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Flashcards in O Words Deck (17):

obduracy (n)

stubborn persistence; resistance to persuasion

When the English clergy refused to accede to King John's demands, the king, infuriated by what he considered the obduracy, persecuted the church.


obsequious (adj)

slavishly attentive

Helen valued people who acted as if they respected themselves; nothing irritated her more than an excessively obsequious waiter or a fawning salesclerk.


obstinate (adj)

unreasonably persistent (in an opinion, etc.); not easily controlled, cured, or removed

We tried to persuade Bob to give up smoking, but he was obstinate and refused to change.


obstreperous (adj)

aggressively noisy; resisting being restrained or controlled

Whom do you call for help when an obstreperous horde of drunken policemen carouses through your hotel, crashing into potted plants and singing vulgar songs?


obviate (v)

make unnecessary; get rid of

A picture is worth a thousand words: illustrated news articles can afford to be brief, for the use of pictures obviates the need for lengthy descriptions.


occlude (v)

block off or close up

In treating an unconscious athlete, the attending physician should be on the lookout for signs of airway obstruction, in particular for any tongue relaxation that may occlude the airway.


officious (adj)

excessively pushy in offering one's services

After her long flight, Jill just wanted to anp, but the officious bellboy was intent on showing her all the special features of the deluxe suite.


onerous (adj)

imposing a burden

The mathematical genius Carl Friedrich Gauss found the sort of calculations involved in computing the orbits of the planets far less onerous than most people would; to him, such numerical problems seemed easy.


opaque (adj)

not transparent; hard to explain or comprehend

The opaque window shade kept the sunlight out of the room.


opportune (adj)

occurring at a suitable or convenient time

Cher looked at her father as he struggled to balance his checkbook; clearly this would not be an opportune moment to ask him for an increase in her allowance.


opportunist (n)

individual who sacrifices principles for expediency by taking advantage of "opportunities"

Joe is such a greedy opportunist that he tripled the price of bottled water at his store only minutes after the earthquake struck.


opprobrium (n)

disgrace caused by shameful behavior; state of dishonor

The Republican Party has turned the once-honored name of "liberal" into a term of scorn and opprobrium.


oscillate (v)

swing to and fro like a pendulum

As the mood in Washington oscillated between hope and fear, the Lincoln administration still maintained a united public front against the specter of Confederate attack and the failure of reinforcements to arrive in the city.


ostensible (adj)

outwardly appearing true or real, but not necessarily so

The military government imposed a daytime curfew on a number of neighborhoods with the ostensible aim of facilitating searches for terrorists (though the real aim of the curfew, it was later admitted, was "intimidation" of pro-democracy protesters).


ostentation (n)

pretentious show (of wealth); gaudy display (often vulgar)

Trump's latest casino in Atlantic City is a prime example of ostentation: it gaudily out-glitters all the rival gambling palaces.


overt (adj)

not hidden from view; out in the open

Emma's overt antagonism toward Jane made us uncomfortable; we wished she would make some effort to conceal her hostility.


overwrought (adj)

extremely agitated

When Kate heard the news of the sudden tragedy, she became too overwrought to work and had to leave the office early.