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Flashcards in M Words Deck (20):

machination (n)

evil scheme

Fortunately, Batman saw through the wily machinations of the Riddler and saved Gotham City from destruction by the forces of evil.


magnanimity (n)

greatness of spirit that enables one to be generous

Noted for his magnanimity, philanthropist Eugene Lang donated millions to charity.


malevolent (adj)

showing ill will

Iago is a malevolent villain who takes pleasure in ruining Othello.


malinger (v)

feign illness to evade work

Because the captain had threatened to throw anyone who malingered in the brig, even the perennial slackers and bellyachers were hard at work.


malleable (adj)

capable of being shaped by beating or pounding

Gold is a malleable metal, easily shaped into bracelets and rings.


maverick (n)

independent individual who refuses to conform to conventional ways

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.


mendacious (adj)

habitually dishonest

Distrusting Huck from the start, Miss Watson assumed he was mendacious and refused to believe a word he said.


mercenary (adj/n)

interested in money or gain

Mercenary motives inspired Andy's every act: his first question was always, "What's in it for me?"


mercurial (adj)

unpredictably changeable

Quick as quicksilver to change, he was mercurial in nature and far too moody and unreliable to be a steady boyfriend.


metamorphosis (n)

change of form

In Miss Congeniality, the FBI agent heroine undergoes a metamorphosis that transforms her from a classic ugly duckling into a potential beauty queen.


meticulous (adj)

excessively careful

Mother was a meticulous housekeeper, unwilling to allow a single speck of dirt to mar her perfect home.


minatory (adj)

having a threatening quality

Jabbing a minatory forefinger at Dorothy, the Wicked Witch cried, "I'll get you, my pretty, and your little dog, too!"


misanthrope (n)

one who hates or distrusts people

In Gulliver's Travels, Swift portrays human beings as vile, degraded beasts; for this reason, many critics consider him a misanthrope.


mitigate (v)

make less intense or severe

Because solar energy can reduce greenhouse gasses and provide increased energy efficiency, conversion to the use of solar energy may help mitigate the threat of global warming.


mollify (v)

soothe or appease; reduce in intensity

The airline customer service representative tried to mollify the angry passenger by offering her a seat in first class.


morose (adj)

having an ill-humored disposition

Forced to take early retirement, Bill acted morose for months; then, all of a sudden, he shook off his sullen mood and was his usual cheerful self.


mundane (adj)

having to do with transitory, everyday concerns; worldly as opposed to spiritual

Uninterested in philosophical or spiritual discussions, Tom talked only of mundane matters such as the daily weather forecast or the latest basketball results.


munificent (adj)

very generous in giving

The Annenberg Trust made a munificent gift that supported art programs in the public schools.


myopic (adj)

characterized by a faulty vision of distant objects; lacking foresight

Stumbling into doors despite the coke-bottle lenses on his glasses, the nearsighted Mr. Magoo is markedly myopic.


myriad (n)

a very large number

Myriads of mosquitoes from the marshes invaded our campground at twilight.