Set 16 Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Set 16 Deck (12):


Intended to teach or instruct

His didactic tone grated on me; whom did he think he was to try to teach me something while we were on a date



Reserved, shy, unassuming; lacking in self-confidence

He was a diffident reader of his own poetry, and which sometimes kept his audience from recognizing the real power of his writing

The noun, diffidence, means a lack of confidence

I began to suspect that her diffidence was merely an act, and that this seemingly meek woman was really plotting to take over not only the department, but also the entire world



To stray from the point; to go off on a tangent

My aunt's tendency to digress is legendary; she can get so far off topic that no one can remember the starting point but the journey is always fascinating

*a digression is something that has digressed



To become wider or more open

Until khoa's eyes dilated to let in more light, he couldn't find an empty seat in the darkened theatre

* to dilate can also mean to speak or write about something at length



Causing delay, procrastinating

His dilatory habits were a source of exasperation for his boss, who never knew whether something would be finished on time or not



One with an amateurish or superficial interest in the arts or a branch of knowledge

The negative connotation of a dilettante as one whose interest in a subject is trivial is relatively recent; it hasn't always been a bad thing to be a dilettante

* a dilettantish effort or interest is one that is frivolous or superficial



Loud sustained noise

The din of the faulty muffler drowned out all the other noises that would have confirmed the very poor odds of my car making it another 5 mikes



A mournful song or poem for the dead

Because grandma wanted no dirges sung at her funeral, we hired a singer to reinterpret some of her favorite popular music from her teen years

*Dirge can also be used figuratively, to describe something that sounds like a funeral lament

The only sound on the dark prairie was the dirge sung by the wolves



To undeceive; to set right

The screws left over after he had assembled the bookcase, along with its tendency to tip over, disabused Joe of the idea that reading the instructions was optional



To defeat, put down

*Nowadays, discomfit also means to embarrass or make uncomfortable, but it's original meaning is to thwart one's plans

The enemy's superior planning and resources discomfited us. They defeated us easily, despite our hopes of discomfiting their attack



Conflicting; dissonant or harsh in sound

As one discordant note followed another, I started to get a headache from the noise



A harsh denunciation

What started out as seemingly normal discussion about what to have for lunch, rapidly and somewhat bizarrely turned into a diatribe about the difficulty of finding a decent pickle