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Flashcards in Vocab Workout Deck (60)
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1

Define:

esoteric
(es-uh-ter-ik)

adj. intended for or understood only by a particular group
adj. not publicly disclosed; confidential

The esoteric ideas of the cult failed to enlighten many outsiders.

2

Define:

callous
(kal-uhs)

adj. insensitive; having no feeling

The callous remark upset the entire family.

3

Define:

androgynous
(an-drodj-uh-nuhs)

adj. not distinguishable between male and female

The names Sam is androgynous because it could stand for Samantha or Samual.

4

Define:

precocious
(prih-koh-shuhs)

adj. unusually quick development or maturation, especially in intelligence

The child's precocious understanding of calculus stunned his teachers.

5

Define:

alchemy
(al-kuh-me)

n. the medieval study of transforming lead into gold

Alchemy is in many ways related to the chemistry we study today.

6

Define:

allude
(uh-lewd)

v. to refer to another concept indirectly

She would occasionally allude to a summer house, though nobody knew exactly where it was.

7

Define:

altruism
(al-true-iz-um)

n. selfless concern for others

Many charities were formed thanks to Rajiv's altruism and generosity.

8

Define:

ambivalence
(am-biv-uh-lunce)

n. indifference or confused feelings

The bride's ambivalence towards the color of the roses meant the groom had to decide.

9

Define:

ameliorate
(uh-meal-yuh-rate)

v. to make better

The new medicine ameliorated her condition rather quickly.

10

Define:

amenable
(uh-men-ih-bull)

adj. open to suggestion or criticism
adj. accountable

A good manager is amenable to his employee's new ideas.

11

Define:

didactic
(die-dak-tick)

adj. overly instructive or preachy

He may mean well, but Pat's efforts to help come across as fussy and didactic.

12

Define:

hedonism
(heed-in-iz-um)

n. dedication to pursuing pleasure

Jake's hedonism became apparent when he quit his job rather than cancel his trip to the Bahamas.

13

Define:

opaque
(owe-peyk)

adj. blocking all light
adj. hard to understand

The windows became so dirty they were almost opaque.

14

Define:

superfluous
(suh-per-flu-us)

adj. more than necessary; unnecessary

The student's essay was full of superfluous phrases that needed to be deleted.

15

Define:

surreptitious
(ser-up-tish-us)

adj. secretive

Since they were not allowed to speak, the couple exchanged surreptitious glances from across the room.

16

Define:

symbiotic
(sim-bee-ott-ik)

adj. related to a relationship that is beneficial for all involved

The whale and the small fish that cling to its body have a symbiotic relationship.

17

Define:

tacit
(tass-it)

adj. implied or unspoken

There was a tacit agreement between the two companies that neither would expand into the other's city.

18

Define:

exacerbate
(ig-zass-er-bate)

v. to make worse

The children's screaming exacerbated their father's headache.

19

Define:

exonerate
(ig-zawn-ih-rate)

v. to clear of blame or guilt

Though the defendant had clearly done something wrong, the court had no choice but to exonerate her on the present charges.

20

Define:

expedite
(ek-spuh-dahyt)

v. to speed up

For an extra fee, the post office can expedite your package's delivery.

21

Define:

extemporaneous
(ik-stem-puh-ray-nee-us)

adj. made up on the spot, ad-libbed

To be a news anchor, she would have to improve her extemporaneous speaking skills.

22

Define:

circumvent
(sir-kum-vent)

v. to get around an obstacle

She managed to circumvent security and approached her favorite actor backstage.

23

Define:

jocular
(jock-yuh-lur)

adj. related to jokes

The boy was popular with his classmates due to his cheerful, jocular nature.

24

Define:

pithy
(pith-ee)

adj. concise and relevant

Satya's pithy keynote speech was more enlightening than the endless lectures that had preceded it.

25

Define:

candor
(kan-der)

n. the quality of being frank, sincere, or impartial in expression

Giorgio was known for his candor, so it surprised no one when he began to talk at length about his love life.

26

Define:

cache
(kash)

n. a hidden place, a secret storage
n. a place for valuables

The bomb shelter had a cache of resources capable of supporting the family.

27

Define:

terse
(turs)

adj. succinct, curt

Your terse apology does not even begin to give an adequate explanation for your behavior.

28

Define:

trite
(trahyt)

adj. uninteresting due to overuse; hackneyed

Though some may find Valentine's Day chocolates trite, I look forward to every box I get.

29

Define:

equivocate
(i-kwiv-uh-keyt)

v. to make vague, unclear statements

The mayor equivocated when confronted about his use of public funds.

30

Define:

cacophony
(kuh-kof-uh-nee)

n. unpleasant, discordant sounds

The orchestra's first attempt to play together was a cacophony of jarring notes.