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Flashcards in Set 5 Deck (10):


Mysterious, abstruse, esoteric, knowable only to initiates

Knowledge of the arcane secrets of any bureaucracy is always restricted to those who work within it. They're the only ones who know how to fill out the forms, too.

Arcana (arcanum, singular)

Deep secrets



Outdated; associated with an earlier, perhaps more primitive time

Geoff's archaic leisure suit looked like it had been in storage for thirty years, and it probably should have stayed there



Strenuous, taxing, requiring significant effort

This is the third time since she got here that grandpa's told us the story of his arduous trips to and from school when he was a kid - uphill in the snow both ways



Impudent ( bold, shameless); in every way, being completely such, bare- faced, utter

Don Juan's arrant philandering made him a legend. He seemed to have had the ability to turn many of his admirers into arrant fools




To suspend; to engage

Sometime I think my brother's emotional development was arrested at a young age; he often acts like a five year old

Holding one's attention

It was a most arresting portrait; there was a crowd of people staring at it for hours



To enunciate or pronounce clearly; to express oneself clearly

The new radio announcer could not be understood because he had not yet learned to articulate his words clearly



Completely without guile; natural, without artificiality

Artful (ant)

The Artful Dodger was a cunning pickpocket in Dickens's Oliver Twist



( noun) One who practices rigid self-denial, especially as an act of religious devotion

A true ascetic would be able to resist eating these chocolate eclairs, which is why I know I'm not an ascetic

( adj) austere or stark

His ascetic lifestyle was indistinguishable from that of a monk

Asceticism is the adherence to or belief in ascetic practices



Severity, rigor; roughness, harshness; acrimony, irritability

The asperity of her response to his pleas for leniency suggested that there was no chance she would be ending his detention any time in the next three months


Arabesque (n)

Complex, ornate design

A beautiful arabesque of fruits and flowers surrounded the central pattern of the print

Also a position in a ballet, sometimes metaphorically

Her assistants performs an arabesque of practiced efficiency around her as she prepared for the press conference