likely to change; unstable
Because the hormonal changes they undergo affect their spirits, adolescents may become emotionally labile and experience sudden shifts of mood.
demanding much work or care; tedious
In putting together his dictionary of the English language, Doctor Johnson undertook a laborious task.
His voice has a lachrymose quality that is more appropriate at a funeral than a class reunion.
He was lackadaisical and indifferent about his part in the affair.
brief and to the point
Many of the characters portrayed by Clint Eastwood are laconic types: strong men of few words.
The sailor had been taught not to be laggard in carrying out orders.
shallow body of water near a sea; lake
They enjoyed their swim in the calm lagoon.
laypersons; persons not connected with the clergy
The laity does not always understand the clergy's problems.
beat; thrash verbally or physically
It was painful to watch the champion lambaste his opponent, tearing into him mercilessly.
This article lampoons the pretensions of some movie moguls.
weary; sluggish; listless
Her siege of illness left her languid and pallid.
lose animation; lose strength
In stories, lovelorn damsels used to languish and pine away.
His friends tried to overcome the languor into which he had fallen by taking him to parties and to the theater.
long and thin
lank, gaunt, Abraham Lincoln was a striking figure.
Because of the prisoner's record, the district attorney refused to reduce the charge from grand larceny to petit larceny.
pantry; place where food is kept
The first thing Bill did on returning home from school was to check what snacks his mother had in the larder.
Lady Bountiful distributed largess to the poor.
Because they might arouse lascivious impulses in their readers, the lewd books were banned by the clergy.
The hot, tropical weather created a feeling of lassitude and encouraged drowsiness.
Her latent talent was discovered by accident.
freedom from narrow limitations
I think you have permitted your son too much latitude in this matter.
His laudable deeds will be remarked by all whom he aided.
The critics' laudatory comments helped to make her a star.
The actor's lavish gifts pleased her.
We dislike restaurants where the service is lax and inattentive.
cause to rise or grow lighter; enliven
As bread dough is leavened, it puffs up, expanding in volume.
gross lewdness; lustfulness
In his youth he led a life of lechery and debauchery; he did not mend his ways until middle age.
The chaplain delivered his sermon from a hastily improvised lectern.
Don't eat sushi at this restaurant; I'm a bit leery about how fresh it is.
room to move; margin
When you set a deadline, allow a little leeway.
sleight of hand
The magician demonstrated his renowned legerdemain.
earthen or stone embankment to prevent flooding
As the river rose and threatened to overflow the levee, emergency workers rushed to reinforce the walls with sandbags.
float in the air (especially by magical means)
As the magician passed his hands over the recumbent body of his assistant, she appeared to rise and levitate about three feet above the table.
lack of seriousness or steadiness; frivolity
Stop giggling abd wriggling around in the pew; such levity is improper in church.
impose (a fine); collect (a payment)
Crying "No taxation withouth representation," the colonists demonstrated against England's power to levy taxes.
They found his lewd stories objectionable.
compiler of a dictionary
The new dictionary is the work of many lexicographers who spent years compiling and editing the work.
I cannot find this word in any lexicon in the library.
Her lack of an extensive vocabulary was a liability that she was able to overcome.
officer who acts as go-between for two armies; intermediary
As the liason, he had to avoid offending the leaders of the two armies.
defamatory; injurious to the good name of a person
He sued the newspaper because of its libelous story.
debauched person, roue
Although she was aware of his reputation as a libertine, she felt she could reform him and help him break his dissolute way of life.
They objected to his libidinous behavior.
emotional urges behind human activity
The psychiatrist maintained that suppression of the libido often resulted in maladjustment and neuroses.
text of an opera
The composer of an opera's music is remembered more frequently than the author of its libretto.
wanton; lewd; dissolute
The licentious monarch helped bring about his country's downfall.
legal claim on a property
There was a delay before Ralph could take possession of his late uncle's home; apparently, another claimant had a lien upon the estate.
Petrified wood may be ligneous in appearance, but it is stonelike in composition.
Tiny and delicate, the model was built on a lilliputian scale.
Hours of ballet classes kept him limber.
draw; outline; describe
Parodoxically, the more realistic the details this artist chooses, the better able to limn her fantastic, other-worldly landscapes.
features, especially of the face
She quickly sketched the lineaments of his face.
tilt; lean over
That flagpole should be absolutely vertical; instead, it lists to one side.
lacking in spirit or energy
We had expected him to be full of enthusiasm and were surprised by his listless attitude.
On this solemn day, the congregation responded to the prayers of the priest during the litany with fervor and intensity.
Her figure was lithe and willowy.
Try to settle this amicably; I do not want to start litigation.
understatement for emphasis
To say, "He little realizes," when we mean that he does not realize at all, is an example of the kind of understatement we call litotes.
lead-coloredl; black and blue; ashen; enraged
His face was so livid with rage that we were afraid that he might have an attack of apoplexy.
They were both loath for him to go.
We loathed the wicked villain.
If this lode that we have discovered extends for any distance, we have found a fortune.
They used to tease him about his lofty ambitions.
hang around; linger
The policeman told him not to loiter in the alley.
They lolled around in their chairs watching television.
As the horses loped along, we had an opportunity to admire the ever-changing scenery.
She is very loquacious and can speak on the telephone for hours.
The delivery boy is an awkward lout.
From the hilltop, they could see the herd like ants in the distance; they could barely hear the cattle low.
Preferring lucre to undying fame, he wrote stories of popular appeal.
Let us be serious; this is not a ludicrous issue.
The lugabrious howling of the dogs added to our sadness.
moment of calm
Not wanting to get wet, they waited under the awning for a lull in the rain.
move heavily of clumsily
Still somewhat torpid after its long hibernation, the bear lumbered through the woods.
unit of light energy (one candle's worth)
In buying light bulbs, she checked not only their power, as measured in watts, but their brightness, as measured in lumens.
A leading light of the American stage, Ethel Barrymore was a theatrical luminary whose name lives on.
shining; issuing light
The sun is a luminous body.
The lurid stories he told shocked his listeners.
stealthily lie in waiting; slink; exist unperceived
"Who knows what evils lurk in the hearts of men? The shadow knows."
pleasing to taste or smell
The ripe peach was luscious.
The soft luster of the silk in the dim light was pleasing.
Her large and lustrous eyes gave a touch of beauty to an otherwise drab face.
fertile; abundant; ornate
Farming was easy in this luxuriant soil.