicated that he had come to some understanding with them.
(adj.) no longer living or existing
The man lost a large sum of money when the company went defunct.
(v.) condescend; stoop
He said he wouldn’t deign to dignify her statement with a response. Fired from his
job as a programmer analyst, Joe vowed he would never deign to mop floors-even if
he were down to his last penny.
(adj.) harmful; hurtful; noxious
Deleterious fumes escaped from the overturned truck. deliberate (v.; adj.) to
consider carefully; weigh in the mind; intentional The jury deliberated for three days
before reaching a verdict. The brother’s deliberate attempt to get his sibling blamed
for his mistake was obvious to all.
(v.) to outline; to describe
She delineated her plan so that everyone would have a basic understanding of it.
(v.) to dissolve
The snow deliquesced when the temperature rose.
(n.) a false belief or opinion
The historian suffered from the delusion that he was Napoleon.
(n.) ceasing to exist as in death
The demise of Gimbels followed years of decline.
(v.; n.) to object; objection; misgiving
She hated animals, so when the subject of buying a cat came up, she demurred.
She said yes, but he detected a demur in her voice.
She was nominated to sit on the committee, but she demurred. The council
president called for a vote, and hearing no demur, asked for a count by the clerk.
denigrate (v.) to defame, to blacken or sully; to belittle After finding out her evil
secret, he announced it to the council and denigrated her in public.
Her attempt to denigrate the man’s name was not successful.
(v.) to speak out against; condemn
A student rally was called to denounce the use of drugs on campus.
(v.) to portray; describe
The mural depicts the life of a typical urban dweller.
(v.) to reduce; to empty, exhaust
Having to pay the entire bill will deplete the family’s savings. deposition (n.) a
removal from office or power; a testimony Failing to act lawfully could result in his
deposition. She met with her lawyer this morning to review her deposition.
(n.) moral corruption; badness
Drugs and money caused depravity throughout the once decorous community.
The depravity of the old man was bound to land him in jail one day. deprecate (v.) to
express disapproval of; to protest against The environmentalists deprecated the
paper companies for cutting down ancient forests.
The organization will deprecate the opening of the sewage plant.
(n.) a plundering or laying waste
The pharaoh’s once rich tomb was empty after centuries of depredation from grave
(v.) to laugh at with contempt; to mock
No matter what he said, he was derided.
It is impolite to deride someone even if you dislike him.
(n.) the act of mocking; ridicule, mockery
A day of derision from the boss left the employee feeling depressed.
Constant derision from classmates made him quit school.
(adj.) showing disrespect or scorn for
The derisive comment was aimed at the man’s life long enemy.
(adj.) belittling; uncomplimentary
He was upset because his annual review was full of derogatory comments.
(v.) lengthy talking or writing
The man will descant on the subject if you give him too much speaking time.
(v.) to profane; violate the sanctity of
The teenagers’ attempt to desecrate the church disturbed the community.
(v.) to stop or cease
The judge ordered the man to desist from calling his ex-wife in the middle of the night.
(adj.) to be left alone or made lonely
Driving down the desolate road had Kelvin worried that he wouldn’t reach a gas
station in time.
(v.) to take everything; plunder
The Huns despoiled village after village.
(n.) tyranny; absolute power or influence
The ruler’s despotism went uncontested for 30 years.
(adj.) poor; poverty-stricken
One Bangladeshi bank makes loans to destitute citizens so that they may overcome
Many of the city’s sections are destitute. desultory (adj.) moving in a random,
directionless manner The thefts were occurring in a desultory manner making them
difficult to track. detached (adj.) separated; not interested; standing alone Detached
from modern conveniences, the islanders live a simple, unhurried life.
(v.) to prevent; to discourage; hinder
He deterred the rabbits by putting down garlic around the garden.
(adj.) distinct limits
The new laws were very determinate as far as what was allowed and what was not
(adj.) lacking; empty
The interplanetary probe indicated that the planet was devoid of any atmosphere.
(adj.) skillful, quick mentally or physically
The dexterous gymnast was the epitome of grace on the balance beam.
(n.) a bitter or abusive speech
During the divorce hearings she delivered a diatribe full of the emotion pushing her
away from her husband.
The diatribe was directed towards a disrespectful supervisor.
(n.) a division into two parts or kinds
The dichotomy within the party threatens to split it. The dichotomy between church
and state renders school prayer unconstitutional. dictum (n.) a formal statement of
either fact or opinion Computer programmers have a dictum: garbage in, garbage
(adj.) instructive; dogmatic; preachy
Our teacher’s didactic technique boosted our scores.
The didactic activist was not one to be swayed.
(n.) a hesitation in asserting oneself
A shy person may have great diffidence when forced with a problem.
(adj.) timid; lacking self-confidence
The director is looking for a self-assured actor, not a diffident one. Her diffident
sister couldn’t work up the courage to ask for the sale. diffuse (adj.) spread out;
verbose (wordy); not focused The toys were discovered in a diffuse manner after the
birthday party. His monologue was so diffuse that all his points were lost. digress
(v.) stray from the subject; wander from topic It is important to not digress from the
plan of action.
(n.) an admirer of the fine arts; a dabbler
Though she played the piano occasionally, she was more of a dilettante.
(n.) hard work
Anything can be accomplished with diligence and commitment. diminutive (adj.; n.)
smaller than average; a small person; a word, expressing smallness, formed when a
suffix is added They lived in a diminutive house.
The diminutive woman could not see over the counter.
(n.) a noise which is loud and continuous
The din of the jackhammers reverberated throughout the concrete canyon.
The dint of the bridge could hold trucks weighing many tons. dirge (n.) a hymn for a
funeral; a song or poem expressing lament The mourners sang a traditional Irish
Her disapprobation of her daughter’s fiancZ’ divided the family.
(n.) (state of) disorder
The thief left the house in disarray.
(v.) to deny; to refuse to acknowledge
The actor has disavowed the rumor.
(adj.) distinguishing one thing from another; having good judgment He has a
discerning eye for knowing the original from the copy. Being discerning about a
customer’s character is a key qualification for a loan officer.
(v.) to frustrate the expectations of
The close game discomfited the number one player.
(n.) disagreement; lack of harmony
There was discord amidst the jury, and therefore a decision could not be made.
discourse (v.) to converse; to communicate in an orderly fashion The scientists
discoursed on a conference call for just five minutes but were able to solve three
The interviewee discoursed so fluently, she was hired on the spot. discreet (adj.)
showing good judgment in conduct; prudent We confided our secret in Mary because
we knew she’d be discreet. discrete (adj.) separate; individually distinct; composed
of distinct parts There were four discrete aspects to the architecture of the home.
The citizens committee maintained that road widening and drainage were hardly
(v.) distinguish; demonstrate bias
Being a chef, he discriminated carefully among ingredients. Reeling from the fact
that senior managers had been caught on tape making offensive remarks, the CEO
said he would not tolerate any of his firm’s employees discriminating against anyone
for any reason. disdain (n.; v.) intense dislike; look down upon; scorn She showed
great disdain toward anyone who did not agree with her. She disdains the very
ground you walk upon.
(v.) to free from confusion
We need to disentangle ourselves from the dizzying variety of choices.
(adj.) discouraged; depressed
After failing the exam, the student became disheartened and wondered if he would
ever graduate. disingenuous (adj.) not frank or candid; deceivingly simple (opposite:
ingenious) The director used a disingenuous remark to make his point to the student.
He always gives a quick, disingenuous response; you never get a straight answer.
disinterested (adj.) neutral; unbiased (alternate meaning; uninterested) A
disinterested person was needed to serve as arbitrator of the argument.
He never takes sides; he’s always disinterested.
(v.) to belittle; undervalue; to discredit
After she fired him she realized that she had disparaged the value of his assistance.
The lawyer will attempt to disparage the testimony of the witness.
(adj.) unequal; dissimilar; different
They came from disparate backgrounds, one a real estate magnate, the other a
The disparate numbers of players made the game a sure blowout.
(n.) difference in form, character, or degree
There is a great disparity between a light snack and a great feast.
(adj.) lack of feeling; impartial
She was a very emotional person and could not work with such a dispassionate
(v.) to scatter; separate
The pilots dispersed the food drops over a wide area of devastation.
Tear gas was used to disperse the crowd.
(adj.) argumentative; inclined to disputes
His disputatious streak eventually wore down his fellow parliament members.
The child was so disputatious he needed to be removed from the room. dissemble
(v.) to pretend; to feign; to conceal by pretense The man dissembled his assets
shamelessly to avoid paying alimony. Agent 007 has a marvelous ability to
dissemble his real intentions.
(v.) to circulate; scatter
He was hired to disseminate newspapers to everyone in the town.
The preacher traveled across the country to disseminate his message.
(v.) to disagree; differ in opinion
They agreed that something had to be done, but dissented on how to do it.
dissonance (n.) musical discord; a mingling of inharmonious sounds; nonmusical;
disagreement; lack of harmony Much twentieth-century music is not liked by classical
music lovers because of the dissonance it holds and the harmonies it lacks. The
dissonance of his composition makes for some rough listening.
Despite several intense rehearsals, the voices of the choir members continued to be
The dissonant nature of the man’s temperament made the woman fearful to
approach him with the new idea.
(adj.) having separations or being reserved
Rolonda’s friends have become more distant in recent years.
(n.) inflation or extension
The bulge in the carpet was caused by the distention of the wood underneath. dither
(v.; n.) to act indecisively; a confused condition She dithered every time she had to
make a decision. Having to take two tests in one day left the student in a dither.
(v.) separate, split
The path diverges at the old barn, one fork leading to the house, and the other
leading to the pond.
The wide, long river diverged into two distinct separate rivers, never again to join.
(adj.) different; varied
The course offerings were so diverse I had a tough time choosing.
(n.) being stripped
When it was found the team cheated, there was a divestiture of their crown.
(adj.) manageable; obedient; gentle
We needed to choose a docile pet because we hadn’t the patience for a lot of
training. document (n.; v.) official paper containing information; to support;
substantiate; verify They needed a written document to prove that the transaction
occurred. Facing an audit, she had to document all her client contacts. doggerel
(n.) verse characterized by forced rhyme and meter Contrary to its appearance,
doggerel can contain some weighty messages.
(n.) a collection of beliefs
The dogma of the village was based on superstition.
(adj.) stubborn; biased; opinionated
Their dogmatic declaration clarified their position.
The dogmatic statement had not yet been proven by science. The student’s
dogmatic presentation annoyed his classmates as well as his instructor.
(adj.) as if asleep
The animals lay dormant until the spring thaw.
(adj.) excessively fond of
With great joy, the doting father held the toddler.
(adj.) brave and strong
The doughty fireman saved the woman’s life.
(adj.) shabby in appearance
The dowdy girl had no buttons on her coat and the threads were falling apart.
dubious (adj.) doubtful; uncertain; skeptical; suspicious Many people are dubious
about the possibility of intelligent life on other planets.
The new information was dubious enough to re-open the case.
She forgave his duplicity but divorced him anyway.
(n.) imprisonment; the use of threats
His duress was supposed to last 10-15 years.
The policewoman put the man under duress in order to get a confession. The Labor
Department inspector needed to establish whether the plant workers had been held
The earthy-looking table was bare.
(n.) an overflowing of high spirits; effervescence
She emanated ebullience as she skipped and sang down the hallway after learning
of her promotion.
(adj.) odd; peculiar; strange
People like to talk with the eccentric artist since he has such different views on
Wearing polka dot pants and a necklace made of recycled bottle tops is considered
(adj.) pertaining or relating to a church
Ecclesiastic obligations include attending mass. eclectic (adj.) picking from various
possibilities; made up of material from various sources You have eclectic taste.
The eclectic collection of furniture did not match.
(adj.) not wasteful; thrifty
With her economical sense she was able to save the company thousands of dollars.
(n.) a large building
The edifice rose 20 stories and spanned two blocks. edify (v.) to build or establish;
to instruct and improve the mind According to their schedule, the construction
company will edify the foundation of the building in one week.
The teachers worked to edify their students through lessons and discussion.
(v.) to draw out; to infer from information
Because she is so dour, I was forced to educe a response.
I educe from the report that the experiment was a success.
(v.) to erase; to make inconspicuous
Hiding in the woods, the soldier was effaced by his camouflage uniform. effeminate
(adj.) having qualities attributed to a woman; delicate A high-pitched laugh made the
man seem effeminate. effervescence (n.) liveliness; spirit; enthusiasm; bubbliness
Her effervescence was contagious; she made everyone around her happy.
The effervescence of champagne is what makes it different from wine.
(n.) the image or likeness of a person
Demonstrators carried effigies of the dictator they wanted overthrown. effluvium (n.)
an outflow of vapor of invisible particles; a noxious odor The effluvium from the
exhaust had a bad smell. It was difficult to determine from where the effluvium issued.
The effrontery of the young man was offensive.
(adj.) pouring out or forth; overflowing
The effusive currents rush through the broken dam. egocentric (adj.) self-centered,
viewing everything in relation to oneself The egocentric professor could not accept
the students’ opinions as valid.
(n.) a way out; exit
The doorway provided an egress from the chamber.
(n.) act of clarifying; adding details
The mayor called for an elaboration on the ordinance’s first draft. elegy (n.) a poem
of lament and praise for the dead Upon conclusion of the elegy, the casket was
closed. ellipsis (n.) omission of words that would make the meaning clear The
accidental ellipsis confused all those who heard the speech.
(n.) the ability to speak well
The speaker’s eloquence was attributed to his articulate manner of speaking.
(v.) to make clear; to explain
In the paper’s conclusion, its purpose was elucidated in one sentence.
(adj.) hard to catch
Even the experienced, old fisherman admitted that the trout in the river were quite
(v.) to emit
Happiness emanates from the loving home.
(v.) to engage or invest in
The embarkation into self-employment was a new start for the woman.
(v.) to improve by adding details
Adding beads to a garment will embellish it.
(n.) a lofty place; superiority
After toiling in the shadows for years, at last she achieved eminence. The eminence
of the institution can be seen in the impact of its research. emollient (adj.) softening
or soothing to the skin; having power to soften or relax living tissues When hands
become dry, it may be necessary to soothe them with an emollient lotion.
(v.) to try to equal or excel
The neophyte teacher was hoping to emulate her mentor.
(adj.) filled with love and desire
The young couple are enamored with each other.
(n.) formal expression of high praise
The sitcom actress gave her co-stars a long encomium as she accepted her Emmy.
(v.) to trespass or intrude
It is unlawful to encroach on another’s private property. encumber (v.) to hold back;
to hinder; to burden, load down The review of the ethic’s committee encumbered the
deal from being finalized.
A brace will encumber the girl’s movement. endemic (adj.) native to a particular area;
constantly present in a particular country or locality The endemic fauna was of great
interest to the anthropologist. A fast-paced style is endemic to those who live in New
(v.) support; to approve of; recommend
The entire community endorsed the politician who promised lower taxes and a better
school system. enervate (v.) to weaken; to deprive of nerve or strength The
sickness enervates its victims until they can no longer get out of bed.
(v.) to make weak
The illness will enfeeble anyone who catches it. enfranchised (v.) to free from
obligation; to admit to citizenship The player was enfranchised when the deal was
called off. The recent immigrants were enfranchised when they took their oath to
their new country.
(v.) to bring about; beget; to bring forth
The group attempted to engender changes to the law. enhance (v.) to improve;
compliment; make more attractive The new fuel enhanced the performance of the
(n.) mystery; secret; perplexity
To all of the searchers, the missing child’s location remained a great enigma.
The enigmatic murder plagued the detective.
(n.) boredom; apathy
Ennui set in when the children realized they had already played with all the toys.
(n.) an indefinitely long period of time
The star may have existed for eons.
(adj.) very short-lived; lasting only a short time
Living alone gave him an ephemeral happiness, soon to be replaced with utter
loneliness. epicure (n.) a person who has good taste in food and drink As an
epicure, Lance is choosy about the restaurants he visits.
(n.) a witty or satirical poem or statement
The poet wrote an epigram about the upcoming election. epilogue (n.) closing
section of a play or novel providing further comment. The epilogue told us the
destiny of the characters.
(n.) an appearance of a supernatural being
The man bowed to the epiphany.
(n.) an inscription on a monument; in honor or memory of a dead person The epitaph
described the actions of a brave man.
(n.) model; typification; representation
The woman chosen to lead the dancers was the epitome of true grace. equanimity
(n.) the quality of remaining calm and undisturbed Equanimity can be reached when
stress is removed from life. equinox (n.) precise time when day and night is of equal
length On the equinox we had twelve hours of night and day.
(adj.) doubtful; uncertain
Scientific evidence was needed before the equivocal hypothesis was accepted by the
(n.) a purposely misleading statement
The equivocations by the man sent the search team looking in the wrong direction.
eradication (n.) the act of annihilating, destroying, or erasing Some have theorized
that the eradication of the dinosaurs was due to a radical change in climate.
(adj.) roving in search of adventure
The young man set out across country on an errant expedition.
(adj.) unpredictable; irregular
His erratic behavior was attributed to the shocking news he had received.
The kitten’s erratic behavior was attributed to the owner’s cruel method of disciplining
(adj.) untrue; inaccurate; not correct
The reporter’s erroneous story was corrected by a new article that stated the truth.
erudite (adj.) having a wide knowledge acquired through reading The woman was so
erudite, she could recite points on most any subject.
(v.) to shun; to avoid
Eschew the traffic and you may arrive on time. esoteric (adj.) understood by only a
chosen few; confidential The esoteric language was only known by the select group.
We have had a number of esoteric conversations.
(adj.) deserving respect
The estimable hero was given a parade.
(adj.) very light; airy; heavenly; not earthly
The ethereal quality of the music had a hypnotic effect. The dancer wore an
ethereal outfit which made her look like an angel. ethnic (adj.) pertaining to races or
peoples and their origin classification, or characteristics Ethnic foods from five
continents were set up on the table.
(n.) words of praise, especially for the dead
The eulogy was a remembrance of the good things the man accomplished in his
lifetime. euphemism (n.) the use of a word or phrase in place of one that is
distasteful The announcer used a euphemism when he wanted to complain.
(n.) pleasant combination of sounds
The gently singing birds created a beautiful euphony. The euphony created by the
orchestra was due to years of practice. evanescent (adj.) vanishing quickly;
dissipating like a vapor The evanescent mirage could only be seen at a certain angle.
(n.) the avoiding of a duty
The company was charged with tax evasion, as they did not pay all that they owed.
(v.) to call forth; provoke
Seeing her only daughter get married evoked tears of happiness from the mother.
Announcement of the results evoked a cheer from the crowd.
(v.) to free from guilt
The therapy session will exculpate the man from his guilty feelings.
(v.) to put to death; kill; to carry out; fulfill
The evil, murderous man was executed for killing several innocent children.
I expected him to execute my orders immediately.
(adj.) serving as an example; outstanding
The honor student’s exemplary behavior made him a role model to the younger
Employees of the month are chosen for their exemplary service to the firm.
(adj.) thorough; complete
It took an exhaustive effort, using many construction workers, to complete the new
home by the deadline.
(v.) to unearth; to reveal
The scientists exhumed the body from the grave to test the body’s DNA. The next
episode will exhume the real betrayer. exigent (adj.) a situation calling for immediate
attention; needing more than is reasonable The exigent request for more assistance
was answered quickly. The bank seemed to feel that another extension on their loan
payment was too exigent a request to honor.
(v.) to declare or prove blameless
Hopefully, the judge will exonerate you of any wrongdoing. exorbitant (adj.) going
beyond what is reasonable; excessive Paying hundreds of dollars for the dress is an
(adj.) unusual; striking; foreign
Many people asked the name of her exotic perfume. The menu of authentic Turkish
cuisine seemed exotic to them, considering they were only accustomed to American
food. expedient (adj.) convenient in obtaining a result; guided by self-interest The
mayor chose the more expedient path rather than the more correct one.
There is no expedient method a teenager will not resort to in order to get the keys to
a car of their own.
(v.) to hasten the action of
We can expedite the bank transaction if we tell them it is an emergency.
(adj.) specific; definite
The explicit recipe gave directions for making a very complicated dessert.
(n.) setting forth facts
The exposition by the witness substantiated the story given by the prisoner.
(v.) to blot out; to delete
Bleach may be used to expunge the stain.
(adj.) existing; refers especially to books or documents Some of my ancestor’s letters
remain extant. extemporize (v.) to improvise; to make it up as you go along It was
necessary for the musician to extemporize when his music fell off the stand.
(v.) to give great praise
The father will extol the success of his son to everyone he meets.
(adj.) irrelevant; not related; not essential
During the long, boring lecture, most people agreed that much of the information was
(adj.) capable of being disentangled
The knots were complicated, but extricable.
(n.) the act of rejoicing
Exultation was evident by the partying and revelry. facetious (adj.) joking in an
awkward or improper manner His facetious sarcasm was inappropriate during his first
(v.) make easier; simplify
The new ramp by the door’s entrance facilitated access to the building for those in
(n.) copy; reproduction; replica
The facsimile of the elaborate painting was indistinguishable from the original.
faction (n.) a number of people in an organization working for a common cause
against the main body A faction of the student body supported the president’s view.
A used car salesman provided fallacious information that caused the naive man to
purchase the old, broken car.
(adj.) liable to be mistaken or erroneous
By not differentiating themselves from the popular band, the group was especially
(n.) enthusiast; extremist
The terrorist group was comprised of fanatics who wanted to destroy those who
disagreed with them.
(adj.) difficult to please; dainty
The fastidious girl would not accept any offers as suitable. The woman was
extremely fastidious, as evident in her occasional fainting spells. fathom (v.; n.) to
understand; a nautical unit of depth It was difficult to fathom the reason for closing
the institution. The submarine cruised at 17 fathoms below the surface.
(adj.) lacking in seriousness; vain and silly
The fatuous prank was meant to add comedy to the situation.
His fatuous personality demands that he stop in front of every mirror.
The baron was given land in exchange for his fealty to the king.
(adj.) reasonable; practical
Increased exercise is a feasible means of weight loss.
The construction crew had a fecund day and were able to leave early.
It is not uncommon for a child to feign illness in order to stay home from school. feint
(v.; n.) to pretend to throw a punch, as in boxing; a fake show intended to deceive
The fighter feinted a left hook just before he went for the knockout.
(v.) to excite or agitate
The rally cry was meant to ferment and confuse the opponent. ferret (v.; n.) to force
out of hiding; to search for; a small, weasel-like mammal The police will ferret the
fugitive out of his hiding place.
I spent the morning ferreting for my keys
I have a pet ferret.
(adj.) passionate; intense
They have a fervent relationship that keeps them together every minute of every day.
(adj.) intensely hot; fervent; impassioned
Her fervid skin alerted the doctor to her fever.
The fervid sermon of the preacher swayed his congregation.
(n.) passion; intensity of feeling
The crowd was full of fervor as the candidate entered the hall. fester (v.) to become
more and more virulent and fixed His anger festered until no one could change his
(adj.) having a smell of decay
The fetid smell led us to believe something was decaying in the basement. fetish (n.)
anything to which one gives excessive devotion The clay figure of a fertility goddess
was a fetish from an ancient civilization.
(n.) a chain to bind the feet
A fetter kept the dog chained to the fence.
(adj.) changeable; unpredictable
He is quite fickle; just because he wants something today does not mean he will want
Because the man was fickle he could not be trusted to make a competent decision.
(n.) faithfulness; honesty
His fidelity was proven when he turned in the lost money.
(n.) something made up in the mind
The unicorn on the hill was a figment of his imagination. finesse (n.) the ability to
handle situations with skill and diplomacy The executor with the most finesse was
chosen to meet with the diplomats.
(adj.) measurable; limited; not everlasting
It was discovered decades ago that the universe is not finite; it has unknown limits
which cannot be measured.
The finite amount of stored food will soon run out.
(n.) a cleft or crack
The earthquake caused a fissure which split the cliff face.
(adj.) lacking firmness
The old dog’s flaccid tail refused to wag.
(v.) to become weak; to send a message
The smaller animal flagged before the larger one.
(adj.) glaringly wrong
The flagrant foul was apparent to everyone.
(adj.) being too showy or ornate
The flamboyant nature of the couple was evident in their loud clothing.
(n.; adj.) inexperienced person; beginner
The fledgling mountain climber needed assistance from the more experienced
The course was not recommended for fledgling skiers.
(v.) wince; drawback; retreat
The older brother made his younger sister flinch when he jokingly tried to punch her
(adj.) talkative; disrespectful
The youngsters were flippant in the restaurant.
The teacher became upset with the flippant answer from the student.
(v.) to mock or jeer
Do not flout an opponent if you believe in fair play.
(n.) ability to write easily and expressively
The child’s fluency in Spanish and English was remarkable. The immigrant acquired
a fluency in English after studying for only two months.
(n.) a flow; a continual change
With the flux of new students into the school, space was limited.
(v.) to falsely identify as real
The smuggler tried to foist the cut glass as a priceless gem.
(v.) to raid for spoils, plunder
The soldiers were told not to foray the town.
(n.) patience; self-restraint
He exhibited remarkable forbearance when confronted with the mischievous children.
(adj.) pertaining to legal or public argument
The forensic squad dealt with the legal investigation. formidable (adj.) something
which causes dread or fear The formidable team caused weak knees in the
(n.) firm courage; strength
It is necessary to have fortitude to complete the hike.
(adj.) happening accidentally
Finding the money under the bush was fortuitous.
(v.) encourage; nurture; support
A good practice routine fosters success.
After the severe storm the gardener fostered many of his plants back to health.
(adj.) rebellious; apt to quarrel
Fractious siblings aggravate their parents.
(adj.) loaded; charged
The comment was fraught with sarcasm.
A frenetic call was made from the crime scene.
(v.) to make rough or disturb
The pet will fret the floor if he continues to scratch.
(adj.) giddiness; lack of seriousness
The hard-working students deserved weekend gatherings filled with frivolity. froward
(adj.) not willing to yield or comply with what is reasonable The executive had to deal
with a froward peer who was becoming increasingly difficult.
(n.) thrift; economical use or expenditure
His frugality limited him to purchasing the item for which he had a coupon.
Preparing to save money to send their daughter to college, the parents practiced
extreme frugality for several years.
(v.) to blame, denunciate
It is impolite to fulminate someone for your mistakes. Senator Shay fulminated
against her opponent’s double-standard on campaign finance reform.
(adj.) disgusting due to excess
The man became obese when he indulged in fulsome eating.
(adj.) basic; necessary
Shelter is one of the fundamental needs of human existence.
(adj.) secretive; sly
The detective had much difficulty finding the furtive criminal.
(n.) pompous talk or writing
The fustian by the professor made him appear arrogant.
(adj.) worthless; unprofitable
It was a futile decision to invest in that company since they never made any money.
(n.) a blunder
Calling the woman by the wrong name was a huge gaffe.
(v.) to speak against; to contradict; to deny
With Senator Bowker the only one to gainsay it, the bill passed overwhelmingly.
galvanize (v.) to stimulate as if by electric shock; startle; excite The pep rally will
galvanize the team. gamut (n.) a complete range; any complete musical scale The
woman’s wardrobe runs the gamut from jeans to suits. His first composition covered
the entire gamut of the major scale.
(adj.) mixed up; distorted or confused
The interference on the phone line caused the data to become garbled on the
(adj.) gaudy, showy
The gold fixtures seemed garish.
(v.) to gather up and store; to collect
The squirrels garnered nuts for the winter.
(adj.) extremely talkative or wordy
No one wanted to speak with the garrulous man for fear of being stuck in a long, one-
(adj.) awkward; lacking social grace
Unfortunately, the girl was too gauche to fit into high society.
(n.) a protective glove
The gauntlet saved the man’s hand from being burned in the fire.
(adj.) common; general; universal
While generic drugs are often a better value, it always a good idea to consult your
doctor before purchasing them.
(adj.) contributing to life; amiable
Key West’s genial climate is among its many attractive aspects.
Her genial personality made her a favorite party guest.
(adj.) designating a type of film or book
The genre of the book is historical fiction.
(adj.) pertinent; related; to the point
Her essay contained germane information, relevant to the new Constitutional
amendment. gerrymander (v.) to gain advantage by manipulating unfairly To
gerrymander during negotiations is considered unfair.
(v.) to rapidly speak unintelligibly
They did not want him to represent their position in front of the committee since he
was prone to gibbering when speaking in front of an audience. glib (adj.) smooth
and slippery; speaking or spoken in a smooth manner The salesman was so glib that
the customers failed to notice the defects in the stereo.
(v.) brag; glory over
She gloated over the fact that she received the highest score on the exam, annoying
her classmates to no end.
The glutton ate 12 hot dogs
(adj.) full of knots; twisted
The raven perched in the gnarled branches of the ancient tree. goad (n.; v.) a
driving impulse; to push into action His goad urged him to pursue the object of his
affection. Thinking about money will goad him into getting a job.
(n.) one who eats eagerly
A gourmand may eat several servings of an entree.
(adj.) magnificent; flamboyant
His grandiose idea was to rent a plane to fly to Las Vegas for the night.
The gravity of the incident was sufficient to involve the police and the FBI.
(adj.) fond of the company of others
Gregarious people may find those jobs with human contact more enjoyable than jobs
that isolate them from the public.
(n.) boisterous laughter
A comedian’s success is assured when the audience gives forth a guffaw following
(n.) slyness; deceit
By using his guile, the gambler almost always won at the card table.
The undercover detective, under the guise of friendship, offered to help the drug
runner make a connection.
(adj.) easily fooled
Gullible people are vulnerable to practical jokes.
(adj.) commonplace; trite
Just when you thought neckties were becoming a hackneyed gift item, along comes
the Grateful Dead collection.
Have a nice day has become something of a hackneyed expression.
(adj.) untamed; having a worn look
The lawn in front of the abandoned house added to its haggard look. He looked as
haggard as you would expect a new father of quadruplets to look.
Just by looking at her haggard features, you can tell she has not slept for many
(adj.) tranquil; happy
The old man fondly remembered his halcyon days growing up on the farm.
(v.) interfere with; hinder
The roadblock hampered their progress, but they knew a shortcut.
(adj.) disorganized; random
He constantly misplaced important documents because of his haphazard way of
running his office.
(adj.) unlucky; unfortunate
The hapless team could not win a game.
(n; v.) a lengthy, heartfelt speech; to talk or write excitedly We sat patiently and
listened to her harangue. When he finally stopped his haranguing, I responded
calmly. harbor (n.; v.) a place of safety or shelter; to give shelter or to protect. We
stood at the dock as the ship sailed into the harbor.
The peasants were executed for harboring known rebels.
The rabbits used the shed as a harbor from the raging storm. Her decision to harbor
a known criminal was an unwise one. harmonious (adj.) having proportionate and
orderly parts The challenge for the new conductor was to mold his musicians’ talents
into a harmonious orchestra. haughty (adj.) proud of oneself and scornful of others
The haughty ways she displayed her work turned off her peers. The haughty girl
displayed her work as if she were the most prized artist.
(adj.) living for pleasure
The group was known for its hedonistic rituals. Hot tubs, good food, and a plethora
of leisure time were the hallmarks of this hedonistic society.
(v.) obey; yield to
If the peasant heeds the king’s commands, she will be able to keep her land.
(adj.) heavy or powerful
The unabridged dictionary makes for a hefty book.
(n.) opinion contrary to popular belief
In this town it is considered heresy to want parking spaces to have meters. heretic
(n.) one who holds opinion contrary to that which is generally accepted Because he
believed the world was round, many people considered Columbus to be a heretic.
(n.) interval; break; period of rest
Summer vacation provided a much-needed hiatus for the students. Between
graduation and the first day of his new job, Tim took a threemonth hiatus in the
Caribbean. hierarchy (n.) a system of persons or things arranged according to rank I
was put at the bottom of the hierarchy while Jane was put at the top.
(adj.) whitened by age
The paint had a hoary appearance, as if it were applied decades ago.
(n.) honor; respect
The police officers paid homage to their fallen colleague with a ceremony that
celebrated her life.
(n.) maintenance of stability
Knowing the seriousness of the operation, the surgeons were concerned about
restoring the patient to homeostasis.
(n.) solemn moral talk; sermon
The preacher gave a moving homily to the gathered crowd. hone (n.; v.) something
used to sharpen; to sharpen; to long or yearn for He ran the knife over the hone for
hours to get a razor-sharp edge. The apprenticeship will give her the opportunity to
hone her skills.
The traveler hones for his homeland.
Some think it was hubris that brought the president to the point of impeachment.
(n.) lack of pride; modesty
Full of humility, she accepted the award but gave all the credit to her mentor.
(n.) anything of mixed origin
The flower was a hybrid of three different flowers. hyperbole (n.) an exaggeration,
not to be taken seriously The full moon was almost blinding in its brightness, he said
with a measure of hyperbole.
(adj.) two-faced; deceptive
His constituents believed that the governor was hypocritical for calling for a
moratorium on “negative” campaigning while continuing to air some of the most
vicious ads ever produced against his opponent. Most of his constituents believed
the governor was hypocritical for calling his opponent a “mud-slinging hack” when his
own campaign had slung more than its share of dirt.
(adj.) assumed; uncertain; conjectural
A hypothetical situation was set up so we could practice our responses.
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