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Flashcards in Set 10 Deck (13):


To slander, make a false accusation

Tom calumniated his rival by accusing him of having been unfaithful, but it backfired because when the truth came out, Tom ended up looking petty and deceitful

Calumny means slander, aspersion



Careful, cautious, knowing

Knowing all aspects of how to run her business, Emily has a canny eye for making a deal



An established set of principles or code of laws, often religious in nature

Adhering to the dictates of his religion's canon meant that he couldn't eat pork

Canonical means following or in agreement with accepted, traditional standards



Inclined to change one's mind impulsively; erratic; unpredictable

Lee's capricious behavior this weekend shouldn't have come as a surprise; it's not as if he's usually all that stable and predictable

*having caprices (sudden changes of mind or action) makes you capricious, which means that you can be described as tending towards capriciousness



Of basic importance or consequence; primary

His cardinal error was in failing to bribe his sister; otherwise his parents might never have found out about the party and grounded him



To inviegle, coax, wheedle, sweet talk

Even though I resolve not to give in, my dog is always able to cajole an extra dog biscuit out of me just by looking at me with his big brown eyes



Something relating to the body or flesh

Though the book was primarily concerned with spiritual matters, it's descriptions of earthly pleasures were sometimes shocking in their sheer carnality

Carnal desires are those that relate to bodily or sexual appetite

Carnage is slightly related, it means physical remains



Severe criticism or punishment

Harriet's expression as she slunk out of the room indicated that the castigation she had received was even worse than expected, and that we were probably in for a similar tongue lashing



A substance that accelerates the rate of a chemical reaction without itself changing; a person or thing that causes change

Steve was hoping the romantic music would be all the catalyst the evening needed

To catalyze is to act as a catalyst, to bring about



The relationship between cause and effect

Because the experiment tested so many factors at the same time, it is difficult to prove the causality of one agent over another



Burning or stinging; causing corrosion

Her caustic wit was legendary - everyone enjoyed reading Sandra's articles as long as he or she was not the target of her humor



To criticize severely; to officially rebuke

Though the board censured the gallery for holding the exhibition, the event continued as planned, and even drew larger crowds than expected before the board's outspoken disapproval

A judgement involving condemnation; the act of blaming or condemning

The chairman's misdeeds were only made public and held up to censure once it became certain that the board members could not be implicated

Censorious is an adjective that means tending to or expressing censure



A condition of confusion or unpredictability

Some seem to thrive on chaos in the workplace, but Lucy relishes a clean desk and predictable schedule