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Flashcards in H Words Deck (13):

hackneyed (adj)

lacking in originality

He was just a hack screenwriter churning out hackneyed remakes with storylines that were older than he was, and he was fifty-three.


harangue (n v)

intense verbal attack; passionate, vehement speech

In a lengthy harangue, the principal berated the students who had trashed the school cafeteria.


harbinger (n)

someone or something that foreshadows what is to come

Wilson asked whether the extreme El Nino storms during the 1990s were a harbinger of climatic change or merely a normal fluctuation in the climate pattern.


hedonist (n)

one who believes that pleasure is the sole aim in life

A thoroughgoing hedonist, he considered only his own pleasure, ignoring any claims his family had on his money or time.


hegemony (n)

predominance, especially of one nation over others

As one Eastern European nation after another declared its independence, commentators marveled at the sudden breakdown of the once monolithic Soviet hegemony.


hermetic [1] (adj)

sealed by fusion so as to be airtight

After you sterilize the bandages, place them in a container and seal it with a hermetic seal to protect them from contamination by airborne bacteria.


hermetic [2] (adj)

obscure and mysterious

It is strange to consider that modern chemistry originated in the hermetic teachings of the ancient alchemists.


heterodox (adj)

disagreeing with accepted beliefs

To those who upheld the belief that the earth did not move, Galileo's theory that the earth circled the sun was disturbingly heterodox.


heterogeneous (adj)

composed of diverse elements or ingredients

This year's entering class is a remarkably heterogeneous body: it includes student from forty different states and twenty-six foreign countries, some the children of billionaires, others the offspring of welfare families.


hierarchy (n)

arrangement by rank or standing; authoritarian body organized into ranks

To be low man on the totem pole is to have a decidedly inferior place in the hierarchy.


homogeneity (n)

uniformity of structure or composition; formation out of similar elements

Because the vast majority of Cambodia's population is made up of members of the Khmer ethnic group, the country possesses a homogeneity unique in Southeast Asia that has encouraged a strong sense of national identity.


hubris (n)

excessive self-conceit

The psychoanalyst was fascinated, in particular, by the process by which man allows himself to be so carried away by power and success that he is filled with hubris and pride, and conceives immoderate desires that lead in turn to imprudence and danger, and inexorably to failure


hyperbolic (adj)

excessively exaggerated

To say "I'd give my right arm for a cup of coffee right now" is clearly hyperbolic.