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Flashcards in E Words Deck (30):

ebullient (adj)

overflowing with high spirits; showing excitement

Nothing could repress Amy's ebullient nature; she was always bubbling over with enthusiasm.


eclectic (adj)

composed of elements drawn from a variety of sources

Dale's taste in interior decorations was eclectic: he would select bits and pieces of furnishings from widely divergent periods and strikingly juxtapose them to create a unique decor.


edify (v)

instruct in moral matters, benefit spiritually

Nothing is worse than a novel that seeks to edify the reader; there is no place in literature for heavy-handed moralizing.


efficacy (n)

power to bring about a desired effect

I'm not convinced of the efficacy of this decongestant; although I've been taking it regularly for three weeks, my sinuses are still blocked.


effrontery (n)

shameless boldness

When his boss told Frank that she was firing him for laziness and insubordination, he had the effrontery to ask her for a letter of recommendation.


elicit (v)

draw out (a response or reaction)

The photographer made funny faces in an attempt to elicit a smile from his shy subject.


embellish (v)

make more beautiful; make a story more interesting by adding (generally fictitious) details

The costume designer embellished the leading lady's ball gown with yards and yards of ribbon and lace.


empirical (adj)

based on experience; verifiable by experiment or observation

He distrusted hunches and intuitive flashes; he placed his reliance entirely on empirical data.


emulate (v)

attempt to equal or outdo

In a brief essay, describe a person you admire, someone whose virtues and achievements you would like to emulate.


encomium (n)

high praise; formal tribute

Uneasy with the encomiums poured upon him by his enthusiastic readers, Tolkien felt unworthy of such high praise.


endemic (adj)

prevalent in a particular region or among a particular group

In some areas of Africa, malaria is endemic; 90 to 100 percent of children less than five years old have malaria parasites circulating in their blood all the time.


enervate (v)

lessen the strength of

She was slow to recover after her surgery; even a short walk to the window enervated her.


engender (v)

cause to exist

To receive praise for real accomplishments engenders self-confidence in a child.


enumerate (v)

mention one by one

Huck hung his head in shame as Miss Watson enumerated his many faults.


ephemeral (adj)

lasting only a short time

The may-fly is an ephemeral creature; its adult life lasts little more than a day.


epitome (n)

perfect example or emodiment

As he sang, "I am the very model of a modern major general," in The Pirates of Penzance, Major General Stanley proclaimed himself the epitome of an officer and a gentleman.


equanimity (n)

calmness of temperament

Even the inevitable strains of caring for an ailing mother did not disturb Bea's equanimity.


equivocal (adj)

intentionally misleading; open to more than one interpretation

Rejecting the candidate's equivocal comments on tax reform, the reporters pressured him to state clearly where he stood on the issue.


erudition (n)

deep scholarly knowledge

Unlike much scholarly writing, Huizinga's prose is as lively as it is learned: his writing combines both wit and erudition.


esoteric (adj)

known only to the chosen few (and therefore mysterious)

Stories in the New Yorker often include esoteric allusions to obscure people and events.


eulogize (v)

praise highly; give or write a laudatory speech

In her endorsement of Barack Obama, Caroline Kennedy eulogized the young senator, praising him for his ability to inspire people to work for the common good.


euphemism (n)

mild expression in place of an unpleasant one

The Nazis did not refer to their slaughter of the Jews as genocide; instead, they used a euphemism, calling it "the final solution."


exacerbate (v)

increase or intensify the severity of

When acacias are in bloom, the increase of pollen in the air exacerbates Richard's hay fever.


exact (v)

call for or demand, often forcibly

In feudal times, landowners exacted heavy payments from their peasants in both goods and labor.


exculpate (v)

clear from blame

The defense lawyer sought evidence that would exculpate her client, but the case for his guilt was too strong.


exegesis (n)

critical interpretation, especially of biblical passages

The minister based her sermon on her exegesis of a difficult passage from the book of Job.


exemplar (n)

ideal model

Winston Churchill is an exemplar of Britishness, a real person (although now dead) who typifies his group.


exigency (n)

pressing needs or demands; state of requiring immediate attention

During the Second World War, the exigencies of war gave impetus to computer research in general and in particular to the development of code-breaking machines.


exonerate (v)

clear from blame

DNA evidence has been used to exonerate suspects falsely accused of crimes.


extrapolation (n)

inference based on known facts

Based on their extrapolation from the results of the primaries on Super Tuesday, the networks predicted that John McCain would be the Republican candidate for the presidency.