V. lower; humiliate. Defeated, Queen Zenobia was forced to abase herself before the conquering Romans, who made her march in chains before the emperor in the procession celebrating his triumph. abasement, N.
V. embarrass. He was not at all abashed by her open admiration.
V. subside; decrease, lessen. Rather than leaving immediately, they waited for the storm to abate. abatement, N.
V. shorten. Because we were running out of time, the lecturer had to abbreviate her speech.
V. renounce; give up. When Edward VIII abdicated the British throne to marry the woman he loved, he surprised the entire world.
N. kidnapping. The movie Ransom describes the attempts to rescue a multimillionaire's son after the child's abduction by kidnappers. abduct,V.
N. abnormal or deviant. Given the aberrant nature of the data, we doubted the validity of the entire experiment. also N.
V. aid, usually in doing something wrong; encourage. She was unwilling to abet him in the swindle he had planned.
N. suspended action. The deal was held in abeyance until her arrival.
V. detest; hate. She abhorred all forms of bigotry. abhorrence, N.
ADJ. wretched; lacking pride. On the streets of New York the homeless live in abject poverty, huddling in doorways to find shelter from the wind.
V. renounce upon oath. He abjured his allegiance to the king. abjuration, N.
N. washing. His daily ablutions were accompanied by loud noises that he humorously labeled "Opera in the Bath."
N. repudiation; self-sacrifice. No act of abnegation was more pronounced than his refusal of any rewards for his discovery.
V. cancel; put an end to. The president of the college refused to abolish the physical education requirement. abolition, N.
ADJ. detestable; extremely unpleasant; very bad. Mary liked John until she learned he was dating Susan; then she called him an abominable young man, with abominable taste in women.
ADJ., N. being the first of its kind in a region; primitive; native. Her studies of the primitive art forms of the aboriginal Indians were widely reported in the scientific journals. aborigines, N.
ADJ. unsuccessful; fruitless. Attacked by armed troops, the Chinese students had to abandon their abortive attempt to democratize Beijing peacefully. abort,V.
V. wear away by friction; scrape; erode. The sharp rocks abraded the skin on her legs, so she put iodine on her abrasions.
ADJ. rubbing away; tending to grind down. Just as abrasive cleaning powders can wear away a shiny finish, abrasive remarks can wear away a listener's patience. abrade,V.
V. condense or shorten. Because the publishers felt the public wanted a shorter version of War and Peace, they proceeded to abridge the novel.
ADJ. abolish. He intended to abrogate the decree issued by his predecessor.
V. depart secretly and hide. The teller who absconded with the bonds went uncaptured until someone recognized him from his photograph on "America's Most Wanted."
ADJ. complete; totally unlimited; certain. Although the King of Siam was an absolute monarch, he did not want to behead his unfaithful wife without absolute evidence of her infidelity.
V. pardon (an offense). The father confessor absolved him of his sins. absolution, N.
V. assimilate or incorporate; suck or drink up; wholly engage. During the nineteenth century, America absorbed hordes of immigrants, turning them into productive citizens. Can Huggies diapers absorb more liquid than Pampers can? This question does not absorb me; instead, it bores me. absorption, N.
V. refrain; hold oneself back voluntarily from an action or practice. After considering the effect of alcohol on his athletic performance, he decided to abstain from drinking while he trained for the race. abstinence, N.
ADJ. sparing in eating and drinking; temperate. Concerned whether her vegetarian son's abstemious diet provided him with sufficient protein, the worried mother pressed food on him.
N. restraint from eating or drinking. The doctor recommended total abstinence from salted foods. abstain,V.
ADJ. theoretical; not concrete; nonrepresentational. To him, hunger was an abstract concept; he had never missed a meal.