state of bliss
adj. ineffectual, irresponsible
sounds like reckless
My feckless bro managed to get himself grounded again, proving one more that I am the more responsible sibling.
adj. refusing to compromise
(adj) favorable, propitious, successful, prosperousThe sold-out opening night was an auspicious beginning for the play's run.Weddings are generally considered auspicious occasions because of the toasting and well-wishing that goes on.
extreme boldness; presumptuousness
The effrontery of her demand astonished everyone; no one had ever dared ask the head of the department to explain his reasoning before.
adj. pompous; grandiloquent
bombast is self-important or pompous writing or speech
His speech was so bombastic even his friends were rolling their eyes.
suitable, well-adapted, pertinent, relevant or apt
adj. very learned / scholarly
adj. rustic and pastoral, characteristic of rural areas and their inhabitants
n. disintegration, looseness in morals
(adj) soothing(n) something that allays pain or comfortsNothing is quite so anodyne as a long bubble bath soak.It's anodyne effect can be enhanced by some good music and a glass of wine.She looked forward to the anodyne of a relaxing weekend of camping at the lake.
(v) tolerate, endure, countenanceShe made it clear she would brook no insubordination.He refused to brook any more delay.
courage, spunk, fortitude
The audience was impressed by the gymnast's pluck in continuing her routine even after she fell of the balance beam.
varied, motley, greatly diversified
There was no way she could keep up with all her multifarious business interests, so she hired hundreds of personal assistants to keep track of everything for her.
slandering, verbal attack, aspersion
Apparently, the mayor's campaign of detraction backfired, since a record number of people voted for his opponent, many of them citing the vitriol of the mayor's attacks as the reason they voted against him.
recklessly wasteful, extravagant, profuse, lavish
Linda was prodigal with her singing abilities, performing only in karaoke bars.
n. protection or support, patronage
also mean sign or portent
As long as were working under the auspices of the local authorities, the villagers were extremely cooperative.
n. slandering, verbal attack, asperson
Tam's detraction of Raul's performance only served to reveal how jealous she was of his success.
v. to shun or avoid
Daniel was unwilling to eschew her company even tho I reminded him of how many times she had stood him up in the past.
not artificial; natural; simple; uncontrived:
n. a tool used for shaping
(adj) of dubious authenticity or origin; spuriousMost believe that stories of alien abduction are apocryphal.A flood of apocryphal stories about the movie star filled the tabloids and were later proven false.The urban myth is apocryphal, but it pays to be careful.
low point, perigee
Being presented with the "Nice Try" award for finishing in last place was definitely the nadir of my professional pinochle career.
wary; cautious; sparing
Claudette was chary with her praise lest it go to Fredrick's head.
They took the clearing of the sky as a propitious omen that the storm was passing.
exceptional, unusual, odd
He was singularly ill suited to ballet since he had two left feet.
lacking authenticity or validity, false, counterfeit
His spurious claim that he had found the fountain of youth was soon proven to be the fraud everyone had suspected.
occurring or recurring daily, commonplace
Whenever possible, Anita tried to sleep through her quotidian train commute home.
to defame, characterize harshly
The animal rights activist vilified the manufacturers of fur coats for cruelty to animals.
Although the politicians were vilified in the press for their role in the scandal, they received no official sanction.
Every spring I dread the onerous task of filing my income tax return.
ARCANE (ar KAYN) adj mysterious, abstruse, esoteric, knowable only to initiates
• Elizabeth was a font of arcane knowledge; she could tell you not only the names of the pets of every cabinet member of every administration, but also how many gumballs are produced annually.
• Knowledge of the arcane secrets of any bureaucracy is always restricted to those who work within it. They're the only ones who know how to fill out the forms, too.
Arcana are deep secrets. The singular is arcanum, but it's almost always used in the plural.
CHURLISH (CHUB lish) adj boorish, vulgar, loutish; difficult and intractable
• Underneath Mr. Oleander's churlish exterior, there's a nice guy hiding somewhere; it's just hard to tell because he is so rude most of the time.
A churl is someone who is churlish.
• Since everyone knew that Brad became a churl whenever he'd had too much to drink, they were just waiting for him to start saying inappropriate things and getting into fights at the party.
SINGULAR (SING yoo lur) adj exceptional, unusual, odd
• The singular events of the past week had me thinking I'd lost my mind; first my pet turtle presents me with a list of demands, and then it starts raining humans instead of cats and dogs.
• He was singularly ill suited to ballet since he had two left feet.
adj. impudent; in every way, being completely such, bare-faced, utter
Don Juan's arrant philandering made him a legend.
adj. hastily or rashly energetic; impulsive and vehement
John's impetuous nature kept him from planning anything in advance.
v. to ask incessantly, beg, nag
Jerry's constant importuning for time off worked in a way; he had plenty of time off once he was fired for nagging his boss about vacation.
COGENT (KO junt) adj appealing forcibly to the mind or reason; convincing• I'll only let you borrow the Ferrari if you can give me a cogent reason for why you need to drive more than one hundred miles per hour.• He may have gotten the day off because his argument for why he deserved it was so cogent, or it could just have been that it was Saturday and he wasn't scheduled to work anyway.
FRACTIOUS (FRAK shus) adj quarrelsome, rebellious, unruly, cranky• Vince's fractious response to my suggestion was completely uncharacteristic, given his usually easygoing and agreeable attitude.• The party's fractious internal politics made it difficult for it to gain influence, since all its members' time was spent quarreling.• Nothing makes me more fractious in the morning than not being able to find a parking space when it's raining.
extremely bold or daring; recklessly brave; fearless:
v. to destroy, exterminate, cut out, pull out by the roots
v. to travel from place to place
adj. tending to disappear like vapor / vanishing
(n) an act of defamation or maligningHe resented the aspersions cast by his opponent.She had to result to aspersions when she realized her argument wouldn't hold up against close scrutiny.
resentment, feeling of irritation due to hurt pride
In a fit of pique, Chelsea threw her boyfriend's bowling ball out of the fourth-story window onto his car.
Ten years of the dictator's depredations had left the country a wasteland.
incapable of being discovered or understood, mysterious
Her expression was inscrutable; I couldn't tell whether she liked the present or not.
free from guile, naive
His guileless answers convinced everyone of his complete innocence and he was acquitted of any wrongdoing.
given or coming forth abundantly, extravagant
Her profuse gratitude for my having saved her cat became a little excessive with the fourth sweater she knitted for me.
one who practices rigid self-denial, especially as an act of religious devotion.
A true ascetic would be able to resist eating those chocolate eclairs, which is why I know I'm not an ascetic.
of dubious authenticity or origin; spurious
Most people believe that stories of alien abduction are apocryphal, but what if there really is a big government conspiracy and all those stories are true?
SAGACIOUS (suh GAY shus) adj having sound judgment, perceptive, wise
• The decision to invest in Brussels sprouts turned out to be a sagacious one, since shortly thereafter it was discovered that they contain a powerful aphrodisiac.
Sagacious means like a sage, who is a person recognized as having great wisdom. Sage can also be an adjective, meaning wise.
• His sage advice to grow a beard changed my whole life for the better, since I no longer looked as if I were fourteen.
REFUTE (ri FYOOT) v to disprove, successfully argue against
• The doctor marshaled an army of statistics to refute the critics' claim that his techniques were unsound.
• While no one has successfully refuted the existence of a god by scientific means, no one has proven a god's existence either.
SINUOUS (SIN yoo us) adj winding, curving, moving lithely, devious
• We were mesmerized by the sinuous weaving of the cobra as the snake charmer sang to it.
• The sinuous pattern on the vase was like a river winding back and forth.
• It became increasingly difficult to follow the argument as her sinuous logic wound around and around itself.
STINT (stint) v to restrain, be sparing or frugal
• I hate to stint on dessert, so I always save room for at least two portions.
• Since I didn't want to stint on her birthday, I got her a cake and a present.
Stinting, and its opposite, unstinting are the adjectives that mean restraining and bestowed liberally, respectively.
• Her unstinting support for my lemonade stand, both supplier of the product and most loyal customer, gave me my start as an entrepreneur.
Stint as a noun means a length of time spent in a specific way, as in a stint in the military, in the White House, or as a roadie.
DISCRETION (dis KRE shun) n cautious reserve in speech; ability to make responsible decisions
• The matchmaker's discretion was the key to her remarkable success; her clients knew she would not reveal their identities inappropriately.
• The discretion required of the agent should not be underestimated; he will need to make critical decisions under severe time constraints and often at considerable risk to himself.
MERETRICIOUS (mer uh TRI shus) ad] tawdry, pretentious, attractive but false, showy, having to do with prostitution
• His meretricious argument had all the false allure of a low-rent Vegas nightclub: showy on the outside, but seedy and desperate on the inside.
MOROSE (muh ROHS) adj sad, sullen, melancholy
• I knew from the morose expression on his face that it would be a bad idea to ask Kent how he did in the competition.
• Although it is easy to be morose during the long, cold, wet, gloomy winter in Seattle, it is much more difficult to be sad during the summer when it is sunny and everyone else is happy.
RECALCITRANT (ri KAL suh trunt) adj obstinately defiant of authority or guidance, difficult to manage
• Joe was so recalcitrant he refused to do anything he was instructed to do, even something he liked to do, simply because someone told him to do it.
• The bank sent someone to repossess the recalcitrant debtor's car and furniture after he refused to make payments for five months.
PERENNIAL (puh REN ee ul) adj recurrent through the year or many years, happening repeatedly
• Death of a Salesman was a perennial favorite of the community theater; they performed it every season.
• The students' perennial complaint was that they had too much homework; the faculty's perennial response was that they should be happy they didn't have more.
• Perennials are plants that live for more than one year.
PERVADE (pur VAYD) v to permeate throughout
• I was pervaded with fear when the stairs creaked in the middle of the night; even the hair on the back of my neck stood up.
Pervasive means having the tendency to permeate or spread throughout.
• The pervasive smell of bread baking filled every room in the house and made my stomach rumble.
v. to demonstrate contempot for
Alice flouted convention by showing up for the wedding in a bathing suit.
v. to coax with flattery, toady or fawn
The minister was famous for his ability to blandish his way from obscurity to vicarious power; it seemed as if every ruler was receptive to bootlicking.
n. quick, keen or accurate knowledge or insight
acumen...sounds like acute which means sharp pain and sharp angles! Sharp!
Her acumen in anticipating her opponent's strategy is legendary; it's what makes her so hard to beat.
EXCULPATE (EX cul payt) v exonerate; to clear of blame• Far from exculpating him as he had hoped, the new evidence only served to convince the jury of his guilt.• I was able to exculpate myself from the charges of cheating by taking another exam and receiving the same grade on it as I had on the first one.For some examples of words with the same root, see culpable.
CONSEQUENTIAL (kahn suh KWEN shut) ad] pompous, self-important Be careful; this is one of those words with multiple definitions. The primary definitions are: logically following; important, but on the GRE it is more likely to be used as we've defined it here.• Although he thought himself a respected and well-liked man, his consequential air was intensely annoying to those around him. He seemed to think he was the best thing since sliced bread.
cause of injury, source of harm; source of persistent frustration
v. to rarefy, weaken or make thinner, lessen
(v) to abolish or annul by authority; put downThe ruling abrogated his rights to any profit from the sale of the house. He abrogated his responsibility.
to incite, to make urgent appeals
At the last second I realized that he was waving his arms frantically to exhort me to look down before I fell off the cliff.
to feed or supply in excess
Crystal and I always surfeit ourselves whenever we see each other.
to yearn intensely, to languish, to lose vigor
I pined for sunshine all winter until I couldn't stand it any more and had to go buy a sun lamp.
an informed and astute judge in matters of taste; expert
Did you know that some people call themselves connoisseurs of water?
concluding section to a musical or literary piece, something that concludes or completes.
The presentation of the lifetime achievement award was a fitting coda both to the evening and to his years of work with the organization.
VILIFY (VIL uh fy) v to defame, characterize harshly
• The animal rights activist vilified the manufacturers of fur coats for cruelty to animals.
• Although the politicians were vilified in the press for their role in the scandal, they received no official sanction.
When you vilify someone, you are engaged in vilification.
• Her campaign of vilification backfired because it made her look petty to be attacking her opponent in that way.
Anyone who has heard of villain has a built-in association to vilify.
DILETTANTE (OIL uh tahnt) n one with an amateurish or superficial interest in the arts or a branch of knowledge
• The negative connotation of a dilettante as one whose interest in a subject is trivial is relatively recent; it hasn't always been a bad thing to be a dilettante.
• Dilettantes did much of the scientific work in early America; professional positions for scientists are largely a phenomenon of the twentieth century.
A dilettantish effort or interest is one that is frivolous or superficial. This can also be spelled "dilettanteish."
• Even though she didn't take it very seriously at the time, her dilettantish interest in the arts while in college laid the framework for a satisfying career as curator of a major art museum years later.
OBVIATE (AHB vee ayt) v to anticipate and make unnecessary
• Finding my keys in my pocket obviated the need for the private investigators I just hired to locate them.
• The successful outcome of the most recent experiments obviated the need for any additional testing.
NATTY (NA tee) adj trimly neat and tidy, dapper
• My grandmother is always complaining that there are no more natty dressers; she just doesn't think that baggy jeans and sneakers can compete with the zoot suits of her adolescence.
PRESCIENCE (PRE see unts) n knowing of events prior to their occurring
• I wish I had had the prescience to know it was going to rain today, I would have brought a raincoat.
• Cassandra's unique curse was that she was given the gift of prescience but doomed to have no one ever believe her.
INELUCTABLE (in i LUKT uh bul) adj certain, inevitable
• George refused to accept the ineluctable reality of death, so he planned to have himself frozen.
• The outcome of the game seemed ineluctable once the score was 156 to 14.
IMPLACABLE (im PLAK uh bul) adj not capable of being appeased or significantly changed
• Her anger over her partner's betrayal was implacable; nothing anyone said or did would appease her.
• Because I have an implacable fear of dentists, I haven't been to see one in twenty years and now only have two teeth left.
APPROBATION (a pruh BAY shun) n an expression of approval or praise
• Providing approbation for good behavior is the best way to train puppies; the praise is particularly effective when accompanied by treats.
• The judges expressed their approbation of Stephen's performance by awarding him the gold medal. To approbate is to approve something officially.
TERSE (turs) adj brief and concise in wording
• Keith's terse, one-word answers made it clear that he was upset, since he is usually very talkative when he is happy.
ACCOLADE (AK o layd) n an expression of praise; an award
• The diva received her accolades graciously, blowing kisses to her adoring fans.
• Doris so craved her coach's accolades that she showed up an hour early to every practice.
The word accolade comes from a French word meaning to embrace, which, logically enough, comes from the same root as collar. You can also associate lade with laud (meaning praise), though they probably don't have the same etymological backgrounds.
VERISIMILITUDE (ver uh si MIL i tood) n appearing true or real
• The verisimilitude of the wax figures was uncanny; they looked as if they would start to move and speak at any minute.
• The playwright tried to achieve historical verisimilitude by writing dialogue in the dialect of the region and time in which the play was set.
ANTIPATHY (an TI puh thee) n aversion, dislike
• Sam very clearly expresses his antipathy toward certain breakfast foods in the Dr. Seuss classic, Green Eggs and Ham.
• Her longstanding antipathy toward her boss was tempered with at least a little gratitude after she received her big raise and promotion.
Antipathetic means showing a strong aversion.
• He was completely antipathetic to any new ideas, especially any that might suggest that his way wasn't the best way. I've never met such a close-minded person!
v. to depart clandestinely, to steal off and hide.
Doug was left penniless when the two con men absconded with his life savings.
adj. having a sour or bitter taste or character
Dorothy Parker was famous for her wit, which could be quite acerbic; Parker could be devastating when she wanted to be.
v. to deny, dispute, contradict, oppose
It is difficult to gainsay the critics when every new movie the director makes is a flop.
v. to rarefy, weaken or make thinner, lessen
The endless discussion attenuated the point until everyone lost interest in it.
ANOMALY (uh NAH muh lee) n deviation from the normal order, form, or rule; abnormality• Pickles for sale in a tire store would be an anomaly; tires for sale in a pickle store would be equally weird.• The anomalous results the scientist received the third time she ran the experiment made her question her initial hypothesis, since she couldn't find any other reason for the deviation from her prior results.
DISINTERESTED (dis IN ter est ed) adj free from self-interest; unbiasedThis one gets a little complicated. Disinterested and uninterested have a pretty convoluted history. Uninterested, when it first showed up in the seventeenth century, meant "impartial." At some point, though, that meaning was replaced in popular usage with its current meaning: "not caring or having an interest in," as in the sentence, "I am completely uninterested in attending the concert." At about the same time, the original use of disinterested to mean "not caring or having an interest in" was changing in favor of "free from bias."Confused yet? It gets worse. To recap: disinterested means "unbiased" and uninterested means "uncaring," right? However, increasingly writers are switching them back around. The people who police the proper usage of words in English say this isn't allowable, but the writers do it anyway. Usually you can tell from con
CHICANERY (shi KAYN uh ree) n trickery or subterfuge• Bernard's reputation for legal chicanery made judges and prosecutors distrust him, but his clients had a hard time seeing past his successes.• I refuse to let such chicanery go unpunished!
AMBIVALENCE (am BIV uh lunts) n the quality of having opposing ideas or feelings• Nikki's ambivalence about the job offer was apparent; on one hand, the money and benefits would be better than at her current job, but on the other, she didn't want to risk losing the wonderful work environment she already had.Ambivalent is the adjective form of ambivalence.Be careful; ambivalence is often confused with ambiguity, probably because ambivalence can also mean uncertainty (par-ticularly about what course one should follow).
lack of interest in or concern for things that others find moving or exciting.
intended for or understood by a small, specific group
Even though most of the sect's practices were well-documented by anthropologists, some of its most esoteric rites had never been witnessed by outsiders.
To understand what that experience was, what happened in there, brings up a topic rather esoteric and wild--namely, the subject of kundalini shakti.
discuss or write about at length; to range freely
His ability to expatiate on such a variety of subjects without notes made watching him speak something like taking a trip without a map; the journey set its own course.
a song or expression of praise and thanksgiving
The celebratory bonfire was a paean to victory.
SATIRE (SAT yr) n a literary work that ridicules or criticizes human vice through humor or derision
• Swift's Gulliver's Travels is a famous satire in which the protagonist meets strange peoples in his travels, each representing a different aspect of humanity.
• His attempts to satirize his boss in the company newsletter were not appreciated. His boss did not like satirical work when she was its object.
adj. pointlessly talkative, talking too much
It was easy to see how nervous gary was by how much he was talking, he always gets garrulous when he's anxious.
EXHORT (ig ZORT) v to incite, to make urgent appeals• At the last second I realized that he was waving his arms frantically to exhort me to look down before I fell off the cliff.• Our coach exhorted us to greater and greater efforts, urging us not to give up even in the face of a twenty-point deficit.• His exhortations failed to motivate us; we were just too tired from moving boxes all day.
BURGEON (BUR jun) v to grow rapidly or flourish• When the wildflowers burgeon in April and May we know that spring has truly arrived.• The burgeoning population transformed the town into a bustling metropolis.
to speak or write in favor of; support or urge by argument; recommend publicly:
to fail to honor a commitment, go back on a promise
I feel like I have a bad habit of reneging often.
n. a tool used for shaping
When coins are made by hand, a die is usually used to press the design on each coin