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Flashcards in R Words Deck (21):

rancor (n)

bitter, deep-seated resentment

Thirty years after the war, she could not let go of the past but was still consumed with rancor against the foe.


rarefied [1] (adj)

made less dense (of a gas)

The mountain climbers had difficulty breathing in the rarefied atmosphere.


rarefied [2] (adj)

elevated in nature

Campion was no musical amateur but rather a composer of subtle and rarefied taste.


recalcitrant (adj)

obstinately stubborn; determined to resist authority

Which animal do you think is more recalcitrant, a pig or a mule? Both are proverbially stubborn.


recant (v)

retract a previous statement; openly confess error

Hoping to make Joan of Arc recant her sworn testimony, her English captors tried to convince her that her visions had been sent by the Devil.


reclusive (adj)

seeking isolation; withdrawn from society; providing seclusion

Disappointed in love, Miss Emily became reclusive: she shut herself away in her empty mansion and refused to see another living soul.


recondite (adj)

difficult to understand; hidden from sight

While Holmes happily explored arcane subjects such as paleography and ancient Near Eastern languages, Watson claimed they were far too recondite for a simple chap like him.


redoubtable (adj)

causing fear or awe; commanding respect

During the Cold War period, neighboring countries tried not to offend the Russians because they could be redoubtable adversaries.


redress (n/v)

possibility of finding a relief from distress; compensation for loss

Do you mean to tell me that I can get no redress for my injuries?


refractory (adj)

obstinately stubborn; resistant to treatment

Though his jockey whipped him, the refractory horse refused to enter the starting gate.


refute (v)

prove false; overthrow by means of evidence

The defense attorney found several respectable witnesses who were able to refute the lying testimony of the prosecution's sole witness.


rejoinder (n)

answer, specifically an answer to a reply

When someone has said something rude to me, I find it particularly satisfying to come up with a snappy rejoinder.


relegate (v)

consign to an inferior position

After Ralph dropped his second tray of drinks that week, the manager swiftly relegated him to a minor post behind the bar.


reprehensible (adj)

deserving blame

Shocked by the viciousness of the bombing, politicians of every party uniformly condemned the terrorists' reprehensible deed.


reprobate (n)

unprincipled or evil person; depraved individual; person hardened in sin

In Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, the Duke and the Dauphin are a pair of drunken reprobates, wicked con men ready to swindle a poor widow out of her last dollar.


repudiate (v)

refuse to have anything to do with; reject the authority of

On separating from Tony, Tina announced that she would repudiate all debts acquired by her soon-to-be ex-husband.


rescind (v)

make (an act or contract) void

Thanks to the adoption of new economy measures with a savings of $140 million, the school board was able to rescind the layoffs of 540 teachers.


restive (adj)

characterized by impatience; resistant to control

While impatiently in the line to see Santa Claus, even the best-behaved children grow restive and start to fidget.


reticent (adj)

inclined to be silent

Compared to Jo, who was perfectly ready to chat with anyone about anything, Bet was reticent about what she considered personal matters.


rhetorical (adj)

concerned with the persuasive use of language; pertaining to effective communication; used merely for style

Never try to answer a rhetorical question like "Is the Pope Catholic?" The speaker asks it only to make a point, not to elicit a reply, and if you respond, "Yes, he is," you will just sound dumb.


rue (v)

feel regret or remorse for

Tina rued the night she met Tony and wondered how she had ever fallen for such a jerk.