The Top 1000

The top 1,000 vocabulary words have been carefully chosen to represent difficult but common words that appear in everyday academic and business writing. These words are also the most likely to appear on the SAT, ACT, GRE, and ToEFL.
To create this list, we started with the words that give our users the most trouble and then ranked them by how frequently they appear in our corpus of billions of words from edited sources. If you only have time to study one list of words, this is the list.
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Full list of words from this list:

  1. consider
    deem to be
    At the moment, artemisinin-based therapies are considered the best treatment, but cost about $10 per dose - far too much for impoverished communities.Seattle Times (Feb 16, 2012)
  2. minute
    infinitely or immeasurably small
    The minute stain on the document was not visible to the naked eye.
  3. accord
    concurrence of opinion
    The committee worked in accord on the bill, and it eventually passed.
  4. evident
    clearly revealed to the mind or the senses or judgment
    That confidence was certainly evident in the way Smith handled the winning play with 14 seconds left on the clock.
  5. practice
    a customary way of operation or behavior
    He directed and acted in plays every season and became known for exploring Elizabethan theatre practices.
  6. intend
    have in mind as a purpose
    “Lipstick, as a product intended for topical use with limited absorption, is ingested only in very small quantities,” the agency said on its website.
  7. concern
    something that interests you because it is important
    The scandal broke out in October after former chief executive Michael Woodford claimed he was fired for raising concerns about the company's accounting practices.
  8. commit
    perform an act, usually with a negative connotation
    In an unprecedented front page article in 2003 The Times reported that Mr. Blair, a young reporter on its staff, had committed journalistic fraud.New York Times (Feb 15, 2012)
  9. issue
    some situation or event that is thought about
    As a result, the privacy issues surrounding mobile computing are becoming ever-more complex.
  10. approach
    move towards
    Spain’s jobless rate for people ages 16 to 24 is approaching 50 percent.New York Times (Feb 15, 2012)
  11. establish
    set up or found
    A small French colony, Port Louis, was established on East Falkland in 1764 and handed to the Spanish three years later.
  12. utter
    without qualification
    No one can blame an honest mechanic for holding a wealthy snob in utter contempt.Ingersoll, Robert Green
  13. conduct
    direct the course of; manage or control
    Scientists have been conducting studies of individual genes for years.
  14. engage
    consume all of one's attention or time
    We had nearly two hundred passengers, who were seated about on the sofas, reading, or playing games, or engaged in conversation.Field, Henry M. (Henry Martyn)
  15. obtain
    come into possession of
    He delayed making the unclassified report public while awaiting an Army review, but Rolling Stone magazine obtained the report and posted it Friday night.New York Times (Feb 11, 2012)
  16. scarce
    deficient in quantity or number compared with the demand
    Meanwhile, heating oil could grow more scarce in the Northeast this winter, the Energy Department warned last month.New York Times (Jan 21, 2012)
  17. policy
    a plan of action adopted by an individual or social group
    Inflation has lagged behind the central bank’s 2 percent target, giving policy makers extra scope to cut rates.
  18. straight
    successive, without a break
    After three straight losing seasons, Hoosiers fans were just hoping for a winning record.Seattle Times (Feb 15, 2012)
  19. stock
    capital raised by a corporation through the issue of shares
    In other words, Apple’s stock is cheap, and you should buy it.Forbes (Feb 16, 2012)
  20. apparent
    clearly revealed to the mind or the senses or judgment
    But the elderly creak is beginning to become apparent in McCartney’s voice.
  21. property
    a basic or essential attribute shared by members of a class
    Owing to these magic properties, it was often planted near dwellings to keep away evil spirits.Parsons, Mary Elizabeth
  22. fancy
    imagine; conceive of; see in one's mind
    For a time, indeed, he had fancied that things were changed.Weyman, Stanley J.
  23. concept
    an abstract or general idea inferred from specific instances
    As a psychologist, I have always found the concept of speed dating fascinating.Scientific American (Feb 13, 2012)
  24. court
    an assembly to conduct judicial business
    When Brown pleaded not guilty to assaulting Rihanna, their violent past came out in court.Slate (Feb 16, 2012)
  25. appoint
    assign a duty, responsibility, or obligation to
    In 1863 he was appointed by the general assembly professor of oriental languages at New College.Various
  26. passage
    a section of text, particularly a section of medium length
    His interpretation of many obscure scriptural passages by means of native manners and customs and traditions is particularly helpful and informing.Sheets, Emily Churchill Thompson
  27. vain
    unproductive of success
    An attempt was made to ignore this brilliant and irregular book, but in vain; it was read all over Europe.Various
  28. instance
    an occurrence of something
    In many instances large districts or towns would have fewer representatives than smaller ones, or perhaps none at all.Clarke, Helen Archibald
  29. coast
    the shore of a sea or ocean
    Martello towers must be built within short distances all round the coast.Wingfield, Lewis
  30. project
    a planned undertaking
    The funds are aimed at helping build public projects including mass transit, electricity networks, water utility and ports, it said.
  31. commission
    a special group delegated to consider some matter
    The developers are now seeking approval from the landmarks commission.New York Times (Feb 16, 2012)
  32. constant
    a quantity that does not vary
    In 1929, Hubble independently put forward and confirmed the same idea, and the parameter later became known as the Hubble constant.Nature (Nov 15, 2011)
  33. circumstances
    one's overall condition in life
    The circumstances leading up to the shootings was not immediately available.
  34. constitute
    compose or represent
    Oil and natural gas constituted almost 50 percent of Russian government revenue last year.
  35. level
    a relative position or degree of value in a graded group
    Only last month did the men’s and women’s unemployment rates reach the same level.New York Times (Feb 19, 2012)
  36. affect
    have an influence upon
    The central bank will start distributing low-interest loans in early March to individuals and small- and medium-sized companies affected by the flooding.
  37. institute
    set up or lay the groundwork for
    Corporations have to be more and more focused on instituting higher labor standards.Washington Post (Feb 7, 2012)
  38. render
    give an interpretation of
    But authorities had rendered the weapon and the explosive device inoperable, officials said.Chicago Tribune (Feb 17, 2012)
  39. appeal
    be attractive to
    To get traditional women’s accessories to appeal to men, some designers are giving them manly names and styles.New York Times (Feb 19, 2012)
  40. generate
    bring into existence
    Qualities such as these are not generated under bad working practices of any sort.Hungerford, Edward
  41. theory
    a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the world
    Testing that theory begins Saturday night, as the Capitals take on Tampa Bay in another important contest.Washington Post (Feb 18, 2012)
  42. range
    a variety of different things or activities
    Like American community colleges, admission at an open university is not competitive, but the schools offer a range of programs, including doctoral degrees.
  43. campaign
    a race between candidates for elective office
    At the same point in 2004 — as an incumbent facing re-election — Mr. Bush had taken in about $145.6 million for his campaign.New York Times (Feb 18, 2012)
  44. league
    an association of sports teams that organizes matches
    "When I broke into the big leagues until a month ago, Gary kept in touch," Mets third baseman David Wright said.Seattle Times (Feb 17, 2012)
  45. labor
    any piece of work that is undertaken or attempted
    More labor is entailed, more time is required, greater delay is occasioned in cleaning up, and the amount of water used is much greater.Hoskin, Arthur J.
  46. confer
    have a meeting in order to talk something over
    Ms. Stewart said Mrs. Bachmann conferred with her family and a few aides after her disappointing showing on Tuesday evening.New York Times (Jan 4, 2012)
  47. grant
    allow to have
    He had been granted entry into the White House only for the daily briefing, later that afternoon.New York Times (Feb 17, 2012)
  48. dwell
    think moodily or anxiously about something
    But it is hardly necessary to dwell on so normal an event.Vinogradoff, Paul
  49. entertain
    provide amusement for
    The first Super Bowl in 1967 featured college marching bands entertaining the crowds at halftime.
  50. contract
    a binding agreement that is enforceable by law
    Contracts with utilities will be signed starting next month, he said.
  51. earnest
    characterized by a firm, sincere belief in one's opinions
    Too much praise cannot be given to the earnest and efficient missionaries who founded and have maintained this mission.Miller, George A.
  52. yield
    give or supply
    It is a very important honey plant, as it yields an exceptionally pure nectar and remains in bloom a long time.Parsons, Mary Elizabeth
  53. wander
    move or cause to move in a sinuous or circular course
    While each animal wandered through the maze, its brain was working furiously.New York Times (Feb 16, 2012)
  54. insist
    be emphatic or resolute and refuse to budge
    Interior Department officials insisted that they had conducted an extensive scientific inquiry before moving ahead with the spill response plan.New York Times (Feb 17, 2012)
  55. knight
    a person of noble birth trained to arms and chivalry
    The knight was gallant not only in war, but in love also.Crothers, Samuel McChord
  56. convince
    make realize the truth or validity of something
    But though he listened he was not convinced.Reade, Charles
  57. inspire
    serve as the inciting cause of
    His surprising performance inspired an outpouring of fan adoration that has been dubbed "Linsanity."Chicago Tribune (Feb 19, 2012)
  58. convention
    a large formal assembly
    Last year, the industry’s main trade convention, the Inside Self-Storage World Expo, organized workshops in Las Vegas focusing on lien laws and auction sales.New York Times (Feb 17, 2012)
  59. skill
    an ability that has been acquired by training
    He says many new drivers are terrified of motorway driving because they do not have the skills or confidence needed.
  60. harry
    annoy continually or chronically
    There’s something uplifting about hearing a string instrument when I’m feeling ragged or harried.New York Times (Feb 9, 2012)
  61. financial
    involving fiscal matters
    Meanwhile, universities have raised tuition every year, putting many students in a financial bind.New York Times (Feb 20, 2012)
  62. reflect
    show an image of
    Teens ranting over chores and whatnot can often reflect deeper feelings of alienation or perceived uncaring on the part of parents.
  63. novel
    an extended fictional work in prose
    Before Robert Barr publishes a novel he spends years in thinking the thing out.Anonymous
  64. furnish
    provide with objects or articles that make a room usable
    Instead, according to court documents, the money went toward furnishing mansions, flying in private jets, and retaining a $120,000-a-year personal hairstylist.BusinessWeek (Feb 1, 2012)
  65. compel
    force somebody to do something
    But the flames grew too large, compelling firefighters to call off the rescue.New York Times (Feb 18, 2012)
  66. venture
    proceed somewhere despite the risk of possible dangers
    Clearly he would not venture to descend while his enemy moved.Strang, Herbert
  67. territory
    the geographical area under the jurisdiction of a state
    On Friday, West Africa regional group Ecowas condemned the rebels, urging them to end hostilities and surrender all occupied territory.
  68. temper
    a characteristic state of feeling
    Oscar Wilde, to do him justice, bore this sort of rebuff with astonishing good temper and sweetness.Anonymous
  69. bent
    fixed in your purpose
    The business-oriented constituency of the Republican Party, Jacobs said, has been weakened by a faction bent on lowering taxes and cutting spending.
  70. intimate
    marked by close acquaintance, association, or familiarity
    The female spider can choose when to cut off intimate relations by eating her partner, or kicking him out.Scientific American (Jan 31, 2012)
  71. undertake
    enter upon an activity or enterprise
    An autopsy has reportedly been undertaken but the results are not expected for several weeks.
  72. majority
    more than half of the votes in an election
    Republicans need just four seats in the Senate to take control as the majority party.
  73. assert
    declare or affirm solemnly and formally as true
    In your talk you asserted the pill's risks of blood clotting, lung artery blockage, heart attack and stroke are minimal.
  74. crew
    the people who work on a vehicle
    Several pilots and crew members would have to escape at once, while safety divers watched, ready to rescue anyone who became stuck.New York Times (Feb 6, 2012)
  75. chamber
    a natural or artificial enclosed space
    "Today," said the old man, "you must push through with me into my most solitary chamber, that we may not be disturbed."Carlyle, Thomas
  76. humble
    marked by meekness or modesty; not arrogant or prideful
    “Challenging yourself, playing up against stronger, tougher, and overall better competition will keep you humble.”Washington Post (Jan 17, 2012)
  77. scheme
    an elaborate and systematic plan of action
    Some companies in the Globe District of Arizona have started extensive underground schemes for mining large tonnages very cheaply by "caving" methods.Hoskin, Arthur J.
  78. keen
    demonstrating ability to recognize or draw fine distinctions
    Not one of his movements escaped her keen observation; she drank in every shiver.Wingfield, Lewis
  79. liberal
    having political views favoring reform and progress
    Romney’s actually done well in open primaries where fiscally conservative yet socially liberal independents have backed him over his opponents.
  80. despair
    a state in which all hope is lost or absent
    There were wounded love, and wounded pride, and despair, and coming madness, all in that piteous cry.Reade, Charles
  81. tide
    the periodic rise and fall of the sea level
    In the case of mobile connectivity, a rising tide does not lift all boats.Slate (Feb 9, 2012)
  82. attitude
    a complex mental state involving beliefs and feelings
    "Behaviours have changed and attitudes have changed," Mr Taylor said.
  83. justify
    show to be reasonable or provide adequate ground for
    He felt sure that if the circumstances justified it, the necessary proceedings could be taken.”Anonymous
  84. flag
    a rectangular piece of cloth of distinctive design
    Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas declared three days of mourning and ordered flags flown at half staff.New York Times (Feb 16, 2012)
  85. merit
    any admirable or beneficial attribute
    Thus far in our inquiry extraordinary merits have been offset by extraordinary defects.Ayres, Harry Morgan
  86. manifest
    reveal its presence or make an appearance
    A too rapid transformation of existing conditions might very easily lead to an economic crisis, symptoms of which are already beginning to manifest themselves.Vay, P?ter
  87. notion
    a general inclusive concept
    Does that old notion that defense wins championships still hold up these days?Seattle Times (Jan 13, 2012)
  88. scale
    relative magnitude
    And there might not be much money, so fashion shows are done on a much smaller scale.Seattle Times (Feb 17, 2012)
  89. formal
    characteristic of or befitting a person in authority
    A formal decision to call off the search is likely on Wednesday, rescue officials said.New York Times (Jan 31, 2012)
  90. resource
    a new or reserve supply that can be drawn upon when needed
    “Economists assume that, under normal conditions, markets will allocate resources efficiently,” he added.
  91. persist
    continue to exist
    Old ideas, long after the conditions under which they were produced have passed away, often persist in surviving.Ingersoll, Robert Green
  92. contempt
    lack of respect accompanied by a feeling of intense dislike
    And with his backhanded contempt for all things ordinary, Blake is making some of the catchiest, most difficult music in recent memory.
  93. tour
    a route all the way around a particular place or area
    He typed in “South Park” and took senior executives on a tour of Web sites offering pirated episodes.New York Times (Feb 8, 2012)
  94. plead
    enter a defendant's answer
    Aria pleaded not guilty, but he acknowledged that he had violated some laws.New York Times (Feb 18, 2012)
  95. weigh
    be oppressive or burdensome
    So far, the political turmoil has not appeared to have discouraged visitors, but prolonged strife could weigh on tourism.New York Times (Feb 11, 2012)
  96. mode
    how something is done or how it happens
    Speaking of science, he says, in language far in advance of his times: ‘There are two modes of knowing—by argument and by experiment.Adams, W. H. Davenport (William Henry Davenport)
  97. distinction
    a discrimination between things as different
    But such a distinction is quite external; at heart the men may be very much alike.Anonymous
  98. inclined
    at an angle to the horizontal or vertical position
    Such an inclined passage following a seam of coal is known as a slope.Hoskin, Arthur J.
  99. attribute
    a quality belonging to or characteristic of an entity
    The authors found that when the available prospects varied more in attributes such as age, height, occupation and educational background, people made fewer dating proposals.Scientific American (Feb 13, 2012)
  100. exert
    make a great effort at a mental or physical task
    School boards may come to exert even greater influence over what students read.Forbes (Jan 23, 2012)
  101. oppress
    come down on or keep down by unjust use of one's authority
    Those who managed to survive were later oppressed by Poland's post-war communist authorities.
  102. contend
    compete for something
    But eight men, however bold and stout-hearted, could not long contend with an enemy at least four times their number.Strang, Herbert
  103. stake
    a strong wooden or metal post driven into the ground
    His remains were buried in Cannon Street, and a stake was driven through the body.Andrews, William
  104. toil
    work hard
    He toiled in the sweat of his brow, tilling the stubborn ground, taking out stones, building fences.Adler, Felix
  105. perish
    pass from physical life
    Simon Wiesenthal's parents are long since deceased, with his father dying in World War I and his mother perishing in the Holocaust.
  106. disposition
    your usual mood
    Melancholia — the state of mind — can hide behind seemingly sunny dispositions.Seattle Times (Dec 28, 2011)
  107. rail
    complain bitterly
    Mr. Gray railed against lengthy stage directions, saying he crossed them out in scripts before he would begin rehearsals with his actors.New York Times (Feb 7, 2012)
  108. cardinal
    one of a group of prominent bishops in the Sacred College
    Each time he names cardinals he puts his stamp on Roman Catholicism's future by choosing men who share his views.Chicago Tribune (Feb 18, 2012)
  109. boast
    talk about oneself with excessive pride or self-regard
    Mr. Estes was also well connected politically, boasting that the president of the United States took his calls.New York Times (Dec 10, 2011)
  110. advocate
    a person who pleads for a person, cause, or idea
    Well, safety advocates, consumers and the government dragged the automobile industry toward including seat belts, air bags, more visible taillights and other safety features.New York Times (Feb 19, 2012)
  111. bestow
    He bestowed public buildings and river improvements in return for votes.Gilbert, Clinton W. (Clinton Wallace)
  112. allege
    report or maintain
    It is being fired into enclosed areas and homes, the human rights group alleges.
  113. notwithstanding
    despite anything to the contrary
    He seems to have taken things easily enough, notwithstanding the sorrow and suffering that surrounded him on every side.Adams, W. H. Davenport (William Henry Davenport)
  114. lofty
    of imposing height; especially standing out above others
    He found himself in an enormous hall with a lofty ceiling.Blasco Ib??ez, Vicente
  115. multitude
    a large indefinite number
    Department store chains in general have been strained in recent years as a " multitude" of alternatives has emerged, all competing for customers.Chicago Tribune (Dec 28, 2011)
  116. steep
    having a sharp inclination
    It was narrow and very steep, and had precipices in all parts, so that they could not mount upward except one at a time.Various
  117. heed
    pay close attention to
    But Cain was already too far gone to heed the warning voice.Adler, Felix
  118. modest
    not large but sufficient in size or amount
    A healthy person living in an unfashionable city with no student loans to pay off can get by on a fairly modest income.Slate (Feb 17, 2012)
  119. partial
    being or affecting only a segment
    Generalizations of this sweeping order are apt to contain only partial truth.Clarke, Helen Archibald
  120. apt
    naturally disposed toward
    Another reason to display beds at an electronics show: consumers are apt to use high-tech devices while tucked in.New York Times (Jan 9, 2012)
  121. esteem
    the condition of being honored
    Despite being held in the highest esteem by his fellow poets, Redgrove never quite achieved the critical reception or readership he deserved.
  122. credible
    appearing to merit belief or acceptance
    Mike Mullen, then chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has acknowledged receiving the memo but said he ignored it as not credible.New York Times (Dec 19, 2011)
  123. provoke
    provide the needed stimulus for
    It provoked a bigger reaction than we could ever have anticipated.
  124. tread
    a step in walking or running
    The farmer went down, his clumsy boots making no sound on the uncarpeted stairway, so careful was his tread.Woolson, Constance Fenimore
  125. ascertain
    learn or discover with confidence
    Health care providers and manufacturers can ascertain alternative treatment more effectively by tackling predicted drug shortage incidences early in the process.Forbes (Feb 13, 2012)
  126. fare
    proceed, get along, or succeed
    A recent study breaks down how graduates with various college degrees are faring in today’s difficult job market.Washington Post (Feb 17, 2012)
  127. cede
    relinquish possession or control over
    Some militia chiefs say they will only cede command of their fighters once an organized military and security apparatus is in place.
  128. perpetual
    continuing forever or indefinitely
    The river is a perpetual enjoyment, always something going on.Waddington, Mary King
  129. decree
    a legally binding command or decision
    While the decree takes effect immediately, it requires Parliament’s approval within 60 days to remain in force.
  130. contrive
    make or work out a plan for; devise
    The wily Roc, never taken much by surprise, contrived to escape, but old Tributor and his men were all captured.Thornbury, Walter
  131. derived
    formed or developed from something else; not original
    Modern kale, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and kohlrabi are all members of the same species, derived from a single prehistoric plant variety.Slate (Feb 21, 2012)
  132. elaborate
    marked by complexity and richness of detail
    But the tobacco industry and owners of other convenience stores say tribal cigarette manufacturing is just an elaborate form of tax evasion.New York Times (Feb 22, 2012)
  133. substantial
    real; having a material or factual existence
    Defence lawyers said the large number of forensic tests which had been carried out had failed to find any substantial evidence linked to the accused.
  134. frontier
    a wilderness at the edge of a settled area of a country
    Adding to the precarious security situation, tribesmen kidnapped 18 Egyptian border guards along the frontier with Israel in Sinai Peninsula.New York Times (Feb 9, 2012)
  135. facile
    arrived at without due care or effort; lacking depth
    As one teacher remarks about a troubled student, “There is no facile solution.”New York Times (Oct 11, 2011)
  136. cite
    make reference to
    The Federal Reserve has pledged low interest rates until late 2014, citing in part the weakness of the job market.
  137. warrant
    show to be reasonable or provide adequate ground for
    In the United Kingdom and Europe the devices are not used unless the need is warranted by the patient's medical condition.
  138. sob
    weep convulsively
    He cried and trembled, sobbing, while they spoke, like the child he was.Weyman, Stanley J.
  139. rider
    a traveler who actively sits and travels on an animal
    In horseback riding, a rider will give commands by squeezing or lengthening the reins and altering the position of his legs.
  140. dense
    permitting little if any light to pass through
    Dense black smoke rose in the distance as demonstrators burned tires in Shiite villages.
  141. afflict
    cause physical pain or suffering in
    Melanoma globally afflicts nearly 160,000 new people each year.
  142. flourish
    grow vigorously
    His business had been all along steadily flourishing, his patrons had been of high social position, some most illustrious, others actually royal.Petherick, Horace William
  143. ordain
    invest with ministerial or priestly authority
    One of the present bishops was consecrated when quite a young boy, and deacons are often ordained at sixteen, and even much earlier.Bird, Isabella L. (Isabella Lucy)
  144. pious
    having or showing or expressing reverence for a deity
    Mother, you see, is a very pious woman, and she attributes it all to Providence, saying that it was the Divine interference in her behalf.Various
  145. vex
    disturb, especially by minor irritations
    There are vexing problems slowing the growth and the practical implementation of big data technologies.Forbes (Oct 21, 2011)
  146. gravity
    the force of attraction between all masses in the universe
    Once captured, the combined object will have a new center of gravity and may be spinning in an uncontrolled way.
  147. suspended
    supported or kept from sinking or falling by buoyancy
    Frustrating enough at ground level, but can you imagine the agony about a stranded, ever-soggier Oreo being suspended 11 feet above the ground?Washington Post (Feb 21, 2012)
  148. conspicuous
    obvious to the eye or mind
    Its bright scarlet fruits are conspicuous in late autumn.Anonymous
  149. retort
    a quick reply to a question or remark
    Having put him in ill humour with this retort, she fled away rejoicing.Coster, Charles Th?odore Henri de
  150. jet
    an airplane powered by gas turbines
    Typhoon fighter jets, helicopters, two warships and bomb disposal experts will also be on duty to guard against security threats.Seattle Times (Feb 20, 2012)
  151. bolt
    run away
    The blare of bugles was heard, and a few seconds afterwards Jackson, still facing the enemy, shouted: "By Jupiter, they're bolting, sir."Strang, Herbert
  152. assent
    agree or express agreement
    His two companions readily assented, and the promise was mutually given and received.Keightley, Thomas
  153. purse
    a sum spoken of as the contents of a money container
    She watched over her husband, kept his accounts, held the family purse, managed all his affairs. Shorter, Clement K.
  154. plus
    the arithmetic operation of summing
    The survey’s margin of error was plus or minus four percentage points.
  155. sanction
    give authority or permission to
    The Securities and Exchange Commission said last year it had sanctioned 39 senior officers for conduct related to the housing market meltdown.
  156. proceeding
    a sequence of steps by which legal judgments are invoked
    Chu attended the special court-martial proceeding on Monday in Hawaii, Hill said.
  157. exalt
    praise, glorify, or honor
    Some exalt themselves by anonymously posting their own laudatory reviews.New York Times (Jan 26, 2012)
  158. siege
    an action of an armed force that surrounds a fortified place
    Rebellion broke out, and finally the aged Caliph, after enduring a siege of several weeks, was murdered in his own house.Nicholson, Reynold
  159. malice
    the desire to see others suffer
    He viewed the moths with malice, their fluttering wings fanning his resentment.Lyman, Olin L.
  160. extravagant
    recklessly wasteful
    Advisers say new millionaires are prone to mistakes, like making extravagant purchases or risky deals with friends.
  161. wax
    increase in phase
    Carols had existed for centuries, though their popularity waxed and waned as different governments and religious movements periodically declared them sinful.
  162. throng
    press tightly together or cram
    Deafening cheers rent the air as he landed; hundreds thronged around him to clasp his hand.Strang, Herbert
  163. venerate
    regard with feelings of respect and reverence
    He venerated me like a being descended from an upper world.Blasco Ib??ez, Vicente
  164. assail
    attack someone physically or emotionally
    His campaign even issued a press release assailing other rivals for, in Mr. Paul’s view, taking Mr. Romney’s quote about firing people out of context.New York Times (Feb 16, 2012)
  165. sublime
    of high moral or intellectual value
    He was uneven, disproportioned, saying ordinary things on great occasions, and now and then, without the slightest provocation, uttering the sublimest and most beautiful thoughts.Ingersoll, Robert Green
  166. exploit
    draw from; make good use of
    As humans increasingly exploit the deep seas for fish, oil and mining, understanding how species are dispersed is crucial, Copley said.Scientific American (Jan 3, 2012)
  167. exertion
    use of physical or mental energy; hard work
    One day overcome by exertion, she fainted in the street.Ingersoll, Robert Green
  168. kindle
    catch fire
    Then a match was kindled and fire applied.Warner, Susan
  169. endow
    furnish with a capital fund
    The grammar school here, founded in 1533, is liberally endowed, with scholarships and exhibitions.Various
  170. imposed
    set forth authoritatively as obligatory
    The Arab League has already suspended Syria and imposed economic sanctions.
  171. humiliate
    cause to feel shame
    The letter claims pensioners are too often patronised, humiliated, denied privacy or even medical treatment.
  172. suffrage
    a legal right to vote
    There has been a great deal said in this country of late in regard to giving the right of suffrage to women.Ingersoll, Robert Green
  173. ensue
    take place or happen afterward or as a result
    An uproar ensued months after the approval, when opponents realized the online gambling measure had been slipped in.New York Times (Feb 16, 2012)
  174. brook
    a natural stream of water smaller than a river
    He walked across the little bridge over the brook and at once his mood changed.Mason, A. E. W. (Alfred Edward Woodley)
  175. gale
    a strong wind moving 34–40 knots
    The gale was accompanied, as usual, by incessant rain and thick weather, and a heavy confused sea kept our decks always flooded.Fitzroy, Robert
  176. muse
    reflect deeply on a subject
    Musing about the Big Picture may be a lot more gratifying than focusing on the details of the specific policies that aren’t working.
  177. satire
    witty language used to convey insults or scorn
    There’s plenty of humor on Russian television, though not much political satire; Mr. Putin put a stop to that long ago.New York Times (Feb 13, 2012)
  178. intrigue
    cause to be interested or curious
    Designing and building models that intrigue and educate without overwhelming has been challenging.Science Magazine (Nov 24, 2011)
  179. indication
    something that serves to suggest
    Authorities said an autopsy found no indications of foul play or obvious signs of trauma on Houston.Seattle Times (Feb 15, 2012)
  180. dispatch
    send away towards a designated goal
    More than one assassin was dispatched by the Turkish authorities to murder Napoleon.Various
  181. cower
    crouch or curl up
    The knaves lowered their weapons and shrank back cowering before him.Weyman, Stanley J.
  182. wont
    an established custom
    He made his customary slick feeds to open teammates, but as is their wont, the Nets struggled at times to convert points on his passes.New York Times (Feb 20, 2012)
  183. tract
    a system of body parts that serves some specialized purpose
    When probiotics flourish in the digestive tract, nutrients are better absorbed and bad bugs are held at bay, research suggests.Seattle Times (Jan 10, 2012)
  184. canon
    a collection of books accepted as holy scripture
    For me, all novels of any consequence are literary, and they take their place, high and low, in the canon of English literature.
  185. impel
    cause to move forward with force
    Some power beyond his comprehension was impelling him toward the neighboring city.Blasco Ib??ez, Vicente
  186. latitude
    freedom from normal restraints in conduct
    Great employees often get more latitude to bring up controversial subjects in a group setting because their performance allows greater freedom.
  187. vacate
    leave behind empty; move out of
    Their number diminished sharply after Villaraigosa announced last week that he wanted protesters to vacate the grounds by Monday or be forcibly removed.Chicago Tribune (Nov 30, 2011)
  188. undertaking
    any piece of work that is attempted
    "Let my epitaph be, Here lies Joseph, who was unsuccessful in all his undertakings."Marvin, Frederic Rowland
  189. slay
    kill intentionally and with premeditation
    "It were shame," said Lancelot, "for an armed to slay an unarmed man."Unknown
  190. predecessor
    one who goes before you in time
    Heller fills in the blanks about Taft, overshadowed by colorful predecessor Teddy Roosevelt.Seattle Times (Feb 22, 2012)
  191. delicacy
    the quality of being exquisitely fine in appearance
    This refinement appears in his works, which are full of artistic grace and dainty delicacy.Drake, Samuel Adams
  192. forsake
    leave someone who needs or counts on you; leave in the lurch
    "I'm surprised," said Philip, cautiously opening fire, "that you were ever allowed to forsake your native land."Hay, Ian
  193. beseech
    ask for or request earnestly
    Utterly distraught, he ran up and down the bank, hunting for his clothes, calling, crying out, imploring, beseeching help from somewhere.Frank, Ulrich
  194. philosophical
    relating to the investigation of existence and knowledge
    His arguments, like Einstein’s, were qualitative, verging on highly philosophical.Scientific American (Jan 30, 2012)
  195. grove
    a small growth of trees without underbrush
    Soon after we came to Pasadena, father bought an orange grove of twenty-five acres.Chamberlain, James Franklin
  196. frustrate
    hinder or prevent, as an effort, plan, or desire
    Frustrated after two years of missed budget targets, finance chiefs demanded Greek officials put their verbal commitments into law.
  197. illustrious
    widely known and esteemed
    She will be joining an illustrious list of recipients that include Winston Churchill, Nelson Mandela, Pope John Paul II and Princess Diana.
  198. device
    an instrumentality invented for a particular purpose
    You’ve probably also noticed that the telephone and computer are no longer the only devices on your employees’ desks.Forbes (Feb 26, 2012)
  199. pomp
    cheap or pretentious or vain display
    Throughout U.S. history, Americans have been fascinated by royal pomp -- even on a movie screen.
  200. entreat
    ask for or request earnestly
    "Let me go now, please," she entreated, her eyes unable to meet his any longer.Hope, Anthony
  201. impart
    transmit, as knowledge or a skill
    Long before writing and books were in common use, proverbs were the principal means of imparting instruction.Preston, Thomas
  202. propriety
    correct behavior
    I felt a trifle doubtful about the propriety of taking a short cut across private grounds, and said as much.Sutphen, Van Tassel
  203. consecrate
    render holy by means of religious rites
    The building was consecrated as a Protestant Episcopal church in May, 1814.Faris, John T. (John Thomson)
  204. proceeds
    the income or profit arising from a transaction
    His own share in the proceeds was about a hundred thousand dollars.Stark, James H.
  205. fathom
    come to understand
    But after flying for so many years, the idea of hanging up his sparkling wings is hard for him to fathom.New York Times (Mar 17, 2012)
  206. objective
    the goal intended to be attained
    The objective was to mobilize students from 18 high schools across the city to provide community services and inspire others.New York Times (Feb 5, 2012)
  207. clad
    wearing or provided with clothing
    A few of the villagers came behind, clad in mourning robes, and bearing lighted tapers.Various
  208. partisan
    devoted to a cause or political group
    But given the bitter partisan divide in an election year, Democrats said they would never be able to get such legislation passed.Chicago Tribune (Mar 30, 2012)
  209. faction
    a dissenting clique
    One faction declared it would begin an armed struggle against the government of the United States.Slate (Feb 29, 2012)
  210. contrived
    artificially formal
    In lesser hands the story about a young man who discovers life among the dead could be impossibly cute and contrived.New York Times (Mar 25, 2012)
  211. venerable
    impressive by reason of age
    Thus, after much more than two hundred years, the venerable building looks almost as it did when the first students entered its doors.Faris, John T. (John Thomson)
  212. restrained
    not showy or obtrusive
    By contrast, Mr. Pei’s restrained design took time to claim my attention, particularly since it sat quietly next door to Saarinen’s concrete gull wings.New York Times (Oct 6, 2011)
  213. besiege
    harass, as with questions or requests
    He can’t trot down the street without being besieged by paparazzi.New York Times (Mar 18, 2012)
  214. manifestation
    a clear appearance
    Singing and dancing are manifestations of what many Syrians describe as a much broader cultural flowering.New York Times (Dec 19, 2011)
  215. rebuke
    an act or expression of criticism and censure
    Afterward, the leaders fought court orders to release records showing what they had done, drawing an uncommonly sharp rebuke from a federal judge.Washington Post (Mar 14, 2012)
  216. insurgent
    in opposition to a civil authority or government
    The Free Syrian Army, an insurgent group made of defecting soldiers and based in southern Turkey, claimed responsibility for both attacks.New York Times (Nov 20, 2011)
  217. rhetoric
    using language effectively to please or persuade
    His fiery rhetoric in support of limiting cuts to projected defense spending has surprised and impressed some of Obama's toughest Republican critics.
  218. scrupulous
    having ethical or moral principles
    The reason is that the vast majority of businesses are scrupulous and treat their employees well.
  219. ratify
    approve and express assent, responsibility, or obligation
    Company officials at Safeway said those replacement workers will remain on standby until the agreement is ratified by union members.Washington Post (Mar 29, 2012)
  220. stump
    cause to be perplexed or confounded
    Though family members long suspected Evans, a local handyman who frequently hired local youths, the case stumped investigators for years.Washington Post (Aug 30, 2011)
  221. discreet
    marked by prudence or modesty and wise self-restraint
    Sarkozy has attempted to tone down his image, becoming more discreet about his private life.
  222. imposing
    impressive in appearance
    These buildings were grand and stylized with intricate details and a bit of an imposing presence.Scientific American (Mar 5, 2012)
  223. wistful
    showing pensive sadness
    She turned toward him, her face troubled, her eyes most wistful.Mason, A. E. W. (Alfred Edward Woodley)
  224. mortify
    cause to feel shame
    Intensely mortified at this humiliation, the king fell sick, and henceforth his health failed rapidly.Various
  225. ripple
    stir up so as to form small waves
    That could precipitate higher interest rates that would ripple across the economy.Washington Post (Jul 27, 2011)
  226. premise
    a statement that is held to be true
    Success, real success, comes to the jack of all trades, a major premise handed down from pioneer days.Gilbert, Clinton W. (Clinton Wallace)
  227. subside
    wear off or die down
    Affliction is allayed, grief subsides, sorrow is soothed, distress is mitigated.Webster, Noah
  228. adverse
    contrary to your interests or welfare
    High doses can have adverse effects and even cause death.Seattle Times (Mar 26, 2012)
  229. caprice
    a sudden desire
    Nobody is really in charge, and decisions are made on whim and caprice.”New York Times (Apr 10, 2011)
  230. muster
    summon up, call forth, or bring together
    Yet Fox needed all the strength that he could muster.Rosebery, Archibald Phillip Primrose
  231. comprehensive
    broad in scope
    The United States Army developed a comprehensive plan to address problematic race relations in the 1970s, recognizing that they were hampering military effectiveness.New York Times (Feb 6, 2012)
  232. accede
    yield to another's wish or opinion
    Therefore he made up his mind to accede to his uncle's desire.Streckfuss, Adolph
  233. fervent
    characterized by intense emotion
    But, to fervent applause and scattered fist pumps from two sets of worshipers, he pledged to legally challenge the claims against him.New York Times (Sep 26, 2010)
  234. cohere
    cause to form a united, orderly, and consistent whole
    Two antagonistic values may cohere in the same object.Anderson, Benjamin M. (Benjamin McAlester)
  235. tribunal
    an assembly to conduct judicial business
    The military has historically been protected from civilian courts, with any crimes committed by soldiers being decided in closed military tribunals.
  236. austere
    severely simple
    A certain austere simplicity was noticeable all over Longfellow's house.Anonymous
  237. recovering
    returning to health after illness or debility
    “The recovering economy is bringing more people back into the market.Washington Post (Mar 22, 2012)
  238. stratum
    a group of people sharing similar wealth and status
    She belonged to the upper stratum of the profession, and, knowing it, could not sink.George, Walter Lionel
  239. conscientious
    characterized by extreme care and great effort
    A conscientious hostess would be very much mortified if she served chicken out of its proper course.Reed, Myrtle
  240. arbitrary
    based on or subject to individual discretion or preference
    Sandra Nurse, a member of Occupy's direct action working group, said police treated demonstrators roughly and made arbitrary arrests.Time (Mar 18, 2012)
  241. exasperate
    Shopkeepers, exasperated at the impact of higher taxes and reduced consumer spending, are planning to close down for the day.New York Times (Feb 7, 2012)
  242. conjure
    summon into action or bring into existence
    Vacation homes typically conjure up dreams of blue skies, pristine sand and crystalline waters.Wall Street Journal (Feb 28, 2012)
  243. ominous
    threatening or foreshadowing evil or tragic developments
    The Count's words were so ominous, so full of sinister meaning that for the moment he felt like crying out with fear.Hocking, Joseph
  244. edifice
    a structure that has a roof and walls
    They are here erecting a fine stone edifice for an Episcopal Church.Clark, John A.
  245. elude
    escape, either physically or mentally
    But despite racking up world titles, Olympic gold was eluding him.
  246. pervade
    spread or diffuse through
    An air of intense anticipation pervaded the General’s dining room.Burnett, Carolyn Judson
  247. foster
    promote the growth of
    Mr. Horne accused the district’s Mexican-American studies program of using an antiwhite curriculum to foster social activism.New York Times (Mar 19, 2012)
  248. admonish
    scold or reprimand; take to task
    "Children, children, stop quarrelling, right here in public!" admonished Mrs. Dering, in a low, shocked tone.Perry, Nora
  249. repeal
    cancel officially
    If Republicans repeal the law, Ms. Schakowsky said, they would be “taking away benefits that seniors are already getting.”New York Times (Mar 19, 2012)
  250. retiring
    not arrogant or presuming
    Foster was an extremely modest, unworldly, retiring gentleman.Rosenbach, A. S. W.
  251. incidental
    not of prime or central importance
    The models themselves are incidental on “Scouted,” merely empty planets around which revolve some fascinating characters and plenty more dull ones.New York Times (Nov 27, 2011)
  252. acquiesce
    agree or express agreement
    American officials initially tried to resist President Karzai’s moves but eventually acquiesced.New York Times (Mar 9, 2012)
  253. slew
    a large number or amount or extent
    In fact, intense focus may be one reason why so-called savants become so extraordinary at performing extensive calculations or remembering a slew of facts.Scientific American (Mar 3, 2012)
  254. usurp
    seize and take control without authority
    More than anything, though, officials expressed concern about reigniting longstanding Mexican concerns about the United States’ usurping Mexico’s authority.New York Times (Mar 15, 2011)
  255. sentinel
    a person employed to keep watch for some anticipated event
    The prisoners undressed themselves as usual, and went to bed, observed by the sentinel.Drake, Samuel Adams
  256. precision
    the quality of being exact
    At this time, home ranges of small rodents can not be measured with great precision, therefore any such calculations are, at best, only approximations.Douglas, Charles L.
  257. depose
    force to leave an office
    Late Wednesday, Mr. Touré, the deposed president, spoke out from hiding for the first time.New York Times (Mar 30, 2012)
  258. wanton
    unprovoked or without motive or justification
    I am not a sentimentalist by any means, yet I abominate wanton cruelty.Stables, Gordon
  259. odium
    state of disgrace resulting from detestable behavior
    This was one of the men who bring odium on the whole class of prisoners, and prejudice society against them.Henderson, Frank
  260. precept
    a rule of personal conduct
    The law of nature has but one precept, "Be strong."Williams, C. M.
  261. deference
    a courteous expression of esteem or regard
    Other rules, as indicated in Mr. Collins' book, concerned deportment, and demanded constant deference to superiors.Faris, John T. (John Thomson)
  262. fray
    a noisy fight
    Armed rebels have joined the fray in recent months.
  263. candid
    openly straightforward and direct without secretiveness
    The actor was candid about his own difficult childhood growing up with alcoholic parents.Seattle Times (Feb 17, 2012)
  264. enduring
    What makes the galumphing hubby such an enduring stock character?Slate (Mar 26, 2012)
  265. impertinent
    improperly forward or bold
    Imagine calling a famous writer by his first name—it seemed impertinent, to say the least.Watkins, Shirley
  266. bland
    lacking stimulating characteristics; uninteresting
    Many critics were less than enamored with the kind of “easy listening” Mr. Williams embodied, deriding his approach as bland and unchallenging.New York Times (Oct 9, 2011)
  267. insinuate
    suggest in an indirect or covert way; give to understand
    "Good heavens, do you mean to insinuate that I did anything crooked?" said Bojo loudly, yet at the bottom ill at ease.Johnson, Owen
  268. nominal
    insignificantly small; a matter of form only
    He sought nominal damages of one dollar from each defendant.
  269. suppliant
    humbly entreating
    The colonists asked for nothing but what was clearly right and asked in the most respectful and even suppliant manner.Judson, L. Carroll
  270. languid
    lacking spirit or liveliness
    Many viewers, bored by the languid pace of the show, tuned out early.New York Times (Dec 30, 2011)
  271. rave
    praise enthusiastically
    I have heard lots of women simply rave about him.Kauffman, Reginald Wright
  272. monetary
    relating to or involving money
    A hundred years ago, monetary policy – control over interest rates and the availability of credit – was viewed as a highly contentious political issue.New York Times (Mar 29, 2012)
  273. headlong
    in a hasty and foolhardy manner
    “They may not be wishing to rush headlong back into the same sort of risks just yet.”
  274. infallible
    incapable of failure or error
    But conductors are no more infallible than other people, and once in a blue moon in going through a train they miss a passenger.Lynde, Francis
  275. coax
    influence or persuade by gentle and persistent urging
    He used his most enticing manner and did his best to coax the little animal out again.Kay, Ross
  276. explicate
    elaborate, as of theories and hypotheses
    He urged judges to resist the rigid guidelines and to write opinions explicating their reasons for doing so.New York Times (Jan 22, 2010)
  277. gaunt
    very thin especially from disease or hunger or cold
    Gaunt, starved, and ragged, the men marched northwards, leaving the Touat country upon their left hand.Mason, A. E. W. (Alfred Edward Woodley)
  278. morbid
    suggesting the horror of death and decay
    Earlier in the day, however, his demise was watched by spectators with a morbid fascination.New York Times (Aug 16, 2010)
  279. ranging
    wandering freely
    His detective work is fascinating and wide ranging.Seattle Times (Feb 1, 2012)
  280. pacify
    ease the anger, agitation, or strong emotion of
    How they pacified him I don’t know, but at the end of two hours he had cooled off enough to let us go aboard.Quincy, Samuel M.
  281. pastoral
    idyllically rustic
    He made a considerable reputation as an accomplished painter of quiet pastoral subjects and carefully elaborated landscapes with cattle.Various
  282. dogged
    stubbornly unyielding
    Some analysts expect Mr. Falcone, who is known for his dogged determination, to just continue to limp along while slashing costs.New York Times (Feb 15, 2012)
  283. ebb
    fall away or decline
    Although Gardner’s competitive appetite ebbed after 2004, other cravings did not.New York Times (Jan 28, 2012)
  284. aide
    someone who acts as an assistant
    She later found work as a teacher’s aide in a Head Start program in Harlem.New York Times (Jan 12, 2012)
  285. appease
    cause to be more favorably inclined; gain the good will of
    The king also has tried to appease public anger over corruption.New York Times (Feb 9, 2012)
  286. stipulate
    make an express demand or provision in an agreement
    The mayor has an executive order in place stipulating that all top officials, except those granted a waiver, live in the city.New York Times (Sep 22, 2011)
  287. recourse
    something or someone turned to for assistance or security
    Bargain hunters and holiday shoppers are bad guys’ favorite targets and have little or no recourse when shoddy or fake merchandise arrives.Forbes (Nov 22, 2011)
  288. constrained
    lacking spontaneity; not natural
    All his goodness, however, will be of a forced, constrained, artificial, and at bottom unreal character.Hyde, William De Witt
  289. bate
    moderate or restrain; lessen the force of
    “You called her ‘an interfering, disagreeable old woman’!” whispered Bertha with bated breath, glancing half fearfully at the door as she spoke.Vaizey, George de Horne, Mrs.
  290. aversion
    a feeling of intense dislike
    Already my passive dislike had grown into an active aversion.Oppenheim, E. Phillips (Edward Phillips)
  291. conceit
    an artistic device or effect
    An urban panorama is viewed from a high vantage point, a conceit used in topographic art to render vast perspectives.New York Times (Sep 30, 2011)
  292. loath
    strongly opposed
    Friends and political allies are loath to talk about her, knowing the family’s intense obsession with privacy.New York Times (Aug 14, 2011)
  293. rampart
    an embankment built around a space for defensive purposes
    The night was gloomy, dark, and wet; the soldiers, wearied with watching at the ramparts, dozed, leaning on their weapons.Sienkiewicz, Henryk
  294. extort
    obtain by coercion or intimidation
    The owners, in turn, have called the lawyers shakedown artists bent on ruining their good reputations to extort money.New York Times (Jan 27, 2012)
  295. tarry
    leave slowly and hesitantly
    For two days I tarried in Paris, settling my little property.Ford, Paul Leicester
  296. perpetrate
    perform an act, usually with a negative connotation
    Come on it’s just a cruel joke perpetrated by the airline industry.”Forbes (Dec 11, 2011)
  297. decorum
    propriety in manners and conduct
    Wishing to observe the rules of decorum she invited him to stay for supper, though absolutely nothing had been prepared for a guest.Sudermann, Hermann
  298. luxuriant
    produced or growing in extreme abundance
    Her luxuriant curly hair, restrained by no net, but held together simply by a flowering spray, waved over her shoulders in all its rich abundance.Elisabeth Burstenbinder (AKA E. Werner)
  299. cant
    insincere talk about religion or morals
    It was the familiar cant of the man rich enough to affect disdain for money, and Wade was not impressed.Day, Holman
  300. enjoin
    give instructions to or direct somebody to do something
    He turned to beckon the others forward with one hand, while laying the other over his mouth in a gesture enjoining silence.Breckenridge, Gerald
  301. avarice
    extreme greed for material wealth
    The old man's fears were assailed with threats, and his avarice was approached by bribes, and he very soon capitulated.Abbott, John S. C. (John Stevens Cabot)
  302. edict
    a formal or authoritative proclamation
    An edict was issued by him forbidding any Christian to give instruction in Greek literature under any circumstances.Lightfoot, J. B.
  303. disconcert
    cause to lose one's composure
    Perplexed and disconcerted, I found no words to answer such an amazing sally.Chambers, Robert W. (Robert William)
  304. symmetry
    balance among the parts of something
    Even the staging displays symmetry, with actors lined up on either side in formal precision.New York Times (Jan 24, 2011)
  305. capitulate
    surrender under agreed conditions
    "Alas, no," said Bergfeld, mournfully, "the day after the battle our brave soldiers were surrounded by overwhelming forces and obliged to capitulate."Meding, Johann Ferdinand Martin Oskar
  306. arbitrate
    act between parties with a view to reconciling differences
    The Scottish throne was now disputed by many claimants, and the Scots asked Edward to arbitrate between them.Various
  307. cleave
    separate or cut with a tool, such as a sharp instrument
    Instead someone shouts "Go" and he is bearing down on me and almost cleaves my shield in two with his first blow.
  308. append
    add to the very end
    Some specimens will appear in the papers appended to this report.Various
  309. visage
    the human face
    An honest, quiet laugh often mantled his pale earnest visage.Turnbull, Robert
  310. horde
    a moving crowd
    Hordes of puzzled tourists, many with rolling suitcases attached, poured down the staircases.New York Times (Jan 1, 2012)
  311. parable
    a short moral story
    In most instances, I have closed my visits by reading some interesting story or parable.Frothingham, Octavius Brooks
  312. chastise
    scold or criticize severely
    She remembers an upsetting incident when a headmistress chastised her for working too much.
  313. foil
    hinder or prevent, as an effort, plan, or desire
    On March 1st, a Turkish newspaper reported that the country's intelligence service had foiled an attempt by Syrian agents to kidnap the colonel.
  314. veritable
    being truly so called; real or genuine
    The heavy rain had reduced this low-lying ground to a veritable quagmire, making progress very difficult even for one as unburdened as he was.Putnam Weale, B. L. (Bertram Lenox)
  315. grapple
    work hard to come to terms with or deal with something
    But, he said, all coastal communities will have to grapple with rising seas.New York Times (Mar 24, 2012)
  316. gentry
    the most powerful members of a society
    The mode of travel of the gentry was riding horses, but most people traveled by walking.Reilly, S. A.
  317. pall
    a sudden feeling of dread or gloominess
    Residents who fled in recent days spoke of the smell of death and piles of garbage drifting like snowbanks, casting a pall over the city.New York Times (Mar 7, 2012)
  318. maxim
    a saying that is widely accepted on its own merits
    The maxim "All is fair in love and war" was applied literally.Thomson, Basil
  319. projection
    a prediction made by extrapolating from past observations
    Volume is down 25 percent from five years ago, and projections show even further declines, said Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe.New York Times (Mar 22, 2012)
  320. prowess
    a superior skill learned by study and practice
    While our engineering prowess has advanced a great deal over the past sixty years, the principles of innovation largely have not.
  321. dingy
    thickly covered with ingrained dirt or soot
    Though composed amid the unromantic surroundings of a dingy, dusty, and neglected back room, the speech has become a memorable document.Herndon, William H.
  322. semblance
    the outward or apparent appearance or form of something
    He was perceptibly older, in the way in which people look older all at once after having long kept the semblance of youth.King, Basil
  323. tout
    advertise in strongly positive terms
    Testing is being touted as the means of making the U.S. education system competitive, even world-class.Washington Post (Mar 23, 2012)
  324. fortitude
    strength of mind that enables one to endure adversity
    Leigh Hunt bore himself in his captivity with cheerful fortitude, suffering severely in health but flagging little in spirits or industry.Colvin, Sidney
  325. asunder
    into parts or pieces
    In 1854, as I have already remarked, Nicaragua was split asunder by civil war.Powell, E. Alexander (Edward Alexander)
  326. rout
    an overwhelming defeat
    It's how Seattle won Sunday's game in Chicago, scoring 31 consecutive second-half points as an impressive comeback became an overwhelming rout.Seattle Times (Dec 19, 2011)
  327. staid
    characterized by dignity and propriety
    He was prim and staid and liked to do things in an orderly fashion.Doyle, A. Conan
  328. beguile
    influence by slyness
    I can no longer remain silent in the presence of the schemers who seek to beguile you.Bolanden, Conrad von
  329. purport
    have the often misleading appearance of being or intending
    Of course, none of these purported medical benefits have any grounding in science.Scientific American (Jan 28, 2012)
  330. deprave
    corrupt morally or by intemperance or sensuality
    The people who make up this typical Gorky offering are drunkards, thieves, depraved creatures of every kind.Kilmer, Joyce
  331. bequeath
    leave or give, especially by will after one's death
    No matter how often she changed her will, she told me, that diamond pin was always bequeathed to me.Wells, Carolyn
  332. enigma
    something that baffles understanding and cannot be explained
    Tails are often an enigma; many creatures have them, but scientists know little about their function, particularly for extinct species.
  333. assiduous
    marked by care and persistent effort
    He's an assiduous diary-keeper and regularly rereads ancient entries to check up on himself.
  334. vassal
    a person who owes allegiance and service to a feudal lord
    And what was of still greater importance, he could only obtain taxes and soldiers from among the vassals, by the consent of their feudal lords.Freytag, Gustav
  335. quail
    draw back, as with fear or pain
    He quailed before me, and forgetting his new part in old habits, muttered an apology.Weyman, Stanley John
  336. outskirts
    area relatively far from the center, as of a city or town
    Ms. Waters talked about how she had spent the day at an organic farm on the outskirts of Beijing looking at vegetables for the dinner.New York Times (Nov 14, 2011)
  337. bulwark
    a protective structure of stone or concrete
    The cliffs are of imposing height, nearly three hundred feet: a formidable bulwark.White, Walter
  338. swerve
    an erratic turn from an intended course
    However, I was not going to swerve from my word.Johnstone, James Johnstone, chevalier de
  339. gird
    prepare oneself for action or a confrontation
    Protesters are girding for another police raid as several City Council members have called on protesters to leave.Washington Post (Nov 11, 2011)
  340. betrothed
    pledged to be married
    We are not betrothed'—her eyes filled with tears,—'he can never marry me; and he and my father have quarrelled.Fleming, George
  341. prospective
    of or concerned with or related to the future
    Most prospective homesteaders make the same mistake I did in buying horses, unless they are experienced.Micheaux, Oscar
  342. advert
    make reference to
    In the family circle it was rarely adverted to, and never except when some allusion to the approaching separation had to be made.Werner, E. T. C. (Edward Theodore Chalmers)
  343. peremptory
    not allowing contradiction or refusal
    This time it was not a request but a peremptory order to go at once to Cuba and undertake the work.Johnson, Willis Fletcher
  344. rudiment
    the elementary stage of any subject
    He retraced his steps, and came to Cape Girardeau, in Missouri, where he remained some time, acquiring the rudiments of the English language.Anonymous
  345. deduce
    reason from the general to the particular
    They then used models of global wind circulation to deduce which dust sources have become stronger and which weaker.
  346. halting
    proceeding in a fragmentary, hesitant, or ineffective way
    “I so much love cricket,” he said, shyly, in halting English.New York Times (Feb 22, 2012)
  347. ignominy
    a state of dishonor
    After all, we love nothing better than seeing the powerful and formerly smug dragged across the front pages in ignominy.
  348. ideology
    an orientation that characterizes the thinking of a group
    Bill O’Reilly and others picked up on the theme, summing up left-wing ideology as “San Francisco values.”Slate (Jan 19, 2012)
  349. pallid
    lacking in vitality or interest or effectiveness
    But too often the music sounded thin and pallid.New York Times (Apr 25, 2010)
  350. chagrin
    strong feelings of embarrassment
    But he was feeling deeply chagrined and mortified over his last escapade.White, Fred M. (Fred Merrick)
  351. obtrude
    thrust oneself in as if by force
    She had no right to obtrude herself into his life and to disturb it.Packard, Frank L. (Frank Lucius)
  352. audacious
    disposed to venture or take risks
    In an audacious operation that unfolded like a Hollywood thriller, the Navy Seals executed a daring raid deep into Pakistan to kill Osama bin Laden.New York Times (Sep 4, 2011)
  353. construe
    make sense of; assign a meaning to
    But nothing that was said Tuesday can be construed as good news.Washington Post (Sep 14, 2011)
  354. ford
    cross a river where it's shallow
    Sometimes they drive their teams through unsettled country, without roads, swimming and fording streams, clearing away obstructions, and camping where night overtakes them.Folsom, William Henry Carman
  355. repast
    the food served and eaten at one time
    Fragrant coffee, light rolls, fresh butter, ham and eggs, fried crocuses and soft crabs, formed the repast.Reid, Mayne
  356. stint
    an unbroken period of time during which you do something
    He found his unionized warehouse job after a stint working for his father, an accountant.New York Times (Mar 21, 2012)
  357. fresco
    a mural done with watercolors on wet plaster
    The little church has an ancient fresco of St. Christopher, placed, as usual, opposite the entrance.Conybeare, Edward
  358. dutiful
    willingly obedient out of a sense of respect
    Perhaps he thinks an engaged young lady should be demure and dutiful, having no eyes or ears for any one except her betrothed.Harland, Marion
  359. hew
    make or shape as with an axe
    They bought a log chain, and lumber for a door; the window frames were hewed from logs.Daughters of the American Revolution. Nebraska
  360. parity
    functional equality
    How many of the world’s problems would be solved, or at least greatly reduced, if women had true parity with men?New York Times (Dec 15, 2011)
  361. affable
    diffusing warmth and friendliness
    He was well liked and respected in these islands, for his affable manners had obtained for him much popularity.Various
  362. interminable
    tiresomely long; seemingly without end
    All was going well, but slowly, the time taken for the last few feet seeming to be interminable.Cumberland, Barlow
  363. pillage
    steal goods; take as spoils
    In addition great material losses were inflicted: seven hundred houses were destroyed, six hundred stores pillaged, and thousands of families utterly ruined.Straus, Oscar S.
  364. foreboding
    a feeling of evil to come
    Mr. Harding had strong forebodings that the trouble, so far from being ended, was only just beginning.Marsh, Richard
  365. rend
    tear or be torn violently
    In the distance heavy artillery was growling, and high explosive shells were bursting with a violence that seemed to rend the sky.Tracy, Louis
  366. livelihood
    the financial means whereby one supports oneself
    With businesses shut, fields untended and fishing abandoned many have lost their livelihoods as well as their homes, our correspondent says.
  367. deign
    do something that one considers to be below one's dignity
    To Mr. Gompers' courteous letter Czar Gary did not deign to reply.Foster, William Z.
  368. capricious
    determined by chance or impulse rather than by necessity
    Her admirers were capricious, returning to her at times, and then holding aloof again; and as for suitors, they entirely disappeared.Schubin, Ossip
  369. stupendous
    so great in size, force, or extent as to elicit awe
    The fact was so stupendous that Terry felt almost frightened over the great good fortune.Sabin, Edwin L. (Edwin Legrand)
  370. chaff
    material consisting of seed coverings and pieces of stem
    The wheat, being heavy, falls, while the chaff is blown away.Starr, Frederick
  371. innate
    not established by conditioning or learning
    In other words, one of our most essential abilities as humans--reading--is the product of a combination of innate and learned traits.
  372. reverie
    an abstracted state of absorption
    He stood still, seemingly lost in reverie, and quite oblivious to the group about him.Frey, Hildegard G. (Hildegard Gertrude)
  373. wrangle
    quarrel noisily, angrily, or disruptively
    Here were many fierce and bitter wrangles over vexed questions, turbulent scenes, displays of sectional feelings.Raymond, Evelyn
  374. crevice
    a long narrow opening
    The disruptive power of tree roots, growing in the crevices of rocks, is well known.Various
  375. ostensible
    appearing as such but not necessarily so
    This already-exhaustive book is studded with diary entries, academic papers and other ostensible evidence that its fictitious stories of destruction are true.New York Times (Jun 6, 2010)
  376. craven
    lacking even the rudiments of courage; abjectly fearful
    Was it for them to follow the craven footsteps of a cowardly generation?Robinson, Victor
  377. vestige
    an indication that something has been present
    Now, there was no vestige of vegetation; no living thing.Hopkins, William John
  378. plumb
    examine thoroughly and in great depth
    Tellingly, Ms. Liao said she had great difficulty finding three actors willing to plumb their own personalities.New York Times (Jun 1, 2011)
  379. reticent
    not inclined to talk or provide information
    No questions were asked, and few indeed were the words spoken, his reticent manner preventing any undue familiarity.Maclean, John
  380. propensity
    an inclination to do something
    A longtime colleague, Gate Theatre director Michael Colgan, noted Kelly's old-school charms, punctuated by his propensity for bow ties and smart suits.Seattle Times (Feb 15, 2012)
  381. chide
    scold or reprimand severely or angrily
    He chided reporters as having “stalked” family members, demanding that his relatives be left alone.New York Times (Nov 8, 2011)
  382. espouse
    choose and follow a theory, idea, policy, etc.
    He said Islam should not be equated with terrorism or the kind of violence espoused by Bin Laden.
  383. raiment
    especially fine or decorative clothing
    Clothed in fine raiment and faring sumptuously every day, he soon developed into a handsome lad.Oxley, J. Macdonald (James Macdonald)
  384. intrepid
    invulnerable to fear or intimidation
    There are some very courageous and intrepid reporters in Afghanistan, including some who work for American media outlets.
  385. seemly
    according with custom or propriety
    The Baron was less conscientious, for he ate more beefsteak than was seemly, and talked a great deal of stupid nonsense, as was his wont.Hoffmann, Ernst Theordor Wilhelm
  386. allay
    lessen the intensity of or calm
    Our boy was scared and confused; we tried to allay his fears.New York Times (Mar 30, 2012)
  387. fitful
    occurring in spells and often abruptly
    She had lost her composure, her breath came in fitful, uneven gasps, and as she sat there she pressed one hand over her heart.Davis, Owen
  388. erode
    become ground down or deteriorate
    Another report today showed home prices fell more than forecast in November, eroding the wealth of families as they seek to rebuild savings.
  389. unaffected
    free of artificiality; sincere and genuine
    His conversation was unaffectedly simple and frank; his language natural; always abounding in curious anecdotes.Conway, Moncure Daniel
  390. canto
    a major division of a long poem
    Folengo’s next production was the Orlandino, an Italian poem of eight cantos, written in rhymed octaves.Various
  391. docile
    easily handled or managed
    Time and again humans have domesticated wild , producing tame individuals with softer appearances and more docile temperaments, such as dogs and guinea pigs.Scientific American (Jan 25, 2012)
  392. patronize
    treat condescendingly
    Ms. Paul herself noted that “glib talk about appreciating dyslexia as a ‘gift’ is unhelpful at best and patronizing at worst.”New York Times (Feb 6, 2012)
  393. teem
    be full of or abuzz with
    The coast, once teeming with traffic, is now lonely and deserted.Mahaffy, J. P.
  394. estrange
    arouse hostility or indifference in
    An atmosphere of distrust, suspicion and fear can cause workers to feel estranged from one another, Dr. Wright has written.New York Times (Jan 28, 2012)
  395. spat
    a quarrel about petty points
    Public spats are rare in the asset-management industry, where companies typically resolve disputes behind closed doors.
  396. warble
    sing or play with trills
    Meadow larks, as you have undoubtedly noticed, warble many different songs.Barrett, R. E.
  397. mien
    a person's appearance, manner, or demeanor
    Nevertheless, before going to meet Samuel, she assumed a calm and dignified mien.Kraszewski, Jo?zef Ignacy
  398. sate
    fill to contentment
    His appetite was not sated by any means, but he knew the danger of overloading his stomach, so he stopped.Dewey, Edward Hooker
  399. constituency
    the body of voters who elect a representative for their area
    Each posited that the blue-collar Democratic constituency rooted in the New Deal had grown increasingly conservative, alienated from “big government.”New York Times (Jan 14, 2012)
  400. patrician
    characteristic of the nobility or aristocracy
    Respectable ladies, long resident, wearing black poke bonnets and camel's-hair shawls, lifted their patrician eyebrows with disapproval.Brooks, Charles Stephen
  401. parry
    avoid or try to avoid fulfilling, answering, or performing
    The boys asked a few guarded questions, but gained no information whatever, their questions being parried in every instance.Mears, James R.
  402. practitioner
    someone who carries out a learned profession
    In particular, modern medical practitioners are coming around to the idea that certain illnesses cannot be reduced to one isolatable, treatable cause.Nature (Dec 21, 2011)
  403. ravel
    disentangle or separate out
    Overcasting is done by taking loose stitches over the raw edge of the cloth, to keep it from ravelling or fraying.Ontario. Ministry of Education
  404. infest
    occupy in large numbers or live on a host
    Many lived in dilapidated apartments with leaky pipes, broken windows, rooms full of mold, and walls infested with cockroaches and rats.New York Times (Jul 28, 2011)
  405. actuate
    give an incentive for doing something
    He knew that men were actuated by other motives, good and bad, than self-interest.Blease, Walter Lyon
  406. surly
    unfriendly and inclined toward anger or irritation
    But Blake, being surly and quarrelsome even when sober, gave the lapel a savage jerk, and reached out with his other hand.Chisholm, A. M. (Arthur Murray)
  407. convalesce
    get over an illness or shock
    Patients convalescing from pneumonia were evacuated to England or given Base Duty.Jahns, Lewis E.
  408. demoralize
    lower someone's spirits; make downhearted
    The storm clobbered many communities still recovering from the flooding two months ago caused by Hurricane Irene, leaving weary homeowners exhausted and demoralized.Washington Post (Nov 1, 2011)
  409. devolve
    grow worse
    As the rhetoric heated up inside, the violence outside devolved into chaos.
  410. alacrity
    liveliness and eagerness
    Every one exerted himself not only without murmuring and discontent, but even with an alacrity which almost approached to cheerfulness.Kippis, Andrew
  411. waive
    do without or cease to hold or adhere to
    Low rates have also led retail brokerages to waive fees on money market funds to avoid negative returns for their clients.
  412. unwonted
    out of the ordinary
    He must rush off to see his people, who no doubt were quite confounded by his unwonted energy.Speed, Nell
  413. seethe
    be in an agitated emotional state
    Outwardly quite calm and matter-of-fact, his mind was in a seething turmoil.Douglas, Hudson
  414. scrutinize
    look at critically or searchingly, or in minute detail
    Fans and commentators are scrutinizing every blemish: his turnovers, his weak left hand, his jump shot.New York Times (Mar 5, 2012)
  415. diffident
    lacking self-confidence
    Shyly diffident in the presence of strangers, her head was lowered.Packard, Frank L. (Frank Lucius)
  416. execrate
    curse or declare to be evil or anathema
    When all Great Britain was execrating Napoleon, picturing him as a devil with horns and hoofs, Byron looked upon him as the world's hero.Hubbard, Elbert
  417. implacable
    incapable of being appeased or pacified
    This man was a savage in his implacable desire for revenge.Kelly, Florence Finch
  418. pique
    a sudden outburst of anger
    A talented youngster who smashes his guitar in a fit of pique finds it magically reassembled just in time for a crucial concert.
  419. mite
    a slight but appreciable amount
    I never saw anybody so pleased with monkeys as she is, and not one mite afraid.Raymond, Evelyn
  420. encumber
    hold back, impede, or weigh down
    Two others were making slower progress for the reason that each was encumbered by supporting a disabled man.Westerman, Percy F. (Percy Francis)
  421. uncouth
    lacking refinement or cultivation or taste
    He had not stopped to consider her rough speech and uncouth manners.Johnston, Annie F. (Annie Fellows)
  422. petulant
    easily irritated or annoyed
    The black eyes emitted an angry flash, the voice that answered was sharp and petulant.Fleming, May Agnes
  423. expiate
    make amends for
    Wulphere was absolved on condition that he should expiate his crime by founding churches and monasteries all over his kingdom.Clifton, A. B.
  424. cavalier
    showing a lack of concern or seriousness
    Some would have given Nicklaus a cavalier response: polite nod while thinking, “Yeah, whatever.”New York Times (Jun 18, 2011)
  425. banter
    light teasing repartee
    Our easy banter had suddenly been replaced by strained and awkward interaction.Slate (Feb 15, 2012)
  426. bluster
    act in an arrogant, overly self-assured, or conceited manner
    Slade, despite his swaggers and blustering, was at heart a coward.Landon, Herman
  427. debase
    corrupt morally or by intemperance or sensuality
    Long oppression had not, on the whole, either blunted their intellects or debased their morals.Adler, Felix
  428. retainer
    a person working in the service of another
    This faithful and trusted retainer is greatly valued by his employers.Black, Helen C.
  429. subjugate
    make subservient; force to submit or subdue
    The Confederacy was led by thoroughgoing racists who wanted to keep blacks subjugated for all time because of the color of their skin.Slate (Apr 7, 2010)
  430. extol
    praise, glorify, or honor
    How I praised the duck at that first dinner, and extolled Madame's skill in cookery!Warren, Arthur
  431. fraught
    filled with or attended with
    But the ocean remains an unpredictable place, fraught with hazards.Scientific American (Apr 5, 2012)
  432. august
    profoundly honored
    At all times reserved in his manner and his bearing full of dignity, never before had she realized the majesty of General Washington’s august presence.Madison, Lucy Foster
  433. fissure
    a long narrow depression in a surface
    The brown bark is not very rough, though its numerous fissures and cracks give it a rugged appearance.Step, Edward
  434. knoll
    a small natural mound
    Opened in 2008, the park serves as a true public space; elderly couples stroll around the artificial lake as toddlers roll down grassy knolls.New York Times (May 7, 2010)
  435. callous
    emotionally hardened
    Outwardly merry and good-humoured, he was by nature coldly fierce, calculating, callous.Wingfield, Lewis
  436. inculcate
    teach and impress by frequent repetitions or admonitions
    But instruction in history has been for a long time systematically used to inculcate certain political sentiments in the pupils.Liebknecht, Karl Paul August Friedrich
  437. nettle
    disturb, especially by minor irritations
    Lincoln began these remarks by good-humored but nettling chaffing of his opponent.Various
  438. blanch
    turn pale, as if in fear
    He is silent, as if struck dumb, his face showing blanched and bloodless, while she utters a shriek, half terrified, half in frenzied anger.Reid, Mayne
  439. inscrutable
    difficult or impossible to understand
    The fashion industry is notoriously opaque and often inscrutable for outsiders, even ones as well connected as him.Seattle Times (Oct 1, 2011)
  440. tenacious
    stubbornly unyielding
    She was a tenacious woman, one who would even hold fast a thing which she no longer valued, simply because it belonged to her.Morris, Clara
  441. thrall
    the state of being under the control of another person
    Then Kiss commenced in earnest, and quickly held his audience in thrall.Farjeon, Benjamin Leopold
  442. exigency
    a pressing or urgent situation
    The exigency of the situation roused Mr. Popkiss' sluggish faculties into prompt action.Magnay, William
  443. disconsolate
    sad beyond comforting; incapable of being soothed
    Was there a bereaved mother or disconsolate sister weeping over their dead?Steward, T. G. (Theophilus Gould)
  444. impetus
    a force that makes something happen
    Critics say it has known mixed success at best, although supporters hope the U.S. drawdown could provide just the impetus it needs to thrive.
  445. imposition
    an uncalled-for burden
    On that far-away day he had considered the little, lost girl a nuisance and an imposition.Chisholm, A. M. (Arthur Murray)
  446. auspices
    kindly endorsement and guidance
    In March 2009, negotiations between Israel and Hamas were held in Cairo, under the auspices of the Egyptian intelligence agency.New York Times (Nov 9, 2011)
  447. sonorous
    full and loud and deep
    His voice rang out firmly now, a deep and sonorous bass.Bedford-Jones, H.
  448. exploitation
    an act that victimizes someone
    In a scathing report released last year, Amnesty International found there was widespread exploitation of migrants in Malaysia.
  449. bane
    something causing misery or death
    Knee pain is the bane of many runners, sometimes causing them to give up altogether.Seattle Times (Jun 7, 2010)
  450. dint
    force or effort
    If only certain puzzles could be solved by dint of sheer hard thinking!Marsh, Richard
  451. ignominious
    deserving or bringing disgrace or shame
    The great Ottawa chief saw his partially accomplished scheme withering into ignominious failure.Rudd, John
  452. amicable
    characterized by friendship and good will
    After a short colloquy the two men evidently came to an amicable understanding, for they shook hands.Kraszewski, Jo?zef Ignacy
  453. onset
    the beginning or early stages
    Thousands of families are living in makeshift camps as temperatures fall to freezing with the onset of winter.New York Times (Nov 10, 2011)
  454. conservatory
    a schoolhouse with special facilities for fine arts
    The young instrumental talent that is coming out of local music schools and conservatories is as amazingly good as you are going to find anywhere.
  455. zenith
    the highest point of something
    In other words it never reaches the zenith, a point directly overhead.George H. Lowery.
  456. voluble
    marked by a ready flow of speech
    I find him charming: shy – yet easy to talk to – voluble and funny once he gets going.
  457. yeoman
    a free man who cultivates his own land
    On one extreme was the well-to-do yeoman farmer farming his own land.Reilly, S. A.
  458. levity
    a manner lacking seriousness
    The same balance of seriousness and levity runs through her plays, which put an absurdist spin on everyday problems.New York Times (May 7, 2010)
  459. rapt
    feeling great delight and interest
    She was watching the development of the investigation with rapt, eager attention.Mitford, Bertram
  460. sultry
    characterized by oppressive heat and humidity
    New guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics arrive just as school sports ramp up in sultry August temperatures.Washington Post (Aug 9, 2011)
  461. pinion
    restrain or bind
    The prisoners having dismounted, were placed in a line on the ground facing the guillotine, their arms pinioned.Various
  462. axiom
    a proposition that is not susceptible of proof or disproof
    The fundamental axiom of scientific thought is that there is not, never has been, and never will be, any disorder in nature.Huxley, Thomas H.
  463. descry
    catch sight of
    Looking off seaward, I could descry no sails.Drake, Samuel Adams
  464. retinue
    the group following and attending to some important person
    Despite his retinue of security personnel, Atambaev had been poisoned during his short tenure as prime minister.
  465. functionary
    a worker who holds or is invested with an office
    He was the functionary of the assize court, impaneling its juries, bringing accused men before it, and carrying out its penalties.Reilly, S. A.
  466. imbibe
    take in liquids
    "We're cornered at last," he said suddenly, as the old man set the bottle down after having imbibed the best half of its contents.Douglas, Hudson
  467. diversified
    having variety of character or form or components
    Funds in both categories tend to be highly diversified, typically with 100 or more stocks across at least 10 industries.Wall Street Journal (Feb 24, 2012)
  468. maraud
    raid and rove in search of plunder
    Its reporter says armed gangs and looters are marauding the streets.
  469. grudging
    petty or reluctant in giving or spending
    Expect delays, scattered outages and surly, grudging customer service in the interim.
  470. partiality
    a predisposition to like something
    She still showed a partiality for bright colors, by her gown of deep crimson.Sage, William
  471. philology
    the humanistic study of language and literature
    I had determined to study philology, chiefly Greek and Latin, but the fare spread out by the professors was much too tempting.Müller, F. Max (Friedrich Max)
  472. wry
    humorously sarcastic or mocking
    She also has a very understated but very wry sense of humour; watch out for it.
  473. caucus
    meet to select a candidate or promote a policy
    Representative Ron Paul of Texas isn’t campaigning in Florida, instead focusing on Maine, which will caucus in late February.
  474. permeate
    spread or diffuse through
    Florida’s summertime heat permeates almost every scene, becoming something like a character.New York Times (Mar 13, 2012)
  475. propitious
    presenting favorable circumstances
    With the Athens stock market down nearly 30 percent so far this year, it would not seem a propitious time for initial public offerings.New York Times (Jun 2, 2010)
  476. salient
    conspicuous, prominent, or important
    Bullying has become an increasingly salient problem for school-age children, and in rare cases has ended tragically with victims committing suicide.
  477. propitiate
    make peace with
    King Edward, having subdued the Welsh, “endeavoured to propitiate his newly acquired subjects by becoming a resident in the conquered country.Frith, William Powell
  478. excise
    remove by cutting
    Wielding a razor, Jefferson excised all passages containing supernaturalistic elements from the gospels, extracting what he took to be Jesus's pure ethical teachings.
  479. betoken
    be a signal for or a symptom of
    The haggard face and sombre eyes betokened considerable mental anguish.Young, F.E. Mills
  480. palatable
    acceptable to the taste or mind
    If nicely cooked in this way, cabbage is as palatable and as digestible as cauliflower.Ronald, Mary
  481. upbraid
    express criticism towards
    When Kahn warned of a serious economic "depression", he was upbraided by the White House for using such language.
  482. renegade
    someone who rebels and becomes an outlaw
    If he went off to another people he lost all standing among the Sioux and was thereafter treated as an outlaw and a renegade.Robinson, Doane
  483. hoary
    The device of the trapped young person saved by books is a hoary one, but Ms. Winterson makes it seem new, and sulfurous.New York Times (Mar 8, 2012)
  484. pedantic
    marked by a narrow focus on or display of learning
    The reader is treated to pedantic little footnotes, and given a good deal of information which is either gratuitous or uninteresting.Hay, Ian
  485. coy
    showing marked and often playful evasiveness or reluctance
    It was funny watching such a solid person, based in faith and education, grow a trifle coy about the year of his birth.New York Times (Jul 11, 2010)
  486. troth
    a solemn pledge of fidelity
    She had pledged to him her troth, and she would not attempt to go back from her pledge at the first appearance of a difficulty.Trollope, Anthony
  487. encroachment
    entry to another's property without right or permission
    The move may mark yet another attempt by France to rein in what it sees as the encroachment of online services on the country's culture.BusinessWeek (Jan 8, 2010)
  488. belie
    be in contradiction with
    "It is a fine morning," he said, taken aback by my sudden movement, but affecting an indifference which the sparkle in his eye belied.Weyman, Stanley John
  489. armada
    a large fleet
    An armada of three hundred ships manned by eighteen thousand marines assembled in the bay on their way to the conquest of Algiers.Douglas, Frances
  490. succor
    assistance in time of difficulty
    Given his health woes, succession worries and persistent isolation, Mr. Kim may simply be seeking succor from what may be his last friend on earth.New York Times (May 5, 2010)
  491. imperturbable
    marked by extreme calm and composure
    Ordinarily imperturbable, even in the face of unexpected situations, he was now visibly agitated.Griggs, Sutton E. (Sutton Elbert)
  492. irresolute
    uncertain how to act or proceed
    I stood for a moment before I entered on my arduous undertaking, irresolute and hesitating, swayed by two conflicting impulses.Waugh, Joseph Laing
  493. knack
    a special way of doing something
    He had a special knack of hunting out farm houses, engaging madame in conversation, and coming away with bread, eggs, or cheese in his knapsack.Price, Lucien
  494. unseemly
    not in keeping with accepted standards of what is proper
    The square mile's upbeat mood may strike some as unseemly at a time of national gloom.
  495. accentuate
    stress or single out as important
    This sparkling marvel lies modestly nestled among the law courts, whose plainer modern buildings serve but to accentuate its wonderful beauty.Sherrill, Charles Hitchcock
  496. divulge
    make known to the public information previously kept secret
    She hectors her children not to divulge personal information like phone numbers online.Seattle Times (Nov 15, 2011)
  497. brawn
    the trait of possessing muscular strength
    He believes Hollywood has often have had an over-reliance on physical brawn as the deciding factor for portraying a strong man.
  498. burnish
    polish and make shiny
    Great cleanliness is enforced in all that belongs to a lighthouse, the reflectors and lenses being constantly burnished, polished, and cleansed.Whymper, Frederick
  499. palpitate
    beat rapidly
    After supper my heart started racing, palpitating like a tick.Isaacson, Lauren Ann
  500. promiscuous
    not selective of a single class or person
    A promiscuous assembly had gathered there—men of all creeds and opinions—and an "open-air" meeting was in progress.Whitney, Orson F.
  501. dissemble
    make believe with the intent to deceive
    Pictures have always dissembled – there are millions of snaps of miserable families grinning bravely – but now they directly lie.
  502. flotilla
    a fleet of small craft
    She was guarded by a flotilla of boats equipped with satellites, Global Positioning System devices, advanced navigation systems and shark shields.New York Times (Aug 11, 2011)
  503. invective
    abusive language used to express blame or censure
    There's much more name-calling, shouting and personal invective in American life than anywhere I've ever traveled outside the United States.Washington Post (Jan 15, 2011)
  504. hermitage
    the abode of a recluse
    All the rest of their time is passed in solitude in their hermitages, which are built quite separate from one another.Various
  505. despoil
    destroy and strip of its possession
    Wherever his lordship's army went, plantations were despoiled, and private houses plundered.Campbell, Charles
  506. sully
    make dirty or spotty
    Why sully the reputation of an otherwise fascinating online community with really deeply questionable, troubling content?Forbes (Feb 13, 2012)
  507. malevolent
    having or exerting a malignant influence
    So you don’t believe in evil, as an actual malevolent force?New York Times (Oct 28, 2011)
  508. irksome
    tedious or irritating
    It was pretty irksome passing the time in his enforced prison, and finally Andy went to sleep.Webster, Frank V.
  509. prattle
    speak about unimportant matters rapidly and incessantly
    She prattled on about the gossip of the town until Penny and her father were thoroughly bored.Clark, Joan
  510. subaltern
    inferior in rank or status
    The careful commanding officer of a regiment discourages his young subalterns from taking leave to Hill Stations.Casserly, Gordon
  511. welt
    a raised mark on the skin
    But red, itchy welts typically appear within 24 to 48 hours of being bitten.
  512. wreak
    cause to happen or to occur as a consequence
    The burden of paying for college is wreaking havoc on the finances of an unexpected demographic: senior citizens.Washington Post (Apr 1, 2012)
  513. tenable
    based on sound reasoning or evidence
    First, it is no longer really tenable – and in fact a bit disrespectful – to call a country like China an emerging economy.
  514. inimitable
    Leave aside Spain, where Barcelona breeds its own, inimitable style, and the answer might be that we are rushing toward uniformity.New York Times (Sep 26, 2010)
  515. depredation
    a destructive action
    Wild elephants abound and commit many depredations, entering villages in large herds, and consuming everything suitable to their tastes.Various
  516. amalgamate
    bring or combine together or with something else
    Where two weak tribes amalgamated into one, there it exceptionally happened that two closely related dialects were simultaneously spoken in the same tribe.Engels, Friedrich
  517. immutable
    not subject or susceptible to change or variation
    We are mistaken to imagine a work of literature is or should be immutable, sculpted in marble and similarly impervious to change.
  518. proxy
    a person authorized to act for another
    Ideally, everybody over 18 should execute a living will and select a health care proxy — someone to represent you in medical matters.New York Times (Jan 17, 2011)
  519. dote
    shower with love; show excessive affection for
    He doted on him, just dearly loved him, and thought he could do no wrong,” Kredell said.Washington Post (Oct 17, 2011)
  520. reactionary
    extremely conservative or resistant to change
    Old people are often accused of being too conservative, and even reactionary.Chinard, Gilbert
  521. rationalism
    the doctrine that reason is the basis for regulating conduct
    Offering a religious rationale for policy goals threatens what for many has become the cherished principle of secular rationalism in public life.
  522. endue
    give qualities or abilities to
    To say the least of it, he was endued with sufficient intelligence to acquire an ordinary knowledge of such matters.Various
  523. discriminating
    showing or indicating careful judgment and discernment
    Jobs’ Apple specializes in delighting the most discriminating, hard-to-please customers.Forbes (Oct 12, 2011)
  524. brooch
    a decorative pin
    Upon her breast she wore a brooch of gold set with many precious stones.Butler, Pierce
  525. pert
    characterized by a lightly saucy or impudent quality
    Her pert, lively manner said she hadn't taken any wooden nickels lately.Schoenherr, John
  526. disembark
    exit from a ship, vehicle, or aircraft
    The immigrants disembarked from their ships tired and underfed—generally in poor health.Hughes, Thomas Proctor
  527. aria
    an elaborate song for solo voice
    Ms. Netrebko sang an elegantly sad aria with lustrous warmth, aching vulnerability and floating high notes.New York Times (Sep 27, 2011)
  528. trappings
    ornaments; embellishments to or characteristic signs of
    They were caparisoned in Indian fashion with gay colors and fancy trappings.Roy, Lillian Elizabeth
  529. abet
    assist or encourage, usually in some wrongdoing
    "Since YouTube, digital culture has aided and enhanced -- or maybe the better word is abetted -- the celebrity meltdown," said Wired magazine senior editor Nancy Miller.
  530. clandestine
    conducted with or marked by hidden aims or methods
    For Jordan, this is a clandestine relationship it would much prefer to have kept secret.BBC (Jan 5, 2010)
  531. distend
    swell from or as if from internal pressure
    Some kids said LaNiyah's distended abdomen looked like she was carrying a baby.Seattle Times (Apr 7, 2011)
  532. glib
    having only superficial plausibility
    The other sort of engineer understands that glib comparisons between computers and humans don't do justice to the complexities of either.
  533. pucker
    gather something into small wrinkles or folds
    Godmother,' she went on, puckering her forehead again in perplexity, 'it almost feels like feathers.Molesworth, Mrs. (Mary Louisa)
  534. rejoinder
    a quick reply to a question or remark
    "Not at all!" was Aunt Susannah's brisk rejoinder.Various
  535. spangle
    adornment consisting of a small piece of shiny material
    Magdalen's garments are rich with spangles; her mantle is scarlet; she has flowers in her luxuriant tresses, and looks a vain creature.O'Shea, John Augustus
  536. blighted
    affected by something that prevents growth or prosperity
    Hudec, whose career has been blighted by knee injuries and operations, won for the first time in more than four years.New York Times (Feb 4, 2012)
  537. nicety
    conformity with some standard of correctness or propriety
    They accepted the invitation; but Mrs. Rowlandson did not appreciate the niceties of Indian etiquette.Abbott, John S. C. (John Stevens Cabot)
  538. aggrieve
    infringe on the rights of
    Some fallout appears evident in donations from Wall Street executives, who feel particularly aggrieved by Mr. Obama’s criticisms and policies.New York Times (Feb 20, 2012)
  539. vestment
    a gown worn by the clergy
    And then a priest, arrayed in all his vestments, came in at the open door, and the prince and princess exchanged rings, and were married.Glinski, A. J.
  540. urbane
    showing a high degree of refinement
    Polished, urbane and gentlemanly—his manners were calculated to refine all around him.Judson, L. Carroll
  541. defray
    bear the expenses of
    The legislation also calls for $1.6 billion in spending cuts to help defray the disaster costs.Washington Post (Sep 26, 2011)
  542. spectral
    resembling or characteristic of a phantom
    Hawthorne’s figures are somewhat spectral; they lack flesh and blood.Merwin, Henry Childs
  543. munificent
    very generous
    They have shown themselves very loving and generous lately, in making a quite munificent provision for his traveling.Carlyle, Thomas
  544. dictum
    an authoritative declaration
    In other words, they seemed fully subscribed to Andy Warhol’s dictum that business art is the best art.New York Times (Dec 10, 2011)
  545. fad
    an interest followed with exaggerated zeal
    According to Chinese media, the hottest new fad in China involves selling small live-animal key chains.Time (Apr 5, 2011)
  546. scabbard
    a sheath for a sword or dagger or bayonet
    Drawing his own sabre from its scabbard, he pointed to a stain on it, saying, "This is the blood of an Englishman."Reed, Helen Leah
  547. adulterate
    make impure by adding a foreign or inferior substance
    Shady dealers along the supply chain frequently adulterate olive oil with low-grade vegetable oils and add artificial coloring.New York Times (Dec 7, 2011)
  548. beleaguer
    annoy persistently
    Rock concert ticket sales dropped sharply last year, sounding another sour note for the beleaguered music industry.
  549. gripe
    If America is going to gripe about the yuan’s rate, then China will complain about the dollar’s role.
  550. remission
    an abatement in intensity or degree
    After a few hours there is a remission of the pain, slight perspiration takes place, and the patient may fall asleep.Various
  551. exorbitant
    greatly exceeding bounds of reason or moderation
    Soon, stories began trickling across the Atlantic of crazed fans paying exorbitant sums to get into London gigs.Slate (Oct 10, 2011)
  552. invocation
    the act of appealing for help
    These dances are prayers or invocations for rain, the crowning blessing in this dry land.Roosevelt, Theodore
  553. cajole
    influence or urge by gentle urging, caressing, or flattering
    Hamilton, however, was not to be cajoled into friendliness by superficial compliment.Fisher, Harrison
  554. inclusive
    encompassing much or everything
    We are going to adhere to our basic programing strategy of nonpartisan information inclusive of all different points of view.
  555. interdict
    command against
    Failing to satisfy his examiners, he was interdicted from practice, but ignored the prohibition, and suffered more than one imprisonment in consequence.Worley, George
  556. abase
    cause to feel shame
    Ashamed, abased, degraded in his own eyes, he turned away his head.Caine, Hall, Sir
  557. obviate
    do away with
    Comfortable sleeping-cars obviate the necessity of stopping by the way for bodily rest, provided the traveller be physically strong and in good health.Ballou, Maturin Murray
  558. hurtle
    move with or as if with a rushing sound
    The hurricane was expected to hit Washington in the early hours of Sunday before hurtling toward New York City.
  559. unanimity
    everyone being of one mind
    On all other points of colonial policy, Mackenzie declared, people would be found to differ, but as regards the post office there was absolute unanimity.Smith, William, Sir
  560. mettle
    the courage to carry on
    The deployment will also test the emotional mettle of soldiers and their families.New York Times (Jun 26, 2010)
  561. interpolate
    insert words into texts, often falsifying it thereby
    Most scholars agree that these lines are interpolated, since they do not fit in with the rest of the poem.Various
  562. surreptitious
    marked by quiet and caution and secrecy
    He noticed that the peddler was eying the bag Scotty had picked up, and was trying to be surreptitious about it.Goodwin, Harold L. (Harold Leland)
  563. dissimulate
    hide feelings from other people
    From infancy these people have been schooled to dissimulate and hide emotion, and ordinarily their faces are as opaque as those of veteran poker players.Kephart, Horace
  564. ruse
    a deceptive maneuver, especially to avoid capture
    Overseas criminals use elaborate ruses, including phony websites, to trick job-seekers into helping transfer stolen funds.BusinessWeek (Aug 4, 2011)
  565. specious
    plausible but false
    You might be tempted to think of the biggest airline as the one with the most aircraft, but capacity differences make this reasoning specious.
  566. revulsion
    intense aversion
    After a first instinctive cry of horrified revulsion, the men reached down under water with their hands and drew out—a corpse.Livingston, Arthur
  567. hale
    exhibiting or restored to vigorous good health
    From a hearty, hale, corn-fed boy, he has become pale, lean, and wan.Adams, Abigail
  568. palliate
    lessen or to try to lessen the seriousness or extent of
    Divisions and inequalities persist, but government can palliate their effects with hard cash.
  569. obtuse
    lacking in insight or discernment
    The affair had been mentioned so plainly that it was impossible for the most dense and obtuse person not to have understood the allusion.Brazil, Angela
  570. querulous
    habitually complaining
    He was, at times, as querulous as a complaining old man.Williams, Ben Ames
  571. vagary
    an unexpected and inexplicable change in something
    Today such acquisitions are more likely to stay put, destined to survive both market fluctuations and the vagaries of style.New York Times (Sep 29, 2010)
  572. incipient
    only partly in existence; imperfectly formed
    Above all, medical teams will need to establish quick surveillance to identify health needs and pinpoint incipient outbreaks before they explode.Time (Jan 13, 2010)
  573. obdurate
    stubbornly persistent in wrongdoing
    Several appeared deeply affected, with tears of repentance standing in their eyes, others sullen and obdurate.Huth, Alexander
  574. grovel
    show submission or fear
    The two young men who drove them had fallen flat and were grovelling and wailing for mercy.Mitford, Bertram
  575. refractory
    stubbornly resistant to authority or control
    Beyond them the gardener struggled with a refractory horse that refused to draw his load of brush and dead leaves.Bacon, Josephine Dodge Daskam
  576. dregs
    sediment that has settled at the bottom of a liquid
    "Right got to go," Ali says, draining the dregs of his beer.
  577. ascendancy
    the state when one person or group has power over another
    But in a few days he had secured an almost incredible ascendancy over the sullen, starved, half-clothed army.Various
  578. supercilious
    having or showing arrogant superiority
    A supercilious, patronizing person—son of a wretched country parson—used to loll against the wall of your salon—with his nose in the air.Pinero, Arthur Wing, Sir
  579. pundit
    someone who has been admitted to membership in a field
    Pundits of agricultural science explore the sheds, I believe, the barns, stables, machine-rooms, and so forth, before inspecting the crops.Boyle, Frederick
  580. commiserate
    feel or express sympathy or compassion
    We had spent countless hours together drinking wine and commiserating about child-rearing, long Wisconsin winters and interrupted sleep.New York Times (Mar 24, 2011)
  581. alcove
    a small recess opening off a large room or garden
    They showed him where he would sleep, in a little closet-like alcove screened from the big room by a gay curtain.Wilson, Harry Leon
  582. assay
    make an effort or attempt
    He decided to assay one last project before giving up.New York Times (Mar 30, 2012)
  583. parochial
    narrowly restricted in outlook or scope
    But Republicans in Pennsylvania also have narrower and more parochial things to worry about.New York Times (Sep 17, 2011)
  584. conjugal
    relating to the relationship between a wife and husband
    They even had conjugal visits for prisoners — five hours in a private room every three months with your wife.New York Times (Nov 23, 2010)
  585. abjure
    formally reject or disavow a formerly held belief
    The caste abstain from liquor, and some of them have abjured all flesh food while others partake of it.Russell, R. V. (Robert Vane)
  586. frieze
    an ornament consisting of a horizontal sculptured band
    All the doorways mentioned above have cornices, and in those at Palmyra and Baalbec richly carved friezes with side corbels.Various
  587. ornate
    marked by complexity and richness of detail
    Unlike his literary icon, Herman Melville, he doesn’t adorn his writing with ornate flourishes or complicated scaffolding.Scientific American (Dec 20, 2011)
  588. inflammatory
    arousing to action or rebellion
    We don't know whether inflammatory language or images can incite the mentally ill to commit acts of violence.Time (Jan 13, 2011)
  589. machination
    a crafty and involved plot to achieve your ends
    He was continued a member of Congress until 1777 when his enemies succeeded in their long nursed machinations against him.Judson, L. Carroll
  590. mendicant
    a pauper who lives by begging
    In others are the broken-down mendicants who live on soup-kitchens and begging. Ritchie, J. Ewing (James Ewing)
  591. meander
    move or cause to move in a winding or curving course
    They paused beside one of the low stone walls that meandered in a meaningless fashion this way and that over the uplands.Vance, Louis Joseph
  592. bullion
    gold or silver in bars or ingots
    In times of economic turmoil, more people tend to invest in bullion gold.Washington Post (Mar 30, 2012)
  593. diffidence
    lack of self-assurance
    His grave diffidence and continued hesitation in offering an opinion confirmed me in my own.Froude, James Anthony
  594. makeshift
    done or made using whatever is available
    The house was still under construction, so he climbed up a ladder being used as a makeshift stairway, fell and injured his leg.New York Times (Apr 12, 2012)
  595. husbandry
    the practice of cultivating the land or raising stock
    The U.S. can take a lesson from Denmark, which has efficiently raised livestock without hurting farmers, by using better animal husbandry practices.Scientific American (Mar 22, 2011)
  596. podium
    a platform raised above the surrounding level
    Leyva beamed as he stood atop the podium, nodding as the American flag was raised and “The Star-Spangled Banner” played in his honor.New York Times (Oct 22, 2011)
  597. dearth
    an insufficient quantity or number
    A continuing dearth of snow in many U.S. spots usually buried by this time of year has turned life upside down.Washington Post (Jan 5, 2012)
  598. granary
    a storehouse for threshed grain or animal feed
    Here is where he does his husking, and the "clear corn" produced is stored away in some underground granary till It is needed.Seton, Ernest Thompson
  599. whet
    make keen or more acute
    While he described the fishing as “pretty good,” the silver salmon running in the creek only whetted his appetite to return to Alaska.Washington Post (Aug 17, 2011)
  600. imposture
    pretending to be another person
    He got somebody to prosecute him for false pretences and imposture, on the ground that Madame was a man. Leland, Charles Godfrey
  601. diadem
    an ornamental jeweled headdress signifying sovereignty
    I dethrone monarchs and the people rejoicing crown me instead, showering diadems upon my head.Tilney, Frederick Colin
  602. fallow
    undeveloped but potentially useful
    Several new prostate cancer drugs have been approved in the last couple of years, after a long fallow period, and others are in advanced development.New York Times (Nov 3, 2011)
  603. hubbub
    loud confused noise from many sources
    There was some good-humoured pushing and thrusting, the drum beating and the church bells jangling bravely above the hubbub.Weyman, Stanley J.
  604. dispassionate
    unaffected by strong emotion or prejudice
    The commission sitting by, judicial, dispassionate, presided with cold dignity over the sacrifice, and pronounced it good.Candee, Helen Churchill Hungerford, Mrs.
  605. harrowing
    causing extreme distress
    Belgium found itself in turmoil as hundreds of people came forward to offer harrowing accounts of abuse over several decades.New York Times (Jan 16, 2012)
  606. askance
    with suspicion or disapproval
    A secret marriage in these days would be looked upon askance by most people.Wood, Mrs. Henry
  607. lancet
    a surgical knife with a pointed double-edged blade
    His left arm was held by the second physician, while the chief surgeon bent over it, lancet in hand.Hay, Marie, Hon. (Agnes Blanche Marie)
  608. rankle
    make resentful or angry
    He was feeling more like himself now, though the memory of the bully’s sneering words rankled.Chadwick, Lester
  609. ramify
    have or develop complicating consequences
    Cometary science has ramified in unexpected ways during the last hundred years.Various
  610. gainsay
    take exception to
    That Whitman entertained a genuine affection for men and women is, of course, too obvious to be gainsaidRickett, Arthur
  611. polity
    a governmentally organized unit
    China needs a polity that can address its increasingly sophisticated society, and to achieve that there must be political reform, Mr. Sun said.New York Times (Mar 21, 2012)
  612. credence
    the mental attitude that something is believable
    "Well-known brand names that promote new products receive more credence than newcomers that people don't know about."
  613. indemnify
    make amends for; pay compensation for
    She put her affairs in order and left instructions that those whom she had unwittingly wronged should be indemnified out of her private fortune.Butler, Pierce
  614. ingratiate
    gain favor with somebody by deliberate efforts
    He became kindly and coaxing, leaning across the table with an ingratiating smile.King, Basil
  615. declivity
    a downward slope or bend
    In this frightful condition, the hunter grappled with the raging beast, and, struggling for life, they rolled together down a steep declivity.Goodrich, Samuel G. (Samuel Griswold)
  616. importunate
    making persistent or urgent requests
    The young man was then passionately importunate in the protestations of his love.Barr, Amelia Edith Huddleston
  617. passe
    out of fashion
    My friend is very keen on the new crowd; everything else he declares is " passe."Holliday, Robert Cortes
  618. whittle
    cut small bits or pare shavings from
    Tad followed, whittling on a stick with his knife and kicking at the shavings as they fell.Kjelgaard, James Arthur
  619. repine
    express discontent
    Those poor fellows above, accustomed to the wild freshness and freedom of the sea, how they must mourn and repine!O'Shea, John Augustus
  620. flay
    strip the skin off
    Once at the moose and hastily flaying the hide from the steaming meat my attention became centered on the task.Sinclair, Bertrand W.
  621. larder
    a small storeroom for storing foods or wines
    Mr. Goncalves’s larder holds staples like beefsteak, salt cod, sardines, olives, artichokes, hot and sweet peppers and plenty of garlic.New York Times (Feb 18, 2011)
  622. threadbare
    thin and tattered with age
    They were all poor folk, wrapped in threadbare cloaks or tattered leather.Brackett, Leigh Douglass
  623. grisly
    shockingly repellent; inspiring horror
    Television video showed a heavily damaged building and a grisly scene inside, with clothing and prayer mats scattered across a blood-splattered floor.New York Times (Aug 19, 2011)
  624. untoward
    not in keeping with accepted standards of what is proper
    Responding to criticism that cash payments are a classic means of tax evasion, he said he had done nothing untoward.New York Times (Aug 2, 2011)
  625. idiosyncrasy
    a behavioral attribute peculiar to an individual
    One of his well-known idiosyncrasies was that he would never allow himself to be photographed.Le Queux, William
  626. quip
    make jokes or witty remarks
    "I could have joined the FBI in a shorter period of time and with less documentation than it took to get that mortgage," she quipped.
  627. blatant
    without any attempt at concealment; completely obvious
    There was no blatant display of wealth, and every article of furniture bore signs of long though careful use.Bull, Charles Livingston
  628. stanch
    stop the flow of a liquid
    She did not attempt to stanch her tears, but sat looking at him with a smiling mouth, while the heavy drops fell down her cheeks.Stockley, Cynthia
  629. incongruity
    the quality of disagreeing
    Hanging out wet clothes and an American flag at the North Pole seemed an amusing incongruity.Cook, Frederick A.
  630. perfidious
    tending to betray
    The perfidious Italian at length confessed that it was his intention to murder his master, and then rob the house.Billinghurst, Percy J.
  631. platitude
    a trite or obvious remark
    But details are fuzzy and rebel leaders often resort to platitudes when dismissing suggestions of discord, saying simply that "Libya is one tribe."Wall Street Journal (Jun 20, 2011)
  632. revelry
    unrestrained merrymaking
    But all this revelry — dancing, drinks, exuberant youth — can be hard to manage.New York Times (Jun 3, 2010)
  633. delve
    turn up, loosen, or remove earth
    So she did what any reporter would do: she delved into the scientific literature and talked to investigators.New York Times (Dec 27, 2010)
  634. extenuate
    lessen or to try to lessen the seriousness or degree of
    Prosecutors often spend time weighing mitigating and extenuating circumstances before deciding to seek the death penalty.Washington Post (Oct 15, 2011)
  635. polemic
    a verbal or written attack, especially of a belief or dogma
    Would it be a polemic that denounced Western imperialism for using cinema to undermine emerging nations like Kazakhstan?New York Times (Oct 4, 2010)
  636. enrapture
    hold spellbound
    I was delighted, enraptured, beside myself--the world had disappeared in an instant.Spielhagen, Friedrich
  637. virtuoso
    someone who is dazzlingly skilled in any field
    Each of the seven instrumentalists was a virtuoso in his own right and had ample opportunity to prove it, often in long, soulful solos.New York Times (May 3, 2010)
  638. glower
    look angry or sullen as if to signal disapproval
    A moment later he would collapse, sit glowering in his chair, looking angrily at the carpet.Hecht, Ben
  639. mundane
    found in the ordinary course of events
    Now, it would seem, that the Chinese are getting back to their everyday concerns, paying attention to events more mundane and less cataclysmic.New York Times (Mar 20, 2012)
  640. fatuous
    devoid of intelligence
    They're too stupid, for one thing; they go on burning houses and breaking windows in their old fatuous way.McKenna, Stephen
  641. incorrigible
    impervious to correction by punishment
    She scolded and lectured her sister in vain; Cynthia was incorrigible.Various
  642. postulate
    maintain or assert
    In fact, when Einstein formulated his cosmological vision, based on his theory of gravitation, he postulated that the universe was finite.Scientific American (Jul 26, 2011)
  643. gist
    the central meaning or theme of a speech or literary work
    The syntax was a little off, even comical at times, but I got the gist of what was going on.Time (May 6, 2010)
  644. vociferous
    conspicuously and offensively loud
    The complaints grew so loud and vociferous that even President Obama was forced to address the backlash from Lisbon on Saturday.New York Times (Nov 23, 2010)
  645. purvey
    supply with provisions
    And we will agree also to purvey food for these horses and people during nine months.Villehardouin, Geoffroi de
  646. baleful
    deadly or sinister
    “But he is dead,” put in Fanning, wondering at the baleful expression of hatred that had come into the man’s face.Burnham, Margaret
  647. gibe
    laugh at with contempt and derision
    So much did their taunts prey upon him that he ran away from school to escape their gibes.Hubbard, Elbert
  648. dyspeptic
    irritable as if suffering from indigestion
    One may begin with heroic renunciations and end in undignified envy and dyspeptic comments outside the door one has slammed on one's self.Wells, H. G. (Herbert George)
  649. prude
    a person excessively concerned about propriety and decorum
    Criticising high-profile programmes about teenage sex education often means risking being written off as a prude.
  650. luminary
    a celebrity who is an inspiration to others
    Founded in 1947, the group's members have included such luminaries as Walt Disney, Spencer Tracy and another American president, Ronald Reagan.Seattle Times (Apr 11, 2011)
  651. amenable
    disposed or willing to comply
    He, Jean Boulot, being so amenable to sensible argument, would at once fall in with his views.Wingfield, Lewis
  652. willful
    habitually disposed to disobedience and opposition
    I crossed my arms like a willful child.New York Times (Aug 18, 2011)
  653. overbearing
    having or showing arrogant superiority
    "True; but——" "Just so," interrupted Mr. Fauntleroy, in his decisive and rather overbearing manner.Wood, Mrs. Henry
  654. dais
    a platform raised above the surrounding level
    The throne was elevated on a dais of silver steps.Tracy, Louis
  655. automate
    operate or make run by machines rather than human action
    And because leap seconds are needed irregularly their insertion cannot be automated, which means that fallible humans must insert them by hand.
  656. enervate
    weaken physically, mentally, or morally
    The reviewers have enervated men’s minds, and made them indolent; few think for themselves.Rossetti, William Michael
  657. wheedle
    influence or urge by gentle urging, caressing, or flattering
    On one level, I expected incessant flattery in attempts to wheedle equipment or even money from American forces.New York Times (Aug 16, 2010)
  658. gusto
    vigorous and enthusiastic enjoyment
    The audience, surprisingly large given the inclement weather, responded with gusto, applauding each song, including those within the Shostakovich cycle.New York Times (Mar 2, 2010)
  659. bouillon
    a clear seasoned broth
    The meat soups are called broths, bouillon, or consommé, according to their richness.Ronald, Mary
  660. omniscient
    knowing, seeing, or understanding everything
    Robbe-Grillet responds that his work is in fact far less objective than the godlike, omniscient narrator who presides over so many traditional novels.
  661. apostate
    not faithful to religion or party or cause
    They are atheist conservatives — Mr. Khan an apostate to his family’s Islamic faith, Ms. Mac Donald to her left-wing education.New York Times (Feb 18, 2011)
  662. carrion
    the dead and rotting body of an animal; unfit for human food
    Habitually his diet is not carnivorous, but he will eat at times either carrion or living flesh.Reid, Mayne
  663. emolument
    compensation received by virtue of holding an office
    As the TUC has pointed out, those incomes – except for senior executives, whose emoluments seem to know few bounds – are rising more slowly than prices.
  664. ungainly
    lacking grace in movement or posture
    Thomas looked up furtively and saw that an ungainly human figure with crooked legs was being led into the church.Gogol, Nikolai Vasilievich
  665. impiety
    unrighteousness by virtue of lacking respect for a god
    That, however, is unbelief, extreme impiety, and a denial of the most high God.Bente, F. (Friedrich)
  666. decadence
    the state of being degenerate in mental or moral qualities
    But there are people who really do not want to import what they regard as Western decadence, especially public drunkenness.BBC (Jun 11, 2011)
  667. homily
    a sermon on a moral or religious topic
    In his New Year's homily, the pope said "words were not enough" to bring about peace, particularly in the Middle East.
  668. avocation
    an auxiliary activity
    Unlike many retired doctors, whom he says often have no life outside their profession, he always knew sailing would become his avocation.Newsweek (Nov 17, 2010)
  669. circumvent
    avoid or try to avoid fulfilling, answering, or performing
    Mr. Bloomberg said he would take several steps to circumvent obstacles to his proposals posed by city labor unions.New York Times (Jan 12, 2012)
  670. syllogism
    reasoning in which a conclusion is derived from two premises
    The conclusions arrived at by means of syllogisms are irresistible, provided the form be correct and the premises be true.Webster, W. F. (William Franklin)
  671. collation
    assembling in proper numerical or logical sequence
    In the case of early printed books or manuscripts, which are often not paged, special knowledge is needed for their collation.Rooke, Noel
  672. haggle
    wrangle, as over a price or terms of an agreement
    Obama said while officials can haggle over the makeup of spending cuts, the policy issues have no place in the measure.
  673. waylay
    wait in hiding to attack
    Sir Samuel Clithering was not, of course, a member of it; but he lurked about outside and waylaid us as we went in.Birmingham, George A.
  674. savant
    a learned person
    Frank had studied something of almost everything and imagined himself a savant.Roussel, John
  675. cohort
    a group of people having approximately the same age
    The current cohort of college students is, as many have pointed out, the first truly digital generation.Washington Post (Dec 1, 2011)
  676. unction
    excessive but superficial compliments with affected charm
    "You couldn't ask too much of me," he returned, with no unction of flattery, but the cheerfully frank expression of an ingenuous heart.Ogden, George W. (George Washington)
  677. adjure
    command solemnly
    “I adjure thee,” she said, “swear to me that you will never go near those Christians again or read their books.”Pennell, T. L. (Theodore Leighton)
  678. acrimony
    a rough and bitter manner
    Relations with India have been slowly improving, although talks ended in acrimony last July with the two sides indulging in a public spat over Kashmir.
  679. clarion
    loud and clear
    “He has been the single, clarion voice for commuter rail in central Florida for 20 years,” said Mayor Ken Bradley of Winter Park.New York Times (Jun 27, 2011)
  680. turbid
    clouded as with sediment
    The thick turbid sea rolled in, casting up mire and dirt from its depths.Reynolds, Mrs. Baillie
  681. cupidity
    extreme greed for material wealth
    Well educated, but very corrupt at heart, he found in his insatiable cupidity many ways of gaining money.Kraszewski, Jozef Ignacy
  682. disaffected
    discontented as toward authority
    The financial crisis, largely caused by banker incompetence, has created legions of disaffected customers.Forbes (Sep 15, 2011)
  683. preternatural
    surpassing the ordinary or normal
    In fact, they regarded the Spaniards as superior beings endowed with preternatural gifts.Gilson, Jewett Castello
  684. eschew
    avoid and stay away from deliberately
    Morrissey is among those seniors who are eschewing nursing homes in favor of independent living.Washington Post (Mar 23, 2012)
  685. expatiate
    add details, as to an account or idea
    He then expatiated on his own miseries, which he detailed at full length.Manzoni, Alessandro
  686. didactic
    instructive, especially excessively
    Let us have a book so full of good illustrations that didactic instruction shall not be needed.Various
  687. sinuous
    curved or curving in and out
    In origami parlance, Mr. Joisel was a wet-folder, dampening his paper so that he could coax it into sinuous curves.New York Times (Oct 20, 2010)
  688. rancor
    a feeling of deep and bitter anger and ill-will
    The current session of Parliament has so far produced only rancor, as opposition parties have shut down proceedings with angry, theatrical protests against corruption.New York Times (Aug 14, 2011)
  689. puissant
    The ship was not fighting now, but yielding—a complacent leviathan held captive by a most puissant and ruthless enemy.Tracy, Louis
  690. homespun
    characteristic of country life
    His rural, homespun demeanor ordinarily might elicit snickers from India’s urban elite.New York Times (Aug 18, 2011)
  691. embroil
    force into some kind of situation or course of action
    But Mr. Marbury, often embroiled in controversy during his N.B.A. days, seems to have found some measure of peace in China.New York Times (Apr 1, 2012)
  692. pathological
    caused by or evidencing a mentally disturbed condition
    "Fixated individuals" — mentally ill people with a pathological focus on someone, often a stranger — make up the first group.
  693. resonant
    characterized by a loud deep sound
    His eyes were piercing but sad, his voice grand and resonant, suiting well the wrathful, impassioned Calvinism of his sermons.Barr, Amelia Edith Huddleston
  694. libretto
    the words of an opera or musical play
    In many great operas, composers have had to whittle down an epic literary work into a suitable libretto.New York Times (Mar 6, 2010)
  695. flail
    thrash about
    Exercise is prescribed, but when she joins an aqua aerobics class, she flails embarrassingly.New York Times (Apr 12, 2012)
  696. bandy
    discuss lightly
    Hillary Clinton’s name has been bandied about, but she’s made it clear she’s not interested.
  697. gratis
    costing nothing
    "Would you admit them gratis?" asked Mr. Castlemaine with a smile, "or would they have to pay, like ordinary residents in an hotel?"Hocking, Joseph
  698. upshot
    a phenomenon that is caused by some previous phenomenon
    The inevitable upshot of their growing social power was that brands wanted an expanded visual presence.
  699. aphorism
    a short pithy instructive saying
    General Sherman's famous aphorism that "War is Hell," has become classic.Fletcher, Samuel H.
  700. redoubtable
    worthy of respect or honor
    Captain Miles Standish was a redoubtable soldier, small in person, but of great activity and courage.Mann, Henry
  701. corpulent
    excessively large
    Obesity is very common, but chiefly among the women, who while still quite young often become enormously corpulent.D'Anvers, N.
  702. benighted
    lacking enlightenment or knowledge or culture
    I alone was magnificently and absurdly aware—everyone else was benightedly out of it.James, Henry
  703. sententious
    abounding in or given to pompous or aphoristic moralizing
    He is the village wise man; very sententious; and full of profound remarks on shallow subjects.Irving, Washington
  704. cabal
    a clique that seeks power usually through intrigue
    Supposedly, see, there's this global cabal of scientists conspiring to bring about socialist one-world government.
  705. paraphernalia
    equipment consisting of miscellaneous articles
    It's outfitted with cricket bats and other antique sports paraphernalia.Seattle Times (Sep 27, 2011)
  706. vitiate
    make imperfect
    His talent in writing is vitiated by his affectation and other faults.Blair, Emma Helen
  707. adulation
    exaggerated flattery or praise
    And celebrities get all this adulation for something that is not about character, it's about talent.
  708. quaff
    swallow hurriedly or greedily or in one draught
    Meanwhile the officers under the tree had got served, and, cups in hand, were quaffing joyously.Reid, Mayne
  709. unassuming
    not arrogant
    Parr's conduct after his most heroic actions was thoroughly modest and unassuming.Greely, Adolphus W.
  710. libertine
    a dissolute person
    Still, Mr. Awlaki was neither among the most conservative Muslim students nor among the libertines who tossed aside religious restrictions on drinking and sex.New York Times (May 8, 2010)
  711. maul
    injure badly
    Hundreds of concert goers were mauled as they left by what The New York Times called “bands of roving youths.”New York Times (Aug 17, 2011)
  712. adage
    a condensed but memorable saying embodying an important fact
    So he focuses on the fans and embraces the adage, “Living well is the best revenge.”New York Times (Mar 25, 2011)
  713. expostulation
    the act of expressing earnest opposition or protest
    He even believed he saw visions with his own bodily eyes, and no expostulations of his friends could drive this belief out of his head.Hoffmann, E. T. A. (Ernst Theodor Amadeus)
  714. tawdry
    tastelessly showy
    It was a tawdry affair, all Cupids and cornucopias, like a third-rate wedding cake.Wilde, Oscar
  715. trite
    repeated too often; overfamiliar through overuse
    The subject—a deathbed scene—might seem at first sight to be a trite and common one.Lancey, Magdalene de
  716. hireling
    a person who works only for money
    Why should I?—a mere police detective, who had been hired to do a service and paid for it like any other hireling.Hanshew, Thomas W.
  717. ensconce
    fix firmly
    Though she is firmly ensconced in a writing career, Ms. Freud, 48, said that in the early days she missed acting terribly.New York Times (Oct 30, 2011)
  718. egregious
    conspicuously and outrageously bad or reprehensible
    “These offenses are very serious, even egregious,” the judge said.Washington Post (Sep 12, 2011)
  719. cogent
    powerfully persuasive
    His thesis was too cogent, and appealed too powerfully to all classes of the Upper Canada community, to be anything but irresistible.Morison, J. L. (John Lyle)
  720. incisive
    demonstrating ability to recognize or draw fine distinctions
    A half-hour of informed and incisive questioning by Mr. Russert would have demolished Mr. Trump.New York Times (May 1, 2011)
  721. errant
    straying from the right course or from accepted standards
    As the crowd voiced its displeasure, the referees made sure Wisconsin got the ball, but pass was errant and rolled out of bounds at midcourt.Seattle Times (Feb 28, 2012)
  722. sedulous
    marked by care and persistent effort
    Sedulous attention and painstaking industry always mark the true worker.Calhoon, Major A.R.
  723. incandescent
    characterized by ardent emotion, intensity, or brilliance
    Kirkwood's anger cooled apace; at worst it had been a flare of passion— incandescent.Vance, Louis Joseph
  724. derelict
    in deplorable condition
    Others are clustered under a tin awning by a derelict railway station or in similarly run-down school buildings.
  725. entomology
    the branch of zoology that studies insects
    From the department of entomology you expect to learn something about the troublesome insects, which are so universal an annoyance.Latham, A. W.
  726. execrable
    unequivocally detestable
    But minds were so overexcited at the time that the parties mutually accused each other, on all occasions, of the most execrable crimes.Imbert de Saint-Amand, Arthur Léon, baron
  727. sluice
    pour as if from a conduit that carries a rapid flow of water
    At 4:15 p.m., as the rain was sluicing off roofs in sheets, the firemen moved the trucks to higher ground.New York Times (Aug 31, 2011)
  728. moot
    of no legal significance, as having been previously decided
    The statement from Hermitage said even in the Soviet period no defendant had been tried after death, when charges were generally considered moot.New York Times (Feb 7, 2012)
  729. evanescent
    short-lived; tending to vanish or disappear
    Time seems stopped but it is moving on, and every glimmer of light is evanescent, flitting.
  730. vat
    a large open vessel for holding or storing liquids
    The cream remains in the large vat about twenty-four hours before it is churned.Chamberlain, James Franklin
  731. dapper
    marked by up-to-dateness in dress and manners
    Thoroughly dapper, he took off his black-and-white pinstriped suit jacket — with its pocket-square flair — and weaved in and out among them, his voice ever rising.New York Times (Jan 22, 2011)
  732. asperity
    harshness of manner
    All this proceeds from the old man, whose proper character it is to be angry and bitter, and to exhibit rancor and asperity.Arndt, Johann
  733. flair
    a natural talent
    In fact, while Lamarr qualified as an inventive genius for her artistic flair, she fell somewhat short on her scientific acumen.Slate (Nov 28, 2011)
  734. mote
    a tiny piece of anything
    He took his discharge out of his pocket, brushed every mote of dust from the table, and spread the document before their eyes.Auerbach, Berthold
  735. circumspect
    careful to consider potential consequences and avoid risk
    Obama administration officials argue that new regulations are forcing insurers to be more circumspect about raising rates.New York Times (Sep 27, 2011)
  736. inimical
    tending to obstruct or cause harm
    The Hindu idea is that so long as justice and equity characterise a king’s rule, even beasts naturally inimical are disposed to live in friendship.Kingscote, Mrs. Howard
  737. apropos
    of a suitable, fitting, or pertinent nature
    I found myself thinking vaguely about things that were not at all apropos to the situation.Stockley, Cynthia
  738. gruel
    a thin porridge
    He says, keep them on just two pints of Indian-meal gruel—by which he appears to mean thin hasty pudding—a day, and no more.Alcott, William A. (William Andrus)
  739. gentility
    elegance by virtue of fineness of manner and expression
    This was no rough bully of the seas; Carew's bearing and dandified apparel bespoke gentility.Springer, Norman
  740. disapprobation
    an expression of strong disapproval
    Mr Ruthven shook his head and declared that he regarded the conduct of her persecutors with grave moral disapprobation.Wheeler, E.J.
  741. cameo
    engraving or carving in low relief on a stone
    The trinket was a small round cameo cut out of mother-of-pearl and set in gold; it represented St. George and the dragon.J?kai, M?r
  742. gouge
    swindle; obtain by coercion
    Shortages also have raised concerns about higher prices and gouging by wholesale drug companies that obtain supplies of hard-to-get drugs and jack up the costs.Seattle Times (Jan 20, 2012)
  743. oratorio
    a musical composition for voices and orchestra
    Mendelssohn had no sooner completed his first oratorio, "St. Paul," than he began to think about setting another Bible story to music.Edwards, Frederick George
  744. inclement
    severe, of weather
    Be prepared for inclement weather and possible ice and snow on park roads.Seattle Times (Oct 16, 2011)
  745. scintilla
    a tiny or scarcely detectable amount
    Gardner "never expressed one scintilla of remorse for his attack upon the victim" despite overwhelming evidence, prosecutors wrote in a sentencing memo.
  746. confluence
    a flowing together
    And indeed, before the 13th century, there was an extraordinary confluence of genius and innovation, particularly around Baghdad.New York Times (Dec 28, 2010)
  747. squalor
    sordid dirtiness
    What can be expected of human beings, crowded in such miserable habitations, living in filth and squalor, and often pinched with hunger?Field, Henry M. (Henry Martyn)
  748. stricture
    severe criticism
    While gratefully accepting the generous praises of our friends, we must briefly reply to some strictures by our critics.Stanton, Elizabeth Cady
  749. emblazon
    decorate with heraldic arms
    His coat of arms was emblazoned on the cover.Mason, A. E. W. (Alfred Edward Woodley)
  750. augury
    an event indicating important things to come
    This is always an encouraging sign, and an augury of success.Alger, Horatio
  751. abut
    lie adjacent to another or share a boundary
    It depicts a mountain landscape near Kingston, a historic town abutting the Hudson River.New York Times (Jan 8, 2010)
  752. banal
    repeated too often; overfamiliar through overuse
    Highly dramatic incidents are juxtaposed with comparatively banal ones; particular attention is given to tales of doomed love affairs.New York Times (Dec 4, 2011)
  753. congeal
    solidify, thicken, or come together
    Boil down the syrup to half its original quantity, but take care that it does not boil long enough to congeal or become thick.Baru?, Sulpice
  754. pilfer
    make off with belongings of others
    Many young people scavenge for reusable garbage, living on proceeds from pilfered construction material and other recyclables.Seattle Times (Feb 8, 2012)
  755. malcontent
    a person who is unsatisfied or disgusted
    Now, unfortunately, some malcontents among the hands here have spread their ideas, and a strike has been called.Maitland, Robert
  756. sublimate
    direct energy or urges into useful activities
    They might instead have passionate friendships, or sublimate their urges into other pursuits.New York Times (Jun 4, 2010)
  757. eugenic
    causing improvement in the offspring produced
    Eugenics was aimed at creating a better society by filtering out people considered undesirable, ranging from criminals to those imprecisely designated as “feeble-minded.”Washington Post (Aug 1, 2011)
  758. lineament
    the characteristic parts of a person's face
    The tears stood in Muriel's eyes, and her face was very pale, but serenity marked every lineament.Davidson, John
  759. firebrand
    someone who deliberately foments trouble
    But Hassan is not some teenage firebrand hurling rocks; he’s a slight, graying scholar committed to peace.New York Times (Jun 9, 2011)
  760. fiasco
    a complete failure or collapse
    The Stuttgart protests became a national fiasco in late September, when protesters clashed with police wielding batons and water cannons.Newsweek (Dec 14, 2010)
  761. foolhardy
    marked by defiant disregard for danger or consequences
    Many mistakes—extravagant purchases, foolhardy investments—are made in the first months after a windfall.Wall Street Journal (Feb 24, 2012)
  762. retrench
    tighten one's belt; use resources carefully
    But there was only one way open to me at present—and that was to retrench my expenses.Caine, Hall, Sir
  763. ulterior
    lying beyond what is openly revealed or avowed
    Shop window displays may help prettify shopping thoroughfares, but any savvy retailer has the ulterior motive of self promotion.BBC (Feb 3, 2010)
  764. equable
    not varying
    His must have been that calm, equable temperament not easily ruffled, which goes with the self-respecting nature.Hurll, Estelle M. (Estelle May)
  765. inured
    made tough by habitual exposure
    But he had become inured to the rush and whirr of missiles, and now paid no heed whatever to them.Mitford, Bertram
  766. invidious
    containing or implying a slight or showing prejudice
    "After an old-fashioned, all-round team performance … it might seem invidious to single out one player," admits the paper before singling out one player.
  767. unmitigated
    not diminished or moderated in intensity or severity
    In order to be well directed, sympathy must consider all men, and not the individual alone; only then is it an unmitigated good.Williams, C. M.
  768. concomitant
    an event or situation that happens at the same time
    The conclusion must be drawn that every epidemic of bubonic plague is caused by the concomitant rat plague.Scientific American (Jan 21, 2011)
  769. cozen
    cheat or trick
    Dicing-houses, where cheaters meet, and cozen young men out of their money.Various
  770. phlegmatic
    showing little emotion
    Humanity, when surfeited with emotion, becomes calm, almost phlegmatic.Tracy, Louis
  771. dormer
    a gabled extension built out from a sloping roof
    Other features, such as the front French doors and two roof dormers with curved-top windows and operable shutters, give this home a pleasing, well-balanced presence.Southern Living (Apr 14, 2010)
  772. pontifical
    denoting or governed by or relating to a bishop or bishops
    The high priest made no resistance, but went forth in his pontifical robes, followed by the people in white garments, to meet the mighty warrior.Lord, John
  773. disport
    occupy in an agreeable, entertaining or pleasant fashion
    Straightway the glade in which they sat was filled with knights, ladies, maidens, and esquires, who danced and disported themselves right joyously.Spence, Lewis
  774. apologist
    a person who argues to defend some policy or institution
    Tories, and apologists for Great Britain, have written much about a justification for this action, but there is no real justification.Barce, Elmore
  775. abeyance
    temporary cessation or suspension
    My feelings of home-sickness had returned with redoubled strength after being long in abeyance.Boldrewood, Rolf
  776. enclave
    an enclosed territory that is culturally distinct
    And its suburban schools, rather than being exclusive enclaves, include children whose parents can't afford a house in the neighborhood.Washington Post (Jan 11, 2011)
  777. improvident
    not supplying something useful for the future
    He was industrious but improvident; he made money and he lost it.Hubbard, Elbert
  778. disquisition
    an elaborate analytical or explanatory essay or discussion
    Cumulatively, what emerges from To Kill a Mockingbird is a thoughtful disquisition that encompasses – and goes beyond – the question of racial bias at its worst.
  779. categorical
    not modified or restricted by reservations
    "European leaders were united, categorical and crystal clear: Gaddafi must go," British Prime Minister David Cameron said.
  780. placate
    cause to be more favorably inclined
    The East India Company was placated by the concession of further exemptions in its favour.Smith, A. D.
  781. redolent
    serving to bring to mind
    Here, however, are congregated a vast number of curious and interesting objects, while the place is redolent of vivid historical associations.Ballou, Maturin Murray
  782. felicitous
    exhibiting an agreeably appropriate manner or style
    The first book is the finest, sparkling with felicitous expressions and rising frequently to true poetry.Dennis, John
  783. gusty
    blowing in puffs or short intermittent blasts
    Winds could get gusty, occasionally blowing at more than 30 miles per hour.
  784. natty
    marked by up-to-dateness in dress and manners
    He wore a checked suit, very natty, and was more than usually tall and fine-looking.Green, Anna Katharine
  785. pacifist
    opposed to war
    He was, furthermore, a real pacifist, believing that war is debasing morally and disastrous economically.Seymour, Charles
  786. buxom
    healthily plump and vigorous
    Mrs. Connelly—a round, rosy, buxom Irishwoman, with a mellow voice, laughing eye, and artist-red hair—was very much taken with their plan.Douglas, Amanda Minnie
  787. heyday
    the period of greatest prosperity or productivity
    Playboy's most popular years are well behind it - the magazine enjoyed its heyday in the 1970s.Washington Post (Jan 10, 2011)
  788. herculean
    displaying superhuman strength or power
    He made herculean efforts to get on terms with his examination subjects, and worked harder than he had ever done in his life before.Marshall, Archibald
  789. burgeon
    grow and flourish
    Brooklyn's burgeoning dining scene has even developed a following among Manhattan food lovers.
  790. crone
    an ugly, evil-looking old woman
    The aged crone wrinkled her forehead and lifted her grizzled eyebrows, still without looking at him.Myrick, Frank
  791. prognosticate
    make a prediction about; tell in advance
    How strange it is that our dreams often prognosticate coming events!Huth, Alexander
  792. lout
    an awkward, foolish person
    But this question was beyond the poor lout's intelligence; he could only blubber and fend off possible chastisement.Williams, J. Scott (John Scott)
  793. simper
    smile in an insincere, unnatural, or coy way
    Mrs. Barnett's mouth simpered at the implied flattery; but her eyes, always looking calculatingly for substantial results, were studying Reedy Jenkins.Hamby, William H. (William Henry)
  794. iniquitous
    characterized by injustice or wickedness
    This was some piece of wickedness concocted by the venomous brain of the iniquitous Vicar, more abominable than all his other wickednesses.Trollope, Anthony
  795. rile
    disturb, especially by minor irritations
    The prospect of seeing Ms. Palin tour Alaska’s wild habitats may rile some people who oppose her opinions about climate change.New York Times (Mar 25, 2010)
  796. sentient
    endowed with feeling and unstructured consciousness
    The money fluttered from his hand to the floor, where it lay like a sentient thing, staring back as if mocking him.Hitchcock, Lucius W.
  797. garish
    tastelessly showy
    With its opulently garish sets and knee-jerk realism, the production dwarfed the cast, no matter what stars were singing.New York Times (Jan 2, 2011)
  798. readjustment
    the act of correcting again
    While earpieces are not uncomfortable, they do sometimes come loose, requiring readjustment.Slate (Apr 17, 2012)
  799. erstwhile
    belonging to some prior time
    Sony, whose erstwhile dominance in consumer electronics has been eroded by the likes of Samsung, could beat rivals to a potentially new generation of devices.
  800. aquiline
    curved down like an eagle's beak
    The nose slightly aquiline, curving at the nostril; while luxuriant hair, in broad plaits, fell far below her waist.Various
  801. bilious
    irritable as if suffering from indigestion
    But his sleep had not refreshed him; he waked up bilious, irritable, ill-tempered, and looked with hatred at his room.Garnett, Constance
  802. vilify
    spread negative information about
    The trial was televised and the victim's identity became known, resulting in her being vilified by almost the entire town.
  803. nuance
    a subtle difference in meaning or opinion or attitude
    By working so hard to simplify things, we lose any nuance or ability to deal with folks’ individual circumstances.Washington Post (Oct 3, 2011)
  804. gawk
    look with amazement
    He speaks mainly of his humiliation at lying on the sidewalk as hipsters gawked.New York Times (Apr 9, 2012)
  805. refectory
    a communal dining-hall, usually in a monastery
    Meanwhile, the soup was getting cold in the refectory, so that the assembled brotherhood at last fell to, without waiting any longer for the Abbot.Scheffel, Joseph Victor von
  806. palatial
    suitable for or like a large and stately residence
    The house was very large; its rooms almost palatial in size, had been finished in richly carved hardwood panels and wainscoting, mostly polished mahogany.Hitchcock, Frederick L. (Frederick Lyman)
  807. mincing
    affectedly dainty or refined
    She went, carrying her little head very high indeed, and taking dainty, mincing steps.Banks, Nancy Huston
  808. trenchant
    having keenness and forcefulness and penetration in thought
    They are written in a serio-comic tone, and for sparkling wit, trenchant sarcasm, and dramatic dialectics surpass anything ever penned by Lessing.Lessing, Gotthold Ephraim
  809. emboss
    raise in a relief
    Requests may also be made of the stationer to use an embossed plate so that the letters stand out in relief.Eichler, Lillian
  810. proletarian
    a member of the working class
    As yet, the true proletarian wage-earner, uprooted from his native village and broken away from the organization of Indian society, is but insignificant.Stoddard, Lothrop
  811. careen
    pitching dangerously to one side
    I turned the steering wheel all the way to one side, and found myself careening backward in a violent arc.Vogel, Nancy
  812. debacle
    a sound defeat
    The Broncos are coming off their worst season in franchise history, a 4-12 debacle that included issues on and off the field.Newsweek (Jan 9, 2011)
  813. sycophant
    a person who tries to please someone to gain an advantage
    The people around the king are sycophants who are looking after their own personal advantage.Coffin, Charles Carleton
  814. crabbed
    annoyed and irritable
    He grew crabbed and soured, his temper flashing out on small provocation.Weyman, Stanley J.
  815. archetype
    something that serves as a model
    Newport, R.I., looks like a perfect archetype of a small, seaside New England town.
  816. cryptic
    of an obscure nature
    The authorities, beyond some cryptic language about the death being sudden but not suspicious, have released no details.New York Times (Aug 24, 2011)
  817. penchant
    a strong liking or preference
    But sometimes, old Wall Street habits — including a penchant for expensive luxuries — are hard to break.New York Times (Mar 31, 2012)
  818. bauble
    cheap showy jewelry or ornament
    But men were buying Valentine's baubles for their honeys long before the first Zales ever opened its doors in a suburban shopping mall.Slate (Feb 14, 2012)
  819. mountebank
    a flamboyant deceiver
    They are singularly clever, these Indian mountebanks, especially in sleight of hand tricks.Ballou, Maturin Murray
  820. fawning
    attempting to win favor by flattery
    “As any cult leader, he was extremely good at milking the rich, at flattering and fawning,” Ms. Gordon said.New York Times (Apr 16, 2010)
  821. hummock
    a small natural mound
    Captain Bill leaned back on a hummock of earth, his arms folded behind his head.Grayson, J. J.
  822. apotheosis
    model of excellence or perfection of a kind
    Contrary to popular belief, however, she said Ms. Deen’s fat-laden cooking does not in fact represent the apotheosis of Southern cuisine.New York Times (Jan 17, 2012)
  823. discretionary
    not earmarked; available for use as needed
    Steeper prices for basic necessities have forced many to cut back on more discretionary purchases.Washington Post (Oct 19, 2011)
  824. pithy
    concise and full of meaning
    As Moore isolated finer points of the passing game, Keller in neat penmanship jotted down pithy phrases and punchy quotes, basic ideas and specific concepts.New York Times (Dec 10, 2011)
  825. comport
    behave in a certain manner
    Ironically, the one man on stage who did comport himself with dignity, John Huntsman, is now being dismissed as having not made an impact.
  826. checkered
    marked by changeable fortune
    Both restaurants have checkered histories with the health department; they were temporarily shut down for sanitary violations that included evidence of rodents.New York Times (Aug 22, 2010)
  827. ambrosia
    the food and drink of the gods
    "Frieda represents the lovely goddess, Hebe, who served nectar and ambrosia to the high gods on Mount Olympus," she explained.Vandercook, Margaret
  828. factious
    dissenting with the majority opinion
    Will it be answered that we are factious, discontented spirits, striving to disturb the public order, and tear up the old fastnesses of society?Stanton, Elizabeth Cady
  829. disgorge
    cause or allow to flow or run out or over
    There are telephone poles and cinder blocks and living room chairs and large trash bins, overturned and disgorging their soggy contents.New York Times (Oct 28, 2011)
  830. filch
    make off with belongings of others
    Then, in place of the real site, it displays a fake site created  to filch account numbers, login names and passwords.New York Times (Jul 13, 2010)
  831. wraith
    a ghostly figure, especially one seen shortly before death
    Whichever way he turns there loom past wraiths, restless as ghosts of unburied Grecian slain.Lee, Carson Jay
  832. demonstrable
    capable of being proved
    The linkage between deposits and trade is definite, causal, positive, statistically demonstrable.Anderson, Benjamin M.
  833. pertinacious
    stubbornly unyielding
    His temper, though yielding and easy in appearance, was in reality most obstinate and pertinacious.Kavanagh, Julia
  834. emend
    make corrections to
    The following were identified as spelling or typographic errors and have been emended as noted.Hopper, James
  835. laggard
    someone who takes more time than necessary
    Corporate data centers are the slowpoke laggards of information technology.New York Times (Apr 10, 2012)
  836. waffle
    pause or hold back in uncertainty or unwillingness
    A few days of waffling back and forth and I ended up going out to a mediocre bistro with my parents.Scientific American (Feb 8, 2011)
  837. loquacious
    full of trivial conversation
    Pan soon found it needful to make conversation, in order to keep the loquacious old stage driver from talking too much.Grey, Zane
  838. venial
    easily excused or forgiven
    The confidence of ignorance, however venial in youth, is not altogether so excusable, in full grown men.School, A Sexton of the Old
  839. peon
    a laborer who is obliged to do menial work
    For the most part, the men were wiry peons, some toiling half naked, but there were a number who looked like prosperous citizens.Bindloss, Harold
  840. effulgence
    the quality of being bright and sending out rays of light
    Then, all at once, in a way that seemed to frighten her, the sunshine had burst the clouds, and dazzled her with its effulgence.Fenn, George Manville
  841. lode
    a deposit of valuable ore
    Such local perturbations are regularly used in Sweden for tracing out the position of underground lodes of iron ore.Gilbert, William
  842. fanfare
    a gaudy outward display
    It opened a month ago to considerable fanfare, with television cameras trailing government officials meandering proudly around the bright new stores filled with imported goods.New York Times (Aug 22, 2010)
  843. dilettante
    showing frivolous or superficial interest; amateurish
    They dabbled in politics and art in the same dilettante fashion.Cannan, Gilbert
  844. pusillanimous
    lacking in courage, strength, and resolution
    He was described by his friends as pusillanimous to an incredible extent, timid from excess of riches, afraid of his own shadow.Motley, John Lothrop
  845. ingrained
    deeply rooted; firmly fixed or held
    The narrow prejudices of his country were ingrained too deeply in his character to be disturbed by any change of surroundings.Fuller, Robert H.
  846. quagmire
    a soft wet area of low-lying land that sinks underfoot
    The heavy rain had reduced this low-lying ground to a veritable quagmire, making progress very difficult even for one as unburdened as he was.Putnam Weale, B. L. (Bertram Lenox)
  847. reprobation
    severe disapproval
    Mr. Conway denounced this scheme as "utterly and flagrantly unconstitutional, as radically revolutionary in character and deserving the reprobation of every loyal citizen."Blaine, James Gillespie
  848. mannered
    having unnatural behavioral attributes
    Nothing was mannered or pretentious; the texts came through with utter naturalness.New York Times (May 29, 2011)
  849. squeamish
    easily disturbed or disgusted by unpleasant things
    But please note that this gunfire-fueled film is for mature audiences; given its content, young and/or squeamish viewers should avoid this one.Washington Post (Aug 6, 2010)
  850. proclivity
    a natural inclination
    She received, under her father's supervision, a very careful education, and developed her proclivities for literary composition at an early age.Adams, W. H. Davenport
  851. miserly
    characterized by or indicative of lack of generosity
    Now, my uncle seemed so miserly that I was struck dumb by this sudden generosity, and could find no words in which to thank him.Stevenson, Robert Louis
  852. vapid
    lacking significance or liveliness or spirit or zest
    How vapid was the talk of my remaining fellow-passengers; how slow of understanding, and how preoccupied with petty things they seemed!Dawson, A. J. (Alec John)
  853. mercurial
    liable to sudden unpredictable change
    Wind energy is notoriously mercurial, with patterns shifting drastically over the course of years, days, even minutes.Scientific American (Jan 4, 2012)
  854. perspicuous
    transparently clear; easily understandable
    The statements are plain and simple, a perfect model of perspicuous narrative.Smith, Uriah
  855. nonplus
    be a mystery or bewildering to
    I shook my head and rushed from his presence, completely nonplussed, bewildered, frantic.Cole, E. W. (Edward William)
  856. enamor
    Young Indian audiences are so enamored with reality television that they will not watch the soap operas and dramas that their parents or grandparents watch.New York Times (Jan 9, 2011)
  857. hackneyed
    repeated too often; overfamiliar through overuse
    Many speakers become so addicted to certain hackneyed phrases that those used to hearing them speak can see them coming sentences away.Lewis, Arthur M. (Arthur Morrow)
  858. spate
    a large number or amount or extent
    French authorities are already reporting a rising spate of calls to emergency services by homeowners whose once-frozen water mains have now burst.
  859. pedagogue
    someone who educates young people
    His old pedagogue, Mr. Brownell, had been unable to teach him mathematics.Pierce, H. Winthrop
  860. acme
    the highest level or degree attainable
    Scientifically speaking, it is the acme of absurdity to talk of a man defying the law of gravitation when he lifts his arm.Huxley, Thomas H.
  861. masticate
    bite and grind with the teeth
    Food should be masticated quietly, and with the lips closed.Cooke, Maud C.
  862. sinecure
    a job that involves minimal duties
    He would have repudiated the notion that he was looking for a sinecure, but no doubt considered that the duties would be easy and light.Trollope, Anthony
  863. indite
    produce a literary work
    She indited religious poems which were the admiration of the age.Brittain, Alfred
  864. emetic
    a medicine that induces nausea and vomiting
    The juice of this herb, taken in ale, is esteemed a gentle and very good emetic, bringing on vomiting without any great irritation or pain.Smith, John Thomas
  865. temporize
    draw out a discussion or process in order to gain time
    So he temporized and beat about the bush, and did not touch first on that which was nearest his heart.Erskine, Payne
  866. unimpeachable
    beyond doubt or reproach
    Whether we agree with the conclusions of these writers or not, the method of critical investigation which they adopt is unimpeachable.Huxley, Thomas H.
  867. genesis
    a coming into being
    He found himself speculating on the genesis of the moral sense, how it developed in difficulties rather than in ease.Miller, Alice Duer
  868. mordant
    harshly ironic or sinister
    Even Morgan himself, intrepid as he was, shrank from the awful menace of the mordant words.Crawford, Will
  869. smattering
    a small number or amount
    Only a smattering of fans remained for all four ghastly quarters.Washington Post (Sep 24, 2011)
  870. suavity
    the quality of being charming and gracious in manner
    His combativeness was harnessed to his suavity, and he could be forcible and at the same time persuasive.Windsor, William
  871. stentorian
    very loud or booming
    If a hundred voices shouted in opposition, his stentorian tones still made themselves heard above the uproar.J?kai, M?r
  872. junket
    a trip taken by an official at public expense
    Mr. Abramoff arranged for junkets, including foreign golfing destinations, for the members of Congress he was trying to influence.New York Times (Feb 26, 2010)
  873. appurtenance
    a supplementary component that improves capability
    In the center of this space stood a large frame building whose courtyard, stables, and other appurtenances proclaimed it an inn.Madison, Lucy Foster
  874. nostrum
    patent medicine whose efficacy is questionable
    Just here a native "medicine man" dispenses nostrums of doubtful efficacy, and in front a quantity of red Moorish pottery is exposed for sale.Meakin, Budgett
  875. immure
    lock up or confine, in or as in a jail
    Political prisoners, numbering as many as three or four hundred at a time, have been immured within its massive walls.Boyd, Mary Stuart
  876. astringent
    acidic or bitter in taste or smell
    There was something sharply astringent about her then, like biting inadvertently into a green banana.McFee, William
  877. unfaltering
    marked by firm determination or resolution; not shakable
    Still unfaltering, the procession commenced to trudge back, the littlest boy and girl bearing themselves bravely, with lips tight pressed.Sabin, Edwin L. (Edwin Legrand)
  878. tutelage
    attention and management implying responsibility for safety
    It will do so under German leadership that grows less hesitant with each crisis, and without the American tutelage it enjoyed for so many decades.Newsweek (Jan 23, 2011)
  879. testator
    a person who makes a will
    This will was drawn up by me some years since at the request of the testator, who was in good health, mentally and bodily.Henty, G. A. (George Alfred)
  880. elysian
    of such excellence as to suggest inspiration by the gods
    Life seemed an elysian dream, from which care and sorrow must be for ever banished.Hentz, Caroline Lee
  881. fulminate
    criticize severely
    But with people looking for almost any excuse to fulminate against airlines these days, there's a certain risk of embellishment.
  882. fractious
    easily irritated or annoyed
    He was a fractious invalid, and spared his wife neither time nor trouble in attending to his wants.Brazil, Angela
  883. pummel
    strike, usually with the fist
    Another, with rubber bands wrapped tightly around his face, is pummelled by a plastic boxing kangaroo.
  884. manumit
    free from slavery or servitude
    Moreover, manumitted slaves enjoyed the same rights, privileges and immunities that were enjoyed by those born free.Various
  885. unexceptionable
    completely acceptable; not open to reproach
    All cowboys are from necessity good cooks, and the fluffy, golden brown biscuits and fragrant coffee of Red's making were unexceptionable.Mayer, Frank
  886. triumvirate
    a group of three people responsible for civil authority
    This triumvirate approach has real benefits in terms of shared wisdom, and we will continue to discuss the big decisions among the three of us.
  887. sybarite
    a person addicted to luxury and pleasures of the senses
    He was not used to travelling on omnibuses, being something of a sybarite who spared nothing to ensure his own comfort.Wallace, Edgar
  888. jibe
    be compatible, similar, or consistent
    Contemporary art has never quite jibed with mainstream media.
  889. magisterial
    offensively self-assured or exercising unwarranted power
    “Now look here,” he said, making believe to take down my words and shaking his pencil at me in a magisterial way.Fenn, George Manville
  890. roseate
    of something having a dusty purplish pink color
    Behind the trees rough, lichened rock and stony slopes ran up to a bare ridge, silhouetted against the roseate glow of the morning sky.Bindloss, Harold
  891. obloquy
    abusive, malicious, and condemnatory language
    This is the real history of a transaction which, by frequent misrepresentation, has brought undeserved obloquy upon a generous man.Purchas, H. T. (Henry Thomas)
  892. hoodwink
    influence by slyness
    The stories of the saints he regarded as preposterous fables invented to hoodwink a gullible and illiterate populace.
  893. striate
    mark with stripes of contrasting color
    The body is striated with clearly defined, often depressed lines, which run longitudinally and sometimes spirally.Calkins, Gary N. (Gary Nathan)
  894. arrogate
    seize and take control without authority
    Japanese manufacturers were accused of arrogating American technologies to churn out low-cost electronics.New York Times (May 25, 2010)
  895. rarefied
    of high moral or intellectual value
    The debate over climate science has involved very complex physical models and rarefied areas of scientific knowledge.New York Times (Apr 9, 2011)
  896. chary
    characterized by great caution
    There was no independent verification of the figure; the authorities have been chary of releasing death tolls for fear of inflaming further violence.New York Times (Apr 24, 2011)
  897. credo
    any system of principles or beliefs
    She preferred to hang out with everyone but was best friends with no one, holding to the credo: “You should be nice to people.”New York Times (Jan 21, 2011)
  898. superannuated
    too old to be useful
    Civil servants are superannuated at fifty-five years of age and are sent home on a pension, seldom enjoying life longer than two years afterward.Hunt, Eleonora
  899. impolitic
    lacking tact, shrewdness, or prudence
    Bill Maher has always been a vocal critic of Islam, even at times making impolitic statements about the religion.
  900. aspersion
    a disparaging remark
    Lord Sanquhar then proceeded to deny the aspersion that he was an ill-natured fellow, ever revengeful, and delighting in blood.Thornbury, Walter
  901. abysmal
    exceptionally bad or displeasing
    After all, many Americans regard this Congress as dysfunctional, with abysmal approval ratings.New York Times (Dec 28, 2011)
  902. poignancy
    a quality that arouses emotions, especially pity or sorrow
    They were curious about the “near loss” experience—specifically the feelings of poignancy that occur when what we cherish disappears.Scientific American (Jan 17, 2011)
  903. stilted
    artificially formal or stiff
    But thanks to the stilted writing and stiff acting, the characters still feel very much like one-dimensional figures from a dutiful fable.New York Times (Jul 12, 2011)
  904. effete
    excessively self-indulgent, affected, or decadent
    John Bull was an effete old plutocrat whose sons and daughters were given up to sport and amusement.Moffett, Cleveland
  905. provender
    food for domestic livestock
    "Fools!" she cried, looking in her magic crystal, "he was in the big sycamore under which you stopped to give your horses provender!"Housman, Laurence
  906. endemic
    of a disease constantly present in a particular locality
    Mean-spirited chants and songs are also endemic in British soccer.New York Times (Jan 27, 2012)
  907. jocund
    full of or showing high-spirited merriment
    Her jocund laugh and merry voice, indeed, first attracted my attention.Lever, Charles James
  908. procedural
    of or relating to processes
    In other words, the rejection was a bureaucratic/ procedural decision.Scientific American (Feb 1, 2012)
  909. rakish
    marked by a carefree unconventionality or disreputableness
    She wore her red cap in a rakish manner on the side of her head, its tassel falling down over her forehead between her eyes.Sage, William
  910. skittish
    unpredictably excitable, especially of horses
    That combined with his calm and reassuring tone made me think of an animal trainer trying to woo skittish wild animals.
  911. peroration
    a flowery and highly rhetorical address
    He had little hope that Gallagher, once embarked on a peroration, would stop until he had used up all the words at his command.Birmingham, George A.
  912. nonentity
    a person of no influence
    Was he such a nonentity in every way that she could remain unconcerned as to any fear of danger from him?Woolson, Constance Fenimore
  913. abstemious
    marked by temperance in indulgence
    Raw, boozy, untethered performances are heralded as real; the abstemious professional is yawned off the stage.
  914. viscid
    having the sticky properties of an adhesive
    Roads were quagmires where travellers slipped and laboured through viscid mud and over icy fords.Buck, Charles Neville
  915. doggerel
    a comic verse of irregular measure
    He sang, with accompanying action, some dozen verses of doggerel, remarkable for obscenity and imbecility. Ritchie, J. Ewing (James Ewing)
  916. sleight
    adroitness in using the hands
    The trick was performed Tuesday by Russell Fitzgerald, an amateur magician known to open meetings with a little sleight of hand.Washington Post (Sep 29, 2011)
  917. rubric
    category name
    Ms. Moss took issue, not surprisingly, with the notion that grouping the performances under the rubric of spirituality was a marketing ploy.New York Times (Nov 22, 2010)
  918. plenitude
    a full supply
    Of course at that season, amid the plenitude of seeds, nuts, and berries, they were as plump as partridges.Reid, Mayne
  919. rebus
    a puzzle consisting of pictures representing words
    They wrote at times with pictures standing for sounds, as we now write in rebus puzzles.Park, Robert Ezra
  920. wizened
    lean and wrinkled by shrinkage as from age or illness
    Kim Jong Il may be increasingly wizened and frail, with fingernails white from kidney disease, but his propaganda apparatus is as vigorous as ever.Wall Street Journal (Mar 26, 2010)
  921. whorl
    a round shape formed by a series of concentric circles
    The flowers are waxy, tubular, fragrant, turning their yellow petals backward in a whorl.Rogers, Julia Ellen
  922. fracas
    a noisy quarrel
    Other cops were battling each other, going after the kids and clutching empty air, cursing and screaming unheard orders in the fracas.Freas, Kelly
  923. iconoclast
    someone who attacks cherished ideas or institutions
    Jobs is a classic iconoclast, one who aggressively seeks out, attacks, and overthrows conventional ideas.BusinessWeek (Oct 12, 2010)
  924. saturnine
    bitter or scornful
    Only when Bill Lightfoot spoke did he look up, and then with a set sneer, growing daily more saturnine.Dixon, Maynard
  925. madrigal
    an unaccompanied partsong for several voices
    Nevertheless we learn from Malvezzi's publication that the pieces were all written in the madrigal style, frequently in numerous voice parts.Henderson, W. J. (William James)
  926. discursive
    tending to cover a wide range of subjects
    “Tabloid,” like his previous films, consists largely of long, discursive conversations — in effect monologues directed at an unseen, mostly unheard interlocutor.New York Times (Jul 22, 2011)
  927. zealot
    a fervent and even militant proponent of something
    "The public is going to just think of us as these zealots who want to ban smoking everywhere," he said.Seattle Times (Feb 20, 2011)
  928. moribund
    not growing or changing; without force or vitality
    The entertainment sector there is booming, while Pakistan's is moribund.Seattle Times (Dec 3, 2011)
  929. modicum
    a small or moderate or token amount
    He volunteered a modicum of advice, limited in quantity, but valuable.Bolderwood, Rolf
  930. connotation
    an idea that is implied or suggested
    In Arabic, the word “bayt” translates literally as house, but its connotations resonate beyond rooms and walls, summoning longings gathered about family and home.New York Times (Feb 18, 2012)
  931. adventitious
    associated by chance and not an integral part
    The derivation of the word thus appears to be merely accidental and adventitious.Stace, W. T. (Walter Terence)
  932. recondite
    difficult to understand
    The mystery of verse is like other abstruse and recondite mysteries—it strikes the ordinary fleshly man as absurd.Gosse, Edmund
  933. zephyr
    a slight wind
    The dwellings and public buildings throughout Cuba are planned to give free passage to every zephyr that wafts relief from the oppressive heat.Various
  934. countermand
    cancel officially
    In the midst of executing this order, he got another order countermanding it, and proceeding directly from his direct superior.Belloc, Hilaire
  935. captious
    tending to find and call attention to faults
    Miss Burton had been very irritable and captious in class, more so even than usual, and most of her anger was vented upon Gerry.Chaundler, Christine
  936. cognate
    having the same ancestral language
    The synonyms are also given in the cognate dialects of Welsh, Armoric, Irish, Gaelic, and Manx, showing at one view the connection between them. Jenner, Henry
  937. forebear
    a person from whom you are descended
    His forebears were Greek immigrants who opened a small sandwich shop in Brooklyn, then moved, one after another, to Providence, to sell distinct, delectable wieners.New York Times (Sep 24, 2010)
  938. cadaverous
    very thin especially from disease or hunger or cold
    He looked gaunt and cadaverous, and much of his old reckless joyousness had left him, though he brightened up wonderfully on seeing an old friend.Doyle, A. Conan
  939. foist
    force onto another
    Mr. Knoll added that the 3-D “Star Wars” movies are not “going to be foisted on anybody against their will.”New York Times (Sep 29, 2010)
  940. dotage
    mental infirmity as a consequence of old age
    He is, as you say, a senile old man in his dotage.Wilcox, Ella Wheeler
  941. nexus
    a connected series or group
    Numerous innovators are also worrying away at this nexus of problems.
  942. choleric
    characterized by anger
    Jonathan, choleric with indignation, stood by his desk, clenching his hands.Mills, Weymer Jay
  943. garble
    distort or make false by mutilation or addition
    But the fact remains that the contradictory and inconsistent things said do reach the public, and usually in garbled and distorted form.Unknown
  944. bucolic
    idyllically rustic
    Forty-four years ago, Bill Sievers moved into his neo-Colonial house in Douglaston, Queens, on bucolic Poplar Street, lined with stately trees and equally stately homes.New York Times (Mar 26, 2012)
  945. denouement
    the outcome of a complex sequence of events
    Suppose the truly apocalyptic denouement happens -- no deal is reached, and taxes rise for everyone.
  946. animus
    a feeling of ill will arousing active hostility
    The youthful savages had each an armful of snowballs, and they were pelting the child with more animus than seemed befitting.Murray, David Christie
  947. overweening
    unrestrained, especially with regard to feelings
    He had overweening ambitions even then, along with a highly developed sense of his own importance.New York Times (Apr 19, 2010)
  948. tyro
    someone new to a field or activity
    As yet he was merely a tyro, gaining practical experience under a veteran Zeppelin commander.Westerman, Percy F. (Percy Francis)
  949. preen
    dress or groom with elaborate care
    He preened on fight nights in a tuxedo, a bow tie and no shirt, and he favored showy rings and bracelets.New York Times (Jul 24, 2011)
  950. largesse
    liberality in bestowing gifts
    After being saved by government largesse, they say, big banks then moved to thwart reforms aimed at preventing future meltdowns caused by excessive risk-taking.New York Times (Jul 14, 2011)
  951. retentive
    good at remembering
    The child was very sharp, and her memory was extremely retentive.Rowlands, Effie Adelaide
  952. unconscionable
    greatly exceeding bounds of reason or moderation
    For generations in the New York City public schools, this has become the norm with devastating consequences rooted in unconscionable levels of student failure.New York Times (Nov 4, 2011)
  953. badinage
    frivolous banter
    It was preposterous to talk to her of serious things, and nothing but an airy badinage seemed possible in her company.Maugham, W. Somerset (William Somerset)
  954. insensate
    devoid of feeling and consciousness and animation
    Men also are those brutal soldiers, alike stupidly ready, at the word of command, to drive the nail through quivering flesh or insensate wood.Stowe, Harriet Beecher
  955. sherbet
    a frozen dessert made primarily of fruit juice and sugar
    "One person said it looks like a big lime sherbet ice cream cone!"Southern Living (Apr 28, 2010)
  956. beatific
    resembling or befitting an angel or saint
    She dozed at last, her face serene and beatific.Beach, Rex Ellingwood
  957. bemuse
    cause to be confused emotionally
    They were marching in the middle of the street, chanting and singing and disrupting traffic while countless New Yorkers looked on, some bemused, others applauding.
  958. microcosm
    a miniature model of something
    The building, he said, is "a microcosm of what Shanghai was all about."Wall Street Journal (Apr 30, 2010)
  959. factitious
    not produced by natural forces; artificial or fake
    Indeed, the Chinese make a factitious cheese out of peas, which it is difficult to discriminate from the article of animal origin.Cameron, Charles Alexander, Sir
  960. gestate
    develop in the mind; have the idea for
    Mr. Lucas’s most recent project, still gestating, is a collaboration with Cuban musicians.New York Times (May 9, 2011)
  961. traduce
    speak unfavorably about
    For Grover Cleveland there were no longer enemies to traduce and vilify.Straus, Oscar S.
  962. sextant
    an instrument for measuring angular distance
    For example, a sextant could be used to sight the sun at high noon in order to determine one’s latitude.Scientific American (Mar 8, 2012)
  963. coiffure
    the arrangement of the hair
    They sat down, and Saint-Clair noticed his friend's coiffure; a single rose was in her hair.M?rim?e, Prosper
  964. malleable
    easily influenced
    “The Americans are seen as naïve malleable tools in the hands of the Brits.”New York Times (Nov 30, 2011)
  965. rococo
    having excessive asymmetrical ornamentation
    The upper part of the case is decorated with elaborately carved and gilt rococo motifs.Bedini, Silvio A.
  966. fructify
    become productive or fruitful
    Thence they grow, expand, fructify, and the result is Progress.Stanton, Elizabeth Cady
  967. nihilist
    someone who rejects all theories of morality
    “He’s a loner nihilist who believes in nothing,” Mr. Lu said.New York Times (Nov 6, 2011)
  968. ellipsis
    a mark indicating that words have been omitted
    He speaks in ellipses, often leaving sentences hanging, and fiddles apologetically with his BlackBerry.
  969. accolade
    a tangible symbol signifying approval or distinction
    The Nobel Prize, considered one of the highest accolades in literature, is given only to living writers.Seattle Times (Oct 6, 2011)
  970. codicil
    a supplement to a will
    The codicil to her will, which she had spoken of with so much composure, left three hundred pounds to Stella and me.Fothergill, Jessie
  971. roil
    be agitated
    Like thousands of fellow students, he was roiled with emotions, struggling to come to grips with an inescapable reality.New York Times (Nov 26, 2011)
  972. grandiloquent
    lofty in style
    A large part of his duties will be to strut about on the stage, and mouth more or less unintelligible sentences in a grandiloquent tone.Smith, Arthur H.
  973. inconsequential
    lacking worth or importance
    But as the months went by, Mr. Kimura had an unexpected epiphany: His business, which he thought was inconsequential, mattered to a lot of people.
  974. effervescence
    the property of giving off bubbles
    Both were in the very sparkle and effervescence of that fanciful glee which bubbles up from the golden, untried fountains of early childhood.Stowe, Harriet Beecher
  975. stultify
    deprive of strength or efficiency; make useless or worthless
    Far from being engines of economic growth, Egypt's leading cities are stultified.
  976. tureen
    large deep serving dish with a cover
    Soups are presented in big tureens and can be quite good.New York Times (Apr 13, 2012)
  977. pellucid
    transparently clear; easily understandable
    Caribou Island is a scant 300 pages, and written in prose as pellucid as the rivers he used to fish as a boy.
  978. euphony
    any pleasing and harmonious sounds
    It depends somewhat on usage and on euphony or agreeableness of sound.Hamilton, Frederick W. (Frederick William)
  979. apocryphal
    being of questionable authenticity
    We're reminded of the story, possibly apocryphal, that they used to play the Beach Boys' Smiley Smile in psychiatric wards to calm patients.
  980. veracious
    precisely accurate
    For proof, we cite the following veracious narrative, which bears within it every internal mark of truth, and matter for grave and serious reflection.Roby, John
  981. pendulous
    hanging loosely or bending downward
    And all around, far out of reach, the trees of the forest were swaying restlessly, their long, pendulous branches, like tentacles, lashing out hungrily.Bates, Harry
  982. exegesis
    an explanation or critical interpretation
    Its musical significance has been presented with illuminating exegesis by more than one commentator.Forkel, Johann Nikolaus
  983. effluvium
    a foul-smelling outflow or vapor
    However, acting on my best judgment, I struck a downward course, and then suddenly a horrible effluvium was wafted to my nostrils.Mitford, Bertram
  984. apposite
    being of striking appropriateness and pertinence
    He was quite capable of meaningful, apposite phrases about the game, even though distant sports editors did not encourage them enough.
  985. viscous
    having the sticky properties of an adhesive
    Sluggish, blind crawling things like three-foot slugs flowed across their path and among the tree trunks, leaving viscous trails of slime behind them.Various
  986. misanthrope
    someone who dislikes people in general
    And shaking his head like a misanthrope, disgusted, if not with life, at least with men, Patout led the horse to the stable.Dumas père, Alexandre
  987. vintner
    someone who makes wine
    The question remains, he said, whether established vintners will change their winemaking practices or “continue to sell their schlock.”New York Times (Oct 27, 2010)
  988. halcyon
    idyllically calm and peaceful; suggesting happy tranquility
    He now seemed to have entered on a halcyon period of life—congenial society, romantic and interesting surroundings.Kennard, Nina H.
  989. anthropomorphic
    suggesting human features for animals or inanimate things
    The same anthropomorphic fallacy that accords human attributes to giant corporations like BP distorts clear thinking about how to limit their political influence.
  990. turgid
    ostentatiously lofty in style
    His waspish wit can make him entertaining company at a party, but there is little evidence of that in his largely turgid prose.
  991. malaise
    a feeling of mild sickness or depression
    Initially, many doctors discounted sufferers’ feelings of generalized malaise as nothing more than stress or normal fatigue.
  992. polemical
    of or involving dispute or controversy
    His works include several dogmatic and polemical treatises, but the most important are the historical.Various
  993. gadfly
    a persistently annoying person
    Mr. Phelps is regarded here as the ultimate example of an irritating local gadfly.New York Times (Oct 9, 2010)
  994. atavism
    a reappearance of an earlier characteristic
    Criminal atavism might be defined as the sporadic reversion to savagery in certain individuals.Symonds, John Addington
  995. contusion
    an injury in which the skin is not broken
    My falling companion, being a much stouter man than myself did not fare so well, as his right shoulder received a severe contusion.Bevan, A. Beckford
  996. parsimonious
    excessively unwilling to spend
    Pill-splitting is catching on among parsimonious prescription-takers who want to lower costs.
  997. dulcet
    pleasing to the ear
    Ever and anon the dulcet murmur of gurgling streams broke gently on the ear.Madison, Lucy Foster
  998. reprise
    a repetition of a short musical passage
    The live set reprises material from this remarkable group's earlier Aurora CD.
  999. anodyne
    capable of relieving pain
    But philosophy failed, as it will probably fail till some far-off age, to find an anodyne for the spiritual distresses of the mass of men.Dill, Samuel
  1000. bemused
    perplexed by many conflicting situations or statements
    They were marching in the middle of the street, chanting and singing and disrupting traffic while countless New Yorkers looked on, some bemused, others applauding.
Created on May 19, 2011 (updated May 12, 2012)

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