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Flashcards in Context Sentence Reading Deck (203):

Without a doubt, the nadir of his life occurred when his drug addiction caused in rapid succession the loss of his business, his marriage, and almost, from an overdose, his life.

nadir - rock bottom, lowest point

clues - lost his business, his marriage, and almost died


Once, cellular phones were a rare thing, but now they are so ubiquitous one can find them in the hands of many 10 year-olds.

ubiquitous - widespread, seen everywhere

clues - Once rare, now (opposite of rare)


Lauren could barely stand the way Joe vacillated about the logo and slogan, because she was convinced that the marketing window was closing.

vacillated - hesitation from indecision, not making up one's mind

clues - "barely stand" so it's a frustrating behavior, "marketing window" indicates time being wasted


Commentators suggested whether going to Iraq would be a new quagmire like Vietnam was for America in the 1970s.

quagmire - swampy, like quicksand, sticky situation

clues - the Vietnam War,  just like the Iraq War was a situation that was hard to get out of


Many in the room took immediate umbrage at his condescending tone, though I’m not sure he meant to insult anyone.

(to umbrage - to feel slighted, put down

clues - his tone was condescending and insulting


Having just won an Oscar, with offers on the table for movies that paid really well and gave her a chance to work with the best directors, she was at the zenith of her career.

zenith - highest point

clues - she had just won an Oscar and had great career opportunities


Since he had been undefeated in his first fifteen matches, his recent loss could have been either an aberration or the beginning of a downward trend in his boxing career.

aberration - change, unusual deviation from the norm

clues - his loss was either a departure from his typical record or the start of a long term decline


Early in his career, Paul Robison was willing to abide the degrading treatment he received because of his skin color, but eventually he rebelled against the injustice of it.

abide - put up with, stay with

clues - initially he accepted it but eventually he rebelled against it


Having survived the earthquake, but being reduced to abject poverty and inadequate shelter, the poor of Port-au-Prince endured the pelting rain of the hurricane.

abject - pitiful state

clues - the poor people suffered poverty, had no shelter, and were exposed to terrible weather conditions


Though Augustus was very shy, Constance was enough determined, sweet, and clever to cajole him into finally asking her out on a date.

cajole - persuade, coax

clues - Constance was able to convince Augustus to ask her out despite his shyness


When Darcy recites his story about keeping Bingley from seeing Jane in London without feeling a moment’s guilt, Elizabeth is convinced she had never met a more callous man.

callous - hard

clues - Darcy felt no guilt, so he was heartless, hardened


Used to politicians who rarely answered personal questions, the audience at the debate was impressed by the candor of the candidate as he spoke about his divorce.

candor - openness

clues - politician spoke about his divorce to strangers, audience impressed


On Pleasure Island, the environment of indulging in every sensual delight works to debauch the boys until they transform into donkeys.

debauch - to corrupt the innocence of

clues - indulging in empty pleasure


The beauty of the effulgent sunset on this island paradise made the vacationers never want to leave.

effulgent - radiant, shiny

clues - sunset, beauty


Most of the parents considered the food fight in the cafeteria misguided and foolish, but the administration considered it as egregious as drug possession or gang activity, or at least it carried an identical punishment.

egregious - shockingly bad

clues - punished by school like drug possession, parents see it as just foolish


Changing the company logo was just a facile strategy for the image problem was much more complicated.

facile - simple, easy

clues - just a facile strategy, problem was much more complicated


Among his friends is the impecunious Dr. Blifil, a master at all subjects of study except the one that could furnish him a living wage.

impecunious - poor

clues - doesn't earn a living wage


The psychiatrist noted the lack of animation in the patient’s face and his laconic responses and concurred with the diagnosis of depression.

laconic - short in speech (negative)

clues - lack of animation, depression


When a writer undertakes the story of a dying child, he or she needs to use a light touch about it, or it can easily become mawkish.

mawkish - overly sentimental

clues - dying child, light touch


Harold had so little understanding of basics of modern physics that the professor’s attempts to explain the phenomenon merely obfuscated it more.

obfuscate - make harder to understand, render unintelligible

clues - so little understanding, attempts to explain modern physics


Polonius’ speech to Laertes is replete with maxims which the father hopes will guide his son while at college, but he also sends a spy to after him to Paris, just to make sure.

maxim - wise old saying, rule of thumb

clues - speech, guide his son


Instead of going straight to the car as he was told, the little boy took the most oblique route to it.

oblique - diverging from direct course, not straight

clues - instead, going straight


Picasso rarely used a wide palette for his paintings; he most often limited his colors to a very controlled range.

palette - range of color

clues - limited his colors, range


Although nothing cures HIV as of yet, there are drug therapies that palliate the condition and slow the onset of AIDS.

palliate - make better, make less severe, improve

clues - Although nothing cures, slow the onset


The snake oil salesman, peddling his bogus panacea to everyone who had a medical complaint of any kind, claimed it worked on everything.

panacea - cure all, universal curitive

clues - "snake oil", worked on everything


The president considered securing the nuclear arsenal paramount in the days following the fall of the empire.

paramount - of highest importance, imperative

clues - president, nuclear arsenal


The being created by Dr. Frankenstein is made a pariah and suffers from solitude.

pariah - outcast

clues - Frankenstein, suffers from solitude


Most rich people practice parsimony, for the best way to make money is to not spend it.

parsimony - frugality, stinginess

clues - not spending (money)


After the Theory of Relativity, Einstein worked the rest of his career to reconcile it with quantum mechanics.

reconcile - make consistent

clues - Theory of Relativity, with quantum mechanics


Some of the deceptive practices of mortgage lending before the housing crash were tantamount to stealing.

tantamount - roughly equivalent

clues - deceptive practices, stealing


Critics of the Patriot Act said that it gave the government the power to abrogate certain rights against unwarranted searches.

abrogate - abolish, take away

clues - critics, government, certain rights


The protestors are attempting to defile the temple by smearing blood on the lectern.

defile - stain, taint, ruin the sanctity or purity of

clues - temple, smearing blood


As a young man, Ming often got in trouble from his impetuous behavior, so, as a man, he learned to think before he acted.

impetuous - rash, hasty

clues - got in trouble, think before he acted.


The sudden storm impinged upon the planned picnic.

impinge - impact, affect,

clues - sudden storm, picnic


Teresa was a sweet well-mannered girl, but she could get as impertinent as an unchecked brat if she missed regular meals.

impertinent - rude, unruly

clues - was well-mannered, unchecked brat


Despite the frigid waters, the whale maintains his core temperature due to his layers of impervious blubber.

impervious - impenetrable, stuff can't get into it or through it

clues - maintains core temperature in the arctic, blubber


Though not intentionally responsible for harming her children, Deb's negligent habits like leaving them unattended in the bathtub caused a tragedy.

negligent - careless, neglecting, not watchful

clues - not intentionally, leaving unattended in the bath


Four policemen were acquitted of beating Rodney King, and six days of rioting ensued that the authorities could not quell.

quell - control, diffuse, reduce confrontation

clues - riots


Finishing first in her class from the prestigious university, she had good reason to be sanguine entering the job market.

sanguine - cheery, optimistic

clues - first, prestigious


The documentary earned several awards, but such accolades were not as important to the director as seeing the issue addressed that was raised by his film.

accolades - high praise, special distinction

clues - earned awards


The cobra can spit caustic venom so corrosive that a trace amount for only a few seconds brings permanent eye damage.

caustic - acidic, bitter

clues - corrosive, permanent eye damage


The parents bantered around the barbeque while the children cavorted on the trampoline.

cavort - jump around, boisterously and physically active

clues - children on tampoline


The accused took the gun with him, so the prosecutor considered the killing deliberate, despite the witnesses who said the victim started the altercation.

deliberate - by choice, planned, not accidental

clues - accused took gun, victim, despite, altercation


Max goaded Palmer into trying to reach the green in one, but Palmer lost his golfball in the lake.

goad - coaxed, urged, manipulated

clues,  - into trying for the green


Oprah’s largess to her audience became the stuff of legend when she gave away 276 cars to start her 22nd season.

largess - generosity in a lavish way

clues - when, gave away, 276 cars


The burned-out teacher began to refer to her students as “germbags”, “urchins”,  “dead from the neck up”, and other clever pejoratives.

pejoratives - uncomplimentary or insulting phrases

clues - burned-out, germbags, urchins, dead from neck up, and,


She hoped the boy she raised would be emotionally strong and well behaved, but was shocked to find him a querulous brat.

querulous - whiny, complaining

clues - emotionally strong, well-behaved, but


Cecilia is a delicate little girl who cries at the slightest rebuke from her teacher.

rebuke - scolding, criticism, correction

clues - delicate, cries at, slightest


In the spotlight and rhinestone glory, the Vegas singer scintillated before the dazzled audience of housewives.

scintillated - sparkling, shimmering

clues - spotlight, rhinestones, dazzled


Post-Panamax ships are the largest class of commercial ship ever, and these behemoths are so denominated because they don't fit in the Panama Canal.

behemoth - monstrously large and powerful

clues - largest ship, don't fit in Panama Canal


She felt out of place in a demure pleated mid-calf skirt among young women wearing daring minis and micros that revealed the whole leg.

demure - modest, reserved, quiet

clues - pleated mid-calf skirt vs. minis and micros


Thorin Oakenshield is obstinate enough to ignore all the claims of justice and gratitude owed to the men of Dale, as long as the Elves remain with them.

obstinate - very stubborn, unable to change one's mind about a decision

clues - ignore claims of justice and gratitude owed


Beaver skin hats were all the rage in Europe because rainwater wouldn’t permeate the material.

permeate - saturate, get soggy, allow into, go throughout

clues - all the rage, rainwater


The pernicious effect of the race riot not only left physical damage, but scarred the community for a generation.

pernicious - extemely harmful, destructive

clues - damage, scarred, for a generation


Brom Bones, the redoubtable champion of the village of Sleepy Hollow, is not the kind of man who cry “quits”.

redoubtable - formidable, really hard to challenge or beat

clues - champion, not kind of man who quits


On Little Round Top, the colonel realized how tenuous the position was and ordered his men to hold their ground to the last man.

tenuous - having little substance or strength, barely holding on

clues - colonel, hold ground, to last man


Tom vehemently denied the accusation during questioning and was almost too overwhelmed to answer.

vehemently - intensely emotional or forceful

clues - denied accusation, too overwhelmed


The ceremony celebrated and venerated the performers who first made Broadway famous.

venerate - to show respect or honor

clues - celebrate and, first made Broadway famous


In his last will, Morgan bequeathed a generous donation to the medical university for research into a polio vaccine.

bequeathed - give away after dead

clues - last will, donation, for medical research


Douglass Wilkins, an Elvis impersonator in Las Vegas, had a long career emulating the King of Rock-n-Roll.

emulate - copy, mimic, act like

clues - impersonator


Though the town was proud of her, some were shocked to see how haughty fame and fortune had made the once sweet little girl.

haughty - disdainfully proud, conceited

clues - proud, once sweet girl


Using identical briefcases and legerdemain, the two spies easily managed to get the documents out of the secure area.

legerdemain - deceptive motion, slight-of-hand, (like magic)

clues - identical briefcases, (switch cases), spies, documents


The Hollywood producer couldn’t read all the scripts that were submitted to him, so he had a staff of six people who handled the perusal of perspective material.

perusal - read through carefully, review

clues - couldn't read, so, of material


The disgusted parent pointed out how remiss the curriculum had been in all goals related to English grammar.

remiss - negligent, failing to look after something

clues - disgusted, goals


Though perhaps not a household name, Oliver Bolokitten wrote a seminal work that influenced the development of dystopian fiction.

seminal - orignal, important, creating a field, movement, or style

clues - influenced the development of dystopian fiction


Every influential Hollywood producer has at least one sniveling toady ready to butter him up with hurrahs at any full sentence stop.

toady - one who flatters in hopes of getting something, sychophant, suck-up

clues - sniveling, butter him up, hurrahs


Will Rogers, always charming and affable, maintained that he never met a man that he didn’t like

affable - likeable, friendly, amiable

clues - charming, never met a man he didn't like


Skipper and Brick shared an affinity for each other that Maggie found threatening to her marriage.

affinity - immediate closeness, spontaneous bond

clues - shared, threatening to her marriage


Ready to react to the slightest affront, Hugo was on a hair-trigger at school after the online posting.

affront - insult

clues - ready to react, hair-trigger, online posting


Though she inherited millions of dollars, she couldn’t help feeling poor, because she was bereft of the company of her dear father.

bereft - devoid of, sad at missing someone, lost, forlorn

clues - company of dear father


Surrounding the head, the blood pool horrifyingly coalesced into a message of warning Diana and Bert not to enter the crypt.

coalesce - come into form, fuse together as a whole

clues -  blood, message


He didn’t realize that the divorce would have the collateral effect of keeping him single afterward, since making the support payments left him no money for entertaining anyone new.

collateral - secondary and unintended

clues - divorce, keeping him single


The rap producer's sampling of two iconic albums to create his mash was not only derivative but decidely a case of double trademark infringement.

derivative - copied or adapted from others

clues: sampling, mash, trademark infringement


After failing a test for which Robin had studied so hard, the despondent AP Calculus student decided it was no use studying anymore for that class.

despondent - completely hopelss, depressed

clues - after, failing a test, studied so hard, no use


The family camping trips engendered a spirit of togetherness and harmony as well as a love and respect for nature.

engender - to bring about, create, make be, generate

clues - family camping, togetherness and harmony, love and respect nature


Until the discovery of the Rosetta Stone in 1799, much of Egyptian hieroglyphs were completely enigmatic.

enigmatic - puzzling, impossible to solve or understand

clues - until, Rosette Stone, hieroglyphs 


The flagrant dumping of barrels of dioxin near a waterway that fed into the Ohio River led to one of the most important pieces of environmental legislation in Congress.

flagrant - offensive, really crossing the line of what should be done

clues - dumping barrels of dioxin, legislation


Hugh Hefner launched Playboy Magazine and opened a new era of hedonistic pursuit in post-war American society.

hedonist - attentive to sensual pleasures

clues - Hugh Hefner, Playboy Magazine


With foreign trade often come “stow-away” species that become introduced to native ecosystems and can threaten or destroy indigenous organisms.

indigenous - originating in a region

clues - With foreign, "stow-away", introduced


When a less-qualified man was hired for the position, Regina felt indignation for the manager she had served for six years.

indignation - anger at unjust or unfair treatment or cirumstance

clues - when less-qualified man hired, served for six years


Brad suffered from a lethargic feeling that turned out to be a serious condition in his heart valve that required surgery.

llethargic - super tired, inactive, apathetic

clues - serious condition in his hear valve


Reggie thought his dog’s phlegmatic response to his favorite tug toy odd, until he felt the dog’s warm dry nose.

phlegmatic - uninterested, unresponsive

clues - dog, favorite tug toy, warm nose


My father-in-law never leaves a pithy message on voice mail; he usually gets cut off in mid sentence by the end tone.

pithy - concisely meaningful

clues - never, usually gets cut off, end tone


When one hears of the average monthly wage in a place like Togo, one wonders how a person could live on such a pittance.

pittance - small amount (of money)

clues - wage, live on


Beached hopelessly for hours, the torpid whales drew the attention of people who raced to their aid.

torpid - lethargic, lacking motion, listless

clues - beached whales


Rusted cartridges, bits of canvas tenting, buttons from blue or grey coats, and bone or tooth fragments were the last vestiges of those two mighty armies left on the field.

vestige - a trace, mark or leftover from something lost or vanished

clues - cartidges, bits, butons, fragments, of mighty arimes


The pit crews at Indy display amazing alacrity as they refuel and change the vehicles tires in just seconds.

alacrity - speed, eagerness

clues -  pit crews at Indy, refuel and change


Though normally attentive to family and friends, Preston would appear aloof to them, but they had come to know he was just lost in thought about legal strategy.

aloof - reserved, distant

clues - Though attentive, appear, lost in thought


So that the intellectual argument and debate would stay friendly and not become an altercation, they agreed to avoid personal insults.

altercation - dispute, fight

clues - So that, argument or debate, stay friendly


Gordon Brown, the Prime Minister of England, received a DVD box set of American classic films from President Obama, but many in the English press thought the gift was far from being commensurate with the visitor’s status.

commensurate - corresponding in size or amount

clues - Prime Minister, DVD box set


Admiral Croft and Mrs. Croft assure Anne Elliot that their dogcart is commodious enough to take her to her door.

commodious - roomy

clues - dogcart, take her to her door


The despot Saloth Sar, better known as Pol Pot, ruled Cambodia from 1976 to 1979 during which at his strict orders 21 percent of the Cambodian people died.

despot - brutally, absolute ruler

clues - ruled, at his orders, people died


She blushed deeply and asked him to turn away while she looked for a robe to cover her diaphanous gossamer nightgown.

diaphanous - see-through, transparent

clues - blushed, to cover, gossamer


The ugly divorce created such enmity that the once harmonious family was split along lines of sympathy.

enmity - hatred, dislike

clues - ugly divorce, once harmonious


Stuck in the routine life of Bedford with such an active and creative mind, Lorraine Castle met each tea time with a deeper sense of ennui.

ennui - boredom, weariness

clues - Stuck in routine


The gratuitous violence marred a movie that otherwise had a great plot, interesting direction, hallmark performances, and thrilling action.

gratuitous - uncalled for, detracting rather than adding

clues - violence, otherwise, great plot, intertesting direction


The Third Reich was designed to create complete hegemony over not only Europe but also North Africa, and North and South America.

hegemony - domination over others

clues - Third Reich, over Europe


In Act I, Big Daddy is unaware of the mendacious behavior of his family and friends and is convinced that his cancer is just a spastic colon.

mendacious - deceitful, false in character

clues - unaware, behavior, convinced, cancer, spastic colon


The community apparently found the sobriety of Mr. Jensen much more suited to the bench than the passion of Mr. Kaiser, since the former defeated the latter by a four to one margin in the election.

sobriety - sedate, calm

clues - suited to the bench, than, passion


Though a flop in sports himself, Igor did enjoy the vicarious pleasure of watching his son compete in every high school game.

vicarious - experiencing through another

clues - Though, flop in sports, watching compete


The Puerto Rican spa featured so many amenities that Rhonda and Lorraine booked their stay on the spot.

amenity - item that increases comfort or pleasure

clues - spa, booked their stay


Such homeopathic analgesics as a slice of steak placed on a bulging, black eye to reduce swelling actually work pretty well.

analgesic - painkiller

clues - slice of steak (on) black eye


Mary Surratt, the first woman executed in the U.S., was found to be complicit in the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.

complicit - involved in a wrongful act

clues - executed, the assassination


The spy was trained to feel no compunction whatsoever for the taking of a human life to achieve his mission.

compunction - moral reservation, painful sense of guilt

clues - spy, no, taking a life, achieve mission


President Lincoln censured dilatory response of his generals after the victory of Gettysburg, because he feared their hesitation would prolong the war.

dilatory - tending to delay, cause delay

clues - censured, because, hesitation


Cárcel de Amor by Diego de San Pedro is considered the first epistolary novel, which weaves a story around a series of exchanged letters between the two lovers.

epistolary - having to do with letters

clues - series of exchanged letters


For many, Heidi Klum who is stunningly beautiful and has remarkable style, represents the epitome of good taste in fashion.

epitome - perfect example, embodiment

clues - stunningly, remarkable


Norma knew that for it to be a success, she needed to get one of the gregarious girls from Epsilon house to come and be the life of the party.

gergarious - talkative, social, outgoing

clues - life of the party


Because he was Master of the moorlands, the licentious Hugo Baskerville abducted a tenant farmer’s beautiful daughter with the intention of forcing himself onto her.

licentious - unrestrained morally or legally

clues - because, abducted, forcing himself


The buffet table on the cruise had a plethora of fruits piled high, some of which Kyle had never seen before, but ate willingly.

plethora - excessive abundance

clues - buffet, piled high


The “When She Loved Me” sequence in Toy Story II was so poignant that when Tom Hanks and Tim Allen saw it, they both teared up.

poignant - emotional touching

clues - sequence, teared up


With 3 years of a 4.0 GPA, Yin’s D in Mr. Bester class is an anomaly that the parents want the head of the department to investigate.

anomaly - unusual occurence, something not normal

clues - with 4.0, D, investigate


It was a piece of antediluvian pottery from around 550 B.C.E, that was the most compelling evidence of trade between Greece and Corsica.

antediluvian - ancient

clues - 550 B.C.E.


Aylmer felt Georgiana’s birthmark was just a small blemish on her face when they were first married, but eventually he grew obsessed to be rid of it.

blemish - small imperfection, slight flaw

clues - birthmark


Peter thought it prudent to turn the shell, since they were coming near the waste water conduit and here the river began to appear oily and green.

conduit - channel through which something comes

clues - waste water, oily and green


With his weakness for confection and as he had finally committed himself to losing weight, he decided not to accompany his friends to the European bakery.

confection - baked snacks, candies, goodies

clues - bakery


Both Anne and Lady Russell were concerned that Elizabeth had chosen Mrs. Clay as her confidant; they believed that their intimacy together jeopardized the respectability of the family.

confidant - someone a secret is told to

clues - intimacy


Penny eschews shoes and wears only sandals in all but the coldest months, then boots in the winter.

eschews - avoids, shuns

clues - only wears sandals and boots


In the early 20th century, Einstein’s Theory of Relativity was so esoteric that one small room could contain all who understood its principles, but now that same group wouldn’t fit in several convention centers.

esoteric - highly specialized knowledge, known by few

clues - Theory of Relativity, small room, who understood


In that valley, there were local tribal potentates who ruled their own lands and had their own militias.

potentates - military strong men, petty despots

clues - ruled, militias


Isabelle had a predilection for romance novels; she always carried one in her bag and read it during any pause in the day.

predilection - preference, tendency toward

clues - romance novels, carried one


By declaring the reports that he had died on his tour in Europe “greatly exaggerated”, Mark Twain also proved them apocryphal.

apocryphal - false, fictitious, wrong

clues - declaring reports, proves


These two former frat boys connived their way into so many wedding parties merely for the free food, drinks, and emotionally vulnerable women

connive - scheme, to create an underhanded plan

clues - wedding parties, merely for food, drinks, and women


Lionel realizes that his therapy sessions with the Duke of York entails complete discretion, so he doesn’t mention the details of them even to his own wife.

discretion - reserved in speech, knowing how to keep a secret

clues - doesn't mention, his own wife


After suffering through a nightmare job experience for three years, Lora felt euphoric hearing that she got another job offer and was tempted to dance on her old boss’ desk.

euphoric - elated, feeling sheer and utter joy

clues - after nightmare job, new job, dance on boss' desk


Going on the cruise was nice for sure, but evanescent for within two weeks he was back to the grind of work.

evanescent - momentary, fleeting, here today, gone tomorrow

clues - cruise, with two weeks, back to the grind


During the interview, the host was so insolent to the actor that she left before the commercial break.

insolent - rude, obnoxious

clues - actor left


The rabbits needed to get across the river, so they appropriated a flat bottomed boat and escaped the pursuit.

appropriate - to steal, take possesion

clues - get across the river, a boat and escaped


Although he had a broad general knowledge of mainstream literature, his main delight was researching arcane texts barely studied for hundreds of years.

arcane - obscure, secret, known by only a few

clues - although broad general knowledge, barely studied


When he found his convertible burning in the driveway, his golf clubs broken and bent on the lawn, and his MVP trophy melted in the barbecue, he construed that his wife had found out about his affairs.

construe - figured out, realized the truth

clues - when, convertible burning, golf clubs broken, trophy MVP


Shogun Leyasu held together a disparate group of vassals with offers of land and castles in order to field the army of the Battle of Azukizaka in 1564.

disparate - sharply differing, containing sharply contrasting elements

clues - held together, to field the army


Being passionate about animals, Cassie exhorted her friends to volunteer at shelters and animal rescue services.

exhort - urge passionately

clues - passionate, volunteer


The passage of the Misty Mountains was fraught with perils greater than Bilbo’s attempt, for it was winter and Sauron was now hunting them.

fraught - full of

clues - winter in the Mountains, being hunted


Certain religious organizations live in a single community with very little contact with the world outside and have therefore very insular views regarding politics.

insular - separated from and narrow-minded, tight knit, closed off

clues - single community, little contact, outside world


Jack recognizes that Tess has been an integral part of the merger deal, and refuses to go forward without letting Mr. Trask know.

integral - necessary to full function, essential

clues - refuses to go forward


The customer service representative mollified the furious client by listening well to her concerns, apologizing for the mistakes, and offering an acceptable discount.

mollify - soften the temper

clues - furious, listening, apologizing, offering


Betty Freidan’s The Feminine Mystique challenges the mores regarding women's roles in society.

mores - moral attitudes and customary behaviors

clues - women's roles in society


Even his best friends, though sympathetic for his loss at first, could not keep their own spirits up while visiting him in such a morose state.

morose - gloomy, sullen

clues - though sympathetic, keep spirits up


During the London Blitz, the citizens of that great city suffered privation as supplies were drained to support the war effort.

privation - a lack of basic necessities

clues - supplies were drained


In order to set-up their lab, the team had to procure fairly expensive equipment and chemicals.

procure - acquire, get their hands on, obtain

clues - set-up lab, fairly expensive


As he cut his strand of the net from the basket, the MVP of both his conference tournament and the ‘Big Dance’ faced such profuse applause that he was truly moved to tears.

profuse - plentiful, abundant, pouring out

clues - cut the net (winning the tournament), MVP, applause


With 162 games worth of bruises and strains to face each season, Major League Baseball calls for very resilient athletes to endure its grinding schedule.

resilient - enduring, tough, able to take punishing stress

clues - bruises and strains, endure, grinding


The once sedate and expectant audience grew restive waiting more than an hour and a half for the headliner to perform.

restive - jumpy, anxious, unable to sit still

clues - once sedate and expectant, waiting an hour and a half


The drill sergeant was a strident, hard-boiled, bare-knuckles, bellowing, vulgar, old army dog, and the recruits feared him to their marrow.

strident - harsh, loud

clues - drill sergeant, hard-boiled, bellowing, vulgar, army dog


A good marketer realizes that trenchant directions and diagrams are necessary for a product that requires assembly.

trenchant - clear-cut, directly effective, articulate

clues - charts and diagrams, assembly 


Mr. Palmer was very tough on his students avoiding trite phrases that showed a lack of authentic thinking from his students.

trite - not original, cliched, overused

clues - lack of authentic thinking


One look at the dipstick, the mechanic knew that the engine’s performance problems started with the viscous condition of the old oil, and he changed it.

viscous - syrupy, thick and sticky

clues - dipstick, problems, old oil


Though a chemist familiar with sulfuric acid, Herschel could never stomach the vitriolic insults that his girlfriend used to launch when furious.

vitriolic - sour, acidic, caustic

clues - acid, could never stomach, insults


The three witches of Macbeth amuse themselves with the aspersions aimed at torturing a sea captain with nightmares.

aspersions - curses, expressed ill-will

clues - witches, torturing with nightmares


In Act I of Hamlet, rumors abound that young Fortinbras plans to assail Denmark now that the dread king, Hamlet’s father, is dead.

assail - attack

clues - now that dread king is dead (the challenger, Fortinbras, will move in)


The non-violent protestors covered their heads with their hands to defend against the buffets of the angry mob that swept up to them.

buffet - punch, strike, knock, smack

clues - cover heads, defend, angry mob


After the Encierro, or Running of the Bulls, is finished in Pamplona, Spain, the area hospitals treat the many contusions and broken bones of the unlucky victims of the event.

contusion - bruise

clues -bulls,  hospitals, broken bones


After the General and Specific Theory of Relativity, Albert Einstein worked on the conundrums of quantum mechanics and a Grand Unifying Theory.

conundrums - puzzle, problem

clues - G & S Relativity, quantum mechanics, G. U. Theory


I prefer straightforward story-telling to convoluted, non-sequential plots, that frankly confuse me more than please me.

convoluted - complicated, tangled, intricate, mixed up

clues - prefer straightforward to, confuse me


Due to an error in planning, the buffet was so copious that the wedding guests were all completely stuffed before a quarter of the food was gone.

copious - profuse, abundant

clues - error in planning, buffet, stuffed, a quarter of the food


The glands in his neck distended such that one might be convinced he had two marbles lodged under his skin.

distend - to swell out

clues - glands, marbles under the skin


The morning mist dissipated leaving a thick layer of dew on the glistening grass.

dissipated - disappear, cause to disappear

clues - mist left dew


Since the porcelain elephant was made by Lynn’s late grandfather, Joe knew that nothing could expiate his breaking of it.

expiate - make up for it, make amends, atone

clues - since elephant (sentimental value), breaking it


Careful reading and reflection is necessary to catch the nuances of a poem like “Renascense” by Edna St. Vincent Millay, or go on Spark Notes and have all the subtleties explained.

nuance - subtlety, slight variation in meaning, tone, expression

clues - careful reading, to catch, subtleties


The professor demonstrated to his class how quickly the internet propagates rumors through societies--within minutes the "news" about the Chief Justice was on major news web pages.

propagate - multiply, spread out

clues - quickly, rumors, through


Though generally very conscious of the principles of a healthy diet, Max still retained from his youth a strong propensity for certain sugary breakfast cereals.

propensity - preference, inclination

clues - though, healthy diet, still retained, sugary breakfast


The heavy rain and wind Sunday were propitious conditions for the smash-mouth style of the underdog AFC team against the usually high-flying NFC favorite. 

propitious - favorable

clues - heavy rain and wind, smash mouth


Rather than reveling in the attention of her new-found stardom, the stage actress suffered from panic attacks whenever the paparazzi surrounded her.

revel - relish, enjoy intensely

clues - rather than, suffered, panic attacks


Sharon was too aware of her father’s longwinded ways to hope he would be succinct on this occasion, so she endured patiently as he rambled on and on.

succinct - using few words to communicate very well

clues - longwinded, hope, endured patiently, rambled


Joe dreaded to go to gym class again with a man as truculent as Coach Hyde, who, rumor had it, carried two rolls of nickels in his pockets in case of trouble.

truculent - ready to fight, cruel, belligerent

clues - dreaded, carried two rolls of nickels, trouble


The principal vituperated the entire sophomore class for their terrible attendance record in the first marking period.

vituperate - scold, criticize, berate

clues - principal, terrible attendance


Although it was by the purest of accidents, Frank felt he could never atone for the little boy’s death.

atone - feel at peace, make amends, repent

clues - although, accident, boy's death


The French teacher recommended that her students augment their skills by visiting twenty French-based websites a week, including those with audio and video content.

augment - add to, expand, improve

clues - skills, twenty websites


The well-heeled tennis champion, whose joints grew tender in rainy conditions, was relieved at the auspicious weather report for five sunny days in a row at Wimbledon.

auspicious - fortunate, favorable, indicative of good things to come

clues - well-heeled, joints grew tender, report of sunny days


The children came from London in anticipation of the Blitz to a large and austere manor house, mostly uninhabited and unfurnished, in the English countryside.

austere - spare, very bare, bleak

clues - large, unhabited, unfurnished


Since the death of his mother from emphysema, Ed has had a strong aversion to smoking of any kind.

aversion - particular dislike for something, disinclined

clues - emphysema, smoking


His burnished armor made him gleam in the morning sun, and his page felt pride for his long night of work to make it so.

burnish - polish, make shine

clues - gleam, page felt pride, night of work


Borrachio believes, through covert means, that he can ruin the reputation of Hero, so that neither Claudio nor Don Pedro would ever know what really happened.

covert - secret, sneaky

clues - ruined the reputation, would never know what really happened


The culmination of Joel’s and Clementine’s argument about having a baby together was a resolution on her part to end the relationship.

culmination - climax, something that is progressed toward

clues - argument, resolution, end relationship


Though never indicted nor convicted, Horace Grenderson was fully culpable for the accident his actions so willfully caused.

culpable - deserving of blame, guilty

clues - Though never indicted, actions caused accident


“The Wolf” explains to Vincent that his curt manner is not meant as a disrespect, but rather a recognition of the limited time necessary for the task.

curt - short in speech, bordering on rude

clues - manner, not disrespect, limited time


The new circus pony was so docile that she was fully trained in the routine in less than half the time it took the others.

docile - easy to work with, teachable

clues - fully trained, half the time


His opinions on the natural separation of the labors of men and women in history made him seem dogmatic to the other faculty at the College of the Humanities.

dogma - stridently and aggresively adhering to unproven principles

clues - natural separation of labors, humanities


Polly had learned the hard way not to buy products of dubious origins from online sources, because they had a good chance of being stolen merchandise.

dubious - doubtful, uncertain in quality or authenticity

clues - because, stolen mechandise


The intelligence gathered under duress was often useless, because people suffering intense torture say anything to make it stop.

duress - hardship, threat

clues - because, suffering, torture



Doctors who extol the virtues of a particular drug may be in earnest or they may be simply responding to the side of the bread where the butter is spread.

extol - praise, revere

clues - may be, earnest, or side of the bread with the butter


Gene kept in contact with his many love interests by furtive uses of a cell phone that his wife knew nothing about.

furtive - secretive, sly

clues - wife knew nothing about


The retired principal had the inveterate tendency to correct children he encountered at the grocery store or park.

inveterate - formed by long habit

clues - principal, correct children


Casting a richer and more varied color pattern, the much maligned cubic zirconia, is more iridescent than the “real” gem so loved by diamond snobs.

iridescent - sparkling, prismatic, shining in a range of colors

clues - more varied color pattern


Among the myriad of stars looking down from heaven that night, one in particular shined on Beatrice.

myriad - very numerous

clues - stars in heaven


The babysitter suffered through an evening with a set of twins who were so puerile and spoiled that she was amazed to remember they were twelve-year-olds.

puerile - immature, juvenile

clues - babysitter, spoiled, twelve-year olds


Sean was usually as gentle as a kitten, but one insult directed at his mother and his pugnacious side would take over, then look out!

pugnacious - quarrelsome, combative

clues - gentle, but, insult his mother, look out!


Even though Hugh never actually met them, he suspected his neighbors were Indian by the pungent odor of curry in the air.

pungent - giving off a sharp odor or taste

clues - curry in the air


We knew by the putrid smell of the spoiled food that the refrigerator was broken.

putrid - rank smell, like rotten flesh

clues - spoiled, refrigerator, broken


Although he enjoyed the refinements of high opera, the critic’s most guilty pleasure came often in ribald comedies which reminded him of his teenage days in the slums of Southy.

ribald - funny in a crude way

clues - although, high opera, guilty pleasure, comdies, slums


Despite his seasoning, the crime scene investigator was revolted by the sight of the corpse so rife with worms and maggots that he couldn’t eat for more than five days.

rife - full of, stuffed with, abundant

clues - despite, seasoning, corpse, maggots


Jimmy J. ruminated over the weekly football schedule in order to pick the winners against the spread for his pool.

ruminate - comtemplate, reflect on, ponder

clues - football picks


Mr. Holmes sent a message in the code that he broke as a ruse to bring the killer to him.

ruse - trick, deception

clues - message in code


Just from the bit of shattered glass in the driveway, dad could surmise that the car had been damaged while he was out of town.

surmise - deduce, reason through, figure out, infer

clues - bit of shattered glass, car was damaged


Stanley was a student who although capable of doing very well on his finals honestly, still preferred coming up with surreptitious schemes to obtain the exams before the test date.

surreptitious - sneaky, steathy

clues - although capable, schemes, obtain, exams


Suffering from a severe case of the flu and too dizzy to even stand, the actor sent his best friend to the awards’ ceremony to be his surrogate in case he won.

surrogate - substitute, one acting in place of another

clues - sent his best friend


After months at sea in the tropics, even the fairest skinned sailors came home so swarthy that their wives didn’t recognize them.

swarthy - dark in complexion, deeply tanned

clues - even the fairest skinned, months in the tropics


The director fired all the sycophants that had collected around him, and started searching for a staff that was capable of saying “no” to him.

sychophant - yes man, someone insincerely complimentary

clues - director, capable of saying "no"


The editor realized that the prospective novel was too turgid for today’s fiction market, which had grown used to a more spare and less grandiose style.

turgid - excessively embellished in language

clues - too, more spare, less grandiose


The mayor had a reputation for upstanding behavior in his home state, but more than once suffered scandals from his turpitude whenever he vacationed in Monte Carlo.

turpitude - moral corruption, depravity

clues - reputation for upstanding, but, scandals, Vegas


After growing tired of the superficial world of high-fashion, Edwina decided to devote herself to a new vocation: social work.

vocation - a life's calling, a career in line with one's soul or spirit

clues - superficial, devote, social work


“The 12th man” in football refers to fans so vociferous that they can disrupt the communication of the opposing team with their lungs.

vociferous - loud

clues - football fans, disrupt communication, lungs


They had no choice but to pledge the family farm in Marthasville as collateral for the loan to pay the legal expenses.

collateral - property pledged to protect a lender from failing to be repaid on a loan

clues: pledge, farm, loan