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Flashcards in W Deck (53)
1

waffle

speak equivocally about an issue

When asked directly about the governor's involvement in the savings and loan scandal, the press secretary waffled, talking all around the issue.

2

waft

moved gently by wind or waves

Daydreaming, he gazed at the leaves that wafted past his window.

3

waggish

mischievous; humorous; tricky

He was a prankster who, unfortunately, often overlooked the damage he could cause with his waggish tricks.

4

waif 

homeless child or animal

Although he already had eight cats, he could not resist adopting yet another feline waif.

5

waive

give up temporarily; yield

I will waive my rights in this matter in order to expedite our reaching a proper decision.

6

wallow

roll in; indulge in; become helpless

The hippopotamus loves to wallow in the mud.

7

wan

having a pale or sickly color; pallid

Suckling asked, "Why so pale and wan, fond lover?"

8

wane

grow gradually smaller\

From now until December 21, the winter solstice, the hours of daylight will wane.

9

wangle

wiggle out; fake

She tried to wangle an invitation to the party.

10

wanton

unrestrained; willfully malicious; unchaste

Pointing to the stack of bills, Sheldon criticized Sarah for her wanton expenditures. In response, Sara accused Sheldon of making an unfounded, wanton attack.

11

warble

sing; babble

Every morning the birds warbled outside her window.

12

warrant

justify; authorize

Before the judge issues the injunction, you must convince her this action is warranted.

13

warranty

guarantee; assurance by seller

The purchaser of this automobile is protected by the manufacturer's warranty that he will replace any
defective part for five years or 50,000 miles.

14

warren

tunnels in which rabbits live; crowded conditions in which people live

The tenement was a veritable warren, packed with people too poor to live elsewhere.

15

wary

very cautious

The spies grew wary as they approached the sentry.

16

wastrel

profligate

He was denounced as a wastrel who had dissipated his inheritance.

17

wax

increase; grow

With proper handling, his fortunes waxed and he became rich.

18

waylay

ambush; lie in wait

They agreed to waylay their victim as he passed through the dark alley going home.

19

wean

accustom a baby not to nurse; give up a cherished activity

He decided he would wean himself away from eating junk food and stick to fruits and vegetables.

20

weather

endure the effects of weather or other forces

He weathered the changes in his personal life with difficulty, as he had no one in whom to confide.

21

welt

mark from beating or whipping

The evidence of child abuse was very clear; Jennifer's small body was covered with welts and bruises.

22

welter

*

turmoil; bewildering jumble

The existing welter of overlapping federal and state proclaims cries out for immediate reform.

**

wallow

At the height of the battle, the casualties were so numerous that the victims weltered in their blood while waiting for medical attention.

23

wheedle

cajole; coax; deceive by flattery

She knows she can wheedle almost anything she wants from her father.

24

whelp

young wolf, dog, tiger, etc.

This collie whelp won't do for breeding, but he'd make a fine pet.

25

whet

sharpen; stimulate

The odors from the kitchen are whetting my appetite; I will be ravenous by the time the meal is served.

26

whiff

puff or gust (of air, scent, etc.); hint

The slightest whiff of Old Spice cologne brought memories of George to her mind.

27

whimsical

capricious; fanciful

He dismissed his generous gift to his college as a sentimental fancy, an old man's whimsical gesture.

28

whnny

neigh like a horse


When he laughed through his nose, it sounded as if he whinnied.

29

whit 

smallest speck

There is not a whit of intelligence or understanding in your observations.

30

whittle

pare; cut off bits

As a present for Aunt Polly, Tom whittled some clothespins out of a chunk of wood.

31

whorl

ring of leaves around stem; ring

Identification by fingerprints is based on the difference in shape and number of whorls on the fingers.

32

willful

intentional; headstrong

Donald had planned to kill his wife for months; clearly, her death was a case of deliberate, willful murder, not a crime of passion committed by a hasty, willful youth unable to foresee the consequences of his deeds.

33

wily

cunning; artful

She is as wily as a fox in avoiding trouble.

34

wince

shrink back; flinch

The screech of the chalk on the blackboard made her wince.

35

windfall

fallen fruit; unexpected lucky event

This huge tax refund is quite a windfall.

36

winnow

sift; separate good parts from bad

This test will winnow out the students who study from those who don't bother.

37

winsome

agreeable; gracious; engaging

By her winsome manner, she made herself liked by everyone who met her.

38

wispy

thin; slight; barely discernible

Worried about preserving his few wispy tufts of hair, Walter carefully massaged his scalp and applied hair restorer every night.

39

wistful

vaguely longing; sadly pensive

With a last wistful glance at the happy couples dancing in the hall, Sue headed back to her room to study for her exam.

40

withdrawn

introverted; remote

Rebuffed by his colleagues, the initially outgoing young researcher became increasingly withdrawn.

41

witless

foolish; idiotic

Such witless and fatuous statements will create the impression that you are an ignorant individual.

42

wizardry 

sorcery; magic

Merlin amazed the knights with his wizardry.

43

wizened

withered; shriveled

The wizened old man in the home for the aged was still active and energetic.

44

wont

custom; habitual procedure

As was his wont, he jogged two miles every morning before going to work.

45

worldly

engrossed in matters of this earth; not spiritual

You must leave your worldly goods behind you when you go to meet your Maker.

46

wrangle

quarrel; obtain through arguing; herd cattle

They wrangled over their inheritance.

47

wrath

anger; fury

She turned to him, full of wrath, and said, "What makes you think I'll accept lower pay for this job than you get?"

48

wreak 

inflict

I am afraid he will wreak his vengeance on the innocent as well as the guilty.

49

wrench

pull; strain; twist

She wrenched free of her attacker and landed a powerful kick to his kneecap.

50

wrest

pull away; take by violence

With only ten seconds left to play, our team wrested victory from their grasp.

51

writ

written command issued by a court

The hero of Leonard's novel is a process server who invents unorthodox ways of serving writs on reluctant parties.

52

writhe

squirm, twist

He was writhing in pain, desperate for the drug his body required.

53

wry

twisted; with a humorous twist

We enjoy Dorothy Parker's verse for its wry wit.