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Flashcards in Vocab Deck (69):
1

to lionize

To treat as important

“The lionization of Vladmir Nabokov as one of North America’s literary giants has thrown the spotlight on his peripheral activities and has thus served to foreground his efforts as an amateur entomologist.”

2

sartorial

Relating to tailoring, clothes, or style of dress

“The novelist devotes so much time to avid descriptions of his characters’ clothes that the reader soon feels that such sartorial concerns, although worthy of attention, have superseded any more directly literary aims.”

3

synoptic

of or forming a general summary or synopsis

“A synoptic outline of the contents”

Matthew, Mark, and Luke (but not John) are the Synoptic Gospels because they summarize the same key events.

4

intransigent

uncompromising

unwilling or refusing to change one’s views or agree about something

“Always circumspect, she was reluctant to make judgments, but once arriving at a conclusion, she was intransigent in its defense.”

5

probity

The quality of having strong moral principles; honesty and decency

“Financial probity”
“The committee feels that he has demonstrated little probity in this matter and therefore cannot be trusted.”

6

tendentious

biased

expressing or intending to promote a particular cause or point of view, especially a controversial one

“A tendentious reading of history”

7

inimical

antagonistic, contrary

tending to obstruct or harm

“Actions inimical to our interests”

8

pellucid

translucently clear; easily understood

“Mountains reflected in the pellucid waters”

“He writes, as always, in pellucid prose”

9

abscond

to leave secretly

allow the intruder to abscond with the cash

10

adulterate

to make impure

11

amalgamate

to combine, mix together

12

assuage

to make something unpleasant less severe

assuage guilt, fear, concerns

13

attenuate

weaken

to reduce in force or degree; to weaken

attenuate poverty, distress, this response

14

bombastic

pompous in speech and manner

15

castigate

to punish or criticize harshly

an effort to demonize and castigate a whole broad base of human beings

16

cogent

convincing and well-reasoned

cogent or compelling case or argument

17

corroborate

to provide supporting evidence

18

credulous

too trusting; gullible

The con man promised the credulous women a fairy tale ending.

19

desultory

jumping from one thing to another; disconnected, lacking a plan or purpose

desultory existence, conversation, reading

20

dilettante

someone with an amateurish and superficial interest in a topic

21

dirge

a funeral hymn or mournful speech

22

disabuse

to set right; to free from error; persuade someone that an idea or belief is mistaken

Disabuse someone of that notion or theory

23

dissemble

to present a false appearance; to disguise one's real intentions or character

24

dogma

a firmly held opinion, often a religious belief

25

elegy

a sorrowful poem or speech

26

enervate

to reduce in strength; to feel drained of energy or vitality

bleeding might enervate but would not kill him

27

equivocal

open to more than one interpretation; misleading

28

equivocate

to use expressions of double meaning in order to mislead

29

erudite

learned, scholarly, bookish

30

estimable

admirable

estimable qualities and talents

31

exculpate

to clear from blame; prove innocent

32

exigent

urgent; requiring immediate attention

33

foment

to arouse or incite

34

iconoclast

one who opposes established beliefs, customs, and institutions

35

inchoate

not fully formed; disorganized

an inchoate democracy

36

ingenuous

showing innocence or childlike simplicity

37

inimical

hostile, unfriendly

actions inimical to our interests

38

intransigent

uncompromising; refusing to be reconciled

39

laconic

using few words

his laconic reply suggested his lack of interest in the topic

40

malinger

to evade responsibility by pretending to be ill

41

misanthrope

a person who dislikes others

42

mitigate

to soften; to lessen

43

mollify

to calm or make less severe

44

obdurate

hardened in feeling; resistant to persuasion

45

obviate

to prevent; to make unnecessary

the blinds obviated the need for curtains

46

occlude

to stop up; to prevent the passage of

thick makeup can occlude the pores

47

onerous

troublesome and oppressive; burdensome

48

opprobrium

public disgrace

the opprobrium of being associated with criminals

49

histronic

overly theatrical or melodramatic in character or style

a histrionic outburst

50

scurrilous

slanderous, obscene

making or spreading scandalous claims about someone with the intention of damaging their reputation

a scurrilous attack on his integrity

51

panned

to criticize severely

The movie was panned by the critic.

52

abstruse

difficult to understand; obscure

an abstruse philosophical inquiry

53

extirpate

to root out and destroy completely; to eradicate

use every legal measure to extirpate the evil from the land

54

recondite

mysterious, obscure

a little-known subject, abstruse

The book is full of recondite information.

55

punctilious

showing great attention to detail or correct behavior

He was punctilious in providing every amenity for his guests.

56

vociferous

vehement or clamorous

He was a vociferous opponent of the shutdown.

57

vituperated

to blame or insult someone with strong or violent language

58

orotund

full, round, and imposing (i.e. an orotund voice)

pompous, pretentious (of writing, style, expression)

59

obtuse

annoyingly insensitive or slow to understand

He wondered if the doctor was being deliberately obtuse.

60

pedant

person excessively concerned with minor details or with displaying academic learning

61

perfidious

deceitful and untrustworthy

a perfidious lover

62

precipitate

to bring about an event unexpectedly or prematurely

the incident precipitated a political crisis

63

prevaricate

to speak or act in an evasive way

he prevaricated when the journalists asked pointed questions

64

propitiate

to regain the favor of someone by doing something that pleases them

the pagans propitiated the gods with sacrifices

(opposite: provoke)

65

quiescent

inactive, dormant

a period of dormancy or inactivity

strikes were led by workers who had once been quiescent

66

rarefy

thin (esp. air); distant from the lives and concerns of ordinary people

rarefied air in the mountains
debates about the nature of knowledge can seem rarefied (esoteric)

67

specious

misleading

seemingly plausible, but actually wrong

a specious argument

68

tacit

understood or implied without being stated

a tacit agreement

69

torpor

a state of physical or mental inactivity; lethargy

they veered between apathetic torpor and hysterical fanaticism