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Flashcards in C (II) Deck (152):

collateral (n.)

security given for loan

The sum you wish to borrow is so large that it must be secured by collateral.


colloquial (adj.)

pertaining to conversational or common speech

Some of the new, less formal reading passages on the SAT have a colloquial tone that is intended to make them more appealing to students.


collusion (n.)

conspiring in a fraudulent scheme

The swindlers were found guilty of collusion.


colossal (adj.)


Radio City Music Hall has a colossal stage.


comatose (adj.)

in a coma; extremely sleepy

The long-winded orator soon had his audience in a comatose state.


combustible (adj.)

easily burned

After the recent outbreak of fires in private homes, the fire commissioner ordered that all combustible materials be kept in safe containers.


comely (adj.)

attractive; agreeable

I would rather have a poor and comely wife than a rich and homely one.


comeuppance (n.)

rebuke; deserts

After his earlier rudeness, we were delighted to see him get his comeuppance.


commandeer (v.)

to draft for military purposes; to take for public use

The policeman commandeered the first car that approached and ordered the driver to go to the nearest hospital.


commemorate (v.)

to honor the memory of

The statue of the Minute Man commemorates the valiant soldiers who fought in the Revolutionary War.


commensurate (adj.)

equal in extent

Your reward will be commensurate with your effort.


commiserate (v.)

to feel or express pity or sympathy for

Her friends commiserated with the widow.


commodious (adj.)

spacious and comfortable

After sleeping in small roadside cabins, they found their hotel suite commodious.


communal (adj.)

held in common; of a group of people

When they were divorced, they had trouble dividing their communal property.


compact (n.)

agreement; contract

The signers of the Mayflower Compact were establishing a form of government.


compact (adj.)

tightly packed; firm; brief

His short, compact body was better suited to wrestling than to basketball.


comparable (adj.)


People whose jobs are comparable in difficulty should receive comparable pay.


compatible (adj.)

harmonious; in harmony with

They were compatible neighbors, never quarreling over unimportant matters.


compelling (adj.)

overpowering; irresistible in effect

The prosecutor presented a well-reasoned case, but the defense attorney's compelling arguments for leniency won over the jury.


compensatory (adj.)

making up for; repaying

Can a compensatory education program make up for the inadequate schooling he received in earlier years?


compile (v.)

to assemble; to gather; to accumulate

We planned compile a list of the word most frequently used on SAT examinations.


complacency (n.)

self-satisfaction; smugness

Full of complacency about his latest victories, he looked smugly at the row of trophies on his mantelpiece.


complaisant (adj.)

trying to please; obliging

Always ready to accede to his noble patron's wishes, Mr. Collins was a complaisant, even obsequious, character.


complement (v.)

to complete; to consummate; to make perfect

The waiter recommended a glass of port to complement the cheese.


complementary (adj.)

serving to complete something

John and Lisa's skills are complementary: he's good at following a daily routine, while she's great at improvising and handling emergencies.


compliance (n.)

readiness to yield; conformity in fulfilling requirements

Bullheaded Bill was not noted for easy compliance with the demands of others. As an architect, however, Bill recognized that his design for the new school had to be in compliance with the local building code.


compliant (adj.)


Because Joel usually give in and went along with whatever his friends desired, his mother worried that he might be too compliant.


complicity (n.)

participation; involvement

You cannot keep your complicity in this affair secret very long; you would be wise to admit your involvement immediately.


component (n.)

element; ingredient

I wish all the components of my stereo system were working at the same time.


composure (n.)

mental calmness

Even the latest work crisis failed to shake her composure.


compound (v.)

to combine; to constitute; to pay interest; to increase

The makers of the popular cold remedy compounded a nasal decongestant with an antihistamine.


comprehensive (adj.)

thorough; inclusive

This book provides a comprehensive review of verbal and math skills for the SAT.


compress (v.)

to close; to squeeze; to contract

She compressed the package under her arm.


comprise (v.)

to include; to consist of

If the District of Columbia were to be granted statehood, the United State of America would comprise fifty-one states, not just fifty.


compromise (v.)

to adjust or settle by making mutual concessions; endanger the interests or reputation of

Sometimes the presence of a neutral third party can help adversaries compromise their differences.
Unfortunately, you're not neutral; therefore, your presence here compromises our chances of reaching an agreement.


compunction (n.)


The judge was especially severe in his sentencing because he felt that the criminal had shown no compunction for his heinous crime.


compute (v.)

to reckon; to calculate

He failed to compute the interest, so his bank balance was not accurate.


concave (adj.)


The back-packers found partial shelter from the storm by huddling against the concave wall of the cliff.


concede (v.)

to admit; to yield

Despite all the evidence Monica had assembled, Mark refused to concede that she was right.


conceit (n.)

vanity or self-love; whimsical idea; extravagant metaphor

Although Jack was smug and puffed up with conceit, he was an entertaining companion, always expressing himself in amusing conceits and witty turns of phrase.


concentric (adj.)

having a common center

The target was made of concentric circles.


conception (n.)

beginning; forming of an idea

At the first conception of the work, he was consulted.


concerted (adj.)

mutually agreed on; done together

All the Girl Scouts made a concerted effort to raise funds for their annual outing.
When the movie start appeared, his fans let out a concerted sigh.


concession (n.)

an act of yielding

Before they could reach an agreement, both sides had to make certain concessions.


conciliatory (adj.)

reconciling; soothing

She was still angry despite his conciliatory words.


concise (adj.)

brief and compact

When you define a new word, be concise: the shorter the definition, the easier it is to remember.


conclusive (adj.)

decisive; ending all debate

When the stolen books turned up in John's locker, we finally had conclusive evidence of the identity of the mysterious thief.


concoct (v.)

to prepare by combining; to make up in concert

How did the inventive chef ever concoct such a strange dish?


concomitant (n.)

that which accompanies

Culture is not always a concomitant of wealth.


concord (n.)

harmony; agreement between people or things

Watching Tweedledum and Tweedlebee battle, Alice wondered at their lack of concord.


concur (v.)

to agree

Did you concur with the decision of the court or did you find it unfair?


concurrent (adj.)

happening at the same time

In America, the colonists were resisting the demands of the mother country; at the concurrent moment in France, the middle class was sowing the seeds of rebellion.


condemn (v.)

to censure; to sentence; to force or limit to a particular state

In My Cousin Vinnie. Vinnie's fiancee condemned Vinnie for mishandling his cousin Tony's defense.
If Vinnie didn't do a better job defending Tony, the judge would condemn Tony to death, and Vinnie would be condemned to cleaning toilets for a living.


condense (v.)

to make more compact or dense; to shorten or abridge; to reduce into a denser form

If you squeeze a slice of Wonder Bread, taking out the extra air, you can condense it into a pellet the size of a sugar cube.
If you cut out the unnecessary words from your essay, you can condense it to a paragraph.
As the bathroom cooled down, the steam from the shower condensed into droplets of water.


condescend (v.)

to act conscious of descending to a lower level; to patronize

Though Jill had been a star softball player in college, when she played a pickup game at the park she never condescended to her less experienced teammates.


condiments (n.)

seasonings; spices

The chef seasoned the dish with so much garlic that we could hardly taste the other condiments.


condole (v.)

to express sympathetic sorrow

His friends gathered to condole with him over his loss.


condone (v.)

to overlook; to forgive; to give tacit approval; to excuse

Unlike the frail widow, who indulged her only son and condoned his minor offenses, the boy's stern uncle did nothing but scold.


conducive (adj.)

contributive; tending to

Rest and proper diet are conducive to good health.


confidant (n.)

trusted friend

He had no confidants with whom he could discuss his problems at home.


confine (v.)

to shut in; to restrict

The terrorists had confined their prisoner in a small room.
However, they had not chained him to the wall or done anything else to confine his movements further.


confirm (v.)

to corroborate; to verify; to support

I have several witnesses who will confirm my account of what happened.


confiscate (v.)

to seize; to commandeer

The army confiscated all available supplies of uranium.


conflagration (n.)

great fire

In the conflagration that followed the 1906 earthquake, much of San Francisco was destroyed.


confluence (n.)

flowing together; crowd

They built the city at the confluence of two rivers.


conformity (n.)

harmony; agreement

In conformity with our rules and regulations, I am calling a meeting of our organization.


confound (v.)

to confuse; to puzzle

No mystery could confound Sherlock Holmes for long.


confrontation (n.)

act of facing someone or something; encounter, often hostile

Morris hoped to avoid any confrontations with his ex-wife, but he kept running into her at the health club.
How would you like to confront someone who can bench press 200 pounds?


congeal (v.)

to freeze; to coagulate

His blood congealed in his veins as he saw the dread monster rush toward him.


congenial (adj.)

pleasant; friendly

My father loved to go out for a meal with congenial companions.


congenital (adj.)

existing at birth

Were you born stupid, or did you just turn out this way? In other words, is your idiocy congenital or acquired?
Doctors are able to cure some congenital deformities such as cleft palates by performing operations on infants.


conglomeration (n.)

mass of material sticking together

In such a conglomeration of miscellaneous statistics, it was impossible to find a single area of analysis.


congruent (adj.)

in agreement; corresponding

In formulating a hypothesis, we must keep it congruent with what we know of the real world; it cannot disagree with our experience.


conjecture (v.)

to surmise; to guess

Although there was no official count, the organizers conjectured that more than 10,000 marchers took part in the March for Peace.


conjugal (adj.)

pertaining to marriage

Their dreams of conjugal bliss were shattered as soon as their temperaments clashed.


conjure (v.)

to summon a devil; to practice magic; to imagine or invent

Sorcerers conjure devils to appear.
Magicians conjure white rabbits out of hats.
Political candidates conjure up images of reformed cities and a world at peace.


connivance (n.)

assistance; pretense of ignorance of something wrong; permission to offend

With the connivance of his friends, he plotted to embarrass the teacher.


connoisseur (n.)

person competent to act as a judge of art, etc.; a lover of an art

She had developed into a connoisseur of fine china.


connotation (n.)

suggested or implied meaning of an expression

Foreigners frequently are unaware of the connotations of the words they use.


connubial (adj.)

pertaining to marriage or the matrimonial state

In his telegram, he wished the newlyweds a lifetime of connubial bliss.


conscientious (adj.)

scrupulous; careful

A conscientious editor, she checked every definition for its accuracy.


consecrate (v.)

to dedicate; to sanctify

We shall consecrate our lives to this noble purpose.


consensus (n.)

general agreement

Every time the garden club members had nearly reached a consensus about what to plant, Mistress Mary, quite contrary, disagreed.


consequential (adj.)

pompous; important; self-important

Convinced of his own importance, the actor strutted about the dressing room with a consequential air.


conservatory (n.)

school of the fine arts (especially music or drama)

A gifted violinist, Marya was selected to study at the conservatory.


consign (v.)

to deliver officially; to entrust to set apart

The court consigned the child to her paternal grandmother's care.


consistency (n.)

absence of contradictions; dependability; uniformity; degree of thickness

Holmes judges puddings and explanations on their consistency: he liked his puddings without lumps and his explanations without improbabilities.


console (v.)

to lessen sadness or disappointment; give comfort

When her father died, Marius did his best to console Cosette.


consolidation (n.)

unification; process of becoming firmer or stronger

The recent consolidation of several small airlines into one major company had left observers of the industry wondering whether room still exists for the "little guy" in aviation.


consonance (n.)

harmony; agreement

His agitation seemed out of consonance with her usual calm.


consort (v.)

to associate with

We frequently judge people by the company with whom they consort.


conspicuous (adj.)

easily seen; noticeable; striking

Janet was conspicuous both for her red hair and for her height.


conspiracy (n.)

treacherous plot

Brutus and Cassius joined in the conspiracy to kill Julius Caesar.


constituent (n.)


The congressman received hundreds of letters from angry constituents after the Equal Rights Amendment failed to pass.


constraint (n.)

compulsion; repression of feelings

There was a feeling of constraint in the room because no one dared to criticize the speaker.


construe (v.)

to explain; to interpret

If I construe your remarks correctly, you disagree with the theory already advanced.


consummate (adj.)


I have never seen anyone who makes as many stupid errors as you do; what a consummate idiot you are!


contagion (n.)


Fearing contagion, they took great steps to prevent the spread of the disease.


contaminate (v.)

to pollute

The sewage system of the city so contaminated the water that swimming was forbidden.


contemporary (n.)

person belonging to the same period

Though Charlotte Bronte and George Eliot were contemporaries, the two novelists depicted their Victorian world in markedly different ways.


contempt (n.)

scorn; disdain

The heavyweight boxer looked on ordinary people with contempt, scorning them as weaklings who couldn't hurt a fly.
We thought it was contemptible of him to be contemptuous of people for being weak.


contend (v.)

to struggle; to compete; to assert earnestly

Sociologist Harry Edwards contends that young black athletes are exploited by some college recruiters.


contention (n.)

claim; thesis

It is our contention that, if you follow our tactics, you will boost your score on the SAT.


contentious (adj.)


Disagreeing violently with the referees' ruling, the coach became so contentious that they threw him out of the game.


contest (v.)

to dispute

The defeated candidate attempted to contest the election results.


context (n.)

writings preceding and following the passage quoted

Because these lines are taken out of context, they do not convey the message the author intended.


contiguous (adj.)

adjacent to; touching upon

The two countries are contiguous for a few miles; then they are separated by the gulf.


continence (n.)

self-restraint; sexual chastity

At the convent, Connie vowed to lead a life of continence.
The question was, could Connie by content with always being continent?


contingent (adj.)

dependent on; conditional

Caroline's father informed her that any raise in her allowance was contingent on the quality of her final grades.


contingent (n.)

group that makes up part of a gathering

The New York contingent of delegates at the Democratic National Convention was a boisterous, sometimes rowdy lot.


contortions (n.)

twisting; distortions

As the effects of the opiate wore away, the contortions of the patient became more violent and demonstrated how much pain she was enduring.


contraband (n, adj.)

illegal trade; smuggling

The Coast Guard tries to prevent traffic contraband goods.


contract (v.)

to compress or shrink; to make a pledge; to catch a disease

Warm metal expands; cold metal contracts.


contravene (v.)

to contradict; to oppose; to infringe on or transgress

Mr. Barrett did not expect his frail daughter Elizabeth to contravene his will by eloping with Robert Browning.


contrite (adj.)

penitent (=feeling or showing sorrow and regret for having done wrong)

Her contrite tears did not influence the judge when he imposed sentence.


contrived (adj.)

forced; artificial; not spontaneous

Feeling ill at ease with his new-in-laws, James made a few contrived attempts at conversation and then retreated into silence.


controvert (v.)

to oppose with arguments; to attempt to refute; to contradict

The witness's testimony was so clear and her reputation for honesty so well-established that the defense attorney decided it was wiser to make no attempt to controvert what she said.


conundrum (n.)


During the long car ride, she invented conundrums to entertain the children.


convene (v.)

to assemble

Because much needed legislation had to be enacted, the governor ordered the legislature to convene in special session by January 15.


convention (n.)

social or moral custom; established practice

Flying in the face of convention, George Sand shocked society by taking lovers and wearing men's clothes.


conventional (adj.)

ordinary; typical

His conventional upbringing left him unprepared for his wife's eccentric family.


converge (v.)

to approach; to tend to meet; to come together

African-American men from all over the United States converged on Washington to take part in the historic Million Men march.


conversant (adj.)

familiar with

The lawyer is conversant with all the evidence.


converse (n.)


The inevitable converse of peace is not war but annihilation.


converse (v.)

to chat; to talk informally

Eva was all ears while Lulu and Lola conversed.
Wasn't it rude of her to eavesdrop on their conversation?


convert (n.)

one who had adopted a different religion or opinion

On his trip to Japan, though the President spoke at length about the virtues of American automobiles, he made few converts to his beliefs.


convex (adj.)

curving outward

He polished the convex lens of his telescope.


conveyance (n.)

vehicle; transfer

During the transit strike, commuters used various kinds of conveyances.


conviction (n.)

judgment that someone is guilty of a crime; strongly held belief

Even her conviction for murder did not shake Peter's conviction that Harriet was innocent of the crime.


convivial (adj.)

festive; gay; characterized by joviality

The convivial celebrators of the victory sang their college songs.


convoke (v.)

to call together

Congress was convoked at the outbreak of the emergency.


convoluted (adj.)

coiled around; involved; intricate

The new tax regulations are so convoluted that even accountants have trouble following their twists turns.


copious (adj.)


She had copious reasons for rejecting the proposal.


coquette (n.)


Because she refused to give him an answer to his proposal of marriage, he called her a coquette.


cordial (adj.)

gracious; heartfelt

Our hosts greeted us at the airport with a cordial welcome and a hearty hug.


cordon (n.)

extends line of men or fortifications to prevent access or egress (=the action of going out of or leaving a place)

The police cordon was so tight that the criminals could not leave the area.


cornucopia (n.)

horn overflowing with fruit and grain; symbol of abundance

The encyclopedia salesman claimed the new edition was a veritable cornucopia of information, an inexhaustible source of knowledge for the entire family.


corollary (n.)

consequence; accompaniment

Brotherly love is a complex emotion, with sibling rivalry its natural corollary.


coronation (n.)

ceremony of crowning a queen or king

When the witches told Macbeth he would be king, they failed to warn him he would lose his crown soon after his coronation.


corporeal (adj.)

bodily; material

The doctor had no patience with spiritual matters: his job was to attend to his patients' corporeal problems, not to minister to their souls.


corpulent (adj.)

very fat

The corpulent man resolved to reduce.


correlation (n.)

mutual relationship

He sought to determine the correlation that existed between ability in algebra and ability to interpret reading exercises.


corroborate (v.)

to confirm; to support

Though Huck was quite willing to corroborate Tom's story, Aunt Polly knew better than to believe either of them.


corrode (v.)

to destroy by chemical action

The girders supporting the bridge corroded so gradually that no one suspected any danger until the bridge suddenly collapsed.


corrosive (adj.)

eating away by chemicals or disease

Stainless steel is able to withstand the effects of corrosive chemicals.


corrugated (adj.)

wrinkled; ridged

She wished she could smooth away the wrinkles from his corrugated brow.


cosmic (adj.)

pertaining to the universe; vast

Cosmic rays derive their name from the fact that they bombard the earth's atmosphere from outer space.


cosmopolitan (adj.)


Her years in the capitol had transformed her in to a cosmopolitan young woman highly aware of international affairs.


coterie (n.)

group that meet socially; select circle

After his book had been published, he was invited to join the literary coterie that lunched daily at the hotel.


countenance (v.)

to approve; to tolerate

He refused to countenance such rude behavior on their part.


countenance (n.)


When Jose saw his newborn daughter, a proud smile spread across his countenance.


countermand (v.)

to cancel; to revoke

The general countermanded the orders issued in his absence.