GRE Verbal | High-Frequency Review Flashcards

quot
Terms Definitions
abscond
to depart clandestinely; to steal off; to hide
abscond
(from + stow away)

"Spring beckons! All things to the call respond;
The trees are leaving and cashiers abscond."
alacrity
eager; enthusiastic willingness
alacrity
(lightly)

"It should be done with the same degree of alacrity and nonchalance that you would display in authorizing a highly intelligent trained bear to remove your appendix."
approbation
expression of approval or praise; sanction; authorization
approbation
(from + for + test and find good)
austere
without adornment; bare; severely simple; ascetic; spartan
austere
(harsh; rough; bitter)

"The gambling known as business looks with austere disfavor upon the business known as gambling."
axiomatic
taken as a given; possessing self-evident truth; aphoristic
axiomatic
(to reckon worthy)

"It is...axiomatic that we should all think of ourselves as being more sensitive than other people..."
capricious
inclined to change one's mind impulsively; erratic; unpredictable; whimsical
capricious
(head with bristling hair; horned)

"As love without esteem is capricious and volatile; esteem without love is languid and cold."
censure
criticize harshly; officially rebuke
censure
(to give one's opinion, to recomment)

"Most of our censure of others is only oblique praise of self, uttered to show the wisdom and superiority of the speaker. It has all the invidiousness of self-praise, and all the ill-desert of falsehood."
disabuse
to undeceive; to set right
disabuse
(counter + abuse)

"Nothing like being visible, publishing one's work, and speaking openly about one's life, to disabuse the world of the illusion of one's perfection and purity."
effrontery
extreme boldness; presumptuousness
effrontery
(from + front)

"The advice that is wanted is commonly not welcome and that which is not wanted, evidently an effrontery."
discordant
conflicting; dissonant or harsh in sound
discordant
(apart + heart)

"Seated one day at the organ, I was weary and ill at ease, and my fingers wandered idly over the noisy keys. It seemed the harmonious echo from our discordant life."
enervate
to weaken; to reduce in vitality
enervate
(to cause to become ‘out of muscle’)

"Beatriz de Ahumada soldiered on to produce nine more children, a tour of duty that left her enervated and worn."
equivocate
to use ambiguous language with a deceptive intent; deliberate deception
equivocate
(equal + voice)

"I am in earnest - I will not equivocate - I will not excuse - I will not retreat a single inch - and I will be heard!"
erudite
very learned; scholarly (erudition)
erudite
(from + rudeness)

"So wide his erudition's mighty span,
He knew Creation's origin and plan
And only came by accident to grief --
He thought, poor man, 'twas right to be a thief."
exigent
urgent; pressing; requiring immediate action or attention
exigent
(from + weighing)

"There is no peace because the making of peace is at least as costly as the making of war - at least as exigent, at least as disruptive, at least as liable to bring disgrace and prison and death in its wake."
extemporaneous
improvised; done without preparation
extemporaneous
(from/without + time)

"The speech teacher made the students give two extemporaneous speeches during the school year."
fulminate
to loudly/thunderously attack or denounce
fulminate
(to strike with lightning)

"fulminated against political chicanery"
ingenuous
artless; frank and candid; lacking in sophistication; obsolete
ingenuous
(honest, freeborn)

"I don’t judge a regime by the damning criticism of the opposition, but by the ingenuous praise of the partisan."
inured
accustomed to accepting something undesirable
inured
(in + use)

"Though the food became no more palatable, he soon became sufficiently inured to it"

"One of the sad things about contemporary journalism is that it actually matters very little. The world now is almost inured to the power of journalism. The best journalism would manage to outrage people. And people are less and less inclined to outrage."
magnanimity
the quality of being generously noble in mind and heart, especially in forgiving; big-hearted
magnanimity
(great + soul)

"Let us bear with magnanimity whatever it is needful for us to bear."
neologism
a new word, expression or usage; the creation or use of new words or senses; new interpretation
neologism
(new + word)

"Yesterday's neologisms, like yesterday's jargon, are often today's essential vocabulary."
obtuse
lacking sharpness of intellect; not clear or precise in thought or expression; not distinctly felt
obtuse
(from + beating)

"But deliberately making things obtuse and difficult is counter to the spirit of what is supposed to be a populist medium."
obviate
to anticipate and make unnecessary;
obviate
(against + the way)

"As it rained, we all held large paper bags over our heads to obviate the need to return to the hairdresser."
paean
song or hymn of praise and thanksgiving
paean
(hymn; also title of Apollo)

"The choir sang the requested paean to the congregation."
perfidy
intentional breach of faith; treachery; calculated violation of trust
perfidy
(through + trust/faith)

"Life is not an easy matter... You cannot live through it without falling into frustration and cynicism unless you have before you a great idea which raises you above personal misery, above weakness, above all kinds of perfidy and baseness."
perfunctory
cursory; done without care or interest; routine
perfunctory
(through + performing)

"It is an indifferent and perfunctory one. Sometimes it does not heal at all. And sometimes when it seems to, no healing has been necessary."
perspicacious
acutely perceptive; having keen discernment
perspicacious
(through + looking)
prattle
to babble meaninglessly; to talk in an empty or idle manner
prattle
"This isn't being said, out of some liberal prattle: It's being said from the very essence and the heart of our religion."
precipitate
adj. acting with excessive haste or impulse

verb. to cause or happen before anticipated
precipitate
(to throw headlong)

"It is always one's virtues and not one's vices that precipitate one into disaster."
predilection
a disposition in favour of something; preference
predilection
(before + taste)

"The parrot holds its food for prim consumption as daintily as any debutante, with a predilection for pot roast, hashed-brown potatoes, duck skin, butter, ..."
prescience
foreknowledge of events; knowing of events prior to their occuring
prescience
(before + knowledge)

"In this work I have received the opposition of a number of men who only advocate the unobtainable because the immediately possible is beyond their moral courage, administrative ability, and their political prescience."
prevaricate
to deliberately avoid the truth; to mislead; to deceive
prevaricate
(to straddle, through + bent)

"You will always be found out by your parents if you prevaricate."
qualms
misgivings; reservations; causes for hesitance
qualms
"If you have qualms about how honorable your ideas are, it is best to rethink them.
ad hoc
for this situation only
ad hoc
(for + this)

"a committee formed ad hoc to address the issue of salaries."
caustic
Capable of burning, corroding, dissolving; corrosive
caustic
(to burn)

"The satirist who writes nothing but satire should write but little - or it will seem that his satire springs rather from his own caustic nature than from the sins of the world in which he lives."
recondite
not easily understandable; concerned with or treating something abstruse or obscure: "recondite scholarship"; concealed; hidden
recondite
(back + put together)

"I would like to learn more about more unusual and recondite phenomena."
prodigious
impressively great in size, force, or extent; enormous: "a prodigious storm"; extraordinary; marvelous
prodigious
(through + omen)

"From the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire, let freedom ring. From the mighty mountains of New York, let freedom ring."
reticent
quiet; reserved; reluctant to express thoughts and feelings
reticent
(keep silent)

"The student was reticent to express his opinions and ideas in class discussions."
sanctimony
Feigned piety or righteousness; hypocritical devoutness or high-mindedness
sanctimony
(holiness)

" I have a liberal definition of news because I think news can be what excites people. I'm not very sanctimonious about what news is and isn't."
profligate
Given over to dissipation; dissolute; Recklessly wasteful; wildly extravagant
profligate
(to strike down)

"Nature is, above all, profligate. Don't believe them when they tell you how economical and thrifty nature is, whose leaves return to the soil."
vitriol
Bitterly abusive feeling or expression
vitriol
(glass)

"But the vitriol also reflects the fact that many of the people at the Republican National Convention, for all their flag-waving, hate America. They want a controlled, monolithic society; they fear and loathe our nation's freedom, diversity and complexity."
effrontery
Brazen boldness; presumptuousness
effrontery
(from + front)

"Even after clear evidence was shown, the jury was shocked by the defendant's effrontery in denying any guilt."
penury
Extreme want or poverty; destitution; Extreme dearth; barrenness or insufficiency
penury
(to want)

"In the middle classes the gifted son of a family is always the poorest - usually a writer or artist with no sense for speculation - and in a family of peasants, where the average comfort is just over penury, the gifted son sinks also, and is soon a tramp on the roadside."
abstruse
Difficult to understand; recondite; ambiguous
abstruse
(to push + from; to hide)

"My view is that popular fiction as it existed was just plain dumb, and literary fiction was either abstruse, or unbelievably boring."
solicitous
concerned and attentive; eager; full of desire; extremely careful; meticulous
solicitous
(entire + set in motion)

"A good conscience fears no witness, but a guilty conscience is solicitous even in solitude."
tortuous
winding, twisting; excessively complicated; highly involved
tortuous
(to turn)

"Reason is the slow and tortuous method by which these who do not know the truth discover it. The heart has its own reason which reason does not know."
truculent
fierce and cruel; eager to fight; pugnacious; expressing bitter opposition; scathing: "a truculent speech against the new government"; disposed to or exhibiting violence or destructiveness
truculent
(fierce)

"The leader of the party gave a truculent speech against the opposition."
veracity
truthfulness, honesty
veracity
(truth)

"Veracity is the heart of morality."
evanescent
Vanishing or likely to vanish like vapor
evanescent
(to vanish)

"Noncooks think it's silly to invest two hours' work in two minutes' enjoyment; but if cooking is evanescent, so is the ballet."
feckless
lacking purpose or vitality; feeble or ineffective; careless and irresponsible
feckless
(effect + less)

"The attempt to secure the fortress was feckless at best."
upbraid
to reprove sharply; reproach
upbraid
(up + to turn)

"It is better to advise than upbraid, for the one corrects the erring; the other only convicts them."
taciturn
Habitually untalkative
taciturn
(silent)

"Nature is garrulous to the point of confusion, let the artist be truly taciturn."
inveterate
firmly and long established; deep-rooted: "inveterate preferences"; Persisting in an ingrained habit; habitual: "an inveterate liar"
inveterate
(in + to grow old)

"I am an inveterate homemaker, it is at once my pleasure, my recreation, and my handicap....being a woman, my work has had to be done between bouts of homemaking."
deposition
the act of deposing, as from high office; the act of depositing, especially the laying down of matter by a natural process; something deposited; a deposit; A formal declaration of truth or fact given under oath
deposition
(from + position)

"The old man had a nasty "disposition" (one's temperament) while giving the "deposition" (testimony given under oath) to the attorneys."
repine
to be discontented or low in spirits; complain or fret; to yearn after something: "Immigrants who repined for their homeland."
repine
(again + yearn)

"Shall any of us repine that it is our lot to live in perilous and sacrificial days?"
laconic
using or marked by the use of few words; terse or concise
laconic
(Lakon, a Spartan)

"Though the speech was laconic in nature, it told worlds about why it is important to follow directions."
deference
submission or courteous yielding to the opinion, wishes, or judgment of another; Courteous respect.
deference
(consideration)

"Great men always pay deference to greater."
opprobrious
Expressing contemptuous reproach; scornful or abusive: "opprobrious epithets";

Bringing disgrace; shameful or infamous: "opprobrious conduct"
opprobrious
(against + reproach)

"It was an opprobrious decision by the clan to torch the neighboring village."
polemical
Polemic; controversial; disputatious; argumentative
polemical
(war)

"The word pessimism was a polemical word - it described an attitude of general despair, which was supposed to color opinions and assessments of facts."

"The worst offense that can be committed by a polemic is to stigmatize those who hold a contrary opinion as bad and immoral men."
blithe
Carefree and lighthearted; Lacking or showing a lack of due concern; casual
blithe
(kind, friendly, merciful)

"He spoke with blithe ignorance of the true situation."
specious
Having the ring of truth or plausibility but actually fallacious: a specious argument; Deceptively attractive
specious
(appearance)

"If I am not mistaken, psychology, psychiatry and some branches of sociology, not to speak about the so-called philosophy of history, are even more affected by what I have called the scientific prejudice, and by specious claims of what science can achieve."
peremptory
Putting an end to all debate or action: "a peremptory decree"

Not allowing contradiction or refusal; imperative: "The officer issued peremptory commands."

Having the nature of or expressing a command; urgent: "The teacher spoke in a peremptory tone."

Offensively self-assured; dictatorial: "a swaggering, peremptory manner."
peremptory
(through + to obtain/buy)

"He would not, with a peremptory tone, Assert the nose upon his face his own."
millinery
Articles, especially women's hats, sold by a milliner.

The profession or business of a milliner.

accoutrements that are functionally unnecessary, such as a garnish on a dish, or the extra cuff-buttons on a man's dress jacket
millinery
(??)

"With such popular designs, the "millinery" (women's hats) were selling by the "millenary" (a group of 1,000 units)."
profligate
Given over to dissipation; dissolute.

Recklessly wasteful; wildly extravagant.
profligate
(forth/down + to strike)

"Nature is, above all, profligate. Don't believe them when they tell you how economical and thrifty nature is, whose leaves return to the soil."
dawdler
One who wastes time in trifling employments; an idler; a trifler.
dawdler
(diddle)

"The dawdler is always last to the trough."
debonair
Suave; urbane.

Affable; genial.

Carefree and gay; jaunty.
debonair
(of + good + lineage/family)

"Oh, that character was light years away from me. I'm not debonair. I'm not suave. I did wear tight pants, though, because I found out that it worked."
didactic
Intended to instruct.

Morally instructive.

Inclined to teach or moralize excessively.
didactic
(to teach/educate)

"In the opinion of many students, the professor's didactic approach was too heavy."
adulation
excessive praise; intense adoration
adulation
(to flatter)

"I savour the adulation and love I have been getting from my fans and the blessings of elders in my family."
ascetic
one who practices rigid self-denial; esp. as an act of religious devotion
ascetic
(monk, hermit)

"A commercial society whose members are essentially ascetic and indifferent in social ritual has to be provided with blueprints and specifications for evoking the right tone for every occasion. "
axiom
a universally recognized principle
axiom
(weighing as much)

"It has long been an axiom of mine that the little things are infinitely the most important."
bucolic
rustic and pastoral; characteristic of rural areas and their inhabitants
bucolic
(rustic, from buos: "cow")

"I am superstitious, not adventurous, sometimes clairvoyant especially where women are concerned, bad at hiding my feelings, and am immoderately amused at bucolic jests and the knockabout side of life in general."
castigation
severe criticism or punishment; chastise
castigation
(to make pure)

"If thou didst put this soure cold habit on To castigate thy pride, 'twere well."
caustic
burning or stinging; causing corrosion; Causing a burning or stinging sensation, as from intense emotion
caustic
(combustible, to burn)

"Most of all, there is caustic shame for my own stupidity"
chary
wary; cautious; sparing
chary
(full of care, careful)

"Your women of honor, as you call em, are only chary of their reputations, not their persons; and 'Tis scandal that they would avoid, not men."
cogent
appealing forcibly to the mind or reason; convincing
cogent
(to drive + together)

"The most cogent reason for restricting the interference of government is the great evil of adding unnecessarily to its power."
complaisance
the willingness to comply with the wishes of others
complaisance
(with + pleasure)

Their "complacence" (state of being satisfied with oneself) was unpleasant when compared to his "complaisance" (a willingness to please others)"
contentious
argumentative; quarrelsome; causing controversy or disagreement
contentious
(with + tension)

"Great wisdom is generous; petty wisdom is contentious. Great speech is impassioned, small speech cantankerous."
contrite
regretful; penitent; seeking forgiveness (n. contrition)
contrite
(together + to rub)

"The tender heart, the broken and contrite spirit, are to me far above all the joys that I could ever hope for in this vale of tears."
dearth
smallness of quantity or number; scarcity; a lack
dearth
(dear)

"I can remember swimming my horse through floodwaters to fetch the mail, and enjoying a dish of stewed nettles during a dearth of vegetables."
demur
to question or oppose; to raise objections
demur
(from + to delay)

"She may be "demure" (modest, shy, or coy) now about her role in the winning strategy, but later claim to "demur" from the boss's views about it."
discretion
cautious reserve in speech; ability to make responsible decisions (adj. discreet)
discretion
(to separate, distinguish)

"Discretion of speech is more than eloquence, and to speak agreeably to him with whom we deal is more than to speak in good words, or in good order."
disinterested
free of bias or self-interest; impartial (not "uninterested")
disinterested
(not + [self] interested)

"Supremely disinterested in all efforts to find a peaceful solution"
dogmatic
expressing a rigid opinion based on unproved or improvable principles (n. dogma)
dogmatic
(opinion, tenet)

"The truth of our faith becomes a matter of ridicule among the infidels if any Catholic, not gifted with the necessary scientific learning, presents as dogma what scientific scrutiny shows to be false."
eclectic
composed of elements drawn from various sources
eclectic
(out + to gather/choose)

"I like the eclectic feel of the game, the wide range of puzzles, so I'd keep that, even though it looks incoherent in places."
esoteric
intended for or understood by a small, specific group
esoteric
(within + small inner circle)

"Poetry can bridge that gap between what is solid and what is suggested; poetry can pull cogent meaning from the vaporous illusions of the esoteric."
facetious
playful, humourous
facetious
(witty, elegant)

"I don't want to sound facetious, but humour is the key to the soul. You know what I mean?"
furtive
marked by stealth; covert; surreptitious
furtive
(stolen, hidden, secret)

"Like the furtive collectors of stolen art, cell biologists are forced to be lonely admirers of spectacular architecture, exquisite symmetry, dramas of violence and death, mobility, self-sacrifice and, yes, rococo sex."
harangue
to deliver a pompous speech or tirade; a long pompous speech
harangue
(rings, public square)

"Continuing her harangue, she declared that the knowledge that this man still existed poisoned her very life."
hyperbole
an exaggerated statement, often used as a figure of speech
hyperbole
(beyond + to throw)

"First it's all hyperbole and over exaggeration; we went through that in the 1990s with the dot-com bubble. We really got quite 'techno-ecstatic.'"
incipient
beginning to come into being or to become apparent; (n. inception)

"Beginning to exist or appear: detecting incipient tumors; an incipient personnel problem.
incipient
(on + to take)

"It may be encountered in Wall Street, Main Street or Tobacco Road. Some even suspect that they can detect incipient traces of it along the Potomac."
intransigent
refusing to moderate a position, especially an extreme position; uncompromising
intransigent
(not + cross + drive)

"I believe we are going to have to prepare ourselves for the difficult and patient task of outgrowing rigid and intransigent nationalism, and work slowly towards a world federation of peaceful nations."
inveigle
to obtain by deception or flattery;

To obtain by cajolery: "inveigled a free pass to museum."

To win over by coaxing, flattery, or artful talk.

To beguile or draw into a wrong or foolish course of action: allure, entice, lure, seduce, tempt. Idioms: lead astray.
inveigle
(from + eye)

"[The ego's greatest triumph] is to inveigle us into believing its best interests are our best interests, and even into identifying our very survival with its own. This is a savage irony, considering that ego is at the root of all our suffering."
morose
sad; sullen; melancholy
morose
(habit, custom)

"In terms of my own film experience, I'm definitely used to morose and very heavy, heavy dramas."
penurious
penny-pinching; excessively thrifty; ungenerous
penurious
(poverty stricken)

"Talking of a penurious gentleman of our acquaintance, Johnson said, "Sir, he is narrow, not so much from avarice, as from impotence to spend his money. He cannot find in his heart to pour out a bottle of wine; but he would not much care if it should sour."
pernicious
extremely harmful; potentially causing death
pernicious
(completely + murder)

"In all history there is no war which was not hatched by the governments, the governments alone, independent of the interests of the people, to whom war is always pernicious even when successful."
preen
to dress up; to primp; to groom oneself with elaborate care
preen
(to trim/prune, as in falconry)

"For many of us, sport has provided the continuity in our lives, the alternative family to the one we left behind. It gives us something to talk about, to preen about, to care about."
fastidious
Possessing or displaying careful, meticulous attention to detail.

Difficult to please; exacting.

Excessively scrupulous or sensitive, especially in matters of taste or propriety.
fastidious
(contempt + disdain)

"There is one thing that matters — to set a chime of words tinkling in the minds of a few fastidious people."
prodigious
abundant in size, force, or extent; extraordinary
prodigious
(vast, enormous)

"I must have a prodigious quantity of mind; it takes me as much as a week sometimes to make it up."
prolific
producing large volumes or amounts; productive
prolific
(to make + offspring)

"Periods of tranquillity are seldom prolific of creative achievement. Mankind has to be stirred up."
quaff
to drink deeply
quaff
(to overindulge?)

"Or merry swains, who quaff the nut-brown ale, and sing enamoured of the nut-brown maid."
quiescence
stillness; motionlessness; quality of being at rest (adj. quiescent)
quiescence
(quiet)

"Uprisings of comparable magnitude took place in smaller cities as well, some of which went unanswered until after the Falluja battle was settled. But the Shia areas were quiescent at best."
redoubtable
awe-inspiring; worthy of honour
redoubtable
(intensifier + to be afraid of)

"For Memorial Day weekend, the redoubtable New York Post published hypothetical barbecue memos for the two contenders, with Mr. Bush favoring sausage and beer and Mr. Kerry opting for frogs legs, chardonnay and creme brulee."
sanction
authoritative permission or approval; a penalty intended to enforce compliance; to give permission or authority to
sanction
(to decree, to make sacred)

"Character is the basis of happiness and happiness the sanction of character."
torpid
lethargic; sluggish; dormant (n. torpor)
torpid
(numb or stiff)

"Novels so often provide an anodyne and not an antidote, glide one into torpid slumbers instead of rousing one with a burning brand."
urbane
sophisticated; refined; elegant
urbane
(belonging to a city)

"Who could deny that privacy is a jewel? It has always been the mark of privilege, the distinguishing feature of a truly urbane culture."
viscous
thick; sticky
viscous
(sticky)

"No man means all he says, and yet very few say all they mean, for words are slippery and thought is viscous."
acumen
keen, accurate judgment or insight
acumen
(a point, sting, to sharpen)

"You have to combine instinct with a good business acumen. You just can't be creative, and you just can't be analytical."
adulterate
to reduce purity by combining with inferior ingredients
adulterate
(pollute)

"The middlemen almost unconsciously adulterate the food which they supply."
aver
to state as a fact; to declare or assert
aver
(to + truth)

"If they hold thought to be dangerous - if they aver that doubt is a crime, then I attack them one and all, because they enslave the minds of men."
diatribe
a harsh denunciation
diatribe
(away + to wear)

"I would not be able to pen an academic and dry diatribe .I have too much talent for that."
dissemble
to disguise or conceal; to mislead; feign
dissemble
(from + likeness)

"In fact, the converse is true: At a time when the United States has been called on for a level of moral leadership, vision and inspiration not seen since World War II, we cannot afford to dissemble about crimes against humanity."
eccentric
departing from the norms or conventions
eccentric
(from + centre)

"I am not eccentric. It's just that I am more alive than most people. I am an unpopular electric eel set in a pond of goldfish."
endemic
characteristic of or often found in a particular locality, region, or people
endemic
(in + people)

"All of the hypocrisy and the difficulties that are endemic in being British also make it an incredibly fertile place culturally."
fortuitous
happening by accident or chance
fortuitous
(chance)

"It's good to keep in mind that prominence is always a mix of hard work, eloquence in your practice, good timing and fortuitous social relations. Everything can't be personalized."
germane
relevant to the subject at hand; appropriate in subject matter
germane
(having the same parents)

"So are my men. Their racism and homophobia is appalling, but it's germane to their characters, and people will either get that or not get it."
hackneyed
rendered trite or commonplace by frequent usage
hackneyed
()

"The cliche is a hackneyed idiom that hopes that it can still palm itself off as a fresh response.
halcyon
calm and peaceful; prosperous; golden
halcyon
(kingfisher; halcyon dayes: 14 days of calm at the winter solstice when the giant bird mates)

"My heart is like a rainbow shell That paddles in a halcyon sea."
"
iconoclast
one who attacks or undermines traditional conventions or institutions
iconoclast
(image + breaker)

"I think that every artist dreams of renewing the forms which came before, but I think very few can be considered to have achieved that. We are all dwarves standing upon the shoulders of the giants who preceded us, and I think we must never forget that. After all, even iconoclasts only exist with respect to that which they destroy."
idolatrous
given to intense or excessive devotion to something
idolatrous
(image + worship)

"That is not only bad foreign policy or presumptuous foreign policy - I would say it's idolatrous foreign policy to claim God's purpose for that mission. And in the language that Mr. Bush has used, he does this again and again and again."
impassive
revealing no emotion; expressionless; archaic; incapable of physical sensation; motionless; still
impassive
(not + subject to emotion)

"The judge was impassive during closing arguments of the case."
inchoate
in an initial stage; not fully formed
inchoate
(on + to strap, as a hitch)

"Twentieth-century art may start with nothing, but it flourishes by virtue of its belief in itself, in the possibility of control over what seems essentially uncontrollable, in the coherence of the inchoate, and in its ability to create its own values."
insipid
without taste or flavour; lacking in spirit; bland; lacking qualities that excite, stimulate, or interest; dull.
insipid
(not + tasty)

"Uncertainty and expectation are the joys of life. Security is an insipid thing."
mitigate
to make or become less severe or intense; to moderate
mitigate
(gentle, soft + to make)

"This is an opportunity to look in-depth at the specific issues of long-term climate change, and the lessons that our paleontologists have shown about the risks of abrupt climate change and the issues of new energy systems to mitigate or avert some of the great risks that lie ahead."
obdurate
unyielding; hardhearted; intractable
obdurate
(against + to harden)

"Her obdurate demeanor left them no choice but to give up their plan and go home."
obsequious
exhibiting a fawning attentiveness
obsequious
(after + following)

"Those men are most apt to be obsequious and conciliating abroad, who are under the discipline of shrews at home."
occlude
to obstruct or block; to cause to become closed; obstruct: "occlude an artery."

"To prevent the passage of: "occlude light"; "occlude the flow of blood."
occlude
(up + to shut)

"The doctor occluded the flow of blood."
opprobrium
disgrace; contempt; scorn
opprobrium
(against + reproach)

"The terms of opprobrium were based on Marxism rather than fascism, but the intent was the same: to eradicate the Jews."
pedantic
overly concerned with the trivial details of learning or education; show-offish about one's knowledge
pedantic
(teacher)

"Nothing is as peevish and pedantic as men's judgments of one another."
pine
to yearn intensely; to languish; to lose vigor
pine
(to suffer pain)

"Your grace's subjects pine away even unto death, their colour fadeth, their flesh rotteth, their speech is benumbed, their senses are bereft."
pithy
precise and brief
pithy
(essential part)

"Pithy sentences are like sharp nails which force truth upon our memory."
prodigal
recklessly wasteful; extravagant; profuse; lavish
prodigal
(forth + to drive)

"Love never reasons, but profusely gives; it gives like a thoughtless prodigal its all, and then trembles least it has done to little."
profuse
given or coming forth abundantly; extravagant
profuse
(forth + to pour)

"As regards the naumes of stations, it must be observed that the Somali, like the Bedouins of Arabia, the Todas of the Neilgherry hills, and other wild races, are profuse in nomenclature of every feature of ground."
querulous
prone to complaining or grumbling; peevish
querulous
(to complain/quarrel)

"That some are poorer than others, ever was and ever will be: And that many are naturally querulous and envious, is an Evil as old as the World."
rancorous
characterized by bitter, long-lasting resentment (n. rancor)
rancorous
(bitterness, to stink)

"Unfortunately, you know, working in a spirit of cooperation and respect requires someone else to reach back, and I don't think that's happened and it's been disappointing because the debate in our country has become so rancorous."
recalcitrant
obstinately defiant of authority; difficult to manage
recalcitrant
(back + to kick)

"If they lingered too long, Clarice hurried them along in the same annoyed way she rushed recalcitrant goats through the gate."
repudiate
to refuse to have anything to do with; disown
repudiate
(back away + by foot)

"If a man like Malcolm X could change and repudiate racism, if I myself and other former Muslims can change, if young whites can change, then there is hope for America."
rhetorical
characterized by the art or study of effective use of language for communication and persuasion
rhetorical
(oratory)

"Wealth, religion, military victory have more rhetorical than efficacious worth."
salubrious
promoting health or well-being
salubrious
(health, welfare)

"On the contrary, a trust in the staying power and travel-worthiness of such good should encourage us to credit the possibility of a world where respect for the validity of every tradition will issue in the creation and maintenance of a salubrious political space."
surfeit
an overabundant supply; excess; to feed or supply to excess
surfeit
(over + to do)

"Our country obviously has a surfeit of capital, which is why so many companies were able to come public during this period."
tenuous
having little substance or strength; flimsy; weak
tenuous
(thin)

"The vague and tenuous hope that God is too kind to punish the ungodly has become a deadly opiate for the consciences of millions."
tirade
a long and extremely critical speech; a harsh denunciation
tirade
(to draw, shoot)

"Anger begins as an inner twinge. We sense something long before it blossoms (explodes?) into an emotional tirade."
scad
A large number or amount. Often used in the plural
scad
(unknown)

"Scads of people are in the hall."
parsimony
1. Unusual or excessive frugality; extreme economy or stinginess.
2. Adoption of the simplest assumption in the formulation of a theory or in the interpretation of data, especially in accordance with the rule of Ockham's razor.
parsimony
(to spare)

"Mere parsimony is not economy. Expense, and great expense, may be an essential part in true economy."
abrogate
To abolish, do away with, or annul, especially by authority.
abrogate
(away + to ask)

"God leaves to Man the choice of Forms in Government; and those who constitute one Form, may abrogate it."
restive
1. Uneasily impatient under restriction, opposition, criticism, or delay.
2. Resisting control; difficult to control.
3. Refusing to move. Used of a horse or other animal.
restive
(back + to stand/stay)

"By the end of the impeachment process even the New York Times had grown slightly restive."
prevaricate
To stray from or evade the truth; equivocate.
prevaricate
(through + to straddle)

"Journalism has a similar obligation, particularly with men and women suddenly transferred to places of great power, who are often led to exaggerate and prevaricate, all in the name of a supposedly greater good."
bilk
To defraud, cheat, or swindle: made millions bilking wealthy clients on art sales.
b. To evade payment of: bilk one's debts.
2. To thwart or frustrate: "Fate . . . may be to a certain extent bilked" Thomas Carlyle.
3. To elude.
bilk
(alteration of "balk")

"The idea is to bilk the public, as anyone may say without fear of libel."
occlude
1. To cause to become closed; obstruct: occlude an artery.
2. To prevent the passage of: occlude light; occlude the flow of blood.
3. Chemistry To absorb or adsorb and retain (a substance).
4. Meteorology To force (air) upward from the earth's surface, as when a cold front overtakes and undercuts a warm front.
5. Dentistry To bring together (the upper and lower teeth) in proper alignment for chewing.
v.intr. Dentistry
To close so that the cusps fit together. Used of the teeth of the upper and lower jaws.
occlude
(from + to close)

"It consisted of a narrow armlet to occlude the brachial artery."
tractable
1. Easily managed or controlled; governable.
2. Easily handled or worked; malleable.
tractable
(to draw)

"Because the medium is tractable, we expect few difficulties in implementation; hence our pervasive optimism."
sumptuous
Of a size or splendor suggesting great expense; lavish
sumptuous
(expense)

"It is very grand and sumptuous and awesome to look at but it was really about the characters for me."
apotheosis
1. Exaltation to divine rank or stature; deification.
2. Elevation to a preeminent or transcendent position; glorification: "Many observers have tried to attribute Warhol's current apotheosis to the subversive power of artistic vision" Michiko Kakutani.
3. An exalted or glorified example: Their leader was the apotheosis of courage.
apotheosis
(change + to god)

"Rome was so mighty that it could not fall. It had to vanish in a cloud, like so many of the mythical heros of antiquity, and to receive its apotheosis among the stars before men became fully aware that it had vanished from the earth!"
stilted
1. Stiffly or artificially formal; stiff.
2. Architecture: Having some vertical length between the impost and the beginning of the curve. Used of an arch.
stilted
(??)

"As far as the trades go, I want to avoid how comics have captions or just really stilted dialogue at the beginning of the pages."
credit
1. Belief or confidence in the truth of something. See Synonyms at belief.
2. A reputation for sound character or quality; standing: It is to their credit that they worked so hard without complaining.
3. A source of honor or distinction: This exceptional athlete is a credit to our team.
4. Recognition or approval for an act, ability, or quality: gave them credit for a job well done.
5. Influence based on the good opinion or confidence of others.
6. An acknowledgment of work done, as in the production of a motion picture or publication. Often used in the plural: At the end of the film we stayed to watch the credits.
7.
a. Official certification or recognition that a student has successfully completed a course of study: He received full credit for his studies at a previous school.
b. A unit of study so certified: This course carries three credits.
8. Reputation for solvency and integrity entitling a person to be trusted in buying or borrowing: You should have no trouble getting the loan if your credit is good.
9.
a. An arrangement for deferred payment of a loan or purchase: a store that offers credit; bought my stereo on credit.
b. The terms governing such an arrangement: low prices and easy credit.
c. The time allowed for deferred payment: an automatic 30-day credit on all orders.
10. Accounting
a. The deduction of a payment made by a debtor from an amount due.
b. The right-hand side of an account on which such amounts are entered.
c. An entry or the sum of the entries on this side.
d. The positive balance or amount remaining in a person's account.
e. A credit line.
credit
(to entrust)

"Giving credit where credit is due is a very rewarding habit to form. Its rewards are inestimable."
chary
1. Very cautious; wary: was "chary of the risks involved"
2. Not giving or expending freely; sparing: "was chary of compliments."
chary
(care)

"Your women of honor, as you call em, are only chary of their reputations, not their persons; and 'Tis scandal that they would avoid, not men."
stupefy
1. To dull the senses or faculties of. Synonym "daze".
2. To amaze; astonish.
stupefy
(to be stunned + to make)

"The almost insoluble task is to let neither the power of others, nor our own powerlessness, stupefy us."
asperity
1. a. Roughness or harshness, as of surface, sound, or climate: the asperity of northern winters.
b. Severity; rigor.
2. A slight projection from a surface; a point or bump.
3. Harshness of manner; ill temper or irritability.
asperity
(rough)

"Those who appear gentle are, in general, only a weak character, which easily changes into asperity."

"The nakedness and asperity of the wintry world always fills the beholder with pensive and profound astonishment."
insipid
1. without distinctive, interesting, or stimulating qualities; vapid: an insipid personality.
2. without sufficient taste to be pleasing, as food or drink; bland: a rather insipid soup.
insipid
(not + taste)

"At times one remains faithful to a cause only because its opponents do not cease to be insipid."
candor
the state or quality of being frank, open, and sincere in speech or expression; candidness: The candor of the speech impressed the audience.
2. freedom from bias; fairness; impartiality: to consider an issue with candor.
candor
(shinning white/incandescent)

"Candor and generosity, unless tempered by due moderation, leads to ruin."
didactic
1. intended for instruction; instructive: didactic poetry.
2. inclined to teach or lecture others too much: a boring, didactic speaker.
3. teaching or intending to teach a moral lesson.
4. didactics, (used with a singular verb) the art or science of teaching.
didactic
(that might be taught)

"The flowery style is not unsuitable to public speeches or addresses, which amount only to compliment. The lighter beauties are in their place when there is nothing more solid to say; but the flowery style ought to be banished from a pleading, a sermon, or a didactic work."
reprisal
1. (in warfare) retaliation against an enemy, for injuries received, by the infliction of equal or greater injuries.
2. an act or instance of retaliation.
3. the action or practice of using force, short of war, against another nation, to secure redress of a grievance.
4. the forcible seizure of property or subjects in retaliation.
reprisal
(back + to take)

"Natural fighters, conducting a war of spoliation and reprisal,-through the brush,-trained to quick sorties and deadly ambuscades, how easily they drifted as their instincts inclined, and became guerrillas by an irresistible combination of circumstances, such as I have explained."
apostate
1. a person who forsakes his religion, cause, party, etc.
apostate
(apart + to stand)

"This opinion, however, is held by most, that the devil was an angel, and that, having become an apostate, he induced as many of the angels as possible to fall away with himself, and these up to the present time are called his angels."
soporific
1. causing or tending to cause sleep.
2. pertaining to or characterized by sleep or sleepiness; sleepy; drowsy.
–noun
3. something that causes sleep, as a medicine or drug.
soporific
(deep sleep)

"It is said that the effect of eating too much lettuce is 'soporific'."
dilatory
# Intended to delay.
# Tending to postpone or delay: dilatory in his work habits.
dilatory
(apart + to carry)

"Lose this day loitering, 'twill be the same story Tomorrow, and the rest more dilatory; Thus, indecision brings its own delays And days are lost lamenting over days, Are you in earnest? Seize this very moment; What you can do, or dream you can, begin it."
felicitous
1. Admirably suited; apt: a felicitous comparison.
2. Exhibiting an agreeably appropriate manner or style: a felicitous writer.
3. Marked by happiness or good fortune: a felicitous life.
felicitous
(lucky)

"We do this sort of thing most weekends anyway, said a lean rebel with gunpowder smudges on his face and the felicitous name of Troy Cool."
proselyte
a person who has changed from one opinion, religious belief, sect, or the like, to another; convert

neophyte, disciple
proselyte
(through + to go)?

"Fresh confidence the speculatist takes From every harebrained proselyte he makes."
exigency
1. The state or quality of requiring much effort or immediate action.
2. A pressing or urgent situation. See synonyms at crisis.
3. Urgent requirements; pressing needs. Often used in the plural.

An exigency may justify speeding to the hospital with a critically ill person, or breaking into someone's home to secure shelter from life-threatening harm.
exigency
(out + to drive)

"Finally, in late 1961 and early 1962, naked exigency forced the Chinese Communist Party to recognize the extent of the crisis it had created. The most deadly innovations from the Great Leap Forward were quietly abandoned or reversed; almost immediately, this artificially manufactured famine came to an end.
prolix
# Tediously prolonged; wordy: editing a prolix manuscript.
# Tending to speak or write at excessive length
prolix
(forth + to pour)

"The French, I think, in general, are strangely prolix in their natural history."
terse
Brief and to the point; effectively concise: a terse one-word answer.
terse
(to cleanse)

"The vocabulary of `Bradshaw' is nervous and terse, but limited."
trenchant
1. Forceful, effective, and vigorous: a trenchant argument; incisive.
2. Caustic; cutting: trenchant criticism.
3. Distinct; clear-cut.
trenchant
(to cut)

"Boxing is a celebration of the lost religion of masculinity all the more trenchant for its being lost."
truculent
1. Disposed to fight; pugnacious.
2. Expressing bitter opposition; scathing: a truculent speech against the new government.
3. Disposed to or exhibiting violence or destructiveness; fierce.
truculent
(fierce)

"The leader of the party gave a truculent speech against the opposition."
abeyance
1. The condition of being temporarily set aside; suspension: held the plan in abeyance.
2. Law. A condition of undetermined ownership, as of an estate that has not yet been assigned.
abeyance
(from + to open out/gape)

"In writing the history of a disease, every philosophical hypothesis whatsoever, that has previously occupied the mind of the author, should lie in abeyance."
palliate
1. To make (an offense or crime) seem less serious; extenuate.
2. To make less severe or intense; mitigate: tried unsuccessfully to palliate the widespread discontent.
3. To relieve the symptoms of a disease or disorder.
palliate
(to cloak)

"It's a palliative. The remedy is death."
brook
To put up with; tolerate
brook
(to use, enjoy)

"We will brook no further argument."
reticent
1. Inclined to keep one's thoughts, feelings, and personal affairs to oneself. See synonyms at silent.
2. Restrained or reserved in style.
3. Reluctant; unwilling.
reticent
(more + to be silent)

"The student was reticent to express his opinions and ideas in class discussions."
sanguine
1.
1. Of the color of blood; red.
2. Of a healthy reddish color; ruddy: a sanguine complexion.
2. Archaic.
1. Having blood as the dominant humor in terms of medieval physiology.
2. Having the temperament and ruddy complexion formerly thought to be characteristic of a person dominated by this humor; passionate.
3. Cheerfully confident; optimistic.
sanguine
(blood)

"They act as if they supposed that to be very sanguine about the general improvement of mankind is a virtue that relieves them from taking trouble about any improvement in particular."
recreant
1. Unfaithful or disloyal to a belief, duty, or cause.
2. Craven or cowardly.
recreant
(again + to believe)

"Or has she been recreant in hailing the motto of liberty that at the first step she takes practically to claim the recognition of her rights she is rewarded."
exhort
To urge by strong, often stirring argument, admonition, advice, or appeal: exhorted the troops to hold the line.
exhort
(from + to encourage)

"I exhort you also to take part in the great combat, which is the combat of life, and greater than every other earthly conflict."
extol
To praise highly; exalt; praise
extol
(from + to lift)

"I find that there are few reviews that extol women as wonderful"
diffident
1. Lacking or marked by a lack of self-confidence; shy and timid.
2. Reserved in manner.
diffident
(not + trust)

"He lived naturally in a condition that many greater poets never had, or if they had it, were embarrassed or diffident about it: a total commitment to his own powers of invention, a complete loss of himself in his materials."
sycophantic
fawning, obsequious;

A servile self-seeker who attempts to win favor by flattering influential people.
sycophantic
(a fig + to show)

"The billionaire refused to be surrounded by sycophants."
deference
# Submission or courteous yielding to the opinion, wishes, or judgment of another.
# Courteous respect.
deference
(before + to bear)

"Great men always pay deference to greater."
spurious
1. not genuine, authentic, or true; not from the claimed, pretended, or proper source; counterfeit.
2. Biology. (of two or more parts, plants, etc.) having a similar appearance but a different structure.
3. of illegitimate birth; bastard.
spurious
(bastard)

"Some of these graves are clearly spurious and were manufactured by nineteenth-century royalists who wanted evidence of an unbroken 2,000-year-old imperial line."
chicanery
Deception by trickery or sophistry.
chicanery
(to quibble)

"The aging system of American-style democracy is beset in too many places by dry rot, cynicism, chicanery and fraud. It's due for an overhaul."
self-effacement
Reserve in speech, behavior, or dress: demureness, diffidence, modesty, reticence.
self-effacement
(self + away from + to face)

"Those who are silent, self-effacing and attentive become the recipients of confidences."
discomfit
1. To make uneasy or perplexed; disconcert; embarrass.
2. To thwart the plans of; frustrate.
3. Archaic. To defeat in battle; vanquish.
discomfit
(away from + to make)

"Younger siblings have an easy time discomfiting their brothers and sisters."
diffident
1. Lacking or marked by a lack of self-confidence; shy and timid. See synonyms at shy1.
2. Reserved in manner.
diffident
(without + trust/faith)

"It is this generation's catchword, one only vaguely understood and constantly misused. Frigid women are few. There is a host of diffident and slow-ripening ones."
abjure
1. To recant solemnly; renounce or repudiate: “For nearly 21 years after his resignation as Prime Minister in 1963, he abjured all titles, preferring to remain just plain ‘Mr.’” (Time).
2. To renounce under oath; forswear.
abjure
(from + to swear)

"The heavens rejoice in motion, why should I abjure my so much loved variety."
agog
Full of keen anticipation or excitement; eager.
agog
(in + merriment)

"I was agape and agog at the technological stuff that is available to us now."
pedagogue
1. A schoolteacher; an educator.
2. One who instructs in a pedantic or dogmatic manner.
pedagogue
(boy + to lead)

"If the experimentalist would not commit himself, the social philosopher, the preacher, and the pedagogue tried the harder to give a short-cut answer."
aphorism
1. A tersely phrased statement of a truth or opinion; an adage; a saying.
2. A brief statement of a principle.
aphorism
(away from + the horizon)

"Victor's favorite aphorism is, 'A penny saved is a penny earned.' "
preciosity
1. Extreme meticulousness or overrefinement, as in language, taste, or style.
2. An instance of extreme meticulousness or overrefinement.
preciosity
(price)

"That she calls the fairy-tale vogue "second preciosity" is a strategy to firmly inscribe fairy tales authored by women within the precious movement, pointing furthermore to the continuation of this movement beyond the temporal confines literary historians traditionally have given it."
abstruse
Difficult to understand; recondite. See synonyms at ambiguous.
abstruse
(away + to push)

"An 'abstruse' professor may be deep, profound, and hard to understand. Unfortunately, some of her students are 'obtuse,' or dull and slow-witted."
obtuse
1. Lacking quickness of perception or intellect.
2. Characterized by a lack of intelligence or sensitivity: an obtuse remark.
3. Not distinctly felt: an obtuse pain.
2.
1. Not sharp, pointed, or acute in form; blunt.
2. Having an obtuse angle: an obtuse triangle.
3. Botany. Having a blunt or rounded tip: an obtuse leaf.
obtuse
(against + to beat)

"Am an attendant lord, one that will do...Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse; At times, indeed, almost ridiculous— Almost, at times, the Fool."
obtrude
1. To impose (oneself or one's ideas) on others with undue insistence or without invitation.
2. To thrust out; push forward.
obtrude
(against + to thrust)

"I can't do with mountains at close quarters - they are always in the way, and they are so stupid, never moving and never doing anything but obtrude themselves."
fastidious
1. Possessing or displaying careful, meticulous attention to detail.
2. Difficult to please; exacting.
3. Excessively scrupulous or sensitive, especially in matters of taste or propriety. See synonyms at meticulous.
4. Microbiology. Having complicated nutritional requirements.
fastidious
(haughtiness)

"There is one thing that matters — to set a chime of words tinkling in the minds of a few fastidious people."
pithy
1. Precisely meaningful; forceful and brief: a pithy comment.
2. Consisting of or resembling pith (short stem/essential component).
pithy
(heart/essence)

"Pithy sentences are like sharp nails which force truth upon our memory."
recriminate
To accuse in return.
v.intr.

To counter one accusation with another.
recriminate
(in return + to accuse)

"Experience informs us that the first defense of weak minds is to recriminate."
hortatory
Marked by exhortation or strong urging: a hortatory speech.
hortatory
(to encourage)

"I mean he was more declamatory and more hortatory than I've ever been."
dogmatic
1. Relating to, characteristic of, or resulting from dogma.
2. Characterized by an authoritative, arrogant assertion of unproved or unprovable principles. See synonyms at dictatorial.
dogmatic
(belief)

"When people are the least sure, they are often the most dogmatic."
admonish
1. To reprove gently but earnestly.
2. To counsel (another) against something to be avoided; caution.
3. To remind of something forgotten or disregarded, as an obligation or a responsibility.
admonish
(to warn)

"Admonish your friends privately, but praise them openly."
adulterate
To make impure by adding extraneous, improper, or inferior ingredients.

Spurious
adulterate
(to + pollute)

"The chemist needed to be sure that he didn't have an adulterated mixture."
alacrity
1. Cheerful willingness; eagerness.
2. Speed or quickness; celerity.
alacrity
(lively)

"I feel, thank God, no abatement of the alacrity and ardour of my mind for the propagation of the truth."
antipathy
1. A strong feeling of aversion or repugnance; enmity
2. An object of aversion.
antipathy
(against + feeling)

"Sympathy constitutes friendship; but in love there is a sort of antipathy, or opposing passion."
ascetic
A person who renounces material comforts and leads a life of austere self-discipline, especially as an act of religious devotion.
adj.

1. Leading a life of self-discipline and self-denial, especially for spiritual improvement. See synonyms at severe.
2. Pertaining to or characteristic of an ascetic; self-denying and austere: an ascetic existence.
ascetic
(hermit/monk/to work)

"This severe, ascetic music, calm and horizontal as the line of the ocean, monotonous by virtue of its serenity, anti-sensuous, and yet so intense in its contemplativeness that it verges sometimes on ecstasy."
assiduous
1. Constant in application or attention; diligent: an assiduous worker who strove for perfection; busy.
2. Unceasing; persistent: assiduous research.
assiduous
(to sit)

"I was never a very assiduous collector, I was more the kid who kind of looked over other kids' shoulders at their collections."
banal
Drearily commonplace and often predictable; trite:
banal
(summons to military service)

"Blunt language cannot hide a banal conception"
buttress
1. A structure, usually brick or stone, built against a wall for support or reinforcement.
2. Something resembling a buttress, as:
1. The flared base of certain tree trunks.
2. A horny growth on the heel of a horse's hoof.
3. Something that serves to support, prop, or reinforce
buttress
(to strike against)

"The law is by its very nature a buttress of the status quo"
burnish
1. To make smooth or glossy by or as if by rubbing; polish.
2. To rub with a tool that serves especially to smooth or polish.
burnish
(shining)

"I suspect that many corporations have begun to understand that they have an important role to play in the lives of their communities, and that allocating funds to support local groups helps them discharge that function and also burnish their image."
bombastic
Characterized by bombast; high-sounding; inflated.

Turgid; tumid; pompous; grandiloquent.
bombastic
(cotton padding)

"The principle of exclusiveness of a political everything-or-nothing, mythical Messiah-belief in the bombastic Fuehrer who alone is destined to direct fate, gives it the character of a political sect."
caustic
1. Capable of burning, corroding, dissolving, or eating away by chemical action.
2. Corrosive and bitingly trenchant; cutting. See synonyms at sarcastic.
3. Causing a burning or stinging sensation, as from intense emotion:
caustic
(to burn)

"Most of all, there is caustic shame for my own stupidity"
chicanery
Deception by trickery or sophistry.
chicanery
(to quibble)

"The aging system of American-style democracy is beset in too many places by dry rot, cynicism, chicanery and fraud. It's due for an overhaul."
sophistry
1. Plausible but fallacious argumentation.
2. A plausible but misleading or fallacious argument.
sophistry
(from the Sophist school of philosophy)

"Abuse of words has been the great instrument of sophistry and chicanery, of party, faction, and division of society."
contrite
1. Feeling regret and sorrow for one's sins or offenses; penitent.
2. Arising from or expressing contrition: contrite words.
contrite
(with + to grind)

"The tender heart, the broken and contrite spirit, are to me far above all the joys that I could ever hope for in this vale of tears."
trite
1. Lacking power to evoke interest through overuse or repetition; hackneyed.
2. Archaic. Frayed or worn out by use.
trite
(to wear out)

"It is by vivacity and wit that man shines in company; but trite jokes and loud laughter reduce him to a buffoon."
craven
Characterized by abject fear; cowardly.
craven
(to crack, to creak)

"America-bashing is addictive, born of power envy and nurtured by power lust among the weak, the cowardly and craven."
deference
1. Submission or courteous yielding to the opinion, wishes, or judgment of another.
2. Courteous respect; honor.
deference
(from + to bring)

"We show deference to the civil authorities when they respect the divine origin of their power and when they serve the people with objective reference to the law of God."
denigrate
1. To attack the character or reputation of; speak ill of; defame.
2. To disparage; belittle: The critics have denigrated our efforts.
denigrate
(from + to blacken)

"We should never denigrate any other culture but rather help people to understand the relationship between their own culture and the dominant culture. When you understand another culture or language, it does not mean that you have to lose your own."
desultory
1. Having no set plan; haphazard or random. See synonyms at chance.
2. Moving or jumping from one thing to another; disconnected: a desultory speech.
desultory
(from + to jump)

"If the first committing to memory is a very careful and long continued one, the difference will be greater than if it is desultory and soon abandoned."
diatribe
A bitter, abusive denunciation.
diatribe
(completely + to rub/wear out)

"Everybody felt uncomfortable after such an unprovoked diatribe."
diffidence
The quality or state of being diffident; timidity or shyness.

Opposite of confidence
diffidence
(without + trust)

"Ability hits the mark where presumption over-shoots and diffidence falls short."
dirge
1. Music.
1. A funeral hymn or lament.
2. A slow, mournful musical composition.
2. A mournful or elegiac poem or other literary work.
3. Roman Catholic Church. The Office of the Dead.
dirge
(to direct)

"In the end, one or the other will triumph — a funeral dirge will be sung over the Soviet republic or over world capitalism."
disabuse
To free from a falsehood or misconception:
disabuse
(from + abuse)

"Nothing like being visible, publishing one's work, and speaking openly about one's life, to disabuse the world of the illusion of one's perfection and purity."
disparage
1. To speak of in a slighting or disrespectful way; belittle; decry.
2. To reduce in esteem or rank.
disparage
(from + high birth)

"When men are full of envy they disparage everything, whether it be good or bad."
disparate
1. Fundamentally distinct or different in kind; entirely dissimilar: “This mixture of apparently disparate materials—scandal and spiritualism, current events and eternal recurrences—is not promising on the face of it” (Gary Wills).
2. Containing or composed of dissimilar or opposing elements: a disparate group of people who represented a cross section of the city.
disparate
(apart + to prepare)

"Throughout the ages, stories with certain basic themes have recurred over and over, in widely disparate cultures."
dissemble
1. To disguise or conceal behind a false appearance. See synonyms at disguise.
2. To make a false show of; feign.
dissemble
(from + to appear)

"Perhaps it was right to dissemble your love, But — why did you kick me down stairs?"
distend
To swell out or expand from or as if from internal pressure.

To stretch

v.tr.

1. To cause to expand by or as if by internal pressure; dilate.
2. To extend.
distend
(from + to stretch)

"He chose to distend his sweater so as to be able to carry home all the apples."
effrontery
Brazen boldness; presumptuousness.
effrontery
(from + front)

"The advice that is wanted is commonly not welcome and that which is not wanted, evidently an effrontery."
endemic
1. Prevalent in or peculiar to a particular locality, region, or people: diseases endemic to the tropics. See synonyms at native.
2. Ecology. Native to or confined to a certain region.
endemic
(to go into + people)

"All of the hypocrisy and the difficulties that are endemic in being British also make it an incredibly fertile place culturally."
ephemeral
1. Lasting for a markedly brief time

2. Living or lasting only for a day, as certain plants or insects do.
ephemeral
(around + day)

"There remain some truths too ephemeral to be captured in the cold pages of a court transcript"
equanimity
The quality of being calm and even-tempered; composure.
equanimity
(equal + mind)

"It is far better to take things as they come along with patience and equanimity."
erudite
Characterized by erudition; learned.
erudite
(from + being untaught)

"An erudite fool is a greater fool than an ignorant fool."
esoteric
1.
1. Intended for or understood by only a particular group: an esoteric cult. See synonyms at mysterious.
2. Of or relating to that which is known by a restricted number of people.
2.
1. Confined to a small group: esoteric interests.
2. Not publicly disclosed; confidential.
esoteric
(within)

"My esoteric doctrine, is that if you entertain any doubt, it is safest to take the unpopular side in the first instance."
exigency
1. The state or quality of requiring much effort or immediate action.
2. A pressing or urgent situation. See synonyms at crisis.
3. Urgent requirements; pressing needs. Often used in the plural.
exigency
(from + to demand)

"But rearing and educating babies required women to prepare for exigencies that could occur decades down the road."
extant
1. Still in existence; not destroyed, lost, or extinct: extant manuscripts.
2. Archaic. Standing out; projecting.
extant
(from + to stand)

"There is not a single extant study that supports all the arguments against men being with their children. It's absolute bollocks."
fatuous
Foolish or silly, especially in a smug or self-satisfied way: “‘Don't you like the poor lonely bachelor?’ he yammered in a fatuous way”

Displaying a complete lack of forethought and good sense: brainless, foolish, insensate, mindless, senseless, silly, unintelligent, weak-minded, witless.
fatuous
(foolish, insipid)

"Are we to be the slaves of the sun, that second-hand, overrated knob of gilt, or of his sister, that fatuous circle of silver paper?"
foment
1. To promote the growth of; incite.
2. To treat (the skin, for example) by fomentation.
foment
(to warm)

"Jackals are CIA-sanctioned people that come in and try to foment a coup or revolution. If that doesn't work, they perform assassinations"
forestall
1. To delay, hinder, or prevent by taking precautionary measures beforehand. See synonyms at prevent.
2. To deal with or think of beforehand; anticipate.
3. To prevent or hinder normal sales in (a market) by buying up merchandise, discouraging persons from bringing their goods to market, or encouraging an increase in prices in goods already on sale.
forestall
(fore + position)

"Is it hard for the reader to believe that suicides are sometimes committed to forestall the committing of murder?"
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