N. convenient features; courtesies. In addition to the customary amenities for the business traveler-fax machines, modems, a health club-the hotel offers the services of a butler versed in the social amenities.
ADJ. agreeable; lovable; warmly friendly. In Little Women, Beth is the amiable daughter whose loving disposition endears her to all who know her.
ADJ. politely friendly; not quarrelsome. Beth's sister Jo is the hot-tempered tomboy who has a hard time maintaining amicable relations with those around her. Jo's quarrel with her friend Laurie finally reaches an amicable settlement, but not because Jo turns amiable overnight.
ADJ. wrong; faulty. Seeing her frown, he wondered if anything were amiss. also ADV.
N. friendship. Student exchange programs such as the Experiment in International Living were established to promote international amity.
N. loss of memory. Because she was suffering from amnesia, the police could not get the young girl to identify herself.
N. pardon. When his first child was born, the king granted amnesty to all in prison.
ADJ. nonmoral. The amoral individual lacks a code of ethics; he cannot tell right from wrong. The immoral person can tell right from wrong; he chooses to do something he knows is wrong.
ADJ. moved by sexual love; loving. "Love them and leave them" was the motto of the amorous Don Juan.
ADJ. formless; lacking shape or definition. As soon as we have decided on our itinerary, we shall send you a copy; right now, our plans are still amorphous.
ADJ. able to live both on land and in water. Frogs are classified as amphibian. also N.
N. oval building with tiers of seats. The spectators in the amphitheater cheered the gladiators.
ADJ. abundant. Bond had ample opportunity to escape. Why did he let us catch him?
V. broaden or clarify by expanding; intensify; make stronger. Charlie Brown tried to amplify his remarks, but he was drowned out by jeers from the audience. Lucy was smarter: she used a loudspeaker to amplify her voice.
V. cut off part of body; prune. When the doctors had to amputate the young man's leg to prevent the spread of cancer, he did not let the loss of a limb keep him from participating in sports.
N. charm; talisman. Around her neck she wore the amulet that the witch doctor had given her.
ADJ. having an error involving time in a story. The reference to clocks in Julius Caesar is anachronistic: clocks did not exist in Caesar's time. anachronism, N.
ADJ. causing insensitivity to pain. The analgesic qualities of this lotion will provide temporary relief.
ADJ. comparable. She called our attention to the things that had been done in an analogous situation and recommended that we do the same.
N. similarity; parallelism. A well-known analogy compares the body's immune system with an army whose defending troops are the lymphocytes or white blood cells.
N. person who seeks to overturn the established government; advocate of abolishing authority. Denying she was an anarchist, Katya maintained she wished only to make changes in our government, not to destroy it entirely. anarchy, N.
N. absence of governing body; state of disorder. The assassination of the leaders led to a period of anarchy.
N. solemn curse; someone or something regarded as a curse. The Ayatolla Khomeini heaped anathema upon "the Great Satan," that is, the United States. To the Ayatolla, America and the West were anathema; he loathed the democratic nations, cursing them in his dying words. anathematize,V.
N. family descent. David can trace his ancestry as far back as the seventeenth century, when one of his ancestors was a court trumpeter somewhere in Germany. ancestral,ADJ.
V. secure or fasten firmly; be fixed in place. We set the post in concrete to anchor it in place. anchorage, N.
ADJ. serving as an aid or accessory; auxiliary. In an ancillary capacity, Doctor Watson was helpful; however, Holmes could not trust the good doctor to solve a perplexing case on his own. also N.
N. short account of an amusing or interesting event. Rather than make concrete proposals for welfare reform, President Reagan told anecdotes about poor people who became wealthy despite their impoverished backgrounds.
N. condition in which blood lacks red corpuscles. The doctor ascribes her tiredness to anemia. anemic,ADJ.
N. substance that removes sensation with or without loss of consciousness. His monotonous voice acted like an anesthetic; his audience was soon asleep. anesthesia, N.
N. acute pain; extreme suffering. Visiting the site of the explosion, the governor wept to see the anguish of the victims and their families.
ADJ. sharp-cornered; stiff in manner. Mr. Spock's features, though angular, were curiously attractive, in a Vulcan way.
ADJ. lively; spirited. Jim Carrey's facial expressions are highly animated: when he played Ace Ventura, he looked practically rubber-faced.
N. active enmity. He incurred the animosity of the ruling class because he advocated limitations of their power.
N. hostile feeling or intent. The animus of the speaker became obvious to all when he began to indulge in sarcastic and insulting remarks.
N. records; history. In the annals of this period, we find no mention of democratic movements.
V. attach; take possession of. Mexico objected to the United States' attempts to annex the territory that later became the state of Texas.
V. destroy. The enemy in its revenge tried to annihilate the entire population.
V. comment; make explanatory notes. In the appendix to the novel, the editor sought to annotate many of the author's more esoteric references.
N. yearly allowance. The annuity he setup with the insurance company supplements his social security benefits so that he can live very comfortably without working.
v. make void. The parents of the eloped couple tried to annul the marriage.
V. consecrate. The prophet Samuel anointed David with oil, crowning him king of Israel.
ADJ. abnormal; irregular. He was placed in the anomalous position of seeming to approve procedures which he despised.
N. irregularity. A bird that cannot fly is an anomaly.
N. state of being nameless; anonymousness. The donor of the gift asked the college not to mention him by name; the dean readily agreed to respect his anonymity.
ADJ. having no name. She tried to ascertain the identity of the writer of the anonymous letter.
N. hostility; active resistance. Barry showed his antagonism toward his new stepmother by ignoring her whenever she tried talking to him. antagonistic,ADJ.
V. precede. The invention of the radiotelegraph anteceded the development of television by a quarter of a century.
N. preceding events or circumstances that influence what comes later; ancestors or early background. Susi Bechhofer's ignorance of her Jewish background had its antecedents in the chaos of World War II. Smuggled out of Germany and adopted by a Christian family, she knew nothing of her birth and antecedents until she was reunited with her family in 1989.
ADJ. antiquated; extremely ancient. Looking at his great-aunt's antique furniture, which must have been cluttering up her attic since the time of Noah's flood, the young heir exclaimed, "Heavens! How positively antediluvian!"
N. song of praise or patriotism. Let us now all join in singing the national anthem.
N. book of literary selections by various authors. This anthology of science fiction was compiled by the late Isaac Asimov. anthologize,V.
ADJ. regarding human beings as the center of the universe. Without considering any evidence that might challenge his anthropocentric viewpoint, Hector categorically maintained that dolphins could not be as intelligent as men. anthropocentrism, N.
ADJ. manlike. The gorilla is the strongest of the anthropoid animals. also N.
N. a student of the history and science of mankind. Anthropologists have discovered several relics of prehistoric man in this area.
ADJ. having human form or characteristics. Primitive religions often have deities with anthropomorphic characteristics. anthropomorphism, N.
N. letdown in thought or emotion. After the fine performance in the first act, the rest of the play was an anticlimax. anticlimactic,ADJ.
N. medicine to counteract a poison or disease. When Marge's child accidentally swallowed some cleaning fluid, the local poison control hotline instructed Marge how to administer the antidote.
N. aversion; dislike. Tom's extreme antipathy for disputes keeps him from getting into arguments with his temperamental wife. Noise in any form is antipathetic to him. Among his other antipathies are honking cars, boom boxes, and heavy metal rock.
ADJ. old-fashioned; obsolete. Philip had grown so accustomed to editing his papers on word processors that he thought typewriters were too antiquated for him to use.
N. substance that prevents infection. It is advisable to apply an antiseptic to any wound, no matter how slight or insignificant. alsoADJ.
N. contrast; direct opposite of or to. This tyranny was the antithesis of all that he had hoped for, and he fought it with all his strength.
N. lack of caring; indifference. A firm believer in democratic government, she could not understand the apathy of people who never bothered to vote. apathetic,ADJ.
V. imitate or mimic. He was suspended for a week because he had aped the principal in front of the whole school.
N. opening; hole. She discovered a small aperture in the wall, through which the insects had entered the room.
N. tip; summit; climax. He was at the apex of his career: he had climbed to the top of the heap.
N. loss of speech due to injury or illness. After the automobile accident, the victim had periods of aphasia when he could not speak at all or could only mumble incoherently.
N. pithy maxim. An aphorism differs from an adage in that it is more philosophical or scientific. "The proper study of mankind is man" is an aphorism. "There's no smoke without a fire" is an adage. aphoristic,ADJ.
N. a place where bees are kept. Although he spent many hours daily in the apiary, he was very seldom stung by a bee.
N. poise; assurance. Gwen's aplomb in handling potentially embarrassing moments was legendary around the office; when one of her clients broke a piece of her best crystal, she coolly picked up her own goblet and hurled it into the fireplace.
ADJ. prophetic; pertaining to revelations. The crowd jeered at the street preacher's apocalyptic predictions of doom. The Apocalypse or Book of Revelations of Saint John prophesies the end of the world as we know it and foretells marvels and prodigies that signal the coming doom.
ADJ. untrue; made up. To impress his friends, Tom invented apocryphal tales of his adventures in the big city.
N. highest point. When the moon in its orbit is farthest away from the earth, it is at its apogee.
ADJ. having an aversion or lack of concern for political affairs. It was hard to remain apolitical during the Vietnam War; even people who generally ignored public issues felt they had to take political stands.
N. one who writes in defense of a cause or institution. Rather than act as an apologist for the current regime in Beijing and defend its brutal actions, the young diplomat decided to defect to the West.
N. one who abandons his religious faith or political beliefs. Because he switched from one party to another, his former friends shunned him as an apostate. apostasy, N.