The city morgue is a macabre spot for the uninitiated.
ceremonial staff; clublike medieval weapon
The Grand Marshal of the parade raised his mace to signal that it was time for the procession to begin.
soften by soaking in liquid; waste away
The strawberries had been soaking in the champagn for so long that they had begun to macerate: they literally fell apart at the touch of a spoon.
I do not think he will be a good embassador because he is not accustomed to the machiavellian maneuverings of foreign diplomats.
I can see through your wily machinations.
Instead of writing that Gorbachev had a birthmark on his forehead, the pompous young poet sang of the former premier's maculated brow.
His program of folk songs included several madrigals which he sang to the accompaniment of a lute.
The canoe was tossed about in the maelstrom.
The learned doctor laid down the law to his patient in a magisterial tone of voice.
Noted for his magnanimity, philanthropist Eugene Lang donated millions to charity.
person of prominence or influence
The steel magnate decided to devote more time to city politics.
In their stories of the trial, the reporters ridiculed the magniloquent speeches of the defense attorney.
The hospital could not take care of all who had been mangled or maimed in the railroad accident.
In his usual maladroit way, he managed to upset the cart and spill the food.
She felt a sudden vague malaise when she heard sounds at the door.
comic misuse of a word
When Mrs. Malaprop criticizes Lydia for being "as headstrong as an allegory on the banks of the Nile," she confuses "allegory" and "allegator" in a typical malapropism.
person dissatisfied with existing state of affairs
He was one of the few malcontents in the Congress; he constantly voiced his objections to the Presidential program.
The witch uttered maledictions against her captors.
The authorities did not discover the campaign manager's malfeasance until after he had spent most of the money he had embezzled.
speak evil of; defame
Because of her hatred of the family, she maligns all who are friendly to them.
one who feigns illness to escape duty
The captain ordered the sergeant to punish all malingerers and force them to work.
capable of being shaped by pounding
Gold is a malleable metal.
The component heap was most malodorous in summer.
The police immediately manacled the prisoner so he could not escape.
We finally thew out the mangy rug that the dog had destroyed.
His maniacal laughter frightened us.
His evil intentions were manifest and yet we could not stop him.
declaration; statement of policy
The Communist Manifesto by Marx and Engels proclaimed the principles of modern communism.
I cannot begin to tell you how much I appreciate your manifold kindnesses.
affected; not natural
Attempting to copy the style of his wealthy neighbors, Gatsby adopted a mannered, artificial way of speech.
emancipate; free from bondage
Enlightened slave owners were willing to manumit their slaves and thus put an end to the evil slavery in the country.
She had to refinish the marred surface of the table.
put in order
At a debate tournament, extemporaneous speakers have only a minute or two to marshal their thoughts before addressing their audience.
one of a family of mammals that nurse their offspring in a pouch
The most common marsupial in North America is the opposum.
The commanding officer was a martinet who observed each regulation to the ltter.
point of origin; array of numbers or algebraic symbols; mold or die
Some historians claim the Nile Valley was the matrix of the Western civilization.
I do not like such maudlin pictures. I call them tearjerkers.
The rock star was mauled by his overexcited fans.
His body was placed in the family mausolem.
The mauve tint in the lilac bush was another indication that spring had finally arrived.
To the masculine literary establishment, George Sand with her insistence on wearing trousers and smoking cigars was clearly a maverick who fought her proper womanly role.
Your mawkish sighs fill me with disgust.
proverb; a truth pithily stated
Aesop's fables illustrate moral maxims.
injury to the body
The riot was marked not only by mayhem, with its attendant loss of life and limb, but also by arson and pillage.
indirect speech; hypocritical; evasive
Rather than tell Jill directly what he disliked, Jack made a few mealymouthed comments and tried to change the subject.
to wind or turn in its course
It is difficult to sail up this stream because of the way it meanders through the countryside.
He felt his marriage was suffering because of his meddlesome mother-in-law.
The band played a medley of Gershwin tunes.
submissive; patient and long-suffering
Mr. Barrett never expected his meek daughter would dare to defy him by eloping with her suitor.
mania for doing grandiose things
Developers who spend millions trying to build the world's tallest skyscraper suffer from megalomania.
The captain tried to ascertain the cause of the melee that had broken out among the crew members.
flowing smoothly; smooth
Italian is a mellifluous language.
Take this book as a memento of your visit.
Let us memorialize his great contribution by dedicating this library in his honor.
He was pathological liar, and his friends learned to discount his mendacious stories.
From the moment we left the ship, we were surrounded by mendicants and peddlers.
suitable for sevants; low
I cannot understand why a person of your ability and talent should engage in such menial activities.
I am more interested in the opportunites available in the mercantile field than I am in those in the legal profession.
motivated solely by money or gain
"I'm not in this war because I get my kicks waving flags," said the mercenary soldier. "I'm in it for the dough."
He was of a mercurial temperament and therefore unpredictable.
flashy; tawdry; falsely attractive
Her jewels were inexpensive but not meretricious.
The incessant drone seemed to mesmerize him and place him in a trance.
pertaining to the art of removing metals from ores
During the course of his metallurgical research, the scientist developed a steel alloy of tremendous strength.
He tried to be impartial in his efforts to mete out justice.
swift; momentarily brilliant
We all wondered at his meteoric rise to fame.
An accountant must be methodical and maintain order among his financial records.
When challenged by the other horses in the race, the thoroughbred proved its mettle by its determination to hold the lead.
swamp gas; heavy, vaporous atmosphere, often emanating from decaying matter; pervasive corrupting influence
The smog hung over Victorian London like a dark cloud; noisome, reeking of decay, it was a visible miasma.
Althoughat this time he was advocating a policy of neutrality, one could usually find him adopting a more militant attitude.
Your record of lateness and absence will militate against your chances of promotion.
Jabbing a minatory forefinger at Dorothy, the Wicked Witch cried, "I'll get you, and your little dog, too!"
Yum-Yum walked across the stage with mincing steps.
a servile dependent
He was always accompanied by several of his minions because he enjoyed their subservience and flattery.
She would have liked to ignore the minutiae of daily living.
unreal reflection; optical illusion
The lost prospector was fooled by a mirage in the desert.
entangle; stick in swampy ground
Their rear wheels became mired in mud.
Sober Malvolio found Sir Toby's mirth improper.
one who hates mankind
We thought the hermit was a miantrope because he shunned our society.
To avoid msapprehension, I am going to ask all of you to repeat the instructions I have given.
mixture of writings on various subjects
This is an interesting miscellany of nineteenth-century prose and poetry.
By mischance, he lost his week's salary.
interpret incorrectly; misjudge
She took the passage seriously rather than humourously because she misconstrued the author's ironic tone.
His kindness to the miscreant amazed all of us who had expected to hear severe punishment pronounced.
The culprit pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor rather than face trial for a felony.
The miserly old man hoarded his coins not out of prudence but out of greed.
With a little care you could have avoided this mishap.
wrong name; incorrect designation
His tyrannical conduct proved to all that his nickname, King Eric the Just, was a misnomer.
hatred of marriage
He remained a bachelor not because of misogamy but because of ill fate: his fiancee died before the wedding.
hater of women
She accused him of being a misogynist because he had been a bachelor all his life.
The ambassador received a missive from the Secretary of State.
very small object or creature; small coin
Gnats are annoying mites that sing.
Nothing he did could mitigate her wrath; she was unforgiving.
Although his story is based on a modicum of truth, most of the events he describes are fictitious.
She always discarded all garments that were no longer modish.
toning down; changing from one key to another
When we she spoke, it was with quiet modulation of voice.
The oil moguls made great profits when the price of gasoline rose.
pamper; indulge excessively
Don't mollycoddle the boy, Maud! You'll spoil him.
shed or cast off hair or feathers
The male robin molted in the spring.
On this momentous occasion, we must be very solemn.
related to monks
Wanting to live a religious life, he took his monastic vows.
solidly uniform; unyielding
Knowing the importance of appearing resolute, the patriots sought to present a monolithic front.
belief in one God
Abraham was the first to proclaim his belief in monotheism.
fits of depression or gloom
We could not discover the cause of her recurrent moodiness.
legal delay of payment
If we declare a moratorium and delay collection of debts for six months, I am sure the farmers will be able to meet their bills.
given to unwholesome thought; gloomy
These morbid speculations are dangerous; we must lighten our spirits by emphasizing more pleasant matters.
biting; sarcastic; stinging
Actors feared the critic's mordant pen.
The mores of Mexico are those of Spain with some modifications.
at the point of death
The doctors called the family to the bedside of the moribund patient.
When we first meet Hamlet, we find him morose and depressed.
The mortician prepared the corpse for burial.
humiliate; punish the flesh
She was so mortified by her blunder that she ran to her room in tears.
The tiniest mote in the eye is very painful.
This simple motif runs throughout the score.
ability to move spontaneously
Certain organisms exhibit remarkable motility; motile spores, for example, may travel for miles before coming to rest.
The captain had gathered a motley crew to sail the vessel.
When he blushed, his face took on a mottled hue.
charlatan; boastful pretender
The patent medicine man was a mountebank.
confuse; mix up
His thoughts were muddled and chaotic.
warm and damp
August in New York City is often muggy.
defraud a person of something
The lawyer was accused of trying to mulct the boy of his legacy.
varied; greatly diversified
A career woman and mother, she was constantly busy with the multifarious activities of her daily life.
The munificent gift was presented to the bride by her rich uncle.
The murkiness and fog of the waterfront that evening depressed me.
For a moment he mused about the beauty of the scene, but his thought soon changed as he recalled his own personal problems.
having the odor of musk
She left a trace of musky perfume behind her.
Washington mustered his forces at Trenton.
stale; spoiled by age
The attic was dark and musty.
The captain had to use force to quiet his mutinous crew.
person who makes or sells women's hats
The millinery displayed fashionable hats in the street where many women passed by.