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Flashcards in D (II) Deck (118):

disburse (v.)

to pay out

When you disburse money on the company's behalf, be sure to get a receipt.


discernible (adj.)

distinguishable; perceivable

The ships in the harbor were not discernible in the god.


discerning (adj.)

mentally quick and observant; having insight

Though no genius, the star was sufficiently discerning to tell her true friends from the countless phonies who flattered her.


disclaim (v.)

to disown; renounce claim to

If I grant you this privilege, will you disclaim all other rights?``


disclose (v.)

to reveal

Although competitors offered him bribes, he refused to disclose any information about his company's forthcoming product.


discombobulated (adj.)

confused; discomposed

The novice square dancer became so discombobulated that he wandered into the wrong set.


discomfit (v.)

to put to rout; to defeat; to disconcert

This ruse will discomfit the enemy.


discomposure (n.)

agitation; loss of poise

Perpetually poised, Agent 007 never exhibited a moment's discomposure.


disconcert (v.)

to confuse; to upset; to embarrass

The lawyer was disconcerted by the evidence produced by her adversary.


disconsolate (adj.)


The death of his wife left him disconsolate.


discord (n.)

conflict; lack of harmony

Watching Tweedledum battle Tweedledee, Alice wondered what had caused this pointless discord.


discordant (adj.)

not harmonious; conflicting

Nothing is quite so discordant as the sound of a junior high school orchestra tuning up.


discount (v.)

to disregard; dismiss

Be prepared to discount what he had to say about his ex-wife.


discourse (n.)

formal discussion; conversation

The young Plato was drawn to the Agora to hear the philosophical discourse of Socrates and his followers.


discredit (v.)

to defame; to destroy confidence in; to disbelieve

The campaign was highly negative in tone; each candidate tried to discredit the other.


discrepancy (n.)

lack of consistency; difference

The police noticed some discrepancies in his description of the crime and did not believe him.


discrete (adj.)

separate; unconnected

The universe is composed of discrete bodies.


discretion (n.)

prudence; ability to adjust actions to circumstances

Use your discretion in this matter and do not discuss it with anyone.


discriminating (adj.)

able to see differences; prejudiced

A superb interpreter of Picasso, she was sufficiently discriminating to judge the most complex works of modern art.


discursive (adj.)

digressing; rambling

As the lecturer wandered from topic to topic, we wondered what if any point there was to his discursive remarks.


disdain (v.)

to view with scorn or contempt

In the film Funny Face, the bookish heroine disdained fashion models for their lack of intellectual interests.


disembark (v.)

to go ashore; to unload cargo fro a ship

Before the passengers could disembark, they had to pick up their passports from the ship's purser.


disenfranchise (v.)

to deprive of a civil right

The imposition of the poll tax effectively disenfranchised poor Southern blacks, who lost their right to vote.


disengage (v.)

to uncouple; to separate; to disconnect

A standard movie routine involves the hero's desperate attempt to disengage a railroad car from a moving train.


disfigure (v.)

to mar in beauty; to spoil

An ugly frown disfigured his normally pleasant face.


disgorge (v.)

to surrender something; to eject; to vomit

Unwilling to disgorge the cash he had stolen from the pension fund, the embezzler tried to run away.


disgruntle (v.)

to make discontented

The passengers were disgruntled by the numerous delays.


dishearten (v.)

to discourage; to cause to lose courage or hope

His failure to pass the bar exam disheartened him.


disheveled (adj.)


You disheveled appearance will hurt your chances in this interview.


disinclination (n.)


Some mornings I fell a great disinclination to get out of bed.


disingenuous (adj.)

lacking genuine candor; insincere

Now that we know the mayor and his wife are engaged in a bitter divorce fight, we find their earlier remarks regretting their lack of time together remarkably disingenuous.


disinter (v.)

to dig up; to unearth

The disinterred the body and help an autopsy.


disinterested (adj.)


Given the judge's political ambitions and the lawyers' financial interest in the case, the only disinterested person in the courtroom may have been the court reporter.


disjointed (adj.)


His remarks were so disjointed that we could not follow his reasoning.


dislodge (v.)

to remove (forcibly)

Thrusting her fist up under the chocking man's lower ribs, Margaret used the Heimlich maneuver to dislodge the food caught in his throat.


dismantle (v.)

to take apart

When the show closed, they dismantled the scenery before storing it.


dismay (v.)

to discourage; to frighten

The huge amount of work she had left to do dismayed her.


dismember (v.)

to cut into small parts

When the Austrian Empire was dismembered, several new countries were established.


dismiss (v.)

to put away from consideration; to reject

Believing in John's love for her, she dismissed the notion the he might be unfaithful. (secondary meaning)


disparage (v.)

to belittle

A doting mother, Emma was more likely to praise her son's crude attempts at art than to disparage them.


disparate (adj.)

basically different; unrelated

Unfortunately, Tony and Tina have disparate notions of marriage: Tony sees it as a carefree extended love affair, while Tina sees it as a solemn commitment to build a family and a home.


disparity (n.)

difference; condition of inequality

Their disparity in rank made no difference at all to the prince and Cinderella.


dispassionate (adj.)

calm; impartial

Known in the company for his cool judgment, Bill could impartially examine the causes of a problem, giving a dispassionate analysis of what had gone wrong, and go on to suggest how to correct the mess.


dispatch (n.)

speediness; prompt execution; message sent with all due speed

Young Napoleon defeated the enemy with all possible dispatch; he then sent a dispatch to headquarters informing his commander of the great victory.


dispel (v.)

to scatter; to drive away; to cause to vanish

The bright sunlight eventually dispelled the morning mist.


disperse (v.)

to scatter

The police fired tear gas into the crowd to disperse the protesters.


dispirited (adj.)

lacking in spirit

The coach used all the tricks at his command to buoy up the enthusiasm of his team, which had become dispirited at the loss of the star player.


disputatious (adj.)

argumentative; fond of arguing

Convinced he knew more than his lawyers, Alan was a disputatious client, ready to argue about the best way to conduct the case.


disquiet (v.)

to make uneasy or anxious

Holmes's absence for a day, slightly disquieted Watson; after a week with no word, however, Watson's uneasiness about his missing friend had grown into a deep fear for his safety.


dissection (n.)

analysis; cutting apart in order to examine

The dissection of frogs in the laboratory is particularly unpleasant to some students.


dissemble (v.)

to disguise; to pretend

Even though John tried to dissemble his motive for taking modern dance, we all knew he was there not to dance but to meet girls.


disseminated (v.)

to distribute; to spread; to scatter (like seeds)

By their use of the Internet, propagandists have been able to disseminate their pet doctrines to new audiences around the globe.


dissent (v.)

to disagree

In the recent Supreme Court decision, Justice O'Conner dissented from the majority opinion.


dissertation (n.)

formal essay

In order to earn a graduate degree from many of our universities, a candidate is frequently required to prepare a dissertation on some scholarly subject.


dissident (adj.)

dissenting; rebellious

In the purge that followed the student demonstrations at Tiananmen Square, the government hunted down the dissident students and their supporters.


dissimulate (v.)

to pretend; to conceal by feigning

Although the governor tried to dissimulate his feelings about the opposing candidate, we all knew he despised his rival.


dissipate (v.)

to squander; to waste; to scatter

He is a fine artist, but I fear he may dissipate his gifts if he keeps wasting his time playing games.


dissolute (adj.)

loose in morals

The dissolute life led by the ancient Romans is indeed shocking.


dissolution (n.)

breaking of a union; decay; termination

Which caused King Lear more suffering: the dissolution of his kingdom into warring factions, or the dissolution of his aged, falling body?


dissonance (n.)


Composer Charles Ives often used dissonance--clashing or unresolved chords--for special effects in his musical works.


dissuade (v.)

to persuade not to do; discourage

Since Tom could not dissuade Huck from running away from home, he decided to run away from him.


distant (adj.)

reserved or aloof; cold in manner

His distant greeting made me feel unwelcome from the start. (secondary meaning)


distend (v.)

to expand; to swell out

I can tell when he is under stress by the way the veins distend on his forehead.


distill (v.)

to extract the essence; to purify; to refine

A moonshiner distills mash into whiskey; an epigrammatist distills thoughts into quips.


distinction (n.)

honor; contrast; discrimination

A holder of the Medal of Honor, George served with great distinction in World War II. He made a distinction, however, between World War II and Vietnam, which he considered an immoral conflict.


distort (v.)

to twist out of shape

It is difficult to believe the newspaper accounts of the riots because of the way some reporters distort and exaggerate the actual events.


distraught (adj.)

upset; distracted by anxiety

The distraught parents frantically searched the ravine for their lost child.


diurnal (adj.)


A farmer cannot neglect his diurnal tasks at any time; cows, for example, must be milked regularly.


diva (n.)

operatic singer; prima donna

Although world famous as a diva, she did not indulge in fits of temperament.


diverge (v.)

to vary; to go in different directions from the same point

The spokes of the wheel diverge from the hub.


divergent (adj.)

differing; deviating

Since graduating from medical school, the two doctors have taken divergent paths, one going on to become a nationally prominent surgeon, the other dedicating himself to a small family practice in his home town.


diverse (adj.)

differing in some characteristic; various

The professor suggested diverse ways of approaching the assignment and recommended that we choose one of them.


diversion (n.)

act of turning aside; pastime

After studying for several hours, he needed a diversion from work.


diversity (n.)

variety; dissimilitude

The diversity of colleges in this country indicated that many levels of ability are being cared for.


divest (v.)

to strip; to deprive

He was divested of his power to act and could no longer govern.


divine (v.)

to perceive intuitively; to foresee the future

Nothing infuriated Tom more than Aunt Polly's ability to divine when he was telling the truth.


divulge (v.)

to reveal

No lover of gossip, Charlotte would never divulge anything that a friend told her in confidence.


docile (adj.)

obedient; easily managed

As docile as he seems today, that old lion was once a ferocious, snarling beast.


doctrinaire (adj.)

unable to compromise about points of doctrine; dogmatic; unyielding

Weng had hoped that the student-led democracy movement might bring about change in China, but the repressive response of the doctrinaire hard-liners crushed his dreams of democracy.


doctrine (n.)

teachings, in general; particular principle (religious, legal, etc.) taught

He was so committed to the doctrines of his faith that he was unable to evaluate them impartially.


document (v.)

to provide written evidence

She kept all the receipts from her business trip in order to document her expenses for the firm.


dogged (adj.)

determined; stubborn

Les Miserables tells of Inspector Javert's long, dogged pursuit of the criminal Jean Valjean.


doggerel (n.)

poor verse

Although we find occasional snatches of genuine poetry in her work, most of her writing is mere doggerel.


dogmatic (adj.)

opinionated; arbitrary; doctrinal

We tried to discourage Doug from being so dogmatic, but never could convince him that his opinions might be wrong.


doldrums (n.)

blues; listlessness; slack period

Once the excitement of meeting her deadline was over, she found herself in the doldrums.


doleful (adj.)


He found the doleful lamentations of the bereaved family emotionally disturbing and he left as quickly as he could.


dolt (n.)

stupid person

The heroes of Dumb and Dumber are, as the title suggests, a classic pair of dolts.


domicile (n.)


Although his legal domicile was in New York City, his work kept him away from his residence for many years.


domineer (v.)

to rule over tyrannically

Students prefer teachers who guide, not ones who domineer.


don (v.)

to put on

When Clark Kent has to don his Superman outfit, he changes clothes in a convenient phone booth.


doodle (v.)

to scribble or draw aimlessly; to waste time

Art's teachers scolded him when he doodled all over the margins of his papers.


dormant (adj.)

sleeping; lethargic; latent

At fifty her long-dormant ambition to write flared up once more; within a year she had completed the first of her great historical novels.


dossier (n.)

file of documents on a subject

Ordered by J. Edgar Hoover to investigate the senator, the FBI compiled a complete dossier on him.


dote (v.)

to be excessively fond of; to show signs of mental decline

Not only grandmothers bore you with stories about their brilliant grandchildren; grandfathers dote on the little rascals, too.
Poor old Alf clearly doted: the senile old dotard was past it; in fact, he was in his dotage.


douse (v.)

to plunge into water; drench; extinguish

They doused each other with hoses and water balloons.


dowdy (adj.)

slovenly; untidy

She tried to change her dowdy image by buying a new fashionable wardrobe.


downcast (adj.)

disheartened; sad

Cheerful and optimistic by nature, Beth was never downcast despite the difficulties she faced.


drab (adj.)

dull; lacking color; cheerless

The Dutch woman's drab winter coat contrasted with the distinctive, colorful native costume she wore beneath it.


draconian (adj.)

extremely severe

When the principal canceled the senior prom because some seniors had been late to school that week, we thought the draconian punishment was far too harsh for such a minor violation of the rules.


dregs (n.)

sediment; worthless residue

David poured the wine carefully to avoid stirring up the dregs.


drivel (n.)

nonsense; foolishness

Why do I have to spend my days listening to such idiotic drivel? Drivel is related to dribble: think of a dribbling, driveling idiot.


droll (adj.)

queer and amusing

He was a popular guest because his droll anecdotes were always entertaining.


drone (n.)

idle person; male bee

Content to let his wife support him, the would-be writer was in reality nothing but a drone.


drone (v.)

to talk dully; to buzz or murmur like a bee

On a gorgeous day, who wants to be stuck in a classroom listening to the teacher drone?


dross (n.)

waste matter; worthless impurities

Many methods have been devised to separate the valuable metal from the dross.


drudgery (n.)

menial work

Cinderella's fairy godmother rescued her from a life of drudgery.


dubious (adj.)

questionable; filled with doubt

Many critics of the SAT contend the test is of dubious worth.
Jay claimed he could get a perfect 2400 on the new SAT, but Ellen was dubious: she knew he hadn't cracked a book in three years.


ductile (adj.)

malleable; flexible; pliable

Copper is an extremely ductile material: you can stretch it into the thinnest of wires, bend it, even wind it into loops.


dulcet (adj.)

sweet sounding

The dulcet sounds of the birds at dawn were soon drowned out by the roar of traffic passing our motel.


dumbfound (v.)

to astonish

Egbert's perfect 2400 on his SAT exam dumbfounded his classmates, who had always found him to be perfectly dumb.


dupe (n.)

someone easily fooled

While the gullible Watson often was made a dupe by unscrupulous parties, Sherlock Holmes was far more difficult to fool.


duplicity (n.)

double-dealing; hypocrisy

When Tanya learned that Mark had been two-timing her, she was furious at his duplicity.


duration (n.)

length of time something lasts

Because she wanted the children to make a good impression on the dinner guests, Mother promised them a treat if they'd behave for the duration of the meal.


duress (n.)

forcible restraint, especially unlawfully

The hostages were held under duress until the prisoners' demands were met.


dutiful (adj.)

respectful; obedient

When Mother told Billy to kiss Great-Aunt Hattie, the boy obediently gave the old woman a dutiful peck on her cheek.


dwarf (v.)

to cause to seem small

The giant redwoods and high cliffs dwarfed the elegant Ahwahnee Hotel, making it appear a modest lodge rather than an imposing hostelry.


dwindle (v.)

to shrink; to reduce

The food in the life boat gradually dwindled away to nothing; in the end, they ate the ship's cook.


dynamic (adj.)

energetic; vigorously active

The dynamic aerobics instructor kept her students on the run; she was a little dynamo.