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.
adj. insensitive; having no feeling
The callous remark upset the entire family.
adj. not distinguishable between male and female
The names Sam is androgynous because it could stand for Samantha or Samual.
adj. unusually quick development or maturation, especially in intelligence
The child's precocious understanding of calculus stunned his teachers.
n. the medieval study of transforming lead into gold
Alchemy is in many ways related to the chemistry we study today.
v. to refer to another concept indirectly
She would occasionally allude to a summer house, though nobody knew exactly where it was.
n. selfless concern for others
Many charities were formed thanks to Rajiv's altruism and generosity.
n. indifference or confused feelings
The bride's ambivalence towards the color of the roses meant the groom had to decide.
v. to make better
The new medicine ameliorated her condition rather quickly.
adj. open to suggestion or criticism
A good manager is amenable to his employee's new ideas.
adj. overly instructive or preachy
He may mean well, but Pat's efforts to help come across as fussy and didactic.
n. dedication to pursuing pleasure
Jake's hedonism became apparent when he quit his job rather than cancel his trip to the Bahamas.
adj. blocking all light
adj. hard to understand
The windows became so dirty they were almost opaque.
adj. more than necessary; unnecessary
The student's essay was full of superfluous phrases that needed to be deleted.
Since they were not allowed to speak, the couple exchanged surreptitious glances from across the room.
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.
adj. implied or unspoken
There was a tacit agreement between the two companies that neither would expand into the other's city.
v. to make worse
The children's screaming exacerbated their father's headache.
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.
v. to speed up
For an extra fee, the post office can expedite your package's delivery.
adj. made up on the spot, ad-libbed
To be a news anchor, she would have to improve her extemporaneous speaking skills.
v. to get around an obstacle
She managed to circumvent security and approached her favorite actor backstage.
adj. related to jokes
The boy was popular with his classmates due to his cheerful, jocular nature.
adj. concise and relevant
Satya's pithy keynote speech was more enlightening than the endless lectures that had preceded it.
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.
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.
adj. succinct, curt
Your terse apology does not even begin to give an adequate explanation for your behavior.
adj. uninteresting due to overuse; hackneyed
Though some may find Valentine's Day chocolates trite, I look forward to every box I get.
v. to make vague, unclear statements
The mayor equivocated when confronted about his use of public funds.
n. unpleasant, discordant sounds
The orchestra's first attempt to play together was a cacophony of jarring notes.
n. a state of final spiritual ruin, loss of soul, damnation
Poor moral choices led Johnny down the road to perdition.
adj. related to the meaning of words
Susan felt that the abortion debate had become too focused on semantic arguments.
v. to try to imitate or exceed another's actions
Nancy wanted to emulate her older sister and so began to study more often.
adj. originating in, native to, particular to
There are some deadly diseases that are endemic to the tropics.
In order have her article published, Susan needed to prove the veracity of her claims.
n. a small remnant
That abandoned well is a vestige of the manor that once stood here.
n. a highly-skilled artist
Even at a young age, it was clear that Beethoven was a virtuoso in the making.
adj. paying great attention to detail
He was a meticulous sculptor, sometimes spending hours perfecting a single fingernail on one of his figures.
v. to grow and spread quickly
Tensions in the area proliferated after the civilian casualties.
adj. lying face or front downward
adj. tending to behave or act a certain way
Lucy was prone to cheat on tests, so the teachers placed her in a separate room.
adj. practical; careful
His assistant was particularly prudent when it came to keeping the company's secrets.
n. one who hates women
The song contained several lyrics that were so offensive to women that the singer was immediately labeled a misogynist.
n. the art or profession of training, teaching, or instructing
Training in pedagogy can't prepare you for manic third graders.
v. to behave in a servile manner
v. to indulge in unworthy pursuits
The servants groveled at the king's throne.
adj. hidden; secret
The government's covert operations were laid bare by the shocking article.
n. the study of heredity improvements by genetic control
Nazi Germany is known to have carried out many eugenics experiments that provoked outrage once they came to light.
adj. in a state of decline
Louis XIV was known for his decadent displays of wealth and power.
adj. conforming to what is acceptable to society
adj. marked by propriety and etiquette
One must always behave in a decorous manner at formal events.
v. to castrate or make effeminate
v. to weaken
Wearing the frilly pink shirt made him feel emasculated.
adj. inactive for a period of time
The dormant volcano erupted unexpectedly, injuring many.
adj. composed of parts from many different sources
The girl's fashion sense was an eclectic mix of conservative Victorian and colorful modern styles.
n. extreme sensual indulgence
The debauchery in the movie was enough to make me blush.
adj. felt in one's stomach
adj. emotional, rather than intellectual
Jeb's visceral response to his mother's racist ramblings was visible to all of us.
adj. cheerfully optimistic
Samantha had a sanguine attitude towards life that enriched those around her.
adj. secretive, sly
At the party, Julia cast furtive glances around the room to make sure her older sister was not around to send her back home.
adj. everyday, commonplace, habitual
Joe's small, quotidian pleasures seemed more substantial than Mattias's high-profile jet-setting.
n. a conscious decision or the capability of choosing
Though his friends had egged him on, it was determined that Pat stole the sunglasses of his own volition.
n. an outcast; a rejected or despised person
Alex left the party feeling like a pariah.
adj. originating in a certain place
The Aborigines are a people indigenous to Australia.
adj. wishing evil on others
The malevolent old woman was always trying to make her neighbors miserable.