Barron's words list 1 Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Barron's words list 1 Deck (50):
0

syllogism

noun

a form of deductive reasoning that has a major premise, a minor premise, and a conclusion

The following syllogism is often taught in logic courses: “All Xs are Ys, all Ys are Zs; therefore, all Xs are Zs.”

1

diverge

verb

to vary; go in different directions from the same point

A famous line in American poetry is from Robert Frost's “The Road Not Taken”:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I–
I took the one less traveled by ....

Divergence is the noun.

Psychological tests show that there is a wide divergence between citizens of different countries in how much importance they place on the virtue of justice, on the one hand, and the virtue of mercy, on the other hand.

2

juxtapose

verb

place side by side

To illustrate their case, opponents of functionalism juxtapose the products of modern architecture and those of classical architecture, such as the Parthenon, or those of medieval architecture, such as the Cathedral of Notre-Dame.
The noun juxtaposition means a side-by-side placement.

3

sidereal

adjective

relating to the stars

A sidereal year is longer than a solar year by 20 minutes and 23 seconds.

4

finesse

verb

to handle with a deceptive or evasive strategy; to use finesse, that is, refinement in performance

Engineers decided that the problem could be finessed by using lighter materials.

5

deride

verb

to mock

Innovation often requires challenges to orthodox thinking; for example, in the late 1960s, scientists from the U.S. Department of Defense's Advanced Research Projects Agency presented their idea of a vast network of computers to leading scientists from IBM and AT&T–companies with innumerable research breakthroughs to their credit–and were derided as impractical visionaries.

6

rubric

noun

title or heading; category; established mode of procedure or conduct; protocol

The data from the experiment was so diverse that the scientist decided to design a new rubric to organize it.

7

Impervious

impossible to penetrate; incapable of being affected.
example: we were amazed how Laura sit at the noisy party studying organic chemistry, impervious to the noise around her

8

fractious

adjective

quarrelsome; unruly; rebellious

In an effort to unify their divided party, its leaders decided to first placate the party's most fractious elements.

9

Lilliputian

adjective

extremely small

Microbiologists study Lilliputian organisms.

10

bewildered

adjective

nonplussed


The members of the football team were bewildered by the presence of a female reporter in the locker room.

11

codify

verb

to systematize

The state legislature voted to codify regulations governing banking fraud.

Codification is the noun.

The most influential codification of civil law was the Napoleonic Code in France, which became the paradigm for law in the non- English-speaking countries of Europe and had a generally civilizing influence on most of the countries in which it was enacted.

Codified is the adjective.

Common law is the system of laws that originated in England; it is based on court decisions and on customs rather than on codified written laws.

12

junta

noun

group of people united in political intrigue

The country's ruling junta consists of a general, an admiral, and the mayor of the capital city.

13

raiment

noun

clothing

It took two hours for the princess' handmaidens to help her put on her splendid raiment for her coronation as queen.

14

treatise

noun

article treating a subject systematically and thoroughly

The thesis of the philosopher's treatise is that reality is, ultimately, opaque to human understanding.

15

satyr

noun

a creature that is half-man, half-beast with the horns and legs of a goat; it is a follower of Dionysos; a lecher

One of the best-known satyrs is Pan, the god of the woods in Greek mythology.

16

simile

noun

comparison of one thing with another using “like” or “as”

In his autobiographical book Chronicles, Volume 1, Bob Dylan uses two similes in succession to try to convey the experience of writing a song: “A song is like a dream, and you try to make it come true. They're like strange countries you have to enter.”

17

repine

verb

fret; complain

The president told the congressional representative he should stop repining over the lost opportunity and join the majority in exploring new ones.

18

detraction

noun

the act of taking away; derogatory comment on a person's character

The writer responded in a letter to the critic's long list of detractions about his book.

19

miscellany

noun

mixture of writings on various subjects

The book is a fascinating miscellany collected from the writer's life work.

20

sensuous

adjective

relating to the senses; operating through the senses

The American painter Georgia O'Keeffe is known especially for her sensuous paintings of plants and flowers and for her landscapes.

21

subsume

verb

to include; incorporate

The philosopher described his work as an attempt to arrive at a final generalization that will subsume all previous generalizations about the nature of logic.

22

histrionic

adjective

relating to exaggerated emotional behavior calculated for effect; theatrical arts or performances

Whenever the star of the movie does not get her way on the set, she flies into a histrionic fit.

The noun histrionics means emotional behavior done for effect.

“Cut the histrionics and tell me how you really feel,” the woman said to her angry husband.

23

accrue

verb

to accumulate; grow by additions

Regulating the growth of large companies when they begin to become monopolistic is a difficult task for government in a capitalist country; if it limits monopolies too much, the nation's firms could become less competitive than foreign companies that enjoy the advantages accruing from greater monopolies.

24

ruse

noun

trick; crafty stratagem; subterfuge

In July, 1999, a group of Christians from the United Kingdom traveled to various countries in which Crusaders had massacred people to apologize; however, many of the Moslems spurned this overture, believing it to be another Crusade in the form of a ruse.

25

talisman

noun

charm to bring good luck and avert misfortune

The soldier's mother gave him a talisman to protect him from harm during battle.

26

tutelary

adjective

serving as a guardian or protector

Most of the people of ancient Rome believed in the existence of tutelary spirits.

27

riposte

noun

a retaliatory action or retort

The commander decided that the enemy attack must be countered with a quick riposte.

28

megalomania

noun

delusions of power or importance

In his farewell speech the retiring trial judge warned his colleagues to beware of megalomania as they exercise their power in the courtroom.

29

dichotomy

noun

division into two usually contradictory parts

The philosopher is a dualist who argues that there is a dichotomy between the mind and physical phenomena.

30

staccato

adjective

marked by abrupt, clear-cut sounds

We listened to the staccato steps of the woman in high heels running down the street.

31

homily

noun

sermon; tedious moralizing lecture; platitude

The pastor's homilies have been published in an anthology.

32

timbre

noun

the characteristic quality of sound produced by a particular instrument or voice; tone color

The audience was delighted by the rich timbre of the singer's soprano.

33

lascivious

adjective

lustful

The court ruled that the movie could be censored because its sole aim was to promote lascivious thoughts.

34

filibuster

noun

use of obstructive tactics in a legislature to block passage of a law

The senator threatened that his filibuster would include a full reading of his eight-volume autobiography.

35

labile

adjective

likely to change

Blood pressure in human beings is, to varying degrees, labile.

36

carnal

adjective

of the flesh or body; related to physical appetites

The yogi's goal is to achieve nirvana through, among other things, the overcoming of carnal desires.

37

expository

adjective

explanatory

There is no one model of expository prose that a student can emulate, since each piece of good writing is unique.

38

brazen

adjective

bold; shameless

The brazen student irritated his teacher by saying that he could learn more from a day spent “surfing” the World Wide Web than a day spent in school.

39

seismic

adjective

relating to earthquakes; earthshaking

The study of seismic waves enables scientists to learn about the Earth's structure.

40

ethnocentric

adjective

based on the attitude that one's group is superior

The words “primitive” and “savage” reflect an ethnocentric bias in Western culture that regards societies that do not have Western science and technology as inferior because they have not achieved as much material success as Western societies.

The noun is ethnocentrism.

During certain periods of Chinese history, foreigners were considered to be “barbarians”; perhaps this ethnocentrism made it difficult for the Chinese to accept innovations from other countries.

41

allay

verb

to lessen; ease; soothe

Improvements in antivirus software have allayed many people's fears of having their computers “infected” with malicious software.

42

modicum

noun


limited quantity

The scientist Carl Sagan wrote about astronomy and other scientific subjects in a way that enabled a reader with even a modicum of knowledge of science to understand what he was saying.

43

mesmerize

verb

to hypnotize

The audience sat, mesmerized, listening to the retired soldier's account of hand-to-hand combat against the Japanese in New Guinea during World War II.

45

default

verb

to fail to act

Economists have pointed out the danger of using government money to help banks in danger of defaulting on a loan: such help might encourage banks to take excessive risks on the future, knowing they will be “bailed out” by the government.

46

captious

adjective

faultfinding; intended to entrap, as in an argument

The pedantic and captious critic seems incapable of appreciating the merits of even the most highly regarded books.

47

nugatory

adjective

trifling; invalid

The historian has a knack for focusing on information that appears nugatory but that, upon examination, illuminates the central issue.

48

apropos

adjective

relevant
Apropos of nothing, the speaker declared that the purpose of life is to love.

49

pique

noun
verb

fleeting feeling of hurt pride

Sally left the restaurant in a fit of pique after her date called to say he couldn't come because he was working late.

As a verb, pique means to provoke or arouse.

The geologist's curiosity was piqued by the unusual appearance of the rock formation.

49

amulet

noun

ornament worn as a charm against evil spirits

The early Christian Church forbade the use of amulets, which had become common in the Roman Empire at the time the Christian Church began to develop.