Vocabulary Video Contest (2013) - List 2

Vocabulary.com and the New York Times Learning Network have teamed up to launch a Vocabulary Video contest. Just create a short (15 seconds or less) video that defines or teaches any of the words in the Times' Word of the Day collection, post it online, and submit a link to your video in the Learning Network's comments section. Click on these links to learn more about the eligible words: List 1, List 2 and List 3.

Activities for this list:

definitions & notes only words
  1. preen
    clean with one's bill
  2. vicarious
    experienced at secondhand
  3. supplant
    take the place or move into the position of
  4. lewd
    suggestive of or tending to moral looseness
  5. deflect
    turn from a straight course or fixed direction
  6. uncouth
    lacking refinement or cultivation or taste
  7. clientele
    customers collectively
  8. fidelity
    the quality of being faithful
  9. cohabit
    share living quarters
  10. solvent
    capable of meeting financial obligations
  11. galleon
    a large square-rigged sailing ship with three or more masts
  12. myopic
    unable to see distant objects clearly
  13. smirk
    smile affectedly or derisively
  14. stupefy
    make dull or muddle, as with intoxication
  15. consequential
    having important issues or results
  16. foppish
    affecting extreme elegance in dress and manner
  17. willful
    done by design
  18. pandemic
    existing everywhere
  19. nullify
    declare invalid
  20. rebate
    a refund of some fraction of the amount paid
  21. tyranny
    government in which the ruler is an absolute dictator
  22. roil
    make turbid by stirring up the sediments of
  23. effeminate
    having unsuitable feminine qualities
  24. orator
    a person who delivers a speech
  25. braggadocio
    vain and empty boasting
  26. balk
    refuse to comply
  27. delirium
    a usually brief state of excitement and mental confusion
  28. asylum
    a shelter from danger or hardship
  29. simian
    relating to or resembling an ape
  30. demur
    politely refuse or take exception to
  31. impertinent
    improperly forward or bold
  32. cacophonous
    having an unpleasant sound
  33. wangle
    accomplishing something by scheming or trickery
  34. alimentary
    of or providing nourishment
  35. crabbed
    annoyed and irritable
  36. defame
    charge falsely or with malicious intent
  37. impolitic
    not marked by artful prudence
  38. immune
    of the condition in which an organism can resist disease
  39. carouse
    engage in boisterous, drunken merrymaking
  40. neologism
    a newly invented word or phrase
  41. carat
    a unit of measurement for the proportion of gold in an alloy
  42. ventriloquist
    a performer who projects the voice into a wooden dummy
  43. buccaneer
    someone who robs at sea or plunders the land from the sea
  44. disband
    cause to break up or cease to function
  45. venal
    capable of being corrupted
  46. centrifuge
    an apparatus that separates particles from a suspension
  47. brindled
    having a gray or brown streak or a patchy coloring
  48. clime
    the weather in some location averaged over a period of time
  49. glare
    be sharply reflected
  50. vortex
    a powerful circular current of water
  51. touchstone
    a basis for comparison
  52. pacifist
    someone opposed to violence as a means of settling disputes
  53. luxuriate
    enjoy to excess
  54. intangible
    incapable of being perceived by the senses, especially touch
  55. remorse
    a feeling of deep regret, usually for some misdeed
  56. wax
    substance solid at normal temperature and insoluble in water
  57. xenophobia
    a fear of foreigners or strangers
  58. miasma
    an unwholesome atmosphere
  59. exert
    put to use
  60. cartographer
    a person who makes maps
  61. tightwad
    a miserly person
  62. acuity
    sharpness of vision
  63. irreconcilable
    impossible to bring into accord
  64. pediatrician
    a specialist in the care of babies
  65. monumental
    of outstanding significance
  66. chortle
    a soft partly suppressed laugh
  67. berserk
    frenzied as if possessed by a demon
  68. missive
    a written message addressed to a person or organization
  69. dinghy
    a small boat of shallow draft
  70. drivel
    saliva spilling from the mouth
  71. gauche
    lacking social polish
  72. submissive
    inclined or willing to give in to orders or wishes of others
  73. aquiline
    curved down like an eagle's beak
  74. killjoy
    someone who spoils the pleasure of others
  75. anomaly
    deviation from the normal or common order or form or rule
  76. disport
    occupy in an agreeable, entertaining or pleasant fashion
  77. grandeur
    the quality of being magnificent or splendid
  78. torrent
    an overwhelming number or amount
  79. valor
    courage when facing danger
  80. decadence
    the state of being degenerate in mental or moral qualities
  81. suppress
    put down by force or authority
  82. dowdy
    lacking in stylishness or taste
  83. noncommittal
    refusing to bind oneself to a particular course of action
  84. atone
    turn away from sin or do penitence
  85. imbalance
    a lack of harmony or evenness
  86. welt
    a raised mark on the skin
  87. tempo
    the speed at which a composition is to be played
  88. potent
    having or wielding force or authority
  89. shoddy
    of inferior workmanship and materials
  90. complementary
    acting as a part that completes another part
  91. parlance
    a manner of speaking natural to a language's native speakers
  92. adulterate
    make impure by adding a foreign or inferior substance
  93. verbose
    using or containing too many words
  94. pugilist
    someone who fights with his fists for sport
  95. coagulate
    change from a liquid to a thickened or solid state
  96. deterrent
    something immaterial that interferes with action or progress
  97. dirge
    a song or hymn of mourning as a memorial to a dead person
  98. assumption
    the act of taking something for granted
  99. suture
    a seam used in surgery
  100. raspy
    unpleasantly harsh or grating in sound
  101. gruel
    a thin porridge
  102. comely
    according with custom or propriety
  103. avenge
    take action in return for a perceived wrong
  104. centurion
    leader of soldiers in ancient Rome
  105. obfuscate
    make obscure or unclear
  106. chaotic
    completely unordered and unpredictable and confusing
  107. collate
    to assemble in proper sequence
  108. rave
    talk in a noisy, excited, or declamatory manner
  109. ovoid
    rounded like an egg
  110. flit
    move along rapidly and lightly; skim or dart
  111. chide
    censure severely or angrily
  112. turbid
    clouded as with sediment
  113. calorific
  114. fervid
    characterized by intense emotion
  115. decrepitude
    a state of deterioration due to old age or long use
  116. corporeal
    having material or physical form or substance
  117. pry
    be nosey
  118. codify
    organize into a system, such as a body of law
  119. candor
    the quality of being honest and straightforward
  120. facile
    arrived at without due care or effort; lacking depth
  121. subaltern
    British commissioned army officer below the rank of captain
  122. penance
    voluntary self-punishment in order to atone for something
  123. motility
    ability to move spontaneously and independently
  124. shrew
    small mouselike mammal with a long snout; related to moles
  125. aviary
    a building where birds are kept
  126. corpulent
    excessively fat
  127. invalidate
    make no longer acceptable for use
  128. cumulative
    increasing by successive addition
  129. corrosive
    capable of destroying or eating away by chemical action
  130. visceral
    relating to or affecting the internal organs
  131. disparity
    inequality or difference in some respect
  132. unaccountable
    not to be explained
  133. hue and cry
    loud and persistent clamor or protest from many people
  134. circlet
    a small ring-shaped object
  135. tonsure
    shaving the crown of the head by priests or monks
  136. rebus
    a puzzle consisting of pictures representing words
  137. gentility
    elegance by virtue of fineness of manner and expression
  138. behoove
    be appropriate or necessary
  139. sportive
    given to merry frolicking
  140. effervescent
    giving off bubbles
  141. allegory
    a short moral story
  142. trigger
    lever that activates the firing mechanism of a gun
  143. lustrous
    reflecting light
  144. reprove
    reprimand, scold, or express disapproval of
  145. solstice
    when the sun is at its greatest distance from the equator
  146. equivocate
    be deliberately ambiguous or unclear
  147. estrange
    remove from customary environment or associations
  148. iridescent
    varying in color when seen in different lights
  149. sleazy
    morally degraded
  150. empathy
    understanding and entering into another's feelings
  151. malleable
    capable of being shaped or bent
  152. mercantile
    relating to or characteristic of trade or traders
  153. panegyric
    formally expressing praise
  154. defile
    make dirty or spotty
  155. disaffected
    discontented as toward authority
  156. blanch
    turn pale, as if in fear
  157. bode
    indicate by signs
  158. erroneous
    containing or characterized by error
  159. bemused
    perplexed by many conflicting situations or statements
  160. cohesion
    the state of sticking together
  161. waggish
    witty or joking
  162. tranquility
    an untroubled state that is free from disturbances
  163. authenticate
    establish the undisputed credibility of something
  164. epitome
    a standard or typical example
  165. sheaf
    a package of several things tied together
  166. diffident
    showing modest reserve
  167. obese
    excessively fat
  168. filch
    make off with belongings of others
  169. eddy
    a miniature whirlpool or whirlwind
  170. reprobate
    a person without moral scruples
  171. artless
    simple and natural; without cunning or deceit
  172. spontaneity
    the quality of coming from feelings without constraint
  173. static
    not in physical motion
  174. construe
    make sense of; assign a meaning to
  175. slapdash
    marked by great carelessness
  176. procurement
    the act of getting possession of something
  177. generality
    the quality of being widespread or having wide applicability
  178. acclimate
    get used to a certain environment
  179. dubious
    fraught with uncertainty or doubt
  180. audit
    examine carefully for accuracy
  181. clairvoyant
    someone who can perceive things not present to the senses
  182. gerontocracy
    a political system governed by old people
  183. matriculate
    enroll as a student
  184. unison
    the state of corresponding exactly
  185. ethnology
    branch of anthropology dealing with divisions of humankind
  186. yen
    the basic unit of money in Japan; equal to 100 sen
  187. extrapolate
    draw from specific cases for more general cases
  188. mincing
    affectedly dainty or refined
  189. oblique
    slanting or inclined in direction or course or position
  190. grudging
    petty or reluctant in giving or spending
  191. circumlocution
    an indirect way of expressing something
  192. corrugated
    shaped into alternating parallel grooves and ridges
  193. corollary
    an inference following from the proof of another proposition
  194. malfeasance
    wrongful conduct by a public official
  195. crotchety
    having a difficult and contrary disposition
  196. yoke
    a wooden frame across the shoulders for carrying buckets
  197. episodic
    divided into or composed of distinct scenes or events
  198. magnanimity
    nobility and generosity of spirit
  199. palliate
    lessen or to try to lessen the seriousness or extent of
  200. equanimity
    steadiness of mind under stress
  201. authoritative
    of recognized power or excellence
  202. bicker
    argue over petty things
  203. sardonic
    disdainfully or ironically humorous
  204. apologist
    a person who argues to defend some policy or institution
  205. antithesis
    exact opposite
  206. satiate
    fill to satisfaction
  207. mosaic
    design made of small pieces of colored stone or glass
  208. tawdry
    tastelessly showy
  209. revoke
    cancel officially
  210. gruff
    brusque and surly and forbidding
  211. atavism
    a reappearance of an earlier characteristic
  212. jibe
    shift from one side of the ship to the other
  213. remission
    an abatement in intensity or degree
  214. worldly
    characteristic of secularity rather than spirituality
  215. caricature
    a representation of a person exaggerated for comic effect
  216. disquisition
    an elaborate analytical or explanatory essay or discussion
  217. fleck
    a small contrasting part of something
  218. levitate
    cause to rise in the air and float
  219. faction
    a dissenting clique
  220. overwrought
    deeply agitated especially from emotion
  221. assay
    a test of a substance to determine its components
  222. macabre
    shockingly repellent; inspiring horror
  223. nutrient
    any substance that can be metabolized to give energy
  224. whittle
    cut small bits or pare shavings from
  225. litigation
    a legal proceeding in a court
  226. outwit
    beat through cleverness and wit
  227. somatic
    characteristic of the body as opposed to the mind or spirit
  228. ominous
    threatening or foreshadowing evil or tragic developments
  229. potentate
    a ruler who is unconstrained by law
  230. rummage
    search haphazardly
  231. impassive
    having or revealing little emotion or sensibility
  232. levy
    impose and collect
  233. braggart
    a very boastful and talkative person
  234. compelling
    driving or forcing
  235. automaton
    a mechanism that can move independently of external control
  236. dally
    behave carelessly or indifferently
  237. isotope
    atom with same atomic number, different number of neutrons
  238. multiform
    occurring in or having many shapes or appearances
  239. correlation
    a reciprocal connection between two or more things
  240. sect
    a subdivision of a larger religious group
  241. contention
    the act of competing as for profit or a prize
  242. autonomous
    existing as an independent entity
  243. illusion
    an erroneous mental representation
  244. ethnic
    distinctive of the ways of living of a group of people
  245. dismember
    separate the limbs from the body
  246. consensus
    agreement in the judgment reached by a group as a whole
  247. diminution
    change toward something smaller or lower
  248. complacency
    the feeling you have when you are satisfied with yourself
  249. comatose
    in a state of deep and usually prolonged unconsciousness
  250. communal
    for or by a group rather than individuals
  251. buffoonery
    acting like a clown
  252. stanza
    a fixed number of lines of verse forming a unit of a poem
  253. bountiful
    producing in abundance
  254. transgression
    the violation of a law or a duty or moral principle
  255. eon
    the longest unit of geological time
  256. heckler
    someone who tries to embarrass you with gibes and objections
  257. attentive
    taking heed
  258. circumscribe
    draw a geometric figure around another figure
  259. premise
    a statement that is held to be true
  260. ambulatory
    able to walk about
  261. synoptic
    presenting a summary or general view of a whole
  262. reek
    give off smoke, fumes, warm vapour, steam, etc.
  263. maim
    injure or wound seriously and leave permanent disfiguration
  264. paradigm
    a standard or typical example
  265. annul
    cancel officially
  266. nocturnal
    belonging to or active during the night
  267. dogged
    stubbornly unyielding
  268. astral
    being or relating to or resembling or emanating from stars
  269. feign
    make believe with the intent to deceive
  270. irrefutable
    impossible to deny or disprove
  271. resumption
    beginning again
  272. forswear
    formally reject or disavow
  273. expletive
    profane or obscene expression usually of surprise or anger
  274. gestate
    be pregnant with
  275. pontifical
    proceeding from or ordered by or subject to a pope
  276. herbivorous
    feeding only on plants
  277. riveting
    capable of arousing and holding the attention
  278. disjoint
    having no elements in common
  279. bohemian
    a nonconformist who lives an unconventional life
  280. theoretical
    concerned with hypotheses and not practical considerations
  281. ramify
    have or develop complicating consequences
  282. tipple
    drink moderately but regularly
  283. prate
    speak about unimportant matters rapidly and incessantly
  284. luster
    the property of something that shines with reflected light
  285. hypocritical
    professing feelings or virtues one does not have
  286. largess
    liberality in bestowing gifts
  287. comeuppance
    a usually negative outcome or fate that is well deserved
  288. arrogance
    overbearing pride evidenced by a superior manner
  289. dank
    unpleasantly cool and humid
  290. amulet
    a trinket thought to be a magical protection against evil
  291. slander
    words falsely spoken that damage the reputation of another
  292. jingoist
    an extreme bellicose nationalist
  293. preeminent
    greatest in importance or degree or significance
  294. proxy
    a person authorized to act for another
  295. pervasive
    spreading or spread throughout
  296. demotic
    of or for the common people
  297. renege
    fail to fulfill a promise or obligation
  298. usury
    the act of lending money at an exorbitant rate of interest
  299. rebut
    overthrow by argument, evidence, or proof
  300. incantation
    a ritual reciting of words believed to have a magical effect
  301. indisputable
    not open to question; obviously true
  302. cede
    give over
  303. abysmal
    resembling an abyss in depth; so deep as to be immeasurable
  304. jollity
    feeling jovial and full of good humor
  305. subjective
    taking place within the mind and modified by individual bias
  306. babble
    utter meaningless sounds
  307. climactic
    consisting of or causing a decisive moment
  308. covenant
    an agreement between God and his people
  309. deface
    mar or spoil the appearance of
  310. rejuvenate
    make younger or more youthful
  311. diadem
    an ornamental jeweled headdress signifying sovereignty
  312. judicious
    marked by the exercise of good judgment in practical matters
  313. bandy
    discuss lightly
  314. fanaticism
    excessive intolerance of opposing views
  315. fluency
    powerful and effective language
  316. malignant
    dangerous to health
  317. hinterland
    a remote and undeveloped area
  318. diligence
    conscientiousness in paying proper attention to a task
  319. impeach
    bring an accusation against
  320. adherent
    someone who believes and helps to spread a doctrine
  321. falter
    move hesitatingly, as if about to give way
  322. tessellated
    decorated with small pieces of colored glass or stone
  323. pugnacity
    a natural disposition to be hostile
  324. glimmer
    a flash of light
  325. miserly
    characterized by or indicative of lack of generosity
  326. imprudent
    not wise
  327. connivance
    agreement on a secret plot
  328. quell
    suppress or crush completely
  329. forensic
    used in the investigation of facts or evidence in court
  330. prophetic
    foretelling events as if by supernatural intervention
  331. harangue
    a loud bombastic declamation expressed with strong emotion
  332. gamely
    in a plucky or sporting manner
  333. superficial
    of, affecting, or being on or near the surface
  334. dappled
    having spots or patches of color
  335. expository
    serving to expound or set forth
  336. dormer
    a gabled extension built out from a sloping roof
  337. refulgent
    radiating or as if radiating light
  338. catcall
    a cry expressing disapproval
  339. pragmatist
    an adherent of a theory of observable practical consequences
  340. elaborate
    marked by complexity and richness of detail
  341. intelligentsia
    an educated elite
  342. tangential
    of superficial relevance if any
  343. premonitory
    warning of future misfortune
  344. ignoble
    completely lacking nobility in character or purpose
  345. rhapsodize
    say with great enthusiasm
  346. vituperative
    marked by harshly abusive criticism
  347. palatial
    relating to a large and stately mansion
  348. scaffold
    a temporary arrangement erected around a building
  349. provisional
    under terms not final or fully worked out or agreed upon
  350. mote
    a tiny piece of anything
  351. canter
    a smooth three-beat gait
  352. pallid
    deficient in color suggesting physical or emotional distress
  353. austere
    of a stern or strict bearing or demeanor
  354. affluence
    abundant wealth
  355. fortitude
    strength of mind that enables one to endure adversity
  356. chimerical
    like a grotesque product of the imagination
  357. curmudgeon
    an irascible, cantankerous person full of stubborn ideas
  358. barrage
    the heavy fire of artillery to saturate an area
  359. lithe
    moving and bending with ease
  360. salient
    conspicuous, prominent, or important
  361. paraphrase
    express the same message in different words
  362. quell
    suppress or crush completely
  363. sententious
    concise and full of meaning
  364. imbroglio
    an intricate and confusing interpersonal situation
  365. cadaverous
    of or relating to a corpse
  366. consistent
    the same throughout in structure or composition
  367. figurative
    not literal
  368. anthem
    a song of devotion or loyalty
  369. cogitate
    consider carefully and deeply
  370. seep
    pass gradually or leak or as if through small openings
  371. wizardry
    exceptional creative ability
  372. bugaboo
    an imaginary monster used to frighten children
  373. bait
    something used to lure fish or other animals
  374. regeneration
    forming again; renewing and reconstituting
  375. unprecedented
    novel; having no earlier occurrence
  376. malcontent
    dissatisfied as toward authority
  377. whorl
    a round shape formed by a series of concentric circles
  378. collateral
    accompanying; following as a consequence
  379. insularity
    the state of being isolated or detached
  380. masochist
    someone who obtains pleasure from receiving punishment
  381. snicker
    laugh quietly
  382. imponderable
    difficult or impossible to evaluate with precision
  383. commandeer
    take arbitrarily or by force
  384. heterodox
    characterized by departure from accepted standards
  385. plasticity
    the property of being physically malleable
  386. consign
    give over to another for care or safekeeping
  387. replicate
    reproduce or make an exact copy of
  388. beholden
    under a moral obligation to someone
  389. truncate
    make shorter as if by cutting off
  390. duress
    compulsory force or threat
  391. jettison
    throw away, of something encumbering
  392. abominable
    unequivocally detestable
  393. bedraggled
    limp, untidy, and soiled
  394. putrid
    of or relating to the process of decay
  395. squander
    spend thoughtlessly; throw away
  396. torque
    a twisting force
  397. agnostic
    a person who claims the existence of God is unknowable
  398. quorum
    a gathering of the minimal number of members of a group
  399. drudgery
    hard monotonous routine work
  400. windfall
    a sudden happening that brings good fortune
  401. retrench
    tighten one's belt; use resources carefully
  402. repository
    a facility where things can be deposited for safekeeping
  403. deduce
    reason from the general to the particular
  404. vantage
    place or situation affording some benefit
  405. stupor
    marginal consciousness
  406. finite
    bounded in magnitude or spatial or temporal extent
  407. indomitable
    impossible to subdue
  408. subliminal
    below the threshold of conscious perception
  409. militate
    have force or influence; bring about an effect or change
  410. excerpt
    a passage selected from a larger work
  411. supine
    lying face upward
  412. poseur
    a person who habitually pretends to be something he is not
  413. dilute
    lessen the strength or flavor of a solution or mixture
  414. dupe
    fool or hoax
  415. droll
    comical in an odd or whimsical manner
  416. specious
    plausible but false
  417. sonorous
    full and loud and deep
  418. cerebration
    the process of using one's mind to consider something
  419. provident
    giving something useful for the future
  420. irreverence
    a mental attitude showing lack of due respect
  421. culmination
    a concluding action
  422. provocative
    serving or tending to excite or stimulate
  423. accretion
    an increase by natural growth or addition
  424. roseate
    of something having a dusty purplish pink color
  425. wastrel
    someone who dissipates resources self-indulgently
  426. detrimental
    causing harm or injury
  427. swerve
    turn sharply; change direction abruptly
  428. denote
    have as a meaning
  429. solder
    join or fuse with an alloy
  430. festive
    offering fun and gaiety
  431. pall
    burial garment in which a corpse is wrapped
  432. vulpine
    resembling or characteristic of a fox
  433. brevity
    the attribute of being short or fleeting
  434. seemly
    according with custom or propriety
  435. flounder
    walk with great difficulty
  436. veneer
    coating consisting of a thin layer of wood
  437. disavow
    refuse to acknowledge
  438. idiom
    expression whose meaning cannot be inferred from its words
  439. purge
    rid of impurities
  440. insouciant
    marked by unconcern
  441. spruce
    any coniferous tree of the genus Picea
  442. privy
    informed about something secret or not generally known
  443. embed
    fix or set securely or deeply
  444. hypercritical
    inclined to judge too severely
  445. effusion
    an unrestrained expression of emotion
  446. inductive
    influencing or causing to arise
  447. stodgy
    excessively conventional and unimaginative and hence dull
  448. resonant
    characterized by a loud deep sound
  449. realm
    a domain in which something is dominant
  450. prude
    a person excessively concerned about propriety and decorum
  451. cloister
    residence that is a place of religious seclusion
  452. fetter
    a shackle for the ankles or feet
  453. rife
    excessively abundant
  454. pacify
    ease the anger, agitation, or strong emotion of
  455. slacken
    become slow or slower
  456. sanctimonious
    excessively or hypocritically pious
  457. sluice
    conduit that carries a rapid flow of water
  458. vaporize
    turn into gas
  459. dilate
    become wider
  460. functionary
    a worker who holds or is invested with an office
  461. apogee
    the farthest point in an orbit around the Earth
  462. doctrinaire
    a stubborn person of arbitrary or arrogant opinions
  463. bemoan
    regret strongly
  464. overblown
    puffed up with vanity
  465. grovel
    show submission or fear
  466. fickle
    liable to sudden unpredictable change
  467. haughtiness
    overbearing pride evidenced by a superior manner
  468. ulterior
    lying beyond what is openly revealed or avowed
  469. addled
    confused and vague; used especially of thinking
  470. blowhard
    a very boastful and talkative person
  471. incisive
    demonstrating ability to recognize or draw fine distinctions
  472. winsome
    charming in a childlike or naive way
  473. fluke
    a stroke of luck
  474. suffuse
    cause to spread or flush or flood through, over, or across

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