Vocabulary

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Review the following words from the first trimester.

Week 1

(No new words)

Week 2

convoluted

intricate; complex

The directions were so convoluted that we drove all around the city and got lost.

cryptic

difficult to comprehend

The writing on the walls of the crypt was cryptic; none of the scientists understood it.

futile

having no useful purpose; pointless

It is futile to try to explain the difference between right and wrong to your pet.

impede

to slow the progress of

The retreating army constructed barbed-wire fences and destroyed bridges to impede the advance of the enemy.

obscure

(adj.) relatively unknown

Scott constantly makes references to obscure cult films, and no one ever gets his jokes.

obscure

(v.) to conceal or make indistinct

The man in front of me was so tall that his head obscured my view of the movie.

quandary

a state of uncertainty or perplexity

Ann was in a quandary because she had no soap with which to do her laundry.

indolent

lazy

Mr. Lan said his students were indolent because they had not done their homework.

 

Week 3

insipid

uninteresting; unchallenging

That insipid movie was so boring and predictable.

listless

lacking energy

Since he is accustomed to an active lifestyle, Mark feels listless when he has nothing to do.

torpor

laziness; inactivity; dullness

The hot and humid day filled everyone with an activity-halting torpor.

alienated

removed or disassociated from (friends, family, or homeland)

Rudolf felt alienated from the other reindeer because they never let him join in their reindeer games.

alliance

a union of two or more groups

The two countries formed an alliance to stand against their common enemy.

disparity

inequality in age, rank, or degree; difference

There is a great disparity between rich and poor in many nations.

servile

submissive; like a servant

Cameron’s servile behavior finally ended when he decided to stand up to his older brother.

suppressed

subdued; kept from being circulated

The author’s book was suppressed because the dictator thought it was too critical of the regime.

 

Week 4

embellish

to make beautiful by ornamenting; to decorate

We embellished the account of our vacation by including descriptions of many colorful people and places we visited.

florid

describing flowery or elaborate speech

The candidate’s speech was so florid that although no one could understand what he was talking about, they all agreed that he sounded good saying it.

opulent

exhibiting a display of great wealth

Dances at the king’s palace are always very opulent affairs because no expense is spared.

ornate

elaborately decorated

The carved wood was so ornate that you could examine it several times and still notice things you had not seen before.

ostentatious

describing a showy or pretentious display

Whenever the millionaire gave a party, the elaborate decorations and enormous amounts of food were always part of his ostentatious display of wealth.

poignant

profoundly moving; touching

The most poignant part of the movie was when the father finally made peace with his son.

ebullience

intense enthusiasm

A sense of ebullience swept over the crowd when the matador defeated the bull.

effusive

emotionally unrestrained; gushy

Gwyneth Paltrow was effusive in her thanks after winning the Oscar; she even burst into tears.

 

Week 5

egregious

conspicuously bad or offensive

Forgetting to sterilize surgical tools before an operation would be an egregious error.

flagrant

extremely or deliberately shocking or noticeable

His throwing the pie at his teacher was a flagrant sign of disrespect.

frenetic

wildly excited or active

The pace at the busy office was frenetic; Megan never had a moment to catch her breath.

gratuitous

given freely; unearned; unwarranted

The film was full of gratuitous sex and violence that was not essential to the story.

superfluous

extra; unnecessary

If there is sugar in your tea, adding honey would be superfluous.

alleviate

to ease a pain or burden

John took aspirin to alleviate the pain from the headache he got after taking the SAT.

asylum

a place of retreat or security

The soldiers sought asylum from the bombs in the underground shelter.

auspicious

favorable, promising

Our trip to the beach had an auspicious start; the rain stopped just as we started the car.

 

Week 6

Review Week

Week 7

Review Week

Week 8

benevolent

well-meaning; generous

She was a kind and benevolent queen who was concerned about her subjects’ well-being.

benign

kind and gentle

Uncle Charlie is a benign and friendly man who is always willing to help.

mollify

to calm or soothe

Anna’s apology for scaring her brother did not mollify him; he was mad at her all day.

reclamation

the act of making something useful again

Thanks to the reclamation project, the once unusable land became a productive farm.

sanction

to give official authorization or approval

The students were happy when the principal agreed to sanction the use of calculators in math classes.

dubious

doubtful; of unlikely authenticity

Jerry’s claim that he could fly like Superman seemed dubious—we didn’t believe it

fabricated

made; concocted to deceive

Fabio fabricated the story that he used to play drums for Metallica; he had never actually held drumsticks in his life.

hypocrisy

the practice of pretending to be something one is not; insincerity

People who claim to be vegetarian but eat chicken and fish are guilty of hypocrisy.

 

Week 9

slander

false charges and malicious oral statements about someone

After the radio host stated that Monica was a space alien, she sued him for slander.

spurious

not genuine

The sportscaster made a spurious claim when he said that the San Antonio Spurs were undefeated.

astute

shrewd, clever

Kevin is financially astute; he never falls for the tricks that credit card companies play.

clandestine

secretive

The spies planned a clandestine maneuver that depended on its secrecy to work.

coup

a brilliantly executed plan

It was quite a coup when I talked the salesperson into selling me this valuable cuckoo clock for five dollars.

disingenuous

not straightforward; crafty

Mr. Gelman was rather disingenuous; although he seemed to be simply asking about your health, he was really trying to figure out why you’d been absent.

ruse

a crafty trick

The offer of a free cruise was merely a ruse to get people to listen to their sales pitch.

stratagem

a clever trick used to deceive or outwit

Planting microphones in the gangster’s home was a clever, but illegal, stratagem.

 

Week 10

surreptitiously

done by secretive means

Matt drank the cough syrup surreptitiously because he didn’t want anyone to know that he was sick.

wary

on guard

My father becomes wary whenever a salesman calls him on the phone; he knows that many crooks use the phone so that they can’t be charged with mail fraud.

wily

cunning

In the children's cartoon "Roadrunner," Wily Coyote is a very wily character; he devises all sorts of clever traps to catch the Roadrunner.

ambiguous

open to more than one interpretation

His eyes were an ambiguous color: Some thought they were brown, and some thought they were green.

ambivalent

simultaneously having opposing feelings; uncertain

She had ambivalent feelings about her dance class: On one hand, she enjoyed the exercise, but on the other hand, she thought the choice of dances could be more interesting.

apathetic

feeling or showing little emotion

When the defendant was found guilty on all charges, her face remained expressionless and she appeared to be entirely apathetic.

arbitrary

determined by impulse rather than reason

The principal made the arbitrary decision that students could not wear hats in school without offering any logical reason for the rule.

capricious

impulsive and unpredictable

The referee’s capricious behavior angered the players because he was inconsistent with his calls; he would call foul for minor contact, but ignore elbowing and kicking.

 

Week 11

equivocate

to avoid making a definite statement

On critical reading questions, I choose answers that equivocate; they use words such as could or may that make them difficult to disprove.

indifferent

not caring one way or the other

The old fisherman was completely indifferent to the pain and hunger he felt; his only concern was catching the enormous marlin he had hooked.

spontaneous

unplanned, naturally occurring

Dave is such a good musician that he can create a song spontaneously, without having to stop and think about it.

whimsical

subject to erratic behavior; unpredictable

Egbert rarely behaved as expected; indeed, he was a whimsical soul whose every decision was anybody’s guess.

inconsequential

unimportant

The cost of the meal was inconsequential to Quentin because he wasn’t paying for it.

superficial

concerned only with what is on the surface or obvious; shallow

The wound on his leg was only superficial, even though it looked like a deep cut.

tenuous

having little substance or strength; shaky; unsure, weak

Her grasp on reality is tenuous at best; she’s not even sure what year it is.

trivial

of little importance or significance

Alex says he doesn’t like trivia games because the knowledge they test is trivial; he prefers to spend his time learning more important things.

 

Week 12

Review Week