Flashcards in Quick Quizzes 21 - 31 Deck (103):
circuitous (sur KYOO uh tus) adj roundabout; not following a direct path
The circuitous bus route between the two cities went here, there, and everywhere, and it took an extremely long time to get anywhere.
circumlocution (sur kum loh KYOO shun) n an indirect expression; use of wordy or evasive language
The lawyer's circumlocution left everyone in the courtroom wondering what had been said.
circumscribe (SUR kum skrybe) v to draw a line around; to set the limits; to define; to restrict
The Constitution clearly circumscribes the restrictions that can be placed on our personal freedoms.
circumspect (SUR kum spekt) adj cautious
As a public speaker, Nick was extremely circumspect; he always took great care not to say the wrong thing or give offense.
The word circumspect comes from Greek roots meaning around and look (as do the words circle and inspect). To be circumspect is to look around carefully before doing something.
circumvent (sur kum VENT) v to frustrate as though by surrounding
Our hopes for an early end of the meeting were circumvented by the chairperson's refusal to deal with the items on the agenda.
civil (SIV ul) adj polite; civilized; courteous
Our dinner guests conducted themselves civilly when we told them we weren't going to serve them dinner after all. They didn't bang their cups on the table or throw their plates to the floor. The word civil also has other meanings. Civil rights are rights established by law. Civil service is government service.
clemency (KLEM un see) n mercy; forgiveness; mildness
The governor committed an act of clemency when he released all the convicts from the state penitentiary.
Mild weather is called clement weather; bad weather is called inclement weather.
cliche (klee SHAY) n an overused saying or idea
The expression "you can't judge a book by its cover" is a cliche`; it's been used so many times, that freshness has been worn away.
Cliches are usually true, but they are boring.
clique (kleek) n an exclusive group bound together by some shared quality or interest
The high school newspaper staff was a real clique; they all hung out together and wouldn't talk to anyone else. It was hard to have fun at that school if you weren't a member of the right clique. The cheerleaders were cliquish as well.
inclement (IN cluh mint) adj bad weather is called inclement
You should wear a coat and carry an umbrella in inclement weather.
coalesce (koh uh LES) v to come together as one; to fuse; to unite
When the dough coalesced into a big black blob, we began to wonder whether the cookies would be edible.
A coalition is a group of people that has come together for some purpose, often a political cause.
coalition (koh uh LIH shun) n a group of people that has come together for some purpose, often a political cause.
Coal miners and cola bottlers might coalesce into a coalition for the purpose of persuading coal mine owners to provide cola machines in coal mines.
coerce (koh URS) v to force someone to do or not to do something
Darth Vader tried flattery, Darth Vader tried gifts, Darth Vader even tried to coerce, but Darth Vader was never able to make Han Solo reveal the hidden rebel base.
The noun is coercion (koh UR shun)
cogent (KOH junt) adj powerfully convincing
Shaft was cogent in explaining why he needed the confidential files, so we gave them to him.
Cogent reasons are extremely persuasive ones.
cognitive (KAHG nu tiv) adj dealing with how we know the world around us through our senses; mental
Scientists study the cognitive apparatus of human beings to pattern how computers should gather information about the world.
Cognition is knowing.
cognizant (KAHG nu zunt) adj aware; conscious
To be cognizant of your responsibilities is to know what your responsibilities are.
Al was cognizant of the dangers of sword swallowing, but he tried it anyway and hurt himself quite badly.
coherent (koh HEER unt) adj holding together; making sense
After puzzling over Grace's disorganized Holy Roman Empire essay for almost an hour, Ms. Fabricius needed only twenty minutes to read Arjun's coherent paper on the Defenestration of Prague
A coherent wad of cotton balls is one that holds together.
colloquial (kul OH kwee ul) adj conversational; informal in language
A writer with a colloquial style is a writer who uses ordinary words and whose writing seems as informal as common speech.
"The way I figure it" is a colloquial expression, or a colloquialism. People often say it but it isn't used in formal prose.
A colloquy (KAHL uh kwee) is a conversation or conference.
collusion (kuh LOO zhun) n conspiracy; secret cooperation
The increase in oil prices was the result of collusion by the oil-producing nations.
There was collusion among the owners of the baseball teams; they agreed secretly not to sign any expensive free agents.
If the baseball owners were in collusion, then you could say that they had colluded. To collude is to conspire.
commensurate (kuh MEN sur it) adj equal; proportionate
Ryan's salary is commensurate with his ability; like his ability, his salary is small.
The number of touchdowns scored by the team and the number of its victories were commensurate (both zero).
compelling (kum PEL ing) adj forceful; causing to yield
A compelling argument for buying a digital video recorder is one that makes you go out and buy a digital video recorder.
The recruiter's speech was so compelling that nearly everyone in the auditorium enlisted in the Army when it was over.
To compel someone to do something is to force him or her to do it.
Our consciences compelled us to turn over the money we had found to the authorities.
The noun is compulsion, which also means an irresistible impulse to do something irrational.
compendium (kum PEN dee um) n a summary; an abridgment
A yearbook often contains a compendium of the offenses, achievements, and future plans of the members of the senior class.
complacent (kum PLAY sunt) adj self-satisfied; overly pleased with oneself; contented to a fault
The complacent camper paid no attention to the bear prowling around his campsite, and the bear ate him up.
To fall into complacency is to become comfortably uncaring about the world around you.
complement (KAHM pluh munt) v to complete or fill up; to be the perfect counterpart
This word is often confused with compliment, which means to praise. It's easy to tell them apart. Complement is spelled like complete.
The flower arrangement complemented the table decorations.
Complement can also be a noun.
Fish-flavored ice cream was a perfect complement to the seafood dinner.
complicity (kum PLIS uh tee) n participation in wrongdoing; the act of being an accomplice
There was complicity between the bank robber and the dishonest teller. The teller neglected to turn on the alarm, and the robber rewarded him by sharing the loot.
Complicity among the students made it impossible to find out which of them had pulled the fire alarm.
comprehensive (kahm pruh HEN siv) adj covering or including everything
The insurance policy was comprehensive; it covered all possible losses.
Maria's knowledge of English is comprehensive; she even understands what comprehensive means.
comprise (kum PRYZE) v to consist of
A football team comprises eleven players on offense and eleven players on defense.
A company comprises employees.
This word is often misused. Be careful. Players do not "comprise" a football team, and employees do not "comprise" a company. Nor can a football team be said to be "comprised of" players or a company to be "comprised of" employees. These are common mistakes. Instead, you can say that players constitute or compose a team, and that employees constitute or compose a company. You can also say that a team consists of players or a company consists of employees.
conciliatory (kun SIL ee uh tor ee) adj making peace; attempting to resolve a dispute through goodwill
To be conciliatory is to kiss and make-up.
After dinner at the all-you-can-eat pancake house, the divorced couple began to feel conciliatory, so they flew to Las Vegas and were remarried.
When peace has been made, we say that the warring parties have come to a reconciliation (rek un sil ee AY shun). To reconcile is to bring two things into agreement.
concise (kun SYSE) adj brief and to the point; succinct
The scientist's explanation was concise; it was brief and it helped us understand a dificult concept.
To be concise is to say much with few words. A concise speaker is one who speaks concisely or with concision.
compose (kum POZE) v to make up
Players constitute or compose a team, and employees constitute or compose a company.
concord (KAHN kord) n harmony; agreement
Nations that live in concord are nations that live together in peace.
concurrent (kun KUR unt) adj happnieng at hte same time: parallel
condescend (KAHN duh send) v to stoop to someone else's level, usually in an offensive way; to patronize
I was surprised that the president of the company condescended to talk to me, a mere temporary employee.
condone (KUN DOHN) v to overlook, to permit to happen.
To condone what someone does is to look the other way while it happens or to permit it to happen by not doing something about it.
The high school principal condoned smoking by simply ignoring it.
conducive (kun DOO siv) adj promoting
The foul weather was not conducive to having a picnic.
confluence (KAHN floo uns) n a flowing together, especially of rivers; the place where they begin to flow together
A confluence of many factors (no ice, bad food, terrible music) made it inevitable the party would be flop.
congenial (kun JEEN yul) adj agreeably suitable; pleasant
The new restaurant has a congenial atmosphere.
congenital (kun JEN uh tul) adj describing a trait or condition acquired between conception and birth; innate
Also used to used to describe any trait or behavior that is so firmly fixed it seems to part of a person's nature.
A congenital liar is a natural liar, who can't help but lie.
congregate (KAHN grih gayt) v to come together
Protester chose to congregate on the plaza.
conjecture (kun JEK chur) v to guess; to deduce or infer on slight evidence
If forced to conjecture, I would say he is guilty.
Could also be a noun.
Example: The divorce lawyer declared the lipstick-makes-you-guilty-of-adultery thinking to be conjecture.
conjure (KAHN jur) to summon or bring into being as if by magic.
The wizard conjured a storm with his words.
(connoisseur (kahn uh SUR) n an expert, particularly in matters of art or taste
The meal was good enough to impress a connoisseur.
consecrate (KAHN suh krayt) v to make or declare sacred
The priest consecrated the building with holy water.
to treat something irreverently (opposite of consecrate)
consensus (kun SEN sus) n unanimity or general agreement
When there is consensus, everybody feels the same way.
consonant (KAHN suh nunt) adj. harmonious, in agreement
Our desires were consonant with theirs; we all wanted the same thing.
inharmonious (opposite of consonant)
construe (kun STROO) v to interpret
He construed his contract as giving him the right to do anything he wanted.
consummate (kun SUM it) adj perfect, complete; supremely skillful
A consummate pianist is very good. AKA Audrey
contentious (kun TEN shus) adj argumentative; quarrelsome
A person looking for a fight is contentious.
contiguous (kun TIG yoo us) adj side by side; adjoining
Two countries that share a border are contiguous.
contingent (kun TIN junt) adj dependent; possible
My happiness is contingent on yours. If you are happy, I am happy.
contrite (kun TRYTE) adj admitting guilt, feeling remorseful
Mira as contrite about her mistake.
contrived (kun TRYVED) adj artificial; labored.
Sam's acting was contrived; it was not believable.
conventional (kun VEN shun nul) adj common, customary, unexceptional
The composers conventional composition will not win any awards for originality.
convivial (kun VIV ee ul) adj fond of partying, festive
New's year is a convivial gathering of friends.
copious (KOH pee us) adj abundant; plentiful
Audrey has a copious supply of tea cups.
corollary (KOR uh ler ee) n something that follows, a natural consequence
Bloodshed and death are corollaries of war.
corroborate (kuh ROB uh rayt) v to confirm; to back up with evidence
I knew my statement was correct when my colleague corroborated it.
Henny Penny's contention that the sky was falling could not be corroborated. That is, no one was able to find any fallen sky.
cosmopolitan (kahz muh PAHL uh tun) adj at home in many places or situations; internationally sophisticated
New York is a cosmopolitan city; you can hear nearly every language in the world spoken there.
countenance (KOWN tuh nuns) n face; facial expression, especially an encouraging one
His father's confident countenance gave Lou the courage to persevere.
Countenance can also be a verb. To countenance something is to condone or tolerate it.
Dad countenanced our backyard rock fights even though he didn't really approve of them.
coup (koo) n a brilliant victory or accomplishment; the violent overthrow of a government be a small internal group
Winning a gold medal at the Olympics was a real coup for the skinny, sickly, fifty-year-old man.
In the attempted coup in the Philippines, some army officers tried to overthrow the government.
The full name for this type of coup is coup d'etat (koo de TAH). A coup de grace (koo de GRAHS) is a final blow or concluding event.
covenant (KUV uh nunt) n a solemn agreement; a contract; a pledge
The warring tribes made a covenant not to fight each other anymore.
covert (KOV urt) adj secret; hidden
To be covert is to be covered.
A covert military operation is one that the public knows nothing about.
The opposite of covert is overt. Overt (OH vurt) means open or unconcealed.
covet (KUV it) v to wish for enviously
To covet thy neighbor's wife is to want thy neighbor's wife for thyself.
Any position at MTV is a coveted job.
To be covetous is to be envious.
credulous (KREJ uh lus) adj eager to believe; gullible
Judy was so credulous that she simply nodded happily when Kirven told her he could teach her how to fly. Judy's credulity (kri DYOOL uh tee) was limitless.
Credulous should not be confused with credible. To be credible is to be believable. Almost anything, however incredible, is credible to a credulous person.
criterion (krye TEER ee un) n standard; basis for judgment
When Norm judges a meal, he has only one criterion: Is it edible?
The plural of criterion is criteria.
cryptic (KRIP tik) adj mysterious; mystifying
Elaine's remarks were cryptic, Jerry was baffled by what she said.
A cryptic statement is one in which something important remains hidden.
culinary (KYOO luh ner ee) adj relating to cooking or the kitchen
A cooking school is sometimes called a culinary institute.
culminate (KUL muh nayt) v to climax; to reach full effect
Connie's years of practice culminated in a great victory at the international juggling championship.
credible - to be believable
incredible - a story that cannot be believed
incredulous - when you don't believe something
credence (KREED uns) n belief or intellectual acceptance
creditable - worthy of credit or praise
culpable (KUL pa bul) adj deserving blame; guilty
We all felt culpable when the homeless old man died in the doorway of our apartment building.
A person who is culpable is a culprit.and can be blamed for doing something.
exculpate (EK skul pate) v to free from guilt; decide that a person is not culpable after all
cursory (KUR suh ree) adj hasty; superficial
To give a book a cursory reading is to skim it quickly without comprehending much.
curtail (kur TAYL) v to shorten; to cut short
The vet curtailed his attempt to cut the cat's tail with a lawnmower. That is, he stopped trying.
cynic (SIN ik) n one who deeply distrusts human nature, one who believes human beings are only motivated by selfishness
To be cynical is to be extremely suspicious of the motivations of others.
Cynicism is general grumpiness and pessimism about human nature.
daunt (dawnt) v to make fearful; to intimidate
The steepness of the mountain daunted the team of amateur climbers, who hadn't realized what they were in for.
dearth (durth) n lack; scarcity
There is no dearth of comedy at a convention of clowns.
Where there is a dearth of food, many people may starve.
debacle (di BAHK ul) n violent breakdown; sudden overthrow; overwhelming defeat
A political debate would become a debacle if the candidates began screaming and throwing dinner rolls at each other.
debauchery (di BAW chuh ree) n wild living; excessive intemperance
Debauchery can be expensive; fortunately for Jeff, his wallet matched his appetite for extravagant pleasures. He died a poor, albeit happy man.
To debauch is to seduce or corrupt. Someone who is debauched has been seduced or corrupted.
debilitate (di BIL uh tayt) v to weaken; to cripple
The football player's career was ended by a debilitating injury to his knee.
decadent (DEK uh dunt) adj decaying or decayed, especially in terms of morals
A person who engages in decadent behavior is a person whose morals have decayed or fallen into ruin.
Carousing in local bars instead of going to class is decadent.
decimate (DES uh mayt) v to kill or destroy a large part of
To decimate an army is to come close to wiping it out.
When locusts attack a crop, they sometimes decimate it, leaving very little that's fit for human consumption.
decorous (DEK ur us) adj proper; in good taste; orderly
Decorous behavior is good, polite, orderly behavior. To be decorous is to be sober and tasteful.
deduce (di DOOS) v to conclude from the evidence; to infer
To deduce something is to conclude it without being told it directly.
defame (di FAYM) v to libel or slander; to ruin the good name of
To defame someone is to make accusations that harm the person's reputation.
deference (DEF ur uns) n submission to another's will; respect; courtesy
To show deference to another is to place that person's wishes ahead of your own.
Danny stopped yodeling at the dinner table in deference to the wishes of his mother.
definitive (di FIN uh tiv) adj conclusive; providing the last word
Walter wrote the definitive biography of Elvis; nothing more could have been added by another book.
degenerate (di JEN uh rayt) v to break down; to deteriorate
The discussion quickly degenerated into an argument.
deleterious (del uh TIR ee us) adj harmful
Smoking cigarettes is deleterious to your health.
delineate (di LIN ee ayt) v to describe accurately; to draw in outline
After Jack had delineated his plan, we had no doubt about what he intended to do.
delude (dye LOOD) v to deceive
The con man deluded us into thinking that he would make us rich. Instead, he tricked us into giving him several hundred dollars.
deluge (DEL yooj) n a flood; an inundation
A deluge is a flood, but the word is often used figuratively. The $1million reward for the lost poodle brought in a deluge of hot leads. The distraught owner was deluged by phone calls all week.
demagogue (DEM uh gawg) n a leader of the people, but more a rabble rouser
A demagogue is a leader, but not in a good sense of the word. He manipulates the public to support his aims, but he is little different from a dictator. A demagogue is often a despot.
denizen (DEN i zun) n inhabitant
To be a denizen of a country is to live there. A citizen of a country is usually also a denizen.
To be a denizen of a restaurant is to go there often--so often that people begin to wonder whether you live there.
depravity (di PRAV uh tee) n extreme wickedness or corruption
Mrs. Prudinkle wondered whether the depravity of her class of eight-year-old boys was the result of their watching Saturday morning television.
deprecate (DEP ruh kayt) v to express disapproval of
"This stinks!" is a deprecating remark.
To be self-deprecating is to make little of one's own efforts, often in the hope that someone will say, "No, you're swell!"